Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an extremely adventurous trip around the massive Dhaulagiri range (8,167m/26,780ft), the world's seventh-highest peak. The relatively long remote trek lies in the Myagdi District, west of the Annapurna range. Also known as Dhaulagiri Round Trek, this is the most challenging yet most utterly beautiful off-beaten trek in Nepal.
Crossing two high passes (French and Dhampus), hiking to three wonderful base camps (Italian, Glacier, and Dhaulagiri), and breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks above 7,000m are major highlights of Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. In this trek, you can enjoy and come across hilly-terrain, rough boulders, snow-clad glaciers, ice-frozen trekking paths, dense forests, lush green meadows, etc.
The 20 days long Dhaulagiri circuit trek begins with your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. After the scenic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, you'll drive to Darbang. From here, the real trekking journey commences as you trek towards Dharapani, the first stopover during the trek.
After passing through some attractive settlements such as Takam, Sibang, Phaliyagaon, Mudi, Naura, Bagar, Lipse, etc., you get to Italian Base Camp (IBC). You rest one more day at Italian Base Camp. Reveling yourself in unmatched scenic vistas of amazing meadows, hanging glaciers, and towering peaks, you'll make your way to Glacier and Dhaulagiri Base Camp. From the base camp, you'll get a 360-degree breathtaking view of the entire Dhaulagiri range.
There are enough rest days before you cross French Pass and Dhampus Pass to ensure proper acclimatization in the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek itinerary. After enjoying the serenity around the Dhaulagiri Base Camp area, you head towards tranquil Hidden Valley via French Pass. In this trail section, you need to prepare yourself to negotiate your ways through treacherous trails, climbing massive boulders, ascending narrow paths with loose gravel and stones, and crossing large water streams.
Likewise, after spending one wonderful day exploring Hidden valley, the trail eventually leads Alu Bari via Dhampus Pass. Crossing this challenging pass will test your endurance level during the trek. After all this tough climb, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking landscapes and panoramic views of snowy peaks such as the Dhaulagiri range, Annapurna range, Nilgiri range, and Tukuche Peak.
Dhaulagiri Trek is a great way to explore the raw natural beauty of the Dhaulagiri region and get soaked into the rural lifestyle and the rich culture. The next lap of the trail is descending from Alu Bari to Jomsom via Marpha. From Jomsom, you'll catch the scenic flight to Pokhara. Enjoying for one last time the view of the exceptionally beautiful Annapurna region, you'll fly back to the capital city, Kathmandu. You'll spend one day exploring the culturally rich valley. Thus, after the experience of a lifetime, eventually, you'll bid farewell to the Himalayan country of Nepal. Keeping the lovely memories in mind, you finally depart from the country.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - Transfer to Hotel and Trek Preparation|
|Day 2||Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara (800m/2,624ft) - 25 minutes flight|
|Day 3||Drive from Pokhara to Darbang (1,110m/3,640ft) and Trek to Dharapani (1,560m/5,120ft)- 5 to 6 hours drive and 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 4||Trek from Dharapani to Muri (1,720m/5,650ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 5||Trek from Muri to Boghara (Bagar) (2,080m/6,830ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 6||Trek from Boghara to Dobhan Kharka (2,520m/8,270ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek from Dobang to Sallaghari (2,820m/9,250ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 8||Trek from Sallaghari to Italian Base Camp (3,660m/12,007ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 9||Acclimatization Day: Hike around Italian Base Camp|
|Day 10||Trek from Italian Base Camp to Glacier Camp (4,200m/13,780ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 11||Acclimatization Day: Hike around Glacier Camp|
|Day 12||Trek from Glacier Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,750m/15,590ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 13||Acclimatization Day: Hike around Dhaulagiri Base Camp|
|Day 14||Trek from Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley (5,140m/16,870ft) via French Pass (5,360m/17,590ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 15||Exploration walk around Hidden Valley (5,140m/16,870ft)|
|Day 16||Trek from Hidden Valley to Alu Bari (3,900m/12,780ft) via Dhampus Pass (5,244m/17,200ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 17||Trek from Alu Bari to Jomsom (2,670m/8,760ft - 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 18||Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and Kathmandu - both 50 minutes flight|
|Day 19||Free Day in Kathmandu|
|Day 20||Final Departure from Kathmandu|
Each trip is customized to fit the client's requirements and group size, the price of each trip we organize is different. The trip's price is calculated keeping in view the type of services and accommodation chosen by our clients. To offer you a personalized and seamless holiday experience, we create trips that suit your taste and travel budget.
