About the Panchase Trek


The Panchase trek or Panchase Peak trek is located very close to Pokhara in the Annapurna region. It's an age old local trekking and panorama viewing route that doesn't require any permits and is relatively well marked.

A pleasantly enjoyable low altitude trek it takes you up through a forest area, through rich farmlands, back through forests and up to several look out points.

Buffalos under the mountains at Panchase

Buffalo, farmlands, forests and mountains are the highlights of the Panchase trek

This is a teahouse trek with at least three villages you can stay at on the way.

The Panchase trek can be completed between 2-3 days depending on your requirements.

Panchase is an ideal trek for those who want to test out their trekking abilities before going on a longer trek. For those looking for a nice short trek. Or For those looking for a budget trek. Review ratings are 3.0 out 5. Compared to other longer treks you don't get "dramatic mountain views" however the views, villages, farms and ease of this trek should rate Panchase higher than the likes of Nagarkot or Dhulikhel in terms of short treks with mountain views. Read on to learn more about this great "panoramic trekking trail".

Trek Overview

Difficulty: Easy

Days: 2-3

Max Altitude: 2,500 m

Distance: 26.60 km (16.5 mi)

Accommodation: Teahouse

Distance shown is a return trek. A fully detailed guide to Panchase with more details is below.


Honesty counts! Every travel guide on this site has always been 100% independent, unbiased & honest. 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 guide that you can trust.

Where is the Panchase trek?


Panchase is located to the north-west of Pokhara's Lakeside area in the province of Gandaki Pradesh. Technically it's possible to drive nearly all the way to Panchase but the road is bad and you can bypass it when trekking.

Map of Nepal showing the location of the Panchase Trek

The trek route starts like many other in Nepal along the dirt road. However after only an hour you reach a lush farmland area along a ridge. This is where the real trekking begins. You make your way through pristine forest along stone steps, forest paths and grassy hills.

Way to Panchase trail sign
The Panchase trail is well marked on the way up, but on the way down it is not.

Quiet farmhouse and buffalo sheds dot the mountainside and you'll encounter friendly locals. With good weather you see the valley's bellow as you make your way up to around 2,000m where you can stay the night in a town called Bhadaure. The next morning you can trek up to another village called Bhanjyang which is where most people spend the night before the next morning climbing a set of steps up to Panchase peak itself for a great sunrise view.

At 2,500m Panchase peak is relatively low in altitude but it does offer great panoramic views of Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Lamjung and Manaslu. There are several look out points available to see these mountains which we'll cover here. It's also possible to stay at Panchase peak however it's more comfortable to stay in the village below.


Map of the Panchase Trek


This map shows you the most popular Panchase trekking route.


Please note this map should not be used as a practical trekking map. While the main Panchase route remains the same there are variations depending on side trails, the road, weather conditions, time of year, natural events and physical changes to the trek paths. Detailed trekking maps can be obtained in Nepal at very low costs.

Map of the Panchase Trek

The above map of the map of the Panchase Trek is from my First Time Trekking in Nepal Guidebook & Nepal Guidebook - the map can be zoomed right in to display the trails up close in the digital editions. In the paperback version there are additional maps.


Facts about the Panchase Trek


The Panchase trek is a well known area. However most facts are less certain in regards to the many "trekking routes" to or back from Panchase.

Highest point of the Panchase trek

At 2,500 meters (8,202 ft) Panchase Peak marks the highest point of the Panchase Trek.

Highest sleeping point on the Panchase trek

The highest sleeping point along the Panchase trek is at the very top of Panchase Peak which is 2,500 meters (8,202 ft). However better accommodation is available at Bhanjyang at 2,000 meters (6,561.68 ft).

How long have people been trekking the Panchase route?

Stone trail on the Panchase Trek
This stone trail marks the start of the proper trek to Panchase just before Bhadaure

The Panchase area has always been a popular local area. The route was once a camping only area. In the past decade teahouses have opened up in the hope that the area would become popular. Trail signs were places along the route going up but none on the way down. Since 2015 the road development has taken priority. However the trails easily divert around the road still making it a pleasant route.

