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Upper Dolpa Trekking

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26 Days
Availability : March- May, Mid September - December
Kathmandu
Over Kang-La | Upper Dolpa
Max People : 200
Introduction

Upper Dolpo Trekking, one of the most spectacular journey to experience once in your lifetime around Nepal far and remote North-West Himalaya within the country of Dolpo.

Upper Dolpo Trekking also takes you into country’s largest park known as Shey-Phoksundo National Park with an area of 3,555 sq.kms covers whole Dolpo as far towards Humla and Mugu district further west and extends close of massive Dhaulagiri Himalaya with Mustang region.

The reason and the highlights of the adventure to Upper Dolpo Trekking where you will have great opportunity to be within ancient Bonpo culture of pre-Buddhism sect similar to native North American Indians-Laplanders and Inwiks worshipping natural spirits that include pristine environment mountains-rivers and surviving vegetations.

Adventure to Upper Dolpo which was exposed to the world by Peter Mattessian in his Classic Novel ‘Snow Leopard’ who visited the country in late 1970’s and published the novel in 1980’s worth reading before and after experiencing journey to Upper Dolpo.

Upper Dolpo was also made famous from the movie called ‘Himalaya’ which was nominated for Oscar award  as best foreign Film in 1998 a joint venture of Nepal and France.

Upper Dolpo Trekking involves scenic great flight to Nepal Far South West to land at Nepalgunj city, around warmer low areas close to India border and then flight continues to reach at Jhupal in Dolpo.

Where our adventure starts heading towards beautiful turquoise Phoksundo Lake surrounded by green woodland of firs-pines and spruce tree lines overlooking snow-capped peaks, with time to explore around its nice village of Ringmo.

Having wonderful time our journey carries on to reach remote and most isolated areas at Shey Gompa also called as Crystal Monastery due to its close location with beautiful crystal mountains after crossing a high and scenic Kang-la pass.

After a mesmerizing time at Shey visiting its old monastery with a blend of both ancient Bon and Buddhist religions adorned with impressive artifacts and a precious statue of Buddha and other high priests and then heading back taking an alternative scenic and cultural route.

As walk leads to cross several high passes within dry and arid country visiting interesting villages of Saldang-Namgung to reach at another scenic area of Dho-Tarap valley where interesting Tokyu village located, enjoying time and exploring the culture of Dolpo villagers then back to Jhupal.

The walk continues on a long stretch with valley floor coming across Yak grazing land to reach historical village of Tarakot and then to Dunai, headquarter town of Dolpo where drive or walks leads at Jhupal for last overnight stop within Dolpo area.

A short scenic flight brings you at the sub-tropical climate of Nepal South West in Nepalgunj with time here to connect with another scenic flight back to Kathmandu, after an overwhelming adventure and experience on Upper Dolpo Trekking.

Trip Accommodation

Hotels and local lodge where available with camping.

Trekking Grade

Moderate to Adventurous walks.

Highest spot

Over Kang-La 5,350 m / 17,548 ft high.

People and Culture

Dolpo people of Tibetan origin, both Buddhist and Bonsect of pre-Buddhism with interesting culture with Thakuri Malla Chettries and Magar the hill people.

Trek Duration

21 Nights / 22 Days (with flights both ways

Total Trip

25 Nights and 26 days (from arrival to final departure)

Best Seasons

Nearly all months of the year except from November to March due to severe cold temperatures, where most of the village will be deserted migrates to lower warm areas.

April to October months best seasons to visit Upper Dolpo including monsoon times of June to mid September, as Upper and Inner Dolpo falls within Rain-Shadow area like the huge Tibetan plateau.

Where monsoon wet clouds obstructed and blocked by massive Himalayan mountain range, April to June dry and arid with clear blue sky quite windy during day time for walks.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival day in Kathmandu via various airlines and transfer to hotel

On arrival at Kathmandu international airport received by Life and Journey staff / guide greets you with warm welcome and then transfer into heart of Kathmandu city to your respective hotels.
With time to get refreshed join in for group briefing regarding treks with other useful information as well with do’s and don’ts, includes welcome group dinner in a nice authentic restaurants with cultural program.

Day 2In Kathmandu options for sightseeing tour and trek preparation

Free day in Kathmandu for leisure activities as well for options for a sightseeing tour around the city places of Interest, as Kathmandu and its close other cities steep with World Heritage Sites, afternoon preparation for Upper Dolpo trek.

Day 3Fly to Nepalgunj 340 m and transfer to hotel of 55 mins flight.

Morning with time in Kathmandu as per domestic flight time for Nepalgunj transfer to Kathmandu airport for lovely and scenic 55 minutes air journey to land Nepal Far South West facing panorama of Himalayan Mountains during flight.

