17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek Highlights
- You will pass along the way of one of the deepest gorge of Tarap Chu.
- The crossing of two high passes Numa La and Baga La is a great challenge.
- Walk along the dramatic trans-Himalayan landscape which gives you the experience for outdoor adventure trek.
- You will visit some of the oldest monasteries and gain more insight into the Tibetan lifestyle and the Bonpo Culture.
- You will witness changing landscapes and explore the two prime locations: Do Tarap and Ringmo village.
About the 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
The trek offers you the combination of the beautiful forest section, the dramatic lake and the insight to the Tibetan Buddhism culture. This trek takes you through pasturelands, rocky uphill trails, and drylands that sum up the amazing trans- Himalayan trails. The remote area does not promise fulfilling amenities but the hospitality they provide with a welcoming heart is a promising memory.
Do Tarap is a remote valley influenced by pure Tibetan culture and lies east to Phoksundo and South to Shey-gompa. In this trek we make a loop starting from Dunai up to Thulo Bheri to Trap Chu. We go to Shey Phoksundo via Do Tarap and return through a different route which directly descend until you reach Sulighad and then a gradual climb up to reach Jhuphal. The journey includes two high passes along the way Namun La Pass and Baga La pass at a high altitude posing a challenge for you.
Brief Itinerary: 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
Numa La Base Camp
Itinerary: 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
Day 1 - Welcome to Kathmandu
After your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, our representatives will be there to receive you and transfer you to the Hotel. An evening dinner is hosted in the hotel itself and a briefing will be done to get a more in-depth idea about the trek.
Day 2 - Explore around Kathmandu (1400M/4600FT.)
- Kathmandu has a lot to offer, being a religious tolerant headquarters of the nation you can find cultural diversity and harmony amongst people of varying backgrounds. This city is well known for its rich history, culture and architecture offering many temples sprouting across the city of a different culture, belief, and design.
- We will visit the three prominent UNESCO world heritage sights on this day starting with Boudhanath temple, a sacred sanctuary that preaches Buddhism. The light yellow splattered in the dome-shaped temple is draped in colorful prayer flags and filled with peaceful chants from devotees. You can make rounds by turning the circular mani walls in a clockwise direction as a form of worship.
- Pashupatinath temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The temple is a pagoda-style and hundreds of Hindu devotees worshipping the temple will give you more insight on Hinduism. You can observe the cremation ceremony from across the holy river as non- Hindus are prohibited to enter the temple. It will give you an idea about the typical Hindu ritual prevalent in the country.
- Our next stopover will be at Patan Durbar Square where we will also be enjoying our lunch overlooking one of the oldest and finest historical palaces of the Malla Kings in the past. This city of art preserves old relics and craftsmanship that are centuries old and you will visit the Patan museum which tells you more stories about the history and belief itself. After this, we will take you back to the Hotel.
Day 3 - Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (1500m/ 490FT.)
We will take a flight to Nepalgunj, the longest domestic flight available in Nepal. Nepalgunj lies in the western Terai region near the Indian border and Bardia National Park. It is the business center and is a busy area. We can witness the lifestyle of people living in the flat section (Terai) of the country and in the afternoon, we will visit the Bageshwori temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. We will return to the hotel for the night and prepare for the flight the next morning.
Day 4 - Nepalgunj - Juphal to Duna (2000m/6560ft.)
The flight to Jhupal will only take off in the morning (given good weather conditions) and the flight time will take about 35 minutes. We will land on the runaway situated at the top of the hill and we can sense the change in altitude because of the strong winds here. The trek to Dunai begins by descending to the main motorable road below. After the short downhill trek, we will steadily follow the path through small villages beside Bheri River and Roop Ghar to finally reach Dunai, the administrative capital of Dolpo. Here we will rest for the day.
Day 5 - Dunai to Tarakot
The trail will follow towards the eastern trail of the Thulo Bheri River. Then walking further, we will reach near Lawan. There lies a police check post near to the bridge followed by a stretch of fields below Tarakot. Moving on, we will reach our campsite beside the Chhyada Khola (2450m).
