Full of excitement throughout this trip from traditional remote impressive villages, green to barren hills, forest, picturesque landscapes and mountains are the main attraction and highlights of this trip, around Snow Leopard trail, far north west of world’s 07th highest Mt. Dhaulagiri 8,167 m, dramatic variation from sub-tropic -Mediterranean, alpine to arctic climatic zone, daily amazing views of snow capped mountains, visit of turquoise Phoksumdo lake, fascinating traditional mid hills of Thakuri, Dolpa’s & Magar tribe villages and crossing of high scenic passes of Baga la, Saldang-la and Jeng-la of over 5,000 meters high.
Dolpo is culturally rich, diverse in landscape, stunning lakes, high passes and a great wilderness experience. Dolpo Trekking offers magnificently picturesque view of Himalayan Shangri-la. Trekking in Nepal won’t be complete without the amazing view of mountains. Mount Dhaulagiri I (8,167 m-26794 ft) Api Saiphal, Kagmara Himal, Kanjibroba, Mukut Himal are on highlights of white caps. The snow leopard and blue sheep are other features of the attraction in the area.
Dolpo Trekking begins with a scenic flight (50 minutes) to Nepalgunj, located close to the border of India. The flight to Jhuphal (2,320m-7,611.5 ft) will provide magnificent view of the hilly region. After few hours hiking, we will reach to big settlement Dunai (2,850 m-9,350 ft) the districts headquarter of Dolpo. The adventure continues through the forest and deep valley to the stunning Lake Phoksumdo at Ringmo Village. The two nights spending and exploring the village will acclimatize. This lovely place offers spectacular view of surrounding natures.
The adventurous part of Dolpo trekking starts from here. Hiking continue to go cross over three high passes Baga-La (5,070 m-16,633.8 ft,), Numa-la (5,190 m-17,027.5 ft) and Jeng-la (5,090 m-16,699.4 ft). After the hard core walking, We descend to the other side of the valley to reach impressive cultural villages Tokyu Gaon. The people here are fascinated by ancient Bon religion and present Buddhism culture and customs similar to Tibetans. We will explore fascinating villages beneath the towering high passes and snow capped peaks. The Dolpo area is well described in the classic novel “Snow Leopard” by Peter Mattessian, he visited in the early 1980’s).
After the amazing time in highland, The Dolpo Trekking returning journey brings to lovely Tarakot village. The village does have a Dzone (fort) from malla regime period, presenting a trading post on the caravan route to Tibet. Following the green river valley will brings back to Dunai and returns to Juphal. We take early morning flight to Nepalganj and another connected flight to Kathmandu.
After the flight and getting refreshed in respective hotels, rendezvous in Kathmandu with other trekking members for trip orientation, where our guide / leader will inform and brief regarding the trek, hotels, do and don’ts with evening group dinner.
Morning after breakfast at time set for the sightseeing tour, our city guide will lead you for few hours to our fascinating heritage and cultural tour places of interest, such as a tour of holy Pashupatinath temple, Boudhanath (Little Tibet), Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) & monasteries, old historical Palaces, courtyard; and then back to hotel after the wonderful tour, afternoon transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for 50 minutes of scenic flight to Far South West of Nepal at Nepalgunj city, a transit place for another flight to Dolpo region. This place is warm with sub tropical temperature and is located close to UP border of India. During flight enjoy a panorama vista with chain of snow capped peaks starting from Kathmandu all the way to Nepalgunj.
From Nepalgunj airport transfer to hotel for overnight stop after driving through this interesting city.
Early morning transfer back to Nepalgunj airport for another short sweeping flight to Jhuphal in Dolpo. During this 30 minute flight take in views of hills dotted with villages and farm fields. Here we meet our trekking staff and porters and then drive to Dunai, a major town and headquarter of all Dolpo region. Afternoon is free to explore the bazaar and observe the local life.
From Dunai start our first day walk of this great adventure. Cross a suspension bridge, climb over the side of Thulo Bheri River valley, and the head to a hill ridge around Phoksumdo valley at 2,499 m-8,198.8 ft. From here look over Kagmara Peak. Our walk leads on a long descend through several spread out smaller villages with many walnut groves. Slowly the walk reaches Dhera, a small winter temporary Sheppard’s settlement. From here we climb to Rahagaon village dominated by Thakuri, a people of strong Hindu religion and culture. The Takuri people reside all over western Nepal where the Khas Nepali language originated from western part of Nepal.
After a refreshing break at Rahagaon, we walk on downhill through dense forested area to reach Ankhe for first overnight camp near the main entrance of Shey Phoksumdo National Park. Afternoon is free to explore this nice place.
After Ankhe, our morning walk begins with short ups and we descend into a forest to reach a river side. We then climb over a ridge on leaving the forested area above the river. Upon reaching a ridge top we walk downhill to the riverbed. Our walk follows upstream to cross a small bridge near Ryajik village. From here we reach our overnight camp near Sulighat village in Sumdu with time fora tour of the quaint and nice small village.
We starting the our morning walk to reach one of the main highlights of this wonderful adventure to Phoksumdo lake. We reach Phokshumdo valley and Pungmo Kholas (streams) confluence. We then cross the west side of Phokshumdo Khola to follow Pungmo Khola on the west bank. From here we walk on a downhill trail into birch and pine forests to reach the upper side of Phokshindo Khola. Then we finally reach in Ringmo village, an interesting traditional Tibetan like village where the Bon and Buddhist culture dominates. From this village onward, houses are mud plastered with chorten and Mani (prayer) walls. From here we take a short trek towards our campsite by the beautiful turquoise colored Phokshindo Lake.
