7 February, 2021 | Reccy Guide
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are some adventures that seem to call your name. The opportunity to trek through the Himalayas in Nepal – let alone climb the peaks – is one such trip. If you’ve always wanted to trek through the Khumbu region but felt it was out of reach, the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek might be perfect for you.
Many Himalayan treks are particularly challenging. They may last weeks or be difficult and dangerous to accomplish. Perhaps you don’t have unlimited time, aren’t a trained athlete, or want to complete a hike with your family. You don’t have to stifle your dreams of traveling in Nepal.
Ghorepani Poonhill trekking gives everyone a chance to explore. This adventure can be completed in 5 days or less without skimping on the fun aspects of the trip. During your 40-kilometer walk, you’ll be immersed in Gurung culture, see incredible views, and walk through protected natural areas.
This trip is also a popular choice for trekkers seeking a “warm-up” hike. Many travelers who intend to complete the Annapurna Circuit or a challenging Everest Base Camp Trek use this trail to acclimatize and prepare. This path does reach an altitude of 3,100m, though it’s rare to experience altitude sickness before the 3,000m mark.
You can begin your adventure in Kathmandu, the capital city, or Pokhara. There are flights directly into each city, but it’s often fun to explore Kathmandu before you begin your trip to the northwestern trekking region. When you depart from Pokhara, you’ll travel into Nayapul.
This first leg of the trip will give you an excellent sampling of lower-altitude Himalayan beauty. You’ll pass by rich farmland, cascading waterfalls, and bamboo forests. Upon arriving in Nayapul, you’ll enjoy your first teahouse experience.
Teahouses are a staple of Nepalese travel. Trekkers and climbers will find plenty of teahouses along all paths through the region. These modest lodges are run by local families. Depending on the commercialization of the area, you may dine with the owners before turning in for the night. Beds are provided, along with showers.
In the morning, you’ll begin a legendary part of this trek: climbing the stone staircase. The day you tackle the stairs – ideally starting early in the morning – will undoubtedly leave you with sore legs that you’ll be happy to rest in Ulleri. There are 3,767 steps standing between you, a good meal, and the next chance to put your feet up.
When you’ve tackled the stone steps and made it to Ulleri, you’ll be rewarded heavily with some truly incredible views. After passing through sprawling rhododendron and oak forests, Annapurna South and Mount Machhapuchhre will come into view.
From there, it’s on to the highlight of the trip. The town of Ghorepani sits below Poon Hill, and you’ll rest there the day before. The goal of every trekker is to reach the top of Poon Hill before sunrise. There are roughly 200m to climb in the early hours of the day, so make sure to wake up with plenty of time.
The view at the top is one of a kind. From the top of Poon Hill, you can watch the sunrise crest over Annapurna II and the Dhaulagiri massifs. The sun turns incredible hues of pinks and golds, and the sun shines down on the green forests and snow-capped peaks in the distance.
Once the sun is high in the sky, you can head back down to Ghorepani. Enjoy another night in this quiet village, and in the morning you can pack up and head for Nayapul, and Pokhara beyond. From there, you can catch a return flight to Kathmandu and wrap up your trip by visiting local temples looking over the photos you took on the top of Poonhill.
Even when you return back home, you’ll never forget the adventure you had. Whether you trek it alone or bring others along for the ride, you can absolutely experience the range of beauty tucked into the Khumbu region of Nepal. Your only choice now is deciding when to book your trip.
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