Dhaulagiri Round Trek – 22 Days

12
Sep

Mount Dhaulagiri (8137m), the seventh highest peak in the world rises above the Kali Gandaki River, which flows between the Annapurna Massif and this awesome peak. Dhaulagiri circuit trek is a strenuous trek which takes you through the high alpine pastures. Though it falls on the same region of Annapurna, one should not mistake to think this trekking trail as easy as other trekking trails of Annapurna. It is definitely not a standard trek, being tough and demanding and has shocked many trekkers who expected something similar to the Annapurna Circuit or the Everest trek. The trail extends through one of Nepal’s wildest and most remote areas where the mountain scenery is simply breathtaking. If you are looking for an adventurous trek then this trek is definitely an ideal trek for you.

Dhaulagiri circuit lies on the western part of Nepal. Trekking in Dhaulagiri provides massive mountains range of Dhaulagiri which presents several 7000m peaks which looks magnificent and eye-catching. Trekking of the main paths is not only promising, but can be enormously worthwhile, where you feel sense of adventure and an increased ability to deal with surprising Geography since it is a land of dramatic contrast. Trekking around the giant Himalayan Peak Dhaulagiri 8th highest Peaks of the world, this is one of the most challenging treks. The trek goes through big challenging mountain passes, crossing over French pass 5360 meter and Thapa Peak 5200 meter. You can have experience of challenging walk on an icy track and explore the wild.

Dhaulagiri trekking routes start after an 8-hour scenic drive from Kathmandu to Beni, from Beni you head in a north-westerly direction through the villages of Babiachor, Dharapani and Muri, from where you head north still keeping to the banks of the Myagdi Khola. Muri is the last major settlement along this trail and is inhabited by people of the Magar tribe, of Mongoloid stock and descended from the early settlers of the Nepalese middle hills. From Muri, you head north along the Myagdi Khola through the villages of Boghara, Doban and Italian Base Camp. Rest day at Italian Base Camp, you can have the views of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), Dhaulagiri III (7715 m) and Dhaulagiri V (7618 m) to the west. Then we head towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp via Glacier Camp. Continuing our walk we cross French pass and then descend downwards to Hidden Valley. We then cross Dhampus and trek to Yak Kharka from where we descend down the hill to the village of Marpha which is located on the west bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Marpha is home to many apple orchards as well as all various food products made from the fruit. Then we walk through Kalopani, Tatopani, Shikha, Ghandruk, Pothana, Phedi and finally to Pokhara where we will stay one overnight and the day after we drive towards Kathmandu.

This itinerary is especially designed by Nature Trail Travels & Tours for those trekkers who love to do adventurous trek and have at least 3 weeks in order to complete this trek. Upon your request, we can modify the itinerary for your assistance.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Drive Kathmandu to Beni (850m) – 8/9 hrs drive.

Day 02: Trek to Babiachor (950m) – approx 5 hrs walk.

Day 03: Trek to Dharapani (1,400m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 04: Trek to Muri (1,850m) – approx 5 hrs walk.

Day 05: Trek to Boghara (2,080m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 06: Trek to Doban (2,520m) – approx 5 hrs walk.

Day 07: Trek to ChoribanKhola (3,110m) – approx 5 hrs walk.

Day 08: Trek to the Italian Base Camp (3,660m) – approx 7 hrs walk.

Day 09: Acclimatization and rest day.

Day 10: Trek to the Glacier Camp (4,210m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 11: Trek to the Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m) – approx 7 hrs walk.

Day 12: Another acclimatization and rest day.

Day 13: Cross the French Pass (5,360m), then trek to the Hidden Valley (5,200m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 14: Cross Dhampus Pass (5,200m), and trek to Yak Kharka (3,680m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 15: Yak Kharka / Marpha (2,667m).

Day 16: Marpha / Kalopani (2530 m.) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 17: Kalopani / Tatopani (1190 m.) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 18: Tatopani / Shikha (1935 m) / Ghorepani (2750 m) – approx 8 hrs walk.

Day 19: Ghorepani / Ghandruk (1940 m.) – approx 7 hrs walk.

Day 20: Ghandruk / Pothana (1900 m) – approx 6 hrs walk.

Day 21: End trek at Phedi (approx. 3 hrs walk) and drive to Pokhara (approx. 30 min drive). Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 22: Drive back to Kathmandu – 8 hrs drive.

