Dhaulagiri Circuit via the French Pass

Around Dhauligiri - One of Nepal`s toughest and best circuit treks




From $2,900 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • A trekking holiday off the beaten track in the Nepal Himalaya
  • Trekking across the French Pass and the spectacular Hidden Valley
  • Superb views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna ranges
  • A challenging trekking holiday in a remote part of Nepal

Amongst the peaks and high valleys of the Nepal Himalaya there are several long and demanding trekking routes and this real adventure holiday tackles one of the best and most challenging of these - the circuit of Dhaulagiri via French Pass and the Hidden Valley. This is a classic adventure trekking holiday for those with previous high altitude trekking experience, which includes a taste of all of the trekking environments that Nepal has to offer. Beginning at Beni on the Kali Gandaki River, this superb trekking route ascends the lovely and unspoiled valley of the Myagdi Khola which flows southwards from the heart of the Dhaulagiri Himal. After 8 days of walking, through an ever-changing landscape, with numerous picturesque villages, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp and prepare ourselves for the crux of our route - the crossing of the ‘French Pass' (5360m). This tough, but technically straightforward pass lies close beneath the northern slopes of Dhaulagiri (8167m) and the mountain views on our ascent and descent are simply sensational. We have a day to explore the remarkable ‘Hidden Valley' before crossing the Dhampus Pass and making the long descent to Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Flying back to Pokhara from the airstrip at Jomsom, we have time to enjoy this lakeside town, before returning to Kathmandu. This is adventure travel at its best - a brilliant trek in a rarely-visited part of Nepal.

Is this holiday for you?

Much of the trekking on this holiday in Nepal involves straightforward walking on good trails. The trek is within our highest grade range on account of a number of factors including the unavoidably large altitude gains, the committing nature of the pass crossings and because there are a number of long or difficult days. The first few days we find ourselves tracing a way on good paths, through paddy fields and villages. Later, in the upper part of the Myagdi Khola, we will be following narrow tracks through forest, with good underfoot conditions. Approaching and crossing French Pass, we will encounter rough glacial moraine, scree, rock ridges with some degree of exposure (fixed lines may be used), and easy angled snow slopes. All group members will be required to bring crampons and an ice axe and should be competent in their use. (These can also be hired through KE). It should be noted that trekking at altitudes above 3000 metres makes greater demands on the body than walking at low elevations, and is of itself challenging even for fit hikers. Our itinerary is staged to allow the best possible acclimatisation but large steps in altitude are unavoidable because of limited campsite options. You will need to ensure you are physically prepared for the trek and you should be comfortable with walking for 6 or 7 hours each day on a variety of terrain with the occasional longer day, and to maintain this over several days.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Pokhara. Transfer into the Annapurna Himal to the small town of Durbang (1100m).
  • Trek up to Dharapani, following a path skirting the ridge to Sibang (1770m).
  • Descend to the Gatti Khola River and then climb to Muri and Naura (1450m).
  • Trek up through the Myagdi Khola valley to a grazing area called Lapche Kharka (2100m).
  • Gradual ascent to Sallaghari (2500m) via Dobang.
  • A short day to Italian Basecamp (3660m), crossing moraine debris and boulders.
  • Now above 4000m, another short trek over glacia moraine to Japanese Camp (4200m).
  • Vital acclimatisation day.
  • Long trek to Dhaualgiri Basecamp (4748m) traversing moraine and the glacier itself.
  • A second acclimatisation day before crossing into the Hidden Valley.
  • Cross French Pass (5370m) and enjoy views of Dhaulagiri. Descend into the Hidden Valley.
  • A contingency day in case of any delays.
  • Cross Dhampus Pass (5280m) and descend into the Kali Gandaki Valley.
  • Descend via the Tibetan village of Marpha to Jomsom (2736m).
  • Take the short flight to Pokhara and check in to a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Fly to Kathmandu. Free time to explore or relax before a final celebratory dinner.
  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.
Wed 04 Nov - Sat 21 Nov Code DLG /03/15/ Adult$2,900 Status Limited Availability Book now
Wed 27 Apr - Sat 14 May Code DLG /01/16/ Adult$2,980 Status Available Book now
Wed 05 Oct - Sat 22 Oct Code DLG /02/16/ Adult$2,980 Status Available Book now
Wed 02 Nov - Sat 19 Nov Code DLG /03/16/ Adult$2,980 Status Guaranteed Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kathmandu on the dates shown above. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and this trip is showing the 'Guaranteed to Run or Limited' symbol. If your trip is still showing 'Spaces', we will contact you as soon as it has reached the guaranteed status.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek
  • internalflight

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    Rendezvous at the group’s hotel close to the central Thamel district. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal when we will be briefed on the days ahead by our trip leader.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Pokhara. Transfer into the Annapurna Himal to the small town of Durbang (1100m).

