Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Itinerary

  • Oct 22, 2019
  • Marvel Adventure
  • 86

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an adventure that takes you into remote corners of Far North Western Nepal within sheer wilderness of moraine, ice and glaciers at Dhaulagiri base camp and crossing over high French with Thapa / Dhampus passes.

Mt. Dhaulagiri ranked as world’s seventh highest peak towers at the height of 8,167 m and 26,795 ft. high. It’s first ascent was made by Swiss Expeditions with support of Nepalese Sherpa climbers in May 13th 1960, probably the last 8,000 m peaks to be climbed in the history of Nepal Himalaya mountaineering.

An exclusive adventure where you will be away from main trekking trails and far off from human settlement and villages heading into sheer wilderness of remorseless fields of ice, moraine and glaciers to reach at Dhaulagiri base camp and beyond to scenic Hidden Valley.

Table of Contents

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Overview

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an exciting and enjoyable walks although tough region to choose, perfect adventure for interested trekkers who enjoys complete tranquil surrounding and wilderness as this journey takes you right between massive peaks of Dhaulagiri range.

Few groups of trekkers and adventurer seldom visits to explore around Dhaulagiri due to its remoteness where villages and lodges are almost nil for a week.

Trip begins with a drive or flight to scenic and beautiful Pokhara city. Then head beyond towards further west to begin the walk following raging Mygdi River right up to its glacial source at Dhaulagiri base camp.

Route follows upstream and through rural scattered smaller farm villages to reach the last human settlement and farm at Bagar, walking for days around low warm country then heading for a climb to reach cooler alpine hills.

Leaving the last Bagar village as walk leads into higher isolated areas within alpine dense forest of rhododendron, oaks, pines and fir tree lines then reaching within glacial valley of Dhaulagiri Southern Flanks.

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The area also called Italian Camp, where first Italian expeditions established their camps and then walk leads higher up into ablation of ice and moraine of Dhaulagiri glaciers to reach at its base camp at 4,765 m high beneath towering North West Face of Mt. Dhaulagiri and its tumbling Ice-Falls.

Spending exciting time at base camp walk leads to climb the highest pass of the adventure to reach a wide scenic Hidden Valley after crossing French pass at above 5,360 m high facing super vista of Dhaulagiri range that includes Dhaulagiri-I, II, III and IV with Mukut, Mana Pathi Himal and Tukuche peak.

Enjoying marvelous scenery and stop at Hidden valley, slowly walks leads to cross another pass called Thapa or Dhampus at 5,245 m high. It offers grand vista of Dhampus peak with main Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peak includes views of Annapurna range of mountains.

After spending glorious moments with great scenery, descend heading back into tree lines and then reaching at first village in Marpha after being away from human settlement for a week. Marpha is one of the most charming villages located within Kaligandaki River valley of Lower Mustang district.

At Marpha, enjoy last overnight stop celebrating with local products as the area is famous for delicious apples and makes local brew like cider, brandy and so on, a great place to end the adventure.

Next early morning drive to Jomsom, a large town and headquarter of Mustang district. A short scenic flight from Jomsom brings you back Pokhara to complete Mt. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek of great adventure and experience. 

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Adventure to the foot of world seventh high Mt. Dhaulagiri and its massive range of peaks 
  • Walk from low warm sub-tropical farm areas to cooler hills unto arctic zone of ice and glaciers
  • Fascinating views throughout the trek enclosed within high Dhaulagiri mountain range
  • Far and away from main flow of trekkers trails into remote corners beyond farm villages 
  • Traverse from Mygdi district to reach scenic Lower Mustang at Kaligandaki River valley
  • Explore scenic hidden valley and at Dhaulagiri base camp and crossing high French-Pass

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Drive or fly to Pokhara - 6 hrs (30 mins flight) 

Day 02: Drive to Darbang (1,140 m) via Beni (900 m) - 06 hrs. 

Day 03: Trek to Riverside (1,530 m) - 04 hrs. 

Day 04: Trek to Bagar (2,365 m) - 05 hrs. 

Day 05: Trek to Dovan (2,740 m) - 06 hrs. 

Day 06: Trek to Chartare / Bhainsi Kharka (3,120 m) - 05 hrs.

Day 07: Trek to Pakhaban / Japanese Camp (3,745 m) - 05 hrs. 

Day 08: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,765 m) - 06 hrs. 

Day 09: Trek to Hidden Valley (4,900 m) via French Pass (5,360 m) 

Day 10: At Hidden Valley (contingency or spare day)

Day 11: Trek to Yak Kharka (4,915 m) crossing Dhampus / Thapa pass - 05 hrs. 

Day 12: Trek to Marpha (2, 670 m) - 04 hrs.

Day 13: Morning short drive to Jomsom (2,715 m) and fly to Pokhara (860 )

Day 14: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu 

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Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Drive or Fly to Pokhara - 06 hrs via overland and 30 mins. by air

Early morning drive of 6 hours to reach at scenic Pokhara city, located on the laps of high Annapurna Himalaya that reflects on its pristine Phewa lakes with time in the afternoon for short walks around lake side. 

Day 02: Drive to Darbang (1,140 m) via Beni (900 m) - 06 hrs. 

From Pokhara, drive to Beni - a large town headquarters of Mygdi District of Dhaulagiri zone. The drive takes you beyond to reach at small farm town in Darbang where our trek begins. Overnight stay at Darbang.

Day 03: Trek to Riverside (1,530 m) - 04 hrs. 

First day walk starts past farm villages on pleasant trail following Myagdi River. After a good walk reaching first overnight camp by the river bank, free time at afternoon to enjoy cool splash in the cool river. 

Day 04: Trek to Bagar (2,365 m) - 05 hrs. 

