Upper Dolpo Trek

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Good to Know
  • Duration 24 Days
  • Trip Grade Moderate
  • Trip Destination Upper Dolpo
  • Starts at Kathmandu
  • Ends at Kathmandu
  • Trip Type Tea house trek
  • Transport Private vehicle / By Air
  • Accommodation Teahouse

Highlights

  • Majestic view of Himalayan peaks
  • Ancient and unique Buddhist monasteries
  • Phoksundo Lake and surrounding vegetation
  • Abundant and some rare wildlife
  • Brilliantly sparkling waterfalls and walks on rugged landscapes
  • It is the melting point of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon religions
  • Floral and faunal biodiversities and high passes
  • Drier but still attractive environment

Upper Dolpo Trek is the most recommended but restricted trek in Nepal. These both have their own reasons. It is highly recommended because of its pristine beauty and deliberation of an untouched and unexplored environment. Similarly, it is restricted because of the difficult route and different risk factors. The whole area was banned since 1989, after when the area was opened for trekking purpose. It neighbors Mustang in East, which shows it as rain-shadowed area. This area remains drier most of the time and receives lesser rain. The route we take for this trek was introduced and made famous by Peter Matthiessen in his book, ‘The Snow Leopard’, which is famous till the date.

Dolpo is the region in the northeast of Nepal which is ringed like a horseshoe shape of rising peaks. The peaks are more than 21,000ft higher and give the feeling of high cold like in the desert. It is the home to Tibetan people for the very long time. They follow the Tibetan Buddhist religion, which is itself a trademark in the world. Some follow Bon religion too which is considered as one of the five schools of Buddhism and also a wide-spread one in Tibet. The beauty of this region has no comparison with other regions as it is the most pristine and charming. The elevation in Dolpo ranges from 1,650m (5,412ft) to 5,136m (16,846ft) above sea level. Upper Dolpo offers varieties of landscapes, flora and fauna, natural and artistic diversity, and so forth. It is the home of endless beauty where you can travel and get new experience, every time we visit there.

Upper Dolpo Trek Facts

  • Destination: Nepal
  • Starting point: Kathmandu
  • Departure point: Kathmandu
  • Maximum altitude: 5,360m
  • Minimum altitude: 1,400m
  • Best seasons: Spring (March, April, May), Autumn (September, October) and Monsoon (June, July, August)
  • Group size: minimum 1 to maximum 12 people
  • Trip grade: moderate
  • Accommodation: Camping during the trek
  • Meals: all meals during trek

Upper Dolpo Trek Route

Kathmandu -> Nepalgunj -> Juphal -> Dunai -> Ankhe -> Sulighat -> Phoksundo Lake -> Phoksundo Khola -> Phoksundo  Bhanjyang -> Shey Gompa (via Kang La Pass) -> Namduna Gaun (via Saldang La Pass) -> Saldang -> Yangze Gompa -> Sibu -> Jeng-La Phedi -> Tokyu Gaun -> Dho Tarap -> Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) -> Khani Gaun -> Tarakot -> Dunai -> Juphal -> Nepalgunj -> Kathmandu

Upper Dolpo Trek takes us to the wild west of Nepal. Nepal Trek Adventure & Expedition offers you best opportunity to explore the most beautiful but restricted area of Nepal. We provide itinerary and services with the greater level of excellence. You can check in to our fixed departure section for your time scheduling and booking process. Instead, you can directly send us inquiry of which we will respond as soon as we receive it. We are much more flexible with the itinerary which you can extend and modify as well, but let us know about your plans previously. Feel free to unite with us and make your heavenly journey more worthy.

Itinerary
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    NTA will transfer you to airport for flight to Nepalgunj. Around an hour you will land on Nepalgunj airport. You can roam here for some hours. It is one of the hottest town of the country that borders India. Overnight stay at Nepalgunj.

      It is around 45 minute flight to Juphal from Nepalgunj. Our trekking staff will receive you at Juphal. They have walked all the way from Nepalgunj to Juphal carrying your trekking gears and food supplies. It takes 5-6 days for them to arrive at Juphal from Nepalgunj.
      Our next stop Dunai village is just 2-3 hours (on foot) away from Juphal airport where we will be spending our night.

        From Dunai camp, early in the morning, we move towards Thulo Bheri Valley and enter into Phoksundo River Valley. While on walk we will enjoy Kagmara Peak. After sometime we reach at Dhera. It is a place for winter settlement where people from high altitude with their cattle come down to skip cold. Walking for few more hours through dense forest we reach at Shey Phoksundo National Park at Ankhe. Here we will arrange overnight camp.

          The path towards Sulighat is full of up and down. Streams on the way is very pleasing for the trekkers here. The trail passes through grassy slope above the river. The trail path is very narrow but exciting equally. You can see river flowing in great current down under below your feet. After some hours we reach at Ryajik village where we will setup our camp.

