Lower Dolpo Trek
Lower Dolpo trek is one of the most demanding trek which is goes through Numala and Bagala pass and remote area of the country where we should make lot of ascend and descend we therefore recommend to attempt only for experience trekkers.
Dolpo is located inside the Shey-phoksundo National Park of mid-western Nepal, behind the Dhaulagiri massif towards the Tibetan Plateau. It is a virgin and divine land and truly an isolated corner of Trans Himalayan Zone. There the nature seems to have remained exactly the same as it was first created, unharmed and unaltered. People here still lead primitive life, but they are very friendly. This is also one of few areas where pre-Buddhist Bon Po religion is still practiced. One of the main attractions in Dolpo is Phoksundo Lake and its waterfall. The lake at (3627m), is the deepest lake in entire Himalayan Region. Nature created a unique and wonderful treasurer like Dolpo, which is being the shelter of many rare alpine living beings. In spite of tough trails and rugged topography journey to Dolpo area is a life time experience. Tourists rarely visit Dolpo Region and the trekking route is very narrow and steep at some places, so good hiking experience is essential for this trek.
We start our trek from Jhuphal, after two small flights to Nepalgunj on first day and to Jhuphal on second day. The route goes through Dho Tarap to high passes such as Numa-La & Baga-La and very remote area of the country so we are rewarded with excellent view of mountain and virgin Tibetan culture on the way and finally come to beautiful Shey Phoksundo Lake (3600m). From here we will trek back to Jhuphal again.
- Kathmandu valley excursion
- Most challenging special trek observe the remoteness of Nepal
- Interesting and picturesque places, Snow capped Himalayan peaks
- Ancient trans-Himalayan caravan route and isolated villages
- Enthralling Tibetan culture and tradition
- Earliest Bon-Po culture
- Buddhist Monastery and Tibetan life-style
- Lake Phoksundo, Beautiful landscape
- Seeing the people and settlement among highest in the world
|Trip Grade||Moderate to strenuous trail.|
|Trip Duration||19 nights/20 days|
|Trip code||NAP-LDOL - 411|
|Trip Start/Ends||Kathmandu, Nepalgunj/Nepalgunj, Kathmandu|
|Maximum Altitude||Numa-La Pass (5238m), Baga-La pass (5214m)|
|Trip Cost||Prices on request|
|Group Size||Minimum 2 upto 16 persons in one group|
|Accessibillity||Kathmandu fly Nepagunj/Jumla and Jhupal/Nepalgunj to Kathmandu|
|The Route||Maximum altitude upto Numa-La Pass (5238m), Baga-La pass (5214m) and Kagmara Pass (5115m), 5/7-hrs average walking per day, Moderate to Strenuous trail.|
|Season||Aug-Nov and Mar-May|
|Permit Fee||Per week per person US$ 10 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.|
|Trip Facilities||3+ hotel in city on B/B and home-stay/camping on mountain.|
Upon arrival at Tribhuwan international airport, welcomed by our representative and transfer to hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given in the evening at hotel about the daily program activities by your Group Leader/Guide.
After breakfast the day will start with a guided tour of Kathmandu's historical and spiritual key attractions; including the historic Kathmndu Durbar Square, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and then finally visit to Patan Durbar square which is situated the heart of the city constitutes the focus of visitor's attraction. In the evening there will be pre-trip discussion where you can meet your group leader/guide then you can ask any questions you may have.
As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj we transfer to the domestic airport for one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgung. At Nepalgunj we will have time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the town which is situated on the southern Nepal border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical in character.
We go to the airport very early in order to get on the flight to Juphal. Dolpo flights are always early in the morning. This is because high winds in the Thulo Bheri Valley begin around 10 am, making later flights impossible. Once we have gotten all our equipment of the Twin otter in Juphal (2500m), we start out on the short walk from Juphal to Dunai. We walk downhill through meadows and past a few houses to the small hotels at Kala Gaura (2090m). From here we follow the river trail upstream to Dunai. We camp near Dunai and explore this bustling little hill town for the rest of the afternoon.
After breakfast we start our trek continues along the south bank of the river heading upstream on a good trail. A tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river, to Tarakot where colorful terraced field greets us. Tarakot is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. The famed Sandul Gompa lies farther east from Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup Chu (river). The village stands on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of tolls for the trading caravans. Overnight camp is made by the river about 150 m below the village, near the police post or we climb a steep ridge for an hour to the village on a spur, where there are Chorten in a Gompa on the edge of grassy plateau, with a solitary tree.
