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Lower Upper Dolpo Trek 21 days

Trip Highlights

Duration: 20 Days

Type of Trek: Camping

Max Altitude: 5010 m.

Minimum Pax: 2 +

Mode of travel: Flight/Land Transportation

Grade: Strenuous

Dolpo which is also called “Ba Yul” or the Hidden valley is a land of mystery, scenery and peace and is surrounded by Dhaulagiri and Tibet from south and north. The Dolpo region is the natural embodiment of high passes, rare flora and fauna and sweeping vistas. The medicinal plant, Yarchagumba (Coerdiopsis sinensis) a type of wild mushroom is found in abundance in this region. Extracts from Yarchagumba is believed to significantly improve health and fitness. 

Dolpo is a rain shadow area which was first opened for trekking in 1991. All of the trekking areas in this region stretch through and around the Arun River whose origin dates back to the prehistoric period. The Arun valley is one of the most beautiful regions to trek in Nepal. 

Dolpo is protected by the Shey-Phoksundo National Park and lies to the north of the Dhaulagiri Range bordering the Tibetan Plateau. Here one can find a well-preserved eco-system of plants and wildlife, including the blue sheep and the elusive snow leopard. The views of Kanjiroba peak, Phoksumdo Lake, and the Dhauligiri massif are some of the most rewarding moments of this trek. A visit to the Phoksumdo Gompa – dedicated to the ancient Bonpo religion, local to Dolpo and Tibet, is a memorable experience.

The Upper Dolpo region is another remote and hidden destination in the far west where Nepal's most tranquil and natural beauty is still unexplored. The home of herbal land, unspoiled trans-Himalayan culture, Buddhist monuments, and unique human civilization at high altitude is worth a visit. Trekking around the Dolpo region is an unforgettable journey in every visitor's life. Observing different rain shadow landscapes with stunning mountain views, wild flowers, Himalayan blue sheep, snow leopards, and huge birds like the Himalayan griffon. The Upper Dolpo is the home of the Bhotiya and Sherpa people.

  • Outline Itinerary
  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Price Info

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.

Day 02: Fly to Jumla (2370m) and trek from Jumla to Gothi chaur (2700m).

Day 03: Trek from Gothi Chaur to Naphukana (3080m).

Day 04: Trek from Naphukana to Chaurikot (3060m). From Naphukana

Day 05: Trek from Chaurikot to Bheri riverside (2610m). Continuing on to the village of Balasa

Day 06: Trek from Bheri riverside to Garpung khola (2900m).

Day 07: Trek from Garpung Khola to Kagmara (3500m).

Day 08: Trek from Kagmara to Kagmara phedi (4000m).

Day 09: Cross Kagmara La (5115m).

Day 10: Trek to Pungmo.

Day 11: Trek from Pungmo to Phoksumdo Lake.

Day 12: Today is a rest day at Phoksumdo Lake

Day 13: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Baga La phedi.

Day 14: Cross Baga La (5090m) and trek to Numa La phedi (4800m).

Day 15: Cross Numa La (5360m) and trek to Do (4100m).

Day 16: Today is a rest day at Do which is the largest settlement in Tarap and has several gompas.

Day 17: Trek from Do to Lahini (3560m).

Day 18: Trek from Lahini to Tarakot (2600m).

Day 19: Trek from Tarakot to Dunai (2100m).

Day 20: Trek from Dunai to Juphal (2500m).

Day 21: Fly from Juphal to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.

Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. You will be escorted to the airport for the flight to Nepalgunj which lies close to the Indian border in the western Terai. You stay overnight at lodge.

Day 02: Fly to Jumla (2370m) and trek from Jumla to Gothi chaur (2700m).

Fly to Jumla (2370m) and trek from Jumla to Gothi chaur (2700m). This morning you fly from Nepalgunj to Jumla. Leaving the airport at Jumla, you cross the Tila Khola and the Chaudabise Khola near their confluence and climb gradually to a fertile valley of rice terraces. The trail continues through several villages before passing through a forest of maple and walnut to a meadow which, in season, is covered in wildflowers. Beyond the meadow, the trail climbs to a small pass before descending again to Gothi Chaur. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 03: Trek from Gothi Chaur to Naphukana (3080m).

