Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

23 Days

Discover Nepal's majestic region of Dolpo. This remote area, made famous by Peter Matthiessen’s book 'The Snow Leopard,' has only been open to trekkers since 1989. Its most alluring attraction, Phoksundo Lake, is sacred to Buddhists and followers of the Bonpo religion.

Our 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 to the Dolpo region. On our 20 days camping treks we pass through authentic villages, beautiful landscape and we meet wonderful people.

Detail Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Boudha- Kathmandu [1.300 m]

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu, our representative of responsible treks will pick you up from airport and transfer you to your hotel. Upon checking in hotel we shall brief you more about your daily activities for next few days.

Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. The ancient cities Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are the major attractions, with their evocative city squares and represent an epitome of harmony in urban design, elegant architecture and refined culture.

Today you will be staying at Boudha , Peaceful clean part of Kathmandu. In evening we can walk around Boudha.

Stupa Boudhanath
The Buddhists shrine of Boudhanath is one of the largest Stupa in the world and one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage plus a tourist destination in Kathmandu. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity. Boudhanath is part of the shared history of Nepal and Tibet, with Tibet having held ruling privileges over the site until the last century. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels and houses of Lamas or Buddhist priest, monasteries and shops ring the stupa. The area of Boudhanath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan Gompas or monasteries.
Accommodation : Rokpa Guest House or Similar ; Boudha

Day 2 - Kathmandu Cultural Tour: Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll be picked up by an English-speaking guide for a full-day tour of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting three sacred sites: Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.

This day fits quite a bit in—helpful for maximizing your time in Kathmandu—but doesn't overload you with too many sites. You can spend as much time as you like at each temple (this is a private tour just for you), although most people tend to spend an hour. For lunch, you'll stop at one of our recommended local restaurants.

Swoyambhunath Stupa
A few miles from the city center on a scenic hill, this is the best place to observe religious harmony between the Nepalese Buddhists and Hindus, as well as the Kathmandu Valley below. The stupa—a dome-shaped Buddhist structure—is one of the most historic shrines in this part of the world. Along with prayer wheels and fine paintings displayed in the monasteries, Swayambhunath also boasts the largest Buddha statue in the country.

Pashupatinath Temple Complex
Located on the bank of the Bagmati river, this is the site of Nepal's holiest Hindu pilgrimage and has received worshippers for at least 1,500 years. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of Buddha and an eighth-century statue of Brahma, the Creator. Wander past skeletal images guarding temple gates and other magnificent temples dedicated to various deities in the complex.

Patan Durbar Square
This beautiful archaeological site and monastery holds 14th-century statues and ancient scriptures. While here, you will visit the Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Mahaboudha Temple in Terracotta, and Oku Bahal.

Return to your hotel in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and meet your trekking guide who will go over details for tomorrow's adventure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel
Tour length: 7-8 hours (including transfers)

Day 3 – Flight to Nepalgunj (150m) [ 45 minutes]

We will board a plane on the 3rd day. We will fly from to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (60 minutes). After a tiring day, you can spend the evening in your hotel or explore this vibrant city.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accomodation : Hotel Siddharth Or similar , Nepalgunj
Overnight: Nepalgunj

Day 4 – Fly to Juphal (2,400m) and trek to Dunai (2,150m)

From Nepalgunj we will take a plane to Juphal, it’s about 35 minutes long. After landing in Juphal, we will meet our trekking crew and walk through the green terraced fields along the Bheri River and through the narrow canyon. After three hours of trekking, we will reach a large village of Dunai, where we will spend the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 5 – Trek to Ankhe (2,600m)

From Dunai, we will cross the suspension bridge and move westward. At the meeting point of the Thuri Bheri and Suli Gad rivers, we will follow the latter one and move north. We will hike up gradually, with the sound of the river thriving in the backdrop. We will walk through marijuana, millet, pumpkin and potato fields. We will continue our trek along the river and reach a small settlement called Hanke. It is the gateway to Shey Phoksundo National Park. We will walk through Parela and Rahagaon to reach Ankhe. What’s interesting is these names mean eyelashes, eyebrows and eyes respectively! It will take us 6 hours to trek through.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 6 – Trek to Renje (3,104m)

The trek starts to get a little challenging from this point. After crossing a dwindling river in well-built bridges, we will hike uphill on a steep trail on a narrow path. From there, we will descend for some time along the river and then ascend up, relishing the beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. After trekking for seven hours, we may camp on the side of Suligad River.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 7 – Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,600m)

