Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Join the tour at the hotel. You will be met on arrival at Kathmandu airport and driven back to the hotel. Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick-up and transfer. A full trek briefing will be given in the afternoon.
In the morning we take the flight to Pokhara and after checking to the hotel you have the rest of the day at leisure around Lakeside in Pokhara.
Day 3: Drive to Beni and trek to Babachur 870m.
In the morning we drive to Beni where we meet the rest of our trek crew. From Beni we leave the Kali Gandaki valley and head west along the bank of Myagdi Khola. We camp at Babachur for the night.
Day 4: Trek to Dharapani 1,470m
The trail continues along the Myagdi Khola passing through several villages before reaching Darbangwhere we stop for lunch.After we cross the suspension bridge and soon after start the climb to Dharapani. This village is mainly Gurung and Chettri and has our first view of Dhaulagiri to the north.
Day 5: Trek to Muri 1,850m.
From Dharapani we walk through Takum and Sibang, these are prosperous villages with many terraced fields mainly growing rice and wheat. Today we pass classic Nepal scenery with traditional villages and mountain views. Many of the men in this area work overseas in the Middle East or in the British and Indian Ghurkas. There are good views of Gurja Himal and Puta Hiunchuli to the west. After crossing Dhara Khola on a suspension bridge we continue to Muri, most of the people living in this village are magar.
Day 6: Trek to Boghara 2,080m.
From Muri we descend steeply to the bridge crossing over the Muri Khola. After passing through dense bamboo stands the trail enters a number of clearings with fields and farmhouses. Further north the valley steepens and the trail is exposed in places. We camp in the grounds of the primary school in this village.
Day 7: Trek to Dobang 2,350m.
Myagdi valley is usually wet as a result of its north to south orientation, as clouds approach from India they are forced up by Mount Dhaulagiri at the end of the valley causing precipitation. You should expect to get some rain in the afternoons although usually clears off again in the evening. It is for this reason that there is lush sub-tropical forest in Myagdi valley up to Sallighari camp, be careful walking here as it is often slippery especially over tree roots. From Boghara the trail follows the west bank of Myagdi Khola through an undulating trail in forest. Look up to the cliffs high above the trail there are large bee’s nests where villagers collect honey. We stop for lunch at Lipshe at 2,080m then afterwards we continue walking in forest until we get to a clearing in the forest at Dobang with several teahouses and campsite.
Day 8: Trek to Sallaghari 3,010m.
The trail continues through dense, lush vegetation of ferns, bamboo and rhododendrons. We cross to the east bank of the Myagdi Khola on a new cantilever bridge and then camp at a clearing in the forest at Sallaghari.
Day 10: Rest and acclimatisation day
Today we can go for a walk to explore around Italian Base Camp or relax in camp. This day is essential for acclimatisation before ascending further in altitude towards main Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
Day 11: Trek to Glacier Camp 4,200m.
Today is a shorter walk although essential for acclimatisation process unlike most other itineraries we believe in having two nights at Glacier Camp located between Italian Base Camp and main Dhaulagiri Base Camp (otherwise going from 3,660m to 4,740m will result in altitude sickness). From Italian Base Camp the trail descends steeply down lateral moraine to gain the glacier, in the past we have fixed a rope here to help the group and trek crew. We cross the glacier and then traverse along the moraine on the left side of the Chonbarden gorge. We walk along talus in the impressively narrow Chonbarden gorge to the snout of the Chonbarden glacier and then continue for another hour to Glacier camp. There are a number of ledges levelled in the ice of the glacier for our tents.
Day 12: Rest & acclimatisation day at Glacier Camp 4,200m.
Today is an essential acclimatisation day before walking to Base Camp tomorrow. There is an optional day walk up the glacier towards Base Camp to a large moraine ridge with views of Tukuche, little Eiger and icefall from NE Col plus valley heading towards French Pass. This morning walk takes four hours return.
Day 13: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4,740m.
We follow a rough trail along the moraine covered glacier to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. From Base Camp the view is impressive with Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak and Little Eiger and further to the west lies Dhaulagiri II (7,751m) and IV (7,618m). One can also see the start of the climbing route through the icefall. In season there are likely to be expeditions camped on the moraine strip at Base Camp.
Day 14: Rest & acclimatisation day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
This is another essential day for acclimatisation before crossing French pass.
Day 15-16: Trek to Hidden Valley 5,050m.
Today we will cros Freench Pass.
Over to our campsite in Hidden valley at 5,100m. In the past some in the group have enjoyed going for a short walk towards French Pass in the morning while others relaxing in camp enjoying the views. At some point today your western leader will organise a training session for those in the group who have no prior experience of using ice axe and crampons. There are a number of options for day walks around Hidden Valley, one of the best is to walk up a ridge on western side with views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris, Annapurnas and down Hidden Valley.
Option 2: Climb Dhampus Peak 6,060m.
There is an option to climb Dhampus Peak at an altitude of 6,060m for those with previous mountaineering experience. If you like to climb Dhampus Peak there is an extra cost to cover the climbing permit. An early start is required for climbing Dhampus Peak as this day entails over 1,000m ascent from Hidden Valley at 5,050m to the summit at 6,060m. Depending on the current conditions the route ascends on moderate snow slopes and scree along a ridge to the summit. The view is sensational with views to Dhaulagiri, Annapurnas and into Mustang. This is optional climb is only suitable for those with previous mountaineering experience using ice axe and crampons.
Day 17: Trek to Yak Kharka 3,680m.
This is a long day and by far the toughest on Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. After an early start from camp we start the climb up a moderate snow slope to gain Dhampus pass. There are fine views of Dhampus Peak to the left of the pass and to the right the beautiful ice flutings of Tukuche Peak. From the summit of the pass the trail descend pass for about 100m before start to traverse left into Kali Gandaki valley. Depending on the snow and ice conditions crampons may be needed for group & porters at this point. There is a very long traverse on snow usually taking about four hours before starting the steep descent to Yak Kharka. Throughout this traverse there are stunning views of Nilgiri and the western end of the Annapurna Massif.
Day 18: Trek to Jomsom 2,670m.
There is a long descent today to the village of Marpha located in the Kali Gandaki valley. Marpha village has a Buddhist monastery, Tibetan whitewashed houses and paved streets. It is also famous for its apple orchards so well worth stopping here to get a glass of apple juice at one of the lodges.In Jomsom we stay at one of the lodges located near the airport. After hot showers you can explore Jomsom, check emails then in the evening the cooks will produce a special last meal together. Later on we will hand out tips to our crew as a thank you for all their hard work throughout the trek.
Day 19: Fly to Pokhara & Kathmandu
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara then connect onto another flight to Kathmandu.
There is a significant safety risk to consider when flying on airlines in Nepal, if you would like to avoid STOL flight from Jomsom to Pokhara there is an option to get bus and to trevel to Pokhara. However there are also safety considerations with this option as driving in Nepal is risky too.
Day 20: Sightseeing in Kathmandu.
This is a day to explore Kathmandu where we organise guided sightseeing to the Buddhist and Hindu sights in Kathmandu, to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambunath - the Buddhist monkey temple and Pashupatinath – a sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. In the Kathmandu Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit. You should get back to the hotel after your sightseeing tour around mid- afternoon and the rest.
Transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight back home. End of trip.