Guide to the Ghorepani Poon Hill

Guide to the Ghorepani Poon Hill

Ghorepani Poon Hill is one of the most visited trekking destinations in Nepal. Poon Hill, which towers above the village of Ghorepani, is a beautiful viewpoint from where one can enjoy three sixty-degree views of the Himalayan range –  Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre(Fishtail Peak), Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, etc.

Located in the Annapurna Region, it takes only about three or four days of trekking to reach this amazing destination. Because of the easy route, the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is highly popular with families trekking with kids, elderly trekkers, novice hikers looking for an easy Himalayan trek, and first-time visitors who want to experience the Nepalese Himalayan landscape.

In the bygone days, Ghorepani was an important rest stop for horse caravans and traders traveling through the Tibet trade route. This used to be a watering hole for mule packs and horses transferring goods. A village cropped up once the traffic of traders to Tibet dried up, and tourism began to flourish.

Top Highlights

  • Poonhill is known for its sublime sunrise view of the Himalayan peaks. From Poon Hill, you get to enjoy an incredible view of some of the highest peaks in the world, including Dhaulagiri (the seventh-highest mountain in the world) and Annapurna (the tenth-highest mountain in the world). It takes only 3-4 days of trekking on a gentle trail to soak in the close-up views of these amazing snow-covered giants.
  • The route to Ghorepani takes you across one of the largest rhododendron forests in the Himalayas. During spring, the trail is covered with pink and red blooming rhododendron flowers. Often this part of the Annapurna trail is known as the ‘hike to paradise’ as the flower-filled trail seems magical and heavenly.
  • The teahouses or lodges en route are pretty modern. Unlike at other trekking trails in Nepal, the overnight stops along the Ghorepani/Poon Hill trail offers modern amenities (rooms with en suite bathrooms and charging ports, proper hot showers, wi-fi, etc.). You also get an amazing choice of food and beverages at the local restaurants on the way.
  • The trail leading to Ghorepani/Poon Hill is well-maintained and clean. Locals living in the area make it a point to repair and maintain the trail regularly.
  • Since Ghorepani or Poon Hill lies within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), you will get to encounter a variety of Himalayan wildlife and flora.
  • As the trail meanders through Gurung and Magar villages, you will get a chance to experience the unique cultures of these communities.
  • Ghorepani-Poon Hill is the ideal destination for those who want to experience the mountains of Nepal within a short time. No experience is needed, and it’s easy walking on an up-and-down trail. Moreover, as Ghorepani (2874m) and Poon Hill (3210m) sit below 4000 meters, altitude sickness is not a great concern.

How to Get?

From Pokhara, you can take a drive to the trailhead –  Nayapul, Ghandruk Village, or Kimchi. There’s also a rough jeep track leading to Hille or Ulleri. To take this route, you will have to ride further from Nayapul till you reach Hille or Ulleri.

Is the Poon Hill Trek tough?

Ghorepani and Poon Hill is described as an easy to moderately difficult trek. It all depends on the route you choose to trek and your fitness level. Among all the routes, the trek from Nayapul, although scenic and beautiful, is the toughest, as you have to climb more than 3000 steep stone steps to reach Ulleri.

To reach Poon Hill or Ghorepani, you have to make a steep ascent which can take anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your pace.

People who are physically fit can easily complete this trek. High altitude is not a concern. The highest point of your trek is Poon Hill at 3210 meters, where you will spend only an hour or two before descending to Ghorepani(2874m).

What are the permits required to trek to Ghorepani-Poon Hill?

To get to Ghorepani and Poon Hill, you need to obtain these two permits:

  • TIMS (Tourist Information Management System) Card
  • ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) Permit

You can get these permits from either Nepal Tourism Board’s office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

The entry fee to the ACAP is cheaper for nationals of SAARC countries as compared to other foreigners.

Best Time

The best months to visit Ghorepani and Poon Hill are spring (March to May) and autumn (September-November). If you want to experience the delightful rhododendron blooms, then it’s best to time your travel during March and April.

To enjoy crystal clear views of the Himalayan mountains, autumn is the best season as there’s no haze or fog.

To avoid peak-season crowds, trekkers also choose to hike during early winter (December) and monsoon season (June-July). Traveling during the off-season has its own charm and drawbacks. You get to enjoy your walk in peace and avail discounts at teahouses. But on the downside, you may have to face bad weather and muddy trails.

Trek Extensions

For a more enriching experience, trekkers usually club Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek or Annapurna Panorama Trek with the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and the Annapurna Circuit.

Conclusion

Poon Hill is one of the best introductory treks in Nepal. Within a short span of three or four days, you get to enjoy a wholesome trekking experience. Typical Nepalese landscape, amazing Himalayan views, and rich cultural experience sums up this adventure.

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