Upper Dolpo Trek

Duration: 0 Days
  • Destination: Nepal

Upper Dolpo Trek will take you the far-western region of Nepal in the most isolated region of the Himalayas. Dolpo region is located between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri Ranges. Until 1989 the entire region was closed for trekkers. Trekking in this region can become extreme because of the almost non-existent tourism infrastructure, and you are bound to go with the tour company as per the rule of Nepal government. Although of all the limits of this region, we will get to experience the raw natural beauty, centuries-old monasteries, the striking Phoksundo Lake, and mountains like Annapurna Ranges (8,091 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). We will get to see rare wildlife like snow leopard and many more. Moreover, this region got famous after it was shown in a documentary movie called, 'The Caravan' which was also nominated for Oscar Award in the best foreign language film category.

 

Day to Day Itinerary

You will be picked up by one of our representative at the Tribhuvan International Airport. He will take you to your hotel and rest of the day is free for you to relax. In the evening, you will meet with your guide and other crew members. You will end your day with a traditional welcome dinner. 

    We will wake up early in the morning and have our breakfast. After that, we will go on the guided sightseeing tour where we will see the famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will visit the Boudhanath Stupa, sacred Pashupatinath Temple,Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Later in the evening, we will prepare for our trek and do the last minute shopping if needed.

      We will take an hour-long flight to Nepalgunj after having the breakfast. Nepalgunj is located on the western side of Nepal, near the Nepal-India border. We will visit mini-zoo, local market, and explore the nearby villages. 

        Today, we are going to take another flight to Jhuapl, a beautiful town located in the Himalayan foothills with spectacular views of Annapurna Ranges (8,091 m) and Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). From here, we will begin trekking through the terraced fields and reach Behri River. Further, we will continue trekking towards Dunai, the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We are going to stay overnight in Dunai.

          We will begin trekking by crossing a thrilling suspension bridge. We will then turn west and follow the trail past a hospital. Further, we will ascend through a treeless section and reach Thulo Bheri Valley. From here, the trail takes us to Phoksundo River Valley. On the way, we will see the view of Kagmara Peak and pass through walnut groves and Dhera & Raha villages. Crossing a dense forest, we will finally reach Ankhe where we will stay for the night.

            We will ascend and descend along a riverbank. Again, we will ascend on a steep trail and we will be out of the forest area. On the way, we will find several streams where we can take short breaks. Further, we will go through a grassy slope high above a river. We will then descend on a trail enclosed by lush green forest and reach a cliff. From here, we will walk on a stone staircase and trek until we reach Sulighat. 

              We will trek and reach the meeting point of Phoksundo and Pungmo Rivers. We will then cross a bridge and trek on the western bank of the Pungmo Khola. From here, the trail goes through a cedar forest and lead us to Palam Village. Further, we will trek to a ridge along with a distant view of Phoksundo Lake and a lovely waterfall. We then descend through the birch forest. A small walk from here will take us to Ringmo village and then to Phoksundo Lake.

                We are going to rest for the day. We have already climbed up to 3,611 meters, and we do require a day off to get acclimatized with the altitude. We will go on a short hike to Ringmo village and visit its old monastery. We will get to see locals, their lifestyle and culture. We will spend the whole day exploring the area and tasting a few local dishes. 

                  We will trek on the western end of the Phoksundo Lake. The trail will be rugged and unsteady. We will enter in the trail that leads to a crevasse in the rocks which indicates the isolation of the region we are about to enter. We will trek through a valley, and cross a river to reach Phoksundo Khola where we will be staying at for a night.

                    We will trek through a glacial valley and reach the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream. Further, we will trek towards the northeast and ascend to a meadow from where our trail turns to a steep ravine. We will then ascend and reach another valley where we will see the view of Kang La Pass. We will reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang where we will be staying for a night. We will see stunning views of Chhamlang Peak VI (6,739 m) and Chhamlang Peak VII (6,105 m) from here. 

                      We will begin trekking by ascending on a steep trail which can be a little difficult. Upon reaching the Kang-La Pass, we will get to see excellent sceneries and a large valley divided by a river. We will then descend on a steep trail and begin trekking along the bank of a river, crossing and recrossing it several times. Further, we will pass through meadows where we will see hundreds of sheep, yaks, and mountain goats (Chyangra). After crossing a thrilling log bridge, we will reach Shey Gompa.

