Duration of Trips25 Days
Location: Dolpo Region
Type of Trip: Tea House Trek
Max. Altitude:Kang La Pass (5,360m)
Trip Grade:Challenging/Alpine Tek
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Dolpo Circuit Trekking
Dolpo Circuit Trek combines the chance to travel through a spectacular natural environment with the opportunity to experience traditional Tibetan culture. The Dolpo region is located in the so-called rain shadow region of Nepal, and was only opened for trekking in1991. The highlights of this trek include magnificent snowy peaks, remote and ancient villages, outstanding beautiful lakes and spectacular Buddhist monasteries. In this remote plateau region, one hike through a variety of colorful landscapes, including green meadows and sterile rocky areas, and visits Phoksundo Lake, a lake noted for its beauty emerald and blue colors surrounded by a steep rocky environment.
The Dolpo Circuit Trek begins in Junpal, the continues to Dunai, before eventually reaching Tarakot and Bang la camp, the highest point of the Dolpo circuit. Along the way one passes through numerous small local villages, while travelling around the Arun River. From here, the trek continues to Phoksundo Lake which is the part of the Shey Phoksundo National Park. The Dolpo region is bordered by Churen Himal and Dhaulagiri from the east and south and Jumla district from the west. The traditions and culture of this region are Tibetan in origin. The people are simple and warm hearted. Buddhism Bonpo is practiced in this region, and religious beliefs are a significant part of everyday life. The Bonpo belief system is an old spiritual tradition of Tibet noted for having more animistic and shamanistic attributes. Dolpo is an off-the-beaten-track destination due to its remote location.The trek itself is challenging with a number of long steep ascents and descents. Numa La and Baga La are the main passes crossed on this trek. But despite the challenges of this trek, the experience of being in the Dolpo region including the breathtaking scenery and cultural interactions will make this an adventure you will cherish for a lifetime.
Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu/ Overnight at Kathmandu
Day 02Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150m)/ flight
Day 03Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475m)/ flight and Juphal to Dunai/ 3 hrs trek.
Day 04Dunai to Chhepka (2687m)/ 6 hrs
Day 05Chhepka to Chunuwar (3110m)/ 6 hrs
Day 06Chunuwar to Phoksundo Lake (3600m)/ 5-6 hrs
Day 07Phoksundo – Rest day
Day 08Phoksundo- Sallaghari/ 5-6hrs trek
Day 09Sallaghari to Nangdala HC (4717 m)/ 5-6 hrs trek
Day 10Nangdala HC to Shey Gompa/ ( 4280m) Crossing Nangdala pass (5240m)/ 5-6hrs
Day 11Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa / 6-7 hrs crossing Shey La Pass (5100m)
Day 12Namgong Gompa to Saldang/ 4-5 hrs camping.
Day 13Saldang to Day hike to Yangjer Gumba/ 4599m
Day 14Saldang to Khoma village
Day 15Khoma village to Shimen
Day 16Shimen to Tinje
Day 17Tinje to Yak Kharka
Day 18Yak Kharka (4780m) to Chharka / 5 hrs walk crossing Mola Pass (5030m)
Day 19Chharka to Norbulung/ Nulungsumda
Day 20Nulungsumda/ Norbulung to Ghalden Ghuldum (4247m) Crossing Niwala (5120m) and Jungbenla (5550m) passes.
Day 21Ghalden Ghuldum/ (4247m) to Sangta/ (3777m)
Day 22Santa to Phalyak/ (3175m)
Day 23Phalyak to Jomsom/ (2720m)
Day 24Jomsom to Pokhara/ flight and Pokhara to Kathmandu/ flight.
Day 25Free day in pokhara or drive back to kathmandu
- Airport pick up and drop upon arrival and departure
- 3- Nights hotel in Kathmandu and 2-nights in Nepalgunj (BB Basis)
- Domestic fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jhupal and Jomsom to Pokhara
- In trekking- B/F, Lunch and Dinner -3 meals per day and overnight accommodation at tea-house/Lodge
- Necessary trekking permit, conservation and TIMS fee.
- Trained trekking guide and porter, necessary insurance, and accommodation meals allowance and salary
- Comprehensive first aid box for the trekking.
- Extra day hotel stay in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj
- Foods self lunch & dinner in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj
- Personal expenses-laundry, telephone,Tea/coffee,alcoholic beverages,tips for guide & porter.
- Personal travel insurance and emergency evacuation cost.
- Extra cost for if in case trek effected by natural calamities
- Personal trekking equipments for the trek.
Note: The Upper Dolpo Trek is a remote and challenging trekking route in the Dolpo region of Nepal, specifically focusing on the upper part of the Dolpo area.
What is the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- The Dolpo Circuit Trekking is a popular trekking route in the Dolpo region of Nepal. It is a challenging and remote trek that takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the Upper Dolpo area. The trek offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, ancient villages, and unique Tibetan Buddhist culture. It is known for its pristine natural beauty and untouched wilderness.
