Tsum Valley Trek-The Hidden Valley Of Nepal

Tsum Valley Trek-The Hidden Valley Of Nepal

The Tsum Valley Trek in Nepal is your best selection if you want an exceptional trekking experience. The Tsum Valley Trek often referred to as the “hidden valley trek,” is a stunning and moderately difficult trek in the Gorkha District of Nepal. Located high in the Himalayan Mountains, this isolated valley has mostly escaped the influence of modern culture. 

The Tsum Valley, just north of the Annapurna region, provides:

  • Breathtaking Himalayan views.
  • Cultural insights into the Tsum people.
  • The opportunity to travel to an area that remains entirely off the beaten road.
  • Ancient religion, culture, and art of the Tsum Valley.

The residents have their indigenous language and are descended from Tibetans. Ganesh Himal, Shringi Himal, and Boudha Himal are just a few of the mountains seen from the valley. The trek to Tsum valley was only opened in 2008 for tourists.

The numerous monasteries in this area are evidence of the rich culture of the inhabitants of Tsum valley. This valley’s two most notable monasteries are the Tsum Rachen and Mu Gompa.

The snow-capped peaks, thick woods, and crystal-clear streams can all be seen while on the Tsum Valley Trek. Traditional villages and centuries-old monasteries are evident along the journey. This trek is excellent for those seeking an adventure and a desire to discover Nepal’s untapped splendor.

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Table Of Content

Why visit Tsum Valley?

There are different reasons to visit the Tsum Valley. Some of them are:

Distinct culture and lifestyle

Culture and tradition of Tsum valley

The valley is renowned for its unique culture, inspired by the historic Bon religion and Tibetan Buddhism. The Tsumbas, or residents of Tsum Valley, have maintained their traditional way of life for many years. Tibetan Buddhism strongly influences their culture, and many Tsumbas are carriers of the Tibetan language known as Tsumba.

Long robes known as chubas and wide-brimmed caps known as dokos are part of the Tsumbas’ peculiar traditional attire. Additionally, the women of Tsum Valley wear bright handmade aprons known as peras.

Beautiful monasteries, aka gumbas can be discovered in the Tsum Valley. The most well-known of these is the Mu Gumba, which is nestled in the heart of the valley and is the home of several historic Tibetan Buddhist artifacts.

The inhabitants of Tsum Valley are renowned for traditional arts and crafts, including weaving and woodcarving. They are also proficient at growing high-altitude crops like potatoes and barley. Besides tourism, people in Tsum valley depend upon agriculture to meet their daily needs.

Untouched Natural beauty

Mountain view on tsum alley

Tsum Valley is an isolated mountain region located in the north of Nepal, tucked away in the remote region of Manaslu. The trek passes through terraced fields, lush green forests, and mountain villages that offer a glimpse into the lives of the locals.

Numerous exotic and endangered species, such as the red panda, blue sheep, the Himalayan musk deer, and the elusive snow leopard, are also found in the area. Many medicinal plants can be found in the Tsum Valley, and the natives utilize these plants to cure many illnesses.

Moreover, the stunning Manaslu Conservation Area, which spans an area of 1,663 square kilometers and is home to a diverse variety of plants and animals, is one of the main draws of Tsum Valley. Tsum Valley is renowned for its breathtaking vistas of the Himalayan Highlands, especially Mount Manaslu, the eighth-highest summit in the world.

Varied Landscapes

Many trekkers will treasure the memories of the Tsum Valley Trek for the rest of their lives.

The trek takes you deep within the Manaslu region. It offers a beautiful experience since it is a secret valley bordered by towering snow-capped peaks.

Aarughat, a small settlement in the Gorkha district, serves as the starting point for the Tsum Valley Trek. Subtropical forests, alpine meadows, and eventually, a stark high mountain backdrop can all be seen as you hike deeper into the valley.

You will pass through several peaceful settlements and tiny monasteries along the road, where you can witness the varying landscapes as you move further.

You will have several opportunities to interact closely with nature while on the trip. You’ll travel through breathtaking landscapes, pass through luscious forests, admire the rushing waterfalls and enjoy breathtaking views of magnificent peaks.

