Annapurna Circuit Difficulty Level

Annapurna Circuit difficulty

Annapurna circuit trek is a popular trekking destination of the Annapurna region that lies near Pokhara city. On this trek, you will encircle the Magnificent Annapurna Massif experiencing the rich culture and tradition of the Himalayan People.

Before beginning the journey in these exotic trails a question often asked by trekkers is Annapurna Circuit Difficulty? How hard are the trails? Can it be completed without any hassle? How difficult is Annapurna circuit Trek?

Well, we have made this article on Annapurna Circuit Difficulty to let you know more about the difficulties that can arise during your trek. While going trekking in the mountain areas you can face difficulties such as altitude sickness, accommodation, and many more

As you may know, Annapurna Circuit trek lies in the Annapurna region and is part of the Annapurna Sanctuary. You will be requiring permits to enter this area which should be carried along with you on this entire trip.

You begin your trekking journey from Bulbule and end it in the beautiful city of Pokhara. The routes on this trek are quite steep and rocky making the walks harsh.

Some parts of this trail include staircases as well which can make your journey quite challenging. As climbing stairs require more stamina and energy than walking in straight paths.

People often confuse Annapurna Circuit Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek as similar. But you should know the routes of Circuit trek are more thrilling than the routes of Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

You can face Annapurna Circuit trek difficulty according to the season you are planning to trek in. Seasons also play a vital role in making your trek easy or harsh.

Even though you may face many difficulties in this route with proper management you can complete your trek. So, don’t stress yourself too much and pack your bag for an amazing trip.

Attractions of Annapurna Circuit Trek

You might face a few hurdles while trekking in these circuits. But the mesmerizing scenic views you get to see will make up for the discomfort. These attractions help divert your mind through the trails.

  • Rich culture and tradition of Gurung Community
  • Visit Muktinath- holy ground for Buddhist and Hindu religion
  • Explore Manang
  • Sunrise view from Poon Hill
  • Trek to Jomsom via Kagbeni
  • Snowy peaks: Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and many more

