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Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

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  • Competitive Price
  • Guaranteed Departure
  • Expert Local Guides

Trip Information

Trip Duration

23 Nights 24 Days

Difficulty Level

Hard

Destination

Nepal

Maximum Height

5160 m

Guiding Method

Trekking

Best Season

All time

Highlights

  • A complete off-the-beaten trail experience
  • Unmatched splendor and unspoiled beauty adding to the authenticity
  • Majestic views of the Himalayas
  • A chance to observe the rare practice of Bonpo religion
  • Cross numerous high passes including Kang La (5350m) and Jeng La (5220m)

Reflecting on the unique culture, way of life, dialect, and the practice of the Bonpo religion the region explored on the Upper Dolpo Trek have been referred to as the living museum of the world. Finding its similarities with Tibet, Upper Dolpo boasts the ultimate off-the-beaten-track experience amplified by the majestic Himalayas including the majestic Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, lonely trails snaking through lush green forests adorned with wide varieties of floras and faunas, vibrant hamlets, and unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation.

Our journey into the land of myth begins from the Kathmandu valley touring its world heritage sites before making our way towards the Terai city of Nepalgunj. Heading towards the trail-head at Juphal, we begin our journey with a pleasant trek towards the hamlet of Sulighat. Continuing on the Himalayan trail snakes towards the hamlet of Chhepka and then over to Ringmo where we come across the pristine Phoksundo lake. Surrounded by the Himalayas the lake itself is a wonder of nature and gives a perfect stop for a rest day. Through the hills and vibrant hamlets, the trail takes us towards the high Kang La pass which at 5,350m boasts stunning views of the majestic Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range alongside countless other Himalayas. Reaching Shey gompa, we come face to face with the famous Crystal Mountain which is named after the peculiar mineral found in its contorted cliffs. Taking a day off for exploration and familiarizing with the unique Bonpo culture, the trail once again brings us to another high mountain pass of Saldang La from where we begin our way down towards Namgung village. The final phase of the journey takes us down descending through the hamlets of Saldang and Sibu once again reaching another high mountain pass at 5,090m. Crossing the Jeng La Pass (5220m), we reach Dho Tarap where we take final of our rest days before the journey winds down towards Juphal crossing the vibrant hamlets of Khanigaon and Tarakot en-route.

We here at Nepal Ascent Treks, been a part of many wonderful memories shared amongst countless trekkers and adventurers. With quality and customer satisfaction at the heart of everything, you will have nothing to worry about during the travel. We enable our customers to enjoy to the fullest and a trek like this deserves nothing less.

 

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Itinerary

After landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, our representatives will get in touch with you and you will be driven directly to the hotel where much-needed refreshments await. You will be hen introduced to the office staff and the guides who will be accompanying you for the duration of the trek. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Accommodation
3 star

Meal
Dinner

Transportation
Private car

The day begins with an early morning breakfast after which we head to the stupa of Swayambhunath. The temple revered by both Hindus and Buddhists boasts stunning views of the Kathmandu valley. Heading down, we reach the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath which sees thousands of pilgrims from several nations making their way to pay their respects. Taking a historical turn, we head to the Kings courtyard at Kathmandu Durbar Square before ending the day with the pleasant views of sunset at Boudhanath. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Accommodation
3 star

Meal
Breakfast

Transportation
Private car

Today we head towards the Terai hamlet of Nepalgunj. Boarding an early flight the journey leads us towards the west. The hour-long flight is quite a pleasant one boasting a diverse set of landscapes and the town itself is a mixture of unique culture and way of life. We also head to the local market and surrounding areas to witness the diverse set of cultures and traditions of the locals. Overnight stay at Nepalgunj.

