Upper Dolpo Trek

Group Size: 10-9 People Max Altitude: 5318 m
Destination: Nepal Difficulty: Strenuous
Cost: $ Duration: 22 Days/21 Nights
Arrival at: kathmandu airport Departure from: kathmandu airport
Location: N/A Trip Style: Extreme Adventures

Trip Introduction

The best known of the many isolated high Himalayan valleys across Northern Nepal, Dolpo preserves one of the last remnants of traditional Tibetan culture. Legend says it's a one of the "hidden valleys" created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled times. Surrounded by Nepal Mountains including the Dhaulagiri to the south-east and cut off by high passes closed by snow half the year, Dolpo's easiest access is from Tibet, where its people emigrated from perhaps 1,000 years ago. Upper Dolpo shelters about 5000 people, whose lives revolve around Buddhism, barley, and yaks; their villages (over 4260 meters) are among the highest settlements on earth. A large portion of Dolpo has been set aside as Shey - Phoksumdo National Park, at 3555 square km Nepal's largest. Meant to preserve a complete example of the trans-Himalayan ecosystem, the park shelters blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves, and the exclusive snow leopard.

Dolpo is the best known of Nepal's forbidden northern border regions. The 1989 announcement that the government was opening the region to group treks caused a flurry of excitement. To reach here, you must trek through a registered company, which will obtain permits. Groups generally fly from Nepalgunj to the Juphal airstrip, then walk few hours to the district headquarters of Dunai (2100 meters). The trail follows theSuli Gad River, passing through thick conifer forests and a few Thakuri Hindu villages. The National Park check-post is one day from Dunai; two steep days later, you reach Phoksumdo Lake. Flying in and out, the trek takes less than two weeks. Phoksumdo Lake (3627 meters) is the highlight of the whole trek, a basin of unearthly turquoise blue ringed by rocky crags and forest, framed by snow-capped peaks.

Legend says a demons fled here during Gum Rinpoche's conversion of Tibet's resident spirits, offering local people a gigantic turquoise to keep her passage a secret. Guru Rinpoche transformed the turquoise into a lump of dung, and the disgruntled people revealed the demons hiding place. In revenge she culled down a flood upon their village, submerging it beneath the lake. The legend is a concise mythic summary of the ancient struggle between Bnpo and Buddhists; the latter won, but the former remain, even here at Phoksumdo. At the lake's eastern end is the village of Ringmo, also called Tso. The town's entrance chorten has nine complex Buddhist and Bnpo mandalas painted on its wooden ceiling.

The Bnpo monastery, Tso Gompa, is two km from the village, set above the lake on forested cliffs with views across to Kanjiroba. Below the village, a gigantic waterfall cascades over a series of rock steps, draining into the Suli Gad fur below. A visit to the Bnpo Gompa at Pungmo, two hours up aside valley to the west, is a worthwhile expedition.

The best part of Dolpo lies beyond the lake, along a difficult trail that crosses a high pass into the real Dolpo. Shey Gompa, named after nearby Crystal Mountain, is several days' walk north of the lake. Another trail to reach Shey Gompa leads trough the Tarap valley over several high passes and magnificent villages like Tarap-Dho, Saldang and Pijorgaon.


Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 02 : Kathmandu City Tour
Day 03 : Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Day 04 : Juphal to Dunai (2150m)
Day 05 : Dunai to Tarakot (2550m)
Day 06 : Tarakot to Khanigaon (2550m)
Day 07 : Khanigaon to Chukore (about 3550m)
Day 08 : Chukore to Kamokharka (4000m)
Day 09 : Kamokharka to Dho (4130m)
Day 10 : Dho to Numa La Camp (4350m)
Day 11 : Numa La Camp to Bang La Camp (4500m)
Day 12 : Bang La Camp to Sanu Bheri Valley
Day 13 : Sanu Bheri valley to Phoksundo Lake (3730m)
Day 14 : Phoksundo Lake to Pungmo Valley (3304m)
Day 15 : Pungmo Valley to Lasa Meadow (about 4300m)
Day 16 : Lasa Meadow to Garpung khola Valey (4000m)
Day 17 : Garpung Khola Valley to Hurikot (2600m)
Day 18 : Hurikot to Forest Camp (3250m)
Day 19 : Forest Camp to Churta (3010m)
Day 20 : Churta to Jumla (2370m)
Day 21 : Jumla to Kathmandu
Day 22 : Transfer to Airport

(Note: B = Breakfast, L= Lunch, D = Dinner)

Cost Information:
(The trip price will vary depending on the group size, duration and services required. Please contact us )

Date & Cost (Scheduled Trips)

Start Date End Date Cost Status Booking
2019-04-08 Gurantee/Booking Open Book Now
2019-04-19 Gurantee/Booking Open Book Now

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