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  • Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

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From$3,699$3,599
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344
24 days
Availability : Except December through February
Kathmandu
Sheyphoksundo Lake
Min Age : 18+

Upper Dolpo Trek is an astounding trek to off-beaten paths, unexplored trails, isolated region and mysterious wonderland of Nepal. Located behind the Dhaulagiri ranges and linked with Tibetan Plateau, Upper Dolpo is extremely beautiful with a handful of natural beauties, arts and architectures, culture and tradition giving the travelers one of the best options as their destination to travel.

Phoksundo Lake, 800 year old Shey Monastery, lush meadows, deep valleys, views of Dhaulagiri, unique Tibetan culture and magnificent and rare wildlife including snow leopard are the special rewards to the travelers here.

This 24 days Upper Dolpo trek is long and may exhaust you but awe-inspiring vistas of Nepalese and Tibetan Himalayas win against your tiredness. Despite being a bare and dry place, Upper Dolpo has fast flowing rivers, gorgeous waterfalls, high passes, deep river gorges and beautiful settlements with ancient art and architecture.

The largest national park of Nepal – Shey Phoksundo National Park is here protecting the habitats such as snow leopard, rare Himalayan Blue sheep, Himalayan Black Bear, Goral etc. The unique Tibetan culture flashes within every settlement of Upper Dolpo who follows Tibetan Buddhism. Chortens, Mani walls and prayer flags are seen on the trail.

The weather is warm, temperatures are pleasant, sky is clearest with minimal chance of snowfall in the spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) seasons. Therefore, this period of time is appropriate to trek in the Upper Dolpo Region like other treks in Nepal.

Tour Details

Upper Dolpo is a remote, poor and underdeveloped area with less numbers of tourism infrastructures. Opened In late 80’s to visitors, the region is still considered a restricted area and requires a special permit which is quite expensive. A backpacker or individual traveler is restricted.  A group of two or more are required to trek in this area.

Departure & Return Location

Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Departure Time

Flexible

Price Includes

  • Domestic flight to and from Nepalgunj
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Nepalgunj
  • Tented camp and meals during the trek
  • Special trek permits
  • Support of guide, cook and helpers

Price Excludes

Complementaries

  • Trip completion certificate
  • Farewell dinner
  • Nepal Hiking T-Shirt
  • 1 hour full body massage
What to Expect

Trekking to the Upper Dolpo Region is much more challenging than other treks as the trails are mostly steep and descents are strenuous. Trekkers require great physical strength, stamina and great will power because the trail leads to three high passes: Nagdola La (5350m), Shey La (5000m) and Jeng La (5110m). Involving long climbs and exhausting descents, this trek is not for beginners but once a life-time experience for the pro-trekkers.

  • Explore ancient villages of Dolpo Pa Civilization
  • Experience the lifestyle and culture of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Witness the deepest lake of Nepal- Shey Phoksundo
  • Pay visit to ancient old Bon and Buddhist monasteries
Itinerary

Day 1Fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (1 hr)

● 1 hour scenic flight to Nepalgunj in Terai region.
● Nepalgunj sightseeing.

Overnight in Nepalgunj. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 2Fly to Jhupal (2400m) and trek to Dunai (2150m) (3 hrs)

● Early breakfast.
● 35 minutes scenic flight.
● Trek to Dunai through the terraced fields to the Bheri fields and its narrow gorge.
● Explore the small towns in Dunai in the evening.

Overnight in Dunai. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 3Trek to Aakhe (2660m) (5-6 hrs)

● Leaving Dunai behind, you will cross a suspension bridge and follow the west trail past the hospital.
● Follow the trail ascending up to the treeless valley of Thulo Bheri before reaching Phoksundo river valley.
● Amazing walnut trees, Dhara and Rahagaun villages on the route.
● Descend down lush dense forest and reach Aakhe.

Overnight in Aakhe. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4Trek to Sulighat (3500m) (5-6 hrs)

● Follow the ascending and descending trail along wooded river bank.
● Ascend on a steep trail and pass through the forest and grassy landscape.
● Head downhill until you reach a cliff followed by a stone staircase to the river bank.
● Continue the trek until you arrive to Sulighat.

