Upper Dolpo Trekking-27 Days

Dolpo
Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek
At a Glance
Duration27 Days
Trip GradeStrenuous
i
CountryNepal
Maximum Altitude5360m
Group Size2-10 pax
StartsKathmandu
EndsKathmandu
Travel StyleTrekking/Camping
Best TimeSeptember to November and March to May

Explore the wonders of the Upper Dolpo Trek, an extraordinary and demanding camping expedition. This remote journey showcases the unique and picturesque landscapes of the far-west part of Nepal, situated in the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest and only Trans-Himalayan National Park in Nepal. Established in 1984, it covers an expansive area of 3555 square kilometers in the Dolpo and Mugu districts, located in the mid-west region of Nepal. The protected areas span from 2130m to 6885m in elevation.

The Dolpo trekking region in Nepal is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. It is a less-traveled area, making it ideal for those seeking an exceptional and unspoiled adventure. This trek offers awe-inspiring views of the untouched natural beauty and the region's rich cultural heritage. Nestled between the majestic Dhaulagiri Ranges and the Tibetan Plateau, it is a remote and secluded region deeply influenced by Tibetan culture, language, and way of life in upper Dolpo. Embark on this extraordinary trek and immerse yourself in the wonders of Dolpo.

This area is renowned for its challenging terrain and lack of modern amenities. Life here can be arduous, with food scarcity being a common issue due to limited crop production. However, despite these challenges, the Dolpo Trek is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. It offers some of the most breathtaking trekking routes, including the Upper Dolpo Trek, Lower Dolpo, and Shey Phoksondo. The highlights of this region include ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes, the pristine Shey Phoksundo Lake, Tibetan villages, arid terrain, majestic Himalayan ranges, vibrant local culture, and untouched natural beauty.

Highlights of the Upper Dolpo Trek:

  • Discover the remote and untouched western Himalayan region of Nepal
  • Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape while walking through the area
  • Marvel at the stunning Buddhist Monasteries and traditional villages along the way
  • Experience the unique Bon Culture and learn about the local traditions
  • Indulge in the beauty of Shey Phoksundo National Park, home to the mesmerizing Phoksundo Lake
  • Explore the river Valley and encounter endangered flora and fauna
  • Escape the modern amenities and enjoy a holiday in nature
  • Spend your nights in a tent, embracing the simplicity of camping
  • Take the opportunity to manage your own food and experience self-sufficiency
  • Visit ancient villages like Dho Tarap and ancient monasteries like Shey Gomba for a glimpse into the region's rich history and culture

The Upper Dolpo Trek is a challenging and off-the-beaten-path adventure that lies between the Dhaulagiri ranges and the Tibetan plateau. Until 1989, this area was restricted to explorers, making it a truly unique and untouched destination. This trek allows you to experience the stunning and isolated sections of Nepal, where culture and tradition remain tranquil and unaffected by modernism.

During the trek, you will be treated to breathtaking views of magnificent lakes, snow-capped peaks, remote villages, and ancient Buddhist monasteries, including the famous Shey Gompa. The region was even featured in the documentary 'Caravan', which was nominated for an Oscar award.

The upper Dolpo trekking begins with the science flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then from Nepalgunj to Juphal. From there, you will proceed to Dunai, which serves as the administrative hub of the Dolpa District. Following Dunai, you will traverse a challenging path that takes you through alpine forests, trans-Himalayan deserts, monasteries, and enchanting local villages until you reach the pristine Phoksundo Lake, situated at an elevation of 3600m above sea level. Take in the awe-inspiring beauty of the crystal-clear Shey Phoksundo Lake and find solace as you relax your mind and body amidst its pristine turquoise-blue waters.

Embark on an extraordinary adventure that commences at the captivating Shey Phoksundo Lake and takes you to Shey Gompa, a revered Buddhist monastery and spiritual hub of the entire Dolpo region. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the cultural and picturesque village of Dho Tarap, reached through a scenic hike. The challenging Kang La Pass (5360m) rewards you with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. As you venture deeper into the upper Dolpo Region from Dho Tarap, prepare to conquer not one, not two, but three high passes over 5000m: Kang La-5360m, Saldang La-5200m, and Jeng La-5090m. Brace yourself for an extraordinary journey filled with stunning landscapes and spiritual enlightenment. The journey moves on with heavenly, beautiful terrain along with monasteries, Chorten, and trans-Himalayan scenery.

