Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

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Starts at: Beni Ends at: Marpha
Trek Region: Annapurna Transport: Public Bus
Duration: 18 Days Trip Grade: Strenuous
Max Altitude: 5200 m / 17060 ft (French Pass) Accomodation: Camping

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Nepal’s one of the toughest trek

The Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is a long trek that passes through high alpine pastures, uninhabited valleys, high windswept passes, forests and cultivated terraced hills. Crossing two passes – the French Pass at 5,360m and Dhampus Pass at 5,200m, and including the Dhaulagiri Base Camp at 4,740m, this is a challenging trek which requires a high level of fitness. However, with good stamina and basic mountaineering skills, the rewards of this trek include stunning views of Tukuche Peak (6,920m), Dhaulagiri I (8,167m), Dhaulagiri ii (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m).

Dhaulagiri rises above the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, and the circuit route provides stunning views of the whole Dhaulagiri range. Discovered in 1808, standing at 8,167m, Dhaulagiri was thought to be the highest mountain in the world until 30 years later when Kanchenjunga took that honour; later to be taken away by Mount Everest!   The Dhaulagiri Circuit route was discovered in the 1950s by a French team, hence the French Pass, which leads into a lonely area known as Hidden Valley.

The circuit trail makes its way through villages and terraced farm land, along rivers and gorges, and along glaciers and moraine. With time to acclimatize before tackling the high passes there is plenty of opportunity to take in the magnificent mountain vistas.

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Beni (Drive)

Beni – 850 m / 2788 ft – 9 hrs

Day 2: Beni to Babiachaur

Babiachaur – 950 m / 3116 ft – 5 hrs

Day 3: Babiachaur to Dharapani

Dharapani – 1400 m / 4593 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Dharapani to Muri

Muri – 1800 m / 5905 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Muri to Boghara

Boghara – 2080 m / 6825 ft – 6 hrs

Day 6: Boghara to Dobang

Dobang – 2520 m / 8267 ft – 5 hrs

Day 7: Dobang to Choriban Khola

Choriban Khola – 3110 m / 10203 ft – 5 hrs

Day 8: Choriban Khola to Italian Base Camp

Italian Base Camp – 3660 m / 12007 ft – 7 hrs

Day 9: Acclimatization Day

Italian Base Camp – 3660 m / 12007 ft – 3 hrs

Day 10: Italian Base Camp to Glacier Camp

Glacier Camp – 4210 m / 13812 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Glacier Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp

Dhaulagiri Base Camp – 4740 m / 15551 ft – 7 hrs

Day 12: Acclimatization Day

Dhaulagiri Base Camp – 4740 m / 15551 ft – 2 hrs

Day 13: Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley via French Pass

Hidden Valley – 5200 m / 17060 ft – 7 hrs

Day 14: Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka via Dhampus Pass

Yak Kharka – 3680 m / 12073 ft – 7 hrs

Day 15: Yak Kharka to Marpha

Marpha – 2670 m / 8759 ft – 5 hrs

Day 16: Marpha to Pokhara (Drive)

Pokhara – 830 m / 2723 ft – 7 hrs

Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 8 hrs

Day 1: Kathmandu to Beni (Drive)

  • Drive time: 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, we drive to Pokhara on a very comfortable tourist bus (but let us know if you wish private transport) and then onwards to Beni where we overnight in preparation to begin the trek early the next morning.

Day 2: Beni to Babiachaur 

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Setting off today we follow the Myagdi Khola (river) and pass through several small villages, across suspension bridges, and through terraced fields.  Plenty of time to take in local life and explore the surrounding area before settling down for the night. 

Day 3: Babiachaur to Dharapani 

  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Leaving the terraced fields behind the trail gets rougher until we come to more small villages with their cultivated fields.  Dharapani is another lovely village surrounded by fields.  

Day 4: Dharapani to Muri

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Many more villages to see and enjoy today until we reach Muri, which is a village inhabited by Magar people.  On the way across the river again and ascend through forests to reach a ridge above.  More river crossings and another bit of a climb bring you to the ridge where Muri is situated.  

