Upper Dolpo Trek

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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Best Season: All Year Round

Max Altitude: 5950 m

Group Size: Min 2 Pax

Transport: Flight from Ktm-Nepalgunj-Jumla and Juphal-Nepalgunj-Ktm

Trip Grade



25 Days

Trip Overview

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


Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

We team of Firante Treks and Expedition welcome you the rich and marvelous land of the Himalayas. Upon your arrival, our rep from Firante will honour you at the aiprort and then transfer you to the hotel.

Later in the evening you can stroll around Thamel and see some glimpses of the hot and happening sight of Kathmandu.

Aiprort Pickup in a Private Vehicle.

Day 2: Fly Kathmandu – Nepalgunj

Depending upon the travelling time of the year, flying from higher altitude of Kathmandu (1400 meters) to lower altitude of Nepalgunj (150 meters) may be hot. Therefore, in order to avoid the sun and heat, we will fly from Kathmandu during afternoon and stay overnight in Nepalgunj. It is approximately an hour flight. We will take an early morning flight to Jhuphal tomorrow.

Day 3: Nepalgunj - Jhuphal then trek to Dunai

We will arrive in Jhuphal after taking a 40 minutes flight from Nepalgunj. Our crew members will be waiting for us with every necessary equipment’s.  After reaching there, we will hike for 3 more hours to reach Dunai. Dunai is the capital of Dolpo district. The route to Dunai is through the terraced fields until we reach River Bheri Gorge. There will be time for us to have a short inspect of the town before it gets dark.

Day 4: Dunai – Ankhe

Dunai to Ankhe trail is upwards through the Thulo Bheri Valley before entering the Phoksundo River Valley. It takes almost 6 hours to reach Ankhe. On the way, there are a few villages to see as well as walnut groves to enjoy. There are also the mountains but Kagmara Peak can be seen clearly. Finally, the trail descends to Ankhe which is at the altitude of 2896 meters, through deep jungle-like greenery.

Day 5: Ankhe – Sulighat

The trail today takes us through trees and up and down a grassy incline above the river. Due to the complex pathway, it takes 6 hours to reach the destination. Continuing the route downwards, we descend a stone path to the river's edge and head towards Sulighat which is at the altitude of 3180 meters.

Day 6: Sulighat – Shey Phoksundo Lake

Today we get to Phoksundo Lake, which has wonderful clean water. Phoksundo Lake is situated at the altitude of 3612m. We follow the valley route which takes 4 hours to reach Phoksundo Lake passing by the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers as well as pine trees. We get our first glimpse of the lake sparkling in the light below us from the top of a high mountain. One of Nepal's highest waterfall is also found here. The route is then towards the birch forests to Ringmo.  Ringmo is a charming village on the edges of the Mountain.

Day 7: Acclimatization Day

We take rest today to acclimatize to the increasing height. Meanwhile, we also explore Ringmo town and Phoksundo Lake.

Day 8: Shey Phoksundo Lake – Phoksundo Khola    

We leave the lake today by following the trail west, passing through wooden bridge-like structures till we meet a grassland that leads to the Phoksundo Khola river bed which is at the altitude of 3507 meters. The path leads us above the muddy ground towards the valley to the riverside, where we can all spend the night. It is a 5-hour trekking route from Shey Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola.

Day 9: Phoksundo Khola – Phoksundo Bhanjyang

Today, the trek is through a glacier valley to the Phoksundo Khola and another stream's junction recognized by an old wooden bridge. Phoksundo Bhanjyang lies at the altitude of 3910 meters. We encounter a sheep field and then a steep canyon as we climb north-east. Walking up here is difficult, so it takes around 6 hours to reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang. We must reach another valley in order to cross the Kang La Pass.

Day 10: Phoksundo Bhanjyang – Shey Gompa

The day begins with a challenging ascent to the summit of the Kang La Pass. Kang La pass elevation is about 5300 meters approximately. It is a five-hour trek today despite its difficulties. The views of the valley below are spectacular from the top. The trail then takes a steep slope to the valley level. We stick to the river's banks, crossing and recrossing the freezing waters. Mud caves can be seen lining the slopes that face down the river. We trek across meadows with mountain goats, yaks and sheep before arriving at Shey Gompa which is at the altitude of 4500 meters.

Day 11: Shey Gompa – Namduna Gaon

We'll travel past juniper trees into a canyon today, where the track bends over loose stones and rocks to the top of Saldang La Pass. It's also exhausting to descend the other side. Therefore, today’s trek requires 6 to 7 hours to complete. Nomadic herders with their sheep and yaks can still be seen today. There will be time to visit the red monastery built beneath a gorge rock when we get at Namduna Gaon.  We will spend the night here in Namduna Gaon at the altitude of 4800 meters. 

Day 12: Namduna Gaon – Saldang

The trek today leads us across barren mountains to Saldang village, which is situated on a plateau just above Namga Khola at the elevation of 3620 meters. This is the largest settlement in the inner Dolpo area, spanning a 2-kilometer slope. It's worth mentioning that there are five villages totaling approximately 80 houses here. Because of its vital position on the trade route to Tibet, there are presumably a lot of residences here. The trek from Namduna Gaon to Saldang requires 4 to 5 hours to complete. 

