Upper Dolpo Trek- 23 days

23D - 22N
Book This Trip
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trip Style: Trekking
  • Transport: Private Vehicle / Aeroplane
  • Food: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel + Teahouses + Lodges

Highlights

  • Trekking to a unique paradise of Nepal
  • Savour the beauty of Phoksundo lake
  • Encounter the Bonpos at Ringmo
  • Witness the sacred Shey Gompas and Crystal mountain
  • Trek through least explore part of Nepal

About Upper Dolpo Trek- 23 days

The trek to Upper Dolpo is one of Nepal’s classic mountain treks to some of the most remote and unique territory in Nepal. The trails are quite challenging and range up to 5350m elevation. The tourism infrastructure is almost non-existent in this region compared to the popular trails to Annapurna, Everest and Langtang. Thus, well-organized tours are very essential.

To begin the trek to Upper Dolpo, we fly to Nepalgunj and then to Juphal from where we begin our trek to the hidden valley of Nepal which was made famous by Peter Mattiessen’s book – The Snow leopard. The trails traverse through villages of different ethnical tribes. We can find Magar settlements with lush green paddy fields in lower altitudes while in higher altitudes in amid barren, windswept hills we can find Bhotia. Witnessing the diverse topography and diverse culture and lifestyle of people is the main highlights of this trek.

Dolpo region has an abundance of green lush meadows, subalpine and alpine forest and snow-covered mountains. This wilderness of Upper Dolpo is home to snow leopard, blue sheep, mountain musk deek and more. The 23 days trek to Upper Dolpo is the best way to explore the ancient Tibetan culture and tradition. The about 800 years old Shey Gompa and vast and tranquil beauty of Phoksundo lake are also the main highlights of this trek.

Itinerary

Today after breakfast, our representative will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to the domestic wing of the Kathmandu Airport. About an hour’s flight would take you to Nepalgunj bordering the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to the South. Nepalgunj is the major transport hub for western, mid-western and far-western regions of Nepal. We will drive to the hotel from Nepalgunj airport. We can stroll around this hot and humid town in the evening. 

We take an early morning flight to Juphal. Once we arrive at Juphal, we meet our trekking crew and after a short meeting about the itinerary, we commence our trek towards Dunai. The trail from Juphal and Dunai is easy and comfortable. The first forty-five minutes of the trek we walk downhill to Kalagauda followed by two hours of a hike along the trail which goes slightly up towards Thuli Bheri River and then to a narrow gorge. Advancing ahead, we finally arrive at Dunai, the administrative centre of Dolpo region. We set up our camp here and can explore this bustling little hill town and visit the Bon Stupa and Central Buddhist monastery for the rest of the afternoon.

The real adventure of Dolpo Trek begins from today. As the trek begins we initially trek along classic trekking route of Dolpo via Suligad Ghat, which is pretty comfortable walk along the levelled trail. We can get the trekking permit to Dolpo and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit at the Suligad Ghat.

As the trek goes further, the landscapes begin to change. We trek through the lush tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill villages like Jutung and arrive at Shyangta. We cross the bridge twice over Suligad Bridge and Akhe Khola and Maiaba Khola Dovan and begin to head north towards Chhepka. We set our camps at an ideal location in Chhepka for overnight stay.

Today we follow the trail of famous Lower Dolpa circuit to Chunuwar. We trek in the opposite direction of Phoksundo Khola towards an amazingly peaceful region that goes high above Phoksundo Khola to a small settlement of Rechi at 3011m. We hike along the riverside to Suligad Dovan and arrive at Amchi Hospital in Chunuwar. Amchi Hospital is the treatment centre of the locals of Dolpo, where expert Amchis (traditional doctors) treat the patients using herbal medicine found in Dolpo. We will set our camps by side of Amchi Hospital.

Today, we head to Phoksundo Lake. The trail passes through forests of big cedars to Polam (3710m). Polam is the winter settlement used by the people of Ringmogaon. The trail leads us to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meters high). We continue to follow twists and turns throughout the trails and finally reach Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of Dolpo region with flat-roofed stone houses with lots of mani walls. We cross a bridge and follow the trail which will take us to Phoksundo Lake. We set our camp at the national park camping ground.

Today is our acclimation day. We spend our time exploring the wonderful sites around Ringmo Village and magnificent Phoksundo Lake. Firstly, we explore the Ringmo village. Ringmo is the traditional Bon village in Dolpo with mostly of Tibetan ethnicity engaged in yak herding and tourism nestles at a dramatically beautiful location near Phoksundo Lake. Bon Monasteries and chortens are the main highlights of Ringmo village. Then, we spend our remaining time relaxing around the incomparable beauty of Phoksundo Lake. Phoksundo Lake is clearly an incomparable beauty. It’s deep blue emerald colours and majestic surrounding are a fascinating part of the Dolpo trek. 