After breakfast we continuous our walking to follow the Tarap Chu River upstream, crossing by bridge and crossing the same river twice. The path leads through the farm terraces and rural villages. From this place descend to Khanigaon then we continue walking up to the gorge of the Tarap River, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another.
After breakfast we start our treks with a pleasant walk and with most scenic landscapes and easily get to the Yak Kharka. We will have lunch at the middle of the way. Camp will set up as before and we overnight at tented camp at Langa.
Our morning walks begins after breakfast leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner Himalayas valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us to the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregular stone wall. At Dho, thirty -four houses are divided into three groups and built in a randomly way. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations and overnight Camp by the village yard.
This day is the pleasant day free from the hassle. Tarap is a traditional agricultural village, surrounded by fields. Yaks are used to plough the land. As in the other villages you came across, barley, buckwheat and potatoes are among the few crops that can grow here. But nowadays, small greenhouses enable the people to grow some green vegetables as well. Besides, people live from what the yak gives them and from trade. The houses are made of stones found in the river valley and are in typical Tibetan style, with small windows and the flat roofs stocked with firewood. Close to Dho are 2 monasteries which are worth a visit. Ribo Bhumpa Gompa, right on the hill behind Dho, and Shipchaur Gompa, which is in the village Shipchok, 30 minutes walking from Dho. Ribo Bhumpa Gompa belongs to Nyingmapa Buddhism, by the local people called Chöba Buddhism. Inside you find a beautiful big statue of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is a very important Buddhist saint from the 7th century AD. He conquered the demons that were preventing Buddhism to get hold in Tibet and in this way made sure that Buddhism could be introduced in Tibet. You can easily recognize him, by his big eyes, little mustache and the staff with skulls he holds. Next to the Gompa is a chorten with a chorten inside, which is said to hold the remains of a demon killed by Guru Rinpoche. Shipchaur Gompa in Shipchok belongs to Bonpo Buddhism.
After a wonderful time here at Dho Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap Chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains extending twenty kilo meters along the river Tarap Chu, having ten villages with cultivated fields of barley, buck wheat, wheat and potato. After 3-4 hrs of good walk in this perfect tranquility coming to the village of Tokyu. Tokyu is said to be the highest permanent settlement in the world. The Gompa is worth a visit. It has a beautiful statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha.
We start our trek after breakfast climb steeply up a grassy slope to a ridge where there are several Mani walls and a Chorten at 4580 meter. We climb further up along a moraine to Numa La pass, which is about 4 hrs past our high camp. On a clear day we will have excellent views of Dhaulagiri I (8167m). From the pass we descend into a U-shaped, rocky valley. We follow the river here downstream and cross it on a combination of rocks and logs and climb back up again on the south bank which climbs gently but continually to a good camp site in a meadow at 4465 meter. This area is known as Pelungtang; tang in Tibetan means meadow.
We will have to start early to pass the Numa-La pass (5318m) under the best circumstances. We have to climb steeply up a grassy slope to a ridge where there are several Mani walls and a Chorten at 4580 meter. We climb further up along a moraine to Numa La pass, which is about 4 hrs past our high camp. On a clear day we will have excellent views of Dhaulagiri I (8167m). From the pass we descend into a U-shaped, rocky valley. We follow the river here downstream and cross it on a combination of rocks and logs and climb back up again on the south bank which climbs gently but continually to a good camp site in a meadow at 4465 meter. This area is known as Pelungtang; tang in Tibetan means meadow.
This day is a tough day when the pass is covered with snow, but it is not really difficult when the route is clear. It takes about 3 hrs to reach the Baga-La pass (5190m) marked by prayer flags and cairns. From the pass one can see several snow clad peaks including the Kanjiroba massif. After a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to the Baga-La Phedi for overnight halt.
