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Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

an adventurous trek from beautiful alpine forest to remorseless ice-fields

Trip Summary

Trip Mode
Hotels / Lodge and camping.
Trip Grade
Moderate-adventurous to challenging (in snow condition).
Highest elevation
At French pass 5,360m & Dhaulagiri BC 4,750m Thapa / Dhampus pass 5,250 m.
Trek duration
15 nights & 16 days (Darbang to Pokhara)
Total trip
20 nights & 21 days (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)
April to June & September to November.

Trip Highlights

  • From sub-tropic to alpine and around arctic climatic zone,
  • Dramatic changes of landscapes and vegetation to moraine and ices.
  • Remote and isolated area to Dhaulagiri base camp and hidden valley,
  • Fascinating walk on off beaten track ending at popular Annapurna circuit trail.

Trip Overview

View Nepal Treks presents an exotic adventurous Dhaulagiri circuit trek where you will be completely engrossed with incredible views of mountains and landscapes sceneries.

Dhaulagiri  circuit trek starts from low warm areas of paddy fields heading towards beautiful and enchanting rhododendron-magnolia-pine and fir trees to remorseless ice-fields and moraines in the laps of world 7th highest Mt. Dhaulagiri at base camp, one of the few treks that lead you with overnight stops on world highest peak base camp.

Walk leads over high French pass to Hidden valley in the complete wilderness then concluding this adventure over Thapa pass to reach charming villages of Marpha and Tukche located at popular and scenic Annapurna Circuit trail.

This overwhelming journey leads past Tatopani (hot spring), Ghorepani and Pun Hill for stunning sunrise and mountain panorama and back to picturesque Pokhara to conclude this fascinating and dramatic adventure Around Dhaulagiri  circuit trek and Hidden Valley Trekking.

Dhaulagiri  Circuit Trek outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Drive / Fly to Pokhara – 06 hrs via overland and 30 mins by air.
Day 03: Drive to Darbang via Beni 900 m – 04 hrs.
Day 04: Trek to Riverside 1,560 m – 05 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Bagar 2,375m – 06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Dovan 2,600m – 06 hours.
Day 07: Trek to Chartare / Bhainsi Kharka 3,000m -05 hrs.
Day 08: Trek to Pakhaban (Japanese Camp) 3,750 m – 05 hrs.
Day 09: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4,750m – 06 hrs.
Day 10: Trek to Hidden Valley 4,900m via French Pass 5,360m.
Day 11: At Hidden Valley (Contingency or spare days).
Day 12: Trek to Yak Kharka 4,915m via Thapa pass 5,250 m – 05 hrs.
Day 13: Trek to Marpha 2,630 m – 04 hrs.
Day 14: Trek to Lete 2,480m – 06 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Tatopani 1,190m – 06 hrs.
Day 16: Trek to Ghorepani 2,750 m – 06 hrs.
Day 17: Trek to Tirkhedhunga 1,500m – 05 hours walk.
Day 18: Trek to Nayapul and drive to Pokhara- 04 hrs walk / 2 hrs drive.
Day 19: Drive of fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 20: In Kathmandu free day.
Day 21: International departure homeward bound.

Cost Includes / Excludes

Cost Includes

  1. All arrival and departure transportation airport / hotel / airport.
  2. All arrival and departure transportation airport / hotel / airport.
  3. Accommodation in Kathmandu at tourist standard hotel on bed / breakfast basis
  4. Accommodation in Pokhara at tourist standard hotels on bed / breakfast basis.
  5. A professional English speaking government licensed guide
  6. Porters (every 2 clients : 1 porter)
  7. Food in Trekking (B-L-D)
  8. Accommodation in tea house/lodge
  9. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area project) permit.
  10. TIMS (Trekking Information Management Systems).
  11. Service of trekking guides his equipment, daily wages-medical insurance, meals and transportation allowance.
  12. Service of trekking staff -porters their daily wages-medical insurance, meals and transportation allowance.
  13. Welcome or farewell dinner in Kathmandu at authentic Nepalese restaurant with cultural programs.
  14. Down jackets-sleeping bags (with inner linear) and comprehensive medical kits.
  15. Transportation to Pokhara and Darbang/Beni and back to Kathmandu with deluxe tourist
  16. Trips briefing with full information and reconfirmation of international air tickets

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal Visa-International airfare-personal travel / medical insurance.
  • Expenses of personal nature and meals in Kathmandu, gratitude (tips) hard/soft drinks throughout the trip.
  • Personal trekking gear and personal medical kit.
  • Emergency evacuation by any means of transportation including Heli services and personal medical kit.
  • Early return from the trip due to personal / medical problem in this case clients should bear his / her own expenses on return from trek and in Kathmandu including expenses of accompanying guide / porters.

