Trip Grade Moderate
Duration: 20 Nights/21 Days
Max. Altitude: 5350M
Destination: Nepal
Region: Dolpa
Activity: Trekking & Hiking
Theme: Tented Camps

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Upper Dolpo Trek

Dolpo/Dolpa region is one of wonderful trekking destination for tented camp holidays. Dolpa region is a perfect destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers and cultural explorers. The famous SheyPhoksundo National Park is located in Dolpa region. Trekking Experts offers this exclusive tented camp trek to Upper Dolpo region. Upper Dolpo Trek offers you unique experience of nature, culture and beautiful landscapes. Dolpo is a land of ancient trading routes arcing across a timeless landscape, distant from the modern world, Upper DolpoTrek provides valuable insight into the far western settlements in Nepal. The region features Yak caravans traversing the barren terrain, medieval fortified villages clinging to mountain slopes, and at its heart the mystical Bon Kingdom.

 

During the trek you’ll walk through beautiful landscapes, passing through pine forests alongside wild rivers with views to beautiful snowcapped mountains. You’ll get golden opportunity to explore SheyPhoksundo national park, Phoksundo lake and ancient Shey monastery. In Ringmo, the village close to the lake, you can experience Bonpo culture, based on a century old religion which is a mystique mixture of Buddhism and animistic believes. The trail offers wonderful adventure, encountering interesting places, people, villages, valleys and serene forest of pines, oaks and rhododendron, the trek passes many gigantic mountain ranges and over the Numala pass at 5,400m till you’ll reach the Phoksundo lake at Ringmo village in the “Phoksundo National Park”.  Then the trail continues the amazing country of Crystal Mountain at SheyGomba, following the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route. The Upper Dolpo Trek to Shey Gompa brings you into a mystical land where centuries old Buddhist and Bonpo traditions, interwoven with shamanistic influences, are still an important part of daily life. The villages, gompa’s and people you meet during this trek will leave an unforgettable impression on you.  The landscapes here are even more desolate than on the Dolpa Circuit and the villages even more isolated and pure.

Trip Highlights

Amchi Hospital (an Amchi is a traditional Tibetan doctor/healer)

Many ancient & white-washed monasteries like ThasoonChholing Bon-po Gompa

The Phoksundo Lake, the world’s highest altitude lake

Special Bon cultural villages and inhabitants like Dho Tarap

Many ancient & white-washed monasteries like Thasoon Chholing Bon-po Gompa

The culture & people of both Bon po and Nyingmapa of Buddhist sections

Gigantic mountain ranges and over the Numala pass at 5,400m

Amazing country of Crystal Mountain at SheyGomba

The route follows the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route

Itinerary

Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan airport Trekking Experts representative welcomes you and assists to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. Upon arrival at hotel, our tour manager will brief you about trekking information and other necessary information. And then you’ll free time to explore Kathmandu. Dinner will be booked at the hotel.

  • Star Hotel
  • Dinner
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • 1310 meter

Today, you have free morning at the hotel. This would be your final preparation for trek such as if you missed to buy anything for trekking, you can buy. In the afternoon, you’ll transfer to Kathmandu Domestic Airport and will fly to Nepalgunj. An hour flight to Nepalgunj takes you the south-west part of Nepal. Upon arrival at Nepalgunj airport, you’ll be picked by hotel. Check-in at hotel and rest at the hotel.

  • Tourist-class Hotel
  • Breakfast/Dinner
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • 492 meter

Today early morning, you’ll be transfered to Nepalgunj airport and then will fly to Juphal (2475m). A pleasant 45 minute’s flight to Juphal by small 17-seater aircraft will provide you views of Himalayan foothills with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. Upon arrival at Juphal, you’ll meet your trekking crew (guide, cook, kitchen team etc). From Juphal, your first day trek to Dunai will take about 2-3 hours walk. The trekking trail follows terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow canyon which after in 3 hours will lead you to a relatively larger village called Dunai. Tented Camp at Dunai (2140m).

