8. From Pokhara: Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapuran range is the most exquisite , with some of the world's highest mountain views including Annapurna I (8,091m / 10th highest). While the foothills are dominated by diverse ethnic groups with their charming villages and terraced farms, higher reaches are pristine roved only by shepherds. We will come across the several view points with world famous Himalayan views. The trekking is the best insight into the Nepalese mountain lifestyle, ethnic diversity and a moderate adventure in the Himalayas.
Our trek starts from Pokhara, the natural capital of Nepal. Pokhara is known as lake city with an amphitheater of mountains. Annapurna range makes its northern wall. This is a base for several treks in the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. We drive 44 km / 1.5 hrs to the trekking trail head at 1,100 m from Pokhara and start our trek to Ghorepani first. Ghorepani or its top Pun Hill (3,200 m) offers view of about 15 snow peaks including Dhaulagiri I (8,167m / 7th highest), Annapurna I (8,091m / 10th highest) and Manaslu (8,156m / 8th highest). This is the good start of the trek. Then we will walk through the rhododendron forest to Chhomrong village across the Annapurna South. From here one can enjoy the heights of Annapurna South and Fishtail. The trail further enters into the narrow valley wedged between Annapuran south and Fishtail. At Fishtail base camp (3,700 m), we come to meadows and glacial moraine with relatively bright and wide valley. Annapurna base camp (4,200 m) has snow peaks at 360 degree.
Day 01: Drive to Nayapul from Pokhara (1.5 hrs) and trek to Thikedunga (4 hrs)
We will depart Pokhara at around 8:30 by a private car. The road snacks through the scenic country side for about 1.5 hrs to the trekking trail head at Nayapul. This is the confluence of Modi river draining Annapurna base camp and Burungdi river. We follow upstream Burungdi river climbing gradually for about 4 hrs to Thikedunga. Thikedunga is a small charming village full of lodges where we will spend the night.
Day 02: Climb to Ghorepani (6 hrs / 2,800 m)
After breakfast, we will start our days walk with steep climb to Ulleri village. There are about 3,000 stone steps to Ulleri village which will take about 2 hrs to climb. From Ulleri the trail climbs gradually through the forest for another 4 hrs to Ghorepani at 2,800 m. Ghorepani is the mountain pass overlooking at the deep KaliGandaki valley wedged between two eight thousand meter peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
Day 03: Hike to Pun Hill (50 mints / 3,200 m) | Trek to Tadapani
Pun Hill is the most beautiful view point in the Annapurna region. We will hike for about 50 mints to Pun Hill at 3,200 m for sunrise view over the Himalayan peaks. One can see about 15 different peaks including Dhaulagiri I (8,167m / 7th highest), Annapurna I (8,091m / 10th highest) and Manaslu (8,156 m / 8th highest). After breakfast, we will head for our next destination of Tadapani. The trail passes through the rhododendron forest with few ups and downs of 400 m each.
Day 04: Trek to Chhomroong (5 hrs / 2,100 m)
Tadapani has got the beautiful view of Annapurna south and Fishtail mountain. From here we will climb down steeply about 900 m to the valley basin at Ghurjung river. Climb gradually along the mountain side to Chhomrong perched high up on the mountain ridge. Chhomrong is a large Gurung village at the corridore of Annapurna Sanctuary. The village offer the upclose view of Annapurna South (7,219 m), Fishtail (6,993 m).
Day 05: Trek to Dovan (2,400 m / 6 hrs)
Trek down to Chhomrong khola (river) and then climb up to Sinwa in 3 hrs. From here we enter into steep valley towards Annapurna sanctuary at the buttresses of Annapurna South and Fishtail. From Sinwa we will climb down to Modi River at the little hemlet of 'Bamboo' in 2 hrs and then climb gradually for another hour to Dovan (2,400m).
Day 06: Climb to Deurali (5 hrs / 3,300 m)
Above Dovan we enter into the region where effect of the high altitude effects are felt. So with slow pace we gradually climb to another hamlet of Himalaya in 2 hrs. Himalaya has got two lodges. After Himalaya (2,900m), we enter into sparsely vegetated rocky terrain and climb steeply for one hrs to Hinku cave. Deurali is across the arduous moraine intercepted by creeks with ice deposition.
07: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (5 hrs / 4,200m)
The trail from Deurali to Fishtail base camp is avalanche prone area. So we will change the route to the other side of the Modi river according to the situation. It will take about 3 hrs to get to Fishtail base camp at 3,700 m. At Fishtail base camp valley opens up wide and bright with beautiful snow peaks. The trail to Annapruna base camp climbs gradually to the snowfield and the the edge of glacier. At base camp we are at the base of world's highest mountains surrounding us in 360 degree.
Day 08: Trek down to Bamboo (6 hrs)
After a beautiful sunrise view over the Annapurnas, we will head down slowly to Bamboo. First part of the trail might be steep and slippery. Bamboo is a clean settlement before we climb to Sinwa.
Day 09: Trek back to Jhinu Danda (5 hrs / 1,600 m)| Bathe in natural hot spring
We follow the same trail that we took to climb up till Chhomrong. Climb down steely on the stone steeps to the village of Jhinu. We settle into our lodge and then head down half and hour to natural hot spring pool in the shore of Modi river. Enjoy the natural hot spring and enjoy your last night in the mountain.
Day 10: Follow the Modi river coast to Nayapul and drive back to Pokhara
From Jhinu, we will basically traverse along the Modi river to Nayapul from where we started our trek in 5 hrs. We will be picked up by a car for a drive to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.