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Detail Itinerary

At Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, received by View Nepal staff with transfer to respective hotels in the hub of Kathmandu city, after a rest and getting refreshed from jet lag.

View Nepal guide / leader will brief on Around Dhaulagiri & Hidden Valley Trek including information on hotels, lodges on treks includes welcome dinner in a nice Nepalese restaurant with cultural environment.

Morning, we start this wonderful adventure to Around Dhaulagiri & Hidden Valley taking a scenic overland drive of near 6 hours to beautiful Pokhara city with its serene Phewa and Begnas Lakes where the high Annapurna Himalaya reflects on its pristine lakes.
(Flying options of 30 mins panoramic flight to Pokhara)

From Pokhara, our journey continues on drive to Beni town and beyond to a farming town at Darbang, the starting point of Dhaualgiri-Dhorpatan and Dolpo trekking. At Darbang time permitting we might walk for few hours to another overnight stop by the river to make the next day walk more easy, or just stay at Darbang in a local lodge.

First day walk of this adventure starts with a climb over a steep ridge, walking past farm villages and then on pleasant trail along Myagdi River, we follow the river right to its glacier source at Dhaulagiri base camp.

After a good walk reaching our first overnight camp by the river, after noon at leisure with rest or get cooled in the river.

Morning walk follows the river for short while reaching a farm village at Jugepani for possible lunch stop, after a rest then leading to a steep climb above a ridge and then downhill through forest to camp at Bagar, a farm village.

Bagar will be last village till walk joins at popular Kaligandaki route at Marpha.

On leaving the last of farm fields at Bagar village walk into forest for an hour and then a climb into forested area of bamboo, oaks and rhododendron trees.

After climb then descend to reach at Dovan for overnight camp, Dovan a small temporary settlement with small teahouse and shops.

From Dovan morning walk leads to an unstable wooden bridge over a stream at a confluence of Mygdi river, after crossing walking into forest all the way to overnight stop at Chartare also called Bhainse Kharka.

After overnight in the middle of dense forest, today walk leads to complete wilderness on leaving the vegetation and tree lines for few days.

Morning walk leads closer to Mt. Dhaulagiri South Face flank, with views of Putha Huinchuli, Manapathi and Dhaulagiri south flank, after good hours of walk reaching a glaciated area on a clearing named as Italian camp.

From here adventure begins as the walk leads on glacier, moraine with climb over rocky ridge to reach Pakhaban also called Japanese camp.
This camp offers super views of South West Face of Dhaulagiri and Manapathi, Puttha Hiunchuli with huge ice wall of Tsaurabong Peak.

Morning walk follows moraine and iceberg in some section, this morning climb needs a good team work with guides, porters and fellow members to be on right side of the trail over glaciated sections.
After a tough walk over glacial section reaching a rocky open area around Dhaulagiri where base camp is located.

Overnight camp at base camp the highlight of this adventure with closest view of world 7th highest Mt. Dhaulagiri I at 8,167 m, includes view of tumbling icefalls, glacier and Tukuche peak with West peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751 m.), Dhaulagiri III (7,715 m.) and Dhaulagiri IV (7,618 m.).

From this unique and wonderful campsite morning walk leads to the highest point of the adventure over French pass at 5,360 meters.
After the high pass a short descend to reach a wide grassy meadow a huge field at hidden valley for overnight camp.

Offering views of Sita Chuchura, Mukut Himal, and Tashi Kang 5,386 meters, Tukche Peak and Dhaulagiri I.

Today a rest and spare or contingency day in case of bad weather condition including physical conditions of members, staff and porters.
If all goes well we can carry on to next camp to more safe and nice area to make the next day shorter towards Pokhara.

On this day if are not moving just relax and enjoy the views and explore on this least trekked area around Hidden valley.

After a pleasant rest, morning starts on a gentle path for few hours to reach last pass of this adventure at Thapa also called Dhampus pass with 5,250 meters high.

On reaching the pass with grand rare views of Annapurna Himal, Nilgiris peaks, and then our walk descend to Yak Kharka for overnight camp and back into green vegetation of Juniper, Burberry and rhododendron bushes.