Accommodation
Tourist Standard Hotel

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Flight

We begin the day with an early morning flight heading towards the hilly town of Juphal which boasts stunning views of both Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. Taking a short rest, we begin our trek heading through vegetable fields which gradually leads down to the banks of Thuli Bheri River. With the majestic Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range accompanying us we continue our journey alongside the banks of Suli Khola reaching Suligad Ghat. Overnight stay at Suligad Ghat.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Flight / Walking

The trail continues its journey in solitude through the lush green forests continuing towards the opening valley. Enjoying the trans-Himalayan ecosystem which governs the entire region, we continue our journey surrounded by the Himalayas. The trail leaves the flat land behind beginning its routine ascends and descends through a forest. The thinning forests give way to Renje village. Overnight stay at Renje.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Day six and we are nearly at the deepest lake of the nation! The trail heading out of Renje hamlet is a pleasant one continuing its trend of ascends and descends through the lush green forests. Adorned with the stunning views of the Himalayas beyond the disappearing hills the journey to Ringmo village is enjoyable. We then head towards Phoksundo Lake with its stunning Himalayan views and crystalline waters. Overnight stay at Phoksundo.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

An early day as we gear up for the most stunning view of the entire trek yet. The stunning views of the early morning sun reflected by the golden Himalayas and the sparkling waters of Phoksundo Lake. Enjoying the stunning Himalayan views, we can also head down to the Ringmo village which gives us a perfect chance to get acquainted with the local culture and the Dolpo people. Overnight stay at Ringmo Village.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Enjoying the majestic views of the Himalayas, we begin our journey through the steep Himalayan trail leaving behind the comfort of lush green forests and Hilly landscapes. The trail heads towards the top western frontier of the Phoksundo Lake continuing towards the rocky ledge. At places, the trail is supported by logs of wood tied together which signals the true remoteness of the journey. Continuing on the trail brings us to the banks of Phoksundo Khola where we set up camp for the night.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The journey heads north as we gradually make our way through the trail level with the glacial valley reaching a wooden bridge where the Phoksundo Khola converges with other mountain streams. Enjoying the stunning views of Chamlang Peak (6,739m) and Peak 7 (6,105m), we continue our journey heading towards the opening valley through the steep ravines. The final stretch of the journey veers steeply upwards towards the top of the hill where we set up camp nearing the Kang – La Pass (5350m). Overnight stay at Phoksundo Bhanjyang.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The journey begins through the steep Himalayan trail which has hosted us for the last few days. Carefully picking our way through the snowy Himalayan trail we make our way to the summit of Kang- La pass and, at 5,350m, the pass is also the highest point of our trek. Enjoying the stunning views of the majestic Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range bordering the stunning Himalayan Ranges towards Tibet, we continue our way heading towards Shey Gompa descending via the mountain pass. Crossing the opening valley several times we reach Shey Gompa. Overnight stay at Shey Gompa.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Today, we take second of our three allocated rest days. Shey Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries of the region which was built in 1655 and pays ode to the Sakyamuni Buddha. The monastery is filled with ancient art and artifacts several of which date back thousands of years. The region is also well known for its practice of Bonpo. Mirroring the beauty of Shey Gompa is the Crystal Mountain. Many pilgrims make their way to the region to circumambulate the mountain. Overnight stay at Crystal Monastery.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Today, the journey takes on the second of three mountain passes we encounter in this trek. The Saldang La located at 5,010m is a dramatic and challenging mountain pass blessed with stunning views of the Himalayas and the valley opening down below. After a strenuous climb to the summit, we take in the familiar sights of the Himalayas before making our way down through the yak pasture to reach Namgung village. We also visit the Namgung monastery often referred to as red stone monastery. Overnight stay at Namgung.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Nearly at the midpoint of our journey today we begin our journey heading down towards the hamlet of Saldang. Through the diverse barren mountain landscapes, we begin our strenuous ascend which comes to an end at the point where we can see the hamlet of Saldang perched high above the Nagma Khola stream. Overnight stay at Saldang.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Continuing our journey north, we gradually climb towards Yangze Gompa. Heading out of Saldang, the journey walks on a fairly balanced trail avoiding any drastic ups and downs along the way. Enjoying the enchanting views of the Himalayas, we cross the hamlets of Marang and Ki before coming across a tributary of Panzang River from where the trail heads east to Yangze Gompa. Overnight stay at Yangze Gompa.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Heading out of Yangze Gompa, today, we make our way towards the hamlet of Sibu. Making our way back to Saldang village the trail begins its way down through several terraced fields accompanied by Chortens and seas of prayer flags all along the way. Through Chaiba Monastery the trail leads down to Namde located on the high slopes of Nam Khong River. Making a short visit to Namde Monastery down the river bank, we follow the sandy banks all the way to Sibu. Overnight stay at Sibu.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

