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Lower Dolpo Trek

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Trip Highlights

  • Trek through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, home to many endangered species of animals and birds endemic to western Nepal
  • Visit the Shey Phoksundo Lake, a holy Himalayan Lake, and a Hindu/Buddhist pilgrimage site
  • Visit Dho Tarap, the highest human settlement in the world
  • Cross the High Mountain Passes- the Baga La and the Numa La
  • Experience the ethnic Bön culture of Dolpo that have been in practice since ancient time without much change.

The 16 Days Lower Dolpo Trek is a mesmerizing off-the-beaten-paths trek in Nepal that presents trekkers with culturally-rooted practices of ancient customs and rituals that have been in convention since ancient times. Along with a beautiful landscape that consists of arid natural acreages and Himalayan serration, Lower Dolpo is also a fascinating venture into a mystery-shrouded terrain.

One of the most isolated trekking experiences in the country, the Lower Dolpo Trek is filled with many traditional settlements and undisturbed environments. A high altitude region occupied by Tibetan Buddhists and ethnic Bön people, Dolpo presents a trekking journey through the isolated upper catchments of western Nepal.

The trip is filled with unique highlights and facets. Lower Dolpo includes trekking in the Shey Phoksundo National Park- the largest national park of Nepal filled with trans-Himalayan biomes. Moreover, since Lower Dolpo opened for trekking only in 1989, and because of the region's far-off location, it presents an unadulterated landscape that not many trekkers experience.  

As such, trekking in Lower Dolpo is a matter of exploring hidden caves and trudging on landscapes that still largely remain undisturbed by crowds. Lower Dolpo is connected via the Jufal airport and resembles the Tibetan Highlands, renowned for its mountainous terrain. Similarly, the journey is also one of the best opportunities to experience the region’s relatively isolated nomadic culture in its purest form.

With trekking trails going through beautiful trans-Himalayan tundra, Lower Dolpo Trek includes territories that rarely see outsiders. The trail includes crossing two High Mountain Passes- the Baga La and the Numa La, as well as a visit to the beautiful turquoise Phoksundo Lake. In like manner, trekkers also go through the famous Shey-Phoksundo National Park, home to many endangered species of birds and animals. Furthermore, the journey also includes visiting Dho Tarap- the highest human settlement on Earth. 

Outline Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft), Transfer to Hotel.

Day 02: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour

Day 03: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (Dolpo) (2,320m/7,610ft) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek

Day 04: Trek from Dunai to Tarakot (2,543m/8,341ft): 5-6 hours

Day 05: Trek from Tarakot to Laini (3,160 m/10,365 ft): 6-7 hours

Day 06: Trek from Laini to Nawarpani (3,545m/11,627 ft): 5-6 hours

Day 07: Trek from Nawarpani to Dho Tarap (4,090m/13,415ft): 7-8 hours

Day 08: Rest Day at Dho Tarap for acclimatization

Day 09: Trek from Dho Tarap to Numa La Base Camp (4440m/14,563 ft): 6-7 hours walk

Day 10: Cross Numa La Pass (5,190m/17,023ft), camp at Pelung Tang (4465m/14,645 ft): 6-7 hours

Day 11: Cross Baga La Pass (5,070m/16,630ft), trek to Dajok Tang (4,080m/13,382ft): 6 hours

Day 12: Trek from Dajok Tang to Ringmo (3,600m/11,808ft): 3-4 hours

Day 13: Hike to Phoksundo Lake

Day 14: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta (2520m/8265 ft): 5-6 hours walk

Day 15: Trek from Shyanta to Jhupal

Day 16: Fly to Nepalgunj 45 Mins, fly to Kathmandu 1 Hr

 

 

 

DAY

1
Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft), Transfer to the hotel.

You may arrive in Kathmandu at any time. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by one of our airport representatives who will help you get transferred to your Hotel. There are no planned activities for the day, so you may check into your Hotel and relax. Overnights stay at the Hotel in Kathmandu.

