Upper Dolpo Trekking route is a remote and unspoiled destination near the Tibetan border of Nepal. Upper Dolpa is opened only in the late eighties for trekkers. The isolated trekking destination offers unique culture, landscape, mountain views and great Himalayan experience without any modern tech.
Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trekking
- You will follow the footprints of the ancient trans-Himalayan traders.
- You will be freely exploring the region in a dry weather without worrying about the rain as the region lies in the rain shadow area of Dhaulagiri ranges.
- You will have an amazing time inside your tented camp on this trek around the Shey Phoksundo lake, Crystal mountain, and the crisp views of Dhaulagiri ranges.
- You can catch a view of diverse flora and fauna in the SheyPhoksundo National Park.
- You get an insight into the life and culture of the followers of Bon Buddhism.
Upper Dolpo lies in the northwest distant of Nepal, between the Tibetan Mesa and the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Trekking to Upper Dolpo is famous camping trekking in Nepal best for adventure seekers. The Upper Dolpo trekking – 24 Days takes in, as the name recommends, the upper part of this region, which is even more distant and rarely visited which was only opened to visitors at the end of the 1980s, Upper Dolpo is still taken as delimited area which requires a special permit. Phoksundo Lake; Shey Gompa; Bon Po practitioners; Buddhist monasteries; views of Dhaulagiri; Crystal Mountain (a mountain whose cliffs are fastened with quartz and marine fossils); unique Tibetan cultures; the glorious and rare snow leopard – all of these may sound acquainted. And yes, they are the topic of the Peter Matthiessen’s book “The Snow Leopard” and Eric Valla’s film of Dolpo life, ‘Himalaya’.
While Dolpo region is in general a dry, unadorned place, it is fastened with fast flowing rivers, roaring waterfalls, deep river canyons, lush pastures, and valleys of dug fields. Distant villages with stimulating cultures, including the Bon Po religion, and off course the gorgeous icy waters of Phoksundo Lake are other fascinations in this region. As part of Dolpo falls under the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the wildlife, such as the snow leopard, rare Himalayan blue sheep, goral, thar, Himalayan black bear etc. is sheltered.
This three week Upper Dolpo trek is not for the weak-hearted as trails are difficult, high, steep, shaky, and sometimes barely there. Long walking days at high altitude are the model with several high passes to cross, but for those with the endurance, fitness level and utter willpower, this Upper Dolpo Trekking – 24 Days is certainly a once-in a lifetime trip.
You will be warm welcomed at airport by our office representative and then you will transfer to hotel. Our staff will give brief explanation about the program. This day you can stay within the hotel or enjoy night at Thamel, Kingsway especially famous for clubs and bars.
This day, you will visit many cultural heritages, which includes some of the famous world?s heritages like Pashupatinath, Swyambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bouddhanath stupa and many more. You can do shopping various Nepalese cultural stuffs in this day. And Back to hotel for overnight.
Generally we go via Nepalgunj to get to Dolpo so, firstly we will fly to Nepalgunj and spent food time in Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is situated in south western part of Nepal a steaming hot city. It is a plain land hesitated by different people from different parts of the country and which in culture and heritages. It includes Bageshowri temple, Nepal?s one of the important Hindu temples.
We will reach Juphal just in 35 minute flight from Nepalgunj with beautiful views of snowcapped mountain. Juphal is a small mountain village, where we can breathe cold and fresh air than that of Nepalgunj. We will stay here because we have to arrange porters and other remaining equipments.
From Juphal, we have to descend through wheat and vegetables field to reach Thuli Bheri River. A big suspension bridge will lead us to the entrance of Shey Phoksando National Park (SPNP), Nepal?s largest National Park with the area of 3,555km/sq. It is comprising the Trans Himalayan ecasy stem and the Tibetan type of floras and faunas. You have to pay 1000NPR, except tourists from SAARC countries. We will follow Suli Khola viewing a part of the Dhaulagiri Range. We have tea while we pass through the village as can stay there. We can enjoy the tea with honey, pure and fresh honey. Then we will trek through the trail surrounded by pine tree line spruce, fir, Juniper and Cyprus and bamboo forest. Really a beautiful time to get close with nature. At the end of the day we will reach Cheep Ka, a small village surrounded by millet and wheat field. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal..
