Lower Dolpo Trek
Nepal , Restricted Region Trek
Tea house /camping/home stay
Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner
- Kathmandu-Juphal via Nepalgunj two-way scenic flight
- Numa La Pass (5,318m) and Baga La Pass (5,190m)
- Dho Tarap (4,090m), the world’s highest altitude human settlement area
- Shey Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake of Nepal
- Shey Phoksundo National Park, Nepal’s largest conservation area located in Trans-Himalayan region
- 900-years-old Tshashung Gompa
- Lifestyle, culture and tradition of Bonpo and Chaiba religious sects
- Hidden valleys Lower Dolpo region
- One of the best remote treks of Nepal located close to the Tibetan Plateau
Lower Dolpo Trek is one of the best remote trek in Nepal. It offers you the Tibetan Buddhist and Bonpo religion found in Dolpo region. The unique socio-cultural practices of these people in the hidden gem of the Nepalese Himalayas are the rewards of this trek.
Lower Dolpo trek takes you towards the deepest lake of Nepal. Shey Phoksundo Lake (145 m) is the wetland of Nepal declared in 2007 AD. This lake has been a boon for the conservation of diverse biodiversity of this region.
You will visit the world’s highest altitude permanent human settlement area called Dho Tarap. Once the Capital of Dolpo, this village is resided by the people of the Bonpo and Chaiba religions.
Among many cultural and religious shrines of Lower Dolpo region, Thasung Gompa. Located nearby Shey Phoksundo Lake, this monastery was built some 900 years ago. The people of this region built it to conserve the biodiversity of the lake surrounding.
This lake is situated in Shey Phoksundo National Park. It is the largest national park of Nepal that has protected a large species of wildlife and vegetation. The park houses 286 plants being poplar, rhododendron and bamboo dominant species. Likewise, you can find 6 reptiles, 29 butterfly species and 200 species of birds.
Lower Dolpo Trek as Restricted Area Trekking (RAT)
Located in the Trans-Himalayan region of Nepal sharing its border with the Tibetan Plateau, Dolpo is a restricted area of Nepal. Being a restricted area trekking region, you need a special Nepal trekking permit.
There must be at least two members in a group that is accompanied by a registered trekking guide. For the special permit issued by the Immigration Department of Nepal, you have to pay some extra amount.
Free Individual Trekking (FIT) is not allowed here. The government of Nepal declared it a restricted area to conserve the sensitive bio and cultural diversity. More importantly, as Dolpo shares its border with Tibetan Autonomous Region, the Government of Nepal imposed the strict rules to keep its diplomacy with China intact.
Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary
Lower Dolpo Trek itinerary ranges from 15 days to 28 days. If you have limited time to spend in Nepal but want to explore the hidden valleys of Dolpo region, it can be customized as well.
You can shorten the given duration I you are ready to walk for a longer time per day. If you don’t need acclimatization day, it further makes the proposed itinerary. Nonetheless, we recommend you to book Lower Dolpo trek itinerary for 18 days.
This itinerary helps you explore Nepal tour the hidden gem of the Nepalese Himalayas. On the other hand, it helps you avoid trek difficulty as well because you get enough time for adjustment. If you want to avoid the high passes, you can only do Phoksundo trek.
Lower Dolpo Trek Difficulty
Lower Dolpo trek difficulty is measured on the bases of trekking duration per day, altitude gained and the condition of trails. In addition, whether you have to cross high pass or not also plays a vital role.
Normally, you have to walk for about 6 hours in the high altitude places. Walking along the rocky trails is not an easy task for the beginners. If you have previous experience of trekking in Nepal, you can cover the specified distance easily.
You spend most of the days of Lower Dolpo Trek itinerary in the places above 2,500 m. Right from Tarakot (2,500 m) to Chhekpa (2,530 m), there is a chance for altitude sickness. To fight back with this health hazard, you must follow some preventive measures.
In some sections, the trails are not maintained well as it is less frequented area due to remoteness. Making the trail by the self and moving ahead may not be easy for everyone. On the other side, you have to pack some readymade food items during the trek because you won’t find teahouses en route.
The Lower Dolpo trek itinerary has included two high passes above 5,000 m in it. This is why, the level of difficulty has increased. Numa La Pass (5,318 m) and Baga La Pass (5,190 m) are the two passes you have to cross to reach Shey Phoksundo Lake from Dho Tarap. Although the trekking to the top of these passes is hard, the rewards are beyond description!
Food and Accommodation
Lower Dolpo trek is a combination of teahouse and camping trekking. The teahouses of this region provide you basic facilities of food and accommodation. The typical Nepali cuisine: Daal Bhaat Tarkari Achar are very common during the trekking in Nepal.
As this cuisine is rich in protein and carbohydrates, you can cover the long distance energetically. We, therefore, recommend you to have this as one meal a day. As the food items are prepared by using the organic crops and vegetables, they are really beneficial for health.
