Best Seasons: Upper Dolpa is located on a rain-shadow areas, beyond the massif of Himalayas which is dry and arid. This region gets very little rain, and it receives heavy snow and frost with minimum moistures. Therefore, it is highly recommended that tourists visit Upper Dolpa region from late spring, April, through pre-summer, June, and early autumn, which is September to October.
On your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, our guide and staff will receive and welcome you in a traditional way. They will accompany you on a short drive to your hotels located in the heart of the city, Thamel. It is a tourist hub where most good hotels and restaurants are situated.
Check out your exquisite accommodations and get refreshed to join in for a group briefing. The Himalayan Forever's guide or group leader will provide you with a lot of useful and important information regarding the trek, hotels, and local lodges. A group welcome dinner in a nice Nepali restaurant during the evening time will be served to you.
After breakfast, a city and cultural tour guide from Himalayan Forever will meet you at the hotel for an exciting day city tour drive. The drive passes through Kathmandu's historical Durbar Square and Palace Courtyard. It is the right place to witness Nepalese cultures and offers the views of ancient monuments listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our next stop is Swayambhunath Stupa, which carries a history of 2,600 years. It is a Buddhist monument that is one of Nepal's most well-known landmarks and is located on a hillside west of Kathmandu.
Our guide will drive you back to the hotel for lunch. You will get ready for an exciting scenic flight to Nepalgunj city located in the Far Mid-South West Nepal where you will spend the night.
Take a 45-minute flight from Nepalgunj to Jhupal after an early breakfast. The short scenic flight will offer a great panorama view of western Himalayan peaks with dramatic landscapes. After landing Jhupal, join our trekking/camping staff/guide, and take a short time for refreshment.
Now, hike for a few hours along the Chepkpa trail to reach Phoksundo Lake. The route goes through farm areas and small dense forest before arriving at the overnight stop at Chepkpa. Finally, tents will be set for camping and the spare time will be spent to explore the stunning villages in Dolpa.
Following a delightful overnight stay in a tent camp, a morning hike leads to a high hill above the valley of the Phoksundo River. As you walk through farming villages wrapped with walnut trees, enjoy the stunning views of the Kagmara and Kanjiboraba peaks. The hike gets close to Dhera, a small settlement of cattle herders and the journey leads to Raha-Gaon village which is mostly inhabited by Thakuri Malla Hindu tribe. The trail passes through a forest area and reaches Chepkpa where you find a nice field for overnight camping. You can stroll around charming farm villages there.
After a fun overnight camping trip in Chepkpa, the hike leads to Ankhe, a lovely farming community. The trail follows a short climb before descending to a riverside and keeps descending, reaching to the thick blue pine tree lines. From there, the trek follows the Phoksundo River upstream to Ryajik Village, for a possible lunch stop. Hike for a few hours in the afternoon to overnight camp in Samduwa, which is close to the Shey-Phoksundo National Park entrance area. Find wonderful grassy areas to set the tent and explore the beautiful area during your spare time.
On this day, you will witness the first major highlight of Upper Dolpa Trek, which is the breathtaking emerald-colored Phoksundo Lake. Pack the tents early in the morning and have breakfast before heading to the Pungmo Khola (stream) valley. You will reach the upper side of Phoksundo Khola after a short hike on the side of the stream full of pine and birch trees. The trail continues for more than five hours before reaching the lovely village of Ringmo. Stay there overnight in the local nice simple lodge, and experience the hospitality of the local Dolpa villagers.
Besides, Ringmo is a small fascinating village that has strong Tibetan origin culture and is filled with mani/prayer walls and chortens. After getting organized in comfortable rooms of the local lodge, you may enjoy the views of Phoksundo Lake.
Phoksundo area is a majestic place for rest and acclimatization, before heading towards higher elevation. Enjoy this day with a short hike and witness this unreal lake and its tropical surroundings. Furthermore, visit nearby Ringmo village filled with the ancient culture of Tibetan heritage. Enjoy the stunning views of the faraway snow peaks of Kagmara and the bordering mountain range.
You will leave the human settlements for some days, and hike towards the remote corners of Upper Dolpa. Start the morning hike from Ringmo and Phoksundo Lake through the upper trails until you reach a rocky cliff. Walk on an unsteady path towards the western side of the lake. The trek leads you to the beautiful place within a summer grazing area of yak herder temporary shelters. The day's hike ends in a wide, open valley close to the Phoksundo Khola or stream, where you can set up camp for the night.
During the early morning of the 9th day, take a short hike for a few hours for another overnight camping at the bottom of Kang-La Pass. This trail passes through the narrow valley into a gorge, that leads to another wide open field before finally reaching Phoksundo Bhanjyang. Set up an overnight camp there, and you will be served a good hot lunch from our camping cooking staff. Spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring the near surroundings.
