Upper Dolpo is a high-altitude culturally Tibetan region in the western Himalaya of Nepal. The inhabitants of Dolpo region are mainly Tibetans, therefore, the region is rich in ethnic Tibetan culture and arts. The Upper Dolpo trekking initiates at the north-west region behind the Dhaulagiri massif, towards the Tibetan plateau. The abundance of Himalayan wildlife, including, Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and rare Snow Leopard, makes it an Eco-trek destination as well.
Chosen as the prime location for the 1999 Oscar Nominated film Himalaya, it is one of the remotest and least exposed areas of northern Nepal. It offers rare opportunities to explore many unseen parts of the region. Referred as “The Forbidden Kingdom” in its own term, it happened to be closed for foreigners. It is now only possible to enter Dolpo through an expensive and restricted area permit.
Upper Dolpo has been mentioned by David Snelgrove in his book titled “Himalayan Pilgrimage,” more recently by Peter Matthiessen in “The Snow Leopard” and in “Stones of Silence” by George Schaller.
Upper Dolpo trekking begins from Juphal (2,285m/7496ft). The trail passes though numerous gigantic mountain ranges, over the Numa La pass (5,190m/17,028ft), till you reach Phoksundo lake at Ringmo village inside the Phoksundo National Park. After a day rest, one can continue on the trail crossing different passes to Jumla -where the trek concedes.
Sample day on “Upper Dolpo Trek”
All our treks are managed by a team of professionally trained Leader/guide responsible for all aspects of the running of the trek. Our special departure trek is well versed in the culture and natural history of the Himalayas. Your day start with a cup of hot tea served in your room. A member of the trekking staff followed by a bowl of hot washing water, after which you will be required to pack your luggage and the porters loaded whilst we are having breakfast. After breakfast we set off on the trail, enjoying the pleasant cool of the morning. Your day’s trek involves navigating numerous picturesque forests, hills, mountains and the local villages for the next three hours. Around mid-day we usually stop for a pleasant spot along the way for lunch. Your midday lunch break usually lasts around an hour and is a time to relax, pop the boots off and air those feet! Plenty of time is allowed for photograph in the route. After lunch you’ll walk another three hours or so, before you stop for the night. You have enough time to change, freshen up, before exploring an area.
Each evening is spent as per your interest for reading or chatting with the fellow trekkers and crew members or a pack of cards is an advantage; the crew love teaching various Nepali card games and learning new Western games. Our porters and Sherpa’s also like to have singing and dancing competitions in which they love you to join in! Finally, it’s off to bed for a well deserved night’s rest before you start it all again.