Important Information

Region
Dolpo Region Treks
Duration
26 Days
Max Altitude 5550m
Best Season March - November
Activity Per Day
5-6 hrs
Grade
Level 3
Group Size
2 - 20 people
Transportation Flight - Jeep

“Upper Dolpo is the only ultimate trekking region in Nepal which will bring you a truly rewarding experience.”

Dolpo is one of the biggest districts of Nepal with the neighboring districts of Mustang on the south, Mugu and Jumla on the west, and Rukum on the North.  Dolpo region is the most incredible trek that you will ever experience in a lifetime, super remote and dynamic than other treks in Nepal. Since 1980 this area is opened for international trekkers. This is a controlled area that requires a special permit and is very expensive as compared to Annapurna and Everest region. It is an ultimate trekking destination for those who love culture and less crowded or done with all trekking in Nepal and still looking for a more rewarding trip.

The most popular attractions in Upper Dolpo are Shey Gompa (where you will meet Tibetan Medicine experts), Phoksundo lake, Crystal Mountain, Pure Tibetan culture, Magnificient landscape, and the rare Snow leopard. If you have totally no idea about Dolpo and don’t have enough time just check and watch the Movie called “Caravan” (Himalaya) by Eric Valli’s or if you love readings then just go through the book “Snow Leopard” by Peter Matthiessen.

This trek will start from the Juphal of Lower Dolpo following lush valleys and steep river canyons typical to the south side of the Himalayas so-called Upper Dolpo, incomparable to Tibet plateau. To make this journey more colorful, Himalayan Wander Walkers extend the trek without limiting within the Upper Dolpo circuit and traversing to east on Mustang by Completing at Jomsom.

You will travel with a sufficient amount of food and lodging through our camping crew. Definitely, trekkers should be well prepared and fit enough for this trek because you are going to traverse a couple of high passes. Sometimes it is true that you have to listen to your body, not your mind. There is no doubt that this trek will take you to real Shangrila.

Highlights

  • This is really an impressive destination traversing from the remote and passes to the Kingdom of Mustang.
  • We provide a guide who speaks Tibetan, Nepali, and English to make this trek in the best way.
  • Explore the shores of Phoksundo Lake in Ringmo, the deepest lake of Nepal with the fascinating colors that reflects from it.
  • Trek the valley of the Kali Gandaki between two 8000m peaks, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
  • Experience the Tibet within Dolpo, an isolated which is under Nepal.
  • If you are lucky enough, you will see Snow leopard.
  • In the end, you will fall with people, culture, and landscape

Outline Itinerary ( 26 Days )

Day 1

Arrival in Kathmandu/ (1400 m)

Upon your arrival at Kathmandu at TIA, a representative of Himalayan Wander Walkers will warmly welcome you to Nepal and will escort you towards your hotel. If your arrival time is in the morning you can do a short tour or you can just relax and walk around the town. You have to come one day earlier for a special permit. For that, we need your original passport.

Overnight: at the hotel set with BB plan.

Day 2

Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150m)/ flight

From Kathmandu, we take a bus or fly on any domestic carrier to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, a town in the western Terai, is very close to the Indian border and the Bardia National Park. It is a major transport hub for the western, mid-western, and far-western regions of Nepal. Our representative will pick you up from the airport and take you to the hotel. Overnight stay will be at a hotel that is a 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from the airport.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 3

Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475m)/ flight and Juphal to Dunai/ 3 hrs trek.

