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Poon Hill sunrise Photo

16 Feb 2024 Himalaya Trip

1. Poon Hill Trek Introduction

Nepal, the trekker’s paradise, is a dream destination for adventure enthusiasts from around the world. With its majestic Himalayan peaks and stunning landscapes, Nepal offers a plethora of trekking options for all levels of experience. One of the most popular treks in Nepal is the Poon Hill Trek. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this trek, including why it is considered the best short trek in Nepal, the importance of hiring a guide, the difficulty level, cost, weather conditions, and safety considerations.

Where is Poon Hill located? 

The Poon Hill trek begins and ends in Nayapul, a small town near Pokhara. It takes you through picturesque villages like Tikhedhunga, Ghorepani, Tadapani, and Ghandruk. The main highlight of the trek is the sunrise view from Poon Hill, where you can witness a breathtaking panorama of the Himalayas bathed in golden light.

2. Highlights and Attractions

The Poon Hill trek offers several highlights and attractions that make it a memorable experience. Here are some key attractions:

Sunrise at Poon Hill

Wake up early and hike to Poon Hill before sunrise to witness the magical spectacle of the sun rising over the snow-capped mountains. The panoramic view of the Himalayas bathed in golden light is truly awe-inspiring and a photographer’s delight. Furthermore, Deurali pass is another popular vantage point located at an altitude of 3090 meters on your return journey. This place is located in between Ghorepani to Tadapani which is another popular vantage point for viewing the Annapurna massifs.

Poon Hill Video

Poon Hill Video on February 2nd 2024

Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain Ranges

Throughout the trek, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. These majestic peaks, including Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri, create a stunning backdrop and leave a lasting impression.

Ethnic Villages and Local Lifestyle

The Poon Hill trek takes you through charming villages inhabited by different ethnic communities, such as the Gurungs and Magars. You can witness their traditional way of life, explore their unique cultures, and interact with friendly locals. Particularly, Ghandruk and Ghorepani villages are prominent Magar and Gurung villages that have been points of fascination for trekkers to Poonhill.

Blooming Rhododendron Forests

The trekking trail to Poonhill is filled with dense forests of Annapurna Conservation Area Project. You will find Rhododendrons in abundance in these forests. During February to April, you will find the whole area blooming with these amazing flowers. The color hue shade portrayed by Rhododendrons is worth gazing at.


3. Why is Poon Hill the Best Short Trek in Nepal?

The Poon Hill Trek, nestled in the Annapurna region of Nepal, is often hailed as the best short trek in the country. It offers a perfect blend of accessibility, stunning panoramic views, and an immersive cultural experience. Unlike longer treks such as the Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Poon Hill Trek can be completed in less than a week, making it an ideal choice for trekkers with limited time. The trek rewards you with breathtaking 360-degree views of the snow-capped mountains, including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, and offers a chance to explore the rich cultural heritage of the Gurung and Magar communities.

The sheer duration of Poonhill trekking which ranges from 2 to 5 days makes it a flexible trekking option. If you are looking for a short stroll along the Annapurna foothills, you can opt for a 2 days Poonhill Sunrise View trek. You will drive till Ulleri, trek to Ghorepani and hike to Poonhill and return back to Pokhara on the second day. Alternatively, if you want a slow paced trek, experiencing everything this trek has to offer, it can be completed within 3-5 days depending on your time. Ulleri village can be reached by a jeep drive or you can trek to Ulleri traversing the famous 3200 stone steps paved as a trekking trail.

Poon Hill Trek Map

poonhill trek map
Poon Hill Trek Map

 4. Do I Need a Guide for Poon Hill Trek?

Yes, it is mandatory to hire a guide for the Poon Hill Trek. Since April 1, 2023, the Nepal Tourism Board has banned independent trekking in the mountain regions of Nepal. This means that all trekkers, whether solo or in a group, must be accompanied by a Nepal government-licensed guide or porter. Hiring a guide is crucial not only for your safety but also to enhance your overall trekking experience. A knowledgeable guide can provide valuable insights into the local lifestyle, culture, and history of the region. They can also assist with logistics, accommodation, and navigation, allowing you to focus on enjoying the trek. The cost of a guide can range from USD 25 to USD 30 per day, depending on their experience and services provided. 


5. Difficulty Level of Poon Hill Trek

The Poon Hill Trek is graded as an easy to moderate-level trek, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. The trek starts from the popular town of Nayapul, which is easily accessible from Pokhara, and gradually ascends to Poon Hill at an elevation of 3,210m. Unlike high-altitude treks such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Poon Hill Trek features a gradual gain in elevation, reducing the risk of altitude sickness. The trail is well-maintained and does not involve any technical climbing or challenging terrains. However, it is essential to be physically fit and prepare adequately for the trek to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Altitude and Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a common concern for trekkers in Nepal, especially on high-altitude treks. However, the Poon Hill Trek is relatively low in altitude, with the highest point being Poon Hill at 3,210m. This makes it less prone to altitude-related issues compared to treks like the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Mardi Himal Trek. The risk of altitude sickness on the Poon Hill Trek is considered low. However, it is still essential to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions. It is advisable to acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and listen to your body’s signals while trekking.

