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Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

Duration 25 Days
Country Nepal
Grade Challenging
Max. Altitude 4,555m
Group Size 2-16 pax
Best Season All Seasons except Harsh Winter
Transportation Domestic Flight and Trekking
Accommodation Camping (Tents)
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Overview

As you do the Upper Dolpo Trek, you are on the opportunity to walk along a trekking trail that a few tourists have traveled. Because of this, Upper Dolpo is one of the best treks in Nepal. It is also cool because it is a fully guided trek; it is also beautiful because it is a trek in which you can wander in all the attractions. How many trekkers have conquered this trekking trail; you can count it with your fingers? This is already the best trek near the Dhaulagiri Ranges and the Annapurna Ranges, in the world’s highest plateau called the Tibetan.

The plateau is also wild with the world’s deepest lake and incredible snow-covered mountains, and the trekking trail goes up to villages, passes, and monasteries, and sometimes, it heads up to 5000 m plus. The trail becomes iconic as it goes by the Phoksundo Lake and the Shey Gompa because the view from there, that is, of the plateau and valley, is spectacular. As you follow the trekking trail, one thing is sure, Tibetan culture is guaranteed from scratch from beginning to end.

As you keep an eye on what you haven’t seen in your life before this trek, you feel all the landmasses of the Upper Dolpo are related to what you have imagined in your mind a mini Tibet. You can also add to this landscape the category known as the desert of Nepal or the rain-shadow area of Nepal. Indeed, Mother Nature has blessed this part of Nepal abundantly, so that the beginner, intermediate, and advanced trekkers have a lot of activities to do and see.

Some of the best views of Nepal that you don’t see in other parts of Nepal can be seen here. In addition to this, the formations of landscapes and the explorations by the trekkers every year put us a question, why the Upper Dolpo Trek is off the beaten trek as well as the premier trek in Nepal? Each landscape of it is extraordinary because of its look, and some of the areas that you visit have been completely untouched by tourists.

The trekking trail takes you to a place that houses snow leopards. Make a lot of noise with your trekking guide along the trekking trail. There are hundreds of attractions in the Upper Dolpo region. You will know these as you follow the day to day itinerary. You are an adventure junkie, and we help you to explore the ecosystem of the Upper Dolpo region and how precious Mother Nature is.

Upper Dolpo Trek Highlights

  • Discover the Tibetan culture at every turn along the trekking trail
  • Visit Sheyphoksundo National Park looking at its 3555 Square km rim
  • Enjoy the Nepali landmark constructed naturally that is less busy
  • Explore the elevations in the diversity and remoteness that time has forgotten
  • Get the complete satisfaction of the splendid view of the scenery from the Numa Na La Pas

Upper Dolpo Trek Difficulty

Upper Dolpo Trek is physically demanding because you will be spending nights at 5000 m plus. Its trekking trail runs through the mountains, and you will be spending your time in the world’s remotest place. It is so remote, in order to tackle it, we have to set up a tent. As you walk over the rugged trekking traverse, you will find it the hotspot place for trekking in the monsoon season in Nepal.

Since this trek takes place in a remote place, it is challenging to take responsibility by yourself; therefore, we always tell you what to do in this kind of getaway. Some of the trekking trails are diverse in the high mountains and canyons, but the view you see from the switchbacks is the view you can compare with the glory of nature.

 As you know the Upper Dolpo Trek is a multiple day trekking, your trekking skill level must satisfy you. In other words, you must be fit. Multiple day trekking means you will be at varying altitudes and varying temperatures, therefore, we framed an itinerary that allows you to acclimatize and hike in the adjoining areas. Upper Dolpo Trek is an adventure, as you plan it; you will know, it is a moderate trek; it is a difficult trek, as you start planning this kind of adventure in your home country; you must also know about altitude mountain sickness temperature at an altitude of 3000 m plus and above.

We know all the technical routes at such an altitude as well as every inch of Upper Dolpo, and we also offer custom service. We are professional Upper Dolpo trekking guides. If you like to experience breathtaking scenery, you can email us to have unforgettable service in Nepal.

