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Short Treks in Annapurna Region

Short on time but big on adventure? Check out these short treks in the Annapurna region for a quick yet immersive hiking experience in Nepal's stunning mountains

Short Treks in Annapurna Region

Known as the trekker’s paradise, the Annapurna region of Nepal is renowned for its natural glory where the tall Himalayan giants pierce the skies, unique flora and fauna reside, diverse landscapes and rich cultural experience.

With the variety of trekking routes that the region features, visitors can be treated to experiencing this beauty of the Annapurna Conservation Area. However, the popular treks of the region often span up to even 2 to 3 weeks.

So, how to experience all this if you don’t have weeks to spare? Worry not as for people with limited time yet equal enthusiasm to explore the region, the Annapurna region boasts several short treks that can perfectly cater to your needs.

Why Choose Short Treks in Annapurna Region?

While the solution surrounding limited time availability are shorter trekking routes, the question is why choose short treks in the Annapurna region over other places of Nepal and even among the best treks in the world? The answer is simple.

The Annapurna region not only boasts some of the most rugged yet adventurous trails, but it also features some of the unique attractions like the highest altitude freshwater lake, highest mountain pass in the world, largest rhododendron forest in the world, and more.

Annapurna Conservation Area
View of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli mountain

Even if you have a limited time in hand, you will be able to truly see what makes this region so special and will be able to list at least 10 reasons why one should trek in the Annapurna region.

With beginner friendly treks for people with basic fitness level and plenty of off-the-beaten trekking routes for those seeking a quiet adventure, the region caters to the needs of all kinds of adventurers.

On top of that, the cultural experience that you will get here is unlike anywhere else in the world as you will enter a harmonious mix of a wide spectrum of cultural groups with their own set of traditions, rituals, costumes, music, and more.

The perfect tandem of the natural diversity and the cultural diversity is the reason why you should choose trekking in the Annapurna region of Nepal, be it for an elaborate trek or just a leisurely hike.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

The best trekking route for people with limited time in hands yet not willing to compromise on the magic of the Himalayas and the beauty of the Annapurna region is the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek.

This trek covers a distance of almost 50 kilometers within 4 to 5 days and allows you to explore the best corners of Annapurna region without committing to the distance. The highest point of this trek is at 3,210 m at Poon Hill which is one of the best sunrise viewing points in Nepal.

It is a classic trek that takes you through beautiful villages like Birethanti, Nayapul, Tikhedhunga, and more. With a very less elevation gain, this is also one of the beginner-friendly trekking routes of Nepal.

A group of trekkers enjoying the stunning sunrise at Poonhill during the early morning on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
A group of trekkers enjoying the stunning sunrise at Poonhill during the early morning on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Depending on the season that you trek the Annapurna region, you can also witness the largest rhododendron forest at Ghorepani whose vibrant shades add a splash of color against the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas.

During the trek, you will also be treated to the warm hospitality of local Gurungs and other cultural groups where you can indulge in the delicious local food and also witness some local traditions.

A small, inclined hike takes you to Poon Hill. While the journey from Ghorepani to Poon Hill should start before dawn so that you don’t miss the spectacular view, it is absolutely worth it as you witness the sunrays painting the mountains blanketed in snow.

Mt. Dhaulagiri seen from Poon Hill with Rhododendron
Mt. Dhaulagiri seen from Poon Hill with Rhododendron

You will come across the entire Annapurna and Dhaulagiri while also getting spectacular views of Manaslu and other surrounding peaks. On the way, you will come across a beautiful mix of different landscapes.

If you are trekking in winter, you might also spot some exotic wildlife as they travel to the lower parts from the higher regions of Annapurna Conservation Area. The cultural exploration is a wonderful plus of the trek.

While the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is also a part of other popular treks like Annapurna base camp and Annapurna Circuit Trek, it can easily be done as an independent trek.