We will start early in the morning. The trek will be fairly easy for the first few hours. From Sumdo, we will incline down steeply. We will climb a ridge at 3,875m from where we can have the amazing view of the 300m waterfall, biggest in Nepal and the Phoksundo Lake. We will drop away through beautiful Birch forests to reach the Phoksundo Khola and beautiful settlement of Ringmo, decorated with its mud plastered Chortens and Mani walls. It is a lively and vibrant village. From here, we will walk a short distance to reach the shores of Phoksundo Lake where we’ll set the campsite. It’s approximately a 7 hour long trek today.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Tea house

Day 8 – Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3,507m)

We will follow the adventurous trail that is suspended on a footway of wood supported on pegs, driven into gaps in the rocks. We will go steeply up, up to 4,040m and then drop down to the bottom of the valley to enter the bank of Shey Phoksundo Khola, where we will camp for the night. We will trek for 6 hours throughout the day.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 9 – Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402m) - 7 hrs

Today we will be crossing few streams barefoot! We will cross the glacial valley and head north. As the trail goes on to become narrower and narrower we will cross impressive vertical cliffs and crooked rock formations. At the meeting point of Phoksundo river and another unnamed river, there is a very old wooden bridge which we will cross, of course. A long, tiring climb will lead us to sheep grazing land from where the trail turns up a still gorge. Another long and tiring climb to the top and it will bring us to another valley from where we can see the adventurous Kang La Pass. We will spend the night in overnight camps. The trek will be 7 hours long.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 10 – Cross the Kang La pass (5,151m) and trek to Shey Gompa (4,126m)

The trek today is especially tiring and demanding today. It will take us around 3 hours to reach the top of the Kang La Pass at altitude of 5,151m. The view from the top more than compensates for all the hard work. While descending the steep valley floor, we have to be extra careful. It will take only around 45 minutes. A beautiful red Chorten will mark your arrival in Shey Gompa. An old-fashioned log bridge will take us to the Shey Gompa compound where we will be spending the night in a tent. The trek will be around 7 hours long for the day. It will be a 7 hour long trek.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 11 – Exploration day in Shey Gompa

Shey literally means crystal in the Tibetan language. This monastery is also called the crystal mountain. We can visit the Shey Gompa and take blessings from the Lama. We can visit the Tsakang Gompa, west of Shey. It has been a meditation hub for lamas in medieval times. The monastery was built in the 11th century.

Here, we can witness the perfect blend and harmony of Tibetan Buddhism and ancient Pre-Buddhist religion Bon Po. We can later go around the area and explore the vicinity.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

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

We will start the day by trekking along a pleasant track covered with juniper shrub. We will ascend up to a stony gray canyon. It begins with a zigzag trail of rocks and eroded soil and it will bring us to the flat spot, suitable for a little picnic. After 20 minutes of some steep climbing, we will reach the top of the Saldand La Pass. From here we can enjoy the great view of the barren, and the coppery red landscape of Mustang. Then we will descend down to the north and it might get long and tiring. The view of grazing yaks and the nomadic tents made from yak hair will welcome. This signals that you have now entered the Namduna Gaon. Here we can visit the Namgung Monastery set against a backdrop of the cliff. The village only has six houses and terraced fields on both the sides. We can see stretched out Barley fields, the main crop of the district. We can visit the recently built beautiful monastery in the periphery. It will be a 7 hour long trek.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 13 - Trek to Saldang (3,903m)

After leaving the Namjung Valley, we will hike uphill. It begins with a long and exciting traverse along the Rocky Mountains. At the bottom of the valley we can see terraced fields of ripening crops. We will ascend for some time before going downhill to the beautiful village of Salding, located on a plateau high above the Nam Khong Nala River. It is the biggest village of the district. It is an arid village of the Trans Himalayan Tibetan plateau. It will take us around 4 hours for a day’s trekking.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 14 - Trek to Sibu (3,942m)

We will leave Saldang early in the morning and go down the river bank, then the terraced fields, beautiful stupas and Chortens. We can see any Mani stones on our way and can visit the Chaiba Monastery on our way. We will go through the village of Namdo, a prosperous village of 60 houses and 400 people. We can visit the Namdo monastery and another monastery on top of the cliff. We will camp near the settlement called Sibu, along the river bank. We will spend the night in an overnight camp. We will trek for 6 hours.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 15 - Trek to foot of Jeng La Pass (4,369m)

