Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

Remote Beauty Unveiled: Discovering Upper Dolpo Trek
Duration26 Day
Trip GradeChallenging
Maximum Altitude5350 M
Group Size1-12
Best TimeMarch to November

Upper Dolpo Trekking Highlights

  • Hidden valleys of the gem of the trans-Himalayan region
  • Shey-Phoksundo Lake
  • Shey-Phoksundo National Park
  • The Bon-Po and Buddhist shrines, lifestyle, culture, and tradition
  • the Sacred Crystal Mountain
  • Dho Tarap, one of the highest-altitude human settlement areas in the world
  • Breathtaking view of the numerous snowy peaks of Nepal
  • Camping Trekking in Nepal

Upper Dolpo Trek Overview

Do you want to experience trekking in Nepal differently? Are you ready to trek to unexplored valleys distinct from the Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit trek? If it is so, Upper Dolpo Trek is the right option.

Upper Dolpo Trek (also called Inner Dolpo Trek) takes you to the Karnali Province of Nepal. As the rain shadows of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Tibetan Plateau, it is the hidden gem of Nepal. Although the region lies in the territory of Nepal, its geography and culture resemble with Tibetan Plateau.

Almost abandoned part of Nepal until 1989, this region has become a hotspot of international tourism these days. This hidden gem gained popularity along with the publication of two books and the making of a movie.

The author duo Matthiessen and Schaller published a book titled “The Show Leopard” in 173. Next, David L. Snellgrove released another book “Himalayan Pilgrimage” in 1988. Both books describe the natural and cultural assets of the Dolpo region.

Eric Villi’s 1988 movie “The Himalayas” brought this forbidden kingdom of the Nepalese Himalayas into the limelight. This movie was also nominated for the OSCAR, the greatest film award in the world. The movie has featured the hardships, yet beauties of this remote region.

Gradually, the Nepalese tourism agencies realized the captivating caliber of this hidden valley. Then, collaborating with the Nepal Government, they managed to open it for foreign travelers. Since 1990, this virgin land has been continuously drawing the attention of avid trekkers.

The snow-capped peaks of western Nepal and the Dhaulagiri Massif (8,167 m) make your Upper Dolpo Trek more valuable. Explore the flora and fauna of Shey Phoksundo National Park, Nepal’s largest conservation area, and Shey Phoksundo Lake, Nepal’s deepest lake.

Upper Dolpo Trekking Permit

To learn about the Upper Dolpo Trekking Permit, let’s discuss Free Individual Trekking (FIT) and Restricted Area Trekking (RIT). You can make FIT towards the Nepal trekking region which doesn’t have any restricted areas while RIT is a rule-bound package.

The human encroachment of such culturally and naturally fragile regions may be unproductive to the local nature and culture. To protect cultural variety and biodiversity, the government of Nepal has declared this region as a restricted area. Therefore, you cannot do the Upper Dolpo Trek as a solo trekking in Nepal.

If you want to explore the genuine natural and cultural assets of such a place, you need a special permit. Talking about Upper Dolpo trek permits, you are supposed to have:

  • TIMS Card
  • Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit
  • Shey-Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit
  • Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit

Upper Dolpo Trekking Cost 

Being an RIT, Upper Dolpo Trekking Cost is higher than FIT in Nepal. You need a restricted area trekking permit by paying a special cost. Besides this, you need to pay for other permits for Upper Dolpo Trekking.

It is a camping trek in Nepal requiring a crew consisting of cooks, porters, and a crew leader. You have to pay their daily wages (plus tips only if you want). But you don’t have to spend on accommodation services because you sleep at the tented camp.

To reach to Juphal from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and return the same way, you need air tickets. Flight tickets are more expensive than bus tickets.

Upper Dolpo Trekking Costs can be minimized because you need not bear personal expenses. As the Upper Dolpo Trekking route moves through a complete wilderness, there are no shops, cafés, hotels, etc. to spend extra money.

Upper Dolpo Trekking Itinerary

Upper Dolpo Trekking Itinerary ranges from 8 days to 27 days. Shot Upper Dolpo Trek is suitable for those who have limited time but want to explore the hidden valleys. However, a 27-day itinerary is the ultimate way to explore the diverse culture, landscape, and biodiversity of Inner Dolpo.

Dolpo Region is divided into Lower Dolpo Trekking and Upper Dolpo Trekking. This region is surrounded by Mustang in the earth and Rukum in the west. Similarly, in the south lie Jumla and Mugu while the Tibetan Plateau lies in the northern part.

