Upper Dolpo Trekking takes us to the frontier of Tibet beyond Nepal Himalayas. The settlements in Upper Dolpo region are one of the highest settlements on the earth. Mostly, the cultural and economic sustainability is very closely connected to Tibet. The scattered fortresses-like villages and holy monasteries in arid landscapes of Upper Dolpo are spectacular. It is one of the remote area and wilderness trekking trail in Nepal which is located in the far western region. This region is still to be explored.
Upper Dolpo region still lacks developmental works by the central government. Thus, it is not flamed by the so – called globalization and modernization yet. This trekking from north-west region behind the Dhaulagiri massif to the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayan wildlife, including, Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and rare Snow Leopard are native in this region for the trail is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park. We can experience rich dialect culture and civilization mostly influenced by Tibet. Upper Dolpo region trekking is known as forbidden kingdom trekking therefore trekkers require a special and restricted area permit to enter this region. There are abundance and less exposed mysteries to dig out during the trip.
Upper Dolpo region has been mentioned in a book entitled “Himalayan Pilgrimage,” by David Snelgrove.
Upper Dolpo trekking commences from Juphal . Then the trail passes via numerous colossal mountain ranges, over the Numa La pass (5,190m), till you reach Phoksundo lake at Ringmo village which is located in the Phoksundo National Park. We have a day rest here. Then, we cross through different passes to get Jumla where we end our trip.
We Team Himalaya organize Upper Dolpo Trekking according to the interest, time frame and budgeting and your recommendation about taking a rest day during the trip. We are always flexible and offer this trek with experienced and equipped team.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu received by Team Himalaya staff.
On arrival meet our TH staff for courtesy transfer to respective hotels in the heart of Kathmandu at Thamel area, an interesting place for shopping and having meals in one of the many world class restaurants, pubs and bakery. Our guide will inform on details regarding Dolpo & Lake Phokshumdo trek.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour at places of interest.
Morning after breakfast at given time our city and cultural guide will guide you in and around Kathmandu at places of interest and importance, as Kathmandu Valley is full of World Heritage Sites the holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath (Little Tibet), Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) & monasteries, ancient Kings Palaces and courtyard in Kathmandu; after an interesting sightseeing back to the hotel and transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for 55 minutes scenic flight to Nepal’s South West region at Nepalgunj close to the border of India, where the temperature are warm of sub-tropical climate on reaching at Nepalgunj transfer to respective hotels for overnight stop.
Day 03: Fly to Jhuphal 2,320 m then trek or drive to Dunai 2,850m.
Morning a short drive from the hotel to Nepalgunj airport for the connecting short scenic flight to Jhuphal which takes about 40 mins, on the flight super panorama of Dhaulagiri mountain range, on reaching Jhuphal, our field and trekking crews will meet and then with a short drive on the jeep track road to Dunai for overnight stop, Dunai a moderate size and a headquarter town with Government administrative of Dolpo region.
Day 04: Trek to Ankhe 2,896m – 06 hrs.
After the flight and a short drive at Dunai, from here morning starts with the first day walk by crossing a suspension bridge and then leading towards North West with a climb to the banks of Thulo Bheri Valley, after a while it leads to a ridge at Phoksumdo river valley at 2,499 meters, with magnificent views of Kagmara Peak, then walking on the path with a long downhill through several scattered houses and walnut groves near to a stream, then reaching at Dhera a small winter settlements of cattle herders, from here climbing to Rahagaon village inhabited mostly by Thakuri, a Hindu tribe of people of the Western Himalaya mid hills, after Rahagaon walking downhill towards a dense forests, reaching at Ankhe for overnight camp, this small place is the main entrance to Shey Phoksumdo National Park, afternoon at leisure for short walk around this nice area.
Day 05: Trek to Sumdu / Sulighat village 3,500m -06 hrs.
Morning from Ankhe starts with short ups and downhill walks into
a forest and then to river side, then climbing to a ridge leaving behind the forested area high above the river, after the ridge top descending back to forest area to another riverbeds. From here walk leads to an upstream then crossing a small bridge near Ryajik village, after this village walking further towards our overnight camp at Sumdu near Sulighat village with time for short visit around this nice small village.
Day 06: Trek to Phokshumdo Lake 3,500 m – 05 hours.
Today’s walk leads to one of the highlight of this trip to a beautiful emerald Phokshumdo lake, starting the morning walk into the valley of Phokshumdo and Pungmo Kholas (streams) confluence, after crossing the western side of Phokshumdo Khola, and then following the Pungmo Khola west bank, after a nice and pleasant rest stops, walk leads on the downhill path through birch and pine forests towards upper side of Phokshumdo Khola, and then finally reaching at Ringmo village, this is one of the interesting and attractive village with mud plastered chortens and Mani (prayer) walls, from this nice village a short walk towards the enchanting, turquoise and emerald colored Phokshumdo Lake, overnight camp near the bank of this beautiful lake.
Day 07: Rest day at Phokshumdo Lake for local excursion.
An important and necessary rest day at Ringmo and Phokshumdo Lake for acclimatization before heading higher area, this is an ideal spot for free day around this place one take an optional walk or visit the Ringmo village and its old interesting Buddhist Monastery along with stunning views of surrounding landscapes and snow capped mountains.
Day 08: Cross Baga La 5,070m and to Phedi 4,470m – 07 hrs.
After an enjoyable and interesting time at Ringmo village and Phokshumdo lake, today’s walk leads to other side of Dolpo area towards east by an alternative way crossing few passes, starting the morning walk on a pleasant and gradual trail and then leading to an uphill climb to cross over Baga-la at 5,070 meters, with steep climb for about 03 hours to reach the top of the pass, the top offers overwhelming panorama of Phoksumdo lake and Kagmara peaks, after a great scenery walk leads to a long descend to our overnight camp to phedi, meaning base or a bottom of the hills.
