About the Khopra Danda Trek


The Khopra Danda trek or the Khopra Ridge trek is a 5-6 day trek in the Annapurna Mountain range. Khopra is pronounced (coe-pra) and Danda means "Ridge". The trek is relatively new and is known as a community lodge based trek. It differs slightly from other treks in that you'll often be staying in lodges run by local communities rather than privately run lodges.

The trek has great views of Annapurna south and the Annapurna Mountain range while also having a side trek to a high altitude lake. The trek gained its popularity from backpackers and independent trekkers who bolstered the community aspect of the trek. Many people consider Khopra Ridge similar to the Poon Hill trek but without the crowds - however Khopra Danda is slightly more challenging but it does indeed have less crowds.

 

Annapurna Mountains on the Khopra Danda Trek

Annapurna Mountains near Ghorepani on the Khopra Danda trek

There are several itineraries for the Khopra Danda trek and you should take your time in understanding them to avoid wasting time and money on "over extended treks" which many companies push. It's key to remember that the Khopra Danda trek passes through many other famous treks like Mardi Himal, Annapurna Base Camp, Mohare Danda and Poon Hill. These can easily be added on to your trek if you wish.

On this page we'll take my preferred route for the Khopra trek which easily allows you to extend it if you want or you get back in time if need be. I'll let you know clearly the costs, routes and what you can expect!

Trek Overview

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Days: 5-7

Max Altitude: 3,640m/4,600m

Distance: 55km (34.1 mi)

Accommodation: Community Lodge / Teahouse

Distance shown is the main Khopra Danda trek which ends in Ghorepani. You can head back to Pokhara from here with a 5km trek then a bus/jeep. Or, you can continue on to Poon Hill or Mohare Danda if you have an extra day or two. Final distance will depend on side treks, how far you drive at the start/end, extra days taken etc.


Honesty counts! Every travel guide on this site has always been 100% independent, unbiased & honest. Rest assured there are no sales pitches for treks here & no hidden sales links. I have included plenty of options & resources for you to find the best trekking guides who know this area well. I do not accept sponsorships, free treks or tours. I do not own a trekking company or business in Nepal. I pay my own way & in turn write authentic guidebooks to Nepal. Rest assured, this is a genuine travel & trekking guide that you can trust.

Where is the Khopra Danda trek?


The Khopra Danda Trek is located to the north-east of Pokhara in the north central area of Nepal bordering the districts of Myagdi District and Kaski District. The Khopra Ridge itself is relatively close to the village of Ghorepani in Dhaulagiri. However the trek itself is best enjoyed by making a mini circuit so that it encompasses the entire areas mountain landscape.

Many books and trekking agents start the trek in Ghorepani and make there way up to Khopra ridge before circling around to Tadapani. However a more scenic option is do the trek starting in Nayapul, up to Ghandruk, Dobato (visit Muldai), Dhan Kharka, Khopra Ridge before going to Ghorepani. This way, if you still have time you can add in the Poon Hill trek at the end or even the Mohare trek to Beni.

 

Map of Nepal showing the location of Khopra Danda Trek Pokhara Kathmandu

 

For those with more time they can start in Nayapul and take on the Mardi Himal trek first before joining the main Khopra Danda trek.

There are people who try to circumnavigate the trek to avoid buying permits. They start in Beni, Mohare and then try to avoid the Poon Hill check points to reach Khopra Ridge. This is still possible. Though it should be pointed out that they'll miss out on a lot of the scenic areas.

A pale pink sunrise on a mountain on the Khopra trek
A pale pink sunrise on a mountain on the Khopra trek

To start the Khopra Danda trek buses, mini-vans or jeeps will take you from Pokhara to the trail head in the village of Phedi. It's a short trip.

Doing trek by starting in Ghorepani takes a bit longer and will depend on the condition of the road.

By starting in Phedi you get the advantage of a slow build to the Khopra trek with enticing villages leading to Ghandruk and the first nights stay with a mountain sunset.

Dobato equally serves up dramatic mountain views in a teahouse area that feels like teahouses used to be twenty years ago. It's also the way to the hidden lake which you can do as a side trek. Dobato is also part of the Muldai trek which has the same views as Poon Hill and may save you time later if you trek there instead of the more crowded Poon Hill.

Khopra Ridge itself is somewhat misleading hence it's best not to call it a ridge trek like Mardi Himal. For Khopra you basically have to spend a few hours trekking up a huge slab of mountain side with little to view other than the dirt. It's at the top you'll get to see the ridge, a close up of Annapurna South and the Annapurna mountain range.

There's a side trek if you want to add a day up to Khayar lake. It's a long slog of a day but if you've never seen a high altitude lake then it's worth the trip.

The way to Ghorepani is along a lush area with mountain peaks poking out at you. Finally in Ghorepani you also include an hours walk up to Poon Hill for more great views. You can head back to Pokhara now or continue trekking for another day across Mohare Danda to Beni and then Pokhara.

 


Map of the Khopra Danda Trek


This map shows you the Khopra Danda Trek Route.


