Upper Dolpo Trekking

Located in the middle of rugged geographical region of Nepal, Dolpo is the most isolated area which offers a complete unique feeling of true Shangri la with a sensation of mysticism. Upper Dolpo region is the most remote and least developed region in Far North West Nepal where most serene and natural beauty is still unexplored. Despite of its location between the Tibetan plateau and the massif Mt. Dhaulagiri Himalayan range, this region is culturally rich and is the highest inhabited land in Nepal. Covered by thick canopy of pine and rhododendron forest, and this mountain around offer terrain and ampleness of wildlife including Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, huge birds Himalayan griffon uncommon throughout the rest of Dolpo region which furnishes more with excitement to the travelers and trekkers in this adventure journey.

This trip offers ample wildlife experiences in Nepal’s largest She- Phoksundo National Parkwith an area of 3,555 Sq. km; an assortment of cultural experiences; and wide stretches of unforgettable mountain scenery. This adventure takes you deep into the hills to isolated villages and encounter local communities who make this unique remote country their home, lodging in basic guesthouses along the route.  The Nepal’s deepest and most fascinating lake of She – Phoksundo is another highlight of this trip.  This tremendous adventure starts right from Nepalgunj city which is 573 km south west from Kathmandu, a scenic flight to Nepalgunj and then to Juphal and trek up to the stunning She-Phoksundo Lake. Then cross Kangla Pass to reach the most hidden place at Shey Gomba “ The Crystal Monastery” with Crystal Mountain just above it and then trek back to Dunai and Tarakot and finally to Jhupal, a short super scenic mountain flight brings you back to Nepalgunj from Jhupal and then connect the flight back to Kathmandu after mesmerizing moment in the high mystical land of Upper Dolpo.
For more information of this fascinating area read “The Sown Leopard” Novel by Peter Matthessian written some 35 years ago, a world’s largest classic seller.

Day 01:  Arrival at Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.

On arrival in Kathmandu, you are warmly greeted by our Sherpa Mountaineering Expeditions staff at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). SME representatives will assist then transfer to respective hotels.

Day 02: In Kathmandu sightseeing tour and preparation for the trek.

In Kathmandu sightseeing program includes visit of world heritage sites the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the world biggest Stuppa; Boudhhanath, known as little Tibet, Swoyambhunath Stupa (monkey temple) located on a hill side one of the oldest religious spot of more than 2,500 years old and historical Kathmandu Durbar Square with unique architectural temple, and the virgin Kumari known as Living Goddess in Basantapur atf central Kathmandu. Kathmandu is not only naturally beautiful but it also holds the beauty of incredible Newar people culture with ancient architectures.

Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel with time to visit the city area.

Today a super scenic flight of near one hour to reach Nepalgunj. Nepalganj, headquarter of Banke District, situated on the Terai plains near the southern border of India. The temperature in this city is quite hot in comparison to othe hills area of Nepal with time to explore the city.

Day 04: Fly to Juphal, Dolpo 2,320 m / 7,610 ft trek to Dunai 2,850 m 04 hrs.

Morning another super scenic flight of nearly 40 minutes to Juphal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north, from here start trek to Dunai with a downhill walk following the river bank of Thuli Bheri heading eastward  then through terraced fields and follow the narrow gorge to reach Dunai village for overnight stop.

Day 05: Trek to Ankhe 2,896 m / 9,499 ft -06 hrs.

Leaving Dunai, move to Ankhe heading north, crossing a big steel suspension bridge over Thuli Bheri River and gently climb uphill through several small settlements and enter the Phoksundo river valley. As treks continue adopting higher altitude with less vegetation and complete unique landscapes.  The trail is mostly uphill and downhill that leads to the village of Raha inhabited by Thakuri communities. The trail further passes through lower section of Raha village and gently descends through dense dark forest to reach Ankhe, the entrance to the Shey Phoksundo National Park and for the overnight.

Day 06: Trek to Renje 3,010 m / 9,875 ft – 06 hrs.

The trail first gently climbs up and descend downhill passing through thick forest, then, the trail ascends steeply and makes few ups and downs. Trek crosses several streams leaving forests and traversing a grassy slope high above the river. The path begins to descend steeply through forest and leads through rocky path encountering local people bringing their yaks and cows from the summer pasture area. Cross a bridge over river and reach a flat camping area at Renje for overnight camp.

Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo Lake 3,500 m / 11,480 ft -06 hrs.

The trail continues along the valley and cross the wooden bridge over Phoksundo Khola. The trail further descends through pine forest, to reach near the village of Ringmo. The path passes a cedar forest leading to Palam, another small settlement. The trail climbs the ridge where the magnificent view of Phoksundo Lake and stunning waterfall is visible. A few hours of walk will finally brings to Phoksundo Lake for overnight stop.


Day 08: Rest day at Phoksundo Lake for acclimatization and local hike.

This lake is an ideal place for the acclimatization, spending an extra day in Phoksundo helps to acclimatize and avoid the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) with magnificent views of Kanjiroba peak and other mountain range with ample time to visit Ringmo village which is near by the Lake. The nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit.

Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola  4,130 m -06 hrs.

The trail outlines on a rocky ledge as it confines the western brim of the lake, trail further descends down to the valley bottom to enter the flood plain area of Phoksundo Khola and trek along the river and brings to a flat camping area, setting up our camps near the forest area to avoid the impact of the strong winds of this region.

Day 10: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang 4,402 m / 13,786 ft -05 hrs.

The trail crosses several streams and leads through glacial valley heading to the north of lake. The trail passes through extremely unique landscapes where one can explore vertical cliffs and contorted rock formation.   The trail further brings to the old wooden bridge and heading north east direction, walking over rocky path filled up with boulders and crossing stream to descend steeply to the valley. The trail then climbs to the top where the Kang La Pass is visible and takes to the campsite beside the river.

Day 11: Cross Kang-La pass 5,360 m /17,581 ft and trek to Shey Gompa

4,500 m / 14,760 ft- 06 hrs.

Morning trek strenuously climbs up and leads to the remarkable Kang La Pass which is the vantage point for views of North Western Mountains of Mt. Dhaulagiri range and Kanjiroba Himalaya. The trail steeply descends down to the largest valley and leads to the river, then crossing rivers several times coming through many yaks, sheep and Chyangras (local mountain goats) gazing near the river valley. A few hours of walk will finally brings at crystal monastery of Shey Gompa for overnight stop.

Day 12: Rest day and exploration at Shey Gompa.

This day allows you to explore the vicinity of Shey Gompa, Shey means crystal in local dialect. That why this monastery is also known as the Crystal. This gompa is relatively smaller and considered to be 800 years old. But the wall paintings are relatively recent perhaps painted four decades ago. This monastery is considered to be the sacred monastery which houses ancient Tibetan scroll that describes the myth of Crystal Mountain and Shey- gompa and about the holy lake and its mysterious water that used to turn milky. This is the perfect place for acclimatizing and to explore the crystal monastery.

Day 13: Cross Saldang La pass 5,200 m / 17,056 ft & trek to Namduna Gaon

4,800 m / 15,744 ft -06 hrs.

Morning walk passes through juniper forest and leads to the top of Saldang-la Pass via a rocky path, cross the pass and make a steep long descend towards north and enter another valley, encountering several yaks and sheep’s grazing in the valley and nomadic tents made from yak wool. Walk for few hours to reach the Namduna village for overnight stop andn explore Namduna Monastery.

Day 14: Trek to Saldang 3,620 m / 11,874 ft – 05 hours.

The trail climbs a rocky slope and passes along some dusty barren mountains then climb for few more hours and encounter the view of Saldang village surrounded with its terraced fields, Mani stones before arriving Saldang village. Then with a gentle descends to reach the largest village of inner Dolpo area at Saldang for overnight stop.

Day 15: Trek to Sibu 4,560 m / 14,957 ft – 06 hrs.

Leaving Saldang,  heading for Sibu following the trail that descends down to the river bed passing through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens, Mani stones and a Chaiba monastery, then reach another village of Namdo and visit the Namdo monastery that lies near the river bed. A few hours of walk brings to the village of Sibu for overnight stop.

Day 16: Trek to Jeng-la Phedi 4,900 m / 16,072 ft – 06 hrs.

