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Upper Dolpo Trek

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24 days
Availability : Round the year
Min Age : 18+
You are here Home » Holiday Packages » Upper Dolpo Trek

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Upper Dolpo

Upper Dolpo Trek is a wonderful off-beaten path trek in the central western part of Nepal. So, the trek is an isolated region and a mysterious wonderland of Nepal. Geographically, the trek is located behind the Dhaulagiri ranges and linked with Tibetan Plateau. 

The region is extremely captivating in culture and natural attractions, with a handful of natural looks, arts, and architecture. Also, it includes a unique civilization and tradition since its early life. That’s why it gives travellers one of the best options for exploring their destination.

How much does it cost for Upper Dolpo Trek permit?

It costs US$ 500 per person for 10 days. The Government of Nepal has controlled the region by levying special trek fees. In contrast, few people can trek in the Dolpo region yearly because of the restriction zone. Due to the expensive fee structure, every traveller can’t travel there. That’s why only a few travellers can trek in the region.

Can you trek to Upper Dolpo without a guide?

Unfortunately, not! A backpacker or individual traveller can’t trek individually without a guide. Instead, they must join a registered trekking agency in Kathmandu, such as NepalHiking.com. Also, there is a provision for a minimum of 2 trekkers to issue the permit.

Why is Dolpo Region popular among tourists? And what are the main highlights of the trek?

The region’s main highlights are Phoksundo Lake and 800-year-old Shey Monastery. Lush meadows, deep valleys, and views of Dhaulagiri are other highlights of the trek. Similarly, other tourist attractions include the unique Tibetan culture and magnificent and rare wildlife, including snow leopards.

How long does it take to complete the Upper Dolpo trek from Kathmandu?

We have a 24-day itinerary for this adventure. This 24-day trek is long and exhausting, but, on the contrary, it is inspiring. While walking, you will forget all your tiredness and exhaustion. It is due to the impressive views of the Nepalese and Tibetan Himalayas ranges. Despite being bare and dry, the region has fast-flowing rivers, gorgeous waterfalls, high passes, and deep river gorges. Equally and importantly, it has beautiful settlements with ancient art and architecture.

The largest national park

Shey Phoksundo National Park is here to protect habitats such as snow leopards, rare Himalayan Blue sheep, Himalayan Black bears, and Goral. Equally important is the unique Tibetan culture that flashes within every settlement of Dolpo, which follows Tibetan Buddhism. Also, the Chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags are seen along the trail as a symbol of the local culture.

When to trek the Upper Dolpo?

A question of “when to trek or when is the best time for the trek” may arise in your mind. The answer is simple. Like other trekking routes in Nepal, March through May and October through Autumn are good times for the trek.

However, as long as you have no timing constraints, you can do the trek anytime. And suppose you are also very flexible in case of flight delay between Kathmandu and Juphal or vice versa. In that case, you can consider the trek during the monsoon period between May – September.

Is the Upper Dolpo Trek for beginners?

Not for beginners! This trek is not for beginners but a once-a-lifetime experience for the pro-trekkers. It involves long climbs and exhausting descents. Trekking to the Dolpo Region is much more challenging than other treks as the trails are mostly steep and descents are strenuous. Therefore, Trekkers require great physical strength, stamina, and great willpower because the trail leads to three high passes, which are Nagdola La (5350m), Shey La (5000m), and Jeng La (5110m).

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Tour Details

Departure & Return Location

Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Departure Time


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


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

What to Expect

  • Explore ancient civilization of Dolpa people
  • 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


Day 1Fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (1 hr)

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

Overnight in Nepalgunj. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and 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 and 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 to the treeless valley of Thulo Bheri before reaching Phoksundo river valley.
● Amazing walnut trees, Dhara and Rahagaun villages on the route.
● Descend lush, dense forest and reach Aakhe.

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

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

● Follow the ascending and descending trail along the 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 at Sulighat.

Overnight in Sulighat. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and 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 the Pungmo River.
● Walk through the trail passing through the lush cedar forest, and reach Palam village.
● Walk to the ridge for 2 hours and witness one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal.
● Trek down through birch forests to the upper reaches of Phoksundo River and 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 and 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 a visit to ancient Tibetan monasteries. (Most locals can be seen in their cultural attire with Tibetan-style Dacha and Samba as footwear, maroon-dyed homespun clothing and pieces of jewellery made of coral, amber, and turquoise.)
● Roam round the lake and relax in the evening.

Overnight in Phoksundo. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and 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 lake’s western bank 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 every step as the path becomes more difficult.
● Walking through the valley and crossing a river, you reach the bank of Phoksundo Khola.

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

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

● Hike for an hour along a level path through the glacial valley up north.
● Cross an old wooden bridge between Phoksundo Khola and a mountain stream.
● Walk towards the northeast and ascend to the sheep meadow where the trail bends a steep ravine.
● A harder climb takes you to the valley where you can witness Kang La Pass
● 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 and Dinner.

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

● The day starts by ascending a steep trail towards Kang La Pass.
● Cherish 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 reach Shey Gumpa.

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

Day 10Acclimatization day

● Today, you will explore the village in Shey steeped in ancient animism and rituals.

● You will get to experience the 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 and Dinner.

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

● Depart from Namduna Gaun, 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 in the inner Dolpo region with eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred people).

Overnight in Saldang. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and 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 and 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 habitats located 5 km on the high slope of Nam Khong River.)

Overnight in Sibu, inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

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

● The trek begins by following the 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 at 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 and 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 you will see the breathtaking beauty of Dhaulagiri.
● 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 and Dinner.

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

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

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

Day 18Acclimatization day

● A rest and exploration day at Dho Tarap.
● Stroll around the villages of Dho Tarap and experience the lifestyle and witness the culture and tradition of the locals.

(Dho Tarap is one of the highest settlements in the world with around 40 houses with Magars and Tibetan 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 ones).

Overnight in Dho Tarap. Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch and 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 takes you to the Tarap Chu River and Lang River junction.
● 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 and Dinner.

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

● Trek alongside the gorge of Tarap River. (The gorge gets narrow at some points. You can easily cross by 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 and 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 and Dinner.

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

● Start the day by trekking behind the Bheri River and passing Lawan village.
● Ascend firmly alongside the 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 and 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 and Dinner.

Day 24Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalginj (1 hr)

● Earliest flight to Nepalgunj from Jhupal.

● Catch the earliest available flight to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj.

● Farewell dinner.


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


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