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Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa Trekking

“on the snow leopard trail Nepal far North West “

Activity
Trekking
Trip Destination
Nepal
Trip Location
Dolpo
Trip Basis
On Camping basis
Trip Grade
Moderate to Adventurous
Highest Elevation
5,360 m at Kang-La
Total Trip
Moderate to Adventurous
Season
All season except mid June to August
Highlights
Trekking around far Western Himalaya on the snow leopard trail heading on the North West of massive Dhaulagiri mountainous range, travel from Himalayan sub-tropic – mediterranean-alpine to arctic climate awesome scenery of world’s highest peaks Annapurna-Dhaulagiri & Manaslu visiting the high mid hills villages of Gurung, Dolpo- Bhotias and Magar tribes Nepal’s largest national park visit of Phoksumdo lake and Shey Gompa.
Solukhumbu Treks & Expedition offers an outstanding exotic destination to Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa trek, where you will be surrounded by awesome high peaks within its awesome landscapes from both side of massive Dhaulagiri range from North West to South area.
 
On this trek Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa you can view from Mt. Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) Tukuche Peak (6,920 m) Nilgiri Peaks (7,061m) Annapurna I (8,091m / 26,545ft) Annapurna South (7,219m-23,693ft), Gangapurna (7,455m-24,457ft) and Annapurna III (7,555m-24,787ft) to Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fish-tail) with 08th highest Mt. Manaslu 8,163 m, range of mountains with Api and Saiphal including Kagmara Himal.
 
Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa at present getting popular due to its remoteness and on the Phuksumdo Lake joining the Upper and Lower Dolpo route from Dunai and Jhupal town onwards and due to its accessibility with short flight from Nepalgunj and then concluding at Jhupal and then to Nepalgunj for another flight back to Kathmandu.
Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa is moderate to adventurous and as well demanding where all experience trekkers and hikers can join in this wonderful walking journey and the time duration taking just a little more 2 weeks in the comfort of warm cozy camping tents along the route. 
 
Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa rated as one of the tough and scenic trekking among other trekking destination, and one of the most unique journeys leading from warm subtropical of Nepalgunj to mediterranean of mid hills to arctic landscapes and climate zone, all these drastic change in temperature found only in Himalayan region of Nepal, this makes a drastic change in vegetations and its awesome scenery.
 
This trek leads through many traditional Magar, Thakuri (Chettri) and Dolpo’s Bhotia villages famous as traders with Tibet since many centuries and the route of this trek lies on the old Trans Himalayan Trade Route to Tibet.
 
This remarkable trek starts from with a scenic flight to southern city at Nepalgunj for transit with another short flight to Jhupal in Dolpo area near Dunai far North West Nepal and then over to scenic picturesque turquoise Phokshumdo lake at near Ringmo village and then heading higher to Shey Gompa via the high pass of Kang-La 5,360 m the highest point of this awesome trip and slowly with scenic walk reaching at Crystal monastery at Shey Gompa with enough time for exploration and then heading back to Jhupal via an alternative route towards Saldang, Tokyu, Tarakot and then at Dunai for short drive to Jhupal and then fly back to Kathmandu through Nepalgunj.
 
