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Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek is an exciting 23-day journey from Juphal to Jomsom with scenic flights in the Northwest Himalayan Region. Travellers visit Dolpa, Mugu and Mustang districts with Shey-Phoksundo National Park (1984), sacred Shey Gompa (11th century), high Suligad waterfall at 3613 m (167 meters length), pristine Shey-Phoksundo Lake (3615 m) of Ramsar site (2007 AD) and Jomsom Valley. The Beyul land and Vajrayana Buddhism are similar to Tibet. The region established limited health post schools, and shopping required several days' walks. October to early December or March to May are the best visiting time to Dolpa, the biggest district of Nepal. The restricted area opened after 1989 for foreigners. 

Upper Dolpo Trekking is worth mountain views, Mount Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Kanjiroba South (6886 m), Silkapo Khang (6556 m) and Bej Chuchuro (7139 m). The isolated and untouched national park preserves threatened wildlife, centuries-old Bon religion, Buddhist monasteries, and Chortens. Shey-Phoksundo National Park covers 3555 sq km, and the buffer zone covers 1349 sq km of land from Ankhe (2130 meters) to Kanjiroba Himal (6886 meters).

The national park boasts endangered animals, including snow leopard, grey wolf, musk deer, blue sheep, goral, Tibetan sheep, Himalayan tahr, leopard, jackals, and Himalayan black bear. It records six types of reptiles and 29 species of butterflies, including the highest-flying butterfly in the world (Paralasa Nepalaica). There are 200 species of birds, such as yellow-throated marten, Tibetan partridge, wood snip, white-throated tit, wood accentor, and crimson-eared rosefinch. The Oscar-nominated film Caravan by Eric Valli 104 Minutes (1999 AD) was recorded in Dolpa. The first Nepalese film was nominated for the Best Foreign Film category for the 72nd Academy Awards (26 March 2000). Thinle Lhondup (Tinle) was the film story hero of the remote lifestyle, religion, geography, yak herd, caravan trade, air burial, winter snowfall, and monastery in the Dolpa district. 

Upper Dolpo Trek requires a special permit with two people in a group. People collect a bumper harvest (six months of food) with its geographical condition. Dolpo has 130 Buddhist monasteries. Winter gets snowfalls. There are few tea house lodges to deliver food, such as potato, porridge, noodles, eggs, rice, and curry. The rural lifestyle, landscapes, wildlife, friendly people, lovely children, and mountain festival is the Dolpo's identity. Additional information is below.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu Airport

Day 02: Full day sight seeing in Kathmandu Valley

Day 03: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (165 m) - 50 minute by flight

Day 04: Nepalgunj to Juphal (2320 m) and hike to Dunai (2110 m) - 3 hours

Day 05: Dunai to Chepka (2670 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 06: Chepka to Renje (3010 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 07: Renje to Ringmo (3735 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 08: Ringmo to Chunemba (3630 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 09: Chunemba to Lar Tsa (4120 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 10: Lar Tsa to Mendok Ding (4610 m) - 3/4 hours

Day 11: Mendok Ding to Shey Gompa (4310 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 12: Shey Gompa to Namgung (4430 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 13: Namgung to Karang (4050 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 14: Karang to Mugaon (4100 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 15: Mugaon to Shimen (4010 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 16: Shimen to Tinje (4150 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 17: Tinje to Rakpa (4530 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 18: Rakpa to Chharka (4120 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 19: Chharka to Norbulung (4750 m) - 6/7 hours

Day 20: Norbulung to Sangda Phedi (5460 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 21: Sangda Phedi to Sangda (3700 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 22: Sangda to Dhagarjun (3200 m) - 7/8 hours