Trekking permits have never been needed for Panchase. That's not to say they won't ever be required. It's likely if the road is ever completed then Panchase will popular with day trekkers and an entry fee eventually come into effect.

What mountains can you see from Panchase?

Panchase has panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range from the top. In particular Machhapuchhre (6,993 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Annapurna (7,010 m), Lamjung (6,822 m) and Manaslu (8,156 m). These are best seen at sunrise. However, early mornings can also have great views. On clear days the views can be seen in the afternoon.

 


Highlights of the Panchase Trek


Highlights on the Panchase  trek include:
 
Baba Holyman at the top of Panchase
Baba Holyman at the top of Panchase
  • Easy trek to see the Himalayan mountains
  • Short trek of only 2-3 days
  • No permits needed
  • Visit rural farming villages
  • Few tourists
  • Forest Trails
  • Village Trails
  • Friendly locals
  • Budget friendly

How to arrange a trek to Panchase


Panchase offers quite a few options to trekkers in the Pokhara area. Although it's an official trek there are no permits needed. Unfortunately over the years many people have tried to capitalize on the short trek and a mass of trekking routes to Panchase have come about. Some are from guides who want to add on days so they can make a little bit money and others are from day trekkers/backpackers who've been trying make their own unique route to Panchase.

As it stands getting to Panchase can be a direct short trek. Or a hob-nob round-about stitch of day hikes. Personally I recommend two of the main routes to get the most out of the Panchase trek without getting lost or tackling landslide areas. The preferred Panchase routes are listed in itineraries below. Meanwhile let's look at whether you need a guide or not.

Sunrise on the Panchase Trek

There are many places to see the sunrise on the Panchase trek

Arranging a regular Panchase trek

There are many options for a regular trek ranging from package tours to independent trekking. Booking online is not recommended for this trek as it can be very expensive. Treks to Panchase can easily be arranged in Pokhara or done by yourself. Prices below are based on a two night, three day trek.

Package tours bought online:

Package tours to Panchase bought online usually have additional days added on to them. Most of these "extra" days are not necessary and are only placed onto the trek to bump up the price by using a guides fee by day.

Package tours usually include food, porters and accommodation. Costs are around USD $300-600

Pro's of an online package tour is that everything is done for you ahead of time.

Con's include it greatly increases the cost of the Panchase trek which doesn't really have to be booked online. You can basically arrange a guide on the same day you leave Pokhara should you wish.

Package tours bought in Nepal:

forest from Bhadaure to Bhanjyang on the Panchase trek
Forest from Bhadaure to Bhanjyang on the Panchase trek

If you want to buy a package trek to Panchase when in Nepal, then do it from Pokhara and not Kathmandu. You can easily arrange a package trek along the Panchase route yourself. If you have time then try to visit a few trekking agents to compare prices.

Permits are not required so basically all you need is a guide, accommodation and food. Trekking agents tend to pass off new guides for this trek as it's not very profitable for them. Do make sure you are comfortable with your guide before agreeing on anything.

Ensure that you understand what's included in the total price of the trek. This should include accommodation, food, bus/taxi fees etc. There are no flights involved with the Panchase trek unless you are coming from Kathmandu to Pokhara (where the trek starts).

You could break down your package trek just for a guide, transport and accommodation. Looking after the food yourself. Just remember its protocol when trekking to eat where you stay. Costs are around USD $160 for a three day trek which includes transport, food and accommodation.

Pro's with a package trek include meeting your guide before hand and being able to talk or ask questions in person. Buying a package trek from Pokhara to Panchase is much cheaper than online.

Con's include trekking agents trying to add extra days to the Panchase trek. At best the trek is 3 days. However many will include "side treks" to other villages. These are the types of villages you'll encounter on the 2-3 day trek anyway. During the busy peak seasons you may also find it difficult to find a qualified guide who has the time for such a short trek. It's just a matter of patiently asking around trekking agents.

