Upper Dolpa Trek

Upper Dolpa Trek

attractions Attraction
Phoksundo Lake, Many High Passes. Rigmo Gau
nature Accomodation
timer Duration
25 Days
restaurant_menu Food
Flight and local vehicle
Group Size
diversity_1 Group Type
temple_hindu Culture

The Upper Dolpo Trek stands out among other treks for its journey through a mystical land of Buddhist monasteries and a Tibetan culture untouched by the outside world. Despite the logistical challenges posed by almost non-existent infrastructure, the benefits of splendid isolation are numerous for intrepid visitors. The austere landscapes and villages exude rustic authenticity, weaving together ancient Buddhist and Bon Po traditions with shamanistic influences, creating a local culture unlike any other in Nepal. To traverse this region is to be touched by experiences and sights that leave a lasting impression on the fortunate few who venture through.

The trek to Shey Gompa in Upper Dolpo is an extraordinary journey to one of the most rugged and remote parts of the country. The landscapes resemble the sparse Tibetan plateau to the north, and along the way, trekkers encounter high-altitude challenges with passes exceeding 5000 meters, including Nagdalo La (5350m), Shey La (5010m), and Jeng La (5220m). The trail consistently reaches altitudes over 4000 meters, promising cold nights during the trek. Despite these environmental and terrain challenges, the hardy trekker is rewarded with the pilgrimage site of Shey Gompa, nestled at the base of the sacred Crystal Mountain. Additionally, the trek unveils Shey Phoksundo National Park and the breathtaking Phoksundo Lake, surrounded by precipitous mountains and forests that house rare Himalayan species, including the elusive snow leopard.

Upper Dolpo Trek Highlights

  • Hike to the off-the-beaten-path virgin land
  • A less traveled trekking trail and the greatest place to experience the raw splendor of the dryland
  • Exploring a well-preserved Tibetan culture and its monasteries
  • High-altitude trekking and camping, including three 5000-meter passes
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park and its extraordinary range of flora and fauna
  • Observing the turquoise waters of Phoksundo Lake and its magnificent setting

Trip Info for Upper Dolpa Trek:

  • Trek Start:
    • Begins from Jupal.
    • Requires obtaining necessary permits and TIMS card.
    • The trail gradually ascends through diverse landscapes.
  • Accommodation:
    • Teahouses/lodges along the route offer basic lodging.
    • Dormitory-style rooms or private rooms available.
    • Basic amenities like beds, blankets, and shared bathrooms.

  • Meals:
    • Teahouses provide meals: Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup), noodles, rice dishes, etc.
    • Limited menu items, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Carrying some energy bars and snacks is recommended.

  • Typical Day:
    • Start early in the morning for better weather and views.
    • Trek for about 6-8 hours a day, with breaks in between.
    • Reach teahouse for the night, rest, and explore.

  • Communication:
    • Limited mobile network coverage, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Some teahouses offer Wi-Fi, but it might be slow and unreliable.

  • Electricity and Water:
    • Charging devices may come at an extra cost in teahouses.
    • Hot showers might be available for an additional fee.
    • Safe drinking water: carry purification methods or buy bottled water.

  • Tipping:
    • Tipping is a common practice to show appreciation for good service.
    • You can tip guides, porters, and teahouse staff if you're satisfied.

  • Trek Season:
    • Best seasons: Autumn (clear weather) and Spring (blooming rhododendrons).
    • Winter is colder but less crowded. Summer/Monsoon brings rain and more challenge.

Upper Dolpa Trek Difficulty :

  1. For Beginners:
    • Not suitable for beginners

  2. For Experienced Trekkers:
    • Even Experienced trekkers will find the trek challenging.
    • Familiarity with multi-day treks and altitude effects is beneficial.
    • Some sections might involve longer and more strenuous walks, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Flexibility and previous trekking experience will be advantageous.
owner  pic

Mohan Subedi

Mohan Subedi is the founder of Hinepal Treks. He is a professional trek and adventure guide.

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