Upper Dolpo Trekking route is a remote and unspoiled area near the Tibetan border of Nepal. Only in the late eighties it opened for trekkers. Until then the area were closed for foreigners. In his book The Snow Leopard, Peter Mathesons describes his journey through the beautiful land of Dolpo. Nepal’s first English subtitle movie and Oscar nominated Himalaya or Caravan was also shot in this region. Upper Dolpo is a region of mystical beauty. And its remoteness adds to the sense of adventure among its visitors. The customs and traditions seems here are quite similar to those of Tibet.The Area of the park spreads 3,500 square kilometer of Land.
Dolpo is the most beautiful and least develop district of Nepal. So, travelers are rarely visited this area because of high passes trail. It passes through beautiful valleys, interesting places, local settlements, gigantic mountains and greenery forest of pines, Rhododendrons, Oaks etc. The main highlights of the trek is an ancients, spectacular landscapes, mesmerizing Shey Phoksundo lake, isolated villages of Ringmo and the centuries old monasteries.
Phoksundo is the deepest lake of Nepal with its 145m depth according to a survey by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Such like centuries old Buddhist monasteries (which is known as Shey Gompa) wildlife, pristine lake, soaring peaks and peoples lifestyle of least develop region are also another attraction of the trek. Here is a holy mountain called “Crystal Mountain” that is why, each year hundreds of pilgrims travelers visit upper Dolpo region and make a circuit of the mountain. The people of this region mostly speak Tibetan languages. Rarely some people can understand Nepali language.
It is one of the restricted trekking regions of Nepal. It requires special permit for this trek. Special permit charged USD 500 for first ten days and other USD 50 each day after 10 days. The group should at least have two people to get trekking permit for this trek. Individual trekker will not get a permit for this region from the trekking permit immigration.
This Trek begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj about 45 minutes and next morning flight from Nepalgunj to Jhupal. This trek is best to do in the summer and monsoon season. Winter seasons is avoided for this trek because of the heavy snowfall.
Duration: 25 Days
Highest Elevation: 5350m
Starts From: Kathmandu
Ends At: Kathmandu
Trek Grade: Moderate
Group size: Minimum Two people
Accommodation: Hotels and lodges/tea houses
Transportation: Flights and Private vehicles
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu - (1360m) You will be warm welcomed at airport by our office representative and then you will transfer to hotel. Our staff will give brief explanation about the program. This day you can stay within the hotel or enjoy evening at Thamel.
Day 2: Sightseeing Around Kathmandu Valley This day, you will visit many cultural heritages, which includes some of the famous world?s heritages like Pashupatinath, Swyambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bouddhanath stupa and many more.
Day 3: Flight to Nepalgunj - (150m) Generally we go via Nepalgunj to get to Dolpo so, firstly we will fly to Nepalgunj and spent food time in Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is situated in south western part of Nepal a steaming hot city. It is a plain land hesitated by different people from different parts of the country and which in culture and heritages. It includes Bageshowri temple, Nepal?s one of the important Hindu temples.
Day 4: Flight to Juphal – (2475) We will reach Juphal just in 35 minute flight from Nepalgunj with beautiful views of snowcapped mountain. Juphal is a small mountain village, where we can breathe cold and fresh air than that of Nepalgunj. We will stay here because we have to arrange porters and other remaining equipments.
Day 5: Trek to Chhepka - (2838m) - 6 hrs Walk From Juphal, we have to descend through wheat and vegetables field to reach Thuli Bheri River. A big suspension bridge will lead us to the entrance of Shey Phoksando National Park (SPNP), Nepal?s largest National Park with the area of 3,555km/sq. It comprises the Trans Himalayan easy stem and the Tibetan type of floras and faunas. On the way, we can have tea with local and fresh honey. Then we will trek through the trail surrounded by pine tree line spruce, fir, Juniper and Cyprus and bamboo forest. Really a beautiful time to get close with nature. At the end of the day we will reach Cheep Ka, a small village surrounded by millet and wheat field. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 6: Trek to Palam - (3820m) - 6-7 hrs Walk To reach to Palma, we have to pass through beautiful forest, following a river. We have to ascend sometimes and descend sometimes. On the way we can see the local people with their mules as dzopas (cross bread of Yak and Cow). Loaded with thongs to sell. After 4 hrs we will reach Reechi village, leaving behind Reechi we will reach Chumuwar after 2 hrs. There is a Amchi Hospital, an Amchi is a doctor who is educated in traditional Tibetan medicine. You can have treatment from herbs and numerals. