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Upper Dolpo And Shey Gompa Trek

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Upper Dolpa
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23 Days 22 Nights
Availability : Whole Year
Thamel Kathmandu
Upper Dolpa
Min Age : 16
Max People : 15

Upper Dolpo And Shey Gompa Trek

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  • Wi-Fi: Some Place
  • Maximum Altitude: 5,500m
  • Walking: 5 to 7 hours /day

Overview

Imagine yourself trekking in the most remote region of Nepal where you will see a kaleidoscope of colors and textures, sculpted gorges and ochre gompas, hundred years of old Buddhist and Bonpo costumes, and many more.

The Upper Dolpa Trekking region was entirely closed to trekkers until 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organize Trekking groups and for trekking adventures. As Dolpa is the most remote region of Nepal where there are the least accessible facilities and services yet being the most alluring corner for Trekking in Nepal.

The central part of this area has Shey Phoksundo National Park where you will get a chance to explore and witness different kinds of preserved wild animals, birds, herbs, plants, and many others. Trekking into this region will give you a different feel which you will not get from any other trekking region. This is an adventurous trek where you will stay in unique and isolated Himalayan Valleys.

You will encounter many snow-capped mountains like Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal range from east and south of this region. You will come across many pristine lakes, snowy peaks, and ancient villages which is rich in their own historical, cultural and religious aspect. This region will bless you with beautiful views of rich wildlife, a hundred-year-old Buddhist Monastery, and stunning lakes.

You will get a remarkable impact by experiencing the remote lifestyle of people when they offer you their warm and kind hospitality when you will explore their untouched and extraordinary society with their enthralling culture.

Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa trek will allow you to visit an unspoiled region of near-mythical status. Shey Gompa is a base in the “Crystal Moutain” which is 11th century old. This mountain is regarded as the spiritual heart of inner Dolpo.

Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa trek was first visited by Peter Matthiessen in 1973 along with George Schaller. They visited this region not for trekking but for their course of study where they had to study about rare animals Blue Sheep and Snow Leopards. So, don’t miss this opportunity, pack your bags and fly off to Nepal to explore and experience the Upper Dolpa region which will create a remarkable experience in your lifetime.

On our 3 weeks of trekking, we will pass through beautiful villages where we will get a chance to explore the rich art, culture, traditions, religions, festivals, norms, and values. We will meet with some fantastic locals and interact with them. They are very lovable and they respect and care for foreigners like their own family.

Our adventure will begin from Katmandu where we will visit different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The next day from here we will take a flight to Nepalgunj and take another flight to Jhupal which will be the starting point of our trekking. We will trek through interesting villages and meet the kindest people. From Shey Gompa, we will trek to the trans-Himalayas and follow the roué and return to the starting point of our trek.

Trek Overview:

  • Destination: Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa Trek
  • Starting Point: Kathmandu
  • Ending point: Kathmandu
  • Maximum Altitude: 5,500m
  • No of Days: 23 days
  • Accommodation: Standard Hotel/ Teahouse/ Local lodges
  • Best time: Spring and autumn
  • Group size: 1-15 max


Trek Highlights:

  • Explore Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa ( 800-years old monastery) on the stunning Himalayan Trails
  • Experience remote village lifestyle
  • Visit different and famous UNESCO sites at Kathmandu Valley
  • Visit Shey-Phoksundo National Park
  • Encounter with different rare wildlife including Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep
  • Trekk to the three highest altitude passes over 5000m
  • Explore the turquoise water of Lake Phoksundo
  • Unique camping experience in various landscapes and beside beautiful lake streams
  • Majestic views of snow-capped Mountains

OUTLINE ITINERARY:

  • Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu
  • Day 02: Sightseeing at Kathmandu (1400m)
  • Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj(150m)
  • Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal (1490m)and trek to Dunai (2000m)
  • Day 05: Trek to Chhekpa (2,970m)
  • Day 06: Trek to Palam (3,820m)
  • Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3620m)
  • Day 08: Acclimatization day
  • Day 09: Trek to Salla Ghari (3,640m)
  • Day 10: Trek to Lar Tsa  (4,120m)
  • Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa (4,370m)
  • Day 12: Exploration day at Shey Gompa
  • Day 13: Trek to Namgun  (4,430m)
  • Day 14: Trek to Saldan (4,150m)
  • Day 15: Trek to Sibu (4,650m)
  • Day 16: Trek to Tokyu Gaon ( 4,160m)
  • Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,020m)
  • Day 18: Trek to Serkam (4011m)
  • Day 19: Trek to Tarakot (2,280m)
  • Day 20: Trek to Dunai (2109m)
  • Day 21: Dunai to Jhupal (2404m)
  • Day 22: Fly to Nepalgunj from Jhupal and fly to Kathmandu
  • Day 23: Departure Day

Departure & Return Location

Thamel Marga Central Thamel Kathmandu  (Google Map)

Price Includes

  • Airport pick up & final departure by private vehicle.
  • Welcome & farewell cultural dinner.
  • Three nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast.
  • A day three meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) on your choice from the menu during the treks.
  • Seasonal fruits.
  • Standard tea house during the treks.
  • Equipment as like (sleeping bags, down jackets, duffle bags, walking poles, crampons) to be returned after the trip is complete.
  • All needed ground transportation mention on the itinerary.
  • A strong porter (2:1) one porter carrying two member’s bags including all his meals, accommodation, salary, transportation, insurance & many more…
  • An excellent government licensed holder guide including all his meals, accommodation, salary, transportation, insurance & many more…
  • All needed permit & national park fees.
  • Trekking route map.
  • First aid kid box including oximeter & pulse meter checker.
  • An emergency helicopter rescue services, if in case.
  • An achievement certificate.
  • Government tax & service charge.

Price Excludes

  • Personal expenses as like the phone & camera charging, hot shower, wifi
  • Tips to guide & porter
  • Extra an activities, in case if you have an extra day on your holidays.
  • All kind of drinks as like mineral water, beer, tea, coffee, juice, Coke, Fanta, and hard drinks.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Extra nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu, in case if you return earlier from the treks.
  • UNESCO entrance fee
  • Lunch & dinner during stay in city.

Complementaries

  • Trekking Pole
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Dawn Jacket
What to Expect
  • Explore Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa ( 800-years old monastery) on the stunning Himalayan Trails
  • Experience remote village lifestyle
  • Visit different and famous UNESCO sites at Kathmandu Valley
  • Visit Shey-Phoksundo National Park
  • Encounter with different rare wildlife including Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep
  • Trek to the three highest altitude passes over 5000m
  • Explore the turquoise water of Lake Phoksundo
  • Unique camping experience in various landscapes and beside beautiful lake streams
  • Majestic views of snow-capped Mountains
Photos
Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Accommodation: Standard Hotel
Maximum Altitude: 1300m/4428 ft

Meals: Dinner

Today you will arrive at the beautiful city of Kathmandu in Nepal. You will see our guide waiting for you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. He will help you with your luggage and transfer you to the hotel. After you arrive at the hotel, you can relax and have time for yourself. If you want then you can also explore the nearby shows and narrow roads in the city. There are many small temples, gift shops, Stupa, restaurants, cafes, and many more.

Overnight: Kathmandu.

Day 2: Sightseeing day in Kathmandu

Maximum Altitude: 1300m/4428ft

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After having breakfast, our guide will pick you up from the hotel and will take you to the Pashupatinath temple. This place holds great religious significance to Hindu devotees. Lord Shiva is worshipped here. You will notice that the Temple is made up of wooden craft and the top of the pinnacle is made out of gold. We will also visit the holy water which is the Bagmati River.

The next place will be Bouddhanath; it is one of the oldest Tibetan stupas. You can taste several Tibetan delights like Laughing, Thenduk, Khapse, etc. Here, you will notice Tibetan and Buddhism people’s dong meditation and yoga. This place is very much famous for its peace and positive aura. We will take many pictures videos and return to the hotel.

Our guide will give you a brief description of the itinerary for the Upper Dolpa and Shey Gompa trek in the evening.

