Upper Dolpo Trek-25 Days

Upper Dolpo trek flanked amid the Tibetan Plateau and Dhaulagiri region is the most remote trekking region. And the region is opened since 1996 for foreigners is the restricted region that requires special permit for the entrance. As the region is the medley of the arid landscapes, Bon religion that mostly resembles with Tibetan Buddhism, culturally vibrant villages comprised of traditional styled houses, age old monasteries so the trekking on the rustic Upper Dolpo is regarded as best trek in the Himalaya though still unknown to the most of the trekkers chasing for the nature wonders crafted with cultural vibrancy.

 During the incredible Upper Dolpo trek indulge on the mesmerizing beauty of the Shey Phoksundo Lake that will blow the mind with its seducing beauty along with exploring the antique Shey Gompa; preserve house of the nomadic Bon religion as well as engaging on roller coaster journey of traversing the six passes along appreciating the Tibetan styled villages settled by Community ingrained to Bon religion to make the trekking journey memorable for the life time.

Apart from the sensational feeling of fantastic trekking journey along the insight on the culture, religion, festival of the remote Himalayan region of the Nepal also encounter different wildlife like blue sheep, marmots, eagles, lammergeyer, langur monkeys along with diverse bird species during the trek.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival Day in Kathmandu (1,300m)

Langtang Ri Trekking & Expedition representative will greet you in an airport & transfer you to your Hotel, after refreshment you will be picked from hotel lobby to office where you will be formally introduced to your Guide and the activities to be enjoyed over the next few days. We will also ask for your passport photographs and any other details required for your trek permits, at this stage.

Day 2. Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation (1,300m)

Today, morning we will ready after your breakfast to head on for our relaxing guided day trip to world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and visit the highlights of Kathmandu and the surrounding areas. We take you to visit the pilgrimage sites of Hindus temple Pashupatinath, one of the most important shrine of Shiva temples on the subcontinent which is place of thousand of devotees, Saddhus (holy men/Baba), and can be seen the cremating body most of the times in the holy riverbank of Bagmati. Hundreds of monkeys are giggling with you and take a time to exploring surrounding area and visit Bouddhanath stupa an another pilgrimage centre which is most popular and important place for Buddhist. You can explore with rounding prayer wheel and flattering colorful flag with melodious chanting noise. After your lunch at Bouddha visit Swoyambhunath stupa also known as monkey temple covering wide range of area with highest point of Kathmandu valley and enjoy the 360 degrees of valley view. After exploring the surrounding areas visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square which is old royal palace of Kathmandu and can be seen lot of temple, architectures and Kumari (living goddess) and walk in a freak street and late afternoon back to hotel and evening briefing about your trip, what is your responsibility, what to do and does not in the trek? Introduce with our fellow trekking staff and chances to ask remaining question and simply relax at the hotel.

Day 3. Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (200m)

As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj we transfer to the domestic airport for one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgung. At Nepalgunj we will have time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the town which is situated on the southern Nepal border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical in character.

Day 4. Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal & trek to Suligadh, 2-3 hrs (2,850m)

After a pleasant overnight at Nepalgunj, early morning transfer to airport for the 45 minute flight to Juphal (2,320m/7,610ft) over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Juphal our trekking staffs will receive you, who have walked all the way from Nepalgunj with the camping gear and food supply taking 5-6 days. Here at Juphal a short 2-3 hrs walk from the airstrip leads to our overnight camp at Dunai village (2,850m/9,348ft). Our first day adventure begins with an hour downhill walk through the village below the airstrip, then leading through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Suligadh.

Day 5. Trek to Chhepka, 5-6 hrs (2,896m)

From the camp at Suligadh we trek to chhepka.

Day 7. Trek to Phoksundo Lake 4-5 hrs (3,500m)

Journey continues along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo Kholas. After crossing to the western side of the Phoksundo Khola on a wooden bridge, then the path follows the west bank of the Pungmo Khola which leads all the way to Phoksundo Lake 3,500m/11,480ft near Ringmo village. The path passes through a cedar forest and finally to Palam, a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village. The houses here are almost buried in the sandy soil. From here our route heads up to open country, at an altitude of around 3,350m/10,988ft. From the ridge one can see the distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular 300m/984ft high waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. After a brief stop here with the great views, finally the walk descent through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque settlement of Ringmo with its mud plastered chortens and mani walls. From here it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksundo Lake for the overnight at camp.

Day 8. Acclimatize at Phoksundo Lake (3,500m)

A well deserved rest day free from packing, at Phoksundo we can go for a short hike to the village of Ringmo and its Tibetan Buddhist Monastery is well worth a visit.

