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Upper Dolpa Trekking is a popular destination in western Nepal's remote region. The trek takes you through breathtaking landscapes, high-altitude passes, ancient Tibetan monasteries, and remote villages still untouched by modern civilization. It is considered one of Nepal's most challenging treks due to its high altitude, rugged terrain, and long duration. However, it is also considered one of Nepal's most rewarding treks, offering stunning scenery, rich culture, and unique experiences.
The Upper Dolpa region is situated in the Dolpa district of western Nepal, bordered by Tibet in the north and the Dhaulagiri mountain range in the south. The trek starts by taking a flight from Kathmandu to Juphal, where the actual trek starts. The trail passes through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, home to the famous Shey Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake in Nepal. The lake is a popular attraction for trekkers, with its crystal clear waters and surrounding snow-capped mountains.
The Upper Dolpa region is also home to the Dolpa people, who are of Tibetan origin and have a unique culture and tradition. The trek provides an opportunity to explore their lifestyle and learn about their customs and beliefs. The trail takes you through remote villages such as Ringmo, Saldang, and Dho Tarap, known for their traditional architecture and way of life. You will get a chance to witness their daily routine, interact with locals, and experience the hospitality of the Dolpa people.
One of the highlights of the Upper Dolpa Trekking is crossing the challenging high-altitude passes, such as Kang La Pass (5,350m) and Jeng La Pass (5,110m). These passes offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making the challenging trek worthwhile.
The Upper Dolpa region is rich in vegetation and animals, with several rare and endangered species. The trek allows one to spot snow leopards, Himalayan blue sheep, and musk deer. Several bird species, including the Himalayan monal and the Tibetan snowcock.
The trek is usually completed in around 26 days, and it is recommended that trekkers have prior experience and good physical fitness. Accommodations during the hike are basic tea houses, and camping is required in some areas. The perfect time for a visit is March to May and September to November, the climate is favorable, and the views are stunning.
In conclusion, the Upper Dolpa Trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers stunning scenery, unique culture, and challenging adventure. It is recommended for experienced trekkers looking for a challenging and rewarding trek in a remote region of Nepal. The hike allows you to witness stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unique experiences not found anywhere else.
Your trip day starts today when you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Upon your arrival, you will be received by our representative at the airport. He will be carrying a signboard with our company’s name on it. Then you will be transferred to the tour hotel and checked in. A trip briefing will follow later today and the time will be notified to you by the representative who picks you up from the airport. We will come to meet and brief you about the trip at a fixed time. Until then just relax or explore a bit of the surroundings.
We take you for a day tour of cultural heritage monuments in Kathmandu valley after breakfast. The tour will give you a mixed insight into the history, culture, art, architecture and spirituality of Kathmandu valley. The sites include; Swoyambhunath aka Monkey Temple: The oldest of all sites in Kathmandu valley, Swoyambhunath is an important Buddhist spiritual site having a history of over two thousand years old. This site has gained a popular name as a monkey temple as this small forested hill is a good habitat for hundreds of monkeys. The visit there will heighten your spiritual and cultural experience. Patan City including Patan Durbar Square: A tour of the medieval city of Patan gives you a great insight into ethnic Newari culture, Buddhist spirituality, religious harmony, art and architecture while you stroll around the charismatic alleys taking you to magnificent local community squares known as Bahal and eventually leading you to an incredible medieval palace square. The monuments and skills of the local artisans displayed on those monuments in the square will stun you with their unbelievable charm. Boudhanath Stupa: The largest of its kind in the world, this magnificent stupa is a very important centre of faith for the people following Tibetan Buddhism. This place is a nice Circular Square with a stunning stupa in the middle of it which spreads a lot of spiritual vibrations around the atmosphere.
We fly to Nepalgunj, a 367 km air distance, today. This is a happening city in mid-western Nepal and is a major trade centre. Nepalgunj airport is the base for several flights in the remote hills and mountains of mid-west and far-west Nepal. Once we reach Nepalgunj and check into a hotel, we can go for an exploration of the city.
We get ready and drive to the airport for the flight to Juphal. Juphal airport in the remote Dolpa district acts as a gateway to several other districts in the region. A spectacular Himalayan flight of about 45 minutes takes us to the starting point of our Upper Dolpo Trekking trip. Our trekking part for the day is a short walk to Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa. About 3 hours of the gentle walk along the Bheri River takes us to Dunai where we set up our overnight camp.
We set off on a walking journey of about six hours for the day. The trail to Ankhe today passes along several beautiful places in the Phoksundo River valley. Remote but beautiful Dhera and Raha villages come along the way. We can enjoy the spectacular view of Kagmara peak too. We establish our overnight camp at Ankhe.
Our trekking today takes us to Renje where we will be higher than 3,000 meters above sea level. The day walk involves crossing several suspension bridges. The trail passes through a beautiful landscape that is typical of the remoteness of Dolpa. Despite the remoteness of the area, it is such a beautiful experience to be here. We establish our camp at Renje at an elevation of around 3,100 meters above sea level.
Beautiful Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake in Nepal, is the destination we are headed to on our walk today. Walking across several beautiful places along the Pungmo River, we reach Phoksundo Lake. But before reaching Phoksundo to enjoy the magical charm of the lake, we walk past many other beautiful places along the trail. The cedar forest, beautiful villages of Palam and Ringmo and the views from the trail make our walk of about five hours feel shorter. Once we reach Phoksundo Lake and establish our overnight camp, we can get lost in the beauty of the area.
