Upper Dolpo Trek | 23 days

  • Destination Nepal
  • Duration 23 Days
  • Transportation Private Bus, Jeep, Car
  • Grade Moderate
  • Group Size 5-6

Trekking in the Dolpo province of Nepal lets you take in the splendor of Nepal’s wild and isolated far west region. Western Nepal is not only far away but also quite underdeveloped and untouched. The culture and a large portion of the scenery on the Tibet-Dolpo border are simply ravishing. Additionally, you cannot hike independently in Upper Dolpo as per the government of Nepal.

Details for Upper Dolpo Trek 2023

The permits in this region are costly, but this area rewards trekkers with deep valleys, steep hills, peaks, the turquoise Lake Phoksundo, the 800-year-old Shey Monastery, and some rare fauna, including the elusive snow leopard. In this upper Dolpo trek, you can observe the ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture prevalent in the desolate region between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri massif. You will visit numerous artistic monasteries and experience local ethnic traditional ways of life preserved in their original, unaltered state.


Our office representative will be at the airport when you arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport to receive you. Your name tag will be on a board that he/she will be holding and will transfer you to your hotel through a private vehicle. After you reach your hotel, a brief discussion will be held by our representative, after which you can have your meal and rest.
You will meet your Upper Dolpo Trek guide and assistants on this day. Before you start the trek, you will do brief sightseeing in Kathmandu. The Kathmandu Valley's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and temples will be visited on this day. You will tour Patan Durbar Square, a historic royal palace that dates to the sixteenth century. Then, you'll visit Boudhanath, one of Asia's biggest stupas. You will then go to Pashupatinath, a well-known Hindu temple. In the evening, you will visit Swayambhunath and observe a magnificent sunset and the Kathmandu Valley. A private vehicle will be arranged for your transportation on this day.
Early morning, breakfast will be served to you at the hotel. After that, you will drive to Tribhuwan International Airport's domestic terminal to catch your flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a town located in western Nepal, not far from the Indian border. At Nepalgunj, the weather is usually hot and tropical. During the flight to Nepaljung, your trek guide will be with you. The flight will last approximately 40 minutes. Once you reach Nepaljung, our office representative will transfer you to the hotel in Nepalgunj.
After breakfast, you will drive to the Nepalgunj airport to catch your flight to Juphal. To get to Juphal, the flight will take about 35 minutes. We shall begin our adventure after arriving in Juphal. To reach Kalagauda from Juphal, you must descend for 45 minutes while walking pleasantly. From Kalagauda, you must then trek for another two hours along the Thuli Bheri River to get to Dunai. After arriving in Dunai, rooms will be assigned by the booking where you can rest. Besides, Dunai is Dolpa's headquarters, and you will find many government and private schools, colleges, buildings, and police checkpoints here. If you want, you may walk to Bon Gumba and take in the view of the entire Dunai region as well as surrounding communities.
Today, our hike starts from Dunai by taking the traditional Dolpo path. The stroll is mostly relaxing till we reach Chhepka. We arrive at the Shey Phoksundo National Park, Silughar checkpoint, where we will hand out the Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo National Parks trekking permits. Afterwards, we'll hike alongside the Phoksundo River and traverse the lush tropical jungle. While we cross the dense jungle, we will experience a dramatic shift in the landscape. Kageni, Jutung, and Shangta will be passed by gradually. And at the meeting of the Phoksundo and Maiba Khola rivers, we shall cross a bridge. To get to Cheppka, we'll move toward the north. When we get to Cheppka, we'll set up camp in a decent area and rest.
We'll be strolling over the renowned Lower Dolpa Circuit trek route today from Chhepka to Chunuwar. We'll hike the other way from how the river flows and cross the Phoksundo River Bridge twice. This trail is remarkably tranquil till we reach Rechi where we shall pause for lunch. We'll stroll down the riverside after lunch and rest for a while. After that, we shall cross a bridge at sulligad dovan to reach where the Phoksundo River and Yulung Khola converge. Ultimately we reach Chunuwar, where we can find Amchi (traditional healers who treat illnesses and infections in the Dolpo region with herbal remedies) Hospital. We'll set up our camps there for the night.
We will trek to Shey Phoksundo, the deepest lake in all of Nepal today. We'll take the easy trail that leads directly to Phoksundo Lake, for which we first go to Palam for which we'll ascend a cedar forest. When we reach Palam we might see many locals from Ringmo village living in Palam if we reach there in the winter. We will first descend to an elevation of roughly 3300 meters. Then, after a 3,875-meter ascent, we will reach a ridge from where we will enjoy the most breathtaking views of a 300-meter waterfall and our first glimpse of the gorgeous turquoise Phoksundo Lake. Then, we'll make our way down through birch forests to the Phoksundo Khola and eventually arrive at the charming town of Ringmo with its mud-plastered Stupas (chortens) and Mani walls. We will put up the campgrounds on the banks of Phoksundo Lake and have a good meal.
Today will be spent exploring the area around Phoksundo Lake and the Ringmo community. We will first have a tour of the Ringmo village. The Tibetan village of Ringmo has a distinctive culture and heritage and is a typical Tibetan village. Next, we proceed to Tshowa, a Bon monastery beside the lake. It was constructed in the 900s and carried both traditional and religious significance. We'll go inside the Tshowa monastery to explore more about the monastery, which will be an amazing experience. Then, we'll make our way down to Phoksundo Lake, known for its stunning scenery and beautiful turquoise water. We'll stay tonight at the campsite while honouring the breathtaking natural scenery.
One of the nicest trekking days of the Dolpo trek will be today. We'll ascent the steep routes along the cliffs above Phoksundo Lake. After that, we will descend for about an hour and a half along the lovely woodland. We will then arrive at the Phoksundo Khola camp on the opposite side of the lake. After that, we will climb the last ascent of today's journey to Sallaghari. We'll set a camp among the lovely pine trees and rest overnight.
