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Home > Trips> Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek

Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek - 27 Days

Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trekking
Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek

Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa is an adventurous trek in the remote yet untouched and unique landscape of western Nepal. This fascinating trekking journey begins with a short and scenic flight to the low land area at Nepalgunj. And again, short flight to the Himalayan north hills of Jhupal in Dolpo region.

You’ll begin the trek officially through magnificent remote countryside village of Dunai. From here you’ll pass through several charming villages with the great scenery of snow-clad peak of the Dolpo and Tibetan mountain ranges.

This Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa adventure trekking journey will take you to Shey Gompa via Phoksundo lake. It is one of the deepest lakes in the Himalayan region of Nepal. The views, tranquility of this region will touch you. You’ll get a chance to spend two days at Phoksundo lake. During this time, you can explore the surrounding traditional villages and also nearby ancient Shey Gompa Monastery.

After spending a wonderful time is Shey Gompa you’ll return back via an alternative route. Enroute you’ll pass some challenging and dramatic passes like Saldang La (5,200 m), Jeng La (5,090 m), and Numala Pass (5,400 m).

Likewise, you’ll come across some of Nepal’s wild-west traditional villages like Tokyu Gaon, Dho Tarap, Tarakot, and Sibu. In these villages, you’ll get a wonderful opportunity to meets some great people. You’ll also learn some ancient Bon Po Buddhist culture and lifestyle. In this way. following the oldest Trans-Himalayan caravan route, your memorable journey ends with a flight back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.

Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO world cultural heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley
  • A scenic flight to and from Nepalgunj and Jhuphal
  • Explore isolated and mysterious places of Nepal
  • Visit Shey Phoksundo Lake, one of the deepest lakes of Nepal and is famous for its turquoise color and crystal-clear water
  • Views of dazzling Himalayan peaks of massif Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges
  • Visit ancient Shey Gompa, an 800-year-old monastery at the base of the Crystal Mountain
  • Visit Shey Phoksundo National Park and witness some rare species like Snow Leopards, Blue Sheep, and Himalayan Thar
  • Close view of culture, tradition, and remote lifestyle of the local people

Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek Difficulty

Trekking to an unexplored and isolated Dolpo valley is a very challenging and adventurous trek. Thus, Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek is basically graded as strenuous one. As there are several steep climbs and you’ll also need to cross three high passes above 5,000 m. You’ll be spending several nights above 3,500 m and trek for some 6-7 hours per day. So, to conclude this trek successfully you need to have good physical conditions with powerful mental dedication.

Best Time for Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trek

The best time for Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa trek is the spring (March-May) and the fall (October-November). During this time of year, the weather is pleasant, the mountain views and the skies are clear. There is a minimal chance of snowfall at high altitudes so there is no any risk to cross some high passes.

Day 01: Reach Kathmandu 1,300m. and transfer to Hotel.

Day 02: In Kathmandu with half day tour.

Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel.

Day 04: Fly to Jhuphal (Dolpo) 2,320m. trek to Dunai 2,850m. 2 - 3 hrs walks.

Day 05: Trek to Ankhe 2,896m. 5 - 6 hrs.

Day 06: Trek to Sulighat 3,500m. 5 - 6 hrs.

Day 07: Trek to Phoksumdo Lake 3,500m. 4 - 5 hours.

Day 08: Rest Day at Phoksumdo Lake.

Day 09: Trek to Phuksumdo Khola 4 - 5 hrs.

Day 10: Trek to Phoksumdo Bhanjyang  6 - 7 hrs.

Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa 4,500m. via Kang-La 5,360m. 5 - 6 hrs.

Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa the Crystal Monastery.

Day 13: Trek to Namduna Gaon 4,800m. via Saldang La 5,200m.

Day 14: Trek to Saldang 3,620m. 4 - 5 hours.

Day 15: Trek to Yangze Gompa 4,960m. 4 - 5 hrs.

Day 16: Trek to Sibu 4,560m. 6 - 7 hrs.

Day 17: Trek to Jeng-la Phedi 4,900m. 5 - 6 hrs.

Day 18: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m. via Jeng la 5,090m. 5 - 6 hrs.

Day 19: Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040m. 4 - 5 hrs.

Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap.

