Lower Dolpo Trekking

14 Days

Do you really like the Lower Dolpa Trek and would love to help you explore this special place in Nepal.

Lower Dolpo Trekking is a faraway and wild area, considered by many to be one of the most magical and mysterious places in the Himalayas. It’s surrounded by big mountain ranges like Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal to the east and south, and the Jumla district to the west. High passes to the south isolate it from the rest of Nepal.


The Lower Dolpa Trek takes you on an adventure through remote and rugged Himalayan valleys in western Nepal. This trek gives you a unique and memorable experience. You’ll see snowy peaks, ancient villages, diverse wildlife, Buddhist monasteries, and beautiful lakes. The people in this area are friendly, with a captivating culture and traditions. Lower Dolpo is rich in natural beauty and culture, offering stunning views of Trans-Himalayan Mountains, Tibetan Buddhist and Bonpo culture, breathtaking landscapes, the turquoise Phoksundo Lake, impressive mountain peaks, high passes, and a true sense of wilderness.

Major Highlights

The cultural traditions in this area are closely connected to Tibet. Trekking here exposes you to the high and isolated valleys of the Himalayas, resembling the Tibetan highlands. A major highlight is the Shey-Phoksundo National Park, Nepal’s largest National Park. Shey-Phoksundo Lake is another highlight, surrounded by rocks, forests, and snow-capped peaks, making it one of the World’s Natural Hidden Wonders. Challenging passes like Numa La Pass and Baga La Pass offer excellent views of Dhaulagiri range, Nilgiri, Kyangyu Ripa, Annapurna range, and many other mountains.

Trail Experience and Itinerary

Our 17-day Lower Dolpa Trek starts in the lively capital city and includes a scenic flight to Nepalgunj, then to Juphal. We trek to Dunai through remote areas, enjoying the beautiful rain shadow landscape of the Himalayas. The trail goes through Shey-Phoksundo National Park, where we see the crystal blue Shey-Phoksundo lakes and join the ancient Nepal-Tibet trade route. We discover yak caravans maintaining the ancient salt trade route to Tibet. The trek offers colorful barren slopes, and we pass through Tarakot, Laina, Nawarpani to reach Dho Tarap, an ancient village with century-old traditions. Crossing two high passes, Numa La and Baga La, we enjoy panoramic views and descend to Phoksundo Lake passing meadows and waterfalls. Ringmo village, near Phoksundo Lake, is rich in Buddhist and Bon Po culture.

Excursions to ancient monasteries and Bonpo shrines around the lake make the trip even more worthwhile. From Phoksundo Lake, we return to Juphal through Chepka.

Our Goal

We strive to make our guests happy and satisfied, providing friendly human resources, skilled cooks, and tasty food. We look forward to having you join us for this exciting and unforgettable trip.

Trip Highlights

  • Majestic views of the snow-capped Dhaulagiri Range and Kanjiroba Himal
  • Cultural immersion in ancient villages like Tarakot, Dho Tarap, and Ringmo
  • Serene beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake with its crystal-clear blue waters
  • Exploring the dense forests of Shey Phoksundo National Park
  • Chance encounters with rare wildlife including snow leopards and blue sheep
  • Conquering the challenging Numa La and Baga La mountain passes
  • Panoramic vistas of mountains and valleys from the summit
  • Experiencing the rich customs, rituals, and festivals of the ethnic groups
  • Remote and untouched wilderness of the Lower Dolpo region
  • Government-registered trekking agency providing necessary permits for a seamless journey

Lower Dolpo Trekking Itinerary

After breakfast at the hotel in Kathmandu, we move to Tribhuvan International Airport early in the morning. The flight to Mahendra Airport in Nepalgunj takes about 50 minutes, and it's 200 meters above sea level. While flying, we enjoyed looking at the Himalayan mountains. When we arrived in Nepalgunj (which is like the gateway to Simikot), the weather was warmer than in Kathmandu.

Because Nepalgunj is close to India, things like vegetables are less expensive. Many Nepali people go shopping in Rupaidiha, a small market town just across the border. Nepalgunj has the biggest temple called Bageshwori Temple, which is famous and very religious. It's dedicated to the goddess Bageshwori, a form of Durga. Visitors can go to the temple, participate in arati, and there's also a small zoo with a playground and some animals.

If you're interested, you can take a bicycle trip to the Rapti River and experience an elephant safari at Bardia National Park, which is not far from the main market of Nepalgunj. However, these activities will need extra days. At Bardia National Park, you can see more than three hundred and fifty species of birds and other wild animals like deer, wild boars, wild elephants, crocodiles, dolphins, and blue bulls. After the visit, we go back to the hotel where our accommodation is arranged.

We will spend the night at the hotel.

We will take a beautiful flight to Juphal, where we'll see green hills with small villages and snowy mountain peaks. The flight lasts about 40 minutes, and Juphal is the main airport in the Dolpa region. Once we arrive in Juphal, our trek to Dunai begins. We'll walk through fields on hillsides, going down steep slopes, and pass by a small group of buildings near Thulo Bheri Khola. From there, we can see the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain peaks. Following the Bheri River, we'll keep walking until we reach Dunai, which is the main town in the Dolpo region and the central trading center.