Morning walk with long descend back into villages, after being in complete wilderness for past few days.

Downhill walk into forest of firs, pines and rhododendron trees, after few hours of easy descend reaching at one of the charming village at Marpha where all houses are painted white, this gem of a village with an interesting monastery.

Marpha located in lower Mustang district around Kaligandaki river valley, this area famous for delicious apples and product like cider, brandy local brew, juices, dry apples and apricot fruits. Enjoy the afternoon in the comfort of nice lodges and explore this beautiful village.

From Marpha an enjoyable walk following Kaligandaki river downstream, reaching Tukuche village, beneath Tukuche peak and Dhaulagiri with Mt. Nilgiris, from here back into tree line of pines, oaks and rhododendron, and then to a nice Kalapani village, after a short stop walk to another lovely village with grand views of Mt. Annapurna I, Nilgiris and Dhaulagiri, a short downhill brings at Lete village for overnight stop.

From Lete onwards leads to dramatic change in landscapes, walking between two high peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna forming world deepest gorge.

From Ghasa village a southern end of Mustang area, dominated by Thakali people and then heading at Tatopani (Hot Spring) village with sub-tropic climate.

Tatopani another nice village with large hot spring pools just by the bank of the River Kaligandaki.

Morning walk leads across a bridge over Kaligandaki River and then our route diverts heading uphill on terraced hillside, dotted with farms and villages, after a steep section through dense alpine forest reaching at Chitre and to Ghorepani- village with super views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South and Vara-Shikar also known Annapurna Fang.

Morning an hour hike to Poon Hill at 3,210m, offering stunning sunrise over chain of mountains, including views of Mt. Machhapuchare “The Fish Tail”, after a wonderful time at Poon Hill, walk into rhododendron forest on gradual trail with long descend from Ulleri village to Tirkhedhunga for last overnight stop in the high hills of Himalaya.

From here, ending the last walk of the adventure trekking through farm villages and terraces and into warmer area, walk stops at Nayapul and then few hours’ drives to popular touristic spot of Nepal at Pokhara.

Morning a scenic drive to Kathmandu, after a wonderful memorable trip in the high mountains around Dhaulagiri & Hidden Valley, on reaching Kathmandu transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure.

(option by air 30 minutes scenic flight to Kathmandu)

A free and leisure day in Kathmandu after an adventurous journey and tough trekking, on this day if interested book for sightseeing tour around places of interest in Kathmandu-Bhaktapur or Patan with rest of the day free for individual activities and shopping souvenirs.

Today, last day in Nepal with great experience and fond memories of Around Dhaulagiri & Hidden Valley Trekking, as per your time for international flight, View Nepal staff transfer you to airport for your final departure homeward bound or to your next destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Starting with moderate walks with up hills and short breaks, trek is pleasant but quite tough as it involves walking on glacier, moraine and rocky trails with much uphill and down hills involves high altitude on reaching Dhaualgiri base camp and French pass above 4,500 to 5,000 meters high where you might feel short of breathe, as the trek continues one will be acclimatized on daily walk. With rest day for acclimatization and the daily walk helps acclimatizing on this trek with slow rise in elevation, the only tough days are climb up to some passes, but taking slow walk everyone can enjoy this wonderful trek Around Dhaulagiri & Hidden Valley.
Morning and night time are always cold above 2,000 meters with day time are sunny most of the season, spring and summer above 2,500 m 15°-18° C average and minimum of 0° to 5° C, autumn / winter day time 15°-16° C and can get below -5° C during morn / night time. We do not run this trek from mid November to March due to high chances of snow on the pass and most of the lodges and guesthouses will be closed for winter vacation where local migrates to lower area of Nepal or to India also.
As this is a moderate with adventurous and as well challenging trek sometimes, one needs to be physical fit with sound health, however after booking this trip one can do short exercise jogging and climbing up and down the steps, aerobic or Jumba exercise will be great exercise preparation for this trek. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna area of Tibetan Buddhist and some Hindu religion and culture, visit monasteries where our guide will inform of the rules while entering holy sites with dress conducts.
As this trek starts with moderate grade of walking as altitude wise as the trek progress leading higher elevation of above 3,000 meters will be adventurous overcoming high altitude and thin air, if the trails are covered in deep snow including the pass we use the word grade as challenging which is an arduous job to find the safe path to respective destinations. If the pass is completely covered in deep snow we will consider and might re-route the trek to safe area for the welfare, safety of clients including staff and porters.

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