Poon Hill Trek – The Best Short Trek in Nepal

Poon Hill Best Short Trek in Nepal

Want to experience the magnificent Himalaya mountains in Nepal but are too short on time to do a two-week trek? Then you will want to do the best short trek in Nepal — the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek!

It can be done in 4 days and 3 nights. This gives you the perfect taste of the Himalayas and presents you with some stunning views.

You can also do the Poon Hill trekking route. This gives you an extra day making it a 5-day trek rather than a 4-day trek.

We cheated a bit and our driver took us to the furthest point to drop us off skipping about one day of trekking.

Book the Poon Hill trek at a 30% discount with our promo code BOBOANDCHICHI30. Check availability here.

epic view spot from poon hill trek

Poon Hill Trekking: The Route

Day 1: Start at Sudame, End at Banthanti

Elevation: 2,824 meters or 9,265 feet

After departing Pokhara at around 8 am, it took us about 4 hours of driving to get to Sudame where we would start the Poon Hill trek.

A dirt road takes you all the way to Sudame. It skips through some of the villages where some trekkers start their longer Annapurna Circuit trek at. You’ll feel kind of funny driving past trekkers and getting dropped off at a place that takes them over a day to get to. However, when times short you gotta do what you gotta do!

The crew day 1 poon hill

The trekking crew before all those grueling stairs!

Starting at Sudame you will trek up a grueling 3,000 plus stairs as you enter the mountain range. After about three and a half hours of going at a decent pace we made it to Sunny Hotel, a tea house offering your first view of the Himalayas early in the morning in Banthanti.

We arrived here in the afternoon giving us time to rest our jello legs after the stairs and enjoy a cup of hot masala tea as the sun went down and the cool air came out. The food was good and the heater in the dining room kept us warm.

Fishtail in Nepal

Machapuchare aka “Fishtail” is a sacred mountain in Nepal no one is allowed to climb.

Fish Tail Peak Guest House is a great stop for this trek as it’s mostly used as a lunch stop for people doing longer treks. We had the entire tea house to ourselves which was nice considering they have a shared bathroom.

Sunrise Pano on Poon Hill Trek day 1

Sunrise view from Banthanti

At night the stars were bright without any light pollution from Pokhara which seemed far away now and in the morning we were rewarded with great views of Machapuchare, aka Fishtail, the sacred mountain devoted to Shiva no longer able to climb as our first peek at the white mountains of the Himalayas.

Day 2: Start at Banthanti, End at Ghorepani

Elevation 2,874 meters or 9,429 feet

Poon Hill treks in Nepal

This was the easiest day of the Poon Hill trek as you only trek for about 3 hours until you make it to the gorgeous mountainside village of Ghorepani where you will be just a short distance away from Poon Hill.

Don’t let this day fool you though, you will need to rest your legs to prepare yourself for the next day.

Sunny View Hotel Ghorepani Nepal

Talk about a room with a view!

Luckily you will be situated in one of the most beautiful villages through the Annapurna circuit and easily our favorite on the Poon Hill trek.

We stayed at the Sunny Hotel and were rewarded with breathtaking views all morning and late in the afternoon. From here you will get panoramic views of Annapurna South and Dhaulagiri I. They’re the 7th and 10th largest peaks in the world.

Sunny View Hotel Ghorepani Nepal

View from Sunny View Dining Hall

The dining hall at Sunny Hotel offers a warm place to enjoy the views through their windows. Theyalso served up some of the best food we ate during our entire stay in Nepal. Not bad for a tiny little mountain village!

There are individual bungalows with views of the mountains as well as regular basic hotel rooms. You will be provided a warm blanket to keep you toasty warm during the frigid hours of the night.

Day 3: Start at Ghorepani, End at Tadapani

Elevation 2,721 meters or 8,927 feet

Poon Hill treks in Nepal

This is by far the most challenging day on the Poon Hill trek as well as the most rewarding day. From Ghorepani you are only about a one hour climb to the top of the viewpoint of the Poon Hill trek.

It is best to witness the sunrise from up here and get the breathtaking views of the Annapurna Himalayas. Most guides will leave at around 5:30 am, however, due to the crowds we recommend starting earlier at 5 am.

