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Poon Hill Trek in January and February 2024

Poon Hill Trek in November and December

Poon hill trek is one of the most popular short trekking destinations in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Poon Hill trek in January and February offers magnificent views of the Himalayas, including Mount Fishtail and the Annapurna mountain range.

January and February are the winter months in Nepal. Like you can avail the chance to enjoy these months in 2024.

During this time, the weather is cold, and the temperatures at the highest places on the Poon Hill trek route go below the freezing point.

However, these temperatures are nowhere near as cold as those on other treks, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, because we are trekking at a low altitude on the Poon Hill trek route.

Poon Hill trek in January and February is possible; you just need to prepare yourself with weather suitable warmer clothes.

Poon Hill Trek in January and February

Addition to getting  great view, the precipitation is quite low during the winter in Poon Hill, meaning you do not need to worry about rain disturbing the trek.

The possibility of cloudy mountains is also least during winter.

While trekking to Poon Hill in January and February, you can expect to see spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, which are great for capturing amazing pictures.

The trails will be less crowded, allowing you to enjoy your solitude and have a peaceful time.

All you need to do is prepare well for the cold, and you will be good to go.

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Highlights of trekking to Poon Hill in January and February include:

  • One of the best short treks in Nepal during the winter season
  • Spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, such as Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri, due to low precipitation and clear sunny days.
  • Stunning sunrise views from the Poon Hill viewpoint.
  • Peaceful time with fewer crowds compared to other seasons.
  • Trekking at your own pace.
  • Snowfall in higher regions of the trek.
  • More accommodation options and better service.
  • Celebrating New Year while enjoying nature.

poon hill trek in January and February

Poon Hill Weather in January and February:

As January and February are the winter months in Nepal, with January being the coldest, trekking to Poon Hill during this time will definitely be colder compared to other months.

The average sunshine during these months is 6 to 7 hours per day.

January and February are also dry months, with precipitation ranging from 27 to 30mm. If you are lucky, you can witness snowfall in Poon Hill during this time, but it probably won’t last beyond the afternoon sun.

The average temperature in Poon Hill during January and February ranges from 2.2 to 3.5 degrees Celsius. During the day, the temperature can go up to 9 degrees.

As the sun goes down, the temperature can drop to sub-zero. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as you will already be in your shelter by then. Most lodges and tea houses have a fireplace where you can keep warm.

NOTE: As you climb higher, the weather can be quite unpredictable, and you may face different weather conditions in a single day.

Additional Information on Poon Hill trek during January and February:

Modes of Transportation:

The transportation modes for the Poon Hill trek can vary according to your requirements. For this trek, you will have to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu either by flight or bus.

You can also hire a private jeep if you like. But if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you should take a local bus or tourist bus.

The cost of a tourist bus can range from USD 12 to 18 per person. The local bus is a lot cheaper and costs around USD 10.

If you are planning to hire a private jeep, it will cost you around USD 180. Yet, if you do not want the hassle of long drives, then you can take a flight of 25 minutes that costs around USD 110 per person.

Sometimes during winter in January and February, flights can be delayed due to weather conditions. But on a clear day, you can enjoy the panoramic aerial view of the mountains.

From Pokhara, you can take local buses or jeeps to Nayapul. Nayapul is 45 km away from Pokhara and is the starting point of the Poon Hill trek. Jeeps are almost twice as expensive as buses but they are comfortable and faster.

The bus from Pokhara to Nayapul costs USD 4, and the returning bus from Ghandruk to Pokhara costs USD 8 to 10. You can even take a bus from Kande to Pokhara that costs USD 2 to 3 depending on your route.

Modes of Transportation

Poon Hill Trek Difficulty

This trek is relatively easy compared to other high altitude treks in Nepal. However, the steep climb up the stone staircase (3,381 steps) from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani can be quite tiring.

The highest point you will reach during the trek is 3,210 meters. You will gradually gain altitude as you go along the Poon Hill trek during January and February.

The altitude gain is not too severe to cause acclimatization problems. However, walking for long hours during cold days can be difficult, so we recommend taking frequent breaks. By doing so, you can avoid any problems and complete the trek.

Physical Fitness and Experience

The Poon Hill trek is suitable for all kinds of trekkers, and you don’t need much experience for this trek. Anyone with an average fitness level can take this trek at any time of the year.

For those who want to do a longer trek in the Annapurna region, they can consider doing the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, which includes a visit to Poon Hill as well.

However, trekking in winter is slightly more challenging compared to other months due to the cold weather. Therefore, a little bit of preparation prior to the trek can be helpful.

You can engage in physical activities like walking, climbing stairs, jogging, etc., to improve your stamina.

Poon Hill Trek

Accommodation

During your Poon Hill trek, you will stay in teahouses. The cost of the room ranges from USD 5 to 10, and you can bargain for a discount.

