Trekking Trail and Walking Distance
Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking trail is very old but very few people go to this trekking so the trail is not well maintained. Some part of the trail has been changed due to the landslide. The lower part trekking trail is well maintained because the local people also have to walk through the trail while they come up and down to Baglung Bazaar. After the villages, the trail is not well maintained. Now Nepal Government and the Nepal Tourism Board are rebuilding the trail and building the bridges on the rivers. The trail up to Dhaulagiri Base Camp from the Japanese camp is rocky and one has to walk on the glacier and moving little rocks.
Then the trail leads onto the glacier and rocks to the hidden valley. The trail from Dhaulagiri Base Camp to the Hidden Valley is up and down with a narrow trail. Then the trail leads all the way down to Yak Kharka and Marpha village. Marpha village is connected to the road and is popular as the Apple Garden.
The walking distance up to Italian Camp is about 5-6 hours and about 16 Km per day on the normal trail but after Italian Camp, the trail becomes a bit difficult, and due to the high altitude trekkers need to walk slowly. Then the duration goes high but the walking distance will be shorter. Trekkers walk about 5-6 hours per day but the distance will be about 6-9 km per day until Hidden Valley. Then walk 15+ km down to Yak Kharka and Marpha village.
Culture and Lifestyle in Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
The Himalayas and the mountains are very peaceful and the people from this region are also very peaceful, friendly, and helpful. Mostly we find Sherpa people in the Himalayas but we find Magar, Gurung, and Thakali ethnic groups in this region. On the low land, there is a mixed culture with the Hindu and Buddhist. And in the higher place, there are Magar people. Magar people are known as very innocent, helpful, and strong. Nirmal Purja Magar is also from this region and climbed the 14 top mountains in 6 months without any problem!
As they very strong and helpful people they have been selected as British Gurkhas so most of the people from this place are involved in the Military. And some of them are handling the farm in the village so we can see very beautiful farmland along the way. Their main religion is Buddhist and some of them are Hindu. And some people celebrate both festivals, the Buddhist and Hindu.
They always respect the guest as the god. It’s their culture. While you walk on the trail, they always pass with a beautiful smile which gives us energy. The people from this region celebrate the Maghi festival which is in Magh month in the Nepali calendar and January in the English calendar.
At this festival, they all gather with family and celebrate in the village by sharing love and respect for the elders. They also celebrate the Dashain festival. Which is known as the biggest festival in Nepal.
Passes on Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a unique trek in the western part of Nepal. Which offers an awesome and wild view of the Himalayas and Nature. This trek leads into the high Himalayas in remote places. On this trek, there are two popular passes, French Pass (5563m) and Dhampus Pass (5235m). These two high passes come after the Dhaulagiri Base camp. After the Dhaulagiri base camp, the trail leads to the north side of Chhondarban Glacier, then the trail gradually climbs the steep hillside above the glacier. After that we follow the zig-zag trail and across moraines, then we make our way up to French Pass which offers a 360-degree view of surrounding mountain ranges. Then the trail gently descends through snow slopes to finally reach the Hidden Valley.
Then the trail leads towards Yak Kharka crossing over Dhampus Pass (5244m). The Dhampus Pass offers an awesome view of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, and also we can see the Mustang Valley. The trail is easier than the French pass. Then the trail descends steeply to Yak Kharka through avalanche-prone slopes.
Fitness level for this Trek
The Dhaulagiri circuit trek is difficult to trek in Nepal. The trail and the walking on the high Himalayas make this trek difficult. This trek is mostly camping in the high Himalayas and there are two high passes that make this trek more difficult. But if you are a regular hiker and you have previous altitude trekking experience this trek can be done easily. This trek is still very peaceful and wild. This is a difficult trek so you must be strong physically and mentally. When you are strong physically then you would be mentally strong. This trek required a level of fitness to complete successfully. 3-5 weeks of practice will make this trek easier.
Before starting this trek we highly recommend doing pre-practice at home. If there is any hill around your place you could walk and run on it for 1-2 hours every day and do some exercise to build your stamina. Also, climb stairs or the uphills to make a habit of walking on the uphills. You have to walk up and down every day to make your leg muscles strong.