Today we take a 35 minutes long flight to Juphal. Our trekking starts from Juphal. The trail from Juphal to Dunai is comfortable and easy as the trail on this part of the trek also has few jeeps running to and fro. The first forty-five minutes of the trek descends down to Kalagauda followed by two hours of the hike along the trail above Thuli Bheri River. We trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the Dunai (2150m) a small town, the headquarter of the district. Dunai has some government and private schools, colleges, police check posts, and some government offices. You can visit the Bon Stupa and school, the Central Buddhist monastery, and the very first English medium school across the river. From the Stupa you can have the view of the whole town and another village, upper Dunai too.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 4

Dunai to Chhepka (2687m)/ 6 hrs

The real adventure of Dolpo Mustang Trek begins today. As the trek begins we initially trek along the classic trekking route of Dolpo via Sulighar, which is a pretty much a comfortable walk along the leveled trail. We shall produce the trekking permit to Dolpo and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit at the Sunlight Check-post. Now we are officially inside Shey Phoksundo National Park. Beyond Sunlight our trek follows the trail beside Phoksundo River till Kageni. As the trek goes further, the landscapes in the vicinity begin to change. We trek through the lush tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill villages like Jutung and arrive at Shangta. At Shangta we cross the bridge twice- once over Phoksundo River and once over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Maiaba Khola and begin to head north towards Chhepka. Trekking upstream along the trail beside Phoksundo Khola for a while we arrive at Chhepka. We put our camps at an ideal location in Chhepka for the overnight stay.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 5

Chhepka to Chunuwar (3110m)/ 6 hrs

Today the trail leads you beside Phoksundo Khola- the trail of famous Lower Dolpa Circuit. We trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. The trek crosses the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. As we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region the trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi 3011m, where we stop for the lunch. Beyond Rechi we again hike along the riverside trail to Sulligad Dovan where we cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Yulung Khola and arrive at Chunuwar. We will settle our camps here for the night.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 6

Chunuwar to Phoksundo Lake (3600m)/ 5-6 hrs

We will join the direct trail to Phoksundo Lake today climbing through forests of big cedars onto Palam (3710m), a winter settlement used by the people of the Ringmo village. The entrance station for the Shey Phoksundo National Park is at the south end of the village. The route then descends on switchbacks through open country to an elevation of 3300 meters and then starts up another set of dusty switchbacks to a ridge at 3780 meters to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meters high). Our route then continues on to Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of mani walls. Just below Ringmo we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksundo Lake, where we camp at the national park camping grounds west.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 7

Phoksundo – Rest day

Today we explore the area around Ringmo Village and the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. First, we explore around Ringmo Village and head to Tshowa (the lake-shore Bon Monastery). The Gompa nestling a ridge top above Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. Exploring this culturally rich Bon Monastery is a fascinating experience. Then we drop down to Phoksundo Lake along steep-sided cliffs. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. We will have a beautiful scenic view of typical Tibetan cultured Rigmo village from Phoksundo Lake. There are several monasteries (Gompas ) and Bon-to religious sites at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these. We also explore the wonderful natural sites and enjoy our nature tour.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 8

Phoksundo- Sallaghari/ 5-6hrs trek

Today’s trek is probably one of the best trekking days of Dolpo to Mustang Trek. It climbs along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. This treacherously fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo Lake. This particular part of the trek is like a fantasy walk portrayed by a writer in their fiction novels. To get to the Phoksundo Khola camp on the other side of the lake, we slide down for ninety minutes along with the beautiful forests. The final part of today’s trek slides up to the beautiful campsite at Sallaghari. Enjoy the night in the camps amongst a beautiful pine forest.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 9

Sallaghari to Nangdala HC (4717 m)/ 5-6 hrs trek

Today’s trek is relatively short; we trek for almost three hours to reach Nangdala High Camp 4100m. As the trek begins we ascend up the narrow defile of the Tuk Kyaksa River. The trail switches to the opposite side of the river several times. Soon we arrive at a place where the rapids of the river are calmer. We cross the bridge over the river at that point. Thirty minutes of a walk after the bridge, we come across the wide valley followed by two hours of a walk along the canyon brings us the potential campsite. A walk for a while further reaches the massive rock slab, which is Nangdala High Camp- our campsite for the night.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 10

