Trip Facts

Grade: Adventure
Daily Walk Duration: 4 - 7 hours
Altitude: Max. 5318m
Group Size: 2 - 15 Pax
Season: March to October

Description

Dolpo or Dolpa is also called Ba-Yul, the Hidden Land, highest inhabited land on earth. People are mainly Drokpa (nomads) from Tibet settled since 10th century. It is far west north area of Nepal and close to Tibet, but calls as “Tibet of Nepal”. It is more influenced by Tibet than Nepal as it is too far from capital. Most of the area is now in Shey Phoksundo National Park and special permit necessary if travel higher land above Phoksundo lake  to Shey Gompa - Saldang - Charkabot which normally counts as remote trekking and very few tourist.
We basically fly to Jumla via Nepalgunj (South western town close to Indian border) or Surket. Trek through Gohi Chaur, Kagmara Pass, 5115 meter high to Ringmo, Phoksundo Lake, which is so beautiful, tranquil and fresh at 3610 meter. It is also called Bonpo country, where people practiced shamanistic religion predating Tibetan Buddhism.
 
Visit Ringmo village and Bonpo monastery if possible. Continue above 5000 meter higher passes Numa la and Bagala to Dho Tarap. The people of these regions are well dressed and worn colorful jewels adorning the women and men with red braid in their hair, Tibetan style. You will see more Buddhist monasteries, local stone houses as well as cliff caves and yak pastures with wild herb bushes. . It is also called Bon Po country, where people use to practice shamanistic religion predating Tibetan Buddhism.
 
Trek through cedar forest and fields of cannabis as some of the trails climb over the tops of some spectacular landslides. Some trails are newly built with wide stone steps as well as open grassy meadow where wild flowers abound as well as the chance to see a snow leopard. Blue sheep are also popular walking over rocky cliffs. 
Mountain views are so impressive. Enroute, we encounter many herders and nomads and yaks grazing during summer time. Also chances to see many low land locals collecting Yar-Cha-Gom-Bu (insect) which is now most attractive source of income. 
Via riverbed of Tarap Khola, continue trekking to Tarakot village to Juphal and fly out. 
 

"The Upper Dolpa is a " Bé-yül", hiding country in tibetan language. The trek across Dolpa from Juphal to Jomsom is certainly one of the most famous and the most interesting we had made. This country of the northwest of  Nepal  remains very secret and not very much frequented collects all  kinds of lanscapes from the jungle to the high summits in passing by a few passes of more 5000 meter high to join some exceptional sites as Phoksundo Lake , Shey Gompa, magnificent villages as Saldang and Charkha Bot. People of Dolpa are very friendly and endearing . With a  bit of luck may be you can meet Tinley  the famous movie actor of Caravan and take a cup of tea with him in Saldang or also catch sight of the snow leopard . Really a wonderful trek in the country of beauty and serenity. You will come back from Dolpa with an other sight on the life".

By Patricia and Michel, August 2014

 
 
 
NOTE: Optional route with 7 more days for Upper Dolpo - Shey (Crystal) Gompa, Saldang, Charka Bot towards Jomsom for more adventure.All trips can be customized as per your interest, fitness level and schedule.
Day 01-02: Flight and drive to Nepalgunj, South - west of Kathmandu valley which is highly populated and commercial border city. Early next morning, flight to Jumla and after preparing, start trek.
Day 03-06: Trek to Gothichaur (2780m), by crossing Tila river. We walk through maple and walnut forest up and down hill to terraced rice field. Overnight camping by villages of Naphukhana, Chaurikot. Cross Barbara pass of 4300m.
Day 07-12: Trek continue by Garphung Khola and cross other high pass of Kagmara 5120m. Trek continue by river bed of Pungmo before reaching the main village. We take the upper route to Phoksundo turquoise lake with optional day for rest.
Day 13-15: Trek continue to Yak Kharka, grazing ground, ascent slowly to Bagala Phedi. Cross pass of Bagala, higher to Numala, pass above 5000m towards Do Tarp the largest village. Visit local monasteries, might encounter Dokpa camps enroute.
Day 16-21: Trek south through the local village of Magar, Gurung then at lower Brahmin and Chetri. Trekking through deep gorge and river bed of Tarap and Bheri river via Lahini, Tarakot, Dunai and Juphal.
Day 22: Flight out from Juphal via Nepalgunj or Surkhet to Kathmandu

If wishing to travel at other times alternative itineraries are available.

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Trek Grading

The Following Is Designed to be a Rough Guide to help you select the trek that suits you best.

Moderate/Reasonable

More remote country, often camping in the wild, the occasional 7 or 8 hour day (camp to camp) but not more than 5 days consecutive walking. Altitude gains of up to 600m. a day.

Adventurous/Vigorous

Up to 9 days consecutive walking including high passes up to 4500m. (With snow covering), but more typically on passes of 3650-4300m. Again, occasionally a 7 or 8 hour day, but usually 5 or 6 hours. A long way from any road!

Challenging / Strenuous

Only one of our treks, "A Himalayan Summit" fully merits this grade. This is purely on account of its altitude, 6000m. Given the time for acclimatization, this is well within the grasp of the fit and healthy.

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