• Feb 28, 2024
  • Rupak Parajuli

Upper Dolpo Trek is a wilderness area in the Dolpo region that is completely cut off from signs of urbanization. The area is home to numerous old monasteries and gompas as well as other natural marvels. The area offers excursions to Shey Phoksundo Lake, Phoksundo National Park, and Shey Gompa. Due to its distant location, trekking in the Dolpo region is quite difficult and taxing. Trekking to high passes like Shey La at 5000 meters, Jeng La at 5110 meters, and Kang La at 5375 meters is particularly difficult for trekkers.

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Upper Dolpo Trekking involves traveling to a remote area of Nepal's middle west. The location is one of the attractive places to explore because of the captivating environment, abundant wildlife, and natural greenery. The Upper Dolpo region trek's attractions include Juphal, Kageni, Dunai, Chhepka, Shey Gompa, Saldang, Rinje, Dho, and Lingdo, among others. In the supposedly blessed Dolpo region, which is removed from the bustle of daily life, one can find spiritual tranquility. You may get a clear idea of the richness of Nepalese flora and fauna by having the chance to explore this abandoned area, which is extremely rich in natural life, including several endangered creatures like Blue sheep and snow leopard and priceless plants like silvery fir and other vegetation.

The best seasons to visit Upper Dolpo are spring and fall, just like many of Nepal's hiking routes. Having said that, early spring and late autumn may not be ideal times due to erratic snowfall. This can make it quite challenging to cross the high passes at this time of year. The majority of Dolpo is under the Dhaulagiri Himal Range's rain shadow, therefore it receives little to no rain, even when monsoon rain conditions are present in other parts of the nation. This area is a high-altitude desert in part because of this. The best temperatures can be found from the beginning of August through the end of October, and frequently even into the middle of November.

Spring Season in Dolpo

Lower Dolpo is a great place to go trekking in the spring. Early spring snow can be challenging for Upper Dolpo, making it difficult or impossible to pass over some passes. Therefore, mid-or late April through the end of May is the ideal spring month for Upper Dolpo. Phoksundo Lake, Shey Gompa, Bon Po practitioners, Buddhist monasteries, views of Dhaulagiri, Crystal Mountain (a mountain whose cliffs are laced with quartz and marine fossils), unique Tibetan culture, and, if you're extremely fortunate, the magnificent and endangered snow leopard are just a few of the amazing things you can see in Upper Dolpo at any time of year.

With the early spring, certain passes can still be covered in snow and impassable. If necessary, be ready to adjust your course. Early March will see the need for snow gear, possibly lasting until mid-April. For individuals without technical or snow-trekking experience, the weather and conditions are ideal starting in mid-April. At this time, temperatures will range from -10 C to 13 C. (minus 10 over the high passes)

Monsoon Season in Dolpo

Once you arrive there, this is a great time to hike in Upper Dolpo's rain shadow region! It could be difficult to get there because flights to and from Nepalgunj to Jhupal are vulnerable to cancellation due to weather. It is advisable to factor in an additional 2–3 days if you decide to trek at this time due to potential airline cancellations. The current weather is perfect. Keep in mind that this is also the time when the neighborhood communities (as well as the local community) gather yarsagumba (a caterpillar fungus sold for its aphrodisiac properties). Consequently, neighborhood shops and schools will be closed. Typically, this occurs between mid-May and the end of June.

Except for the first few days of the walk, there won't be any issues with rain. The trails in this area could be slick from rain. However, rain gear is not necessary further down the path and into the rain shadow area, and the trails will be dry. However, monsoon weather in the country's lower regions may result in flight delays. Except for the first few days of the walk, there won't be any issues with rain. The trails in this area could be slick from rain. However, rain gear is not necessary further down the path and into the rain shadow area, and the trails will be dry. However, monsoon weather in the country's lower regions may result in flight delays. Consideration should be given to the possibility that local facilities will be shut down for part of this time. The range of temperatures will be roughly -4 C to 17 C (minus 4 over the high passes).

Autumn Season in Dolpo

Upper Dolpo is best visited now, just like other hiking areas in Nepal. However, don't wait too long because the weather will turn and snow will start to fall in November. September and October are the greatest months. However, given that you're in the Himalayas, we advise that you prepare for unexpected snowfall. The sky will be crystal clear, and the temperatures will be nice. Snow is not likely at this time of year. The fact that you are passing through local communities during the harvesting season adds an interesting element to your journey.
By November, the snow will be falling once more, leaving several passes impassable. Create a plan for it. Snow, however, is not predicted to fall in September and October. Over the same high passes, temperatures will range from about -3 C in September to -11 C in November. As autumn transitions into winter, average temperatures at lower altitudes will range from 20°C to 14°C.

Winter Season in Dolpo

All of the Dolpo's high passes are covered by snow during the severe and snowy winter, and no one travels through them until the middle of the spring season. Therefore, it is not a good idea to plan your walk to Dolpo for the winter. This does not imply that it is impossible to go on treks throughout the Dolpo region in the winter. Some tourists have trekked to Phoksundo Lake during the winter, but for a successful excursion, you'll need a knowledgeable guide and favorable weather. Winter lasts for a few months, from the middle of November until the middle or late March. Higher altitudes will experience temperatures below minus 14C.

Tips for Dolpo Trekking

  • The excursion will be more worthwhile if you get to Dolpo early. Who knows if the current customs, way of life, culture, and natural splendors will remain the same or not.
  • Dolpo is not as accessible for trekking as other trekking locations in Nepal. So it's important to dress and equip appropriately.
  • The secret to a successful trip is maintaining good health while you are hiking. So, consume more hot beverages and eat healthfully.
  • Trekking in Dolpo requires acclimatization because the average elevation is about 4,000 meters. Maintain flexibility with your schedule and keep extra time for rest.
  • Don't forget to plan your trip to Dolpo according to your area of interest.
  • Select a local trekking company. Locals are in close contact with their neighbors.
  • Since hiring a chopper is the best and quickest option to get help in the mountains, you must have travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue.
  • Never leave without your permit. If the checkpoint officer recognized you were traveling without a permit. After being forced to pay the permit fees, they will make you leave Dolpo and return to Kathmandu.
  • Bring a copy of your insurance and your passport.
  • Hire a knowledgeable, seasoned guide who is familiar with Dolpo.Remember to tip your crew members since they never expressly request it. If you are unsure of the appropriate tip size. Typically, tips range from 10% to 15% of their salaries.

Feel free to contact us, if you are a planning a trip to Upper Dolpo Trek or any other trip in dolpo region, we will help you to create a customized itinerary based on your requirements.

Rupak Parajuli

Rupak Parajuli

He is a Travel Enthusiast and Writer, who mostly covers the guide to outdoor adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. He can be your friendly trip planner. Feel free to reach out to him.

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