Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek is the latterly introduced trek in Nepal. This trek is designed especially for trekkers seeking exquisite cultural and natural marvels on the remote Himalayas of Nepal. No matter what kind of adventure seeker you are, this trek is going to be the best fit for all kinds of trekkers. With a good fitness level and a bit of willingness, any of the trekkers can relive the best memories during this trek.
Separately, the Jomsom Muktinath trek has huge popularity throughout the country and among foreign trekkers also. However, being the newly introduced trekking route, Khorpa Danda Trek or Khopra Ridge Trek is less known by most people. And the less popularity of this region is the reason why you should visit this place once in a lifetime. You can soak up yourself on the intact cultural and natural beauty of the villages, including Swanta, Chistibung, Khopra Danda, and many others. Where a hike to Khopra Danda lets you admire the captivating mountain vistas and deep Kaligandaki River view, a side excursion up to the Khayer Lake mesmerizes you with its pristine sacred water.
The combination of both Khorpa Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek gives the paradisical trek experience. Thus, with the intention to give the heavenly experience, this combined trek was introduced among trekkers. With the start of the trek from Nayapul, be ready to explore the Brahmin and Chhetri settlements at the lower altitudes. While trekking towards the Ghorepani, Gurung tradition is the one that you will appreciate the most. Most of these Gurungs follow Tibetan Buddhism. The trail from Tadapani to Khopra ridge gives you insight into the rustic lifestyle of the traditional Nepalese people.
And the Thakali settlements all the way to Jomsom is there to astonish you with their overwhelming hospitality. Visited by both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims, the highest altitude temple of Muktinath is the best example of religious harmony in Nepal.
Undoubtedly, you will find cultural diversity in abundance throughout the trek. Similar to the cultural diversity, the geographical diversity can be deeply observed on this Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek. Embarking the journey from the lush green forest of rhododendron, oak, and pine, you get to observe the barren landscape at the Jomsom. Further trek from Jomsom to Muktinath serves you with the stunning view of a landscape resembling the Tibetan Plateau.
Besides the lush forest, enthralling waterfalls, deepest Kali Gandaki gorge, hot springs, and apple orchards are the other luring factor on this trek. The herds of horses and yaks on the way towards Jomsom and Muktinath are there to give you the unique trekking experience. On top of all these, the views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, and many others are just enough to bring a beatific smile to your face. Joining this combined Khopra Danda Jomsom Muktinath Trek, you will experience both natural and cultural tours in Nepal.
Short itinerary (14 Days Itinerary for Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trekking)
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu(1350m).
Day 2: Fly/Drive to Pokhara(820m) from Kathmandu.
Day 3: Pokhara to Nayapul drive and then trek to Ulleri(1500m).
Day 4: Ulleri to Ghorepani Trek(2874m).
Day 5: Trek from Ghorepani to Dobato(3370m) via Tadapani.
Day 6: Dobato to Chistibung(2995m).
Day 7: Chistibung to Khopra Danda trek (3640m).
Day 8: Excursion day at Khorpa Danda (Day hike to Khayer Lake(4500m).
Day 9: Trek from Khorpa Danda to Tatopani (1195m).
Day 10: Tatopani to Jomsom (2745m).
Day 11: Jomsom to Muktinath trek (3800m).
Day 12: Retrace the way back to Jomsom.
Day 13: Drive/Fly back to Pokhara from Jomsom.
Day 14: Return back to Kathmandu.
Day 15: International Departure.
Jomsom Muktinath and Khopra Danda Trek route
After the drive or flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the trek to the Jomsom Muktinath and Khorpa Danda begins from the nearby settlements from Pokhara. Taking the jeep drive from Pokhara we can reach Nayapul. Including our Khorpa danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Nayapul is the gateway to several other treks in the Annapurna region.
From Nayapul we have different route options to either hike towards the Ghandruk or Ghorepani. However, among these two, we will follow the trail of the Ghorepani Trekking trail. Passing through Birethanti, Tikhedhunga, and several other ethnic settlements we will stop at Ghorepani. The trekking trail blesses you with vistas of spectacular Himalayas, waterfalls, and rhododendron and oak forests. After spending the night at Ghorepani, we will continue trekking towards Tadapani from where we will be joining the Annapurna Base Camp Trekking Trail up to Dobato. Our actual Khopra Danda trek starts from Dobato. Proceeding the trek from Dobato, we will pass Swanta and Chistibung to reach Khopra Danda. With an optional trek to Khayer Lake, we will retrace our way down to Swanta. From Swanta, we will trek towards Tatopani for the Jomsom Muktinath trek.