            Our journey continues towards Phoksundo Lake, Rigmo village. We walk to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo Khola (River). On the way we can enjoy waterfall (300m) which is Nepal’s highest waterfall. After some time we reach Phoksundo lake and arrange camp for night.

              It is acclimatization day where we will enjoy the lake and roam around Ringmo village.

                Trail to Phoksundo Khola is very interesting. It is an example of walk in remote area. Our trail leads through the valley, river and flushing meadows to arrive at bank of the river where we will set camp for the night.

                  Way to Phoksundo Bhanjyang is very challenging. We walk through rocks and boulders. A hard walk will bring us to a place from where we can see Kang-La Pass. We setup our camp here at Phoksundo Bhanjyang.

                    Walk is strenuous to Shey Gompa. We cross many rivers several times. Hairy yaks, sheep and domestic mountain goat are seen grazing on fields. A red chorten signifies that we have arrived in Shey Gompa. Here we setup camp for overnight.

                      Shey means crystal in English and this monastery is also known as Crystal monastery. It is a kind of retreat centre. Lamas of Shey put off in red hermitage which is also known as Tsakang Gompa. It is situated at north side of Shey. Many Lamas from Tibet had meditated in Tsakang. This Shey Gompa belongs to Chaiba community. They are the followers of saint Padmasambhava who is also known as Guru Rinpoche and Kagyu. During 11th century Lama Tenzing Ra-Pa for the first time built this Kagyupa Monastery. It will your unique experience as few tourist from west had been here.

                        We begin our trail through zig-zag rocky course which takes us to Saldang La. From there a bit long walk towards north will bring us to Namduna gaun. At this place there is another monastery called Namgung. It belongs to Karma-Pa sect.

                          A tough 3-4 hours of climbing will take us to a cliff from where we can see Saldang. It is a largest village of inner Dolpo region. The village covers around two square kilometer. There are five villages inside Saldang. It inhabits more than 600 people and 80 well built houses. It is a prime trade route to Tibet.

                            From Saldang our journey further moves to northern part. Many tourists had not visited this inner area. We will follow barren windswept path with many ups and downs. After passing Tiling and Lurigaun we reach Yangze where we will set up our camp for the night.

                              There are two routes that connect Sibu with Yangze. To save our time and energy we will retrace the path back towards Saldang village as it is much easier and shorter. We pass through Chaiba Monastery, Namdo village and reach Nam Kong Khola. Another couple of hours walk will take us to Sibu where we will arrange our night halt.

                                The trek will go ahead following Nam Khong Khola. A steep climb thereafter will bring us to the bottom of Jeng-La where we will setup out camp for the night.

                                  Around two hours of climb and we will reach at the top of Jeng-La. From here we descend through rough path towards Tarap Valley. By noon we reach Tarap Chu. It stretches 22 kilometers. We will spend night in Tokyu Monastery.

                                    After a short trek on this beautiful valley we come to Dho Tarap where we will spend another beautiful night. We will have enough time to visit other nearby villages.

                                      Today is rest day. You can purchase home spun clothes and Tibetan style Somba (boots with upturned toes).

                                        Today’s journey is going to be a bit long. We descend towards wide valley which ultimately narrows into gorge. By noon we reach at confluence of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola which further flows towards east as Tarap River. We will arrange our camp at Kamakharka.

                                          Trek to Khanigaon is a life time memory as the valley becomes so narrow that in some places we jump from one side to other. Sometimes the path seems missing and we walk across stone slabs screwed on longs in between the walls which act like bridge. It is a thrilling experience. Finally, after overcoming all hardships we reach Khanigaon where we halt for the night.

                                            From Khanigaon we head towards Lalberi village. Then passing forest and gorge we reach at Tarakot. It is an old fortress known as Dzong by locals. Dzong means fort in English.

                                              We walk beside Bheri River to reach Dunai. On reaching Dunai we complete a circuit, henceforth, we enjoy the trip with bottle of beers or local brew available at Dunai.

                                                We take short route towards Jhuphal and after reaching there we setup our camp.

                                                  We take flight to Nepalgunj from Jhuphal. After arriving at Nepalgunj we wait for connecting flight to Kathmandu.

                                                  Our team guides, porters and accompanying staff are locals with a broad knowledge about each and every location that we travel through.

