Trip Facts

  • Total Days - 27
  • Trekking Days - 20
  • Hotel in Kathmandu - 5 Nights
  • Hotel in Nepalgunj - 1 Night
  • Trek Grade - Strenuous
  • Type of Trek - Camping
  • Best Season - April to October
  • Walking Time - 5 to 7 hour each day
  • Highlights - Nomad culture / tradition / religion / landscape

No intention to intimidate, yet it is a raw reality—the Upper Dolpo Trek is not advisable to the maiden trekkers, since the trail ascends and descends precipitous hills and three high passes over 5,000 m, and on top of that, camping is the only way to spend the night; it is unbelievably remote, modernity has not even its meager presence, but it is fantastically alien that will overwhelm your sense of being. Your mind will be blown.

To some extent, you must be experienced and sort of intrepid to take on the Upper Dolpo Trek which is absolutely worthwhile because, in addition to colossal hills and landscapes, it will present you with some of the antiquated monasteries—one being the Shey Gompa, an 800-year-old monastery at the foot of the Crystal Mountain—and rare wildlife, like musk deer, Himalayan blue sheep and snow leopard in the Nepal’s largest national park the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

Besides, a lake of the same name the Shey Phoksundo Lake will tantalize you with its grandiose, its aquamarine presence is arresting. The Dolpo region, which is almost exclusively Tibetan in its culture, tradition, and language, will deluge you with its wilderness, the wilderness in the literal sense.

The Dolpo region, bordering with Tibet, does not permit independent trekkers; rather only the organized groups with guides.

The region is rudimentarily modern, and its trek begins from Juphal after flying from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, and finally Nepalgunj to Juphal.

The Upper Dolpo region, remaining closed to visitors until 1989, is a world in its own—alienated and aloof, nevertheless, wildly spectacular with verdant to arid landscapes, the view of the Mt. Kanjirowa among other amazing peaks, the Dhaulagiri massif. The region is remote, but its riches are unrivaled—the Shey Phoksundo National Park harbors rare and exotic flora and fauna, and whatnot.

Upper Dolpo is thinly populated with happy, humble and amiable people. They will win you with their hospitality.
And last but not least, this trek is a dare, but we can claim that it is the reason you want to make it, and you should. It is more than worthwhile, so do join us to explore the insane wilderness, together we will create a lifetime memento.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Visit Swoyambunath & Patan
Day 03: Flight Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Day 04: Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal and trek to Dunai
Day 05: Trek Dunai to Chhepka
Day 06: Trek Chhepka to Amchi Hospital
Day 07: Trek Amchi Hospital to Phoksundo Lake
Day 08: Acclimatization Day / Exploration Day
Day 09: Trek Phoksundo Lake to Sallaghari
Day 10: Trek Sallaghari to Kangla BC (Mandala camp)
Day 11: Trek Kangla BC (Mandala) to Shey Gompa via Kangla pass
Day 12: Trek Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa via Shey la pass
Day 13: Trek Namgung Gompa to Yangjer Gumba
Day 14: Trek Yangjer Gumba to Khomagaon
Day 15: Trek Khomagaon to Tinzegaon
Day 16: Trek Tinzegaun to Yak Kharka
Day 17: Trek Yak Kharka to Tokyu via Chhoila Pass
Day 18: Trek Tokyu to Dho Tarap
Day 19: Exploration day in Dho Tarap
Day 20: Trek Dho Tarap to Nawarpani
Day 21: Trek Nawarpani to Laina Odar
Day 22: Trek Laina Odar to Tarakot
Day 23: Trek Tarakot to Juphal
Day 24: Flight Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
Day 25: Free Day in Kathmandu
Day 26: Free Day in Kathmandu
Day 27: Departure.

Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu airport and you will be transferred to the hotel by one of our representatives. Welcome dinner at one of the Nepali Traditional  restaurants in Kathmandu.
Overnight: Hotel
Elevation: 1334m

Day 02: Visit Swoyambunath and Patan: start our tour visiting a magnificent Buddhist stupa, Swoyambunath followed by a visit of Patan, a true open air museum with its pagodas, temples, and monasteries.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 03: Flight Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (165m): A scenic flight to Nepalgunj for about an hour. Nepalgunj is a small city which lies near the Indian border in the Terai region of Nepal.
Overnight: Guest House / Hotel
Flight Time: 45 minutes
Difference in Elevation: -1169m

Day 04: Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal and trek to Dunai (2140m): Early morning flight takes you to Juphal which offers you wonderful view of precipitous hillsides and the river valley. Then we start our epic journey to nomadic land.
Overnight: Camping
Flight Time: 35 minutes
Walking Time: 3 hours

