Upper Dolpo Trek

upper-dolpo-trek

Upper Dolpo is a high-altitude remote and unspoiled area near the Tibetan border of Nepal in the western Himalayas. The inhabitants of the Dolpo region are mainly Tibetans and thus trekking to Upper Dolpo is an amazing opportunity to experience the first hand Tibetan culture and arts.

The trek to Upper Dolpo only started in the late eighties. Until then, the trek was only limited to the internal tourists. Dolpo is the region of mystical beauty and the remoteness of the area adds as much adventure as a trekkers wish to experience. The region is also among the restricted trekking area in Nepal which requires a special trekking permit to accomplish the trekking.

Although being the least developed region of Nepal, the Dolpo region is among the most beautiful part of the country. Situated at the higher attitude, the Upper Dolpo is the region where not every trekker makes their way. Thus, trekking in the Upper Dolpo region will take you to the remote Tibetan settlement that is rarely visited.

The trail passes through the Forested land of Rhododendron, pines, and oaks. The abundance of the wildlife makes the forest more lively and our trek more adventure. You are likely to see the herds of musk deer, Himalayan fox, Snow leopard, Eagles, and Himalayan Blue Sheep.

The spectacular landscapes, pristine Shey Phoksundo Lake, and the centuries old monasteries are the major attractions of the trek. Another major attraction of the Dolpo region is the mountain named as “Crystal Mountain”. The mountain is a holy mountain that attracts numerous trekkers to visit the upper Dolpo and make a circuit of the mountain.


DAY 1: ARRIVE KATHMANDU
You will be met at the airport and be taken to the hotel. You may relax or explore until the group meets at dinner.

DAY 2: TOUR AROUND KATHMANDU
After breakfast, we will start our tour around Kathmandu city. Kathmandu; the capital of Nepal is a beautiful city with number of World Heritage Sites, Temples, mixed ethnicity and the local market. We start our tour by visiting the Swayambhunath Temple in the morning. Also known as the monkey temple for abundance of monkeys wandering around, the temple lies on the top of the hill. The top provides the beautiful view of the Kathmandu city.

Next we will visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is also known as Basantapur Durbar Square and the area contains the most of the historic and important temples of Kathmandu. It is where the Goddess Kumari: the living goddess of Nepal lives here.

We also visit Patan; the old Newari city with excellent architecture. The Patan Durbar Square is another World Heritage property that reflects the ancient culture of the city. At the end of the day, you will still have some extra time for arrangements or emergency shopping for your trek.

DAY 3: FLY FROM KATHMANDU TO NEPALGUNJ (150 m)
We start our journey with a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. The flight duration is about 45 minutes and offers the views of the mountains in a clear day. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we will be transferred to the hotel. Nepalgunj lies in the south western part of Nepal and is a steaming hot city. You can spend the day relaxing or choose to explore the nearby area.

Overnight in hotel in Nepalgunj, includes breakfast, Lunch and dinner

DAY 4:FLY FROM NEPALGUNJ TO JUPHAL (2475 m)
Nepalgunj to Juphal is a short flight of 35 minutes. The flight offers you with the views of the snow capped mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Range. Juphal is a small mountain village. After a day in Nepalgunj, landing on Juphal will give you the feeling of the cold, fresh air than that of Nepalgunj. We will spend the spare part of the day exploring the village and making preparations for the trek on following day.

Overnight in ho Juphal, includes breakfast, Lunch and dinner

DAY 5: JUPHAL TO CHHEPKA (2838 m) 6 HOURS WALK
We start our trek from Juphal. Our trek starts through the wheat and the vegetable fields to reach the Thuli Bheri River. We will come across a suspension bridge that ultimately leads us to the entrance of the Shey Phoksundo National Park. The Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park of Nepal with an area of 3,555 sq km. The national park harbors the Trans Himalayan ecosystem and several Tibetan florae and fauna.

Our trail will follow the Suli Khol. The trekkers will also view some part of the Dhaulagiri Range. If you are interested, you can taste a special tea is mixed with pure and fresh honey. The trek continues to pass through the pine tree line, Juniper and Cyprus and bamboo forest. The trail provides a real chance to get a step closer to the nature. It will be almost evening, when you will reach Cheep Ka village. The small village is surrounded by millet and wheat field where we will be camping tonight.

