Is Annapurna Circuit Dangerous? Detail About Its Itenary and Cost
For scenery and cultural diversity, the Annapurna circuit trek is considered to be one of the world’s classic walks. This features an adventurous trek that offers a lifetime experience and a complete scenic journey beneath the world’s 10th and 7th highest mountains Annapurna (8091 m) and Dhaulagiri(8167 m).
The Annapurna region is well thought-out as the jewel of Nepal which centers hundreds of natural, artistic, cultural and religious attractions. Trekkers will be gifted with naturally fascinating view of High Mountains and peaks, natural hot springs, cultural villages, Orchid and Rhododendron forests, and hundreds of other natural attractions that tend to mesmerize you till your upper limit of gratification.
The Annapurna Circuit trek leads you to the village inhabited by people of diversified ethnic groups, offering spectacular and majestic views of the glorified Himalayas. Continuing to the North, from the north of the main Himalayan range to the high and dry Tibetan Plateau, the scenery is equally awe-inspiring. Thus, the Annapurna circuit trek results great for those seeking a challenge and for those looking for trekking routes that can be personalized to suit at a more leisurely pace.
The Annapurna circuit trek can be customized according to the trekker’s comfort level. The trek can be kept longer i.e up to 3 weeks since it is the trek that circles the Annapurna chain. Commencing the trek from Bhulbhule along the Marshyangdi River, the following itinerary is to be followed to complete the circuit in three weeks.
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar and trek to Bhulbhule(840 m) (7 hours drive and 1-2 hours trek)
The first day of the circuit features a 6-7 hours drive from the capital city to Besisahar. From Besisahar our trek kicks off along the trail of the village and descend along the Pam Khola. Passing through paddy fields and subtropical forests alongside Marsyangdi river we approach the Gurung village of Bhulbhule.
Day 02: Trek from Bhulbhule to Ghermu (1310 m) (5-6 hours trek)
Today we walk along Marsyangdi river tp Ngadi village. After crossing a couple of suspension bridges and descending along the trail, we reach Ghermu for our overnight stay.
Day 03: Trek from Ghermu to Tal (1700 m) (6-7 hours trek)
The trail moves downhill to the Syange village and gradually escalates to Jagat village. After walking for a couple of hours will bring us to a suspension bridge over the rushing Marshyangdi river. On the other side of the bridge anticipates for a steep uphill climb. A couple of hours of the effortful climb would bring us to Tal village where we can explore the village before staying overnight.
Day 04: Trek from Tal to Bagarchhap (2160 m) (5-6 hours trek)
Today we walk along the bank of Marshyangdi river to reach Bagarchhap village. Crossing a few suspension bridges and walking along the sandy trails brings us to Dharapani village. After an hour-long trek from Dharapani, we reach Bagarchap village for our overnight stay.
Day 05: Trek from Bagarchhap to Chame (2670 m) (6-7 hours trek)
As we move upwards, the air gets cooler, the landscapes and the vegetation around us begin to change. We start our trek with a walk to Danaque and the trail mounts quickly along the steep uphill of Timang village. The Timang village offers a magnificent view of the Manaslu range and closer view of Lamjung and Annapurna II. We bid goodbye to Timang village, and start our pleasant walk to Chame. We ascend and descend occasionally as we cross pass buckwheat fields and Apple farms to reach Chame.
Day 06: Trek from Chame to Pisang (5-6 hours walk)
The trail moves through pine forest with few ups and down to arrive in Bhartang Village. The trek continues along the leveled route for a while then climbs steeply high through pine forest. On the way to Pisang, we will have a wonderful view of the Pisang peak and Mt. Chulu. In the evening, we visit upper Pisang which is famous for Tibetan style houses, monastery along with a panoramic view of the Annapurna range and valley.
Day 07: Trek from Pisang to Manang (3540 m) (5-6 hours trek)
Today we move gently up from the Pisang village. After half an hour of trekking, we reach the top of the ridge from where we can see the beautiful Manag valley. From here is a linear walk to the Humde village. Further trekking for about 2 hours, we reach the beautiful village of Manang.
Day 08: Acclimatization at Manang (3540m )
After walking for almost a week, it seems necessary to take a rest for a day. Also for the acclimatization purpose, the rest is recommended.
Day 09: Manang -Yak Kharka (4050 m) (5 hours walk)
An hour-long climb for Manag takes us to Gunsang village. Gunsang offers a wide panoramic view of Annapurna starting from Annapurna II to Tilicho. The trail goes slowly up to reach Yak Kharka for the overnight stay.