Before setting foot on the trail, it is imperative to equip yourself with the necessary gear and be adequately prepared, both physically and mentally, to overcome any obstacles and ensure a pleasant

Upper Dolpo Trek requires permits and its cost:

The captivating Upper Dolpo Trekking necessitates special permits due to its status as one of the most protected regions in the world, both for its cultural significance and natural beauty. This region's restricted topography remained closed until 1989AD when it was finally opened with the implementation of comprehensive permit fees. To embark on the Upper Dolpo trekking adventure, one must obtain both Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo restricted permits, in addition to the necessary national park permits. The details of these permits and their associated costs are as follows:

  • Upper Dolpo Restricted Trekking Permit Cost: USD 500 per person for 10 days, Beyond 10 days: An additional USD 50 per day, per person.
  • Lower Dolpo Restricted Trekking Permit Cost: USD 20 per person for 7 days,  Beyond 1 week: An additional USD 5 per day, per person.
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit  Cost: USD 30 including 13% VAT per person.

What are the best seasons for the Upper Dolpo Trekking?

The Upper Dolpo Trekking requires careful consideration of the best time to ensure a rewarding holiday experience. In Nepal, the autumn (October and November) and spring (April and May) seasons are regarded as the optimal periods for embarking on the Upper Dolpo Trekking adventure. These seasons boast delightful weather conditions, offering clear skies, breathtaking views, and pleasant temperatures. Moreover, travelers can enjoy the added advantage of reduced flight delays at lower elevations and minimal snowfall at higher altitudes.

How Difficult is the Upper Dolpo Trekking?

Upper Dolpo Trekking is renowned for being an extremely isolated Camping Trekking adventure, making it classified as a challenging level trek. This off-the-beaten-path journey involves navigating steep inclines exceeding 5000m across three passes and camping at altitudes above 3500m for several nights. Throughout the Upper Dolpo Trekking expedition, there are days when we must trek for more than 6 hours. Before embarking on such a demanding trek, it is essential to prepare for the physical demands and potential discomforts associated with camping treks. This trek is not recommended for novices, but it presents a rewarding challenge for seasoned trekkers and those who have previously explored Nepal's trails.

Upper Dolpo Trekking Cost for 2024-2025:

The cost of organizing a Camping trekking expedition is significantly higher compared to a Tea House Trek. Our 27-day Upper Dolpo Trekking package includes round flights from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and Juphal, meals, supplies, tents, equipment, fuel, manpower (Porters and Sherpa), a Cook, and a Guide. The total cost for the full package of Upper Dolpo Treks is as follows:

  • For groups of 2 Pax, the cost is USD 3500 per person.
  • For groups of 3-6 Pax, the cost is UDS 3200 per person
  • For groups of 7 to 10 Pax, the cost is USD3000 per person.
Itinerary
Tour PlanExpand All

Namaste!!!!                                                                         

 Welcome to this magnificent country, Nepal. Upon arrival in this city, one of the members of our company will be awaiting your welcome.

Then, you will be shifted to your corresponding hotel. You can refresh your long jetlagged and the office members course for the permits and other legal processes. In the evening, you can stroll around the hotel, testing Nepalese cuisines and enjoying the nightlife of Thamel. 

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429.13ftAccommodation: Hotel

You will have a guided city tour today. After the first meal of the day, we will head towards the World Heritage sites of the valley including Swyambhunath (monkey temple), Hindu shrine-Pasupatinath and Buddhist shrine-Boudhanath and historic Kathmandu Durbar Square.

After the tour there will be pre-meeting in our office. You will meet your trekking guide who will suggest us about the gears needed for the trek. You can prepare in the evening accordingly. You have some time to buy the trekking gears as well.

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429.13ftMeal: BreakfastAccommodation: Hotel

Catching the early flight, you will land in the mid-western region of Nepal today. Nepalgunj, a major city in western Nepal, is situated near the Nepal-India border and is also close to Bardia National Park.

After spending an hour on a flight, you will reach there. Throughout the flight, you will pass some other major cities in Nepal, including Hetauda, Narayangarh, Butwal, Dang and so forth.

After remaining in the hotel for some time, you can take a walk to explore the city in the evening.