After taking a soothing bath at the hot spring of Tatopani, we trek along the riverbank of Kaligandaki to reach Jomsom. Though, most of the time we have to trek on bumpy roads. But we try to skip the road walk wherever it becomes possible. The blissful walk from Tatopani blesses us with the eyecatching Ruptse waterfall, popular Tukuche, Marpha village, and many others. Further trekking from Jomsom, we head towards Muktinath, the prime attraction of our Jomsom Muktinath trek. After spending a great time at Muktinath, we will trek back to Jomsom via Kagbeni.
Upon reaching Jomsom, both airway and roadway services are available for the return to Pokhara Valley. Similar is the case for the Kathmandu return.
Fitness level required for the trek to Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath:
Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath trek are suitable for all kinds of trekking enthusiasts. Anyone with a good fitness level and stamina can complete this trek. If you have the endurance to walk for around 6hrs per day with a light day pack, then you needn't have to worry much. If you can't then first prepare yourself by doing some exercise and jogging. Join some short hiking before marching for this long day's hike. Jogging and hiking help you prepare yourself for this long day's hike.
Though the trek doesn't take you to the higher altitudes, still there are chances of getting altitude sickness. While trekking it is always recommended to maintain pace. Maintaining pace is the best preventive measure for altitude sickness. In addition, drinking excessive water is also recommended. To provide you with better acclimatization in our package, we have designed the 14 days itinerary.
Best time for Jomsom Muktinath Trek with Khopra Danda Trek:
To get the best out of any trek, it is the wise decision to trek the region knowing the right season or months. In the case of this Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Spring(March-May) and Autumn(Sep-Nov) seasons are normally the best trekking seasons. The stable weather and moderate temperature during this season offer clear skies with spectacular mountain vistas. Though the mornings and nights are quite cold, the day temperature never irritates you while trekking.
As some part of the trek falls under the rain shadow region of Nepal, the summer trek is also doable. However, there are lots of chances of getting the cancellation or delays of flights during this season.
If you are thinking of trekking this region during the Winter season, hike up with the best warming and other necessary gears. The winter snowfall gives you an awesome trekking experience. However, the teahouse at the higher altitudes might remain closed during extremely cold days.
What permits are required for Khopra Danda Jomsom Muktinath Trek?
Annapurna Conservation Area Project entry permit and TIMS card are required for the trek to Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath. You can get both of these permits from Nepal Tourism of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Accommodation and Food during the Khopra Danda and Jomsom Muktinath Trek
Obviously, the city areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara offers all type of accommodation. It all depends on your budget and preference where you want to spend the night.
Accommodation is not a matter of concern during your stay at Nayapul and Ghorepani. It's all up to whether you prefer the homestay or lodges. However, don't expect the same treatment as that of the city areas hotels during your stay at Ghorepani or other upcoming routes.
Being the newly introduced trekking route there are only a few lodges available on the way to Khopra Danda. The settlement of Swanta, Chistibung, and Khopra Danda consists of a few lodges. These lodges consist of around 7 rooms and a spacious dining room with a heater inside there. If you are with more than 10 people in a group, then you might have to divide the group for the night stay.
Your stay from Swanta to Khorpa Danda might be quite congested but as soon as you head towards the settlement of Tatopani, Tukuche, Marpha, and Jomsom, you will find some comfortable lodges. Most of the lodges here are made up of woods and a stay at such rooms gives you a unique and comfortable experience. Compared to all other settlements, Jomsom consists of quite more luxurious hotels, so if you do not have a budget problem, you can spend a luxurious night there. Hot shower, wifi, and electricity are available at most of the lodges. At most of the lodges, a private bathroom is also available.
Food and Drinking water availability:
The menu is available at most of the lodges. However, don't expect much variety. Each of the lodges normally serves organic dishes. Thakali Khana set or Nepali Traditional set is best for lunch and dinner. It is budget-friendly also. Eggs, Bread, noodles, porridge, are available for breakfast. During your stay at Marpha or Jomsom, don't forget to try the local apples, apple liquors, and dry apples. It is the speciality of this region.
As you climb the higher altitude, be ready to pay more and more. If you buy the noodles on the way up towards Muktinath, you find that the costs getting tripled there compared with the lower altitudes. Similar is the case with other products also.
Instead of buying the bottled water, bring the water purifying pills and fill up your bottle at the lodges and drink the water by adding the water pills. Don't drink the water directly from the tap, as it may cause some kind of allergy to your throat.
Khopra Danda Jomsom Muktinath Trek Extensions
There are numerous trek extensions available during the Khopra Danda Jomsom Muktinath trek. Joining the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trails from Muktinath and heading towards Upper Mustang are the two most popular activities available. However, crossing the Thorong La Pass(5417m) from Muktinath is not recommended as there will be high elevation gain and the risk of altitude sickness is high.
In the case of Upper Mustang Trek, you must trek with a licensed guide and need a restricted area permit.