Lower Dolpa Trek

Trip Duration

17

Trip Grade

Moderate

Highest Altitude

5360m

Accommodation

Tea Houses

Transportation

Flight

Group Size

1-20

Best Season

Sept, Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr, May

Lower Dolpa Trek Introduction

The Lower Dolpo trek is one of the most electrifying and thrilling trekking trails situated in western Nepal. Dolpo is located at a high altitude, in the upper part of the Dolpa district in western Nepal. The region is highly influenced by Tibetan culture.

The sparse nomadic people living here follow the Bon, a Tibetan form of the Buddhist religion. The trails go through the steep and sloppy hills making it one of the most adventurous trekking trails in Nepal. The trek offers abundant attractions to honor the hardship and effort it takes during the trek.

The high Himalayan ranges, the Shey Phoksundo Lake with turquoise blue water, the Yak caravans and the mountain Buddhist monasteries, the wildlife, the flora and fauna at the Shey Phoksundo national park, Bheri river, Tinje valley, Dho Tarap valley (Human settlement at highest altitude), Crystal Mountain and Shey Gompa (Buddhist sacred sites), Rara Lake, Sinja valley (the place of origin and evolution of Nepali language and script), Kyakuchin lake, Dolpo peak, Mt. Kanjirowa (6883 meters above sea level), Dolpo Bon school (the only Bon school in the region) and Thichorong village (people here speak ‘Kaike’, a local language which is not spoken anywhere else in the world) are the major attractions of this trek.

The 18 days-long trek begins with a flight from Tribhuwan International Airport at Kathmandu, via Nepalgunj to Jhupal, the beginning point of the trek. The trails go through the semi-deserted regions and also through the dense Pine, Rhododendron, Juniper trees, and bamboo forests.

We’ll also pass through the Shey Phoksundo national park. The national park is home to a few endangered species of wildlife here i.e. Snow leopard, Grey wolf, Musk deer, Ghoral, Blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, and Himalayan tahr. The trekkers also travel through two high passes i.e. Numa La (5360 meters above the sea level, the highest altitude of the trek) and Baga La (5070 meters above the sea level).

Both the passes offer spectacular views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 meters above sea level) and the Tibetan mountains (Kugung La and Khyung La). We also can see the Yak caravans marching towards Tibet with goods during summer for trade. The Lake at the highest altitude, Shey Phoksundo is another aspect of the Dolpo trek that hypnotizes the Trekker and makes him fall for nature here. The Oscar-nominated Hollywood movie “Caravan” was picturized here around the Dolpo region.

Highlights

Witness the Spectacular and close view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Kugung La, and Khyung La (the Tibetan mountains).
The stunning turquoise water of the Shey Phoksundo Lake, the lake at the highest altitude in the world.
The dense forests of Rhododendron varieties and other floras such as pines, junipers, etc.
Witness the richness in Biodiversity and wildlife at Shey Phoksundo National park.
The Bon Tibetan culture, the monasteries, and Bon School allow a brief understanding of Bon culture and traditions.
The yak caravans carry loads to Tibet for trade.
The Sinja valley is the birthplace of the Nepalese language and script.
Do Tarap Valley, the human settlement at the highest altitude in the world.
Thichorong village, the only village to have a language that is not spoken in any other part of Nepal or the world, is called Kaike.

 

