journey into the remote cultural destination of Nepal on the old trans-himalayan caravan route, ancient Bon-po (pre-buddhist) culture and on the legendry snow leopard trail, least visited area, Nepal’s wild-wild west, ancient tradition and villages on the backdrop of the high snow capped peaks, serene forest and pristine lake.
Dolpo, located midway between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri Himal range is the highest inhabited land of Dolpo. Geographically a southern extension of Tibet, it lies within the borders of the kingdom of Nepal, since 1984 has been the country’s largest national park and conservation, the park sustains an abundance of wild life including Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and the legendary elusive Snow Leopard, as well as being home to a fascinating race of Tibetan speaking people. The hardy highlanders of Dolpo are traders, exchanging barley for Tibetan rock salt and they take their yaks onto the Tibetan plateau during the summer for grazing.
Dolpo, one of the most beautiful treks in the remote far corners of Nepal, very rarely visited by outsider.
From Jhupal village, begin this wonderful adventure, encountering interesting places, people, villages, valleys and serene forest of pines, oaks and rhododendrons, the trek passes many gigantic mountain ranges and over the Numala pass at 5,400m till we reach the Phoksundo lake at Ringmo village in the “Phoksundo National Park”.
At Ringmo, the highlight of our trip we will have two nights here to enjoy the beauty of the deep blue waters of the Phoksundo lake and the surrounding snow peaks of Kanjibro Himal, with time to visit the nearby isolated village of Ringmo and its Monastery.
SHEY-PHOKSUNDO NATIONAL PARK
AREA (3,555 SQ.KMS)
LOCATION: Shey-Phuksundo National Park is situated in the mountain region of western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpo and Mugu Districts. It is the largest national park in the country.
FEATURES: The Park contains luxuriant forests, mainly comprised of blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir and birch. The Jugdula River valley consists mostly of Quercus species. The trans-Himalayan area has a near-desert type vegetation of mainly dwarf juniper and caragana shrubs.
The park provides prime habitat for the snow leopard and the blue sheep. Other common animals found in the park are ghoral, Himalayan thar, serow, leopard, wolf, and jackal. Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan mouse hare, yellow-throated marten, languor and rhesus monkeys.
The park is equally rich in many species of birds, such as Impeyan pheasant (danphe), blood pheasant, cheer pheasants, red and yellow billed cough, raven, jungle crow, snow partridge and many others.
On arrival at Kathmandu International Airport you will be received by our staff and escort you to the Hotel, where our Ad staff and guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking / Camping, do’s and don’t and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. Sometime, depending upon your flight arrival if it’s late in the night we will do this tour in the afternoon instead of morning to give you a good rest before you set out of the Hotel in our interesting tour.
As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj transfer to the domestic airport for one hour scenic flight to Nepaljung. At Nepalgunj, time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the town which is situated on the southern Nepal border with India. Here it is quite hot and tropical in character.
After a pleasant overnight at Nepalgunj, early morning transfer to airport for the 45 minute flight to Jhuphal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhuphal our trekking staffs will receive you, who have walked all the way from Nepalgunj with the camping gear and food supply taking 5-6 days. Here at Jhuphal a short 2-3 hrs walk from the airstrip leads to our overnight camp at Dunai village. Our first day adventure begins with an hour downhill walk through the village below the airstrip, then leading through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. This is a much larger village or Small Township, with a new hospital and it is the administrate headquarter of the Dolpo region.
Today’s trek leads through many small streams and then follow the Bheri and Barbung river in a tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river, after a good walk coming to Tarakot where colourful terraced fields greets us. Tarakot is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. Tarakot was a capital before Gorkha dynasty.
The famed Sandul gompa lies farther east from Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu (river). The village stands on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of tolls for the trading caravans. Overnight camp is made by the river about 150m below the village, near the police post or we climb a steep ridge for an hour to the village on a spur, where there are chorten an a Gompa on the edge of grassy plateau, with a solitary tree.
Our route from here follows the Tarap chu river upstream, crossing by bridge and criss crossing the same river twice. The path leads through the farm terraces and rural villages of Sahartera and winding gradualy towards a small settlement of Kola after 3-4 hrs of good morning walk. From this place descend with few ups to reach our overnight camp at Kamigaon with another 2 hrs of trek.
The trek continues walking up the gorge of the Tarap River, at times alongside it, at others rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. On the way we are likely to encounter people from Dolpo herding their flocks of sheep’s and goats to lower pasture for the winter. Enroute there are many possible campsites by the river. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. 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. The gorge also provides unexpected adventure and thrills. In some places, the bridges are either damaged or washed by the monsoon flood, and we may opt to cross the cold torrent on foot.
The walk from here leads to the upper valley following the Tarap Chu (river) most of the way, the trek passes through the summer grazing pasture and few farm settlements and criss crossing the same river twice reaching to our overnight camp
near the tributary Lang Chu.
Morning walks begins with a gradual up leading us at Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarapchu and Lang Khola, a stream flowing from the east. After few hours of good morning walk leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner Himalayan valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us to the village of
Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregular stone wall. At Dho, thirty -four houses are divided into three groups and built in a randomly way. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations.
A free day an opportunity to make friends with the locals who have hardly seen westerners for ages. The Dolpo people wear home spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favor Tibetan style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. The people of the region are both Bonpo and Nyingmapa of Buddhist sect. The Buddhist Gompa is nearby to the camp while the Bon Gompa (pre Buddhist) is about half an hour’s walk.