A pleasant and wonderful place for rest day, which is important before the high pass of Kang-la and to other higher areas from here onward. With a leisure morning for short hike to explore the pretty village we can meet the locals with their rich old traditions similar to Tibetans of South West Tibet in culture and religions.
From this beautiful spot, our journey continues to reach other highlights of this trip. As our route leads contouring a rocky shelf over a river bank towards western end of Phoksumdo Lake, which leads to summer grazing field and opens into a vast flood plain of Phokshumdo Khola. We then lead to an uphill climb to cross over Baga-la at 5,070 m-16,633.8 ft, with a steep climb for about 03 hours to reach the top of the pass. The top offers an overwhelming panorama of Phoksumdo lake and Kagmara peaks. After a great scenery, our walk leads to a long downhill to overnight camping at Phedi.
From this camp, our morning walk leads to another pass at Numa-la at 5,190 m-17027.5 ft, the highest spot of this awesome trip. Our walk leads to a 3 hour climb on the nice grassy slopes. Upon reaching the top of Numa-la we encounter impressive views of snow capped mountains from Dhaulagiri mountain range to Kagmara peak and look down at beautiful valleys and surrounding dramatic landscapes. After an enjoyable moment we descend to the base of this high pass. After few hours of a good walk on the gradual path, e reach our overnight camp on the summer pasture fields and meadows.
Our morning walk leads cross the last high pass of this adventure over Jeng-la to reach another gem village Tokyu gaon. A slow climb reaches the top of Jeng-la marked by prayer flags and stone monuments. Here we experience magnificent views of distant Dhaulagiri mountain range and towards west Kagmara, Kanjiboraba Himal. From here our walk leads downhill to another interesting village of Tokyu Gaon, one of the larger villages of inner Dolpo region, a pretty village with monastery which is one of the oldest of this area. The afternoon is free to explore this fascinating village and its monastery. The people of this area belong to both Bon Po and Chaiba sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Mahayana) living together in friendly harmony.
From Tokyugaon village, we start the morning trek by following a downhill path towards the wide green valley of Tarap Chu. Our walk continues passing temporary shelters of Yak herders. After a nice break with great views our walk carries onto Dho Tarap for overnight camp. Upon reaching Dho Tarap we have time to explore this nice village populated mostly with Tibetans origin and Magar hill tribes.
Today will be one of the longest treks of this trip. As the country changes we reach the lower Dolpo area. In the morning we have a moderate walk on gradual path with few up hills and down into a wide valley which narrows into a gorge as the path continues with vegetation of juniper, wild rose, Burberry bushes which are typical in this dry arid landscape around inner high Himalayan of arctic temperate zone. Around here we have an opportunity to see some wild life including herds of blue sheep.
Walk finally reaches a confluence of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, which flows from Tarap River beyond east, originating from the glaciers of North West Dhaulagiri Himalaya range.
After a pleasant trek we come to a wonderful grassy field of summer pasture called Kamekharka for overnight stop.
After few days of camping in complete wilderness in nice grazing fields, today our walk leads back to a small village of Khairgaon walking beside Tarap River and in a deep gorge, mounting above a path built on sheer stony slopes.
As the walk progress into a narrow gorge provides some challenge adding to this adventure to cross over a damaged and broken bridge caused river floods. If it is too dangerous we might cross the icy river on foot. After some excitement on this fine day trek we finally reachKharigaon for overnight camp near by Tarap River
Our walk today leads to another most interesting and exciting village at Tarakot. As our journey continues, we head to the lower side of Dolpo area through Lalberi village and then into tree lines of willow, poplars and junipers. Our walk follows the river downstream to Tarakot village, a picturesque village with neat terraced cultivated fields and an old fortress. This 100 year old village has an interesting history. It existed even before the Gorkha king Shah dynasty. This village was an ancient capital during Malla period and had forts known as Dzong.
Upon reaching Tarakot village, we visit its famous and old Sandul Gompa, standing between the confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu. After an interesting tour of this village, overnight camp is set near a river near to a monastery on the shelf of a grassy plateau, with an interesting solitary tree.
village. We lead to a short distance to a motor road where our remarkable and good trek ends. We take a jeep ride on the rough road, adding another adventure of this trip with a rough ride on this newly built dirt and bumpy road to reach Dunai, a small stop to get refreshed probably with a lunch break. Our drive continues to our last night in Dolpo at Jhuphal for the flight back to Kathmandu. In Jhuphal with last overnight and we party with fellow staff and porters, as they will be driving back all the way to Kathmandu taking at least 2-3 days journey.
Good bye! to all the trekking crews, guides and loyal good porters including the people of this fascinating Dolpo. In the morning we walk to an air filed for a short scenic flight to Nepalgunj. At Nepalgunj we have time to refresh in this warm area. In the afternoon or late morning we catch another flight back to Kathmandu and then transfer to our respective hotels.
This day reserved day in case of flight delay at Jhuphal due to unfavorable weather conditions. On this extra free day you can book for sightseeing tour to visit our interesting cultural heritage around Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. These cities are full of world heritage sites, however, some of them been damaged from recent earthquake.
Today is the last day in Nepal with great memories and amazing experiences, transfer to Tribhuvan International airport for final departure towards homeward bound or to next port of call.
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