Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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The Annapurna Base Camp Trek (a.k.a. ABC Trek) is one of the most scenic hiking trails in the Annapurna Himalayan range. The ABC Trek takes you through snow-covered peaks among the most scenic hikes while savoring each moment. Mount Annapurna I, the world’s 10th highest mountain, and numerous other majestic peaks can be seen in northwest Nepal.    

This trail offers a great deal of natural beauty. During the trekking, you can leave your luggage in the hotel at Ghorepani for the Poon Hill expedition before dawn to watch the spectacular sunrise. Poon Hill provides one of the most beautiful views of the sunrise and mountain vistas on this trek. In total, there are six peaks that make up the Annapurna massif, Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545ft), Annapurna III (7,555m/24,787), Annapurna IV (7,525m/24688ft), Gangapurna (7,455m/24458ft), and the iconic Annapurna South (7,219m/23684ft). Also, the Machhapuchhre peak, the most sacred peak of the Annapurna Massif, is found in its southern part.  

Throughout the entire Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will see beautiful valleys, dense forests of rhododendrons and junipers, a deep river, panoramic mountain views, and the diverse culture and tradition of the local Gurungs. In the Annapurna Base Camp Route, you will meet a variety of ethnic groups; Brahmins and Chhetris in the lowlands and Mongoloid Himalayans in the highlands. People in the area are mostly Gurungs and Magars, famous for their Gurkha regiments. We recommend you trek to Langtang, Manaslu, and Everest region if you would like to explore more cultural and traditional heritages in the Himalayas. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that Annapurna offers the most breathtaking views as some 55000 people trek there every year. 

According to Hindu mythology, Annapurna Mountain is called “Ma Annapurna”, which means “full of grains” or “provider of food”. In Nepal, finding yourself at the base of giant Annapurna I (8091.5 meters), with 360-degree panoramic mountain views, is a mountain holiday experience that will last a lifetime.

Trip Highlights

  • A walk through traditional Gurung villages offers scenic views
  • A trekking adventure from the low paddy fields to the heart of the Himalayan glaciers
  • The natural hot springs of Jhinu Danda offer a relaxing hot bath  
  • Stunning views of Dhaulagiri, Himchuli, Annapurna I, and Mt Fishtail
  • As you hike among the local lifestyles of Gurungs and Magars, you’ll get a taste of Nepali rural life
  • Hiking along a ravine, rhododendron forest, bamboo forest, and large waterfalls is exquisite 
  • Chance to see varieties of animal species and distinct flora and fauna at different altitudes. 
  • Traditional architecture celebrates the culture and traditions of the people.

ABC Trek Route

Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp takes about ten days from Pokhara back to Pokhara, with the length of the trek 67 km/ 44.4 miles. Nevertheless, unpredictable weather and acclimatization might cause extra few days. As it’s a moderately graded trek in the foothills of the Annapurna range, you usually need to train your body for the trek to Annapurna Base Camp.  

 It is possible to trek to Annapurna Base Camp via two different routes.  The first option is to drive to Ghandruk by Jeep and start hiking from there straight. The other option is to take a Jeep to Thikhedhunga and hike through Poonhill.  

 Travel route up: Kathmandu-Pokhara-Thikhedhunga- Poonhill-Chomrong-Dovan-MBC-ABC 

Travel route down: ABC-Himalaya-Bamboo-Chomrong-Jhinu-Nayapul-Pokhara-Kathmandu.  

Generally, the route mentioned above is the most popular, though you can hike from Landruk, Jhinu Danda, and other places.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost

As one of many factors to choose ABC Trek, the cost is important for adventure enthusiasts. 

Trekking to Annapurna base camp can cost anywhere from $1000 to $1,200 for 7-13 days. A solo trekker might need to spend between $500 and $900, excluding any miscellaneous expenses. Guides and porters are paid anywhere from $20 to $30 per day.  

If you eat your meal where you stay, it will be more economical. Daal Bhat is probably the most affordable and filling meal you can get. With hot beverages added, you can cover three meals a day for about $25-$30, regardless of what you choose to eat. 

While there are no entrance fees, permits still have to be purchased. Hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal is not possible without them. Two passes are necessary for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek: 

 TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System): 

The permit is essential for all trekkers planning to trek in Nepal. This costs about $17 or 15 EUR. 

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit): 

The Annapurna Conservation Area is a protected area, so an entrance permit is required. Trekking providers can arrange for the access. It costs $2 for SAARC nationals and $20 for others. 

Which is the Best Season for Annapurna Base Camp Trek ?

