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Upper Dolpo Trek

Overview
Trips Details

activity
Activity : Trekking, tour
trip length
Total Days : 24 Days
trip days
Trekking Days : 20 Days
difficulty
Difficulty : Moderate
start end
Start - End : Kathmandu-Kathmandu
hightest altitude
Highest Altitude : 5,360m/17,581ft
season
Season : March to May, (September to October)

Upper Dolpo Trek crosses three relatively high passes, good paths are followed throughout and there is no trekking on glaciers. Dolpo region is situated between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges which are also known as the legendary hidden land was closed for years to trekkers. Basically, the entire district was closed to trekkers until 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. The warm welcome given by the hardy Dolpo-Pa and the captivating insight into the Tibetan way of life makes this a very special trek. It is a unique trek in Nepal, ideally suitable to both beginners and those who have been everywhere. 

At first, we will begin our Upper Dolpo trek with tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and then we fly to Juphal from Nepalgunj where we begin our trek in the Dolpo region. Our Upper Dolpo trek passes through interesting villages, trekking routes and meeting fascinating people. We will also cross a few high Himalayan passes and enjoy the tranquil beauty of Phoksundo Taal (Lake). Upper Dolpo trek is a culturally mini Tibetan region in West Nepal and during the trek, we will visit many Buddhist monasteries. Of particular interest is Shey Gompa. This is honored as one of most important in Upper Dolpo where twice a year pilgrims make a kora or circuit of Crystal Mountain known as a younger brother of Mt. Kailash in Tibet. From Shey Gompa, we follow the ancient Himalayan Trade route and return back to Juphal where our trek ends. The Upper Dolpo trek will take us into the wild west of Nepal.

March to May and September to October are the best months for Upper Dolpo Trek. 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 which is June to August. 

Upper Dolpo Trek Itinerary Outline

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 03: Flight to Nepalgunj
Day04: Flight to Jumla and Trek to Gothichaur
Day05: Trek to Napakhola
Day06: Trek to Balasa via Mauria Lagna Pass
Day07: Trek to Hurikot
Day08: Trek to Kagmara Phedi
Day09: Trek to Pungmo via Kagmara La
Day10: Trek to Lake Phoksundo and to Pine Trees Base Camp
Day11: Trek to Gand La Base Camp
Day12: Trek to Shey Gompa
Day13: Trek to Lagmo Che Phedi
Day14: Trek to Kyung La Base Camp
Day15: Trek to Tokkyu Village
Day16: Trek to Dho
Day17: Trek to Tharap Khola
Day18: Rest Day in Tharap Khola
Day19: Trek to Tarakot
Day20: Trek to Dunai
Day21: Trek to Juphal
Day22: Flight to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu
Day23: Free Day in Kathmandu
Day24: Departure from Kathmandu, Departure!  

The Trekking Group

For the Upper Dolpo Trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that even if someone in the group gets sick or is unable to carry on, the trip can still go ahead as planned for the rest of the group. We can run the trek for groups of any size, but usually a maximum of twelve people is ideal as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip.   

 

Itinerary Detail

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

You will find our representatives there at the Airport, ready to greet you when you land at the International Airport in Kathmandu. They will receive you with your name and take you to the hotel where you will be briefly explained about the itinerary package. You will spend the rest of the time at the hotel.

 

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

On the second day, you will be taken out for an excursion to some of the chief sites in and around Kathmandu. Visits include the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath, the Monkey Temple and the Narayanhiti Palace Museum in Kathmandu. Later we will head for the ancient cities of Patan and Bhaktapur and the Durbar Squares which have been enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will return to the hotel after valley excursion in the evening.

 

Day 03: Flight to Nepalgunj

On the third day, you will be taking a flight to Nepalgunj from the domestic terminal in Kathmandu. The flight duration is about an hour and it takes you to the western hub of Nepal which lies close to the Indian border of Rupediya. You can utilize your time after you land at the Nepalgunj Airport by visiting and sightseeing around the city of Nepalgunj.

Day 04: Flight to Jumla and Trek to Gothichaur

We will take a short flight to Jumla from where Dolpo Trek commences. The trail moves along Tila Khola before crossing it at the confluence to Chaudabise. Later the route ascends up till it reaches to fertile valley of rice terraces from where it passes through villages and forest of maple and walnut to arrive at a meadow in Gothichaur.

 

Day 05: Trek to Napakhola

The trek for the day begins from Tila Khola which progresses further through fields of corn, buckwheat and barley. We will move along the river passing through Maniwals to a small Buddhist settlement of Napaklola where we will stay overnight in a tented camp.

 

Day 06: Trek to Balasa via Mauria Lagna Pass

Today we will follow the steep trail through forests of oak and rhododendrons to arrive at Mauria Lagna which is popular among trekkers as ‘Honey Pass’. We will lower down from the pass to Chaurikot Village from where we will descend further before ascending to the ridge at 3080m. A bit far from the ridge is located Balasa.

 

Day 07: Trek to Hurikot

After early breakfast, we will climb the hill up through thorn bushes to arrive to Hurikot where we will stay overnight.

Day 08: Trek to Kagmara Phedi

Early in the morning, we will head for the base camp of Kagmara which is located in a rugged area in Kagmara Phedi. We will set our camp in this rocky area and will enjoy the scenic beauties it bestows.

