Upper Dolpo trek is an adventurous trekking in the remote and unspoiled landscape of western Nepal close to the Tibetan border in Nepal. This remote and vast region of Karnali is naturally and culturally rich. Trekking to Upper Dolpo lets you explore remote areas and peek into lives of people living in that isolated world. The Upper Dolpo region still follows the ancient pre-Buddhist Bon-Po religion. To the south east lies the Dhaulagiri massif that surrounds the Upper Dolpo. As you move uphill, the climate changes and so do the sceneries, as the white snow-capped mountains soon begin surrounding us. Dolpo presents you with the nature in its raw form. The entire district depends on yaks, mules, and horses for transportation. No roads exist in the upper Dolpo region. So, trekking is the only option if you want to explore Upper Dolpo. On your way to the Upper Dolpo you will start hearing humming of prayers from the monuments and fluttering of flags. Continue walking through the terrain of green pastures and crystal clear fresh glacial lakes until eventually the trek ends at the Lower Mustang.
This short trip takes you to the mystical land full of magnificent peaks in the land of Dolpo. Its remoteness is something that adds adventure to the entire trek. The trek passes many incredible and unforgettable sights: turquoise Shey Phoksundo Lake (the deepest lake of Nepal), snowy high passes, hidden valleys, the Shey Gomba monastery, stunning view of Mt. Kanjirowa and holy Crystal Mountain.
Its trail also passes through beautiful valleys, interesting places, local settlements and greenery forest of pines, Rhododendrons, Oaks etc. Best time to do this trek is during summer or monsoon. Because of the heavy snowfalls winter seasons can be deadly and should be avoided.
As per the flight schedule we transfer to the domestic airport for one and half hour wonderful flight to Nepalgunj. After reaching, we’ll have time in the late afternoon or evening to explore the town which is situated on the south-west Nepal border with India. Here the temperature is warm and temperate.
After a pleasant overnight at Nepalgunj, we take early morning flight to Juphal of about 45 minutes over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. After arriving at Juphal, a short walk leads to our overnight camp at Dunai village.
We begin the trek descending down through the streets of Dunai Town to cross the bridge over Bheri River. Then we chase the northern bank of the river for an hour to reach Sulighat and head north to reach Shey Phoksundo National Park Check Post. Beyond the check-post, we gradually climb up along the rocky trail that lies above the Suli Ghad Khola. As the trail stretches higher through the series of hemp trees, we arrive to Kageni. Further trekking through beautiful tropical forest of walnut and maple trees, we begin to see the first glimpses of Tibetan culture. Cherishing the views of fluttering prayer flags, floral and faunal biodiversity, cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation we arrive to the village of Shyanta 2520m. Almost one and half hour of uphill trek from Shyanta along the narrow trail brings us to overnight stay at Chhepka 2670m.
Today the path goes through beautiful pine forests, with some bushes, birches and other broadleaf trees mixed in as well. The road follows the river upstream through dense forests. On the way you encounter local people with their mules or dzopas (crossbreed between yak and cow) loaded with things to sell. The path continues at the other side of the bridge. It’s two hours more to Chunuwar. Close to Chunuwar you can find the Amchi Hospital. An Amchi is a doctor who is educated in traditional Tibetan medicine, and always is a lama (monk) as well. After a walk, we reach our Camping Chunuwar.
It’s a short hike today to the Phoksundo Lake. It includes a long and sometimes steep climb of about 2 hours. Here the river is left behind and you follow the path high above the water. Climb up to a ridge, about 3,875meters, from where you will have the most staggering views of a 300meters waterfall, the highest in Nepal, and your first view of Phoksundo Lake, a study in turquoise. The path is going down till it gets close to the river, which you follow until you reach the picturesque settlement of Ringmo with its mud plastered chortens and mani walls. From the settlement it is a short walk to the shores of Phoksundo Lake where you set up camp. This lake is of a stunning beauty. It has an enchanting deep blue color and is emerald green close to the shore. Steep cliffs and snowcapped mountains surround the lake.
