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FATMAP difficulty grade
The trip into the Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the classic Himalayan journeys and it features some famously tough sections of stone steps.
There are short sections of these on the first day, but nothing like the number you will encounter later on.
Enjoy an easy start to the expedition and the opportunity to spend some time in lower altitude jungle before heading up into the high mountains. Nayapul, the start point for the hike is reached in a 1.5 hour drive from Pokhara (which is a great little town and well worth spending a few days in).
From Nayapul (or nearby Dhampus) it’s possible to go directly towards the Sanctuary but virtually everyone takes a slightly circuitous route to the start of the Sanctuary hike so that they can visit the famous sunrise viewpoint at Poon Hill.
This detour is highly recommended and is included in our description of the Sanctuary hike.
Start today by hiking easily alongside the Mhodi Khola river and then into the valley to the north-west which contains the Burundi Khola river.
There is some ascent on the hike but it is minimal and feels easy enough at this altitude.
There are also some of the famous Annapurna steps but not many. Set up camp or check into a lodge in Hile village.
On the trip to Annapurna Sanctuary there are lodges in every village, so the choice between camping (and probably using porters to help carry your kit) and staying in lodges is yours.