Upper Dolpo Trekking
adventure to Nepal Far Wild West in the land of ancient Bon culture
Best Seasons for Upper Dolpo Trekking:
Upper Dolpo can be visited from April to October including monsoon wet months of June to Mid-September, as the area falls within rain-shadow where heavy black clouds blocked by great Himalaya barrier.
That is why the area is more dry and arid than southern parts of Himalaya, while the best months is April and May with September to early November months.April and May during spring times when days are much longer with sunlight hours and quite warmer during the day, but cold in the morning and night times with chances of snow sometimes.
During September to early November, days if much clear for views and walks but are shorter day with sunlight hours. In autumn season,there freezing temperatures during morning and night time, can expect snow on treks sometimes around higher elevation.
People and Culture:
Around Upper and Lower Dolpo area is populated by Dolpo tribe known as Bhote or Bhotia,people of strong Tibetan influence practice both Buddhism and ancient Bon sect of pre-Buddhism which you can notice along the walks with religious monuments of Stupa and series of prayer wheels and stone slate walks, all around Dolpo dominated by Tibetan origin people interwoven with Buddhism religion and exciting colorful culture of Bon sect.
Around lower side with some Magar and Hindu Thakuri Malla Chettries and Dolpo falls on historical trails of Trans Himalaya Salt Trade and caravan route from Nepal to Tibet.
Upper Dolpo Trekking is one of our most exclusive adventure that takes you to explore the hidden and scenic country around Far North West, where few groups of travelers often venture in this wild west of Nepal Himalaya.It is a perfect journey for people with great interest to be within natural surroundings and away from main stream and popular trekking trails as this walk offers complete isolation in the harmony of pure natural environment.
Upper Dolpo Trekking takes you around largest national park of the country that covers an area of 3,555 sq.km that extends close to Dhaulagiri and Mustang region in the east with Mugu and Jumla towards far west direction.Great adventure to experience besides its spectacular scenery of beautiful landscapes where one can witness ancient culture of Bon,a pre-Buddhism religion blended with present Buddhist culture that makes this trek interesting visiting scenic Phoksundo Lake and towards high, isolated mystical area at Shey Gompa.
Shey Gompa is also called ‘Crystal Monastery’ as this religious old monastery located close to Crystal Mountain embedded with semi-precious gems and stones and then exploring around its traditional lovely villages adorned with ancient heritage and custom.Upper Dolpo Trekking is an adventure that involves flights both ways due to its remoteness; the only shortest means of reaching to cover this wonderful journey taking a sweeping flight Nepal Far South West and then towards higher north at Dolpo.
Walk first takes you to visit around Dunai,a headquarter and main town of Dolpo after flying in at Jhupal airport, and then heading towards nice farm areas and villages to reach at beautiful Phoksundo Lake, also called as Ringmo as this lake is close to Ringmo village.From scenic area of Phoksundo lake,explore the village of interesting cultures with similar life and culture of Tibetan, as the area falls on ancient Trans Himalaya Trade of Nepal to Tibet.
After a wonderful time at Ringmo and Phoksundo Lake adventure continues heading much higher with climb towards highest pass of the trek over Kang-La at 5, 345 m facing marvelous scenery of Dolpo landscapes with views of snow-capped peaks. Then reaching our destination at Shey Gompa,the Crystal Monastery enjoy visit around this amazing country in complete tranquil and tour of the monastery enriched with ancient religious idols and relics.
From Shey Gompa adventure heads towards inner Dolpo area visiting lovely villages of Saldang and Tokyu of immense interest adorned with age-old heritage culture and visit ancient Bon and Buddhist monasteries.Walk takes you to nice lovely Dho-Tarap,green valley and reaching at historical village of Tarakot where in old time stood as a fort guarding the empire of Malla kingdom.From Tarakot,walk takes you back at Dunai and then at Jhupal for last overnight stop around Dolpo, and then taking a swift scenic flight to reach into civilization within hustle and bustle city life in Kathmandu, after glorious adventure and memorable experience on Upper Dolpo Trekking.
