Dhaulagiri Round Trek is one of the most spectacular and challenging treks in Nepal. The trails are sometimes difficult and as it involves long periods at higher altitudes (between 4000 and 5300 meters) it is only for experienced hikers. The path in some parts may be covered with ice. Hence, crampons, ice axe is recommended.
The run-up to the Dhaulagiri massif runs through the western hills of Nepal. Dhaulagiri Round Trek, also called Dhauligiri Circuit Trek, organized by Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition leads us through small villages with beautiful terraced rice fields and includes walking in wild forests with tropical plants. The occasionally narrow path treads along steep cliff-tops and passes waterfalls in the dense jungle. As this trek encompasses two passes of over 5000 meters, acclimatization is essential. We will take a day’s rest at both the Dhaulagiri Base Camp and the “Italian Base Camp” to avoid altitude sickness and exhaustion. The hard work is well rewarded by spectacular glacial views of Dhaulagiri-I (8200 meters) and an opportunity to walk on the glacier itself. The final high pass, the Dhampus Pass (5200m), provides magnificent views of the Annapurna range as well as the Mustang valley. Dhaulagiri, the 7th highest peak (8167m) in the world was accented by Swiss in 1960, by Japanese 1970, by American 1973 and by Italian in 1976.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 03: Kathmandu – Pokhara (827m) – Beni(900m) 7-8 hours drive
Day 04: Beni (900m) – Dharapani,( 1560 m) 3-4 hours drive
Day 05: Dharapani – Muri (1720 m) 4-5 hours
Day 06: Muri to Boghara (2080 m) 5-6 hours
Day 07: Boghara to Dobang (2440 m) 5-6hours
Day 08: Dobang to Italian Base Camp (3660 m) 4-5 hours
Day 09: Italian Base Camp acclimatization day
Day 10: of Italian Base Camp to glacier camp (4280 m) 5-6 hours
Day 11: Glacier camp at Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4740 m) 3-4 hours
Day 12: Dhaulagiri Base Camp (DBC) Rest/Acclimatization day
Day 13: Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley on the French Pass (5360 m) 5-6hours
Day 14: Hidden Valley to Yak Kharka (3680m) 6-7 hours
Day 15: Yak Kharka to Marpha (2670m) 3-4hours
Day 16: Marpha to Tatopani (1140m) off-road 3-4 drive
Day 17: Tatopani to Pokhara (1190m) (5-6 hours drive)
Day 18: Pokhara resting (827m)
Day 19: Pokhara to Kathmandu ( 827m) 6-7 hours travel by tourist bus
Day 21: Departure from Kathmandu (1337m)
Our Guest’s security is of dominant concern to Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition. Please understand that the HV Treks trekking leader has the authority to adjust or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is found prudent. Unfavorable circumstances may occur during the trek. Such as dangerous weather conditions, the condition of a group member, natural events like landslides, can force changes in the itinerary. All efforts will be made to keep to the planned itinerary. The HV Treks leader will try his/her best to ensure that the trip goes smoothly and according to plan, but please be ready to be flexible if necessary. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition is capable, experienced, and prepared to give a 24-hour emergency response to an accident or condition that requires attention or evacuation.
Himalayan Vacation Treks & Expedition requires that trekking and expedition guests have Insurance Policies. A Travel Insurance Policy should cover the cost of emergencies (including altitude sickness), injuries, and evacuations. Please, it is essential to bring your Travel Insurance Policy, or copies of your pertinent existing insurance coverage with you to Nepal. HV Treks will require a copy for our office records. We, as well, advise you to inform your existing insurance agent/company of your itinerary, including trekking, climbing, and hiking, and insure your current policy provides sufficient coverage.
You will be welcomed to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal renowned for historical monuments, Hindu Temples, and Buddhist Stupas/Monasteries. We meet our guests at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A representative will be waiting with a Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition placard with our guests’ names displayed. After dropping luggage at the hotel, guests are taken for a short sightseeing tour. In the evening, guests are invited to a Welcome Dinner at a Nepali restaurant.
A local guide will be available. According to your wishes, the guide will escort you for sightseeing. Sightseeing may include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupati, Boudhanath, Patan Durbar Square, and the Swoyambhunath areas. Starting after breakfast, usually at 9.00am, the exploration of Kathmandu Valley can continue until 5.00pm. Lunch and dinner, you will be responsible for.
