Our Thorong La Pass Trek, also known as the Annapurna Circuit Trek, is one of the most popular treks in the world. Yes, not only is it renowned throughout Nepal, but it is often listed among the top trekking trails in the world. This trek is one of the best for good reasons. In about two weeks, you will traverse many different types of terrain – each day on the trail gives a totally new vibe. The trail connects the famous Annapurna region with the Mustang region.
By the middle of this nearly two-week long journey, trekkers feel a sense of inner peace. Some say that nature is the best medicine, and the Thorong La Pass Trek proves this notion correct. You might have WiFi along the trek, but during the day your attachment to technology will no longer exist. The natural entertainment of the Himalayas far outweighs the satisfaction you gain from the phone and computer screens. You can be on your devices anytime you want, but how often can you enjoy the pure bliss of the Himalayas?
In the lower Annapurna region, hike up through the vibrant rhododendron trees. These full forests of rhododendrons alone are worth a visit to the area. The Marsyangdi River Valley is full of spectacular sights: waterfalls, pleasant villages, lush sub-tropical forests, and small streams rushing the meet the Marsyangdi River.
From the Manang district, Tibetan Buddhist settlements start to appear. At the same time, snow-capped mountains begin to make an appearance as well. Our energy is high as we near Thorong Phedi. It’s time to cross the Thorong La Pass. The high pass provides views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna I (8090m), Annapurna South (7219m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Tilicho (7134m), and Hiunchuli (6441m). You will never forget the heart-pumping moment of reaching the top.
Still more beauty is one the way as the trail enters the Mustang region – an area filled with mystique. Descend to Muktinath, the popular pilgrimage destination where Hindus bathe in healing waters in hopes of reaching moksha. From the temple, a mesmerizing panorama of peaks is seen in the distance, while orange and brown cliffs lie just ahead. The contrast is landscapes is stunning. Dozens of feet suspended in these cliffs are small caves dug out many years ago.
Descend along the Kali Gandaki river gorge from Muktinath to Jomsom, the headquarters of the Mustang region. To properly end the adventure, take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, and take a bird’s eye view of the epic adventure you have just completed.
The Thorong La Pass Trek is possible throughout the year, but Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) provide the best weather. During the Spring, there is a bit more color and the rhododendrons are blooming, and in the Autumn months, the skies are generally clearer. The winter is a bit trickier, due to the snow on the Thorong La Pass, but it is still possible. The Thorong La Pass Trek requires adequate fitness and acclimatization to avoid acute mountain sickness.