Lush forests

The area is covered in pine, rhododendron, and oak forests that nourish a diverse range of ecosystems.

High-altitude grasslands

The Tsum Valley is also home to a number of high-elevation grasslands, which in the spring and summer are filled with vibrant wildflowers.

Challenging rocky landscape

The walk takes you through some of the nation’s most demanding and stunning mountain terrain.

Villages and cultural sites

You’ll also travel past rural towns and cultural landmarks including historic monasteries and gumbas.

How to get there?

To reach the valley, fly to Kathmandu and take transportation to Aarughat, where the journey begins. Aarughat is about a 7-hour drive from Kathmandu and can be reached by bus or hiring a private jeep as there is no airport.

Alternatively, you can get to Aarughat from Pokhara, another famous location. Aarughat can be reached by road in around 10 hours from Pokhara.

After arriving in Aarughat, the trek begins. The trek starts with a gradual ascent through terraced fields and small villages, and it takes about 6-8 days to reach the Tsum Valley, depending on your pace.

You can take a jeep from Aarughat to a little settlement near the valley’s entrance known as SotiKhola. Depending on your schedule and financial limitations, you can also choose to travel directly to SotiKhola from Kathmandu or Aarughat by local bus or private vehicle. You can allocate around eight hours for the trip. You can begin the journey once you get to SotiKhola.

River found during the trek in Tsum

Once in Soti Khola, you will start the trek. The trek can be completed in 5-6 days or more, depending upon your itinerary. You will pass through traditional villages, lush green valleys, and remote monasteries.

The lowest elevation of the trek is 600 meters, and as you ascend, you will reach an elevation of around 3,700 meters. Tsumagaon is located in the valley’s center and is the trek’s highest point. You will travel through several villages along the road, including Lokpa, Chumling, Chhokang Paro, and many more.

The trip’s final portion involves intensive walking across many high passes. As you climb higher and higher, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Himalayas. At the journey’s end, you will witness the Phurbe Himal from Mu Gompa, the trek’s highest point (3,700 meters).


It’s important to note that the Tsum Valley Trek is a remote and challenging trek that is not accessible by road. The only way to reach the valley is on foot, so you’ll need to be prepared for several days of hiking to reach and explore the region.

What to expect during the trek?

The Tsum Valley Trek is a challenging and rewarding trek that offers the chance to explore a beautiful and lesser-known region of Nepal. Here is what you can expect on the trek:

Challenging trails

The Tsum Valley Trek involves several days of walking over steep and rugged terrain. The path can be somewhat challenging and harsh to people who are not used to walking on rugged trails. The final stretch to the Larkya La Pass is particularly challenging as you ascend to an elevation of 5,135 meters (16,853 feet).

Stunning views

The Tsum Valley Trek offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. From the Larkya La Pass, you’ll have panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

Cultural insights

The Tsum Valley has a distinct culture that has remained largely disconnected from the rest of the world. The region has a rich history supported by ancient monasteries and remote villages that provide insight into the Tsum people’s daily lives.


Accommodation during the trek is basic, but comfortable. Most trekkers stay in tea houses or lodges along the route, and some may choose to camp.


Meals on the Tsum Valley Trek are typically included in the cost of your trek. The food is simple and nourishing, with a variety of local dishes on offer. There are plenty of tea-houses en-route that serve local food such as momos (dumplings), Tibetan bread, vegetables, meat, and chow mein(spaghetti).


The Tsum Valley Trek involves hiking at high altitudes, with the highest point of the trek at the Larkya La Pass if you dare to attempt the Manaslu Circuit trek. It’s important to acclimatize to the altitude to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

What to pack

When planning for the Tsum Valley trek, it’s important to pack the supplies you will need throughout the trek. While you don’t need any special climbing or technical equipment, there are certain items that will make your journey much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Packing list
  • Base layers such as thermal underwear, a warm fleece, and a waterproof jacket
  • Hiking pants
  • Waterproof gloves and hat
  • Rain poncho or umbrella
  • Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support
  • Woolen socks
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Small medical kit
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Maps and guidebooks
  • Two water bottle

In addition to these items, you will also want to bring enough cash to cover any additional expenses along the way. You should also be sure to pack light, since you will be carrying your own gear. By bringing the right supplies and wearing comfortable clothing, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the Tsum Valley trek.