Sunrise at Poon Hill

Trekking Poon Hill is challenging because it is really cold in the early hours of the morning, while you may get hot climbing all the stairs during the Poon Hill trek you will want to make sure you have gloves and plenty of warm layers waiting for the sun to come up at the top.

Sunrise at Poon HillWhen we were standing at the top and looking at the mountains and the sunrise it almost made me want to cry it was so beautiful. It also made me want to do every trek possible in Nepal. It’s such an overwhelming feeling of beauty and joy looking over the mountain range like that.

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It’s an unforgettable picture in my mind and I am so glad our lives have led us to this lifestyle and getting to experience something as mind-blowingly beautiful as this.

Anyways, you get it, it’s gorgeous up there and you may have some deep thoughts about how awesome life is when you’re up there.

Sunrise at Poon HillAfter the sunrise, we trekked back down Poon Hill for breakfast and an hour or two of rest before heading out for the day.

At this point already our legs were starting to feel a bit like jello and we didn’t realize we had about 5 more hours of trekking up and down to make it to Tadapani for the night where a cold Everest Beer was in order after this calorie-blasting day.

During the day you will get three more epic view spots of the Annapurna Himalayas as well as a beautiful trek through the forest and under the canopy of rhododendron trees. The entire day was beautiful but exhausting.

Poon Hill Trek

Tadapani also was a treat as it offered a spectacular view of Machhapuchchhre, aka Fishtail,  a waterfall, and pink blossoms of all the trees.

Magnificent HotelMagnificent Hotel

We stayed at the Magnificent Hotel which offered epic views but very basic accommodation.

Day 4: Start @Tadapani End @ Ghandruk and ride back to Pokhara

Ghandruk Elevation 1,939 meters or 6,362 feet

View from Magnificent Hotel

What an incredible view

The very last day of our Poon Hill trek started with a gorgeous sunrise of Machhapuchchhre before we started to descend to Ghandruk where we would enjoy lunch and get picked up by our car to go back to Pokhara.

taking in the last views poon hill trek

Taking it all in

This part of the Poon Hill trek took us around 4 hours to complete and consisted of going up and down passing through more forest of the rhododendron trees and more small waterfalls.

This was bittersweet as we were sad to not have views of the gorgeous mountains we saw trekking Poon Hill but a rewarding experience and something I am quite proud we did. Before coming to Nepal I didn’t think I was in any physical condition to do trekking here let alone the Poon Hill trek.

Now I know I can do it and it’s inspired me to want to get in better shape and come back and do a longer trek, either Annapurna Base Camp or Everest Base Camp, or both!

The car ride back to Pokhara went past Birethanti where we drove past on the way to Sudame on day 1 completing our Poon Hill trek loop, well-shortened version of it!

Looking at the View at Poon Hill on the Poon Hill Trek

Poon Hill Trekking Tips

Who is the Poon Hill trek for?

The Poon Hill trek is for anyone who is short on time and wants to experience the Himalayas up close or anyone who isn’t quite confident enough to try trekking for over a week up to 20 days.

Coming to Nepal we were super enthusiastic about trekking, but both of us thought we weren’t in nearly enough shape to even trek for four days straight. We were comfortable knowing we were doing one of the more mild short treks in Nepal, and it was only a few days in case we were going to get our butts kicked.

Luckily we did pretty awesome on the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek, although there are TONS of stairs that will keep your calves burning for days after. This gave us a taste of what trekking is like plus the confidence and motivation to want to come back and try a tougher trek like the Annapurna Base Camp Circuit (aka ABC) and Everest Base Camp, both which are much longer than the Poon Hill trek.

Poon Hill

What to Expect on the Poon Hill Trek

The level of difficulty on the Poon Hill trek isn’t too bad. The route we have shared gives you plenty of time to take rests. Be prepared to do TONS of stairs. Other people who trekked with us used hiking poles to assist them. This help relieve their joints up and down the mountain.

The most convenient way to do the Poon Hill trek is to stay overnight in the different tea houses along the mountains.

Tea houses offer affordable accommodation, water refills, snacks, and meals. You will run into tea houses all along the trek so don’t worry about being stranded in the middle of nowhere on a cold mountain without a roof over your head for the night.