Day 05: Trek Dunai to Chhepka (2838m): we start our real adventure following the classic route of Dolpo via Kararsialchaur Temple to Sulighat, which is fairly easy walk up to Sulighat. Sulighat is the entrance of the Shey Phoksundo National park and gateway to the upper Dolpo region. Now, we start following the Phoksundo river valley. As the trek goes further, the landscapes in the surrounding begin to change. We trek through the lush tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill villages like Jutung and Shyangte. At Shyangte we cross over two bridges - once over Phoksundo River and once over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Maiaba Khola and begin to head north towards Chhepka. Trekking upstream along the Phoksundo Khola for a while we arrive to Chhepka.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 06: Trek Chhepka to Amchi Hospital (3110m): most of the trek for today winds along the trail beside Phoksundo Khola- the trail of famous Lower Dolpa Circuit. We trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. The trail crosses the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. As we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region the trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi 2940m, where we stop for the lunch. As we resume our trek from Rechi, we again hike along the river side trail to Bulligad Dovan where we cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Yulung Khola and arrive to Amchi Hospital. Amchi refers to traditional doctors who heal infections and diseases using the herbal medicine found in Dolpo. Amchi Hospital is the treatment center of the locals of Dolpo, where expert Amchis treat the patients.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 07: Trek Amchi Hospital to Phoksundo Lake (3600m): as we continue our trek, we take the direct route to Phoksumdo Lake climbing through forest of big cedars on to Polam (3397m), a winter settlement used by the people of the Ringmo village. The entrance station for the Shey Phoksundo National Park is at the south end of the village. The route then descends on switchbacks through open country to an elevation of 3300 meter, and then starts up another set of dusty switchbacks to a ridge at 3780 meter to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meter high). Our route then continues on to Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of prayer walls. Then, we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksumdo Lake, where we camp at the national park camping grounds west of the lake.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 08: Acclimatization Day in Phoksundo Lake / Exploration Day: we explore the area around the Ringmo Village and the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. First, we explore around Ringmo Village, a typical Tibetan village and head to Tshowa (the lake-shore Bon Monastery). The Gompa nestling on a ridge above Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. Visiting this culturally rich Bon Monastery is fascinating experience. Then we walk down to Phoksundo Lake along steep-sided cliffs. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. There are many monasteries (Gompas) and riligious sites of Bon-po at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these.
Overnight: Camping

Day 09: Trek Phoksundo Lake to Sallaghari (3750): it is fairly enjoyable day as the trail goes through the beautiful landscapes, forest and sandy shore of the Phoksundo Khola. It climbs along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. This treacherously fascinating trail brings us to the other side of Phoksundo Lake. To get to the Phoksundo Khola camp on other side of the lake, we descend for about an hour and half through the beautiful forest. Then, we follow the Phoksundo Khola, the river that feeds water to the lake.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 10: Trek Sallaghari to Kangla BC (Mandala camp) (4120m): It is relatively short trek for today as we would be preparing to cross a high pass next day. It is about 3 hours trek. We start the day ascending through the narrow valley of Tuk Kyaksa river. The trail switches to opposite side of the river several times. Following a wide valley along the canyon brings us to the massive rock slab, which is Kang La Base Camp- our campsite for the night. Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 11: Trek Kangla BC (Mandala) to Shey Gompa( 4160m) via Kangla pass (5360m): Today we trek to the fabled Shey Gompa and the nearby 'Crystal Mountain', the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the mystical land of actual Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla pass. The trek to the top of Kang La Pass is along the graveled trail uphill for three continuous hours. However, all the efforts put to come up to the top of pass rewards us with wonderful views. The magnificent views from the Kang La Pass include Cyrstal Mountain, the mountains in Tibetan territory and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. We also have views of the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters, before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey, where we camp for the night.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 12: Trek Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa (4430m) via Shey la pass (5010m): In the morning we visit the ancient monastery, Shey Gompa. It is said to be about 800 years old, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain. The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. Peter Mattheissen wrote quite a lot about his stay in Shey in 'The Snow Leopard', and it was shown in Eric Valli’s movie ‘Caravan' as Thinley's son's gompa. After the visit of Shey Gompa we continue our trek following the trail beside Sephu Khola for couple of hours. The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting. Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The acme of Shey La Pass west of Shey, rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. The final push downhill from the pass, which is almost 2 hours of hike, brings us to Namgung. We spend our night at Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 7 hours

