Annapurna Circuit Trek

I arrive in Kathmandu on September 13th. I’m planning to spend a week white water kayaking and then jump on the Annapurna Circuit in the September 23rd time frame.

I plan to spend about 14 days on the circuit as I’m trying to get to the Everest region to do the 3 passes before my November 4th flight to Bangkok. I also plan to hire a mountain bike for the stretch from Muktinath to Tatopani. I plan to trek without a porter or guide. If anyone is interested in joining me for this trek, or the 3 passes please send me a message.

UPDATE: I am considering ditching the kayaking plans and starting the AC closer to the 18th-20th. This would allow me to trek up to Annapurna base camp after the circuit, but prior to heading to Lukla for the 3 passes in October. If anyone is interested in this earlier start date please let me know as I’m still considering both options.

UPDATE 2: Looks like we’ve got a group of 4 together and we’re going to cap it at that size. Happy trekking everyone!

Reply
USA

We're Full - Questions Only

20 replies
  1. Hey Josh,

    I could start my trek around the 23rd I think, arriving in Kathmandu on the 20th. Where do you wanna finish the trek? I don´t have the trekking map here right now, so can´t see where the stretch from Muktinath is… How would the jeep and mountain bike part work? Hire a jeep with driver/without? What about the backpack on the mountain bike, is there luggage transport somewhere?

    • Hello Carola,

      I did some more planning and i have a little more time/flex in the dates than I originally thought. Regardless, I’ll still probably catch a jeep from Besi Sahar the somewhere a days hike sort of Thame. Not sure on the exact logistics, but I think any lodge should be able to help arrange a ride in a shared jeep, or just asking around town.

      There are a couple options for mountain biking, 2 days to Tatopani, or 5 all the way to Pokhara. They provide you with a day pack and transfer your main pack to your destination. Check out http://www.mustangmountainbikes.com for some more info. I think it’s about $70 (USD) to rent the bike for two days, I’ll inquire soon to find out for sure.

      -Josh

  2. Whoops…I said Thame where I meant to say Chame, getting my trek’s confused!

    • Hmm, I think the mountain biking is probably gonna be too intense for me, I’ll have to have a look at the stretch to Tatopani to get an idea about how difficult that would be by mtb (I can do that tomorrow)

      Concerning the jeep, that’s only to save time, right? I’d actually prefer not to skip something in the beginning of the trek already and if we finish hiking at Jomsom, it shouldn’t take more than 12/13 days anyways. But I really have to look at the map to see which parts you’re talking about. I’m gonna be at home tomorrow and can check that.

  3. The Jeep thing is partially to save time, and partially because I don’t want to be hiking down the busy stretch of the road. I believe there are alternative trails from the road nowdays but I’d need to do some more research.

    I think the mountain biking is as intense as you make it. You can just ride the road which should be fairly tame. That said, I’ll be opting for single track wherever possible.

    • Ok, I wouldn’t mind going the normal road though as it’s well known anyways that the ACT is a busy trek and if there’s a busy stretch then that’s part of it. I do understand though that you wanna avoid the crowds but costs are gonna sum up too with renting jeeps and bikes….

      And to be honest I’m not a good mountainbiker and I’d probably be scared and slow you down on single tracks. It’s tempting but I don’t wanna get into something that I can’t judge beforehand and that might not be fun for either of us in the end cause you sound a lot fitter than I am. It might work but it might as well be a disaster 😀

  4. Hey Josh,

    I would also start my trek around the 23th (I flight to Kathmandu the 20th), my idea is to do the “Three pass treks”, due to the scenery passes and lakes. I’m really amazed of these colors. Also the fact that you start higher (Lukla) can influence the weather, that could be dryer. I’ve experienced that riding down from Tibet 2 years ago.

    But if nobody join me on the trek till September, although I’ve good alpine experience, I’ll not take the risk to start the trek alone. I this case I would like to join you on the “Annapurna circuit”, that seems also to be really exciting.
    I’ll write you further at the end of august.

    Best wishes
    Thomas

    Three Passes Trek: http://www.trekkingpartners.com/requests/three-passes-trek-33/

    • Hello Thomas. I am interested in doing the 3 passes trek as well, and definitely do not want to tackle it alone! That said, I was planning to save this trek for October. From what I have read the Annapurna region is closer to the rain shadow and not as wet in September. I’ve heard that the Everest region gets more of the monsoon all the way through September. With that in mind I think I want to stick with my plan to spend late September/early October in the Annapurna region, and then head to Everest. If you decide to trek the Annapurna region during this time let me know.

