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Starts from: Beni
Best Season: Spring, summer and autumn
Duration of trip: 26 days
Dolpo had remained a restricted zone for foreign trekkers until a few years back. With the decision of the Nepali government to open this area for trekking this once elusive area has become a hotspot for trekkers visiting Nepal. Dolpo has retained most of its traditions and cultures. Time seems to stand still for people living in this area. They follow the same centuries old traditions and cultures and wear costumes that have seen no changes with the passage of time.
The trek follows a route that goes past enchanting forests of pine, oak, rhododendron and juniper filled with wild flowers and animals that are listed as endangered. The mountain vistas on this trail are magnificent and breathtaking and the rivers and brooks so pristine and pure. We cross a high pass the Numala Pass at 5360 meters and visit the jewel of Dolpo, The Shey Phoksundo Lake.
This trek is strenuous but adventurous and rewarding because of the enchanting natural vistas and rich cultural experience that it offers. This trek makes for an unforgettable experience!
Detail itinerary for the trek:
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu
As you fly into Kathmandu, the views of snow-capped mountain peaks greet you. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
Day 2 Kathmandu- Pokhara- fly/ drive 900m/hotel
Today we take a flight or bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Day 3 Pokhara- Beni by Jeep (844m)-Tatopani
From Pokhara we take a jeep to Beni. We drive uphill on a winding road all the way to Naudanda. The road then descends to Nayapul. We get a panoramic view of Annapurna South, Machhapuchre, green hills, terraced fields and villages. This is one of Nepals picturesque road journeys. We journey along the banks of the Myagdi River till we reach Beni. Beni(820m)is a large village situated in a plateau above the river. The trail to Dhorpatan and Dolpo starts at the southern end of Beni. Follow the river (MyagdiKhola), which starts from the Dhaulagiri Glacier. There is a hot spring (Tatopani) along the way. We stay overnight at Tatopani.
Day 4 Tatopani – Ratodunga
We cross the bridge of MyagdiKhola and climb up a rocky path dug into the cliff just over the river. The trail ascends and descends through village and forest. People of this area belong to Magar, Chhetri and few other ethnic clans. We camp at Ratodunga.
Day 5 Ratodunga – Muna
We walk through a flat path passing the villages of Takum and Sibang. After Sibang we climb up and come to the small village of Mattim. From here there is a crest, which we descend to reach Muna
Day 6 Muna – JaljalaJangla (3390m) /7hrs
We take the trail from Muna to Jaljala La (3390m.) via Lumsum (2100m.) and Moreni (2670m.). To reach Lumsum we make a steep ascent, passing through oak and rhododendron forests with views of the Himalayan peaks Dhaulagiri, Mana Pathi and other unnamed peaks. En route we pass through Moreni village, where the villagers are of Tibetan descent and follow Tibetan culture. We make a steep ascent till we reach Jaljala. Jaljala is an alpine grassland situated atop a ridge. People of nearby villages bring their yaks, goat and sheep for grazing. A fine camping area, the view of Dhaulagiri range from this point is just spellbinding. From the top of Jangla La starts the old kingdom of Tichrong, the valley of fragrant water. Tichurong was an independent kingdom whose capital was Tarakot or Taragaon or Dzong.
Day 7 Jaljala – Dhorpatan (2830m)/ 6-7 hrs
Today we trek from Jaljala La to Dhorpatan (2830m.) via Gurjakot (3070m.).The trails until Gurjakot are steep descentsfor the first half. After that the terrain changes to flat land all the way to Dhorpatan. We walk along the banks of the river passing through forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, juniper and other local vegetation. Gurjakot is a small village mostly dominated by people who follow Tibetan culture. There are chortens, mani walls and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Dhorpatan, our stop, is a point where roads from Baglung, Beni, Rolpa and Rukum meet. There is a small airport. The place has apple orchards and fields of wheat, buckwheat, maize and potatoes growing in terraces. One of the most significant features about this place is that anyone can go for hunting by paying certain fees to the Government authority.
