Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is challenging adventure trek around Dhaulagiri mountain, the world’s seventh highest mountain including crossing of two high Himalayan passes. This trek starts in Beni and walking in pristine valleys, lush terraced hillside, untouched Gurung villages, rugged terrain of Dhaulagiri massif through tough glacier and snow covered passes. Round Dhaulagiri trek also shows world’s deepest river gorge, unparalleled scenery, lifestyle of indigenous people of remote area.
After trekking to narrow Chonbarden gorge leading to Dhaulagiri base camp, we cross the French pass into the Hidden valley. Futher, we cross Dhampus pass and descend to Jomsom with long downhill trek. From Jomsom, we fly back to Pokhara and get to Kathmandu.
The trek involves long walking in the glacier & extreme weather condition, crossing himalaya passes. This trek is only for someone who is fit with previous experience trekking in high altitude.
Ramdung can offer you plenty of suggestions, if you wish to stay more days in Nepal. We arrange day tours inside historic city of Kathmandu valley, the mountain hill stations Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, rafting and jungle safari packages, helicopter and mountain flights tour etc.
Day 01- Arrival in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Ramdung Expedition representative will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You can take a rest or if you are arriving earlier, can visit around the city.
In the evening we will hold a briefing session regarding your trip and get to know your Nepali trekking companion. We’ll be happy to answer any question you may have. O/N Hotel.
Day 2- Sightseeing trip / Trek preparation
Kathmandu valley is has fantastic UNESCO world heritages all around. Today after the breakfast, you’ll be visiting Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings). The lifestyle of the Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, the fascinating history and the awe-inspiring architecture will be the highlight of this day. You can also buy or rent any needed gear or clothing from trekking/mountaineering shops. O/N Hotel (B)
Day 03 – Drive Kathmandu to Beni (830m)
We drive about 8-9 hours to reach Beni from Kathmandu. The beautiful drive passes through the mountains along the banks of Trisuli and Marsyandi River to Pokhara. Drive further prolong from Pokhara deeper into the mountains with the magnificent views of Annapurna Himalayas. Driving further along the banks of Mardi River, we will be at Beni. O/N Lodge (BLD)
Day 04 - Beni to Babichaur (1000m). 5 hrs
Our trek starts from today. We continue trekking along the Kali Gandaki River and head toward Myagdi khola. Upon crossing the suspension bridges on the way, we pass by the villages of Mangalghat, Singa, Tatopani and finally reaching at Babichaur. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 05 – Babichaur to Dharapani (1565m). 6 hrs
Today, our trail crosses the terraced hills, Shahashadhara village, Dudh khola, ratorunga village and reaches to Dharapani. At the night, we will camp in Dharapani 1565m, and the Dhaulagiri is no more so far. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 06 – Dharapani to Muri (1850m). 6 - 7 hrs
The path goes steep up to Muri at height 1850 m, where the Mt. Dhaulagiri and other mountains appears clearly. Upon arrival at Muri, we enjoy the magnificent views of Mt Dhaulagiri and others adjoining peaks. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 07 – Muri to Boghara (2050m). 6-7 hrs
From Muri, the trail is easy and goes down for some hours. But before to reach at Boghara, we have to climb a steep path for an couple of hours. The trail again descends down before reaching Phedi and then the trail ascends up until we reach Boghara. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 08 – Boghara to Dhoban (2630m) 6 hrs
Today, the path is quite difficult and sometimes we will need the help of the ropes. Our experienced staffs will help to eliminate all the problems on the trail. The trail then descends down to a small ridge then crosses forest to Jyardan. Finally, we cross the rocky part to arrive at Dhoban. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 09 – Dhoban to Italian Base camp (3500m). 6 - 7 hrs
At this juncture, we will reach Italian Base Camp, where we’ll camp just in front of the West wall of the Dhaulagiri. Passing through beautiful forest, we rapidly gain altitude and mountains burst out all around. Since, we are gaining altitude rapidly, we keep ourselves hydrated and take it easy. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 10 - Rest and acclimatization day.
