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Upper Dolpo Trekking

Upper Dolpo Trekking

Dolpo Trekking is designated as a largest park name of Shey Phoksumdo National Park (established 1979, cover 3555 sq .km) situated in the mid- western part of the most remote district in Nepal near to the tibetan border. This Trek is one of the off beaten routes which is simillar to the landscapes and cultures of Tibet and characterized by barren arid dry climate, steep valleys along with the beauty of century old traditions and cultures. The region offers opportunities to visit stunning mountain views, ancient Buddhist monasteries, old traditions and lifestyle,rich wildlife and the wonderful lakes in this Region.  This region is also known as "Ba Yul" or the hidden valley with fascinating villages and is still a land of mystery, scenery and peace. Trekking in the lower region takes you to Ringmo and Phoksumdo Lake which is deepest lake in the world, spread in an area of 200 sq.km. which is surrounded by rocky cliffs and its turquoise fresh water can touch the very depth of human heart wandering in search of peace and tranquility.The trek crosses two high passes of Baga La (5070 m) and Numa La (5190 m) into Tarap village (4040 m) inhabited by pre-Buddhist religion called "Bon Po" .  This is one of the restricted trekking regions of Nepal which requires special permit for trekking.

Trip Facts

Trek Name: Upper dolpo trek
Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
Trek Duration: 28 day
Trek starts/end at: kathmandu
Activity: sightseeing/tent camp trekking
Maximum Height:   Saldang-la pass (5,200m.)
Trekking Type: Camping
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Per day Walking: 5 to 7 hour
Attraction of the trek: Tibetan Culture, variation in habitants, Old Buddhist monasteries, Phoksundo Lake,  magnificent mountain views, challenging special recognized trek etc.

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1,300m)transfer to Hotel and  overnight at Hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing in kathmandu and trek Preparation & welcome Nepali dinner and overnight at Hotel
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj(165m) and overnight  at Hotel
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2,320m) & trek to Dunai(2,140m) - 3 hours and overnight  tented camp
Day 05: Juphal to Ankhe(2,896m) - 6 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 06: Ankhe to Sulighat (2070m) - 6 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 07: Sulighat to Phosundo Lake (3,620m)- 5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 08: Rest Day at Phoksundo Lake
Day 09: Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola (3,630m) - 5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 10: Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang(4,120m) -7 hrs and overnight  tented camp
Day 11: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4,326m) via Kang La -pass (5,160m)- 6 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa (the crystal monastery)
Day 13: Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaon (4,430m)- 7 hrs via Saldang La pass (5010m)-7 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 14: Saldang La to Saldang(3,620m) -5 hrs and overnight  tented camp
Day 15: Saldang to Yangze Gompa (4,960m) -5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 16: Yangze Gompa to Sibu (4560m) -7 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 17: Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi(4,900m) -6 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 18: Jeng-la Phedi to Tokyu Gaon (4,200m) via Jeng La- pass (5090m)-6 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 19: Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap(4,040m) -5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap
Day 21: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola ( Kamakharka -3,800m) -7 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 22: Tarap Khola- ( Kamakharka)to Khanigaon(3,150m) -5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 23: Kamakharka( Khanigaon) to Tarakot(2,537m) -5 hrs and overnight tented camp
Day 24: Tarakot to Dunai(2,140m) -6 hrs. and overnight tented camp
Day 25: Dunai to Jhuphal  -3 hrs trekking  then fly to Nepalgunj and overnight at Hotel
Day 26: Fly back Nepalgunj to Kathmandu and overnight at Hotel
Day 27: Leisure at Kathmandu - either relax at Hotel or explore the thamel for shopping etc.
Day 28: Trip Ends/Transfer to Airport for Departure

Above itinerary can be customized at your request to accommodate your specific requirements. Please let us know whether you would like to make a shorter or longer. We will follow accordingly.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m) Transfer to hotel & overnight at hotel
Upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), you will be met by our Airport Representative, and transfer to hotel. There will be a brief pre- trip group discussion followed by welcome dinner in the evening.

Day 02: Sightseeing in kathmandu and Trek Preparation & welcome Nepali dinner O/N at hotel
Sightseeing tour in the historic kathmandu Durbar Square, Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which are listed as the World Heritage Sites.

Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj & O/N at hotel
We transfer to the domestic airport for one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgung, a tropical zone of Nepal. Here, we have a look around the town lying with the Indian border O/N at hotel

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2,320m) & trek to Dunai,- 3 hrs & tented camp
Transfer to the airport early morning for flight to Juphal over the Himalayan foothills, with view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Juphal in the 45 minutes our trekking staffs will receive you then commence trek down to Dunai village (2,850m).

