Trip Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trekking:
- Beautiful views as you take flight to and from Nepalgunj/Juphal
- Magnificent scene Phoksundo Lake (Deepest Lake of Nepal).
- Breathtaking view of Kanjirowa Himal, crystal Mountain.
- Crossing Kang La, Saldang La and Jeng La pass
- Adventurous camping trek to the isolated Himalayan region of Nepal.
- Visit ancient monasteries of Dolpo district.
An area beyond the Himalayas, which conjures up the beauty of ancient monasteries, blue sheep and snow leopard, Dolpo is one of the most remote regions in Nepal and is located in the western part of the country between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges. The Upper Dolpo Trekking is about 24 days, which requires the trekkers to get special permission from the government. The Upper Dolpo trekking is famous as remote and restricted trekking destination in Nepal. The Dolpo district is an exceptionally isolated region, which hasn’t been in touch with the modern lifestyle, so the culture and way of living have remained same since ancient period. The trekking region was closed to foreigners until late eighties, but still trekkers aren’t allowed to go without any acquaintance, therefore group trekking is suggested for this trek route. Don’t miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to this trekking if you are physically capable and have got enough time to spare here. You are required to have previous experience is high altitude trekking.
Upper Dolpo Trek goes through lovely valleys, local settlements, intriguing spots, enormous mountains and greenery woods of pines, oaks, rhododendrons and so on. The fundamental feature of the trek is terrific scenes, remote village of Ringmo, astounding Shey Phoksundo Lake, which is the deepest lake of Nepal, Dho Tarap, which is the locality of people at highest altitude in the world, Shey Ghumpa, which is known to be the most important gumba in Nepal and the hundreds years old monasteries. The books called “The Snow Leopard” and “Himalayan Pilgrimage” written by Peter Matthiessen and David Snellgrove has added to the persona and fascination of Dolpo. Both of them went by the Shey Gompa, to the north of the Phoksundo Lake, Inner Dolpo. This is the objective of most trekkers yet this Upper Dolpo trek will take you significantly into mystique area. The exotic half plant, half animal species, Yarsa Gumba is also found in this region.
Upper Dolpo region is remote from the city area, and your arrival will be arranged in two flights. From Kathmandu, you’ll fly to the town of Nepalgunj and stay overnight there. Next morning you will get into forty five minute flight to Juphal and that same day you’ll be able to trek on to Chunuwar. June, July and August are considered to be the best month of the year for this trek .Regardless, it’ll still be cold, particularly at night, so ensure to pack your warm jacket and a four-season sleeping bag.
Day 01: Kathmandu Arrival (1300m)
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalganj .1 hr Flight.O/N at Hotel.
Day 04: Flight from Nepalganj to Juphal then trek to Chunuwar/Amchi Hospital (3110 m)
Day 05: Trek to Ankhe (2,660m) - 6 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 06: Ankhe to Sulighat: 5-6 hours
Day 07: Trek to Phosundo Lake (3,600m) – 7 hrs.O/N at Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3,507m) - 6 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402m) - 7 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 10: Cross the Kang La pass (5,151m) and trek to Shey Gompa (4,126m) - 7 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 11: Rest and exploration day at Shey Gompa. O/N at Camp.
Day 12: Cross the Saldang La pass (4,785m), and then trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400m) - 7 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 13: Trek to Saldang (3,903m) - 4 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 14: Trek to Sibu (3,942m) - 6 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 15: Trek to foot of the Jeng La (4,369m) - 5 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 16: Cross the Jeng La pass (4,845m), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240m) - 7 hrs.O/N at Camp.
Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090m) - 4.5 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 18: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m/12,464ft): 6-7 hours
Day 19:Tarap Khola to Khanigaon(3,150m/10,332ft): 4-5 hours
Day 20: Trek to Tarakot (2,281m) - 4 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 21: Trek to Dunai (2,052m) - 5 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 22: Trek to Juphal (2,404m) - 3 hrs. O/N at Camp.
Day 23: Flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj and Nepalgunj to to Kathmandu.O/N at Hotel
Day 24: Farewell friend.