Day 01: Drive Kathmandu to Beni (850m) – 8/9 hrs drive
Starting our journey from Kathmandu, we drive towards Beni for about 8 to 9 hours. Throughout your drive, you will enjoy the beautiful scenario of mountains, forest and country side. Beni is a small town located at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki River and Myagdi River at an altitude of 899 meters. Two rivers meet at the junction so it is named as Beni. It is the district headquarters and has a police check post where your trekking permits will be examined. It is a bustling town lined with stores, restaurants, hotels and various government offices. Anyone can watch panoramic scene of Himalaya and landscape, can observe flora, fauna, and village life style also. Different kinds of tourism activities could occur in a place in a visit like recreational tourism, Eco-tourism, Village Tourism and Cultural Tourism etc. It is a significant pilgrimage itself along with several temples and monuments. It is the head quarter of Myagdi District. It is the main gateway to reach Mustang and Tibet. We stay overnight at this beautiful town.

Day 02:  Trek to Babiachor (950m) – approx 5 hrs walk
Commencing trek from Beni, we walk west along the north bank of the Myagdi Khola through the village of BeniMangalghat to Singa and Tatopani. Today we’ll be trekking alongside the Kali Gandaki River before entering to the Myagdi Khola valley. After crossing the bridge beyond the village to the south bank of the river, the trail makes a little half loop before crossing another bridge near the village of Simalchour. After about 5 hours walk from Beni Bazaar, we reach to Babiachor where we will be spending our overnight.

Day 03: Trek to Dharapani (1,400m) – approx 6 hrs walk
Leaving Babiachor, we ascend uphill today passing through the terraced hills and village of Shahashradhaara. We then cross the Dudh Khola and walk through fields arriving at Ratorunga. From here the widened valley begins to narrow and terraces disappear on either side of the river. The trail is fairly moderate and winding path. We continue our walk up to the village of Dharapani for our overnight stay.

Day 04: Trek to Muri (1,850m) – approx 5 hrs walk
On the following day, we have a steep ascend up to Muri crossing the river and heading towards north of Phedi. Today’s trek will provide you the opportunity to have a clear magnificent view of Dhaulagiri along with other Mountains. In order to reach the west bank of Myagdi Khola, we have to cross the DharaKhola at first and there will be many switch-backs until you arrive at the ridge and the angle of ascent eases. Continuing our trek, we pass through Sibang and Mattim from where we incline up to the snout of the ridge and then descend to GattiKhola and reach PhalaiGaon (1810 m).  Then climb a ridge to the large Magar village of Muri. You may have reached human habitation but the trail is still grotesque. It continues ascending and descending and crossing steep faces with gay abandon to the hamlet of Naura, half a day down. Slightly beyond is a choice between taking the shortcut across the MyagdiKhola to Malimpaa or Khibang or staying on the west bank for the longer but more scenic route via Muri and the delightfully situated village of Takum. Along this stretch are some shops and simple lodges.

Day 05: Trek to Boghara (2,080m) – approx 6 hrs walk
Leaving behind Muri, we continue our trek to Boghara through Myagdi River via Naura Village. Today for few hours we’ll have an easy trek before making a steep climb to Boghara. We cross a stream and continue through terraced fields before climbing a ridge to reach the pass from where you can see Mt. Ghustung South (6465 m). Descend to the Myagdi Khola and trek along its West Bank to the village of Naura from where you will climb a little before traversing a grassy hill and climb a steep slope with switch-backs and then descend through a forest and terraced fields to Boghara. Although several grazing areas are named on maps the first village is Jeldung, 20 mins above Boghara (which is occasionally called ‘bugger-this!’). Overnight at Boghara.

Day 06: Trek to Doban (2,520m) – approx 5 hrs walk
Today the trail might be a bit tricky and might even require rope assistance on the way. Here we need to be careful and watch our steps. The trail continues through a forest to LapcheKharka via Jyardan which is the most remote permanent settlement in this part. Pick up the delightfully small trail that wind through pleasant forest. After the settlement a high winding path crosses a rocky area and then descends before climbing again to Lipshe where there is a single hut. After crossing several streams there is a particularly beautiful forest camp among huge cedar trees. Further down are several bridges to the west bank, one of which you should cross. The roller-coaster trail stays on the west side and crosses several streams on flimsy bridges. The trail continues through a forest to LapcheKharka and then climbs to the level area at Doban. Doban is a small clearing amid the forest, and has two simple teahouses that are often open during the trekking seasons.

