Embarking on 18 days Upper Dolpo Trek takes you to the gem yet least explored destination in West Nepal. The word "Dolpo" comes from Dolpa, a remote northwest district in mid-west Nepal, on the shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri.
Upper Dolpo Trek is famous for Shey Phoksundo Lake, BonPo religion, ethnic & nomadic people, languages, culture, and eye-catching natural aesthetics. Shey Phoksundo National Park is a realm for jeopardizing fauna witnessed only by lucky foreheads. Wolf, snow leopard, red panda, blue sheep, and Himalayan musk deer are aboriginal to this outlook. Furthermore, you'll experience the thrill of crossing Jeng La, a 5,110-meter-high Himalayan Pass.
The beautiful geography of the Himalayas, lying in the rain shadow region, also allows you to trek Upper Dolpo during the rainy season. Trekking here in spring and autumn are the best times of the year for ultimate adventure.
Being remote and close to the Tibetan plateau, almost everything here is far from the touch of modernism. Moreover, the Tibetan-influenced lifestyle and culture are still intact as they were some hundreds of years ago. The prominent attraction of 15 days of Upper Dolpo Trekking also includes visiting 11th-century Shey Gompa. It translates to Crystal Monastery in Tibetan, which people in Dolpo consider the spiritual heart of the region.
Thus, trekking the off-beat trails of Dolpo can be an enchanting, self-reflecting, and peaceful walk of your life.
Apart from a beautiful freshwater lake and endangered wildlife, Upper Dolpo Trek is a fantastic junket to behold elegant mountains. During this trek, the famous mountains you'll see are Mt. Dhaulagiri, Churen Himal, Norbung Kang and Mt. Kanjirowa.
The 18-day Upper Dolpo Region Trek starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. You'll have breakfast at the hotel in Kathmandu before flying to Nepalgunj. The flight time will be 50-60 minutes. During the flight, you'll see some beautiful mountains to the north, including Dhaulagiri.
You'll settle in at a hotel in Nepalgunj for lunch, dinner, and overnight accommodation
With early breakfast, you'll take the flight to Jumla Airport. This scenic 20-minute flight offers a glimpse of the beautiful Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range.
After landing at Jumla airport, you'll get a trek briefing and prepare for the walk.
From Jhupal, you'll trek down to Kalagauda and Thuli Bheri river before stopping for lunch at Dunai. After crossing Dhim Bridge, you'll enter the Shey Phoksundo National Park region.
The trail progresses along the Phoksundo River and along villages like Kageni, Jutung, and Shangta. Further ahead, you'll cross a bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo River and Maiba River, trek further to the north and stop at Chhepka.
You'll settle in for overnight accommodation at a local tea house here.
The trek starts after breakfast at Chhepka. You'll walk along the serene pine, oak, and birch forest. As you trek further, the trail gets uneven as you ascend and descend. Four hours of walking takes you to a popular camping place, Rechi. Here, at a local tea house, you'll stop for lunch.
After a few more rest and a slow walk, Rechi takes you to Amchi Hospital after two hours of leaving. You'll then settle in at a tea house for overnight accommodation.
You'll start the trek a bit early, trek slow, and reach Ringmo in 6 hours.
After leaving Amchi Hospital, you'll trek for two hours and reach Phoksundo waterfall, the highest waterfall in Nepal. Once you reach Ringmo, you'll get the first glimpse of Phoksundo Lake.
Ringmo is a beautiful small village at an altitude of 3,660 meters. Decorated in Chortens, prayer flags, and Mani walls, Ringmo is a cultural hub in Phoksundo.
Here, you'll settle in at a tented camp for overnight accommodation.
On this day, we stop at Ringmo for acclimatization. Hence, you'll visit Phoksundo Lake viewpoint and Ringmo village to adapt to the altitude. During the day, you'll stroll around the town and learn more about their lifestyles, culture, and warm hospitality.
There's also a famous 900-year-old Bon monastery, Tshowa, a statue of Bon founder Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.
Overnight at the tented camps at Ringmo.
