8th September 2023

Mountain Passes in Nepal

Mountain pass in Nepal is challenging and deadly. Trekkers who have trekked the Nepal Himalayas will have vivid memories of crossing those testing mountain passes. These mountain passes are nerve-wracking yet brilliantly exciting. Lying high in the mountains, these mountain passes connect two or more incredible peaks and make way for charming mountain villages. 

These mountain passes have risen above the ground underneath them, showing areas from the outside world. Climbing these mountain passes is also difficult and to pass them is another adventure you sign up for. Luckily, Nepal has extensive mountain ranges and thus houses several exciting and scenic mountain passes.

 They also bring trekkers to nature’s doorway which brings them to new lands and new sights. But just because they offer the opportunity, don’t let this let you think that they are easily taken care off. In the early days, Mountain passes in Nepal were used to be a trading route for Tibetan and Nepalese merchants. The Himalayas of Nepal form the common barrier with Tibet in the north. And because of mountain passes, traveling in the past was also made easy. Thus, these mountain passes have played a vital role in migrating humans and animals between two countries for several reasons.

 Due to this very reason, the people in the higher altitude share similarities in culture and lifestyle as well as traditions. Moreover, La, in particular, is a Tibetan word for a pass. Hence every mountain’s name ends with the Tibetan word La. While these mountain passes have long served as their functional purpose, they also provide another opportunity to appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Nepal’s mountain passes are also located at a higher height, and offer heart-pounding and breathtaking beauty, making even the most anxious tourists pleased and most delighted.

Top most popular mountain pass in Nepal 

#1 Thorong La pass – Annapurna Region

Sitting at 5416 meters / 17769 feet, Thorong La Pass sits at the gorgeous mountain pass in the Annapurna region. The pass also sees the gigantic Damodar Himal and connects the rural Manang village that is sacred to Muktinath temple, and a few villages in the Mustang district. The pass-first was used as a trading route with Tibet, but it is actively used as their trekking route these days. The world-famous Annapurna Circuit Trek entails also crossing the scenic and spectacular mountain pass. Furthermore, this is the highest elevation trekkers reach at the Annapurna Circuit Trek. But, the challenging aspect of this trek is not hiking up to the crown of Thorong La. The straight descent to Muktinath from Thorong la can take a heavy toll on the trekkers.

#2 Chola pass – Everest Region 

The thrilling Cho La pass sits at the height of 5420 meters / 17780 feet which lies in the Everest region connecting many significant attractions too. The trail also connects peaceful and turquoise Gokyo Lakes at the west and the majestic Everest Base Camp in the east. It is a part of three high passes at the Everest region and offers a breathtaking spectacle of mountains such as Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, and so on.  Crossing Cho La pass elevates the excitement for trekking Everest Base Camp if you detour majestic Gokyo Lakes and valley. The trail can also be walked anticlockwise, which is first Gokyo, then EBC via Cho La pass. Among the three mountain passes in the Everest area, it is one of the most grueling. Because it is the highest among the three, and climb could be technical depending upon the season. The snow or ice deposits also make the climb challenging during the winter and early spring seasons, yet one can smoothly cross the pass with the necessary kits and equipment..

#3 Renjola Pass – Everest Region

Situated at 5340 meters / 17843 feet, Renjo La Pass is one of three most important Everest passes. It is another excellent mountain which connects Gokyo Lakes and Nagpala and is extremely remote. This pass is considerably more active as the trading route than other mountain passes. One could still meet Tibetan merchants going from Nangpa La pass with their yak caravan. 

It is the only pass among the three where crossing glaciers is also not required. Also, it takes less time to cross the pass. Nevertheless, just because you do not have to cross the glacier, it does not mean crossing Renjo La is any sort of simple. It does has its own challenges, yet most consider this an easy pass compared to the other two mountain passes. The Renjo La pass also offers one of the beguiling vistas for Everest massif and other Gokyo Lakes.