Day 6 - Tarakot - Laini
We will begin our day crossing the river and ascending slowly through the fields that offer the view of Putha Himal. The trial lies high above the river, and the slow ascent reaches an altitude of 2670m which then descends slowly to Laisicap (2600m) which is three hours away from Tarakot. Here, before crossing the bridge our Dolpo permit will be checked in the police station. We will then pass through the village of Kanigaon and gompa along the trail that follows a narrow and steep path that will lead us to Laini.
Day 7 - Laini - Nawarpani
We will start with a steep ascent for about an hour to an altitude of 3540m which is marked as a mini pass with lots of prayer flags accompanied by a remarkable view. The path becomes more challenging with a steep gorge that descends to Tilba Khola. We will pass by a few rough stone houses under rocks that offer cave-like accommodation until we reach Nawarpani.
Day 8 - Nawarpani - Do Tarap
We will begin our day by crossing the wooden bridge and a little ahead we will start noticing the change in the scenery with the arid and trans-Himalayan landscape. We will reach Serkam (3870m) which lies on the ridge lined with ancient chortens. It is an abandoned border post In between Nepal and Tibet in the 19th century. We will descend from this altitude to Sishul Khola passing porters caves then gently climb atop a ridge with Mani walls which offers remarkable views. From here, it will take about three hours through the remote village of Lang and Tarap chu to reach Do Tarap.
Day 9 - Explore Do Tarap
It is mandatory to acclimatize here because the altitude is above 4000m starting here. Do Tarap is a village meaning "lower end of the valley" with clusters of stone thatched houses built closely and surrounded by open fields utilized to harvest Barley. We will observe the lifestyle of people living here, go around monasteries or explore surrounding ridge that offers a spectacular view of the village and the landscape as well. The famous monasteries around here are the Ribo Bhumba gompa (1995) and Doro Gompa which both represent artifacts and decors that represent the Bonpo culture.
Day 10 - Do Tarap - Numa La Base Camp
There are not long walking hours today so we will walk exploring the gompas and the crystal Mountain school which is the first serious education project in this remote region. The trail moves up to Gakar village and Chu Magar leading to a diversion of trails that lead to Numa La to the south and the other trail on the northern side directs to Upper Dolpo. After an hour's walk, we will reach the base camp which lies near the riverside valley.
Day 11 - Numa La Base Camp - Pelung Tang
Today we will have to cross the pass by starting a very steep climb to a ridge with several Mani walls and chortens. The route follows a steep ascent up the moraine and after approximately 3 hours of walking, we will reach Numa La pass opening to the exotic Mountain View. Then descend to the rocky valley below with rocks and cliffs along the trail. We will then follow the river that guides us along the U-turn and finally into the blissful pastureland of Pelung Tang.
Day 12 - Pelung Tang - Baga La Pass - Dajok Tang
The difficulty of crossing another pass this day will increase if there is snowfall. The trail follows a slope up the meadow which is the High Camp (4740m) then to the ridge up the moraine and finally atop the pass. Then a steep downhill towards the stream below which gradually leads through numerous waterfalls shooting out from the glacier moraine and a stunning view of the Kagmara peak (5960m).
Day 13 - Dajok Tang - Ringmo
We will be walking through the juniper and pine forest and groves of thorny shrubs. The walk is easier and the trail opens up to a cliffside trail and finally beside the waterfall and into the valley of Ringmo. We will be rewarded with the stunning view of Shey Phoksundo Lake that lies within 10 minutes’ walk.
Day 14 - Explore Ringmo
The success story is yet to be rewarded when we get to explore around the village and the awe-inspiring Shey Phoksundo Lake. The village of Ringmo reflects the Tibetan culture with carved Mani walls and chortens along the narrow alleyways. We can cross a bridge towards the north and go around there to visit some campsites.
The water of the Lake is aquamarine in a color that gives shades of turquoise and the absence of aquatic life in this lake makes it transparent and clear. We can also hike up the Thasung Chholing Gompa, the beautiful monastery dedicated to Bonpo culture that offers a magnificent view of the lake from atop and snow-capped mountains behind it. After exploration, we will rest and enjoy our evening at the Hotel.
Day 15 - Ringmo - Sankta
The trail is downhill that starts steep from Ringmo to Jharna Hotel about three hours and then the steepness gradually lessens with changes in the terrain until we reach Samjhana Hotel. From the strong windy weather, dry and dusty trail we will slowly move into green and thick forest trail. The trail simply follows the Thulo Bheri river that directly flows down from the Lake. After walking we will reach the beautiful village Chhepka, where we will rest a bit and move towards the next stopover, Sankta where we will be staying overnight.
