Upper Dolpo Trekking

‘adventure around Nepal Far West Himalaya in the country of Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep’

Trip Highlights:

 “A journey of great fascination on Nepal’s Far Wild Himalayan with impressive scenery
On the least traveled area by other trekkers and explorer within absolute wilderness
Exploring hidden culture of Dolpo people with interesting Buddhist and ancient Bon religion
Country of great beauty from alpine green hills, emerald lakes to windswept arctic terrain
Following the classic Snow Leopard trails to remote and isolated Shey the crystal monastery”

Trip Outlooks:

Trip Mode:                  Hotels and in Lodge with camping on treks.
Trek Grade:                 Moderate & Adventurous.
Highest point:            At Kang-la 5,350 m & Jyanta-La at 5,220 m passes.
Trek duration:            21 nights & 22 days (With flight both ways)
Total Trip:                   24 nights & 25 days (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)
Activities:                    Cultural tour - scenic flights and trekking.
Season:                        April to September including monsoon months.

Introduction:

Awesome Nepal Treks presents an overwhelming journey to Nepal’s Far Wild West Himalaya around Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery, away from mainstream trekking trails in complete wilderness in the harmony of rolling green hills, turquoise colored lakes of Phuksumdo and around high peaks with crystal mountains.

Beautiful Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery located and protected within its huge National Park covering an area of 3,555 sq.kms covering whole areas of Dolpo extends towards further North West at Mugu districts. Shey Phoksumdo of Dolpo regarded as the largest national park of Nepal. Dolpo treasures rich alpine vegetations with luxuriant forest of blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir and birch. The trans-Himalayan area of Northern Dolpo has with near-desert type vegetation of mainly dwarf juniper and caragana shrubs.

The whole areas of Dolpo are home for snow leopard and blue sheep, other common animals found in the park are Ghoral, Himalayan Thar, Serow, leopard, wolf, jackal, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan mouse hare, yellow-throated marten, languor and rhesus monkeys.

Around Dolpo where you can spot many species of birds, such as Impheyan pheasant ‘danphe’ national bird of Nepal, blood pheasant, cheer pheasants, red and yellow billed cough, raven, jungle crow, snow partridge and many others. Beside wild and bird life culturally the areas is famous for its impressive Buddhist culture and ancient Bon (pre Buddhism) sect practice of animism worshiping the natural spirits and its scenic environment.

Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery trekking begins with super scenic flight from Kathmandu to land at lower Nepal far south west in Nepalgunj, a warmer areas of sub-tropical climate and then heading higher further North West taking a short flight to Jhupal at Dolpo.

From Jhupal our adventure starts heading first around inner Dolpo at beautiful turquoise Phuksumdo Lake near Ringmo village, after an enjoyable rest and time at Phuksumdo Lake our journey leads higher to cross the highest pass of the trip over Kang-la of above 5,350 m high to reach at Shey Monastery within Crystal Mountain. (This areas well described on classic novel Snow Leopard by Peter Mattessian)

After an exciting and pleasant time around Shey monastery our walk heads back to Juphal taking an alternative route crossing Jyanta and Jeng – La passes to reach lovely villages of Saldang- Chagaon-Tokyu and Tarakot village then reaching at Dunai headquarter and main town of Dolpo. After Dunai our wonderful adventure Upper Dolpo and Shey Monastery concludes at Jhupal with a flight to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj with fond memories and overwhelming experience of Upper Dolpo and Shey Monastery.

Guideline Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
Day 02: Morning free and then fly to Nepalgunj city on route Dolpo.
Day 03: Fly to Jhupal 2,475 m then drive to Dunai 2,140 m - 02 hrs.
Day 04: Trek to Chhepka 2,838 m - 06 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Samdua village 2,960m -06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Phuksumdo Lake 3,630 m - 06 hours.
Day 07: Rest day at Phuksumdo Lake for local excursion.
Day 08: Trek to Phokshumdo-Khola 3,750 m- 05 hrs.
Day 09: Trek to Phuksumdo Bhanjyang 4,717 m - 04 hrs.
Day 10: Cross Nangdalo -La 5,350 m and trek to Shey Gompa 4,160 m via -06 hrs.
Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa the crystal monastery.
Day 12: Trek to Namgung 4,608 m via Sela (Gela) La 5,094m.
Day 13: Trek to Saldang 3,770 m - 05 hours.
Day 14: Trek to Chagaon 4,910 m - 05 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Dachu Khola camp at 4,700 m - 06 hrs.
Day 16: Trek and cross Jyanta-La at 5,220 m and walk to Phedi 4,900 m - 06 hrs.
Day 17: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,209 m - 06 hrs.
Day 18: Trek to Dho Tarap 3, 944 m- 05 hrs.
Day 19: Trek to Ghyamgar 3,759 m - 07 hrs.
Day 20: Trek to Tarap Khola 3,652 via Chhyugar 3,440 m - 06 hours.
Day 21: Trek to Tarakot 2,540 m - 06 hrs.
Day 22: Trek to Dunai - 05 hrs then drive to Jhupal - 02 hr jeep ride.
Day 23: Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Day 24: In Kathmandu free day with optional sightseeing tour.
Day 25: International departure for home ward bound.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
On reaching Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, received by our staff and then transfer to your respective hotels in the heart of Kathmandu city, after getting refreshed our guide briefs with information regarding Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery Trekking, lodge, camping on route with do and don’ts with evening group welcome dinner.

