UPPER DOLPO TRREK
UPPER DOLPO TRREK
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Upper Dolpo is one of the longest and hardest treks in Nepal. It stretches in Far Western region of Nepal which falls on the rain shadow of Dhaulagiri mountain range that is to say, you do not have to worry about wet weather during your trek.
This region is dwelled by nomadic tribes highly influenced by Tibetan culture and rare Bon Po religion which is an ancient sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Besides, the terrain that lies mostly above 3,000m altitude, no to very little rainfall, alpine/ sub alpine climate has great influence in rustic lifestyle of people living here.
Not to mention, swift flowing rivers originated from mountain like Kanjirowa have created deep gorges. Lap of these mountains have given lush meadow with colorful patches of herby bushes to make your trek worth the while. Picturesque mountains, exciting vegetation and experience of extreme wilderness are to live for.
Dolpo is home to world’s rarest fungus caterpillar Yarchagumba, famous for its medicinal values; Shey Phoksundo Lake, the heart of Shey Phoksundo national park where enthralling endangered animals like snow leopard, blue sheep, mountain musk deer, etc. live.
There are many nights to spend above 3500m altitude and a couple of passes above 4,500 m to cross. Caravans of yaks, mules, horses, donkeys breaded by nomadic traders who still follow ancient Tibetan trade rituals can be witnessed during this trek. The experience is almost like living in the mountains, merging with the dwellers of this region.
Considering the altitude, geography, infrastructures and duration, we suggest you begin this trek only if you are an experienced trekker with high stamina and proper knowledge of camping. The region is untouched by modern technologies and infrastructural development so we might not always find lodges or tea houses for accommodation every night. Therefore, we suggest you carry sleeping bags, down jackets and clothes that can be layered so we can camp in tents with less difficulty.
Day 1: Arrival in KathmanduOur representative or staff will pick you up from airport after your arrival. Then, you will be transferred to your respective hotel with all the facilities you need including continental breakfast.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (flight); 1 hourA day after your arrival at Kathmandu, our trek will begin by flying to Nepalgunj at given time. That evening, you can explore Nepalgunj. It’s a city where many ethnic groups of Terai live and you’ll be able to experience a complete different city life from Kathmandu.
Day 3: Nepalgunj to Juphal (flight) then trek to Dunai (2140m); 3 hoursNext day, you’ll fly to Jhuphal from Nepalgunj, and then trek to Dunai for 3 hours. All the food stuffs and necessary camping gears will be taken care of by our staffs. The trail is above Bheri river but it is easier than other trek days.
Day 4: Trek Dunai to Ankhe (2660m); 6 hoursFrom Dunai, you’ll trek to Ankhe which is 6 hours long viewing beautiful hills and rocky mountains. We surpass suspension bridges and newly made hospital witnessing meadows and patches of wheat and potato fields. The night is rested in tented camp.
Day 5: Ankhe to Sulighat (3500m); 6 hoursNext morning after breakfast, we will leave Ankhe for Sulighat. It will take around 6 hours. The night is rested in tented camp or a tea house if possible. There’s no doubt that you’ll find feeds for your camera as the trail is picturesque and panoramic with views of highlands and mountains everywhere.
Day 6: Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake (3,589m); 5 hoursThis day will be filled with anticipation as the destination is Shey Phoksundo lake located inside Shey Phoksundo national park. The blue lake is mystique and mesmerizing, which takes around 5 hours to trek from Shulighat.
Day 7: Rest day at Phoksundo Lakeside; tent campIt is rest day at Shey Phoksundo lakeside. You will explore the area near lakeside as you already had a long trek to reach here. The accommodation will be in tented camps with self-prepared food. The journey achieves a milestone after reaching the lake itself because every inch of the vicinity is worth the while.
Day 8: Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo khola (3507m); 5 hoursFrom the lake, you will trek westward to Phoksundo Khola. The trial passes through lush and green meadows with many flowers and colorful shrubs. The trials is very remote as we can guess from the steep climb northward.
Day 9: Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4402m); 7 hours.This day is for trek to Phoksundo bhanjyang through glacial valley. It is an uphill trek so next day we can reach the maximum altitude for the entire journey. It is another day to rest in tented camp after crossing the steep and narrow paths along the stream.
Day 10: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Kan-la Pass (5151m) to Shey Gompa (4126m); 6 hours.From Phoksundo bhanjyang, we ascend to Khan-La Pass and go ahead to make our destination to Shey Gompa. It is an 800 year old monastery. It is a physically challenging day so proper rest the previous night is must. The total trek for the day is around 6 hours.
Day 11: Shey Gompa exploration (rest day).It is another rest day so your b0dy can acclimatize at such high altitude. On day 10, you will explore the mysteries and histories of Shey Ghompa. From here you will be able to see Crystal mountain adding more meaning to your journey.
Day 12: Shey Gompa to Saldang La Pass (4785m) to Namduna village; 7 hours.The trek will resume with more excitement after the rest day. The destination for the day is Namduna village vai Saldang-La Pass where your eyes catch views of Mustang valley and parts of Tibet. The trek duration for the day is 7 hours.
