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1743 trails = 308897 miles
Rate your trails, learn more ..., annapurna circuit, description.
- Name Annapurna Circuit
- Length in days 18 days
- Start of trail Nayapul
- End of trail Besi Sahar
- Traildino grading SW, Strenuous walk, mountain trail
- Hut tour grading T2, Mountain walk
The classic trek, hiking around the Annapurna Circuit, “The Best Trek in the World”, may soon be a thing of the past. Even in 2007 some 70.000 hikers registered at Jomsom. This was coming close to the number of 76.000 reached in the year 2000, before the communist uprising.
But now, there is a road into the valley of the Kali Gandaki up to Muktinath, below Thorung La pass. In the Manang valley, on the other side of the Annapurna massif, a road is under construction. Although the road is not asphalted, walking is very dull and tiring along a wide dusty stretch with passing jeeps. Nevertheless it will cause the old pathways to fall into disuse eventually. Possibly, sufficient good alternatives will remain. Also the trek to Annapurna Sanctuary, the climb to Poon Hill, and for the toughest hikers the circuit between Thorung La and the 5000 m high Tilicho Lake, will continue to attract hikers.
Trekking the Annapurna Circuit takes about 18 days. Starting point is Pokhara, a peaceful hippie-town on the shores of pictur-esque Phewa Lake, with a view on the snow-capped Himalaya. From there most hikers catch a bus to the town of Besi Sahar, and start hiking up the deep valley of the Marsyandi. In a week's time you will gain over 5000 m in altitude, and pass through all kinds of biotopes, from rice growing villages of the Gunung to Tibetan barley fields. Along the way you will see lovely villages, pass countless mule caravans and forests of rhodondendron. As you enter deeper into the valley, you will get a better view of the Annapurna III and the Gangapurna. There are alternative trails higher up along the slopes: be sure to take these for superb views. The valley ends in a wild alpine environment, and for many hikers the climb across Thorung La (5416 m) will be their metaphorical 'high'. Climbing across is exciting, but not without danger, and above all exhausting. In October 2014 dozens of people died when they got trapped in a blizzard while descending from Thorung La to Muktinath.
After reaching the western side of the massif, the trail leads through the Tibetan style towns of Muktinath and Kagbeni into the valley of the Kali Gandaki. It ends with yet another 3 day hike to Poon Hill, from where you can enjoy a final overview of a large portion of the Himalaya. Finally you will reach the main road near the village of Nayapul, at about an hour's drive by bus or taxi to Pokhara.
Some practicalities: the hike is technically easy, but requires a lot of stamina. Finding a place for the night is easy, as there is a wide choice of lodges. However, it does get busy in October, and also in November and April. During the monsoon in June, July and August hikers are few. The majority of hikers set out on the Annapurna Circuit in an anti-clockwise direction. The reason is, from the eastern side there are more lodges, enabling you to cut the climb up Thorung La pass into several short stretches. Starting from Muktinath on the west side is also possible, but implicates a single stretch climb of 1600 m, starting at an altitude of 3800 m.
Guides and maps
Organisations, tour operators.