Grading Annapurna Circuit Difficulty

Annapurna Circuit Trek is full of wonder, energy, excitement, distinct culture, and mystical experience. ABC is the second most popular trek following Nepal's Everest Base Camp Trek. This trekking path is overwhelmed by domestic and foreign trekkers on the paths with strength and enthusiasm. The Annapurna region is among Nepal's most critical rain shadow regions. As much of the path lies on the lee side of mountainous Annapurna. This area gets a monsoon precipitation of just 10%. Throughout Annapurna Circuit Trek, you can notice dramatic shifts in weather and temperature. The highest north region has different climatic conditions as compared to the lowest east region. The atmosphere and region's temperature swings to a lesser extent with an altitude rise. The maximum daytime temperature during the summer season reaches between 20°C and 30°C. The daily maximum temperature doesn't reach 20° C during the winter season. While this trip can be performed throughout the year however, weather plays an important role in deciding whether the trek is on or not. So trekkers ought to take into account the weather and temperatures of every month before deciding anything. Four most prominent seasons around the Annapurna region are Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter. The worst or difficult season to trek around Annapurna Circuit is Monsoon and Winter. Annapurna Circuit Weather and Temperature in Autumn months September September is Autumn's first month and also a peak season. The weather is getting bright and transparent day after day with the beginning of Autumn. Yet the first couple of weeks in September, you will see light downpours showering. Then, around mid-September, the rainy season will go ahead. From mid-Autumn, you will start getting the signals of a crystal-clearing environment. The temperature begins to fall at about 17°C to 4°C with all the rainfall away. The highest point of the trek, Thorong La Pass (5416 m), does have a daytime temperature of around -4°C. From the first month of Autumn itself, certain cloudy skies disrupt the view of mountains. The alpine terrain, moreover, is here saturated by the monsoon rains and its vegetation. Here you will admire the view of the nice and clean countryside. The weather is beginning to get better over time. The skies are mostly blue throughout late September. October October falls under the Autumn Season which is the perfect time to go trekking. The weather is steady and accurate, with less rain and chances of snowfall since the rainy season has only just finished. For nearly the entire period, sights of the mountains are unimpeded. As well in this period, trekking is more convenient, as the days become sunny and warm. The average temperature is 15°C and the minimum temperature is not below 7°C. The lower regions in the circuit are mostly dry, with a mean daytime temperature of 15°C. The higher regions are much colder than that of the lower region. It is cold early in the morning and in the evening too. Over the October in upper areas are near to the freezing point. And overnight temperatures hit 7°C to 8°C. The Thorong La Pass becomes much colder than any other circuit spot. . Having heavy and warm clothing in the bag is suggested. October's hot and humid days speak out to tourists from around the planet. Also, they all learn and want to see the stunning, unspoiled Himalayan sights. So this is the reason behind the Annapurna delighted with lots of tourists. November The fall season continues straight to the end of November. November is indeed a perfect time to go trekking in Nepal too. Annapurna Circuit weather and temperature in November is very similar to that of October. There are already shiny blue skies and bright sun during November. There is no sign of precipitation and heavy snow rendering it to be a problem-free month. November around the Annapurna Circuits gets an average daytime temperature of 15°C whereas the temperature of the night is around 7°C to 8°C. Although, the highest pass like Thorung La Pass (5415 m) is still frozen. Areas around the Thorung La Pass can go below to -5°C. There is a perceptible disparity between daytime and nighttime temperatures. The atmosphere is bright, with practically no cloud remnants. The images of the Annapurna range and the surrounding scenery are breathtaking. The weather tends to only get colder near the month's end, which marks the beginning of winter. Everything is fine until late November, after which the weather in this area gets colder. Therefore, this month, bringing warm dense thermal clothing is a must. Annapurna Circuit Trek Weather and Temperature in Spring months March March is the first of the most pleasant Spring seasons to visit around Annapurna Circuit. It is a surprisingly best trekking month of the year. This is a season of vegetation and flowers. Rhododendron and pine trees mainly cover the slopes and terrains. Gradually, winter exits from the atmosphere, keeping the climate colder. With a mild climate, precipitation chances are low. The lower area has an average daytime temperature ranging between 4°C and -8°C. While daytime weather can score as high as 10°C. During most of the mornings and evenings, the weather turns colder therefore, you have to dress warmly to avoid any problems. The weather in March is very beautiful, and scenes of snow-covered peaks and tree-covered hills are outstanding. April The warmness of the spring season continues, but with the start of April, temperature rises. Numerous Nepalese festivals, such as the Nepalese New Year, also happens to be in the month of April. It is also the best month for the trek, and the Annapurna Circuit weather is also favorable alongside it. In April, enticing Spring also continues to spread a warm climate. With that of the bright sun out and no clouds, trekking on the lengthy Annapurna Circuit trails is seamless. There are smooth views of the mountains throughout. All through April, upper regions have an average temperature of around 8°C to -4°C. But unlike a