Annapurna Hike and Bike Itinerary
Mountain biking and trekking Tour around the classic Annapurna Circuit
For prices and more details about this trip visit the Annapurna Circuit Hike and Bike trip page
Welcome to the enchanting, exotic and energetic city of Kathmandu! The capital of Nepal is steeped in centuries of history and tradition. Immerse yourself in its vibrant markets, ancient temples, the bustle of spice sellers and street merchants and the welcoming nature of its locals. Kathmandu with its exhilarating allure is a city you won’t forget!
You’ll be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel. You’ll have the afternoon free to explore. In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Leave Kathmandu’s frenetic streets, via private 4×4 jeep to the starting point of the trek, nestled between the high peaks of the Annapurna’s and Mt. Manaslu – the world’s 8th highest peak.
The track leading to Jagat heads north up through the Marsyangdi Valley with Himalchuli and Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29 – 7871m) looming over the horizon.
We’ll pass by lush rice paddies and quiet villages before reaching our guesthouse in Jagat. This is the start of the Annapurna Circuit, and the beginning of our trek.
We follow a rocky trail following the Marsyangdi River, passing by some magnificent waterfalls and lush green flora and fauna. The trail winds progressively uphill to Tal – meaning lake in Nepali – and is also the first village in the Manang District. Here the scenery starts to change dramatically from the lush beginnings of the trek. The trail continues along an impressive, wide valley upwards along stone staircases until we reach the village of Dharapani.
Day 4 – Dharapani to Chame (2600m)
The trail follows the Marsyangdi River, climbing towards Timang at 2360m continuing onwards through pine and fir forest. As the trail ascends through the forest there are incredible views over looking the valley and of Annapurna II (7937m). Here you really start to get the feeling of being in the high mountains of the Himalaya. Before reaching Chame – the administrative centre of the Manang District we’ll also get to see outstanding views of Mt. Manaslu (8156m) and Peak 29 (7871m).
The day begins as we exit the village past a prayer wheel leading into deep pine forest. Here the Marsyangdi Valley narrows and becomes at one of its steepest points with the trail carved right into the vertical rock face. As we pass this point the valley opens up to reveal a majestic mountain vista, where the Paungda Danda rock face towers over 1500m above the trailhead.
Local Gurungs believe that atop Paungda Danda is the Gateway to Heaven. This impressive view follows with us as we ascend to Pisang.
The trail continues throughout the upper part of the Manang District where the Tibetan/Buddhist influence can be seen throughout. People in this region herd yaks and raise crops such as maize. Leaving Pisang, there are two options that follow the Marsyangdi River both of which meet up again in the village of Mungji and Braga, with its beautiful monastery – the southern route or the northern route.
The southern route involves a gentle climb following alongside the river. The northern route is a bit more demanding and strenuous, climbing up the north ridge of the valley. The views along the upper northern route of the Annapurna’s are stunning! We always have two guides on our treks, which means there is the option to split the group for this day.
Today is a rest and acclimatisation day. There are a number of day walks available to do that offer amazing views, whilst also gaining altitude. Possibilities include hiking up the hill (400m ascent) behind Manang and visiting the monastery. Here you can get magnificent views of the entire Annapurna range and the enormous icefall that can be seen crashing down from Gangapurna.
Another option is to take a challenging hike to Ice Lake (4500m), which takes about 5-6 hours and offers stunning views of the region. In the evening the perfect end to the day is to sit back and watch as the sun sets over the Himalaya.
Leaving Manang in the morning we head towards the base of the Thorung La. Climbing out of the Marsyangdi Valley, following instead, the Jarsang Khola. Here we are far above the pine and fir forests and are truly immersed in the beauty of the high Himalaya. Today is a shorter day, taking it slowly as we reach Yak Kharka (Yak Huts) – where yak herders bring their animals to graze.
This is another short day to aid in acclimatisation. The scenery becomes wilder as we continue ascending the valley. The trail descends to cross the river, rising up to our highest lodge at 4450m. Phedi in Nepali means foot of the pass, and indeed it’s true, as it is below tomorrow’s objective – the Thorung La.
We rise early and begin our ascent. We take the path slowly, one step at a time until we reach the Annapurna Circuit’s highest point, the Thorung La, at a breathtaking 5416m high. The pass summit is quite broad, and opens up to reveal an incredible, sweeping panorama of snow-capped peaks extending towards Tibet. Looking back to where we have come offers views of the Annapurna’s.
