Lower Dolpo Trek

Nepal 18 Days 17 Nights

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Overview

The Lower Dolpo Trek is often overshadowed due to its difficult topography. However, if adventure, staying away from the beaten trek, and unhidden gems, are what you are looking for, then look no further!

Located in the remote mid-western region of Nepal, the traces of vehicles here are rare as no road connection has yet been able to connect Dolpa. In fact, trekkers were only introduced to this trekking route in the late 1980s. Ever since then, it has been on the bucket list of hardcore trekkers, who come to the Dolpo region to explore the untouched Himalayan culture and exclusive human civilization of this high altitude.

Dolpo Trek
Dolpo Trek

This Dolpo region protects the Bon religions of traditional Tibetan culture, so trekking here allows you to witness a wildly different way of life. As well as culture, you will also experience incredible flora and fauna, as you scale the mountains of the region, and visit the Shey Phoksundu National Park – the largest and only trans-Himalayan national park in Nepal. Here you will see a multitude of endangered animals and birds, along with one of the best examples of a well-preserved ecosystem of plants and wildlife on the planet.

You will also visit the sacred Shey Phoksundo Lake: the deepest and second largest lake in Nepal. This beautiful turquoise lake is a true highlight of a journey peppered with magnificent landscapes, mountain views, rivers, water springs, flat-roofed houses, chotens, and monasteries. Not to mention the snowy peaks of the Kanjoroba and Dhaulagiri range, and spectacular views of the lower Dolpa valley.

We operate The Lower Dolpo Trek in both groups and private tours, and as with all of our treks, offer a fully customizable itinerary, with personalized travel and accommodation plans available upon request. So if you want to know any more about the itinerary options, trek cost, trek difficulty, or anything else at all, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a friendly member of our team. Or, if you would like to read about what it’s like to experience this adventure, then check our Lower Dolpo Trek Blog.

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Your Itinerary

Day 1:Arrival in Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Kathmandu

Altitude: 1300 m

On arrival, you will land in Kathmandu airport, where our friendly team will greet you and take you to your hotel. Depending on what time you arrive, you are free to take a rest, or if you are itching to start exploring, you can spend the rest of the day soaking up the atmosphere of the Capital. You will then have dinner and an overnight stay in a highly recommended hotel in the city.

Dinner and overnight stay at a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu valley and trek prep

After a welcoming breakfast, today you will have the opportunity to see some of Kathmandu’s most famous UNESCO-listed world heritage sights, including Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Swayambhunath. Once you return you will meet your guide and begin preparation for your trek.

Breakfast and overnight stay at a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu

Day3: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Altitude: 150m

Just a short flight today, from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal, so lots of time to explore! A fascinating Terai town hosting a zoo, local market, and chances to explore the nearby villages, it’s a great stopover before the trek begins.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and overnight stay at a 3-star hotel

Day 4: Fly to Jhupal (Dolpo) and trek to Dunai

Altitude: Jhupal (2,320m/7,610ft) and Dunai (2,850m/9,348ft)
Duration: 45 mins flight, 2-3 hours trek
Accommodation: Tea House
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Before we can get trekking we must first fly to Jhupal (45 mins). Resting on the Himalayan foothills, it’s a beautiful place to begin our journey. We start by walking through terraced fields until we reach the narrow gorge of the Bheri River. From here we continue to Dunai, which offers plenty to explore before we rest for the night.

Day 5: Trek to Tarakot

Altitude: 2,543m/8,341ft
Duration: 5-6 hours
Accommodation: Tea House
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Our trek begins by following the Beheri River. Starting on the southern bank we follow upstream, plassing deep gorges, hanging bridges, and sparsely populated villages. As we continue along this pleasant trail, we will cross a path built about 7 meters over the river and soon reach the colorful terraced village of Terakot.

Day 6: Trek to Laini

Altitude: 3,160 m/10,365 ft
Duration: 6-7 hours
Accommodation: Tea House
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

A long day of walking that starts alongside the Tarap Chu River. We must crossover to reach Sandul Gompa, at the juncture between Barung Khola and the Tarap Chu River. We then move on through farm terraces and a number of villages on our bumpy trek that ends in Laini.

