The Poon Hill Trek is a popular and relatively short trekking route located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is named after Poon Hill, a viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, including the majestic Mount Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Here’s some information about the Poon Hill Trek:
Duration: The Poon Hill Trek typically takes around 4-5 days to complete. However, the duration can vary depending on your starting point and hiking pace.
Starting Point: The trek usually begins from Nayapul, which is accessible by a few hours’ drive from the lakeside city of Pokhara. Alternatively, some trekkers start from a nearby village called Tikhedhunga.
Highlights: The main highlight of the Poon Hill Trek is reaching the viewpoint at Poon Hill (3,210 meters or 10,531 feet). From this vantage point, you can witness breathtaking sunrise views over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, which are bathed in golden hues. The trek also takes you through beautiful villages, lush forests, terraced fields, and rhododendron-filled hillsides.
Teahouse Accommodation: Along the Poon Hill Trek route, there are several teahouses and lodges that provide basic accommodation and meals. These establishments offer a cozy and friendly environment, allowing you to rest and refuel after a day of trekking.
Difficulty Level: The Poon Hill Trek is considered a relatively moderate trek suitable for beginners and trekkers with limited time. While there are some uphill sections and stone steps, it is generally less demanding compared to longer and more challenging treks in the region.
Permits: For the Poon Hill Trek, you will need the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card, similar to other treks in the Annapurna region. These permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Best Time to Trek: The Poon Hill Trek can be done throughout the year, but the best time to trek is during the pre-monsoon (spring) season from March to May and the post-monsoon (autumn) season from September to November. During these months, the weather is generally clear, with mild temperatures and excellent visibility.
Guides and Porters: Hiring a guide or porter is optional for the Poon Hill Trek, as the trail is well-marked and easy to follow. However, if you prefer assistance with navigation or carrying your belongings, you can hire a local guide or porter in Nayapul or Pokhara.
The Poon Hill Trek offers a rewarding trekking experience with stunning mountain vistas and cultural encounters with local communities. It is a great option for those looking for a shorter trek in the Annapurna region while still experiencing the beauty of the Himalayas.
Here’s a sample itinerary for the Poon Hill Trek:
Day 1: Arrival in Pokhara
- Arrive in Pokhara, a beautiful lakeside city in Nepal.
- Spend the day exploring Pokhara, relaxing, and preparing for the trek.
- Overnight stay in Pokhara.
Day 2: Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Tikhedhunga
- After breakfast, drive from Pokhara to Nayapul (around 1.5 hours).
- Begin trekking from Nayapul and follow the trail along the Modi Khola.
- Pass through the village of Birethanti and continue uphill to reach Tikhedhunga.
- Overnight stay in Tikhedhunga.
Day 3: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani
- Start the day early and climb steep stone steps known as Ulleri.
- Continue trekking through beautiful rhododendron and oak forests.
- Reach the village of Ghorepani, which is located at the base of Poon Hill.
- Overnight stay in Ghorepani.
Day 4: Hike to Poon Hill and Trek to Tadapani
- Early morning hike to Poon Hill (3,210 meters) to witness the sunrise and panoramic mountain views.
- Descend back to Ghorepani for breakfast.
- Continue trekking through dense forests and charming villages.
- Arrive at Tadapani, which offers great views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).
- Overnight stay in Tadapani.
Day 5: Trek from Tadapani to Ghandruk
- Enjoy the scenic trail as you descend through rhododendron and bamboo forests.
- Reach the traditional Gurung village of Ghandruk, known for its cultural heritage and stunning mountain views.
- Explore the village and interact with the friendly locals.
- Overnight stay in Ghandruk.
Day 6: Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul and Drive to Pokhara
- Descend from Ghandruk to Nayapul, passing through terraced fields and charming settlements.
- Arrive at Nayapul and take a private vehicle back to Pokhara.
- Enjoy a relaxing evening in Pokhara, exploring the city or boating on Phewa Lake.
- Overnight stay in Pokhara.
Day 7: Departure from Pokhara
- After breakfast, depart from Pokhara according to your travel plans.
Please note that this is a general itinerary, and the duration and specific details may vary depending on your preferences, hiking pace, and weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to be flexible during trekking adventures, allowing for adjustments as needed.