DAY

2
Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj: 1 hour, Drive to the hotel.

You will have a flight to Nepalgunj today. Nepalgunj is a city in south-western Nepal, situated in the Terai lowlands. The Indian border is just 8 kilometers away from Nepalgunj. Once there, you can explore the city on cycle rickshaws. Overnights stay at the hotel.

DAY

3
Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal (Dolpo) (2,320m/7,610ft) and trek to Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft): 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek

You will have a 35-minute flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal. The sight of the snow-capped mountains from the airplane along the flight is amazing. While just a gravel airstrip amidst the mountains, the Juphal Airport is a welcoming sight. From Juphal, you will walk down over a small path among wheat fields to the Thuli Bheri River. Further on, the path then leads to Dunai. Overnights stay.  

DAY

4
Trek from Dunai to Tarakot (2,543m/8,341ft): 5-6 hours

Leaving Dunai, you will follow the path snaking through a beautiful mountain landscape to Tarakot. The rocky slopes on which the trail runs are dotted with Blue Pine trees, and you can also see the snowcapped peak of Kang Tokal (6294 meters). The path follows an up-and-down route, meandering alongside the Thuli Bheri River. You will pass a couple of remote village houses along the route as well. Going through the Buddhist village of Byasgar, you will reach Dunai. Overnights stay.

DAY

5
Trek from Tarakot to Laini (3,160 m/10,365 ft): 6-7 hours

Leaving Dunai, you will trek on pathways that go through villages inhabited by Buddhist people.  The Tarali, a Magar group, are the dominant ethnic groups occupying the region here. As you progress, the landscape gets more rough and rocky. You will reach Lingdo, a small village from where the path starts to gradually go up. You will reach Laisicap (2772 m), and after crossing the Bheri River via a suspension bridge, you will reach the other side where a long and strenuous climb of about 3 hours takes you to Laini. Overnights stay. 

DAY

6
Trek from Laini to Nawarpani (3,545m/11,627 ft): 5-6 hours

After leaving Laini, the trail goes up to a small pass from where it veers into aromatic pine forests filled with rhesus monkeys. About 4 hours after leaving Laini, you will reach Nawarpani. Overnights stay.  

DAY

7
Trek from Nawarpani to Dho Tarap (4,090m/13,415ft): 7-8 hours

After Nawarpani, the landscape quickly gets more barren. You will mostly walk on the path surrounded by high rocks that tower above on both sides. Here, you can spot Blue Sheep that live on the barren lands. If you are really lucky, you might even spot a Snow Leopard. The path is beautifully carved out of the rock itself, so you will find yourself trekking through naturally-carved tunnels. Further on, the trail climbs to another small pass, after which the valley suddenly widens. Passing many Mani walls and small Chortens, you will finally reach Dho Tarap. Overnights stay.

DAY

8
Rest Day at Dho Tarap for acclimatization.

This day is reserved for acclimatization. You will spend the day in the village, enjoying the traditional atmosphere. Exploring the village, you will know about the ancient culture of Dolpa. Buddhism is interwoven in each aspect of people's life here. Close to the village are two monasteries as well- the Ribo Bhumpa Gompa and the Shipchaur Gompa, which you can visit. Overnights stay.

DAY

9
Trek from Dho Tarap to Numa La Base Camp (4440m/14,563 ft): 6-7 hours walk

Leaving the village, you will pass beneath a beautiful gate Chorten and follow the trail that will take you to the Crystal Mountain School. If you want, you can visit the school as well. From the school, it is about half an hour's trek to Tokyu. The path snakes through the landscape towards the Gompa located at the end of the village which has a beautiful statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha. From the Gompa, it is a gradual climb over grassy terrain to the Numa La Base Camp. Overnights stay.