Please note this map should not be used as a practical trekking map. The trek ends in Ghorepani on the map. From there you have a choice to climb Poon Hill, visit Mohare or return to Pokhara. If returning to Pokhara then please see the Poon Hill Trekking Map or the itineraries below.

 


Facts about the Khopra Danda Trek


The Khopra Danda trek has been a popular trek for single trekkers since 2012. Once a community lodge was set up on the top of the ridge it became even more popular. However it does not attract large groups of trekkers like Poon Hill as it's one of a few non-commercial trek. 

Highest point of the Khopra Danda Trek

At 3,640 m (11,942.26 feet) Khopra Ridge is the highest part of the trek. However, if you do the side trek to Lake Khayar then you'll reach 4,600 m (15,091.86 feet).

View of Khopra Lodge and mountains

View of Khopra Lodge and mountains

Highest sleeping point on the Khopra Danda Trek

The highest sleeping point is at the community lodge on Khopra Ridge Phedi 3,640 m (11,942.26 feet).

Total distance of the Khopra Ridge Trek

The full distance trekked on the Khopra Danda trek is about 55 km (34.1 miles). However if you were to take in some side treks it could easily reach 85-100 km.

How long have people been trekking the Khopra Ridge route?

Local woman along the Khopra Trek
Local woman along the Khopra Trek

Khopra Ridge opened as a community lodge in 2014. The community aspect was pushed by Mahabir Pun who is a well known Nepali man that has tried to connect rural villages to the internet.

Mahabir has also tried to improve trekking conditions in villages by allowing communities rather than private individuals to run the lodges.

Is there any wildlife to see on the Khopra Danda trek?

Wildlife is found throughout Annapurna Region however many are quite elusive. These include the  lynx, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr and weasels, marten and Himalayan mouse hares.

What mountains can you see on the Khopra trek?

From Larkya Pass you will get full views of Dhaulagiri 8,167 m (26,795 ft), Annapurna I 8,091 m (26,545 ft), Annapurna South 7,219 m (23,684 ft), Machhapuchhre 6,993 m (22,943 ft), Annapurna II 7,937 m (26,040 ft), Annapurna III 7,555 m (24,787 ft), Gangapurna 7,455 m (24,459 ft), Tukuche peak 6,920 m (22,700 ft), Dhampus peak 6,012 m (19,724 ft), Hiunchuli 6,441 m (21,132 ft), Gurja Himal 7,193 m (23,599 ft), Nilgiri Himal 7,061 m (23,166 ft). However it is Annapurna South that you'll get the best views of!


Highlights of the Khopra Ridge Trek


Highlights of the Khopra Ridge Trek include:
 
Annapurna South on the Khopra Trek
Annapurna South on the Khopra Trek
  • A short trek away from all the crowds
  • Splendid views of the Annapurna Mountains range
  • Community Lodges
  • Forest pathways
  • Village trails
  • Less tourists
  • Can be extended through several routes

 


How to arrange a trek to Khopra Danda


Arranging a regular Khopra Danda trek

The Khopra Danda trek is quite new and not all trekking companies are aware of it or indeed offer treks to it. Do be careful with online trekking agents both internationally and locally as many may offer the trek but the guide may never have been.

One of the aspects of the Khopra Ridge trek is that it's run by community lodges so local guides generally get better service than large group tours. That said the lodges don't always work efficiently.

The community lodge on Khopra ridge can often run out of beds and the staff are not permanent and there have been reports of trekkers being turned away due to the place being full. Additional accommodation has been built to reduce this issue. Getting up to the community lodge early is a good idea "just in case". Likewise calling ahead. Again, a guide is very useful for these issues.

Package treks & tours bought online

Package treks & tours to Khopra Danda bought online usually have a fixed itinerary with many  bloated with extra days. Some offer 12-14 day treks which is highly unnecessary unless you are including Mardi Himal. Prices are often above average for this trek as the community lodges are reasonable in price.

Package tours usually include food, accommodation and permits. Costs can be from USD $750+

Pro's of a package tour to Khopra include that everything is done for you ahead of time.

Con's include wading through pages upon pages of online offers with each offering one thing that differs from another. 

Package treks bought in Nepal

For those with a couple of days in Nepal things get easier. The best place to look for Khopra Danda Treks is in Pokhara not Kathmandu. Chances are the trek will not be advertised in windows - don't worry about it just call in. The downside will be listening to trekking companies trying to upsell the trek or increase the days so they can make more money from you.

Hydro power station in the forest near Swanta
Hydro power station in the forest near Swanta

When purchasing a local trekking companies package tour to Khopra Danda it's important to know what's included.

Make sure that you and the trekking company agree on what's included in the total price and have it in writing (no matter how nice the company seems). Accommodation, permits, transport fees, meals etc. should be written down as covered.. 

Pro's of a local package trek tour to Khopra include meeting your guide and the trekking company owner before your trek. You'll also be able to customize your trekking itinerary. Treks can start from $700 per person for a 6 day trek. Again, opting for public transport or no porter will lower the price.

Con's include listening for a day or two about upsells on the trek from everything to including the APC to taking "a different route".