To reach to Palma, we have to pass through beautiful forest, following a river. We have to ascend sometimes and descend sometimes. On the way we can see the local people with their mules as dzopas (cross bread of Yak and Cow). Loaded with thongs to sell. After 4 hrs we will reach Reechi village, leaving behind Reechi we will reach Chumuwar after 2 hrs. There is a Amchi Hospital, an Amchi is a doctor who is educated in traditional Tibetan medicine. You can have treatment from herbs and numerals. Interested person can donate for this Hospital. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
It takes about 4 hrs to reach Phoksundo Lake. We have to climb steep about 2hrs. before reaching the top, we can have the new of Nepal?s highest waterfall, a spectacular waterfall of 107m high knows Phoksundo waterfall as known as sunlight waterfall. Then we will descend from the top to get Ringmo village a small charming village. People residing here practice Bonpo religion, religion related to Buddhism but it is older than Buddhism. The religion was founded by Buddha Lonpa Shanrab Miwo, 18000 years ago. It is believe that Dolpa used to be the centre of Bon Kindom called Zhang. It a big and powerful kingdom in present western and north western Tibet. It is believed that in the century Zhang was defeated by the Buddhist kingdom of Tibet and Bonpo disappeared completely, but still some people practice it. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Walking for many days, it is most that we should have rest at least for one day to admire the beauty of Phoksundo Lake and visited nearby villagers inhabited by Bon and Buddhist religion. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
This day, we will enter restricted area of Upper Dolpo. We will follow the famous trail where the famous movie called CARAVAN of Eric Valli was casted. This trail is used by peoples of Dolpo and other trade with Tibetans. Ti is really adventurous to pass through the trail. When we reach the top we will have beautiful view of Lane Ringmo, the dark green pine forests and snow capped mountain to the South. We will have to descend first and ascend through a wide valley which will let us to have spectacular view of Kanjirowa Himal (66612m) then we will reach an alpine area with junipers called Thaneba or Lake side camp, a beautiful place of camping. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
This day we will have Salla Ghari, trekking through between high rock walls on both sides and crossing a couple of streams. We will enter a arrow gorge where will set our camp. We can continue trek but there is possibility of altitude sickness problem. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
We will start trek by a long and strenuous climb of about 2 and half hrs over a dusty path to Kang La (5350m), also called as Ngadra La. We have to descend through pass covered with snow which is very steeply and after about 3 hrs we will reach Shey Gompa, a very small village with a couple of houses and the Gompa. It is a 11th century gompa, situated beneath the crystal peak on a small grassy plain, at the confluence of two rivers people believed that it was constructed by a Tibetan Buddhist, who arrived here on the back of flying snow lion. It is also called spiritual heart of Dolpo. Every year many pilgrims visit his gompa to make Kora (clockwise circuit) of crystal peak. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
You can explore around Tsakang Gompa which is at about 457m. It is not really a monastery but a retreat. Tsakang had been a meditation centre of many famous lamas from Tibet. Shey Gompa 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. The monastery was built during the 11th century. Shey is famous for its ancient Buddhist culture. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teachings of Buddha. Drutup Yeshe introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley. Many years ago he came to Dolpo and came across a wild people whose supreme God was a 'fierce mountain spirit'. Crystal mountain is to the west of Shey monastery. It is a very strange mountain indeed. Its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangju nala and Yeju nala. Near the confluence there is a group of prayer mills turned by water wheels. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
To get to Namgung, we have to cross the pass Sheyla which is also called Geln La is about 5000m. While we are through the Glen pass, we can see beautiful view of northern part of Tibetan plateau, which is highest plateau in the world. To the east we can see Mustang. After through pass we have to descend to the pastures of Namgung. Peoples of Namgung heartily welcome us. It is a beautiful place with friendly environment. Overnight at tented camp inclusive all board of meals.
Our Trek to Saldang starts with climbing a tree slope. We have to ascend to 4700m before going down steep slopes to picturesque village of Saldang, situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong nala and the biggest villages of lower Dolpo area. The village is prosperous, not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight at tented Camp inclusive of full board meals.
We will leave Saldang village and on way to Sibu we have to pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens mani and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village contains sixty houses having nearby four hundred in habitants. It streaches 5km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. We will set camp near the small settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank. Overnight at tented camp inclusive of full board meals.
We will follow the line of the river valley and the trail is easy going initially. But after two hours, we must make another stream before turning into side valley where the rise becomes very sharp. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
To reach to Tokyo Gaon we have to cross the Jeng La which is about 4850m. It will take about 2 hrs climb to reach the top of Jeng La. Form the top of the peak we can have good views of Dhaulagiri, beautiful goldy views in the morning then we will descend towards Tarap valley. By the after we will see green valley which leads us by a beautiful trail down. Towards Tarap Chu. Tarap is a spectacular valley with vast plants in high mountains extending to twenty kilometer along the Tarap Chu River. It consist of ten villages with cultivated fields, many Gompas and Chhortens. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
To reach to Dho Tarap we will walk east along the downward lower of Tarap Chu. The trail is easy as it is well travelled. There are many mani walls, we can see but some of the Chhortens are in a bad situation. The Frencch School is just outside the village of Dho Tarap. Dho is surrounded by an irregular stone wall and consist of thirty four houses. Both Bonpo and Buddhist is inhabitant here. We will visit Buddhist Gompa where a Lama lives. He is very happy to show his monastery and might even let you see his private Gompa and the Thankas which he has made himself. Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.