Day 21: Trek to Tarap Khola( Kamakharka) 3,800m. 6 - 7 hrs.

Day 22: Trek to Kharigaon.3,150m. 5 hours.

Day 23: Trek to Tarakot 2,850m. 5 hrs.

Day 24: Trek to Jhupal via Dunai 2,850m. 6 - 7 hrs.

Day 25: Fly Jhuphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu.

Day 26: In Kathmandu.

Day 27: Transfer to Airport for international departure.

Day 01: Reach Kathmandu 1,300m. and transfer to the Hotel

Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, our representative will greet you and transfer to the respective hotel via private vehicle. After some refreshment, you’ll attend a short pre-tour briefing session.

In the evening, you can explore the main tourist area of Kathmandu city i.e, Thamel and Durbarmarg. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 02: In Kathmandu with a half day tour

On this day, you’ll go for a half day tour of Kathmandu valley. Some of the major highlights are Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, and Kathmandu Durbar Square.

After completing the sightseeing tour you’ll return to the hotel. In the evening, you can do shopping around Thamel area. You’ll spend a night in Kathmandu at an elevation of 1,300 meters.

Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel

On this day, as the flight schedule, you’ll get a transfer to the domestic airport to catch one and half hour scenic flight to Nepalgunj. During the flight, you’ll enjoy the great views of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri.

Nepalgunj is flat land and has a tropical hot and humid climate.

You’ll spend a night in the hotel at Nepalgunj.

Day 04: Fly to Jhuphal (Dolpo) 2,320m. trek to Dunai 2,850m. 2 - 3 hrs walk

On this day, you’ll take an early morning flight to Jhuphal. On this flight, you’ll enjoy the great views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. On arriving at Jhuphal, you’ll begin your adventure with a short downhill walk through the village below the airstrip.

Continuing your walk, you’ll follow the trail through the terraced fields to the Bheri river, you’ll reach camp at Dunai for an overnight stay. Today’s trekking hour is only 2-3 hours from Jhuphal (2,320 m) to Dunai (2,850 m).

Dunai has an administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. Today you’ll get ample time to explore the Dunai village and visit a new hospital.

Day 05: Trek to Ankhe 2,896m. 5 - 6 hours

After a pleasant day at Dunai, you’ll head towards Ankhe. After 5-6 hours of a walk, today you’ll reach a small village of Ankhe which is also the main entrance to Shey Phoksundo National Park. Today you’ll begin your trek through the market and cross the bridge over Thulo Bheri River and climb a ridge of Phoksundo River Valley. From the top of the ridge, you’ll get a magnificent view of Kagmara peak.

Further, you’ll pass several houses surrounding with walnut trees close to a stream and reach a small cattle herders’ settlements, Dhera. After a short climb, you’ll reach Thakuri village, Rahagaon. Following the downhill path and walking through a thick forest, you’ll reach Ankhe (2,896 m) for an overnight stay.

Day 06: Trek to Sulighat 3,500m. 5 - 6 hours

On this day, after having your morning breakfast you’ll continue your trek towards Sulighat (3,500 meters). Today you’ve to walk via ascending and descending trail along the riverbank. The continuous up and downhill walk can be little monotonous but there are several small streams along the way that offer a chance to get you cool down.

Further, passing through the forested area you’ll come across a grassy hill above the river. Again you’ll trek downhill on the forested trail and reach a cliff. From here you’ll walk at rocky and stony trails along the river bank and takes you to a bridge near Sulighat. After continuous 5-6 hours of walk, you’ll reach Sulighat village where you’ll spend the night.

Day 07: Trek to Phoksundo Lake 3,500m. 4 - 5 hours

On this day, you’ll continue your journey from Sulighat towards Phosumdo Lake. You’ll walk along the valley to the confluence of the Phoksundo and Pungmo rivers. Here you’ve to cross the bridge and continue your walk through the western bank of the Pungmo Khola.

After crossing the cedar forest you’ll reach Palam village. Here you can see a little different pattern of the houses like they’re all buried in the sandy soil. Continuing your trek, you’ll head towards a ridge at an altitude of 3,350 m. from the top of the ridge, you can enjoy the distant view of Phoksundo Lake and the highest waterfall of Nepal.

