Days: 18 / Difficulty: 4 of 5 (Strenuous)
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek explores a wild, remote and off-the-beaten-track area of the Nepal Himalaya. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking starts at Beni and then follows the Myagdi Khola River passing through beautiful Gurung villages with terraced fields framed by views of the Dhaulagiri massif. After walking up the narrow Chonbarden gorge towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp we then cross French Pass into Hidden Valley. Mount Dhaulagiri is one of the most popular 8000m Peaks for climbing in the Himalayas. The seventh highest mountain in the world, Dhaulagiri lies north — west of Pokhara culminating to its highest point at the eastern end. Dhaulagiri is almost unique in the world in terms of its rise above local terrain where it rises to 7000m over the Kali Gandaki gorge to the south east in about 30 km of aerial distance. In fact, Kali Gandaki is dramatic as two eight thousenders, Annapurna I & Dhaulagiri both stand near the river facing each other over a deep valley. Dhaulagiri Round is a tough trek around 3 weeks. Starting from Pokhara - a verdant valley amidst cultivated fields, and passes through the rhododendron and alpine forests and meadows with high passes, hot spring, waterfall, and plenty of stunning scenery. This trek avoids the main trail and therefore is quite strenuous and demanding. The massive peak of Dhaulagiri (8167m) is very attractive. It is one of the eight highest peaks in the world. Between the processions of high peaks, Dhaulagiri (8,167m) is the seventh highest peak in the world. It's a long difficult trek around Dhaulagiri - following Marsyangdi Khola westwards to Darbang then turning north on a tiny trail leading through forests into the high country. Much of the route covers snow and glacier as it crosses French Col. (5,240m) and Dhampus pass (5,155m). Starting from Beni to the Kali Gandaki valley, the trek crosses high passes and rivers of Kali Gandaki and Bheri stands Dhaulagiri Himal, a massive ridge with a continues to Marpha and by passing the best panorama view of Annapurna. This mountain range is has 14 peaks rising over 7000m in height, including Mount Dhauligiri, the sixth highest mountain in the world, at 8167m. It is, undoubtedly, a memorable place for adventure seekers all over the world. The incredible views of Ice Falls and Glaciers make this trip worthy enough for those who have only dreamt of such an adventure. There are a few routes to choose from, each offering spectacular views of the majestic Himalayan landscape. Experienced trekkers with basic mountaineering skills will enjoy this region.
Fact of the Trek;
Trip Region: Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Region
Types of Trip: Trekking
Duration: 18 Days
Highest Elevation: French Pass 5360m and Dhampus Pass 5244m
Mode of Trip: Camping
Grade: Very Strenuous
Average Walking: 6-7 hours in a day
Trip Start/End: Kathmandu
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: 3 Star Hotel in Kathmandu and standard hotel in Pokhara and normal tented camp during the trek
Best Season: Autumn (Sep-Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April-May)
Transportation by: Domestic Flight and Private Vehicle
Culture Experience: Majority of Thakali and Magar
Major Himalayan Sights: Mt. Dhaulagiri 8167m and its range, Tukuche Peak 6920m, Nilgiri 6819m, Dhampus Peak 6012m.
Highlights of the Trip: Traverses the head of hidden valley, crossing French Pass and Dhampus Pass, extreme and tiny trekking trail through dense forests into the high country to base camp, snow and glacier walking for a week, experiencing with Thakali culture in Kaligandaki valley. scenic flight out of Jomsom.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and meet with our airport staff then transfer to Hotel. Welcome drinks and short briefing about your trek and relax.
Day 2: Fly to Pokhara. Transfer into the Annapurna Himal to the small town of Durbang (1100m).
After breakfast in the hotel we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 45 minute flight to Pokhara. Here we board our transport for the 3 - 4 hour journey through a fascinating and lush landscape of emerald green rice paddies and dense forest on the steeper and higher slopes. Travelling deeper into the Annapurrna Himal, we follow the Kali Gandakhi river to the town of Beni and then follow its tributary, the Myagdi Khola, passing several small settlements, to arrive at the small rural town of Darbang where we make our first camp. Approximate altitude of camp is 1100 metres. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 3: Trek up to Dharapani, following a path skirting the ridge to Sibang (1770m/6 hours).