Trek from Gothi Chaur to Naphukana (3080m). Today's walk follows the Tila Khola through fields of corn, potato, buckwheat and barley until the valley narrows and you enter a forest of oaks, spruce and maples. You pass through the village of Chotra with its typical Tibetan mani walls and a short distance come to another Tibetan-looking village, Naphukana. Above this village, there is a large gompa. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 04: Trek from Naphukana to Chaurikot (3060m). From Naphukana

Trek from Naphukana to Chaurikot (3060m). From Naphukana the trail becomes steeper and climbs through a forest to a pass named Mauri Lagna [3820m]. From the pass there are views of snowy peaks to the north and east. Descending from the pass, the trail traverses a steep slope before dropping into a forest of pine and oak. You then enter the Bheri Valley and, after following the trail in and out of side valleys, you come to the village of Chaurikot. Your camp will be near the village.

Day 05: Trek from Chaurikot to Bheri riverside (2610m). Continuing on to the village of Balasa

Trek from Chaurikot to Bheri riverside (2610m). Continuing on to the village of Balasa you can see Kagmara peak on the horizon. The trail drops to a stream before climbing through a forest of walnut trees to a ridge. Passing through the apple orchards of Jyakot, you then descend to the village of Rimi before following a rocky trail down to the Bheri River. Your camp will be by the river.

Day 06: Trek from Bheri riverside to Garpung khola (2900m).

Trek from Bheri riverside to Garpung khola (2900m). You stay on the west bank of the Bheri River, passing Hurikot and arrive at the entrance to the Shey Phoksumdo National Park. You then come to the confluence of the Garpung and Jagdula Rivers, which join to form the Bheri River, and follow the Garpung Khola. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 07: Trek from Garpung Khola to Kagmara (3500m).

Trek from Garpung Khola to Kagmara (3500m). You continue to follow the Garpung Khola, ascending slowly towards the Kagmara La. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 08: Trek from Kagmara to Kagmara phedi (4000m).

Trek from Kagmara to Kagmara phedi (4000m). You now cross to the eastern side of the river and where the valley narrows, the river becomes a series of waterfalls. The trail climbs to a moraine below the Kagmara La and you make your camp among the boulders. The views from here of the surrounding peaks are magnificent. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 09: Cross Kagmara La (5115m).

Cross Kagmara La (5115m). You get an early start this morning and ascend alongside the Kagmara Glacier to the Kagmara La. This is a good place to spot the rare blue sheep. After a 900m descent, you reach the pastures of the Pungmo Khola Valley. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 10: Trek to Pungmo.

Trek to Pungmo. The trail now enters birch and juniper forests which soon give way to blue pine. Up the side valleys, there are views of Kanjirolba peak before you reach the fortress-like village of Pungmo, set amidst barley fields. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 11: Trek from Pungmo to Phoksumdo Lake.

Trek from Pungmo to Phoksumdo Lake. You continue downstream to the national park headquarters at Sumduwa before joining the trail up the Phoksumdo Khola to Phoksumdo Lake. You climb through a forest of large cedars to the winter settlement of Palam and continue ascending through the open country to a ridge from which there are good views of the lake in the distance. Close by is a spectacular waterfall, the highest in Nepal. The trail then makes an initial descent before climbing gently to Ringmo village. After crossing a bridge below Ringmo, the trail continues northwards to the shores of Phoksumdo Lake. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 12: Today is a rest day at Phoksumdo Lake

Today is a rest day at Phoksumdo Lake which is known for its unusual greenish-blue coloring. It is overlooked on the western side, by a large snowy peak known as Kanjirolba or Kanchen Ruwa. A trail leads through a stand of juniper trees to an old dilapidated gompa which overlooks the lake. As well as Buddhist paintings and statues, there is also evidence of the ancient Bon-po religion within the temple and chapels. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 13: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Baga La phedi.

Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Baga La phedi. You retrace your route as far as Ringmo and then follow trail eastwards through forests of juniper and blue pine. The trail follows the river up the valley to a waterfall and you will camp here at the base of the Baga La. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 14: Cross Baga La (5090m) and trek to Numa La phedi (4800m).