Day 13: Trek Namgung Gompa to Yangjer Gumba (3750m): In the morning, we visit the monastery of Namgung. Then, we resume our trek from Namgung Gompa following Namgung Khola crossing some summer herding spots to Saldang. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of dry land surrounded hills. Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo thrives here at Saldang. After the lunch at Saldang, we trek towards Yanger Gompa, which lies on the old trade route to Tibet. Initially the trail steeply descends down to Nagon Khola river bed. Heading north of Nagon Khola along the steep sided gorge for about 3 hours, we arrive to the confluence of Nagon Khola Panzang and Tara Khola. Then, following the trail on the lower riverbank which offers a steep vertical climb brings us to the wonderful sight of Yangjer Gompa.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 8 hours

Day 14: Trek Yangjer Gumba to Khomagaon (4060m): early in the morning, we visit the oldest monastery of Dolpo region, Yangjer Gompa. Also referred as Margom Yangjer, the monastery was first blessed 1000 years ago. Nestled in the twisted canyons of Panzang; Yangjer Gompa is known for nine major chortens and twenty smaller dotted around with the imposing massive chorten standing separately. Though the monastery is drastically different to the other Gompas of Dolpo; Yangjer Gompa holds the images of most of Buddhist deities which include Guru Rinpoche, Chenserig, Sakhyamuni Buddha, Dorje Chang, Mahakala protector- Green Tara and the Eight Medicine Buddha. Once we finish visiting Yangjer Gompa, we resume our trek towards Khomagaon following the Saldan Lek along the Rapyha Khola to the barren hillside ridge of almost 4500m. Then, the trail descends down steeply to Khomagaon, a village which resemblance to the Tibetan village.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 15: Trek Khomagaon to Tinzegaon (4150m): as we continue our trek, we go through the areas where we might see some endangered animals like snow leopard or Blue sheep. The trail goes through several small settlements. The trail to Tinzegaon is fairly easy on flat surface along with Panjyan khola. The landscapes in surroundings are full of highland deserts with few shrubs like vegetation.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 16: Trek Tinzegaun to Yak Kharka (4428m): continuing our trek, we follow the Panjyan river valley to a small settlement of Chhamdang. The trail along the river bank continues to the confluence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. Trekking further we cross the bridge over Thalum Khola and reach Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 7 hours

Day 17: Trek Yak Kharka to Tokyu (4210m) via Chhoila Pass (5040m): as the trek begins today, we cross a bridge over Sulun Khola. Crossing the bridges over several streams the trek arrives to Choila North Pass 5040m. The trek to Choila North BC is a strenuous trek. Almost two hours steep climb brings us to the top of Chhoila Pass which offers the magnificent sights of Tokyu and surroundings. Then a downhill and fairly easy trek beside Chhoila Khola brings us to Tokyu.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 - 7 hours

Day 18: Trek Tokyu to Dho Tarap (3944m) 4-5 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 (3944m). 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 Magar hill tribe of Nepal who have lived here for many generations.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 4 - 5 hours

Day 19: Rest / Exploration day in Dho Tarap: we spend the day exploring the village and surroundings. Dho Tarap is a large village decorated by colorful prayer flags. There are chortens, mani walls and monasteries. Villagers grow wheat, buck wheat, barley, potatoes and green vegetables in terraced fields. There are tea houses, shops with minimal supplies and lodges. The people closely resemble the Khampas of Tibet, the men with a ponytail and red tassel coiled around their head. Dho Tarap has a maze of mud-brick Tibetan houses which was featured in Eric Valli’s famous movie 'Caravan', the village where Karma and his band of young Dolpo-pa, and Thinley and his older group of Dolpo-pa, set off with their salt to trade for barley over the high passes. We can enjoy a nature tour and a cultural program consisting of traditional Tibetan dances and songs presented by the villagers (If your trip is during festival season). There are few major sites that are worthwhile exploring around Dho Tarap including Ribo Bumpa Monastery & Drakmar Dewa Monastery, the vicinity around Dho Tarap has many other important monasteries which include Mekhyim Monastery, Dhoro Monastery and a Bon Gompa of Shipichowk among others. So make your decision wisely while choosing the monastery you prefer to explore from the pool of many.
Overnight: Camping

Day 20: Trek Dho Tarap to Nawarpani (3475m): as we start our day, descending through the ancient chortens we leave Dho Tarap and continuing our descend through the canyon alongside the river we cross a bridge beneath a huge cliff. Then we trek through rocky trail gently descending through Tarap khola gorge to Nawarpani.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5 - 6 hours

Day 21: Trek Nawarpani to Laina Odar (3370m): continuing our trek, we descend following a river valley of Tarap Khola to Laina Odar.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5 - 6 hours

Day 22: Trek Laina Odar to Tarakot (2537m): The trek steadily descends following Thuli Bheri and going through fir and juniper forest.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 5 hours

