Upper Dolpo Trek is remote and breathtaking trekking that connects us to Shey Phoksundo Lake, Shey Gompa, Saldang Village, and many other remote unique, and less traveled west north corner of Nepal. Upper Dolpo Trek is known as Inner Dolpo one of the remote trekking destinations in Nepal mandatory Camping arrangements with supporters staff. Upper Dolpo Trek includes a combination of Landscapes, unspoiled typical Buddhist culture, traditional local lifestyle, and old Buddhist monasteries that include high passes with fine trip itineraries.
Upper Dolpo Trek is a fascinating "Off The Beaten Path" trek in Nepal in the tranquil, pristine, and mysterious regions of Upper Dolpo. Upper Dolpo Trek also treks around the majestic glacial lake, Shey Phoksundo, and visits Shey Gompa, one of the most famous monasteries of Nepal. Despite being one of the harder and longer treks with several camps above 4500 meters and several passes, the arid trans-Himalayan landscape and the daily hardships of locals leave the travelers in awe of Dolpo. It is also a spiritual trek as shamanistic Bon religion and Tibetan Buddhism dominates the entire region.
Trekking to Upper Dolpo through the tough mountainous region of fortified villages, 'dzongs', turquoise lakes, sacred mountains, and high passes, susceptible to heavy snows which have isolated it from the rest of Nepal for much of the year. Isolated and unproductive lands have forced the locals to rely mostly on trade with Tibetans and the tradition still lives on today. Upper Dolpo Trekking passes through these very villages that still serve as the trade hub of these ancient trade routes. Centuries-old monasteries, including, the famous Shey Gomba (referred to as Crystal Monastery in the book Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen), and unexplored and hidden valleys of Dolpo make the trek worth every minute of the hard trek in this wild part of the Himalayas of Nepal.
The most interesting part of the Upper Dolpo Trek is that we get to witness the cultural difference of the people of different regions, had centuries ago. Dolpo the high mountainous settlement holds the nomads that migrated to the region ages ago. Similarly, the people of Mustang also called Lopas also migrated from Tibet almost during the same time. Still, the contrast between the people of these two regions in the past and in recent times is so huge in terms of civilization; it is an interesting discovery.
Local Village in Upper Dolpo Nepal
Upper Dolpo is one of the most demanding trekking destinations. Due to remoteness, it is quite challenging to trek Upper Dolpo. Trek to Upper Dolpo, you will need to be familiar with high-altitude treks or you will require 5000 meters of previous trekking experience. We don’t recommend first-time travelers trekking to Upper Dolpo because it is a long and high-altitude trek. We will spend about two weeks’ time above 4000 meters. During our Upper Dolpo trekking journey, we will cross several 5000 meters high passes, Kang la Pass 5345 meters, Sela Bhanjyang 5075 meters, Chharka La Pass 5030 meters, Niwar Pass 5130 meters and Sangda la Pass 5300 meters. As high altitude treks involve a lot of uphills and downhill and each day we will walk about 9 to 14 kilometers and a typical day walk will be 6 to 8 hours.
First, you have to get to Nepalgunj by flight. Domestic airlines operate daily flights to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. It is about 40 minutes by flight or up to 12 hours by bus, Car ride journey can connect to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. From Nepalgunj, you can fly to Juphal airstrip. There is not any direct flight to Juphal from Kathmandu, although expensive charter flights can be arranged from Pokhara.
Visit Himalaya Treks offers 28 days of Upper Dolpo Trek arriving in Kathmandu to departure from Kathmandu. Our Upper Dolpo trek starts from Jhupal and ends at Jomsom. This trekking route also called the high route of Upper Dolpo involves 22 days of real trekking over Inner Dolpo. Inclusive Accommodation, domestic flights, necessary permits, and local land transport trip cost USD 5600 per person. We operate Upper Dolpo Trek minimum group size 2+ clients.
Buddhist Monastery and Stupa at Upper Dolpo Nepal.
