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

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 the 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.  

Upper Dolpo Trek Highlights
  • Trekking experience through the largest national park of 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 on a private AC vehicle
  • Kathmandu - Nepalgunj- Kathmandu flight ticket for you and your trekking guide.
  • Nepalgunj- Jhupal- Nepalgunj flight ticket for you and your trekking guide
  • 3-night accommodation in 4* Yatri Suites and Spa or similar in Kathmandu on breakfast basis.
  • 1 Night in available local lodge in Nepalgunj on room only basis.
  • 18 Night in local lodge throughout the trek on full board basis.
  • As mentioned the hotel accommodations are a twin-sharing basic.
  • Accommodation with three times meals during the treks (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 3 times hot drinks (Tea / Coffee a day)
  • An experienced, English speaking and government-licensed holder trekking guide.
  • One Professional Trekking guide and one porter (one porter can carry 18 kilos of luggage and share between two clients. So both clients are suggested to bring 9 kilos of luggage each)
  • Guide 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

  • Drinks / Beverages bills for you.
  • Tipping (Tips for guide, drivers and supporters)
  • Personal Expenses.
  • Personal trekking gears.
  • Urgent visa or foreigner's passport surcharge according to embassy regulations.
  • Donation in temples, schools, monasteries, etc.
  • Emergency Rescue evacuation.
  • Any other items not specified in the package
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu(1400m)

After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by a representative of Asian Heritage Treks and Expeditions who will drop us off at our hotel. We then check in at the hotel, freshen up, and take a rest.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight in Hotel Yatri Suites and Spa or similar.

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 the Hindu religion people in Southeast Asia. You will explore the surroundings and observe the ritual body cremating 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 one of a kind of Stupa which reflects Buddhism in the world. We shall explore the surroundings of Boudhanath Stupa. After completing our sightseeing, you can get back to the hotel, our representative will facilitate you and discuss your travel itinerary regarding your Upper Dolpo Trek. There will be time to stroll through the street of Thamel.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight in Hotel Yatri Suites & Spa or Similar.

Kathmandu

Day 3Fly to Nepalgunj, flight duration: 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 locals, and get to know their lifestyle. We will also visit the Mahendra Park and mini-zoo here.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight in an available local Lodge in Nepalguj.

Day 4Fly to Juphal and trek to Dunai(2,850m/9,351ft) Flight Duration 45 minutes, Trekking Duation 2/3 Hours

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 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight at available local lodges in Dunai.

Day 5Trek to Ankhe(2,896m/9,502ft) Hiking Duration: 5/6 Hours

Leaving Dunai behind, we will cross a suspension bridge and move west towards the Thulo Bheri Valley, and further walk until we enter Phoksundo River Valley. Our walk is accompanied by the mesmerizing view of Kagmara Peak. 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges at Ankhe.

Day 6Trek to Ankhe to Sulighat(3,180m/10,434ft) Hiking Duration: 5/6 hrs

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. We will then descend for some time along the river and settle Ryajik. 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges in Sulighat.

Day 7Trek to Phoksundo Lake(3,612m/11,851ft) Hiking Duration: 4/5 hrs

We start early towards the confluence of the Phoksundo River and Pungmo River. Crossing the bridge there, we will walk along the western bank of the Pungmo River enter into a cedar forest, and reach a beautiful village called Palam. Our walk up to a ridge offers an amazing distant view of Phoksundo Lake and Phoksundo Jharana (waterfall) one of the highest in Nepal. Our trail makes a downward way through birch forests and reaches the upper Phoksundo Khola. Then, we enter the amazing 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in Tented Camp

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

As we have reached a certain altitude where acclimatization is required, we will use this day for acclimatization purposes and rest from long continuous trekking days. After a laid-back tent breakfast prepared by our tent cooks, we 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 make a short hike to the Ringmo Village, and pay our visit to the Monastery named Tshowa located on the lake’s edge which is believed to be from 900 years ago. We will also study the lifestyle of the locals there, 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in Tented Camp

