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 Circuit 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 ranging 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 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 agenda, and we’re more than willing to accommodate those wishes and perhaps add our 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 Circuit Trek if you are.