Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Dhaulagiri is one of the most popular 8,000m Peaks for climbing in the Himalayas. The seventh highest mountain in the world, Dhaulagiri lies north – west of Pokhara concluding its highest point at the eastern end. Dhaulagiri is almost unique in the world in terms of its rise above local terrain where it rises to 7,000m over the Kali Gandaki gorge to the south east in about 30 km of aerial distance. In fact, Kali Gandaki is dramatic as two eight thousanders, Annapurna I & Dhaulagiri both stand near the river facing each other over a deep valley.

Daulagiri was first discovered in 1808, and it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world for westerners. It was assumed the highest peak for 30 years before its place was taken by Kanchenjunga. Dhaulagiri literally means ‘white mountain’ which justifies a magnificent peak rising as a giant shoulder of shining ice and snow.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrive at Kathmandu Airport. Transfer to Hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu Valley is one of the richest cities of Nepal, both historically and culturally. It has always been a popular destination for tourists. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. It has more Western Influence because Kathmandu used to be hippies favorite place in the world during hippy era. Patan and Bhaktapur, its two major neighboring cities bear immense historical, cultural and religious significances. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath, the 15th century Palace of 55 windows and Swoyambhunath.

Day 3: Fly or drive to Pokhara
From Kathmandu fly half an hour flight to Pokhara, or drive for approximately 7 hours to Pokhara. You can spend the later part of the day exploring Pokhara city. Having the mind blowing backdrop of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre, the must visit sites of Pokhara include the Phewa Lake, Davis fall, Mahendra cave, the famous Seti Gorge, the beautiful temple of Bindabasini and Pokhara Mountain Museum.

Day 4: Drive to Beni (850m) and start trek
After breakfast, around four hours drive to Beni where our trek commences and it offers beautiful views. Beni is at the union of the Myagdi Khola and the Kali Gandaki Camp. Being the districts headquarter, Beni has a police check post where the trekking permits will be examined.

Day 5: Trek to Singa Bazar (853m)
From Beni, we leave the Kali Gandaki and head west along the north bank of the Myagdi Khola through the village of Beni Mangalghat to Singa Bazar.

Day 6: Trek to Takum
We trek along the trail to Takum from Singa Bazar.

Day 7: Trek to Muri (1,850m)
We head north to Phedi crossing a river. As we leave, the trail starts ascending. We come across many switch-backs until we arrive at the ridge. The trail again ascends steeply up to Muri at 1,850m. Moving up along the trail, we trek to Sibang and Mattim. From here, continuing up an incline to the snout of a ridge, we descend to the Gatti Khola and reach Phalai Gaon (1,810m). We then cross the Dhara Khola to again emerge on the west bank of the Myagdi Khola. After climbing a ridge, we finally reach the large Magar village of Muri. From Muri, we get amazing views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and other surrounding mountains.

Day 8: Trek to Boghara (2,080m)
After a short descend, we cross a stream and continue through terraced fields. Climbing a ridge, we reach the pass from where we can see Mt. Ghustung South (6,465m). Descending to the Myagdi Khola and trekking along its West Bank to the village of Naura, we ascend for a short while. Passing through a grassy hill and climbing a steep slope with switch-backs, we then descend through a forest and terraced fields to reach Boghara (2,080m).

Day 9: Trek to Dobang (2,250m)
Leaving Boghara, we continue along the trail. We descend through terraced fields to a small ridge and then through a forest to reach Jyardan. After the settlement, a high winding path crosses a rocky area and then descends before climbing up again to Lipshe where there is a single hut. The trail continues through a forest to Lapche Kharka and then climbs to Dobang. The path is quite difficult and sometimes we might need to use ropes.

Day 10: Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,800m)
Crossing a wooden bridge out of Dobang, the trail ascends a forested area. Passing through the beautiful forest, we rapidly gain altitude as mountains surround us. After crossing the Myagdi Khola, we later cross a stream to reach Choriban Khola. We continue along the trail to the terminal of the Chhonbarban Glacier and enter the glacier from the right. Tukche Peak (6,837m) becomes visible straight on at the far end, while the impressive north flank of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) dominates the skyline to our right. After a short while we reach the Italian Base Camp (3,660m). To the west are the peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m).

Day 11: Rest day
Rest day for acclimatization.

