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Trek to the Dhaulagiri Circuit

Trekking in Nepal offers innumerable adventures, but perhaps the most challenging experience is the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek situated in the Annapurna Region, which takes the trekkers to the base of the world’s seventh-highest peak, Mount Dhaulagiri.

This trekking route offers the feeling of walking through a winter wonderland that includes snow-covered slopes, ice glaciers, and lateral moraines while enjoying scenic views of the majestic Dhaulagiri massif well as more than 100 peaks that are above 7000m.

Trekking along the Dhaulagiri Circuit passes through high alpine pastures, windswept peaks, unpopulated valleys, forests, and terraced hills. A circuit route around Dhaulagiri provides breathtaking views of the entire range and the world’s deepest gorge, the Kali Gandaki.

About the Region

With an elevation of 8,167m, Dhaulagiri was once thought to be the highest mountain in the world until Kanchenjunga took that title 30 years later.

However, as everyone knows, Mount Everest subsequently took that title away! Similarly, in the late 1950s, a French team discovered the Dhaulagiri Circuit route; thus, the French Pass that leads into the Hidden Valley was branded.

During the circuit trail, you will pass through villages, terraced farming lands, rivers and gorges, glaciers, and steep moraines. You will have time to acclimate before crossing the high passes, enjoying the magnificent mountain scenery.

With its remote location and physical demands, Dhaulagiri is best suited to experienced trekkers with a sense of adventure and the necessary fitness level to enjoy the prospect of one of the most spectacular treks in Nepal. In spite of this, trekking can be much more thrilling for first-time trekkers.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

The entire Dhaulagiri Circuit is included in this permit-free trekking area, so you don’t need a trekker’s permit or guide. However, you’ll need a TIMS card and an ACAP permit, similar to every trekking destination around Annapurna.

Hotels and lodges are available at the start of the Trek, but there are much fewer well-equipped lodges further along. The majority of accommodations along these paths include teahouses and homestays. Furthermore, it would also be highly suggestible to bring along tents to set up tented camps throughout the Trek.

Preparing for the Dhaulagiri Base Camp Trek

During the Dhaulagiri trek, the highest point reaches 5,200 meters in altitude. This may not be much elevation for experienced trekkers, but it is still quite a change for those who have never trekked before. In addition, the Trek is lengthy and requires explorers to walk for a significant amount of time.

In this case, people with lung disease or breathing problems should avoid such activities or consider taking precautions before doing so, as such high altitudes are very difficult to adjust to. Furthermore, those at such high altitudes may suffer from altitude sickness.

Considering the cold, you may experience at Dhaulagiri due to the altitude. We recommend you bring along the following items with you to your Trek. These are the items our group of friends brought along with us on our first trip there and also helped a lot.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wear
  • Water bottles and thermoses
  • Backpack
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • First aid kit
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Energy bars

Although these materials are necessary for this Trek, they are not mandatory. However, due to the popularity of this Trek, many hotels and homestays do offer these materials, though at a higher price.

Itinerary and the Trek itself

The Trek to the Dhaulagiri Base Camp can take from 12 to 20 days, depending on how fast you’re willing to hike each day. If you are not from Nepal, you must first obtain a Nepalese visa and visit Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you can either book a flight or travel to Pokhara by bus or private vehicle.

Pokhara is the point where you start the Trek, and it takes you along the Myagdi River on its journey past the dramatic landscape of the Kali Gandaki gorge.

The Trek today takes us through the villages of Takum and Sibang. These are prosperous areas with much-terraced land, which grows rice and wheat. We will see many traditional villages framed by mountain views during the hike.

Next, we continue our journey to the village of Muri after crossing the suspension bridge over the Dhara Khola, which is home to mostly Magars. Finally, we rest for the night in Muri.

We walk from Muri to the bridge crossing over the Muri Khola. We walk through forest clearings, fields, and farmhouses along the way. A little further north, the hill slopes steeply, and some sections of the trail are steep. Then, we camp at the Boghara village.

From Boghara, the trail follows the west shore of Myagdi Khola. We hike through a forest along an undulating trail. Watch out for large bee nests where the locals collect honey above the trail. After lunch, we walk in the forest until we can see several teahouses and campsites in a clearing at Dobang.

From Dobang, we hike through dense, lush vegetation, passing through ferns, bamboo, and rhododendrons. Finally, we travel over a cantilever bridge to the east bank of the Myagdi Khola, where we camp in a clearing called Sallaghari. The fifth day consists of about five hours of total hike.

