Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Euro 1120


Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: Exploring the Wild West of Nepal

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a hidden gem in the heart of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, offering an extraordinary adventure for those seeking solitude, breathtaking landscapes, and challenging trekking experiences. Nestled in the western part of Nepal, this trek takes you through some of the country’s most rugged and remote terrain.

Starting Point: The journey begins in the town of Beni, which is accessible by road from Pokhara, one of Nepal’s major cities. From Beni, a scenic drive leads to the trailhead at Darbang, where the trek officially commences.

The Trekking Route: The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek unfolds as a spectacular circumnavigation of Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh-highest mountain. The trail traverses a wide variety of landscapes, from lush forests and terraced fields to high alpine pastures and glaciers.

As you ascend through dense rhododendron and oak forests, you’ll gradually enter the remote and arid landscapes of the Hidden Valley, with its vast moraines and dramatic icefalls. Along the way, you’ll cross several challenging high passes, including the French Pass (5,360 meters) and Dhampus Pass (5,200 meters), which offer panoramic views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna massif.

Cultural Encounters: While the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is known for its wilderness and natural beauty, it also provides opportunities for cultural immersion. As you traverse through traditional Magar and Gurung villages, you’ll have the chance to interact with local communities, gaining insight into their way of life, customs, and traditions.

Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu

Your adventure begins as you arrive in Kathmandu, the vibrant capital of Nepal. After landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Take this opportunity to rest and perhaps explore the bustling streets of Kathmandu.

Day 2 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

Today, you’ll embark on a cultural exploration of Kathmandu, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, and Boudhanath Stupa. In the afternoon, attend a pre-trek briefing where you’ll meet your trekking guide and fellow trekkers. Finalize trekking permits and make necessary preparations for your upcoming journey.

Day 3 : Drive to Beni

Depart from Kathmandu and enjoy a scenic drive to Beni, a town in the Myagdi District, which serves as the gateway to the Dhaulagiri region. The journey offers glimpses of rural Nepal and takes you through picturesque landscapes. Upon arrival in Beni, settle into your accommodations and rest.

Day 4 : Drive to Darbang and Trek to Dharapani

After a hearty breakfast, embark on a short drive to Darbang, where your trek officially begins. The trail leads through terraced fields and charming villages, providing a taste of rural life in Nepal. You’ll reach Dharapani, a peaceful village, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 5 : Trek to Muri

As you continue your journey, the landscape gradually changes, and you’ll ascend through forests of rhododendron and oak. The trail leads you to Muri, a picturesque village that offers stunning views of the Dhaulagiri range.

Day 6 : Trek to Boghara

Today’s trek takes you through terraced fields and lush forests. You’ll encounter small settlements along the way, with welcoming locals. The trail eventually leads to Boghara, a serene village nestled amidst the wilderness.

Day 7 : Trek to Dobang

Leaving Boghara, the trail ascends through dense forests and crosses a few streams. The scenery becomes more rugged as you approach Dobang, a village perched at the edge of the forest and a perfect stop for trekkers.

Day 8 : Trek to Choriban Khola

Today’s trek continues along the Myagdi Khola, and you’ll encounter challenging sections with steep ascents. As you approach Choriban Khola, the landscapes become increasingly alpine, and you’ll spend the night in this remote location.

Day 9 : Trek to the Italian Base Camp

Your journey leads to the Italian Base Camp, a higher-altitude camp nestled amid the pristine surroundings. As you ascend, the views of Dhaulagiri and the surrounding peaks become more breathtaking. The Italian Base Camp offers a unique perspective of the massive Dhaulagiri massif.

Day 10 : Acclimatization Day at Italian Base Camp

Take a well-deserved rest day to acclimatize to the higher altitude. You can explore the vicinity or simply relax and soak in the majestic mountain views.

Day 11 : Trek to Glacier Camp

Continue your ascent as you trek to Glacier Camp. The trail becomes steeper, and you’ll navigate moraines and rocky terrain. Glacier Camp offers a glimpse of the glacial landscapes of the Dhaulagiri region.

Day 12 : Cross French Pass and Trek to Hidden Valley

Today is a challenging day as you cross the formidable French Pass (5,360 meters), which rewards you with panoramic views of the Dhaulagiri range and surrounding peaks. The descent takes you to the Hidden Valley, a surreal and remote location that feels like a hidden gem in the Himalayas.

Day 13 : Trek to Yak Kharka

Leaving the Hidden Valley, you’ll trek to Yak Kharka, where you’ll find grazing yaks against the backdrop of towering peaks. The trail offers glimpses of the Annapurna and Nilgiri ranges.