    After breakfast in the hotel we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 45 minute flight to Pokhara. Here we board our transport for the 3 - 4 hour journey through a fascinating and lush landscape of emerald green rice paddies and dense forest on the steeper and higher slopes. Travelling deeper into the Annapurrna Himal, we follow the Kali Gandakhi river to the town of Beni and then follow its tributary, the Myagdi Khola, passing several small settlements, to arrive at the small rural town of Darbang where we make our first camp. Approximate altitude of camp is 1100 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek up to Dharapani, following a path skirting the ridge to Sibang (1770m).

    Beginning our trek, we soon arrive at Phedi (a name which means bottom of the hill) and start the climb up to the ridge-top village of Dharapani. There are good views of Dhaulagiri from this section of the trail and from the ridge-top we can also see Gurja Himal and Puta Hiunchuli to the west. We take lunch at Dharapani (1200m) and then continue along the ridge on a path which contours above the river, with good views of Dhaulagiri to the north. We make camp at the settlement of Takam (1670m) or 30 - 45 minutes further on at Sibang (1770m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 915m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 210m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Descend to the Gatti Khola River and then climb to Muri and Naura (1450m).

    After a long descent to the Gatti Khola, we climb for 2 hours to the large village of Muri (1840m), at the confluence of the Myagdi and Dhara rivers. The Dhara River flows from the west, in which direction lies the important regional bazaar town of Dhorpatan. The Myagdi flows down from the north and this is the river valley which our route will be following. We arrive at Muri in time for lunch and afterwards we continue the trek, to a bridge crossing of the Dhola Khola. Our route meanders down through pretty farmland, terraced rice fields and isolated houses, before climbing to traverse around a ridge on the east side of the Dhola Valley. Once again above the Myagdi Khola, we head northwards to the village of Naura (1450m) where we set up camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 840m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1165m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek up through the Myagdi Khola valley to a grazing area called Lapche Kharka (2100m).

    We continue to follow the Myagdi Khola upstream to the larger settlement of Baghara (2080m) where we stop for lunch. From Baghara, the path descends for half an hour to Jyardan, the last village in this valley and the last village that we will encounter until we arrive at Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Beyond Jyardan, we continue to descend on steep and stony path to the river’s edge. Following the river for a while, we then climb up into the forest on the west side of the river and follow an undulating trail through the trees passing several clearings with some stone-built shepherds huts. We make camp in a grazing area known as Lapche Kharka at approximately 2100 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1380m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 690m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Gradual ascent to Sallaghari (2500m) via Dobang.

    Continuing our gradual ascent, we encounter more grassy clearings and arrive at a level 'kharkha' or grazing area known as Dobang (2600m). Here, we take lunch in a fine, open position on the south side of a tributary valley with a tantalising glimpse of the peaks of the Dhaulagiri Massif ahead. Crossing the tributary Konaban Khola, once again we enter a forested area and climb to a crest, from where we can see the west wall of Dhaulagiri I between the trees. Our route drops down to the Myagdi Khola, which we cross to reach the east bank, and then follows the river, crossing the tributary Pakite Khola, to reach the summer grazing area of Sallaghari (2500m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1320m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 720m

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • A short day to Italian Basecamp (3660m), crossing moraine debris and boulders.

    In accordance with our programme of careful acclimatisation, we have a shorter day today. We trek close up beneath the west side of Dhaulagiri and soon re-enter the forest. Crossing moraine debris and boulders, we come eventually to the site which is known as ‘Italian Basecamp’ (3660m). This is a tremendous location beneath the West Face of Dhaulagiri I.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 970m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 190m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Now above 4000m, another short trek over glacia moraine to Japanese Camp (4200m).

    Another short day as we climb up above four thousand metres. Leaving our camp, the trail now crosses a rocky area, traversing a steep slope and climbing abruptly to cross the moraine of a glacier which flows down from Dhaulagiri itself. Beyond the glacier, we reach a wide grassy area in a shallow ablation valley. This is the campsite known as ‘Japanese Base Camp’ and is a spectacular place, dominated by the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri I on one side and by the huge rock walls of Tsaurabong Peak on the other. For the first time, we have the feeling that we are approaching the heart of the Himalayas. Altitude at camp - approximately 4200 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 4km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Vital acclimatisation day.

