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Several years ago, the classic Annapurna Circuit trek was listed as one of the top ten treks in the world. However, with the new dirt road being built, this trek is certainly better if done on a bike. Come join us on one of the best adventures in the Himalayas – Annapurna Circuit on mountain bike. The journey involves biking through lush valleys, past century old villages, slogging/pushing over a 17,700 ft. pass, on a technical downhill 5,200 feet stretch, and through the deepest canyon in the world. All of this with the tallest mountains in the world as your backdrop.
On the Annapurna Circuit mountain bike adventure, you get to experience some of the most amazing and diverse landscape in Nepal. Your ride begins in densely forested and terraced sub-tropical hills, a region inhabited by Hindu groups of Nepal. But past Pisang the landscape changes dramatically as the dense forests are replaced by barren landscape of the Tibetan plateau. Here you enter the Manang valley which is inhabited by gypsy traders of Tibetan origin. After a rest day in Manang for acclimatization, head north over Thorung pass and descend to Muktinath village. At Muktinath there is a shrine revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Come challenge yourself on the classic Annapurna Circuit route on a mountain bike!
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 2||Exploring Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 3||Kathmandu to Jagat||Jagat||1,300m/4,350ft|
|Day 4||Jagat to Dharapani||Dharapani||1,960m/6,500ft|
|Day 5||Dharapani to Pisang||Pisang||3,300m/10,800ft|
|Day 6||Pisang to Manang||Manang||3,700m/11,600ft|
|Day 8||Manang to Yak Kharka||Yak Kharka||4,110m/13,500ft|
|Day 9||Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi||Thorung Phedi||4,600m/14,200ft|
|Day 10||Thorung Phedi to Muktinath||Muktinath||3,800m/12,450ft|
|Day 11||Muktinath to Tukche||Tukche||2,590m/8,495ft|
|Day 12||Tukche to Tatopani||Tatopani||1,190m/3,900ft|
|Day 13||Tatopani to Pokhara||Pokhara||827m/2,713ft|
|Day 14||Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 15||Kathmandu to home|
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner. (Dinner)
Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Here, you’ll probably witness a Hindu cremation along the banks of the Bagmati River.
Then drive to Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees, for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square. Bhaktapur is a medieval city in the Kathmandu valley and is least disturbed by modern life. Here, you can absorb the architectural splendor of the five-storied Nyatapola temple, or the sculptural delight of the Peacock Window. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Begin drive early around 7:00 am. Exiting Kathmandu, we follow the Trishuli river as we snake down Tribhuwan Highway. Continue towards Dumre and then to Besi-Sahar from where we follow a jeep track to Syange. You may decide to stretch your legs and ride for a short bit on a slight ascent to Jagat. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Ride past several waterfalls to Chamje and then to Tal Besi as we follow the Marshyangdi river. From here, it is a grueling push on steep switch backs to Tal where the valley opens into a large plateau. Most of the day there are views of Lamjung, Annapurna II and Annapurna IV. We continue onward to Dharapani. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
SYANGE TO DHARAPANI
Distance – 11.4 miles/18.2 kilometers
Ascent – 3,437 feet/1,048 meters
Descent – 790 feet/240 meters
Today is a slightly strenuous day of riding. Climb/push bike to Danaque and Timang. Enjoy great riding through the buckwheat fields to Koto with great views of Annapurna II. Continue to Koto and then to Chame, the district headquarters of Manang district. Past Chame, the highlight of the landscape is the Paungda Danda rock face, an interesting and large rock slab. From Chame, you will start to feel the effects of the altitude and progress will slow down. After ascend, we arrive at the village of Pisang where Pisang peak (6,091m) looms. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 20 miles/32 kilometers
Ascent – 5,233 feet/1,595 meters
Descent – 1,374 feet/419 meters
Today, is a short day of biking to allow for acclimatization. The landscape changes as it becomes more arid with few eucalyptus and pine trees. The trail is almost fully ride-able and the mountain views are marvelous: Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I (8,091m) , Annapurna III (7,555m) and Gangapurna (7,454m) are visible. A little beyond Pisang the valley opens up and the airport at Hongde is visible. Ridge past Hongde and Braka to Manang. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 9.4 miles/15.1 kilometers
Ascent – 1,387 feet/423 meters
Descent – 331 feet/101 meters
Acclimatization day in Manang. Free to explore the Gangapurna Lake or the Braka monastery. Or you may take a strenuous hike of 5 to 6 hours (round-trip) to the Ice lake (in the picture above) Overnight Lodge. (Dinner)
MANANG TO ICE-LAKE
Distance – 6.98 miles/11.1 kilometers
Ascent – 3,727 feet/1,136 meters
Descent – 3,727 feet/1,136 meters
We will cover short distances for the next days to allow for acclimatization. Today involves some riding but a lot of pushing through rocky terrain. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 7.43 miles/11.88 kilometers
Ascent – 2,388 feet/728 meters
Descent – 278 feet/85 meters
A short day with a majority of pushing/carrying. There are some interesting narrow single-tracks with Jorsang river on one side around a hundred feet below. Cross the bridge and make a short ascent to the base of the Thorung la pass. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 3.23 miles/5.1 kilometers
Ascent – 1,309 feet/399 meters
Descent – 380 feet/116 meters