The upper Dolpo Trekking Itinerary is generally started from Juphal of Dolpo District. However, you can also begin it from Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang Trek.

Upper Dolpo Trekking Map

Upper Dolpo Trekking Map moves westwards from Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang Trek. Moving along the diverse landscapes of the Mountain Desert of Nepal, the Upper Dolpo Trekking Route continues like this:

Kagbeni – Tsaile/Chele – Syangboche – Dhakmar – Lo Manthang – Tsarang – Ghami – Yak Kharka – Ghami La (5,100 m) – Chharka Bhot – Rupka – Tinje Gaun – Shimen Gaun – Nisal Gaun – Saldang – Namrung – Shey Gompa – Nanda La  Phedi (4,600 m) – Phoksundo Khola – Phoksundo Lake – Rechi – Chhekpa – Dunai – Juphal.

The upper Dolpo Trekking Map from Juphal moves further to end up in Juphal via Dunai. The outline map of Upper Dolpo Trekking goes like this:

Juphal – Dunai – Chhekpa – Palam – Shey Phoksundo Lake – Sallaghari – Lar Tsa – Shey Gompa – Namdung Gaun – Saldang – Jeng La Phedi – Dho Tarap via Jeng La Pass (5,090 m) – Serkam – Tarakot – Dunai – Juphal.

Dolpo Trekking Guide

Upper Dolpo Trek is a restricted area of trekking in Nepal, so you cannot do it independently. For an organized trekking, you need to find the Upper Dolpo Trekking Guide. Among hundreds of local tour operators in Nepal, we are among some of the most trusted Nepal trekking guides in the Nepalese Himalayas.

After you book this trip with us, we will provide you with the best guide for Upper Dolpo Trekking. The guide introduces you to the natural and cultural wonders of the region. Our guides are highly professional and always committed to providing the best quality services to our valuable clients.

Upper Dolpo Trek 27 days Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) - Transfer to Hotel

Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, one of our team members will warmly welcome you at the airport. We will arrange for your transfer to your hotel. Our representative will provide you with a briefing about your upcoming journey. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax. In the evening, we have arranged a complimentary local dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the area, accompanied by a cultural program.

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trip Preparation

Kathmandu, known as the cultural heart of Nepal, boasts a rich historical heritage. Your guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, led by a knowledgeable local guide, will begin with a visit to Pashupatinath, the largest Hindu temple in Nepal. After exploring Pashupatinath, you will meander through the bustling streets of Kathmandu to reach Boudhanath, a magnificent domed Buddhist stupa revered by Tibetan Buddhists.

Following lunch, your tour will continue to Patan Durbar Square, renowned for its exquisite wooden and stone craftsmanship, showcasing the historical legacy of the Malla kingdom and Newari culture. The day concludes with a peaceful visit to Swayambhunath, a significant Buddhist landmark in Nepal.

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150m/490ft) - 1 hour flight

Your journey commences with a scenic one-and-a-half-hour flight to Nepalgunj, located in the far-western region of Nepal. Upon arrival, you'll have the opportunity to explore the local bazaar, and historical sites, and experience the local lifestyle. You will spend the night in Nepalgunj and depart early the next morning.

Day 4: Fly to Juphal (2,500m/8,200ft) and Trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,350ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek

A 45-minute flight from Nepalgunj takes you from the plains to the mountains, offering breathtaking views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks. Upon landing in Juphal, a short break precedes the start of your trek to Dunai, where you will spend the night. Your journey begins with a downhill walk through a village nestled beneath the airstrip, leading you through terraced fields to the Bheri River and a narrow gorge en route to Dunai.

Day 5: Trek from Dunai to Chhepka (2,687m/8,815ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Embark on your trek from Dunai to Chhepka, which typically takes around 5 to 6 hours to complete.

Day 6: Trek from Chhepka to Chunuwar (Amchi Hospital) (3,000m/9,850ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek

As you embark on the renowned Lower Dolpo Circuit trail, you'll make your way towards the Amchi Hospital, situated on the opposite bank of the river. You'll traverse the Phoksundo Khola by crossing its bridge twice and continuing your journey along a secluded path, eventually reaching Rechi at an elevation of 3,011 meters (9,880 feet).

