Dolpo is a heaven which is left unexplored. Nature recompenses this remote western part of Nepal with exceptionally amazing sceneries and serene attractiveness that resembles the ones of the Roof of the World, Tibet, and sometimes even better. The turquoise Phoksundo Lake and the many ancient monasteries of the pre-Buddhist Bon culture situated amid the dry yet picturesque landscape of Upper Dolpo make this trek a must for travel enthusiasts.
The amazing trip is of 28 days starts as we welcome you to the beautiful country itself. You will enjoy the incredible architecture and important places of Kathmandu Valley. You then fly to the Terai region of Nepal to Nepalgunj and later to Juphal. The adventure commences as you trek to Dunai through the villages and alongside Thuli Bheri River. You descend to Thuli Bheri River and cross the suspension bridge to get to the entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park. You then hike through pine forests and past many beautiful villages to reach the pristine Phoksundo Lake. You spend a day here relishing the mesmerizing beauty and culture Phoksundo Lake and its neighbor Ringmo village has in store for you. The trail then leads through a lush field that opens up into the floodplain of the Phoksundo Khola. Cross Phoksundo Bhanjyang, Shey Gompa, and Namgung to reach Yangtsher Gompa. You later trek downhill on a trail enclosed by lush forests before reaching a cliff followed by a dizzying drop on an unsteady stone staircase to the river bank. You continue trekking until you reach Shimengaon. Next, the vertical trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La Pass (5090m). A steep ascent to the top of Jeng La (5090m) is rewarded with an alluring panorama of the Dhaulagiri massif and the Kanjirowa Himal Range. The route then leads eastward to Tarap valley. Once again, following the trails of Thuli Bheri River, you retrace your way back to Juphal, and return to Nepalgunj and finally to Kathmandu.
With the services and facilities provided to you by Epic Adventures, you will experience the best time of your life. You will explore the remote yet beautiful places of Upper Dolpo and find yourself in a better place. We make you feel at home no matter where you travel. Get ready to explore Nepal and find yourself in the journey. So book your seat now!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||TIA Kathmandu|
Important Note: Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Epic Adventures. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails traveling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Welcome to the beautiful country of Nepal. We will meet you at the airport and will transfer you to the hotel. You can stroll around the place if you wish to. Overnight at a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, the day will begin as we move to cultural world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley, comprising visits to the pilgrimage site of Pashupatinath temple, the large Boudhanath Stupa, the sacred Swayambhunath Stupa, and the ancient Kathmandu Durbar Square with its temples and distinctive buildings. Later, a pre-trip meeting with our fellow trekking staff will be conducted to help you prepare for the trek. Overnight at the hotel.
As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj, we move to the domestic airport and enjoy the one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is a thriving town in the lowlands of western Nepal and is the gateway to the farthest parts of Nepal. In the evening, we explore the town which is situated on the southern Nepal border with India. Overnight in Nepalgunj.
Early morning we take a flight to Juphal (45 minutes). On arriving at Juphal, we will meet the rest of our team there. Our adventure starts with an hour downward walk through the village below the airstrip, then through the terraced fields above Thuli Bheri River to reach Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpo. You can visit the monastery in Dunai if you want to. Overnight in Dunai.
From Juphal, we go downhill to reach Thuli Bheri River. A big suspension bridge will take us to the entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park (SPNP) in Sulighat. We will move along the Suli Khola through the trail enclosed by pine tree line and Cyprus and bamboo forest till we reach Chhepka. Overnight in Chhepka.
We descend from Chhepka and cross the suspension bridge over Phoksundo Khola and then follow the river upstream on a quite forested trail to reach Rechi. From here, enjoy distant views of Phoksundo Lake and an outstanding waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. Next, our trail descends through birch forests to the higher reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the attractive Ringmo village with its mud-plastered Chortens and Mani walls. From here, it is a short walk to the coast of the Phoksundo Lake. Overnight at Phoksundo Lake.
