Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek

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Starts at: Dunai Ends at: Dunai
Trek Region: Dolpo Transport: Flight
Duration: 24 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5670 m / 18602 ft (Jeng La Pass) Accomodation: Camping

Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Follow the footprints of the ancient trans-Himalayan traders
  • Explore the region in a dry weather without worrying about the rain
  • Amazing time on this trek around the lake, Crystal mountain, and the views of Dhaulagiri
  • Catch a view of diverse flora and fauna in the Shey Phoksundo National Park
  • Get an insight into the life and culture of the followers of Bon Buddhism

Dolpo lies in the remote north west of Nepal, between the Tibetan Plateau and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The Upper Dolpo trek takes in, as the name suggests, the upper part of this region, which is even more remote and rarely visited. Only opened to visitors at the end of the 1980s, Upper Dolpo is still considered a restricted area and requires a special permit.

Phoksundo Lake; Shey Gompa; Bon Po practitioners; Buddhist monasteries; views of Dhaulagiri; Crystal Mountain (a mountain whose cliffs are laced with quartz and marine fossils); unique Tibetan cultures; the magnificent and rare snow leopard – all of these may sound familiar. And yes, they are, made so through Peter Matthiessen’s book “The Snow Leopard” and Eric Valli’s film of Dolpo life, ‘Himalaya’.

While Dolpo is in general a dry, bare place, it is laced with fast flowing rivers, roaring waterfalls, deep river gorges, lush meadows, and valleys of tilled fields. Remote villages with interesting cultures, including the Bon Po religion, and of course the beautiful icy waters of Phoksundo Lake are other attractions in this region. As part of Dolpo falls within the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the wildlife, such as the snow leopard, rare Himalayan blue sheep, goral, thar, Himalayan black bear etc. is protected.

This three week trek is not for the faint-hearted as trails are difficult, high, steep, shaky, and sometimes barely there. Long walking days at high altitude are the norm with several high passes to cross, but for those with the stamina, fitness level and sheer willpower, this trek is definitely a once-in a lifetime trip.

Upper 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 Ankhe

Ankhe – 2896 m / 9501 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Ankhe to Sulighat

Sulighat – 3180 m / 10433 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Sulighat to Phoksundo

Phoksundo – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Acclimatization Day

Phoksundo – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 2 hrs

Day 7: Phoksundo to Phoksundo Khola Camp

Phoksundo Khola Camp – 3507 m / 11505 ft – 5 hrs

Day 8: Phoksundo Khola Camp to Phoksundo Bhanjyang

Phoksundo Bhanjyang – 3910 m / 12828 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa – 4500 m / 14763 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10: Acclimatization Day

Shey Gompa – 4500 m / 14763 ft – 3 hrs

Day 11: Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaon

Namduna Gaon – 4800 m / 15748 ft – 6 hrs

Day 12: Namduna Gaon to Saldang

Saldang – 3620 m / 11876 ft – 5 hrs

Day 13: Saldang to Yangze Gompa

Yangze Gompa – 4960 m / 16272 ft – 4 hrs

Day 14: Yangze Gompa to Sibu

Sibu – 4560 m / 14960 ft – 6 hrs

Day 15: Sibu to Jeng La Phedi

Jeng La Phedi – 4900m / 16075 ft – 6 hrs

Day 16: Jeng La Phedi to Tokyu Gaon via Jeng La Pass

Tokyu Gaon – 4209 m / 13809 ft – 7 hrs

Day 17: Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap

Dho Tarap – 4040 m / 13254 ft – 5 hrs

Day 18: Acclimatization Day

Dho Tara – 4040 m / 13254 ft – 2 hrs

Day 19: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola

Tarap Khola – 3800 m / 12467 ft – 6 hrs

Day 20: Tarap Khola to Khani Gaon

Khani Gaon – 3150 m / 10334 ft – 5 hrs

Day 21: Khani Gaon to Tarakot

Tarakot – 2537 m / 8323 ft – 5 hrs

Day 22: Tarakot to Dunai

Dunai – 2850 m / 9350 ft – 6 hrs

Day 23: Dunai to Jhupal

Jhupal – 2320 m / 7611 ft – 3 hrs

Day 24: Jhupal to Nepalgunj (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 2 hrs

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Plan Your Trip

Includes

  • 22 nights accommodation in tents
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj (Hotel Sneha or similar)
  • Guide for 24 days
  • Cook for 24 days
  • Required number of porters for 24 days
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj Kathmandu Flight
  • Nepalgunj Jhupal Nepalgunj Flight
  • Shey Phoksundo national park permit
  • Restrcted area permit
  • 24 x breakfast, 23 x lunch and 23 x dinner while on the trek
    Vegan
    Veg
  • Lunch and dinner in Nepalgunj

Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek Map

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