Continuing onward from Rechi, your path leads you to Suligad Dovan, where you'll once again cross the bridge spanning the Phoksundo Khola. Your destination is Amchi Hospital, where dedicated doctors continue to practice traditional methods and employ herbal remedies to care for the local residents of Dolpo.

Day 7: Trek from Chunuwar to Phoksundo Lake (3,600m/11,811ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Prepare for an extraordinary adventure today as you make your way to the enchanting Phoksundo Lake, renowned as the world's deepest mystical lake. Your journey takes you through a dense cedar forest, leading you to Polam Village, perched at an elevation of 3,397 meters (11,145 feet). As you gently ascend a ridge, you'll soon be greeted by the breathtaking vista of Phoksundo Lake, shimmering in all its glory. Additionally, you'll be treated to the captivating spectacle of Nepal's highest waterfall, Suligad/Phoksundo Waterfall.

Continuing your trek, you'll arrive at the Tibetan Buddhist settlement of Ringmo, nestled alongside the pristine shores of Phoksundo Lake.

Day 8: Acclimatization Day at Phoksundo Lake

In the next leg of your Upper Dolpo adventure, you're in for a treat with a visit to the mesmerizing Shey Phoksundo Lake, a stunning turquoise gem nestled in the heart of the region. Your exploration continues as you venture to the eastern bank of Phoksundo Lake, where you'll find the Tshowa Monastery, a 900-year-old Bonpo monastery steeped in history and spirituality.

After immersing yourself in the tranquil beauty of the lake and its surroundings, take a stroll through Ringmo village. Here, you'll have the unique opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the Bon religion, a distinct and ancient cultural heritage of the Bon people.

You'll spend the night in the captivating Ringmo Village, surrounded by the rich traditions and serene landscapes of this remarkable region.

Day 9: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Sallaghari (3,630m/11,910ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

After enjoying a delightful day exploring the enchanting Phoksundo Lake, your journey continues as you descend towards Sallaghari this morning. Following the trail along the lake's western bank, you'll venture into the more secluded and remote reaches of the Dolpo region. As you approach the lake's westernmost boundary, your path guides you through a verdant meadow.

After traversing the floodplain of the Phoksundo River, you'll arrive at the Phoksundo Khola camp. Continuing your trek for a few more hours, you'll find yourself in the serene and picturesque Sallaghari, nestled amidst the dense pine forests.

Your overnight stay in Sallaghari promises a peaceful and immersive experience in this tranquil natural setting.

Day 10: Trek from Sallaghari to Nagdalo La HC (4,717m/15,480ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

This morning, your journey takes you northward, leading you towards the Nagdalo High Camp. As you ascend gradually along a secluded trekking trail, you'll be treated to enchanting vistas of snow-capped peaks gracing the horizon. After crossing the river via a sturdy bridge, the trail unfolds into a spacious campsite.

Following a few hours of steady ascent to the crest of the ridge, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Kangla/Nagdalo La Pass. Here, at the Nagdalo La High Camp, you'll spend the night, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the mountains.

Day 11: Trek from Nagdalo High Camp to Shey Gompa (4,500m/14,770ft) via Nagdalo La Pass (5,350m/17,552ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Today marks a truly remarkable day on your Upper Dolpo Trek, as you embark on a journey to conquer one of the high passes of the Dolpo region, the Kangla/Nagdalo La Pass. While this pass poses a challenging ascent, it rewards you with unparalleled vistas of the entire Dhaulagiri mountain range.

Upon successfully crossing this lofty pass, you'll step into the realm of Inner Dolpo and descend toward the welcoming village of Shey Gompa. This village greets you with its distinctive red and white chorten and intricately carved mani stones. Along this trail, you'll be treated to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you'll ever have the privilege of witnessing. Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime!

Upon reaching Shey Gompa, take the time to explore the monastery and its magnificent surroundings. Nestled at the base of Crystal Peak, Shey Gompa, also known as the Crystal Monastery, holds a prominent place in the Dolpo trek itinerary. It is associated with the Chaiba community, devoted followers of the revered Saint Padmasambhava.

Your overnight stay in Shey Gompa promises a deep immersion in the cultural and natural wonders of this captivating region.

Day 12: Trek from Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa (4,360m/14,310ft) via Sela La Pass (5,100m/16,740ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek

After a hearty breakfast in Shey Gompa, you'll embark on a fulfilling trek towards Namgung Gaon, crossing the majestic Shey La Pass. At the summit of this pass, you'll be treated to enchanting vistas of snow-capped mountain peaks that seem almost magical. However, the rewards of this journey extend beyond just the breathtaking scenery. As you continue your trek towards Namgung Gaon, you'll be blessed with some of the most splendid views of the vast Tibetan Plateau.

