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Upper Dolpo Trekking

Duration : 25 Days | Travel style : Cultural and Festival Tour

  • Upper Dolpo Tekking

Trip Highlights

  • Country

    Nepal

  • Duration

    25 Days

  • Max Altitude

    16,899 ft./ 5,151 m.

  • Accommodation

    Hotel Camp

  • Grade

    Adventurous

  • Best Season

    Mar to May - Aug to Dec

  • Group Size

    1- 15 People

  • Transportation

    Flight / Private Vehicle

Upper Dolpo trek is an adventurous trekking in the remote landscape of western Nepal. Walking along the ancient salt trading route, we come across picturesque Shey- Phoksundo lake, various high passes and majestic mountains. The arid landscape between the Dhaulagiri massif and Tibetan plateau is rich in ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture. Various artistic monasteries including Shey- Gumpa, enrolled in prayers flags and traditional lifestyles of the local ethnic communities are in the pristine form, free of modern influence.

Highlights:-

  • Picturesque landscape of the Upper Himalayas
  • Pristine Buddhist culture and lifestyle.
  • Location of the Oscar nominated movie “Himalayas” and inspiration for the book “ The Himalayan Leopard”
  • The tranquil shey Phoksundo lake “Nepal deepest lake”
  • Cross through Cang Mara La pass (5115 m), Nagdala La (5353 m ) Tyonta (5220m ) close enough with pristine mountains, flora and fauna. 
  • Expensive the Nepali wilderness and lives in such scarcity.

The trek starts from Jhupal and moves ahead through the lush forest reaching Phoksundo lake. Spending our days in the vicinity of pristine lakes, we ascend through Nagdala La (52509 M ) to reach Shey Gompa ( 4343 m). It hosts an ancient monastery and the region where the Oscar nominated movie “Himalaya” was shoot. We then passes through Sela La (5095 m) and Jyanta La (5220 m) to reach the settlement in lower Dolpo.

Itinerary

You can always customize this itinerary as per your preference.

1

Day

Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel [1,300m]
You will be welcomed by our staff standing with your name-card in the airport arrival terminal and transferred to your hotel by the private vehicle. Small meeting about the trip in the evening.

Hotel (Breakfast Included) | Private Vehicle

2

Day

Trek preparation & Kathmandu valley sightseeing.
After your breakfast you will be introduced to the trekking guides and helpers. And the Kathmandu sightseeing beings with visit to various UNESCO enlisted cultural Heritage sites including medieval Palaces in Kathmandu-Bhaktapur-Lalitpur Durbar squares. Other sites are Pashupatinath Temple, Baudhanath and Swayambhunath Stupa.In the evenining you will walk along the Thamel streets which is a good place to buy trekking equipment.

Hotel (Breakfast Included) | Private Vehicle

3

Day

Fly to Nepalganj,
Today, you will take a flight to Nepalganj. The flight will give good views of the Himalaya to the north. Transfer to your hotel. There will be time in the evening to have a look around the town which is situated 3 kms from the southern Nepalese border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical.

Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included) | Flight / Private Vehicle

4

Day

Fly to Juphal (2,400meters) and trek to Dunai (2,150 M), 3/ Hrs,
From Nepalgunj take a flight to Juphal. From here you will have walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow canyon which after in 3 hours will lead you to a relatively larger village called Dunai.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

5

Day

Trek to Ankhe (2,660 M) 6 Hrs,
From Dunai you cross the new suspension bridge and turn west, following the trail past the new hospital. At the confluence of the Thuli Bheri and Suli Gad rivers you turn to the north and follow the Suli Gad. The trail is fairly undulating but mostly up while the going is firm underfoot. You are never far from the river and can always hear its roar. You pass through an area which is overgrown with marihuana plants but also has crops for the villagers and animals including millet, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet corn and chillies. Many of the villages in this area are involved in the production of a lotus-like plant called 'chuk' that is used to make vinegar and medicines. You continue to track the river and eventually reach the settlement of Hanke, which is also the entrance to the Phoksundo National Park. The three villages you pass through have a strange name connection: Parela, meaning eyelash, Rahagaon meaning eyebrow, and Ankhe meaning eye.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

