Annapuna Dhaulagiri Trekking

annapurna dhaulagiri trekkingBUNA’S Annapurna & Dhaulagiri popularly known as Khopra ridge trekking is one of the most reserved and elusive treks in the north west of Annapurna region, although this massive Annapurna range is widely trekked, and its still the most sought trekking destination in the Himalaya with its extensive varied flavor. Apart from other popular routes, there are few hidden pockets in the Annapurna region, where the adventurous have seldom ventured.

BUNA’S Annapurna & Dhaulagiri trip certainly enables you to enjoy more of this less frequented area. Trekking in between the majestic giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range of mountains in its peaceful surrounding amidst high alpine region in one of the spectacular “off the beaten path tracks” around the Annapurna region. The scenery ranging from the fertile splendor of the Pokhara Valley and its panoramic views of Annapurna massif including the towering peak of Machapuchere the Fish Tail and through the splendid rhododendron, hemlock and fir forest then to the high alpine ridges of Kopra overlooking outstanding views of the surrounding magnificent landscape scenery including the massive bulk of Annapurna South, Vara Shikhar, Nilgiri’s and Dhaulagiri range. Annapurna & Dhaulagiri trekking is an enchanting trek through Rhododendron forests and unspoiled wilderness and will be one of your greatest Trekking experiences, keeping off the beaten track with spectacular views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range.

Trip highlights: “in the least isolated region, between the massif Mt. Annapurna & Dhaulagiri range one of the most panoramic views of the high snow capped peaks range from Dhaulagiri-Annapurna to Manaslu, on the off beaten tracks-serene forest of rhododendron, oaks and firs, rolling hills, rural village hardly any trekkers”.

Trip Profile:
Mode of Trekking:                  On camping basis.
Trekking Grade:                      Moderate & Adventurous.
Trekking / Camping:               10-11 days.
Highest altitude gain:              4,260m at Khair Lake.
Total Trip duration:                 15-16 days.

Outline Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.

Day 02: Half day guided tour at places of interest.

Day 03: Drive to Nayapul 1,070m via Pokhara 960m. 6-7 hrs.

Day 04: Trek to Purano Gaon 1,450m. 3-4 hrs.

Day 05: Trek to Ramche 2,350m. 5-6 hrs.

Day 06: Trek to Ghorepani 2,860m via Punhill 3,193m. 5-6 hrs.

Day 07: Trek to Sistebung 3,150m. 5-6 hrs. Day 08: Trek to Khopra Ridge 3,730m. 3-4 hrs.

Day 09: Rest day at Khopra Ridge for local excursion.

Day 10: Trek to Dobato 3,420m. 5 hrs.

Day 11: Trek to Ghandrung 1,950m. 5-6 hrs.

Day 12: Trek to Tolkha 1,700. 5hrs.

Day 13: Trek to Kande and drive to Pokhara 4-5 hrs walk and 1hr drive.

Day 14: Fly Pokhara -Kathmandu.

Day 15: In Kathmandu with optional tour.

Day 16: Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

Details Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Arrive Kathmandu at Tribhuvan International Airport meet our BUNA staff and transfer to respective Hotels, at the Hotel after refreshment at the Hotel lobby our staff will brief you regarding your trip in Nepal. BUNA staff will give you time for your sightseeing tour at places of interest around Kathmandu city area.

Day 02: Half day guided tour at places of interest.
As per your booking our BUNA guide will receive you for your half day tour around world heritage sites for 3 hours. The itinerary for the day as per the programme
the tour will be of the famed Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swaymbhunath the oldest religious site of Nepal perched on the hill lock west of Kathmandu.

If you have booked for full day tour the extension will be of Pashupatinath Temple-the “Little Tibet” of Boudhanath and Patan Durbar square after the tour back to the Hotel for refreshment and for dinner at one of the excellent restaurant in Kathmandu.

Day 03: Drive to Nayapul 1,070m via Pokhara 960m. 6-7 hrs.
An early start by the main east-west highway leading towards west to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city and a remarkable touristic spot. Leaving the city suburb the road climbs to the valley rim and begins its descent along the Trisuli River valley. This scenic journey drives takes us on the long winding road through many villages and farmlands. As the drive continues we can have glimpse of Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna snow capped peaks, our drive takes us through Pokhara with a brief stop and continues for another short 1 1/2 hour drive which takes us up the newly built Chinese highway to Nayapul (new bridge) where we stop for the night camping by the river Modi.

Day 04: Trek to Purano Gaon 1,450m. 3-4 hrs.
From Nayapul soon we will leave the main traffic behind, heading towards west in the less frequented area by the trekkers for few days, to begin with we will cross the bridge over the river Modi, the path leads to a gentle walk with few ups and gradual portion passing through small farm villages, cultivated terraces and farm fields till we arrive at a small farm village of Purano gaon for our first overnight camping.

