Trip Overview

Upper Dolpa offers a real adventure trekking on remote and rugged natural unspoiled corner simply beyond the Himalayan valleys across western Nepal. This upper Dolpo region preserves one of the last remnants of traditional Tibetan culture where the pre-Buddhist Bon-Po religion is still in practice. High mountains including the Dhaulagiri massif to the southeast surround this spiritual sanctuary that remain cut off by high passes closed by snow half the year.

Dolpo remains a truly isolated corner of Nepal. Time has stood still here for centuries as the inhabitants of Tibetan stock continue to live, cultivate and trade the way they have done since time immemorial.

The finally preserved Eco–system encompasses a wild and wonderful variety of flora and fauna, including the blue sheep and elusive snow leopard. This upper Dolpo trek is one of the great trekking experiences in Nepal. It has given birth of Peter Matthiessen ‘s masterpiece and best selling book “ Snow Leopards” and Eric Valli’s Oscar nominated movie CARAVAN (also known HIMALAYA) was featured in this isolated Himalayan sanctuary of Dolpa.

After exploring Kathmandu wonder’s historical sights and obtaining special permit for the upper Dopla trekking we take our flight to Juphal via Nepalganj. Following up Matthiessen’s footsteps, we trek north on to Shey Phoksundo National Park before joining ancient Nepal Tibet trade route and steep ascent to cross the Nangdola pass (5110m), enjoy the views of whole of Dolpa valley to Dhaulagiri and the snow capped peaks in boarder with Tibet. The scenery begins to change with the hills becoming shades of red, brown and gray. Eventually you can hear prayer flag fluttering at the top of the pass, and the view opens up dramatically looking east towards the snow peaks of the Kanjiroba and magestice Dhaulagiri range. We soon walk through the pleasant green pastures to the pristine Phoksundo Lake full of crystal deep blue fresh water contrasting with the weathered red and brown hills.

On our trek to upper Dolpa we pass many mystical stunning peaks and witness the spiritual charms of remote monastery of Shey Gompa, which was established in the eleventh century and little has changed here since then. We cross over other two high passes: the Sela (5094m) and the Jyanta pass (5221m) before trekking descend to the Dho Tarap valley in our way to Juphal airstrip to end our historical trip of lifetime to upper Dolpa, the land of mystery, scenery and peace.


Program Itineary


Tour days

Day 01: Arrive to Kathmandu (1300m)

Our company representative will pick up you from International airport at kathmandu and you will be transferred to hotel at Kathmandu which is just 20 25 minutes driving distance.

Day 02: City tour

Our city guide will take you to historical places around Kathmandu valley which is also listed on world heritage sites by UNESCO. In the evening you will be given general information about trekking regarding Do and Dons during trekking and daily routine / schedule will be given to you by our tour guide every day evening.

Trek days

Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj

From Kathmandu we fly an hour to the Nepalgunj, the western region of Nepal. It’s a land with both plain and hills nearby India border where we can observe Hindu and Muslim cultures and get ready for next day’s flight.

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (2320m) and trek to Dunai (2855m)

In the morning after breakfast, we take 45 minutes morning flight to Juphal, which offers you to observe the high mountains such as Annapurna and Dhaulagiri summit. After landing from the flight, our first day’s adventure begins through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow ravine after 3-4 hours walking. Then first day’s camp Dunai can be reached.

Day 05: Trek to Shyanta (2525m):

The trail to Shyanta goes beside the suli khola and passing through the Suli ghat village we arrive at the Shuli bridge and the crossing the bridge we continue walk forward to the Shyanta from the left of Shuli khola up to kageni village. From here we again cross the Suli river and after totally walking of 5 hours shyanta can be reached.

Day 06: Trek to Rechi (2940m)

We again follow the same river, walk from the right side of the river and crossing the village Chhekpa (2838 m) then again the crossing the three bridges at same river Rechi 2940 meter can be reached. It takes around 5 hours on average walking, where we stay one night.

Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo ( Ringmogaon) (3733m)

After breakfast, we just cross the bridge and move ahead following the river again. The trail is no more up and down we continue walk forward to Sanduwa where two rivers Pagma Khola and Phoksundo Khola meets together. From there we cross the river and goes besides the Phoksundo khola to it’s origin Phoksundo Lake, which is the major attraction of the trek.