We will spend the night at a teahouse.

The path goes up through a pine forest, and we'll come across various campsites next to the river. As we move forward, the valley becomes narrow, forming a deep gorge. The gorge is full of excitement and thrills. Along the way, we'll notice many people guiding their herds to lower pastures for the winter, navigating steep slopes. Passing through smaller villages and a small wooded area, we'll continue following the river until we reach Tarakot, a sizable and interesting village with a long history and well-kept terraced farm fields. Tarakot has an old historical fortress (called Dzong or Kot) that protects the village. Once we arrive in Tarakot, we'll visit Sandul Gompa, which is about 8 kilometers east of the village, situated at the meeting point of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu rivers.

We will spend the night at the camp.

We stroll beside the Tarap Chu river until we reach Sandul Gompa, which is located where the Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu rivers meet. Continuing on a path, we pass through farm terraces and rural villages. The trail leads us into a narrow gorge with juniper and wild rose bushes, where we might spot some wildlife like Naur or Blue Sheep, along with other animals. The path steeply descends to a lovely waterfall at Laina Odar.

We will spend the night at the camp.

We'll go up a steep trail and walk in a zigzag pattern above the Tarap River. The walk is quite adventurous because the valley becomes a narrow gorge, and in some places, you can hop from one side to the other. We'll experience several energetic climbs and descents, leading us to the banks of the Chyugur Khola. After crossing a suspension bridge, we'll walk alongside the stream of Chaya Khola. The local slate rock is excellent for building bridges and stairways for the trail. As we continue towards Tazam, we'll cross another suspension bridge to the riverbank and follow the riverside trail until we reach Nawarpani. This is a stop for mule caravans.

We will spend the night at the camp.

Our trek kicks off by crossing the river bank using a bridge. We pass by a small cave and a campsite, then climb a thrilling section of the trail carved into the rock face. Gradually, we ascend to Kamattarka at the meeting point of the Tarap Chu on a wooden bridge at Tal Tole. We continue climbing on the east bank, moving through a classic eroded Trans-Himalayan landscape, reaching a chorten on a ridge called Serkam. Serkam used to be a border post between Nepal and Tibet in the 19th century, now abandoned.

Descending from Serkam, we move along the Sishul Khola. The trail then gently climbs to two weatherworn chortens and a mani wall on top of a ridge. After that, it descends all the way to Do Tarap, offering impressive views. Do Tarap is a beautiful village surrounded by an irregular stone wall. The major inhabitants of the region follow Bon Po and Chaiba religious sects. It is home to a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for generations.

We will spend the night at the camp.

Today, we will explore the village of Dho Tarap and visit its monasteries. The village is made up of clusters of closely packed stone houses and corrals surrounded by fields of barley. In this area, big shaggy yaks are used for plowing and carrying heavy loads. It will be interesting to see three special monasteries: Ribo Bhumpa Gompa, which has a unique 'chorten in a chorten' containing remains of a demon killed by Guru Rinpoche. The paintings inside the chorten represent both Bonpo and Nyingma traditions. Doro Gompa, located on the north side of the river, has an unusual entrance. Shipchok Gompa, belonging to the Bonpo school, is across the river and can be recognized by the dozen Mustang-style chortens. It has a beautifully carved door and a finely painted prayer wheel in the atrium. We'll also learn about the local culture. The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing, sometimes dyed maroon, and they prefer Tibetan-style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for footwear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber, and turquoise. The people of the region follow both Bon Po and Nyingmapa (Buddhist sects).

We will spend the night at the camp.

Leaving Dho Tarap village, we walk through an impressive gate called kani and climb to the century-old Mekyem Gompa, where there's a large statue of Maitreya Buddha. The trail continues uphill through Crystal Mountain School, reaching Gakar village and Dorje Phurba Gompa, which has a collection of ancient weapons. After that, the trail moves towards the Tarap Chu river, offering mesmerizing views of the vast Tarap valley with its wide plains and high mountains. We cross the river over a wooden bridge that leads to Mondo. Here, the trail divides. We follow the southern branch route to Numa La, passing the white-walled Jampa Lhakhang to Tokyu village, which houses a Buddhist monastery of the Chiba sect. After exploring the monastery, following a one-hour steep ascent on a rough trail, we will reach Numa La base camp.

We will spend the night at the camp.

This is one of the challenging parts of the trek. We will cross the stream by stepping on rocks and then climb up steeply on trails that yaks use, going up a grassy slope to a ridge with several mani walls and a chorten. After that, we'll go down into a high glacial bowl and cross a small stream. From there, we have a long climb up a moraine to reach Numa La. We climb towards Numa La Pass on a steep trail all the way to the top ridge of the pass. From the ridge, we get incredible views of the barren mountains of Dolpo, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Shey Shikha, and other peaks. After descending from the pass, we enter a scenic U-shaped rocky valley, crossing streams and slopes. On the way, we might see yak caravans carrying timber from Phoksundo to Dho Tarap. Finally, we reach pastures at Pelung Tang.