Or if there is not any place to hike near your place you can join the gym and start a daily routine fitness practice. You could walk on the trade meal and walk on the house stairs up and down for your legs. Please use your new hiking boots before you come to Nepal for trekking because if your boot is not fit or blister on the trek it will hurt and you won’t enjoy the trek properly. Please counsel your doctor before you start the pre-practice for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Your doctor will advise you as your body for the fitness classes.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Itinerary
The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek itinerary is designed with the knowledge of our years of experienced Local Trekking guides. We have set our camps in the right place and safe places. The right itinerary leads the trek successfully so we have concern very carefully on our Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking Itinerary. The trekking trail, cultural places, villages, and high passes are included in this itinerary. We have built one day of Acclimatization Day on our Itinerary.
If you have enough time and want to explore more in the Himalayas and extend your trek we are always flexible to change your itinerary as you wish. Just let us know we will design a perfect itinerary for your Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Also if you want to do the trek Just up to Dhaulagiri Base Camp, we can customize our Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Itinerary. We have explained the major places, trails, and places in our Detailed Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking Itinerary.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Cost
The cost of the Dhaulagiri Circuit includes all the food and beverages and accommodation we list on cost. This is mostly a camping trek so the cost is a bit high compared to the other teahouse trekking in Nepal. If you fly to Pokhara and fly out from Jomsom the cost will be a bit higher than the given cost. There is not any hidden cost in this Trekking package.
Accommodation during the trek
All accommodation during the trek is included in the cost. Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara will be in a 3-star basis hotel with breakfast included. On the lower part of the trek, you will have the option to sleep in the local teahouse or in the tent. The local guest houses will be very basic with beds and blankets. Toilets will be outside on a sharing basis. Or our expert Sherpas will set your tent at a very comfortable place with a better view. Mostly you have to spend the nights in the tent under the stars. Sleeping in the tent gives the real adventure in the Himalayas.
Food and Beverages on Trek
Breakfast is included in Kathmandu and Pokhara in the Hotel. You could enjoy the food in Kathmandu at the Thamel. You could enjoy the continental food in Pokhara too. If you are vegetarian, you can go to OR2K in Kathmandu and Pokhara. This place is very popular for vegetarian and vegan lovers. For the Non- veg lovers, there are lots of Stick houses in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
On the trekking, our very well-experienced guide will cook food for the entire group. Our cook can cook, continental, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Indian and many more dishes. The guide and cook will set the menu and cook different food every day. In the morning our cook will cook porridge, milk, pancakes, and toast…and for lunch and dinner, pasta, pizza, fried potatoes, fried rice, fried noodles, and the local dish Dal Bhat, etc.
Guide and Porters for the Trek
Guides and porters are the most important and responsible for the successful trekking to Dhaulagiri Circuit. Our years of experience guides and porters will lead the trail. All of the guides from Breeze Adventure are well trained, government licensed and they love to be in the Himalayas. They are born in the mountain and loves to be there. They love to be in the Himalayas so they don’t feel that they are working they are very dedicated and love their work.
The guide will lead the trail and follow him in the Himalayas. If you have any questions you can ask him and know the truth of the Himalayas and local culture. Our guide has been and done this trek many times so they will lead on the right and easier trail. Our porters are dedicated to their work and love to be in the Himalayas in nature. They are very friendly and always smile on the trail.
Safety for this Trek
Safety for Trekking to Dhaulagiri is recommended! This is not common trekking in Nepal. This is an Adventure trip in The Himalayas so we must have to be well prepared and must be safe for the trek. Our team will carry all the needed safety equipment for the trekking. Our team will carry, a 200m rope, ice axe, crampons, disposable oxygen tank, helmet, ice screws, and carabiners. Safety is more priority for any adventure in The Himalayas. We can be safe and minimize the problems in the Himalayas with the safety equipment.