If you'd like to take the hard work out of finding a guide for the Khopra Danda trek before you arrive then do try my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Hiring a local Khopra Danda Guide yourself

This is one of the best ways to visit Khopra Danda. However you do need to be careful and know that your guide is qualified and has been there before. There are plenty of street guides who'll claim that there "brother" lives there and they've done the trek 10 times over.

If you are looking for a local trekking guide for the Khopra Danda Trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

In my guidebook to Nepal are several well vetted trekking agencies you can choose from.

You can also save some time by using my Find a Guide Trekking Service to get a local guide.

Trekking Khopra Danda without a guide

The Khopra Danda trek began as an independent trek and indeed links up to the community trek Mohare Danda. However it's important to note that unless you have prior trekking experience in Nepal the Khopra Danda trek is not as well marked as other treks around the world.

The Khopra Ridge Community Lodge has turned trekkers away in the past. As such it's important to get up there early in the morning if you are trekking solo and claim a room. Otherwise if you arrive in the middle of the afternoon and there is no room then you have the choice of a pleading to stay in the central area eating area or going back down. Do note new accommodation is being built but it's not quite there yet!

If you have trekked before and do feel like taking on the Khopra trek yourself then do make sure to bring a working mobile phone and sim card as an added precaution along with adequate trekking insurance.

If you haven't trekked in Nepal before then my advice would be to take a guide.

If you are looking for a guide for the Khopra trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

You may also use my Find a Guide Trekking Service.


Best time of year to go trekking  to Khopra Danda


Khopra Danda's weather is similar to Poon Hill however you will be far more exposed on Khopra Ridge. Clouds also seem to roll into Khopra Ridge more frequently than Poon Hill.

As such Nepal's traditional peak seasons offer the best months for great views from Khopra. It is however important to note that to Khopra is below 4,000 meters. As such cloud cover is more frequent than in other treks. I would be hesitant to do this trek in the monsoons season for lack of seeing much at all. Likewise if the weather is being unpredictable in Pokhara then it's likely to be unpredictable in Khopra.

 

Khopra Weather by month

  Avg. Temperature
(°C)
Avg. Temperature
(°F)
Precipitation / Rainfall
(mm)
January 2.2 36.0 30
February 3.5 38.3 27
March 7.5 45.5 39
April 10.8 51.4 33
May 13 55.4 34
June 14.8 58.6 61
July 14.2 57.6 143
August 14.1 57.4 135
September 13 55.4 74
October 10.3 50.5 35
November 5.6 42.1 6
December 3.3 37.9 10

Do note that Khopra Ridge does not have a weather station. The above weather chart is from Poon Hill which geographically is nearby.

 

Temperature Chart for Khopra Danda

Poon Hill annual temperature index graph

Cloud and Rain Chart for Khopra Danda

Poon Hill annual cloud and rain index graph

Khopra Danda is a  low-mid altitude trek so cloud coverage is an important consideration to take note of when planning your trek. Khopra's cloudiest months are July and August. However September and even October can also mean clouds. As mentioned above, it really does come down to looking at the weather in Pokhara before heading off. If it's all blue skies then you should be good to go. If it's heavy cloud, then it's highly likely Khopra Ridge will be too.

Months with the best weather to trek Khopra Danda

Mid October - November/(early)December: Nepal's peak and best time to go trekking to Khopra.

February-March-April: this is the end of the dry season in Nepal and the second best time of year to go trekking to Khopra. This time of year also has the added advantage of the surrounding countryside in full bloom.

December to January/February: the skies are clear but it can get very cold. It's rare for Khopra to close asides from being cold it is still a good time of year to go.

May - June: The hot pre-monsoon season means things get uncomfortable and humid.. The valley around Khopra are starting to bloom with flowers though. It's probably best to go with a guide at this time of year to help you during down pours etc. Don't go expecting to see mountains.

June - Mid September: this is Nepal's Monsoon season and the least popular time to go trekking to Khopra Ridge. The risk of leeches and heavy rain increases greatly. The views are nearly always obstructed too.

For more details please see my guide on the best time of year to go trekking in Nepal.


What permits do I need to go on the Khopra Danda Trek?


There are only two permits needed for the Khopra Danda Trek. Again, if coming from Mohare some trekkers try to dodge the checkpoints and don't get permits. Aside from technically being illegal going this route leaves out a lot of the treks finer points, views and experiences.

You need two permits for the Khopra Danda Trek

  1. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
  2. Trekker Information Management System (TIMS Card)

Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)

The Khopra Danda Trek is within  the Annapurna Conservation Area so you will need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit. ACAP permits can be obtained at either the Kathmandu or Pokhara tourism offices. However as the Khopra Danda trek is closer to Pokhara and this is where the trek usually starts from then the Pokhara office would be a faster and easier place to get all your permits.