We spend the day today here at and around Phoksundo Lake. Doing that will have two benefits – first, we can acclimatize properly to go higher in the days to come and second, we can explore more of the beauty of the lake and surrounding. We go for an exploration trip to Ringo village where we can learn more about the lifestyle in the region. Later we come back to the lake and enjoy the serene atmosphere around here.
We are going to leave the charm of the lake behind and walk ahead on our journey. The day walk takes us to Phoksundo Khola via the western end of the lake. An uneven trail leads us towards the destination today. The trickiness of the trail involves narrow passages, rocky crevasses and marsh-filled areas. All challenges of the trail indicate that we are in a real remote wilderness that is equally thrilling as is challenging.
It is a challenging day as we are going to cover about 1000 meters of elevation on the high-altitude trail. The walk from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang is going to be of about six hours of challenge. Walking on the glacial valley, pastures and mountain terrains takes us eventually to Phoksundo Bhanyang at an elevation of 4,400 meters above sea level. The day brings some fabulous views of mountains that help us take the challenge and reach our destination.
On the walk to Shey Gompa today, we are going to cross a high mountain pass called Kang La pass which stands at an elevation of 5,151 meters above sea level. Kang La pass, one of the three high passes we cross on the trekking journey, gives us a tough challenge to climb but rewards us with a beautiful view up from the top. After walking up to the top and enjoying the view from there, we descend to the river and walk ahead towards Shey Gompa.
We spend an extra day here at Shey Gompa to acclimatize and explore the surrounding. Our exploration of Shey village and the Gompa gets us closer to the Bonpo culture, lifestyle and spiritual vibrations there. The exploration is an amazing insight into the region that helps us understand the region more. Hiking exploration helps us get ready for another pass climb tomorrow.
Our trekking today involves another walk over a high mountain pass, the highest of three that we are crossing on this trip. On our walk to Namduna Gaun today, we are ascending to Saldang La pass which stands at the elevation of 5,200 meters above sea level. Although it’s a challenging walk up to the top, we enjoy it when we reach the pass. Later, we start descending towards Namdung Gaun and along the trail, we can experience beautiful views before reaching the destination.
We set off early morning on the walk that takes us much lower to where we are now at Namduna Gaun. We walk to Saldang today. Although the elevation change takes us lower, the walk goes uphill first before starting a long descent to Saldang village. Saldang village is strategically located on the trade route. It is one of the most affluent villages in the region.
Our walk in this Upper Dolpo Trekking journey has many wonderful things for us. While trekking towards Sibu village, we come across beautiful Namdo village where we can explore Namdo monastery. We also come along small chhortens, mani walls and beautifully terraced fields. We walk to Sibu along the river bank after Namdo.
We walk to Jeng La Phedi today. The walk goes along Nam Khong Khola towards the destination. The final section is an uphill that starts from a confluence. The uphill section is a pretty challenging walk on this high-altitude terrain. We eventually reach Jeng La Phedi and establish our camp to spend the night.
We cross the third of three mountain passes of the trip on our walk to Tokyo Gaun today. The first part of the walk today towards Jeng La pass goes steep uphill and gives us a tough challenge. But the challenge gets rewarded with a spectacular view of the mountains from the pass. Later the trail descends towards Tarapa valley and runs along to Tokyo Gaun.
Dho Tarap is our destination for today. We go for a visit to a monastery here before setting off on the walking journey of the day. About five hours of walk brings us more wonders of Dolpa that add to our experience. We are now on the way down, slowly descending on the altitude level on each day’s campsite.
Our walk today goes through the river bank and a narrow gorge section. The walk today takes us to Serkam. We can enjoy more of the wonders in Dolpa. The simplicity of lifestyle, untouched civilization and nature, wonderful views and many other wonders make our day beautiful, adding to making the trip wonderful.
A descent awaits us on our walk today. While walking to Khani Gaun, the trail gets tricky yet interesting. After about six hours of striving along the trail and enjoying the views eventually takes us to Khani Gaun.
We take our breakfast at the camp and get ready for the walk of the day. We trek to Tarakot today via Lalberi village. Some forested parts on the trail keep us cool and give us a beautiful nature walking experience. It’s relatively a shorter walk of only about four hours.
We return back to Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa. We trek to Lawan village and go along the Bheri River towards the destination. Ascending to Byas Gadhi and walking further uphill on the other side of the river takes finally to Dunai. A full circle of the Upper Dolpo Trek has come to an end with one more day of trekking left on the journey.
We trek back to Juphal in a short three hours of walk. We will have a full day to explore Juphal once we reach there. We have come to the end of a beautiful trekking trip to Upper Dolpo where we experienced some wonderful things in the wilderness. Apart from the adventure trekking, a rich cultural immersion during the trip makes this a lifetime experience. Although an extremely remote region, the trek brought an inspiring experience for our life.
We board our flight to Nepalgunj on a small plane from Juphal airport. Later, we board the connecting flight to Kathmandu at Nepalgunj airport. Once in Kathmandu, we can go for a relaxing walk around the streets of Kathmandu.
This is an extra day on the trip to compensate for any possible delays on the trip.
On the last day of this trip, we drive you to the airport as per your flight schedule back home.
The cost of the trip differs based on the services you select and the size of your group. Every trip we arrange is Reasonable and unique, recognizing that each traveller has different needs and desires.
Prepare for a desired holiday customized to whichever trip you prefer, and choose whether you are seeking an affordable adventure, a luxurious resort group, or a solo traveller. Let us plan and attend to all the particulars so your dream vacation comes true. Relax and focus on creating memorable experiences that will remain with you forever.
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