Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek takes you to the rugged and remote far west of Nepal that was closed to trekkers until 1989. Due to the least development in infrastructure in the region, the trek is quiet challenging and not traveled by many trekkers. It is a restricted area trekking region and trekkers are not allowed to trek independently. The special permits are expensive and need to have at least 2 trekkers to apply for trekking permit. Treking in Nepal’s Upper Dolpo Region is a Camping trek and have to carry all the food supplies, tents and other necessities for the trek. The Oscar nominated movie, Caravan was filmed in this region of Nepal and Peter Matthiessen’s book - The Snow Leopard describes his travel experience in Upper Dolpo Region of Nepal. We cross deep valleys, high passes, old monastery Shey Gompa, turquoise lake Shey Phoksundo, high peaks and rare wildlife. From Shey Gompa, we follow the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route and return back to Jhuphal as our trek ends and we take a flight from Nepalgunj back to Kathmandu. 

Tour Highlights:

  • A camping trek in the extreme remote wild west where only few trekkers travel each year
  • Chance to see snow leopards in the Shey Phoksundo National Park
  • Pristine Shey Phoksundo Lake
  • Visit Shey Gompa, an 800-year-old monastery at the base of Crystal Mountain
  • Cross high passes Kang La, Cho La and Shey La, the high passes over 5000m
  • Watch villagers collecting Yarshagumba, an expensive caterpillar fungus with great medicinal value
  • A day of sightseeing in Kathmandu visiting cultural highlights of Nepal

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All ground transportation in private vehicles.
  • Twin sharing accommodation in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj in star hotels  
  • All the necessary paper work and national park entry fees, special trekking permit and TIMS card fees.
  • High quality camping equipments (Sleeping tent/ Dining tent / Kitchen tent / Toilet tent / mattress and Kitchen untensils )
  • All the trekking crews will be insured as Nepal government regulation.
  • Company guarantees the rescue services incase of emergency (Please hand over your insurance policy copy to us)
  • Full board meals (B.L.D.) during the trekking period with hot tea and coffee.
  • Supported staffs and camping stuffs will be transferred by bus from / to Nepalgunj and by plane from / to Nepalgunj to Juphal.
  • Airfare from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu including airport departure taxes . 
  • Guided city tour with all entrance fees in sightseeing places
  • An English speaking knowledgeable trekking guide
  • The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage during the trek (1 porter for 2 guests)
  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff
  • All the government taxes and company service charge
 
Trip Cost Does Not Include:
  • Alcoholic beverages, bottle mineral water, soft drinks and snack foods
  • Travel Insurance with rescue and evacuation
  • Extra porter for the personal day bag pack
  • Riding horse along the trek
  • Extra night hotel in Nepalgunjor Kathmandu in case of bad weather and earlier back to Kathmandu
  • Helicopter charter and all accommodation on flight cancellation due to bad weather
  • Tips to trekking crews
  • Any extra costs incurred due to any reason that are not in inclusion section

 

Day 1:  Arrive Kathmandu
On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, a representative from our office will greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. You’ll have rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

 

Day 02: Guided Kathmandu Sightseeing
Kathmandu DurbarSquare: is one of three royal palace squares in the Kathmandu Valley. This site was the royal residence until the 19th century where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch use to take place. The two-hectare palace complex is divided into two main courtyards, and was initially constructed in the 16th century, although subsequent additions were made in the Shah dynasty in the 18th century and by the Rana rulers in the 19th century. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum, dedicated to the monarch who opened up Nepal to the outside world, and the Mahendra Museum, dedicated to his son, King Mahendra. At the southern end of Durbar Square is the Kumari Chowk. The gilded cage has the Kumari, a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga. She is worshipped during religious festivals and makes public appearances at other times for a fee paid to her guards. Kashtamandap is the source of the name Kathmandu and supposed to be made from the timber of a single tree.

Swoyambhunath Temple: This Buddhist Stupa, said to be 2000 years old is a perfect architecture of gilded spire and white washed dome located under thousands of fluttering prayer flags. From the spire, four faces of Buddha stare out across the valley in the cardinal directions. The entire structure is symbolic. The white dome represents the earth, the nose like shape below the piercing eyes is actually the nepali number ‘one’ signifying unity, and above is a third eye signifying the insight of the Buddha, while the 13 tiered beehive like structure at the top symbolizes the 13 stages that human being has to pass through to achieve nirvana. The base is ringed by prayer wheels which pilgrims circuiting the stupa spin each one as they pass by.

Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath, a pagoda style Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is considered to be the powerhouse of Hindu spiritual power in religious terms. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, the temple is 6 kms from Kathmandu city and just a few hundred meters from the end of the runway at Tribhuwan International Airport. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the main temple, but you can view the temple from the east bank of River Bagmati. Pashupatinath is the centre of annual pilgrimage on the day of Shivaratri which falls in the month of February/March. Behind the temples are the cremation grounds.