After a wonderful time here at Dho Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completly different from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains extending twenty kilo meters along the river Tarap Chu, having ten villages with cultivated fields of barley, buck wheat, wheat and potato. After 3-4 hrs of good walk in this perfect tranquility coming to the village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After a break here our walk continues farther up this valley climbing up the rough track for almost another three hours to reach our overnight camp beneath the Numa-la.
After a wonderful time here, our route diverts north west coming across sheep, goat and yak herders with great scenery of the surrounding land scapes and finally coming to the base of Numa-la for the overnight camp with afternoon free for extra hike exploring the near area.
Our journey continues with the crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes scenery of valleys, mountains including north face of the Dhaulagiri massif along with other distance snow capped peaks. After a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to Palungtang 4,465m or further for the overnight camp just before Baga-la or Basi-la pass.
Our journey continues with the crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes scenery of valleys, mountains including north face of the Dhaulagiri massif along with other distance snow capped peaks. after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to Palungtang or farther for the overnight camp just before Baga-la or Basi-la pass, depending upon the duration of walk and fitness of the people, if everybody is all right and on time, our trek might leads over the Baga-la to camp on the other side of this pass making it easier for the next day.
Morning trek starts with a steep climb to reach the ridge top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjiroba Himal range, after a great moment here our walk leads to a descend for 2 hours through the pine forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo and the crystal serene Lake of Phoksumdo.
The nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit, as is the village of Ringmo. A walk part way round the lake is also very enjoyable and relaxing.
After a wonderful time at Ringmo and Phuksumdo Lake, return journey to Dunai will be via the southern route, the walk climbs through birch forests to the ridge offering distant view of Phoksumdo Lake and a spectacular 300 meter high water fall, the highest in Nepal. Our descend leads to the open country and then to Palam, a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village, the houses here are almost buried in the sandy soil. From here another two hours of good walk leads to our overnight stop at Sumdawa, the path passes through the cedar forest and crossing the Phuksumdo khola via a wooden bridge and then arriving at the end of this day’s walk at Sumdo village.
From this camp, our journey continues along the valley floor following the river down stream to a bridge near Ryajik 2,940m, the trail here becomes a collection of rocks and sticks that form a dyke along the river bank, the walk climbs on the steep wobbly stone staircase from the river bank the up hill path continues to the cliff and through the forest, traversing the grassy slope high above the river, the walk finally enters the forest the path from here onwards are more of up and downs in between and finally emerging at the entrance of Shey Phuksumdo National Park at Ankhe for the overnight stop.
The walk gets better as path loose the altitude day by day and some time camping on almost the altitude of previous camp like at Dunai which is mere forty meter lower from this place Ankhe. The three villages that we pass through have a strange name connection: Parela, meaning eyelash, Rahagoan meaning eyebrow village and Ankhe itself meaning eye. The path from here follows to a large stream and then climbing through the deep dark forest and passing into another side canyon and coming to the village water supply, the Phuksumdo Khola.
The trail continues on the lower part of Rahagaon, a Thakuri village t 2,909m. There is a gompa dedicated to the local god, Mastha, which overlooks the village. This route from here descend to Dhera below the stream, a winter settlement where people from higher villages keep herds of cows and goats.
From the stream leads our trek leads to a gentle climb past scattered houses and walnut groves coming out of the large side canyon, after leaving the Phoksumdo river valley as the path leads past the ridge marked by cairns at 2,499m with good view of Kagmara peak up the valley then descending down the side of the treeless Thulo Bheri valley and walking past the hospital to cross the new suspension bridge coming to the familar statue of late King Mahendra at Dunai for the overnight camp before Jhuphal.
Retrace the journey back to Jhuphal for the last camp of this great memorable adventure.
A morning scenic flight to Nepalgunj, overlooking stunning views of the main peaks including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. On arrival at Nepalgunj depending upon the connecting flight schedule to Kathmandu. If it’s in the afternoon will have time for few hours to refresh in the comfort of the Hotel
at Nepalgunj. Then connect with flight back to Kathmandu.
A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for scenic mountain flight.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, departure tax (in local currency) and your passport handy. Our AD staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.
- Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
- 4 nights single/double deluxe accommodation with breakfast at 3* hotel in Kathmandu and standard hotel in Nepalgunj.
- Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filter water during the trek.
- Tented camp accommodation during the trek.
- 1 experienced, helpful and friendly guide, 1 cook and necessary porters/donkeys, their food & accommodation, salary, equipment and insurance.
- Trekking camping equipment (Tent, mattress, dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, kitchen utensils etc.)
- All domestic flights from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu and airport tax.
- Lower Dolpo Restricted Area permit and Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit.
- All other necessary permits.
- All the ground transportation by private vehicle.
- First Aid Medical Kit box.
- Office Service charge.
- All Government Tax.
- Any meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu and Nepagunj other than breakfast.
- Travel insurance.
- International air fare to and from Nepal.
- Nepal Tourist Visa fees.
- Items and expenses of personal nature.
- Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, snacks, laundry, phone call, internet.
- Personal Trekking Equipment.
- Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
- Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
- Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
- Horse renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
- Tips for guide, porters, driver. (Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.)
- US$ 3,240 per person in the group of minimum 1-2 pax.
- US$ 3,010 per person in the group of minimum 3-5 pax.
- US$ 2,755 per person in the group of minimum 6-9 pax.
- US$ 2,595 per person in the group of minimum 10-15 pax.
- US$ 2,435 per person in the group of minimum 16-20 pax and above
Please contact us over WhatsApp to discuss about group offer.