The Upper Dolpo Trek

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23 Days
Availability : All year
Tribhuvan International Airport
Tribhuvan International Airport
Min Age : 20+
Max People : 25+
Tour Details

The Upper Dolpo Trek is a wonderful journey to one of the remotest regions of Nepal. It is one of the most challenging and thrilling trekking trails between the Dhaulagiri mountain range and the Tibetan plateau in Nepal’s mid-western region. It is a journey that is ideal for those of us who can commit to a two-week or longer vacation to experience the true mountain lifestyle and hypnotic Himalayan environment in a remote region of the planet.

Opened not a long time ago for outsiders, the Upper Dolpo is considered unquestionably one of the top trekking destinations in Nepal’s Himalayas today due to the beauty of culture and nature. However, because of its isolated position and lack of links and transportation, the Dolpo region has remained off the radar of most of us, despite its incredible natural and cultural splendor.

Our itinerary makes you walk through gorgeous valleys, multi-ethnic settlements, and the majestic Himalayas, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Kanjiroba, to name a few, luxuriant forests rhododendrons, pines, and oaks, and gives you an experience of the splendor of the rugged and remote far western region of Nepal. The Upper Dolpo Trek also goes through Lower Dolpo, which was once its little kingdom.

 

The Upper Dolpo Trek Highlights:
  • Trekking experience through the largest national park in Nepal, Shey Phoksundo National Park.
  • A glimpse of rare and endangered mammals such as snow leopards and blue sheep.
  • Opportunity to explore Shey Gompa, which is believed to be 800 years old.
  • The remote lifestyle of locals and followers of Bon Buddhism.
  • The best views from Kang Taiga (5950 meters).
  • Views of Mount Dhaulagiri and Mount Annapurna II.

Price Includes

  • All land transportation in private vehicle.
  • Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu flight tickets for you and your trekking guide.
  • Nepalgunj-Jhupal-Nepalgunj flight tickets for you and your trekking guide.
  • 3-night stay at 4* Yatri Suites & Spa or a similar hotel in Kathmandu, breakfast included.
  • 19-night in an available local lodge throughout the trek, on a full-board basis (breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks 3 times a day).
  • The hotel accommodations are basic twin-sharing.
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trekking guide.
  • An experienced trekking guide and one porter (can carry 18 kilos of luggage and share between two clients; both clients are suggested to bring 9 kilos of luggage each).
  • Guide's and porter's expenses such as food, accommodation, insurance, first-aid kit and trekking gear.
  • All necessary trekking permits and national park fees.
  • Entrance fees.
  • First-aid kits.

Price Excludes

  • Beverage bills in all places.
  • Tipping (tips for a guide, drivers and supporters).
  • Personal expenses.
  • Personal trekking gear.
  • Urgent visa or foreigner's passport surcharge (according to embassy regulations).
  • Donations at temples, schools, monasteries, etc.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation.
  • Any other items that are not specified in the package.
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

After landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by a representative of Asian Heritage Treks and Expeditions, who will drop you off at your hotel. You then check in at the hotel, freshen up, and take a rest.

Includes: breakfast, an overnight stay at Hotel Yatri Suites and Spa, or a similar one.

Kathmandu Airport

Day 2Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Preparation Day

After breakfast, our tour guide will pick you up along with the driver and a vehicle. Firstly, you will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site where you can observe the typical wood-carved temples and buildings reflecting the ancient Kathmandu city. Afterward, we will head towards Swyambhunath, the Monkey Temple, where you can observe the panoramic view of Kathmandu city.

Then after, you will visit the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the biggest pilgrimage sites for Hindus in Southeast Asia. You will explore the surroundings and observe the ritual body cremation ceremony process of the Hindu people. We can also visit another pilgrimage site near the Pashupatinath Temple, i.e., Guweyswori Temple.

