Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek – 19 days

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek – 19 days

Start Point

Pokhara

End Point

Kathmandu

Duration

17D/18N

Grade

Moderate

Max Altitude

5360 meter

Meals

B+L+D

Accomodation

Hotel/Lodge

No. of Person

Min. 02 Pax

Highlights

  • Spectacular Mountain Scenery: The trek offers exceptional views of the Dhaulagiri range, including the main peak Dhaulagiri I (8,167 meters) and several surrounding peaks. The views change dramatically as you traverse various landscapes and altitudes.
  • Challenging High Passes: The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek involves crossing several high passes, including the French Pass (5,360 meters) and the Dhampus Pass (5,182 meters). These passes offer stunning panoramic views but require good physical fitness and acclimatization due to the high altitude.
  • Remote and Less Crowded: Compared to popular treks like the Annapurna Circuit, the Dhaulagiri Circuit sees fewer trekkers, providing a more remote and peaceful trekking experience. This allows you to connect more intimately with the natural surroundings.
  • Diverse Landscapes: The trek takes you through a variety of landscapes, including lush forests, terraced fields, alpine meadows, and high mountain desert areas. The changing scenery adds to the adventure and excitement of the trek.
  • Cultural Interactions: Along the trek, you’ll encounter local villages and settlements inhabited by diverse ethnic groups, such as Gurungs and Magars. These encounters offer opportunities to learn about local cultures, traditions, and lifestyles.
  • Hidden Valley: One of the highlights of the trek is the Hidden Valley, a remote and stunningly beautiful area located between the Dhampus Pass and the French Pass. The valley is surrounded by towering peaks and offers a unique trekking experience.
  • Natural Hot Springs: After completing the challenging high passes, you can relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs at Tatopani. This is a welcome treat for your tired muscles.

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an exhilarating and challenging adventure that takes trekkers through the remote and awe-inspiring landscapes surrounding the Dhaulagiri Massif, home to the world’s seventh-highest mountain, Mt. Dhaulagiri, standing tall at 8,167 meters. This high-advanced trek is renowned for its demanding nature, testing the limits of trekkers with its high-altitude passes, isolated regions, and rugged terrains.

Route and Highlights:

  1. Starting Point:
    • The trek typically begins on the slopes of terraced farmland, offering a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Magar people, a caste with more than 20 sub-castes.
  2. Diverse Landscapes:
    • As the trek progresses, it traverses through forests and moraines, presenting a diverse range of landscapes, from lush greenery to barren gravel and stone moraines at the base of mountain glaciers.
  3. French Pass and Hidden Valley:
    • One of the most challenging sections includes ascending the French Pass at an elevation of 5,360 meters. This tests trekkers’ endurance but rewards them with panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment.
    • The journey continues to the Hidden Valley, surrounded by majestic peaks like Boudha Himal, Himal Chuli, Ganesh Himal, and Sringi Himal.
  4. Optional Peak Climb:
    • Trekkers may choose to climb Dhampus Peak (6,060m) for an added challenge and an opportunity to experience even more breathtaking views.
  5. Dhampus Pass and Descent:
    • The trek proceeds through Dhampus Pass (5,240m), leading to the final descent to Jomsom, where the adventure concludes.

Challenges:

  1. Altitude:
    • With altitudes reaching up to 5,360 meters, proper acclimatization is crucial to mitigate the risk of altitude-related issues.
  2. Isolation:
    • The trek takes you through regions that have remained untouched for centuries, isolated from the southern lowlands by deep gorges and rivers and from Tibet by snow-covered passes.
  3. Barren Terrain:
    • Trekking across barren gravel and stone moraines demands physical fitness and endurance.

Surrounding Features:

  1. Annapurna I and Kali Gandaki Gorge:
    • The trek provides stunning views of Annapurna I (8,091m), located 34 km east of Dhaulagiri.
    • Trekkers pass through the Kaligandaki Gorge, considered the world’s deepest gorge, as the Kali Gandaki River flows between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
  2. Gateway Town:
    • Pokhara, situated south of the Annapurnas, serves as a significant starting point for treks in this region.

Recommendations:

  1. Physical Preparation:
    • Trekkers are advised to undergo thorough physical conditioning and endurance training.
  2. Acclimatization:
    • Allocate sufficient time for acclimatization to high altitudes to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
  3. Expert Guidance:
    • Hiring an experienced guide familiar with the region can enhance safety and navigation.
  4. Proper Gear:
    • Invest in high-quality trekking gear suitable for the challenging conditions.

