Panchase Trek – Annapurna’s Hidden Gem

Updated: December 7, 2022

The Panchase Trek is one of Nepal’s hidden gems.

Being in the same region as the Annapurna CircuitPoon 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.

Panchase Trek


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!

Regional Map


The Panchase Trek begins at Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, 13,120 feet above sea level. See the map schematic.

Recommended Map

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...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Recommended Guidebook

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?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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  1. 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.

    Many thanks

    Terry from Singapore

  2. Hi there
    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.

    1. 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 ( 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.

  3. Hi

    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 😉


  4. 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.

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