Short Trek Nepal Annapurna: top 5 short treks in Annapurna region
The Annapurna Region in Nepal is one of the most popular places for high-altitude trekking in the country, and with its massive Circuit and Sanctuary treks, the Annapurna Range has two of the best long-distance treks in the world. However, not every trek in the region is long and arduous, and designed for experienced trekkers. There are a number of treks that are much shorter, even as little as two days, which are more suited to those that are new to trekking, or for families and those with kids and the elderly.
From the shortest two-day trek close to the Pokhara Valley to the longer 4-day treks around Poon Hill and Panchase, there really is something for everyone in Nepal. These treks are also ideal if you are limited on the time you have in Nepal, and still want to experience the amazing trekking of this Himalayan nation without having to spend weeks on the trail. Please follow our expert’s guide to learn the top short treks in Annapurna region of Nepal.
2-day Ghachok Trek
The shortest trek in the Annapurna region, the Ghachok Trek takes you to a small mountain village close to the Pokhara Valley. A short and easy trek that is suitable for beginners and those with kids as young as five, this beautiful trail takes you through Ghachok Village, and gives you a unique taste of the lifestyles of the local Gurung people.
You'll have a opportunity to experience the local people's lifestyle during the Ghachok trek.
Ghachok Village is the main entry point to some of the longer Annapurna Trails, and the village gives you great views of the Annapurna Massif, as well as the nearby Fishtail Mountain. The trek starts in Hemja, around 30 minutes drive from Pokhara, and heads up to Ghachok Village, crossing the Mardi Khola River and passing through the village of Lhachok along the way. From Ghachok, after staying overnight in a teahouse, you then turn south and head towards Pokhara, passing through the small hamlet of Batulechaur, following the valley down to the city of Pokhara.
3-day Ghandruk Loop Trek
A comfortable 3-day trek from Pokhara, which runs in a loop and ends back at where you started; the Ghandruk Loop Trek is a stunning short trek through the lower hills of the Annapurna Region. The village of Ghandruk is a Gurung community, and the trek gives you the opportunity to experience the local ethnic culture as well as giving you great views of the Annapurna Massif, including Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Annapurna III, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre.
An ideal trek for those looking for a short trek because of time constraints, the trail is easy with no hard ascents or descents. It is also suitable for those with kids, as it has a maximum walking time of around 5-6 hours per day. The route starts in Phedi Village, and the trek for the first day takes you to Ghandruk, where you stay the night, In the morning, you will trek for around 5-6 hours to the village of Pothana, dropping down to follow the Modi Khola River before climbing again to reach Landruk Village, and then on through Deurali to Pothana.
Capturing a great vista of the Annapurna Massif through the Ghandruk Loop trek.
The third day takes you is a shorter day of trekking, taking just 3 hours to get to the end of the trek. The day starts along a ridge that has great views of the mountains, and then heads up to Phedi Village, through lush green forests. Phedi is the end of the trek, and most people are met there to be driven back to Pokhara.
3-day Dhampus Sarangkot Trek
Located in the lower part of the Annapurna Region, this 3-day trek is an easy and comfortable trek for all ages. Dhampus is the largest Gurung village in the area, with typical local traditional houses and the traditional Gurung culture of the Himalayas. The main gateway to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, and the start of the Mardi Himal Trek in the Annapurna Region.
Spent over three days, the route of the trek starts at Dhampus Phedi, around 45 minutes from Pokhara, and treks to Dhampus Village, a 2-3 hour trek, where you will stay overnight in a teahouse. The second day of the trek sees you hiking to the Australian Camp, one of the lower base camps for Annapurna, and back again to Dhampus for lunch. Then it is on to Sarangkot Village, a 2-3 hour trek. Sarangkot, the highest point of the trek, lies at just 1,592 meters above sea level, so there is no problems with altitude sickness on this trek. After an overnight in a lodge, you will take the last stretch of the trek back to Pokhara, which takes around three hours.
Having a cup of tea and enjoying the incredible vista of Annapurna during the Dhampus Sarangkot trek.
This beautiful three-day trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the area, and can make you feel free and liberated from the stresses of life. From Sarangkot, there are some great views of the higher mountains around you, including Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Machhapuchhre (6,997 meters), Annapurna II (7,937 meters), and Lamjung Himal (6,983 meters). The trail actually ends at Phewa Lake outside the western edge of Pokhara, and you can spend a few hours boating on the lake to relax from the trekking.
