Lower Dolpo Trekking - 18 Days

Trek Route Summary

Strenuous to Challenging
Maximum elevation:
Destination :
Region :
Lower Dolpo Region
Activity :
Dolpo Treks
Duration :
18 Days
Group Size :
Min 02 and Max 10 (For solo, we offer a private package)
Nature of Trek :
Lodge to Lodge and Camping Trekking
Best Season :
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November
Activity Per Day :
About 6-7 hrs walking
Transportation :
Private Transportation (Airport-Kathmandu Hotel- Kathmandu Airport) and Flight (Kathmandu- Nepalgunj-Jhupal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu)
Accommodation :
Hotel in Kathmandu, Local Lodge / Teahouse / Camping during the trek
Start / End Point :
Kathmandu / Kathmandu
Required Permits :
Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit (RAP) and Shey-Phoksundo National Park Permit
Attractions :
Kathmandu (World Heritage Sites), Nepalgunj, Jhupal, Dunai, Nawarpani, Dho Tarap, Numa La Pass, Yak Kharka, Shey Phoksundo Lake

Trip Highlight

  • Ramble via desolate, striking landscapes of the trans-Himalayan Mountains
  • Admire the unsurpassed exquisiteness of the holy Phoksundo Lake, with its enchanting blue and emerald green colors
  • Cross high passes above 5000 meters with spectacular views over the snow-capped Himalaya
  • Have encounters with villagers- direct descendants of the Tibetans, caravans, and yak herds
  • Witness the highest waterfall- the Phoksundo Waterfall
  • Chance to see the snow leopard, blue sheep, musk deer, and monkeys
  • Sleep in authentic, small Buddhist villages and camp in amazing spots amidst the snowcapped mountains
  • Encounter authentic Tibetan Buddhism and Bonpo culture

Trip Overview

Lower Dolpo Trekking is an ideal destination for the adventurers seeking an off-beaten-path experience that leads you via mystical Shangri-La, to the land of regal mountains, emerald lakes, and ancient monasteries. Opened for trekking in 1989, Lower Dolpo provides a natural as well as a culturally lush destination for the trekkers.

The trek to the most isolated and remote part of the Mid-Western Region of this Himalayan country is especially fitting for the high altitude trekkers, seeking adventure.

A courageous route of Lower Dolpo requires prior hiking and trekking experience for the trekkers. Pursuing this route, via the rain shadow area, comprises breathtaking sceneries.

Phoksundo Lake via Chepka and tiny Bon Po settlements is refreshing, having an open camping place with pristine views of the Lake and its vicinity.It is surrounded by the Bon Po religious people; down there Ringmo village offers a different outline and design.

Of course, the trail crosses a couple of high passes i.e. Baga La (5,190) m and Numa La (5,159 m). While crossing the Numa La and Baga La Pass, take out your camera to arrest the stunning Himalayas of Dhaulagiri and the spreading Tibetan white peaks.

The journey embarks via diverse semi-deserted lands combined with heavily wooded path filled with pine, rhododendrons, bamboo, and juniper trees along with trails made up of huge meadows, brown landscape, and terraced colorful fields.

Admiring the beautiful rain shadow landscape of the Himalayas, you also enter the beautiful Shey Phoksundo National Park, inhabited by endangered animals like blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, and several others. During summer, we can see the caravans of yaks and sheep heading towards their destination. During summer, we can see the caravans of yaks and sheep heading towards their destination.

Trekkers can witness centuries’ antique settlements, culture, and traditional values in Dolpa. It seems time has stood still in Dolpa for centuries. Dolpa is still very far-flung and remote than the rest of the country because up until it is untouched by the roadway in most of the places. This is why the ancient culture and the impeccable beauty of the region are very much intact.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlight Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu (1350m) Kathmandu
Day 2 Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly to Nepalgunj (140m) Nepalgunj
Day 4 Nepalgunj - Juphal (2475 m) Flight, then walk to Dunai (2140 m) Dunai
Day 5 Trek from Dunai to Tarakot (2,540 m) Tarakot
Day 6 Trek from Tarakot to Laini (3,590m) Laini
Day 7 Trek from Tarakot to Nawarpani (3,545m) Nawarpani
Day 8 Trek from Nawarpani to Dho Tarap (4,090m) Dho Tarap
Day 9 An acclimatization day at Dho Tarap Dho Tarap
Day 10 Trek from Dho Tarap of Numa La Base Camp (4350m) Numa La Base Camp
Day 11 Numala Base Camp (4440 m) to Danigar (4631 m) via the Numa La Pass (5318 m) Danigar
Day 12 Danigar (4631m) to Yak Kharka (3982m) via the Baga La Pass (5190 m) Yak Kharka
Day 13 Yak Kharka (3982 m) to Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake (3733 m) Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake
Day 14 Phoksundo Lake (3733 m) to Chhepka (2838 m) via Rechi (2940 m) Chhepka
Day 15 Chhepka (2838 m) to Juphal (2475 m) Juphal
Day 16 Juphal- Fly to Nepalgunj —afternoon flight back to Kathmandu(1350m) Kathmandu
Day 17 Leisure day in Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 18 Farewell