6

Day

Trek to Renje (3,104 M ), 7 Hrs,
The trail starts after the breakfast from Renje. You cross the river twice on well made bridges, you then make a steep ascent on a very narrow path, hugging the cliff face. Having descended to the river again the trail takes another steep ascent requiring frequent stops to watch the panorama of the landscapes and also for some rest. You may camp on the side of Suligad River.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

7

Day

Trek to Phosundo Lake (3,600 M), 6/7 Hrs,
From here the initial hours of the trek is fairly easy. But from Sumdo the trail becomes very much like an incline. Here the river is left behind and you follow the path high above the water. Climb up to a ridge, about 3,875meters, from where you will have the most staggering views of a 300meters waterfall, the highest in Nepal, and your first view of Phoksundo Lake, a study in turquoise. You then descend through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola and on to the picturesque settlement of Ringmo with its mud plastered chortens and mani walls. The village now has solar panels helping to improve the quality of life of the villagers. From the settlement it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksundo Lake where you set up camp.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

8

Day

Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3,507 M) 6 Hrs,
You follow the trail that skirts the edge of the lake itself. This precarious trail is suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs, driven into crevices in the rocks and signals the remoteness of the area you are about to enter. You go very steeply up, to 4,040meters, and then plunge down again to the valley bottom to enter the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola and trek to your night stop alongside the river, within the confines of the forest to avoid the worst of the wind which is prevalent in the valley bottom.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

9

Day

Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402 m), 5/6 Hrs,
Today you should take sandals or footwear suitable for Knee deep as you are crossing a few streams. This morning you continue along the level path through a glacial valley that now heads north. As this becomes narrower and narrower there are impressive vertical cliffs and contorted rock formations. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another, unnamed, mountain stream there is an old wooden bridge. Here you take the barely discernible path to the north east up a side valley which has a cavernous look. There is no trail as such, so it is necessary to clamber over rocks and boulders and to ford a stream that rushes down the steep valley. A long climb brings you to a sheep meadow where the trail veers up a steep ravine. A hard climb to the top brings you to yet another valley where you can see the Kang La, the pass will lead you to Shey Gompa. You camp just before the pass in a place that Peter Matthiessen christened 'Snowfields Camp'.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

10

Day

Cross Kang La pass (5,151 m) then trek to Shey Gompa (4,126 M), 6/7 Hrs,
The somewhat indistinct track is physically demanding, especially on the loose slate screed. It will take about two and a half to three hours to reach the top of the Kang La. The views from the top are magnificent and well worth all the hard work. The height of the Kang La is variously given between 5,200 and 5,500 meters depending on the map one uses. On descending steeply to the valley floor, not more than 45 minutes, you make a long meandering trek along the banks of the river, crossing it once. A red chorten heralds your arrival at Shey Gompa where a quaint wooden log bridge leads up to the Shey compound.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

11

Day

Rest and exploration day at Shey Gompa,
As Shey means crystal, this monastery is also known as the Crystal Mountain. The lama of Shey resides at a red hermitage known as Tsakang Gompa which is west of Shey. It is not really a monastery but a retreat. Tsakang has been a meditation centre to many famous lamas from Tibet. Shey Gompa belongs to the Chaiba community, followers of the Padmasambhava and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Ten-szin-Ra-Pa. The monastery was built during the 11th century. Shey is famous for its ancient Buddhist culture. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teachings of Buddha. Drutup Yeshe introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley. Many years ago he came to Dolpo and came across wild people, whose supreme God was a 'fierce mountain spirit'. Crystal Mountain is to the west of Shey monastery. It is a very strange mountain indeed. Its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangjunala and Yeju nala. Near the confluence there is a group of prayer mills turned by water wheels.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

