Annapurna Circuit Trek via Thorong La Pass – An adventure journey through the Himalayas of Nepal

Book Himalayas Author Book Himalayas
Update on: June 1, 2023

The Annapurna Circuit Trek via Thorong La Pass is one of the world’s most famous and unique trekking routes.

This route takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas. It also lets you explore the diversity of Nepal in culture, religion, geography, natural resources.

Along the way, you’ll witness some of the most spectacular views of the Annapurna Massif. That includes Annapurna II, III, IV, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Manaslu Himalayas.

Another highlight of the trek is the thrilling challenge of crossing the Thorong La Pass. It stands at 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), providing breathtaking views and a feeling of victory.

Moreover, the Annapurna Circuit Trek via Thorong La Pass immerses you in diverse landscapes. You will travel through lush subtropical forests, immersing in greenery and diverse flora.

You’ll enjoy the high-altitude deserts, witnessing the raw beauty of the arid landscapes. Also, you can experience the rich cultural heritage of several traditional Nepalese villages.

Physical fitness is essential for the Annapurna Circuit Trek via Thorong La Pass. Yet, it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip worth every step because of the stunning views of the Himalayas. And also, the unique cultural experience of remote Nepalese villages.

For the best experience, book the trek between March and May or September and November. The weather is mild, and the skies are clear in these months. These times offer optimal conditions to enjoy the trek and the stunning surroundings.

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • Exploration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
  • The famous Annapurna Massif and Mt. Fishtail
  • World’s highest pass, Thorong-La Pass, at 5,416 meters
  • Beautiful floras, faunas, landscapes, waterfalls, and other natural resources in Nepal
  • Diversity of Nepal in geography, culture, heritage, vegetation, and many more

Daily Itinerary and Description

Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu City

Altitude: 1,400 m

Our team will greet you at Tribhuvan International Airport and take you to your hotel. After you’ve settled in, you can take some time to explore the city on your own. Kathmandu is a fascinating city with a rich history and heritage.

In the evening, you will meet your trekking guide. He will provide a complete briefing about the Annapurna Circuit Trek via Thorong La Pass.

You will discuss the trek itinerary, route, and equipment during the briefing. The guide will also provide any other important information before the trek.

Following the briefing, you will have free time to explore the city further and try local foods. Also, you can use this time to shop for trekking gear or souvenirs.

You can also roam the beautiful streets of Thamel and enjoy the bright night there. Overnight stay at your hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Altitude: 1400 m

Today, you’ll have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s cultural and historical sites. After having breakfast, you will meet your tour guide. He will be with you on a tour of the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions.

First, visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city’s historic heart. Many temples and palaces around Kathmandu Valley showcase traditional art and architecture.

The next stop is Patan Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Patan Museum is another tour highlight, where you can explore a rich collection of traditional art and artifacts. You can also visit ancient temples, shrines, and courtyards within the museum premises.

Next, in the afternoon, we will visit Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple. This Buddhist stupa sits atop a hill and offers panoramic city views.

You will climb the steps to reach the stupa. Once you reach the stupa, vibrant prayer flags, intricate carvings, and shrines will greet you.

Finally, you will visit the Boudhanath Stupa. Finally, you will visit the Boudhanath Stupa. It is not only one of the largest stupas in the world but also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With its massive stupa, the Boudhanath is encircled by traditional shops and restaurants. This unique backdrop has become a special hangout spot for locals and tourists.

After a full day of sightseeing, you will return to your hotel in the evening to rest and refresh. Rest and ensure you are prepared for the start of your journey the next day.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Chame Road Trip

Altitude: 2670 m

You will have breakfast at your accommodation before leaving Kathmandu. The journey begins in the early morning with a scenic drive to Chame. It is the starting point of the Annapurna Circuit trekking.

The 8 to 9-hour drive will take you through many tiny towns and villages. The breathtaking Himalayan landscapes will make your experience unforgettable throughout the journey.

On the way, you’ll make a lunch stop at a nearby eatery to have some authentic Nepalese food.

During the drive, you will pass through the vibrant town of Besisahar. This town is the gateway to the Annapurna Conservation Area, giving you a glimpse of the upcoming adventure. You will also cross the Trishuli River, enhancing the scenic beauty of your journey.

As you reach close to Chame, the landscape becomes even more awe-inspiring. Steep canyons, verdant forests, and towering peaks will greet you, forming a splendid scene.

Situated at 2,670 meters (8,760 feet), Chame is a charming little town.

Day 4: Chame to Pisang Trek

Altitude: 3,300 m

You’ll begin your trek to Pisang after breakfast at your Chame teahouse or lodge. The journey begins with a steep climb through a dense forest. As you continue the trip, you will enjoy the stunning views of the mountains and valleys.

During the trip, you will pass through small villages and farmland. This will offer a glimpse of the local life and culture. You will cross suspension bridges that span the Marsyangdi River, adding excitement to the journey.

