Dhaulagiri Circuit via French & Dhampus Passes

Price based on 2 PAX. Cost per person:
For bigger group, contact us for better price.
$2723
$2871
$3140

Trip Descriptions

This is the kind of venture where ‘Everybody wants what everybody Wants’. Its an arduous trek around Dhaulagiri peak at [8167m], the world’s seventh highest mountain as we wade through two heady Himalayan passes above 5000m. Among many peaks and high valleys of Nepal’s formidable Himalayas, there are a few lengthy and physically taxing trekking paths and this true-to-belief adventure holiday takes on one of the most excellent and toughest of these while‘Plodding through Dhaulagiri Circuit via French & Dhampus Passes’, as we hike through the lovely Hidden Valley…and this is where you go ballistic with nature, one of an ecological kind rarely found anywhere else.

We launch our trip at Beni on the Kali Gandaki River; this gripping hiking route ascends the pretty and untouched valley of the Myagdi Khola which flows towards the south from the soul of the Dhaulagiri Himal, and our challenging ordeal goes on from here above the tree lines…and Elysium. We also have the option to climb Dhampus Peak at an elevation of 6,060m and this is open for those who’ve done the big mountains. Climbing Dhampus peak means paying extra for the climbing permit, but then going the higher limits gives you experiences that last a whole lifetime. 

This trekking adventure takes bold hikers real close-up to the regal Dhaulagiri peak, almost within touching distance from Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Dissimilar absorbing cultures with some interesting interactions, trampling through an assortment of lush green forests above the timberline and gaping awestruck at huge peaks like Dhaulagiri and Dhampus Peak all combine to put your imagination on overdrive when you do the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek.

After breathlessly hiking up the narrow Chonbarden gorge on our way to Dhaulagiri Base Camp, we then cut across French Pass into Hidden Valley. After passing Dhampus Pass we begin the lengthy descent to Jomsom and this is where our odyssey concludes as we fly out to Pokhara.

Trip Factors

Trip Duration : 20N / 21D
Trekking Code: STE/DR/01
Trip Grade: Strenuous…a challenge for the body and the mind
Start and ends in: Kathmandu
Trek Days: 16 days on gritty off-the-beaten trails out in the lovely wilderness, ever so close to nature
Trip Style: Hotel and Camping {FOT}
Meals: Nutritious meals provided throughout the journey on the mountains
Transportation: Land Transportation & a flight
Highest Altitude: 5360m… we peak at The French Col, this is just a little above the Secret Valley…it’s at these passes where you need to see to believe in the love and power of God, as you get to view Dhaulagiri & Tukuche peak in all its natural beauty and glory. 
Best Season: Autumn and early spring, it’s always best this time around

 

Day 1 : Arrival Kathmandu

Day 2 : Free at your own leisure

Day 3 : Fly to Pokara, drive to Beni and trek to Tatopani (870m)

Day 4 : Trek to Dharapani (1,470m)

Day 5 : Trek to Muri (1,850m)

Day 6 : Trek to Boghara (2080m)

Day 7 : Trek to Dobang (2250m)

Day 8 : Trek to Sallaghari (3,010m)

Day 9 : Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,660m)

Day 10 : Rest and acclimatisation day

Day 11 : Trek to Glacier Camp (4,200m)

Day 12 : Rest & acclimatisation day at Glacier Camp (4,200m)

Day 13 : Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m)

Day 14 : Rest & acclimatisation day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp

Day 15 : Trek via French Col (5,360m) to above Hidden Valley (5,050m)

Day 16 : Option 1: Exploration walks around Hidden Valley

Day 17 : Option 2: Climb Dhampus Peak (6,060m)

Day 18 : Trek over Dhampus Pass (5,240m) to Yak Kharka (3,680m)

Day 19 : Trek to Jomsom (2,670m)

Day 20 : Fly to Pokhara & Kathmandu

Day 21 : Fly back home

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

It is fantastic flying into Kathmandu on a day with clear blue skies. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below you are almost rapturous, and begins a whole sequence of memorable experiences that stay with you for a real long time.
An escort from our office will meet you at the airport and reach you to your hotel. 