There are several different ways to do Upper Dolpo Trek, Nevertheless, we follow the original route clockwise route starting from Juphal and ending at Jomsom. There is not any place we are going to miss during our Upper Dolpo Trek, we comprise most of the spectacular and unique places in our journey to Upper Dolpo Trek. The most spectacular places like Stunning Shey Phoksundo Lake, Remote Shey Gompa and Crystal Mountain, Saldang Village home to Tibetan salt traders, Tinje Village, and Chharka Bhot connect us to Jomsom following the Great Himalayan Trail. This is one of the stunning routes we will follow on our Upper Dolpo Trekking journey.
The best time to do trekking in Nepal is March, April, and May in the spring season and October, November, and December in the Autumn season. But Every trekking destination is not the same aspect, Dolpo district lies north of the Himalayas and is a rain shadow destination. Even in monsoon time, in June, July, and August very little rain receives in Upper Dolpo. We did trips to Dolpo before pre-monsoon like April and May, and after ending the monsoon month of September and October. We found the very best time to trek upper Dolpo from Mid-September to the end of October. Because tracks are clear, High Passes are open so the success rate is 99%. So, I would say the best time to Trek Upper Dolpo is the month of September and October is the best month.
Upper Dolpo trek is not set with commercial infrastructures, most of the local villages are still unique and far away from modern stander lifestyles. So, it is nearly impossible to trek Upper Dolpo staying at Lodge or Tea House. However, in some of the popular villages like Saldang village, it is possible to stay with a local house and sleep in their house. We don’t recommend tea houses, or lodge trek to upper Dolpo because of the lack of available lodges and tea houses.
The largest district of Nepal, Dolpo is connected with Tibet on the north border. Dolpo district is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest National Park it’s a trans-Himalayan National Park. Dolpo is one of the remote and authentic destinations, there is no available tea house, Lodges along the upper Dolpo trekking route. For most of the trekking route we will need to have camp and we need to supply Camping gear while trekking to Upper Dolpo. Upper Dolpo Treks provide a real camping test, visiting pure Tibetan’s style un-changes village, typical lifestyle, and rich of Buddhist Culture are the high light of Upper Dolpo Trek.
Shey Phoksundo National Park in Dolpo Nepal.
Shey Phoksundo National Park is established in 1984, Countries largest National Park is located in the mid-western region of Nepal which covers the Dolpo and Mugu district in Nepal. Shey Phoksundo National Park's name is derived from the 12th-century Shey Monastery and the deepest Lake in Nepal. Shey Phoksundo National Park has a diversity of landscapes and ranks among the most scenic Montane parks in the world. Much of it lies north of the Himalayan crest ranging in elevation from 2,130 m (6,990 ft) in the southeast near Ankhe to 6,883 m (22,582 ft) at the summit of Kanjiroba Himal at the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu. (1350 meters).
Day 02: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation.
Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj. (130 meters).
Day 04: Fly to Juphal (2490 meters) & Trek to Raktang (2421 meters)
Day 05: Trek to Amchi Hospital. (3110 meters).
Day 06: Trek to Phoksundo Lake. (3733 meters).
Day 07: Acclimatization day.
Day 08: Trek to Phoksundo Khola. (3690 meters).
Day 09: Trek to Snowfield Camp. (4625 meters).
Day 10: Cross Kang La (5345 meters) and trek to Shey Gompa. (4375 meters).
Day 11: Acclimatization day.
Day 12: Cross Sela Bhanjyang (5075 meters) and trek to Namgung. (4430 meters).
Day 13: Trek to Saldang. (3980 meters).
Day 14: Trek to Khoma Gaon. (4100 meters).
Day 15: Trek to Mendo. (4000 meters).
Day 16: Trek to Tinje Gaon. (4110 meters).
Day 17: Trek to Rapka. (4535 meters).
Day 18: Cross Chharka La (5030 meters) and trek to Chharka. (4110 meters).
Day 19: Acclimatization day.
Day 20: Trek to Norbulung. (4750 meters).
Day 21: Trek to the bottom of Sangda La. (4800 meters).
Day 22: Cross Niwar Pass (5130 meters) and Sangda La (5300 meters), and trek to Sangda.
Day 23: Trek to Lower Sangda. (3710 meters).
Day 24: Trek to Dhagarjun. (3210 meters).
Day 25: Trek to Jomsom. (2720 meters).
Day 26: Fly back to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
Day 27: Free day at Kathmandu.
Day 28: Departure.
Trekking in Dolpo required several different permits, as a Dolpo trek defines lower Dolpo and Upper Dolpo. We will need Dolpo Special permits to trek Lower or Upper Dolpo. Both Lower and Upper Dolpo restricted area entry permits issued by the Department of Immigration of Nepal through the government authorizes company. Other than Dolpo restricted area entry permits we will need Shey Phoksundo National Park entry permits as well. Trekking with Visit Himalaya Treks, we take care of all necessary permits and paperwork.
Upper Dolpo trek is demanding treks, more than 2 weeks’ time we will spend over 4000 meters. Also, we are crossing five high passes above 5000 meters. So, we will need warm gear for trekking to Upper Dolpo. Please visit the given link for gear list details for Upper Dolpo Trek.
We, Visit Himalaya Treks organize Dolpo treks each season, we have hands of fresh experience trekking over Upper and Lower Dolpo. We have been sharing our recent trip photos and videos through our social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube channel, please follow our social sites for fresh photos and videos. Before booking trips, you may like to read trip feedback and reviews from other travelers. Please go through the link given here to read our client's trip reviews.
The upper (Inner) Dolpo trek is an extreme trek that requires an excellent level of personal experience at high altitudes and an outstanding fitness level. For more trip detail Dhorpatan to Dolpo, Lower Dolpo, Upper Dolpo, and Great Himalayan trail of Jumla Rara Lake to Dolpo trip details written by our clients Dr. Howard and Sue Dengate. Please follow the link here to read Jumla Rara Lake Upper Dolpo GHT trail trip details.
A representative from Visit Himalaya Treks Pvt. Ltd. trekking with the company’s display board will greet you outside the arrival terminal and transfer you to your Hotel.
A Full day guided tour to several of historical and spiritual attractions enlisted under the World Heritage Sites. The trek leader will meet the group for a meeting and provide a detailed briefing on the trek. All the required information regarding the trek would be provided.
The mornings can be used to carry out some last minute re-checks as we have an half an hour afternoon flight to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is very hot and humid compared to Kathmandu and it is better to have some insect repellent creams nearby.
An early morning 45 minutes flight lands us on Juphal and after a brief sorting and introduction of our crew, the trek finally starts. The trek heads toward Dunai, administrative headquarter of Dolpo, and then start to follow Phoksundo River towards North in the valley and stops at Raktang for the first night in camps. (5 hours)
The trek continues to head north of the valley and will keep doing so for most of the trek till Saldang. After passing many small settlements of lower Dolpo, the trek slowly enters Dolpo Valley and reaches Amchi Hospital. Amchi are the traditional doctors of the region. (6 hours)
The trek still continues to move forward in the valley and also follows the Phoksundo River all the way to Ringmo. Ringo is the last big settlement before the trek enters the more wildly and remote aresas of Dolpo. The lake is only a few minute walk away from Ringmo. (4 hours)
The day can be used to explore around the Phoksundo Lake.
The trek moves to the other side of the Phoksundo Lake and then starts to follow Phoksundo Khola for the rest of the day. This day also marks the treks entry into the upper valley of Dolpo and provides a brief look into the wilderness and remoteness that awaits in the valley ahead. The campsite is also by the banks of the river. (7 hours)
Slowly and gradually, the elevation increases throughout the day and reaches the bottom of Kang La, first of the many passes of the trek. The camp has been mentioned in the bestselling book of Peter Mathiesson, ‘The Snow Leopard’. The name Snowfield Camp to the campsite comes from the same book. (7 hours)
An early start is followed by a long uphill to the top of Kang La. Equally tiring downhill leads to the bottom of the river and rest of the day is spent following the river. The day ends at Shey Gompa, also famous by the name Crystal Monastery. (6-7 hours)
The day is spent exploring around the village and can also be use to visit a nearby monastery on a top of cliff. The visit to the monastery would take couple of hours for the round trip.
