• Total Duration:24 Days
  • Destination:Nepal
  • Trip Grade:Moderate

Overview

Dolpo region is situated between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges. The entire district was closed to trekkers until 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups.

The Upper Dolpo region Trekking is an isolated area in Nepal which has been severely off-limits until only recently, so the traditions and way of life have remained integral. In the autumn of 1990 the first British tour operator organized a trek from east to west, from Pokhara to Jumla through Lower Dolpo. Upper Dolpo Trekking a land of the Himalaya. Upper Dolpo trekking is situated in the western part of the country and upper Dolpo trekking is one of the most remote regions in Nepal.

Upper Dolpo trekking routes passed many enormous mountain ranges – Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Kanjiroba, to name but a few – and passed through Lower Dolpo, at one time a small kingdom in its own right. More recently we have repeated the route, with differences and our groups see very few other Europeans so they are inspired greatly about the wild remoteness, the stunning mountain scenery and the fact that the local people had that innocent friendliness peculiar to people who live in excessively remote mountainous regions.

Upper Dolpo trekking adventure begins with tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. We then fly to Nepalgunj and then to Juphal from where we begin our trek in the Dolpo region which was made famous by Peter Matthiessen’s book – The Snow Leopard. Nepal’s first English subtitled movie on Dolpo, The Caravan, was also a huge success and was also nominated for the Oscar Award in the best foreign language film category. During our trek, we pass through interesting villages, trekking routes and meet fascinating people. We also cross a few high Himalayan passes and enjoy the vast and tranquil beauty of Phoksundo Lake. From Shey Gompa, we follow the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route and return back to Jhuphal as our trek ends. The trek takes you into the wild west of Nepal.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Tour
Day 03: Fly to Nepalganj
Day 04: Fly to Juphal (2,400meters) and trek to Dunai (2,150meters)
Day 05: Trek to Ankhe (2,660meters)
Day 06: Trek to Renje (3,104meters)
Day 07: Trek to PhosundoLake (3,600meters)
Day 08: Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3,507meters)
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402meters)
Day 10: Cross Kang La pass (5,151meters) then trek to Shey Gompa (4,126meters)
Day 11: Rest and exploration day at Shey Gompa
Day 12: Cross the Saldang La pass (4,785meters), and then trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400meters)
Day 13: Trek to Saldang (3,903meters)
Day 14: Trek to Sibu (3,942meters)
Day 15: Trek to foot of the Jeng La (4,369meters)
Day 16: Cross the Jeng La pass (4,845meters), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240meters)
Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090meters)
Day 18: Trek to Serkam (3,630 meters)
Day 19: Trek to Khani Gaon (2,550meters)
Day 20: Trek to Tarakot (2,281meters)
Day 21: Trek to Dunai (2,052meters)
Day 22: Trek to Juphal (2,404meters)
Day 23: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepaljung.
Day 24: Final Departure

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to respective hotels.

Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Tour

Drive to various historical and cultural attraction spots in the valley such as Palace areas, Swayambhu Stupa, Baudha Stupa, Pashupati temple etc.

Day 03: Fly to Nepalganj

Today, you will take flight to Nepalganj. The flight will give good views of the Himalaya to the north. Transfer to your hotel. There will be time in the evening to have a look around the town which is situated 3 kms from the southern Nepalese border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical. Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Fly to Juphal (2,400meters) and trek to Dunai (2,150meters)

From Nepalgunj take a flight to Juphal. From here you will have walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow canyon which after in 3 hours will lead you to a relatively larger village called Dunai. Overnight at tented camp

Day 05: Trek to Ankhe (2,660meters)

From Dunai you cross the new suspension bridge, head north from the confluence of the Thuri Bheri and Suli Gad rivers and follow the Suli Gad. You pass through lush greenery, various vegetation including marijuana, millet, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet corn and chilly. You reach the settlement of Hanke, which is also the entrance to the Phoksundo National Park. The three villages you pass through have a strange name connection: Parela, meaning eyelash, Rahagaon meaning eyebrow, and Ankhe meaning eye. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 06: Trek to Renje (3,104meters)

The trail starts becoming very hectic but once you cross the river twice on well-made bridges, you then make a steep ascent on a very narrow path, hugging the cliff face. You may camp on the side of Suligad River. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 07: Trek to PhosundoLake (3,600meters)

From here the initial hours of the trek is fairly easy. But from Sumdo the trail becomes very much like an incline. Climb up to a ridge, about 3,875m, from where you will have the most staggering views of a 300meters waterfall, the highest in Nepal, and your first view of Phoksundo Lake. You then descend through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola.. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 08: Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3,507meters)

You follow the trail that skirts the edge of the lake itself. You go very steeply up, to 4,040meters, and then plunge down again to the valley bottom to enter the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola and trek to your night stop alongside the river, within the confines of the forest to avoid the worst of the wind which is prevalent in the valley bottom. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402meters)