Today will be a well-deserved rest day for acclimatization at Phoksundo Lake. During the day we can explore Ringmo Village and head to Tshowa (the lake-shore Bon Monastery). Then we drop down to Phoksundo Lake along steep-sided cliffs. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. 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.
This day, we will enter restricted area of Upper Dolpo. It climbs along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. This treacherously fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo Lake. This trail is used by peoples of Dolpo and other trade with Tibetans. Ti is really adventurous to pass through the trail. When we reach the top, we will have beautiful view of Lane Ringmo, the dark green pine forests and snowcapped mountain to the South. We will have to descend first and ascend through a wide valley which will offer spectacular view of Kanjirowa Himal (6612m) then we will reach an alpine area with junipers called Thaneba or Lake side camp, a beautiful place of camping. Enjoy the night in the camps amongst beautiful pine forest.
Today’s trek is relatively short; we trek for almost three hours to reach Kangla/Nangdala Base Camp 4100m. As the trek begins, we ascend up the narrow defile of Tuk Kyaksa River. The trail switches to opposite side of the river several times. Soon we arrive to a place where the rapids of the river are calmer. We cross the bridge over the river at that point. Thirty minutes of walk after the bridge, we come across the wide valley followed by two hours of walk along the canyon brings us the potential campsite. A walk for a while further reaches to the massive rock slab, which is Kang La/Nangdala Base Camp- our campsite for the night.
As the day start, we trek to the renowned Shey Gompa and the nearby 'Crystal Mountain', the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the real Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla/Nangdala pass. We trek for continuous three hours along the graveled trail uphill to reach the top of Kang La/Nangdala Pass. However, rewards of all the efforts is the eye feast views from the Kang La Pass includes Crystal Mountain, the mountains in Tibetan territory and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. We also have views of the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters, before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey. We camp for the night.
Today we will explore Shey Gompa. The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. After exploring the Shey Gompa, it follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost couple of hours. The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting. Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The peak of Shey La Pass west of Shey, rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. The final push downhill from the pass, which is almost 2 hours of hike brings us to Namgong. We spend our night at Namgong.
Our Trek to Saldang starts with climbing a tree slope. We have to ascend to 4700m before going down steep slopes to picturesque village of Saldang, situated on a plateau high above the Namga Khola (river) and the biggest villages of lower Dolpo area. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of dry land surrounded hills. The village is prosperous, not only agriculturally but also for its strategic location on a trade route to Tibet. Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo thrives here at Saldang. We'll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or chhyang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare at Saldang.
From Saldang, we walk further north along the Namga Khola (river) on a wild and barren terrain. We begin our walk on a fairly gradual path with few ups and downs. On the way, we pass through Marang and Ki villages. Next, we cross a tributary of Panzang River and walk towards the east and cross the river again before reaching Yangjer Gumba which houses an old Bon-Po Monastery. Explore Yanger Gumba and return back to Saldang. Overnight in Saldang.
Today we will walk for six hours and reach the village of Komash. Initially, the trail follows the Saldang Lek along the Rapyha Khola to the barren hillside. Exiting out to the elevated ridge (Khom La) of almost 4500m, the trail descends down steeply to Komash Village a village which bears similarity to a Tibetan village. Overnight at Komash.
As we start our trek from Komash village we walk through the forest where we may sight some endangered animals like snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way we pass small villages. The landscapes in the vicinity is full of highland deserts with few shrubs like vegetation. After almost five hours of comfortable hike we arrive to Shimen. Overnight at Shimen.
Today the trail goes by the side of Panjyang Khola. There are some villages and gompas on the way to Tinje. We can visit some gompas and explores some villages. Tinje is a very beautiful valley. There is a natural air strip where once a British aircraft had landed and taken off.
