Upper Dolpo Trek, Nepal’s Upper Dolpo region is a mystical land that has long captivated the imagination of adventurers and explorers alike. This remote area is tucked away in the northwestern corner of Nepal, bordering Tibet, and is one of the most isolated regions in the country. With its rugged terrain, harsh weather conditions, and limited infrastructure, it remains a relatively untouched corner of the world. But for those who dare to venture into this fascinating land, the rewards are immeasurable.
From its stunning landscapes to its rich cultural heritage, Dolpo is a place that will leave you awestruck. In this article, we’ll take you up close and personal with Nepal’s Upper Dolpo region, exploring its hidden treasures and uncovering the secrets that make it such a unique and remarkable destination. So, fasten your seat belts, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
The Upper Dolpo region is a remote area located in the Himalayan mountains. It is situated at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level and covers an area of approximately 7,000 square kilometers. The region is characterized by its rugged terrain, barren landscapes, and towering mountains that are covered in snow all year round. The area is also home to several glaciers, including the Shey Phoksundo Glacier, which is one of the largest in Nepal.
The Upper Dolpo region is also home to the Shey Phoksundo National Park, which was established in 1984. The park covers an area of 3,555 square kilometers and is home to several endangered species, including the snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, and Tibetan wolf. The park is also home to Phoksundo Lake, which is one of the main attractions in the region. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and its crystal-clear waters reflect the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
The Upper Dolpo region is also known for its unique geology, which includes several rock formations, including the Dolpo marble. This rare and valuable stone is found only in this region and is highly prized for its beauty and durability.
The people of Upper Dolpo are known for their rich cultural heritage, which has been preserved for centuries. The region is home to several ethnic groups, including the Dolpo-pa, who are of Tibetan origin. The Dolpo-pa people are known for their unique way of life, which is closely tied to their environment. They practice Tibetan Buddhism and follow a traditional way of life, which includes farming, animal husbandry, and trading.
The Dolpo-pa people are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards visitors. They welcome tourists into their homes and offer them food and shelter. They are also known for their colorful festivals, which are held throughout the year. The most famous festival in the region is the Shey Gompa festival, which is held in August. During the festival, locals dress up in colorful costumes and perform traditional dances and songs.
The Dolpo-pa people also have a unique language, which is closely related to Tibetan. However, due to the region’s isolation, the language has evolved differently from Tibetan and has its own distinct dialect.
Trekking in Upper Dolpo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is not to be missed. The region offers several trekking routes, each with its own unique features and challenges. The most popular trekking route in the region is the Upper Dolpo Trek, which takes around three weeks to complete.
The Upper Dolpo Trek starts in Juphal and follows the trail along the Phoksundo Lake, through several villages, and over several mountain passes. The trek is challenging, with several steep ascents and descents. However, the stunning views of the surrounding landscape make it all worthwhile.
Another popular trekking route in the region is the Shey Gompa Trek, which takes around two weeks to complete. The trek starts in Juphal and follows the trail to the Shey Gompa monastery, which is located at an altitude of 4,126 meters above sea level. The trek is less challenging than the Upper Dolpo Trek, but it still offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Trekking in Upper Dolpo requires a bit of preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Firstly, visitors must obtain a trekking permit from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. The permit costs around $500 and is valid for 10 days. Visitors must also obtain a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card, which costs around $20.
In terms of equipment, visitors should bring warm clothing, as temperatures can drop below freezing at night. They should also bring a good quality sleeping bag, a waterproof jacket, and sturdy hiking boots. Other useful items include a headlamp, a water bottle, and a first aid kit.
Accommodation options in Upper Dolpo are limited, with most trekkers staying in guesthouses or camping. The guesthouses are basic but comfortable, with shared bathrooms and communal dining areas. Camping is also an option, and visitors can rent tents and other camping equipment in Kathmandu.
Food options in Upper Dolpo are also limited, with most meals consisting of rice, lentils, and vegetables. However, visitors can also try local delicacies, such as yak cheese and butter tea.
Upper Dolpo is home to several must-visit attractions, each offering a unique experience. The Shey Gompa monastery is one of the main attractions in the region. The monastery is located at an altitude of 4,126 meters above sea level and is one of the oldest monasteries in the region. It is also known for its stunning murals and statues.
The Phoksundo Lake is another must-visit attraction in Upper Dolpo. The lake is located at an altitude of 3,611 meters above sea level and is one of the deepest lakes in Nepal. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the beauty of the surrounding landscape, making it a popular spot for photography.
Other attractions in the region include the Tarap Valley, which is known for its stunning landscapes, and the Dho Tarap village, which is home to several ancient monasteries and cultural sites.
Trekking in Upper Dolpo is not without its challenges. The region’s rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions can make trekking difficult and exhausting. The high altitude can also cause altitude sickness, which can be dangerous if not treated properly. Visitors should ensure that they acclimatize properly and take plenty of breaks to avoid altitude sickness.
