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The 4 Day Poon Hill Trek: Easy Trekking in Nepal

Are you slightly lazy, unfit or just don’t feel like walking for days on end? I’ve got good news; you don’t need to take on a massive trekking challenge in order to see the wonders of Nepal’s Himalaya region. The 4 day Poon Hill trek takes you through the stunning Annapurna Mountain Range without requiring too much effort. We thought about doing a longer trek but we wanted to spend some time in other places in Nepal and it turned out to be a really good length; long enough to feel you’re out in the elements but not as daunting as a 10-20 day slog through the mountains.

Day 1

After a short taxi ride and a quick walk through a small village, we arrived at the start of the trail. We crossed a bridge draped in prayer flags and from there it was an easy walk alongside a fast flowing river. It was a gentle start, but that would change soon enough. We eventually had to climb a steep hill which seemed to go on forever. It was probably the toughest section of the whole trek, but we made it to the small village of Ulleri, where we caught our first glimpse of the snow-capped Annapurna Range.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Starting at the bridgeThe 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : A track by the riverThe 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Ulleri Village, Annapurna Range

Day 2

There were a few more hills on day 2 but it was fairly easy after the previous day’s climb. We walked through lush forests, past clear streams and over rickety bridges. We were hitting a pretty good pace too; we must have passed about 30 people on the trail. I have a system for treks like this — basically I like to walk as fast as possible and have lots of small breaks to appreciate the views. Sometimes I get into the mindset that it’s a race — passing people is fun and it gives me something to focus on. After an easy 4 hours of walking we arrived in the scenic little village of Ghorepani. At first we saw lots of blue guesthouses with no views — we’d have to walk up some steep steps to get to the best part of the village. We found a lodge with an awesome view and relaxed for the rest of the day — I could have spent days in Ghorepani.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : A mossy forestThe 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Ghorepani Village and the Himalayas

Day 3

We woke up early, covered ourselves in layers of warm clothes and started the ascent of Poon Hill. It was dark, cold and crowded, but soon enough we were at the summit, where we were greeted by thick clouds. We had almost given up hope of seeing the famous sunrise, but the clouds cleared just as the sun was revealing itself. It was freezing up there — those ridiculously bulky jackets that we hired in Pokhara finally became useful.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Annapurna Range, Himalayas The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Sunrise at Poon Hill

After picking up our bags from the lodge in Ghorepani, we headed out of town and along a ridge surrounded by giant peaks. From there we walked through more forest, past some waterfalls and up and down lots of hills until we reached Ghandruk, a rustic little village full of traditional old houses and great mountain views. Day 3 was the toughest (and longest) of the whole trek.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Ghandruk village

Day 4

We got up early and explored Ghandruk, as we were too tired to do it the day before. It’s a peaceful little village full stone houses, gardens bursting with life and colour. After about an hour we left the village and started walking downhill. The Himalayas would soon vanish, to be replaced by rolling hills and rice fields. It was a low-key way to finish the 4 day Poon Hill trek, a trek that turned out to be a lot easier than we expected.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : GhandrukThe 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Farms close to the end of the trek

The 4 day Poon Hill trek FAQs

  • Do you need a porter/guide? You can hire a porter, a guide or a porter/guide. The porter/guides can carry less than porters and also tell you a bit about the area. The tracks are easy to follow so a guide is unnecessary, but having someone carry most of your stuff is nice. In hindsight the porter/guide was unnecessary, especially since we recently carried a lot more weight on the W Trek in Patagonia. The Poon Hill trek is a “tea house” trek, meaning there are lodges and restaurants along the way. You don’t need to bring food or sleeping equipment so you can travel light (fit people shouldn’t really need a porter/guide).
  • How much does it cost to do the Poon Hill trek? Trekking permits will set you back around $40, a taxi to the start of the trail is around $20 (per car) and a porter guide will cost around $20 a day. Once you’re on the trail things are cheap — a room in a lodge will cost the equivalent of about $4 and meals, while basic, are pretty cheap (We did this trek just over a year ago but I don’t think the prices will have changed too drastically).
  • How long should the Poon Hill trek take? We did it in 4 days/3 nights but you could do it quicker. A lot of people do it in 3 days but this requires some backtracking. It would also mean that you’d miss Ghandruk, the nicest village you’ll see during the Poon Hill trek (in my opinion). You could also take longer than 4 days but there isn’t much point.

The 4 day Poon Hill Trek, Nepal : Annapurna Range in the Himalayas

If you’re looking for an easy trek in Nepal that will leave you plenty of time to explore the rest of the country, the 4 day Poon Hill trek is your best bet. It’s scenic and almost anyone can do it, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge you might want to tackle Everest Base Camp, the Annapurna Circuit or any of the other tougher treks in Nepal.

Have you been trekking in Nepal? What was it like? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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6 Comments

  1. Leigh B.
    February 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    How are the trails? Loose gravel or any chance of “falling over” the side?
    I am a fairly fit 50 something, but have a bit of an issue with heights w/no barrier involved. I.E. Is there any part of this trail which is 33 centimeters “wide” with no railing?
    Have enjoyed reading your posts…

    Thanks,
    Leigh

    • Jon Algie
      February 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm — Reply

      Thanks Leigh! The trails are pretty easy and I can’t remember any dangerous parts. The final ascent to see the sunrise was a bit narrow but nothing major. The trails were far easier to walk on than the ones in Patagonia — those ones were full of rocks.

      • Leigh B.
        February 19, 2016 at 9:33 am — Reply

        Thanks, Jon!
        Don’t know what your plans “down the road” may be, but your current trip around the world would make for wonderful material for a geography/social studies class or a journalism class 🙂
        Best!
        Leigh

        • Jon Algie
          February 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm — Reply

          I have thought about teaching back in New Zealand at some point but I’m not ready to return home for a while yet!

  2. February 28, 2016 at 11:46 pm — Reply

    wow, amazing. It’s difficult to enter Nepal? I love to hike, really want to hiking a stunning Annapurna Mountain :)))

    • Jon Algie
      February 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm — Reply

      It’s quite an easy country to travel around and very cheap — definitely go if you like hiking!

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