Another early start and a long steep climb to the top of Sela Bhanjyang is rewarded with views of Mustang Valley and mountains of Tibet and the Kanjiroba Range. A drop again leads to a river and a more easy terrain in afternoon finally leads to Namgung. (5-6 hours)
A steep climb for the most of morning ends at Saldang. Saldang is one of biggest settlements of the region. Ironically, this one of the most remote village of country is home to one of the biggest star of the country. Saldang is home of Thinle, the main character of the academy award nominated movie ‘Himalaya’. (5-6 hours)
The day starts with a climb and changes into a descent later in the morning as the trail drops once again to a river. Afternoon walk is similar as the trek first climbs to Khoma La (4565 meters) and then drops down to Khoma Gaon. Gaon in Nepali means village. (6-7 hours)
The trail drops to the river and follows the river for most part of the day. Yet another drop follows a climb to a top of a ridge and ends at a green valley of Shimen. A brief walk after Shimen leads to Mendo. (6-7 hours)
The trek continues to follow the river towards south and passes through small villages, chortens and mane walls before reaching Tinje Gaon. The village was also one of the major points of ancient Tibetan trade route. (6 hours)
An easy trail in the morning starts the trek and continues to head south of the valley. Later in the day, the trail starts to undulate and passes through narrow gulleys before reaching the wide valleys of Rapka. (6-7 hours)
Another early start and yet another pass makes the day one of the longer days of trek. After crossing Chharkha La, a long descent finally ends at Chharka. (7-8 hours)
The day can be used as rest day to prepare for the final few passes of the trek.
The trail undulates and many rivers are crossed on suspension bridges throughout the day towards the south of the valley. The trek keeps heading south of valley for most of the latter stages of trek. A final climb leads to Norbulung ending the day. (6-7 hours)
Once again the trek starts to gain elevation as the trek now enters the final stages. Few passes separates Dolpo region from Kali Gandaki Valley and Sangda La is one of them. The day’s trek ends at the bottom of Sangda La. (6-7 hours)
The day to Sangda Phedi includes crossing of two passes and is one of the hardest day of the trek. The trail climbs up Niwar Pass and then crosses Sangda La and offers stunning views of the valleys in front for all the hard work. Long descent finally ends at Sangda Phedi. (7-8 hours)
The trek enters into descent mode and passes several small rivers throughout the day. More mountains of Kali Gandaki Valley starts to open up near Lower Sangda and the region also have huge number of Blue Sheeps.(6 hours)
A small ascent in the morning soon turns into gradual drop and turns steeper with the day. This final descent also provides the view of Kali Gandaki Valley as the day ends at Dhagarjun. (6-7 hours)
The downhill continues as the trek enters Kali Gandaki Valley and drops all the way down to river. The trek now continues on the dusty secondary roads following the river south towards Jomsom. Jomsom is administrative headquarters of Mustand and is a busy town and marks the end of adventure. (4 hours)
An early morning flight to Pokhara is followed by another flight to Kathmandu and a free day at Kathmandu.
A leisure day in Kathmandu which can used for an early morning mountain flights to Everest or can extended into further more tours to Nagarkot, Dhulikhel etc. Further adventure activities like rock climbing, hiking, biking around the Kathmandu valley with bungee jumping, rafting near the valleys can be done on this free day. (This is also spare day in case of cancellation of flights)
A representative from Visit Himalaya Treks Pvt. Ltd. will check your flight tickets and transfer you to the airport before two hours from your flight with a hope of seeing you again in the future.
Start Dates are your arrival date in Nepal and End Dates are the returning date from Nepal.
The set departure dates listed are specially quoted and specified for group joining option. Let us know if the set departure dates are not suitable for you- another dates which are suitable for you can certainly be added by us.
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Lower and Dolpo Trek !!! Great Experience with Visit Himalaya treks.
If you plan a trek off or on the beaten track. You found a competent partner in Visit Himalaya. Great thanks to the office specially Rajan for his help organising my Dolpo trek. His generosity and expertise made it possible.
Also to my wonderful guide Dukpa Sherpa. His kindness, care and excellent judgment made the trip smooth running in difficult situation. Your respect and love for your people, culture and land is inspiring. Also a big t4hank you to Ishwar and his team for the generous sharing of knowledge and assistance in Nepalgundji and Jumla. Visit Himalaya is a competent and trustworthy company with excellent staff. Dukpa Sherpa you want have as trekking partner.