4-day Poon Hill Trek
The famous Poon Hill Trek is the perfect trek for anyone with little time on their hands, who are looking for an exciting and beautiful short trek in Nepal. The trek is renowned for its views of the high mountains to the north from the Poon Hill Station, and the best view is as the sun rises from behind the mountains. The route starts and finishes at Nayapul, and loops around Ghorepani and Ghandruk, giving you the chance to peek into this higher alpine area of the lowlands of the Annapurna Region.
The difficulty level of the Poon Hill Trek is low, and the trail is suitable for novices, though smaller kids may not be able to complete it all as it does have one hard climb up the infamous staircase. The 4-day trek starts at Sudame, and the first part of the trek is the grueling 3,000 plus staircase, that greets you as you enter the trail. The stairs take around 3-4 hours to complete, and once at the top, it is a short trek to Banthanti, where you will stop for the night to rest your legs from the massive staircase. The second day of the trek takes you to Ghorepani, and is the easiest day of the entire four-day trial. The trek to Ghorepani is only around three hours, and the beautiful village of Ghorepani is one of the best local places to see the high mountains to the north, including Annapurna South and Dhaulagiri I, the 7th and 10th highest peaks in the world.
The notable Poon Hill trek brings you an excellent to enjoy the stunning sunset in Nepal.
Day three is the trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani, which takes around 7 hours. The first part of the trek is best started at around 5:00 am, as the start heads straight up to Poon Hill for the stunning sunrise. It takes less than an hour to get to Poon Hill, and the views of the Himalayas as the sun rises are spectacular. Once the sun has come up and you are ready to go on, it is a 5-hour trek down the hill and along the trail to Tadapani, t the east. The train gives beautiful views of the mountains, and the village of Tadapani is a delightful place, with a good bar and hotel/restaurant for those that are missing their creature comforts.
The final day of the trek begins with the stunning sunrise over Machhapuchhre, before descending from Tadapani down the hillside to Ghandruk, and the end of the trail. The trek down the hill to the village takes around four hours, and you will pass through some of the area’s densest rhododendron forests, interspersed with small but beautiful waterfalls.
4-day Panchase Trek
The Panchase Trek is one of the best short treks in Nepal, and is ideal for those with little time or for novices to trekking in the Himalayas. The trek usually begins in style, with a slow boat ride across Phewa Lake in Pokhara, to the start of the trail. One of the hidden gems of the Annapurna Range, the trek is not as widely known as the Poon Hill trek, but is so much more stunning. The trek is one that only requires a moderate level of fitness, so is most suitable for anyone, including kids.
After the boat trip, you climb up through the lush forests to the World Peace Pagoda, one of 80 pagodas around the world, built to promote world peace by the global Buddhist community. Then it is on down the other side of the hill, through the village of Lukum Swara, to the day’s end at Bumdi Village.
The Panchase trek offers you a chance appreciate the peaceful village and snow-capped mountains of Nepal.
Day two starts with a climb through the forests once more, where you can glimpse the high mountains through the trees. The forests are full of monkeys, and if you are lucky, you can see them in the trees. The trail soon joins a dirt road, which takes you along to the village of Panchase Bhanjyang, where you can stay for the night.
Day three sees you heading up to the summit of Panchase Hill, one of the many hill stations in Nepal, at an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. If you rise early, you can get a great view of the sunrise over the mountains from the top of the hill. Then it is down again to the village of Alldanda, where you can stop for lunch, before taking the easy stroll to the day’s rest stop at Bhadaure Village.
The final day of the trek starts with a short walk down from the village to the jeep trail below, which you follow through several small hamlets of Gurung people to the town of Naudanda, and the end of the trail. A car will normally pick you up to take you back to Pokhara, or you can take a local bus from the town.
How to Prepare for the Short Trek in Annapurna
The short treks in Nepal really need little preparation, as they do not require permits for most of the treks, and the hardest decision to make is whether or not to take a guide. If you are unused to trekking in Nepal, then hiring a guide is a must, as they will know the trails and will be able to arrange accommodation and even porters if you require them. You should make sure you pack suitable clothing for the weather, and make sure you have rain gear, as it is always possible that it can rain.
For anyone that is considering trekking in Nepal but has little time, or has never been trekking before, these stunning short treks are ideal as starter and short excursion treks. The shorter treks are along trails that are not as hard or as arduous as the higher altitude treks of the Annapurna Region, and are suitable for beginners and people of all ages, though kids under 5-6 years old may not be able to manage this. If you have little time, then these treks are ideal and can give you all the views of the longer treks without the longer time for trekking.