Lower dolpo trek
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Lower dolpo trek

Make a rendezvous with the remote Himalaya Mountains of Dolpo, the land of the Oscar nominated Caravan fame, Thinley, a culture nearby Tibet that has survived its originality for centuries.

Fact About Trip

Trip Duration:

18 Days

Trekking area:

Dolpo

Cost of trekking:

$2800

Group Size:

Min - 2

Maximum altitude:

18

Best Season:

Autumn / Spring

Transportation:

Private car / bus

Trekking grade:

Moderate

Trek Start from:

Kathmandu

Trek End at:

Kathmandu

Mode of Trek:

walking

Overview of Lower dolpo trek

Highlights

  • Shey Phoksundo National Park: Traverse this protected area renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, including the endangered Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep.
  • Cultural Heritage: Experience the rich cultural heritage of Dolpo’s indigenous people through traditional homes, monasteries, local legends, and folklore.
  • Stunning Landscapes: Journey through high mountain passes, alpine meadows, and forests of rhododendron and juniper, offering breathtaking views.
  • High-Altitude Lakes and Waterfalls: Marvel at glistening lakes and powerful waterfalls, such as the turquoise-blue Phoksundo Lake and the thundering Suli Gandaki waterfall.
  • Diverse Ecosystems: Explore varied ecosystems home to wildlife like Himalayan black bears, langurs, and numerous bird species.
  • Remote Adventure: Discover one of Nepal’s most remote and unspoiled trekking experiences, offering a true off-the-beaten-path adventure.
  • Ancient Monasteries: Visit traditional villages with ancient monasteries and stupas, including the 500-year-old Shey Gompa, showcasing the region’s spiritual heritage.
  • Phoksundo Lake: Witness the stunning Phoksundo Lake, surrounded by high peaks and forests, a must-visit highlight of the trek.
  • Hidden Valleys: Trek through some of the most remote and hidden valleys, providing a unique and authentic trekking experience.
  • Local Interaction: Engage with local communities, learn about their customs, taste traditional foods, and explore local markets to gain insights into Dolpo’s rich cultural heritage.

On the western slopes of Nepal, the Lower Dolpo Trek offers a fantastic trekking experience. The Lower Dolpo Region, away from the bustle of towns, is regarded as one of Nepal's hidden jewels. The Lower Dolpo Trek will provide you with an off-the-beaten-path trekking adventure and lead you to the serene Shey Phoksundo Lake at an elevation of 3,611 meters. One of Nepal's most stunning lakes, the blue Shey Phoksundo, is situated on the border of Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest national park in Nepal, encircled by tall hills with Mt. Kanjiroba in the distance.

Tibetan traditions and culture significantly influence the entire Lower Dolpo Region. On the Lower Dolpo Trek, you will encounter pre-Buddhist Bon Po and Chaiba civilizations. Every year, pilgrims from around the world attend festivals and festivities held near the lake. Experience a highly varied culture, set of values, and worldview. During the trek, you will enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks such as the Annapurna range (8,091 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Api (7,132 m), Mt. Nilgiri, and Kagmara Ri (5,115 m).

Accessible to hikers since 1991, the Lower Dolpo Trek is one of Nepal's most challenging treks. Located on the north side of the Himalayas, behind the Dhaulagiri peak, the best times for this trek are from early March to early May and from the start of August to the end of October. During these periods, you’ll enjoy clear views and wildflower blooms, with the fresh, cool air of the Himalayas. You can even trek in Lower Dolpo during the monsoon, as it receives less rain compared to other regions.

A typical trekking day involves six to seven hours of walking and two pass crossings, requiring strong physical stamina and overall health. While prior trekking experience is not necessary, a commitment to completing the adventure is essential. Today, the Lower Dolpo Trekking Itinerary is popular due to its natural high passes, unusual flora and fauna, stunning landscape, remote Buddhist monasteries, and traditional Tibetan culture. The route ranges from 1,650 meters to 5,136 meters above sea level.

The 18-day Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary begins with a picturesque flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, followed by a flight to Juphal. From Juphal, you’ll trek towards Dunai, passing terraced farms and small gorges with breathtaking views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna. The trek continues to Dho Tarap village via Tarakot, Laini, Nawarpani, and several other picturesque villages. After a rest day in Dho Tarap for acclimatization, you’ll cross the challenging Numa La Pass (5,190 m) and Baga La Pass (5,070 m) before arriving at the lovely Ringmo settlement. The highlight, Phoksundo Lake, awaits you next, before descending to Shyanta village. The trek concludes as you return to Juphal for your flight back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.

Lower dolpo trek Itinerary
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Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by a representative from Actual adventure. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Actual adventure Pvt.Ltd display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to respective Hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
Included meals:D

Food
Dinner
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1300

We start a guided tour to four of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu.  Kathmandu Durbar Square holds the palaces of the medieval Kings who ruled over the then Kathmandu Kingdom. Pashupatinath houses a sacred lingum, or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. The Aryaghat alongside Pashupati and on the banks of the Bagmati River is a famous funeral site for the Hindus. The Buddhists shrine of Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in the world, and one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage and tourist destinations in Kathmandu.  The area of Boudhnath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan Gompas or monasteries. Swayambhu meaning the "the self-existent" is popular among the foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large number of monkey population residing in the area. Overnight at Kathmandu.

