Why Poonhill Trek is the perfect destination for beginners and budget trekkers alike
The Poon Hill Trek is a popular trek in Nepal that takes you through the beautiful Annapurna region. The Trek starts in Pokhara, a popular tourist destination known for its stunning lakes and mountains, and ends in the charming village of Ghandruk. The Trek is relatively easy and can be completed in just a few days, making it a great option for those with limited time or not experienced.The trail takes you through lush forests and terraced farmlands, allowing you to experience the local Gurung people's traditional culture and way of life. Along the way, you'll pass by small villages and have the chance to interact with the friendly locals.One of Trek's highlights is the stunning view from Poon Hill. This hilltop viewpoint offers panoramic vistas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. From Poon Hill, you can see some of the world's highest peaks, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri.The Trek is also popular for its easy access and relatively short duration, making it an excellent option for those who want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas without committing to a longer and more challenging trek. The Poon Hill trek can be finished in 3-5 days. The highest point reached is only 3210 meters above sea level, making it suitable for beginner trekkers and families.The Trek can be done at any time of the year, but the best time to go is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is clear, and the skies are blue. The Trek can be done alone or with the help of a guide and porter.The Poon Hill Trek is perfect for those looking for a shorter, less strenuous trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It offers beautiful mountain views and an opportunity to experience local culture and customs. It is a great trek for new trekkers, families, and those who are short on time but want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas. Origin pointThe Poon Hill Trek begins at the city of Pokhara, located in the western region of Nepal. Pokhara is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning lakes and mountains. It is the origin point for many treks and expeditions in the Annapurna region. The city is easily accessible by bus or plane from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.The Trek starts at Nayapul, a small village about an hour's drive from Pokhara. From Nayapul, the trail takes you through lush forests and terraced farmlands, passing by small towns and traditional Gurung settlements. The first stop on the Trek is Tikhedhunga, a quaint village located at an altitude of 1,440 meters. From there, the trail continues to Ghorepani, a small village at an altitude of 2,850 meters.From Poon Hill, you can see some of the world's highest peaks, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri. After Poon Hill, the Trek continues to Ghandruk, a charming village located at an altitude of 1,940 meters, where the Trek ends. Flora and faunaThe Poon Hill Trek offers hikers the opportunity to experience the diverse flora and fauna of the Annapurna region. The trail takes you through lush forests of rhododendron, oak, and bamboo, providing a haven for a wide variety of birds and animals.One of the most prominent trees along the Trek is the rhododendron, which you can see in full bloom during the spring months of March and April. The rhododendron forests are also home to various birds, including the colorful Impeyan pheasant (also known as the Danfe), the national bird of Nepal. Other birds commonly seen along the Trek include the Himalayan Monal, the Koklass, and the Blood Pheasant.As you ascend higher into the mountains, the vegetation becomes sparser, but the views become more spectacular. Along the way, you may also encounter a variety of animals, such as the Himalayan Thar, a mountain goat, the Goral, a type of mountain sheep, and the Himalayan black bear.The Poon Hill Trek also offers the chance to see the elusive snow leopard and the red panda, although sightings are rare. The Trek also goes through the Annapurna Conservation Area, which is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including many species of birds, mammals, and butterflies, as well as various species of orchids and rhododendrons.The Poon Hill Trek offers hikers the chance to experience the diverse flora and fauna of the Annapurna region. Along the way, trekkers can enjoy the beautiful rhododendron forests, spot a wide variety of birds, and have the chance to encounter some of the animals that call the Annapurna region home. Although sightings are rare, the Trek also offers the opportunity to see the elusive snow leopard, the red panda, and various species of orchids and rhododendrons. Side treks you can pursue.Some of the most popular side treks that you can do during the Poon Hill Trek include:Tadapani: This side trek takes you through lush rhododendron forests and offers excellent views of the Annapurna South and Hiunchuli peaks. The trail passes through small villages and traditional Gurung settlements, allowing you to experience the local culture and way of life.Chomrong: This side trek is a little longer than Tadapani and takes you through terraced farmlands and traditional villages. It offers excellent views of the Annapurna South and Hiunchuli peaks and the Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) peak.Ghandruk: This side trek takes you to the charming village of Ghandruk, known for its traditional Gurung culture and beautiful views of the Annapurna South and Hiunchuli peaks. The Trek passes through lush forests and terraced farmlands and provides an opportunity to experience the local way of life.Australian Camp: This side trek takes you to a viewpoint that offers panoramic vistas of the Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machhapuchhre peaks. The trail passes through rhododendron forests and provides opportunities to spot different bird species.The Poon Hill Trek offers many options for side treks that allow trekkers to explore the surrounding areas and gain even more spectacular views of the Annapurna region. These side treks are relatively easy and can be completed in a day or two, making them perfect for those who want to experience more of the local culture and traditional way of life while enjoying the beautiful views of the Annapurna region. Difficulty The Poon Hill Trek is considered one of the easiest treks of the Annapurna region of Nepal and is a great option for first-time trekkers or those who are short on time. The Trek is relatively straightforward, usually taking 3-5 days to complete. The highest point reached is only 3,210 meters above sea level.The trail is well-defined and well-maintained, making it easy to navigate. The first day of the Trek is