This day, we travel for 6-7 hours if we are going the bus. But if we are going by air it will take just 35min to fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Immediately after you left Kathmandu you climb to the pass over the mountain ridge that surrounds Kathmandu valley. If it is a clear day, you can enjoy the phenomenal view of Ganesh Himal, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu and Annapurna on the way. The road descends to about 400 meters and runs along the Trishuli River. Sometimes you can see a group of people in rafts in the Trisuli River. The bus stops for lunch on the way. Finally, you reach Pokhara the most beautiful city of Nepal by the afternoon. After Pokhara, we drive a few hours to Beni where we spend the night in a lodge. From today onwards, after the dinner or before we go to bed, the Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition trekking guide will take a report and give a briefing in every evening about the trek that we are going to make next day.
We drive by minibus or jeep to Darbang for about 3 half hours then we walk to the first beautiful mountain village of this route, Dharapani. We walk upstream along the beautiful river Myagdi Khola. In the afternoon we arrive at our first campsite. Here we walk through the hilly region that lies between the low land of the south, Terai and high Himalayan mountain of North. We walk through fertile valleys and big villages with beautifully decorated houses where the tribes like Gurung and Magars, the most original people of Nepal reside. We stop at Darban (1180m) where our cooks will be waiting for us for lunch. After Darbang, we cross the Myagdi Khola on the west bank. After about an hour’s climbing from the altitude of 1470 meters, we get a glance of a big mountain village Dharapani, from where we can see the southern walls of a large part of the Dhaulagiri- range, including Dhaulagiri I and III and Churen Himal. We camp at Dharapani for the night. The view of Gurja Himal is magnificent from here.
In the beginning, the route goes uphill up to 1730 meters then we walk through another big village Takum. Takum is the village where Magars, Gurungs, Kami/Damai so-called low castes and other tribes of Nepal live in peace and harmony. This is a village with health post from where the local people get their general health services. Shops where handlooms produced by the local people are available here. We see the local farmers growing millet, sorghum, papaya, orange etc in this region. We will camp at Muri from where Round Dhaulagiri trek leaves the “main road” to Dolpo. We can meet hard-working local people and know about their life style in the village. These simple people love to talk to you with welcoming you with smile and Namaste.
We start today’s trek through a slippery route in the beginning that goes downhill. We cross Dhola Khola through a bridge made over the river then the path goes through a beautiful forest and a pass at 1565 meters. The path is narrow and steep and overgrown by weeds and lots of wild marigolds which bloom in autumn. From the pass , the path goes downhill into the valley of Myagdi Khola. Here we see a small village with a few houses. The sun rarely falls throughout the year in this area so the path is covered with mosses and ferns. Hence the path is slippery and bushy. We head to Jugapani, a small village where we have lunch. After lunch, we head to Boghara, a small Magar village to camp for the night. On the way, we enjoy the beautiful view of a terraced landscape of the hill constructed by the farmers for cultivation.
Today, we will cross a number of big and small streams on the way. Also, we see some shepherds’ huts instead of a village in this area. Cattles are herded in this region in summer. We come to see a small memorial park with the name of two deceased climbers carved in a stone plate and placed on the shrine. We view a great waterfall that rushes into three stages into the Myagdi Khola on the way. The path is mossy so we need to be careful while walking. We have lunch at a large Kharka (green pasture) and then head to Dobang. We cross a dense forest where the path goes up and down. Over some streams, we cross through a log bridge, if not we cross the stream where the water is shallow or we jump over it from the narrow point. Dobang where we gonna camp is a large clearing in the forest. We can view the Konaban Peak (6570 meters), Myagu Matbi (6273) and snowy slopes of Dhaulagiri I from Dobang.
Steep, muddy, mossy and slippery path to Koban Khola, landslides in several places, so an adventurous but beautiful beginning of trekking because of a beautiful jungle. After an hour we cross a major landslide on. There is now a good path. We walk through crossing a wooden bridge over Myagdi Khola. The path on the bank is composed of mud, water and rocks. So several difficult path toady. After crossing the Choriban Khola, we reach the lunch spot, Chartare, from where we can view of the valley below us. After lunch again we walk through the forest. We cross American base camp and then for the last part the adventurous trekking today, we climb slowly up to the Italian Base Camp which is a nice and beautiful place with a few huts.
We acclimatize over here in the Italian Base Camp. We can view wonderful scenes around here. We may have windy weather over here. If we are lucky , then sometimes we may see the herd of blue sheep here from here. We can view the Dhaulagiri III (7715 meters), Dhaulagiri II and western side of Dhaulagiri I from here. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition guide and other staffs recheck for the camping/trekking gears/equipments today keep them up to date.
