Lower Dolpo Trek

Trip Facts:

Group Size
Max 12
Region
Dolpo Region
Trip Duration
16 Days
Activities
Trekking Adventure
Transportation
Flight / Private car
Meals
BLD During Trek
Accommodation
Hotel / Lodge / Tented Camp
Max Elevation
5309m
Best Month
Autumn / Spring
Trip Grade
Challenging
Trek Starts / Ends
Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

Lower Dolpo Trek provides an excellent opportunity to experience the Tibetan Buddhist tradition abundant in the Dolpo region. The trek to Lower Dolpo offers stunning landscapes and is home to many endangered species. Moreover, the people and their vibrant culture are exceptional and worth experiencing.
Dolpo, located within the Himalayan region of Nepal, was previously a restricted area that only foreigners could access, starting in 1990. Today, Nepal's most remote district occupies a significant portion of the land's surface. The Dolpo region is known for being in the rain shadow, with territories stretching to the Tibetan border.
The Upper Dolpo trek is off the beaten path, and hamlets and villages can be challenging to find. Adequate physical fitness and mountain experience are mandatory for trekking in the Lower Dolpo. However, the Lower Dolpo trek provides easier access to Nepal's highest waterfall and crystal Phoksundo Lake waters, making it a worthwhile adventure.
Experience the mysterious beauty of the Lower Dolpo Circuit with the Dolpo Trek. This isolated region in western Dolpo has a Tibetan influence. It offers breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters of Phoksundo Lake (3,611m), unique flora and fauna, a distinctive religion, diverse culture, colorful festivals, challenging passes, high snow-covered peaks of the Kanjirowa Himal range, and much more. 
Lower Dolpo Trek is a challenging two-week trek, with an average of 6-7 hours of walking per day, recommended for experienced and fit hikers.
Shey Phoksundo National Park protects most of the Lower Dolpo area, preserving pine and birch, as well as rare wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, goral, thar, Himalayan black bear, langur, and rhesus monkeys. 
The region's isolated villages of people closely related to Tibetans, ancient monasteries, and the practice of the Bon Po religion are unique features.
Phoksundo Lake, almost 500 hectares, was declared a Ramsar site (wetlands of international significance) 2008. This lake is famous, as it was the location of the film Himalaya, known as Caravan in Nepal.
Lower Dolpo Trek is rugged and rough, with narrow paths and a mountain pass over 5,000m. However, for those fascinated by Buddhist and Bon Po cultures, with an appreciation for windswept scenery interspersed with pine forests and the possibility of spotting rare mammal and medicinal plant species, this trek is truly magnificent! The trek incorporates two passes that exceed 5,000 meters in elevation: the Numa-La and Baga-La.
For those interested in the Dolpo Trek, there are several options available, including the Upper Dolpo Trek, Inner Dolpo Trek, Phoksundo Lake Trek, and the Jumla to Dolpa and Dhorpatan to Shey Phoksundo treks. Each trek offers a unique experience and perspective of the region. 
The Lower Dolpo trek map provides an overview of the region and the available treks. 
For those curious about trekking and its benefits, trekking is an excellent way to reduce weight, get your adrenaline pumping, and experience the great outdoors.
On the other hand, hiking is a leisurely activity typically done on well-established trails, whereas trekking involves multi-day journeys through challenging terrain.

Main Highlights of Lower Dolpo Trek

  • The isolated and remote region in western Dolpo with a Tibetan influence
  • Lower Dolpo is a dry atmosphere with increasing altitudes up to 5,190m
  • Challenging two-week trek with 6-7 hours of walking per day
  • Breathtaking rewards, including crystal-clear waters of Phoksundo Lake, unique flora and fauna, distinctive religion, diverse culture, colorful festivals, challenging passes, high snow-covered peaks of the Kanjirowa Himal range, and much more
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park protects most of the Lower Dolpo area, preserving pine, fir, and birch forests, as well as rare wildlife, including snow leopards, Himalayan blue sheep, goral, thar, Himalayan black bear, langur, and rhesus monkeys.
  • Isolated villages of people closely related to Tibetans, ancient monasteries, and the practice of the Bon Po in Dolpo religion
  • Phoksundo Lake, almost 500 hectares in size, was declared a Ramsar site in 2008
  • Two passes that exceed 5,000 meters in elevation, the Numa-La and Baga-La
  • Dolpo trek off the beaten path with challenging paths and narrow mountain passes.
  • A new route towards Shey Phoksundo Lake provides easier access to Nepal's highest waterfall and crystal-clear Phoksundo Lake waters.

Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary

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On the first day of your itinerary, you will arrive in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. You will be transferred to your hotel, where you can relax and settle in after your journey to Lower Dolpo Trek.

Highest Altitude
1400 m

On the second day of your itinerary, you will take a one-hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a city in the western Terai region of Nepal. Nepalgunj is an important transportation hub and a gateway to the remote Dolpo regions of western Nepal.
 

Highest Altitude
150 m

On the third day of your itinerary, you will take a flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal, a small airport in the Dolpo region of western Nepal. From Juphal, you will begin a three-hour trek to Dunai, a town located at an elevation of 2150 meters. Lower Dolpo Trek is relatively easy and will take you through beautiful landscapes, including forests, terraced fields, and traditional villages.

Highest Altitude
2150 m

On the fourth day of your itinerary, you will continue your trek from Dunai to Tarakot. This trek will take you through beautiful valleys and along the Bheri River. The route of Lower Dolpo can be steep at times, but the stunning scenery makes it well worth the effort. You will arrive in Tarakot, a small village located at an elevation of 2450 meters, after a trek of 5-6 hours.
 

Accomodation
2450

On the fifth day of your itinerary, you will begin your trek from Tarakot to Laina Odar, which is located at an elevation of 3350 meters. The Lower Dolpo trek will take you through the Tarap Valley, which is renowned for its stunning scenery and unique culture.
 

Highest Altitude
3350 m

On the sixth day of your itinerary, you will trek from Laina Odar to Nawarpani. The trek will take you through beautiful forests and along the banks of the Tarap River. You will arrive at Nawarpani, a small village located at an elevation of 3650 meters, after a trek of 6 hours.
 

Highest Altitude
3550 m

On the seventh day of your itinerary, you will trek from Nawarpani to Dho Tarap. This is a long trek, taking approximately 7-8 hours, but it is well worth the effort. Along the way, you will cross the Tarap Khola and pass through several small villages. You will arrive in Dho Tarap, a remote village located at an elevation of 4100 meters, in the late afternoon.
 

Highest Altitude
4100 m

On the eighth day of your itinerary, you will have a rest day in Dho Tarap. This will allow you to explore the village and to rest and acclimatize to the high altitude. You can also visit the local monasteries and interact with the friendly locals, who are known for their unique culture and way of life.
 

Highest Altitude
4100 m

On the ninth day of your itinerary, you will trek from Dho Tarap to Numala Base Camp, which is located at an elevation of 4440 meters. This is a relatively short Upper Dolpo trek, taking approximately 5 hours, but it will take you through some of the most stunning scenery of your trip. You will also begin to feel the effects of the high altitude, so it is important to take your time and stay well-hydrated.
 

Highest Altitude
4440 m

On the tenth day of your itinerary, you will continue your trek from Numala Base Camp to Danigar/Bagala Base Camp, which is located at an elevation of 4500 meters. The trek involves a challenging ascent of the Numala Pass, which stands at an altitude of 5309 meters. The pass offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
 

Highest Altitude
5309 m

On the eleventh day of your itinerary, you will trek from Bagala BC/Danigar to Temche, crossing the Baga La pass at an altitude of 5169 meters. This is another challenging day of trekking, but the stunning views and sense of accomplishment will make it all worthwhile.
 

Highest Altitude
5169 m

On the twelfth day of your itinerary, you will trek from Temche to Phoksundo Lake/Rigmo. The trek will take you through beautiful forests and along the shores of Phoksundo Lake, one of the most stunning lakes in Nepal. You will arrive at Rigmo, a small village located at an elevation of 3610 meters, in the late afternoon.
 

Highest Altitude
3610 m

On the thirteenth day of your itinerary, you will trek from Phoksundo Lake/Rigmo to Chhepka. The trek is long, taking approximately 7-8 hours, but it is mostly downhill and will take you through beautiful forests and traditional villages. You will arrive in Chhepka, a small village located at an elevation of 2950 meters, in the late afternoon.
 

