The Annapurna Base Camp in October – As the autumn breeze brings a crisp chill to the air and the leaves begin to turn vibrant shades of gold and red, adventure seekers from all around the world flock to the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas to embark on the ultimate trekking experience
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a journey that takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth as you wind your way through charming villages, lush forests, and towering mountains. As you ascend higher into the sky, the air gets thinner and the scenery gets more spectacular, culminating in the awe-inspiring sight of the Annapurna massif itself – a collection of some of the world’s highest and most beautiful peaks.
Join us on this unforgettable adventure and discover why the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in October is a must-do for any avid trekker or adventurer.
Location and Altitude at Annapurna Base Camp Trek in October
The Annapurna Base Camp is a popular trekking destination located in the Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal. The base camp is situated at an altitude of 4,130 meters (13,550 feet) above sea level, and it offers stunning views of the Annapurna range including Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain).
The journey to Annapurna Base Camp usually commences from Nayapul, located roughly an hour’s drive away from Pokhara. Upon departing Nayapul, trekkers embark on a clearly signposted trail that meanders through scenic forests, charming hamlets, and stepped farmlands, culminating in their arrival at the base camp.
Weather and Temperature of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in October
October is an excellent time to go for the Annapurna Base Camp trek because of the pleasant weather and comfortable temperature.
In October, the temperature in Annapurna Base Camp varies between 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F) during the day while it can drop below freezing at night. The weather during the day is generally sunny and clear which provides great visibility of the snow-capped peaks. However, as the month progresses, the temperature gradually starts to drop, and there may be occasional snowfall towards the end of October.
During the daytime, the weather is generally clear and dry making it perfect for trekking. The temperature remains comfortable and the clear skies offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The nights, on the other hand, are quite cold and you will need warm clothing to stay comfortable.
The crowd in Annapurna Base Camp Trek in October
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal attracting thousands of trekkers from around the world every year. October is considered one of the best times to do this trek because the weather is clear and the views of the surrounding mountains are spectacular.
However, with the popularity of the trek and the ideal weather conditions in October, it is expected that the Annapurna Base Camp will be crowded during this time. Trekking in a crowd can be challenging and overwhelming for some but it can also be a great opportunity to meet new people and make lasting friendships.
During the peak season, the trail to Annapurna Base Camp can get quite crowded, especially in popular areas such as Machhapuchhre Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp itself. You can expect to see hundreds of trekkers on the trail as well as porters carrying supplies and equipment for the lodges and tea houses along the way.
While the crowds can be frustrating at times, they also bring a unique energy to the trek. The shared experience of trekking in a group can be incredibly rewarding and you may find that you form a close bond with your fellow trekkers.
Every year, thousands of trekkers from around the world come to Nepal to experience the beauty and challenge of this trek. If you’re planning a trek in Nepal in October, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is an excellent choice. Let’s highlight some of the key attractions of this trek during the month of October.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is an incredible journey that takes you through a diverse range of landscapes from lush subtropical forests to high-altitude deserts. The trek is also home to an incredible array of flora and fauna including rare and endangered species such as the snow leopard and red panda. But perhaps the biggest highlight of the trek is the stunning panoramic views of the Annapurna mountain range including some of the world’s highest peaks such as Annapurna I (8,091 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Machhapuchhre (6,993 m).
October is regarded as one of the finest months to trek to Annapurna Base Camp since the weather is typically clear and dry with mild temperatures and little chance of rainfall. The trek commences in the charming town of Pokhara which is easily reachable from Kathmandu by car or flight. The journey lasts around 7-10 days and it takes you through the heart of the Annapurna region, crossing suspension bridges, traversing tiny villages and settlements, and hiking through dense forests and high-altitude deserts.
Nepali Culture and Hospitality
One of the highlights of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in October is the vibrant autumn colors that adorn the landscape. The forests are ablaze with hues of red, yellow, and orange making for a truly breathtaking sight. As you trek higher up, you will also encounter snow-covered landscapes and frozen waterfalls adding to the allure of the trek.
