Upper Dolpo Trek
Dolpa is one of the most interesting trekking destinations of Nepal for many reasons. First of all, with an area of 7,889 sq. kilometers, it is the largest district of Nepal, and yet one of the most sparsely populated. Its topography is very interesting. It contains the deepest lake of Nepal, Lake Phoksundo, which also happens to be the deepest lake of high altitude in the world. Dolpa is one of the few Nepali districts that is behind the Himalayan mountains, due to which it gets very little rain.
Upper Dolpo Trek is one of Nepal’s best and less visited trekking regions. A restricted area only recently opened for travelers in 1988. Travel through beautiful National Park areas and isolated trails to reach remote Shey Gompa Monastery. Pass mythical Crystal Mountain. Enjoy wild mountain scenery and splendid Himalayan views.
Hence, most of the hills are bare with little vegetation. The Harsh weather combined with high hills makes the Upper Dolpo Trekking area one of the most inhospitable in Nepal, and yet the barren and majestic hills lend it a rare beauty that is absolutely mesmerizing. Due to the harsh living conditions, few people live or travel in these areas. As a result, the people of Dolpa are part of a very isolated culture found in specific pockets of northern Nepal.
This is a land where life still revolves around horses, mules, and yaks, people still wear traditional attire and jewelry, waters are still divided on the basis of a dice game, and the remains of the dead are given to wild vultures. Even today, much of Dolpa is the restricted area for tourists, which contributed to the preservation of the unique culture of Dolpa.
Some of the attractions of the Upper Dolpo Trek route are Dho Tarap, a human settlement at the highest altitude in the world, Shey Gumba, religiously the most important Gumba in Nepal, and Lake Phoksundo, the deepest lake of high altitude in the world.
Flora and Fauna in Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpa region is full of rare herbs and wild animals. Lucky tourists can sight blue sheep, choral, and even cheetahs, and many other species of wild animals. Also, the forests of Upper Dolpo are home to rare plants like Yarsagumba, Jatamasi, Panchaunle, Chimailo, and many others.
Upper Dolpa is one of the few remaining sources of Yarsa Gumba, an exotic half plant, the half-animal that is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Every year, in May-June, the Shey Phoksundo National Park opens its doors to the seekers of yarsagumba. Local villagers travel in droves to great heights to seek this elusive plant that is found only in high altitudes under specific weather conditions. At a diminutive six inches, the Yarsagumba is hard to spot on the ground for anyone but local experts.
Even the locals have to endure tough hardships of high altitude, cold, and harsh topography to reap the Yarsagumba in its prime condition. They then sell it to local dealers at up to Rs. 1,200 per piece. The economy of Dolpa leans heavily on Yarsagumba, called simply “the insect” by locals, and “Himalayan Viagra” by its enthusiasts. In July-August, droves of local traders can be found collecting yarsagumba from villagers and taking it over to China or Kathmandu for sale. At the end of the chain, Yarsagumba sells for more than Rs. 5,000 per piece in retail.
Brief Itinerary of Upper Dolpo Trek
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
Day 02: Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhuphal (Dolpo) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek
Day 05: Dunai to Ankhe (2,896m/9,499ft): 5-6 hours
Day 06: Ankhe to Sulighat: 5-6 hours
Day 07: Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake (3,611m/11,849 ft) 4-5 hours
Day 08: Acclimatization and rest at Phoksundo Lake
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola: 4-5 hours
Day 10: Phoksunds Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang: 6-7 hours
Day 11: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4,500m/14,760ft) via Kang-La pass (5,360m/17,581ft): 5-6 hours
Day 12: Acclimatization and rest at Shey Gompa
Day 13: Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun (4,800m/15,744ft) via Saldang La (5,200m/17,056ft): 6-7 hours
Day 14: Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/ 11,874ft): 4-5 hours
Day 15: Saldang to Yangze Gompa (4,960m/16,267ft): 4-5 hours
Day 16: Yangze Gompa to Sibu (4,560m/14,957ft): 6-7 hours
Day 17: Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m/16,072ft): 5-6 hours
Day 18: Jeng-la Phedi to Tokyu Gaon (4209m/13809ft) via Jeng La pass (5,090m/16,695ft): 5-6 hours
Day 19: Tokyu to Dho Tarap(4,040m/13,251ft): 4-5 hours
Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap
Day 21: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m/12,464ft): 6-7 hours
Day 22: Tarap Khola to Khanigaon(3,150m/10,332ft): 4-5 hours
Day 23: Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,321ft): 4-5 hours
Day 24: Tarakot to Dunai (2,140m/7,019ft): 5-6 hours
Day 25: Dunai to Jhuphal: 2-3 hours
Day 26: Fly from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu
Day 27: Rest day in Kathmandu
Day 28: Final departure
Accommodations are included in the trip cost and Peregrine Treks and Expedition has chosen the best deluxe accommodation for 3 nights in Kathmandu in a 3-star hotel, 2 nights in a lodge in Nepalgunj/Jupal, and rest other nights in a comfortable two-men camping tent. To sleep in a tent, 4 season sleeping bag, and a foam mattress will be provided. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel and camping accommodation is on twin sharing basis and will provide you single supplement if there is different sex without extra charge. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying single supplement USD 350.