Best Seasons for trekking in the Upper Dolpo

March, April, and May are the best months because the weather that is warm is going to have a great impact on your trip. Many of our guests come in these months. Since the Upper Dolpo is situated in the rain shadow area of Nepal, they also come in June and July. During March, April, and May, the days are longer, and the mountainous region turns into a perfect visit. destination. The view of the snow-covered mountains is magical.  Everything that constitutes the mountainous region like flora and fauna makes the earth green, active, and energetic.

Upper Dolpo in August, September, and October, we cannot keep these months at bay. They are super for trekking. October is the month of the festival in Nepal. The sky is cloudless, and the days are clear. As a traveler, you have got everything within your reach from the perspective of a serious Upper Dolpo trekker.

We recommend you all these months because the Upper Dolpo Trek is for the people who want to enjoy less crowds.

Upper Dolpo Trek Accommodation and Meals

We offer you room in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj with a private bathroom and free wifi on bed and breakfast.  On the trek, we provide you trekking equipment like tents, sleeping bag, mattress, kitchen utensils (stove, fuel, lighter, plates, spoon, etc.), including water. Food is one of the important parts of trekking. Our meals include delicious cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hot beverages.

Whatever we provide you in the quiet outdoor surroundings, you will have a memorable experience with us. Different types of meals as well as healthy types of meals, this is what we focus on, so that you can stay on the top of the healthy diet, and they are the Nepalese, Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.

Permits Required

Whenever you head out to the national park in Nepal, you must have a permit. Park needs protection. Shey Phoksundo National Park is home to different species of plants and animals. Some of these animals are snow leopard, grey wolf, musk deer, blue sheep, goral, great Tibetan sheep, Himalayan Tahr, leopard, jackal, and Himalayan black bear. Upper Dolpo Permit was established to ensure and protect the natural habitats and ecosystem of the Lower Dolpo, Upper Dolpo, and the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

You need the following permits to show at the trailhead entry points along the trekking trail.

  • Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit
  • Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit

To trek in the Upper Dolpo, there must be at least two people. A permit will not be issued to a single trekker. You must carry your permit with you, and you are not allowed to enter the restricted area in the Upper Dolpo even if you have the permit. To apply for the permit, the following documents are needed.

    • Passport & Valid Visa

Routes to get to Upper Dolpo

We select all the best routes to Upper Dolpo. They are adventurous and contain the best scenery that we believe should be on your bucket list. Some trekking distances are long, while others are short. You can customize them.

The most famous long trek itinerary of the Upper Dolpo Trek is from Kathmandu to Radi to Dunai. Another alternative is to fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jhuphal. You can also fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara to Jomsom. These mean you can start your trek at Jhuphal or Jomsom. Besides this, you can also start your trek at Mugu Gamdi.

But when it comes to a popular Upper Dolpo trekking route, everybody follows the itinerary that stretches from Jhuphal to Norbulong to Jomsom. This is also the shortest itinerary. All you need is 22 days. Others are longer, and we recommend this itinerary.                                   

FAQ

1)                Do I need a porter for Upper Dolpo Trek ?

The porters we use are the strongest people, and they climb the pass with you. They also carry the table and luggage. They also help to set up the tent and toilet. One porter for two trekkers is usual during the Upper Dolpo Trek, and he stays with you all the way from the starting point of the trek till you fly out. Our porters are friendly because a smiling face will make you happy, and they walk ahead of you and a trekking guide to secure the best place for setting the tent. He will also do extra work like refilling your water bottle if the guide is busy.

2)                Is a sleeping bag essential for Upper Dolpo Trek ?

We know the rating of the sleeping bag we are going to use in the Upper Dolpo region. A good sleeping bag is on our daily checklist. Our sleeping bags are comfortable and warm. Above all, they are cozy. Since we have already spent a lot of time camping in the Dolpo region, there are different kinds of sleeping bags available we can use to encounter the wanted coldness of Upper Dolpo. We have also tested them by being inside their areas, and we use the mountaineering type sleeping bags always.

3)                What is the meaning of Dolpo ?

Dolpo is the only place in the world  that has the most important religious Tibetan books. Even Tibet does not have such a large number of books. It was the land of priests and gurus. If you want to know the Tibetan history and culture, Dolpo is the resource. Dolpo, the largest district, is the least populous district in Nepal.

Dolpo is a synonym for the Bon religion, and this religion is more than 10,000 years old; it is older than the Lord Buddha. Dolpo is another name of the hidden Tibet. Dolpo was a part of Tibet. Dolpo is a land that is untouched by many tourists. Over all, Dolpo is the Tibetan culture, and it has an arid topography with high mountains and deep valleys.

