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Complete Guide about Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

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Complete Guide about Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking takes you through the spectacular Annapurna region with the chance to witness stunning mountain vistas. From the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri range to the beautiful fishtail, there are countless snow-capped peaks to explore throughout the trek. The journey to the base camp of the tenth highest peak in the world (Annapurna I – 8,091m) is not just naturally rich, but also culturally. The locals comprise mostly Gurung and Magar people who have some fascinating history and experiencing their lifestyle, culture, and traditions is a unique experience. The natural diversity and wildlife aren’t lacking either as the flora and fauna are quite well preserved in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Considering how much this trek has to offer despite its fairly easy difficulty and short period, it is easy to see why the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. On the opposite side of this coin, so many options and variety can also be overwhelming. This is why we have created our Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Complete Guide with all the up-to-date and important information.

How high is the Annapurna Base Camp?

The elevation is always an important factor to consider when trekking to remote and high-altitude places. This stands even truer on the trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. Situated at 4,130m, the Annapurna Base Camp is the base camp of the tenth highest peak in the world (Annapurna I – 8,091m). The trek in itself isn’t much difficult but the elevation is something to carefully consider. Particularly on the latter parts of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will be trekking over altitudes of 3-4000m. Here, altitude sickness is possible, which is why we will take our time walking, staying hydrated, and resting properly while watching out for any symptoms. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek begins in Kathmandu at just 1,400m altitude. The number drops even lower at Pokhara but soon rises to 1,540 meters at Tikhedhunga. The trail separates and leads towards either Ghorepani or directly to Deurali, but you will soon be over 3,000 meters either way. Finally, you will cross the 4,000-meter mark at the Machhapuchhare base camp and eventually reach the highest point of the trek at the Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m).

How difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking is typically regarded as a moderate difficulty trek. Special circumstances like trekking during mid-winter when there’s a lot more snowfall can make the trek a bit tougher. Otherwise, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a trek that is suitable for most people even if they aren’t experienced in trekking and traveling. Any healthy individual with good physical fitness can complete this trek as there is no need for any technical skills or equipment use. Going by the numbers, you will need to walk for around 5-6 hours per day at an average pace. The trek starts pretty easy but it can get a bit tougher towards the latter part of the trek where we will trek above 3-4000 meters. As this is a pretty popular trek, the accommodation, as well as other facilities on the trail, are generally abundant. There are even lodges at the base camp itself, which is a unique feature of this trek.

Best Season for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking can be done throughout the year as it is only a moderate difficulty trek. However, depending on your interest, some periods may be better suited than others. The Spring season or March-May months is an all-around excellent option. Not only are the views and weather excellent during this time, but the natural beauty and biodiversity can also be experienced at their peak. The iconic sight of hills dotted with rhododendrons and sparkling peaks in the backdrop is common during this period. Autumn, or September – November period, is arguably the best time for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking, as it is for most other treks in Nepal. This is the peak season for trekking and tourism as well and it is pretty easy to see why. Breathtaking views and scenery with clear skies, pleasant weather, and festive vibes of holidays throughout the country, what more could one ask for? Winter is also a good option for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. One important thing to watch out for is the availability of lodges and accommodation. If the temperature drops too low or there is excessive snowfall, lodges can stay closed, particularly at the higher altitudes. This is generally not an issue, however, if you trek with a certified guide and trekking company like ours who take care of all such issues for you. Finally, the monsoon is the offseason for trekking in Nepal. The unpredictable weather and rainfall can be a turnoff for most people and we generally recommend other periods over this one. However, this is a good time for nature enthusiasts who wish to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the lush forest and empty trails.

How do I get from Kathmandu to Annapurna Base Camp?

Transportation, as well as the trail itself, is easy to maneuver through on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Your journey typically starts with a 5-6 hour drive through the Prithivi highway to Pokhara. Both public, as well as private transport options, are available on this route. If budget isn’t a major concern, scenic flight options are also available to reach Pokhara in just half an hour. From Pokhara, a short further drive to the trailhead at Nayapul is necessary. Past Nayapul, the trail splits off and can head towards either Ghorepani (for the Poonhill Hike) or take a more direct approach via Deurali. One more day of trekking leads you to the Annapurna Base Camp for an overnight stay. The return journey is completed more or less via the same route as before, all the way to Kathmandu. A sample day-by-day itinerary that goes into more detail is listed below. Day 01: Kathmandu to Pokhara by regular tourist bus (6-7 hrs) Day 02: Drive to Nayapul 2 hrs then Trek to Ulleri (5-6 hrs) Day 03: From Ulleri trek to Ghorepani (4 hrs) Day 04: Early morning hike up to Poon Hill and trek to Tadapani (6-7 hrs total) Day 05: From Tadapani Trek to Sinuwa (6-7 hrs) Day 06: From Siwuwa Trek to Deurali (7 hrs) Day 07: From Deurali Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4-5 hrs) Day 08: From ABC Trek back to Sinuwa (6-7 hrs) Day 09: From Sinuwa Trek via Jhinu Dada (Hot spring) to Siwai then drive back to Pokhara (7-8 hrs) Day 10: From Pokhara fly out to Kathmandu and free afternoon

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Avalanche

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is generally one of the safest treks in addition to being fairly easy, as evident from its popularity. However, there is always a minuscule possibility of an avalanche, especially during the spring season. Annapurna is a region prone to avalanches and snowstorms, and incidents like the 2014 disaster or the recent one in January 2020 have made this stigma much worse than the reality is. Thousands of trekkers perform this trek every year, and to ensure their safety, checking and maintenance throughout the trail are performed routinely. If there is excessive snowfall or the possibility of any danger, the trekking route is closed for safety reasons. As the area from Bamboo to MBC is particularly prone to avalanches, it is given special attention and you can even get the most trustworthy and up-to-date information from the lodge owners there themselves. If you are concerned about your safety, and the possibility of avalanches or other issues on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the best option is to choose a reliable and experienced trekking agency like ourselves. Mountain Magic Treks will take care of all permits, safety concerns, and other hassles for you, and we guarantee a safe and enjoyable trip for you – backed by our decades of experience in the industry!

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