A pleasant day today, we begin our journey heading out of Sibu towards the Jeng La Phedi. Continuing through the banks of Nam Khong River, we head east accompanied by caravans heading towards Tibet for trade. After arriving at the convergence point of two Himalayan streams, the trail begins its steep ascent towards the pasture land where we set up camp. Overnight stay at Jeng La Phedi.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The final of the mountain passes, today, we head towards the Jeng La pass carefully navigating past the icy Himalayan trail covered in snow. Enjoying the views of the north face of Dhaulagiri Mastiff (8,167m), the trail continues towards the summit of Jeng La Pass (5220m) beyond which the Tarap valley opens gradually. Through the rocky trail, we begin our descent gradually heading down to the hamlet of Dho Tarap. Overnight stay at Dho Tarap.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The final of our rest days, today, we stay at the hamlet of Dho Tarap and explore the enchanting valley. The hamlet is surrounded by irregular stone walls and the region houses few clusters of settlements accommodated by the Magar people and the local Dolpo people. The region also houses a Buddhist monastery nearby and a Bonpo monastery at the outskirts of the hamlet. Overnight stay at Dho Tarap.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

Today, the journey gradually descends down towards Tarap Khola beginning with the narrow trail heading out of the valley. The alpine vegetation is once again replaced by the lush green forests as the trail descends through the tree line. Upon arriving at the convergence point of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, we follow the sandy banks of the river to reach Karma Kharka. Overnight stay at Karma Kharka.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The final few days of the trek continues the descent heading down through the forested trail and out of the Dolpo region. Wrapping up the camps, we begin our way down through the gorge of Tarap River. The trail is an exciting one as we map our ways down the gorge where at times there are no visible trails. Enjoying the views of the Himalayan rural landscape, we reach Khanigaon beside the Tarap River for our final camp stay. Overnight stay at Khanigaon.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

An early day today, we begin our descent from Khanigaon heading down to Tarakot and then onto Dunai. The journey out of Khanigaon kicks off with a lovely trail leading to Lalberi beyond which we once again pick up the trail heading alongside the River. Visiting Sandul Gompa en route, we continue along the Bheri River to reach Dunai. Overnight stay at Dunai.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The final day of the trek begins with a lovely Himalayan breakfast before we make our way down to Juphal. Trekking alongside the Bheri River in the company of curvaceous landscapes, we come across countless vibrant hamlets occupied by the local people. Through the hamlets of Dhupi Chaur, Rupagad, Kalagauda, and Motipur, we continue our journey reaching the hamlet of Juphal ending our journey. Overnight stay at Juphal.

Accommodation
Basic Teahouse

Meal
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Transportation
Walking

The day begins with an early morning flight out of Juphal heading out to Nepalgunj. After a brief rest, we once again take a flight out of Nepalgunj heading back the Kathmandu for the night. Back at Kathmandu, we will head directly to the hotel for refreshments. Time permitting, you are free to take a look around in the local markets for souvenirs back home. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Accommodation
3 star

Meal
Breakfast | Dinner

Transportation
Flight

Once again our representatives will drive you back to Tribhuvan International Airport just in time for your next flight back home. We hope you had a lovely time with us.

Meal
Breakfast

Transportation
Private car

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What's Included

Meal

  • Breakfast,Lunch and dinner during the trek.
  • Fresh seasonal fruits after the dinner (while on the trek).

Accomodation

  • Lodge expenses during the trek.
  • Stay in the city at finest hotel (Can upgrade of the accommodations to luxury hotels / lodge is possible at extra cost).

Staffs & Crew

  • A porter and his entire expenses.
  • Insurance of guide and porter.
  • Licensed, experienced and English speaking trekking guide.

Transportation

  • Airport pickup and drop facility.
  • Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Jufal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu flight tickets
  • Transportation in private vehicle.

