The Secret of Upper Dolpo That No One is Talking About
Upper Dolpo

If you’re looking to experience something that no one else in the world has and no one has ever seen, then you’ll want to look into the realm of Upper Dolpo, Nepal. It’s a landlocked mountain range deep in the mountains of Nepal that only a few brave souls have ever visited.

But it’s not hard to imagine why the area hasn’t been explored yet. With a remote landscape filled with hidden passes, peaks, and valleys, the Upper Dolpo region is home to some of the world’s last and most pristine ecosystems.

It’s an untouched wilderness where the snowcapped Himalayas meet the lowlands of the Terai. As a result, Upper Dolpo is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including tigers, bears, snow leopards, pheasants, wild asses, yaks, ibexes, and antelopes. 

An Upper Dolpo Trek in Nepal is one of the most rewarding adventures. And it’s a secret no one talks about! But now, I’ll show you why and how to get the best experience possible for yourself…

Why this secret is a must-know for anyone looking for adventure and connection in Nepal

The Himalayas are one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. There’s also the fact that many people believe the Himalayas is a place of magic and mystery. But the truth is, the Nepali mountains are anything but inaccessible. They’re easily accessible by plane or trekking through the high passes and valleys that wind throughout the region.

On a trek to Upper Dolpo in Nepal, you will feel like being in the wilderness, even though green fields and rolling hills surround you because you’ll live in caves and huts. The people here are remote and unspoiled. There’s a lot of love in Upper Dolpo. 

There’s no better way to meet new people than through adventure travel. Whether you’re seeking a little alone time with nature or you want to explore places you may never have thought possible, a trip into the unknown is guaranteed to open you up to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences. In Upper Dolpo, Nepal, there’s no better place to find adventure than the remote villages in the Himalayas.

The benefits of getting lost in Upper Dolpo

A saying in Tibetan Buddhism goes like this: “We don’t die; we just get lost in the process.” There are many benefits to the “getting lost” approach to travel, especially for those seeking to experience remote destinations. It provides the chance to meet and connect with locals, get immersed in the culture, and share the local ways of life. This is an opportunity to become part of the community, and there’s no better way to feel part of the culture than by being immersed in it.

Bon monastery in Upper Dolpo
Monastery at Saldang

If you want to experience the beauty of the Upper Dolpo region in Nepal, but don’t know what to do there, try getting lost. The Himalayan area in western Nepal is remote and sparsely populated. Its people rely on subsistence farming and hunting to survive. The rugged landscape and long winters make travel to the region challenging and dangerous. The area is accessible only by foot or yak.

The Secret of Upper Dolpo

Upper Dolpo is an excellent place for those who love adventure but don’t want to spend much time traveling. Many people visit Upper Dolpo to see the fantastic scenery. You can hike through the lush valleys, cross high passes and enjoy many breathtaking views. You can also trek through many different villages and towns.

There are many things to see here, and you can learn about local traditions. In addition, you can meet some friendly Nepalese people. The locals are pretty nice and happy to share their experiences with foreigners.

Shey Phoksundo Lake
Shey Phoksundo Lake

You can visit monasteries and see ancient relics and artifacts. It is a special place. You will find that the people there have an open mind and are quite welcoming. They enjoy meeting new people and have a good sense of humor. It is a great place to stay; you will feel you are away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. There is no reason not to go to Upper Dolpo!

“What makes Upper Dolpo unique and interesting is that it’s just so different from everything else in Nepal,” says Zara Balfour of Snowland Journeys. “It’s off the beaten path and off the map.” Even if you’re not interested in hiking through remote mountains, Upper Dolpo offers something for everyone.

Why Upper Dolpo Is So Unique and Intriguing 

Nevertheless, Dolpo remains primarily undeveloped and remote, a lesser-known tourist destination in Nepal. At 17,000 feet, you can expect to see the Himalayas in full glory from the village, and the air is thin and clean. But it doesn’t take a mountain climb to experience the magic of Dolpo.

There are plenty of opportunities to visit the region, whether remote villages, monasteries, or ancient rock paintings. Moreover, the people of Dolpo are some of the most friendly and hospitable people you’ll ever meet. 

The landscape of the Dolpo region is vast, and even if a traveler visits a handful of villages, they may never see the same view twice. This is especially true in the high-altitude region of Upper Dolpo, where the landscape changes so quickly and dramatically.

The trekkers must hike through endless mountains, deep river valleys, and brave snow-filled passes. But it also has a rich culture, beautiful scenery, and profound spiritual history.

