The Himalayas offer an endless variety of landscapes, cultures and people. Upper Dolpo is difficult to reach and is very arid. Very few people live in this harsh climate. They are farmers, traders and shepherds, often all in one because this is the only way to survive. We pass through a great variation of scenery between Dolpo and Mustang. Rice and wheat fields, incredible mountains and a high altitude desert are the promising landscape of the region. It is a rain shadow of the Himalaya. All these variation makes this trek more interesting. The Upper Mustang trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang is also called Lo. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire, and therefore the culture of Dolpo is closely related to Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism is still being practiced in a very pure form and villages are built in Tibetan style, with white washed houses with firewood tucked on the roofs.
Welcome to our beautiful city! Upon your arrival our representative of Destination Dolpo will greet you in the airport and assist to transfer you to your designated hotel. As this is the first day, you will have time for refreshment in the hotel. In the evening, our manager will brief you about the trip and your stay in Nepal.
Kathmandu is one of the most popular places of the world which is blessed with many world heritage sites. On this day, we will be having wonderful trips around the different world heritage sites around the Kathmandu valley. This trip include Kathmandu durbar square, Swayambhunath, the holy shrine of Pashupatinath, Boudhanath Stupa, Patan etc .
On this day, depending on the schedule of your flight, you will be taken to the domestic airport of Kathmandu and the flight will drop you to the airport of Nepalgunj. A representative of our company will receive you in the Nepalgunj airport and drops you to the designated hotel for your residence. If the time permits you can look around the places of Nepalgunj on this day.
On this day too, depending on the schedule of your flight, you will be flying from Nepalgunj towards the airport of Juphal. At Juphal Airport, our representative will pick you up. The trek of Dolpo begins from here. From Juphal, there are two options of either travelling in a jeep or to walk on foot till Suligad. At the beginning we will be descending downwards till Kaligauda and then follow straight until Suligad. We will be crossing the suspended bridge from Suligad and pass through Suligad Army Camp until Shey Phoksumdo National park Head office. The cost of permit to be inside the national park is Rs 3000 each. The path will then lead you through the rocky highland. While hiking, our next stop will be in Kageni and then the Jailas with a basic houses and prayer flags. The path follows the Phoksumdo/ Suligadriveruntil we reach Sangta. Sangta is the place for camping on this day.
The trail of this day is through the jungle area and steep ascends till Sepka village. After passing through Sepka, we cross a river towards the west side of jungle containing different species of trees. Ascending and descending path is common till we get to Renji. We will be camping in an open space once we reach Renji.
(From Renji to Sumduwa and to Tapriza school and then to Phoksumdo Lake).
The trail of this day is shorter and easy. After leaving Renji, we cross a river and then follow the same river bank with tall pine forest. Sumduwa Army camp, situated on the high ground across the river on our left can be reached in a little while. ( It is now in ruins as it was destroyed in the people’s revolution ). From Sumduwa, walking for around 30 mins takes you to Tapriza Secondary School. We can take some time to have a tea-break or look around the library of the school. This is one of the best schools of Dolpo. After a short break in the school, we will ascend towards the left to reach Chunuwar. From Chunuwar, Amchi hospital and jharana hotel is very near. The trail is quite straight till Palam. From Palam, the path is relentlessly up and zigzag. Along the way, blue sheep are seen on the rock. After sometime, wooden bed stand is reached from where beautiful magnificent Waterfall above which prayer flags can be seen. After walking for 30 min, we can reach Ringmo village. We can either camp near the lakeside or opt for a lodge or home stay in the village.
This is a special day and you can visit lakeside, Bonpos Monasteries like Thasung Tsoling Gompa around the region.
On this day, heading along the lake side where the film caravan/Himalaya by Eric Valli was made, we will be passing through the highlands of Phoksumdo Lake. Magnificent view of the lake side can be seen from this point. The path is dusty as well as adventurous too. After walking for around 3-4 hrs we reach Sallagari.
Today ,we face high altitude but not need to pass Ngadra-La. From Sallagari, the trail heads up with narrow and river of Tukkyaksa. The path is torrentially rough containing edges in different sides. We need to cross a river many times on this day. As the river is very cold, our feet will feel very cold and icy. After reaching of Ngadra-La pass top, we ascend down through an easier path. The trek of this day ends at Kamgla BC.
On this day, we prepare for passing the Ngandra-La pass. There might be snow around the places. Ngadra-La pass (also known as Kang-La pass) is supposed to be the window to Upper Dolpo. A very breath-taking view of the panoramic Kanjiroba can be seen in the other side. After reaching windblown summit with prayer flags, the path descends you further towards the Shey Gompa. We will camp on the grassy meadows.
On this day, we will be visiting some monasteries, cultural beauties and natural beauties of Shey Gompa. The Crystal mountain panorama is special and it is just above the Shey monastery.
The trail continuous northeast to Saldang and leads you to Shey La pass. Its altitude is about 5095m. It is also known as Gela pass. Once we are on the top of Shey La, we feel like being on the top of the world. After descending a while from there, we reach Nemgung. We will be camping for a day here.
On this day, we will be trekking from Nemgung towards Saldang. The trail is very zigzag and tiresome. Once we reach Saldang, we will be camping near the village.
Saldang will be sidetrip. We will be heading towards Nisal village. Nisal village is also famous by Yangtser monastery. The trail consists of desert with rocks and small bushes. The trail of this day ends at Nisal village.