Day 11. Trek to Shey Gompa via Kang-La pass, 7-8 hrs (4,160m)

Morning walk leads up to a steep climb littered with slate towards the pass. The climb is quite strenuous, especially on the slate screed. From the top of Kang-la 5,360m/17,581ft, there are excellent views down upon a large valley which is bisected by a gushing river. On descending steeply to the valley floor, then the path leads a long meandering trek along the banks of the river, crossing and re-crossing it several times. There are mud caves lining the hills overlooking the river and we pass through meadows where hairy yaks, hundreds of sheep and domestic mountain goat (Chengra) can be found grazing as well near the odd nomadic hut of the herders. A red chorten heralds our arrival at Shey Gompa 4,500m/14,760ft where a quaint wooden, log bridge leads up to our destination at Shey Gompa compound for our overnight camp.

Day 12. Acclimatize at Shey Gompa the crystal monastery (4,500m)

Another well earned rest day for local hike around Shey meaning crystal, this monastery is also known as the Crystal Mountain (well described in Peter Matthissen classic novel Snow Leopard). The lama of Shey resides at a red hermitage known as Tsakang gompa which is north of Shey. It is rather a retreat than a monastery. Tsakang had been a meditation centre of many famous lamas from Tibet. Shey Gompa belong to the Chaiba community, followers of great saint Padmasambhava, known as Guru Ringpoche and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Tenzing Ra-Pa, built during 11th century. Shey is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Drutup Yeshe first introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley. Hundreds of years ago he came to Dolpo encountering a wild people whose supreme God was a ‘fierce mountain and nature spirit’. Crystal Mountain is to the east of Shey gompa it is one of the strangest mountain, as its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangjunala and Yeju Nala River. Near the confluence there is a group of prayer mills turned by water wheels. Each year people from all over Dolpo region travel great distances to attend the festival at Shey and to complete the circuit of Crystal Mountain. This is an amazing trip to here that certainly makes this trek as special as only few Westerners have ever ventured up to Shey gompa.

Day 14. Trek to Saldang, 4-5 hours (3,770m)

On leaving the Namduna Gaun our route leads to a climb up a scree slope. Further on it begins a long traverse along some dusty barren mountains. After 3-4 hours of hard climb, Saldang 3,620m/ 11,874ft appears below on a plateau high above the Nam Khongmala. It has a picturesque appearance. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area. Though the village lies at about the same altitude as Ringmo it is totally different then Ringmo, a Himalayan village is situated below the tree line while Saldang belongs to the arid zone of the Trans-Himalayan Tibetan plateau. The village stretches for nearly two kilometers on an open slope. Saldang consists of five villages having about eighty well built houses with nearly six hundred people. Saldang is a prosperous village not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, trade with Tibet was virtually stopped. It has been restored to some extent through the barter system by which Tibetan salt reaches mid-Nepal. The Drokpa people from the western plains of Tibet collect salt from the dried lakes north of Tsangpo.

Day 18. Trek to Nawarpani . 6-7hr. (3,475m)

After breakfast we continue walking up to the gorge of the Tarap River, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Descend to Chyugur Khola. Sometimes the path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge.

Day 23. Flight (Juphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu) (1,300m)

Morning Flight Juphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu.

What's Included

    • Airport pick-up & drop-off transportation by private vehicle
    • Twin sharing accommodation at Kathmandu and Nepalgunj in 2 to 3star hotels with breakfast
    • Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Escorted with English speaking guide. Private transportation. Entrance fees
    • Kathmandu / Nepalgunj / kathmandu flight for member ,guide & cook
    • Nepalgunj / Jumla / Nepalgunj flight fare for member, guide & cook & cargo
    • Accommodation in tent during trek
    • Tents, mattress, cooking utensils .sleeping bag and camping equipments
    • Meals - Breakfast, lunch, dinner - during trek
    • Trekking map for group
    • National park fee and Dolpo specail permit
    • A First Aid and Eco trained & government licensed English speaking guide
    • Experienced cook, sherpas , kitchen crew & required porters
    • Accommodation, meals, salary, equipment, transportation & Insurance of trekking staff
    • First Aid Kit
    • Travel & rescue arrangement
    • All government taxes
    • Farewell dinner

What's Not Included

    • International airfare
    • Nepal Entry Visa fee (US$ 40 per person for 30 days)
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Lunch/Dinner in Kathmandu & Nepalgunj
    • Medical evacuation in case of emergency
    • Personal gear & clothing - these may be available for hire
    • Tips, any expenses of personal nature, client's insurance
    • Hard drinks
    • Expenses incurred due to mishaps, landslide, strikes, political unrest etc. In such case extra will be charged as per actual
    • Anything not specified in the Cost Include section

Equipment Check List

Recommended equipment list: Trekkers need to provide their own personal clothing and equipment. Some items of equipment are available for hire from us as like Down Jacket

Footwear

Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.

Clothing

Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.

Other equipment

Sleeping bag (5 seasons),  lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve, gaiters.

