top of page

What itinerary for the Annapurna trek?

Since the construction of the roads intensifies on the route of the Annapurna trek, there is no longer really a classic route to follow. From Bhulbhule to Ratipana via Tilicho Lake, here is ours, between 12 and 15 days.

Let's be clear, there is no classic route on the Annapurna trek. You will often come across the same hikers on the way, but they will surely have started before you and planned to finish after you. Or vice versa.


Our itinerary, from Bhulbhule to Ranipata is quite adaptable. For example, you can spend more time in Manang, go faster at the end, take more time at the start or skip Tilicho Lake. But in the meantime, here is our journey.


Day 3: from Timang to Upper Pisang (22kms, +700m)

Transition day. The terrain is fairly flat and the climb gradual. A few streams brighten up the hike and the nearby mountains start to look really impressive. 

Day 4: Upper Pisang to Braka (13kms, +200m)

After a big climb (500m drop over 5 kilometers) to Ghyaru, the landscape is splendid. First the village, with the farandoles of Buddhist prayer flags. And the decor in the background: peaks at 7,000m. We begin to feel the beauty and freshness of the altitude. 

We stop at Braka to anticipate our round trip to Ice Lake the next day but you can extend to Manang. On the menu: cinema, refueling, lower prices and relaxation before attacking the high altitudes. Here, most of the hikers do a day of acclimatization.

Day 6: from Braka to Tilicho Base Camp (17kms, +800m)

The climb is gradual up to Tilicho Base Camp. The altitude begins to be felt so it is a question of being considerate. Especially since the destination has been popular with Nepalese since a famous film like " Fires of Love " was shot at Tilicho Lake.

If necessary, cut this stage in two by stopping at Yak Kharka or Shreekharka. Just to arrive early enough at Tilicho Base Camp and make sure you have a bed, very popular at this altitude.

  • Bhulbhule840m

  • Jagat1400m

  • Dharapani1860m

  • Timang2600m

  • chame2650m

  • Lower Pisang3200m

  • Upper Pisang3300m

  • Manang3519m

  • Shree Kharka3800m

  • Tilicho Base Camp4200m

  • Tilicho Lake4919m

  • Churi Ledar4200m

  • Thorung Phedi4450m

  • Thorung La5416m

Altitudes by location

FYI, our elevations and distances are based Always check what the application provides because some days are a bit of a yo-yo and you do more elevation than what you are told.

Day 10: Thorung High Camp - Thorung La Pass - Ratipana (13kms, +550m, -1,750m)

Depending on your walking pace, the departure takes place between 2 and 4 am, to arrive at the same time as the daylight at the Pass and above all to avoid the wind, which rises quite early. Very linear, this portion of just under 4 kilometers is done almost in single file. To reach the Thorung La Pass after the last 550 meters of elevation.

Up there, you will find many faces crossed during the hike, the enthusiasm is contagious and the smiles and warm hugs contrast with the wind, which is icy at times.

After savoring your ascent, chatting with old acquaintances and appreciating your effort, the descent to Muktinath awaits. With a panorama of a foretaste of Mustang (next destination?). The precaution is in order because, even if you think that the hardest part is behind you, the descent is perilous. Especially because the hiker is relieved.

After 1.8 kilometers of elevation gain and 14 kilometers of walking, you are in Ranipauwa. Some will sleep there and prolong the pleasure of walking the next day. Others will leave by transport to Jomsom. Either to catch a plane (whose only daily takeoff is conditioned by the wind) the next morning, or to return to Pokhara after an epic bus ride. What largely remember the anecdotes accumulated during the hike.


Day 1: from Bhulbhule to Jagat (19 kms, +600m elevation gain)

This day is quite gradual and takes you through the rice fields. The t-shirt is out and you wonder why you carried such warm things in your bag. This stage can be shortened or lengthened because many villages are located near Jagat.

Day 2: Jagat to Timang (22kms, +1,200m)

Like the day before, a portion of the route is made up of stony paths where 4x4s will throw dust at you without pity. The arrival at Timang, after a good drop of 500m over 4 or 5 kilometers is dazzling. From the village, in October, you can see the surrounding snow-capped peaks. And we finally understand why we took our fleece on board. 

Circuit des Annapurnas

Day 5, acclimatization: Braka - Ice Lake - Braka (12.5kms, +1,200m, -1,200m) 

Leaving early in the middle of the yaks and followed by the dogs, we arrive at Ice Lake with the dawning light. The show is splendid. The snow-capped mountains on the slope facing the first lake, located a few meters from Ice Lake, are reflected in the water. The mirror effect is stunning.

The secret to attending this masterpiece of nature: leave early. On the way back, dozens and dozens of hikers make the climb and will not take advantage of the tranquility of the place. In any case, not alone. 

This acclimatization day also allows you to make climbs that are more " légères " in terms of altitude difference. If the landscape at Ice Lake, at 4,600m, is breathtaking, keep in mind that this day should allow you to better prepare for the rest of the hike.

Day 7: Tilicho Base Camp - Tilicho Lake - Upper Shreekharka (16kms, +870m, -1,050m)

From 4am, hikers file past to complete the many switchbacks to Tilicho Lake. After a few hours of climbing - manage your pace well, one of us learned it the hard way, we're not kidding at that altitude -, the azure blue of Tilicho Lake is offered to you, at the middle of the mountains. The effort is amply rewarded, enjoy.

After the descent, time to debrief your impressions after discovering this superb panorama and you are already in Upper Shreekharka. Where, once again, rooms are prized.

Day 8: Upper Shreekharka - Churi Ledar (13kms, +200m)

After the spectacle of Tilicho Lake, the Thorung La Pass is offered to you. After having turned back towards Shreekharka the day before, you head towards Churi Ledar in a walk of almost scrubbing compared to the effort of the day before.

At Churi Ledar, arriving early enough, you will have a good bed and something to treat yourself to a good meal in the “ bien Chaud ” space (everything is relative ) from the common room. From there, you really understand why you have so much stuff for the cold in your bag.

Day 9: Churi Ledar - Thorung High Camp (6kms, +700m)

Depending on how fit you are, decide to sleep at Thorung Pedi or High Camp instead. Arriving before 9:30-10am at High Camp should get you a decent room. In the afternoon, acclimatize a little by climbing to the nearby viewpoint to admire a last panorama of this side of the valley.

The atmosphere is quite special. All hikers feel the end of their walk and the spirit is quite cheerful all day. Everyone expresses their excitement, their favorite moments of the hike and their doubts before crossing the Pass. Then comes the night, cold it must be said, before the final ascent.

To avoid MAM (acute mountain sickness), we advise you to talk a lot with your co-hikers. Do not hesitate, in case of fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, to warn your companions that you would like to slow down. It is necessary to watch out for the warning signs as much as possible in order not to suffer from MAM and to make the most of the hike.

Everyone reacts differently depending on the altitude and every hiker can suffer from MAM, even if it has never happened to them. We therefore advise you to stay hydrated, to avoid sweating, to avoid being out of breath (this means that you are managing your effort well) and, once again, not to hesitate to warn other people at the slightest doubt.


Thorong La Pass
bottom of page