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Lower Dolpo and Phokshundo Lake Trek

on the snow leopard trail to Nepal’s Far Wild West around Lower and Inner Dolpo

Trip Summary

Trip Mode
Hotels / Lodge and camping.
Trip Grade
Moderate to adventurous.
Highest elevation
At Numa-la pass 5,190m high.
Trek duration
13 nights & 14 days (Jhupal to Jhupal)
Total trip
17 nights & 18 days (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)
April to November (July-August monsoon and wet months but least affected on rain shadow areas of Dolpo).

Trip Highlights

  • A fascinating destination around Nepal’s Far Wild West and beautiful Phuksumdo Lake,
  • Soak into dramatic landscapes, mountains around lower and inner Dolpo area,
  • Starts and end with a sweeping scenic flight to and from Dolpo,
  • On the least explored area of Bon / Buddhism cultural villages of inner Dolpo.

Trip Overview

For picturesque and impressive culture adventure joins with View Nepal Treks to Lower Dolpo trek, around Nepal’s Wild West and largest national park with an area of 3,555 SQ.KMS.

Around this wild area where rare and elusive snow leopard and Blue Sheep inhabits, an opportunity to trek on the ancient Trans-Himalayan Caravan Route of western Nepal to Tibet.

Truly a fascinating journey starting with panoramic flights to Jhupal at Dolpo and then walking into time forgotten areas of Dolpo with amazing time at beautiful turquoise color Phuksumdo Lake.

This adventure Lower Dolpo trek and  Phuksumdo Lake  leads to interesting ancient Bon and Buddhist culture around Ringmo – Tokyu – Dho Tarap and Tarakot villages.

After an experience of a lifetime adventure around scenic areas of Dolpo and on top of highest passes Baga-la, Numa-la and Jeng-la of above 5,000 meters, ending this awesome journey at Jhupal.

From Jhupal a smooth flight back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj, to conclude marvelous Lower Dolpo & Phuksumdo Lake trekking with excellent guidance and service of View Nepal Treks.

Lower Dolpo Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Morning sightseeing tour afternoon fly to Nepalgunj.
Day 03: Fly to Jhupal 2,320 m then trek to Dunai 2,850m – 03 hrs.
Day 04: Trek to Ankhe 2,896m – 06 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Sumdu / Sulighat village 3,500m -06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Phuksumdo Lake 3,500 m – 05 hours.
Day 07: Rest day at Phuksumdo Lake for a local excursion.
Day 08: Cross Baga La 5,070m and to Phedi 4,470m – 07 hrs.
Day 09: Trek and cross Numa-la 5,190 m and to Phedi – 08 hrs.
Day 10: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090 m – 06 hrs.
Day 11: Trek to Dho Tarap 4,040m- 05 hrs.
Day 12: Trek to Tarap Khola ( Kamekharka) 3,800m – 07 hrs.
Day 13: Trek to Kharigaon 3,150m – 05 hours.
Day 14: Trek to Tarakot 2,850 m – 05 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Dunai – 04 hrs then drive to Jhupal – 01 hr jeep ride.
Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Day 17: In Kathmandu free day.
Day 18: International departure homeward bound.

Cost Includes / Excludes

Cost Includes

  1. All arrival and departure transportation airport / hotel / airport.
  2. Accommodation in Kathmandu at tourist standard hotel on bed / breakfast basis
  3. A professional English speaking government liscenced guide
  4. Porters (every 2 clients : 1 porter) in Camping necessary staff
  5. Full board trek  includes (B-L-D)
  6. Accommodation in tea house/lodge and in tent for camping trek
  7. Necessary permit and  restricted permit for lower Dolpo.
  8. TIMS (Trekking Information Management Systems) card.
  9. Service of trekking guides his equipment, daily wages-medical insurance, meals and transportation allowance.
  10. Service of trekking staff -porters their daily wages-medical insurance, meals and transportation allowance.
  11. Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu at authentic Nepalese restaurant with cultural programs.
  12. Down jackets-sleeping bags (with inner linear) and comprehensive medical kits.
  13. Trips briefing with full information and reconfirmation of international air tickets
  14. Sightseeing tour (if mentioned and added in the itinerary) or as optional.
  15.  Camping with separate kitchen unit of cook-kitchen crews and porters.
  16. Domestic airfare as per the itinerary Kathmandu / Nepalgunj /Jhupal-Dolpo / Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
  17. Private transportation before and after trek as per the itinerary.

