Upper Dolpo Trekking

Upper Dolpo - "A high-altitude culturally Tibetan region"

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  • Starting PriceUS$

  • Duration of Trips24 Days

  • Location: Dolpo Region

  • Type of Trip: Tea House Trek

  • Max. Altitude:Kang La pass (5350m)

  • Trip Grade:Challenging/Alpine Tek

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Upper Dolpo Trekking

The Upper Dolpo to Shey Gompa Trek is a real adventure in the Dolpo region of Nepal. This area is noted for its desolate supernatural landscape and ancient Buddhist and Bonpo ethnic groups and shamanistic practices. The Gompa settlement and its people will provide an unforgettable impression that you will remember for a lifetime.

The Dolpo region is an unforgettable land inhabited by descendants of the earliest Tibetans, a hardy, devout people who live through farming and trade. This trek travels to Shey Gompa, which is often called the mystical heart of Upper Dolpo. It’s a supernatural place located at the base of the Crystal Massif. This region was visited by Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard, in 1973 during his study of the rare blue sheep and snow leopard in the Himalaya range. The trek crosses three high passes; Shey La (5000 m), Jeng La (5110 m) and Nagdalo La (5350 m). On the trek itself, there are challenging ascents and you stay at an altitude of 4000 m for an extended period of time. But the remarkable landscapes, the views from the passes and the experience of interatcingt with the exceptional untouched cultures in this area make it all worthwhile.

The adventure starts by flying to Juphal, and then the trekking begins by crossing lush green fields of Ring moat with the stunning blue Phoksundo Lake to the north. After one day acclimatizing to the altitude, the trek continues across the Kang La to Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa. The trekking route descends into the impressive Tarap Gorge, and proceedsto Tarako.Our return route crosses the Shey La to the major Dolpo settlement of Saldang and the Jeng La to reach Dho Tarap.The breath-taking beauty of this region along with the fascinating cultures make this trek highly desirable. There are only a limited number of foreigners allowed in the Dolpo region each year which add to making this trek an extraordinary and exclusive experience.


Day 01Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal/ transfer Hotel / Overnight at Kathmandu

Day 02Free day in Kathmandu for trekking preparation / Overnight at Hotel

Day 03Drive or flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj / Overnight at Nepalgunj Hotel

Day 04Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475 m) and trek to Shyanta (2520 m) or Chhepka (2838 m) 5-6 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 05Trek from Shyanta/Chhepka (2838 m) to Chunuwar near Amchi Hospital (3110 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 06Trek from Chunuwar (3110 m) to Ringmo village near Phoksundo Lake (3641 m) 3 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 07Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake (3641 m) rest day and visit to Bon Gompa. / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 08Trek from Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake (3641 m) to Forest Camp beyond Sallaghari (3730 m) 6 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 09Trek from Forest Camp (3730 m) to Kang La Low Camp (4400 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 10Trek from Kang La Low Camp (4400 m) to Shey Gompa (4310 m) via Nagdalo-La (Kang La) (5350 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 11Shey Gompa (4310 m) rest day / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 12Trek from Shey Gompa (4310 m) to Namgung (4430 m) via Shey-La (5010 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 13Trek from Namgung (4430 m) to Saldang (4060 m) 3-4 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 14Trek from Saldang (4060 m) to Chagaon (3840 m) 4 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 15Trek from Chagaon (3840 m) to Jyanta-La Base Camp (4550 m) 7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 16Trek from Jyanta-La Base Camp (4550 m) to Tokyu (4210 m) via Jyanta-La/Jeng-La (5220 m) 7 hrs

Day 17Trek from Tokyu (4210 m) to Dho Tarap (4080 m) 2-3hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 18Trek from Dho Tarap (4080 m) to Toltol (3523 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 19Trek from Toltol (3523 m) to Laina Odar (3370 m) 6-7 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 20Trek from Laina Odar (3370 m) to Lingdo (2390 m) 6 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 21Trek from Lingdo (2390 m) to Dunai (2140 m) 5 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 22Trek from Dunai (2140 m) to Juphal (2475 m) 3-4 hrs / Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 23Flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj and drive or fly back to Kathmandu / Overnight at Hotel

Day 24 Free day in Kathmandu or departure next destination.

Cost Details

Cost Includes

    • Airport pick up and drop upon arrival and departure
    • In trekking- B/F, Lunch and Dinner -3 meals per day and overnight accommodation at tea-house and tented camp both.
    • Domestic fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jhupal and back to kathmandu
    • Necessary trekking permit, conservation and TIMS fee.
    • Trained trekking guide and porter, necessary insurance, and accommodation meals allowance and salary
    • 3- Nights hotel in Kathmandu and 2-nights in Nepalgunj (BB Basis)
    • Comprehensive first aid box for the trekking.