After taking a brief stop, you’ll descend through the birch forests and reach the picturesque village of Ringmo. Here in this village, you’ll witness some mud-plastered chortens and mani walls. From here you’ll have a short walk to the bank of Phoksundo Lake.

At the south end of the village, there is the main entrance of Shey Phoksundo National Park. Here the respective person will check your park entrance ticket and also might be the baggage inspection. It’s just a formality a local people do to preserve the natural resource of the surroundings. Today after 4-5 hours of walk, you’ll reach the shore of Phoksundo Lake at an altitude of 3,611 m where you’ll spend a night.

Day 08: Rest Day at Phoksundo Lake

On this day, you’ll explore Phoksundo Lake. Today you’ll be your first acclimatization day of Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa trek and Phoksundo Lake is a well-deserved place for acclimatization.

Phoksundo Lake lies at an elevation of 3,611.5 meters above the sea level. It is an alpine freshwater lake and one of the deepest lakes in Nepal. It offers stunning beauty!

During your acclimatization day, you can go for a short hike to the Ringmo village and explore Bon monastery. After exploring this culturally rich Bon Monastery you’ll trek down to Phoksundo Lake via the steep cliffs for an overnight stay.

Day 09: Trek to Phuksundo Khola. 4 - 5 hrs

On this day, leaving behind beautiful Phoksundo Lake, you’ll trek towards Phuksumdo Khola.

You’ll begin your trek through the shore of the lake and continues through on a rocky trail along the western bank.

Today you’ll be entering on the more remote area and the unsteady trail leads you to the western edge of the lake. Again, after walking for a few hours you’ll reach flood plain area of Phoksundo Khola. Finally, after walking for 4-5 hours on the unsteady trail you’ll reach the bridge. After crossing the river you’ll spend a night in the bank of Phuksumdo Khola.

Day 10: Trek to Phoksundo Bhanjyang 6 - 7 hrs

On this day, you’ll continue your trek through the glacial valley which heads towards the north. At the confluence of the Phoksundo Khola and another mountain stream, you’ll see an old wooden bridge.

Further, you’ll continue your walk towards the north-east of the valley. The trail along this route is a peace which indicates that fewer people traveled in this remote region.

After a steep climb, you’ll reach a valley from where you’ll get an awe-struck view of Kang La Pass. Finally, after walking for 6-7 hours you’ll reach Phoksundo Bhanjyang for overnight camping.

Day 11: Trek to Shey Gompa 4,500m. via Kang-La 5,360m. 5 - 6 hrs

This is another exciting yet a little hard and adventurous day of your trek where you’ll be crossing the Kang La Pass at 5,160 meters. This is the highest point of this great adventure trek. From the top of the pass, you’ll get fabulous views of surrounding large valley with the distant view of snow-clad mountains including Mt. Dhaulagiri.

On the way to Shey Gompa, you’ll encounter with yaks, sheep’s, and goats around the cattle herders camps. After a short stop, you’ll continue your walk through the Buddhist prayer monument known as Chorten and Mani walls.

Finally, after 5-6 hours of walk, you’ll reach the final destination Shey Gompa at an altitude of 4,500 meters. This Gompa lies at the base of the majestic Crystal Mountain which is basically regarded as a holy mountain.

Day 12: Rest day at Shey Gompa the Crystal Monastery

This day is another exciting acclimatization day at the Shey Gompa also known as the Crystal Monastery. You’ll explore around Shey Gompa which belongs to the Chaiba community followers of the Padmasambhava.

At first, it was Kagyupa monastery and the lama Ten-szin-Ra_Pa built this monastery during the 11th century. Shey Gompa is famous for the ancient pre-Buddhist culture of Bon Po. You’ll also witness the lama of Shey resides at the red hermitage known as Tsakang Gompa. Tsakang used to be a meditation center for many famous Lamas from Tibet.

Besides the ancient Tibetan culture, you’ll get the fabulous view of Crystal mountain to the west of Shey Monastery. It is a very strange and beautiful mountain indeed. After exploring the pristine surroundings you’ll return to the guesthouse for an overnight stay.

Day 13: Trek to Namduna Gaon 4,800m via Saldang La 5,200m

On this day, you’ll start trek on the pleasant trail which leads to a grey and stony canyon. From here the zig-zag trail begins over bare rocks and coarse eroded soil until you’ll reach to the top of Saldang La (5,200 meters). From here the trail descends towards the north and finally, you’ll witness some yak pastures where you’ll some yaks and sheeps grazing.

