Upper Dolpo Trek

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Duration 25 Days
  • Holiday Type

  • Best Season

    Sep to November
  • Max-Altitude

  • Difficulty Level

  • Group Size

    2-14 persons
  • Accomodation

    Camping Tent


Upper Dolpo has been mentioned by David Snelgrove in his book titled “Himalayan Pilgrimage,” more recently by Peter Matthiessen in “The Snow Leopard” and in “Stones of Silence” by George Schaller. Upper Dolpo is a high-altitude culturally Tibetan region in the western Himalaya of Nepal. The inhabitants of Dolpo region are mainly Tibetans, therefore, the region is rich in ethnic Tibetan culture and arts. The Upper Dolpo Trek initiates at the north-west region behind the Dhaulagiri massif, towards the Tibetan plateau. The abundance of Himalayan wildlife, including, Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and rare Snow Leopard, makes it an Eco-trek destination as well.
Chosen as the prime location for the 1999 Oscar Nominated film Himalaya, it is one of the remotest and least exposed areas of northern Nepal. It offers rare opportunities to explore many unseen parts of the region. Referred as “The Forbidden Kingdom” in its own term, it happened to be closed for foreigners. It is now only possible to enter Dolpo through an expensive and restricted area permit.
Upper Dolpo Trekking begins from Juphal (2,285m/7496ft). The trail passes though numerous gigantic mountain ranges, over the Numa La pass (5,190m/17,028ft), till you reach Phoksundo lake at Ringmo village inside the Phoksundo National Park. After a day rest, one can continue on the trail crossing different passes to Jumla -where the trek concedes.


Our airport representative will receive you with warm welcome and lead you to the hotel. A briefing by The Nepal Tour will be organized, if possibly with slide show. You can also interact with him. You will be also briefed about your schedules of the following days.

We take a flight on any domestic carrier that takes 55 minutes to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is a town in the western Terai, very close to the Indian border. It is a major trade hub for western regions of Nepal. Overnight stay will be at three star hotels.

The flight takes 35 minutes to Juphal airport of Dolpa. Our trekking starts from Juphal descending through local villages of Juphal. Following the path along the riverside we reach the district headquarters of Dolpa, a small village called Dunai (2150m). Here are the government offices, police check post and some other service centers. All the official procedures are carried out here. We stay overnight in Camp. Here you can also have an evening walk to the Bon Stupa, Buddhist Central Gompa and the first public school “Dunai Boarding School” just across the river Bheri.

We enter the Shey Phoksundo National Park and its headquarters at Suligard while trekking towards Chhepka, which has a few houses and lodges in the surroundings of wood. On the way one can have fun and enjoy bird watch. The trail goes up and down along the forested riverbed and several streams on the way which soothes your heart. The trail continues along the valley to the camping site. We will camp for a night at Chhepka.

We start the trek to Polam through forests of big cedars towards Palam a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village. On the way we can also visit the Bon School “Tapariza” on the way. We will camp for a night at Polam.

We start up the dusty trail to a ridge at 3780 meter viewing the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 m). Our route then continues into Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of Mani walls. We camp at the national park camping grounds to the west of the lake. We will camp for a night at Phoksundo.

We take a day to explore the area around the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. The lakeis famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. Many beautiful glaciers can be viewed above the lake. There are many monasteries (Gompas ) and Bon-po religious sites at the park and we will visit some of the very old and important monasteries. We will explore the natural sites and enjoy our nature tour. Moreover, if we are lucky enough and make a way around the lake we may catch a glimpse of the very precious and endangered species the Snow leopard. We will camp for a night at Phoksundo.

From Phoksundo we will start our journey by the side of lake climbing the stiff trail which you might have remarked in the movie “Caravan”, where a yak was fallen into the lake. We trek along the precipitous and narrow trail to the western side of the lake. We can have clear views of the peaks Shey Shikkhar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters. The trail then descends to lead us to Sallaghari our camp for the night. The place is in the woods, surrounded with snow capped rocks. We will camp for a night at Sallaghari.

From Sallaghari, we trek up to Nangdalo base camp. We will go through the pine forest along with several brooks flowing through where the tunes of different chirps of birds make our walk pleasant.We will camp for a night at Nangdalo.

