Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a challenging and strenuous trek that ventures off the beaten track to the foot of the world’s seventh-tallest mountain. Dhaulagiri is one of the most popular 8000m/26,246 ft Peaks for climbing in the Himalayas almost unique in the world in terms of its rise above local terrain where it upsurges to 7000m/22,965 ft over the Kali Gandaki gorge to the southeast in about 30 km of aerial distance.
It is a real adventure trek around Dhaulagiri via the French Pass and Hidden Valley. The route passes through rugged terrain with astonishing natural beauty that very few visitors have ever witnessed. The scenery is unforgettable and the challenging trek crosses several mountain passes. This trek is more challenging than in other regions but also worth trekking.
Dhaulagiri Circuit TrekDownload Trip Dossier
Note: Below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for general idea only.
- Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1,302m/4,270ft)
Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to welcome with Nepal Sanctuary Treks placard. You will be then escorted and transfer to hotel. Further details and short preliminary briefing will be provided after transferring to the hotel. Stay overnight in Hotel.
- Arrival at charming and exotic city engrossed with ancient temples and tradition. Fused with lively markets and the bustle of spice sellers and merchants.
- Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and Trek preparation
Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal and popularly known as “City of temples”. After having hearty breakfast, we will explore a vibrant and culturally rich Kathmandu valley. A guided cultural tour will be conducted inside the valley.
We will start off visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square, the traditional heart of Kathmandu and an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines. You are then taken to Swayambhunath (monkey temple) which is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide.
Next, is the Buddhist shrine of Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in the world as well as the sacred Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. Further, we visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of Bagmati River. You can see elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. You can also observe people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burn at open-air cremation.
After visiting fascinating cultural heritage sites, you will transfer back to the Hotel. The evening can either be spent strolling the marketplaces in Kathmandu or resting at the hotel.
Visit UNESCO Heritage sites
- Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara (895m/2,938ft) 25mins flight
You will be transferred to the airport and will take our flight to Pokhara; if it’s a clear day then you will be able to see amazing views of Annapurnas. After landing in Pokhara you will be escorted to hotel. You will have the afternoon to yourself to explore Pokhara or to relax at the hotel.
Scenic flight to Pokhara
Explore Pokhara valley
- Day 04: Pokhara to Beni to Babiyachour (1000m/3,280) 4 hrs drive/ 4hrs trek
We will have early breakfast in the hotel and a transportation will be managed that will drive us to Beni. Once we reach Beni, we will meet our rest accompanying crew and have our Lunch. After having lunch we begin to trek we trek towards the west along Myagdi Khola. After 4 hours gradual trekking we arrive at Babiyachour where we will find a suitable grassy camping site near the river and camp the night here.
· Walk along Myagdi river, coming from Dhaulagiri glacier
· Mixed ethic groups i.e. Magar, Chhetri, Brahmin and so on
- Day 05: Babiyachour to Dharapani (1,470m/4,822ft) 6-7 hrs trek
After an early breakfast we continue our trek along the Myagdi Khola and trek through several villages before reaching Darbang for our lunch. After lunch we cross suspension bridge and continue trekking by climbing up hill towards Dharapani where we will camp and rest overnight.
- Dharapani is a village with majority population of people following Gurung, Magar and Chettri ethnicity
- We are able to see our first glimpse of north of Mt. Dhaulagiri 5.
- Passing several villages
- Traverse suspension bridge
- Day 06: Dharapani to Muri (1,850m/6,069ft) 8 hrs trek
After having breakfast we leave Dharapani and trek towards Muri. On the way we come across Takum and Sibang village where we check our permit and these villages are prosperous with terrace fields mainly farming rice and wheat.
Through the trail we pass by beautiful sceneries of Nepal along with traditional villages and a good view of Mt Gurja and Puta Hiunchuli to the west. After half an hour trek from Sibang you will meet the intersection on the left uphill that goes towards Jalja La Pass and also Dhorpatan, the national Hunting reserve. This trail used to be trekking trail of Upper Dolpa as well.
Further we follow the right trail down towards the suspension bridge. Crossing a suspension bridge we continue to trek until we reach our next destination, Muri where we stay overnight in camp. The locals of Muri in majority follow Magar ethnicity and most of the young men’s of these areas work overseas in the Middle east or in the British and Indian army as ‘ Gurkhas ‘ .
- View of Mt Gurja and Puta Hiunchuli to the west from Sibang village
- Highway of Jalja La Pass and Dhorpatan Hunting reserve.
