Beginners Guide to Annapurna Circuit Trek: What You Need to Know

Annapurna Circuit Trek

The captivating Annapurna Circuit Trek circles the stunning Annapurna range as it winds through the western Nepali Himalayas. 

Renowned travel authority rank this walk as one of the best long treks in the world. It passes through barren high-altitude passes, traditional communities, lush subtropical forests, and beautiful landscapes. 

We’ll cover all you need to know before embarking on this amazing journey in our beginner’s guide to the Annapurna circuit trek. 

Depending on the route, the Annapurna Circuit Trek usually takes 10 to 15 days to complete and covers a distance of 160 to 230 kilometers. You will encounter the Annapurna region’s natural and cultural treasures during the hike.

Best Time to Trek

A beginner’s guide to the Annapurna Circuit Trek would be inadequate without discussing the ideal time of year to do this famous journey. To give you an idea of what to expect at Annapurna Circuit in each season, here is a breakdown of the seasons.

Spring (March to May)

One of the greatest times of year to hike the Annapurna Circuit is in the spring. The beautiful skies and blossoming rhododendrons provide a magnificent backdrop to the warm and pleasant weather. The trail is ablaze with vivid wildflowers, particularly rhododendrons, which give the surrounding area a splash of color. 

Trekkers can get breathtaking views of the Himalayan scenery thanks to the clear views of the snow-capped peaks. Due to its popularity, springtime brings with it modest crowds throughout the path, particularly at well-liked rest areas. 

Temperature: In the daytime, lower elevations see temperatures between 10°C and 20°C (50°F and 68°F), but higher elevations may still have lower temperatures.

Summer (June to August)

The monsoon season, which brings significant rainfall to the area, corresponds with summer. Trekking becomes difficult because of slick paths and little views of the mountains. 

There are fewer hikers on the Annapurna Circuit during the monsoon season, making the trail quieter. The forests are teeming with life, and the vistas remain verdant despite the rain. 

Temperature: Daytime highs and lows in the range of 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) can be higher.

Autumn (September to November)

Another great season to hike the Annapurnas is in the fall. The lovely, dry weather makes trekking very pleasurable. The Himalayan peaks can be seen in breathtaking panoramic views when the sky are clear. 

The routes are in terrific shape, and the scenery remain beautiful even as the summer’s lush vegetation fades. Trekkers can expect moderate to high numbers along the trail as autumn is a popular hiking season. In addition, Nepal is celebrating this festive season. 

Temperature: 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) is the typical daytime range, with chilly evenings.

Winter (December to February)

The Annapurna Circuit. So, a quieter and more serene trail will have fewer hikers. 

Crisp views of the snow-covered landscapes are provided by clear skies, although heavy snow may make certain stretches of the path impassable. 

Temperature: At lower altitudes, daytime temperatures vary from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F), but at higher altitudes, temperatures drop below freezing.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Permits

Permissions are required in order to travel the Annapurna Circuit. The Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) are two examples of these permits. 

These licenses protect hikers’ safety and aid in the preservation of the natural environment. Your guide can obtain these permits on your behalf.

Essential Trekking Gear for Beginners

Despite being a remote walk, the Annapurna Circuit walk does not require a tent camp because there is housing available in all the appropriate locations. 

However, for a secure and comfortable travel, you will need the appropriate attire, supplies, and tools. 

The following information will give you some idea about what you need to bring for the trek. It is important you do not forget the essential items, as this will determine your comfort and safety on the trek. Equally important is that you do not burden yourself with unnecessary equipment on the trek.

  • Sleeping Bag (Sherpa Teams will provide but need to return after completing the trip)
  • Duffel Bag (Sherpa Teams will provide but need to return after completing the trip)
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof windbreaker or windcheater
  • Thermal underclothes
  • Rain poncho
  • Down jacket (Sherpa Teams will provide but need to return after completing the trip)
  • Fleece or wool trousers
  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Trekking pants (two pairs)
  • Mittens or woolen gloves
  • Hiking socks (several pairs)
  • Moisture-wicking shirts, including t-shirts
  • Trekking shoes or boots with spare laces
  • Flip-flops or sandals for relaxing in the evenings
  • Underwear (several pairs)
  • Swimsuit or swimming costume
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp or flashlight/torch
  • Sleeping bag (Sherpa Teams can provide this for you)
  • Trekking poles (if desired)
  • Hiking backpack with a capacity of at least 40 liters
  • Small lock for your backpack
  • Reusable water bottles (at least two liters)
  • Water purification tablets or filtration device
  • Wash towel
  • Basic first aid kit

Toiletries (tissues, toilet paper, moisturizer, lip balm, sunscreen, sanitary pads, hand sanitizer, nail clippers, a small mirror, toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses, contacts, etc.)

