Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

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The Dhaulagiri circuit is one of the most challenging trek that takes you on a rarely trekked region of Nepal and through some of the most spectacular glacier fields. During this trek you will get a chance to stare at 8000 meter peak in the face, traverse blue ice glaciers and camp in a high hidden valley at 5200 meters. With such excitement you will also have a firsthand experience to see the Kali Gandaki valley on the Annapurna circuit trail, and the other side of the valley. The trek also offers descend into the valley to the whitewashed village of Marpha and its apple orchards, at the end of the trek. We also have two days in Kathmandu at the beginning and end of our trek and if you are an aficionado of ancient arts, culture and architecture, your time in Kathmandu will provide you with ample opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture – making for a well rounded holiday experience!

Itinerary Details:

Day 1 

Arrive Kathmandu
Join the tour at the hotel

Arrive Kathmandu and join the tour at the hotel: You will be met on arrival at Kathmandu airport and driven back to the hotel. Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick up and transfer. A full trek briefing will be given in the afternoon. Overnight hotel.

Day 2

Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Drive to Beni
Trek to Tatopani

Fly to Pokara, drive to Beni and trek to Tatopani (870m)- 2 hours driving & 3 hours walking: On arrival to Pokhara airport we get into a minibus for the short drive to Beni where we meet the rest of our trek crew. After lunch we start walking, from Beni we leave the Kali Gandaki valley and head west along the bank of Myagdi Khola. We camp at Tatopani beyond the hot springs in a grassy area next to the river. Overnight camping.

 Day 3  

Trek to Dharapani

Trek to Dharapani (1,470m)- 6 to 7 hours walking: The trail continues along the Myagdi Khola passing through several villages before reaching Darbang where we stop for lunch. After we cross the suspension bridge and soon after start the climb to Dharapani. This village is mainly gurung and chettri and has our first view of Dhaulagiri to the north. Overnight camping.

Day 4 
Trek to Muri: Trek to Muri (1,850m)- 5 hours walking: From Dharapani we walk through Takum and Sibang, these are prosperous villages with many terraced fields mainly growing rice and wheat. Today we pass classic Nepal scenery with traditional villages and mountain views. Many of the men in this area work overseas in the Middle East or in the British and Indian Ghurkas. There are good views of Gurja Himal and Puta Hiunchuli to the west. After crossing Dhara Khola on a suspension bridge we continue to Muri, most of the people living in this village are magar. Overnight camping.
 Day 5  
Trek to Boghara: Trek to Boghara (2,080m)- 7 hours walking: From Muri we descend steeply to the bridge crossing over the Muri Khola. After passing through dense bamboo stands the trail enters a number of clearings with fields and farmhouses. Further north the valley steepens and the trail is exposed in places. We camp in the grounds of the primary school in this village. Overnight camping.
Day 6  

Trek to Dobang:

Trek to Dobang (2,350m)- 6 to 7 hours walking: Myagdi valley is usually wet as a result of its north to south orientation, as clouds approach from India they are forced up by Mount Dhaulagiri at the end of the valley causing precipitation. You should expect to get some rain in the afternoons although usually clears off again in the evening. It is for this reason that there is lush sub tropical forest in Myagdi valley up to Sallighari camp, be careful walking here as it is often slippery especially over tree roots. From Boghara the trail follows the west bank of Myagdi Khola through an undulating trail in forest. Look up to the cliffs high above the trail there are large bee’s nests where villagers collect honey. We stop for lunch at Lipshe at 2,080m then afterwards we continue walking in forest until we get to a clearing in the forest at Dobang with several teahouses and campsite. Overnight camping.

Day 7  

Trek to Sallaghari (3,010m)- 5 hours walking: The trail continues through dense, lush vegetation of ferns, bamboo and rhododendrons. We cross to the east bank of the Myagdi Khola on a new cantilever bridge and then camp at a clearing in the forest at Sallaghari. Overnight camping.