Upper Dolpo involves overnights in tented camps, where all camping equipment needs to ferry throughout the treks, as this region is located in the far wild west of Nepal with only few villages with facilities of lodge and home stay.Upper Dolpo was once a forbidden region and opened since last three decades, but still remains as restricted area where foreign visitor requires special entry permits to travel around Upper Dolpo which is from Phoksundo Lake onward as per our itinerary from Day 11 till Day 17.
The Dolpo people are generally adherents of Bon, a religion whose origins followed Buddhism but whose modern form is officially accepted as a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism.The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it much attractive to Westerners, Dolpa was the location for the 1999 nominated for foreign film called 'Himalaya' and recently for German documentary on Dolo named Tulku.
Upper Dolpo and the park derived from 12th Century Shey Gompa, also known as the Crystal Monastery with deepest lake in Nepal, the Phoksundo Lake. Shey Phoksundo is country largest park which protects endangered animals like elusive and rare snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep and the Tibetan wolf, which falls within great Trans-Himalayan Salt and Caravan Trail to Tibet.
On this adventure,trekkers can enjoy great panorama on walks as well on short flight facing Mt. Dhaulagiri (8, 167 m), Mustang Himal with Mt. Annapurna- I (8, 09 m) Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m), Mt. Annapurna II (7,937 m.), Mt. Annapurna III (7, 555 m), Mt. Annapurna IV (7,525 m), Mt. Annapurna South (7, 219 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,041 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6, 441 m), Mt. Lamjung Himal (6, 986 m), Tukuche peak (6, 920 m), to Tilicho peak (7, 134 m). Includes Kagmara and Kanjibroba Main Peak at 6,828 m and other peaks within Dolpo region.
The 1999 French-Nepalese movie Himalaya,which gives insight into local customs, was the first Nepalese film to be nominated for an Oscar award and also was a huge success in Nepal itself, drawing the country's attention to the region.
Kenneth M. Bauer notes that the film's authenticity was in large part artificial, as dialogues mixed the standard Tibetan of the professional actors with the villagers' local dialects and all external influences in the region (such as clothes, Maoists and tourists) were hidden. He also described the impact which the film had on the region as an employer.
The 2009 documentary Dolpo Tulku accompanies Sherap Sangpo (born 1981 in the Tarap Valley) on his journey from India back to his home region and his first steps as a Buddhist spiritual leader of the Dolpa. At the age of ten, he had pilgrimage to India and after meeting Dalai Lama had decided to become a monk. In Ka-Nying Monastery,in Kathmandu,he was soon recognized as the reincarnation of Lama Nyinchung and sent to Namdroling Monastery in Karnataka.
After 16 years his education was finished in southern India, and in 2008 he returned to his home region to take over the responsibilities of his predecessor as a Buddhist spiritual leader of the Dolpa and in particular the monasteries in Dho-Tarap, Namgung and Saldang.
Short Outline Itinerary:
Day 01: Main arrival in Kathmandu 1,320 m via various airlines.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour and trek preparation.
Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj city 50 minutes on air and transfer to hotel.
Day 04: Fly to Jhupal 2,475 m then walk to Dunai 2,140 m - 04 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Chepkpa 2,838 m - 06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Samduwa village 2,960 m -06 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo Lake 3,630 m - 06 hours.
Day 08: Rest day at Phoksundo Lake for local excursion.
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo-Khola 3,750 m- 05 hrs.
Day 10: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang 4,717 m - 04 hrs.
Day 11: Cross Kang-La 5,345 m and trek to Shey Gompa 4,160 m via -06 hrs.
Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa / Crystal Monastery.
Day 13: Trek to Namgung 4,608 m via Sela (Gela) La 5, 094 m -06 hrs.
Day 14: Trek to Saldang 3,770 m - 05 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Cha-Gaon 4,910 m - 05 hrs.
Day 16: Trek to Dachu Khola and camp at 4,700 m - 06 hrs.
Day 17: Trek and cross Jyanta-La 5,220 m and walk to Phedi 4,900 m-06 hrs.
Day 18: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,209 m - 06 hrs.
Day 19: Trek to Dho-Tarap 3, 944 m- 05 hrs.
