Feast your eyes the grandeur of Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters/26,795 feet). The seventh highest mountain in the world, Dhaulagiri boasts has an indescribable presence that only those who have been lucky enough to visit can understand. Our Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of the most exciting treks in Nepal. The path makes a part circumnavigation around the majestic mountain. During the process, trekkers have priceless views of several other 8000+ meter peaks.
It must be noted though, that this trek is not for the faint of heart. It is an extremely strenuous 19-day excursion on an off-the-beaten-path trail. Most nights are spent inside of a tent, reminding trekkers that they are on a true Himalayan expedition. For those who find pleasure in being physically and mentally challenged, this is perfect for you. Or, if you simply have a desire to push yourself and are willing to work for that strong sense of accomplishment upon finishing, then give this trek a try! For these people, there is a great reward – experiencing the hidden treasures of the world’s greatest mountain range.
From Beni, at the very beginning of the trek, beauty is immediately seen. We climb along the banks of the Myagdi Khola River and along the Chhonbardan Glacier while passing precious Magar villages. Experience and learn about the quintessential mountain village lifestyle as we traverse over and around various terraced hillsides. The trail hugs the side of glaciers up to challenging, yet thrilling mountain passes. These passes are the most difficult part of our trek, especially walking on the icy glaciers, but our guides will make you feel comfortable, prepared, and at ease.
In this high alpine terrain, it becomes real to us that we are high in the sky – near the top of the world. The colossal Dhaulagiri mountain range consists of fifteen 7000+ meter peaks. As our trek winds to a close, the trail coincides with that of the Annapurna Circuit. This is in the Mustang region, along the Kali Gandaki river gorge. We find ourselves in a completely different landscape, characterized by desolate hills, red-orange rock structures, and caves embedded into high cliffs. People living in the area are ethnically Tibetan.
What is the Best season for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?
The best season for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is the second week of September- October-November, and March-April-May. From the second week of September, the monsoon will be very less and trekkers can enjoy the green grassland, Rice paddy, rare alpine flowers, and the snow-capped mountains. September is beginning season for trekking in Nepal so this time would be very peaceful in the Himalaya. If you are looking for a peaceful trek into the Dhaulagiri The region of September month is the best month. Also if you can’t handle the cold this month is best for those. Because September month is a warm month in the Himalaya. October and November is the most popular month for trekking in Nepal. Because these two month offers awesome views of the Himalaya, clear skies, golden rice paddy and some flowers in the mountain.
March, April, and May months are also a very good time for trekking in Nepal and good for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. These months are very popular for the expedition and high passes trekking in Nepal. Because this month offers an awesome view of the mountain, clear weather, and safe to climb the Himalayas right after winter. Also, the alpine land will be colorful with rare alpine flowers. Lots of people choose this month for trekking into the Dhaulagiri region. For the flowers, lovers, September, Half October, and March and Half April month are the best.
How Difficult is Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an old trekking trail but very few peoples go for this trek because of its remoteness and difficulty. But nowadays with the satellite phone, we can minimize the high risks for this trek. The trail is upgrading by our Nepal government so it is becoming easier. People must have previous high altitude trekking experience and the strong inner power to finish this trek. For successful trekking, just a strong body doesn't help so you must have to be strong from your inner heart. This is also hiking on the trail but this trail leads into the Himalayas on the glacier and rough trails.
The trail up to French Camp is normal as another trekking trail. At the beginning of the season, you might have to cross a few landslides. But after French camp, the trail leads into the glacier, and the trail changes every year due to the glacier melting. Walking in the high altitude on the rocky trail would be difficult for the trekkers. Some parts of the trail are very narrow so we highly recommend walking very carefully on this part. Also while passing other trekkers on that part always be careful and stay at the wider and safe spot.
Every day walking up and down in the Himalaya is the difficulty of the trek. After Dhaulagiri Base Camp, the trail leads on the rocky glacier and up and down to the Hidden Valley via French Pass. This is the dangerous part of the trek. Once we get any problems in this place going forward and backward we must climb up so we must listen to our body before the start in this part. The trail from Hidden valley also up and deep down so trekkers have to be very careful on this part too.
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 Japanese camp is rocky and has to walk on the glacier and moving little rocks.
