Annapurna Region Trekking

Annapurna Region TrekkingThe Annapurna Region in the north Western Nepal has been touted as having the world’s best trekking routes. From the lake city of Pokhara, popular treks lead to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Mustang, Manang and around the Annapurna mountain. Short treks to Sikles and Ghandruk are just as popular. The Annapurna Region is an area of contrasts comprising the wettest, driest and windiest places in Nepal.

The Annapurna Circuit is far the most popular and requires a minimum of about three weeks to go around the Annapurna massif. What makes this trek so special is that you can look up to something new in scenery everyday. The Annapurna Conservation Area begins at 790 m and reaches a high of 8091 m, the summit of Mount Annapurna I, the world’s 10th tallest peak. The area encompasses forested middle mountain, high Himalaya and trans-Himalaya desert plateau similar to the landscape in Tibet as you move north. The lower elevations are dotted by Gurung, Magar, Thakali and Brahmin-Chhettri villages while Tibetan cultural influence becomes apparent as you go north.

The trek goes counter-clockwise from Besi Sahar, off the Pokhara-Kathmandu Highway, to Naya Pool, and reaches its highest point at Thorang La, a pass at 5416 m. On the way, you pass through stunning mountain scenery – Manaslu , Langtang Himal, Annapurna II and IV, Annapurna III, and, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. In between these two 8000 m peaks lies the dramatic Kali Gandaki gorges – the deepest in the world.

The trek in the eastern part folows the Marsyangdi River upstream till Manag, which is a string of seven villages that form the upper arc of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail. The area is composed of stark, rockey terrain dotted with turquoise lakes, including Lake Tilicho (4914 m), the World’s Highest Lake.

The trek also passes through Muktinath(3,749 m), a site holy for Buddhists and Hindus before descending to Poon Hill at the end of the trek. Poon Hill provides spectacular views of Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri as well as South Annapurna and Machhapuchhre.

If you are tired, there is now a motorable road from Muktinath to Beni, from where you an catch a bus to Pokhara. Also, you can catch a bus from Besi Sahara to Sanghe at the start of the trek.