At Kathmandu with sightseeing tour and for your international flight after a memorable time Solukhumbu Treks & Expedition trekking to Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa the land of Snow Leopard and blue sheep.
Day 01:       Arrive at Kathmandu and transfer to respective hotels.
Day 02:       Morning sightseeing tour, afternoon flight to Nepalgunj.             
Day 03:       Fly to Jhuphal 2,320 m then drive to Dunai 2,850m – 01 hr.
Day 04:       Trek to Ankhe 2,896m - 06 hrs.
Day 05:       Trek to Sumdu / Sulighat village 3,500m -06 hrs.
Day 06:       Trek to Phokshumdo Lake 3,500 m - 05 hours.
Day 07:       Rest day at Phokshumdo Lake for local excursion.
Day 08:       Trek to Phokshumdo-Khola 3,640 m- 05 hrs.
Day 09:       Trek to Phokshindo Bhanjyang - 07 hrs.
Day 10:       Trek to Shey Gompa 4,500m via Kang-La 5,360 m -06 hrs.
Day 11:       Rest day at Shey Gompa the crystal monastery.
Day 12:       Trek to Namduna Gaon 4,800m via Saldang La 5,200m.
Day 13:       Trek to Saldang 3,620 m -05 hours.
Day 14:       Trek to Yangze Gompa 4,960 m - 05 hrs.
Day 15:       Trek to Sibu 4,560m - 07 hrs.
Day 16:       Trek to Jeng-la phedi 4,900 m -06 hrs.
Day 17:       Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090m-06 hrs.
Day 18:       Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040m- 05 hrs.
Day 19:       Trek to Tarap Khola ( Kamekharka) 3,800m - 07 hrs.
Day 20:       Trek to Kharigaon 3,150m - 05 hours.
Day 21:       Trek to Tarakot 2,850 m - 05 hrs.
Day 22:       Trek to Dunai – 04 hrs then drive to Jhupal - 01 hr jeep ride.
Day 23:       Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Day 24:       In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour.
Day 25:       Transfer to airport for international departure.
 
For more information and trip details please contact us:
Day 01:      Meet in Kathmandu after arrival from international flight.
Rendezvous in Kathmandu where you will be joined with other members of the trekking team on reaching respective hotels, our guide or group leader will brief information regarding your trekking with do’s and don’ts.
 
Day 02:      Morning cultural tour and fly to Nepalgunj.
As per the time set for sightseeing tour, our city guide will meet in the morning after breakfast  and then depart hotel for few hours in our interesting cultural tour of heritage sites as Kathmandu valley is full of world heritage sites, however some of them been damaged from recent earthquake. The  tour of holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath ( Little Tibet), Swayambhunath ( Monkey Temple) & monasteries, ancient Kings Palaces and courtyard in Kathmandu; after an interesting sightseeing back to the hotel, afternoon flight to Nepalgunj transfer to domestic airport for a scenic flight to Nepalgunj with awesome mountain panorama views on this 55 minutes flight to Nepalgunj, on reaching Nepalgunj our staff will transfer you to respective hotels with time in the afternoon to visit around the Nepalgunj town situated on the south-west Nepal close to border of India, and it’s quite tropical in nature.
 
Day 03:      Fly to Jhuphal 2,320 m then trek or drive to Dunai 2,850m.
Morning a short drive from the hotel to Nepalgunj airport for the connecting short scenic flight to Jhuphal which takes about 40 mins, on the flight super panorama of Dhaulagiri mountain range, on reaching Jhuphal, our field and trekking crews will meet and then with a short drive on the jeep track road to Dunai for overnight stop, Dunai a moderate size and a headquarter town with Government administrative of Dolpo region.
 
Day 04:      Trek to Ankhe 2,896m - 06 hrs.
After the flight and short drive to Dunai, from here morning starts with the first day walk by crossing a suspension bridge and then leading towards North West with a climb to the banks of Thulo Bheri Valley, after a while it leads to a ridge at Phoksumdo river valley at 2,499 meters, with magnificent views of Kagmara Peak, then walking on the path with a long downhill through several scattered houses and walnut groves near to a stream, then reaching at Dhera a small winter settlements of cattle herders, from here climbing to Rahagaon village inhabited mostly by Thakuri, a Hindu tribe of people of the Western Himalaya mid hills, after Rahagaon walking downhill towards a dense forests, reaching  at Ankhe for overnight camp, this small place is the main entrance to Shey Phoksumdo National Park, afternoon at leisure for short walk around this nice area.
 
Day 05:      Trek to Sumdu / Sulighat village 3,500m -06 hrs.
Morning from Ankhe starts with short ups and downhill walks into
a forest and then to river side, then climbing to a ridge leaving behind the forested area high above the river, after the ridge top descending back to forest area to another riverbeds. From here walk leads to an upstream then crossing a small bridge near Ryajik village, after this village walking further towards  our overnight camp at Sumdu near Sulighat village with time for short visit around this nice small village.
 
