Skip to Content

Ghandruk Trek: The Perfect Gateway into the Mountains of Nepal

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking and making a purchase through the links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my disclaimer for more information. This and display ads allow me to keep the site up to date and give back.

Nepal is home to many of the world’s largest mountain peaks and best trekking trails in the world. But don’t think you have to train for months or conquer high altitudes to enjoy Nepal’s mountains – there are plenty of treks to suit any fitness level. The Ghandruk trek is a perfect example!

The Ghandruk trek is the perfect option for anyone looking for a short trek in Nepal, with no difficult ascends/descends. This short but sweet trek takes three to four days, bringing you into the foothills of the Himalayas.

ghandruk trek views
Ghandruk Trek, Nepal

I came to Nepal with the intention of conquering the Everest Base Camp trek, but food poisoning got the best of me (thanks to India), and unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully, I was still able to see some of Nepal’s incredible landscapes on the three days Ghandruk Trek.

What is the Ghandruk Trek?

The Ghandruk Trek is a 3-day trek that takes you into the foothills of the Annapurna Mountain Ranges to the beautiful heritage village of Ghandruk.

There are plenty of friendly locals to host you in the villages, as well as a Gurung museum which you can visit to learn more about the Gurung culture.

The Annapurna Region is one of the most beautiful places to go trekking in the world, with plenty of different treks, such as the popular Annapurna Circuit. This trek takes almost two weeks, so if you don’t have a lot of time, the Ghandruk trek is a nice way to get a taste of the mountains.

A nice aspect of the Ghandruk trek is that you won’t see many other tourists on the trail. Instead, you will find lush green forests, friendly locals, and beautiful views.

hiking in nepal

Ghandruk Trek Itinerary

The Ghandruk Trek is typically done in 3-4 days. I did the 4-day trek as part of a one-week tour through Nepal with Intrepid Travel. Four days will give you plenty of time to stop to enjoy the scenery, chat with locals, and take your time to explore the picturesque villages.

Day 1

The first day starts with an hour’s drive from Pokhara to the trailhead of the Ghandruk trek.

start of ghandruk trek
Start of Ghandruk trek

We started the trail, which went through forests, paddy fields, and stone stairs. The Annapurna mountain ranges should also be visible on this part of the trek, but because it was overcast on the first day of our trek, we couldn’t see them during the day.

stone staircase
Stone staircases along the Ghandruk Trek

Although I was disappointed about the lack of mountain ranges in view, the scenery was still beautiful as we passed through many local villages and colorful paddy fields. The clouds added a certain moodiness to the landscape.

Wheatfields hiking through the Ghandruk Trek
Wheatfields hiking through the Ghandruk Trek

It was so interesting to pass by all the beautiful villages and see the local women hard at work. Everyone we passed was friendly and said hello.

Rice field

The first day of the trek ends at the charming village of Ghandruk. Inhabited by the Gurung community, Ghandruk village is well-serviced, with tea houses to stay in. It has stunning views of the Annapurna South mountain range, including Annapurna, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare.

Ghandruk Village view
Views from Ghandruk Village

On our first night in Ghandruk, the clouds cleared out from the sky, and I saw the Himalayas appear before my eyes for the first time. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Although it was freezing, I stood outside and watched them lit by the moon and stars for hours.

The next morning, we woke up early to see the sunrise over the mountains. The way the morning light hits them is incredible. It’s one of the best sunrises I’ve woken up for.

sunrise over the himalays
Sunrise at Ghandruk Village

Day 2

ghandruk trek nepal

The second day starts with more mountain views for breakfast, then a two-hour descending trek towards the village of Tolka where we stopped for lunch. Afterward, we trekked another three hours up to a village where we spent the night in tea house.

tea house with mountain view
Tea House on the second night of the Ghandruk Trek

You don’t get bored on the trail as there is so much beauty around. Aside from the majestic mountain landscapes, the paths are full of green forests, red rhododendrons, and friendly faces. Both locals and animals. I encountered so many dogs, cows, and goats on this trail!