On reaching at Nepalgunj airport and the city within low sub-tropical climate transfer to nearest hotel from the airport with time to browse around Nepalgunj city of interest, where the city falls close to India border of UP (Utter Pradesh State).

Day 4Connect flight to Jhupal 2,475 m and trek to Dunai 2,140 m - 05 hrs.

Morning having early breakfast taking short connecting flight to land at Jhupal at Dolpo area, during this scenic flight views of Dhaulagiri and other western Himalaya, on reaching at Jhupal after 35-40 minutes on air.
From Jhupal, after getting organized and then few hours of walks reaches you at Dunai the main headquarter and administrative town of whole Dolpa area.
In Dunai for overnight stop in the comfort of nice local lodge, afternoon walk around Dunai town and observe its interesting local culture and traditional life.

Day 5Trek to Chekpa 2,678m -05 hrs.

With pleasant overnight at Dunai, morning walk leads past market area and then crossing over a bridge above Thulo Bheri River, where climb takes you over a ridge to Phoksumdo River valley with views of Kagmara peak.
From here walk leads to descend past farm villages with fields growing walnut trees and getting close to a stream of Dhera, a small cattle herders settlements and then short climb to Rahagaon village of Thakuri a Hindu local tribe.
As walk leads to downhill path into forested area to reach our overnight stops at Chhepka a small farm village.

Day 6Trek to Samduwa 3,038 m -06 hrs

From Chepka located near Ankhe village, morning short climb and then descend into forested area to reach a river bank, from here climb after leaving the forest.
On reaching top of a ridge with downhill to forest leading to cross a small bridge at Ryajik village, trek further to Samduwa for overnight stop close to the entry point of Phoksumdo National Park.

Day 7 Trek to Phoksundo Lake 3,600 m /11,808 ft -05 hrs.

Morning walk leads to our first destination at Phoksundo Lake after walking over Pungmo Kholas valley and crossing streams, where walk follows Pungmo Khola on downhill into pine and birch trees to reach upper side of Phoksumdo Khola.
After a short refreshing stop continue walk to Ringmo village, an interesting Tibetan origin village adorned with mud plastered Chorten and Mani (prayer) walls.
From here a short walk leads to Phoksundo Lake for overnight by the shore of beautiful turquoise Lake of Phoksundo.

Day 8At Phoksundo Lake for rest day and short excursion.

A perfect spot for leisure to chill out on this free day, marvel the beauty of natural surroundings with scenic landscapes overlooking peaks of Kagmara, and explore interesting Ringmo village and witness Dolpo culture of age-old custom.

Day 9Trek to Phoksundo Khola Camp 3,750m -05 hrs.

From here walk leads towards high Upper Dolpo area to our major destination of the adventure, as walk follows contouring around rocky ledge high over a river bank in between unsteady path.
As walk leads further towards far end of the lake past summer pasture which opens up into a wide valley at Phoksundo Khola (stream) for the overnight stop and camping by the bank of stream.

Day 10Trek to Low Camp 4,500 m -05 hrs.

Morning walk starts on fairly nice path heading north past Phoksundo Khola and then walking up on hilly slopes, after a climb reaching a ridge top with grand views of green wide valley as far towards Nagdalo-la or Kang-La pass on-route Shey Gompa, overnight camp pitched on a nice green summer pasture at Low Camp.

Day 11To Shey Gompa 4,343 m via Kang-La pass 5,350 m- 17,548 ft-06 hrs.

Morning steep climb to reach our main destination at Shey Gompa also called ‘The Crystal Monastery’, which is close to beautiful Crystal Mountain of mere distance.
From Low Camp, walk leads to a climb on stone and rocky path to reach over Kang-la Pass also known as Nangdo-la at 5,350 m high, the highest point of the adventure.
From the top grant views of landscapes with snow-peaks that include as far to Mt. Dhaulagiri. From the top of the pass descend to reach the bottom of a hill which leads to a river, and then across heading towards cattle herder camps, after a short break continue walk approaching Buddhist prayer monument with Chorten and Mani.
From this nice spot a short walk to reach at Shey Gompa situated at the bottom of Crystal Mountain regarded as Holy Mountain with old monastery close-by.

Day 12Acclimatization day at Shey Gompa.

A perfect and great place for rest day around this high mountain area, where you can enjoy the harmony of nature and chanting of monks, visit Shey Monastery also known Crystal Monastery, this area is well described in the novel Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.

Day 13Trek to Namgung 4,360 m via Sela-la pass 5,094m -06 hrs.