Day 8 Dhorpatan – Phagune Pass (4061m)/ 6-7 hrs
We head uphill up to Phagune Pass, leaving Dhorpatan. On the way we pass grassland and sparse forests. Phagune Pass is surrounded by green hills and we can see distant mountain top villages. We camp for the night at a grassy campsite.
Day 9 Phagune Pass- Pelma (2400m)
Today we follow a steep trail that goes down past villages, terraced fields and a suspension bridge over the Pelma Khola (stream). As we cross the bridge we follow a gentle ascent up through terraces and local villages all the way to Takur. This is a small village where you find local people being involved in their daily activities. The trail from Takur to Pelma moves down all the way crossing a wooden bridge over Pelma Khola. On the way, you can see several villages, terraces, green hills and local people. Pelma is another remote village.
Day 10 Pelma- Dhule (3300m)
We trek from Pelma to Dhule (3300m.) crossing Yamakhar (2480m.) and Gorba Khola (2930m.). After crossing Pelma Khola the trail climbs steeply up all the way to Dhule. En route, we pass through picturesque villages, fields and green hills. We camp for the night at Dhule, a mountain village.
Day 11 Dhule – SengKhola(4000m) / 6hours
Leaving Dhule we trek via NautaleBhanjyang (3961m.) to Seng Khola. The trail moves up through dense forests of rhododendron, pine and juniper till we reach Nautale Bhanjyang. From here we get magnificent views of the Dhaulagiri range and other Himalayan peaks. To reach Seng Khola we make a gentle ascent for a couple of hours, until the trail turns steep up all the way to our destination. SengKhola is a small village that lies on the banks of Seng River. There are terraced fields of wheat, buckwheat and potatoes surrounding the village. We camp near the village.
Day 12 SengKhola – Sahartara(2600m)
We trek from SengKhola to Purpang(4050m) following a steep and rocky path. En route we come across alpine grassland and Panidal Pass at 4412m. From here we have panoramic views of Dhaulagiri range, Kantagaton Himal, Nurbukang Himal and other unnamed peaks. While heading towards Purpang, we cross a rocky and slippery trail. Purpang is an open rocky grassland surrounded by spectacular mountains. From Purpang to Sahartara (2600m.) the trail is steep and rocky. From Jangla Bhanjyang we get panoramic views of Norbu Himal, Kantagaton, Dhaulagiri and other Himalayan peaks. Crossing Jangla Bhanjyang, we follow a gentle descending path all the way to Tokar, a small village surrounded by hills. After passing through some villages on our way down we at last reach Sahar Tara, our camp for the night.
Day 13 Sahar
Tara- Rest day / hotspring
Sahar Tara is a small village with terraced fields. The village has a hot spring and today we spend some leisurely hours bathing at the hot spring easing our tired muscles.
Day 14 Sahar Tara – Lahini(2600m)
From Sahar Tara we follow a trail along the banks of the river till we reach a large, green valley. Trekking en route from the village of Khani Gaon to Lahini we may see musk deer bounding away in the midst of juniper and pine forest. We camp at Lahini.
Day 15 Lahini- Pibke Cave (3850m)
From Lahini the trail becomes narrow and adventurous as we walk through in landslide and avalanches area. We set up camp at Pibke caves, which are situated in a grassy area.
Day 16 Pibke Cave – Dho Tarap(4040m)
Today we approach the most difficult and dangerous part of the trek. The valley narrows, and we approach deep gorges and cross many small bridges. We follow a path that is carved out of a rocky cliffside. Following an adventurous trail we reach Dho Tarap.
Day 17 DhoTarap- rest day
Today we spend a rest day at Dho Tarap. DhoTarap is a large village decorated by colorful prayer flags. There are chortens, mani walls and monasteries. Villagers grow wheat, buckwheat, barley, potatoes and green vegetables in terraced fields. There are teahouses, shops with minimal supplies and lodges. We will take a nature hike and enjoy traditional dances and songs.