4)                Upper Dolpo Vs Lower Dolpo Trek

If you are thinking of trekking in the Upper Dolpo or lower dolpo trek you have to pay handsomely for the trek permit. Lower Dolpo is also off the beaten trek, but is shorter than Upper Dolpo, and the trek permit to Lower Dolpo, which is accessible and affordable, will not set you back financially.

Upper Dolpo Trek has topped the list of the trek called off the beaten trek because it is very remote, has a thin population, but the scenery is magnificent. For an extra memorable and touristy experience, you should book the Upper Dolpo Trekking.

If you want to know about the Bon religion, you will know the Upper Dolpo is well worth a visit.  Of all the villages, Ringo is a village that centers the Tibetan culture and religion.

The highest point of elevation that the Lower Dolpo has is 4000 m plus. On the other hand, the highest elevation of the Upper Dolpo is 5000 m plus.

Both Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo Trek are great to see the iconic view of Phoksundo Lake.

5) What are some other treks like Upper Dolpo ?

  1. Phoksundo Tea house trek with Dolpo Festival (15 Days)

We love to trek with you to the most beautiful lake of Nepal, which is in the Dolpo region. The lake has no shortage of beautiful views in and around it. Whatever you see, it is photogenic. The lake is easy to reach with our trekking guide. The surrounding area is home to snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, great Tibetan sheep, Himalayan tahr, etc.

Let’s enjoy the biggest festival that takes place in the largest district of Nepal. You can thrive in this festival by participating in the local sports event, mountain horse riding, and boating.

  1. Snow Leopard Trekking (25 Days)

You can help the significance part of the snow leopards in this part of the world by taking action. We participate in the activity to stop animal crime, and we love your thoughts.

Snow Leopards are gorgeous. Look at them up. Stand up right, contact straightly, and be confident.

Since Dolpo is home to snow leopards, we have framed an itinerary that will help you to tell the story of the Nepali mountain safari in your country.

  1. Yak Caravan Trek (24 Days)

Each day, you will be on a trail that has been untouched by tourists. It is a time to mingle with Tibetan culture and history. The beautiful views of landscapes and mountains keep on coming to your eyes as you move along with the local traders. You will enjoy the outdoor camping activity with the traders, and you will be in No Man’s Land, one of the highlights of the Yak Caravan Trek, which is an unforgettable experience.

Detail Itinerary

Day 01

Arrival in Kathmandu Airport (1,400m)

Once you arrive and collect your luggage at the airport, step outside the ‘Arrival Terminal’ to find our staff with your name card across the road. From there, we will receive you and arrange a transfer to your hotel. After you are well rested, we will meet in the evening for a welcome dinner.

3 Star Hotel / Kathmandu
Welcome Dinner
Day 02

Kathmandu Sightseeing

Today we will visit the world heritage sites: Pashupatinath, Monkey Temple and Boudha Stupa before lunch. In the evening we will take a walk around Thamel and Jason Market. You can also buy any trekking equipment or last minute items. Dinner with staff in the evening. Get briefed about your flight the next day.

3 Star Hotel / Kathmandu
Breakfast / Dinner
Day 03

1 Hour Domestic Flight to Nepalgunj (150m)

Enjoy your breakfast and head towards the airport. An one hour domestic flight will bring us to Nepalgunj. Settle down for lunch and some rest. We will stroll out in the evening to visit the nearby town, temples and market. Dinner in the evening together.

Tent / Nepalgunj
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 04

35 Minute Flight to Juphal (2475m)

From Nepalgunj, we fly north towards the small town called Juphal. We will have gained significant altitude compared to Nepalgunj (150m) as well as Kathmandu (1400m). The climate will be cool and refreshing. We will acclimatize and take the rest of the day exploring this small town.

Tent
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 05

6 Hours trek to Chhepka (2838m)

We will start our trip as we descend and cross the Thuli Bheri River. Enter Shey Phoksundo National Park. Your guide will coordinate with the check post to ensure the permits are in order. This will be a brief break, after which we continue our trip along the lush green forest. The trail continues along the forest zone. Significant plants are pine tree, juniper, rhododendron and bamboo. The trail is clearly marked and we will be guided towards the village of Chhapka. We will set up our tent for the day.