The trail this day remains on the right bank of the Sanu Bheri. It is a magnificent trek with wonderful views every step of the way. In some places there are broad meadows and in others the valley teeters along steep hillside. Along the trail we will see Norbu Kang (6005m), Kagmara peak and other peaks of Kanjelaruwa. Eventually the trail emerges onto an area with thorny shrubs and descends a bit, then climbs on a high Cliffside trail to a ridge at 3780 meter. From here is a great view across the valley to the huge waterfall formed by the Phoksumdo Khola River. The trail levels out again and re-enters the forest as it climbs to another ridge at 3820 meter. It descends gently through a blue pine forest to the national park camping ground near Phoksumdo Lake. It’s a spectacular lake of 4.8 km long and 1.8 km wide. It is said to be 650 meter deep. There is no aquatic life in the lake, which helps to make the water brilliantly clear and it has an aquamarine like colour. Ringmo is a charming village. People practice the Bonpo religion here. Bonpo is a lot older than Buddhism and goes thousands of years back. It has more animistic aspects than Buddhism. For outsiders it is difficult to see the difference between Bonpo and Buddhism, but one important aspect is that you have to cross their Mani walls and chortens anti-clockwise, while according to Buddhist custom, you pass them clockwise. The women wear dark or checked dresses with colorful aprons made from yak wool. You see fewer men in the typical dress, which is a long coat, from which they let one sleeve hanging down. Strolling around the village, you might see women weaving. In Ringmo women make very nice woven products, like belts, bags, shawls and blankets. Most items are made from cotton, but they also sell products made from yak wool. There are a few shops where you can buy this iteams.
Explre day in Ringmo: The Phoksundo Lake is such a beautiful place for a free day. There is a beautiful Bonpo Gompa (Monastery) at the shore of the lake, which is worth a visit. It’s a 20 minute walk to the monastery through the pine forest. In the monastery you can observe a statue of Thönpa Chenrab, the founder of Bonpo religion, a Buddha who lived thousands of years ago.
This day we descend to the village of Rechi, first crossing the picturesque village of Ringmo, with its flat roofed stone houses and many mud-plastered Chortens and Mani walls. Ascending through birch forests we will follow our trail past the spectacular 200 meter high waterfall coming from Phoksumdo Lake, this is the highest waterfall of Nepal. From here we walk through forests of firs and larches till the trail becomes more rocky and forming a dyke on the side of the river.
Following the trail gently sloping upwards, we march towards Jhupal. We meet tall birch trees on our way. From atop the ridge, we can have the most spectacular views of the mountain and Jhupal below. Utmost caution is required while trekking along this trail. After reaching Jhupal, we can spend our afternoon exploring the busy market town or simply pursuing whatever we feel like.
Early morning, a short scenic flight for thirty five minutes to Nepalgunj, over the Himalayan foothills overlooking stunning views of the main peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. On arrival at Nepalgunj depending upon the connecting flight schedule to Kathmandu. If it is in the afternoon have time for few hours’ refreshment in the comfort of the Hotel Batika or similar at Nepalgunj. Then connect with the flight back to Kathmandu.
This pleasant day you may have full day at leisure and either relax at hotel or explore the Thamel and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast you will have some free time until the time to leave the international airport for your final departure.
- Documents: Lower Dolpo trekking permit and National Park Entrance Permit
- Activities: Sightseeing, hiking and trekking trip as per the itinerary.
- Equipment: All camping equipments,and Kitchen utilize.
- Accommodation: 4 night’s hotel in Kathmandu, 1 night hotel in Nepalgunj on twin sharing bedroom and 14 nights tented accommodation on mountain.
- Food: Full board on camping (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trekking period and 5 brakfast in city
- Staffs: Leader/Guide and supporters and their daily wage, food, and accommodation
- Transportation: All airport arrival/departure transfer and surface road-head transportation and Kathmandu to Nepalgunj/Jhupal and Jupal to Kathmandu flight
- Company and Government’s service charge: All applicable Government taxes, permit and official service charges.
- And Crew’s insurance, daily wages/salary, food, equipment and flight and road transportation
- Your international flight
- Travel/medical insurance coverage personal accidents, medical and emergency Helicopter rescue
- Personal travel and trekking equipments
- Lunch and dinner while in city
- Items of a personal nature such as normal drinks, hot shower, dessert, laundry, internet and phone call.
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
- Tips/Gratuities for your trekking crews
- Temple and Monastery entrance fees
- Optional activities
- And unforeseen expenses which are out of control by Nepal Adventure Point
Please request our Trip Note advice and detailed itinerary.