Overview for Upper Dolpo Trekkig In Nepal
- Trip Code: CT-10053
- Package: Upper Dolpo Trekkig In Nepal
- Duration: 27 Day(s)
- Trip Level:
AdvancedRequires prior training and some experience in trekking and mountaineering
- Group Size: Min 2 - Max 15
- Start At: Kathmandu
- Ends At: Kathmandu
Private Vehicle | Domestic Flight
Tent Camp | Hotel | Tea House
- Experience all three regions of Nepal; the plains, the hills, and the Himalayas
- Experience the diverse cultures of Nepal
- Shey Gompa
- Kang La pass altitude of 5,350m
- Amazing Himalayan ranges of Nepal
- Shey Phoksundo Lake
- Home of rarest of animals such as snow leopard and Himalayan blue sheep
- Upper Dolpo community
The Upper Dolpo Trek is one incredible trekking in Nepal which is a region that lies between the Dhaulagiri range in Nepal and the Tibetan plateau in Tibet. The region is one of the most remote and isolated areas of Nepal. The trail to Upper Dolpo is technical as travelers need to pass through some high passes and steep trails through forests walking alongside some beautiful waterfalls in Nepal. Upper Dolpo region in Nepal is also rich in flora and faunas and this region preserves around 197 species of birds and 32 species of mammals. Beautiful Himalayan wildlife can be encountered during the journey to Upper Dolpo which also includes some of the rarest animals on earth such as Himalayan blue sheep, musk deer, and the rarest of them all, the snow leopard in Nepal.
This amazing trekking destination in Nepal has also been in a limelight through some movies. In 1999, a documentary movie called "Himalaya" was nominated for Oscars whereas another documentary movie "The Caravan", which was shot in Dolpo region of Nepal, was also nominated in Oscars for best foreign film category. These two movies will give you a picture of what this place is like and a glimpse to the amazing beauty and isolated yet unique settlement and culture of the people of Dolpo region. Our trek to Upper Dolpo begins from Jhupal and during our trek in Dolpo region of Nepal; we'll be passing through various beautiful landscapes and high mountain pass in Nepal. The trek to Upper Dolpo also takes us through the beautiful lake of Shey Phoksundo Lake. The Shey Phuksundo trek also becomes the part of our journey as the deep blue lake in the desert albeit landscape truly makes our travel feel heavenly. Camping in Shey Phoksundo and trekking is quite popular but recently mountain biking to Shey Phoksundo is gaining momentum as well as a form of adventurous activities in this region. The Upper Dolpo in Nepal is not only about its natural splendor but the unique cultural and social aspect of this region is also mesmerizing. The Himalayan community is deeply rooted within the Buddhist Bon Po religion.
The Upper Dolpo region is one of the most remote regions in Nepal with the settlement isolated from people until some decades ago. The Dolpo trek gives travelers an opportunity to explore the 'forbidden kingdom' of Nepal that is still primitive in many ways. The Upper Dolpo however is a restricted area in Nepal and travelers need special permit for trekking in Upper Dolpo. The Upper Dolpo permit can be received after sending a request to the Government. The travel agencies in Nepal handle all the permits and travel arrangements that are required in order to travel Upper Dolpo. The cost of Upper Dolpo trek is expensive as compared to other treks in Nepal because of its remoteness and restrictions but the place is something like you've never seen before. Regarded as one of the best trekking in Nepal, the Upper Dolpo trek falls under the category of long treks in Nepal but is definitely worth the hustle.
Trip Itinerary of Upper Dolpo Trekkig In Nepal
Arrival in Kathmandu
A company representative from Core Treks will come to pick you up at the airport. After that we'll be taking you to your hotel. After taking some rest we'll meet you at our office or at your hotel and have a short briefing session regarding our travel. Feel free to ask any question you might have regarding the trek. If you want to explore the city we might as well walk around the street of Thamel and it's even possible to do some last minute shopping. There're no further activities for the day so you might as well check into the hotel.