Day 06:      Trek to Phokshumdo Lake 3,500 m - 05 hours.
Today’s walk leads to one of the highlight of this trip to a beautiful emerald Phoksumdo lake, starting the morning walk into the valley of Phokshumdo and Pungmo Kholas (streams) confluence, after crossing the western side of Phokshumdo Khola, and then following the Pungmo Khola west bank, after a nice and pleasant rest stops, walk leads on the downhill path through birch and pine forests towards upper side of Phokshindo Khola, and then finally reaching at Ringmo village, this is one of the interesting and attractive village with mud plastered chortens and Mani (prayer) walls, from this nice village a short walk towards the enchanting, turquoise and emerald colored Phokshindo Lake, overnight camp near the bank of this beautiful lake.
 
Day 07:      Rest day at Phokshumdo Lake for local excursion.
An important and necessary rest day at Ringmo and Phoksumdo Lake for acclimatization before heading higher area,  this is an ideal spot for free day around this place one take an optional walk or visit the Ringmo village and its old interesting Buddhist Monastery along with stunning views of surrounding landscapes and snow capped mountains.
 
Day 08:      Trek to Phokshumdo-Khola 3,640 m - 05 hrs.
After a great and enjoyable time on this serene, emerald Phokshumdo lake area, our journey continues towards higher unto upper Dolpo region which is our final destination of this wonderful adventure and the highlights of this trip, morning walk leads contouring a rocky ledge on the river bank towards an unsteady trail, at the western rim of Phoksumdo lake then entering a summer grazing pasture opening into a flood plain of Phokshumdo Khola for our overnight camp on the bank of the river.
                                                                                              
Day 09:      Trek to Phokshumdo Bhanjyang - 07 hrs.
From this nice camp by the stream in the middle of nowhere, our walk starts on a pleasant trail towards a glacial valley leading north of Phokshumdo Khola confluence where another stream joins, then from here walking up on the long ridge slopes on the grazing land area, after a strenuous walk uphill reaching to the ridge top with views of another vast wide valley and of Kang-La pass which leads to Shey Gompa and our destination, here our overnight camp will be set on the nice wide grazing spot, this camp is christened with a name as ‘Snowfields Camp' by Peter Matthiessen in his classic novel “The Snow Leopard”  
 
Day 10:      Trek to Shey Gompa 4,500m via Kang-La 5,360 m -06 hrs.
Today trek leads to our destination at Shey Gompa and the high lights of this great wonderful journey, morning walk starts with a steep climb on the slated stone scree atop Kang-la pass at 5,360 meters, the highest spot of this trip offering grand vista of surrounding valleys and snow capped mountains and all the way views of Mt. Dhaulagiri range.
 
After enjoying the rest with the magnificent scenery, walk leads downhill towards a valley floor, from here the trail meanders along the river banks, then walking on the green marsh and wet meadows, encountering herds of yaks, sheep’s, goats, nomadic huts of cattle herders, and then slowly heading towards a red chortens (Buddhist monument) this is a relief sign that the walk is complete for the day and welcoming you at Shey Gompa, our overnight camp set beneath the stunning Crystal Mountain regarded as sacred mountain as well.
 
Day 11:      Rest day at Shey Gompa the Crystal Monastery.
A rest day after a hard walk for a week, this morning optional excursion around Shey Monastery, Shey means crystal in local language, this monastery is also known as the Crystal Monastery, which is mentioned in Peter Matthiessen novel The Snow Leopard. Crystal Mountain to the east of Shey Gomba one of the strangest mountains, as its contorted cliffs is laced with quartz and embedded with a rich variety of marine fossils.
 