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Day 2: Permit processing; fly to Nepalgunj and overnight stay at the hotel.
  • Day 3: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal, and trek from Jhupal to Dunai.
  • Day 4: Trek from Dunai to Tarakot. (5-6 hours)
  • Day 5: Trek from Tarakot to Laina Odar. (4-5 hours)
  • Day 6: Trek from Laina Odar to Nawarpani and then to Toltol. (5-6 hours)
  • Day 7: Trek from Toltol to Dho Tarap. (6-7 hours)
  • Day 8: Excursion around Dho Tarap for acclimation.
  • Day 9: Trek from Dho Tarap to Numa La base camp. (4-5 hours)
  • Day 10: Trek from Numa La base camp to Danighar via Numa la pass. (6-7 hours)
  • Day 11: Trek from Danighar to Temche via Baga La pass. (5-6 hours)
  • Day 12: Trek from Temche to Yak kharka and to Ringmo, which is close to Shey Phoksundo Lake. (5-6 hours)
  • Day 13: Explore around Phoksundo Lake.
  • Day 14: Trek from Phoksundo to Chhekpa. (6 hours)
  • Day 15: Trek from Chhekpa to Jhupal. (6 hours)
  • Day 16: Flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj in the morning and Kathmandu in the afternoon.
  • Day 17: Departure from Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Our airport representative will be there at the arrival terminal of Tribhuwan International Airport with a placard displaying your name. It’ll make the search easy. We’ll depart for the hotel as soon as the representative finds you.
We have an overnight stay in Kathmandu, so you can shop for the necessities for the trek. Also, you can explore the monuments, and heritages of the city.

Day 2: Permit processing; fly to Nepalgunj and overnight stay at the hotel.

We’ll apply for the trekking permits in the morning and then in the afternoon, we’ll fly to Nepalgunj from Tribhuwan International Airport, domestic section. Nepalgunj is a trade hub as it borders India to the south. We’ll stay overnight at a hotel in Nepalgunj.

Day 3: Fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal, and trek from Jhupal to Dunai.

This morning, we are set to fly Juphal, the beginning point of our trek from Nepalgunj airport.
The flight is only for 35 minutes. As we arrive at Juphal, we’ll trek through the local villages and terraced fields towards the Bheri River. The trekking trail continues through the riverside and passes through watermills to arrive at the village of Dunai.

Day 4: Trek from Dunai to Tarakot. (5-6 hours)

Today, we’ll trek to Tarakot following the trail along the bank of the Bheri River.
The path offers beautiful landscapes to mesmerize the eyes. We also pass through Georges, suspension bridges, and sparse villages as we climb uphill. Once we reach Tarakot, the colorful terraces and the dry stones here welcome us. Tarakot is situated on a small hill towards the south of the Bheri River and has an old Fort here.
We’ll stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 5: Trek from Tarakot to Laina Odar. (4-5 hours)

Following the trail on the south bank of Bheri, we’ll reach an open valley.
We’ll head east alongside the Bharbung River to reach Lasicap and cross the river. We’ll walk alongside the Tarap Khola towards the north to Khani gaun. Khani gaun offers a magnificent view of Sandul Gompa, Putha Hiuchuli, and Churey Himal range. We’ll walk through the steep trail to reach Laina Odar.
We’ll spend the night in a lodge.

Day 6: Trek from Laina Odar to Nawarpani and then to Toltol. (5-6 hours)

We’ll walk through the deep George of Tarap River, walking uphill on the trail made of steep slopes.
The narrow trail opens up and becomes easier as we walk further. We’ll walk over wooden planks and flat stones and reach Chhyugar. We’ll cross a stream and a few hours further walk reaches us to Toll.
We’ll stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 7: Trek from Toltol to Dho Tarap. (6-7 hours)

Walking alongside the Tarap river bank, we’ll reach Kamattarka.
It is a junction of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola. Crossing the George, we’ll enter the forest path full of Juniper bushes and wild roses to reach Dho Tarap. It is the human settlement at the highest altitude in the world. It used to be the trade center between Nepal and Tibet in ancient days.
We’ll stay in a local lodge overnight.

Day 8: Excursion around Dho Tarap for acclimation.

Dho Tarap village is situated at an altitude of 3950 meters above sea level.
The air is thin here and gets thinner above. So to adjust our respiratory system to the thin air, we’ll spend the day exploring around Dho Tarap, preparing ourselves to breathe without complications at higher altitudes.
We’ll visit the monasteries, and observe the culture, lifestyle, and local traditions.

