Upper Dolpo Trekking – A Complete Guide
Upper Dolpo Trekking

In this charming country, the Upper Dolpo Trekking to Shey Gompa is essential to life. It has many age-old Buddhist and Bonpo cultures together with shamanic repercussions. As a result, you have a remarkable impact on the villages, gompas, and individuals you encounter on this trek. The scenes here are more demolished, and the communities are much more disembroiled and unadulterated.

Dolpo is Nepal’s most isolated and least developed area. Although a few geographers and anthropologists had explored the region, the entire site was shut off to hikers until 1989, when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to group trekking tours. The Snow Leopard and the Himalayan Pilgrimage of David Snellgrove added to the person and enthusiasm of Dolpo.

The Upper Dolpo Trek passes various monstrous mountain ranges. It also meets the Lower Dolpo Trek, a tiny territory at one time in its own right. They then made it the connection of Shey Gompa, which combines Saldang and Dho Tarap, yet lesser-known places. Trekking in Upper Dolpo is enthusiastic about the wild, remoteness, and fantastic mountains. But, unfortunately, the people living in exorbitantly outlying districts still have to overlook this sheer truthfulness.

What Is the Upper Dolpo Trek?

Nestled in the remote corners of Nepal, the Upper Dolpo Trek is a hidden gem for adventurous souls. An enchanting upper Dolpo trek offers an unprecedented journey through the unspoiled landscapes. The hike, often touted as a ‘beaten trek,’ immerses oneself in the stark beauty of the Himalayas, where every step echoes the heartbeats of the wilderness. This strenuous trek, while demanding, rewards with an unforgettable experience of high-altitude expeditions and the magnificence of the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

The Upper Dolp Trek paints a vivid canvas of authentic Tibetan culture, making it a feast for cultural enthusiasts. With the lower and upper Dolpo regions offering breathtaking vistas and unique cultural experiences, choosing between lower or upper Dolpo becomes a delightful dilemma.

How to Get to Upper Dolpo?

There are many ways to get Kathmandu to Dolpo. For example, suppose you want to take a long way from Radi, a direct bus to Radi from Kathmandu, and must change the jeep from one place to another to get Dunai. Another option for Kathmandu to Dolpo is a flight to Juphal via Nepaljung. Again, the porters will carry your baggage, and the guide will take proper care of you during the trek.

How long does it take to complete the Upper Dolpo Trek?

Moving away from the serene beauty of Shey Phoksundo National Park, let us delve into the journey of the Upper Dolpo Trek. The enchanting Upper Dolpo trek offers a unique blend of nature and culture and takes 18 to 24 days to complete. The true beauty of the Dolpo region lies in its pristine and unspoiled environment, making the Upper Dolpo Trek an extraordinary journey. This high-altitude expedition takes you off the beaten path, providing an authentic experience of the majestic Himalayan landscape.

The trek’s duration to complete the Upper Dolpo Trek varies according to the expedition’s starting point. For example, if you choose Upper Dolpo Trek, it will take 22 to 24 days to complete the hike, whereas, from Jomsom, it will take around 26 to 30 days. Likewise, if you choose from Jumla via Rara Lake, it will take you the same duration as Jomsom to Upper Dolpo. Now, it is talking about the Upper Dolpo Trek – 22 Days and Upper Dolpo trek itinerary are below.

What would the Upper Dolpo trek itinerary be like?

Local people of dolpo
The Face of Upper Dolpo People

The journey commences from Lower Dolpo and proceeds towards the majestic Upper Dolpo in Nepal. Although the trek can be challenging, the stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains, expansive valleys, and peaceful lakes make it all worthwhile. Despite the high cost of trekking in Upper Dolpo, it offers an authentic opportunity to fully immerse oneself in the pristine beauty of Dolpo, Nepal.

