Annapurna Dhaulagiri trekking is a remote trekking into the heart of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. This trek offers incomparable views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Our carefully research itinerary is impressive, as within a few days we gain a sense of serenity as we gradually ascend through tiny settlements and pristine forests to the alpine heights of Kopra Ridge. The views from our camp are incredible with the colossal ramparts of Dhaulagiri plunging to the misty depths of the Kali Gandakhi - the deepest gorge in the world.
A further highlight of trekking to Annapurna Dhaulagiri are the high pastures above Kopra Ridge beneath the awesome Fang Face of Annapurna 1, where ancient pilgrim trails lead to the sacred waters of Kayar Lake. Our route offers a broad experience of the Annapurna today, as we pass through prosperous villages where western influence is minimal, traverse grassy ridges, pass through old growth forests with 1000 year old rhododendrons and camp underneath some of the most awe inspiring mountain scenery on earth.
A special trekking gear is required for Annapurna Dhaulagiri trekking includes walking boots and day pack -a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking. In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip guard etc. Porters carry all group gear and your trek pack.
This is a tea house trekking; this is no well developed tea house accommodation on the entire trekking route to Annapurna Dhaulagiri. In particular places there are basic home stay type of guest house. A good guide who has been there is necessary for this trekking since we walk on a wild trail for some days in the jungle.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu, Nepal.
On arrival at Kathmandu airport, meet and get warm reception by us, then transfer to hotel. Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given in the evening with your fellow group members.
Day 02: Kathmandu tour (1330m)
Kathmandu tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centre of cultural and spiritual significance. Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
Day 03: Pokhara–Australian camp (1990m, 2 hours) trek.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, is second largest town (820 m) of Nepal. On arrival we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. Then drive to Khade takes around one hour. Our trail then winds uphill through terraced fields and mixed oak and rhododendron forest. There is no need to rush. This is a short day with plenty of time to reach camp. Australia Camp is located on a grassy ridge that affords inspiring views of the huge snowy face of Annapurna South and the sacred peak of Machapuchare. At dusk we can appreciate the lights of Pokhara over a thousand meters below our camp.
Day 04: Trek to Landruk (1640m, 5 hrs trek)
After a glorious mountain sunrise we follow the trail through rhododendron forest before continuing through a series of Gurung villages where lifestyles have not changed substantially over the centuries. After lunch we follow a well-marked trail to the prosperous village of Landruk where we spend overnight. Our camp affords dramatic views of Annapurna South.
Day 05: Ghandruk (2050m, 4 hours) trek.
Ghandruk is easily seen across the valley, the attractive Gurung village. We exit the village and slowly descend through rice terraces, crossing a steel bridge that spans the glacial river of the Modi Khola and commence our ascent. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the rivers below us. It is really a magnificent location and a photographer delight. Our leisurely approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatization and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savor this magnificent scenery.
Day 06: Ghandruk Tadapani (2650m, 4 hours) trek.
Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into forest of rhododendron, magnolia and lichen covered fig. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants such as exotic orchids bursting with color. Tadapani is a small village with limited campsites, and the last stop before we head into the more uninhabited regions of our trek.
Day 07: Tadapani to Dobato (3420m, 6/7 hours)
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. Machapuchare. 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.
Day 08: Dobato to Kopra Danda (34500m, 6/7 hours)
The newly developed trail from here is more scenic traversing across to Khopra. 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 Khopra. 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.
Day 09: Khopra Danda to Khayer lake exploration (4500m, 9/10 hour)
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.
Day 10: Khopra Danda to Swanta Village (3000m, 5/6 hours)
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 ethnicity. 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.
Day 11: Swanta to Ghorepani (2860m, 4/5 hours)
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 the beaten trek 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).
Day 12: Ghorepani to Poonhill and then to Mohore Danda (3300m,)
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 Poonhill. We have breakfast and then start our hike to Mohare Danda 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 Mohare Danda. We walk to Mohare Danda 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 Mohare Danda top.
Day 13: Mohore Danda to Ulleri (1960m, 5/6 hours)
Interesting about Mohare Danda 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 Mohare Danda 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.
Day 14: 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.
Day 15: Drive back to Kathmandu (6/7 hours)
Pokhara is situated in a picturesque location by the side of Phewa Lake and is worthy spending 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.
Day 16: Kathmandu Airport
Breakfast, and final transfer to Kathmandu airport to get your flight back to home.