Tent
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 06

7 Hour trek to Palam (3820m)

After morning breakfast, wind up the tents and continue on the journey forward. Today we will be ascending 1 kilometers. However, the ascent is not continuous. That means, we will be descending at various points as well. Mules, Yaks and cows appear carrying load and grazing as we move forward. We stop at Reechi Village for lunch, and continue forward. On the way, there is an Ayurvedic local hospital which we will briefly visit. Reach Palam and set up the tents.

Tent
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 07

4 Hour Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3620m)

Today we will trek towards Phoksundo Lake. As described earlier, Phoksundo is Nepal’s second largest and deepest lake, with no life in it. This is because of the high altitude. On the way, we will also come across Nepal’s highest waterfall. It’s commonly called the “sunlight waterfall’. The settlement nearby is older than Buddhism, and they call it Bonpo. Our guides will tell us stories of this 18000 year old religion, its folklore and other interesting stories as we set up our camp.

Tent
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 08

Acclimatization and Exploration

Today we will take a side trip to explore Shey Phoksundo in more detail instead of moving forward. This helps in acclimatizing as well as taking a break for the day. As we won’t be ascending much, we will have the body adjust to the increasing altitude for the upcoming days. Get insight into Bon culture, followed by the natives along with Buddhism.

Tent
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 09

6 Hours Trek to Salla Ghari (3640m)

Today is a significant day as we will officially enter the restricted Upper Dolpo Area, covered by our special permits. This place is famous for the shooting of the Oscar Nominated Movie “Caravan”. Mount Kanjirowa (6883m) shines with all its glory. We are now entering the alpine area with the forest disappearing behind us.

Tent
All Meals
Day 10

6 Hour Trek to Lar Tsa (4120m)

This day we will have Salla Ghari, trekking through between high rock walls on both sides and crossing a couple of streams. We will enter a narrow gorge where we will set our camp. We can continue the trek but there is a possibility of altitude sickness. Overnight at tented camp, inclusive of full board meals.

Tent
All Meals
Day 11

8 Hour Trek to Shey Gompa (4120m)

Today’s journey will be divided into various parts. The first trip will be a 3 hour steep ascent to Kang La (5350m). ‘La’ translates to mountain pass, meaning that we will be walking along the hill curve to reach to the other side. We will arrive at a village called “Shey Gompa”. In this ancient land, villages are named after a shrine, stupa or monastery that they contain. The Gompa was built in the 11th Century by a Tibetan Buddhist, and has a great religious importance to the natives. It has its own folk story that you will know about when you are there. Set up the camp in the village.

Tent
All Meals
Day 12

Acclimatization

Another day to acclimatize. If you haven’t noticed, we are now above 4000 meters and it is a well deserved day to adapt to the rising altitude. We can explore the Shey Gompa and learn more in detail about this mystic structure. It is said that Durup Ystse introduced Buddhism to the Bons in this region. We will also come across the ‘crystal mountain’, shaped by the winds and full of minerals. It will also be interesting to observe the mechanical water mills, mane stones and prayer flags in the region. The terrain is rugged and stretches as far as the eyes can see. Back to the tent overnight.

Tent
All Meals
Day 13

6 Hour Trek to Namgung (4430m)

Today we will ascend to the height of 5000 meters to cross the mighty ‘Glen La’ Pass. From here, we can see the southern part of Tibetan Plateau. It will be a great feeling to know that Tibet is visible from the place we are exploring. To the east, Mustang, a popular village on the foot of “Thorong-La” is visible. The village of Namgung is itself beautiful. Set up the tent and prepare for overnight.

Tent
All Meals
Day 14

3 Hour Trek to Saldang (4046m)

Today we will be ascending to 4700 meters before descending to the village of Saldang. As you will notice, this region used to be a popular trade route, and is still used by the locals to travel to and fro Tibet / Nepal. The beautiful villages of lower Dolpo is visible from this area as well. A relatively short trip today as compared to the other days, but we deserve our well deserved rest and spend the rest of the time watching the mountains in awe.

Tent
All Meals
Day 15

6 Hour Trek to Sibu (4000m)

Today we started our trek towards Namdo from Saldang in the morning. We pass through the terrace fields, stupas shrines and Chaiba monastery. This is the local monastery for this region. Namdo has a population of about 500 and is a beautiful village. From Nambo, it is another two hours walk towards Sibu. We will set up our camp at the river bank.