Day 08: Exploration and rest day at Phoksundo Lake (3733m)

This is one of the main lakes of Nepal, where we can see the reflection of the Landscape on its clear blue sky water surface. This day we will visit around the lake and explore around as well observe the beauty of She-Phoksundo national Park. And we also visit to the monastery near to Phoksundo Lake.

Day 09: Trek to Chabluk Phu (3625m)

This day we will head forward to the next camp following the trail, which goes from west bank the Lake Phoksundo. Initially it goes flat forward from the lake bank and the it gradually ascend up for half houra the descend down close to the bank of the lake again and continue heads forward through the Phoksungo khola. Walking through slightly up and down we get to the camp and we spend our night at Chablu Phu khola camp, which is the local grazing area.

Day 10: Trek to Mandala (4625m)

Our trek starts with a level walk to the northwest through scrub and briar changing to bright Autumn colors. Where we feel we are entering the real Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Ngongda La or Kang. The valley is magical as we head north and pass a small campsite marked by a beautiful mani stone. Soon after the valley fills with open forest of birches and rose-buds, and then narrows. We turn right up the first small intersecting valley (it’s easy to miss the trail, so stay with the group) which follows a rocky river to our campsite. Finally, a few tough hours later, we reach our ‘high’ camp, which Mattheissen named Snowfields Camp.

Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa (4160m):

From Chabluk Phu camp we follow the trail which gradually ascend up to the hills to Nandalo (5110 m) then it goes down to the river and then it goes besides this river and crossing it twice we get to Shey Gompa. An old Bhuddist monastery where we can observe the Bhuddist old wall painting and the tradition pooja pray. It takes around 5 hours and as here is the pass on the way the journey is little bit difficult for this day.

Day 12: Trek to Namgung (4380m)

The trail parallel with the river leads us from its left bank around two hours then is gradually goes upward to the high pass named Saldang (5010m) it is an incredible view point, from where we are treated to magnificent panoramic views of the peaks surrounding Dolpo, with Mustang to the east, Tibet to the north, and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. From this pass the trail again goes downwards to our camp Namgung (4380 m).

Day 13: Trek to Chagaon (3890m)

We walk through the trail and it goes through the bank of river Namga, after two hours walk we go forward leaving the Nagma river then we walk towards south east. Passing the villages Porna, Shugugaun finally we get to the camp Chagaon. And we set our camp at there.

Day 14: Trek to Khomagaon (4100m)

From Khomagaon we follow the trail to from the Nagon River, and head straight up the dusty ridge on a steep, rocky switch-backing trail for an hour. Dropping down to a dry, black riverbed, we climb again to a grassy plateau where we’ll stop for a much -needed lunch break, after lunch we again continue to our camp beside the river and finally we get to camp at Khoma Gaon 4100 meter.

Day 15: Trek to Shimen Gaon (3850m)

Shimen gaon is a settlement having Tibetan culture which can be reached after 5 hours walking and the trail goes vai Shimen Pass 4260 m, it initially ascend up to the pass and then it goes gradual down to till we get to shimen gaon. Where we can also visit to Shimen Gompa and also get informed about the local lifestyle and typical culture.

Day 16: Trek to Tinjegaon (4150m)

The trail all the way goes besides the river Paniyan Khola and crossing a small stream which comes from the high hill we again go forward to the same walking level to the camping place Tinje Gaon. The Passing through the village Sonma gaon and Palwa gaon our destination Tinje gaon camp can be reached after 5 hours walking.

Day 17: Trek to Rapka (4535m)

Our walk ascend up as the elevation rises up and the trail goes gradual up to the Rapka which is situated at the elevation of 4535 m. this day we can not find the houses on the way and even in our we set our camp here near the Rapka river at the place which is surrounded by the beautiful landscape.

Day 18: Trek to Chharka (4110m)

This day we have to walk long trail which ascend up to Mola Bhanjyang pass 5027 m. From the pass, an easy climb, look to the right for a breath-taking view of Dhaulagiri, which we’ll have views of for a few days. Observing an unique landscape and the vista around. After approximately 7 hours continue walking our destination camp Chharka can be reached, where we can visit to monastery.

