Popular for the Himalayas, Nepal is also a trekker’s paradise as there are plenty of destinations with spectacular views and heartwarming culture in this small yet spectacular country. While trekking in Nepal may take many days, there are also shorter treks in the country which are equally rewarding regardless of the number of days spent on foot. One such short yet fulfilling trek in Nepal is the Poon Hill Trek.
Located in the Annapurna region, Poon Hill is a popular vantage point hosting one of the best sunrise views in the world. Watching the first rays of the sun drape the white peaks of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massifs into molten golden color is a view privy to only the lucky ones. An ideal Poon Hill Trek is usually 5-6 days short and starts with a drive to Nayapul from Pokhara. From the very first step that you take on the flag-stone stairs starting from Nayapul, you will be flabbergasted with what the trail has to offer. The peaks of Annapurna South (7219m) and Machhapuchhre (6997m) keep you company throughout as you make your way to Ghorepani via the villages of Tikhedhunga, Ulleri, and Banthanti. The trail moves through lush rhododendron forests, which color the landscape pink, red, and white during the spring season. The Gurung village of Ghorepani, located at the base of Poon Hill, welcomes you with warm hospitality and amazing sceneries.
The hike to Poon Hill from Ghorepani has to be made before dawn so that you do not miss the tantalizing sunrise view. Through the largest rhododendron forest of Nepal, you climb on flag-stone steps until reaching the top of Poon Hill, where the ivory mountains await you. The specialty of the sunrise seen from Poon Hill is not the sunrise alone but its playfulness with the mountains. As the sun rises with its deep orange color, the peaks of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Machhapuchhre (6997), Hiunchuli (6441m), and many others start to change their color from ivory to molten gold, leaving you in absolute awe. The view doesn’t last for long, for the sun rises and changes its colors, but the visuals remain etched in your memory forever. The beauty is only magnified during the spring season when the rhododendron blooms complement the orange sky and the playful mountains.
After enjoying the best of Poon Hill, you retrace your way back to Ghorepani, and through the forest, you make your way to Tadapani. The trail descends further to reach the Gurung village of Ghandruk, where there is a Gurung Museum that allows you to wear the traditional Gurung costume and take pictures with Annapurna South (7219m) and Machhapuchhre (6997m) in the backdrop. Still, in awe with the sunrise view witnessed from Poon Hill, you descend through the stone steps following Modi River to reach Nayapul, from where you drive back to Pokhara, marking the end of your amazing Poon Hill Trek.
The Poon Hill Trek is an easy one where you will not need serious gears to complete the trek. However, there are a few essentials that can come in handy during this trek. Like any other trek, it is always better to carry a light bag pack so that it is easier to carry while walking. Since this trek can be completed within 5-6 days, you will not need many items of clothing. You will require basic flexible clothing for the walking part, preferably comfortable sweat soaking clothes. For the nights and early mornings, carry a pair of warm clothes and a down jacket, for the weather in the mountain foothills can be treacherous. Other essentials that you need to bring for the Poon Hill Trek include water bottles, torchlights/headlamps, trekking sticks, sunblock cream, sunglasses, and so on. The hotels you find during this tea-house trek offer you great views of the Himalayas with excellent services at a decent price. Some well-known lodges en route to Poon Hill are Meera Lodge, Snow View Lodge, Jhinu Guest House, and so on. You can enjoy a delicious cup of Nepali tea at these tea houses whilst gazing at the beautiful mountains.
Ideal for both pros and novices, Poon Hill Trek is one of the best treks for those short in time yet wanting to be near to the Himalayas. The Poon Hill Trek is also a good value trek if you are tight on budget. With ample tea houses, vibrant Gurung and Magar villages, breathtaking views, and well-made trails, Poon Hill Trek is indeed a