An ACAP Permit
An ACAP Permit
Steps to getting an ACAP permit:

 

    1. Fill out the ACAP form
    2. Hand over the completed form, your passport and 2 passport photos ( do note the office taking photos for free at the moment)
    3. Pay the 3,000 rupees (only payable in Nepali Rupees)
    4. Get your ACAP permit


Trekker Information Management System Card (TIMS)

The last bit of documentation or permit you need is a Trekkers Information Management System Card (TIMS). The card is meant to help protect trekkers through registration checkpoints along a trek including along the Khopra Trek. However, aside from the trails heads and Ghorepani there are none! The fees are also used to towards guide and porter insurance.

Right next to the ACAP permit office is the TIMS card office.

Here are the steps to get a TIMS card.

A TIMS Card
A TIMS Card
  1. Fill in the TIMS card form
  2. Have your photograph taken by a member of staff (bring 2 extra passport photos just in case). 
  3. Pay 2000 rupees *
  4. Get your TIMS Card
* Do note that if you are trekking with a guide the TIMS Card is only 1,000 rupees. A good guide will usually do this for you as they must go to a separate office. A good guide will also get your ACAP permit too so you don't have to go to any of the offices!

Where are permits checked?

Birethanti just after Nyapul is the ACAP and TIMS checkpoint. The next is at Ghorepani.


What equipment do I need to go on the Khopra Trek?

While no specialized equipment is needed for the Khopra Danda trek.

Trekking hats in Nepal
Trekking hats can keep the sun off your head in the day and keep you warm at night
If you are an independent trekker and don't have much time then taking a sleeping bag just in case Khopra Community Lodge is full would be a good idea (arrive early if you want a bed).

  • A pair of trekking boots or trekking shoes suitable for off-road walking
  • A wind cheater style jacket
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Rubber sandals
  • Water bottles
  • Water purification system
  • Map
  • Sun hat/warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock

Trekking poles are always useful but unless you plan to do the Mohare Danda trek as well then there is are not too many steps on the Khopra trek itself.

Time of year will influence what your wear. Dressing in layers will help in colder seasons or indeed hotter seasons when you can add or subtract layers.

A windproof jacket is helpful if you go up to Khayar Lake.

Regular bottled water is not available on this trek. Locally filtered water may not be filtered with clean filters. As always it is a good idea to bring your own water filtration system and boil your drinking water. A pair of heat resistant water bottles are good to keep boiled water in them without cracking. Using a Steripen or Lifestraw (does not protect from fecal matter) can also be useful on this trek though do note both do not remove viruses and all bacteria. You'll need to use your own judgment if the water is needs treatment or not. As a rule I do treat all my water when trekking and have never had a problem.

Please note the above is a very basic list. For a full comprehensive list please see my article on trekking equipment you need for Nepal


How difficult is the Khopra Danda Trek?


There's full itinerary on the Khopra Danda trek which will describe each day. In general the trek is a mild to moderate trek.

Many trekkers note the hardest part of the Khopra Danda trek is reaching Khopra Ridge itself. It can take a few hours. Go slow and find your footing.

Khopra trek difficulty chart

The first day on the Khopra trek is relatively easy. A bus/jeep to Phedi and then a trek through villages to Ghandruk. It's a great introduction to the coming days.

Day two is a little tougher but made pleasant by a forest trail with mountain views to Dobato.

Day three is the hardest on this trek with a long day to Dhan Kharka and then up to Khopra Ridge.

Day four could be side trek to Lake Khayar which is another tough day. Otherwise you'll be coming back down for a long trek to Ghorepani.

Day five is downhill with some up to Ghandruk and on to Pokhara.

 

Trekker on a ridge on the Khopra Danda Trek

Trekker on a ridge on the Khopra Danda Trek near Dobato

Once again it's important to note that you can extent the Khopra trek or slow it down by a day easily. For new trekkers a 6 day trek is the best option. If you are used to trekking then 5 days will have you sweating but making it. The only exception is the accommodation in Khopra Ridge if it's busy. If it is full, you'll need to allocate another day by staying in Dhan Kharka for the night and going up to Khopra Ridge the next day.


How fit do I need to be for the Khopra Danda Trek?


Fitness for the Khopra Danda trek is relative to your own fitness levels. The trek is noted as being easy to moderate but do expect to be trekking for up to 5-6 hours per day.

As always I would advise anyone going trekking to see a doctor before they go for a check-up and to talk about dealing with altitude sickness.

If you don't get much exercise at the moment or don't consider yourself fit then you may want to extend the trek so you can have shorter trekking days.

Usually guides and trekkers break up a trekking day into 2-3 hours trekking in the morning and 2-3 hours trekking in the early afternoon. Trekking days usually start at around 7.30am and finish at 3-4pm. Lunches are quite early.

As a precaution do read about altitude sickness in Nepal.


What's the food like on the Khopra Danda trek?


Meals and menus are quite  good throughout the Khopra Danda trek.  However, so note that most of the food served is standard trekking food e.g. Dal Bhat.

Teahouses and community lodges now serve a fairly diverse menu throughout the Khopra Danda trek. As some parts of the trek have fewer trekkers than popular treks the food is nearly always sourced locally. The benefit to this is are usually amble servicing of fresh organic vegetables.

Dal Bhat, momos, pastas, fried rice and pancakes are also available. You can also get chicken meals and the odd chapatti. Meat is usually brought in from the surrounding area and frozen. Vegetarian options are available throughout as are curries.

