Read this before hiking Poon Hill: The ultimate Poon Hill trek guide

Essential Ghorepani Poon Hill trek guide, Nepal

Stunningly beautiful, rich in culture, and time-friendly: the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Nepal.
Here’s all the essential information you need to successfully trek Poon Hill yourself.


If you've made it to Nepal, there's a pretty good chance that you're keen for an epic hiking adventure - a brilliant decision considering eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks tower can be found here!

We’re firm believers that getting into the Himalayas is the best way to understand this beautiful country.

A good portion of the population dwells in the small towns dotting the mountain-sides, and much of the country’s religions, languages, and culture originate from their valleys and peaks.

Beyond epic views and personal triumphs, it’s the opportunity to explore this culture that makes trekking one of the most popular things to do in Nepal.

For those who have limited time in Nepal but want to get to the mountains and experience the unique Nepalese culture, we cannot recommend the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek (sometimes also known as the Annapurna Panorama Circuit) highly enough.

This three-day trek is essentially a microcosm of what a longer Nepalese mountain trek is like. You’ll pass through quaint villages, thick jungles and over rivers, and up many, many stairs before ultimately ending up at altitude (3,200m), with your head amongst the tallest mountains in the world.

We hiked the Poon Hill trail ourselves recently, and we’re now sharing our insider knowledge on tours and cost, trekking advice (including how to do it responsibly!) with you in this super comprehensive guide.

From deciding which season to trek in, how fit you need to be, everything you need to know about trekking permits, what to pack and leave at home, and what the teahouses are really like, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s everything you need to know before tackling the Poon Hill trek yourself! 


your ultimate poon hill trek guide, Nepal’s best short hike


-

why you should do the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek: Nepal’s best short trek

If you’ve only got a short time in Nepal but want to see the famous Himalayan Range and experience Nepal mountain culture, the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek (sometimes known as the Annapurna Panorama Trek too) is exactly what you’re looking for.

This three-day trek is essentially a microcosm of what a longer Nepalese mountain trek is like.

You’ll pass through quaint villages and the unique local cultures of the Gurung and Magar communities; up many, many stairs, through jungles and over rivers; before ultimately ending up at altitude (3,200m) with your head amongst the tallest mountains in the world.

The views from Poon Hill are some of the best we’ve ever experienced - uninterrupted, panoramic views of some of the largest and most photogenic Himalayan mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Machhapuchhare, Annapurna II and Lamjung. It also happens to be the spot where the two of us got engaged - so we can definitely vouch for how epic a place it is!

It’s super accessible from Pokhara as the official starting point is just 1.5 hours drive from the lakeside town and at 3-4 days long it really is the perfect way to ease yourself into trekking in Nepal without committing to 16+ days on a trail (like the Annapurna Circuit!).

What’s more, it’s affordable - treks to Poon Hill start at around USD $240.

The summit of Poon Hill, Nepal

-

Poon Hill weather: When to do the Poon Hill trek 

The peak trekking season for Poon Hill is between September - November and then March - May.

It's still possible to hike in December and January, but be mindful that winter conditions will make for an icy adventure (temperatures can drop below -15c during peak season!), while May is the start of the monsoon season and signals an increase in potentially wet days. 

To see the famous Rhododendrons in full bloom, you’ll need to do the hike in April, and we feel this is the best time to trek Poon Hill, as the views are stunning, and the weather comfortable.

We trekked at the end of May (May 23-25 to be exact!), and were super lucky with the weather. It was hot through the morning and early afternoon, but by the time we reached our teahouse in the late afternoon/evening, the heavens would open with a huge downpour that cleared the heat away.

The temperatures were mild enough that we didn’t need a sleeping bag (though you absolutely would during peak season).

We were also gifted crisp, perfect (and we mean p e r f e c t ) sunrise views at the summit point, which was ideal considering that’s also the ridiculously perfect spot Mark chose to pop the question at 😉

NOTE | If you want to complete Poon Hill as part of a longer Annapurna Circuit or Annapurna Base camp trek, you’ll need to stick to the peak trekking times for these (October to early December, then February through to April) as heavy snow or monsoonal rains prevent hiking in the higher reaches of these trails outside peak season.