Day 07: Trek to ChoribanKhola (3,110m) – approx 5 hrs walk
After breakfast, we commence our trek by crossing a wooden bridge out of Doban. The trail ascends through a forested area and from the breaks of trees; you will get the opportunity to face west part of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m). After a short descend to the Myagdi Khola crossing via wooden bridge to the east bank, you will reach to Chartare. Then you cross the rocky area and a stream via forested trail you reach to ChoribanKhola. You will spend overnight in ChoribanKhola.

Day 08: Trek to the Italian Base Camp (3,660m) – approx 7 hrs walk
Today we’ll walk across some beautiful forests and alongside the spectacular mountain views before reaching to Italian base camp. Passing through beautiful forest we rapidly gain altitude and mountains burst out all around. After a steep descent the trail abruptly falls down dangerous moraine to cross the incoming glacier. Groups have often had to make their own trail down using shovels and setting up a hand line. The trail leads to Chhonbarban Glacier and from the right side of the glacier we will be able to see the view of Dhaulagiri. Tukuche Peak (6837 m) becomes visible straight on; at the far end while the impressive north flank of Dhaulagiri I (8167 m) dominates the skyline to your right. Ascending the moraine on the other side is steep and definitely requires a rope and somebody game enough to climb it first without a rope. The grassy area is called Italy Base Camp. There are simple shelters here open during the season. Here we’ll set our camp just opposite the west wall of Dhaulagiri. To the west are the peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), Dhaulagiri III (7715 m) and Dhaulagiri V (7618 m).

Day 09: Acclimatization and rest day
Today will be the first day for acclimatization during the trek. It is recommended that your body acclimatizes to the high altitude and be adjusted for higher altitudes in the days to follow. Thus, we will spend a day acclimatizing to the thinning of the air. Taking rest in this day will also help you to prepare for the upcoming trails.

Day 10: Trek to the Glacier Camp (4,210m) – approx 6 hrs walk
As your trail passes through a narrow gorge, you likely have to experience a stone fall today so we recommend you to set up early in the morning when the weather is expected to be clear. After crossing the first glacier, probably using a rope in a couple of tricky spots, we climb onto the main glacier. The surroundings are spectacular, which makes up for the rough and dangerous trail. After an adventurous walk for about 6 hours, we reach to the main Glacier camp where we will tent for our overnight.

Day 11: Trek to the Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m) – approx 7 hrs walk
Today you will be reaching the main destination of the trek “Dhaulagiri Base Camp”. Today’s walk will be very exciting as well as very difficult for us. You will have an adventurous walk over the smooth white part of the glacier. Steady climb through the rough and chilling part will give you a spectacular view of Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Tukuche Peak (6837 m) becomes visible straight on at the far end while the impressive north flank of Dhaulagiri I (8167 m.) dominates the skyline to your right. To the west are peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m). In front of you is the impressive icefall that descends from the north-east col.

Day 12:  Another acclimatization and rest day
We will be spending our second rest day at the Dhaulagiri Base Camp. This day is kept leisure in order to acclimatize to the lower air pressure rather than taking a rest. You days will be spent in an instant as you can get an opportunity to have superb views of Tukuche Peak (6837 m), Dhaulagiri I (8167 m), Dhaulagiri II (7751 m), Dhaulagiri III (7715 m) and Dhaulagiri V (7618 m). Today’s acclimatization is a must in a sense that the day after will be a tough day since you have to walk on the altitude of 5000 to 6000 meters.

Day 13: Cross the French Pass (5,360m), then trek to the Hidden Valley (5,200m) – approx 6 hrs walk
Today also we’ll be requiring the rope assistance and after a few more ups and downs and getting over the steep moraine walls, we descent from the French pass to the safer and smooth part of the country after a breathless climb to the top of French pass. After the glacier you climb two terraced hills, the first of which runs along the glacier, then cuts across the mountain flank and the moraine you enter a gentle incline on the left from an ablation valley. Climb this gentle slope to the French Pass (5,360m). A great vista opens up from the French Pass and you will be able to see Mukut Himal (6,328m), Tashi Kang (6,386m) and SitaChuchura (6,611m), all of which surround the Hidden Valley. To the south is Tukuche Peak (6,920m) and beyond is the massive peak of Dhaulagiri I. From the French Pass you continue along the right edge of the Hidden valley losing a little altitude to the Thapa Pass (5,250m) between Tukuche Peak and Thapa Peak (6,012m). Descending from the Thapa Pass you will make it to the camp in Hidden valley at 5200 meters.

