Annapurna North Base Camp Trek Overview
Annapurna North Base Camp is a newly opened, less-visited, off-the-beaten-track in the Annapurna region of Nepal. This trek is the best adventurous alternative for Annapurna Base Camp. The trek route was first discovered by the French Expedition Team lead by Maurice Herzog and now is getting popular after 70 something years.
This hidden Himalayan Paradise is protected by its remoteness and exposes trekkers to the wilderness and tranquility of the Himalayas. It offers trekkers to encounter the soaring snow-capped peaks including Annapurna 1, Nilgiri, Fishtail (Machhapuchhre), Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho, Pisang, and many more.
North Annapurna Base Camp lies at an altitude of 4,190 meters in the Annapurna Conservation Area north to the Annapurna Base Camp and south to Thorong La pass.
We commence our adventurous journey after a scenic drive from Pokhara to Tatopani. After staying overnight in Tatopani, we will start our trek from Tatopani to Ghasa through the winding trails, enchanting woods, sparkly rivers, and waterfalls, lush Rhododendron forests, terraced farms, meadows, and picturesque villages.
After spending the night in Ghasa, we will trek towards Lete in the morning. After few hours of hiking, we will reach the beautiful village of Lete surrounded by the Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Annapurna ranges.
Next, we will begin our trek to Thulo Bugin from Lete and camp on the shore of Miristi Khola, a river that later reaches Kali Gandaki. The next morning we will forward our hike to the rugged trails of Annapurna North Base Camp crossing the river. After several hours of off-the-beaten trek, we finally reach the pristine Annapurna North Base Camp witnessing the miracles of nature.
Alternatively, there is also a shorter and less-adventurous alternative route for this trek which starts from the trek to Narchyang from Tatopani after a 5-7 hours’ drive from Pokhara depending on the condition of the road and so on and so forth.
Annapurna North Base Camp (ANBC) is considered to be a moderate camping trek that can be done within 8/9 days. Although less explored, this trek is safe and has high potentiality.
Major Attractions of Annapurna North Base Camp Trek
Annapurna North Base Camp lies in a very remote and isolated region. This trek is perfect for those adventure enthusiasts who wish to enjoy the wilderness of nature far from the crowd. The trail to North ABC is a classic route, hence, trekking here also requires a hint of the venture.
Trekking in this region also offers a sublime view of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri range, however, the crowning glory is enjoying the up-close view of Annapurna 1 (north side) standing on the foot of it.
One of the many highlights of this trip is that trekkers can experience that out-of-this-world feeling even in a limited timeframe. Since ANBC falls in the Annapurna Conservation area, you might get a chance to encounter endangered species like Snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr, weasel, marten, and many more.
This route is also well-known for finding Yarshagumba, a medicinal Himalayan herb that is worth more worth than gold. Similarly, crossing Thulo Bugin Pass and Miristi Khola also marks this trek as an adventurous journey.
During the lower part of the north Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will get to experience the culture, tradition, cuisine, and warm hospitality of the Magar and Thakali ethnicity.
Trekking through the lush green forests, terraced farms, meadows, rivers, winding paths to the rocky hills, pine forests, rugged paths, and glacial lakes is a privilege in itself.
This region is also famous for having lots of waterfalls. You will get to see frozen icy waterfalls, fast-flowing waterfalls, tiny to huge waterfalls, and the one that stands out the most is the Phutphute Fall. It falls through a single hole in an enormous rock and onto a turquoise pond.
Staying in Tatopani is another bonus point of this trip because there are two natural Himalayan hot springs here, one relatively warmer.
Trekkers can enjoy their calm time in the hot spring relieving their bodies from the trek. Since the trek also covers the Mustang district, you will get to eat the world-famous Mustang apples if you visit during the apple season.
Likewise, since this is a camping trek, it could be more beneficial to you if you are a fan of stargazing listening to the music produced by rivers and birds.
Best Season for Annapurna North Base Camp Trek
The best time for Annapurna North Base Camp Trek is from Spring (March-May) and Autumn because of mild temperature, lowest chances of rainfall, snowfall, and natural disasters. Trekking here during Monson and Winter is not recommended at all. Nepal has Summer Monsoon and during that time of the year, it is very difficult to trek due to leeches, muddy and slippery routes, unclear views, and chances of natural disasters like flood, soil erosion, etc., and especially since ANBC is a camping trek. Likewise, it is not possible to trek during winter due to harsh cold weather.
There are two permits required for Annapurna North Base Camp Trek which include the Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP) and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS). Issuing and purchasing necessary permits will be managed by Himalayan Trekkers and will provide you the permits after completion of documentation and royalties.
But if the travelers have a limited timeframe, you could provide us all the documents beforehand so that we could issue the permits prior to your arrival.
The ACAP is only valid for one entry and one exit and it covers the whole Annapurna Conservation Area. Since its validity is only for an entry and exit, you can use it for as many treks as you want inside the Annapurna territory but only till you exit. Similarly, the TIMS is required to pass the registration checkpoints along the route. Both of these permits are mandatory.
We recommend all the trekkers who are planning to trek in any part of Nepal to get Travel Insurance that also includes Medical Evacuation. Travel Insurance will help you if any unfortunate like bad weather, natural disasters, altitude sickness, difficulties during trekking, physical injuries, misplaced or delay in getting luggage, robbery, etc. takes place. It provides travelers a layer of protection. And if any emergency medical treatment is required while you are trekking in the Himalayas, Travel Insurance will save you from wasting a fortune.