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Poon Hill Trek Guide – Best Itinerary to Choose

Overview of Poon Hill Trek

Blessed with a great Himalayan range, a trek to Poon Hill offers you a different perspective of the mountain—a dramatic scene waiting for you atop a hill. A natural amphitheater is the best word to describe Poon Hill. A vast stretch of mountains backed by early sunrise creates an enthralling natural phenomenon. Poon Hill is the vantage point that reveals inspirational insights to every traveler who do venture there.

Highlights of  Poon Hill Trek

The best part of the Poon Hill Trek is  a panoramic view of Gurja Peak (7193m), Dhaulagiri range with Dhaulagiri I (8,167m), Tukuche Peak (6,920m), Nilgiri (6,940m), Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Hiunchuli (6,441m), Machhapuchhre (6,993m), Lamjung Himal, and Manaslu.

Another best part of this trek is that it isn’t physically demanding, and you can complete this trek in 3 days.

You can combine this trek with Annapurna Base Camp Trek and  Ghandruk Village Tour.

You can do this trek independently. *

*Note: Hiking to Poon Hill needs a TIMS card and ACAP permit. Your trekking company will handle this. But, if you are an independent traveler, buy the permits prior to your trekking either in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. If you are in Pokhara you can collect a TIMS card and get a permit by visiting Tourist Information Center located at Lakeside. It costs NPR 5,000 in total. ( NPR 2,000 for TIMS card, and NPR 3,000 for ACAP permit)

Poon Hill




Facts:

Maximum Altitude: 3,210m

Fitness level: Moderate

Number of walking hours/day: 5–6 hours

Duration: 3-5 days depending on routes and length of walking

When to start (Best time to trek Poon Hill):

Though the Ghorepani-Poon Hill trek can be done all year round, I recommend you to go either in the Autumn or Spring season.

Autumn (September–November): This is a dry season where the sky gets clear and the weather is clement. You have a great chance of having a close-up view of the mountains. This is the main (first) season for trekkers in Nepal. That’s why the trail often gets crowded with internal as well as foreign visitors.

Spring (March-May): This is the shoulder season where the spring awakens in the hilly regions, the best part being Rhododendron (a national flower of Nepal) along with the other flowers blooming all over the jungle. Trek in this season if you prefer a quieter trail.

Winter (December–February): If the chilling cold doesn’t get on your nerves, you are good to go trekking in the winter season too. You will be rewarded with mountains and the surroundings completely hooded with snow due to snowfall which creates awe-inspiring scenery (also, the quieter trails and serene surroundings). Visibility for the view remains good for most of the time during winter otherwise.

Monsoon (Summer)(June–August): Though the Poon Hill trek can be done in monsoon, I will not recommend this. There is a high chance you may not get a glimpse of the peaks due to the clouds wafting all around. Other complications like slippery and muddy paths, mosquitoes, frequent rainfall, etc. are worth mentioning.

If you are looking for other places to visit in Nepal, narrow down the list.




Where to Start the Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek:

Where to start depends on your route and other treks you may want to combine with the Poon Hill trek. Trekking to Poon Hill comes with different options and duration. The one which you opt for depends on your interest and availability of time.

Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek Itinerary:

1) Ghorepani-Poon Hill Short Trek (Just Poon Hill trek only): 2 days to 3 days depending on your physical fitness

If you have booked your trekking with an agency, it should make an arrangement for your trip.

If you are on your own, you have 3 options:

1) Public bus/Public Jeep:

Catch a bus/jeep that goes to Ghandruk directly, get off at Nayapul or Birethanti, and start your trek from there. Or, catch a jeep that goes to Tikhedhunga and start your trek from there.

For the bus, you should head to Pokhara-Baglung bus park. For the jeep, you should reach either Zero Kilometer or Archalbot.

Catch a jeep to Tikhedhunga, and start your trek from there. To catch a jeep for this option, you should reach Hari Chowk.

You can even reserve the jeep all the way to Nayapul or Birethanti if you are in a group.

Catch a bus going all the way to Baglung/Beni/Jomsom, from Pokhara-Baglung bus park, which is located alongside the Pokhara-Baglung highway, and get off at Nayapul. It’s about 1.5 hours ride but a cheap option. Then start your trek from there. Or, catch a jeep that goes to Tikhedhunga and start your trek from there.