Day 18 DhoTarap- Numala Base camp (5360m)
After visiting all the Gompas and chorten in Tarap Valley we take a trail that climbs up through grassy meadows filled with wild flowers to reach the Numala Basecamp. From the Basecamp we have a beautiful view of the distant Tibetan mountains and upper Tarap Valley.
Day 19 Numala Basecamp- Numala Pass (5190m), Bagala Basecamp (Pelungthang) 4465m)
Today we cross Numala Pass and descend towards Poyon khola until we reach Bagala Basecamp. Bagala Basecamp is surrounded by big glaciers and blade shaped rock cliffs. We stop for the night at Pelungtang,a village surrounded by hills with temporary houses, yak pastures and terraces. For the first time you can see Topo Peak (4900m.) in panorama. The Norbukang Himal sparkles at the background.
Day 20 Pelungthang- Bagala Pass (5070m), Yak Kharka (3926m)/ 6hrs
We make our way to Yak Kharka via Bagala Pass. From the pass we get to enjoy the beautiful view of Kanjiroba massif. After Baga La the trails turn gentle down all the way to Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is open grassland and grazing ground for yaks and sheep.
Day 21 Yak Kharka- Ringmo- Phoksundo Lake/ 7hrs
The trek to Phoksondo Lake (3728m.) via Ringmo (3730m.) takes about seven hours. From Yak Kharkatill Ringmo the trail goes downhill. Ringmo is a small village inhabited by Gurung and Thakuri communities. We move along the flat land passing through pine forests, grassland, terraces, hills and villages. The views of Phoksundo Lake appear before you. After crossing a wooden bridge we reach our destination. Phoksundo Lake is the deepest lake of the world. The big village lying at the bank of this lake is quite rich in Buddhist culture as there are monasteries, chortens, mani walls, shops, prayer flags, hotels, lodges, terraces and so on. This village is surrounded by beautiful hills.
Day 22 Phoksundo Lake- Rest Day
Today we explore the area around the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. Ringmo village, which looks like a typical Tibetan village, is scenically nestled in the area. Many beautiful glaciers can be found near and above the lake area. There are many monasteries (gompas) and Bon-Po religious sites at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these. The most famous, Shey Gompa was established in the 11th Century. Thashung Gompa located near Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago.
Day 23 Phoksundo Lake- Chhepka
After an insightful visit we leave Phoksundo and make our way towards Chhepka.The trail goes downhill through a narrow gorge of Suligad River. We pass Gurung and Tibetan villages surrounded by beautiful fields.
Day 24 Chhepka- Dunai- Juphal
The trek from Chhepka to Dunai (2150m.) takes about five hours. We trek along a gentle ascending path until we reach Raktang. On the way you come across forests covered by pine, oak, juniper, rhododendron, bamboo and other natural vegetation rich in wildlife. After leaving Raktang, we go down steeply for a few hours until our trail moves along a flat land. En route we cross several terraces; villages rich in typical culture, check post and grassland. Dunai is the headquarters of Dolpa region. There are administrative offices, lodges, hotels, teahouses, markets and many other places to be visited. We trek a few more hours to reach to Juphal, our stop.
Day 25 Juphal- Fly to Nepalgunj- Kathmandu
From Juphal we fly to Nepalganj and then finally to Kathmandu.
Day 26 Depart from Kathmandu
Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you’ll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight.
Trip Cost Includes
- All airport/hotel transfers
- (standard) hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- All accommodation and meals during the trek
- A full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu valley including tour guide and transport
- Domestic flights and airport departure taxes
- An experienced English-speaking trekking guide, assistant trek guide and porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers:1 porter). This includes their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
- A comprehensive medical kit
- Rescue arrangement service
Trip Cost Does Not Include
- Nepal visa fee
- Airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Excess baggage charges
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu/City
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower,etc)
- Tips for guides and porters
Are standard and vary according to the availability and place.
