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 hiking or trekking around Pokhara!
At least once a day, I would receive a new inquiry about the hiking and trekking options around Pokhara city.   I realized 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.Hiking Around Pokhara Nepal

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 modes of transportation (except boat/ship and train!). Tourist buses are the most common among travelers. 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 the 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 buses, local buses, private cars, and flights.  More than 50% of tourists I have had the privilege to speak to prefer traveling by tourist bus.  This is especially true for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.  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.  The flight is the most expensive option but the most comfortable.  If you want to find out more available options 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 colors of the mountains changing too! It is really breathtaking to see! If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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 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 take the drive back to Pokhara afterward.  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 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.Kathmandu Pokhara by flight

Poon Hill Trek

According to TripAdvisor, the number 1 travelers’ choice destination in Pokhara is Poon Hill Trek.  At the height of 3,210m above sea level, Poonhill is just about two days trek from Pokhara and major hiking route around Pokhara. This option allows you to trek within the Annapurna National Park.  However, this might require one-day additional 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 travelers. 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

Ghorapani Poon Hill Trek
Mount Dhaulagiri and other Annapurna ranges from the top of Poon Hill 3,210m

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 the Himalayas
Day 06: the 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

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Feature Image
South Annapurna on the background with grassland view during the trek to Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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.

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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, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the 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 and 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 America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of 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 for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called 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. 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  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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