Day 23: Dhagarjun to Jomsom (2710 m) - 5/6 hours

Day 24: Jomsom to Pokhara (830 m) - 20 minute by flight

Day 25: Pokhara to Kathmandu (1350 m) - 7 hours by bus

Day 26: Departure to Tribhuban Internationl Airport

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu Airport
We meet you at Tribhuvan International Airport with a guide and car. We arrive at the hotel in 25 minutes. Check-in hotel our guide brief the entire trip. Stay overnight at the hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Full day sight seeing in Kathmandu Valley
Professional Tour Guide comes at 9 AM with a car to the hotel. Our guide explains about Nepal. The four UNESCO world heritage sites include Swayambhunath (1st century) is the Buddhist Stupa with an activity of the Assamese monkey, the panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalaya. Kathmandu Durbar Square (8th to 18th century) established royal palace squares, museum, Kasthamandap, the Living Goddess Kumari, Freak Street, wood carving and architecture of the temple. Pashupatinath (5th century) owns the cremation ghat, Pashupatinath Temple, the shrines with Shiva Lingam and Yoni, the Hindu holy men (Sadhus), an activity of the Assamese monkey with deer in the sub-tropical forest. Boudhanath (5th century) is famous the largest Stupa in Nepal with Tibetan refugee settlement, painting school, huge prayer wheel, prayer flag, monastery and monk.

Day 03: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (165 m) - 50 minute by flight
We fly to Nepalgunj in 50 minutes with the views of village, city, forest and mountain. We take 6 km driving to the city. Stay overnight at the hotel with breakfast in Nepalgunj. Bus from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj takes 16 hours for the 522 km (324 miles) distance. Nepalgunj is situated in southwestern Nepal. The bus stand lies a kilometre north of the Birendra Chowk. Bus leaves to the different parts of Nepal. Nepalgunj lies 6 km north of the India border, 17 km from the Nanpara Rail Station. The crowded city lives mixed communities, Magar, Thakuri, and Gurung, Newar, Bahun, Tharu, Chhetri, Tibetan, Sadhus and Muslim. The city establishes hotels, shops, colleges, schools, Bageshwori Temple, electricity and hospital. The flight from Nepalgunj goes to Dolpo, Bajura, Safebagar, Rukum, Surkhet, Jumla, Surkhet, Simikot and Kathmandu. Nepalgunj summer temperature grows up to 42� Celsius.

Day 04: Nepalgunj to Juphal (2320 m) and hike to Dunai (2110 m) - 3 hours
We drive 6 km to Nepalgunj airport. Take an early morning flight to Juphal (35 minutes) with the views of the snow-capped mountains, forests, villages and river valleys. The hiking goes through the winding valley. We descend meadows towards Kala Gaura (2090 m) with a lodge. We trek along the river valley to Dunai. Stay overnight at a camp in Duani.

Day 05: Dunai to Chepka (2670 m) - 6/7 hours
We hike to cross a bridge, then, we turn west. Hike the bank of the Thulo Bheri and meet the Suli Gaad (2070 m) then, follow the east bank of the river. The walk continues to Raktang (2260 m), cross to the west bank and reach a ridge with Goth. Cross a bridge, continue to Ankhe Khola (2460 m). There are uphill and downhill paths. You will meet the trail junction, choose the trail to Phoksundo Lake. Climb to a ridge (2710 m), descend a rocky trail to Chepka with shop and lodge. Stay overnight at a camp in Chepka.

Day 06: Chepka to Renje (3010 m) - 5/6 hours
We hike uphill to a ridge, cross the west side and return to the east side. We hike a rocky trail, take uphill and downhill towards a forest of larches and fir. Cross a bridge over the stream to the Renje. It is situated across the river with several houses. Stay overnight at a camp in Renje.

Day 07: Renje to Ringmo (3735 m) - 6/7 hours
We hike through the Suli Gaad valley with the steeper and narrower trail. Ascend to a ridge then, descend and cross a bridge. The paths go uphill and downhill to the confluence of Pungmo Khola and Suli Gaad. Take a west bank of the river, climb through a forest of cedar, pass the campsite to get Palam (3710 m). Register permit at the check post and descent steeply, climb to a ridge (3780 m) with the view of Suligad waterfall (167 m long). Descend through a forest of birch to Phoksundo Khola, climb gradually to the Ringmo Village with the typical house, Mani walls and Chorten. The hike continues to cross a bridge, take a southeast shore of Phoksundo Lake. Stay overnight at a selected camp in the National Park in Ringmo.

