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Upper Dolpo Trek

Nepal Eco Adventure - 21 days

  • Upper Dolpo Trek
  • 21 days / 20 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Medium
Overview
Itinerary
Included
Accommodation
Safety
Training
Packing List
Nepal Eco Adventure
FAQ
How to book

Overview

> 800 year old Shey Gompa
> See the Shey Phoksundo National Park
> Be lucky and see snow leopard
> Annapurna and Dhaulagiri combined

Burrowed between the high Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri region, the Dolpo region is truly the Shangri la of your dreams. Most of the region is uncharted and unexplored, suitable for trekkers who want to escape from the tourist-packed mainstream trekking routes.

At Dolpo you will come across Bon Pot, the ancient Pre-Buddhist religion and a culture far away from your busy daily life at home. The Trek offers a great varianty of wildlife, so with a bit of luck, you will spot exotic animals like Blue Sheep, Snow Leopards, Mountain Goats and Himalayan Langur.

Upper Dolpo Trekking is a once in a lifetime experience. Trekking to the remote and isolated region of the mid-western region of Nepal, seeing he landscape in its naturally rugged state and its remoteness will make you understand.

The east and the south skyline are bordered by the Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Chure Himal range. Dhaulagiri was thought to be the tallest mountain in the world for a long time! The view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Kanjiroba from upper Dolpa is absolutely regal.

The entire district was closed to trekkers up until 1989. This has led this region to be one of the world’s most ancient and well conserved. In the past, only some anthropologists and geographers had explored the region. Get off the beaten track and discover the Upper Dolpo!

Itinerary

What’s the plan?

Day 01 – Flight to Nepalgunj (150m)

Namaste! Today we will fly from to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (60 minutes). After a tiring day, you can spend the evening in your hotel or explore Nepalgunj. It is a very vibrant city that deserves some exploring. This will also help you relax ahead of the trek.

Accommodation: Hotel
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 02 – Flight to Jupal (2400m) and trek to Dunai (2150m)

From Nepalgunj we will take another small plane to Juphal. Our flight will take us about 35 minutes. After landing in Juphal, we will meet our trekking crew and hike through the green terraced fields along the Bheri River and through the narrow canyon. After three hours of trekking, we will reach the village of Dunai. Here we will spend the night.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 03 – Trek to Ankhe (2600m) – 6 hours

From Dunai, we will cross a suspension bridge before we move westward. Where Thuri Bheri and Suli Gad rivers meet, we will follow the Suli Gad and move north. We will trek steadily with the sound of the river thriving in the background. We will walk through hemp, millet, pumpkin and potato fields. We will continue our trek along the river and reach a small settlement called Hanke. It is the gateway to Shey Phoksundo National Park. We will walk through Parela and Rahagaon to reach Ankhe. What’s interesting is that Parela means eyelashes, Rahagaon eyebrows and Ankhe eyes.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 04 – Trek to Renje (3104m) – 7 hours

Today the trek starts to become a little challenging. After crossing a dwindling river via well-built bridges, we will hike uphill on a steep trail on a narrow path. From there, we will descend for some time along the river before we ascend again. We will relishing the beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. We may camp on the bank of the Suligad River.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 05 – Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3600m) – 7 hours

We will start early in the morning. The trek will be fairly easy for the first few hours. From Sumdo, we will descend steeply. We will climb a ridge at 3,875m from where we can have an amazing view of the 300m waterfall. This is the biggest waterfall in Nepal. We also get to see the Phoksundo Lake. We will drop through beautiful Birch forests to reach the Phoksundo Khola and the beautiful settlement of Ringmo, decorated with its mud plastered Chortens and Mani walls. It is a lively and vibrant village. From here, we will walk a short distance before we reach the shores of Phoksundo Lake. The lake will be the backdrop for our camp for the night.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 06 – Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3507m) – 6 hours