12

Day

Cross the Saldang La pass (4,785m), and then trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400 M), 7 Hrs,
Today, you start by following a pleasant track amidst juniper, which ascends to a grey, stony canyon. This begins to zig-zag over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings you to a flat spot, suitable for a brew or lunch, if the weather is fine. Then continuing very steeply up for 20 minutes before traversing to the top of the Saldang La pass. Here you will enjoy great views towards the arid landscapes of Mustang and the distant snow peaks of Tibet. The subsequent descent towards the north is long and tiring, but you finally come upon the welcome sight of pastures of grazing yaks and sheep and nomadic tents made from yak hair. This signals your approach to Namduna Gaon. 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 red and white colors of the Gompa and its Stupas are the only color in this stark landscape. The village itself consists of only six stone houses and has terraced fields on both sides of the tributary, which flows down to the Nam Khong valley. The economy of the region is based on agriculture, animal husbandry and trading. In Dolpo only one crop a year can be grown and this is mainly barley. In some village buckwheat, oilseed, potato and radish are also cultivated. Recently the main cliff temple collapsed and the villagers have now built a beautiful new monastery in the village itself.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

13

Day

Trek to Saldang (3,903 M), 4/5 Hrs,
Leaving Namgung monastery and start climbing. Further on it begins a long thrilling traverse along some dusty barren mountains. Looking down into the valley bottom it is very evident that the people have made best use of the fertile valley as one sees the neat terraced fields showing bright patches of green and ripening crops. You ascend before going down steep slopes to the picturesque village of Salding, situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong nala and the biggest village of the inner Dolpo area. Though the village lies at about the same altitude as Ringmo, it is totally different. Ringmo, a Himalayan village is situated below the tree line while Saldang belongs to the arid zone of the trans-Himalayan Tibetan plateau. The village stretches for two kilometers on an open slope and consists of five villages having eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred villagers. It is prosperous, not only agriculturally, but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

14

Day

Trek to Sibu (3,942 M), 5/6 Hrs,
After leaving Saldang on the way down to the river bed you pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens, heaps of Mani stones and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village is also prosperous with sixty houses having nearly four hundred inhabitants. It stretches for more than 5km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. The Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. There is also another monastery on top of a high cliff. You camp near the small Settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

15

Day

Trek to foot of the Jeng La (4,369 M), 5/6 Hrs,
Following the line of the river valley the trail is fairly easy going initially. After about two hours it is necessary to wade another stream before turning into a side valley and the rise becomes very sharp. This is a pleasant meadow, but bestrewn with rocks, yak and other animal droppings.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

16

Day

Cross the Jeng La pass (4,845m), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240 M),
The trail is generally well compacted making the going underfoot easy, much easier than loose shale, but it is steep. It is only a 2 hour climb to reach the top of the Jeng La. From the top of the pass there are good views of the Dhaulagiri massif, glittering in the morning light. A rough track descends towards the Tarap valley. By the afternoon you find a green valley which leads you by a pleasant track down towards the Tarap Chu. Tarap is a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains extending 20kms along the river Tarap Chu. It has ten villages with cultivated fields, many Gompas and Chortens of both sects. You halt for the night at Tokyu monastery. This monastery also belongs to the Chaiba sect.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

17

Day

Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090 M), 4/5 Hrs,
Before leaving Tokyu a short visit can be made to the Chaiba Gompa. The trail is broad and well traveled, making the going easy and there is evidence of work in the fields, where the women will be bringing in the harvest - the men are away bringing down the herds of animals for the forthcoming winter. There are many Mani walls but some of the Chortens are in a bad state of repair. The 'French School' is just outside the village of Dho Tarap where you have your night stop. Tarap is inhabited mostly by Magars who have lived here for generations but also by a few Tibetans. They wear home-spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favor Tibetan style Somba (boots with upturned toes) for footgear. Men and women often wear both religious amulets and strings of coral and turquoise. The inhabitants of this village are both Bon Po and Buddhist (Nyingmapa). In the afternoon a walk up to the Buddhist Gompa is very worthwhile. There is a resident lama who is very happy to show off his monastery and might even let you see his private Gompa and the Tankas he has made himself. The Bon Gompa is about half an hour's walk from camp.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

18

Day

Trek to Serkam (3,630 M), 6/7 Hrs,
Your route follows the course of the Tarap Khola, generally downhill. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through. One may see blue sheep, marmots, yaks, sheep, and goats and perhaps meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower pastures for the winter. The afternoon brings more undulations in the path when it leaves the immediate course of the river. There is evidence of improvements to the trail where parts of the rock have been blasted out. You will also see the first of the modern steel suspension bridges which have been built to facilitate movement of people and animals. The track is very narrow in places. You reach your overnight camp on a grassy strip by the river.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