Start the long uphill trek toward the top of Kang-La in the early morning. This is the highest point of the Upper Dolpa Trek, and you will take a slow and steady climb through the Kang-La Pass, enjoying spectacular views of some dramatic landscapes. From lush green hills to dry barren land with tall snow-capped mountains in the Dhaulagiri Himalaya on the far eastern horizon, you can view it all. Hike downhill for quite some time toward a number of Stupas and prayer walls.
Finally, you'll arrive at Shey the Crystal Monastery, where you'll spend the night. Set your camp near the monastery premises around the arid terrain landscapes which offer close views of Shey/ Crystal Mountain.
Enjoy the peaceful and tranquil surrounding around unpopulated pristine areas of Upper Dolpa at Shey Gompa. It is a mystical and magical place, and walking around its barren and arid terrain and picturesque landscapes would be a magical experience. Here, you can explore the monastery built around the 11th century, which is the spiritual hub of Dolpa villagers. In this monastery, a great colorful event is held once a year where local takes a circuit/kora of the monastery and the nearby Crystal Mountain.
After an amazing experience at Shey Gompa, we trek towards Nam-Gaon exploring the dramatic moonscape terrains of Upper Dolpa. This trail leads to an eroded windblown towering cliff and traverses the high Sela / Gela-La pass. From there, you can view Tibet in the north and Mustang in the east. Trek downhill to the isolated small settlement of Nam-Gaon for overnight camping. You can explore a small cattle herder shelter and many mud and stone houses in this region.
From Nam-Gaon during the early morning, trek to Neng-La pass located at 4,860 m high which offers fantastic views of Dolpa country from the top. Hike downhill on the dusty windswept trail to Saldang village and stay there for the night. It is an aesthetic large village of Upper Dolpa, situated on a high flat plateau. You can find a simple local lodge there, which offers warm traditional hospitality from the local people. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the Saldang village, where houses are built of stones, plastered with mud.
Early in the morning, climb a short distance from Saldang Village to Nang Chu River. This trail leads to the villages of Sugu-Gaon and Dechen Laprang, where Yak herder camps exist. Climb steadily to Cha-Gaon, a small windswept village, and set up the camp there for the night. You can also go to the historic Rapa Gompa of the Bon religion, a pre-Buddhist group that worships natural spirits.
From Cha-Gaon, the trail heads to the south at Dachu Khola/stream and then crosses the same stream a few times. This trial leads to the farm fields, before reaching Dachu. There, you can find a small settlement of Yak herder. Camp there for an overnight stay.
Trek towards the south during the early morning and you will reach the base of Jyanta-La pass. Take a short rest and resume the trek to climb the top of the Jyanta-La pass. You will be rewarded with a stunning view of the enormous inner Dolpa. Additionally, you can enjoy stunning views of the Dhaulagiri Himalayan range towards the east. After this amazing experience, trek downhill to the base of the pass for overnight camping on a grassy field.
Take a gradual morning walk on a winding path that leads to Tokyu Gaon. This trail passes through the main route of the former Nepalese and Tibetan caravan route and the Trans-Himalayan salt trade. Hike gradually towards the small villages of Modo and Khanger before finally reaching Tokyu-Gaon. Stay there overnight.
Tokyu Gaun is a beautiful large area in inner Dolpa which composes of more than ten smaller villages closely knitted into one settlement. This area is surrounded by nice well-tended farm fields with some old monasteries.
Hike downhill from Tokyo Gaon and the trial goes through a wide green valley to Tarap Chu / River. It is the longest valley in Dolpa, extending about 20 km, and it passes through a few summer communities of cattle herders. The trial goes through gentle grassy area and reaches Dho Tarap village. Stay there for overnight.
In Dho Tarap, there are of mixed people and Tibetan Dolpa native, as well some Magars, who are the largest hill tribe of western Nepal. Enjoy camping in the village's backyard or stay in the comfortable lovely local lodge.
After a great night in Dho Tarap, start hiking west towards the smaller settlements in the morning. This trial goes through farm areas and reaches Tarap Khola / stream. You can catch a glimpse of the stunning surroundings, which are home to a herd of blue sheep, along with mountain goats and other animals. These animals are frequently seen in the vicinity of this remote village where there is plenty of grassland for them to graze.
After a long journey, you will eventually arrive at the little, remote location of Gyagar. The following trail leads to a bridge that spans Chaya Khola to Gyagar and is close to the settlement of Nawarpani. Camp there for overnight stay.
Starting at Gyagar, the trail goes downhill which comprises a number of thrilling suspension bridges. This route enters a river gorge with thick vegetation and continues till it reaches Chyugar or Laini Odar. This place is popular for big overhanging cave, which offers travelers a great place to shelter during bad weather. By the end of the day, set a camp in a grassy meadow.