Day 7: Trek to Nawarpani 

Dolpo Trek

Altitude: 3,545m/11,627 ft

Duration: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Tea House 

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Today is a steep climb that begins along with the switchback over the Tarap River. It may be steep but it is also exciting as the valley soon becomes a narrow gorge that forces us to jump from spot to spot. The struggle continues with a tough climb and sharp descent before passing through Chyugur Khola to reach our destination of Nawarpani.

Day 8: Trek to Dho Tarap

Altitude: 4,090m/13,415ft
Duration: 7-8 hours
Accommodation: Tea House
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

After breakfast, we slowly hike uphill to Kamattarke. After following the tree line, we must pass over a narrow gorge to be welcomed by a multitude of wild rose and juniper bushes. Just a few more hours then, until we reach our resting spot: Do Tarap. Surrounded by an irregular stone wall, this is a fascinating village, where both the Bon Po and Chaiba religious sects reside together.

Day 9: Rest Day at Do Tarap for acclimatization

Time for a well-deserved rest and a chance to acclimatize and explore. Today we can visit the monasteries around the area, enjoy some short walks, and have an introduction to the history and culture of the area.

Day 10: Trek to Numa La Base Camp

Altitude: 4440m/14,563 ft
Duration: 6-7 hours walk
Accommodation: Tent Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Re-energised from our rest day we hit the trail again and trek towards the Upper Trap Valley. As we walk alongside the Tarap Chi River we can enjoy the views of lush grasslands and the vast Tarap valley, complete with wide plains and high mountains. Our next stop is the village of Tokyu, home to a Chiba Sect Buddhist Monastery. After a break to explore, we take the rough trail to Numa La Base Camp, where we will rest for the night.

Day 11: Cross Numa La pass and trek to Pelung Tang

Altitude: 4,465m/14,645 ft
Duration: 8-9 hours
Accommodation: Tent Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Get ready for the longest – and possibly the toughest day yet! The adventure begins as we cross the Numa La Pass to embark on a steep trail to the top ridge of the pass. From here take in the beautiful views, from  Dolpo up to Mount. Dhaulagiri, before we descend until we reach Pelung tang.

Day 12: Cross Baga La pass (5,070m/16,630ft) and trek to Dajok Tang

Dolpo Nepal

Altitude: 4,080m/13,382ft
Duration: 6 hours
Accommodation: Tea House or Home Stay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Another day of steep climbing at we start with an ascent to the top of Baga La Pass. Once there we can take a break and observe the dry landscape, contrasting the snowy mountain peaks of Mount Kanjirowa and its fellows. We then begin another descent to our location for the night, Dajok Tang.

Day 13: Trek to Ringmo

Altitude: 3,600m/11,808ft
Duration: 3-4 hours
Accommodation: Tea House or Home Stay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

After the tough days of trekking that we’ve had, today is more gentle as we walk alongside luscious alpine vegetation and beautiful pine forests. The easy trail continues till we reach the traditional Tibetan village: Rigmo.

Day 14: Trek to Phoksundo Lake

Shey Phoksundo Lake

Accommodation: Tea House or Home Stay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Day 15: Walk to Shyanta
Altitude: 2,520m/8,265 ft

Today is a real highlight of the trip as we get the chance to visit Phoksundo Lake and even camp by its waters. Serene and beautiful, nestled between the mountains, it’s truly mesmerizing. Even our journey there is memorable as we follow the famed journey of the yak caravans.

Day 15: Walk to Shyanta

Altitude: 2,520m/8,265 ft
Duration: 7-8 hours walk
Accommodation: Tea House or Home Stay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Today we swap water for rock as we trek downhill to Cehpka and follow a huge overhanging rock on a route that passes through many villages before a final hike up to Shyanta. On the way, we will also encounter medicinal minerals – infamous in the area for their cure all benefits.

Day 16: walk to Jhupal

Duration: 7-8 hours walk

It’s our final day of trekking! So muster up the last of your energy as we trek through birch trees towards Sulighat. We will take a break on a ridge and observe the mountains that have kept us company on our journey. Then we continue on the last precarious part of our route to reach Jhupal and explore before finally resting.

