Trip Details

  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trip Style: Trekking & Sightseeing
  • Transport: Private Vehicle / Bus / Aeroplane
  • Accommodation: Lodge & Tea House

About Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo trek you reach the mystical land where you find the century’s old Bon Po religion and Buddhist tradition which is mingled with the Shamanistic influences is an important part of life. This region is firmly tied to Tibet in terms of culture and economy. Upper Dolpo Trek is the challenging trek which takes you to the remote undeveloped region of Karnali which is located in the Northern-Western part of Nepal. Upper Dolpo trek was opened for the trekking purpose in 1992 for organized group trekking and trekkers requires the special permit from the government of Nepal. Shey Phoksundo National Park, the biggest national park of Nepal, is the central point of this trekking area. There you can explore various types of flora and fauna, wild animals and birds as well as the medicinal herbs including Yarsagmba. Along with the natural scenery, you can enjoy the panorama of the Himalayas like Mt. Sisne, API, Kanjirowa, Saipal, Dhaulagiri range etc.
The challenging Trek to Upper Dolpo begins from the Juphal after the flight from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. In this trek, you experience the pristine culture of the rustic life, wilderness of nature. To complete this trek, trekkers require strong physical fitness as well as they must be mentally prepared. In this trek you traverse through the dense forest subtropical forest in the low land to desert-like land in the upper area, Shey Phoksundo National Park, River valleys, forest of rhododendron, numerous villages, Monasteries etc. in Shey Phoksundo National park you can see different rare wild animals like spotted leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan wolf, the Himalayan black deer etc. during the upper Dolpo trek you visit Charka Vote and Tarap Gaun which are the villages located in the highest altitude all around the world. The best season to go for upper Dolpo Trek is autumn and spring when the weather is clear and you can have a clear view of the mountains as well as the natural scenery.

Upper Dolpo Trek Itinerary

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Day 01 : Arrival at Kathmandu (1310m/4264ft.)

You are welcome in Himalayan kingdom Nepal. After you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the representative of greets of welcome and takes you to the hotel which you have already informed. The hotel staffs will be engaged for your accommodation and check in. In the evening, there will be an arrangement of welcome dinner in the hotel.

Today, after having breakfast, we will provide a guide who will take you to the famous cultural and historical sites of Kathmandu. Among them, the UNESCO enlisted world heritage may be the primary place of visit. Pashupatinath (sacred Hindu temple), Boudhanath (Buddhist Shrine), Swyambhunath (Monkey temple), Durbar Squire, Hanuman Dhoka Durbar, Dharahara ( Bhimsen Tower) etc. After having lunch, you should involve pre- trip discussion with your trekking- guide for well preparation of the trek. Guide of will give brief information about the route and spots of Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek. You will have dinner in the hotel in the evening. You can experience night life of Kathmandu too.

You will be transferred to southwestern city of Nepal by airway in the afternoon enjoying 1.5 hours scenic flight from Kathmandu in domestic flight. Nepalgunj is quite hot tropical city which is situated on the border of India. You can explore the surroundings and enjoy Tanga ride (horse cab). Overnight stay in a hotel/ lodge in Nepalgunj.

Early in the morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to airport and fly to Juphal. You can see the views of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri and land over the Himalayan foothills. Our trekking staffs receive you from the airport who have walked for six/ seven days carrying all the necessary supplies. After a short walk for about 3 hours, we set our camp in Dunai village. This first day trek begins with an hour walk descending through the village. The trail follows through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge. Dunai is a large village which you can say a small township with administrate headquarter of the Dolpo region. There is hospital too. You can spend time exploring the area; walk around the village! Overnight camp in Dunai.

After having breakfast, we take the trail to reach Ankhe. The route diverts from the statue of late King Mahendra to cross the suspension bridge and turning west passing the hospital. The way leads up the side of Thulo Bheri valley. The trail crests a ridge and enters the Phoksundo River valley and finally reaches to another ridge. On walking we see the beautiful view of Kagmara Peak up the valley. We follow the way to a large side canyon and descend gently on the long downhill slope. You see scattered houses and walnut groves to a stream. We walk to Dhera, a winter settlement where the villagers keep herds cattle. The trail leads the upper line climbing a Rahagaon (a Thakuri village) situated at the height of 2,900 meters. There is a Gompa of Mastha,. The trail passes through the lower part of Rahagaon and down to the village water supply at the Phoksundo Khola. There comes another canyon and we follow downhill through a dense forest to a large stream. We finally reach at the entrance to Shey Phoksundo National Park at Ankhe. We spend a night there in a camp.

We follow the trail along the forest with ups and downs. The trek is rather monotonous with ups and downs along the jungle. We come to the end of jungle and walk up to the grassy slope high above the river. The trail descends steep in to the forest until it reaches a cliff. You have to undertake the stone staircase carefully to reach the river. you have to walk on the way filled with rocks and sticks along the riverside. Just imagine how the local people bring their yaks and cows along the trail in which you hardly save your life while walking. The route meets Ryajik village where we set our camp for overnight stays.