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Lake - (3620m) 4 hrs Walk It takes about 4 hrs to reach Phoksundo Lake. We have to climb steep about 2hrs. Before reaching the top, we can have the new of Nepal's highest waterfall, a spectacular waterfall of 107m high knows Phoksundo waterfall as known as sunlight waterfall. Then we will descend from the top to get Ringmo village a small charming village. People residing here practice Bonpo religion, religion related to Buddhism but it is older than Buddhism. The religion was founded by Buddha Lonpa Shanrab Miwo, 18000 years ago. It is believe that Dolpa used to be the centre of Bon Kindom called Zhang. It a big and powerful kingdom in present western and north western Tibet. It is believed that in the century Zhang was defeated by the Buddhist kingdom of Tibet and Bonpo disappeared completely, but still some people practice it. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 8: Exploring Day Walking for many days, it is most that we should have rest at least for one day to admire the beauty of Phoksundo Lake and visited nearby villagers inhabited by Bon and Buddhist religion. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 9: Trek to Salla Ghari - (3640m) - 5-6 hrs Walk This day, we will enter restricted area of Upper Dolpo. We will follow the famous trail where the famous movie called CARAVAN of Eric Valli was casted. This trail is used by peoples of Dolpo and other trade with Tibetans. Ti is really adventurous to pass through the trail. When we reach the top we will have beautiful view of Lane Ringmo, the dark green pine forests and snow capped mountain to the South. We will have to descend first and ascend through a wide valley which will let us to have spectacular view of Kanjirowa Himal (66612m) then we will reach an alpine area with junipers called Thaneba or Lake side camp, a beautiful place of camping. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 10: Trek to Lar Tsa - (4120m) 6 hrs Walk This day we will have Salla Ghari, trekking through between high rock walls on both sides and crossing a couple of streams. We will enter a arrow gorge where will set our camp. We can continue trek but there is possibility of altitude sickness problem. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa - (4320m) - 7-8 hrs Walk We will start trek by a long and strenuous climb of about 2 and half hrs over a dusty path to Kang La (5350m), also called as Ngadra La. We have to descend through pass covered with snow which is very steeply and after about 3 hrs we will reach Shey Gompa, a very small village with a couple of houses and the Gompa. It is a 11th century gompa, situated beneath the crystal peak on a small grassy plain, at the confluence of two rivers people believed that it was constructed by a Tibetan Buddhist, who arrived here on the back of flying snow lion. It is also called spiritual heart of Dolpo. Every year many pilgrims visit his gompa to make Kora (clockwise circuit) of crystal peak. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 12: Rest Day - Shey Gompa You can explore around Tsakang Gompa which is at about 457m. It is not really a monastery but a retreat. Tsakang had been a meditation centre of many famous lamas from Tibet. Shey Gompa belongs to the Chaiba community, followers of the Padmasambhava and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Ten-szin-Ra-Pa. The monastery was built during the 11th century. Shey is famous for its ancient Buddhist culture. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teachings of Buddha. Drutup Yeshe introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley. Many years ago he came to Dolpo and came across a wild people whose supreme God was a 'fierce mountain spirit'. Crystal mountain is to the west of Shey monastery. It is a very strange mountain indeed. Its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangju nala and Yeju nala. Near the confluence there is a group of prayer mills turned by water wheels. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 13: Trek to Namgung - (4430m) - 6 hrs Walk To get to Namgung, we have to cross the pass Sheyla which is also called Geln La is about 5000m. While we are through the Glen pass, we can see beautiful view of northern part of Tibetan plateau, which is highest plateau in the world. To the east we can see Mustang. After through pass we have to descend to the pastures of Namgung. Peoples of Namgung heartily welcome us. It is a beautiful place with friendly environment. Overnight at tented camp inclusive all board of meals.
Day 14: Trek to Saldang - (4046m) - 3 hrs Walk Our Trek to Saldang starts with climbing a tree slope. We have to ascend to 4700m before going down steep slopes to picturesque village of Saldang, situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong nala and the biggest villages of lower Dolpo area. The village is prosperous, not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight at tented Camp inclusive of full board meals.
Day 15: Trek to Sibu - (4000m) - 6 hrs Walk We will leave Saldang village and on way to Sibu we have to pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens mani and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village contains sixty houses having nearby four hundred in habitants. It streaches 5km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. We will set camp near the small settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank. Overnight at tented camp inclusive of full board meals.
