• Duration25 Days
  • Diffculty-LevelStrenuous
  • Max. Altitude5,309 m
  • Best SeasonSpring and Autumn

Overview

Dolpa region Dolpa is the biggest district of Nepal lies in the Karnali provenance and Dunai is the headquarter. Dolpa is derived from the Tibetan word Dhol- pa in the local dialect and is connected to the rest of Nepal via Juphal airport. There are no precise population numbers for the region, with estimates including less than 50000. The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it attractive to westerners. Dolpa was the location for the 1999 oscar-nominated film Himalaya(French-Nepalese movie Himalaya which gives insight into the local customs, was the first Nepalese film to be nominated for an Oscar award and also a huge success in Nepal itself, drawing the country's attention to this region) and more recently for the german documentary Dolpo-tulku. The Upper Dolpo trek route usually goes above 4000 meters and also explores the isolated places above the Phoksundo National Park.

This trail takes you through ancient paths created by Tibetan salt traders crossing high passes, steep valleys, Tibet villages settlement, lush green forest, and arid landscape. The route also passes through several picturesque traditional villages like Dunai, Chhepka, Jharana hotel, and Shyanta. You also trek past the beautiful valley of Tarap Chu and the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by a jagged stone wall. As well as being a remote district, the Tourism industry in Dolpo is not what it is in much of Nepal, and it is a kind of campaign trek so food and other accommodation must be carried by self. The trek is about four weeks so it is challenging and consequently you cannot trek in Upper Dolpo independently. Kang La Pass is the highest pass in this biome i.e 5,151m. It is the connection point of the Phoksundo valley and it takes you to the ancient Shey Gompa situated on the foot of the holy Crystal mountain, which is one of the main attractions of inner Dolpo. It allows trekkers to traverse through the unexplored land of Dolpo and to experience the purity of Tibetan Buddhism practiced widely in the area.

Dolpa region is a distant region of Nepal and the central point of this area is Shey Phoksundo National Park. The east and south of Dolpa are surrounded by the Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and to the west is the Jumla district. Trekking to Upper Dolpo offers you the remarkable and breathtaking experience of a lifetime. The notable features seen here are snowy peaks, ancient and remote villages, rich wildlife, lovely Buddhist monasteries, and wonderful lakes. The people of this area are simple and warm-hearted with an enthralling culture and traditions. The cultural traditions of this area are basically linked with Tibetan culture. It is surrounded by Himalayan mountain chains including the Dhaulagiri(8,172). These cloud barriers cause a semi-arid climate, with reported annual participation of less than 500mm. The crops like barley, buckwheat, millet, mustard, wheat, potatoes, radishes, and spinach can be found.

Throughout the trek, you get to visit many ancient monasteries as you ascend and descend from the open valley with the dry and barren landscape to vegetation, an old fortress, terraced field, and abundant wildlife (Snow leopard, blue sheep, Tibetan sheep, musk deer, Ghoral, Himalayan black-beer).

The Dolpo are generally adherents of Bon-PO, a religion where origins predate Buddhism but whose modern form is officially accepted as a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism. The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it attractive to westerners.

Permits are quite expensive. The trek is lengthy as trails are difficult, high, steep, shaky, and sometimes barely there. Long walking days at high altitudes are the norm with several high passes to cross, but for those with the stamina, fitness level, and sheer willpower, this trek is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trek.dolpo biome is also known as SHangri-la village for the trekkers.

Highlights of Upper Dolpa Trek 

  • Explore mesmerizing Shey Phoksundo Lake, which is crucial for its crystal clear water and turquoise shape.
  • A unique camping experience together with the various landscapes of the area and its hidden treasure.
  • Buddhist holy place, Crystal mountain, and Shey Gompa observe the unique Bon Buddhist culture.
  • High passes over 5000 meters extraordinary mountain views, meet locals and visit monasteries.
  • Visit the medieval village of Saldang and nomad camps at Dho Tarap, the highest human settlement in the world.
  • Explore diverse flora and fauna in the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

Itinerary & Map

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  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Welcome dinner
  • Altitude:1350 m

We will welcome you at the Tribhuvan International Airport on your arrival day. Our airport representative will take you to the hotel and assist you in check-in. As your arrival time may fluctuate, we have not planned anything on this day. The remaining day is free to explore around the streets of Thamel and get used to the surroundings. In the evening, we will have a welcome dinner where you can meet with the rest of the team members.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast only
  • Altitude:1350 m

Today's sightseeing tour in Kathmandu will give you a good insight into Nepali art and architecture. You will visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhnath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath. All of these monuments hold great importance in the history of Nepal. Later in the evening, you will meet with the trek guide and have a quick briefing session about the trek.