Finally, after several hours of challenging walk, you’ll arrive at Namduna Gaon (4,800 meters) for an overnight stay. This village consists of unique six stone houses which have terraced fields on both sides of the tributary, which flow down to the Nam Khong valley. You can also explore the Namgung monastery in this village.

Day 14: Trek to Saldang 3,620m 4 - 5 hours

On this day, leaving behind the beautiful village of Namduna you’ll approach towards Saldang which is one of the largest villages of inner Dolpo area. You’ll begin your trek via steep climb and come across through the barren mountain. After 4-5 hours of the climb, you’ll arrive at Saldang (3,620m) at the high above Nam Khongna-La for an overnight stay.

Saldang consists of five small villages and belongs to the arid zone of the Trans-Himalayan Tibetan plateau. This village has a total of 80 houses with approximately six hundred people. As this village lies at the main trading route to Tibet, it holds great significance in the business arena.

Day 15: Trek to Yangze Gompa 4,960m 4 - 5 hrs

On this day, you’ll leave Saldang for Yangze Gompa. Today is the short walk about 4-5 hours on the least explored region on the north side. On most of the way, you’ll follow the Nang Chu river. Passing through the small settlements of Tiling and Lurigaon finally you’ll arrive at the village of Yangze (4,960 m).

This place is also known as Yangtsher. After crossing the tributary Panzang river, a short walk brings you to Yangze Gompa, a very old Bonpo Monastery. After exploring the monastery and village you’ll return to Yangze for an overnight stay.

Day 16: Trek to Sibu 4,560m 6 - 7 hrs

On this day, after having breakfast you’ll start trek from Yangze and walk all the way down to Sibu (4,560 meters). There are two connecting trails to Sibu one is long trail passing through the very remote villages of Nishagaon and Shimengaon. But to save time and energy you’ll retrace the same path back via Saldang village. Today’s total walk is approximately 6-7 hours.

Further continuing your trek from Saldang via the river bed, you’ll come across through terraced fields, stupas, chortens, mani walls, and a Chaiba monastery. After passing through the Namdo village which consists about sixty houses with 400 inhabitants. Here you’ll also get a chance to explore Namdo monastery which lies near the river bed. After continuing your walk for a few hours, you’ll reach the small settlement of Sibu for an overnight stay.

Day 17: Trek to Jeng-la Phedi 4,900m. 5 - 6 hrs

On this day, you’ll trek along old Trans Himalayan trade route. Walking via the bank of Nam Khong Khola on the way, you’ll encounter several yaks and mules laden caravan and merchants moving towards Tibet. Enjoying the pristine beauty, finally, after 5-6 hours of walk, you’ll reach the foot of Jeng La (4,900 m) for an overnight stay.

Day 18: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090m 5 - 6 hrs

On this day, you’ll start your trek with an interesting steep climb to the top of Jeng La at an altitude of 5,090 m. You’ll get the excellent view of Dhaulagiri massif on the north side. After having a wonderful time here you’ll descend on the rough trails to Tarap valley. This valley is one of the longest beautiful green valleys which extend about 20 km along Tarap Chu river.

This valley consists of 10 villages with beautiful farm fields, monasteries, and chortens. Further continuing your trek you’ll arrive at Tokyo Gaon (4,200 m) for an overnight stay. This is another interesting village with the old monastery. You can explore the village, visit the old monastery, and get a close insight into a local farming culture.

Day 19: Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040m 4 - 5 hrs

On this day, you’ll start with morning walk downhill towards Tarap Chu into a wide valley. The people here you’ll encounter are the followers of both Bon Po and Chaiba sects of Tibetan Buddhism. After walking for 4-5 hours, you’ll reach the beautiful village of Dho Tarap (4,040 m) for an overnight stay.

Day 20: Rest Day at Dho Tarap

This day will be your last acclimatization day during Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa trek. You’ll get a golden opportunity to create a good bond with the Dolpo people. You can also visit the nearest Buddhist gompa which is neat to your campsite. Inside the gompa, you’ll witness beautiful paintings represents both Bon Po and Nyingma traditions.