- Getting High
- The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal Read more
- What is the best way for the average person to authentically experience the world's greatest mountain range--the Himalayas? Fortunately, there is now a good answer. The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is the most popular footpath in Asia. Its genius lies in its design. Trekkers wind their way around and along some of the world's greatest peaks,... Read more
- Also available from:
- Bol.com, Belgium
- 14 treks including the Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary Read more
- Bol.com, Netherlands
- De Zwerver, Netherlands
- An essential guidebook to the Annapurna region - the most popular trekking area in Nepal. Fourteen diverse treks are described including the classic Annapurna Circuit and the Annapurna Sanctuary as well as treks in the lesser known Machhapuchhre area, the foothills of Lamjung Himal and restricted areas - Mustang, Damodar and Nar-Phu. Read more
- Wandelgids Annapurna - A Trekker's Guide - Nepal | Cicerone
- A comprehensive trekking guidebook to the Annapurna region - the most popular trekking area in Nepal. Fourteen diverse treks are described including the classic Annapurna Circuit and the Annapurna Sanctuary as well as treks in the lesser known Machhapuchhre area, the foothills of Lamjung Himal and restricted areas - Mustang, Damodar and Nar-Phu. Read more
- The Gurung Heritage Trail
- Trekkers wishing to meet few other foreigners will enjoy The Gurung Heritage Trail. Village panoramas with a Himalaya backdrop offer unparalleled beauty, and the cultural interaction can be even more rewarding than the views. This book provides the essentials for entering the heart of Gurung country and an inroad to the lifestyle of Nepal s... Read more
- Outside Adventure Travel
- Follow in the footsteps of early twentieth-century explorers on twenty treks spanning six continents that range from Everest Base Camp to a pilgrimage across the Pyrenees. They include: the mysterious Ruwenzori mountains in the heart of Africa; five classic Himalayan tours, including the Annapurna Circuit and seldom-visited Snow Lake; an... Read more
- Trekking routes to the Chulu peaks from the northern part of the Annapurna Circuit presented on a contoured and GP compatible map at 1:50,000 from Nepa Maps with a vivid presentation of the region’s mountainous terrain. The Annapurna Circuit is clearly highlighted on the map, which covers it from Thoche east of Chame, past Manang, to Ledar... Read more
- Tilicho Hidden Lake
- Tilicho Lake on the northern slopes of the Annapurna massif at 1:50,000 in the Nepa Maps series which provides extensive coverage of trekking areas of Nepal on detailed contoured maps with trekking routes and hiking trails, huts and camp sites, local places of interest and other tourist information.The map covers the trekking route from... Read more
- Annapurna Trekking Atlas
- Trekking Atlas of the Annapurna region from the Kolkata/Calcutta based Milestone Books, combining 15 maps at scales from 1:50,000 to 1:82,000 and an overview map of the whole Annapurna Circuit at 1:125,000. The main Annapurna circuit via Muktinath and Jomson is presented on 12 pages, with three more pages covering the eastern approaches to the... Read more
- Biking Around Annapurna
- Annapurna Cycling Circuit from Nepa Maps, shown on a series of panels at 1:75,000 with detailed information of the difficulty of the terrain indicating sections where the bike has to be carried or pushed, overnight stops, altitude profiles, etc.A general map at 1:227,000 with relief shading shows the whole of the Eagle’s Loop biking circuit... Read more
- Around Annapurna (125K)
- The whole of the Annapurna Circuit prominently highlighted on a map at 1:125,000 from Nepa Maps with alternative variants via the Tilicho Lakes or Naar, treks to the Machhapuchhre and South Annapurna Base Camps, climbing routes to the Chulu Peaks, Pisang Peak and Singu Chuli (Fluted Peak), etc. Coverage extends from Pohkara to Muktinath and... Read more
- Around Annapurna (100K)
- The whole of the Annapurna Circuit highlighted on a map at 1:100,000 from Nepa Maps, with alternative variants via the Tilicho Lakes or Naar, treks to the Machhapuchhre and South Annapurna Base Camps, climbing routes to the Chulu Peaks, Pisang Peak and Singu Chuli (Fluted Peak), etc. Coverage extends from Pohkara to Muktinath and Kagbeni in the... Read more
- Mustang Great Himalaya Trail Map
- Mustang, map no. 108, at 1:100,000 on a waterproof and tear-resistant trekking map from the Himalayan MapHouse in their series covering the whole of northern Nepal. The map shows the region north of the upper section of the Annapurna Circuit, beyond Jomsom/Jomosom and Muktinath, and highlights the route to Garphu, the Mustang to Phu trek, the... Read more
