Dhaulagiri Circle - French Col Pass Trek

Dhaulagiri Circle - French Col Pass Trek

TripGrade: Strenuous
Strenuous Trekking Grade is both moderate and difficult. Even in this grade, treks reach around 5000-5500 meters. You will have to walk generally for 6-7 hours each day. Strenuous treks require good physical condition and acclimatization. If some problems seem to appear, you have to walk down and take some hot drinks or soup ( + rest). You may be affected rapidly if you have high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease or complicated medical conditions. Advise is required from your doctor before starting these kinds of treks.

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OverView

Duration:

21 Days

Country:
Max Altitude:

French Col (5,360 m) / Dhampus Peak (6,012 m)

Group Size

Min. 2, Max. 12

Trial Access:

Private Vehicle / Flight

Best Season:

Sept - Dec & Feb - May

    The Dhaulagiri Circle Trek is considered to be one of the toughest and most challenging trekking trails. It is an off beaten trail that goes around Mt. Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world. In comparison, the Dhaulagiri Circle Trek is similar to the Annapurna Circuit but with a lesser crowd.

    The trek begins in a forested and terraced hilly area that is predominantly dominated by the Magar community and follows the Myagdi Khola to its source at the Chhonbardan Glacier just below Dhaulagiri.

    Moving ahead through the dense forest and the quaint mountain villages, through the vast Dhaulagiri moraine, it takes several days till you cross the French Col (5360m) and enter the Hidden Valley. This is an extremely remote hanging valley which gives you a more of an expedition feel when you cross it. After you enter the valley, there is an option for you to take the summit of Dhampus Peak that is at an altitude of 6060 meters. You cross the Dhampus Pass and make a steep descent to Jomsom where you will find trekkers who have come from the Thorung La Pass on the Annapurna Circuit.

    The trek ends here in Kathmandu. The Dhaulagiri Circle is a tough trek more suitable for trekkers who have earlier experience of trekking at altitudes above 5000m.

    Book this well-designed trip with us and get the taste of our quality service. 

    Starting Price

    USD 2375 per person

    Group Discount : Available

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    Itinerary

    Arrival on: Kathmandu

    Departure from: Kathmandu

    Day 1

    Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m)

    Upon landing in Kathmandu, you will be greeted and escorted to the hotel by a representative from Himalayan Trekkers. 

    After assisting until you check-in at the hotel, you will be on your one for the rest of the day. 

    Accommodation: Hotel Estimated Walking Distance: 30 min private drive

    Day 2

    Kathmandu sightseeing & trek preparation

    Meals included: Breakfast

    After breakfast, you will discover the cultural and historical sites that include a few of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Tempel, Swoyambhunath Stupa, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. 

    After sightseeing, we gather at our office and discuss about the trekking trip that starts tomorrow. 

    Accommodation: Hotel

    Day 3

    Fly to Pokhara & drive to Beni

    Meals included: Breakfast

    We have two options: either we fly to Pokhara and drive to Beni or we can drive to Beni from Kathmandu. The drive will be long and hectic as you have a long trip ahead. So, you are suggested to fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and from Pokhara, you drive to Beni and meet all the camping crew members and a final check of all the things before we start our memorable trek.

    Accommodation: Teahouse Estimated Walking Distance: 25 mins flight & 3-4 hrs drive

    Day 4

    Trek to Dharapani (1,470m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Our trekking journey begins along the Myagdi Khola passing through several villages before reaching Darbang where we stop for lunch. After we cross the suspension bridge, we start the climb to Dharapani. This village is mainly inhabited by the Gurung and Chettri communities. Here we have our first view of the Dhaulagiri located to the north.

    Overnight. 

    Accommodation: Local teahouse/lodge Estimated Walking Distance: 6-7 hrs trek

    Day 5

    Trek to Muri (1,850m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    After breakfast, we start our walk through Takum and Sibang villages. These are prosperous villages with many terraced fields mainly growing rice and wheat. Also, we can have a good view of Gurja Himal and Putha Hiunchuli located to the west. After crossing Dhara Khola on a suspension bridge we continue to Muri. Most of the people living in this village belong to the Magar community.

    Overnight. 

    Accommodation: Local teahouse/lodge/tented camp Estimated Walking Distance: 5-6 hrs trek

    Day 6

    Trek to Boghara (2,080m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    From Muri, we climb down a steep slope to the bridge crossing over the Muri Khola. After passing through dense bamboo stands, the trail opens up into several clearings with fields and farmhouses. Further north the valley widens and the trail is exposed in places. We camp on the grounds of the primary school in this village.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 6 hrs trek

    Day 7

    Trek to Dobang (2,350m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Leaving Boghara we walk through the trail following the west bank of Myagdi Khola through an undulating trail in the forest. You gaze up the cliffs high above the trail and you can see honeycombs from where the villagers collect honey. We stop for lunch at Lipshe at 2,080m. After a short break, we continue walking through the forest until we get to a clearing in the forest at Dobang.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 5-6 hrs trek

