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The most pristine and unexplored region in far western side of remote Nepal where there is not much of tourism infrastructure yet very beautiful. This trek is different from any other treks in Nepal. This isolated trekking trails will take you to some of the oldest monasteries in country reflecting Tibetan Buddhist Culture. One can also witness hunt of Yarchagumba (caterpillar fungus with some high medicinal value) in season of spring.
Trekking on the ancient trading route, from Tibet to Nepal, we come across picturesque Shey Phoksundo Lake, various high passes and majestic mountains. The village of Dho Tarap (4,080 m) is the highest settlement in Nepal. The trek starts from Jhupal and moves ahead through the lush forest reaching Shey Phoksundo Lake. Spending days in pristine lakes, we ascend through Nagdala La (52509 m) to reach Shey Gompa (4343 m). It hosts an ancient monastery and the region where the Oscar nominated movie “Himalaya” was shot.
The trail offers diverse floras and faunas. However, Dolpo is dry and barren area where fast flowing rivers, deep river canyons and arable lands are usually found. A village with interesting cultures and of course beautiful landscapes, however the place hasn’t faced the wave of modernization. Wild life such as snow leopards, rare Himalayan blue sheep, and Himalayan Black bears are protected in Shey Phoksundo National Park.
The rugged trails are not too steep. The trek is not that tough but a strong mentality and commitment is required in order to complete the trek. The hike on terrains requires normal attention and caution. However anyone entering upper Dolpo area will be requiring restricted area permits and National park entry permits.
If you are planning trek to an isolated area in the Himalayas which adds wonderful adventure experience in your life, Upper Dolpo trek is something shouldn’t be missed. Some treks just requires a pair of shoes whereas some other requires an entire team of professionals, that’s why Global Holiday Adventure provides high quality service and a wisely designed itinerary providing enough acclimatization days ensuring proper health condition of climbers. We have been operating such treks successfully since a decade back with our highly experienced guides and responsible porters who have guts to face and tackle any circumstances that may arise in the Himalayan region.
You will be welcomed at Kathmandu airport by one of our representative and will take you to hotel. There will be small meeting regarding the trip at evening.
Trek preparation and sight seeing
Today you will be preparing for a trek and do some last moment shopping of the essential items required for a trek. The day is allocated in order to fulfill some legal formality and prepare the required permits for trek. You could also enjoy some sightseeing historically rich area of Bashantapur durbar square and tourist hub Thamel.
Flight to Nepalgunj
Well today we take a flight to Nepalgunj which will last about one hour from Kathmandu. The town itself is fascinating place as it is near boarder to India and show case interesting culture of Terai region in Nepal. Rest of the time you can explore the area.
Flight to Jhupal (2494m/8182ft.) and trek to Dhunai (2140m/7020ft) 3hrs.
After 35 minutes of flight from Nepalgunj we reach to Jhupal where we start trekking. We walk comfortably through some fields and along the river Thuli Bheri and reach to Dhunai. Dhunai is district headquarter containing some schools, government offices and police station. Overnight at Dhunai.
Trek to Chekpa (2686m/ 8812ft) 6hrs.
Today we start our proper adventure trekking as trail begins with classic route of Dolpo. At Sulighar we present our permits and move on the trails of Shey Phoksundo National Park. On the trails we witness drastic change of landscapes and we walk through tropical forest. We cross the bridge over Phoksundo Lake head north towards Chekpa. We will set our camps in Chekpa in suitable Location.
Trek to Chunuwar / Amchi Hospital, 6hrs (3600m/11811ft)
Today we will be walking through famous trail of Lower Dolpa. Walking along the opposite direction flowing river we cross the Phoksundo River. The trail offers picturesque landscapes and is ultimately peaceful. Stopping for lunch at altitude of 3010 m Rechi we cross Phoksundo River and Yulung Khola and reach Amchi Hospital. The term Amchi means traditional doctors using medicinal herbs for treatment. You could witness the treatment process as this place is treatment center for locals. We set up our camps in this place for night.
Trek to Phoksundo Lake, 6hrs (3600m/11811ft)
We will walk the rugged trail leading towards the Shey Phoksundo Lake. Walking through cedar and pine forest reaching Palam which is the winter settlement of Local of Ringmo village. Firstly we descend to an elevation of 3300 m and we climb ridge about 3875m where we witness spectacular views of water falls and first glimpse of Shey Phoksundo Lake. We then reach beautifully settled village of Ringmo by walking through many Chortens and Mani walls.