Spring

Annapurna Base Camp is best hikes in spring as the weather is clear and pleasant. Different species of birds are visible depending on altitude, such as the Koklass Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Crested Serpent Eagle, Great Barbet, etc. This area offers breathtaking waterfalls, hot springs, rivers, and gorges. 

The temperature gradually rises around 14-25 degrees as the weather warms. 

Autumn

The weather at Annapurna Base Camp is pleasant and uplifting during these months. Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp is quite popular in the autumn.  

Summer is just about over, and winter is just beginning. The dry weather will be moist in autumn. Our body temperature will be equilibrated, as the temperature will neither be hot nor cold, but will drop with altitude. Temperatures will range from 15-24 degrees in autumn. 

During autumn, precipitation will be lower, and the sky will be clear. The panoramic view might include mountains like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna range, Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal, Nilgiri, Manaslu, Himchuli, and so on.  

Winter

Winter is usually not considered the best time for Annapurna Base Camp. There is a high risk of an avalanche during winter and lots of snowfall. 

While it is likely to be 7-12 degrees during the day, it may drop as low as negative degrees as you ascend altitude. Carrying plenty of warm clothes will help you cope with the cold in the Hilly region in winter.  

Seeing the amazing view of the day will make enduring chilly nights seem much easier. There will be thick snow covering both the trails and the landscape. The view of small snow-capped temples, huge stones, colorful praying flags, huge trees, and ancient villages will be spectacular in the winter.  

Hotels and guesthouses at Annapurna Base Camp also offer hot and warm delicacies during the winter months. There are many ways to enjoy winter there. Furthermore, there is a distinct and unique dress style, kitchenware and occupation in the Annapurna region. 

Summer

Summer is usually not the most popular time for Annapurna Base Camp trekkers. During the summer, the weather is dry, and there is not much snow to be seen in the mountains. 

Walking on such a scorching day will be challenging as the trails will be arid. In the summer, it often rains, which is a pleasant change from the hot sun. Summer means you won’t need to carry heavy clothing, making long distances easier to walk. 

Nonetheless, the Annapurna Base Camp is accessible year-round, and snow-covered trails are equally captivating as mist-shrouded hillsides.

Accommodation and Meals 

In Nepal, the Annapurna region is a well-established trekking route. The accommodations along the way are simple but convenient, so you do not need to carry tents. There are plenty of tea houses and trek lodges. 

In connection with the trekking trip, the company will arrange a stay at the best available tea houses. Most of the rooms come with double beds, blankets, mattresses, pillows, and attached bathrooms, but not all of them do. Further, this region offers single rooms upon request.  

In teahouses, rooms cost between $2 and $5 per night. Individual travelers can expect to spend $15-$20 each day, in contrast to group travelers whose costs are reduced. 

Known as a high elevation trek, the Annapurna Base Camp trek takes you to the foot of Mt. Annapurna, the 10th tallest mountain in the world. It is important to eat enough carbs, protein, and other fuel foods to help your body recover from such high-altitude hikes. Food on your ABC hike will be sufficient, but you will not find varieties like Kathmandu and Pokhara.

How Difficult Is The Annapurna Base Camp Trek ?

Annapurna Base Camp is located at an altitude of 4130 meters and is one of Nepal’s most popular and beautiful treks after Everest Base Camp. 

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is rated Moderate-Difficult due to two major factors. 

Distance is one factor. The trekker covers 67 km/ 42 miles over ten days of trekking. Over the course of three days, you will cover more than 10 km/ 6.2 miles, with the longest distance being 15.5 km/ 10 miles from ABC to Bamboo. 

Another notable aspect is the altitude gain and loss. You begin the trek at Komrong at just over 7,300 ft/2225m and ascend rapidly to the ABC at 13,550 ft/4310m. The trail climbs over 4,000 ft over 10 kilometers on the fifth day of the trek. This must be taken into account when planning your hike. 

ABC is only recommended for trekkers with experience in the Himalayas (preferably greater than 13,000 feet) and good physical fitness (covering 5 km in 35 minutes). Moreover, it is also very popular with solo as well as group trekkers. 

The trek is extremely adventurous, and one of the key factors is to walk slowly and steadily. 

During your trek or hike through the Mountains, there may be adventures around every corner. In addition to the excitement of the Annapurna Base Camp trek for adventure travelers and hikers, there will be additional difficulties and challenges until you reach the destination. 