From the village of Tinje we start our trek to Yak Kharka. Initially the trail to Yak Kharka chases the trail beside Panjyan River to the small settlement of Chhamdang. Beyond it the trek along the river bank continues to the convergence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. Trekking further we cross the bridge over Thalum Khola, which flows from Thalum Lek and arrive at Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.
From yak kharka we trek towards Chharka. Crossing the pass Mola (5030m) we reach Chharka. We can have an amalgam view of the local culture, visit beautiful village and the Bon Monastery in Chharka.
Today the trail goes through the arid high land. There are some up hills on the way. We trek up to Norbulung and have a night camp there.
From Nulungsumda ascending trail takes us to the pass Niwas La. Crossing the pass the trail we again proceed towards another pass Jungbenla then the trail goes downhill up to Ghaldang Ghuldung, where we make the night stop.
Today the trail goes with several ups and downs and finally reaches to the village Sangta.
We climb the hill behind Sangta and spent most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m. We then descend into the Kali Gandaki valley, traversing under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Phalek.
We climb to a ridge at 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom at 2670m. Jomsom is also one of the famous places for the tourist.
We fly from Jomsom to Pokhara today. We can arrange a flight to Kathmandu too in the same day. We will receive you at Kathmandu airport and transfer you to the hotel.
- 1 day tour in Kathmandu
- All Private transport
- KTM-Nepalgunj- Juphal by flight
- Jomsom-PKR by flight
- Guide for all tour/Trek
- Hotel in Kathmandu & Pokhara
- All meals in trekking
- Tea house Accommodation & Some place camping trek
- All permits (Restricted area permits)
- Travel Insurance
- Meals at Kathmandu
- Personal equipment
- International flight
USD 1800 per person
Single supplementary: USD 300
Trekking season in Nepal: The usual trekking season starts from September to May. During the remainder of the year, Monsoon makes travelling difficult due to wet areas and offers little in the way of mountain views. Some treks that cross high passes are better attempted in months other than December and January because of the heavy snowfall in some parts of the country. The temperature rises considerably under altitudes of 3000 ft. in April and May in some parts of the country, therefore it is wise to plan accordingly.
Teahouses in mountain: Teahouses are in the mountains where you will be staying are simple yet hospitable with good enough food and stunning views. Compare to city area teahouses are very basic but after 5-6 hours walking in the mountain you will relish the comfort. Most of these lodges have 08-to 12 room can sleep 15 to 20 people, with good food and fairly high hygiene levels. The basics of conversation and ecology are now being practiced with some success.
Guide and Porters: All guides who work with Skylark Himalayan have considerable local experience. The guide concern is his group’s welfare, health, safety and he aims to ensure you are relaxed while providing the best possible food and accommodation. And he’ll also strive to earn your friendship and will be keen for you to come to know and love Nepal.
And all the guides who work with Skylark Himalayan have guiding license from Nepal government, basic first aid training from red cross Nepal, wilderness training from SOLO outdoor school (locally known Initiative Outdoor), Child protection training and others.
Most porter come from rural areas and a farmers for 6 to 7 months of the year. These porter work hard and with care and have aims to progress into guides. Typically they live hard and frugal lives and they are used to carrying heavy loads.
Meals-Food on mountain region of Nepal
A large variety of food is found in the mountain region during trek. Even our clients say there is better food in mountain than in hotels of city. The food variations are defendant on the culture and region background but the tea-house have a menu and they do have varieties of food. Some common day meal is follow:
Porridge, eggs any style-usually scrambled, boiled or fried eggs, toast local bread (Gurung bread), chapatti (Indian flat bread), honey or peanut butter, organic fresh tea, coffee and many more.
In many regions, the chief will provide a simple common hot meal in lunch. That could be potatoes, noodles, curry, salad, rice and lentil, fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. Sometimes when walking through high passes, there will be a packed lunch which may consist of common packed able lunch like bread with jam and honey, sandwich, boiled eggs, fruits, chocolates, bottle of juice. While arriving to teahouses there will be tea, coffee.