The next two days are longish with a choice of several different campsites so the itinerary can be flexible. Your route follows the course of the Tarap Khola, generally downhill. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through. One may see blue sheep, marmots, yaks, sheep and goats and perhaps meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower pastures for the winter. The afternoon brings more undulations in the path when it leaves the immediate course of the river. There is evidence of improvements to the trail where parts of the rock have been blasted out. You will also see the first of the modern steel suspension bridges which have been built to facilitate movement of people and animals. The track is very narrow in places. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
You leave Khanigoan by the new suspension bridge and then walk alongside the river, sometimes going very high before reaching down to the water again. Some of the going is quite demanding and one bridge, said to have unusable for six years, necessitates crossing on wet stepping-stones.Coming into the broad fertile valley of the Barbung Chu, you walk amongst the various crops of millet, sweet corn, barley, buckwheat, green beans, chillies and marijuana. Your lunch and night stop is high above the river but there is a standpipe for water. Tarakot is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong, meaning 'fort'. Before the Gorkha dynasty Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong. 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. As an alternative to camping at Tarakot, you may camp down by the river as there are good cooking facilities there and a clean, locked toilet for trekkers' use. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
The trail is mostly down and fairly firm underfoot. 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 and can mark the occasion with a celebration party! Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
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! Camp overnight in the grounds of one of the lodges. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meal.
Early morning flight to Nepalganj. 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, inclusive of breakfast.
Today is your departure day, we will drop you to the International airport to catch your flight back to your home and pray for your Safe journey.
- Airport Pickup and Drop by private transport
- 1 nights hotel in Kathmandu at tourist standard hotel ( centrally located, attach bathroom, hot and cold shower) and standard hotel in Nepalgunj
- Meals on full board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) during trekking period.
- Kathmandu –Nepalgunj - Nepalgunj- Juphal Flight Tickets/ ground transport for Clients and Trekking Crews.
- Juphal to Nepalgunj - Nepalgunj – Kathmandu Fly back
- Best available accommodations during the trek in Teahouse/tent camp.
- TIMS CARD (Trekking Information Management System) - ( we need two photos each for permit
- Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Kathmandu Flight Tickets/ ground transport for Clients and Trekking Crews.
- Dolpo Special Permit fees $500 Per Person
- All the camping equipment such as sleeping tent, Dinning tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, sleeping mattress, Sleeping Bag and necessary Kitchen Equipment etc.)
- An experience trekking guide (trained by Ministry of tourism), trekking cook, kitchen helper, Sherpa
- Necessary number of porter’s their meal /accommodation / transportation / salary / insurance / equipment’s are included in price.
- Trekking Permits for Dolpo Restricted Area
- Trekking poles, sleeping bag/duffle bag (we provide these if necessary).
- Trekking Maps
- Rubbish Disposal
- Our Service Charge and Government Taxes
- All meals in Kathmandu
- Extra nights hotel stay in Kathmandu.
- Tips to guides and support staff.
- Additional costs in case of emergency (You must have adequate travel insurance to cover any kind of emergencies, such as ground transportation & Heli recue/medical/hospitalization. Medical etc).
- Your International flight ticket airfare
- Energetic chocolate/energy drinks/alcohol/mineral water/cigarettes/packing food snacks etc
- Additional medication for altitude sickness (Acetazolamide etc).
- Personal expenses and any other unforeseen expenses, such as Laundry/WIFI on trek/phone call
- Personal trekking equipment.
- Nepal entry visa fees which can get up on your arrival in Kathmandu airport
- Sightseeing tour and All the entrance fees of temple in Kathmandu
- Services not mentioned herein
Permit & Entry Fees:
It is compulsory to pay Everest National Park entry fee and TIMS card to trek in this area.
An emergency first aid kit is carried by the support staff at all times.
Accommodation and meals:
During tea house treks our guests pay for their food (breakfast/lunch/dinner) at the lodge while we provide guides/accommodation/necessary permit and transportation. It can be USD $25 per person each day for food (Lunch/dinner/breakfast)
Mineral waters are available at all stops during tea house treks. You can also use tap water if you choose to use water purification tablets.
Travel Insurance is mandatory for all clients who choose to trek or climb with us. The insurance should cover you in case of emergencies like accidents, altitude sickness and ambulance and helicopter rescue charges if required. Please carry a copy of your insurance papers while travelling in Nepal and do send us a copy as well. This will help us in making all the necessary arrangements in case of any sort of emergencies.
Best Season for Everest Panorama View Trek
- Spring : March – May
- Summer: June – August
- Autumn: September – November
- Winter: December – February
While there are no seasonal constraints on traveling to Nepal, different regions are best visited in different seasons. Once you inquire about any trekking itinerary we’ll email you regarding the best season for that particular trek.
Check-list of personal equipment:
- Good standard trekking boots
- Camping shoes/thongs
- Down Jacket
- Trekking trousers
- Shorts (both casual and for treks)
- Swim wear
- Sun Hat
- Woollen Hat
- Nylon Windbreaker
- Strong Rucksack
- Sleeping Bag
- Water Bottle
- Torch/headlamp (with spare batteries)
- Toilet paper
- Sun block
- Travel Towel
- Medication (cough medicine, throat soothers, water purification tablets)
- Camera & lenses
- Memory cards
- GPS Tracking Units may be helpful
- Book/music player/pack of cards
- A plastic bag for waste
- Energy/snack bars