A COMPLETE GUIDEBOOK FOR DHORPATAN TREK

Approx. Read Time: 17 Minutes

Publised at Mar 14, 2022

The Dhorpatan Trek takes you to a magnificent place with a colorful wildflower sculpture. Dhorpatan's trekking trail takes you to a far-flung area, the core habitat of blue sheep; hunters see it as nirvana. This trek provides a chance to visit areas that are completely unspoiled and have maintained an eccentric lifestyle unhindered by western influences. During the spring, rhododendron blooms fill the forest, and walking a trail filled with pink and crimson blooms is a magical experience.

Dhorpatan Trek Summary

Dhorpatan Trekking entails trekking through the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. It is a trekking journey along a ridgeline surrounded by the picturesque Dhaulagiri Massif and lush valleys. The villages surrounding the reserve's sheer beauty, intriguing Kham Magar culture, and abundance of animal and birdlife contribute to the trek's allure.

The adventure begins with a long drive to Beni along the fast-flowing Trisuli, Marsyandi, and Seti rivers. The trek from Dharapani commences with a glimpse of the majestic forked summits of Dhaulagiri, Gurju, Chure, and Putha, as well as the surrounding scenery, streams, and gorges. The more you dig into the trails of this trek, the more you will be blessed with a spectacular vista of Fishtail, Annapurna, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Jaljala Himal, and Gurga Himal from which the sun shines benevolently.

The trek is a tranquil journey mostly through the woods of fir, pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, juniper, and oak along the wild and isolated terrains, where you may enjoy serenity and scenery. You can experience the serenity of witnessing to nothing but the chirping of birds as you wander through the lush woodland. And walking to Jaljala amid canopies of blossoming rhododendrons seems like walking through an enchanting forest filled with magic.

The valleys along the Dhorpatan route are filled with wooden roofs, monasteries, prayer flags, and chortens. You will get to explore the Dhorpatan wildlife reserve with diverse flora and fauna and the unique culture of Magar inhabitants. Surrounded by the valleys’ towering vistas, you'll be amazed by the view of sunlight kissing the snowcapped peaks, brightening the view every moment as the sunrises. And, when you gaze up at the night skies smeared with stars and constellations, all your aches from trekking vanishes, and it will feel like you're discovering the entire cosmos.

About Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, located on the southern flank of Dhaulagiri Mountain, is the sole hunting reserve in Nepal and is located in the districts of Rukum, Baglung, and Myagdi. The wildlife reserve, which enables restricted hunting, is a never-ending nirvana for avid hunters. Before, getting to Dhorpatan was difficult, requiring a helicopter journey and a long trek.

It was only accessible to the royal family through a helicopter ride for hunting wildlife. With the expansion of Nepal's road network, this is no longer the case. Even though it is accessible to the road networks, it is nevertheless neglected by visitors. Because of its remoteness and difficulty of access, it has mostly escaped modernization and preserved its culture and traditions. People in the villages of this region have continued following the same practices and lifestyle as their forefathers, unaffected by modernization.

The hunting reserve, which covers an area of 1325 square kilometers, is composed of woodlands, marshlands (called dhor), and flat meadows (called patan). It takes us to the western edge of Nepal, which is as untouched by modernity as it is embellished by nature.

The reserve is a prime home for blue sheep, a highly sought luxury animal and the main target of hunters. Ghoral, serow, Himalayan tahr, black bear, pheasant, and partridge are among the other game species. The Dhorpatan area's endangered animals include the red panda and the cheer pheasant.

Controlled hunting is authorized with a valid license during specific seasons of the year. The unhindered wildlife in this reserve provides ample possibilities for hunters to indulge in gaming activities.

Highlights of Dhorpatan Trek

  • A chance to get a close-up glimpse of the snow-covered Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges rich biodiversity of the hunting reserve with various topography and climates
  • A reflection of the ancient culture with traditional villages and monasteries
  • A chance to indulge in controlled hunting.
  • Less crowded trail with spectacular vistas.
  • Trekking through Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal's sole hunting reserve with a plethora of wildlife.
  • Magnificent trekking trails and a challenging vehicle ride
  • Unique indigenous hamlet and authentic Kham Magar customs

A Brief Itinerary for Dhorpatan Trek

Dhorpatan Trek usually lasts 12 days and begins with a journey from Kathmandu to Beni. The route to Dhorpatan ascends from 2850 m to 7000 m at various points while exploring the area around Dhorpatan. The journey will take longer to finish if you take a rest day, explore the village, and add the other attractions trekking route.