relatively easy, taking you through lush forests and terraced farmlands, passing by small villages and traditional Gurung settlements. The trail is mostly flat and is suitable for people of all fitness levels.As you continue on the Trek, the trail gets steeper and more challenging, but it is still considered relatively easy. You will walk through rhododendron forests and terraced farmlands, and the trail is well-defined and well-maintained. The trail can be slippery during the rainy season, so wear proper footwear and be cautious when walking.After Poon Hill, the trail becomes easier again, and the rest of the Trek is relatively easy. The route takes you through traditional villages and terraced farmlands and is well-defined and well-maintained. The last day of the Trek is relatively easy, and it takes you back to Nayapul, where it started.The Poon Hill Trek is considered one of the easiest treks in the Annapurna region. And is an excellent option for first-time trekkers or those who are short on time. The trail is well-defined and well-maintained, making it easy to navigate. The Trek can sometimes be a bit challenging, especially going up to Poon Hill, but it is still relatively easy. With proper preparation and a good pair of shoes, anyone can complete this Trek and enjoy the beautiful views of the Annapurna region.Best time to visitThe perfect time to do the Poon Hill Trek in Nepal is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is clear, and the skies are blue, providing the perfect conditions for trekking and enjoying the beautiful views of the Annapurna region.Spring is a great time to trek as the rhododendron forests are in full bloom, and the wildflowers are in full bloom, making the Trek even more beautiful. The temperature during the day is also comfortable and perfect for trekking.Autumn is also a great time to trek as the weather is dry and clear. The temperature during the day is comfortable, and the nights are cool, making it perfect for camping. Additionally, the visibility is excellent during these months, which makes the Trek more enjoyable. The best time to visit Poon Hill is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is clear, the skies are blue, and the visibility is good, making the Trek more enjoyable. The temperature is also comfortable and perfect for trekking, while the rhododendron and wildflowers are in full bloom during spring, adding to the Trek's beauty. The monsoon and winter seasons can be a little challenging. Still, the season has its beauty as it provides trails free of crowds and that new forest environment you can only enjoy during monsoon.Food During the Poon Hill Trek, you will have plenty of options for food and drinks. The Trek starts in Nayapul, a small village about an hour's drive from Pokhara. Local restaurants and street food vendors serve Nepali, Indian, and Western food. As you begin the Trek, you will come across small teahouses along the way, where you can find traditional Nepali food such as dal bhat (lentil soup and rice), momos (dumplings), and a variety of curries. You can also find western food like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. Many teahouses also serve a variety of snacks and drinks, such as popcorn, chocolate, and soft drinks. During the Trek, you will also have the opportunity to sample local delicacies such as Gurung bread, a traditional bread made from millet flour and local spices, and churpi, a type of hard cheese made from yak milk. You should also be prepared to carry snacks such as chocolates, dry fruits, and energy bars, as the teahouses may only be available in some ways.The Poon Hill Trek offers plenty of food options along the way, from traditional Nepali food to Western food and local delicacies. You can also find a variety of snacks and drinks, but it's always good to carry some snacks with you just in case. The Trek is a great opportunity to try new foods and experience the local cuisine, so be sure to try something new! Permits required to enter the Annapurna sanctuary When planning your Poon Hill Trek, it's essential to know the permits required. First and foremost, you'll need a Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card. This card is issued by the Nepal Tourism Board and serves as a record of your Trek in the region. Having this card with you at all times while in the Annapurna region is essential. You can get a TIMS card at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or any regional office.In addition to the TIMS card, you'll also need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. This permit grants you access to the Annapurna Conservation Area, which spans over 7,600 square kilometers and includes the Annapurna range, one of the highest mountain ranges in the world. You can get an ACAP permit at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or the ACAP office in Pokhara.It's important to note that these permits are only valid for a specific period, so check the expiration dates before you go. Also, be prepared to pay a fee for each permit. The prices for TIMS and ACAP permits are relatively small, so the fees aren't much of a hassle.Although Poonhill is a shorter trek, you will still need a few essential items in your bags to help you get through dire situations. Following are some things that you will need. Trekking Boots and ShoesTrekking TrouserWindproof JacketGlovesSocksThermal WearsSleeping BagsSunglassesSun BlocksWater BottleWater PurifierHat/CapFirst aid kitPersonal MedicineProtein Bars and chocolatesToiletriesTorchMake sure you bring extra layers if you are traveling in the winter. A sleeping bag in case you miss the timing and miss out on rooms in the community lodges. Make sure you take a portable thermos flask to have clean drinking water on you at all times and trekking poles. Should I hire guides and porters for the Trek?Guides seem like an extravagance at first. Still, if you are a beginner, you should hire a guide cause even if it seems minor, having an experienced guide by your side makes a lot of difference in the journey. From getting a proper taste of the traditional dishes in the most authentic teahouses to pre-reservations of accommodations and cost-saving in some places like TIMS, registration, and other services, guides play an essential role in making your journey memorable. You can avoid losing the trail or track of time with a guide showing you ways and tidbits about every corner of the place. An experienced guide will show you the best spots for beautiful views and find elusive animals you might need help seeing. In terms of potters, they are optional since the Trek is short. You won't have to carry heavy equipment like tents or ropes, and the only luggage you will have is your trekking backpack. Although you are new to carrying heavy bags, you can hire a porter per your need.