Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek - 25 days

Things to Know
  • Duration25 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • Altitude Jungberi La Pass 5550 m
  • Trip Type Camping Trek
  • Start and End Kathmandu and Kathmandu
  • Best Time March, April and May
What You’ll Do
  • Remote Splendor: Discover the hidden beauty of Upper Dolpo, away from the crowds.
  • Scenic Route: Trek from Lower Dolpo to Jomsom, taking in awe-inspiring landscapes.
  • Cultural Riches: Visit the serene Phoksundo Lake, historic Shey Gompa, and authentic local villages.
  • Mountain Adventures: Cross multiple high passes, ending your trek in the charming town of Jomsom.
  • Trek through the beaten track of Nepal that only a few visitors will ever see.
  • Witness the hunt for yarshagumba in the spring, a bizarre, highly-looking caterpillar fungus for medical qualities.
  • Buddhist holy place, Crystal Mountain, and Shey Gompa observe the unique Bon Buddhist culture.
  • More than five high passes above 5000 meters, extraordinary mountain views, meet locals and visit monasteries.

The Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek is a thrilling and awe-inspiring adventure through the most remote region of Nepal. Nestled between the Tibetan plateau to the north, Dolpo is a land where Tibetan Buddhist culture and the ancient Bon religion coexist, creating a unique and harmonious blend. This isolated area, opened to trekkers in 1989, remains largely untouched, preserving its mystique and timeless way of life.

Upper Dolpo is a hidden gem, captivating visitors with its stunning contrasts and mesmerizing beauty. Due to the special permits required to access this area, few have ventured here, keeping its allure intact. This trek offers a unique adventure, showcasing the rugged beauty and astonishing landscapes. Our 25-day journey from Upper Dolpo to Jomsom follows a clockwise route, starting in Jhupal and ending in Jomsom. We begin with a flight to Nepalgunj followed by a morning flight to Jhupal, the trek's official starting point.

From Jhupal, we head north through Lower Dolpo, passing through Dunai, the deep-blue Phoksundo Lake, waterfalls, and high mountain passes, eventually reaching Shey Gompa and the picturesque villages of Dolpo. The Upper Dolpo region starts from Shey Phoksundo onwards. We follow an ancient trade route over a high pass to the renowned Shey Monastery next to Crystal Mountain. Along the way, we are treated to majestic views of peaks like Kanjiroba, the Annapurna Ranges, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri as we cross remote mountain passes with breathtaking panoramic views. The trek includes crossing several passes, the highest being Jugben La at 5,550 meters (18,040 feet). We continue east, enjoying stunning Himalayan landscapes and mountain views, eventually descending to the airport at Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang District. From there, we take a scheduled flight back to Pokhara for an overnight stay, followed by a 7-hour drive back to Kathmandu the next morning.

Itinerary
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  • Altitude1400 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time1 hours

Our representative will greet you at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu of our officials will greet you at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, upon your arrival. We will take you to the hotel in our private tourist vehicle.

  • Altitude1400 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time4-5 hours

After breakfast, Around  8.00 am your sightseeing trip will start. You will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide. You will visit some popular UNESCO  heritage sites inside Kathmandu Valley like swayambhunath, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square 

  • Altitude165 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time1 hour fly

The flight to Nepalgunj will give you good views of the Himalayas towards the North. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening walk around the town, which is 3.5 km from the Nepal-India border.

  • Altitude2413 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • TimeTime 35 mins flight, 4-6 hours trek

Flight of approximately 45 minutes to Juphal (2475m) in the early morning are made at the small airport that allows you to approach Dolpo.
Because of bad weather, It may be postponed or even cancelled. After arrival at Jupha airport, we present our Nepali Sherpa teams, we begin our trek with a descent to the junction at an altitude of 2082m of the Thuli Bheri and Suligad rivers -the river which comes from Lake Phoksundo where we will reach in 2 days. We continue along a path along this river to arrive at the hamlet of Kageni where we first set up our camp camp with tents.

  • Altitude2940 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time6 hours

On the second day of the hike, we follow the Suligad River, which climbs gradually (succession of short climbs and short descents). Pass the Kageni, Jutung, and Shangta villages. Arrive at the confluence of Maiba Khola and Phoksundo, and traverse a bridge over Phoksundo. Head towards the north and reach Chhepka and lunch, then continue our walk along the Phoksundo Khola then we reach Rechi. Set the camp and stay overnight.