Day 8  

Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,660m)- 3 to 4 hours walking: From Sallaghari we walk through pine trees, rhododendron and birch and once above the tree line heather, juniper and azaleas. The trail traverses through forest and then climbs to a grassy area on the lateral moraine where Italian Base Camp is located. High above camp is the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri with Tsaurabong Peak visible on the other side of the valley. Overnight camping.

Day 9
Rest day at Italian Base CampRest and acclimatisation day: Today we can go for a walk to explore around Italian Base Camp or relax in camp. This day is essential for acclimatisation before ascending further in altitude towards main Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Overnight camping.
Day 10
Trek to Glacier Camp
Trek to Glacier Camp (4,200m)- 4 to 5 hours walking: Today is a shorter walk although essential for acclimatisation process unlike most other itineraries we believe in having two nights at Glacier Camp located between Italian Base Camp and main Dhaulagiri Base Camp (otherwise going from 3,660m to 4,740m will result in altitude sickness). From Italian Base Camp the trail descends steeply down lateral moraine to gain the glacier, in the past we have fixed a rope here to help the group and trek crew. We cross the glacier and then traverse along the moraine on the left side of the Chonbarden gorge. We walk along talus in the impressively narrow Chonbarden gorge to the snout of the Chonbarden glacier and then continue for another hour to Glacier camp. There are a number of ledges levelled in the ice of the glacier for our tents. Overnight camping.
Day 11
Rest day at Glacier Camp
Rest & acclimatisation day at Glacier Camp (4,200m): Today is an essential acclimatisation day before walking to Base Camp tomorrow. There is an optional day walk up the glacier towards Base Camp to a large moraine ridge with views of Tukuche, little Eiger and icefall from NE Col plus valley heading towards French Pass. This morning walk takes four hours return. Overnight camping.
Day 12
Trek to Dhaulagiri Base CampTrek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m)- 4 hours walking: We follow a rough trail along the moraine covered glacier to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. From Base Camp the view is impressive with Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak and Little Eiger and further to the west lies Dhaulagiri II (7,751m) and IV (7,618m). One can also see the start of the climbing route through the icefall. In season there are likely to be expeditions camped on the moraine strip at Base Camp. Overnight camping.
Day 13
Rest day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp
Rest & acclimatisation day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp: This is another essential day for acclimatisation before crossing French pass over to our campsite in Hidden Valley at 5,100m. In the past some in the group have enjoyed going for a short walk towards French Pass in the morning while others relaxing in camp enjoying the views. At some point today your western leader will organise a training session for those in the group who have no prior experience of using ice axe and crampons. Thesebasic mountaineering skills will be required for crossing the high passes to Jomsom. Overnight camping.Day 14  
Trek via French col to above Hidden Valley