The following is a 12-day Outline Itinerary.

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Beni
Day 2: Drive to Darbang and trek to Dharapani
Day 3: Trek from Dharapani to Lamsung
Day 4: Trek from Lamsung to Jaljala
Day 5: Trek from Jaljala to Dhorpatan
Day 6: Excursion at Dhorpatan and trek to Phagune Phedi
Day 7: Hike to Phagune Phedi and trek to Jungle camp.
Day 8: Trek from Jungle camp to Gurjaghat
Day 9: Trek from Gurjaghat to Patichaur
Day 10: Trek from Patichaur to Darbang and drive to Beni
Day 11: Drive from Beni to Pokhara
Day 12: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

The Difficulty level of Dhorpatan Trek

The Dhorpatan Hike is a short and moderate trek that requires little technical skills. The lower sections of the trek are characterized by lush green forests, whilst the higher levels have a more rugged and rocky landscape. Despite its remoteness, the journey is not particularly challenging.

Dhorpatan trekking is suitable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness and emotional stability. Trekkers do not need to be experienced or professionals to complete this trek. On average, the walk takes 5-6 hours to complete. On a challenging day, you must walk for 7-8 hours.

The trekking route is moderate, but with proper planning and preparation, anyone may embark on this journey. Furthermore, the altitudes are not high enough to cause difficulty for the majority of trekkers. However, precautions to avoid altitude sickness are quite important. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

Best Time to Trek to Dhorpatan

Unlike most treks in Nepal, the Dhorpatan Trek can be completed at any time of year. Nonetheless, autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the perfect times to visit Dhorpatan, Nepal. These seasons have stable weather with moderate temperatures. During these seasons, you will have an easier experience walking on the drier trails during the warm sunny days. As the snowcapped mountains are more visible, the nights and mornings can become colder but still bearable.

Dhorpatan Trekking in Autumn

The weather in autumn is usually pleasant and consistent, with a clear sky, providing for beautiful views of the mountains and landscapes throughout the walk. You'll also be able to enjoy some stunning sunrises and sunsets at this time. With the end of the wet monsoon season, the skies are cleaned of dust and contaminants. As a result, you can enjoy crystal clear vistas during this season.

If you plan your trek for late September or October, you will be able to witness two of Nepal's most important festivals: Dashain and Tihar. Hindu celebrations extend several days. Expect wonderful food, you will be able to experience joy, dance, and music in all of the villages along the way.

Dhorpatan Trek During the Spring Season

Spring is considered the second-best season for hiking in Nepal. During this time of year, the route is very magnificent. Rhododendron blossoms add to the lushness of the forest. You'll also see a lot of wildflowers along the road. Because of the bright sun and gentle mountain breezes at higher altitudes, the trip becomes less strenuous. You will see the growth of new twigs, blossoms, and leaves during this season.

The path to Dhorpatan winds through a magnificent forest that is filled with wildflowers in the spring. It will seem heavenly to walk through the wildflower-covered slopes against the backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayas.

Dhorpatan Trekking During the Winter

Winter is marked by cold and harsh weather, as well as strong winds, especially at higher elevations. The trail's highest sections are usually covered in snow. As a result, if there is a lot of snow on the ground, the trails may be more difficult to navigate. The skies, on the other hand, are clear and provide stunning views.

Dorpatan Trekking in Summer/Winter

Because of the frequent rainfall and humid environment during the summer and monsoon seasons, you will encounter many leeches, earthworms, and bugs on the trails. The temperature and weather are simply too changeable with wet and sloppy surfaces. If you are planning a monsoon trek, it is a good idea to have insect repellents with you. Monsoon trekking involves careful preparation and packing for the rainy season.

Accommodation facilities During Dhorpatan Trekking

In comparison to other commercial trekking destinations in Nepal, the tea houses along the routes in Dhorpatan are less developed. There is a limited supply of homestay lodging, which may be only suitable for small groups. . The lodges will be more basic than those in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions.

It is important to remember that the amenities accompanying the traditional teahouses are very basic. During the trip, staying in teahouses and homestays allows you to interact with people and witness their way of life up close. The indigenous Magar people are inquisitive about strangers, so they may also invite trekkers to eat in their homes.

