Dolpo Jomsom via Upper Dolpo Trek
Overview The Dolpo Jomsom via Upper Dolpo Trek is also a breathtaking and challenging adventure that takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the remote and untouched landscapes of western Nepal. Spanning across the Dolpa and Mustang district regions, this trek offers an extraordinary blend of rugged terrains, ancient Tibetan culture, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Starting from Juphal in Dolpa, the trail ventures into the mystical Upper Dolpo region. This hidden gem, restricted until 1991, allows you to explore a land where time seems to have stood still. The trek also passes through quaint traditional villages, where you'll encounter the…
The Dolpo Jomsom via Upper Dolpo Trek is also a breathtaking and challenging adventure that takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the remote and untouched landscapes of western Nepal. Spanning across the Dolpa and Mustang district regions, this trek offers an extraordinary blend of rugged terrains, ancient Tibetan culture, and awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Starting from Juphal in Dolpa, the trail ventures into the mystical Upper Dolpo region. This hidden gem, restricted until 1991, allows you to explore a land where time seems to have stood still. The trek also passes through quaint traditional villages, where you’ll encounter the friendly locals and witness their unique customs and rituals.
As you ascend, the rugged beauty of the Himalayas unfolds before you, with snow-capped peaks towering above and lush valleys sprawling below. The trail meanders alongside the picturesque Phoksundo Lake, a turquoise gem surrounded by pristine forests and barren cliffs.
Beyond Phoksundo, the trail leads to Shey Gompa, an ancient monastery that adds a spiritual touch to the journey. The remote and ancient monastic settlements provide a rare insight into the rich Tibetan Buddhist culture and its profound influence on the people’s lives.
As you cross several high passes, including the renowned Kang La Pass, at an altitude of over 5,300 meters, you’ll get rewards with jaw-dropping panoramas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The stark beauty of the trans-Himalayan landscapes will leave you in awe.
After days of trekking in the remote wilderness, you’ll reach Jomsom in the Mustang region. Jomsom offers a pleasant contrast with its charming villages, apple orchards, and a chance to relax in the soothing natural hot springs of Tatopani.
Conclusion and Summary
The Dolpo Jomsom via Upper Dolpo Trek is a challenging and rewarding expedition that demands physical fitness, mental endurance, and a spirit of adventure. It is a trek of a lifetime for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in one of the most culturally and naturally diverse regions of Nepal. However, due to its remote nature, it is essential to be well-prepared and travel with experienced guides and adequate supplies. This trek is not only a physical journey but also a cultural and spiritual odyssey that will stay etched in your memory forever.
- Phoksundo Lake: The trek takes you to the beautiful Phoksundo Lake, which is the deepest lake in Nepal and is surrounded by stunning landscapes.
- Shey Phoksundo National Park: The trek passes through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including blue sheep, musk deer, and snow leopard.
- Traditional Tibetan Culture: The Upper Dolpo region is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture, and the trek offers an opportunity to witness traditional Tibetan architecture, customs, and way of life.
- Kang La Pass: The trek reaches a maximum altitude of 5,360 meters at the Kang La Pass, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.
- Scenic Flight: The trek starts and ends with a scenic flight, providing stunning aerial views of the Himalayan ranges.
- Remote and Isolated Landscapes: The Dolpo region is one of the most remote and isolated regions in Nepal, and the trek offers a chance to immerse yourself in the rugged and unspoiled natural landscapes.
- Friendly People: The trek takes you through several small villages where you can meet friendly locals and learn about their unique way of life.
As you fly into Kathmandu, the views of snow-capped mountain peaks greet you. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Our representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
From Kathmandu, we take a bus or fly on any domestic carrier to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, a town in the western Terai, is very close to the Indian border and the Bardia Nationl Park. It is a major transport hub for western, mid-western and far-western regions of Nepal. Our representative will pick you up from the airport and take you to the hotel. Overnight stay will be at hotel that is 10 to 15 minutes drive from the airport.
Today we take a 35 minutes long flight to Juphal .Our trekking starts from Juphal. The trail from Juphal to Dunai is comfortable and easy as the trail on this part of trek also has few jeeps running to and fro. The first forty five minutes of the trek descends down to Kalagauda followed by two hours of hike along the trail above Thuli Bheri River. We trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the Dunai (2150m) a small town, the head quarter of the district. Dunai has some schools government and private, college, police check post and some government offices. You can visit the Bon Stupa and school, Central Buddhist monastery and the very first English medium school across the river, From the Stupa you can have the view of whole town and another village, upper Dunai too.
