Pokhara is dream destination for all trek lovers. This beautiful lakeside city sits on the lap of the Himalayas, hence numerous trekking trips – short 2-3 days easy trek, 3-5 days moderate level trek to 12-15 days hard trekking trips can well be planned from Pokhara. Not experiencing any of the trekking trips is like not visiting Pokhara at all. Through trekking, one gets a closer experience with the majestic Himalayan Mountains (Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Machapuchare – Fishtail, Himal etc), Hill top views, farming lands and villages, interaction with local people, relishing local food, experience of staying at tea houses etc.
To book a trekking trip, it is best to finalise it after reaching Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are numerous tour shops selling trekking trips here. You just have to negotiate and finalise. These trekking tours are available online as well but booking on the spot will fetch you better prices. All trekking trips usually includes entire transportation, permits (TIMS and ACAP), trained guide, porter, food, stay in tents or teahouses etc. If one requires woollen jackets, caps, gloves, trekking boots or anything, it is readily available in the local market area. Cost of the trekking depends upon the type of trek taken, number of days, facilities taken like guide, porter etc. Usually they all starts 120 US$ and goes up to 500 US$.
If planning a trekking trip on your own (without a guide and package), it is the cheapest option but it is only advisable for trained trekkers and not amateurs.
Following are some of the most common trekking trips from Pokhara.
1. GHODEPANI POON HILL TREK
It is the most popular choice of trek from Pokhara commonly known as The Poon Hill Trek. This is an easy 3-days trek from Pokhara, therefore perfect for amateurs. If one wants to go further till Grandruk Village, it will take 4 – 5 days. Trek starts and ends at Naya Pul (2-hour bus drive from Pokhara Lakeside). Highest elevation point from this trek is at 10,532 feet. This trek offers spectacular view of Annapurna, Fishtail and other mountain peaks specially around sunrise and sunset. One can also enjoy trekking through the forest areas and interacting with the local Gurung people and staying at teahouses. It is an easy trek for all those who are looking forward to experiencing beautiful mountains and hill views of Nepal but have limited time to spare. March to May and September to November are the best months to do this trek.
2. ROYAL TREK
This is again a short 2-3 days trek from Pokhara especially for amatuers. This trek starts from lakeside Pokhara and ends at Begnas Taal & Rupa Taal. The Trek is named after Prince Charles of United Kingdom – as he did this trek in the early 80’s. The trek takes you through rhododendron forests, green valleys, farming lands, rice terraces, lush green hills, traditional villages and provides beautiful glimpses of Annapurna, Machapuchare (Fish Tail) and various other mountain peaks. Highest elevation point from this trek is at 5675 feet. March to June and September to November are the best months to do this trek.
3. ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP
As the name suggests, the trek takes you till the foothills of Annapurna Mountains. This trek is of a moderate to high level and requires approx. 7-9 days from Pokhara. If looking forward to seeing the extraordinary beauty of the mountains of Nepal (Mt Annapurna, Mt Hiun Chuli, Mt Lamyung, Mt Daulagiri etc), this trek is perfect as the landscapes, hill views and mountain views this trek will provide no other trek can. Highest elevation point from this trek is at 13,550 feet. This trek also starts and ends at Naya Pul (2-hour bus drive from Pokhara Lakeside). February, March, April, May, October, November and December are best months for this trek.
4. MARDI HIMAL TREK
This is the most recent trek route compared to all the others. Mardi Himal is basically the east side of the Annapurna Base Camp. This trek is of a moderate level and requires 5-6 days from Pokhara. The trek also provides magical views of green valleys, local villages, various hill views and sight of snow clad Mt Fishtail, Mt Annapurna South, Mt Hiun Chuli, Mt Mardi Himal and other mountain peaks. Highest elevation point of the trek is at the height of 14,764 feet. September, October, November, December, February, March, April and May are the best months for this trek.
5. DHAMPUS VILLAGE TREKKING VIA AUSTRALIAN CAMP
This is the shortest trek available from Pokhara. It is just for 2-3 days. Dhampus village is populated by the local Gurung community. The trip provides viewpoints from three popular places – Dhampus, Naudanda and Sarangkot. Australian base camp can also be covered along with this trek. Even though it is a short trek but this trek provides beautiful hill view of Pokhara valley and Dhampus village. One can also enjoy sunset and sunrise view from Sarangkot with majestic Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Fishtail Mountains in the backdrop. It is an extremely easy trek. Highest elevation point from this trek is at 17,552 feet. February, March, April, May, October, November and December are the best months for this trek.
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