Overnight in Sulighat. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 5Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3600m) (4-5 hrs)

● Early breakfast and head towards today’s destination.
● Walk along the valley floor to the junction of the Pungmo and Phoksundo rivers.
● Cross a bridge and follow the path to the western bank of Pungmo River.
● Walk through the trail passing through lush cedar forest and reach Palam village.
● Walk to the ridge for 2 hours and witness one of the highest waterfalls of Nepal.
● Trek down through birch forests to the upper reaches of Phoksundo Riverand a beautiful Ringmo village. (Village has beautiful chortens and mani walls.)
● Further walking and you will reach the bank of Phoksundo Lake.

Overnight in Phoksundo. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 6Acclimatization day

● Immerse into the beauty of the lake and schedule a short walk to Ringmo village.
● Explore the village, experience the lifestyle of the locals and pay visit to ancient Tibetan monasteries. (Most of the locals can be seen in their cultural attire with Tibetan style Dacha and Samba as footwear, maroon dyed homespun clothing and jewelries made of coral, amber, and turquoise.)
● Roam round the lake and relax in the evening.

Overnight in Phoksundo. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 7Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3507m) (4-5 hrs)

● Depart from Phoksundo Lake and head towards the path leading to Phoksundo Khola.
● Follow the western bank of the lake and gently walk through a slippery trail.
● Flooded plain of Phoksundo Khola opens up at the westernmost edge of Phoksundo Lake.
● Slow down your walk and watch out every step as the path becomes more difficult.
● Walking through the valley and crossing a river, you reach the bank of Phoksundo Khola overnight.

Overnight at camp in Phoksundo River. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 8Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4402m) (6-7 hrs)

● Hike for an hour along a level path through the glacial valley leading up north.
● Cross an old wooden bridge at the junction of Phoksundo khola and a mountain stream.
● Walk towards northeast and ascend up to sheep meadow where the trail bends to steep ravine.
● A harder climb takes you to the valley where Kang La Pass can be witnessed.
● Set up a camp adjacent to the pass at “Snowfields Camp” christened by Peter Matthiessen.
Note: Admiring views of Chhamlani peak 6 (6739m) and 7 (6105m) on the route.

Overnight at camp in Bhanjyang. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 9Trek to Shey Gumpa (4126m) via Kang La Pass (5151m) (5-6 hrs)

● The day starts off by ascending a steep trail towards Kang La Pass.
● Cherish into the magnificent vista of the valley from the top of the pass.
● Then the path descends into the valley floor.
● Cross the river multiple times along with yak grazing in the fields.
● Finally cross a river through a log-bridge and you reach Shey Gumpa.

Overnight in Shey Gumpa. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 10Acclimatization day

● Today you will explore the village in Shey steeped in ancient animism and rituals.
● You will get to experience pre-Buddhist culture, Bon Po.

Note: Shey Gumpa was built in 1655 and is well-known for a giant golden copper statue of seated Shakyamuni Buddha).

Overnight in Shey Gumpa. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 11Trek to Namduna Gaun (4400m) via Saldang La Pass (4785m) (6-7 hrs)

● Leaving Shey Gumpa behind, follow a trail leading you through Juniper trees which descends into a grey stone canyon.
● Then, you will follow the zigzag path until you reach the top of Saldang Pass.
● The following trail descends to the north where you will pass by yaks and sheep grazing in the grassland and the nomadic tents made of yak hair.

Overnight in Namduna Gaun. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12Trek to Saldang (3903m) (4-5 hrs)

● Depart from Namduna Gaun and ascend to a slope and walk through dusty Barren Mountains.
● 3-4 hours of tough climb leads you to Saldang village above the Namga Khola stream.
(Saldang village is the largest village of the inner Dolpo region with eighty well built houses with nearly six hundred people).

Overnight in Saldang. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 13Trek to Yanze Gompa (4960m) (4-5 hrs)

● Trek towards an unexplored area in the north leaving Saldang village behind.
● You will walk through a path that ascends and descends here and there.
● Pass through Ki and Mirang village and cross the tributary of Panzang River.
● Final crossing of the river and you reach Yanze village which is popular for ancient BonPo Monastery.

Overnight in Yanze Gompa. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 14Trek to Sibu (3942m) (6-7 hrs)

● Take the shorter trail. So retrace back the route to Saldang village.
● From Saldang, follow a river leading you to Namdo village.
● About 2 hours of trekking will take you to the settlement of Sibu.
(Namdo village is a small beautiful village having about 60 houses with 400 habitants located 5 km on the high slope of Nam Khong River.)

