Hiking and Trekking around Pokhara

Are you thinking of spending a couple of nights in Pokhara and interested in doing more than just a Pokhara city tour?  Pokhara is well-known for trekkers who are looking to go to Annapurna. Not very known to many,  this city does have a very nice view of the mountains and there are places here where you can actually do short day hikes!  
At least once a day, I would receive a new inquiry about the hiking and trekking options around Pokhara city.   I realised this is because there is not enough information available on the web regarding short and long days hiking options around Pokhara.   Having responded to a number of queries, I thought it is probably best to make this accessible to everyone!  Here you go then.. an article which I hope would answer any questions you may have on ways to enjoy Pokhara without Annapurna trek. I will guide you through the short hike and multiple days trekking options around Pokhara.  After receiving positive comments about the Kathmandu Valley Trek, I am very excited to also give you some insights on what is possible around Pokhara in terms of hiking. 

Highlights of this article

  • Pokhara is also known as the City of Lakes.  There are actually nine lakes in the city surrounded by more than 20 beautiful mountains. This includes two of the Himalayan ranges (Annapurna and Dhaulagiri) are both at above 8,000m. 
  • Pokhara is reachable by all major mode of transportation (except boat/ship and train!). Tourist buses are the most common among travellers. Flights are the shortest but the most expensive. 
  • There are breathtaking viewpoints and hill stations like Sarangkot, Dhampus, Stupa Hill, Poon Hill. Sarangkot is famous for sunrise over Himalayan mountains, while Stupa Hill is well-known for sunsets! 
  • The largest freshwater lake in Nepal, called Phewa Lake, is within the main touristic town of Pokhara.
  • It is possible to hike around Pokhara and you have several options from one day hikes (Stupa Hill and Sarangkot) or up to seven days (Poon Hill). Or if you want to extend to 10 days, then you can go for Annapurna Base Camp.   

How to reach Pokhara? 

At approximately 210km west of the capital city of Kathmandu, Pokhara is reachable by public transportation.  So yes, it is no longer a very remote area in Nepal.  The main transportations are tourist bus, local bus, private car and flight.  More than 50% of tourists I have had the privilege to speak to, prefers travelling by tourist bus.  This is especially true for backpackers and budget conscious travellers.  One drawback of taking a bus is that you use up almost two full days for a roundtrip journey to Kathmandu.   The commute time is roughly 6 to 7 hours, one way, so you may want to factor that into your itinerary.  As the road condition is not well conditioned, it is not possible to drive at a speed of 40-50 Km/hour.  For those tight on time and would like to see more of Pokhara, then the recommended mode of transportation is the 30-minute flight from Kathmandu.  Flight is the most expensive option but the most comfortable.  If you want to find out more available option about How to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara please click on the highlighted link. 

Day Hiking Around Pokhara

Stupa Day Hike

Also called Shanti Stupa or Peace Stupa, it was one of the 80 similar stupas around the world built by a Buddhist monk to signify world peace.  There are two of these pagodas in Nepal, and one is in Lumbini and another in Ananda Hill in Pokhara.  Situated at around 1,100m above sea level, it lies on the south side of the Pokhara city.  What makes this stupa very special and worth going to is that it gives its visitors a panoramic view of the mountain ranges Annapurna, Manaslu and Dhaulagiri by the Phewa Lake, provided the weather is clear.  

The hike is relatively short and should be at around four hours in total.  For those with limited time, this is an excellent way to experience hiking in Nepal and see the villages around more up close! Ananda Hill can also be reached by car or taxi both from the heart of the city.   The hiking trail requires crossing a lake by a boat and then a fair hike all the way to the top of Ananda Hill.  You may want to time reaching the top of the hill by around sunset time as that is probably one of the most dramatic sunsets you would see in your lifetime with the colours of the mountains changing too! It is really breathtaking to see! If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.  View from Stupa

Sarangkot Naudanda Day Hiking

Another possible day hike around the city is in Sarangkot Naudanda.  It lies at around 1,600m above sea level and north-west of Pokhara.  For the adventurous at heart, the town offers more than just hiking.  This is the place which is well-known for paragliding, zip lining and cycling. In everyone's itinerary in Pokhara, this town of Sarangkot is definitely a must-see.  Your trip to Pokhara will be incomplete without a visit to this quaint little town uphill.  

