The Lower Dolpo Trek offers up a chance to join Nepal Trekking Experts on a trek through one of the most remote regions of Nepal. Located in the northwest, the journey begins with a short scenic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalguni, then a further 30 minute flight to Juphal, the starting point for the trek.
Lower Dolpo is a region of dramatic landscapes and culture far different to that which the majority of experienced trekkers might be familiar with in other parts of the country. The Dolpo region lies in the rain shadow of the towering mass of Dhaulagiri (8167m), resulting in a semi-arid and remote region that’s inextricably linked to Tibetan culture and well-preserved against the encroachment of the outside world, with local practices and beliefs that seem like echoes to a distant past, including some of the purest forms of Buddhism. The whole region is said to have been blessed by Guru Rinpoche during the 8th century and has long been a refuge for devout Buddhist in troubled times.
In addition to the intriguing insights of the local culture the Lower Dolpo Trek opens up a plethora of opportunities to observe some of Nepal’s most unique animals, including species endemic to the region such as blue sheep, various types of deer, mountain goats, black bear, and the most elusive and legendary species of them all, the snow leopard.
Another of the trek's highlights is Shey-Phoksundo National Park, home to the spectacular Phoksundo Lake, a serene body of water surrounded by soaring cliffs that seems like a dreamy image from a fantasy novel.
The trek isn't only about stunning lakes and wildlife though. The breathtaking heights of not one but two high passes await trekkers willing to take on the trail's challenges, firstly Numa La at 5309 meters, then Bagala Pass a day later at 5169 meters.
So if the Lower Dolpo trek's many charms appeal why not contact Nepal Trekking Experts and let’s start planning for your adventure to the region?
Day 01: Welcome at airport and transfer to the hotel.
Day 02: Free day for final trekking preparation
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Juphal via connected flight from Nepalgunj then drive to Dunai 2140m.
Day 04: Dunai to Tarakot (2540m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 05: Tarakot to Laina odar (3370m, 6-7 hrs)
Day 06: Laina Odar to Nawarpani (3780m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 07: Nawarpani to Dho Tarap (3944m, 7-8 hrs)
Day 08: Acclimatization day
Day 09: Dho Tarap to Numala basecamp (4440m, 6-7 hrs)
Day 10: Numa La to over Numa La pass 5309m then overnight at Danigar (4512m, 6-7 hrs)
Day 11: Danigar to Timche 3995m via Bagala Pass 5169m (5-6 hrs)
Day 12: Timche to Ringmogaun (3641m, 4-5 hrs)
Day 13: Explore stunning Phoksundo lake 3600m
Day 14: Ringmogaun to Chhepka (2678m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 15: Chhepka to Jhupal (2475m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 16: Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Day 17: Join with different program or farewell
Note:- Above itinerary is just aguideline. If you are not satisfied then please feel free customize according your own taste and duration of holidays.
Welcome at airport and transfer to your hotel. An introduction to your trekking program then the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of Kathmandu.
Free day for preparation and sightseeing
After a flight to Nepalgunj we use local transport to make the drive to Juphal, and then start our trek in the region with a short hike to Dunai along the Thuli Bheri river. If time permits there is plenty to interest within the town, including a Stupa and monastery.
A series of streams map the pathway for the day through dense pine forests and terraced hillsides to the fortified village of Tarakot sitting resolutely atop its picturesque hillside, with myriad flagpoles jutting up proudly amidst the homes. Nearby is the monastery of Sandul Gompa, well worth the visit along a pathway lined with numerous chortens and mani walls.
The trail climbs steadily throughout the day across a series of picturesque suspension bridges and through dense jungle until we reach the day's goal, Laini Odar, a former construction camp with a dramatic Cliffside setting and nearby cave that provides suitable shelter in inclement weather.
The dense forest of the previous day gives way to barren landscapes as we slowly ascend beside the banks of the Tarap Khola, with alpine wildlife on show such as yak and blue sheep. The day concludes with a dramatic suspension bridge crossing high over the Chaya Khola and our arrival at the village of Nawarpani.
The Tarap Khola leads the way for the start of the day, guiding us over an undulating course that peaks at Charkala (4920m) and descends again into the narrow valley, so deep a ravine that it requires the midday sun to light the lower pathways. Numerous chortens and stupas mark the passage through to Dho Tarap, with the Tibetan village's whitewashed gompa standing proudly at its heart.
A day to ease back and allow the body to acclimate to the higher altitudes, with Dho Tarap allowing ample opportunity to explore its many charms, as well as to observe the traditional Tibetan lifestyles of its friendly inhabitants, who still trade with their ancient homeland to the north via their Yak caravans. Throw in a visit to the Gompa, the maze of fascinating laneways to explore, and the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and Phoksundo Lake, and Dho Tarap is the kind of place you could easily spend the better part of a week reveling in.
Reluctantly exiting Dho Tarap we head higher through the northern and arid section of the valley to Numala Base Camp, taking in the stunning landscapes of Dhaulagiri and other peaks around us as the trail brings us in to the rocky basin that comprises our campsite.
A steep trail takes us on towards the challenging climb of Numa La pass, where we pause to take in the magnificent panorama our high viewpoint grants us. From there it's all downhill through terraced fields and Yak pastures to the village of Danigar.
A further day of high altitude trekking, climbing steadily along a traditional yak trail back over the 5000 meter mark to Bagala pass and its equally impressive views of the nearby mountain ranges. A steady descent through a deep gorge brings us back down through the alpine stretches of the trail to a more temperate climate of pine forests and our day's destination of Ringmogaun.
After the high altitude and lung-wrenching trekking of the previous few days we get the welcome break of a relatively easy hike to Phoksundo Lake, with glorious views of the turquoise waters and the lake's stunning setting amidst the high mountains soaring up on either side. Imagine Lake Como or Interlaken without the development or people — the answer is fabulous Phoksundo!
A full day to explore the surroundings of the glorious lake waters. The medieval Bon monastery of Tshowa, built over 900 years ago, stands nearby and offers up further opportunities to explore.
Leaving the classic mountains capes behind us we trail along by a stream until a steep climb gives us one last farewell view of Phoksundo before our heading takes us south through dense pine and birch forests to our day's destination of Chhepka.
A gradual ascent takes us through birch forests to the villages of Shyanta and Kageni, heralding our exit from Shey Phoksundo National Park and the return to the outside world. A suspension bridge takes us across the Dhim Khola and on to our final destination for the trek, Juphal, where we spend the night and celebrate the completion of our long journey.
Local transport takes us back to Nepalgunj, where we pick up a flight to take us back to Kathmandu.
Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.