Khopra Danda Trek

The Khopra Danda trek (also known as the Khopra Ridge trek) is a great alternative to the more popular (and more crowded) Ghorepani trek, taking you higher still to another great viewpoint of the Annapurnas.

Overview

Fast facts
Min. duration 5 days
Max. elevation 3640m (Khopra ridge) / 4660m (Kayer Lake)
Start/finish Tirkhedhunga/Tatopani
Difficulty Moderate
Trek style Teahouse
Khopra Danda Trek Map
Khopra Danda Trek Map

If you're looking for the perfect week-long trek, a little off-the-beaten path and with great views, this trek is a great choice. It combines the best of what Nepal has to offer: amazing mountain views, pastoral villages, and rice fields layered on top of each other, descending down into the valley. The best part is that so few people know about it.

The route follows a local trail that takes you down into the valley north of Ghorepani, before climbing up another ridge, known as "Khopra Ridge". Without a doubt, one of the best short treks in Nepal.

Highlights

  • Wake early morning for an amazing sunrise over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas
  • Stay at a teahouse with one of Nepal's best panoramic views
  • Watch the yaks come to pasture
  • 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 Danda
The teahouse perched atop Khopra Ridge with views of Dhaulagiri (Photo credit: Alex Buri

Route Description

The route follows the same trail to Ghorepani, but then dips down into the valley before climbing back up again to a ridge (Khopra Danda) north of Poon Hill. This takes about a day, unless you want to break it up into two days and stay at a teahouse in the village Swanta. Atop the ridge, you'll find a single teahouse run by a caretaker that comes up each day from the villages below.

During this trek with my brother, we brought a tent and camped on a small outcrop just up the ridge from the teahouse. The views were superb, both at sunset and sunrise, when the valley filled with clouds below us with Dhaulagiri towering clear above. In the evenings, local yak herds are brought to over night and graze on the slopes just below us.

Khopra Danda
Atop Khopra ridge
En route to Khayer Lake
En route to Khayer Lake
Nilgiri South
View of Nilgiri South
Yaks
Yaks returning to pasture
The above photos were taken by Alex Buri

From Khopra Danda, it takes a day to reach Tatopani where you can catch a bus back to Pokhara (you'll have to switch in a nearby town on the way). As you descend back down into the valley, you'll pass through villages and terraces and can stop for lunch or even spend an extra night in one of village teahouses. At Tatopani, you'll find a built up hot spring open to the public.

En route to Tatopani
En route to Tatopani
Camped above Khopra
Camped above Khopra
farm fields
Layered crop terraces
stone steps
Stone steps to Khayer Lake

Brief Itinerary

Day Destination Altitude Duration
Day 01 Tirkhedhunga 1488m 2 hours
Day 02 Ghorepani 2875m 4-5 hours
Day 03 Swanta / Upper Chistibung (Poon Hill early morning) 3000m 5-6 hours
Day 04 Khopra Danda 3640m 3 hours
Day 05 Khopra Danda (Day-trip to Khayer Lake, 4660m) 3640m 7-8 hours
Day 06 Tatopani 1250m 4-5 hours
Day 07 Pokhara 815m 4 hours (private jeep)