temperature of 20°C the lowest areas are still much cooler. The nights are already as usual getting colder. Therefore, throughout the month you have to wear warm clothes when commuting. May Last month of Spring is May where the maximum temperature ranges around 14°C and 0°C and the peak level in the lower altitudes can be as high as 20°C. The nighttime is always cold, though, so it is advisable to bring warm clothes that you may need for the night. May is the hottest month as compared to other months. And evenings with a mean temperature of 5°C are a little cooler. The circuit's highest point, Thorung La Pass, is also the coldest place this month. Clouds can be found across the hills to block the scenes. But, by the end of the month, few temperature inversions are expected. So, in May it's smarter to have waterproof coats, boots, pants when trekking. Annapurna Circuit Trek Weather and Temperature in Monsoon months June It is also the beginning of the summer season, also called Monsoon Season. Throughout this season, the lowest region temperature is about 16°C to 30°C. While temperatures in the upper area hover around -3°C to -4°C. It will be precipitation season; the tracks are unstable and slippery. Furthermore, the rains still leave higher sections including Upper Mustang and Manang intact. The Spring season's weather is very unpredictable as the precipitation will occur anytime and continuously for 2-3 days. Therefore, the travelers do not find this time span to be trekking in any treks. The weather is extremely unpredictable so it is highly recommended that trekkers wear waterproof garments. It is not necessary to carry bulky stuff, it doesn't help at all. However, you should carry a few lightweight jackets overnight. However, some daring trekkers are coming in for the Annapurna Circuit even this month. They arrive here with complete rain gears. July July is really the month of each year experiencing the maximum rainfall. The region is a little cooler than the last month because of the heat, with a temperature of about 18°C to 6°C. The average temperature is approximately 12 ° C. Owing to the wind from the Bay of Bengal, persistent rainfall occurs throughout the months of July. Also, rain carries clouds and covers views of the mountains. Therefore, mountain views are not guaranteed during this month. Throughout Monsoon the paths across the scrub places are packed with leeches and mosquitoes. The days are often gloomy and muddy, so it's recommended that the trekkers carry waterproof coats, trousers, and boots. Wearing a lot of warm clothes isn't important, a few warmer outfits will work for dawn and night temperatures. August This last 30 days of the Rainy season brings clouds and begin to pour the rain on the field, keeping the region cold and humid. The mean temperature remains close to July last month. Temperature is also beginning to rise, hitting some 19°C to 23°C. Few frequent mudslides and erosion may occur which block the tracks. Pathways are wet and muddy, which makes trekking difficult. Storm clouds wouldn't clear this region in the period, so mountain scenes aren't likely to turn up. Trekking in the monsoon season is difficult however it is safe with proper planning and preparedness. Hence, packing on the appropriate rain gear is necessary before this trek. Annapurna Circuit Trek Weather and Temperature in Winter months December Winter season begins with the month of December. Annapurna Circuit experiences the coldest in the winter season and also in December. Under a cloudless bright sky, the hills are all covered in snow. Winter is one of the driest of all seasons, meaning no rainfall, or very little. The average midday temperature of the Annapurna Circuit Trek begins to fall, touching approximately 10 C to 5°C. As well as the nocturnal temperature decreases to -5°C. In the course of this period, the regions beyond 4000 m are much colder. Around the beginning of December, the weather will be tolerable. But during the last days of December, the weather begins freezing. Snowfall can strike at any time, in cold weather. Because of the snow, the routes continue to become difficult. So, trekking throughout this circuit in the winter season is hard. So, during this month's stay, you will outfit oneself with all of the winter clothing. January January is among the coldest months of the overall year. Daytime temperature in higher areas is about 1°C to -10°C. The evening becomes much colder. Although the temperature for the low Annapurna Circuit varies from 7°C to 12°C. Annapurna's tracks are less populated, owing to the cold weather. January is ideal for those who love harmony, as they can appreciate the quiet paths. And, owing to an off-season, seeking lodging is seamless. Throughout this month, views of the mountains are evident. It's a great time to enjoy the peak view unimpeded. The days are shorter, with more evenings. You may also enjoy thousands of Stars' unhindered views. To alert you that perhaps a visit is constrained to the higher Thorung La Pass. So, you'll have to review the Annapurna Circuit weather and temperature. In up to the higher regions the weather is usually volatile. The upper regions are mostly below 1°C. Primarily, it is too cold to remain out an hour on the hour. During the colder months, therefore, the appropriate clothing is necessary for this trek. February February is here to wave goodbye to the winter season and embrace the spring season. Thus, the above month offers a two-season blend. In February the higher elevation is seeing some heavy snowfall. There are greater chances of fog hiding views over the mountains. At the beginning of the season, the weather is always cold. The temperature of the Annapurna Circuit continues to fall from -1°C to -14°C and that is incredibly cold. The upper areas are colder still than that. But as February ends, the temperature begins to rise, making this couple of weeks diverse. The days are shorter and nights longer in this month. When you plan on exploring during February, it's best to come in warm clothes.