- Ghorepani - Ghandruk
- Trekking area north-west of Pokhara, around Ghandruk and Ghrorepani in the south-western part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, presented on a map at 1:50,000 from Nepa Maps. Coverage extends north to Tatopani and includes a section of the Annapurna Circuit, prominently marked to distinguish it from other trekking routes. The map also... Read more
- Pisang Peak
- Trekking routes to the Pisang Peak from the northern part of the Annapurna Circuit presented on a contoured and GP compatible map at 1:50,000 from Nepa Maps with a vivid presentation of the region’s mountainous terrain. The Annapurna Circuit is clearly highlighted on the map, which covers it from Thoche east of Chame, past Manang, to Ledar... Read more
- Annapurna Himal
- Annapurna region at 1:100,000 in a series of detailed topographic maps of selected trekking areas of Nepal originally prepared by E. Schneider and now edited by the German Scientific Association of Comparative High-Mountain Research (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für vergleichende Hochgebirgsforschung). The map covers the whole of the Annapurna Circuit,... Read more
- Wandelkaart 09 Nepal Annapurna trekking map | Nepal Kartenwerk
- Nepal Adventure Map
- Nepal Adventure Map from the National Geographic presenting the country at 1:625,000 on light, waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper, with a large panel showing the main sights and facilities in the Kathmandu – Patan area.The map is double-sided, dividing the country east/west with a good overlap between the sides. Topography is... Read more
- Waterproof Tear-Resistant Travel MapNational Geographic's Nepal AdventureMap is the most authoritative map for touring the country. Each waterproof and tear-resistant map provides travelers with the perfect combination of detail and perspective, highlighting points of interest for those venturing outside city centers.This durable, folded... Read more
- Wegenkaart - landkaart 3000 Adventure Map Nepal | National Geographic
- Damodar Himal
- Damodar Himal on the northern edge of the Annapurna Conservation area presented by Nepa Maps at 1:50,000 on a map extending from Phu northwards to the Gaurigi and Bhrikuti peaks and west to Muktinath and Ghiling (Geling). Contours are at 40m intervals, with heights for numerous peaks and colouring for the glaciated areas. The map highlights... Read more
- Wandelkaart CL812 Climbing Damodir Himal - Saribung | Himalayan Maphouse
- Wandelkaart NP108 Mustang - Nepal | Himalayan Maphouse
- Nepal Reise Know-How
- Nepal on an indexed, waterproof and tear-resistant road map, ideal for locating the country`s numerous famous peaks, with topographic and tourist information, and enlargements for Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan regions, plus Bhaktapur. The map, published by Reise Know-How as part of their highly acclaimed World Mapping Project, is double-sided... Read more
- Wegenkaart - landkaart Nepal | Reise Know-How Verlag
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Annapurna circuit ( edit )
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This is a moderate one way trail to End of Naar Phu Trek in Annapurna Conservation Area.
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There are no published trips for this hike. There are 11 private trips.
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Seasonal popularity, nearby hiking trails.
- 1 Gangapurna Tal via 41DR001 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ DIFFICULT 9.2 mi
- 2 Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ MODERATE 6.5 mi
- 3 Gangapurna Tal Loop via Besishahar - Manang Sadak ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ MODERATE 5.6 mi
- 4 Gangapurna Tal via Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ ★ DIFFICULT 12.7 mi
- 5 Thorong La via Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ DIFFICULT 33.6 mi
- 6 Annapurna Conservation Area Hike ★ ★ ★ ★ MODERATE 2.0 mi
- 7 Gangapurna Tal via 41DR001 ★ ★ ★ EASY 3.3 mi
- 8 Gangapurna Tal via Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ MODERATE 6.0 mi
- 9 Gangapurna Tal via Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ MODERATE 7.1 mi
- 10 Gangapurna Tal via Annapurna circuit ★ ★ ★ DIFFICULT 12.7 mi
- Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
Route: Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is one of the world's classic multiday hikes. While the start and stop points and route can be variable, in general trekkers go from Besisahar to Nayapul, roughly 134 miles in total.