We see travelers as individuals having their own special needs and preferences. An experience of a lifetime is only possible when each and every detail of your holiday is planned around your needs.
Read More.. Why Private and Tailor-Made
On arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, one of our representatives from Third Rock Adventures will welcome you and transfer you to the hotel. You'll get some time for refreshment.
Later you'll visit our office and attend a small meet-up where your trek guide will brief you about the trek starting the next day. Then you can explore nearby places and get familiar with the surroundings. After returning to the hotel, you can prepare for the trip.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
An early morning flight will take you to Pokhara, the magical lake city of Nepal. You will enjoy the superb vistas of the Annapurna range and other snowy peaks during the flight.
Once you land at Pokhara airport, you'll drive to the hotel. The rest of the day will be free and relax. If you are interested, you can even take a sightseeing tour around the Pokhara Valley. Later enjoy your evening in the famous lakeside area.
Overnight stay in Pokhara.
You'll leave Pokhara and drive to Darbang via the famous Beni Bazaar. On the way, you'll traverse through scenic winding roads, discovering the charm of small towns, and listen to the relaxing sound of free-flowing rivers. Situated at the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Myagdi river, Beni is the district headquarters of the Myagdi district.
From Beni, you continue your drive towards Darbang. Passing through small settlements of Tatopani (hot spring), Babiyachaur, you reach Darbang. You have to take a brief stop while your guide will show your permits at the police checkpoint. The actual Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek begins from Darbang. Walking along the bank of the Myagdi Khola, you come across small settlements of a Magari community. After a gradual climb, enjoying magnificent vistas of mountains and dotted landscapes, you reach Dharapani village.
Overnight stay in Dharapani.
Discover the countless scenic vistas on the way to Muri Village. Begin your uphill walk beside terraced fields and the traditional Magar settlement of Takam. Here onwards, the path continues towards Sibang village, offering an incredible panorama of the snow-clad Dhaulagiri range and Gurja Himal (7,193m/23,600ft).
En route, enjoying the incredible sight of Myagdi Khola, you descend to Gatti Khola. Here you can spot the traditional water mill for grinding the grain. After few hours of walk, you reach Phaliyagaon (1,850m/6,070ft). The trail follows the steep path showcasing majestic mountain views and tree-lined forests. Finally, you'll make a steep climb to the large Magar settlement of Muri. You can stroll around the village, interact with the locals, and get familiar with their culture and lifestyle.
Overnight stay in Muri.
Begin your trek with a downhill walk on a steep trail. The trail continues, and after crossing some small streams, you'll climb to a ridge and reach a pass (1,607m/5,272ft), another famous viewpoint. From the top of the pass, you'll witness the utterly beautiful scenery of Mt. Ghustung South.
Further, the pathway will continue through the thickened jungles and greeneries. After passing through the small villages of Mahatala and Naura, you reach Boghara (Bagar). You can enjoy the grand view of Manapathi peak from the village. Also, there is a cluster house with stone slate rooftops and unique handcrafted windows and doors in this village.
Overnight stay in Boghara.
Kick-off your day with a filling breakfast and follow the forested trail along the Myagdi river. On the way, you encounter some seasonal tea shop where you can take a brief stopover. With the grand vistas, you can enjoy the local tea. The trail offers various picturesque curves and exciting changes in the terrain as you walk towards the higher elevation.
For a few days, you'll not see any human settlements as the trek continues in an isolated path. You can enjoy the solitude and experience some pure nature along the route. Now keep walking until you cross the rocky terrain and ascend to Lipsaba (Lipse). Passing through jungle areas, you'll finally climb to Dobhan.
Overnight stay in Dobhan.
Passing from Dobang, you'll set off to Sallaghari along with the dense jungle along the riverside of Myagdi Khola. You'll spot a wooden bridge and cross it over the streams. Keep eyes and ears wide open in the forests; you might spot or hear the roaring of wild animals. Along the trail, you'll pass through the pastures where sheep, goats, and cows are grazing. Afterward, the path has a steep climb and passes through several tricky landslide areas. Enjoy the views of a spectacular waterfall just before you reach Sallaghari.
