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Upper Dolpo

  • Trip Duration:24 Days
  • Trip Grading: Fairly challenging
  • Max Altitude: 5,360m (Kang-La Pass)

Trip Overview

The Upper Dolpo Trek to Shey Gompa in the far western region of Nepal takes us you into a mystical land where ancient Tibetan cultures and traditions remain an important part of daily life. This trek is unspoiled by the hordes of trekkers found in other parts of Nepal. Local people are incredibly friendly, a trait peculiar to people of these remote mountainous regions. This unique culture along with some of the most spectacular scenery Nepal has to offer makes this remote and rugged area an amazing trekking destination.

Upper Dolpo is the most remote and least-developed district in Nepal. Magnificent views of great Himalayan peaks, breathtaking landscapes, ancient monasteries and interesting villages await you. You will get to hike to the beautiful and tranquil Phoksundo Lake, the jewel of Dolpo, in the Shey-Phoksundo National Park and close to the gigantic mountain ranges of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba. Another highlight is the beautiful but tiny village of Shey Gompa with its colourful monastery built in 11th century lying just below Crystal Peak.  Shey Gompa is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo. Other interesting villages such as Saldang and Dho Tarap also offer an insight into the culture and traditions of the region.

Along the way you will observe some unique wildlife including Himalayan blue sheep, the huge Himalayan griffon, mountain goats, jackals, wolves and if you are lucky, you may even get to see the elusive snow leopard. We also cross three high passes, Kang-La pass (5,360m), the Saldang La pass (5,200m)  and Jeng La pass (5,090m) making it quite a strenuous trek with long periods spent above 4000m.

Our adventure begins with a short one hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, near the Nepal-India border where we have the afternoon and evening to explore the town, visit the local market and nearby villages. The following morning we fly to Jhupal, a town in the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri and trek to the village of Dunai. We trek through the villages of Ankhe and Sulighat on our way to the beautiful and tranquil Phoksundo Lake, the jewel of Dolpo, in the Shey-Phoksundo National Park. After stops at Phoksundo Khola and Phoksundo Bhanjyang we make our way via Kang-La pass to the amazing village of Shey Gompa with just a couple of houses and monasteries.

We spend an extra day in Shey Gompa to rest, acclimatise and explore the beautiful village and surrounds before tackling the most arduous part of the trek, crossing the two remaining high altitude passes. Along the way we pass remote villages stopping overnight at interesting places such as Saldang and Sibu before commencing our slow descent through Dho Tarap, Kamakharka, Khanigaon, Tarakot, Dunai and Jhupal from where we take the flight back to Nepalgunj and on to Kathmandu.

Upper Dolpo is a restricted area. A fee of US$500 for the first 10 days and US$ 50 for each additional day is charged to access this area. Trekker numbers are limited to 250 per year making this trek a very special and exclusive experience.

The trek starts and finishes in Kathmandu and includes flights to and from Jhupal via Nepalgunj where your trek begins. In order to keep the trek cost as low as possible, we offer the flexibility for you to arrange your own accommodation in Kathmandu however we are happy to arrange this for you if you wish.

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Day 2: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal (2,320m) and trek to Dunai (2,850m) 4hrs
Day 3: Trek to Ankhe (2,896m) 6hrs
Day 4: Trek to Sulighat (3,500m) 6hrs
Day 5: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3,730m) 5hrs
Day 6: Acclimatisation day Phoksundo Lake
Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Khola 5hrs
Day 8: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4,400m) 7hrs
Day 9: Trek to Shey Gompa (4,500m) via Kang-La pass (5,360m) 6hrs
Day 10: Acclimatisation day Shey Gompa
Day 11: Trek to Namduna Gaun (4,800m) via Saldang La pass (5,200m) 7hrs
Day 12: Trek to Saldang (3,620m) 5hrs
Day 13: Trek to Yangze Gompa (4,960m) 5hrs
Day 14: Trek to Sibu (4,560m) 7hrs
Day 15: Trek to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m) 6hrs
Day 16: Trek to Tokyu Gaon (4209m) via Jeng La pass (5,090m) 6hrs
Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090m) 5hrs
Day 18: Rest day at Dho Tarap
Day 19: Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m) 7hrs
Day 20: Trek to Khanigaon (3,150m) 5hrs
Day 21: Trek to Tarakot (2,537m) 5hrs
Day 22: Trek to Dunai (2,150m) 6hrs
Day 23: Trek to Jhuphal (2,320m) 3hrs
Day 24: Fly from Jhupal to Nepalgunj and on to Kathmandu.

Cost Included

  • Airport  transfer to and from hotel in Kathmandu or Pokhara prior to commencement and after the end of the trek if requested.
  • Road transport, normally by bus, as per the trek itinerary.
  • Flight within Nepal as per the trek itinerary.
  • Three meals a day while trekking (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) including one cup of hot beverage (tea or coffee) with the meal.
  • Accommodation on twin share basis in teahouses, lodges or homestays for the duration of the trek.
  • All trekking, climbing and restricted area entry permit fees required for the trek.
  • Government licenced English speaking guide.
  • Porters (one porter per two trekkers) carrying a maximum of 25kgs.
  • Salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation guides and porters.

Trek Price Excludes

  • International flights to and from Nepal.
  • Domestic flights within Nepal except where indicated on the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Nepal Entry Visa fees.
  • Travel and rescue or emergency evacuation insurance.
  • Any costs associated with rescue or emergency evacuation.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner prior to and after the trek.
  • Drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
  • Meals and snacks other than breakfast lunch and dinner while trekking.
  • Personal equipment or any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Single trekker supplement.
  • Peak climbing permit.
  • Cost of additional porters for excess luggage or equipment above 12.5kg per person allowance.
  • Tips and gratuities.

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