Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty

Updated on June 21, 2024

Thorung La Pass trek is one of the ornaments of Annapurna Circuit trek. It is the beauty of Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty has attracted thousands of national and international trekkers every year.

The multi-ethnic villages conserving their typical lifestyle, culture and tradition for ages can be visited during this trek. The variety of wildlife and vegetation of Annapurna Conservation Area Project play hide & seek with you.

Crossing a Himalayan pass above 5,000m is not less adventurous than peak climbing in Nepal. The glittering peaks of Annapurna (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m) make this trip more memorable.

You begin this trek right from Besisahar, the administrative headquarters of Lamjung district. To reach Besisahar, you can directly drive from Kathmandu that takes nearly 7 hours.

Or, you can also drive to Besisahar after exploring the beautiful Lake City Pokhara. You can fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu within 25 minutes or drive along the Prithvi Highway in 6 hours. From Pokhara, it takes nearly 3 hours to reach the gateway of Annapurna Circuit trek.

Thorung La Pass trek takes you from the sub-tropical region to the place above 5,000m. Within 12 days to 16 days, you can have the lifelong experiences of the wonderful nature and culture of Annapurna region.

To plan this beautiful trip, you need to know “Annapurna circuit trek difficulty.” This blog is written to give you in-depth knowledge about it.

Although Thorung La Pass (5,416m) is one of the highest Himalayan passes in the world, it is non-technical. That means, you don’t need any climbing gears to cross this pass.

You know, even Annapurna Circuit Mountain Biking tour is also possible. By riding and pushing the bike along the ups and downs of the rugged trails, you reach the top of Thorung La Pass.

Thorung La Pass Trek Itinerary

Thorung La Pass trek itinerary can be limited from 7 days to 19 days and even above. 7 days’ itinerary best fits for those having very short time; yet want to do Annapurna Circuit trek. On the other side, 19 days’ trip package lets you explore all the interesting natural and cultural sites of this region.

If you want to connect this trek to other routes of Annapurna region, the itinerary can even elongate further. It is always possible for customization, which means you can cut short or extend the duration of this trek. Nepal Trekking Routes proposes you Thorung La Pass Trek Itinerary for 16 days.

Outline Itinerary

  • Arrival At Tia Airport Of Kathmandu. Transfer To Hotel And Overnight 1350m
  • Day In Kathmandu. Sightseeing And Trip Preparation. Overnight At Hotel
  • Drive To Syange (1100) Via Besisahar (830m) By Bus And Local Jeep - 8 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Syange To Tal (1700 Meters) - 5 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Tal To Danaque (1860 Meters) - 5 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek From Danaque To Chame (2670 Meters) - 4/5 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Chame To Upper Pisang (3300 Meters) - 6 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Pisang To Manang (3500 Miters) - 6 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Acclimatization Day At Manang Village. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Manang To Yak Kharka (4,000m) - 5/6 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Yak Kharka To Thorong Phedi (4,450m) - 5 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Thorong Phedi To Muktinath (3,800m) Passing Thorung-La Pass (5,416m) - 8 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Trek Muktinath To Jomsom (2,700m) 4/5 Hrs. Overnight At Tea House
  • Fly Back To Pokhara. Sightseeing And Overnight At Hotel
  • Drive Back To Kathmandu And Transfer To Hotel & Departure

How difficult is Thorung La Pass Trek?

To know about “how difficult is Thorung La Pass trek”, you need to know about many factors associated with this. In fact, trek difficulty is discussed on the bases of different aspects you come to face during the trip.

The major responsible factors contributing for Annapurna circuit trek difficulty are:

  • Geographical Difficulty
  • Physical Difficulty
  • Temporal Difficulty
  • Social Difficulty
  • Economic Difficulty
  • Environmental Difficulty
  • Psychological Difficulty

But, don’t worry as these difficulties are beatable! A good local tour and trek operator company located in Kathmandu or Pokhara guides you overcome them. One of them is Nepal Trekking Routes having experienced crewmembers and tactful management.

Now, let’s discuss the responsible factors for Annapurna circuit trek difficulty one by one.

Geographical Difficulty

Geographical characteristics are the most responsible factor to measure Annapurna circuit trek difficulty. It includes altitude gain and the condition of trekking trails. Talking about Thourng La Pass trek, you begin it from Besisahar (670m) and end at Jomsom (2,700m).

