Khair Ridge Trekking in the Annapurna region of Western Nepal is a newly discovered alternative trekking trail that encompasses the route between classic Annapurna Base Camp trail and Jomsom of Mustang region. The off-beaten trek offers incomparable views of the gigantic Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. While embarking on this route, within a few days, we will gain a rare sense of serenity as we slowly trek uphill through pristine forests and tiny settlements to reach the awesome alpine heights of Kopra Ridge.
Khair Ridge trekking is a perfect trek for those who are looking for a trek that encapsulates just the right amount of adventure, adrenaline-pumping thrill, and serenity in the close vicinity of the pristine Himalayas. Often shadowed by popular trekking routes like Annapurna Base Camp, and Annapurna Circuit Trekking, the Khair Ridge Trekking is comparatively less-known and less trekked. This means that the routes are still hugely unexplored, and have their remoteness and Himalayan Shangrila charm intact, in contrary to the much popular and commercialized routes in the region. The views of giant Massif of Annapurna and its towering satellites, Mt. Dhaulagiri plunging to the mysterious depths of Kali Gandaki – the deepest gorge in the world, and a trek to the sacred glacial lake of Khair Pokhari and incredible Kopra Ridge Trek makes the trek one of the most enriching experiences in the world.
On top of that, the warm hospitality of the predominant inhabitants, Gurungs and Magars, make the trek even more worthwhile. While staying in the traditional tea houses and trekking through picturesque villages, we will be able to immerse in the simple, yet very deeply rooted culture and tradition of these ethnic groups. Such warm hospitality at the foothills of the youngest peaks in the world is bound to make your trip a beautiful one!
The 15-day long Khair Ridge Trekking commences with a short sightseeing trip of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, we will travel on road for around six hours to reach the tourist hub of Pokhara. After a scenic bus ride of an hour to reach Nayapul, our trek journey will finally begin. We will trek through very famous Gurung villages of Tirkhedhunga and Ghorepani to reach Poon Hill. Poon Hill is a staggering viewpoint at an elevation of 3,210 meter that offers panoramic views of over 21 mountains including Mt. Annapurna 1, Dhaulagiri, and Nilgiri. From Poon Hill we will trek down to Chistlibung via Sauta before embarking on an uphill trek to reach Kopra ridge. We have allocated a full-day for exploration and acclimatization of the Kopra Ridge. After we have reached the saturation point of the trek at Kopra Ridge, we will trek down to scenic village of Ghanduk via DObato. From there, we will trek down to Tolka and subsequently Kande and drive back to Pokhara, where our trekking journey will come full circle.
The rich variation in landscape ranging from terraced fields to lush forests of rhododendron, oak and pine, from high alpine pastures to windswept valleys will keep you engaged and in awe throughout. It is not an easy trek, however with a good level of physical fitness, anyone with no previous trekking experience can embark on this incredible adventure.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu received by Team Himalaya staff.
On arrival meet our TH staff for courtesy transfer to respective hotels in the heart of Kathmandu at Thamel area, an interesting place for shopping and having meals in one of the many world class restaurants, pubs and bakery.
Our guide will inform on details regarding the trek to Khair Ridge Trekkking .
Day 02: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour at places of interest.
Morning after breakfast at given time our city and cultural guide will guide you in and around Kathmandu at places of interest and importance, as Kathmandu Valley is full of World Heritage Sites the holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath (Little Tibet), Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) & monasteries, ancient Kings Palaces and courtyard in Kathmandu; after an interesting sightseeing back to the hotel, preparation for the trip to Khair Ridge Trek .
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 950m – 06 hrs journey.
A scenic drive takes about 6 hours to Pokhara, which is quite interesting on the Nepal’s main highway following the Trisuli river for a while and then heading west with views of Ganesh, Langtang Himal as it gets closer to Pokhara with Annapurna and Manaslu range of peaks. In Pokhara the haven for tourist a scenic place with mountains and lakes, here in Pokhara transfer to hotel by the lake Phewa (Fewa) for overnight.
Day 04: Drive to Nayapul 1,100m and trek to Tirkhedhuga 1,450m.
A two hours drive away from Pokhara leading west, with fabulous views of Annapurna Himalaya ranging from A I, A II, A III and A IV with stunning Mt.Machhapuchare “Fish Tail” on reaching at Nayapul, begin the trek following Modi river for short distance to a nice village at Bhirethati and then on the old Trans Himalaya Salt Trade Route trail to Ghorepani, the walk leads to a winding up hills with stone steps in some villages and then arriving at Tirkhedhunga for overnight stop with beautiful waterfalls close by.
Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani 2,874m – 06 hrs.
After Tirkhedhunga, morning walk starts with a climb on long stone steps all the way to Ulleri village a nice traditional Gurung village with stone slate roofs with views of Annapurna South, Huinchuli and top of Machhapuchhre peak from the top of this village walk gets better on the winding trail through enchanting forest of thick rhododendron, pines and oaks trees and the with steep up and gradual section reaching at scenic Ghorepani for overnight stop with grand views of Dhaulagiri massif with Tukuche, Nilgiri’s peaks and Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang ( Vara Shikar) Ghorepani located in the middle of rhododendron forest on the Trans Himalayan Trade of Nepal / Tibet through Mustang.