Rest day at Phoksundo Lake.
Today, we will explore around Phoksundo Lake and the Ringmo village. Firstly, we will explore around the Ringmo village. Ringmo village is a typical Tibetan village with its own unique culture and tradition. We then head towards Tshowa, a Bon monastery at the lake-shore. It was built around 900 years ago. We will explore inside the monastery which will be a fascinating experience. After that, we will descend down to Phoksundo Lake. We will visit some other monasteries and Bon-po religious sites on this day. Shey Phoksundo Lake is the deepest lake of Nepal with its famous turquoise colored water and mind-blowing scenery. We will enjoy the wonderful natural sceneries and spend overnight at the campsite.
Trek to Sallaghari 6hrs (3756m/13422ft)
Today will be interesting day of our trek as we will be walking along the narrow trails along the cliffs just above the lake. The trails are like fantasy land. We then descend through beautiful forest for few hours and ascend the final part of trail leading to Sallaghari.
Trek to Nangdala High Camp 6hrs (4100m/13451ft)
Our trek will begin with ascending through narrow trails Tuk Kyaksa River while switching the river side several times. We will cross the river where flows of river are calmer. After river crossing we reach wide valley and walk few hours along the canyon. We will be setting our camp at Nangdala Base Camp which contains massive rock slab.
Nangdala High camp to Shey Gompa (4343m/14248ft) crossing Nangdala pass (5350m/17552ft) 6hrs
Trekking today to Shey Gompa with nearby crystal peak which is considered most sacred which people of Dolpo do Pradakshina (the rite of circumambulating in a clockwise direction an image, relic, shrine, or other sacred object) each summer before harvesting. After reaching this place we then enter mystical land of Dolpo crossing Nangdala pass. The pleasing views from Kang La Pass of the mountains and territory of Tibet and hypotonic landscapes of Dolpo. A red Chorten marks the entrance to Shey and every dragon year according to Tibetan calendar that comes every 12 year there occurs the grand festival where people from different place pay a visit.
Shey Ghompa to Nangung Gompa (4360m/ 14304ft.) Crossing Shey La Pass (5100m/16732ft.) 6-7 hrs.
Today we will explore Shey Gompa which is about 800 years old monastery, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain. The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa.
Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. After the exploration of Shey Gompa as the trek begins, it follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost couple of hours.
The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting. Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The Shey La rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. The final push downhill from the pass, which is almost 2 hours of hike brings us to Namgung. We spend our night at Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement.
Namgong Gompa to Saldang (3770m/12368ft. 5 hrs.)
We explore the monastery of Namgung set on cliff adjoining each other. As today we follow trail of Namga Khola crossing pass of herding spots surrounding with lots of dry land surrounded hills. We will have a chance visiting local houses where we can drink suchiya (salted tea) and some chyang (traditional beer made out of barley or rice).
Rest day at Saldang, hike to Yangjer Gumba (4590m/16340ft)
After breakfast today we will take hike to Yangjer Gumba which has high value of arts and culture. We will explore around monastery and enjoy packed lunch during the exploration. Overnight at Saldang campsite.
Trek to Komash Village (4060m/ 13320ft. 6hrs)
We will head towards Komash village following the Raphya Khola as ascending up to 4500m and descending down to Komash village. This village is similar to Tibetan village and we will be setting our camp somewhere around this village.
Trek to Shimen (3850m/12631ft. 6hrs)
During our trek today we may encounter some rare spices like Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard and other spices. This part of trek is filled with shrub type vegetation on dessert. The trail is easy and hiking for about 4 or 5 hours we will reach Shimen where we will be setting our camp for night stay.
Trek to Tinje village (4110m/13484 ft. 5hrs.)
Today, we will be following the trails along the Panjyang Khola. We will pass some beautiful villages and monasteries along the trails to reach Tinje. The walk duration will be around 5 hours.
Tinje is a beautiful valley with a natural air strip where a British aircraft landed and took off once.
Trek to Yak Kharka. (38000m/ 12464 ft. 4-5 hrs.)
Usually Yak Kharka refers to open gazing site for yaks and sheep. This day, we will head towards Yak Kharka which will be around 5-6 hours walk. We will follow the trails along Panjyan River passing small settlement of Chhamdang. After Chhamdang, we will walk along the river bank for some time and then to the meeting point of Chholtam khola and Panjyan Khola. We will cross a bridge over Thalum khola and then reach an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep.
Trek to Tokyu (4240m/13910ft.5hrs.)
