The Annapurna Conservation Area is one of Nepal’s most well known trekking areas. This trek journeys through the best areas within the Annapurna mountain range with stunning views of the impressive Annapurnas and another lesser known Himalayan giant, Dhaulagiri, which at 8,167m is the 7th highest mountain in the world.
Our itinerary will follow old foot trails used by hardy Gurung and Magar hill tribes who live here in the temperate forests amongst rhododendron trees, farming on steep terraces growing staples of maize and millet.
Our trip into this region begins from Pokhara. We will begin by trekking towards Annapurna base camp in the heart of the Annapurna sanctuary to enjoy an arena view of the 4 giant Annapurnas. Annapurna 1 is the 10th highest mountain in the world at 8,091m and the remaining 3 are over 7,000m. We will then return to Chimrong before we head west through alpine forests to Kopra ridge. Our camp on Kopra hill offers exceptional panoramic views of the entire Annapurna range including a spectacular view of Dhaulagiri.
Then, a day trek north east of camp will bring us to Khayer lake (approx. 4,000m), a sacred lake worshipped by locals during the Badau Purnima festival each September. Our trail then winds its way down to Ghorepani for sunrise views of the Annapurna range from Pun hill, before we trek back towards Pokhara.
With the exhilaration of this trip, we can be easily tempted to stay in ‘them there hills’ and experience them for just that little bit longer. Aah, but, we can come back and see them again.
View the printable version of the short itinerary and detailed trip notes here.
This trip involves short-medium trekking days at a slow place, on uneven terrain, with some hills, carrying a backpack weighing around 4-6 kg. Therefore, you want to have a good level of fitness, with cardiovascular exercise and own-body weight type exercises (or similar) at least 3 times per week for the period of around 3 months before this trip. Training on uneven terrain is recommended.
Day 1Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2Fly to Pokhara, drive to Kande (1,776m) and trek to Pothana/Australian camp (1,900m) 1.5 hr
Day 3Trek Pothana (1,900m) to Landruk (1,640m) -5 hr
Day 4Trek Landruk (1,640m) to Chimrong (2,170m) -5 hr
Day 5Trek Chimrong (2,170m) to Bamboo (2,245m) -6.5 hr
Day 6Trek Bamboo (2,245m) to Dovan (2,600m) -5 hr
Day 7Trek Dovan (2,600m) to Machhapuchre base camp (3,700m)-5 hr
Day 8Trek Machhapuchre base camp (3,700m) to Annapurna base camp (4,130m) -2.5 hr
Day 9Trek Annapurna base camp (4,130m) to Himalaya Hotel (2,900m) -5 hr
Day 10Trek Himalaya Hotel (2,900m) to Chimrong (2,170m) -5 hr
Day 11Trek Chimrong (2,170m) to Tadapani (2,630m) -5.5 hr
Day 12Trek Tadapani (2,630m) and Bailey Kharka (3,300m) -6 hr
Day 13Trek Bailey Kharka (3,300m) to Kopra Danda (3,720m) -4 hr
Day 14Trek to Khayer Lake (4,000m) -8 hr
Day 15Trek Kopra Danda (3,720m) to Sontha (1,800m) -5 hr
Day 16Trek Sontha (1,800m) to Ghorepani (2,750m) -3.5 hr
Day 17Trek Ghorepani (2,750m) to Birethanti (1,025m) -7 hr, drive to Pokhara
Day 18Fly Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 19In Kathmandu
Day 20Depart Kathmandu
Note: Daily walking hours include a lunch break, and regular rest breaks.