Beginning our trek, we soon arrive at Phedi (a name which means bottom of the hill) and start the climb up to the ridge-top village of Dharapani. There are good views of Dhaulagiri from this section of the trail and from the ridge-top we can also see Gurja Himal and Puta Hiunchuli to the west. We take lunch at Dharapani (1200m) and then continue along the ridge on paths and jeep trails which contour above the river, with good views of Dhaulagiri to the north. We make camp at the settlement of Takam (1670m) or 30 - 45 minutes further on at Sibang (1770m). Overnight at tented camp.
Day 4: Descend to the Gatti Khola River and then climb to Muri and Naura (1450m/8 hours).
After a long descent to the Gatti Khola, we climb for 2 hours to the large village of Muri (1840m), at the confluence of the Myagdi and Dhara rivers. The Dhara River flows from the west, in which direction lies the important regional bazaar town of Dhorpatan. The Myagdi flows down from the north and this is the river valley which our route will be following. We arrive at Muri in time for lunch and afterwards we continue the trek, to a bridge crossing of the Dhola Khola. Our route meanders down through pretty farmland, terraced rice fields and isolated houses, before climbing to traverse around a ridge on the east side of the Dhola Valley. Once again above the Myagdi Khola, we head northwards to the village of Naura (1450m) where we set up camp. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 5: Trek up through the Myagdi Khola valley to a grazing area called Lapche Kharka (2100m/7 hours).
We continue to follow the Myagdi Khola upstream to the larger settlement of Baghara (2080m) where we stop for lunch. From Baghara, the path descends for half an hour to Jyardan, the last village in this valley and the last village that we will encounter until we arrive at Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Beyond Jyardan, we continue to descend on steep and stony path to the river’s edge. Following the river for a while, we then climb up into the forest on the west side of the river and follow an undulating trail through the trees passing several clearings with some stone-built shepherds huts. We make camp in a grazing area known as Lapche Kharka at approximately 2100 metres. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 6: Gradual ascent to Sallaghari (2500m/8 hours) via Dobang.
Continuing our gradual ascent on a spectacular alpine-style path, we encounter more grassy clearings and arrive at a level 'kharkha' or grazing area known as Dobang (2600m). Here, we take lunch in a fine, open position on the south side of a tributary valley with a tantalising glimpse of the peaks of the Dhaulagiri Massif ahead. Crossing the tributary Konaban Khola, once again we enter a forested area and climb to a crest, from where we can see the west wall of Dhaulagiri I between the trees. Our adventurous route drops down to the Myagdi Khola, which we cross to reach the east bank, and then follows the river, crossing the tributary Pakite Khola, to reach the summer grazing area of Sallaghari (3000m). Overnight at tented camp.
Day 7: A short day to Italian Basecamp (3660m/4 hours), crossing moraine debris and boulders.
In accordance with our programme of careful acclimatisation, we have a shorter day today. We trek close up beneath the west side of Dhaulagiri, initially on moraine and then enter the forest before encountering more moraine and boulders. We come eventually to the site which is known as ‘Italian Basecamp’ (3660m). This is a tremendous location beneath the West Face of Dhaulagiri I. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 8: Now above 4000m, another short trek over glacial moraine to Japanese Camp (4200m/4 hours).
Another short day as we climb up above four thousand metres. Leaving our camp, the trail now crosses a rocky area, traversing a steep slope and climbing abruptly to cross the moraine of a glacier which flows down from Dhaulagiri itself. Beyond the glacier, we reach a wide grassy area in a shallow ablation valley. This is the campsite known as ‘Japanese Base Camp’ and is a spectacular place, dominated by the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri I on one side and by the huge rock walls of Tsaurabong Peak on the other. For the first time, we have the feeling that we are approaching the heart of the Himalayas. Altitude at camp - approximately 4200 metres. Note that it may be that you spend an acclimatisation day at Italian Camp rather than at Japanese Camp. Your leader will make this decision based on the acclimatisation of the group and weather conditions at the time. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 9: Vital acclimatisation day.
We are now above 4000 metres and our next camp will be at 4700 metres so it is important that we include an acclimatisation day prior to going higher. A good day for resting and catching up with the laundry or it is possible to make an exploratory walk above camp. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 10: Long trek to Dhaualgiri Basecamp (4748m/8 hours) traversing moraine and the glacier itself.