We will follow the adventurous trail that is suspended on a footway of wood supported on pegs, driven into gaps in the rocks. We will make a steep ascent of up to 4040m and then drop down to the bottom of the valley to enter the bank of Shey Phoksundo Khola. Here we will camp for the night.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 07 – Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (4402m) – 7 hours

Today we will be crossing few streams barefoot! We will cross the glacial valley and head north. As the trail goes on to become narrower and narrower we will cross impressive vertical cliffs and crooked rock formations. At the meeting point of Phoksundo river and another unnamed river we find an ancient wooden bridge for us to join. A long, tiring climb will lead us to sheep grazing land from where the trail turns up a still gorge. Then another long and tiring climb to the top awaits us. It will bring us to another valley from where we can see the adventurous Kang La Pass. Before we get there, we still set up camp.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 08 – Cross Kang La Pass (5151m) and trek to Shey Gompa (4126m)

Today will be tiring. It will take us around 3 hours to reach the top of the Kang La Pass at an altitude of 5151m. The view from the top will compensate all the hard work. While descending, we have to be extra careful. A beautiful red Chorten will finally mark your arrival in Shey Gompa. An old-fashioned log bridge will take us to the Shey Gompa compound where we will be spending the night in a tent.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 09 – Exploring Shey Gompa

Shey literally means crystal in the Tibetan language. This monastery is also called the crystal mountain. We can visit the Shey Gompa and take blessings from the Lama. We can also visit the Tsakang Gompa, west of Shey. In medieval times this has been a meditation hub for lamas. The monastery was built in the 11th century.
Here, we can witness a perfect blend of Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient Pre-Buddhist religion Bon Po. We can later go around the area and explore the vicinity.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10 – Cross Saldang La Pass (4785m) and trek to Namduna Gaon (4400m) – 7 hours

We will start the day by trekking along a pleasant track covered with juniper shrub. We will ascend a stony gray canyon. It begins with a zigzag trail of rocks and eroded soil and it will bring us to a flat spot, suitable for a little picnic. After 20 minutes of some steep climbing, we will reach the top of the Saldand La Pass. From here we can enjoy the great view of the barren, and the coppery red landscape of Mustang. Then we will descend on the north side. The view of grazing yaks and the nomadic tents made from yak hair will feel welcoming. This signals that you have now entered the Namduna Gaon. Here we can visit the Namgung Monastery set against a backdrop of the cliff. The village only has six houses and terraced fields on both sides. We can see stretched out Barley fields, the main crop of the district. We can pay a visit to the local monastery.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11 – Trek to Saldang (3903m) – 4 hours

After leaving the Namjung Valley, we will trek uphill. We begin with a long and exciting traverse along the mountains. At the bottom of the valley we can see terraced fields of ripening crops. We will ascend for some time before going downhill to the beautiful village of Salding. Salding is located on a plateau high above the Nam Khong Nala River. It is the biggest village of the district.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12 – Trek to Sibu (3942m) – 6 hours

We will leave Saldang early in the morning and go down the river bank, then the terraced fields, before we see beautiful stupas and Chortens. We can see a lot of Mani stones on our way and can visit the Chaiba Monastery as we proceed. We will trek through the village of Namdo, a prosperous village of 60 houses and 400 people. We can visit the Namdo monastery and see another monastery on top of the cliff. We will camp near the settlement called Sibu, along the river bank. A great camping spot.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13 – Trek to Foot of Jeng La Pass (4369m) – 5 hours

Following the dwindling river, the first few hours of the trek is going to be fairly easy. After two hours, we will cross another stream before we turn to a side valley. The climb from there is very steep. We will then reach a pleasant meadow bestrewn with rocks.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14 – Cross Jeng La Pass (4845m) and trek to Tokyu Gaon (4240m) – 7 hours