The trek offers a valuable chance to witness Nepali culture and hospitality. The Annapurna region boasts several ethnic groups, each with its customs and traditions. You can mingle with the locals, explore ancient monasteries and temples and discover the local way of life during the hike.
Routes of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The trek starts and ends in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
Here is the general route of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, including Kathmandu:
Day 1-2: Kathmandu(1400 meters)
The trek begins in Kathmandu, where you will arrive by flight or overland transport. Spend a day or two in Kathmandu to acclimatize to the altitude, explore the city’s temples, markets, and historical sites, and prepare for the trek ahead.
Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (822 meters)
On the third day, you will take a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the starting point of the trek.
The drive takes about 6-7 hours and passes through beautiful Nepalese countryside, rice paddies, and small villages.
Day 4: Trek to Tikhedhunga(1480 meters)
After a hearty breakfast, you will drive to Nayapul and begin your trek to Tikhedhunga. The trail passes through lush green forests and small villages, and you will cross several suspension bridges over the Modi Khola River. You will stay overnight in Tikhedhunga.
Day 5: Trek to Ghorepani (2874 meters)
On the fifth day, you will trek to Ghorepani, a beautiful village famous for its panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges.
The trek takes about 5-6 hours and is mostly uphill, passing through dense rhododendron forests and small villages. You will stay overnight in Ghorepani.
Day 6: Hike to Poon Hill( 3,210 meters) and trek to Tadapani(2630 meters)
Early in the morning, you will hike to Poon Hill to witness a stunning sunrise over the Himalayas. You will then trek back to Ghorepani and continue your trek to Tadapani.
The trail passes through beautiful forests and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. You will stay overnight in Tadapani.
Day 7: Trek to Chhomrong(2150 meters)
On the seventh day, you will trek to Chhomrong, a beautiful Gurung village located at the base of the Annapurna massif. The trail passes through dense forests and terraced fields, and you will cross a suspension bridge over the Chhomrong Khola River. You will stay overnight in Chhomrong.
Day 8-9: Trek to Dovan(2500 meters) and Machhapuchhre Base Camp(3700 meters)
From Chhomrong, you will trek to Dovan, a small village located in a forested gorge. The next day, you will trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp (MBC), where you will stay overnight.
The trail passes through beautiful forests, and waterfalls, and offers stunning views of the Annapurna range.
Day 10: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp(4,130 meters)
On the tenth day, you will trek to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), the ultimate destination of the trek. The trail passes through moraines, and glacial valleys, and offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna massif.
You will stay overnight in ABC.
Day 11-12: Trek back to Chhomrong(2150 meters) and Jhinu Danda(1780 meters)
From ABC, you will trek back to Chhomrong and then to Jhinu Danda, a small village famous for its natural hot springs. You can relax in the hot springs and enjoy the stunning mountain views.
Day 13: Trek to Nayapul(1070 meters) and drive to Pokhara(822 meters)
After finishing the hike, you’ll reach Nayapul and catch a bus back to Pokhara.
Spending the night in Pokhara is an option and you can relish the stunning views of the lake before heading to Kathmandu the following day.
Here are some of the festivals that you may witness during the Annapurna Base Camp trek in October:
As I mentioned earlier, Dashain is a 15-day-long festival that is celebrated in late September or early October. If you are doing the Annapurna Base Camp trek during this time you may see local people celebrating this festival with great enthusiasm.
You may witness people dressed in colorful traditional attire, performing puja (worship), and exchanging greetings and gifts.
Tihar, also known as Deepawali is another festival that is celebrated in October. During this festival, people decorate their homes with lights, rangoli, and flowers.
You may see local people lighting lamps and candles in the evening which creates a beautiful ambiance in the villages along the trekking route.
The Chhath festival, which is predominantly observed in Nepal’s Terai region, is dedicated to the sun deity. The festival involves offering prayers to the sun god and taking a sacred bath in the river. Additionally, traditional meals are prepared, and gifts are exchanged as a hallmark of the celebration.