Another option is to go camping, where you can engage on a complete camping journey in the area. The camping trek has a unique charm that will provide you with wonderful memories. You will be able to interact with nature, feel the pleasant fragrance of the outdoors, observe wildlife, and enjoy the view of stars away from the spotlights of the large cities.

Meals During Dhorpatan Trek

Food is essential during trekking. You will be able to taste a wide range of cuisines. Popular menu items include Nepali and Tibetan cuisines and the most popular dish is Dal Bhat (rice & lentil soup with available veggies). It's a classic Nepalese cuisine. The best part is that additional assistance will not cost you anything extra! The lunch & dinner is filling. It will help you stay energized on long journeys.

Tibetan bread, chapatti, porridge, egg dishes in any form (fried egg, scrambled egg, boiled egg, and omelet), and milk, hash brown potatoes, noodle soups, and so on are common breakfast foods on the trek. Rice dishes such as Dal Bhatt (rice with lentil curry), fried rice, boiled rice with curry, and potato dishes are available during the trip. If you're lucky, you'll be able to eat fried noodles, garlic soup, vegetable soup, and other meals.

Tea houses in the Kanchenjunga area offer a range of hot beverage menus along the journey, including tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. You can get black tea, milk tea, lemon tea, ginger tea, mint tea, and other beverages.

People Culture & Tradition in Dhorpatan Region

Dhorpatan Trek, with its unique Kham and native cultures, historic villages, sacred caves, and region of immense calm, is a great pleasure for trekkers. The distinctive lifestyle and its preserved culture will enchant you as you go along the communities of Dhorpatan village. This adventure introduces you to Kham Magar culture and Tibetan refugees, as well as their traditions and practices.

The Kham Magar people have preserved an indigenous Tibeto-Burman language known as Kham. The people are known as Kham Magar, Western Magar, or just Magar. Along the trail, you can discover settlements with stoned roofs that date back to the old decades.

They live in a transhumant manner, with permanent villages and a few fields for small-scale agriculture. You may witness agricultural fields and flocks of sheep and goats grazing on the meadows along the trails near the settlements. The Magar tradition follows a unique culture of an ancient shamanistic tradition with its history and organization.

Flora and Fauna in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is a magnificent destination for wildlife and bird enthusiasts who want to visit this diverse region for an array of unique bird species as well as rare and endangered mammals.

The reserve's vegetation includes alpine, subalpine, and high temperate species. Plants that are commonly found include fir, pine, and birch, as well as rhododendron, hemlock, oak, juniper, and spruce. Pastureland covers more than half of the reserve's land area. In the reserve, 58 vascular plants have been identified.

Blue Sheep are the primary attraction at Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. Leopard, musk deer, Goral, Serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, Barking deer, Wild boar, Rhesus macaque, Langur, and Mouse hare are among the numerous animals found here. There are 137 bird species including koklass pheasant, cheer pheasant, and impeyan pheasant, as well as two reptile species.

The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, established in 1987, is Nepal's only hunting reserve. Unlike many countries that enable canned hunting, the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve has designated a specific area where only certain wild species are permitted to be killed, thereby regulating the overall population in the area. Controlled hunting is permitted with a valid license and only during specific seasons of the year.

The cost of hunting varies depending on the animal species chosen by the hunters.

Permits and Entrance Fee for Dhorpatan hunting Reserve Trek

The admission entrance to the reserve costs NPR 500 per day for every visitor entering the hinting reserve region. If you are visiting the region for hunting purposes, you must obtain a hunting license and a special permit. You still need the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve entry permit

Dhorpatan Trekking with/without a Guide

Dhorpatan Trek takes you to remote villages and lush green forests that are home to a variety of wildlife. Having a knowledgeable guide accompany you will enhance your trip in a variety of ways. Trekking with someone who knows the mountain well will also keep you safe and secure. There is no clear rule requiring you to go to Dhorpatan with a guide.

It is, however, extremely advisable that you accompany them. A guide is someone who can help you navigate. He will also be more knowledgeable about where to stay and eat, and he will be able to negotiate better rates for you. In the case of a medical emergency, you can directly consult them.