DAY

10
Cross Numa La Pass (5,190m/17,023ft), camp at Pelung Tang (4465m/14,645 ft): 6-7 hours

You will have an early start today. It is a long and strenuous climb to the top of the Numa La Pass. The climb is strenuous but it is definitely worth the climb as stunning views are presented from the summit of countless snowcapped mountain peaks. You can see the Dhaulagiri Peak towering impressively over the valley on the right of the Pass. You can also see the Annapurna and the Manaslu Ranges, the Shey Shikar, the Kanjirowa Himal and many others. After taking in the views, you will trek down. The path becomes pretty leveled out as you approach the ground. From there, it is a relatively easy trek to Pelung Tang. Overnights stay.

DAY

11
Cross Baga La Pass (5,070m/16,630ft), trek to Dajok Tang (4,080m/13,382ft): 6 hours.

The path continues on the slope on the other side of the Panklanga Khola. After leaving the river meadow, you will reach the high camp. From here, you have an excellent view of the Norbung Kang and the Baga La Range. Further from here, the path follows the last stretch towards the pass. You will begin climbing gradually over the slope to Baga La. From the pass summit, you have a splendid view of the Kanjirowa Himal and the Shey Shikhar. After the pass, the path down is steep at the beginning but levels out as you make your way to Dajok Tang. Overnights stay.

DAY

12
Trek from Dajok Tang to Ringmo (3,600m/11,808ft): 3-4 hours.

It is a short trek today. After leaving Dajok Tang, the path starts to climb high on the slope, and you can see the Maduwa Khola flowing far below you. The path goes up-and-down the beautifully carved high rocks towards Ringmo. Overnights stay.

DAY

13
Hike to Phoksundo Lake

From Ringmo, the path branches on through pine woods filled with bird songs. Leaving the forest, you will cross a small bridge from which you will climb up to the Phoksundo Lake, surrounded by glaciers and famous for its deep turquoise blue tincture. Overnights stay.

DAY

14
Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Shyanta (2520m/8265 ft): 5-6 hours walk

Following the winding trail away from the lake, you will reach to Rechi. The path goes almost entirely through beautiful pine forests. From there, the trail then coruscates to Shyanta. You can see the river far below you as you trek alongside the hill ravine. Overnights stay.  

DAY

15
Trek from Shyanta to Jhupal

Today, you will be trekking mostly downhill. The first part of the trail goes through the forest again, with the river below you. Once you leave the forest, the path follows through a dry and arid landscape. The Dhaulagiri range decorates the horizon. Passing villages like Kageni, you will reach the check post of the Shey Phoksundo National Park again. After crossing a big iron suspension bridge, you will trek to Jufal, passing through the small village of Kalagaonda. Overnights stay.

DAY

16
Fly to Nepalgunj 45 Mins, fly to Kathmandu 1 Hours. Trip Over.

Early in the morning, you will fly to Nepalgunj from Juphal. You will then fly back to Kathmandu in the afternoon. Trip Over with farewell dinner. 

Trip Cost Includes
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All Accommodations in the city and mountains according to the itinerary.
  • All domestic flights (Kathmandu-Nepalgunj -Jhuphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu)
  • Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals with Tea Coffee in the mountain.
  • All ground transportation as per the itinerary program by private vehicles
  • All necessary staffs with experienced English-speaking leader (guide), cook, assistant leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porters), other helpers (1 trekker: 2 helpers) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food, and lodging
  • All necessary paper works; special trekking permit for Lower Dolpo trek
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Exclusive Medical Kit Bag
  • All government and local taxes
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges (if you have more than 20 kg luggage, cargo charge is around $1.5 per kg)
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
  • Altitude chamber (PAC) or oxygen
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottled water, shower, heater, etc.)
  • Optional trips and sightseeing if extended
  • Tips for guides and porters
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Trip Facts
Group Size 2 - 12
Best Season April to September
Duration 16 days
Grade Difficult
Max Altitude 5070 meters
Starting Point Kathmandu
Accommodation

Hotel, Teahouse, and Tent 

Meals

Breakfast, Luch, and Dinner 

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