After leaving Sallaghari, we walk through a forest of pine trees, rhododendrons, and birch trees. Above the tree line, we see heather, juniper, and azaleas before ascending to Italian Base Camp.

From the high above camp, you can see the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri. To the east is Tsaurabong Peak. At 3,660 meters of elevation, the altitude might get to you. So, we suggest you take a day off to acclimatize and adapt to the area.

The hike descends steeply from Italian Base Camp to the glacier, where in the past, we would set up a rope for the group and trek crew, although the trail has recently been improved.

We reach the glacier camp at 4,200 meters on the eighth day of the Trek. Due to this altitude difference, we need to take the ninth day off to acclimatize.

After climbing up a rough trail along the moraine-covered glacier, we reach Dhaulagiri Base Camp. The view from the base camp is impressive, with Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and Little Eiger. Further to the west, we get to see the stunning Dhaulagiri II (7651m) and IV (7620m). In spring, good numbers of mountaineers are likely to climb Dhaulagiri.

As we ascend to high altitude at a slow pace, we allow time for the body to adjust for another extra day. Your group must acclimate to camping at Hidden Valley at 5,000 meters.

Leaving Base Camp, we walk along the moraine strip, crossing the upper Chonbarden glacier on our left. Then, we follow a moraine ridge towards French Pass. From here, we can see Dhaulagiri I and Tukuche peak.

As you descend from the pass, we descend the steep snow slopes into Hidden Valley. Finally, after a long descent, we arrive at the camp beside the river not far from Dhampus Peak.

Around Hidden Valley, several options for day hikes are available. One of the best options is hiking up the ridge on the northwestern side of the valley. At the highest point on the ridge, you can see the amazing mountain views, including Dhaulagiri, the Nilgiris, and the Annapurnas.

The fourteenth day of the Trek is going to be a tough one. We hike for nearly nine hours to descend to Alu Bari. First, however, we enjoy a fine afternoon near the Dhampus pass.

Today, there is a long walk down to the village of Marpha located within the Kali Gandaki valley. Marpha is famous for its Buddhist monasteries, whitewashed houses, and paved streets. While there, one can enjoy a drink of apple juice in one of the lodges and get to Jomsom at the end of the day. We will stay at a lodge near the airport in Jomsom.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. The above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so. Finally, we will fly back from Jomsom to Pokhara before returning home. During the Trek and once you are home, make sure to cherish the memories you make along the trip.

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Trip to the Sikles Village

Nepal offers heavenly experiences without visiting heaven, making it a top destination for tourists, adventurers, and nature lovers alike. Additionally, the district of Kaski in Nepal, along with its Pokhara valley and the nearby hills and villages, offers some amazing places to explore. Furthermore, would you like to experience an exciting journey on a short and easy trek in the Himalayas? Then the Sikles village might be the one for you.

As you trek through the Sikles trek area, you’ll see rhododendron forests, beautiful mountain ranges, and diverse landscapes. Sikles trek is one of the more interesting trekking destinations in the Annapurna area and quite unpopular compared to similar destinations. On the Trek, you will probably get to see Annapurna and Lamjung Himal up close after crossing 2,000 meters. You will also learn about the culture, tradition, lifestyle, and handicraft production of Huwu village and Khapuche Lake.

About the Region

Located in the Kaski district, Sikles village is a well-conserved village that lies on a hill at the height of 3,000 meters. It is one of the region’s earliest and largest ‘Gurung’ settlements. Furthermore, the villagers of Sikles village are mainly of Gurung ethnicity and consider themselves to be Nepal’s second-largest Gurung village.

During the Dashain and Tihar festival, the local youth are not allowed to play Nepali drums, perform folk songs, or dance until the festival is over. If not, it is believed that the god will get angry, avalanches will thunder down from the mountainsides, and something terrible will happen to the village.

And the Trek to this beautiful place takes you to the largest Gurung village in the Annapurna region of Nepal, which is located above Madi Khola at an altitude of 1,981 meters. It is roughly a 5-hour bus trip from Pokhara.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

A permit is not mandatory for the Trek to Sikles village in northern Kaski. Still, the Trekkers Information Management System or TIMS card can be very useful on similar treks in Nepal.

Compared to other trekking destinations, the Trek to Sikles is relatively short. So, even on an exciting adventure like this, you will not be away from your own bed for too long. You will stay in small homestays and tea houses while on the Trek.