Firstly, after starting from Yak Kharka we will cross a bridge over Sulun Khola which takes us to Choila North pass at an altitude of 5040 m. This part of the trek is a bit difficult one. We will ascend almost 2 hours to reach the top of Choila pass. The top offers a beautiful sight of Tokyu camp. After descending down from the pass, we will reach Tokyu where we will set up our campsite.
Trek to Dho Tarap (3944m/12939 ft. 2 hrs.)
Trek to Dho Tarap is a very short trek which takes around one and half hour. After reaching Dho Tarap, we will explore around the village of Dho Tarap. This day could be considered as rest day too. Dho Tarap is a large village settlement beautifully decorated with colorful Buddhist prayer flags. There are various chortens, Mani walls and monasteries around Dho Tarap. Beautiful fields of wheat, buck wheat, barley, potatoes and other green vegetables add more beauty to this village. There are small tea shops and lodges at Dho Tarap. People here resemble the Khampas of Tibet. This refer to men with ponytail and red tassel coiled around their head. Women wear musk deer’s teeth necklaces.
This village is well pictured in Eric Valli’s popular movie “Caravan”, where Karma, Thinley and their groups set off with their salt trade for Barley over the high passes.
You will have choice to explore some monasteries around Dho Tarap so choose wisely. Some of the monasteries are Ribo Gumpa Monastery, Drakmar Dewa Monastery, and Mekhyim Monastery & Dhoro Monastery.
Trek to Naworpani (3475m/12286ft 7-8 hrs.)
Today’s trek will be a long one as we have to cover a long distance than other days. We will trek along the flat trail which will takes us to the merging point of Tarap Khola and Mirubabane Khola. Then, we will cross a bridge over Klang Khola, Langa Camp.
We will continuously follow the trails along the Tarap Khola. Beautiful picturesque view of the magnificent landscape can be admired during this part of the trek. We will pass various beautiful settlements of Sisaul, Gyamghar and Toltol. After that, we will reach our campsite destination, Naworpani. We will set up the camp at Naworpani.
Nawopani to Lashicap (2775m/ 9104ft 6-7 hrs.)
Today we will follow the trails along the Tarap Khola. Walking for some time, we come across some changes in the views and landscape. Green forest will start to emerge as we move more forward. We will then ascend to Lamchaur high over Tarap Khola. After crossing Lahini Odar, we will descend down and reach Chhedhul Gompa. Lastly, following some time along the Tarap Khola, we will reach Laisicap where we will set up the camp.
Lashicap to Dunai (2,000m/7,000 ft. 6hrs.)
Today we trek along the green wood high above Thuli Bheri River towards Tarakot. Just before arriving to Tarakot, we cross the bridge over the small stream.
The day of the trek is not less interesting. We trek on the trail that stretches beside Thuli Bheri River to Dunai via Lawan and Byasgad. The trail has forested region on its west, Thuli Bheri River and cultivated terraced fields on its East.
Trek to Juphal
Today is the last day of the trek. We will follow the trail along the Bheri River until we reach Kalagawda. After Kalagawda, we will ascend some times to reach Juphal. It will be a short trek of around 3 hours up to Juphal.
Flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
After early breakfast we move to Jhupal from where we will be landing at Nepalgunj and we fly back to Kathmandu.
Our representative will drop you at airport in order for you to get to your next destination.
Drinking water will be provided in the teahouses during the journey up to the base camp, either from taps, boiling water, or bottled water. We also recommend using steriepen or other water purification solutions.
On usual trekking days, you will be walking for 5 – 6 hours a day covering 10km – 14 km. But some days hike could last up to 8 – 9 hours since it is advised to go as slow as possible, using the right amount of energy for the long duration and inhaling as much air as possible.
The communication service on trails are available in few areas and some villages have telephone from where you can make international calls as well. The entire trip doesn’t favors in communication as some palce you might not get cell service.
Proper acclimatization and some medicinal tablets like Acetazolamide and some others.
The trek can be considered as difficult in terms of duration as this is long trek where there is not much accommodation service available. You must camp and some days trails are rugged and sometimes difficult.
It is advised to keep some change of Nepalese rupees as during the trail you might want to buy something like bottled water or some energy bars.
Helicopter rescue is only the option in case of emergency as it is suggested to have some travel insurance covering the rescue service.
You should be fit but not super fit. This is a moderate level trekking. There is no requirement of prior trekking experience. Ensuring proper acclimatization days and with proper gears you can easily complete this trek but carrying some personal knee support and general cardio is recommended.