Cross Baga La (5090m) and trek to Numa La phedi (4800m). From your camp it's a steady 3 hour climb to the top of the Baga La, the second of the high passes. The descent is gradual at first but it soon drops steeply to a stream before ascending again to the foot of the Numa La. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 15: Cross Numa La (5360m) and trek to Do (4100m).

Cross Numa La (5360m) and trek to Do (4100m). You continue climbing through arid country to the last of the high passes, the Numa La. It is marked by mani stones and, if it is a clear day, you can see as far as Dhaulagiri. The trail now descends past a huge mani wall to the Tarap region and you walk through the barley fields of the Tarap Valley to the settlement of Do. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 16: Today is a rest day at Do which is the largest settlement in Tarap and has several gompas.

Today is a rest day at Do which is the largest settlement in Tarap and has several gompas. On the ridge above the village is the Ri Bhunpa Gompa and just to the east, the village of Shipchhok has a Bon-po gompa which is certainly worth exploring. There are also opportunities to get great views of the valley and surrounding snow peaks from a number of nearby ridges. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 17: Trek from Do to Lahini (3560m).

Trek from Do to Lahini (3560m). This morning's walk is almost level and follows the river until it flows into a gorge. You enter the gorge which has large rose shrubs and other wildflowers, and after crossing and re-crossing the river numerous times you finally come to a flat expanse. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 18: Trek from Lahini to Tarakot (2600m).

Trek from Lahini to Tarakot (2600m). The trail today is steep, narrow and dangerous as it clings to the cliffs. The bridges along here can often be washed out. Eventually, the valley widens and the route becomes easier as you approach the village of Khanigaon. You then climb high above the river before descending towards the Barbung Khola and the fortress village of Tarakot. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 19: Trek from Tarakot to Dunai (2100m).

Trek from Tarakot to Dunai (2100m). You follow the Barbung Khola downstream along the south bank to the village of Lawan, before crossing to the north bank and walking for several more hours to Dunai. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 20: Trek from Dunai to Juphal (2500m).

Trek from Dunai to Juphal (2500m). From Dunai, you continue to follow the river downstream through Roop Ghar and Kala Gaura before climbing up through meadows to the airport at Juphal. Your final night's campsite will be near the airfield. You stay overnight in camp.

Day 21: Fly from Juphal to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.

Fly from Juphal to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. You catch an early flight to Nepalgunj and from there, a connecting flight back to Kathmandu.

The Trip includes following services:

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off services by private A/C car or Van
  • Entry Permit for National Park
  • Trekkers' Information Management system (TIMS) card
  • Special trekking permits for Upper Region
  • Trekking guide/s and Sherpa/s
  • Trekking cook and Kitchen helper/s
  • Porter/s (1 porter carries 25 kilograms of luggage)
  • All meals three times a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) including fresh fruits, 3 times tea/coffee every day and drinking water
  • Camping arrangements during the trek
  • Necessary camping equipments such as tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, down jackets, duffel bags and trekking sticks etc.
  • Cooking utensils
  • Cooking fuel
  • Camping charges
  • Flight tickets for Kathmandu - Nepalgunj - Juphal – Juphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu
  • All land transportation where ever necessary
  • Insurance and equipment's for the trekking staffs
  • First aid kit
  • Rescue assistance (Should any emergency arise during your trek, we will provide prompt and professional rescue and medical services. For this, it would be better to have your own travel insurance that can cover helicopter evacuation and medical treatment cost in case required.)
  • One farewell dinner in Kathmandu with live cultural performance at authentic Nepali restaurant on the last evening
  • Souvenir (t-shirt, mug, pen, bag, etc.)
  • All tax, VAT and company service charge

The Trip does not include:

  • Drinks, beverages, hot shower, etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal nature expenses
  • Meals and hotel accommodation in Kathmandu

Note: There are different categories of Hotels in Kathmandu ranging from budget to 5 star hotels. We are happy to arrange your hotel accommodation in Kathmandu as per your interest and budget. Please inform us in advance about the type or category or price range of hotel that you would like to stay in.

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