Flora and Fauna
The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a popular trekking route in Nepal that offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna mountain range and the diverse flora and fauna of the region. October is a great time to do the trek as it is usually dry and sunny with clear skies.
Let’s discuss about flora and fauna trekkers can spot during Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
The Annapurna region is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity and verdant vegetation. Among the trek’s most spectacular features are the rhododendron forests which bloom in a variety of hues during the spring. Although the rhododendron flowers have withered by October, the trees are still luxuriant with leaves.
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As you ascend towards Machhapuchhre Base Camp, you may also encounter bamboo forests while higher elevations offer alpine meadows and juniper trees. Pine and fir trees can also be spotted along the trail.
The Annapurna region is home to various species of animals, some of which are rare and endangered. The Himalayan Tahr is a mountain goat with thick fur that can be found grazing on the hillsides. The elusive snow leopard is a rare sighting, but if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of it. The Himalayan black bear is another species that inhabits the region.
The red panda, though a rare sight can be found in the forests if you’re observant. Musk deer are also found in the area and their antlers are used in traditional Chinese medicine. You’ll also see the langur monkeys swinging from trees and various species of pheasants and birds of prey, including eagles can be spotted soaring in the sky.
Visit the Annapurna Conservation Area:
The Annapurna region is a protected area that encompasses a diverse range of flora and fauna. During your trek, you can explore the natural beauty, vegetation, and wildlife of the Annapurna Conservation Area, and learn about the conservation efforts being made there. The conservation area has an extensive network of trails that lead to breathtaking vistas cascading waterfalls, and wildlife habitats.
Poon Hill Trek is a short trek that can be done in 4-5 days. It offers panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The trek starts and ends in Nayapul and goes through the Gurung villages of Tikhedhunga and Ghorepani.
The highlight of the trek is the sunrise view from Poon Hill which is at an altitude of 3,210 meters.
Visit Gurung Villages:
The Annapurna region is home to the Gurung people, an ethnic minority with a unique culture and way of life. During your trek, you can visit traditional Gurung settlements like Ghandruk and learn about their way of life. You can also indulge in their local cuisine witness their traditional dances, and peruse their handicrafts.
Nestled in the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range, Pokhara is a picturesque town and a popular tourist destination in Nepal.
As the gateway to the Annapurna region, you can explore the town, visit Phewa Lake, take a boat ride or engage in thrilling adventure activities like paragliding, bungee jumping, and zip-lining.
Merits and Demerits of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
October is considered to be one of the best months to trek in the Annapurna region but like any trek, it has its merits and demerits. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- Perfect Weather: October is one of the best months to trek in the Annapurna region as the weather is stable, and the skies are clear, providing excellent views of the snow-capped mountains. The temperature is also moderate making it easier to trek.
- Beautiful Scenery: The Annapurna region is renowned for its stunning scenery, charming villages, and awe-inspiring vistas. October is the prime tourist season and trekking provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in Nepalese culture. Witnessing the vibrant blooms of the rhododendron forests is a sight to behold.
- Fewer chances of cancellation: As October is the peak season, there are fewer chances of your trek getting canceled due to bad weather, which is a common occurrence in the monsoon season. You can plan your trek with more confidence and not worry about last-minute cancellations.
- Crowded Trails: October is the busiest month for trekking in the Annapurna region, and the trails can get overcrowded, which may affect the overall experience of the trek. You may have to wait for accommodations and the trails can get congested making it challenging to trek.
- Higher Prices: Due to the high demand for accommodations and services, prices tend to be higher in October. This can affect your budget and you may have to pay more for services like lodging and food.
- Difficulty in getting accommodation: With so many trekkers on the trail, getting accommodation can be a challenge, especially in popular spots like Annapurna Base Camp and Ghorepani. You may have to book your accommodation in advance to avoid any issues.