Today you should take sandals or footwear suitable for knee deep as you will be crossings few streams. This morning you continue along the level path through a glacial valley that now heads north. There is no known trail, so it is necessary to climb over rocks and boulders and to ford a stream that rushes down the steep valley. You can then climb more to see the sheep meadow, a valley where you can see the Kang La, the pass will lead you to Shey Gompa. You camp just before the pass in a place that Peter Matthiessen Christened 'Snowfields Camp'. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 10: Cross Kang La pass (5,151meters) then trek to Shey Gompa (4,126meters)

The somewhat indistinct track is physically demanding, especially on the loose slate screed. It will take about two and a half to three hours to reach the top of the Kang La. A red chorten heralds your arrival at Shey Gompa where a quaint wooden log bridge leads up to the Shey compound. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 11: Rest and exploration day at Shey Gompa

Today you will visit Shey Gompa which belongs to the Chaiba community, followers of the Padmasambhava and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Ten-szin-Ra-Pa, built during the 11th century. Crystal Mountain is to the west of Shey monastery. It is a very strange mountain with contorted cliffs laced with quartz and embedded with variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangjunala and Yeju nala.. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 12: Cross the Saldang La pass (4,785meters), and then trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400meters)

Today, you start by ascending a grey, stony canyon going pass through zig-zag bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings you to a flat spot. Then half an hour later you reach the top of the Saldang La pass. Here you will enjoy great views towards the arid landscapes of Mustang and the distant snow peaks of Tibet. Then you take tiring descend through pastures and nomadic tents then to Namduna Gaon. Like Shey, the Namgung monastery is of the Karma-pa sect. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 13: Trek to Saldang (3,903meters)

You will ascend to long thrilling traverse along some dusty barren mountains. Then go down steep slopes to reach the picturesque village of Salding. The village is situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong Nala and the biggest village of the inner Dolpo area. The village stretches for two kilometers on an open slope and consists of five villages having eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred villagers. It is prosperous, not only agriculturally, but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 14: Trek to Sibu (3,942meters)

After leaving Saldang on the way down to the river bed you pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens, heaps of Mani stones and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village is also prosperous with sixty houses having nearly four hundred inhabitants. It stretches for more than 5km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 15: Trek to foot of the Jeng La (4,369meters)

Following the line of the river valley the trail is fairly easy going initially. After about two hours it is necessary to wade another stream before turning into a side valley and the rise becomes very sharp. This is a pleasant meadow, but bestrewn with rocks, yak and other animal droppings. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 16: Cross the Jeng La pass (4,845meters), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240meters)

The trail is generally well compacted making the going underfoot easy, much easier than loose shale, but it is steep. It is only a 2 hour climb to reach the top of the Jeng La. A rough track descends towards the Tarap valley. By the afternoon you find a green valley which leads you by a pleasant track down towards the Tarap Chu. You will stay at Tokyu monastery for the night.. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090meters)

Before leaving Tokyu, you will visit Chaiba Gompa then on the way Tarap village inhabited mostly by Magar ethnicity. In the afternoon a walk up to the Buddhist Gompa is very worthwhile. There is a resident lama who is very happy to show off his monastery and might even let you see his private Gompa and the Tankas he has made himself. The Bon Gompa is about half an hour's walk from camp. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 18: Trek to Serkam (3,630 meters)

Your route follows the course of the Tarap Khola, generally downhill. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through. The track is very narrow in places. You reach your overnight camp on a grassy strip by the river. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 19: Trek to Khani Gaon (2,550meters)

You continue to walk down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it and at others high above, on a narrow trail built out from the steep slopes. There are also flights of man-made stone staircases which need to be tackled with care – some of the constituent rocks wobble when stepped upon. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 20: Trek to Tarakot (2,281meters)

Leaving Khanigoan by the new suspension bridge and then walk alongside the river, sometimes going very high before reaching down to the water again. Coming into the broad fertile valley of the Barbung Chu, you walk amongst the various crops of millet, sweet corn, barley, buckwheat, green beans, chilies and marijuana. The famous Sandul Gompa, which lies 8km east of Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu, stands on a knoll to the south of Bheri river and at one time supervised collections of tolls for the trading caravans traversing an area called Tichu Rong. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 21: Trek to Dunai (2,052meters)

The trail is mostly down and fairly firm. Walking beside the Bheri river, you use the ingenious path built twenty feet above the river. All too soon you have reached the village of Dunai and the camp site you used before. You will now have completed the circuit of mysterious land Dolpo and a celebration party is sure to happen. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 22: Trek to Juphal (2,404meters)

You now retrace your steps to Juphal. Initially the way is flat but the final hour up to your destination seems steeper than you remember on Day One! Overnight at tented camp.

Day 23: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepaljung.

Early morning flight to Nepalganj from Juphal. This is a wonderful 35-minute flight over the Himalayan foothills, with fine views of the main peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. You then connect with the flight back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 24: Final Departure

The trip comes at the end today. If you prefer to extend your trip let us know otherwise we will transfer you to Kathmandu airport. Normally 3 hours before your flight you are required to check in.

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Reviews

Henri Frederic Amiel ,
Switzerland

Life is short

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. O,h be swift to love, make haste to be kind.

Antonio Brown ,
America

The journey is never-ending

The journey is never-ending. There's always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what's right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.

Oliver Goldsmith,
Ireland

Life is a journey

Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.

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