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Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek - 15 Days

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Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek Highlights

  • You will witness the age-old Bon-Buddhist practices in different monasteries.
  • You will trek to the pristine Shey Phoksundo (3611 meters) alongside with an entry to the Shey Phoksundo National Park.
  • You will have amazing experience walking in the desert-like rainshadow area of the lower Dolpo region.
  • You can also catch the enticing views of Yak Caravan and got to walk on the ancient salt trade route.
  • You will 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!

Days Itinerary Altitude Time
Day 1 Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (Flight) 150 m 1 hr
Day 2 Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Flight) to Dunai 2850 m 3 hr
Day 3 Dunai to Tarakot 2543 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 4 Tarakot to Laini 3160 m 6 - 7 hr
Day 5 Laini to Nawar Pani 3545 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 6 Nawar Pani to Dho Tarap 4090 m 7 - 8 hr
Day 7 Acclimatization Day 4090 m 3 hr
Day 8 Dho Tarap to Num La Base Camp 4440 m 6 - 7 hr
Day 9 Num La Base Camp to Pelung Tang 4465 m 6 - 7 hr
Day 10 Pelung Tang to Dajok Tang 4080 m 6 hr
Day 11 Dajok Tang to Ringmo 3600 m 3 - 4 hr
Day 12 Ringmo to Phoksundo Lake 3612 m 4 - 5 hr
Day 13 Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta 2520 m 3 - 4 hr
Day 14 Shyanta to Jhupal 2320 m 5 - 6 hr
Day 15 Jhupal to Nepalgunj (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight) 1380 m 1 hr


  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flights x 4
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj Jhuphal Nepalgunj Kathmandu Flight
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit and Restricted Entry Permit
  • Guide for 15 days
  • Porter for 13 days
  • Cook for 13 days
  • Kitchen helper for 13 days
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 13 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses and tented camps
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj
  • 15 x set breakfast, 15 x set lunch and 14 x set dinner while on trek
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff


  • International flight ticket and Nepal Entry Visa
  • Personal travel insurance (Which should include coverage for trekking)
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu, except the farewell dinner
  • Personal gear for trekking (Including any you may wish to hire in Kathmandu), any personal expenses (i.e. soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks etc.)


Is it safe to drink the water in Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek?

No. You cannot drink the water from the tap or streams in Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek. Mineral water is not available on the trail. You can use a water purifier or SteriPen.

Am I likely to get altitude sickness on my trek?

Be aware. Elevation on this trek will exceed 3,500m. The possibilities of getting altitude sickness generally start at this elevation. But in order to avoid this, as much as possible, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that it will give you enough time to acclimatize.

Am I at risk and how can I avoid altitude sickness?

There is no knowing who will suffer from altitude sickness. It does not follow that the younger and fitter people will not get altitude sickness where the older and less fit will. It is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your doctor at home. There are prescription medications which help avoid the onset of altitude sickness. But above all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if he feels you are showing symptoms (which you might not notice).

What happens if there is need for emergency evacuation while I am trekking?

We will collect your travel insurance policies and details before the trek so that in case of an emergency we can coordinate with your insurance company and the helicopter providers for evacuation.

What about simple medical treatment on the trek?

First aid. On every trek we will carry a first aid kit. We also recommend you carry your own. Here is a checklist recommended by Karen Anderson of things you should bring. Vaccinations are not compulsory in Nepal but to be on the safe side we recommend you comply, where possible, with this list provided by again by Karen Anderson (medical doctor in New Zealand and friend and client of Magical Nepal).

Do I need to buy travel insurance before I come to Nepal?

Yes. Magical Nepal only provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.

Will I need to bring my own sleeping bag or not?

Yes, bring your own or you can rent it or buy it in Kathmandu. Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu will cost you $1 or $2 per day. To buy a new sleeping bag in Kathmandu expect to pay around $150 to $200 for one of medium quality.

Will I need to use crampons on this trek?

Yes. It is an exploratory trek, and weather conditions can be unpredictable. We might need to use crampons.

What happens if I forget to bring something with me from home?

If you forget something it might be extremely hard to find here. Please check here for an exhaustive packing list for (general) trekking in Nepal. If you are not a frequent hiker, you can rent most of the trekking gear in Nepal when you arrive.

Will we be using tents and mattresses on the trek?

Yes. It is an exploratory trek, and weather conditions can be unpredictable. We might need to use crampons.

Where can I leave stuff in Kathmandu when I am trekking?

Anything you don’t want to take on the trek with you can be stored at your hotel or in our office. We suggest you ensure your bag is lockable.

Who will be my guide?

We use local guides. On each trek our guides have been to the relevant areas numerous times. All are experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and authorized licensed guides with the Government of Nepal.

Will I need a porter for my trek?

Preferable. If you use a porter it has double benefit: you can fully enjoy your trek without carrying a heavy bag, and its improves the income of the local community.

How much can a porter carry?

20kg. On average a porter can carry 22kg including their own backpack. So, they can carry up to 18kg of your gear and equipment. We provide backpacks for porters.

Are your staff insured in case of accidents etc.?

Yes. At Magical Nepal we make sure all our staff are well insured.

I hear incidents when porters do not have proper shoes etc. Is this true?

At Magical Nepal we ensure all our guides and porters have proper gear, are well equipped and protected. This is for their own well being and for the wellbeing of our clients.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Trip Facts

  • 5190 m
  • Nepalgunj/Nepalgunj
  • Demanding

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