Day 08: Ringmo to Chunemba (3630 m) - 5/6 hours
We trek through the rocky trail. Cross a stream, enjoy the glacier view of Kanjeralwa (6612 m). The trail climbs to a crest (4060 m) with views of the lake and Sonam Kang. Descent steeply dusts trail across a forest of birch and blue pines on the western edge of the lake. Head west, reach the wide valley with thorn bushes and scrub trees in the tributaries of Phoksundo Khola. Reach Chunemba with blue pine. Stay overnight at a camp in Chunemba.

Day 09: Chunemba to Lar Tsa (4120 m) - 6/7 hours
We trek with a flat trail to the north glacial valley. The path crosses the east bank of the Phoksundo Khola. The hike continues in the valley to Kang Gompa, climbing to a ridge with the view of Kang Chunne (6443 m) and Shey Shikhar (6139 m). The trail continues to a crest (4200 m), descend gently to Lar Tsa. Stay overnight at a camp in Lar Tsa.

Day 10: Lar Tsa to Mendok Ding (4610 m) - 3/4 hours
We hike to cross a bridge, climb to a top (4490 m). Continue hike to a crest (4640 m). Descend gently to Mendok Ding (flower valley). Climb along the stream to a campsite. You can see the blue sheep above the camp. Stay overnight at a camp in Mendok Ding.

Day 11: Mendok Ding to Shey Gompa (4310 m) - 7/8 hours
We trek to an upper part of the Phoksundo Khola, turning north to Riwo Drugdra Peak, across the Sehu La (sacred peak) with circumambulation. We climb uphill to Sehu La (5106 m), descend to a stream valley with grassy meadows. We hike steeply with the rough trail to a crest (5010 m) and the next crest (4860 m). The trail descends to the Tar Valley and Tsakang Gompa (12th century). We descend to a large meadow nearby nomad hut below the Shey Gompa. Stay overnight at a camp in Shey Gompa.

Day 12: Shey Gompa to Namgung (4430 m) - 6/7 hours
We walk to continue uphill to Shey La Pass (5010 m). We turn north and descend. We climb again to the Namgung. Stay overnight at a camp in Namgung.

Day 13: Namgung to Karang (4050 m) - 5/6 hours
We walk through the Namgung Khola Valley to Karang. Stay overnight at a camp in Karang.

Day 14: Karang to Mugaon (4100 m) - 6/7 hours
We hike, descends to Torak Sumdo (3670 m) with a confluence of the Polang Khola and Namgung Khola. We cross to the north bank then, climb to Yanger Gompa (3750 m). We trek along the river valley to the campsite near the stream. Stay overnight at a camp in Mugaon.

Day 15: Mugaon to Shimen (4010 m) - 7/8 hours
We trek through the river valley. The hike continues to Mushi La Pass (5030 m). We descend to Shimen Village. The walk continues to the campsite above the Shimen Village. This is a pasture of domestic cattle. Stay overnight at camp in Shimen.

Day 16: Shimen to Tinje (4150 m) - 7/8 hours
We climb downhill to the Shimen Village (3870 m). Our walk continues, climbing uphill to Pha (4090 m). The hike continues to reach Tinje. Stay overnight at camp in Tinje.

Day 17: Tinje to Rakpa (4530 m) - 7/8 hours
Our trek starts at the airport. There is the trail junction (4130 m). The high route goes to Tarap. We continue hiking southward to Rakpa which is situated bank of the river. Stay overnight at a camp in Rakpa.

Day 18: Rakpa to Chharka (4120 m) - 7/8 hours
We continue uphill walking to Chharka La (4920 m). We descend through the side of the valley, ascend uphill to the valley (4290 m). We descend to Chharka Village in the bank of Barbung Khola. Stay overnight at a camp in Chharka.

