Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Trip Facts

Duration

21 Days

Fitness Level

Strenuous

Max. Altitude:

5360 meters

Location

Dhaulagiri

Meals

Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the trek

Accommodation

3-star hotel in Kathmandu and Teahouses during the trek

Group size

1-16

Arrival On

Kathmandu

Departure From

Kathmandu

Highlights

  • An adventure that circulates the seventh-highest mountain in the world.
  • Exploration of three major base camps: Dhaulagiri, Glacier, and the Italian base camp.
  • Crossing thrilling passes, namely, French pass and Dhampus pass.
  • Diverse and endangered flora and fauna.
  • Scenic and unaltered trail with scenic mountain views, waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers, and charming villages.
  • Diverse ethnic settlements include Gurungs, Magar, Chettri, and Thakali.
  • Splendid views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, Annapurna, Dhampus Peak, and Gurja Himal, among many others.

Overview

The Dhaulagiri circuit trek is for adventure enthusiasts who want to spend ample time in and around the Himalayas. This journey takes you to the base camp of the world 7th seventh-tallest peak, Dhaulagiri I. Also known as the white mountain, this is also the tallest mountain within the borders of a single country. When discovered in 1808, this mountain was considered the tallest mountain in the world for 30 years until Kanchenjunga was found, whose crown was later taken by Mt. Everest.

This trek traverses across the remote and unaltered region of the Himalayas. This trek is best for those who wish for a bit of thrill in their expedition due to the involvement of several daunting Himalayan passes. Considered one of Nepal’s most physically demanding treks, one has to go through the formidable French Pass (5,360 meters) and Thapa Pass. Furthermore, one reaches the Italian base camp, glacier camp, and Dhaulagiri base camp, which will surely enthrall this trek.

Our trip begins with a tour of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu. Spanning across 180 km, this trip takes around three weeks to complete. The route follows the path alongside the Myagdi Khola River and passes through several villages such as Darbang, Muri, Boghara, Dobang, Italian base camp, and Dhaulagiri base camp, among others. We also reach the hidden valley after passing through the French pass, which gets its name after the circuit discovered by the French in the 50s. Moreover, the views from Yak Kharka are simply amazing, offering us views of Nilgiri Peak (6940 meters), Annapurna I Peak (8091 meters), Tilicho Peak (7134) meters, Thorong Peak (6144 meters) as well as Upper Mustang Valley.

Accommodations during the Trek

As this is primarily an untouched region with few visitors, few lodges are available.Dhaulagiri Accommodation You will find accommodation until the Italian base camp, after which you must rely primarily on camping. The lodges usually offer indoor firewood heating in the dining area, where visitors bundle up. You will be principally provided local cuisines as the amenities are minimal due to the remote locations. Carrying extra batteries, power banks, and chargers is best recommended. The accommodations charge extra fees for hot showers, charging facilities, and Wi-Fi.

 

 

Best time for Dhaulagiri Circuit trek

As the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is a challenging trek where you also have to rely on camping, it is best to travel only in favorable times, namely, the Autumn and Spring seasons, when the daytime is warm and the nights and mornings are cold. Also, trekking in these seasons will avoid rainfall, extreme snow, and cold. Trekking in these seasons allows you to enjoy the vegetation and clear sky and have unobstructed views of the Himalayan range.

To learn more about Dhaulagiri, click here.

If you would like to trek in a remote area other than Dhaulagiri, visit Around Manaslu Trek

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International airport a representative from Naata Trek and Tours will be waiting for you at the airport displaying a playcard imprinted with your name. He/she will then transfer you to the designated hotel. In the evening we can enjoy a welcome dinner hosted by Naata Trek and Tours. During the dinner we can enjoy Nepalese cuisine which will introduce us to the country’s food culture.

  Maximum Altitude : 1400 meters
 Meal : Dinner
  Accommodation : 3- star hotel

Day 2: Guided sightseeing around Kathamandu

We will have a pre trip meeting after breakfast where you will be introduced to your Guide. During the meeting you can assure yourself with any queries regarding the trip.
We visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks praying in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhanath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath Temple, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We will also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara–style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the Lion gate, the Golden gate, the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows, art galleries, the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.

