Best Season for Annapurna Circuit Trek 12 Days
The most ideal time for Himalayan trekking and mountain expeditions in Nepal is considered to be during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These peak seasons offer stable weather conditions, dry trekking trails, lush landscapes, clear mountain views, and the opportunity to explore the cultural prospects of the natives in the festive vibe. So, if you are planning to do this trek, these are the ultimate seasons for the best value Annapurna Circuit Trek experience.
Although both spring and autumn are top contenders for this wonderful Himalayan adventure, each of these seasons adds their magic to your exploration. Let’s break down what both these peak seasons bring to the table.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn
Autumn season is dubbed as the number one season for the Himalayan trekking adventures, especially due to its mild temperature, clear days, and picturesque unobstructed views of the Himalayan massifs. The unique, colorful shades of the fall season, high-flowing rivers, and lush landscapes nourished by the monsoon rain add further excitement to your Himalayan exploration.
The temperature of the Annapurna region is around 15° C to 17° C during the daytime and can drop up to 5° C at night and early mornings. You can expect the night temperature to be minus degrees at high altitudes above 4,000 meters.
Highlights of the Autumn Season
- Mild trekking temperatures
- Clear skies and panoramic views of the Himalayas
- Colorful landscapes with stunning shades of the fall season
- High visibility for stunning photography
- Less crowded trekking trail than in the spring season
- Opportunity to explore the cultural prospects of the country
- Culinary delights of the harvest season
- Fresh rain washed lush landscapes
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring
Spring season in the Himalayas is typically known as the blooming season; you can expect nature to be in its prime during this season. The stunning visuals of diverse colors, warm temperatures, clear mountain views, and stable weather conditions of the spring season make the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route a natural paradise.
You will have a high probability of witnessing the endangered Himalayan wildlife during this season. Also, the migratory birds from all around the world make up the perfect time for bird watching. The normal temperature of the Annapurna region averages around 14° C at higher altitudes, but you can expect it to hover around 18° C to 20° C at the lower regions.
Highlights of the Spring Season
- Blooming trails decorated with dotted rhododendrons and other wildflowers
- Pleasant temperature even at higher altitudes
- Opportunity to explore endangered Himalayan flora and fauna of the Annapurna Conservation Area
- Stable weather and clear views of mountains
- Longer daylight hour
- Favorable climatic conditions for outdoor activities
- Incredible waterfall and sparkling stream nourished by the melting snow
- Comfortable and well-equipped teahouses and lodging facilities along the trail
How Difficult is 12 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most popular Himalayan trekking adventures in the world. It won’t be a stretch to say that this adventure is something that you definitely have to try at least once in your lifetime if you are a trekking enthusiast. If you are looking forward to this Himalayan adventure and wondering about its difficulty level, fret not; this iconic Himalayan exploration is just at a ‘moderate’ difficulty level.
You don’t need any prior Himalayan trekking experience or technical skills to do this trek. But, as this is a Himalayan adventure that takes place in remote and steep sections, you should be well prepared to overcome the hurdles that you have to face during your expedition for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Let’s discuss some of the difficult factors of this trek that you have to face during your exploration.
Altitude sickness is a major concern during any kind of high-altitude adventure as it is difficult for the human body to properly adapt to the environment over an altitude of 3,500 meters. Thus, this classical Himalayan adventure that takes you to altitudes over 4,000 and 5,000 meters can be challenging if you haven’t made enough preparation.
Starting your adventure at Ngadi (930 meters), you move along the high elevation points on this adventure, like Yak Kharka (4,120 meters), Thorong Phedi (4,560 meters), and the highest elevation point of this adventure Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters).
You will cover an approximate trekking distance of 160 km to 230 km while trekking the Annapurna circuit. So, you will walk about 6-7 hours during each day of the trekking adventure; it can be a demanding feat to pull if you haven’t made enough preparation for the long hours of walking. On top of that, trekking at higher altitudes can be even more vexing as you can get easily tired with even simple tasks.
Annapurna region is a remoter Himalayan destination, so the services and amenities here are not on par with a luxurious destination. Besides the remote-rugged trails that you have to overcome during your trekking days, the facilities at the eatery and lodging establishments are on a moderate scale as they are run by natives. Similarly, the transport facilities in the region are limited, and there are very few health institutions along the trekking trail. So, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically to overcome these hurdles for an enjoyable experience.
If you are planning to trek the Annapurna circuit on off-seasons like winter (December to February) and monsoon (June to August), you will have to overcome the challenging weather factors as well. Annapurna region is extremely cold during the winter season, and snow covers almost all of the trekking trails in the higher region. So, you will have to carry extra gear and clothes to keep yourself warm during this season.
As for the monsoon, its continuous downpour makes the trekking trail slippery and dangerous. You might often have to postpone your road travel, and the potential danger of natural disasters like landslides and flooding adds risk to your Himalayan adventure.
Is This Trek Right For Me?