DaysItineraryAltitude in MetersDistance
1.Kathmandu – Nepalgunj1501h00
2.Nepalgunj – Juphal then trek to Dunai21703h00
3.Dunai – Chhepka26606h00
4.Chhepka – Jarana Hotel31706h30
5.Trek to Phoksundo Lake36604h00
6.Acclimatization Day!  
7.Phoksundo Lake to River Bed Camp36606h00
8.Trek to Kang – La High Camp41206h30
9.Rest day! Explore Crystal Mountain44006h00
10.Rest day! Explore Crystal Mountain  
11.Trek to Numagung via Shey – La 500042006h30
12.Numagung to Saldang39703h30
13.Trek to Chhore Gaon42305h00
14.Chhore Gaon to Jeng – La Phedi43705h00
15.Trek to Yak Kharka via Jeng – La Pass (5170 m)42006h00
16.Yak Kharka to Dho Tarap39003h00
17.Rest day!  
18.Trek to Niwar Pani26006h30
19.Niwar Pani to Shahar Tara21706h00
20.Trek to Dunai19704h00
21.Dunai to Juphal  
22.Fly to Nepalgunj, then fly back to KTM.  

What is the price for trekking to Upper Dolpo?

Various Upper Dolpo trek costs depend upon the packages the trekking company offers. The Upper Dolpo trek cost includes the price of flights, food, accommodation, insurance, gear, and the expense of hiring a guide and others.

The airfare from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj costs around $188, while Juphal is $177, respectively. But we advise you to have additional days if the weather does not allow you to fly or for unforeseen causes.

If you have enough time, you may take the route of Upper Dolpo trekking via Radi, with no flight cost applied. There is no option for accommodation; you will have a tent as accommodation during the trekking.

Amazing camping experience in Upper Dolpo Trek
Unique Multi-Camping Experience in Upper Dolpo Trek

To trek in Upper Dolpo, you must obtain a permit from the immigration department through a registered trekking agency. The permit costs $500 per person for ten days and an additional $50 per person per day beyond ten days. The fees for guides and porters range from $22 to $45 daily.

For the recent changes in visa and trekking permit fees, please log on to the official website of the Department of Immigration, Nepal, effective from 17th July 2019.

There might be miscellaneous costs like buying souvenirs from the folks, tipping to guide, crew members, etc. The Upper Dolpo Trekking package ranges from $3500 to $5500 depending on trip duration, group size, and chosen package.

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What Is the Best Time of Year to Go on the Upper Dolpo Trek?

Envision the Upper Dolpo region, nestled in the heart of Dolpo Nepal, at its most enchanting. Wildflowers carpet the ground in vibrant hues, the sun sparkles off the azure waters of Shey Phoksundo National Park, and the air is crisp and clear. The best time to do the Upper Dolpo Trek is during June, July, and August when summer peaks and the weather is most suitable for trekking. This is when you can witness a breathtaking spectacle.

Although the Upper Dolpo Trek may be challenging in colder months, it can still be a thrilling adventure with proper preparations. Trekking during this time allows one to observe a distinct and stunning aspect of Lower and Upper Dolpo.

Watch an Upper Dolpo Trekking video before embarking on this journey to ensure a memorable experience.

Going to Upper Dolpo Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Dolpo region is mainly a rain-shadow area behind the giant Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. It has the splendor of the Himalayas, high passes, and exhausting landscapes. You made it into the Tibetan plateau of the Trans-Himalayan desert. Here are the pros and cons according to the seasons we generally organize. So you may do what is right for you.
Transitioning from the awe-inspiring sights on the Upper Dolpo Trek, let’s now move on to the all-important question of timing.

Spring Season: MAR – APRL – MAY

Trekking in the spring season is ideal anywhere in the world. Flora and Fauna, whatever creature in the universe is dormant all winter, spring back to life, feeding and breeding in warm temperatures. The highland is especially rejuvenating with snow trails; moreover, some passes are not open. Hillsides are green underneath the tree line, and the mostly clear skies mean fewer chances of flight cancellations getting into Juphal – the departure point for the trek.

The scenery during the spring season.

