The Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered to be the most traditional and World Classic trek in the Annapurna region Nepal. The highlight of this trek is crossing over the 5,416m Thorong La Pass, which is as high as one can get in this region without climbing a mountain. The Annapurna Circuit Trek tends to be more physically demanding than the other treks in this region, so good physical condition is necessary. The trail offers spectacular mountain scenery that passes through the Northern Himalayan range and Tibetan plateau. Gurungs, Magars, Chhetris, and Newars heavily settle the Southern slopes of Manaslu and Annapurna ranges except higher regions, which support thick forest of rhododendron and fir trees.
The Annapurna circuit trek can make short or long as the demand of trekkers.
For the completed the trek as a whole over 15 to17 days including poonhill, the trek can be shorten which fly from Jomsom to pokhara after crossing Thorng la.
Highlights of the Trip
Passing through the stunning Annapurna conservation area
Exploring the culture, tradition, and lifestyle of the Magar, Gurung, and Tamang community
Incredible hospitality of the local people
The beautiful Himalayan flora and rare wildlife
Awe-inspiring views of Annapurna, Manaslu, and Ganesh Himal mountain ranges
Exploration of the religious and Buddhist heritage of the Annapurna region
The pilgrimage of the sacred temple of Muktinath
Visiting the pristine emerald Tilicho lake
Passing through the adventurous Thorong la pass
Stunning panoramic sunrise from the poon hill viewpoint
Exploring the vibrant nightlife of the lakeside area in Pokhara
Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek
There are two specific trekking seasons to trek beautiful Annapurna region. The autumn months of late September to early December is the best time to take the Annapurna circuit trek. These autumn months provide excellent views of the mountains, moderate temperatures and spectacular views of the mountains.
The weather can get unpredictable near the majestic Annapurna Base Camp. There might be some occasional showers at lower elevations. The day time temperatures are perfect for trekking. Another busy trekking season starts from March and ends in May in the Annapurna region.
The beautiful spring season brings back the wildlife from a long hibernation sleep. You can also find rhododendron flowers painting the hills red and pink along the trail. The cloudless sky provides us with spectacular views of the mountains all along the trail. Proper preparation for all conditions with the right amount of gear is the key to trek the Annapurna circuit.
Who Can Take This Trip?
The Annapurna circuit trek is a long trek with 13-20 days itinerary. The trek is perfect for people with longer holidays and wants to trek the Annapurna region at a leisurely pace.
The trek moves along the attitude of 5000 m and above. It is perfect for those who love challenges and trekking in the high altitude region.
The trek is also fit for those who have a good level of fitness. The trek revolves around the majestic Annapurna massif and requires rigorous trekking of 6-7 hours. Hence, the fitness level of the trekker is perfect for those to maintain the right level of fitness.
The trek is also ideal for the experienced trekkers who have taken a high altitude trek before. If you have trekked before in high altitudes, then this trek is perfect for you.
How Difficult is the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Annapurna Circuit trek is a challenging trip in terms of difficulty. The trek of provide us with adequate acclimatization and rest. With proper preparation, you can complete the trek without any hassle.
The Annapurna region landscapes demands crossing of the high altitude passes to arrive at Annapurna base camp. The Annapurna Circuit trek requires 5-7 hours of trek for 13-20 days. The treks move along steep terrain.
You should prepare for the trek at least two weeks in advance. Various cardiovascular exercise and activities like cycling, hiking, swimming, jogging, will help you gain fitness levels required for the trek.
The Trekking Route of Annapurna Circuit Trek
The trekking route of the Annapurna Circuit Trek can vary upon the package you choose. The trek itinerary generally ranges from 13-20 days. You can choose the one based on the number of days available for trekking on your schedule.
Generally , Annapurna Cirucit Trekking journey starts with a scenic drive from the capital city of Kathmandu to Dharapani (1920 m). We then enter into the stunning Chame (2,670 m) and (Pisang 3230 m) via Besisahar. We enter the beautiful Manang settlement (3450 m) where we acclimatize for the first time during the trek.
On the next day, we will acclimatize and explore the region through small hikes. The trek starts to get a bit taxing as we pass through the altitude of 4000m as we trek to the Sirikharaka village (4060m). If you choose the longer 20 day itinerary, you will get to observe the pristine Tilicho Lake (4949m) and explore around the surreal Tilicho Base Camp (4200m).
The shorter duration trek skips past these routes to arrive at the pastures of Siri Kharka and Yak Kharka (4200m). The treks are short but require long ascent and descent that may physically drain you. The most challenging part of the trek is the ascent of the majestic Thorong La Pass (5416m), which is the highest point of the trek.
The trek then leads to the sacred temple of Muktinath (3800m) from Thorong La pass. We worship at the pilgrimage site of Muktinath where both Hindu and Buddhist tourists come to wash away their sins of the mortal world. You will get to acclimatize and rest properly at various points of the trek.
The trails around the Muktinath area converge with the motor roads in the area. The buses, and jeeps travelling in the route makes the trail dusty and uncomfortable. Hence, many trekkers avoid trekking this particular part of the trail. A direct jeep drive from Muktinath is our best option. You can also take a direct flight from Jomsom to Pokhara.
If you wish to trek further, you can trek to the gorgeous Ghorepani-Poonhill viewpoint from where you can observe a awe-inspiring panoramic sunrise. We then descend downhill to Tikhedhunga (1550m). From Tikhedhunga, we take a drive to Nayapul and further to Pokhara (910m).
We celebrate the successful completion trek in Pokhara and drive to Kathmandu through the scenic winding roads. The trip comes to an official end in Kathmandu. You can then board a flight to your desired destination.
Accommodation Along the Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit trek is a well-marked trek with plenty of accommodation on offer along the trail. The lodges or guest houses have basic rooms consists of two beds and a shared bathroom.
On peak trekking season, you might find it challenging to get a room , so you have to book in advance for sure to get room.
These connectivity facilities are almost non-existent once you reach Manang. Although the accommodation facilities are pretty basic, the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the pristine Tilicho Lake and the entire Annapurna region will take your breath away.
Food Facilities Along The Trail?
For breakfast, trekkers get served porridge, pancakes, and eggs. You will generally have “Dal Bhat” for lunch and dinner. Refilling is also available if you eat Dal Bhat. Other common eastern and western food are also available in the menu.
You should also carry snacks like Granola Bars, Snickers Bars, Protein Bars, and Energy Drinks for instant energy during the trek.