Annapurna Mini Circuit Trek is an ideal trek for all those travelers who would like to experience Nepal’s classic Annapurna circuit trek in a short time frame. The trek winds through different types of topographical circumstances. Likewise, from sub-tropical through alpine to arid or semi-desert, similar to Tibetan topography. Offering the astonishing view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, the trek gives the chance to cross heart-gripping Thorang La pass (5416m) making it Nepal’s classic and most celebrated trekking trails. This is an exemplary case of teahouse trek giving us the time to spend in villages inhabited by people belonging to different ethnic groups.
After making our way through Thorang La pass we will fly back to Jomsom and then to Pokhara. This is a short but fulfilling introduction to trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal.The trek starts with a long drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani. Annapurna Mini Circuit Trek takes you several dramatic deep gorges, High mountain passes, Temples, Monasteries and beautiful villages of Annapurna Region. The highest altitude gained in this trek is 5416m i.e. Thorong La Pass. Annapurna Mini Circuit Trek is one of the best treks for trekkers looking for a short trek in the Annapurna Region. In this trek you can explore most of the places of Annapurna Region. In this trek you can find both varieties of Nature and Culture of Annapurna Region.
The best time to trek to Annapurna Region is during autumn (September- November) and Spring (March – May). Annapurna Region is beautiful throughout the year but during these seasons you get to see the most beautiful pictures of Annapurna Region. Some of the places of Annapurna Region like Upper Mustang, Muktinath, Kagbeni and Jomsom can be visited any time during the year.
Autumn season gives you the most favorable weather for trekking with warm and dry climate. Similarly, autumn seasons fall during the months of September, October and November. Autumn season is also the season of festivals. You can feel the festival vibes everywhere while trekking in Nepal during Autumn. On the other hand you can get the best pictures while trekking Annapurna Region during Autumn Season.
Spring in Nepal is regarded as one of the best seasons for trekking and mountain climbing. Similarly, spring season occurs in Nepal in the months of March, April and May. You can have a heavenly experience trekking in Annapurna Region during spring. You can see varieties of blooming wild floras and forests blanketed with rhododendron flowers during your trials. The mountains look absolutely stunning and the temperature is warm and moderate. You can expect lots of trekkers during the trial during spring season in Annapurna region.
Summer season is not a very popular season for trekking in Annapurna Region. Similarly, summer season in Nepal takes place in between the months of June to August. The monsoon season combines with summer in Nepal. Thus, Nepal receives a wet summer with hot temperatures. Although the temperature gets cooler as you gain altitude, the trails can be affected by heavy rainfall and mudslides. However, some of the regions which lie in the rain-shadow area like Upper Mustang, Jomsom, and Muktinath can be visited throughout the year. If you love challenges and thrill then this season can be the best for you to explore Annapurna Region. In spite of the challenges you can get the best views and true colors of nature while trekking to Annapurna Region during summer.
Winter Season takes place in Nepal in the months of December to February. Since it is freezing cold and some of the high passes are closed in the higher altitudes due to snow this season is not recommended for trekking in Annapurna Region. However, if you want to enjoy peaceful trekking trials with fewer trekkers then you can choose this season with proper gears and clothing equipment. Despite the challenges, the winter season in Annapurna Region gives you the best view of snow capped mountains.
The trekking starts with the ride from Kathmandu to Jagat which is about 8 hours. This ride gives you some insight of the rural people; their lifestyle and their culture.
The walk begins on the rocky trail following the Marshyangdi River and progressively travelling uphill to Tal that lies at 1675 meters. This is the first village in the Manang district. The trail crosses an extensive flat valley, then ascends along a stone staircase at 1860 meters. Continuing the journey, you would be trekking to Dharapani at 1890 meters where you can find stone chortens- a typical character pertaining to religious beliefs of the Tibetan villages from here northwards. Then you will visit the village of Bagarchhap at 2160 meters where you can get the view of typical flat roofed stone houses of local Tibetan design.
The trail takes you to the beautiful village of the Chame. The often rough and rocky trail climbs to Timang first at 2360 meters. It continues through lush forests near the river to Kopar that lies at an elevation of 590 meters. Approaching Chame- the headquarters of the Manang district, you will be rewarded by amazing views of Annapurna and two small hot springs by the town.
The trek begins through a forested steep and narrow valley. After crossing a river on a long bridge at 2910 meters. You can look at the view of the Towering Paungda Danda rock face beginning to appear. From here, the trail climbs to Pisang.
Today you have 2 choices, either you can take a high route to Manang via the villages of Gyaru and Ngawal or opt for a shorter main trail to Manang which goes through a low pass into the valley below Pisang peak. Both the options offer the magnificent Mountain View. It introduce you to diverse Himalayan lifestyles. Similarly, it set up a strong foundation about the concealed geographical variation of the country. The longer walk will take 8-9hours whereas the shorter takes 5-6hours.
Today you will take a rest in Manang village and get adapted with the risen altitude and explore the surreal beauty of the surroundings. Most of the visitors ascend to a hill situated behind Manang. Moreover, it offers the astonishing view of Annapurna massif and the huge icefall that runs into and rumbles down from Gangapurna. Diagonally to the valley the huge mass of Gangapurna and Annapurna tower just above us. The view of sunrise and sunset seen from here is one of the most beautiful sights seen in the whole country.
From Manang you will make your way towards the base of Thorong La pass. Climbing out of Marshyangdi valley, you will then turn northwest to the valley of Jarsang Khola. Winding above the forest you will pass through arid, alpine land, with scrub juniper and patches of birch to Yak Kharka. You will reach Yak Kharka by afternoon and in the remaining time you can explore the vicinity. Here you can get an occasional glimpse of Blue Sheep which are the local inhabitants of this chilly and breezy area.
You will start after the breakfast trek to Thorong Phedi about claiming 5000mtr. The path is easy but you will have to be careful it is above Attitude more than 4000 meter on the way some time you can see blue sheep also.
You will start early in the morning to climb the pass. The initial stage of the ascent is very steep, but as you approach the peak it becomes much sloppier, but the altitude still makes the walk a challenging one. After making your way through a few false summits, you will finally make it to the top of the pass (5416m). The top offers the unexplainable 360 degree panorama of snow capped peaks extending northwards into Tibet. Upon looking back you can view several peaks of Annapurna and in front of us is the unfathomable gorge of Kali Gandaki. After the pass the trail descends gradually but becomes steeper, finally making a grassy slope, just before easing off to a gradual downhill walk to Muktinath.
After visiting the holy temple of Muktinath, you will make your way through an arid landscape with the snow-clad Himalayas in the backdrop. The trail goes down the valley offering an array of beautiful colors to Kali Gandaki valley at Ekalabatti. An easy walk from here finally brings us to Jomsom.
The travellers will take a flight back to Pokhara. The remaining afternoon can be spent exploring the beautiful landscapes, lakes and hills of the city. You can also roam around the market area of the Pokhara in the night and get yourself immersed in the limelight of the city.
It is time to bid farewell to the Pokhara valley and take a bus ride back to the Kathmandu valley. You can enjoy the beautiful landscapes, river valleys and clear sky through the window of the bus before reaching the city.
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