Lastly, we will visit Boudhanath Stupa, another UNESCO world heritage site. The stupa was built in 600 A.D. and is the only kind of stupa that reflects Buddhism in the world. We shall explore the surroundings of Boudhanath Stupa. After completing our sightseeing, you can get back to the hotel, and our representative will facilitate and discuss your travel itinerary regarding your Upper Dolpo Trek. There will be time to stroll through the streets of Thamel.

Includes: breakfast, an overnight stay at Hotel Yatri Suites and Spa, or a similar one.

Kathmandu

Day 3Flight to Nepalgunj (40 minutes)

Today, we will board an hour-long flight from Kathmandu Airport to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is an interesting town near the Nepal-India border, located in the Western Terai of Nepal. Upon arrival in Nepalgunj, we will check in at the hotel and take a short rest. At noon, you can visit the local market and nearby villages, interact with the locals, and get to know their lifestyle. We will also visit Mahendra Park and the mini-zoo here.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay at an available lodge in Nepalguj.

Day 4Flight to Juphal and Trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,351ft), (45-minute flight), (2-3-hour trek)

Shortly after breakfast, we will fly to Juphal, where we will meet our trekking staff and begin our walking adventure. The trail is not challenging because it is the start of the trek. We trek comfortably for 45 minutes and reach a place named Kalagauda, from where we will have 2-3 hours of hiking through the lush terraced fields along the Thulo Bheri River to reach Dunai, our destination for the day.

Dunai is the administrative center of the Dolpa district. Government and private schools, colleges, government offices, and a police checkpoint are all located here. Once we reach Dunai, we set up our camps and have a brief rest. If time permits, we may hike up to Bon Gumba monastery for a panoramic view of Dunai and the surrounding settlements.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay at an available lodge in Dunai.

Day 5Trek to Ankhe (2,896m/9,502ft), (5-6-hour hike)

Leaving Dunai behind, we will cross a suspension bridge, move west towards the Thulo Bheri Valley, and further walk until we enter the Phoksundo River Valley. The mesmerizing view of Kagmara Peak is accompanying our walk. We pass through a small settlement, namely Hanke, which is the gateway to Shey Phoksundo National Park. Our walk continues to Parela, and Rahagaon finally reaches today’s destination, Ankhe. These three names of villages are a literal translation of eyelashes, eyebrows, and eyes, respectively, in Nepali.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay at an available lodge in Ankhe.

Day 6Trek to Sulighat (3,180m/10,434ft), (5-6-hour hike)

Today’s walk is full of ascents and descents, which could be tiresome. However, the trail also offers several streams and occasional glimpses of Himalayan ranges cooling off our tiredness. We walk past forests, passes, and a grassy slope above the river. Later, we will descend for some time along the river and settle in Ryajik. Then we will present the Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo National Park trekking permits at the Silughar checkpoint. We’ve officially entered Shey Phoksundo National Park from here.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge in Sulighat.

Day 7Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,612m/11,851ft), (4-5-hour hike)

We start trekking early in the morning. We hike towards the joining of the Phoksundo and Pungmo Rivers. Crossing the bridge there, we will walk along the western bank of the Pungmo River, enter a cedar forest, and reach a beautiful village called Palam. Our walk up to a ridge offers a picturesque, distant view of Phoksundo Lake and Phoksundo Jharana Waterfall, one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal.

Our trail descends through birch forests and reaches the upper Phoksundo Khola. Then, we enter the charming Ringmo Village, where we can see its beautifully built mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. From here, we take a short walk to the bank of Phoksundo Lake and set up our camps.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in a tent camp.

Day 8Rest day at Phoksundo Lake (3,612m/11,851ft)

As we have reached a certain altitude where acclimatization is required, we will use this day for acclimatizing and resting after long, continuous trekking days. Enjoy a filling breakfast. You will spend the day exploring the area around Phoksundo Lake and Ringmo Village. Ringmo village is a traditional Tibetan settlement with its own culture and traditions.

We will hike to Ringmo Village and visit Tshowa’s monastery on the lake’s edge. People believe that it was built 900 years ago. We will also study the lifestyle of the locals and interact with them, and following that, we’ll make our way down to Phoksundo Lake and explore its breathtaking surroundings. Shey Phoksundo Lake is Nepal’s deepest lake.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in a tent camp.