We will spend the night at the camp.

After having breakfast, we keep going up another steep climb to the top of Baga La Pass. From here, we enjoy the fantastic view of the dry landscape and the faraway snow-capped mountains, including Mt. Kanjirowa. We spend some time at the top of the pass, taking in the mesmerizing views before heading down to Dajok Tang. The final descent involves steep switchbacks, leading us to Dajok Tang, a meadow marked with prayer flags. This valley is truly spectacular and one of the most scenic areas in western Nepal, featuring a large moraine at its head and numerous waterfalls.

We will spend the night at the camp.

On this day, we will hike to Phoksundo Lake, which is the deepest and second-largest lake in Nepal. During the day, we'll take a short hike to the village of Ringmo and visit the Bon monastery. Ringmo, a traditional village in Dolpo, sits on the landslide dam that formed Phoksundo Lake above sea level. The people here are mostly of Tibetan ethnicity, follow the Bonpo faith, and are involved in trade, yak herding, and tourism. We will have the opportunity to explore the local culture.

On the south edge of the lake, there is the Bon tradition Pal Sentan Chholing Gompa. Bon is the religion practiced in Tibet before Buddha's influence reached the western Himalayan region of Nepal. We should pass a mani wall or Chorten on the left side within the gompa. After exploring this culturally rich Bon Monastery, we will trek down to Phoksundo Lake via steep cliffs. The lake is known for its magnificent turquoise color and stunning scenery. There are beautiful glaciers near the lake area. We will also explore the wonderful natural sites, monasteries, and Bon-Po religious sites.

We will spend the night at the camp.

We will walk along the path by the riverside and go up a steep trail. After an hour of climbing uphill, we will reach a hilltop where the river we followed earlier starts to get smaller. The last view of Phoksundo Lake from the top of the hill is really fascinating. Then we'll slide down for a bit and continue the trek on a leveled trail to Chunuwar. After Chunuwar, the trail gently descends through lush forests of pines and birches to Recchi. Then, there are a series of gentle ups and downs along the trail beside the river until we reach Chepka. From Chepka, the trail goes past a massive overhanging rock. During our trek, we'll come across many important medicinal minerals believed to cure almost anything. The route then goes through several small villages before reaching Shyanta.

We will spend the night at the camp.

Starting from Dunai, we walk along the Bheri River, enjoying the pretty scenery. Along the way, we pass through Dhupichaur and Rupgad villages, as well as a temple. We keep trekking through Kalagaonda village and Motipur village. The trail widens, and we experience some short uphill and downhill stretches as we head towards Thuli Bheri River valley to reach Dunai. In the evening, there will be a celebration to mark the completion of the trek.

We will spend the night at a teahouse.

After breakfast in the morning, we'll take a flight back to Nepalgunj and then catch another flight to Kathmandu on the same day. Our representative will accompany you to your hotel once you arrive in Kathmandu. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing or shopping for gifts and souvenirs.

We will spend the night at the hotel.

Included and Not Included in Your Lower Dolpo Trekking

Cost Includes

  • Trek with an English speaking govt licensed trekking guide
  • 1 porter (betn two clients) to carry your luggage during the trek (max 24 kg; i.e. 12kg pP)
  • Accommodation during the trek in carefully selected teahouses as per the itinerary
  • Flight from Ktm-Nepalgunj-Juphal & return
  • Duffel bag and trekking map
  • Shey- Phoksundo National Park Entry permit
  • Lower Dolpo Special permits fee
  • Trekkers Information Management System [TIMS] registration card
  • Necessary paper works, all government, and local taxes
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu by the host family at Typical Nepali Cultural Restaurant
  • First aid medical kit, oxymeters to check pulse, heart rate & oxygen saturation carried by guide

Cost Excludes

  • International Airfare to and from your country
  • Nepal visa (USD 25 for 15 days and USD 40 for 30 days, two passport photographs required). For the further more information, have visit Nepal Immigration Department official website.
  • Insurance - Following stated things must be submit while you do trips through (GTT)
  • You must submit copy of your insurance certificate included standard policies that covers trekking activities up to 5000m
  • Your Insuarnce policy must cover accidents, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation including helicopter rescue upto 5000m and it is excluded in the trip price
  • At the time of you do Insurance you should read the policy carefully whether your requirements are included or not
  • GTT also recommends your insurance policy covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects
  • Any alcoholic beverages, cold drinks and boiled water as well as snacks, deserts etc. during the trek
  • Tipping is a culture in Nepal and is expected by your staff (guides, porters, drivers)
  • Hot shower, wifi, battery charges (available at extra cost in lodges, sometimes free)
  • Unforeseen expenses not under our control such as flight cancellations or delays, weather-related issues, illness during the trek, rescue costs, etc
  • Any other costs not specifically included. Please feel free to ask if in doubt

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Lower Dolpo Trekking

Trip Facts: Lower Dolpo Trekking

  • Kathmandu
  • Tribhuvan International Airport
  • Private
  • Private vehicle, Flight
  • (March to May) (September to November)
  • 5,190 meters (17,023 feet)
  • 5-7 Hours
  • Kathmandu