As you ascend higher, you’ll notice a change in the landscape. The surroundings become rocky and desolate, contrasting the previous scenery.

At the village of Dhukur Pokhari, you can stop for a break and eat snacks or drink tea.

The trail steepens from this point onward and presents more challenging terrain. Yet, the captivating vistas of the Pisang Peak and the majestic Annapurna range make every ounce of effort well worth it.

Upper Pisang village provides breathtaking views as you travel through it. We’ll stay here overnight in Pisang.

Day 5: Pisang to Manang Trek

Altitude: 3,540 m

Plain Trail on the way to Manang
Plain Trail on the way to Manang

We’ll continue your journey toward Manang after eating breakfast in Pisang. With stunning views of the Annapurna range and surrounding valleys, the trek takes you through rugged and arid terrain.

You can take a break in the charming villages of Braga and Humde. Here, you can explore the nearby monasteries and enjoy a refreshing break, enjoying tea or food.

As you ascend higher, you will notice a change in vegetation and environment. The terrain will transform into a combination of alpine regions and desert-like landscapes.

At 3,540 meters in elevation, the settlement of Manang will be your final destination (11,614 feet). This village has great importance as the primary trading hub in the Manang district.

After checking into your tea house or lodge, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the hamlet and its surroundings.

Enjoy a pleasant walk to the nearby Gangapurna Lake or explore the neighborhood monastery, one of the oldest. We’ll stay overnight in Manang.

Day 6: Acclimatization at Manang

Altitude: 3,540 m

Your body needs time to adjust to the temperature and altitude after reaching such a height. Thus, we will rest for this day at the Manang Valley and acclimatize our bodies to the weather.

You can take a short hike to the nearby villages of Tanki Manang or Khangsar. It will allow you to understand the local lifestyle and culture better.

You can visit Gangapurna Lake and Icefall, which offers a calm and mesmerizing scene. Also, you can hike to the Praken Gompa, a small monastery on a hilltop. From there, you can enjoy panoramic views of the village and its surroundings.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids is crucial to maintain your body. Additionally, it’s necessary to avoid alcohol and smoking during your journey.

To acclimate properly, take short walks and avoid overexertion. Proper acclimatization is always crucial for a successful trip.

Day 7: Manang to Shreekharka Trek

Altitude: 3,734 m

You’ll begin your walk toward Shreekharka after breakfast at your Manang teahouse or lodge. The trek takes you through a high-altitude desert environment and offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna range and the surrounding valleys.

After crossing the Marsyangdi River, you must ascend to the settlement of Tengi, from which you may take in sweeping vistas of the snow-capped mountains. Following that, the path continues through rugged terrain until descending gradually to the town of Gunsang.

Ultimately, you’ll reach the village of Shreekharka, which is 4,050 meters above sea level (13,287 feet). A few tea houses and lodges makeup this little community, which trekkers utilize as a rest stop en route to Thorong La Pass.

After settling into your tea house or lodge, you may either relax and take in the breathtaking views for the remainder of the day, or you can spend it exploring the hamlet and its surroundings.

Day 8: Shreekharka to Tilicho Lake Hike, Return for Overnight Stay

Altitude: 4,950 m

Today, you’ll embark on a day hike to the stunning Tilicho Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world at an altitude of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet). The hike is challenging and takes approximately 7-8 hours round-trip, but the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains make it worth the effort.

Tilicho Lake
Tilicho Lake

You must cross numerous moraines and streams as the trail leads you through a rocky, steep environment. You’ll pass through several tiny towns and farms along the way, and take in breath-taking vistas of the Annapurna range and the surrounding valleys.

The lake’s turquoise, crystal-clear waters will meet you as you get closer, framed by snow-capped mountains. You can take some time to relax, soak in the splendor of the lake, and snap some priceless pictures.

After you explore the lake area, we will descend toward Tilicho Base Camp and have lunch there. You can interact with people and listen to their stories about the lake, which holds religious and geographical significance. Finally, we will return to Shree Kharka to stay for the night.

Day 9: Shreekharka to Yak Kharka Trek

Altitude: 4,010 m

Yak Kharka, During Annapurna Circuit Trek
Yak Kharka, During Annapurna Circuit Trek

You will continue your walk toward Yak Kharka after breakfast at your teahouse or lodging in Shree Kharka. The walk leads you through a rocky and uneven landscape while providing breathtaking views of the nearby mountains and valleys.

You’ll gradually ascend to the settlement of Ledar, where you may pause for a snack and take in the Annapurna range views. The trail then continues into a rocky, steep landscape where you must cross multiple moraines and streams.

You’ll notice a shift in the scenery and vegetation as you move closer to Yak Kharka, with more grassy and alpine terrain. You’ll travel via various tiny towns and farms while taking in the breathtaking vistas of the mountains and valleys nearby.

Finally, you’ll arrive at the village of Yak Kharka, located at an altitude of 4,010 meters. Overnight at Yak Kharka.

