Annapurna Dhaulagiri Panorama Trek

Eat breakfast faster :)

Starting in Nayapul our first day was a relatively easy hike ending Gandruk where we spent the night. Our next leg to Ghorepani was considerably more challenging due to the significantly steep line it followed most of the way. I believe most people choose to follow this route the opposite way, but its difficulty was a good warm up to the following day. The well marked path travels through scenic forest, over a number of smaller streams and around a few home-sites.

Starting off slightly late we departed from Ghorepani to the base of the Khopra Dande ridge. After a minor deviation from the trail we began our ascent through a steady rain. Despite the season the weather was mostly mild with occasional breaks in the clouds giving us opportunities to fully take in our surroundings. After some improvising up the ridges face we meet up with the ridge trail which snakes up the remaining climb to the overlook. The trail here is a little harder to decipher but is self explanatory if you pay attention to the terrain. The forest here feels mostly untouched and weaves between large treed areas into high grassy areas. As the rain subsided we had a run in with some overly friendly leeches. We managed to fend off most of them but their persistence made us stop and check for stowaways fairly often. (Definitely come prepared for this if your thinking about the rainy season.)

After another hour and not too much daylight left we spotted the Khopra teahouse. (It was a little more then a nine hour day so choosing a closer starting point or leaving earlier will make the day somewhat easier.) The lodge was closed up when we arrived but the caretaker quickly got it up and running and had a fire started for us soon after. The next day was mostly clouded over so we decided to spend another night and do a short day hike to fill the time. The land surrounding the camp is covered in wildflowers, full of horses, many buff and the nearby workers reported seeing a bear earlier in the day!? The clouds and fog would occasionally break providing us sporadic views of the distant peaks. The workers stationed up here appear to be building another teahouse almost identical to the one in place now a little further up the ridge. The foreman said it will be completed in the next few months. We spent the evening around the fire with a group of locals who were visiting the camp from we gathered was a good distance away. They were all very friendly, generous and we had few good laughs with each other not fully understanding what the other was trying to say.

The next morning was completely clear. The views or of Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas and the surrounding valleys were absolutely phenomenal. We took it all in as long as we could before late morning clouds starting showing up and we decided to start making our descent towards Tatopani. The path down the opposite side of the ridge is full of its own amazing views. Its well marked with numerous shrines and small homes along the route. Stopping in the village Paudwar for lunch at small guest house/restaurant thats adjacent to the school is well worth the wait. Continuing on towards Tatopani we spotted a large troop of monkeys making their way down the steppe. Right before town we negotiated the remnants of decent sized landslide which finished off the trail. Following the road into town we spent the rest of the night soaking in the hots springs and drinking cold beers.

The next day we took the bus into Beni and then shared a jeep ride back into Pokhara. Travel took a good part of the day and expect an “exciting” ride especially on the first section of road. The entire experience was one of a kind and I couldn’t have hoped for better for my first trek in the Himalayas. I would definitely recommend this trek to anyone whose looking for a good variety of what the area has to offer in a shorter period of time. Happy trekking! 🙂


  • Day 1 - Pokhara to Nayapul to Gandruk
  • Day 2 - Gandruk to Ghorepani
  • Day 3 - Ghorepani to Khopra Dande Ridge
  • Day 4 - Day hike around Ridge
  • Day 5 - Khopra to Tatopani
  • Day 6 - Tatopani to Beni to Pokhara


Our route was on a lot of steep terrain, so the lighter your pack the better. Rainy weather brings out the leeches. Leech socks or some deet based repellents will work wonders in these conditions [salt or lemons are good natural alternatives]. Otherwise bring extra band-aids and antiseptic.


Some extra gear for rainy conditions during monsoon season.


15 replies
  1. Girc

    can you please explain the cost 250$? 🙂 as i understand the night in the lodge +food is 15$ a day max…? thank you!

    • You could probably shave off a $100+ if you budgeted and prepared well. My costs also included permit fees, transportation, supplies and more.

      Your estimate of around $15 a night pretty accurate for most teahouses. 🙂

  2. James

    Hey there John,
    I am going to be in Nepal in a few weeks and I desperately need to do a trek! This trek seems perfect for me and my friends because it is short and sounds only moderately difficult. I just want to make sure that I’m not getting in over my head and think that this trek is easier than it actually is.

    I will be in a group of 5. With 2 males and 3 females, all aged between 23 – 27 and all of only average fitness. Other than myself, the others have never done more than a 1 day’s trek before. Being on a tight budget as well, we will only be equipped with casual clothes and decent running trainers for footwear, however we could afford more gear if it is highly recommended.

    So my question is this, do you think this trek would be fine for the 5 of us? Do you think it would be; fine, or difficult, but doable, or bordering on too difficult? Do you think we would need more equipment than we already have or is there any equipment you’d specifically recommend?

    Thank you.

    • Hi James,

      Sorry for the slow reply, still in the midst of my travels. Anyway your group should be just fine for equipment. My only recommendations would be sandals/flip flops as well for the end of each day and something warm to throw on for the top. [If dont already have them packed.] Water purification tabs are also a good idea.

      The weather has been close to perfect so leeches should not bother you. You might want to stay in one of the towns a little closer to the foot of the ridge the night before the ascent. Ghorepani to Khopra can be a long day depending on how fast your moving. Also our second day from Gandruk to Ghorepani is a bit of killer… steep stair climb for the better part of the day. Better off taking an eastern route up and coming back that way if you want to visit Gandruk. Any other questions feel free to contact me. Happy trekking!!