Physical Conditions and Experience Requirements
24 days of upper Dolpo Trekking is considered as moderate. If you jog or perform morning walks regularly then it would not be any problem for you to walk on the trail. However, it is highly recommended that you should start doing mild exercises one month prior to your trekking date. This would help in creating best Himalayan walking holiday experience. Having said that, it should be noted Technical Skill are not needed. The major hurdle is an altitude. Therefore, person having past medical history of lung, heart and blood diseases are extremely advised to consult your doctor before embarking on this journey.
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Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a representative from Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the afternoon, we may take a rest or visit Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage will brief us regarding our trek as well as provide us with an opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj.
We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for the night.
We leave Dunai and cross a suspension bridge and turn to the west following a trail past a hospital. The trail ascends up the side of the treeless, Thulo Bheri valley before entering Phoksundo river valley. During the walk we get to the view of Kagmara Peak up the valley. We pass through walnut groves, Dhera and Rahagaun villages, walk down dense jungles and finally reach Ankhe. Overnight in Ankhe.
Our trail ascends and descends along a wooded riverbank and climbs on a steep trail. The ups and downs can be a bit monotonous, but there are several streams along the way that offer a chance to cool off. The trail eventually leaves the forests and passes through a grassy slope high above the river. We trek downhill on a trail surrounded by lush forests before reaching a cliff followed by a dizzying drop on a wobbly stone staircase to the river bank. We continue trekking until we reach Sulighat where we spend the night.
We continue our journey along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. After crossing a bridge, we walk on the western bank of the Pungmo Khola. The trail passes through a cedar forest before reaching Palam village. From here we trek up to a ridge and enjoy distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. Next, our trail descends through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque Ringmo village with its mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. From here it is a short walk to the shores of the Phoksundo Lake. Overnight at Phoksundo Lake.
Our trail moves around the top western end of the Phoksundo Lake as it contours on a rocky ledge along the lake’s western bank. This unsteady trail suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs driven into crevasse in the rocks, signals the remoteness of the area we are about to enter. At the westernmost edge of the lake the path leads through a lush meadow that opens up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola. Then we walk through the valley, crossing the river and avoiding the occasional boggy marsh underfoot and then coming on the bank of the river to the overnight camp.
For an hour or so we walk on a trail that leads us along the level path through a glacial valley which heads due north. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream, there is an old wooden bridge. From here, we walk towards the north-east. A long climb brings us to a sheep meadow where our trail veers up a steep ravine. A hard climb to the top brings us to yet another valley where we can see the Kang-La pass. We set up our camp near the pass in a place that Peter Matthiessen christened 'Snowfields Camp'. During our trek today we also get to admire the views of Chhamlang peak 6 (6739m) and peak 7 (6105m).
In the morning, we ascend on a steep trail littered with slate towards the pass. The climb to the top of the pass is quite strenuous. From the top of Kang-la pass we get excellent views of the large valley dissected by a gushing river. We descend to the valley floor on a steep trail. Next, we walk on a meandering trail along the banks of a river, crossing and re-crossing it several times. There are mud caves lining the hills overlooking the river. We also pass through meadows where we see grazing yaks, hundreds of sheep and domestic mountain goat (Chyangra). After crossing a quaint log bridge we reach the Shey Gompa compound where we will be spending the nigh
Shey Gompa was built in 1655 and the monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. To the east of the gompa is Crystal Mountain which is one of the strangest mountains, as its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Today is another well-earned rest day for acclimatization. We spend the day hiking around Shey village which is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Overnight in Shey Gompa.
We begin the day by following a pleasant trail amidst juniper trees which descends into a grey, stony canyon. Then the path begins to zigzag over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings us to the top of Saldang-la pass. The subsequent descent towards the north is long and tiring but grazing yaks and sheep, and nomadic tents made from yak hair is a comforting sight. In Namduna Gaun we visit Namgung monastery. The red stone monstery is built against the backdrop of a cliff on the north wall of a gorge. Overnight in Namuda Gaun
We leave the village and climb up a slope and begin a long walk along dusty barren mountains. After 3-4 hours of hard climb, we begin to see Saldang Village below us on a plateau high above the Namga Khola stream. It has a picturesque appearance. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area. The village stretches for nearly two kilometers on an open slope and consists of five villages having about eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred people. It is a prosperous village not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight in Saldang.