Day 13: Namduna village to Saldang; 3-4 hours.This day consists of 3-4 hours of trek through barren hills and slopes above Namga river. You will witness some terrace fields that yields meager wheat and barley adding a drop of color of agriculture. The destination from Namduna Gaon is Saldang.
Day 14: Saldang to Yangze Gompa (3855m); 5 hours.Almost at the end of your second week of your trek, you will reach another monastery from Saldang. After 5-6 hours of trek from there, you will reach Yangze Gomppa. This monastery will bring you even closer to Tibetan Buddhist culture and beliefs.
Day 15: Yanze Gompa to Sibu (3942m); 6 hours.After the night in Yangze village, the day begins with anticipation to reach Sibu village. If you chos=ose longer route, you will trek to Nishal Gaon and Shime Gaon to reach Shibu. If you choose shorter trial, we trace our path to Shaldang village again to Namdo village. After 5km of trek you will reach Nam Khong river and 2 hours from there is Shibu.
Day 16: Sibu to Jeng-La Phedi (4369m); 6 hours.16th day of the trek follows Nam Khong river and might even see caravans. Few hours later, you will see streams and ascending from there through peasant traced trailsyou will reach Jeng-La Phedi and stay overnight.
Day 17: Jeng-La Phedi to Tokyu Gaon; 5 hours.The day will begin by making Jeng-La Pass your first destination. You will witness the panoramic views of Dhaulagiri. Trekking few more hours from there you will reach Tokyu Gaon where you will rest the night.
Day 18: Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap (4090m); 5 hours.This day is slightly easier than your previous days. There’s a short hike to Chaipa Gompa before breakfast. You will leave your footprints on broad fertile valleys then after. After 4-5 hours of trek, you will reach Dho Tarap where another night is spent in a tented camp.
Day 19: Dho Tarap exploration (rest day).It’s rest day at Dho Tarap for more exploration of the village, monasteries and people. It is one of the highest settlements of the world with about 30 houses. You can either rest or move forward depending on your acclimatization. It is an entry point to Tibet and Mustang.
Day 20: Dho tarap to Tarap Khola/Kama Kherka (3800m); 6 hours.This day is all about descending. From Dho Tarap, you will trek to Tarap Khola through valleys, deep gorges, and colorful bushes. The trek will halt at Kamakharka where you will stay in tented camp. Next day is mostly walked through the banks of Tarap khola which will demand a proper rest for your body tonight.
Day 21: Tarap Khola to Khani Gaon (2550m); 5 hours.The trek on this day is along the gorge which makes the 5 hours trek exciting through out. Somewhere the gorge is narrow and somewhere it becomes wide. Final destination for the day is Khani Gaon where the night rests in tented camp.
Day 22: Khani Gaon to Tarakot (2281m); 5 hours.After a trek of 4-5 hours from the trek, we reach Tarakot. Sandul Gompa is located in a distance which can be visited next day before or after breakfast. You will surpass sub alpine forest, some moments alongside gorge and river banks and rest in a tented camp.
Day 23: Tarakot to Dunai (2140m); 6 hours.We’re almost at the end of 3 complete weeks of treks through all the beautiful and magical mountains. On this day, you will trek from Tarakot to Dhunai passing villages with unique lifestyle and bridges. The trek for the day is about 5-6 hours.
Day 24: Dunai to Jhuphal (2502m); 3 hours.The trek from Dhunai to Juphal will take couple of hours. It is final day of hiking when you can enjoy scenic Dunai again. After an overnight stay in Juphal, we’ll end the trek the next day with heart filled with memories reminded by your tired muscles.s
Day 25: Flight to Nepalgunj then to Kathmandu.This is the day when your long and hectic trek ends. You will fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj then to Kathmandu where your journey inside Nepal began. You can rest the next day or visit around the valley if you like. We’ll provide you with the guide and the cost is included in your package.
Day 26: Departure from KathmanduIf you choose to depart from Kathmandu on day 26, our representative will drop you to the airport at respective time. The farewell will be done with flower garlands and khada (typical Nepali scarf) with warm hearts and open hands to help you if you wish to visit Nepal again.
- Max altitude: 5151m
- Duration: 26 days
- Best season: March- May/ September- November
- Trek level: Challenging
- Accommodation: Tea houses/ lodges/ camping tents
- Transportation: Airplane (Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Juphal)
- Trip start/ end: Kathmandu
- Trek cost:****
- Phoksundo Lake (4.94 sq.km at 3,589m above sea level)
- Ancient trans- Himalayan traders who live nomadic life with yaks, horses and donkeys caravan
- Rain shadow of Dhaulagiri range; no to little rainfall during winter which keeps your travel from being wet and horrendous
- Diverse and exotic flora and fauna inside and around Shey Phoksundo national park
- Yarchagumba hunting during spring
- Experience and indulgence in remote and rare Bon Po culture
- Deep river gorges, extreme terrains, rustic lifestyle
- Panoramic views of Kanjirowa Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Dhaulagiri range, etc
- Mysterious and ancient monasteries made in Tibetan styles
- Camping experiences in extreme wilderness and high altitude
WHAT IS INCLUDED
WHAT IS EXCLUDED
Here are some necessary trekking apparatus that can be required for accomplishing your trek effortlessly. They are shortlisted below.