Day 10: Yak Kharka to Thorong High Camp

Altitude: 4,952 m

This day could be challenging as it primarily has uphills and barely any plain areas. We will pass through Ledar Village, the last village we will pass before reaching Thorang Phedi. All your hard work will be worth it once you see the exciting views of mountains like Gudang, Thorung, Khatungkan, and many more.

Finally, you’ll arrive at Thorong High Camp, located at an altitude of 4,925 meters (16,154 feet). This is a small settlement with a few teahouses and lodges and serves as a rest stop for trekkers on their way to Thorong La Pass.

You’ll check into your tea house or lodge and spend the rest of the day resting and acclimatizing to the high altitude. You may also take a short hike to explore the surrounding area and enjoy the stunning views. Overnight stay at a teahouse or lodge in Thorong High Camp.

Day 11: Thorong High Camp to Throng La Pass and Muktinath

Altitude: 5,410 m

Throng La Pass
Throng La Pass

Today will be difficult since you must traverse Thorong La Pass, which is the highest point of the trek at 5,416 meters (17,769 feet). To ensure that you have enough time to cross the pass and descend to Muktinath, you must set off early in the morning.

It’s a difficult walk because of the altitude and rocky terrain, which begins with a strong ascent up to the pass. Yet the effort is worthwhile because of the breathtaking vistas of the valleys and mountains in the area.

The prayer flags and stone chortens that mark the trek’s highest point can be seen as you get closer to the pass. You can take some time to relax, soak in the scenery, and snap some priceless pictures.

The scenery and vegetation alter as you come closer to Muktinath, becoming more lush and green. Muktinath, a small town with several temples and a monastery, is a well-liked Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage destination.

Day 12: Muktinath to Jomsom Trek

Altitude: 2,720 m

Considered the home of Lord Vishnu, Muktinath is a sacred temple for Hindus. It also signifies Hindu-Buddhist harmony through nunnery. You will learn many things about these religions on this day’s tour.

As you descend, the scenery and vegetation will change, becoming more lush and green. You will be treated to breathtaking vistas of the nearby mountains and valleys as the trail follows the Kali Gandaki River, which flows through one of the world’s deepest canyons.

You’ll notice a shift in the atmosphere and culture as you get closer to Jomsom, which combines Tibetan and Nepalese traditions. Being the entryway to Upper Mustang, Jomsom is a lively town with a variety of teahouses, hotels, stores, and restaurants.

After exploration, we will start descending toward Jomsom, the windiest town in Nepal. You can see many natural sceneries from your room window in this place.

Day 13: Jomson to Pokhara Flight

Altitude: 822 m

You’ll board a flight to Pokhara after breakfast at your Jomsom teahouse or lodging. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys are provided during the scenic flight.

You’ll check into your hotel when you get to Pokhara, then spend the rest of the day touring the city and its surroundings. With several sights like Phewa Lake, Davis Falls, Mahendra Cave, and the World Peace Pagoda, Pokhara is a well-liked tourist destination.

Adventure sports like zip-lining, bungee jumping, and paragliding are additional options. As an alternative, you may just unwind and take in the relaxed ambiance of the city while savoring some delectable Nepalese food. Hotel accommodation for the night in Pokhara.

Day 14: Sightseeing in Pokhara

Altitude: 822 m

Pokhara is Lake City, so you will visit many Lakes and possibly go boating on this day. Moreover, there are multiple caves to explore, like Bat Cave, Mahendra Cave, and Gupteswor Cave. Our tour guide will help you explore many tourist areas possible in a day.

You can also indulge in adventure activities or simply explore the local markets and restaurants to savor some delicious Nepali cuisine. The day is a rest day, and you will spend the night at a hotel in Pokhara.

Day 15: Return to Kathmandu by Tourist Bus

Altitude: 1,400 m

You’ll board a tour bus returning to Kathmandu after breakfast at your Pokhara hotel. The bus excursion, which lasts for around 6-7 hours, provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area and the Himalayan Alps. You’ll go through several tiny towns and villages and get a sense of the way of life and culture there.

Although the route is meandering and occasionally difficult, the stunning sights make the trip worthwhile. You will check into your hotel after arriving in Kathmandu, and then you’ll have some free time to explore the city or finish up any remaining souvenir buying. You can share your experiences and fond recollections of the journey during a farewell supper with your trekking group and guide in the evening.

Day 16: Departure from Kathmandu

Altitude: 1,400 m

You will enjoy breakfast at your hotel on the last day of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, followed by some free time before leaving. Depending on your flight time, you can explore more of Kathmandu or do some last-minute souvenir buying.

You’ll be transported to the airport by your hotel, and you’ll leave Kathmandu with experiences and memories that you won’t soon forget. You’ll return home from the Annapurna Circuit Trek with a renewed respect for the outdoors and adventure. It’s a demanding and rewarding journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth.

We hope your trip was enjoyable and wish you a safe return.

Book Himalayas Author Book Himalayas
Update on: June 1, 2023