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Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek- A Complete Trekkers' Guide

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek- A Complete Trekkers’ Guide

Ghorepani- Poonhill Trek- a perfect trekkers’ destination in Annapurna region located in the heart of Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri and alluring Machhapuchhre( Fishtail).

"A Comprehensive Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek Guide- An Absolute and Complete Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek Guide for the Freshers/Beginners"

An easy trek even the beginners can do, the Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek is a fine choice for the beginners who want to experience a week trek in Nepal in a blissful Annapurna region to the highest elevation of the trek, 3200m-Poonhill just above beautiful Pokhara city.

The trek begins from Kathmandu or Pokhara, and takes you through deep woods of Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area in the world and ultimately takes you to Poonhill through Ghorepani passing through natural water falls, local villages and terraced farmlands. On reaching Poonhill you will mesmerized to witness stunning sunrise with mountain panoramas including giant Dhaulagiri, Annapurna massif, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal. 

Moreover, Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek can be done even in 3-4 days from Pokhara-Pokhara. Actually, these days, during winter and post Autumn, the four-wheel jeep goes up to Ghandruk/Ulleri or even Ghorepani. So, the trekkers can take Poonhill Jeep drive directly up to Ghorepani from Pokhara or even from Kathmandu. 

If you are looking for a bit difficult trekking trip in Annapurna region with Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek, you can go with ABC Trek with Poonhill using Annapurna Base Camp Jeep Ride. 

However, the best way to experience the true flavor of Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek is to begin it from Nayapool/Birethanti and ascend up to Ulleri and get to Ghorepani. Ascending up to the apex of Poonhill, it’s beautiful to descend down to Ghandruk and walk down to Birethanti again. This way of doing this trek is also known as Poonhill Circuit Trek. Actually, Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek and Poonhill Trek or Poonhill Sunrise Trek or Poonhill Circuit Trek are all same. 

Why Poonhill/ Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek? 

  • To experience an easy trek in Nepal in Annapurna region 
  • To have a beautiful glimpse of Nepalese rural life and people
  • To fully enjoy the nature along with natural water falls, farmlands, landscapes and deep woods
  • To enjoy the diverse species of flora and fauna in Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area of the world
  • To witness stunning sunrise and sunset from Poonhill (3200m)
  • To capture/relish and witness magnificent mountain summits including Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal
  • To relish local people’s culture, custom and local food items 
  • To celebrate the solitude into the wild nature of Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri
  • To explore the local towns like Ghorepani and Ghandruk 

How difficult is Ghorepani- Poonhill Trek? 

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek is actually for beginners and of course an easy trekking trip in Annapurna region. Actually, even there is no age restriction for Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek.  | 404However, children below 7 are not recommended to do this trek. 

This is a pleasant walk through serene landscapes and woods of Annapurna Conservation Area enjoying natural waterfalls and local settlements. However, climbing the stone steps of Ulleri, sometimes, will be tough for the beginners/trekkers. Apart from that, the Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek will be a rewarding experience walking into the heart of Annapurna massif. 


Also, in some cases, the downhill with stone steps from the section Ghorepani-Tadapani- Ghandruk, again, sometimes, will be challenging for some elderly people because this section is steep downhill which results the pain in the leg muscles- all the time stretching . 

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek Gallery 

   

Can Beginners do this trek? 

Otherwise, Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek is graded as an easy trekking and every beginner can do it without any difficulty and there in no threat of altitude sickness on this trek as the trek takes you to 3200m as the highest elevation that is Poonhill. Beginners first do this trek in Annapurna region and then go for Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Upper Mustang or Mardi Himal Trek. 

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trekking Map 1. Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek Itinerary ( Kathmandu-Kathmandu)

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu 1,320 m and transfer to hotel.

Day02: In Kathmandu trek preparation and sightseeing tour.

Day03: Drive to Pokhara 860 m. 05 hour drive covering 154 km / 96 miles. 

Day04: Drive to Nayapul / Bhirethati, trek to Tirkhedhunga-1,460 m -06 hrs. 

Day05: Trek to Ghorepani village 2,885 m via Ulleri- 06 hrs.

Day06: Morning hike to Poon Hill and trek to Tadapani 2,640 m - 06 hrs.

Day07: Trek to Ghandruk 2,012 m / 6,601 feet -04 hours.

