Nepal

Trekking in Nepal – 5 day Ghorepani-Ghandruk (Poon Hill) loop

I have been to Nepal once before and loved it, however I didn’t get to do a trek – the one thing everyone visits Nepal to do! So, when I had the chance to go back again guess what was on the top of the list! We didn’t want a trek that was too long as we were only in Nepal for 2 weeks, so we decided on the Poon Hill trek. It was only 5 days, didn’t go high enough to require acclimatization and was supposed to be relatively easy compared to most other treks!

map
A map of our trek – in bold are the places we stayed at night. (Image taken from: http://www.tibetdiscovery.com/nepal-tours/ghorepani-poonhill-trek/)

We arrived in Pokhara and decided to go with Amrit Travels and Tours for our trek as we had heard good reviews from other travellers. We visited their shop in the morning and 3 hours later they had organised our permits and a guide for us with no hassles at all! Whilst we were out trekking they also stored our big bags and then upon our return had a room available for us at their associated Marigold Hotel. We decided to have a guide, you can go without but honestly I think you’d be a bit silly not to. It made it a lot easier for us and we were giving one more Nepalese person a source of income! Our guides name was Krishna and he was wonderful – we definitely recommend him for anyone looking to trek in the Annapurna Range!

_mg_0443

In terms of gear we had our fake North Face down jackets from Thamel, some snacks, 2 packs (a 30L and a 40L), 2 sleeping bags, 2 metal water bottles and aquatabs. I wore my 7 year old walking shoes, James had some walking shoes from Kmart and we also had a beanie and scarf each. If I did it again I would definitely invest in some gloves and some explorer socks however apart from that I think we did pretty well! Even though I used a stick to help me through the ice on Day 3, I still wouldn’t have brought trekking poles as they would have been a pain in the arse to carry for the other 4 days.

_mg_037000

Day 1 – Nayapul to Tikhedhunga

Sleeping elevation: 1540m
Hours trekking: 3

The first day of the trek was relatively easy – we only walked for about 3 hours and along a dirt road. It took us a little while to get used to our shoes and packs, however after wishing we hadn’t brought sleeping bags (due to the difficulty in carrying them) we were glad we did as it was freezing cold and we arrived to find our bed had no blankets on it! I’m sure they had blankets available however we ended up being very warm and cosy in our sleeping bags.

We discovered that evening that all the prices for food and accommodation are set by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) which is great as it means that it doesn’t matter where you eat or stay, the prices will be the same. The only bad thing about our first day was that it was cloudy and misty so we didn’t get to see much, however it just made our first glimpse of the mountains on day 2 all the more impressive. We had a good sleep that night with no beeping vehicles, no loud music and just the sound of the nearby waterfall – it was so peaceful!

_mg_0141

_mg_0172

Day 2 – Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani

Sleeping elevation: 2874m
Hours trekking: 7

Day 2 was a lot harder than Day 1! We walked up 3500 stairs in the first 1.5 hours to reach Ulleri, then continued to climb further and further up the mountain! It was physically exhausting and we were so excited when we arrived in Ghorepani only to be told that our teahouse was the one up on top of the next hill… so we had to walk for another 15 minutes up even more stairs!! After lunch we began seeing little droplets of snow in the shaded areas of the trail and we were quite excited (we don’t get much snow in Australia) however by the time we got to our teahouse we were trudging through thick snow and ice. We then realised that while it was misty and rainy yesterday at the lower altitude, that meant that it was snowing higher up – hence the abundance of relatively fresh snow! The view from the teahouse was spectacular and it was the first night where we really felt like we were in the Himalayas.

_mg_0192

_mg_0203

_mg_0215

_mg_0237

_mg_0252

Day 3 – Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani

Sleeping elevation: 2595m
Hours trekking: 8.5

Day 3 was exhausting. We woke up at 4.45am to hike up to Poon Hill (3210m) in order to watch the sunrise which was truly breathtaking. The trail was icy but it was fine on the way up as most of the snow had re-frozen overnight and we were some of the first people on the trail for the day. The way down on the other hand was a different story… it took twice as long for me to get down as I kept slipping over on the ice! From the top of Poon Hill it was absolutely freezing however we had an amazing view of Annapurna South, Annapurna 1 and Macchapucchre as well as the smaller surrounding mountains and valleys.

_mg_0271

_mg_0282

After warming back up, having some breakfast and finding me a stick we set off for the day into the snow. The trail today was across the crest of the mountain which meant instead of a constant uphill trek we went up and down a lot. It was beautiful scenery however it was hard to appreciate because I was concentrating so hard on walking without falling – by lunchtime I was incredibly sick of it and very frustrated! We came across a few gorgeous dogs on day 3 and managed to get some very nice cuddles out of one of them which cheered me up a bit! After lunch Krishna promised there wouldn’t be anymore snow or ice on the trail and he was right. I was ecstatic to reach Tadapani after another 2 hours of trekking and we had a beautiful view out our bedroom window which made it all worth it. It took us 7 hours to trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani, plus the 1.5 hours it took to get up and back from Poon Hill so it was definitely a long day!

_mg_0321

_mg_0299

_mg_0217

_mg_0336

Day 4 – Tadapani to Ghandruk

Sleeping elevation: 1940m
Hours trekking: 2.5

Todays trek was a relief as there was no snow! My knees were beginning to seize up due to the constant downhill slope, but cardio wise it was easy. After a short 2.5 hour trek we arrived in Ghandruk for lunch before heading out to see Old Ghandruk and the Gurung Museum, then walking down to the Visitors Centre. It was nice not having to walk all day and actually being able to stop and appreciate a town. The town also had some super cute puppies which is always a bonus! From our guesthouse roof we had a really good view of the mountains and could see the dramatic weather changes on top of Macchapucchre which was quite interesting.

_mg_0354

_mg_0357

_mg_0377

_mg_0363

Day 5 – Ghandruk to Nayapul

Sleeping elevation: 915m (Pokhara)
Hours trekking: 4

Our last day of trekking was another easy day cardio wise however my knees were absolutely wrecked which slowed us down quite a bit! We trekked down a lot of steep stairs for the first 3 hours before walking along a dirt road for the final hour and back to the starting point. It was an amazing feeling walking back over the bridge that marks the starting point however we were also quite sad as it meant the trek was over and we would be going home soon!

_mg_0419

_mg_0414

_mg_0434

Luckily for me James is quite creative and made a video of our trek! I do prefer video over photo when travelling as it really gives others an insight into what it’s truly like. Overall it was an amazing experience and I would definitely trek in the Himalayas again!

Thanks for reading!
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Receive special offers, free travel tips and notifications of new content!

Invalid email address

We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment

Or

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *