About the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is a little known nor trekked route near Tatapani in the Annapurna Conservation Area. It is also know as the Maurice Herzog Trail after the French climber who first summited it and also as Annapurna North Base Camp trek. The basic trek is relatively short but requires several nights camping as there are no lodges. It reaches 4200 meters making it an ideal trek for those looking for a short mountainous adventure.

The trek has been explored as a potential alternative to its counterpart the famous Annapurna Base Camp trek. However, the reality is that it's nowhere near the same type of trek. It should be thought of as a separate low-facility adventurous camping trek.

 

Glacial Lake at North Annapurna Base Camp

Glacial Lake at Annapurna North Base Camp

There are two ways into and out of Annapurna North Base Camp . The route from Lete across Thulo Bugin Pass has recently suffered a series of landslides. The main route we will be focused on here starts from Tadapani and comes back the same route. It's the safest and fastest Annapurna North Base Camp Trekking route.

Trek Overview

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Days: 7+

Max Altitude: 4,190 m (13,746.72 ft)

Distance: 46.6 km (29 mi)

Accommodation: Teahouse/Camping

Distance shown is the main Annapurna North Base Camp Trek - do see the map below for clarification.


Honesty counts! Every travel guide on this site has always been 100% independent, unbiased & honest. Rest assured there are no sales pitches for treks here & no hidden sales links. I have included plenty of options & resources for you to find the best trekking guides who know this area well. I do not accept sponsorships, free treks or tours. I do not own a trekking company or business in Nepal. I pay my own way & in turn write authentic guidebooks to Nepal. Rest assured, this is a genuine travel & trekking guide that you can trust.

Where is the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is located in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Geographically it is west of Tilicho Lake on the Annapurna Circuit and North of Annapurna Base Camp.

Despite looking as though it is close to both Tilicho Lake and Annapurna Base camp both are blocked by large mountains. The trek passes through forest areas before following the Mristi khola (river) along a steep valley bed.
 
Map of Nepal showing the location of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

 

 

There are no trekking lodges near Annapurna North Base Camp . There are only two shelters in place which are very basic. Despite a lot of promotion hinting at lodges being built in the area over the past few years, none have been built. Nonetheless, the ABC North Trek is short and camping areas are in place. Given this, it is one of the better camping treks in Nepal.
Suspension bridge near Narchyang
Suspension bridge near Narchyang

Recent landslides in 2020 along the Thulo Bugin Pass despite good weather have blocked the pass. Local authorities have said they will be cleared and process put in place to prevent more. Such claims should involve a lot of work and there's no sign of a start. Caution is advised if considering that route.

The Tadapani start/finish route is far safer leading all the way to Annapurna North's Base Camp and formidable wall of mountains leading to Annapurna One Base Camp.


Map of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


This map shows you the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Route.


 

This map shows you the Annapurna North Base Camp  area

Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Map

The above map is courtesy of Himalayan Travel Guides who are the publisher of my print guidebook to Nepal and is available to purchase at Himalayan Map House in Kathmandu

Please note these maps should not be used as a practical trekking maps.


Facts about the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek or ANBC should not be confused with the Annapurna Base Camp trek or ABC. The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is a great moderate camping trek that takes about a week to complete.

Highest point on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

At 4,190 m (13,746.72 ft) Annapurna North Base Camp  is the highest part of the trek.

Mountains surrounding North Annapurna Base Camp

Mountains surrounding Annapurna North Base Camp

Highest sleeping point on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

The highest sleeping point on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is at Annapurna North Base Camp while camping which is 4,190 m (13,746.72 ft).

Total distance of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

The full distance of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is 46.6 km (29 mi).

How long have people been trekking to Annapurna North Base Camp ?

Open valley near Chhote Pa
Open valley near Chhote Pa

French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal first climbed Annapurna 1 in On June 3, 1950. It was the first eight-thousand-meter peak ever successfully climbed. The mountain is the seventh-tallest in the world and one of the most deadly for climbers. It has a 32% fatality rate.
For trekkers, the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is still not well known. This is primarily because it lacks accommodation and requires camping. However, in recent years trekkers have been looking for trails that have fewer trekkers or groups. The ANBC is just the trek for anyone looking to avoid the crowds.

Is there any wildlife to see on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?

At lower portions of the trek lynx, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr, weasels, marten, and Himalayan mouse hares are found. However, it would be rare to spot them.