                                                  What's Included

                                                  • Free airport picks upon your arrival and a drop at the end of your trip
                                                  • Trekkers information management system.(Tims Card)
                                                  • Resticted Area Permits
                                                  • 2 night accommodation in Nepalgunj
                                                  • All necessary ground transportation as per the itinerary
                                                  • Trekking Map
                                                  • Complete free trekking information before going to trek
                                                  • Tasty and hygienic organic welfare dinner at the end of the trek in Kathmandu
                                                  • Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during the trek
                                                  • All nights in local teahouses/lodges during trekking
                                                  • An experienced licensed holder guide and needed number of porters as per your group size
                                                  • Medical first aid kit box ( which is carried by your team) 
                                                  • Foods, accommodations and local tax for guide & porters

                                                  What's Excluded

                                                  • Your travel insurance ( Travel insurance is compulsory to take an adventure trip and it must be covered both medical & emergency evacuation with the worth of USD100, 000.00 minimum. 
                                                  • Nepal entry visa fees
                                                  • Any kind of drinks (tea, coffee, water, hot water, etc) and of bar bills (alcoholic beverages)
                                                  • Hot shower, WIFI, any electronic battery charges during only in trekking  
                                                  • Tips and gratitude to your guides, porters, and drivers
                                                  • Extra night accommodation or meals in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure and early return from trekking (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary

                                                  Size of Trekking Group

                                                  For Upper Dolpo Trek, there will be one leader and Sherpa porter (1 porter for 2 trekkers). This arrangement is done for the smooth running of the campaign. It ensures that the trip will carry on as per plan even if anybody in a group gets sick. NTA can operate this trek for a group of any size. But, a group of 12 are considered as optimum size. However, if you have a group of more than 12, NTA can arrange this too.

                                                  Accommodations

                                                  While on trek, we will spend nights at local tea houses. All accommodations for this trek will be on twin sharing basis. However, on request, single rooms can also be made available but it costs additional $ 350 US. But some places in this region do not allow single accommodations.

                                                  Meals

                                                  During our Upper Dolpo Trek, we will enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine like, Tibetan, Continental, Italian, and Indian. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, breads and drinks of different variety and snacks. 
                                                  Breakfast of a day will be served at the same tea house or lodge where we spent the night, as per its menu. Lunch will be served on the way to destination and dinner will be served at the tea house where you spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be served during our stay in Kathmandu.

                                                  Getting Visa for Nepal

                                                  You will get on arrival visa for Nepal. On arriving Nepal you will get tourist visa for 15 to five months. It depends upon your purpose of visit but regarding tour you will get the visa for 15 to three months. 
                                                  For trekking you need to submit photocopy of passport and two pp size photo of yours.

                                                  Testimonials
                                                  What Our Clients Say
                                                  • T
                                                    Ting Yi ChunSweden,February 18, 2016

                                                    Best Trekking Operator for Upper Dolpo

                                                    My friends Jonathan and Marie went trekking in Nepal and were always describing the places' beauty of mother nature. I used to get amazed thinking, can a place be that beautiful? So I researched about Nepal and got amazed viewing its status and level of beauty. It attracted me like a magnet attracting iron. I thought about visiting the place and took a suggestion about the place where I should go. Friends suggested me many places and I picked Upper Dolpo trekking. The term attached with it 'restricted trek' made me more curious to know about it. I booked my trip from my country, packed back and went to Nepal. We made it to the place enjoying thrilling but beautiful path, the tantrum of mother nature, dances of sand, rolling of stones, and many more. All of them were like an illusion but were true. Nepal is a beautiful country, and what makes it more attractive are its unique vegetation and alluring people. Thank you, folks, and thank you team of NTA. God bless.

                                                    TrustPilot
                                                  • E
                                                    Esther BronsNetherlands,October 07, 2015

                                                    Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Trekking Best Experience

                                                    Reaching out to the place which I read on a book: I am a fun loving but bibliophile kind of person. In the process of reading, I read a book named 'the snow leopard', which is based on the realistic place in Nepal, Dolpo. I always got a vibe of reaching that beautiful place. Time passed and I finally decided to go for it. I booked my trip and came to Nepal. We started our journey from Kathmandu, and also ended there. My as a whole journey experience was mind-blowing. I enjoyed every portion of the trip including all ups and downs, falls and rises, and so on. Our guides and porters also played the vital role in making trip awesome with their obliging and friendly nature. So special thanks go to them too. And most of all, a big thank to a company, Nepal Trek Adventure. You know what guys, you guys are truly wowing one and you are doing a great job. The way you present your country, your culture, your gratitude is honestly stone melting. Love you guys and God bless you.    

                                                    TrustPilot

                                                  Why travel with Nepal Trek Adventure?

                                                  Nepal Trek Adventure and Expedition is one of the best local travel companies based in Kathmandu with leading adventures.

                                                  • Small Group Departure
                                                    Small Group Departure

                                                    We run small and manageable group departure during the main season of the year. You can also make your trip private and maintain your own itinerary.

                                                  • Locally Based Leaders
                                                    Locally Based Leaders

                                                    Our locally based team encompasses highly qualified and experienced and friendly and obliging team leaders, who will assist you in making your journey in our country more ravishing.

                                                  • Travel with Confidence
                                                    Travel with Confidence

                                                    Travel with Confidence is something that comes from commitment. Being a legally registered company, we commit to provide best, satisfactory trekking, tour, and expedition.

                                                  • Support Local Communities
                                                    Support Local Communities

                                                    All the tours and trekking that we run are programmed to keep nature safe and sound. We are also a member of different clubs working for the welfare of the community.

                                                  Inquiries