Upper Dolpa Trekking

Upper Dolpo Trek Information

Upper Dolpo Trek is a unique and interesting trekking destination in the Dolpo region of Nepal as it happens to be a restricted trekking area of Nepal, only recently opened for the public. Upper Dolpo Trek provides a fascinating opportunity to explore the beauty of the popular Dolpo region, considered as virgin trekking area, as the trekkers get the chance to view the mountains, Yaks and get acquainted with the Sherpa culture of the region. Upper Dolpo Trek was restricted for the trekkers until the 1990’s and it is only after that that the region has received exposure both on the international and domestic level. Upper Dolpo Trek is a region of great mystical beauty, also documented well in the film called ‘Caravan’, and the fact that its location is remote adds more to its natural beauty and adventure. Upper Dolpo region is situated close to the Tibetan border in the north of Western Nepal and hence most of the culture in the Dolpo region is similar to the Tibetan and Buddhist cultures.

Besides being adventurous, Upper Dolpo Trek is equally challenging trek as the trail has not been much travelled by the trekkers. The major highlight of the Upper Dolpo Trek is the beautiful Shey Phoksundo Lake, which is the deepest lake in Nepal. Besides the lake, trekkers will also come across several rare wildlife, snowy mountain peaks and plenty of Buddhist monasteries along the way. Upper Dolpo Trek starts from Kathmandu with a flight to Nepalgunj and then to Jhupal the next morning. The best time for trek to the Dolpo region is in the summer and spring season. The trail becomes increasingly difficult in winter because of heavy snowfall.

Best Season

September to December and March to May

Itinerary outline

Day 01 – Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02 – Trek preparation &sightseeing in Kathmandu

Day 03 – Fly to Nepalgunj and sightseeing in Nepalgunj

Day 04 – Fly to Jhupal (2320m)

Day 05 – Trek to Chhepka (2850m)

Day 06 – Trek to Palam (3820m)

Day 07 – Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake (3620m)

Day 08 – Exploration in Shey Phoksundo

Day 09 – Trek to Salla Ghari (3700m)

Day 10 – Trek to Lar Tsa (4120m)

Day 11 - Trek to Shey Gompa (4320m)

Day 12 – Rest day for acclimatization

Day 13 – Trek to Namgung (4430m)

Day 14 – Trek to Saldang (4050m)

Day 15 – Trek to Jengla (4480m)

Day 16 – Trek to Tarap (4200m)

Day 17 – Trek to Serkam (3600m)

Day 18 – Trek to Tarakot (2543m)

Day 19 – Trek to Dunai (2100m)

Day 20 – Trek to Jhupal

Day 22 – Flight to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu

Day 23 – Departure to TIA,“Farewell!"

Day 01–Arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu
Our team members will welcome you at the Airport and you will then be ushered to the Hotel. Our travel representatives will explain briefly about the travel itinerary upon Airport arrival. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02–Trek preparation, sightseeing in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at the Kathmandu, you will be preparing for the trek while enjoying sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley. Several monuments, UNESCO enlisted sites including the Basantapur Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, and other temples and Stupas are the places you will visit on the second day. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 03– Fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu
the third day you will be take a flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. Nepalgunj is a vibrant city located in the Mid-Western Region of Nepal. The flight duration is around 60 minutes and in that time you will reach the lowlands of Terai from the Capital. Nepalgunj is nearby the border Indian states of Rupediya and also Baharaich. The rest of the day you will sightsee around the local bazaar using horse cart which might come as a wonderful moment for the foreigners. Bageshowri Temple in Nepalgunj is quite popular and a visit to the Hindu temple in the evening will be a good thing to do the evening. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Day 04– Fly to Jhupal (2320m) from Nepalgunj
A 35-minute flight from Nepalgunj Airport takes you to Juphal on the fourth day. The flight is awesome as the aircraft flies over the mountain ridges, the beautiful valleys and the majestic-looking mountains. Jhupal Airport is a small airstrip amidst the mountains and the hills. You will also get a first-hand experience of the geographical diversity of Nepal as in an hour or so you will reach a small village amidst the mountains from a hot city of Tarai. From Jhupal, you will walk for a few hours until you reach Dunai, the headquarters of Dolpa district. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Day 05–Trek to Chhepka (2850m) 6hrs
The next day, we take breakfast in the morning and start out trek as per the itinerary. We descend through several vegetable fields before reaching Thuli Bheri River. Then we cross a suspension bridge over the river and enter the premises of Shey Phoksundo National Park, considered as Nepal’s largest national park. Trekkers and foreigners who are not the member countries of SAARC have to pay certain amount before entering the region. We then cross several trees and forests of fir and Juniper and reach Chhepka, a small village in the Dolpo region. Overnight stay at a tented cam.

