For the Annapurna Circuit trek, you start from the hillside trails of Dharapani village which flaunts the sub-tropical landscape and vegetation. From there, you slowly ascend towards the rainshadow area of Manang region. And proceed further to Mustang and descend to diverse hillside settlements of Tatopani to Ghorepani and finally to Pokhara.
We have a 16 days Annapurna Circuit trek which takes you to quaint settlements of Annapurna region. On trekking, you will be walking for around 6-7 hours on average with two acclimatization days.
The trek is a moderate trek which is also the longest treks in Annapurna region. The main challenge during the trek is the increasing altitude which may lead to altitude related illness. The other problem is due to the harsh wind and unstable temperatures.
Each day, you are exposed to a new adventure in the trek which brings new challenges as well.
Sometimes because of the overflow of the trekkers, the teahouse gets crowded which may add difficulty to choose the room of your choice. You even have to wait in queue for the food and toilet. These are the minor inconveniences that you may have to bear when in the places with a few guesthouses.
Here’s a description of the trekking route and the potential difficulties you may face during the Annapurna Circuit trek:
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty During its Route
Kathmandu- Dharapani (1960 m)
While at Kathmandu you can get easy access to any type of services that range from basic services to the sophisticated services. You can enjoy a variety of luxurious activities at Kathmandu. Once you leave Kathmandu, the services you enjoy gets limited. You will find basic accommodations and a good place for a night stay at Dharapani.
Dharapani to Chame (2710 m)
From Dharapani, you will be walking for around 5-6 hours to reach Chame. On the first day of the trek, you will walk through the diverse forests of rhododendron and pines as you go higher. As this is the area of Buddhists, you will walk through several mani walls and prayer flags.
You will have around 800m difference in altitude on this day. So, you must maintain your pace and walk cautiously allowing your body enough time for rest.
On this place, you can find a number of teahouses for accommodation. So, you will have lesser difficulty in finding a place for food and accommodation.
Chame to Pisang (3230 m)
On this day, you will walk to Pisang village where you will walk through the desert-like landscapes for 5 hours. This day you will have quite challenging time on the trek because of the fast-blowing wind in the region. Also, there is 5oom meters altitude variation on this day.
Although you will have to climb uphill and walk across the winding trails, the trail is well-marked so you will have a quite comfortable trek. But with the increasing altitude, the number of teahouses in the region gets limited. So, you may sometimes have to face a few problems to find the proper room, especially during the peak season.
Pisang to Manang Village (3450 m)
From Pisang, you will follow the rain-shadow trails to Manang village. On this day, you will be walking across the wind-trodden trails to Manag village. You will walk for around 5-6 hours along the flat trails so walking is quite easy on this day.
But you will be walking to the largest altitude at 3450 m so the risk of altitude sickness may come along. So, you need to take proper care of your body as you explore around the region.
Manang to Yak Kharka (4110 m)
This is a day trek where you will cover the distance of 10km where you will walk for around 4-5 hours. You will walk all along the ascending trail to reach Yak Kharka at 4110 meters. With such an altitude, the weather may remain unstable and dry plus you will be a high risk of altitude sickness. So, you must be extra cautious on this day.
Yak Kharaka to Thorung High Camp (4600 m)
This is a short day trek but in the higher altitude. The cold starts deepening and the weather unstable. So, instead of walking further you need to take a pause for the day after this short trek. And prepare for the next day.
Thorung-La (5416 m) to Muktinath (3800 m)
This is the toughest part of the day where you will be walking for around 7 hours in the high altitudes above 5000 meters. Although the scenic views from the pass are astounding, the trail is challenging for many trekkers.
In winter, the pass gets blocked by thick snow. So, crossing the pass in winter is almost like impossible. After crossing this high altitude challenging pass, you will descend gradually to Muktinath.
Muktinath to Marpha – via Jomsom (2 715 m)
This is a comparatively easy route than the earlier days. On this day, although you will walk for 5-6 hours, you will gradually descend to the low altitude at Jomsom. So, you will have the least risk of altitude sickness and cold. You will enjoy the pleasant walk across the apple orchards to reach Marpha.
Marpha to Lete (2480m)
The trek route is quite easy on this day. Plus, you will meet the motorable roads along the banks of Kali Gandaki river. Crossing several streams and suspension bridges you will reach comfortably at Lete in 6 hours.
Lete to Tatopani (1190m)
This is a relaxing day where you will walk along the stone stairways accompanied by several mules and Gurung settlements. You will enjoy in hot spring at Tatopani and walk along several ascends and descends for the final destination.
Tatopani to Ghorepani (2750 m)
Following the ascending stony stairs for around 6 hours you will reach Ghorepani for the night stay. The trek on this day is quite soothing with the best company of the locals and the amazing scenic views.
Ghorepani to Tirkhedhunga (1500m) to Pokhara
This is among the easiest day of the trek where you will walk along the flat jungle trails and descend final stone stairs at Ulleri before you reach Tikhedhunga. This day promises you a hospitable encounter with the Magars of Ulleri village during your walks for 5 hours.
After walking comfortably on the flat market trails of Nayapul you will catch the bus to Pokhara. And your trek finally concludes.
Tips for Comfortable Trek in Annapurna Circuit
- Since there is a high risk of altitude sickness on this trek, do not forget to drink sufficient water alongside with proper rest.
- Do book the room and food in advance if trekking in peak seasons.
- Wear clothes that are windproof because you will notice harsh wind for many days in the trek.
- Carry proper trekking gears and comfortable shoes that keep you moving even in the most uneven trails.
- Pack warm clothes that keep you warm in the high altitude which usually remains cold and windy.
Annapurna Circuit trek is among the most popular treks in Annapurna region. You will start from the lush low altitude hilly villages and ascend to the desert-like terrains on this trek. So, with the change in place and altitudes, the challenges also come along the trek.
The major difficulty during the trek is altitude related illness. But, if you walk well-prepared and cautious, you can complete this trek successfully.
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