Turning northward, your path leads you to the highland pastures of Namgung, a quaint settlement characterized by a few stone houses and a renowned Namgung Monastery, steeped in history and spirituality.

Your overnight stay in Namgung Gaon promises a deep immersion in the serene beauty and cultural richness of this unique destination.

Day 13: Trek from Namgung Gompa to Saldang (3,770m/12,370ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

Departing from Namgung, your journey continues with a trek to the picturesque settlement of Saldang. To reach Saldang, you'll follow the path along the banks of the Namgung Khola, gradually ascending through a steep uphill trail. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to observe remnants of the ancient salt trade routes that have shaped this region's history.

Saldang stands as the largest settlement within Inner Dolpo, typically encompassing five distinct villages. Your overnight stay in Saldang promises a unique experience in this culturally rich and historically significant destination.

Day 14: Day Hike from Saldang to Yanjer Gompa (4,590m/15,060ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

Today's destination is Yanjer Gompa, an ancient Bon-Po Monastery nestled in the heart of this region. Your journey continues northward, tracing a gentle path with occasional undulations along the Nagao Khola. En route, you'll pass through several quaint settlements like Tiling and Kigaon, each offering a glimpse into the local way of life.

After a few hours of trekking, you'll arrive at Yanjer Gompa. This monastery holds deep historical and spiritual significance. Take your time to explore both the monastery and the surrounding village, soaking in the rich cultural heritage of this area.

Later in the day, you'll retrace your steps along the rugged path, heading back to Saldang, where you'll spend the night, enjoying the warmth of this hospitable village.

Day 15: Trek from Saldang to Komash Village (4,060m/13,320ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek

Following your exploration of the ancient Bon Po monastery, your journey continues as you make your way toward the Tibetan village of Komash. Your path meanders alongside the Raphya River, taking you past charming small stupas, intricate mani walls, and traditional chortens. As you progress, a steep trail awaits, leading you to your ultimate destination for the day, the serene Komash Village.

You'll spend the night in the peaceful embrace of Komash Village, immersing yourself in the cultural richness of this remarkable community.

Day 16: Trek from Komash Village to Shimen (3,850m/12,630ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Following an early morning breakfast in Komash, you'll set out on your trek towards Shimen. Today's journey unveils a landscape reminiscent of a highland desert, where the terrain holds a unique beauty of its own. Keep your eyes peeled, as you may have the opportunity to spot rare wildlife such as snow leopards or blue sheep amidst this rugged wilderness.

As you traverse this captivating terrain, you'll be treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and the stunning natural surroundings. Your day concludes upon your arrival in Shimen, a small settlement that is home to yet another ancient monastery, Shimen Gompa.

Your overnight stay in Shimen allows you to soak in the serene ambiance of this quaint village and its rich cultural heritage.

Day 17: Trek from Shimen to Tinje (4,110m/13,490ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Leaving Shimen behind, your next destination is Tinje. Along the way, you'll encounter Shimen Gompa and Pu Gompa, each offering a glimpse into the spiritual heritage of the region. Following the trail of the GHT High route, you'll walk alongside the meandering Panjyan Khola until you reach the charming village of Sonmagaon. Continuing your journey, you'll pass through Taragaon before finally arriving in Tinje.

Upon reaching Tinje, take the time to explore this picturesque settlement. Notably, there is a natural airstrip here, which has historical significance as British aircraft once landed and took off from this remote location.

Your overnight stay in Tinje Village promises a peaceful and immersive experience in this beautiful Himalayan setting.

Day 18: Trek from Tinje to Yak Kharka (4,040m/13,260ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

The journey persists as you make your way towards Yak Kharka, tracing the trail that runs alongside the Panjyan River. Continuing forward, you'll pass through the quaint village of Chhamdang, and your path eventually brings you to the confluence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. Here, you'll cross a bridge spanning the Thalum Khola, fed by the waters of Thalum Lek.

Following the route, you'll ascend to an alpine pasture known as Yak Kharka. Here, you'll witness yaks and sheep grazing peacefully across the landscape, adding to the picturesque setting.

Your overnight stay in Yak Kharka offers a tranquil and immersive experience in this highland haven.