Breakfast (only) will be available in Kathmandu whereas all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be available during the trek. We can enjoy freshly-cooked, hygienic and nutritious meals on a full-board basis prepared by our trained and experienced cook during the trek. Authentic Nepalese, Tibetan dishes as well as the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) will be available. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners in Kathmandu.
Physical Condition & Experience Requirements
Upper Dolpo Trek is categorized as a difficult trek. In such trek, you are likely to walk for 6-7 hours, cross steep, hilly terrain and occasional high passes of up to 5500 m. You are likely to be in a remote environment with extreme weather on some days. You will also be facing high-altitude air with low levels of oxygen. Therefore, previous trekking experience, physical fitness, and a positive attitude are essential. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance our strength and stability. Past hiking experience is fundamental but no technical skill is required for this trip. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip. It is also advised that you inform Peregrine Treks about your medical condition before booking the trek.
Best Time to Travel
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to October) are the best months for this trip. Since the Dolpo region lies in the rain shadow area formed by Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, you can also take this trip during the Monsoon season (June to August).
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Peregrine Treks and Expedition. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails traveling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
- Fixed DeparturesDaily Departure
- Difficulty LevelTough
- What to Bringhttps://www.peregrinetreks.com/trekking-gear-list/
Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour
Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhuphal (Dolpo) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek
Dunai to Ankhe (2,896m/9,499ft): 5-6 hours
Ankhe to Sulighat: 5-6 hours
Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake (3,611m/11,849 ft) 4-5 hours
Acclimatization and rest at Phoksundo Lake
Trek to Phoksundo Khola: 4-5 hours
Phoksunds Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang: 6-7 hours
Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4,500m/14,760ft) via Kang-La pass (5,360m/17,581ft): 5-6 hours
Acclimatization and rest at Shey Gompa
Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun (4,800m/15,744ft) via Saldang La (5,200m/17,056ft): 6-7 hours
Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/ 11,874ft): 4-5 hours
Saldang to Yangze Gompa (4,960m/16,267ft): 4-5 hours
Yangze Gompa to Sibu (4,560m/14,957ft): 6-7 hours
Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m/16,072ft): 5-6 hours
Jeng-la Phedi to Tokyu Gaon (4209m/13809ft) via Jeng La pass (5,090m/16,695ft): 5-6 hours
Tokyu to Dho Tarap(4,040m/13,251ft): 4-5 hours
Rest Day at Dho Tarap
Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m/12,464ft): 6-7 hours
Tarap Khola to Khanigaon(3,150m/10,332ft): 4-5 hours
Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,321ft): 4-5 hours
Tarakot to Dunai (2,140m/7,019ft): 5-6 hours
Dunai to Jhuphal: 2-3 hours
Fly from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu
Rest day in Kathmandu
- Pick up and drop from International and Domestic Airport during this package with one official representative
- Private tourist vehicles will be available as per itinerary
- Kathmandu Nepalgunj - Juphal and Juphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu flight ticket
- 3 Nights accommodation in Kathmandu at three-star hotel on twin sharing basis
- 1 Night accommodation in Nepalgunj at three-star hotel on twin sharing basis
- All accommodation in best available lodges/tea houses/tent during trekking
- Three times meal (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with tea/hot water/coffee) during trekking
- Welcome or Farewell dinner (one time during Nepal trip)
- An experienced and well trained English Speaking Guide and Porter (1 porter for 2 trekkers)
- Salary, Insurance, whole accommodation of trekking crew member
- Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- All entrance fees during trekking and sightseeing
- Required fixed and dynamic rope during climbing
- Achievement Certificate, T-shirt, First Aid Kit, Trekking Map, and seasonal fruits
- All necessary paperwork, TIMS, Entrance fees, and applicable all permits
- Departure information, visa extension procedure, and international flight reconfirmation
- Company service charge and all applicable government tax
Cost doesn’t include:
- Visa Fee, International Air Fare and all other cost incurred before arrival in Nepal
- Traveller’s Travel Insurance (Must cover Accidental, Medical and Search and Rescue)
- Lunch and Dinner except Welcome or Farewell dinner provided by the company in Kathmandu
- Alcoholic and soft drinks with all personal expenses
- Personal Trekking gear (oxygen cylinders, Masks, Hoses, and Regulator)
- Tipping for guides, porters, and drivers (tipping is not mandatory but highly expected)
- Any other unseen expenses which are not mentioned in cost includes part
- Any other items which are not included in cost include part