Nepal is known as a mountainous country and thousands of people visit Nepal each year to get that picturesque view of the diverse landscape and mountains.
Most of the visitors are trekkers who come to experience the mountainous lifestyle. And, trek in the lap of mountains and rural hilly region.
Amongst the popular trekking routes, Annapurna Circuit Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek is growing popular competing the ever-desired Everest Base Camp Trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek lies in the Annapurna region, where the world’s 10th highest peak Mount Annapurna (8091m) resides. This trek encircles the Annapurna Range.
This trekking trail passes through the diverse landscape from a lot of rural villages and paddy fields to different subtropical forests, hills, waterfalls, and gigantic mountains. Plus, green forests with diverse flora and fauna, villages with terraced fields, attractive rivers, and lakes.
Most importantly the spectacular view of mountain peaks such as Mount Annapurna I and II, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchchhre, and many more lures you to this trek.
So, how difficult is this admired trek?
Well, Annapurna Region is not just popular and desired for its impeccable beauty but for its accessibility as well.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a moderate and one of the longest trekking routes in the region. So, it can be a bit harder for a beginner trekker to complete the journey without prior training and preparation.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most exciting and adventurous trekking journeys for any trekker. Passing through the highest point of the trekking route, Thorong La Pass at 5,500 meters above sea level is one of the highlights of this trek.
A famous Hindu/ Buddhist Temple at Muktinath and other various Buddhist Monasteries on the way. The diverse desert-like terrain in the upper Mustang region and the awesome sunrise 360-view from Poon hill are some of the major aspects that make this trekking destination a popular one.
Several aspects contribute in making a trek a simple or a difficult one. We have categorized certain aspects that will make your trekking trip a comfortable one.
Duration of the Trek
The duration of Annapurna Circuit Trek is usually 18 days long from the moment you arrive till your departure.
You can extend or reduce the number of days or duration according to the days you spend on trekking. We have different trekking packages like Annapurna circuit trek 10 days and Annapurna circuit trek 15 days for completing the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The duration of trekking is around 5 to 6 hours per day for a normal healthy person.
This time may vary if you spend a lot of time on personal photography or wish to spend more time on the trekking trails.
Also, it is advised to train yourself for trekking in Nepal before take on with the journey. This will make your trek a lot less difficult.
Total Distance of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek route covers around 160 km-230 km, depending on where motor transportation is used and where the trek ends.
You will be walking around 8 to 15 km per day.
The trekking route is easier in hilly regions but might get tricky up in the mountains. You will be walking on steep rocky terrains, grassland or even on snow. And it often gets windy up there.
The route gets even more challenging in winter due to the snow covered routes. Exploring new routes this season is not recommended.
It is best to hire an experienced guide for winter trekking. This will make your trek a lot easier.
Type of Trekker
The difficulty in Annapurna Circuit Trek might be different according to the level of your experience. For an experienced trekker, it should not be an issue.
But for a novice trekkers, it can be tiresome because it is, after all, a long journey.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered as one of the longest trekking routes in Annapurna region. You will have to walk anywhere from 6 to 7 hours per day on various terrains. You will reach an altitude of above 5500 meters above sea level.
So, if you are an amateur trekker, you will have to prepare yourself a couple of months before the trek. If you are mentally and physically prepared, the trek should not bother you.
As you are trekking in the Himalayas, the main concern is proper acclimatization of your body and staying hydrated. As you ascend higher, the altitude as a major concern could cause difficulty.
As you ascend, the oxygen level and the atmospheric pressure gets thinner than the sea level. So your body has to learn to adjust accordingly. That’s why acclimatization at different resting points should not be ignored.
The early symptoms of altitude sickness should be monitored, immediately responded in case any symptoms sensed. You will have to descend immediately towards a lower altitude to avoid further complications. Some of the common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, and insomnia.
One of the most popular and difficult points in this trekking route is Thorangla pass, which is at 5,500 meters above sea level.
To escape altitude sickness, get yourself hydrated and acclimatize properly.
It is strictly restricted to take any alcoholic beverages at high altitudes.
Anti-altitude sickness medications can be taken in case the situation demands. It is best to consult your doctor prior to taking any medication to rule out any complications.
Weather and Temperature
Weather and temperature can really affect your trekking journey. It is a major factor that could add in making your trek a difficult one.
The weather in the mountain is unpredictable as it drastically changes with certain rise and fall in the temperature.
Choosing the best time and weather to trek can eliminate this issue.
Autumn and Spring seasons are the best time to take Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The weather and temperature are just perfect and it does attract thousands of trekkers at this time of the year.
October after all is the best time of the year.
As the monsoon passes by, the sky clears up to give majestic view of the gigantic mountains up on the horizon. The trekking trail isn’t slippery and temperature is just perfect.
