Upper Dolpo TrekkingUpper Dolpo trek is one of the charms of Nepal in the trade of tourism. Dolpo, which was frozen a long decade ago in the sense of modern development process but, still it holds the vast natural and traditional diversity along with primitive culture and religions.
Lower and Upper Dolpo district covers the largest part of the land in the country so this is the largest district in aspect of land area. The district is geographically divided into two regions Upper and Lower Dolpo. Upper Dolpo is taken as the restricted area where the foreigners should have especial permit to visit. Many groups of tourist visit here every year to enjoy the heavenly experiences in this divine place within untouched nature. The district is located in the remotest place of the country, so the transportation is one of the main problems. It is more than a day walk to go from one village to another.Lower and Upper Dolpo is gradually being popular in the trade of trekking. There are many routes and trips within the district some make the round trip of Upper Dolpo, Lower Dolpo, further, many other natural trips, snow leopard exploration trip, cultural trips and many more. Further the people use to take the route from Jumla to Jomsom and Mustang via Dolpo. It is difficult to get the things like food, equipment and other trekking accessories in this region. There is just a small aircraft which carry the passengers with their limited baggage. Moreover, it is hard to find the means for transport within the district whatever we supply all meals and equipments from Kathmandu with our crew before our flight landed there.
Lower and Upper Dolpo trekking located far western territory of Nepal decorated with natural resources. It is remote hidden trekking destination if Nepal where Nepal’s most peaceful and natural beauty is still unexplored. It is opened for trekking since 1989 for foreigner. This trek offers to the stunning view of the mountain peaks, breathtaking landscapes, green hills, lakes, Buddhist monasteries, isolated villages. The cultural traditions of this area are basically linked with Tibetan. Upper Dolpo trek gives you the panoramic views of Mt Kanjiroba, Tsho Karpo kang, Kanjeralwa, Churen Himal, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Shey Gompa. The trek is in the region of the Shey Phoksundo National Park which is the largest National Parks of Nepal. This area is the habitat to the Blue sheep, mountain goat, jackal, wolf and snow leopard.
Kathmandu | Nepalgunj | Jhuphal | Chhepka | Phoksundo | Shey Gompa | Karang | Chharka | | Karang | Chharka | Jomsom | Pokhara | Kathmandu
Duration of Trek: 26 night / 27 Days
Primary activity: Trekking and Hiking
Group size: Minimum 02 & Maximum 12 + above
Country: Nepal (Asia)
Arrival & Departure: Kathmandu, Nepal
Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during trekking
Accommodation: 2 nights 3 star hotel in Kathmandu & 1 night Pokhara & Nepalgunj.
Trip Code: MGTNP 011
Secondary activity: Cultural & Historical Tours
Max-Altitude: 5,552 m / 18,210 ft
Transportation: Comfortable vehicle
Trip grade: Moderated & Difficult
Type of Tour/ Trek: Fully Camping
Best Season: July to Oct & April to June
22 nights in tent on the mountain
Day -by-Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350 m / 4428 ft),
Assisted upon arrival at the airport by our office representative and transfer to the hotel. Welcome drinks. rest of time visit to Thamel city.
Day 02: Afternoon fly to Nepalganj, transfer to hotel for overnight.
We fly from Kathmandu to Nepalganj in the southwest part of the Terai, right on the border to India. After checking into your hotel you might go and have a look at the Bageshwari Mandir, a temple to honour Kali. But what Nepalganj is all about is just wandering around in the bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Fly Nepalganj to Juphal (2475 m / 8118 ft) trek to Dunai (2140 m / 7019 ft) 4-5 hrs.
We go to the airport very early in order to get on the flight to Juphal. Dolpo flights are always early in the morning. This is because high winds in the Thulo Bheri Valley begin around 10 am, making later flights impossible. Once you have gotten all your equipment of the Twin otter in Juphal (2500m), you start out on the short walk from Juphal to Dunai. You walk downhill through meadows and past a few houses to the small hotels at Kala Gaura (2090m). From here you follow the river trail upstream to Dunai. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 04: Trek to Chhepka (2838 m / 9308 ft) 4-5 hrs.
We start trekking from Dunai, cross the suspension bridge and turn west, following the trail past the hospital, and then it’s a level walk along the bank of the Thulo Bheri to its confluence with the Suli Gaad at 2070m. You follow the new trail north up the east bank of the Suli Gaad to a collection of teashops run by the wives of army personnel in Dunai. Another hour of walking takes us to Kal Rupi and then on to Raktang (2260m). You cross to the west bank and trek past numerous goths and horses pastures over a ridge to the rough stone houses of Jyalhasa, a wintering spot for the people of Ringmo. You keep walking upstream to another bridge, cross it to the east bank, and make your way past some crude teashops and a bridge over a side stream, the Ankhe Khola, at 2460m. The trail makes some ups and downs through grass and ferns to a trail junction. The fork is the old trail leading to the army and national park post at Ankhe, and on to the old trail that passes the villages of Rahagoan and Parela, high on the ridge above. These three villages a strange name connection: Parela (parela means eye-lashes), Rahagoan (raha means eyebrow) and Ankhe (ankha is eye). The trail Phoksumdo Lake climbs over a ridge at 2710m, then descends on a rocky path to Chepka (2670m), which is inhabited by three brothers and consists of collection of interconnected shops, rakshi stalls and lodges. You camp here or at another good spot beside a huge rock in walnut grove about 20 minutes beyond Chepka. Overnight at Camp.