Plate of Dhal Bhat in Swanta on the Khopra Danda Trek

Plate of Dhal Bhat in Swanta on the Khopra Danda Trek

 

Dal Bhat is particularly good on this trek as the locals living in the community lodges are eating the same meal throughout the day. Thereby it's usually fresh and tasty. Rice, vegetables, potatoes and a lentil soup are standard. The servings are surprisingly large and seconds (Dal Bhat only) are free.

Typical Khopra Menu

Item Price
Porridge with milk 300-350 Rupees
Fried eggs (2) 250-300 Rupees
Cheese Omelet 400-450 Rupees
Vegetable Momo 350-400 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Meat) 750-1000 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Veg) 400-600 Rupees
Pasta with tomato and cheese 500-600 Rupees
Fried Noodles (Veg) 300-400 Rupees
Fried Potatoes with Cheese 450-550 Rupees
Pasta with sauce 400-560 Rupees
Tea/Coffee 50/100 Rupees
1 liter beer 600+ Rupees
Soft Drinks (Coke, Sprite etc.) 120-150 Rupees
1 liter filtered water 100 Rupees
1 liter boiled water (for self-filtering) 50 Rupees
1 liter bottled water (not available)* 100-150 rupees

Please note that bottled water is not available in the Khopra Danda region. The installed water filters for local water around the Khopra region are not maintained well either. It's advised you use your own preferred water filtration system. Filtered water costs between 50-100 rupees, but it is not boiled.

Beer, soda, coffee (powder), tea and hot lemon are also widely available throughout the region.

Plate of egg fried rice on the Khopra trek

Plate of egg fried rice on the Khopra trek - personally I recommend sticking with Dal Bhat on the Khopra trek as it was quite good!

Chocolates, sweets, biscuits and candy bars are not that widely available in teahouses throughout the trek. Where available they will be of poor quality though you might get lucky. Most trekkers take their own sweets and treats.

Don't forget in Nepal the golden rule on treks is that you must eat in the restaurant of the tea house or community lodge you are staying at when trekking. If you do not eat there then your room price increases.


What's accommodation like on the Khopra Danda Trek?


Accommodation on the Khopra Danda Trek is a mix of traditional tea houses and new community lodges.

Lodge accommodation on the Khopra Trek
Lodge accommodation on the Khopra Trek

If you follow the Khopra Ridge Itinerary on this page then for the first 2 days you'll have the pleasure of staying in traditional Nepali teahouses. These are family run and very reminiscent of how teahouses first were when trekking began.

The teahouses offer private rooms but with shared bathrooms. There's a communal area where you can order meals and site by a fire on cold nights.

The community lodges are lodges on this trek are run a little differently. They were built with funding from Mahabir Pun who is a local Nepali man that pioneer internet connectivity in rural Nepal. He also run's a restaurant in Kathmandu called the Center for Connectivity (listed in my guidebooks).

The community lodges are run by members of the local community who take turns over the course of several months to manage, run and facilitate the lodges. The money earned is then shared within the community where the lodge is built.

The community lodges themselves are larger than tea houses. They are also constructed quite well using modern techniques. That said, they still only offer shared bathrooms.

One point of note that unfortunately needs to be highlighted is the current situation with the community lodge on Khopra Ridge itself. Throughout 2018-2019 there have been numerous reports of trekkers, guides, international trekkers and Nepali trekkers being turned away by the manager (even with bookings) with the excuse that the rooms are booked out. Unfortunately I too have witnessed this and brought it the attention of the Pun's. As of October 2019 this issue still relevant. It is one of the reasons I strongly recommend trekkers to reach Khopra Danda Lodge before lunch time and ensure you have a room. If you arrive late there's unfortunately a possibility you will have to trek back to Dan Kharka in the dark for the night. So, arrive early at Khopra Ridge and try to get a room!

If you do experience issues you may contact me with your report (please do get the name of the manager in charge at the time plus the date you arrived) as I will be presenting them to the relevant people involved.

The phone number to book a room at Khopra Ridge Lodge is: +977 9857622028. This number is Chitra Pun's number who may not be at the lodge but he will give you the telephone number of the current manager there.

This is a small blip in what generally is nice accommodation along this trek which have enjoyed. Hence it is important to be prepared just in case!

Read more and see what trekking accommodation is like in Nepal.


How much does the Khopra Danda trek cost?


Working out a cost for the Khopra Danda Trek Circuit comes down to duration, permits. guides, accommodation and food. However in general the Khopra trek is cheaper than Poon Hill so long as you avoid commercial tours.

You will need to pay for the following permits:

  • An Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is $30
  • TIMS Card (Tourism Information Management System) which is USD $10 if you are with a group. Both available via trekking agents and through the official Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu. If you trek without a guide the cost of USD $20

An average trek will cost you USD$40 in permits. As mentioned earlier some people avoid permit charges by trekking to Mohare Danda first. However once you cross into the Annapurna Conservation Area and get caught you will be subject to a hefty fine.