Our trek begins towards Shey from the base camp crossing the Nangdalo Pass (5350M). Shey Gompa is one of the famous and oldest gompas of Dolpa, which is located nearby the holy mountain, called ‘Crystal Mountain’. The famous Shey Festival occurs here once in every 12 years, “The Dragon Year”. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey, where we camp for the night.

Many people have noticed the foot marks/scratches left by the big cat near their houses. It is believed that it likes to consume salt and various marks can be found in the salty rocks found around the villages. The abundance of Blue sheep around the area also increases the possibility of occurrence of the Snow Leopard in this area.

We leave Tata to lunch at Shyalming. Shyamling is actually known as the oldest Bonpo gompa of the nation. Tantrike lamas like Sherap Tenjin of this gompa is famous for his tantric knowledge. We will have an interaction with the lama. After the lunch we will interact with the local people. One can gather interesting folklores about the snow leopard from the aged people with their mixed experience of joy and sorrows. The people in this village know a lot about snow leopard because these people encounter them every now and then. They have good knowledge about the habits of snow leopard and they also have long experience on how to protect both their domestic animals and the endangered big cat. WWF Nepal has assisted the locals to encourage them in the conservation programs by providing technical knowledge and financial support. They have formed the Snow Leopard conservation groups to guide the locals.

Today walk to Nengla High Camp from vijer. This area is potential for Snow Leopard. The people have encountered with the big cat very often in this region.

From Neng La High Camp we trek to Saldang crossing the Nengla Pass 5368m. WWF Nepal has also supported the locals to form the Snow Leopard conservation groups in Saldang. The group is active in the conservation so the numbers of snow leopard is increasing gradually in this area. Thinly Lundup the leading actor of Caravan movie who has been awarded with Abraham Conservation Award also resides in this village.

In this trail we will have a straight walk to Chhore gaon where we camp. Though there are several villages on the way, the place where we will camp has cluster of three or four houses only

Today we trek from Rakyo (Choregaon) to Jyanta La pass camp.

On our way from Jyantala pass camp to Dho Tarap we will be crossing the pass Jyanta 5221m which is also known as Chyngla pass. Most of the time, we receive mild precipitation on the pass. The trail is calm without any human disturbance. On this trial we will be able to see the prey of Snow Leopard and sometimes Snow Leopard too.

The settlement of humans at the highest elevation is in Dho VDC the village is known as Khangar (4440m). You can gather more knowledge and legends from the villagers about the big cat. Sometimes people encounter the Snow Leopard in the village itself. It is pleasant and wide spread valley where you can enjoy other natural and cultural heritages. After taking a glance at the glorious heritage we start the trek from Dho and enter a highly potential habitat of Snow Leopard, Lang valley and Mirbhu, the pasture lands, where the local people make the shades for their cattle. Here we will have thorough surveillance of the area, the habitat of Snow leopard, ‘Lang’ the valley and “Mirbhu” the pasture. We have ample chances to spot the Snow Leopards around this place. We camp here for the night.

The trek descends to Thajam through rocky hills surrounded by fir and pines. We will be descending towards the hilly region from the mountain desert. So, it will be a joyful walk along the riverside with beautiful sightseeing and bird watch.

We will start the trek ascending a little having the view of Putha himal and Dhaulagiri range then descends through rocky trails to Tarakot. Above the camping area there is a village where the people use to speak a typical language “Kaike”.

From Tarakot the trail gently descends through small clusters of houses on the way. You can view several places for winter settlements. Then we will re enter the district headquarter of Dolpa, Dunai Bazar. Leaving Dunai we will head the only air strip, Juphal to spend the last night in Dolpa. You can enjoy and share experiences with all your companions. The porters will depart for their homes after days of trekking.

you will reach Nepalgunj by an early flight. From Nepalgunj you will fly back to Kathmandu. Finally a traditional Nepali farewell dinner will be organized in Kathmandu.

The trip ends, The Nepal Tour Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu international airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

Trip Includes

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
  • Kathmandu accommodation with breakfast
  • Tented camping accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with while on the trek
  • 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
  • All necessary guides, assistant guide, sherpa, kitchen staff, cook, helper.
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
  • All government and local taxes
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)

Trip Excludes

  • 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)


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