What mountains can you see on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?

Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain ranges are visible.


Highlights of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


Highlights of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek include:
 
Blue water pond and waterfall on the North Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Blue water pond and waterfall on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek
  • A trek to the base of the  world's seventh-tallest mountain
  • A short trek to reach a remote area
  • Camping under mountains
  • Budget-friendly
  • No crowds

 


How to arrange a Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


 

Arranging a Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

 A Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is easy to arrange so long as you know the right trekking company with camping equipment. The problem is it's not a well-known trek, not all companies will have camping equipment (they'll hire it) and it's a short trek so they'll often want to add days to increase their profits.

You'll probably notice online that a lot of trekking companies list a NABC itinerary but few go into any details day by day (or at least many will have tried to copy details from this page). There's a reason for this and it's that many have simply not done the trek!

In 2019 TAAN had a trekking agency tour of the area. It was rushed trek. Do be wary of guides saying they went on a training course to the area.

Most of the trek is below 4,000 m. I would strongly advise that if you are going for mountain views you go during the peak seasons. Otherwise cloud cover will be an issue.

Finally, read this page carefully and understand exactly what the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is. With the right trekking guide and time of year, it can a phenomenal experience.

 

Package treks & tours for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek bought online

Package treks & tours to the Annapurna Base are available online but you won't find many. Most have longer than necessary itineraries. It should also be noted that there's no guarantee the guide will actually know the area.

Package tours to Annapurna North Base Camp  online range from USD $1100-1500 per person. They usually include all permits, a guide, accommodation, and meals.

Pro's of a package trek on the Annapurna North Base Camp  includes having everything ready for you when you arrive.

Con's include porters being extra, adding in Kathmandu to Pokhara as a day, inflexible itineraries, hidden extras, unsure shared accommodation, and fixed meals. Not knowing if the guide knows the area or not.

Package treks bought in Nepal for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

Do your research on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek before visiting trekking agencies. Pokhara trekking agencies are far better suited than Kathmandu trekking agents for this trek. Do read the itineraries and maps carefully to work out if you really need extra days or not.

Guides clearing an area for a campfire
Guides clearing an area for a campfire

Use the information on this page to work out the costs and days needed!

Pro's of a local Annapurna North Base Camp Trek includes meeting your guide before the trek. Going over the costs in person. Inspecting the camping equipment.

Con's includes listening the trekking companies talk about the area but realizing they've never been there! Once again, do your research before going.

If you'd like to take the hard work out of finding a guide or package trek with experienced guides for Annapurna North Base Camp Trek before you arrive then do try my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Hiring a local Guide for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

 
I strongly urge you to be careful with this. Many inexperienced guides may be told by others to take a different route across a pass which is landslide-prone. This is dangerous. You really need an experienced guide who's been on this trek.

Camping equipment is difficult to get outside Kathmandu. Even then it's usually for sale or the rented tents are often old and badly maintained. It's windy and cold on this trek at night so you should have good equipment.

Pro's of hiring a local guide alone include meeting your guide before leaving and having a hands-on independent part of planning.

Con's include having to make sure the guide is licensed. Paying for the guides tent, and expenses. Finding a good porter. Carrying cash in the mountains yourself to pay for accommodation, meals etc. Getting all your camping equipment sorted. Take a look at the cost of this trek further on this page and you'll see it's not a big-budget trek and packages often work out cheaper.

 

If you are looking for a local registered trekking guide for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

In my guidebook to Nepal there are several well-vetted trekking agencies you can choose from that hire out local guides.

You can also save some time by using my Find a Guide Trekking Service to get a local guide.

Trekking Annapurna North Base Camp Trek without a guide

This is possible. However, caution is advised if you have not trekked in Nepal before and want to trek Annapurna North Base Camp Trek alone. ACAP/TAAN doesn't have a single signpost up on this trek. Maps are not up to date. There are some local rumors that the trek is very easy to do despite some clear issues with landslides.

Watch out for online blogs or videos showing trekkers doing it alone. Some are simply sponsored or trying to sell something somewhere along the way. Likewise forums with trekkers saying it's no problem - things are usually easier to say when the trek is over! This is a high altitude trek. Unless you've trekked before in Nepal then it is advisable to go with a qualified guide.

