The Kali Gandaki Trek

Grade 1 2 3 4 5
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft / 4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6 - 7 hours a day.
Trek Difficulty Grading

Our treks vary from easy hikes in the foothills to challenging climbing adventures in the high Himalaya. More often than not, we use trails that have since ancient times been the only link between villages, settlements, and their inhabitants. The trails may take you through a well-inhabited area with many villages and tea-shops, or through a mountain wilderness without a single permanent settlement for days, but one thing is certain: there'll be lots of ups and downs as we walk from one Himalayan valley to another. Treks are graded on the basis of altitude, trails, walking hours per day, and length of trek.

Grade 1 – Easy
Treks in the foothills staying below 6,500ft / 2,000m. Trails are relatively gentle & wide, and average walking is 3 - 4 hours a day.
Grade 2 – Moderate
Treks in the foothills and the middle-hills going up to 10,000ft / 3,000m. Trails are mostly gentle and wide, but at times may involve more difficult stretches like a steep stone staircase. Average walking is 5 - 6 hours a day.
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft / 4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6 - 7 hours a day.
Grade 4 – Demanding
These treks require participants to be in excellent health. They take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000ft / 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500ft / 5,000m. Trails venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness, and are often ill defined, occasionally on glacial moraines. Average walking is 6 - 9 hours a day.
Note on altitudes
The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the trek. Treks usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 and grade 4 trek itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take side trips to higher elevations where necessary.


The Kali Gandaki Trek
16 days – The best of the Annapurna region in a 12-day lodge trek
  • 12 days challenging trekking in the trans-Himalaya / middle hills (maximum elevation 3,800m / 12,460′)
  • Spectacular views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himal ranges
  • Amazing diversity of topography, flora & fauna, and people & culture
  • Visit the shrine of Muktinath, sacred to Hindu & Buddhist pilgrims
mule-train-270x180Probably the most popular trek in Nepal and with good reason, this route is often referred to as the Apple Pie trek. That should however be taken as a tribute to the culinary skills of the legendary Thakali inn-keepers who run some of the most pleasant mountain lodges anywhere, and a reminder of the apple orchards near the quaint and charming settlement of Marpha.

This fascinating trek begins in Nepal’s northernmost ramparts in the Thak Khola Canyon, as the Kali Gandaki is known in its upper reaches. You explore the arid, Tibet-like semi-desert biotope of the trans-Himalaya and visit the renowned pilgrimage site of Muktinath. Our trek follows the river southward as it cuts its way down between the two 8,000m / 26,000′ massifs of the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Himal. Colorful mule caravans can to this day be seen plying the historic salt trade route between the lowlands of the Great Indian Plains and the elevated Tibetan plateau, demarcated by the impenetrable Himalaya. The diversity of the people, flora & fauna is as phenomenal as the scenery – dominated by the majestic summits of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges – is ever-changing. At Poon Hill we are rewarded with the opportunity to take in our journey down the interlocking spurs of the Kali Gandaki, put in perspective by the summits of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himal.

This trip makes for an excellent first-time Nepal trek, offering the best of the spectacular Annapurna region in Central Nepal.

Trip Itinerarymap_akg

Day 1  Arrival and orientation.
Day 2  Morning drive to Pokhara. Rest of day at leisure.
Days 3-5  Fly Pokhara (884m / 2,900′) to Jomsom (2,760m / 9,050′); trek to Muktinath (3,800m / 12,460′) via Kagbeni (2,840m / 9,320′) and Jharkot (3,500m / 11,480′).
Days 6-7  Trek to Marpha (2,680m / 8,790′) via Lupra (3,000m / 9,840′) and Dhumba Lake (2,830m / 9,280′).
Days 8-10  Trek down the Kali Gandaki gorge to Tatopani (1,190m / 3,900′) via Titi Lake (2,670m / 8,760′) and Ghasa (2,000m / 6,560′).
Days 11-12  Leave the Kali Gandaki to head up to Ghorepani (2,870m / 9,410′).
Days 13-14  Early morning climb Poon Hill (3,210m / 10,530′) for a dawn panorama of the Central Nepal Himalaya. Finish trek at Nayapul (900m / 2,950′), drive to Pokhara.
Day 15  Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 16  Depart for onward destination.

Dates and Pricing

Dec 18, 2016 - Jan 2, 2017
Jan 1 - Jan 16
Jan 15 - Jan 30

Jan 29 - Feb 13
Feb 12 - Feb 27

  Standard Hotels
2-5 personsUS$ 1,070
6-12 personsUS$ 941
Single room supplement US$ 141
Airfare Pokhara - JomsomUS$ 111
Cost Information
Cost Information

The trip cost quoted is the cost per person, and includes:

  • Hotels: Accommodations in Kathmandu and Pokhara on twin / triple room-sharing basis with breakfast.
  • Tours: Sightseeing tours indicated with a certified English-speaking guide.
  • Transfers: All land transfers by car (Toyota Corolla or similar) or van (Toyota Hiace or similar).
  • Trekking: Room-sharing accommodation in local lodges, all meals, services of trek crew (guide, sherpa(s), and porter(s) to carry all luggage & equipment), applicable trekking / ACAP permit / National Park entry fees.
  • Permits, Fees, & Taxes: All applicable permits, entry fees, and taxes.
  • Trek leader: We provide a trek leader on groups of six or more. A tour leader can be provided upon request for smaller groups, upon additional cost.

Not included in the cost are:

  • Meals other than indicated.
  • Flights: All internal flights are extra. Internal airfares indicated are subject to change without notice.
  • Personal clothing & equipment (upon confirmation you’ll receive a clothing & necessity checklist of items we recommend you bring, items you can hire / purchase locally are indicated).
  • Personal expenses, bottled / alcoholic beverages, and tips to crew.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all trip participants be covered by their own personal insurance that also covers emergency evacuation.
  • Other unforeseeable expenses that may arise due to factors beyond our control, like bad weather or flight cancellations.
  • Nepal visa fee.


  Standard Hotels
KathmanduNirvana Garden Hotel
PokharaHotel Trek-O-Tel
Suggested Trips