The Path to Annapurna: Exploring Routes to Reach Base Camp

Annapurna base camp trek is one of the most challenging yet the most rewarding treks one can go to. It is deemed as a difficult trekking destination not only in Nepal but also all around the world. From climbing the steep trails of the journey to exploring the most beautiful aspects of Nepal, including the mountains, greenery, and the ever amazing landscape views, you will be left with nothing but enchantment in mind. However, its challenges do not mean that the trek is not family friendly. Given you take the right route and trail, the challenges are nothing but sortable odds.

There are many routes and paths that you can explore to reach the Annapurna base camp. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Annapurna base camp and the exploration of the world far from the urban hustles and bustles. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!

What are the highlights of different routes of the Annapurna Base Camp trek?

There are two famous routes that you can take if your final destination is the Annapurna base camp. Trekkers can be assured of the fact that they won’t only be getting the tasteful feeling of the end result, but also the journey as a whole. Some of the major highlights of all the routes are the Gurung villages along the path, lush red Rhododendron and oak forests, rivers and bridges, an exploration of the rural Nepali lifestyle, mouth-watering Nepali delicacies, view of Annapurna and Fishtail mountains, as well as the overall beauty of the trek of one of the most magnificent base camps in the country.

After the Everest base camp, the Annapurna base camp is the most popular, and the cherished trekking spot.

How can you reach Annapurna base camp?

There is more than just one alternative as to how you can reach Annapurna base camp. Many tend to trek by walking all the way to the base camp while some others like to keep their journey as short as they like to keep it convenient, and hence go to the end spot by a helicopter.

Going to the base camp by helicopter is not only less time consuming, it will also give you the best view from the sky. You can reach the base camp from Kathmandu by flying for around only an hour. But, when you fly from Pokhara directly, it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to reach the base camp. Likewise, booking a helicopter from Kathmandu is much costlier than booking a helicopter from Pokhara. Hence, many tend to take the helicopter flight to the Annapurna base camp from Pokhara instead of Kathmandu. However, if your hotel is in Kathmandu and you want to save more time and effort than you do money, then it is best for you to start your flight from the capital city itself. On your way to the Annapurna base camp, you will come through beautiful landscapes and greenery. The shift from a rather busy urban area to a rural village is also a sight to witness for many. Moreover, Annapurna base camp flight also comes with an immensely impressive view of the mountains from atop.

While you can easily reach the base camp in a day by a helicopter flight, it is going to take you around a week to complete the trek. You won’t be able to miss out on any major highlight of the Annapurna base camp area if you trek to the base camp. This includes the beautiful landscapes, mighty mountains, three of the most popular lakes in Nepal (namely Rupa, Begnas, and Phewa), and a close exploration of the rural Nepalese lifestyle.

Regardless of how you go to the Annapurna base camp, you will come across many other visitors, both Nepalese and non-Nepalese, during your journey. If you visit the base camp during peak seasons, then there is a big likelihood of crowds even in teahouses along with the trails. There are just as many trekkers and visitors who trek to discover the Annapurna base camp and the villages in the area. Going there during off-season, on the other hand, may seem like a good idea to avoid crowds, but there are just as many cons to it.

Likewise, if you are visiting the base camp with your family, you should keep in mind to choose the most ease-giving route. Trekking might not be the best idea if you are taking along young children and people of the older demographic. Hence, you can opt for a helicopter tour instead. But visitors who want to explore with their partners or other fellow trekkers can always take the longer yet enjoyable route and trek instead.

Different paths to Annapurna Base Camp

There are two popular paths or routes to Annapurna Base Camp. One is the Ghandruk route, and the other is the route you take via Poon hill. The latter route makes up for an adventurous and a longer journey for the trekkers, who want to get the best out of two destinations during the same trek.

It is necessary to know that anyone who is going to the base camp by a helicopter will reach the destination by directly flying and won’t have to stay for more than a day, or a day and a night at most only in contrast to the trekkers who will have to spend a minimum of 5 days even from the direct route.

Ghandruk to Annapurna Base Camp

This route is different from the one you take from Poon hill. This route is shorter and an overall better choice for a beginner or a trekking group of a family. Trekkers should keep in mind that though this trek is easier to accomplish, it is also not a piece of cake if there are elderly people and children involved. They should be prepared for a lot of challenges even through this route, which is by far the easiest route to the Annapurna base camp.

You will spend no less than a week of trekking when you start your journey from this route. Further, trekkers will be able to explore the beauty of the culture and rural lifestyle of Gurung villages, lush rhododendron forests, greenery as well as the breathtaking view of the massive peaks in Pokhara. There are plenty of teahouses where you can stay overnight throughout your journey, and there is a big likelihood that staying in teahouses will give you a glimpse of how people live around Ghandruk.

While Ghandruk in itself is a great trekking destination for many, you will get the best of both worlds as you will not only trek through Ghandruk but also reach Annapurna base camp as an end result of your trek.

Poon hill to Annapurna Base Camp

As you dive into your adventure of reaching atop Annapurna base camp, you can also get the best experience by simply trekking from Poon hill. Poon hill is another amazing trekking destination which has also become the end stop for many trekkers from all around the world. This route will also end within 7 days of your journey. Trekkers get to see a 360 degree view of the most beautiful Himalayas from this route, meaning you will be surrounded by mountains throughout the trail.

Not only do trekkers get to experience the beauty of Annapurna base camp, they also get to see the immensely popular trekking destination of Poon hill along with other places like Bamboo, Chhomrong, Ghorepani, and Deurali. Additionally, one of the perks of going through this route is that you get time for acclimatization and adjustment.

When you start from a lower altitude and end up going higher with speed, you don’t get as much time as necessary for acclimatization. But, when you take a week into slowly trekking and increasing likeness with the changing altitude, you will experience proper adjustment of the body.

Trekkers also get to rest adequately while having interactions with villagers in the area. Even for a beginner going to trek for the very first time, there is nothing one can complain about on the route.


Going on a trek is not an easy chore in itself. One needs to possess a lot of physical and mental strength for it. A major aspect of the trek before you even get to the beginning of your destination is that you choose the right path to it. During treks, you have different routes as options, and it takes a trekker to make the right decision on which route they should choose.

This calls for an exploration, not physically, but by going through some helpful articles like this one. Hence, it is always best to make a list of things you expect to see and explore during your trek. Not only this, you also have to keep in check your own physical capacities. Given everything fits perfectly to your expectations and abilities, you can start your journey.

Regardless of which route you choose to take during your journey to the Annapurna base camp, you will get exciting experience, which will definitely amount to be a once in a lifetime experience.

By Edward Robinson

Looking to share my thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. Robinson aims to make an enjoyable corner of the internet that brings a bit of lighthearted entertainment to readers' days. As the site develops, he intends to bring on a few other bloggers to add additional voices and expand the range of subjects covered beyond just his personal interests. Robinson sees long-term potential in becoming a popular online destination.

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