Today will be the rest day for acclimatization. Since there is little to explore, we completely rest and relax so that we can conquer the next day's tough journey. We may engage on exercising, moving around, and hiking to have proper acclimatization with the altitude. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 11 – Italian Bc to Glacier camp (4250m) 5 hrs
After crossing the first glacier, probably using a rope in a couple of tricky and technical spots, we climb onto the main glacier. The surroundings views are spectacular, which makes up for the rough and dangerous trail. The glacier crossing would require the use of rope. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 12 – Glacier camp to Dhaulagiri Base camp (4650m). 4-5 hrs
Today, we reach at the Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Soon the rough rubble gives way to the smooth ice of the white part of the glacier. We climb steadily to the rough and chilling but spectacular Dhaulagiri Base Camp. On the way, we enjoy the magnificent north face of Dhaulagiri I. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 13 – Dhalagiri BC to French Col (5360m) to Hidden valley. 8 hrs
Early breakfast fuels us up for the tough day. We walk out via moraine strip to reach Upper Chonbarden glacier. Hidden Valley Getting off the glacier above the base camp often requires a rope. But once over the steep moraine walls, we are in safer and gentler country after a breathless climb to the top of French Col. The view from French col is amazing. We see sita shuchura, Mukut himal, tashi Kang, Tukuche and Dhaulagiri 1.
We then descend from pass with moderate snow slopes entering hidden valley. After long descent you arrive at camp near river which is not far from base of Dhampus peak. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 14 – Rest and exploration day.
There are number of options for day walk around the hidden valley. We’ll be walk up to a ridge on western side to view of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna and hidden valley.
There is an optional climb to Dhampus peak of 6060m for those having mountaineering experience.
Day 15 – Hidden valley to Dhampus pass (5240m) to Yak Kharka (4200m). 8-9hrs
Today is the longest and toughest day of this trek by far. We start to climb moderated snow slop to reach Dhampus pass 5200m. We see clear view of Dhampus peak to left and Tukuche peak on our right. After climbing over Dhampus Pass, we traverse avalanche prone slopes and then descends steeply for 4 hours to Yak Kharka. Depending on the ice comidtion, we may need crampons. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 16 – Yak kharka to Jomsom (2713m). 6 hrs
Today, more steep descent leads us to Marpha and a well-deserved beer over lunch. Tackling along the cairns, we proceed along the snowy path. After a few hours of walking upon the snow, we pass the top of the Thapa Pass. From Marpha, we further head toward Jomsom to catch our next day's flight to Pokhara. O/N Lodge (BLD)
Overnight at Teahouse/lodge
Day 17 – Fly Jomsom to Pokhara.
We check in to airport early in the morning to catch our flight onwards to Pokhara. It is all up to you visiting different places around Pokhara valley such as Fewa Lake, Devi’s water fall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement, Gupteshower cave and many more places as per the choice. O/N Hotel (B)
Day 18 – Drive Pokhara to Kathamndu
It takes 7hrs long drive along Trisuli river and various settlements to get back to Kathmandu.
You can spend time resting/buying souvenirs back to home. In the evening, we will host farewell dinner in traditional restaurant with cultural dance performances in celebration of your amazing trip. O/N Hotel (BD)
You have option to extend your trip continuing onto Bandipur, Chitwan Jungle Safari, River Rafting Adventure or Scenic Everest Flight. Notify us in advance !!!
Day 19 – Contingency day.
Day 20 - Trip ends. Farewell and departure
The journey in the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today ! At last approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Ramdung Expedition will drop you to the airport. (B)
Normally, we use following 3 star standard hotels in Kathmandu depending on availability in our trekking package.
Hotel Manang. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.hotelmanang.com
Hotel Utse. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.utsehotel.com
Hotel Manaslu. Located in Lazimpat near to Thamel area. www.hotelmanaslu.com
while on trek, the lodges are fairly basic but perfectly adequate for the mountain type service. Two people will be accommodated in each room mostly in twin beds with foam mattresses. If you prefer private accommodation, you can choose “single supplement” option. It is important to consider that some places in the trek do not have sufficient lodges and rooms; in this case you’ll have to share room. Some lodges now have showers (charged at $3-$5).