The region’s limited infrastructure can also pose a challenge. Accommodation and food options are limited, and visitors should be prepared to rough it out. Visitors should also be aware of the region’s remote location, which can make it difficult to obtain medical assistance in case of an emergency.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU (1,400M)
Arrival in Kathmandu, The representatives by Everest Trekking Routes will welcome to you at TIA Upon your Arrival. We transfer to hotel overnight stay.
DAY 02: FULL DAY SIGHT SEEING KATHMANDU VALLEY
After breakfast, we spend the whole day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley as a major point. One of the biggest Stupa in the world, Boudhanath stupa and Monastery, Old heritage Buddhist temple Soyembhunath and Monastery, Kathmandu Durbar Square Kumari temple and Patan Durbar Square Krishna temple. The Kathmandu sightseeing is real Nepalese traditional culture and heritage touring, After tour will back to hotel and preparation the Lower Dolpo trip overnight stay hotel.
DAY 03: BY FLY KATHMANDU TO NEPALGUNJ 1 HOUR
After breakfast, Kathmandu to Nepalgunj takes an hour’s by domestic air, after flight take lunch and visit Nepalganj City which is the biggest city in the Southern part of Nepal. Stay overnight at the hotel.
DAY 04 FLY NEPALGUNJ- JUPHAL / TREK JUPHAL- DUNAI (2150M)
After breakfast flight to Juphal take 30 minutes by little domestic air and trek to Dunai. The beginning trail descends and wind cooler through pass several local villages continue edge of the riverside. We will see on the way many of water mill to granted flower from white, corn, millet and some other food. The elevation of Dunai (2125m) the Dunai is middle town has Police check post, school and government offices. Stay overnight at lodge.
DAY 05: TREK TO TARAKOT (2540M) 5-6 HRS
After breakfast trek to Tarakot following the bheri river bitten track of the trail. We will pass several local villages and some Buddhist monastery and also mani wall stones with cultivating the field. The tarakot is a small settlement of which is thuli very river famous and ancient independent kingdom of Tichorung. And stay overnight at Camp.
DAY 06: TREK TO LAINI ODAR (3375M.) 4-5 HRS
After breakfast trek to tarakot and wonderful landscape and several passes which is Laisicap (2775m.) and Kaigaun (2950m.) Excellent Himalayan scenery Including Putha himchuli, Churen Himal and other beauty nature’s stay overnight at Camp sited.
DAY 07: LAIN ODHAR TO NAWARPANI (3950M) 6 HOUR
After breakfast trek to Nawarpani, it takes 6-7 hours spectacular Himalayan scenery and several pass Chhyugar (3440m.) and Taltol (3530m.) toward the deepest gorges with scary cliffs stay overnight at Campsite.
DAY 08: TREK TO DHO TARAP (3950M.) 6/7 HRS
After breakfast trek to Dhor Tarap wonderful trekking along the bank of Larap Khola via Ghyamghar and Langa, The Dho Tarap fascinating settlement of that manifests the real attributes Lower Dolpo. Famous settlement of lower Dolpo Nestles high above the wide valley and stay overnight at camp.
DAY 09: AT DHO TARAP FOR ACCLIMATIZATION
Acclimatization day at Tarap Explore Dho Tarap visit beautiful Monastery like Ringo Bumpa Monastery which is secreted monastery build by Jimge Nyima Gyaltsen and lama Tenzing Tragye 1000 years ago. To get rid of spirits wandering in the region, Amazing architecture of Samye Monastery in Tibet, 12th Century Lots of history related and general information explain by a mountain guide. And stay overnight at Camp.
DAY 10: TREK TO TOKYU GAUN (4200M/13776FT), 5-6 HRS
After breakfast Trek to Tokyo gaun, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different from other parts of Inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains extending twenty kilometres along the river Tarap Chu, having ten villages with cultivated fields of barley, buckwheat, wheat and potato. After 3-4 hrs of a good walk in this perfect tranquillity coming to the village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After a break here our walk continues farther up this valley climbing up the rough track for almost another three hours to reach Tokyu gaun overnight campsite.
DAY 11: TREK BELOW NUMALA PASS (4665M/15301FT), 4-5 HRS WALK
After breakfast trek to Nmala Pass, we start our trek after breakfast with the scenic view but gaining high altitudes and feel short breathing. We will have a short day but feel little hard during the walk. Even a great day at the high altitude and we’ll reach at the camp stay overnight at campsite.
DAY 12: CROSS NUMALA (5,190M/17,023FT), AND CAMP AT PHEDI , 6-7 HRS
After breakfast trek to Phedi. Today we cross the highest pass during this trek where you may feel difficult but can be seen a great view takes 6-7 hrs and after top at Numala we will descends another bottom part known as Phedi and overnight campsite.
