Trip Difficulty: Technical Challenging
Trip Style: Camping Trek
Transport: Private Vehicle & Flight
Food: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Lodge & Camping
Group Size: 16
Max Elevation: Nangdala pass (5240m)
- Very few trekkers ever see Upper Dolpo Trek through parts of Nepal.
- Visit Shey Gompa Monastery
- Explore the Monasteries of the base of Crystal Mountain
- Commemorate in Peter Matthiessen's "The Snow Leopard."
- The Shey Phoksundo National Park, one of the highest animal concentrations in the world.
- Go through thrilling High passes; Khang La, Saldang La, and others.
- Desert and landscape and striking valleys such as Dho, Tarakot, and Saldang.
- Views of Dhaulagiri and Tibetan peaks.
Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek is one of the difficult but enjoyable and remote trekking routes of Nepal. This trek is for those who love adventure and do not mind getting lost in the wilderness of the Himalaya. The trails here are quiet and sometimes without the human settlement. Thus you can get a thrilling experience of trekking in remote areas.
Upper Dolpo is surrounded by massive peaks including the Dhaulagiri. This region of mid-West Nepal takes you to the freezing settlement of legendary Shey Monastery beyond Phoksundo Lake. The lake has turquoise blue colored water. It is surrounded by dense forest and snow-capped mountains.
In Upper Dolpo, the Pre Buddhist religion called Bon- Po is practiced. This region has preserved its ancient religion even after the extensive spreading of Buddhism. The region protects one of the last leftovers of traditional Tibetan culture.
The Dolpo people settle at altitudes of 3,660 m to 4,070 m and these are one of the highest settlements in the world. There are 130 gompas in Dolpa which speak volumes for the religious nature of its inhabitants.
The upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek begins with air-flight to Nepalgunj ending at traditional Juphal village. Juphal village is the entry point to the Dolpo region. Passing through the rusty roads, farming lands and traditional villages you will follow the trekking trail to Shey Phoksundo Lake. You will get boarded on nearby lodges for resting after reaching the Shey Phoksundo Lake region.
Later you will do the sightseeing at Shey Phoksundo Lake and follow the trekking trail towards Shey Gompa. The Shey Gompa lies at Saldang village of 2km which is the traditional village of Bonpo sect. Passing the Shey Gompa you will walk towards the Shey La Pass and then towards Yak Kharka. Walking past the Yak Kharka, you reach Mola Pass located at 5030m.
You will follow the trekking trail of the Trans Himalaya trade and reach Niwa La Pass. It is located at 5120m. Then you will finally descend your way back to Jomsom. After the trek, you will drive your way back to Pokhara and take air-flight to Kathmandu.
Lastly, You can also extend the trek as your schedule. This is the full itinerary of Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek. We can change the routes according to your choices. Mount Mania provides you with a complete plan of your trek and takes you through a hassle-free journey.
How is the Food and Accommodation in Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek?
The treks in Upper Dolpo are fully-catered camping. As it is a remote region the given accommodation and food supplies are hard to come by the trail. Some basic teahouse/lodge accommodation is available in some villages, but shouldn’t be relied upon.
Upper Dolpo is known to have food shortages. It is advised to take as many food provisions when trekking in Upper Dolpo. This is applicable anywhere in Western Nepal. If you go in an organized trek, your food needs will be taken care of by us.
What makes the Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek Difficult?
The length of the trek will depend upon the routes you take. Trekking in Upper Dolpo is considered to be very difficult. The total duration of the trek is 23 days. And you might have to walk more than 6 to 7 hours per day. So you much at least add 2 to 3 acclimatization days during the whole trek.
Weather and Temperature
With elevations ranging from 2,500m at Jhupal to 5,000m, the temperatures vary widely during the standard 3 week trek period. During the best trekking seasons, the temperatures will range from around -10C on the high passes to around 14C at lower altitudes.
There is no rain during the monsoon season because Upper Dolpo lies in a rain shadow and being a desert landscape. But, during this season there may be flight cancellations/delays due to bad weather conditions at Nepalgunj.
If you are thinking of trekking in the winter – forget it! Regardless of how experienced you are at snow trekking at high altitudes, the passes will be closed as well as some of the trails. We do not recommend to trek in this region from December till the end of February.
The Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek falls on a high altitude trek. You will be at altitudes higher than 4,000m on many days and several nights. You will also reach to a couple of very high passes at over 5,000m. In general, the risk from altitude starts at elevations over 2,500m to 3000m. Thus it is very important to acclimatize in this trek.
No one knows who will suffer from altitude sickness. So always stay hydrated and go slow. If you do so, you will reduce the chances of serious altitude problems.
Below are some of the early symptoms of altitude-related problems. Most of the symptoms will go with the correct treatment. But if you ignore them they will increase and develop into more serious, possibly fatal, altitude sickness.
- Feelings of uneasiness
- Breathing difficulties
- Intense headaches
- Increased heart rates
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
When to Go for Trek?
Spring that falls in March to May and autumn i.e September to November are considered as the perfect season for Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek. You will get to trek in a clear atmosphere. The appropriate temperature makes the trek easier than in other seasons.
The trails at the period of monsoon season i.e. June to August is particularly hazardous and unsafe because of over precipitation. There are chances of landslides and the flights might get canceled due to heavy rainfall.
The thick fogs and heavy snowfall in the winter season i.e December to February make the trek difficult.
Permits and Regulations
Permits for Upper Dolpo are expensive and the rules are strictly enforced. You need to buy a permit for Lower Dolpo, which you pass through on your way to Upper Dolpo.
Only 250 foreigners get the permit to enter Upper Dolpo each year.
- Lower Dolpo Permit Cost: $10 USD per week
- Upper Dolpo Permit Cost: $50 USD per day (10-day minimum)
There is also an entry fee to the Shey-Phoksundo National Park. The cost to enter the Park is Rs. 1000. It is compulsory to trek with a guide on an organized tour in Upper Dolpo. Your tour operator will arrange all the permits. The permit fees are generally included in the total cost of your trip.