Monsoon season: JUN – JUL – AUG

Trekking during the monsoon season is not ideal all around the world. But Nepal is a country trekkers paradise where intrepid travelers can hike in the summer. The western part of Nepal includes Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, and many other rain-shadow areas. During this time, the high passes are snow-free, the landscapes are verdant, and the trails are well-marked with locals’ footsteps. Unfortunately, there is a high possibility of flight cancellation getting into Juphal due to the cloudy weather and heavy rainfall.

Fall: SEP – OCT -NOV

Perhaps autumn is the best period for trekking in Nepal, especially crowded in Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest regions. After the summer monsoons, the skies are crisp and blue, offering many photoshop moments of the sparkling nature and massif Himalayas. Additionally, the Fall harvest times allow you to mingle with the locals, many tiny villages, and communities on their way to the Upper Dolpo.

How Difficult is the Upper Dolpo Trek?

The Upper Dolpo Trek route takes you through the rough terrain of Shey Phoksundo National Park, famous for its stunning azure-blue lake and breathtaking waterfalls.

Upper Dolpo Trek is a challenging and still lesser-known in Nepal, with around 250 to 750 tourists visiting annually. The name alone indicates that walking to the high mountains may be difficult. It requires walking 5 to 9 hours daily, crossing over 5000 meters, and spending the nights above 4000 meters in several days. However, the journey is feasible for those people who are physically and mentally fit.

Having determined the optimal time to embark on the Upper Dolpo Trek, it’s time to delve into the degree of difficulty awaiting trekkers. The Upper Dolpo Trek is not for the faint-hearted. With a challenging route that winds through the remote wilderness of Dolpo Nepal, it demands resilience and tenacity.

This fascinating journey requires approximately three weeks of strenuous trekking, often at over 5000 meters. Yet, the rewards are extraordinary. As part of the Upper Dolpo Trek, trekkers experience the untouched beauty of both Lower and Upper Dolpo.

What Gear Do I Need for the Upper Dolpo Trek?

Having bravely faced the challenges of the Upper Dolpo Trek, the mind now wanders towards the next step, preparations. Envision the azure skies of Dolpo Nepal as the backdrop to a magical journey for you. The lush green landscapes of the Dolpo region are interrupted only by the snow-capped mountains. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment after completing the enchanting Upper Dolpo Trek.

The Upper Dolpo Trek demands a sturdy gear list. High-quality, cold-weather clothing, like a comfortable pair of trekking boots, is a must. Do not be misled for those who prefer the Lower Dolpo Trek; gear essentials remain the same. A good quality, durable tent, and a suitable sleeping bag are essential.

Remember that the Upper Dolpo trek cost includes a guide – an invaluable resource on this trekking route. Also, remember to use a camera to capture the stunning Shey Phoksundo National Park.

How Do I Prepare for the Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek?

Well, it is one of the questions that are most frequently asked. Only a few individuals make it to the entire Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek via Upper GHT, and most people do a classic Upper Dolpo trekking. You can only get to Upper Dolpo by walking through the Phoksundo Valley or Tarap Valley from Juphal. However, there are certain aspects you need to consider before planning your trekking. It would be best if you were appropriately acclimatized to avoid AMS. Please don’t take altitude sickness lightly, as it can be severe sometimes.

Embark on a journey into the heart of the Upper Dolpo Trek and leave behind all the gear and equipment. Imagine a trail that leads through the pristine landscapes of the Dolpo region, where each step immerses trekkers deeper into the soul of Dolpo Nepal.

Before starting the enchanting Upper Dolpo Trek, it is crucial to have a comprehensive plan in place. It is essential to understand the trekking route, whether one opts for the lower or upper Dolpo.

Those who wish to conquer the Upper Dolpo Trek must prepare themselves physically. Rigorous cardio, strength training, and long-distance walks can help the body adapt to the challenging terrain. Additionally, it is crucial to understand the cost of the Upper Dolpo Trek, which can help prepare for the Upper Dolpo Trek.

What Sights Can I Expect to See on the Upper Dolpo Trek?