Day 5: Muri to Boghara

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we cross over a low pass from where we get great views of Mt Ghustung South.  The trail zigzags a bit, goes through pine and oak forests, and eventually takes you to Boghara.  From here, lying above the terraced fields, are Dhaulagiri I and Gurja Himal, to name just two of the mountains you can see. 

Day 6: Boghara to Dobang

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The altitude is beginning to rise today but we are still below the tree line and there are still farming communities and terraced fields on the route.  One of the interesting settlements we reach is Jyardhan – considered remote in this region.  Overnight in Dobang.

Day 7: Dobang to Choriban Khola 

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today again we hike through forests and along the Myagdi Khola until we reach the banks of the Choriban Khola where we camp for the night. 

Day 8: Choriban Khola to Italian Base Camp

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we view glaciers for the first time! We hike along the glacial deposits of Chhonbarban Glacier and really feel that we are now in the Himalayas.  From Italian Camp, there are wonderful views of the Dhaulagiri Massif and Tukuchen – amazing sights to wake up to in the morning. 

Day 9: Acclimatization Day at Italian Base Camp

  • Accommodation: Tea House

As the altitude is getting up to the higher range, we take an acclimatization day today to allow our bodies to adjust. Explore the surrounding areas, catch up on some rest, get to know your companions better or simply stare in awe and enjoy the mountains.

Day 10: Italian Base Camp to Glacier Camp

  • Drive time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It’s a more challenging day today with steep ups and downs and a rocky trail. There are glaciers to cover and narrow canyons to pass but we reach Glacier Camp satisfied and happy.   

Day 11: Glacier Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

A spectacular day filled with many peaks such as Dhaulagiri I and II.  The campsite may be an open rocky area but just look up! We fix our camp here under the magnificent peaks. 

Day 12: Acclimatization Day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp

  • Accommodation: Tea House

At this high altitude, we need to let our bodies acclimatize further.   The Dhaulagiri range is on view in all its glory.  It’s a fantastic place to take some rest and stunning photographs.

Day 13: Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley via French Pass 

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we reach the highest we will hike on this trek.  The French Pass is 5,200m high and puts the challenge in the day. But the rewards are an astounding panorama of mountains such as Tukuche Peak, Tashi Kang and Dhaulagiri I, to name just a few.  Coming down over the pass we reach a grassy meadow where we camp for the night in the Hidden Valley. 

Day 14: Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka via Dhampus Pass 

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Coming down from the Hidden Valley (situated at 5,200m) we head towards Dhampus Pass. The views from this pass are equally as impressive – lakes and glaciers are spread before us, while mountains surround us.   We trek on to Yak Kharka and our tented camp.

Day 15: Yak Kharka to Marpha

  • Drive time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today our bodies feel the benefit of the lower altitude and enjoy the forests of pines and rhododendrons as we hike towards the town of Marpha, famous for both its lovely monastery and apple orchards. 

Located on the banks of the Kaligandaki River this town is stunning in its whitewashed traditional appearance and you will certainly enjoy exploring and photographing it.  Not to mention the fact those apples are turned into Marpha Brandy – another famous product which you might enjoy with dinner!  

Day 16: Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley via French Pass 

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Our trek has ended and we drive back to Pokhara today to enjoy the lakeside restaurants and bars and perhaps be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of a busy town after the wilds of the mountains.  

Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu (Drive)

  • Drive time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we say goodbye to the Fishtail Mountain which towers over Pokhara and to the wonderful Himalayas mountains that have been our home for the past 2 weeks or so.  Then it’s time to say goodbye to your wonderful staff as the comfortable tourist bus gets you back to Kathmandu in time to head off to a lively restaurant for dinner and perhaps some music. 

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Includes

  • 15 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses / tents
  • 1 nights accommodation in Pokhara (Kuti Resort or similar)
  • Guide for 17 days
  • Cook for 17 days
  • Required number of porters for 17 days
  • Kathmandu Beni local bus
  • Marpha Pokhara local bus
  • Pokhara Kathmandu tourist bus
  • Annapurna conservation area permit
  • Trekkers information management system card
  • 15 x breakfast, 15 x lunch and 14 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • Lunch and dinner in Pokhara

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Map

dhaulagiri circuit trek map

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