View this post on Instagram

How is it even legal to be this cute?

A post shared by Dogs Around The World (@doggosintheworld) on

So many dogs would come and join me for parts of the trek which was one of my favorite parts about it.

dog trekking in nepal
Lots of doggos on the trail!

You will also meet lots of friendly locals and fellow trekkers while staying at the tea houses. This was one of my favorite parts about trekking in Nepal; the feeling of community in each of the villages is so special.

cows on the ghandruk trek nepal

Day 3

On the third day of the trek, we took a trail from the village of Dhampus to Hemjakot.

It was mostly uphill for the first two hours, then downhill for the rest for a total of six hours of trekking. This section of the trail was fairly remote; we hardly saw any other people.

Just a lot of beautiful rhododendron plants, which I never got sick of.

red flower trekking in nepal

That night we stayed with a local family in their home in Hemjakot. I loved this stay as they had a ton of baby goats we got to play with.


Day 4

mountain view

The Ghandruk trek could be done in three days, but we extended it to four. The last day was an easy three-hour descent to Phedi, where we caught a bus back to Pokhara in time for a well-deserved lunch.

Food on The Ghandruk Trek

You don’t need to worry about bringing a ton of food or water with you on the Ghandruk trek because you will pass by and stay in so many villages with restaurants. Of course, I always recommend bringing snacks while trekking! My favorite is cliff bars.

restaurant view point

The food they sell in the tea houses is surprisingly diverse. You can get local Nepali cuisine, as well as Western food like pizza and pasta. It’s not amazing but definitely does the trick. The best part about the restaurants is that they usually come with an amazing view.

The villages usually have a small shop where you can fill up water and snacks. Nothing was particularly healthy, but it’s good if you need a quick sugar pick-me-up. One of the best parts about hiking is justifying all the snacks!

Fitness Level Required for the Ghandruk Trek

The Ghandruk trek is relatively easy. Each day is only about five-six hours of walking, so you don’t need to be in amazing shape to do this. That said, there are a lot of stairs, so be prepared for that.

Unlike many treks in Nepal, you don’t have to worry about altitude sickness on this trail. The trek doesn’t go past 2000 meters of elevation.

ghandruk trek nepal

How to Book the Ghandruk Trek

You can do this trek as part of a tour with Intrepid, who I recommend as a tour company.

Not only do they plan excellent tours, but they are committed to responsible travel. I’ve traveled with them in the past, and it’s allowed me to have unique experiences and connections with the local community. You will be in good hands with them!

Alternatively, you can book the Ghandruk trek right here through a Nepal travel agency. There are many all along the lakeside in Pokhara. If you are in Kathmandu, you will need to get the tourist bus to Pokhara, which takes about seven hours.

Permits are required for the trek, which you can arrange from tour agencies. A guide is not required for the trail but is recommended if you are not a seasoned trekker or not well-versed with Napoli language and culture.

Not only will the guide help you during the trek with guidance, but they can provide insight into the local culture.

Best time to go on the Ghandruk Trek

The best season to go on the Ghandruk Trek is from Mid-September until May, when you find great views around the region.

The summer season from June-July is the rainy season and not a good time to go trekking in this region.

swing on the ghandruk trek nepal
Lots of sunny days trekking in November!

Packing List for the Ghandruk Trek

You won’t find hotels, but you will find small villages with tea houses to stay in all along the trail.

You don’t need to worry about bringing food and water, as supplies can be bought at each village, and there are plenty of tea houses to cook you a meal.

Here is a suggested packing list for the Ghandruk Trek. You can always hire a porter if you don’t want to carry your bag.

houses along the hill

Don’t forget travel insurance!

You definitely want travel insurance if you plan to trek in Nepal. Injuries are common on the trails, and in the event that something happens and you have to get air-lifted out via helicopter, this won’t be cheap.

Other Adventurous Things to do around Pokhara

Pokhara was one of my favorite places in Nepal; there’s a ton of outdoor adventure around the area.