Our representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be oriented about your daily activities. This is your first overnight in the valley of temples and cows, probably the most in the world – Breakfast

Day 2: Free at your own leisure

After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day.

The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites.  Sansui Treks will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel 

Day 3: Fly to Pokara, drive to Beni and trek to Tatopani (870m )- 2 hours  driving & 3 hours hiking. 

On arrival at Pokhara airport we get into a minibus for the short drive to Beni where we join up with the rest of our trek crew. After lunch and some rest, we begin the first part of our trekking from Beni by leaving the Kali Gandaki valley and head west along the bank of Myagdi Khola. We then set up our first camps at Tatopani beyond the hot springs in a grassy area close to the river. Overnight in our tents for the night – B. L. D

Day 4: Trek to Dharapani (1,470m) - 6 to 7 hours hiking 

The trail clings on to the Myagdi Khola passing through several lively vibrant villages before reaching Darbang where we haul up for lunch. After crossing the airy suspension bridge we begin our climb to Dharapani. This village is mainly inhabited by the Gurung and chettri tribes and this is where we get our first views of Dhaulagiri to the north in the far distance. We set up our tents and crash out here for the night – B. L. D

Day 5: Trek to Muri (1,850m) – 5 hours hiking

We begin our day today by crossing a river and heading north to Phedi. As we leave, the trail starts climbing. We come across many switch-backs until we arrive at the ridge. The trail again climbs steeply up to Muri at 1850m. 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 (1810m). We then cross the Dhara Khola to again appear 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 some sublime views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and other surrounding mountains. We choose a great spot to set up our tents and get ready for the night – B. L. D

Day 6: Trek to Boghara (2080m) – 7 hours hiking

Today, after hitting the trail and a short descend, we cross a stream and continue through terraced fields. Climbing a ridge, we reach a pass from where we can see Mt. Ghustung South (6465m). Descending to the Myagdi Khola and trekking along its west bank to the village of Naura, we climb for a short while. Traversing a grassy hill and climbing a steep slope with switch-backs, we then descend through a forest and terraced fields to reach the village of Boghara where we put up our tents on the premises of a primary school and get set for the night – B. L. D

Day 7: Trek to Dobang (2250m) – 6-7 hours hiking

After setting out from Boghara, we stick to the trail. We descend through terraced fields to a small ridge and then through a forest to reach Jyardan. After passing this 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 pretty rugged hereabouts and sometimes we might need to use ropes. We set up camp in the village of Dobang and settle down for the night – B. L. D

Day 8: Trek to Sallaghari (3,010m) – 5-6 hours hiking

After a hearty breakfast, we take it easy with a slow ascent; we come across more grassy clearings and arrive at a level 'kharkha' or grazing area. Here, we take lunch in a nice, open position on the south side of a tributary valley with a teasing glimpse of the peaks of Dhaulagiri Massif ahead. Crossing the tributary Konaban Khola, once again we enter a forested area and climb to a crest, from where we can see the west wall of Dhaulagiri I as we peak between the trees. Our route drops down to the Myagdi Khola, which we cross to reach the east bank, and then follows the river, crossing the tributary Pakite Khola, to reach the summer grazing area of Sallaghari at (3010m) where we set up camp for the night – B. L. D

Day 9: Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,660m) - 3 to 4 hours hiking

As we hit the trail, crossing a wooden bridge out of Dobang, the trail ascends a forested area. Passing through lovely forest with merry chirping birds, 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 (which is not very well defined) to the terminal moraine of the Chhonbarban Glacier and enter the glacier from the right. Tukche Peak (6837m) meets us straight on the far end, while the impressive north flank of Dhaulagiri I (8167 m) dominates the skyline to our right. After a short while we reach the Italian Base Camp at (3660m). To the west are the peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), Dhaulagiri III (7715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7618m). We haul up here to relish the views and set up camp for the night – B. L. D

Day 10: Rest and acclimatisation day 

Today we take it easy and rest a bit, but this doesn’t mean we stay idle. We head out for a hike to explore around Italian Base Camp or simply chill out at camp by being active. This day is critical for acclimatisation before ascending further in altitude towards the main Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Overnight camping – B. L. D

