Ice Lake Trek provides an outstanding opportunity to witness excellent views of snow-capped mountains along with the prospect of visiting Ice Lake (4600m) in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Ice Lake is often frozen except during the months from May to October; when it turns into a crystal clear blue lake. This wonderful ice lake is possible to reach after an uphill walk above the yak pasture land, beautiful villages with spectacular views of Tilicho peak, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Khangsar Kang Peak, Chulu East, and the Far East peak, Pisang peak, and Gangapurna..
We initiate our Ice lake trek as we drive from Kathmandu towards the Annapurna region and join the Annapurna round trekking route. It is a great chance to acknowledge nature and culture at their best. Initially, we trek for a few days through Syange, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Ngawal, and Manang before heading towards the Lake. During these days there will be plenty of green forests, waterfalls, and farmlands. But as we pass Manang, greenery will be left behind. And we head towards beautiful valleys with great views of Himalayan peaks.
We follow steeper trails after we pass Bragaa and trek all the way to frozen ice lake. Continuing, our Ice Lake Trekking trail takes us towards Yak pasture land, Tilicho base camp, Tilicho Lake and Yak Kharka before re-joining the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route again as we cross the popular high pass of Thorung La Pass and head towards the pilgrimage site of Muktinath. The trek continues through the apple kingdom of Marpha, the natural hot spring at Tatopani. And connects to Ghorepani, Ghandruk, Nayapul. And the drive to Pokhara ending our challenging trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal.
Ice Lake Trek requires a high level of physical fitness. However previous trekking experience is not mandatory. Our professional team from Nepal Mountain Trekkers assures you that you are 100% safe during the entire period of the trip. You would surely love to explore the highest lakes, frozen lakes, views of the beautiful Annapurna Himalayas. And visit Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites passing through high passes. Join Ice Lake Trek with us and makes your journey once in a lifetime of memory.
If this itinerary doesn’t suit your requirement or if you want to customize it, please feel free to contact us. This trek could be customized as per your required time frame and budget limits.
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)::
After your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, a representative of Nepal Mountain Trekkers will be there at the airport terminal to welcome you. You will then be transferred to your respective hotel and into your rooms so that you can relax. In the afternoon you can even go for a walk around Thamel and later be prepared for the next day as we go for a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu Valley.
Day 2 : Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation::
Today you will get to go on a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley. You will be exploring the historical heritages of Kathmandu valley in insightful sightseeing. From the sacred Buddhist pilgrimages of Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, which is one of the oldest stupas in Nepal to the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest in the world, we get a deep insight into the Buddhist teachings and culture. We will also explore the holy temple of Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most worshipped Hindu pilgrimages in Nepal, which hosts several temples and monuments with historical significance and tourists can view the open funeral pyre at the bank of the holy Bagmati River. Along with that, we will be visiting ancient historical places like Kathmandu Durbar Square. Exploring all these heritages listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List; we also have a discussion on the adventure which is to begin the next day. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Drive from Kathmandu to Syange (1,100m/3,608 ft): 8 – 10 hours::
On this day you will take an 8-10 hour drive to Syange via Besisahar early in the morning with fresh and cold air. The drive offers different sorts of scenery such as greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and beautiful mountains, terraces, etc. We will find the road coal-tarred from Kathmandu to Besisahar but from there the road is quite raw, dusty, and bumpy. Besisahar is the Headquarters of Lamjung and the first starting point of Annapurna Circuit Trek. Many trekkers used to stay in Besisahar a few years back but after the development of modern roads, the trekkers prefer to stay in Syange rather than in Besisahar.
Day 4 : Trek from Syange to Dharapani (1,960m/6,430ft): 7 – 8 hours::
From Syange we walk down to the Marshyangdi and follow the trail along the river bank. Then after a climb up through the forests past some waterfalls, we will find Chamje (1,430m). Now gradually we enter Manang district after crossing the large bridge called Tal. From here we continuously walk along with the rice fields until we pass through the Kodo village to Dharapani which is a really beautiful village. We will be staying overnight at Dharapani.
Day 5 : Dharapani to Chame (2,710m/8,891ft): 5 – 6 hours::
On this day we will be walking on the trail from Bagarchap which will eventually lead us to Chame. The route is rough and rocky and also it’s prone to several landslides on the west. We climb over a ridge through Timang and continuously walk through forests of pine and fir to Kodo (2640 m). Chame [2,710m/8,891ft] is a beautiful place and also the headquarters of Manang districts too. Before entering the village we find large Mani walls with many prayer wheels. We always must rotate temples, monasteries in a clockwise direction. The place is a good viewpoint for observing Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna IV (7,525m/24,688ft) and overnight stay in a guesthouse.