Today will be a hard-earned rest day for acclimatization at Phoksundo Lake. During the day, we can take on a short hike to the village of Ringmo and the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. During our short walks, we also get an opportunity to get aware with the local culture. The Dolpo people wear simple clothing that is sometimes dyed a maroon tint, and they favor Tibetan-style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for footwear. Both men and women often wear religious charms and cords of coral, amber, and turquoise. We will later spend a quiet evening on the banks of the turquoise Phoksundo Lake, behind which the peak of Kanjirowa Himal (6612m) smiles back at us. Overnight at Phoksundo Lake.
Our track moves around the top western end of Phoksundo Lake as it outlines on a rocky niche along the lake’s western bank. This shaky track suspended on a walkway of wood reinforced on pegs driven into the fissure in the rocks signals the remoteness of the area we are about to enter. At the westernmost edge of the lake, the trail leads through a lush field that opens up into the floodplain of Phoksundo Khola. Then we walk through the gorge, crossing the river and escaping the occasional marshy swampland underfoot, to reach Phoksundo Khola Camp. Overnight in Phoksundo Khola Camp.
For an hour or so, we hike on a track that leads us along the level path through an icy valley which heads due north. At the union of the Phoksundo Khola and Tuk Kyaksa Khola, there is an old wooden bridge. From here, we trek towards the north-east. A long climb brings us to a sheep field where our trail swipes up a steep valley. A tough ascent to the top brings us to yet another camp, situated below the Kang-La Pass (5350m). Overnight in Phoksundo Bhanjyang.
We begin to make a long and energetic ascent of about 2 and half hours over a dusty path to reach Kang La (5350m), also known as Nagdalo La. An amazing view of Phoksundo Lake and Shey Gompa can be seen from the top of the pass along with several snow-covered mountains in the region. We then descend through the pass covered with snow to reach Shey Gompa. Shey Gompa is an ancient monastery located under the Crystal Mountain on a small grassy plain at the union of two rivers. Overnight in Shey Gompa.
We rest and explore the Gompa today. Shey Gompa was built in 1655 and the monastery is renowned for its giant copper with the gold-plated statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. To the east of the Gompa is Crystal Mountain, which is one of the weirdest yet wonderful mountains as its twisted cliffs are mixed with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of aquatic fossils. We spend the day climbing around Shey village which is famous for its olden pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo, the antique Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Overnight in Shey Gompa.
To get to Namgung, we move through the pass Sela La (5094m), which is also called Gela La. While we are at the top of the pass, we can enjoy the beautiful sight of northern part of Tibetan plateau, which is the highest highland in the world. To the east, we can get the view of Mustang. Afterward, we go downhill to the meadows of Namgung. People of Namgung wholeheartedly welcome us. It is a lovely place with the welcoming environment. Later, we visit the ancient Namgung Monastery. Overnight in Namgung.
Our trek to Saldang starts by ascending a treed slope. We have to climb to 4700m before going downhill to the attractive village of Saldang, situated on a highland above the Namgo Khola. The village is wealthy, not only agriculturally but also for its planned locality on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight in Saldang.
The journey from Saldang goes north to the smallest uncharted area of Upper Dolpo. The trail takes you alongside Nagon Khola on the wild barren desolate terrain. Hiking goes along the fairly steady path with few ups and downs and then through the small settlement of Tiling and Lurigaon until reaching Yangze also known as Yangtsher. We cross Panjyan River and a short walk takes us to an unfamiliar region of Yangze and its very old Bon Po Monastery. Overnight in Yangtsher Monastery.
Our trail ascends and descends along the bank of Panjyan River and climbs on a steep trail. The ups and downs can be a bit dull and repetitive, but there are several watercourses along the way that offer a chance to cool off. The trail ultimately leaves the forests and passes through a green slope high above the river. We trek downhill on a trail enclosed by lush forest before reaching a cliff followed by a dizzying drop on an unsteady stone staircase to the river bank. We then make a short climb to reach Shimengaon, where we spend the night.