Our path goes to downhill to Myagdi Khola in the beginning which sometimes is covered by snow. We walk along the glacier which is full of gravels and rubbles. In the far away, we see the something like a gate between the Dhaulagiri Dhaulagiri I and II. We may see the rare Himalayan blue sheep. Many beautiful waterfalls here but they me be in the frozen state; hence they look like organ pipes. We cross the moraines of the glaciers in several places. Finally, we make camp in the spot called glacier camp today. It is very windy weather over here almost all the time. For drinking water, we may have to heat and melt the ice balls in autumn during the trekking in those high camps.
The route from Glacier camp to Dhaulagiri base camp keep on changing due to glaciers. However, we need to walk crossing the glaciers or along a side of the glaciers seeking the routes ourselves. In some places, we may see the cairns of stones, the special marks left by the previous trekkers showing the path ahead. The trekking leaders know about it. We can view the Tukuche Peak (6920 meters) so beautiful while trekking. We have a wonderful view of the eternal ice of the glacier Chonbarban and Dhaulagiri west icefalls. We pass the pyramids of ice; foothills of the glacier between the Dhaulagiri and the Tukuche. We proceed to Dhaulagiri Base Camp which is located in the corner of Dhaulagiri valley. The panorama from here is grand. We view to the north the glacier towards the French camp to the east the Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri to the south, to the southwest of Dhaulagiri VI, II and III above Chhonbarban glacier. Very very nice view.
We have rest for a day in the DBC to acclimatize because we are going to trek for little higher the next day. We can view the avalanches and icefalls almost all the time from the camp in the faraway. Also, we can see the trekkers/ climber struggling. Before the lunch, we can take a nice trip to the glaciers and back to the camp if we wish. We can watch the avalanches taking place. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staffs also stay with us for the whole day today.
We walk slowly uphill and downhill to the French pass. We should not hurry but keep on walking slowly. We cross several moraines on the way. The leaders/guides carry ice axe so that they can clear the way for us. After an hour of walking flattens the moraine bit and it’s the path more gradually up. The view of the Dhaulagiri I is seen fantastic. At the top of the pass, we are greeted by strings of prayer flags hanged by the previous trekkers. We too, add some more flags here and take photographs for the evidence we had been here. Now, To the south Tukuche Peak, to the southwest a pyramid-like mountain called Sita Chuchura (6611 meters), to the north stretches from Hidden Valley to valley above the western wall of the Mukut Himal, to the northeast is to locate the Dhampus Peak. Now slowly we descend to the Hidden Valley (5140m) for our camp for the night. The night will be very cold. The stay will be most adventurous. We may get altitude sickness too. It depends on our health condition.
We gradually climb to the Dhampus for about one and a half hours until 5244 meters. From the Dhampus pass, we have beautiful views of the Hidden Valley and in the east Nilgiri and Annapurna Himal. The weather is windy almost all the time after the noon here. So we need start to leave the area early. We can have a magnificent view of Mustang the range of Tibetan plateau. Also, we can get the view of the Thorong La and the Kali Gandaki, the deepest valley in the world from this area. In the northwards, we can see down the valley of Jomsom. We head to Yak Kharka (the meadow of Yak) for the camp.
Today we head to Marpha, a beautiful village in the mountain. In the beginning, we walk through the Yak trails from Yak Kharka. We see the shepherd’s hut on the way. After several days of the trek in the past, we come to a very beautiful place, Marpha, where the routes to the Annapurna Circuit Trek, Mustang trek, Jomsom-MuktinathTrek meet. Those routes are nicknamed by Coca Cola trek in this region because Coca Cola is found here.
Marpha has a big apple and peach farm. There is a distillery named Nilgiri where the wines and alcohol of fruits are produced. Also, we can visit to the Solmi Rinjin Gompa, a Buddhist monastery. A number of lodges, tea houses here. We can have a taste of apple pie here.
Our trekking come to the end today. Tomorrow we will have a vehicle to take us to the Tatopani from the alongside of Kali Gandaki River.
After breakfast, we take a locally run vehicle (bus or jeep) to Tatopani. The road runs along the Kali Gandaki River. We drive for 4/5 hours because the road is rough and narrow. We cross Tukuche, Larjung, Ghasa, Kopchepani and finally reach Tatopani, means hot water. There is a hot spring here. It’s really a nice treatment to take a bath of hot water to give new and energetic life to our exhausted body after a hard trek. We spend the night here.