Day 05: Trek to Ramche 2,350m. 5-6 hrs.
A steady climb out of the village on the next day leads on to a ridge at 2,300 meters and your first views of Dhaulagiri Himal 8,167m, stretching across the horizon is spectacular. It is a day of a-little-bit-up-and-a-little-bit-down, as the Nepalese would describe it. The small trails winds through rhododendron and pine forest with full view of the mountains at Ramche, before gradually climbing to open grazing pastures and to camp at Phulbari. Here, in a beautiful location, the entire Dhaulagiri ranges leis before us!
A photographer’s paradise.

Day 06: Trek to Ghorepani 2,860m via Punhill 3,193m. 5-6 hrs.
From Ramche, our walk leads to a climb in the serene forest of pines and rhododendron most of the way to the scenic Poon Hill, after 2-3 hours of scenic walk to the view point hill at Poon Hill, if the weather is clear we can have a panoramic views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and all the way to Manaslu range towards east, after a great moment here, our route descends towards the main trail at Ghorepani, where we will come across trekkers, teahouse, lodge and the mule caravans. We will be Camping at Ghorepani Deurali where we can have magnificent views of the Dhaulagiri range of mountains with Annapurna Fang (Vara Shikar) and Annapurna South. Here we will have time to enjoy our self with the lovely snow capped scenery from the camp itself.

Day 07: Trek to Sistebung 3,150m. 5-6 hrs.
After Ghorepani, our trek continues to Chitre village which is just an hour descend through cool dense forest of rhododendron, oaks and pine trees. Arriving at Chitre we will leave the main busy road behind, our path splits near the Dhaulagiri Lodge the walk passes through farmlands and terraces, and then descending towards the stream for an hour, we cross the stream on a wooden log bridge, near the water mill.

From here our trail leads to a climb for nearly an hour to Sotaa village, where we catch up with the views of Dhulagiri range of mountains, after Sotaa village the walk follows the winding gentle path through the rain forest area for an hour with few ups and downs in between till we come to a stream, from the stream gorge our route leads to a steep climb through the forest of pines, oaks and rhododendron trees, the walk passes few clearing and pasture field, from the last top meadow, an hour steep climb brings us to a small place at Sistebung for the overnight camp. Sistebung has one house which serves as a shop and a shelter for the locals and porters and two small ground for camping purpose. A good pleasant walk today, away from the main trekking trail, we will be in isolation from the main trekking route and busy trails for another few days in complete wilderness, except for some few trekking groups around this region.

Day 08: Trek to Khopra Ridge 3,730m. 3-4 hrs.
ridge above our camp lies our destination today, and it should be accomplished in a steady but comfortable morning walk, we trek through the forest and above the tree line. Once atop the Kopra ridge we contour around the grassy alpine meadows to our campsite. From the camp superb scenery can be seen below us lies the Kali Gandaki valley gorge, across the valley panorama of snow capped mountains from the Dhaulagiri range including Tukuche and Nilgiri peaks and just near the camp towering peaks of Vara Shikar often known as Annapurna Fang and the Annapurna South.

Day 09: Rest day at Khopra Ridge for local excursion.
At leisure for short hike around the ridge can be done, Khopra ridge had always been a summer pasture for the local shepards from Chitre, Ghorepani, Ghara and as far from Ghandrung and Kimche Khola village. Along with its spectacular scenery of the surrounding snow capped peaks and magnificent landscape views, for strong and energetic people, a good walk to Bhara also known as Khayer Lake at 4,247m. can be done in a day, taking about 5-6 hours both ways. Bhara lake is considered as a sacred lake, which is actually a glacier fed lake from the peaks of Annapurna South and Vara Shikhar (Annapurna Fang) villagers from nearly all over Annapurna area and as far from Ghasa and Tatopani comes here for pilgrimages, once a year in the auspicious time around the month of August to take part in the holy ritual which they sacrifice young goats and sheep’s blood in the lake and offer prayer to the mountain and nature spirits. In heavy snow conditions the trail to Vara Lake or even up to this ridge is not recommendable as the path is narrow with big drops and the snow around this area takes time to melt as it is hidden from direct sunlight.

