The Poon Hill Trek

The Poon Hill trek is a very popular short trek in the Annapurna region. It is also known as the small Annapurna Circuit Trek. The trail leads us through idyllic villages and beautiful rhododendron forests. In the spring time (March –April) when the rhododendron trees are blooming in different colours the place truly looks like a paradise on earth. The absolute highlight of the trek is the morning hike to Poon Hill (3.210 m) for a breathtaking sunrise with the view on the whole Annapurna range with their magnificent peaks of Dhaulagiri (8.167 m) , Annapurna I (8.091 m), Machhapuchhre (6.998 m), and many others.

The Poon Hill trek is an easy trek but there are of course some ups and downs on the way. Especially the ascent to Ulleri with more than 3000 stone steps is challenging but good to manage as it requires only a basic fitness.

The Poon Hill trek takes 7 days. Depending on your available time I can shorten the trek to 5 days. The itinerary presented here shows 7 days, starting from Pokhara.

The lodges on the Poon Hill trek offer extensive menus, ranging from the typical Nepali dahl bath (rice with lentils) to pizza’s and spaghetti. Hot showers are available at most of the pleaces.

Day 1: Pokhara – Nayapul – Ulleri (1,5 hours by car, 6 hours walk)

We start in the early morning in Pokhara and take a local bus or taxi to Nayapul. It takes around 1 hour to reach Nayapul. From Nayapul we walk around 6 hours with a short lunch break and reach our destination in Ulleri (1940 m) in the late afternoon. On the way to Ulleri we are passing typical Nepali villages and beautiful terraced rice fields. The last part of the walk is quite challenging as we have to climb up approx. 3.200 stone steps!  We have dinner at a nice lodge and stay there overnight.

Day 2: Ulleri – Ghorepani (5 hours walk)

Todays trail is slightly easier than the way to Ulleri the day before. We walk through amazing rhododendron forests, pass beautiful waterfalls and cross little bridges. After lunch in Nangethati we continue our walk towards Ghorepani (2750 m) and reach the beautiful, blue village in the late afternoon. From Ghorepani we have a great view on the magnificent Dhaulagiri (8167 m) – our first over 8000 m peak on that trek. We stay overnight in a lodge and have dinner there.

Day 3: Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Tadapani (6 hours walk)

We get up very early in the morning and climb up to Poon Hill (3210 m) to see the breathtaking sunrise with the view on Dhaulagiri, Fishtail and the complete Annapurna range. After sunrise we walk back to Ghorepani and have breakfast there. After breakfast we continue walking through beautiful rhododendron forests, alongside wild creeks and waterfalls. We reach Tadapani (2590 m) in the late afternoon. We stay overnight in a lodge and have dinner there.

Day 4: Tadapani – Ghandruk (3 hours walk)

Our today’s destination is Ghandruk village (1.940 m) also known as the most beautiful village in Nepal. The trail takes us through great rododendron and oak forests. This part of the trek is a paradise for bird watchers. We will see and hear many of them. After 3 hours we arrive in Ghandrunk – the home of Gurung people. After lunch we have free time to visit the handicraft center and Gurung museum, where we can learn a lot about their culture. We stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 5: Ghandruk – Tolka (5 hours walk)

The first part of the trail takes us steep down till to the Modi Khola river. After crossing the bridge stone staircase takes us up again. We walk through many small villages, along beautiful terraces of rice and millet. We pass Landruk village and then taking a pretty flat and pleasurable trial we finally arrive at Tolka (1.700 m). We spend the night in a lodge.

Day 6: Tolka – Australian Base Camp (4 hours walk)

After breakfast we start our trek with one hour of a gentle walk to Bichhik and then the trail takes us steeply up to Deurali (2.100 m). We enjoy the view of different peaks while the trek gradually descends to Pothana. We pass beautiful forest and green fields. After another half an hour we reach Australian Base Camp (2.165 m). From here we can enjoy a breathtaking view on the peaks of Annapurna range. We stay overnight in Australian Base Camp.

Day 7: Australian Base Camp – Khade – Pokhara (1 hours walk)

We start the last day of our trek with a beautiful sunrise and an breathtaking view over the Annapurna range. After breakfest we walk about one hour to reach Khade. From Khade we take a jeep or taxi back to Pokhara.