Day 23: Trek Tarakot to Juphal (2475m): final day of our trek takes us back to Juphal. We start our day walking on the trail that stretches beside Thuli Bheri River to Dunai via Lawan and Byasgad. The trail has forested region on its west, Thuli Bheri River and cultivated terraced fields on its East. We have our lunch at Dunai. A couple of hours trek from Dunai brings us to Juphal.
Overnight: Camping
Walking Time: 6 - 7 hours

Day 24: Flight Juphal to Nepalgunj and connected flight to Kathmandu (1334m): Early morning flight takes us to Nepalgunj to connect with our flight to Kathmandu.
Overnight: Hotel
Flight Juphal - Nepalgunj: 35 minutes
Flight Nepalgunj - Kathmandu: 45 minutes

Day 25: Free Day in Kathmandu (1334m)
Overnight: Hotel

Day 26: Free Day in Kathmandu (1334m)
Overnight: Hotel

Day 27: Transfer to the airport and departure.

Cost Includes

  • Transfers airport/hotel/airport
  • Hotel in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj on twin sharing basis
  • Transport, guided visits & entry of the monuments in Kathmandu
  • Domestic flight ticket Kathmandu - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu as per Itinerary
  • Domestic flight ticket Nepalgunj - Juphal - Nepalgunj
  • Domestic airport taxes
  • Trekking permit - National park entry fee
  • Special permit for Upper Dolpo
  • Professional tour / trekking guide, Cook, assistant guides / cooks and porters
  • Meals Full board during trek
  • Accommodation in tents / camping during the trek
  • Your international flight re-confirmation
  • All necessary documents and government tax
  • Insurance for all staff (including guide, Cook, porters, assistant guide)


cost Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory and we strongly advise you to take out to cover accident/repatriation helicopter/medical care)
  • Personal expenses such as cold drinks, mineral water, alcoholic drinks, telephone, Hot shower etc
  • Alternative / Additional transportation (flights / vehicles), Accommodations in case of landslides, bad weather, strike, road blockade, scheduled flights removal by airlines and other natural calamities beyond our control
  • Emergency evacuation rescue charge, if needed
  • Tips for trekking staff or bus driver

Special Note: This Itinerary can be customized according to the duration of your holiday. The Trek can be operated only by Camping accommodation. We have many options for shorter visits based on your interests and budget.

NOTE: The price of the tour will be adjusted according to the group size.

Trekking Gear:

Srl. Description Qty. Remarks
01 Day back-pack 1
02 Gore-Tex Jacket 1
03 Down Jacket 1
04 Fleece Jacket 1
05 Micro Fleece 1
06 Trekking pants(Trousers) 2 - 3
07 Hiking shoes (Boots) 1
08 Runners (sport shoes) 1
09 Trekking Socks 3
10 Rain poncho 1
11 Sun-glasses 1
12 Water bottles 2
13 Thermal underwear(long) 1 - 2
14 T- shirts 2 - 3
15 Sunscreen/lotion 1
16 Flip flop (sandal) 1
17 Towel 1
18 Hat(Baseball cap) 1
19 Pristine drops (Water purifier) 1
20 Head light/flash light 1
21 Sleeping Bag 1
22 Gloves 1
23 Wind Proof Trouser (s) 1
24 Personal medical kid 1
25 Toiletries 1

Weather Report

Nepal Climate

Climate:
From the eternal snow of the high peaks to the extensive tropical lowlands, Nepal has a wide variety of climates.

Spring: March to late May: In this season, Kathmandu is in full bloom, lots of different types of flowers can be seen at this time of the year. Temperature is mild, end of the cold winter and approaching warm and hot summer. Temperatures vary between 10 ° C to 28 ° C but can rise up to 30 ° C. Between 2000 and 3000m, temperature rarely drop below 0 ° C. However, few frosts or snowfalls are possible in March above 4000 m.

The summer/monsoon period: It interrupts the majority of trekking from late June to late August. Some of the trekking regions "trans-Himalayan", Dolpo and Mustang, however, remain protected from monsoon prevailing rest of the country. They are the only channels available in Nepal in the summer.

Autumn: mid September – mid December - Perfect temperature and weather for trekking. Brings cooler days, but clear skies. Above 3000 m altitude, temperatures can drop to -10 ° C at night.

In winter: mid-December - mid-February - Nights are generally cold, dry climate, Above 3000m, temperature drop down to 0 ° C to - 15 ° C at night, the days are often sunny.

Trip Gallery

Testimonials

  • Michel, Patrick & team, France

    “JUST arrived back from Manaslu Trek, Nepal (this was our 5th trip to Nepal), And visit MERANGDING and ANGPANG villages […]

  • Stephanie Major, Canada

    “I had such a great time while in Nepal. Chandra definitely made enjoyable environment for our such an extremely diverse […]

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