The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek covers an unpredictable area in Nepal. Strong and changeable cold weather conditions mean you need to be prepared. There are no villages or help along the camping areas for several days. The good news is that it's not particularly high altitude or if you stay on the main trail it's fairly straight forward. However, with camping gear and food needed it's is simply more practical to go with someone.

If you are looking for a guide for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

You may also use my Find a Guide Trekking Service.


Best time of the year to trek the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek


While the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek can be attempted at most times of the year, special attention should be given to the low altitude. Generally speaking, the cloud will be more likely to appear below 4,000 meters on a trek. While above, though still possible, is less likely. This is especially true during the off-seasons.

Personally speaking, if mountain views are your goal, I would save this trek for peak seasons only.

Do note there are no permanent weather stations anywhere near Annapurna North. As such the weather chart here will only show you approximate values and weather trends.

 

Temperature and precipitation table for Annapurna North Base Camp  (NABC)

 

  Avg. Temperature
(°C)
Avg. Temperature
(°F)
Precipitation / Rainfall
(mm)
January -5 23 9
February -6 21.2 14
March -2 28.4 9
April 0 32 8
May 5.5 41.9 13
June 8 46.4 39
July 12 53.6 123
August 14 57.2 136
September 14 57.2 62
October 10 50 6
November 0 32 0
December -5 23 5

 

It's important to note that wind chill is not calculated into the temperatures above. Wind chill at Annapurna North Base Camp  can drive temperatures down -10 to -15 degrees with ease depending on conditions. Keep in mind that tents and camping outdoors will make it seem even colder again.

Temperature Chart for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Ri  Trek

North Annapurna Base Camp annual weather chart

The above temperature chart shows the approximate highs and lows on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek year-round based on conditions at Annapurna Base Camp. They both share a similar weather system though winds at ANBC are generally stronger at night due to the terrain and lack of shelter. Do note it does not take into account wind chill which can drive  the above temperatures down -15 to -20.

Months with the best weather to trek the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

Due to the mid-altitude, and terrain of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek, it's important to consider the right time of year to trek in the region. Off-season (winter) and monsoon season are not recommended at all due to extreme weather conditions including thick cloud. However due to the altitude then it is largely accessible throughout the year.

Mid October - November/(early)December: Nepal's peak and best time to go trekking to Annapurna North Base Camp Trek.

February-March-April: this is the end of the dry season in Nepal and the second-best time of year to go trekking to Annapurna North Base Camp . However strong winds can occur on the trek and clouds can move in quickly, Do not attempt the Thulo Bugin Pass at this time of year due to landslides.

December to January/February: the weather is clear but it can be very cold with rushing winds at ANBC. Going with a guide and high-quality camping equipment is essential.

May - June: The hot pre-monsoon season means things get uncomfortable and humid along this trek. When camping the wind can be strong and thick cloud can move in quickly blocking the trail paths and the views.  It is not recommended to go during this period.

June - Mid September: this is Nepal's Monsoon season. The risk of leeches. heavy rain and cloud increases at lower altitudes. When camping high winds, cloud, and rain make it nearly impossible to trek the ANBC and get good views safely. It is not recommended to go during this period.

For more details please see my guide on the best time of year to go trekking in Nepal.


What permits do I need for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


There are only two permits needed for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek.

  1. Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
  2. Trekker Information Management System (TIMS Card)

All of these permits can be purchased in Pokhara near the Tourism Information Office. The permit offices open between 10 am - 5 pm. Do keep in mind national holidays and festivals in Nepal as the offices often close early then. A good trekking agency will do this for you at no extra cost.

 

Get the Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)

An Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP) covers all of the Annapurna National Park.
An ACAP Permit
An ACAP Permit
The permit is only valid for one entry and one exit. However, so long as you don't exit, you can use it for as many treks as you want including the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek. It is a mandatory permit.
 
  1. Fill out the ACAP form
  2. Hand over the completed form, your passport and 2 passport photos ( do note the office taking photos for free at the moment)
  3. Pay the 3,000 rupees (only payable in Nepali Rupees)
  4. Get your ACAP permit

Get the Trekker Information Management System Card (TIMS)

The Trekkers Information Management System Card (TIMS) is meant help protect trekkers through registration checkpoints along a trek including Annapurna North Base Camp . The fees also go towards guide and porter insurance.

Right next to the ACAP permit office is the TIMS card office.