Nangdala HC to Shey Gompa/ (4280m) Crossing Nangdala pass (5240m)/ 5-6hrs

Today we trek to the fabled Shey Gompa and the nearby 'Crystal Mountain', the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the real Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla/Nangdala pass. The trek to the top of Kang La/Nangdala Pass is along the graveled trail uphill for three continuous hours. However, all the efforts put to come up to the top of the pass reward us with wonderful views. The eye feast views from the Kang La Pass include Cyrstal Mountain, the mountains in Tibetan territory, and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. We also have views of the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters, before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red Chorten marks the entrance to Shey. Every Dragon year according to the Tibetan calendar that comes in every 12 years there occurs a grand festival. People from different places and countries come to join this festival. We camp for the night.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 11

Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa / 6-7 hrs crossing Shey La Pass (5100m)

Today we will explore Shey Gompa. It is said to be about 800 years old monastery, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain. The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. After the exploration of Shey Gompa as the trek begins, it follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost a couple of hours. The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting. Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The acme of Shey La (5095m) Pass west of Shey, rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North, and Kanjiroba, Kagmara, and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. The final push about 2 hours of hike brings us to Namgung.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 12

Namgong Gompa to Saldang/ 4-5 hrs camping.

Before setting out towards Saldang, we explore the monastery of Namgung set on the flanking cliff. As the trek from Namgong Gompa begins we follow Namga Khola cross pass more summer herding spots and emerge out of spur for a short hike down to Saldang. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of drylands surrounded by hills. Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo thrive here at Saldang. We'll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or Chyang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare at Saldang.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 13

Saldang to Day hike to Yangjer Gumba/ 4599m

Today we will have a day hike after early breakfast to Yanjer the richest monastery of this region. We will have a packed lunch and will come back to Saldang for the night stop after the exploration of the monastery.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 14

Saldang to Khoma village

Today we trek for six hours and reach the village of Komash. Initially, the trail follows the Saldang Lek along the Rapyha Khola to the barren hillside. Exiting out to the elevated ridge (Khom La) of almost 4500m, the trail descends down steeply to Komash Village a village that bears similarity to a Tibetan village. Overnight in tents at Komash.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 15

Khoma village to Shimen

As we trek from Komash village we may sight some endangered animals like a snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way, we pass small villages. The landscapes in the vicinity are full of highland deserts with few shrub-like vegetation. On the trail, there is one small pass Shimen La (4260m). After almost five hours of the comfortable hike, we arrive at Shimen. Overnight in the tented camps at Shimen.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 16

Shimen to Tinje

Today the trail goes by the side of Panjang Khola. There are some villages and gompas on the way to Tinje. Tinje is a very beautiful valley. There is a natural airstrip where once a British aircraft had landed and taken off.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 17

Tinje to Yak Kharka

From the village of Tinje we trek to Yak Kharka, which is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 18

Yak Kharka (4780m) to Chharka / 5 hrs walk crossing Mola Pass (5030m)

From yak Kharka we trek towards Chharka. Crossing the pass Mola (5030m) we reach Chharka. We can visit the beautiful village and the Bon Monastery in Chharka.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 19

Chharka to Norbulung/ Nulungsumda

Today the trail goes through the arid highland. There are some uphills on the way. We trek up to Norbulung and have a night camp there.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 20

Nulungsumda/ Norbulung to Ghalden Ghuldum (4247m) Crossing Niwala (5120m) and Jungbenla (5550m) passes.

From Nulungsumda ascending trail takes us to the pass Niwas La. Crossing the pass the trail we again proceed towards another pass Jungbenla then the trail goes downhill up to Ghaldang Ghuldung, where we make the night stop.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 21

Ghalden Ghuldum/ (4247m) to Sangta/ (3777m)

Today the trail goes with several ups and downs and finally reaches the village named Sangta.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 22

Santa to Phalyak/ (3175m)

We climb the hill behind Santa and spent most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m. We then descend into the Kali Gandaki valley, traversing under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Phalek.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 23

Phalyak to Jomsom/ (2720m)

We climb to a ridge at 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom at 2670m. Jomsom is also one of the famous places for tourists.

Meal: full-board, three times a day plus enough tea.

Day 24

Jomsom to Pokhara

We fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and to Kathmandu today. Our representative will pick you up at Kathmandu airport and take you to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel set with BB plan.

