Crystal Mountain Treks

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass

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Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass
Country: Nepal | Destination: Dhaulagiri | Activity: Camping Trek | Grade: 5 - Challenging

Dhaulagiri enroute to the French pass (photo: Jwalant)

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek (19 days, 18 nights)

The Dhaulagiri circuit trek is a challenging trek on an off-the-beaten-trail that circles Mt. Dhaulagiri, the worlds seventh highest mountain.

The trek begins in forested and terraced hills inhabited by the Magar people. Past permanent settlements, the trek continues through thickly forested jungle trails and then through the seemingly never-ending Dhaulagiri moraine for several days until you cross the French Col (5,360m/17,600ft.) to enter the Hidden valley. From here, you have the option to summit Dhampus peak (6,060m/19,850ft.). Cross the Dhampus pass and descend to Jomsom where the trek ends.

From 1808 to 1848, Dhaulagiri was thought to be the highest mountain in the world; from 1848 to 1852 Kanchenjunga; and since 1852 Mt. Everest. Now Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8,167 meters (26,795 feet). The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is like the Annapurna Circuit Trek but without the crowds.


Trek Rating:

This trek is rated challenging but is moderately paced. The trek involves daily hiking of between 5-8 hours and the entire trek involves lots of up and down. Highest altitude reached is 17,700 ft. and highest camp is at 16,700 ft. While the trek requires good physical fitness and involves walking through rocky terrain and landslides, no technical climbing experience is required. But you do have to be a very experienced hiker.


Crystal Mountain organizes treks and tours in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet for hundreds of satisfied travelers each year. Feel free to ask us for a list of references who can tell you about their experience with us.


There are over 500 and counting trekking companies in Nepal. We are aware that you have lots of options. But, we believe there are reasons we stand out from our competitors. We've listed some here...


Arriving early or leaving late? Nepal (and the region) has a lot to offer besides your main trip to Annapurna. Depending on the extra days you have and your budget, we would be glad to match you up with activities in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan.

Contact us for more details:



Land Line: + 977 1 4416813
Mobile: + 977 98410-00724

Day 01 - Kathmandu (4,400ft)

Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel. Rest of day free. Welcome dinner. (Dinner)

Day 02 - Kathmandu (4,400ft)

Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal's most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Here, you'll probably witness a Hindu cremation along the banks of the Bagmati River.

Then drive to Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees, for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square. Bhaktapur is a medieval city in the Kathmandu valley and is least disturbed by modern life. Here, you can absorb the architectural splendor of the five-storied Nyatapola temple, or the sculptural delight of the Peacock Window. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Day 03 - Kathmandu to Darbang

Morning flight to Pokhara. Continue by chartered bus to Darbang (4 to 5 hours). Your porters and kitchen staff will already have arrived at Darbang and will have set up your tents. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 04 - Darbang to Sibang

Dhaulagiri II looms over Dharapani (Photo: Jwalant) Cross the bridge over Myagdi Khola and walk on level trail to Phedi. Slowly ascend switch-back for about 30 minutes to the top of a hill. Beautiful views of Dhaulagiri I, II, III, IV and V on a clear day. Trek on gently uphill trail to Dharapani where you stop for early lunch (2 to 3 hours).

After lunch, ascend slowly through terraced rice-fields, first to the large village of Takam and then to Sibang (2 to 3 hours) which has about 100 houses. The land here is fertile and is evident from the terraced rice-fields that extend all the way to the river below. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 05 - Sibang to Muri (1,850m/6,100ft)

Today is a short trekking day of about 2 to 3 hours only. Ascend gently to the ridge and descend to the stream. After crossing the suspension bridge, climb gently for 60 to 90 minutes to the large Magar village of Muri. On the trail, you get your first chance to appreciate the deep valleys. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 06 - Muri to Boghara (2,080m/6,800ft)

Descend steeply through terraced fields to the river. Cross the bridge and ascend steeply to the ridge. Descend through temporary cattle sheds to the village of Juge pani for lunch (2 to 3 hours). After lunch ascend steeply for about an hour. The trail is now high above the river valley, etched along the cliff. In any case, the trail is at least 5 feet wide at the narrowest sections. After an hour or so, you will arrive at the smaller village of Boghara. Overnight Camp. (All  meals)

Day 07 - Boghara to Dobang (2,520m/8,300ft)

From Boghara, walk through corn-fields and ascend steeply to the ridge. The trail then becomes a gentle uphill. Lunch is at Lipshe, a small clearing the forest used by cattle herders during the monsoons. After lunch continue through the thick forests for 2 to 3 hours (gentle uphill) to Dobang. Dobang is a largish clearing in the forest with two huts and a large area for tents. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 08 - Dobang to Italy Base Camp (3,660m/12,000ft) Dhaulagiri Moraine
Walking on Dhaulagiri moraine (Photo: Jwalant)

From today, begins the real adventure. The trail isn't very clearly marked and balance and concentration is very important. Past, Dobang, walk along the raging Myagdi khola. Some sections require scrambling on all fours and balancing on fallen logs. Soon, cross the bridge and climb steeply through bamboo and old growth forests. You will cross two sections where part of the trail has been washed away by landslides. Here you may see langurs jumping around in the trees. After walking 3 to 4 hours from Dobhan, you will arrive at Sallaghari, your lunch stop.

