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Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Abhishek Subedi July 15, 2020

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek is one of the best treks in the Annapurna region with the new trekking route. Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek, also known as Khayar Lake or Khopra Ridge (Danda) Trek is a suitable trek for  trekkers in search of a new destination in the Annapurna region. Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek offers such a rich variety of spectacular scenery, peace and isolation and experience of so many diverse Himalayan Culture. Throughout the trekking in the Annapurna Dhaulagiri trekking route you will stay at community operated lodges whose profits are contributed for the welfare of local schools and people living in this region. Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek offers many gripping traditional villages, beautiful forests and occasionally trekked high alpine pastures with the enchanting Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. 

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

About the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

This trek offers such a rich variety of spectacular scenery, peace and isolation and experience of so many diverse Himalayan Culture. The beautiful Khayar Lake (4,510m) is the major attraction of this area along with the panoramic sunrise view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri, etc. Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trekking begins once you land in the busy and historic Kathmandu valley from where you either drive or fly to Pokhara. Pokhara is well known for its clean environment, natural beauty and lakes amongst the domestic and international travelers from all around the globe. After spending a night in Pokhara you will drive for around 1hr 30min towards Nayapul from where the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trekking trial begins and reach Ghandruk through Birenthanti, a beautiful village at the Modi Khola riverbank. From Ghandruk you will gradually ascend to Tadapni walking through the Rhododendron and Oak forests. 

The Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek continues ahead to Bhaisi Kharkha from where you will trek to Tadapani. The journey continues in the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trekking trail towards Bayli Kharka from where the path leads us to Upper Chistibung crossing Lower Chistibung. From Upper Chistibung you will slowly ascend towards the Kopra Ridge for overnight stay.  

Day 1 Drive to Pokhara 

The journey starts from the Kathmandu valley from where the bus ride of about 5 to 6 hours will take you to the beautiful city of Pokhara. Through this ride travellers can enjoy the scenic views of beautiful river valleys, alongside terraced fields of barley and rice and over green hills blanketed with lush vegetation. When you arrive at the Pokhara valley there you will witness the beautiful lakes, hills and mountain ranges. The travellers will enjoy the evening here and stay here for a night. 

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Day 2 Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Ulleri

This day you will begin your drive to Nayapul which is approximately 40 k.m. from Pokhara. The drive will take around 1 hour 30 min after which you will begin your trek. The first part of the trail takes us to Birethati where you will check in your ACAP permit and TIMS. You will then cross the river at Birethati and head left along the gentle slope to Tikhedhunga. From here you will again cross the BhurungdiKhola River on two suspension bridges. After crossing the river you will start the steep climb to Ulleri where you will be spending the night. 

Day 3 Trek to Ghorepani

From Tikhedhunga the trail crosses a stream on a suspension bridge near the campsite at Tikhedhunga. The trail ascends a steep stone staircase (which has about 3300 steps) to the large Magar village of Ulleri at 2080m. Above the village, the trail climbs gently through pastures and cultivated fields. The trail crosses two beautiful and clear streams before making a short and final climb to the Nangethanti. Thanthi is the Nepali word meaning ”rest house”. During the winter season you can experience the trail covered with the white and soft snow. From Nangethanti you will continue your climb towards the Ghorepani at 2850 metres. From here you can indulge yourself in the spectacular panoramic views of Dhaulagiri I, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Himchuli and more. 

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Day 4 Ghorepani to Chule via Tadapani

Your guide will check the weather forecast and let you know the sunrise time. You will hike up to Poonhill early in the morning and return back to the tea house for breakfast. The sunrise from Ghorepani is said to be one of the best sunrise as the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu Himalayan Range which includes Nilgiri, Tukuche Peak, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Barahi Shikhar, Machhapuchhre offer breathtaking views.

After breakfast you will continue trekking towards Chuile. The first part of the trek is an ascend to Thabala Hill from where you will observe magnificent views of the Himalayas. You will then descend down to Deurali where you will  pass through a few teahouses and continue towards Banthanti. Here you will have our lunch. The trail then is a descend to a river from where you will again have to climb up to Tadapani from where you will take a left towards Chule.