Day 06: Morning hike to Pun-Hill trek to Sauta 2,200m – 04 hrs.
Early morning at the break of dawn an hour hike to Pun Hill at 3,190 meters top if the morning is fine and clear striking sunrise views over mountain panorama ranging from peaks of Dolpo area, Dhaulagiri massive range, Nilgiri’s peak with Annapurna and Manaslu range with magnificent Mt. Machhapuchhre.
After an exciting and enjoyable time head down to Ghorepani for breakfast and start trekking towards Sauta through serene rhododendron and pine forest throughout the walk on the downhill, after being on the main path for a while our diverts to Sauta village in complete isolation from the popular route, from Chitre village a short distance walk to a lovely farm village at Sauta for overnight stop.
Day 07: Trek to Chistibung 3,000 m -05 hrs.
Starting with a slow gradual morning walk on off beaten trail passing farm fields and scattered villages, trekking north leading through enchanting serene rhododendron and bamboo forest, then a slow climb into woodlands following the route to Khair ridge, walk leads by a small stream then with an uphill through meadow and summer pastures to Chistebung for overnight stop, a small place with few small huts serving as tea-houses.
Day 08: Trek to Khair or Kopra Ridge 3,870 m – 03 hrs.
Today’s walk for few hours to our final destination at Khair also called Kopra ridge, from this place gaining more altitude leaving behind the tree lines only for alpine bushes and shrubs, around this place chances of seeing some wildlife like Himalayan Thar, the Danphe Pheasant (National Bird of Nepal). Morning after few hours of scenic walk finally reaching at overnight stop at Khair or Kopra ridge, a scenic picturesque spot with awesome scenery of surrounding green landscapes along with stunning views of Mt. Dhaulagiri massive range and Vara Shikar (Annapurna Fang), Annapurna South which towers directly from this wonderful spot.
Day 09: At Kopra Ridge for optional excursion to holy Khair lake.
A grand wonderful spot for a rest or free day, being here will be an awesome experience for sporty and energetic optional hike to holy lake at Khair Lake located 4,247 m. which is long and strenuous walk, but worth the views, the site of religious festival occasion held annually around the month of August and September. Villagers from the surrounding area assemble here to offer prayers to Lord Shiva and bathe in the icy waters, offers sacrifices of sheep and goats.
Day 10: Trek to Dobato 3,420 m – 05 hrs.
After a great time at Khair ridge top, morning walk leads to a long descend towards east through grazing lands in the middle of rhododendron forest, from Khair a long downhill walk reaching back to tree lines and towards our overnight stop at Dobato a summer pasture a grazing land for the local Sheppard’s with striking views of Annapurna South and Mt.Machhapuchare 6,993 m.
Day 11: Trek to Ghandruk 1, 951 m – 05 hours.
From this nice spot at Dobato and then following downhill walk into nice woodlands of rhododendron and pines trees to reach at the main trail in Tadapani village full of lodges with striking views of Annapurna South, Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail) after a stop here continue walk with a long descend to reach at Ghandruk village for overnight stop.
Gandruk the gateway to many Annapurna treks and to Annapurna Sanctuary, here overnight in nice Gurung lodge with views of Annapurna South, Huinchuli and Machhapuchhre “Fish Tail” peak.
Day 12: Trek to Tolka 1,630 m – 04 hrs.
With lovely morning and views, starting with descend through dense alpine forest towards Gandruk in the forested area with couple of teashops and then on gradual trail with few short ups and down to reach Gandruk village, and then on a nice stone steps downhill to Modi River after crossing the bridge on the uphill uphill trail to Landruk village with great views of Annapurna South and Huinchuli at close distance, from here back to warm rice fields and terraces with pleasant walk for a while and then a short climb to a Tolka village for overnight stop.
Day 13: Trek to Kande 1,460m and drive to Pokhara.
With mountain views for breakfast, from here a winding nice walk for an hour and then a climb for 45 minutes to Deurali hill with super views of snowcapped mountains including Mt. Dhaulgiri and Annapurna mountain range, after Deurali on the downhill through nice woods to Potana a lovely spot with views of Annapurna and Manaslu, from this village Mt. Machhapuchhre looks magnificent, starting the last walk of this trip with an hour climb to Australian camp or Thulo Kharka with marvelous scenery of mountain panorama, from here an hour downhill to the road head at Kande village for the drive to Pokhara of an hour scenic journey reaching Pokhara check into fine hotel by the lake Phewa for overnight with afternoon at leisure.
(in Pokhara extension trips Paragliding, kayaking clinic, Ultra light flight, Zip Flyer on long cable wire or Bungy Jump called Touch the Lake)
Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu afternoon free at leisure.
From Pokhara a drive back to Kathmandu after 06 hours scenic journey reaching Kathmandu and people who wish to travel by air 30 minutes of panoramic flight to Kathmandu, on reaching Kathmandu transfer to respective hotels.
Day 15: International departure homeward bound.
Last day in Nepal with wonderful memorable time in Nepal Himalaya around High Annapurna area in Khair ridge trekking with Team Himalaya and transfer to airport for the flight back home or to respective destination.