Food
Breakfast
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

We take an hour's flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj which is a border town near Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town of Nepal with influences from both the Nepal hills and plains well as local Hindu & Muslim cultures. Some sightseeing places in Nepalgunj include Mini Zoo, Muslim bazaar, or if possible and interested take a walk into nearby villages. We have to also make preparation for tomorrow's flight to Jhupal.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
150

After an early breakfast, we take a morning flight to Jhupal. The 45minutes flight over the high mountains brings you at Jhupal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhupal our trekking staffs will receive you. Our first day adventure begins through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. Dunai is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. Explore Dunai in the evening.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2850

After breakfast we start our trek continues along the south bank of the river heading upstream on a good trail. Deep gorges, hanging bridges and isolated villages. A tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river. The colorful terraced field of Tarakot greets us. Tarakot is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. The village stands on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of tolls for the trading caravans.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2543

After breakfast, we continue our walking to follow the Tarap chu river upstream, crossing by bridge and crossing the same river twice. The famed Sandul Gompa lies farther east from Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu Rriver. The path leads through the farm terraces and rural villages.  After a few ups and downs, finally descend to reach our overnight camp at Laini.
Included meals:BLD

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3160

After breakfast we continue walking up to the gorge of the Tarap River, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Descend to Chyugur Khola. Sometimes the path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3545

Our morning walk begins after breakfast with a gradual up leading us at Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, a stream flowing from the east. After few hours of good morning walk leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner Himlayan valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us to the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregualr stone wall. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4090

We spend a rest day in Do Tarap for gradually getting used to the altitude. Time to visit monasteries and enjoy the breathtaking views.  Make friends with the locals who have hardly seen westerners. The Dolpo people wear home spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favour 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. The people of the region are both Bon po and Nyingmapa of Buddhist sect. The Buddhist Gompa is nearby to the camp while the Bon Gompa (pre Buddhist) is about half an hour's walk.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4090

After a wonderful time at Do Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains.  A few hours' good walk takes us to the village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After visit this village our walk continues further up this valley climbing up the rough track for almost another three hours to reach our overnight camp beneath the Numa-la.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4440

This is one of the long and difficult days during the trek. After breakfast our journey continues to crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes. An incredible panoramic view of the barren mountains of Dolpo up to the Dhaulagiri (8167m).  After getting to the top of Numa La we will descend to camp at Pelung Tang.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4465

After breakfast our morning trek starts with a steep climb to reach the ridge top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjirowa Himal range, after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to the Dajok Tang for overnight.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
4080

After breakfast our morning trek starts through the pine forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3600

A rest and exploration day.  And of course we sit right on the shore of the spectacular Phoksumdo Lake; remember the harrowing scene in 'Himalaya' when Thinley's yak caravan attempted the 'Devil's Trail'. Yak caravans will be heading in and out of Ringmo on their way north towards the border of Tibet, and our most northerly destinations, Saldang and Thinje. This is the pleasant day free from the hassle of packing and chance to visit the nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit, as is the village of Ringmo. A walk part way round the lake is also very enjoyable and relaxing. This is a great day exploring the lake areas and the crystal serene Lake of Phoksundo with great views.  overnight at camp.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
3600

Trek downhill to Chepka. From Chepka the trail follows the massive overhanging rock. We found many important medicinal mineral which is believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through the villages, before climbing to Shyanta.
Included meals:BLD

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge
Elevation
2520

Following the trail gently sloping upwards, we march towards Jhupal via Sulighat. We meet tall birch trees on our way. From atop the ridge, we can have the most spectacular views of the mountain and Jhupal below. Utmost caution is required while trekking along this trail. After reaching Jhupal, we can spend our afternoon exploring the busy market town or simply pursuing whatever we feel like.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Lodge

We take a flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. On reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with Actual adventure Pvt.Ltd Trekking staffs. Overnight at Kathmandu.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1350

You are saying good bye to the mountains of Nepal as your journey in Nepal comes to an end today. There is nothing to do but trade emails with your friends and organize your photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing around Kathmandu. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Actual adventure drops you to the airport and say good bye. On way home, we hope you will be thinking about your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
In some circumstances we could face problem of internal flights to/from Nepalgunj delayed by few hours or canceled for a day or more because of bad weather. Very rarely, but it could happen even in best trekking season also as you know how climate change is effecting our globe. Thus, we always recommend you to add supplement night/s in Kathmandu after your trek if possible (just for incase). If everything runs smoothly, you can enjoy other activities like sightseeing, rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, as you wish in those additional day. However, if you want heli rescue in the state of flight cancellation to/from Nepalgunj-we can organize it. A helicopter charge around USD 5000 and it can lift 4 persons per flight.

Food
Breakfast

Lower dolpo trek Include / Exclude

Cost Includes

  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • Three nights’ accommodation in 3-star hotel in Kathmandu, two nights in guest house in Nepalgunj/Juphal and tented accommodation in mountain.
  • All domestic flights (Kathmandu-Nepalgunj -Jhuphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu)
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals and boiled water in mountain
  • All ground transportation as per the itinerary program by private vehicles
  • All necessary staffs with experienced English speaking climbing leader (guide), cook, assistant climbing leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter), 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
  • Camping equipments-very high quality North Face or Mountain Hardware or similar kitchen, dining, toilet tents, mattresses, and kitchen equipments
  • Travel and rescue arrangements
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Exclusive Medical Kit Bag
  • All government and local taxes

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

Altitude Graph

Additional Information

Trip Note

Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Actual adventure. 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.

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