  • Altitude3733 m
  • AccommodationTentd Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

A trek to Ringmo Gaun begins. Walk through the Phoksundo Lake trail and ascend the cedar forest. Arrive at Palam which is a winter settlement of locals of Ringmo. After a few descends and ascends we will arrive at Ringmo Gaun. Get a glimpse of chortens and mani walls. Walk a little further to the shores of Phoksundo and set up the camp for an overnight stay.

  • Altitude3733 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp

An acclimatization day to adjust to the altitude for the next days. The day is spent exploring Phoksundo Lake and Ringmo village. The Tibetan village Ringmo natives are friendly and have their own culture and tradition. Also, visit Bon monastery called Tshowa. A great experience around the ancient monastery which is 900 years old. From there, a downhill walk towards Phoksundo Lake. The deepest lake in Nepal is truly mesmerizing. The turquoise colour water surrounded by natural scenery is magical. Complete the excursion and stay overnight at a camp.

  • Altitude3,680 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

We walk at the bank of Phoksunda Lake with a splendid view on a path overlooking Lake Phoksundo. We enter the Upper Dolpo area where a special permit is required. After several climbs by passing viewpoint, we descend to another side of the lake. We continue our walk up the Phoksumdo Khola valley and arrive at our camp site (3680m).

  • Altitude4402 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

Today you should take sandals or footwear suitable for knee-deep better for crossing a few streams. You walk on the north of the river, entering the glacial valley. Crossing many bridges in the river junction, continue the uphill climb to a steep George. From the top, you can see the Kang-La pass which connects us to the Dolpo valley. For today, we set our camps right at the Phoksundo Bhanjyang.

  • AltitudeKang La pass (5,151 m)
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

You will climb a hard trail toward a pass early in the morning. Although the ascent will be difficult, the view of the surrounding region from the summit will be spectacular. You will also do a steep trail descent and a stroll by a river's edge. You will journey across meadows and cross this river multiple times at various locations. The meadow is home to several yaks, mountain goats, and sheep. You will eventually arrive in Shey Gompa for the night after crossing a wooden log bridge.

  • Altitude4160 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp

Shey means crystal in the Tibetan language. This monastery is also called the Crystal Mountain. We can visit the Shey Gompa and take blessings from the Lama. We can visit the Tsakang Gompa, west of Shey. It has been a meditation hub for lamas in medieval times. The monastery was built in the 11th century. Here, we can witness the perfect blend and harmony of Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient Pre-Buddhist religion Bon Po. We can later go around the area and explore the vicinity. There is a big festival in July/August (Sharwan Purnima). Pilgrims come to make the kora in mountain crystal.

  • Altitude4430 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time6-7 hours

We follow an easy path, the wide valley crossing numerous nomad camps. We continue our walk until we reach the Shey le-la pass (5010m) from where we can view the magnificent views of the Tibet border. An easy descent then a balcony path takes us to Namgung (4430m), a small hamlet of a few houses and an ancient Buddhist monastery.

  • Altitude3,770 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

We climb up the path which allows us to exit the gorge. This way is easy and possible to see different kinds of wild animals, like blue sheep, vultures, Himalayan cock etc. We pass the Salang la pass (4400m) and descend slowly to the big village called  Saldang. That is one of the largest settlements in upper Dolpo with around 1000 inhabitants. There is Sakya-pa monastery school. It is a village known as Haut Dolpo. You can see the typical Tibetan houses.

  • Altitude4060m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

We will trek for 5-6hrs to reach Komas. On our trail, we pass through Khoma La, 4565m and then towards Khomas Village (a beautiful varied cultural village).  We see the great view of Saldang village on the way up, then begin our trek, after descending we will reach Khoma Goan. Which is very beautiful.

  • Altitude3870 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

After breakfast, we gradually move towards Shimen. During the trek, you may see wild species such as Snow Leopard and Blue Sheep. We pass through the Shimen La (4260m) and then hike towards Shimen. This village is small but very beautiful.

  • Altitude4150 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time4-5 hours

Today we will walk along the side of Panjyang Khola and look over the beautiful villages and Monasteries along the way to Tinje. we will see some agricultural land and get a chance to encounter farmers. During trekking tenure, today you will see the beautiful Himalayan valley.

  • Altitude4535 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time4-5 hours

In the morning, Tinje Gaon looks beautiful with mountains all around. We walk through fields with old Buddhist monuments and cross a river to reach the campsite. During our trek, we will cross many kharkas, the temporary seasonal home of sheep and yak also known as grazing ground.