Highest Altitude
2950 m

On the fourteenth day of your itinerary, you will trek from Chhepka to Juphal. The Lower Dolpo trek will take approximately 6-7 hours, and it is mostly downhill, taking you through beautiful forests and traditional villages. You will arrive in Juphal, a small town located at an elevation of 2475 meters, in the late afternoon.
 

Highest Altitude
2475 m

On the fifteenth day of your itinerary, you will take a flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu. You will have some time to rest and explore Kathmandu upon your arrival.
 

Highest Altitude
1400 m

On the sixteenth day of your itinerary,you will depart from Kathmandu, marking the end of your trekking adventure. You can choose to extend your stay in Nepal or return home, depending on your travel plans.
 

Not satisfied with this itinerary?

If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preference and specification.

Lower Dolpo Trek Altitude Profile

FAQs

The best time to visit Lower Dolpo Trek is from September to November and April to June, as the weather is favorable during these months.
 

Yes, a special permit is required to trek in Lower Dolpo. You can obtain the permit from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or a local trekking agency.
 

The Lower Dolpo Trek is a challenging 18-20 day trek, covering a distance of around 230 kilometers.
 

The Lower Dolpo Trek is a strenuous trek, suitable for experienced trekkers. It involves high altitude, steep ascents and descents, and rugged terrain.
 

There are no age restrictions for Lower Dolpo Trek, but it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting on the trek to Lower Dolpo, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Accommodation options on Lower Dolpo Trek include lodges, teahouses, and camping. The lodges and teahouses offer basic amenities such as food and lodging.
 

It is not recommended to drink untreated water during the Lower Dolpo trek. You can use water purification tablets or a filtration system to make the water safe for consumption.

There are no medical facilities available on the Lower Dolpo trek, so it is advisable to carry a basic first aid kit and any necessary medication for Dolpo region.

The food options on the Lower Dolpo trek include traditional Nepali cuisine and some Western dishes. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available.

There is limited mobile network coverage on the trek to Lower Dolpo, and the signal strength varies from place to place.

Yes, it is recommended to hire a guide for the Lower Dolpo Trek. A guide can provide local knowledge, assist with navigation, and ensure your safety.
 

You should pack appropriate clothing for the Lower Dolpo trek, including warm layers, rain gear, and sturdy hiking boots. You should also carry a backpack, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and a water bottle.

The starting point of the Lower Dolpo trek is Juphal, which can be reached by a short domestic flight from Nepalgunj.

The maximum altitude reached during the Lower Dolpo Trek is around 5,115 meters at the Numa La Pass.
 

Yes, it is possible to customize the Lower Dolpo Trek itinerary based on your preferences and requirements. You can consult us to plan a tailor-made itinerary.
 

Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek is a challenging trek that connects Dolpo regions of Nepal, Dolpo and Upper Mustang. It is a strenuous trek that requires special permits and covers a distance of around 330 kilometers.
 

Traveller Useful Information

Lower Dolpo trek is a remote and challenging trekking route located in western Nepal. The best way to get to the starting point of the trek is by taking a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then another flight to Juphal. From Juphal, you can begin the trek.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus or drive from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, which takes around 14-16 hours. From Nepalgunj, you can take a flight to Juphal or a bus to Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpo, and start the trek from there.
 

It is important to note that you will not be issued a permit if you are a solo traveler, even if you are going through a registered agency. However, don't let this discourage you from starting on your journey. Simply reach out to us, and we will guide how to proceed as an individual traveler (at twice the price) should there not be other trekkers available for your desired dates.

Additionally, it is not permitted for individual trekkers to venture into the restricted areas on their own. You must book your trip through a local agency, which will take care of your permits, arrange your trekking needs, and provide you with a guide. This is for your safety and to safeguard the unique flora and fauna of this area.

The Restricted Area Permits are issued by the Immigration Office in Kathmandu. Your local agency will obtain these permits for you before you set out on your trek. The entry permit for Shey-Phoksundo National Park is issued by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu, but it is also available at the National Park's entry point for NPR 3,000. To avoid any hiccups, we recommend that you obtain all the permits, including the one for Shey-Phoksundo National Park, ahead of time in Kathmandu. Please note that the permit fees are subject to change.

Accommodation options along the Lower Dolpo trek are limited, and it is essential to be prepared for basic lodging during your trek.