Max. Altitude: 150m/492.126ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

Having our early meal, we fly to Jhupal in the morning. In the flight you can view the picturesque scene of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs. After the 45 minutes of flight, you land at Jupal, one of the core connections of the Dolpa with other regions.

Our other trekking staffs are awaiting us there. After meeting our porters and letting them our duffle bags, we begin our journey. Passing the terrains, terraced fields, following the slender gorge of the Bheri River. Continuing the trek, we reach Dunai- secretarial headquarter of the Dolpo section. Rest of the day, we explore Dunai town and spend overnight there.

Max. Altitude: 2850m/9350.394ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse

Today we head towards Ankhe which is known as the gateway of Shey Phoksundo National Park. We begin our excursion crossing a suspension bridge then to west.  Subsequently, the trial ascends reaching a rim and then enters the Thulo Bheri valley and then the Phoksundo valley. The trial gradually goes downhill now leading towards Rahatgaon.

We enter in the thick dark forest now. Continuing this way, witnessing different types of flora and fauna, we reach Ankhe, the destination of the day.

Max. Altitude: 2896m/9501.312ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse/ Tent

We have to pass through some zigzag way today. Climbing ups and downs may create repetitious on you. However, passing woods, streams, lush hills bring freshness as well.

The trial passes through pasturelands, grasslands, greeneries, lavish forests, ridges to Sulighat.

As we are passing a rocky and technical trial, can be some challenging for you. But passing gradually, being in a company can successfully do this.

Viewing the magnificent décors, we continuously march laboriously to Sulighat where we spend our overnight today.

Max. Altitude: 3180m/10433.07ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

After the breakfast, we head together with the valley convergence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. Upon crossing the bridge, we march along the western tier of the Pungmo Khola.

Continuing the journey through the greeneries/woodlands of Sabine, we reach at Palam village. This vantage point offers astonishing views of magnificent waterfall as well as Phoksundo Lake from distance.  Further marching downhill, via whip timberlands we reach at spectacular village of Ringmo. Exploring the Chortens and Mani walls therearound, we reach alongside of Shey Phoksundo Lake and stay overnight there.

Max. Altitude: 3611m/11847.11ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

YES!! After long days of hectic journey, we have an acclimatization day today. Next, we are in the higher elevation of 3611 meters above the sea level. To be adjusted in the climate there we need to acclimatize properly.

Further, you can explore paradise sites around Shey Phoksundo Lake. Moreover, we can duty call Buddhist Monastry and Ringmo village therearound exploring the culture and lifestyle.

Max. Altitude: 3611m/11847.11ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

Following the western bank of Phoksundo Lake, we begin our journey today. Following the lavish meadows, we head towards more remote sections.  The trial leads towards the mudflat region of Phoksundo Khola. Further marching via the valley, crossing the river we reach at the bank of the river and spend overnight there. 

Max. Altitude: 3611m/11847.11ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch and DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

Initially we head along the plain trial via a glacial valley which leads northward. Encountering the convergence of the Phoksundo Khola and one more mountain stream and a wooden bridge, we head northeast gradually.

The continuous ascent leads us to the sheep grazelands where our trail turns up a steep gorge. Further ascending, we come to contact to another valley named Phoksundo Bhanjyang where we can view picturesque scene of Kang-La Pass where we shall set tent and spend our overnight.

Max. Altitude: 3910m/12828.08ft

An adventurous day is ahead. Inhaling an early meal, we head towards Kang La, a mountain pass elevating 5,360m above sea level. Following a steep trail and strenuous climb, we reach at the top of Kang-la Pass. From this amazing place, we shall have an astonishing view of the valley and a torrential river.

Taking pictures of the memorable views, we descend towards the valley following a steep trial.  Subsequently, we shall march alongside the river and cross it many times. Further marching, we across many grazing lands, viewing the mountain goats and yaks grazing there. In the subsequent trek, we cross the bridge and reach Shey Gompa multifarious and spend overnight there.

Max. Altitude: 5360/17581ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tea House
Max. Altitude: 4500mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse
Max. Altitude: 5200mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, TDinnerAccommodation: Tea House
Max. Altitude: 3620mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

Thank you for spending 15 days with us. We begin our excursion to Yangze Gompa after the early meal of the day. We head untouched northward following Nagon Khola upon the rough terrain. Marching through some ups and downs we reach Marang and Ki villages and pass them.

