Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek Overview
Upper Dolpo is a remote place, yet a very rewarding trek that lies in the mid-western region, between Tibet and Mount Dhaulagiri of Nepal. Upper Dolpo Trek comprises a vast arid region of rolling semi-desert highlands, a continuation of the topography of the Tibetan Plateau Upper Dolpo basically is a restricted area but we can get a special permit from the government which costs 500$. This place opened in 1989 publicly.
The route to Upper Dolpo is usually over 4000m offering all the views of landscapes and green forests. The area is beautifully decorated with local Villages, Monasteries, prayer walls, and Gompas. This area falls under the protection of Shey Phoksundo National Park. The Park is the largest national park in Nepal and covers an area of 3,555 km2. In addition, you can see several floras and fauna throughout your journey. Dolpo is one of the few remaining places where the people of pre-Buddhist religion practice Bon Po. Bon PO religion is quite similar to Buddhis. However, the only difference is this religion walk anti-clockwise around stupas and shrines. Besides, Shey Phoksundo Lake, Panoramic Himalayan mountains, Thrilling Terrain, and hidden traditional villages are some main attractions of this trek.
This route will take you around 25-26 days if you take proper rest and take some days off. The price of Upper Dolpo Trek entirely depends on the mode of transportation, food and accommodation, and the number of days you take. However, the average cost is around 2500$ per person which includes transportation, insurance, permits, clothing etc.
Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trek
- Amazing Shey Gompa and the lifestyle around it.
- Explore the remoteness of the Dolpo region.
- Visit the deepest Shey Phoksundo lake.
- Diverse flora and fauna of Shey Phoksundo National Park.
- Bon Po and highly Influenced Tibetan cultures.
- Day 1- Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, (1 hour flight)
- Day 2- Nepalgunj to Jhupal Flight and Trek to Dunai,(3 hours walk)
- Day 3- Dunai to Ankhe, (5-6 hours walk)
- Day 4- Ankhe to Sulighat, (5-6 hours walk)
- Day 5- Sulighat to Phoksundo Lake, (4 hours walk)
- Day 6- Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola, (5 hours walk)
- Day 7- Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang, (6 hours walk)
- Day 8- Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa, (5 hours walk)
- Day 9- Shey Gompa to Namduna Gaun,(6-7 hours walk)
- Day 10- Namduna Gaun to Saldang,(4-5 hours walk)
- Day 11- Saldang to Yangze Gompa,(4 hours walk)
- Day 12- Yangze Gompa to Sibu,(6-7 hours walk)
- Day 13- Sibu to Jeng La Phedi,(5 hours walk)
- Day 14- Jeng La Phedi to Tokyo Gaun,(5-6 hours walk)
- Day 15-Tokyo Gaun to Dho Tarap,(4 hours walk)
- Day 16- Dho Tarap to Tarap Khola,(6 hours walk)
- Day 17-Tarap Khola to Khani Gaun,(4 hours walk)
- Day 18- Khani Gaun to Tarakot,(4 hours walk)
- Day 19- Tarakot to Dunai,(5-6 hours walk)
- Day 20- Dunai to Jhupal,(2-3 hours walk)
- Day 21- Jhupal to Nepalgunj and Kathmandu.
Difficulties and safety
Dolpo is a remote area, trekking to this place can be slightly challenging. This is a moderately difficult trek. However, the level of difficulty entirely depends on your physical and mental fitness. But you can build your muscle strength, make your body flexible by practicing some light exercise, running, and jogging. The trek to Upper Dolpo is all about walking 5-6 hours per day for at least 20 days. This reason solely is enough to make this trek challenging. The trails are rugged, steep, maybe snowy in off-seasons. The maximum height in this trek is the base camp (5ooom) with other high passes over 4000m on the way. There is a high risk of mountain sickness.
Symptoms of Mountain sickness
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeats
Preventing mountain sickness
- Walk slow
- Stay hydrated
- Have nutritional food
- Have enough rest
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
Medicines for mountain sickness
- Ibuprofen, paracetamol (for headache)
- Promethazine (for nausea)
Clothing and equipment
|Trekking shocks||Torch lights|
|Water proof pants||Sunglasses|
|Water proof jackets||Beanies and gloves|
|Warm shirts and t shirts||Medicines|
|Thermal tops and bottoms||Toiletries|
|Fleece jacket||Safety kit|
|Down jacket||Hand sanitizers|
|Trekking pole||Water bottles and water purifier|
|Raincoats||Trash bag and tissue papers|
|Duffel bags||Power banks|
|Passport size photographs||Permits|
Travel insurance- Trekking to high altitudes can always be risky. Travel Insurance is something you might want to do before trekking anywhere. Sometimes in emergency cases, people need to be evacuated through a helicopter and get medical service. So, in such cases, your travel insurance will be bearing the cost for you.
Seeing all these benefits, the government of Nepal has made travel insurance mandatory thing before trekking. However, it is very important to mention the heights and all the places you will be reaching during your trek. Your insurance entirely depends on the details you have provided earlier. Travel insurance costs you around 150$ which is good for 1 month.
Visas/passports- If you are not a Nepalese or Indian citizen, then a visa and a passport are mandatory. You can get your Nepalese Visa at Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu. The passport must hold a visa of a minimum of 6 months.