Day 19: Chharka to Norbulung (4750 m) - 6/7 hours
The trip goes downhill to the river, following the right fork southward. We walk through a rough trail towards uphill and downhill. The trek goes to the narrow valley at first afterwards a big meadow reaches. Climb to Norbulung. Stay overnight at a camp in Norbulung.

Day 20: Norbulung to Sangda Phedi (5460 m) - 7/8 hours
The paths climb uphill to Molum Sumna (4860 m) which is a yak pasture. The trail continues uphill to a crest (5130 m). We walk through the meadows to the foot of Sangda La. The path goes steeply to the pass and descends Sangda Phedi. Stay overnight at a camp in Sangda Phedi.

Day 21: Sangda Phedi to Sangda (3700 m) - 7/8 hours
We hike to the lower part of Sangda La (4990 m) and descend to Sangda Ghunsa Village (4190 m). We hike downhill and cross a bridge over the Chalung Khola (3750 m). The path goes steeply to a cairn (4090 m), descends steeply to a stream (3580 m). Ascend to a settlement of Sangda, stay overnight at a camp.

Day 22: Sangda to Dhagarjun (3200 m) - 7/8 hours
We hike to a hill behind the Sangda. The path crosses several ridges to the last crest (4280 m). We descend to the Annapurna round trail in the Kali Gandaki valley. We hike through a side of a cliff and descend to Dhagarjun that is a big village with mountain people. Stay overnight at a camp in Dhagarjun.

Day 23: Dhagarjun to Jomsom (2710 m) - 5/6 hours
We climb to a ridge (3360 m) then, descend through the loose rock trail to Jomsom. The Thakali town has a shop, hotel, army camp, police post and airport. The windy valley offers the view of Nilgiri (7061 m). Reconfirm your tomorrow morning flight to Pokhara. Stay overnight at a camp in Jomsom.

Day 24: Jomsom to Pokhara (830 m) - 20 minute by flight
We take an early morning (before 10 AM) flight to Pokhara (20 minutes) with the views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Ghorepani, Sarangkot, Pokhara city and the Phewa Lake. Stay overnight at the hotel with breakfast in Pokhara.

Day 25: Pokhara to Kathmandu (1350 m) - 7 hours by bus
Kathmandu is 204 km away to the east. The tourist bus takes 7 hours to approach there. During the bus drive between the Pokhara and Kathmandu, the scenery is interesting, such as snow-capped mountains, Marsyangdi River Valley, cable car station, Trishuli River Valley highway town, terraced field, village, domestic animal and forest-clad hill. The Gunadi is 45 km away, the bus stops for 30 minutes. The Gunadi to Malekhu is 87 km away with a bus stop for 30 minutes. Kathmandu is 72 km away, with a tourist bus stop. Take a taxi to the hotel (1 km road). Stay overnight at the hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu.

Day 26: Departure to Tribhuban Internationl Airport
Kathmandu Airport is 6 km away, which takes 25 minutes for a car. Reach the airport 3 hours before the flight departure. We wish you a safe and happy flight.

Trip Cost Includes

  • Airports pick up and drop in private cars with a guide.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing by car with a professional tour guide.
  • 5-night hotel with breakfast in twin sharing bed in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Pokhara.
  • 20 nights stay in a tent with twin sharing beds in Mountain.
  • Professional trekking guide & porter.
  • Lodge, food, salary, transport and insurance to the porter and guide.
  • Farewell meal & breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Trekking permits and TIMS card
  • Pokhara to Kathmandu tourist bus ticket.
  • All camping gear, cook, Sherpa, helper, tents and fuels.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner with tea, coffee and hot chocolate in Mountain.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Nepal entry visa fees.
  • Travel insurance including helicopter evacuation.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara except farewell meal.
  • International airfare and departure tax.
  • Bar bills, laundry, hot shower and battery charge in the Mountain.
  • Tip to guide and porter.
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