Overnight in Sibu. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 15Trek to Jeng La Phedi (4369m) (5-6 hrs)

● The trek begins by following Nam Khong River.
● Few hours of walking take you to the junction of two streams.
● Further, you will ascend a steep trail to a grazing area to the base of Jeng La Pass.
● Set up a camp in a beautiful grassland.
Overnight at camp in Jeng La Phedi. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16Trek to Tokyu Gaun(4240m) via Jeng La Pass (4845m) (5-6 hrs)

● Early breakfast and two hours of climbing to reach Jeng La Pass where the breathtaking beauty of Daulagiri can be witnessed.
● Later, descend slowly towards the valley of Tarap.
● Follow the stream on your route and reach Tokyu village.

Overnight at camp near Tokyu village. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 17Trek to Dho Tarap (4090m) (4-5 hrs)

● This region has an easy trail and following that trail you walk through a plain valley.
● Arrive Dho Tarap after a short trek.

Overnight in Dho Tarap. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 18Acclimatization day

● A rest and exploration day at Dho Tarap.
● Stroll around the villages of Dho Tarap and experience the lifestyle, witness the culture and tradition of the locals.
(Dho Tarap is one of the highest settlements of the world with around 40 houses with Magars and Tibetans habitants. It is also a confluence of trails leading Mustang, Jomsom and Tibet with many Buddhist monasteries. Bon Po is one of the most popular one).

Overnight in Dho Tarap. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 19Trek to Tarap Khola (6-7 hrs)

● Your day kicks off by descending towards a wide valley and the trail takes you to a narrow gorge as you walk further.]
● You hike through the trees of juniper and wild rose bushes.
● Further trekking you take you to the junction of Tarap Chu River and Lang River.
● You reach Tarap Khola with a beautiful meadow where you will set up a camp.

Overnight at camp in Tarap Khola. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 20Trek to Khani Gaun (2250m) (4-5 hrs)

● Trek alongside the gorge of Tarap River. (The gorge gets narrow at some points. It can be easily crossed by just jumping.)
● 4-5 hours of trekking takes you to Khani village.
● Set up a camp near the village and spend the rest of the night.

Overnight at camp near Khani Gaun. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 21Trek to Tarakot (2281m) (4-5 hrs)

● Follow a trail leading you to the village of Lalberi.
● Pass through a lush dense forest descending into another gorge.
● Reach Tarakot by following the river.
● Set a camp 150 meters down Tarakot by Tarap Chu River.

Overnight at camp by Tarap Chu River. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 22Trek to Dunai (2052m) (5-6 hrs)

● Start off the day by trekking behind Bheri River and pass Lawan village.
● Ascend firmly alongside Bheri River until you reach Byas Gadi.
● Pursue an easy trail going westwards and cross a river at Lochakhola village.
● Finally an ascending path takes you to Dunai.

Overnight in Dunai. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 23Trek to Jhupal (2402m) (2-3 hrs)

● Last day of trekking
● Trekking along the Bheri River while relishing the beauty of the landscapes.
● Follow the trail passing through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages along with a temple.
● Continue the trek passing through Kalagaonda village and Motipur village until you reach Jhupal Airstrip.

Overnight in Jhupal. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 24Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalginj (1 hr)

● Earliest flight to Nepalgunj from Jhupal.
● Catch an earliest available flight to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj.
● Farewell dinner.

Conclusion
Upper Dolpo Trek is an off-beaten path, strenuous and longer trek than other classic treks to a hidden wonderland. Situated between the Tibetan plateaus and Dhaulagiri ranges, the beauty of the Dolpo region is off your imagination. It may be unpopular to the new travelers but the trekkers trekking in Upper Dolpo fall in deep love with lush green meadows, glimpse of Himalayan range, tranquil and wild beauty of Phoksundo Lake, Buddhist monasteries and rich culture of the locals. Therefore, trekking in the Upper Dolpo region would be an amazing lifetime experience and memory for the travelers.

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1 Review
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Bicky

Couple Traveller

Wonderful trek experience thanks to Nepal Hiking.

March 27, 2020
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