Day 16 - Sankta - Jhupal
The trail is relatively easier on this day with no extreme uphill and downhill slopes. We will move forward slowly leaving behind the forested section into a more open field of Kageni village which has cozy lodges with their little gardens. We will have our lunch here and then advance towards Sulighat and our permit will be checked on the national park entry/exit point in Sulighat. Then, we will cross the army barrack and pass several small villages on the way and finally reach Jhupal.
Day 17 - Jhupal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu
It is important to note that flight from Juphal takes off only in the mornings and if good weather conditions favors us then we will reach Kathmandu via Nepalgunj quickly through a connecting flight. At the airport, our company representatives will be there to pick us up and transfer us to the hotel. We can rest at the hotel or go out for a stroll to the tourist hub (Thamel) in the evening or do shop for souvenirs.
Airport pickup and drop off services
All accommodation during the trek (in lodges and guesthouses)
Two way private transportation between hotel & TIA Airport
Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit
Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Permit
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card fee
All government, Local taxes and official Expenses
A highly experienced, English-speaking trekking guide (8 or above trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porter to help trekkers luggage. (2 trekkers:1 porter "9 kg per trekker max limit")
Coverage of Guides and Porters, Their meals, insurance, salary, lodging, transportation, flight and other necessary equipment
Use of a sleeping bag, down jacket and a duffel bag (in case you don't have them). They have to be returned after the trek.
A first aid kit and basic supplies appropriate for the group size. In a worst case scenario, arrangements of an emergency helicopter evacuation service (to be paid for by your travel insurance). Note: if you require or are taking specific medications it is critical that you discuss this with us prior to your trip departure
Farewell Dinner at the end of the trek
Note: The local tea houses are basic but clean and they do not often have attached bathrooms or hot showers. The price is based on twin share and does not include any extra charge that lodge owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms or hot showers (if these facilities are available) or for battery charging. We can’t know in advance what they may charge for such things in the different lodges along the way, so we prefer to leave this cost out, rather than pass along an estimated charge to you.
International flights to and from Kathmandu; Nepal visa fees and international airport taxes; any excess baggage charges
Comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and emergency rescue / evacuation that covers all of the activities you will undertake during your trip should this be required for any reason (we require this as the minimum insurance cover)
Services and activities not mentioned in the detailed itinerary above (eg additional nights, optional trips and sightseeing tours)
Additional costs or delays caused by out of management control, for example, landslide, weather condition, itinerary modification due to safety concerns, illness, change of government policies, strikes etc.
Excess baggage charges (Limit is 9kg per Person)
Any gear or equipment that you may need to rent/buy - please ask us if you would like any advice about gear to bring/buy/rent
Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival or late departure, early return from the trek.
Personal expense (shopping, snacks, boil bottle water, hot and cold drinks, hot shower, Alcohol, Wi-Fi, telephone call, battery re-charge fee), extra porters etc
Personal clothing and gear
All Accommodation and meals in Kathmandu, before and after we start our journey
Travel insurance which has to cover emergency high-altitude rescue and evacuation compulsory
Personal expenses (eg mineral water/soft drinks/bar bills, entrance/photography fees at monasteries, laundry, telephone calls, postage, donations, extra snacks etc)
Costs incurred due to unforeseen events (eg caused by natural disasters, adverse road conditions / flight delays, labour strikes, fuel shortages, extreme exchange rate changes, etc)
Any extra charge that tea house owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms, or hot showers (if these facilities are available) and charging of batteries
Tips for the guide, and porter (if you have added a porter to help you carry your backpack)
All the costs and expenses which are not listed in "cost includes" will be counted as Excludes
Best Season/Time for 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
The best trekking season for lower Dolpo trek is in spring (End of March-May), Autumn (Mid of September-November) and Summer (June- August).
Spring Season (End of march- May)
During this season, you will find greenery returning to the forest and the landscape of Lower Dolpo is filled with wildflowers. It is warmer during the day and the temperature lies in the range of 2 °C in daytime and 18 °C during the evening/night. It will be easier to trek in this season as the forest will shade your path creating minimal contact with direct sunlight. The days are longer and the mild breeze passing by is refreshing. The skies clear out and provide great visibility and the weather crisis is also less.
