The Panchase Trek is one of Nepal’s hidden gems.
Being in the same region as the Annapurna Circuit, Poon Hill trek and the Royal Trek, it is often overlooked by hikers. However, if you don’t have the time to trek these routes, but still want beautiful scenery and mountain peak views, then the Panchase Trek is the perfect option.
Being only 4 days long, the Panchase trek is great for beginners and will give you a real sense of what it’s like to trek some of the more wilder sections of the Himalayas.
The Panchase Trek only requires moderate fitness and is perfectly trek-able for families and retirees. It’s also one of the cheapest treks in Nepal which is great for people on a budget.
Starting at Pokhara, the trek allows you to explore the amazing city and all the wonders it has to offer before leaving. Make sure you have a drink at one of the lakeside cafes! The trek begins in style as you cross the Phewa lake by boat – an experience in itself! The trail takes you past the World Peace Pagoda and then down through some lovely local villages where you can witness the authentic and rustic lifestyle of the local people.
Panchase is actually one of the hill stations in the Annapurna Region and also a religious site for Hindu People. The summit of Panchase Hill (2,500m) is often considered to be the best viewpoint to see Annapurna massif. However, along your trek you’ll also see other giant Himalaya peaks including Dhaulagiri, Lamjung, Machhapuchhre and Manaslu.
Apart from being a great introduction to Himalaya trekking for novices, as well as providing an incredible experience for those with less time on their hands, the main drawcard of the Panchase trek is the beauty and diversity of the scenery: one minute there is terraced rice fields lush, the next, lush vegetation and then alpine areas!
The Panchase Trek begins at Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, 13,120 feet above sea level. See the map schematic.
We recommend for the Annapurna area – Around Annapurna 1 : 125 000: Annapurna Conservation Area – Annapurna Sanctuary. It includes detailed trails, walking distances, altitudes etc.
Panchase Trek Itinerary
Below is a detailed Panchase Trek itinerary. Please note that all operators offer slightly varying itineraries. Click each day to read more...
Boat trip across Lake Phewa – Trek to Bumdi (1520m)
You set off from Pokhara on a short boat trip across the beautiful Lake Phewa. This takes you to your start point. You begin with a short climb through a lush forest. You come to some staurs which lead up to the World Peace Pagoda. The peace pagoda is one of 80 Buddhist peace pagodas world wide and are built in an attempt to promote world peace. The pagoda is an impressive sight alone, however, from this point you also get stunning views out across Phewa Lake and Pokhara. After a time you continue down through the forest on a small trail before ascending again to join an open jeep trail that winds its way around the hill. You then trek through the village of Lukum Swara before your final climb of the day up to the village of Bumdi where you spend the night either in a tea house or camping.
Approx Walking Time: 3 hours
Trek to Panchase Bhanjyang (2065m)
You begin the day by ascending through a beautiful forest where you continue to get glimpses of the mountains through the trees. If you love wildlife then get your camera ready as you’ll see and hear many different birds and, if you’re lucky, see some monkeys! After a time the trail joins a dirt road where you get a great panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. You can even see three 8,000 metre peaks in distance – Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and Manalsu! You then continue along the jeep trail before arriving at Panchase Bhanjyang where you can either cam or stay in a local tea house.
Approx Walking Time: 4 hours
Trek to Bhadaure (1670m)
Today you reach the summit of Panchase Hill! At 2,500 metres, this is the highest point of your trek and you are rewarded with incredible mountain views! If you get up really early you’ll have the chance to witness the sun rising over the mountains, bathing the peaks in golden sunlight. After staying to witness the views you descend once again to the to the village of Alldanda on the far side of the hill where you have lunch. The afternoon is an easy stroll down to your campsite for the evening which is situated just above the town of Bhadaure.
Approx Walking Time: 3 hours
Trek to Naudanda (1515m) – drive back to Pokhara (800m)
You begin your final day with a quick walk down to Bhadaure before reaching another jeep trail. The trail winds its way along through local villages and across several streams before reaching the town of Naudanda where you join the main highway. From here your operator will pick you up and take you back to Pokhara in time for lunch!