 

Day 09: Trek to Pungmo via Kagmara La

The trek for the 9th day begins by walking alongside Kagmara glacier to reach the Kagmara La Pass from where we will move across the meadow of Pungmo Khola. A bit far from Pungmo Khola is located Pungmo Village where we will stay overnight.

 

Day 10: Trek to Lake Phoksundo and to Pine tree Base Camp

Lowering down the stream will lead us to Suduwa which is a popular entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park. We will next head for Shey Phoksundo Lake. After a brief rest in Shey Phoksundo Lake, we will pass through waterfall to Pine forest which comprises juniper and blue pine trees. We will set the camp among these Pine Trees for the day.

 

Day 11: Trek to Gand La Base Camp

Early in the morning, we will pass through the river and valley to a waterfall. A bit far from Waterfall is positioned Gand La Base Camp.

 

Day 12: Trek to Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa which is known as Crystal Mountain is the Bonpo monastery which resides in the remote part of Dolpo. Shey Gompa is believed to be 800-yr-old and it belongs to Chaiba community. We will stay overnight at Shey Gompa in a camp.

 

Day 13: Trek to Lagmo Che Phedi

We will climb uphill to Jeng La Pass and then descend to Lagmo Che which is located to the north, positioned between Saldang and Dho Tarap. We will spend our night in a camp in a High Camp of Lagmo Che Phedi.

 

Day 14: Trek to Kyung La Base Camp

Early in the morning of 14th day, we will follow the trail all the way to Kyung La Base camp which positions itself closer to Shering Gompa. Special permit is required to visit Kyung La Base camp. We will stay overnight in a tented camp at Kyung La Base Camp.

 

Day 15: Trek to Tokkyu village

The trail for Tokkyu Village ascends to the top of Jengla and then lower down to make it the beautiful Tokkyu Village where we will stay overnight.

 

Day 16: Trek to Dho

We will lower down the hill and pass through mani wall to arrive at Tarap region. Later, we will move across the barley fields to Village of Dho where we will spend our night.

 

Day 17: Trek to Tharap Khola

We will pass through Tarap Valley and lower down to a wide valley which continues on to a gorge. A brief travel across juniper bush and wild rose will ultimately take us to the confluence of Tharap Khola and Lang Khola which is popular among Locals as Kamikharka.

 

Day 18: Rest Day in Tharap Khola

This day is taken as the rest day. We will rest from the arduous trek and prepare ourselves for the upcoming journey. We will explore around Tharap Khola before camping in the shore of Tharap Khola for night.

 

Day 19: Trek to Tarakot

We will pass through Lahini and a valley to Kamigoan which is a popular winter residence of people of Tarap village. Later the trail moves along river before lowering down to the Barbung Khola from where we will head to Tarakot Village.

 

Day 20: Trek to Dunai

We will pursue the trail via Barbung khola which extends downward along the southern edge of the village of Laban to move to Dabung. Dunai is located a brief walking distance far from Dunai.

 

Day 21: Trek to Juphal

Early in the morning, we will move from Dunai and travel all the way to Juphal. We will stay overnight in Juphal.

Day 22: Flight to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu

It takes short flight of about 30 minutes to take us to Nepalgunj from Jhupal. Later we will take another plane to fly back to Kathmandu where we will stay overnight.

 

Day 23: Free day in Kathmandu

This day is taken as free day. Take rest from the long strenuous journey. Later you can go shopping in Thamel where you can buy souvenirs to take back to your near and dear ones. In the evening, you will have your dinner amid the cultural dance.

 

Day 24: Departure from Kathmandu, Farewell!!

It’s the day to say goodbye. Our representatives will assist you in last moment preparation and will drive you back to Airport from where you will return to your beloved ones. We hope to see you again. Farewell!!!

 

Include/Exclude

What Is Included

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flights (Kathmandu- Nepalgunj -Jhupal round trip)
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag  (to be returned after trip completion)
  • Himalayan Glacier’s trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • All government and local taxes 

What Is Not Included

  • Nepalese visa fee 
  • Excess baggage charge(s)
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu
  • International flights
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s) 

 

Equipment List

Equipments & Packing List

This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Recreation inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.

Important documents and items  

  • Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
  • Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
  • Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
  • Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler’s checks, etc.

Head

  • Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
  • Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Prescription sunglasses (if required)

Upper Body

  • Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket *
  • Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable

Hands

  • 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
  • 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
  • 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)

 Lower Body

  • Non-cotton underwear briefs
  • 1 pair of Hiking shorts
  • 1 pair of Hiking trousers
  • 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
  • 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
  • 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric

Feet

  • 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
  • 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
  • 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
  • 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
  • Cotton socks (optional)
  • Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version

Sleeping

  • 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
  • Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)

Rucksack and Travel Bags

  • 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
  • 1 large duffel bag *
  • A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
  • Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
  • 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)

Medical

  • Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
  • Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
  • 1 skin-blister repair kit
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Anti-headache pills
  • Cough and/or cold medicine
  • Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
  • Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
  • Water purification tablets or water filter
  • 1 set of earplugs
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies

Practical Items

  • 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
  • 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
  • 1 compass or GPS(optional)
  • 1 alarm clock/watch
  • 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
  • large Ziplocs
  • 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
  • 1 small folding knife
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks

Toiletries

  • 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
  • Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
  • Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Deodorants
  • Nail clippers
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene products
  • Small mirror

Personal Hygiene

  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash 
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