Ghandruk Trek

For those wanting to get a taste of new experiences in Nepal within a limited time is the Ghandruk trek which takes you to the idyllic and postcard perfect village of Ghandruk boasting stunning sceneries.

It can be considered one of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant villages of the Annapurna region as here you will get a lot of scenic beauty, traditional charm, cultural exposure, and mountain views.

During this trek, you will be crossing lush forests and terraced farms and making your way through suspension bridges over the Modi Khola accompanied by a gentle ascent to reach Ghandruk.

Ghandruk village with mount Annapurna South and Hiunchuli
Ghandruk village with mount Annapurna South and Hiunchuli

While at the village, you can see a rustic lifestyle as you will spot traditional stone houses with intricate woodwork and fluttering prayer flags dotting the narrow alleys of the village.

It is inhabited by the Gurung people who will shower you with warm hospitality and local delicacies. You can visit the Gurung museum in Ghandruk or even witness the fascinating process of cheese making by the locals.

The views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, and Hiunchuli accompanied by the sunset are also stunning in this village, so make sure you have your cameras ready for the perfect shot.

The trek is an easy one and is suitable for beginners too and you will come across basic teahouses and lodges as accommodation which might not be luxurious but is definitely cozy.

Khopra Danda Trek

Another perfect addition to this list would be the newly opened yet majestic trail of the Khopra Danda Trek (Khopra Ridge Trek) which has been catching the eyes for all good reasons.

It is one of the off-the-beaten path treks in Nepal and it takes you on an adventure beyond the usual trails full of tourists. Also, it is not a very technical or challenging trek which makes it a best fit for a relaxed trek.

A usually 6-to-8-day adventure, this trek gives you a glimpse of the authentic life of the Nepalese within the 40 to 60 km distance that it covers. Despite being a short trek, it takes you as high as 3,640 m at Khopra Danda where you can breathe in the crisp air of mountains.

Mulde view point, Khopra Danda trek

Besides that, you can also extend the trek and make it into a more elaborate exploration by taking small detours to Ghandruk or even to Khopra Lake at 4,660 meters where you will be rewarded with mystical views.

From the higher points of the trek, you will get views of the stunning emerald valleys of the region with a silver background of snowclad peaks like Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri mountains, Hiunchuli, and more.

This view will be further enhanced as you will spot very active wildlife in the region ranging from birds dotting the skies or monkeys swinging in the trees and other unique flora and fauna in the booming landscape of the trek.

Khopra Danda
Khopra Danda

The Khopra Danda trek is relatively easy and requires basic fitness levels from the people as they make their way through the vibrant rhododendron forests and trails blanketed in snow.

If you are going to the Khopra Lake, remember that it is considered a sacred lake, and you will explore a hint of spirituality while you are here.

You can also hike up to Mulde Viewpoint which is one of the famous vantage points of the region where you will get a fantastic 360 degree view of peaks like Machhapuchre, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung, and others.

Mardi Himal Trek

Another relatively short trek in the Annapurna region with the challenge of altitude and the thrill of conquering high altitude base camps is the Mardi Himal trek which features varied landscapes, stunning views, and much more.

While it is a less popular option, it is suitable across seasons as the manageable trails allow you to approach it as a winter trek too. This trek spanning 5 to 7 days allows you a peaceful escape from the city life.

Early morning bliss at Mardi Himal viewpoint
Early morning bliss at Mardi Himal viewpoint

Being an underrate route, you will also come across much less trekkers traffic here and you can completely immerse yourself in the surroundings. During the starting leg of the trek, you will walk past terraced fields and small Gurung villages.

As you ascend, the landscape transforms into lush forests with colorful flora and fauna and unique birds flying in the skies or swinging to the branches of the trees in the forests.

Further up, you are treated to a completely contrasting landscape of stark alpine meadows and rugged terrains. Here on you start seeing the majestic Annapurna range dominate the skies.