  Maximum Altitude : 1400 meters
 Meal : Breakfast
  Accommodation : 3- star hotel

Day 3: Drive to Beni

After having breakfast we head to Beni by local bus as tourist bus doesn’t play there. The drive is enjoyable in itself as we drive through the countryside. Beni is a district headquarter which is situated in the junction of two rivers; Myagdi Khola and Kali Gandaki.

  Maximum Altitude : 850 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
 Driving Distance : 7-8 hours

Day 4: Trek to Babiachour

We leave Kali Gandaki behind and start trekking west along the banks of Myagdi Khola through the village of Singa and reach Tatopani (hot springs). We then cross a bridge near the village of Simalchour and then we reach the village of Babichor.

  Maximum Altitude : 950 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 4-5 hours

Day 5: Trek to Dharapani

The valley widens from there on and we can see terraced hills on the sides of the river. The trail is fairly easy today and we come across the Duk Khola and walking through fields we arrive at Ratorunga. From here on the valley narrows and we reach the village of Dharapani.

  Maximum Altitude : 1400 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 6: Trek to Muri

As we walk and leave Phedi the trail starts a steep climb until we arrive at a ridge. We come across the village of Muri and then to Sibang and Mattim. We then descend to Gatti Khola and reach Phalai Gaon (1810m). We cross the Dhara Khola and then climb a ridge to the large Magar village of Muri.

  Maximum Altitude : 1850 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 4-5 hours

Day 7: Trek to Boghara

We descend a bit and cross a stream through terraced fields after which we climb a ridge to a pass. We descend to the Myagdi Khola and trek along the banks to the village of Naural. We walk through grassy fields, into a forest and reach Boghara (2080m) where we will stay the night.

  Maximum Altitude : 2080 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 8: Trek to Dobhang

The trail first descends and passes through a forest to Jyardan which is one of the remotest settlements in this area. After some ups and down the trail leads to a forest and to Lapche Kharka and climbs to Dobang.

  Maximum Altitude : 2520 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tehouse
  Walking Distance : 4-5 hours

Day 9: Trek to Choriban Khola

After crossing a wodden bridge out of Dobhan the trail ascends. From there on the west face of Dhaulagiri appears. We descend the Myagdi Khola and cross it via a wooden bridge and we reach Choriban Khola.

  Maximum Altitude : 3110 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 4-5 hours

Day 10: Trek to Italian Base Camp

We follow a trail to Chhonbarban glacier and right away Tukche Peak (6,837) becomes visible straight ahead while further away Dhalaugiri(8,167m) looms over other mountains. After a short walk we reach the Italian Base camp (3,660m) which is the camp site for the night .

  Maximum Altitude : 3660 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 11: Acclimatization day

We will spend a day acclimatizing to the thinning of the air. It is really important that the body gets time to acclimatize to the higher altitude. We can go on short walks around the area and explore the day today.

  Maximum Altitude : 3660 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camp

Day 12: Trek to Glacier Camp

We start walking early in the morning, the trail today passes through a narrow gorge and is quite tricky as it is susceptible to stone fall. We stay overnight near the glacier today.

  Maximum Altitude : 4210 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 13: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp

Today is the day we trek to Dhaulagiri base camp. From here the views we get of the north face of Dhaulagiri I(8,167m) and Dhaulagiri II(7,715m(, Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m) to the West will no doubt leave us stunned.

  Maximum Altitude : 4740 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps
  Walking Distance : 6-7 hours

Day 14: Acclimatization Day

We take yet another day to acclimatize as we will gain altitude tomorrow. There is plenty to explore here and needless to say the views from this place is astounding.

