The Dolpo Experience

Grade 1 2 3 4 5
Grade 4 – Demanding
These treks require participants to be in excellent health. They take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000ft / 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500ft / 5,000m. Trails venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness, and are often ill defined, occasionally on glacial moraines. Average walking is 6 - 9 hours a day.
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Trek Difficulty Grading

Our treks vary from easy hikes in the foothills to challenging climbing adventures in the high Himalaya. More often than not, we use trails that have since ancient times been the only link between villages, settlements, and their inhabitants. The trails may take you through a well-inhabited area with many villages and tea-shops, or through a mountain wilderness without a single permanent settlement for days, but one thing is certain: there'll be lots of ups and downs as we walk from one Himalayan valley to another. Treks are graded on the basis of altitude, trails, walking hours per day, and length of trek.

Grade 1 – Easy
Treks in the foothills staying below 6,500ft / 2,000m. Trails are relatively gentle & wide, and average walking is 3 - 4 hours a day.
Grade 2 – Moderate
Treks in the foothills and the middle-hills going up to 10,000ft / 3,000m. Trails are mostly gentle and wide, but at times may involve more difficult stretches like a steep stone staircase. Average walking is 5 - 6 hours a day.
Grade 3 – Challenging
Fairly demanding treks, usually in the high Himalaya, going up to 13,000ft / 4,000m. Trails can be ill defined, narrow, steep, and rocky, and will usually take you into uninhabited or sparsely inhabited areas. Average walking is 6 - 7 hours a day.
Grade 4 – Demanding
These treks require participants to be in excellent health. They take you into the high Himalaya, altitudes ranging from 9,000ft / 2,800m to often in excess of 16,500ft / 5,000m. Trails venture into sparsely populated or uninhabited high-mountain wilderness, and are often ill defined, occasionally on glacial moraines. Average walking is 6 - 9 hours a day.
Note on altitudes
The altitude definitions indicate elevations through the major part of the trek. Treks usually involve side-trips into elevations exceeding the altitude ranges defined for their grades. Grade 3 and grade 4 trek itineraries are designed to allow proper acclimatization, with acclimatization days when we take side trips to higher elevations where necessary.

 

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18 days – The essence of this magical land in a two-week rigorous trek
  • 15 days demanding trekking in the middle hills/ high Himalaya
  • Leisure in Kathmandu
  • Dramatic views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanjiroba & Sisne Himal, Phoksundo Lake
  • Plentiful cultural encounters with the Dolpalis and other ethnic peoples of the middle hills
dolpo-village-270x180Probably the best moderate-length wilderness and culture trek in the Nepal Himalaya, this takes the approach from Jumla across the Kagmara La pass to the Phoksundo lake. Starting with a flight to Jumla, we trek up through the Tila Khola valley, passing Hindu Indo-Aryan settlements amidst cultivated hillsides. We cross the Buraburi La pass to descend to the Buddhist village of Hurikot. The trail climbs through walnut & oak forests, and we enter the national park at Tojem. From here, Phoksundo Lake is still four days, and the ascent of the Kagmara La takes two days, rewarded at the summit with a dramatic view of the Kanjiroba Himal. We continue up the valley through the Bon-po settlement of Pungmo to Sumdoa, the national park headquarters. Climbing through the rocky terrain and past an awesome waterfall, we are greeted with our first view of the turquoise lake. We spend a day exploring the lake and visiting the Ringmo monastery on the opposite shore. Returning from the lake, we follow valley of the Suli Gad – the stream that drains the lake – through the villages of Shepka, Ankhe, and Rohagaon to Dunai, where the Suli Gad meets the Bheri. We trek the following day to Juphal, from where we take a flight to Nepalganj.
Trip Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu.

Days 2-3 Fly Kathmandu – Nepalgunj – Jumla; start trek
We start with a flight to Nepalganj (152m) and onward the following morning to Jumla (2,345m). Meeting the trek crew, this day we trek along the Tila Khola past some Hindu settlements and camp by the river in a beautiful valley.