    We are now above 4000 metres and our next camp will be at 4700 metres so it is important that we include an acclimatisation day prior to going higher. A good day for resting and catching up with the laundry or it is possible to make an exploratory walk above camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Long trek to Dhaualgiri Basecamp (4748m) traversing moraine and the glacier itself.

    Today we have an early start for the long day’s trek to Dhaulagiri Basecamp. We follow the north side of the glacier, sometimes on the lateral moraine and sometimes on the undulating surface of the glacier itself which lies below the West D. Finally, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp (4748m) after a tough walk. From our camp, we can look up at the towering north face of Dhaulagiri I, whilst to the west lie the awesome peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7751m), III (7715m) and IV (7618m). Directly opposite our camp is the impressive icefall which descends from the col between Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 705m

    • Distance 8km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 175m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • A second acclimatisation day before crossing into the Hidden Valley.

    Another day for rest and acclimatisation before crossing the pass into the Hidden Valley. There are opportunities to walk above the camp for fine views.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Cross French Pass (5370m) and enjoy views of Dhaulagiri. Descend into the Hidden Valley.

    Continuing our route on the north side of the Chhondarban Glacier, we steadily climb the stepped hillside above the glacier, with zig-zag trails across scree and moraine leading to the easy-angled snow slopes which lead up to French Pass (5370m). From this vantage point we have a stunning 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountain ranges. These include, nearby Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak, and the huge Dhaulagiri I. A gentle descent, across easy snow slopes, takes us to the head of the so called Hidden Valley, a long and broad mountain enclave which remained undiscovered behind the Dhaulagiri Massif until as recently as the last few decades. We descend to camp on a level shelf, overlooking the Hidden Valley, at an altitude of approximately 5120 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 890m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 460m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • A contingency day in case of any delays.

    A spare day in case of any problems affecting our schedule. If unused at this point, this is a fantastic location and the day can be used for exploration of the valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Cross Dhampus Pass (5280m) and descend into the Kali Gandaki Valley.

    We climb back up to the level of the French Pass at the eastern end of Hidden Valley and then make a high traverse across to the slightly lower Dhampus Pass (5280m) which overlooks the deep cleft of the Kali Gandaki Valley with the peaks of the Annapurna range beyond. At this point Dhaulagiri I is hidden by the bulk of Tuckuche Peak. A steep and at times rocky descent then leads to a possible overnight campsite a little below 5000 metres but if we are going well, we will opt to descend for a further couple of hours, dropping to the grazing area of Yak Kharka (3827m) where we can once again see Dhaulagiri I.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 570m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1840m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs trekking

  • Descend via the Tibetan village of Marpha to Jomsom (2736m).

    We complete our descent to the floor of the Kali Gandaki Valley, more than 2500 metres below Dhampus Pass! The first seasonal settlement that we reach is the cluster of stone huts at Alubari (3400m) beyond which, our steeply zig-zagging descent takes us eventually to the village of Marpha (2667m). This is a gem of a village, with whitewashed houses, paved streets and numerous well-kept lodges and Tibetan craft shops. Leaving behind this Tibetan refugee resettlement centre, we hike northwards climbing once more but gently, up to the airstrip town of Jomsom (2736m). Here we check in to a local lodge and can celebrate the completion of our trek with a beer or perhaps with a glass of one of the famous, locally produced spirits, such as apple brandy.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 60m

    • Distance 5km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1200m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Take the short flight to Pokhara and check in to a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

    We take the short and exciting internal flight to Pokhara, where we check in at a hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure. A popular option is to wander by the lake or to sit in the garden of one of the beautiful lakeside restaurants, admiring the view of the Annapurnas and the iconic 'Fish Tail' peak of Machhapuchare.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Kathmandu. Free time to explore or relax before a final celebratory dinner.

    In the morning, we transfer to the airport and board the flight back to Kathmandu. After checking in at the hotel, there will be time for a clean up before heading out to the bars and restaurants of Thamel for a celebration dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.

