14 to 16 Days from US$ 2400 per person, Pokhara to Pokhara
An immense ice pyramid, glittering in the sun like a crystal, rose up more than 23,000 feet above us. The south face, shining blue through the morning mists, was unbelievably lofty, out of this world. We were speechless in the face of this tremendous mountain.
French Mountaineer Maurice Herzog, on his first sight of Dhaulagiri in 1950
Seventh highest mountain in the world, Dhaulagiri can be seen clearly from north India because of the massive watershed to the south. (Most of the other great mountains have smaller peaks in to the south, which block the view from the plains of Nepal and northern India.) Dhaulagiri is west of the Annapurna Massif, with the Kali Gandaki river valley separating the two. Geologists tell us that the river is older than the Himalayas and that as they rose up, it cut its way through them. That makes the valley the deepest gorge in the world.
This is a difficult trek with areas of objective danger on the western side near the various base camps. Trail, altitude and weather are all more challenging than most other treks - not recommended for first-time trekkers. But oh wow...
Sample itinerary in 14 days
Day 1 Fly Pokhara to Jomsom and trek south to Marpha village, built almost pueblo-like into the hillside
Day 2 Trek up, up and up to Yak Kharka
Day 3 Trek up again to Kalopani, "black water," under Dhampus Pass
Day 4 Climb Dhampus Peak, or just day trek for acclimatization
Day 5 Cross Dhampus pass to the second Yak Kharka. The name just means "yak pasture."
Day 6 Cross French Pass and camp at Dhaulagiri Base Camp
Day 7 Trek to the Italian Base Camp
Day 8 Day for exploration
Day 9 Trek to Choriban
Day 10 Trek to Lapche Kharka
Day 11 Trek to Naurabhir
Day 12 Trek to Kailleni
Day 13 Trek to Darbang
Day 14 Drive to Pokhara