1. Paragliding

I took my first paragliding flight in Pokhara, which was so much fun and got me hooked on paragliding. It’s one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, making it a perfect place to try if it’s your first time paragliding.

2. River Rafting

River Rafting. I actually got to Pokhara via a 2-day river rafting tour from Kathmandu on the Trishuli River. It was an incredible experience; we rafted for about six hours a day and camped overnight by the side of the river.

3. Zip-lining

Another way to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu that looks pretty epic is this 2-day zip-lining adventure. While Costa Rica will still forever be my favorite place to go zip-lining, this one does look incredible and I’m adding it to my list for the next time I’m in Nepal!

4. Trekking

With the Annapurna mountain ranges so close by, there are plenty of other hikes to do in the area, including the famous Annapurna Base Camp trek and Annapurna Circuit trek. Another popular trek to do in the area is the 9 Day Ghorepani Poonhill Trekking.

5. Helicopter Flight

If you’re not up for hiking, there are other ways to enjoy the mountain ranges! You can take a scenic helicopter flight, or a micro-light flight. I did the helicopter flight over Everest and it was incredible.

6. Chitwan National Park

After Pokhara, I went to Chitwan National Park, which is about four hours away. I have mixed feelings about this park. While it’s one of the best places in the world to see the one-horned Rhino, I felt depressed about how the park treated its elephants. There are plenty of other incredible ethical elephant encounters in Asia if you want to see them.

FAQ: Ghandruk Trekking in Nepal

How long does it take to trek to Ghandruk?

The Ghandruk Trek typically takes 3 to 4 days, offering a comfortable pace to enjoy the scenery and local culture.

Is Ghandruk worth a visit?

Absolutely! Ghandruk offers stunning views of the Annapurna range, rich local culture, and a memorable trekking experience.

Which time is best to visit Ghandruk?

The best time to visit Ghandruk is from mid-September to May, offering clear skies and pleasant weather for trekking.

Can we go to Ghandruk by bike?

Yes, it’s possible to bike to Ghandruk from Pokhara, but it’s a challenging route suited for experienced mountain bikers.

What would you enjoy the most in Ghandruk?

In Ghandruk, you’ll most enjoy the breathtaking mountain views, the warm hospitality of the local Gurung community, and the serene hiking trails.

What mountains are near Ghandruk?

Ghandruk is near several prominent peaks of the Annapurna range, including Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare (Fishtail Mountain).

Which airport is near to Ghandruk?

The nearest airport to Ghandruk is Pokhara Airport, which is about an hour’s drive from the trek’s starting point.

Can you drive to Ghandruk from Pokhara?

Yes, you can drive from Pokhara to the starting point of the Ghandruk trek, which takes about an hour.

Final Thoughts

While it wasn’t the epic two-week trek I wanted in Nepal, I’m glad that I got to do some trekking in this beautiful part of the world. I loved it and know I’ll plan another Nepal trekking trip soon.

The Ghandruk Trek is perfect for those looking for short treks or an introduction to Nepal’s mountain ranges. It’s full of beauty and few tourists, which is all the reason to go.

Traveling to Nepal? Check out this post!

pinterest pin ghandruk trek


  • Lora Pope

    Lora is a full-time digital nomad on a quest to visit every country in the world and pet as many dogs as she can along the way. Over the last 15 years, she has traveled to 70+ countries and six continents solo. She currently calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico home and enjoys ending each day with sunset and tacos on the beach.

    View all posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Nepalgram says:

    I hope that your quest to conquer Everest will be fulfilled one day.
    Loved your blog. Thank you for that. What a place you chose for the trek. Beautiful villages, locals, scenery, the landscape, Amazing.
    Also would like encourage our readers to visit the country and try the amazing treks and trips it has to offer.
    Visit Nepal 2020

  2. Great Post!!! Trekking is always fun when do with friends and family. I just love the pictures of this place and I am sure its an amazing place to have fun with family and friends. Thanks for this post!!!