Hiring a guide for Panchase yourself:

Perhaps the best option for Panchase is to hire an independent guide yourself rather than a paying extra for a package tour. It's a very short and uncomplicated trek so there really is not need to pay over the odds for an all inclusive package trek.

If you go with just a guide then you'll need to pay for accommodation and meals yourself. This is not hard as the reality is you only have about 5 tea houses to choose from. Menu prices are fairly set too. Costs will be around USD $80 for the guide and $90 for you your transport, accommodation and meals.

Pro's with just having a guide include saving money and being more independent.

Con's include having to deal with a the odd rogue teahouse owner who may try to overcharge. In this case, you just walk next door to the next teahouse.

Independently trekking to Panchase yourself:

Lastly your could try trekking to Panchase yourself. The route is fairly well marked out on the way up. However if you elect to come down a different route then the trail is not marked at all. Naturally if you've never trekked before or are not used to the outdoors it's safer to take a guide. Costs will be around USD $90 (private accommodation/transport).

Pro's here include independence and a very low budget.

Con's include having to navigate the trail yourself and deal with teahouse owner. It's important to note that people have had accidents and become lost coming down from Panchase using unmarked trails. The often mentioned "world peace stupa trail" should be avoided due to lack of use, no markers, places to buy water.

Please note: Some rogue online and even local trekking agents will try to include the cost of an Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and TIMS onto the trek. These are not needed. If a guide insists and you are still happy to go with them then make sure you actually see your permit and TIMS card.

If looking for a guide for the Panchase Trek yourself then I recommend you read my article on how to find a trekking guide in Nepal. Alternative use my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

You may also contact me if you wish to have my personal recommendation however it would be appreciated if you purchase one of my guidebooks as they also list my recommendations and keep this site going.


Best time of year to go trekking along the Panchase route


Panchase has the same weather climate as Pokhara although in winter at 2,500m it will be cooler than Pokhara due to the elevated altitude. However snow call is rare.

Due to this mild climate Panchase is open for trekking year round. Do note however that it can be one of the wettest areas in the Annapurna region. There are peak seasons which suit this trek and the following months have traditionally been used as a guide for preferred times of the year to do the Panchase trek.

Panchase Weather by month (Pokhara)

  Avg. Temperature
(°C)
Avg. Temperature
(°F)
Precipitation / Rainfall (mm)
 
January 13.1 55.6 28
February 14.9 58.8 24
March 19.5 67.1 52
April 23 73.4 106
May 24.1 75.4 312
June 25.2 77.4 626
July 25.3 77.5 876
August 25.2 77.4 807
September 24.1 75.4 491
October 21.6 70.9 140
November 17.5 63.5 6
December 13.8 56.8 6

Do note that at 2,500m Panchase will be a little cooler than the above temperatures - particularly at night. It's also worth paying attention to precipitation as it is a wet part of Nepal.

Humidity, Cloud & Rain Monthly  Index Chart for Panchase (Pokhara)

Panchase humidity, cloud and rain index graph

 

Humidity and Cloud Weather Data Table for Panchase

Month Humidity % Cloud %
January 26 9
February 33 20
March 26 9
April 36 16
May 29 11
June 57 41
July 85 73
August 86 58
September 80 33
October 38 4
November 45 5
December 34 4

Clouds and rain play a part in any trek. Due to its relative low altitude Panchase can be effected by cloud cover and rain. Mountain sunrise views can be determined pre-dawn if there are stars in the sky then there's a good chance at a great sunrise.

Do note that humidity is also a factor as it makes the temperature feel hotter than it is though the trees along this trek offer respite from the sun. Do remember to drink plenty.

Months with the best weather to trek Panchase

Panchase is open year round. The best months for mountains views are listed below. Snow rarely occurs in Panchase so the area is never closed. Rainfall can make forest paths and steps slippery so exercise caution during rainfall.

Mid Sept-October - November/(early)December: this is Nepal's peak and best time to go trekking however if the Monsoon is late then Panchase can remain cloud covered until mid October. Otherwise the views at this time of year in Panchase are usually very good.