Day 10: Trek to Dobato 3,420m. 5 hrs.
After a wonderful time here at Khopra /Khayer, our walk continues with a long descend back to near above Sistebung, reaching the near bottom the walk is on the gradual path for sometime through the verdant rain forest, after few hours of good walk we come to a small clearing, we might stop here for lunch depending upon the time. After a stop here, our walk continues to a slow climb for an hour through the rhododendron and pine wood, coming to a open large pasture with a strong wooden Shepard’s shade, from here our route diverts east with a short climb to a ridge through the dwarf rhododendron bushes, from the ridge few minutes of descend brings us to a small path above the cliff side, this almost level path for 5-10 minutes could be tricky walking in snow and hailstorms, which could happen sometime, however this small section has to be undertaken cautiously. After reaching the other side of the ridge near the boulders, the walk is on the downhill slope overlooking superb views of the surrounding land scapes, Annapurna range including the most magnificent majestic peak Maccahapuchare and Dhaulagiri range to the west. From here a gradual climb of less than two hours brings us to our overnight camp at Do Bato, which is a cowherd place full of scattered temporary built shade in the middle of rhododendron and magnolia forest with excellent close views of Annapurana mountains and as far as to Manaslu range to the east.

Day 11: Trek to Ghandrung. 1,950m. 5-6 hrs.
After wonderful morning along with the superb views, today’s walk leads us back to another popular trekking area at Ghandrung village. Morning trek is more or less a descend all the way to Tadapani, the path passes through numerous Shepard huts and pasture fields amidst the lovely forest of rhododendron and pines trees and then walking through the rain forest until we arrive at Tadapani, a great scenic place in the middle of the forest with another grand views of the Annapurna and Manaslu range of mountains. Tada pani onwards will be back on the normal trekking trail, where there are numerous teahouses and lodges enroute from Tadapani. After a stop here at Tadapani, a gentle walk follows through the enchanting alpine forest for an hour coming to a small place at Bhaise Kharka, from here a downhill path leads us all the way to Ghandrung for another two hours. Ghandrung, one of the largest village in the Annapurna region, the people here are Gurungs an ethnic hill tribe of Tibetan Buddhism sect, unlike the Buddhism of Everest or from other high areas, Gurung people are Shepard they do not follow the way of strict Buddhism, like other fellow Buddhist from high land, they are famed as Gurkhas in the British and Indian Army. Most of the Gurungs since last centuries; they are recruited as gallant soldiers in the Royal Nepal, Indian and in British Army. At Ghandrung (it is also known by the name Gandruk ) village we will have time for a visit around Gurung houses, ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) head quarters and museum.
Afternoon at ease to marvel the view of Annapurna South and the top portion of Mt.Machhapuchare ‘the fish tail’.

Day 12: Trek to Tolkha. 1,700. 5hrs.
From Ghandrung the trails leads downhill passing through the paddy terraces and small hamlets for an hour to the Modi River, after crossing the bridge over the raging Modi river, an hour climb reaches us to Landrung village. From Landrung an easy walk takes us on the winding trail overlooking excellent of the surrounding landscapes and valleys below, after few hours of good walk a short steep climb from the suspension bridge reaches us to our over night camp at Tolkha. Tolkha a small scattered village with a primary school with a majestic view of Annapurna South.

Day 13: Trek to Kande and drive to Pokhara 4-5 hrs walk and 1 hr drive.
From Tolkha, after a two hours of good walk the trail leads us to the last uphill of this trek, the climb takes an hour unto a small pass at Deurali ridge at 2,250 meters.
Deurali, a nice spot with 2-3 teahouses, offering great views of the landscapes snow capped peaks from Dhaulagiri to Annapurna range, a nice walk from here lead us through the lovely forest with more magnificent scenery of the Annapurnas and
Mt Manaslu range, all the way to the village of Pothana. Pothana, situated in the midst of the woods overlooking panoramic views of Annapurna and Manaslu range and superb scenery of green fertile valleys and the lake at Pokhara in the distance. An easy uphill walk through the forest and meadows leads to Australian camp or Thulo Kharka with constant views of the central western and eastern Himalayas, from here trek leads to downhill to Kande on the road side village on the motor able Pokhara-Baglung highway, it is also the start and ending point of various trekking route in the Annapurna region. From Phedi an hour drive brings us to the camping site near the shore of Phewa lake in Pokhara.

Day 14: Fly Pokhara -Kathmandu.
The flight time to Kathmandu, are schedule for morning normally, sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason beyond our command.
As we get hold of the boarding pass depending upon our flight time we make our way to the terminal for security check, this scenic flight from Pokhara takes about half an hour or less, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen from window of the plane. Arriving at Kathmandu domestic terminal, our office staff will be waiting to receive and escort you back to the Hotel.

Day 15: In Kathmandu at leisure tour on request.
A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our BUNA staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for scenic mountain flight.

Day 16: Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, and your passport handy. BUNA staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

Note: This itinerary is intended as a guide only. Local conditions and weather may necessitate variations of the program. Be aware that all times stated are approximate, and may vary with individual fitness, group strength, trail and weather conditions

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