Upper Dolpo is located in north west of Nepal. It lies in between Dhaulagiri Mountain range and Tibetan plateau. It was a restricted area in the past but since 1989, it was opened up for tourism. However, we still need a permit for trekking in Upper Dolpo. It is yet an unexplored and rarely visited place. Upper Dolpo is situated at very high altitude above 4000 meters and has landscape like desert, which makes it a very challenging trek with steep ascents.
The Upper Dolpo Trek and Shey Gompa brings you into a mystical land where centuries old Buddhist and Bonpo traditions, interwoven with shamanistic influences, are still an important part of daily life. The villages, gompa’s and people you meet during this trek will leave an unforgettable impression on you. The landscapes here are even more desolate than on the Dolpa Circuit and the villages even more isolated and pure.
Shey Gompa, which is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo is a magical place, situated at the base of Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain is visited by hundreds of pilgrims each year, who make a kora (circuit) around the mountain, Dolpo’s own version of Mount Kailash.
This is quite a strenuous hike. You have to cross three high passes, Nagdalo La of 5350 m, the Shey La of 5000 m and Jeng La of 5110 m. These crossings involve long climbs and long descends. Besides, you stay above 4000 meters for a long time. But the unforgettable landscapes, the views from the passes and the contacts with a very special untouched culture make it all worth it.
The trekking journey starts from Jhuphal (Dolpo) following the trekking route of western region, passing through settlements while gazing a beautiful mountain view. The trekking route passes through various mountain ranges and also meets a tiny territory of lower dolpo trek at a point of time.
The glimpse of the snow-capped mountains and forests gets to the Shey Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake of Nepal which is located approximately 3600 meters above sea level. Kang La Pass which connects Shey Gompa and the Phoksundo valley is the peak point of the trek which is 4400 meters above sea level. The trekkers can view landscapes and perfectly textured mountains from the highest point of the trek which makes it more satisfying to look and enhance the beauty of it.
After exploring Shey Phoksundo Lake, the trek route is towards Shey Gompa. It is a holy place, a Buddhist monastery where visitors can observe the Bon Buddhist different culture. The trekking trail also bring towards Yangtser Gumpa and hidden Saldang, the two secrets of Upper Dolpa which no one talks about. They are the less known places.
Despite its amazing beauty and natural scenery of Upper Dolpo, it is recommended for those who has a lot of trekking experience and a high level of fitness. Trekking in the region of Upper Dolpo is for those who are anxious towards the incredibly tall and slender mountains, wild and remoteness.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Fly from Kathmandu - Nepalgunj
Day 03: Fly from Nepalgunj - Jhuphal then trek to Dunai
Day 04: Trek from Dunai – Ankhe
Day 05: Trek from Ankhe – Sulighat
Day 06: Trek from Sulighat – Shey Phoksundo Lake
Day 07: Acclimatization Day
Day 08: Trek from Phoksundo Lake – Phoksundo Khola
Day 09: Trek from Phoksundo Khola – Phoksundo Bhanjyang
Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Bhanjyang – Shey Gompa
Day 11: Trek from Shey Gompa – Namduna Gaon
Day 12: Trek from Namduna Gaon - Saldang
Day 13: Trek from Saldang – Yangze Gompa
Day 14: Trek from Yangze Gompa – Sibu
Day 15: Trek from Sibu – Jeng La Phedi
Day 16: Trek from Jeng La Phedi – Tokyo Gaon
Day 17: Trek from Tokyo Gaon – Dho Tarap
Day 18: Rest day
Day 19: Trek from Dho Tarap – Tarap Khola
Day 20: Trek from Tarap Khola – Khani Gaon
Day 21: Trek from Khani Gaon – Tarakot
Day 22: Trek from Tarakot – Dunai
Day 23: Trek from Dunai - Jhuphal
Day 24: Fly from Jhuphal – Nepalgunj - Kathmandu
Day 25: Fly back home