Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek

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Starts at: Dunai Ends at: Dunai
Trek Region: Dolpo Transport: Flight
Duration: 15 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 4465 m / 14648 ft (Jeng La Pass) Accommodation: Camping

Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Witness the age-old Bon-Buddhist practices in different monasteries
  • Trek to the pristine Shey Phoksundo alongside with an entry to the Phoksundo National Park
  • Amazing experience walking in the desert-like rain shadow area of the lower Dolpo region
  • Catch the enticing views of Yak Caravan and got to walk on the ancient salt trade route
  • Feel enticed by the sight of diverse flora and fauna of the region

The Lower Dolpo Circuit is set in the isolated and remote western region of Dolpo where the landscape and people are more Tibetan than Nepali. This mysterious land has a dry atmosphere and is at high altitude, despite being in ‘lower’ Dolpo. With ever increasing altitudes up to the maximum 5,190m and with days averaging 6 – 7 hours of walking, this two week trek is recommended for experienced and fit hikers. But the rewards are astounding: the crisp, clear blueness of Phoksundo Lake (3,611m); unique flora and fauna; a unique religion; diverse culture; colourful festivals; challenging passes; high snow-covered Kanjirowa Himal peaks and the list goes on!

Much of lower Dolpo falls under the protection of Shey Phoksundo National Park. This has ensured pine, fir and birch forests as well as wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard, rare Himalayan blue sheep, goral, thar, Himalayan black bear, langur and rhesus monkeys, among others, maintain their strength in today’s world.

Isolated villages of people closely related to Tibetans, and ancient monasteries offer a glimpse back in time are another feature of this area. Additionally, this is one of the few remaining places where the Bon Po religion is practiced. Bon Po is similar and yet different from Buddhism – one difference being practitioners walk anti-clockwise round stupas and shrines.

Phoksundo Lake is almost 500 ha in size and was designated a Ramsar site (wetlands of international significance) in 2008. But most probably, people recognise this lake from the film which was made here about, and staring, the people of this area. Known as Caravan in Nepal, the film was called Himalaya on the international stage.

Naturally there is a reason why this area is remote and isolated – difficult and rough, and at times very high and narrow, paths and mountain passes over 5,000m. But for those who have an interest in the Buddhist and Bon Po culture, are excited by windswept scenery interspersed with pine forests and the possibility of sighting rare mammal and medicinal plant species, this is a truly wonderful trek!

Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (Flight)

Nepalgunj – 150 m / 492 ft – 50 minutes

Day 2: Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Flight) to Dunai

Dunai – 2850 m / 9350 ft – 4 hrs

Day 3: Dunai to Tarakot

Tarakot – 2543 m / 8343 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Tarakot to Laini

Laini – 3160 m / 10367 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: Laini to Nawar Pani

Nawar Pani – 3545 m / 11630 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Nawar Pani to Dho Tarap

Dho Tarap – 4090 m / 13418 ft – 7 hrs

Day 7: Acclimatization Day

Dho Tarap – 4090 m / 13418 ft – 3 hrs

Day 8: Dho Tarap to Numa La Base Camp

Numa La Base Camp – 4440 m / 14566 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Numa La Base Camp to Pelung Tang

Pelung Tang – 4465 m / 14648 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10: Pelung Tang to Dajok Tang

Dajok Tang – 4080 m / 13385 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Dajok Tang to Ringmo

Ringmo – 3600 m / 11811 ft – 4 hrs

Day 12: Ringmo to Phoksundo Lake

Phoksundo Lake – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 5 hrs

Day 13: Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta

Shyanta – 2520 m / 8267 ft – 4 hrs

Day 14: Shyanta to Jhupal

Jhupal – 2320 m / 7611 ft – 5 hrs

Day 15: Jhupal to Nepalgunj (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 2 hrs

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Plan Your Trip


  • 13 nights accommodation in tents
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj (Hotel Sneha or similar)
  • Guide for 15 days
  • Cook for 15 days
  • Required number of porters for 15 days
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj Kathmandu Flight
  • Nepalgunj Jhupal Nepalgunj Flight
  • Shey Phoksundo national park permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 15 x breakfast, 14 x lunch and 14 x dinner while on the trek
  • Lunch and dinner in Nepalgunj

Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek Map

dolpo region trek map

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