This exhilarating and classical trekking expedition in the Himalayas is an ideal package for even beginners. Even if you are completely new to the Himalayan trekking adventures, with enough preparation and determination you will be able to easily complete this trek. A basic level of fitness and good health condition will be sufficient for you to make this trek an enjoyable experience if you are willing to put in some effort during the preparation part.
The success rate of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is about 98% to 100%; even if this is a high-altitude adventure, you will enjoy slow-paced walking during each day. You will also get enough acclimatization days to properly adapt to the rising altitude and minimize the risk of altitude sickness. As there have been records of even children and elderly trekkers completing this classical Himalayan adventure, if you are determined, you will be able to easily complete it.
Training and Preparation
Training and preparation is a crucial step to make your adventure enjoyable and memorable. The minimum recommended preparation period for this trekking adventure is 4-6 weeks; you can do a thorough physical assessment to decide the duration and the effective training for this trek. If you work out routinely, you may not have to put in many hours during your preparation; however, in case if you are not that physically active, you may need to put in extra effort.
For the most effective preparation, you can do some practice on steep landscapes closer to you, carrying a backpack with significant weight. This will work as the perfect stimulation of the adventure that you can expect during your actual trek. Also, don’t forget to break in your trekking boots during the practice hike; it will help you to understand the comfort level of your boots. Here are some exercises that are recommended for your training program:
Strength and Endurance Training: Push-ups, pull-ups, plank, bicep curls, squats, weightlifts, leg extensions, bench presses, lateral raises, deadlifts, lunges, etc.
Cardiovascular Exercises: Jogging, cycling, jumping jack, burpees, swimming, jumping rope, rowing, power walking, mountain climbing etc.
Food and Accommodation
Annapurna region is the second most popular trekking destination in the Himalayas. Compared to other remote destinations, the trekking routes in this region are well-developed and accessible by road to certain points. So, you can expect moderate to top-tier food and accommodation facilities during your adventure.
As this is a teahouse trekking adventure, you will rest at comfortable lodging facilities run by the natives. You will stay in a well-furnished room, generally with two or three adjacent beds; you will receive a comfortable mattress, pillow, and blanket during your stay. As for the bathroom facilities, you will use a shared bathroom like your room in a standard trekking package; you can switch to luxurious options for a more personalized experience.
On the topic of food during your expedition, you can expect a wide range of delicacies in this mainstream trekking route of the Himalayas. Besides the delicious local delicacies, you will also be able to enjoy the Tibetan and Indian culture-influenced dishes as well as some of the top continental cuisines. You can expect the following menus at the teahouses during your trekking adventure:
For Breakfast: Tea, coffee, juice, toast, eggs, cornflakes, oats, paratha, chapati, muesli, porridge, pancakes, etc.
For Lunch and Dinner: Dal Bhat Tarkari, pizza, pasta, salad, soup, dumplings, spaghetti, Macaroni, fries, momo, Chowmein, Thukpa, etc.
What About Water?
During your trekking expedition, you are recommended to drink at least 3-4 liters of water each day of your trek to avoid altitude sickness. As you have to fulfill the required hydration quota, buying bottled mineral water at the teahouses can be slightly costly. We also don’t recommend buying plastic water bottles to preserve the environment
So, our experienced guide will fill up the bottle from a clean resource and you can use purification tablets or solutions to make the drinking water safe.
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FAQs About Annapurna Circuit Trek
How long is the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Annapurna Circuit Trek lasts somewhere between 12 to 22 days, depending on the itinerary plans and side detours.
Can a beginner do Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Yes, the Annapurna Circuit is suitable for beginners; you don’t need any previous trekking experience or technical skills to do this trek.
Is Annapurna or Everest harder?
In comparison to the altitude gain and remoteness of the trekking trail, the Everest Base Camp trek is slightly more challenging and demanding than the Annapurna circuit.
What level of fitness do you need for Annapurna Circuit?
If you have good health conditions and a basic level of fitness, you will be able to complete the Annapurna circuit easily.
What is the hardest part of the Annapurna Circuit?
Thorong La Pass, one of the high Himalayan passes at an elevation of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), is considered the hardest part of the Annapurna circuit.
How many km is Annapurna Circuit?
Annapurna Circut Trek covers an approximate trekking distance of 160-230 km, depending on the exploration route.
How do I prepare for Annapurna Circuit?
You are recommended to start your training at least 4-6 weeks before your expedition and emphasize strength, endurance, and cardiovascular exercises.
Can you see Mt. Everest from Annapurna Circuit?
No, it is not possible to see Mt. Everest during your Annapurna circuit as it takes place in a different part of the Himalayas, north-central.
Can children do Annapurna Circuit?
Although children in the past, even children and elderly trekkers above the age of 70, have completed this trek, children under the age of 13 are not recommended to do this trek.
How much does it cost to trek the Annapurna Circuit?
The Annapurna circuit can cost somewhere between US$ 900 to US$ 4,000, depending on the itinerary plans, exploration route, services, and amenities.