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The Annapurna Skyline trek, also popularly known as the Ghorepani trek, begins in Kathmandu, the ancient capital city of Nepal. You’ll spend a day exploring the historic temples and landmarks that encompass the bustling city. A scenic flight to Pokhara offers spectacular views of the Himalayas before starting the trek the same day. The Annapurna Skyline trek passes through several bucolic Gurung villages, one of sixty ethnic groups in Nepal and the predominant race recruited in the famous Gurkha regiment of the British and Indian army. On this Ghorepani trek, you will begin the trek with a climb up and down the infamous “Gurung staircases along” the Modi Khola river. Then you leave the river and hike along the ridge to Ghorepani.
In the beginning, the Ghorepani trek goes through temperate terraced rice fields, gradually ascending to old growth and bamboo forests. You will make an early morning ascent up Pun Hill with the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the Annapurna range. On your descent you will pass through rhododendron forests that may just be in bloom!
Crystal Mountain Treks has been in business for over two decades and employs only the best guides with a minimum of 15 years experience. We treat our staff with the utmost care and respect. Each staff member is provided high-quality equipment and paid higher-than-average wages. Our clients have commented that our treks provide a better value (we provide more for less) than other companies they researched, comparing services, quality and price. We are happy to provide references of people who have journeyed with us in the past upon request.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 2||Exploring Kathmandu||Kathmandu||1,340m/4,300ft|
|Day 3||Kathmandu to Dhampus||Dhampus||1,650m/5,400ft|
|Day 4||Dhampus to Landrung||Landrung||1,650m/5,400ft|
|Day 5||Landrung to Jhinu Hot Spring||Jhinu||1,725m/5,700ft|
|Day 6||Jhinu to Ghandrung||Ghandrung||1,950m/6,400ft|
|Day 7||Ghandrung to Tadapani||Tadapani||2,630m/8,700ft|
|Day 8||Tadapani to Ghorepani||Ghorepani||2,875m/9,400ft|
|Day 9||Ghorepani to Ulleri||Ulleri||1,950m/6,400ft|
|Day 10||Ulleri to Pokhara||Pokhara||827m/2,710ft|
|Day 13||Final departure|
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during group dinner. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Dinner)
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. Overnight Hotel Tibet or simlar. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Transfer to the domestic terminal at the Kathmandu airport for your flight to Pokhara. You must arrive at the airport one hour before your scheduled departure time. Be ready for a wait at the airport if your flight is delayed due to weather or other reasons.
The flight to Pokhara (800m/2,640ft) is approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the weather, you will be able to view the Himalayan range including Manaslu and Annapurna IV from your airplane window. Note: sit on the right hand side of the plane if possible.
After arriving in Pokhara, transfer by private vehicle to the starting point of your trek at Phedi. The first day’s walk is a grueling ascent through terraced paddy fields and small villages to Dhampus. You are rewarded with great mountain views as you arrive at Dhampus.
Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
The trail now becomes a steady ascent as you trek through rhododendron forest. Mt. Machhapuchare (Fishtail) is prominent in the distance. Slowly ascending, trek past Pothana and the pass at Deorali (7,100ft.). There are great views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and, on a clear day, Dhaulagiri I. From Deorali, it is a steep descent through rhododendron forest (muddy and slippery at times) to arrive at Landrung. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Today is a short day of about three to four hours to Jhinu. Descend to the Modi Khola. Then ascend steeply to Jhinu, a small cluster of lodges. There is ample time to take a dip in the hot springs at Jhinu. The hot springs are about 15 minutes hike past Jhinu and are properly maintained by a caretaker who charges around US$2 per person.
Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
From Jhinu, descend to the Kimrung Khola. Ascend steeply (approximately 1,400 ft.) on switchbacks thorough a forest to Kimrong Danda (7,300 ft.). It is a short descent to Ghandrung.
Ghandrung, with 275 households, is the second-largest Gurung settlement in Nepal – Sikles is the largest. The older settlement of Ghandrung is a closely-knit village of slate-roofed houses with terraced fields both above and below the settlement. There is also a Gurung museum which you can visit.
Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
The trail continues steeply through thick mixed forests. Trek through Bhaise Kharka (Buffalo pasture) to Tadapani (far water). Look out for wild Langurs up on the tall trees. Rhododendron trees in this area are not shrubs but grow to become 90 feet or more.
The views of Annapurna South, Macchapuchare and Hiunchuli are spectacular from Tadapani. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Ascend through rhododendron forests gently to Banthati and then to Deorali. Continue to Ghorepani (literally translated as horse water) on a ridge with a big cluster of lodges. Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Wake up early (4ish) and hike steeply (1 hour) to Pun hill (10,600 ft.) to view the sunrise over the Himalayas. From Pun hill, there are unobstructed views of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m), Tukuche (6,920m), Nilgiri (6,920m), Annapurna I (8,091m), Hiunchuli (6,441m), and Glacier dome (7,193m).
After breakfast at Ghorepani, descend steeply to Ulleri.
Overnight Lodge. (All meals)
Descend to Nayapul. Trek ends here. A chartered vehicle will take you Pokhara.
After your long shower, enjoy the rest of the day for shopping, relaxing or exploring on your own.
Overnight: Temple Tree or similar (B,L)
Short boat ride on the Phewa Lake. 30 minute uphill hike to Peace Stupa.Visit the International Mountaineering Museum, which has an excellent display of exhibits of the world’s mountains. Lunch at the museum café.
