The Panchase Trek is one of Nepal’s hidden gems.
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 Hike In Nepal
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 hike only requires moderate fitness and is perfectly trek-able for families and retirees. It’s also one of the easiest treks in Nepal.
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 Nepal 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 above.
A map we recommend for the Annapurna area is Around Annapurna 1 : 125 000: Annapurna Conservation Area – Annapurna Sanctuary. It includes detailed trails, walking distances, altitudes etc.
Panchase Hiking Route
Below is a detailed Panchase Trek itinerary. Please note that all operators offer slightly varying itineraries.
Day 1: Boat trip across Lake Phewa - Trek to Bumdi
- Altitude: 1,520m
- Approximate Walking Time: 3 hours
- Distance: 10km
You will set off from Pokhara on a short boat trip across the beautiful Lake Phewa. This takes you to your start point. You will begin with a short climb through a lush forest. You will come to some stairs 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 will also get stunning views out across Phewa Lake and Pokhara.
After a time, you will 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 will then trek through the village of Lukum Swara before your final climb of the day up to the village of Bumdi where you will spend the night either in a tea house or camping.
Day 2: Trek to Panchase Bhanjyang
- Altitude: 2,065m
- Approximate Walking Time: 4 hours
- Distance: 10.5km
You will 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 will 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 will then continue along the jeep trail before arriving at Panchase Bhanjyang where you can either cam or stay in a local tea house.
Day 3: Trek to Bhadaure
- Altitude: 1,670m
- Approximate Walking Time: 3 hours
- Distance: 7.5km
Today, you will 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 will descend once again to the to the village of Alldanda on the far side of the hill where you will have lunch. The afternoon is an easy stroll down to your campsite for the evening which is situated just above the town of Bhadaure.
Day 4: Trek to Naudanda – drive back to Pokhara
- Altitude: 1,515m
- Approx Walking Time: 2 hours
- Distance: 6.5km
You will 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 will join the main highway. From here, your operator will pick you up and take you back to Pokhara (800m) in time for lunch!
Panchase Trek FAQ
How much does the Panchase trek cost?
The cost of the Panchase Trek is not that high beause it is such a short trek. You can expect to pay between US$300 – $400 for the 4-day version. However, the longer version will of course cost more up to US$1,000 for a 12-day itinerary.
Are permits required for the Panchase trek?
Yes, two permits are required to undertake the Panchase trek. You will need the Annapurna Conservation Permit, which costs about 1,000 Rupees per person – US$12 – and the TIMS Trekker’s Permit, which costs about 1,825 Rupees – US$18 per person.
When is the best time to do the Panchase trek?
The best time to do the Panchase Trek is in Autumn (mid-September to mid-December) and Spring (late February to May), which are the ideal seasons for this trek. This is because the sun is out during the day, but the nights are cold and refreshing. Winter is also a possibility, but you have to be pretty hardy and not mind the cold.
Is altitude sickness a risk on the Panchase trek?
Yes, there are some risks of altitude sickness on the Panchase Trek. The trail ascends to some moderate altitude points. At its highest point, Panchase Hill, you will reach an altitude of 2,500 meters. There are steep sections 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 Panchase trek?
The Panchase Trek is one of the shortest treks in Nepal and is perfect for beginners or families. The trek is only 4 days long and does not cross any formidable passes.
What gear do I need on the Panchase trek?
You need certain gear for the Panchase trek to protect you on sunny days and keep you warm on those colder days. To help you plan and prepare for your trek, we recommend reading our hiking gear list article.
Are there any recommended guidebooks for the Panchase trek?
Yes, there are a few recommended guidebooks for the Panchase trek to help you familiarise yourself with this Nepalese region.
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, including 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 guidebook on the region, then the Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons guide, Annapurna: A Trekker’s Guide, is a great option.
Are there other Nepal trekking routes?
Yes, there are other Nepal trekking routes. If the Panchase Trek isn't your cup of tea, then you could always try your hand at the EBC hike, the Manaslu Circuit or the Royal Trek, which Prince Charles undertook with an expedition party of 90 in 1981.
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