BoudhnathStupa: Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, this enormous stupa where thousands of pilgrims gather daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the dome, beneath the watchful eyes of the Buddha, which gaze out from the gilded central tower. This is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan Buddhist culture is accessible and unfetered, and the lanes around the stupa are crammed with monasteries and the surrounding is a paraphernalia for Buddhist life.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 3 : Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj - (150m)
After breakfast in the hotel, we will fly from Kathmandu domestic airport to Nepalgunj that takes around an hour. Nepalgunj is situated in south western part of Nepal a steaming hot city. 

Overnight: Hotel in Nepalgunj

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 4 : Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal - 2475m
We will have breakfast in the hotel and board 35 minutes flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal. Juphal is a small mountain village, where we can breathe cold and fresh air than that of Nepalgunj. We will meet our porters here and make final preparartion for trek and stay overnight here.

Overnight: Lodge/Camping in Juphal

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5 : Trek to Chhepka - (2838m) - 6 hrs Walk
From Juphal, we have to descend through wheat and vegetables field to reach Thuli Bheri River. A big suspension bridge will lead us to the entrance of Shey Phoksando National Park, Nepal's largest National Park with the area of 3,555sq km. We will follow Suli Khola viewing a part of the Dhaulagiri Range. Then we will trek through the trail surrounded by pine tree line spruce, fir, Juniper and Cyprus and bamboo forest.  At the end of the day we will reach Cheep Ka, a small village surrounded by millet and wheat field.

Overnight at tented camp at Chhepka

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6 : Trek to Palam - (3820m) - 6-7 hrs Walk
We walk along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. After crossing a bridge, we walk on the western bank of the Pungmo Khola. The trail passes through a cedar forest before reaching Palam village. 

Overnight at tented camp at Palam

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7 : Trek to Phoksundo Lake - (3620m) 4 hrs Walk
4 hours walk from Palam takes us to Phoksundo Lake. We have to climb steep about 2hrs.and enjoy distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. Next, our trail descends through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque Ringmo village with its mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. People residing here practice Bonpo religion. From here we trek up to a ridge From here it is a short walk to the shores of the Phoksundo Lake.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8 : Acclimatization Day at Phoksundo Lake
Today is a rest day for acclimatization at Phoksundo Lake. We will embark on a short hike to the village of Ringmo that has Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. During our short walks, we also get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture.  The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing  and both men and women wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise.

Overnight at Phoksundo Lake

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9 : Trek to Phoksundo Khola: 4-5 hours
Trail moves around the top western end of the Phoksundo Lake as it contours on a rocky ridge along the lake’s 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. On the bank of the river will be our overnight camp. 

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10 : Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang 6 -7 hrs Walk
For an hour or so we walk on a trail that leads us along the level path through a glacial valley which heads due north. We walk towards north east from the wooden bridge at the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream. A long climb brings us to a sheep meadow and a hard climb to the top brings to another valley where we can see the Kang-La pass. We set up our camp near Kang La Pass in an area mentioned by Peter Matthiessen christened  as 'Snowfields Camp'. Today we also get the views of Chhamlang peak 6 (6739m) and peak 7 (6105m).

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

 Day 11 : Trek to Shey Gompa (4320m) via Kang La Pass (5,360m) 7- 8 hrs Walk
We will start trek by a long and strenuous climb of about 2 and half hours over a dusty path to Kang La (5350m), also called as Ngadra La. After a steep descent through the pass we reach Shey Village in 3 hrs.It is a very small village with a couple of houses and a 800 year old Shey Gompa situated beneath the crystal peak on a small grassy plain, at the confluence of two rivers.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 12 : Rest Day and Acclimatization at Shey Gompa
Today is a day for rest and let our body get used to altitude. We walk around and explore the area. Shey Gompa has the gilded statue of Buddha and to the east of Gompa is the Crystal Mountain that hs cliffs rich in quartz. We also walk around Shey Village famous for it's pre Buddhist Bon Po religion.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13 : Trek to Namduna Gaun (4,800m/15,744ft) via Saldang La (5,200m/17,056ft): 6-7 hoursAfter our breakfast we start on a pleasant trail full of Juniper trees that descends to stony canyon and then zigzag over bare rocks until it eventually gets to the top of Saldang-La Pass. We finally do a long tiring descent towards north where we can see grazing yaks and sheeps and nomad tents made of Yak wool. In Namduna Gaun we visit Namgung monastery. 

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 14 : Trek to Saldang (3,620m/ 11,874ft): 4-5 hours 
Today we climb for 4-5 hours in a dusty barren mountains and reach picturesque Saldang Village, which is the biggest village in the lower Dolpo Region and is prosperous due to it's strategic location on a trade route to Tibet.