Day 02: Morning free and then fly to Nepalgunj city on route Dolpo.
In Kathmandu morning free with preparation for Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery trekking, as per the flight time transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for scenic flight of 50 mins towards Far South West Nepal to land at Nepalgunj city, a place with warm semi-tropical temperatures which lies close to Indian border, from Nepalgunj airport a short drive into a nice hotel within the city area, with time for short visit around Nepalgunj of Indian influence and flavor.

Day 03:  Fly to Jhupal 2,475 m then drive to Dunai 2,140 m - 02 hrs.
Having an early breakfast and the then transfer to Nepalgunj airport for another short flight to reach at Jhupal in Dolpo, on arrival at Jhupal after 40 minutes airborne, here you will be received by our trekking staff who have traveled taking a long overland drive and walks from Kathmandu to reach at Jhupal, around this area at present a motor road has been constructed connecting Dunai the main headquarter town of Dolpa area.

From Jhupal a short drive of more than an hour ride to Dunai for overnight stop, in the comfort of nice local lodge, afternoon walk around Dunai town an interesting place to observe its culture and way of daily life.

Day 04: Trek to Chhepka 2,838 m - 06 hrs.
After overnight in Dunai, morning walk past market crossing a bridge over Thulo Bheri River and then climb over a ridge to Phoksumdo River valley with views of Kagmara peak, from here trek leads downhill passing farm villages with walnut trees close to a stream at Dhera, a small cattle herders settlements, from here a short climb to Rahagaon village of Thakuri a Hindu local tribe, then downhill walk into forested area to reach overnight camp at Chhepka a small farm village.

Day 05: Trek to Samdua village 2,960m -06 hrs.
From Chhepka near Ankhe area, morning walk with short climb and descend through forest reaching a river bank, from here climb on leaving the forest, from the top walk downhill to forested area leading upstream to cross a small bridge at Ryajik village, trek  further to Samdua for overnight stop near the entrance of Phoksumdo National Park.

Day 06: Trek to Phoksumdo Lake 3,630 m - 06 hours.
Morning walk leads to our first destination at Phoksumdo Lake after Pungmo Kholas valley  and crossing streams, following Pungmo Khola downhill into pine and birch trees to reach at upper side of Phoksumdo Khola, after a  short break continue walk to Ringmo village, an interesting village of Tibetan origin with mud plastered chortens and Mani (prayer) walls. From here a short walk to Phoksumdo Lake for overnight camp by the shore of beautiful turquoise Phoksumdo Lake.

Day 07: Rest day at Phoksumdo Lake for local excursion.
An ideal spot for rest day, marvel the beautiful views of surrounding landscapes and peaks of Kagmara, or visit interesting Ringmo village and walk by the lake side.

Day 08: Trek to Phokshumdo-Khola 3,750 m- 05 hrs.
From this lovely place morning walk starts to higher area of upper Dolpo region to our another highlight and final destination of this awesome journey walk follows to contour around rocky ledge over the river bank on the unsteady path, then approaching at the western side the lake through a summer pasture which opens into a wide plain of Phuksumdo Khola for the overnight camp by the river shore.

Day 09: Trek to Phuksumdo Bhanjyang 4,717 m - 04 hrs.
After a nice walk of previous day, today’s morning trek begins on a good path leading northern area of Phuksumdo Khola and then walking up on the hill slopes, after a steep uphill to reach at a ridge top with impressive scenery of wide green valley and looking over Kang-La pass that leads to Shey Gompa, setting the camp for the night stop on this nice green summer pasture.

Day 10: Cross Nangdalo -La 5,350 m and trek to Shey Gompa 4,160 m via -06 hrs.
Morning walk starts to our main destination at Shey Gompa which the high lights of this adventure after Phuksumdo Lake, trek continues with a climb on stone and rocky path to cross Nangdalo-la pass at 5,350 meters, highest point of this adventure. The top offers super views of landscapes with snow clad peaks including Mt. Dhaulagiri. After reaching the top ridge, descend to the bottom of the hill leading by the river then across cattle herder camps, after a short stop continue towards Buddhist prayer monument Chortens and Mani, from here a nice walk to SheyGompa located beneath Crystal Mountain regarded as a Holy Mountain with an old monastery nearby.

Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa the crystal monastery.
A perfect place for rest day in this high mountain area, in the harmony of nature and chanting of monks, visit Shey Monastery also known Crystal Monastery, this area is well described in the novel Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.

Day 12: Trek to Namgung 4,608 m via Sela (Gela) La 5,094m.
From this wonderful place, our journey continuous into a wall canyon, trail meanders atop Sela or Gela-la at 5,094 m offering great views of landscapes and of Mt. Dhaulagiri peaks, downhill on the grazing area with pleasant walk to Namgung Gaon for overnight stop.

