Upper Dolpo Trek28 Days

The rugged natural beauty, distinctive people, unique light conditions makes Dolpo a unique Nepali paradise
  • Phoksundo tal
  • dho tarap
  • Pungmo village
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Duration: 28 Days Trip Code: HGTNP-096
Primary activity: Trekking and Hiking Secondary activity: Cultural and Historical Tours
Group size: 2-12 people Max-Altitude: 5,360m/17,581ft
Country: Nepal Transportation: Private ground transportation, domestic flights
Arrival on: Kathmandu, Nepal Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal
Trip grade: Moderate 
Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the trek
Accomodation: 4-star hotel in Kathmandu and camping (in tents) during the trek

Trip Introduction

Dolpo region is situated between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges. The entire district was closed to trekkers until 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. Our trekking adventure begins with tours of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. We then fly to Nepalgunj and then to Juphal from where we begin our trek in the Dolpo region which was made famous by Peter Matthiessen’s book - The Snow Leopard. Nepal’s first English subtitled movie on Dolpo, The Caravan, was also a huge success and was also nominated for the Oscar Award in the best foreign language film category. On our 28-day trek we pass through interesting villages, trekking routes and meet fascinating people. We also cross a few high Himalayan passes and enjoy the vast and tranquil beauty of Phoksundo Lake. From Shey Gompa, we follow the ancient Trans Himalayan Trade route and return back to Jhuphal as our trek ends. The trek indeed takes us into the wild west of Nepal.

Best Season

Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to October) are the best months for this trip. Since the Dolpo region lies in the rain shadow area formed by Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, you can also take this trip during the Monsoon season (June to August).

Trip Start Dates and Price

Check available trip start dates and price for Upper Dolpo Trek. Please contact us for your customized departure date.

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)

Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the afternoon, we may take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Included meals:D
Day 02: Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation

Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Glacier will brief us regarding our trek as well as provide us with an opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Included meals:B
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

After our short excursion in Kathmandu, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town that showcases the diverse culture of Nepal. In Nepalgunj, we visit the local market, mini-zoo and nearby villages. Overnight in Nepalgunj. 

Included meals:B
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhuphal (Dolpo) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek

We fly to Jhupal after breakfast. The town is beautifully located over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We explore the small town in the evening and camp there for the night.

Included meals:BLD
Day 05: Dunai to Ankhe (2,896m/9,499ft): 5-6 hours

We leave Dunai and cross a suspension bridge and turn to the west following a trail past a hospital. The trail ascends up the side of the treeless, Thulo Bheri valley before entering Phoksundo river valley. During the walk we get to the view of Kagmara Peak up the valley. We pass through walnut groves, Dhera and Rahagaun villages, walk down dense jungles and finally reach Ankhe. Overnight in Ankhe. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 06: Ankhe to Sulighat: 5-6 hours

Our trail ascends and descends along a wooded riverbank and climbs on a steep trail. The ups and downs can be a bit monotonous, but there are several streams along the way that offer a chance to cool off. The trail eventually leaves the forests and passes through a grassy slope high above the river. We trek downhill on a trail surrounded by lush forests before reaching a cliff followed by a dizzying drop on a wobbly stone staircase to the river bank. We continue trekking until we reach Sulighat where we spend the night.  

Included meals:BLD
Day 07: Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake (3,611m/11,849 ft) 4-5 hours

We continue our journey along the valley floor to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. After crossing a bridge, we walk on the western bank of the Pungmo Khola. The trail passes through a cedar forest before reaching Palam village. From here we trek up to a ridge and enjoy distant views of Phoksundo Lake and a spectacular waterfall, one of the highest in Nepal. Next, our trail descends through birch forests to the upper reaches of the Phoksundo Khola, and then to the picturesque Ringmo village with its mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. From here it is a short walk to the shores of the Phoksundo Lake. Overnight at Phoksundo Lake. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 08: Acclimatization and rest at Phoksundo Lake

Today will be a well deserved rest day for acclimatization at Phoksundo Lake. During the day we can embark on a short hike to the village of Ringmo and it’s Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. During our short walks, we also get a chance to get acquainted with the local culture.  The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing that is sometimes dyed a maroon color and they favor Tibetan-style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. Overnight at Phoksundo Lake.

Included meals:BLD
Day 09: Trek to Phoksundo Khola: 4-5 hours

Our trail moves around the top western end of the Phoksundo Lake as it contours on a rocky ledge along the lake’s western bank. This unsteady trail suspended on a gangway of wood supported on pegs driven into crevasse in the rocks, signals the remoteness of the area we are about to enter. At the westernmost edge of the lake the path leads through a lush meadow that opens up into the flood plain of the Phoksundo Khola. Then we walk through the valley, crossing the river and avoiding the occasional boggy marsh underfoot and then coming on the bank of the river to the overnight camp. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 10: Phoksunds Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang: 6-7 hours

For an hour or so we walk on a trail that leads us along the level path through a glacial valley which heads due north. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream, there is an old wooden bridge. From here, we walk towards the north-east. A long climb brings us to a sheep meadow where our trail veers up a steep ravine. A hard climb to the top brings us to yet another valley where we can see the Kang-La pass. We set up our camp near the pass in a place that Peter Matthiessen christened 'Snowfields Camp'. During our trek today we also get to admire the views of Chhamlang peak 6 (6739m) and peak 7 (6105m).