Overnight: Kathmandu

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Maximum Altitude: 150m/490ft

Kilometers: 150m

Accommodation: Hotel

Flight Duration: 45minutes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today morning we will leave Kathmandu behind and catch a domestic flight to Nepalgunj. It is a 45minutes flight from where you will see plain and plat land with grassy fields of buckwheat, paddy, millets, vegetation, and many more from above. Enjoy your views of the Mountains and Himalayas to the north on the flight too.

The weather of this place is quite hot, humid, and tropical. This town is located 3km away from the southern part of Nepal border with India.

Overnight: Nepalgunj

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal and trek to Dunai (2000m)

Maximum Altitude: 2000m/6561.68ft

Kilometers: 135-140km

Flight duration: 35 minutes

Accommodation: Local lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will take another domestic flight to Jhupal. The flight is about 35minutes long and you will likely see beautiful views of mountains like Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the northeast during your flight.

After arriving at Jhupal, we will meet our next team of traveling members and we will give our bags to the porters. Slowly we will descend downhill to the river and reach Dunai.

Overnight: Dunai

Day 5: Trek to Chhekpa (2,970m)

Maximum Altitude: 2,970m/9,744ft

Kilometers: 16km

Trek duration: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today is going to be the first day of the trek where we will descend through the cultivated fields of the locals to reach the Thuli Bheri River. We will notice there are fields of different vegetables including wheat. We will have to ascend and descend turns above the tumbling-water river.

We will see scattered villages in the route where there are deserted crude stone houses of Jyalhasa. We will cross through the long suspension bridge which will lead us to the entrance of Shey-Phoksundo National; Park which is known to be the largest National Park of Nepal. We will notice beautiful flora and fauna in our way where we will trek through the trails surrounded by pine trees. After a whole day of walking, we will finally reach Chhekpa which is a small and beautiful village.

Overnight: Chhekpa

Day 6: Trek to Palam (3,820m)

Maximum Altitude: 3,820m/12,532ft

Kilometers: 12km

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will have morning breakfast at tented camp in Chhekpa and head towards Palam. We will hike through the beautiful forests, following a narrow George. We will ascend in through the forests of bamboo and we will also steep uphill to the waterfalls and various steep bank rivers.

On our way, we will meet many local peoples who will be there to graze their Mules or Dzopas (cross bread of Yak and Cow).

Overnight at Palam.

Day 7: Trek to Phoksundo Lake (3620m)

 Maximum Altitude: 3,620m/11,876ft

Kilometers: 12km

Trek duration: 6-7hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

From Palam, we will pass to a deserted winter village and enter the National park. We will steep to a ridge that separated the open fields of Ringmo from the valley down below. We will climb uphill for 2 hours and before reaching the top, we will be greeted with mesmerizing view of Nepal’s highest waterfall of 107m high known as Phoksundo Waterfall or sunlight waterfall.

From here we will descend from the top to reach Ringmo village which is a small beautiful village.

Overnight: Rigmo

Day 8:Acclimatization day

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we will have time to explore this beautiful lake of Phoksundo and it is also necessary for our body to get acclimatized with the surrounding for one day. We will take a rest here and adore the beauty of Phoksundo Lake. We will also visit the nearby village which is an inhabitant of Bon and Buddhist religious people.

Overnight: Phoksundo Lake

Day 9: Trek to Salla Ghari (3,640m)

Maximum Altitude: 3,640m/11,924ft

Kilometers: 13km

Trek duration: 5-6hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Today we will walk towards the restricted area of Upper Dolpa. These routes are used by peoples of Dolpa and other trade with Tibetans. From this place, we will have to descend and ascend to a wide valley which will offer us the spectacular view of Kanjirowa Himal at the altitude of 66,612m.

 From here we will reach an alpine area which is full of Junipers. This place is called Thaneba or also known as Lakeside camp which can be a good place for camping.