Day 25

Flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara

Leaving (or take a short 30-minute flight) and overnight is arranged in Kathmandu as per the agreed category with BB Plan. In the evening Himalayan Wander Walkers will invite you to join in a farewell dinner in a typical Nepalese cultural restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel set with BB plan.

Day 26

Final Departure

We are saying goodbye as your journey to Nepal comes to an end today. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3-4 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Himalayan Wander walkers will take you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.

 

Include

Airport pick up and drop off
Taxi/bus to the start and end of the trek
English-speaking government license holder trekking guide
Porter
Flight (Ktm-Nepalgunj-Juphal-Jomsom-Pokhara)
Trekking guide’s and porter’s insurance during the trip
TIMS trekking permit
Special permit $500
National park fee
Hotel in Kathmandu, Jomsom, and Nepalgunj.
Camping equipment and food during the trek

Exclude

Meals & drinks during the trek and in Kathmandu (unless stated otherwise under ‘The trip cost includes’)
Personal trekking equipment
Travel/medical insurance
Emergency rescue evacuation
Phone calls
Internet
International air ticket
Tips for your trekking guide & porters at the end of the trek
If you’re forced to extend your trek due to bad weather or natural disaster circumstances, we are not liable to pay any compensation or otherwise be responsible for any expenses you may incur
Anything not mentioned in the ‘includes section’

Route Map

Upper Dolpo to Mustang

Important Information

Checklists for Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek

  • Valid passport (valid for six months from the date of your trip)
  • One other picture ID, such as driver’s license (in case of emergency and for use as a substitute of passport or in case of loss of your passport) Photocopy of passport page to carry in a wallet
  • Air tickets (Make a copy of flight tickets which may be helpful, in case of loss)
  • Visa Clearance (Make a copy of visa clearance which may be helpful, in case of emergencies)
  • MasterCard, Visa Credit, and Debit Cards are accepted in Nepal. However, traveler's cheques and some cash are highly recommended.
  • Mobile (if your cell phone is from CINGULAR USA or ATNT (USA) operators then your cell phone will work in Nepal.)

Guiding, Food, and Camping
In Nepal, all trekking supplies - camping equipment, kitchen implements, food - are all carried by pack animals like mules, Yaks, and horses. Even Porters are common in Nepal. All trekkers are accompanied by a guide, a cook, and usually at least one horseman or yak herder. With the surest footing; they lead trekking groups across the passes. The horseman and cook will usually run ahead during a trekking day. They will have prepared a packed lunch for hikers and will go on to the night’s resting place to set up camp. They set up tents, cook dinner, and ready the area for arriving trekkers. When trekkers reach the campsite they are greeted with a hot cup of tea and biscuits in the dining tent. After six hours in the mountains, no drink will ever taste sweeter. For dinner, the cook will usually prepare a buffet of dishes that are as welcome as they are delicious.

DRESS CODE FOR VISITING MONASTERIES, AND TEMPLES 

  • Shirt (either half or full sleeve)
  • Full pants/long skirts
  • Any type of shoes with socks
  • No Hats, No Umbrella, No Slippers, No t-shirts, No short skirt, and No half-pants
  • Photographs allowed in the courtyard only.

Note regarding itineraries
Although we generally adhere to the schedule, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions, suitable campsite availability, and the group's general fitness level. It is important to understand that our trek is logistically complex and it is not unusual that adjustments be made. Our guide will orient you each evening to the following day's plan; their good judgment is the key to the long history of successful treks that Himalayan Wander Walkers has led till now. Please remember that our ability to make adjustments as needed helps to ensure that your trek is successful.

Frequently Asked Question

Although trekking gear is available in Nepal you are advised to bring your own gear.

Trekking or running shoes Camp shoes or thongs Socks (polypropylene)

Down or fiber-filled jacket Jumper or piled jacket Hiking shorts Waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella Hiking pants T-shirts or blouses Underwear Sun hat

Rucksack Self Inflating Sleeping Mattress (optional), Water bottle Torch, batteries, and bulbs