Annapurna Circuit Trek has been graded as moderate to difficult level trek. These trails can be completed by both novices and experienced trekkers. But the trails can be very challenging if this is your first time trekking in the Himalayas.

On this trek, you will be climbing up and descending down steep paths. And walk through rocky terrain and staircases that require a huge amount of stamina. So, for beginners, the trails can be quite demanding as these routes will be new to them.

But you don’t have to worry much as many people have already completed this trek. You can also finish this trek by doing physical exercises that help increase your stamina.

However, if you have already done trekking before or are an experienced trekker then these routes will be easy compared to the beginners.

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Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty

Trekking in the Annapurna region is quite an amazing experience that takes you on a magical journey. But while going on this trek you might face some difficulties that can make your journey challenging. Some of them are given below:

Duration of Annapurna Circuit Trek

Usually, Annapurna Circuit Trek lasts about 15 to 20 days long. On this trek, you will be roaming the exotic trails for about 15 days.

But if you are in a hurry you can adjust the duration as well, but you should know the fewer days you choose the more walking you will be doing.

If you are used to walking it will be easy but if you are new then you can get exhausted pretty fast making delays to the plans.

So, it is better to choose long days trek to explore the areas slowly and peacefully without any hurry.

Distance in this trek

The total distance this trek covers is about 160 to 230 km depending upon where you began your journey and ended it. On this trek, your journey begins from Kathmandu and ends there.

You will be walking about 5 to 6 hours a day covering a distance of 8 to 15 km. If you are not familiar with walking continuously for a few hours your body might get tired pretty soon.

Also, You might find walking in the lower region easier compared to the high region. Because the higher you climb the steep and harsh the paths get. You will be walking through rocky paths, grasslands, and snow too.

Altitude Sickness

Have you been planning your trek in the Himalayas of Nepal, then be prepared to face Altitude sickness. This is one of the major Annapurna Circuit difficulties faced when trekking these routes.

Altitude sickness occurs when you travel to high places where the oxygen level is very low. The air gets thinner as you keep climbing higher in the elevation.

Trekkers usually suffer from altitude sickness after crossing an altitude above 4000 m. If you are suffering from altitude sickness some symptoms that mostly occurs are as follow:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

There are other symptoms as well but these are some common signs that are mostly seen in trekkers. If you suffer from any of these symptoms then inform your guide immediately.

Your guide will give you instructions on what should be done whether you rest and continue your trek. Or you head back down to a lower altitude and stay there till your fine.

Many people with the fear of sending back and not being able to complete the trek don’t notify others. Thus, it later puts their life at risk. So don’t hide and inform someone as quickly as possible.

Also, smoking and alcohol consumption should be stopped while going on this trek. Instead, drink plenty of water and walk slowly.

Type of Trekkers

annapurna circuit with tilicho lake

The difficulty also depends on how familiar you are with the trekking routes. If you have never gone trekking before then walking in these trials will be harsh, and a long journey for you.

As for the experienced one, they will find it easy and less challenging in comparison to the novice. So, if you are a beginner it is necessary to do some physical training.

Budget

Trekking in Nepal is budget-friendly as the goods and services are less expensive compared to other countries. But you might find budget management a bit expensive in the high regions.

As there are still no proper roadways for the vehicle the people in the high region solely depend upon porters and animals for trade.

You might find a huge price difference in the products between the lower region and the higher region. However, you will understand why as you reach destinations in upper levels.

Also, there are no ATMs in high regions so it is recommended to carry enough handcash for this trek.

Food

Western food is not able as you ascend in the trails. So, if you prefer Momo, Pizza, Burgers it is quite impossible. Instead, you get to taste the traditional authentic cuisine which will be a great experience.

Nepali cuisine consists of Dal, Bhat, Achar, Curry, and various side dishes. The local food has a different taste in higher regions. It helps you get enough energy to continue your walk.