Day 14: Cross Dhampus Pass (5,200m), and trek to Yak Kharka (3,680m) – approx 6 hrs walk
Today, we descend from the hidden valley located at an altitude of 5200 meters to Dhampus and then to Yak Kharka. Admiring the surrounding peaks, we walk downwards the hill. We traverse avalanche prone slopes and then descend steeply to Yak Kharka. There is a perfect camp site to enjoy the surrounding and many roofless shelters, only a couple of which are near the small year-round water supply. These are several hours from the roofed summer houses, and roughly in the middle of the vast hillside.

Day 15: Yak Kharka / Marpha (2,667m)
After breakfast, we descend down the hill to the village of Marpha which is located on the west bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Marpha is home to many apple orchards as well as all various food products made from the fruit. Don’t forget to taste the local Apple Brandy a specialty from the region that you may be lucky enough to taste en route. Overnight stay in Marpha village.

Day 16: Marpha / Kalopani (2530 m.) – approx 6 hrs walk
We follow the path on the west side of the river then on the new road through beautiful Thakali Villages with decorated houses and wide paved streets. We cross the river for lunch in Koketanti, then back again to follow the stone path through pine woods and fields to Kalopani. Kalopani is a very smart town nestling below the Dhaulagiri Icefall.

Day 17: Kalopani / Tatopani (1190 m.) – approx 6 hrs walk
It is nearly all downhill today, mostly on paths through fields and orchards, but sometimes on the road being built by hand up to Muktinath. We stop for lunch at RukseChhahara, close to a huge waterfall. We continue on down into the deepest valley in the world to the town of Tatopani (hot water), where we can soak in the hot springs by the river before indulging in fish and chips in the town.

Day 18: Tatopani / Shikha (1935 m) / Ghorepani (2750 m) – approx 8 hrs walk
Again cross the long suspension bridge over the Kali Gandaki then again Do Khola (stream) the path goes rapidly up via Ghara and Shikha villages. You will gain about 1500m high today. The stunning view of Mt. Dhaulagiri is just in front of you.

Keep continue to uphill trek through thick, lush Rhododendron forest. In spring season, the place looks like a heaven, when the Rhododendron is in bloom. Ghorepani is one of the magnificent villages in the area. A good place to see owe inspiring view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massive.

Day 19: Ghorepani / Ghandruk (1940 m.) – approx 7 hrs walk
Early in the morning, we will climb for one hour to the top of Poon Hill. Poon Hill is one of the most popular vantage points of this trek; it is situated at an elevation of 3210m. From here we can see the tremendous views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna range. After enjoying the views for a while, we return to Ghorepani village and after breakfast start our trek to Ghandruk.

The trail climbs south on path through deep forests. It finally emerges on a grassy knoll which offers good mountain views, including a view of Machhapuchhre (not visible from Ghorepani) and a panorama all the way south to the plains of India. It is a similar view to that from Poon Hill. We climb along the ridge in pine and rhododendron forests to a crest at 3030m, and then descend to cross a second pass, at 2960m. The trail then descends steeply to a stream before the climbing again through the forest to Tadapani. The trail descends steeply from Tadapani through the forest to a clearing, a short steep descent among rocks leads to a stream crossing then we descend gently pass other streams and finally down towards Ghandruk.  The trail reaches the edge of Ghandruk near the tin roofed handicraft factory, and then descends on stone steps into the maze of the village itself.

Day 20: Ghandruk / Pothana (1900 m) – approx 6 hrs walk
The trek from Ghandruk to Landruk is the steepest part of the entire trek. The descent from Ghandruk to Kyumi at the bank of Modi Khola is almost 70 degrees vertical. Then have to climb up to Landruk which is almost equally steep but shorter though a straight line distance between the two villages would not be more than 500 meters. From Landruk the trek is pretty easy for the first hour, somewhat steep for the next two or three (till Deurali) and a gentle downhill to Pothana through the forests. Pothana is a small town with 10 or 12 lodges and offer the best-so-far view of the Machhapuchhre.

Day 21: End trek at Phedi (approx. 3 hrs walk) and drive to Pokhara (approx. 30 min drive). Overnight stay at hotel
The remainder of the trek is gradual downhill through the village of Dhampus to Phedi. It takes about two hours to reach Phedi. Dhampus is the exit point of the ACAP region and foreigners need to check out here. Phedi is connected to the highway by a graveled road with some jeeps offering a ride to Pokhara and it is in the BhupiSherchan Highway (Pokhara to Bag lung). From here we take our taxi and drive back to Pokhara

Day 22: Drive back to Kathmandu – 8 hrs drive  
After such a wonderful trip, we drive back to the place from where your journey started. You will take beautiful memories from this trek back to your home. It is beautiful driving along the Prithivi highway which has beautiful scenery. After reaching Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your respective hotels where you will have some rest or explore the area around.