Other Items

Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing kit, plasters, binoculars, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.

Important Note

Itinerary and Dates: Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is adventure travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions and the health of trekkers can all contribute to changes. Your guide, and their Sherpa assistants, will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if necessary. Our aim is to return you safely to Kathmandu in time for your departure flight booking.

Experience Required: This Trek is suitable for keen walkers who are able to walk for 6 – 7 hours each day, with a light rucksack. Some of the days are quite long, and walking feels more strenuous at altitude. Generally, the trail is a good quality, but occasionally it will be uneven and rocky.

Food & Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a teahouse each night, unless the itinerary stipulates tent camping is necessary on some nights. Teahouses are simple, locally-run guesthouses with twin-share or single rooms. Toilets and showers are of varying standards. Typical food available for lunch and dinner is Nepali rice & lentils, pasta, potato dishes, soups or pizzas. Delicious pancakes, porridge, toast and eggs are the main breakfast fare, while tea, coffee and hot chocolate are always available. You will probably be pleasantly surprised by the variety of food at the lodges.

What about our luggage: One porter will be shared between two trekking clients. Porters will carry a maximum of 12kgs per client. If you wish to, you may keep excess clothing and items in a storage room at your Kathmandu hotel.

What will the temperature be like: The weather obviously varies considerably by season and may also change drastically within a single day, particularly at high altitude. If your itinerary takes you above 3,000m need to be prepared for conditions that may range from -10 to 25 degrees on any day. Some useful weather data is available here: https://bit.ly/3vi7rHX You will also need good protections from sun and wind exposure. Contact us for a suggested trek packing list to suit your itinerary.

How much money should we bring: You will need to carry Nepali Rupee to pay for things not covered by your itinerary package. This may include bottled water; evening hot showers; additional food treats; additional hot drinks; equipment replacement or repairs; battery charging and gifts and tips. Shopping can also be done on your last day in Thamel. Talk with us in our office before departing on your trek and we can provide more advice and currency exchange.

What about Acute Mountaineering Sickness (AMS): AMS is essentially impossible to predict. Some people are affected, and other not. Only a very small percentage of people suffer serious effects. Effects may become apparent at any altitude, not just at the extremes of your itinerary.

Signs of AMS includes:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Drowsiness
  • Flatulence
  • Peripheral Edema (Swelling of extremities)
  • Fluctuation in body temperature

Prevention of AMS:

  • Adequate rest prior to the trek.
  • Adequate hydration maintained throughout the trek.
  • Adequate salt and sugar in your bloodstream. So, eat plenty and don’t skip meals.
  • Adequate warmth. Use clothing layers to maintain warmth without sweating excessively. Controlled and regular breathing. Breathe deeply from the diaphragm to use all your lung capacity. Try and walk to a pace that maintains controlled and steady breathing. Breathe through your nose to protect you throat from drying. Consider wearing a muff over your mouth and nose at high altitudes.
  • Managed exertion. Trekking is not a race to the next pass or teahouse. Go at a constant, manageable pace, do not chase after the person in front. Keep a slow steady pace rather than pushing too hard and needing to stop frequently. Take time to enjoy the scenery.

Trip facts

  • Region
  • Activity
    Trekking
  • Duration
    25 Days
  • Grade
    strenuous
  • Best Time
    May- September-
  • Max. Altitude
    5220m
  • Group Size
    Min 2 pax
  • Transportation
    Private vehicle / Flight

Your Host

Mrs Pamfa Dhamala

 My company has been helping people plan and experience the Himalayan treks and tours of their dreams for over 25 years. Please Let me assist you with your inquiry.

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Tour Extensions

  • UPPER DOLPO
    During the last fifteen years, Langtang Ri Trekking have been our exclusive partners for all my trips to Nepal. With them and their experienced staff we have been to very successfully travel to the remotest areas of Nepal, such as Tsum, Kutang and Karong of Pungyen area, Tsharka and Bar Rong valley...
  • DOLPO TRIP
    Thank you very much for wonderful experience in Dolpo.It was amazing enjoy. The nature and the way of living in this perfect area without the help of the team it would be really hard now it was 'A pieceof Cake'
Design Escapes
Since its establishment in 1991 AD, Langtang Ri Trekking and Expedition has stood as a beacon of adventure and exploration in the realm of tourism. With three decades of unparalleled experience, the company has been at the forefront of creating unforgettable journeys for clients hailing from every corner of the globe. Rooted in Nepal's breathtaking landscapes, Langtang Ri has continuously raised the bar for trekking, tours, expeditions, and extreme sports, offering a comprehensive range of services that cater to the intrepid spirit of travelers.
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Contact Us

  • 97714523360 9779823010252

  • langtangritrekking@gmail.com
  • Tridevi Marg, Nurshing Chowk Thamel, Kathmandu