How to Organize the Best Khopra Danda Trek

Less popular and often unnoticed behind the popularity of Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Khopra Danda trek is a great option for those looking for a perfect week-long trek in an off-beaten trail. The trekking route combines the best of what Nepal has to offer – amazing mountain views, rustic rural scenes, rice fields layered one on another, and less frequented by people.

The trek, At a Glance:

Difficulty level: Moderate to Easy
Maximum altitude: 3660m (12,008ft), Khopra Danda
Duration: 7 days
Activity per day: 4-6 hours walking
Nature of the trek: Tea house trekking
Best time to go: March-May and September-November
Accommodation: Selected hotels in Pokhara; tea houses along the trek trail

Highlights of the Khopra Danda Trek:

Spectacular view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri including several other Annapurna ranges.
Unfrequented and off-beaten trail in Annapurna
Night stay experience in panoramic tea house
Side trip to Khayer Lake 4,660m (5,096yd)
Cheese factory and mushroom farms
Visual treat of sunset view at Poon Hill
Yak and cow breeding farms
Handmade paper production

Setting up the Route to Khopra Danda Trek:

The Views throughout the Trek

Relatively a newly opened route in the Annapurna region, Khopra Danda trek is an awesome trail of off-beaten route and unforeseen views. From jaw-dropping sceneries of mountains like Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna (I, II, III and south), Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal and Nilgiri views, you would be heading off to valleys with rural villages and rice fields. Wide forests of colourful Rhododendron, and beautiful wildlife of Himalayas including pheasants and yaks, each and every single view of the area is guaranteed to spellbind you.

Remoteness

The trail to Khopra Danda takes you through the beautiful remote villages in Annapurna. Trekking for a week in a region from the knock of the hustle-bustle of city along the rugged and rough terrain is certain to take you to another world altogether. At many places en route, walking through the jungles, watching wildlife up, close and personal, this would be a different level of luxury and comfort which only diehard trekkers would enjoy and experience.

Trekking Beyond Khopra Danda

One can trek up to the holy and beautiful Khayar Lake, though the route is moderately difficult than that of Khopra Danda trek. The maximum altitude during this trekking route is at Khayer Lake at 4,600m (5,031yd).

Weather and Climate

While talking of trekking, one can certainly not rule out the weather factor. Khopra Danda trek trail becomes extremely wet and slippery during monsoons and hence must be avoided as it would be very difficult as well as risky to walk.
The perfect trekking season to trek Khopra Danda is when the climate and temperature are both favourable and comfortable enough for trekking. The best months are autumn (September, October, and November) and spring (March, April and May). Trekking during these seasons will avoid the heavy downpours of monsoons and icy cold of winter.
Additionally, these months offer a clean and great visibility.

Where to Start Khopra Danda Trek

The only international airport in Nepal is Kathmandu where you begin your trip from before being transferred to Pokhara via tourist bus, or private car. From Pokhara, you have to drive to the trailhead, Nayapul and then hike to Ghandruk. This is the village where your Khopra Danda trek officially begins.

Khopra Danda Trek – Guidance for the Trail

Khopra Danda route is relatively new, and the trails are well marked with signboards mentioned with altitude information and direction arrows. For the same reasons, trekking isn’t very difficult at Khopra Danda. However, the difficulty level goes up if you are planning to visit the Khayer Lake as well.

Solo Trekking? Absolute Yes!

The trekkers who are interested in exploring Khopra Danda as a solo trip, it is one of the safest trail to opt for. With adequate information and zeal, you can cover the route all alone. However, if you are new to trekking activity, or not accustomed to Nepal climate, food and accommodation, it is always advisable to take a guide along. Not only you would get a company, it would assure your safety too.

Trekking Charges

In general, the trekking cost includes
Accommodation in cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara and that at the teahouses.
Meals during trek
Guide or porter costs
Paperworks and trekking permits
Ground transportations on a comfortable vehicle as per itinerary

Tips for Khopra Danda Trek

Carry refillable water bottles, and don’t forget to carry water purifying pills. You will need plenty of water, especially at higher altitudes.
Do maintain a constant pace of the walk.
The trails are rugged and remote; you have to be cautious and careful while trekking to avoid injuries.
Don’t forget to carry energy bars and lightweight snacks; you will need enough of them in the middle of trekking.
A comfortable trekking shoe is a must.
Sleeping bag is essential; do invest in a good one.

Packing Checklist:

Clothing:
• Warm jacket, thermal wear, long sleeved synthetic fleece, loose fitting hiking trousers.
• Wind-cheater jacket, waterproof jacket, umbrella
• Hiking boots
• Hat, pair of gloves and scarf
• Wool-blend socks

Trekking gear:
• Dark polarized sunglasses (to avoid snow-blindedness)
• Waterproof backpack and backpack cover
• Map of the trekking region
• Head-torch, with spare batteries
• Sleeping bag
• Compass
• Binoculars

Miscellaneous:
• Toiletries and a quick-drying towel
• Sunscreen
• Earplugs
• First aid kit with Diamox pills (must) to fight altitude sickness
• Camera, battery
• Insect repellents

Permits:
To cover the entire Khopra trek, you would need two permits – ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area permit) and TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System).
Also, though solo travelling is allowed, it is always advisable to take along a professional trekking guide or porter to guide you through the route. The way up to Khopra Danda and side trip to Khayer Lake isn’t properly dotted, and hence only a professional guide would be able to take you there.

Khopra Danda trek is relatively new, and yet to be explored by many. Make your next trekking trip be here to enjoy some of the most beautiful and untouched faces of nature. Less frequented, uncommon views and refreshing ambience – this is going to be a lifetime experience without neither burning a hole in your pocket, nor pulling down your energy much.
Don’t forget to keep this guide handy.

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