Day 06–Trek to Palam (3820m) 7hrs
It is a long day’s trek on day six as we trek for around seven hours, crossing and passing through beautiful forests and the flowing rivers. The trail goes upwards sometimes and yet at times it come down, much to the delight of the trekkers. Local people grazing their Yaks can be seen all along the way. After trekking for over 4 hours we reach Reechi village and then a couple of hours trek takes us to Palam. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 07–Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake (3620m) 4hrs
The next day, we make our way towards Shey Phoksundo Lake, one of the major highlights of the Upper Dolpo region. It takes around four hours to reach the lake from Palam. Before reaching the lake, we also come across Phoksundo waterfall, Nepal’s highest waterfall. Shey Phoksundo is quite popular for its exotic location and for the pristine natural beauty it commands. We spend the rest of the night at a tented camp nearby the lake.

Day 08–Exploration in Shey Phoksundo
We will spend the next day exploring around the Shey Phoksundo Lake and the adjoining area. The bluish lake and the surrounding ambience is just breathtaking and you can take your time get over the beautiful lake. The trekkers also have the chance to talk and converse with the local people from the region and learn about their great old Buddhist and Bon culture. Overnight stay in a tented camp.

Day 09–
We will spend the next day exploring around the Shey Phoksundo Lake and the adjoining area. The bluish lake and the surrounding ambience is just breathtaking and you can take your time get over the beautiful lake. The trekkers also have the chance to talk and converse with the local people from the region and learn about their great old Buddhist and Bon culture. Overnight stay in a tented camp.

Day 10–Trek to Salla Ghari (3700m) 5hrs
The next day, we will make our entrance towards the real restricted region of Upper Dolpo. The trail follows the famous region where the famous documentary movie ‘Caravan was shot. Caravan was directed by foreign director Eric Valli and it even made it to the Oscars after it was selected in the best foreign movie category. We come across the beautiful lake of Ringmo, evergreen pine forests and the snow-capped mountains as we make our way to Salla Ghari. Kanjirowa Himal (66612m) is also visible along the way. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 11- Trek to Lar Tsa (4120m) 6hrs
The trail now gets steep as we move along the way continuously uphill until Lar Tsa. Because of heavy snowfall round the winter and lack of vegetation, the region looks quite barren. However, the landscape and the natural beauty are unmatched. Keeping in view of the high altitude sickness problems, we hike in a slow and steady manner. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 12– Trek to Shey Gompa (4320m) 6hrs
On day eleven, we first reach Kang-La (5350m) after almost three hours of difficult and strenuous trek from Lar Tsa. Kang-La Pass is quite popular in the region. We then cross and descend the pass and climb downhill for about 3 hours to reach Shey Gompa. Shey Gompa is a small village in the Dolpo region with few houses and a Buddhist Gompa. There is a very old Gompa believed to have been built several hundreds of years ago. Shey Gompa is one of the attractions of the Upper Dolpo region and is also considered as the spiritual centre of Dolpo. Overnight stay at a tented camp, inclusive of full board meal