Trek via French col (5,360m) to above Hidden Valley (5,050m)- 7 hours walking: After an early breakfast we walk out of Base Camp along the moraine strip to cross over to the left hand side of the Upper Chonbarden glacier. A high lateral moraine ridge is visible further up the valley, we gain this by following a steep trail across the scree and talus. Once on the lateral moraine ridge there are superb views back down the valley to Dhaulagiri I and Tukuche Peak. At a large cairn on the lateral moraine ridge we turn off to make the final ascent to French pass .The approach to the pass is up easy angled snow slopes and as usual in Nepal the top is marked by Buddhist prayer flags and cairns. The view from the summit of the pass is superb with Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak and of course Dhaulagiri I. The descent from pass is on moderate snow slopes as we enter Hidden Valley. After a long descent you arrive to camp next to the river not far from the base of Dhampus Peak. You will notice once crossing into Hidden Valley there is only sparse vegetation of isolated patches of moss and grass as this area is now in an area affected by the rain shadow affect of Dhaulagiri. Overnight camping.
Day 15
Exploration walk around Hidden Valley
Exploration walk around Hidden Valley: Please note that we will only cross French Pass on Day 14 if everyone in the group is sufficiently acclimatised, if anyone needs more time then we will delay by a day and cross today instead. There are a number of options for day walks around Hidden Valley, one of the best is to walk up a ridge on western side with views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris, Annapurnas and down Hidden Valley.
Day 16  
Trek over Dhampus pass to Yak Kharka
Trekover Dhampus pass (5,240m) to Yak Kharka (3,680m)- 9 to 10 hours trekking: This is a long day and by far the toughest on Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. After an early start from camp we start the climb up a moderate snow slope to gain Dhampus pass. There are fine views of Dhampus Peak to the left of the pass and to the right the beautiful ice flutings of Tukuche Peak. From the summit of the pass the trail descend pass for about 100m before start to traverse left into Kali Gandaki valley. Depending on the snow and ice conditions crampons may be needed for group & porters at this point. There is a very long traverse on snow usually taking about four hours before starting the steep descent to Yak Kharka. Throughout this traverse there are stunning views of Nilgiri and the western end of the Annapurna Massif. Overnight camping.Edit
Day 17
 Trek to Jomsom
Trek to Jomsom (2,670m)- 4 to 5 hours walking: There is a long descent today to the village of Marpha located in the Kali Gandaki valley. Marpha village has a Buddhist monastery, Tibetan whitewashed houses and paved streets. It is also famous for its apple orchards so well worth stopping here to get a glass of apple juice at one of the lodges. In Jomsom we stay in the Snowland Hotel this is the best place in town located opposite the airport. After hot showers you can explore Jomsom, check emails then in the evening the cooks will produce a special last meal together. Later on we will hand out tips to our crew as a thank you for all their hard work throughout the trek. Overnight teahouse lodge.
Day 18
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Fly to Pokhara & Kathmandu: We take an early morning flight to Pokhara then connect onto another flight to Kathmandu. Overnight hotel.
Day 19
Sightseeing in Kathmandu: Today we explore Kathmandu with one of our local guides, the day is flexible depending on what you would like to see but the most popular places generally are:
Day 20
Fly back home

