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Upper Dolpo Trekking

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28 Days
Kathmandu
Lower Dolpo, Upper Dolpo, Jomsom
Min Age : 18+

Upper Dolpo, Nepal’s far western point on the border of China. Here you will experience one of the most remote areas of the Himalaya. Culturally, the Dolpo is a Tibetan region. Part of the region lies in Shey Phoksundo National Park. Unique to our company, we will take you on an expedition into Dolpo where tourism is practically non-existent. You will have the rare opportunity to experience this first-hand as it can only be reached by organised tours. The reward for this trek is phenomenal. You will see Tibetan Buddhist culture which boasts some of the oldest monasteries in the country, The Dolpo are generally adherents of Bon, a religion whose origins predate Buddhism but whose modern form is officially accepted as a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism. You will have the chance to see the beautifully breath-taking Lake Phoksundo with rare wildlife whilst having a sense of being in the wilderness.

Tour Details

Upper Dolpo was restricted for tourists until the 1990s. This hidden treasure of Nepal has always been taken as one of the most remotely located places and even the local Nepalese don’t have many opportunities to visit this forbidden place. Legend says that the Dolpo region is protected by Guru Rimpoche, the Founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Geographically, Upper Dolpo is situated between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri Massif.

The Upper Dolpo remains an authentic destination. The people there follow the Pre-Buddhist tradition of Bon-Po religion, which can only be found in the Dolpo. Thus, the site is a very unique place for all adventure lovers who wish to experience the primitive traditions and cultures.

Upper Dolpo sits 4300 meters above sea level, and embodies a unique culture and traditions. These types of settlement are rare in the world. These highest dwellers are not much aware about life beyond the mountains and are happy with what their forefathers have been practicing since centuries ago. The trek passes through many ancient villages. The villages lead to the high passes, which are known for the Tibetan salt trade route.

Crossing the beautiful and serene Shey-Phoksundo Lake and visiting the spiritual Shey Gompa Monastery are the most enlightening spiritual experiences during the trek. The Upper Dolpo trekking offers the magnificent view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Kanjiroba. Along with the magnificent views of the Himalayas, the trekking trail is rich in different species of flowers like Orchids, Edelweiss, Campanules, and Forget-me-nots. You can also see rare wildlife such as the Blue Sheep, Snow leopard, Mountain Goat and Himalayan Langur. As the region of Dolpo lies in the rain shadow area of Dhaulagiri, the trek is also accessible during the monsoon season.

Himalayan Circuit’s treks are meant for those who are willing to take a step beyond the route and experience the trip in its totality. Visit the Upper Dolpo region and experience those unexplored jewels of the Himalayas.

Departure & Return Location

Kathmandu, Nepal (Google Map)

Price Includes

  • All Domestic Air fares and Transportation
  • All Accomodation (Hotel and Tea Houses)
  • Personal Guide
  • All Entrance Fees & Permits
  • Scheduled all Meals in Trekking

Price Excludes

  • Visa, Traveller's Insurance, Laundry etc
  • International Flights
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Unforeseen Cost Natural Calamities beyond our control and expenses incurred during rescue services

Complementaries

  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Experiential Treks
  • T-Shirt
  • Experiencing Local-life
What to Expect

Variations

Juphal to Lake Phoksundo

There are also shorter variations of the Upper Dolpo trek that you can take. One shorter variation is to trek from Juphal to Lake Phoksundo and back, which takes around eight days. Other variations connect Dolpo to Mustang and/or the Annapurna region, to the east.

Upper Dolpo to Annapurna Traverse

The Upper Dolpo to Annapurna Traverse, via Dhorpatan Wildlife Reserve, would add about a week onto the Upper Dolpo trek. There is a three-day stretch during which you pass no settlements at all.

Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek

The Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek is another variation. Jomsom is in the Lower Mustang region of Nepal, and also has a strong Tibetan-influenced culture. It is in the rain-shadow of Mount Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, offering a different view of the Annapurna Himals.

Dolpo to Rara Traverse

Yet another variation is the Dolpo to Rara Traverse via Shey Gompa. It is around the same length as the regular Upper Dolpo trek, but diverges at Shey Gompa and ends at Rara Lake, in Jumla and Mugu districts. This is the largest lake in Nepal, and renowned for its abundant bird life.

Best Season

Like much of Nepal, the best time to visit Upper Dolpo is the spring (April to May) and the fall (October to November) when temperatures are pleasant, skies are the clearest, and there is minimal chance of snow at high altitudes. Late/early snow can affect this trek in April and November, making some passes impossible to cross.

Difficulty

Trekking in Upper Dolpo is considered strenuous. There are steep ascents, three passes above 5000 m., several nights spent above 3500 m. and some long trekking days of six hours or more. The fact that this is a camping trek adds to the physical challenge and discomfort of trekking in Upper Dolpo, and rest days are recommended.

This is not a beginner’s trek or one to attempt if it’s your first time in Nepal. But it will be a worthwhile challenge for experienced trekkers and repeat visitors to Nepal alike!

