Asia,  Nepal

How to Do the Poon Hill Trek in 3 Days

Poon Hill is the perfect trek if you’re looking for something short yet rewarding. The views from Poon Hill are spectacular, and it’s one of my favourite places to watch the sunrise in the Himalayas. The sky often turns pink to purple to blue, and watching the sun light up the Annapurnas is something you can’t leave Nepal without seeing. Here’s how to do the Poon Hill trek in 3 days.

When to do the Poon Hill Trek

October through early December is the autumn season for trekking, when views are clear. It can be quite crowded in November and I’d recommend going in early December, when it’s colder, but the crowds have died down a little.

The spring season is from in April and May, though in late May, the views will start to get foggy and there’s more chance of rain.

I like to enjoy nature with less of a crowd, so my top picks are early December and early April. It’ll be colder during these times, so pack a good down jacket!

Poon Hill Trek 3 Days – Before You Go

Before you go, you’ll need to make sure you have all the gear you need. Even if you’re staying in teahouses, you’ll need a sleeping bag. If you’re already in Nepal and you don’t have one, there are plenty of trekking shops in both Kathmandu and Pokhara that can rent you one for a small fee.

You’ll also need a down jacket, as it can get really cold at Poon Hill before the sunrise. Again, if you didn’t bring one, you can rent these.

Hiking shoes are a must, though you could probably get away with sneakers if you’re really careful. They’d be less comfortable, but the trail isn’t too technical.

Finally, you’ll need your Annapurna Conservation Area permit and TIMS card. I have a whole post dedicated to getting these (from either Kathmandu or Pokhara) here.

Chocolate bars are also very important to bring for morale.

Day 1: Pokhara to Nayapul to Tikhedhunga

From Pokhara, you’ll need to get either a bus or a jeep to Nayapul, the start of the Poon Hill trek. A jeep is the more expensive option, but if you’re splitting the jeep with your party or other fellow travellers, it might be the easier option. Make sure to schedule a pickup too! The bus is typically a local bus and it takes longer than a jeep would. It’s also less comfortable and seating isn’t guaranteed. That being said, I’ve been on many bus rides, both local and tourist, in Nepal, and I always find local bus rides to be fun and a peek into the side of Nepal tourists don’t always see.

It takes about 2 hours to get to Nayapul from Pokhara in a jeep, and a little longer in a local bus.

Once you get to Nayapul, you’ll start trekking towards Tikhedhunga. The route follows the river the entire way. It’s pretty flat for the first bit, and once you get to Birethanti, the trail starts to ascend.

In Tikhedhunga, grab a teahouse for the night and relax! You’ll need to rest up for tomorrow!

Day 2: Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani

This day is a LOT of uphill, but Ghorepani and Poon Hill are worth it! Your day starts by going downhill, but that only lasts for this short bit. Once you reach the river, it’s back uphill, and it doesn’t stop until you reach Ghorepani.

Stop for a good lunch about halfway through the day. You shouldn’t have altitude problems, but if you’re afraid, get some garlic soup – Nepali swear by this to help with altitude sickness. When I’m trekking, I don’t worry too much about having too ‘heavy a lunch,’ even on uphill days. Usually, with uphill, you’re taking it slower than normal and you need the extra calories!

Day 3: Ghorepani to Poon Hill and back to Nayapul

Your day will start early – many people wake up at 4:30 to get going by 5. I personally like getting up early with everyone else – everyone in the teahouse, though exhausted from waking up before 5am, is excited to get going, quickly eating their breakfasts and putting on their boots and headlamps.

You can leave your things at the teahouse for the morning. Just bring a headlamp and your water!

The hike up to Poon Hill isn’t that long; it takes roughly an hour. It is, however, steep. You’ll be walking up stone stairs the entire time, and though it’s one hell of a way to wake up, you’re rewarded with an incredible sunrise.

Take some time to linger as the sun rises and makes the sky change colours. Get your photo near the Poon Hill sign and really make the most out of such a beautiful morning.

The way back down to Nayapul is the same way you came back up. If you want to take four days, you can go a longer way to change the scenery, and if you have a week, you can go to Annapurna Base Camp from Ghorepani.

From Nayapul, you’ll either have arranged to be picked up, or you’ll catch a local bus back to Pokhara!


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