Upper Dolpo Trek also known as Dolpa trek lies in the upper region of Nepal’s largest national park, namely Shey Phoksundo national park in the Dolpa District. Upper Dolpo trek consists of both lower and upper sub-areas of the Shey Phoksundo National Park.
The lower region of the trek features beautiful forests along the Thulo Bheri and Phoksundo River, the famous Shey Phoksundo Lake known for its magnificent turquoise color, Phoksundo waterfall, an ancient village of Ringmo, and its monastery.
The upper region of the trek is in the trans-Himalayan region which is relatively more remote and barren making it more challenging and adventurous. This trail goes through an ancient salt trade caravan route passing through some of the highest settlements on the planet and full of sacred ancient monasteries, Chhortens, and Mani walls.
One of the main cultural highlights of the upper Dolpo trekking is the mystical 11th-century Shey Gompa which is situated at 4,390m above sea level. “Shey” means the “biggest of all” in the Tibetan language and “gompa” means monastery. This monastery is thus considered the most important monastery in Nepal just like Mecca to the Muslims.
People from around the world would flock together and come to Shey Gompa to observe a mega ceremony that takes place every 12 years in the dragon year according to the Tibetan calendar.
Another attraction of trekking to upper Dolpo is Crystal Mountain which is considered to be the second brother of Mount Kailash in Tibet, stands in a distance in front of Shey Gompa and is holy for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Trek to Upper Dolpo is a long desolate walk across the roof of Nepal crossing through the high passes along with some ancient monasteries and the villages of pre-Buddhist culture and tradition with all these atmospheres of spirituality and nature, the Upper Dolpo trek will not fail to overwhelm you all.
How to get to the trailhead of upper Dolpa trekking?
There are few entry points from where you can start your trek to upper Dolpo trekking such as Jumla or Jomsom airstrips which take extra days. However, among all, the Juphal airstrip is one the most popular and convenient entry points from where you can start your trek. For this, you need to take a flight or drive to Nepalgunj and then take a flight to Juphal airstrip to begin your trek.
Upper Dolpa trek permits and fees.
Shey Phoksundo national park fee which costs 3000 rupees per head. Special trekking permits as the upper part of the region is listed as a restricted area of Nepal. so, this cost $500 USD per head for the first 10 days then an extra $50 USD per day if additional days were needed.