Day 05: Juphal to Ankhe(2,896m)- -6 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Diverting the route from the King Mahendra's statue to cross the new suspension bridge and turning west, the path soon begins to climb up the side of Thulo Bheri valley, where it crests a ridge and then enters the Phoksundo river valley, and reach another ridge which is marked by cairns at 2,499m. This wonderful walk viewing of the Kagmara Peak leads to a large side gorge, then descending gently on the long downhill slope to Dhera. We'll pass by the lower part of Rahagaon and then descending to the village water supply at the Phoksundo khola. Passing through another gorge, the path heads downhill through deep dark forests to a large stream, at the end, emerging at the entrance to the Shey Phoksundo National Park at Ankhe .

Day 06: Ankhe to Sulighat (3,500m)- -6 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Being up -down and several streams along the way the trail eventually leaves the forests and cross a grassy slope high above the river. After a while the path once begin to descend steeply into forest until it reaches a cliff, whereby a dizzying drop on a wobbly stone staircase to the river bank has to be undertaken. Journey continues upstream to a bridge until you get Sulighat

Day 07: Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake --5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
As the journey continues after crossing to the western side of the Phoksundo Khola on a wooden bridge, then the path follows the west bank of the Pungmo Khola which leads all the way to Phoksundo Lake( 3,500m) near Ringmo village. The path passes through a cedar forest and finally to Palam, where the houses here are buried in the sandy soil. One can see the distant views of Phoksundo Lake from the ridge and a spectacular 300m high waterfall. We'll then descent through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque settlement of Ringmo with its mud plastered chortens and mani walls and head Phoksundo Lake.

Day 08: Rest Day at Phoksundo Lake
Rest day for acclimatization. Explore Ringmo village and its Tibetan Buddhist Monastery.

Day 09: Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola, -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
At the western rim 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: Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang, -7 hrs & O/N tented camp
Cross an old wooden bridge is in the meeting point of the Phoksundo Khola . You should climb over the rocks and boulders and to ford a stream that rushes down the steep valley. A hard climb from here until to the top of the valley is the place from where Kang-La, the pass which will lead towards Shey Gompa is seen.

Day 11: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang-La pass, -6 hrs & O/N tented camp
Start strenuous climb especially on the slate screed. From the top of Kang-la 5,360m, there are excellent views down upon a large valley., The path leads a long meandering trek steeply descend to the valley along the banks of the river, crossing and re-crossing it. There are mud caves lining the hills overlooking the river and we pass through meadows where hairy yaks, hundreds of sheep and domestic mountain goat grazing. A red chorten heralds our arrival at Shey Gompa 4,500m arrives where a quaint wooden, log bridge leads up to Shey Gompa.

Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa (the crystal monastery) & O/N tented camp
Another rest day for local hike around Shey Gompa. Shey Gompa belong to the Chaiba community, followers of great saint Padmasambhava, known as Guru Ringpoche and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Tenzing Ra-Pa, built during 11th century. Shey 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. Drutup Yeshe first introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley.

Day 13 Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun via Saldang La -7 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Following a trail which descends a bit into valley that the path begins the route over rocks and coarse eroded soil until it brings us to the top of Saldang-la (5,200m.) Then you will descent to Namduna Gaun 4,800m. Like Shey, the Namgung monastery is of the Karma-pa sect. The monastery, a red stone structure, is built against the backdrop of a cliff on the north wall of a gorge. The economy of the region is based on agriculture. Barley, buckwheat, oil seed, potato and radish are cultivated.

Day 14: Saldang La to Saldang(3,620m), -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Leaving the Namduna Gaun, route leads to a hard climb up a slope and begins a long cross along some dusty barren mountains at least for 3 hours; the largest village of the inner Dolpo area Saldang 3,620m appears below on a plateau high above the Nam Khongmala. Saldang a Himalayan village is situated below the tree line is known as the dry zone of the Trans-Himalayan Tibetan plateau. Prosperous Saldang village consists of five villages having around eighty houses with nearly six hundred people. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, trade with Tibet was virtually stopped.

Day 15: Saldang to Yangze Gompa (4,960m), -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
You will walk toward an unexplored area by westerners. The trail follows the Nang Chu river most of the way on this windy place. Trekking is on the fairly gradual path with few ups and downs slope and then passes through the small settlement of Tiling and Lurigaon till we reach to our overnight camp at Yangze also known as Yangtsher, just before Yangze near Lurigaon. You will cross the tributary Panzang river, a short walk from here brings us to an untouched region of Yangze 4,960m and it's a very old Bon-Po Monastery for the overnight halt with time for exploration around the villages and the Monastery.