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 2/3 Hours Walk
  • 2140 meter

After breakfast at first tented camp night, you’ll trek to Tarakot today. As the trek begins today, you follow the upstream trail that banks Bheri River. First part of today’s trek is very pleasant as you’ll trek along the leveled path occupied by beautiful landscapes in the neighborhood. Almost a couple of hours of trek bring you to the settlement of Byasghar (2430 m). Exiting out of Byasghar, you’ll continue trekking along the riverside trail that heads towards northeast direction. During this part of the trek, the trail most of the times flanks the river closely and at other time it climbs over the hill or around the ridge. The trek continues along open trails before it arrives to Baijibara. This small settlement holds a Bon Monastery. After a short uphill trek further, dry stone walls and cultivating fields indicate the arrival of famous mid-hill settlement of western Nepal, Tarakot, a small settlement that nestles high above Thuli Bheri River was once a famous trading point as it was the capital of ancient independent kingdom Tichorung. Most of the natives of the village belong to Magar tribe and the most of them practice Tibetan Buddhism as their religion. In some clusters of ‘Kaike’ a local dialect is spoken, which is not spoken anywhere else.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 5/6 Hours Walk
  • 2540 meter

After breakfast at camp, the trek begins today by hiking along the trail that lies on the southern bank of Bheri River. An hour-long trek brings you to the open valley created by BharbungKhola. Then the trail heads east along the bank of BharbungKhola. This part of trek brings you closer to PuthaHuinchuli and ChurenHimal. The trail beyond BharbangKhola chases the easy steps that eventually bring us to Laisicap (277 m). Now you cross the main river and begin to trek along the west bank of TarapKhola. You’ll head north until we arrive to Khanigaon (2950m). Khanigaon is the winter residence of the Dho-Tarap people. Then you can see the wonderful view of Sandul Gompa across the valley from Khanigaon. The final push on the steep uphill trail finally brings you to LainaOdar, which is a wonderful camping site with a beautiful waterfall nearby.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 6/7 Hours Walk
  • 3370 meter

After breakfast at camp, today’s trek begins along the spectacular trail. As you head further from Laina Odar, the trail goes through the deep gorges with scary cliffs above them. After couple of hours of trek to the north from LainaOdar, the trail begins to become relatively open. A little bit of effort put to make the trail easier can be seen. You now trek on the easy trail paved with wooden planks and flat stones that leads us to Chhyugar (3440m). Chhyugar lies at the bank of small stream which we cross and begin to trek along its western bank to Pibke or Nawarpani (3475m). The final part of today’s trek, which is couple of hours long brings you to Sim Odar (3550m). Sim Odar is a winter refuge for the people of Upper Dolpo. You will settle down your camps here for the overnight stay.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 6/7 Hours Walk
  • 3550 meter

After breakfast at camp, from today one of the most interesting days of the trek is about to begin. The trek most of the times run along the bank of TarapKhola switching sides frequently. On the first part of the trek your hike along the northwest bank of TarapKhola to Ghyamghar, a small settlement with a monastery. At Ghyamghar, you’ll cross the river and begin to trek along the eastern bank to Sisaul. At Sisaul once again you’ll cross the river to its western bank and begin to trek along the lonely valley. As you arrive to Langa, you’ll once again cross the river and follow its eastern bank that climbs to a small arid hill. The last part of today’s Inner Dolpo Trek slides down from this small hill to DhoTarap (3944m). DhoTarap is a fascinating settlement that manifests the real attributes of Dolpo. This famous settlement of Dolpo nestles high above a wide valley and was a famous trading point to the traders of Tibet and Mustang in the ancient days. You will settle down our camps at DhoTarap for the overnight stay. There are plenty of places to see around DhoTarap. In fact,DhoTarap is a highland settlement dotted with monasteries. If you time enough for trek, you can spend one more night at DhoTarap to explore around.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 7/8 Hours Walk
  • 3944 meter