The trails gradually gain altitude that from Chame (2,670m), you reach higher than 2,500m that becomes a little challenging. Especially, for the beginner trekkers, you may suffer from altitude sickness.

The highest point you reach is Thorung La Pass (5,415m) itself. This is the highest point of Annapurna Circuit trek or Thorung La Pass trek. Also, this is one of the highest Himalayan passes in the world.

The condition of the trails are fine as this region is visited by the largest number of tourists in Nepal. The local community people are very much aware of the importance of tourism industry and its impacts on their daily life.

Therefore, they frequently maintain the trekking trails. Similarly, the tourism agencies are also actively working to promote tourism in Annapurna region.

As this pass is non-technical, even a beginner trekker can beat Annapurna circuit trek difficulty. For this, you need to take some time for preparation and training. If you have the previous experience of trekking in Nepal, you can do it without any difficulty.

Physical Difficulty

Along with the altitude gain, physical difficulty goes increasing on the trekkers. The first challenge is altitude sickness which is seen as soon as you reach the place higher than 2,500m.

Most of the time of Thorung La Pass trek in the places above 2,500m. Right from Chame until you reach Muktinath, the last day of this trek, the altitude is higher than the given limit. Therefore, there is always possibility of altitude sickness.

In addition, while walking along the uphill and downhill trails, you might have other physical difficulties as well. You might have blisters, sore feet and fatigue during the trek. To prevent these difficulties, you should follow some precautions like:

  • Keeping your body fully hydrated.
  • Keeping the first aid toolbox.
  • Walking slowly by taking enough rest in the middle of the trekking.
  • Having hygienic food and enough sleep.
  • Using trekking poles to make the walking more comfortable.
  • Consulting with the trekking guide as soon as such symptoms are seen.

You know, you should always be careful about physical difficulties because sometimes their result might be dangerous. You may have to cancel the trip in the middle. Sometimes, altitude sickness might be so severe that it results into death as well.

Temporal Difficulty

Temporal difficulty of Thorung La Pass trek includes trekking hours per day and the total duration. Thorung La Pass trek itinerary ranges from 10 days to 21 days and even above.

10 days trek itinerary helps you have the lifelong experiences of crossing the highest pass in the Nepalese Himalaya. Also, you can witness the amazing snowcapped peaks like Mt. Gangapurna (7,455m), Tukuche Peak (6,920m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061m) incuding Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massifs.

On the other hand, Thorung La Pass trek itinerary of 21 days is a leisurely trip towards Annapurna region. Nepal Trekking Routes has proposed the same trekking for 16 days, which rewards you with the natural and cultural wonders as well.

Talking about trekking hours per day, you have to walk nearly 5 hours through the rugged trails. As the trails frequently move up and down, it may be challenging for the beginner trekkers. Nevertheless, if you are physically and mentally ready, you can do it without any unexpected circumstances.

Social Difficulty

Looking at Annapurna circuit trek difficulty from social perspective, it is very easy. That is to say, the society of Annapurna region is quite favorable for trekking in any season of your comfort.

This is not much remote area trekking in Nepal, so thousands of trekkers visit this region every year. It is a free individual trekking region that even a solo trekker in Nepal can do this trek. There is not any restricted area located in this region although it is just close to Upper Mustang trek.

The people of Annapurna region have a complete knowledge about the importance of tourism. They have been following tourism as one of the main occupations for ages. Local People know, it is the smokeless industry that not only yields them economic benefits but also helps to preserve and promote local culture and tradition. People can sell the local products related to their customs and costumes to the international trekkers visiting their communities.

On this note, the people of Thorung La Pass trek region are really friendly and cooperative. They have maintained the ethics of Nepalese that they treat the guests as their gods!

You can talk to the local people from different ethnic groups like Gurung, Bhotias, Thakali and so on. They share the interesting anecdotes and other legends about their community and village. Even if you happen to miss the right trails as an independent trekker to Annapurna region, the people will guide you to the destination.

Annapurna region is popular for its welcoming culture and tradition. You will find all the warmth and respect of the people from all walks of life. They will tell you about the important natural and social landmarks of the region.