Overnight at tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 15 : Trek to Yangze Gompa (4,960m/16,267ft): 4-5 hours
From Saldang, we walk further north along the Nagon Khola on a wild and barren terrain. We begin our walk on a fairly gradual path with few ups and downs. On the way, we pass through Marang and Ki villages. Next, we cross a tributary of Panzang River and walk towards the east and cross the river again before reaching Yangze gompa which houses an old Bon-Po Monastery.

Overnight in Yangze Gompa. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 16 : Trek to Sibu - (4000m) - 6 hrs Walk
We pass through terraced fields, Stupas, Chortens mani and a Chaiba monastery. Namdo, the next village contains sixty houses having nearby four hundred in habitants. It streaches 5km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. We will set camp near the small settlement of Sibu, right on the river bank.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 17 : Trek to Jeng-La Phedi (4,900m/16,072ft): 5-6 hours
We will follow  the river valley of Nam Khong Khola and reach at the confluence of two small streams and make a steep ascent to the meadows of Jeng La where we set up our camp for overnight stay.

Overnight at tented camp 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 18 : Trek to Tokyu Gaon (4209m/13809ft) via Jeng La pass (5,090m/16,695ft): 5-6 hours
It will take 2 hrs climb to reach the top of Jeng La Pass from where we can have good views of Dhaulagiri,  then will descend towards Tarap valley, a fascinating valley with vast plains in high mountains that extends twenty kilometers along Tarap Chu river. We camp close to the monastery at Tokyu Gaon.

Overnight at tented camp with full board of meals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 19 : Trek to Dho Tarap (4,040m/13,251ft): 4-5 hours
We trek downhill on a plain valley with patches of lush grass on both sides of the river which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. After a short trek, we reach Dho Tarap.

Overnight at tented camp 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 20 : Explore and Acclimatize at Dho Tarap
Today we spend the day walking and exploring the local culture and Buddhist monasteries in the village.

Overnight in Dho Tarap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 21 : Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m/12,464ft): 6-7 hours
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, yaks, sheep and goats and perhaps meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep, yaks and goats to lower pastures for the winter. We will set up our camp at Kamakharka.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 22: Trek to Khanigaon (3,150m/10,332ft): 4-5 hours
 Today we walk alongside gorge of Tarap Khola. The gorge sometimes gets so narrow that you can cross the river with a jump. Finally, we reach our camping spot beside the Tarap Khola River at Khanigaon.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 23 : Trek to Tarakot ( 2,537m/8,321ft) 4-5 Hours

4-5 hours of easy walk takes us to Tarakot, which is a small town once used to be a fortress. It was the the capital of Tichorung Kingdom and a popular trading point with Tibet. 

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 24 : Trek to Dunai - (2109m) - 5 hrs Walk
Today the trail is relatively easy and mostly downhill. Walking beside the Bheri River cross several villages and bridges to reach Dunai for overnight stay.

Overnight at tented camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 25 : Trek to Juphal - (2404m) - 3 hrs Walk
Today we walk along Bheri River and pass through several villages before reaching the small airstrip of Juphal.

Overnight at tented camp/lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 26 : Fly 35 minutes from Juphal to Nepalgung and another 50 minutes flight back to Kathmandu
Early morning flight to Nepalganj. This is a wonderful 35- minute flight over the Himalayan foothills, with fine views of the main peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. We will take another flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu and drive you to the hotel.

You spend the last evening in Kathmandu in a farewell dinner together sharing photos recalling the excitements of trip and exchanging emails in one of the traditional Nepalese restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

 

Day 27 : Airport transfer for your departure flight
Today after breakfast you are in leisure on your own. You will be escorted to airport for your flight home at your flight time

Meals: Breakfast

 

IS THIS NOT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ? DESIGN YOUR OWN TRIP

You can design your own trip exactly how you like it according to your requirements, travel dates and budget.

 

Given below are the fixed departure dates for online booking.  If the given departure dates are not suitable for you, please email us or call us at +977 9841414582 and we will happily customize your trip on the date more appropriate for you.

2020

Start date End date Availability No of pax Total price  
4th Mar 30th Mar Available USD 0
11th Mar 7th Apr Available USD 0
18th Mar 14th Apr Available USD 0

Best Months for Upper Dolpo Trek

The spring time from March to May and the Autumn months from September to November is considered the best months for Upper Dolpo Trek when temperatures are pleasant, skies are the clearest, and there is minimal chance of snow at high altitudes. Late/early snow can affect this trek in April and November, making some passes impossible to cross.