Leaving Ringmo for Chunemba saw us entering a restricted area of inner Dolpo. You'll trek along the Demon Trail, a popular trail shown in the movie Himalayan Caravan. From here, the trail ascends to a lush pine forest. You'll get a wholesome glimpse of Mt. Norbung Kang.
Trekking further by crossing several streams takes you closer to Chunemba. You'll get a picturesque glimpse of Kanjirowa Himal.
You'll settle in for overnight accommodation at tented camps in Chunemba.
The trek gets more challenging as you leave Chunemba. You'll trek through narrow rocky walls, gorges, and long, steep climbs.
After a 7 hour long walk, you'll reach Snowfield Camp. This place got its name after a famous writer, Peter Mathieson, who quoted it in his book "The Snow Leopard".
Here, you'll settle in for overnight accommodation at tented camps.
After leaving Snowfield Camp, you'll trek for three hours to Kang La (Ngadra La), which sits at 5,457 meters. The trail throughout the year remains more rugged and snow-occupied. You'll get a splendid view of mountains and terrains from the top.
You'll descend steeply from the top for an hour before walking on less steep sections. Buddhist prayer flags, chortens, and other stuff decorate the region.
Shey Gompa is a small village with few houses and monasteries. For overnight accommodation, you'll settle in a tented camp.
After breakfast at Shey Gompa, you'll trek to Namgung via Shey La. You'll walk along a valley and plains before climbing to 5000 meters at Shey La. From the top, you'll get a beautiful glimpse of Kanjirowa Himal.
From the top, you'll descend to Namgung, also known as Luri Gompa.
You'll settle in at tented camps for overnight accommodation at Namgung.
The 10th day of your Upper Dolpo Trek is among the longest walking days on the entire trek. The trail past Namgung progresses along the Namgung River. The trekking to Saldang can get challenging due to the uneven terrain. At Saldang, you'll have lunch and rest.
The trail progresses along the Namgung River, multiple settlements, and ultimately to Sibu.
At Sibu, you'll settle in for overnight accommodation at tented camps.
Trek to Lagmo Che is an easy walk of just four hours. Also, the trekking route is easy.
You'll trek through the beautiful landscape, following the river. You'll reach Raka Village and stop for rehydration. Further trekking from this village takes you to a sizable inhabited valley. You'll stop here for lunch.
During the walk, you may glimpse Blue Sheep and Wild Goats.
Before reaching Lagmo Che, you'll trek on some steep sections for two hours. It's also a resting spot before climbing Jeng La.
As usual, you'll settle in at tented camps at Lagmo Che.
To cross Jeng La, we'll start the trek early after breakfast. Two hours from Lagmo Che takes you to the top of Jeng La, a 5,110 meters high pass in the region. From the top, you'll get a fantastic panorama of Mt. Dhaulagiri. Moreover, other elegant peaks make your sightseeing awe.
Further down from Jeng La, take you to Tarap Valley, where you'll have lunch.
From Tarap, you'll reach Tokyu in two hours. It's the highest human settlement in the world. This place houses the statue of Maitreya, the second Buddha to many.
Overnight camping at Tokyu.
After breakfast, you'll resume the trek from Tokyu to Dho Tarap and Sisaul Village. The first landmark you'll notice is Crystal Mountain School. From here, you'll trek 30 minutes further to Dho Tarap Village. Here, you'll stop for lunch.
After leaving Dho Tarap, you'll descend to the Tarap River. Gradually, the green forest starts appearing. The landscape now gets lush green and lively. Further, a two-hour walk takes you to Sisaul Village.
Overnight accommodation at tented camps.
It's a long day of walking on the trail. However, it will be a more leisurely walk as you descend rather than ascend.
Three hours of serene walk from Sisaul takes you to Nawarpani. Here, you'll stop for lunch and some good rest.
Further down, you'll trek through the pine forest and to Laina Odar.
From here, you'll start accommodating in local tea houses.
You'll start the trek after breakfast at a tea house in Laina.
From Laina, you'll descend to Laisicap at 2,772 meters. Past Laisicap, you'll trek along lush forests and cliffs. You'll get the fresh air and the touch of liveliness while trekking through the beautiful pine forest.
