Annapurna Circuit Trek 2018
“Without mountains, we might find ourselves relieved that we can avoid the pain of the ascent, but we will forever miss the thrill of the summit… it is the absence of pain that becomes the thief of life.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
Hiking into the mountains provides an escape from the fast pace and inconveniences of daily life. The simple routine of EAT-HIKE-SLEEP gives our creativity-starved minds the space to wander, just as our feet carry us to explore new heights and grand views. The scale, beauty, and timeless age of soaring peaks, broad wind-swept plateaus, reflective lakes and deep-carved canyons put our tiny lives into perspective. Without the usual busy distractions, we smell the fragrant pine, hear the leaves rustle and the birds twitter; we feel the sweat drip and our hearts pound. We return from a walk in the wilderness with a renewed sense of what is real and what matters in the grand scheme.
Annapurna Circuit Photos: Eastern Side of the Thorong-La Pass
The Annapurna Circuit has no set starting point or ending point. It is not “X” number of miles from start to finish. There is no single course that one must proceed through to claim victory. Because of the need to properly acclimate to altitude changes, there are no speed records to break. There is the notion of a 240 km circuit that begins in Besisihar and ends in Nayapul, but different route choices and side trips alter the total distance, as does the option to hitch a jeep to fast-track to select points. The Annapurna Circuit is the ideal place to wander, planning each day as it comes based on weather, time, altitude factors, trail conditions, and fatigue. Every section offers something unique and new, so the more time you can spend on the trail, the better!
Annapurna Circuit Photos: Western Side of the Thorong-La Pass
We spent 20 days on the Annapurna Circuit, which included 18 days of hiking and two rest days during the hike. Our trek was roughly 155 miles (250 km) from Chamje to Birethanti, with a side trip to Tilicho Lake. We summited the highest point on the trail, Thorong-La Pass, on day 11. We did not hire a guide. The book "Trekking the Annapurna Circuit" by Andrees de Ruiter and Prem Rai, coupled with current maps downloaded in the Maps.Me iPhone app, were invaluable guides for route planning and cultural insight during our trek. We also did not hire a porter. We carried our own packs.
We hope you find our trail descriptions, photos, route map, budget breakdown, packing list, and other details helpful when planning your Annapurna Circuit trek. Any questions, please comment or send us an email.
Resources to Help You Plan Your Annapurna Circuit Trek
How far should I plan to walk each day? Here is our 155 mile route, mapped in Google Earth.
Should I carry my own food? Food is readily available. Here’s a sample menu to show typical food options and prices on the Annapurna Circuit.
What should I pack? Our packs weighed 22 pounds (10 kg) each. Here’s our suggested packing list.
It is essential that you bring all the Nepalese rupees that you will need for your entire time on the trail. How much is enough? Here’s our actual spending.
This is the starting point of a multi-post series detailing our Annapurna Circuit trek day-by-day in the Spring of 2018, with trail descriptions, photos, duration and elevation statistics.