Day 12:      Trek to Namduna Gaon 4,800m via Saldang La 5,200m.
After a wonderful enjoyable time here our journey continues with a mesmerizing moment of Shey and the Crystal Monastery, walk follows in the middle lined with juniper trees, and then descending into a canyon, the track winds up on top of Saldang-la pass, from here on the downhill path towards north direction, then reaching to an area at a pasture with yaks, sheep grazing, from here a gradual walk to our overnight stop at Namduna Gaon.
This village with an old monastery of Karmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism this is a farm village growing only one crop a year mainly barley, in some village's buckwheat’s, mustard, potatoes and radish are also cultivated.
 
Day 13:      Trek to Saldang 3,620 m -05 hours.
From here morning walk heads up on a scree rocky slope, along a dusty windswept country, after four hours of strenuous climb reaching at Saldang an interesting village of this area, located high above on a plateau and it is one of the largest village of inner Dolpo area.
 
In Saldang there are five villages a flourishing village scattered around near the area, this is one of the main village not only agriculturally but also for its prime location with trade route to Tibet.
 
Day 14:      Trek to Yangze Gompa 4,960 m - 05 hrs.
This grand classic trek leads further north on least visited area by other western trekkers, and then following Nang chu river most of the way on this dry arid and picturesque terrain, leading ups and downs and through Tiling and Lurigaon small cattle herders settlement then reaching to our overnight camp, at Yangze village with an old Bon-Po Monastery, Bon – Po or Pa a pre-Buddhist religion started before Buddhism came to Tibet. 
 
Buddhism started only from 6th Centaury onwards in Tibet and in the high country of Nepal.
 
Day 15:      Trek to Sibu 4,560m - 07 hrs.
Our journey continues by retracing the trail towards Saldang village as this is the most straight forward route, and as well it saves time making the walk much shorter than on the northern western trail to Siby and beyond, after criss-crossing the path reaching at Saldang village area, from here our walk follows the river into terraced fields with rows of stupas, chortens, monastery, then through Namdo another large flourishing village with more than sixty houses after visiting the monastery at Namdo, walk continues for another two hours further descending towards a river and into a temporary Sheppard’s settlement at Sibu for overnight stop.
 
Day 16:      Trek to Jeng-la phedi 4,900 m -06 hrs.
From this campsite at the grazing pasture land, morning walk starts following Nam Khong Khola (stream) for an hour, then coming towards yaks laden caravan on their way towards Tibetan border for trade and bartering, as this area on the old Trans Himalayan Trade route, been trading with Tibet for hundreds of years till today, walk continues following the same river, and then finally our route diverts heading east to the meeting point of two smaller rivers, from here walks leads on the steep uphill climb towards Jeng –la base or a bottom for overnight camp on a nice grassy spot.
 
Day 17:      Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090 m - 06 hrs.
After being few days in total isolation away from the village, today’s walk leads to an interesting village at Tokyu Gaon, one of the largest village of this region, starting the morning with a steep climb for near two hours at the top of Jeng - la with panoramic views of snow capped mountains looking at the North Face of Mt. Dhaulagiri massif range of peaks, after enjoying the awesome scenery, walk leads to a long descend towards Tarap valley, which is one of the longest beautiful green valley extending near about 20 k.m. distances along the Tarap Chu River, with more than 10 villages with well tended farm fields with monasteries and chortens, then walking on a pleasant trail after completing the downhill portion to reach our overnight stop at Tokyugaon a wonderful village with an old interesting monastery, afternoon with ample time to visit the village and the monastery or just relax and interact with the locals.
 
Day 18:      Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040 m - 05 hrs.
From this nice village, morning walk follows on the downhill path towards Tarap Chu into a wide valley, around this picturesque valley with temporary settlements of local cattle herders, the people here belongs to both Bon Po and Chaiba sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Mahyana) living together in friendly harmony.
 
Then with a good nice walk on this beautiful valley reaching at Dho Tarap for overnight camp, afternoon with time for local visit around this interesting village which is inhabited by Tibetans origin people and with mostly Magar hill tribe.