The trail today is compacted which makes hiking easier. At times it, however, does become rather steep. It will take 2 hours to reach the top of Jeng La. The view from here of the Dhaulagiri Masiff is truly mesmerizing. After a rough trail downhill towards the Tarap Valley, we will find ourselves in a lush green valley. Tarap Chu, the valley that opens up for us, is truly majestic. Its vast plains on the lap of snowy mountains extend 20km along the Tarap Chu. Upon reaching Tokyu Gaon we can visit Gompas and Chortens. We can spend the night in the Tokyu Monastery compound. The monastery belongs to the Chaiba sect.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 15 – Trek to Dho Tarap (4090m) – 4.5 hours

The trail today is wide and fairly easy. We will walk along the fields where we can see men and women busy harvesting the crops. We can also see Mani Walls and Chortens, many of which need a reconstruction now. The village of Tarap is mainly populated by Magars and few Tibetans. The people here practice Bon Po or Buddhism. We can go visit the Gompa here and receive blessings from the resident Lama. We will again spend the night in an overnight camp.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 16 – Trek to Serkam (3630m) – 6.5 hours

Following trail of the Tarap Khola, we will go downhill. We will cross some narrow gorges on our way. Here we might see blue sheeps, yaks and people taking their yaks and goats for grazing. We will walk along a more heaved trail as we hike away from the river. We will cross one of the modern suspension bridges. The trail can get very narrow in certain places. We will spend the night in an overnight camp.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 17 – Trek to Khani Gaon (2250m) – 7 hours

We will continue our descent down the canyon of the Tarap River. Today we will trek on a variety of trails. From wide and easy to very narrow and rather steep. We will also mount the flights of man made staircases which need to be tackled with some care. Our campsite will be a pleasant and beautiful meadow in the shade of big trees.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 18 – Trek to Tarakot (2281m) – 4 hours

Leaving Khani Gaon and the mountains in its backdrop, we cross a newly built suspension bridge before we will trek along the river. We hike upwards and sometimes down. At times the trail can be more challenging and we will also cross some of the rivers on wet stepping stones.

Accommodation: Lodge
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 19 – Trek to Dunai (2052m) – 5 hours

Leaving the wild adventures of the treks back up there, we will descend most of the time. We will walk beside the resonating Bheri River until we reach the village of Dunai. We have completed the circuit of the beautiful Dolpo. Now we rest, or if we still have some energy in our tank, we can go explore Dunai.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 20 – Trek to Juphal (2052m) – 5 hours

We will hike back to the small town of Juphal. At first the trail is flat and wide but as we ascend, the trail quickly becomes steeper. We will spend one more night in an overnight camp.

Accommodation: Tent
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 21 – Flight Juphal – Kathmandu via Nepalgunj

We will board the two planes on the same day. First, we will fly from to Nepalgunj (35 minutes) and then we will fly from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu (60 minutes). In Kathmandu it will be time to say goodbye. Hopefully we’ll meet again! Dhan'yaväda!

Food: Breakfast

Included

Included:

√ Pick up and transfer to and from airport
Your trekking company will be able to pick you up from your hotel and return you after the trekking. If you need a transfer to and from the airport of Kathmandu, then this can also be organized.

√ Hotel Nepalgunj
In Nepalgunj, where we will catch a flight to Juphal, you will have a hotel. This will be a good base for exploring the city.

√ Tent and other Equipment
While trekking you are provided with twin sharing tented accommodation and other useful equipment. The tent is waterproof, there will be a dining tent, a kitchen tent, table with chairs, kitchen utensils and even a toilet tent.

√ Domestic Flights
Your flight fares from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu and vice versa are included. So are the airport taxes.

√ English speaking guide and a porter
One porter per two trekkers. This way you don’t have to carry your complete equipment yourself. The guide speaks English.

√ Salary, food, insurance, and accommodation for guide and porter
The total amount covers not only your own basics, but also those of your guide and porter. No unpleasant surprises.

√ Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared during the trek. The meals are basic, but will give you enough energy for your appetite. Fruit is also available after each meal.

√ Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are also organized by the trekking company. Every morning fresh coffee and tea are made. There are scheduled breaks to enjoy this.

√ Permit and TIMS
The total amount includes costs for the permit. This also applies to the TIMS Card, to the Trekkers Information Management System.

√ Down Jacket and Sleeping Bags
In order to pull in the Himalayas as prepared as possible, it is important to bring a good down jacket and sleeping bag. These are provided by your trekking company.

√ Cap, T-Shirt & Roadmap
We also have a cap, t-shirt, and a roadmap for you. Not only are they ideal for trekking, but they are also beautiful souvenirs.

√ Altitude Sickness & First Aid Kit
The guides carry an altitude sickness kit to monitor your pulse rate, oxygen saturation and heart rate twice a day (very useful for monitoring the symptoms of altitude sickness (AMS) at altitude).

√ Helicopter Service in Emergencies
Check whether this is reimbursed by your travel insurance and otherwise take out a supplementary travel insurance package for this.

Excluded:

× Visa for Nepal
Your trekking company will not take responsibility for the travel visa for Nepal. This should be organized by yourself. Contact your local Nepalese embassy for the latest visa information.

× Flights to and from Nepal
The total amount is also exclusive of flights to and from Nepal. To get an idea of which airlines are flying on Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), have a look at the website.

× Accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.

× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Nepal.

× Tipping
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous and read our blog post about tipping when you are planning to go trekking in Nepal.

× Desserts, Hot Shower, Hot Water, Mineral Water and Wi-Fi
Certain luxuries such as desserts, a hot shower, hot running water, bottles of mineral water and Wi-Fi should be missed during a typical trek in the Himalayas. The water we encounter along the way is drinkable and is heated or boiled by us.

Accommodation

Accommodation

While trekking you are provided with twin sharing tented accommodation and other useful equipment. The tent is waterproof, there will be a dining tent, a kitchen tent, table with chairs, kitchen utensils and even a toilet tent.

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. In addition, the routes are ideally designed to give you enough time to acclimatize.

While the intention is to stick to the described route, a certain degree of flexibility is built in. In some cases it may be necessary to change the route here and there. The mountains are full of surprises, and the weather in the Himalayas is unpredictable. The guides continuously carry out risk assessments throughout the expedition. It is therefore best to plan a number of extra days in Nepal for possible unforeseen circumstances. Read all about altitude sickness here.

Training

Training

Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.

Do you like walking, have you done trekking at altitude more often and do you sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas.

Is this the first time that you are trekking at altitude? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s walk twice a week. Click here for a complete training schedule to prepare you for your adventure.

Packing List

Packing List

Trekking in Nepal requires decent gear. Especially the basics like an 80-90l backpack and quality trekking socks. Read an extensive blog here about what to bring with you.

Documents
– Passport
– Travel insurance
– Boarding passes for flights
– 2 passport photos
– Driving License
– Dollars in cash
– Credit card (make sure you have $500 available on your card
in case evacuation by helicopter is required)

Sleep
– Sleeping bag
– Extra sleeping bag lining

Footwear
– Mountain shoes: 3 or 4 season lightweight
– Slippers or sandals for the city
– Aircraft shoes (optional)

Clothing
– Make sure you have non-cotton clothing for during the trek
– 2 t-shirts with underlayer (e.g. running t-shirts)
– Fleece / softshell jacket
– Waterproof jacket
– Down jacket for warmth
– Travel and citywear
– Underwear
– Trousers for underlayer (optional)
– Waterproof pants
– Trekking pants
– Trekking shorts (optional)
– 2 thick trekking socks
– Lightweight and breathable trekking socks
– Gloves and woolen hat

Accessories
– One backpack: 35 liters
– A duffel bag or backpack with straps to go over your back (Max 8kg weight for the porters to carry)
– Drybag or waterproof cover for your backpack
– Water bottle/thermos: at least 2 litres.
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen
– Personal medication
– Inhaler, blister plasters, etc.
– General toiletries, contact lenses, spectacles (if necessary)
– Towel
– Electronics
– Headlight, travel adapter, phone & charger
– Lip balm
– Book
– MP3/Music and headphones
– Hand disinfectant, biodegradable wet wipes

Nepal Eco Adventure

Nepal Eco Adventure

Nepal Eco Adventure has office in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal’s most touristic city. Nepal Eco Adventure makes everything possible for its customer satisfaction. Nepal Eco Adventure is a team of experts with the greatest possible amount of experience.

