Upper Dolpo Trekking
Trip at a Glance
- Trip Name: Upper Dolpo Trekking
- Trip Code: TMUD-01
- Trip Duration: 28 days
- Trip Grade: Strenuous
- Accommodation: Camping during trek, Hotel in the city
- Meals: All meals during trekking & breakfast in Kathmandu
- Transportation: Private car/ Bus & Domestic flight
- Best Season: Spring, Summer & Autumn
- Country: Nepal
- Max Altitude: 5,360m
- Group size: Min – 2
Upper Dolpo region remains a truly isolated corner of Nepal. Unlike the other parts of Nepal, Dolpo is shadowed by seasonal rain and it is hard to match for its surreal beauty and stunning charm, provides a good habitat for snow leopards, Blue Sheep, Ghoral, Himalayan Black Beer etc. Here we can find many cultural, religious and social life similarities between Upper Dolpo and Tibet. This region is thinly vegetated, dry and settlements are rare, instead you find a thrilling hardcore landscape, guarded by pristine snowy peaks. Other remarkable objects seen here are ancient and isolated villages, immortal to time, fabulous lakes, authentic Buddhist monasteries and abundant wildlife.
Upper Dolpo Trekking is an unforgettable journey in every visitor's life. Observing different rain shadow landscapes with stunning mountain views, wild flowers, Himalayan Blue Sheep, Snow Leopards, and huge birds like the Himalayan Griffon. It's difficult to grow crops there, which makes life challenging for the local people, so most of them are involved in the salt trade from Tibet, this traditional culture continues in Doplo and is passed down from generation to generation.
Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,300m), transfer to hotel, welcome dinner
In this country of Himalayas you are most welcome from core of our heart. On your arrival in Kathmandu airport, our representative welcomes you with the warmest greeting and reception. Then you will be shifted to your selected hotel. Rest of the time you can utilize as per your interest. We meet at the evening to have welcome dinner together. You enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with fantastic cultural dance presentation. Meal: Dinner.
Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation
We call this a spiritual day. We visit some of the UNESCO world heritage spiritual sites of Kathmandu. Our morning breakfast is followed by sightseeing of Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Swyambhu and Bouddha are the Buddhist sacred sites whereas Pashupatinath is the Hindu divine place. Kathmandu Durbar Square is the living image of ancient rulers and the home of living goddess. After the completion of sightseeing we will brief you about the trekking program. Buy necessary trekking gears (if haven’t), meet & introduce your trekking guide and porters and other bag packaging. Overnight at Kathmandu hotel. Meal: Breakfast.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (540m)
Today we fly to Nepalgunj. This one and half hour flight offers us to enjoy the scenic beauty of fresh west Nepal. On reaching Nepalgunj, shift to the selected hotel. We will have whole afternoon and evening to explore around the town. Nepalgunj is situated at southern Nepal near the border of India. Night stay in Nepalgunj. Meal: Breakfast.
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2,475m) & trek to Dunai (2,140m): 2-3 hrs
In the morning, we take 45 minutes scenic flight to Jhupal (2,475m). The magnificent view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks is the major attraction. From the Juphal our trek starts. This first day trek begins with downhill walk up to the terrace fields of Bheri river. About 2-3 hours further trek along the narrow gorge takes us to Dunai for camping. Dunai is the large village and administrative headquarter of Dolpo region. Visit around the village and admire the local society and lifestyle. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 05: Trek to Ankhe (2,896m): 5-6 hrs
From Dunai, the trek forwards to Thulo Bheri valley. On passing this treeless valley, we cross a ridge to enter to the Phoksundo river valley of 2,499m elevation. This amazing walk leads us to a large side canyon. On descending, we meet a stream in the downhill and ahead to Dhera. Dhera is the winter settlement where peoples from the higher villages keep herds of cow and goats. Trek from here passes Rahagaun (a Thakuri village), many small canyons and gorges. Rahagaun has a Gompa dedicated to the local God, Masth, guardians of this village. Finally we reach at the entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park at Ankhe (2,896m). Camping at Ankhe. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 06: Trek to Sulighat: 5-6 hrs
Our trek continues up and down along the forested riverbed. Then it goes steep up to about 2900m high and again the same up down trail goes on connected by several streams and rivers. Hereafter the trail directs to grassy high slope above the riverbed and once from the hilltop, path descends into the forest until it reaches a cliff. On more the steep down we reach to cross a river at 2,950m. Afterwards, we have to face rocky trail and the portion is a bit hard. Local peoples bring their cows and yaks for different purpose along this way. This upstream journey continuous up to a bridge at Sulighat for overnight Camping. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,500m): 4-5 hrs