ESCAPE THE CHAOS OF KATHMANDU | OUR GUIDE TO THE BACKPACKER PARADISE OF POKHARA


-

Should you trek Poon Hill solo or with a guide? 

A fierce debate rages amongst those who come to Nepal for an epic hiking adventure: should one trek in Nepal with an organised group, or simply heave on a rucksack full of your gear and take to the trails alone?

We believe both options are totally viable here, and like anything, each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

There are plenty of people who opt to trek solo in Nepal, and it really is a perfectly manageable feat.

Personally, we’ve only ever opted to take a guided tour here (more on that below), although now that we have a few hikes and experience under our belt, we might also consider going solo next time.  

| TREKKING POON HILL SOLO |

Due to being a shorter trek within the renowned Annapurna region, Poon Hill is one of Nepal’s more popular trekking routes - which is perfect if you’re a solo trekker in search of an adventure!

THE PROS

Freedom | take the trail at your own pace, stop where you want without having to account for anyone else.

Affordability | hiking solo can often be cheaper than booking through a tour company

Best of both worlds | you can hike solo through the day, and still enjoy a great group atmosphere at the teahouses each night

THE CONS

You’re responsible | Planning your itinerary, organising your own permit, accommodation, food, and gear; no one has your back but you… including during peak season when all of the accommodation is booked up weeks in advance!

Lack of knowledge | You won’t have a trained professional around to help keep you on the right track, identify any potentially dangerous areas or altitude-related issues (although Poon Hill is a lower altitude trek, so you should be fine in this area).

Missing out | One of the greatest benefits of having a local guide is having someone who can share their knowledge about life in Nepal, Nepalese culture and language, and local flora. Some of our favourite conversations with locals have happened with our guides on hikes in Nepal!

Safety | Nepal is notoriously friendly and welcoming, but as with any country in the world there are certain risks involved in going it alone. In recent years, there have been instances of solo trekkers disappearing on trails, and while these are generally few and far between, it’s worth bearing in mind. Female hikers: we’d also recommend travelling with friend, or a female guide and porter to avoid any potential harassment.

| HIKING POON HILL WITH A GUIDE OR GROUP |

There are two ways to take a guided tour in Nepal; either a hire a guide just for yourself and your trekking buddies or join an organised tour.

While we love ourselves a solo ramble in nature most of the time, this is actually our favourite way to hike in Nepal, for the following reasons:

THE PROS

Everything’s organised for you | No need to worry about things like organising your permit before your trek, booking teahouse accommodation, or planning your itinerary - it’s all taken care of for you.

Local expert knowledge | You always have a local friend to share their expert knowledge, keep you on the right track, administer first aid, or to teach you new Nepali words.

Porters | Most organised tours also include a porter, who will carry your heavier gear along the trail for you.

Community empowerment | trekking with a guide empowers the local community - especially if you’re booking with an on-ground local operator - and to spread wealth amongst the guides, porters, and on-ground staff.

Ready-made cheer squad | Having other people to support and be supported by is a great thing when you’re feeling tired and breathless on that final morning hike up to the summit!

THE CONS

The cost | This option can be more expensive than going it alone - but we kind of feel that this is one time where the benefits outweigh the costs

Lack of flexibility | If you're used to independent travel, being bound to someone else's plan (and group personalities) might be a shock to begin with!

-

Booking your group tour or guided Poon Hill trek

We booked our Poon Hill trek with Nepal Wilderness Trekking a few days before our departure and would highly recommend them.

Our guide, Riddhi, was brilliant, everything went seamlessly, and our accommodation was bordering on luxurious. They’re also locally-owned, which makes them an even better choice, in our view.

If you’re keen to do Poon Hill as part of another trek (like say, the Annapurna Circuit or Annapurna Sanctuary), here are a couple that include it in their longer itineraries:

G Adventures | Annapurna Circuit trek (18 days, Kathmandu to Kathmandu). Prices and availability here.

G Adventures | Annapurna Sanctuary trek (15 days, Kathmandu to Kathmandu). Prices and availability here.