If you are a novice trekker, this is the season you should trek.
In Autumn and Spring season, the average temperature at Annapurna Circuit ranges from 15 to 20 degrees centigrade. The summertime brings a lot of heat in the lower region and temperature ranges from 20 to 25 degrees. The winter, however, can be a bit harsh up in the higher altitude as the temperature goes below zero.
You can trek in this area in most of the seasons, the monsoon doesn’t have a lot of effect in this region.
But to make your trips a less complicated one, choose the season that best suits your body.
The trekking starts from Nayapul and takes you up to the elevation of 5,500 meters above sea level. This is a bit challenging. Prior preparation is strongly suggested.
We recommend that you start your training 6 weeks prior to you actual trek.
This will guide you and prepare you for the actual trek.
Choose the training which is more focused on cardio, stamina, leg strength, and flexibility. If you get a perfect score in these exercises, this way the trek will be less difficult for you.
Start with simple exercises and move on with professional training programmes.
If you are preparing for a solo trek or willing to carry your own luggage, you will have to train accordingly. You will be carrying your own luggage which will weigh anywhere up to 20 kg. So training using weights is a better option.
Taking up shorter hiking trails around your area is recommended. If you don’t live in such area, do get enrolled in professional training programs designed for trekking and mountaineering.
Hiring a porter is another great alternative to taking up load to yourself. This will definitely add into making your journey less stressful.
Nepal is also one of the most affordable trekking destinations.
The prices are pretty affordable in the rural area but will get expensive as you get to the higher altitude. The prices tend to get tripled as compared to the normal rate in the rural areas.
The only means of transportation is mules, horses, and porters. That makes it difficult for people living up in the mountains to manage food and accommodation in cheaper rates.
Then again, trekking in Nepal doesn’t come cheap. You will have to take care of your finances and prepare a budget. Trekking can be a lot difficult if you do not plan well.
Hiring a private jeep over traveling by local buses can contribute to making your trips a lot comfortable one. Private jeeps or vans are a lot more expensive than taking the local transport.
You will also be paying for your own luxury too.
Also be prepared and carry some cash, you may not find a lot of ATMs at higher altitudes.
Luggage (Gears, weight, and other requirements)
Difficulty in trekking also depends on the luggage you pack.
If you carry unnecessary items, it will only act as a burden to your entire trekking whereas lack of necessary item will ruin your whole journey.
The total trekking duration is about 3 weeks’ traveling in remote areas where you may not get things that you might have forgotten to add in your backpack.
To minimize your difficulty, pack wisely.
Here is some list of recommended things that you should consider for your trekking journey.
Due to the diverse landforms in the route of Annapurna Circuit Trekking route, weather condition also varies according to the variation of landforms and altitude. Pack as per your body type and the weather you are headed out to, in this case, Annapurna Circuit.
Here is the list of clothing that should carry in your trek.
- Lightweight insulating jackets
- Rain Jacket and rain trousers
- Hiking shirts
- Trekking pants
- Hiking underwear
- Trekking socks
- Trekking boots
- Hiking sandals
- Sun hat
- Polarized sunglasses
- Headlamp and batteries
- Alarm clock
- Sleeping bag
- Cameras and batteries
- Battery chargers
- Extra Batteries
- Energy bars
- Water Bottle
- Trekking Poles
- First aid kit and some medicines (for altitude sickness, diarrhea, cold, nausea, and others)
Hygiene and toiletries
To reduce your weight in your backpack, you can pack these items in small packs.
- Sunscreen lotion
- Lip balm
- Body powder
- Toilet Paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Nail cutters
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
Important Documents to carry at all times
To trek Annapurna region you need to take these documents with you at all times.
- Trekking permits
- Enough local currency (Most of the places are remote and don’t have ATMs)
The gadgets like laptops, iPads, and speakers are not recommended, they are just a burden to carry. Avoid heavy clothes while packing your luggage as well.
Annapurna Circuit Trek gives you the complete experience of trekking in a stunning trekking trail that encircles the Annapurna mountain range.
If you are a trekking enthusiast and want to experience the closeness with nature and adventure, Annapurna Circuit Trek provides you this adventure.
As you reach high altitude, prior acclimatization is needed and be sure to follow instructions given by your trekking guide or the group leader.
In the end, you will have witnessed the world’s 10th highest peak, the Mount Annapurna up closely. The up-close and the 360 views of some other popular peaks from different viewpoints across the trekking trials is worth to treasuring as your life experience.
Overcoming the hurdles of Annapurna Circuit Trek is itself a matter of great pride.
For further details about the trek, do contact us. We are more than happy to give you detailed information about the trips in detail.