The Annapurna Circuit was once billed as one of the most beautiful treks in the world - it was a 'must' item on many adventurer's bucket list. But things have changed over the the last few years. Namely road building. Ugly road building. The apple growers in the village of Marpha had bushels of apples that were rotting because they couldn't get them to market across the mountainous trails. What to do? Definitely don't ask other villages or think about the impact on the main source of income (trekkers). Soon bulldozers moved in and turned trail into 4x4 jeep track with locals and trekkers zooming up and down the valleys in a gaggle of Indian-made jeeps, a chorus of honks and an encore of dust. It's easy to criticize, but it's also hard to blame villagers for wanting a road to their house, a road that opens up access to food and healthcare and the ability to visit family. - Seth Wolpin
People should be clear and detailed about exactly which route they followed.
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I'll be going for the men's FKT on April 8th. Unfortunately I haven't got a SPOT or gps watch so I'll be using Gaia on my phone and will share the file afterward.
My mistake, meant May 8th.
You can join others on an attempt on this at the end of October if you wish: https://annapurna100.com/fastest-known-time-fkt-annapurna-circuit/
Hi Richard, Im attempting the FKT at the beginning of May this year. I just wanted to know if I had to stay on the trail or if its okay if I use the road? Or will my attempt be no longer valid if I used any part of the road at all.
Ill be attempting the FKT end of April /early May 2020
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Annapurna Circuit Trek
Marsyangdi, Nepal · 5.0 star · 4 reviews
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What to expect
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a 130.9 km trail that starts in , Marsyangdi, Nepal. Based on our data, the trail is graded as Difficult. For information on how we grade trails, please read measuring the difficulty of a hiking trail on hiiker . Also, check our latest community posts for trail updates. This trail can be completed in approx 13 days. Caution is advised on trail times as this depends on multiple variables. For more info read about how we calculate hike time .
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Great Himalayan Trail
place Phungling, Nepal
1245.8 km · 61287 m
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Jacqueline planned this outdoor adventure with komoot!
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The surface along some of this Tour may not be suitable
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0.81 mi in total
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Kicho tal (ice lake), milarepas cave, shreekharka.
Tilicho Lake (4919m)
Thorong La (5416m)
Tour profile, weather forecast.
Jacqueline planned a hike.
February 26, 2018
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The Annapurna Circuit (Bikepacking Route)
% singletrack, % rideable (time), total ascent, difficulty (1-10).
- 9 Climbing Scale Very Strenuous 141 FT/MI (27 M/KM)
- - Technical Difficulty
- - Physical Demand
- - Resupply & Logistics
Robin Patijn and Sabina Knezevic
Robin Patijn and Sabina Knezevic aim to show people the world from the perspective of their handlebars. They share a passion for cycling, photography, and travel to tell unique stories about their adventures all over the world. Follow their journey on Instagram @farawayistan or at Farawayistan.com .
Ride on rickety suspension bridges, quickly cross over active landslide zones, and gaze at peaks while going up against gravity. Spin the Buddhist prayer wheels clockwise when you ride along them and get mesmerized by clouds falling over the white giants after a long day in the saddle. This is the Annapurna Circuit.
Although the route is anything but easy, it’s one of the easier mountain treks to ride in terms of logistics. Teahouses serve steaming plates of dal bhat and offer a place to shelter or spend the night, and after resting and refueling on carb loaded meals, you’ll be ready to hit the trail.
Expect steep, technical jeep tracks and a precipitous trekking trail in the shadow of the highest peaks on earth. This Himalayan adventure is not for the faint of heart. Comfort and luxury should be put aside to strive for as light a setup as possible. You will probably be pushing and carrying your bike a lot on this route, so keeping weight to a minimum is crucial.
The Annapurna Circuit bikepacking route has been assigned a difficulty of 8 out of 10. About half of the route is on a reasonably maintained jeep track, but there are lots of technical climbs with hairpin turns on loose gravel with big rocks. The oxygen deficiency at high altitude also adds significantly to the overall difficulty. The lack of oxygen makes it feel like you’re breathing through a straw, especially while pushing your loaded bike up an incline that sometimes reaches 40%. The good news is you don’t have to carry much food, cooking gear, or even a tent. The next teahouse is never more than 10 kilometers away, but on the Annapurna Circuit, that short distance could easily take half a day. Plan ahead and carry energy-dense snacks.