Day08: Day08:day08: back to Pokhara and transfer to hotel-04 hrs.

Day09: This is the rest day in Pokhara and doing halfday sightseeing around city.

Day10: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 11: International departure for homeward bound.


2. Ghorepani Poonhill Trek Itienrary with Chitwan Safari 

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu 1,320 m and transfer to hotel.

Day02: In Kathmandu trek preparation and sightseeing tour.

Day03: Drive to Chitwan 180 km /112 miles-05 hrs.

Day04: Full day jungle activities and wildlife safari.
Day05: Drive to Pokhara 860 m. 05 hour drive covering 154 km / 96 miles. 

Day06: Drive to Nayapul / Bhirethati, trek to Tirkhedhunga-1,460 m -06 hrs. 

Day07: Trek to Ghorepani village 2,885 m via Ulleri- 06 hrs.

Day08: Morning hike to Poon Hill and trek to Tadapani 2,640 m - 06 hrs.

Day09: Trek to Ghandruk 2,012 m / 6,601 feet -04 hours.

Day10: Drive back to Pokhara and transfer to hotel-04 hrs.

Day 11: This is the rest day in Pokhara and doing halfday sightseeing around city.

Day12: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu.
Day13: International departure for homeward bound.


3. Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek ( Pokhara -Pokhara) 

Day 01: Drive to Pokhara 860 m. 05 hour drive covering 154 km / 96 miles. 

Day02: Drive to Nayapul / Bhirethati, trek to Tirkhedhunga-1,460 m -06 hrs. 

Day03: Trek to Ghorepani village 2,885 m via Ulleri- 06 hrs.

Day04: Morning hike to Poon Hill and trek to Tadapani 2,640 m - 06 hrs.

Day05: Trek to Ghandruk 2,012 m / 6,601 feet -04 hours.

Day06: Drive back to Pokhara and transfer to hotel-04 hrs.
4. Rapid Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek ( Pokhara -Pokhara) 

Day1: Drive to Nayapul / Bhirethati, trek to Tirkhedhunga-1,460 m -06 hrs. 


Day2: Trek to Ghorepani village 2,885 m via Ulleri- 06 hrs.


Day3: Morning hike to Poon Hill and trek to Ghandruk via Tadapani 2,640 m  and drive back to Pokhara

The above Poonhill Trek is 3 days Poonhill Trek itinerary and people still do it through it is very tight schedule with only 3 days from Pokhara to Pokhara and take international flight on the same day returning back to Kathmandu.  

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek Route description 

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek begins from Kathmandu until the Pokhara international airport is officially opened for the international travelers. After Pokhara International Airport is opened officially, Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek will, mainly, begin from Pokhara city. 

To begin Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek from Kathmandu you can take either flight or bus ride to Pokhara. If you choose flight, it will be of 30 minutes and if you choose to drive, it will be of 6-7 hours drive. Trekkers can use various forms of transportation like tourist bus, private jeep/ car and local bus to get Pokhara from Kathmandu. While taking road transportation, trekkers/passengers may have to face huge traffic and other complications like landslides on the way to Pokhara from Kathmandu. 

The drive for Pokhara begins from Kathmandu, especially, from the tourist bus park located at Khusibun, Kaladhara near Thamel, just five minutes walk from central Thamel and takes you to Thankot via Kalanki. If you take a private jeep or car, the vehicle will go to pick you up at the hotel where you stay and this drive is going to be more comfortable. After passing Thankot, you will begin to enjoy this drive to Pokhara with incredible rural landscapes and local settlements. This winding highway, Prithvi Highway takes along the Trishuli river. The Trishuli River is very popular for White Water River Rafting in Nepal. 

There is a confluence of two rivers at Mugling: Trishuli and Marshyangdi. Actually, Mugling divides the roads: one to Chitwan and the other to Pokhara. We take the right or the straight one which takes you to Aanbookhaireni and Damauli and finally to Pokhara. 

Recently, the section of the road from Damauli to Pokhara is being widened and the  passengers may have to experience some bumpy moments on the way till you get smooth road of Pokhara city for few hours. 

When you arrive Pokhara, you will certainly stay in Lakeside of Pokhara which is a heaven on the earth. The lake Phewa with deep blue water and the serene surrounding with mountain panorama make your stay in Pokhara a mesmerizing. 

