Annapurna Circuit Trek with Annapurna Base Camp is the most adventurous multi-day hike in the mountain region of Nepal. It’s in central Nepal within Annapurna Conservation Area, right below the Annapurna massif. This itinerary will cover almost all popular trekking destinations of the Annapurna region. The trail starts from Bhulbhule and ends in Pokhara.
Visitors get Bhulbhule by taking a road trip of 7 hours, which is absolutely incredible. The gorgeous landscapes with rustic scenes and tropical forests will never disappoint travelers. The route provides a spectacular view of towering mountains and deep valleys all along the way.
It’ll also lead you chock full of tourist attractions, including the highest point at Annapurna. Trekkers will get to explore Thorong La and its beautiful Yakawa Kang side hill upon winding up at the top. On the trek to Annapurna Circuit, you’ll visit many picturesque villages and towns.
This includes a stop at Manang, Kagbeni, and Jomsom, which has many incredible sights to see. You can see tons of amazing places and exquisite landmarks in these towns. However, the walk to these places won’t be easy as you’ll have to travel miles on varied terrain, most of which is unpaved and rocky.
The route to Thorong Phedi and Thorong La is steep and jagged with glaciers, which are quite tricky to ascend. Most trekkers struggle on the lane due to increasing altitude, triggering altitude sickness. To avoid such incidents, trekkers often acclimatize at Manang before heading to Yak Kharka.
You’ll spend almost a week to arrive, passing through many villages and river valleys, including Dharapani, Chame, and Pisang. The trek will follow you along the Marsyangdi River and lush fields to make it all the way to Yak Kharka. ‘
From here, the trail heads from the rural settlement to the foot of Thorong La, which ascends the ridge and plummets to cross the Marsyangdi River. After climbing the hill, we’ll ride a narrow trail across the slope and descend to Thorung Phedi.
The trail further climbs down to Muktinath and then Kagbeni, giving you a quick glimpse of its scenic landscapes and historical monuments. In the following days, you’ll walk through many villages and alpine forests such as Marpha, Lajrung, and Tatopani.
From Tatopani, you’ll head 17km north to Ghorepani, which provides a lovely view of Annapurna. However, we’ll trek Poon Hill to watch the sunrise and prepare for Annapurna Base Camp.
We’ll spend a few days trekking Tadapani, Chomorng, and Himalaya before ascending ABC at 4,130 meters. The trail here is steep and has to be climbed carefully. After reaching the base camp and sightseeing, we’ll descend to Bamboo and follow the same trail to Jhinu Danda. From here, the trail to Modi Khola, pushing for a long ride to Ghandruk Phedi and Nayapul. On the last day of the expedition, we’ll drive to Pokhara and return back to Kathmandu.
Annapurna Circuit Trek with Poon Hill & Base Camp Highlights
- Beautiful natural scenery with undulating landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and
- Jaw-dropping view of Annapurna, Nilgiri, Chulu East, and Dhaulagiri
- Explore Muktinath and its rustic historic sites
- Discover unique wildlife, birds, and vegetation
- Scenic walk of the longest mountain pass, Thorong La
- Visit the ancient Barge Monastery in Manang District
- Experience the refined traditional arts, culture, and heritage of Himalayan people
- Uninterrupted view of the sun rising above the mountain at Poon Hill
- Warm hospitality with delicious local food during a stay at Ghandruk
- Crossing the highest mountain pass at Thorong La
The trek to Annapurna Circuit Trek with Poon Hill and Base Camp seems doable due to moderate walking trails. Its route is smooth for the most part, and even the ones at higher elevations are reachable.
However, the regional thru-hike can be lengthy and difficult due to steep inclines and rugged hills. The trails in remote areas of Manang, Yak Kharka, and Thorong Phedi are the most tricky ones and hard to trek. Climbing Thorong La may intimidate hikers as the trail goes up 5,416 meters.
The rising elevation might make trekkers dizzy and nauseous. Due to lower oxygen, many even suffer from mild altitude sicknesses like headaches, tiredness, and shortness of breath. Physical fitness and exercise could be essential for beginners as they might be startled by the length of the trail.
Trekking an average distance of 10 to 12km can be just too much for novice and short-distance trekkers. Traveling 6-7 hours daily for almost two weeks will exhaust them unless they’re prepared for it.
Another difficulty trekkers might endure during Annapurna Circuit Trek is its unpredictable weather that varies depending on the location. You might experience high winds, storms, cloudbursts, and snow during the trek.
Winters are generally cold in the circuit, with temperatures below freezing. The weather is often brutal, with blizzards and snowdrifts obstructing visibility. The continuous snowfall buries the trail in deep snow and makes it hard to climb the pass.
Hence, trekkers must bring a crampon and ice ax to climb the trail. They should be prepared beforehand with all essentials required for trekking Annapurna Circuit.