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 customs 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 manage 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.

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 Upper Dolpo Trek?

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.

Local people of dolpo
The Face of Upper Dolpo People
Days ItineraryAltitude in MetersDistance
1.Kathmandu – Nepalgunj150 1h00
2.Nepalgunj – Juphal then trek to Dunai2170 3h00
3.Dunai – Chhepka2660 6h00
4.Chhepka – Jarana Hotel 31706h30
5.Trek to Phoksundo Lake3660 4h00
6.Acclimatization Day!
7.Phoksundo Lake to River Bed Camp3660 6h00
8.Trek to Kang – La High Camp4120 6h30
9.High Camp to Shey Gompa via Kang – La Pass (5360 m)44006h00
10.Rest day! Explore Crystal mountain
11.Trek to Numagung via Shey – La 500042006h30
12.Numagung to Saldang3970 3h30
13.Trek to Chhore Gaon4230 5h00
14.Chhore Gaon to Jeng – La Phedi 4370 5h00
15.Trek to Yak Kharka via Jeng – La Pass (5170 m)42006h00
16.Yak Kharka to Dho Tarap 39003h00
17.Rest day!
18.Trek to Niwar Pani 26006h30
19.Niwar Pani to Shahar Tara2170 6h00
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 Days Camping Experience in Upper Dolpo Trek

The permit cost of Upper Dolpo is $500 per person for ten days and an additional $50 per person per day beyond ten days. It obtains from the immigration department and applies through the registered trekking agency — similarly, the fees of guides and porters range from $22 to $45 per day.

For the recent changes in visa and trekking permits 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, and others. Generally, the Upper Dolpo Trekking package begins from $3500 and may price up to $5500 depending on the duration of your trip, the number of groups, and the Upper Dolpo trekking package you choose.

The price includes accommodation, meals, a guide, crew members, and domestic airfare in the Upper Dolpo Trekking package.

When to trek to Upper Dolpo?

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 Himalayans, high passes, and exhausting landscapes. You so 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.

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 trailside; 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 marking 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?

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. Here are training and preparation tips to help you prepare for Upper Dolpo Trek.

Does It Safe to 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 either the Phoksundo Valley or Tarap Valley from Juphal. Though 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.

Upper Dolpo Trek Difficulty

Some FAQs for Upper Dolpo Trek

How much does it cost to Upper Dolpo?

The Upper Dolpo Trek cost may differ depending on the services, the number of groups, and your chosen trip duration. But we offer an all-inclusive $3800 per person for Upper Dolpo Trek.

How Long Does the Upper Dolpo Trek?

There are variant itineraries for Upper Dolpo. Usually, it takes 22 to 26 days to complete the entire circuit.

What is the difficulty level of Upper Dolpo Trek?

Trek to Upper Dolpo is more challenging. It requires walking 4 to 9 hours a day and crossing over 5000 meters of several high passes. Thus, you should have the excellent physical condition and mountain experience.

What are the attractions of Upper Dolpo Trek?

The attractions of the Upper Dolpo are:
Trekking around the Shey-Phoksundo National Park
The deepest lake in Nepal, the Phoksundo Lake
Bon culture and monasteries
Wonderous camping experience along with the picturesque alpine deserts.

What is the best time to trek to Upper Dolpo?

The best time to trek to Upper Dolpo is from April to October. In April, some passes will not open but still possible to make the circuits with proper gears. The rainy season (July to September) is ideal for the Upper Dolpo 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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