Clouds roll into Panchase

Clouds roll into Panchase in the late afternoon

February-March-April: this is the end of the dry season and the second best time of year to go trekking. However, if there is rain fall in Pokhara then Panchase is likely to have cloud cover.

November/December to January/February: the skies are quite clear but it can get cold in Panchase. There is however little chance of snow in Panchase. Do however be careful of ice on the stone steps.

May - June: This is Nepal's hot pre-monsoon season and it can get quite warm. The valleys around Panchase are starting to bloom with flowers though which makes for a very nice trek. However cloud cover can be an issue.

June - Mid September: this is Nepal's Monsoon season and not the best time to go trekking to Panchase The risk of leeches in this area is high. Likewise the stone steps are very slippery, downpours also increase greatly.

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


What trekking gear is needed for the Panchase trek?


If you take a package tour then your trekking agency will give you a list of things to bring for your trek. Good companies may also supply you some items like trekking poles.

If taking a trip to along the Panchase route in Nepal you'll need the following:

Equipment and gear depends on the time of year in regards to clothing and equipment (see the weather charts above). The following are necessities:

Sunrise in Panchase
Sunrise above the clouds in Panchase (there are several panoramic mountain views at sunrise too)

  • A pair of boots/shoes (preferably with good grips)
  • A wind cheater style jacket or light rain jacket
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Head torch
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Rubber sandals
  • Water bottles (water purification system)
  • Map
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Trekking poles can be very helpful when coming down from Panchase due to many stone steps which can be slippery.

Please note the above is a very basic list. Do remember the trek is very short so a full kit is not really necessary. Many people just go with a single change of shirt, underwear, socks and save their laundry for Pokhara. For a full comprehensive list please see my article on trekking equipment you need for Nepal.


Permits needed for the Panchase trek


No permits are needed for the Panchase trek. Local communities have paid for the trail signs and the area is not in the Annapurna National Park.

However, should you decide to take one of the alternative routes to Panchase which leads to Australian camp then do note you will technically be in the Annapurna Conservation Area and should have a permit along with a TIMS card. There are no check points though.

Once again mixing the Panchase trek with Australian camp is not in the least necessary and it's quite out of the way. Australian camp is located closer to the Mardi Himal trek.


What's the food like on the Panchase trek?


Food on the Panchase trek is standard trekking fare and not much else. Dal Bhat is the staple meal here followed by less than normal typical trekking menu with the likes pasta, pancakes, momos and chop suey. The latter options are not that great to be honest and it's best to stick with Dal Bhat.

Plate of Dal Bhat on the Panchase Trek

This is a plate of typical Dal Bhat on the Panchase trek - rice, potatoes, beans, curry, fresh vegetables (spinach) and soup

In Bhanjyang many of the tea houses have small gardens to grow fresh vegetables. Meat is expensive and not always available.

Breakfasts are hit and miss. Pancakes are not often the same as you might expect on other treks. Porridge is usually available.

Typical Panchase Menu

Item Price
Porridge with milk 250-300 Rupees
Fried eggs (2) 200-250 Rupees
Cheese Omelet 400-450 Rupees
Tibetan Bread 350-400 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Meat) 500-600 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Veg) 400-450 Rupees
Boiled Potatoes 300-350 Rupees
Fried Noodles (Veg) 300-350 Rupees
Fried Potatoes with Cheese 500-550 Rupees
Pasta with sauce 400-500 Rupees
Tea/Coffee 50/100Rupees
1 liter beer 600+ Rupees
Soft Drinks (Coke, Sprite etc.) 150 Rupees
1 liter tap water (from underground spring or stream) free
1 liter boiled water (for filtering) 50 Rupees
1 liter bottled water 100-150 rupees

Bringing some trekking bars can be a great help in Panchase particularly for the sunrise trek up to the peak. There is a small tea house at the peak but the food is only so so. It might be better to eat a full breakfast back in Bhanjyang. This is the type of Dal Bhat you'll get when trekking.

Beer, soda, coffee (Nescafe), tea, hot lemon and water are also widely available at the teahouses.

