Dhaulagiri Round Trek aka Dhaulagiri Circuit is an opportunity to explore an amazing off-the-beaten-path around the world’s seventh-highest snow-capped peak Mt. Dhaulagiri standing tall at an altitude of 8,167 meters above sea level. Mt. Dhaulagiri is also referred to as White Mountain in the local language. Located in the western region of the Himalayan country Nepal, Dhaulagiri Round Trek is a challenging adventure passing through high passes, unspoiled tracks, and alpine vegetation with spectacular views of glorious Himalayas like never seen before.
We initiate our Dhaulagiri Round or Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek after your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport followed by cultural sightseeing around the capital city of Kathmandu Valley. Initially, we will travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara on a short flight or 6-hour drive. On the very next day drive continues to Darbang which is the starting point of trekking activity.
For the next couple of days, we travel through Sibang, Jugapani, Dobang, and Soligari before we set an acclimatization day at the Italian Base Camp. As we are crossing an altitude of 4000 meters, acclimatization is a must to make our bodies adapt to the surrounding atmosphere. We will not find permanent settlements beyond this point.
Further making our way towards the north we go around Chhonbardan Glacier Camp. And then Dhaulagiri Base Camp before taking the second acclimatization day of the trip. Dhaulagiri Base Camp offers wonderful views of the nearby snow-capped Himalayas. From the base camp, we put our efforts into climbing a steep incline towards French Col between Tukuche Peak and Sita Peak.
Then after we descend a little passing through Hidden Valley via Dhampus Pass. Finally, we will trek from yak pasture land to Jomsom and take a flight or drive back to Pokhara. In this way, our Dhaulagiri Round or Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek ends after we return from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Dhaulagiri Round Trek is a challenging adventure suitable for those travel lovers who possess excellent physical fitness and previous high-altitude trekking experience. This trek takes you through rugged trails and even comprises walking through the snow for a few days.
Therefore, this Dhaulagiri Round/Circuit Trek must be embarked on with experienced travel and trek operator like Nepal Mountain Trekkers. The best seasons would be both autumn and spring which offer clear views with favorable weather conditions. We also advise a few more days to plan extra for acclimatization and bad weather. Contact us now to inquire about this trip
If this itinerary doesn’t suit your requirement or if you want to customize it, please feel free to contact us. This trek could be customized as per your required time frame and budget limits.
Day 1 : Arrival Kathmandu. (1,350m/4,428ft)::
It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative of Nepal Mountain Trekkers will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel, you will be briefed about your daily activities. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Kathmandu Sightseeing & Preparation for the Climbing::
Today you will have a full day for a sightseeing tour of the valleys’ popular UNESCO World Heritages. Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of the Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple, and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. And stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Fly/Drive to Pokhara (820m/2,690 ft): 5-6 hrs drive/35 minute flight::
From Kathmandu, we take a half an hour scenic flight to Pokhara or we drive for approx 6 hours to Pokhara. You can spend the later part of the day exploring Pokhara. Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre, the must-visit sites of Pokhara include Phewa Lake, Davis fall, Mahendra cave, the famous Seti Gorge, the beautiful temple of Bindabasini, and Pokhara Mountain Museum. And stay overnight at Pokhara.
Day 4 : Pokhara drive to Darbang (1,180m/ 3,871 ft): 5-6 hrs::
Our journey starts with another short drive on the dirt road following the raging Myagdi River upstream, passing a number of farm villages and cultivated lands with terraces of rice, wheat or barley, and mustard, after three hours of good interesting drive reaching at Darbang village-like town an entrance or the gateway to Dhaulagiri and towards Dhorpatan and Dolpo area, after a stop for a lunch break, our first-day walk begins on the trails that wind up slowly for an hour to the hills, leaving the Myagdi river way down below, then heading towards cooler area after reaching the top ridge on the outskirt farm village and descend back to Myagdi River after a nice first day walk to camp by the Riverside with fabulous views of Putali and Ghurja Himal, adjoining Dhaulagiri massif chain of mountains during the day trek. And stay overnight at Darbang.
Day 5 : Darbang to Sibang (1,750m/ 5,741 ft): 5-6 hrs::
2 hrs of the climb from Darbang will lead you to Dharapani (1562m) from here you get a good view of Putha Hiunchuli, and Dhaulagiri. 2 hrs climb and 1½ hrs straight trail will take you to Sibang. You find plenty of Thakalis and Gurungs in this village. Even from here, you get a view of the Dhaulagiri region and Putha Hiunchuli (5 and a half hrs walk). And stay overnight at Sibang.
Day 6 : Sibang to Jugapani (2,000m/ 6,561 ft): 5-6 hrs::
From Sibang 3 hrs straight trail will bring you to Dar Khola. From Dar Khola, a straight trail of 4 hrs will take you, Muri. The people of this village are known as Kamis. From here you can get a good view of Dhaulagiri and Putha Hiunchuli. After 2 hrs descent, you cross Marshyangdi Bridge. One-hour descent and the one-hour straight trail will lead you to Jugapani. And stay overnight at Jugapani.
Day 7 : Jugapani to Dobang (2,260m/ 7,414 ft): 4-5 hrs::
Ascend steeply for about an hour. The trail is now high above the river valley, etched along the cliff. In any case, the trail is at least 5 feet wide at the narrowest sections. After an hour or so, you will arrive at the smaller village of Boghara. From Boghara, walk through cornfields and ascend steeply to the ridge. The trail then becomes a gentle uphill. Lunch is at Lipshe, a small clearing of the forest used by cattle herders during the monsoons. After lunch continues through the thick forests for 2 to 3 hours (gentle uphill) to Dobang. Dobang is a largish clearing in the forest with two huts and a large area for tents. And stay overnight at Dobang.