Annapurna South and Hiunchuli on Mardi Himal trek
Annapurna South and Hiunchuli on Mardi Himal trek

You can customize the itinerary based on your comfort and can either culminate the trek at the Mardi Himal Base Camp at 3,550 m or go even higher to Mardi Himal High Camp at 4,130 meters.

Regardless of where you end the trek, you will be treated to mystical views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, and the mesmerizing sunset and sunrise views. Although, reaching the high camp can be more demanding and challenging.

The trails are easy with no technical sections, and it features cozy and hospitable teahouses for a comfortable stay along with mouthwatering local food.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek

For the people interested in blending their adventure with a spiritual experience, the Jomsom Muktinath trek is the best fit as this trek nestled in the Mustang region of Nepal takes you through some of the most unique landscapes and revered religious sites.

The trek starts at the fascinating town of Jomsom nestled in the deepest gorge of the world, the Kali Gandaki gorge. It is a beautiful town featuring a bustling marketplace, dominant Tibetan culture, and fluttering prayer flags.

While at Jomsom, you will be amidst a unique arid land, and you might also come across the high-altitude deserts. But once you start the trek, you will see a noticeable change in the landscape.


As per the standard itinerary, the first stop you will make after Jomsom is at the beautiful village of Kagbeni which is also considered one of the sacred sites in the Himalayas all thanks to the Kagbeni river.

Here the river features a conjunction of two rivers and many devotees come here to conduct final rites of their ancestors. You will also find stones called ‘shaligrams’ which are considered to be a form of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu.

From Kagbeni, your spiritual journey further continues to Muktinath which is one of the most significant temples in Hinduism as well as Buddhism. The temple is a revered pilgrimage site featuring 108 water sprouts, an eternal flame, and several other small temples.

Kagbeni village by the side of Kali Gandaki river

During this journey, the barren lands transform into terraced field as you start descending in the trail. You will also come across stunning views of several peaks as well as the stunning view of Manang and other villages.

Other attractions of the trek include exploration of the Marpha village and tasting the delicious apples and other apple products like the apple brandy and dried apple snacks in the village.

You will also come across a unique mix of the Tibetan and Thakali cultures existing harmoniously. Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering Thakali cuisine while on this beautiful adventure.

Dhampus Sarangkot Trek

To explore the majesty of the Annapurna region in manageable doses, the Dhampus Sarangkot trek is a classic route that has something for all kinds of trekkers from beginners to seasoned ones.

Usually starting from the beautiful city of Pokhara, this trek takes you through some of the most vibrant villages and attractive vantage points of Nepal including Sarangkot, Naudada, Phedi, and Dhampus.

It is a low altitude trek and doesn’t require much preparation and fitness level too. Therefore, it is even the best fit for anyone just looking for a leisurely scenic hike around the Annapurna region.

You can either go from Sarangkot to Dhampus or the other way around. While going from Phedi to Dhampus, you will come across beautiful stone steps dotted with colorful prayer flags that lead the way.

Annapurna range from Sarangkot
Annapurna range from Sarangkot

While at Dhampus, you will be welcomed with the traditional lifestyle of the Gurung residents living in houses with slate roofs and wooden doorways all across the narrow lanes. The terraced fields are accompanied by distant yet beautiful views of the Annapurna range and iconic Fishtail Mountain.

Another highlight of this trek is a stop at the Australian camp where you can see beautiful mountain views along with a spectacular sunset decorating the horizon.

Sarangkot awaits you as the next destination and you have to start early as you don’t want to miss the view from this one of the best sunrise viewing spots of Nepal which will leave you speechless.

You will see a majestic show of the sunrays emerging from behind the likes of Annapurna i, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, and then the entire Himalayan range dazzling under the hues of orange.

The Dhampus Sarangkot trek is the perfect blend of city and nightlife with village and mesmerizing viewpoints that can give you one of the best experiences of your life.

Trekking in Nepal Creative Trip Designer Trekking in Nepal Creative Trip Designer
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