A TIMS Card
A TIMS Card
  1. Fill in the TIMS card form
  2. Have your photograph taken by a member of staff (bring 2 extra passport photos just in case). 
  3. Pay 2000 rupees *
  4. Get your TIMS Card
* Do note that if you are trekking with a guide the TIMS Card is only 1,000 rupees and the guide will usually do this for you as they must go to a separate office. A good guide will also get your ACAP permit too so you don't have to go to the offices.

Permit check points for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek include TIMS checks at Tatopani and ACAP permit checks at Ghasa.

What equipment do I need to go on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?

Specialized equipment is needed for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek.  While no climbing equipment is needed or crampons, camping equipment is needed. Likewise, weather gear and the time of year should be taken into account.

Camping cooker for sale in Nepal
Camping cooker for sale in Nepal


  • Extreme weather tent (season depending)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Cooking stove
  • Cooking gas
  • Cooking equipment
  • A good pair of trekking boots with strong grips.
  • An expedition jacket
  • Fleece
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants / shorts
  • Base layers for the cold
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Night hat (warm)
  • Sleeping mat
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Washing powder
  • Toiletries
  • Wet Wipes
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottles
  • Water purification system
  • Map
  • Head torch
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick
  • First Aid Kit

You'll also need to bring your own food on this trek. Once again this is where a porter really becomes valuable.

Please note the above is a basic list. For a full comprehensive trekking list please see my article on trekking equipment you need for Nepal


How difficult is the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is largely rated as moderate. The camping aspect makes it more challenging than ABC or Mardi Himal in terms of similar duration treks.

The fact there are no trail signs or lodges or villages for a portion of this trek makes things slightly more adventurous.

 

Gokyo Ri trek difficulty chart

 

By far everyone's toughest days are the camping sections. But with a porter and guide, the difficulty is reduced greatly.

 

Trekker on the way to North Annapurna Base Camp

Trekker on the way to Annapurna North Base Camp

The relatively low-moderate altitude of the trek also makes things easier compared to other treks. For the most part, the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek involves days of going up then down and back up trails. The camping sections have a lot of stone and rock to traverse but by taking your time it is manageable.


How fit do I need to be for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


Fitness for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek will be relative to your own fitness levels. However, do remember the trek is noted as being moderate but does have camping aspects to it.

As always I would advise anyone going trekking or hiking to see a doctor before they go for a check-up

If you are generally sedentary before this trek then you may well want to want to start an exercise routine. In the itineraries below you can easily see the duration it takes each day to complete the trek.

Ask yourself questions like do you or can you walk for 6-8 hours a day? Can you do it with a backpack? Have you camped before? Are you comfortable camping out in the open?


What's the food like on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


 

Tea houses and lodges on the lower sections of the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek are good with plenty of food available. Once you start camping, you'll be eating what you brought with you.

It's a short trek so Dal Bhat is usually well-liked for all the days you stay in lodges. It consists of rice, potatoes, vegetables, and lentil soup. You will be burning a lot of calories on this trek so it's a great source of energy.

For camping, guides tend to choose lightweight noodles which are also fast to cook. The problem with these noodles is they are not very good at providing long term energy. Pasta would be a better option but keep in mind gas supplies as it does take longer to cook. Porridge, dried milk, and cans of tuna are also favorites.

 

Guides and porters cooking at a campfire

Guides and porters cooking at a campfire

 

Filtering your water is an important consideration on this trek. Environmentalists have rightfully highlighted plastic pollution issues in this region. However, filtered water in the lodges is not always sanitary. For water when camping its the local rivers that you will need to source it from. This water is generally very clean. However, filtration or purification systems should still be used.

Typical Annapurna Base Camp Menu

Item Price
Porridge with milk 300-350 Rupees
Fried eggs (2) 250-300 Rupees
Cheese Omelet 400-450 Rupees
Tibetan Bread 350-400 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Meat) 500-1000 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Veg) 400-600 Rupees
Boiled Potatoes 300-350 Rupees
Fried Noodles (Veg) 300-400 Rupees
Fried Potatoes with Cheese 450-550 Rupees
Macaroni with cheese 400-500 Rupees
Tea/Coffee 50/100Rupees
1 liter beer 600+ Rupees
Soft Drinks (Coke, Sprite etc.) 120-150 Rupees
1 liter tap water (from underground spring or stream) free
1 liter boiled water (for filtering) 50 Rupees
1 liter bottled water (if available)* 100-150 rupees

 


What's accommodation like on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek?