Tsum Valley Permit cost

A special permit from the Nepal Tourism Board is required to visit Tsum Valley.

The Tsum Valley permit fee differs based on the duration of your stay and the period of year you attend.

The cost of the Tsum Valley permit is as follows:

  • For a stay of up to 7 days: NPR 3,000 (about $30)
  • For a stay of 8-14 days: NPR 4,000 (about $40)
  • For a stay of 15-21 days: NPR 5,000 (about $50)

It’s important to note that the Tsum Valley permit is in addition to the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit, which is required for all trekkers in the Manaslu region. Depending on the length of your stay and the season, the MCAP permit might cost anywhere between NPR 2,000 and NPR 3,000 (about $20 to $30).

You might also need to acquire a TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) card, which is necessary for all trekkers in Nepal in addition to the Tsum Valley and MCAP permits. The TIMS card costs NPR 2,000 (about $20) for foreigners and NPR 1,000 (roughly $10) for SAARC citizens.

(Note: please double check the price)

Places you can visit during the Tsum valley trek

During the Tsum Valley Trek, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a number of stunning locations and landmarks. Here are a few of the places that you may visit during the trek:


Starting from Aarughat, one can undertake the Tsum Valley Trek. The trip starts out from Aarughat with a gentle ascent past small settlements and terraced farms. The opportunity to explore the welcoming nature and rich culture of the Gurung locals can be witnessed in Aarughat.


Sotikhola is a small village located about a day’s walk from Aarughat. The village is located on the banks of the SotiKhola river and offers a chance to experience the daily life of the local people.


A little town called Machhakhola is roughly two days worth of walking away from Aarughat. Before advancing the trip, Machhakhola which is situated on the banks of the Budhi Gandaki river, provides a chance to relax and refresh.


Jagat is a small village located about three days walk from Aarughat. The village is also located on the banks of the Budhi Gandaki river and is a popular spot to acclimatize before continuing on the trek.


Chumling is a small village located about four days walk from Aarughat. It is located at a height of 2,386 meters above sea level. One of the bigger communities in the Tsum Valley is Chumling, which has a variety of traditional Tibetan buildings, old monasteries and lodges for visiting tourists.


Chhokangparo is a small village located about five days walk from Aarughat. The village is located in the Tsum Valley at an elevation of 2,600 meters and you can either return to your starting point from Chhokangparo or continue on a lengthier walk into the Tsum Valley.


Nile is a small village located about six days walk from Aarughat. The village is located in the Tsum Valley and is a good place to rest and explore the surrounding area.

Mu Gumba

Mu Gumba is an ancient Buddhist monastery located in the Tsum Valley. The monastery offers a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the region and is an important religious site for the local people.

Rachen Gumba

Rachen Gumba is another ancient Buddhist monastery located in the Tsum Valley. The monastery is located at an elevation of 3,240 meters (10,630 feet) and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Larkya La Pass

The Larkya La Pass is a high mountain pass located at an elevation of 5,135 meters (16,853 feet). If you seek more adventure, you can try the Manaslu circuit trek and this pass is the highest point of the Circuit Trek. 


Dharapani is a small village located at the end of the Tsum Valley Trek. From Dharapani, you can continue on to the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek or return to Kathmandu.

Tips for trekking in Tsum Valley

Start Early

Tsum Valley trek is a relatively hard journey and starting early in the morning helps you avoid the sun. You will also have more time to reach your destination and explore the area.

Make Accommodations Ahead

Tsum Valley offers limited accommodations, so it’s important to book your accommodation in advance. This can save you a lot of time, energy and disappointment.

Bring Enough Supplies

The region is remote, and supplies can be hard to come by. Make sure to bring enough food and water for the duration of your trek. However, you can also refill your bag of supplies during the trek.

