Dhaulagiri circuit trek
is a remote setting and physical demands are well suited to experienced trekkers with a deep sense of adventure and the requisite levels of fitness to enjoy the challenge of one of the most extraordinary treks in all of Nepal. It’s a trek for those who are prepared to test the limits of their endurance on all levels, with little of the comforts offered up by the more popular teahouse
trails that the majority of trekkers take for granted these days. It’s traditional trekking at its finest, a throwback to a bygone era of expeditions and porters winding their way amidst towering snow-capped peaks, across glaciers, and over high passes used for centuries for trading purposes and to connect to neighboring valleys.
Among the innumerous trekking routes in Nepal,
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of the most challenging adventures situated in the Annapurna Region
which takes the trekkers to the base of the world's seventh-highest peak, Mount Dhaulagiri (8167m). Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
walks through snow-covered slopes, icy glaciers, and lateral moraine. Throughout the journey, the trekking route offers a splendid view of the majestic Dhaulagiri massif along with other mountain peaks that are above 7000m.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek begins with your arrival at Tribhuvan International
. After the scenic flight to Pokhara
and drive to Darbang begins the real trekking journey as you pass through densely forested trails and terraced hilly areas. The trekkers also walk past various Magar villages which gives them the opportunity to understand their culture and lifestyle. The trek reaches three base camps; Italian Base Camp, Dhaulagiri Base Camp, and Japanese Base Camp. From Dhaulagiri Base Camp, trekkers can see the stunning icefall descending from the northeast cool between Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak.
Walking through the glacial moraines on a white icy track, trekkers gently climb up to the French Pass (5360m) which is the highest point of our trek. The trail then follows to reach the Hidden Valley behind the Dhaulagiri massif. The trekkers also cross Dhampus Pass and Thapa Pass which leads to the town of Jomsom passing
the Marpha village, also known as apple city, on the way. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is perfect for those trekkers who love challenges as this trek includes walking over creaking glaciers and crossing a high mountain pass.
The Difficulty level of the Dhaulagiri circuit Track:
The difficulty level of the Dhaulagiri circuit trek is difficult to challenge. To complete this walk, you need good physical strength, strong determination, and a positive attitude. The trek starts from Darbang village (1,110 meters) and ends at Marfa village (2,670 meters) in the Mustang district. Hiking trails include long waterfalls, steep climbs on rocky paths, high alpine birds, secluded settlements, off-pit trails, lateral moors, ice glaciers, and high wind passes.
The Dhaulagiri Circuit trek requires crossing two high passes, the French Pass of 5,360 meters and the Dhampus Pass of 5,244 meters. Crossing these passes is challenging but rewarding. Strong physical fitness is required, with the ability to walk 6 to 7 times per day on a closed-beat path. During the trek, most days, you will spend your night at an altitude of over 3,500 meters. So, you need to be more careful about the problem of acute mountain sickness. Previous hiking experience with basic mountaineering skills is beneficial for the Dhaulagiri trek.
Great time for the Dhaulagiri circuit trek:
The most exciting and fun season for trekking in Nepal is the autumn from September to November and the spring from April to May. Probably, this is also the best time for the Dhaulagiri circuit trek. During the spring, you are greeted by lush green forests and blooming rhododendrons. The temperature is lighter and hotter on the lower level, and it gets colder when you climb higher. Anyway, this is the perfect season to see flowering plants with spectacular mountain views. Similarly, in autumn, the sky is generally clear, and views of snow-capped mountains are unprecedented. The daytime temperature is very stable, neither too hot nor too cold. Warm sunny days make walking easier. However, morning and evening can be a bit chilly.
Food and accommodation at Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek:
If you are walking alone or in pairs in the Dhaulagiri circuit, you should carry a light tent for 4/5 nights. You may have basic tea-house accommodation for the first few (4/5) nights with shared bathrooms and the last few (2/3) nights with good internet and hot and cold bathing facilities. For those who are on a full camping trek, accommodation is more expensive than a normal tea house trek. If you are planning to do the Dhaulagiri circuit trek, we suggest that the camping trek is much better than half tea house and half camping.