Tea Houses in Annapurna

Village of Tea Houses

The tea houses offer basic accommodation — think of camping with a roof over your head. Some tea houses are obviously nicer than others and all offer warm blankets even if the air in your room is so cold you can see your breath.

Don’t expect hot showers, at best expect lukewarm water.

Each day we trekked for around three and a half hours with an exception of the day we did Poon Hill at sunrise.

poon hill trek

Be comfortable, you don’t need to invest in expensive gear for this trek.

What to pack for Poon Hill Trekking

Clothes

If you don’t already own a ton of trekking gear you won’t need to go out and invest in hundreds of dollars of gear for the Poon Hill trek.

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Neither of us had hiking boots and were able to wear our tennis shoes, running pants, and bring tons of layers. We recommend packing light as you will have to carry everything you bring on your back, that is unless you hire a porter to carry all of your stuff.

poon hill trek

a Yak Blanket can easily be used as a scarf, blanket, or a wrap!

The days are warm! Climbing all the stairs you will get hot. We recommend wearing athletic pants and a t-shirt during the day. Bring tons of layers for the evenings, nights, and early mornings including warm socks!

Backpack

You will need minimal gear. We do recommend having a good backpack meant for trekking. They’re usually built for comfort. I had just a day backpack. After a few days it started bothering my back since it’s not built for comfort for days at time.

Other Things to Bring

You will also want to bring a refillable water bottle. You will not be able to purchase water bottles on the mountain. Instead, you will have to purchase filtered water at the tea hosues.

If you’re prone to getting hangry be sure to pack some snacks for trekking Poon Hill. You will be able to purchase some on the mountain. However they will most likely be candy bars at around $2 a pop.

In Kathmandu we saw super markets that carried packs of granola bars and other nutritional foods. Stock up there.

We also recommend bringing a head torch or flashlight for the sunrise Poon Hill trek. It’s dark when you start and it can be a bit dangerous if you can’t see.

How to do the Poon Hill trek?

Poon Hill Trek

You will need to get from Kathmandu to Pokhara to start this short trek in Nepal. You can take a painfully long bus ride for about $12 like we did. Plan on the trip taking anywhere from 6-11 hours. Or you can opt for about a 30-minute flight for ~$120 one way.

We recommend staying the night in Pokhara and getting an early start the next day. It’s about a 4-hour ride from Pokhara to Sudame where we started the Poon Hill trek. If you hire a local guide they will arrange your ride. If not you will have to hire a driver in Pokhara to drop you off.

poon hill trek guides

Our awesome guides Shyam and Rajan

Do I Need a Guide for the Poon Hill Trek?

We recommend doing this trek with a local guide for this trek.

Good for beginners

This was our first ever trek like this. Having a local who is an expert with the mountains and route was a total relief. It left all the planning and thinking out of it. They reassured us that we were fine and made sure we were well prepared before and during the trek.

You may not find accommodation without one

If you plan on going solo during high season, you may not find accomodation.

During peak season the tea houses fill up. Since the local guides know the different tea house owners, they assure you will have a place to sleep before trekking. If you show up alone, the guest houses are may be full. This means you may have to trek a few more hours to find somewhere to sleep.

This reason alone made us thankful we had Shyam and Rajan, our guides, who took care of this planning. These tea houses don’t really have the option to book ahead on your own in advance. If it’s low season you may be lucky. It’s up to how confident you are in yourself to do it solo.

Who We Recommend

We recommend booking Kathmandu Adventures. Our guides Shyam and Rajan were not only fun, they dealt with our craziness and sense of humor. And, not to mention, they’re very knowledgeable of the mountains and were fluent in English.

When we come back we will be booking through this company and requesting the same guides again. When you have a good guide, you feel like you gain a friend on the mountain. That’s how we felt with both Shyam and Rajan.

Book your Poon Hill trek tour with Kathmandu Adventures with us! Get a 30% discount on any tour with the promo code BOBOANDCHICHI30. Check availability here.

Kathmandu Adventures also gives a portion of their profits to various charities and social enterprises helping the local communities such as building new schools and helping young girls get an education.

For another short trek in Nepal, check out the Kathmandu Valley Trek.


Disclaimer: Our trek was in cooperation Kathmandu Adventures. However all opinions expressed on this website are our own. This page also contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase anything from this site we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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