Water filters are not the best at the tea houses in Panchase. Bottled water or boiling and treating your water is a good idea.

Bowl of porridge (oatmeal) on the Panchase Trek

This is a bowl of porridge (oatmeal) on the Panchase Trek topped up with extra milk!

There's very little fruit on the Panchase trek. Cheese also seems to be rather dubious due to the wet conditions. Nepali dry beans are a favorite in this area however do be careful as they may not be soaked in clean water. If your stomach is delicate make sure to tell the teahouse staff that you don't want them. Bringing your own snacks on this trek is a good idea and relatively easy given the short distance.


What's accommodation like on the Panchase trek?


Accommodation on the Panchase trek is pretty much the same standard in other treks. Don't go expecting ensuites with hot showers though some are available. in Bhadaure you'll find a couple of teahouses well advertised near the shrine at the junction. It's a case of checking each one out to see it meets your expectations. But that's Bhadaure which is only a two hour trek from the trail head. Most people head straight up to Bhanjyang for the night (nearby Panchase peak).

Shiva shrine and trekking teahouse at Panchase
Shiva shrine and trekking teahouse at Panchase during sunrise

In Bhanjyang there are at least 5 teahouses. The most popular is Happy Heart which is run by three sisters. They have several rooms available in a few teahouse style buildings. There's Panchase Resort which is a little pricey for what you get. In the center of the village is Midpoint Hotel which is basic but will do. At the end of the town where the route up to Panchase peak starts is the rather lengthy named Mountain Sunrise Sunset View Hotel and Restaurant. They have basic accommodation along with attached bathrooms and nice views. It's worth checking out each place's beds before deciding.

Finally there's a basic teahouse at the top of Panchase peak. It offers simple rooms and food. From the outside it looks nice but again do check inside.

Hot showers are not available in all places and depends largely on either solar heated water or gas. Do ask about the cost for a shower.

Battery Charging

Electricity is not too much of an issue on the trek though there are power cuts. Unlike other treks most teahouses don't have a fee for charging devices. However some very basic rooms may not have sockets but you can use one in the communal room.

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

 

SIM cards & Wi-Fi on the Panchase Trek

Panchase is on the edge of telecommunication and rural silence. It's won't be long before the internet connects here fully. In the mean time one mobile network works for calls and random 3G depending on weather conditions.

Mobile reception

What sim card is best for telephone calls and data? NTC but only random 3G signals reach Bhanjyang. NCELL has no signal.

Internet

Is there Wi-Fi on the Panchase? It's there, but not always working. Basically, don't expect it to work.


How difficult is the Panchase Peak trek?


There is certainly no need for any technical climbing or even difficult trekking. There are no high passes and the Panchase trek only reaches 2500 meters in altitude.

The trails are mainly steps or forest pathways. With little doubt the hardest part of the trek are the steps going down from Panchase peak if they are wet. Trekking poles are seriously advised. Likewise do see if your footwear easily slips on stone or not before going. Some modern trekking boots struggle with wet stone steps.

Panchase difficulty and altitude graph

To reach Panchase peak for sunrise will mean living Bhanjyang at around 4.30 am so you'll be trekking in the dark for 60-90 minutes. Head-torches are a must. In the chart above that morning is reflected on day 3 in terms of difficulty.

Leeches during the monsoon season are another problem. So do be careful where you sit en route along the trail. Leeches are generally found in short grass areas which can be avoided.

The route back to Pokhara is not marked if you do the Panchase circuit. If you are uncomfortable with this, then take the same route you arrived by.


How fit do I need to be to go on the Panchase trek?


Panchase is not a particularly long nor taxing trek. One of the hardest parts is if you do the sunrise walk in the morning which is in the dark, up many steps and can take up to two hours. Keep the following in mind. There about 5200 steps leading up to Panchase Peak. And 5200 coming back down!