    Day 8

    Trek to Sallaghari (3,010m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Today's trail continues through the dense, lush vegetation of ferns, bamboo, and rhododendrons. We cross over to the east bank of the Myagdi Khola on a new cantilever bridge and then camp at a clearing in the forest at Sallaghari.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 5-6 hrs trek

    Day 9

    Trek to Italian Base Camp (3,660m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    From Sallaghari, we walk through the forest of pine trees, rhododendron, and birch. Then we will come across heather, juniper, and azaleas. The trail traverses through the forest and then climbs to a grassy area on the lateral moraine where Italian Base Camp is located. High above the camp is the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri with Tsaurabong Peak visible on the other side of the valley.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 7 hrs trek

    Day 10

    Rest and acclimatization day

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    After all these days of traversing this one day is kept for a bit of relaxation, exploration and acclimatization. One can easily explore the area around the Italian Base Camp or stay put at the campsite. This test is important because you need to acclimatize with the weather conditions as well as the topography. From here onwards it is a climb to a higher altitude towards the Dhaulagiri Base Camp for which you need to healthy, fit and fine.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp

    Day 11

    Trek to Glacier Camp (4,200m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    From the Italian Base Camp, the trail descends steeply down the lateral moraine to the glacier. There are ropes fixed here to help the group and the trek crew. We cross the glacier with the help of these ropes and then traverse along the moraine on the left side of the Chonbarden gorge. We walk along talus in the remarkably narrow Chonbarden gorge to the snout of the Chonbarden glacier and then continue for another hour to Glacier Camp. There are many ledges leveled in the ice of the glacier for our tents.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 6 hrs trek

    Day 12

    Rest & acclimatization day at Glacier Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    This day is meant to be used for acclimatization which is very necessary before we proceed forward to the Base Camp tomorrow. There is an optional day walk up the glacier towards the Base Camp to a large moraine ridge from where you can see the Tukuche, Little Eiger, and the valley heading towards the French Pass. 

    Accommodation: Tented Camp

    Day 13

    Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Today, we follow a rough trail along the moraine that is covered by the glacier and heads towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp. From the Base Camp, the view is impressive with Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and Little Eiger in front of us. Further to the west stands tall Dhaulagiri II (7,751m) and IV (7,618m). One can also see the start of the climbing route through the snowfall.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 7 hrs trek

    Day 14

    Rest & acclimatization day at Dhaulagiri Base Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    This is another necessary day of acclimatization before crossing the French Pass and going over to our campsite in the Hidden Valley at 5,100m.

    At some point today you will be given a preliminary about the use of ice axe and crampons. This is especially for those trekkers who are using it for the first time. These basic mountaineering skills will be required for crossing the high passes to Jomsom.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp

    Day 15

    Trek to Hidden Valley (5,140m) via French Col (5,360m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    After an early breakfast, we start to walk along the moraine strip to cross over the left of the Upper Chonbarden glacier. The walk to French Pass is comparatively easy as we ascend angled snow slopes. The walking down from the pass is on moderate snow slopes as we enter the hidden valley. After a long walk and descent, we arrive at the camp next to the river that is close to the Base of Dhampus Peak. 

    Note: Since we cross the French Col one of the adventurous passes of the world, you can extend 2 days to climb the Dhampus peak paying extra cost to save time, energy and money.  Please enquire with Himalayan Trekkers team before confirming the trip.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 6-7 hrs trek

    Day 16

    Option 1: Exploring/ walk around Hidden Valley

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Please note that we will only cross the French Pass on Day 14 if everyone in the group is sufficiently acclimatized. If anyone needs more time then we will delay by a day. There are a number of options for day walks around Hidden Valley; one of the best is to walk up on a ridge on the western side which gives you a beautiful view of the Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna and the lower parts of the Hidden Valley.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp

    Day 17

    Trek to Yak Kharka (3,680m) via Dhampus Pass (5,244m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    This is a long day and by far the toughest on Dhaulagiri Circle Trek. After an early start from the camp, we start the climb up a moderate snow slope to get to the Dhampus Pass. From the summit of the pass, the trail descends for about 100m before we start to traverse left into Kali Gandaki valley. There is a very long traverse across the snow which usually takes about four hours before starting the steep descent to Yak Kharka. Throughout this walk, there are stunning views of Nilgiri, Tukuche, Dhaulagiri I, Mukut Himal Tashi Kang, Sita Chuchura, and the western end of the Annapurna Massif.

    Accommodation: Tented Camp Estimated Walking Distance: 8-9 hrs trek

    Day 18

    Trek to Jomsom (2,720m)

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    We have to climb down for a long time to reach the village of Marpha located in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Marpha village boasts of a Buddhist monastery, Tibetan whitewashed houses, and paved streets. It is also famous for its apple orchards. So one can take a break here and enjoy a glass of apple juice at one of the lodges. In Jomsom, we stay at one of the lodges located near the airport.

