There may be endless options for trekking in Nepal but nothing can beat the excitement and thrill of climbing Annapurna Base Camp. It provides a fantastic experience to the visitors with fascinating geological features, ancient trade routes, and gorges.
The trek is as adventurous as it can be with the meandering trail that passes through several Gurung villages and runs over sweeping rivers. It winds up and down, following mountainous terrains and
Annapurna Base Camp Trek rewards visitors with the unforgettable sight of Mt. Manaslu, Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Tilicho Peak. It wows them along the path with spectacular glimpses of a cascading waterfall, lush green hills, and its wilderness.
One of Nepal’s most visited hiking spots, Annapurna Base Camp, lies in a high glacial basin on the foot of Annapurna massif. It’s about 168 km far from Kathmandu; however, the actual starting point of the trek is from Pokhara. That means trekkers will be walking about 11 km for 4 to 6 hours each day.
It kicks off with a drive from the City of Lake to Matque, a small hamlet in Ghandruk, which looks incredibly stunning. The trek comes with a lovely view of towering hills, vivid valleys, cliffs. From Chhmorng, the course ascends rugged hills and terrace farms before entering the forest to arrive at Himalaya.
Trekkers cover the long journey to Annapurna Base Camp by traveling the steep hills and wide valleys. The trail also comes across many small streams and bamboo forests until Machhapuchhre Base Camp. After that, it gains elevation and makes it slightly difficult for hikers to maintain the pace.
At the base camp, trekkers will be provided an incredible view of shimmering snow peaks, crystalline glaciers, and beautiful landscapes. The trail then traces its steps down to Bamboo and heads back to Pokhara.
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Highlights of Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- A pristine view of snow-capped mountains such as Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna III,
- Traditional Nepalese villages with a mix of diverse cultures and religion
- Encounter a wide range of wild species, including musk deer, Tibetan argali, Himalayan pheasants, and many more
- Witness primordial monasteries, Chortens, and mani walls
- Breathtaking view of rolling hills, serene lakes, and religious pilgrimages in Pokhara
When is the Best Time for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp is a year-round trek destination, so trekkers can visit the campsite anytime they want. They may witness a few changes in the surroundings but will be able to make it to the top. While the hike is enjoyable any season, the best time to explore it is autumn and Spring.
Maximum Altitude (Matque): 1,395 meters
Maximum Altitude (Chhomrong): 2,210 meters
Trek Distance: 200 km
Walking Hours: 7 hrs
After early morning breakfast, we’ll leave for Matque, which takes about 3-4 hours across the highway. First up, we’ll drive to Kilyu via Nayapul beside the Modi River, which gives visitors a stunning view. The ride is quite exciting as we’ll get to watch the breathtaking scenery all along the way, including lush hills, terrace farms, and mountain slopes.
After reaching Matque, we’ll have our lunch then begin the trek through the Jhinu forest. From there, the trail ascends uphill, which takes about an hour of a climb before finally entering the beautiful village of Chhomrong.
An easy descent to the Gurung village from the hilltop, and we’ll wrap up the trek. Extended at a hillside, Chhomrong is a gateway to the Annapurna sanctuary and a popular stop for trekkers to spend the night.
Maximum Altitude: 2,900 meters
Trek Distance: 8.6 km
Walking Hours: 6 hrs
After leaving Chhomrong, we climb down the hill to Chhomrong River and cross the suspension bridge. The trail ascends upward from the far side, running off the terrace field and into the rhododendron and bamboo forests.
After a few ups and downs on a rugged path, we’ll get the first glimpse of Annapurna and Machhapuchhre. But, more often, we’ll be under the shades of green forests. Upon arrival at Kuldighar, we’ll take a short break, enter the Upper Modi Valley and descend the steep stone staircase heading to Bamboo.
From there, we continuously ascend uphill through dense forests filled with bamboo. Following the trail above the river and passing avalanche chute, we reach Dobhan, which offers a lovely view of the Modi River till winding up at Himalaya. Overnight stay in a teahouse.
Maximum Altitude: 4,130 meters
Trek Distance: 12.5 km
Walking Hours: 6 hrs
Trek from Himalaya to Annapurna Base Camp is relatively long and strenuous so, we start hiking at the crack of dawn. The trail initially climbs a steep hill to Hinko Cave and passes the avalanche area beside rocky moraine to reach Deurali. After walking further beyond the village while the course gets less steep as we approach the sanctuary.
Following a level walk over verdant meadows from the east of the valley and a short ascent through a mix of birch and bamboo, we end up at Bagar. Form here, the trail gently slopes upward, traversing the avalanche-prone area and across the scarce birch forest.
Pass the moraine and walk downhill to the small stream before climbing the stone stairs, which end at Machhapuchhre Base Camp. The route to Annapurna Base Camp then follows a river and comes across small hamlets.
Not long before, we can see the beautiful hotels and guest houses of the base camp. After walking a few more distances over the loose rocks, we’ll arrive at the base camp. Yesterday’s green farms and lush hills are now replaced by steep rocky cliffs, sheer glaciers, and vivid valleys.
We’ll get a 360-degree view of Mt. Annapurna and the close snap of its nearby mountains at the hilltop, including Gangapurna, Pisang Peak, Paungda Danda, and Tilicho Peak. You can also see colorful prayer flags, shimmering glaciers, and diverse landscapes—overnight in a tented camp.
Maximum Altitude: 2,310 meters
Trek Distance: 16.7 km
Walking Hours: 7 hrs
As we have explored the Annapurna Base Camp now, it’s time for us to head back to Bamboo. But, before leaving the campsite, we’ll catch a glimpse of the stunning sunrise view over Annapurna and enjoy the delicious breakfast. Shortly after that, we’ll retrace our steps back to Bamboo, following the previous trail.
Walking on our way to the village, we’ll pass Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Hinko Cave, Himalayan Hotel Dobhan, and Bamboo. It takes us around 7 hours to descend the trail to Bamboo. Overnight in a guesthouse.
Maximum Distance: 1,395 meters
Trek Distance: 12 km
Walking Hours: 7 hrs
It’s the last day of the short Annapurna Base Camp Trek, so we won’t have to walk a great distance. Instead, we’ll trail to Matque, crossing Chhomrong Khola over a suspension bridge and to the village. Leaving behind the settlement, we make our way to the Jhinue Village, sitting at a mountain ridge.
It has a scenic backdrop with surrounding mountains, towering green hills, and diverse landforms. The path out of a village descend the stone stairs to River Bridge and then a quick stroll to Siwai before ending at Matque.
From here, we’ll drive to Pokhara, which comes with a picturesque view of lofty hills, lush meadows, and gushing rivers. The trip will last for an hour and a half so it won’t be highly tiring for travelers. Upon reaching the town, you’ll be driven back to the hotel so that you can get some rest.