Day 19: Trek from Yak Kharka to Tokyu (4,240m/13,910ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

Your trek begins with the crossing of a bridge spanning the Sulun Khola. The trail then meanders alongside the riverside, and as you progress, you'll find yourself crossing several small streams. Your journey leads you to the Chhoila North Pass, which stands at an elevation of 5,050 meters (16,570 feet). Upon reaching the summit of this pass, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Dolpo region and the majestic mountains that envelop it, including the imposing north face of the Dhaulagiri massif.

Continuing along a rugged path, you'll descend into the picturesque Tarap valley, ultimately arriving at Tokyu Gaon. This charming little village is home to the Tokyu Monastery, which belongs to the Chaiba sect and holds a special place in the heart of this region.

Your overnight stay in Tokyu Gaon provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of this quaint Himalayan village.

Day 20: Trek from Tokyu to Dho Tarap (3,944m/12,940ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek

Navigating a diverse range of terrain, your journey unfolds as you make your way to Dho Tarap, a settlement perched at the highest elevation in the world. Today's trek offers a comparatively easier path, involving a downhill walk on level ground, making it a more relaxed experience compared to previous days. Your route continues alongside the river, traversing through grassy landscapes, and you'll notice a subtle shift in the trekking terrain compared to other parts of inner Dolpo.

After a few hours of trekking, you'll arrive at the Magar settlement of Dho Tarap. This bustling village serves as a vital junction connecting various trails to Jomsom, Mustang, and Tibet. As you explore Dho Tarap, you'll encounter Tibetan-style houses characterized by small wooden windows and flat roofs. Colorful prayer flags, charming Gumbas, intricate chortens, and beautifully adorned Mani stone walls adorn the village, adding to its unique character.

While wandering through Dho Tarap, you'll have the opportunity to engage with the locals, gaining insights into their remote culture and way of life. Your overnight stay in Dho Tarap offers a chance to immerse yourself in this culturally vibrant village.

Day 21: Trek from Dho Tarap to Nawarpani (3,475m/11,400ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

After enjoying a splendid day in Dho Tarap, your journey proceeds towards Nawarpani, also known as Pibuk. You'll commence with a downhill descent and eventually reach the convergence point of Tarap Khola and Mirbubane Khola. Continuing your trek, you'll cross a sturdy bridge spanning the Klang Khola, and from there, you'll make your way to Langa Camp, situated at an elevation of 4,010 meters (13,160 feet).

Following the trail along the bank of Tarap Khola, you'll pass by several charming villages including Sisaul, Ghyamghar, and Toltol, until you ultimately arrive at Nawarpani.

Your overnight stay in Nawarpani promises a peaceful and immersive experience amidst the natural beauty and cultural richness of this remarkable region.

Day 22: Trek from Nawarpani to Laisicap (2,775m/9,110ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Today's journey leads you along a path that descends parallel to the Tarap River. Following the riverbed for a stretch, you'll traverse through a narrow valley. As you continue, you'll observe a subtle change in the trekking terrain, entering a forested area and crossing over Laina Odar before reaching Chhedhul Gompa.

Continuing your trek, you'll walk alongside the picturesque Tarap Khola until you arrive at the serene village of Laisicap.

Your overnight stay in Laisicap promises a tranquil and immersive experience in this peaceful Himalayan village.

Day 23: Trek from Laisicap to Dunai (2,850m/9,350ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek

Starting from Laisicap, your journey continues as you follow the banks of the Thuri Bheri Khola. After some time, you'll arrive at a bridge, which you'll cross to enter Tarakot. Continuing your ascent along the river, you'll pass through Lawan and then Byasgadh. As you progress, the trail gradually eases, and you'll cross yet another hanging bridge before making your way up to Dunai.

Your overnight stay in Dunai provides a comfortable and restful experience in this vibrant village.

Day 24: Trek from Dunai to Juphal (2,500m/8,200ft) - 2 to 3 hours trek

After completing a challenging yet immensely rewarding trek today, you'll return to Juphal, where your adventure began. The journey from Dunai to Juphal is relatively short and straightforward. You'll commence your hike along a level trail that runs alongside the Thuli Bheri River. This scenic route takes you through terraced fields and charming small settlements, eventually leading you back to Juphal.

Your overnight stay in Juphal marks the culmination of your remarkable journey through this breathtaking region.