Today we have an early start for the long and tough day’s trek to Dhaulagiri Basecamp. We follow the north side of the glacier, sometimes on the lateral moraine and sometimes on the undulating surface of the glacier itself which lies below the west face. Finally, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp (4660m) after a tough walk. From our camp, we can look up at the towering north face of Dhaulagiri I, whilst to the west lie the awesome peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), III (7715m) and IV (7618m). Directly opposite our camp is the impressive icefall which descends from the col between Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 11: A second acclimatisation day before crossing into the Hidden Valley.
Another day for rest and acclimatisation before crossing the pass into the Hidden Valley. There are opportunities to walk above the camp for fine views. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 12: Cross French Pass (5370m/8 hours) and enjoy views of Dhaulagiri. Descend into the Hidden Valley.
Continuing our route on the north side of the Chhondarban Glacier, we walk along the valley before steadily climb the stepped hillside above the glacier, with zig-zag trails across scree and moraine leading to the easy-angled snow slopes which lead up to French Pass (5370m). From this vantage point we have a stunning 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountain ranges. These include, nearby Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak, and the huge Dhaulagiri I. A gentle descent, across easy snow slopes, takes us to the head of the so called Hidden Valley, a long and broad mountain enclave which remained undiscovered behind the Dhaulagiri Massif until as recently as the last few decades. We descend to camp on a level shelf, overlooking the Hidden Valley, at an altitude of approximately 5120 metres. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 13: A contingency day in case of any delays.
A spare day in case of any problems affecting our schedule. If unused at this point, this is a fantastic location and the day can be used for exploration of the valley. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 14: Another tough day as we cross Dhampus Pass (5280m/9 hours) and descend into the Kali Gandaki Valley.
We climb back up to the level of the French Pass at the eastern end of Hidden Valley and then make a high traverse across to the slightly lower Dhampus Pass (5280m) which overlooks the deep cleft of the Kali Gandaki Valley with the peaks of the Annapurna range beyond. At this point Dhaulagiri I is hidden by the bulk of Tuckuche Peak. We follow a high-level alpine style travers path before making the steep, challenging and at times rocky descent leading to a possible overnight campsite a little below 5000 metres. If we are going well, we will opt to descend for a further couple of hours, dropping to the grazing area of Yak Kharka (4000m) or further below from where we can once again see Dhaulagiri I. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 15: Descend via the Tibetan village of Marpha to Jomsom (2736m/4 hours).
We complete our descent to the floor of the Kali Gandaki Valley, more than 2500 metres below Dhampus Pass! The first seasonal settlement that we reach is the cluster of stone huts at Alubari (3400m) beyond which, our steeply zig-zagging descent takes us eventually to the village of Marpha (2667m). This is a gem of a village, with whitewashed houses, paved streets and numerous well-kept lodges and Tibetan craft shops. Leaving behind this Tibetan refugee resettlement centre, we hike northwards climbing once more but gently, up to the airstrip town of Jomsom (2736m). Here we check in to a local lodge and can celebrate the completion of our trek with a beer or perhaps with a glass of one of the famous, locally produced spirits, such as apple brandy. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 16: Take the short flight to Pokhara and check in to a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
We take the short and exciting internal flight to Pokhara, where we check in at a hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure. A popular option is to wander by the lake or to sit in the garden of one of the beautiful lakeside restaurants, admiring the view of the Annapurnas and the iconic 'Fish Tail' peak of Machhapuchare.
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu. Free time to explore or relax before a final celebratory dinner.
In the morning, we transfer to the airport and board the flight back to Kathmandu. After checking in at the hotel, there will be time for a clean up before heading out to the bars and restaurants of Thamel for a celebration dinner.
Day 18: Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.
Our package services end after breakfast when we transfer to the airport for the homeward flight.
Our Trek Package Cost Includes:
* Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
* 3 nights accommodation with breakfast at 3*** hotel in Kathmandu and Standard hotel in Pokhara.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot water during the trek.
* Tented accommodation during the trek.
* 1 experienced, helpful and friendly guide, 1 cook and 1 helper, porters(1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipments and insurance.
* Flights to and from Pokhara and airport tax.
* All transportation by private car.
* All trekking equipment (Tent, mattress, dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, kitchen utensils etc.)
* Annapurna Conservation permit, and all necessary permits.
* First Aid Medical Kit box.
* Tourist service charge, Vat.
* Office Service charge.
* All Government Tax.
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include:
* Any meals (Lunch and Dinner) Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance.
* International air fare to and from Nepal
Tourist Visa fee.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal trekking equipments.
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Trek:
This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at email@example.com
Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.