Poon Hill Trek – everything you need to know

Nepal is one of the countries which are perfect for hiking through the mountains. In the Himalayas you will find 8 of the 10 highest summits in the world. The most famous one: Mount Everest. Although Everest Base Camp is a very popular trek, as well as Annapurna Base Camp, these are both quite advanced treks. They take up to three weeks and I can imagine you would like to start of with a beginners trek when you are travelling in Nepal. No worries: there is one. That would be the Poon Hill trek.

Poon Hill Trek costs

What is the Poon Hill Trek?

The Poon Hill trek is a beautiful trek through the Annapurna Conservation Area which will perfectly suit the less advanced hiker. It takes you up Poon Hill (3210m) where you can enjoy an amazing view. If the weather is clear, you will witness an epic sunrise. See how golden rays of sunshine slowly luminize the snowy Annapurna summits.

You don’t want to miss out on this when you are in Nepal. Seriously, this is well worth your time & money. To me it was THE highlight of my travels in Nepal.

Yes, to see that sunrise you will have to get up at 4:30 am and take a one hour hike up to Poon Hill in the dark. But the view is a-ma-zing. A lovely masala chai tea with this view in the background: what more do you want?

Poon Hill Trek travel blog

Take a guide on the Poon Hill trek or not?

It’s not entirely necessary to book a guide. It’s doable with just a map and some common sense. But honestly: I am glad we took a guide with us. First and foremost because there’s this story of two Dutch girls in Panama who did a trek in the woods and never returned (that’s a story I’ll never forget). Especially when you are hiking with two or more people, the guide isn’t that expensive. Second: I think it’s good to support local guides who make a living and feed their kids by taking tourists on the Poon Hill Trek.

Backpack and what to take with you?

What kind of backpack should you take on the Poon Hill trek?Ā A small one! It’s only a couple of days, so don’t take all of your stuff. You can just leave your big backpack or suit case in the ho(s)tel and take a daypack with you on the hike.

What clothing should you pack?

This depends on the weather. I did the Poon Hill Trek in the beginning of August, which is in the summer. During the day, the temperatures reached around 30C / 86K degrees. In the mountains, mostly in the evening, morning and during the night, it still got pretty chilly. So te best tip I can give you: just check the weather forecast and ask the ho(s)tel for tips.

TIP: In Pokhara there are many outdoor shops where you can buy items like hiking socks, rain capes and all the other hiking necessities for fairly low prices. Keep in mind most of the brands are fake, so the quality is not always spot on. Also, don’t forget to bargain!

What shoes to wear?

Even though Poon Hill is a beginner’s trek, still make sure to wear some decent sneakers or hiking boots. Don’t forget to take a pair of flipflops with you. I forgot those when I did the Poon Hill Trek, so everytime I had to put on my shoes to f.e. walk to the eating area or the showers, I had to put on those hiking boots again. So annoying.

Tip: Take one pair of clean hiking socks for every day of hiking. You can thank me later šŸ™‚

Some important things not to forget

Your camera, a flash light, water bottle, water purrification tablets or drops, cash money and a warm sweater of vest.

If you have room left in your backpack, you might want to take your e-reader, a deck of cards or any other small game to keep yourself busy, since there is not much to do in those mountain villages.

Poon Hill trek travel blog

Permits & booking

Although it is a very popular trek amoung backpackers, there’s absolutely no need to book anything from your home country. Usually everything you book like this in advance will be three times as expensive. So don’t bother.

ACAP & TIMS Permits

In order to access the Annapurna national park, in which the Poon Hill trek takes place, you need two trekking permits. You will need the ACAP permit, which is basically the “entrance fee” to the Annapurna area. It will cost you about 2200 rupees. Then there’s a TIMS permit, which will cost you about $20 (or $10 if you hike with a group).

TIP: Take enough passport photos with you: you’ll need a few to arrange the permits.

Are you from a SAARC country (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maledives, Pakistan or Afghanistan), then you will get a discount.

4 or 5 days?

It’s up to you. You can choose the 4 day hike or the 5 day hike. You will sleep in several little mountain villages and eat delicious and freshly made food, made by the guesthouse owners.

How to book the Poon Hill Trek?

When I arrived in my hostel, there was already a girl who was ready to book her trek. We started talking and she asked If I wanted to join. So of course I did.

My hostel had a tour agency attached to it, so for us it was easy to book the tour in the hostel. Most of the ho(s)tels in Pokhara offer tours as a service, but you can always walk around town a bit to compare prices between the tour agencies.

Best time to do the Poon Hill Trek

The best time to travel in Nepal is always in the spring or autumn. In the spring, all the rhododendrons are in bloom, which looks extremely good in photos. But can you do a trek in the summer? This depends on the weather. I was there in the beginning of August. Yes we had rain, but we still had a nice sunrise. You can say we were very lucky.

If you have the choice, try to avoid the summer (too wet) and the winter (too cold). Go for March to May or September to November.

Costs

What does the Poon Hill trek cost? Except for the permits, the guide and the transportation from Pokhara to the start of the trail (& back), you will spend most of your money on food. The hostels are quite cheap, but the food is more expensive than in Pokhara.

This makes sense, since there’s no infrastructure on the mountains. All the food and other supplies are transported up the mountain by foot and by donkey. I remember buying some Pringles which were more expensive than my accommodation for the night :P.

Anyway: all in all it will cost you about $160,- (everything included). But believe me when I say it’s well worth the money. The pictures in this blog speak for themselves šŸ™‚

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