Maximum Altitude: 5,360 meters at Kang La Pass

 

Disclaimer

Your safety is our most important concern while traveling with Eve Holidays. Please note that adventure travel goes to the remote part of the mountain where weather conditions, health condition of team member, unexpected natural disasters and delay or cancellation of flights can affect the itinerary. Every effort will be made to keep to the itinerary but your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns, without any pre consultation with clients. So please be prepared to be flexible if required. In case the flight delay/cancellation that happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip such as a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other region. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for your original preferred trip, you are welcome to wait. However, please note that there will be no refund.

 

Nepal Tourist Visa & Visa Fee

You can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at International Airport in Kathmandu. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos with accurate USD for visa fee.

15 days - US $ 30.00 for 15 days single/multiple entry.
30 days - US $ 50.00 for 30 days single/multiple entry.
90 days - US $ 125.00 for 90 days single/multiple entry.
 
For more information please visit Department of Immigration of Nepal

 

Weather

Weather in the mountains is difficult to predict.  Spring season ( March to May) and Autumn ( September to November ) is considered the best months. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for trekking, only issue is cold. The weather is sunny and warm with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing in higher elevations. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July, August) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a good choice for botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed.

 

Level of Difficulty

Trekking in Upper Dolpo is considered strenuous. There are steep ascents, three passes above 5000 m., several nights spent above 3500 m. and some long trekking days of six hours or more. The fact that this is a camping trek adds to the physical challenge and discomfort of trekking in Upper Dolpo, and rest days are recommended.
This is not a beginner’s trek or one to attempt if it’s your first time in Nepal. But it will be a worthwhile challenge for experienced trekkers.

 

 

Acclimatization

All of Eve Holidays trekking itineraries are planned keeping in mind the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Going up at higher altitude too fast causes a medical condition called AMS which is serious enough to kill if neglected. We are well aware that it is essential to allow you sufficient time for acclimatization to minimize the risk. However it is important to remember that some people are more vulnerable than others.

 

Important Documents and Items

  • Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
  • Photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
  • Dollars or Pounds in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
  • Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.

 

Packing  List

As with other treks in Nepal, it is essential to have sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof outer layer and other clothing that can be layered and put on/off as the weather requires. Because trekking in Upper Dolpo can only be done with a tour operator, you will not need to bring your own tents or other specialist equipment. However, you should bring your sleeping bags or hire one from Kathmandu.

It is recommended that you carry a light 35-50L rucksack with your personal belongings that you may need handy such as camera, hat, glasses, gloves, sun creams, first-aid kit, toothpaste/brush, soap/ towel, and other personal items.

To keep yourself hydrated at high altitude, always remember to carry water container with at least 1 litre of water in your backpack.  Here is the guideline of Equipment and Packing List

 


Trekking Guides

All our trekking guides have received a 45-day training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Centre in Nepal. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training from Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP).

 

Accommodation

Accommodations are included in the trip cost and 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu will be in star hotels. 2 nights will be in lodge in Nepalgunj/Jupal, and rest other nights in comfortable two person camping tents. To sleep in tent, 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel and camping accommodation is on twin sharing basis, and if you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying additional.

 

Meals

In Kathmandu breakfast will be provided whereas all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be available during the trek. We can enjoy freshly-cooked, hygienic and nutritious meals on full-board basis prepared by our trained and experienced cook during the trek. Authentic Nepalese, Tibetan dishes as well as the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) will be available. There will also be farewell dinner in Kathmandu.

 

Means of Transportation

We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing in Kathmandu and all land transportation. Depending on the group size we use cars, minibus, vans or alternatively 4WD SUVs. For Kathmandu-Nepalgunj and Nepalgunj Juphal and back we use domestic flights.

 

Vaccination

No vaccinations are compulsory in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for Diphtheria, TB, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Typhoid, Polio and Tetanus. We also do recommend for a dental check-up prior to travelling and you should know your blood group in case of emergency in your travel.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on your tour, you need to inform us.


Insurance Coverage

One MUST have travel insurance policy to join any of Eve Holidays trips. You must be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs and theft and loss). We don't arrange or sell insurance.

 

Departure Dates

We have fixed departure dates and if the dates provided are not suitable please contact us for your required departure date.  Best Months: March to May & September to November. But will have to be minimum of 2 guests to allow for trekking permits.

 

Contact Us

Information required for this trip is provided here. If you want to consult us regarding any aspect of the trip, please feel free to email us or give us a call at  +977 9841414582

 

 

 

Having been heard of this trek from my friends, I booked this trek with Eve Holidays. They had no reviews for this trek and I was not pretty sure of their service, but was impressed by the quick response and the detailed information Maina provided in reply to my every email. So finally booked the trek with them and we do not regret. We are happy with their service and the trek was very well organized. The only thing was that they did not provide us the sleeping bags and we had to hire it from the shops in Thamel. But that was no problem for us as renting was cheap. 

George Smith, New Zealand