Upper Dolpa Trek 24 Days

Trip Code : AHC/T-10
Duration : 24 Days
Grading : Hard
Activity : Camping Trek
Starts at : Kathmandu
End at : Kathmandu
Best Season : October-November, Apr-September


Dolpa/Dolpo is the most remote and least developed isolated corner of Nepal, situated in the Trans Himalayan region of mid- West Nepal. It lies in the remote Shey- Phoksundo National Park, behind the Dhaulagiri massif. Geographically Upper Dolpo is a part of the Tibetan Plateau and is generally dry, cold and sparsely vegetated which is unlike most other parts of the Nepal Himalayas.Dolpo has fascinating villages and is still a land of mystery, scenery and peace. Time has stood still here in Dolpo for centuries as the inhabitants of Tibetan stock continue to live, cultivate and trade the way they have done since time immemorial. The Dolpo ecosystem encompasses a wild and wonderful variety of plants and wildlife, including the blue sheep and snow leopard. As the most remote and least developed district in Nepal, the Dolpo trek is reserved for those with a true sense of adventure.

Trip Highlights

  • Vibrant and colorful centre hub in the Himalayan region landscape.
  • Magnificent views of the Sey phoksundo lake
  • Staying in mountain tea houses
  • Bhote villages and gompas
  • Incredible mountain flight in and out of Nepalgunga-Jumla-Kathmandu
  • Views of Kanjiroba Himal,
  • The vibrant, colorful, chaotic city of Kathmandu


Day 1 : Fly in Kathmandu


Day 2 : Kathmandu to Nepalgunj(1068m).

We take a flight to Nepalgunj in the far west of Nepal. This one-hour flight is quite remarkable as it is traverses the entire length of the Nepali Himalayan west of Kathmandu, with superb views of Langtang, Manaslu, and Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri and finally Dolpo.  Nepalgunj is close to the Indian border, and is quite warm in comparison with Kathmandu. We check into the Hotel, a fifteen minute drive from the airport.

Day 3 : Nepalgunj to Juphal(2370m).

We have to be at the airport early as we take the first flight to Jumla where we meet the crew who has walked in from the road head ten days earlier.

Day 4 : Juphal to Gothi Chaur (2800m).

Today we start the trek. The first day is always a bit slow as the porters get into the swing of things, but a rhythm soon develops. We follow the bank of Tila River and reach Garjankot for lunch. A slightly longer walk in the afternoon passes a few houses and an Irrigation channel on the right. From here there is a lovely view across the rolling hills behind. The camp is 200m below at a sheep pasture known as GothiChaur (2800m).

Day 5 : Gothi Chaur to Chhopagaon (3085m).

We walk through alpine forests and cross clear streams. Two hours after leaving the camp we reach the village of Munigaon.  From here the trail continues south east to Jajarkot and the Bheri River.After lunch, a short afternoon's walk leads us to the village of Naphukhona with a large Tibetan Choten. Our campsite is 10 minute farther on below the Gompa at Chorteng. (3100m).

Day 6 : Chhopagaon to Bheri River Valley (3085m).

Today we will follow the river through some of the most superb forest so far encountered and have lunch after only two hours before we start the climb to the Maure La (3,927m). The climb from the lunch spot takes around 45 minutes and is rewarded with some very fine views of the Bheri River Valley and the Peaks of Ghyuthumba and Matathumba. In the distance a hundred miles away, the huge bulk of Api is the dominating peak to the west. The excursion to the cairn at the top of the hill above the pass is well worth it for a superb view of the Dhaulagiri Massif and Annapurna II clearing in the forest.

Day 7 : Bheri River Valley to Hurikot (2650m).

After lunch by the stream, we continue on the trail and the village off Rimi and Kaigaon are soon clearly visible.  The trail drops down through Rimi, which is quite rough, to the more picturesque Kaigaon.  We stay on the left side of the river, as the campsite is 20 minutes farther on below the village off Hurikot (2650m). Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit the monastery of Hurikot.Today, we will have an extremely enjoyable walk, at first through forest, which yields the first view of the KagmaraLekh and the Bheri River itself. The path can be seen contouring across the hillside through the village of Chaurkot, after which it descends to a stream and climbs again to another saddle.

Day 8 : Hurikot to Garpung Khola.

We follow the stream to the village, which is very Tibetan in character. The path then climbs gradually for two hours, staying high above the GarpungKhola until it reaches the JagdulaKhola.  We have a lunch stop at the army post on the opposite side (2,950m). A steep climb for half an hour leads to a clearing with an excellent view of Kagmara V. We continue along the left bank to camp by a bridge crossing the GarpungKhola.

Day 9 : We start the trek following the river upstream.

Today is a short morning's walk and then an afternoon at rest. We cross the bridge and follow the river for two hours to reach a fine vantage point of the route ahead, including the campsite, which is an hour farther. This is our first night above 4000 meters.

Day 10 : A big day crossing the Kagmara La (5100m).

Prepare for the toughest day as we have to cross Kagmara La pass. The pass is marked in the traditional Tibetan way with hundreds of prayer flags, and the view is quite stunning. The short climb to the summit of Kagmara RI (5,370m) takes no more than half an hour, but the extra view is well worth it. The mountains of Tibet and Mount Everest in the distance form just part of this impressive panorama, which is dominated by the Dhaulagiri massif and the Annapurnas. The view to the south and west of the KagmaraLekh and the KanjirobaHimal is equally impressive. There is no need to leave in a hurry, as the campsite is a mere hour below the pass on a flat grassy clearing by the river (3450m).

Day 11 : Descend to Pungmo Village.