Day 9: Trek from Dho Tarap to Numa La base camp. (4-5 hours)

After a day at Dhu Tarap, we’ll begin our trek towards Numa La pass (4350 meters above sea level) alongside Tarap chu river and ascend to Tokyu, a traditional village here with old houses. We’ll cross a bridge to reach Khanger and then head North West towards the main trail.
We continue to walk through the rough trails to reach Numa La base camp.

Day 10: Trek from Numa La base camp to Danighar via Numa la pass. (6-7 hours)

Today we’ll trek through Numa La pass, which is more challenging.
We’ll reach the rugged ridges with rough trails through a steep trail. The view from the top ridge is blessed with the sight of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Churen Himal, along with Norbung Kang. We’ll walk down Gyambo Khola followed by the beautiful meadow of Danighar. We’ll set up a tent camp for an overnight stay

Day 11: Trek from Danighar to Temche via Baga La pass. (5-6 hours)

We’ll walk through Baga La pass, to reach Temche from Danighar. We walk through the steep and Shabby Yak trail. The elevation increases rapidly here as it is the top point of the trek. The top offers the views of Sacred Buddhist Shrines, Norbung Kang, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Kugung La, and Khyung La along with hypnotizing Phoksundo Lake. Then, we’ll walk down through a deep ravine and cross a frozen stream to reach Temche.

Day 12: Trek from Temche to Yak kharka and to Ringmo, which is close to Shey Phoksundo Lake. (5-6 hours)

From Temche, we’ll descend to Yak kharka and further down to Ringmo village through the forest path. We will be accompanied by spectacular views of cliffs and a waterfall on our way down. Ringmo village is a Bon settlement, a Tibetan form of Buddhism. Phoksundo lake is very near Ringmo Village. Overnight in tent camp.

Day 13: Explore around Phoksundo Lake.

Today, we’ll explore the Ringmo village and Phoksundo Lake’s surroundings.
The turquoise water lake is the deepest in Nepal. The panoramic view of Ringmo village from the lake is very scenic. After the lake, we’ll explore the village and visit the Bon monastery which was built 900 years ago. We’ll stay in tent camps.

Day 14: Trek from Phoksundo to Chhekpa. (6 hours)

We’ll start our descent back from Phoksundo to Chhekpa along the riverside, followed by a steep uphill that offers the last view of Phoksundo Lake. We’ll walk down to Chunuwar. The trail then goes through the forest, steep uphill and downhill to reach Chhekpa. We’ll stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 15: Trek from Chhekpa to Jhupal. (6 hours)

We’ll head towards Jhupal through the village of Shyanta and Kageni.
From Shyanta, we’ll walk through the forest path which leads to the check post of Shey Phoksundo national park. We’ll cross the suspension bridge over Dhim Khola and Walk to Jhupal.
We’ll spend the night in a lodge.

Day 16: Flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj in the morning and Kathmandu in the afternoon.

The flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj is available from the morning itself.
We’ll take a morning flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj and a connecting flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. We’ll stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu overnight. You can explore the markets for souvenirs to take back home.

Day 17: Departure from Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu.

Today, is the final day of yours in Nepal. We’ll drive you to the International airport in Kathmandu at least 2 hours earlier than the flight departure time.

Includes

Private ground vehicle from/ to the Airport roundtrip.
A professional and friendly trekking guide.
Porter.
Domestic Airfare from/ to Nepalgunj.
All breakfasts during the whole tour, and all meals during the trek.
Four nights accommodation in Standard Hotel and lodge/ tent accommodation during the trek.
All camping equipment and requirements.
All government and airport taxes.
All necessary and restricted permits are required during the trek.
First aid medical kit.

Excludes

International airfare from/ to Nepal.
Travel insurances.
Personal expenses.
Gratuities (Tips).
Any meals are other than breakfast at Nepalgunj and Kathmandu.
Personal trekking kits and equipment.
Emergency rescue services.
Horse/ Mule renting during the trek.
Visa expenses.
All other sorts of expenses are not mentioned in the itinerary.

Reviews

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