Upper Dolpo and Shey Phosundo Lake 23 Days
Duration: 23 days
Trip level: strenuous (info?)
Maximum altitude: 5350 m
Accommodation: camping; teahouse/homestay possible with small group
Season: May, June, July, August, September, October
The Dolpo is a remote and spectacular region of the Himalayas. Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park of Nepal. This rough and spectacular trekking will bring you to beautiful turquoise colored lakes, rushing rivers, impressive gorges and over high passes. You can admire the legendary peaks Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna massive. The Dolpo is also the homeland to some rare wildlife including the illusive snowleopard. The Upper Dolpo has been isolated from the rest of the world for centuries. This trek gives you a chance to visit isolated villages, the authentic monasteries, the fortified villages (dzong) and to meet local Tibetan people: farmers, shepherds, nomads and monks. The region is home to the original Buddhist Bon religion.
Dolpo is quite poor. Camping trek with our own food supplies is the only possibility to visit this region.
From Kathmandu the adventure starts with two domestic flights to Juphal. From Juphal you will follow the Sulighat river towards Phoksundo Lake. From Somdua the trails goes steeply uphill. Here you leave the river and follow the path high above the water. You will ascend to a ridge at about 3875m, from where you will have the most impressive of a 300m waterfall. The highest in Nepal. Also from the ridge a first view at the turquoise Phoksundo Lake. At the lake you will have a resting day for acclimatization. There are various optional day hikes. After the first high pass of this trek, the Kang La pass (5350 m), you will visit the sacred Shey Gompa. An 800 year old monastery at the base of the mystical Crystal Mountain. At Shey Gompa another day for acclimatization. A good way to spend the day is a day hike around Shey village which is famous for its pre-Buddhist culture, the Bon Po. In Dolpo the ancient Tibetan way of life combines animism with the teaching of Buddha. From Shey Gompa you will cross over the high pass of Shey La pass to the pastures of Namjung Gaon. At Saldang you are close to the Tibetan border and the some of the salt trade yak caravans are routed through here. From the third high pass of this trek, the Jeng La (5110 m) you will have breathtaking views at the Dhaulagiri. After the pass you will descend down a rough steep path to the Tarap valley. After the Jeng La pass the landscape has completely changed. The Tarap valley is lush green broad valley. There are about 10 villages with cultivated fields. And there is much cultural interest in the valley. You will have the opportunity to visit several gompas and you will pass some ancient chortens. In Dho Tarap you will have an extra day. This is a buffer day in case you have encountered any difficulties with your trekking schedule. If you haven’t had to use this day, you will have the option to spend a rest day at Dho Tarap or at one of the campsites lower down in the valley. Your trip leader will decide on the most appropriate place to take this rest day. After Dho Tarap you will trek through the gorges of Tarap Chu. You go through narrow gorges with the river rushing through it. Perhaps you will see blue sheep, marmots, yaks, sheep and goats. Maybe you will meet people from Dolpo taking their flocks of sheep and goats to lower pastures for the winter. A few days after the gorge you will arrive at Tarakot. You are now at an elevation of just 2620 m and it is noticeably warmer. Tarakot is an old fortress town known by the local people as Dzong, meaning ‘fortress’. Before the Gorkha dynasty Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong. Towards Dunai the path follows on a relatively easy trail. Dunai is a large village and has a couple of small lodges and those who are ready for a beer should be able to find one. From Dunai it is three hours the airstrip of Juphal. In one day you will fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 01 Flight Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (1 hrs.)
Day 02 Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475 m – 45 min.) and trek to Sulighat (2050 m – 3 hrs.)
Day 03 Trek to Chepka (2970 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 04 Trek to Somdua (3000 m – 7 hrs.)
Day 05 Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3611 m – 7 hrs.)
Day 06 Resting day at Phoksundo Lake for acclimatization
Day 07 Trek to Phoksundo Khola (3680 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 08 Trek to Snowfields camp (4650 m – 7 hrs.)
Day 09 Cross over Kang La pass (5350 m) and trek to Shey Gompa (4370 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 10 Resting and exploration day at Shey Gompa
Day 11 Cross over Saldang La pass (5200 m) and trek to Namjung Gaon (4415 m – 7 hrs.)
Day 12 Trek to Saldang (4070 m – 3 hrs.)
Day 13 Trek to Sibu (4150 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 14 Trek to Jeng La base camp (4820 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 15 Cross over Jeng La pass (5110 m) and trek to Tokyu Gaon (4200 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 16 Trek to Dho Tarap (4020 m – 4 hrs.)
Day 17 Resting day at Dho Tarap (or extra buffer day)
Day 18 Trek to Darap Khola (3700 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 19 Trek to Khanigaon (3150 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 20 Trek to Tarakot (2540 m – 5 hrs.)
Day 21 Trek to Dunai (2090 m – 6 hrs.)
Day 22 Trek to Juphal (2475 m – 3 hrs.)
Day 23 Flight Juphal to Kathmandu over Nepalgunj
Sherpa Heritage Trails shows you a starting price. During the trekking season prices may rise. The final price depends on the trekking season, group size and, if applicable, cost of local flight.
Please inquire for price.
We have noticed the ways of traveling and booking are changing rapidly. Many customers book a hotel or a guesthouse themselves prior to their journey. However, we would happily like to arrange accommodation for you. We have excellent contacts with various hotels and guesthouses and will be able to offer a good price rate for any budget.
When you arrive at the International Airport we will pick you up and bring you to your accommodation. Here we will give you a short briefing about the trek. In addition we will give you advice about hygienic food, customs, and sightseeing in Kathmandu.
-Pick up and drop off from Kathmandu International Airport to hotel
-Return flight Kathmandu to Juphal (over Nepalgunj) , and transfer to and from domestic airport
-Certificate of CO2- emission free return flight Kathmandu to Juphal
-One night in hotel in Nepalgunj
-Licensed and certified mountain guide. Well experienced and English speaking
-Porter service for carrying luggage, tent equipment and cooking equipment. One porter for two persons, max. luggage 12 kg. per person
-Cooking staff service
-Free use of waterproof bag for your luggage
-Free use of tent equipment; including one tent for two persons and a light sleeping mattress
-Three meals a day: breakfast/ lunch/ dinner; Tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate/ hot water and cookies; and if possible fresh fruit
-Salary, food, accommodation and insurance for the mountain guide, porters and cooking staff
-Shey Phoksundo National Park entrance fee, Upper Dolpo permit for 10 days ($500,00), TIMS card and local taxes
-Support of the Sherpa Heritage Trails head office in Kathmandu
NOTE: with small group teahouse/homestay trek is possible
-International flight to Kathmandu
-Nepal entrance visa
-Accommodation and all meals in Kathmandu
-All other beverage bills, hot shower, internet services, laundry and battery charge during trek
-Personal travel insurance
-Rescue operation charge in case of an emergency
-Any cost that arise due to change of itinerary like flight delay, natural calamities, etc.
-Gratitude and tips for mountain guide, porters and cooking staff