Anytime again. September / October - 2018.
Lower and Upper Dolpo Camping trek with Visit Himalaya Treks
What an experience and just amazing time we spent on our trek in lower and upper Dolpo! It is not just the impressive landscape and the inspiring culture we discovered in this remote area, but also the good spirit of our crew that made our trekking unforgettable! And we don't like to call it our crew because we became a family in those 26 days we spent together. Everything was very well organised by Visit Himalaya Treks even though the airport at the starting point was closed due to construction. The rearrangements gave us the possibility to do the trekking the other way round. This made it more challenging as the first two passes over 5000 meters came quickly. But our caretaking and open-hearted crew supported us in this challenge and celebrated with us the top of the pass of 5550 meters with cheerings and heartily embracements. These special moments, the awesome encounters with the local people of Dolpo, as well as the fascinating nature made this trip to be a unique experience with many great memories to take back home! Many thanks to all who were on the trek with us and special thanks to Himal and Visit Himalaya Treks! Oct - 2017.
Lower and Upper Dolpo Camptrekking
Off the beaten trek into the remote area of Dolpo...because of the closed airport in Juphal Visit Himalaya Treks adapted our initerary and we did the trek the other way round. This is more challenging, but we made it also thanks to the great staff we had with us! Our trekking was once more an unforgetable experience: an amazing time in a remote area with a beautiful landscape, with a fascinating culture and inspiring people and we just had a well organized trek with an icredible friendly and care taking nepali team that became our family! Visit Himalay Treks fulfills your individual needs, takes care of the challenges and risks, and meets their clients as well as their staff with respect and fairness! Jennifer Ebling from Switzerland.
Lower and Upper Dolpo Trek (juphal-jomsom)
Good experience with the company, few specifics we rushed into and should have discussed more thoroughly. We ran into a few hiccups in the begging, as you do. However, our guide Pashu Ram got it all sorted and we continued with a great trip. The team were fantastic from our guide to our two porters! Look forward to trekking with them again! October – 2018.
We always try to be flexible to design the trip itinerary for our client’s needs. However, if you are not convinced as our suggested itinerary then off-course you are always welcome to customize or change the trip itinerary.
Holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along your trek, we can add days at your request with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation, and food.
An average physical fitness should be maintained prior to booking a trek. Any sort of illness or recent medical problems should be mentioned while booking a trip. Most of our itineraries are prepared to give you maximum time to acclimatize and pace-setting on the treks would be done according to your convenience. If you are having regular medication then tell us before the trip started which would be better for us to give you the physical feedback.
Our main concern is your safety. We never compromised on your safety during the Trekking and all our guides are properly trained and well equipped to take care of our client's safety even in remote areas as well.
There would be always back support in case of an emergency situation like severe high-altitude sickness or accident (which is least expected), you will be sent to the nearest hospital, if possible, otherwise rescued by a helicopter and sent you to the hospital as soon as possible. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred for the use of such emergency services, please make sure that your travel insurance covers both- medical and emergency evacuation costs.
It is not a problem at all because in this trek we will supply most of the foods from the nearest store and remaining foods we buy from Locals that mean most of the time we served vegetarian food as well and our camping cook and guide will take care as well.
We use standard quality of (Camping Gears) like Clients tents (3 men tents for couple and two men tent for single), dining tents, Shower Tent, Toilet Tent, staff tend thick mattress, etc. Also, we care for our staff and provide them with proper equipment for the camping trek. You will also be requested to have the proper gear for your personal use which will be suggested while confirming the trip.
While during the camping trek it is really difficult to find the place to charge gadget somehow we will manage to charge if we stay closed by village otherwise we have to take portable solar panel to carry with us and charge our gadgets.
Now a day’s most of the areas has been covered by cell phone network connection. However, in this trek, we always send satellite phones along with our guide so you can easily be in touch with your family.
Yes, either you can store at the same hotel as you stayed or we can store your goods with us safely in our office free of cost.
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 25 to USD 900 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide. However, we recommend you to spend a minimum of 10% of your total trip cost for tipping the entire local staff.