Day 9Trek to Phoksundo Khola /Sallaghari(3,507m/11,506ft) Hiking Duration:4/5 hrs

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 Phoksundo River. Then, we walk through the valley, cross the river descend to the bank of Shey-Phoksundo Khola, and make a final ascent of the day to Sallaghari,
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in Tented Camp

Day 10Phoksunds Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (3,910m/12,829ft) Hiking Duration: 6/7 hrs

After breakfast, we will start our short trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang which is also called Nangdala Base Camp/Kang La Base Camp. Today’s whole trek will take around 3 hours so 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 hard climb to another valley offering a view of Kang-La Pass. We’ll trek for another two and a half hours along the canyon from there. Then we’ll set up camp at Kang La/Nangdala Base Camp, which is a gigantic rock slab that offers a spectacular view of Kang-La Pass, Chhamlang Peak 6 (6739m), and Peak 7 (6105m).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available lodges 

Day 11Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa via Kang-La pass( 4,500m/14,765ft) Hiking Duration: 5/6 hrs

We make a morning 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. Yaks, a flock of sheep, and mountain goats could be seen grazing. 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 the 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges.

 

Day 12Trek to Namduna Gaon via Saldang La( 4,800m/15,749ft) Hiking Duration: 6/7 hrs

Bidding farewell to Shey Gompa Village, we follow the trail leading us towards the juniper forest before ascending to the grey stone gorge. Then, we walk through the zig-zag rocky trail making us stand at the top of Salang-La Pass(4785m). The view of the Mustang region and Tibetan mountains from this vantage point is breathtaking. From the top, we descend down enjoying the views of the landscapes and 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges.

Day 13Trek from Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/11,877ft) Hiking Duration: 4/5 hrs

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 the Saldang Village, the largest village in the inner Dolpo surrounded by spectacular hills. It 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available lodges in Saldang Village.

Day 14Trek to Sibu from saldang (4,560m/14,961ft) Hiking Duration: 6/7 hrs

We leave Saldang village after breakfast following 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight at available lodges  

Day 15Trek from Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi( 4,900m/16,077ft) Hiking Duration:5/6 hrs

After a hearty breakfast, we begin the day’s trek following the trail along the Nam Khong Khola’s edge and bridge 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges.

Day 16Trek to Tokyu Gaon via Jeng La Pass (4,209m/13,810ft) Hiking Duration: 5/6 hrs

We start early in the morning and start the journey to Jeng La Pass. After two hours of trek, 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available in local lodges.

Day 17Trek to Dho Tarap (4,040m/13,255ft) Hiking Duration: 4/5 hrs

Our morning starts quite earlier than the previous days today because we will visit the historic Tokyo Monastery before leaving the village and starting the journey for the day. The trail goes downhill on a plain valley along with the fields, Mani Walls, and Chortens. We can opt. you 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges in Dho Tarap. 

Day 18Trek from Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka)(3,800m/12,468ft) Hiking Durataion: 6/7 hrs

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 Tarap Chu and Lang Khola from where the Tarap River flows further east.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available lodges.

Day 19Trek from Tarap Khola to Khanigaon (3,150m/10,335ft) Hiking Duration: 4/5 hrs

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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges.

Day 20Trek from Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,324ft) Hiking Duration: 4/5 hrs

Soon after breakfast, we leave Khanigaon and head towards the village of Lalberi. We then walk through a dense forest, move downwards into another village, follow the river, and reach Tarakot. There lies the Sandul Gompa standing on a hill at a confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. We will spend the night at our camp near the police post by the Tarap Chu River.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges.

Day 21Trek from Tarakot to Dunai (2,850m/9,351ft)Hiking Duration: 5/6 hrs

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 local brews.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in available local lodges

Day 22Fly Fly from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj and then fly 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 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.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight in Hotel Yatri Suites and Spa or similar.

Day 23Departure from Nepal

Approximately 3 hours before the departure of your flight, you will be transferred to Kathmandu International Airport where we guide you to the check-in hall. From here we hope you had an amazing journey through our country, Nepal. And we hope to see you again.
Meals: Breakfast

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