Khopra Ridge trek, Nepal – day 6

Naya Pul to Ghandruk trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles. 

day 1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6/7

Nov 5, 2019 – Tadapani to Ghandruk 

The end of the Khopra Ridge trek (according to Lonely Planet) is Tadapani

Unexpected rain resulted in a power failure for most of the night.

For trekkers that means Kindle light dinner.

Did you see what I did there? 😀

As usual on this trip, next morning skies were clear.

Annapurna South

This has been the best vista so far of my favourite peak – Machapuchare.


After evening rain, the village was washed clean.

Lodges in Nepal are very similar. There’s not much difference between yours and HOTEL MAGNIFICENT.

From Tadapani it’s easy to get back to Pokhara in a day. But I decided, instead, to spend one more mountain night in Ghandruk, a  Gurung village, famed starting point for many treks.

Ghandruk was only a couple of hours downhill stroll. A very easy day for me.

Lonely Planet recommended Hotel Trekkers Inn in Ghandruk which had won many hospitality awards over the years. It’s good, but not much different than any other IMHO.

As prices are fixed at all lodges in each village, they try to match each other in features, as well.

Hotel Trekkers Inn did have good food including some menu items I’d not seen anywhere else. I tried the Moussaka … tasty, but unrelated in any way to Moussaka.

And also the local smoked, dried, spiced meat called sukuti,

In the restaurant I met a young American who will be volunteer teaching at the largest school in the area. She’ll be living at Hotel Trekkers Inn for the next 2 months.

We both met a Brit who’s an old Nepal hand. This trip he’s come to photograph the Kulung’ honey hunters‘, men who climb bamboo rope ladders to harvest the world’s largest bees. An interesting man.

Pro tip – bring a tiny luggage lock for your room. What they provide are bulky and awkward.

The Khopra Ridge Trek I just finished is excellent.

In fact, Nepal needs more like it. And there is plenty of opportunity to develop more trails in higher, less developed spurs of the Annapurna massif.

Widely circulated in local lodges is this 2014 article by Donatella Lorch who lives in Kathmandu:

… The tea-houses and lodges are packed. Hikers have to share the stone steps with Nepal tourism’s unsung heroes: the unending series of mule convoys, loaded down with everything from water and food to cooking propane, kerosene, mattresses, stones and bags of cement to feed the mountain region’s lodge construction boom. …

ACAP faces socio-economic, ecological and political challenges. New roads have jeeps and trucks competing with trekkers and brings with it increased risk of landslides. There is little variety as the vast majority of trekkers stick to a small number of routes that are at times crowded walking highways …

Many trekkers along the route are willing to pay more for a more Nepali experience, and were in search of less crowded trails. …

Value-added hiking

Nepal’s trekking is at a cross-road, in need of a quality upgrade
It’s nice to wander Ghandruk’s narrow old stone trails.
But that experience is being lost in the clutter of new construction and added solar water heaters.
Ghandruk 2019

Next morning — day 7 —dawned, as usual, clear. I never tire of looking at these peaks.

Annapurna South from Ghandruk
Fishtail from Ghandruk

I saw my first monkeys of this trip. Always entertaining.

Gray Langur

As the bus stand below town looked good, I decided to take a chance on the local bus to get back to Pokhara.

Yeesh. Getting to and from trailheads in the Himalaya is by far the most dangerous part of trekking.

Looking down from the bus window

The only good news about this ride was the cost — $5 for 5 hours of very rough going.

Back in Pokhara, I took a couple of showers. Then headed for Utopia for Chicken Sizzler.

day 1  | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6/7

related – Click PLAY or watch another trip on YouTube.  (30min)

Family of 6 hikes Appalachian Trail

20 years after her first Appalachian hike, Jamie, her husband Chris, and their four daughters, Maya,13, Harper, 11, Josie, 8, and Sabina, 6, camped in snow, and hiked across rivers and up mountains, all with blistered toes and homework assignments to complete. …

6-year-old Sebastopol girl breaks hiking record with family on Appalachian Trail

Click PLAY or watch them on Twitter.

Matador Freefly16 packable daypack

Kraig and Dave on The Adventure Podcast frequently recommend Matador products.

As I travel much of each year, I use packable daypacks nearly every day on those trips. Often it carries my laptop and other essentials for short trips.

Often I use it to carry my daily groceries.

The Matador Freefly16 has replaced my my Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil® Dry Day Pack. The Matador is slightly heavier and bulkier, but much more robust and full-featured.

This 16 liter backpack is built from waterproof Cordura® with sealed internal seams and sealing zippers.  Incredibly light and seriously equipped, Freefly16 is ready for whatever’s ahead.


  • Unpacked 17in x 11in x 8in
  • Packed 4.75in x 2.75in diameter
  • 4.8 oz


Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

Trump’s Secretary of the Interior on global warming

Though not as bad as Trump’s first Secretary of the Interior, Zinke, the current guy in the position — David Bernhardt — is a former oil industry lobbyist. A Petro-toxin defender.

He’s supposed to be defending America’s natural resources; Bureau of Land Management, United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service.

Watch him try to deflect.

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

top 10 hikes – Zion Narrows, Utah

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world

Zion Narrows Top-Down

Photo Steven Shattuck 2017


  • in Utah’s Zion National Park
  • 16 miles (25 km) from Chamberlain’s Ranch to Temple of Sinawava
  • June through October best months
  • in places chasm up to 1,968 ft deep and 20 ft wide
  • walk in water about half the time
  • 9 – 13 hours. Confirm the time of the last shuttle out of the park!
  • a long, tiring day or you can camp overnight. Be aware that there are only 12 campsites available and they book quickly. Start as early as possible if you are doing it in a day.
  • Permit is required
  • water walking shoes, long hiking stick and dry gear recommended
  • National Park Service closes the hike when flow rate is over 150 cubic feet per second (cfs). And might close it at any time in case of Flash Flood Warning.

Read more on our Zion Narrows Information page.


Testing water filters for hikers

Misleading and unsubstantiated claims are a problem in the increasingly confusing assortment of options for filtering water.

Here’s the most comprehensive evaluation I’ve ever seen. See how your product rates.

Survival & Backpacking Water Filter Tests

LifeStraw Mission and MUV Survivalist look to be the units that best suit my needs. They are both about 350 grams.