Day 13: Saldang – Yangze Gompa

As we follow the Nagon Khola past the villages of Marang and Ki, the landscape becomes increasingly dry. Yangze Gompa is at the altitude of 4960 meters. We will arrive at Yangze Gompa, another Bon monastery, after crossing a tributary of the Panzang River a couple more times. It requires approximately 4 hours to reach Yangze Gompa from Saldang.

Day 14: Yangze Gompa – Sibu

To get to Namdo village, we walk through terraced fields, mani walls (stone walls with prayers engraved into them), chortens, stupas and a monastery. This prosperous village, which rises high above the Nam Khong Khola, has roughly 60 houses. We will continue walking for another two hours until we reach Sibu, located at the altitude of 4560 meters, where we will camp tonight. It takes 6 to 7 hours to finish this trek.

Day 15: Sibu – Jeng La Phedi

Jeng La Phedi is at the altitude of 4900 meters. As we go east and then ascend to a grazing field below the Jeng La Pass, we will most certainly spot yak caravans there. It takes about 5 hours from Shibu to reach Jeng La Phedi.

Day 16: Jeng La Phedi – Tokyo Gaon

Tokyo Gaon is situated at the altitude of 4209 meters. We only have to climb 200 meters today to cross the pass because we are starting from Jeng La Phedi at 4,900 meters. From the pass, we have a spectacular view of the Dhaulagiri Massif's north face. After crossing the pass, the trail descends through rugged terrain to the Tarap Valley and Tokyu's monastery. It takes around 5-6 hours to complete this trek.

Day 17: Tokyo Gaon – Dho Tarap

It takes around 4 hours to reach Dho Tarap starting from Tokyo Gaon. Today's scenery will be different, with grasses and marshes lining the riverbanks. Dho Tarap is at the elevation of 4040 meters.

Day 18: Rest Day

We will spend the day in Dho Tarap on this rest day. There are approximately 40 houses here, with the majority of the residents being Magar’s, a Nepalese hill tribe. There are some Tibetans who live here and Buddhism is still very much a part of the culture. A Bon Gompa is just a short distance away from the village. We can explore the surrounding area, Gompa and village today.

Day 19: Dho Tarap – Tarap Khola

Today's trek approximately takes about 6 hours to reach Tarap Khola. The path leads us past juniper and wild rose bushes to a broad valley that narrows into a canyon. Before approaching the confluence of Lang Khola rivers and Tarap Chu, we encounter herds of sheep once more. We will set a camp next to the Tarap River today at the altitude of 3800 meters.

Day 20: Tarap Khola – Khani Gaon

Today’s journey takes 4 hours to reach Khani Gaon. On the journey, we meet numerous locals who are primarily transporting their cattle to lower pastures. Khani Gaon is at the altitude of 3150 meters. We'll be walking over rough bridges, logs, stone slabs and maybe even through the river!

Day 21: Khani Gaon – Tarakot

We take the path to Lalberi village and continue through forests and a gorge until we reach the river. We will go to another monastery today, which is located on a hill just above Bheri River. We're camping tonight at Tarakot which is at the altitude of 2537 meters because there's no ideal camping between Tarakot and Dunai. We'll reach there tomorrow. As a result, it'll be a short walking day for four hours today.

Day 22: Tarakot – Dunai

The hike to Dunai today is relatively easy, passing through a pine-lined ravine along the Bheri River. It is easy but it takes around 5-6 hours to reach Dunai, which is at the altitude of 2850 meters.

Day 23: Dunai – Jhuphal

The expedition concludes today with a short and easy walk to Jhuphal, situated at the altitude of 2500 meters. It takes around 3 hours to reach Jhuphal from Dunai.

Day 24: Jhuphal – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu

From Jhuphal, you will take an early morning flight to reach Nepalgunj and then take another flight to return back to Kathmandu.

Day 25: Final Departure

Today you almost month long journey comes to an an end. A representative from Firante will drop you at the aiprort on your scheduled time.

Cost Includes

  • Accommodations in Kathmandu twin share with breakfast
  • Twin sharing basis hotel in Nepalgunj with Dinner
  • Guide, cook and kitchen support staff.
  • Mules or porters for luggage on the trekking.
  • All meals during the treks
  • All camping and cooking equipments.
  • All camping Charges.
  • Clients Airfare Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal-Kathmandu 
  • Dolpo restricted area permit fee.
  • National Park fees
  • All travel expenses for Nepali staffs.
  • All pick up and drop services.
  • All local official donations if any.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu (Boudhanath, Pashupatinath and Bhaktapur) with tour guide

Cost Excludes

  • Insurance for Clients and Emergency Rescue and medicines and medicals.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees in Kathmandu.
  • Personal beverages.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Domestic access baggage charge (Kathmandu to Nepalgunj weight limit is 20 kg and Nepalgunj to Juphal weight limit is 15 kg).
  • Sleeping bag & mattress during trip.
  • International flights.
  • Flight cancelations & its further more expenses
  • Tips


 Firante Treks and Expedition Manages for best and comfortable accommodation and also provides you hygienic food. Standard (3 Star) are booked in the cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara, whereas a tyical trek lodge will be booked on remote areas. 

Luxurious rooms from 5 Star hotels are also made avaiable on demand in the cities on additional cost but remote regionss dont have such facilities.

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