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.
Short Annapurna Base Camp trek has moderate trekking trails that any hikers can easily navigate. It doesn’t have a challenging technical climb, but it’s good to have some hiking experience. The trek runs through different terrains after riding from Pokhara to Matque. There are a few ups and downs with some steep hills, but the walk-in itself isn’t challenging.
Regardless of the short or long trek, Hikers of Annapurna Base Camp must have a trekking permit to access the sanctuary. Trekkers of foreign nationals are charged US$30 to enter Annapurna Conservation Area, while visitors from SAARC will get the entry for around US$10.
The Short Annapurna Base Camp trek doesn’t last more than a week. It has a short hiking trail that can be steered in as little as five days. The hike makes a round trip of Pokhara, passing several villages, ascending rugged trails, and crossing suspension bridges. The more extended version of the hike can take you almost two weeks, depending on where you start the hike.
The accommodation at Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a mix of guest houses and lodges. Other options include tea houses which are highly feasible for budget backpackers. They are highly affordable with enough basic facilities like a single bedroom, delicious Nepali food, and other amenities.
Several teahouses and lodges at Annapurna Base Camp provide wi-fi service and battery charging to the visitors for a bit of amount. They charge anywhere from US1 to US$5, and the connection is pretty good except for a few times.
Why Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
1. Easy and short trails
Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek has a short trek length, so; it wouldn’t take a lot of time for travelers to finish the hike. Unlike full round Base Camp Trek, this one is way easier and takes a little time. Traveling the lane to base camp is so convenient that even beginners can climb the tail effortlessly.
Those who’re pressed for time will relish the Annapurna Base Camp as they will get it done before time. Walking the trail isn’t a pain for hikers as they’ll have to walk just for just three and a half days.
2. Scenic Views
Trekkers ascending Annapurna Base Camp will enjoy spectacular views along their journey. With no stressful experience and short distance travel, they’ll get to explore plenty of beautiful places but will have to make it quick.
Visiting the base camp in spring offers travelers a lovely scenery of full-bloom rhododendron forests with a crystal clear view of Mt. Annapurna, Thamserku, and Dhaulagiri. Autumn visitors will also enjoy the colorful fall foliage and lush green terrace farm.
They may also encounter a few wild animals and birds in the sanctuary. Autumn is the festive season in Nepal, so visitors walking the base camp have a good shot at learning about the culture and customs of people living there.
3. No heavy backpacks
Since the short Annapurna Base Camp Trek doesn’t even last a week, trekkers can just bring a few backpacks. They don’t have to carry heavy loads with them as they can just get a few trekking clothes and shoes with them. There’s no need to bring crampons and all other gears required for the technical climb.
Preparation for short Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek itself is enough to give an idea that the trip isn’t as tough as others. So, hikers climbing the base camp don’t have to spend several hours on the preparation. They can rather go easy on the training and start with some moderate exercise at home.
Jogging, running treadmill, cycling, and brisk walking is the best way out to get in shape. It doesn’t put a lot of pressure on hikers and still helps them stay fit and healthy. To keep up with the meandering trail of base camp that’s rugged and uneven, hikers must take a couple of walk-on mixed terrains.
In that way, they’re easily able to handle the trails of Annapurna Base Camp. Mental wellness is equally important, whether the trip is long or short. But, here in this trek, the stress is relatively low as trekkers don’t have to walk the long trails.
There’s no fear of getting altitude sickness nor having back or foot pain. Weather can be a matter of concern, but only if you’re hiking in Winter or Monsoon. Visitors also don’t need to worry about frostbite and neither to get strenuous for most of the trek.
All that said, the hikers still have to have a positive attitude and mindset before and during the actual hike. It’ll give them confidence and make the journey more effortless than it already is. Drinking as much water as possible during the trek prevents dehydration and chances of falling ill.
Equipment for Short Base Camp Trek
Trekkers of Short Annapurna Base Camp won’t stay in the region for too long; they’ll still need a few essentials. Of course, they don’t have to bring lots of luggage and clothes with them. However, they have to get the much-needed gear that fits nicely on the favored time and season.
Trekkers have to carry essential trekking equipment, and other necessary items have themselves. But, with the travel agent, the expenses will be covered, and trekkers won’t have to bring a thing except for their personal items.
A windproof jacket or light down jacket
Lightweight fleece pants and shirt
Moisture-wicking base layer or t-shirt
Basic long-sleeve t-shirt
A brimmed hat
Well-suited hiking shoes for all terrains
Two pairs of synthetic socks
Personal toiletries including hand sanitizer and toothbrush
Extra batteries, charger, and power bank
Journals and pen
Annapurna Region Weather in Autumn
Autumn is the perfect time to trek Annapurna Base Camp as it has a lovely climate with a splendid atmosphere. The season starts from mid-September and lasts until November, providing visitors a favorable environment.
The weather is warm but not too blazing hot in Autumn, making trekkers comfortable walking the trail. The base camp temperature in the season ranges from 12 to 19 Degree Celsius. Its mornings and evenings can be slightly chilly in the mountains but the lower region.
Annapurna Base Camp is in the best version of itself during Autumn. There is colorful fall foliage at lower hills while sparkling glaciers and mountains put up the show in upper elevation. Following a clear sky and strong visibility, trekkers will have no trouble catching a glimpse of Annapurna massif, Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, and Pisang Peak.
It’s also a month of festivities, so trekkers will have many exciting events to participate in. They’ll also learn about the culture and traditions of different castes and ethnic groups during the visit.
Annapurna Region Weather in Spring
Spring is another ideal time to escape the city hustle and soak in the beauty of Annapurna Base Camp. It’s a peak travel season which doesn’t come as a surprise given the mild weather and scenic views. Trekkers will experience warm days and cold nights in the season.
Since it comes right after winter, visitors may find the weather a bit cold in September. But, as time flows, the temperature starts to rise and reaches up to 14 Degree Celsius. The season is generally beautiful, with a spectacular view of snow-capped mountains, lush hillsides, and brimming forests.
In Spring, the blooming wildflowers and rhododendron feasts travelers with an enchanting fragrance. Trekkers are also likely to spot many wild animals and birds inside the conservation area during the season.
Annapurna Region Weather in Winter
Winter may not be the sweetest of all seasons to visit Annapurna Base Camp, but it isn’t worse either. Unlike trekking in the mountains, hikers can quickly ascend the base camp in the season, but they must take some precautions.
Winter’s weather can be cold with icy wind and snowfall but only in prime months. On regular days, it’s bright and sunny around the base camp. Although trekkers won’t have greater exposure to sunlight in winter than spring and autumn, they shall still be able to enjoy some warm days.
Temperatures in January can drop up to -8 Degree Celsius, but the weather in December and February are still warm. The trails aren’t profoundly covered in snow during these months, so trekkers can easily navigate the paths. The winter season also offers incredible views and remains tourist-free.
Annapurna Region Weather in Summer and Monsoon
Summer and Monsoon can be a great time to visit Annapurna Base Camp if the trekkers want to avoid crowded trails. The weather is a bit hot over the months, especially on days, but trekkers will get a fabulous and fresh wind once they reach the base camp.
Monsoon weather isn’t as impressive as summer since it’s continuously raining from June to August. The trails are muddy and wet in these months, making it slippery to walk. Due to the heavy downpour, trekkers will have a tough time putting up with the schedule.
Some might even stay stuck in the guesthouse until the weather is not clear and they cannot continue the trek. But, once the rain is over, travelers will get a clear and mind-blowing sight of Mt. Annapurna alongside Machhapuchhre and Annapurna range. The pouring waterfall and overflowing streams look naturally stunning during the season.
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