Travel Insurance to Trek to Dhorpatan

Travel Insurance is mandatory for not only the Dhorpatan trek but for every trek in the Himalayas where you will be trekking amid mountains at a height of more than 3000 meters. Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and having travel insurance on hand will be useful if you are injured caused by unforeseen weather conditions.

While trekking to Dhorapatan, you should get a good travel insurance policy that covers all activities and elevations on your schedule. The trek's highest point is 3,850 meters above sea level at Phagun Phedi, and your travel insurance should cover you up to this elevation. Any medical or travel complications, as well as any unforeseen tragedies that may occur while trekking, will be covered by your travel insurance coverage.

You must ensure that your insurance covers the cost of any injuries or emergencies that may arise during your trek. In the case of an accident or medical emergency, your insurance policy should cover the expense of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization, as they can be costly without insurance.

Check List/Packing List for Trekking Journey to Dhorpatan

The fundamental idea behind packing your backpack is to keep you warm, dry, and sun-protected so that you can travel effectively and comfortably in the evenings and at night on the heights. The weight of your daypack should be between 8 and 10 kg, while the weight of your main duffle bag should be around 15 kg. Check that your bag pack does not exceed 15 kg.

The things you carry with you may have an impact on your whole travel experience. As a result, while getting any equipment, you should make no compromises in terms of quality or brand. Because this route takes you through a rural area, there are no stores once you start the adventure, so you must carry enough supplies.

Remember to keep lists in mind when you pack your belongings for the trip.

  •  A scarf or a basic piece of fabric to keep dust away
  •  One flashlight with spare batteries and bulbs UV protection sunglasses Polypropylene shirts (two long-sleeved, one half-sleeved)
  •  UV protection sunglasses
  •  One headlight with spare batteries and bulbs UV protection sunglasses
  •  Polyester shirts (two long-sleeved, one half-sleeved)
  •  Jacket (or pullover) made of fleece that acts as a windproof
  •  Down vest or jacket Breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex jacket with hood
  •  One pair of hiking boots with durable soles, water resistance, ankle support, and spare laces.
  •  Two sets of lightweight and thin inner socks
  •  Wool or thick poly socks
  •  Socks made of wool (optional)
  •  Socks made of wool (optional)
  •  Adapter, charging appliances, power bank, and batteries
  •  Crampons (if you are trekking in the winter season, Dec-Feb).
  •  Reusable water bottle (both hot and cold) with a volume of at least 2-3 liters.
  •  Toiletries
  •  A sleeping bag as well as a sleeping bag liner.
  •  Personal First Aid Kit
  •  Salt or anti-leech oil traveling in the rainy season, July- Aug)
  •  Personal snacks
A Short Info on Eco-friendly Travel

The purpose of tourists to the Himalayas is to leave footprints. Travel must be done responsibly, with as little negative influence on the environment as possible. Plastic should be used wisely, and waste should not be dumped in mountains. Promoting the Safe Environment Act and fighting pollution and global warming should be everyone's primary responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Dhorpatan Trek

1. Is there WiFi and mobile service on the Dhorpatan Trek?

With a few exceptions, the Dhorpatan Trekking route offers decent mobile network coverage, due to Nepali telecommunications providers like Ncell and NTC. WiFi is accessible in certain teahouses along the trekking trail. However, the signal varies from location to location, so don't expect to get fast data coverage during your trip.

2. What gear and equipment should I bring for Dhorpatan Trekking?

Choosing the correct gear and equipment is also critical for a successful trek. Pack the necessary gear and equipment, but you should keep in mind that packing light is the ideal way to go when trekking to Dhorpatan.

3. What should I do to get prepared for the Dhorapatan trek?

Running, cycling, jogging, and swimming are all good cardiovascular workouts to do before going hiking. Climbing up and down the mountain with your shoes and bag on, on the other hand, is excellent training for your legs and knees for mountain terrain.

The Dhorpatan Trek journey truly gives any trekker an experience to be cherished forever. This fantastic adventure in Nepal’s western region is out there to introduce the majesty of the Dhorpatan area and embrace the beauty of lesser-seen peaks in Nepal's west to the rest of the world. The region with a sole hunting reserve of Nepal is also hiding enormous wilderness rich in flora and fauna, sparsely populated, and breathtakingly picturesque along with unique settlements of the locals.

Whether you want to hunt the particular animal species, or just want to have a trekking experience in the isolated part of Nepal, Dhorpatan Trek suits each of you.

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