Magnificent sunrise views from Khopra Ridge, Poonhill, and Mohare Danda
Cultural immersion while staying in community lodges
Off beatean trail trek
Descend through pastoral villages on your way down to Tatopani
Take an extra day to hike to Khayer Lake, a sacred lake at the foot of Annapurna South
Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek is off beaten trek in Annapurna region. It is a community trek in Annapurna region, i.e. we stay in lodges operated by the local community in most places during the trek. Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda trek provides experience of non touristic Nepal. It is a great alternative to classical but crowded treks in Annapurna region.
We have combined Khopra Ridge Trek with Mohare Danda trek to provide trekkers with taste of more off beaten trails. The mountain views from Kopra Ridge and Mohare Danda are superb and include Mount Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Fang and Nilgiri. And from Ghandruk we can see Mt. Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail) and Mt. Hiunchuli.
Our Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek starts after city sightseeing in Kathmandu and then we drive to Pokhara. Actual trek starts from Kimche or nearby village after a short drive from Pokhara. First two days of the trek follow the popular trails of the Annapurna foothills. But after Tadapani we leave the classic trail and for the next few days we walk along a remote trail staying overnight at the community lodges. As we reach Kopra Danda we see panorama of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan peaks. Furthermore, we trek higher to explore Khayer Lake. While we trek back, we explore the remote village of Swanta and the popular Ghorepani Village. We then climb Poonhill and divert to Mohare Danda for beautiful Himalayan views and off beaten stride. We then trek further to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara. Finally we drive back to Kathmandu and this ends our trek.
Customization of Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek:
This standard Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek is a 14 day program. However, depending upon your time availability we can extend it to more days and even curtail it to 10 days if you are scarce of time. Please write us if you need a custom itinerary if this standard program does not fit your holiday. If you are looking for a classic short trek in Annapurna region, Annapurna Panorama trek would be good option for you.
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Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek – 14 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,338 m/4390ft)
As you land at Kathmandu Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks and Tour signboard. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can either rest in your hotel or shop around Thamel for any gears for your trek. Accommodation: City Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
We organize a guided tour to four of the spiritual and historical sites in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites to provide you an insight on the history, religious significance, architecture, and culture of prosperous Kathmandu. Durbar Square is a complex of historic places, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. Scared Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath dates back many hundreds of years and makes it one of the most important Shiva locations across the Indian subcontinent. Besides being a place of worship, it is also the most important cremation site for the Hindus in Nepal. Swayambhunath, popularly known as Monkey temple due to abundance of monkey found in the shrine area is a 2000 years old stupa situated on a hillock. It is world’s most glorious Buddhist shrine and its main temple is capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt and is painted on the four sides with all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Next come Bouddhanath which is a Buddhist shrine and one of the large Stupas in the world. The shrine has unique octagonal Mandala design with hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha are set into the niches around the huge structure. The area of Bouddhanath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan monasteries, thus the area is also known as ‘Little Tibet’. As you wander round the shops surrounding the stupa, you will find yourself interacting with monks in their maroon and saffron robes, and traditionally dressed Tibetan refugees who live here at the religious center for Himalayan Buddhists. You can join the locals to circumambulate the stupa, bargain for handicrafts in the shops or sit on a rooftop restaurant and absorb the atmosphere. Later after sightseeing program, we will introduce you with your trekking guide and have a small pre-trip meeting. You are advised to pack your things and be set up for transfer to Pokhara from where the real Annapurna Panorama trek begins. Accommodation: City Hotel. Including Meal: Breakfast
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m/2,690ft)