How to prepare for the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Please keep in mind that you will appreciate the hike more the fitter you are. It takes physical preparation to have a successful hike. Thus, this is how to get ready for the Annapurna hike.

Cardiovascular exercises

High-altitude hikes requiring a strong cardiovascular system are the Annapurna Circuit. Thus, make an effort to partake in heart-pumping exercises like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging.

Strength Training

To tackle steep ascents and descents, you need to build muscle strength, so work out your legs, core, and upper body. Strengthening exercises including planks, push-ups, squats, lunges, and step-ups are efficient.

Flexibility and Stretching

Muscle discomfort and injury are avoided by flexibility. Therefore, you need to include stretching exercises in your routine, with a particular emphasis on your back, hips, and legs. Pilates is a great option if you want to increase your flexibility.

Stair Climbing

One excellent technique to replicate the trek’s uphill and downhill stages is to climb stairs. Include stair climbing workouts in your regimen, escalating the amount of flights and speed over time.

Altitude Training

If at all possible, spend time at higher altitudes or participate in altitude simulation activities with altitude training masks. This may help you become acclimated before the hike.

Gradual Progression

Increase the length and intensity of your workouts gradually as you begin your training. Pay attention to your body and refrain from overexerting yourself, particularly as the trek date draws near.


Trekking in high-altitude areas such as the Annapurna Circuit Trekking requires acclimatization. 

Appropriate acclimatization is necessary to help your body adapt to the falling oxygen levels as you climb, which lowers your risk of altitude-related illnesses and makes hiking safer and more pleasurable. To acclimate, the majority of hikers remain at Manang (3,519m). 

Even though altitude sickness is unavoidable, you can lessen your risk by adopting specific habits, such walking at your own pace, drinking lots of water, hiking high and sleeping low, and taking preventive medicine. 

Packing Tips

Prioritize bringing clothes that are versatile and can adjust to various weather conditions while preparing for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The key is layering. 

Thus, to defend against wind and rain, carry insulating mid-layers, moisture-wicking base layers, and a waterproof outer shell. Get ready for it.
Higher altitudes might bring with them bitter cold temperatures. Don’t forget to pack a beanie, gloves, and a warm jacket.

Additionally, you’ll need traction-enhancing, comfy, and robust trekking boots with ankle support. Think about bringing a high-quality sleeping bag. Additional supplies include a small towel, a first aid kit, trekking poles for balance, and a headlamp. 

You will need a large duffel pack if you are walking alone. Hiring porters is a smart idea, though. Purchase a large duffle bag for the porter you hire, and bring a smaller duffle bag with your important papers and valuables. 

Accommodation and Facilities

There are several places to stay throughout the Annapurna Circuit Trek, mostly in tea houses and lodges. Tent camping are not necessary because these facilities are spaced at key spots along the trail. 

Simple, modest rooms with beds, blankets, and occasionally communal restrooms are what tea houses have to offer. Lodges may provide a little bit more amenities and comfort.

Hearty lunches are served at the tea shops and lodges. However, your meal options will get more restricted as you rise. You should definitely sample some of the well-known regional Nepali cuisine while on the trip, like momos and dal bhat tarkari (dumplings). 

Even though there will be a variety of water sources, you shouldn’t drink from them because the water may not be safe to drink. Although tea shops and hotels sell bottled water as well, we recommend bringing your own water bottle that you can fill with boiling water for environmental reasons. 

Communication and Internet

There are few, if any, communication alternatives accessible along the expedition. For a price, many tea cafes and resorts provide Wi-Fi, however the speed and quality can differ greatly. 

We advise you to get in touch with your loved ones from these tea establishments. In addition, given most of the trail’s parts have cell network connectivity, you can get a sim card in Kathmandu. 


We’ve uncovered the necessities for novices getting ready to embark on the amazing Annapurna Circuit Trek in this in-depth guide for beginners. 

Now that you know everything there is to know about the trail, from its many terrains to acclimatization techniques and packing advice, you may tackle the Annapurna Circuit, which will entice you with its stunning scenery, chance to interact with local people, and strenuous high-altitude trail walking.