Day 9Trek to Phoksundo Khola and Sallaghari (3,507m/11,506ft), (4-5-hour hike)

Today is one of the nicest trekking days of this Dolpo Trek. After breakfast, we follow the tiny trail carved into a rocky ledge overlooking the lake. The path then makes its way through a green meadow, opening up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo River. Then, we walk through the valley, cross the river, descend to the bank of Shey-Phoksundo Khola, and make our final ascent of the day to Sallaghari.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in a tent camp.

Day 10Phoksunds Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (3,910m/12,829ft), (6-7-hour hike)

After breakfast, we will start our short trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang, which is also called Nangdala Base Camp or Kang La Base Camp. Today’s trek will take around 3 hours. We will have a slow and easy pace. We will start by ascending the Tuk Kyaksa River’s narrow track that leads us through a glacial valley and an old wooden bridge at the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream.

A long climb from the northeast of the bridge takes us to a green grassland, from where we make another challenging climb to another valley offering a view of Kang-La Pass. From there, we’ll trek for another two and a half hours along the canyon. Later, prepare for an overnight at a camp at Nangdala Base Camp, a gigantic rock slab. The camp offers a spectacular view of Kang-La Pass, Chhamlang Peak 6 (6739m), and Peak 7 (6105m).

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 11Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang-La Pass (4,500m/14,765ft), (5-6-hour hike)

In the morning, we climb to the top of the Kang-La Pass (5151m), also known as Nangdala, which offers a dramatic view of the wide and large valley, Crystal Mountain, and the U-shaped canyon leading to Shey-Gompa. Then, we walk downhill to the valley floor along a steep trail. From here, we continue along the banks of the river, re-crossing it several times. We will pass by grazing yaks, a flock of sheep, and mountain goats. A red Buddhist shrine welcomes you to Shey Gompa as you stroll through modest houses.

Shey Village is a little settlement with only a few houses, and Gompa is widely known as the spiritual core of Dolpo. The Shey Gompa, or monastery, is located at the confluence of two rivers, Kangju Nala and Yeju Nala, close beneath the crystal peak. It is said to be an 800-year-old structure.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 12Trek to Namduna Gaon via Saldang La (4,800m/15,749ft), (6-7-hour hike)

Bidding farewell to Shey Gompa Village, we follow the trail leading us towards the juniper forest before ascending to the gray stone gorge. Then, we walk through the zig-zag rocky trail, making us stand at the top of Salang-La Pass (4785 m). The view of the Mustang region and Tibetan mountains from this vantage point is breathtaking.

We descend from the top and enjoy the landscape views, grazing cattle, and a few nomadic tents. These sights signify that we have entered the compound of Saldang village, with stone houses and farm fields that extend to the Nam Khong Khola. We will visit Namgung Monastery, a red stone monastery in Namduna Gaon, and spend the remainder of the day walking around the area.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 13Trek from Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/11,877ft), (4-5-hour hike)

Today, we will be walking through an old trade route to Tibet. We leave Namduna Gaon after breakfast and walk uphill on a slope, from where we commence our walk along the steep hills and rocky terrain. After a couple of hours’ walk, we start to get glimpses of Saldang Village.

It is the largest village in the inner Dolpo, surrounded by spectacular hills. The village is located on a plateau high above the Nam Khong Nala River. We will have a walk around the village, interact with the locals, and taste some SuCha (salt butter tea) or Chhyang (barley beer). This community flourishes with Dolpo’s ancient Buddhist and Amchi traditions.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in the Saldang Village.