Day 16: Yangze Gompa to Sibu, -7 hrs & O/N tented camp.
For saving time and energy, we'll repeat the path back towards Saldang village which will be shorter than the other north western route. Following the river bed we pass through terraced fields, stupas, chortens, heaps of mani stones and a Chaiba monastery, then passing through the Namdo village. As your journey continues further down the river for another two hours to camp near the small settlement of Sibu arrives.

Day 17: Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi(4,900m)- -6 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Today you walk to Nam Khong Khola for a while and crossaway caravan of laden yaks that are on their way towards boarder of Tibet. At the end, we part turning east till we arrive at the confluence of two small tributaries, from here our walk leads to a steep climb to the bottom of Jeng la (4,900m), for overnight stay.

Day 18: Jeng-la Phedi to Tokyu Gaon (4,200m)via Jeng la, -6 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Having excellent view of snow ranges emerges to the south. The north face of the Dhaualgiri massif from the top of the Jeng La (5,090m) Then descend to Tarap valley. Tarap is a charming valley in high mountains. Tarap Chu is having villages with its cultivated fields with numbers of gompas and chortens. Here you stop for the night at Tokyu monastery (4,200m).

Day 19: Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap(4,040m)- -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
The route leads downhill to Tarap Chu in a plain valley with patches of lush green grass on both sides of the river which is completely different than the other parts Dolpo region. In this valley Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together in harmony. We reach Dho Tarap (4,040m) walking through this beautiful valley for the overnight we'll have plenty of time to explore around the villages. The village is surrounded by irregular stone walls. Houses are divided into three clusters and built in a unsystematic way inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars community who have lived here since a long back

Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap
We have a full day rest here for exploration in the neighboring areas. During the visit you will have an opportunity to interact with the people local. They wear typical home spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they prefer Tibetan style somba (boots with upturned toes) for footwear. Bothe men and women often wear both religious amulets and strings of coral and turquoise. The villagers are both Bon Po and Buddhist of Nyingmapa sect. The Buddhist gompa is the nearest one to the campsite, the Bon Gompa is nearby.

Day 21: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola ( Kamakharka) (3,800m)- -7 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Today's walk is moderate walk. First, we descend towards a wide valley which eventually narrows into a gorge we then walk along the juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner valleys, just above the tree line. We reach the meeting of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola, a stream that joins with Tarap River from further east. We will fix our camp on a nice field, this place is also known as Kamakharka (3,800m).

Day 22: Tarap Khola- ( Kamakharka)to Khanigaon(3,150m)., -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Continuing downhill the gorge of the Tarap River, today's walk is one of the exciting days of the entire trek as the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge, in somewhere, we even can jump from one side to another. Rising high above on a trail built from the steep slopes might come across people from Dolpo taking their shepherd to lower pastures for the winter. The gorge also offers unexpected adventure and thrills. Finally, we reach to the camping spot beside the Tarap khola at Khanigaon.

Day 23: Kamakharka( Khanigaon) to Tarakot(2,537m)- -5 hrs & O/N tented camp.
Following the trail to the village of Lalberi, we pass through an area of beautiful woodland, before descending into another gorge our walk continue following the river again downstream to reach Tarakot where we will be greeted by the colorful fields. Tarakot is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong. Before the Gorkha dynasty Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong or fort. The famous Sandul gompa lies around 8 km east of Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. It stands on a knoll to the south of Bheri River. We'll camp 150 meters below Tarakot, near the police post or we climb a steep hill for over an hour to the village which is the other side of Tarakot valley. There are chortens and a gompas on the edge of a grassy plateau.

Day 24: Tarakot to Dunai(2,140m) -6 hrs. & O/N tented camp.
continues walk beside the Bheri River in a wonderful gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built above the river. On reaching Dunai, we celebrate the day with drinks on the occasion of grand success of the doplo circuit.

Day 25: Dunai to Jhuphal, -3 hrs then short distance walk back to Jhuphal & O/N tented camp.

Day 26: Fly from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
scenic flight to Nepalgunj in the morning, over the Himalayan foothills over looking superb views of including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. Either we take another flight to KTM or stay in Nepaljung.

Day 27: Leisure at Kathmandu - either relax at hotel or explore the Thamel for shopping etc.

Day 28: Trip Ends/Transfer to Airport for Departure

Cost Includes

  • Transfer International Airport and domestic airport/hotel/airport.
  • 3 times meals during the Trekking (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
  • All Government tax and National Parks/ Conservation area fees/TIMS card
  • All domestic flights and departure tax if mentioned on the itinerary.
  • All grounded transportation during the trek.
  • Meal/accommodation/salary/insurance/equipments of Nepali crew
  • Government Licenses holder experience guide and porter (as your need) during the trek.
  • All accommodation best available lodges/teahouses during the trek
  • First Aid Kit during the trekking
  • Necessary Porters to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
  • Adequate insurance for all staff including porters.
Dolpo Trek
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