We first ascend and descend on a quite trail and cross a few small passes. We then walk along the Nagon River for a few hours and pass by convoys with yaks that are moving towards the Tibetan border. After turning east and walking for a while, we reach a union of two small streams. Next, the vertical trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La Pass (5090m). Our camp will be set up in a lovely field. Overnight in Jeng La Phedi.
An early morning trek leads us to the top of Jeng La (5090m). An excellent view of snow ranges emerges to the south. The north face of the Dhaulagiri massif shines in the morning light. After a wonderful moment, we descend on the rough path towards Tarap valley. By afternoon, we come to the green valley on the pleasant track down towards Tarap Chu. Tarap is a charming valley with vast plains in high mountains. We stop for the night at Tokyu Monastery in Tokyu village. This monastery belongs to the Chaiba sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Today the route leads eastward to Tarap Chu in a plain valley with patches of lush grassland on both sides of the river. There is also a swampland which is a mutual feature in the Desert Mountains of Tibet and the Ladakh Himalaya. In this valley, both Bon Po and Chaiba sects of Buddhism exist in harmony. After a short hike, we come to Dho Tarap for the overnight camp. This village is bounded by an uneven stone wall.
Today we have a full rest day which we will utilize exploring Dho Tarap. We can visit the ancient Bon monasteries situated near the village. The monasteries like Dhoro Gompa and Shipchaur Gompa can be explored for a better understanding of the pre-Buddhist Bon culture. During the visit, we will have a chance to interact with the people from Dolpo. Overnight in Dho Tarap.
From Tarap, we slope towards a wide valley which ultimately narrows into a canyon. We walk along juniper and wild rose scrubs just above the tree line. On our trek, we see herds of blue sheep, and by the afternoon, we reach the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola, a river that joins with Tarap River from further east. We will make our camp on an enjoyable pasture also known as Kamakharka and spend the night enjoying the peace and serenity.
We continue walking down the canyon of the Tarap River, at times, along with it. During our walk, we pass by the indigenous people who will be taking their herds to lower grasslands for grazing. This will be one of the most thrilling days of the trip as the trail becomes so narrow in a deep valley that in some places we can jump from one side to another. Sometimes there is no trace of a path and we may have to walk across stone lumps fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. The gorge also provides unforeseen adventure and thrills. At some places, the bridges are either damaged or washed away and we may be forced to cross the icy flow on foot. Finally, we reach our camping spot beside the Tarap Khola in Khanigaon. Overnight in Khanigaon.
From Khanigaon, we follow a track that takes us to the village of Lalberi. Our path then passes through a thick forest, descends into another valley, and continues to follow the river again. Upon arrival in Tarakot, we explore Sandul Gompa, which stands on a hill to the south of Thuli Bheri River. Today we camp on the bank of Thuli Bheri River, near the police post of Tarakot. Overnight in Tarakot.
We start our trek on a track above the gorge of Thuli Bheri River before crossing a bridge near Lawan village. Our track will continue alongside Thuli Bheri River until reaching Byas Gadi. From here, the trail moves towards the west on a comparatively informal trail. We cross the river again near the Lochakhola Gaon and rise to reach Dunai. Today’s trek will typically be on a delightful trail with pine trees. Overnight in Dunai.
From Dunai, we hike along the Thuli Bheri River enjoying the beautiful scenery. On the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages as well as a small temple. We continue trekking via Kalagauda village and Motipur village to reach the small airfield in Juphal. Overnight in Juphal.
We take the first flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj and take another flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be taken to your hotel. Celebrate the successful completion of your journey with a cozy evening in one of the bustling restaurant in Thamel. Overnight at a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu.
Today you have a rest day in Kathmandu. You can either rest at your hotel or enjoy the city. There are various fun activities to do here. You can ask help from your guide and stroll around the city. Overnight at the hotel.
After an amazing trip, it is now time to say good bye. We will drop you at the airport before the scheduled time of your flight back home. We hope to see you again.