Day 5 Chule to Ghandruk

From Chule the trail descends through forests to Ghandruk. Ghandruk is a village of Gurung people, one of the ethnic groups of Nepal; they have their own dialect, culture, costume, and lifestyle. Ghandruk is also home to many Gurkha soldiers. It is a famous destination for trekkers as it is known for its beautiful mountain views and within easy reach from Pokhara and Kathmandu. You will have the afternoon to visit the Annapurna conservation office, Museum and explore the village.

Day 6 Ghandruk to Tadapani

Uphill trek continues on this day too. You will head in the direction of Tadapani gradually ascending. The trail today offers magnificent views of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli followed by a walk inside Rhododendron and Oak forests. And a small river joining you during the trek but flowing in the opposite direction. The trail today doesn’t have any human settlements except few Teahouses at Bhaisi Kharka. The views of Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna South (7,237m), Machhapuchhare (6993m) and Lamjung Himal (6931m) is just awe-inspiring from Tadapani which also offers glorious sunrise views.

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Day 7 Trek to Bayli Kharka

From Tadapani you will leave the trail towards Ghorepani and trek inside the Rhododendron forest which takes you to local water buffalo pastures. The trail from Today is comparatively less crowded which offers a great trekking experience. You will continue trekking higher eventually above the tree line with Annapurna Himalayan range standing tall in front of you. After Lunch near a small stream, you will continue towards a small pass and descend through rhododendron forests and reach Bayli Kharkha.

Day 8 Trek to Upper Chistibung

The initial trial today is a descend through open ground and forests to arrive at the pastures of Lower Chistibung, your lunch stop for today. You will slowly continue climbing uphill passing many buffalo grazing pastures to reach Upper Chistibung where you will be spending the night.

Day 9 Trek to Khopra Ridge

After breakfast you will resume your trek towards Khayer Lake. On this day you will trek above the treeline while watching out for Himalayan Thar and Danphe Pheasant. The trail today is mostly uphill so you will trek without any hustle with breaks to observe the natural beauty of this region. When you reach Khopra Ridge, Annapurna South and Nilgiri welcome you with an exceptional panoramic view. 

Day 10 Day hike to Khayer Lake

Today is the highlight of the trek where you will be trekking towards Khayer Lake also known as “the hidden lake”. The Annapurna South seems standing right in front of you as it is just 6k.m away. After spending some time around the lake you will return back to Khopra for overnight stay.

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Day 11 Trek to Swanta

After your breakfast you will start your way back towards Pokhara to Poonhill. The trail today is steep downhill. You will have to unwaveringly descend to Chistibung from where you will turn towards Poonhill. You will stop at the village of Swanta for overnight stay.

Day 12 Trek to Ghorepani

From Swanta you will descend through the village fields to a small river and take a quick look at the local water mill. From here you will cross the suspension bridge and head upwards to the village of Chittre. Here you will join the main trekking trail. It is a further ascent to reach the village of Ghorepani where there are great views of the Dhaulagiri massif.

Day 13 Sunrise trip to Poonhill

Your guide will check the sunrise time and will inform you during the dinner on the previous day. You will start early morning towards Poonhill, one of the best place to view sunrise. From where you can witness magical sunrise over Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail), Hiunchuli and many other peaks. After spending some time at the view point you will descend back to Ghorepani for breakfast. After breakfast, trek to Trikhedhuga. The trail passes through settlements at Nangethanti, Ulleri, Banthanti before finally reaching Tikhedhunga. 

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Day 14 Trek to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara

Today is the last day of the trek. You will start your trek after breakfast towards Nayapul, which translates to New Bridge in Nepali. You will trek along the Burungdi River crossing a few suspension bridges during today’s trek. After reaching Nayapul, you will drive to Pokhara. 

Day 15 Drive to Kathmandu Valley

It is time to bid farewell to the Pokhara valley and take a bus ride back to the Kathmandu valley. You can enjoy the beautiful landscapes, river valleys and clear sky through the window of the bus before reaching the city.   

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