Working out your trekking budget

Package tours to Khopra Danda are only just appearing. You'll notice they are not as prevalent as EBC, ABC and the other popular treks. There's a couple of reasons for this. The primary one is that international trekking companies make more money from Poon Hill treks and the hotel commissions that have popped up there.

The second reasons is that it's still a new trek and again guides prefer the easier and more popular selling Poon Hill trek. As such, do check the itinerary carefully. And be wary of "extra days" being added on. Likewise be wary of companies offering "scenic trips from Kathmandu" to the start of the trek.

Trekker climbing steps to Ghandruk
Trekker climbing steps to Ghandruk

Online package tours for 5-6 days can cost USD$$650+pp. This does not include water or a porter. This does include a guide, accommodation, all permits and meals. Personally speaking, I find these online package treks to Khopra to be over priced and usually with too many days added.

Online package tours very often have fixed departure dates. This often means you'll be bundled with another group. While you may think it should be cheaper this way - the price doesn't reflect it.

In country package tours You are heading into a better scenario to find a Khopra trek here. Try to do your search in Pokhara not Kathmandu. Pokhara is where most of the guides for the Annapurna Region are from and they will know Khopra better. Costs can be from $400-500 depending on the itinerary.

Look at itineraries first and see if everything is included that you want. Again, use this page as a guide. If you need to reduce the cost then tell them you don't want a porter or a jeep. My Find A Guide Service can help you out here but do try to make contact before arriving in Nepal!

Guide only services for the Khopra Danda trek can cost from $27 to $50 per day. The more you pay the more "experienced" your guide should be. However as Khopra is a short trek that is not too difficult then you maybe want to settle for a guide who has been to Khopra before and who has been to Khayar lake!

Porter fees are about USD $20 per day.

Hiring a guide can be done via any trekking agency. They will try to push a package trek on you so stick to your plan. Just remember that if you do opt to go with a guide and it is peak season you may well end up with no room at your preferred overnight location as they could be booked out. With a package trek the guide and or trekking agency should be booking in advance for you.

If you are looking for a guide for the Khopra Danda Trek then I recommend you read my article on how to find a trekking guide in Nepal. Alternatively use my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Average 6 day trek cost for the Khopra Danda Trek

Item Cost USD $
Permits (ACAP, TIMS) 40
Guide x 6 days 162
Accommodation x 6 (shared) 24
Meals 3x$5 90
Water 4 liters a day (filtered & boiled) 24
Transport (public-RTN) 12
Total 352

It's worth pointing out that a 6 day package trek to Khopra Danda whereby all your accommodation, meals, permits, a guide and transport is pretty close to the above. It also takes the stress out of your trek and there's no need to carry a lot of cash around.

Extras: Don't forget to include a tip for your guide 10%. Any soft drinks, sweets, hot drinks etc. you may want to purchase along the way.

  • The cost of an average teahouse with shared bathroom is 300 rupees in the off season and 400 in peak for a shared bathroom.
  • Bottled water is not available. The cost of one liter of locally filtered water is 50-80 rupees (not boiled) but when boiled ends up costing more than bottled water.
  • The cost of a plate of Dal Bhat starts at around 400 rupees and climbs to 600+ rupees.
  • The additional cost of a porter is about USD $20 per day.

Travel insurance should be included and do make sure you are covered for trekking! Here is my recommendation for travel insurance when in Nepal.

How to reduce your budget on the Khopra Danda trek

The Khopra Danda trek is relatively short and the price above is quite reasonable. To reduce the treks price you could filter your own water. As with all treks its recommended if you've not trekked in Nepal before then your first trek should be with a guide. Many people trek Khopra Danda without a guide however again if you've not trekked in Nepal before it's better to go with a guide.


Khopra Danda trek itinerary & side treks


When looking at Khopra Danda trekking itineraries it is important to understand that there are many other treks you can add on to it. Poon Hill and Mohare are the most popular. It's also important to note that those two treks don't require their entire length to be added on. In other words if you wanted to add Poon Hill to your 5 day Khopra Danda trek then your total trekking days is only 6. I'll add in where you can add on extra treks in the itinerary below.

As mentioned at the start of this page it's also important to note than many itineraries start from Ghorepani. I prefer to finish in Ghorepani for the simple and preferred reason that I get to see and enjoy more by starting in Phedi. It also ends the trek on a high with great views and a nice place to rest up. You can of course opt to do it the other way round and there's no acclimatisation issues to worry about by doing so.

Annapurna South from the top of Khopra Danda

Annapurna South from the top of Khopra Danda

 

7 Day Khopra Danda Trek itinerary

Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Pokhara to Nayapul (car) - Nayapul to Ghandruk trekking 2 hours + 3 hours avg 1940 m
2 Ghandruk to Dobato 5-6 hours avg 3426 m
3 Dobato to Dhan Kharka or Khopra Ridge ** / *** 4/8 hours avg 3,660 m
4 Khopra Ridge (Khayar Lake side trek) 9-10 hours avg 4,600 m
5 Khopra Ridge to Swanta 5-6 hours avg 2,214 m
6 Swanta to Ghorepani 4-5 hours avg 2,880m
7 Ghorepani-Nayapul-Pokhara **** 3/2 hours avg 1, 400 m
The above itinerary to Khopra Danda is a good weeks trekking that takes in several mountain viewpoints and a high altitude lake.
 

