Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Overview

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a challenging and remote trek in the Dhaulagiri region of western Nepal. This off-the-beaten-path trek takes trekkers on a journey around the massive Dhaulagiri massif, the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8,167 meters (26,795 feet). The trek begins in the Myagdi region, gradually ascending through forests and traditional villages before reaching high mountain passes and valleys surrounded by soaring Himalayan giants. Key highlights include crossing several high passes, some exceeding 5,000 meters in elevation, like the famous French Pass (5,360m/17,585ft). From these lofty viewpoints, trekkers are rewarded with panoramic vistas of incredible peaks like Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, and Annapurna I looming overhead. The trek also takes you through remote areas where few foreigners venture, allowing for an authentic experience of the mountain lifestyle and culture of ethnic groups like the Chhetri, Magar, and Thakali people. Basic teahouse accommodation is available along the route, though camping may be required at times due to the remoteness. While physically demanding due to the high altitudes and rugged terrain, the Dhaulagiri Circuit is considered an epic Himalayan trek for experienced trekkers seeking a true adventure off-the-beaten-path. Proper acclimatization, gear, guides, and permits are essential for undertaking this trek through one of Nepal’s most spectacular mountain wildernesses.

Trek's Highlight

  • Trekking around the massive Dhaulagiri massif, the 7th highest mountain in the world at 8,167m
  • Crossing multiple high mountain passes over 5,000m like the famous French Pass (5,360m)
  • Panoramic views of towering Himalayan peaks including Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, and Annapurna I
  • Experiencing authentic mountain lifestyles and cultures of ethnic groups like Chhetri, Magar, and Thakali
  • Trekking through remote, off-the-beaten-path regions seldom visited by foreigners
  • Diverse landscapes from lush forests to high alpine valleys and glaciers
  • Opportunity to spot unique Himalayan wildlife like blue sheep and snow leopards
  • Basic teahouse accommodation along the route, with some camping in remote areas
  • Far from crowded trekking routes, offering a true adventure in Nepal's spectacular mountain ranges

Itinerary

Beginning the journey with a 9-hour scenic drive from Kathmandu to Beni, where you'll stay overnight.

Trek for about 5 hours from Beni to Babiachaur, passing through villages and lush landscapes. Overnight in Babiachaur.

Continue trekking for 6-7 hours from Babiachaur to Dharapani, enjoying mountain views along the way. Overnight in Dharapani.

Trek for approximately 5 hours from Dharapani to Muri, experiencing diverse terrain and local culture. Overnight in Muri.

Proceed with the trek for 5 hours from Muri to Boghara, traversing through forests and rolling hills. Overnight stay in Boghara.

Trek from Boghara to Dobang in about 5 hours, with scenic views and tranquil surroundings. Overnight stay in Dobang.

Continue trekking from Dobang to Choriban Khola, approximately 5 hours, with river crossings and panoramic views. Overnight stay in Choriban Khola.

Trek for 5 hours to Italian Base Camp, enjoying alpine scenery and gradual ascent. Overnight stay at Italian Base Camp.

A day to rest and acclimate at Italian Base Camp, ensuring readiness for the higher altitudes and appreciating the mountain environment.

The trek to Glacier Camp, about 6 hours from Italian Base Camp, unveils glaciers, rocky terrain, and mesmerizing natural wonders.

Continuing for 7 hours to Dhaulagiri Base Camp, we are treated to majestic mountain views and a serene base for our adventure.

A well-deserved rest day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp allows for acclimatization and immersion in the breathtaking mountain scenery.

Trekking via French Pass to Hidden Valley, around 7 hours, presents thrilling challenges and rewards with high passes and stunning landscapes.

Our trek from Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka via Dhampus Pass, approximately 7 hours, offers a blend of adventure and scenic beauty.

A 5-hour trek from Yak Kharka to Marpha takes us through charming villages, orchards, and cultural delights.

Concluding our trek with a scenic 7-hour drive from Marpha to Pokhara, we relish in the picturesque routes and serene landscapes.

The journey concludes with an 8-hour drive from Pokhara back to Kathmandu, marking the end of our unforgettable Dhaulagiri Circuit trek adventure.

Includes

  • Accommodation in mountain teahouses/tents
  • Guide, cook, and required number of porters
  • Local bus transportation
  • Permits (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, Trekkers Information Management System Card)
  • Meals as specified (15 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 14 dinners during the trek)
  • Lunch and dinner in Pokhara

Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for staff
Is the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek suitable for beginners?

No, the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a strenuous trek that requires a high level of fitness and basic mountaineering skills. The terrain is rugged, and the trek involves crossing high-altitude passes, making it challenging even for experienced trekkers.

What is the maximum altitude reached during the trek?

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek reaches a maximum altitude of 5200m at the French Pass. Trekkers should be prepared for high-altitude conditions and possible altitude-related challenges.

Are there any acclimatization days included in the itinerary?

Yes, the itinerary includes acclimatization days at Italian Base Camp and Dhaulagiri Base Camp to help trekkers adjust to the altitude. These rest days are essential for preventing altitude sickness and ensuring a safe trekking experience.

What kind of accommodation can I expect during the trek?

Accommodation during the trek will primarily be in mountain teahouses, which are basic but provides essential amenities such as meals and shelter. In some remote areas, camping in tents may be necessary, with provisions carried by the trekking team.

Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag and trekking equipment?

Yes, it is highly recommended to bring your own sleeping bag and essential trekking equipment, including appropriate clothing, sturdy hiking boots, and a backpack. While some gear may be available for rent in Kathmandu or Pokhara, having your own equipment ensures comfort and familiarity during the trek.

What is the best time of year to undertake the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?

The best time to trek the Dhaulagiri Circuit is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is generally stable, and visibility is excellent. These months offer clear skies, moderate temperatures, and minimal rainfall, creating ideal trekking conditions.

Is travel insurance mandatory for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?

Yes, travel insurance with coverage for trekking activities and emergency evacuation is mandatory for all participants of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. This insurance provides financial protection in case of unexpected events such as accidents, illnesses, or flight cancellations during the trek.

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Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek