Upper Dolpo Trekking - 27 Days

27 days Upper Dolpo Trekking

27 Days Upper Dolpo Trekking: Upper Dolpo is a beautiful region that remains hidden behind snow-covered mountains in the mid-western part of Nepal. The unique culture and lifestyle along with incredible natural beauty will make you fall in love with the place.

The region remains one of the most unexplored regions of Nepal. 27 days Upper Dolpo Trekking adventure will take you through off-the-beaten trails in the remote parts of the country. The spectacular trek is a perfect opportunity to explore the wilderness of the Himalayan region of Nepal.

It is less popular when compared to classic treks like Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek but is quite adventurous. Trekkers will also pass through natural habitats of rare and endangered species in the protected area of Shey-Phoksundo National Park.

Besides, you will fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu and then fly to Juphal, a town of Dolpo. Afterward, you will then trek for around four days to reach beautiful turquoise Phoksundo Lake.

You can explore the lake and its surrounding, as you enter the Dolpo region crossing high passes and trekking rugged terrains. Moreover, it will take around two weeks until you reach Juphal from where you take for your flight back to Nepalgunj and finally to Kathmandu.

For the most part, you will observe numerous Buddhist gompas and monasteries along trails. Tibetan influenced culture, tradition and lifestyle will enchant you. Trekkers need to stay overnight at a tented camp as tea houses are not available in most parts of the trek. One of the prime highlights of this trek is a chance to meet nomadic tribes and people.

In brief, our Upper Dolpo Trek cost is reasonable and all-inclusive of meals and accommodation facilities. Read further to know more about 27 days Upper Dolpo trekking and other relevant information in detail.

Highlights of the Trip

  • Observing scenic views of snow-capped mountains including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Mt Api, Mt Saipal, etc.
  • Exploring turquoise Phoksundo Lake and the Shey-Phoksundo National Park
  • Exploration of culture, heritage, and lifestyle of Tibetan Buddhists villages and ancient Bon culture and tradition
  • Spotting rare and endangered wildlife species including Musk deer, Snow leopard, and others
  • Passing through pristine waterfalls, streams, and riverbeds
  • Majestic view of Kanjirowa and Crystal Mountain Range (Ribo Drugta)
  • Observing people looking for Yarchagumba, a precious herb used as medicines
  • Exploring Shey-Gompa (4500m) via Kang-La Pass at 5,360m (the highest point of this trek)
  • Passing through nomadic tribes and settlements
  • Visit monasteries, stupas, and gompas like Shey Gompa, Yangze Gompa, Bon Gompa, Namgung Monastery, and others

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The Final Say

Upper Dolpo is a beautiful hidden trek in the mid-western part of Nepal. The culture and lifestyle along with incredible natural beauty is a highlight of the trek. Trekkers will also pass through natural trails of Shey-Phoksundo National Park.

27 days Upper Dolpo Trekking lets you explore remote parts of the country. In particular, trekkers also have the opportunity to explore Buddhist culture and traditions and gompas and monasteries along trails. You can also meet nomadic tribes and people. Overall, this spectacular trekking adventure is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Contact us for more details regarding this exciting trek!

Upper Dolpo Trek Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

After you land at the Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu, our representative staff will pick you up and transfer to your hotel. You will get briefed about 27 days Upper Dolpo Trekking in the evening. We will also organize a small welcome dinner at the hotel where you will stay overnight.

Day 2
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour

After early morning breakfast, we will go on a sightseeing adventure in Kathmandu. The UNESCO-listed world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley are of incredible cultural and religious importance.

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath Stupa are some of the sightseeing spots in Kathmandu. Durbar square of Kathmandu is famous for their medieval temples and palaces.

Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath Stupa are of incredible religious importance for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. You can also observe ancient “Newar” settlements and taste their delicious cuisine. We will return to the hotel in the evening and prepare for the trip. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3
Day 03: Kathmandu To Nepalgunj Flight

Maximum Altitude: 1450 m

Travel duration: 1-hour flight

After early morning breakfast, we board a flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. The flight takes around an hour to reach Nepalgunj in Western Nepal near the Nepal-India border. You will have an entire day to spend exploring the culture and traditions of people and tasting delicious local cuisine. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Nepalgunj.

Day 4
Day 04: Nepalgunj To Juphal Flight; Trek From Juphal To Dunai

Travel duration: 45 min flight

Trek duration: 2-3 hours

Maximum Altitude: 2000 m

You will take an early morning flight to Juphal from Nepalgunj early in the morning. The 45-minute flight takes you through scenic landscapes as you can observe Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and other snow-capped mountains. After you arrive at Juphal, you can meet the guides, porters, and prepare logistics regarding this trek.

You will then start your trekking adventure with a short trek to Dunai. The trek duration is around 2-3 hours and also depends upon your trekking pace. Dunai is a small village in Thuli Bheri Municipality lying on the bank of Bheri River. It is also the district headquarter of Dolpa and you will stay overnight in Dunai.

Day 5
Day 05: Trek From Dunai To Ankhe

Maximum Altitude: 2,900 m

Trek duration: 5-6 hours

After having breakfast, we start our trek from Dunai to Ankhe. Trekkers need to cross a suspension bridge over the Thuli Bheri River and then walk westwards. You will ascend Thuli Bheri Valley and continue into Phoksundo Valley.

The trail passes through Dhara and Rahatgaon villages. We will then continue to a dense forest to arrive at Ankhe where we stay overnight.

Day 6
Day 06: Trek From Ankhe To Sulighat

Trek Hours: 5-6 hours

Altitude: 2800 m

We have our breakfast, we start our trek from Ankhe, and continue walking towards Sulighat. You will walk on a rocky trail passing many water streams. The hard and steep rocky trail can get too challenging for some trekkers especially if you are a beginner.

However, if you walk slowly and carefully, you can complete the trek with ease and also enjoy the scenic views of snow-capped mountains before arriving at Sulighat after 5-6 hours of walk. You will stay overnight in Sulighat.

Day 7
Day 07: Trek From Sulighat To Phoksundo Lake

Maximum Altitude: 3,611m

Trek duration: 4-5 hours

We start our trek from Sulighat to Phoksundo lake after having breakfast. You will begin your journey early in the morning after breakfast. After trekking for a few hours, you will arrive at the junction of the Phoksundo River and Pungmo River.

After crossing a bridge, we trek alongside the Pungmo River. We walk through a cedar forest along a trail that leads you to Palam Village. You will then ascend a ridge from where you can observe magical views of Phoksundo Lake and a huge waterfall.

You will trek along birch forests to reach Phoksundo Lake. We will arrive at Ringmo village. Ringmo is a Tibetan Buddhist settlement lying next to Phoksundo Lake. After trekking for 4-5 hours you will arrive at turquoise Phoksundo lake and you will stay at a camping site near the lake.

Day 8
Day 08: Explore Phoksundo Lake

We will spend the day exploring Phoksundo Lake. The turquoise lake is the deepest in Nepal. Taking a bath in this sacred lake is prohibited as it hurts the religious sentiments of local people.

There is a Tshowa Monastery at the shore of Phoksundo Lake. You can learn about the art, culture, tradition, and Tibetan Buddhism in the monastery. After exploring the lake, we will come back to Ringmo village. You can rest or explore Ringmo village. You will spend the night at Ringmo.

Day 9
Day 09: Trek To Phoksundo Khola

Maximum Altitude: 3,611m

Trek duration: 4-5 hours

We will start our trek with a 4-5 hours walk to reach Phoksundo Khola after breakfast. You will walk along the cliff path on the western bank of Phoksundo Lake. This part of the trail is quite challenging and dangerous. After passing through Phoksundo Lake on the western cliff, you will enter the remote region.

This unexplored region remains far away from modern developments and infrastructure. We then cross a lush meadow and cross the floodplain of Phoksundo Khola to reach our camping site. We will stay overnight in a camp at the bank of the Phoksundo River.

Day 10
Day 10: Trek From Phoksundo Khola To Phoksundo Bhanjyang

Maximum Altitude: 3,611m

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

We will start our trek on the flat trail on the glacial valley after breakfast. The views of snow-capped mountains including Chamlang Peak and others will enchant you. As the flat trial ends, you will arrive at a steep and challenging trail. After ascending along the trail, we will arrive at a valley with breathtaking views of Kang-La Pass. we then reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang where we will stay overnight at a camp.

Day 11
Day 11: Trek To Shey Gompa Via Kang-La Pass

Maximum Altitude: 5,360 m

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

The trek starts with a steep ascent to Kang-La Pass after breakfast. We can observe magical views of the large valley and snow-covered mountains from the top of the pass. We will descend from Kang-La Pass, and climb down towards the valley. The steep descent in the early parts turns easy in the latter part.

As you walk alongside a river and cross it through a suspension bridge to arrive at a green lush grassland. You will pass through the meadows and mud caves on the cliffs. After a trek of 6-7 hours, you will reach Shey Gompa where we stay overnight at a tented camp.