If you want to trek half camping and half tea-house, the cost will be more expensive than full camping or full tea-house trek, so make sure with your trekking organizing agent that your trek will be camping or tea-house. Trekking Cook offers you the best food during Dhaulagiri Circuit Camping Trek.
They bring all the food with them and cook a variety of foods such as pasta, potato, vegetables, rice, pizza, momo, and other western food. Food is more basic than camping during tea-house. They serve you Nepali dishes (Dal Bhat, boiled potatoes, noodle soup, and basic local dishes).
Equipment and Packing List for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek:
Every trekking requires certain preparation of gears and types of equipment for the journey to make your trip more comfortable. It is recommended to carry the necessary and light things so that it will be easy while you are walking. The following belongings are recommended that should be brought, although we concede that our clients have their own decision for the clothing. To know what to expect in the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, we have prepared some useful clothing & gear during the trek.
Important Items: Airline tickets; Valid passport; 2 extra passport size photos; Photocopy of your passport; Insurance paper; Dollars, Pounds, or Euros in cash for purchasing a Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying at restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks and to purchase your own drinks and gifts; Credit Card (Visa/ Mater Card) for withdrawing cash from cash machines if needs.
For Head: Sun Hat; Bandana or head scarf; Headlamp with extra batteries; Sun Glasses with UV protection.
For Upper Body: Shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves); Lightweight thermal tops; Fleece Jacket or Wool Sweater; Wind Cheater jacket; Down Jacket
For Lower Body: 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms; 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers; 1 pair of waterproof shell pants and 1 pair of hiking trousers.
For Hands: 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves and 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
For Feet: 2 pairs of thin inner socks; 2 pairs of poly or wool socks; 1 pair of Hiking boots (sturdy soles, water-resistant, ankle support); 1 pair of running shoes and/or sandals.
Other Useful Items: 1 sleeping bag (good to -25 degrees C or 40 degrees F); Rucksack and Travel Bags; 1 large duffel bag, A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables; Small padlocks for duffel- bags; 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional).
Medical: Your daily taking medicine if any; small personal first aid kit; Aspirin, plasters (band-aids); Sunscreen; lip balms; Anti-diarrhea pills; Anti-headache pills; A cough and/or cold medicine; Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide; Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin.
Digital camera; 2 water bottles (1 liter each); disposable rubbish sacks; Toiletries: 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel; Toothbrush/paste; Multi-purpose soap; Deodorants; Nail clippers; Face and body moisturizer; Tissue /toilet roll; hiking poles, snack food (chocolate/ biscuits); umbrella; reading book or pack of cards (for leisure time during trekking).
Note: If any items are not available in your hometown you can buy them in Trekking Store in Kathmandu before you on trekking.
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu:
Pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport upon your arrival, and transfer you to the hotel in Kathmandu. Overnight at the hotel. The evening group welcomes dinner in a lovely Nepalese Restaurant with an introduction to the culture of Nepal with folk dance and music.
Day 2 : In Kathmandu free day for a sightseeing tour at places of interest:
A free day in Kathmandu preparation for the trek includes a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley at places of great historical and religious interest.
The city is steeped with ancient world heritage sites, where the tour takes you around renowned landmarks, like the old Durbar / Palace Square with old Swayambhunath of more than 2,500 years old Stupa, a Buddhist religious monument. Includes holy Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and large dome stupa of Bouddhanath of great cultural and religious interest.