Days 4-6 Across Buraburi La to Bhaisichaur
We trek up and down through Hindu Aryan and Buddhist settlements, forests and pastures. Staying in Napokuna, a Buddhist village with a gompa and chortens, we cross the Buraburi La pass (4,130m) the following day. At the top of the pass we are enticed by superb panoramas of the Mata Thumpa peak, the Kagmara peaks, the Kagmara & Balangra passes, and the Bheri river valley. We descend to camp amidst fine vistas at Bhaisichaur.

Days 7-10 Across Kagmara La to Shey-Phoksundo
Descending gradually to Hurikot, another Buddhist village, we detour and climb towards the Kagmara lekh. Passing through oak & walnut forests along the confluence of the Jagdula and Garpung Kholas, we enter the national park at Tojem. A day’s steep ascent brings us to the base of the pass. Monkeys and ghorals can be seen along the forested trail, embellished by some fine meadows and waterfalls. We cross the Kagmara La (5,115m), rewarded at the pass summit with a dramatic view of Kanjiroba (6,882m), Kanjeralwa (6,612m), and several other peaks. We descend to camp in a beautiful meadow. Continuing up the valley above the rivulets, we descend to Pungmo, a Bon po village that characterizes its remoteness, with gompas and chortens in the neighborhood. We carry on to Sumdoa, the national park headquarters, situated by the outlet of the lake.

Days 11-12 The Turquoise Lake
We continue northwards gradually climbing over the rocky terrain and past a huge mani wall, stumbling across an awesome waterfall. Climbing a little, we come in sight of the turquoise lake, set in a cleft between steep jagged rockfaces towering above. The village of Ringmo is on the west shore and the gompa is across the lake from where we are. We spend a day exploring and visiting the surroundings.

Days 13-17 Return via Dunai and Juphal
Leaving the lake behind, we follow the trail across the Suli Gad river, the outlet of the lake, descending gradually to Sumdoa. The trail continues along the river valley through the villages of Shepka, Ankhe, and Rohagaon to Dunai, the administrative center of the Dolpo district. The following day we trek to Juphal, from where we take a flight to Nepalganj. From Nepalganj you can proceed to a wildlife safari at Royal Bardia Natlional Park or take the flight back to Kathmandu.

Day 18 Depart for onward destination.

Dates and Pricing
We can operate private departures for groups of four or more from May through September.
  Standard Hotels
4 or more personsUS$ Prices will vary with group size; please check with us.
Single room supplement US$ 210
Airfare Kathmandu - Nepalganj - Jumla; Juphal - Nepalganj - KathmanduUS$ 522
Cost Information
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Cost Information

The trip cost quoted is the cost per person, and includes:

  • Hotels: Accommodations in Kathmandu and Pokhara on twin / triple room-sharing basis with breakfast.
  • Tours: Sightseeing tours indicated with a certified English-speaking guide.
  • Transfers: All land transfers by car (Toyota Corolla or similar) or van (Toyota Hiace or similar).
  • Trekking: Room-sharing accommodation in local lodges, all meals, services of trek crew (guide, sherpa(s), and porter(s) to carry all luggage & equipment), applicable trekking / ACAP permit / National Park entry fees.
  • Permits, Fees, & Taxes: All applicable permits, entry fees, and taxes.
  • Trek leader: We provide a trek leader on groups of six or more. A tour leader can be provided upon request for smaller groups, upon additional cost.

Not included in the cost are:

  • Meals other than indicated.
  • Flights: All internal flights are extra. Internal airfares indicated are subject to change without notice.
  • Personal clothing & equipment (upon confirmation you’ll receive a clothing & necessity checklist of items we recommend you bring, items you can hire / purchase locally are indicated).
  • Personal expenses, bottled / alcoholic beverages, and tips to crew.
  • Insurance: We strongly recommend that all trip participants be covered by their own personal insurance that also covers emergency evacuation.
  • Other unforeseeable expenses that may arise due to factors beyond our control, like bad weather or flight cancellations.
  • Nepal visa fee.

 

  Standard Hotels
KathmanduNirvana Garden Hotel
NepalganjHotel Batika
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