Places to Visit in Nepal
Nepal Hotels
Nepal Trekking Lodges
Nepal Luxury Trekking Lodges
All Bhutan Trips
Places to Visit in Bhutan
Bhutan Hotels
Our Story
Our Team
Support Rural Nepal
Testimonials
Blog
Customise a Trip
Departure Information
How to Book
About Payments
Booking Terms and Conditions
About our Price Guides
Important Trek Activity Info
About Contingency
FAQ and Reality Check Warning
Country Facts
Climate Information
Travel Health
Travel Advice
Visa Information
International Flights

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Crossing the French Pass - Explore The Hidden Valley - Spectacular Mountain Scenery - Wilderness Walking

All meals on trek included

Duration

16 Days

Grade

Very Challenging

Max Altitude

5370m

Walking Days

12 Days

Accommodation

2 Nts Hotels - 13 Nts Camping -1 Nt Trekking Lodge

Trip Overview

This is perhaps the most challenging circuit trek in Nepal.

Previous experience of high altitude and lengthy trekking is absolutely essential for this specialist trek. There are some very arduous and long walking days as you head higher and deeper and trek into a Himalayan mountain wilderness. Indeed there are no permanent settlements for several days on this trek. The crux is the crossing of the 'French Pass' and it's a very tough crossing that includes some exposure (fixed lines may be deployed), some rough scree, moraine and snow covered slopes. The use of crampons and a walking ice-axe will be necessary and your previous mountain walking experience and skills must be sufficient enough to be capable and familiar with the necessary equipment and conditions likely to be encountered. The rewards for the experienced trekker are immense. A varied terrain experience, trekking off the beaten track, remote hill villages, spectacular close up views of Himalayan giants and the satisfaction of mountain wilderness trekking. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and although 'built in',  you may wish to consider additional (not less) acclimatisation days, rest days and contingency days (highly recommended) added. The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is  not entirely  'set in stone'. You'll need to have hiking boots that are B1 minimum & capable of fitting crampons, a walking ice axe and crampons are also necessary.Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required.  We can arrange sleeping bag, crampon and walking ice axe rental if required.

This is perhaps the most challenging circuit trek in Nepal.

  • Previous experience of high altitude and lengthy trekking is absolutely essential for this specialist trek. There are some very arduous and long walking days as you head higher and deeper and trek into a Himalayan mountain wilderness. Indeed there are no permanent settlements for several days on this trek. The crux is the crossing of the 'French Pass' and it's a very tough crossing that includes some exposure (fixed lines may be deployed), some rough scree, moraine and snow covered slopes. The use of crampons and a walking ice-axe will be necessary and your previous mountain walking experience and skills must be sufficient enough to be capable and familiar with the necessary equipment and conditions likely to be encountered. The rewards for the experienced trekker are immense. A varied terrain experience, trekking off the beaten track, remote hill villages, spectacular close up views of Himalayan giants and the satisfaction of mountain wilderness trekking. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and although 'built in',  you may wish to consider additional (not less) acclimatisation days, rest days and contingency days (highly recommended) added. The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is  not entirely  'set in stone'. You'll need to have hiking boots that are B1 minimum & capable of fitting crampons, a walking ice axe and crampons are also necessary.Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required.  We can arrange sleeping bag, crampon and walking ice axe rental if required.

Example Itinerary

    • Day 1
      Arrive Kathmandu
    • Day 2
      Fly to Pokhara and transfer to Darbang
    • Day 3
      Trek to Sibang
    • Day 4
      Walk to Naura
    • Day 5
      Up to Lapche Kharka
    • Day 6
      Trek to Sallaghari
    • Day 7
      'Italian' Base Camp
    • Day 8
      'Japanese' Base Camp
    • Day 9
      Acclimatisation Day
    • Day 10
      Dhaulagiri Base Camp
    • Day 11
      Acclimatisation Day
    • Day 12
      The 'French' Pass
    • Day 13
      Over the Dhampus Pass
    • Day 14
      Down to Jomsom
    • Day 15
      Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara
    • Day 16
      Depart Nepal
  • DAY
    1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

     PLEASE NOTE: A special permit is required for this trek. In order for us to obtain permits for you, we have to present hard copies of your passport (scans are not accepted) by 1000hrs to the permit issuing office. The permit office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed all day Saturday. The permit office is also closed on Nepal Public Holiday days. Please anticipate that you may require extra days in Kathmandu as a result in order that we can obtain your permit.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY 1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