Today’s trek is undoubtedly one of the best trekking days of Dolpo trekking. The treacherous fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo Lake. We ascend along the narrow path cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake and descend along the beautiful forests and which take us to the campsite at Sallaghari. As the name suggest, Sallaghari is surrounded by beautiful pine forest. We set our camp in Sallaghari campsite.

Today’s we begin our trek from Sallaghari to Kangla/Nangdala Base Camp at 4100m. We ascend up the narrow pass of Tuk Kyaksa River and come across the wide valley. Continuing further along the canyon brings us to the potential campsite with a massive rock slab, which is Kang La/ Nangdala Base Camp where we set off our camp for overnight stay.

Today, we cross the Kangla/ Nangdala pass entering the real Dolpo, the mystical land of Nepal. We trek to the most famous Shey Gompa and the nearby ‘Crystal Mountain’, the most sacred peak in Dolpo where Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. The crystal mountain locally known as Ribo Drukta is worshipped as the younger brother of Mt. Kailash. The viewpoint of Kang La Pass provides the spectacular view of Crystal Mountain, Shey Shikkar, Kang Chunne including the mountains in Tibetan territory and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. Descending down to the valley floor along the river takes us to the entrance of Shey which is marked by red chorten.

Today we explore Shey Gompa, said to be about 800 years old monastery. It has ancient murals and scroll describing the mythology of the Crystal Mountain. Shey Gompa is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. The summer festival ‘Shey Festival’ observed by the Dolpo people with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. After exploration of Shey Gompa, we follow the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost a couple of hours.

Passing through the barren and enchanting typical landscapes of Dolpo, we climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass which is almost two hours hike. The top of Shey La Pass rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Crystal Mountain to the West. The downhill from the pass which brings us to Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement. 

Today, we explore the monastery of Namgung set on the nearby cliff, before setting out towards Saldang. As the trek from Namgung Gompa begins we follow Namga Khola cross pass more summer herding spots and emerge out of spur for a short hike down to Saldang. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of dry lands surrounded hills. It is believed that Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo flourishes from Saldang. We'll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or chhyang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare at Saldang.

Today is our rest day. We will have a day hike after early breakfast to Yangjer Gumba, the richest monastery of this region. We will have packed lunch and will explore the monastery and its surrounding and come back to Saldang for the night stop.

Today we trek for six hours and reach the village of Khoma. Initially, the trail follows the Saldang Lek along the Regan Khola to the barren hillside. Exiting out to the elevated ridge of almost 4500m, the trail descends down steeply to Khoma Village. Khoma village is highly influenced by Tibetan culture and bears similarity to a Tibetan village.

As we trek from Khoma village we may sight some endangered animals like a snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way, we pass small villages and Chhiume Mane. The trails encompass highland deserts with few shrubs like vegetation. After almost five hours of a comfortable hike, we arrive at Shimen, a beautiful valley of Dolpo.

Today after breakfast, we visit Shimen Gompa and follow the trail along the Panjyan Khola. On the way, we pass through many ancient gompas and villages including Pu Gompa, Targaon, Sonmagaon and finally to Tinje. Tinje is a village development committee in Dolpa District. There is a natural airstrip where once a British aircraft had landed and taken off.

Today we trek to Yak Kharka from Tinje. We follow the trail beside Panjyan River to the small settlement of Chhamdang. Past Chhamdang we trek along the river bank continues to the confluence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. Finally crossing the bridge over Thalum Khola, which flows from Thalum Lek and we arrive at Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is popularly known for its open grazing ground for yaks and sheep and this open grassy pasture of Yak Kharka makes it an excellent camping site.

As the trek begins today, we cross the bridge over Sulun Khola and further crossing other several bridges over several streams take us to Choila North Pass 5040m. The trail to Choila North BC is an arduous and difficult trek. Almost two hours steep climb brings us to the top of Choila Pass from where we can see the fascinating sights of Tokyou camps. A downhill and levelled trail beside Choila Khola brings us to Tokyou, where we settle our camps for the overnight stay.