Summer Season (June-August)
This is also a great time for trekking in this region because the monsoon here is not that effective. Dolpa falls under the rain shadow area as it lies right below the Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba massifs. Lower altitude receives less rainfall which barely affects the trail. However, in higher elevation, the soil is dry and dusty, but the winds are stronger. The lower forest region becomes livelier and the temperature remains cool. There is mild precipitation and the temperature ranges from 4 °C to 20 °C.
Autumn Season (September-November)
This season also offers a good trek to Shey-Phoksundo as the Mountain View is clear with blues skies, fresh freeze and the forests change colors to light green and pale yellow. The weather becomes mild to warm during daytime and colder as evening approaches. There are very few chances of rainfall because of which you can catch pleasant weather, spectacular views and fewer chances of natural disasters. The minimum to maximum temperature ranges from -2 °C to 16 °C.
Winter Season (December- February)
In winter, the trail freezes with snowfalls. Although it is possible to withstand the temperature and trek during this time, the facilities for lodging are unavailable because the people of Ringmo move to a lower altitude. The village of Ringmo is abandoned with empty locked down houses and the nearest temporary settlement area is Palam which is almost 2.5 hours from Ringmo. However, staying overnight at Palam and making a round trip to Shey Phoksundo in the morning might be possible but not recommended. The lake lies below the Himalayan massifs thus the winter is harsh here with temperatures ranging from -4 °C to 12 °C.
Packing list / Equipment checklist
List of Equipment for 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
It is recommended to carry the basic clothing and accessories needed for the trek. The following belongings are suggested that should be brought, although we understand that our clients have their own preference for clothing, we have listed some useful clothing during the trek. Porters will be carrying the main luggage which should not exceed more than 18kg (one porter will carry two people's luggage, 9 kg for each).
- Headband or Beanie
- Neck Gaiter or Balaclava
- Hat for Sun Protection
- Inner Gloves
- Outer insulated gloves
- Base Layer
- Insulated Jacket
- Outer Layer
- Trekking Shirts/T-Shirt
- Fleece Jacket
- Hard Shell Jacket and Rain Gear
- Base Layer
- Trekking trousers and shorts
- Rain and Windproof Trousers
- Hiking Boots
- Trekking shoes/sandals
- Hiking/Thermal Socks
- Gaiters (not necessary)
- Sleeping bag
Bags and Backpacks
- Duffle bag
Miscellaneous & Accessories
- Trekking Poles
- Head Torch
- Sunscreen/Lip balm/Wipes/Hand Sanitizer/Toiletries
- Reusable Water Bottle or Hydration Bladder
- Small Locks
- Trekking Towel
- Waterproof Ziplock Bags
- Camera/Video Camera/Extra Batteries/ Extra Chargers
- Notebook/Journal and Pen (optional)
- Playing Cards/Book/Kindle (optional)
- Water Purification Tablets
- General Medications
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Blister Plasters
- Durable wallet for travel documents, money & passport
- Favourite snack foods (No more than 2 pounds)
Teahouse accommodation is the classic form of trekking accommodation in the Dolpo region. Along the way to Dolpo trail, most of the tea houses are built and managed by local villagers. These tea houses are specially designed to provide the basic facilities for trekkers to take rest.
Basically, you’ll find twin-basis type of accommodation on the Dolpo trail. Most single rooms have twin beds with some basic furniture like a small table or a chair. Almost all tea houses provide blankets as it will be freezing at night.
Mainly on the lower elevation, most lodges offer western style toilets. As you move higher on the trail you’ll find squat toilet facilities. Showers do not always have hot water and most tea houses charge for the use of hot water.
Documents & Permits needed for 17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek
Dolpo lies next to the border of Tibet which has been a sensitive & restricted area for travellers. Trekking to Lower Dolpo, the permit fee is much cheaper as considered to Upper Dolpo the cost is considerably higher. There are three different types of permits required for trekking in the Upper region. These are:
- Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit
- Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit (Not required for Lower Dolpo)
- Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit (required if you trekking to upper Dolpo region)
Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit
Lower Dolpo Trek Permit would be necessary for both Lower Dolpo and Upper Dolpo Treks.
