Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek
Just to the West of the Annapurna Sanctuary route, one of Nepal’s most visited areas, lies the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek. Until recently only fully organized camping treks could go here, but with the establishment of 5 community lodges and a homestay programme this fabulous landscape has been opened up for beautiful off the beaten-track “teahouse trekking”.
The trail is also called the Myagdi Parbat Eco-trek. It’s located in the area around Poon-hill, and partly lies right on the Great Himalaya Lower Trail (Cultural Route). The area is mostly populated by Gurung and Magar people.
This is one of several new community-managed projects in Nepal, where the benefits from your visit reach the whole community. In this case, they have one main goal – to invest all proceeds in increasing local access to education and health through Himanchal Education Foundation.
The trek offers you a fabulous Nepal experience with a mixture of nature and culture in abundance. They say people come to Nepal for the mountains and return for the people. The views from Khopra, the highest point of the trek (3,650 m) are far better than from highly visited Poon hill. You have amazing views of both the impressive Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massive. Besides, the encounters with the friendly villagers will make you want to come back again for sure!
An additional advantage: with its yak farm, Kopra Ridge is the only place in the Annapurnas where you can encounter yaks!
Below you can find a suggested itinerary. However there are other possibilities as well. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact Chitra Pun, the local coordinator or Pradeeb Pun, the coordinator of the homestay programme in Tikot. Or visit (and like!) the Annapurna Dhaulagiri community trail Facebook page.
Side Trails & Circuits
Autumn till Spring (in winter, check with travel agency if lodges are open)
- Day 1 Pokhara to Nayapul (1 1/2 hrs), trek to Ghandruk (1940 m) 6 hrs
- Day 2Ghandruk (1940 m) to Tadapani (2590 m) 4 hrs
- Day 3 Tadapani (2590 m) to Bayali Kharka (3450m) 6 hrs
- Day 4 Bayali Kharka (3450m) to Upper Chistibung (2990m) 4 hrs
- Day 5 Upper Chistibung (2990m) to Kopra Ridge (3650m) 3 hrs, 1/2 day hike in Kopra Ridge
- Day 6 Kopra Ridge (3650m) to Swanta (2195m) 5½ hrs
- Day 7 Swanta (2195m) to Danda Kharka (2850m)
- Day 8 Danda Kharka (2850 m) to Tikot (2278 m) via Poon Hill (3194 m) 8 hrs
- Day 9 Tikot (2278 m) to Beni (850 m) 4 hrs
- Day 10 Beni to Pokhara (4 hr bus ride) or to Kathmandu (9 hr bus ride)