Day 20: Trek to Gyagar 3,759 m - 07 hrs.
Day 21: Trek to Tarap Khola 3,652 via Chyugar 3,440 m - 06 hrs.
Day 22: Trek to Tarakot 2,540 m - 06 hrs.
Day 23: Trek to Dunai - 05 hrs drive to Jhupal - 02 hrs. jeep ride.
Day 24: Fly to Kathmandu from Jhupal via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Day 25: Free and Contingency day in Kathmandu.
Day 26: International departure to respective countries homeward bound.
Trip Extension in Kathmandu:
People with more time in Nepal can enjoy staying in Kathmandu for other adventure sports activities rafting, mountain biking, Mountain flight, Para-gliding and sightseeing tour or just relax and enjoy shopping souvenirs.
Main Highlight of the treks:
- Within scenic country on elusive snow-leopard trails around Nepal Far West
- Adventure wild areas of Inner and Upper Dolpo with scenic Phoksundo Lake
- At Nepal’s largest national park of Shey-Phoksundo and to Crystal Monastery
- Enjoy perfect wilderness of high snow-capped peaks with rolling hills and valley
- Stunning scenery of picturesque landscapes in the harmony of local culture
- Explore impressive villages interwoven with ancient Bon sect of pre Buddhism
Trek at Glance:
Mode of accommodation: Hotels in Kathmandu-Nepalgunj with local lodge and tented camping on treks.
Trekking Grade: Moderate to Adventurous walks.
Area of Trekking: Far North West beyond Dhaulagiri Himalaya
Highest elevation gain: Over Kang-La pass at 5, 345 m high.
Daily Walks: Minimum 4 hrs to maximum 8 hrs.
Trekking duration: 21 Nights and 22 Days (with flights both ways)
Total Trip: 25 Nights and 26 Days (arrival to final departure)
- No. of Days :
- 26 D
- No. of Nights :
- 25 N
- Min Age :
- 28 Yrs
- Max Age :
- 65 Yrs
- Min Weight :
- 20 Kg
- Max Weight :
- 100 Kg
- Min Pax Per Booking :
- 2 Pax
- Max Pax Per Booking :
- 16 Pax
- Available Group Capacity :
- 100 Pax
- Trip Standard :
- 3 Star
- Grade :
- Best Seasons :
- April to October and June to Mid-September
- Trip Start Elevation :
- 0 m
- Lowest Elevation :
- 0 m
- Highest Elevation :
- 0 m
- Trip Start Point :
- Trip End Point :
- check_circle_outline All tour and treks accompanied by guides-staff and porters (either human or pack animals like yaks or mules), all wages, meals, accommodation, transportation facilities with Insurance against medical and accidents.
- check_circle_outline In some high altitude treks we provide sleeping bags and down jackets also with comprehensive medical kits carried by our guides and staff.
- check_circle_outline Tour and sightseeing around Kathmandu as per the itinerary chosen with city guides includes all entrance fees at places of interest.
- check_circle_outline Full board on trekking with breakfast-lunch-afternoon refreshment with dinner includes twin sharing rooms in lodge on route treks.
- check_circle_outline Accommodation in tourist standard or 2-3 star class hotels on bed and breakfast basis as well in twin sharing basis rooms. (For single supplement at extra cost)
- check_circle_outline All arrival and departure from the airport to hotel and back on private cars, coach or buses as per the group size.
- highlight_off Early return from the tour or treks will not be entertainment with refund, where client should borne all the expenses incurred including accompany guide-porters services.
- highlight_off Emergency evacuation by any means of transportations including immediate Helicopter services if required on accidents, sickness and personal problems.
- highlight_off Single Supplement on hotel rooms as well on trek in lodge where clients should inform ahead on booking with extra charge on booking single private rooms where available.
- highlight_off Expenses of individual nature drinks, laundry, telephone bills, gratitude and meals in city areas Kathmandu and Pokhara as per the itinerary chosen.
- highlight_off Personal Trekking gear and equipment’s including down jackets-sleeping bags if not provided by the company as per the trip cost.
- highlight_off International air-fare, Personal medical / travel insurance and Nepal visa fees.