The Annapurna Circuit Trek is beyond special. For good reason, it is frequently ranked among the top trails in the world. Each day of this marvelous journey gets better and better as the trail leads further into the mountains and eventually into the Mars-like Mustang region. The trail completely changes after descending from the Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters), the highest point of the trek.
This trek lasts just over two weeks and is measured between 160-230 kilometers (depending on where you begin or end). Long before you are finished with the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will feel a deep sense of connectedness to the surrounding natural landscape. Far from home, deep in the Himalayas, the Annapurna Circuit Trek provides a feeling of comfort and peace. Be present in these pristine mountains and welcoming villages.
To begin the trek, hike through lush forests. The lush, green forests give us energy. The vibrant rhododendrons add another layer of color and vibrancy to the trail. Their pink and red flowers are amazing. Continuing through the Marsyangdi River Valley, a multitude of natural and cultural wonders await us. Admire cascading waterfalls, charming Gurung, Magar, and mixed ethnic villages while listening to the flowing of water every now and then.
As the trail enters the Manang district, the villages and landscapes begin to change. Massive mountain peaks appear and the surrounding villages are inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists. It is soon time to cross the Thorong La Pass, the most memorable moment of the trek. Let the sight of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna I (8090m), Annapurna South (7219m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Tilicho (7134m), and Hiunchuli (6441m) take your breath away.
Incredible scenery awaits as we descend into the Mustang region. Located in the rain shadow, this area is a barren landscape that looks as if it comes from another planet. High up in the orange and brown cliffs exist small caves. Muktinath is a pilgrimage site that we pass through. Hundreds of Hindu devotees come here each year to pay homage, bathing in the sacred waters in hopes of attaining moksha (liberation). Off in the distance are more snow-capped peaks beyond the desolate environment immediately surrounding us.
Move down and hike through the Kali Gandaki river gorge to Jomsom, the district headquarters. From here, we continue the trek, ending with a pleasant evening in Pokhara to celebrate our success.
You can take the Annapurna Circuit Trek all throughout the year. The best times to make the trip, though, are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These seasons provide the best weather and clearest skies, not to mention that during the springtime, rhododendron and other alpine flowers are in bloom. Third Eye Adventure Pvt. Ltd. handles the trek with complete management. If you have any questions about the trek, do ask!
Annapurna Circuit Trek Map