Other | You can also search for specific Poon Hill itineraries on Tourradar here

HIking the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in Nepal


-

Trekking permits and TIMS passes for the Poon Hill trek

Whether you choose to trek Poon Hill solo or with a group, you’ll need to have both a Trekking Information Managements System (TIMS) permit, and an Annapurna National Park Permit (sometimes also known as the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit). 

If you're hiking with an organised tour group, the cost of these will be incorporated into your trekking fee and the whole process (organising them and carrying them through the trek) will be managed by your guide.

For trekkers going it alone, the permits will set you back about USD $40-50.

The ACAP Permit is USD $3,000 / NPR 3,000 per person, while the TIMS Permit is USD $20 / NPR 2,000 per person. You’ll need to carry these permits with you at all times on the trail, as they’ll be checked at various checkpoints along the way.

Trekking permits can be organised either at the Nepal Tourism office (map here) based in Kathmandu, or the Pokhara tourist office (Map here) before you begin the trek.  

Make sure you bring a minimum of 4 passport photos for the trekking permit too! 


-

How much does the Poon Hill trek cost?

Treks to Poon Hill are also super affordable compared to some of the longer treks in Nepal.

We paid $240 (USD) per person, which seems to be around the starting point for guided treks; although this is very much dependent upon what time of year and who you book with too!

Included in the cost of our tour was the following:

  • Accommodation

  • 3 meals per day + tea/coffee breaks

  • Guide

  • Porter

  • Taxi from Pokhara to Nayapul for the start of the trek

  • Taxi back to Pokhara at the end of the trek

  • ACAP Permits + TIMs registration

Trekking solo / without a guide will obviously be quite a bit less as you’re not paying guide and porter wages, but you will have to manage your permits + trek organisation yourself.

We’d recommend budgeting somewhere around $40-60 per person, per day if you’re planning to go solo (and probably more in peak season).

NOTE | You’ll also have to pay a NPR 100 entrance fee at the Poon Hill gate, so don’t forget to slip some cash in your pocket for summit morning!

Walking across a suspension bridge to start the Poon Hill trek, Nepal

-

Ghorepani Poon Hill trek | the full itinerary

-

The Poon Hill trek is officially listed as a 4-7 day trek, because it totally depends on how much time you want to spend in the mountains and the route you want to take.

One of the most popular routes takes you from Nayapul to Ghandruk; we opted for Nayapul to Nayapul (actually technically we finished in Bantanthi as that’s where the car collected us).

We did the trek in 2 nights, 3 days, and felt this was a totally doable feat, although descending the entire way down the stairs in one day definitely turned our legs to jelly (and had us walking funny for an entire week after!).

If you do have more time and flexibility than we did, we’d definitely recommend the 5-day hike option that takes you through Tatopani and Ghandruk on your way back to Pokhara.

Here’s what our Poon Hill trek itinerary looked like:


-

Poon Hill trek itinerary DAY ONE | POKHARA TO TIKHEDUNGA (VIA NAYAPUL, THE START OF THE TREK)

Starting point | Nayapul (1070m elevation)

Finish point | Tikhedunga (1580m elevation)

Total ascent | 540m

Distance trekked | ~10 km

Time trekking | 3-4 hours

Our trekking adventure begins with meeting Riddhi (our guide) and Ura (our porter) before a 1.5 hour car ride from Pokhara to the trek’s official (and most popular) starting point: Nayapul. 

Nayapul is a gorgeously quintessential Nepalese rural trekking town; layers of farmland carve the lower mountain slopes surrounding the town, while the main street is abuzz with activity.

Mothers gather on steps trying to tame their children’s hair, men sit and chat in the town centre. A steady stream of trekkers make their way through with smiles and nods to each other, and there’s just a hint of adventure in the air.

We cross a suspension bridge and have our Permits and TIMs card checked at the Bantanthanti checkpoint before beginning the 3-hour trek to our home for the evening: Tikhedunga.

The walk is peaceful and follows the Bhurungdi Khola river through peaceful farming villages and lush mountain valleys.

Every now and then a jeep bounces past on the dirt road, ferrying tourists higher up to the town of Hille (the furthest point you can get by car on the Poon Hill trail). So far, the slow ascent is totally manageable, although our unfit bodies are definitely feeling it.  

