11 Jan 2024 Himalaya Trip
Shortest version Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview
Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region that encompasses the Annapurna Conservation Area. Trekkers pass through the diverse flora and fauna in the vicinity of this region. Annapurna Circuit trek is also listed in the Lonely Planet as the top 10 destinations as well as in other travel media platforms. Throughout the trail, pass through dense forests in the lower regions and diverse vegetation as the elevation rises. Manang and Mustang districts border the Tibetan Plateau to the north covering most of the Annapurna region.
Annapurna Circuit Trek duration has been shortened due to the construction of roads. Now, it takes 10 days to complete following a standard itinerary whereas earlier it used to take 3 weeks to complete. Annapurna Circuit trek commences from Besisahar and ends in Nayapul. It is also possible for trekkers to extend this trek to the world’s highest Tilicho Lake (4,919m) or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Poon Hill trek as the trekkers’ preferences. We recommended following a standard itinerary to avoid altitude sickness and get a proper acclimatization rest during the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Highlights (10 Days Shortest Annapurna Circuit Trek)
- Short trekking days with the construction of the road
- Traversing the highest pass Thorong La (5,416m) during the trek
- Holy Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage-Muktinath
- Pass through the Annapurna Conservation Area which has diverse flora and fauna
- Trek through the windy valley-Jomsom
- Stunning views of Annapurna II, IV, III, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, Chulu West, Thorong Peak, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri other peaks.
Manang Valley at an elevation of 3,519 m lies in the broad valley of the Marshyangdi River in the east and Thorong La Pass in the west. Manang Valley consists of several villages such as Upper Pisang, Ghyaru, Ngawal, Braka, Khangsar, and Tanki Manang Villages. During the Annapurna Circuit trek, trekkers pass through these beautiful settlements. Manang Valley is the acclimatization stopover during this trek. Explore around the beautiful places such as Gangapurna Lake, Milarepa Cave, and Ice Lake. An entry fee of NRs.100 is required to enter the cave above Manang. During monsoons, expect less or no rainfall as it is a rain-shadowed area. During winter too, the least snowfalls are expected here. With the construction of motorable roads, it is possible to reach there earlier.
Cross Highest-Thorong La Pass (5416m)
Thorong La Pass at an elevation of 5,416 m lies in the Damodar Himal which is nestled on a trail connecting Manang and Mustang districts. During the Annapurna Circuit trek, Thorong La is the highest point. Crossing the highest Thorong La Pass is very demanding but it treats trekkers with outstanding panoramic views of the Annapurna ranges and other numerous peaks.
Annapurna Circuit Trek video
Muktinath temple at an elevation of 3800 m is termed one of the highest-altitude temples in the Muktinath Valley. This temple is a sacred site for both Hindus and Buddhists and is also one of the Char Dhams (pious sites) in Nepal. This holy site is also as popular as Mukti Kshetra. Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa which in Tibetan means ‘Hundred Waters’. In the vicinity, there are 108 stone taps and it is believed that all sins will be cleaned up if people shower in it. Another attraction here is the everlasting natural burning flame.
Phenomenal Himalaya views
Annapurna Circuit trek treats trekkers with phenomenal views of snow-capped peaks such as Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, IV, III, Pisang Peak, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Chulu West / East, Thorong Peak, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche Peak and many more. Throughout the trek route, adore these amazing towering peaks in the backdrop. While crossing Thorong La Pass, witness these peaks along with the surrounding sceneries.
Annapurna conservation area
Annapurna Circuit trek route expands across the Kaski, Myagdi, Lamjung, Manang, and Mustang districts of Nepal. It covers an area of 7,629 sq. km making it one of the largest protected areas. This conservation area was established in 1985 and includes the Annapurna Sanctuary Area popular for numerous trekking routes. Trekkers traverse this Annapurna Conservation Area abundant with diverse flora and fauna during this Annapurna Circuit Trek.