Following the dwindling river, the first few hours of the trek is going to be fairly easy. After two hours, we will cross another stream and then turn to a side valley. The climb from there is very steep. We will then reach a pleasant meadow, but it is bestrewn with rocks. After the five hour trek, night will be spent in overnight camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 16 - Cross Jeng La pass (4,845m), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240m)

The trail today is compacted which makes the walking easier today. But at times it gets very steep. It will only take 2 hours to reach the top of Jeng La. The view from here of the Dhaulagiri Mastiff is truly mesmerizing. After a rough trail downhill towards the Tarap Valley, we will find ourselves in a lush green valley in the few hours leading us to Tarap Chu. Tarap is truly a majestic valley, vast plains on the lap of snowy mountains extending 20kms along the Tarap Chu. On reaching Tokyu Gaon we can visit Gompas and Chortens. We can spend the night in the Tokyu Monastery compound. The monastery belongs to Chaiba sect. We will trek for 7 hours.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 17 - Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090m) - 4.5 hrs

The trail today is broad and fairly easy. We will walk along the fields where we can see the men and women busy harvesting the crops. We can also see Mani Walls and Chortens, many of which need a reconstruction now. The village of Tarap is mainly populated by Magars and few Tibetans. The people here follow Bon Po or Buddhism. We can go visit the Gompa here and receive blessings from the resident Lama. We will spend the night in an overnight camp on the site.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 18 – Trek to Serkam (3,630m)

Following the course of the Tarap Khola, we will go downhill. We will cross the narrow gorges on our way. We might even see Blue Sheeps, Yaks and people taking their yaks and goats for grazing. We will walk along a more heaved path as we walk away from the river. We will cross one of the modern suspension bridges. The track will get very narrow in places. We will spend the night in an overnight camp. It will take around 6 and a half hour.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 19 – Trek to Khani Gaon (2,250m)

We will continue our descent down the canyon of the Tarap River. Today we will trek on paths, broad and silky to very narrow and steep. We will also mount the flights of man made staircases which need to be tackled with some care. Our campsite will be a pleasant and beautiful meadow in the shade of big trees. We will spend the night in an overnight camp. The trek will be seven hours long.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 20 - Trek to Tarakot (2,281m)

Leaving KhaniGaon and the mountains in the backdrop in a newly built suspension bridge we will walk along the river, sometimes uphill and sometimes downhill. Sometimes the trail can be more challenging and we will also cross one of the rivers on wet stepping stones! The trek will be 4 hours long, approximately.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 21 - Trek to Dunai (2,052m)

Leaving the wild adventures of the treks back up there, we will climb down mainly. Walking beside the resonating Bheri River, after 5 hours we will reach the village of Dunai. Now we have completed the circuit of the beautiful Dolpo. We will take rest and later go exploring on arrival.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 22 - Trek to Juphal (2,402)

We will now go back to the small town of Juphal. At first the trail is flat and broad but as we go up the trail goes on to become more and more steep. We will spend the night in an overnight camp. The trek will be roughly 3 hours long.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation : Camping

Day 23 - Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj from Juphal

We will board the two planes on the 14th day. We will fly from to Nepalgunj (35 minutes) and from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu (60 minutes). After a tiring day, you can spend the evening in your hotel or explore this vibrant city.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Ambassador or Similar

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Chhewang N.Lama
Post Box No.8974 C.P.C 290
info@responsibletreks.com
977-1-4916101


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Trip Facts

  • Starting From : Kathmandu
  • End at : Kathmandu
  • Duration : 23 Days
  • Max. Elevation : Kang La pass (5,151m)
  • Activity : Trekking Adventure
  • Culture : Tamang, Gurung , Dolpali , Bhotias , Magar

Includes / Excludes

Price Includes:

  • Airport picks up / drop services
  • Three Nights Hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • One Full day guided heritage sightseeing with all monument fees in Kathmandu
  • All camping Trek with Local Cook and Full board meals
  • Nepalese- local staff for Camping
  • Mule and porter for carrying luggage
  • All camping cooking equipment
  • Hotel in Nepalgunj with Dinner and Breakfast
  • English speaking Nepali Local guide
  • Airfare for Guide who accompanies from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal and Returns 250 US $ approx.

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare for Clients Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal and back 650 US $ Per Person- approx.
  • All Restricted Area Permit (Upper Dolpo- Lower Dolpo & Phokosondo National Park Fees- 550 $ Per Person)
  • Emergency evacuation if needed
  • Beverages and personal expenses
  • Personal equipments
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips and local donation
  • Lunch and Dinner while in Kathmandu

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