     PLEASE NOTE: A special permit is required for this trek. In order for us to obtain permits for you, we have to present hard copies of your passport (scans are not accepted) by 1000hrs to the permit issuing office. The permit office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed all day Saturday. The permit office is also closed on Nepal Public Holiday days. Please anticipate that you may require extra days in Kathmandu as a result in order that we can obtain your permit.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY
    2

    Fly to Pokhara and transfer to Darbang

    A private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara.  It's around a 4hr drive (perhaps more) to Beni and then deeper into the Annapurnas to Darbang and to set up camp at 1100m. It's a good idea to consider adding an extra day at Pokhara first and to relax, enjoy the balmy sub-tropical climate and rest before heading off on trek.

    Accommodation: Camp, Darbang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Full Support Camping

    DAY 2

    Fly to Pokhara and transfer to Darbang

    A private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara.  It's around a 4hr drive (perhaps more) to Beni and then deeper into the Annapurnas to Darbang and to set up camp at 1100m. It's a good idea to consider adding an extra day at Pokhara first and to relax, enjoy the balmy sub-tropical climate and rest before heading off on trek.

    Accommodation: Camp, Darbang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Full Support Camping

    DAY
    3

    Trek to Sibang

    After a short walk to Phedi it's then a stiff ascent up to Dharapani (1200m). The trail then contours the hillside, but rises steadily too as you walk to Sibang (1775m). Good views of Dhaulagiri today. A long walking day of aorund 7hrs. The distance is around 13km with 925m ascent and 215m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp, Sibang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 3

    Trek to Sibang

    After a short walk to Phedi it's then a stiff ascent up to Dharapani (1200m). The trail then contours the hillside, but rises steadily too as you walk to Sibang (1775m). Good views of Dhaulagiri today. A long walking day of aorund 7hrs. The distance is around 13km with 925m ascent and 215m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp, Sibang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    4

    Walk to Naura

    There's a fair bit of downhill to start with followed by a lengthy climb to Muri (1845m). Crossing the Dhola Khola (bridge) things ease off as you walk past cultivated, terraced fields to Naura (1450m). Another lengthy day of around 8hrs walking covering 15km with 850m ascent and 1170m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Naura Bhir
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 4

    Walk to Naura

    There's a fair bit of downhill to start with followed by a lengthy climb to Muri (1845m). Crossing the Dhola Khola (bridge) things ease off as you walk past cultivated, terraced fields to Naura (1450m). Another lengthy day of around 8hrs walking covering 15km with 850m ascent and 1170m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Naura Bhir
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    5

    Up to Lapche Kharka

    It's a steady uphill walk to Dobang Kharka (2600m) and then further up to a crest before dropping down to the Myagdi Khola. Across the river to walk upstream and to another pasture area known as Sallaghari (2500m). The distance is around 10km and takes around 7hrs walking with a good 1325m ascent and 720m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Lapche Kharka
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 5

    Up to Lapche Kharka

    It's a steady uphill walk to Dobang Kharka (2600m) and then further up to a crest before dropping down to the Myagdi Khola. Across the river to walk upstream and to another pasture area known as Sallaghari (2500m). The distance is around 10km and takes around 7hrs walking with a good 1325m ascent and 720m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Lapche Kharka
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    6

    Trek to Sallaghari

    It's a steady uphill walk to Dobang Kharka (2600m) and then further up to a crest before dropping down to the Myagdi Khola. Across the river to walk upstream and to another pasture area known as Sallaghari (2500m). The distance is around 10km and takes around 7hrs walking with a good 1325m ascent and 720m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Sallaghari Kharka
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 6

    Trek to Sallaghari

    It's a steady uphill walk to Dobang Kharka (2600m) and then further up to a crest before dropping down to the Myagdi Khola. Across the river to walk upstream and to another pasture area known as Sallaghari (2500m). The distance is around 10km and takes around 7hrs walking with a good 1325m ascent and 720m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp,Sallaghari Kharka
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    7

    'Italian' Base Camp

    A bit less walking today, but ending in a spectacular camp beneath Dhaulagiri's striking western face. It's virtually all uphill for the 10km distance to camp (3660m) and takes around 5hrs. About 980m ascent and 200m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Italian' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 7

    'Italian' Base Camp

    A bit less walking today, but ending in a spectacular camp beneath Dhaulagiri's striking western face. It's virtually all uphill for the 10km distance to camp (3660m) and takes around 5hrs. About 980m ascent and 200m descent.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Italian' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    8