Day 21: Trek to Tarap Khola (Kamakharka) 3,800m 6 - 7 hrs

On this day, you’ll walk for quite long hours approximately 6-7 hours a day. From the lower end of the valley, Do Tarap you’ll descend towards a wide valley. Walking along the juniper bush and wild rose you’ll enter into the typical dry Himalayan valleys.

On the way, you might get lucky enough to witness some herds of blue sheep. After several hours of walk, you’ll reach the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Lang Khola. Today you’ll spend a night at Karma Kharka (3,800 m).

Day 22: Trek to Kharigaon 3,150m 5 hours

On this day, you’ll continue your trek down the gorge of the Tarap river. Here you’ll see several campsites by the river. This will be another exciting day of your trip as you’ll walk down narrow in a deep gorge. Enroute you’ll see many people taking their herds to the lower pastures for the winter via steep slopes. Finally, after walking for 5-6 hours, you’ll reach the camping site beside the Tarap Khola at Kharigaon (3,150 m).

Day 23: Trek to Tarakot 2,850m 5 hrs

On this day, you’ll begin the trek via crossing a new suspension bridge and walk along the side of the river. Today’s walk is quite demanding as sometimes you’ll go very high and cross some wet stepping stones. Passing through the village of Lalberi and walking through beautiful dense forests you’ll arrive at Tarakot (2,850 m).

Finally, after 5 hours of walk, you’ll reach Tarakot village with beautiful colorful terraced fields. This is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. This beautiful village stands on a hilltop to the south of the Bheri river. This place used to be well-supervised collections of tools for the trading caravans. You can also visit Sandul Gompa which is 8 km east of Tarakot. Overnight spend at Tarakot.

Day 24: Trek to Jhupal via Dunai 2,052 m 6 - 7 hrs

On this day, you’ll retrace back to Dunai following the downhill trail. Today you’ll walk around 6-7 hours. Walking alongside the Bheri river you’ll reach the village of Dunai (2,052 m). From Dunai village, you’ll walk in flat land and after some steep climb, you’ll reach Jhupal for an overnight stay.

Today will be your great day as you’ll now have completed the whole circuit of the mysterious land of Dolpo. Thus, in the evening you can celebrate the successful completion of the trek.

Day 25: Fly Jhuphal - Nepalgunj - Kathmandu

On this day, early morning you’ll take a short and scenic flight enjoying the jaw-dropping view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. After 35 minutes flight over the Himalayan foothills, you’ll land at Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, you’ll again take a flight back to Kathmandu.

Once you arrive at the domestic terminal of International Airport in Kathmandu our representative will receive and transfer you to the respected hotel. You can rest and relax after such a long adventurous journey. Overnight stay at the hotel in the Kathmandu.

Day 26: In Kathmandu

This will be your last free day in Kathmandu where you can indulge yourself in exploring the cultural and historical landmarks of Kathmandu city. Besides, you can also do shopping or stroll around the nearby places like Thamel or Durbarmarg. Both these places are a hot spot where you can good stuff representing Nepal and its culture. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 27: Transfer to Airport for international departure

Our representative will escort you to the Tribhuvan International Airport to catch your returning flight. Hope to see you again!

  • Pick up from airport and transfer to hotel
  • Accommodation in kathmandu  as your Budget.
  • Kathmandu valley sight seeing and prepare for trek
  • An  professional Sherpa Guide with Government License
  • Sherpa porter who will carry your baggage(2 person 1 sherpa porter)
  • Food in Trekking(Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner  )
  • All Accommodation during Trekking(Tea House/ Camping)
  • Necessary Trekking permits
  • TIMS (Trekkers Information Management system card)
  • Necessary Equipment( sleeping bag and Down Jacket)
  • All programme as per Itinerary
  • Necessary flight Ticket/ Land Transport(Domestic only )
  • Food , salary  Transport, clothing for Guide and Porter
  • Insurance for Guide and Porter
  • Rescue  Help
  • Restricted Area Permit

  • Lunch and dinner in kathmandu .
  • Any kinds of Drinks( soft and Hard Drinks)
  • Visa, international flight ticket
  • Personal Nature expenses
  • Tips for Staffs
  • Rescue and Evacuation cost

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