How Hard Is The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

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The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most iconic and picturesque treks in the world.

In a way, it’s a trek like no other. Complete with stunning Himalayan scenery, that’s one unique cultural experience that you’ll never forget.

A 15-day adventure through lush forests, raging rivers and high mountain passes awaits, but before you lace up your boots and begin, there’s a question you probably want the answer to…

Just how difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

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How Long Is The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Our Annapurna Base Camp Trek comes in at around 115km long, trekked over 15 days, starting in Nepal and ending in Kathmandu. You’ll reach Annapurna Base Camp on day 9 but before then, on arrival in Nepal, there’ll be a welcome meeting at 6pm before we make our way to Kathmandu (whether by transfer or by making your own way). 

Day three is a drive to Pokhara before the trekking begins and the ascent to Annapurna begins! 

There will be around 6 hours of trekking each day before we settle each evening for food and drink and a good rest ready for another busy day.

The views on each day are spectacular, with the Himalayan mountain range covering the landscape, giving you time to savour the fresh mountain air and take in your stunning surroundings. 

We’ve been running the Annapurna Base Camp Trek for several years now, so we know what works – which is why our 15-day itinerary is the perfect blend of sightseeing, acclimatisation, rest, and trekking! 

In fact, we build in an extra day for acclimatisation, which you can find out more about by clicking here (as well as a whole load of other stuff!).

How High Is The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

You’ll reach heights of 4130m at Annapurna Base Camp, with altitudes of 3537m and 3171m on the two preceding days. 

Everest Base Camp might grab all the headlines when it comes to altitude, but Annapurna Base Camp offers the perfect blend of “challenging but achievable”. Just the way we like it at The Bucket List Company. 

4130m is high enough to require proper acclimatisation though, which is why we bake in a day for acclimatising on the way. But compared to some of the loftier treks around, this one allows you to experience the wonder of the Himalayan mountain range without pushing you to your limits.

It’s a trek that’s suitable for experienced hikers and those seeking adventure who are in good physical condition – if you’re not sure whether it’s right for you or not, just ask! 

Our expert guides will be with you every step of the way to ensure your safety and provide insights into the landscape, environment and local culture that make this trek what it is.

You can find out more about the suitability of this trek as well as what’s included in the itinerary (including where the highest peaks of the trek are!) by clicking here.

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What Sort Of Terrain Is The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a journey that encompasses many different terrains… 

Although the main one you’ll want to know about will be during the ascent and descent to the Base Camp itself. Oh boy, that’s when your calves and knees might feel it! 

The initial trails weave through idyllic villages and you’ll witness the lush, terraced fields in the lower altitude sections. As you climb, you’ll start to notice the terrain get a bit steeper and the paths move towards higher altitudes. Some parts of the trek will require crossing suspension bridges while you’ll also see the meadows at higher altitudes. Delicious.

The trip encompasses several different types of terrain, ranging from intermediate difficulty to more challenging terrain as you approach Annapurna Base Camp. 

As you get closer to the peak of your trip, you’ll spot meadows dotted with yak pastures and stone teahouses while the Himalayan mountains caress the landscape. If that doesn’t make your climb worth the effort, perhaps nothing will! Yaks, people.

You can find out more about the terrain and what our Annapurna Base Camp Trek is like in our ‘What Is Annapurna Base Camp Trek Like?’ download on our trip page here.

What Level Of Physical Fitness Do You Need For The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Our official line here is that you need to be in good physical condition for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

We know that’s open to interpretation but what we always say is that this is a trek that wouldn’t be suitable for beginners or anyone who’s not prepared for 6 hours of moderately intense trekking every day.

If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you or not, we’d be more than happy to have that discussion and see whether this is the right trip for you or whether something else might be a bit more ‘you’! 

After all, when you’re going on the trip of a lifetime, you want to make sure you’re loving every second, right?

The best thing you can do is take a look at the itinerary for the trek, read up on what each day encompasses and be honest with yourself – if it sounds like your dream trek, then it’s all about preparation.

Read all you need to know about our Annapurna Base Camp Trek, including how physically intense it is, Here.

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Training Tips For Trekking Annapurna Base Camp

Making sure you’re physically prepared for your trip is as important as making sure you pack all the essentials.

After all, you’re the one who’ll be putting the hard yards in! 

The biggest thing to remember is at high altitude, you’ll feel the tiredness much more keenly than when you’re at ground level. That means cardio is key to ensure your endurance is top-notch – we’re talking hiking, running, swimming, and cycling here to keep your fitness levels up.

If you aim for several days of doing at least 30 minutes of cardio workouts per week, you’ll be in good stead. 

Don’t forget to build in hill training, too. Given that you’ll be dealing with some steep inclines, finding hilly terrain (or even mountain trails if you can) to train on is a great way to prepare.

Taking a backpack with you to get used to carrying a heavy load on your back is a good idea, as well. 

Aim to gradually increase your distance, altitude, and the weight in your backpack to build strength and endurance – you want to get to the point where you’re heading off on a 10-15km hike at altitude on a weekend in the weeks leading up to your trip. 

Remember, the strain on your back and shoulders is going to be intense, as well as the strain on your legs. But with proper preparation, you can ensure you arrive at the start of the trek ready to tackle anything that comes your way!

Find out what you’ll be doing on each day of the trek so you can simulate what a day’s trek on the Annapurna Base Camp trip looks like by clicking here.

Do you need a guide for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

If you want to do it properly… yes! 

A guide is always included on every Bucket List Company trip get a local expert guide, so you get the best of the culture, expertise and keep everything on track.

If there’s ever any questions or anything you want to learn more about, we’re on hand to answer and make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.

It also means you just need to follow your itinerary and focus on what really matters on the trip… enjoying yourself!

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Wrapping Up – So, How Hard IS The Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

So, to answer the original question, how hard is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek? 

Well, it really does depend.

It’ll depend on your fitness levels, whether you’ve got a guide with you and whether you’re in it for the ride with a group of likeminded adventure junkies…

All of which we can help with! Our small group trips pack a serious punch when it comes to fun, achievement, and camaraderie. With a maximum of 16 people on the trip, it means we all get to know each other and enjoy a more cost-effective trip together.

In fact, we even offer manageable monthly payments that you can tailor to your needs, which you can find out more about at the bottom of the itinerary HERE.

If you don’t book it now…will you ever?

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