Upper Dolpo Trek - 19 Days

Dolpo, a land beyond the Himalaya, conjures up visions of mysterious monasteries, snow leopards and blue sheep, it is situated in the western part of the country, and is one of the most remote regions in Nepal. The Upper Dolpo Trek discovers the very isolated area in Dolpo which has been strictly off-limits until only recently, so the traditions and way of life have remained intact. In the autumn of 1990 the first British tour operator organized a trek from east to west, from Pokhara to Jumla through Lower Dolpo.

The Upper Dolpo Trek trail passes many gigantic mountain ranges – Annapurna , Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba, to name but a few – and passed through Lower Dolpo, at one time a small kingdom in its own right. More recently we have repeated the route, with variations and our groups see very few other Europeans so they are enthused greatly about the wild remoteness, the stunning mountain scenery and the fact that the local people had that innocent friendliness peculiar to people who live in excessively remote mountainous regions.

The people who live here are just a few hundred and are among the highest inhabitants of the world. Upper Dolpo villages are 4,300 meters above sea level. In particular, here people are still practicing the pre-Buddhist Bon Po religion. After Buddhist doctrine began to spread throughout Tibet in the 9th century, this early sect was almost completely replaced.

The snow leopard of Peter Matthiessen and the Himalayan Pilgrimage of David Snellgrove contributed to Dolpo’s mysticism and attraction. Both writers visited the Shey Gompa in the inner Dolpo, north of Phoksundo Lake. This is most trekkers ‘ goal, but this Upper Dolpo trek will take you into this mysterious land even further.

Upper Dolpo Trek Difficulty

It is considered challenging to trek in Upper Dolpo. There are steep climbs, three passes above 5000 meters, several nights over 3500 meters. And some long, six-hours or more trekking days. The fact that this is a camping trek adds to the physical challenge and discomfort of hiking in Upper Dolpo, and it is recommended to have rest days.

This isn’t a trek for a beginner or to try if it’s your first time in Nepal. But for experienced trekkers and repeat visitors to Nepal, it’s going to be a worthwhile challenge!

Getting to Upper Dolpo Trek

Western Nepal is more remote than other parts of Nepal, making access more difficult. You have to get to Nepalgunj first, on the plains, and then to Juphal in the district of Dolpo

Most people fly either from Kathmandu or from Pokhara to Nepalgunj. You then fly to Juphal from Nepalgunj. (Flying directly from Kathmandu to Juphal is not possible, although expensive charter flights can be arranged from Pokhara.) Most of the organized trips will fly from Kathmandu. Keep in mind that Juphal airport is just a small mountain airstrip, where bad weather can often delay flights.

Nepalgunj is also accessible by road, but from Kathmandu or Pokhara it is a long journey. Roads are improving across Western Nepal, but Juphal is now walking from the nearest road-head for several days.

Day 1
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal (1400 meters).

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport after completing your custom formalities Visa, etc. pick up your luggage and look for our airport representative from Himalaya Discovery Adventures, who will display your name on the board at the arrival gate. You will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel by private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Day 02: Free in Kathmandu for sightseeing and pre trip briefing.

Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ Swayambhunath and Buddhists shrine Buddhanath which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3
Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj & transfer to hotel.

Delightful morning today begins in Kathmandu after breakfast today. We fly for an hour to reach Nepalgunj, famous Terai city of Nepal. Nepalgunj offers terai lifestyle of Nepal along with sightseeing places like mini zoo and muslim bazaar. We stay for overnight in Nepalgunj after necessary trek preparation.

Day 4
Day 04: Nepalgunj-Jhupal-Dunai.

We take a 45 minutes early morning flight from Nepalgunj to Jhupal, our trek starting point after breakfast. The adventurous flight above mountains gives a memorable experience. We meet with our trekking crew in Jhupal and start our 2-3 hrs trek to Dunai. We explore Dunai bazaar and rest here for an overnight stay.