We stop for a (delicious) veggie noodle soup lunch in Lambdawi. The day is already hot and humid, so it’s back on the trail soon for the final 1.5 hour hike into Tikhedunga.

From here, the ascent is steep, although the quaint villages, cute Himalayan mountain dogs, and beautiful scenery definitely make up for it. Eventually we arrive into Tikhedunga right as monsoon storm clouds begin to roll in.  

Our accommodation Tikhedunga Guest House, right at the end of the village. Comfortable, pretty, and right beside three waterfalls, it’s a peaceful oasis we’d happily stay in for days.

Dinner is Thukpa, Momos, fresh fruit, and masala chai before heading to bed by 8pm to the sound of rain on the roof.

Arriving in to Tikhedunga on Day #1 of the Poon Hill trek, Nepal

-

Poon Hill trek itinerary DAY TWO | TIKHEDUNGA TO GHOREPANI

Starting point | Tikhedunga (1520m elevation)

Finish point | Ghorepani (2853m)

Total ascent | 1360m

Distance trekked | ~12km

Time trekking | 7.5 hours

The alarm sounds at 6am, and we groan a little. Today’s the day we (and probably everyone else on the Poon Hill trek) dread: the infamous 3,000-step climb from Tikhedunga to Ulleri. We start early to avoid the searing heat of the day, but by 8am it’s already stinking hot.

'Bistari, bistari,' (slowly, slowly) reminds Riddhi, although the burning in our legs suggests moving any quicker isn’t an option anyway…!

We share the path with other trekkers and the odd herd of horses being moved between towns. Finally, we reach Ulleri, and while the stairs may have ended the overall ascent definitely hasn’t, and we’re only about halfway to our final stop.

In Banthanti, we stop for a fresh lemon mint juice (NPR 300) and to rest while taking in some of the views for 20 blissful minutes. Being back in the mountains is everything right now!  

The landscapes change dramatically from here; thick forest, moss-covered bark, green ferns and flowing waterfalls. After a few months of big city travel, the fresh air and natural surrounds are exactly what our bodies crave.

At over 2,300m elevation and rising, things are starting to feel a little tougher, though whether it’s the mild altitude, our questionable fitness levels, or both, we’re not sure!  

Lunch in Nagethanti can’t come soon enough, and when it does, it’s the best veg noodle soup (Thukpa) we’ve had: rich and tomatoey with a hint of chilli.

From there, it’s slow and steady hiking through some beautiful Rhododendron forests over 200 years old. They’re not in bloom, but they’d be magical in April.  

Our first glimpse of Ghorepani gives us a second wind, and when we finally arrive to our guesthouse, 7.5 hours after leaving Tikhedunga, the relief is real.

Our room has a double bed, the mattress is comfy, and the room warm. Bonus points for the hot shower in an ensuite bathroom (unheard of on our previous treks!), and a tasty meal in the communal living room where we make some new hiking friends too.  

Walking through the forests on the way to Ghorepani, Poon Hill, Nepal

-

Poon Hill trek itinerary DAY THREE | GHOREPANI TO POKHARA (900m) VIA POON HILL SUMMIT

Starting point | Ghorepani (2853m)

Finish point | Pokhara via Poon Hill (3210m) and Nayapul

Total ascent | 357m

Total descent | 2140m (to Nayapul)

Distance trekked | ~24km

Time trekking | ~10 hours

Given what happened just a few hours later (our engagement!), our summit morning is actually a little bit of a blur… but what we do now is that at 4:30am, we practically leap out of bed and race to the window to check the sky.

Last night was ominously grey and foggy, this morning is, thankfully, clear and crisp.

We’re on our way about 10 minutes later, ready for the final 45-minute hike to the Poon Hill summit. Pre-dawn mountain mornings like these are our favourite: stars above, the quiet calm of a new day, and the anticipation of finally reaching a goal you’ve been working hard for.

It’s steeper than expected and about halfway through we cross the infamous 3,000m mark: the magic point you tend to start feeling the altitude.