Cost Exclude

  • Nepal Visa-International airfare-personal travel / medical insurance.
  • Expenses of personal nature and meals in Kathmandu, gratitude,hard / soft drinks throughout the trip.
  • Personal trekking gear and personal medical kit.
  • Tips for staff
  • Emergency evacuation by any means of transportation including Heli services and personal medical kit.
  • Early return from the trip due to personal / medical problem in this case clients should bear his / her own expenses on return from trek and in Kathmandu including expenses of accompanying guide / porters.

Lower Dolpo and Phokshundo Lake Trek Detail Itinerary

On reaching Kathmandu international airport well received by View Nepal Treks guides / staff for short drive to respective hotels around Thamel area, a tourist hub of Kathmandu.

After rest and getting refresh our guide briefs you regarding hotel, Kathmandu and of Lower Dolpo Trekking with evening welcome dinner in an authentic Nepalese restraint with culture programs.

Morning optional tour around Kathmandu at places of interest full of World Heritage Sites, the Pashupatinath temple, Bouddhanath (Little Tibet), Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) & monasteries, old Royal Palaces courtyard; after the tour back to hotel for afternoon flight to Nepal Far South West at Nepalgunj city.

Nepalgunj located close to UP state of India border, during 50 mins flight excellent views of Mountains, at Nepalgunj in a nice hotel for overnight halt.

Starting with early breakfast and then connect the flight to Jhupal in Dolpo, on reaching Jhupal meet our trekking / camping staff, and then a short drive to Dunai for overnight stop.

Dunai an interesting and major town of Dolpo districts with time to explore its markets of shops and stores.

From Dunai, morning walk leads to cross over Thulo Bheri River with a climb above a ridge leading to Phuksumdo River valley, with wonderful views of Kagmara peak, walk leads downhill passing many scattered farm villages lined with walnut trees.

Then walk close to a stream at Dhera, a small cattle herders settlements continue with short climb to Rahagaon village of Hindu Thakuri people.
Walk continues downhill into forest reaching at Ankhe for overnight stop, Ankhe a small village and entrance to Shey Phuksumdo National Park.

After Ankhe village a short climb and then descend into a forested area to reach a river bank. From here a climb to ridge top with great views, and then downhill to cross a small bridge at Ryajik village, trek further to Sumdu near Sulighat village for overnight stop.

Morning leads towards our first destination at Phuksumdo Lake after crossing streams, following Pungmo Khola downhill into pine and birch trees to reach upper side of Phokshindo Khola, after short stops continue walk to Ringmo village.

An interesting and attractive Tibetan like village with mud plastered chortens and Mani (prayer) walls.

From here short walk to Phuksumdo Lake for overnight camp by the turquoise Phuksumdo Lake.

A wonderful spot for free and rest day, relax and enjoy beautiful views of surrounding landscapes and peaks of Kagmara, explore interesting Ringmo village and walk around lake side.

After an enjoyable and interesting time at Ringmo village and Phokshumdo lake, walk leads to other side of Dolpo area heading east by an alternative way crossing few passes, walking on a pleasant trail leading uphill to cross over Baga-la at 5,070 meters.

A steep climb for 3 hours to reach a the top offering super panorama of Phokshumdo lake and Kagmara peaks, after a nice stop walk leads to a long descend to overnight camp at phedi (bottom of the hill).

From here morning walk leads to another pass at Numa-la at 5,190 meters, the highest spot of this awesome trip, walk leads to a climb on the nice grassy slopes for about three hours then reaching the top of Numa-la with impressive views of snow capped mountains from Dhaulagiri mountain range to Kagmara peak and looking down at beautiful valleys and surrounding dramatic landscapes, after an enjoyable moment descend to the base of the pass, then walk on gradual path to overnight camp on summer pasture.

After days in isolation away from villages, today’s walk leads to an interesting village at Tokyu Gaon one of the largest village of this region, morning starts with a steep climb for two hours to the top of Jeng-la with grand views of snow capped mountains with Mt. Dhaulagiri North Face, on enjoying the fantastic views, then descend towards Tarap valley, which is one of the longest beautiful green valley extending about 20 k.m along Tarap Chu River, with more than 10 villages with well tended farm fields, monasteries and chortens.
Overnight stop at Tokyugaon, an interesting village with old monastery, afternoon visit the monastery or just relax and observe the local with farming activities.

