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Lower Dolpo Gyaekuchen Trek

26 Days

Lower Dolpo Trek is a remote and beautiful trek situated in western Nepal. It is a trek through the arid mountains and valleys of Dolpo, an isolated region located in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri mountain range. Gergraphically, the trek is located in the Shey Phoksundo National Park, which is the largest national park in Nepal. The people of Lower Dolpo consists mainly of Tibetan Buddhists, who have adapted to living in a harsh environment. They practice a traditional way of life, and their culture and traditions are very different from those of other parts of Nepal. In this region, mainly we can find alpine and sub-alpine. There are many shrubs and trees, such as juniper, birch, willow and rhododendron. The landscape also consists of vast grasslands, as well as meadows that are felled with wildflowers in the spring and summer months. The trek offers stunning views of the some of the most beautiful mountains in the region, including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. There are also many monasteries in  the area, including the famous Shey Gompa, which is a thousand years old.

  • 17th August, 1st September,15th September, 6th October
  • English and French (above 5 Pax French speaking guide)
  • 3 Star Hotel in KTM, Teahouse and Camping during the trek
  • Kathmandu to Kathmandu
  • Bus/jeep and plane
  • Moderate
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • 5350m
  • 2-8
  • Well experienced trekking and Cultural guide

Lower Dolpo Trek Overview

The Lower Dolpo trek is a magical journey that makes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Nepal. Featuring the Phoksundo Lake, vast mountains, lush vegetation and unique cultures and lifestyles, this trek is sure to delight anyone who visits. During the trek, yo will have the chance learn more about this religion, as well as the local customs and traditions.

This trek is also requires special permit as it is located in isolated remote area and restricted region of Nepal but not much as Upper Dolpo Trek. The trek was opened in 1989 for foreign visitors for the purpose of trekking tour. Once, the entire district was closed for trekkers when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. Majority of people are still practicing ‘Bon Po’ religion and their language are closer to Tibet. The Bon Po religion has a strong presence in the area like in Upper Dolpo Trek and is something to be considered with respect. “Bon Po” is an ancient pre-Buddhist religion practiced in the Dolpo region of Nepal. It is characterized by its shamanistic nature, with rituals such as sky burials, spirit mediumship and other esoteric beliefs. The Bon Po is also worships mountain gods, local mountain spirits and sky gods.

The trek itself in not overly difficult, but there are some sections where it can be strenuous. It is important to remember to bring enough food, water, warm clothing for hiking days, as well as some medication for altitude sickness, just in case. It is also important to respect local customs and traditions, and to avoid littering in the area.

Lower Dolpo trek is accessible from Juphal Airport, which is located at an altitude of 2,267m. The trek starts from Juphal and continues up to Phoksundo Lake. From the Lake, you will have the opportunity to visit Shey Gompa, Ringmo village, and Tshowa village. The trek is normally completed in 18 to 21 days.

In conclusion, Lower Dopa trek is an amazing experience for anyone who loves nature, culture, and adventure. By taking the time to learn about the local customs and respecting the area, you will be sure to have a wonderful time!

Lower Dolpo Trek Highlights:

  • Visit Shey-Phoksundo National Park, the largest park in Nepal,
  • Explore the remote villages, ancient Buddhist tradition, authentic Nepalese and Tibetan culture and the unique lifestyle of the people,
  • Explore the ancient monasteries, stupas and Bon Po religion,
  • Hike through the picturesque of valley of Dho Tarap, Gyaekochen BC and Schaller trail,
  • Walk along the edge of Phoksundo Lake to get the most stunning views,
  • Enjoy the amazing views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himalayan ranges,
  • Take to the sacred Crystal Mountain and experience its breathtaking views,

Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary

When you arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport, our staff will be waiting you with holding a placard with Himalayan Travelers written in it. He/she will meet, greet and welcome you with an auspicious garland and escort you to your respective hotel. In the Hotel, he will help you to check-in and make a pre-meeting program for the trek and clear your questions/ enquiries if any.

Trek preparation day. Check all the necessary equipments for trekking and make shopping in case of missing some equipments.

We started our Dolpa trek by taking a vehicle to airport for 30 minutes. And we flight to Nepalgunj, stayed overnight there at Nepalgunj.

Early morning, again we took flight to Juphal Dolpa and we started our first walk to Dunai headquarter of Dolpa district. We took 4 hours to get into Dunai the first camp of our trek. There is two options; by walking and by taking vehicle to Dunai. We walked along the Bheri River. Dunai is one of the biggest local grocery shop/market. Dunai falls under approximately 2140m.