“Upper Dolpo” refers to a place in Tibet, but this remote corner of the country has little known about it. You’ve likely seen its pictures and videos on social media, even if you’ve never been there. Upper Dolpo is a region in the Himalayas between Nepal and Tibet.

It is mainly isolated, cut off from civilization by the high peaks surrounding it. However, the area is home to several unique communities, including the Tarap Valley people. While it’s easy to say that Upper Dolpo is an undiscovered gem, the reality is that this remote place is less-traveled than the region. 

How to Get Lost in Upper Dolpo 

You’ve probably read about this remote part of Nepal on blogs or seen pictures of people traveling there online. You may even be thinking about it yourself. So how does one go there? Well, it’s expensive, rugged, and restricted.

But I don’t want to give you the impression that getting it is impossible. On the contrary, with some planning and preparation, you can see, breathe, and taste the Himalayas.

It takes at least three weeks, and it’s expensive. The trek to Upper Dolpo requires patience, determination, and stamina. Most travelers fly into Nepalgunj and take a flight to Juphal, where they meet up with the trailhead for Upper Dolpo.

Once on the trail, they trek into the mountains, often for days, and pass through villages. Some stay in the villages, but others continue to the town of Dho Tarap and Upper Dolpo. 

  • Head up the mountain to meet nomadic tribespeople who have lived in the region for generations.
  • Hike to a yak pasture where wild yaks graze beside a Tibetan monastery.
  • Swim in a glacial lake and get baptized above a waterfall.
  • Trek through the snow-covered Himalayas.
  • Discover the monasteries and artistic villages of the Dolpo region.  

The Gateway to Upper Dolpo

Dolpo region has two regions called the Upper Dolpo and the Lower Dolpo. The Upper Dolpo comprises an isolated desert area, heavily Tibetan-Buddhist. Simultaneously, the Lower Dolpo contains a mixture of Buddhist and Hindu villages, dense forests, and high mountains; although wild, remote, and challenging, trekking in the Upper and Lower Dolpo is highly worthwhile.

Upper Dolpo Nepal
Yaks graze next to a Tibetan monastery.

Dolpo has several variations and hiking trails, some traversing to Mustang, neighboring districts in the east, or Jumla in the south. Juphal, Beni, and Jumla (Jumla district) generally serve as starting points for most Dolpo treks. In addition, the two airports have Juphal and Jumla.

Best time to go to Upper Dolpo

The favorable seasons for hiking in the Upper Dolpa–fall (October-At, the beginning of November) and spring (April-May) are good hiking times. Furthermore, upper Dolpo is one of the best areas for the monsoon, like Upper Mustang, since it’s primarily dry as it lies behind the mountains in the rain shadow.

Reaching Upper Dolpo during the monsoon rains can be challenging, but the hike is excellent once in summer. The Upper Dolpo Trek is one of the best trekking during the monsoon season—the wanderers seeking a windedness experience within the Dolpo region. The Lower and Upper Dolpo Trek would be the best option, providing a camping experience.

Accommodation: Amazing Camping Experiences

One of Nepal’s most unforgettable experiences is camping underneath the stars after a day of trekking in spectacular Mountain landscapes. Camping is a great way to go off the beaten track and access Nepal’s remote areas where infrastructure is lacking.

You will have a unique experience and enjoy the perspectives and tails only a few pedestrians can see. It is the nearest to most people’s idea of a wilderness adventure.

In the past, Dolpo has seen fewer trekkers and tourists than other regions of Nepal. As a result, there are just a few settlements with lodges and teahouses. These are mainly in Juphal, Dunai, and Upper Dolpo parts along the route to/from Phoksundo.

The tea houses in Dolpo are comfortable but much more fundamental than their counterparts in the regions of Annapurna and Everest. Thus, almost any trek (except to and from Phoksundo Lake) is a camping trek.

Although this may contribute to the challenging trek, it gives much more freedom to choose where to stay.

You may also like to read the Dolpo Region: The hidden trails and daring itineraries for the variants trekking trials.


The health posts in Dolpo have few or many since they are remote and robust. There is some coverage of mobile telephones in several parts of the district, but it isn’t always reliable. Helicopters have rescued insurance-covered travelers in cases of emergency.

To Sum Up

The main reason is that the region has been under-explored and under-visited for several years. A few adventure seekers still want to find the area’s hidden gems. But most are afraid to enter Upper Dolpo because of the unpredictable weather and the fact that the region is not connected to the rest of Nepal.

Despite all the obstacles, the area still holds a lot of potential. I believe we will see many more travelers discovering the beauty of Upper Dolpo in the coming years. 

If you want to trek to Upper Dolpo, contact us and let us know about your upcoming trip!

About Author

Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.


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