After Tokyu-gaon, morning walk starts with downhill towards Tarap Chu on wider green valley, this is one of the scenic valleys with many Sheppard’s settlements tending and grazing Yaks and Sheep. Walk continues to our overnight camp at Dho Tarap, this is another interesting village with mix tribes of Tibetans origin and Magar hill tribe people.

Today, longest walk but on nice gradual path within the valley, which later forms into a narrow gorge with little vegetation of bushes of juniper and wild rose. On this area chance of spotting Blue Sheep and other mountain animals, walk continues reaching a confluence of two rivers Tarap Chu and Lang Khola for overnight stop by the river.

Morning walk continues following Tarap River and through a gorge, involves some adventure walk over some broken bridges caused by monsoon floods, and might lead to cross chilly river on foot sometimes. After an adventurous moment walk finally ends for the day to camp by the Tarap- khola close to Kharigaon a temporary cattle herders shelters.

Starting the morning walk around lower Dolpo through Lalberi village and then into a small wooded area, following the river all the way to Tarakot.

Tarakot a large and interesting village steeped with past glorious history of Malla period and well maintained terraced farm fields, including old fortress (Dzong or Kot) guarding the village.

Tarakot village with famous old Sandul Gomba located at the junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu River where the overnight camp is set.

After a great time at Tarakot, our last day walk takes to Dunai and then with short drive to Jhupal for the flight back to Kathmandu.
Morning starts following spread out villages a, walking on much wider trail with few short uphill into a valley and downhill towards Thulo Bheri River valley to reach at Dunai town.

From here time permitting with lunch stop then a jeep drive to Jhupal to make the day shorter.

Last night in Dolpo celebrate the night among fellow staff and porters.

As per the flight time to Nepalgunj board on the small aircraft for a short flight to Nepalgunj, and then connect to another flight to Kathmandu on reaching Kathmandu transfer to respective hotels.

A free and leisure day in Kathmandu after an adventurous journey and tough trekking, on this day if interested book for sightseeing tour around places of interest in Kathmandu-Bhaktapur or Patan with rest of the day free for individual activities and shopping souvenirs.

Today, last day in Nepal with great experience and fond memories of Lower Dolpo & Phuksumdo Lake Trekking, as per your time for international flight, View Nepal staff transfer you to airport for your final departure homeward bound or to your next destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Starting with moderate walks with up hills and short rest stops, a pleasant walk with tough days as it involves high altitude passes of above 5,100 m as the walk progress around Lower and Inner Dolpo area, as the trek continues one will be acclimatized on daily walks. With rest day for acclimatization and the daily walk helps acclimatizing on this trek with slow rise in elevation, the only tough days are climb up to some passes, but taking slow walk everyone can enjoy this wonderful trek to Lower Dolpo & Phuksumdo Lake.
Morning and night time are always cold above 2,500 meters with day time are sunny most of the season, spring and summer above 2,500 m 15°-18° C average and minimum of 0° to 5° C, autumn / winter day time 15°-16° C and can get below -5° C during morn / night time. We do not run this trek from mid November to March due to high chances of snow on the pass and most of the lodges and guesthouses will be closed for winter where local migrates to lower area of Nepal or to India.
As this is a moderate with adventurous and as well challenging trek sometimes, one needs to be physical fit with sound health, however after booking this trip one can do short exercise jogging and climbing up and down the steps, aerobic or Jumba exercise will be great exercise preparation for this trek. Dolpo area of strong Tibetan Buddhist and ancient Bon sect culture with some Hindu religion, visit monasteries where our guide will inform of the rules while entering holy sites with dress conducts.
As this trek starts with moderate grade of walking as altitude wise as the trek progress leading higher elevation of above 3,000 meters will be adventurous overcoming high altitude and thin air, if the trails are covered in deep snow including the pass we use the word grade as challenging which is an arduous job to find the safe path to respective destinations. If the pass is completely covered in deep snow we will consider and might re-route the trek to safe area for the welfare, safety of clients including staff and porters.

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