These public transports are untidy, overly crowded, and can take a long time to reach the destination.

2) Taxi/Cab: You can hire a taxi from Pokhara-Baglung Bus Park and reach either Nayapul or Birethanti or Hile or Tikhedhunga and take another means of transportation from there. Hiring a taxi can be a comfortable and fast alternative. But it is more expensive than public transport, obviously.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Read the itineraries below to get the rest of the information so that you could  avoid needless lengthy trips, and save your time, money, and energy.)

Day 1: Pokhara to Nayapul (1.5 hrs. drive), Nayapul to Tikhedhunga (20 min. drive), trek to Ulleri (2-3 hrs trek)
Having your breakfast, embark on your trip to Nayapul. From there catch a jeep to Hile. You will cross the bridge over Modi Khola near Birethanti. After 20 min offroad drive, you will reach Hile from where ascend to Ulleri starts via gradual ascend to Tikhedhunga first. While following the stone steps uphill, you will pass through the suspension bridges and local village. You can take a rest in between your trip. There is no need to rush. Overnight at Upper Ulleri.

Ulleri




Day 2: Ulleri to Ghorepani (2874 m, 3-4 hrs trek)
Wake up early, take breakfast and continue your trek. You will pass through the dense rhododendron forest. If you are traveling during spring, you will be greeted by the rhododendrons that blossom mostly red and some white in colors. You don’t feel that exhausted because you’ll get absorbed in your surroundings. Overnight at Ghorepani.

Stone steps on the way to Poon Hill

Day 3: Short hike to Poon Hill (3210m); Return to Tikhedhunga (6-7 hrs trek) and drive back to Pokhara (1.5 hrs)
Start your day early to reach Poon Hill, the natural amphitheater.
You have to climb uphill to reach the lookout. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the tower. You will open your eyes in wonder when you see the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Descend down and have some breakfast. Return to Nayapul and drive back to Pokhara. Enjoy your night at the lakeside.

If you want to combine Poon Hill Trek with Ghandruk village, follow this itinerary.

2) Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek combined with Ghandruk (5 days)

Day 1: Pokhara to Nayapul (1.5 hrs. drive), Nayapul to Hile (20 min. drive), trek to Ulleri (2-3 hrs trek)

Day 2: Ulleri to Ghorepani (2874 m, 3-4 hrs trek)

Day 3: Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3210m, 30-40 mins morning hike), return to Ghorepani and trek to Tadapani via Banthanti (2630 m, 5-6 hrs trek)

Day 4: Tadapani to Ghandruk (1940 m, 2-2.5 hrs)

Day 5: Ghandruk to Pokhara (by jeep/bus to Pokhara (2.5 hrs)

This itinerary can be shortened by one day (if you think you are physically fit), where you skip Tadapani and reach Ghandruk directly. You have to trek for 6-7 hrs for this.




3) Poon Hill Trek combined with Annapurna Base Camp (8 days)

Day 1: Arrival in Pokhara, Drive to Tikhedhunga, and Trek to Ulleri

Day 2: Trek Ulleri To Ghorepani

Day 3: Watch Sunrise and panorama and trek to Tadapani

Day 4: Trek Tadapani to Chhomrong

Day 5: Trek Chhomrong to Himalayan (2920m; 6-7 hrs. trek)

Day 6: Himalayan to ABC (4130m) via MBC (3750m); 6-7 hrs trek

Day 7: ABC to Sinuwa (2,250m; 7-8 hrs trek)

Day 8: Sinuwa to Siwai (4 hrs trek) and drive to Pokhara (3 hrs)

Read My Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide

4) Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek combined with Annapurna Base Camp and Ghandruk (9 days from Pokhara)

The only difference between this trek and the ‘Ghorepani-Poon hill trek combined with Ghandruk trek’ is that you stay at Ghandruk on your last day of the trek in this case.