The Dhaulagiri Trek is a journey that promises not only physical challenges but also breathtaking scenery and a sense of accomplishment as trekkers navigate through one of the most remote and pristine regions of the Himalayas.

Detail Itinerary

Arrival at Kathmandu International Airport:

  • You will be welcomed upon arrival by a representative who will assist you with immigration and customs procedures.

Transfer to Hotel:

  • A comfortable transfer to your hotel will be arranged. This may include a private car or a pre-arranged transportation service.

Refreshment Drink and Briefing:

  • Upon reaching the hotel, you’ll be offered a refreshing welcome drink.
  • After settling in, there will be a briefing about the tour, providing you with essential information, including the itinerary, important contacts, and any other necessary details.

Evening Welcome Dinner:

  • In the evening, you’ll be treated to a welcome dinner at a typical Nepali restaurant. This might include traditional Nepali cuisine, allowing you to experience the local flavors.

Overnight at Hotel:

  • After a day of travel and orientation, you can relax and unwind in the comfort of your hotel room.

Today, our itinerary is dedicated to exploring the cultural wonders of the Kathmandu Valley, guided by our knowledgeable guide. Our first stop is Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple revered as the holiest in Nepal. Nestled on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, pilgrims gather to worship Lord Shiva, creating a spiritually charged atmosphere.

Next on our journey is Bouddhanath, a significant Buddhist temple often referred to as ‘Little Tibet.’ As we stroll through this tranquil site, we’ll marvel at the unique architecture and immerse ourselves in the serene ambiance that earned it this nickname.

Continuing our exploration, we visit Swayambhunath, affectionately known as the Monkey Temple. Perched atop a hill, Swayambhunath offers panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. Playful monkeys add a lively touch to this sacred site dedicated to both Hindus and Buddhists.

Our cultural odyssey brings us to Kathmandu’s renowned Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site located in front of the historic royal palace. The square boasts intricate architecture, courtyards, and shrines that echo the rich history of Nepal.

Upon returning to your hotel, you’ll have the opportunity for some last-minute shopping in Thamel, the bustling tourist hub of Kathmandu. Here, shops brim with souvenirs, handicrafts, and trekking gear, offering a perfect chance to pick up any essentials or keepsakes.

As the day concludes, your guide will assist you in preparing for your upcoming trek, ensuring you are well-equipped and ready for the adventures that lie ahead.

Our journey begins with a flight to Pokhara, a city nestled beside the serene Phewa Lake and surrounded by the Annapurna and Machapuchare mountain ranges. From Pokhara, we embark on a picturesque four to five-hour drive, descending into the breathtaking Kali Gandaki Valley. This valley, flanked by towering peaks, offers stunning vistas throughout the journey.

As we continue our drive, we navigate along the tributary of the Myagdi Khola valley, witnessing the ever-changing landscapes and the beauty of rural Nepal. Our route takes us through charming villages, lush forests, and alongside the cascading rivers that carve their way through the rugged terrain.

Our day’s adventure concludes as we reach Darbang, a tranquil settlement where we will spend the night. Darbang, surrounded by nature’s grandeur, provides a peaceful retreat and serves as a gateway to the upcoming trekking expedition. Rest and recharge here, as tomorrow marks the beginning of our trek into the heart of the Himalayas.

Our day commences with a six to seven-hour trek, navigating the scenic trail that meanders through picturesque landscapes and charming villages. As we journey through this remote terrain, we are greeted by the warmth of local communities, each village offering a glimpse into the unique culture and way of life in the Himalayan region.

Our trail leads us to Dharapani, perched atop a ridge, where we pause for lunch. The panoramic views from this vantage point provide a breathtaking backdrop as we refuel for the journey ahead.

After lunch, our trek continues, taking us through additional villages that dot the landscape. We pass through Takam Village, a testament to the resilient spirit of the Himalayan people. The trail unfolds with every step, revealing the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region.

Our day concludes in Sibang, a tranquil village where we rest for the night. Nestled amidst the mountains, Sibang offers a serene environment, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the peaceful surroundings and prepare for the adventures that await us on the following day of our trek.

Embarking on today’s trek, our journey takes us through the captivating landscapes of the Himalayas. We ascend for approximately 2 to 3 hours, reaching a ridge that provides awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The descent that follows brings us to the banks of a river.

As we continue our trek, we cross a suspension bridge, adding a touch of adventure to our mountainous exploration. The trail then leads us through lush forests and picturesque terrain. Along the way, we are treated to stunning vistas, with deep tree-covered valleys unfolding beneath us.