Day 11: Trek to Glacier Camp (4,200m) - 4 - 5 hours hiking 

Today it’s a pretty lesser hike but this important for the acclimatisation routine. We prefer to be cautious in order for you to enjoy your journey going up and so our itineraries are pretty different from others. 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/may result in altitude sickness, and this is one thing we want to avoid for the group). 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 an area of rubble 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 leveled in the ice of the glacier to set up our tents. Overnight on the glacier – B. L. D

Day 12: Rest & acclimatisation day at Glacier Camp (4,200m)

We are now above 4000 metres and in alpine country; our next camp will be at 4700 metres so it is real vital that we include an acclimatisation day prior to hitting the upper reaches. This is a fine day for resting and catching up with the laundry or we can simply go on a discovery hike above camp – B. L. D

Day 13: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m) – 4-5 hours hiking

Its an early start today for the long day haul to Dhaulagiri Basecamp. We follow the north side of the glacier, sometimes on the lateral moraine and sometimes on the undulating surface of the glacier itself which lies below West Dhaulagiri. 

Finally, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp at (4748m) after a gritty hike. From our camp, we can look up at the towering north face of Dhaulagiri I, whilst to the west lie the awesome peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), III (7715m) and IV at (7618m). Directly opposite our camp is the impressive icefall which descends from the col between Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak. We set up camp at these dizzy heights on our way to higher elevations - B. L. D

Day 14: Another day for rest and acclimatisation before crossing the pass into the Hidden Valley. 

This is yet another day to rest those weary limbs and to explore above the camp area for fine views. At some point today your trek leader will also take the initiative to organise a training session for those in the group who have no prior experience of using ice axe and crampons. Its real useful doing the training. These basic mountaineering skills will be required for crossing the high passes to Jomsom and for any future high country expeditions – B. L. D

Day 15: Trek via French col (5,360m) to above Hidden Valley (5,050m) - 7 hours hiking

As we stick to our path on the north side of the Chhondarban Glacier, we gradually climb the stepped hillside above the glacier, with meandering trails across scree and moraine leading to the easy-angled snow slopes which lead up to French Pass (5370m). From this great point we have a stunning 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountain ranges. These include, nearby Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak, and the huge Dhaulagiri I. A gentle descent, across easy snow slopes, takes us to the head of the heavenly Hidden Valley, a long and broad mountain enclave which remained undiscovered behind the Dhaulagiri Massif until as recently as the last few decades. We descend to camp on a level shelf, overlooking the Hidden Valley, at an altitude of approximately 5120 metres. We bunk out near hidden valley in our camps – B. L. D

Day 16: Option 1: Exploration hikes around Hidden Valley

We have several 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. There’s enough of beauty hereabouts to stir our imaginations – B. L. D

Day 17: Option 2: Climb Dhampus Peak at (6,060m)

If we opt to climb Dhampus peak, the ascent will begin at first light in the chilly bitter cold. We walk across snow to Dhampus Pass at 5,258m, and then scree slopes are followed to the skyline ridge, which leads to the summit. When this is done, we descend to camp at 5,100m. But this comes with extra cost to cover the climbing permit. The views are literally out of this world with sights of Dhaulagiri, Annapurnas and go right into Mustang. This is an optional climb only suitable for those familiar with mountaineering experience using ice axe and crampons and with altitudes beyond 5500m – B. L. D

Day 18: Trek over Dhampus pass (5,240m) to Yak Kharka (3,680m) - 9 to 10 hours hiking. 