Day 13– Rest day for acclimatization
The next day will be spent at the Shey Gompa itself, exploring the monastery and the adjoining region. As the altitude has risen quite considerably, the rest day will also be a good one for acclimatization purpose. Visiting the popular monastery and talking with the local Sherpa people will be a good experience for the foreign trekkers. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 14– Trek to Namgung (4430m)
On the 13th day, we cross Sheyla Pass and another pass called the Glen-La Pass, exceeding around 5000 meters of altitude. While crossing the Glen pass, we can see the beautiful view of the Tibetan plateau, the highest plateau in the world. We can also spot Mustang to the east. After crossing the two passes, we descend to the village of Namgung. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 15– Trek to Saldang (4050m) 3hrs
The trail from Namgung descends through steep slopes and in three hours time we reach the beautiful village of Saldang. Saldang is a big village in the Dolpo region with many people inhabiting the area. The village basically prospers through tourism and to a lesser degree from agriculture. Overnight stay at a tented camp

Day 16– Trek to Jengla (4480m) 5hrs
The next morning we have quick breakfast at Saldang and then make our way to Jengla, located at an altitude of 4480 meters. Jengla will be the highest point during the trek and the trail is undoubtedly adventurous as we move pass through several terraced fields and monasteries. During the mid-point of the trek, we come across one village called Namdo. Namdo is sparsely populated and has close to fifty-sixty houses with relatively less number of people. Jengla is not too far from Namdo as we reach there in couple of more hours. Overnight stay at a tented camp

Day 17– Trek to Tarap (4200m) 3hrs
It is a relatively short trek the next day, as we move towards Tarap from Jengla. The way to Tarap is quite easy and the trail is extensively travelled by the trekkers and locals alike. It takes around three hours to reach Tarap. There is a ‘French School’ just outside the village of Tarap, set up by the French people. Like Jengla, Tarap is also sparsely populated and the rest of the time we spend visiting Buddhist Gompas, talking with Sherpas and learning the art of weaving Thankas. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 18– Trek to Serkam (3600m) 6hrs
Trek to Serkam is adventurous and the trail now follows along the course of Tarap Khola. It is mostly a downhill trek from Tarap, the trail passing through narrow and deep gorges. If you are lucky enough you will meet people from Upper Dolpo region coming down with their flock of sheep, Yak and goat in search of pastures for the winter. The trail is also undulating at times. After almost six hours of trekking, we reach Serkam. Overnight stay at a tented camp

Day 19– Trek to Tarakot (2543m) 5hrs
It calls for an exciting day of trek on the 18th day as we climb downhill from Serkam. At some places we cross small rivers by stepping on the stones and at other times we cross rivers through long suspension bridges. People near Tarakot raise various crops like millet, barley, buckwheat, chillies and marijuana and we pass through many such crop fields. Tarakot is a small and prosperous village of the Dolpo region and is extremely popular around the otherwise barren region. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 20– Trek to Dunai (2100m) 5hrs
Trek to Dunai from Tarakot is relatively easy and we walk along the banks of the Bheri River for almost 4-5 hours before we reach the beautiful Dunai. Dunai is the district headquarters of Dolpa. Dunai was attacked by the Maoist rebels during the period of insurgency. Dunai is also the end of the Upper Dolpo Trek and from here on we return back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. Overnight stay at a tented camp.

Day 21– Trek to Jhupal (2320m) 3hrs
On the 20th day, we climb uphill for a short period of time to reach Jhupal from where the entire trek started almost three weeks ago. It is a short trek as we reach Jhupal in less than three hours. For the rest of the day we will stay at a guesthouse in Jhupal while preparing for the flight to Nepalgunj next day.

Day 22– Fly to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu
Early in the morning, we will fly to Nepalgunj from Jhupal. The flight will again remind you of the amazing landscape of Nepal. After some time of reaching Nepalgunj, we will take another flight to Kathmandu, the Capital city. Overnight stay at a hotel

Day 23– Departure to TIA, “Farewell!"
On the 16th day of the tour package, you will return to your country via the international Airport in Kathmandu.