We set off for Pokhara after breakfast. Driving today is adventurous and pleasant as it winds down hugging the mountain side through terraced fields. Following the side of Mahesh River we come to the Trishuli River. We follow Trisuli River side all the way up to Mugling where Trisuli River confluences with the Marshyangdi River. After crossing a bridge over Marshyangdi River we head further west to Pokhara. If you are on the right pane of your vehicle the journey today provides plenty of opportunity to view cultivated terraced fields, rivers, streams, green valleys, rocky gorges, farmlands and typical rural life of Nepal. We take lunch break in a restaurant along the way. Upon arrival in Pokhara, the naturally beautiful city with many crystal clear lakes you may take time to spend leisurely at Phewa lakeside or just hang around the market. Driving Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: City Hotel. Including Meal: Breakfast
Day04: Drive to Kimche and trek to Tadapani (2,630m/8,626ft)
We take a taxi from Pokhara and drive for two hours to reach the village of Kimche. From Kimche we start our trek through skillfully cultivated hillsides. We see the locals living basic life as farmers cultivating different seasonal crops. We can also see cattle in each household and often meet cattle herds along our trail. Cattles are taken in high pastures in the summer and in lower elevation for the winter months. As we pass through these medieval type villages we are greeted by “Namaste” from families. Upon reaching Ghandruk in about an hour we take a short excursion of Ghandruk village, have lunch there enjoy the Himalayan views the village offers. Ghandruk Village is perched on a hillside and is one of the major settlements of the Gurung people who are renowned for their services in the British Gurkha regiments. The skillfully stone tiled paths and slate roofed traditional houses harks us back to medieval time like we have seen in movies. We may visit the village museum representing Gurung culture. Its now two hours walk up to Tadapani through beautiful forest. The trail climbs gently from Ghandruk and then traverses through the forest on an undulating trail to a small stream. We cross the bridge and climb steeply up to Bhainsi Kharka. Here we climb a little more entering a thick old rhododendron forest through which the trail to Tadapani heaves gently for about an hour. Driving time: 2 hrs. Walking time: 5-6 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 05: Tadapani to Dobato (3420m/11217ft)
As soon as we leave Tadapani we enter a forest and start gentle climb. After half an hour’s climb, we descent short and again continue climbing to the shoulder of the hill through mossy rhododendron forest. Now ahead is steady climb all morning, the landscape ranging from gentle traverse to prolonged steep climbs through rhododendron and bamboo forests. We also pass several clearings with abandoned sheds before arriving on a bigger hill top at Dobato from where if good weather we can see superb views of Mt. Annapurna South and Mt. Machpucchare. From here we descend a little past a Chautara where we take the less noticeable path uphill on the left. Arriving on the edge we see ahead a rocky hill that we will be climbing ahead. We need to take care walking as the trail is narrow here. After about half an hour of ascend the trail navigate briefly to the ridge. After a few minutes’ drop we reach Dobato. Walking time: 6 – 7 hrs. Accommodation: Community Lodge.Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 06: Dobato to Kopra Danda (34500m/113160ft)
The newly developed trail from here is more scenic traversing across to Kopra. But if you are trekking in early spring and late autumn, there could be heavy snow condition so this route may not be possible and we need to use the alternative route via Shistibong. The direct route trail descends from Bayeli through sparse rhododendron trees and berberi bushes to cross a couple of streams then climb steeply up on the ridge seen from camp. It is a gentle climb from here as we cross a stream then traverse this steep sided slope to Kopra. The trail undulates all the while with some steep climbs and descends either crossing streams or climbing over spurs. Finally arriving at a small pond and chautara, we ignore the path continuing straight and take the ascending left hand trail climbing in zigzags up the ridge, after another chautara a short traverse will get us to our destination. Walking time: 6-7 hrs, Accommodation: Community Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 07: Khopra Danda to Khayer lake exploration (4500m/14760ft)
The first 2½ hour was a gentle walk through beautiful Rhododendron forest. We can see a lot of Primula. After 65 min. more walk and 4-5 small climbs we reached a little pass and 5 min. later a chautara (rest place). Short after the chautara there was a sign to Khopra on our left hand. About here someone has made a tea stop, if it is open. Up to the left there is a praying flag. It is the trail to Deurali. Walk 15 min. up here, and there is a great viewpoint. Now it became hard. It was only a small trail high up on the mountainside, so be careful. Some parts very gentle around the mountainside and some parts were very steep up. After almost one hour we reached the top, and short after we started to go down, we saw the lodge at Baili Kharka. They are planning to make the last part of this trail better. Walking time: 9-10 hrs. Accommodation: Local Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 08: Khopra Danda to Swanta Village (3000m/9840ft)