Day 09: Trek and cross Numa-la 5,190 m and to Phedi – 08 hrs.
From this camp, morning walk leads to another pass at Numa-la at 5,190 meters, the highest spot of this awesome trip, walk leads to a climb on the nice grassy slopes for about three hours then reaching the top of Numa-la with impressive views of snow capped mountains from Dhaulagiri mountain range to Kagmara peak and looking down at beautiful valleys and surrounding dramatic landscapes, after an enjoyable moment descend to the base of this high pass, then with few hours of good walk on the gradual path to our overnight camp on the summer pasture fields and meadows.
Day 10: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090 m – 06 hrs.
After being few days in total isolation away from the village, today’s walk leads to an interesting village at Tokyu Gaon, one of the largest village of this region, starting the morning with a steep climb for near two hours at the top of Jeng – la with panoramic views of snow capped mountains looking at the North Face of Mt. Dhaulagiri massif range of peaks, after enjoying the awesome scenery, walk leads to a long descend towards Tarap valley, which is one of the longest beautiful green valley extending near about 20 k.m. distances along the Tarap Chu River, with more than 10 villages with well tended farm fields with monasteries and chortens, then walking on a pleasant trail after completing the downhill portion to reach our overnight stop at Tokyugaon a wonderful village with an old interesting monastery, afternoon with ample time to visit the village and the monastery or just relax and interact with the locals.
Day 11: Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040 m – 05 hrs.
From this nice village, morning walk follows on the downhill path towards Tarap Chu into a wide valley, around this picturesque valley with temporary settlements of local cattle herders, the people here belongs to both Bon Po and Chaiba sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Mahyana) living together in friendly harmony.
Then with a good nice walk on this beautiful valley reaching at Dho Tarap for overnight camp, afternoon with time for local visit around this interesting village which is inhabited by Tibetans origin people and with mostly Magar hill tribe.
Day 12: Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamekharka) 3,800m – 07 hrs.
On the long day walk but with moderate and gradual trail with few short climb and down hills, morning starts with a descent into a wide valley which further narrows into a gorge. Following the path with sparse vegetation of juniper and wild rose bushes which is typical in this dry barren area of inner Himalaya climate and arctic temperate zone, around this place chances of spotting some wild life including herds of blue sheep’s, after a great enjoyable walk reaching at the junction of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, flowing from Tarap River beyond east, source of the river from the glacier of North West Dhaulagiri Himalayan range of mountains.
After a nice and pleasant walk reaching to a beautiful grassy field a meadow or a summer pasture which is called Kamekharka, the word Khaka meaning shelter or shades of the Sheppard’s.
Day 13: Trek to Kharigaon 3,150m – 05 hours.
After a nice morning in this wonderful surrounding, walk leads towards Tarap River and into a gorge, rising above from the path built on steep slopes. This narrow gorge offers some challenge and with an adventure as the path in some places with damaged broken bridge by river floods, and sometimes wading across the chilly river on foot, after some adventure and excitement this fine day walk reaches at Tarap- khola near Kharigaon for overnight camping.
Day 14: Trek to Tarakot 2,850 m – 05 hrs.
This exotic journey carry’s on reaching at lower Dolpo area through Lalberi village and then back into tree lines on the trail following the river again downstream to Tarakot village, this picturesque village with a nice terraced cultivated fields and an old fortress around this village- town’. (over hundred years ago, before the Gorkha dynasty, this beautiful was the capital and had Dzong meaning Fort).
Tarakot village houses the famous Sandul Gompa, located at the confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chum after an interesting detour and with a visit of Tarakot village, walking down from the village to our overnight camp near by the river just below the village close to a monastery at the edge of a grassy plateau, with an interesting solitary tree.
Day 15: Trek to Dunai 2,850 m and drive to Jhupal 2, 320 m – 01 hr.
This remarkable and finest journey slowly comes to an end at Jhupal, the gateway to Dolpo and many other destination on this far west region, starting this final days walk to Dunai following several scattered farm villages and cattle herders shades and huts, then leading to a gradual uphill to a valley and then with a descend to the other side on the barren treeless landscapes at Thulo Bheri valley at Dunai area, from here walking past a hospital to cross the new suspension bridge then finally reaching at Dunai town, a large town area with an administrative headquarter of Dolpo zone, to make this walk shorter and to reach Jhupal on time to check with our flight taking a jeep ride for an hour drive on the dirt rough road to Jhuphal for the last and final overnight stop of this impressive journey at Jhupal with time for short walk around this village.
Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Early morning, depending upon the flight time get in a small plane Dronier or Twin Otter or similar type for a short scenic flight of 40 minutes to Nepalgunj with awesome panorama of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri range of mountains, on reaching at Nepalgunj depending upon the connecting flight to Kathmandu, with few hours of rest and refreshment at Nepalgunj, then connect the flight to Kathmandu which takes almost 50 minutes with sweeping panorama of mountain range from the plane, then finally concluding this fantastic journey in Kathmandu, on arrival transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure.
Day 17: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour at places of interest.
We have reserved this day to relax and enjoy your last day in Kathmandu with another sightseeing tour in and around Kathmandu at places of interest and importance, or book Everest / Mountain Flight with us.
Day 18: International departure homeward bound.
Last day in Nepal with wonderful memorable time in Himalaya Dolpo & Lake Phukshumdo Trek with Team Himalaya and transfer to airport for the flight back home or to respective destination.