From Yangze, there are two trails that connect to Sibu. To save time we will retrace the path back towards Saldang village, which will be much easier and shorter than the other route. From Saldang we walk along a river and pass through terraced fields, stupas, chortens, heaps of mani stones and a Chaiba monastery, then pass through the Namdo village, which is also prosperous, with about sixty houses having nearly 400 inhabitants. It stretches for more than 5 km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. The Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. Our journey continues further down the river for another two hours to camp near a small settlement of Sibu.
We walk along the Nam Khong Khola for a while and pass by caravans with yaks that are moving towards the Tibetan border. After turning east and walking for a while, we arrive at a confluence of two small streams. Next, the steep trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La pass (4,900m/16,072ft). Our camp will be set up in this beautiful meadow. Overngiht in Jeng la Phedi.
We get up early in the morning and set forth on today’s trek. It will take us two long hours to reach the top of the Jeng La pass from where we get remarkable views of the north face of the Dhaualgiri massif. From here we descend on a rough trail to the Tarap Valley, a fascinating valley with vast plains in high mountains that extends twenty kilometers along Tarap Chu river. We camp close to the monastery at Tokyu.
We trek downhill on a plain valley with patches of lush grass on both sides of the river which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. There is also a marsh which is a common feature in the Desert Mountains of Tibet and the Ladakh Himalaya. Both the Bon Po and Buddhist sects are practiced in the valley. After a short trek, we reach Dho Tarap). Overnight in Dho Tarap.
From Tarap we descend towards a wide valley which eventually narrows into a gorge. We walk along juniper and wild rose bushes just above the tree line. On our trek we see herds of blue sheep and by the afternoon, we reach the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola, a stream that joins with Tarap River from further east. We will make our camp on a nice meadow also known as Kamakharka and spend the night.
We continue walking down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it. During our walk we pass by the local people who will be taking their herds to lower pastures for the winter. This will be one of the most exciting days of this trip as the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge that in some places we can jump from one side to another. Sometimes there is no trace of a path and we may have to walk across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. The gorge also provides unexpected adventure and thrills. At some places, the bridges are either damaged or washed away and we may be forced to cross the icy torrent on foot. Finally, we reach our camping spot beside the Tarap Khola at Khanigaon where we spend the night.
From the camp we follow a trail that takes us to the village of Lalberi. Our trail then passes through a lush forest, descends into another gorge and continues to follow the river again. After reaching Tarakot, we can visit Sandul Gompa which lies about 8 km east of the village at a juncture of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. The monastery stands on a hill to the south of Bheri River. Today we camp by the Tarap Chu river about 150 meters below Tarakot, near the police post. Overnight in Tarakot
We begin our trek on a trail behind the Bheri River before crossing a bridge near the Lawan village. Our trail will continue alongside the big Bheri Rriver ascending until the Byas Gadi. From here the trail moves towards the west on a relatively easy trail. We cross the river again near the Lochakhola Gaon and ascend to Dunai for an overnight stay. Today’s trek will mostly be on a wonderful gorge with pine trees. Overnight in Dunai.
Fron Dunai, we trek along the Bheri River enjoying the beautiful landscape. On the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages as well as a temple. We continue trekking via Kalagaonda village and Motipur village before reaching the small airstrip. Overnight in Jhuphal.
We take the earliest flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. After arriving in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner hosted by Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage . Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Nepal Adventure Pilgrimage will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.
- Airport Pick up & Drop/sightseeing by private vehicle
- Twin sharing deluxe accommodation at Kathmandu with breakfast
- Welcome dinner with culture show.
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu Escorted with Guide
- Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and Juphal and back to Kathmandu.
- Transportation/Private Vehicle
- Accommodation in tea house during trek
- Meals (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) in trekking
- All necessary paper work and special Permit.
- A First Aid and Eco trained & Government licensed holder English Speaking guide
- (One Porter on trek)
- Accommodation, meals, salary, equipment, transportation & Insurance of trekking staff
- Travel & Rescue arrangement.
- All government taxes.
- Nepal visa fee: Nepal entry visa : US$ 40 or equivalent foreign currency for 30 days
- International Airfare
- Entrance fee during the sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Travel & Health Insurance – Emergency Helicopter Rescue Insurance (Most recommended)
- Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu.
- Any alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, boiled & mineral water, beverages etc during the trek.
- Tips for trekking & other employed staffs.
- Hot shower, battery charges (available in trek with extra cost or free in some lodges).
- Any other cost, which is not mentioned in cost includes items as above