Upper Dolpo Trekking

  • Upper Dolpo Trekking
  • Upper Dolpo Trekking
  • Upper Dolpo Trekking



Dolpo region is located between the Dhaulagiri ranges and the Tibetan plateau in the western part of the country, and is a one of the most remote locales in Nepal. The Upper Dolpo Trek is around 25 days, which requires the trekkers to get special permission from the government as it is the restricted trekking region. The trekking group must at least include two individuals to get trekking permit.   Picked as the prime area for the 1999 Oscar Nominated film Himalaya, Upper Dolpo region is one of the remote and uncovered areas of Nepal. Tea house facility is not accessible in this region so camping is the ultimate solution. It's not a simple trek, and the high elevation will make the physical activity appear to be more than it is, so ensure you're physically fit before pursuing this trek.

The occupant of Dolpo area are couple of hundred and are mostly Tibetans, so, the region is rich in ethnic Tibetan culture. The villages in Upper Dolpo are 4,300 meters or more. The locals here still practice the pre-Buddhist Bon Po religion. Trip to Upper Dolpo pass numerous beautiful mountains and witness the profound charms of remote religious monastery of Shey Gompa, which was built up in the eleventh century and little has changed since then. You can explore Shey Phoksundo National Park, which is Nepal's biggest national park, with 3,500 square kilometers of land. During the trek you will see a lot of musk deer, Himalayan blue sheep, mountain goat, leopards, lots of birds and plant.  If you are lucky enough, you might even see snow leopard. The exotic half plant, half creature species, Yarsa Gumba is also found in this region.

Peter Matthiessen's "The Snow Leopard" and David Snellgrove's "Himalayan Pilgrimage" have added to the persona and fascination of Dolpo. Both writers went to the Shey Gompa, toward the north of the Phoksundo Lake, inner Dolpo. This is the goal of most trekkers; however, this Upper Dolpo trek will take you even further into this mysterious land. The appropriate month of the year to make this trek is June, July and August yet traveler can make Upper Dolpo trek in spring, fall as well. Namaste treks offer you this trekking package of 25 days and insure you to give the trip to remember for a lifetime.

Trip Highlights:

  • Nepal’s remote and exclusive trekking route.
  • Kathmandu city tour.
  • Scenic flights.
  • Magnificent scene Phoksundo Lake (Deepest Lake of Nepal).
  • Rich Flora, Fauna and Himalayan Herbs, Yaks and Goat/Ship Caravan trade route to Tibet.
  • Visit ancient monasteries of Dolpo district.
  • Breathtaking view of Kanjirowa Himal, crystal Mountain.
  • Crossing Kang La (5350m) and Jyagla pass.

Brief Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu, overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing and preparation for Upper dolpo trek.
Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.
Day 04: Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal, trek to Dunai, (2150 m), overnight at tented camp.
Day 05: Trek from Dunai to Ankhe.
Day 06: Trek from Ankhe to Renje.
Day 07: Trek from Renje to Shey Phoksundo Lake.
Day 08: Acclimation/Rest day at Shey Phoksundo, explore around.
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola.
Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang.
Day 11: Trek from Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang-La pass.
Day 12: Acclimation/Rest day at Shey Gompa explore around Shey Gompa.
Day 13: Trek from Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun via Saldang La.
Day 14: Trek from Namduna to Saldang (4000 m).
Day 15: Trek from Saldang to Yangze Gompa.
Day 16: Trek from Yangze Gompa to Sibu.
Day 17: Trek Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi.
Day 18: Trek from Jeng-la Phedi toTokyu Gaon via Jeng la.
Day 19: Trek from Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap.
Day 20: Trek from Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola.
Day 21: Trek from Tarap Khola to Khanigaon.
Day 22: Trek from Khanigaon to Tarakot.
Day 23: Trek from Tarakot to Dunai.
Day 24: Trek from Dunai to Jhuphal.
Day 25: Flight to KTM via Nepalgunj/final departure.

Full itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Namaste and welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal. Our company’s representative receives you at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. Then, transfer to the hotel and rest. Walk around the local places in evening. Overnight stay will be at Hotel.

Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation.

