Day 1: Pokhara-Nayapul and trek to Ulleri
(O/night Altitude 1,960m/5 hrs. approx.)
Early morning (0800) rendezvous at Himalayan Encounters’ Pokhara Base Camp. After breakfast, drive to Nayapul. Meet the trailhead and proceed down the hill from the road and follow a river to Birethanti (1,025m). We will walk gently uphill for a couple of hours to Hille (1,475m). The many streams, waterfalls, tropical vegetation, and green fields give this area a lush feeling. We pass a suspension bridge in Tikedhunga and walk uphill for about 40 mins to our overnight stop at Ulleri (1,960m).
Day 2: To Ghorepani
(O/nt Altitude 2,750m/5hrs approx.)
Initially our hike is uneven; following a path that finds its way up and down hills, then a staircase leads upwards, passing many homes and tea-houses as it climbs. Part way up, we get our first view of Annapurna South. Higher up, we enter a wooded area filled with trees often in bloom and large bamboo plants. Beyond Banthanti (2,300m) the vegetation thickens and trees are hung with moss. Then, onwards and up a narrow valley with more stairs to climb until we emerge from the jungle at Nangathanti (2,520m). From here on, another hour’s climb takes us to Ghorepani.
Day 3: To Tadapani
(O/nt Altitude 2,590m/6hrs approx.)
Rising early, a pre-dawn hike (45 mins) has us on Poon Hill in time for sunrise over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Range. Returning to our tea-house for breakfast, we then rejoin the trail that wends its way north along the ridge line with magnificent views of the Annapurnas stretching out from east to west. Following a forested ridge for a while, with views to both sides, we then descend steeply down a muddy slope to a small settlement before entering a heavily forested gorge. Eventually, the gorge widens and the trail enters an open area and descend again before our final upward climb, through dense forest, to Tadapani.
Day 4: To Chomrong
(O/nt Altitude 2,170m/6hrs approx.)
The trail continues down a steep hill, again through the jungle, to Chomrong. Emerging out and into terraced fields on the side of a deep valley we continue, keeping to the contours of the terraces. Climbing steeply up the opposite side of the valley, we soon enter the larger Modi Khola valley which leads up to the Annapurna Sanctuary. A short distance further on up the Modi Khola valley, we arrive at Chhomrong .
Day 5: To Himalayan
(O/nt Altitude 2,920m/7hrs approx.)
The next day the trail descends to cross the Chommro Khola, then climbs around into the Modi Khola valley and up on to the main ridge high above the river. Stands of rhododendron, oak and hemlock line the gorge, and the area is a delight for bird lovers. After another two hours of walking, mostly up steep hills, we reach the village of Sinuwa (2,340m), the last town before Bamboo. We follow the valley climbing steadily uphill to Doban (2505m). Approximately two hours later we reach our overnight destination, Himalayan.
Day 6: To Machhapuchare Base Camp
(O/nt Altitude 3,700m m/4hrs approx.)
A shorter day’s climb, slowly gaining altitude; the trail starts to become icier. We pass through a ‘sacred’ forest and encounter a big mossy cascade and a small temple. Soon, climbing onto an open area above the forest, we reach Deurali (3,170m) and, further above, Hinko (3,100m), and finally reach the narrow entrance-way into the Annapurna Sanctuary. Machhapuchare is clearly visible just above across the valley. Avalanches are a frequent phenomena on this section so extreme caution is advised.
Day 7: To Annapurna Base Camp
(O/nt Altitude 4,130m/3hrs approx.)
The climb to the Annapurna Base Camp is best done early in the morning before clouds blow in and obscure the view and, more importantly, the risk of avalanches are at their lowest level. The Base Camp lies at the foot of the Annapurna Glacier's lateral moraine, and from the top of the moraine we can see the gray, rock-strewn bulk of this glacier far
below. The rumble of
rock and ice slides
Day 8: To Bamboo (O/nt Altitude
along the trail to
we retrace our route
as far as
Day 9: To Ghandruk (O/nt Altitude 1,940m/7hrs approx.)
Two long ascents followed by two
long descents bring us to Chomrrong,
from where the trail climbs to a spur ridge overlooking Jhinu
Danda (1,780m). From here we have one
last close-up glimpse of Machhapuchare,
Hiunchuli, and Annapurna South. Entering
Kimrong Khola valley the trail evens out
a while and the walking is easy! We
at the junction with the route from
Ghorepani and just beyond the village
of Kimrong (1,780m), the trail suddenly
drops in short, steep switchbacks, then
through open rock-strewn fields to the 'Gurung' village of Ghandruk (1,940m), a village which has grown large and prosperous thanks to the pensions of retired Gurkha soldiers.
Day 10: To Nayapul (4hrs) and then to Pokhara
From Ghandruk, the trail descends gradually at first on a wide flagstone-paved trail. Keeping to the contour of the ridge we descend slowly, passing through Kimche (1,670m). The landscape suddenly becomes more lush and eventually the trail becomes steeper as we descend towards the valley floor. The trail finally reaches the river from where the way is once again quite level, but the going is rather difficult because of the river rock. After another 30 minutes or so, we reach Birethanti (1,109m), from where it’s just a 30-45 minute walk down the river to Nayapul. Glancing back, Machhapuchare is still there, looming larger than