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khopra ridge trail nepal

Khopra Ridge: The Rhododendron Trail

If you only have 8 or 10 days in Nepal, I highly recommend the Khopra ridge trek. For this, in my opinion, is the best short trek in Nepal. It incorporates all aspects of a good trek: spectacular mountain scenery, Nepali villages, Rhododendron trees and relatively high altitude (12,000 ft.). But more importantly the lodges at Khopra ridge and a few other villages are not owned by individuals but rather are run by the community.

Frankly, in my trekking life spanning over 25 years, I have not seen or hiked through more spectacular rhododendron forests. While the trek route near Ghorepani does give trekkers an opportunity to enjoy the rhododendron forests, it is perhaps the lack of trekkers that makes the Khopra ridge trail more special.

You could combine this trek with either the Ghorepani ridge trail or the Ghandrung trail and end in Tatopani where you can enjoy the hot-springs. My recommendation is to trek in via Ghorepani as it will allow you to acclimatize better as Ghorepani is a little over 9,000 ft. And ofcourse, Ghorepani does have Pun Hill which offers a magnificent sunrise and unprecedented panoramic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range.

From here, time permitting, either descend towards Tadapani from where you would ascend to Bayeli Kharka or trek there directly saving a day. The first option (trekking through Tadapani) though would allow you to get closer views of Macchapuchare (the fish-tail peak). From Bayeli, descend to Chistibung and steeply ascend to Khopra ridge. Again, time permitting, you could trek higher and further to Khair lake towards the Annapurna mountains.

Grand Asian Journeys operates this as a lodge based trek, and it can be run for even one participant. Interested? Contact Jwalant directly at jwalant@grandasianjourneys.com for more details about this trek (it’s super secret, and not even on our website) and he will arrange a customized itinerary just for you.

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