After breakfast, we set off for the Kathmancu city sightseeing tour. We visit the famous Hindus and Buddhists’ monuments that are also enlisted in UNESCO world heritage sites. They are Pashupatinath (the greatest pilgrimage site of Hindus), Bouddhanath (Buddhists’s Stupa), Swoyambhunath (Buddists’s Stupa) and Kathmandu Durbar Square (where the living goddess lives). Back to the hotel and prepare for the treks. Overnight stay will be at Hotel.

Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

From Kathmandu domestic airport it is an one hour scenic flight to Nepalgunj. Here, we will have time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the town which is situated on the south-west Nepal border with India. It is quite hot and tropical climate in this area. Overnight stay will be at hotel.

Day 04: Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal, trek to Dunai,( 2150 m) (2 to 3 hrs trek)

We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. It takes around 35 minutes to reach the destination. Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal is short but exciting. On arriving at Juphal we meet the trekking crew, do equipment packing and walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River.  We continue walking for about three hours to Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for the night.

Day 05: Trek from Dunai to Ankhe (5 to 6 hrs)

We leave Dunai and cross a suspension bridge and turn to the west following a trail past a hospital. The trail ascends up the side of the treeless, Thulo Bheri valley before entering Phoksundo river valley. During the walk we get to the view of Kagmara Peak up the valley. We pass through walnut groves, Dhera and Rahagaun villages, walk down dense jungles and finally reach Ankhe. Overnight stay will be at Ankhe. 

Day 06: Trek from Ankhe to Renje. (5 to 6 hrs)

The trail starts becoming very hectic but once you cross the two rivers on well-made bridges, you then make a steep ascent on a very narrow path, hugging the cliff face. The trail makes several more ups and downs through forests of firs and larches as it continues upstream to a bridge that leads to nine houses comprising the village of Renje on the opposite side of the Suligad River. Overnight stay will be at tented camps.

Day 07: Trek from Renje to Shey Phoksundo Lake. (4 to 5 hrs)

We continue our journey along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. After crossing a bridge, we walk on the western bank of the Pungmo Khola. The trail passes through a cedar forest before reaching Palam village. From here we trek up to a ridge and enjoy distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. Next, our trail descends through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque Ringmo village with its mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. From here it is a short walk to the shores of the Phoksundo Lake. Overnight stay will be at Phoksundo Lake. 

Day 08: Acclimation/Rest day at Shey Phoksundo, explore around.

Today will be a well-deserved rest day for acclimatization at Phoksundo Lake. During the day we can embark on a short hike to the village of Ringmo and it’s Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. During our short walks, we also get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture.  The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing that is sometimes dyed a maroon color and they favor Tibetan-style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. Overnight stay will be at Phoksundo Lake.

Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola.(4 to 5 hrs)

From Phoksundo, adventure continues skirting the shore of the lake as it contours on a rocky ledge along the western bank. It’s a 4-5 hour trekking.This unsteady trail suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs driven into crevasse in the rocks, signals the remoteness of the area we are about to enter. At the westernmost edge of the lake the path leads through a lush meadow that opens up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola. Then the walk leads through the valley, crossing the river and avoiding the occasional boggy marsh underfoot and then coming on the bank of the river to the overnight camp.

Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang.  (6 to 7 hrs)

Today's first hour walk leads along the level path through a glacial valley that now heads to north. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream, there is an old wooden bridge. Here taking the barely distinct path to the north-east of the valley. There is no trail as such, so it is necessary to clamber over the rocks and boulders and to ford a stream that rushes down the steep valley. A long climb brings us to a sheep meadow where the trail veers up a steep ravine. A hard climb to the top brings to yet another valley where one can see the Kang-La pass which will lead towards Shey Gompa. Overnight camp will be just before the pass in a place that Peter Matheson christened 'Snowfields Camp'.

Day 11: Trek from Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang-La pass. (5 to 6 hrs)

The somewhat indistinct track is physically demanding, especially on the loose slate screed. It will take about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the top of the Kang La. The views from the top are magnificent and well worth all the hard work. On descending steeply to the valley floor, not more than 45 minutes, you make a long meandering trek along the banks of the river, crossing it once. A red chorten heralds your arrival at Shey Gompa where a quaint wooden log bridge leads up to the Shey compound. Overnight stay will be at tented camps.

