Upper Dolpo Trekking

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Upper Dolpo Trekking

Upper Dolpo Trekking begins with visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. This region has a vast and rugged landscape inhabited by a hardy, enterprising folk who live in some of the highest villages in the world. Next, we fly to Jhupal via Nepalgunj and begin our trek through remote locations admiring the beautiful rain shadow landscape of the Himalayas.

Up until 1996 foreigners were not allowed access to this region so the culture has largely been unaffected by tourism the Dolpo region is a very isolated area which has been strictly off-limits, so the traditions and way of life have remained intact. Only From 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. This trekking route passed many gigantic mountain ranges  Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba, to name but a  few and passed through Lower Dolpo, at one time a small kingdom in its own right.

Upper Dolpo Trekking

On our 24 day trek we pass through interesting villages, trekking routes and meet fascinating people. We also cross a few high Himalayan passes and enjoy the vast and tranquil beauty of Phoksundo Lake. From Shey gompa, we follow the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route and return back to Jhuphal as our trek ends. The trek indeed takes us into the wild west of Nepal. This is the goal of most trekkers but this Dolpo trek will take you even further into this mysterious land.

Dolpo is the permanent home to about 5000 people whose lives are centered on Buddhism and traditional agricultural practices. The distinctive people, architecture and unique light conditions make Dolpo a photographers paradise. This region has a vast and rugged landscape inhabited by a hardy, enterprising folk who live in some of the highest villages in the world. The trek indeed takes us into the wild west of Nepal.

Day 01: kathmandu
Day 02: kathmandu
Day 03: Fly Nepalgunj
Day 04: Fly Juphal-trek to Dunai
Day 05: Ankhe
Day 06: Renje
Day 07: Phoksumdo lake
Day 08: Phoksumdo Khola
Day 09: Phoksumdo Bhanjyang
Day 10: Kang la pass -trek to Shey gompa
Day 11: Shey Gompac
Day 12: Saldang la pass -trek to Namduna gaon
Day 13: saldang
Day 14: Sibu
Day 15: jeng la
Day 16: Jeng La Pass trek to Tokyu Gaon
Day 17: Dho Tarap
Day 18: Serkam
Day 19: Khani Gaon
Day 20: Tarakot
Day 21: Dunai
Day 22: Juphal
Day 23: Fly Kathmandu
Day 24: Departure

Upper Dolpo Trekking

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Meeting at airport upon arrival by Plan Holidays Personnel. We will pick up from airport and then escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. During the driving of half an hour , enjoy the heart-stopping views along the Kathmandu city .After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local area, overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Kathmandu
After breakfast in the hotel, proceed for sightseeing tours of Pashupatinath Temple-the holiest Hindu Temple on the bank of sacred Bagmati River, Bodhanath Stupa-the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world! and Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 years old legendary stupa also nick-named as monkey temple.At noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Overnight at Kathmandu.

Day 03: Fly Nepalgunj (By Drive 10/11 hours)
After the Breakfast,transfer to airport 1 hr fly . As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj we transfer to the domestic airport for one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgung. At Nepalgunj we will have time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the town which is situated on the southern Nepal border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical in character.

Day 04: Fly Juphal trek to Dunai
Today, We fly to Jhupal. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Our trek start from here, we walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai, which are the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. Overnight at Dunai.

Day 05: Dunai to Ankhe
After Breakfast at Dunai , you cross the new suspension bridge and turn west, following the trail past the new hospital. You pass through an area which is overgrown with marihuana plants but also has crops for the villagers and animals. You continue to track the river and eventually reach the settlement of Hanke, which is also the entrance to the Phoksundo National Park. The three villages you pass through have a strange name connection: Parela, meaning eyelash, Rahagaon meaning eyebrow, and Ankhe meaning eye.Overnight at Ankhe

Day 06: Ankhe to Renje
We start our Trekking again from Ankhe. The trail starts becoming very hectic but once you cross the river twice on well made bridges, you then make a steep ascent on a very narrow path, hugging the cliff face. Having descended to the river again the trail takes another steep ascent requiring frequent stops to watch the panorama of the landscapes and also for rest. You may camp on the side of Suligad River. Overnight at Renje