Tatopani and Narchyang are your only places to stay on this trek with lodges. There's plenty of lodges to choose from and many are in good condition.

If you wanted to extend this trek by going up to Jomson then accommodation becomes even better.

Tent at North Annapuran Base Camp
Tent at North Annapurna Base Camp

For the rest of the trek, it's all about living in a tent or one of the empty stone buildings that have been built in two points along the trail. Guides will usually have their own tent and will share with a porter.

The stone huts offer some respite if there is a heavy wind at night. They also allow you to cook without much wind interference. Many people will cook or melt snow in their tents. Do take care as it's not recommended to light a fire inside a tent.

Good quality sleeping bags are essential. Depending on the time of year you go you'll know how warm they should be. -20 sleeping bags help year-round. However, in the winter you may want to take something even warmer. However, given the amount of camping and location thick warm sleeping bags are a big help. A sleeping mat is also helpful.
 

Read more and see what trekking accommodation is like in Nepal.


How much does the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek cost?


The Annapurna North Base Camp Trek's can be extremely high or relatively budget-friendly. As written earlier the biggest problem is finding a trekking agent who has camping equipment and has a guide who's done the trek before. Nail this, and you can get a surprisingly good price for the trek.

Working out your trekking budget

The standard Annapurna North Base Camp  itinerary on this page makes it fairly easy to budget. It's a straight up and down trek that's short on duration.

Your biggest issue will be making sure the trekking company has camping equipment and are not renting it from someone else. This drives the cost up. Secondly, like many Nepali treks make sure extra days are not added on to boost up the price.
 

Valley trail to Chote pa
Valley trail to Chote pa

Online package tours can range from  USD$1100-1500+pp.

These include a guide, accommodation, meals, permits, and camping equipment.

As mentioned earlier online package treks have a tendency to be laden with extra costs. Including single trekker supplements.

You'll also have no chance to inspect the camping equipment nor know if the guide has trekked in the region or not.

In country package treks for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek bought in Nepal are cheaper. However, the great thing is they can be a much better way to see the camping equipment and meet the guide first.

A 7 day Annapurna Base Camp trek can cost from USD $750 pp to $900 per person. These include a guide, porter, accommodation, meals, permits, camping equipment and local transport.

My Find A Guide Service can help you out here but do try to get in contact before arriving in Nepal.

Guide only services for the Annapurna Base Camp trek  will mean you'll need to do a lot more planning. Getting the right camping equipment will be the biggest challenge. You may get lucky and find a company with equipment, but once again, you'll need to pay for it. In this regards it simply makes more sense to take their package.

 

Trekking Annapurna Base Camp trek by yourself  Unless you are extremely experienced at trekking and camping it's advised to go with a guide. If you are two people the risk is lowered. Just remember you'll need to carry all your own gear. There are no trail signs and there are no people to help if you get into difficulty.

 

If you are looking for a guide for the Annapurna Base Camp trek then I recommend you read my article on how to find a trekking guide in Nepal. Alternatively use my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Average 7 day trek cost for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

Item Cost USD $
Permits (ACAP, TIMS) 50
Guide x 7 days ($28) 196
Porter x 7 ($20) 140
Accommodation 10
Tent, sleeping bag/mat, cooking stove hire/gas hire 200
Meals (tea house / camping) 75
Water 4 liters a day x2 (the rest is filtered) 8
Transport (flights/airport) 40
Total 719

As you can see the above trek can easily match a package trek cost if bought in Nepal. Keep in mind that some of the above is subjective. For example you might have higher meal costs for camping if you bring along extra food like mountaineering freeze dried meals. Not to mention that you'll be doing a fair amount of food sharing with the guide and border which may drive this price up. Likewise the cost of camping equipment is quite random in Nepal and it will depend on what's available and the time of year.

Extras:

Two porters share the load more than one. If you are with a group then the you'll need more.

Travel insurance should be included and do make sure you are covered for trekking. Here is my recommendation for travel insurance when in Nepal.

How to reduce your budget on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek

Costs that cannot be reduced are pretty limited on this trek. Permits, are pretty much fixed. You'd be hard pressed to get a legitimate and experienced guide for less than that price given the trek in question.