Today, we will embark on a brief, three-hour hike to the Nangdala High Camp. We'll start our hike by climbing the steep Tuk Kyaksa River route and repeatedly switching to the riverside. We will arrive in a broad valley after travelling from the bridge for around 30 minutes and continue walking along the canyon for another two and a half hours. Then, at the enormous granite slab known as Kang La/Nangdala Base Camp, we will set our camp.
We'll hike today to Shey Gompa and Crystal Mountain, the region of Dolpo's most revered peak. We will travel through the truly intriguing Dolpo region on this day. We must pass through Kang LA or Nangda LA pass to get there. We must climb the gravelled trail uphill for around three hours to go over this pass. We will be rewarded for our three-hour exertion with breathtaking sights at the summit. You can see Crystal Mountain, Tibetan Territory Mountain, and the Dolpo region's captivating environment from the summit. Along the hike, you may see peaks like Shey Shikhar and Kang Chunne. At the entrance of Shey Gompa is a red chorten. According to the Tibetan calendar, a large festival is conducted every dragon year (every 12 years). Many people attend this important festival from all parts of the nation. At Shey Gompa, we'll set our camp for the night.
We will tour the area around Shey Gompa today. This monastery, which is thought to be 800 years old, contains an antique scroll that describes the legends surrounding Crystal Mountain. Locally, Shey Gompa is referred to as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. A summer event known as the Shey festival is held at this monastery. Shey Gompa is shown as the Gompa of Thinley's kid in Eric Valli's "Caravan" film and is beautifully depicted in Peter Matthiessen's "The Snow Leopard." After the exploration, we will return to the gompa and rest overnight.
We'll start our walk from Shey Gumpa to reach Namgung today. For around two hours, we'll follow the paths along Sephu Khola. The typical Dolpo countryside will take you by complete surprise. In a little over two hours, we will summit Shey LA top. The journey offers breathtaking views of Mustang, Tibet, Kanjirowa, Kagmara, and Crystal Mountain. To get to Namgung, we must descend for an additional two hours. We will reach Namgung in the evening time so we go to the campsite where we will establish here.
We will start our trek today by touring Namgung Monastery, perched on a towering cliff. Then we'll go out on our adventure and proceed down Namga Khola's pathways. To go to Saldang village, we shall pass several summer herding locations. Saldang village is a lovely community with many open spaces and stunning hills surrounding it. We'll go around the community, interact with the residents and taste some Chyang (barley beer) or salt butter teas per your preference. Additionally, Saldang village, to date, conserves the Dolpo's ancient Buddhist and Amchi traditions.
The hike from Saldandg to Sibu passes through various villages, monasteries, stupas, Chhortens, mani walls, and terraced fields. We stroll through the gorge, its floor covered in a verdant field of local barley. We must twice cross a river that is knee-deep to get to the campsite. Only juniper bushes with sharp thorns grow on the lovely wide terrain. After some time, we reach Sibu and rest there overnight.
Today we will travel through the final pass and ascend a gentle incline that runs alongside a river site. At one point on the long stretch of the trail, we cross the river twice. But the slope steepens at the ends, and we enter the lonely hill, a nearly highest camp of the expedition, as we left valleys and settlements behind. We rest overnight at the Jen-La Base camp.
Today, we pass through the last pass of the trip, which is reached by a difficult ascent. We can see the stunning Himalayan scenery, including Dhaulagiri and the arid Inner Dolpo region. The trail descends from the pass, lowering softly and steeply down towards Tarap valley. We, at the end of the day, reach Dho- Tarap, the highest settlement in the Dolpo, after another two hours of walking from Tokyo Goan, where the path splits to lead to Jomsom, Mustang, and Tibet.
Today we follow the track descending into a winding ravine alongside the Tarap River to arrive at Serkam. Both sides have hanging ridges, and occasionally it even vanishes between and beneath the hills. The trail winds through confined canyons where the river is flowing. Along the route for goods transportation, there will be a lot of mules, horses, and yaks. The trail shows signs of improvement in the afternoon, so we walk through a better road. We also pass a contemporary steel bridge that has been added to aid in the flow of both people and animals. After that, we arrive at Serkam, have our meal, and settle for the evening.
Early morning after a light breakfast, we continue our trek through the thick woodland and along the river to the tight gorge. We come across huge rocky stones that show the trail's quality and require attention because they could be slippery occasionally. Besides, the trial has multiple ups and downs. After trekking for a while, we reach Shahar Tara, where we spend our night.
Today we trek from Shahar Tara to Dunai along the river's edge. The trail is gently inclining and accessible for walking. Sometimes the path ascends to the top of the hill, while other times, it descends steeply to the River Open Space Trail, which takes us to Dunai. On reaching Dunai we will rest and have our dinner.
The trek's final day is today. Till we reach Kalagawda, we'll continue following the Bheri river's trail and eventually climb up to reach Juphal. It will only take a short hike of three hours to reach Juphal from Dunai. After we reach Dunai we will rest, have our meals and go for a walk in the surroundings if you wish to.
We fly to Nepalgunj from Juphal in the early morning if possible. It's a beautiful 35-minute flight over the Himalayan foothills, with lovely views of the highest peaks to the north, such as Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. After reaching Nepaljung, you fly to Kathmandu, which will take around 40 minutes. At night we will arrange a farewell dinner for you in a local restaurant in Kathmandu.
On this day, you will be departing from Kathmandu to your home country. Three hours before your scheduled departure time for your home nation, you will be transferred to the airport by our representative.