This day trail goes along the valley to the confluence of Phoksundo and Pungmo Kholas. We cross the wooden bridge over Phoksundo Khola to the west and walk along the west bank of Pungmo Khola. The route leads us to Phoksundo Lake near Ringmo village passing through a cedar forest and finally to Palam. Palam is a winter settlement of Ringmo villagers where the houses are almost buried in the sandy soil. We head to open country at an altitude of around 3350m. From the ridge, you can see the distance view of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular view of 300 meters high waterfall, one of the highest water fall in Nepal. You enjoy the great views from there and continue our trek descending through birch forest to the uppere reaches of the Phoksundo Khola. The trail reaches to the settlement of Ringmo which is very identical to its mud plastered chörtens and mani walls. We walk to the shore of Phoksundo Lake for overnight camping.

We follow the route to the west of the lake. The rocky path leads and suggests the remoteness of the area we are entering. At the westernmost edge of the lake the trail leads through a grassy meadow that opens up into the plain of the Phoksundo Khola. Then we go through the valley, cross the river and avoiding the occasional boggy marsh underfoot. Our night in the riverbank tented camp.

We walk a level path for first hour through a glacial valley and head to north. We cross a wooden bridge on the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream. We walk along the north-east to rush down the steep valley. We reach to a sheep meadow after a long climb and then to s steep ravine. Another climb to the top shows another valley. We reach to Kang-La, a pass which leads towards Shey Gompa. Overnight camp just before the Kang- La Pass.

We follow the trail with the walk towards the pass. We have to climb up the Kang-La top, you can view amazing scenario of a large valley. We descend upon the floor of the valley and the trail forwards along the bank of river with multiple time crossing over it. Along the way we can see yaks, sheep and chyangras grazing in the number of hundreds. Watching the beautiful picturesque view of the landscape, we reach at Shey Gompa. Overnight camp there.

We begin the trail following descent into grey, stony canyon with pleasant walk. Then we go along zig zag over bare rocks. We reach to Saldang-La at the height of 5,200m. we come to view the pasture grazing upon the meadows after a long and tiring coarse trail. The sight seen is of Namduna Gaon where too a monastery with red-stone structure is. The village is small with less than ten houses and has terraced fields on both side of the tributary which flows down to the Nam Khong valley. The economy is based on agriculture, animal husbandary and trade. To know, there can be grown only one crop a year i.e. barley, due to its cold climate. Somewhere, buckwheat, potato, radish and oil seed are also cultivated. We spend a night ina tented camp in Namduna.

Leaving back Namduna village, our trail leads to climb a a step slope. We walk on a long traverse along some barren mountains. We can see Saldang below on a plateau high above the Nam Khongmala after a hard climb about 3 hours or more. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpa. Saldang region consists five villages cultivated more than 600 people. It is prosperous for agriculture and for trade with Tibet. The historical invasion to Tibet by China in1959 had brought obruption on its trade value but the barter system is restored somehow these days. We spend the night in a tented camp in Saldang.

Our trail for today is to the north to the least explored area by trekkers. The route follows the Nang Chu river most of the way. The path is gradual at the beginning with ups and descends to the slope. The trail passes through a small settlement of Tiling and Lurigaon. We cross the tributary Panzang river and reach to Yangze Gompawhich is very old Bon Po Monastery. You will have time to explore the region before we set inside the camp for sleeping.

We follow the shorter trail as there are two trails to reach Sibu. It can save our timeand energy as well. We return back To Saldang village and follow the river bed, passing through terrace dfields, stupas, chörtens, heaps of mani stones and a Chaiba monastery. We pass through Namdo village. The village is stretched for more than 5 km on the high slope to the left of Nam Khong Khola. Trail continues descend the river for another 2 hours till we reach Sibu, a small settlement. We spend a night in a tented camp.