Detailed Itinerary

Open All Days

Upon your arrival at TIA- Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted and welcomed by one of the representatives of Holy Mountain Treks. You will then be transferred to your hotel and further programs and planes will be explained to you by the representative. You may check into your hotel and relax the rest of the time.

Accomodation:Kathmandu Sunny Hotel
Overnight at:Kathmandu

Today you shall have a guided tour to four of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu – Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Swayambhu, and Boudhanath.  The journey7 commences from Swyambhunath Stupa( popularly called Monkey Temple). Swayambhu means “the self-existent” owns a large Stupa, different temples, and antique art and architecture around.

The journey continues towards Kathmandu Durbar Square. It holds the Durbar periphery, a large temple of Kastamandapa, Kumari House, several temples, and other historical monuments. It was the royal palace of the then medieval kings who ruled over the then Kathmandu (so-called Nepal) for many years.

You then will move to Boudhanath. Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. The stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in the world. The area of Boudhnath is also famous for numerous Tibetan monasteries.

An ultimate shrine for today’s trip will be Pashupatinath Temple-a sacred lingam, or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva and is one of the four most important religious shrines in Asia for Shiva believers. The cremate place alongside Pashupati and on the banks of the Bagmati River is a famous funeral site for the Hindus.

 We arrange your trekking permits and other necessary formalities needed for the trek on the same day. There will be a meeting in the evening for final trek preparation. You can buy needed gear and equipment from the shops nearby.

Accomodation:Kathmandu Sunny Hotel
Overnight at:Kathmandu

After a nutritious breakfast in your hotel, we move to the Airport for a scenic flight for Nepalgunj. Nepaljung is the hottest place in Nepal lies in the south-western part of the country. The air travel will be an hour-long during which you can enjoy the beautiful view of lush hills with mountains in the backdrop and finally green meadows of Terai.

Landing Nepalgunj, we move to our hotel. A reminder of the time can be spent visiting the city or the Bageshwori Temple riding cycle rickshaw.  

Overnight at:Nepalgunj

After an early meal, we board a plane for Jhupal airport. The flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal takes about 35 minutes and the airplane goes over steep mountain ridges and beautiful valleys. We shall have an amazing sight of snow-capped mountains from the airplane. The Juphal Airport is just a gravel airstrip amidst the mountains, which assures a brilliant landing.

We are entering a completely different world now. From a hot city in the plains, you will have arrived in a small mountain village, situated in the midst of the Himalaya, breathing in crispy cold air.

From Juphal, you will walk down over a small path among fields with wheat and vegetables to the Thuli Bheri River, which you’ll follow further on to Dunai.

Walking Hours:2-2:30
Altitude:2,140 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Dunai

Following the upstream trail that banks Bheri River, we head towards Tarakot today. The journey transverse via the leveled path filled with beautiful landscapes in the background to reach Tarakot.

En-route we come across deep gorges, hanging bridges, and isolated villages as we climb over the hill. As we continue to trek further, we are greeted with dry stones and cultivating the colorful terraced field of Tarakot, which is an old fortress town located on a hillock to the south of Bheri River.

Walking Hours:5-6
Altitude:2,540 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Tarakot

Our journey continues to Laini today which approximately takes 6 hours to reach. Laini is a small meadow elevated at 3,160m above the sea level. Laini is a former trial construction camp and still, you can find seasonal teahouses here. Five minutes’ walk from Laini, we will reach a small waterfall, where we can enjoy the fresh cold water coming from the mountains.

