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Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek is remote, wild and lies in the farthest corner of the Nepalese Himalayas. Hence, trekking in this region is very different than trekking in the rest of Nepal. Beginning with, this land is very pure and considered holy by the locals. Pure and holy because of its close ties with Tibet and because this land homes some of the highly regarded Buddhist pilgrimages.  Hence, the settlement in Dolpo is in few numbers, like the oasis in desert. Also, the region good relation with Tibetan counterparts for over 100 years.

When in Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek, you will find beautiful flowers, animals and birds. Moreover, you will witness the highest settlement of Thakchu khola at 4100 meters. Beautiful terrain of Mugu surrounds Dolpo in the west and Dhaulagiri in the east. And, on the far north is the beautiful crystal mountain of Kanjirowa. Dolpo has a dry and arid land because it falls in the rain shadows of the high mountains.

Only few enthusiastic researchers make it to the region yearly. In the past, the district has seen only nominal amount of tourist. Upper Dolpo Circuit trek was not accessible to the world to 1989. The lower region opened itself for organized trek first. Upper Dolpa circuit started welcoming guests much later. The beautiful villages of Tarap and Shey will certainly catch your sight.

The protection and restriction fees make this trek a little expensive. Besides, this is the land of yak caravans which has trade relations with Tibet. Moreover, Eric Valli shot Oscar nominated movie Caravan in this very land. Furthermore, the land of snow leopard which has fascinated several book writers. If it is in your reach you definitely would want to do Upper Dolpo circuit trek. Book this trek today and get it in an unbeatable price!

trip overview

Trip Code: BT-108 Total Duration: 21 days
Destination: Off The Beaten Trails Best Time:
Trip Grade: Group Size:
Max Elevation:


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You could be already in Kathmandu or you may be arriving on this very day and whatever it is we welcome you to Nepal! Thank you for choosing Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek with Budget Trekking. On this first day we transfer you to your hotel/hostel. You will not do much except observing the ambiance around you and get acquainted with the country. Meal Plan N/A

This is an important day because today is the day when you will meet with your guide. The guide or one of our team members will brief you about the trek about more or less everything you need to know. After briefing we would thoroughly go through the trekking gear that we have. Furthermore, if there is anything that is not according to the trekking standard we will do last minute shopping of the trekking gears. On the other hand one of our backend office staff will get busy preparing required permits and logistics. Meal plan - N/A

The trek to this unbelieveable land starts by travelling to Nepalgunj. There are two options to travel to Nepalgunj is via road or by air and the second medium is preferred as well as included in this package. The never ending bends and turns of the Nepalese hills for around 15-17 hours will leave you exhausted even before the trek begins. A 45 minute flight takes you to Nepalgunj, a hot and humid city at the western region of Nepal. Once in Nepalgunj we unload ourselves and wait for another flight next morning. Overnight in Nepalgunj.

We board on a comparatively smaller aircraft from Nepalgunj and get Dunai bound. The flight takes around 45 minutes. From this airport namely Ranjha we embark on a 19 days journey of Upper Dolpa circuit trek on foot. The initial road is more rugged and with less vegetation and in about an hour this trail leads to a motorable road. This road lasts up to Suligad which is the beginning of Shey Phoksundo national park. Here you will find a permit checkpost as well. Past this place there are couple of ideal place to rest or even grab lunch namely Kageni and Sangta. The trail is somewhat flat with few decent inclines. The entire trek takes around 3 hours and we call it a day at Chepka which is a large settlement and offers camping ground with toilet and better water facility. Overnight in Chepka. Meal plan B,L,D.

We spent around 6 hours on the trail from the initial to the final destination. For over an hour and half from Chepka we trek on the banks of Suli khola. After the initial walk we get on top of a grassy plateau which is comparatively easier. Around 45 minutes on this plateau and we descend to another stream. The first noticeable settlement we reach is Sanduwa where you would be able to see a school and a gompa. By this time we would have already walked around 4 hours. From school it takes around 2 hours to Jharina hotel. Overnight in Jharina hotel. Meal plan B,L,D.

We start on the banks of Phoksundo Khola and climb on the hill surrounded by pine and cedar. Around one and half minutes on the trail and we reach the winter settlement of Polam. After checking our permits we head forward to our final destination. In this section of today’s trail you will see the glimpse of the turquoise blue Phoksundo lake and a pretty large waterfall created by the headwaters of the lake. Till this very place we have already walked around 3 plus hours and from here it takes around just over an hour to reach Ringmo. Overnight in Ringmo. Meal plan B,L,D.

We have come far enough to give ourselves a day of break and exploration in this beautiful village of Ringmo. Ringmo is a Bon village which is rich and unique in culture and besides that on this very day we as well explore Shey Phoksundo Lake which is a ramsar site and one of the deepest lakes in Nepal. Besides this Pal Sentan Thason Choling Gompa is a site to watch which is less than 2 kilometers of walk. This day would on the other hand provide much needed rest. Overnight in Ringmo. Meal plan B,L,D.

We pack and get moving early but after breakfast. The first 40 minute is gradual uphill but after crossing a stream the trail becomes steep and climbs 400 meters which would take around 2 hours. Watch Out for yaks and herds usually take this way and do not forget to see surreal views of Lake Phoksundo and the village. This northern end of the lake which as well is a flood plain makes a good lunch and camping site. We head down for further 45 minutes and cross the lake and enter pine forest which is soon replaced by Birch. From here we walk for around 2 and half hours to through gorges and banks of river to Tuk Kyaksar Khola gorge which is going to our campsite for the day. We walk approximately 6- 7 hours this day. Overnight at Phoksundo Khola camp. Meal plan B,L,D.