The day begins early with wake up call usually around 3:00 am. The steep ascent/pushing/carry to the pass can take up to 4 or 5 hours. From the pass, there are awesome views of the Tibetan plateau on the one side and the Annapurnas on the other side. Then it is an amazing downhill descent, including a few semi-technical single-track sections, to Muktinath. This ride is the toughest/most exhilarating day of the trip. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 10.2 miles/16.32 kilometers
Ascent – 2,775 feet/846 meters
Descent – 5,380 feet/1,640 meters
Today is a fun technical single track descent through the spectacular Lubra Valley. We join the single track and continue past Jomsom and Marpha to the small town of Tukche. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Distance – 10.52 miles/16.83 kilometers
Ascent – 3,150 feet/960 meters
Descent – 810 feet/247 meters
A long ride day of about 30 miles mostly downhill on both jeep track and single track along the river bed through the Kaligandaki gorge. We will cross several suspension bridges mainly to alternate between jeep track and single track arriving at Tatopani around early afternoon. At Tatopani enjoy a dip in the natural hot spring. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
TATOPANI TO BENI
Distance – 13.7 miles/21.92 kilometers
Ascent – 652 feet/199 meters
Descent – 1,820 feet/554 meters
After breakfast, fly to Kathmandu. Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Farewell dinner in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Arrive breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)
Valid till Dec 31, 2020
1 person: $3,400 USD per person
2 – 4 persons: $2,890 USD per person
5 or more persons: $2,550 USD per person
Single Supplement: $300 USD
Extra: If you decide not to bring your own bikes, bike rental in Kathmandu can cost between US$30 to US$50 per day depending on quality/features.
This trip is fully customizable for two or more participants. Just let us know.
You could do it at a faster-pace. But that would mean compromising a little on acclimatization. It is still possible to cut two days from the itinerary safely. Or you could extend and add more days to the trip.
Do contact us for details.
Yes. There are quite a few cycle stores in Kathmandu that sell and rent quality brands. A good hard-tail would cost around $25- $30 per day to rent. A good full suspension bike would cost around $40-$45 per day.
Yes, you can. Most long distance flights will allow two checked bags of 55lbs (25 Kilograms) each. But some may charge you for the extra bag.
There are two preferred seasons for the Annapurna Circuit Biking Trip: Spring (March through June) and Fall (October through November). Day time temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s (10 to 15 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s (0 to 5 Centigrade). Expect night time temperatures of below Freezing near the Base Camp. Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is the season for rhododendrons and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains.
Unlike as on the Everest Base Camp trek, food variety on the Annapurna Circuit trek start out being quite sparse but later become more varied especially in the big villages of Manang, Muktinath and Jomsom. In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (any style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables etc for lunch and dinner. And expect Nepali dal-bhat (rice-lentils with vegetables and/or meat) at all the lodges.
Ours is an OPEN menu. Meaning we allow our clients to order anything from the lodge menu besides bottled beverages, specialty coffee and packaged snacks. We also don’t limit the number of items per meal as long as you aren’t wasteful. When choosing your trekking company, ask if meals are fixed or if you are only allowed to order one item from the menu. If this isn’t the case, costs can add up over 15/16 days.
Nepali tap water is NOT safe to drink. Even if you see the locals drinking water straight from the tap, never drink water before boiling or sterilizing. Bring water purifying tablets or other water purifiers. At higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to buy boiled water from teahouses. If you plan to use a STERIPEN, bring wide mouth water bottles. You would need at least 2 one-liter water bottles for the trek. Even if you plan to bring a hydration pack, bring 1 one-liter water to sterilize the water before pouring into your hydration pack.
Crystal Mountain Treks will provide you with a Steripen to use on the trek for no charge.
Most of the places on the Annapurna Circuit trek route now has cell coverage. Lodges in some locations will offer wi-fi for between $1 to $10 per hour. You can also buy a Sim card with 5GB or 10GB data for under $25: do this in Kathmandu.
Anyone who is reasonably fit and can bike 20-25 miles a day can sign up for the Annapurna Circuit Biking Trek. Allowing for optimal acclimatization is the key. The
We rate the Annapurna Circuit Trek a 5 on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).
“We were so impressed by your ability to change the itinerary and all the relative arrangements and that there was not even one hick-up or problem in the entire trip! Once we got to Pokhara and flew to Jomsom we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the mountains and the landscape through which we were riding.
We had plenty of time for breaks, lunch and taking pictures and still enough time at the end of the day to explore the little towns we rode to. The ride from Muktinath to Tukuche through the Lubra Valley was the most spectacular single track I had ever experienced. Not sure how I could ever top that! I know we will be back and that we will choose Grand Asian Journeys for our next adventure!
THANK YOU so much for making this trip unforgettable!”
– Annapurna Biking 2014