How long does the Dolpo Circuit Trekking take?
- The Dolpo Circuit Trekking typically takes around 18 to 22 days to complete, depending on the specific itinerary and the pace of the trekker. It is a strenuous trek that involves long hours of walking each day, and you will be crossing high passes and rugged terrain, so it requires a good level of fitness and endurance.
What is the best time to do the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- The best time to do the Dolpo Circuit Trekking is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather conditions with clear skies and mild temperatures, making it ideal for trekking. The monsoon season (June to August) should be avoided due to heavy rainfall and the possibility of landslides in the region.
Is a permit required for the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- Yes, a special permit is required for trekking in the Dolpo region, including the Dolpo Circuit Trekking. You need to obtain both the Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Permit and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit. These permits can be obtained through a registered trekking agency in Nepal, and you will need to provide necessary documents and pay the applicable fees.
What are the accommodation options during the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- Accommodation during the Dolpo Circuit Trekking is typically in tea houses, guesthouses, or basic lodges available in the villages along the trekking route. However, it's important to note that the facilities are very basic and limited in this remote region. You may need to bring your own sleeping bag, as the lodges may provide only blankets. It's advisable to carry some camping gear if you plan to camp at higher altitudes where accommodations are scarce.
Are there any altitude-related risks on the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- Yes, altitude-related risks are a concern during the Dolpo Circuit Trekking due to the high altitude terrain. The trek reaches altitudes above 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), and proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. It's recommended to ascend gradually, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. It's wise to consult with a qualified trekking guide or doctor before attempting high-altitude treks and to be familiar with the symptoms and preventive measures for altitude sickness.
What are some highlights of the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- The Dolpo Circuit Trekking offers several highlights, including:
Shey Phoksundo Lake: One of the deepest lakes in Nepal with crystal-clear turquoise water, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush forests.
Ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries: Explore monasteries like Shey Gompa, Saldang Gompa, and Namgung Monastery, which are culturally and historically significant.
Unique Tibetan culture: Encounter the traditional lifestyle of the Dolpo people, who have preserved their ancient Tibetan Buddhist traditions and customs.
Rugged and remote landscapes: Trek through diverse landscapes, including deep valleys, barren mountains, alpine meadows, and dramatic gorges.
High passes: Cross challenging high passes like Kang La Pass (5,360m/17,585ft).
Are there any specific fitness requirements for the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- Yes, the Dolpo Circuit Trekking is a physically demanding trek that requires a good level of fitness and endurance. You will be trekking for several hours each day, often on steep and rugged terrain. It is recommended to engage in regular aerobic exercises, such as hiking, jogging, or cycling, to improve cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, strength training exercises targeting the legs, core, and upper body can help prepare your muscles for the trek. Consulting with a doctor or a fitness professional before embarking on the trek is also advisable.
How do I reach the starting point of the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- The starting point of the Dolpo Circuit Trekking is typically Juphal, which is accessible by a domestic flight from Nepalgunj. To reach Nepalgunj, you can take a domestic flight from Kathmandu or other major cities in Nepal. From Nepalgunj, it's a short flight to Juphal. It's important to note that flight schedules in remote areas like Dolpo can be unpredictable due to weather conditions, so it's advisable to have some flexibility in your travel plans.
Can I do the Dolpo Circuit Trekking independently, or do I need a guide?
- special permit is required for trekking in the Dolpo region, it is highly recommended to hire a local guide or join a trekking agency for this trek. The Dolpo region is remote and less developed compared to popular trekking routes like Everest or Annapurna, and having an experienced guide can greatly enhance your trekking experience. A guide can provide valuable insights into the local culture, help with navigation, ensure your safety, and assist with permits and logistics.
What essential items should I pack for the Dolpo Circuit Trekking?
- Here are some essential items to pack for the Dolpo Circuit Trekking:
Trekking gear: Sturdy and comfortable trekking boots, warm socks, trekking pants, thermal layers, fleece jackets, waterproof and windproof outer shell, gloves, and a hat.
Backpack: A durable backpack with a capacity of around 40-60 liters to carry your clothing, personal items, and trekking essentials.
Sleeping bag: A warm sleeping bag suitable for sub-zero temperatures, as the nights can get cold at higher altitudes.
Trekking poles: Sturdy trekking poles to provide stability and reduce stress on your knees during steep descents.
Personal hygiene items: Toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen.
First aid kit: Including essential medications, bandages, blister patches, and any personal prescription medications.
Water purification tablets or a water filter: To ensure a safe and clean water supply during the trek.
Snacks and energy bars: Carry some lightweight snacks and energy bars to fuel yourself during long trekking days.
Cash: Carry enough Nepalese rupees for your expenses during the trek, as ATMs may not be available in remote areas.
It's important to pack light and prioritize essential items while keeping in mind the weight restrictions imposed by domestic flights and the demands of the trek.
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