Comparison FactorsPoon Hill TrekMardi Himal TrekAnnapurna Base Camp Trek
Maximum Height3,210m (Poon Hill)4500m (Mardi Himal Base Camp)4130m(Annapurna Base Camp)
Difficulty LevelEasy to ModerateModerate Moderate
Altitude Sickness RiskLowModerateModerate
Physical Fitness RequirementLow to ModerateModerateModerate
Suitable forBeginner trekkers with basic level of fitnessBeginner trekkers with basic level of fitnessBeginner trekkers with basic level of fitness
Poon Hill Trek , Mardi Himal Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek comparison


Training for Poon Hill Trek 

Poonhill trek is an easy graded trek with the highest point of the trek reaching only 3210 meters. Unlike other strenuous treks in Nepal like Everest Three passes Trek, you dont need extreme physique and stamina for this trek. If you have a normally abled walking physique, you can successfully complete this trek without much hassle. Also, the flexibility of duration of Poonhill trek can be lengthened or shortened based on your pace of walking. So, if you are in proper physical shape, its always on the better side, however, even if you’re not, Poonhill trek is still doable.

6. Cost of Poon Hill Trek

The cost of the Poon Hill Trek can vary depending on several factors, such as the duration of the trek, services included, routes taken, and the trekking agency chosen, number of people in the group. On average, the cost of the Poon Hill Trek ranges from USD 250 to USD 299 per person for 4 days. This estimate includes trekking permits, guide, accommodation, meals, and transportation. The cost may vary depending on the quality of services provided by the trekking agency. It is recommended to research and compare prices from different agencies to find the best value for your money. You can also check our Ghorepani Poonhill Trek Package for more detailed information about the price and inclusions.

Permit Fees

Before starting the Poon Hill trek, you need to obtain two permits: the Trekkers Information Management Systems (TIMS) card and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). The TIMS card costs USD 20 for individual trekkers and USD 10 for group trekkers. The ACAP fee is NPR 3,000 (approximately USD 30) for foreign trekkers.


Accommodation and Food

Along the trekking route, there are numerous tea houses and lodges that offer accommodation and meals. The cost of a basic room in a tea house ranges from NPR 500 to NPR 1000 (approximately USD 5 to USD 10) per night. Meals, such as dal bhat (rice, lentils, and vegetables), noodles, and momos (dumplings) own style, cost around NPR 800 to NPR 1200 (approximately USD 8 to USD 12) per meal.

Here are some details about accommodation and facilities:


Tea Houses and Lodges

Tea houses are family-run guest houses that provide comfortable rooms with basic amenities. The rooms usually have twin beds or bunk beds with blankets and pillows. Shared bathrooms with squat toilets or western-style toilets are available. It is advisable to carry a sleeping bag for extra warmth and comfort.


Dining Options

Tea houses and lodges of Ulleri, Ghorepani , Tadapani have wooden heaters attached to dining halls where you can enjoy meals. The menus offer a variety of options, including local Nepali dishes, international cuisine, and snacks. Dal bhat (rice, lentils, and vegetables) is a popular and nutritious meal choice. You can also find tea, coffee, soft drinks, and bottled water.

Restroom Facilities

The restroom facilities in tea houses and lodges may vary. Ulleri, Ghorepani, and Ghandruk have attached bathrooms and if you stay in Tadapani, you have shared bathrooms with hot showers, while others may have basic facilities with cold water. It is recommended to carry your own toiletries, including toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

7. Weather Conditions on the Poon Hill Trek

The weather in the Poon Hill region is influenced by the season, time of the day, and altitude. The trek covers altitudes ranging from 800m to 3,210m, making it a year-round trekking destination. However, the best time to undertake the Poon Hill Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. Winter (December to February) brings colder temperatures, and there is a possibility of snowfall. Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season, with a high chance of rainfall and slippery trails, making it less favorable for trekking.

Best Time to Trek

The best time to trek to Poon Hill is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather, clear skies, and moderate temperatures. Spring brings blooming rhododendron forests, while autumn offers excellent visibility and stunning mountain views. It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season (June to August) due to heavy rainfall and the winter season (December to February) when the trekking trails may be covered in snow. It is still beautiful weather, except cold weather.


Seasons and Temperature

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best seasons to trek to Poon Hill. During these seasons, the weather is generally stable, with clear skies and moderate temperatures. The daytime temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), while the nighttime temperatures can drop to 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).


Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season, characterised by heavy rainfall and cloudy skies. The trails can be muddy and slippery, and there is a risk of landslides. Winter (December to February) brings colder temperatures, especially at higher elevations, with daytime temperatures ranging from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F) and nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing. It still has beautiful views and does this trek in winter, as it is a low altitude trek.

8. What Ground Transportation is required for Poonhill trek?

To reach Poon Hill, you need to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and then from Pokhara to Nayapul, the starting point of the trek. Here is a guide to transportation options:


Kathmandu to Pokhara

  • Flight: You can take a domestic flight from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to Pokhara Airport. The flight duration is approximately 25 minutes.
  • Bus or Private Car: There are regular tourist buses that operate between Kathmandu and Pokhara. The journey takes around 6-7 hours, depending on road conditions.

Pokhara to Nayapul 

  • Private Vehicle: You can hire a private vehicle or taxi to travel from Pokhara to Nayapul. The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
  • Public Bus: There are regular public buses that run from Pokhara’s Baglung Bus Park to Nayapul. The bus journey takes around 2-3 hours.

Note: Nayapul is the traditional trekking start point and there are roadways built beyond Nayapul up till Ulleri or Ban Thanti. You can opt to drive till Ulleri shortening your trekking days by 1 day.

There are various roadways that have been built across the Poonhill trekking trail. If you want to reach Ghorepani without much hassle, you can drive to Ghorepani taking the roadway via Beni. Also, for the return journey from Poonhill, you can begin the drive from Ghandruk or Syauli Bazar. Alternatively, you can trek to Poonhill from

9. Essential Items for the Trek

Proper packing is crucial for a successful and comfortable trek to Poon Hill. Here are some essential items you should bring:

  • A sturdy backpack with a capacity of 35-40 liters to carry your belongings and essentials.
  • Normal hiking shoes or trekking boots are fine.
  • Lightweight walking pants with zip-off legs for flexibility and comfort.
  • Waterproof pants or yoga pants to protect against rain and wind.
  • Thermal shirts and pants for layering and insulation.
  • Shorts and t-shirts for warmer days.
  • Fleece or down jacket for warmth in chilly evenings.
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket with a hood.
  • Comfortable hiking socks and underwear.
  • Sunglasses and sun hat to protect against UV rays.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Woolen cap or balaclava for cold temperatures 
  • Inner and outer gloves for warmth and protection if do this trek in winter.
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Power bank or extra batteries for charging electronic devices.
  • Hand sanitizers and wet wipes for hygiene.
  • Quick-drying towel and rubber sandals for showers.
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.).
  • Reusable water bottles and water purification tablets.
  • Sufficient cash for the trek as ATMs are limited on the trail.
  • Camera to capture the stunning landscapes.


10. Safety and Insurance

Safety should be a top priority while trekking to Poon Hill. Here are some important safety tips:


Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can occur when ascending to high altitudes too quickly. It is essential to acclimatize properly by gradually gaining altitude and allowing your body to adjust. Stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and smoking, and listen to your body for any symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath. In case of severe symptoms, descend to a lower altitude and seek medical assistance. The highest point of Poonhill trek is at 3210 meters making it low altitude treks. There is very little to no chance of you getting AMS but its always better to be on the safe side. While you might get mild symptoms, your trekking guide will take necessary actions during the trekking duration for such issues.


Travel Insurance

The mere altitude of Poonhill makes it accessible and you dont require comprehensive travel insurance for this trek. A normal travel insurance covering medical and transportation expenses would be sufficient.


Safety Considerations for Poon Hill Trek with Children

The Poon Hill Trek is considered safe and suitable for families with children. The relatively low altitude of the trek reduces the risk of altitude-related sickness. The trek covers a distance of approximately 42km, which can be completed in 4 to 5 trekking days. Along the trail, there are numerous family-friendly teahouses that offer comfortable accommodation and meals. However, it is essential to plan and prepare carefully to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Traveling during the spring or autumn seasons, when the weather is favorable, is recommended. It is also advisable to choose a reputable trekking agency that provides experienced guides and takes safety precautions seriously.

11.Cultural Etiquette and Respect

While trekking in the Annapurna region, it is important to respect the local culture and traditions. Here are some cultural etiquette tips:


Local Customs and Traditions

  • Greet the locals with a “Namaste” (hello) and a smile.
  • Seek permission before taking photographs of people or religious sites.
  • Remove your shoes before entering monasteries, temples, or houses.
  • Dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing, especially in religious areas.
  • Respect local customs and practices, such as not touching sacred objects or disturbing wildlife.

 The Poon Hill trek is a mesmerizing adventure in the Annapurna region of Nepal that offers breathtaking mountain views and a taste of the local culture. This ultimate guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know before embarking on this incredible journey.

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