Breathing becomes harder, the burn in our legs more intense, but we’re excited knowing it won’t be too much further. We reach the entrance gate soon, and pay the 100 rupee entrance fee (don’t forget your wallet!).

The world is starting to wake with a pinky glow as we finally reach the crest and are greeted the most stunning sight imaginable: the mountains of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Machhapuchhare, Annapurna II and Lamjung laid out right before us, illuminated by the sunrise.

Somewhere nearby, a fellow hiker has somehow carried his guitar up and is now serenading us all with some acoustic faves.

It's the kind of moment you want to bottle up and keep forever, and we weren’t sure life could get any better than this…. until, of course, Mark set up our tripod and camera as a decoy, then dropped to one knee and proposed!

Once we’d calmed down enough to think about getting ourselves off the mountain again, it was time to head back to Ghorepani for breakfast (chocolate pancakes for the win!).

From there, we had to retrace the daunting 24km journey right back to our starting point. If we’d thought hiking up 3,000 stairs was a tough gig, hiking down them was pure torture.

After descending/stumbling/falling down the 3,000 stairs, we eventually made it back to Tikhedunga for lunch (and to call our families with our exciting news!) before trekking on again to Birethanti where our car was waiting to ferry us back to our hostel in Pokhara again.

Enjoying the early morning light at the top of Poon Hill, Nepal’s best short trek


-

Poon Hill trek difficulty | do you need to be super fit to trek Poon Hill?

We’re definitely not in the prime of our fitness right now, but the two of us were able to complete the Poon Hill trek perfectly fine.

This is classed as an easy-moderate trail, and as it starts and ends at relatively low altitude there aren’t too many physical requirements.

That said, while a moderate level of fitness is fine you’ll need to be able to manage being on your feet for 4-6 hours a day for a few days in a row, and make sure you’re fine with stairs and steep hills.

On the topic of stairs though: be prepared to walk up and down lots and lots and lots of the little buggers! 

There are over 3,500 stairs from Tikhedunga to Ghorepani, all different heights and shapes, which make for a painful day hiking up, and an even more knee-crunching day when you have to tackle them on the descent. 

Regardless of the trek difficulty, always make sure you travel with up to date travel insurance in case you slip and hurt yourself, or the unexpected happens. We travel with World Nomads.

BOOK | Click here to get the best deals with World Nomads


-

What’s the accommodation like on the Poon Hill trek?

We’ve covered everything you need to know about accommodation in Nepal in this post, but briefly: the teahouses speckled along the hiking trails aren’t the Shangri-La, but they are charming little things made from stone and wood and a cosy place to relax at the end of a long day’s trekking.  

Generally, rooms are twin share, with more than enough space to spread out.

Most have separate shower and toilet facilities — although our teahouse in Ghorepani had an ensuite replete with hot showers! —  and there’ll also be a communal area that doubles as a dining hall with either a fireplace or boiler to cosy up next to of an evening.

It’s also pretty customary to eat your evening meal at the same teahouse you’re staying at, and they’ll generally ask you to order your food as you check in.  

In terms of charging your gear, there are generally spots to charge in the communal space, and you may need to pay a small fee to use these. 

READ | Our complete guide to accommodation in Nepal, including our recommendations

Accommodation on the Poon Hill trek, Nepal

READ THIS BEFORE HIKING THE ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT | everything you need to know before your epic 16-day trek


-

Food on the Poon Hill trek (it’s delicious!)

We basically lived off veggie Thukpa (noodle soup) during our trek as it’s one of our favourite Nepalese/Tibetan dishes, but you’ll find a great mix of Nepali and Continental food along the trail.

Better yet, the food is organic and grown in the hills surrounding the local communities, so it’s beautifully fresh and exactly the kind of nourishment you need for your trek.

Honestly, we haven’t had a bad meal in the mountains, and there are days we dream about sitting outside on a crisp sunny day and enjoying a beautiful Nepali feast.  

You’ll find prices will increase the higher you climb, but expect to pay around NPR 500 for Dal Baht, NPR 300 for a bowl of Thukpa, NPR 200 for soups, and NPR 450 (veg) - 600 (meat) for a tasty plate of Momos.