The incredible Phewa Lake, Davis Fall, Gupteswor Cave, Seti River Gorge, Tibetan Rufegee Camp, Bindhyabasini Temple and mountain summits like Machhapuchhre and Annapurna are the most astonishing highlights of Pokhara city.  You can explore and visit these popular sites in Pokhara before you begin your Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek or after you come back from the trek. 

Next, you take another short drive for 2 hours to Nayapool/Birethanti to begin Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek. The walk officially begins from here. If you want to do this trek anti-clock wise, then, you can directly drive to Ghandruk village, a beautiful Gurung People Village. But, majority of the people prefer and feel comfortable to do this trek clockwise. 

The trail from Birethanti gradually ascends through local settlements and serene woods. You need to get your permits checked here at Birethanti where Annapurna Conservation Area Office  is located. Again, the permits are checked at Lower Ghorepani. So , keep your permits safe. You will show it to the officials at Biretahnti when you complete your trek at the end. If you choose to end this trek at Kande via Australian Camp or Dhampus, you will show your permits at Pothana for the last time. 

What's more? 

After you pass the village named Birethanti, you will ascend  up to Tikhedhunga where you stay first night or if you arrive earlier, you can further ascend up to Ulleri. While spending the night at Tikhedhunga, the river by the village will enjoy the night with Musical River flowing melodiously.  This music of the flowing river will heal your pains and wash away stress.

The next day, or on the same day after lunch you will ascend up to Ulleri Village. It is beautiful village surrounded by green forest and the landscapes are incredible from here. 

After passing through the village of Ulleri, we will have a serene walk through deep woods of Annapurna Conservation Area. Ulleri/ Banthanti can be reached by Poonhill Jeep ride from Pokhara these days in 3 hours. Trekkers will also enjoy the natural water falls on the trail before arriving Lower Ghorepani. When you arrive at Lower Ghorepani, your permits are checked and you will finally ascend up to main/upper Ghorepani village which unveils entire Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range. You will be stunned to witnessing such an incredible mountain panorama just in front of your eyes. You really don’t believe your eyes. 

You stay overnight here and ascend Poonhill early in the morning for sunrise and mountain views. If the weather is fair, we will witness stunning sunrise with mesmerizing mountain panorama including Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and Ganesh Himal. People also perform yoga and meditation at the apex of Poonhill in the morning and in the evening too. Actually, Poonhill Yoga Trek is also very popular among the yoga enthusiasts. 

Poonhill is vantage point for mountain and sunrise especially for Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. Poonhill has no teahouses and the lodges for overnight stay. But, early in the morning and in the evening, trekkers can get tea and coffee there at the top. 

You stay here for almost one hour for the views and walk down to Ghorepani for breakfast and prepare the walk to Tadapani with other incredible views on the way. 

As you leave Ghorepani, initially, you will ascend through deep woods up to the top of the hill following stone steps going all the way up and enjoy the magnificent views and then undertake a walk along the flat trail. After walking some minutes’ flat trail, you will walk down to the river and finally walk up to Tadapani Village where you stay overnight with beautiful local food items. 

The next morning will be a beautiful and pleasant with stunning sunrise. After your breakfast, you will walk down to Ghandruk today. Within 2 hours of walk, you will arrive at Ghandruk, a traditional Gurung people’s settlement. 

Ghandruk Village 

Ghandruk is a traditional settled by Gurung people, one of the most indigenous people of Nepal. The village has more than 200 traditional houses representing their ancient culture and tradition. The houses are themselves lodges and hotels for the trekkers. The local people run these lodges and hotels. Moreover, it has cultural museums, playgrounds, schools, traditional taps, helipad and bakeries. 

Rest of the route.............

After you relax and explore at Ghandruk Village, you will go either other which means Landruk village to end your Ghorepani-Ponhill Trek at Kande or Phedi via Pothana and Australian Camp/ Dhampus village or you will walk down to Nayapool frm Ghandruk. 

Optionally, you can take local bus or private jeep/car to retrace to Pokhara. It will be much more convenient than walking down spending hours to Birethanti or Nayapool. 

Required Permits 

One requires collecting two different trekking permits for Ghorepani-Ponhill TrekTIMS Card ( Trekking Information Management Card and  Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit are the two must obtained permits for Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek.