Day 05: Chhekpa to Renje or Rechi (2940 m / 9643 ft) 6 hrs.
we continue on the new trail, which stays near the river, climbing over a small ridge ,then crossing to the west side to avoid a large ridge and returning to the east side an hour later near a national park camping ground. Alongside the river at 2900m, the trail becomes a collection of rocks and sticks forming a dyke along the river bank. The trail makes several more ups and downs through forests of firs and larches as it continues upstream to a bridge that leads to nine houses comprising the village of Renje on the opposite side of the river at 3010m. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 06: Renje or Rechi to Phoksundo 3733m, 4-5 hrs.
We follow the Suli Gaad valley, which turns eastward and becomes even steeper and narrower. You then climb over a ridge and descends to a wooden bridge then continue along the ups and downs along the valley floor to the confluence of the Suli Gaad with the Pungmo Khola. From here the trail to Phoiksumdo Lake and Shey gompa follows the west bank of the river. You climb through a forest of big cedar to a good camp site and then on to Palam (3710m), a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village. The houses are almost burried in the sandy soil. The entrance station for Shey Phoksumdo National Park is at the south end of the village. After your park entrance ticket is examined, you may be subjected to a baggage inspection-ostensibly for drugs and stolen art objects. It’s very peculiar formality in this remote locale. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 07: Rest day for high acclimatization or hiking around the phuksundo lake.
Explore- A trail leads from the lakeside through juniper trees to the white Pal Sentan Thasoon Chholing gompa,a ramshackle Bon-po gompa overlooking the lake that is said have been built 60 generations ago. There are five other private gompas in various houses of small monastic community near the lake. The insides of the temples contain dusty Buddhist paintings and statues, but the trappings also reflect the animistic elements of the Bon-po religion, so some of the chapels are reminiscent of an ancient witch’s cavern. A donation to the ragtag collection of dirty monks will gain us entrance to the gompas; your sherpas will be equally fascinated by the strange iconography and practice of the Bon-po religion. Stay overnight at Camp.
Day 08: Phuksundo lake to Forest camp 5 hrs.
Today, after breakfast the trail leads the bank of Phuksundo lake, which is wonderful view from that side and trail contours on a rocky ledge as it skirts the western lip of the lake. In places it’s precariously suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs driven into crevices in the rocks. As you cross a stream, look up at the glacier descending from the upper slopes of Kanjeralwa (6612m). We climb to a crest at 4060m for a spectacular view of the lake with the snowy peaks of Sonam Kang in the background. The trail makes a step and dusty descent through birches and blue pines to the westernmost edge of the lake at 3630m where the Phoksumdo Khola enters. The route now heads west up a long a wide valley. We follow an indistinct trail through thorn bushes and scrub trees, crisscrossing boggy marshes and tributaries of Phoksumdo Khola. Our Camp in a forest of blue pines at Chunemba, an undeveloped national park camping ground at 3630 m / 11906 ft). Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 09: Forest camp to Lar-Tsa (4120 m / 13513 ft) 4-5hrs.
We begin the day along the level path that now heads north through a glacial valley. We cross to the east bank of Phoksumdo Khola. We follow the main valley for another hour to kang Gompa. You climb steeply from Kang Gompa and stay on the grassy ridge. It’s a long climb up the ridge past a few groves of birch trees. There are spectacular mountain views with Shey Shikar (6139m) and Kang Chunne (6443m) dominating the skyline to the west. We continue on a crest at 4200m then the route descends gently on a rocky trail to Lar Tsa, a camp site besides the river at 4120m.It’s possible to continue walking, but you have now ascended more than 500m in a day and should spend the night at Lar tsa for acclimatisation. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 10: Trek to Shey Gompa (4180 m / 13710 ft) 7-8 hrs.
We continue on the route that follows the upper reaches of the Phoksumdo Khola, then you turn north towards the peak of Riwo Drugdra (Crystal Mountain). There is a choice of trails here, you follow the more scenic pilgrim route across the Sehu La to the west of Crystal Mountain, making a kora (circumambullation) of this sacred peak. The Dolma trail turns north soon after camp while the pilgrim trail starts up a steep scree slope on the opposite side of a stream that flows from the north.After a long pull to Sehu La (also known as Mendok Ding La) at 5160m the trail descends a scree slope to a grassy meadow besides a stream valley and begins a series of long ascents and descends across ridges in and out of side valleys as it traverses around Crystal Mountain. After a steep, rough climb to a crest at 5010m and another at 4860m, you begin the descent to the Tar valley. Soon after the route reaches grassy slopes a side trail leads to Tsakang, a gompa said to be 800years that is perched dramatically on the side of a cliff. The final descent is on a wide trail to a campsite in a large meadow near a few nomads huts at 4310, just below Shey gompa. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 11: Rest – Exploration in Shey Gompa.
