Mountain Bike Route
Technically, the Most Demanding
Epic Mountain Bike Ride in the World!
The Annapurna Mountain Bike Route provides Mountain Bike enthusiasts with probably the most difficult mountain bike terrain on the planet. The high altitude makes this outstanding Nepalese trek all the more demanding and should not be attempted by beginners.
Annapurna - What to expect
• 218Kms and over 5,100 Vertical Metres Climbed
• Route Highest Point – Thorong-La Pass 5416m
• Technical Mountain Bike skills (Extreme Off Road Terrain /Descents plus Altitude)
• 12 day Mountain Bike trek (19 days total)
You can tackle this Mountain Bike Route under your own steam. However, there are a number of good companies out there that can arrange this trek for you.
The great advantage here is that all the hard work is done for you – except for the mountain biking that is!
Terra firma travel is a good example of one of these companies with a wealth of experience of this Mountain Bike Route.
Having arrived in the Nepalese Capital, Kathmandu, you take a 6-7 hour, approximately 177km bus trip to Besisahar which is your entry point into the Annapurna Conservation area. From here you shake out, check your gear and get ready to mountain bike the Annapurna Ring.
The Mountain Bike Route consists of singletrack out of town towards Bahundanda (18Kms) by way of a rather unique bamboo bridge river crossing and then up through rice terracing. 8000m peaks surround you as you explore further along the Annapurna Ring.
Leaving Bahundanda for Ta Manang (12Kms) the route is extremely technical, due to its rocky nature and inevitably there will be times when the only option is to get of and carry your bike. But don’t take this a bad sign, the countryside here is spectacular; waterfalls, gorges and cliffs along the banks of the River Marsyangdi.
From here the trail heads off to Chame Manang (21Kms). Again the route is technical and potentially only half will be rideable. The ascent continues until you reach Bagarchhap (8Kms point) before breaking into some cracking jungle, beyond which the trail heads through a fine area of jungle and Chame Manang.
The High Point !
Following the Mountain Bike Route along the banks of the River Marsyangdi the riding becomes easier and gives you time to enjoy the fantastic view of Annapurna rang. This stretch is wroughly 15Kms and will bring you out at Lower Pisang. Here you have the chance to visit Upper Pisang which has a 15th century Monastery.
After a days acclimatisation in Manang after a days easy riding (17Kms) from Lower Pisang the trail becomes very steep as it approaches Tanky. Beyond this point it becomes more rideable as you approach Thorong Base Camp (18Kms). From here the only way is up and over the Throng La Pass at 5416m. As the day wears on so the wind picks up. To avoid this, the Pass is usually attempted early on in the day with an inevitable early start. With the climb and wind behind you it’s a spectacular downhill into Muktinath (21Kms)
The Downhill Bit !
The downhill ride continues to Jomsom (25Kms) along a non-technical section of the trail. Here you’ll have excellent views of Dhaulagiri (8167m) the 7th highest peak in the world. The countryside here is some of the best in Nepal. It’s not plain sailing here however, with this part of the route is notorious for its high wind, particularly between Kagbeni and Jomsom.
From here the trail heads along the Banks of the River Kali Gandaki towards Kalopani (25Kms). This is an easy day following singletrack and jeep tracks through the villages of Thakali, Marpha, Tukuche, and Larjung and then onto Kalopani set beneath the Dhaulagiri Himal. From here there is a panoramic view of Dhaulagiri, the Nilgiri peaks and Annapurna I.
With only two days left on the trail it’s not all downhill. On the route to Tatopani, (23km) an initial downhill develops into a great technical section crossing a simple suspension bridge followed by a fantastic ride through pine forests to reach Ghasa. From here the trail goes steeply down to the Rupse waterfall, one of the biggest on the route. From here the trial winds its way to Tatopani and the River Kali Gandaki.
The Mountain Bike Route now follows the Kali Gandaki River through the world's deepest gorge to reach Beni Baazar (24Kms). This is a fun day and brings the trail to a close. Tiime can be spent in Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu and flights home.
As routes go the Annapurna Ring wins its spurs as an Epic because of:
• Its technical nature
• The high altitude
• The magnificent scenery