Day 12
Day 12: Rest Day At Shey Gompa

Today is the rest day and you will spend acclimating your body to the high altitude region. You will explore the monastery, Shey Gompa village, and the region around Gompa. Shey Gompa lies in the junction of Kanju Nala and Yeju Nala rivers. The Shey-Gompa Monastery is the prime attraction of the Dolpo Region.

There is also Shey-Phoksundo National Park which works in the conservation of flora and fauna of the region. Shey Gompa built in the 11th century is a famous religious site for Tibetan Buddhists. You can find ancient statues, Tibetan Murals, prayer walls, and Buddhist arts and artifacts.

Day 13
Day 13: Trek From Shey Gompa To Namuna Gaun Via Saldang La Pass

Maximum Altitude: 5,200m

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

After having breakfast early in the morning, we start our long and taxing walk to Namuna Gaun. Trekkers will need to pass through Saldang La Pass (5,200 meters). From Shey Gompa, a rocky trail leads you into a canyon as you ascend Saldang La Pass.

You will walk through beautiful yak pastures and landscapes around Saldang La Pass. From Saldang La Pass, you will descend towards Namuna Gaun where you can observe the famous Namgung Monastery. The monastery is a religious site for Tibetan Buddhists of the region. You will stay overnight at Namuna Gaon

Day 14
Day 14: Trek From Namuna Gaun To Saldang

Maximum Altitude: 3620m

Trek duration: 5 hours

The trail takes you through dusty and barren trails towards Saldang. After trekking for around 3 to 4 hours, you will arrive at Saldang village. You will then descend towards Saldang village.

Saldang is a large village settlement in Inner Dolpo spreading over two kilometers and with a population of around 600 people. You will see cultivable lands in Saldang, a prosperous village of Dolpo where you will stay overnight at Saldung.

Day 15
Day 15: Trek From Saldanha To Yangtze Gompa

Maximum Altitude: 4960 m

Trek duration: 5 hours

You will trek alongside Nagaon River and pass through Marang and Ki settlements. There is also a tributary of Panzang Khola along the trail. You will cross the river to arrive at Yangtze Gompa which is an ancient and popular Bonpo monastery in Dolpo Region. You will stay overnight at a camp in Yangtze gompa.

Day 16
Day 16: Trek From Yangtze Gompa To Sibu

Maximum Altitude: 4560 m

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

You will trek back to Saldang from Yangze Gompa and continue towards Sibu. Trekkers will trek alongside a river, and then cross the terraced fields of Saldang, and pass Chaiba Gumba to reach Namdo Village. We will have our lunch in Namdo, and continue our trek to Sibu. We will stay overnight at a camp in Sibu.

Day 17
Day 17: Trek From Sibu To Jeng-la Phedi

Maximum Altitude: 4900 m

Trek duration: 5-6 hours

Trekkers can start their trekking Sibu To Jeng-la Phedi after having breakfast. The trail is easy as it follows the river. You will have to cross the stream after a trek of a few hours to arrive at the side valley. A little steeper trail will lead you to the grassland covered in rocks. You will camp at a site in Jeng La Phedi.

Day 18
Day 18: Cross Jeng La Pass And Trek To Tokyu Gaon

Maximum Altitude: 5,090m

Trek duration: 5-6 hours

After breakfast, you will start your trekking adventure to Tokyu Gaon ascending Jeng-La Pass after a trek of 2-3 hrs. The awe-inspiring views of snow-capped mountains including Mt Dhaulagiri from top of the pass will spell bind you.

You will descend to Tarap valley and then ascend to Tarap Chu via green valley 20 kilometers from the Tarap Chu river. You can find villages, cultivable fields, monastery, Chorten, Gompas, along trails. You will spend the night at a camp.

Day 19
Day 19: Trek From Tokyu Gaon To Dho Tarap

Maximum Altitude: 4,000m

Trek duration: 5 hours

After breakfast, we will start our trek to Dho Tarap from Tokyu Gaon. The trail passes through quite easier trails but you should be careful. Thick leafy grass at either side of the river makes for a different landscape than other parts of Inner Dolpo. You can find Magars and Tibetans villages. French school outside the Dho Trap village is another highlight of the trek. You will stay overnight at a camp in Dho Tarap.

Day 20
Day 20: Rest Day in Dho Tarap

On this day, we will rest and acclimatize at high altitude regions to save from altitude sickness. We will also explore Dho Tarap. You can visit farms and observe locals harvesting the crops.