Day 17: Fly to Nepalgunj, fly to Kathmandu

It’s time to wave goodbye to Shyanta and take 2 flights – first to Nepalgunj, and then finally to Kathmandu. On arrival, you are free to spend the rest of your day enjoying the excitement of the Capital – either taking a rest or exploring the city’s nightlife for the final night of your trip.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and overnight stay at a 3-star hotel

Day 18: Final Departure

it’s time to fly home! Say goodbye to Nepal and your fellow trekkers! A member of our friendly team will take you to the airport. Breakfast. 

 

Additional Info

How can I go to Dolpo Nepal?

You can get to Dolpo either by flight or by small bus ( jeep) via trekking.

 Dolpo Trek Route 1

Via flight

Flight one: From Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, take 45 mins flight that usually operates in the morning

Flight two: Another morning flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla airport which is 25 mins.

From Jumla, you must trek to Dolpo valley via Maure Langa at 3894m. From there, you can head for Upper Dolpo Trek.

Lower Dolpo Trek Route 2

Another option is to fly to Pokhara (25 mins) from Kathmandu and then from Pokhara to Jomsom. From Jomsom, cross the Jungben La pass.

Dolpo Trek Map Route 3

Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in the evening and fly to Talcha airport the next morning. Both flights are about 45 mins. From Talcha, you can trek to Gamadi.

Reach Dolpo Via bus

 Route 1

First, take a bus or a small jeep from Kathmandu to Jumla. It takes 14 to 16 hours to reach Jumla. Then, you can walk to Dolpo via Dailekh.

Route 2

Or, you can drive to Nepalgunj and then get a small bus to Talubagar via Rari and you can reach Dunai in 3 days.

Route 3

You can also get to Beni via Pokhara in 8 hours and then take the Jeep to Takam. From here you cross the Dhorpatan Hunting reserve in reach Dunai in 10 days. Well, this is a very long route, and often not used by the tourist.

Note: Upper Dolpo lies in a very far west north of Nepal and it isn’t easy to get here. If comfort and views are the only things that matter to you, you can charter a Helicopter in Nepal to Dolpo. And if adventure is what you seek, it’s preferable to trek up to Dolpo.

 Dolpo Trek permit

The very first thing you should understand about Dolpo Trek is that there are two regions for trekking in Dolpo i.e. Lower Dolpo and Upper Dolpo. And here, we are only talking about this permit that you need for lower Dolpo Trek. If you want to get to Shey Phoksundo i.e Upper you, you will need a different kind of permit.

For Lower Dolpo Trek you need a restricted area permit. The lower Dolpo restricted area permit can only be issued after you book your trek with a trusted travel agency like MyEverestTrip and hire yourself a licensed guide. These permits can be issued from the immigration department in Kathmandu and cost USD 20/per person for a week and USD 5 each day after that. You will not need an Upper Dolpo permit but might have to issue a Shey Phoksundo National Park entry permit from the entry gate.

Best time for Dolpo Trek

Considering the fact that you get above 5,000 meters in the Dolpo trek, it’s obvious that this trek cannot be done throughout the year. And sadly, the government or travel agency of Nepal doesn’t state this fact clearly. Traveling in the wrong weather without proper precaution can be deadly.

Autumn and Spring are the safest time for the Dolpo trek. Autumn i.e. October and November is the best time for all treks in Nepal. The clear views of the Himalayas and the festive mood of the Nepalese make it a great time for Visit. On other hand, spring with magical blooms of wildflowers and little chances of rainfall is also magical. Spring is in fact the best time for mountain climbing in Nepal when a large number of climbers travel to areas like Annapurna and Everest. 

Summer and Winter treks in Dolpo can be a bit cheaper. But it’s very risky due to the chances of rainfall and snowfall. As the trail gets slippery, it’s not the best time for the Dolpo trek. However, since Dolpo does receive a lower amount of rain, June and July trek might be possible with the right preparation. But the winter trek in Dolpo from December to February is honestly not suggested. The snow covers the entire area, making it hard to trek. However, the views in winter are unbelievably beautiful. So if you are planning a winter holiday in Nepal, just stay at the lower altitude of Dolpo and avoid the high passes.

Accommodation in Dolpo

Despite being remote, there’s quite a comfortable accommodation option up to Dho Tarap which is the 9th day of the trek. In Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, you will be staying in a 3-star hotel with a private bathroom and all luxurious amenities. From Dunai, we stay in tea houses which is basically a local guest house in Dolpo with basic accommodation. There are 3-4 hotels in Tarakot, Laini, Nawarpani, and Dho Tarap. 