19

Day

Trek to Khani Gaon (2,550 m), 6/7Hrs,
You continue to walk down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it and at others high above, on a narrow trail built out from the steep slopes. The quality of the path varies from broad, smooth and firm to very narrow and crumbly. There are also flights of man made stone staircases which need to be tackled with care – some of the constituent rocks wobble when stepped upon! An exciting day in deep and awe-inspiring gorges. Your camp site is a pleasant meadow in the shade of a stand of trees. Overnight at tented camp.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

20

Day

Trek to Tarakot (2,281 M), 4 Hrs,
Leaving Khanigoan by the new suspension bridge and then walk alongside the river, sometimes going very high before reaching down to the water again. Some of the trail is quite demanding and one bridge, said to have been out for six years, necessitates crossing on wet stepping-stones. Coming into the broad fertile valley of the Barbung Chu, you walk amongst the various crops of millet, sweet corn, barley, buckwheat, green beans, chilies and marijuana. Your lunch and night stop is high above the river but there is a standpipe for water. Tarakot is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong, meaning 'fort'. Before the Gorkha dynasty Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong. The famous Sandul Gompa, which lies 8km east of Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu, stands on a knoll to the south of Bheri river and at one time supervised collections of tolls for the trading caravans traversing an area called Tichu Rong.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

21

Day

Trek to Dunai (2,052 M), 5 Hrs,
The trail is mostly down and fairly firm. Walking beside the Bheri river, you use the ingenious path built twenty feet above the river. All too soon you have reached the village of Dunai and the camp site you used before. You will now have completed the circuit of mysterious land Dolpo and a celebration party is sure to happen.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

22

Day

Trek to Juphal (2,404 M) 2/3 Hrs,
You now retrace your steps to Juphal. Initially the way is flat but the final hour up to your destination seems steeper than you remember on Day One.

Tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

23

Day

Fly to Kathmandu via Nepaljung,
In early morning you will fly to Nepaljung and after noon you will fly to Kathmandu.
Hotel (Breakfast included)

24

Day

Leisure Day in Kathmandu
You return back to Kathmandu and enjoy your time shopping gifts and souvenirs for family and friends. You will also have option to extend tours in Nepal such as Chitwan Jungle Safari, Lumbini Tour, Bungee, Paragliding, rafting etc. with Global Holidays Adventure on additional costs.

Hotel (Breakfast included)

25

Day

Transfer to airport, departure to your own destination.
The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

Cost Details

"So What you are paying For?"

We would like to explain to you. We are a local company providing world-wide travelers with internationally qualified services. We provide you with the lowest cost possible for fully inclusive trips that have no hidden fees. We guarantee your safety, satisfaction, and long-lasting memories of your experience.

Cost Include
  • International & domestic airport transfers as per the itinerary.
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing basis on BB (Bed and Breakfast) plan.
  • 1 nights hotel accommodation in Nepaljung on twin sharing basis on BLD (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) plan.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing by professional english speaking tour guide. 
  • Kathmandu - Nepaljung - Kathmandu Flight Cost.
  • Nepaljung - Juphal - Nepaljung Flight cost.
  • 3 meals a day during the trekking in tent Camp (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) as mention in itinerary.
  • Accommodation while trekking in twin sharing basis in Tent Camp.
  • Upper Dolpo restricated area permit.
  • Professional government lisence holder English speaking trekking guide.
  • The required number of porters to carry the luggage, foods and tent during the trek.
  • Sleeping bag and duffel bag during the trek. (Refundable after finish trekking)
  • A comprehensive medical kit.
  • All government and local taxes.
Cost Exclude
  • International air fare to/ from Nepal.
  • Entry Visa fees - at present $25 for 15 day, US$ 40 for 30 day, and US$ 100 for three month visa on entry into Nepal.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu. 
  • Insurance which covers, medical, emergency evacuation, lost, etc.
  • Beverages, alcoholic drinks, mineral water, boiled water during the trekking.
  • All food and beverages other than on the itinerary. 
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • Personal gear and expenses.
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
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