Briefing and Sightseeing on Kathmandu
We'll be talking more regarding our trip on this day. We'll need your original passport as travelers need a permit in order to make this travel in Nepal. After finishing that we'll be doing a bit of a sightseeing tour around the Kathmandu valley. We'll be visiting two world heritage sites located at Kathmandu, namely Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple (also known as Monkey Temple). In the evening we'll be doing final preparation for our trek.
Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
We take an hour long early flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. Nepalgunj is a town in the plains of Nepal which lies near Nepal-India border. After arriving at Nepalgunj, we head towards our hotel and then explore the town for a bit.
Nepalgunj to Jhupal to Dunai
After having our brekfast, we fly to Jhupal from Nepalgunj airport. The flight will take around 45 minutes and upon landing we trek for about 2-3 hours and head towards Dunai. Dunai is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region.
Dunai to Ankhe
We leave Dunai as our trail starts ascending. We'll be entering the Phoksundo river valley and during our trek, we'll be able to get the viewe of the Kagmara Peak up the valley. We'll be passing through villages such as Dhera and Rahagaun and finally reach to our destination for the day, the Ankhe village.
Ankhe to Sulighat
The trail is uphill and downhill as it ascends and descends alongside a riverbank and climbs on a steep trail. Our trail gradually leaves the forests and passes through the grassy slope which is high above the river. We then trek downhill through the verdant forests and continue our trek until we reach Sulighat.
Sulighat to Shey Phoksundo
Today we make our way along the valley floor towards the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. We walk by the western bank of the Pungmo river as our trail then passes through a cedar forest. We trek further up as we are set to reach towards the Phoksundo Lake. On the way there's also an amazing waterfall with a height of 167 meters which also happens to be one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal. Upon reaching the Phoksundo lake, we settle in for the day.
Acclimatization at Shey Phoksundo
We'll be staying at Shey Phoksundo this day in order for our bodies to get acclimatized with the high altitude. We can take a short hike to the Ringmo village and get acquainted with the local culture of the region. There are also Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the villages.
Shey Phoksundo to Phoksundo Khola
Our trail on this day moves around the top western end of the Phoksundo lake. We begin to enter the true wilderness of the Upper Dolpo region on this day. The trail leads us through a lush meadow which opens up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo River. We walk further ahead through the valley and later we camp overnight when we reach the bank of the river.
Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang
The Phoksundo valley begins to narrow down with high rock walls on both sides. We'll be crossing few streams as we walk towards the north east. We climb for quite a while which brings us to a sheep meadow where our trail veers up a steep ravine. We the climb ahead that brings to a valley from we Kang La pass can be seen. We'll be setting up our camp and enjoy the view of the Chhamlang Peak while doing so.
Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang La pass
The walk today might be strenuous as we set to cross the Kang la pass. There is snow at the north side of the pass which always makes the descend bit tricky. The descend from the pass is pretty steep for some time. After that we'll be trekking gradually for couple hours as we reach Shey Gompa. Shey Gompa is a small village with few houses and a monastery. The monastery dates back to 11th century and is located beneath the Crystal Peak on a small grassy plain. Shey Gompa is also known as the spiritual heart of Dolpa.
Acclimatization at Shey Gompa
We'll be resting on this day as it has been separated as another day for acclimatization. We spend the day hiking around the village of Shey and explore the native lifestyle of the local community. The culture in this village is very unique as they people follow the Bon Po religion and the people here share a lot of characteristics with the Tibetan culture.
Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun via Saldang La pass
A pleasant trail amidst juniper tress that descends into a canyon is where we'll be starting our trek today. Our path then swirls over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings us to the top of Sldang La Pass. We'll be crossing the pass and then descend towards the north. We then reach to the Namduna Village. There also a red stone monastery build against the backdrop of a cliff on the north wall of the gorge called Namduna Monastery in this village which we'll be visiting as well.
Namduna Gaun to Saldang
After leaving the village, we climb up a slope and begin a long trek along the dusty and barren mountains. After some hours of rigorous climbing, we'll start to see the Saldang village below us on a plateau. The place is really beautiful and picturesque. Finally we reach to Saldang where we'll be spending the night. It is the biggest village of the inner Dolpo region as the village stretches for nearly two kilometers. This village is also a trade route to Tibet.
