Days: 18 / Difficulty: 4 of 5 (Strenuous)
Lower Dolpo Trek region of western Nepal has only been open since 1988, and has been widely acclaimed as one of Nepal's best trekking regions. We have previously organized many different treks in the area and in 1997 we retraced the core elements of Peter Matthiessen's journey, made famous in his book “The Snow Leopard”. Lower Dolpo Trek Nepal is also one of the more challenging treks which allow you to explore the remote and sparsely populated areas of Nepal. Dolpo is where the movie 'Himalaya' way shot by Eric Valli. First we fly to Juphal, west of Dhaulagiri, Trekking north we enter Phoksundo National Park and after a rest continuous on Matthiessen's original trail, crossing the Khang La 17320ft/5279m, to reach the very remote monastery of Shey Gompa. On the way we pass the mystical crystal mountain. In Matthiessen's world's … “high to the west a white pyramid sails on the sky”. Shey Gompa was established in the eleventh century and little has changed here since then. This is a special trek in one of Nepal's restricted areas and as such we have to pay the same levels of permit fees as for Mustang. However it is ideal for the keen walker who would like a wild experience away from the main trekking routes.
Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
As you fly into Kathmandu, the views of snow-capped mountain peaks greet you. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities. Overnight in Hotel. all Permits procedure
Day 02: Kathmandu- Nepalgunj by flight and transfer to hotel
From Kathmandu we take fly on any domestic carrier to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj , a town in the western Terai, is very close to the Indian border and the Bardia Nationl Park. It is a major transport hub for western, mid-western and far-western regions of Nepal
. Overnight at hotel or lodge.
Day 03: Fly Nepalgunj- Juphal / Trek Juphal- Dunai (2150 m)
Today we take a 35 minutes long flight to Juphal .Our trekking starts from Juphal .The trail descends and winds through local villages. We trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the village of Dunai (2150m). Dunai has a village school, police check post and some government offices. We stay overnight in Dunai at tented camp.
Day 04: Trek from Dunai to Tarakot 2540 m 5-6 hrs
As the trek begins today, we follow the upstream trail that banks Bheri River. First part of today’s trek is very pleasant as we trek along the leveled path occupied by beautiful landscapes in the neighborhood. Almost a couple of hours of trek bring us to the settlement of Byasghar 2430m. Exiting out of Byasghar, we continue trekking along the riverside trail that heads towards northeast direction. During this part of the trek, the trail most of the times flanks the river closely and at other time it climbs over the hill or around the ridge. The trek continues along open trails before it arrives to Baijibara. This small settlement holds a Bon Monastery. After a short uphill trek further, dry stone walls and cultivating fields indicate the arrival of famous mid-hill settlement of western Nepal
, Tarakot. A small settlement that nestles high above Thuli Bheri River was once a famous trading point as it was the capital of ancient independent kingdom Tichorung. Most of the natives of the village belong to Magar tribe and the most of them practice Tibetan Buddhism as their religion. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 05: Trek from Tarakot to Laini Odar 3375m 4-5 hrs
As the trek begins today, we hike along the trail that lies on the southern bank of Bheri River. An hour long trek brings us to the open valley created by Bahrbung Khola. Then the Phoksundo Nature Experience Trek heads east along the bank of Bharbung Khola. This part of trek brings us closer to Putha Huinchuli and Churen Himal. The trail beyond Bharbang Khola chases the easy steps that eventually bring us to Laisicap 2775m. Now we cross the main river and begin to trek along the west bank of Tarap Khola. We head north until we arrive to Kanigaon 2950m. Khanigaon is the winter residence of the Dho-Tarap people. We can see the wonderful view of Sandul Gompa across the valley from Kanigaon. The final push on the steep uphill trail finally brings us to Laini Odar, which is a wonderful camping site with a beautiful waterfall nearby. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 06: Lain Odhar to Nawarpani
Phoksundo Nature Experience trek today begins along the spectacular trail. As we head further from Laini Odar, we traverse through the trail through the deep gorges with scary cliffs above them. After couple of hours of trek to the north from Laini Odar, the trail begins to become relatively open. A little bit of effort put to make the trail easier can be seen. We now trek on the easy trail paved with wooden planks and flat stones that leads us to Chhyugar 3440m. Chhyugar lies at the bank of small stream which we cross and begin to trek along its western bank to Pibke or Nawarpani 3475m. The final part of today’s trek, which is couple of hours long brings us to Toltol 3530m. Toltol is a winter refuge for the people of Upper Dolpo. We will settle down our camps here for the overnight stay. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 07: Trek from Toltol to Dho Tarap 3950 m 6-7 hrs