Clothing

Selecting proper clothing is always a difficulty while going on a trek. As the climatic conditions in the mountains change throughout the day. It can be sunny one minute and windy the other.

Most of the time it is sunny and warm in lower regions while windy and chilly in higher regions. So, deciding on exact outwear is a hard task while trekking in Annapurna Circuit.

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Annapurna Circuit Difficulty in Seasons

If you are planning to visit the routes of Annapurna Circuit then it can be done in any season. Nepal has four seasons: Spring, Autumn, Winter, And Monsoon. Each season has its own difficulties along with the benefits.

Autumn and Spring

Autumn and Spring seasons are the peak season for Annapurna Circuit Trek. During this season the routes are crowded with trekkers that have come to trek in these trails.

Autumn and Spring are considered the best time to visit the Annapurna Circuit Trek. However, due to huge crowds finding proper accommodation will be a major problem.

You might not get rooms of your choice and have to adjust with a fellow companion. Also, lodges only have shared bathrooms so waiting in a long queue is a must during these seasons.

Monsoon

Monsoon is the least preferred time for trekking in the Annapurna Circuit. This is the season of heavy rainfall due to which paths are muddy and slippery.

During this season, the beautiful views of the mountain, landscapes, etc are hidden behind the dark rain clouds.

Annapurna Circuit Difficulty during Monsoon would be the Challenging walk. As you will have to be careful as you can slip in these trails with a slight mistake. Also, continuous rainfall can cause floods and landslides in the trails.

Winter

Trekking in Winter is only possible during early December, so if you plan on visiting this trail in later months it is quite impossible. As the routes will be covered in snow and walking in this path is very challenging.

Also, the temperature will be below the freezing point making the walks very cold. As you keep ascending in the trails the temperature also keeps on dropping. Thus, the thrilling walks will be a major Annapurna Circuit Difficulty in Winter.

Tips to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Difficulty

Annapurna Circuit Trek In October

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is very necessary throughout the trek. You should drink plenty of water each day. As you will be walking for 5 to 6 hours a day so dehydration is common. Drinking water also helps prevent altitude sickness too. Thus staying hydrated should be your main priority.

Carry bottle

Bringing your own bottle is important while going on a trek. As the trails are not crowded with shops and the mineral water is a bit expensive in high parts. So, don’t forget to carry your bottle and fill it before your trek.

Proper Training

Annapurna Circuit Trek does not require any technical training but it does require physical training. To complete a trek your body should be fit and you should have a positive mindset.

Thus physical training such as running, short hikes, swimming, etc can be done to increase your stamina. You can do this training on your own about 2 to 3 weeks prior to your trek.

Pack light

While trekking it is necessary to pack light and bring stuff that are really necessary for the trip. If your backpack is heavy it might make your trek difficult. So, always try to keep your bag as light as you can.

Final Say

We, Radiant Trek members, hope our Annapurna Circuit Difficulty helped you know about the difficulties that might arise in your trek. But you should know these difficulties can be overcome. So just embrace yourself on a wonderful journey in the Annapurna Circuit.

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Ashish Niraula

Ashish Niraula is a seasoned trekker and professional tour consultant based in the country of the Himalayas. He has over seven years of hands-on experience in the sector, which has helped fortify his knowledge and expertise to craft the most iconic and memorable adventure packages in the Himalayas. Ashish’s passion for traveling and the unwavering drive that always pushes him toward excellency, have helped him earn a reputation as a trustworthy advisor in the tourism sector.

As a traveling enthusiast, Ashish has explored all the major trekking routes of Nepal. With years of experience exploring the mystical Himalayas and professional engagement in the field, Ashish honed his skills to design the most iconic adventure experiences in the Himalayas that cater to the adventure palate of every traveler. From organizing the challenging treks to the rugged Himalayas with incredible thrills to facilitating culturally immersive experiences across the traditional settlements in the country, Ashish’s commitment to excellence shines through every aspect of his work.

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