Nepal Eco Adventure serves its customers by offering various attractions in Nepal and thus also provides them with more information about Nepal and its culture. Our manager is also a trekking guide in Nepal, so the whole company exudes the culture of trekking.

We build on experience and invaluable local expertise in the Nepalese Himalayas. Our thorough knowledge of trekking, experienced hikers and tour guides, the ties with TAAN, Nepal Tourism Board, RastraBank Nepal and Company Registration Centre Nepal are the most important points that make your trip perfect, safe and enjoyable.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Season
If you have read our blog post about the best time for trekking in Nepal, you will know that every season in Nepal is suitable for trekking. However, in certain times of the year the one area of Nepal is more favorable than the other. Most people who go trekking in the Everest region and Gokyo Valley do so from March till the beginning of June and from September till the end of December. The Annapurna Region is best enjoyed in March to May and from October all the way to December. Just like Everest, you can trek in Annapurna all year round. The same seasons are most popular when talking the Manaslu Circuit and the Langtang Valley. The Upper Mustang is your choice during the Monsoon season when the rest of the country gets more rainfall. The Upper Dolpo is perfect most of the year, especially from March all the way to November.

Porters
Bookatrekking.com strives to only work with providers who treat porters in a fair manner. Without porters, there is no trekking in Nepal. They are the heart and soul of your adventure and they every day carry part of your gear. Bookatrekking.com always tries to find a balance between an affordable trekking adventure and the fair treatment of porters.

Tipping
Porters are partly dependent on tipping. The cheaper your trekking, the more likely it is that the salary for porters is low. In any case, this must be compensated with tipping. It is an unwritten law in the Himalayas. On your way you will notice that the amount of tipping is a hot topic. At the end of the trek there is an opportunity to give tips. The rule of thumb is to count 10 to 15% of the total amount of the trek. This can be divided into 60-40. The 60% of the amount goes to the guide and 40% is for the porter(s).

Currency and Payment Methods
We recommend you to bring US dollars or euros to pay for your visa, further travel and other costs. It is easiest to travel in Nepal with US dollars. Nepal has reasonable banking facilities with branches of a number of international local commercial banks. Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. ATMs can be found everywhere in Kathmandu and Pokhara. There are ATMs in larger cities during the hikes. However, it is a good idea to bring enough money from Kathmandu or Pokhara as in Nepal you never know if the ATMs will work.

Visa Nepal
Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu you can get a tourist visa. USD 25 for 15 days from the date of issue, USD 40 for 30 days and USD 100 for 90 days tourist visa. You need two passport photos. You can apply for an online visa here.

Vaccinations
No immunizations are required vsiting Nepal, but it’s always worth checking which vaccinations are recommended and check you are up-to-date with all your boosters.

Although you can get vaccinations in Kathmandu, it’s generally better (and often cheaper) to get them before your trip. Either way, it’s always worth consulting with your local doctor or nurse for up-to-date travel and inoculation advice at least 6 weeks before your planned departure date.

The main recommended vaccinations for Nepal are Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Meningitis. Boosters are also recommended for Tetanus, Polio, Mumps, and Measles.Depending on your travel plans, you may also consider inoculations against Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, and Rabies. This is especially important if you have young children, plan to stay for an extended period of time, working in health care, or visiting rural areas and the lowlands of the Terai Region.

How to book

How does it work?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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