Day 5
Day 05: Dunai to Tarakot (2,543m).

Trekking destination for today is Tarakot, which is 5-6 hrs walk from Dunai, headquarter of Dolpa District. We enjoy the beautiful sceneries of bridges, villages and landscapes on our way to Tarakot. Overnight stay is arranged at Tarakot, historical village that lies south of Bheri river.

Day 6
Day 06: Tarakot to Laini (3,160 m).

Our trek today starts after breakfast in Tarakot, we pass through rural villages and fields on our 6-7 hrs walk. Popular monastery SandulGompa, located at the junction of BarbungKhola and Tarup Chu River also comes across our path. We then reach Laini for overnight camp.

Day 7
Day 07: Laini to Nawarpani (3,545 m).

Around 5 hrs long Trekking trail today takes us to Nawarpani. We walk through interesting paths and narrow gorge that adds up to our excitement. Walking through the river banks and versatile landmarks keeps us engaged throughout the day. Overnight stay is managed in Nawarpani.

Day 8
Day 08: Nawarpani to Do Tarap (4,090 m).

Our trek today begins after morning breakfast in Nwarpani. Today we cross rural villages and valleys of Himalayan region in 7-8 hrs trek. Trekking trail takes us to the ancient villages of this region, where ethnic groups of people are living. Moving further along the amazing trail leads us to DoTarap village, inhabited by Magars and Tibetans.

Day 9
Day 09: Rest Day at Do Tarap for acclimatization.

To fulfill the need of acclimatization important for trekking like ours, today we spend a rest day in Do Tarap. However, activities like small hike to a nearby monastery, roaming around ethnic village and getting along with locals give us pleasurable memories. Traditions here fascinate us and gives us opportunity to learn about the historic culture of this region. Overnight stay is managed in Do Tarap.

Day 10
Day 10: Do Tarap to Numa La Base Camp (4440 m).

After a rest day in Do Tarap, we continue our trek towards the upper Tarap valley, trekking trail today is a wonderful walk across Tarap Chu upstream and landscapes different from previous day trails. Finally, we reach the Tarap valley after 6-7 hrs trek. We enjoy the mesmerizing views of Tarap valley and head to camp beneath Numa-La for overnight stay.

Day 11
Day 11: Cross Numa La (5,190 m) and camp at Pelung Tang (4465 m)

Today’s trek is considered harder as our trail is steep 6-7 hrs climb all the way upto top ridge of Numa La pass. Our hard climb repays us with excellent landscapes of mountains of Dolpo and Dhaulagiri. After enjoying magnificent views we descend back to Pelung Tang, our overnight stay Camp.

Day 12
Day 12: Cross Baga La (5,070 m) and camp Dajok Tang (4,080 m).

We start our steep trail after morning breakfast today. We reach the top of Baga-La in almost 3 hrs climb and enjoy outstanding panoramas all around. Attractions are views of KanjirowaHimal and surroundings. We then head downhill to our Overnight stay at Dajok Tang

Day 13
Day 13: Dajok Tang to Ringmo (3,600 m).

Our trek today moves along beautiful pine forests and Alpine vegetation. Considerably easier walk for 3-4 hrs through gradual highs and lows takes us to Ringmo, a traditional Tibetan village of Dolpo region. Our overnight stay is at Ringmo.

Day 14
Day 14: Rest Day at Ringmo.

We are spending today exploring the Ringmo area. It is one of the planned rest days that we have during our trekking. Today we are surrounded by beautiful views of Phoksundo Lake, natural beauties and Himalayan glories of this region. We also take a short trip to the nearby Buddhist monastery and relax roaming around the beautiful lake for the rest of the day. Overnight stay is arranged at Ringmo.

Day 15
Day 15: Ringmo to Shyanta (2520 m).

We trek for 5-6 hrs towards Shyanta today. Our trekking trail is along downhill paths crossing Chepka. After passing through villages in our route, we finally reach Shyanta for overnight stay.