FLIGHT DELAYS IN POKHARA-JOMSOM
Flight between Pokhara and Jomsom is generally reliable. Being Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) mountain airstrips, flight is dependent on the weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds. In case of bad weather, flight is cancelled often and to avoid missing international flights, we recommend 2-3 days extra at end of your trip.
If you have to wait in Pokhara or Jomsom due to flight delays, the cost for your overnight accommodation is not included so you will have to pay extra for this. Alternatively, we can take jeep from Jomsom to Pokhara arriving in same day but prepare for bumpy ride. In this case, the cost will be included.
it is mandatory to have travel insurance for the trekking and please submit us photocopy before departure to mountain. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure it covers up to 6000m.
You are expect to trek about 5-7 hours covering distance of 10-15 kilometer daily depending on trial conditions and state of the weather. You’ll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside and high elevations. Trekking with a guide is not only safer but also for more enjoyable experience. Our guides and porters are expert in Himalayan treks and have more than one decades of experience in average.
It is recommended that you prepare for trek with suitable training such as climbing hills/stairs, jogging, exercise and gym to improve your stamina few months prior to trek. The trek will be more enjoyable if you are fit.
MEALS AND DRINKS
There are plenty of excellent restaurants to serve food and drinks in Kathmandu such as Rum doodles, Fire & ice, La Dolce Vita, Ktoo Steak House, Everest Steak, New Orleans, Gaia etc. Breakfast is provided at your hotel every morning. It will cost $ 3-7 per meal depending on meals item chosen and restaurant.
While on trek, the lodges or teahouse provide good quality food in sufficient quantities. Meals whilst on trek are included in the package which is breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks. You can choose your meal from hotel menus. Meals in lodges are varied ranging from traditional Nepalese daal bhaat to pizza, apple pie, steak, pasta and so on.
It is safer to drink bottled, boiled and filtered water. A reasonable variety of both hard and soft drinks are available in cities and while on trek. You can purify your own water if you carry a canteen or water bottle and iodine drops or tablets.
Spring starts from March until May where temperature fluctuated between 20°c to 30°c. From June to August is summer season which is also time of monsoon with occasional thunderstorms and hot temperatures. From late September to end November is autumn and is best for trekking activities. Winter is from late November to February.
The trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the elevation and time of the particular day. In the mountains between 1000m-3500m, the night generally will be cool around 5°C and during the day temperatures every so often rise to 20°c. At the higher altitudes, temperatures range from 15° to -15°c.
Tips is not mandatory but generally after hard work something extra is expected. We recommend a tip for guide and porter as at least $70 (more will be appreciated).
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST
The following are what we recommend to bring as clothing and equipment needed for the trek. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper price; we can assist you with necessary arrangement. Except for your day pack, your luggage will be carried by porters. You’ll have strong and hospitable porter for two people. The weight limit for trek is 10-13kg per person. One porter can carry 20-25kg weight. Before the trek, you can store all your excess baggage in Kathmandu at hotel or at our office and take only which is required for the trek.
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sun Hat or scarf
Cotton tees or thermals
Gloves for hand
Lightweight cotton pants (long)
Thin inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Comfortable Trekking boots
Sleeping bag rated to -20
Trekking bag or duffel bag
Large plastic bags (keeping items dry inside trek bag)
Trekking poles (recommended, optional)
Lonely Planet Nepal: A guide book of Nepal.
Annapurna: A book by Reinhold Messner about his expedition experience in the dead zone of Annapurna.
Trekking in Nepal: Written by Stephen Bezruchka is an nice book for all treks with and bibliography of additional books.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal: Written by Steve Razzetti, this book gives comprehensive knowledge of major trekking trails and climbing peaks.
Nepal Handbook: By Kerry Morgan. Recommended specially for Kathmandu Valley sightseeing’s.
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya: By Stan Armungton. This book has detailed trek descriptions including restricted areas of Mustang, Manaslu, Dolpo and kailash.
Into Thin Air: By Jon Krakaur. A personal account of the Mount Everest disaster.
Travelers Tales: Edited by Rajendra Khadka, Traveler’s Tales, and San Francisco.
Mustang: A lost kingdom by Michel Peissel.