Day 25: Fly from Juphal to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj - 1:30 hours flight

Your journey back to Kathmandu commences with an early morning flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, you'll catch another flight to Kathmandu. Upon your arrival at a hotel in Kathmandu, the choice of how to spend your day is entirely yours. Whether you prefer to unwind and relax or explore the nearby attractions, the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

Your overnight stay in Kathmandu offers a chance to savor the final moments of your adventure in the capital city of Nepal.

Day 26: Free Day in Kathmandu

As domestic flights can sometimes face delays or cancellations due to adverse weather conditions or technical issues, it's advisable to plan for an extra day in Kathmandu to mitigate any potential problems related to flight disruptions. If your flight proceeds without any hitches, you'll have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in exploring the Kathmandu Valley and its enchanting surroundings.

Moreover, after enduring the rigors of long and challenging treks, you might consider indulging in spa treatments to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh your body and mind.

Your overnight stay in Kathmandu provides flexibility and ensures a smooth transition, whether you spend an extra day exploring or pampering yourself with some well-deserved relaxation.

Day 27: Final Departure from Kathmandu

The Upper Dolpo Trek comes to an end with your last flight home. A representative from Nepal Trekking Routes will escort you to Kathmandu International Airport for your departure from Nepal.

Should you wish to prolong your vacation and continue your adventure, we are more than capable of organizing thrilling treks and enriching cultural tours in Nepal, as well as in neighboring countries such as India, Tibet, and Bhutan. Your journey can extend beyond Upper Dolpo, offering you the opportunity to explore even more exciting destinations and experiences.

Trip PlanExpand All

The crewmember of NTR welcomes you at the Kathmandu Airport after the planes lands. Then, he relocates you to the respected hotel. When you become fresh, you can visit Thamel Bazaar on your own.

In the morning, the tour guide of our agency takes you around the Kathmandu Valley. During this guided tour, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Swayambhunath Stupa (the Monkey Temple), Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Bouddhanath Stupa are the must-visit sites. The history, cultural, art and architectural importance and beauties are worth of visiting.

After you return to the hotel, the team leader gives you all the information regarding Upper Dolpo trek itinerary. This provides you opportunity to pack the required stuffs for this epic trek.


After breakfast, you will be fetched to the Kathmandu Airport in a private jeep. Then, you fly to Nepalgunj by enjoying the aerial scenery. You witness the snowy peaks, green forests, lush valleys and plains of the Terai region.

From the Ranjha Airport, the representative of NTR takes you to the hotel. After becoming fresh, you can travel around Nepalgunj City. One of the places to visit is Bageshwori Temple as an important site for the Hindus.


Before flying to Juphal, you take breakfast. During the flight, you enjoy the lovely view of the Himalayas, green hills and high altitude villages. From Juphal, you formally begin Upper Dolpo trek by moving towards Dunai.

Dunai is a Himalayan town giving you the vistas of the majestic peaks of Annapurna (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m) Massifs. It is also the administrative headquarter of Dolpo district.

Walking along the cultivated lands with seasonable crops and vegetables, you move further. By crossing a suspension bridge over the Thuli Bheri River, you enter into Shey Phoksundo National Park.

It is the largest national park of Nepal conserving a large variety of animal, bird and plant species. You need to buy a permit to continue the journey towards Chhekpa. By penetrating through the dense forests of birch, fir, oak, bamboo and rhododendron, you reach the destination.


By following the trail that runs along the Suli Khola banks, you continue today’s trip. The trail is steep up and down running in the middle of the dense forests. On the way, you might see some mules carrying or going to fetch load in this remote region.

Then, you walk past two villages: Reechi and Chumuwar en route. Besides, you can visit an Amchi Hospital that diagnoses the patients by using Tibetan herbal treatment and medicines. If you want, you can talk to the traditional healers to know about the important medicinal herbs as well.


You begin to ascend further after having breakfast. It is an interesting trekking today as you’re moving towards the deepest lake of Nepal, Shey Phoksundo Lake. By following the steep uphill trail, you proceed going ahead.

On the way, you will see the Phoksundo Waterfall (107m), one of the highest waterfalls of Nepal.  Then, you descend towards Ringmo Village, which is one of the ancient villages of Lower Dolpo region.

The majority of the people living here follow the Bonpo religion that is said to be older than Buddhism itself. In the long past, it used to be the centre of this religion founded by Tongba Shenrab who lived between 8,000 and 18,000 years ago. Later on, with the extension of Tibetan Buddhism, this religion lost its priority.


As this is the acclimatization day, you explore the villages and wilderness around Ringmo Village. You can witness the turquoise watered lake Shey Phoksundo as well as the flora and fauna around it.