Day 14 : Trek to Jomsom via Dhampus Pass

Your journey takes you over the Dhampus Pass (5,200 meters), another high pass on the trek. The descent leads to the charming town of Jomsom, a gateway to the Annapurna region, where you’ll celebrate the successful completion of your Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek.

Day 15 : Fly to Pokhara

Take a scenic morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, where you’ll have the rest of the day to explore this beautiful lakeside city. Relax by the serene Phewa Lake or explore the vibrant streets of Pokhara.

Day 16 : Drive or Fly to Kathmandu

You have the option to either drive or fly back to Kathmandu from Pokhara, depending on your preference. Upon returning to Kathmandu,

Day 17 : Departure to Homeland

If the above mentioned itinerary does not meet your requirements, please feel free to make your own, we are happy to create personalized travel plans tailored to your preferences and specifications.


What is the duration of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek typically takes around 17 to 21 days to complete, including both the trekking and acclimatization days.

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

The best time for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is during the pre-monsoon (spring) and post-monsoon (autumn) seasons, which are generally from March to May and September to November. These months offer stable weather and clear skies for optimal trekking conditions.

Is the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek challenging?

Yes, the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is considered a challenging trek. Trekkers should have prior trekking experience and be prepared for high-altitude trekking, rugged terrain, and long days of walking. Physical fitness and acclimatization are crucial for a successful journey.

Are teahouses and accommodations available along the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?

Yes, teahouses and basic accommodations are available along the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek route. However, the level of comfort and facilities may vary, and it’s essential to be prepared for simple lodging in remote areas.


What is the highest point of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, and how do trekkers acclimatize to high altitudes?

The highest point of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is the French Pass at approximately 5,360 meters. Acclimatization is crucial, and the trek is designed with acclimatization days to allow trekkers to adapt to higher altitudes gradually. Adequate rest, hydration, and awareness of altitude sickness symptoms are essential.

Can I hire a guide and porters for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?

Yes, it is highly recommended to hire an experienced guide and, if needed, porters for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Guides provide navigation, cultural insights, and assistance in emergencies, while porters can carry heavy loads, making the trek more comfortable.

Is it possible to customize the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek itinerary?

Yes, the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek itinerary can be customized to fit your preferences and needs. You can discuss itinerary modifications with your trekking agency or guide to make the journey more tailored to your interests and time constraints.

What should I pack for the trek?

Essential items include:

Warm clothing (layers, down jacket, thermal wear)
Good-quality trekking boots
Sleeping bag (suitable for -20°C)
Camping gear (tent, sleeping mat, stove)
Trekking poles
Basic first aid kit
Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses)
Water purification tablets or filter
Snacks and energy bars
Personal hygiene items

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    Cost Includes

    • Trekking Permits: The cost of necessary trekking permits, including the TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) card and the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP).

    • Professional Trekking Guide: You will typically have an experienced and knowledgeable trekking guide who will accompany you throughout the trek. The guide provides navigation, ensures safety, offers cultural insights, and helps with any emergencies.

    • Accommodations: Accommodations in teahouses or lodges along the trekking route are often included. These are basic but comfortable lodgings that provide meals as well.

    • Meals: The packages include full board, which covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the trek. Meals are typically provided at teahouses or lodges along the route.

    • Transportation: The package often includes transportation to and from the trekking starting and ending points. This may include a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara or other transportation options, depending on your itinerary.

    • First Aid Kit: A well-equipped first aid kit is generally provided by the trekking agency for any minor health issues that may arise during the trek.

    • Trekking Briefing: Before the trek begins, a comprehensive trekking briefing is typically conducted to provide information about the itinerary, safety precautions, and other essential details.

    Cost Excludes

    • International Flights: The cost of international flights to and from Nepal, as well as any associated expenses such as visa fees, is not included in the trekking package.

    • Personal Travel Insurance: Trekking agencies generally do not provide personal travel insurance, which covers aspects like trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and evacuation. It's essential to arrange your own travel insurance.

    • Personal Trekking Gear: You are responsible for your personal trekking gear, including appropriate clothing, trekking boots, backpacks, and other personal items. Some agencies may provide gear for rent, but this is usually an additional cost.

    • Beverages and Snacks: Expenses for items such as bottled water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and snacks are typically not included in the package and should be budgeted separately.

    • Tips and Gratuities: Tipping your trekking guide, porter, and lodge staff is a customary practice in Nepal. It's not included in the package, so you should budget for tips separately.

    • Emergency Evacuation Costs: In the event of a medical emergency that requires evacuation by helicopter or other means, the associated costs are not included in the package and should be covered by your travel insurance.

    • Personal Expenses: Any personal expenses, such as souvenirs, laundry, phone calls, and additional meals in Kathmandu or Pokhara, are not part of the package and should be budgeted separately.