Dhaulagiri’s remote setting and physical demands are well suited to experienced trekkers with a deep sense of adventure and the requisite levels of fitness to enjoy the challenge of one of the most extraordinary treks in all of Nepal. It’s a trek for those who are prepared to test the limits of their endurance on all levels, with little of the comforts offered up by the more popular teahouse trails that the majority of trekkers take for granted these days. It’s traditional trekking at its finest, a throwback to a bygone era of expeditions and porters winding their way amidst towering snow-capped peaks, across glaciers, and over high passes used for centuries for trading purposes and to connect to neighboring valleys.
The Dhaulagiri trek is a journey few undertake, yet for those with the confidence and ability to take it on the rewards are many, not least the opportunity to travel through one of Nepal’s most dramatic and scenic regions in almost complete isolation from the numbers typically associated with the more popular trekking routes. Along the way the trail courses through lush landscapes, terraced fields miraculously carved out of the foothills, and remote valleys seemingly forgotten in time and sparsely populated, with ever-curious children waiting to bestow their beaming smiles on the next stranger to pass through their villages. Formidable Dhaulagiri gazes down from on high throughout, with the Annapurna massif nearby lending its own daunting presence, together with over a dozen other peaks of 7,000 meters or more ranged along the trail. Adding even more to the drama are not one but two high passes en route ready to test each trekker’s mettle.
From Pokhara the trek commences at the village of Beni and trails along next to the Myagdi River as it tumbles down through the dramatic scenery of the Kali Gandaki gorge. It continues on steadily, winding upwards through a series of picturesque Gurung villages towards Italian Base Camp, where we typically pause for an appropriate rest day before hiking out again, this time to the spectacular setting of Dhaulagiri Base Camp, with a night at Glacier Camp along the way. Following another rest day the route summits at French Pass (5360m) before dropping down into the aptly named Hidden Valley, then throws in a final test of stamina by climbing again to the trek’s exit point, Dhampus Pass (5234m). From there the trail links to the Annapurna circuit and wanders down to the completion point at Jomsom and the return leg to Pokhara.
While our itinerary is a well thought out approach based on our many years of experience we’re well aware that experienced trekkers sometimes prefer to set their own agenda and we’re more than willing to accommodate those wishes and perhaps add our own suggestions.
So if you’re up for the challenge, are physically fit, and want to experience one of the great treks in Nepal before the inevitable tea houses take hold, why not get in touch with us and let our well-trained guides accompany you on your Himalayan adventure? They’re up for Dhaulagiri - if you are.
Day 01: Welcome at airport and transfer to the Hotel.
Day 02: Free day for final trekking preparation, set up meeting with guide, team brief and enjoy with welcome dinner in typical Nepali restaurant.
Day 03: Early morning drive to Beni by public bus (830m, 9/10 hrs)
Day 04: Beni to Babiyachaur (970m, 5/6 hrs)
Day 05: Babiyachaur to Dharapani (1560m, 6 hrs)
Day 06: Dharapani to Muri (1720m, 5 hrs)
Day 07: Muri to Bagar (2080m, 5/6 hrs)
Day 08: Bagar to Dobhan (2520m / 5 hrs)
Day 09: Dobhan to khola Camp (3445m, 5 hrs)
Day 10: Khola Camp to Italian Base Camp (3660m, 7 hrs)
Day 11: Acclimatization day
Day 12: Italian Base Camp to Glacier Camp (4220m, 6 hrs)
Day 13: Glacier Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4748m, 7 hrs)
Day 14: Acclimatization day
Day 15: Dhaulagiri Base Camp to French Pass 5360m, then trek to Hidden valley (5200m, 6 hrs)
Day 16: Hidden valley to Yak Kharka 3700m via Dhampus Pass( 5200m, 6/7 hrs)
Day 17: Yak Kharka to Jomsom (2700m, 4/5 hrs)
Day 18: Early morning fly back to Pokhara enjoying with scenic mountain flight then relax in Pokhara.
Day 19: Drive back to Kathmandu by tourist bus (7 hrs)
Day 20: Departure
Note:- Above itinerary is just a guideline. If you are not satisfied please feel free customize your own.