The rooms are twin-sharing with comfortable and clean beds.

If you trek to Poon Hill in January and February, you can choose from many teahouses because there are fewer tourists.

However, during other seasons, when there are more trekkers, you usually need to book teahouses in advance; otherwise, you may not get a room.

The rooms do not have heating systems, but the teahouses have a common area with a fireplace.

Accommodation

Food and drinks

Before eating, keep in mind that food prices in the mountains are higher than in the city. Therefore, do not expect the same prices.

Trekking to Poon Hill in January and February means you will receive excellent service in the teahouses. There is no rush in the kitchen, so they prepare your food with extra effort.

You will get hot and delicious food. Dal Bhat is the staple Nepali food with rice, lentils, vegetables, and chili sauce. It is an energy-packed meal when trekking and costs about USD 5 to 8.

A cup of tea costs around NPR 80 to 100, and one liter of bottled water costs about NPR 90 to 110.

If you have empty bottles, many lodges offer drinking water refills for about NPR 60 per liter.

Food and drinks

Travel Insurance

Like any other trek, it is important to have travel insurance. Accidents and misfortunes can happen to anyone at any time. Hence, having insurance is a must.

Your travel insurance should cover for injury, evacuation, gear loss, trip cancellation, and trip delays, etc.

Altitude and Getting Used to the Height

The Poon Hill Trek is famous for not being too high, so people who are new to trekking can easily do it. The highest point, Poon Hill, is 3,210 meters (10,531 feet) above sea level. That is not very high, so the chances of feeling sick from the height are low. It’s a good trek for those who are not used to being in really high places.

But still, it’s important to get used to the height, especially if you’re coming from a lower place. The trek gives you enough time to get used to it. You go up slowly, and there are rest days when you can take it easy. 

It’s important to drink enough water, not rush, and pay attention to how your body feels to avoid any problems because of the height.

Time and Plan

The Poon Hill Trek usually takes around 5 to 7 days, depending on how fast you walk and which way you choose. Here’s a simple plan:

Day 1: Start from Nayapul, the entrance to the Annapurna region. Walk to Tikhedhunga, going through pretty villages and green forests.

Day 2: Go from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2,874m). Climb up to Ghorepani, a nice village with great mountain views. This day is pretty steep, and it’s a good chance to get used to the height.

Day 3: Walk from Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3,210m) and Tadapani (2,630m). Get up early to see the sunrise from Poon Hill, then go to Tadapani, which is surrounded by rhododendron forests.

Day 4: Move from Tadapani to Ghandruk (1,940m). Go down to Ghandruk, a traditional Gurung village with its own culture. Explore the village and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

Day 5: From Ghandruk, go back to Nayapul, finishing the loop. You can then go to Pokhara or stay longer in the Annapurna region.

This plan lets you enjoy the trek without being in a hurry.

Crowd

A lot of people like to do the Poon Hill Trek, so sometimes the path can be crowded, especially during the busiest times. But if you go in January or February, fewer people go because it’s not the main trekking season. It means you can enjoy the trek without so many others around.

Having fewer people also means it’s easier to find places to eat and sleep, and the trails are relatively quiet. It makes it nice for trekkers who want a peaceful and calm experience, enjoying the beautiful landscapes and meeting local people without the noise and rush of busier times.

In the winter months, the quiet feeling makes the trek even better, giving you a chance to be alone with nature.

Packing for Poon Hill trek in January and February

For the Poon Hill trek in January and February, the most important thing to carry is warm clothes. And of course, there are a few other important things. The basic things you need to pack are:

  • Insulating jacket: Carry a warm insulating jacket and supplement it with a good fleece.
  • Sleeping bag: You can carry a sleeping bag rated to around -5C. If you still feel cold, you can supplement it with a lodge blanket.
  • Thermal hat or headcover: The Thinsulate-type material is excellent as it is very light, thermally efficient, and dries very quickly when washed. Warm hat and neck gaitergaiter can keep you cozy and protect your face from chilly winds.
  • Thermal gloves: Again, use the Thinsulate ones. They are also good as a windbreaker if it gets breezy.
  • Thermal socks: They are important, especially in the evenings.
  • Waterproof outer jacket: In winter, mornings can be dewy. And sometimes with snowfall, you will need a waterproof outer jacket to keep yourself dry.
  • Sun protection: During sunny days, a wide-brimmed hat, good pair of sunglasses and good quality sunscreen are needed.
  • Footwear: For footwear, you can use regular comfortable trekking boots. Some even trek with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. But make sure they have a good grip, as the dew or snowfall can make the trails slippery.
  • Trekking poles: Trekking poles can come in handy and are a great help for stability on poor and slippery surfaces.
  • Water purification tablet: Water is not clean everywhere on the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. So, it is good to carry water purification tablets. You can add a tablet to a liter of water and have safe drinking water.
  • Headlamp or flashlight: Winter days usually have shorter daylight hours, so having a headlamp or flashlight is important. Teahouses may not have electricity in your room, so if you wake up during the night to use the bathroom, you will need a headlamp/flashlight.Also, when hiking to Poon Hill, you will start early in the morning to catch the sunrise. Since you will begin in the dark, make sure you have a headlamp.
  • Snacks and energy bars: Carry some energy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, and energy bars to keep yourself fueled during the trek. They can also come in handy when you have to wait for your meals or if you get hungry before reaching your meal destination.
  • First aid kit and persona toiletries: Carry a first aid kit with necessary supplies such as band-aids, medicines for headaches, stomach aches, etc and some some personal toiletries.