While Stupa Hill is famous for sunsets, Sarangkot is your perfect spot for sunrise to see the Himalayan ranges.  Again, the weather and clouds can be unpredictable at this altitude, and so we suggest you start wishing for a clear weather before you visit!   

So you get the best of both worlds, my recommendation would be to combine the sunrise tour in Sarangkot with the hike to Naudanda.  You can then the take the drive back to Pokhara afterwards.  You must be prepared to wake up before sunrise and drive up to the base of Sarangkot hill.  From there, the hike to the sunrise viewpoint is approximately 20-30 minutes.  It is chilly early in the morning, so make sure you dress in layers.  Another tip is to also get a cup of Chiya (a traditional Nepali masala tea) while admiring the beautiful sunrise.  After a good breakfast in Sarangkot,  you can then start your hike.  The duration of the hike is roughly about 4-5 hours. 

Two Nights and Three Days Hiking Around Pokhara 

If you have more than a few days to spare for hiking, these are probably the best option for you.  In just three days, you can actually hike to the base of the Himalayas within Annapurna Conservation Area and experience the real trekking in Nepal even for a limited time!  

Two Night Three Days Dhampus Sarangkot Trek 

In order to complete this itinerary, you must have to have at least a total of about 5 to 6 days in Nepal, including arrival and departure in the country.  This the best alternative we provide to our clients who only have a week in Nepal but still wants to experience some real Himalayan trekking.  This itinerary will take you to the major sightseeing destinations in Pokhara, Kathmandu plus a two night three days trek up to the base of the Annapurna National Park.  Here is a sample itinerary: 

Day 01: Pokhara to Dhampus with an overnight in the Australian camp 
Day 02: Trek from Australian camp to Dhampus and Sarangkot 
Day 03: Trek from Sarangkot to Pokhara 

Round trip flights to Pokhara from Kathmandu might be expensive but it will save you LOTS of time.  Many tourists prefer Pokhara over Kathmandu and trekking to the base of Annapurna National Park is an also a great experience.  Personally, I would recommend taking a one-way flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara but taking the tourist bus to Kathmandu.  You get to see the aerial view of Pokhara and if you are lucky, fly at the same height as the mountain ranges! At the same time, you enjoy the landscape of the countryside of Nepal by taking the tourist bus back to Kathmandu by tourist bus. 

Poon Hill Trek

According to TripAdvisor, the number 1 travellers' choice destination in Pokhara is Poon Hill.  At the height of 3,210m above sea level, Poonhill is just about two days trek from Pokhara. This option allows you to trek within the Annapurna National Park.  However, this might require one day additional of hiking and may require you to forfeit seeing the Pokhara city itself.  The itinerary for this trip would be as follows:

Day 01: Pokhara and trek to Tikhedhunga 
Day 02: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani 
Day 03: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill and then head back to Pokhara

Note: If you have two more extra days and nights in addition to the minimum 5 days above, it is worth exploring Poon Hill trek even more and perhaps returning differently after reaching Poon Hill. In my humble opinion, I would recommend option one above if you really only have about 2 or 3 days for a trek.  However, if you have at least five days for trekking, Poon Hill trek is definitely a must experience for many travellers. drop us a comment below. 

Five Days Poon Hill Mini Circuit Trail

Day 01: Pokhara and trek to Tikhedhunga 
Day 02: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani 
Day 03: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill and then camp to Tadapani
Day 04: Tadapani to Ghandruk 
Day 05: Ghandruk to Pokhara 


In addition to the five days trek in Poon Hill, if you are able to extend that to 7 or 10 days, I would recommend Annapurna Base Camp.   There are several options you can take depending on the activities you like and how much time you have.  Here is the 

10-Days Annapurna Base Camp Trek itinerary 

Day 01: Pokhara and trek to Tikhedhunga 
Day 02: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani 
Day 03: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill Tadapani
Day 04: Tadapani to Chumrung 
Day 05: Chumming to Himalayas 
Day 06: Himalayas to Machhapuchare Base Camp 
Day 07: Machhapuchere Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp 
Day 08: ABC to Bambo 
Day 09: Bambo to Ghinu Danda 
Day 10: Ghinu Danda to Pokhara 

If you have questions, we are eager to help you plan your trip or give you ideas on where to go! Please do drop us a note or a comment below.  Please also email us at nestadventure@gmail.com. 