Acclimatization days on the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek are necessary. Acclimatization days help our body to adjust to the climate and high altitude. One day Acclimatization day at Italian Camp is built for this trek. One day Acclimatization will help a lot in adjusting our body in high altitude. On the Acclimatization day, our guide will lead up to the viewpoint after breakfast. The trail leads up to the viewpoint. The narrow trail to the top is about 2.5 hours walking distance. You will spend 30-40 minutes at the top to acclimatize your body to the high altitude then back to the Italian Camp. Then have Lunch and rest for the day. Hiking on the high and sleeping on the low helps a lot our body to adjust in the Himalayas.
How about Altitude Sickness on this Trek?
Altitude sickness is due to the fast climbing to higher altitudes ( 500-1000 m or more) due to the less amount of oxygen that occurs at high altitudes. There is not an exact cause of the Altitude sickness to the human being. We must be aware of it and have knowledge about Altitude sickness while on the adventure trekking in the Himalayas. If we know and identify the symptoms in the early phase we can minimize the risk and recover from it.
The major cause of Altitude sickness is less oxygen in our body. But in the same place, some get a problem and some feel normal. It hasn’t any requirements or points for getting altitude sickness in the Himalayas. Some Sherpas who have climbed Mt. Everest a couple of times also get altitude sickness at the Everest base camp and other little peaks. So it depends on our body. Our guide helps to minimize the risk of High Altitude sickness on the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Here are the types of Altitude Sickness:
Acute mountain sickness is the most common form of altitude sickness. Because more people are now traveling to areas of high altitude for fun, to see the Himalayas, and to professional sports, for example, trekking, climbing, and hiking. Acute mountain sickness has become a common public health concern. Roughly half of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking area, two-thirds of trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit, and half of the people who go to the Everest region for trekking get acute altitude sickness.
The more dangerous form of altitude sickness is high-altitude pulmonary edema. This kind of illness causes fluid build-up within the lungs. In this condition, people find it very difficult to breathe. Normally, this happens after two nights spent at a high altitude, but sometimes it can happen earlier or later.
High-altitude pulmonary edema happens very quickly. If we don’t treat on time, it can progress to respiratory system collapse and ultimately to death. This is the number one cause of death from altitude sickness in the mountain. In these cases, people don’t feel any pain so people push up to high and people pass away while they sleep at night. This is one of the most dangerous cases of Altitude sickness.
The severe form of altitude sickness is high altitude cerebral edema, in this case, fluid builds up in the brain. As the brain swells with fluid, the person gets a really bad headache and a bad mental state changes. The people will have a really bad headache and people can’t make the right decision in this situation. So we mustn’t listen to him/her in this case. We should go down as soon as possible with safety. If the person stays at the same altitude he/ she will Loss coordination and, finally, death can. To avoid this stage we must be careful in the first phase and use diamonds as preventive safety.
Communication on Trek
Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is an adventurous, remote, and camping trek to the mountain so there is not any communication system after Italian Camp. Until the Italian Camp we can communicate with friends and family through the NTC ( Nepal Telecom) network then for 5 days we will be out of connection with the world. So for safety in the worst case, we need to carry a satellite phone on this trek. Also, there is no wifi after Baglung City until Marpha to celebrate the successful Dhaulagiri Circuit trek with friends and family. So this trek is a totally wild trek to the mountain which connects us more with nature and disconnects with the world for a few weeks!
Electricity and charging
Dhauligiri Circuit Trek is an almost complete camping trek in the remote Dhaulagiri region. On the lower part of the trek, we can charge our phones and cameras at the local houses by paying a few rupees. But in the high Himalayas, there is not any way to charge our phones/cameras and torch lights. So we highly recommend carrying a solar panel and power bank. Then you could hang your little solar panel on your day bag and charge the power bank, camera, and mobiles.
About Travel Insurance
While trekking in the high Himalayas you might get unexpected problems and need to be evacuated to the hospital in the worst case. And the cost of evacuating and medical will be very expensive so we recommend having insurance that covers the high Himalayas. Please buy the insurance in your own country before you fly out to Nepal. Because you can’t buy it in Nepal. The insurance for guides and porters is included by the company.
Things to tell us before
If you are taking any lifelong medicine or had a current operation or another lifelong disease please let us know in advance. Also please notify us that you're vegetarian, Vegan, or Non- Veg. Then we can make a food plan for a camping trip.