Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview
"Explore the sub-tropical forests to the alpine zone of the western Himalayas on Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek 20 Days. Embark on an immersive trekking venture that is both demanding and rewarding."
If you have heard about trekking in the Himalayas, then you must have heard about the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trekking. It is one of the most famous and loved trekking routes in Nepal. Opened to foreign travelers in 1977, the Classic Annapurna Circuit trail has welcomed trekkers from all around the world. Starting from the woodlands, the trail ascends to the highest pass of the country, Thorong La pass (5,416 m), in 9 to 10 days of walking.
Classic Annapurna Circuit is a moderate trek. To offer you an ultimate trekking experience in the Annapurna region, we have also combined gorgeous Ghorepani village (2,874 m) and Poon Hill (3,210 m) in our Classic Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary. The Classic Annapurna Circuit trekking is all about diverse landscapes, adventure, and rich culture.
Classic Annapurna Circuit trek route
The trek begins at Bhulbhule and ascends through subtropical forests and terraced fields followed by picturesque villages. You cross suspension bridges and waterfalls along the way. Manang village onwards, there are pastures and arid cliffs.
Walking on a rough, steep uphill path, you approach the Thorong La pass (5,416 m) and descend to Muktinath temple (3,800 m). This part of the trail sees glacial walk and ice flows. Further, walking along the Kali Gandaki gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, you once again begin walking at a relatively lower altitude.
This time, the trekking route has narrow alleyways and apple orchards till Kagbeni (2,804 m) and Jomsom (2,743 m). From Jomsom, the trail drops down to Ghorepani village (2,874 m) via Kalopani (2,480 m) and Tatopani (1,190 m). Further, the trail enters a forested path. The last part of the Annapurna Circuit trekking route passes by lush forests of rhododendron and pine.
Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek Attractions
Many reasons make the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek a must-do trek in the Himalayas, and that is why it's very famous among trekkers. Below are some reasons that make Annapurna Circuit trekking one of our favorite treks.
Adventurous and rewarding teahouse trek in the Himalayas
Classic Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the best teahouse treks in the Himalayas. Teahouse trek means simple accommodation yet heart-warming hospitality of the locals. Every second on the trail is rewarding. Even though many trekkers are hitting the trail in the peak trekking season, you'll still find yourself detached from all the chaos and enjoy the serene views.
Trek through beautiful villages and pass by many wonders of nature
The Classic Annapurna Circuit trail ascends through the foothills of verdant hills and passes by remote villages like Chamje, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Manang, Yak Kharka, Kagnebi, Jomsom, Tatopani, Ghorepani, etc. Apart from them, there are many other small settlement areas along the trekking route.
The trail is full of ascends and descends through forests, pastures, and gorges. You'll be crossing many suspension bridges and small streams. Likewise, you'll come across waterfalls and terraced fields.
Friendly locals and rich cultural heritage
The Classic Annapurna Circuit trekking route is resided by locals from different communities like Brahmin, Chhetri, Magar, Gurung, etc. The locals are very friendly and welcoming. They'll always help you.
We visit temples and stupas on the way. Likewise, many places are wrapped with colorful prayer flags. While staying overnight in the villages, we have a glimpse of the rich culture and practices of the locals.
Stunning mountain views and diverse sceneries
During the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek, one can see breathtaking views of Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6,441 m), Mt. Fishtail (6,993 m), Mt. Gangapurna (7,455 m), Mt. Tukuche (6,920 m), Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), and many others. Likewise, the trek offers diverse sceneries of verdant valleys and rushing rivers to dry, barren hills dominated by snowy mountains.
Cross challenging Thorong La pass
Thorong La, also known as Thorung La, is a high mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 meters. Located in the Damodar Himal, north of the Mt. Annapurna, Thorong La pass connects Manang village in the east to the Muktinath temple in the Lower Mustang in the west.
The trail to the top of the pass is steep and rugged. Careful walking is needed. Depending upon the season, the trail may be covered with snow too. From the top of the pass, one can see jaw-dropping mountain scenery.
Get blessing in Muktinath temple
Muktinath temple is one of the pilgrimage sites in Nepal. It is a significant temple for Hindus and Buddhists. Hundreds of pilgrims visit this temple to worship every year. On the temple premises, you can see locals selling Saligrams and other precious stones.
Inside the temple, there are 108 sprouts. Taking bath in these sprouts is believed to forgive all the sins by the god. Likewise, there are many small shrines around the main temple.
Walk along the Kali Gandaki gorge and apple orchards
Kali Gandaki gorge is the deepest gorge in the world. It separates the Dhaulagiri range and Annapurna range. Back in the day, this gorge acted as a trade route between Tibet and India for centuries.
Likewise, as the trail begins to approach Marpha and Kegbeni, we pass by lovely apple orchards. These apples are very delicious. On the way, we may stop at the local factory to taste apple brandy and other assortments made from apples.
Enjoy hot springs in Tatopani
Tatopani is known for its natural hot springs. While descending, we spend a night in Tatopani. The hot springs are managed by locals and we need to pay a few extra bucks to enjoy them. The natural hot springs will relieve our sore muscles and also help us get rid of skin diseases. Therefore, do not forget to pack a swimsuit and carry extra cash with you.
Witness gorgeous sunrise from Poon Hill
In the later part of the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek, we hike to Poon Hill, located above Ghorepani village. At 3,210 meters, Poon Hill offers excellent sunrise and snow-capped mountain views. It is a famous viewpoint in the lower Annapurna region, and often trekkers visit this place as a single short trek- the Poon Hill trek.