      -Josh

  5. Ok, so I had a look at the map. I don’t know from where to Tatopani you would like to start but I assume it’s after Jomsom anyway, so if I don’t wanna join the mtb part or need to finish the trek early,I could always take a bus from Jomsom. It also looks like it’s mainly going downhill on that stretch which would probably be even better on a bike than walking down for my knees. But I don’t have any downhill skills/good MTB techniques in case it gets rough… maybe it’s really not that hard after all but I can’t promise anything.

    Concerning the Jeep thing again: Chame is normally reached on day 4 and I’m not sure what to think about skipping 3 days or so of the trek right away…

    Let me know what your current plan looks like and if you found somebody else to come along already or if your willing to possibly drag me along

    • I finally took the time to sketch out a more detailed plan for Nepal and I’m no longer worried about being short on time. It looks like i have a weeks worth of buffer at the end. With that in mind I’d be fine with walking more of the way to Chame. I’ll still want to take the “new annapurna circuit” trails whenever possible to avoid the stretches where the road is the trail. Getting coated in dust by passing jeeps just doesn’t sound fun haha.

      As far as biking goes, I read through some of the reviews on Trip Advisor and it seemed pretty mixed as far as whether it’s OK for a beginner. One thing I did learn is that there’s also the option to do just 1 day on bikes from Muktinath to Jomson, it also sounds like a good stretch of that ride is pretty smooth/easy going. People also said that they rent full suspension bikes now, which would make the rough patches a lot easier. I’ll send the rental company an email and get some more info.

      -Josh

  6. Hey, I didn’t hear back from you for a while. I found another trekking partner, we’ll start the trek on the 24th in Besi Sahar, planning on doing the whole thing in 17 or 18 days but with the flexibility of maybe shortening it if necessary. We wouldn’t mind having a group of up to four people, so from my side you’re welcome to join in. As for me one day MTB sounds pretty tempting actually, but will have to see fit that.

    • Hello Nathan & Carola. Sorry for my delayed responses on here, the notifications go to an email I do not check.

      Anyway, thanks for the update on your plans and the invite! If I start the trek around the 24th I’d definitely be keen to join up with you guys. Right now I am still tinkering with my plans, I am considering starting a bit earlier to try to make the trip up to Annapurna base camp as well, after finishing the circuit. I’ll probably change my mind a few more time before September gets here, but will plan to get in touch closer to departure.

      -Josh

  7. Hi Josh, I’m Carola’s trekking partner. Welcome to the group! We’re in for a day of mountain biking if the trail is doable for beginners.

    • Hello Nathan, thanks for the welcome! I left a longer response to Carola’s post above, please take a look.

      -Josh

  8. Hi Josh!
    I will arrive in Katmandu on 20th September. I don’t have a clear idea of the path to follow, but i can spend about 3 weeks in nepal, i’m quite fit.

  9. Hi Josh-
    I’m heading back to Kathmandu from chitwan around September 15 and would be happy to trek around that timeframe if you haven’t solidified plans. I would love to do the Annapurna circuit but am pretty open minded. Seems like we may have a similar timeframe. Let me know!
    Kate

    • Hello Kate,

      My plans have started to firm up a bit. I’ll be exploring around Pokhara starting the 15th. Then I’m planning to start the AC with another trekker on the 20th. Still planning to mountain bike for two days from Muktinath. We’re also planning to trek up to Annapurna base camp after the circuit.

      If the general plan/dates sound good to you get back to me and we can go from there!

      -Josh

  10. Hi Josh
    Are you still planning to start on the 20th?
    Based on your last message here it looks that your timing and mine look quite close.
    Are you still open to get a trekking partner?

    Filipe

    (more info about my trip here : http://www.trekkingpartners.com/requests/annapurna-circuit-trek-314/)

    • Hey Filipe,

      I have locked in plans with another trekking partner, Jochen. We are open to having a group of up to 4. There is one other trekker messaging me who thinks his plans align with ours so if we added him and you to the group that would put us at 4.

      We are departing from Besi Sahar on the 20th, hopefully by jeep up to Ghermu or a little past. We’re not planning to do Tilcho lake, instead we will continue onto Annapurna basecamp after we complete the circuit. We also plan to mountain bike the stretch from Muktinath to Tatopani, which will be fun and save time, allowing us to do the Annapurna basecamp trek. If you think this would work for you shoot me a message and we can discuss further.

      -Josh

  11. Hi Josh

    I also got in touch with Jochen. You can count me in. thanks.
    Filipe