Route Development: The official Annapurna hiking route starts in Besisahar. For cycling it makes a lot more sense to start in Pokhara. Most hotels in Pokhara are located along the Lakeside Road, so it is logical to start and end there. The bikepacking version follows much of the same route as the Annapurna Circuit hiking trail, but cyclists use the jeep track until Manang. After Manang the jeep track runs out and the route follows the hiking trail. You’ll receive a paper map of the route when you purchase your permits. This map is made for hiking but it can be used for cycling as well. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a well-established route and for the most part there is only one road to follow.
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- Thorung La Pass. The view from Thorung La Pass, with an elevation of 5,416 meters above sea level, is magnificent. Colorful prayer flags mark the crossing point, which is one of the highest passes in the world.
- Views, views, views. The changing scenery while the road winds up along deep cliffs and massive peaks is spectacular. From the dusty subtropical jungle to the higher pine forests, and from rocky landscapes to the snow-capped giants above, there’s always something new to observe.
- Chame – Manang trail. The part between Chame – Pisang – Manang is stunning. The valley opens up and for some stretches the trail is smooth and flowy and offers for great riding. You’ll definitely enjoy picking up some speed after long, slow days.
- Milk tea and Dhal Bhat. Enjoy a cup of Nepali tea (chai) with loads of sugar for extra energy and a plate of Dhal Bhat. Dhal Bhat is Nepal’s national dish of rice, soup, curry, and vegetables.
- Resting and acclimatizing in Manang. The mountain town of Manang is located at 3,500 meters, making it the perfect place to rest and recover. There are several great day hikes you can take, like the ice lake or a visit to the Praken Gompa, a small monastery where you’ll be blessed for a safe passage over Thorung La.
- Side trip to Tilicho Lake. If you have some time to spare, you can make an overnighter to Tilicho, a high-altitude lake (4,919 meters) with incredible views of Mount Annapurna I (8,091 meters), Manaslu (8,163 meters) and Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters).
- Hot springs. Along the route there are plenty of hot springs. Most of them are marked with a sign reading “Tatopani.” Perfect to wash off the dust and give your sore muscles a rest.
- April to May/October and November. The best time to cycle the Annapurna Circuit is early spring from April to May, or after monsoon season between October and November (high season). Flowers and other vegetation are in bloom, but it can be warmer and more humid. Heavy rains during monsoon season clear the air in October and November and temperatures are mild. We cycled the route in December. It’s certainly doable, but there’s a larger risk of being snowed in at higher altitudes. The difference in temperature between day and night can be drastic, so pack enough warm gear.
- Kathmandu International Airport. Most people fly in and out at the international airport in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu there are busses to Pokhara or Besisahar, the official starting point for most hikers since it’s closer to the trail.
- Clockwise vs. counterclockwise. Because the Annapurna Circuit is a loop, it’s possible to ride clockwise or counterclockwise from Pokhara. Go clockwise for a gentler gradient to Thorung La Pass or counterclockwise for a slightly more rideable trail down. We preferred a steady climb so we could stick to the rule of not climbing more than 500 meters per day above 3,500 meters. Altitude sickness is something to take seriously in Nepal.
- Permits. Before starting, you’re required to obtain two necessary permits (ACAP & TIMS) to enter the “Restricted Areas.” You need to apply for these at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. The costs are approximately $40 USD and you’ll need three passport photos.
- Money. There are no ATMs along the trail, so make sure you’ll bring enough cash for the whole circuit. We worked with a budget of 10 USD per person a day and that was more than enough for us. Be sure you have crisp euros or dollars upon arriving at KTM airport to pay for the visa on arrival in cash.
- Bicycle and tires. The ideal bicycle would probably be a full-suspension mountain bike. However, the trail is suitable for gravel and touring bicycles with slightly wider rubber. The trail is mixed: rocky, dusty, hard packed gravel, and even some asphalt. We rode the Annapurna Circuit with Schwalbe Marathon 2.0” tires, which is the minimum width you can comfortably ride the route on. Next time we would go with wider and chunkier tires. Anything wider than 2.3” will do.