Permits & Paperworks

  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)

Activities

  • Full day guided city tour in Kathmandu (Day 2) by a private vehicle.

Other

  • Down jackets and sleeping bags (provided upon request).
  • First aid medical kit
  • Good quality tents and kitchen utensils for camping
  • Nepal Ascent Treks duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map.

Complimentary Extras

  • 1 hour trekkers massage / Yoga after the trip completion.
  • Local sim card
  • Welcome and farewell dinner at one of the finest Nepalese Restaurant with traditional ethnic music and dance.

What's Not Included

  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Cost for additional trips.
  • Extra porter charge.
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Meals in the city except for breakfast and other mentioned special dinner.
  • Nepal arrival visa.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tipping to staffs (as an appreciation).
  • Travel insurance which covers emergency rescue and evacuation.

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Essential Info

Physical Fitness

Many people have questions as to what level of physical fitness is required for visiting Nepal, and that is extremely reliant on what activity the visitor is engaging in. With that said, for a standard trek of moderate grading (Everest Base Camp Trek is an example of moderate) the daily activity will be 7-8 hours, and elevation will generally not exceed 5,500 meters. The day’s trekking is sustained and will involve both long steep climbs, and descents with a variety of terrain underfoot from well-trodden paths, to rocks covered with ice or snow. A typical day would include a number of climbs or descents of 500 meters or more, starting after breakfast, resting at lunch, then continuous trekking until arriving at the teahouse.

In preparation for the trek, it is important to begin a training requirement at least 4 months before departing for Nepal. Three to four hours of aerobic exercise like running, walking, swimming, cycling & some gym work per week is the minimum and most will find it beneficial to add some basic strength training to their physical fitness routine. One of the best ways to prepare is to take practice hikes with a daypack roughly the same weight as what you will be taking on the trek. Do this only after a baseline of fitness has been reached. Moving fast is not the end goal, rather endurance is the focus, and will provide a more enjoyable and safe adventure.

Trekking Seasons in Nepal

There are two main seasons in which Nepal sees the most amount of visitors. Fall (September through November) being the most popular, and spring (March to May) coming in close behind. The summer months of June, July and August are the monsoon season and as such the trails are mostly washed out, and roads can sometimes be impassible due to landslide activates. Not to mention the view is non-existent. Still, there are a few places that lie in rain shadow areas and see significantly less rain if any at all, and summer can be a good time to visit these places.

Winter in Nepal is dry, with very cold nights where temperatures can drop to -20°C at the highest altitudes, but the days are pleasant and sunny. Additionally, the trails are much less crowded during this time of year. In Kathmandu, maximum daytime temperatures reach around 20°C.

Fall is the most popular because it’s after the monsoons, and the air is dry, the days are sunny, and everything is green in the lower valleys from the excessive rains. Spring is a popular choice because some rain returns, but the weather is generally warm and dry, and flowers are in bloom in the lower elevations.

Trekking Day

A typical trekking day begins with a cup of tea at around 6 in the morning. It is advised to pack your trekking gears in a duffle bag and essential supplies in your day pack in these early hours. After having breakfast, we begin the trek and head along the trail at around 8 am. The morning walk is designed to be longer as we begin with refreshed bodies and enthusiasm. Following a good morning’s walk, we make stop for lunch at around 11.30 am. The lunch involves group meals enjoying the vicinity around the stop. You can explore the surrounding or use the time according to your own consent. After resting for about an hour or two, we resume our trek to reach teahouse or camp by 3-4 pm. The afternoon walk is relatively shorter and can involve games and side trips as organized by the trekking guides. You also can enjoy breaks during the trek to relax, read or stroll around the area. You can converse with the local people and observe their lifestyle. Dinner is served around 7 in the evening to round off the day.

Meals and Accommodations

During the length of the trek, the accommodation style is commonly referred to as teahouse. These are family-run basic lodges that fill the role of the restaurant, meeting place, and boarding house for tourists. Electricity can be found in the rooms, which means one light bulb, and one or two outlets for charging electronics. The common areas are also lit by electricity. Teahouses may use solar, hydroelectric, or have electrical lines running into the village, so the commonality and availability of electricity may vary.