Day 6 : Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10,824ft): 5 – 6 hours::
We walk on steep and narrow paths that gradually go through deep and dense forests. When the trail reaches a bend, we can view first dramatic view of Paungda Danda rock faces and a wonderfully curved slab of rock rising. The place has a great view of Annapurna II to the south and Pisang Peak (6091 m) to the northeast. Then we go down to Hiunchuli and also Ngadi Chuli. Cross to the south bank of the Marshyangdi on a suspension bridge at 3040 m to make a long climb over the ridge then slowly but surely we reach Pisang.
Day 7 : Pisang to Ngawal (3,660m/12,008 ft): 7-8 hours::
Today we have a smooth walk, we start trekking as we pass through the Pisang and Hongde village where we can see the airstrip of Manang. Then the path leads us to Ngawal and there we will get a superb view of mountains. Ngawal village is an old village influenced by Tibetan culture. And overnight at the guesthouse.
Day 8 : Nawal to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 – 7 hours::
After Nawal today we move on towards Manang. From here we start our trail heading to Munchi and as we go through the old villages of the region we see Gompas and monasteries. The trail gives us some of the most scenic viewpoints as you get to witness magical views of the landscape all around you. And after 6 -7 hours of walking, we reach our final destination for the day which is Manang. And overnight at the guesthouse.
Day 9 : Manang, Hike to Ice Lake (4,610 m/ 15,125 ft): 6-7 hours::
Today we spend time in Manang to acclimatize to the higher elevation. We do a day hike to climb south of Manang 4965 m to see Gangapurna Lake and glacier headed toward Tare Kang which takes 4 hrs of the strenuous walk. The alternate popular excursion can be done on Praken Gompa (3945 m) for a meditation retreat. It is situated high on the hillside above the Manang. Lama will bless our impending crossing of the Thorang La by tying a sacred thread around our neck. With the blessings, we can view majestic Annapurna IV, Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tare Kang. After visiting Praken Gompa, we descend to Manang and visit the 400 years old Karki Gompa. We have another most spectacular and toughest excursion that you can do on Ice Lake (Kicho Tso, 4600 m). It takes us around 4 hrs.
Day 10 : Manang to Chauri Kharka (4,070m/ 13,353 ft): 4-5 hours::
From here onwards we descend to a Chorten and turn toward the northwest and head down towards the river. Soon we reach a bridge with a height of 3560 m and below it, there is Jarsang Khola. We cross the Jarsang Khola on the suspension bridge, climb steeply onto a bridge and after few walks, we reach the place where we can see views of Manang and Pisang. Then we continuously follow the power lines along the ridge on a wide trail, transverse along the south side of the ridge through blue pine forests and wheat fields. After a short climb, we reach Chauri Kharka (4,070m). Chauri Kharka is a collection of traditional stone buildings surrounding a large village that is square in shape.
Day 11 : Chauri Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp (4,140m/13,583ft): 7-8 hours::
Our trail leads us to climb steep past Gompa to a small Chorten. Now we cross small streams and transverse to the isolated Thare Gompa (3939 m). After few walks, we find a way to Yak Kharka. Further walks bring us closer to the Tilicho peak hotel. From here we transverse into a side valley and climb steeply up to the other side to some herders’ hunts and a junction. Now with a walk of about 650 m with descending on screed to the Tilicho Base Camp hotel. Further, lower the trail make us walk a steep descend to a wooden bridge and climb to a ridge at 4230 m along with a short descend which leads us to streams and then across hard transverse a huge, steep and slope bring us to Tilicho Base Camp. Here we overstay in a guesthouse.
Day 12 : Visit Tilicho Lake (4,949m/16,138 ft) then back to Chauri Kharka (4,070m/ 13,353 ft): 5-6 hours::
After a good breakfast we do an excursion of Tilicho Lake, walks with a long climb of 470 m. We can observe an outstanding view of Tarke Kang, Gangapurna, and the black face of Kangsar Kang (7485 m), Manang, and Upper Pisang. Our trail also leads us to series of steep and finally with a few hours of walk, we reach Tilicho Lake (4920 m). Tilicho Lake is a beautiful lake, sometimes its turquoise water reflects the surrounding peaks. During the wintertime, lack of sunlight transforms the cold waters into ice. The highest point here is the Tilicho peak which is (7134 m). The glaciers terminate in a vertical wall of ice which is 70 m high that forms the west shore of the lake. There is no shelter near the lake. So after visiting the lake we head back to Tilicho Base camp for the accommodation and overnight at a guest house.
Day 13 : Chauri kharka to Yak kharka (4,040m/13,020ft):4-5 hours::
The walk continues on the meadow of animals, with often passing of Yaks & Deer, descending on through shrubs to Marshyangdi river which maybe 250m down. We cross the river and stream then a short climb-up brings us to Annapurna’s classical trail. The trail tends to go steady up to Yak Kharka where we stay overnight at Lodge.