As we set aside the question of time, our minds naturally wander to the breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures that await us on the Upper Dolpo Trek. This incredible journey spans approximately 18 to 24 days, offering a demanding and gratifying experience. So, what amazing sights can we expect to encounter on this journey?

Gaze upon the sprawling, unspoiled landscapes of the Upper Dolpo region, where snow-capped peaks play peek-a-boo with the sky. Each step on the Upper Dolpo Trekking route reveals a new vista, from the shimmering turquoise waters of Shey Phoksundo Lake to the stark beauty of the Lower and Upper Dolpo valleys.

Experience the thrill of the Dolpo Trek itineraries under endless skies studded with stars. The charm of the Lower or Upper Dolpo is in its remoteness, away from the tourist crowds. Here, the enchanting beauty of Lower Dolpo Trek unveils a lesser-known Nepal, where the local culture remains untouched by modernity.

Upper Dolpo Trek Difficulty

What Are Some Must-See Spots?

The Upper Dolpo Trek is a must-visit destination, especially after immersing yourself in the rich culture. It offers breathtaking views that are sure to captivate your senses. The trek reveals the stark beauty of the Dolpo Region, offering the thrill of discovery at every turn.

The first marvel to encounter on the trail is the tranquil Shey Phoksundo National Park. Known as the jewel of Dolpo Nepal, its azure lake sparkles like a sapphire set amidst the rugged mountain terrain.
Next, the Lower and Upper Dolpo trails wind through a scenic landscape, making trekking an unforgettable experience. The Lower Dolpo, with its verdant valleys, contrasts beautifully with the arid Upper Dolpo Nepal.

Before you go on this trip, you should also check out the must-see highlights of Upper Dolpo Trek.

The Upper Dolpo Trekking Route offers glimpses of remote hamlets where life remains unchanged for centuries. Immerse in the enchanting beauty and unique culture of the Dolpo region. This unforgettable journey showcases the splendor of Dolpo Nepal, offering trekkers the opportunity to traverse the captivating landscapes of both lower and upper Dolpo.

Whether choosing the Dolpo Region Trek or a more traditional trekking route, one can expect to create memories that last a lifetime. The Upper Dolpo Trek is not just a journey but an experience steeped in culture, adventure, and exploring the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

Upper Dolpo Trekking FAQs

How difficult is Upper Dolpo Trek?

The Upper Dolpo Trek is quite challenging, as it follows a rugged route through the remote wilderness of Dolpo, Nepal. It requires a lot of resilience and tenacity. It’s crucial to understand the level of difficulty that trekkers will face.

How long is Upper Dolpo Trek?

The Upper Dolpo trek is a 21 to 26-day journey that offers a unique mix of nature and culture. This camping trek takes you through the untouched beauty of the Dolpo region, providing an authentic experience of the Himalayan landscape. It’s a high-altitude trek that is off the beaten path, allowing you to immerse yourself in the richness of the area.

How much is the Upper Dolpo trek permit?

The permit for the Upper Dolpo Trek costs $500 per person for ten days. After the initial ten days, there is an additional charge of $50 per person per day. There are also permits for the Lower Dolpo Trek, which cost $20 per week, as well as a Shey Phoksundo National Park Fee of $30.

How much does the Upper Dolpo trek cost?

The cost of trekking in Upper Dolpo can vary depending on different factors. Generally, the total cost can range from $3500 to $5500. This range is affected by things like how long the trip is, the size of the trekking group, and the specific package you choose.

How do I get to Upper Dolpo?

To get from Kathmandu to Dolpo, there are several options. For instance, you can take a direct bus from Kathmandu to Radi and then change to a jeep to reach Dunai. Another option is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Juphal via Nepalgunj. The porters will carry your baggage, and the guide will ensure your safety and well-being during the trek.


I hope you enjoyed our complete guide to Upper Dolpo Trek. Pack your bag and prepare for one of the most beautiful treks. Plan your next trip to Nepal; the Upper Dolpo trek fires up your adrenaline. We are here to help you with Himalayan Exploration Treks.

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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