Annapurna Conservation Area

view near Manang village
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General description of Annapurna Conservation Area

Among many destinations of Nepal – Annapurna conservation area protects more than dozen best landmarks of Nepal. Tour, trek & climbing destinations inside Annapurna conservation area is interestingly wide & wild.

Largest nature protected area of Nepal, which was established in 1985 AD, Annapurna conservation area ranges from 2590 ft. (790m) to the summit of Annapurna at 26535 ft. (8091m). Around 50000 tourist visits Annapurna region (inside Annapurna conservation area) every year.

annapurna conservation area at Muktinath
Muktinath is the deepest part although being near to the towering mountains

The deepest river George, Kali Gandaki River Gorge is located inside the Annapurna conservation area. Annapurna conservation area also contains the world’s largest rhododendron forests and biggest high altitude glacial lake – Tilicho. Tilicho Lake is renowned for the world highest altitude fresh water source which feeds Manang and Marsyangdin rivers of the region.

The natural and cultural specialty of Annapurna Conservation Area has made trekking destinations more popular among many other trekking destinations in Nepal. Circuit trek, basecamp trek, glacial lake trek, nature walks, safari, helicopter trekking, mountain tour and expedition have been famous things to do in Annapurna conservation area. Over the years, Tourism has been regarded as the important sector for the local economy among local people of the region. There are more than 1000 lodges, teashops and hundreds of other secondary services to serve those trekkers coming to Annapurna Conservation Area.

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View seen along with tea house in route of Annapurna circuit trekking trail

Sports & nature to experience inside Conservation Area

Activities in Annapurna conservation area start with an overland Journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara which is around 200 km. It takes 7-8 hours by road and 30 minutes by fligh to reach to Pokhara from Kathmandu. The main activities that Annapurna Conservation area offers you are trekking and Mountaineering. However the gateway of conservation area has beautiful tour destinations such as; Pokhara, Begnas taal, Dhmppus village, Australian camp, Sarangkot, world peace stupa, Poonhill and more. Alongside, with the development of roadways conservation area has many new tour destinations which are accessible by 4 wheel jeep drive. Places like Mustang, Manang, and Muktinath are famous for jeep tour in Nepal.

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Trekking trail of Annapurna circuit or Annapurna base camp – both are along the riverside

Trekking and mountaineering in Annapurna includes;

helicopter landing near annapurna base camp inside annapurna conservation area
Helicopter tour at Annapurna basecamp is regarded as one of the best destination for affordable cost & awesome view by the Annapurna glacier.

Base camp trekking to Annapurna is also considered as one of the best low altitude base camp trek in the world. It is famous thing to do inside Annapurna conservation area by far. Annapurna base camp trek will offer you the stunning hike through diverse landscape, dense forest trail, and wild flora, verities of fauna and very close to the snowcapped mountains with wide view of mountain ranges. The trekking trail is decorated with cultural prospect of local Gurung communities and varieties of traditional practices seen along the ABC trekking route in local villages.

View of Mountains which can be captured in Annapurna basecamp trekking
Annapurna basecamp trekking in Nepal is an ornament of Annapurna conservation area. This landmark is famous for trekking and helicopter tours

Mount Annapurna is considered as the 10th highest peak of the world with an altitude of 8091 meters whereas the trek to its base camp lies at an altitude of 4130 meters. Annapurna Base camp offers you the beautiful views of Mount Annapurna (8091m), Mount Annapurna South (7216m), Mount Machhapuchhre(6993m), Mount Annapurna III(7555m), mount Singha chuli and Mount Gandarvachuli.

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Trekker posing at the top of Thorong la pass – Thorong la pass trekking is one of the most visited destination in entire Annapurna conservation area.

Around Annapurna trek is literally to trek around the entire range of Annapurna Himalaya. It is also known for the best circuit trek in the world. During Annapurna Circuit trek you will walk along the beautiful river valley with unbelievable rural settlement scattered on the nearby hilltops, panoramic mountain and varieties wildlife, flora and fauna. Annapurna circuit trekking is a wide excursion in Nepal Himalaya as – trek ranges from 600 meters to 5416 meters (over the Thorong la pass).

Annapurna circuit trek also takes you to the beautiful places of Nepal such as villages of mustang, Manang, Muktinath and Jomsom where you can explore and collect the experience with local people their antique culture, tradition, languages and lifestyle.

  • Tilicho lake trek with Mesokanta pass – Less trekked pass which can replace Thorong la

Mesokanta is less known pass than Thorong la pass in the Annapurna conservation area. Mesokanta pass trek offers you to walk through versatile landscape and untouched traditional villages with pristine culture and tradition. Trekkers will experience the vivid aspects of jungles, river valley which includes the Kali Gandaki Gorge the world’s deepest river gorge with wide view of mountain ranges such as Annapurna I, II, III and IV and Mount Dhaulagiri.

trekking in the trail of tilicho lake
Trail from Khangsar to Sinuwa has view of Mt Tilicho & other range of Annapurna range