Travel Insurance

Tips for trekking to Poon Hill in January and February:

  • During January and February, you need to start your trek early as it gets dark sooner than in other months.
  • Pack warm clothes and dress in layers.
  • Wear a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or boots with good grip.
  • Hire a local guide for safety and try to interact with the locals and their culture.
  • Walk slowly and take breaks whenever you need.
  • Enjoy the quiet and peaceful trails. Pause to take in the scenery.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Keep a few extra days in your itinerary to deal with any unplanned situations.
  • Carry enough cash because there are no ATMs in the area.
  • Take advantage of off-season deals on flights and accommodations.
  • Consider spending a day at a homestay to witness the lifestyle of the locals living in the mountains.
  • Tip the guide and porter for their hard work.
  • Celebrate New Year like never before among the locals and blissful nature.

Respecting Local Culture and Nature

When you go on Poon Hill trek, either during January and February or any other months, it is important to be respectful of local culture and nature.

This area is home to Gurung and Magar communities and they have their own special traditions and ways. Here are some tips to make sure you respect them and have a good impression on local people:

Learn a few simple Nepali phrases: Knowing basic greetings like “Namaste” (hello) and “Dhanyabad” (thank you) can show respect to those locals you will meet along the trail.

Dress modestly: While trekking in Nepal, wear clothes that show respect to the local customs. Avoid revealing or inappropriate outfits.

Nepalese people living in those areas still follow old traditions and culture, and it’s not appropriate to wear revealing clothes.

Take off your shoes inside: When you visit local homes or even in side your teahouse rooms, it is normal to take off your shoes to keep the place clean.

Make sure to take permission before taking photos: Always ask for permission before taking pictures of the locals. Some may not feel comfortable being photographed.

Dispose of trash responsibly: Carry a reusable water bottle and avoid using single use plastics. Throw away your trash in designated places. Ask your guide if you can’t find right place.

Don’t litter and try your best to leave no trace of your visit during the trek. Follow the “Leave No Trace” principles.

Support local tea houses and services: Help local economy of the Annapurna region by using teahouses that are owned by locals.

Respect wildlife and plants: Admire animals and plants from a distance and avoid disturbing them during your trek around Poon Hill area.

Safety Considerations during Poon Hill Trek in January and February:

Trekking in any season comes with potential risks, so it’s important to prioritize safety during your Poon Hill trek in January and February. Here are some safety tips:

Hire a local guide and porter: If you’re not an experienced trekker, consider hiring a guide and porter. They can offer valuable support and knowledge as you explore the Annapurna region.

Acclimatization: Take your time to acclimatize to the altitude, even though Poon Hill trek is not at extreme heights. Avoid rushing and listen to your body.

Trekking permits and documentation: Before starting your trek, ensure you have obtained all the necessary permits and documents.

Weather conditions: Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared for sudden changes. Pack accordingly for all weather scenarios.

Spike for shoes in February: If trekking in February, consider bringing “spikes for shoes” as the trail can be slippery after Ghorepani heading towards Tadapani.

Communication: Inform someone back home about your trekking plans and expected return date. Carry a fully charged phone and a power bank for emergencies.

Provide contact information: Share the contact details of your guide and trekking company with your family back home.

Trek in a group or with a guide: While trekking alone is not recommended, if you prefer it, make sure to stick to marked trails and avoid unknown areas. Having a guide and porter can enhance your safety.

Emergency contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts handy, including local authorities, police and your embassy, in case you need assistance in urgent situations.

Following these safety considerations to  have a more enjoyable and secure experience during your Poon Hill trek in January and February.

Always remember to be cautious and be prepared for any challenges that may arise along the way.

Conclusion:

Trekking to Poon Hill in the winter months of January and February is simply meditative. As the trails are quiet, you get to enjoy the true beauty of the place.

This trek is a visual treat, with clear skies, spectacular snow-capped mountain views, and amazing sunrises. So make sure you have enough storage on your phone or camera to take some of the best pictures.

Poon Hill is a wonderful trek, and with proper preparation for the cold, you will definitely enjoy it during January and February.

If you have any further questions or queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you to the best of our knowledge.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

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