Read on for a detailed account of our fourteenth day on the Annapurna Circuit. Today, we trekked from Ghasa to Tatopani covering a total distance of 14.2 km in around 4 hours. The trail descends almost a 1000m today and there are some great opportunities to enjoy the spectacular landscapes.
Our fourteenth day walking the Annapurna Circuit was one of the most pleasant of the entire western side of the trek. Our route would take us from Ghasa to Kopchepani and from Kopchepani to Tatopani. Starting at 2010m, we would descend to 1190m by the end of the day. It’s around 14.2 km and 4 hours walk from Ghasa to Tatopani including all stops.
Read on for my experiences, tips and advice from day fourteen hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Day Fourteen: Ghasa to Tatopani on the Annapurna Circuit
Ghasa (2010m) – Kopchepani (1620m) – Tatopani (1190m)
Distance: 14.2 km
Time: 3 hrs 55 minutes (08:26 – 12:21)
This day turned out to be one of the best in terms of the scenery. Luckily, there is minimal road walking from Ghasa to Tatopani so you can really focus on those views instead of worrying where the next bus is going to come from.
Ghasa to Kopchepani
Ghasa (2010m) – Kopchepani (1620m)
Distance: 5 km
Time: Around 1 hours 10 minutes
Out of Ghasa, the path descends towards the river and climbs over some huge boulders. There is scrambling involved so take care on this section as there isn’t anything to hold on to. The rocks safely negotiated, we crossed a suspension bridge. There was a lot of rain overnight and the river was fuller than we’ve seen in previous days. The fast moving water was churning over the giant rocks, relentlessly carving out a path through the mountains. You could see erosion in action as the exposed stone under the path was constantly worn away by the flow of water. Some of the larger boulders in the riverbed were the result of rock slides from the steep slopes above us. It was all a powerful reminder of the power of nature.
We followed the left bank of the river for a while. Steps hewn into the cliff took us higher above the river. We passed small villages, livestock grazing contentedly and children waving hello. As we headed through lush forested areas, we could glimpse the dusty road on the other side of the river. While the west side of the circuit gets a bit of a bad rep due to the road, it’s pretty easy to avoid a lot of the time. This stage of the trek is also great for seeing locals going about their daily lives. We passed many villages and got to interact with people on the way.
Kopchepani to Tatopani
Kopchepani (1620m) – Tatopani (1190m)
Distance: 9.2 km
Time: Around 2 hours 45 minutes
Today isn’t a particularly long day so I wouldn’t recommend stopping for an extended break unless you need it. Kopchepani is small but has a couple of places where you can grab a drink or some food. We didn’t stop, instead continuing on down. Weirdly, despite the overall descent, there were still a couple of tougher sections with steep stairs, made all the more difficult by the heat. This was the warmest it’s been since the first few days of the trek and as we descended almost a 1000 metres today, the temperature was going only one way – up!
This does mean that you can take plenty of water breaks and enjoy some of the scenery around you. Don’t forget to glance across the valley to the other side of the river. You’ll glimpse the road snaking its way through the mountains, houses clinging to the green slopes and waterfalls. Make sure to appreciate the impressive Rupse Waterfall cascading down right underneath the dusty track.
Eventually, the path descends down and gets wider as you pass more populated areas with villages, fields and livestock roaming around. We crossed the river around 3km out of Tatopani and followed the easy section straight to our final stop of the day.
Just before 12:30 pm, we arrived at our guesthouse in Tatopani. It was a beautiful place with sprawling gardens, flowers in bloom and loads of greenery. We had a delicious lunch – the food in this place was incredible. A few of the people that we met trekking to the pass were hanging out in Tatopani. Many people skip the few days we just walked and get a bus from Jomsom before hiking the last section of the trek. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, catching up with Martin, playing pool and enjoying a few beers. Before dinner, we took a short walk to the hot springs nearby. Disappointingly, similarly to Chame, this was just a manmade pool so we decided to skip it.
Tatopani has several stores and restaurants and it’s a good place to stock up on snacks and toiletries. It’s not huge but the main strip is definitely geared towards trekkers.
Ghasa to Tatopani Key Notes
- One of the best days for scenery on this side of the pass. The walking trail passes charming villages and weaves through lush green sections.
- Once in Tatopani, you can check out the hot springs. Similarly to Chame, it’s another man-made pool. The steps down to the springs are at the end of the garden at Dhaulagiri so it’s worth at least having look.
- Tatopani has several stores and restaurants and it’s a good place to stock up on snacks and toiletries. It’s not huge but the main strip is definitely geared towards trekkers. Many people skip the section between Jomsom and Tatopani before trekking the last stretch of the Annapurna Circuit so you’ll find more people here than in most places on this side of the circuit.
- Get your rest in. This isn’t the toughest of days and you’ve just descended 1000m so it’s easy to get complacent. Spoiler alert: the next day is one of the longest and toughest of the whole trek.
Staying in Tatopani: Dhaulagiri Lodge & Restaurant
It’s a beautiful place with sprawling gardens, flowers in bloom and loads of greenery. Ran by a very well-travelled and knowledgeable Nepalese owner, this place has everything from delicious food to comfortable bungalow rooms and beautiful grounds. It’s right on the main street in the village, on your left as you walk through.
Up Next: Tatopani to Ghorepani
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