    Accommodation: Local lodge Estimated Walking Distance: 4-5 hrs trek

    Day 19

    Fly to Pokhara

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Since Jomsom lies in the mountainous region so there is always an early flight to Pokhara as in the morning the days are clear.

    Pokhara is also known as the “city of Lake” and is one of the most popular places for foreigners after Kathmandu. There are lots of interesting things to see in Pokhara. So when you are in Pokhara don’t miss to visit the popular landmarks of Pokhara.

    Note: Those who have limited time can fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and also can fly to Kathmandu on the same day using a connecting flight or can drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Also, this place lies in a mountainous region so there is limited flight.

    Accommodation: Hotel Estimated Walking Distance: 20 mins flight

    Day 20

    Fly/drive to Kathmandu

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Today either you can fly to Kathmandu and witness an aerial vista of changing natural vegetation with the Himalayan Range or you can drive from Pokhara. The drive will be scenic and you will get the opportunity to experience the highway of Nepal.

    Check-in at the hotel and relax once in Kathmandu. . 

    Accommodation: Hotel Estimated Walking Distance: 25 mins flight/6-7 hrs drive

    Day 21

    Depart Kathmandu

    Meals included: Breakfast

    You can depart from Kathmandu to your home country or extend the trip and head for another trip within or outside Nepal. 

    We look forward to assisting you with your next journeys. 

    Estimated Walking Distance: 30 min private drive

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    Accommodation

    Himalayan Trekkers promises to manage the best, most comfortable and preferable accommodation.

    Generally, in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, we arrange basic three-star facilities. If available, you can opt for a more budget-friendly option or upgrade to a more luxurious hotel by paying a little extra. 

    Although all the places might not have all the modern facilities, we will make sure to arrange safe and comfortable accommodation. In general, hygienic and safe tea houses/local lodges/ home-stays with all the basic facilities are arranged. But you can, if possible, personalize according to your preference. 

    If your itinerary includes camping or you choose to experience camping during your travel, a proper camping-site will be pre-decided. If required, we also provide the basic equipment which is refundable. Please check the Gear-List and Requirement List for more information.

    Meals

    Breakfast is usually included with your B&B Accommodation within the cost that is evident.

    For other meals in the city, you would have to pay separately. Often in the cities, you can choose from many different cuisines and varied food services. We can always help you find the right place to fit your taste.

    In more remote areas, usually, there are not many options. But you can always find hygienic and well-prepared food. Moreover, almost all the meals during the trek are included in the cost. We can help you make changes according to your preference and budget, but only if choices are available!

    On top of that, Himalayan Trekkers also organizes Welcome or Farewell Dinners as a symbol of warm greetings.

    Please go through the detailed itinerary for more information. We are always there to help you travel to your heart’s content.


    Inclusion

    Whats Included

    • TIMS
    • Permit & Entry Fees
    • Airport Pick-up and Drop-off
    • Transportation as per itinerary
    • Guide, Driver, and Porter
    • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Tea) during the trek
    • Accommodation as per the itinerary 
    • First-Aid Kit
    • Welcome/Farewell Dinner
    • All Taxes & surcharges 

    Whats Not Included

    • International airfares and airport tax
    • Nepal Entry Visa Fees (USD 25/40/100- 15/30/100 Days, Cash On Arrival)
    • Trekking Equipment
    • Personal expenses such as laundry, liquor, room service, phone bills, bar bills, etc.
    • Tips to Guide, Porter, and Driver
    • Your Travel Insurance
    • Any cost occurs from any unfavorable condition such as landslide, bad weather, flight cancellation etc.
    • Anything not mentioned in the includes section 


    GearList

    Gears required for the trek vary upon destination and season. Trekking shoes, down jacket, sleeping bag, hiking poles are the essential ones. Besides these – the following list is suggested:

    Head

    • Sun hat or scarf
    • Sun glasses
    • Sunscream
    • Lip Balm.

    Feet

    • Thin & Warm Socks - 2 pairs
    • Sandals
    • Trekking Shoes on the trek
    • Comfortable Shoes in cities

    Body

    • Warm gloves
    • T-shirts
    • Light jackets and pullovers
    • Wind – stopper jacket
    • Undergarments
    • Hiking shorts
    • Cotton/woolen pants or trousers

    Accessories

    • Earplug
    • Electronics gadgets of your choice
    • Spare Battery
    • Notebook, pen, guidebook and map
    • Tour/Trekking Bag
    • Hiking Poles
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Down jacket
    • Toiletries (toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, nail cutter, anti-bacterial hand wash

    Reviews

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    Regardless of any kind of adventure tour or treks, whether it be a tailor-made multi-country tour, luxury vacation, or even an adventure day trips — we ensure that it will be exactly the way you imagined. With our tailor-made itinerary or your customized trip, we guarantee a service that you will never forget. Please feel free to email us any time at info@himalayantrekkers.com

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