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Upper Dolpo trek   25 days

Trip Facts

Country : Nepal
Start/End: Kathmandu
Destination : Shey Phoksundo Lake, Shey Gompa, Numa la, Saldang La.
Trip Duration : 25 days
Max. Altitude : 5360 meters.
Group Size : Min. 2 / Max. 12
Best Season : April-June, Sept-Oct
Trip Grade : Very Strenuous.Very Strenuous.Very Strenuous.Very Strenuous.Very Strenuous.
Daily walking Hour: Approximately 5-8.

TRIP Highlights

Trip Map


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Upper Dolpo Trek, Upper Dolpo Trekking, Upper Dolpo Trek Itinerary

Trip Overview

The remote Himalaya Mountains of Dolpo greets you and the Tibetan culture that has survived for so many years will enchant you with its originality. The region of Dolpo reflects its integrity and the mythical experience of the antiqueness is something that cannot be described by few words. Sit ashore at one of the deepest Himalayan Lakes, the Phokhsundo, with its crystal clear water. Watch the caravans travel the bumpy road maintaining the traditional salt trade with Tibet. Talking about the caravan, this region is also famous of the Oscar nominee Thinley, of the movie caravan. Lying in the shadows of the Himalayas, this region is reflected in the colorful slopes of mountains. In summer, the caravans of yaks and sheep run through this valley, the tinkle of the bells of the yaks that carry goods through the Himalayas  makes you realize how simply the people here live through life.

Ill tell you clearly, this trek is quite hard, with the off-the-beat-path experience, the Lower Dolpo Trek is meant for real adventurers. Though this region was open to foreigners only from 1990, many people have already ventured into this journey. The trek passes through Shey-Phoksundo National Park with spectacular mountain scenery, Buddhist monasteries and yak caravans. Through the rugged paths of the region, we walk near the border of Tibet. But, our trek starts from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. A morning flight to Jhupal, ensures us the stunning views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north.the adventure begins from the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking us to camp Dunai. Tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river, the excitement of hurling yourself into the unknown, that’s what this is all about. After breakfast, we continue our walking to follow the Tarap chu river upstream, crossing by bridge and crossing the same river twice. Sandul Gompa lies at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu Rriver.  A few bumps here and there and we descend to reach Laini. As our walk continues we reach the shores of the Tarap River. The walk  becomes more exciting as the valley changes into a narrow gorge. A walk leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads us to the village of Dho Tarap. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations.after a wonderful time at Do Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, which is entirely unlike the other parts of inner Dolpo.

Tarap is certainly a valley so beautiful that it makes us wonder whether it is real or not. Our trek takes us to the village of Tokyu, after which our walk continues further up this valley and we finally reach Numa-la. One of the longest and the most difficult task during this trek has to be the crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes. At Baga-la (5,070m,) we get to savor the views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjirowa Himal stands tall and proud. We found many important medicinal mineral which is believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through the villages, before climbing to Shyanta. Following the trail gently sloping upwards, we march towards Jhupal via Sulighat. The tall birch trees seem to welcome us on our way. From atop the ridge, we can have the most spectacular views of the mountain and Jhupal below. Utmost caution is required while trekking along this trail. After reaching Jhupal, we can spend our afternoon exploring or just resting. As our journey ends, we will realize the importance of it, the times that we spent together, the memories that were made and the moments that will always be cherished.

  • Short Itinerary
  • Trip Details
  • Dates & Price
  • Extend your Trip

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 2: Trip meeting followed by valley sightseeing

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Day 4: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal. Trek to Dunai

Day 5: Trek from Dunai to Ankhe

Day 6: Trek from Ankhe to Renje

Day 7: Trek from Renje to Phoksundo Lake

Day 8: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola

Day 9: Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang

Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa, via Kang La Pass

Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa

Day 12: Trek from Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaon, via Saldang La Pass

Day 13: Trek from Namduna Gaon to Saldang

Day 14: Trek from Saldang to Sibu

Day 15: Trek from Sibu to the base of Jeng La Pass

Day 16: Trek from the base of Jeng La Pass to Tokyu Gaon, via Jeng La Pass

Day 17: Trek from Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap

Day 18: Trek from Dho Tarap to Serkam

Day 19: Trek from Serkam to Khani Gaon

Day 20: Trek from Khani Gaon

Day 21: Trek from Khani Gaon to Dunai

Day 22: Trek from Dunai to Juphal

Day 23: Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj, then onto Kathmandu

Day 24: Drive back to Kathmandu, and farewell dinner

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
On your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, our airport representatives will warmly greet you, after which you will be transferred to the hotel on a private tourist vehicle.