Cross the river on a log bridge and climb past a big chorten and a huge field of manistones to the Shey gompa compound at 4390m. The gompa itself is not large ,and there are no artifacts or paintings of note inside. Although the building is said to be 800years old, the wall paintings are relatively recent, probably done in 1970s. The statues on the altar are of Guru Rimpoche, Sakyamuni and Milarepa. The gompa also houses an ancient Tibetan scroll that describes the myth of Crystal Mountain and Shey gompa. According to the inscription, there is a holy lake in a crater among the mountains that surrounds Shey. When a pilgrim makes nine circumambulations of this lake the water turns milk. A sip of this milk and the pilgrim can see Mt Kailash in the distance. Those who doesn’t need the day for rest, you will go and try to find this lake. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 12: Shey Gompa to Namgung (4430 m / 14530 ft) 5-6 hrs.
Today, the trail is towards east from Shey gompa and across the (5010 m / 16432 ft) Shey La. Here you turn north and descend before climbing again to Namgung (4430m) Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 13: Namgung to Karang (4284 m / 14051 ft) 6-7 hrs.
Today after the breakfast trail leads toward to Karang, which is wonderful view of landscape & river, before the karang we must cross suspension bridge, from there we can see the karang village but quite far. It takes approximately 1 hour. Overnight at Camp.
Day 14: Karang to Mugaon 5 hrs.
We descend to Dora Sumdo (3670 m / 12037 ft) the confluence of the Namgung and Polang kholas, and cross to the northern bank. We climb to Yanger gompa at 3750m and trek along the river side valley. Our camp at one of the camp sites alongside the stream at about (4100 m / 13448 ft) before Mugaon.
Day 15: Mugaon to Shimen 7-8 hrs.
After breakfast trek climb towards the Mushi La at (5030 m / 16498 ft) from where we can see surrounding Himalayan view along wonderful landscape. After the life memorable view trek descend towards shimen village. This is normally distance for approximately 2:30 hours. Our camp site is pastures above the village at 4010m. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 16: Shimen to Tinje (4150 m / 13612 ft).6-7 hrs.
After breakfast trek descend to beautiful Shimen village at 3870m. We continue a long trek upriver through Pha (4090m) to Tinje (4150m). Stay Overnight at camp.
Day 17: Tinje to Rakpa (4530 m / 14858 ft) 6-7 hrs.
Trek past the runway of mysterious Tinje airport to a trail junction at 4130m, where a high route leads to Tarap. You continue southward to a camp site on the banks of the river at Rakpa (4530m). Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 18: Rakpa to Chharka 5-6 hrs.
Trek begins with a long climb to the Chharka La (4920m). After cross the pass trek continue on the trail descending along the side of the valley, then make a big drop into a side valley at 4290m. We make a long traverse down to the picturesque village of Chharka on the banks of Barbung Kola at 4120m. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 19: Chharka to Norbulung (4750 m / 15580 ft) 6-7hrs.
Another Climb to acrest at 4380m begins this day. You then descend again to a river. We follow the right fork southward, climbing in and out of side valleys on a rough trail. The valley narrows, you then emerge into a big meadow and climb to your campsite at Norbulung (4750m). Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 20: Norbulung to Sangda Phedi 7-8 hrs.
After breakfast trek begins climbing to a yak pasture at Molum Sumna (4860m) and on to a crest at 5130m. You then make a long traverse across meadows to the foot of the Sangda La, then a long, steep final climb to the pass at 5460m. Later you Switchback down to your camp site by following a stream at 5100m. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 21: Sanda Phedi to Sangda 5 hrs.
We climb to a lower Sangda La at 4990m, then descend through loose shale towards the village of Sangda Ghunsa (4190m). we drop to the Chalung Khola, crossing it at 3750m, and then climb steeply up the opposite bank. A long high traverse leads to a cairn at 4090m, you then come to a set of steep switchbacks descends to a stream at 3580m. You do another climb to the compact settlement of Sangda, were you end a long day at 3700m. Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 22: Sangda to Dhagarjun 7-8 hrs.
After breakfast trek begins to climb the hill behind Sangda and spent most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m then we descend into the Kali Gandaki valley, traversing under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Dhagarjun (3290m). Stay Overnight at Camp.
Day 23: Dhagarjun to Jomsom 2670m. 3-4 hrs.
We climb to a ridge at 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom at 2670m, check in lodge and relax with hot shower, evening visit Jomsom Market. Stay Overnight at Lodge.
Day 24: Fly to Pokhara (823 m)
After breakfast we fly to pokhara 20 Minutes with excellent mountain view of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak, NilGiri Nort,south, Center and including total of the Annapurna Range, transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit in Pokhara at tourist area and boating on phewa lake. Stay Overnight at Hotel.
Day 25: Reserve day.
We can use that reserve day on the mountain where we needs.
Day 26: Fly to Kathmandu, transfer to hotel.
Farewell dinner hosted by Mountain Go Trekking.
Day 27: Final Departure