Overnight: Salla Ghari

Day 10:Trek to Lar Tsa (4,120m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,120m/13,517ft

Kilometers: 8km

Trek duration: 6 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will walk towards Salla Ghari and walk for 5-6 hours. We will trek through between high rock walls on both sides. Slowly we will cross through a couple of streams and enter a narrow George. We will set our camp by the side of the river.

Overnight: Lar Tsa

Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa (4,370m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,370m/14,337ft

Kilometers: 12km

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the early morning, we will ascend on a steep trail littered with slate. We will start trekking by a long and difficult climb for about 2 and half hours until we reach Kang La at 5,350m altitude.

This pass is also called Ngadra La. We will steep downhill through the pass covered with now for about 3 hrs and walk on a trail along the bank of the river. We will cross and re-cross it several times.

Overnight: Shey Gompa

Day 12: Exploration day at Shey Gompa

Accommodation: Local tea house
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will have an exploration day at Shey Gompa where we will be exploring around Tsakang Gompa. This place is exactly not a monastery but a retreat where many famous Lamas and Yogis from Tibet come to this center for meditation.

 Shey Gompa was the 1st kagyup monastery which was founded by Lama Teszin Ra-Pa. it is said that this monastery was built during the 11th century. You will see many famous its ancient Buddhist culture.

Overnight: Shey Gompa

Day 13: Trek to Namgun (4,430m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,430m/14,534ft

Kilometers: 13km

Trek duration: 6hours
Accommodation: Local tea house
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will begin today’s day with a slow and steady trail with Juniper trees that descend into a grey canyon. We will trek through zigzag over bare rocks and soils. We will cross the pass Sheyla which is also known as Geln La which is 5,000m.

We will see the beautiful view of the northern part of the Tibetan plateau. We will descend through passes and pastures until we reach Namgun.

Overnight: Namgun

Day 14: Trek to Saldan (4,150m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,150m/13,615ft
Kilometers: 14km
Trek duration: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saldan is the biggest settlement in inner Dolpa where there are a collection of five separate villages. We will begin our journey by passing a high traverse above Namdung Khola and take a steep descend to the larger Dolpa village of Saldang.
As Saldan is close to the Tibet border and this is where people trade Yak caravans. This village is not only popular for its agriculture but also its location on a trade route to Tibet.

Overnight: Saldan

Day 15: Trek to Sibu (4,650m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,650m/13,648ft

Kilometers: 14km

Trek duration: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

We will leave behind Saldan village and walk towards Sibu where we will pass through terraced fields and Stupas. We will come across many Chortens mani and Chaiba monasteries. We will pass through the monasteries at Samdo and scattered villages of Namdo where there are two monasteries. One is situated at the bank of the river and another at a high cliff.

Overnight: Sibu

Day 16: Trek to Tokyu Gaon ( 4,160m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,160m/13,640ft

Kilometers: 15km

Trek duration: 7-8 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will cross Jenga La which is at 5,110m and descend to Tokyu. We will take a steep climb to the summit of the pass which can be reached after 2 hours of trekking. From the top to the, we will get mesmerizing views of Dhaulagiri from southwards. After descending into the Tarap Valley for few hours we will reach steam that will lead us to our destination.

Overnight: Tokyu Gaon

Day 17: Trek to Dho Tarap (4,020m)

Maximum Altitude: 4,020m/13,188ft

Kilometers: 6km

Trek duration: 2-3 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will trail down the valley of Tarap which has well fertile land and has easy trekking routes. We will also see several Gompas on our way. We will slowly descend beside Tarap Chu where we will notice a cluster of stone houses with large and small Chortens.
 You will come across many locals in this area who are of the Buddhist and Bonpo community. We will also get a chance to visit the Buddhist Gompa where Lama resides which has been made by him.

Overnight: Dho Tarap

Day 18: Trek to Serkam (4011m)

Maximum Altitude: 4011m/3,623ft

Kilometers: 15km

Trek duration: 7hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Leaving behind Dho Tarap we will continue our journey by following the route that goes downhill. We will trek through many narrow gorges where we will see a river rushing through. We might also get a chance to encounter Blue Sheep, Marmots, yaks, sheep, and Goats here.