Day 3 : Fly/ from Kathmandu to Pokhara and drive to Darbang 1110m/6-7 hours:
We fly to Pokhara catching our early morning scenic flight from Kathmandu. After a 45-minute flight to Pokhara, we drive to Darbang via Beni on a jeep relishing the view of lush hills and snow-capped mountains. Following the flow of the Kali Gandaki River, we pass the town of Beni and then follow Myagdi Khola to arrive in Darbang. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 4 : Trek from Darbang to Sibang 1780m/6-7 hours:
Today, we head towards Sibang ascending to the ridge-top village of Dharapani from where we can get a beautiful view of the Dhaulagiri massif, Gurja Himal (7193m), and Putha Hiunchuli (7246m). We continue our trek walking along the ridge on the path above the river to reach Sibang. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 5 : Trek from Sibang to Naura 1570m/4-5 hours OR Bagar 2080m/7-8 hours:
Leaving behind Sibang, we descend to Gatti Khola and then climb up to the village of Muri where the Myagdi and Dhara rivers meet. We continue to trek crossing the bridge over Dhola Khola and descending through the terraced farm fields and sparse settlements before arriving in Naura village. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 6 : Trek from Naura OR Bagar to Dobhan 2520m/5-7 hours:
Moving alongside the bank of Myagdi Khola through a grassy hill and a steep slope, we arrive in Bagar. We then follow the up and down trail to Dobhan. We continue to descend through a forest to Jyardan before climbing uphill to Lipshe. The route then enters the forested area before ascending up to Dobhan. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 7 : Trek from Dobhan to Italian Base Camp 3660m/7-8 hours:
Leaving the last village of Dobhan, we trek towards Italian Base Camp. Today we pass through the forested trail filled with oaks, bamboo, and pine trees. As we move further and gain altitude, mountains start to surround us from all around. We can get the best view of Tukuche Peak (6920m), Dhaulagiri Range, and other mountains from the Italian Base Camp. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 8 : Acclimatization Day:
We take this day for acclimatization. We can explore the base camp area or spend the day relishing the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 9 : Trek from Italian Base Camp to Japanese Base Camp 3890m/4-5 hours:
Leaving behind Italian Base Camp, we trek through the rocky area on a steep slope before crossing the glacial moraines. We then reach a wide grassy area in a shallow ablation valley known as “Japanese Base Camp”. We have been rewarded with the west face of Dhaulagiri I (8167m) on one side and Tsaurabong Peak (6395m) on the other. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 10 : Trek from Japanese Base Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4748m/4-5 hours:
Today is the most challenging day of our journey. Walking on the glacier, sometimes on the lateral moraine and undulating surface of the glacier itself, we carefully and responsibly make our way up to Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
Upon reaching, we can see the stunning view of all the peaks of the Dhaulagiri range along with an amazing icefall descending from the Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak ridgeline. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 11 : Acclimatization Day:
Keeping our health in mind, we take another day off from trekking to acclimatize. We can spend the day exploring the areas nearby the base camp. There's also an option of hiking up a little for a better view of the mountains. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 12 : Trek from Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley 5140m/ 6-7 hours walking via French Pass 5360m:
We continue to trek on the north side of Chhondarban Glacier, and gradually climb the steep hillside above the glacier. Following the zig-zag trail across moraines, we make our way up to French Pass which gives a 360-degree view of surrounding mountain ranges. We then gently descend through snow slopes to finally reach the Hidden Valley. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 13 : Reserve Day for bad weather or rest day:
We keep the extra day in case the weather condition becomes bad. We can also use this day to explore the outskirts of Hidden Valley. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 14 : Trek from Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka 4200m/5-6 hours walking via Dhampus Pass 5244m:
We head towards Yak Kharka crossing over Dhampus Pass (5244m). Relishing the beautiful view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in the background, we descend steeply to Yak Kharka through avalanche-prone slopes. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 15 : Trek from Yak Kharka to Jomsom 2720m/4-5 hours walking via Marpha:
We continue to descend steeply from Yak Kharka towards Marpha which is also known as the apple capital of Nepal. Overnight at lodge in Marpha.
Day 16 : Drive from marpha to Pokhara and transfer to hotel.9/10 hours:
We are early in the morning, enjoying an aerial view of the mountains. Later in the evening, we explore the beautiful Pokhara city in Phewa Lake and visit the famous places of Pokhara. Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara. End our trek.
Day 17 : Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu:
We catch our early morning scenic drive back to the capital. After landing, we transfer you to the hotel in Kathmandu and give you the rest of the day to yourself. You can either rest or shop for friends and family. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 18 : Final Departure from Kathmandu:
Our team representative drops you at Tribhuvan International Airport for final departure hoping to see you again.