Day 16
Day 16: Shyanta to Jhupal.

We descend through slopes today crossing Sulighat. Trek destination today is Jhupal. On our way we are welcomed by views of beautiful Himalayas. Afternoon today is spent in Jhupal, roaming and exploring the beautiful market around.

Day 17
Day 17: Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.

Our walk successfully ends today as we take an early morning flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj and finally to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu, we can spend our time roaming around and relaxing.

Day 18
Day 18: Free day and farewell dinner in Kathmandu.

Today is rest and relax throughout the day. If you get interested to take some gifts from Nepal for friends and relatives, visit to some nearby shops or go out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guide or you can do it yourself too. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 19
Day 19: Transfer you to the International airport for your final departure.

The trip ends, our airport representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

Price Includes

  • Airport transfers Pickup and Drop-off.
  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek
  • Accommodation during trek available every day in en-route lodges.
  • English speaking guide & porters.
  • All necessary trekking permit fees.
  • Trekkers Information Management System fees [TIMS].
  • All airfare and bus transfers en-route.
  • 3-nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing on BB plan.
  • All guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu and entry fees.
  • Equipment clothing for porter & staffs.
  • Insurance for all staff & porter

Price Excludes

  • International airfare, Visa fees.
  • Personal Travel Insurance.
  • Personal equipment. Personal medical supplies and vaccinations.
  • Other Personal expenses and all kind of bottle drinks. Tips to guides, porters and drivers.
  • Expenses incurred during emergency evacuation due to any reason.
  • Any item not mentioned in the “ Price Includes section”

Q. Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

A. Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Himalaya Discovery Adventures sign board outside the airport terminal. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.

Q. When is the best time to travel to Nepal?

A. For the trekking regions of the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, Jumla Rara Lake, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu we recommend the periods February to May and September to December as the best time for travelling.

  •  For trekking in Mustang or Dolpo region we recommend May to September.
  • The Poon hill  trek  in the Annapurna region takes place throughout the entire year.
  • Cultural tours takes place throughout the entire year. For the best mountain views the periods February to May and September to December are recommended.

Q. How is the climate (temperatures) during the seasons?

A. Winter – January and February. Pleasant temperatures. The nights, mornings and evenings can, however, be quite cold (approx. 0°C – 5°C. Throughout the day, it is mostly sunny with cooler temperatures (approx. 18°C – 20°C).

Spring – March to May. Hot and dry pre-monsoon season (approx. 25°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 7°C – 20°C at night). May is the hottest month in the lowlands. June is the hottest month in the mountains.

Summer – Monsoon from June to August (approx. 28°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 20°C at night). Strong rainfall, continuous sultriness and high humidity.

Early autumn – From September the monsoon season is constantly interrupted by periods with only a slight rainfall. Towards the end of August the pauses in rainfall become more frequent and longer.

Late autumn – Post-monsoon season from October to December. The nights, mornings and evenings can be relatively cool (approx. 5°C – 10°C). During the day the sun shines and it is warm (approx. 20°C – 27°C).

Q. Where can I change money?

A. Any cash you have taken with you can be exchanged into Nepalese rupees at the banks, large hotels and the numerous bureau de changes.

Q. Can I use my mobile phone in Nepal?

A. The network coverage is meanwhile quite good in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and other parts of the Terai (in the rural areas it is very unpredictable).

Basically, foreign SIM cards (providers having international roaming contracts with Nepal) can also be used. However, it is cheaper to buy a local SIM card (Mero Mobile, NTC (GSM) – for approx. NPR 500 or more) and top this up.

Q. Can I use the tap water for drinking and brushing teeth?

A. Tap water is not suitable for drinking in Nepal and it should not be used for cleaning your teeth, either. As there is often a scarcity of water in the countryside, water should be used very sparingly.

