The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one such rare places on the planet that boast such an amazing combination of natural beauty and culture. This rare combination of long stretches of snow-capped peaks, and clear lakes is unheard of. It is a beautiful place with its turbulent rivers, deep canyons, hot springs and picturesque villages.
The people who live there are friendly and simple, with a variety of cultural backgrounds. The trek offers stunning mountain scenery and a diverse cultural experience.
This trek will take you out of vehicular traffic and into the land where the standing mountains are. The trail runs north from the Himalayan main range, and then crosses into the dry Tibetan-like trans-Himalayan. This trek is easy and enjoyable.
The trek traverses two river valleys and circles the Annapurna Massif. It reaches it’s highest point at Thorung La Pass (5,416m/17,769ft), and reaches the Tibetan plateau’s edge. The route is most commonly walked in an anticlockwise direction. This is because the daily elevation gain is less and the crossing of the Thorong La pass, which is high, is safer and easier. You can see the Annapurna Massif, Annapurna I-IV, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre. There are many other mountains that rise to 6000-8000m from the Annapurna range.
Main features of Annapurna Circuit are:
- One of the most famous circuit treks in the world
- Visit the Annapurna region
- At 5,416m, traverse the Thorong La Pass
- Explore the culture and warmth of the locals
- Amazing views of Annapurna Massif and Thorung Peak, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchre
- Magnificent lakes, glaciers and deep gorges are just a few of the many stunning waterfalls found in this region
- Visit Muktinath, a sacred place for Buddhists and Hindus alike.
- You can take a dip in the natural hot springs of Tatopani
- Poon Hill Viewpoint (3,210 m) offers a stunning view of the Himalayas
- Walk through lush rhododendron and birch forests
How to Trek Annapurnua Crcuit
The Annapurna Circuit Trek begins in Pokhara. We start at Bhulbhule and continue to Bhulbhule. The route follows the Marsyandghi River Valley, passing through Jagat and Dharapani as well as Chame and Pisang. Much of the trek is covered by the Beisahar Manag road. Mountain biking has become more popular with Mustang in particular, thanks to the construction of roads. After getting acclimatized at Manang we continue on the trail to Yak Kharka and hike to Thorong Phedi. Thorong Phedi is the starting point. You will reach Thorong La Pass at (5,416m/17.769ft). Muktinath Temple, sacred to both Hindus as well as Buddhists, can be visited on the way. It is known for its 108 stone faucets and eternal flame.
Continue on to Tatopani through lush rhododendron and birch forests. To reach Poon Hill, you will need to trek approximately an hour from Ghorepani. Poon Hill (3,210m) is a popular viewpoint that offers spectacular views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I, II, South, Macchapuchre, and other peaks. After enjoying a spectacular sunrise view from Poon Hill we trek to Berithanti, then drive to Pokhara.
Best Time to Trek Annapurna Circuit
It is possible to trek the majority of the circuit year round, even during monsoon season.
October – November (Autumn)
This is the most popular season for hiking in Nepal. The circuit is vibrant, clean, and refreshed by the recent monsoons. The night sky is often visible and views are clear. Even though the day is usually warm, temperatures at night can drop to below freezing. This is the busiest time on the circuit, and tea houses fill up quickly.
December – March (Winter)
This is the coldest time on the circuit. The altitude will determine whether the daytime temperature is cold or cold at night. However, trails are less crowded.
April – May (Spring)
Due to the warm weather, April-May is the second most popular trekking period on the Annapurna Circuit. The snow has mostly dissipated leaving clear skies. You can often see a strange cloud at lower elevations in May.
June – September (Summer)
This is the monsoon season. Trekking in the monsoon season is a great option. Many of the flora species bloom during this time, making it an exceptional trek. The side trek to Tilicho Lake is easier during this time.
Trekking Permits for Annapurna Circuit
Every trekker who plans to hike in Nepal needs to have access to TIMS, or the Trekkers Information Management System. The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) have jointly adopted this fundamental permit to assure the safety and security of any trekker seeking to trek in Nepal.
The government of Nepal declared the Annapurna region a conservation reserve in 1992, making it the country’s largest protected area.
Any hiker seeking to enter the Annapurna Conservation Area must acquire an ANCAP, often known as an entry permit.
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