A big descent, over 1200 meters, leads through an idyllic valley to the village of Pungmo. There are chances to see Himalayan blue sheep and other birds of prey.  Camp is made by the Chotenat the entrance to the village.

Day 12 : A spare day for leisurely visits.

We have a spare day today for a leisurely visit of the important Gompa above Pungmo. There are in fact two Gompas as we are in a region where both 'Bon' and 'traditional' Buddhism are practiced. Chortens become very confusing as a Buddhist does clockwise circumambulation and the bons anti- clockwise. However, the lamas of both Gompas are willing to show you around for a small donation.

Day 13 : Trek to the village of Ringmo by the beautiful Phuksumdo lake(36641m).

Keeping to the left side of the river, we descend for one hour to a military camp (3,150m) at the junction of the Pungmo and Phuksumdo Rivers. Turn left immediately after the camp and follow a delightful path by the Phuksumdo River to a grassy clearing where we will have lunch and walk up to Ringmo which is very rewarding. Equally impressive is the huge waterfall falling down from the Phuksumdo River. From the prayer flags, a pleasant half an hour's walk leads to the village of Ringmo and camp is made on the opposite side of the village (3700m). Crossing the bridge in the village, we turn left to reach the lake.

Day 14 : A rest day in Ringmo.

The nearby monastery is worth a visit.

Day 15 : Trek to the camp below Kang Taiga.

An easy day involving a couple of hours walk in the morning to a Yak grazing pasture by the ManduwaKhola. The path skirts along lodges hacked out of cliffs for the Yak caravans from Dolpo. The views down the Suli Gad and across to the KagmaraLekh are particularly impressive. The campsite is in a lovely spot (3,900m) below Kang Taiga (5916m).

Day 16 : Cross Bagar La (5200m).

Today, you will have the toughest day of the trek yet also the most fascinating part of the trek. We cross the watershed of the main Himalayan onto the dry Tibetan plateaus. Following the river to begin with, the path turns north up the first obvious side valley and climbs steeply to the pass, which marked by a chorten and the usual prayer flags. The views to the east and north are one of complete contrast to those of the previous two weeks trekking. The mountain is orange and brown stretching out into Tibet to the north. The pass is often windy and the descent is rapid to the river below and our camp (4,650m). The road to Shey and Saldang,the lifeline of Dolpo,is clearly etched out of the landscape by the tracks of thousands of Yaks that have made the journey south over the centuries. At this point, we are only three hours from the village of Shey, but access is not permitted.

Day 17 : Cross Numa La to trek to the Tarap Valley(2231m).

The walk into this beautiful and wild Tibetan landscape is one of the highlights of the trek. A four to five hour climb leads to the pass and the view is indeed stunning. Dhaulagiri I is the prominent feature, with the rolling Tibetan hills and the KanjirobaHimal to the west equally impressive. For an excellent 360 degree panorama, climb the small peak to the left of the pass. The path descends gradually into the Tarap Valley. In two to three hours the ChampaGompa is passed on the left and camp is made a little further down the valley in the first village (4300m).

Day 18 : Tarap Valley to Serkam.

The morning’s walk passes through the villages off Clumaga and Kakar, both extremely interesting with many Chorten, again both Bon- the ancient pre-Buddhist religion and Choba -orthodox Buddhist. There are two Gompas (monasteries) in Dho, Guru Bumba (Chob) and above the village ScipchaGompa (Bon). Leaving Dho-the last village, we follow the theTarapKhola River for two hours, at first on its left bank, to a bridge where lunch is taken. This is the last flat ground for three to four hours as the valley becomes narrow with deep gorges crossed by innumerable small bridges. However, it is an extremely well made path, one of the finest gorge paths in the Himalayas, offering an entertaining afternoon's walk. We establish a small campsite by a big cave.

Day 19 : Serkam to Khanigaon(2950m).

Today we switch from the riverbank to way up the cliff side via some amazing trail constructions! After a long morning's walk (looking out for Musk Deer), we reacha large clearing by the river. This is Lahini and marks the end of the gorge. The path to Kanigaon (2700m) is where we camp.

Day 20 : Khanigaon to Tarakot(2540m).

We head east for a few hundred yards to a well-made bridge which crosses to the left bank of the BarbungKhola, into which the Trap Khola now flows. We follow this river for three hours to the village of Tarakot where we stop and take a rest for the remainder of the day.

Day 21 : Tarakot to Dunai(2140m).

Another easy day, we continue along the BarbungKhola through a beautiful alpine valley to the Hindu village of Dunai. Four hours walking. We camp by the new 'Blue Sheep lodge'.

Day 22 : Dunai to Juphal(2231m).

The final day's walk continues along the river to a tea shop by the side of the path which marks the start of the climb to the Juphal airstrip. The path climbs steadily, passing through the village of Juphal to the airstrip. Camp is made outside the RNAC office.

Day 23 : Fly to Juphal to Nepalganj.

We take the flight to Nepalgunj, for an afternoon's rest before flying on to Kathmandu the following day. The views from the lake of the Annapurnas are famous throughout Nepal.

Day 24 : Fly Nepalganj to Kathmandu


What's included

  • Accommodation in Kathmandu (hotel and lodge)
  • Accommodation in the route (Camp tent, tea houses)
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • National Park Permit Fee
  • English speaking licensed guide
  • Porter
  • Airfare Kathmandu to Nepaljung-Juphal-Kathmandu
  • TIMS
  • Comprehensive medical kit
  • 15 kg luggage allowance

What's not included

  • Drinks, tip and expenses of personal nature
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events
  • International flights
  • Visa and permit fees
  • Travel Insurance
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