- Altitude sickness. The Annapurna Circuit is a high-altitude trail, so there’s an inherent risk of getting altitude sickness. It’s important to acclimatize, take it easy, and drink a lot of water. In terms of altitude acclimatization, it is safest to ride from east to west, so counterclockwise. You can buy Diamox (used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness) in Pokhara and Kathmandu and in some shops in Mangang.
- Landslides and falling rocks. There are some dangerous landslide areas along the trail. These are marked with signs, so don’t linger around here. There’s also a risk of falling rocks and trails can be slippery, especially near river crossings. Caution and excellent bike handling skills are both needed.
- Weather . The weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can change drastically from one moment to the next. Pay close attention to the weather forecast.
- Lock. Bring a small lock and take your stuff from your bikepacking bags at night. Some of our tools and our bib shorts got stolen while up at 5,000 meters.
- Manang , Muktinath , and Jomsom are bigger towns that offer some facilities. It’s possible to arrange public transport here, get medical attention, or visit the police station. There’s even an airport in Jomsom, which most hikers use to fly out to Pokhara.
- Don’t forget a buff or mask to cover your mouth from dust, as well as warm gloves.
- Camping is possible, although it can be hard to find a flat section outside of the villages. That said, camping isn’t necessary since lodging is inexpensive and you’ll probably be eating at the teahouses anyway. After Besisahar it is impossible to buy ingredients to prepare your own meals. You’ll also need to carry a lot of extra gear if you’re planning to camp—something to keep in mind when considering the massive push up and over Thorung La Pass.
- Nepali teahouses. Every 10 kilometers or so there are small villages with teahouses that offer lodging. The rooms are very basic but equipped with a good mattress and warm blanket. Bathrooms are mostly shared. All teahouses also provide a wide selection of food and drinks. Most will request that you eat dinner and breakfast with them and charge very little for lodging.
- Charging and staying connected. All teahouses have a wifi connection, but this usually costs you a little extra. As does charging your electronics at higher altitudes. So, make sure you recharge your batteries and other devices in Manang.
- Pricey snacks. Along the trail there are many small shops that sell energy bars and sodas. If you’re on a budget, make sure you pack enough snacks with you because the price of food and drinks increases in tandem with the altitude. A snickers bar can easily cost you up to $4 USD by the time you reach Manang.
- Teahouses offer local and westernized food. Our go-to meal was Dhal Bhat, as mentioned earlier. The best thing about this dish is that it’s typically unlimited, so refill your plate if you are still hungry!
- Croissants and pain au chocolats. In Manang you’ll find teahouses that sell delicious Nepali coffee and all kinds of luxurious baked goods.
- Water taps and fresh water streams are widely available on the trail. Bring your water filter, but all water should be fine to drink after filtering it. Avoid buying plastic bottles whenever possible. It isn’t an easy task to get trash back down again, so it will most likely be burned.
Pokhara – Besisahar
Bring a buff and cover your mouth on these dusty roads filled with busses driven by maniacs. Use caution! Luckily, you can leave this crazy Nepali main road for a quieter side road through farm fields with small traditional villages where you can stop for a chow mein (fried noodles) and a cold drink.
Besisahar – Chame
The official start of the ACT begins on a hiking trail, but shortly turns into a jeep track. Some places are paved (mostly around the Chinese hydro plants) but for the most part the track is clay and cobble. The road winds along massive cliffs and often runs parallel to the main trekking path. Subtropical jungle sets the scene, followed by leafy forest.
Chame – Manang
The road winds along massive cliffs with a raging river directly below. The trail becomes more challenging with steeper and steeper climbs. The climate also changes as you get higher. Spruce and pine forests decorate the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range and its snow-covered peaks. Choose between the easier, lower trail or the challenging MTB trail via Upper Pisang. The singletrack fun begins after the climb immediately following Pisang. A downhill portion through the woods is followed by a gradual climb to Manang. You’ll likely start to feel the altitude here, so take your time to acclimatize.