Day 13: Trek to Saldang 3,770 m - 05 hours.
After a stop in this village walk on dusty windswept terrain, leading to steep uphill to reach our overnight camp at Saldang, another impressive large village of the region, situated higher side of the plateau.

Day 14: Trek to Chagaon 4,910 m - 05 hrs.
From here, morning walk following river Nang chu all the way with short ups and down and then passing Sugugaon and Dechen Lapran a cattle herders settlement, and then heading to our overnight camp at Chagoan village with an old Rapa Gompa of pre Buddhist and ancient Bon-Pa culture.

Day 15: Trek to Dachu Khola camp at 4,700 m - 06 hrs.
Morning walk south towards Tarap valley around Tokyu and Dho Tarap village, then taking southern direction to reach Dachu Khola and beyond, after crossing the same trail following river through farm fields, and then walk into Yak herder areas for overnight camp.

Day 16: Trek and cross Jyanta-La at 5,220 m and walk to Phedi 4,900 m - 06 hrs.
After nice stop in this summer pasture area walk follows the river for short while, and then encountering yaks and mules laden caravan on route Tibet, trade with Tibet exists since hundreds of years, and this walking route lies on the old Trans Himalayan Caravan Route.
From the base of Jyanta-la, morning starts with steep climb to reach top of the pass with views of massive Mt. Dhaulagiri range, from here a long descend to the base of the pass on route Tokyu village.

Day 17: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,209 m via Jeng la 5,090m-06 hrs.
After a steep climb an easy walk today for hours reaching at Tokyu gaon for overnight, this is one of the most impressive and interesting village of Dolpo area, consist of more than ten villages and nice tended farm fields with an old monasteries.

Day 18: Trek to Dho Tarap 3, 944 m- 05 hrs.
After Tokyugaon, morning starts with downhill walk towards Tarap Chu on broader green valley, this is one of the scenic wide valleys with lots of Sheppard’s settlements of Yaks and Sheep, and walk continues to our overnight camp at Dho Tarap, this is another interesting village with mix tribes of Tibetans origin and Magar hill tribe people.

Day 19: Trek to Ghyamgar 3,759 m - 07 hrs.
From here a long descend to Tarap valley, one of the largest and longest valley of Dolpo area which is about 20 k.m. which stretches following Tarap Chu River most of the way to joins with Thuli Bheri River near Tarakot village, walk leads past Langa with beautiful cascading waterfalls heading due south following the trail after Sisaul and small place of Kesila around Yak herders temporary camps to reach our overnight camp at Ghyamgar.

Day 20: Trek to Tarap Khola 3,652 via Chhyugar 3,440 m - 06 hours.
Today walks on Tarap nice valley, as the trail enter into a narrow gorge with some vegetation of bushes of juniper and wild rose, walk leads past Toltol with a large overhanging cave, around this area might see some wild life like Naur or Blue Sheep and other animals. As the walk progress reaching a confluence of River Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, overnight camp by the river after a long day walk of about 6 hours.

Day 21: Trek to Tarakot 2,540 m - 06 hrs.
Start morning walk passing smaller villages and then into a small wooded area, following river all the way at Tarakot, a large and interesting village with old history and well maintained terraced farm fields, Tarakot with an old historical fortress (Dzong or Kot) guarding the village.
Tarakot village houses famous old Sandul Gomba located at junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu River where the overnight camp is placed.

Day 22: Trek to Dunai - 05 hrs then drive to Jhupal - 02 hr jeep ride.
After a great time at Tarakot, our last day walk leads to Dunai for short while and then taking a short drive to Jhupal for the flight back to Kathmandu.

Morning starts following many spread out villages and farmers huts, walking on wider trail with some short uphill and downhill towards Thuli Bheri River valley to reach at Dunai, on reaching Dunai time permitting having lunch. From here jeeps drive to Jhupal to catch our next morning flight to Nepalgunj.

Day 23: Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Morning as per the flight time to Nepalgunj transfer to Jhupal airstrip after bidding farewell to our camping staff and porters, a short scenic flight brings your south at Nepalgunj for short transit stop and then fly back to Kathmandu with panorama views of mountains during airborne and then on reaching at Kathmandu domestic airport transfer back to your hotels with afternoon free at leisure.

Day 24: In Kathmandu free day with optional sightseeing tour.
Awesome Adventure Trek reserves today as contingency day, in case of flight delay and cancellation at Jhupal in Dolpo, which might happen sometimes due to bad weather conditions. If all goes well per our itinerary days one can use this spare day and join in our tour at places of interest around World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu-Patan or Bhaktapur, with rest of the day free for individual activities and souvenirs shopping.

Day 25: International departure homeward bound.
Your last day in amazing Nepal, the land full of Himalayan wonders after wonderful experience and fond memories of Upper Dolpo & Shey Monastery Trekking around Far North West Himalaya region, our staff transfer you to airport as per your time for international flight for your final departure toward homeward bound.

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