Day 10: Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi (4450 m) (4-5 hours walk)
Since we are above 4000 m, we start with a slow climb to reach Ledtar Village. The landscape and mountain view is amazing throughout the day. An hour-long descending trek will bring us to Jorsanf Khola and then to Thorang Phedi.
Day 11:Trek from Thorang Phedi to Muktinath (3760 m )(8-9 hours walk) via Thorang La Pass (5416 m)
The trek to Muktinath is going to be the toughest trek of the Annapurna circuit. The trail moves steeply up to High Camp for about 4 hours to reach Thorang Pass, the highest point of the trek. From here we move down to Muktinath.
Day 12: Trek from Muktinath to Marpha (2670 m) (6-7 hours trek)
After an early morning visit to Muktinath, we move towards an easy downhill trek to Eklebhatti. From here, the trek follows a downhill windy path on the bank of the Kali Gandaki river to reach Marpha village via Jomsom.
Day 13: Trek from Marpha to Ghasa (2010m) (6-7 hours walk)
We start our day with a slow descend to Tukuche village. An hour further descend will bring us to Kalopani village. Kalopani is a beautiful village that offers a majestic view of Mt. Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. A couple of hours of easy downhill trek will bring us to the village of Ghasa.
Day 14: Ghasa to Tatopani (1190m) (4-5 hours of walk)
Today’s day features an easy walk through terraced fields to reach Dana Valley. After Dana valley, the trail is almost flat till we reach Tatopani village for our overnight stay.
Day 15: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani(2860 m) (7-8 hours walk)
The trail descends slowly crossing a couple of suspension bridges to reach Ghara Khola. After that, the trail goes steeply up for a couple of hours through the Rhododendron forest until we reach Ghorepani.
Day 16: Hike to Poon Hill(3210 m) and trek to Tadapani(2630 m) (4-5 hours)
Poonhill offers a wide range of Himalayan Panorama of Manaslu, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri. After an early morning hike to Poonhill, we continue our trek to Tadapani for the overnight stay.
Day 17: Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk (1940 m ) to Nayapul (1070 m ) (4-5 hours)
Leaving the beautiful scenery of Tadapani, we move towards Ghandruk. The walk towards Ghandruk is easy and pleasant through the forested path. About three hours of walking with an occasional view of Annapurna brings us to Ghandruk. We continue our trek by walking down for a couple more hours to Nayapul from where we take a scenic ride to Pokhara for our overnight stay.
Day 18: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu(6-7 hours)
Road travel in Nepal is a thrilling experience. We will drive on a winding road from Pokhara to Kathmandu via Naubise.
Day 19: Departure
After completing such an overwhelming tour to one of the best trekking destinations in Nepal, today is the day you return to your respective place with a memory of a lifetime.
Similarly for trekkers who have less time can opt for a shorter version of the circuit. If the trek is to be completed within 10 days time, Following itinerary is to be followed:
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Chame (2710 m) (9-10 hours drive)
Day 02: Trek from Chame to Pisang (3,300 m ) (5-6 hours)
Day 03: Trek from Pisang to Manang (6-7 hours walk with alternate ascent and descent)
Day 04: Acclimatization at Manang(3540m)
Day 05:Trek from Manang to Chure Letdar (4250 m) (3-5 hours)
Day 06: Trek from Churi Letdar to Thorung Phedi (4,400 m ) (2-3 hours)
Day 07: Trek from Thorung Phedi to Muktinath (3,760 m) (6-8 hours)
Day 08: Drive from Muktinath to Pokhara (1,400 m) (6-7 hours)
Day 09 :Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m) (5-6 hours)
The blue skyline, dazzled snow-capped peaks dwarfs us slowly to the deepest valleys in the World making the Annapurna Circuit Trek one of the best treks in Nepal. The highest elevation of the circuit, 5164 m Thorung La is one of the highest places in Nepal and crossing it is potentially dangerous.
The trek from Manang to the Thorung La is not difficult but it is a long way on a high elevation. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the major problem faced by the trekkers in the circuit. Besides that, altitude sickness, exposure to cold, and avalanches are some common issues faced at high altitudes.
At any time local storms generated in the Arabian sea or Bay of Bengal can close the pass with sudden snowfall making it extremely hard to finish the trek. In such cases, the wisest option would be to turn your back and stay put in a lodge.