These two trekking permits can be collected through the travel company you are collaborating with for your trek to Poonhill. The TIMS Card costs USD 20 and the Annapurna conservation Area Entry Permit Costs USD 30. 

You must present your trekking permits on the trail ( at Birethanti, Lower Ghorepani and again at Birethanti while concluding the trek or optionally at Pothana if you want to end this trek at Kande or Phedi via Dhampus or Australian Camp). 

The trekking leader will do it for you. You needn’t worry about it. After the trekking company obtains the permits for your Poonhill Trek, they will handle it properly. 

You just need to provide them some photographs and copy of passport for obtaining these permits for Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek. 

What are the major places to explore? 

All the places/destinations we encounter on the way are equally popular for their natural and cultural beauty. However, some places are really famous and incredible to explore. They are: 

1. Pokhara

Pokhara is naturally blessed city with pleasant weather condition throughout the year. Not only international tourists, even the domestic people are lured to go Pokhara and enjoy there. 

Actually, without being Pokhara, one cannot do Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek  One can explore and rejoice in Pokhara before or while concluding the trek. 

The major places to visit and explore in Pokhara are: Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake, Davis Fall, Seti River Gorege, Tibetan Refugee Camp, Gupteswor Mahaded Cave, Bindhyapasini Temple, Talbarahi Temple, World Peace Pagoda/ White Stupa and Massive Shiva Statue. Also, one can do Paragliding, Ultra-Light flight, helicopter tour to Annapurna Base Camp, Bunjee Jumping and Paragliding in Pokhara. 

Since Pokhara has very cool lakeside, travelers can enjoy with beautiful food items roaming around it. 

2. Ghorepani 

Ghorepani/Ghodepani is a town directly facing towards Annapurna Himalayas on the way to Poonhill. The town is located at an altitude of 2800m above the sea level. Before climbing Poonhill, trekkers have to spend a night at Ghorepani for acclimatization. 
This village/town has around 50 lodges/hotels for trekkers. These lodges are owned by local people. The village Ghorepani offers incredible views of Annapurna Himalayas including Dhaulagiiri and Machhapuchhre. Also, the village has some local shops where you can get some necessary stuff
for you. 

3. Poonhill 

Poonhill is a vantage point, probably the best one in Annapurna region. Some people claim that Poonhill is a better viewpoint than Annapurna Base Camp and Mardi Himal Base Camp taken by Mardi Himal Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek. . 

Poonhill is located at an elevation of 3200m above the sea level. It is 4000m climb from the village Ghandruk. The Poonhill is a serene hill with cool wind and green deep woods. One requires extra permit to go up to the apex of Poonhill. Foreigners have to pay 150 Rs. for going up to the top of the Pooonhill. 

The top of the hill offers you marvelous sunrise, sunset and mountain panoramas and the surrounding landscapes. The mountain views include Dhaulagiri, Annapurna Massif, Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu. These mountain views will be stunningly captivating. 
Also, people love performing yoga and meditation facing directly to the mountain with magnificent sunset and sunrise. 

3. Ghandruk Village 

Ghandruk Village is a traditional/ classical Gurung People’s village located opposite to Landruk and just below Tadapani villages. The village has more than 500 traditional Gurung houses which itself seems to be like a live museum for the visitors. 

Moreover, the village has some museums representing their ancient history, culture and civilization. Living with Gurung people and tasting the local food items will be an exciting moment for the trekkers here at Ghandruk. You can enjoy the bakery items, coffee, local foods and other dishes you like. The village has some grocery shops where you can buy some necessary items for you. 

Some FAQS 

1. Do I need Guide and Porter for Ghoepani –Poonhill Trek? 

Yes, you require hiring a guide for your Poonhill Trek/ Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek but porter is optional. Actually, without accompanying licensed trekking guide, you can not enter into Annapurna Conservation Area and Ghorepani-Poonhill Trekking Trail. This is Nepal Government’s rule for the trekkers so that the trekkers can feel safe and can get authentic information during the trek. Guide will help you finding the right trail, explaining the flora and faunas, local culture and people and especially the mountain views. 

In case of porter, if you feel you cannot carry your luggage and if it is going to be burdensome for you, you can ask your travel partner to arrange a porter for you. If you are a beginner, then, we recommend you to hire a porter because porter is going to help you in every step of your walk carrying your luggage/stuffs all round the trip. This way, you can feel very comfortable walking ups and downs and taking care of your all stuffs. 

