Getting to Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
Dhaulagiri Circuit trek starts from Beni which is situated about 90 Kilometers (approximately 3 hours’ drive) from Pokhara. There are several ways you can reach Beni. One is a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and a drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu. This way is shorter (obviously) but a little expensive and you will miss out on some jungle landscapes. Another way is the direct drive from Kathmandu to Beni which takes you to Beni in about 9 hours with diverse landscapes. This tour brought to you by Greater Himalaya follows the latter one. However, you can customize the itinerary for this and have another way as well.
How difficult is Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek can be categorized as a moderately difficult trek. There are factors like altitude, weather, distance, trekking experience, altitude sickness which highly influence the convenience of this trek. This trek is still not completely commercialized like the Everest Base Camp trek, thus after a certain point, there are no lodges and night stays after a certain point. Because of this, we will have to establish tented camps for night stays.
You will be trekking to an altitude of 5360 meters (French Pass) during this trek. You will be gaining 500 meters to 600 meters of altitude regularly and cover a distance of 10-14 kilometers of the day during this trek. This is no running in a park so, with altitude and distance factor, trekking in Dhaulagiri Circuit is no joke. Furthermore, as altitude increases, the climatic condition gets very unpredictable further making this tour more challenging. We highly recommend you to avoid the summer season for this trek because of the slippery trails and heavy rain. Winter season is also quite tough for this trekking to extreme cold so do check on that too.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek's difficulty also rests on the strength and endurance of Trekkers. If a trekker is used to trekking or walking in uneven terrain or has been doing cardio and leg strengthening exercises as preparation then, this trek will not be very demanding for them.
What is the best time for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek?
Since the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is situated at a whooping altitude of above 5000 meters, the abruptly fluctuating temperature and the weather is not a novel update. This swift change in weather brings different (sometimes good sometimes bad) changes to the vegetation, difficulty, pros, and landscapes there. This in turn highly affects the trekking experience during different seasons.
Below mention is how Dhaulagiri Circuit trek/ Dhaulagiri Round Trek looks like during different seasons-
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek during Spring season
Spring season (March, April, and May) are times when the rhododendrons, magnolia, and other gorgeous flowers blossom and make the trekking trails more pleasant and redolent. Furthermore, the temperatures are also quite bearable during the Spring months. This makes Spring one of the best times for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
Highlights of the spring season in Dhaulagiri Circuit.
• The daytime on the Dhaulagiri trekking route is quite warm while the night is comparatively colder during Spring. March is still cold in the Dhaulagiri trek and the elevation increases; the night temperature drips up to -6 degrees during March. Dhaulagiri Trek diurnal temperature ranges from 7 degrees to 18 degrees. Likewise, the nighttime temperature can range from -5 to 6 degrees.
• The weather of Dhaulagiri Trek is quite stable during Spring. The trekking route is dotted with thriving rhododendrons, further increasing the allure. The mountain's visibility is great and the trail is also safe. Thus, the Spring season is the peak season for Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking. Therefore, you are likely to meet more fellow trekkers or expeditions in the trekking routes and lodges/ night stays in this season.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek during Summer season
Summer/Monsoon (June, July, and August) witness heavy rainfall, poor mountain visibility, and humidity. Dhaulagiri Circuit trek difficulty soars up during this season due to the heavy rainfall and slippery trails. Summer is among the off-seasons for the Dhaulagiri trek because of these reasons.
Highlights of the summer season in Dhaulagiri Circuit.
• Dhaulagiri trekking route experiences the temperature from 12 degrees to 25 degrees during day time and as low as 5 degrees during night time. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek witnesses heavy rainfall during July and August. At the lower altitude of the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek, you will witness warm weather (up to 30 degrees).
• The heavy rainfall, poor mountain visibility, leeches-filled trekking route, and slippery trails during this season makes this season one of the least preferred times for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. If you decide to take the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek, take robust trekking boots with a fine grasp and mosquito repellant. Plus, if possible, try to steer clear of July and August.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek during Autumn season
The Autumn season makes the tracks of the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek even more beautiful and alluring. This season starts with September and ends with November and is one of the ideal times for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. The offerings, temperature, and weather of this trek during the trek is analogous to that of Spring except for the blossoming rhododendron.
Highlights of Autumn season in Dhaulagiri Circuit.
• The temperature of the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek during Autumn ranges from 6 degrees to 20 degrees throughout the trek. The nights are generally colder with temperatures going down around 0 degrees. November is the coldest.
• Safe trails, sharp vivid forest and mountain views, and tolerable weather make this season one of the best times for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. So, the trekking routes and lodges might be crowded. November is the perfect month
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek during the winter season
Winter is tough on the Dhaulagiri Trekking circuit due to the harsh and bitingly cold months. The months of December, January and February are when winter will prevail in the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek or any other regions in Nepal. Despite the cold, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek during this season is characterized by clear blue skies and sharp alluring views.
Highlights of the spring season in Dhaulagiri Circuit.
• During day time, the weather in the Dhaulagiri trek will be moderately cold in the range of 4 degrees to 12 degrees (in lower altitude). However, the night time will be extremely cold as the temperature can drop as low as -15 degrees centigrade, especially during January.
• January is so cold that even some lakes and trails are frozen. Because of this, some lodges are likely to be closed during January. January is another least preferred month for Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking because of the cold environment.
Preparations for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
Now that we have established that the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a demanding trek, we are going to go into some basics of preparation that you can do to make this trek more convenient and pleasant for you.
One thing that you can and should prepare for during this trek is Altitude sickness. Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) abbreviated as AMS can affect both fledgling trekker and seasoned trekker. As you will have to gain an elevation of more than 5000 meters for this trek, altitude sickness can create serious hurdles for you unless you prepare accordingly. We recommend you to look at the following symptoms and precautions.
• Problem in breathing / Breathing shortness
• Dizziness and nausea
• Headache and vomiting
• Rapid heartbeat
• Difficulty in sleeping/ Sleep deprivation
• Loss of appetite
Some prevention measures to be adopted against Altitude Sickness and are-
- Consult a doctor or get a Health checkup beforehand and ensure that you are physically as well as mentally up for the tour
- Walking slowly and steadily
- Taking periodic rest and proper acclimatization days
- Find out about the itinerary that suits you best
- Stay hydrated (drink plenty of hot water and soup)
- Carry energy drinks and protein bars along the journey
- Bring the trekking gear as per your requirement and season to make your journey easy.
- Tag along personal first aid kit.
- Try on some easier and low altitude trekking first
Trekking gears for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
You also need appropriate trekking gear for this trek. There is some general trekking gear requirement for all seasons and there are some trekking gears especially needed for some particular seasons. Since Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a fully tented camping trek, you will need some specialized trekking equipment for this trek. For a complete list of trekking gears, you can contact us,
• Trekking poles
• Trekking boots with a nice grip
• Woolen and normal gloves and socks
• Waterproof jacket and trousers
• Toiletries (towels, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet papers, moisturizers, lip balms, feminine hygiene products, and others as you see fit for you)
• Woolen and normal hat
• Extra pairs of socks and underwear
• Water purification tablets
• Woolen trekking thermals, jackets, and trousers.
• Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner
• First aid kit (Band-Aids, lip salve, Aspirin, etc.)
• Extra batteries, camera, books as you see fit
• Plastic bags