Day 2: Trip meeting followed by valley sightseeing
Early next morning following a hearty breakfast, Hike Himalaya Adventures will host a pre-trip meeting at the hotel you’re staying. During this meeting, we introduce your trip guide, and we’ll be happy to answer any question you may have. We provide you with important information about the trip, so do feel free to take notes if you want to. Also, please kindly bring three passport-size photos, passport and travel insurance policy. Legal formalities, including liability waiver, will be taken care of in this meeting.
Once the meeting concludes, we begin our sightseeing of the valley for which a private vehicle along with a professional guide will be provided. The valley is dotted with fantastic cultural heritages, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which we’ll visit. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. The lifestyle of the Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, the fascinating history and the awe-inspiring architecture will be the highlight of this day-long sightseeing trip.

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
We leave for the airport in the morning for our flight to Nepalgunj, a small city in western Nepal. After this short flight, we rest in our hotel and explore the city a bit.

Day 4: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal. Trek to Dunai
Today, we have a short flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal, a large village which is the starting point of our trek. We begin trekking from Juphal towards Dunai. We cross terraced farms, then along the Bheri River and interesting landscapes. We reach Dunai after 3 hours of trekking from Juphal.

Day 5: Trek from Dunai to Ankhe
Crossing a suspension bridge over Bheri River, we trek parallel to Bheri River thought. It is interesting to note the variety of crops grown in this area, which include millet, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet corn and chilies. Occasionally, you come across areas overgrown with marijuana plants. We finally reach the entrance of Phoksundo National Park at a village called Ankhe, which means the eye.

Day 6: Trek from Ankhe to Renje
The trek starts to get more challenging as you head away from Ankhe. As the trail ascends, you hike over cliff faces before walking down towards the river. Take note of the fabulous views as you hike uphill again.

Day 7: Trek from Renje to Phoksundo Lake
The trail on this day starts off easy but stats ascending from a village called Sumdo. From a ridge farther afield from Sumdo, you get to marvel with a stunning view of a 300m waterfall, Nepal’s highest. We then reach Ringmo, a picturesque village, from where Phoksundo is just a stone’s throw away.

Day 8: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola
After some exploration around Phoksundo Lake, we walk through trails in what could possibly be the most remote of places you have been. The trail first climbs then drops to the valley below. This is from where we are led to Phoksundo Khola where we camp alongside the river.

Day 9: Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang
We cross several streams walking knee deep in the cold water. The trails along this route seem less trodden, which is an indication that not many people frequent this remote region. After a steep climb, we reach walk through a ravine and reach a valley from where we can see the Kang La Pass. We reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang after a 7-hour trek.

Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa, via Kang La Pass
A challenging 3-hour walk takes up to the top of the Kang La Pass, which is at an elevation of 5,151 meters. You are rewarded with stunning views from Kang La Pass. After admiring the panorama, we continue on the trails which bring us along the banks of the river again, which we cross once, then finally taking us to Shey Gompa.

Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa
We spend the day exploring the village. Shey Gompa is really famous for its Gompa, which means monastery. Shey Gompa (also called Crystal Mountain; Shey means crystal) was built almost a thousand years ago. Besides being a historical monument, the monastery is also famous for its Buddhist tradition.

Day 12: Trek from Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaon, via Saldang La Pass
We trek through an easy trail, which gradually ascends to a canyon. After about half an hour from the canyon, we reach Saldang La Pass situated at 4,785 meters above sea level. From Saldang La Pass, we can see Mustang’s amazing landscape and small peaks. As we descend from the pass, we come across yak herds and traditionally woven nomadic tents. We then reach the beautiful Namduna Gaon which has a beautiful monastery.

Day 13: Trek from Namduna Gaon to Saldang
As we leave Namduna Gaon, we start an ascent atop small barren cliffs. After trekking for four hours, we are brought to Saldang which is 3,900 meters in elevation. It is a beautiful village and the biggest one in this area of Dolpo. The region is arid and belongs to the trans-Himalayan Tibetan plateau.