 

3.5

  • Altitude4350 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time4-5 hours

After breakfast, we trek towards Chharka by crossing the Mola Pass (5027m). It is a 5-hour walk from Rapka. We can explore the local culture and Bon Monasteries in Chharka.

  • Altitude4860 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6

We cross a small bridge and gradually climb along the river bank to our camp at Molum Sumna. We trek towards the highland today. Crossing the hills with the beautiful views of the surroundings we trek up to Molum Sumna.

  • Altitude4247 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time6-7 hours

After breakfast, we move on towards Ghaldang Ghuldum located at 4247m. The trail takes you through Niwa La Pass (5120) and Jungbenla Pass (5550). Going to Jungbenla Pass is the highest elevation we will go through in our Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek.  You can have ample opportunity to see the different surroundings with different vegetation.

  • Altitude3710 m
  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • Time5-6 hours

After breakfast, we move up and down to reach Sangda. Sangda is an isolated village that provides a mesmerizing view of the rain shadow area and different landscapes. It is located at an elevation of 3710m. 

  • Altitude2800 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time2 hours

From Sangda we take the jeep up to Jomsom. We can enjoy a magnificent view of Thorang-la, Nilgiri Himal, Dhaulagiri and the villages of Kali Gandaki Valley.

  • Altitude822 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time20 min flight

We take a scenic flight from Jomsom. The majestic views of the entire region highlight this flight to arrive at the lake city of Pokhara. You will fly above the magnificent Himalayan landscapes getting up-close views of the region. There are various other landmarks of the city that you can observe from the top. The Jomsom to Pokhara flight takes around 20 minutes. 

  • Altitude1400 m
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Time7 hours

Finally, on the Last day, early morning, you will return to Kathmandu on a tourist bus. The 200 km route first goes along the Marsyangdi River and then the Trishuli River letting you enjoy the natural scenery and farmlands. In the evening, we host a farewell dinner in a fine restaurant.

    The trip concludes here. Our airport representative will drop you at the airport in Kathmandu for your final departure.

    Trip Cost Details
    Included
    • Arrival and departure arrangement
    • Twin-sharing accommodation in a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara  with breakfast
    • Freshly prepared meals (B, L, D) with boiled water, tea, coffee etc during the trek
    • Twin sharing tent for accommodation during the trek. (High-quality 3-men tent)
    • Experienced local trek leader with a 1:4 assistant guide-to-client ratio
    • Full support camping crew with mules for porterage
    • All camping logistical arrangements for your comfort
    • All ground transportation as mentioned in the itinerary on private vehicle
    • All required permits for the trek 
    • Internal airfare (Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Jhupal-Jomsom-Pokhara)
    • International and domestic airport transfers as per flight time
    • Comprehensive first aid kit with high-altitude medicine
    • Supplementary oxygen system and satellite phone for emergency purposes
    • Waterproof Duffel bag and use of the sleeping bag and down Jacket 
    • Staff wages, equipment, insurance and allowances
    Excluded
    • International airfare, Nepal Visa and travel insurance
    • Meals at Kathmandu  and Pokhara
    • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu, Pokhara or on the trek for any reason (Early arrival or delay, Early arrival from trek due to any reason)
    • Personal expenses
    • Gratuities for staff
    • Personal trekking gears
    Useful Info

    Best Time for Upper Dolpo Trek: Spring Season

    Spring, from March to May, is an excellent time to trek in Upper Dolpo. The trails during this season are with colourful flowers and lush greenery. Days are perfect for trekking with mild temperatures, though nights can be chilly. Trails are clear and the weather is stable, offering stunning mountain views. While occasional rain showers may occur, they won't dampen your experience. Additionally, you'll be able to witness vibrant local flora and fauna in full bloom.

    Difficulty:

    The Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek is a tough trek, reaching up to 5,550 meters at Jugben La Pass and staying overnight at up to 4,750 meters in Norbulung. This four-week trek involves crossing several high passes above 5,000 meters and is fully camping-based. Expect to trek for about 6-8 hours each day, making it physically demanding. Dolpo is less travelled compared to other trekking regions in Nepal, requiring a basic sense of adventure. You don't need previous trekking experience, but you should be fit and comfortable walking 6-7 hours a day with your day pack.