Morning walk follows river upstream to reach a small farm village at Jugepani for lunch stop. Then afternoon climb to a ridge top and then down into forest to reach Bagar, a farm village and the last human settlement till walk takes you to Marpha village. 

Day 05: Trek to Dovan (2,740 m) - 06 hrs. 

Leaving last village of Bagar, walk leads to forested area for an hour and then climbs within forested area of bamboo, oaks and rhododendron trees.

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

Day 06: Trek to Chartare / Bhainsi Kharka (3,120 m) -05 hrs.

From Dovan, morning leads to an unstable small bridge over a stream of Mygdi River. After crossing walk into forest, trek all the way to overnight stop at Chartare also called as Bhainse Kharka.

Day 07: Trek to Pakhaban / Japanese Camp (3,745 m) -05 hrs. 

After overnight in midst of forest, walk today lead into complete wilderness on leaving behind vegetation and tree lines for some days.

Morning walk heads closer to Mt. Dhaulagiri South West Flank with glorious views of Putha Huinchuli, Manapathi and Dhaulagiri South Ridge. After good hour of walk, reach a glaciated area on a clearing called Italian camp.

From here adventure continues walking on glacier, moraine with climb over rocky ridge to reach at Pakhaban also named as Japanese camp.

This camp offer views of Dhaulagiri South West Face with Manapathi, Puttha Hiunchuli  which includes huge ice wall of Tsaurabong Peak. 

Day 08: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,765 m) - 06 hrs. 

Morning walk follows over moraine within glaciated iceberg in some section of the route. The climb needs a good team work following guide, porters and fellow members on safe side trail over the glacier area. After a tough walk, reach a rocky open at Dhaulagiri base camp for overnight stay.

It is one of the major highlight of the adventure with close view of world's 7th highest Mt. Dhaulagiri - I (8,167 m), icefalls, glacier with Tukuche peak and West peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751 m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715 m) including Dhaulagiri IV  (7,618 m).

Day 09: Trek to Hidden Valley (4,900 m) via French Pass (5,360 m)

From base camp, walk leads to reach on the highest point of the adventure to cross over French pass at 5,360 meters.

After the high pass, a short descend to reach a wide grassy meadow at hidden valley for overnight camp. 

Offering views of Sita Chuchura, Mukut Himal, and Tashi Kang (5,386 m), Tukche Peak with Dhaulagiri - I. 

Day 10: At Hidden Valley (contingency or spare day)

At Hidden Valley, a rest and contingency day after some tough walks. On this day, just relax and enjoy views and explore around least trekked areas of Hidden valley. 

Day 11: Trek to Yak Kharka (4,915m) crossing Dhampus / Thapa pass (5,245 m) - 05 hrs. 

After rest at Hidden Valley, morning starts on gradual path for few hours to reach and cross the last pass of the adventure called Thapa or Dhampus pass at 5,245 meters high.

On reaching the top of a pass, face rare views of Annapurna Himal and Nilgiri peaks. Then descend to Yak Kharka for overnight camp and back into green vegetation of Juniper, Burberry and rhododendron bushes.

Day 12: Trek to Marpha (2, 670) - 04 hrs.

Morning long downhill walk to reach back into village, after being in complete wilderness for a week, downhill into cool shade of forest lined with firs, pines and rhododendron trees.

After few hours of descend reach Marpha, one of the most charming village where all houses are painted white. Marpha actually is a gem of a village with an interesting monastery.

Marpha located around Kaligandaki river valley with Mustang district, is famous for delicious apples and product like cider, brandy local brew, juices, dry apples and apricot fruits where you can enjoy in the comfort of nice lodges and explore around Marpha a beautiful village.

Day 13: Drive to Jomsom (2,715 m) and fly to Pokhara (860 m)

Early morning short drive of 30 minutes takes you to Jomsom, a place with an airstrip on the shelf of Kaligandaki River, Jomsom hub of Thakali people interwoven with Tibetan Buddhism. 

On reaching Jomsom airport as per flight time to Pokhara, board in a small aircraft for super scenic flight of less than 30 minutes with amazing views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range.

Pokhara is a marvelous city blessed with natural beauty of mountains and lakes. Free time in the afternoon to explore around Pokhara and Phewa Lake with sublime views of Annapurna and Machhapuchare Himal.

Day 14: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu 

After a memorable and great adventure on Mt. Dhaulagiri Circuit, drive or fly back to Kathmandu with some glorious moments. Free time in the afternnoon to explore around Kathmandu and buy souvenirs to take back home.

 

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Difficulty

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek compared to other popular and main adventure around Nepal Himalaya leads to quite tough walks where you will be within high mountains away from villages and far off main trails.

Trekking Grade can be from Adventurous to Challenging and demanding can be tough and arduous job to find right path in heavy snow condition.

Best time for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Due to the nature of the trek into harsh wilderness, choosing the right months of the year is very important. The best time for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is from April and May when days are much longer with enough sunlight. It can be cold around higher areas above 3,000 m high.

When wild flowers are in season, it makes the walk more interesting and wonderful walking within flowering trees on high green hills.

Other next best time is from September to November months where there will be clear fine days. However, it can snow sometimes during the walk above 2,800 m high.

Conclusion

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of the massive bulk mountain range that can be viewed from Pokhara as well from Beni town onwards, best views from popular trekking area of Ghorepani and Poon Hill.

To join in Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking, one should be physically fit and in sound health and should cope with long hours of walks including freezing cold that can happen sometimes.

Marvel Adventure organises Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek with a very well-designed itinerary, professional trekking guides and all the necessary arrangements. We can also customize the itinerary to accomodate your special requirements. Feel free to contact us for any query regarding the trek.

 

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