10 days short Annapurna Circuit trek Itinerary in Tabulated format
|Point to Point
|Kathmandu to Dharapani
|221 km/ 137 miles
|Dharapani to Chame
|15 km/ 9.3 miles
|Chame to Pisang
|13.7 km/ 8.5 miles
|Pisang to Manang
|20 km/ 12.4 miles
|Manang to Chauri Lader
|12 km/ 7.45 miles
|Chauri Lader to Thorang Phedi
|5.1 km/ 3.17 miles
|Thorang Phedi to Muktinath
|16 km/ 10 miles
|Muktinath to Pokhara
|175 km/ 109 miles
|Pokhara to Kathmandu
|200 km/ 124 miles
Best time for Annapurna Circuit trek
Annapurna Circuit is a challenging trek due to high elevation gain and rough terrain. Thus, the best seasons for the Annapurna Circuit trek are Spring (Mar-May) and Autumn (Sep-Nov) seasons due to stable weather and temperature offering bright days, clear views, and availability of accommodation and facilities.
Summer in Nepal brings Monsoons (Jul-Aug) where trekkers can experience rainfall, and lush greenery but not-so-clear views mostly in the lower regions. Since Annapurna Circuit trek some routes come under rain-shadow areas, these routes expect less or no rainfall. Trekking is possible on these routes where they can enjoy beautiful scenery.
Winter months (Dec-Feb) are colder and expect snowfall but views are clear and trails are less crowded. The monthly weather chart with attractions during the Annapurna Circuit trek is tabulated below:
|High chances of Snow, Less crowded, good views
|Blooming Rhododendrons flowers, Light Snow
|Blooming Rhododendrons flowers, clear views
|Peak season, Nice weather, and views
|Bright day, good views
|Warm, Slight Rain in the lower region
|Lush greenery, nice views in rain-shadow areas
|Warm, Slight rain in the lower region
|Lush greenery and lovely scenery in rain-shadow areas
|Mostly cloudy, heavy rain in the lower region
|Lush greenery but clear views in rain-shadow areas
|Warm, Light Rain
|blue skies, clear views, light rain
|Perfect views, clear visibility, highly crowded
|Perfect views, clear visibility, crowded
|Cold but clear views
Annapurna Circuit Trek FAQs
How long does it take to hike to the Annapurna circuit?
Annapurna Circuit trek is possible to complete in 10 days (3 days drive and 7 days trek) because it is more feasible with the construction of the roads.
What Level of fitness for Annapurna Circuit?
Annapurna Circuit trek is a challenging trek. Thus, trekkers need to have a high level of physical and mental fitness for this trek.
Can beginners do the Annapurna circuit?
Annapurna Circuit trek is not suitable for beginners but trekkers having good physical and mental fitness and strong endurance can do the Annapurna Circuit under the supervision of a professional guide.
Can you do the Annapurna circuit without training?
No, the Annapurna circuit without training is not recommended as this trek is very challenging and demands a high level of fitness.
What is the hardest part of the Annapurna circuit trek?
Crossing the Thorong La Pass at an elevation of 5,416 m is the hardest part of the Annapurna circuit trek.
Is the Annapurna circuit crowded?
Annapurna Circuit trek is crowded during the peak seasons i.e. Spring (Mar-May) and Autumn (Sep-Nov) and less- crowded during off-season Monsoons and Winter.
What is the maximum elevation during the Annapurna circuit trek?
The maximum elevation gain during the Annapurna circuit trek is 5,416 m (Thorong La Pass).
How much does the Annapurna Circuit Trek cost?
Annapurna Circuit trek cost depends on the trek duration, trek route, accommodation, and transportation preferences of the trekkers. Normally, a standard 10-day Annapurna Circuit trek costs USD 749 per person.
How difficult is the Annapurna Circuit trek?
Annapurna circuit trek is a challenging trek that requires trekkers to trek on rough terrains having several ascends and descends for long hours daily. Also, high elevation and altitude sickness can be a great concern during this trek.
What to pack for the Annapurna Circuit trek?
Pack the seasonal warm but light clothes including layers, a cap, gloves, socks, and strong but comfortable boots. Also, include sunglasses, purification kits, a water bottle, prescribed medicines, personal items, first-aid kit, and toiletries.