Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is a popular, short trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal.
For information on preparing for this trek, including when to go, what to bring, what permits are required, and safety precautions including altitude sickness, and water contamination, see Trekking in Nepal. Contact here http://www.taan.org.np for full information of Nepal.
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek of Nepal is one of the most popular and easiest treks in Annapurna region, well suited for those short for time or hoping for an shorter, easier treking holiday than trekking the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp Trek. Situated at an altitude of 3200m and just beneath the greatest Himalayan Range, the area is famous for fascinating traditional villages, ethnic communities, rhododendron forests and magnificent 360-degree views of more than ten snowcapped mountains. It is the easiest and shortest trek that doesn't require any experience in trekking. During the season, the route can be congested but it is possible to trek Poon Hill any time of the year. The Ghorepani Poonhill trek starts from Nayapul, near Pokhara, and takes 3-5 days walking at a moderate pace.
Most trekkers and hikers start in Pokhara, spending a night or two here before heading out for the trek. Pokhara is 200km away from Kathmandu Tourist buses and local microbuses leave Kathmandu for Pokhara early in the morning at 7:30 till late afternoon. It is easy to find a tourist bus ticket from travel agencies in Kathmandu. Travelling on a bus takes 6-7 hours to reach Pokhara. Taking a flight is another option to reach Pokhara, which takes just 45 minutes to land on Pokhara airport.
From Pokhara, take a taxi or bus to Nayapul, which is at the base of trek. Buses to Nayapul operate from Baglung bus park in the heart of the city, cost 200-250 Rs. per person, and take roughly two hours. Taxis can be significantly faster but will cost 2000 Rs. for up to four people, though fitting more than three people in the small taxis might prove a struggle. Like the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the road from Pokhara to Nayapul is currently under (re)construction (November 2018) and is heavily potholed in many areas. Expect progress to be slow during poor weather.
To trek in Annapurna, you must possess a TIMS card and an Annapurna Conservation Area pass, which cost 2000 Rs. and 3000 Rs. respectively (November 2018). These should be purchased before arrival in either Pokhara or Kathmandu. These are available in Birethanti, which is the first village you pass through starting from Nayapul, but will cost more (2000 Rs. and 6000 Rs. respectively). For more information, refer to Trekking in Nepal.
What to Pack
The Ghorepani Poon Hill trek can be fairly categorized as an 'easy' trek and it is therefore possible to pack quite lightly. Some of the important things you should carry are two pairs of pants, 2-3 thermal tops, 3-5 pairs of socks and underwear, a waterproof jacket, good hiking shoes, a reusable water bottle, toilet paper, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit and snacks. It can get cold at night, particularly at higher altitudes, so you should also pack warm layers for sleeping in, however, sleeping bags and towels are generally unnecessary as tea houses will provide both bed linen and towels. In addition, bring cash as there are no ATMs on the mountain.
Budget ~2000-3000 Rs. per person per day, depending on how much you wish to spend. This will cover accommodation, food and water. There are many vendors hawking food (mostly drinks and snacks, along with seasonal fresh fruit) and souvenirs along the trek, in addition to various restaurants and tea houses. Only cash is accepted and there are no ATMs along the trek so get enough cash out before you leave Pokhara. Prices have gone up in recent years.
Tea houses (small hotels that offer both food and accommodation) and restaurants are scattered along the route. With regard to food, all places offer the exact same menu, which consists of a mix of Nepali and international cuisine along with tea, coffee, and snacks. Prices are set by the "Sanctuary Tourism Entrepreneurs Committee" (STEC) and are fixed. Food does get gradually more expensive as you move up but prices are reasonable. Expect to pay ~800 Rs. for breakfast and dinner (November 2018).
It is not possible to buy water bottles higher up the mountain. Refill stations are instead scattered along the trek and offer purified water for between 50 and 100 Rs. depending on the location.
Most tea houses provide a variety of private room sizes and almost all offer hot showers 24/7 (and will advertise this fact). If travelling solo (i.e. without a guide), you will generally be able to negotiate free accommodation in exchange for eating two meals at the tea house. This is especially true outside of the larger villages. If travelling with a guide, this is not always the case.
Poon Hill stands at the altitude of 3200m. It takes a moderate level of fitness to complete this trek. There is no risk of Altitude Mountain Sickness as there is in other high altitude treks. The trek is a loop and can be done in either direction. The itinerary below is an example and the trek can be accomplished faster or slower.
Phone reception is good and you can expect 4G data coverage along most of the route. Most lodges have internet connection and will charge 100-150 Rs. for access to the WiFi. In addition, most lodges offer a phone charging service and will ask for approximately 100 Rs. for this service.
Return the way you arrived, via taxi or bus from Nayapul to Pokhara.