Included meals:BLD
Day 11: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4,500m/14,760ft) via Kang-La pass (5,360m/17,581ft): 5-6 hours

In the morning, we ascend on a steep trail littered with slate towards the pass. The climb to the top of the pass is quite strenuous. From the top of Kang-la pass we get excellent views of the large valley dissected by a gushing river. We descend to the valley floor on a steep trail. Next, we walk on a meandering trail along the banks of a river, crossing and re-crossing it several times. There are mud caves lining the hills overlooking the river.  We also pass through meadows where we see grazing yaks, hundreds of sheep and domestic mountain goat (Chyangra). After crossing a quaint log bridge we reach the Shey Gompa compound where we will be spending the night. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 12: Acclimatization and rest at Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa was built in 1655 and the monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. To the east of the gompa is Crystal Mountain which is one of the strangest mountains, as its contorted cliffs are laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils. Today is another well-earned rest day for acclimatization. We spend the day hiking around Shey village which is famous for its ancient pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. Overnight in Shey Gompa. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 13: Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun (4,800m/15,744ft) via Saldang La (5,200m/17,056ft): 6-7 hours

We begin the day by following a pleasant trail amidst juniper trees which descends into a grey, stony canyon. Then the path begins to zigzag over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until it eventually brings us to the top of Saldang-la pass. The subsequent descent towards the north is long and tiring but grazing yaks and sheep, and nomadic tents made from yak hair is a comforting sight. In Namduna Gaun we visit Namgung monastery. The red stone monstery is built against the backdrop of a cliff on the north wall of a gorge. Overnight in Namuda Gaun. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 14: Namduna Gaun to Saldang (3,620m/ 11,874ft): 4-5 hours

We leave the village and climb up a slope and begin a long walk along dusty barren mountains. After 3-4 hours of hard climb, we begin to see Saldang Village below us on a plateau high above the Namga Khola stream. It has a picturesque appearance. Saldang is the largest village of the inner Dolpo area. The village stretches for nearly two kilometers on an open slope and consists of five villages having about eighty well-built houses with nearly six hundred people. It is a prosperous village not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Overnight in Saldang. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 15: Saldang to Yangze Gompa (4,960m/16,267ft): 4-5 hours

From Saldang, we walk further north along the Nagon Khola (river) on a wild and barren terrain. We begin our walk on a fairly gradual path with few ups and downs. On the way, we pass through Marang and Ki villages. Next, we cross a tributary of Panzang River and walk towards the east and cross the river again before reaching Yangze gompa which houses an old Bon-Po Monastery. Overnight in Yangze Gompa. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 16: Yangze Gompa to Sibu (4,560m/14,957ft): 6-7 hours

From Yangze, there are two trails that connect to Sibu. To save time we will retrace the path back towards Saldang village, which will be much easier and shorter than the other route. From Saldang we walk along a river and pass through terraced fields, stupas, chortens, heaps of mani stones and a Chaiba monastery, then pass through the Namdo village, which is also prosperous, with about sixty houses having nearly 400 inhabitants. It stretches for more than 5 km on the high slopes to the left of Nam Khong Khola. The Namdo monastery is located near the river bed. Our journey continues further down the river for another two hours to camp near a small settlement of Sibu.

Included meals:BLD
Day 17: Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi (4,900m/16,072ft): 5-6 hours

We walk along the Nam Khong Khola for a while and pass by caravans with yaks that are moving towards the Tibetan border. After turning east and walking for a while, we arrive at a confluence of two small streams. Next, the steep trail ascends to a grazing area below the Jeng La pass (4,900m/16,072ft). Our camp will be set up in this beautiful meadow. Overngiht in Jeng la Phedi. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 18: Day 18: Jeng-la Phedi to Tokyu Gaon (4209m/13809ft) via Jeng La pass (5,090m/16,695ft): 5-6 hours

We get up early in the morning and set forth on today’s trek. It will take us two long hours to reach the top of the Jeng La pass from where we get remarkable views of the north face of the Dhaualgiri massif. From here we descend on a rough trail to the Tarap Valley, a fascinating valley with vast plains in high mountains that extends twenty kilometers along Tarap Chu river. We camp close to the monastery at Tokyu.

Included meals:BLD
Day 19: Tokyu to Dho Tarap(4,040m/13,251ft): 4-5 hours

We trek downhill on a plain valley with patches of lush grass on both sides of the river which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. There is also a marsh which is a common feature in the Desert Mountains of Tibet and the Ladakh Himalaya. Both the Bon Po and Buddhist sects are practiced in the valley. After a short trek, we reach Dho Tarap). Overnight in Dho Tarap.