Fly back home: Transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight back home. End of trip

This trip highlights:
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Exciting flight to and from Pokhara
  • Adventurous trek in Dhaulagiri (8,167m)- the seventh highest mountain of the world
  • Challenging trek that passes through step and icy track
  • Cross challenging mountain passes- French pass (5360m) and Thapa pass (5200m)
  • Panoramic view of Himalayas including Dhaulagiri and other snowy peaks
  • Trekking trail through stream, fern, oak forest, rhododendron forest, alpine forest and many species of flowers
  • Observe remote area and life style of ethnic peopleComfortable accommodation facilities, camp life and local cuisine


What’s Included?
  • 18 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 16 dinners
  • Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu
  • Airport transfers
  • Expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Trek pack which includes sleeping bag, down or fiber filled jacket and insulated mat
  • Private transportation
  • Park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Porter’s insurance
  • Sightseeing in KathmanduSite entry fees
What’s Not included?
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • International flights
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance
Trip Notes:

A typical day: Generally, on camping trips, you will be woken up between 6-7 am with a cup of tea and bowl of hot water for washing. You wash and get ready, and before breakfast pack your gear into your kitbag which will be carried by a porter. You will get your kitbag in the afternoon when we reach camp. Breakfast will be outdoors or in the dining tent, and after breakfast you walk for 2, 3 hours. Lunch is generally served at 11 am on trail. You will get about an hour break during lunch when you can rest, write a diary, talk or do anything you like. After lunch, we walk for 2 to 3 hours and reach to camp late afternoon. All tents and gear are already set up by the time you arrive, and you are greeted at camp with tea and snacks. Stow your gear in your tent where your kit bag will also be waiting, and freshen up before dinner, again served in the dining tent. On teahouse treks, it’s pretty much the same routine but you have rooms to sleep in, a dining room to eat in (often with food you can order of the menu) and proper toilets with running water and showers. Lunch on teahouse treks are on lodges on the way.Accommodation: Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has all kinds of hotels to offer visitors – from five star hotels with good facilities and air conditioned rooms to small guesthouses with average rooms and basic facilities. Visitors can choose what they like on the basis of their budget.  On ‘tea house’ treks, we use lodges which though comfortable, may be basic compared to European standards.  Most lodges on trek offer wholesome food, comfortable to basic rooms and common hot showers and toilets. Some use solar water heaters but these are entirely dependent on fine weather, so you cannot always rely on them. Meals are served in a common dining hall. On camping trips, we will have our own chosen campsites, often on private campsites with showers rooms and toilets, but also often we stay in wilderness camps, which consist of a dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent and two person tents for sleeping in with foam mattresses provided.Meals: The menu varies daily and in teahouse treks you can choose food from the lodge menu, while on camping trips, the kitchen turns out comprehensive meals 3 times a day, besides tea and afternoon. Beside included meals, guests need to pay for packaged and alcoholic drinks they may purchase, as well as for souvenirs, laundry, optional sightseeing. The prices of meal and drinks may be different in different locations.Money: All meals and accommodation are covered by within trip cost, but you carry spending money while on trek to take care of purchases you may make on journey. About 4000 Nepali Rupees per person per day should be adequate in most cases. There are no ATM’s on most treks, the only ATM’s are in Kathmandu city or in larger towns or cities, so it’s best to carry cash on trek.  It is recommended you use a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of cash and other valuable items, and though our staffs are trustworthy, the ultimate responsibility for safekeeping of money rests with the guest. American dollars and Indian rupee are easily accepted in most of the places and all major banks of Nepal and licensed money exchangers can exchange hard currencies into Nepali rupee. Indian 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are not accepted in Nepal.  Credit cards are not accepted by all businesses, restaurants, or hotels, and you should check with your guide about where you may or may not use them. Traveler’s cheque, visa card, master card and other international cards are easily accepted in Kathmandu but may not be accepted while on trek.Flights: The delay and cancellation of flights are not uncommon because of unfavorable weather or other technical problems. This delay and cancellation may be of a few hours or a couple of days. All accommodation and food are managed for you by the trekking tour managing group in case of flights delay or cancellation, except in extreme cases. You will however be liable for costs arising from delay of flight. In case of flights being delayed from remote airstrips due weather or technical difficulties, most itineraries have a spare day built in to absorb such delay. Longer delays may make require helicopter evacuation necessary, but such delays can usually be claimed through travel insurance.

High Altitude Sickness: Guests may suffer from altitude sickness if they travel rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. Most itineraries are however geared to make a reasonable ascent minimizing altitude sickness possibilities.  Typical symptoms of altitude sickness are persistent headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, disorientation and loss of balance, persistent cough and difficulty in breathing.  The immediate and best solution for acute mountain sickness is descent to lower altitude. In the absence of such an option, a medical evacuation by helicopter may be necessary or if possible, the use of a Hyperbaric chamber (Gamov bag).  Our guides and tour leaders will be monitoring group health on all treks that take us to altitude, and though not common, it is sometimes necessary to take clients off trek and descend to lower altitudes for their safety. For more information on altitude sickness, please visit (provide link to detailed info on site).

The tour leaders can exclude anyone if they feel that the very person is not fit, healthy and is not able to complete the tour.

Weather: The climate may be freezing or very low which may drop to -20 degree Celsius during the evening, night and early morning. The daytime temperatures may be generally between 20- 35 degree Celsius. The weather can change and snow fall may occur at any time at higher altitudes.

Tips: The culture of giving tip is not new in Nepal. A tip is generally given at an end of journey in appreciation of the services you receive. Visitors themselves should decide how much money they want to give as tips to porter, guide or team leader. Tour leaders may also organize a group’s tips kitty and at an end of journey you need to give tip to the tour leaders. Besides tips, visitors can help the porters by giving them mountain clothing and other useful items like water and wind resistant jackets, pants, warm hats, gloves, sunglasses, spare kit etc.