The trail was mostly easy way through big trail, normally we follow the riverside trekking trail which is the main trekking route. We need to walk about 5 hours on this day. The elevation of Namdo is approximately 2930m.

There is a small settlement and a police check point at Lasicap and on the left side there is long old suspension bridge. After 20 minutes from that suspension bridge, there is another same type of small bridge which takes two ways; one is way to monstery and another is the main trekking trail on the left side which we follow. We took 5-6hours to reach camp. The trail was easy with little pine forests next to the river was our camp. There was a new and small tented tea shop at the elevation of 2775m.

On this day we walked 4-5 hours up stair almost throughout the day through the pine and juniper forest. There was Tarap river on the right side of the trail. The elevation of the trail was approximately 3370m above sea level.

After five minutes straight, walk the up stair starts which takes approximately two hours and when we overlook down to Tarap river we can see the very beautiful landscape. After this we reached a small tea shop which is called Tilba, we trek downward to the river and after we crossed the river we walk straight ahead for about one hour and reached Chhyugar. There is three teahouses at Chhyugar. After 40minute we reached the camp. The elevation of Nawarpani Dovan is 3780m. We took 5-6 hours on this day.

At the beginning we walk straight ahead with the stunning view along the riverside and after 1and half hour there was a big opened space with two tea houses and also there was a suitable place for campsite which is called Simiodar. After two hours from Simiodar, we reached Toltol having two teahouses and before Toltol we also crossed a wooden bridge. We pass through the gorge with beautiful landscape after Toltol and after the gorge is crossed there is wooden bridge and we have two ways one goes to Dho but we took another small trail right up to top Ghyamgar the destination of the day. We start seeing blue sheeps from this day on.The duration of our walk was 4-5hours. The elevation of Ghyamgar is 3955m above sea level.

We took straight left side and crossed a river and trek along the river approximately two hours after that there is Kharka which means an open space for settlement of Yaks and goats/sheep. There is also two connected rivers. We climb up stair along the river about three hours to Gyakuchen pass. From the pass we can see the stunning mountain views and we trek down to Yarsha camp. In total it took us 6-7hours.

There is two ways, one is river side another is upper side. Today almost up stair throughout the day with small trekking trail. We took upper way though harder than riverside because of better views. It took us 3hours to reach camp. There is a wonderful lake with stunning mountain views and beautiful landscapes which is suitable for camping as it has open space.

we explored Gyakuchen BC to acclimatize ourselves and also for hiking above 5200m and then got back to camp 4500m. We took our lunch and took rest. We enjoyed our rest day with beautiful mountain views and wonderful lake.

On this day we had adventurous and little harder day because we passed Serela 5410m. At the beginning we climb up stairs till Serela pass and after pass we trek down 2 hours to Serela base camp the destination of the day. It took us 5 hours. From this, we can see massive mountain views and some yaks grazing around.

At the beginning we trek down wards and cross the bridge. There we can see blue sheep, Yaks birds like vulture, eagles etc. We cross another river which is called Kalang Khola. There we get two ways i.e. right side and left side. The right one goes to Kalang and left side goes to Dho. Before reach the Dho Khola, there is camp side on the way beside mani wall and stupa/chorten. And after approximately 40 minutes of walk there is an open space for camp site the destination of the day. It took us 5hours to reach our destination.

Today it is easy day, we walk only two hours to reach the destination of the day. There is a big village which is known as Dho Tarap village. Dho Tarap is a village in Dolpa Buddha Rural Municipality of Dolpa District in the Karnali Zone of north western Nepal. Dho village and it’s neighbor village Lang and Tokyou are collectively known as Dho Tarap village. This village is located at the heart of Dolpo with having approximately 1,500 population. It is one of the highest human settlement in Nepal. Breathtaking landscape, serene rivers and turquoise-colored lakes, spectacular villages, ancient monasteries, stupas and mani walls, distinct vernacular architecture, rich traditions of Bon, Buddhism and Amchi, are some of the things which makes Dho-Tarap and Dolpo in whole, an important place to visit in Nepal.

Today no rush because we have short trip 5 hours in maximum and even exciting day with breathtaking landscape and easy terrain. We see a Gompa on the way called Chhamba Gompa and we can also see Yaks and blue sheeps today on the way itself.

Today we trek about three hours from camp to reach pass, the terrains are up, down and straight having beautiful landscapes. We can see stunning mountain views on the way. After we pass Kang La, we have to descend down for about 2 hours and we get into a beautiful lawn. After this, there is another way on the left side but usually we use the right way down as it is easier then the left one. After descend is finished we also have to ascend up for about one and half hours and cross Dhumsi khola(river). There we find one of the best camping place on the top of Chhumju danda and from there we can see beautiful views.