Day 1: Arrival in Pokhara, Drive to Tikhedhunga, and Trek to Ulleri

Day 2: Trek Ulleri To Ghorepani

Day 3: Watch Sunrise and panorama and trek to Tadapani

Day 4: Trek Tadapani to Chhomrong

Day 5: Trek Chhomrong to Himalayan (2920m; 6-7 hrs. trek)

Day 6: Himalayan to ABC (4130m) via MBC (3750m); 6-7 hrs trek

Day 7: ABC to Sinuwa (2,250m; 7-8 hrs trek)

Day 8: Sinuwa to Siwai to Ghandruk (5-6 hrs trek)

Day 9: Ghandruk to Pokhara (2.5 hrs drive on jeep/bus)

Here is the list of top places to visit in Pokhara.




5) Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek combined with Annapurna Base Camp, and Australian Camp/Dhampus Trek (9 days from Pokhara)

Day 1: Arrival in Pokhara, Drive to Tikhedhunga, and Trek to Ulleri

Day 2: Trek Ulleri To Ghorepani

Day 3: Watch Sunrise and panorama and trek to Tadapani

Day 4: Trek Tadapani to Chhomrong

Day 5: Trek Chhomrong to Himalayan (2920m; 6-7 hrs. trek)

Day 6: Himalayan to ABC (4130m) via MBC (3750m); 6-7 hrs trek

Day 7: ABC to Sinuwa (2,250m; 7-8 hrs trek)

Day 8: Sinuwa to Jhinu Danda to Landruk (5-6 hrs trek)

Day 9: Landruk to Australian Camp/Dhampus

Day 10: Australian Camp/Dhampus to Pokhara (Trek to Dhampus2.5 hrs drive on jeep/bus)

6) Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek combined with Mardi Himal Trek (9 days from Pokhara)

Day 1: Pokhara to Nayapul (1.5 hrs. drive), Nayapul to Hile (20 min. drive), trek to Ulleri (5-6 hrs. trek)

Day 2: Ulleri to Ghorepani (2874 m, 5-6 hrs trek)

Day 3: Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3210m, 30-40 mins morning hike), return to Ghorepani, and trek to Tadapani via Banthanti (2630 m, 6-7 hrs trek)

Day 4: Tadapani to Ghandruk (1940 m, 2-2.5 hrs)

Day 5: Ghandruk to Forest Camp via Landruk (2,900 m, 5-6 hrs trek)

Day 6: Forest Camp to High Camp (3,500 m); (4-5 hrs trek)

Day 7: High Camp to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4,500 m) (Day Hike), return to High Camp (5-6 hrs trek), then trek to Badal Danda (3,300 m)

Day 8: Badal Danda to Sidhing (3-4 hrs trek) to Pokhara by jeep (1.5 hrs drive)

You might be interested in Mardi Himal Trek.





Accommodation and Food

There’re a lot of teahouses/guesthouses available in specific locations during your trek to Poon Hill. Some of them provide facilities for hot water showers with attached bathrooms too. (You may have to pay extra for it in some guesthouses, so it’s better to inquire). Wi-fi is free these days in almost every teahouse.

Accommodation is cheap only if you eat in the same guesthouse. Nepali cuisines along with western can be found in the guesthouses. Local bread and bakery items also taste delicious. Don’t expect to get food, a water bottle, and beverages at the same price as in Pokhara.

Things to be aware of:

  • *Don’t forget to take two permits: TIMS and ACAP. Your trekking company will handle this. But, if you are an independent traveler, buy the permits prior to your trekking either in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. You have to fill-up the form with your passport details and travel insurance number.
  • *** Extreme caution should be exercised during the elevation gain. After reaching the height above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), increase your altitude by 1,000 feet (305 m) per day, and don’t forget to take a rest day for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained.

  • If you’re traveling to Poon Hill during peak season, guesthouses/teahouses en route can get fully booked. Because there’re only two or three guesthouses in some locations. So, you better book in advance.
  • Don’t forget to keep yourself warm, especially, if you are traveling during the spring and winter seasons—Numbness due to cold may ruin your trip.
  • Don’t forget to put ready-made snacks and chocolate to eat during your trek. Because some stretches of the trails are without civilization.
  • Public transports are untidy, overly crowded, and take a long time to reach the destination.
  • Don’t miss your toiletries. You’ve to pay a hefty amount to buy them as the price gets higher as you travel farther from the city.