Our 20-days trek to Mt. Kailash via Simikot gives the adventurous traveler an opportunity to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of both Nepalese and Tibetan landscapes. On this challenging trip which begins with a pleasant drive from the Nepal-Tibet border, we make our way to Mt. Kailash, completing a six-day-long and strenuous walk from Simikot. This route is specifically suitable for the adventurer rather than pilgrimage devotees. It should be perfectly physically fit and strong in order to travel to Mt. Kailash via simikot. It requires a special restricted area permit to travel to Kailash Manasarovar via western part of Nepal.
We start our journey flying to Nepalunj and from there we move towards the most elegant and isolated area of Nepal i.e. Simikot. In this 20 days trip, we also visit the Kailash and have a tour of Manasarovar Lake. Mansarovar and Kailash are very famous and one of the treasures of Tibet. It has both cultural and religious implication. Travelers making the Mt. Kailash trek via Simikot have the opportunity to visit more spiritual sites as they make this wonderful pilgrimage around Kailash.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
After arriving at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, our representative will drop us off at our hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
On our second day, our city guide will take you for the sightseeing of world heritage sites of UNESCO in Nepal. As it is not possible to visit all heritage sites of Kathmandu, have to choose 3 to 4 sites.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
After short exploration of Kathmandu Valley, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. Overnight at Nepalgunj.
Day 04: Fly to Simikot and trek to Dharapori 4 - 6 hours
After 40-minute flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot we will reached to an isolated and elegant village namely Simkot, the headquarters of the Humla District which cut off from the rest of the country due to its remoteness. We have lunch at Simikot and also register for the permit at the police office. From Simikot, we ascend for a while, and then descend towards the village of Tuling. We continue walking through jungles and villages along the Karnali River towards Dharapori. Overnight in Dharapori.
Day 05: Dharapori to Kermi 5 - 6 hours
After a walk about four to five hours the trek takes you to the flat trails alongside of the Karnali River and then you need to walk along the fields which are cultivated mainly with barley, Buckwheat, rice and potatoes. There are two hot springs near Kermi where we may soothe our aching bodies. We can also visit ancient Buddhist monasteries close to Kermi --Laikyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa.Overnight in Kermi.
Day 06: Kermi to Yalbang 5 - 6 hours
Today’ trek is a flat and take you to Yalbang. Crossing steep hills and a suspension bridge over the Salli River we can enjoy views of the beautiful pine trees and the mighty Karnali River. We will also visit the remote Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery. Overnight in Yalbang.
Day 07: Yalbang to Tumkot 5 - 6 hours
You will trek to Tumkot khola. Walk on a trail above the Karnali River. There will be no trees and greenery as you ascend further. You will cross some village like Anger and Muchu. It is the biggest village on your trip. After reaching Thumkot you will visit Dhungkar ChoeZom Monastery. This Monastery is the most important Monastery in the Tibetan region. Overnight in Tumkot..
Day 08: Tumkot to Yari 6 - 7 hours
Today's trek is on a relatively easy trail above the Karnali River. After walking a few miles we begin to notice the change in climate, vegetation and landscape which becomes more rocky and secluded. The trees that you see are not pine trees anymore. They are now short and low junipers. Overnight in Yari.
Day 09: Yari to Hilsa via Nara La pass: 5 - 6 hours
We cross the first pass of the trek today, the Nara La pass (4,620m). The vegetation is bleak by now and the landscape is familiar to that of Tibet. After crossing the pass we will be greeted by excellent views of the beautiful Tibetan plateau and Yari Village. From here on, it is a shaky descent down until Hilsa, a border town which is also a dropping point for the pilgrims on their way to Mt. Kailash by helicopter. Overnight in Hilsa.
Day 10: Hilsa to Purang 2 - 3 hours
We walk across the Friendship Bridge at Hilsa where the Chinese officials will check our permits and passports. We also meet our Tibetan guide here. We ascend from Hilsa to Purang and pass Rinzin Zangpo Gompa and Kangje Village along the way. In Purang, we visit the ancient Purang Gompa and explore the unique Buddhist frescoes of the 12th century. Overnight in Purang.
Day 11: Purang to Montser and sightseeing in Tirtapuri: 3 - 4 hours
On our way to Montser we pass through Rakshas and Mansarover lakes. After reaching Montser, we settle down for a while then visit Tirtapuri (4510m). Located northwest of Mount Kailash, the Tirthapuri Hot Springs are closely associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). Pilgrims bathe in pools fed by the springs, visit the monastery containing the guru's footprint and dig for healing stones along a one-hour pilgrimage route. After touring Tirtapuri we return back to Montser to spend the night.
Day 12: Sightseeing of Garuda Valley, then transfer to Darchen 3 - 4 hours
It takes us around 2 hours to reach the Garuda Valley that lies to the southwest of Mt. Kailash. It contains mysterious caves, some of which have never been explored. Many believe that this was the cradle of the Tibetan civilization during the time of the Shang Shung kings, long before Buddhism reached the roof of the world. For those interested in the archeological and historical sites, Garuda Valley will be a dream come true. After touring the amazing valley we move to Darchen, a small town situated right in front of the sacred Mount Kailash. Overnight in Darchen.