Descending and directly in front of us is the impressive chasm of the Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world. The descent is long, starting gently, but increasing in steepness, following a series of switchbacks leading to the grassy slopes and holy town of Muktinath (3800m). Muktinath is surrounded by rugged mountain landscapes and with unparalleled views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), the world’s 7th highest mountain. Here in the heart of the Himalaya’s is where we’ll begin the ultimate downhill mountain ride!
We spend the next 3-days on one of the most exhilarating downhill rides in Nepal. Wind our way down steep single track, rarely used dirt trails and over suspension bridges perched high above the Kali Gandaki through the deepest gorge on earth. We continue our descent, surrounded by the Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri. Mountain biking doesn’t get any better than this!
Today is all about the downhill. Follow excellent jeep tracks perfect for riding and a multitude of exciting single track. We’ll also make sure to stop and enjoy the superb mountain views and enjoy the ride. The trail leads us to the pretty and traditional village of Marpha, where we’ll have lunch. Marpha is famous for its locally made apple and peach brandy – a welcome treat after yesterday’s challenging ascent of the Thorung-La. We’ll ride on through to the ancient village of Tukuche, with its charming cobbled lanes.
Another incredible downhill section waits, with over 1000m of descent! The trail follows the deepest gorge in the world underneath the breadth of the awe-inspiring Annapurna’s. Ride freely through trails that sweep the valley sides, past waterfalls and out of the dry landscape of the upper Himalaya into pine, cypress and juniper forest. Relax and end the day soaking in the welcoming, natural hot springs of Tatopani.
Ride on gentle sloping terrain and wide jeep track, back into the lush surroundings of the Himalayan foothills to the village of Beni. At the end of the ride a short drive takes us the rest of the way into the relaxed, lakeside town of Pokhara. Here, there is plenty of cold beer and great food to celebrate the end of hiking and biking the Annapurna Circuit!
We return to Kathmandu following the gorge of the Trisuli River, arriving in Kathmandu in the afternoon. Wander around the medieval Durbar Square in the heart of the city, sample some Newari cuisine, or shop for some locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
We will have a group farewell dinner in the evening at a local restaurant.
Day 15 – Depart for home
Unfortunately it’s the end of this adventure. Lost Earth Adventures group services end after breakfast. Transfers to the airport are complimentary. See you next time!
Have an extra day or an afternoon flight? Treat yourself to…
A Flight Amongst Giants
As the clouds part and the sun breaks through the early morning sky, ascend towards the Himalaya in an exhilarating mountain flight. Fly east towards the highest mountain in the world – iconic Mount Everest (8848m) and on the way take in breathtaking views of the Himalaya including Kangchengjunga (8586m), Shisha Pangma (8013m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Nuptse (7864m) and Lhotse (8,516m). Quite simply – spectacular!
*Scenic Mt. Everest mountain flight is not included in tour price and must be paid for on location.
Day Tours and Extensions to Nepal Trips
Want More Adventure?
Activities mentioned in the itinerary though not included in the total price are readily available in the places we visit. Your tour leader can help you arrange these. From rafting, kayaking and canyon swings to scenic rambles and hidden gems why not extend your trip to make it truly a unique and once in a lifetime trip!
Trekking and Biking Times and Altitudes
These tables show the approximate times it takes to walk to each place we stay at night. These times do not include rest and food breaks. The footpath on this trek is pleasantly smooth on well-trodden trails, allowing for nice walking 95% of the time. The mountain biking is either on a rough jeep track or technical single track. There will be two guides so we can take different trails depending on your riding ability but we will always meet back up with the group at night.
Walk – Jagat (1300m) to Dharapani (1860m)
|Walk – Dharapani to Chame (2600m)||6-7 Hours|
|Walk – Chame to Lower Pisang (3200m)||6 Hours|
|Walk – Lower Pisang to Manang (3540m) 2 routes possible||4-7 Hours (depending on the route we take)|
|Acclimatisation day||0 Hours|
|Walk – Manang to Yak Kharka (4018m)||4 Hours|
|Walk – Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4450m)||3-5 Hours|
|Walk – Thorung Phedi to Muktinath (3800m) via Thorung La (5416m)||8-9 Hours|
|Bike – Muktinath to Tuckuche (2590m)||6 Hours|
|Bike – Tuckuche to Tatopani (1190m)||6 Hours|
|Bike – Tatopani to Beni (830m)||6 Hours|
For prices and more details about this trip visit the Annapurna Circuit Hike and Bike trip page