Walking Hours:6-7
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Laini

Our journey continues following the Tarap River Gorge, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk becomes quite exciting as the valley becomes a narrow gorge that in some places, it can be jumped from one side to another.

From there, we descend to Chyungur Khola. Sometimes the path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. Few hours walk and we reach Nawarpani.

Walking Hours:5-6
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Nawarpani

Leaving Nawarpani, the terrain turns more barren. We shall walk mostly on the path surrounded by the high rocks that tower above on both sides. The blue ships can be spotted on those barren lands. If you are really lucky, you might even spot a Snow Leopard.

The trail is beautifully carved out of the rock itself. The journey takes you via naturally engraved tunnels. Further on, the trail climbs to another small pass, after which the valley suddenly widens. Passing many Mani walls and small Chortens, you will finally reach Dho Tarap.

Walking Hours:7-8
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Dho Tarap

We shall sights the beautiful valley of Dho Tarap, once a significant cultural and political center of Dolpo. Dho and Tarap are popularly known as the highest altitude human settlement in the world.

Here are some monasteries and leftovers that date back to pre-Buddhist times. Here, people who bear a resemblance to very closely the Khampas of Tibet follow the animistic religion Bon Po as well as Buddhism. From here you can have awe-inspiring views of western mountains and the magical Shey Phoksundo Lake.

You can enjoy the experience of yak caravans and the warm smiles of people unknown to the modern world. Traveling in Dho Tarap will give you truly a primitive experience.

Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Dho Tarap

Keeping the Tarap Chu River aside, we move towards Numa La Base Camp. Initially, we ascend to Tokyu- a traditional village with graceful Kani gait and antique settlements. From here, we cross a bridge to Khanger and head northwest direction of the main trail. Continuing the journey following the rugged trail, we reach Numa La Base Camp.

Walking Hours:4-5
Altitude:4,350 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Numa La Base Camp

An adventurous day is ahead. Beginning early morning (between4-6), we move towards the pass. In the morning the weather generally is favorable which makes the crossing of the pass more comfortable and safer. En-route, you can have a picturesque view of the mountain ranges from the pass, as later in the day- clouds tend to cover the peaks.

After 3 hours’ ascend, we reach the Numa La at 5318 meters. Although the altitude may influence your journey, it is definitely worth it after the completion. We shall have stunning views from the pass of countless snowcapped mountain peaks.

It’s a long and strenuous climb of about 3 hours to the Numa La at 5318 meters. The altitude makes you go slow and you get out of breath quickly. But it’s definitely worth it. On a clear day, you can have stunning views from the pass of countless snowcapped mountain peaks.

 Mt. Dhaulagiri towers impressively on the right of the High Pass. You can even witness the Annapurna and the Manaslu Ranges, the Shey Shikar (6139 m), the Kanjirowa Himal (6883 m), and their neighboring peaks.

After the pass, you will go down precipitously for about an hour. Then the path becomes pretty leveled out and later climbs slowly but steadily again for about an hour further on. As the river is going down quickly, you will find yourself soon high above the river.

After a pair of turns, you will turn up at a pasture, which is the campsite for today- Danigar (4631 m). It’s an amazing spot close to the river (Panklanga Khola). To the south, the gorgeous snowcapped Norbung Kang (6085 m) towers high above the encampment. On the other side of the river there are high pastures, which are often used by yaks to graze.

Walking Hours:6-7
Altitude:5,318 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at: Danigar

We have another pass ahead. It means there is one more thrilling experience to face today. Again, we commence our journey as early as possible. The trail continues via the other side of the Panklanga Khola and climbs appealing abrupt, leaving twisting over the slopes.

Soon, we shall find ourselves high above the river. Walking approximately 2 hours from the camp, we will arrive at the high camp, which is very close to the pass. From here, you have an excellent view of the Norbung Kang and the Baga La Range.

Pretty soon after the high camp, you can observe the last stretch of the path to the pass, climbing very gradually in a half-circle over the slope to Baga La (5190 m). From the pass, you have a splendid view of many snowcapped mountains including the Kanjirowa Himal and Shey Shikhar. In the early spring, you may encounter snow heaps along the pass.

Enjoying the views from the top, we begin our downward hiking. As the trail is a bit steep and icy, it can be slippery. Passing the large rock and stunning scenery we arrive at green bushes and a bit later, even trees.