  • Accommodation:lodge
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:2,850 m

Flights to Jhupal leave early in the morning from Kathmandu.  The crew will be waiting with the necessary camping equipment in Jhupal. On the first day hike around three hours to Dunai, which is the administrative capital of Dolpo Region.

  • Walking time: 3 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:2,896m

Today the trail takes us upwards through the Thulo Bheri Valley before entering the Phoksundo River Valley.  There are a couple of villages on the way and walnut groves to admire. And naturally, there are the mountains – Kagmara Peak is on display.  Finally, the trail goes down through dense jungle-like vegetation to Ankhe.

  • Walking time: 5-6 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:3,180 m

Today’s trail takes us up and down through forests and over a grassy slope above the river.  Following the trail downwards, carefully descend a stone staircase to the river bank and on to Sulighat.

  • Walking time: 5 to 6 hours

 

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:3,612 m

Today we reach the beautiful clear waters of Phoksundo Lake. But first, we follow the valley floor passing Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers and pine forests.  From the top of a high ridge, we get our first glimpse of the lake shimmering in the sun below us. Here we also find one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal.  The trail then descends through birch forests to the pretty village of Ringmo on the edge of Phoksundo Lake.

  • Walking time: approximately 4 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:3,507 m

Today leave the lake by following the trail to the west, across the wooden bridge-like structures until we reach a meadow leading to the Phoksundo Khola flood plain.  The trail takes us over boggy marsh ground through the valley to the riverbank where we will overnight. 

  • Walking time: approximately 5 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:3,910 m

Today walk through a glacial valley to the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another stream, marked by an old wooden bridge.  Climbing northeast we reach a sheep meadow and onto a steep ravine. Climbing up here is hard but we need to reach another valley to where we will eventually cross the Kang La Pass after having a good night’s rest.
Walking time: approximately 6 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:5,300 m

We start the day with a very strenuous climb to the top of the Kang La Pass.  When at the top there are great views of the valley below. Now the trail descends down to the valley floor by a steep trail.  We follow the banks of the river, crossing and recrossing the icy waters. We can see mud caves lining the hills which look down on the river.  Before reaching Shey Gompa we walk through meadows filled with yaks, sheep, and mountain goats.

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we need to take an acclimatization day as yesterday brought us a 590m elevation gain between Phoksundo Bhanjyang and Shey Gompa.

There is plenty of time to explore the Gompa which is of the Bon religion.  This is similar to Buddhism but dates from pre-Buddha times. In this area is also the unique Crystal Mountain. Its name comes from the fact it has quartz and marine fossils embedded in its cliffs.

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Namduna Gaun: 4,800m_Saldang La Pass: 5,100m

Today we walk through juniper trees into a canyon where the trail winds over rocks and loose stones until we reach the top of Saldang La Pass.  The descent over the other side is also tiring. Today we can see nomadic herders with their yaks and sheep. Arriving at Namduna Gaun where we will spend the night there is time to explore the red monastery built below a gorge cliff.  Elevation Namduna Gaun: 4,800m_Saldang La Pass: 5,100m

  • Walking time: approximately 6 to 7 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Saldang: 3,620 m

Today the trail takes us through barren mountains to reach Saldang village on a plateau above the Namga Khola.  This is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area and is spread over a long (2km) slope. Interestingly it is not just one, but five villages, combining around 80 houses.  Being strategically placed on the trade route to Tibet probably explains why there are so many houses here. 

  • Walking distance: approximately 4 to 5 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Yangze Gompa: 4,960m

The terrain is barren as we follow the Nagaon Khola through the villages of Marang and Ki.  Crossing a tributary of the Panzang River a couple of times we reach another Bon monastery of Yangze Gompa.