With basic equipment they manage to make excellent cake, apple tarts, pizzas, fried potatoes, chips, spaghetti, pasta. Chefs in tea-houses are well trained in producing a variety of food and almost always ready to serve the food of specific request.
While trekking in Nepal our chefs, and assistant guide are well trained to serve and take order of the food in hygienically way. Vegetarian and vegan meals are easily catered for.
Transportation: Skylark Himalayan using a best transport company for our clients. Before departing on a trip, we using vehicle, we always check insurance of vehicle, good condition of vehicle (seatbelt, seat, wheel, looking glass, all windows etc.), Driver (driver attitude, make sure drunk or not, smartness, driving speed etc.)
Airlines: In Nepal, we have more than 10 Airlines Company but at Skylark Himalayan we only use 3 airlines which we recognize at the most reliable, safest, good companies, 1 airline company (Tara Air) for rural area like short length runway. And another 2 airlines companies (Yeti airlines & Buddha Airlines) for urban area like Pokhara, Kathmandu, Chitwan etc.
Insurance: As strongly recommended by Skylark Himalayan Travel to the clients agree to effect what they consider to be adequate Travel Insurance to cover their person and their personal effects for duration of the tours, Trekking, Rafting or any of activities in Nepal
Health and Safety: Fundamentally we have experienced staffs that have been trained in how to look after clients safely, and what to do in the event of an emergency. Almost all the company’s staffs are experienced, all leaders have done advanced first-aid training from Initiative Outdoor school, Nepal (authorized by SOLO WILDERNESS MEDICINE SCHOOL), Child Protection training, and they are well aware of the high standards that we want in maintain. We also have strong relationships with local communities, health care facilities
Responsible Travel: Skylark Himalayan completely follow tall rules, regulation and code of Nepal responsible trek organizer of responsible tourism. Responsible tourism is an action based on a sustainable idea. We work under eco-friendly environment and we want you to follow and help to save the environment. Skylark Himalayan are keen to preserve and protect the historical places and mountain to show the value of those things to coming generation.
Skylark Himalayan Travel are always aware to operate tours, trekking and other activities in eco- touristic destination to preserve natural and cultural heritages. Skylark Himalayan always aim to make extensive use of the local available products to help local communities. Skylark Himalayan staffs and guides are also employed from local communities, which helps more authentic experience for travellers. We believe that all the staffs including guide, porter, Sherpa are the back bone of organization so its our responsibility to make them happy by providing protections insurance, good salary and outdoor gear. So that, they are happy to serve good service. Without them organization can't serve the costumer need.
Customizing a Trip: The itineraries of all the trips on our website have been organized and put together by us however it does not mean you have to follow the program. If you have your own itinerary or you want to add or decrease number of days or place, we are more than happy to design your own unique itinerary with your entire favorite elements. Choice is yours with the flexibility of our tailor made itineraries.
For the more advice, please contact us via e-mail or telephonically – contact details below.
Skylark Himalayan Travel & Treks
Contact no: 061-464946
Mobile: +977-9856010460 / 9801050460
Visa Information: Nepal Government makes things easy for foreign travellers. The easiest way to get a tourist visa in Nepal is by applying on arrival in Kathmandu at international airport (TIA) or at any of the land border crossing open to foreigners (each has immigration offices). But you can also apply in advance at one of Nepal's foreign consulates from abroad.
There are three options for the length of a tourist visa (for south Asian country, the first 30 days is free. The cost of visa is depending upon the days you stay. The multiple-entry visa valid for 15, 30 and 90 days costs $25, 40 and 100 USD. It is good idea to keep a number of passport photos with your passport. Indian passport holder doesn’t need a visa to enter Nepal.
You can extend your visa from immigration office in only Kathmandu and Pokhara up to 150 days per calendar year. It will cost $30 USD for 15 days and $2 USD per day after 15 days. Visa extension required your passport, the fees, one passport sized photo and an application form to complete the process.