    'Japanese' Base Camp

    That the camping locations don't really have local names is testimony to the wild and high places you're now walking in. Today's walk has to be reasonably short as you're getting over 4000m, and although it only takes around 4hrs to reach today's camp (4200m), it will feel very hard. It's all ascent today of around 550m. The distance is a mere 4km, but will feel like it was much further due to the increasing altitudes. However, camp is outrageously spectacular and in a genuine high mountain wilderness.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Japanese' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 8

    'Japanese' Base Camp

    That the camping locations don't really have local names is testimony to the wild and high places you're now walking in. Today's walk has to be reasonably short as you're getting over 4000m, and although it only takes around 4hrs to reach today's camp (4200m), it will feel very hard. It's all ascent today of around 550m. The distance is a mere 4km, but will feel like it was much further due to the increasing altitudes. However, camp is outrageously spectacular and in a genuine high mountain wilderness.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Japanese' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    9

    Acclimatisation Day

    Today you can take a reasonably short acclimatisation walk above camp and beneath the towering rock face of Tsaurabong and the very impressive west face of Dhaulagiri.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Japanese' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9

    Acclimatisation Day

    Today you can take a reasonably short acclimatisation walk above camp and beneath the towering rock face of Tsaurabong and the very impressive west face of Dhaulagiri.

    Accommodation: Camp, 'Japanese' Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    10

    Dhaulagiri Base Camp

    Mostly ascent today and a tough day it is too at these high altitudes. It is also a bit of a 'wow' day as the north face of Dhaulagiri towers above you. Some of the walking today is on glacial moraine and the glacier itself. A very hard day of 7hrs walking covering 8km with 700m ascent and about 170m descent. Camp is at around 4750m.

    Accommodation: Camp, Dhaulagiri Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 10

    Dhaulagiri Base Camp

    Mostly ascent today and a tough day it is too at these high altitudes. It is also a bit of a 'wow' day as the north face of Dhaulagiri towers above you. Some of the walking today is on glacial moraine and the glacier itself. A very hard day of 7hrs walking covering 8km with 700m ascent and about 170m descent. Camp is at around 4750m.

    Accommodation: Camp, Dhaulagiri Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    11

    Acclimatisation Day

    A further enforced, but essential day of acclimatisation, although it's unlikely after all your efforts so far you'd want to hurry away from this truly awesome location. As on day 11, you'll take a relatively short walk to get higher above camp before returning.

    Accommodation: Camp, Dhaulagiri Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 11

    Acclimatisation Day

    A further enforced, but essential day of acclimatisation, although it's unlikely after all your efforts so far you'd want to hurry away from this truly awesome location. As on day 11, you'll take a relatively short walk to get higher above camp before returning.

    Accommodation: Camp, Dhaulagiri Base Camp
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    12

    The 'French' Pass

    The crux of the Dhaulagiri Circuit, the crossing of the 'French' Pass. Probably the hardest day of the trek too. The route to the pass is by way of a switchback trail that climbs up above the Chhondarban Glacier and across moraine and scree to a moderate gradient slope that is most likely snow covered. Reaching the pass (5370m) is hard going and a tough slog of around 4hrs. The panoramic vista is needless to say outlandish. Down across a straightforward snow slope and to the head of the Hidden Valley and to camp (5115m). There's around 900m of ascent today and 450m descent. The distance of about 9km takes a good 7hrs walking.

    Accommodation: Camp, Hidden Valley
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 12

    The 'French' Pass

    The crux of the Dhaulagiri Circuit, the crossing of the 'French' Pass. Probably the hardest day of the trek too. The route to the pass is by way of a switchback trail that climbs up above the Chhondarban Glacier and across moraine and scree to a moderate gradient slope that is most likely snow covered. Reaching the pass (5370m) is hard going and a tough slog of around 4hrs. The panoramic vista is needless to say outlandish. Down across a straightforward snow slope and to the head of the Hidden Valley and to camp (5115m). There's around 900m of ascent today and 450m descent. The distance of about 9km takes a good 7hrs walking.

    Accommodation: Camp, Hidden Valley
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    13

    Over the Dhampus Pass

    Heading back upwards you traverse to the Dhampus Pass (5280m). A steep and rocky descent follows that will require your full concentration. If today is too much of a struggle there is a potential camping area around the 4900m mark, but it is preferable to continue to descend from these higher altitudes so if you're able, you'll walk a further 2-3hrs to a lower yak kharka at around 3825m. The walking time for this is a good 8-9hrs with around 575m ascent and 1830m descent over 14km.