Today after breakfast we explore Dho Tarap valley. Dho village (Ward 1) and its neighbouring villages Lang (Ward 2) and Tokyou (Ward 3) are collectively known as Dho Tarap. We spend the day at Dho Tarap. Dho Tarap is a large village decorated by colourful prayer flags, mani walls and have numerous chortens and monasteries including a Bon Monastery. Villagers grow wheat, buckwheat, barley, potatoes and green vegetables in terraced fields. You can find a few tea houses, lodges and shops with minimal supplies. The people closely resemble the Khampas of Tibet, the men with a ponytail and red tassel coiled around their head. The women are sport with musk deer teeth necklaces.

Along with the natural tour and you will be entertained by the cultural program consisting of traditional Tibetan dances and songs presented by the villagers. Here we have few major sites that are worthwhile exploring around Dho Tarap which includes Ribo Bumpa Monastery & Drakmar Dewa Monastery, the vicinity around Dho Tarap has many other important monasteries which include Mekhyim Monastery, Dhoro Monastery and a Bon Gompa of Shipichowk many more. It is very important to make your decision wisely while choosing the monastery you prefer to explore from the pool of many.

Today, the trek covers a long distance. As we start the trek, we hike along the flat trail beside Tarap Khola to Mirububane Khola Dovan- the confluence of Tarap Khola and Mirubabane Khola. Then the trek slides down to the bridge over Klang Khloa at Langa Camp.

The trail continues alongside Tarap Khola with the picturesque views of arid landscapes. As the trek goes further we cross several villages like Sisaul, Gyamghar, Toltol and finally reach to Nawarpani where we set our camp for the overnight stay.

Today we still follow the trail that runs alongside Tarap Khola. As we go further gradually the view in the vicinity and landscapes begins to change. The green forests start to emerge and we slide up high above Tarap Khola to Lamchaur. Cross passing Lahini Odar, we descend down the hill to Chhedhul Gompa and then finally to Lashicap. We set a camp in Lashicap.

Today, we trek along the green woodlands high above Thuli Bheri River towards Tarakot.

We trek on the trail that stretches beside Thuli Bheri River to Dunai via Lawan and Byasgad. The trail has the forested region on its west, Thuli Bheri River and cultivated terraced fields on its East.

We retrace the journey back to Jhuphal, which is a short distance walk along the Bheri River till Kalagawda and then the trail ascends towards Juphal, which wraps up this long adventure. We get together with our crew members tonight to celebrate this trek accomplishment.

We board on about 35 minutes short and scenic flight over the Himalayan foothills overlooking the jaw-dropping mountainous vistas of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north to Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, we take a connecting flight to Kathmandu which takes about an hour to reach Kathmandu. A representative from Lapha Holidays will receive and transfer you to your designated hotel in Kathmandu. You have gotten back from a long tiring trip, so you would probably want to flex your muscles a bit and get groomed. You have an extra day at Kathmandu tomorrow. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu; breakfast included.

Nepal Tour Packege

Nepal Tour and Travel Package

Cost Detail

  • Airport pick-up and drop services in a private vehicle
  • Applicable domestic airfare(if included) as per the itinerary
  • All ground transportation costs on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary (tourist bus or private vehicles)
  • 3-Star Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on “BB” basis as per itinerary (hotel category can be change on guest request)
  • All trekking accommodation costs on full board basis which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The accommodation during the trekking will be in the guesthouses, lodges or tea houses on twin sharing basis but occasionally in the common dormitory especially during peak seasons.
  • Seasonal fruit and salads on a daily basis
  • A first-aid medical kit (will be carried by the trekking guide)
  • Salary and expenses of an experienced English speaking trekking guide and assistant guide for the trekking period
  • Salary and expenses of porter service for the trekking period (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Personal insurance for crew members.
  • All necessary paperwork and applicable tourist entry fees necessary for trekking (special permit fees, conservation fees and TIMS card fees).
  • All government and local taxes
  • Sleeping bag, down jacket and duffel bag, are provided to be returned after completion of trip and company t-shirt provided as complimentary
  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Welcome and Farewell dinner at typical Nepali restaurant with cultural program
  • International airfare and departure taxes.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Lunch and dinner incurred before or after the trekking period.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client’s travel insurance).
  • Nepal entry visa fee.
  • Tips to the guide(s), porter(s), and driver(s) (Tipping is expected).
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks and beverages.
  • Excess baggage charges (depends up to luggage allowance of airlines).
  • Personal insurance and other personal expenses (phone call, battery recharge, laundry, extra porters, boiled water, hot shower, and extra food 
  • Extra accommodation and meals cost incurred due to the addition of extra days or change in the real course of the itinerary due to bad weather conditions or any other unforeseen contingencies.
  • Additional private transportation except what is mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Any other expenses not mentioned in the ‘Cost Includes’ section above.
Departures not available.