Then the trail leads onto the glacier and rocks until 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 with the road and 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 Life Style in Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
The Himalayas and the mountain are very peaceful and the people from this region 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 who climbed the 14 top mountains in 6 months without any problem!
As they very strong and helpful people they have been selecting 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 with sharing love and with every 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 Himalaya in the 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, Annapurna range, 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
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 Himalaya 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 1-2 hours every day and do some exercise to build your stamina. Also, climb stairs or the uphills to make a habit to walk 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 make blister on the trek it will hurt and you couldn’t enjoy the trek properly. Please council to your doctor before you start the pre practices for the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Your doctor will advise you as your body for the fitness classes.
Itinerary of Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
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 the 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 Himalaya and extend your trek we are always flexible to change your itinerary as your wish. You just let us know we will design a perfect itinerary for your Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Or 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, trail and places on our Detailed Dhaulagiri Circuit Trekking Itinerary.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek Cost
The cost of the Dhaulagiri Circuit includes all the food and beverage and accommodation as we list on cost includes. This is mostly camping trek so the cost is a bit high compare 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 at the tent. The local guest houses will be very basic with bed and blanket. 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 at the tent under the stars. Sleeping in the tent gives the realness 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. For the morning our cook will cook porridge, milk, pancake, toast…and for the lunch and dinner, pasta, pizza, fried potatoes, fried rice, fried noodle, and the local dish Dal Bhat, etc.
Guide and Porters for the Trek
Guides and the porters are the most important and responsible for the successful trekking to Dhaulagiri Circuit. Our years of experience guides and porter will lead the trail. All of the guides from Breeze Adventure are well trained, government licensed and they do love to be in the Himalaya. They are born in the mountain and loves to be there. They love to be in the Himalaya 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 Himalaya. If you have any question you can ask him and know the truth of the Himalaya 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 Himalaya in to nature. They are very friendly and always smile son 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 Himalaya 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, 200m rope, ice axe, crampons, disposable oxygen tank, helmet, ice screws, and carabiners. Safety is more priority for any adventure in The Himalaya. We can be safe and minimize the problems in the Himalaya with the safety equipment.
Acclimatization days on the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is necessary. Acclimatization days helps our body to be adjusted in the climate and high altitude. One day Acclimatization day at Italian Camp is built for this trek. One day Acclimatization will help a lot for adjust our body in the 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 the back to the Italian Camp. Then have Lunch and rest for the day. Hiking on the high and sleeping at the low helps a lot our body to adjust in the Himalaya.
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 Himalaya. If we know and identify the symptoms in the early phage we can minimize the risk and recover from it.
The major cause of the Altitude sickness is less oxygen in our body. But in the same place some get a problem and some fells normal. It hasn’t any requirement and points of getting altitude sickness in the Himalayas. Some Sherpas who have climbed Mt. Everest couple times also get altitude sickness at the Everest base camp and other little peaks. So it depends on our body. Our guide help 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, see the Himalayas and 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 Annapurna Circuit, and half of the people who go to the Everest region for trekking gets acute altitude sickness.
The more dangerous form of altitude sickness is high-altitude pulmonary edema. This kind of illness makes fluid builds up within the lungs. In this condition, people fells 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 case people don’t feel any pain so people push up to high and people passed away while they sleep at night. This is one of the dangerous cases of Altitude sickness.
The severe form of the altitude sickness is high altitude cerebral edema, in this case, fluid builds up in the brain. As the brain swells with fluid, the person's get a really bad headache and 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 phage and use diamonds as preventive safety.
How do we Communicate with Family and Friends?
Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is adventurous, remote, and camping trek to the mountain so there is not any communication system after Italian Camp. Until Italian Camp we can communicate to friends and family with the NTC ( Nepal Telecom) network then for 5 days we will be out of connection with the world. So for safety in the worse 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!
How about 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 camera at the local houses by paying few rupees. But in the high Himalaya, there is not any way to charge our phones/ camera 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.
Should I buy Insurance?
While trekking in the high Himalaya you might get unexpected problems such and need to be evacuated to the hospital in the worse case . And the cost of evacuating and medical will be very expensive so we recommend having insurance which covers in the high Himalaya. 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 from the company.
Things to tell us before:
If you are taking any lifelong long medicine or had currently operation or other 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.