One of the most interesting days of Inner Dolpo trek is about to begin. The trek most of the times runs along the bank of Tarap Khola switching sides frequently. On the first part of the trek we hike along the northwest bank of Tarap Khola to Ghyamghar, a small settlement with a monastery. At Ghyamghar, we cross the river and begin to trek along the eastern bank to Sisaul. At Sisaul once again we cross the river to its western bank and begin to trek along the lonely valley. As we arrive to Langa, we once again cross the river and follow its eastern bank that climbs to a small arid hill. The last part of today’s Inner Dolpo Trek slides down from this small hill to Dho Tarap 3950m. Dho Tarap is a fascinating settlement that manifests the real attributes of Dolpo. This famous settlement of Dolpo nestles high above a wide valley and was a famous trading point to the traders of Tibet
and Mustang in the ancient days. We will settle down our camps at Dho Tarap for the overnight stay. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 08: Excursion around Dho Tarap for acclimatization
Trekking for almost a week exhausts everyone. So we are having a day rest at Dho Tarap. However, the day rest doesn’t refer to staying in tents and relaxing. We would hike around so that we acclimatize well before heading towards the elevated passes like Numa La and Baga La. There are plenty of places to see around Dho Tarap. In fact Dho Tarap is a highland settlement dotted with monasteries. So ask your guide or make suggestions to explore around Dho Tarap. Here we have few major sites that are worthwhile exploring around Dho Tarap. Ribo Bumpa Monastery One of most sacred monasteries of Dolpo Ribo Bumpa Monastery was built almost 1000 years ago by Jigme Nyima Gyaltzen and Lama Tenzing Tragye to get rid of evil spirits wondering in the region. The monastery resembles the architecture of Samye Monastery in Tibet
. As per its name, the Bumpa which refers to vase (one of sacred Buddhist symbols) can been seen here. As the legends related to Guru Rinpoche says that if any damage is made to this vase the Phoksundo Lake bursts to sweep away the lower Dolpo. Kakar Labrang Monastery White valley temple dating back to 12th century, Kakar Gompa is the popular monastery of Dolpo that belongs to old sect of Nyingma- pa sect of Buddhism. Funded by the king of Mustang the monastery was began to build by Urgyen Tenzin. The monastery holds eight major facets of Guru Rinpoche indulged in various moods. Drakmar Dewa Monastery High above on a hill southwest of Dho, Drakmar Monastery nestles beautifully on the red cliffs. Nine hundred years old monastery has the images of Sakyamuni Buddha, Dorje Phurba and the visions of Guru Rinpoche inside it. Along with the stupa, a book found here has translated 100 words of Buddha. The vicinity around Dho Tarap has many other important monasteries which include Mekhyim Monastery, Dhoro Monastery and a Bon Gompa of Shipichowk among others. So make your decision wisely while choosing the monastery you prefer to explore from the pool of many. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 09: Trek from Dho Tarap of Numa La Base Camp 4350 m 4-5 hrs
We begin the trek along a gentle uphill trail from Dho Tarap. Almost an hour long uphill climb brings us to Crystal Mountain School and Health Post. Schools and health posts are very rarely seen in Dolpo. En-route to Numa La Base Camp we trek along the easy trail that reaches to Tokyu 4209m. Authentically traditional looking village Tokyu is a widespread village with graceful kani gait and old-fashioned houses. Tokyu is also a delightful place for a photographer on a bright sunlight. The trail beyond Tokyu right away crosses the River to Kanger. To the northwest direction of the main trail, we see the dramatic views of Shering Gompa which is the house for the monks in the region. The comfortable trail ends here as we begin to slide up along the wild and barren rugged trail to the Base Camp of Numa La 4350m. Overnight in a camp at Numa La Base Camp. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 10: Numa La Pass to Danighar 4510m via Numa La Pass 5310m 6-7 hrs
Today the trek isn’t going to be easy. As the trek begins towards the Numa La Pass it begins to test trekker’s endurance. The trek chases the trail that climbs up to endless ridge top. The path is not easy as well- gaining higher elevation on the rugged trail is electrifying and maddening experiences of equal measures. However, the demanding trek also rewards with the majestic views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal. Also the view of fantastic snowcapped peak Norbung Kang dominates the trail. After 4 hours of effortful trek we arrive to the top of Numa La Pass 5310m. The top of Numa La Pass has quite a spacious saddle with prayer flags fluttering with winds. As we slide down the Numa La Pass, the trail is relatively easier. The path follows Gyambo Khola and then encounters the spurs before it finally slips into the beautiful meadow of Danighar 4512m. Overnight in a camp at Danighar. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 11: Trek from Danighar to Temche 4000m via Baga La Pass 5170 m 5-6 hrs