Manang – Thorung La
The road ends and after carrying your bike up a flight of stairs and you now share the narrow trail with hikers. You will cross the valley a few times on suspension bridges. Make sure you get some speed to make it all the way over! Make a good plan on how to continue after Manang. How much can you climb each day to avoid altitude sickness? We did it in three days. On day one we had a short easy ride to Yak Kharka. The next day we rode to Thorung Pedi, and on the same day hiked our bikes up as far as we could get them, well past high camp. You could stay in high camp, but we chose for the safer and lower Thorung Pedi. The part between Thorung Pedi and high camp is also extremely steep, sometimes up to a 40% incline, so it helps that you can leave your gear at the teahouse. This way your bicycle is as light as possible for one of the hardest parts of the trek. Start to hike back up to your bike with your gear well before sunrise the next morning so you can cross the pass early and have less risk of getting caught in dangerous weather.
Thorung La – Muktinath
After a very long push through the snow (depending on the season) you will finally reach the pass you’ve been working so hard for. It’s a magical moment, but don’t linger too long. It’s not an easy ride down to the next town, Muktinath. This is where a full-suspension bike would come in handy. The trail is extremely technical and steep and only very experienced riders should attempt actually cycling the whole thing. You can choose between a jeep track and a hiking path. The hiking path is super steep and the jeep track can only be ridden with plus or fat tires because the rocks are so big. Muktinath has plenty of well-equipped teahouses where you can finally get a hot shower again!
Muktinath – Jomsom
You won’t believe your eyes when you ride out of Muktinath, with beautiful hairpin turns on smooth asphalt. This fairytale is soon over because the surface quickly turns into a gnarly, rocky, dusty road. Get your buff out, because the busses racing by fill the air with clouds of dust.
Jomsom – Pokhara
There are more and more busses on the road that is literally falling apart in many places. You reach the leaf forest again and afterwards the subtropical jungle. The road is littered with rocks from landslides. Motor bikes, jeeps, and busses create long traffic jams. Carrying your bike over various sections of road work and other obstacles will likely be necessary along this stretch. There are some alternate hiking trails you can ride, marked by signs along the road. These will be a treat because the traffic can get very dull and you’ll already be missing the high-altitude singletrack by now. It’s very likely that on the way back down to Pokhara you’ll already be dreaming about your next adventure, though it may never top this one…
Points of Interest (by kilometer, counterclockwise from start)
- 18 : Viewpoint Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake.
- 79 : Big town of Besisahar—last opportunity to stock up on supplies at normal costs. Plenty of hotels. Also the first checkpoint to check permits.
- 104.8 : Village of Syange—tea houses and restaurants.
- 125 : Village of Dharapani—tea houses and restaurants.
- 143.3 : Beautiful village of Chame. Plenty of tea houses and great place for fresh Nepali coffee.
- 155 : Little detour possible to Upper Pisang. Great MTB trail.
- 158 : Stunning part of the route between Chame, Pisang, and Manang with flowy trails.
- 173.5 : End of the jeep trail.
- 174 : Village of Manang; one of the biggest along the Annapurna Circuit. Lots of accommodations and restaurants. Great place for rest and acclimatization or day hikes. Permit check before entering Manang.
- 175 : Start of steep hiking trail to the pass.
- 184.1 : Village of Yak Kharka—tea houses and restaurants.
- 188.9 : Amazing suspension bridge with snow-capped mountains in the background.
- 191.3 : Village of Thorung Phedi. Last village before the pass. Tea houses and restaurants.
- 197.6 : Thorung La Pass at 5,416 meters above sea level. Colored prayer flags.
- 210 : Village of Muktinath—famous pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus.
- 231.5 : Village of Jomsom—lots of facilities (hotels, restaurants, police station, airport, and bus station).
- 279.7 : Village of Tatopani—tea houses and restaurants. Natural hot springs.
- 340.4 : Village of Nayapul—tea houses and restaurants
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India and the himalayas.
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