Cost Excludes

    • 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: is one of the remotest trek in the Himalayas of Nepal, located on the western corner of the country and Upper Dolpo is a camping trek.


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Useful Information

What is the Upper Dolpo Trekking?
- The Upper Dolpo Trekking is an adventurous trekking route that explores the remote and culturally rich Upper Dolpo region of Nepal. It takes you through pristine landscapes, ancient villages, and high mountain passes, offering a unique and off-the-beaten-path trekking experience.

How long does the Upper Dolpo Trekking take?
- The duration of the Upper Dolpo Trekking can vary depending on the specific itinerary and trekking pace. On average, it takes around 24 to 28 days to complete the trek. The trek includes challenging sections, high passes, and visits to remote villages, requiring a good level of physical fitness and endurance.

When is the best time to do the Upper Dolpo Trekking?
- The best time to undertake the Upper Dolpo Trekking is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather conditions, clear skies, and moderate temperatures, making it ideal for trekking. The monsoon season (June to August) should be avoided due to heavy rainfall and potential difficulties with trails and river crossings.

Do I need a special permit for the Upper Dolpo Trekking?
- Yes, a special permit called the Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Permit is required for the Upper Dolpo Trekking. This permit can be obtained through a registered trekking agency in Nepal. Additionally, you will also need the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit since the trek passes through the park.

What are the highlights of the Upper Dolpo Trekking?
- The Upper Dolpo Trekking offers several remarkable highlights, including:

Shey Phoksundo Lake: Explore the enchanting beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake, one of the deepest and most stunning lakes in Nepal. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by dramatic landscapes create a mesmerizing sight.

Remote Villages and Unique Culture: Visit traditional villages like Ringmo, Saldang, and Shey and immerse yourself in the unique culture and traditions of the Dolpo people. Encounter ancient monasteries, interact with locals, and witness their distinct Tibetan Buddhist practices.

Challenging High Passes: Cross challenging high passes like Kang La Pass (5,360m/17,585ft) and Numa La Pass (5,190m/17,023ft), offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

Pristine Landscapes: Trek through diverse landscapes, including deep valleys, barren cliffs, alpine meadows, and ancient forests. The Upper Dolpo region is known for its untouched natural beauty and rich biodiversity.

Wildlife and Nature: The region is home to various wildlife species, including the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, musk deer, and a variety of bird species. The trek provides opportunities to spot and appreciate the unique flora and fauna of the area.

Is it possible to do the Upper Dolpo Trekking independently?
- While it is technically possible to do the Upper Dolpo Trekking independently, it is highly recommended to hire a local guide or join a trekking agency. The Upper Dolpo region is extremely remote and less developed, with limited facilities and challenging logistics. A knowledgeable guide can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the route, arranging permits, ensuring your safety, and enhancing your overall experience.

What are the accommodation options during the Upper Dolpo Trekking?
- Accommodation during the Upper Dolpo Trekking is typically in basic tea houses, guesthouses, or camping in designated camping areas. The tea houses and guesthouses provide simple amenities, while camping allows you to experience the wilderness and remote landscapes.

Tea Houses/Guesthouses: Along the trekking route, there are several tea houses and guesthouses available in villages and settlements. These accommodations offer basic facilities such as shared rooms, common dining areas, and communal bathrooms. The rooms usually have twin beds with mattresses, blankets, and pillows. However, it's advisable to carry your own sleeping bag for added comfort and warmth. The tea houses provide meals consisting of local Nepali and Tibetan dishes, including dal bhat (rice, lentils, and vegetables), momo (dumplings), and tsampa (roasted barley flour).

Camping: In more remote sections of the Upper Dolpo Trek, camping is necessary as there might be limited or no tea houses available. Camping allows you to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness and experience the raw beauty of the region. Your trekking agency or guide will arrange camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, and cooking utensils. You'll set up camp in designated camping areas, often near water sources, and enjoy meals prepared by the trekking team.

It's important to note that the accommodation facilities in the Upper Dolpo region are basic and may lack certain amenities such as hot showers and electricity. It's recommended to carry a headlamp or flashlight and spare batteries for lighting purposes. Also, due to the limited availability of accommodations, it's advisable to book in advance through a reliable trekking agency to ensure availability during the trek.

Remember to pack appropriate gear, clothing, and sleeping essentials based on the time of year you plan to undertake the trek.

Upper Dolpo Trekking