Delicious thukpa on the Poon Hill trek, Nepal

-

Is the Poon Hill Sunrise worth it?

Most people plan their trek so that they ascend Poon Hill in the pre-dawn and watch the sun rise over the mountains in front of the lookout.

But is it really worth the early start?

Uhh… YES. Just look at the photo below!

Take it from this non-morning person; this is one early start you absolutely want to get up for.

While we’re pretty sure that the views would be epic at any time, watching sunrise over the Annapurna range and some of the largest mountains in the world is a humbling, awe-inspiring experience we won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Sunrise over the Annapurna Circuit from Poon Hill, Nepal

-

Responsible and sustainable trekking in Nepal

We actually have a full guide for how to trek responsibly in Nepal here, but in the meantime, here are a few tips specifically for your Poon Hill trek:

Don’t support the horse / donkey rides | Please, just don’t. The paths are terribly unstable for hooves, and many a horse we encountered looked worse for wear.

Bring a reusable water bottle | There is no need for a modern traveller to buy bottled water, ever. Purchase a water filtration + purification bottle (like our faves from The Grayl) and you will literally never need to purchase bottled water again.

ACAP also provide UV filtered water stations for drinking water all along the trail. 

BUY | We use the Grayl GEOPRESS every day, every trip we take!

Replace bottled drinks with cans | No point skipping the bottled water if you opt for soft drink or juice in a plastic bottle too. Switch to the canned variety instead (always sold on the trail). 

Trek at the tail ends of the season | Trek either side of the peak periods to avoid contributing to over tourism and environmental degradation  

Respect the local culture | The Annapurna region is home to some of Nepal’s most unique culture and customs.

Show respect for the sites and communities here by behaving with respect: dress appropriately (ladies, leggings are better than shorts!), don’t litter, and make an effort to chat with locals about their way of life and beliefs 

Don’t barter for your accommodation | Remember that your ability to come to Nepal and trek (even on a backpacker budget) is a true privilege; don’t barter local teahouse operators for free accommodation in exchange for ordering food and drink instead.

Support the local communities reliant upon local tourism for survival instead.  

Don’t hand out gifts or money to kids on the trek | It actively encourages begging, which keeps kids out of school and fuels begging mafia who recruit vulnerable children to work for them.  

Limit your plastic consumption | Many villages don’t have adequate waste disposal methods and have to either make the choice between burning it off or carrying it off the mountain themselves.

Where possible, avoid plastic altogether on your trek, and if you can’t, carry it out of the park with you. 

Pick up any trash you see |  If you come across rubbish on your trek, collect it in a tote bag and take it off the trails with you to dispose of properly later. 

Using our Grayl drinking bottle while hiking the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in Nepal


-

Our poon hill trek packing list

Preparing what gear to take for a trek like this is definitely a tricky act; it's all about finding the balance between packing as light as possible, while still maximising the gear that you do take.

Not that we did our trek in the warmer months, so we were able to pack quite light. If you’re trekking in winter, we’d suggest adding a few warmer layers too.

Here’s what we took our trek (and totally recommend):

Travel insurance | You guys know the drill; if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. We use World Nomads, get your quote here.

Sturdy hiking boots | We love our Danner Boots, but if you want something lighter, try these waterproof hiking boots

Comfortable daypack | We use the Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35L daypack and we absolutely love it.

Reusable water bottle | We use the Grayl GEOPRESS every day, every trip we take!

Dry bag | Sea to Summit's dry bag range will keep your clothes, electronics, etc. safe and dry, especially around wet season!

Packing satchels | If you choose to trek with a porter, your packing satchels will go into their bigger bag

Lightweight down jacket | Even in the warmer months, you’ll need a decent jacket (women’s jacket here) for the summit

Bottoms | 2 pairs of pants / leggings, (one for trekking, one for evenings), 1 pair of shorts

Tops | Enough t-shirts/tops to last you three days of intensive hiking!

Light jumper | Mostly for the evenings

Waterproof jacket | If you’re trekking in the warmer, monsoonal months, make sure you have a waterproof jacket on-hand. We saw plenty of very sorry-looking wet people in the afternoons!