Q. What should I concern during my stay in Nepal?

A. Nepali people are very kind and friendly, but there are some things that you should be aware of:

  • Do not take photos of anyone without their permission; always ask permission first!
  • Do not wear hot pants/short paints or stylish clothes in the remote area! (shoulders and legs should be covered)
  • Do not wear hats or caps when you enter a chapel!
  • Do not touch Buddha statues or ritual offerings inside of a monastery!
  • Do not kiss or hug in public places, especially in monasteries!
  • Do not step across someone’s feet, cups or cooking gears!

Q. What documents do I need to visit Nepal?

A. A tourist visa is required for entering Nepal. The tourist visa can be applied for, for different lengths of stay. A visa is required for children under 10 years but no fee is charged. The entry to Nepal must take place within 6 months of issuing the visa.

Q. How much does the Visa for Nepal cost?

A. The fees for the tourist visa (fees valid since 16.07.2008) are staggered as follows:

  • 15 days (several entries possible)  $ 30 (approx. EUR 27.00)
  • 30 days (several entries possible)  $ 50 (approx. EUR 45.00)
  • 90 days (several entries possible)  $ 125 (approx. EUR 115.00)

An extension of the visa to a maximum of 150 days is possible (per year – January to December). The extension must be made at the Immigration Office in Kathmandu. A fee of $ 2.00 is charged in Nepalese rupees (NPR) per day of extension.

Q. Can I find a hospital with western doctors?

A. CIWEC Clinic with western doctors is located in Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Tel. +977 1 442 4111, info@ciwec-clinic.com.

Q. Do I need an international health and travel insurance?

A. It is recommended taking out a travel and health insurance covering the following risks:- Emergency and personal accident transport/emergency evacuation (helicopter rescue, rescue costs in a case of illness or accident), medical and personal accident risks, repatriation, tour cancellation, damages and theft of baggage.

Q. What happens in bad weather periods?

A. There is virtually always a possibility of a flight delay or postponement owing to highly unpredictable weather conditions that may occur in Himalayan regions, in particular, in the Everest region (Lukla), Jomsom, Dolpo, Simikot and the Jumla region, etc.

When trekking in remote areas or those described above, and especially outside the trekking season, the clients are strongly advised to reserve extra days for making  allowance for possible delays, and thereby avoid any frustrating consequences. In the case of a delayed flight prior to commencing the tour, or at the end of the tour, the participants shall pay for their own accommodation, food costs, etc.

Q. Where can I store my unneeded luggage during trekking?

A. As a rule there is the possibility before commencing the trek, of depositing part of the baggage in the hotel in Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Q. What kind of meals I can have during the trekking?

A. All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepalese, Chinese, Indian and Tibetan meals are available in all places).

Q. Is there any communication while we are on trekking?

A. There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. All our guides are equipped with the local mobile phone. You may wish to pass the number of our guide to your family for the callback or you can make a call from the guide’s mobile and pay him directly for the international call too.

Q. Can I re-charge camera batteries along the trek?

A. Yes, Most of the places, you can charge batteries along the trek (per hour USD 2 – 3 for charging).

Q. What kinds of banking facilities in Nepal?

A. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some international banks even have offices in Kathmandu. Almost all foreign currencies along with credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Master card are accepted in Nepal. Nepal has also ATM facilities as well.

The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. This itinerary can be customized according to the duration of your holiday. We have many options for shorter visits based on your interests and budget.

On trip of this type weather, political strikes, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is however very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Upper Dolpo Trek

Trip Facts

  • 19 Days
  • Demanding
  • Min. 2 to Max. 12 People
  • March to August, September to November.
  • 5,360m.
  • Kathmandu
  • Nepalgung/Jhupal
  • Dolpo
  • 4 to 6 hours.

MD & Trip Planner

Chhiring Sherpa
Personalized trips
“I was born and raised mountainous village in Ramechhap nearby Everest region and I have been a native Sherpa Mountain guide over a decade. Following my passion, I decided to start helping travelers with their travel plans! I think life is a journey, a trip where you collect experiences when you share with other people and with nature.”