Further trekking, we reach to Yangze village where we can explore Bon-Po monastery, Panzang river and whole Yangze territory itself.

Max. Altitude: 4960mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse

Our journey begins moving towards Sibu. Although there are two ways to reach there, we follow the short one. So, we move backward to Saldang village. From Saldang village, we move alongside the river and pass Chortens, stupas, and many Mani stones terraced fields.  

Then we pass Namdo village, Nam Khong Khola, and Namdo monastery before reaching a small settlement of Sibu. 

Max. Altitude: 4560mMeal: Breakfast,Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tea House

Initially, we march following Nam Khong Khola, encountering caravans of the yaks moving around. After walking eastwards for a while, we encounter at the convergence of the streams.

Further ascending steeply through the pastureland, we reach Jeng-la Phedi and spend overnight there under the tent.

Max. Altitude: 4900mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp
Max. Altitude: 5090mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch , DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp
Max. Altitude: 4040mMeal: Breakfast,Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse
Max. Altitude: 4040mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse

Our excursion initiates descending to a wide valley. Continuing the journey, the trail leads us to a narrow gorge. Further marching via barren rose and juniper scrubs, observing the herds of blue sheep, we encounter at the convergence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola. As we march via stream, we reach Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) where we spend overnight in the pasture.

Max. Altitude: 3800mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

Our journey continues hiking down alongside the gorge of the Tarap River. We meet the people migrating downhill with their herds to junior pasturelands for the winter. We should pass the gorges that are unpredictable and we have a thrilling hike today.

Crossing the river with the help of logs, and passing the frosty inundation on foot, we land at  Khanigaon and stay under the camp overnight.

Max. Altitude: 3150mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

Our 23rd day begins marching towards a village called Lalberi. Continuing the journey passing the lavish hills and gorge again, we reach around five hours of hiking.  Upon reaching Tarakot, we head to explore Sandul Gompa situated at the eastern side of the village and on a mount and southern part of the Bheri River. This day ends camping alongside the Tarap Chu River approximately 150 meters beneath Tarkot village.

Max. Altitude: 2537mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Tent Camp

We begin our excursion following the Bheri River and its several gorges. Passing some villages such as Lawan village, Byas Gadi, and Lochakhola Gaon, bridges, mountain vistas, and pasturelands, we reach Dunai finally. It is the administrative headquarters of Dolpo district having many facilities such as banks, schools, colleges, health post,s and so on.

Max. Altitude: 2140mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse

The journey continues following Thuli Bheri river. Passing magnificent sceneries, many hamlets and settlements such as Dhupichaur, Rupgad, Kalagaonda Motipur, we reach Jhuphal-a small airstrip and spend our overnight there.

Max. Altitude: 2850mMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Teahouse

Catching the early flight from Jhuphal, we land at Nepalgunj airport viewing magnificent views of the snow-clad peaks, vistas, and terrains.

Having some rest, we again boarded for Kathmandu. Having around 1 hour’s flight, we land at the domestic sites of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). A vehicle will be waiting for us to transfer to our hotel.

In the evening you can join the farewell dinner organized by Himalayan Trekking Path in a cultural restaurant at Thamel. 

As this is your last day in Nepal, you can buy some Nepalese cultural souvenirs for your loved ones.

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429ftMeal: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation: Hotel

You are leaving this country today. After the 27 days’ togetherness, you are leaving us. Thank you for your patience throughout the journey.

Good Bye!!!!!

Max. Altitude: 1350m/4429Meal: Breakfast
Cost Details
Included
  • Private transportation for airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Accommodation for 3 nights in a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu with complimentary breakfast
  • Inclusive welcome dinner and drink
  • Round-trip flights from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and Nepalganj to Juphal
  • Overnight stay in a hotel in Nepalganj before the trek
  • Provision of all camping gear, food, and equipment necessary for trekking
  • Inclusion of tent, staff, cook, guide, food, insurance, and transport services
  • Acquisition of 2 special permits (Lower Dolpo and Upper Dolpo) and National Park fees
  • Government taxes covered
  • Meals provided include lunch, dinner, and breakfast during the mountain trek
  • Staff's salary, food, insurance, etc
  • Rescue services are available as needed
Excluded
  • Nepal visa fees
  • International airfare
  • travel insurance
  • extra activities
  • personal expenses
  • Tips for guide, staff and Diver