After breakfast at camp, you’ll begin the trek along a gentle uphill trail from DhoTarap. Nearly an hour-long uphill climb brings us to Crystal Mountain School and Health Post. Schools and health posts are very rarely seen in Dolpo. En-route to Jyanta La Base Camp you’ll trek along the easy trail that reaches to Tokyu (4209m). Authentically traditional looking village Tokyu is a widespread village with graceful and old-fashioned houses. Tokyu is also a delightful place for a photographer on a bright sunlight. From Tokyu, you’ll take another route to Jyanta La instead of route of Numa La Base Camp as it is straight forward. After couple of hours of walking you’ll reach Jyanta La Base Camp, a camping site below Jyanta La.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 5 Hours Walk
  • 4542 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll hike up to Jyanta La (5220m) by ascending from JyantaBhanjyang. It takes 7 to 8 hours of extensive time in order to accomplish the trek and arrive in the camp.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 7/8 Hours Walk
  • 4160 meter

After breakfast at camp, today trek to Saldang.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 7/8 Hours Walk
  • 3903 meter

After breakfast at camp, you’ll trek to Namgung. Today you’ll descend steep slopes from Saldang village situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong nala and the biggest villages of lower Dolpo area.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 4/5 Hours Walk
  • 4400 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll cross Saldang La (5200m) over forest leading to a rocky canyon. You walk through a meandering trail to reach the top of Saldang-La Pass.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 6/7 Hours Walk
  • 4126 meter

Today is full free to explore around Shey Gompa. Today you’ll hike around local area of Shey and Gompa. Shey monastery is also known as the Crystal Mountain (well described in Peter Matthissen classic novel Snow Leopard). The lama of Shey resides at a red hermitage known as Tsakang Gompa which is north of Shey. It is rather a retreat than a monastery. Tsakang had been a meditation centre of many famous lamas from Tibet. Shey Gompa belong to the Chaiba community, followers of great saint Padmasambhava, known as Guru Ringpoche and Kagyu sects. It was the first Kagyupa monastery and its founder was the lama Tenzing Ra-Pa, built during 11th century. Shey is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. DrutupYeshe first introduced Buddhism in the Dolpo valley. Hundreds of years ago he came to Dolpo encountering a wild people whose supreme God was a ‘fierce mountain and nature spirit’. Crystal Mountain is to the east of Shey gompa it is one of the strangest mountains, as its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Shey Gompa stands above the confluence of Kangjunala and Yeju Nala River. Near the confluence there is a group of prayer mills turned by water wheels. Each year people from all over Dolpo region travel great distances to attend the festival at Shey and to complete the circuit of Crystal Mountain.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • 4126 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll ascend gradually up for about 2 hours to reach High Camp of Kang La Pass following rock valley. From there, you’ll ascent to the Kang La Pass (5350m) which will take about 3 further hours. From the Kang La Pass, you’ll view Crystal Mountain, range of Mount Dhaulagiri and KanjirowaHimal etc. From the pass, now you’ll descent about 1.5 hours to reach our today’s camp. Accommodation: Tented Camp

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 6/7 Hours Walk
  • 4717 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll descent down to Forest Camp through the Kang La River for about two hours. And then trail passes through the dense jungle pine forest for about 4 hours and reach camp site. We shall set up camp at the bank of Phoksundo Lake.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 5/6 Hours Walk
  • 3630 meter

After breakfast at camp you, your today’s trek will start with about 1.5 hours walk up through the jungle and then descent about 2 hours and one more hour in flat land to reach Ringmo village. The trail follows the bank of the Phoksundo Lake.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 4/5 Hours Walk
  • 4641 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll descent to Chhekpa all the way down through forest and villages.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 7/8 Hours Walk
  • 2838 meter

After breakfast at camp, today you’ll finish off your trekking. The trail starts with about 3 hours descent till Sulighat and then you’ll trek about 3 hours ascent to reach Juphal.

  • Tented Camp
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 6/7 Hours Walk
  • 2475 meter

After early breakfast at Juphal, you’ll take a short 30 minutes’ flight to Nepalgunj from Juphal. And then you’ll catch another flight to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj. Depending the flight time to Kathmandu, you can spend some time in Nepalgunj to wait connecting flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu airport, you’ll be transfer to hotel.