However, you have to go camping trekking after you cross Dho Tarap and before you reach Chhekpa. During this duration, your crew prepares the food items by using the stuffs they have carried. You won’t have more choices here, but you will have more fun at night. The crew will perform cultural performances like singing and dancing to entertain you.
Talking about accommodation, teahouses provide you cosy room with clean bed. The room can be single as well as double as per the situation and availability. As you need a sleeping bag for spending night at the tented camp, it also helps you even in teahouses.
You may not find attached bathrooms in the teahouses. Next, you won’t find the electricity in some parts of Lower Dolpo region. Hence, you won’t be able to charge the gadgets you require during the journey. You may also not get hot water for drinking and bathing. If you need a hot shower or drinking water, you may have to pay an extra charge.
Lower Dolpo Trek Cost
Lower Dolpo trek cost depends upon a few responsible factors. The most common factors are trekking duration, type of services you prefer and mode of transportation you use during the trip.
Likewise, the number of guide and porter also matters more. Last but not the least, the cost of permits you need to visit a particular region is another important determiner to the overall cost of a trekking package.
There is always a chance for customizing this trek. You can cut short this Nepal trekking package by removing two high passes. On the other hand, you can also extend this trek to Upper Dolpo trek, Rara Lake trek or Upper Dolpo Mustang trek, etc.
To know more about the appropriate cost of Lower Dolpo trek, you can contact us via available media. You can either make a phone call, send email, or use WhatsApp or online booking services as well.
Lower Dolpo Trek Map
Lower Dolpo Trek begins from Dunai, the administrative headquarters of Dolpo district. You can’t reach Dunai by road, but you have to fly from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
From Dunai, you move along Tarakot, Laina and Nawarapani to reach Dho Tarap. Spending a day at this world’s highest permanent human settlement area, you continue the journey.
You then cross Numa La Pass (5,318 m) and Baga La Pass (5,190 m) and get to Ringmo Village. You have a spare day there to discover the beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake.
Here, you visit the deepest lake of Nepal located in Shey Phoksundo National Park. It is the largest national park of Nepal conserving a large variety of wildlife and vegetation.
After that, you return to Juphal via Chhekpa Village along the Bheri River banks. From Juphal, again you use air services to reach Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Reception at the Kathmandu Airport and transfer to the hotel around Thamel Bazaar.
The tour guide takes you for Kathmandu Sightseeing tour. You will be visiting the important cultural landmarks listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most commonly, Swaymanbhunath Stupa (the Monkey Temple), Pasupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa and Patan Durbar Square will be explored. Briefing from the team leader about Lower Dolpo Trek itinerary in the evening.
Scenic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Hotel transfer after landing at the Ranjha Airport. In the leisure time, go around the Nepalgunj town. Bageshwori Temple is a must-go cultural site and there is a mosque nearby this as well.
You will visit Banke National Park, which was established in 2010 in an area of 550 sq. km. It is home for many flora and fauna. 113 tree species, 107 species of herbal plants and 85 shrubs and climber species are found here. Similarly, you can see animals like tiger, four-horned antelope and ruddy mangoose.
Other places to visit in Nepalgunj are Muslim Bazaar, Water Park, Christian Mission and the Rapti River. You can see the elephants wallowing in the river in summer season.
Morning flight to Juphal Airport by enjoying the aerial view of the region for 35 minutes. From Juphal, the trek begins along the local villages and the cultivated farmlands on the bank of the Bheri River. Moving ahead, you cross Rupghar Village that has a water mill to reach Dunai.
Following the uphill trail along the Bheri River, you move further. You have to walk across a few gorges, suspension bridges and deserted villages to reach Tarakot. It is a fortress village situated on top of a hillock. From here, you can see the magnificent view of the Bheri River and the nearby valleys.
Moving along the Tarap Chu Khola banks, you will cross some hanging bridges on the same stream again and again, by crossing Sandul Gompa, you walk past some beautiful villages surrounded by farmlands to reach Laina (Laini Odar).
Today’s trekking is a little challenging as the trail is not quite well defined. You continue along the Tarap Chu Khola banks and then a narrow trail that sometimes gets lost. By making your own way, you will reach Nawarpani at the end of the day.
In the beginning, the trail descends towards Kamattarka Village situated at the confluence of the Tarap Chu Khola and the Lang Khola. Then, it takes you further through the rose and juniper bushes of the arid inner Himalayan valleys.
Continuing further, you reach Dho Tarap, one of the highest altitude villages in the world permanently settled. This village is inhabited by the people of Tibetan and the Magar ethnic community. They follow Bonpo and Chaiba religions as per their comfort and choice.
Dho Tarap used to be the Capital of the Dolpo Kingdom before it was conquered by the Gorkhali Troops led by King PN Shah. This used to be the ancient trading route to reach Tibet via Mustang.
Today is the first rest day to explore the classic Dho Tarp village premises and to prepare yourself to ascend higher. You can visit the village and talk with the local people to know more about their lifestyle, culture and tradition.
