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Annapurna Circuit

ACT Day 01 - Ngadi to Srichaur
ACT Day 02 - Srichaur to Tal
ACT Day 03 - Tal to Danakyu
ACT Day 04 - Danakyu to Thanchok
ACT Day 05 - Thanchok to Dhikur Pokhari
ACT Day 06 - Dhikur Pokhari to Ngawal
ACT Day 07 - Route to Kang La
ACT Day 08 - Ngawal to Khangsar
ACT Day 09 - Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp
ACT Day 10 - Tilicho Lake
ACT Day 11 - Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka
ACT Day 12 - Yak Kharka to High Camp
ACT Day 13 - Thorong La Pass
ACT Day 14 - Ranipauwa to Kagbeni
ACT Day 15 - Kagbeni to Jomsom
ACT Day 16 - Jomsom to Pokhara

The Annapurna Circuit


The Annapurna Circuit is a classic trek that used to be considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Nepal. The circuit goes through incredibly varied terrain; taking you first through paddy fields and dense forests, before passing steep cliffs and gorgeous mountainscapes as it traces the Marsyangdi valley ever upwards. The trek can last for between one to three weeks and can cover between 150 to 300 kilometres depending on where one begins and ends the trek, as well as how extensively the side trails are explored. The circuit itself encircles the Annapurna massif, with the two side trails of the glacial tarn of Tilicho Lake (elevation : 4920m) and the glacial basin of Annapurna Sanctuary (elevation : 4130m) straddling the north and south of Annapurna I (elevation : 8091m), the 10th highest mountain in the world. The Annapurna Circuit crosses the Thorong La Pass (elevation : 5416m) at its highest point before descending rapidly towards arid Kagbeni (elevation : 2800m), which lies alongside the incredibly deep Kali Gandaki gorge, and is the gateway into Upper Mustang as well as the Tibetan Plateau (Tibetan: བོད་ས་མཐོ།). This rapid descent is the very reason why the circuit is almost always traveled anti-clockwise as the gradual ascent to the high-altitude pass dramatically decreases the chances of trekkers getting sick from the altitude.


Difficulty Rating : 5.2 / 10.0 (Class 7 - Challenging)


*Cick here to learn more about the difficulty rating.

**Please bear in mind that this rating applies to those who do not employ the services of porters. A lighter load significantly reduces the difficulty levels, i.e. from "challenging" to "moderate." This discrepancy is even more pronounced with high-altitude hikes.

Noticed that I mentioned that it used to be considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Nepal? This is because since then, roads are being built around the Annapurna Circuit and have encroached upon it all the way up to Muktinath (elevation : 3800m) in the west, and Manang (elevation : 3540m) in the east. The roads have and will undoubtedly benefit the locals as the roads make the transport and selling of agricultural produce more convenient, decrease the costs of obtaining supplies (although despite that, prices have not dropped and meals are still incredibly exorbitant), and decrease the time taken to access emergency medical facilities. The downside of building these roads is that their unsightliness could negatively impact tourism.

Fortunately, a set of new 'alternative' trails that attempt to bypass the roads were marked out by Prem Rain and Andrees de Ruiter, way back in August 2011. This new route is known as the 'NATT' (New Annapurna Trekking Trails) and, with the permission of ACAP (see below), has been marked out with red and white markers for the main route, and blue and white markers for the side trails.

Interactive Location Map

The map below has sections of the path that I followed hyperlinked and clicking on each section of the route will bring you to its respective page (if the map does not work for any reason, you may also find the links at the top of this page). The GPS routes for each leg of the journey can also be found at the end of the post for each of the respective days.

Annapurna Base Camp
Kathmandu Preparation
ACT Day 01 - Ngadi to Srichaur
ACT Day 02 - Srichaur to Tal
ACT Day 03 - Tal to Danakyu
ACT Day 04 - Danakyu to Thanchok
ACT Day 05 - Thanchok to Dhikur Pokhari
ACT Day 06 - Dhikur Pokhari to Ngawal
ACT Day 07 - Route to Kang La
ACT Day 08 - Ngawal to Khangsar
ACT Day 09 - Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp
ACT Day 10 - Tilicho Lake
ACT Day 11 - Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka
ACT Day 12 - Yak Kharka to High Camp
ACT Day 13 - Thorong La
ACT Day 14 - Ranipauwa to Kagbeni
ACT Day 14 - Tiri
ACT Day 15 - Kagbeni to Jomsom
The Descent

Hovering your cursor over the image above will show you the names of the locations.
The elevation profile from Ghorepani to Annapurna Base Camp has not been included.