Beyond Dho Tarap, we will be staying in the tented camps. The tents and food will all be carried by a porter and cooks. There will be an entire team for assistance as you stay in tented camps at Numa La Base Camp and Pelung Tang. After these two days, we shall again stay in the tea house/ hotel of Dolpo from Dajok Tang. In villages such as Ringmo, Phoksundo Lake, Shyanta, and Jhupal, there’s an option to stay in home stay as well. Homestay in Dolpo gives a close insight into local culture and provides an authentic trek experience. 

Why US

MyEverestTrip is a Nepalese Travel and Trekking agency based in Kathmandu. We have been operating in different trekking regions for more than a decade, traveling with hundreds of trekkers and travelers all around the world.

With the pure intention to bring trekkers to Nepal’s safety and comfort, we have an entire team of travel planer, guides, and porters. We also have connections to hotels and restaurant lines all over Nepal for ensuring that our trekkers get the best possible facilities.   

So, here is the reason why you should travel with MyEverestTrip.  

Customize your itinerary:

We have designed a well-planned Itinerary for all travel destinations around Nepal. However, this Itinerary is customizable as per the need and requests of our trekkers. Just let us know when and how long you are staying so that we can arrange the rest. 

Our Expert guide: 

Although all travel agency claims to have a good guide, many of them are not informed about the place you are traveling to. However, MyEverestTrip has its own licensed guide in Nepal. They have been working in this field for over three decades, collecting all the information about the place/ culture, and learning to keep the travelers safe. Also, our guide is good at the English language. Upon special request, we can even hire a guide who can speak Chinese and other European languages for trekking in Nepal.

Fair and reasonable Cost:

MyEverestTrip has been known for its very economic trek packages in Nepal. You can compare the price we offer with any other travel agency in Nepal and only book with us if you are satisfied with our cost. We try to include all needed expenses during the tour so that you will not be overwhelmed with hidden expenses after the packages are booked. 

Your safety is our priority:

Obviously, the safety of our trekkers and our team is the utmost priority of MyEverestTrip. Our guide and porters who shall accompany you for the trip will have insurance of their own. We also encourage Travel insurance for our trekkers. Our treks and trip have been so designed that you only walk an appropriate distance. In any case of emergency, you will always have our back.

Responsible and Eco-Friendly 

MyEverestTrip operates with the belief in responsible tourism. This includes 

  • We are transparent about the services covered on the trip. There shall be no hidden cost (informed in advance if there’s any)
  • We cover all the places that have been promised before the trek (the trend of skipping places once you book the package has to be discouraged). 
  • All our guides and porter are above 18yrs. We highly discourage child labor in the tourism industry
  • We do not leave any wastage behind on the trekking routes. We either dispose of the waste appropriately or carry them back with us and send it to the municipality
  • We do not engage in any activities that affect the people in the trek places of Nepal we stay.  

FAQ

How can I get to Dolpo from Kathmandu?

The most appropriate and budget-friendly way to reach Dolpo from Nepal is to first drive to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. From Nepalgunj, you can get a morning flight to Jhupal. From Jhupal, you can reach Dolpo in one single day.

 Can I trek to Dolpo Nepal Solo?

 No, foreigners aren’t allowed to trek in Dolpo solo. Since lower Dolpo falls within the few restricted regions in Nepal, independent traveling is not allowed here. This means, you must be in a group of at least two people and it’s compulsory to hire a guide for the Dolpo trek.

 How hard is Dolpo Trek?

 Well, the difficulty is a relative word and varies on personal experiences. The Lower Dolpo trek for 18 days is quite hard for the newbie who has never trekked at a higher altitude. However, in comparison to the very remote and demanding Upper Dolpo trek, wandering only in the lower region is quite comfortable. Also, it’s easier than peak climbing in Nepal as there’s no need for any technical climbing skills. 

That being said, covering the Dolpo trek distance of more than 100kms and walking 6 to 8 hours each day in the difficult mountain terrain is not an easy job. Thus, one must be prepared physically and mentally for the Dolpo trek. Cardio exercise such as cycling, swimming, jogging, and squats has been found quite helpful to develop the strength of your body, thus preparing you for the trip. 

