Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Guide: Day-by-Day Breakdown of a Classic Himalayan Expedition


Dhaulagiri means the ‘White Mountain’ is the seventh highest mountain in the world and was first discovered in 1808. Its sudden rise from the lower surrounding terrain is almost unequaled anywhere in the world with a rise of 7000m from the Kali Gandaki River 30 km to the southeast. The south and west faces rise precipitously for over 4000m. Being visible from the plains of India it was, for 30 years, thought to be the highest mountain in the world before Kanchenjunga took that crown only to be replaced by Everest several years later. The Swiss made the first ascent in 1960.

The Dhaulagiri Massif is a wild and remote area, any trekking in this Himal is a serious undertaking and those wishing to venture into the high valleys and cross the high passes should be well prepared and mountain fit with appropriate mountaineering skills.


The Dhaulagiri Circuit

The Dhaulagiri Circuit is a major trekking expedition, which crosses the notorious and serious weather-prone French Col 5300m. This is a classic adventure trek suitable for trekkers with previous high altitude experience This is a classic adventure trek suitable for trekkers with previous high-altitude experience. Starting from Beni on the Kali Gandaki River, the trek ascends the pristine Myagdi Khola Valley to the heart of the Dhaulagiri Himal. After 8 days of walking, through an ever-changing landscape, with numerous picturesque villages, Dhaulagiri Base Camp is reached.


The crux of the trek, the crossing of the ‘French Pass’ 5360m is tough, but not technically difficult, the pass lies close beneath the northern slopes of Dhaulagiri 8167m and the mountain views on the ascent and descent are simply sensational. There is a day built into the itinerary to allow exploration of the remarkable ‘Hidden Valley’ before crossing the Dhampus Pass and making the long descent to Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Flying back to Pokhara from the airstrip at Jomsom, there is time to enjoy this Lakeside, before returning to Kathmandu. This is adventure travel at its best – a brilliant trek in a rarely-visited part of Nepal.

The Dhaulagiri Circuit is a 24-day trekking expedition in Nepal that crosses the French Col, a notorious and serious weather-prone pass at 5,300 meters. It is a classic adventure trek suitable for trekkers with previous high-altitude experience.


Trip Highlights:

Region: Dhualgiri, Nepal
Grade: Grade 5
Time: Minimum recommended 22 days trekking
Height: Maximum 5200m
Style: Camping


Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu, including Durbar Square, the Monkey Temple, and the Garden of Dreams.

Day 3: Fly or drive to Pokhara, a lakeside town that is the gateway to the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri regions.

Day 4: Drive to Beni (850m) and start the trek.

Day 5: Trek to Singa Bazar (1000m).

Day 6: Trek to Takum (1400m).

Day 7: Trek to Muri (1850m).

Day 8: Trek to Boghara (2080m).

Day 9: Trek to Dobang (2250m).

Day 10: Trek to Italian Base Camp (3800m).

Day 11: Rest day at Italian Base Camp.

Day 12: Trek to “NW Ridge Camp” (4500m).

Day 13: Rest day at “NW Ridge Camp”.

Day 14: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4750m).

Day 15: Rest day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp.

Day 16: Trek across the French Col (5100m) to camp below Dhampus Pass (5200m).

Day 17: Acclimatization and rest day below Dhampus Pass.

Day 18: Trek across Dhampus Pass (5200m) to Point 5090m.

Day 19: Trek to Marpha (2665m).

Day 20: Trek to Lete (2470m).

Day 21: Trek to Tatopani (1160m).

Day 22: Trek to Ghorepani (2775m).

Day 23: Trek to Birethanti (1050m) and drive to Pokhara.

Day 24: Fly or drive to Kathmandu.

This is just a general itinerary, and the actual pace of the trek may vary depending on weather conditions, the fitness of the trekkers, and other factors. It is important to be in good physical condition and to have acclimatized to the altitude before attempting this trek.

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