Ghandruk Trek In Winter: Tips For Trekking In The Snowy Season

There is something magical and mesmerizing about the Ghandruk trek during Winter. While most of the hiking trails are shut down and closed to trekkers during the Winter, you can still enjoy your time at Ghandruk.

Well, the Ghandruk route does get more challenging during Winter than during other peak seasons (Spring and Autumn), but it provides you an unforgettable memories. Also, this trekking does not get as extreme as those high-altitude tracks due to the potential of avalanches and unbearable temperature drops.

Not to mention, traveling to Ghandruk in Winter is another way to experience the beauty of the icy days. In fact, the snow is everywhere and the mighty mountains are all white, it will make you feel like as if you are entering a postcard.

So, if you have considered taking this journey, there are a few things that you should consider to make your trek successful and sustainable.


Winter Ghandruk Trek: An Overview

Situated at the heart of the Annapurna region, Ghandruk is a heartwarming Gurung village with rich culture and hospitality. If you want to get an authentic cultural feel with breathtaking views, you should go on the Ghandruk trek.

Another plus point is that Ghandruk has an altitude of 2,100 meters only. However, even at that altitude level, it offers a magnificent view of the Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre.

In Nepal, the extends from December to February. During this time, Ghandruk experiences chilly temperatures and occasional snowfall. In the meantime, there are only a few trekkers in this region, which ensures a peaceful trek.

Moreover, the average daytime temperature in Ghandruk ranges from 5°C (41°F) to 15°C (59°F). Hence, it does not have an extreme freezing cold.

Trek Details

  • Trekking Region: Annapurna
  • Starting & Ensign Point: Pokhara
  • Trekking Duration: 4 to 5 days
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,100 meters
  • Difficulty Level: Moderately Easy

Essential Gear Checklist

The right gear and packing essentials are quite necessary as they may break or make the trekking journey. During Winter trek, it is the most crucial that you wear your clothes in layers to avoid cold.

Generally, you should have a warm, inoculated inner layered with a fleece to while on your trek!

One of the best things about the Ghandruk trekking is that it is not a heavily trafficked route. During the peak season from December to February,p and waterproof trousers and jackets. Some of the clothing and essentials to pack for the Winter Ghandruk trek are as mentioned below.

  • Thermal tops and bottoms
  • Neck gaiter or scarf
  • Trekking or insulated pants with thermal leggings
  • Fleece top and trousers
  • Woolen or fleece sweater
  • Insulated synthetic or down jacket
  • Heavyweight wool gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Light-weighted waterproof trekking boots
  • Woolen socks
  • Insulated sleeping bag   
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm and moisturizers
  • Adjustable and shock-absorbent trekking poles
  • Thermos
  • Torchlight with batteries
  • Adapters
  • Snacks

Difficulty Level & Physical Fitness

The Ghandruk trek is not challenging and can be easily accomplished. However, you do have to walk steep uphill in between sections. Also, during the trails, you will be surrounded by several settlements, paddy fields, rivers, agriculture farms, lush forests, and so on.

Moving on, there is no problem with the availability of food and water as well. Thus, in terms of services, Ghandruk is a great trek with multiple rest points. However, if you do not have any experience of traveling uphill at all, then, it might be a bit challenging for you. But you can make it by taking slow paces.

Food And Accommodation

One of the best specialties during the Ghandruk trek is the food options you will get. You can get almost everything from traditional cuisine to Western foods. However, once you are on the track, Nepali Dal Bhaat Tarkari (rice, lentils, and vegetables) is a must-have.

Yes, you can get both veg and non-veg options and you can even go for multiple servings at one sitting. Likewise, there are also multiple options for beverages.

Moving on to the accommodation, Ghandruk has some of the clean and comfortable lodges. The best part of traveling during Winter is that you can choose your accommodation style as there will be fewer trekkers.

During the journey, you will have two room choices: one with the attached bathroom and the other with a common bathroom. Yes, a room with an attached bathroom will be more expensive than a room with a common washroom.

Warm Showers And Hotel Amenities

Most of the stays do provide you with all the basic amenities; however, in some occasional situations, you will have to pay for some services.

For instance, hot showers are readily available, but some do not have that facility. Most of the time, you will be provided with a bucket of hot water for a shower rather than a hot shower itself.

In the meantime, it is better if you bring your own essentials, such as towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizers, and other basic hygiene products.

Guide And Porters

The Ghandruk trek is as simple as it can get. The routes are very clear, with English marks all the way and settlements every two hours. Hence, you can accomplish this trek on your own as well without any difficulty.

Also, if you ever get lost, you can always ask the locals and they are ready to help you. Having said that it is important that you research well about the route before the journey if you are trekking solo, especially during the Winter.

You can also carry a map and be well-versed with the route map. However, we recommend traveling with a guide or a partner during the winter. It gives you an added layer of safety during the journey.

Permits And Insurance

To trek to Ghandruk, you will require two permits: TIMS or Trekkers Information Management System Card and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) Entry Permit.

Besides that, you should fill out the insurance form. It will cover your medical expenses in case of unforeseen accidents. You will also receive an emergency helicopter evacuation if necessary.

You can buy these permits and insurance from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Highlights Of The Ghandruk Trek

The Ghandruk trek is a beautiful journey in all seasons and offers a diverse memory and experience all year round. While the temperature drops during the Winter season, but it is not freezing cold.

The mornings and evenings get chilly, with significant temperature drops at night. However, the daytime is balanced with warm sun. Also, during the Winter season, Ghandruk offers ethereal views of the snowcapped mountains.

Some of the highlights of this trek are as mentioned below.

  • Mesmerizing views of the  Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre.
  • Jaw-dropping sunset and sunrise views.
  • Walk through the authentic Gurung settlement and get to experience their culture up close.
  • Visit the Gurung Museum.
  • Experience the warm hospitality and welcoming local customs.
  • Get to enjoy the major Gurung festival, Tamu Lhosar.
  • Enjoy the relaxing hot springs at Jhinu Danda.
  • Trek through the Annapurna Conservation Area.
  • Choose your nature of accommodation from teahouses, lodges, hotels, and even camps.

Tips While Trekking In Ghandruk During Winter

Trekking in Winter is unlike any other season, as the weather is unpredictable and chilling. It does require you to put extra effort into finishing the journey during the Winter. However, all these efforts do pay off in the end with enthralling views and experiences you get to bundle at the end.

Below are the top tips to remember while embarking on the trek during the Winter.

  • Update yourself with the weather: Winter in Nepal is often unpredictable; you will never know what will happen in the very next second. Hence, you should be updated with the weather forecast and only make the journey accordingly.
  • Packing less is more: While carrying tons of warm clothes and necessary items is a must; you should pack as light as possible. Avoid adding on extra clothes or items that you may not need.
  • Stay hydrated: Though there is no scorching heat during the Winter trek, you may not feel like drinking water a lot. But you have to keep yourself hydrated all the time. It is the major key to keep going.
  • Buy insurance: The trekking routes during the Winter get more challenging than during other seasons due to snowfall and changing weather conditions. Hence, it is wise to buy an insurance plan before starting the journey.
  • Keep buffer time: During winter, you may be stuck in one place for a longer period of time due to changing weather. Additionally, most of the flights get canceled and hence, you should have a buffer period.


The Ghandruk trek during Winter is a totally attainable trek in the Annapurna region. It provides excellent views alongside the thrill you might be searching for. In fact, it is a perfect choice for trekkers who are looking for a quick escape from a bustling lifestyle.

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