What is the highest altitude of Dolpo Trek?

Numa La at 5,238m and Baga La Pass at 5,070m are among the highest point during the Dolpo trek. This is the height when air pressure drops to half and breathing gets quite difficult. Thus, one must make sure that they are properly acclimatized before getting to such a dangerous altitude. 

What will happen if I get altitude sickness?

While Nepalgunj is at 150 meters above sea level, we directly fly to Jhupal which is at the Elevation of 2494m. Now, such height has a serious impact on people’s health. Developing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, etc. is quite common. So, it’s important that we climb only 500meters in a day and keep ourselves hydrated. Even then, if you catch altitude sickness, our expert guide at MyEverestTrip shall provide you with appropriate medication. We shall also stop climbing if the symptoms are severe and if possible, we walk down to the lower altitude. 

Even after all these, if you still catch altitude sickness, then you will be taken back to Kathmandu in a helicopter flight in Nepal. Helicopter evacuation will be arranged by our team but covered by your insurance plan. 

How long is Dolpo Trek?

Exploring the Lower region of Dolpo takes about two weeks and the Upper Dolpo trek is longer than 13 weeks. If you are planning to trek only up to Numa La Base Camp and then be back, then the entire trek is about 18 days from Kathmandu. However, the trekking days are only 12 days and the other days are for rest and acclimatization. 

Is there Wi-Fi/ internet in Dolpo?
Dolpo camping trek comes with significant challenges you might not have thought of. You will not have any electricity unless you have a solar power charger. The network coverage is only available in some villages, and Wi-Fi is not available anywhere.

Equipment Checklist

  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
  • Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
  • Head lamp (eg Petzl) spare bulbs & batteries
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Small padlock to lock trek bag
  • Underwear (4)
  • Basic First Aid Kit (see First Aid Medicine below)
  • Waterproof shell jacket (preferably breathable fabric)
  • Plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag
  • Shorts (2)
  • Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
  • Lightweight cotton long trousers/pants
  • Camping mattress, eg thermarest pad
  • Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
  • Water bottles (2)
  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Toiletries
  • Warm fleece hat or light balaclava
  • Small wash towel
  • T-shirts (2)
  • Footwear appropriate to the trip
  • Thin, lightweight (inner socks) (4)
  • Waterproof shell trousers/pants (preferably breathable fabric)

Map

Lower dolpo trek map

What's included

  • Airport/hotel pick up and drop off by private car
  • At least two nights 3-star hotel in Kathmandu bed and Breakfast plan
  • Meals on full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in whole trekking
  • Fly from Kathmandu – Nepalgunj – Jhuphal – Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu
  • Trekking map
  • An experienced Government license holder guide
  • Trekking porter/Sherpa who will carry your bags during the trekking
  • Insurance, salary, equipment, transportation, local tax for guide and porter
  • Group medical supplies (first aid kit will be available)
  • All necessary paper works and national park entry permits
  • Travel and rescue arrangement
  • TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System)
  • All government taxes and tourist service charge

What's not included

  • Meals in Kathmandu before and after trekking, allowing US$ 15 – US$ 20 per day
  • Your travel insurance ( Rescue )
  • Nepal entry visa fee.
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver
  • Drinks (hot, cold and alcoholic)
  • Personal shopping and laundry etc
  • Personal trekking equipment

Choose a Private Trip

If you already know who you would like to take your adventure with and would prefer to enjoy your ‘My Everest Trip’ experience with your own group of friends, then we’ve got good news! All of our trips are also available as private adventures! Our private adventure specialists are on hand to give you a quote or talk you through some of the different options that we offer.
So feel free to give us a call on +977 9851069558 or Email us at [email protected]

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    Package Summary

    Package Includes:

    Lower Dolpo Trek Highlights 

    Witness the age-old Bon- Buddhist practices in different cloisters
    Trek to the stunning Shey Phoksundo alongside an entry to the Phoksundo National Park
    The amazing experience of hiking in the desert- suchlike the rain shadow area of the lower Dolpo region
    Catch the enticing views of Yak Caravan and got to walk on the ancient swab trade route
    Feel seduced by the sight of different foliage and fauna of the region

    Package Price USD $2500

    Join Our Fixed Departures

    There are no fixed departure dates available for this trip you can choose your own dates.

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