For today our destiny is Phoksundo Lake. The trek continues along the valley of Phoksundo and Pungmo Kholas. On crossing the wooden bridge of Phoksundo khola, catch the west bank of Pungmo Khola, which directs us the way to Phoksundo Lake (3,500m). The trail goes along cedar forest and a winter settlement, Palam. Above there we step to a ridge and are the absolute point to see the distant view of Phoksundo lake and breathtaking 300m high waterfall. After capturing these spectacular views both by our mind and camera, we descend to the upper reaches of Phoksundo Khola. On some more effort we reach to the huge settlement of Ringmo and further short hike to Phoksundo Lake to do camping today. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 08: Rest Day at Phoksundo Lake
At Phoksundo, we take a rest day to look around and acclimatize our body. Better go short hike to Ringmo village. The local tradition, lifestyle and Tibetan Buddhist Monastery are the unique attraction of the place. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola : 4-5 hrs
Today we continue our sensational trek from the western bank of the lake. This irregular trail is made by the wood supported with the pegs into the hole in the rocks. Same unsteady path continues up the lush meadow at the western edge of lake. The meadow extends up to the flood plain of Phoksundo khola. Further walk through the valley, cross a river and reach to the bank of Phoksundo khola for overnight camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 10: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang: 6-7 hrs
From the bank of Phoksundo Khola our journey heads north towards the glacial valley. We cross an old wooden bridge at the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and other streams. From there we turn north-east but there is no any distinct trekking trail. We have to climb over the rocks and get down into the steep valley. Onward uphill brings us to a large sheep meadow and further to another valley which offers us to see Kang-La pass (5,360m). We reach to Phoksundo Bhanjyang for overnight camp which is just before the pass. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa (4,500m) via Kang-La pass (5,360m): 5-6 hrs
Today we are going to pass the Kang-La pass. From the beginning the path leads steep up and thus is a bit vigorous too. Kang-La pass (5,360m) is the apex point to view the astonishing landscapes and valleys in to the down. On descending steeply to the valley, the path takes the way of riverbank and crosses it for several times. We pass through the meadows with numbers of yak and sheep grazing. On plus steps we reach to Shey Gompa (4,500m) for overnight camping. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa: the crystal monastery
This rest day worth with the hike around the Shey Gompa ( i.e. Crystal monastery). Just north of Shey Gompa, there is another gompa called Tsakang gompa and is famous as a meditation center of Lamas. Crystal mountain is to the east of Shey Gompa, it is considered as a strongest mountain because it is supposed to be made with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa area houses number of prayer mills turned with water force. The site is extremely enriched in ecological and cultural varieties and their integrity. Overnight camping at Shey Gompa. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 13: Trek to Namduna Gaun (4,800m) via Saldang La (5,200m): 6-7 hrs
At the beginning, the trail goes down along the juniper forest up to the stony canyon. Then we ascend gradually on rocky way until we reach to the Saldang La (5,200m). Afterwards descend towards the north long to the grassland grazing yaks and sheep. This is the signal of human settlement existance around. Namduna Gaun (4,800m) has a monastery called Namgung monastery: a red stone structure built on the wall of gorge. The terraced fields around the small valley extend down to Nam khong valley. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the source of economy in the Dolpo. Peoples cultivate barley, buckwheat, potato and radish & only these crops are being their basis of living. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 14: Trek to Saldang (3,620m): 4-5 hrs
As soon as we leave Namduna Gaun the trail route goes up along the dusty barren mountains for 3-4 hrs. Saldang village is the largest village of inner Dolpo situated above the plateau at 3,620m elevation. The village stretches for about 2 km around with eighty houses with six hundred peoples living. It is a famous strategic point as a trade route to Tibet. Overnight at Saldang. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 15: Trek to Yangze Gompa (4,960m): 4-5 hrs
Further more the trail route leads north along the Nang Chu river. This least explored part of trail goes gradual up and down on passing two small settlements of Tiling and Lurigaun. We reach to Yangze (4,960m) to do camping today. Bon-Po monastery stands there to reflect the religious value of the area. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 16: Trek to Sibu: 6-7 hrs