* Sunrise trek to Muldai ridge (2 hours)

** If you arrive to Dhan Kharka before lunch then you can make it to Khopra Ridge however if it's any later then it's essential you have confirmed accommodation booked in Khopra Ridge (2-3 hours) otherwise you risk trekking down in the dark if they are full!

*** There is a side trek here to Hidden Lake but you will need to stay in either Dobato or Dhan Kharka for the night.

**** From Ghorepani you have several options. Trek to Mohare Danda, then to Beni and taxi/bus to Pokhara. Do a sunrise trek to Poon Hill (1-1.5 hours). Trek to Ghandruk to Syauli to Nayapul then a jeep or bus to Pokhara.

 

6 Day Khopra Danda Trek itinerary

Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Pokhara to Nayapul (car) - Nayapul to Ghandruk trekking 2 hours + 3 hours avg 1940 m
2 Ghandruk to Dobato 5-6 hours avg 3426 m
3 Dobato to Khopra Ridge */** 8 hours avg 3,660 m
4 Khopra Ridge to Swanta 5-6 hours avg 2,214 m
5 Swanta to Ghorepani 4-5 hours avg 2,880m
6 Ghorepani-Nayapul-Pokhara **** 3/2 hours avg 1, 400 m

The above itinerary is the average itinerary to Khopra Danda. You get viewpoints but no lakes. See below for comparisons.

Sunrise trek to Mulday ridge (2 hours)

** If you arrive to Dhan Kharka before lunch then you can make it to Khopra Ridge however if it's any later then it's essential you have confirmed accommodation booked in Khopra Ridge (2-3 hours) otherwise you risk trekking down in the dark if they are full!

 **** See above for Ghorepani options.

5 Day Khopra Danda Trek itinerary

Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Pokhara to Nayapul (car) - Nayapul to Ghandruk trekking 2 hours + 3 hours avg 1940 m
2 Ghandruk to Dobato 5-6 hours avg 3426 m
3 Dobato to Khopra Ridge ** 8 hours avg 3,640m
4 Khopra Ridge to Swanta to Ghorepani 6-7 hours avg 2,214 m
5 Ghorepani-Hile-Nayapul-Pokhara *** 3/2 hours avg 1, 400 m

Please note the 5 day itinerary is quite tough and you will miss out on scenery, but it is possible.

Sunrise trek to Mulday ridge (2 hours)

** If you arrive to Dhan Kharka before lunch then you can make it to Khopra Ridge however if it's any later then it's essential you have confirmed accommodation booked in Khopra Ridge (2-3 hours) otherwise you risk trekking down in the dark if they are full!

*** From Ghorepani you have several options. Trek to Mohare Danda, then to Beni and taxi/bus to Pokhara. Do a sunrise trek to Poon Hill (1-1.5 hours). Trek to Ghandruk to Syauli to Nayapul then a jeep or bus to Pokhara.

What's the best Khopra Danda Itinerary?

The 7 day itinerary takes in two stages and several mountain view points. It's less stressful with average trekking hours per day.

The 6 day itinerary drops the Khayar lake side trek. The lake is quite small and regarded as a Hindu religious place. For most trekkers they feel the lake is okay but can be skipped. I would suggest only trekking up to the lake if you have time to do it and enjoy 9-10 hour treks. The views are so so.

The 5 day itinerary is a bit rushed but is certainly possible if the weather is good and all you want are the mountain views from Khopra Ridge. You'll need to be fit and you'll need to ensure/hope that Khopra Ridge Lodge has a room for the night - if not you'll end up coming back down to stay to in Dhan Kharka.

Detailed Khopra Danda Trek Itinerary

The following is a detailed day by day 6 day itinerary from day one to day six on the Khopra Danda Trek.

Day one - Pokhara to Nayapul to Ghandruk

An early start is a good idea here. The Pokhara to Nayapul road is not the worst but in monsoon season it can be muddy. Other than comfort or a large group there's no need to go for an expensive jeep. Even a taxi or bus will do.

Buses and jeeps at Naya Pul
Buses and jeeps at Naya Pul
From Nayapul you cross over to Birethanti for the obligatory permit checks. It's a good place to eat breakfast if you haven't already.

Passing Chimrung and Syalui Bazar the trail is stony but the forest does offer shade and short cut of sorts to Kimche for a tea break.

It's farmland here with terraced blocking any mountain views as you begin the trek up stone steps to Ghandruk. If you've not trekked before this is a welcome way to start. It also offers you the first mountain views from of sunset from Ghandruk.

Day two - Ghandruk to Dobato

Once you've left Ghandruk it's not long before yesterdays farming lands disappear into the forest. Stone steps lead up many paths as mountain views appear through forest breaks.