- It costs USD 20 per person per week plus USD 5 per additional day per person. You can collect your trekking permit from the Department of Immigration before starting your trek to the Lower Dolpo.
Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit:
The Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit is required for both Upper and Lower Dolpo Treks. You can collect the permit at the entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park.
- It cost USD 30 plus 13% VAT for foreigners
- It costs Rs 1000 plus 13% VAT for SAARC nations
- Whereas the cost of the permit for crew members is Rs.25
Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit
The Upper Dolpo Trek permit is required if you are trekking to the Upper Dolpo region.
- USD 500 per person for the first 10 days
- USD 50 per person per day for additional days
There is no doubt that Dolpo Shey Phoksundo Trek is truly one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Nepal. Shey Phuksundo trek is located above 3000mtr & there are no such difficulties on the trails. Since the highest elevation point of the trek is not more than 3800mt, the chances of altitude sickness can be reduced beforehand. We should be more careful about acclimatization hence we have to prepare ourselves before Trek physically and mentally.
If you want to make your trek easier, you can start by exercising before you go for your trek. You can go on day hikes with some uphill/downhill climbs. It will prepare you for the varying route on the trekking trail.
17 Days Lower Dolpo Trek FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the highest altitude of Lower Dolpo Trek?
Lower Dolpo Trek doesn't go higher than 5190m.
How many hours a day do we walk?
On average, you have to walk around 6-8 hours per day. Some days can vary from 4-5 hours a day to just 2-3 hours.
What happens if I get sick or get hurt while trekking?
Basically our guide will take care of this. If it is not too bad we will go down by walking, however in the event of an emergency there usually is access to a telephone line for an evacuation via helicopter.
Will I get the facilities of battery charging & hot shower?
You can bring your charger and charge your batteries during trekking. There is also a facility for hot water, but you may have to pay an extra $1-$2. However, you can find a hot water facility for free at a lower altitude.
I have never gone trekking yet. Is Lower Dolpo Trek for me?
The Lower Dolpo Trek is a moderate to strenuous trek which required stamina & past hiking experience. If you are keen trekkers/walkers who can walk around 4 or 5 hours then this trek is for you.
What is the accommodation like?
The Lower Dolpo Trek is a teahouse trek, which means there are guesthouses in almost every village. However, rest assured that we will try our best to provide you with the best option that meets all of your needs. All teahouse rooms are basic and come with shared bathrooms.
What kind of food can I expect on this trek?
During the tea house trek, lodges will prepare a delicious range of mostly vegetarians such as Pasta, noodles, potatoes, eggs, Daal Bhat, bread, soups, fresh vegetables vary depending on the season.
How much luggage can I take during my trek in Lower Dolpo Trek?
The weight limit for your luggage is 9 kg per trekker, Porters will be assigned to carry your luggage, Two people will be assigned with one porter, combined luggage should not exceed more than 18 kgs. Only carry what is essential.
Are there any communication facilities on the Lower Dolpo Trek tea house?
Normally not! You can get telephone services only in some places.
Can I extend my trek?
Yes, you can. But for this, you have to update us before the trek so that we could manage the itinerary as per your requirement.
How can I use toilets during the trek?
On the trail, you will find the Toilet in the small villages where there are restaurants and tea houses. Most toilets in this region are squat toilets. And in other options prepare to hide behind big rocks and do your business.
Do I need Insurance?
100% Yes! Trekkers need to have traveling insurance which covers the comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and medical treatment costs). Insurance companies in Nepal do not provide traveling insurance for foreigners and the trekkers need to get traveling insurance from one of the international insurance companies.
What is the average size of the group?
Groups can vary between 6 to 16 travelers, who typically are a mix of individuals, couples or friends traveling together who have a shared interest in outdoor adventure and nature.
Where can I exchange my money?
There are a number of registered money exchanges in the streets of Thamel and it's common to find one near your Hotel in Kathmandu.
Are there any ATM’s on the Trekking route?
There will be no ATM on our trekking route. Kathmandu and Pokhara are the only places where you will find an ATM.
- Rates are in US dollars
- Prices are valid for your specified time of travel only
- This is only an offer and no reservations have been confirmed
- Prices are subject to availability
Dear Andeel Akram, The trek to Dolpo takes more days as compared to other trekking destinations in Nepal. Glad to hear that you love the trek and had fun. Thank you for the review.Dookma.com
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