Our trek today includes a climb lasting one to one and a half hours, leading us to the Magar village of Muri. The warmth of the local community and the cultural richness of the village offer a unique Himalayan experience. Tonight, we set up camp in Muri, surrounded by the tranquility of the mountains. Under the starlit sky, we rest, rejuvenate, and savor the natural beauty that envelopes us in this remote corner of the world.

Our day begins with an ascent to a ridge, offering us invigorating views of the surrounding landscapes. As we descend from the ridge, we make our way to Juge Pani, a picturesque location where we pause for a well-deserved lunch break. The serene surroundings provide a tranquil setting for our midday rest.

After lunch, our journey continues with a challenging ascent along a steep trail. The trail leads us to a high vantage point above the valley, providing mesmerizing vistas of the Himalayan terrain. The path follows along a cliff edge, creating a sense of adventure and offering breathtaking views that make the trek truly memorable.

Approximately an hour later, we reach Boghara Village, a quaint settlement nestled amidst the mountains. Here, we set up camp for the night, surrounded by the natural beauty and tranquility of the Himalayan wilderness. As the day concludes, we immerse ourselves in the unique atmosphere of Boghara, appreciating the simplicity and charm of the mountain village.

Embarking on our trek today, the trail leads us through cultivated fields as we ascend towards the ridge. The initial ascent is invigorating, surrounded by the lush greenery of the landscape. As we gain altitude, the trail becomes more gradual, offering a slightly less strenuous journey.

Our path leads us to Lipshe Village, a charming settlement nestled in the midst of the mountains. Here, we take a break for lunch, refueling and savoring the local hospitality. The village provides a perfect vantage point to soak in the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Continuing our trek, we traverse through dense forests for approximately two to three hours. The canopy of trees provides shade, and the sound of rustling leaves accompanies us on our mountainous journey. The trail unfolds, revealing the enchanting wilderness of the region.

Our destination for the night is Dobang Village, a tranquil spot where we set up camp. Surrounded by the serenity of the forested mountains, we find solace in the simplicity of our surroundings. Under the starlit sky, we rest and rejuvenate, readying ourselves for the adventures that lie ahead on the next leg of our trek.

Today’s trek demands heightened focus as the trail becomes less defined, requiring careful navigation. Balance becomes crucial as some sections of the trail present challenges, and attention to foot placement is essential. The route follows the untamed course of the Myagdi Khola, leading us through a terrain where we step over logs and utilize our limbs to navigate uneven surfaces.

As we progress, the trail ascends through bamboo groves and untouched forests, offering glimpses of Langur monkeys frolicking in the treetops. The trail unfolds alongside the wild river, presenting a rugged and adventurous landscape.

After three to four hours on the trail, we arrive at Dobhan and then Sallaghari, where we pause for a well-deserved lunch break. The pristine surroundings provide a serene setting for our midday rest.

Post-lunch, our journey continues with an ascent through prickly aeglea brush, also known as broom bush. The trail demands resilience as we climb higher into the mountains. After two to three more hours of trekking, we finally reach Italy Base Camp. This campsite holds historical significance, having been used by Italian explorers prior to their ascent of Dhaulagiri.

Tonight, our camp is set at Italy Base Camp, surrounded by the rugged grandeur of the Himalayas. Under the starlit sky, we reflect on the day’s challenges and accomplishments, preparing for the next leg of our adventure in this remote and breathtaking wilderness.

Recognizing the importance of acclimatization for your safety at higher elevations, today is dedicated to adjusting to the altitude. Medical experts emphasize the significance of staying active during this period. A couple of options are presented for your consideration:

  1. Short Trek around Italy Base Camp:
    • Embark on a short trek around Italy Base Camp, exploring the immediate surroundings. This gentle excursion allows you to acclimatize while appreciating the natural beauty of the area.
  2. Climb to American Base Camp:
    • Alternatively, take a climb to the nearby American Base Camp. Although Dhaulagiri peak may not be visible from this vantage point, the panoramic views of the Dhaulagiri Massif are awe-inspiring. This ascent provides an opportunity for gradual acclimatization while enjoying the stunning vistas.

Whichever option you choose, both activities are designed to promote acclimatization and enhance your well-being in preparation for the higher altitudes. As the day unfolds, relish the marvelous views and appreciate the unique experience of being surrounded by the Himalayan wilderness. We camp overnight at Italy Base Camp, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate amidst the tranquility of the mountains.

Embarking on today’s journey, we have a relatively short trek lasting two to three hours before reaching Swiss Base Camp. As we leave Italy Base Camp behind, the trail unfolds with poignant reminders of the challenges posed by Dhaulagiri. Along the way, we encounter several memorials dedicated to climbers who lost their lives while attempting to conquer this formidable peak. Among them are memorials for three Chinese climbers who tragically perished in 2010.