After enjoying another magnificent sunrise view we trek back along the short traverse and down to the small pond and chautara. From here we will follow the path descending down towards the valley. From sparse vegetation of berberis and rhododendron we pass amazing oak forest after Shistibong, then down to bamboo and wet mossy forest of mixed vegetation. After crossing the forest there is short climb then the trail undulates through the woodland to Swanta. Swanta is a very beautiful village hosted by Magar ethinicity. With its farmed terraced fields, beautiful surrounding high green hills and villages, and views of the Dhaulagiri mountain range, Tukuche peak and Annapurna South, Swanta village is interesting to spend time exploring around observing lifestyle of the people. There about 75 households in Swanta and most of the men are working in the British and Indian Gurkha Army. Walking time: 5 – 6 hrs Accommodation: Community Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 09: Swanta to Ghorepani (2860m/9380ft)
Today’s walk is short so we need not hurry to start trek early. Wake up leisurely and after breakfast we trek down through farmlands, villages, streams. You can even get to see a local small water mill. People believe the grains processed in water mill is tastier than that processed in electric mills. We cross suspension bridge and climb to the village of Chittre and shortly we come to the major trekking trail leaving our off beatean track for today. There is a further ascent to reach the village of Ghorepani from where we see great views of the Dhaulagiri massif. We deserve a well-earned rest today at Ghorepani (if you want still to trek off beaten today, you can trek from Swanta to Mohare Danda which is about 6 hours hike through beautiful village, farmlands and forests). Walking time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Local Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 10: Ghorepani to Poonhill and then to Mohore Danda (3300m/10824ft)
Depending on season, we wake up least one hour before sunrise and start our hike to Poonhill which takes about 45 minutes. We enjoy the Himalayan sunrise view from Poonhill top. Since we have been trekking off beaten trail for several days we may strangle due to the crowd at Poonhill but the crowd is generally only in the morning at Poon Hill. We have breakfast and then start our hike to Moharedanda through the grassy and rhododendron forests, sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill and sometimes on a flat trail. We have a strenuous climb at Humpal pass (3098m). Descending past the Humpal pass we walk along a flat trail and get again into a forest. After short walk again through steep, grassy path along the ridge we finally get sight of Moharedanda. We walk to Moharedanda ridge for a spectacular 360 degree mountain view through the Dhaulagiri range ((8167m) high, Annapurna range (8091m), Manaslu Himal (8163m) at sunset. The panorama of landscapes is equally fascinating as well. Rest time is spent enjoying the vistas at Moharedanda top. Accommodation: Community Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 11: Mohore Danda to Ulleri (1960m/6428ft)
Interesting about Moharedanda is that you don’t need to wake up very early to walk to the top as you did for Poonhill because you will be sleeping right at the Moharedanda top at one of the community lodge! Early morning you can even see the golden mountains from your bed, but these vistas will definitely drag a diehard lazy chap out of bed with his camera. After feasting the vista of the magnificent mountains, we have breakfast and start our trek down to the village of Ulleri. Accommodation: Local Lodge. Including Meal: B, L, D
Day 12: Ulleri to Nayapul to Pokhara
Knee hurting climb down through 3280 stone steps. You will be regularly visited by groups of monkeys as you travel through the narrow valley. The trail continues on an increasingly crowded inhabited mountain ridge, through Hille, Sudame, Matathanti, Birethanti, where a variety of lodges and souvenir vendors as well as a police presence will greet you. From Nayapul we take a vehicle for about an hour to get to Pokhara. Once in Pokhara again you can feast on a variety of delicious meals.
Pokhara is a beautiful place to spend time to relax after a trek. If you have buffer time after trek, we suggest you to spend a day in Pokhara instead of hurrying back to Kathmandu today. If you don’t have time you will drive back to Kathmandu today through the winding roads. Accommodation: City Hotel. Including Meal: B, L
Day 13: Drive back to Kathmandu
Pokhara is situated in a picturesque location by the side of Fewa Lake and is worthy spendint time after a hard trek. If you have buffer time after trek, we suggest you to spend a day in Pokhara instead of hurrying back to Kathmandu today. If you don’t have time you will drive back to Kathmandu today through the winding roads. Driving Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: City Hotel. Including Meal: B, D
Note: You have the option to extend your trip with an extra day at Pokhara (Pokhara is a beautiful city to relax after a trek), Chitwan jungle safari, paragliding, rafting adventure, Bunjee Jumping, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, Bhaktapur and Patan sightseeing, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
Day 14: Trip Ends-Depart Kathmandu-Airport drop
The last day of your Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek. You can use your hotel room up to 12 noon (1-2 hours negotiable). It will cost additional if you need to occupy more time at hotel due to your late flight. If you don’t have an early flight, you might want to look for souvenirs in the city markets. Three hours before your scheduled flight, our representative will drop you to the airport and bid you farewell. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of this Nepal. Included Meal: Breakfast
Want to make this trip of your style ? Request Customization