Today it is bit longer camp but extremely beautiful views on the way. We cross three hills and after crossing these hills, we cross a river and after we crossed the river there is three different ways, we took left side down to ease our trek. Today we walk through the gorge crossing about 7-8 rivers. Anyway, 6 hours is the walking day.

At the beginning of the trek we ascend up for about three hours and trek through upper side of the Shyphoksundo lake with exciting beautiful landscapes with different natural sceneries. After one and half hours of walking through Balcony we get into a big open space suitable for camping nearby Shyphoksundo Lake. There we get another way to Shy gompa. From there we can also see beautiful natural sceneries with lake. Today we walk 5 hours to reach our destination.

Today the walking hours is four and half hours. We trek through upper side of the Shyphoksundo lake through pine trees, juniper and other many types of vegetation. The trail is wide up, down and straight today with never ending natural beauties. There is a small village nearby Shyphoksundo lake called Ringmo having stunning views. We camped by the lake, it was so exciting day as we had a beautiful morning sunrise.

Today we visit monastery also police check post after crossing the river. There is also one stupa. After we visit monastery we came back, took rest, read books, had lunch, took laundries and so on.

Today the walking duration is only four hours. After passing Ringmo village there is a river on the left side of the Ringmo gate which is known as Shyphoksundo river. After this river we trek through a wide trekking trail through the pine and juniper forest and there we see a big waterfall on the way. From there we trek down to a small village and cross a river and reach another village called Saijal. There at Saijal village we find gomba, hotels, and schools. Today the trail is easy but we have to cross many suspension bridges. There is a small settlement at Riche village.

Today the walking duration is five hours through the main trekking trail, we cross many bridges and reach Chhepka. Chhepka is a small village having few hotels but not suitable camp. From Chhepka it takes one hour to reach Shangta and after Sangta it takes one hour to reach Kagani. There is a suitable place for camping at Kagani. At Kagani Sunita Hotel is one of the best for camping.

Two hours walking until the place called Sulighat, there is a Check post which is the Dolpa National park entry and after the check post few minutes later there is two connected rivers i.e. Tarap river and Phoksundo. And there is a road connection to Dunai and from there we hire a jeep to Juphal but If you undertake your trek by foot , you have to walk along the road for about one hour and after that you have to trek upward till Juphal through a small village which is also a part of Juphal. If you go on September/October, you will find harvesting season.

Fly back to Nepaljung- Kathmandu and relax at Kathmandu.

Extra day in Kathmandu if required/ visit World heritage sites of Kathmandu.

Departure time.

Lower Dolpo Trek Cost Includes:

  • Supervision by a Nepalese trekking guide, Assistant guide, Cook and Kitchen staff, porters.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Lodges and Camping during the trek.
  • All land transportation and flight tickets Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu
  • Full board during the trek.
  • The Special Dolpo permit fee, National park permit fee and TIMS fee.
  • Guide and porters wages, insurance, equipments and all other facilities to the staff.

Lower Dolpo Trek Cost Excludes:

  • International airfare.
  • The Nepalese visa.
  • Insurance (compulsory on all trips – ensure you are adequately covered for emergency evacuation).
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Spending of a personal expenses, e.g. laundry, snacks and drinks, souvenirs, toiletries, tips, etc.
  • All bar bills

FAQs

What is the best time to trek in Lower Dolpo?

During the autumn moths of September to November and in spring March to May are the best seasons/ time to trek in Lower Dolpo.

How difficult is Lower Dolpo Trek?

The Lower Dolpo Trek is moderately difficult. While the trail is not particularly technical, trekkers should be prepared for long days of walking, varying terrain including steep ascents and descents.

Do I need a permit for Lower Dolpo Trek?

Yes, you need Special Lower Dolpo  Restricted Area Entry Permit, and Shy Phoksundo National Park Entry permits.

What is the Accommodation option during Lower Dolpo trek?

Accommodation options along the Lower Dolpo Trek are limited compared to more popular trekking regions in Nepal. Teahouses and lodges and are available in some villages offering basic facilities and camping are also the options.

Is Altitude sickness a concern on the Lower Dolpo Trek?

Altitude sickness can be a concern on the Lower Dolpo Trek, especially as you ascend to higher elevations. The highest point of the trek, the Numa La Pass, reaches an altitude of over 5,300 meters (17,388 feet). It’s essential to acclimatize properly by taking rest days, staying hydrated, and ascending gradually. If symptoms of altitude sickness occur, descending to a lower altitude is necessary.

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Lower Dolpo Gyaekuchen Trek
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