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Poon Hill Trek Guide; Trekking in Nepal

If trekking in the Himalayas isn’t on your bucket list, then your bucket list needs a revamp! And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be an absolutel killer trek, there are shorter treks available where you can still experience the wonder fo the Himalayas. In March 2019 I revisited Nepal, one of my favourite countries in the world. I spent 3 days in Kathmandu with my girlfriend first, then I was there to build a kindergarten for a rural school in the mountains with my GiveBackGiveAway.com foundation (you can join us again next year!), as part of that adventure trip, we organised a trek through the Himalayas. We had a group of mixed ability trekkers, and we didn’t have the 2 weeks required for Everest Base Camp, so we decided upon the beautiful Poon Hill Trek, in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas.

The Poon Hill trek goes as high as 3200m (10,000+ feet) and can be done in 4-6 days, we did it in 6 so we could soak up the Himalayan atmosphere, enjoy the tea houses and not kill ourselves with 12 hour hiking days each day. Check out all the information on our Poon Hill Trek experience, and get yourself prepped for a trip to Nepal:

Poon Hill Trek Nepal
Poon Hill Trek Nepal
Poon hill nepal
Poon hill nepal

Poon Hill Trek Overview

DAYS REQUIRED: The best length of time for the Poon Hill trek is 6 days, try to allocate that. If you’re in a crazy rush, you can do it in 3 days, but you don’t get to visit the beautiful villages along the way, and you’ll be rushing the whole time, so really aim for 6 days.

STARTING POINT: You start the trek from Pokahra because Poon Hill is in the Annapurna range. From Kathmandu, you can take a day bus (8-10 hours, $15) to Pokhara or fly for $100 or so.

BEST TIME: The best time to tackle the Poon Hill trek is October through to May, although of course in the peak of winter it can be snowy and very cold. It’s a great trek for beginners, or for people to want to relax and soak up the Nepalese vibes (like me) as opposed to storming all the way to Annapurna base camp.

COMFORT LEVEL: You sleep in beautiful little Nepalese tea houses each night, with great food (and local beer!) on offer each step of the way. No day needs to be longer than 6 or 7 hours trekking so each day you should be settled in your team house by 2 or 3pm.

COST: The price is amazing. You can do it without a guide or porter if you want, but with the prices so reasonable, I’d hugely recommend booking through a local operator. We used Nest Adventure for our Poon Hill Trek, and with our group booking the price for the 6 days was a very, very reasonable $275 per person. Wow!

Trekking poon hill
Trekking poon hill

Poon Hill Trek Packing List

It depends on the season of course, but at the end of the day, it’s the Himalayas so its better to be prepared for cold weather. Here’s what you need as a minimum:

Footwear: Trekking/hiking boots. Ideally ankle height to protect you from twisting your ankle. People do hike in trailing running shoes, sneakers and even flip-flops, but trekking boots are your best bet. PRO-TIP: Bring flip-flops to walk around the tea houses at night too.

Legs: Shorts (1 or 2). Hiking pants (1). Base layer/thermal layer for legs (1).

Torso: T-shirts (3 or 4). Base layer/thermal layer for torsa (1). Hoody/sweat-shirt/jumper (1). Down jacket/warm jacket (1).

Headwear: Warm hat. Sunglasses. Buff.

Other stuff: Sunscreen. Trekking poles are great if you’re not so fit or you have dodgy knees. Solar charger. Water bottle. Snacks (chocolate, nuts etc). Gloves.

I needed my big coat!
I needed my big coat!

Poon Hill Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 01: Hile Drive to Ulleri. 4-5 hour hike. Sleeping at 1960m (6400 feet). Overnight at Purnima Lodge

Day 1 starts with a drive from Pokhara, it’s a bumpy road for a few hours until you reach the village of Nayapul. From there, your hike begins. Local villages, teahouses, lush green rolling hills, and rivers, you move towards Ulleri. The day mostly contains uphill walk to Ulleri. Upon reaching the village, we get to enjoy the magnificent view of the south face of Mt. Annapurna (7219m) along with Hiunchuli (6441m). This is the Himalayas we dreamed of.

Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill Trek
Poon hill nepal
Poon hill nepal

Day 02:  Ulleti to Ghorepani. 6-7 hour hike. Sleeping at 2,800m (9186ft). Overnight at Snow View Hotel

Ghorepani is one of the highlights of this trek, it’s a gorgeous village perched high in the Himalayas. On the way, expect mesmerizing views of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche. With mostly uphills, Ghorepani is reached passing through Nangethanti. Settle in the tea house tonight early, because tomorrow morning is an early start for the summit to Poon Hill!

Poon hill nepal
Poon hill nepal
Ghorepani
Ghorepani

Day 03: Poon Hill Summit Day! Ghorepani to Tadapani via Poonhill. Reaching 3210m (10,210ft). Overnight at Himalayan Hotel/

Summit time! Today you’ll go as high as you go the entire trip. You start early, 3.30am kinda time, and hike in the dark to be at the summit for sunrise. It’s steep so get ready to push yourself today. The sunrise is spectacular, and the Annapurna mountain range is staring right back at you. After a hot chocolate or two, you’ll descend and then trek towards Tadapani, a famous village in the Annapurna region. The summit is the highlight of the trek for me so soak it in.