Overnight: Serkam

Day 19: Trek to Tarakot (2,280m)

Maximum Altitude:  2280m/7,480ft

Kilometers: 10km

Trek duration: 5 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will start our journey by crossing the new suspension bridge and walk the bankside of the river. The trail continues generally high above the river which has some descending and ascending to do. It is said that Tarakot was the capital and had a dzong meaning ‘Fort’.

Overnight: Tarakot

Day 20: Trek to Dunai (2109m)

Maximum Altitude:  2109m/6,919ft

Kilometers: 13km

Trek duration: 5 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will walk following the Barbung Khola today where the trail is mostly up and down and fairly is underfoot. We will walk beside the Bheri River also known as Barbung Khola and use the path which is 20ft above the river. This will be a short trek that will be completed in a short period.

Overnight: Dunai

Day 21: Dunai to Jhupal (2404m)

Maximum Altitude: 2404m/7,887ft

Kilometers: 9km

Trek duration: 3 hours

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Time to congratulate yourself for making up to this far. This will be your last day of trekking where we will continue walking alongside the Bheri River like yesterday.

You will trek through the lovely trail which has large conifers and climb into terraced farmland until you reach Jhupal. We will celebrate our last day of trekking to Shey-Phoksundo with Shey Gompa trek with delicious food and beverage at the campsite.

Overnight: Jhupal

Day 22: Fly to Nepalgunj from Jhupal and fly to Kathmandu

Maximum Altitude: 150m/490ft

Kilometers: 140km

Accommodation: Local tea house

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As mentioned before, we need to take two domestic flights to reach Katmandu as we did on the 3rd day of the itinerary. 1st we will take a morning flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj which will be a 35minutes flight and after arriving at Nepalgunj, we will be taking the next flight to Kathmandu which will be 45mintutes of flight.

 Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Mountains, hills, terraced fields, and landscapes during your flight to Kathmandu.

After arriving, you will be accommodated in a nice hotel where you can relax and take a rest

Day 23: Departure Day

Meals: Breakfast

We will give you a farewell morning breakfast today and with our guide, you will arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport before your flight schedule. We hope you had fun and had a unique experience while trekking to Phoksundo and Shey-Gompa place.

We want you to return with your friends and family for another adventurous trekking in Nepal. Have a wonderful time and visit us again to create more beautiful memories and experiences.

Map

LOWER DOLPA TREK

Dolpa Regional Map (Day And Some Places Will Be Different On Map) 

FAQ

1. Is the Upper Dolpo trek difficult?

Yes, this trek might be difficult for those who have never trekked before. Also for the Upper Dolpo trek, you will need a minimum of 20days where for 2 weeks straight we will be walking for 4-7hours per day. We will have to ascend and descend through various passes on a single day. Some days the routes and trails might be easy with relatively only 3-4 hours of the walk but most of the days your leg will feel the pain.

Why is the trek to Upper Dolpo trek expensive?

The price compared to other trekking routes might come off as expensive for this one and the only reason is that you will have to take two domestic flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and Jhupal.
But Nepal is not so expensive when it comes to Tourism. You can have an economical luxury trek, unlike other countries that will charge you more than what you spend in Nepal.

What are the things that I need to pack for this trek?

The listing of necessary tools and equipment for this trek has already been listed above. But the most important trekking gear are hiking boots, sleeping bags and tents, Hiking sticks, and for your things like regular intake of medicine, sunscreen, glasses, water bottles should be carried by yourself. Things that you carry for the journey will entirely change the experience so make sure to carry all the necessary traveling equipment.

What are Nepal's visa requirements?

You must first obtain a Nepal visa before traveling to Nepal. Except for India, all international passengers must have it. You can apply for this visa once you are in Nepal. Then send your passport, which must be valid for at least six months after the start of the journey.

After the big pandemic, is it safe to tour Nepal?

Covid-19 created one of the threats to the minds of every voyager. However, since the situation is modest, you can quickly go to several nations. However, the priority should be safety precautions.

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