We drive for 20 km that takes around 2 hours to reach Beni Bazar, the starting point of the trek around the Dhaulagiri. From there we drive to Pokhara for about 4 hours. In Pokhara, we stay in a comfortable hotel after the trek of long days.
Pokhara is a great little city to recover from the fatigue of a journey. The climate is extremely pleasant, the views magnificent. You can swim and sail in a boat to the other side of the lake. You can do well in all kinds of incredibly tasty dishes in the numerous restaurants. And there is anything for sale in the many souvenir shops.
Today we travel to Kathmandu by bus that takes about 7 hours in generally reach Kathmandu in the afternoon, so we still will have some time to look around, go shopping and to prepare ourselves for the flight back to home country.
This day is free too. If you wish, a sightseeing trip to the ancient temple/king’s seat of the world heritage site of incredible Bhaktapur can be arranged. The tour lasts 4 hours, and will cost an additional upcharge. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner is given by Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition.
Today, we check the list of all necessary documents and goods of our guest. We confirm the flight tickets before 72 hours of departure flight. We advise our guest to put passport and tickets at their handbag for convenience. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff representative will take our valuable guests to the airport (3 hours prior to your flight) and bid goodbye. It will be not only goodbye, but also the welcome for next visit to Nepal.
Max Altitude: 5360 meters
Best Season: Aug – Oct and Mar-May
Difficulty Level: Hard
It is called the winter season in Nepal. It is a season for snowfall in mountain region above 4300m in Nepal. So trekking is possible below 4500m during this period. This season is noted for occasional snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas. Though it gets colder in a night, often it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively fewer trekkers on the trail. Sunrise and Sunset are seen very clear and beautiful in this season. So tourist who wants to pass short holidays during this period Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes to see a splendid view of nature. During this period, we arrange a family tour to experience natural beauty with short hikes and cultural tour. It is suitable for homestay tour through which different rituals and culture can be experienced during this period. The famous homestay like Sailung Timal homestay,Timal homestay, Tamang Heritage Homestay, Ghalegaon Homestay are the special places to visit. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges a tour for these places.
It is spring season which is known as trekking season in Nepal. A smooth wind and gentle breeze are felt all over the country. Sunny days and clear weather are the supportive factors for trekking in this season. Presence of a cloud can be seen in the sky during this season. So a short rainfall can be felt during this period. It is the season of an expedition and climbing high peaks in Nepal.So many tourists from different parts of the world come to climb peaks above 7000m in this season. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and journey for climbing during this period. Peak climbing period can be in length up to June so Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges attractive programmes during this period. This period offers plenty of opportunities for clear mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom, and the national flower of Nepal – rhododendrons – coat the mountainsides with its colorful beauty throughout the spring.
It is rainy season in Nepal. As it is the season of heavy rainfall. it is also known as the crops harvesting season in Nepal. In this season, trekking is slightly difficult in Nepal. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. Trekking in the rain-shadow (places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains) areas north of the Himalaya like Upper Mustang and Dolpo could be an ideal trek selection. However, Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and trek during this period in dry areas. We arrange treks and tour in dry areas like Mustang, Upper Dolpa, Leh Ladakh (India) and Tibet.
Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our treks. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes. This is the season of feast and festivals. This is also known as the special season for flowers in Nepal. Marigold is popular and found best in this season. Temples and holy places are visited during this period. Festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath are celebrated during this season. Long national holidays are offered for this festival for civil workers. This season is known as the king of the season. No rainfall, sunny days and moderate temperature are the most favorable factors of this season for treks and tours in Nepal. Every kind of treks and tours can be done during this period. So many tourists come to see beautiful Nepal in this season. Many trekking routes are full of tourist during this season. Peaks 6000m to 7000m is the best destination for climbing in this season. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes tourist to feel the splendid view of nature of Nepal in this season.
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Please understand that the items listed below will vary according to the season and the duration of the trek. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 12 kg. Your gear will be carried by your porter and you will be required to carry your own day-pack (with your valuables and things of immediate importance to you). We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary. Our list of equipment is prepared on the basis of our long experience. The Himalayan Vacation Trek & Expedition Team leader will check your gear to insure you have all the necessary equipment at the start of the trek. If necessary, the HVTreks’ guide will request additions of necessary equipment when and where it is available.
-Note: In the larger towns and cities of Nepal, pharmacies have available common over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Western/foreign brand name products and prescription drugs are not. We suggest you bring the pharmaceuticals you use in enough quantity.