    KE group package services end after breakfast when we transfer to the airport for the homeward flight.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional KE Western leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • Full trekking service including all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

All clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if Kathmandu Airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the porters given their loads. We will generally reach our lunch stop after 3 or 4 hours walking. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or two and this is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the sun. Porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the Sherpas will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in Kathmandu at a centrally-located tourist-class hotel. There is also a single night at a comfortable hotel in Pokhara. Whilst on trek there are 13 nights camping and 1 night in a lodge at Jomsom. All accommodation is on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 2 hotel nights in Kathmandu single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and Western, mostly purchased in Nepal and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Kathmandu and Pokhara we take our meals either at the hotel or in one of the city’s excellent restaurants. All meals while on trek and in Kathmandu and Pokhara are included in the holiday price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 until breakfast on day 18.

Approximately £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approximately tips for your porter and trek crew, drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency (Nepali rupees) prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu using your debit or credit card. During the trek it is occasionally possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer from tea-houses. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.

Internal Flights

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the European Commission’s list of airlines that are banned from flying into EU member states. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security. KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we were stakeholders in a recent independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators during 2013. KE uses only three airlines in Nepal which were approved by this audit as safe carriers. These airlines are: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air and Buddha Air. We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk.

The group will be accompanied by a professional KE Western leader throughout the trip. Whilst on trek there will also be a full trek crew, including several Sherpas, a cook team and porters.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your trek leader will give you help and advice on this. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around £50 -60 (in rupees) to these tips. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters. Technical clothing and equipment such as head-torches and trekking poles are highly prized by the local guides and camp crews. If you think you would like to donate equipment at the end of your trip, your trek leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution among the trek crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg (33 pounds). For the flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15 kg. This weight allowance is normally strictly enforced and excess baggage will be charged. Please be aware that you will have to pay any excess personal baggage charges on check in. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

All nationalities need a valid passport and a current Nepalese Visa for entry into Nepal. The easiest way to get your Nepal visa is on arrival at Kathmandu Airport. Visa fees must be paid in cash. The most convenient currency to purchase Nepalese visas is US dollars, but GB pounds and Euros are also accepted. The charges for the visa depend on your length of stay (please see fee information below). Two passport photos are also needed. Photographs can be obtained at the airport but this may be time-consuming.

Nepal visa fees (Multiple Entry). 15 days: US$25, 30 days: US$40, 90 days: US$100

Note that visa fees can change without warning and we advise that you bring extra cash as a contingency.

Please note that if you are travelling to Nepal via Delhi you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey (into Delhi and from Delhi to Kathmandu), you will not need an India Visa. Please note that the responsibility for ensuring you have the necessary visas, travel permits etc, for your chosen route of travel to the joining point, lies entirely with you. We are always happy to give advice on these requirements if you contact us.

Note that if you book a UK flight-inclusive package with KE using Jet Airways or Air India via Delhi, you will not require an India visa.

Important Notes:

For all regions of Nepal you are now required to have a permit to trek / bike. To apply for this we must have your full passport details before your departure. We recommend you also take 4 passport photographs with you to Nepal.

We require additional items for following trips:

Annapurna trips (ANS, ASL, ACL, APL, AEL, ANL, ANC, UAT), Dhaulagiri via the French Pass (DLG), and Royal Trek and Chitwan (RTC).

1 passport photograph to be sent / emailed to the KE office at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

1 passport photograph plus 1 copy of the information page of your passport to be sent / emailed to the KE office at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs./33 lbs. For all flights to STOL airstrips in Nepal, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15 kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. Paying for transportation of excess baggage is not normally an option on these flights. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (minimum B1 – see notes)
  • Gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Thermal gloves
  • Warm and waterproof over gloves or mittens
  • Headtorch/Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Daypack c.40 litres
  • Sleeping bag rated to minus 20°C*
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
  • Warm jacket (down)*
  • ‘Walking’ ice axe*
  • Crampons*
  • Basic First Aid Kit including:A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Approach boots (lightweight hiking boots)
  • Training shoes /Sneakers or similar for camp use
  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Nailbrush
  • Scarf or buff
  • Swimwear
  • Travel clothes
  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera, media, batteries
  • Penknife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)


Specialist equipment:For this trip you will need boots capable of taking crampons securely. You will also need to bring a ‘walking’ ice axe* and crampons*. These items are a safety measure only for the pass crossings and you will not necessarily be required to use them

  • Equipment hire: Items marked *are available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.
  • The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore to avoid embarrassment on both sides we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.
  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Nepal

    All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted. You will require 2 passport photos.