Trip Details

  Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01 – Fly to Pokhara and Trek to Ghandruk (1940m/6364ft) – 5-6 hours
  • Day 02 – Chhomrong (2170m/7119ft)
  • Day 03 – Bamboo (2310m/6988ft)
  • Day 04 – Deurali (3230m/10,597ft)
  • Day 05 – Annapurna Base Camp (4130m/13,549ft) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m12,139ft)
  • Day 06 – Trek back to Bamboo
  • Day 07 – Jhinu Danda (1760m/5774ft)
  • Day 08 – Trek to Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara – 6 hours
  • Day 9 – Fly back to Kathmandu.
  • Day 10- Rest Day in Kathmandu
  • Day 11- Departure

Itinerary

    • Our first stop is Nayapul (new bridge) on the main road near Birethanti, located one and a half hours from Pokhara airport. The trek begins from here. The trek from Birethanti leads to Ghandruk, a beautiful village mainly inhabited by the Gurung people. A visit to the Gurung museum is highly recommended.

       

    • You will hike for approximately an hour uphill to Kimrungdanda while enjoying views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail Mountain (Machhapuchhre), and Ganggapurna. To reach the Kimrong Khola, you descend steeply. The ascent from Kimrong Khola to Chere Danda is steep, but once you get there, it’s a gentle walk to Chhomrong, a village located in the lap of the Annapurnas.

    • Over the bridge above Chhomrong Khola, you descend 2500 stone steps. Afterwards, you will climb Sinuwa. Continuing to Kuldihar, you then descend to Bamboo via a beautiful forest. The destination is Bamboo village.

    • Following the ascent through several steep sections of bamboo forest, you trek through a damp and cold bamboo forest. From the forest, one can see the glacial river below and a breathtaking view of the sun. To reach Hinku Cave, you must then climb steeply through a much drier forest. After crossing the river, the trail descends to Deurali, the most scenic stretch of the day. There are great views of the valley, the river below, and the sheer rock-face cliffs above, carved by wispy waterfalls—an excellent place for a night’s stay.

       

    • A steep trail follows a gentle hike through a river bed over to the mountainside, and then a strenuous hike from Bagar to Machhapuchhre Base Camp follows. There is a wonderful view of Machhapuchhre and Mount Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Gandharvachuli, and Gangapurna from the base camp. Upon entering the Annapurna sanctuary, the vegetation becomes scarcer, and the path becomes wider. Here you get a sensational view of the nearly vertical south face of Annapurna. An impressive 360-degree view of the sanctuary is provided without any obstructions. Again, we enjoy mesmerizing views of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli and other peaks from the base camp.

    • Afterwards, you retrace your steps downhill to Bamboo. The descent is enjoyable.

    • Bamboo leads to Kuldighar, and then Chhomrong Khola is a downhill hike. Afterwards, you climb the stairs back to Chhomrong. As you descend the trail, you will reach Jhinu Danda, where you will have your night’s rest. It is also possible to enjoy the hot springs by walking downhill for 15-20 minutes.

    • Trekking from Jhinu Danda to Nayapul, you will experience the beautiful hills and valleys of western Nepal. From here, you will return to Pokhara. We could, however, skip the trek and drive directly from Jhinu Danda to Pokhara if the road construction from Jhinu Danda to Nayapul is complete.

    • Towards the end of the day, you fly back to Kathmandu. During your time in Kathmandu, you can explore the city or shop for souvenirs, lovely pashminas, and intricate artworks.

    • You can take a rest day and enjoy this day sightseeing in the valley.

    • You pack your bags and drive to the airport.

Inclusion & exclusion

FAQ's

    • As far as difficulty goes, the Everest base camp trek is unequivocally more challenging than the Annapurna base camp trek. Everest base camp is located at a height of 5,364m / 17,598 feet, while Annapurna base camp sits at an altitude of 4,130m / 13,550 feet. As a result of the elevation difference of more than 4000 feet, the oxygen content of the air at Everest base camp is much lower. While Everest region trekking is more prone to altitude sickness, Annapurna region trekking is also relatively simpler.

    • Compared to other high-altitude treks in the Himalayas, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is relatively safe. This trek does not require much physical effort, has a maximum altitude of 4,130m (13,550 feet), and does not take too long. However, it’s always important to watch your safety and trek with knowledgeable and experienced local guides.   

      Hence, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is relatively safe except for certain sections in unfavorable seasons. During the rainy season, landslides and avalanches occur on the steep slopes between Deurali and Machhapuchhre Base Camp. 

    • It takes 67 km to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. The trek from Pokhara to the base camp can be completed in 9 days. You will walk anywhere between 7-9 km on each day of the expedition. The total round-trip distance can differ greatly due to the different routes to traverse until Chhomrong and the number of days required to accomplish the trek. Depending on the route, itinerary, length of walks, and the trek operator, it usually takes 7 to 12 days.