Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek - The Complete Online Guide

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek – One Of Nepal’s Most Demanding Treks

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On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Route Overview

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of Nepal’s most demanding treks and requires previous experience of high altitude trekking. Rope, ice axe and crampons are usually required and you might need to wear a helmet as some stretches of path are susceptible to small rockfalls.

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is said by some to be the toughest three-week trek in Nepal. The bare minimum duration is 13 trekking days plus two more for acclimatisation, but most trek options are over 20 days long. This can be extended with some side trips such as the option to climb the non-technical Dhampus Peak (6,060m). Since many of the trails on the first half of the trek are rarely used, the services of a guide are highly recommended.

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek takes you around the towering form of Mount Dhaulagiri (26,795 feet). Mount Dhaulagiri is the seventh-highest mountain on Earth and was first climbed in 1960. From 1808 to 1848 it was thought to be the highest, although that honour has been held by Everest since 1852.

In the extinct Indian language of Sanskrit, the language of the Kama Sutra, “dhavala” means “white” and “giri” means “mountain.” While other mountains have the same name, this particular white mountain is perhaps the most spectacular. The trek winds up through high alpine pastures, even higher passes and serene, remote valleys.

Please Note:

Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a big risk on the Dhaulagiri Trek as sudden increases in altitude cannot be avoided on this trek – the ground rises by 23,000 feet in the space of less than 20 miles.

Trekking at such an altitude is a challenge even for fit and very experienced hikers. Acclimatisation is essential, but it cannot guarantee a risk-free completion of the Dhaulagiri Trek.  

Warning: Due to the altitude and remoteness, the consequences of bad weather are much more severe.

Regional Map

Dhaulagiri is northwest of Pokhara, in the Dhaulagiri region as seen in the map below.

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Recommended Map

Dhaulagiri (Nepa Trekking Maps) Mountain IQ

There are slim pickings for guidebooks on the Dhaulagiri Trek.

The 2001 guidebook called Trekking & Climbing in Nepal dedicates a chapter to the trek, however, this may be a little out of date. 

There is a trekking map available here.

Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable Dhaulagiri Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

Itinerary

There are several Dhaulagiri Circuit trek itineraries that can be done. Below we have laid out the most popular version – 23 days, leaving from Kathmandu. If you want to make your own way to Pokhara or Beni then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

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Video Overview

A beautiful video overview of the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek by All The Fish Are Dead.

It’s just over 3 minutes long. A little shaky camera but good overview of the route and views.

Recommended Guidebook

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya Book

There are no specific guidebooks on this trek, but you can have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library, perhaps you can find something helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?


Insurance Information

climbing-aconcagua-insurance

Climbing insurance is vital for Dhaulagiri Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

Other Routes

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Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular and iconic treks in Nepal. Trekkers get to retrace the early footsteps taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on their historic Everest expedition in 1953. Discover the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Langtang-Valley-Trek-routes

Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley Trek is a relatively easy trek and is often far less busy than other popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. The trek can be done in seven days, however, it usually takes 10 to 12 days. Discover the Langtang Valley Trek.

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Manaslu Circuit Trek

Robin Boustead, author of Nepal Trekking & the Great Himalaya Trail: A route and planning guide, pronounced, “Many would argue that the Manaslu Circuit trail is the best general trek in the country.” Discover the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

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Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable Dhaulagiri Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

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