There are few animals in this world that are as entwined and mysterious as the snow leopard in the Himalayas. This shyest of all big cats is a master of hiding and camouflage and at the same time a symbol of courage and strength. This is why it is a common motif in the paintings of Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalayas, although hardly anyone has ever seen this magnificent cat in the wild. But unfortunately, its myth and beauty also come at a high price: it is chased after for various reasons. Because of her fur, superstition (bones and organs are said to have an almost magical effect), the loss of her habitat and the decline of her prey and the resulting conflict with farmers and herdsmen when sheep or goats are once again snatched.
Today, the snow leopard is classified as "vulnerable" by the World Conservation Union IUCN. In the whole of the Nepalese Himalayas, for example, there are only between 300 and 400 free-living specimens. Reason enough for conservation pioneers like Dr. Rodney Jackson of the Snow Leopard Conservancy to take action. He has found local allies, such as Tashi R. Ghale from Manang of the Third Pole Conservancy, who have dedicated themselves to the protection and study of the snow leopard. We were happy to join this great initiative in the path of our project "Fair Trails® Himalayas" (Link: https://blog.bookyourtrail.com/nepal/fair-trails-himalayas-nachhaltige-tourismusprojekte ) to develop the Snow Leopard Trail together with them.
The Snow Leopard Trail opens up the lonely region of Naar Phu on the border to Tibet and various observation sites around Manang, the home town of Tashi R. Ghale. For this purpose, we offer various group tours in the form of "Fair Trails Expeditions", which have one thing in common: By being accompanied by experts from Third Pole Conservancy, the expedition participants are immersed in the mysterious world of the snow leopard, which opens up a breathtakingly unique wildlife experience for them. Furthermore, combined with the awareness of having made a concrete contribution to the protection of the snow leopard with this trip. Because 5% of the achieved turnover goes directly to a project for herd protection (light traps), which keep the snow leopard away from the villages. This is the only way to develop a peaceful coexistence of predators and locals.
The Snow Leopard Trail can be hiked and experienced in different versions: The longer wildlife trek through the archaic landscape of Naar Phu, the shorter wildlife trek around Manang in the northern Annapurna area and soon to be booked: The grandiose "Himalayan Catwalk", which combines the wildlife trek on the Snow Leopard Trail in the Himalayas with tiger watching in the jungle. For this we have recruited the world's leading tiger monitoring team from Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge in Chitwan National Park.
The combination of a truly unique wildlife experience with an immersion in the snow leopard's conservation project is opened at the Snow Leopard Trail in the form of a "Fair Trails® Expedition". These are guided tours for small groups, accompanied by snow leopard experts, for which we offer selected dates in the best travel time:
General information on the best travel times in the region:
Spring (March, April, May): After the colder months at the beginning of the year, temperatures become moderate in April, and at lower altitudes they become very warm and the rhododendron blossom immerses the landscape in a bright red. In the afternoons there may be rain showers, which become more frequent and intense during May. At the end of May, with the arrival of the monsoon, the trekking season ends.
Autumn (September, October, November): From mid-September onwards, the monsoon ends and stable high pressure conditions often occupy the Annapurna and Peri Himal regions for weeks. The result is a crystal clear dark blue sky and breathtaking views from afar. The days are still quite warm due to the sunshine, while from November on there can be minus temperatures in the higher villages (over 3.000m).
Technically, the Snow Leopard Trail has moderate difficulties, which are no problem for the sure-footed and experienced mountain hiker. The trails are well laid out - however, some of the passages that are carved into rock flanks and thus exposed, as well as suspension bridges, require a certain amount of head for heights. In the context of wildlife watching, however, you will also be in pathless terrain again and again. Attention: In fresh snow the stage from Naar to Ngawal over the Kang La Pass can be very slippery and difficult to pass! In extreme cases, the Kang La Pass can be inaccessible when there is a lot of fresh snow and you will hike out to Koto the same way you hiked in.
The shorter version "Snow Leopard Trail Manang" is classified as an easier trek and does not have any exposed passages. But here too, you are always in pathless terrain as part of wildlife watching.
The Snow Leopard Trail is very demanding in terms of fitness, as up to eight hours of walking and up to 1.300 m of ascent are to be mastered each on two stages. Appropriate fitness preparation is recommended.
The shorter version "Snow Leopard Trail Manang" is not so strenuous due to the lower altitude (highest sleeping altitude 3.600 m and highest altitude for trekking 4.300 m) and has "higher conditional demands" with walking times up to 6 hours.
Altitude acclimatization: Aggravating for the physical constitution is the altitude (sleeping altitudes up to 4.100m; highest point of the trek 5.322m), which requires careful altitude acclimatization. However, we have taken great care to design the program in such a way that sufficient adjustment for healthy trekkers with a normal ability to adapt to altitude is possible without any problems. However, the instructions of the Sherpa guides must be followed. For those who generally have difficulty adjusting to altitude, the short version of the Snow Leopard Trail is recommended.