  Maximum Altitude : 4740 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps

Day 15: Cross French Pass and trek to Hidden Valley

After the glacier, you climb two terraced hills, the first of which runs along the glacier, then cuts across the mountain flank and the moraine you enter a gentle incline on the left from an ablation valley. Climb this gentle slope to the French Pass (5,360 m). A great vista opens up from the French Pass and you will be able to see Mukut Himal (6,328 m), Tashi Kang (6,386 m) and Sita Chuchura (6,611 m), all of which surround the Hidden Valley. To the south is Tukche Peak (6,920 m) and beyond is the massive peak of Dhaulagiri I. From the French Pass you continue along the right edge of the Hidden valley losing a little altitude to the Thapa Pass (5,250 m) between Tukche Peak and Thapa Peak (6,012 m). Descending from the Thapa Pass you will make it to the camp at 5,200 m.

  Maximum Altitude : 5360 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 16: Cross Dhampus Pass and Trek to Yak Khakra

Today we make a steep descend from the Hidden Valley to the Dhampus Pass and continue to Yak Kharka. There is a perfect campsite to enjoy the surroundings.

  Maximum Altitude : 5200 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Tented Camps
  Walking Distance : 5-6 hours

Day 17: Trek to Jomsom

Continue on to the village of Marpha, on the west bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Marpha is home to many apple orchards as well as all various food products made from the fruit. Don’t forget to taste the local Apple Brandy a specialty from the region that you may be lucky enough to taste en route. Continue north, up the river valley to the town of Jomsom.

  Maximum Altitude : 2710 meters
 Meal : Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  Accommodation : Teahouse
  Walking Distance : 4-5 hours

Day 18: Morning flight to Pokhara

A 30-minute morning flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to the hotel. In the afternoon we will have a sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, which covers Fewa Lake, Devi’s waterfall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement and Gupteshower cave, etc.

  Maximum Altitude : 900 meters
 Meal : Breakfast
  Accommodation : 3-star hotel

Day 19: Guided Sightseeing in Pokhara

It’s also spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom. If you are in Pokhara, you will do some sightseeing today.

  Maximum Altitude : 900 meters
 Meal : Breakfast
  Accommodation : 3-star hotel

Day 20: Drive back to Kathmandu

We take a scenic drive to Kathmandu whilst driving along the Trishuli River most of the time.

  Maximum Altitude : 1400 meters
 Meal : Breakfast
  Accommodation : 3-star hotel

Day 21: Departure

Today is the last day of our trip. Our office representative will drive you to the airport for your departure.

  Maximum Altitude : 1400 meters
 Meal : Breakfast

Included In The Cost

  • Airport pickup and drop in a private vehicle
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara with breakfast, Teahouses accommodation during the trek
  • Welcome and farewell dinner programs
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice vera in a tourist bus
  • Guided city tour of Kathmandu in a private vehicle
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing
  • An experienced, English speaking and government-liscensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Staff costs including salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
  • Naata Trek and Tour’s trekking bag, t-shirt and trekking map (which are yours to take)
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • All government and local taxes

Included In The Cost

  • Nepalese visa fee
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Travel and Rescue Insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porter, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc)
  • All other not mentioned in cost includes section

Traveler Reviews

maria rodriguez
Maria Rodriguez
September 14, 2023

My journey with Naata Treks fue increíble! The guides, knowledgeable and amables, made the trek unforgettable. Stunning vistas, seguridad impecable, a truly memorable adventure!

Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt
December 9, 2018
I travelled to Nepal in 2017 with Naata and what a pleasant experience it was. More so, our guide, Achyut Thapaliya was a charm, his knowledge about the place as good as it can get. I certainly recommend Naata and will go for them when I visit this beautiful country next time.

Trip Information

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Difficulty

The Dhaulagiri circuit trek is considered one of the most challenging feats due to the length of the trek and the high passes, namely the French Pass (5360 meters) and Thapa Pass (5250 meters). One needs to be in sound physical condition to enjoy the trip truly. There is a limited number of accommodations available. Thus, you may have to carry camping equipment, food, and other essentials.  The average walking duration is 7-8 hours per day, and the average walking distance is 10-12 kilometers per day.

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