                        We are going to rest for a day in Shey Gompa. Shey Gompa was built in 1655 with a huge statue of Shakyamuni Buddha inside the gompa. To the east of the gompa, we can see Crystal Mountain as its twisted cliffs are full of quartz and variety of marine fossils. We will spend our day hiking around the Shey village and seeing the lifestyle of the locals. 

                          We will begin trekking on a beautiful trail covered with juniper trees and descend to a canyon. From here, we will trek on the zigzag rocky trail and reach the top of Saldang La Pass. Further, we will descend for a long time along with the views of grazing sheep and yaks and finally reach Namduna Gaun where we will visit ancient Namgung monastery. 

                            Leaving the Namduna village behind, we will ascend on a slope and trek along a dusty barren trail to reach Saldang village. The ascend will be difficult because of the rugged and dusty trail. Saldang is the biggest village in the inner Dolpo region. We are going to stay overnight in this village.

                              We will trek on the north side along the Nagon Khola on a barren terrain. The trail will include a few ups and downs. We will go through Marang & Ki villages and cross the Panzang River. From here, we will trek towards the east and cross one more river before reaching the Yangtze Gompa. We are going to stay overnight at Yangtze Gompa.

                                There are two trails that lead to Sibu. We will trek back on the same trail to reach Saldang village and continue our trek towards Sibu. This is the easiest and shortest trail to reach Sibu. From Saldang, we will trek along a river and go through terraced fields, chortens, stupas, mani stones, and Chaiba monastery. We will then reach Namdo village and further, trek for around two more hours to reach our camping spot at Sibu.

                                  Trekking along the Nam Khong Khol, we will cross caravans. We will then trek towards the east and reach at the meeting point of two small streams. From here, we will ascend on a steep trail and reach our campsite located below Jeng-La Phedi.

                                    We will wake up early in the morning and begin ascending towards the Jeng La Pass from where we will get to see fantastic views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). From here, we will descend on a rugged trail and reach Tarap Valley. Tarap is a beautiful valley with plains on high mountains that extend twenty kilometers to Tarap Chu River. Further, we will trek and reach Tokyu Gaon where we will be camping near a monastery.

                                      Today, we are going to start our trek with a descent to a plain valley covered with the patches of lush green grass on both sides of a river. We will see locals practicing both the Bon Po and Buddhist culture in this valley. From here a short walk will take us to Dho Tarap, our last destination for the day.

                                        Here comes another rest day. We will spend the day exploring the Dho Tarap village. The most interesting thing about this village is, it is surrounded by unique stone walls. We will visit old gompas and interact with the locals. We will also taste the local foods and have a good time.

                                          We will descend and reach a wide valley which, narrows into a gorge. Further, we will trek along juniper trees and wild rose bushes, and reach the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola that joins with Tarap Khola. We will camp on a nice meadow, Kama Kharka and spend our night. 

                                            We will descend down to the gorge of the Tarap River. On the way, we will see locals taking their herds to lower pastures for the winter. Further, the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge that we will be able to jump from one side to another. There will come a few sections that have no trace of a path, and we will walk on the stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls that act as a bridge. Moreover, we see at some places the bridges are wrecked or washed off. No doubt, the trail today is going to be adventurous and wild. 

                                              We will trek through a lush forest and descend down into a gorge. We will then trek following a river and reach Tarakot. We will visit Sandul Gompa located about 8 km east of this village at a confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. We are going to camp by the Tarap Chu River near the police post. 

                                                We will begin trekking and cross a bridge near the Lawan Village. We will then continue trekking along the Bheri River and ascend all the way up to the Byas Gadi. From here, the trail becomes relatively easy and crossing a river near the Lochakhola Gaon we will ascend to Dunai for our night stay.

                                                  We will trek along the Bheri River with gorgeous landscape. On the way, we pass through villages like Dhupichaur and Rupgad. We will go through a few more villages and finally reach a small airstrip in Jhupal. We will stay for a night in Jhupal.

                                                    After having tea, we will take a flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we will take the next available flight to return back to Kathmandu. Once we will reach Kathmandu, we will head to our hotel and rest for the day.

                                                      Today is our free day in Kathmandu. We can explore the nearby areas on our own or go on a guided sightseeing tour if we have missed any last time. In the evening, we will stroll in the vibrant street of Thamel and end our day with a farewell dinner.