    For all regions of Nepal that we visit an additional permit is required. This is included in the holiday price and KE will apply for it, with your full passport details and 1 passport photo copy (sent or emailed). You must supply this to us at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

    For certain trips in additional to the above we also require a copy of the information page of your passport.

    These trips are: Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

    Transit via India

    If you are travelling via India (Delhi or Calcutta) to your destination you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey, you will not need an India Visa. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 7 hours or more each day, sometimes on difficult terrain including boulder and scree slopes. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. For this trip we also recommend that you gain some experience of walking in winter conditions wearing crampons.

    You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    October to November and March to May are the best times for trekking in Nepal. These months either side of the summer monsoon season are neither too hot in the foothills nor too cold in the higher elevations and they offer the best conditions for trekking. Pre-monsoon is the time to see the colourful blooms of the rhododendron at lower elevations. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. At either of these periods you will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your holiday from approximately 25ºC in Kathmandu to approximately 14ºC at 3000 metres and approximately 3ºC at 5000m. The ‘real feel’ temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer than this. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4200m and at the highest camps in the Hidden Valley, the night time temperatures may drop as low as minus 20ºC. Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short lived storms can and do occur. It is very important that you are equipped and prepared for these extremely low temperatures.

    Nepal Guide: Lonely Planet Rough Guide to Nepal: Rough guides Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti. Kathmandu and the Kingdom of Nepal. Prakash Raj. Nepal phrasebook. Lonely Planet

    Dhaulagiri Circuit. 1:87,500. Nepa maps

    The map covers Thapa Pass, Hidden Valley, French Pass, Dhaulagiri Base Camp, and West Dhaulagiri Glacier. This is one of Nepa’s earlier maps and consequently the topographic base is not as detailed as it is for example, for the Everest trail. Also the contour interval is a less helpful 500 metres. However, the trail information is good and the map is still quite useful.

    Extend Your Holiday

    Chitwan Jungle Extension

    The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. On two full days of wildlife viewing in the National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep, boat, on foot and by elephant back.

    Chitwan Jungle Tharu Lodge Extension

    From $980 per person

    More info

    Tiger Mountain Resort Pokhara

    Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge sets the standard for comfortable and luxurious mountain lodge accommodation with its relaxed atmosphere, tranquil setting, eco-tourism and conservation ethos. Located on a spectacular hilltop ridge, it has panoramic views of ‘Fishtail Mountain and Himalayan giants, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. It has won several prestigious awards including the PATA Heritage and Culture Gold Award and the Conde Nast Traveler magazine Ecotourism Award.

    Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (join Pokhara)

    From $700 per person

    More info

    Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

    The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of the day's tour include the ancient city of Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for it’s temples and traditional buildings, and Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise.

    Kathmandu Valley Tour - Nargakot and Bhaktapur

    From $125 per person

    More info

    Malla Hotel

    From $100 per room per night

    Gokarna Forest Resort Kathmandu

    From $138 per room per night

    Shanker Hotel

    From $100 per room per night

    Situated next to the grounds of the former Royal Palace and only a 10-minute walk from the popular Thamel district, this former Rana residence was converted into a hotel in 1964. The original architecture was based on a French palace and the hotel has a grand appearance. Set in a large and beautifully tended garden, it provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and is an ideal base from which to explore Kathmandu. All its rooms which are en-suite have been recently refurbished and the hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a swimming pool where you can also order drinks.

    Shangri La

    From $119 per room per night Another of Kathmandu’s original ‘luxury’ hotels. While the sophistication of its amenities may be upstaged by Kathmandu’s more modern concrete and glass hotels, the Shangri La maintains an old world charm that cannot be beaten. Located in the diplomatic enclave of Lazimpat, away from the hustle and bustle yet just 10 minutes walk from tourist centre of Thamel, the hotel is set in a pleasant garden and facilities include a pool, tennis court and massage therapist. The hotel has a speciality Indian restaurant and a garden café serving international cuisine as well as a bar.

    Dwarikas Hotel

    From $279 per room per night Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel modelled on the grandeur of the palaces of the Newar Kings. Consisting of several buildings arranged around a quiet courtyard, the hotel incorporates many original 15th – 17th century features in its architecture from the lifetime collection of its founder. The rooms are in the same Newari style and lavishly luxurious in their appointments. Its location close to Pashupathinath and Bouddhanath is perfect for exploring this side of Kathmandu. There are 3 restaurants serving Nepali, Japanese and international cuisine, a bar, spa and fitness centre, and a swimming pool.

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