The Annapurna North Base Camp trek is a fascinating journey that takes adventurers deep into the heart of the Annapurna mountain range, offering an unforgettable blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and challenging terrain. It is a less traveled, off-beaten track catching the attention of trekkers. So if you want to visit a less spoiled trekking destination in Nepal, Annapurna North Base Camp is definitely for you!
The trek to Annapurna North Base Camp takes you through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to picturesque villages and eventually into the high alpine region. Along the way, trekkers can experience the rich culture and hospitality of the local communities, as well as breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and lush valleys.
The Annapurna North Base Camp trek is considered moderate to challenging due to the altitude and varied terrain. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and adequately prepared for changing weather conditions. Hiring a guide and a porter is a common practice for this trek, as it can enhance your safety and overall experience.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Annapurna North Base Camp trek.
Brief History of Annapurna North Base Camp
On June 3, 1950, an expedition team led by Maurice Herzog became the first-ever climbers to reach Annapurna I where they also explored the north face of Annapurna. Before that, no peaks above 8000m were summited so it is also the first eight-thousanders to be conquered in human history and the team reached the summit on the very first try. It became huge news in the international media.
Now, the Annapurna North Base Camp trail is also known as the Maurice Herzog trail.
Alternative trekking route of Annapurna north base camp trek
|Arrival At Kathmandu Airport
|Fly or Drive to Pokhara by tourist bus
|Drive from Pokhara to Beni and trek to Upper Narchyang
|Upper Narchyang to Chhotepa (2370m)
|Chhotepa to Sandhikharka (3160m)
|Sandhi Kharka to Annapurna North Base Camp (4068m)
|Explore North Annapurna Base Camp glaciers (4190m) and trek to Sandhi Kharka (3610 m)
|Sadhi Kharka to Lower Narchyang.
|Lower Narchyang to Tatopani to Pokhara
|Drive/Flight to Kathmandu
Weather of Annapurna North Base Camp
The weather is always unpredictable, especially in the mountains. However, March-May (Spring season) and September-November (Autumn season) are known as the best trekking season in Nepal. The weather is clear at this time and the trek to Annapurna North Base camp can run smoothly.
Also, avoid trekking in the rainy season as the trek might turn difficult due to slippery tracks and the view will not be apparent due to fog and rain.
Major Attractions of Annapurna North Base Camp
- North ABC is a less-explored trekking trail. Hence, it is filled with untouched natural assets like the range of landscapes, from terraced fields and lush forests in lower altitudes to alpine meadows and barren terrain as you ascend.
- The awe-inspiring view of Annapurna I, Mount Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and Dhaulagiri can be seen.
- Since Annapurna North Base Camp falls in the Annapurna Conservation area, you might get a chance to encounter endangered species like Snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr, weasel, marten, and many more.
- Along the route, trekkers will get a chance to experience the warm hospitality of ethnic communities i.e. Magars, Gurungs, or Thakalis, and share their culture.
- The ANBC route is also well known as the route to different medicinal herbs like Yarshagumba.
There are mainly two permits required for the Annapurna North Base Camp trek. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit and Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS).
The ACAP is only valid for one entry and one exit that covers the entire Annapurna Conservation Area.
Interesting facts about Annapurna North Base Camp trek
- The Annapurna North Base Camp is also known as the Maurice Herzog Trail after the French climber Maurice Herzog who first climbed it.
- The area is rich in local legends and myths. Villages and landmarks often have stories associated with them, adding an air of mystery to the trek.
- The Annapurna North Base Camp trek is located in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Geographically it is in the west of Tilicho Lake on the Annapurna circuit and North of Annapurna Base Camp.
- There are no trekking lodges near Annapurna North Base Camp. There are only two shelters in a place that are very basic. Surprising isn’t it?
- The total distance of Annapurna North Base Camp is 46.6km (29 mi).
- You will also get to visit Narchyang Lake, which remains frozen during the winter. Have you ever seen a frozen lake?
- The whole trek is rich in flora like rhododendrons (the national flower of Nepal), oaks, and faunas like musk deer, snow leopards, bears, and wild dogs, which illustrates the literal meaning of biodiversity.
Above facts will prove that Annapurna base camp (ABC) trek and Mardi Himal trek are nothing in front of North base camp. However, if you are planning for Nepal trekking, Himalayan 360 operation team is here to suggest trekking route with all the information.
Outline the itinerary of the trek
|Drive from Pokhara to Tatopani ( 1,190 m)
|Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa (2,012 m)
|Trek from Ghasa to Lete (2,438 m)
|Trek from Lete to Thulo Bugin ( 3,260 m)
|Trek from Thulo Bugin to Miristi Khola (4,130m) crossing the Thulo Bugin Pass
|Trek from Miristi Khola to Annapurna North Base Camp (4,190 m)
|Trek from Annapurna North Base Camp to Chhote Pa. (2,455 m)
|Trek from Chhote Pa to Tatopani ( 1,190 m)
|Drive from Tatopani to Pokhara
The Annapurna North Base Camp trek is a remarkable trekking route in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trek starts from Pokhara to Tatopani. The trail takes you through lush green forests, breathtaking views of mountains, and many more. The base camp is situated at an elevation of approximately 4,190 meters (13,549 feet) above sea level. Proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. The trek typically takes around 8 to 12 days, depending on the specific route, pace, and acclimatization stops. It’s essential to give your body time to adjust to the increasing altitude.
- The trek offers diverse landscapes and alpine scenery. You'll walk through rhododendron forests, which are particularly colorful during the spring.
- Along the route, you’ll get to interact with ethnic communities such as Gurungs and Magars and learn about their culture and values.
- The panoramic view of snowcapped mountains such as Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Machapuchare (Fishtail), and Hiunchuli will melt your heart straightaway.
- The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. You might spot various bird species, including pheasants, and encounter wildlife such as langur monkeys and Himalayan tahr.
- The trek offers a mix of terrain, including uphill and downhill sections, providing a physical challenge that's both rewarding and invigorating.