Person trekking the Panchase trek
Steps like these are about the hardest part of the Panchase trek

Likewise if you shorten the Panchase trek into two days then you'll basically be coming from Pokhara and reaching Panchase peak that afternoon. It's a long day. A better option for a two day trek is to reach Bhanjyang, climb to Panchase peak the next morning and then go back to Pokhara.

A certain level of fitness is definitely required however there is no climbing involved.

Many people do find the number of steps taxing. Especially when coming down as they can be slippery and extra care is definitely needed. Again, trekking poles help tremendously.

Like any trek I would advise anyone going trekking to see a doctor before they go for a check-up and to talk about dealing with altitude sickness.

For pure trekking along the Panchase trail you'll need to consider the amount of days you'll be out trekking to get an idea of how fit you should be. The first day takes 2 hours to the first village. Then another 3 hours to Bhanjyang for the night. The next day it's a 2 hour trek up and down to the view point. If you go back to Pokhara as described here then it takes about 5 hours going down steps and hills. An entire 3 day trek covers roughly 23 km.

Machhapuchhre on the Panchase trek
Machhapuchhre on the Panchase trek

Again, the hardest point for many people are the steps. Mainly because they can be slippery and it takes extra concentration and care to navigate them. There is however the nearby road which you could walk along if you find it hard going on the main route. The sunrise trek has no road and it is 52000 steps.

Altitude sickness is not really a problem on the Panchase trek as you will only be reaching 2,500 meters. As a precaution do read about altitude sickness in Nepal.

Many people from all ages go on the Panchase trek. It's very close to Pokhara so there's no rush.

If you go back to Pokhara the way you came then the route is much easier.

 


How much does the Panchase trek cost?


Putting a cost on the Panchase trek is relative to your needs.

There are no permits, entry fees or TIMS cards needed so you'll already be saving money there.

View of mountains around Panchase
The pristine mountain & forest views Panchase make it a great first time trek or training trek for longer one later!

Package tours bought online are without doubt the most expensive for those looking for a Panchase guide. Do be aware of agencies offering 5-9 day Panchase treks. These have many "filler" days just to stretch it out. Package tours for Panchase bought within Nepal are the next most expensive option. Going with just a guide will involve paying for the guide, accommodation and food. Finally trekking to Panchase alone is the cheapest option.

Online package tours of between 3-9 days can cost up to USD$500+ pp. This does not include water. It does include a guide, accommodation and meals. Personally I think this not worth it at all.

In country package tours for 3 days can cost $160-250+ pp. This includes a guide, meals and accommodation. This is also expensive considering the type of accommodation and effort involved. If you can wrangle this price for two people then it's a little better.

For a guide only service it can cost from $25 to $50 per day. Basically the more you pay, the more experience your guide should have. However, keep in mind this is not a particularly difficult trek so you most likely don't need a high-end guide.

Independent costs of going to Panchase make it a very affordable low-end budget trek.

Two or more people obviously can share the room price. Something to consider if budget is an issue.

You really shouldn't need a porter for this trek. But if you opt for one then their fees are roughly USD$18.

Average 3 day trek cost to Panchase Peak

Item Cost USD $
Permits (ACAP & TIMS) 0
Guide x 3 days 81
Accommodation x 3 (private) 16
Meals 3x5x3 45
Water 4 liters a day 11
Transport (private-RTN) 15
Total 168

Extras: Don't forget to include a tip for your guide 10%. Any soft drinks, sweets, hot drinks etc. you may want to purchase along the way.

The above can be reduced by both sharing accommodation and taking public transport on the way back. There's a rock bottom budget for the trek below. But first here's a further breakdown to help you understand how much things cost.

  • Room prices vary between 400 rupees and 1100 rupees (USD$4-11) depending if the room has an attached bathroom or not.
  • The cost of one liter of bottled water reaches a maximum of 100 rupees at Bhanjyang. It starts at around 30-50 rupees.
  • The cost of a plate of Dal Bhat starts at around 200 rupees in Bandung and climbs to 500+ rupees.

Many people with trekking experience will consider a porter-guide as they are cheaper. It should be noted these are trainee guides and may not have a lot of English.

How to reduce costs on the Panchase trek?

