Lower Dolpo Trek takes you around Nepal's largest Shey-Phoksundo National Park with an area of 3,555 sq. km. In the country of rare and elusive Snow Leopard and herds of Blue Sheep habitats with other mountain wildlife. One of the most fascinating and interesting adventures to experience on Lower Dolpo Trek, located in Nepal Far North West. Where few groups of trekkers often venture into the wildland of Dolpo, enriched with age-old heritage culture and tradition.
Lower Dolpo Trek certainly amazes every trekker, quite different from other parts of Nepal Himalaya
, due to its unique landscapes. Where some of the hidden corners are still to be explored around the undisturbed pristine wilderness. The main highlights of Lower Dolpo Trek, are its beautiful scenery of green to barren arid hills with a snow-capped mountain range. The beauty of the country is unimaginable, where the walk takes you to cross high Numa-La and Baga-La passes. Then reach the wonderful turquoise Phoksundo Lake
, also call Ringmo Lake due to its closeness to the village Ringmo.
An enjoyable adventure for people who loves walking in tranquil and quiet surroundings away from mainstream trekking trails. This trek leads you to off the beaten tracks, on a less-used path visiting lovely villages and the culture. Lower Dolpo Trek begins with a sweeping panoramic flight to land
at Nepal Far South West at Nepalgunj city airport.
After an interesting tour around Kathmandu world heritage sites
, an introduction to the Nepalese way of life and its immense varied cultures. From Nepalgunj taking another connecting flight in a small aircraft to reach Jhupal in Dolpo, where our adventure starts. From Jhupal onward into inner or Lower Dolpo, as the walk takes you to interesting places on reaching Dunai.
The major town and headquarter of the Dolpo region, and from here head west to the historical village of Tarakot. A lovely place, where the old Trans Himalaya Salt Trade and Caravan Route of Nepal to Tibet pass through Tarakot. After Tarakot into wild country entering a narrow river gorge, and then reach a wide green Dho-Tarap River valley. Spending time at Dho Tarap exploring around the village to witness the impressive culture and heritage farm life of the Dolpo people. The trek passes through two high passes, the Numa-La pass, and Baga-La pass.
The passes provide stunning views of the north Annapurna range
, Kanjiroba, and Dhaulagiri Himal
. The other highlights of the trek are stunning glaciers, waterfalls, and Phoksundo Lake (the deepest lake in Nepal). You can also spot blue sheep and snow leopards.
The adventure continues to another interesting Tokyu village, one of the largest villages around the Dolpo area. Herewith is time to enjoy visiting this nice village enriched with immense traditions and colorful culture and a tour of interesting monasteries. Leaving the last village for a few days head towards complete isolation away from human settlements to cross two main passes. Numa-La at 5,195 m, then next adventure over Baga-La 5, 065 m to reach final destinations at Phoksundo Lake.
A haven on earth a grand spectacular spot at 3, 660 m the turquoise lake surrounded by beautiful green hills. Where you can overlook the snow peaks of Kagmara and adjoining mountain range, enjoy a wonderful tour of Ringmo village. Spending a marvelous time at Phoksundo Lake, slowly walk comes to the end of an adventure. A lovely walk through farm villages to reach Dunai and back at Jhupal for a scenic flight to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. After a great remarkable experience on Lower Dolpo Trek and the great service of Hiker Himalaya guides and staff.
Best Time for Lower Dolpo Trek:
March to May longer days with enough sun-light hours, but much cold in the morning, shady areas, and night time. Can get snowed in sometimes at the higher altitudes above 3,000 m high. Next, the best season is autumn from September to November, where days are crystal clear for walks and scenic views.
Cold morning and night time, with an extra wind-chill factor that adds colder, could get snowfall around higher altitudes.
What makes the lower Dolpo Trek Difficult?
The difficulty of the trek depends on the route you take. The total duration of the trek can make it difficult for some people to trek. The trek duration is 17 days and you may have to walk 6 to 7 hours a day. Lower Dolpo trekking falls under high-altitude trekking. In this trek, you will reach an altitude of 5200 meters. So you may have symptoms of Altitude Sickness. The risk from altitude starts at an altitude of 2,500 meters to 3,000 meters. So you should get used to it as much as possible and have more knowledge about altitude sickness.
Here are some symptoms of altitude sickness.
Nausea and vomiting
Feelings of uneasiness
Increased heart rates
Lower Dolpo Trek Permit:
walk in the Lower Dolpo area trek, you have to carry permission to enter the Lower Dolpo Restricted Area. You can get this special permit from the Migration Office. Without this permission, you cannot complete your walk.