Blue and white trail marker on a tree
Blue and white trail marker on a tree
Pacing yourself here is important. Many trekkers like to bolt ahead. The key here is to enjoy the forest the occasional mountain view and not to run the steps. Lunch in Bhaisi Kharka is the goal or if you wish Tadapani further ahead.

The afternoons are usually cloudy but if your lucky the thickening forest views offer mountains that seem far but closer with every step. Further up more stone steps you'll encounter the odd farmer and farm until arriving into a couple of teahouses in Dobato.

Day three - Dobato to Khopra Danda

It's a long day and one that starts of before dawn. It's disregarded by some but the pre dawn trek up to Muldai Peak (3637m) is worth it. The views rival Poon Hill but none of the crowds. Then it's back down early for breakfast for a quick start.

Annapurna Mountain Range from the top of Khopra Danda
Annapurna Mountain Range from the top of Khopra Danda

Thankfully the first part of this winding trail is relatively flat. There's an incline and some areas are exposed which makes it feel tougher than it is. There's a turn off for trekkers looking for "hidden lake" for all others the vast valley below is an impressive distraction. By now if you are making good time a call to Khopra Ridge to confirm a booking would be a good idea. You'll reach Dhan Kharka for a quick lunch and perhaps another final call to Khopra Lodge before making the 2+ hour trek to the top.

Day four - Khayar Lake

An early start to the day is highly advised if you do this side trek. It can take up to 10 hours return.

Khayar Lake and shrine
Khayar Lake and shrine
Consideration and listening to other trekkers the night before needs to be taken in the winter. The path is often blocked by snow. 

Bring a packed lunch and plenty of water to the entire day. There's a small shepherds shelter at Thanti where pilgrims will often stay.

Up ahead will be the large with it's shrine. Both are small at 4600m.

Returning back is relatively easy but beware if there is icy on the ground. Trekking poles help. It's important to be back before late afternoon.

 

Day five - Khopra Ridge to Swanta

It a rapid decent from Khopra Ridge after breakfast in the morning. The trail is steep so watch your footing. Leaving Dhan Kharka the trail ahead is pleasant but steep in parts.

Khopra Ridge from Swanta
Khopra Ridge from Swanta


The trail alternates between wild scrub, rubble to forest paths. Once you make it to the river you will be surrounded by the forest once more. It's important to keep an eye on the trail as the leaves can be slippery here.

Finally the decent ends and you'll emerge from the forest only to look up at the mountain ridge you just came down from as you enter Swanta.

Depending on quick your decent was you can have lunch in Swanta and continue on to Ghandruk or stay in the pleasant farming village for the night.

Day six - Swanta to Ghorepani

It's the "last day" of the trek for some and it's a long day. If you made it from Khopra to Ghorepani the day before then you could fit in Poon Hill at dawn. Otherwise it's a very early start.

Bamboo forest on the Khopra trek
Bamboo forest on the Khopra trek

The trail is quite easy at the start as the terrain alternates between forest, village and trekking trails.

You should pass the old trekking route of Chitre realizing that this was once a prosperous trekking village before the Annapurna Road mean trekkers no longer needed a night here.

It uphill for the next 2 hours to Ghorepani

Day seven - Ghorepani to Ghandruk

With a seven day itinerary you will have time in the morning for a sunrise at Poon Hill.

Barley field on the Khopra Trek
Barley field on the Khopra Trek
Then it's back to Ghorepani and a trek to Ghandruk where you can get a bus or jeep to Pokhara. Ot closer still a 3 hour trek to Hile the hire a jeep to Nayapul.
 

A final alternative for a 7 day trek is a night in Ghorepani then Poon Hill in the morning followed by a direct trek to Mohare Danda and then down to Beni before taking a taxi back to Pokhara.

There is an 8am bus from Beni to Pokhara. Afternoon buses do happen but not all the time!



More information on Trekking in Nepal


For alternative treks do read my list of treks in Nepal which is continually being added to based on popularity or request.

If looking for a trekking guide I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal or you can use the Find a Guide Service.

On the following pages below I've compiled detailed articles on the specifics of trekking in Nepal that may be of use to you.

You will find them to be a great place to research your whole trekking trip to Nepal - be sure to bookmark them so you don't forget!

You might find my following free guides helpful:

Trekking in Nepal

My guide on trekking in Nepal

  Trekking Equipment Check out my guide on equipment & gear needed for trekking in Nepal
 
List of treks to hike in Nepal Check out my list of treks to do in Nepal complete with maps   Nepal Mountain range Check out my guide on how to travel overland into Tibet for a lot more!
Trekking in Nepal How to choose a trekking guide in Nepal   Record of Mount Everst Base Camp Trek in the Winter My Day by day account of trekking to Everest Base Camp in the off season (winter)
 
Traveling overland into Nepal Check out my How to travel overland into Nepal guide   Guide to traveling Nepal Check out my country Guide to Nepal
 

Download my Trekking in Nepal Guidebook

Liked this page? You'll love my trekking book! It's a hands on trekking guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really!

In the book I cover all the popular treks in Nepal with step-by-step accuracy using scalable maps, photographs and travel tested up-to-date trekking information.

Just like my other guidebooks to Nepal it's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.


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