Day 07 – Trek to Phosundo Lake (3,600m) – 6.5 hrs
First initial hours of the trek is fairly easy. But from Sumdo the trail becomes very much like an incline. Here the river is left behind and you follow the path high above the water. Climb up to a ridge, about 3,875m, from where you will have the most staggering views of a 300m waterfall, the highest in Nepal, and your first view of Phoksundo Lake. You then descend through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola and on to the picturesque settlement of Ringmo with its mud plastered chortens and mani walls. From the settlement it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksundo. Overnight at Phosundo lake

Day 08: Trek to Phoksundo Khola: 4-5 hours
Today our trekking trail moves around the top western end of the Phoksundo Lake as it contours on a rocky ledge along the lakes western bank. At the westernmost edge of the lake the path leads through a lush meadow that opens up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola. This unsteady trail suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs driven into crevasse in the rocks, signals the remoteness of the area we are about to enter. Then we walk through the valley, crossing the river and avoiding the occasional boggy marsh underfoot and then coming on the bank of the river to the overnight camp at Phoksundo Khola .

Day 09 – Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,402m) – 7 hrs
This morning you continue along the level path through a glacial valley that now heads north. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another, unnamed, mountain stream there is an old wooden bridge. you take the barely discernible path to the north east up a side valley which has a cavernous look. There is no trail as such, so it is necessary to clamber over rocks and boulders and to ford a stream that rushes down the steep valley. A long climb brings you to a sheep meadow where the trail veers up a steep ravine. A hard climb to the top brings you to yet another valley where you can see the Kang La, the pass will lead you to Shey Gompa. Overnight at Phoksundo Bhanjyang.

Day 10 – Cross the Kang La pass (5,151m) and trek to Shey Gompa (4,126m) – 7 hrs
It will take about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the top of the Kang La. The views from the top are magnificent and well worth all the hard work. On descending steeply to the valley floor, not more than 45 minutes, you make a long meandering trek along the banks of the river, crossing it once. A red chorten heralds your arrival at Shey Gompa where a quaint wooden log bridge leads up to the Shey compound. Overnight at tented camps in Shey Gompa.

Day 11: Acclimatization and rest at Shey Gompa
Today is another well-earned rest day for acclimatization. We spend the day hiking around Shey village which is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Overnight in Shey Gompa.

Day 12 – Cross the Saldang La pass (4,785m), and then trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400m) – 7 hrs
Today, you start by following a pleasant track amidst juniper, which ascends to a grey, stony canyon. This begins to zig-zag over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings you to a flat spot, suitable for a brew or lunch, if the weather is fine. Then continuing very steeply up for 20 minutes before traversing to the top of the Saldang La pass. Here you will enjoy great views towards the arid landscapes of Mustang and the distant snow peaks of Tibet. The subsequent descent towards the north is long and tiring, but you finally come upon the welcome sight of pastures of grazing yaks and sheep and nomadic tents made from yak hair. This signals your approach to Namduna Gaon. Like Shey, the Namgung monastery is of the Karma-pa sect. The village itself consists of only six stone houses and has terraced fields on both sides of the tributary, which flows down to the Nam Khong valley. Recently the main cliff temple collapsed and the villagers have now built a beautiful new monastery in the village itself. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 13: Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/ 11,874ft): 4-5 hours
From Namduna Gaun to saldang , We leave the village and climb up a slope and begin a long walk along dusty barren mountains. After 3-4 hours of hard climb, we begin to see Saldang Village below us on a plateau high above the Namga Khola stream. It has a picturesque appearance. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area. The village stretches for nearly two kilometers on an open slope and consists of five villages having about eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred people. Overnight in Saldang.

Day 14 – Trek to Sibu (3,942m) – 6 hrs
After leaving Saldang on the way down to the river bed you pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens, heaps of Mani stones and a Chaiba monastery. The Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. There is also another monastery on top of a high cliff. You camp near the small Settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank. Overnight at tented camps.

Day 15: Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m/16,072ft): 5-6 hours
We walk along the Nam Khong Khola for a while and pass by caravans with yaks that are moving towards the Tibetan border. After turning east and walking for a while, we arrive at aconfluence of two small streams. The steep trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La pass. Overngiht in Jeng la Phedi.

Day 16 – Cross the Jeng La pass (4,845m), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240m) – 7 hrs
It is only a 2 hour climb to reach the top of the Jeng La. the trail is generally well compacted making the going underfoot easy, much easier than loose shale, but it is steep. From the top of the pass there are good views of the Dhaulagiri massif, glittering in the morning light. A rough track descends towards the Tarap valley. By the afternoon you find a green valley which leads you by a pleasant track down towards the Tarap Chu. Overnight at tented camps.