Visa information: Travelers can apply for Nepalese visa from Nepalese embassy or consulate office situated nearby. They can also get a visa from Tribhuvan International Airport or from any other entry point in Nepal if they have no time to visit an embassy, or are not travelling from their home country. Visitors should have a few sets of photos, a passport, and required money to apply for visa. Indians nationals do not need a visa to come to Nepal everyone else needs a visa to enter Nepal.

Note: All visas sold on arrival are multiple entry visas and are available to cover 3 different durations of visit: US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days, and US$100 for 90 days. Please ensure you purchase the duration sufficient to cover your whole visit including days of entry and exit. Please do note that these durations refer to each country into Nepal e.g. 15 days for each entry.

Visa extensions: Visitors can extend their visas from the immigration offices of Kathmandu and Pokhara only. They need to pay US $30 for 15 days extension, US $ 5 per day after 15 days and US$50 for multiple- entry visa. If visitors overstay then they need to pay a fine of US$3 per day if they overstay less than 30 days (plus a US$2 per day visa extension fee).

Health and travel insurance: Visitors should visit their personal physician or health clinic 4 or 8 weeks before coming to Nepal and vaccinate themselves. Travel and medical insurance is a must, and should include coverage for   emergency flights and medical expenses.

Vaccination: Visitors must visit their personal physician or health clinic 4 or 8 weeks before coming to Nepal and vaccinate themselves though vaccination is not compulsory. However vaccinations are recommended for the protection.

Note: Some vaccinations are prohibited for the pregnant women and people with allergies.

  • Hepatitis A: The vaccination of Hepatitis A is recommended for all visitors which provide long-term immunity.
  • Hepatitis B: This vaccination too is advised to all travelers. Three intramuscular doses are given in 0, 1 and 6 months.
  • Influenza: This vaccination is given annually to prevent flu.
  • Japanese B encephalitis (JBE): JBE vaccination is given three times over 3 to 4 weeks which avoids mosquito- borne vital encephalitis. Generally it is recommended for the travelers who travel to the Terai and other rural areas.
  • Meningococcal meningitis:  This vaccination is recommended for the prolonged stays.
  • Polio: Polio is generally given in childhood. But if visitors have not taken it at their childhood then it is recommended vaccination for them.
  • Rabies: Rabies is especially transmitted by street dogs and monkeys. It is strictly recommended for children and other visitors who are at the high risk of animal bites or direct contact with bats.
  • Tuberculosis (TB): Most people of the west are given this vaccination in their childhood. But if they are not vaccinated, it is suggested vaccination for them.
  • Typhoid: Typhoid vaccine is available as an injection and capsules which is recommended for all visitors because Typhoid fever is growing problem of Nepal.
  • Yellow fever: The travelers who come from Africa, America and other yellow fever infected area should take vaccine for yellow fever.
  • Tetanus diphtheria: Tetanus or diphtheria vaccine should be taken in every 10 years.
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR): This vaccination is recommended for all the travelers born after 1956 but not for pregnant women or severely immune compromised individuals.Cholera: Cholera is spread because of polluted drinking water. It is only recommended for the high-risk individuals like health travelers and people who travel to remote areas.

Packing tips:

  • Warm clothes for cold weather, including a set or two of thermal inner wear.
  • Water and wind proof outer shell jacket and pants.
  • Walking clothes like lightweight loose trousers, shorts and comfortable and cool shirts.
  • Rain ponchos, wool socks, broken in walking boots, long trousers, warm hats, gloves, bandana, trekking poles, cap/hat for walking in the sun
  • Sleeping bags if you have them.
  • Travelers wearing lenses should carry plenty of lenses solution and backup prescription glasses.
  • Sunglasses or ski glasses if walking in snow or high altitudes.
  • Basic first aid kit and personal medication.
  • Sunscreen and sun hat help.
  • Water purifiers like iodine tablets, filters etc.
  • Headlamps with spare batteries.
  • Hand sanitizers.
  • Photocopies of passports and other important documents
  • A travel guide book and map.
  • Cameras and carrying cases
  • For a comprehensive packing list, see (link to site on trekking FAQ)
Tips from staff who have trekked in Nepal:
Most of the visitors may also suffer from altitude sickness that happens due to traveling rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters.  If visitors have the symptoms of headache, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, fatigue or weaknesses, diarrhea, persistent rapid pulse, nosebleed, drowsiness, swelling  of hands, feet and face and sleeplessness then they should be given medicine, oxygen and brought down to lower altitude. The tour leaders can exclude anyone if they feel that the very person is not fit, healthy and not able to complete the tour. If some passengers want to go back then they do not allow passengers to go alone instead they will assign someone to take them back. If some passengers cannot walk then they are carried by donkeys or mules. If they are serious then helicopters are called immediately. They can just come back to near village, town or Kathmandu which depend on what they discussed with the leader. Some people also take medicines like Diamox which have some side effects. It is suggested neither by tour leader nor by staffs.
Drinking water is not very safe in Nepal. Most of the visitors in Nepal suffer from stomach problems like Diarrhea, food poison because of change in climate, contaminated food and water. It is always better to carry water purification tablets or iodine and purify water. You can buy bottled water in lots of the places. You can also fill your water bottles with hot water from teahouses. You can also buy large amount of water from water tanks.On trek in Nepal, is there enough drinking water available?
It is better to carry water purifier and purify water rather than drinking so called mineral water of plastic bottles. You can buy boiled water and if you want to drink cold water you can ask with tour leader. Most of the camping treks provide safe boiled drinking water thrice a day and some of the lodges of Everest region sell UV treated water.Any good tips for eating out in Kathmandu?
For places to eat please look at our site.Is there anywhere to store luggage while on trek?
While trekking you need to travel light so pack your trek kitbag and leave your main luggage at the hotels where you lived which will be secured and free of cost. But don’t forget to carry valuable things yourself.Do I need to take walking polls?
Carrying walking polls is entirely a personal choice. Walking poles help a lot while getting down. If you are habituated of it then it can be very useful. Even if you are not habituated of it, buy one at Kathmandu and include it in your trek kitbag. You never know you may need it.Can you give me more information on altitude sickness?
For the detail information of altitude sickness please look at our site.

What distance do we walk each day?
The distance of each day depends on gradient, terrain and altitude. For instance, you can walk seven miles in 5 hours on the one day and you can walk just 7 miles in 5 hours next day because of steep and rocky path. Generally you walk five hours in a day that is 2, 3 hours before lunch and another more hours after lunch.

Any special food I should try in Kathmandu?
Newari food: Newars are the local people of Kathmandu and they offer variety of tasty foods like choela, Kachaila, bara, chatamari etc. Among them choela is the most famous one. Choela is dish smoked food meat (chicken; lamb or buffalo) tossed with spices and mustard oil. It is easily available in Newari restaurants and most of the restaurants of Kathmandu.

Dal, Bhat and Tarkari: Nepali people eat dal (lentils), bhat (rice) and tarkari (vegetables or meat curry) two times in a day. This food item is also available in most of the restaurants.
Kwanti soup: Kwanti soup is mixed bean soup. Nepali people usually eat it on their festival called Maghe Sankranti. You can try this soup with roti or naan (nepali version of bread).
Momos: Momos are available in almost all restaurants of Kathmandu. It is one of the most popular fast food of Nepal. You can have chicken momos, buff (water buffalo) momos or vegetable momos according to your choice. This Nepalese version of momos are must try local dish.On a lodge or teahouse trek, how much spending money should I allow?
Spending money always depends on you. Foods are not very expensive so you can alloc@ Ͽ

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
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