Upper Dolpo: A Remote Himalayan Odyssey

Upper Dolpo, situated in the western region of Nepal, is a remote and pristine area known for its rugged landscapes, ancient Tibetan culture, and untouched natural beauty. Tucked away in the Himalayas, the Upper Dolpo trek offers a truly off-the-beaten-path experience for adventurous trekkers seeking to explore a hidden gem of Nepal.

The trek to Upper Dolpo starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, followed by another scenic flight to Juphal, a small airstrip nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. From Juphal, trekkers begin their journey through remote trails that wind through deep gorges, barren cliffs, and high mountain passes.

One of the major highlights of the Upper Dolpo trek is the opportunity to witness the unique Tibetan culture that thrives in the region. The Dolpo people, known as Dolpa-pa, have a rich cultural heritage deeply influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. As trekkers traverse through ancient villages such as Ringmo, Saldang, and Shey Gompa, they can witness the traditional mud-brick houses, monasteries adorned with prayer flags, and locals dressed in traditional attire, providing an authentic glimpse into the Dolpo way of life.

The rugged landscapes of Upper Dolpo offer trekkers a glimpse of raw and untouched natural beauty. The region is home to Shey Phoksundo National Park, Nepal’s largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including rare species such as the elusive snow leopard, blue sheep, and Himalayan musk deer. The centerpiece of the park is Phoksundo Lake, a shimmering turquoise lake that captivates trekkers with its tranquil beauty.

The Upper Dolpo trek also presents trekkers with the opportunity to cross high mountain passes, such as the Numa La Pass (5,190 meters) and the Baga La Pass (5,070 meters). These challenging yet rewarding crossings offer breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba. The pristine alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and dramatic landscapes make for a photographer’s paradise.

Another unique aspect of the Upper Dolpo trek is the chance to visit the ancient Shey Gompa, a significant spiritual site in the region. The monastery, believed to be over 800 years old, houses ancient Buddhist scriptures, intricate murals, and sacred artifacts. It holds great religious importance for both the local Dolpo people and Tibetan pilgrims who visit the monastery each year.

The Upper Dolpo trek is considered a challenging trek that requires physical fitness, trekking experience, and proper acclimatization. The region’s remote and rugged nature means facilities along the trail are limited, and trekkers need to be self-sufficient and well-prepared with necessary supplies. Hiring an experienced guide is highly recommended to navigate the trail and ensure safety.

In conclusion, the Upper Dolpo trek offers intrepid trekkers a chance to embark on a remote Himalayan odyssey, immersing themselves in the ancient Tibetan culture, exploring untouched landscapes, and experiencing the spiritual beauty of the region. This off-the-beaten-path adventure is a true gem of Nepal, offering a unique and rewarding trekking experience that will leave trekkers with unforgettable memories of the rugged and enchanting Upper Dolpo region.

Trekking in Dolpo region

Group size of the Trek
Minimum 2 person
Maximum 10 person

Grade : Hard/ strenuous

Elevation: Max. 5115 Meters. (Kangmara La)

Accommodation :  Tented Camp

Food: Continental 

Equipment List

The requirement of equipment is diffrent for each trek. these are common requirment of personnel things for most of our treks. Please feel free to ask for advice we will provide you the best suggestion.

Clothing and Equipment Check List

  1. Pair of T-shirts and half pants
  2. Fleece jacket and warm Trousers
  3. Raincoats & water proof pants
  4. Down jacket
  5. Thermal underwear
  6. Windproof jacket
  7. Fleece/wool warm hat
  8. Baseball hat or sun hat
  9. Snow & sun  glasses
  10. Fleece gloves
  11. Socks – 3/4 pairs
  12. Socks- woolen
  13. Trekking shoes
  14. Light sport shoes
  15. Small rucksack for day pack
  16. Water-bottle (metal )
  17. Kit Bag medium size
  18. Trekking poles (optional)
  19. Sleeping bag down ( -5-10 degree)
  20. Flash light & batteries

Personal things

  1. Small kit bag (valuable things can put inside , pocket knife )
  2. Sun Cream & lip care cream
  3. Moist towels for personal hygiene

Upper Dolpo Itinerary

Itinerary A.

Upper Dolpo trek (fly to and from Nepalganj)

Day 1: Arrive in Katmandu airport (1350m.) pick up then transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Sight seeing in Katmandu valley & trek preparation

Trek start

Day 3: Fly to Nepalgung (1 hour flight.) then flight to Dunai & trek to Tarakot (2,550m.)

Day 4: Trek to Tarakot (2,550m.)

Day 5: Tarakot - Khanigoan (2,500m.)

Day 6: Khanigoan - Chukore (3,550m.)

Day 7: Chukore - Kamok Kharka (4,000m.)

Day 8: Kamok Kharka - Dho (4,130m.)

Day 9: Rest day for acclimatization, Visit monasteries

Day 10: Dho - Numa La Camp (Shering Gompa) (4,350m.)

Day 11: Numa La Camp - Baga La Camp (4,500m.)

Day 12: Baga La Camp - Sanu Bheri (3,800m.)

Day 13: Sanu Bheri - Phokshundo Lake (3,627m.)

Day 14: Phokshundo Lake- Lasa Meadow (4,300m.)

Day 15: Lasa Meadow - Kagmara Phedi (4,000m.)

Day 16: Climb 1106m. to the summit of Kagmara Pass (5,106m.), and then descend the same route along Kagmara Glacier to Kagmara Phedi camp. (13km/5hrs)

Day 17: Kagmara Phedi camp – Mauriya Phedi (3,100m.t)

Day 18: Mauriya Phedi - Chotra (3,009m.)