DAY 13: TREK AND CROSS BAGA LA (5,070M/16,630FT) AND CAMP, 5-6 HRS
After breakfast trek to Baga La passes with after crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes scenery of valleys, mountains including the north face of the Dhaulagiri massif along with other distance snow-capped peaks. After a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of the downhill walk takes to Palungtang or farther for the overnight camp just before Baga-la or Basi-la pass, depending upon the duration of walk and fitness of the people, if everybody is all right and on time, stay Overnight at campsite.
DAY 14: TREK TO RINGMO (3,600M/11,808FT), 6-7 HRS
After breakfast Trek to Ringmo a steep climb to reach the ridge top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow-capped peaks of Kanjirowa Himal range, after a great moment here our walk leads to a descend for 2 hours through the pine forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo and the crystal serene Lake of Phoksundo. Stay overnight at campsite.
DAY 15: REST DAY AT RINGMO & FOR A HIKE TO PHOKSUNDO LAKE (3730M)
Today we are Explore day and Acclimatization at Ringmo, the nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit, as is the village of Ringmo. A walk part way around the lake is also very enjoyable and relaxing. This is a great day exploring the lake areas and with a great view overnight at camp.
DAY 16: TREK TO PUNGMO VILLAGE (3170M/10397FT), 4-5 HRS
After breakfast trek to Pungmo Village and start after a night at this wonderful campsite beside the clear waters of the lake we retrace our steps back down to Sumo from where we will follow the trail north-west up the Pungmo Nala to the small B’on village of Pungmo. The camp is there up near the village after a half day’s walk. Having lunch ample time to explore the village and the enthusiastic can visit the Bon monastery about two hrs walk up the hillside across the river from here. Stay overnight at Campsite.
DAY 17: TREK BELOW KAGMARA -LA, 5-6 HRS
After breakfast trek to Kagmara, Walking from Pungmo the trail leads up the valley along the left bank to cross it about two hours from here to the right-hand bank. Views of the Kangchunne and Kanjeilarwa peaks are very nice along today’ walk. The valley is well forested with Juniper and birch and wild animals like the musk deer inhabit this area. Further up the valley blue sheep might be seen on the mountain slopes. Stay overnight at campsite.
DAY 18: CROSS THE KAGMARA-LA (5,115M/16777FT), 4-5 HRS
An early start climbing steadily uphill to the pass at an altitude of 16100 ft; from here the summits of Kagwara I towards the south is visible nearby and many other peaks of the range also are visible. Views west towards the since and Patrasi Himal and northwards to Kanjiroba are striking. Stay Overnight at Campsite.
DAY 19: TREK TO HURIKOT VILLAGE (3600M/11808FT), 5-6 HRS
After breakfast trek to Hurikot village, Our trek following the Garpung Khola high above it along the right bank the trail turns north above the confluence with the Jagdulla Khola to descend down to the Army Check Post. After crossing the Jadulla Khola to the right bank here the trail follows the well-forested valley to the village of Huyrikot stay overnight at Campsite.
DAY 20: TREK TO CHAURIKOT (3060M/10036FT), 5-6 HRS
After breakfast trek to Chaurikot to crossing the stream coming off the Jagdull Lekh the trail goes up along the ridge to the northwest to climb Barbary Lekh Pass at an altitude of about 3810m/12,500ft. This is a longish gradual climb and the pass itself is a long ridgeline quite unlike most passes. Views north towards the Kanjiroba Himal are very fine from here. Stay Overnight at lodge.
DAY 21: TREK TO CHORTE GOMPA (3200M/10496FT), 5-6HRS
After breakfast trek to Chorte Gompa and from camp below Barbary Lekh follow the trail downstream through oak and pine forest to the village of Chorte another small settlement of the newly established village. Stay overnight at Campsite.
DAY 22: TREK TO GOTHI CHAUR (2,700M/8856FT), 4-5 HRS
After breakfast Continue to following the Tila stream. The trail runs below the villages of Munigaun; The Kurigaun to climb up a side stream coming down from the left just short of Guthigaun climbing steadily the sheep farm at Guthichaur Stay overnight campsite.
DAY 23: TREK TO JUMLA (2,370M/7773FT), 6-7 HRS
After breakfast trekking begins by slowly and gradually dropping down a really lovely valley from high alpine pastures, through magnificent forests and eventually into a fertile well-farmed valley. It has pretty little villages such as Padmara and the track is not too steep and following the same river all the way down to Jumla. This makes a nice circuit and avoids having a repeat part of the outward trek. Stay overnight lodge.
Day 24: Fly from Jumla to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
Early morning 30 minutes sweeping wonderful flight to Nepalgunj over the Himalayan foothills, overlooking stunning views of the snow-capped peaks. On arrival at Nepalgunj depending upon the connecting flight schedule to Kathmandu. If it’s in the afternoon we will have time, few hours for refreshment in the comfort of the Hotel at Nepalgunj; when we arrived in the domestic airport in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel stay overnight at hotel.
DAY 25: FINAL INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURE
We will drop you to the TIA for your final departure and happy journey to your hometown, hope to see you again and goodbye.