Overnight stay in Sallaghari.
Back on the trail, you'll head towards Italian Base Camp (IBC) by climbing uphill and walking through the thick jungle. Further, the path continues through lush vegetation on an undulating route. You'll cross the terminal of the glacier. As you get close to Italian Base Camp, you'll feel the differences in the climate as the temperature drops, and you'll feel cold.
Similarly, you'll notice changes in the landscape too. The treelines are diminished, and you'll walk on terrain covered with heather and juniper bushes. Finally, after crossing a river a few more times, you reach Italian Base Camp. The views are breathtaking as you'll be surrounded by enchanting massif snow-clad mountains, including Dhaulagiri I (8,172m/26,810ft).
Overnight stay in Italian Base Camp.
The day will be free for acclimatization purposes and exploration of Italian Base Camp. You can opt to go for a short hike along the extended lateral moraine grassy area that runs from IBC to a small ice cave. You'll get a very close-up view of the west face of Mt. Dhaulagiri. On the way up, you can even spot a large herd of blue sheep running through a rocky cliff. After exploring the camp area, you can return to camp and take a rest.
Overnight stay in Italian Base Camp.
Magnificent mountains views will greet you early in the morning. You'll leave IBC and follow the path that heads up a grassy slope behind the camp and reach the lip of the glacial moraine. After walking for a while on the tricky sloppy, and slippery trail, you reach Swiss Base Camp. From here, the path is easy to follow, and passing a steeper section of the lateral moraine, and you reach a flat land covered in large rocks. On the way to Glacier camp, you'll also witness the Chhongardan Glacier with the astonishing mountain vistas of Dhaulagiri, Dhampus Peak, Manapathi peak, and Tsaurabong peak.
Overnight stay in Glacier Camp.
Today is another rest day for acclimatization purposes and to explore nature's beauty around Glacier camp. In the early morning, you can hike around the glacier as you'll witness an attractive waterfall coming down on the left side of the valley wall. As you approach further, you'll see some small lakes covered by ice and snow. Later after exploring the surroundings, you can relax your body, conserve your energy, and adjust to the high altitude. This rest day will prepare you for your next day's walk to Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
Overnight stay in Glacier Camp.
This particular day is the major highlight of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek as you'll hike to the base camp of the mighty Dhaulagiri massif. Once you leave the glacier camp, you'll head steeply up the central moraine. As you continue, you'll follow the natural direction of the curves of the glacier. An after few hours of walk, you'll get a breathtaking panorama of Tukuche peak.
Afterward, the valley opens to a wide T-junction located between Dhaulagiri and Tukuche. From here, after a short distance hike, you reach Dhaulagiri Base Camp over the rocky terrain.
Once you reach the base camp, feel the surroundings and colorful prayers flags swayed in the light breeze. Relish an impressive view of the icefall that descends from the northeast col and massif Dhaulagiri range surrounding the base camp.
Overnight stay in Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
As you have already climbed more than 4,500m altitudes, it's wise to spend a rest day around the base camp area. To avoid altitude mountain sickness, you can explore around the base camp. You can opt for a short climb just above the camp you'll get a mesmerizing view of the Dhaulagiri Range. Also, you can just relax at your campsite and admire the mountain beauty.
Overnight stay in Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
This is another day you have been waiting for all while on the trek. Today is one of the longest and challenging days in your Dhaulagiri Round Trek as you'll cross one of the high mountain passes, i.e., French Pass. The top of the pass offers a dramatic 360-degree panoramic view of snow-clad mountain vistas. Some peaks you'll witness are Mt. Dhaulagiri range, Tukuche peak, Thapa peak, Dhampus peak, Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang peak, Sita Chuchure, etc. After a quick stop, rejoicing the moment at French pass, you continue to walk and enter Hidden valley. Heading down on the steep trail, it is slippery underfoot- gravel, stone, snow, and loose dirt you will get into Hidden Valley.
Overnight stay in Hidden Valley.
After crossing challenging passes, you might get exhausted, so this day will help you to recover. Also, you can have several options to explore around the Hidden valley and adjust yourself to the high altitude. You can explore Hidden Valley with a short hike to a ridge on the north-western side of the valley. From this viewpoint, you'll catch the dramatic sight of Hidden valley and mighty mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Annapurna. Likewise, you can also try to ascent Dhampus peak. For this climb, mountaineering experience is mandatory. However, the view from the top stretches from Dhaulagiri to the Annapurna range and into Mustang.