Nearby the alpine freshwater lake, there is a 900-years-old Tshowa Gompa. It is one of the most noteworthy shrines of Bonpo people. Apart from this, you can visit the villages around the lake premises.

You can get the firsthand knowledge about Bonpo religion and its unique practices. Dolpo region is the only place of Nepal located in the Trans-Himalayan region introducing you with this religion.


Walking along the lush forests of Shey Phoksundo National Park, you continue the trip after breakfast. Today, you enter into Inner Dolpo (Upper Dolpo) region, which is a restricted area trekking in Nepal. Therefore, you need to have a special permit to explore the hidden assets of this belt.

The stunning view of Mt. Kanjirowa (6,612m) and the surrounding hills of the Tibetan Plateau pushes you ahead. The hidden valleys and the rustic lifestyle are the rewarding factors of this trek. A French movie director, Eric Valli in his 1998-movie “Himalayas”, features these secret attractions of Dolpo.


After breakfast, you continue today’s voyage towards a higher altitude place. Following the steep trail along the barren landscapes, you move ahead. As the trail is rugged and steep, be careful to walk slowly by talking enough rest.

Or else, you may suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). This region is covered by heavy snowfall during the winter season. Moreover, being a rain shadow area, it receives no or low rainfall. The soil of this place doesn’t support any plant, crop or vegetation as well.


Today’s journey is quite challenging yet more memorable as you go across a high Himalayan pass to reach Shey Gompa. Among the four high passes of Dolpo region, Kang La Pass is the highest one.

Despite its height, this pass is probably the most walked in Dolpo. It comes across in most of the moderate to challenging treks of Inner Dolpo. The summit serves the striking views of Himalayas and the deep deserted valleys plus the lush vegetation of Phoksundo National Park.

This is another day for adjustment with the high altitude to prepare for the further ascend. To make this day more meaningful and memorable, you have a few options. You can visit the Tsang Gompa founded in the 11th century by the Lama Guru Ten-Sin-Ra-Pa. It is the first Bon Gompa ever built in Inner Dolpo region.

Towards the west of this gompa lies the Crystal Mountain. This strange shrine stands at the confluence of the Kangju Nala and the Yeju Nala (“Nala” means “stream”). You can see the deposits of quartz and fossils on the river beds with your eyes live.

Finally, you can visit Shey Village, one of the largest human settlement areas of this region. You can talk to the people to know more about their socio-cultural aspects of the Bonpo religion.


After having energetic breakfast, you begin to move towards one of the high passes. By following the rugged trail going uphill, you will cross Shey La Pass (5,010m) (also called Glen La). From the top of this pass, you will see the fascinating sights of Tibetan Plateau and Upper Mustang region.

This pass is an adventurous pass while making Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek. Then, you descend towards a beautiful village Namduna Gaun (Namgaun) by walking across some yak pastures. The friendly people living in the congenial environment welcome you to their hamlet.


Today’s trek starts with climbing up along the barren hilly sector and descending along the Nangma Khola banks. After climbing the hard trail for about 3 hours, you reach Saldang Village.

Saldang is a beautiful hamlet consisting five villages within 2 km area. It is the largest village of Upper Dolpo region having nearly 80 houses. Occupied by around 600 people, this is also a prosperous village in terms of agriculture and trade as well. This is the junction of the ancient trading route to Tibet from Dolpo region.


By walking past the terraced fields, chortens, mani walls and a Chaiba monastery, you continue the trip. You have to walk across Namdo Village having around 60 houses and around 400 inhabitants. Moving across the Nam Khong Khola, you reach the bottom of one of the highest passes of Dolpo region. You will set up the tented camp for tonight’s rest.


You are going to climb across another high pass of Dolpo region higher than 5,000m. Ascending further, you hike to Jeng La Pass that shows you the south face of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m). You can also see the mesmerizing view of the bizarre landscapes and high altitude villages of this region.

Descending gently, you follow the trail to Dho Tarap that is quite easy and extensively travelled by the trekkers and locals alike. It takes around three hours to reach this village. This beautiful village is the most striking feature of trekking to Inner Dokpo region.

You can visit a ‘French School’ just outside the village of the village, set up by the French people. Dho Tarap (4,080m) is one of the world’s highest altitude human settlement areas. Based on Nepal Census 2011, there are 205 households and 923 people in this Himalayan village. Similarly, you will be visiting Buddhist Gompas, talking with Sherpas and learning the art of weaving Thanks.