Overnight: Temple Tree or similar. (All meals)
Morning flight back to Kathmandu. Morning is free for you shop, relax or explore on your own. In the afternoon, a Nepali cooking class followed by dinner at a Nepali home.
Overnight: Hotel Tibet or similar. (All meals)
After breakfast, transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your final departure. (Breakfast)
Per Person Price for 2020
1 person: $2,600 USD
2 – 4 persons: $2,080 USD per person
5 or more persons: $1,820 USD per person
Single Supplement: $300 USD
Again, there are many possibilities for shortening or lengthening the trek in the Annapurna region. It is possible to lengthen the trek by adding the trek to the Annapurna Base Camp or the Khopra ridge trek. It is possible to shorten the trek by three days by beginning in Ghandruk instead of Dhampus.
Write to us to learn about the possibilities.
The two best seasons for the Annapurna Skyline Trek are Spring (March through May) and Fall (October through December). On this trek, day time temperatures range in the 60’s and 70’s (15 to 20 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s to the 50’s (0 to 10 Centigrade) depending on where you are on the trek. 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.
We highly encourage you to trek in the winter months of December, January and February when days can be quite sunny and warm (40 to 50 Fahrenheit or 5 to 10 Centigrade) although you should expect temperatures at or below freezing for a couple nights at Tadapani and Ghorepani. But the trails and lodges aren’t as crowded. We offer a $150 per person discount for treks in the Winter.
Anyone who is reasonably fit and can hike 8-10 miles a day can do the Annapurna Skyline Trek. This is a roller-coaster trek with a lot of ascents and descents (some quite steep). So the better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy the trek. Children as young as six and adults over seventy have walked to Annapurna Base Camp. It is advised that anyone with a pre-existing condition consult their doctor before signing up for a trek.
We rate the Annapurna Skyline Trek a 3 (Moderately Strenuous) on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).
Meals on the Annapurna Skyline trek is quite varied. 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 Skyline trek (Ghorepani trek) route now has cell coverage. In some locations, lodges will offer wi-fi for between $1 to $5 per hour. You can also buy a Sim card with 5GB or 10GB data for under $25: do this in Kathmandu.
The more physically fit you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. There are three aspects to training for any trek.
1) Cardiovascular Training will make your body more efficient in using oxygen. Running, walking, swimming or biking, or any combination of these are great for cardiovascular conditioning.
2) Strength Training by either using free weights or machines at the gym will build hiking strength. Walking stairs, especially with a pack will simulate the hiking environment. We also recommend practicing squats. Trekkers will encounter low hanging obstacles to duck under, and many toilets are at ground level, which requires a low squat.
3) Endurance Training is where you build endurance in the months leading up to your trek, slowly increase your length of training sessions. By the time you are 2 weeks from the scheduled trek date you should be able to ascend 3,000 ft. in a 3-4 hour period.
In the end, the more your training simulates a trek, the better off you will be. So hiking 4-5 hours outdoors, uphill and downhill, about once or twice a week in addition to other cardio vascular training at the gym or at home will greatly benefit and prepare you for the trek.
Most tea houses have a common toilet. Some tea houses have en suite rooms. While squat toilets are more prevalent, newer lodges have Western style toilets.
It is possible to shower in a few of the lodges. And hot shower usually means a bucket of boiled water. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $2-$5 for this service.
Layering is key. And it’s always recommended to trek with good branded gear. A good pair of hiking boots that’s been broken in is very important. Good top and bottom base layers, a mid layer (fleece or capilene), and an outer layer (Gore-tex or other material). If you tend to get cold quickly, bring a down parka especially for the evening at the lodge. On most days, you’d be hiking in a convertible hiking pant that can be converted into shorts and one or two top layers.
if you’re trekking with Crystal Mountain Treks, we provide a sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F or -17 degree C), duffel bags, down jacket and Steripen for water purification to our clients for no charge.
It is possible to buy cheap and relatively functional gear in Kathmandu – convertible pants, down jackets, fleece, Gore-tex jackets. But remember, you get what you pay for. Wool gloves, hats, socks are available too.
There are quite a few branded stores too. North Face, Moutain Hardwear, Marmot and Sherpa. If you’re coming from Australia or Europe, items in these shops are probably cheaper than back home. But if you’re coming from the US, it’s better to buy branded gear at home.
This adventure was impeccable from the very first moment till the last, from every point of view: organization and planning, care, attention to details, comfort, value. There was never a moment or detail we wish had been different. Thank you very much to the organizers, and to our outstanding and deeply knowledgeable and caring guide and incredibly friendly and strong porter!
My wife and I have enjoyed hiking and backpacking for over 30 years (in the USA, Australia, Switzerland and France) and found this 15-day adventure trip with Crystal Mountain Trekking to be a one-of-a-kind experience and one of our most memorable trips ever. We looked closely at many trekking companies during the planning phase of this trip, and we felt as if we struck gold with CMT. We saw and understood more about the natural surroundings and culture than we ever could have by ourselves. And Crystal Mountain really took good care of us!
We loved trekking with Crystal Mountain! We felt safe and cared for as we reveled in the picturesque villages and towering white peaks that make hiking in Nepal a world-class experience. Our guide, Sherpa, and porters attended to our every need and handled all the details, so all we had to do was walk and enjoy. When, not if, we go back, we will certainly trek again with Crystal Mountain.
We had a really awesome time in Nepal. Rajbir has been a great guide and we enjoyed every step of the way. thank you so much for the great experience, everything was perfectly planned and organized. we will definitely recommend your travel agency to others!