Included meals:BLD
Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap

We spend today resting and strolling in the village of Dho Tarap which is surrounded by an irregular stone wall. Our walks will help us get acquainted with the local culture of the area. At Dho, about 40 houses are divided into three clusters and built in a haphazard way inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars who are a hill tribe of Nepal. While here, we can visit a Buddhist Gompa which is closest to our campsite or we could embark upon a 40-minute walk and visit a Bon Po Gompa.Overnight in Dho Tarap.

Included meals:BLD
Day 21: Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) (3,800m/12,464ft): 6-7 hours

From Tarap we descend towards a wide valley which eventually narrows into a gorge. We walk along juniper and wild rose bushes 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 stream that joins with Tarap River from further east. We will make our camp on a nice meadow also known as Kamakharka and spend the night.  

Included meals:BLD
Day 22: Tarap Khola to Khanigaon(3,150m/10,332ft): 4-5 hours

We continue walking down the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it. During our walk we pass by the local people who will be taking their herds to lower pastures for the winter. This will be one of the most exciting days of this trip as the valley becomes so narrow in a deep gorge 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 slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. The gorge also provides unexpected adventure and thrills. At some places, the bridges are either damaged or washed away and we may be forced to cross the icy torrent on foot. Finally, we reach our camping spot beside the Tarap Khola at Khanigaon where we spend the night. 

Included meals:BLD
Day 23: Khanigaon to Tarakot (2,537m/8,321ft): 4-5 hours

From the camp we follow a trail that takes us to the village of Lalberi. Our trail then passes through a lush forest, descends into another gorge and continues to follow the river again. After reaching Tarakot, we can visit Sandul Gompa which lies about 8 km east of the village at a juncture of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. The monastery stands on a hill to the south of Bheri River. Today we camp by the Tarap Chu river about 150 meters below Tarakot, near the police post.  Overnight in Tarakot

Included meals:BLD
Day 24: Tarakot to Dunai (2,140m/7,019ft): 5-6 hours

We begin our trek on a trail behind the Bheri River before crossing a bridge near the Lawan village. Our trail will continue alongside the big Bheri Rriver ascending until the Byas Gadi. From here the trail moves towards the west on a relatively easy trail.  We cross the river again near the Lochakhola Gaon and ascend to Dunai for an overnight stay. Today’s trek will mostly be on a wonderful gorge with pine trees. Overnight in Dunai.

Included meals:BLD
Day 25: Dunai to Jhuphal: 2-3 hours

Fron Dunai, we trek along the Bheri River enjoying the beautiful landscape. On the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages as well as a temple. We continue trekking via Kalagaonda village and Motipur village before reaching the small airstrip. Overnight in Jhuphal.

Included meals:BLD
Day 26: Fly from Jhuphal to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu

We take the earliest flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. Upon reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. After arriving in Kathmandu, we will be transferred to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Included meals:B
Day 27: Rest day in Kathmandu

This is an extra day set aside for you to explore Kathmandu on your own. You can spend the day getting ready for your next day’s flight, do some souvenir shopping, or if there is a place is Kathmandu that you really want to visit, then Himalayan Glacier can arrange that too. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier to celebrate the successful completion of your journey in the Dolpo region of western Nepal. Overnight in Kathmandu. 

Included meals:BD
Day 28: Final departure

Our adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight.

Included meals:B
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. 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 travelling 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.

Route Map

Route maps are just representation of the trekking routes. This does not represent the exact geographical conditions.Click here for Upper Dolpo Trek route map

What Is Included

  • Pickups and drops from airport(s) and hotel(s)
  • All accommodations on twin-sharing basis
  • Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during the trek
  • Transportation in a comfortable private vehicle
  • All domestic flights
  • English-speaking, trained and experienced guide
  • Potter service charges during the trek
  • All fees for sightseeing including entry fees for visiting temple(s),monument(s), trekking and national parks
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Down jacket, four-seasonal sleeping bag, Himalayan Glacier Trekking duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All necessary paper work(s) and permit(s)
  • All applicable taxes and service charges

What Is Not Included

  • Nepalese visa fee (bring sufficient USD cash and two passport size photographs )
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu
  • Extra night accommodation(s)
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
  • Tips for guides and porters
  • The services which are not included in our ‘What is Included’ section

The Trekking Group

For the Upper Dolpo Trek, there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that even if someone in the group gets sick or is unable to carry on, the trip can still go ahead as planned for the rest of the group. We can run the trek for groups of any size, but usually a maximum of twelve people is ideal as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. 


Accommodations are included in the trip cost and HGT has chosen the best deluxe accommodation for 3 nights in Kathmandu in a 4-star Hotel, 2 night in lodge in Nepalgunj/Jupal, and rest other nights in comfortable two-men camping tent. To sleep in tent, 4 season sleeping bag and foam mattress will be provided. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel and camping accommodation is on twin sharing basis, and will provide you single supplement if there is different sex without extra charge. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference and get single room/tent on request by paying single supplement USD 350.


Breakfast (only) will be available in Kathmandu whereas all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be available during the trek. We can enjoy freshly-cooked, hygienic and nutritious meals on full-board basis prepared by our trained and experienced cook during the trek. Authentic Nepalese, Tibetan dishes as well as the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) will be available. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners in Kathmandu.

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