    Accommodation: Camp, Nameless Yak Grazing area
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 13

    Over the Dhampus Pass

    Heading back upwards you traverse to the Dhampus Pass (5280m). A steep and rocky descent follows that will require your full concentration. If today is too much of a struggle there is a potential camping area around the 4900m mark, but it is preferable to continue to descend from these higher altitudes so if you're able, you'll walk a further 2-3hrs to a lower yak kharka at around 3825m. The walking time for this is a good 8-9hrs with around 575m ascent and 1830m descent over 14km.

    Accommodation: Camp, Nameless Yak Grazing area
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    14

    Down to Jomsom

    Virtually all downhill today as you drop down into the Kali Gandaki Valley from your Himalayan wilderness and slowly back to civilisation! It's quite steep at times, but eventually your knees are glad that you've reached the attractive settlement of Marpha (2670m). From here it's a fairly gentle hike up to Jomsom, which after the past few days may seem like a metropolis to you. All told today is around 4hrs walking with around 1210m descent and just 70m ascent. The distance? A mere 5-6km!

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge - Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 14

    Down to Jomsom

    Virtually all downhill today as you drop down into the Kali Gandaki Valley from your Himalayan wilderness and slowly back to civilisation! It's quite steep at times, but eventually your knees are glad that you've reached the attractive settlement of Marpha (2670m). From here it's a fairly gentle hike up to Jomsom, which after the past few days may seem like a metropolis to you. All told today is around 4hrs walking with around 1210m descent and just 70m ascent. The distance? A mere 5-6km!

    Accommodation: Trekking Lodge - Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    15

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    The morning flight back to Pokhara takes around 18mins and effectively you're in transit until your late afternoon flight back to Kathmandu (25 mins). A private transfer will take to your Kathmandu hotel. You can of course add an extra night in Pokhara either to chill out after trek, or even as a "just in case" there are any delays/cancellation with either of the two flights, which can and does happen. You may also wish to consider some additional contingency for this very challenging trek and for any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: 
    Breakfast

    DAY 15

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    The morning flight back to Pokhara takes around 18mins and effectively you're in transit until your late afternoon flight back to Kathmandu (25 mins). A private transfer will take to your Kathmandu hotel. You can of course add an extra night in Pokhara either to chill out after trek, or even as a "just in case" there are any delays/cancellation with either of the two flights, which can and does happen. You may also wish to consider some additional contingency for this very challenging trek and for any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: 
    Breakfast

    DAY
    16

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made.

    DAY 16

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made.

    IMPORTANT

    This is an EXAMPLE ITINERARY and can be customised for you accordingly.

    Please consider whether you want your customisable, private trip itinerary to also include CONTINGENCY.

    See our ABOUT CONTINGENCY Information

    Please CONTACT US to discuss CONTINGENCY and ADDITIONAL ACCLIMATISATION, as well as other CUSTOMISATION POSSIBILITES for your PRIVATE CUSTOM TREK

Price Guide

Price based on a private party of 4 persons, twin share rooms, low season.
  • £ GBP 2901
  • $ US 3765
  • € EUR 3326

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT OUR PRICE GUIDES

What's included

The price shown is for guideline purposes only. The price is inclusive of all accommodation (all camping equipment except sleeping bags), cook and camp support crew, as described in the detailed itinerary, all airport and land transfers, private overland travel, internal flights, meals as indicated in the itinerary (all meals on trek), porterage on trek, permits & fees & Snow Cat Travel Trekking Guide. All guides are english-speaking, professionals and fully licensed.

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips.

extend. shorten. upgrade

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips to Nepal.

extend. shorten. upgrade

Read our Nepal Travel Guide

Nepal is home to a beautiful and varied landscape, a wealth of cultural sights, and a diverse people. Here’s everything you need to know, from the capital of Nepal to visa rules.
Nepal Travel Guide
From UK

01405 862917

Outside UK

+44 1405 862917

Follow us
Snow Cat Travel is the brand name of and trading as Rural Heritage Journeys PVT LTD of Nepal with a Head Office in Kathmandu. Our parent company Rural Heritage Nepal owns and operates select boutique, heritage hotels in Nepal such as the Famous Farm at Nuwakot and the Old Inn at Bandipur.
© 2022 Snow Cat Travel.
All rights reserved. Snow Cat Travel is a Registered Trade Mark UK 00003289264