Saldang to Yangze Gompa
We continue our trek further north along the Nagon river on a wild and barren terrain. We'll be trekking on a fairly gradual path with few uphill and downhills. We'll be passing through some couple villages on the way. Later we cross a tributary of Panzang river and walk towards the east and cross the river before reaching Yangze Gompa. This place will host us for the night.
Yangze Gompa to Sibu
Today we head back towards the Saldang village from where we walk along a river and pass through the terraced fields. We'll also be passing through the village of Namdo which is one prosperous village of the region. The village is pretty big as it stretches somewhat around 5 kilometers. Our trek continues further down the river for couple more hours to camp near a small settlement of Sibu.
Sibu to Jeng La Phedi
After having our breakfast, we trek along Nam Khong river for a while and pass by the caravans with yaks that are on their way towards the Tibetan border. We then turn east and trek for a while as we arrive a confluence of two small streams. The steep trail then ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La pass. We'll be setting our camp here for the night.
Jeng La Phedi to Tokyu Gaon via Jeng La pass
A difficult trek awaits us this day. We get up early in the morning and walk towards the Jeng La pass. The view of the Dhaulagiri massif from the pass is truly breathtaking. We'll be crossing the pass and descending on a rough trail to the Tarap valley. Upon reaching close to the Tokyu Gaon, we set up our camp.
Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap
This day we trek downhill on towards a plain valley with patches of lush grass on both sides of the river. This part is very different from other regions of the inner Dolpo. There also is a marsh which is very common in the desert mountains of Tibet and Ladakh Himalayas. Later we reach to Dho Tarap where we'll be spending our night.
Acclimatization at Dho Tarap
This day has been set apart as acclimatization day as we'll be resting in the village. If you're in the mood then we can stroll around the village as well. The village is surrounded by irregular stone wall. The houses here are divided into three clusters and then built in a very haphazard way. We can visit the Gompas nearby and there also a Bon Po Gompa that can be reached after 40 minutes of walking.
Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola
We descend towards the wide valley from Tarap that eventually narrows towards a gorge. We trek alongside the juniper trees and herds of Himalayan blue sheep. By afternoon we'll reach the confluence of Tarap Chu. We'll be setting up our camp in a meadow which is also known to be Kamakharka (Tarap Khola).
Tarap Khola to Khanigaon
On this day we walk down the gorge of the Tarap river. We'll be passing by the local shepards who are taking their herds to lowlands for winter. Our trek during this day is very exciting as the valley becomes narrower. These trails through the gorge provides amazing adventurous thrills. After reaching Khanigaon, we will be setting up our camp and call it a day.
Khanigaon to Tarakot
Khanigaon to Tarakot We pack our camps and make our way towards Lalberi village. We'll be passing the trail of verdant forest from where we'll be descending into another gorge and continue to follow the river. Later we reach Tarakot. We camp by the Tarap Chu riverside which is about 150 meters below Tarakot. There's also a police post nearby.
Tarakot to Dunai
Our trail today continues alongside the big Bheri river and ascends towards the Byas Gadi. We'll be walking by wonderful gorge filled with pine trees. Then the trail gets relatively easier as it moves towards the west. We cross a river and pass through some villages as we finally reach the Dunai. Upon reaching Dunai, we'll call it a day.
Dunai to Jhupal
After finishing our breakfast, we trek along the Bheri river. We'll be passing some villages such as Dhupichaur and Rupgad on this day of our trek. After couple hours of comparatively easy trek we'll be reaching the airstrip in Jhupal. Upon reaching Jhupal we'll call it a day as we've come to an end of our trekking expedition to the Upper Dolpo.
Jhupal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
We'll fly early in the morning to Nepalgunj. The scenic flight also gives us some amazing aerial view of the Himalayas. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we take the next available flight to Kathmandu. After we arrive at Kathmandu, we head back to our hotel and rest for the day. After resting for a bit, we'll be organizing a dinner party for our fellow guests where you'll be taken to a traditional Nepalese cuisine restaurant.
