The lower Annapurna region is perfect for short treks. With just a few days in the mountains, you’ll experience what makes this part of Nepal special: accessible views of snow-capped peaks, rhododendron forests, and easy trails lined with a selection of cozy teahouses. Here’s a guide to the best short treks in the Annapurna region.

Ghandruk Trek (3-4 Days)

Ghandruk Trek
Ghandruk Trek

The Ghandruk trek typically takes three or four days, which is great if you’re short on time. You’ll really get to experience the best of Nepal on this hike, from the pretty villages to the rice paddies to the amazing Himalayan views. And it's possible to do this trek staying in comfortable, high-end lodges such as Ker and Downey. The start point is at Phedi, which is less than an hour’s drive from Pokhara. The max elevation is 1,940 meters, at the heritage village of Ghandruk, and all in all, this is a relatively easy hike.

Panchase Trek (4 Days)

Panchase Trek
Panchase Trek

Starting close to Pokhara and taking only four days, the Panchase trek is a brilliant, relaxed trek that can be done by families and hikers who aren't necessarily at peak fitness. This is also a great trek for those who don't want to spend too much time in a car. You'll start your trip boating across the lake instead of traveling by car. Each day will involve no more than three or four hours of trekking. There are mountain views and walks through biodiverse forest home to hundreds of kinds of orchid. And at the end of the trip, there’ll be also those Pokhara bakeries to go to.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek (5 Days)

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

This classic 5-day route will take you up stone steps and through tiny villages to Ghorepani. Spend the night in a tea house there, then set off an hour before dawn to see the surrounding mountains turn pink under the rising sun as you trek up to the viewpoint of Poon Hill, 3,210 meters above sea level. This trek is famous for its rhododendron forests. In spring, when the flowers are out, it's stunning. For this route, you’ll need to be pretty fit, though there’s no real risk of altitude sickness while you’re in this lower range of the mountains.

Khopra Danda Trek (5-7 Days)

Khopra Danda Trek
Khopra Danda Trek

The Khopra Danda trek (or Khopra Ridge trek), has become more popular in recent years, so it can be crowded during peak trekking season. It's typically a bit quieter than the Ghorepani route, though, and the views of the Annapurna mountains are just as stunning.  What makes this route special is that, for what is really a short trek, you can get up quite high into the alpine, really feeling the immensity of those big mountains around you. This route takes between five and seven days. It starts at Tikhedhunga and follows a local trail into the valley north of Ghorepani before ascending up the Khopra Ridge.  

Muldai Peak Trek

The view from Muldai Peak
The view from Muldai Peak

This is a great trekking loop where you'll get the chance to see those iconic Annapurna mountains every day. As well as taking the main route to popular Poon Hill, you'll also be getting the opportunity to go a little off the beaten path to Muldai — which some say is actually the better viewpoint. The Muldai Peak trek can be done in four days, but you'll likely want to take a little longer than that. If you have time and can tack on three extra days, you can continue your off-the-beaten-path experience down to the Mallaj Mansion. 

Siklis Trek

This is a truly off-the-beaten-path trek where the rhododendron forests rival those of the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. The heritage villages on the route are like no other in the Annapurna area, and you'll have stunning mountain views from Tara peak. 

Best Time To Go

The Annapurna
The Annapurna region

Spring is seen as the second best time to go trekking in these mountains. It’s a bit warmer than fall and you’ll still have a decent chance of clear blue skies. The rainy season starts in June, and there’s typically a heavy rain every day right through till the beginning of September. The sky starts to clear in mid-September and the weather is mild. Bring extra clothing for the unpredictable weather, but generally speaking, this is the best time of year for trekking. The sky should be crisp clear most days, though there’s always the chance of snowy weather and there could be slippy parts on the trails.