On this day, our trail continues following Nam Khong Khola. After following the same river for days we part turning east till we arrive at the confluence of two small tributaries. The trail leads to a steep climb to the bottom of Jeng-la. The adventure gives enough satisfaction on this day. We reach at the camp setting area for the overnight stay. The remaining time for exploring the surrounding area of Jeng-la.
After breakfast we climb for about two hours towards the top of the Jeng-La. An astonishing view of the north face of Mt. Dhaulagiri dazzles your eyes in the morning sun. Collecting life remembering scenario in the heart from there, we walk descend on the rough way towards Tarap Valley. We enjoy the beauty of green valley with its vast plains in high mountains. Our trail leads to Tarap Chu. Tarap Chu is naturally beautiful with altogether ten villages with Gompas, chörtens. The land is cultivated and extends about 20 kilometers. We set our tent at Tokyu monastery.
We follow the trail to eastward along the downhill of Tarap Chu in a plain valley. Along the way, you can see green lush on the both side of river different from other plants in inner Dolpo. You can see a marsh as it is the feature in the Desert Mountains similar to Tibet and the Ladakh Himalaya. Another good point of the valley people is that both the Chaiba and Bon Po sects are residing together with harmony. The trail takes to Dho Tarap (4040m.) village. The village people are some Tibetan and rest of them are Magars, hill tribe of Nepal. Altogether forty houses which are for your exploration during the remaining time before we set camp in the village for night.
It is our rest day so you have enough time to explore the local areas at Dho Tarap. You can observe their clothes and culture interestingly. As you come to know, they wear home spun clothes, different amulets and strings of corals and turquoise. Shoes are also of Tibetan style. Your overnight stay in a camp near Buddhist Gompa and Bon Gompa is away more than half an hour’s walk.
After breakfast, we begin our walk to Tarap Khola site. There are multiple trails to reach there. We descend towards a valley from the quite bare country around Tarap. The palt narrows when we reach to a gorge and follow the bushy area of wild rose and juniper. You might see the herds of blue sheep. We reach at the confluence of Lang Khola and Tarap Chu. We set our camp site in Kamakharka (3800m.) on a fine meadow for overnight stay.
On this day, we trek down to the gorge of the Tarap river. the trip is exciting for today! We walk alongside the river rising high above on a trail. You can come across the shepherds from Dolpo taking their herds of sheep to the pasture land. Later, the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge that in some places we can jump from one side to another. The trail is really adventurous as sometimes there does not seem any sign of path and we have to walk on stone slabs set on log as bridge. In some places the bridges are either damaged or washed away so you are forced to cross the river on foot. We reach Khanigaon situated beside the Tarap Khola and set our camp there for overnight stay.
On this day we follow the trail through Lalberi village. We pass through a forest and descend into a gorge and follow the river. Our trek is adventurous to reach Tarakot. We reach at a terraced field of the village. The village is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong (=fort). Tarakot was the capital and had a fort before Gorkha dynasty. Sandul Gompa lies 8 km away in the east. We set the camp by the river below Tarakot or we climb a steep hill to the small village on the other side of valley. The area is with chörtens and Gompa on the edge of grassy plain where we set our camp for tonight.
The trail of the trek follows along the river side of Bheri River. The path is not very easy as we reach to gorge in pine forest. We walk the way built over 7 meters above the river which may freeze your blood with fear. We reach Dunai (2140m.) after completing our trekking circuit. There you stop for enjoying and celebrating your successful trekking with branded beer. Night stay in Dunai!
This day trail is short retracing back to Jhuphal. We walk along the Bheri River with enjoying and recollectiong the memories of trek from there while climbing up. We stop at Jhuphal to the small airstrip. It is our last camping of the journey. Overnight stay in a camp with the excitement to get back to Kathmandu the next day.
You are set to fly to Neplagunj early morning. It’s a short scenic flight for 35 minutes to return back to Nepalgunj. You can view the mountain peaks while you are on air including Dhaulagiri and Annapurna to the north. If your connection flight is set for afternoon you will have time to make you fresh in a luxurious hotel in Nepalgunaj. You will be in Kathmandu in the evening. Representatives of the will receive you in TIA and you will be transferred to hotel where you either have leisure time or you may catch the last moments exploring the missed sights of Kathmandu valley or purchasing gifts to your nearest ones. In the evening, we have a celebration dinner together.
On the last day, we bid goodbye to the guest as visit in Nepal comes to the end for this time. If you have time enough, you can have sightseeing and purchasing the token of love from Nepal. Before 3 hours of scheduled flight, a representative of will take you to the TIA. On your way home, you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventurous visit with recollection of experiences.

What's Included


Note: CosServices included in our Camping Trek packages :

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Three night’s Hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Licensed and trained trekking guides
  • Porters for carrying goods and supplies
  • All accommodation during the trek
  • All meals and hot beverages
  • Transportation to and from trailhead
  • All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
  • National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
  • Equipment such as sleeping bag, down jacket, rain gear, tents,
  • mattresses, ice axe etc…
  • Cooking equipment
  • Camp-site charges
  • Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
  • Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your
  • Insurance plan)
  • A trained guide for one day of sight-seeing in the Kathmandu Valley
  • OR a free one day rafting trip on the Trisuli River (for those who trek
  • more than two weeks)Services included in our Lodge Trek packages
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Three Night Hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Licensed and trained trekking guides
  • Porters for carrying goods and supplies
  • All accommodation during the trek
  • All meals and hot beverages
  • Transportation to and from the trailhead
  • All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
  • National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
  • Equipment such as sleeping bag, down jacket, rain gear, tents,
  • mattresses, ice axe etc…
  • Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
  • Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your
  • Insurance plan)
  • A trained guide for one day of sight-seeing in the Kathmandu Valley
  • OR a free
  • one day rafting trip on the Trisuli River (for those who trek more than
  • two weeks)

Not Included

  • Airfares,
  • Travel/trekking insurance,
  • Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than
  • 5 kg in domestic flights.
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure tax
  • Rescue charge
  • Drinks (Cold & Alcoholic)
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Permit & Liaison officer fee (where applicable).
  • Tips to trekking crews