Approx Walking Time: 2 hours
Tags: Panchase trek, Panchase treks, Panchase trekking, Panchase trek map, Panchase teahouse trek, Panchase trekking itinerary
Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya by Bradley Mayhew, Joe Bindloss and Lonely Planet is the best all round guidebook for trekking in Nepal and includes 30 detailed itineraries on the most popular routes, including the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek, Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna Circuit
For a more detailed guide book on the region then Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons guide, Annapurna: A Trekker’s Guide is a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the trek cost?
Because this is such a short trek, the costs are not high. Expect to pay between US$300 – $400 for the 4 day version. The longer version will of course cost more and can be upwards of US$1,000 for a 12 day itinerary.
Are permits required for this trek?
Yes, two permits are required if you are to undertake the Panchase trek.
The Annapurna Conservation Permit, costing 1,000 Rupees per person – US$12 – and the TIMS Trekker’s Permit, which will cost 1,825 Rupees – US$18 per person.
When is the best time to trek?
Autumn, from mid-September to mid-December, and Spring, from late February to May, are the ideal seasons for this trek, when the sun is out during the day but nights are cold. Winter is a possibility, but you have to pretty hardy and not mind the cold.
Is altitude sickness a risk?
The Panchase Trek ascends to some moderate altitude points. At its highest point, Panchase Hill, you will reach an altitude of 2,500 meters. There are steep section on this trek where you will ascend very rapidly.
Therefore, it is important to have a clear understanding of the risks associated with high altitude trekking and how the body acclimatises to high altitude. We recommend you read our detailed article on Altitude Sickness and Acclimatisation.
How difficult is the trek?
The Panchase Trek is one of the easier treks in Nepal and is perfect for beginners or families. The trek is only 4 days long and does not cross any formidable passes.
Find more Easy Treks in Nepal.
What gear do I need?
To help you plan and prepare for your trek we recommend reading our gear section.
We are a family of 5 and this information has been extremely valuable for planning our first trip to Nepal. We are extremely excited about our trip in April and your article and info has got us even more excited about what we know will be the first of many trips.
Terry from Singapore
Hi Terry, glad we could be of help. Hope you have an awesome trip with your family. All the best!
Thanks for your wonderful and comprehensive overview of the Panchase trek.
I am visiting Pokhara in October and would love to do a longer trek but will only be there for around four nights. I also suffer from a recurring knee injury, which generally poses no major problems, but can flare up if I overdo it or with strenuous ascents and particularly descents. It does look lovely but do you think that this trek would be okay for someone like me? I noticed there are a few steep parts. Or is there a way to avoid these bits at all?
I’m thinking my other option would be to just do some smaller, less strenuous hikes – eg, drive to Astam and around there and then perhaps on to Dhampus / Australian Camp or something along those lines. Indeed, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks in advance for any help or advice.
Hi Simon, thanks for getting in touch. The Panchase is relatively straightforward with no major ascents and descents. There are of course ups and downs though, and these could aggravate a knee injury. I would say that in general you should be fine on the Panchase trek, alternatively The Royal Trek (https://www.mountainiq.com/guides/trekking-in-nepal/routes/royal-trek/) is also an option or Poon Hill Trek (although you would probably want to skip the hill climb for the full view of the Annapurnas). Hope this helps.
We will be in Nepal in January and would like to do a short hike – perhaps Panchase. Is it possible to do this hike early January, say 1st or 2nd Jan starting. If not Panchase, can you recommend another short hike of about 4 days duration. Preferably one with not many tourists. Thank you for your help 😉
Hi Maree, yes it is possible to trek in January, although temperatures can be pretty frigid. Here are some short hikes to consider: https://www.mountainiq.com/short-treks-in-nepal/. The Panchase trek is a good option if you are going to be based in the Annapurna region.
We are a couple looking for a trek. One partner is relatively fit and healthy, the other is fit but less so. We want something to challenge us, thinking also of combining yoga and trekking. What are your thoughts? We are considering the panchasse or the poon hill.
Hi Rakhee, I would recommend the Poon Hill Trek. It is more varied and has amazing views of the Annapurnas.
We are interested in this Panchase trek – do you recommend any local guides?