Favorable Time for the Trek

Despite the lack of altitude in the Sikles Trek, trekking is possible throughout the year. However, trekkers prefer to visit the village during the Spring and Autumn seasons. Sikles Trek is best enjoyed during the spring and autumn seasons. The spring season begins in March and lasts until May, whereas the autumn season begins in September and ends in November. There isn’t a lot of heat or cold during these months. Instead, the days are sunny and hot, and the nights are chilly. The skies are also clear, so you can see the best scenery.

The Sikles trek is least popular during the off-season from December to February. Similarly, visitors prefer to avoid the monsoon season as well.

Preparing for the Sikles Village Trek

As described earlier, the Trek to Sikles Village is quite short compared to other trekking routes in Nepal. Moreover, it reaches a height of 2000m, which may not seem like much to experienced travelers, but it is quite a change for first-time trekkers.

Additionally, explorers taking part in the Trek often walk for several hours daily. Thus, people with lung diseases should either avoid such activities or take precautions before taking part in them since high altitudes can be difficult to adapt to. Furthermore, these high altitudes may cause people to experience altitude sickness.

We recommend bringing the items listed below with you on your Trek for mild to cold weather at high altitudes. We brought these items with us on our first Trek to Sikles Village.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Backpack
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • First aid kit
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Energy bars

However, do not worry if you forget the items mentioned above. They provide great assistance during the Trek, but they’re not mandatory. And, if you decide to take them along with you at the last moment, trek shops with these items are available at the starting point of the Trek, though they are likely to cost more than usual there.

Itinerary and the Trek itself

The Sikles village trek can be done in two to six days, depending on how fast you and your group hike. Now, if you are not from Nepal, you must apply for a Nepali visa and travel to Kathmandu. After traveling to Kathmandu, you can then travel to Pokhara via a tourist bus or flight. From there, we can begin our trip.

The second day of the Trek requires you to hike for 6 to 7 hours altogether. You will make your way today from Kalikasthan to Lama Khet. First, you will start the journey with a slight climb on the trail. Then, we will pass through a small village home with mixed ethnic people until we reach Mardi Khola.

Next, we follow the path along the riverbanks as you cross Bhaise and Nawaldanda. After traversing these two small villages, you reach Lama Khet. Lama Khet is a gorgeous village surrounded by green hills where you'll stay for the night.

The fourth day is set for you to reach Sikles from Lama Khet. Today's hike will take you to the major attraction of this trip. You walk through flat terrain along the river bank as you leave the village.

You then reach Khilan Gaon and do a gentle climb. After passing through Parju Village, we can reach Sikles. You can rest overnight in one of the friendly lodges or homestays available here.

Today marks the fourth day of the Trek. We now head towards Neuli Kharka. This is a couple of hours away. First, we walk through forests filled with oak and rhododendron trees.

Furthermore, we reach Neuli Kharka or forest camp after passing through flatlands. This would be the place where we take rest for the night.

As you begin your walk, you find yourself in a beautiful forest of Rhododendrons. After crossing one high pass, you would descend to the town of Ghale Gaon. This is the second to the last day of the Trek, and you'll probably hike for five hours on this penultimate day.

This is the last day of the Trek. Today you drive towards Pokhara from Ghale Gaon right after making your way down the trails to Hyamgya. From Pokhara, we hope you have a pleasant trip back home, and remember to cherish your memories.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trekk(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. The above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so.

Finally, every place has its own culture, non-verbal norms and values, government policies, and other factors that make traveling to a new place potentially nerve-wracking, no matter how many times you’ve done it. But remember to enjoy the Trek to the beautiful village of Sikles despite the difficulties you might face.

 

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Trek to the Annapurna Base Camp

Nepal’s enthralling beauty allows travelers to experience heavenly experiences without traveling to heaven. This makes Nepal one of the top travel destinations for tourists, adventurers, and nature lovers alike. 

Planning a trek with your family or friends is one of the best ways to enjoy Nepal’s beautiful hills and mountains. Trek to one of Nepal’s numerous hills and mountains allows an individual to enjoy the beauty of Nepal, including the sceneries of rivers, mountains, forests, and many more. Furthermore, it allows you to interact with new people with a different perspective on life.

After completing numerous treks in Nepal, I also learned about the thrilling adventures you could have while learning so much about life, nature, and people of different cultures. On top of that, the trek to the Annapurna Base Camp, which was quite challenging, to be honest, was one of my favorites among the rest due to all the awesome days I got to enjoy while there. 

If you, too, want one of the best trekking experiences for yourself or your friends or family, this is a guide to help you do the Annapurna Base Camp trek. At the same time, I, too, will get to relive that crazy experience again and think about the beauty of the Himalayas.

