The most thrilling mountain passes in Nepal

  • Updated on Apr 6, 2023
  • Govinda Gurung

Numerous crossings that separate two remote regions from one another while trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas are shaped like horse saddles and sit between mountains. As a nation surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, Nepal is home to hundreds of these mountain passes, some of which are well-known worldwide and are referred to as "La."

Nepal is well known for its trekking because it is surrounded by the magnificent Himalayas. Mountain passes can be found in almost all trekking areas, and some trekking routes are famous for their mountain passes. A mountain pass is a route that is used to cross a mountain, and it is referred to as "La" frequently in Nepal. It typically has a saddle-like shape and sits between mountains, dividing two isolated areas. 

A pass is typically found just above the river's source and typically forms a saddle-like structure between two mountains. It is difficult to hike to any mountain pass. The lungs and leg muscles will be pushed to their absolute limits because it is the highest altitude to reach. High levels of physical and mental tolerance are necessary. For this reason, many hikers wear it as a badge of honor after completing the pass. Below is a list of a few of Nepal's scenic and difficult passes.

Table of Content

1 Everest Region Passes

In the Khumbu region, home to Mount Everest, there are numerous passes. Renjo La Pass, Cho La Pass, and Kongma La Pass are the three most well-known of these passes. Consider signing up for the Everest Three High Passes Trek if you want to experience these three passes.

i. Cho La Pass 

Cho La Pass, which is located at 5,420m, is middle or second of the Khumbu region's three high passes. This pass is considerably steeper and has a technical rating. To cross this pass, you might need trekking equipment like crampons and microspikes. This pass is more dangerous due to the rocky landscape and snowy path. 

It is situated between the mountains of Cholatse (6,440m) and Lobuche (6,119m). You must pass through the Gokyo Valley and Ngozumpa Glacier to get here. You can see stunning views of Everest (8,848 meters), Ama Dablam (6,812 meters), Lhotse (8,516 meters), Nirekha Peak (6,151 meters), Cho Oyu (8,201 meters), and many other mountains from the pass. 

The one closest to Everest Base Camp is the Cho La Pass. Trekkers frequently cross it because it is situated between Gokyo Lakes and Everest Basecamp, two well-known attractions in the Khumbu region. 

ii. Renjo La Pass 

Renjo La Pass, another stunning pass along the trail in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas, is located at an elevation of 5340m/17843 ft. Unlike Cho La Pass in the area, this crossing, which connects the valley and Nagpa La, is extremely remote and has fewer trekkers. Tibetan traders still descend from the Nangpa La pass with their yak caravan. From here, trekkers can take in the expansive Himalayan mountain ranges, the Gokyo Valley, and the lakes below. Of the three passes that don't require traversing the glacier, that may be the shortest.

iii Kongma La Pass

Of the three passes in the Everest region, this one is the furthest east and is also the highest at 5,535 meters. Lobuche Village in the west and Chhukung Village in the east are connected by the Kongma La Pass. Due to the significant amounts of ice and snow, this pass is slightly slick. After returning from Everest Base Camp, most travelers travel through this pass from west to east. You can get stunning views of Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,481m), Nuptse (7,861m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), and Thamserku from the top of this pass. (6,623m). 

2 Annapurna Region Passes

Treks in the Annapurna region are among the most well-known in the world because of the region's ethnic, climatic, and geographic diversity. Thorong La Pass and Kang La Pass are two of the most well-known passes in this area. 

i. Thorong La Pass

A beautiful mountain pass in the Annapurna region, Thorong La Pass rises to a height of 5416 meters (17769 feet). The pass connects the remote Manang village, the revered Muktinath temple, and a few other villages in the Mustang district while looking out over the enormous Damodar Himal. Originally used as a trading route with Tibet, the pass-first is now a popular trekking route. This breathtaking mountain pass is a necessary part of the renowned Annapurna Circuit Trek. Additionally, during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, this is the highest elevation that hikers can reach. The difficult part of this trek, however, is not climbing to the top of Thorang La. Trekkers may suffer from the arduous straight descent to Muktinath from Thorang la.

ii. Kang La Pass

Kang La Pass, which rises to a height of 5,306 m in the Annapurna region of Nepal, is a less well-known mountain pass. In the pristine valleys of Nar Phu, the trek to Kang La Pass offers a true Himalayan wilderness experience. Remote communities, grand mountains, valleys, distinctive Tibetan cultures, and a high-alpine setting are all present at Kang La Pass. It is not a challenging pass, but it does not receive the attention it merits; very few people are aware of its history, and only a small number of trekking groups have traveled the route to the pass.

You can enjoy breathtaking views of Gangapurna, the Annapurna massif, Tilicho Peak, Manaslu Peak, Saribung Peak, and neighboring giants from the top of the pass. The trail that follows the pass is the well-known Annapurna Circuit. The fact that the trail is much less congested and far from the influence of modern life is undoubtedly a benefit of making the journey to the pass. The trek to Nar Phu and Kang La Pass, in contrast to many popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region, allows trekkers to explore the seclusion of Nar and Phu as well as the splendor of the pass. 

3 Manaslu Region Pass

Manaslu (8,156m/26,758ft), the eighth-highest peak in the world, is the center of the Manaslu Circuit treks. You will traverse Larkya La Pass as you circle Manaslu.

i. Larkya La Pass

The Manaslu Circuit passes through Larkya La Pass. It is the highest point of the 17-day Manaslu Circuit trek, rising 5106m above sea level. Between Dharamshala, also known as Larke Phedi, and Bhimtang is the Larkya La pass. Although it isn't the highest pass, this one has its own unique challenges. The terrain can be challenging to navigate, and strenuous hikes can strain the knees. Trekking to Larkya La pass offers a diverse range of vegetation, starting with a semi-tropical forest, moving on to an alpine forest area, and ending with an ice-field area and glaciers. Visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, and other mountain peaks from the pass's summit. 

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