Dolpo preserves the last relic of traditional Tibetan culture, remote villages and lots of wildlife including blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves and the elusive snow leopard.The trails connecting these remote villages and high passes are some of the most culturally interesting and spectacular routes. The inhabitants still trade with Tibet along the old salt routes but its susceptivity heavy snows means it can still the cut off from the rest of Nepal most of the year. The area is located inside the Shey-Phoksundo National Park in mid western Nepal, behind the Dhaulagiri massif, towards the Tibetan plateau. Our trek begins with a spectacular flight along the Himalayan range to Juphal. We head up the Suligad River gorge to Phoksumdo Lake and while trekking to upper Dolpa we pass many stunning peaks. We can enjoy the spiritualty of the remote monastery of Shey Gompa, 'Crystal Mountain' and Seldang village. We will have free days to explore the surrounding Tibetan-style villages. From Saldang we head into even more remote places of Dolpo region. Legend says it is a ''hidden valley" created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled times. The book " The Snow Leopard" and the Oscar nominated movie, "Caravan" has popularize this region with trekkers finding it a fascinating experience. One needs to get a trekking permit from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu.
Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trekking
"Off the beaten trek" experience in the land of the Nomad
We take an one hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Visit this historical place and stay overnight.
The flight to Juphal is short but exciting. After arrival you con set up your baggage, meet other supporting staff of Upper Dolpo trek and take an easy hike for 3 hours to Dunai (2100m).
From here to the entry point of Shey Phoksundo National Park it takes about 5-6 hrs walking.
The terk becomes a little bit harder but you catch a first glimpse of the beautiful panoramic view from here.
The trek from here is a steep uphill climb. You will leave the river and follow the path high above the water. You will ascend to a ridge (about 3900m) from where you can see amazing views of a waterfall, and your first view of Phoksundo Lake. Walk to Phoksundo Lake and overnight stay
Today we rest to admire the beauty of this great lake. We will also visit nearby villages inhabited by Bon and Buddhist Settlers.
From the lakeside you follow the trail that skirts the edge of the lake itself Spend the night at Phoksundo Khola. 5-6 hrs walking.
This morning you continue walking along the level path through a glacial valley and stay overnight at Phoksundo Bhanjyang. 7-8 hrs walking.
Visit the Shey Gompa (monastery): Shey is famous for its ancient Buddhist culture. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teachings of Buddha. The lama of Shey resides at a red hermitage known as Tsakang gompa a meditation centre of famous Tibetan lamas.
7 hrs walking.
You ascend to 4700m before descending steep slopes to the picturesque village of Saidang, situated on a plateau high above the Nam Khong nolo and the biggest village of the inner Dolpo area. 3-4 hrs walking.
6 hrs walking.
Following the line of the river in the valley the trail is fairly easy-going. After about two hours it is necessary to wade another stream before turning into a side valley where the rise becomes very sharp. After only four hours walking you reach your lunch and night stop. This is a pleasant meadow, bestrewn with rocks, yak and other animal droppings. 4-5 hrs walking.
Amazing views of the Dhaulagiri massif.
Two hours walking. An afternoon walk up to the Buddhist Gompa is very worthwhile. The Bon Gompa is about half an hour's walk.
We follow the course of Tarap Khola. One may observe blue sheep, yaks, sheep and goats and also meet . The Dolpo people taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower postures.
6 -7 hours walking down the gorge of the Tarap River.
We leave Khanigoan and reach Tarakot which is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong.
We retrace our trek to Juphal. App. 3 hrs walking.
Early morning flight to Kathmandu via Nepalganj.
Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Trailfinder. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; However, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters etc, can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Tims card and national park entry permit.
Experienced guide and porter one for two guests.
All ground transportation during the trip.
Three meals a day (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) and accommodation in local family house/lodge.
Emergency rescue arrangement.
First aid kit.
Water resistant kit bag.
High quality Italian camping equipment (Ferino, La Sportiva, Salewa).
Down sleeping bag, Down jacket air mat on request.
Drinks, beverage water
Visa fee on arrival