  • We will take you where few visitors ever go in Nepal
  • Visit an 800-year-old monastery at the base of Crystal Mountain.
  • Witness the spring hunt for yarchagumba. This is a bizarre caterpillar fungus highly sought after for its medicinal qualities
  • Sollicitudin Consectetur Quam Ligula Vehicula
  • Perfect chance for a photo opportunity whilst gazing over the turquoise waters of Lake Phoksundo
  • You may be fortunate to see the Snow Leopards in Shey Phoksundo National Park, this park is highly populated with wildlife due to very few people disturbing them.
Itinerary

Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal

After you land in Kathmandu, you will be welcomed at the airport by our representatives and will be transferred to the hotel. Our guide will give a quick overview of the program. The evening is yours to either relax at the hotel or explore the local area.

Day 02Free Day & Shopping Time around Kathmandu

Welcome to your first proper day in Nepal. You will have the opportunity to meet with your fellow trekkers and visit many cultural heritages. Today you can also shopping necessary gears for your next big Adventure in Nepal!

Day 03Taking flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Day 04Nepalgunj to Juphal short flight and Juphal to Dunai 3 hrs trek

Today we will fly 35 minutes to Juphal from Nepalgunj. You will see the beautiful snow capped mountains as we fly over. Juphal is a small mountain village where we can breathe cold and fresh air. The trail we will take is a comfortable and easy trail where parts of it have jeeps to assist. The first 45 minutes descends down to the Kalagauda followed by a 2 hour trek along the trail above the Thuli Bheri River. We will reach Dunai and this village has some schools, government buildings, a private college and police check post. You can visit the local school and the Central Buddhist Monastery.

Day 05Trek from Dunai to Chhepka (this is a 6 hour walk)

From Juphal, we will trek through the wheat and vegetable fields to reach the Thuli Bheri River. A suspension bridge will lead us to the entrance of the Shey Phoksando National Park. It comprises the trans hiumalayan easy stem and the tibetan type of Floras and Faunas. We will follow the sulu Khola viewing a part of the Dhaulagiri Range. AS we pass the village we will stop for tea with honey. After tea we will continue the trek through the forest, a fantastic opportunity to be close to nature. By the end of the day we will reach Chhepka and stay in a tent overnight (evening meal included)

Day 06Trek begins from Chunuwar to Phoksundo Lake 5-6 hrs

Day 07Phoksundo – Rest day

A well deserved rest day around the Ringmo village and Phoksundo Lake. After the Ringmo village we will head to Tshowa. The Gompa nestling a ridge top above the Phoksundo Lake was built around 900 years ago. You will experience the gorgeous turquoise lake and amazing scenery. There are several monasteries in the area and we will explore these wonderful sites. Today will be gentle and less strenuous. Make sure to get some rest as tomorrow is an exciting day.

Day 08Trekking begins from Phoksundo- Sallaghari 5 - 6 hrs trek

Day 09Sallaghari to Nangdala High Camp 5-6 hrs trek

Day 10Nangdala High Camp to Shey Gomp, Crossing Nangdala pass, 5-6hrs

Day 11Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa. 6-7 hrs crossing Shey La Pass

Today we will explore the Shey Gompa and the murals inside. It is locally known as Shelri Sumdo Gompa. The Shey Festival is hosted at Shey Gompa. After the morning exploring, the trek begins. The trail follows the Sephu Khola for 2 hours.

We will climb up towards the top of the Shey La Pass which is around 2 hours. You will experience magnificent views until the final push downhill from the Sela La which is a further 2 hours bringing us to Namgung. We will spend our night at a local nomadic herding settlement.

Day 12Trekking from Namgong Gompa to Saldang 4-5 hrs camping

We explore the monastery of Namgung

Day 13Saldang to Day hike to Yangjer Gumba

Day 14Trek from Saldang to Khoma Village

Day 15Khoma village to Shimen

As we trek from Komash village we may see some endangered animals like snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way we pass small traditional villages. On the trail there is one small pass Shimen La (4260m). After almost five hours of comfortable hiking we will arrive in Shimen. Overnight in the tented camps at Shimen.

Day 16Trek from Shimen to Tinje

Day 17Tinje to Yak Kharka

From the village of Tinje we trek to Yak Kharka, which is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.

Day 18Yak Kharka (4780m) to Chharka / 5 hrs walk crossing Mola Pass (5030m)

From yak kharka we trek towards Chharka. Crossing the pass Mola we reach Chharka. We can visit the beautiful village and the Bon Monastery in Chharka.

Day 19Chharka to Norbulung/ Nulungsumda

Day 20Nulungsumda to Norbulung to Ghalden Ghuldum Crossing Niwalaand Jungbenla passes

From Nulungsumda the trail takes us to Niwas La. Crossing the trail we proceed towards Jungbenla and downhill to Ghaldang Ghuldung where we will stop for the night.

Day 21Ghalden Ghuldum to Sangta

Day 22Santa to Phalyak

Day 23Trek from Phalyak to Jomsom

The last climb! We will climb to a ridge and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom.
The layout of the villages and the design of the houses are unique to this area. The houses are designed to protect the inhabitants from the strong winds that blow up the valley everyday from late morning onwards.

Day 24, 25, 26Jomsom to Pokhara by flight

Free day in Pokhara for chilled out!

Day 27Pokhara to Kathmandu

Last Minute Shopping, relaxing day and Evening Nepali Cultural Dinner

Day 28Final Departure

Map

Photos