Savings can be made on meals but not by much - and I really feel you are better off bringing quality food stuffs rather than cheap pots of noodles.

The cost difference between an online trek is substantially different than a local trekking agency and indeed using my Find a Trekking Guide Service.


Annapurna North Base Camp Trek itinerary


This section shows you two itineraries for the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek. The 7 day itinerary is main focus as it is the safest and is written in depth.

While it is possible to come over the Thulo Bugin Pass there were several landslides in 2019 and 2020. Local authorities have said they will be working on making the area safer. There are no details on the how or completion dates. If carried out it will be written here.

 

 

Tilicho peak from North Annapurna Base Camp

Tilicho peak from Annapurna North Base Camp



7 Day Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day Route Distance Highest Altitude
1 Pokhara - Tatopani (drive) - Narchyang (trek) 5-7 hours/1hour 1.5 km 1,510 m
2 Narchyang to Chhote Pa (camping) 6-8 hours/13.5km 2,455 m
3 Chhote Pa to Sandhi Kharka (camping) 6-7 hours/9 km 3,245 m
4 Sandhi Kharka to Annapurna North Base Camp (camping) 6-7 hours/9 km 4,190 m
5 Annapurna North Base Camp  to Chhote Pa (camping) 7-8 hours/16 km 2,455 m
6 Chhote Pa to Tatopani 6-7 hours/15 km 1,190 m
7 Tatopani to Pokhara (drive) 6-7 hours 1,400 m


 

8 Day Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Itinerary (caution)

The following itinerary should be used in caution due to landslides reported in 2019 and 2020 between Miristi Khola and Thulo Bugin Pass.

A safer option would be to approach this trek from the Ghasa/Lete side. However if the pass is blocked or dangerous then there's no way to reach Annapurna North Base Camp  without returning back and going the Tatopani route.

If doing the Tatopani route and returning via the Thulo Bugin Pass then do be extremely cautions as it is a landslide area.

 

Day Route Distance Highest Altitude
1 Tatopani to Ghasa 5-6 hours 2,012 m
2 Ghasa to Lete 5-6 hours 2,438 m
3 Lete to Thulo Bugin 4 hours/ 3,260 m
4 Thulo Bugin to Miristi Khola (crossing Thulo Bugin Pass) 6-7 hours 4,400 m / 4,130 m
5 Miristi Khola to Annapurna North Base Camp   6-7 hours 4,190 m
6 Annapurna North Base Camp  to Chhote Pa 7-8 hours/16 km 2,455 m
7 Chhote Pa to Tatopani 6-7 hours/15 km 1,190 m
8 Tatopani to Pokhara (drive) 6-7 hours 1,400 m

 

Detailed Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Itinerary

The following is a detailed day by day 7-day itinerary from day one to day seven on the Annapurna North Base Camp Trek. Do keep in mind the weather, time of year, how experienced you are, your age and who you are with as it can alter the duration and difficulty of a trek. The following is written as a practical day by day trek for all trekkers.

Day one - Pokhara - Tatopani (drive) - Narchyang (trek)

The drive from Pokhara to Tatopani is fairly long but uneventful. The end of the road is bumpy and trail like.

Valley from Tatopani to Narchyang
Valley from Tatopani to Narchyang

From Tatopani, it's a welcome relief to get out and trekking if only for a an hour or so.

 It's also nice to be out and surrounded by green forest. Make use of your night in Narchyang as the next day you'll be out camping!



Day two - Narchyang to Chhote Pa

This is your first full day of trekking there's a series of farmlands and a large valley opening up in the distance to get you started.

Bamboo forest neat Chhote Pa
Forest from Phakding to Namche Bazaar
You follow the valley path along with open farmlands, brush and grasslands before crossing the Ghalemch river.

After the river, it's onto some ridge trekking as you being an ascent. The icy mountains of Nilgiri seem to come closer much faster than expected.

Green bamboo forests are your first moment of feeling like you are off the beaten path. You'll soon come across a mountain stream which you can follow until you find an area good for setting up camp. There's a small stone hut here which can be used to camp inside.

Day three - Chhote Pa to Sandhi Kharka

The nearby streams make for a cold but refreshing wash in the morning.