Tilicho lake trek is one of the loved trekking destinations by Nepali trekkers as well. You can explore the diverse landscape and local different Nepalese culture during the Tilicho lake Mesokanta pass trek.  To trek over the Mesokanta pass; we will take the different high passage from the same range of Thorong la pass. Thorong la, which is also known as the 1st circuit trekking pass in Nepal takes an exit at Muktinath temple on upper mustang side of Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek whereas the Mesokanta pass will get an exit on Marpha village or Jomsom sub-urb of Annapurna conservation area.

view of dry landscape captured in Jomsom muktinath trekking route
Jomsom Muktinath is famous for the best combination of snow capped mountain landscape & Deserted Landscape in Nepalese Himalaya

Famous Jomsom Muktinath trek is also widely famous as the pilgrimage trekking trail in Annapurna region of Nepal Himalaya. Here you can explore the interesting facts about local tribes, local culture, absolute tradition of Himalayan resident who were isolated for centuries from modern world and the beautiful views of diverse landscapes from deserted valley from Tibetan plateau to beautiful snow peaks such as Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Nilgiri and the wide Himalaya ranges.

Jomsom Muktinath trekking trail is a part of popular Upper mustang trek, Tilicho lake Mesokanta pass trek, Dolpo region trekking, Dhaulagiri base camp trekking and famous Annapurna circuit Thorong la pass trek.

way downhill from the top of poonhill trek
Annapurna conservation area has many short destinations like Poonhill. Among all Poonhill station is loved by many, from all over the world.

Poon hill trek is considered as short and beautiful trek which can be more beneficial to the trekkers who have a busy schedule. It lies at an altitude of 3210 meters. It is also a part of Annapurna Panorama trekking which offers you the magnificent views of sunrise/sunset with the wide Himalayas ranges. During the trek you will walk through the trail of dense rhododendron forest, oak forest and varieties of flora and fauna.

You will also get opportunity to explore the local Gurung and Magar community where you collect glimpse of their culture and tradition along with their hospitality. Poonhill is a famous thing to do in Annapurna region because of its location to give the very wide view of 2 famous mountain ranges as Annapurna Mountain range and Dhaulagiri Mountain range.

If you are an adventure lover and have a dream of climbing peak in Annapurna region then Chulu peak climbing can be the best climbing peak in Annapurna conservation area. Chulu west peak climbing is one of the mountaineering high altitude things to do in the region along with highest trekking pass of Thorong la and its own top elevation of 6419m.

from the mountains in Annapurna conservation area
Climbing in Annapurna conservation area has diverse choice for your challenge & self awareness in every level of adventurism

Climbing beautiful Chulu peak offers you the wide view of attractive mountain ranges from both Mount Dhaulagiri range and Annapurna Himalaya and many other beautiful peaks from Manaslu region. Climbing to Chulu west peak requires a good knowledge of climbing skills and proper use of climbing equipment. However Chulu central and Chulu east peak are considered relatively easy summits. A good physical strength and high level of stamina is mandatory during Chulu peak climbing. Chulu East Peak with an elevation of 6584m lies to the north of Tilicho Trek.

Cultural & Historical places of Annapurna

Holy Temple of Muktinath is built in dedication of lord Vishnu. Muktinath temple is situated in Muktinath valley at the bottom of Thorang La pass in lower Mustang region which is famous as isolated district of Nepal. This temple is also renowned for one of the world highest temple situate at an elevation of 3800m. This Temple is a holy place for Buddhist pilgrimage as well.

  • Tilicho lake – World highest altitude largest glacial lake

Glacial Lake Tilicho is the world highest Altitude Lake located at an altitude of 4919 meter above the sea level. Tilicho Lake is considered as the side hike destination of famous Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal.

  • Manang – Hidden Kingdom of Nepal
Cloud pattern seen near Manang village in Annapurna conservation area.
Acclimatization day at Manang is recommended as the acclimatization village.

Manang village of Nepal is famous place among climbers & trekkers visiting Annapurna circuit. This is the rest point before taking over Thorong la Pass (5416m) of any trek and expedition in the region. Manang village offers the many places to explore in & around. Travelers can explore the local culture, tradition and lifestyle of local community.

  • Mustang – Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal

One of the most beautiful destinations of Nepal nearby Annapurna Conservation Area, Mustang region is famous destination for the trekkers since the year of Annapurna region trekking started. Mustang is situated at an elevation of 3840 meters above the sea level. The beautiful mustang is divided into two parts i.e. upper mustang and lower mustang. In upper mustang you can explore the caves, old monastery and local tribes along with the adventurous trek. And in lower mustang you can watch the attractive & scenic beauty of the nature in extreme stage. The contrast of white Himalaya, brown hills and the river flowing by the deserted terrain is surreal.

Entrance fee & permit for Annapurna Conservation Area

The entrance at Annapurna Conservation Area is free for Nepal citizens and Rs. 200 per person per entry for SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation). For other tourist visiting Annapurna region needs to pay USD (20+20) per person as conservation area entrance fee.

Trail Near Thorong la pass located inside Annapurna conservation area
Thorong la pass is one of the famous landmark of Annapurna conservation area.

About Author

I grew up in the mountains & got university education in Kathmandu to become an engineer. But with homely environment of mountains interest me to become a trekking & tour guide, by passion. I have been 6574 meter to the highest & fortunately got chance to explore most of Nepal and bit of abroad.

Eventually, passion converted to profession and here i am on behalf of Nepalgram - a Trekking agency in Nepal.

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