                                                        It's time to say goodbye to each other with lots of unforgettable memories. Once we will have our last breakfast, we will check out from the hotel, and head to the airport to take our flight back to our home. 

                                                          Useful Info

                                                          Tradition & Culture in Upper Dolpo

                                                          Upper Dolpo is mostly influenced by the Bon Po and Buddhist culture. We will get to witness ancient Tibetan Buddhist shrines, chortens, prayer walls, centuries-old monasteries, and kaanis. We will interact with locals and also experience their lifestyle, tradition, and culture. You will be shocked by few of their practices like having the same wife for all the brother in a family, feeding the dead body to a vulture or throwing them into a river. Besides, that people residing here are one of the kindest and most welcoming so don't feel shy to interact with them. Moreover, the isolation of this region has contributed immensely to conserve the cultural heritage and tradition for centuries.

                                                           

                                                          Accommodations

                                                          We will be staying in 2 or 3-star hotels in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj. All the accommodations are on a twin-sharing basis in the hotel. On special request, single rooms can be arranged in the cities. During the trek to Upper Dolpo, we will stay in camp.

                                                           

                                                          Meals & Drinking Water during the Upper Dolpo Trek

                                                          In Upper Dolpo Trekking, we will enjoy authentic Nepalese food with few other cuisines like Tibetan, Indian. Meals will be cooked by the porters who knows cooking. Beside that you can find bars, bread, cookies, butter tea, extra on the trail but, remember as the elevation get higher, the cost also gets high. In Kathmandu and Nepalgunj you will only get breakfast. There will also be welcome and farewell dinner for you.

                                                          Drinking water can be easily found everywhere. You can get hot water from the teahouse and fill in your bottle everytime it gets empty. So, do carry a reusable water bottle with yourself. We request you to not buy mineral water bottle on the way as it will help in preserving the region. Moreover, you can also carry water purifier tablets or SteriPen with yourself to purify the water.

                                                           

                                                          Upper Dolpo Trek Difficulty & Physical Fitness

                                                          Upper Dolpo Trek is a moderate trek. The trails are not so difficult and challenging in terms of technical climbing but, do includes 5-7 hours of walk each day. Therefore you need to be passionate and in good health to go on this trek. Trekking to the higher altitude always demands average physical fitness, positive attitude, and a strong determination. If you have any previous hiking or trekking experience it would be great but, it's not mandatory to go on Upper Dolpo Trekking.

                                                          Other than that, if you have any kind of health related issues then do consult with your doctors before booking the trip. In case of any medical history, we highly recommend you to inform us so that any future event can be tackled without having any issue.

                                                           

                                                          Best Season to go on Upper Dolpo Trek

                                                          Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to October)  are the best seasons to go the Upper Mustang Trek. During this time of the year, the weather is pleasant, the sky is clear and there is almost no chance of snowfall.

                                                           

                                                          Upper Dolpo Trek Permit

                                                          Dolpo is one of the restricted regions of Nepal, and tourists are required to get certain permits to enter in this region. Besides that to go on trekking in Nepal you need to get special permission from the Government of Nepal, and also required to get TIMS card (TIMS cards is not needed if you have immigration permit).

                                                           

                                                          Following is the list of permits for the Upper Dolpo Trek:

                                                           

                                                          Upper Dolpo restricted area permit for foreigners: USD 500 per person for the first 10 days & USD 50 per day thereafter.

                                                          TIMS permit: 1,000 NPR (Around USD 10)

                                                          TIMS entry permit fee for SAARC nationals: 600 NPR (Around USD 6)

                                                          There is also a Rs. 1000 entry fee for the Shey-Phoksundo National Park.

                                                           

                                                          *If you are traveling with a trekking agency they will arrange these permits for you.

                                                          *These prices exclude 13% VAT (Value Added Tax) compliance.

                                                           

                                                          Why go with Royal Himalayan Safari Tours on Upper Dolpo Trekking?

                                                          Royal Himalayan Safari Tours offer one of the most extensive Upper Dolpo Trek in the market. We take our clients as a family member, and for us, this is not only a business but, also a way to connect and know people from different part of the world. We have designed Upper Dolpo Trekking itinerary to provide you all of the raw experience of Upper Dolpo. We assure you that, with us, you will complete this trek without having any issues, and get back to your home with lifelong memories.