Most teahouses have private rooms, though if the trek is in a more remote or high altitude place dormitories are the norm. Each room has 1 or 2 single beds with basic bedding, and the bathroom is shared. Expect a mix of western and squat style toilets in the bathrooms.

Breakfast and dinner are taken at the teahouse and these lodges have large family style dining rooms centered on a stove to provide heat. The menu will have Nepali style western foods such as pasta, pizza, pancakes, burgers, and fries. Also on the menu is the traditional Dal Bhat meal. This is a lentil soup with rice and vegetable or meat curry. Most menus will also offer a smattering of local cuisine.

Travel Insurance

Many expeditions and tours require that travel insurance is purchased prior to arriving in Nepal, but other treks and tours may not. However, travel insurance is definitely an important consideration. There are a number of reasons to consider insurance. Firstly, it may be required, so check to see what is being asked for by the company. Second, Nepal is a landlocked country, and there are few direct flights. Travel in and out can encounter some disruptions and if purchasing insurance, make sure flight delays and cancellations are included. The next reason to choose insurance is that, though every safeguard is in place during your tour, there are always extenuating circumstances that may result in an accident. Read the fine print of insurance policies to ensure trekking or any other activity you are engaging in is covered, as some policies have stopped covering trekking in certain places. It is impossible to have a relaxing trip without the comfort of good insurance, so do the research and choose carefully.

Nepal Visa Entry Procedure

For entry into Nepal, there are visa requirements everyone (except Indian nationals) must complete before being allowed to pass through immigration. This is for air travel as well as overland transportation. Most visitors may obtain a visa to enter Nepal, however, there are exceptions. There are a number of entry points where you can obtain the visa upon arriving by land, but Tribhuvan International Airport is the only one for air transport.

Visa on Arrival Tourist Visa

Three options are available for entry

15-day single entry: US $30

30-day single entry: US $50

90-day multiple entries: US $125

Please have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the time of entry, and have cash ready, preferably in US dollars, though there are other currencies Nepal Immigration accepts. If you are entering via overland, you must have US cash and 3 passport photos. For arrival by air, the kiosks at the airport take your picture for you.

For the most up to date list of exceptions for visa on arrival or to obtain the most current visa information, visit the Nepal Department of Immigration website.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Acute Mountain Sickness is usually seen in un-acclimatized people shortly after ascent to high altitudes. The condition occurs due to the thinning of air as the altitude increases. The condition, if not taken seriously and treated immediately, can be life-threatening and its symptoms can be seen generally above 3000 meters. Some of the symptoms of AMS are nausea, vomiting, tiredness, shortness of breath and cerebral pain. The treks are designed to properly acclimatize you to the change in high altitude climate and sufficient precautionary measures too are taken to take utmost caution. We also equip our staffs with cell phones and satellite phones in occurrence of any emergency cases. We are greatly driven to keep the safety and security of our clients as our foremost concern.

Drinking Water

Water is essential for life, and clean water is imperative while on holiday. When choosing to visit less developed countries it is a concern that all travelers should consider. A few options are available when trekking or traveling in Nepal that will mitigate any chances of drinking contaminated water which could cause disruption of an otherwise fun adventure. The first consideration to take into account is that tap water should not be ingested. That even means when brushing your teeth. Most will choose to buy bottled water and if doing so make sure the cap has not been opened previously. Plastic bottle refuse is a problem, and with that being said there are other options on the market to assist in making water drinkable. Your local outdoor store can help with choosing what option might be best to use in conjunction with a reusable bottle. Your guide can also steer you to water that has been filtered and purified so ask him or her what is available.

Arrival Instruction

Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, our company representatives are stationed to welcome you to the country. We request you to carefully look for your name being held by our representatives following the events upon landing. The representatives are responsible to escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You will see men offering you to carry luggage and take you to your destination as you exit the airport. We request you pay no attention to these people and follow the designated representatives and follow their instructions. You will also need to keep an eye on your luggage and belongings to avoid any complications.

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Price per person

US$ 4,528 US$ 5,549

EMI & Group discount available.
Sittal Simkhada

Tour Operator

Talk to Sittal +9779851058663

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