There are a few teahouses and guesthouses available in the lower region of the Dolpo trek, but as you venture higher, the number of accommodation options decreases. These guesthouses and teahouses offer basic facilities such as a bed, blankets, and a shared bathroom. Electricity and hot showers are not always available, and you may need to pay an additional fee for these amenities.

In the lower regions of the Dolpo trek, camping is the only option for accommodation. It is advisable to bring your camping gear or to hire it from a local agency. As camping is not allowed inside the Shey-Phoksundo National Park, designated camping areas are available outside the park.

Food is available at the guesthouses and teahouses along the trek, but the menu is limited and basic. It is recommended to bring your own snacks and energy bars to supplement your diet during the Lower dolpo trek.

Telephone and internet connectivity in the Lower Dolpo region is limited and unreliable, and it is essential to be prepared for a digital detox during your trek.

While some guesthouses and teahouses may have a telephone, the connectivity may be weak or non-existent. Therefore, it is not advisable to rely on phone calls as a primary mode of communication during the trek.

Similarly, Wi-Fi or internet connectivity is not available in the Lower Dolpo region. Some guesthouses and teahouses may have satellite internet access, but the connectivity may be slow and unreliable. Additionally, you may need to pay an additional fee for Wi-Fi access, and the usage may be limited.

It is advisable to inform your loved ones about your trekking itinerary before embarking on your journey.
 

The Lower Dolpo trek is considered to be a strenuous and challenging trek, suitable for experienced trekkers who are physically fit and mentally prepared.

The trek involves crossing several high passes, including the Kang La Pass at an elevation of 5,360 meters and may take up to 18-22 days to complete. The trail is rugged and remote, with several steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and narrow paths. Trekkers need to be prepared for long days of walking, sometimes up to 8-9 hours a day.

Altitude sickness is also a significant concern during the trek, as the trail crosses several high passes and reaches a maximum elevation of 5,360 meters. It is essential to acclimatize properly and take necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness.

The trek is also remote, and facilities such as food, accommodation, and medical aid may be limited. Trekkers need to be self-sufficient and carry their gear and supplies, including food, water, and a first aid kit.

The best time for the Upper Dolpo trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons.

During spring, the weather in the Dolpo region is clear and dry, with moderate temperatures and minimal rainfall. The snow on the high passes starts to melt, making it easier to cross the passes. The rhododendron flowers bloom in the lower regions, adding color and beauty to the trek.

Similarly, during autumn, the weather is clear and dry, with warm temperatures and stable weather conditions. The skies are clear, providing stunning views of the Himalayan peaks, and the trekking trails are dry and stable. The autumn season is also the peak season for trekking in Nepal, and the Dolpo region is less crowded than other popular trekking destinations in the country.

The monsoon season (June to August) is not recommended for trekking in the Dolpo region, as the trails are wet and muddy, and there is a high risk of landslides and flooding. The winter season (December to February) is also not suitable for the trek, as the high passes are often closed due to heavy snowfall, and the temperatures are too cold for trekking.
 

Here's a checklist of essential items you should consider packing for the Lower Dolpo Trek:

Clothing: Quick-dry hiking pants, waterproof hiking boots, thermal underwear, woolen socks, fleece jacket, windproof jacket, rain jacket, sun hat, warm hat, and gloves.

Backpack: A good quality backpack with a rain cover (around 50-60 liters).

Sleeping gear: A four-season sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and a tent (if you plan to camp).

Trekking gear: Trekking poles, headlamps, sunglasses, and water bottles or a hydration system.

First Aid Kit: Band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, altitude sickness medication, insect repellent, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Personal hygiene: Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper.

Electronics: Camera with spare batteries and memory cards, a portable charger, and a charging cable.

Maps and Navigation: Detailed trekking maps, a compass, and a GPS device.

Food: High-energy snacks, energy bars, and instant noodles.

Miscellaneous: Cash, travel documents, and a waterproof bag to protect your gear from rain or water crossings.

Remember to pack light and only carry the essentials. The total weight of your backpack should not exceed 15-20% of your body weight. Also, make sure to check the weather and trail conditions before you leave and adjust your packing list accordingly.
 

Dolpa's Temperature: High and Cold! This remote region in Nepal experiences a cold high-altitude climate. Expect temperatures around 6°C (43°F) currently, with significant variations throughout the year. Winters plummet below freezing, while summers offer mild days and cool nights.

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