The real adventure of Dolpo Mustang Trek begins today. As the trek begins we initially trek along classic trekking route of Dolpo via Sulighar, which is pretty much comfortable walk along the levelled trail. We shall produce the trekking permit to Dolpo and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit at the Sulighat Check-post. Now we are officially inside Shey Phoksundo National Park. Beyond Sulighat our trek follows the trail beside Phoksundo River till Kageni. As the trek goes further, the landscapes in the vicinity begin to change. We trek through the lush tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill villages like Jutung and arrive to Shangta. At Shangta we cross the bridge twice- once over Phoksundo River and once over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Maiaba Khola and begin to head north towards Chhepka. Trekking upstream along the trail beside Phoksundo Khola for a while we arrive to Chhepka. We put our camps at an ideal location in Chhepka for the overnight stay.
Today the the trail leads you beside Phoksundo Khola- the trail of famous Lower Dolpa Circuit. We trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. The trek crosses the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. As we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region the trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi 3011m, where we stop for the lunch. Beyond Rechi we again hike along the river side trail to Sulligad Dovan where we cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Yulung Khola and arrive to Chunuwar. We will settle our camps here for the night.
We will join the direct trail to Phoksundo Lake today climbing through forests of big cedars on to Palam (3710m), a winter settlement used by the people of the Ringmo village. The entrance station for the Shey Phoksundo National Park is at the south end of the village. The route then descends on switchbacks through open country to an elevation of 3300 meter, and then starts up another set of dusty switchbacks to a ridge at 3780 meter to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meter high). Our route then continues on to Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of mani walls. Just below Ringmo we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksundo Lake, where we camp at the national park camping grounds west.
Today we explore the area around Ringmo Village and the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. First, we explore around Ringmo Village and head to Tshowa (the lake-shore Bon Monastery).
The Gompa nestling a ridge top above Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. Exploring this culturally rich Bon Monastery is fascinating experience.
Then we drop down to Phoksundo Lake along steep-sided cliffs. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise colour and spectacular scenery. Ringmo village, a typical Tibetan village, is scenic view from Phoksundo Lake.
There are several monasteries (Gompas ) and Bon-po religious sites at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these. We also explore the wonderful natural sites and enjoy our nature tour.
Today’s trek is probably one of the best trekking days of Dolpo to Mustang Trek. It climbs along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. This treacherously fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo Lake.
This particular part of the trek is like fantasy walk portrayed by a writer in their fiction novels. To get to the Phoksundo Khola camp on other side of the lake, we slide down for ninety minutes along the beautiful forests. The final part of today’s trek slides up to the beautiful campsite at Sallaghari. Enjoy the night in the camps amongst beautiful pine forest.
Today’s trek is relatively short; we trek for almost three hours to reach Nangdala High Camp 4100m. As the trek begins we ascend up the narrow defile of Tuk Kyaksa River.
The trail switches to opposite side of the river several times. Soon we arrive to a place where the rapids of the river are calmer. We cross the bridge over the river at that point.
Thirty minutes of walk after the bridge, we come across the wide valley followed by two hours of walk along the canyon brings us the potential campsite. A walk for a while further reaches to the massive rock slab, which is Nangdala High Camp- our campsite for the night.
Today we trek to the fabled Shey Gompa and the nearby ‘Crystal Mountain’, the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the real Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla/Nangdala pass . The trek to the top of Kang La/Nangdala Pass is along the graveled trail uphill for three continuous hours. However, all the efforts put to come up to the top of the pass rewards us with wonderful views.
The eye feast views from the Kang La Pass includes Cyrstal Mountain, the mountains in Tibetan territory and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. We also have views of the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters, before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey.
Every Dragon year according to the Tibetan calendar that comes in every 12 years there occurs a grand festival. People from different places and countries come to join this festival. We camp for the night.
Today we will explore Shey Gompa. It is said to be about 800 years old monastery, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain.
The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. Peter Mattheissen wrote quite a lot about his stay in Shey in ‘The Snow Leopard’, and it was shown in Eric Valli’s movie ‘Caravan’ as Thinley’s son’s gompa.
After the exploration of Shey Gompa as the trek begins, it follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost couple of hours. The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting.
Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The acme of Shey La Pass west of Shey, rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West.
The final push downhill from the Sela La (5095m), which is almost 2 hours of hike brings us to Namgung. We spend our night at Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement.
Before setting out towards Saldang, we explore the monastery of Namgung set on the flanking cliff. As the trek from Namgong Gompa begins we follow Namga Khola cross pass more summer herding spots and emerge out of spur for a short hike down to Saldang. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of dry land surrounded hills. Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo thrives here at Saldang. We’ll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or chhyang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare at Saldang.
Today we will have a day hike after early breakfast to Yanjer the richest monastery of this region. We will have packed lunch and will come back to Saldang for the night stop after the exploration of the monastery.