  1. Take a steripen or lifestraw or a filtration system instead of buying water - just remember that they are not 100% protective and don't remove microscopic minerals, chemicals or viruses. However do note that on a short trek like this the cost of the device is nearly the same as bottled water.
  2. Many people with trekking experience will consider a guide/porter as they are cheaper. It should be noted these are trainee guides and may not have a lot of English. Personally for a trek like Mardi Himal I'd prefer a fully qualified guide as there's lots to see due to the diverse terrain.
  3. Take public rather than private transport to the trail heads.

Cost of a 3 day trek to Panchase Peak on a budget

Item Cost USD $
Permits (ACAP & TIMS) 0
Guide x 3 days 0
Accommodation x 3 (shared bathroom) 15
Meals 3x5 36
Water 4 liters a day 0
Transport (public-RTN) 1
Total 52

There's a big difference in the two prices but also in standards. Though do note that there's not a huge saving in accommodation. You'll be eating rather plainly on this budget. It should be pointed out that teahouses on the Panchase trek tend to serve rather small portions of everything aside from Dal Bhat. The biggest saving is not having a guide however you'll miss out on learning about the surrounding area and making your way easily.

Want to cut costs again? Take a friend and accommodation prices just got halved.

Do note that for a short trek like this the reduction in cost to take a guide vs. taking a package trek is not that different. It may well be better to relax back and enjoy your trek a little more by taking a package that includes accommodation, meals permits and a guide!

Don't forget to include your travel insurance in your budget. Panchase may be a short low altitude but I have seen several people slip and injure themselves on the stone steps. Here is my recommendation for travel insurance when in Nepal.


The Panchase trekking routes & itineraries


There is only one "official" trekking route on the Panchase trek. However over the years people and guides have "created" many more. The official route is relatively well marked while all others are not.

Panchase Official Route

The official trail goes from Kande to Bhadaure. From Bhadaure you trek to Bhanjyang. Then for sunrise you trek from Bhanjyang to Panchase Peak. After sunrise you return to Bhanjyang.

You then have an option of spending the day resting in Bhanjyang and sleeping there or taking the 5+ hour trek back the same way to Pokhara.

 

Panchase Circuit

The Panchase circuit starts from Pokhara to Kande by bus or taxi. Then you trek from Kande to Bhadaure. From Bhadaure you trek to Bhanjyang. You can spend the night here and trek up for sunrise to Panchase Peak. After sunrise you return to Bhanjyang.

The circuit take a different route back. You take a right at Happy Heart teahouse and trek down through farmlands and forest. Along the way passing the villages of Sidhane, Damdame and finally Ghatichhina where you can take a bus pack to Pokhara or walk on through to Pame and Pokhara's Lakeside. This route takes your though forest areas, farmlands and small villages. It's a good idea to have plenty of water with you and snacks as there are no facilities on the way back using this route.

The circuit can also be done in reverse but it's harder to navigate as there are no signs past Ghatichhina to Bhanjyang.

Trekking guide showing the way on the Panchase trek

Taking a trekking guide to Panchase Circuit will make it easier and more fun

 

Panchase Peak via the World Peace Stupa

Important: Many guides and guidebooks suggest the "World Peace Stupa" route either to or back from Panchase with a boat trip across Phewa lake. Unfortunately accidents have occurred along this route in the past and trekkers have become lost. The area is forested and there are very few people around. Moreover there are not many facilities at all along this route and the trail is overgrown. The route is also rather steep with not much to see along the way.

It starts Pokhara to the World Peace Stupa to Pumdi or Bhundi villages for the night. Next day there's a long trek up to Bhanjyang. Next morning trek to Panchase Peak, down to Bhanjyang to Bhadaure to Kande and on to Pokhara.

Again this route is long, tiring, unmarked and largely unimpressive. There have been past incidents in this area or trekkers getting into trouble.

Panchase Peak via Australian Camp

This is a route favored by many guides as it can extend the Panchase trek by a day. There's not a huge benefit to doing this route in terms of scenery unless you really do have an extra day.