A morning hike takes you through a mellow path that crosses several streams and follows another short climb. The hike continues for some hours and leaves behind the narrow river gorge. The trail ascends and descends before arriving to Tarakot, a walled settlement built above a beautiful hillside. You can witness the myriad Buddhist prayer flagpoles fluttering up in the houses of Tarakot village. Then, set a camp on a nice field near by the river, and explore this beautiful village of Tarakot.
Additionally, you can explore the well-known Sandul Gompa monastery, which is surrounded by several Chorten and Mani walls and exprence the local lively culture there.
Our Upper Dolpa Hike slowly comes to an end as we leave Tarakot village in the morning and hike towards the forest. Hike gradually in winding path towards the west and which leads you to various small farm villages. After some hours, you reach Dunai, an important town that serves as the administrative center for the Dolpa. Get refreshed and observe the local activities there. Then, board on a local vehicle or a jeep which leads to Jhupal. Stay there for the night.
During the early in the morning, board a short scenic flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. After arriving at Nepalgunj airport, broad another flight for Kathmandu. This scenic flight will get you to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport in less than an hour. From there, take a short drive to your hotel and spent the rest of the day relaxing. You can also do your personal tasks during this leisure time.
Our Himalayan Forever team has planned a free day in Kathmandu so that you can relax and enjoy individual activities or shopping. You can also join us for the exciting sightseeing tour of Patan / Lalitpur and Bhaktapur cities. This visit will surely be worth your time!
This is your last day in Nepal and you should get ready for final departure as per your international flight time. You will be escorted to the airport by the Himalayan Forever Trek guide and team. Our guide and staff will bid you a farewell as you depart for your country. You will surely never forget this wonderful experience and adventure of Upper Dolpa Trekking. Namesty!
I recently completed the Upper Dolpa Trek, and it was truly a life-changing experience. The trek took us through a remote and isolated region, far away from the crowds, where we could immerse ourselves in the untouched beauty of the Himalayas. The landscapes were awe-inspiring, with towering peaks, deep valleys, and crystal-clear lakes. Every turn offered a postcard-worthy view. I am also very grateful for Himalayan Forever Trek for taking good care of us throughout the journey. The staff here are super friendly and kind and they made our journey more memorable.
279.5 k.m. aerial distance and by drive is 613 k.m. or 381 miles, taking 55 minutes flight to Nepalgunj city airport. From Nepalgunj another 40 minutes connecting flight to Jhupal in Dolpo. From where the trek starts and ends.
Starting the adventurous walks from Jhupal within Dolpo district and Nepal largest Shey-Phoksundo National Park. Walking through hills villages, populated by Thakuri, Hamal, Chettries and Bharamins tribes of lower hills of Dolpo.
As the walk progress entering into Buddhist and Bon cultural region within inner and Upper Dolpo. Includes some Magar which also follows Buddhism similar culture to Tibetans. Although few areas around Dunai, Raha-Gaon and Ankhe villages populated with Hindu. Rest of the areas around Dolpo with 80 % of Buddhism with interesting age-old heritage culture and custom.
As season wise, during spring and autumn the best time for trekking, most days are fine and clear. To enjoy views and pleasant walks, however can expect snow on higher altitude sometimes. But bright and sunny days in best seasons from March to May. As well in autumn / fall from September to November, in spring season, above 2,000 m high. Minimum temperatures of minus 0° and maximum of 20° Celsius not adding extra wind-chill factor. In autumn the sun rise late by 5:30 a.m. and sunsets by 5 p.m. makes the morning and night time much colder with minimum temperatures from minus 5° to 10° Celsius.
Depending upon altitude wise. Maximum of 15° to 20° Celsius, around high altitude above 2,500 the sunlight gets bright with strong UV. Trekkers needs to carry sun-blocks and wearing sun-hats to block the sun against the UV rays around higher altitude, especially in direct sunlight of afternoon.
One of the best moderate adventure, the trail are fine and well defined with several places for refreshing stops. Although all Himalayan countries with much up and downhill. One needs to take it slowly and having time to enjoy will overcome the difficulties, especially tough climbs.
Only few days is quite tough climb towards Kang-la and Jyanta-La pass of above 5,000 m high. Rest of the walk is normal with gradual ups and downhill most of the way to end the trek at Dunai town.
Most villages and settlements have hydroelectricity or solar power, where trekkers can charge electronic items. A fee is charged for each gadgets as per hour basis, the price differs from one place to another. But some areas while camping beyond Ringmo and Phoksundo Lake, trekkers needs to carry a portable solar-panel. Which can be hang on the backpack. Where day time sun will charge the solar-panel for use at the end of walks. Large villages like Ringmo, Saldang, Tokyu, Dho-Tarap and Tarakot till Jhupal have the facilities of Hydroelectricity power.