Poon Hill Trek Nepal
Poon Hill Trek Nepal
Poon Hill Summit
Poon Hill Summit
Poon hill trek
Poon hill trek

Day 04: Tadapani to Ghandruk. 3-4 hour hike. Reaching 1940m (6364ft). Overnight at Meshroum Hotel

Relax! After yesterday’s beautiful effort, today is the shortest trekking day. You trek to Ghandruk, the village of renowned Gorkha soldiers. Here you can really feel the mountain culture, visit a museum and wander around the village. Ghandruk is the most famous stop in the region, and it’s understandably so when you see how beautiful it is.

Ghandruk village on the Poon Hill Trek
Ghandruk village on the Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill trek
Poon Hill trek

Day 05: Ghandruk to Ghinudanda and Hotsprings. 3-4 hours hike. Reaching1857m (6092ft). Overnight at EverGreen Hotel.

From Ghandruk, it’s nearly all downhill you’ll be glad to hear! We’re back in the forest by now, small villages dotted throughout the journey down. When you get to Ghinudanda, settle in to your tea house and don’t miss the natural hot springs further down. A nice way to soak your tired muscles.

Back in the forest
Back in the forest
Poon hill hot spring
Poon hill hot spring

Day 06: Ghinudanda to Kumi and drive to Pokhara. 6-7 hour hike. Back down to 1400m (4,550ft).  Overnight in Pokhara.

Aaaaaand you’re done. Breakfast at your tea house and you’ll be back in Pokhara for a late lunch or early dinner.

 

Poon Hill Trek FAQS

Why Did you Go with Nest Adventures?

When I travel, either with my onestep4ward trips to places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, or my independent travels, or with my GiveBackGiveAway foundation, I only ever book my local tours with local operators. It’s the purest form of responsible travel. When I was looking for an operator to help us with our Poon Hill Trek we came across Nest Adventures 6 months before the trek. We had contacted a few operators, but Nest were the only guys who were replying promptly, professionally, and gave us the confidence they would offer a great trip.

Soon we became friends with Raj, a former guide and local Nepali, and the owner of the operation. Now based in Canada, he was so eager for us to have a great product, that he personally came to Nepal to guide our trek! Now that is amazing service. His lead guides were trustworthy, fun and kind. His local knowledge was second to none. He had all the contacts at the best tea houses, knew the best photography spots. We were blown away by the service in the lead-up, and then even more so on the actual trek.

Finally, all that stuff PLUS they were amongst the cheapest prices too. Because Raj is a local guy, he works with only local guides, his goal is to provide employment in his region as much as it is to run a successful business. So his margins are small but his hear is big. We’re going back to Nepal to build another set of classrooms near Pokhara next year in 2020 (you can join us here!) and we’re using Nest Adventures again. There’s no bigger recommendation than return business. So yes, if you do Poon Hill, or any tourism in Nepal, I’d recommend you use Nest Adventures too. And speak to Raj, he’s a legend!

When is the best time of year to do the Poon Hill Trek

October to May but more specifically March to May, and September to November.

How Hard is the Poon Hill Trek?

Out of ten, perhaps a 5 or a 6. You don’t need to train for it if you’re in average shape.

How Much Does It Cost to Do the Poon Hill Trek?

With our operator it was less than $300!

Do I need a Guide for the Poon Hill Trek?

You don’t NEED one. But it’s recommend. When it’s so cheap, to have someone making sure you’re timings are correct, you’re going in the right direction etc, I’d definitely take one.

What about travel insurance when trekking in Nepal?

I use SafetyWing for all my travel health insurance. $9 a week, can cancel any time, covers you up to 4500 hiking. Amazing.

Kathmandu monkey temple
Kathmandu monkey temple
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teach-blog

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7 thoughts on “Poon Hill Trek Guide; Trekking in Nepal

  1. I really appreciate your writing skills and the way you explain
    This article is really helpful and informative,
    keep sharing

  2. I genuinely want to say that I was scrolling down to look the snaps you have taken rather than remaining contents. The snap you have taken is so natural and connecting I just got goosebumps after seeing such images. Talking about the article I am wondering about the trekking areas in Nepal. Probably, Poon Hill Trek is the shortest trekking region in Nepal and I have been there thrice. Thanks for such a readable article you have explored all the things around there.

  3. This is really great information for us. thanks for the great tips about trekking in Nepal… your site is always Amazing…

  4. Just Oh my God!!! Em so happy to see the article from Nepal. PoonHill Trek is one of the shortest treks in Nepal which incorporates with the Mountains of Mount Annapurna, Mardi Himal, Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Macchapuchre and so on. It is one of the gift given by the god to Nepal. Thank you so much for writing such a readable article in Poon Hill Trek and would like to request you to write more and more articles on the Trekking in Nepal.

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