From Shey Gompa journey continuous heading into wall canyon, trail meanders atop Sela or Gela-la at 5,094 m offering grand views of landscapes and of Mt. Dhaulagiri peaks, downhill on the grazing area with pleasant walk to Namgung Gaon for overnight stop.

Day 14Trek to Saldang 3,770 m -06 hrs.

After Namgung walk leads on dusty windswept country heading to a steep uphill to reach our overnight stop at Saldang, another interesting large village of the region, situated on the high side of a plateau.

Day 15Trek to Yangtsher Gompa 4,960m - 05 hrs.

From here, morning walk follows river Nang Chu all the way with short ups and down and then passing Sugugaon and Dechen Lapran a cattle herders settlement, and then heading to our overnight at Yangtsher Gompa near Chagoan village an interesting old Gompa of pre Buddhist and ancient Bon-Pa culture.

Day 16Trek to Sibu 4,560 m -05 hrs.

Morning walk heads south to Tarap valley around Tokyu and Dho Tarap village, then taking southern direction to reach at by the bank of Dachu Khola, after crossing on the same trail following river through farm fields, and then walk into Yak herder areas for overnight at Sibu.

Day 17Trek to Jeng La Phedi 4,900 m – 06 hrs.

Having a nice pleasant stop in summer pasture area walk follows the river for short while, and then encountering yaks and mules laden caravan on route Tibet, trade with Tibet exists since hundreds of years, and this walking route lies on the old Trans Himalayan Caravan Route at the base of Jeng-la.

Day 18Trek to Tokyu-Gaon 4,240 m -06 hrs.

Heading to crossing Jeng-la pass with steep climb to reach top of the pass with views of massive Mt. Dhaulagiri range, from here a long descend to the base of the pass on route Tokyu village.
After steep climb of previous day, today an easy walk to reach Tokyu Gaon for overnight, this is one of the most impressive and interesting village of Dolpo area, consist of more than ten villages and nice tended farm fields with old monasteries.

Day 19Trek to Dho Tharap 3,944 m -05 hrs.

After Tokyu Gaon, morning starts downhill to Tarap Chu on wide green valley, one of the scenic broader valley of the area, here you will notice many Sheppard’s settlements of Yaks and Sheep, as walk continues to our overnight camp at Dho Tarap, another interesting village of mix tribes of Tibetans origin and Magar hill tribe people.

Day 20Trek to Tarap Khola 3,800 m -06 hrs.

From here a long descend to Tarap valley, one of the largest and longest valley of Dolpo area which is about 20 k.m. which stretches following Tarap Chu River most of the way to joins with Thuli Bheri River near Tarakot village, walk leads past Langa with beautiful cascading waterfalls heading due south following the trail after Sisaul and small place of Kesila around Yak herders temporary camps to reach our overnight at Tarap Khola around a small place as walk progress reaching a confluence of River Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, overnight camp by the river after a long day walk of about six hours.

Day 21Trek to Khani Gaun 3,150 m - 06 hrs.

Morning walks on Tarap nice valley enter into narrow gorge with some vegetation of bushes of juniper and wild rose,
Walk leads to Toltol with large overhanging cave, walk reaches confluence of River Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, overnight camp by the river at Khani Gaun a small village of cattle herders.

Day 22Trek to Tarakot 2,540 m - 06 hrs.

Journey take you into a nice village at Tarakot as walk starts past smaller villages and then entering into small forest area, following a river all the way to Tarakot, this is one of the important and large village of Dolpo with interesting history houses an old historical fortress (Dzong or Kot) to guard the village from outsiders in early days.
Tarakot village houses famous old Sandul Gomba located at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu River.

Day 23Trek to Dunai 2,140 m – 06 hrs.

After a pleasant time at Tarakot, last day walk leads to Dunai as morning starts walking into spread out villages and farm huts, walk on wider path with some short uphill and downhill to reach at Thuli Bheri River valley and then at Dunai, on reaching Dunai for overnight stop.

Day 24Trek to Jhuphal 2,475m - 04 hrs.

From Dunai following on nice gradual winding trails past farm villages and forested area to reach our last and final overnight stop at Jhupal, before flying to Kathmandu.

Day 25Flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj and connect fly to Kathmandu.

Morning after last breakfast in Dolpo area where short flight takes you to land at Nepalgunj for transit flight to Kathmandu, at Nepalgunj with to get refreshed then continue scenic flight back to Kathmandu with alluring views of Himalayan peaks, on reaching Kathmandu domestic airport transfer to hotel with evening free at leisure for individual activities.

Day 26International Departure homeward bound or respective countries.

Your last final day in Nepal the country of Himalayan wonders, as per your flight time depart from the hotel, where our guides and staff transfer you for International departure homeward bound or to respective countries.

Map

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