The initial climb from Phoksundo Khola camp is the toughest. The trail shoots directly above the gorge and it would take around 2 hours to reach a point from where the trail gets a little easier. From this point onwards it takes around 45 minutes to the first campground and the location is just besides a beautiful waterfall. 2 and half to 3 hours from here we reach to a higher ground and close to Nangdala La and to a campground which is known as Churan Lekh which is a flat basin. Overnight in Pass camp. Meal plan B,L,D.

From pass camp we head to the pass which is located at 5350 meters. The pass takes around 3 hours to cross and from the top you can see the valley on the other side that is carved by a river. The pass is basically covered with slates and loose rocks. Once the pass is over it takes around an hour of easy gradient to the bottom and from where another one and half hours to the red painted walls of Shey Gompa and a pasture land that makes a fantastic campground. Meal plan B,L,D.

Shey as well as Kagyupa sect Gompa and Tsakang hermitage which is one and half hour apart is worth taking a day break and exploring. There are several legends surrounding the foundation of these monasteries. Tsakang hermitage which is built in the cliff of crystal mountain is beautiful sight to watch. Shey as well is a sacred valley which is why slaughtering and killing of animals is prohibited and many have claimed to spot blue sheep and snow leopard. Overnight in Shey. Meal plan B,L,D.

We head out for Sepu khola valley and walk for around 2 hours on the only trail out of Shey. We reach to a point from where the trail forks and we take the one to the higher ground and to one of the high passes namely Sela La (5095 meters). It takes around another 3 hours on loose rock to get over this pass. Descend down a narrow valley where all the trails meet at one point. From here our campsite of Namgung is around 2 hours away. Overnight in Namrung. Meal plan B,L,D.

There are several trails that climbs to the ridge and lead to Saldang but do not take the trail that heads to Namga Khola valley but we head to the stream that has similar name and is usually confusing to 1st time traveller. We head out to Nagon Khola and and further climb for an hour and finally reach saldang. Almost every village in the region connects with Saldang as it the administrative center of Dolpo.

The trail on this day is comparatively easier and and offers beautiful views of small hills. You would as well come across sparse settlements trying their best to adjust in the unforgiving terrains of Dolpa. A walk of around 3 hours takes us to Chagaon. Here you would see 2 gompas, one by the river and another a hermitage gompa famous amongst locals and Tibetan lamas. Overnight in Chagaon. Meal plan B,L,D.

We walk out of Chagaon to more uninhabited terrain and we walk for over 6 hours on this day. Th first noticeable thing on the trail is the abandoned fort beyond large village of Chasip which is around 30 minutes from our trek. 2 hours later we reach Rakhyo Kharka. From Rakhyo onwards we cross streams and rivers to Dachung Khola valley. Around an hour before our camp ground we meet a confluence of 2 bigger rivers. Throughout the day we see beautiful landscape crisscrossed by rivers and streams. Overnight at flat grassy land in Darsumana Dhoban. Meal plan B,L,D.

We immediately start climbing to Jayanta La which is about 500 meters of ascent which takes slightly over 2 hours. Furthermore, you descend down to a valley which is usually frozen. From here you will climb around another hour to terminal moraine. Descend from here to the valley of Dho Tarap, as you get closer to the valley you will see mani walls on the either side. Here in Dho Tarap we will camp near to the village of Tokyu. Overnight in Tokyu. Meal plan B,L,D.

From Tokyu which is one of the highest permanent settlements on earth and home to Bhotia and Bon people we make our way down to Tarap Khola valley. The trail descends pretty rapidly on this day and the trail is pretty gradient. You will walk for around 6 hours and come across rivers, streams and few campsites. Keep your eyes open for blue sheep on the cliffs. Overnight in Ghyamghar. Meal plan B,L,D.

Getting out of Ghyamghar the trail is gradual for around 2 and half hours to the river confluence of Nawarpani. From here we reach Chhyugar in an hours and furthermore to Lainu Odar in around 3 hours. The rivers on this day becomes bigger, wider and gushes down the terrain with more power. From here our camp site is around 1 and half hour far and close to beautiful pine forest. This is one of the longest walks but the trail is more gradual and not very difficult or technical. Overnight in Laisicap. Meal plan B,L,D.

Compared to previous day this day is very easy. The trail is more gradient and broader and traverses through sparse settlements along the Bheri river. The first village of Tarakot is marked by a Kani which is an hour from Laisicap. From here it is a small roller coaster ride all the way to Dunai. Overnight in Dunai. Meal plan B,L,D.

We would reschedule our flights and wait for green signal to get out from Juphal airport which is around 3 and half hours away. 45 minutes flight takes us to Nepalgunj. We may not be able to get connecting flight on the say day to Kathmandu but we could relax after a long vacation in the rural. Overnight in Nepalgunj. Meal plan B,L,D.

We board a flight back to Kathmandu. The flight takes around 45 minutes and once we land in Kathmandu we transfer you to your hotel/hostel and hence your Upper Dolpo circuit officially comes to an end.


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