#4 Kongmala Pass – Everest Region 

Standing tall at a high elevation of 5,535 meters / 18,159 feet, Kongma La Pass is the most forsaken mountain pass among three high passes of the Everest region. While doing Everest three high passes trek, most consider dropping this pass from its complex nature. Some portions of the Kong Ma La are very rocky, requiring extra attention for the trekker. Nevertheless, it is a highly intriguing and exciting mountain pass that should not be unvisited. Kongma La pass, besides offering the thrilling experience of climbing mountain pass, also provides a great outlook of the Everest range. Notably, from the summit of the Kongma La Pass, the vista of Cho Oyu is clearly visible.

#5 Larke La pass – Manaslu Region 

 Standing at the elevated height of 5106m / 16748 feet, Larke La Pass at the Manaslu region is one of Nepal’s longest mountain passes ever. Every trekker at the Manaslu Circuit has the bitter soft moment mountain pass in the whole of Nepal.

Although this pass is not the highest mountain pass in Nepal, it still also has fine challenges and hurdles. The pass is also notorious for the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. However, in reward for the challenging climb, the pass also offers splendid scenery of Himalayan peaks. The beautiful scenes of Manaslu, Himalchuli, Cheo Himal, and Himlung are clearly visible from the peak of Larkya La pass.

#6 Amphu Lapcha Pass – Mera Peak Region 

In the tremendous height of 5845 meters / 19177 feet, Amphu Lapcha Pass is also the highest mountain pass in Nepal. At the top of the Honku valley, it is has a glacier filled pass with serac cliffs. It offers access at the Honku valley, which is otherwise relatively inaccessible. 

The Panch Pokhari, or Five Sacred Lakes, is also located in the valley’s base, 5,000 meters high. It is a physically demanding pass too and climb likewise is technical. The mountain pass remains frozen almost 12 months for the year; hence, crossing Amphu Lapcha would be also be too challenging for trekkers with no climbing or trekking experience. Even if the climb is endurance testing, the view is worth every tough climb too. The pass’s summit has breathtaking views of Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, and other Himalayan peaks. Lastly, the Amphu Lapcha pass is present for thrill-seekers who aren’t scared of taking any sort of risks.

#7 Mesokanto Pass – Annapurna Region 

At the great height of 5099 meters / 16729 feet, Meshokanto La Pass is one of the best scenic mountain passes in Nepal. The Meshokanto La pass is also part of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route which emerges between Jomsom and Manang. 

It’s also the location which is surrounded by landslides and glaciers. It is pretty common to go at Tilicho as a side trek for the Annapurna Circuit. But less common and highly discouraged to cross at the other side, all the way to Jomsom, through Meshokanto pass from Lake Tilicho. Typically, trekkers follow the traditional route by going back at the main circuit trail and crossing the well-known Thorong La pass. Similarly, continue along the right shore of the lake and cross somewhere lower and further south, while reaching Jomsom directly.

#8 Gosainkunda pass – Langtang Region

Gosainkunda pass also known as Lauribinaya La Pass . Gosainkunda Pass is popular to explore the Red Panda which is an endangered species in Nepal and around the Himalayas. The moderate Lauribinala Pass trek which is located at north of Kathmandu, the capital city of Kathmandu. The Langtang National Park is the place where different species of animals call home.

Some of the animals that are secured in the park are Musk Deer, Snow leopard, Wild Goats, and several species of birds. From the pass, you will also view the Naya Kangri, Langtang Lirung, Gangchhenpo, Yala Peak, and so on.

Other mountain passes in Nepal 

Nepal is famous for mountain activities. There are lots of mountain passes in Nepal. We have written most famous mountain passes in Nepal through Trekking. other mountain passes are Tinkar Pass Nyalu Lagna Pass, Nangpa La Pass, Lho: La Pass, Kora La Pass, and many more. We “Nepal Hiking Adventure” have offered all kinds of trekking, and adventure tour activities in Nepal Since 1999. 


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