Today we trek for six hours and reach the village of Komash. Initially, the trail follows the Saldang Lek along the Rapyha Khola to the barren hillside. Exiting out to the elevated ridge (Khom La) of almost 4500m, the trail descends down steeply to Komash Village a village which bears similarity to a Tibetan village. Overnight in tents at Komash.
As we trek from Komash village we may sight some endangered animals like snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way we pass small villages. The landscapes in the vicinity is full of highland deserts with few shrub like vegetation. On the trail there is one small pass Shimen La (4260m). After almost five hours of comfortable hike we arrive to Shimen. Overnight in the tented camps at Shimen.
Today the trail goes by the side of Panjyang Khola. There are some villages and gompas on the way to Tinje. Tinje is a very beautiful valley. There is a natural air strip where once a British aircraft had landed and taken off.
From the village of Tinje we trek to Yak Kharka, which is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.
From yak kharka we trek towards Chharka. Crossing the pass Mola (5030m) we reach Chharka. We can visit beautiful village and the Bon Monastery in Chharka.
Today the trail goes through the arid high land. There are some up hills on the way. We trek up to Norbulung and have a night camp there.
From Nulungsumda ascending trail takes us to the pass Niwas La. Crossing the pass the trail we again proceed towards another pass Jungbenla then the trail goes down hill up to Ghaldang Ghuldung, where we make the night stop.
Today the trail goes with several ups and downs and finally reaches to the village Sangta.
We climb the hill behind Santa and spent most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m. We then descend into the Kali Gandaki valley, traversing under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Phalek.
We climb to a ridge at 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom at 2670m. Jomsom is also one of the famous places for the tourist.
We fly form Jomsom to Pokhara and to Kathmandu today. Our representative will pick you up at Kathmandu airport and take you to the hotel.
You will be flying back to your home after finishing your adventure in Nepal and we will bid you goodbye with the hope of returning to Nepal shortly again.
- Airport Pick-up and Drop Off,
2. Licensed and trained trekking guides,
3. potters for carrying goods and supplies,
- Meal on full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) basis during the trek
5. 3 Nights Accommodation in the 3 Star Hotel in Kathmandu with B & B. (Bed & Breakfast) on Twin Sharing Basis.
6. All accommodation during the trek on sharing Basis.
7. All meals and hot beverages during the trek.
8. Transportation to and from trail head by Private and Sharing Transport from Kathmandu to Ramechap to Kathmandu to Ramechap)
9. All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
10. National Park/Conservation Area entry Permit, Insurance, and
equipment for the staffs.
- Coordination of quick Rescue service (Costs covered by your Insurance Plan)
- Trekking staffs wages etc.
- Welcome dinner in a Nepali Cultural Dance restaurant in Kathmandu.
- Trekking Map, T-shirt, and Trekking certificate.
- Exclusive of Medical Kit Bag
- All Government and local Taxes
- International Flight ticket re-confirmation.
- Meals will be Start when your Trek starts.
- Domestic Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu
- Domestic Flights for Trekking Guide.
- Trekking Staff Insurance of $10,000 Per Person.
Services and Cost Does not Included in Price:
1. International Airfares,
2. Travel/Trekking Insurance,
3. Excess baggage charges More than 16kg and hand bag more than 5 kg in
4. Visa fees.
5. Airport Departure Taxes.
6. Drinks (Cold and Alcoholic) Rescue charge.
7. Tips for The staffs.
8. Expenses of Personnel nature and Permit and Liaison officer fee (where Applicable.
9. Meals during stay in the Kathmandu
- Extra Domestic Ticket of Jomsom, Pokhara etc.
- Extra Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Dolpo Jomsom trek is an adventurous journey through the remote and isolated region of Dolpo in western Nepal. The trek takes you to the beautiful Phoksundo Lake, which is the deepest lake in Nepal and is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. You will also pass through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including blue sheep, musk deer, and snow leopard.
The Upper Dolpo region is located in the rain-shadow area of the Himalayas, which makes it one of the driest regions in Nepal. The trek starts from Juphal, which is a short flight from Nepalgunj. From there, you will trek to the beautiful village of Dunai and then to the Phoksundo Lake. The trek then continues through the villages of Ringmo, Chhepka, and Shyanta, before finally reaching Jomsom.
The trek is challenging and requires a good level of fitness and stamina. The highest point of the trek is the Kang La Pass, which is at an altitude of 5,360 meters. The best time to do the Dolpo Jomsom trek is from September to November and from March to May. During these months, the weather is clear, and the views are spectacular.
Overall, the Dolpo Jomsom trek is a unique and unforgettable experience that takes you through some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in Nepal. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, meet the friendly people of Dolpo, and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas.
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