Economic Difficulty

Economic expense is another factor to measure the difficulty of any tour or trekking package. It includes the cost you have to pay in all the goods and services you use during the trek. Right from the booking to ending of Thorung La Pass trek, you have to pay a specified amount on topics.

You need to prepare right from you make a plan to do this trek. If you are a beginner, you have to take trainings as well. Similarly, you have to manage the trekking gears so as to adjust in the high altitude places in the Himalayas.

However, you don’t have to worry about climbing gears to beat Annapurna circuit trek difficulty. In a sense, it minimizes the economic burden in this journey.

Besides, food and accommodation charges are also comparatively high in this region. It is because Annapurna Circuit trek is completely a teahouse trekking that you can find a large variety of food in the menu. From local typical Thakali dish to continental food items are prepared in this region.

You need Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit and TIMS Card to travel in this region. You need to pay USD 30 plus 13% VAT for ACAP Entry Permit per person per entry. For TIMS Card, USD 10 per person is charged for an organized trekking whereas USD 20 for an independent trekker in Nepal.

In addition, you have to pay for the trekking guide or porter as well. The incentives to the guide or porter are also given only when you are satisfied with their services. If you like, you can donate certain amount in the box kept in some cultural and natural sites as well.

Environmental Difficulty

Actually, Thorung La Pass trek lies in Annapurna Conservation Area Project. The flora and fauna of this conservation area are the bio-attraction of this trek. You will find a large variety of birds and animals in the dense pine, fir, birch, oak and rhododendron forests.

Environment difficulty includes temperature and weather that Annapurna region experiences throughout the year. This region also experiences four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

In summer season, sometimes heavy rainfall in the lower altitude might turn the trails muddy and slippery. Similarly, in winter, the heavy snowfall disturbs the higher altitude trails. Talking about Thorung La Pass, it remains closed due to heavy snowfalls.

Sometimes, you know natural calamities like blizzards cause difficulty that many trekkers have lost their lives during this trek. Especially, the solo trekkers cannot predict the possible blizzards or snowstorms, so they happen to be the victims of such calamities.

Thorung La Pass trek best time is spring and autumn. Autumn seasons, the temperature and weather are mild type supporting clear view of the Himalayas and amazing landscapes. Spring season, the entire forests of ACAP look highly attractive due to the colorful rhododendron flowers. The autumn, you can observe the feasts and festivals of this region including many organic fruits as well.

Psychological Annapurna circuit trek difficulty 

The mental readiness plays the most significant role in beating Annapurna circuit trek difficulty. Even though you are ready physically and economically, if you are not mentally ready and committed, you cannot do this trek easily.

When you get knowledge about different factors associated with this trek, you have time to be mentally determined. They say, “Well prepared is half done!” It means if you collect all the information and plan Thorung La Pass trek, this rewards you with the lifelong experiences!

How to Cope with Annapurna circuit trek difficulty

You know, everything on earth has its own type of difficulty. We can win over those difficulties provided we prepare ourselves in a better way. To beat Annapurna circuit trek difficulty, you should consider the following things:

  • Collect enough information regarding Annapurna circuit trek difficulty.
  • Book the trip with the most reliable local tour operator like Nepal Trekking Routes.
  • Limit the backpack so that you can easily traverse along the steep up and down tracks.
  • Plan the trip in the right season so as to avoid any mishap.
  • Pack the right kinds of clothes and other trekking gears.
  • Collect information about the weather forecast until you complete the trek.
  • Note down the contact info of the tour operator to keep in touch and for emergency rescue in case of problems.
  • Don’t rely on the strangers unless you get complete knowledge about them.
  • I hope the abovementioned points will be helpful to win the challenges that come in this trek.

Conclusion: Annapurna Circuit trek difficulty 

You have to beat Annapurna circuit trek difficulty to get the lifelong experiences of natural and cultural beauties of Annapurna region. The difficulties can be further divided into many groups from natural to physical. Booking with the specialist tour operator that provides the local guides is the best way to make this trip more successful.

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Shailesh Pokharel is young tourism entrepreneur as well as passionate traveler writer, who thrives on meeting new people and exploring the world. I love to share Captivating stories and insights from my global adventure inspiring other to embark on their own journey. Through my blog and travel service I will brings to life the diverse cultures, landscapes and experience I encounters making accessible and exiting for my reader and clients.

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