Day 14 : Yak kharka to Thorang Phedi/High Camp (4,420m/14501ft): 3-4 hours::
Our trek starts with an hour of gradual up through the shrubs to Ladder where you again refill the water bottle. The level walk continues to Phedi where you stop for lunch. Then we climb a steep uphill to reach High Camp and overnight at the lodge.
Day 15 : Thorong Phedi to Thorong La pass (5,416m/17,764ft) to Muktinath (3,800/12,467ft): 8-9 hours::
Today is a tough day as our trek starts early in the morning because we have to go 600m up to Thorong La pass and 1600m down to Muktinath. Much of the trail is uphill and it’s going to be freezing cold up there. While going up you should stop for some moments to rest. We pass 2 teashops along the trek. It’s a hard trek today but also it’s going to be worth it as you witness superb views and an experience of a lifetime while going through this high pass. The summit is decorated with colorful Tibetan flags; you deserve to take beautiful photographs. Then we descend on a paved path to Muktinath. Now you can celebrate the success of getting over Thorong La Pass with your trekking friends and you will have an overnight at a guesthouse.
Day 16 : Drive from Muktinath to Marpha (2,670 m/8,759ft): 6 – 8 hours::
On this day we drive from Muktinath through trail via Kali Gandaki valley to reach Marpha village. This town is famous for its Apple; don’t miss eating Apple Pie and Apple Juice as you get there and overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 17 : Marpha to Lete (2,480m/9,350ft): 7 – 8 hours::
Trek down to Lete with about 7-8 hours of walking through Kali Gandaki Valley. During the trial, we will cross Thakali houses. From Lete Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountains are visible on the way to an overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 18 : Lete to Tatopani hot spring (1,190m/3,904 ft): 6 – 7 hours::
A beautiful walk with the transition of the landscape into a path full of sub-tropical vegetation with the return of water buffalo, banyan trees, and poinsettias. The trail follows the river through a narrow gorge and descends to cross a bridge near a spectacular waterfall, before winding through the valley to Tatopani. The hot water springs give the village its name. This hot spring provides the perfect opportunity for a good ‘scrub.
Day 19 : Tatopani to Shikha (1,935m/ 6,348ft): 5-6 hours::
On this day we now head towards Shikha. Crossing the Kali Gandaki River we slowly climb steeply up the village of Sikha, which is inhabited by Magars, and overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 20 : Shikha to Ghorepani (2,750m/ 9,022ft): 3-4 hours::
This day we move on to a place called Ghorepani, truly a place of enchanting natural beauty. We start walking in the morning after breakfast from Shikha. We walk along the path that leads to the Rhododendron forest and you can see the Annapurna South, hidden by a ridge smiling at you. We will walk past the villages of Banthanti and Nangathanti going through the forest to reach Ghorepani, a settlement of Poon Magars local people of that region.
Day 21 : Ghorepani to Tadapani (2,590 m/ 8,497 ft), early morning climb to Poon Hill (3,210 m/10,531 ft) and back::
Early in the morning, you hike up 45 minutes to Poon Hill for sunrise (Poon Hill is one of the best places to view Sunrise in Nepal) from there we can see Marvelous view can be seen which are Annapurna ranges, Dhaulagiri ranges, Nilgiri, Fishtail after taking good time in Poon Hill trek back down to the Ghorepani then trek to Tadapani 4/5 hours through Nice jungle walk. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 22 : Tadapani to Ghandruk::
Trek to Ghandruk 3 hours walking through jungle and downhill. During the trial, you will enjoy bird watching. Ghandruk is one of the biggest Gurung Village. They have their own language, dress, typical foods, house. There is a nice view of Annapurna South and Fishtail and an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 23 : Ghandruk to Nayapul: 3-4 hrs and drive to Pokhara 1 and half hrs.::
Today we trek back to Pokhara. We will be going on to Nayapul by a 5 hours walk downhill from Ghandruk. After reaching Nayapul we take a drive back to Pokhara which is about one hour by Private car/van and overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 24 : Pokhara to Kathmandu::
In Pokhara, you will be transferred to the airport for a 45-minute flight which will take you back to Kathmandu. From there you are taken to your hotel in Thamel. After arriving at the hotel you can relax or if you wish you can explore the Thamel area. And so to end the day, in the evening our company will organize a full Nepali traditional dinner in a delightful restaurant which truly will be an unforgettable moment.
Day 25 : Departure Day::
You will be transferred by a representative of Nepal Mountain Trekkers to the Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward flight to your respective destinations at least three hours before the scheduled flight time. We hope that you have created a lot of wonderful memories during the trek with us. And at last, we wish you a very happy departure from Nepal.