Day 8 : Dobang to Soligari (3,100m/ 10,170 ft): 4-5 hrs::
Today’s walk continues through the forest, a bit like a gigantic natural Botanical Gardens Walk! First, we cross the Konabain Khola and then cross the Myagdi Khola, both on seasonal wooden bridges (interesting!). The path then stays on the east bank of the main valley, reaching Soligari at 3,100m after a few hours. And stay overnight at Soligari.
Day 9 : Soligari to Italian Base Camp (3,600m/ 11,811 ft): 4-5 hrs::
Follow a trail to the terminal moraine of the Chhonbarban Glacier and enter the glacier from the right. Tukche Peak (6,837m) becomes visible straight ahead; at the far end while the impressive north flanks of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) dominates the skyline to your right. After a short while, you will reach Italian Base Camp (3,660m), which is also the site of your camp for the night. To the west are the peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m), and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m). Stay overnight at tented camps.
Day 10 : Acclimatization Day::
We will spend a day acclimatizing to the thinning of the air. It is recommended that your body acclimatizes to the high altitude and be adjusted for higher altitudes in the days to follow. Stay overnight at tented camps.
Day 11 : Italian BC to Chhonbardan Glacier Camp (4,200m/ 13,779 ft): 4-5 hrs::
To gain access to the upper valley, which will, in turn, take us to the Chhonbardan Glacier, we have to cross a huge breach in the moraine and the frozen debris of a massive avalanche fan that forms at the bottom of the west face. The initial descent down the moraine slope is very steep, so the Sherpas will run a rope out as a handrail, as much for the benefit of the porters as for the group. Climbing the slopes on the other side is straightforward (if steep); this section could present problems if icy, or if covered in fresh snow. Once in the upper valley, we pass the site of a large bivouac cave and the sites of the American and French Base Camps. The path is now backing on the west side of the river and soon leads us onto the Chhonbardan Glacier, which is completely moraine-covered in its lower reaches. At around 4,220m there are platforms leveled on the glacier’s surface, which can accommodate our camp for the night. This is quite a short day, but it is important not to ascend at this altitude too quickly.
Day 12 : Chhonbardan Glacier Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,600m/ 15,091 ft): 4-5 hrs::
Another fairly short day, taking perhaps 4 or 5 hours to walk up the moraine-covered Chhonbardan Glacier to “Dhaulagiri Base Camp” at 4,600m. Base Camp is really a huge area of the glacier where expeditions have based themselves over the years. Terraces have been leveled on the stony ground and there is a choice of sites depending on who else is around. As at Italian Base Camp, we will spend 2 nights here to become well acclimatized before going over 5,000m.
Day 13 : Acclimatization Day::
It’s another day to take some rest today but more importantly a day to acclimatize with the lower air pressure of this region. Views from this place are superb and there is plenty to explore. Stay overnight at tented camps.
Day 14 : Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley (5,050m/15,568ft) via Cross the French Col (5,360m/17,600ft): 6-7 hrs::
So now we head towards the Hidden Valley today. The path from Base Camp goes along the north side of the glacier. It is flat for a while, and then it climbs a steep bank to eventually follow the crest of a massive moraine ridge to wide, open slopes that lead to the crest of French Col/Pass at 5,400m. It should take 4 or 5 hours to get there. Cairns, prayer flags, and wonderful views provide a distraction for a rest before descending easy slopes into “Hidden Valley”, where we find a campsite for the night at around 5,050m. And stay overnight at Hidden Valley.
Day 15 : Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka (3,680m/12,073ft) via Dhampus Pass (5,200m/ 17060 ft): 7-8 hrs::
Here onwards we now move towards yak Kharka. Our morning walk leads on the narrow path towards Thapa / Dhampus pass about two hours walk in snow conditions it can take an hour more with awesome views of Tukuche peaks and of Nilgiri’s Himal on the other side of the Kaligandaki valley, after few hours of gradual walk reaching at Thapa / Dhampus Pass at 5,250 m overlooking the deep cleft of Kaligandaki Valley and the Annapurna mountains ahead. From the high spot of this with the panorama of mountains on both sides of Dhaulagiri-Tukuche-Thapa or Dhampus peak, then on the front Nilgiri’s and Annapurna mountain range, after a glorious moment here a long descend to the overnight camp at Yak Kharka.
Day 16 : Yak Kharka to Jomsom (2,800m/ 9,186 ft): 3 hrs::
From Yak Kharka it is still over 1,000 meters to the floor of the valley, but once there, it is only about an hour’s walk northeast to Jomsom. We will stay here for the rest of the day and overnight in anticipation of our flight to Pokhara tomorrow. In the event of bad weather and there being no flights out of Jomsom, the alternative is to walk, jeep, and bus south to Beni. This valley is part of the famous Annapurna Circuit, but a road has been extended to Jomsom and stays overnight at Jomsom.
Day 17 : Fly/Drive Jomsom to Pokhara (820m/2,690 ft): Flight 25 minute/7-8 hrs drive::
Today we have two choices; we can have our breakfast then fly to Pokhara with a free day in Pokhara or take a drive to Pokhara which might last till 8 hours. After reaching Pokhara we will stay overnight there in a hotel.
Day 18 : Fly/Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu: 5-6 hrs drive/35 minute flight::
Morning a scenic drive to Kathmandu, after a wonderful memorable trip in the high mountains of Annapurna area or we go on a drive to Pokhara then on reaching Kathmandu transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.
Day 19 : Departure Day::
Today we shall be saying goodbye to each other. You shall be transferred to the airport at least 3 hours before the scheduled flight of yours by our representative. Hope to have you in this beautiful nation again and again. The trip concludes today. Our representative will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your flight departure from Nepal.
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