Waterfall near Sallo Bhan
Waterfall near Sallo Bhan

It's back into bamboo forest and thickets at the start of today as you ascend up and finally out of the ridge of the forest. Here the NACP's mountains continue to look closer than ever.

Below the valley is cut by the river as you follow it along while descending. Once you reach it the boulders truly look a lot bigger than from above. Warn out campfires are a clue that it's been used before as a camping area.

 Continue following the main river due east as you climb up to and over a suspension bridge. You'll then come across an amazing pool of fresh water that's bright blue and sourced by a waterfall. Continue on for 45 minutes where there's a good place to camp for the night.

Day four - Sandhi Kharka to Annapurna North Base Camp

It's a long day today so keep your strength up with a good breakfast.

North Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna North Base Camp
As you trek away from camp the ground vegetation becomes more sparse. You'll soon come across some cave like formations in the surrounding mountains.

The valley becomes sheltered from the sun as you get nearer to base camp. There's a notable increase in the wind gusting down from ahead. Dry tundra surrounds you as the massive snow-capped mountain ahead seems to block the path. Continue up and over a mini pass of sorts and you'll arrive into a desolate windswept area filled with boulders and earth. Welcome to Annapurna North Base Camp .

There's an attractive pool of glacier water here and a massive glacier ahead blocking the path to Tilicho lake on the other side. The small temple here is used to make a puja or blessing to the mountain Annapurna 1. The temple contains Shiva and Ganesh while there is also a Buddha statue and prayer wheels. There's a small open hut here which is useful for camping inside with a tent!

Day five - Annapurna North Base Camp to Chhote Pa

It's usually a cold start to the day as the ice winds sweep down from the mountains.

Glacier from Annapurna 1 at North Annapurna Base Camp
Glacier from Annapurna 1 at Annapurna North Base Camp

The sheltered valley makes it equally cold and blustery as you make your way along the way you came the day before.

The good news is the wind is now likely to be pushing you along. Down some a rocky area it's important to take care not to lose one's footing. It's faster on the way back but also easier to trip.

Soon you'll be back in the forest, grassland and ridges with the sun on occasion on your side of the valley. Back at the pool it time to set up camp for the last time. There's a small hut here which can be used to camp inside.

Day six - Chhote Pa to Tatapani

The open trail makes things quicker here and with a lighter load you'll be moving faster.

Rocky trail from North Annapurna Base Camp to Chhote Pa
Rocky trail from Annapurna North Base Camp  to Chhote Pa
Farmlands and houses quickly start to appear and the green valleys are a welcome sight.

Passing through Narchyang you'll be tempted to stop for the night. But if you are early keeping going. Tatopani's nicer lodgers are waiting with hot showers, beds and dal bhat.

 

 

Day seven - Tatopani to Pokhara

There's not much to today. Guide's and porters usually want an early start but buses tend to leave throughout the morning to Pokhara so there is no real rush. Enjoy breakfast. If the menu is good get a packed lunch too. The bus starts out bumpy but soon evens out into the road on the way to Pokhara.


More information on Trekking in Nepal


For alternative treks do read my list of treks in Nepal which is continually being added to based on popularity or request.

If looking for a trekking guide I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal or you can use the Find a Guide Service.

On the following pages below I've compiled detailed articles on the specifics of trekking in Nepal that may be of use to you.

You will find them to be a great place to research your whole trekking trip to Nepal - be sure to bookmark them so you don't forget!

You might find my following free guides helpful:

Trekking in Nepal

My guide on trekking in Nepal

  Trekking Equipment Check out my guide on equipment & gear needed for trekking in Nepal
 
List of treks to hike in Nepal Check out my list of treks to do in Nepal complete with maps   Nepal Mountain range Check out my guide on how to travel overland into Tibet for a lot more!
Trekking in Nepal How to choose a trekking guide in Nepal   Record of Mount Everst Base Camp Trek in the Winter My Day by day account of trekking to Everest Base Camp in the off season (winter)
 
Traveling overland into Nepal Check out my How to travel overland into Nepal guide   Guide to traveling Nepal Check out my country Guide to Nepal
 

Download my Trekking in Nepal Guidebook

Liked this page? You'll love my trekking book! It's a hands on trekking guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really!

In the book I cover all the popular treks in Nepal with step-by-step accuracy using scalable maps, photographs and travel tested up-to-date trekking information.

Just like my other guidebooks to Nepal it's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.


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