This well-travelled extension from the main Annapurna circuit is one of the most rewarding and pristine treks in Nepal. Your two-week journey covers an unrivalled range of landscapes, immersing you in a variety of cultures and people. At Ghandruk, you’ll say goodbye to the comforts of the Mountain Lodges, but the simpler accommodations, winding uphill climb and depleting oxygen are well rewarded by the sweeping scenery, as the great flanks of the Annapurnas, Gangapurna and Machapuchare dominate the cobalt skyline. Annapurna Base Camp, “Cradle of the Gods”, is your ultimate goal. Wherever you stand in this glacial basin, the magnificent 360-degree views are unspeakably beautiful.
The early part of the Sanctuary trek has you following terraced farm fields, pausing in stone flagged villages, and tracing foaming rivers fed by snow melt and waterfalls. As you head into the ‘Sanctuary’, you’ll ascend carved steps, hike lush forests of hanging moss. Emerging above the tree line, you’ll be met by grassy meadow, ancient moraine, and the crunch of snow. After reaching your stunning goal, you’ll retrace your steps, making a detour to soak tired muscles in the natural hot springs of the Modhi Khola. At Landruk, say yes to some natural honey offered by the bee-keeping families.
March to May offers clear weather and relative calm before Everest expedition teams descend on the region and then the days start to become rainy and overcast in May.
September to November may be the most ideal time to visit, with most of the tourists gone and the monsoon season over, making way for crisp, pre-winter days. During these four months expect comfortable temperatures and blue skies during the day and opportunities for some exceptional long exposure photography and many shooting stars at night.
May and September, expect damp and overcast weather on the trail, and with it weather-related delays for flights in and out of Kathmandu.
Inside your main bag
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