Cost Includes

  • Foreign and domestic airport transfers,
  • Hotel accommodations,
  • Experienced English-speaking tour guides with government license
  • Cost of domestic travel
  • Daily three meals
  • Arrangements in a tent camp
  • Permit for the Upper Dolpo restricted region
  • Permit for the Lower Dolpo Restricted area
  • Porters necessary to transport the food, gear, and tent during the hike
  • Sleeping bag
  • Luggage bag
  • Complete medical supply kit
  • All municipal and national taxes

Cost Excludes

  • International travel costs to and from Nepal
  • Visa entry fees
  • Meals while in Kathmandu
  • Insurance covers things like medical costs, unexpected evacuations, and losses.
  • Beverages while trekking, including alcoholic beverages, mineral water, and heated water.
  • The included section does not mention all meals, drinks, and snacks.
  • An additional night expenses spent in Kathmandu in case of early arrival/ later departure/ an earlier return from the trek than planned (for any reason)
  • Personal equipment costs
  • Tips for Staff members, guides, porters, and drivers.


How challenging is the Upper Dolpo trek?

Upper Dolpo trekking is appropriate for all types of individuals looking for isolated trekking in Nepal who are physically and mentally fit. You can do this trekking without any prior adventure experience as long as you can walk for 6 to 7 hours a day in a mountainous area. Upper Dolpo trek has no bounds as long as the traveller is healthy. However, we often advise adding a few extra days to your plan and preparing for this trek.

Does the hike require a permit?
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Upper Dolpo Trek | 23 days

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