Portable charger | You should be able to charge your gear at Teahouses, but to avoid having to queue for it throw a portable charger in your bag

Your camera | Obviously! Check out our full list of photography gear here

READ | If you’re trekking as part of a larger Annapurna itinerary, check out our Annapurna Circuit packing list here

Hiking boots are essential for the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in Nepal

-

A few Other useful things to know about the Poon Hill trek

Accessibility isn’t great | You can get jeeps all the way up to Hille and trek from there. That said, unfortunately this trek is definitely not for those with mobility or accessibility issues; it’s steep, uneven and at times, slippery.

Staying connected | 3G is available in Tikhedunga, but otherwise you’ll struggle for reception along the rest of the trail.

Wifi is available in most teahouses for a small fee (100-200 rupees depending on the village/guesthouse), during the late afternoon/evening when solar kicks in. It tends to be super patch and only limited to common areas.

The general rule is: Don’t rely on it, and definitely don’t expect it!

Don’t expect a hot shower | Most teahouses advertise 24 hour hot water, but not all actually live up to that statement. You can, however, get a hot shower during the day (solar), or if a gas option is available. Enquire with your accommodation!

Bring snacks from Kathmandu | Prices get steeper the higher you go, so purchase any hiking snacks (and your summit chocolate!) in Pokhara before you depart.

Get your coffee fix at the summit | What’s better than summiting? Drinking a hot coffee or chocolate at the top! There’s a stand up there with (expensive) hot drinks for sale. Don’t take your own thermos - there’s also a hefty fine if you’re caught with one.

Start early | We saw plenty of solo trekkers attempting the big stairs day (Tikhedunga to Ulleri) in the middle of the day, which is probably the worst thing you can do on this trail!

There’s hardly any shade, and even by 9am it was roasting for us. Start your trekking days as early as possible to beat the heat, and then enjoy being able to relax from mid-afternoon onwards at your accommodation.

READ | for more general travel tips while you’re here, check out our comprehensive Nepal travel guide. It has literally everything you need!


-

All about Pokhara, your poon hill base

The Poon Hill trek is best accessed from the lakeside town of Pokhara, which means that unless your tour includes transfers from Kathmandu, you’ll need to navigate your way here at some point! Here’s some essential information:

How to get to Pokhara

We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu, check it out here.

Where to stay in Pokhara

We stayed at Gauri Shankar Hostel, which was more like a budget to be honest. Comfy beds (probably the best we’ve encountered in Nepal), chilled environment, and very affordable. They also have a little library and an area to swap/donate unwanted hiking gear (perfect if you need a hiking pole or two).

BOOK | Book Gauri Shankar Hostel here.

What to do in Pokhara

Beyond access to the mountains, Pokhara is known for being Nepal’s chilled out paradise, a tranquil lake setting with plenty of cute cafes to while your days away at. In recent years, it’s also grown as somewhat of the adrenaline capital of the country, with white-water rafting, paragliding, and caving all on offer.

READ | For the best things to see, eat, and do, check out our guide to Pokhara here


-

PLANNING TO VISIT NEPAL?

We have a heap of essential reading before visiting or trekking in Nepal!

ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT | Everything you need to know before you hike the Annapurna Circuit

ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT PACKING LIST | Everything you need to pack for the Annapurna Circuit

KATHMANDU GUIDE | Our essential guide to the best of Kathmandu

THE BEST OF NEPAL | The top things to see and do in Nepal

NEPAL TRAVEL TIPS | Everything you need to know before visiting Nepal

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Don’t leave home without travel insurance (seriously, don’t!). Click here to get the best deals with World Nomads, our trusted travel insurance provider

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love our photography? Wondering what gear we use to get all of our photos around the world? Click here to view our detailed photography gear guide, as well as our top travel photography tips!

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL | Responsible travel is important. REALLY IMPORTANT. Learn our top responsible travel tips to help you, your family and friends travel more consciously around the globe

ECO FRIENDLY PACKING ESSENTIALS | Don’t leave home without our favourite eco-friendly travel essentials


Have you trekked Poon Hill? Share your tips and advice for trekking in Nepal in the comments below!


Planning an adventure to Nepal? You’ll want to check out these posts too!