There are asymmetrical walls to protect crops from winds and wild animals. Magars and Tibetans settlements inhabited by Bonpo and Buddhists. The people wear traditional dresses like Bakhu (a heavy warm outer). You will also visit Buddhists Gompa and spend a night at a teahouse in Dho Tarap.

Day 21
Day 21: Trek From Dho Tarap To Tarap Khola (Kamakharka)

Maximum Altitude: 3,800m

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

Trek today is long and taxing. We will trek for some time to arrive at desert-like landscapes around Tarap. You will trek along with Juniper bushes and wild roses passing through a wide valley in the inner Himalayan valley above the treeline.

We trek further to Kamakharka, from where we can observe herds of blue sheep and arrive at the junction of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola rivers. After trekking for a few hours, we will arrive at the grassy area (meadow) called Kamakharka. You will stay overnight at a camp in Kamakharka.

Day 22
Day 22: Trek From Tarap Khola To Khani Gaon

Maximum Altitude: 3,150m

Trek duration: 4-5 hours

After breakfast, we start our trek from Tarap Khola to Khani Gaon that takes around 4-5 hours. You will walk through the wooden bridges and staircases. These small adventures will make the trek more exciting. Trekkers need to cross damaged bridges above the icy stream on foot along the trail to Kahani Khola. You will finally arrive at Khani Gaon where you will stay overnight at a camp.

Day 23
Day 23: Trek From Khani Gaon To Tarakot

Maximum Altitude: 2,540m

Trek duration: 4-5 hours

Trek today takes you from Khani Gaon to Tarakot. The trail leads you to Lalberi village from where you will cross the Pine, junipers, and some apples and walnuts trees. Trekkers need to cross a stream to reach Tarakot, an old fortress town from where you can observe breathtaking views of mountains at the altitude of 2537m. You will stay overnight at Tarakot.

Day 24
Day 24: Trek From Tarakot To Dunai

Maximum Altitude: 2,140m

Trek duration: 5-6 hours

We start our trek from Tarakot to Dunai on this day. We pass through Pine trees beside Bheri river from where we can observe scenic views along the trail. After 6 hrs of walking, we arrive at Dunai where we stay overnight.

Day 25
Day 25: Trek From Dunai To Juphal

Maximum Altitude: 2,140m

Trek Hours: 2-3 hours

After breakfast, we descend from Dunai back to Juphal after trekking for a few hours along the path of the Bheri River. You will stay overnight at Dunai village with scenic views.

Day 26
Day 26: Fly To Nepalgunj And Kathmandu

The adventurous 27 days Upper Dolpo trekking itinerary comes to an official end. After breakfast, you will fly back to Kathmandu. Beautiful views of Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Annapurna and other snow-capped mountains will enchant you.

Day 27
Day 27: Final Departure

Our representative will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport from where you can board a flight to your desired destination.

Useful Trip Info

About The Route

The 27 days Upper Dolpo trekking adventure will test you to the core. You will get to experience unexplored and remote parts of the country. You will fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu and then fly to Juphal from Nepalgunj. Juphal is the starting point of this trek.

Trekkers will pass through settlements of Dunai, Ankhe, Sulighat to finally arrive at Phoksundo Lake. Shey-Phoksundo Lake is the prime attraction of this trek. You will also pass through high mountain passes, ancient monasteries, caves, and other landscapes.

The Shey Gompa (4500 meters) via Kang La Pass (5360m) is one of the most challenging sections of the trek. After spending some time exploring Shey Gompa, you will descend to Namduna Gaun via Saldang La Pass (4785m). You will pass through Yangze Gompa, Jeng La Phedi, Sibu, and Tokyu Gaon via Jeng Pass. Trails also follow Nang Chu, Panzang, Nam Khong, and other rivers.

From Tokyu, you will trek to the fertile valley of Dho Tarap. Bon Gompa and other Buddhist shrines are highlights of the trek. Trails also pass through Tarap Khola, Khanigaon, and Tarakot village settlements. You will walk through various gorges, pastures, forests, and cross famous riverbeds. After arriving at Juphal from Dunai, you will fly back to Nepalgunj and finally fly back to Kathmandu.

When is the Best Time for Upper Dolpo Trekking?

This outstanding trekking adventure is ideal during Autumn and Spring seasons. These transition seasons come between the Summer and Winter seasons and have favourable temperatures and stable weather conditions.