Day 16: Trek to foot of the Jengla - (4480m) - 4-5 hrs Walk We will follow the line of the river valley and the trail is easy going initially. But after two hours, we must make another stream before turning into side valley where the rise becomes very sharp. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
Day 17: Trek to Tokyo Gaon - (4240m) - 6-7 hrs Walk To reach to Tokyo Gaon we have to cross the Jeng La which is about 4850m. It will take about 2 hrs climb to reach the top of Jeng La. Form the top of the peak we can have good views of Dhaulagiri, beautiful goldy views in the morning then we will descend towards Tarap valley. By the after we will see green valley which leads us by a beautiful trail down. Towards Tarap Chu. Tarap is a spectacular valley with vast plants in high mountains extending to twenty kilometer along the Tarap Chu River. It consists of ten villages with cultivated fields, many Gompas and Chhortens. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
Day 18: Trek to Dho Tarap - (4200m) - 2 hrs WalkTo reach to Dho Tarap we will walk east along the downward lower of Tarap Chu. The trail is easy as it is well travelled. There are many mani walls, we can see but some of the Chhortens are in a bad situation. The Frencch School is just outside the village of Dho Tarap. Dho is surrounded by an irregular stone wall and consist of thirty four houses. Both Bonpo and Buddhist is inhabitant here. We will visit Buddhist Gompa where a Lama lives. He is very happy to show his monastery and might even let you see his private Gompa and the Thankas which he has made himself. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
Day 19: Trek to Serkam - (3623ft.) - 7 hrs Walk The next two days are longish with a choice of several different campsites so the itinerary can be flexible. Your route follows the course of the Tarap Khola, generally downhill. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through. One may see blue sheep, marmots, yaks, sheep and goats and perhaps meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower pastures for the winter. The afternoon brings more undulations in the path when it leaves the immediate course of the river. There is evidence of improvements to the trail where parts of the rock have been blasted out. You will also see the first of the modern steel suspension bridges which have been built to facilitate movement of people and animals. The track is very narrow in places. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 20: Trek to Tarakot - (2280m) 5 hrs Walk You leave Khanigoan by the new suspension bridge and then walk alongside the river, sometimes going very high before reaching down to the water again. Some of the going is quite demanding and one bridge, said to have unusable for six years, necessitates crossing on wet stepping-stones.Coming into the broad fertile valley of the Barbung Chu, you walk amongst the various crops of millet, sweet corn, barley, buckwheat, green beans, chillies and marijuana. Your lunch and night stop is high above the river but there is a standpipe for water. Tarakot is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong, meaning 'fort'. Before the Gorkha dynasty Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong. The famous Sandul gompa, which lies 8km east of Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu, stands on a knoll to the south of Bheri River and at one time supervised collections of tolls for the trading caravans traversing an area called Tichu Rong. As an alternative to camping at Tarakot, you may camp down by the river as there are good cooking facilities there and a clean, locked toilet for trekkers' use. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 21: Trek to Dunai - (2109m) - 5 hrs Walk The trail is mostly down and fairly firm underfoot. Walking beside the Bheri River you use the ingenious path built twenty feet above the river. All too soon you have reached the village of Dunai and the camp site you used before. You will now have completed the circuit and can mark the occasion with a celebration party! Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 22: Trek to Juphal - (2404m) - 3 hrs Walk You now retrace your steps to Juphal. Initially the way is flat but the final hour up to your destination seems steeper than you remember on Day One! Camp overnight in the grounds of one of the lodges. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Day 23: Flight Nepalgang – Kathmandu Early morning flight to Nepalganj. This is a wonderful 35- minute flight over the Himalayan foothills, with fine views of the main peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. You then connect with the flight back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel, inclusive of breakfast.
Day 24: Departure to your destination Today is your departure day, we will drop you to the International airport for your final departure.
# All the airport pick up / drop by private car / van or bus (Depends of group size)
# All domestic airfare (Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu) including airport tax
# All the necessary paper work such as national park entry fees, special trekking permit and TIMS card fees.
# Very high quality north face or mountain hardware or same category camping equipments (Sleeping tent/ Dining tent / Kitchen tent / Toilet tent / mattress and Kitchen utensils )
# All the trekking crews will be insured as Nepal government regulation.
# Company guarantees the rescue services in case of emergency; please hand over your insurance policy copy to us
# Full board meals (B.L.D.) during the trekking period with hot tea and coffee.
# All the trekking crews (guide, sherpa, porter, helper, cook) salary / accommodation / food.
#Rain protection duffel bag for client luggage and first aid medical kit bag.
#Supported staffs and camping stuffs will transfer by bus from / to Nepalgunj and by plane from / to Nepalgunj to Juphal.
# One full day Kathmandu sightseeing in cultural UNESCO world heritage sites.
# Sleeping bag, Trekking Map and Allied adventure printed T-shirt for trekking. (sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
# All the government taxes and company service charge.
Trip Cost Excludes:
# International Airfare.
# Your travel insurance of any kind
# Nepal entry Visa fee (US$ 40 for 30 days and US$ 25 for 15 days you should get visa open your arrival)
# Drinks, Dessert, Juice, Mineral Water, Heater charge, Hot Shower during the Trekking and main meals in cities.
# Tips for Guide, Porter and driver.
Note: There should be 2 persons in group to arrange the trip.
# Adventurous camping trek to the remote Trans Himalayan region of Nepal.
# Superb view of Kanjirowa Himal, Crystal Mountain and many more.
# Visit ancient monasteries of Dolpo district.
# Explore remote areas of western region.
# Observe Unique Tibetan Buddhist culture
# Discover the wild west of Nepal Himalaya.
# Crossing Kang La (5350m) and Jyagla pass
# Explore mesmerizing Phoksundo Lake (Deepest Lake of Nepal).
My Adventure & Travel Blog
Hello, I’m Rashmi from Nepal and, as a certified mountain guide, I organize mountain trips. I have always been passionate about mountains and enjoyed exploring them.