    Prerequisites:

    You don't need any prior trekking experience, but it's important to have moderate fitness levels and a genuine enjoyment of walking. Our itinerary has built-in rest days for acclimatization, ensuring that even those without prior experience can comfortably complete the trek. With determination and a good level of stamina, anyone can embark on this adventure. We recommend starting a training routine at least three months before the trip to enhance your trekking experience. Remember, the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy the journey.

    Meals:

    During the trek, all meals are covered. You'll enjoy three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) prepared fresh by our kitchen crew during the trek. We believe good food is key to a great trip, so feel free to bring along your favourite snacks like chocolates, power bars, or dry fruits. Let us know in advance if you have any dietary needs. For gluten-free diets, it's best to bring extra food, especially for breakfast. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, breakfast is provided, but you're free to choose your own lunch and dinner options, giving you the flexibility to explore local cuisine.

    Accommodation:

    Hotel and Camping
    During your stay in Kathmandu, you'll reside at the renowned hotel. Breakfast is included, and you'll be accommodated in twin-sharing rooms. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee. 

    Pokhara: 3-Star Hotel
    In Pokhara, you'll stay at a comfortable 3-star hotel located in the scenic lakeside area. Accommodation is provided on a twin-sharing basis, with single rooms available upon request for an extra charge.

    Trekking: Camping
    Throughout the trek, accommodation will be in fully tented camps. Each tent accommodates two travellers and comes with a foam mattress. Single travellers will have a dedicated tent at no extra cost. Additionally, there will be facilities such as a kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, tables, and chairs provided for your comfort.

    Safety Measures:

    At Iconic Holiday Nepal, safety first is our main goal. Our Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek itinerary is meticulously crafted with your well-being in mind, incorporating proper acclimatization, rest days, and manageable walking hours. For added peace of mind, we equip all our high-altitude treks, including the Dolpo trek, with supplementary oxygen systems, satellite phones, and comprehensive medical kits. Whether you're in a group of 2 or 12, these emergency provisions ensure we're prepared for any situation. Additionally, we maintain a high staff-to-client ratio on all our treks, further enhancing your safety and ensuring personalized attention throughout your journey.

    Equipment List

    To ensure a comfortable and safe trekking experience, please make sure you have the following gear. We recommend testing all equipment beforehand. You can purchase or rent items in Kathmandu, where a variety of trekking shops offer both branded and locally made gear.

    Head:

    • Warm Hat and Bandana/Scarf
    • Baseball Cap
    • Thermal Balaclava
    • Sunglasses with UV Protection
    • Headlamp with Spare Batteries

    Upper Body:

    • Long-sleeved Shirts
    • T-Shirts
    • Baselayers
    • Warm Jackets/Sweaters/Pullovers
    • Waterproof Gore-Tex Jacket
    • Down Jacket with Hood (800 Fill)
    • Primaloft or Light Down Jacket

    Lower Body:

    • Thermal Underwear/Baselayers
    • Waterproof Gore-Tex Pants
    • Trekking Trousers/Pants
    • Down or Primaloft Pants

    Feet:

    • Warm Socks (4 pairs thin, 4 pairs thick)
    • Trekking Boots (preferably full for ankle support)
    • Camp Shoes
    • Gaiters
    • Down Shoes (optional)
    • Flip-flops

    Hands:

    • Liner Gloves
    • Primaloft Mittens
    • Down Mittens

    Other Essentials:

    • Sleeping Bag
    • Backpack (40-50 litres)
    • Trekking Poles (pair)
    • Water Bottles (1 litre x 2)
    • Multi-tool Knife
    • Inflatable Sleeping Mattress (for added comfort)
    • Laundry Bag
    • Large Plastic Bags (to keep clothes dry)
    • Padlock
    • Sewing Kit
    • Duct Tape
    • Reading Materials, Notebooks, Pens
    • Extra Clothes for Kathmandu
    • Camera with Charger or Spare Batteries

    Documents:

    • Passport with Visa (valid for 6 months after trip completion)
    • 4 Passport-size Photos
    • Travel Insurance
    • Flight Tickets
    • Credit Cards
    • Driving License or ID

    Toiletries and Hygiene:

    • Quick-drying Towel
    • Small Face Towel
    • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
    • Deodorant, Soap, Shampoo (travel-size)
    • Moisturizer, Sunscreen, Lip Balm
    • Hand Sanitizer, Antiseptic Wipes
    • Hygiene Products
    • Basic First Aid Kit

     

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