      – John

    • Brian, a couple thngis. If the camera didn’t work due to you not charging your batteries the night before, that’s one thing. But, if it crapped out because it was too cold, that’s another. Remember back a few blogs when you first indicated you’d be doing the circuit? Remember me telling you of my camera crapping out on Poon Hill? Remember me telling you to keep your batteries warm so you wouldn’t miss the shot like I almost did? WERE YOU LISTENING TO ME????Now for the second thing. The rain and bad weather. You two are long term travelers and are not on any type of schedule. The trekkers that are on short vacations must stay on schedule, you don’t. You don’t have to hike in the rain. You can wait it out. And if it’s cloudy, you just stay another day and do it the next. Haste makes waste! Slower is better, remember? There’s no need to slog in the mud, taking chances to slip and pull a mussel or worse. That trail is so beautiful when it’s sunny, I hate to think you’re experiencing it in bad weather.So, now when you tackle the circuit, what are you going to do when it snows or rains? Keep on slogging or hold up in a nice warm guesthouse with a warm cup of tea and wait it out? It never rains forever. And, if you’re not here, you’re just there. What difference does it make if you spend another day on the trail? It’s what you came to do, so don’t screw it up. I learned this from another couple of trekkers we hiked with that were on their third trip around the circuit. I’m hoping you’ll take this only as a voice of experience. It’s not my intent to be the Told you so jerk. Now, go have the time of your life!!

    • Hi James, If you are planning for your trip plan please contact us. Thank you

  3. Roxy

    This trek sounds perfect to what I would and could fit into my trip to Nepal. Who is this Trek through?

  4. Nikki and Manen

    Hi John,
    We enjoyed your commentary on the trail and are really keen to do it ourselves in October this year. Can you tell us what the accommodation is like? do we need to take tents and be fairly self sufficient, or can we stay in teahouses/guesthouses the whole way?
    Also, it sounds like you did the self guided version of this trip. Did you run into any issues doing it without a guide, or is it easy enough to follow the trail? Do you just need a permit to walk the trail without guides?
    And sorry last question, can you tell us how you got from Pokhara to Nayapul?

    Cheers! Nikki and Manen

    • Reply was posted seperately below

  5. You can stay in guesthouses throughout the whole trek. I would recommend staying in village closer to the ridge the night previous to the ascent. There is only one guesthouse at the summit although they were in the process of buidling another when we visited.

    The permit is the same for anywhere in the (lower) Annapurnas, guided or not. You get it in Pokhara or Kathmandu. Bring extra passport sized photos.

    This is an official route but was only opened in recent years so it may not appear on all maps. Try to find a newer map with it routed. ( We didnt have one) Finding the beggining of the ridge ascent can be a little tricky but the trail is marked. (in some places vaguely) Once your on the ridge its self the direction is fairly self explanatory.

    Nayapul is easily reached by taxi, they drop everyone at the same place. There is also a bus but I have no info on it. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me. Good luck and happy trekking. Namaste. 🙂

  6. Vicky

    Hi John,
    I can’t decide between this trek and ABC. Any suggestions? Any possibility of combining them based on the towns you trek through?
    Thanks a lot,

    • Hi Vicky,

      Sorry for the slow reply. They are both good treks, ABC is longer and slightly more challenging in spots. You could combine them by starting in Tatopani or divert to the ridge after you complete ABC loop however that might be physically ambitious. If I had to choose between the two I would go with the ridge since its not nearly as popular and there are more options to customize your route along the way. Hope this help, happy trekking. 🙂 – John

  7. Dini

    Hi John ,
    I ‘m so in love with Kopra ridge picts , that’s why i stumble into this article . I do some research and so far , you are the only one that saying Kopra ridge trek can be done in 6d, another writing, mostly says it need 10d + . My q : is your itinerary will be suitable even for people in the late 30s and in the average level of fitness or is it only for those with many experiences in hiking that’s why its only need 6d? We planning to get porter in Pokhara , do you think it will be easy to find the porter that familiar with your itinerary? In d4, you hike around the ridge, is it including Kaire Lake?
    Thanks a lot ,

    • Hi Dini! I also stumbled upon this post, before i did the Kopra Ridge trek with my girlfriend.
      We did not have any trekking experience, but that does not really matter, the most important is your logical thinking.
      You spend 4 nights in tea houses first 3 days are real easy ( 1st – 4hrs, 2nd – 3hrs of trekking) last 2 days are bit harder but i guess you need to know what is your “measure stick” to assess if you are capable to do the trek, we met 70yrs old people on the trek 🙂
      I guess if you don’t do any physical activities including walking then this trek would not suit you, but if you can go out and walk around, be on foot 5 hrs then you’re good! 🙂

  8. Rebecca Smith

    Hello John. My friend and I are looking at doing a trek in this area and are very interested in this trip. I had a few questions though about the trip before we commit. You said that the trails are fairly well marked off correct? We have never done a trek like this before and are just wanting to make sure that it is feasible to do it without a guide. Also we are on a small budget. What is your exact budget for this trip including meals, lodging, and permits? You said in an earlier post that if you planned and budgeted you could take off some cost? Also should me and my friend be concerned about safety if we are traveling alone without a guide?

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