Tent
All Meals
Day 16

5 Hour trek to Jengla (4480m)

Continue along the river valley to reach the foothill of Jengla. The second part of the trip is a sharp ascent. The views are breathtaking at both sides of the valley.

Tent
All Meals
Day 17

7 Hour Trek to Tokyo Gaon (4240m) via Jeng La Pass (4850m)

Today we will cross the Jeng La Pass. At the top of the pass, Mount Dhaulagiri is distinctly visible. Later, descend towards Tarap. The Tsarap Chu River makes several of the villages fertile and the settlement prosperous. Like in the previous villages, there are several shrines and monasteries in each of these villages. We will set up our tent in a small village called Tokyo Gaon. “Goan” means village in Nepali.

Tent
All Meals
Day 18

2 Hour Short Trek to Dho Tarap (4200m)

Today is a short hike of about 2 hours. So we can enjoy our breakfast and start the trek loosely. The trail is relatively easy and we will have a lot of time to observe. We pass by a local school, set up by the French, hence called “French School”. There are fewer houses here than in the upper villages that we passed the other day. We will visit the Gompa and meet the Lama today. The place is significant for its Thangka paintings and to hear the story behind them.

Tent
All Meals
Day 19

7 Hour Trek to Serkam (3623m)

Today is going to be a good descend from Dho Tarap towards Serkam. The seven hour trek will be challenging to our knees. Sticks will be helpful. Walk across meadows and domesticated yaks, sheeps and goats along the edges of the village. These animals are known to change altitude based on the weather. During winter, they descend to avoid the snow and vice versa. Be careful as the trek is narrow in various places. Overnight in Serkam.

Tent
All Meals
Day 20

5 Hour Trek to Tarakot (2280m)

Cross the steel suspension bridge and continue along the river. Crossing the natively built bridges on other parts is going to be challenging, but we will do it together in a safe manner, sometimes even choosing to step over stones rather than to walk on the bridge !

We will come across an old fortress where once there used to be a King of the locals. From Tarakot central, we descend down for a better facilitated place to set up our tents.

Tent
All Meals
Day 21

5 Hour Trek to Dubai (2109m)

We have gradually descended and continue doing so on this day as well. We backtrack to Dunai and set up our camp for overnight stay.

Tent
All Meals
Day 22

3 Hour Trek to Juphal (2400m)

After breakfast, backtrack to Juphal. Downhill trekking comes with its own perks and jerks. On the upside we travel faster. On the downside, you will have to take care of your knees. We will find ourselves in our camps in Jupal in no time.

Tent
All Meals
Day 23

Fly back to Nepalgunj

We will take a 35 minute flight back to Nepalgunj. Depending on the flight availability, from Nepalgunj.

Tent
All Meals
Day 24

Fly back to Kathmandu:

Take an hour flight back to the capital. Transfer to your hotel and meet in the evening for farewell dinner.

4 Star Hotel / Kathmandu
Breakfast & Farewell Dinner
Day 25

Departure:

Based on your flight itinerary, a vehicle arrangement will be made to the airport from your hotel. Then, fly back home.

N/A
Breakfast

Cost Includes

  • Airport / Hotel Transfers (2 ways)
  • Guides, cooks and Porters (1:2 ratio)
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner during the trek; all breakfasts plus - welcome & farewell dinner.
  • Camp setup and accommodation during trek.
  • Tea and coffee three times a day during trek.
  • All land and air transportation in the itinerary.
  • All Permits (TIMS, National Park Entry plus Restricted Entry Pass)
  • 3 Star Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu.
  • Sightseeing cost in Kathmandu (guide plus monumen entry fees)
  • Down Jacket, duffel bag and sleeping bags.
  • All Government Taxes to run the service.

Cost Excludes

  • Lunches and Dinners in Kathmandu except welcome/farewell dinner
  • Your personal safety insurance (Please buy insurance)
  • Tips for guides, porters and helping staff. Tipping is expected.
USD 3250
No Credit Card Fee
Save $24 in your Next Booking
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USD 4550
No Credit Card Fee
Save $24 in your Next Booking
Trip Date Ask Questions

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