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.
On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the 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!
The Panchase Trek begins at Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, 13,120 feet above sea level. See the map schematic.
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
A beautiful video overview of the Panchase Trek by Jason Maraschiello. It’s 10:56 long.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To help you plan and prepare for your trek we recommend reading our gear section.
Although the Panchase Trek is a relatively safe and easy trek, it is still worthwhile getting travel insurance that covers trekking activities. We recommend World Nomads, use the calculator to get a quote.
Make sure to have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, damaged, stolen or delayed baggage; flight delays and interruptions; and tour operators default.
This article on travel and trekking insurance provides great information on what type of insurance you need, as well as provides an easy quote calculator from a leading travel operator.