Jungle safari. (3 Days/2 Nights)
Birthplace of Buddha (3 Days/2 Nights)
Trishuli River: 2 days
Seti River: 2 days

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Dhaulagiri is derived from Sanskrit word “Dhawala” which means “Dazzlingwhite beautiful” and “Giri” means Mountain. Thus giving its name a meaning Dhaulagiri provides you with its abundance beauty. This is without doubt the most astonishing one. Being the 7th Highest Mountain in the world, it lies 8167meter above the sea level. It is located in the western part of Nepal and is probably the best spot for remote and adventurous trekking in Nepal. It consists of many peaks more than 7,000m magnificent peaks with land of dramatic contrast.Dhaulagiri was first discovered in 1808, and it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world for westerners. It was assumed the highest peak for 30 years before its place was taken by Kanchenjunga. Today, it is popular among the adventure seekers and mountaineers.

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is arduous trek, through high alpine pastures, higher passes and serene and uninhabited valleys. Recently reopened this thrilling region shows its long kept secrets, like the Gandaki Gorge, the deepest Gorge in the world. The trail passes through staggering alpine terrain. It is better labeled as an “extreme route”; extreme, because you need a rope and should also take ice-axe and crampons. With its extended high altitude nature it should only be attempted when snow-free, from late September to December or perhaps May and early June. This means don’t go during March or April, these times can be particularly unpredictable and dangerous. There is a real rock fall danger in two places, and if it has rained recently it will rain rocks in a place that you have to trek under.

Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking follows glaciers and crosses high snowcapped passes, a challenge suited only to fit individuals wishing to go on remote demanding trekking in Nepal. Walk through the pristine valley of Myagdi, lush terraced hillsides, traditional villages, rugged terrain of massif Dhaulagiri, tough but technically straightforward French and Thapa passes are simply sensational for the everlasting memories being in Nepal for strenuous trekking to Dhaulagiri.From Dhampus Pass to near Yak Kharka, the trail is dangerous in snow. First, finding the trail is difficult and it traverses steep ground, second there is real avalanche danger, and third, when the snow is melting, snow-water-ice streams flow and these are extremely dangerous. That “extreme” word again. Getting trapped – if it snows during a trek, usually it is not a problem, and occasionally it may mean waiting a day or two for it to clear. Real snow (25cm+) in Hidden Valley will trap you and breaking trail on either trail out will be very dangerous. Ensure you make the right decisions.Ascending to Dhaulagiri Base Camps and through the Hidden Valley involves a dangerously sudden rise in altitude. If you aren’t previously partially acclimatized you risk serious altitude sickness in an area that is tough to escape from.The trekking adventure, which encounters exceedingly beautiful Hidden Valley, allows the trekkers to literally touch the majestic mountain Dhaulagiri at Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Diverse culture, treading through different types of forests to treeless zone and getting as close as possible to peaks like Dhaulagiri and Dhampus Peak are great highlights of Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek.

In comparison to the other treks of Annapurna region, Dhaulagiri circuit trek is less crowded lodge and camping trek and offers a unique and incredible culture and mountain views. It is one of the adventurous and challenging treks too. So, well equipped and special physical fitness is required in order to trek around this area.

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Fixed Departure

Jan 01 – 22
Feb 03 – 24
Mar 07 – 28
Apr 06 – 27
May 10 – 28
Jun 02 – 19
July 01 – 24
Sept 08 – 28
Oct 02 – 23
Nov 05 – 26
Dec05-20,09-29

Trip Facts

  • Group Size:Mini 2 – Max – 12 pax
  • Best Season:Sept – Dec, March – May
  • Trip Code:NT-N202
  • Duration:21 Days Treking
  • Maximum Altitude:5416m
  • Region:Annapurna National Park
  • Start:Kathmandu/Pokhra
  • End:Kathmandu/Pokhra
  • Trekking Type:Tea House/Camping
  • If you wish to discuss any aspect of Dhaulagiri Round Trek or your suitability of other trips, please contact us by:
naturetrail.com
Chaksibari Marg 591, GPO Box: 7405. Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Phone: +977-1-014701925, 014701805, 014701320

E-mail: info@naturetrail.com,
Website: www.naturetrail.com.