As the trek begins today, it right away caters a vertical uphill climb along the shabby yak trail. Initially the trail to Baga La Pass gains elevation rapidly. The elevation of 600m is gained so rapidly that, this part of trek really demands extra efforts. As we arrive to the top of the pass, we witness the scared chortens. Norbung Lang Peak looms right in front of our eyes along with other peaks on the ridgeline from the top of the pass is one of the most beautiful views of entire Phoksundo Nature Experience Trek. As we descend down the pass, we slide into deep ravine and cross the frozen stream to open space. The final push down is a beautiful meadow Temche 4000m. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 12: Trek from Yak kharka to Phoksundo 3600m
Today we begin the trek, dropping down from Temche to Yak Kharka. At Yak Kharka, the trail branches into two. Descending trail drops down to Maduwa whereas; the ascending one traverses high towards Ringmo. The trail to Ringmo penetrates the lush vegetation of pines, junipers and cypress. This part of trek offers the stunning views of towering cliffs throughout the trek. Passing the highest waterfall in Nepal
on the right, the trail finally stretches to Ringmo, a famous Bon settlement in the region. The final thirty minute downhill trek from Ringmo finally brings us to the mesmerizingly beautiful lake, Phoksundo. Overnight in the camps beside Phoksundo Lake. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 13: Explore around Phoksundo Lake
Today we explore the area around the Ringmo 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 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. Ringmo village, a typical Tibetan village, is scenic view from Phoksundo Lake. Many beautiful glaciers can be found near and above the lake area. There are many monasteries (Gompas )and Bon-po 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. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 14: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Chepka 6 hrs
As we begin the trek today, the trail on the riverside initially is leveled but pretty soon, we climb along the steep uphill trail. After an hour long uphill climb we arrive atop a hill from where the river we chased earlier begins to diminish in size. However, the last view of Phoksundo Lake atop a hill is truly fascinating. Then we slide down for a while and resume the trek along leveled trail to Chunuwar. Beyond Chunuwar, the trail slides down gently along lush forests of pines and birches to Rechi. Then the series of gentle ups and downs along the trail beside the river throughout brings us to Chepka. This part of trek is almost three hours long. Before reaching Chepka, we begin to see the sign of tropical forest as bamboo forest and walnut trees come into our sight. Overnight in a camp at Chepka. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 15: Trek from Chepka to Juphal 6 hrs
An hour long trek from Chepka brings us to Shyanta and one more hour trek trek takes us to Kageni. Dramatically, beyond Shyanta we leave the forest trail and chase the trail with arid landscapes in the neighborhood. The walk is pleasant savoring wonderful rocky landscapes to the checkpost of Shey Phoksundo National Park. Beyond the checkpost, we cross the metal suspension bridge over Dhim Khola and chase the trail on the west to Juphal. As we cross the bridge Juphal is now just 3 hours pleasant walk. The trail to Juphal initially is wide before it arrives to the village of Kalagaonda. Beyond Kalagaonda, we the trek begins along the narrow path. Now it winds through beautiful fields of barley and wheat surrounded by strong trees that include walnut, peach and apricot. The final uphill steep climb stretches to Juphal, a large village with beautiful marketplace. Overnight at Juphal. We stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 16: Juphal- Fly to Nepalgunj —afternoon flight back to Kathmandu
From Juphal we fly to Nepalgunj and then finally to Kathmandu. We stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 17: Buffer day for flight delay and cancellation due to bad weather and We stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 18: Depart Kathmandu
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey in Nepal
comes to an end today! We hope you enjoyed the tour with us, and are sure you will be back in your trip somewhere in the Himalaya again. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from us will transfer 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
Our Trek Package Cost Includes:
* Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
* 4 nights deluxe accommodation with breakfast at 3* hotel in Kathmandu and standard hotel in Nepalgunj.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filter water during the trek.
* Tented accommodation during the trek.
* 1 experienced, helpful and friendly guide, 1 cook and necessary porters (1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipment and insurance.
* Trekking camping equipment (Tent, mattress, dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, kitchen utensils etc.)
* All domestic flights and airport tax.
* Dolpo Restricted Area permit.
* All necessary permits.
* All transportation by private car.
* First Aid Medical Kit box.
* Office Service charge.
* All Government Tax.
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include;
* Any meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu and Nepagunj other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal
Tourist Visa fee.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipment like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Trek:
This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.