  • Walking distance:  approximately 4 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Sibu: 4,560 m

Today we pass terraced fields, mani walls (walls with prayers carved into stones), stupas, Chorten, and a monastery to Namdo village.  This is another prosperous village of around 60 houses and sits high above the Nam Khong Khola. We walk on another 2 hours to camp at Sibu. Walking distance:  6 to 7 hours

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Jeng La Phedi: 4,900 m

Today again we will most likely see caravans of yaks as we walk east and then ascend to a grazing pasture below the Jeng La Pass. 

 

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Tokyu Gaun: 4,209 m_Jeng La Pass: 5,100m

Since we are starting from Jeng La Phedi at 4,900m we are actually only ascending 200m to cross the pass.  From the pass, we see the amazing sight of the north face of the Dhaulagiri Massif. Crossing the pass, the trail descends along the rough ground to the Tarap Valley and the monastery at Tokyu.

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Dho Tarap: 4,040 m

Today we enter a different landscape as marshes and grasses line the river banks.

  • Walking distance:  4 hours 

 

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:4,040 m

On this rest day, we spend the day in Dho Tarap.  Here there are around 40 houses of main people known as Magars, a hill tribe of Nepal.  There are also some Tibetans living here and Buddhism is still a big feature of the area. There is also a Bon Gompa a short distance from the village.  Today explore the village, Gompa, and surrounding area. 

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Tarap Khola:  3,800m

The trail takes us through juniper and wild roses towards a wide valley, narrowing to a gorge.  Again we see herds of sheep before reaching the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola rivers.  We camp near the Tarap River. 

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Khani Gaun: 3,150 m

Today we meet many local people on the way, mainly taking their herds to lower pastures.  We walk over stone slabs, logs, and rough bridges and perhaps even through the river itself!

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Altitude:Khani Gaun: 3,150 m

Today follow the path to Lalberi village and on through forests and a gorge until we are following the river again.  There is another monastery we can visit today, sitting on a hill above the Bheri River. Tonight we camp at Tarakot as there is no suitable camping place between Tarakot and Dunai which we will reach tomorrow. And therefore, it is also a short walking day.

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner
  • Altitude:Tarakot: 2,537m

Today’s hiking is relatively easy, through a pine-lined gorge and along the Bheri River to reach Dunai. 
Walking distance: 5 to 6 hrs

  • Accommodation:Tent Camp
  • Meals:Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner
  • Altitude:Jhupal: 2,500m

Today is the final day of the trek, with a short easy walk to Jhupal.
Walking distance:  2 to 3 hours

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner
  • Altitude:1350 m

This morning take an early morning flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj, then connect by another flight to Kathmandu.  

  • Meals:Breakfast only

Final Departure The last day in Kathmandu. Our airport representative will drop you at the Tribhuvan International Airport and bid you our last goodbye.

Cost Details

Includes
  • Airport pick up drop
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast as per the itinerary
  • City sightseeing by private vehicle with including all entrance fee and tour guide
  • Meals during the treks (daily three meals and three tea/coffees )
  • Best available teahouse/lodge accommodations during the trek on twin sharing basis
  • Seasonal fruits during the treks
  • Welcome and Farewell dinner
  • Highly experienced English-speaking friendly, helpful guide and porters (one porter for two trekkers), including all their salary, food, accommodation, transportation, equipment, and accidental insurance.
  • Flight ticket kathmandu to Nepaljung
  • Down jacket, Sleeping bag, duffel bag, trekking map (Note: Down jacket and sleeping bag need to be returned after the completion of the trip and you can take duffel bag as a souvenir)
  • Camping equipment 
  • poter for one pax one person
  • Mystic Adventure Holidays' T-shirt
  • Trip achievement certificate
  • First aid medical kit (carried by your leader)
  • Dolpo Trekking entry permit
  • All government taxes and service charges
Excludes
  • Nepal Visa Fee
  • International Flights Ticket
  • Excess baggage charge(s)
  • Extra night accoNmmodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Travel and rescue insurance ( Mandatory)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)
  • Compulsory to Tips For Guide and supporting staff (Min. 10% of Paying amount)
  • All the expenses i.e. not mentioned in includes section

Departure Dates

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Additional Info

Dolpo Region is Restricted Area which is place need to special Permit with government contacts us

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