Day 14Trek to Sibu (4,560m/14,961ft), (6-7-hour hike)

We leave Saldang village after breakfast and follow the trail to the riverbed, passing various terraced farms along the way. Then we pass through Mani walls, chortens, prayer flags, and prayer wheels as we go on. Our walk goes along a river, taking us to Chaiba Monastery and Namdo Village, where we will pay our visits to Namdo Monastery. We continuously follow the river for a couple of hours and reach Sibu Village.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 15Trek from Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m/16,077ft), (5-6-hour trek)

After a hearty breakfast, we begin the day’s trek by following the trail along the Nam Khong Khola’s edge and crossing a creek. We then enter the deep juniper, pine, and silver birch forests from here. After a short distance, we begin an upward ascent to the side valley. From here on out, the trails are slightly difficult. We continue walking till we reach a fork in the trail and rise to Jenga La’s base via yak farms.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 16Trek to Tokyu Gaon via Jeng La Pass (4,209m/13,810ft), (5-6-hour trek)

We start early in the morning and start the journey to Jeng La Pass. After two hours of trekking, we reach the summit of Jeng La Pass, which offers a mesmerizing view of the Dhaulagiri Mastiff. After spending an ample amount of time at the vantage point admiring the magnificence, we descend via a rough trail towards a fascinating valley named Tarap Valley through a challenging route. We can see the vast plains in the high mountains, extending 20 kilometers along the Tarap Chu River. Upon arrival at Tokyu Gaon, we will visit the Gompas and Chortens.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge.

Day 17Trek to Dho Tarap (4,040m/13,255ft), (4-5-hour hike)

Our morning starts quite earlier than the previous days because we will visit the historic Tokyo Monastery before leaving the village and starting the journey for the day. The trail goes downhill in a plain valley along with the fields, Mani Walls, and Chortens. We can opt. to stop by the lovely Chaiba Gompa on the route and take a look at its surroundings.

Then, we continue along the trails with more mani walls and chortens and reach the destination. Magars and a few Tibetans reside in the village of Tarap, and they practice both the Bon Po and Buddhist sects. We will set up our camps, rest, and go to interact with the locals, explore the village, and visit the gompas there.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge in Dho Tarap.

Day 18Trek from Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka), (3,800m/12,468ft), (6-7-hour hike)

Descending from Dho Tarap towards a wide valley, we enter the bushes of Juniper and wild roses. If we are lucky enough, we could encounter the herds of blue sheep on our way. By the afternoon, we will reach the junction of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola rivers. From there, the Tarap River flows further east.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available lodge in Dho Tarap.

Day 19Trek to Khanigaon (3,150m/10,335ft), (4-5-hour hike)

Today’s trek will be a thrilling and exciting experience as the valley becomes so narrow that we have to jump from one side to another. We will also walk on the man-made stone slabs fitted in between the walls, where we need extra care.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 20Trek from Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,324ft), (4-5-hour hike)

Soon after breakfast, we leave Khanigaon and head towards the village of Lalberi. We then walk through a dense forest, move downward into another village, follow the river, and reach Tarakot. There lies the Sandul Gompa, standing on a hill at the confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. We will spend the night at our camp near the police post by the Tarap Chu River.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 21Trek from Tarakot to Dunai (2,850m/9,351ft), (5-6-hour hike)

Our trail goes beside the Bheri River to reach the village of Dunai. Our trek to Upper Dolpo has come to an end. We walk past Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages, continue towards Kalagaonda and Motipur villages, and reach the small airstrip in Juphal. Upon reaching the village, we will take a fresh break and spend our evening with some local wines and brews.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay in an available local lodge.

Day 22Flight from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj and Flight to Kathmandu (1,350m/4,429ft)

We will board the earliest flight from Juphal and Nepalgunj and take another connecting flight to Kathmandu. Upon arriving in Kathmandu, you can spend time around Thamel or other traditional markets and purchase a few unique items as a souvenir for your family and friends. the remainder of the day as per your interest.

Includes: breakfast and an overnight stay at Hotel Yatri Suites & Spa or a similar one.

Day 23Departure

The Nepal Highlights Tour comes to an end today. After breakfast, our representative will pick you up with a private van and drop you off at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport approximately three hours before your scheduled flight back to your home or other destination.

Includes: breakfast.

Have a safe journey onward, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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