The cost of this permit is lower compared to the upper Dolpo permit. You need to pay 20 US$ per person for a week. After that, you need to pay 5 US$ per person for additional days.
Food and Accommodation in Lower Dolpo Trek:
While traveling with the Hiker Himalaya Treks, you experience a huge range of Nepali, Chinese, Continental, Italian, and many local dishes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the package. Your guide will suggest delicious, clean, and special food for each place during your trip. Mountain restaurant owners do not like to order many dishes and want to waste food as they want to cater to many trekkers with limited food. Porters and caravans work hard for a week or so to get food to these places. During this trek, you will usually have breakfast and dinner at the same lodge, and lunch at one of the trailside restaurants on the route.
The tea house is a combination of a guest house, restaurant, and social hangout. Most tea houses have private rooms available, except for high heights where it will only be a dormitory. The lodges are very basic. The rooms are empty with twin beds and very little extra furniture. Blankets are usually provided. There is a large dining room-cum-lounge, heated by a Bukhara stove (an iron cylinder, mounted on a chimney duct, in which a log fire is lit. Unless there is hydroelectricity in the village, the rooms usually do not have electric lights. The dining room usually has solar lights.)
Most teahouses now have electricity to charge small devices - mobile phones and cameras - and may charge less.
Equipment & Packing List for Lower Dolpo Trekking
The following list is a guideline to help you pack for your trekking. The weight limit for your luggage is 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by our porter. However, you are required to carry a small day- pack with your valuables or anything important. We advise you to pack only what is necessary.
Important Items: Airline tickets; Valid passport; 2 extra passport size photos; Photocopy of your passport; Insurance paper; Dollars, Pounds, or Euros in cash for purchasing a Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying at restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks and to purchase your own drinks and gifts; Credit Card (Visa/ Mater Card) for withdrawing cash from cash machines if needs.
For Head: Sun Hat; Bandana or head scarf; Headlamp with extra batteries; Sun Glasses with UV protection.
For Upper Body: Shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves); Lightweight thermal tops; Fleece Jacket or Wool Sweater; Wind Cheater jacket; Down Jacket
For Lower Body: 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms; 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers; 1 pair of waterproof shell pants and 1 pair of hiking trousers.
For Hands: 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves and 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
For Feet: 2 pairs of thin inner socks; 2 pairs of poly or wool socks; 1 pair of Hiking boots (sturdy soles, water-resistant, ankle support); 1 pair of running shoes and/or sandals.
Medical: Your daily taking medicine if any; small personal first aid kit; Aspirin, plasters (band-aids); Sunscreen; lip balms; Anti-diarrhea pills; Anti-headache pills; A cough and/or cold medicine; Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide; Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin.
Other Useful Items: 1 sleeping bag (good to -22 degrees C or 31 degrees F); Rucksack and Travel Bags; 1 large duffel bag, A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables; Small padlocks for duffel- bags; 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional); Digital camera; 2 water bottles (1 liter each); disposable rubbish sacks; Toiletries: 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel; Toothbrush/paste; Multi-purpose soap; Deodorants; Nail clippers; Face and body moisturizer; Tissue /toilet roll; hiking poles, snack food (chocolate/ biscuits); umbrella; reading book or pack of cards (for leisure time during trekking).
Note: mark the item we will provide you in service. If any items are not available in your hometown you can buy them in Trekking Store in Kathmandu before you embark on trekking.
Day 1 : Arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, 1378m :
You will be welcomed at Tribhuwan international airport with a beautiful Nepali greeting "Namaste." Take a rest you might have traveled on the flight for a long time, or you can visit the nightlife of Thamel or visit a local pub and get some chilled beer. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 : Tour around Kathmandu valley:
Kathmandu valley is best known as the "City of Temples" which has several places to visit. Pashupatinath Temple, listed on UNESCO has immense importance among Hindus around the world. Along with Pashupatinath Temple, another center of attraction to visit around Kathmandu valley is Changu Narayan Temple, Bauddhanath, and Swayambhunath temple. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 : Flight to Nepalganj, 150m:
The flight to Nepalgunj will roughly take around an hour. You will be received at the airport by our representative and will be transferred to a hotel. Nepalgunj is an interesting town where you can enjoy the diverse culture, local market, and nearby villages.
Day 4 : Flight to Jhupal (2475m) and Trek to Dunai (2410m): 3 hours:
flight to Jhupal is more than 45 minutes. Jhupal is placed on the foothills, serving stunning views of high peaks Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. The trekking staff will details you on the trip before the trek begins. The next destination is reached shortly after passing through the terraced fields, narrow gorges, and wonderful villages.