Day 12: Acclimation/Rest day at Shey Gompa explore around Shey Gompa.

Today we spent a day at Shey Gompo acclimating and exploring the area. Shey Gompa was built in 1655 and the monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. To the east of the gompa is Crystal Mountain which is one of the strangest mountains, as its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. We spend the day hiking around Shey village which is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Overnight stay will be in Shey Gompa. 

Day 13: Trek from Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun via Saldang La. (4 to 5 hrs)

We begin the day by following a pleasant trail amidst juniper trees which descends into a grey, stony canyon. Then the path begins to zigzag over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings us to the top of Saldang-la pass. The subsequent descent towards the north is long and tiring but grazing yaks and sheep, and nomadic tents made from yak hair is a comforting sight. In Namduna Gaun we visit Namgung monastery. The red stone monastery is built against the backdrop of a cliff on the north wall of a gorge. Overnight stay will be at Namduna Gaun. 

Day 14: Trek from Namduna to Saldang (4000 m). (4 to 5 hrs)

On leaving the Namduna Gaun our route leads to a climb up a screw slope. Further on it begins a long traverse along some dusty barren mountains. After 3-4 hours of hard climb, Saldang 3,620m/ 11,874ft appears below on a plateau high above the Nam Khongmala. It has a picturesque appearance. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area. The village stretches for nearly two kilometers on an open slope. Saldang consists of five villages having about eighty well built houses with nearly six hundred people. Saldang is a prosperous village not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet.

Day 15: Trek from Saldang to Yangze Gompa. (4 to 5 hrs)

From Saldang, we walk further north along the Nagon Khola (river) on a wild and barren terrain. We begin our walk on a fairly gradual path with few ups and downs. On the way, we pass through Marang and Ki villages. Next, we cross a tributary of Panzang River and walk towards the east and cross the river again before reaching Yangze gompa which houses an old Bon-Po Monastery. Overnight stay in Yangze Gompa. 

Day 16: Trek from Yangze Gompa to Sibu. (6 to 7 hrs)

After leaving Saldang on the way down to the river bed we pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens, heaps of Mani stones and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village is also prosperous with sixty houses having nearly four hundred inhabitants. It stretches for more than 5 kms on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. The Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. There is also another monastery on top of a high cliff. We camp near the small Settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank. Overnight stay will be at tented camps.

Day 17: Trek Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi. (5 to 6 hrs)

We walk along the Nam Khong Khola for a while and pass by caravans with yaks that are moving towards the Tibetan border. After turning east and walking for a while, we arrive at a confluence of two small streams. Next, the steep trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La pass (4,900m/16,072ft). Our camp will be set up in this beautiful meadow. Overngiht in Jeng la Phedi. 

Day 18: Trek from Jeng-la Phedi toTokyu Gaon via Jeng-la pass.(5 to 6 hrs)

Morning trek leads to two hours climb towards the top of the Jeng La (5,090m). An excellent view of snow ranges emerges to the south. The north face of the Dhaualgiri massif shines in the morning light. After a wonderful moment here at the pass, our walk leads to descend on the rough path towards Tarap valley. By afternoon we come to the green valley which leads us on the pleasant track down towards Tarap Chu. Tarap is a fascinating valley with vast plains in high mountains. It extends twenty kilo meters along the river. Tarap Chu is having ten villages with its cultivated fields and many Gompas, Chortens of both sects. We stop for the night at Tokyu monastery (4,200m). This monastery also belongs to the Chaiba sect.

Day 19: Trek from Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap. (4 to 5 hrs)

Today, the route leads eastward along the downhill course of Tarap Chu in a plain valley with patches of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. There is also a marsh which is a common feature in the Desert Mountains of Tibet and the Ladakh Himalaya. In this valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together in harmony. After a short trek on this beautiful valley we come to Dho Tarap (4,040m/13,251ft) for the overnight camp with ample time to visit around the villages. This village is surrounded by an irregular stone wall. At Dho, about 40 houses are divided into three clusters and built in a haphazard way inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars hill tribe of Nepal who have lived here for many generations. 