It starts Pokhara Kande by bus or car then hike up to Australian camp for the night.

 Return back down and trek from Kande to Bhadaure just like the circuit trek. From Bhadaure you trek up to Bhanjyang. You spend the night here and the next morning trek up for sunrise to Panchase Peak. After sunrise you return back to Bhanjyang. You can either return to Pokhara the same way you came up via Kande. Or continue on like the Panchase circuit trekking a different route back.

Take a right at Happy Heart teahouse and trek down through local farmlands and forest. You'll pass the villages of Sidhane, Damdame and finally reach Ghatichhina where you can take a local bus pack to Pokhara or if you want walk on through to Pame along the main road to Pokhara's Lakeside.

Again this route is favored by guides as they add a few days (cost to the trek). If you've been trekking before there's no real need for Australian camp unless you like teahouse villages. If you do have three to four days and have not been trekking before then this is can be a really nice opportunity to experience tea house trekking.

Best trekking route to Panchase?

The best route is the Panchase circuit as you'll get to experience the most diverse scenery. If you want to add an extra day then Australian Camp followed by the Panchase circuit.

  • Route 1 (Official)
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  • Route 2 (Circuit)
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  • Route 3 (Stupa)
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  • Route 4 (Australian Camp/Circuit) If you want to see it all!
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Here is the typical Panchase trek route itinerary in detail

Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Pokhara to Kande 10 km (bus/taxi) (90 / 45 hours minutes) 1,600 m
1 Kande to to Bandung 5 km (2+ hours avg) 1,700 m
1 Bandung to Bhanjyang 5 km (3+ hours avg) 2,000 m
2 Bhanjyang to Panchase Peak & back 3 km (1.5-2 hours avg + 1.5 hours rtn) 2,500m
3 Bhanjyang to Ghatichhina 7 km (4/5 hours avg) 1,600 m
3 Ghatichhina to Pokhara by trek or bus 8 km (5/6 hours avg) 1,600 m

* Reducing or additional hours/days Some people decide to come back down to Pokhara on day two. Considering the 4am wake up for sunrise it's a long day but certainly possible.

Again, one option to extend the trek that is verifiable is to start from Pokhara to Australian Camp and then on to Kande the next day. There's not a huge benefit to this but the views from Australian camp are also nice and it's certainly more pleasant than the stupa route.

If you just arrived at this page then here is a daily journal on the Panchase Peak Trek:

 


How to get to Panchase and back to Pokhara


All treks start from what are known as trailheads. In the case of the Panchase trek the following are the trailheads.

  • Kande
  • Ghatichhina
  • Lakeside to World Peace Stupa

Kande (Panchase Circuit & Australian camp): Buses from Pokhara take about 1.5 hours and cost around 250 rupees. A private car will charge 1,200 rupees. During monsoon season the road near Kande can become very muddy and delays can occur by up to 5 hours.

Ghatichhina: Buses leave Ghatichhina by mid morning or when full. From Pokhara's Lakeside they leave from Hallan Chowk. The journey is about 1.5 hours. Taxis are not easy to find in Ghatichhina but you could ask someone to call one for you.  A private/taxi will charge 1,200 rupees.

World Peace Stupa: A paddle boat from Pokhara's Lakeside can take you across the lake to the bottom of a small trail leading up to the stupa. You can read more here about the World Peace Stupa in Pokhara. Again, this route is not recommended.

For more treks here's a list of Treks in Nepal

A fully detailed "trekthrough" trekking guide to Panchase is available in both my Nepal guidebooks (print & digital) along with my First time trekking in Nepal guidebook below.


More information on Trekking in Nepal


Panchase Peak is one of many treks in Nepal. It's a relatively easy short trek with few crowds. Offering forest trails, teahouses, farmlands and an extensive mountain range view it makes for a very enjoyable trek.

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

If you are looking for a trekking guide I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal. You may also contact me for details about the guide I had on this trek. However, I would prefer if you simply got my guidebook to Nepal which contains many local guides including my guides details.

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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