The Autumn season provides great views of snow-capped mountains along with good weather. The daytime weather is ideal for trekking as it is warm and there are fewer chances of rainfall. The Shey Phoksundo lake looks incredibly beautiful in Autumn.

The Spring season means beautiful atmosphere and green meadows. The clear sky is another highlight of the trek in this season. Rare and endangered wildlife also becomes active after a harsh winter. Also, the weather remains stable and temperatures moderate that is ideal for trekking.

Winter is cold and there are high altitude passes along trails on this trek. These passes remain covered in deep snow in winters. Crossing the snowy passes in mid-winter is quite tough. The weather also remains unpredictable and adds complexity to trek.

Summer monsoon rains make the trails get very slippery and wet. The dangers of avalanches and landslides also make it difficult to trek in these seasons. Hence, Autumn and Spring are the best times for Upper Dolpo Trekking Nepal.

How Difficult is the Upper Dolpo Trekking?

This magical trek requires you to walk for a long duration and stay in camps overnight. There are no tea houses or lodges for an overnight stay at most places along the trail. You will have to stay at campsites, arranging your own tent and sleeping bags. There are many high altitude passes along the trail that require extensive strength and endurance. A proper training regime will help you immensely during the trek.

Upper Dolpo trek itinerary moves above 5000 meters at all times. Altitude Sickness is another huge problem in high altitude treks. You will be trekking to higher altitudes at all times and hence you should take necessary precautions. The oxygen in the air is considerably less in high altitude along with air pressure. You should also drink plenty of water and trek slowly to tackle altitude sickness along the trail.

The length of this trek is also a major difficulty in this trek. You need to trek for 27 days for its completion. Rough and rural terrains require strong physical and mental build. Previous trekking experience is always a plus. Trekkers also need to pack proper gear and clothing. Inadequate trekking gears will cause difficulties for trekkers. Hence, upper Dolpo trekking Nepal is quite challenging especially for beginners trekking high altitude regions for the first time.

Food and Accommodation Along the Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek is an adventurous trek that requires fully-catered camping facilities. There are no teahouses and lodges in most parts of the trail. You need to carry all the food materials to be safe. There are also food shortages in the region.

You must therefore make proper food and accommodation facilities before starting this trek. Thus, trekkers should trek through an agency that will organize a complete camping trek and prepare all necessary arrangements. You will get proper camping equipment along with food and other facilities.

Porters will help you with luggage and setting up tents where you can sleep. A well-trained cook will prepare hot meals or you can cook it yourself. Camping in one of the remote parts of Nepal is one of the highlights of this trek.

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Permit & Regulation for Trek

You will require three permits for this trek as it is restricted area trekking. They are Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit, Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit, and Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit. You can get permits at Nepal Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu or the National Park entry.

You also need to follow strict rules and regulations during the trek. At least two people in the trekking group is a must as you can’t go to restricted areas alone. You must also get a local agency to help you with the trek. A compulsory trekking guide or a porter is essential for trekking. Your trekking agency will do all these arrangements for you.

Packing List for the Upper Dolpo Trekking

Clothing

  • Trekking pants and jackets
  • Thermals underwear
  • Insulating jackets
  • Trekking boots
  • Fleece-lined jacket
  • Long-sleeved trekking shirts
  • Rainproof pants and jackets
  • Woolen cap/ beanies
  • Lightweight Sweaters
  • Short-sleeved trekking shirts
  • Pair of Gloves

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Toilet Paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer

Accessories

  • Cameras
  • Power Banks
  • Solar Chargers
  • Extra Batteries
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle
  • Upper Dolpo Trek Map

First Aid

  • Diamox tablets
  • Band-aids
  • Anti-nausea Medicines
  • Pain relief Sprays
  • Mosquito repellent spray or ointment

Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Travel Permits
  • Travel insurance

Essential Tips for the Trek

  • You should follow all rules as it is a restricted area trekking. The rules such as trekking with a guide, and through a trekking agency is a must.
  • Trekking through an agency will give you many facilities like meals and camping at a reasonable Upper Dolpo Trekking cost
  • Carry Diamox tablets that help to tackle altitude sickness in high altitude regions.
  • You should carry proper and adequate means and accommodation facilities.
  • Check the weather forecast before starting on the trek.
  • You should not consume alcohol as it can cause dehydration which can further lead to altitude sickness.
  • Proper acclimatization and hydration will help you immensely during the trek.
  • Train well to gain physical as well as mental strength.
  • You should walk gently along the trail with regular breaks and rest.
  • If you feel early symptoms of altitude-related problems, you need to descend immediately.

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