Day 20: Trek from Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola. (6 to 7 hrs)

From Tarap we descend towards a wide valley which eventually narrows into a gorge. We walk along juniper and wild rose bushes just above the tree line. On our trek we see herds of blue sheep and by the afternoon, we reach the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola, a stream that joins with Tarap River from further east. We will make our camp on a nice meadow also known as Kamakharka and spend the night.  

Day 21: Trek from Tarap Khola to Khanigaon. (4 to 5 hrs)

We continue walking down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it. During our walk we pass by the local people who will be taking their herds to lower pastures for the winter. This will be one of the most exciting days of this trip as the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge that in some places we can jump from one side to another. Sometimes there is no trace of a path and we may have to walk across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. The gorge also provides unexpected adventure and thrills. At some places, the bridges are either damaged or washed away and we may be forced to cross the icy torrent on foot. Finally, we reach our camping spot beside the Tarap Khola at Khanigaon where we spend the night. 

Day 22: Trek from Khanigaon to Tarakot. (4 to 5 hrs)

From the camp we follow a trail that takes us to the village of Lalberi. Our trail then passes through a lush forest, descends into another gorge and continues to follow the river again. After reaching Tarakot, we can visit Sandul Gompa which lies about 8 km east of the village at a juncture of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. The monastery stands on a hill to the south of Bheri River. Today we camp by the Tarap Chu river about 150 meters below Tarakot, near the police post.  Overnight in Tarakot

Day 23: Trek from Tarakot to Dunai.(5 to 6 hrs)

We begin our trek on a trail behind the Bheri River before crossing a bridge near the Lawan village. Our trail will continue alongside the big Bheri Rriver ascending until the Byas Gadi. From here the trail moves towards the west on a relatively easy trail.  We cross the river again near the Lochakhola Gaon and ascend to Dunai for an overnight stay. Today’s trek will mostly be on a wonderful gorge with pine trees. Overnight in Dunai.

Day 24: Trek from Dunai to Jhuphal.

Fron Dunai, we trek along the Bheri River enjoying the beautiful landscape. On the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages as well as a temple. We continue trekking via Kalagaonda village and Motipur village before reaching the small airstrip. Overnight in Jhuphal.

Day 25: Flight to KTM via Nepalgunj/final departure.

We take the earliest flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. After arriving in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. Overnight in Kathmandu. 


What is included?

  • Airport pick up and drop
  • Three star catagory  hotel in Kathmand
  • Fooding,  lodging and other expenses of  trekking crew
  • Fooding (3 meals a day ) and lodging for the clients in trek days
  • Necessary  paper works for permit permit and national park fees
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Welcome or farewell dinners (depend up to your arrival and departure time)
  • Kathmandu to Kathmandu surface transportation By private vehicle
  • Kathmandu Nepaljungha Kathmandu Flight Ticket
  • Nepaljungha Jumla/ Juphal/ Talcha Vs flight ticket
  • Transportation for Guide and Nepali crews while applicable
  • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and High Altitude trekking local Sherpa porters to carry your luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter maximum weight 20 kg) including their allowance wages ,salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging expenses during a trek
  • Full board meals BLD ( breakfast, lunch, and Dinner) during the trek as per available food menu in tea houses/Lodges
  • Three times a cup of tea or coffee during the trek
  • Teahouse/Lodge accommodation during trek on twin sharing basic (will provide single bedroom where ever available if you traveling solo travelers)
  • Down jacket and trekking Equipment for local Staff
  • Upper dolpo/ Rara lake / restriction area permit by immigration department
  • TIMS card Permit (Trekkers Information Management System) for responsible tourism and porter protects
  • Basic group medical supplies for normal health problem and injured (First Aid medical kit will be available)
  • Medical and health insurance for local crew members
  • All government and local taxes

What is not included?

  • International flight ticket to arrive in Kathmandu
  • Entrance fee/ monument heritage site fee/ museum fee while sightseeing around Kathmandu valley
  • Excess baggage charges( 15kg allowed ok Kathmandu Lukla flight ) 1kg = $1 USD
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Horse ridding
  • Meals and accommodation in Kathmandu if early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Personal expenses ( Telephone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
  • Extra Tea coffee, Snacks, energy chocolates ETC
  • Personal travel and medical insurance and medicine if you using any regular medicine
  • Helicopter evacuation and emergency rescue
  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Any other items which is not in include section

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