You begin the voyage after having breakfast by following the Tarap Chu Khola banks. You might see some wild animals like blue sheep, marmot, etc. and the Dolpalis travelling with their flock of sheep or dzopas. By walking past a suspension bridge, you reach Serkam for the night station.


By following the steep uphill and downhill trail, you continue going further. Then, you come across the Barbung Chu Valley that has a large plot of cultivated fields. Moving ahead along the rugged trail, you reach Tarakot.

Tarakot used to be the capital of a principality before the unification campaign led by King PN Shah. It is a dzong (fortress) located at the top of a foothill. You can visit a famous local monastery named Sandul Gompa which is located on a riverbank. Instead of Tarakot, you can also set up the tented camp on the riverbed.


by following the narrow trail along the Thuli Bheri River banks, you keep moving ahead towards Dunai. You will go across a few scanty villages like Lawan, Byas Gadi and Lochha Khola Gaun. As the trail goes through the dense pine forests, you can also have some glimpses of wild animals and birds.


Today is the last day of trekking in Dolpo region. After having breakfast, you begin to move along the banks of the Thuli Bheri River. You come across Dhupichaur, Rupgad, Kholagaun and Motipur villages en route. Here at Juphal, you can merry make to mark the grand success of Upper Dolpo trek.


When you have breakfast, you catch a domestic flight to Nepalgunj that takes nearly 40 minutes’ time. You will again enjoy the in-flight view of Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri Massif. Observe the spellbinding beauties of Dolpo region for the last time this season.

From Nepalgunj, you will fly to Kathmandu as per the flight schedule. From the Kathmandu Airport, the member staff of our agency relocates you to the hotel. In the free time, you can go shopping around Thamel Bazaar. In the evening, we invite you for farewell dinner at some cultural restaurant around Thamel.


This is the last day of Upper Dolpo trek itinerary for 22 days. You are returning your home country by spending more than 3 weeks in Nepal. The representative of the company escorts you up to the Tribhuvan International Airport to catch the flight.

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Cost Details
  • 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

You can find many Upper Dolpo trek blogs with various trekking itineraries. The general itinerary of this restricted area trekking ranges from 22 days to 27 days depending upon the route, acclimatization days and your desire to trek.

You can also extend the given time towards other regions or cut short the proposed duration as well. Upper Dolpo to Mustang trek, Dolpo to Rara Lake trek, Lower Dolpo Ciucuit trek, etc. are some of the variants.

Upper Dolpo trek is a moderate type of trekking through the restricted area of the Trans-Himalayan region of Nepal. As a restricted area, you must be at least two in each group. And, there must be a professional trekking guide and a porter.

You have to go across a couple of high passes above 5,000 metres as well. Despite their extreme elevation, you don’t need climbing gears to do with them. Follow the instructions of the trekking guide and take the necessary precautions, you can do this trek easily.

You can do Upper Dolpo trek throughout the year as it doesn’t lie in the Great Himalayan Ranges. However, doing this trek in winter is not as appropriate as in other seasons. This trek can be done even in rainy season as there is very low rainfall due to its location in the rain shadow area.

The best season for trekking to Upper Dolpo region is spring and autumn.  In this time of the year, the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. You witness the stunning views of the Tibetan Plateaus, bizarre landscapes and the snowcapped peaks in this season

The following are Dolpo Trek permits:

Lower Dolpo Trek permit – USD 10 per person per day

Upper Dolpo Trek permit – USD 50 per person per day (minimum 10 days)

Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry permit – NRs 3,000 per person per entry

The best seasons for Dolpo Trek are April and May in spring and October and November in autumn.

No, you can’t. Upper Dolpo is a restricted area trekking (RAT) region of Nepal. Therefore, a free individual trekker (FIT) is not allowed to make this trip.

Competent company, competitive pricing

I’ve been on two treks with Nepal Trekking Routes: Lower/Upper Dolpo and Three High Passes + EBC. From planning to execution, the company exhibited competence and flexibility. both times I...

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Robert B - United States
14 Dec, 2023
Professional leadership, solid services, competitive pricing

Shailesh, the company owner, is very communicative and hospitable. My 3-week solo trek through Lower and Upper Dolpo was the company's first in that region, but it went very smoothly....

read more +
Robert Bonn - United States
17 Nov, 2023
20 years of Adventure
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