Day 5 : Trek to Lingdo (2391 m) 5-6 hrs:
After the morning breakfast, begin trekking to your next destination in Lingdo village. Follow the Tulo Beri River, enjoying the scenic landscapes of the Dolpo district. The trail passes through rocky terrain with blue pine trees. The trail could be difficult due to the rocky terrain and reach Lingdo for an overnight stay.
Day 6 : Trek to Lahini Odar (3370 m) 7 hrs:
With an early start, pass through the Mani walls and Chortens. These artifacts have high importance and deliver a story. You can see the mighty Kang Tokai (6294m), and if you’re lucky, you can see grey monkeys.
The rocky landscape with tiny dots of pine trees is a phenomenal natural painting. Ascend further crossing a big suspension bridge over Tulo Beri River and passing through a lush forest to reach Laina Odar.
Day 7 : Trek to Toltol (3523 m) 6-7 hrs:
After your morning breakfast, follow the trail through the fresh pine forests, ascending further through the ridges and passing through heavy waterfalls, and climb further reaching the hilltop. Next, descend steeply reaching the popular camping site of Tangum. From here, it's an hour hike to Toltol.
Day 8 : Trek to Dho Tarap (4080 m) 6 hrs:
Follow the trail to more barren lands, and no vegetation, pass between the rocky gorges and ridges. Climb over the rocky sharp paths and pass through the valleys which are used for resting caravans. Follow the trail further ahead to reach Dho Tarap.
Day 9 : Trek to Numa-La Phedi Base Camp (4440 m) 4-5 hrs:
Today, you will pass through numerous Gompas until reaching a small settlement of Gakar, the location of the famous Gorje Gompa. Gompas are huge monasteries having high importance. Continuing the trail you pass through Tokyu and ascend towards the Numa-La Phedi Base Camp.
Day 10 : Numa-La Phedi Base Camp (4440 m)-Danigar (4631 m) via Numa-La pass (5238 m) 7 hrs:
After an early breakfast, you will follow the trail leading to the Numa-La pass (5238m). The trail is difficult due to the snowy trail but offers beautiful glacier formations.
You can enjoy the best views of the north Annapurna range, Kanjiroba, and Dhaulagiri Himal. Passing the glaciers, climb a ridge where you can spot blue sheep and snow leopards. The trail reaches Danigar, where you can enjoy the beautiful Phoksundo Lake on the way.
Day 11 : Danigar (4631 m)-Yak Kharka (3860 m) via Baga-La (5190 m) 7 hrs:
After breakfast, you will continue on your trek passing the Baga-La pass. The pass is difficult and tricky due to the steep trail over the loose rocks. The heavy waterfalls fall down on the rocks creating a stunning phenomenon.
You reach the open valley and the trail opens up to a flat surface. Trek further to reach Yak Kharka for an overnight stay.
Day 12 : Yak Kharka (3860 m)-Ringmo village (3641 m) 4 hrs:
After an early start, follow the relatively flat trail to Jhupal. You can savor the amazing views of the mountains as you descend gradually to the valley. After a short climb, you reach the 200m waterfall from Phoksundo Lake.
The spectacular view of the Lake is the biggest highlight of the trek. Follow the trail to Ringmo village for an overnight stay.
Day 13 : Rest at Ringmo village near Phoksundo Lake:
Today, you will explore the region. Take your time to get lost in the beauty and purity of Phoksundo Lake. You can visit Bon Gompa, the most amazing monastery in the region. Overnight stay in Ringmo.
Day 14 : Ringmo (3641 m)-Chhepka (2838 m) 7-8 hrs:
After your breakfast, follow the Phoksundo River, passing through the green valleys. The trail gradually descends into a flat area. En route, you get to enjoy the stunning waterfall of 330m. Follow the trail to reach Chhepka.
Day 15 : Trek to Juphal (2475 m) 6 hrs:
Hike through the beautiful flower fields and small terrace farmed villages. Descend to the Dunai River and a small ascend to Jhupal for overnight stay.
Day 16 : Flight to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu:
The flight to Nepalgunj is around 45 minutes. You will then board the next flight to Kathmandu where you will celebrate your successful completion of the journey.
Day 17 : International Departure:
You will be dropped at the airport, a few hours before your flight. Our representative will help you with the process and bid farewell. As you reach the clouds, remember the amazing journey and the vast memories you’ve collected and you will be willing to come back to Nepal for yet another interesting adventure.