For this day our destination will be Sibu village. Yangze offers us two trail routes connecting to Sibu. One is along the north west side passing two remote villages Nishalgaun & Shimengaun. As this one is longer we recommend second one. First we track back to Saldang and continue along the river bed, terraced fields, stupas and chortens. We pass a big human settlement Nambo to reach to the small village Sibu for our overnight camping. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 17: Trek to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m): 5-6 hrs
On leaving Sibu, we cross the caravan of laden yaks heading Tibet, reach up to the Nam Khong Khola and follow its direction. Finally from the confluence of two small tributaries we direct east. Ahead the path goes up till the bottom of Jeng-La (4,900m). At Jeng-la phedi, we do overnight camping. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 18: Trek to Tokyu Gaon via Jeng la (5,091m): 5-6 hrs
By the early morning we pass the Jeng-La (5,091m) after two hours climb. Jeng-La offers us the excellent picturesque view of mountains around. After collecting the enough experiences, we descend down towards the Tarap valley. Tarap is the large valley which extends 20 km along the river. It has ten villages with cultivated lands, gompas and Chortens. We reach to Tokyo Gaon to do camping today. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 19: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,040m): 4-5 hrs
Today, our trail route leads eastward along downhill of Tarap Chu in a flat valley. Lush verdant grass and marsh is the common feature of this area especially around the river. The valley is settled by Bon Po and Chaiba sects. The charming walk along the glorious valley makes us to reach Dho Tarap (4,040m). This village houses about 40 houses and is surrounded by stone wall. We visit around the village, admire their lifestyle and entertain the cultural variance. Overnight at Dho Tarap. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap
Today we explore the remote grace of Dho Tarap. They have their own unique way of lifestyle and culture. This is a chance for us to communicate with the people of Dolpo and understand more mystery about them. They wear their own traditional handmade cloth and prefer Tibetan style Somba (boots with upturned toes). The villagers are both Bon-Po and Buddhist sect. There exist both Buddhist and Bon Gompa in and around the territory. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 21: Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka): 6-7 hrs
Today in the morning we descend towards a wide valley and further in to the narrow gorge. The tree line is marked by the juniper and wild Rose trees. The trail route may offers herds of blue sheep. The long walk of the day worth with stunning confluence of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. We come to make our campsite at Kamakharka on a nice meadow. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 22: Trek to Khanigaon (2,950m): 4-5 hrs
For this day also the descending journey continues along the gorge of Tarap river. In winter peoples from Dolpo come with their herds in the alongside steep slope. Sometime the path becomes so narrow providing unexpected adventure. In the some part there is no trace of any path. Stone slabs are fitted on logs to pass the gorges. Finally this exciting adventure day becomes over by Khanigaon (2,950m) just beside of Tarap Khola. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 23: Trek to Tarakot (2,537m): 4-5 hrs
After the camping night at Khanigaon, the trail goes through indistinct path into the village of Lalberi. The intense forest, many narrow gorges, dramatic terraced fields and stream lines welcomes us and also motivates to gamble the most enjoyment. Tarakot (2,537m) an old fortress town is our campsite today. Tarakot stands on a hillock of the Bheri river. It seems amazing as a rare creation of nature with the trading caravans. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 24: Trek to Dunai (2,140m): 5-6 hrs
Today the trekking continues beside the trace of Bheri river and enters into the huge gorge. The path follows along the Pine forests till we reach Dunai (2,140m). Here we stay overnight & celebrate the occasion of circuit completion. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner.
Day 25: Trek to Jhuphal (2,475m): 2-3 hrs
From Dunai we backtrack the journey to Jhuphal. For this easy day we catch the way of Bheri river and reach to Jhuphal to make our last camping night. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 26: Fly from Jhuphal - Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
The morning breakfast is followed by flight to Nepalgunj. This 30 minnutes super scenic flight gives us the chance to admire the sparking nature. On arrival in Nepalgunj, we again fly back to Kathmandu on connecting flight. On reaching, transfer to the hotel and free time ahead. Meal: Breakfast.
Day 27: Free day in Kathmandu
This is the leisure time in Kathmandu. You may explore around the city or just relax at hotel. Overnight at hotel. Meal: Breakfast.
Day 28: Departure transfer
At about 3 hours prior to your flight time, we transfer you to the airport to fly your onward destination. Trekking Mart family wishes your best time ahead. Meal: Breakfast.
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