Day 17 – Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090m) – 4.5 hrs
Before leaving Tokyu a short visit can be made to the Chaiba Gompa. The trail is broad and well traveled, making the going easy and there is evidence of work in the fields, where the women will be bringing in the harvest – the men are away bringing down the herds of animals for the forthcoming winter. There are many Mani walls but some of the Chortens are in a bad state of repair. The ‘ French School ‘ is just outside the village of Dho Tarap where you have your night stop. Tarap is inhabited mostly by Magars who have lived here for generations but also by a few Tibetans. They wear home-spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favor Tibetan style Somba (boots with upturned toes) for footgear. Men and women often wear both religious amulets and strings of coral and turquoise. The inhabitants of this village are both Bon Po and Buddhist (Nyingmapa). In the afternoon a walk up to the Buddhist Gompa is very worthwhile. There is a resident lama who is very happy to show off his monastery and might even let you see his private Gompa and the Tankas he has made himself. The Bon Gompa is about half an hour’s walk from camp. Overnight at tented campss.

Day 18 – Trek to Serkam (3,630m) – 6.5 hrs
Your route follows the course of the Tarap Khola, generally downhill. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through. One may see blue sheep, marmots, yaks, sheep, and goats and perhaps meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower pastures for the winter. The afternoon brings more undulations in the path when it leaves the immediate course of the river. There is evidence of improvements to the trail where parts of the rock have been blasted out. You will also see the first of the modern steel suspension bridges which have been built to facilitate movement of people and animals. The track is very narrow in places. You reach your overnight camp on a grassy strip by the river. Overnight at tented camps.

Day 19 – Trek to Khani Gaon (2,550m) – 7 hrs
You continue to walk down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it and at others high above, on a narrow trail built out from the steep slopes. The quality of the path varies from broad, smooth and firm to very narrow and crumbly. There are also flights of manmade stone staircases which need to be tackled with care some of the constituent rocks wobble when stepped upon! An exciting day in deep and awe-inspiring gorges. Your camp site is a pleasant meadow in the shade of a stand of trees. Overnight at tented camps.

Day 20: Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,321ft): 4-5 hours
From the camp we follow a trail that takes us to the village of Lalberi. Our trail then passes through a lush forest, descends into another gorge and continues to follow the river again. After reaching Tarakot, we can visit Sandul Gompa which lies about 8 km east of the village at a juncture of Barbung Khola, Tarap Chu and monastery stands on a hill to the south of Bheri River. Today we camp by the Tarap Chu river about 150 meters below Tarakot, near the police post. Overnight in Tarakot.

Day 21 Tarakot Trek to Dunai (2,052m) – 5 hrs
The trail is mostly down and fairly firm. Walking beside the Bheri river, you use the ingenious path built twenty feet above the river. All too soon you have reached the village of Dunai and the camp site you used before. Overnight at tented camps.

Day 22:Dunai to Jhuphal: 2-3 hours
From Dunai, we trek along the Bheri River enjoying the beautiful landscape. On the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages as well as a temple. We continue trekking via Kalagaonda village and Motipur village before reaching the small airstrip. Overnight in Jhuphal.

Day 23 – Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj
Early morning flight to Nepalgunj from Juphal. This is a wonderful 35-minute flight over the Himalayan foothills, with fine views of giant peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. You then connect with the flight back to Kathmandu. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 24 : Departure
Our adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Plan Holidays will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.

Price includes

In kathmandu Twin sharing basis with breakfast.
All transfers from and to airport.
An experienced English speaking trekking guide, porters to carry luggage
(2 trekkers: 1 porter)
19 Nights in lodge accommodation during trekking,
3 meals a day ( Breakfast , Lunch & Dinner ) during trekking
Plan holidays duffle bag for trekking
Trekking map
Sleeping bag for trekking, a used one  (return after completion of trekking)
Trekking permit and paper work
Trekking information management system fees (TIMS Card)
All government taxes
First aid kit

Price does not include:

Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu/Pokhara
Personal travel health insurance,
Drinks and tip,
Extra expenses due to inclement weather,
Flight cancellation or any unforeseen events beyond human control
Evacuation cost