Day 19: Chotra - Jumla (2300m.)

Day 20: Jumla – Nepaljung by flight then transfer to the hotel.

Day 21: Nepalgunj – Kathmandu by flight.

Trek end

Day 22: Rest day & farewell diner in the evening.

Day 23: Final Depature or extra activies.

Itinerary B:

Upper Dolpo Trek (Jomsom- Juphal)

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu airport(1350m.) pick up then transfer to the hotel.

Day2: Drive to Pokhara (850m).

Day3: Pokhara - Jomsom (2713m) by flight. Then trek to Daker Dzong. 2950m.,5 hours

Day 4: Daker Dzong - Yak Kharka (3540m).

Day 5: Yak Kharka - Sangdang Phedi (4215m).

Day 6: Sangdang Phedi - Milung Kharka (4735m).

Day7: Milung Kharka - Chharka (4540m).

Day 8: Chharka - Ramana kharka (4627m.) via Chharka La (4920 m.)

Day 9: Ramanana Kharka - Do Tarap (4950m).

Day 10: Chharka - Ramanan Kharka (4627m).

Day 11: Do Tarap - Tokkyu Village.

Day 12: Tokkyu - Chutung Dang (3967m).

Day 13: Chutung Dang - Cibu Kharka (3915m).

Day 14: Cibu Kharka - Saldang (4100m).

Day 15: Saldang - Yang Tsher Village (4300m).

Day 16: Yang Tsher Village - Karang (4100m).

Day 17: Karang – Ramanan (4600m).

Day 18: Ramanan - Samling Gompa (3800m).

Day 19: Samling Gompa – Shey Gompa (4500m)

Day 20: Rest at Shey Gompa /Visit Chkarang Gompa.

Day 21: Shey Gompa – Yak Kharka (4500m).

Day 22: Yak Kharka - Ringmu (3600m)

Day 23: Ringmu - Rachi.

Day 24: Rachi - Roha Village App.

Day 25: Roha Village - Juphal Airport.

Day 26: Juphal Airport- Fly to Nepalgunj.

Day 27: Nepalgunj - Flight to Kathmandu

Day 28: Rest day, evening farewell dinner at Nepali restaurant with culture programme.

Day 29: Final Departure or extra activies.

Itinerary C.

Upper Dolpo trek (Jumla - Jomsom)

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu airport (1350m.)pick up then transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Sight seeing tour in Kathmandu valley & trek preparation

Day 3: Kathmandu – Nepaljung by flight 1.00 Hour then transfer to the hotel.

Day 4: Nepaljung – Jumla (2370m.) by flight 30 minutes

Trek start

Day 5: Jumla - Ghuthichaur (2700m.)

Day 6: Ghuthichaur – Naphukona (3080m)

Day 7: Naphukanda - Mauri Langa Pass (3840m.) and trek down to Chaurikot

Day 8: Chaurikot – Toysem

Day 9: Toysem – Kagmara BC (4006m)

Day 10: Kagmara BC - Kagmara La (5115m) and trek down to Daju (3500m)

Day 11: Daju - Phoksundo Lake (3780 m.)

Day 12: Rest at Phoksundo Lake

Day 13: Explore around Phoksundo

Day 14: Phoksundo - Mandala Camp (4700 m.)

Day 15: Mandala Camp - Shey Gomba (4996 m.) crossing Kang La (5500 m.)

Day 16: Shey Gomba – Namgung

Day 17: Namgung - Yangtsher Gompa (4500m.)

Day 18: Yangtsher Gompa - Mushi Gaoun

Day 19: Explore Mushi Gaoun (4270m)

Day 20: Mushi Gaoun – Shimen Gaoun

Day 21: Shimen Gaoun - Tingkyu (4150m)

Day 22: Tingkyu – Kaheng

Day 23: Kaheng - Charka (4365m) crossing Charka La (5035m.)

Day 24: Charka - Yak Kharka

Day 25: Yak Kharka – Sanda Phedi.

Day 26: Sanda Phedi – Sangda La (4296m)

Day 27: Sanda - Dangar Dzong

Day 28: Dangar Dzong – Jomsom

Day 29: Fly to Pokhara and Kathmandu

Day 30: Rest & Farewell dinner in the evening at Nepali restaurant with culture programme.

Day 31: Depature to own destination or extra activies.

Upper Dolpo cost Includes/Excludes

Upper Dolpo cost Includes

  • Pick & Drop to Airport / Hotel in Kathmandu & required places
  • Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing with Tour guide.
  • Food (Breakfast , lunch & dinner with tea -coffee ) in Trekking.
  • Tented camp Accommodation, twin sharing bases on the trek .
  • English speaking Government licenses holder trekking guide & Supporters
  • Staff food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine are included in trekking.
  • Primary First Aid Kits (For the first aid treatment purpose such as bandage , some medicine......)
  • Trekking permits & TIMS for Conservation area /Restricted area & all the necessary official documents for trek.
  • Transport ; trek start to ending point by private car/van/ Bus.
  • Price Exclude :

Upper Dolpo cost Excludes

  • Nepal entry visa fee and necessary documets
  • Flight fare international .
  • Food in Kathmandu & other cities .
  • Airport Tax in Domestic & International Airpot & other taxes.
  • Personal insurance , equipment ,medical and travel insurance during the trek
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/Monument /donation and some personal expenses.
  • Helicopter rescue charge in case of Emergency .
  • Staff tips and other personal expenses
  • Expenses burden due to Natural disaster ; such as bad weather , land slide.

Upper Dolpo Map

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Upper Dolpo: A Remote Himalayan Odyssey