You get to know about the socio-cultural aspects of the Bonpo and Chaiba people living in the valley. Although they wear same type of clothes, they go to different shrines for prayer. Mostly, the people wear handmade clothes of yaks and sheep wool. The traditional ornaments of the women decorate them more beautiful.
You can visit the Buddhist gompa located in the village while there is a Bonpo gompa a little farther. You have to hike for about half an hour to reach there.
Trekking towards the Upper Tarap Chu Valley, you will enjoy the amazingly lush bushes and high hills. Moving further, you will visit a monastery of Chaiba sect at Tokyu Village. Then, following the steep track up the valley, you reach Numa La Base Camp to end the trip today.
Today is the hardest and longest trekking duration as you are going to go across the highest place of Lower Dolpo trek. By following the steep route, you reach Numa La Pass (5,318m). Although it is hard to reach the top, the view of the bizarre landscapes of Upper Dolpo region and Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m) turns to be really rewarding.
You can also see the Churen Mountain Range and Norbung Kang (6,085m). After enjoying the heavenly panoramas, you descend down to Pelung Tang for the rest.
Today also, you are going to reach the top of another high pass of Lower Dolpo region. You climb up along the rough trails, you reach Baga La Pass (5,190m).
From the top, you can see the Kanjirowa Mountain Range and Norbung Kang (6,085m). Similarly, you will also see the breathtaking view of Shey Phoksundo Lake. Then, you climb down to Dajok Tang at the end of the day.
You begin the trek after having breakfast by following the comfortable trails. The trail runs through the pine forests and alpine vegetation and reach Ringmo Village.
This is a village having the people of Tibetan origin, so, influenced by their culture and tradition. They follow the Bonpo religion and its socio-cultural practices.
This is another rest day to explore the most striking landmark of Dolpo region. Phoksundo Trek lets you witness the turquoise watered lake, which is the deepest lake of Nepal. Situated in Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest lake of Nepal, it is the heart of Dolpo tourism.
On the edge of the lake, there is Tshowa Monastery, the shrine of Bonpo sect. This shrine was built in the 12th century. Similarly, you can visit Ringmo village to know more about the native culture and tradition.
For the first half, you ascend further enjoying the amazing view of Shey Phoksundo Lake. Then, walking across Chunuwar Village, the trail enters into the dense pine and birch forests until it gets to Rechi Village. Finally, you reach Chhepka to wrap up the trekking for the day.
Moving ahead, you walk past two villages: Kageni and Shyanta respectively. From Shyanta, the trail goes past the lush woodlands and the cultivated farmlands. From here, you exit Shey Phoksundo National Park and then cross a suspension bridge to reach Juphal.
If the weather is not favourable, the flight is delayed, postponed or cancelled as well. But, if the weather is fine, you catch a morning flight to Nepalgunj and then Kathmandu.
As soon as you land at the Kathmandu Airport, the representative shifts you to the hotel. In the evening, we invite you to farewell dinner at a cultural restaurant around Thamel.
The member staff of the agency escorts you up to the Kathmandu Airport to catch up with your flight. Have a safe and sound journey!
- All kind of trekking permits
- Three meals (B/L/D) a day on trekking from teahouse/lodge and at our own kitchen
- Accommodations at teahouse/lodge/tents in the mountains
- Group leader, Cook and kitchen crew for camping period
- Necessary porters
- Staff insurance, salary, food, accommodation and their transportation
- Kathmandu-Chautara and Larcha-Kathmandu overland transfers by public bus [Private vehicle available on request and extra]
- First aid kit box
- Emergency co-operation service
- Hotel and meals in Kathmandu
- Bar and beverages bills, bottled water
- Nature of personal expenses
- Personal cloths and equipment such as sleeping bag, jacket, boots etc.
- Insurance for accidental, medical and evacuation
- Tips to the staff
- International Airfare and Taxes
Yes, you can. You can customize Lower Dolpo trek. You can shorten it to Phoksundo trek or Phoksundo Lake trek. To extend, you can add Upper Dolpo trek or Rara Lake trek as well.
Yes, of course! Altitude sickness is a common phenomenon as soon as you reach above 2,500m. Most of the part of Lower Dolpo trek lies above the given elevation, you may suffer from altitude sickness. However, you can avoid this problem by following some simple preventive methods.
Drinking enough water, having enough sleep and hygienic food and walking slowly are some steps to be followed. You should keep some medicines like Diamox Oral in your backpack. Next, you should always talk to the team leader about this problem.
No, you can’t. There is not road access to this part of the country as it is topographically complicated. For that, you have fly from Kathmandu to Juphal via Nepalgunj. However, you can find the off-road tracks newly opened before some years.
Shey Phoksundo Lake with 145 m (476ft) is the deepest lake of Nepal. It has been declared a wetland of Nepal since 2007 to protect its biodiversity.
As you cannot drive to Shey Phoksundo Lake, you have to fly to Juphal from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. From Juphal, you can reach there in 3 days by walking around 6 hours per day. If you are ready to walk even longer, it takes shorter duration to reach this turquoise watered lake.