Annapurna Base Camp Trekking in Nepal

When is the Best time to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Can we do this trek in winter?

March, April, and May in spring, September, October, and November in autumn/fall and February in late winter are the best months to do the Annapurna Base Camp trek. However, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is possible throughout the year.  Trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp in winter might not be as popular as during spring or autumn/ fall, but it is just as mesmerizing. However, the temperatures can get below freezing point at night and in the early morning. In case of heavy snowfall, you might need crampons to cross high passes, or they might be closed. Other than the cold, there are no real challenges of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in winter.

Why Trek the Annapurna Base Camp in winter?

The trekking route is deserted in winter, so, if you’d like to have the mountains to yourself, winter is the time to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The views are clear with only a few trekkers around. For people who love solitude and mountains, winter is the time to trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. Be sure to bring a good pair of thermal wear and down jacket. Annapurna Base Camp is a short trek in the Nepalese Himalaya that takes you the base camp of world’s tenth highest mountain (Annapurna I at 8,091 m). Annapurna is a massif that includes 30 mountain peaks. This trek is one of the most popular trekking in Nepal, mostly because of incredible Himalayan vistas one can enjoy in such a short time. Another feature of this trek is that it is open 12 months a year, regardless of the season.

 How difficult is Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a relatively easier trek.  Unlike other high altitude treks, this one doesn’t need any particular physical fitness level. Of course, being fit makes it easier! But, you don’t mandatorily need any previous trekking experience. Anyone with a stable health condition and determination can be a part of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek-14 Days with Adventure Club Trek.

How is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek Trail/route like?

The trail is naturally not straight ahead. Even though it is a relatively easier trek, the trail goes winding up and down. There are climbs you need to make and forests you need to pass. But, in the company of mighty Annapurna ranges and other mountains over 7,000m, you won’t even realize when you have climbed the infamous 32, 00 steps at Ulleri. Yes, about the steps at Ulleri. Many people seem to take this as a major hurdle. However, it is not. You have to go steady. People over 70 cross this hurdle without much difficulty. In case of any difficulty climbing these steps, you can also hire a horse from Tikhedhunga at a reasonable price.

Besides the ups and downs, the Annapurna Base Camp trail is an exhibition of the stunning mountains in the Annapurna Massif and other Himalayan giants like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, and Paungda Danda along with many others. Since you will be burning quite many calories, bringing along some energy snack bars is a good idea. The best way to make sure that the trek is not difficult on your body is to maintain a slow but steady pace while trekking. Pushing yourself too hard will make any trek difficult.

 Food and accommodation on Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

 Annapurna Base Camp trek is a well-established trekking route with tea-houses at various shops.Tea-houses are typically establishments in the mountain regions of Nepal which function as both lodges and restaurants. These tea-houses are usually family-run businesses.

 Food on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

From Dal Bhat to Mo: Mo (dumplings) and pizza to more, there are all sorts of food available in the Annapurna Base Camp trek trail.  You are expected to eat where you lodge, that is just the unwritten norm of trekking in the mountains. However, if you want to sleep somewhere and eat somewhere else, no one will object to it, verbally.  Breakfast food includes eggs, Tibetan Bread, chapatis, potatoes, tea/coffee, milk and bakery at a few places. Lunch is typically dal bhat, momo, chowmein, pizza, spaghetti, and any filling solid food on the menu which can slightly differ from one tea house to another. Dinner options are pretty similar to that of the lunch. You can have different kinds of soup, Dal Bhat, vegetables, dumplings and such. Food is usually served in the common dining area.

 Accommodation on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

 Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a complete tea house trekking route. You will see a gathering of small houses with usually blue CGI plates for the roof at most stops. Those establishments are called tea houses. Tea houses provide lodging and food in one place. The tea houses have a huge common dining area with a yak dung heater to keep you warm in the evenings.

Most tea-houses have electricity, western toilets and hot shower (Himalayan standard, don’t expect a city standard hot shower where you can control the temperature). A hot shower will cost you extra. Twin rooms are the norm, you will also find dorms which have multiple beds and can be shared with a group of trekkers. You get a simple but sturdy wooden bed with a mattress on top. You also get blankets, but trekkers usually prefer bringing their own sleeping bag.You usually have to share the one toilet facility in your story with other trekkers. Some tea houses have outside toilets and bathrooms. There are some high-end lodges in the Annapurna Base Camp Trekking trail. These relatively more luxurious lodges have private bathrooms and well made-up beds.

 Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary

You can either choose a 12 Days or 14 Days Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary to explore this amazing region. Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you to not only but two base camps-Annapurna Base Camp and Machhapuchhre Base Camp.The stunning landscapes of mighty mountains and layers of hazy hills, Himalayan culture and rhododendron forests make this trek a truly incredible experience.

What is the difference between Annapurna Base Camp 12 Days and 14 Days itinerary? Annapurna Base Camp short trek-12 Days itinerary requires you to fly to Pokhara then drive to Nayapul ( 1 hour) and trek to Tikhedhunga ( 3 hours) the same day. For the Annapurna Base Camp Trek-14 Days itinerary, you have to take a bus ride (7 hours) to Pokhara and stay the night there. Next day, we take a bus ride to Nayapul from where we trek to Tikhedhunga for the night. Both itineraries include Day 1 for arrival in Kathmandu and the final day for departure. So, you are actually on the journey for 10 Days in the 12 Days itinerary and 12 Days in the 14 Days itinerary.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary Details

You arrive in Kathmandu on the first day. The second day we either fly or drive to Pokhara (fly for 12 Days itinerary, Drive for 14 Days).  We start our trek from Nayapul, a small town at an hour’s distance from Pokhara. We trek alongside Modi Khola for 3-4 hours before reaching Tikhedhunga at 1570m for the night. We start early the next day. Today, we trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2840m) crossing the infamous Ulleri steps in the way. It is a 5-7 hours trek amongst Rhododendron trees and varieties of flora and fauna.

The next day, we set off before the break of dawn to Poon Hill. The 45 minutes’ uphill climb is speechlessly beautiful with shooting stars in the sky all around you and the slow unveiling of the mountains. Enjoy the golden hour (sunrise view) over Annapurna and Machhapuchhre Mountain from Poon Hill 3200m. The same day, we trek down to Tadapani and stay the night there. The next day, we trek to Chhomrong, a small but beautiful Gurung settlement. We trek to Dovan the next day. At 2,600 m Dovan is a beautiful settlement by the side of Chhomrong Khola (river).We are on Day 8 of our Annapurna Base Camp Trek-14 Days and today we trek from Dovan (2,600m) to Machhapuchhre Base Camp at 3,700 m.

Although not technically a base camp at Mt. Machhapuchhre is impossible to climb, the base camp tag is popular. The next day we trek from Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp at 4210m. You can enjoy amazing 360-degree views of Annapurna I 8091m, Annapurna South 7219m, Machhapuchhre (Mt. Fishtail) 6997m and other surrounding mountains. We stay overnight at a lodge in Annapurna Base Camp. The next day we descend to Bamboo (2,345m) through rhododendron forest. We trek to Jhinudanda the next day. You can enjoy natural hot spring bath here.

Descending, even more, we trek down to Nayapul and take a jeep/bus to Pokhara. The next day we fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu marking the end of our Annapurna Base Camp 14-Days Itinerary. Natural Diversity in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek (Rhododendrons and Wildlife). Annapurna Base Camp Trek is for the nature lovers. You will enjoy a display of magnificent vistas of mountains throughout the trek, however, this trek is not just all about mountains.

You will trek through the rhododendron forest trail and when in bloom the forest is pink, red and white in color. The fallen petals on the path make it a heavenly walk. Rhododendron bloom from March to May in spring. The Rhododendrons are in bloom in October and November as well. There are around 10 different varieties of Rhododendron in the Annapurna region. Flowers are at their peak from late March throughout April. The walk from Ulleri (infamous 32, 00 steps) to Ghorepani is spectacular with Rhododendron Blooms.

You will also walk the Rhododendron Forest Trail while heading to Tadapani via Deurali. The flowers are in the exhibition near Chhomrong as well. Annapurna Base Camp Trek falls under the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA).  It is Nepal’s largest protected area (7,629 KM2) with some of Nepal’s most popular trekking destinations like the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It ranges from 1,000m-8,000m in altitude and harbors 101 species of mammals including endangered species like musk deer, snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, and Tibetan argali. There are 478 species of birds and all 6 Himalayan pheasants of Nepal.