Note: If you would like to climb Dhampus Peak (6,012m/19730ft), you need to pay extra to cover the climbing permit cost and necessary climbing arrangements.
Overnight stay in Hidden Valley.
Leaving the dramatic Hidden Valley behind today, you head towards Alu Bari via Dhampus Pass. It is another exciting pass to cross during this circuit trek. After challenging uphill and downhill, climb on the steep trail you'll make to Dhampus Pass. You can see the colorful prayer flags on the top of the pass. With the sensational view of Tukuche and Dhampus peak, you will also see the Annapurna range. After embracing the beauty of top white mountains, you'll hike down to Alu Bari. In a final couple of hours, you'll walk through a forested area and reach Alu Bari.
Overnight stay in Alu Bari.
The very last day of Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek goes through the forest of oak and pine. For bird lovers, these trail sections will be paradise. Right after you come out of the woods halfway through the trek, you witness small hamlets where the villager is involved in their farms.
Eventually, you'll reach the Marpha village at 2,667m/8,750ft. The village is famous for its picturesque landscape and, most importantly, for its apple products. At the far end, you'll witness the Dhaulagiri peak wishing you farewell before it vanishes on the horizon. After gaining some elevation, you arrive at the final stop for the day Jomsom. Later you can spend some time enjoying Thakali food and culture. You can reflect on the immensely challenging, long journey you have had for the past 17 days.
Overnight stay in Jomsom.
At first, catch an early flight to Pokhara. Enjoying the aerial view of the snow-clad peaks, you land at Pokhara. Then after completing airport formalities, you'll again take a flight back to the capital, Kathmandu. After landing, you get back to the hotel. The rest of the time, either you can relax or stroll nearby places.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
As the free day in Kathmandu, you can revive and rejuvenate yourself. Make the most of the day. Relax and rest your body after such a long weary trek. You can also opt for cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu valley. There are many landmarks, such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, and Boudhanath, that are worth visiting.
Boudhanath is the largest stupa, while Sywambhunath is famous as a monkey temple. Both places carry significant religious importance for both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. Moreover, Pashupatinath is a holy Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Later, you can spend your evening on your own by doing some souvenir shopping for your loved ones back home.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Time to say goodbye to the Himalayan country of Nepal! Depending upon your flight schedule, a representative from Third Rock Adventures will drop you at Kathmandu International Airport.
After completion of the trek, you may want to extend a couple of days extra in Nepal. You can explore and have a cultural tour of Kathmandu valley, Chitwan jungle safari, paragliding, rafting, canoeing, etc. You can even extend the vacation and opt for traveling across our neighboring Himalayan countries such as Bhutan, India, and Tibet.
The grade of the difficulty level of Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is difficult to challenge. To complete this trek, you need good physical strength, strong determination, and a positive attitude. The trek starts in Darbang village (1,110m) and ends at Marpha village (2,670m) in the Mustang district. The trek routes involve long descent, steep climbs in the rocky paths, high alpine pastures, uninhabited settlements, off-beaten trails, lateral moraine, icy glaciers, and windy high passes.
During the Dhaulagiri circuit trek, you need to cross two high passes, i.e., French Pass at 5,360m and Dhampus Pass at 5,244m. To cross these passes is challenging yet rewarding. Strong physical fitness is essential, with the ability to walk 6 to 7 per day on an off-beaten path. During the trek, most of the days, you'll spend your night at an altitude above 3,500m. So, you need to more careful about the acute mountain sickness problem. Previous trekking experience with basic mountaineering skills is beneficial to the Dhaulagiri Trek.
The most exciting and pleasant weather for trekking in Nepal is autumn from September to November and spring from April to May. Likely, it marks the best time for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek as well. During spring, the sight of lush green forests and blooming rhododendrons welcomes you. The temperatures are mild hot at lower levels, and it gets colder as you climb higher elevation. Nonetheless, this is the best season to witness the flowering plants with fabulous mountain views. Likewise, in autumn, the skies are usually clear, and the vistas of snowy mountains are phenomenal. The daytime temperatures are very stable, neither too hot nor too cold. The warm sunny days make the walk comfortable. However, early morning and night can be a bit chilly.