Wear Proper Clothing

The weather in Tsum Valley can change quickly, so make sure you’re prepared for cold or wet conditions. Also, it is important to wear sun protection when trekking in the region as there is less shade than in other parts of Nepal.

Go With A Potter

Having a potter you will help make your trek a much smoother experience. They are familiar with the terrain and can carry your supplies. 

Respect Local Culture

Tsum Valley is home to many cultural sites and spiritual places that are sacred to locals. Respect their beliefs by not taking pictures or littering in these places.

Stay Hydrated

Altitude sickness is a common problem in the Himalayas, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the trek. Drink plenty of fluids and take breaks whenever necessary to avoid altitude sickness.

Take it Slow

Tsum Valley Trek can be challenging, so it’s important to take it slow and steady. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard.

Be Flexible With Your Schedule

Weather and trail conditions can change quickly in the Himalayas, so you’ve gotta be flexible with your schedule. Don’t rush through the trek and  be ready to adjust your plans if necessary.

Keep An Open Mind

Tsum Valley Trek is an adventure of a lifetime, so keep an open mind to maximize your experience. Enjoy the scenery, people and culture of the region and have a wonderful journey.

Best Season for Tsum Valley trek in Nepal

Depending on your interests and the kind of experience you seek, there is no one perfect time to trek to the Tsum Valley. Here is a general overview of the four seasons of Tsum valley.

March to May(Spring):

The Tsum Valley is frequently visited in the spring since the weather is usually decent and the rhododendron blossoms.During spring, the evenings are cool while the days are warm and sunny.

June to August (Monsoon)

Tsum Valley may be damp and rainy during this time of year. It’s crucial to be ready for wet circumstances because the trails might be treacherous and there is a possibility of landslides.

September to November (Autumn)

The Tsum Valley is best visited in the fall when the weather is typically dry and stable. The evenings are cold, and the days are sunny and pleasant. The trails and teahouses may be busier during this time because it is Nepal’s busiest trekking season.

December to February (Winter)

The Tsum Valley experiences its harshest winters, with nighttime lows below freezing point.Though the days are typically clear and sunny, higher elevations might experience extremely chilly and windy conditions. Bring warm clothing and equipment because the trails could also be icy and slippery.

The best time to visit the Tsum Valley will ultimately depend on your choices and your level of weather adaptability. Since the weather is often pleasant and consistent, spring and autumn are widely regarded as the ideal times to travel. But the Tsum Valley is a lovely area to visit all year round, and each season provides a different adventure.


A truly incredible trekking adventure, the Tsum Valley Trek is a must if you seek unique experience. Being ready for both physical and mental difficulties is crucial because trekking in Tsum Valley can be demanding. However, the walk could be a wonderfully fulfilling experience with  proper planning and preparation. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment, clothing and supplies for the route. Moreover, ensure bringing your favorite food and beverages for the journey. 

Overall, The Tsum Valley Trek is an amazing experience since it offers breathtaking vistas and the chance to learn about Nepal’s distinctive culture. Tsum Valley Trek is an unforgettable trek because of its unspoiled scenery, friendly natives and off-the-beaten-path nature.


What is the highest elevation during the Tsum valley trek?

The highest altitude during the trek is 3,700m / 11,026ft which is the Mu Gompa. However, if you wish to extend the trek and attempt the Manaslu circuit trek, the highest elevation is Larkya La Pass(5,135 meters / 16,853 ft)

Who are the inhabitants of Tsum valley?

The locals of Tsum valley called “Tsumbas” are direct descendants of Tibetan origin. They widely follow the Bon religion or Tibetan Buddhist religion. Till today, they use primitive tools and techniques for agriculture and medicines.

How many days are required to complete the trek?

In general it takes around 8-16 days to complete the Tsum Valley trek. However, depending upon your pace and experience it can take more or less days. Moreover, make sure to allocate a couple more days for the trek just to be safe.

Can I trek the Tsum Valley solo?

Unfortunately, No. As per the government of Nepal, at least three people are mandatory for the Tsum valley trek including a guide. The reason being so is because you have to get special permits for the trek and it is a restricted area.

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