Overnight in Camp in Cheep Ka village, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 6: CHHEPKA TO PALAM (3820 m) 6 -7 HOURS TREK
We start our trek through the forest that follows a river. The trail consists of both ascend and descend. On the way trekkers will meet the local people with their mules. The mules are the means of transport of the things that the local people sell. After a walk of 4 hours, we will reach the Reechi village. Leaving the Reechi village behind, we pass the Chumuwar after 2 more hours. Moving further trekkers can see the Amchi hospital named after the doctor who is educated in Traditional Tibetan medicine. We will reach Palam where we will be camping tonight.

Overnight in Camp in Palam, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 7: PALAM TO PHOKSUNDO LAKE (3620 m) 4 HOURS TREK
From Palam, it takes around 4 hours to reach the Phoksundo Lake. The trail requires a steep climb for 2 hours before reaching the top. There is a spectacular waterfall of 107 km which is known as Phoksundo waterfall or the sunlight waterfall. From the top, we descend to reach the Ringmo village. The Ringmo is a charming village with people following Bonpo religion. Bonpo is related to Buddhism, but older than Buddhism. According to the stories, Dolpa used to be the center of the Bon kingdom called Zhang. The Ringmo village will be our camping site today.

Overnight in Ringmo village, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 8: LEISURE DAY
Today, we will have a rest day. After walking for several days, it would be a great idea to acclimatize in the altitude before continuing further. We have a whole day to admire the beauty of the Phoksundo Lake and explore the nearby villages inhabited by the Bon and Buddhist followers.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 9: TREK TO SALLA GHARI (3640 m) 5 – 6 HOURS TREK
Today we will enter the Upper Dolpo area. We will walk along the trail where the famous movie called CARAVAN of Eric Wall was casted. The trail is popular as a trade route between the local people of Dolpo and the Tibet. The trail is really adventurous and finally leads us to the top. From the top, trekkers will get the beautiful views of the Lane Ringmo, the dark green pine forests and the snow capped mountains on the south. We descent first and then ascend through the wide valley which let us to witness the spectacular Kanjirowa Himal (6661 m). The trail will lead us to an alpine area with Junipers called Thaneba or Lake Side camp which is a beautiful place for camping.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 10: SALLA GHARI TO LAR TSA (4120 m) 6 HOURS TREK
We will leave Sallaghari and trek through the high rock walls on both sides. We will cross a couple of streams on our way and enter a narrow gorge where we will set up our camp for tonight.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 11: LAR TSA TO SHEY GOMPA (4320 m) 7 – 8 HOURS TREK
We will start our trek with a long and challenging climb for about 2 and half hours. We walk through the dusty path until we reach Kang La (5350 m) or Ngadra La. We will descend through a steep trail for about 3 hours before reaching the Shey Gompa. The Shey Gompa is a small village with few houses. The village also has an old 11th century Gompa, which lies beneath the crystal peak. The Gompa stands at the confluence of two rivers. The local people believe that the Gompa was constructed by a Tibetan Buddhist who came there on the back of the flying snow lion. The Gompa is the spiritual heart of Dolpo where the pilgrims make a visit to make a clockwise circuit of the crystal peak.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 12: REST DAY IN SHEY GOMPA
We spend a spare day in Shey Gompa. There is a Tsakang Gompa which is a retreat rather than a real monastery. Tsakang had been a meditation center for many famous Lamas from Tibet. The founder of Shey Gompa was lama Ten-szin-Ra-Pa and belongs to the Chaiba community. We will explore the village which purely represents the ancient Buddhist tradition. Drutup Yeshe is believed to introduce Buddhism in Dolpo region. There lies a beautiful ‘Crystal mountain’ in the west of the monastery. The mountain is really strange for having contoured cliffs and embedded with a variety of marine fossils. You can also see a group of prayer mills run by the water wheels.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 12: TREK TO NAMGUNG (4430 m) 6 HOURS TREK
Now we have a new destination waiting for us forward. We start our trek from Shey Gompa by initially crossing the Sheyla. Also known as Geln La, it is located at an altitude of about 5000 meters. After crossing the Glen La, the trail offers with the beautiful view of the Tibetan plateau; the highest plateau in the world. Towards the east is Mustang. After passing through the pass, we descend to the pastures of the Namgung. The Namgung is a beautiful place with friendly environment and the welcoming local people.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 14: NAMGUNG TO SALDANG (4046 m) 3 HOURS TREK