  • Star Hotel
  • Breakfast/Dinner
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • 1310 meter

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you’ll be met by your city tour guide for our day trip to a few of the Kathmandu valley’s most spectacular and important sights and some vibrant, colorful markets. With a meld of three ancient capitals and their associated palaces, temples and markets of Kathmandu has a lot to offer culturally and historically. However, we’re mindful not to overload you on your first day so will ensure the day has a good balance between sightseeing, exploring and relaxation time. The exact itinerary may change depending on the local conditions but we shall most likely visit: - Pashupatinath, one of the most important temples in South Asia to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva; - One of the three Durbar (Palace) Squares, a complex of palaces and temples which was formally the social, religious and administrative focal point of the ancient city. - Boudhnnanath Stupa, a wonderful Buddhist site centered on a huge Stupa topped with the all-seeing eyes. If possible,you’ll come here in the early evening to soak up the atmosphere of hundreds of Tibetan and Sherpa peoples walking their devotional khora. And after your back to hotel. Evening farewell dinner at local authentic Nepalese restaurant. Overnight at Hotel

  • Star Hotel
  • Breakfast/Dinner
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • 1310 meter

Depending on your flight time, you’ll be transfer to airport before 3 hrs of flight time.

  • N/A
  • Breakfast
  • N/A Hours Walk
  • N/A meter

Date & Cost

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What’s Included

3 nights in Kathmandu at three star-hotels on twin sharing basis 1 night in Nepalgunj at tourist-class hotel on twin sharing basis 16 nights in tented camps during the trekking on twin sharing basis

3 meals a day during the trekking at tented camps served by our cook (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) except in Kathmandu Breakfast and dinner during Kathmandu hotel stay Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu at the end of the trip with typical Nepalese food

All airport/hotel/airport transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle Ground transfer for Kathmandu sightseeing by private air-conditioned vehicle Kathmandu-Nepalgunj and Nepalgunj -Kathmandu flight with airport taxes Nepalgunj-Dolpo and Dolpo-Nepalgunj flight with airport taxes 18 kg baggage per person for trek and flights

Shey Phoksundo National Park Fee Lower and Upper Dolpo Special Permit Fee All monument entrance fees during Kathmandu sightseeing

1 English speaking experienced trekking guide 1 experienced trekking cook Required kitchen team (kitchen helpers) 1 assistant guide for every 5 members Required porters to carry personal baggage, camping equipment, kitchen utensils and trekking food English Speaking city guide for Kathmandu sightseeing

Support for airport pick up, drop and farewell dinner

One 2-men sleeping tent for every two members 1 Foam mattress for every member Dining Tents and kitchen tent Required toilet tents Required Shower tents Required tables and chairs Required kitchen utensils with fuel Solar light for lighting purpose only

Comprehensive First Aid Kit Comprehensive Trekking Map and Kathmandu Valley Map 1 Satellite Phone for emergency use only 1 Certec Bag for emergency use

What’s Not Included

All personal expenses like alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks, telephone calls, laundry services etc. Medical and travel insurances International airfare and taxes Nepal Visa fees Emergency helicopter rescue charges Main meals in Kathmandu (lunch and dinner) Tips for trekking crew

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What Other Travelers Say About This

“A very good team, very helpful, friendly, competitive, everything was on time. A perfect organization. Thanks a lot to everybody, it was a great time.

The team was very very helpful and always nice to us. The horseman, guide and porters were very positive and very good. The guide Purna was always kind to ys and helped. Thank you very much for that and good team. If we even trek, we would like to go with same team.

“We are happy and thankful to Kaluman (guide) and Bhim (cook) and porters of our trip. They did it with perfect and responsibly for our physical condition. All the team are extraordinary with lots of knowledge and humor. We will never forget this amazing trekking.

Overall I had wonderful trip. I felt completely safe and well looked after by guide and porters.

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