Day 19:      Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamekharka) 3,800m - 07 hrs.
On the long day walk but with moderate and gradual trail with few short climb and down hills, morning starts with a descent into a wide valley which further narrows into a gorge. Following the path with sparse vegetation of juniper and wild rose bushes which is typical in this dry barren area of inner Himalaya climate and arctic temperate zone, around this place chances of spotting some wild life including herds of blue sheep’s, after a great enjoyable walk reaching at the junction of Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, flowing from Tarap River beyond east, source of the river from the glacier of North West Dhaulagiri Himalayan range of mountains.
 
After a nice and pleasant walk reaching to a beautiful grassy field a meadow or a summer pasture which is called Kamekharka, the word Khaka meaning shelter or shades of the Sheppard’s.
 
Day 20:      Trek to Kharigaon 3,150m - 05 hours.
After a nice morning in this wonderful surrounding, walk leads towards Tarap River and into a gorge, rising above from the path built on steep slopes.
This narrow gorge offers some challenge and with an adventure as the path in some places with damaged broken bridge by river floods, and sometimes wading across the chilly river on foot, after some adventure and excitement this fine day walk reaches at Tarap- khola near Kharigaon for overnight camping.
 
Day 21:      Trek to Tarakot 2,850 m - 05 hrs.
This exotic journey carry’s on reaching at lower Dolpo area through Lalberi village and then back into tree lines on the trail following the river again downstream to Tarakot village, this picturesque village with a nice terraced cultivated fields and an old fortress around this village- town'.
(over hundred years ago, before the Gorkha dynasty, this beautiful was the capital and had Dzong meaning Fort).
 
Tarakot village houses the famous Sandul Gompa, located at the confluence of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chum after an interesting detour and with a visit of Tarakot village, walking down from the village to our overnight camp near by the river just below the village close to a monastery at the edge of a grassy plateau, with an interesting solitary tree.
 
Day 22:      Trek to Dunai 2,850 m and drive to Jhupal 2, 320 m - 01 hr.
This remarkable and finest journey slowly comes to an end at Jhupal, the gateway to Dolpo and many other destination on this far west region, starting this final days walk to Dunai following several scattered farm villages and cattle herders shades and huts, then leading to a gradual uphill to a valley and then with a descend to the other side on the barren treeless landscapes at Thulo Bheri valley at Dunai area, from here walking past a hospital to cross the new suspension bridge then finally reaching at Dunai town, a large town area with an administrative headquarter of Dolpo zone, to make this walk shorter and to reach Jhupal on time to check with our flight taking a jeep ride for an hour drive on the dirt rough road to Jhuphal for the last and final overnight stop of this impressive journey at Jhupal with time for short walk around this village.
 
Day 23:      Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Early morning, depending upon the flight time get in a small plane Dronier or Twin Otter or similar type for a short scenic flight of 40 minutes to Nepalgunj with awesome panorama of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri range of mountains, on reaching at Nepalgunj depending upon the connecting flight to Kathmandu, with few hours of rest and refreshment at Nepalgunj, then connect the flight to Kathmandu which takes almost 50 minutes with sweeping panorama of mountain range from the plane, then finally concluding this fantastic journey in Kathmandu, on arrival transfer to respective hotels with afternoon free at leisure.
 
Day 24:      In Kathmandu with cultural tour at places of interest.
This day reserved a free day in case of flight delay in Jhupal, Dolpo due to bad weather conditions, and one can join for sightseeing tour at leisure, depart hotel for few hours in our interesting cultural tour of heritage sites as Kathmandu valley is full of world heritage sites, however some of them been damaged from recent earthquake.
 
The  tour of holy Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath ( Little Tibet), Swayambhunath ( Monkey Temple) & monasteries, ancient Kings Palaces and courtyard in Kathmandu; after an interesting sightseeing back to the hotel, afternoon free at leisure for individual activities.
 
Day 25:      International departure for home ward bound.
After a great memorable time and experience with Solukhumbu Treks & Expedition depart from the hotel to the airport for final departure homeward bound or to respective destinations.

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