Located between the Dhaulagiri ranges and Tibetan plateau, the Upper Dolpo region gives you plenty of opportunities to embark your experience of the remote settlements, and their Tibetan Buddhist culture. Another important attraction of Upper Dolpo trek is the Phoksundo Lake and the nearby areas rich with wildlife and animals. You might even spot snow leopards in the Shey Phoksundo National Park. You can also visit the 800-year-old Buddhist monastery in this journey of wilderness. In comparison to the treks like the Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, etc., Upper Dolpo trek encounters less number of trekkers. If you happen to be during the spring season, you can witness the Yarshagumba Hunt of villagers, including children.
Unlike other treks, Upper Dolpo trek can be moderately strenuous, as you have to make through the three passes with above 5,000 m altitude, make ascents and descents over steep trails, and spend several nights at an altitude above 3,500 m. Despite being remote, there are some teahouses and lodges for accommodation, but camping might be expected. This area also opens opportunities for side trips and treks, such as Annapurna Traverse, Jomsom, Rara Traverse, etc. March to May and September to November are considered the ideal time to do any trek in Nepal.
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Altitude : Kathmandu: 1,345 m
Our representative shall receive you from the Tribhuvan International Airport and take you to your hotel. After you rest a bit, you might want to do some shopping for this trek. A short debrief session shall be held in the late afternoon. We shall be enjoying typical Nepalese dishes in the Welcome Dinner hosted by us. Spend your first night in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Flight to Nepalgunj
Altitude: Nepalgunj: 150 m
It takes about 1 hour to reach Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. Located in the Terai region of Western Nepal, it is near the border between Nepal and India. This is a busy import and export hub, and gateway to several hilly regions of Nepal. You shall have some time to explore the town, the diversity and corresponding culture. Stay overnight at Nepalgunj.
Day 3: Flight to Jhupal (Dolpo)/trek to Dunai
Altitude: Dunai: 2,850 m
You shall catch a flight to Jhupal and be there after 45 minutes. Situated at the foothill, Jhupal offers you the views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from the north. It is here you shall meet your trekking guide and required number of porters. Then, you shall embark your trek towards your first destination—Dunai, which is 2-3 hours walk far from Jhupal. Stay overnight at Jhupal.
Day 4: Trek to Ankhe
Altitude: Ankhe: 2,896 m
Crossing the suspension bridge, you shall head west, passing a hospital, before you make ascent uphill over the barren hill. Via Thulo Bheri, you shall arrive at the Phoksundo River Valley. Passing through the meager forest of walnut, leaving Raha Gaon and Dhera Villages behind, trekking through dense forest, you shall arrive at Ankhe. Stay overnight at Ankhe.
Day 5: Trek to Sulighat
Altitude: Sulighat: 2,050 m
Making several ascents and descents along the riverbank, you shall ascend uphill, which is pretty steep. You shall make frequent ascending and descending, crossing the occasional streams in your way. Passing the forest, the hillock rich with grass, you shall descend, again through the dense forest that ultimately takes you to a cliff. Further trekking leads you to Sulighat. Stay overnight at Sulighat.
Day 6: Trek to Phoksundo Lake
Altitude: Phoksundo Lake: 3,611 m
Leaving the valley, you shall arrive at the junction of two rivers—the Phoksundo and Pungmo. Before trekking towards the western side of Pungmo, you shall cross the bridge. Passing through the cedar forest, you shall arrive Palam Village. Trekking over ridge. You shall descend through the forest full with birch, passing the Ringmo Village, you shall arrive at the Phoksundo Lake. Stay overnight at Phoksundo Lake.
Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Khola
Altitude: Phoksundo Khola: 3,750 m
You shall start trekking on the western part of the Phoksundo Lake, which is the walkway supported by wooden pillars penetrated into the rocks. Then, you shall make through pastures, ultimately walking on the flood plain of Phoksundo Khola. It takes about 4-5 hours from the Phoksundo Lake to reach Phoksundo Khola. Walking via a valley leads you to the Phoksundo Khola. Stay overnight at Phoksundo Khola.
Day 8: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang
Altitude: Phoksundo Bhanjyang: 4,402 m
You shall be trekking through the glacial valley for an hour before reaching the junction of a mountain stream and Phoksundo Khola. Crossing via the bridge, you shall ascend for a considerable time before reaching the meadow. Ascending further takes you to a valley near to the Kang La Pass. Camp overnight at Phoksundo Bhanjyang.
Day 9: Trek to Shey Gompa through Kang La Pass
Altitude: Kang La Pass: 5,360 m; Shey Gompa: 4,500 m
It is a strenuous climb to the top of the Kang La Pass. The top offers you the beautiful views of valleys, rivers, and mountains. Descending downhill, you shall trek to the bank of the river, and cross it from several angles thenceforth. Passing the meadows, you shall cross an old wooden bridge before reaching Shey Gompa. Stay overnight at Shey Gompa.
Day 10: At Shey Gompa
Altitude: Shey Gompa: 4,500 m
This is the day you shall spend exploring Shey Gompa. You shall find Crystal Mountain on the east. You can also visit the Shey Village. Acclimatization is very important while trekking in the high altitude areas. In addition to that, acclimatization is a great opportunity to explore the place and get to know the culture and practices from very close. Stay overnight at Shey Gompa.
Day 11: Trek to Namduna Gaon through Saldang La Pass
Altitude: Saldang La Pass: 5,200 m; Namduna Gaon: 4,800 m
Walking through the forest of junipers, you shall descend down to rocky canyon. Then, you shall make several ups and downs over the eroded soil and rocks reaching all the way to the Saldang La Pass. Descending down from the pass requires some patience, effort, and exhaustion until you reach Namduna Gaon. Visit the local monastery—the Namgung Mosnastery, at Namduna Gaun. Stay overnight at Namduna Gaon.