- Muri, the village of Magar ethnicity
- There are approximately 600 houses in Muri village.
- Pass classic Nepal scenery with typical villages and mountain views.
- Day 07: Muri to Boghara (2,080m/6,824ft) 8 hrs trek
After having an early breakfast; we start our trek descending steeply to the bridge from where we cross the Muri Khola and enter a bamboo forest and numerous clearings with farms. As the trail continues we reach the north of the valley where we will connect Myagdi Khola. The trail from Darbang will rejoin and as we walk for half an hour we will stop for lunch before we start climbing uphill. After lunch, we will walk for 4 hours uphill all the way to Boghara. Boghara is a small village of Magar ethnic group where we stay overnight camping.
Rejoin Myagdi Khola and trekking trail from Darbang.
Passing through dense bamboo forests
- Day 08: Boghara to Dobang (2,350m/7,709ft) 7-8 hrs trek
After breakfast we leave Boghara behind and start climbing uphill. This morning we follow the gorge. If you see on the right side of the valley you can see the spectacular view of waterfalls and also bee hives. Along the trail, you will encounter with huge number of buffalos with herders. Continue walking in the forest of oak, bamboo trees before you get to Dobang. Dobang is located near the Dhaulagiri V which is a perfect grassy campsite.
If you are lucky you might encounter with langur monkeys
Beautiful view of waterfalls and stay overnight at grassy campsite.
You will see large bee’s nests up the cliff above the trails where villagers collect honey
- Day 09: Dobang to Sallaghari (3,010m/9,875ft) 5hrs trek
After breakfast, we will leave Dobang behind and walk for five minutes to cross the wooden bridge. Gradually, we will take ascend into the rainforest where we cross several streams. We will get to Khola Camp after one hour from here we will arrive at Sallaghari and stay overnight in camp. Sallaghari is a place where there is a small campsite with huge pine trees.
Walk through dense rainforest of bamboo, pine, fern trees
- Day 10: Sallaghari – Italian base camp (3,660m/12,007ft) 3-4hrs trek
Today is a short trek day, after breakfast we begin to trek through the glacier where there was a huge avalanche in 2012 from Dhaulagiri west face. We will cross small streams and climb up the ridge. We enter the forest of bamboo, juniper trees and climbing up to a grassy land on the lateral moraine where Italian Base camp is located. Stay overnight at tented camp.
- Walking through the glaciers
- View of mt Dhaulagiri with Tsaurabong peak visible on the other side of the valley from camp
- If you are lucky you might see Himalayan Thar
- Walk through shaded forest of pine and juniper trees
- Day 11: Acclimatization and rest day (Italian Base Camp)
After breakfast we will take a sidewalk for a couple of hours to get acclimatize with the altitude. We can go for a walk to explore around Italian base camp. After that we come back for lunch and have leisure time to take rest
View of Dhaulagiri and Tsaurabong peak
- Day 12: Italian Base Camp – Glacier camp (4,200m/13,779ft) 4-5hrs trek
After breakfast we walk for half an hour and then steeply drop down the glacier. Further gradually climb up the gorge on the other side where we walk through the Swiss Camp. Then we cross the glacier and then traverse along the moraine on the left side of the Chonbarden gorge. We trek 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 leveled in the ice of the glacier for tents. We stay overnight at glacier camp.
- Cross glaciers and walk along the gorge
- Day 13: Acclimatization and rest day (Glacier Camp)
Today is another essential acclimatization day before walking to Base Camp tomorrow. This morning walk takes four hours return. However there is an optional day walk up the glacier towards Base Camp to a large moraine ridge with views of Tukuche, little Eager and icefall from NE Col plus valley heading towards French Pass. After the walk we will rest and prepare ourselves for tomorrow at glacier camp itself.
- Views of Tukuche peak, Little Eager icefall and gain altitude
- Day 14: Glacier camp – Dhaulagiri base camp (4,740m/15,551ft) 4-5 hrs trek
After an early rise we follow a rough and uphill 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 lays Dhaulagiri II and IV. We can possibly 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. We camp and rest the overnight at here.
Superb panoramic views of Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak and Little Eiger and further to the west lies Dhaulagiri II (7,751m) and IV (7,618m) with glaciers
Impressive ice fall
- Day 15: Acclimatization and rest (Dhaulagiri Base Camp)
Today is also an essential day for acclimatization. Before passing French pass over to our campsite in Hidden valley we must get used to the climate, today we can go for a walk towards French pass or training will be conducted for using ice axe and crampons. These mountaineering skills will be needed for passing the high passes to Jomsom. After all the activities we rest as tomorrow will be a long trek.