Price: US$ 00.00

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Cost Included »

  • Airport picks up and drops.
  • All airfare according to the itinerary.
  • All surface transfers as per itinerary.
  • 3 star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu.
  • Food, lodging,salary,insurance and other expenses of staffs.
  • All necessary paper work.
  • Guided sightseeing tour including all entry fees.
  • Travel and rescue arrangements for our staffs.
  • All necessary staffs with experienced English speaking guide, Porter(also a personal Sherpa on request).
  • Three daily meals with tea/coffee (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek.
  • Medical supplies [First Aid medical kit will be available].
  • Trekking Information Management System [TIMS], New Trekking permit to keep record of tourist [This is for your safety].
  • Backpacker Treks T - shirt, Duffle bag, trekking map and trip achievement certificate.
  • Government taxes and office service charge.
  • Farewell dinner cultural program with Nepali typical meal.

Cost Excluded »

  1. Nepal entry visa fee.
  2. International air fee.
  3. Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu is excluded. Except welcome and fare well dinner.
  4. Drinking WaterAll cold drink any beverage are not included on your trip price.
  5. You have to make your travel and rescue insurance by yourself before leave for travel.
  6. Clients them self have to arrange personal trekking equipments such as- trekking pole.
  7. Tips for driver, guide and porters are not included in the cost of your package.
  8. Any other Expenses which are not mentioned on price include section.

Getting to Nepal - You will land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu when you first come to Nepal. Our travel representatives will receive you at the Airport and then transfer you to a hotel in the capital city. That will be our first task after you land in the country. The itinerary then follows in the coming days.

Visa information in Nepal - Once you arrive in Kathmandu, your first job or task will be to consult the Department of Immigration in Nepal regarding your Nepal stay. Our team members will help you in completing the necessary works regarding Visa and the procedures of extension, if needed. If you are planning for an extended stay in Nepal, say more than three months or around a year or so, then you need to extend your Visa through the Immigration Department. This won’t be of any problem as we will handle the government-related activities.

Trek permit - There are some restricted trekking destinations in Nepal which require special permission from the government of Nepal or a government agency for the foreign trekkers. They also need to pay a fixed royalty to trek some of the selected places in Nepal. Some of the restricted trekking destinations like Upper Dolpo Trek, Mustang Trek, Rara Trek, etc. require special trek permit for the foreigners. However, there won’t be any such problem as we, the company, will look after the legal formalities in securing the trek permits for the clients. It will be our responsibility to secure trek permits for you.

Altitude sickness - As most of the trekking destinations in Nepal exceed 4000 meters of altitude, high altitude sickness is one of the common problems faced by the trekkers. High altitude sickness can be very fatal and dangerous if you are not prepared for the same. Some of the trekking destinations like Upper Mustang Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, Langtang Circuit Trek exceeds and nears around 5000 meters of altitude with chances of high altitude sickness. However, if you are aware of the problem and if you take special measure, then altitude sickness can be avoided and will not be much of a problem. As we have experienced trekking guides and a team of experienced hand, altitude sickness will not be a problem and even if it occurs, it will be handled well by our team members.

Medical Kit - Whenever we embark on a tour package or itinerary, we are fully prepared of the possible consequences or the untoward incidents, and hence our team carries a separate medical kit. Medical kit is of immense help and importance during long tours and trek as you never know what will happen next, even regarding the health of the trekkers. Availability of medical kit is very paramount as it will help to provide immediate medical attention to the needy person. Problems of high altitude sickness, shortness of breathing, dizziness, etc. are the ones frequently encountered during the trek. Presence of medical kit helps to resolve any of such problems and provides immediate relief and medical attention to the person who is in need for the same.

Equipment - Some special trekking equipments are necessary for expedition and some other treks. Such special equipments will have to be brought or arranged by you. As such equipments are quite expensive; it is not possible for us to arrange such materials. However, general trekking and minor accessory requirements will be provided by the company. You only need to bring with you some of the special trekking equipment necessary for trek and expedition. Also, if you do not have such equipments then we can provide you with such equipments, but you need to pay for it.

Note: If you have any queries regarding the itineraries/ information, please let us know by phone or via e-mail.