This is going to be a long grueling day and by far the most challenging on Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. We start early from camp to climb up a moderate snow slope to gain Dhampus pass. There are lovely views of Dhampus Peak to the left of the pass and to the right the beautiful ice flutings of Tukuche Peak are visible.  From the summit of the pass our trail descends the pass for about 100m before it begins to traverse left into Kali Gandaki valley. Depending on the snow and ice conditions, crampons may be needed for the 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. We set up camp at Yak Kharka for the night and a blissful sleep – B. L. D

Day 19: Trek to Jomsom (2,670m) - 4 to 5 hours hiking

Ultimately, we accomplish our descent to the floor of the Kali Gandaki Valley, more than 2500 metres below Dhampus Pass! The first seasonal settlement that we reach is the group of stone huts at Alubari at (3400m) beyond which, our steeply snaking descent brings us finally to the village of Marpha at (2667m). This is a pearl of a village, with sparkling whitewashed houses, paved streets and numerous well-kept lodges and Tibetan craft shops. Leaving behind this Tibetan refugee resettlement centre, we hike northwards climbing once more but gently, up to the airstrip town of Jomsom (2736m). Here we check in to a local lodge and start the celebration on the successful completion of our arduous trek with some beers or local ‘Chhang’ [mountain beer prepared from fermented rice] or perhaps with a glass of one of the famous, locally produced spirits, such as apple brandy. It’s pure to the core!! We enjoy a special meal and try some jigs with our crew as we take some dance steps to the beats of some local music. We then enjoy a blissful sleep – B. L. D

Day 20: From Pokhara, we fly or drive back to Kathmandu

We catch a morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. From Pokhara we have the options to either fly or drive to Kathmandu. The flight is for about 30 minutes and the drive takes approx 6-7 hours. This is a highly scenic drive through lush rural countryside via the main highway to Kathmandu. On reaching Kathmandu, your day is free to do what you would like to do best. Maybe you could go in for some last minute shopping to pick up some souvenirs for the loved ones at home, or maybe you could just chill with a few beers at your hotel. At eventide, we visit an upscale Nepalese restaurant for a delicious Nepalese supper to celebrate a trip well enjoyed. While savoring our meal, we will be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles, we are going to enjoy this evening to the hilt. Overnight at your hotel – Breakfast

Day 21: Departure for that lovely place we call ‘home’ – Farewell Buddies!

Today is free to relax and do your own things; perhaps some last minute shopping or pen a few post cards to the loved ones at home, until your departure or to commence any additional trips or activities you may have booked. If you are departing, you’ll be transferred to the international airport in time for your return flight home. Meeting you has been a wonderful experience that Incentive Holidays will cherish for a long, long time; & on your way home, you’ll be thinking of a trip that will linger in your memories for a whole lifetime which we are sure will become fireside stories to be told to your loved ones on a cold winter night for the generations to come. Till we meet again one day…its bye for now.

Please Note: The above itinerary should be taken only as a guide line; it could change due to weather owing to unfavorable climatic conditions, availability of clean water and campsite, trail or any other unforeseen circumstances. In case of a trek Itinerary alteration or if it needs to be re-routed to another area, your Group Leader or Sherpa Guide will make the final decision after consulting with the trekking group. We must keep in mind that this venture occurs in mountainous regions where the going can get pretty tough, especially when we get to the higher elevations. However, the risk comes down to the bare minimum with Incentive Holidays because we know the land and go the extra mile in ensuring that you enjoy this journey…your way, at your pace

Accommodation

A TH [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek.

We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.

Dining

At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we ensure that the lodges provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.

After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally ‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. ‘Gluttony is a sin’ but there are no restrictions on the grub we serve to our guests on the mountains; we leave it up to our trekking guests who are the best judge of their own appetites…Bon Appétit!!

 

Cost Inclusion

  • Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis at KTM-PKR              
  • Normal/lodge/ home stay /Camping during trekking
  • One English speaking guide
  • Porter (1Porter for 2Pax)
  • 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch & dinner) during Trekking
  • National park fees
  • TIMS
  • KTM-PKR-KTM
  • Airport pick up and drop
  • All ground transfer as per itinerary  

 

Cost Exclusion

  • International Air Fare
  • Domestic Air Fare
  • Entrance Fees
  • Daily Meals (Lunch & Dinner) during Kathmandu
  • Tips to Guide & Driver
  • Bar Expense
  • Telephone, Laundry and Internet
  • Personnel Insurance
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • All other personal expenses
  • Nepal visa fees 

 

Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Boudhanath Stupa
  • Swayambhunath Stupa

 

Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.

The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn.  It is wonderful duringthis time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.