 Below you can see green meadows in the distance. The sight is beautiful and offers a different view after multi-days’ trekking on a landscape without any trees. Besides, you will see a couple of beautiful waterfalls along the way as well.

Gradually walking via flat and easy walking, we reach Yak Kharka (3982 m), another beautiful place to camp. You will have a magnificent view of the imposing Kanjirowa Himal (6612 m).  In spring, we can sightsee different flowers around.

Walking Hours:6-7
Altitude:5,190 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Yak Kharka

A short hike is ahead. Pretty soon after leaving Yak Kharka, the path starts to climb high on the slope, and the river (Maduwa Khola) appears soon far below you. The path passes several ups and downs and stays level sometimes; that is what they call “Nepali Flat”. The path is beautifully carved out of the rocks and leads to a small pass.

After the pass, the path goes through a pine forest. If you follow the alternative route from the path soon after entering the forest and go to the left to the edge of the ridge, you can observe a nice waterfall.

Walking through some beautiful pine forests and meadows, you can hear bird songs filling up the dulcet in the air. Leaving the forest, you will cross a small bridge from which you will climb in a couple of minutes to Ringmo

Walking Hours:2:30-3
Altitude:3,733 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Ringmo/Phoksundo Lake

After a wholesome breakfast at our tented camp, we head towards Rechi. We shall pass through beautiful pine forests, with some bushes, birches, and other broad-leaved trees mixed in. Leaving Rechi, the path is rather flat at first but soon climbs steeply up the hill. Soon you will see the river far below you. Continuing the journey, we arrive at Chhepka and spend overnight there.

Walking Hours:7-8
Altitude:2,838 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Chhepka

 After the first meal at our camp, we leave Chhepka and head towards Juphal. We pass the villages of Shyanta and Kageni. From Shyanta, we march via a forested path that leads us to the check post of Shey Phoksundo National Park.

Then we come across the metal suspension bridge over Dhim Khola and making the way to Juphal, trekking along the narrow path following the beautiful fields, terraces, and landscapes. We conclude our epic journey and check in the teahouse for our overnight stay.

Walking Hours:6-7
Altitude:2,475 m
Accomodation:Tented Camp
Meals:B, L, D
Overnight at:Juphal

Catching an early flight, fly to Nepalgunj. Having our brunch there, we fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu, we transfer you to the hotel and give you the rest of the day to yourself to relax and rest. Later in the evening, you can try out the local eateries in the capital city.

Accomodation:kathmandu Sunny Hotel
Overnight at:Kathmandu

An extra day is scheduled as a leisure day. In case of flight delays or cancellations, you may not reach Kathmandu to fly back to your next destination. This day covers all of them.

If you already are in Kathmandu, you can explore this historic city. Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Chandragiri, Nagarkot hiking are some of the options for exploration. You can buy souvenirs at Thamel, Basantapur, and the old towns of Patan and Bhaktapur to take back home.

Accomodation:kathmandu Sunny Hotel
Overnight at:Kathmandu

You are heading for the next destination today. Approximately three hours before your scheduled flight, one of the representatives of Holy Mountain Treks will take you to the airport from where you will depart.


Price Includes

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private tourist vehicle.
  • Standard twin sharing accommodation in a three-star hotel in Kathmandu; Breakfast included. (4 nights)
  • Twin sharing standard hotel accommodation in Nepalgunj (1 night).
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private tourist vehicle.
  • All your standard Meals are prepared by our expert camping cook and kitchen team during the trek (Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners).
  • Tented accommodation and equipment during the camping trek. (We will provide two-man tents, dining tents, kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent.)
  • The required number of local staff, porters to carry your luggage during the trek.
  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment, and medicine for all staff.
  • Special Trekking Permit and all local conservation fees.
  • Down Jacket and sleeping bag by Holy Mountain treks and tour (which need to be returned after the trek).
  • Flight fare from Kathmandu – Nepalgunj– Juphal – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu including airport departure taxes.
  • Surface transfer from and to Kathmandu.
  • Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees in Kathmandu.
  • All our government taxes, vat, tourist service charges.
  • Official expenses.

Price Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu.
  • Travel insurance which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation. (See the travel insurance page)
  • International airfare
  • Nepal entry visa; you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos).
  • Alcoholic and cold drinks.
  • Personal trekking Equipment (See the trekking equipment page).

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