Day 14: Trek from Saldang to Sibu
Today, we walk along the river and through terraces, we can see several chortens and stupas along the way. We pass by Namdo village, which is a huge 5-km across settlement, with a huge monastery on near the river. We then head to Sibu and camp on the banks of the river.

Day 15: Trek from Sibu to the base of Jeng La Pass
We continue our trek from Sibu along the river valley on a fairly flat trail. A couple of hours of walking will bring us to the side of the valley, after which the trail climbs sharply. We enjoy the view and the pristine lifestyle of the people. We camp at the base of the Jeng La Pass.

Day 16: Trek from the base of Jeng La Pass to Tokyu Gaon, via Jeng La Pass
A 2-hour climb brings on to the top of the Jeng La Pass, at 4,845 meters. The trail itself is not very difficult as the altitude gain is not very significant – we gain less than 500 meters in altitude. After we descend to the other side of the pass, we walk along pleasant trails to reach Tarap Chu, which is a picturesque valley with fantastic landscape.

Day 17: Trek from Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap
Today, we trek along a well trodden trails after we leave Tokyu Gaon. The local folks will be seen doing their daily chores in agriculture and animal husbandry. The French School is just outside the mostly Tamang village called Dho Tarap. We visit the Gompas in the village and meet lamas as well as local folks.

Day 18: Trek from Dho Tarap to Serkam
The trails today move mostly downhill with narrows gores and rivers below. There are several small uphills and downhills, though, along which we will be able to see blue sheep, yaks, marmots and so forth. Narrow at some stretches, the trails are really exhilarating to walk on due to the way it’s been carved inside cliff faces.

Day 19: Trek from Serkam to Khani Gaon
The trails today range from narrow and rocky to wide and well made as we trek down towards Tarap River. The trail also tends to get steep at some places. It is important to pay attention to the trails because it can get precarious at times.

Day 20: Trek from Khani Gaon
We cross a suspension bridge, then hike on the banks of the river. The trail is undulating and at a few points we may have to cross the rivers on either shaky wooden bridges or large stepping stones laid on the river. 4 hours of trekking on exciting trails and through farms of sweet corn, barley, buckwheat and even marijuana brings us to Tarakot village, which is where we’ll camp for the night.

Day 21: Trek from Khani Gaon to Dunai
On this day, we walk beside the Bheri River on trails that are generally downhill and well travelled. After 5 hours, we reach the familiar village of Dunai and camp on the same stop as we did almost two weeks prior.

Day 22: Trek from Dunai to Juphal
We head back to Juphal taking the same trails. Following a trail that seems to gradually climb up, we reach Juphal – from where we started the trek of the celebrated and mystifying Upper Dolpo region.

Day 23: Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj, then onto Kathmandu
In the morning, we fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj on a 30-minute flight. We can admire the sight of the mountains below, especially Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. From Nepalgunj, we take the connecting flight back to Kathmandu.

Day 24: Drive back to Kathmandu, and farewell dinner
Leisure activities like souvenir shopping, spa and more exploration of the city can be done in late afternoon. You may also wish to extend your trip to include bungee jumping, rafting, Everest mountain flight and so forth. Later in the evening, you will be invited for a farewell dinner at a typical Nepalese restaurant, which will host cultural shows.

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu
This is the last day of the trip. You will be transferred to the airport and we wish you safe journey back home.


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Price Includes

Airport/hotel/airport transfers
A professional trek leader, camping cooks, kitchen staffs, required no of porters; their salary, insurance, meals, transport, accommodation etc
Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and camping on trek
Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
Entrance fees, permits and local as well as government taxes
All our official expenses
All meals throughout the trip
Full trekking service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
Sleeping bag and down jacket(to be returned after the trek and sun hat ans a t-shirt(complimentary by HHA)

Price Excludes

1. Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu.
2. Your travel insurance (compulsory).
3. International airfare and airport departure tax.
4. Nepal entry visa, you can obtain easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (US$ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 100 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. You will also require 2 passport size photos.)
5. Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry.
6. Personal trekking Equipment.
7. Tips for trekking staff and driver. (Tipping is expected.)
8. Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees.
9. Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.

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