Our travel journey has now come to an end as we say our goodbyes and take you to the Tribhuvan International Airport 2 hours prior to your flight time. We'll come to pick you at your hotel and a representative will drive alongside you up till the departure gate at the airport.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Upper Dolpo Trekking in Nepal is considered as an advanced level trek. It requires prior mountaineering experience and some trainings. The trek is highly demanding from the physical ability point of view too. Our travel experts will make sure that you meet the requirements before finally heading to the mountains.
Yes, with the proper training and mountaineering equipment after you meet the requirements, it is completely safe to trek to Upper Dolpo in Nepal. However, there is always chances of unforeseen circumstances. CoreTreks will provide you a brief training session where we will be discussing how to tackle those circumstances and some safety measures that can be applied during the trek.
During the Upper Dolpo Trekking in Nepal, one can expect around 6 hours of hiking daily on the average. You can also expect, to experience all three regions of Nepal and the diverse cultures of Nepal, amazing Himalayan ranges of Nepal, Shey Phoksundo Lake and Upper Dolpo Community.
The food is generally our traditional Nepali lunch which is Dal (Lentil Soup), Bhat (Boiled Rice), Tarkari (Veggies), and Achar (Pickle).
For the accommodation there are specially Hotels & Lodges, Tea houses, and Camping facilities. However due easy accessibility of hotels & lodges throughout the trial, camping is usually avoided (unless needed) during the Upper Dolpo Trekking in Nepal.
To book the Upper Dolpo Trekking in Nepal, CoreTreks offers you a number of booking options including:
- Online booking,
- Wire transfer OR,
- Cash on arrival
We recommend you to go through our booking policy before you head to the payment. In case of further inquiries please feel free to contact us.
Help Himalayan Project
Helping Hands for Himalayan People-Nepal (abbreviation: HHHP-Nepal), a non-profitable, autonomous, non-political, self-existence and dependent social organization. It is especially a volunteer organization working in the field of development in the Himalaya of Nepal, on the right of gender, ethnic a ...
Here are some links to useful information to help you plan your trip better:
- Travel Insurance
- Trek Packing List
- Responsible Tourism
- Free Travel Guide (New)
CoreTreks is always striving for customer satisfaction and quality services. At the same time, we do not compromise on our responsibilities. We discourage any activities that harm the surroundings as well as the people. Nepal is a country of respect, hence we encourage travelers to greet people and show respect to the culture and traditions.
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness may start once you reach 1500-2000 meters and upwards. If you gain altitude rapidly without letting your body adapt to the thin oxygen at higher altitudes, you are most likely to suffer from Altitude Sickness. But if you plan for acclimatization days to your itinerary, you are good to go.
The itinerary includes acclimatization days to avoid Altitude Sickness. The sickness is common at high altitudes. Please note that sickness is a topic to be taken very seriously. Here are some few extra preventions:
- Avoid climbing rapidly, give your body some time to adjust
- Drink more water, not less than 5 liters a day
- Eat more, eat often, and eat healthily
- Listen to your body, do not ignore symptoms
- Do not skip acclimatization days
- Be prepared in case of an emergency
Safety and Security
A comprehensive Travel Insurance is mandatory while trekking with CoreTreks. However, there are a few measures that you can implement to ensure safety:
- Secure your belongings
- Do not flash cash or jewelry
- Have an emergency plan
- Do not trek alone
- Only choose authorized trekking agencies
CoreTreks will provide you with the essentials such as a Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bags, a duffle bag, a t-shirt, a trekking map, a self-sufficient medical first aid kit, and more. These are to be returned after completion of the trek.
Personal mountaineering gears are not included but we will provide you with a list of equipment necessary for your trek.
On average, walking time per day is 5-6 hours below 3,000m. For altitudes higher than 3,000m the average walking time is 3-5 hours per day. The walking hours may vary according to conditions but do not exceeds 6 hours mark per day.
Hiring a Porter/Guide
An experienced guide will be provided for a group of 1-5. A group consisting of 6-12 individuals will be provided with 2 professional guides. The package also includes a porter for every 2 individuals.
All our guides are licensed and well-experienced. They have been guiding with CoreTreks for almost a decade. Guides come in handy whenever you need some quick information, and to enhance overall trekking experience.