Welcome at airport and transfer to your hotel. An introduction to your trekking program then the rest of the day at your leisure to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of Kathmandu.
Free day for preparation and sightseeing.
Early morning bus ride to the pleasant riverside town of Beni, where we relax for one final evening before the task ahead.
From Beni the trail leads out from Kali Gandaki Gorge and heads along the brown waters of the Myagdi Khola River towards Tatopani and its famed hot springs. A series of bridges takes us towards the village of Simalchaur and on toward Babiyachaur, where we settle in for the evening amid the valley's sweeping views.
Terraced fields and forested slopes greet us on the journey further upstream to the village of Shahashradhara and on through patchwork farmland to the village of Ratorunga. The valley deepens into a ravine of looming rock walls as we approach Dharapani.
From Dharapani the trail climbs steadily on a serpentine trail that leads through a series of small villages and hamlets until we cross the Myagdi Khola once more and climb to the picturesque ridgetop village of Muri, set prettily amidst terraced fields looking out towards the distant mountaintops.
The trek continues through more farmland and terraced fields bisected by the running waters of the River, with majestic mountain views as a backdrop during the day's hike. The trail passes through the village of Naura before beginning a steep ascent through deeply forested slopes until it breaks free and approaches the terraced fields around the village of Bagar.
The day begins with a steady descent through more terraced fields and wilderness until it reaches the remote village of Jyardan. From there the trail ascends again through dense forest toward Lapche Kharka and on to the serene little settlement of Dobhan.
A suspension bridge leads out from Dobhan and climbs onward through dense woodland with the looming presence of Dhaulagiri an increasing fixture throughout a day alternating between scenic woodlands, alpine meadows, and the tumbling waters of the ever present Myagdi Khola. By day's end we pull up to camp at Choriban Khola.
The trail from Khola Camp leads higher to the impressive glacier field of Chhonbarban, with Dhaulagiri's immense size and scope coming more and more into focus with each passing hour until we reach our final goal for the day of Italian Base Camp.
Due to the increase in altitude we pause on day 11 to give everyone ample opportunity to acclimate to the rarified air. With such a stunning outlook and setting there's numerous opportunities to spend the day exploring the area and trying to find the perfect place to capture the panorama with a camera.
A day of impressive sights, of majestic mountain views and awestruck perspectives on the beauty and hidden menace of glaciers, the whole serving to reinforce the magnitude of the surrounding landscape and our relative insignificance in the face of it.
Today we ascend slowly and carefully to Dhaulagiri Base Camp and pause to stare in wonder, not only at the all-encompassing presence of the immense mountain standing before us at a height of 8167 meters, but the surrounding sister peaks that add even more to the dramatic scenery.
Another day to rest for the purpose of acclimatization, with stunning views to revel in and plenty of side trips around the camp to pass the time.
Returning to the glacier, the trail leads back around the mountain and climbs steadily towards French Pass and its glorious outlook across the Dhaulagiri range and down into the mysterious Hidden Valley. The numerous peaks stand sentinel to either side of the remote sanctuary. The trail leads down along the valley's slopes until it ascends again marginally to cross over another high pass, Thapa La (5250m) a saddle lying between the twinned peaks of Tukche and Tukche, then descends to our next campsite.
This a day of highs and lows as the trails descends through Hidden Valley and ascends again over the trek's final major pass, Dhampus La, then continues down a steep trail to Yak Kharka, where we camp for the night.
From Yak Kharka we descend to civilization at the village of Marpha, situated by our old friend, the Kali Gandaki River. An area famous for rearing mules, Marpha also lays claim to being the apple capital of Nepal. It is justly proud of its reputation for the brandies and jam products made from its orchards. From Marpha the trail leads to Jomsom, the region’s trekking mecca, where we book into our rooms, rest our weary legs, and sit back to reflect on the amazing journey to Dhaulagiri.
An early morning 20-minute flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. The scenic mountain views remind us of the experience we’ve enjoyed. Upon arrival at the airport, we drive to the hotel to spend the day relaxing or sightseeing.
After breakfast drive to kathmandu by tourist bus.
Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.