We start today’s walk by climbing a tree slope. We will be ascending 4700 meters before we descending down the steep slopes to reach Saldang. The Saldang is a beautiful village that lies on the plateau above the Nam Khong nala. The village is also the biggest among the villages of the Dolpo region. The village is agriculturally prosperous and is also a trade route between the Dolpo and Tibet.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 15: SALDANG TO SIBU (4000 m) 6 HOURS TREK
We will leave the Sildang village for Sinu today. The trail takes us through the terraced fields, stupas, chortens, Mani and Chaiba monastery. The Namdo village occurs on our trail which consists of almost 60 houses and extends 5 km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. After we reach the Sinu, we set a camp for our overnight stay.
Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 16: SIBU TO JENGLA FOOT (4480 m) 4 – 5 HOURS TREK
The trek is initially easy and we will walk along the river valley. After walking for two hours, we come across a stream before we turn into side valley. The ascend turns out to be very sharp now before we reach the Jengla foot.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 17: JENGLA TO TOKYO GAON 4240 m) 6 - 7 HOURS TREK
In order to reach Tokyo Gaon, we should cross the Jeng La which lies at 4950 meters. Starting our trek from Jengla foot, we reach the Jeng La after two hours climb. The top of the Jeng La offers the trekkers with the views of the Dhaulagiri. From the top, we start descending towards the Tarap valley along the beautiful green trail. Further ahead we reach the Tarap valley with large plants and a river. The valley is home to 10 villages and many Gompas and chortens.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 18: TOKYO GAON TO DHO TARAP (4200 m) 2 HOURS TREK
We walk eastward along the lower part of Tarap Chu. The trail is easy and contains many mani walls. However, there are some Chortens which are in real bad condition. The Dho Tarap is surrounded by an irregular stone wall and has thirty four houses. The local people living here are Buddhist and Bonpo. After we reach the Dho Tarap, we will visit the Buddhist Gompa where the lama lives. You might also get to see some of the thanks made by the lama.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 19: DHO TARAP TO SERKAM (3623 m) 7 HOURS TREK
The trail follows the Tarap Khola and moves downwards for most of the section. We will walk through the narrow gorges where the river flows through. Trekkers can see the Blue sheep, marmots, yaks and goats along the way. You may also meet the people of the Dolpo taking their goats and sheep to the pastures. Walking further, we will meet an easier trail and also cross the modern steel suspension bridge.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 20: SERKAM TO TRAKOT (2280 m) 5 HOURS TREK
We start our trek by crossing a suspension bridge and continue to walk along the bank of the river. Some portion of the trail is real challenge to walk along which will ultimately lead to the Barbung Chu village. We will walk along the fields of millet, sweet corn, barley, buckwheat, green beans, chillies and marijuana. Trakot is an old fortress town which is called Dzong meaning ‘fort’. The Trakot was the capital before the Gorkha Dynasty. We will find a camping site at Trakot to spend the night.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 21: TRAKOT TO DUNAI (2109 m) 5 HOURS TREK
We will continue to descend for most of today’s trail. We walk beside the Bheri River along the old path which is twenty feet above the river. The same trail will lead us to the Dunai village where we will be camping. This completes your trek circuit.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 22: DUNAI TO JUPHAL (2404 m) 3 HOURS TREK
This will be the last day of our trek. We initially walk along the flat trail but the trail gradually becomes steeper until you reach your destination: Juphal.

Overnight in a camp, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 23: JUPHAL TO NEPALGUNJ AND TO KATHMANDU
We catch an early morning flight to Nepalgunj. The flight is of 35 minutes and offers the beautiful views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Afterwards, we again catch a flight back to Kathmandu.

Overnight in lodge, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 24: DEPARTURE
Our representative will drop you to the airport for your flight back home.

Inclusions

  • Government Trained License Holder English-speaking guide/leader
  • All domestic and International airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Good standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu/cities with twin sharing bed and breakfast basis
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • All domestic airfares
  • All meals and accommodation on trek including tea and coffee
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • A free high-quality Dolma Treks duffel bag/relative trekking map and Tee-shirt
  • Trek staff and full porteragem
  • All camping gears in our camping treks
  • High altitude Sherpa/porters properly insured and equipped
  • National Park fees + Permits

Exclusions

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Tips
  • Laundry and personal expenses
  • Whatever is not mentioned in the included section

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