Day 13: First day of Kora: hiking to Dira Puk Monasterys , 5 - 6 hours
Today, we begin our Kora of Mt. Kailash. The first day out of Darchen involves a six-hour hike in a deep valley through walls of red rock. We continue across the plain to Shershong. We further cross a bridge leading to Chhuku Gompa which is high on the hill visible from the valley. The trail leads to Dirapuk from where we will have a stunning view of the north face of Mt. Kailash. Overnight in Dirapuk.
Day 14: Second day of Kora: hike to Dzutul-puk 6 - 7 hours
Today will be the most difficult section of our journey. We climb Drolma-la Pass at 5,750m/19,910ft. The pass whose name literally means the pass of Tara is beautiful and is filled with five-colored praying flags. From Drolma-la Pass, we descend to Dzutul-puk. At Dzutul-puk, we come across the incredible Thugje Zinbu (Lake of Compassion) and a few ancient meditative caves. Overnight in Dzutul-puk.
Day 15: Third day of Kora: hiking to Darchen 3 - 4 hours and transfer to Manasarovar
We gradually wind out of the valley towards Barka plain. After completing the holy Kora of Mount Kailash at Darchen, we drive for 2 hours to Mansarovar Lake. The lake holds religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists. As per Hindu theology, Lake Mansarovar is a personification of purity, and one who drinks water from the lake is believed to go to the abode of Lord Shiva after death. Buddhists also associate the lake with the legendary lake known as Anavatapta in Sanskrit where Queen Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. Overnight in Mansarovar.
Day 16: Tour of the Mansarovar Lake
Today, we circumambulate the beautiful Mansarovar Lake which has a circumference of 90 km making it one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The belief is that the Kora of Mount Kailash is completed only with a holy dip in the lake and a drink of its holy water relieves one from the sins of a hundred lives. We circle round Mansarovar by Jeep, and if time permits, we visit Chui Gompa, another attraction of Manasrovar. Overnight in Mansarovar.
Day 17: Mansarovar to Saga 8 – 9 hours
Today, we have to accomplish a long drive from Mansarovar to Saga traversing through the sacred historic Chiu Monastery. We continue driving past Hor Quo and across the Mayum La pass (5,200m). While passing through, we will have glimpses of small towns like Zhongba and Paryang. This journey covers 270 km from Mansarovar to Paryang and adjoins Saga, 255 km away from Paryang. From Saga instead of going towards Lhasa, we drive along a different route to Kathmandu. Overnight in Saga.
Day 18: Saga to Shigatse 445km, 8-9 hours
From Saga we travel to Shigatse via Latse. Our trail will be along the Tsangpo River in a region crisscrossed by the upper Brahmaputra and its tributaries. Upon reaching Shigatse, we freshen up and later visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery which was founded by Pachen Lama in 1447. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 19: Shigatse to Lhasa 265km, 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we drive towards Lhasa. On the way, we visit Shalu Monastery. Founded in 1040, Shalu Monastery is known for its beautiful and ancient mural paintings. After the tour we continue to Lhasa. On the way, we come across the Karo La Pass (5,045m). Before reaching Lhasa, we also cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief halt to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 20: Final Departure
The Kailash adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today. We will drop you to the airport.
We will be staying at 3 Star Standard hotels which have deluxe suite in Kathmandu for 2 nights and the best available teahouses during the trek. All accommodations are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 300.
All meals will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners for guests. While on the short trek, we have breakfast and dinner in the tea-houses/lodges we spend the night and lunch on our way to the next destination. The teahouse menu includes Nepalese, Tibetan and the more common continental cuisines for us to choose from.
This trek’s itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Experts agree that gaining elevation without proper consideration of AMS could be fatal. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. Therefore, our body needs time to adapt to an environment with less oxygen.
For this trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (5 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that even if anybody in the group gets sick or is unable to carry on, the trip can still go ahead as planned for the rest of the group. We can run the trek for groups of any size, but usually, it is a maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the best size for a successful trip. If you would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.
Messenger Travel & Tours is definitely committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated, well paid and we provide the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members and we have previously used helicopters - at our expense - to rescue porters from dangerous situations. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
This is a moderate trek. Travelers who can walk up to 6-7 hours a day on an uphill and downhill trail will find this trek fulfilling. It is best that we prepare ourselves for the trek by jogging and exercising regularly at least a month prior to the start of the trek. Trekking to the will be relatively easier for those who have experience walking/trekking in a high altitude environment. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should inform Messenger Travel & Tours before booking the trek.
Best Time to Travel
The best time for the Trek is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The temperature is moderate in these seasons and guarantees amazing views through the trip. Although this trek can be undertaken during winter, the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone.
Note:There will be 2(percent) additional discount per person, if the group of people exceeds the minimum group of people (min 4 pax)