Day 12: Trek to Midway Camp (4,500m)
We trek along the trail to the Midway Camp. This trail is a little tough, so probably we might need to use a rope in a couple of tricky spots. The surroundings here are spectacular, with magnificent views of the beautiful snow-capped peaks.

Day 13: Rest day
Rest day for acclimatization.

Day 14: Trek to Classic Base Camp (5000m)
After proper acclimatization, we climb steadily to the rough and chilling but spectacular Classic Base Camp at 5000m. This is a prime point from where we get amazing views of the Dhaulagiri Ranges.

Day 15: Rest day
Rest day for acclimatization.

Day 16: Trek across the French Col (5,100m) to camp below Dhampus Pass (5,200m)
After proper acclimatization, we climb two terraced hills before entering a valley. We then climb to the French Col (5,100m) from where we can see Mukut Himal (6,328m), Tashi Kang (6,386m) and Sita Chuchura (6,611m). To the south is Tukche Peak (6,920m) and beyond is the massive peak of Dhaulagiri I. From French Pass we continue along the trail towards Dhampus Pass at 5,200m. We camp below Dhampus Pass.

Day 17: Rest day but possibility to climb Dhampus Peak
Rest day but there is a possibility for us to climb the Dhampus Peak.

Day 18: Trek across Dhampus Pass (5,200m) to Alubari
After climbing over the 5,200m Dhampus Pass, we pass through flooded slopes and then descend steeply to Yak Kharka. From Yak Kharka, we continue along the trail to reach Alubari.

Day 19: Trek to Marpha (2,665m)
We now begin the descend down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. Jomsom is sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki and from here we get fine views of the Nilgiri peaks. We continue down to Marpha, a delightful Thakali village, with a well-planned drainage system. Its narrow alleys and passageways provide welcome shelter from the strong winds of the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Marpha is particularly well known for its apples, apple cider and apple, apricot and peach alcohol.

Day 20: Trek to Lete (2,470m)
We continue descending the Kali Gandaki Gorge to Tukuche, a Thakali village with a large gompa. Beyond Tukuche we walk along the west bank of the Kali Gandaki towards Larjung. Here, as in many of the villages in this area, narrow alleyways and tunnels connect houses with enclosed courtyards, providing protection against the wind blowing up the valley. We make our way through pine, juniper and cypress forests to Kalopani, enjoying fine views of Annapurna I and Fang. We then reach Lete, which lies just twenty minutes beyond Kalopani.

Day 21: Trek to Tatopani (1,160m)
Our trail descends steeply through forests to Ghasa, the last Thakali village and the southern-most limit of Tibetan Buddhism. We enter the steepest and narrowest part of the gorge shortly after Ghasa. At the small town of Rupse, a magnificent waterfall tumbles down beside the trail. Continuing on, we come to Dana, a Magar village from where the massive peak of Annapurna South can be seen across the valley. The trail then descends to Tatopani where we can have apple pie and bathe in the hot springs.

Day 22: Trek to Ghorepani (2,775m)
A short distance downstream from Tatopani, we cross the river on a large suspension bridge and leave the Kali Gandaki behind. After passing through the villages of Sikha and Chitre, we climb through the forest to Deorali, a 2,834m pass from where we can get excellent views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli. Just 10 minutes beyond the pass is the village of Ghorepani. Ghorepani means "horse water" and is a welcome watering spot for the packs of mules, which ply the route between Pokhara and Jomsom.

Day 23: Trek to Birethanti (1,050m) and drive to Pokhara
An hour-long pre-dawn ascent gives us the opportunity to see the fascinating views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri glowing in the morning sun from Poon Hill (3,193m). After breakfast, we begin the long descent to Birethanti through magnificent oak and rhododendron forests. From the village of Ulleri, a long steep stone staircase seems to go on forever before eventually reaching Hille. A more gradual descent then brings us to Birethanti, from where it is a short distance to the road and our transport that takes us to Pokhara.

Day 24: Fly or drive to Kathmandu
Fly or drive back to Kathmandu.

Day 25: In Kathmandu
Free day for relaxing. You can go for either shopping or sightseeing.

Day 26: Depart Kathmandu
Our representative will take you to the airport for final departure.

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Miami Tibetan Studies Abroad Progarm
Dept. of Anthropology
Miami University