Before reaching Lingdo, cross a suspension bridge over the Thuli Bheri River. The trail further descends and gets more manageable.
Settle in for overnight accommodation at a guest house in Lingdo.
On this day, you'll trek for five hours from Lingdo and reach Dunai, the headquarters of Dolpa district.
The trekking route is uneven, with ascents and descends. However, the trekking starts getting more accessible as you near the end of the trek.
Overnight at a guest house in Dunai.
On this day, you'll return to Jumla, where you've started the 18-day-long Upper Dolpo Trek. You'll leave Dunai VDC, cross a suspension bridge, and check out the Shey Phoksundo National Park area.
You'll stop for lunch at Dangiwada. Two more hours of walking from here takes you to Jhupal.
At Jhupal, you can enjoy some comfort of a hot shower, warm meals, and good drinks.
Overnight at a guest house at Jhupal.
To end this trek, you'll first take a morning flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj.
After reaching Nepalgunj, you'll have lunch.
You'll take a connecting flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu in the afternoon.
Upon reaching Kathmandu airport, you'll get a hotel transfer on a private vehicle.
With this, your 18 days of Upper Dolpo Trekking end.
Before planning the Upper Dolpo Trek with us, you must know a few things.
First, it's more camping and less tea house-based trekking. Hence, you may not have access to hot water shower, internet, and electricity services at many places during the trek.
Second, it's off-beat trekking. It means that only a few trekkers plan this trek for various reasons. Thus, if you love to trek in utmost peace with no trekkers en route, this trek is for you. It'll be a great time to be close to nature, self-reflect, and enjoy every aspect of Dolpo.
Third, it's an expensive trek. Being a restricted region, the entry permits are costly. Additionally, the trek is a camping trek, which will be expensive.
Furthermore, it's challenging yet gratifying trekking. Thus, for novice trekkers, trekking here can be extremely difficult. However, for experienced trekkers, it'll be one of the best treks.
As Dolpo lies in the rain shadow region, trekking here is doable all year round. However, spring and autumn are the best times for the best weather, stable temperature, and utmost visibility. Also, during spring and autumn, the snow at High Passes on the trek route melts and remains open for trekkers.
Yes. Trekking to the Upper Dolpo region is demanding and challenging. The most arduous sections during this trek are crossing high passes like Kang La and Jeng La. These passes are over 5000 meters in altitude. Also, there are a few days where you'll trek for more than 8 hours.
Having said this, if you have some high-altitude trekking experience, you can comfortably complete Upper Dolpo Trekking. Also, for novice trekkers, proper physical fitness and a positive mindset are necessary to complete this highly rewarding trek.
On this trek, you'll reach an altitude of 5,375 meters at Kang La. Also, you'll cross two other passes over 5000 meters. Thus, you may get altitude sickness while trekking at such an altitude. However, with precaution and preventive measures, you won't get altitude sickness.
Drinking 3 liters of water/fluid daily on the trek is best. Also, consuming adequate meals prevents you from getting altitude sickness.
Yes. Travel insurance is necessary if you're considering Upper Dolpo Trek in 2024. With travel insurance, you'll get helicopter evacuation on time during emergencies. Also, the travel insurance compensates your hospitalization bills, medication expenses, loss and damage of personal stuff and more.
Please note that we don't purchase travel insurance for you, nor does the trek cost you pay us include the insurance fee.
Upper Dolpo Trek is a mixed style of trekking, tea house, and camping trekking. Until Shey Phoksundo, you'll be accommodated in local tea houses. However, after leaving Phoksundo, you'll start accommodating tented camps set by our trek team. During camping, you'll get the best available meals and other amenities.
Once you reach Sisaul Village and to Jhupal, you'll get guest houses and tea houses for accommodation.
Yes. We offer a flexible itinerary for you. Also, you can request your itinerary as well. For example, you can even trek Upper Dolpo with longer 24-28 days itineraries. However, it would help if you asked for your customization as early as possible. Please note that the trek cost can increase while customizing the itinerary.