Creative Holidays Nepal

Upper Dolpa Trekking


Upper Dolpo Trekking route is a remote and unspoiled area near the Tibetan border of Nepal. Dolpo region is situated between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges. It opened for trekkers since 1989. Until then the area were closed for foreigners. This region was vividly admired in the book, The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathesons describing his journey through the beautiful land. Nepal’s first English subtitle movie and Oscar nominated Himalaya or Caravan was also shot in this region. Upper Dolpo is a region of mystical beauty. And its remoteness adds to the sense of adventure among its visitors. The customs and traditions seems here are quite similar to those of Tibet. It is one of the restricted trekking regions of Nepal. It’s required special permit. The special permit charged USD 500 for first ten days and other USD 50 each day after 10 days. The group should at least have two people to get trekking permit for this trek. Individual trekker will not get a permit for this region from the trekking permit immigration. The Area of the park spreads 3,500 square kilometer of Land.

Dolpo is the most beautiful and least develop district of Nepal. So, travelers are rarely visit this area because of high passes trail. It passes through beautiful valleys, interesting places, local settlements, gigantic mountains and greenery forest of pines, Rhododendrons, Oaks etc. The main highlights of the trek is an ancients, spectacular landscapes, mesmerizing Shey Phoksundo lake, isolated villages of Ringmo and the centuries old monasteries. Phoksundo is the deepest lake of Nepal with its 145m depth according to a survey by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Such like centuries old Buddhist monasteries (which is known as Shey Gompa) wildlife, pristine lake, soaring peaks and peoples lifestyle of least develop region are also another attraction of the trek. Here is a holy mountain called “Crystal Mountain” that is why, each year hundreds of pilgrims travelers visit upper Dolpo region and make a circuit of the mountain. The people of this region mostly speak Tibetan languages. Rarely some people can understand Nepali language.

This trek is best to do in the summer and monsoon season. Winter seasons is avoided for this trek because of the heavy snowfall.

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu - (1360m)

Arrive at the Airport in Kathmandu and transfer to a hotel.Stay Overnight.

Day 2
Flight to Nepalgunj - (150m)

First ,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.Stay overnight.

Day 3
Flight to Juphal - 2475m

Reach Juphal which is just 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. Stay overnight.

Day 4
Trek to Chhepka - (2838m) - 6 hrs Walk

From Juphal, descend through wheat and vegetables field to reach Thuli Bheri River. A big suspension bridge will lead 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 ecosystem and the Tibetan type of floras and faunas. You have to pay 1000NPR, except tourists from SAARC countries. Follow Suli Khola viewing a part of the Dhaulagiri Range. Then, 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 ,reach Cheep Ka, a small village surrounded by millet and wheat field. Overnight at tented camp

Day 5
Trek to Palam - (3820m) - 6-7 hrs Walk

To reach to Palma, pass through beautiful forest, following a river. On the way you can see the local people with their mules as dzopas (cross bread of Yak and Cow). Loaded with thongs to sell. After 4 hrs ,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.

Day 6
Trek to Phoksundo Lake - (3620m) 4 hrs Walk

It takes about 4 hrs to reach Phoksundo Lake. We have to climb steep about 2hrs, before reaching the top, have the view of Nepal’s highest waterfall, a spectacular waterfall of 107m high which is known as Phoksundo waterfall also known as sunlight waterfall. Then , descend from the top to get to 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.

Day 7
Exploring Day

Have rest for a day to admire the beauty of Phoksundo Lake and visit nearby villagers inhabited by Bon and Buddhist religion. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 8
Trek to Salla Ghari - (3640m) - 5-6 hrs Walk

Enter restricted area of Upper Dolpo.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. 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. Descend first and ascend through a wide valley which will let us to have spectacular view of Kanjirowa Himal (66612m) then , reach an alpine area with junipers called Thaneba or Lake side camp, a beautiful place of camping. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 9
Trek to Lar Tsa - (4120m) 6 hrs Walk

Trekking through between high rock walls on both sides and crossing a couple of streams, enter a arrow gorge where will set our camp. You continue the trek but there is possibility of altitude sickness problem. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 10
Trek to Shey Gompa - (4320m) - 7-8 hrs Walk

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. 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.

Day 11
Trek to Namgung - (4430m) - 6 hrs Walk

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.

Day 12
Trek to Saldang - (4046m) - 3 hrs Walk

Trek to Saldang starts with climbing a tree slope. 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.

Day 13
Trek to Sibu - (4000m) - 6 hrs Walk

Leave Saldang village and on way to Sibu ,pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens mani and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village contains sixty houses having nearly 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

Day 14
Trek to foot of the Jengla - (4480m) - 4-5 hrs Walk

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.

Day 15
Trek to Tokyo Gaon - (4240m) - 6-7 hrs Walk

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. 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.

Day 16
Trek to Dho Tarap - (4200m) - 2 hrs Walk

To reach to Dho Tarap , 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 French 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. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 17
Trek to Serkam - (3623ft.) - 7 hrs Walk

The next two days are long 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.

Day 18
Trek to Tarakot - (2280m) 5 hrs Walk

You leave Khanigoan by the new suspension bridge and then walk alongside the river. Some of the going is quite demanding and one bridge, said to have been 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. 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.

Day 19
Trek to Dunai - (2109m) - 5 hrs Walk

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.

Day 20
Trek to Juphal - (2404m) - 3 hrs Walk

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.

Day 21
Flight Nepalgang – Kathmandu

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

Day 22
Departure to your destination

Get to the Airport and check in for final departure.