Our Upper DolpaTrek Via Beni route itinerary is planned with an awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill you. The higher the altitude the less oxygen is in air. For example, there is 50% less oxygen than of the sea level. Your body needs some days to adapt to this ‘less oxygen’ environment. So for a safe trek, it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. We especially advise the guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes your Upper Dolpa Via Beni Route trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced and helpful trek leader and crew members. Professional guides will lead your trip. All of our trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their experience appropriate to each individual trek. With an objective of sustaining local communities All Trekkers Team supplies only Nepalese staffs that have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trek leaders of ATTm are also trained with and educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues:
- Intensive Wilderness First Aid
- Trekking Guide Training
- English Language
- Conservation and Biodiversity
- Rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (applies to expeditions)
The Trekking Group
For the Upper Dolpa Via Beni Route Trek, there will be one guide, assistant guide and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter) This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group become sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Upper Dolpa Via Beni Route Trek for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of twelve people, as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this.
Though often overlooked, it is important to mention. The trekking and expedition companies in Nepal are built on the back of hard working local porters. It is their tireless efforts carrying supplies, equipment and baggage that make the journeys to these remote areas possible. So it's very sad for that there is a history of exploitation and abuse at the hands of the industry. In an effort to combat this, we are firmly committed to porter rights. We assure all our porters are to be well treated, well paid and we provide a decent level of shelter, clothing and footwear. Porters who become sick are to be treated with the same care, attention as other team members - to rescue porters from dangerous situations is our duty. And for the porter's sake we inform that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight to a maximum of 15kgs. If you need to have more weight than this additional porters can be hired. Thus we support the working conditions of the porters
Health and Experience Required:
Walking in this high Mountain Region usually requires maximum 6-8 hours of walking everyday. Climbing in the high mountain is the challenging part of your adventure and will require long hours of walking. You should be prepared max 14 Km of walking or jogging exercise everyday 1 month before your Trek starts. And also a positive attitude and a strong determination are important. Previous hiking/camping experience is good to have but technical experience is not required.
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you be protected with an insurance policy. Should medial issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs) happen it is important to be prepared. Please mind that we do not arrange or sell insurance.
Packing list and equipments:
- Big backpack
- Smaller backpack for your personal stuff (If you are using a porter and for short sight seeing)
- Two pair of wool long socks
- Three pairs of light trekking socks
- Fast drying underwear
- One pair of shorts
- One pair of light trekking pants
- One pair of warm winter pants
- Two technical long/short sleeve shirts (dry fit, fast drying)
- One fleece sweater for trekking
- Winter jacket/Dawn jacket
- Rain coat
- Comfortable “walked in” trekking boots
- Flip flops (you gonna need them to rest your feet after trekking and for the bathrooms)
- One fleece sweater for cold mountain evenings
- Thermal underwear, top and bottom
- Winter hat
- Scarf, Buff or skiing mask
- Fast drying towel
- Toiletries – Besides the basic necessary tools you are taking with you everywhere (shampoo, tooth paste and brush, shower gel, cream), you should also bring:
- Wet wipes
- Sun cream
- Toilet paper
- Antibacterial hand gel (Detol)
- Nail clipper
- Lip balm
- Tropical anti mosquito spray
- Medical kit:
- Pain killers
- Something for diarrhea
- Pills against cold
- Nose spray
- Altitude pills
- Anything about blisters (needle, compeed)
- Sore throat drops
- Cream for muscle pain
- Pills and other medicaments you usually use
- Other necessary thing you must have:
- Water purifying tabs (above 3000m the bottle water is way too expensive)
- Water bottle – 1+L
- Head lamp (for early morning trekking and the power cuts)
- Strings for hanging clothes
- Lighter and candles
- Swiss knife (with all the additions)
- Pens or Pencils (for you and for give a way to local kids)
- Note book (You want to make notes of your adventure)
- Snacks (Protein bars or biscuits for the time between meals on the trek)
- Batteries, power bag
- Phone (Emergency, internet, alarm, clock, music, photos …)
- Book (optional)
- Hooks (optional)
- Guide book