2. Should I give tips for porter and guide? If so, how much should I allocate? 

It ups to you and your satisfaction. However, tips are expected after a hard work; walking ups and downs leading you all round the trek and carrying your luggage/stuffs. 
There is not exact rule of tipping for guide and porter. But, simply put, allocating USD 10 per porter and guide per day will fine for them. If you want to give some more tips, then, this guideline doesn’t restrict you. You can go with your own wish. 

3. What will be the extra expenses on the trek? 

The extra expenses on the trek will on drinks, extra item of foods you love to have, extra activities you want to do on the trek and in Pokhara. How much extra expenses should you carry depends on how prodigal you are or how stingy you are. You can make some donations on the trail to some community, school, and hospitals and for some government aids. 
Normally, 200USD will be enough for extra expenses on the Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek. 

4. How much weight will porter carry? 

The porter can carry maximum of 18-20 kgs weight of your stuffs. Actually, there is no such things that need to be carried during your Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek except your personal stuffs since the trekkers are going to use accommodation and foods provided by lodges on the trail. The only things you need to pack up are the extra pieces of clothing, slippers, some light snacks and first aid kit. Otherwise , you will get the things you require and want on the trail and you are going to walk only for two days and return back to Pokhara again. So, don’t pack unnecessary stuffs that make your porter burdensome on the trail. 

5. Where can I store the unnecessary stuffs? 

You can store the unnecessary stuffs either in Kathmandu hotel or at the office of the travel company you are using for your Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek or also can store at hotel in Pokhara. Don’t worry about the storage of your extra luggage and stuffs because they will keep them very safely till you return to receive them back. You will be given tags of your luggage and don’t lose them until you are there to claim them. 
If you want to learn some more authentic information about Nepal travelling, you visit our link Nepal Travel Info. 

6. How will be the food and accommodation on the trek? 

In Pokhara, before you commence the trek and after you wrap up it, you will enjoy luxury accommodation and variety of food items you like but you have to depend on the accommodation and foods provided by the local lodges owned by the local people. It means they may not have such variety of accommodation and food items like the hotels provide in Pokhara. 

However, the accommodation and food items you are going to have on the trail will be authentic enough for a couple of nights or for a single night stay. The meals will be fresh and hygienic and the accommodation will be clean and comfortable enough. No need to panic about it. Your trekking leader will try his/her best for the arrangement of foods and accommodation on the trail. 

How much does the Ghorepani trek cost? 

Ghorepani trek costs ranges between USD 550 to 700 depending on the services you want. If you want a luxury trip to Ghorepani from Kathmandu and Pokhara. If you love economical trekking to Ghorepani with ordinary  or tourist standard accommodation  and other services, you can do your Ghorepani Trek at USD 550.

Unlike that, if you are luxury seeker, you can go with Luxury Ghoreapani Trek. The Luxury Ghorepani Trek includes luxury accommodation, transportation and other services through the trek from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. 

The accommodation will be at least 3 star and there will be luxury car/jeep ride to the trailhead and back to Kathmandu. The other services like guide and porter, the meals you will have during the trip will be upgraded ones and you will feel the true luxury of the trek you are doing to Ghorepani and Poonhill from Kathmandu. 

To make your Ghorepani-Poon Hill trek more luxury, you can add domestic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back. This way, you can skip the heavy and terrible traffic and interruptions on the way to Pokhara  and back. Sometimes, you will suck in heavy traffic on the Prithvi Highway for more than 8 hours. So, it is recommended to fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu and do the same while returning from Pokhara during your Poonhill-Ghorepani Trek. 

Even you can enjoy luxury massage in Ghorepani as a part of Luxury Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek. You can aks your trek leader or trekking partner to book it for you if you want beforehand. 

The cost of the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek USD 550-700 includes all necessary trekking permits, transportation, foods( breakfast only- lunch  and dinner will be yours), guide and porter and accommodation all round the trip. You can make your own choice of lunch and dinner so that the trip can be more flexible and more luxurious. 

So, prepare and be ready to pay USD 550-700 for your Ghorepani Trek depending on the type of service you want, either ordinary or luxury, from Kathmandu to Kathmandu, step at the top of Poonhill (3210m) via Ghorepani (2800m) and celebrate astonishing sunrise with marvelous mountain views including Mt. Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu. 

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