Many popular treks in Nepal don’t need much preparation and time devotion like in the past. Popular treks like Ghorepani Poon Hill could be done in as less as 2 days from Pokhara and back. Betterment in domestic flight services and extension of road further into the mountains have made it possible to plan treks in little over a weekend holiday.
Treks from Pokhara were the most popular among international trekkers. It is because of easy access, and vibrant culture and exotic view of Himalayas of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu ranges. Annapurna region was the most trekked region of Nepal.
Here are some of the popular treks from Pokhara that could be done in 2 days or longer.
2 days is just a weekend. Yes, Ghorepani Poon Hill trek could be customized for as less as 2 days from Pokhara to Pokhara. 2 days Ghorepani trek has been possible with the extension of dirt road further into Annapurna conservation area. It is possible to drive further into Burungdi valley and start the trek from Thikedunga. Ghorepani is just 6 hrs. walk away from Thikedunga after 3 hrs. drive in the morning. After the popular sunrise view from Poon Hill, it is easy half a day walk down to Thikedunga and drive back to Pokhara.
Being in the higher reaches from the settlements, Ghorepani trek is still pristine with one of the best Himalayan view. The road expansion have reached the villages at the base and left the 2 days trek untouched.
This is relatively easy and nearest short trek from Pokhara with comfortable lodges. The route mostly winds along the ridge about 30 km northwest of Pokhara. Australian camp at 2,061 m is the highlight of the trek. The place is a forest clearing overlooking at the sweeping valley reaching Pokhara and the far reaching chain of Himalayan peaks. Walk along the ridge to Dhampus and further to Astam village. Stay in the Annapurna Eco village resort and enjoy the village tour, organic farm tour or just chill in the resort garden watching the peaks of Annapurna.
The trek could be customized from a day hike to 3 days.
Mohare danda community lodge trek is an alternate to Ghorepani trekking route. The trek starts with drive of about 150 km to Galeshower and climbs from the more pristine side of the Ghorepani trek. The trail passes through charming and unspoiled villages and come to view point at Mohare danda at 3,300 m. Accommodations are available in homestay and community lodges making it the best example of sustainable tourism.
This trek from Pokhara could be customized from 4 days or longer with trek to Khopra ridge and Ghandruk.
For those looking for more challenges, 6 days trek from Pokhara could be planned to Khopra danda and Khari Lake. The trek route follows the main trail to Ghorepani and then braids off to the more pristine higher valleys in the buttresses of Annapurna South. Khopra ridge trek avoids the crowded Annapurna trail and offers close up view of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from even higher points than Ghorepani or Poon Hill. Side trip to Khair Lake at 4500 m could be planned for an extra day.
Opened only recently, Mardi Himal trek has become the most popular teahouse trek in the Annapurna. This is the closest high altitude trek from Pokhara. Short and easy 6 days trek includes walk through the foothills, Rhododendron forest and come to the alpine pastures at the buttresses of Mardi Himal with snow peaks looming at a distance. The change of landscape and scenery with in short trek is what makes Mardi Himal different. An extra day could be planned with more challenging hike to Mardi Himal base camp at 4,500 m.
Jomsom and Muktinath in the north of Annapurna still makes a good combo of short hikes and road trip. Kaligandaki valley has its legend as the forbidden kingdom and the most popular salt trading route. After 1959, the land sheltered Tibetan combatants for about a decade and then opened itself for trekking.
Recent expansion of road have made the access easy but destroyed the much needed tourism. However tourists can fly and drive to scenic Thakali villages and spend few days hiking to the more surreal viewpoints.
My friend and I did the poon hill trek with itournepal at the end of March and absolutely loved it! As neither of us were hugely experienced trekkers, Rabi’s advice and route planning and knowledge was extremely helpful and he tailored it to what we wanted to see- adding an extra day to go to the jinhu hotsprings. Our guide Dil went above and beyond to make our trek enjoyable, making the journey extremely fun and meant that we didn’t have to think about any of the practical stuff like rooms and meals. ... Molly P