Past Sallaghari, continue to climb steeply through thorny aegelia brush. After about 2 to 3 hours, you will arrive at Italy Base Camp used by the Italians for their ascent of Dhaulagiri. Overnight Camp (All meals)

Day 09 - Explore American Base Camp (3,660m/12,000ft)

Acclimatization day at the Italy Base Camp. You have the option to climb a small ridge to the American Base Camp. Though the main summit of Dhaulagiri isn't visible, you do get up-close views of the gigantic massif. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 10 - Italy Base Camp to Swiss Base Camp (3,730m/12,300ft)

A short day of 1 to 2 hours hiking to the Swiss Base Camp. As you climb slowly from the Italian Base Camp, you cross several memorials for climbers that have perished on Dhaulagiri. They include three Chinese who fell to their death in the Spring of 2010. Descend carefully into the moraine. A fixed line has been left behind by a previous party which makes the descent on the precarious trail a lot easier. Cross the moraine to the Swiss Base Camp where there is a single hut. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 11 - Swiss Base Camp to Japanese Base Camp (4,300m/14,100ft)

Today, you will be trekking through a narrow gorge. A section (about half an hour of walking) poses constant danger of rock fall and hence it is important to look up as you walk. Soon you will be on the moraine ascending slowly to the Japanese Base Camp (4 to 5 hours of hiking). Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 12 - Japanese Base Camp to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,740m/15,550ft.)

Ascend slowly through the moraine. The moraine is constantly moving and hence the trail changes every year. Thus trail finding can be a tiresome process. Descend to another moraine adjoining a snow field extending from the Dhaulagiri ice-fall. There is the remains of a helicopter that had crashed several years ago. Walk a little further to camp. (4 to 5 hours of hiking). In the afternoon, you are free to hike to the ice fall. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 13 - Explore Dhaulagiri Base Camp

Explore. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 14 - Dhaulagiri Base Camp to Hidden Valley (5,100m/16,700ft.)

Today is a gruelling day involving walking up to 6 hours at high altitude. A little past camp, the moraine ends. Climb steeply to a small hill and continue ascending gently on a trail on the ridge over which the Tukuche Peak looms to the east. Looking back, the main summit of Dhaulagiri becomes evident. After a few hours of slogging, turn west and climb slowly to the French Col (5,360m/17,600ft.). At the pass, there are several memorials dedicated to fallen climbers. The Hidden Valley is visible to the North East and so are several peaks - Mukut Himal, Dhampus Peak, Hongde Peak etc in the distance. Descend to the valley floor and continue to camp. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 15 - Hidden Valley to Kalopani/Yak Kharka

Hidden Valley
The Hidden Valley (Photo: Jwalant)

Those climbing Dhampus Peak (6,060m/19,900ft.) will start out at 3:00 am. Climb Dhampus Peak and descend to Kalopani. (10 hours). Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 16 - Kalopani/Yak Kharka to Jomsom

Weather permitting, today could be one of the most picturesque days. (Though this section is notoriously popular for whiteouts and strong winds). The Dhaulagiri peak is to the South West, Annapurna, Nilgiri to the East, the Kingdom of Mustang in the distant to the North and the deep Kali Gandaki valley. Most of the trail is level or a gradual descent until near Yak Kharka from where the trail descends steeply into Marpha. After lunch, continue to Jomsom. Overnight Lodge with showers. (All meals)

Day 17 - Jomsom to Pokhara

After breakfast, fly to Pokhara. Free day in Pokhara. Overnight Hotel Fairmount. (Breakfast)

Day 18 - Pokhara to Kathmandu

After breakfast, fly to Kathmandu. Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Farewell dinner in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (All meals)

Day 19 - Kathmandu to home

After breakfast, transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your final departure. (Breakfast)


Total Package Cost Per Person: USD 3,550

More Info

Detailed Cost Information

Per person price (valid until December 31, 2018) 

2 persons:   US$ 3,950 per person
3 - 4 persons:   US$ 3,750 per person
5 or more participants:   US$ 3,550 per person

Single Supplement: US$ 250

Dhampus peak permit and climbing Sherpa is fee extra.

(Contact us for AUSD and Euro quotes)


Price includes:

  • Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
  • All airport transfers
  • Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary including entrance fees to monuments
  • 3 nights twin sharing accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu; 1 night twin sharing accommodation at Hotel Fairmount (1 star) in Pokhara.
  • Chartered transfer: Pokhara to Darbang
  • Airfare: Kathmandu - Pokhara and Jomsom – Pokhara – Kathmandu
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All inclusive camping trek
    • Camping gear: Tents and kitchen utensils
    • Guide and staff wages, equipment (hiking boots, gore-tex clothing, hats and gloves) and meals for all including porters
    • Guide and staff insurance
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Fee and Trekker Information Management System
  • Gamow Bag and Satellite Phone


Price does not include:   

  • Your international airfare
  • Nepal Visa (Can be obtained on arrival at the Kathmandu airport)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you)
  • Your travel insurance (Required)
  • And other expenses of a personal nature



A completed reservation form must be either faxed to us or scanned and emailed as an attachment.

Fax: 977 – 1- 4412647

You must also send us a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person or Euro/GBP/AUS$ equivalent. The deposit must be wired. We will refund up to $30 to cover your wire expenses. Wire details will be provided. The balance of the amount must be paid on arrival, either in traveler’s checks, cash or by credit card (visa only).

Cancellation policy:

- Cancel 30 days prior to the beginning of the trip, deposit valid for any trip undertaken within a year with us in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India.
- Cancel anytime prior to the beginning of the trip, forfeit trip deposit.
- No refunds once trek begins.

Available Dates

01 October , 2018 To 19 October , 2018

22 April , 2019 To 10 May , 2019

07 October , 2019 To 25 October , 2019

Book this trip now as spaces are available.

This trip has the minimum sign ups required and is guaranteed to run.

Limited spaces are available so please contact us to inquire about the departure status.

This date is unavailable. please contact us to inquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as part of a Custom Itinerary.

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: over French pass and Dhampus pass package image

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