As already mentioned in the fitness requirements, the shorter version "Snow Leopard Trail Manang" takes you to lower altitudes, which make trekking less strenuous: You sleep at a maximum of 3.600 m above sea level and do not hike higher than 4.300 m.
For children, the Snow Leopard Trail is suitable starting from 16 years of age with very good physical condition (the short version is suitable from 14 years of age).
Group tour: Unlike other treks, we offer the Snow Leopard Trail only as a group tour due to its special program (e.g. accompaniment by snow leopard experts). Being on the trail with like-minded people is very nice. But it also means "walking in a group", that you have to adapt to each other. This applies even more to trekking in a very remote region of Nepal than in the Alps, where individual stages can be covered by a shuttle. Do you meet the requirements with confidence? No problem at all! However, if you are not quite sure, just contact us. We will gladly advise you!
We recommend that you do a health check six months in advance and start with the necessary vaccinations.
Long-distance hiking and trekking routes are little or not suitable for people with disabilities due to their requirements. In order to clarify individual cases (degree of reduced mobility), we recommend contacting the Trail Info & Booking Center before booking.
Here you can find more information about the requirements, especially for hiking in high altitudes
For the Snow Leopard Trail a "normal" alpine trekking equipment is sufficient. Click here for the detailed equipment list of your trail trip.
The area through which the Snow Leopard Trail leads is still very pristine - the lodges are therefore very basic. For this reason, we recommend a sleeping bag with a comfort range down to -10°C (depending on your own temperature perception) for this trek. And don't forget to bring binoculars for wildlife observation!
Important preliminary information: Basically, your luggage will be divided into a lighter daypack and the large luggage (best: waterproof duffel bag, with the sleeping bag). You hike with this daypack (with a change of underwear, rain gear, thermos flask, energy bar, photo equipment and headlamp), while your large luggage (maximum weight: 15 kg) is transported by a carrier. Trekking poles are obligatory.
For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc.show Stages
Feel free to load map material from Google maps.
In Kathmandu three different categories of accommodation - regional evaluation - are offered:
Basic: Simple, clean, functional - traditional guesthouse
Classic: High standard hotels***
Comfort: Accommodation for high demands - Hotel**** partly with wellness area
Overnight stays along the trail:
Basic: Simple and functional lodges
Classic: Not available along the trail
Comfort: Not available along the trail
The following types of catering are available:
Breakfast: Rich breakfast buffet or national table breakfast
Half board: breakfast plus dinner (mainly 3-course menu)
In the lodges you will be reserved for half board - breakfast plus dinner.
Please enter any special requests for meals (vegetarian, vegan, allergic persons, ...) in the field "remarks". The Trail Info & Booking Center will try to fulfill your non-binding customer request
For the realization of your carefree trail journey a comprehensive mobility service is offered:
Luggage service: Hiking with a light day pack; luggage (max. 15 kg) is carried from one accommodation to the next by a carrier.
Shuttle services by standard transport vehicles: All airport shuttle services are included.
Domestic flight: No domestic flights are required for the Snow Leopard Trail.
For the trail trip to the Himalayas, a comprehensive service is naturally available to you, so that you can experience your adventure without any worries:
Trail Hotline, Angel's Service (English!): This is available daily during your trail trip, around the clock from Monday to Sunday, with help and advice.
Accompaniment by snow leopard experts: Tashi R. Ghale, one of THE snow leopard experts, will accompany you on the entire Snow Leopard Trail. He will guide you on the trail of the snow leopards and show you aspects of the realm of wild animals that would otherwise remain hidden from you. You will meet him at the beginning of the trek in Koto and say goodbye to him on the last day in Manang.
Sherpa Guide: An experienced Sherpa guide (Sirdar) with a good knowledge of English will accompany you on your trail. For groups of five people or more there is an additional Assistant Guide available.
City Guide: For a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Kathmandu Valley", an English-speaking city guide including taxi service is available.
Permits: All necessary permits (general trekking permit, special permit for Naar-Phu region (Restricted Area); entrance fee Annapurna Conservation Area Project) are organized and included in the price. In case "Himalayan Catwalk" entrance fee Chitwan National Park included.
Extended Trail Travel Documents, Angel's Service: Professionally prepared, detailed and ideal for preparing your trail trip. Will be sent in time before the start of the trip.
For this Trail journey you have the possibility to travel by air only - not included in the price:
By plane: Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
A shuttle service, which is included in the price, will bring you to your hotel and back to the airport at the end of the tour.
Accommodation is provided along the trails in lodges and in Kathmandu in hotels and guesthouses selected and quality checked by Bookyourtrail.com. Together with our partners in Nepal, we are developing sustainable forms of management as part of the "Fair Trails for the Himalayas" project, from which our partner businesses and their employees benefit.show partners
Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.Show Travel Information
Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093