The trail of this day leads from Nisal village to Komash village. The way will be a bit straight and along the way it ascends towards Tora Khola. After crossing Tora Khola we will be ascending towards Tora Samchen and Samchung till Tiling village. From Tiling we will be going upwards towards the Komash village. Along the way we watch the scenic view of the Saldang River.
On this day we pass through Tinkyu, it is a considerably narrow gorge. It is around10 miles downstream. Along the way, we reach a prosperous village of Shimen. In this village there are terraced buckwheat fields and little groves of willow. We’ll also be visiting an old Gompa perched above the town. We will be camping in Mendo for overnight.
On this day we will be going towards Tinje from Mendo. The way at times ascends and descends along the way. We will be camping at Tinje on this day.
On the eastern side, we see the sacred mountain of Kula, which is also known for its medicinal plants. It has a pilgrim trail circling it (the Kula Ri). The valley consists of wide glacier-cut trough. They are carpeted with short grasses. As usual, there won’t be a tree in sight. Tinkyu sits at the meeting point of this valley and the Panzang (now about a half-mile across). It is a major village, with an old fort, many prayer walls, and two Gompas. The team of Destination Dolpo will also conduct a special surprise program here.
On this day, we will be trekking from Tinje towards Rapka. The trail consists of short grassy meadows like the previous day. Watching the panoramic view of the scenery around the places we reach Rapka. We will be camping on the grassy meadows for the overnight.
The trail of this day gently follows the river and soon the emerald green fields of Tsharka village will be seen. It is in stark contrast to the rocky desert slopes that surrounds it. The Dolpo-pa (inhabitants of Dolpo) refer Tsharka as “the edge of the world,” and it can be recognized from the scenes in Eric Valli’s film “Caravan”. We will arrive with plenty of time to pay visits to the two Gompas, Buddhist and Bon, representing the two religions of Dolpo.
On this day, we will be trekking through the most magnificent trails from Tsharka to Norbulung. The way is a little bit dusty due to the trodden way from the caravans of Yaks and people along the way. We will camp at Norbulung on this day.
The trail of this day is through an open and wild landscape. Norbuling has been called by one of the famous expeditors George Schaller as a new world of “remote peaks crowned by remoter snows”. The intensity of the geology is profound; and we can view the uplift of the Asian plate being pushed from below by India. By late-afternoon we’ll drop from the plateau down to the main river, crossing it on a bridge. With drokpa (nomads) camping nearby, we’ll settle down for the night in a camp.
On this day we’ll have two passes to cross. So the trek starts from 6 a.m. Swirling mists clears as we make our way to the top the Niwar Pass (16,700 feet). Beyond the pass, it will be a slight descend to a long basin, where we’ll stop for an early lunch before continuing over the Tuche La (18,250 feet).( Our highest altitude of the trek). We would be reaching its wind-swept top after a few more hours, gaining magnificent views of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak to the south. Here we bisect the Dhaulagiri range and also cross the continental divide, leaving behind the Indian subcontinent and stepping onto the great Tibetan plateau. The long descent is gentle, and we’ll continue down to camp alongside the Thasan River (chu).
Leaving Sangdak, the trail floats over a small pass before descending steeply into the Chalung gorge to cross the river on a bridge. The canyon is reminiscent of those in the American southwest. We will be climbing out of the gorge after lunch and will make our way to our “base camp”. The upcoming major passes are situated mostly in the juniper forest. We will stay here for two (or three) nights as necessary.
Continuing up steeply, we will cross our first pass of note at (14,200 feet). From there we enjoy the views of the Annapurna area, the Kali Gandaki gorge, Kagbeni, and to the northeast, the entire kingdom of Mustang. After a while we will drop from the pass to a meadow, and camp by mid-afternoon. We may take a second night here for acclimatization. The route turns west and we will cross another pass (about 14,600 feet), then descend to make an early camp on the edge of our first Tibetan-style village, Sangdak, which is also known as “the gateway to Dolpo.” It clings picturesquely to a cliff above the Chalung gorge.
On this day, we will be descending towards a panoramic bazaar of Jomsom. This place is famous for its wind at 12.00 O’Clock. The trekking officially ends at this place. There are numerous lodges around Jomsom and we will be resting in one of them for overnight.
On this day, depending on the schedule of the flight, our representative will drop you to the airport and from there you will be flying towards Pokhara. Upon reaching Pokhara, our representative will pick you up from the airport and drop you to your designated hotel.
On this day too, depending on the schedule of the flight, our representative will drop you to the airport of Pokhara and from there you will be flying back to Kathmandu. Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, our representative will drop you to your designated hotel.
Since you have accomplished such a hard trek, you will be having a well deserved rest in Kathmandu. You can either opt to visit around the ancient streets of Thamel to buy souvenirs for your loved ones back in your country or have a rest in your hotel.
On this day, depending on the schedule of your flight, our representative will pick you up from the hotel and drop you in Tribhuvan International Airport. We hope that you had a very good time in Nepal and expect more visits from you in the coming days.
Depending on the trek and on the number of people in the group, the average price per day & per person will range between $90 – $110. (Flight and trekking permit not included)
Trekking permit costs:
– Lower Dolpo : $20 per day
– Upper Dolpo : $500 for 10 days