Day 12: Trek to Saldang
Altitude: Saldang: 3,620 m
Ascending over the slope, you shall climb for 3-4 hours to get the first glimpse of Saldang village. In the entire inner Dolpo region, Saldang is considered to be the largest village. There are about 80 houses in the entire 5 villages of Saldang where about 600 people live. It is an important stop point in the trade trail between Nepal and Tibet. Stay overnight at Saldang.
Day 13: Trek to Yangze Gompa
Altitude: Yangze Gompa: 4,960 m
Walking along the Nagon River, you shall make through several ups and downs, before passing the Ki and Marang Villages. Crossing the Panzang River, you shall trek eastward, and cross the tributary of the river once again before reaching Yangze Gompa. You can spend some time exploring the village. This place boasts an ancient Bon-Po Monastery. Stay overnight at Yangze Gompa.
Day 14: Trek to Sibu
Altitude: Sibu: 4,560 m
You shall return back to Sladang Village for the time being, then, walking along the river. Passing several stupas, Chortens, terraced farms, Mani Stones, and Chaiba Monastery, you shall arrive at Namdo Village. Visiting the local Namdo Monastery, you shall continue trekking downhill to arrive at Sibu. It shall takes about 6-7 hours to reach Sibu from Yangze Gompa. Stay overnight at Sibu.
Day 15:Trek to Jeng La Phedi
Altitude: Jeng La Phedi: 4,900 m
Walking beside the Nam Khong Khola, you shall encounter with yak caravans. Trekking further towards the east leads you to the junction of two streams. Ascending uphill, which is moderately steep, you shall arrive at the pastures just at the bottom of Jeng La Pass—the Jeng La Phedi. Stay overnight at Jeng La Phedi.
Day 16: Trek to Tokyu Gaon through Jeng La Pass
Altitude: Jeng La Pass: 5,090 m; Tokyu Gaon: 4,209 m
Before the sunrise, you shall make towards the Jeng La Pass. It shall take you about 2 hours to reach at the top of the pass. The top offers you the spectacular views of Dhaulagiri, especially, the northern side. Then, descending down, you shall arrive at the Tarap Valley. Trekking for a while further takes you to the monastery situated in Tokyu. Stay overnight at Tokyu.
Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap
Altitude: Dho Tarap: 4,040 m
Descending down via the valley rich with grass on the either sides of the river, and trekking for about 4-5 hours in total takes you to Dho Tarap. You shall find the place surrounded by irregular arrangements of stone walls. There are Tibetans and Magar inhabitants at Dho Tarap. You shall also find a Bon Po Gompa at Dho Tarap worth visiting. Stay overnight at Dho Tarap.
Day 18: Trek to Kamakharka
Altitude: Kamakharka: 3,800 m
Today, you shall descend downhill and trek over the trails with wild roses and juniper bushes on the either sides. Trekking further takes you to the junction of two rivers—Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. In the beginning of the trek, you shall be made through wide valleys and gorges. You shall be camping here on the meadow. Stay overnight at Kamakharka.
Day 19: Trek to Khanigaon
Altitude: Khanigaon: 3,150 m
Descending downhill through the gorge, you shall be trekking via the narrow valleys in the gorge. Sometimes they become so narrow that you can literally jump from one side to another side. You might have to walk on the stone slabs. If the bridges are swept by the river, or are damaged, you might have to cross the river on foot. Such adventure journey shall take you to Khanigaon. Stay overnight at Khanigaon.
Day 20: Trek to Tarakot
Altitude: Tarakot: 2,537 m
Via the Lalberi Village, you shall trek via the dense forest, descend down to the gorge, and shall trek alongside the river, leading you to today’s destination—the Tarakot. It shall take about 4-5 hours to reach Tarakot from Khanigaon. You might like to visit the Sandul Gompa situated at the confluence of Tarap Chu and Barbung River. Stay overnight at Tarakot.
Day 21: Trek to Dunai
Altitude: Dunai: 2,140 m
Before you make through the bridge, you shall trek behind the Bheri River. Via the Lawan Village, you shall ascend to Byas Gadi, overlooking the Bheri River. Westward, you shall trek on the gentle and relatively comfortable trail. Before arriving at the Lochakhola Gaon, you shall cross the river, and ascend uphill to Dunai. It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Dunai from Tarakot. Stay overnight at Dunai.
Day 22: Trek to Jhupal
Altitude: Jhupal: 2,404 m
Trekking beside the Bheri River, you shall pass through Rupgad and Dhupichaur Villages. Passing by the temple, you shall trek through some other villages such as Kalagaon and Motipur Villages before arriving at Jhupal. It takes about 2-3 hours to arrive at Jhupa from Dunai. Stay overnight at Jhupal.
Day 23: Flight to Nepalgunj-Kathmandu
Altitude: Nepalgunj: 150 m; Kathmandu: 1,345 m
Today, you have two flight to make. From Jhupal, you shall fly to Nepalgunj. From there you shall fly to Kathmandu. Our representative shall take you to your hotel, where you might love to give your body well-deserved rest, recollecting the memories you have had collected during the trek. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.
Day 24: At Kathmandu
Altitude: Kathmandu: 1,345 m
There are some important sites enlisted in the UNESCO’s World Heritage sites such as the Pashupatinath Temple, Basantapur Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, etc. You might also have to do some shopping for you return flight. We shall be sitting on the Farewell Dinner, enjoying Nepalese delicacies, and sharing our trekking experience. Stay overnight at Kathmandu.
Day 25: Departure
Our representative shall take you to the Tribhuvan International Airport within sufficient time before your departure flight. They shall bade goodbyes and farewell, and part away from the airport. Have a happy and safe journey to your home country.