 

 

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide to being a guide/leader to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas USA and Canada, one-third of Europe, Caribbean Island and  Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had an opportunity working with multinational companies which taught me, how to deliver quality customer service in the business? As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert of Nepal Himalayas, I started writing about my own country.  Incase, If you required free information about Nepal, please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.  Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from about 200 satisfied customers. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor.
If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  
 
1 + 8 = ?


Hi Raj!

I am interested in finding out more about the trekking around Pokhara. Specifically the Sarangkot Naudanda Sunrise Hike you have mentioned as well as the Poon Hill Hike. Do you have estimates of the cost of these hikes and what the weather will be like in November? We will arrive 2nd week of November.
Thank you!

- joanna mcewen


Hi Joanna, Thank you so much for the comment. and Please accept my sincere apologies for the delayed in responding.  There are few options available day hikes from Pokhara but the Poon hill required at least 3 days hike from Pokhara. Please send us an email with details about your group size, available days, required service etc. We are happy to help you. 

Raj 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Hello! i would like to know the options you have around 20 of july for treking, for 2 days.


thank you so much!

- angel


Hello, what are the options for a Annapirna base camp track? 12 or 13 juli I will arrive in Pokhara. Please sent me also an overvieuw about the costs. 🙏Namaste
- Werner Urbanus


Hi Werner, Thank you so much for the comment. Please follow us in the email with your detailed. 

Thank you

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Hi

I am interested in option 3. I land in Katmandu on the evening of 22/03 and depart on 30/03, I would like to begin the tour on 23/03.
Thanks in advance 

- Sohana


Really good blog,wow!

Which option has the better views to the highest peaks of the himalayas and which has the higher Altitude? 

- Josef Mueller


Hi Josef, Thank you so much for liking our post. I would say 2 night Sarangkot and Dhampus give you the real feeling of hike in Nepal even in a short time frame. Let us know via private email if you need help. 
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Hello there, thank you for all the valuable information on the area! We would be very interested in doing the two one-day hikes around Pokhara. Could you give us some more information on those please? Thank you and best wishes, Chiara
- Chiara Nassauer-Boitsos


Hello Chiara - Thank you so much for the comment. I would be very happy to help you suggest the hiking around Pokhara. Could you please be specific and what kind of information you are seeking for. 

Thank You! 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Hi, I would like to ask how we can reach Stupa Hill from Lakeside. Can we walk all the way from Lakeside to the hill, or will we need transport? And what is the best route to take? For the Sangarkot day hike: is it possible to hike it Sangarkot without transportation? And what would be a good route to take after Sangarkot? Thank you!!
- Chiara Nassauer-Boitsos


Hi, There is two option to reach Stupa hill, one you can drive all the way up to the base of Stupa and walk 5 minute and the second option would take the bote. Cross the Phewa lake and hike for 2 hours. Regarding the Sarangkot hike directly from Pokhara also possible without using a transportation. You have to walk west further where the lake water is coming from and the village called "Pahiro" and you have to start the hike. After Sarangkot you may want to further hike to Naudanda or even up to Dhampus. I hope this helps. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.


Good day!!


I am landing in Kathmandu on 9December and will stay there for 2 nights. 
From your article it seems as though it is then best to fly to Pokhara? 
I want to be back in Kathmandu on the 19December. 
I would appreciate your advice on hiking around Pokhara in the time I am there. 
Many thanks
Chris

- Chris Jansen


Hello Chris, 

Thank you so much for the comment, and glad to know that you are planning to visit Nepal during the month of December. Yes, it could be done 2 night Hiking around Pokhara. However, there are couple of option as in the article says and we would love to hear your total time frame in Nepal so we can advice the best possiable itinerary that fits in your time frame. Please send us a inquaries in our private email so we can send you some option. I hope this helps. 
Raj 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

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