- Views of Tukuche and observe Dhaulagiri from base camp
- Day 16: Dhaulagiri base camp – Hidden valley (5,050m/16,568ft) [via French col (5,360m/17,585 ft.)] 8 hrs. Trek
After having breakfast in the camp we rejoin our trail; as we begin to trek along the moraine strip crossing Upper Chonbarden glacier. As we continue trekking, a high lateral moraine ridge can be seen up the valley, we ascend steeply to lateral moraine ridge from where we will be offered with magnificent views of Dhaulagiri 1 and Tukuche Peak. Trekking further from here we make our final ascent to French pass, the view from the summit of pass is also mesmerizing. After enjoying the view we then descend on moderate snow slopes as we then enter the Hidden Valley, descending down to the valley we reach at a camping site near the river that is not far from Dhampus peak. We will camp our night here.
- The view from the summit of the pass is splendid with Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak and Dhaulagiri I.
- Cross French Pass
- Day 17: Exploration hike around Hidden Valley
Today is a last exploration day before we cross Dhampus pass or getting out from Hidden valley. There are numerous options for hikes around the valley. One of the best options could be to a ridge on western side with views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurnas. Today is also an important day for rest and acclimatization. Another option can be day hike to Dhampus (6,060m/19,881ft). If we decide to trek to Dhampus then we have to start trekking early ascending from Hidden valley to the summit, as we continue trekking we reach at the peak within few hours of trekking. From the top of the peak we will be offered with views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and into Mustang. This climb is optional as some of trekkers can stay back and rest in the camp. We will return back to the camp and rest here for the night.
- Views of Sita Chuchura, Thapa Peak, Dhampus peak
- Wide hidden valley view
- Day 18: Hidden Valley – Yak Kharka (3,680m/12,073ft) approx 9-10 hrs walk
As today’s trail is the longest and by far the most challenging route on Dhaulagiri circuit trek. After an early start we climb up a snow slope to reach Dhampus pass (5,240m/17,191 ft.). Once we reach Dhampus pass, from there we will be able to see the views, at left the Dhampus peak and at right the wondrous ice flutings of Tukuche Peak. From the summit of the pass the trail descends 100m before start to traverse left back into Kali Gandaki valley. Through this trail there is a very long traverse on snow usually taking about four hours passing Batase Danda before starting the steep descent to Yak Kharka. On the way we can see views of Mt. Nilgiri and Annapurna.
· Views of Jomsom and Upper Mustang valley from Batase Danda (ridge)
· 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 Dhampus pass
- Day 19: Yak Kharka – Jomsom (2,670m/8,759) approx. 4-5 hrs walk
Today’s trek is downhill descending all the way to Marpha, a wonderful Thakali village that has a Buddhist monastery, whitewashed houses and paved streets where we will stop for lunch. Marpha is well known for its apple orchards, apple cider and apple juice. After Marpha our next and final destination of trek is Jomsom which is situated near the airport.We will have our accommodation at Jomsom where you can enjoy hot shower after a long exhausted trek. At the evening we will be served with special farewell meals with all the staffs together and sing and dance together, all the accompanying staffs will be appreciated for all their effort. We will rest the night at a lodge in Jomsom.
- Thakali settlement along Kali Gandaki Valley
- Enjoy the apple drink at Marpha
- Day 20: Jomsom to Kathmandu
We will have an early breakfast and walk up to the airport nearby the hotel in Jomsom. After a short flight we reach Pokhara and from here we will take another flight to Kathmandu, once we reach Kathmandu you will have free time to either explore the valley or rest. We will stay the night here in Kathmandu.
Scenic flight to Pokhara -Kathmandu
- Day 21: Leisure day in Kathmandu
After having decent breakfast, you will have the whole day to yourselves to either rest in your hotel or explore Kathmandu valley. We will rest the night in Kathmandu.
- Day 22: Fly Back Home
You will be assisted by our staff in a vehicle and transferred to TIA airport in Kathmandu from where you will take your flight back home.
Dhaulagiri, (26,794 feet /8,167 meters) the seventh highest mountain in the world
Dhaulagiri is derived from Sanskrit word “Dhaulagiri” which means dazzling white mountain
Dhaulagiri stands next to a very deep Kali Gandaki gorge, which is a very low point, and it goes almost straight up from the gorge.
Dhaulagiri was first climbed in the spring of 1960 by a Swiss-Austrian team and two Sherpas (16 members total) from Nepal.