Day 19: Trek to Norbulung (4750m)

Following the several passes that will finnally leads us to Jomsom. We have to cross the small bridge over the Chharka Khola to the other section of Chharka and then continuing for about fifteen minutes and crossing the Chharka Khola again on a new, metal bridge. We follow the right side of the river for another hour or so, mostly level, and then start to climb gradually only to descend back to the river at Naliyang Sumdo, the intersection of the Chharka Khola and the Thansan Khola. We cross the river on another new bridge and then climb very steeply to the top of the ridge, from where we follow this high trail which ascends gradually up the high plateau to a more defined trail.

Day 20: Trek to Molum Sumdo (4860m)

This day we have a shorter camp as we have the double pass in front of us the next day. We have to go following the Thansan Khola, which widens considerably after the valley on the right emerging from the cluster of 5000 meter peaks, and then narrows after another hour or so. Molum Sumdo is only an extra hundred meters above Norbulung, so we’ll have a good chance to acclimatize before attempting the pass.

Day 21: Trek to Sangda Phedi (5100m)

We follow the riverbed for about an hour and then climb to a ridge just before the Thansan Khola intersects the Malun Khola and branches off to our left. We drop down to the Thansan Khola and cross it on a bridge and then start our pass to the Niwar Pass (5130 meters). We’re trekking through a remote region of stark, Himalayan beauty, with varying hues of ochre, sable and tan, classic mountain scenery. We descend along a steep, gravel trail, quite difficult, and follow the Bheri Khola to the intersection with the Kyalunpa Khola, Sangda Phedi (Sangda Gunsa), Finally we set up camp here.

Day 22: Trek to Sangda (3710m)

This day we have to cross the River Bheri on a small bridge and then hike along the right-hand bank for a bit. Heading towards Sangtha to the east, we ford one more small stream, the Dhundok Khola, feeding from the Sadachhe Himal to our right. Dhampus Peak (6012m) is the southwestern most peak in this massif, and moving east from there is the Sechi Lek (5981m), Tashikang (6386m) and Tasartse (6343m) and finnaly we reach to Sangda.

Day 23: Trek to Phalyak (3175m)

We start trail which ascend and spend most of the morning making a high traverse, crossing many ridges until we finally reach the ‘pass’ at about 4500 meters. From the crest, we have a magnificent vista, looking out to snow-capped peaks and down to Mustang’s patch-work of trails and villages far below. Kagbeni, Jharkot, Muktinath, Thorung Peak, the Thorung La, Niligiri, Dhaulagiri and the Kali Gandaki are all visible, observing all this scenery we get to Phalyak and set our this day’s camp.

Day 24: Trek to Jomsom( 2724m)

We start our journey climbing to a ridge 400 meters above Phalyak, and then head directly south down a steep, sandy trail towards Jomsom, the district headquarters of Mustang, back to ‘civilization’ (road, many trekkers, shopping) on the Annapurna Circuit. We reach the long, cobbled path that connects upper and lower Jomsom. It takes around 5-6 hours to get to jomsom and we celebrate the great end day of our trekking.

Day 25: Fly back to Pokhara (800m)

This day we can fly to Pokhara from here in the morning crossing over the one of the good view point and the major tourist destination Poonhill (3210 m). During 25 minutes flight Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himalayan range can be seen.

Return to Kathmandu

Day 26: Return to Kathmandu (1300 m)

To return to Kathmandu by tourist bus, which departs 7 o’clock in the morning. And it takes around 6-7 hours to get to Kathmandu. We have two alternatives. Either we can take 30 minutes flight

Tour days

Day 27: Reserve day

This is the day for looking around city and also for buying something as per your interest. We will have farewell dinner all together in Kathmandu on this evening.

Day 28: Departure

This day we will come to hotel and take you to airport on your given time for the final departure to home with wishing you a nice journey.

More Information
Major Highlights

Trek features

  • Total duration: 28 days
  • Max elevation: 5,490m/18,007ft

Trek grading:

  • Moderate to strenuous
  • Trek style: Fully supported trek
  • Best season: April-June, Sept-Oct
  • Trek starts/ends: Juphal/Jomsom
  • Accommodation: 7 nights in hotel on bed and breakfast and 20 nights in tented camp with breakfast, lunch and dinner

Trip highlights

  • Glimpses of Nepalese & Tibetan culture
  • Most challenging and rewarding trek into the wild western Nepal
  • Spectaculars view of Kanjiroba peak with Sisne Himalayan range
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