The trail leads us past these solemn tributes, and the descent is made more secure by a fixed rope left by previous trekkers. This added safety measure ensures a less risky descent as we navigate the terrain.

We then cross the moraine, a landscape shaped by glacial processes, to reach Swiss Base Camp. Here, a solitary hut stands amidst the vast wilderness. We set up camp at Swiss Base Camp, surrounded by the rugged grandeur of Dhaulagiri and its icy peaks. The tranquility of this remote location offers a unique and peaceful setting for our overnight stay, allowing you to rest and reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the journey so far.

Today’s trail takes us through a challenging yet captivating landscape. We navigate a narrow gorge flanked by fragile rocky cliffs, demanding constant vigilance. The trail unfolds in a dramatic setting, and our gaze remains upward, mindful of the potential for falling rocks onto the trail. The rocky terrain adds an element of adventure to our trek.

After approximately 30 minutes, we leave this rugged area behind and transition to a moraine. Here, the landscape changes, and we descend towards the Japanese Base Camp. The descent takes about four to five hours, providing ample time to absorb the unique beauty of the surroundings.

Upon reaching the Japanese Base Camp, we set up camp for the night. Nestled amidst the breathtaking Himalayan wilderness, this campsite offers a serene and remote setting. As you rest and unwind, surrounded by the grandeur of Dhaulagiri, take in the beauty of the landscape and prepare for the adventures that lie ahead on this remarkable trek.

Embarking on a full day of trekking, today’s journey spans approximately seven to eight hours. The trail leads us across the expansive Dhaulagiri moraine, navigating below the glacier. The trek promises awe-inspiring views as we traverse this rugged terrain, with the towering peaks of Dhaulagiri creating a spectacular backdrop.

If we set out early in the morning, there’s a possibility of reaching Dhaulagiri Base Camp before lunch. This destination marks a significant milestone in our trek, surrounded by the majesty of Himalayan peaks. The experience of camping at Dhaulagiri Base Camp is nothing short of breathtaking, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains creating a sense of awe and reverence.

As you settle into camp for the night, take a moment to absorb the serene beauty of the Himalayas. The towering peaks and pristine landscapes offer a glimpse into the raw and untouched wilderness that characterizes this region. Rest well, for tomorrow brings new adventures and the promise of exploring the high-altitude wonders of the Dhaulagiri region.

Recognizing the importance of acclimatization at higher altitudes, taking a break at Dhaulagiri Base Camp becomes a crucial aspect of our journey. Acclimatization is vital for your well-being and safety as we ascend to greater heights.

During this break, it is advisable to stay as active as possible. Short hikes or explorations around the base camp can contribute to the acclimatization process. Remaining active helps your body adjust to the reduced oxygen levels at higher elevations, reducing the risk of altitude-related issues.

As you take this time to rest and acclimatize, absorb the unparalleled beauty of your surroundings. The towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and the surrounding Himalayan panorama create a surreal and majestic backdrop. Use this interlude to rejuvenate, reflect on the journey so far, and prepare for the challenges and wonders that lie ahead as we continue our trek into the heart of the Himalayas.

Embarking on a physically demanding day of trekking, today’s journey spans approximately six to seven hours, with the challenges heightened by the higher altitude. Our adventure begins by crossing a moraine, navigating the rocky landscape that characterizes this region. The trail then leads us to a ridge, ascending towards the snowy slopes that eventually lead to French Pass.

As we ascend the snowy slopes, the physical demands of the trek increase due to the higher altitude. The terrain becomes more challenging, requiring focus and stamina. The effort is rewarded as we reach French Pass, a high mountain pass that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Having conquered French Pass, we descend into the Hidden Valley on the other side of Dhaulagiri. This hidden gem provides a tranquil and secluded setting amidst the towering peaks. We make camp here for the night, surrounded by the rugged grandeur of the Himalayas. The unique beauty of the Hidden Valley offers a memorable camping experience, allowing you to rest and recharge in preparation for the next leg of our high-altitude journey.

For those adventurers aspiring to summit Dhampus Peak (6,060m), an early start is on the agenda, commencing around 3 am. The climb to Dhampus Peak and the subsequent return to Kalopani is expected to encompass approximately 10 hours of challenging and exhilarating ascent.

The climb to Dhampus Peak promises breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment as you conquer this lofty summit. The early start allows for optimal conditions during the ascent, with the awe-inspiring Himalayan landscape unfolding as you reach higher altitudes.