And for more information about visa please click below link: https://www.welcomenepal.com/plan-your-trip/visa-nepal-information.html
Feedback Please: If you have any complains to report, comments or any question about the trip (food, tea-house, guide, porter, management of office or anything) you took with Skylark Himalayan, please send us your feedback because we would like to solve problems that arise uplift our company. If you don't have a specific question, we’re always eager to hear what visitors think of this company.
High Altitude Sickness:
1) What is altitude sickness?
- Altitude sickness is a negative health effect of high altitude on ones health, caused by acute exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high altitude.
- The exact cause of AMS is not exactly known. It is thought to be a response of the brain to the lower oxygen levels in the blood at higher altitudes. This produces some swelling of the brain.
2) Acute mountain sickness (AMS)
- AMS is also called altitude sickness.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is the effect on the body of being in a high altitude environment. Especially while people are trekking around the Himalayas they face problem related to moving in high altitude areas. AMS is common at high altitudes, that is above 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Three-quarters of people have mild symptoms of AMS over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The occurrence of AMS depends on the altitude, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility and activeness.
3) Acute mountain sickness common symptoms?
Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and include
- Headache (not relieved by medication)
- Decreased coordination (Normal activity is difficult.)
- Shortness of breath,
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- General feeling of malaise.
- Inability to walk
- Decreasing mental status
- Fluid build-up in the lungs
- Loss of energy
- Difficulty in urination
#These symptoms tend to be worse at night when respiratory drive is decreased.
4) Prevention of AMS?
- Take special care if you have previously had acute mountain sickness (AMS).
- If symptoms of AMS develop, delay further ascent.
- If symptoms become worse, move down (descend) as soon as possible.
5) Treatment of AMS?
- The most important treatment if you start to develop symptoms of mild AMS is to stop your ascent and to rest at the same altitude
- For most people, symptoms will improve within 24-48 hours with no specific treatment.
- Simple painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help the headache.
- Anti-sickness medication may also be used. (Acetazolamide)
- Treatment with oxygen and the medicine nifedipine may also help symptoms but does not replace the need for descent.
Note- all the trekking leaders and guide from skylark Himalayan are well trained about altitude sickness, AMS and other related sickness in mountain. You should mention, if you previously have any health problem.
TREKKING SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT
(Up to 5,500 m.)
- 1 Pair strong mountain / hiking boots (well worn-in and with ankle support)
- 1 Small daypack
- 1 Sleeping bag (comfortable to -10C)
- 1 Down jacket / all weather Anorak
- 1 Light water & windproof jacket
- 2 - 1-litre water bottles
- 1 Inner sleeping sheet (?)
- 1 Torch / flashlight & spare batteries
- 1 Medium sized travel towel (quick drying)
- 1 Washing kit: include Personal toiletries
- Talcum powder, Blister plasters, Toilet paper
- Bio degradable soap / shampoo
- Anti-bacterial gel for 'washing' hands
- First-Aid kit (please make sure it is trek and wilderness specific) and any personal medication
- 1 Pair sport shoes/sandals (for the time off the trek)
- 2 Pairs lightweight trousers
- 2 Pair shorts
- 1 Fleece / warm sweater
- 1 Sweatshirt / light sweater
- 2 T-Shirts
- 2 Long sleeve cotton (or polypropylene) shirts
- 3 Pairs heavy wool socks
- 2 Pairs light socks
- Walking poles
- Underwear (including thermals)
- Cotton Headscarf / bandanna
- Sunglasses (with side shields and UV protective lenses) and sunhat
- Sunscreen Lotion (30-50 SPF), Money belt (?)
- Warm hat and gloves (preferably waterproof)
- 3 to 4 Plastic bags (for wrapping clothes)
- Water purification tablets/ solutions (preferably iodine)
- Insect repellant
- Adapter plug (for charging camera batteries and other electronic devices)