Why should I Trek to the Annapurna Base Camp?

Any random picnic or family gathering can be a great escape from an individual’s day-to-day life. However, a trek to the Annapurna mountain range base camp would be ideal if you were looking for a vacation and wanted to enjoy mother earth’s gift and experience a physically and spiritually fulfilling journey.

In addition, you would be able to see breathtaking hills, villages, and mountains. You can enjoy a wide variety of gorgeous scenery along this trek, from tranquil villages to powerful glaciers and breathtaking mountain views.

How do I prepare for the trek to the Annapurna Base Camp?

Trekking the Annapurna Base Camp is most enjoyable in the shoulder seasons that precede monsoon and just before winter, such as spring or autumn. Furthermore, before starting the trek, be sure that you are in good physical shape and sound health. Getting travel insurance can be a great idea in this situation.

The trek starts from Pokhara, located at 822 meters or around 2700 feet of altitude. Likewise, our destination, the Annapurna Base Camp, is located at 4,130 meters or 13,550 feet.

A trip to such an extreme elevation may result in altitude sickness or even breathlessness, so those with lung issues or similar conditions should avoid the trip. Likewise, you must take all the necessary precautions before embarking on this journey. 

Moreover, you will need to walk constantly in a cold climate for many days. Therefore, you will need to bring along the following materials.

  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Trekking sticks
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Moisturizers and lip guard

All these items are ideal for the expedition, as mentioned above, though not all are essential. Annapurna base camp trek is popular among frequent travelers, so many hotels and homestays offer these supplies at a higher cost than usual.

The Trek Starts

To begin the journey, people outside of Nepal must obtain a Nepalese visa and get to Kathmandu. If you are already in Kathmandu or anywhere else in Nepal, you must travel to Pokhara via plane or another mode of transportation.

The trek starts after you reach Kande or Nayapul from Pokhara. The trek might take 5 to 15 days for a healthy individual, depending on their pace and activities. During the evening, you can choose to stay in the various homestays available in the areas. 

Plan your day to hike to Ghorepani village from Ulleri and enjoy the beautiful view of forests full of rhododendron trees along the way. You need to stay overnight at Ghorepani for the night.

On the third day, it'd be great if you woke up early and hiked up to the beautiful Poon hill. This 1-hour uphill climb will allow you to view a stunning sunrise over the Annapurna. Then, you can continue with the trek for the rest of the day to reach Tadapani at the end of it.

On the fourth day, you need to reach Chomrong. Start your descent to Kimrung Khola and reach the base of Hiunchuli, where the beautiful Chomrong village lies through some difficult steep stairs. There, you'll get to enjoy the stunning view of fishtail mountain and Annapurna itself.

Start the fifth-day trekking through the woods for about 2 hours to reach Kuldi. Furthermore, continue your trek until you reach the Modi river and walk up to Doban. Take a break and spend the night there.

You'll trek 14 kilometers on day six, which might take about three hours. During this time, you'll pass through Deurali, walk towards the west bank of Modi River, and rest near the Fishtail Base Camp.

You will reach the highest point on your trek on the seventh day. I hope you take care of your body as per its need and eat well. Walk up from Fishtail Base Camp to reach the Annapurna Base Camp at an altitude of 4,130 meters. Views from either of these base camps are equally incredible, so take in what you experience and enjoy the moment.

Enjoy the morning with a beautiful sunrise and all the beautiful mountains such as Himchuli, Annapurna 1, Macchapucchhre, Tent Peak, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, and Annapurna 3 right there near you. Start your descent back to Pokhara via Bamboo.

As you descend Chhomrong's steep staircases, you will reach Jhinu Danda. From Jhinu Danda, you can enjoy the hot springs of Modi Khola if you walk for about 20 minutes.

By the tenth day, I hope you adapt to long walks because you must reach Pothana through Tolkha and Deurali, probably the longest distance in a day. However, it'll be easier this time as you'll primarily descend down the previously climbed roads.

For the eleventh and the final day, hike down to Phedi for about 2 hours, passing through Dhampus after you've had your breakfast. Well, from there, you'll reach Pokhara after an hour-long drive. Finally, get to a hotel and get some well-deserved rest.

You’ll return home with a memory that will last a lifetime after an exciting couple of weeks.

Finally, a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp can be an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience for you. It certainly deserves its reputation for its rich history, spectacular views along with the hospitality of the people. Pokhara Info is here to make sure of that.