After the challenging climb and descent, we regroup at Kalopani, where we set up camp for the night. Kalopani, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, provides a well-deserved rest and an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the day. As you settle into camp, the memories of Dhampus Peak and the surrounding Himalayan panorama become a cherished part of your trekking experience.

Today’s trek offers an array of memorable vistas, showcasing the majestic peaks of the region. The southwest reveals the formidable Dhaulagiri Peak, while to the east stand the imposing Annapurna and Nilgiri. The northern horizon opens up to the distant landscapes of Mustang. Additionally, the trek affords a glimpse of the deepest gorge on earth—the Kali Gandaki Valley.

The trail begins with a relatively easygoing path, allowing trekkers to absorb the breathtaking panoramas surrounding them. As we approach Yak Kharka, the terrain descends rapidly, adding an element of challenge to the journey. The trail eventually leads us to Marpha Village, where we take a break for lunch. Marpha, known for its unique charm and apple orchards, provides a delightful backdrop for our midday rest.

Post-lunch, we continue our trek to Jomsom, a vibrant town in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Here, we find lodging for the night, taking respite in a comfortable lodge. As you settle in, reflect on the day’s scenic beauty and the diverse landscapes that have unfolded along the trek. Jomsom, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, offers a tranquil setting for a well-deserved night’s rest.

Embarking on a scenic flight, we soar above the mesmerizing mountainous terrain, leaving Jomsom behind. The flight takes us back to the picturesque city of Pokhara, where we check into our hotel. With the day ahead, you have the flexibility to choose from various options for your leisure.

You may opt to relax and put your feet up, enjoying a well-deserved rest after the trekking adventure. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll around the city’s shopping area, exploring local markets and finding souvenirs. Another delightful option is to sit beside the serene Phewa Tal (lake) and bask in the tranquility while admiring the distant Annapurna Mountains. The reflective waters of the lake provide a peaceful backdrop for contemplation.

As you unwind in Pokhara, take in the beauty of this lakeside city and relish the memories of the trek. Whether you choose relaxation or exploration, Pokhara offers a perfect setting for the next chapter of your journey in Nepal.

The morning flight gracefully brings us back to the vibrant city of Kathmandu, where we proceed to check in at our hotel. With the day ahead, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself once again in the lively atmosphere of Thamel, the bustling tourist area.

Take this time for any last-minute shopping, exploring the diverse markets and picking up souvenirs to commemorate your unforgettable mountain experience. Alternatively, you may choose to unwind and celebrate the accomplishments of your trek with a drink at one of the many bars in Thamel. Share stories, reflect on the journey, and savor the unique charm of this vibrant city.

As you wander through Thamel’s lively streets, surrounded by the buzz of fellow travelers, appreciate the cultural richness that defines Kathmandu. The day provides a perfect balance of relaxation and celebration, allowing you to conclude your mountain adventure on a memorable note.

As your adventure comes to a close today, the memories forged in the Himalayas will remain etched in your heart for a lifetime. Our dedicated company representative will accompany you to the airport approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, ensuring a smooth and comfortable departure.

During your journey home, take the time to reflect on the awe-inspiring landscapes, the challenges overcome, and the cultural richness experienced during your trek in Nepal. The magnificent mountains, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality will leave an indelible mark on your travel repertoire.

As you return to your daily routine, carry with you the spirit of exploration and the lessons learned amidst the Himalayan peaks. And remember, whenever the wanderlust calls, the majestic mountains of Nepal will be waiting for your next adventure. Safe travels, and may your future journeys be as enriching and exhilarating as this one!

Cost Details

  • What is Included
  • Full board meal during camping, prepared by our cook with Tea & coffee.
  • Tented accommodation and equipments during the camping trek. (You will provided water proof two men tents, dining tents, kitchen gears, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent etc.)
  • A local government license holder Trekking Guide during the trek., a cook, required number of porters, their food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipments, medicine.
  • Boiled and purify drinking water for the trek.
  • All trekking permits & fees.
  • Surface Transfer to and from Kathmandu.
  • All our government taxes.
  • What is Excluded
  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Your travel insurance (compulsory).
  • International airfare and airport departure tax.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (US$ 30 per person) you obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport Kathmandu for 60 days from date of issue. You will require 2 passport size photos.
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry.
  • Personal trekking Equipments.
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver. (Tipping is expected.)
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.
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    Adventure Land Nepal Tours and Travels P. Ltd.

    Nepal Jang Treks and Expedition P. Ltd.

    With over 18 years of experience we are well known in tourism sector of Nepal for operating both group and individual tours and treks. We have been executing adventure travel and tour itineraries with no occasion of complaints regarding our services since the time of our inception.

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