The trail enters to the river valley and passes several streams, walk for couple of hours and cross another stream before turning into a side valley, then heading eastward and climb gradualy to the bottom of Jeng La Pass with overnight camp.

Day 17: Cross Jeng- La 5,090 m / 16,695 ft and trek to Tokyu Gaon

4,200 m / 13,776 ft – 06 hrs.

Morning walk for couple of hours and climb towards the top of the Jeng La Pass, the pass offers complete stunning views of western Himalaya Mountains including Mt.Dhaulagiri massif. The trail makes a gentle descends and enters to Tarap valley. The trail further leads to the green valley and to Tarap Chu. Tarap chu is a small mesmerizing villages surrounded with mountain scenery and terraced fields. Walk further to next village to Tokyu gaon for overnight stop near Tokyu monastery.

Day 18: Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040 m / 13,251ft – 05 hrs.

Early morning visit Chaiba Gompa and start trek to Dho Tarap. The trail descends downhill and enters the plain valley on the riverbank, the trail follows this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which has completely different views and brings to the village of Dho Tarap for overnight stop.

Day 19: Rest Day at Dho Tarap for acclimatization and local hike.

This day allows you to acclimatize and to explore the vicinity of Dho Tarap, Dolpo-pa, who barters and trade with Tibet with their salt to trade for barley over the high passes, marvel the local rich culture and traditions of Magar and Bon community.

Day 20: Trek to Ghyamgar 3,800 m / 12,464ft – 05 hrs.

The trail follows Tarap Khola descending downhill and passes narrow gorges, then cross several steel suspension bridges and walk on narrow path with scenic landscapes views to reach Ghyamgar  for overnight stop.

Day 21: Trek to Khani Gaon 2,543 m / 8,341ft – 04 hrs.

The trail continues to descend through the gorge of Tarap River providing unexpected adventure and thrills, then cross several suspension bridges and arrive at a flat camping area of Khani gaon for overnight camp.

Day 22: Trek to Tarakot 2,850 m / 9,348 ft – 05 hrs.

Morning start trekking to Tarakot from Khanigaon descending through narrow gorge which continues following the river downstream, the path follows an indistinct trail to the village of Lalberi passing through an area of impressive forest, and finally reaches at Tarakot village for overnight stop.

Day 23: Trek to Juphal via Dunai – 06 hrs.

The last day trekking of this adventure leads back to Juphal via Dunai walk through tremendous gorge with pine trees. Finally cross a small suspension bridge over Barbung upstream and walk for less than half hour to reach Dunai. Then walk through narrow gorge made by Thuli Bheri River, continue along the river bank heading west direction, with time to visit several monasteries and Gompas on the way to Juphal. Walk along the riverbank passing terraced fields, cross a small suspension bridge and walk for few more hours to reach Juphal for the last camping at Juphal.

Day 24: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgung and transfer to hotel.

An early flight of nearly 40 minutes will take you back to the city of Nepalgunj, with a brief stop at Nepalgunj and then connect the flight for Kathmandu. Upon arrival, Sherpa Mountaineering guide will assist and transfer to respective hotels.

Day 25: In Kathmandu at leisure.

A free independent day for personal activities and please inform our staff if you would like to go on a tour or scenic mountain flight.

Day 26: International departure.
As per your international flight schedule Sherpa Mountaineering Expeditions staff will transfer you to the airport for the flight back home or to respective destination from this amazing country Nepal.

Service Included

  • All the food and accommodation Ktm Trekking,
  • All the internal transportation.

Service Excluded

  • International flight ticket.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Nepali visa fee.
  • Drinks not included
  • Personal wearing gear trekking and training and peak climbing soft cell and head lamp.
  • Tips for guide instructor and cook staff

Trip Highlights

In the high alpine valley, other side of north west of great Mt. Dhaulagiri massif mountain range, on remote high Kang-la 5,322m with scenic trekking in the midst of rich old Bon and pre-Buddhist culture and religions with age old traditions, awesome views of landscapes and high mountain range, through serene alpine forests, warm friendly locals on the least visited area.

Trip Mode: Camping
Trekking grade: Adventurous to challenging.
Trekking duration: 20 – 21 days
Total Trip: 25 – 26 days (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)

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