MANASLU CIRCUIT 17 DAYS
Lower Dolpo Trek
Duration: 18 days (13 days trek)
Difficulty level: Easy / Medium / demanding
Max. Altitude: 5,309m /17417 ft.
Price: €2190 full board
Accommodation: Hotel / Lodge / Tent
Start / Finish point: Kathmandu / Kathmandu
Group Size: 2-16
Best Season: Mar-May / Sep-Nov
The Lower Dolpo is one of the most remote regions of Nepal. Located in the northwest, the journey begins with a short scenic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalguni, then a further 30 minute flight to Juphal, the starting point for the trek.
Lower Dolpo is a region of beautiful landscapes and culture far different to that which the majority of experienced trekkers might be familiar with in other parts of the country. The Dolpo region lies in the rain shadow of the towering mass of Dhaulagiri (8167m), resulting in a semi-arid and remote region that’s inextricably linked to Tibetan culture and well-preserved against the encroachment of the outside world, with local practices and beliefs that seem like echoes to a distant past, including some of the purest forms of Buddhism. The whole region is said to have been blessed by Guru Rinpoche during the 8th century and has long been a refuge for devout Buddhist in troubled times.
In addition to the intriguing insights of the local culture the Lower Dolpo Trek opens up a plethora of opportunities to observe some of Nepal’s most unique animals, including species endemic to the region such as blue sheep, various types of deer, mountain goats, black bear, and the most elusive and legendary species of them all, the snow leopard.
Another of the trek's highlights is Shey-Phoksundo National Park, home to the spectacular Phoksundo Lake, a serene body of water surrounded by soaring cliffs that seems like a dreamy image from a fantasy novel.
The trek isn't only about stunning lakes and wildlife though. The breathtaking heights of not one but two high passes await trekkers willing to take on the trail's challenges, firstly Numa La at 5309 meters, then Bagala Pass a day later at 5169 meters.
Day 01 Arrival to Kathmandu.
Welcome at airport and transfer to your hotel. An introduction to your trekking program then the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of Kathmandu.
Day 02 Trekking preparation and after permit work is done we fly from Kathmandu to Nepalganj.
Day 03 Today we fly from Nepalgunj to Juphal via then drive / trek to Dunai 2140m.
After a flight to Nepalgunj we use local transport to make the drive to Juphal, and then start our trek in the region with a short hike to Dunai along the Thuli Bheri river.
Day 04 Trek from Dunai to Tarakot (2540m, 5-6 hrs)
A series of streams map the pathway for the day through dense pine forests and terraced hillsides to the fortified village of Tarakot sitting resolutely atop its picturesque hillside, with myriad flagpoles jutting up proudly amidst the homes. Nearby is the monastery of Sandul Gompa, well worth the visit along a pathway lined with numerous chortens and mani walls.
Day 05 Trek to Laina odar (3370m, 6-7 hrs)
The trail climbs steadily throughout the day across a series of picturesque suspension bridges and through dense jungle until we reach the day's goal, Laini Odar, a former construction camp with a dramatic Cliffside setting and nearby cave that provides suitable shelter in inclement weather.
Day 06 Trek to Nawarpani (3780m, 5-6 hrs)
The dense forest of the previous day gives way to barren landscapes as we slowly ascend beside the banks of the Tarap Khola, with alpine wildlife on show such as yak and blue sheep. The day concludes with a dramatic suspension bridge crossing high over the Chaya Khola and our arrival at the village of Nawarpani.
Day 07 Trek to Dho Tarap (3944m, 7-8 hrs)
The Tarap Khola leads the way for the start of the day, guiding us over an undulating course that peaks at Charkala (4920m) and descends again into the narrow valley, so deep a ravine that it requires the midday sun to light the lower pathways. Numerous chortens and stupas mark the passage through to Dho Tarap, with the Tibetan village's whitewashed gompa standing proudly at its heart.
Day 08 Acclimatization day
A day to ease back and allow the body to acclimate to the higher altitudes, with Dho Tarap allowing ample opportunity to explore its many charms, as well as to observe the traditional Tibetan lifestyles of its friendly inhabitants, who still trade with their ancient homeland to the north via their Yak caravans. Throw in a visit to the Gompa, the maze of fascinating laneways to explore, and the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and Phoksundo Lake, and Dho Tarap is the kind of place you could easily spend the better part of a week reveling in.
Day 09 Trek to Numala basecamp (4440m, 6-7 hrs)
Reluctantly exiting Dho Tarap we head higher through the northern and arid section of the valley to Numala Base Camp, taking in the stunning landscapes of Dhaulagiri and other peaks around us as the trail brings us in to the rocky basin that comprises our campsite.
Day 10 Trek to over Numa La pass 5309m then overnight at Danigar (4512m, 6-7 hrs)
A steep trail takes us on towards the challenging climb of Numa La pass, where we pause to take in the magnificent panorama our high viewpoint grants us. From there it's all downhill through terraced fields and Yak pastures to the village of Danigar.
Day 11 Trek to Timche 3995m via Bagala Pass 5169m (5-6 hrs)
A further day of high altitude trekking, climbing steadily along a traditional yak trail back over the 5000 meter mark to Bagala pass and its equally impressive views of the nearby mountain ranges. A steady descent through a deep gorge brings us back down through the alpine stretches of the trail to a more temperate climate of pine forests and our day's destination of Ringmogaun.
Day 12 Trek to Ringmogaun (3641m, 4-5 hrs)
After the high altitude and lung-wrenching trekking of the previous few days we get the welcome break of a relatively easy hike to Phoksundo Lake, with glorious views of the turquoise waters and the lake's stunning setting amidst the high mountains soaring up on either side.
Day 13 Phoksundo lake 3600m
A full day to explore the surroundings of the glorious lake waters. The medieval Bon monastery of Tshowa, built over 900 years ago, stands nearby and offers up further opportunities to explore.
Day 14 Trek from Ringmogaun to Chhepka (2678m, 5-6 hrs)
Leaving the classic mountains capes behind us we trail along by a stream until a steep climb gives us one last farewell view of Phoksundo before our heading takes us south through dense pine and birch forests to our day's destination of Chhepka.
Day 15 Trek to Jhupal (2475m, 5-6 hrs)
A gradual ascent takes us through birch forests to the villages of Shyanta and Kageni, heralding our exit from Shey Phoksundo National Park and the return to the outside world. A suspension bridge takes us across the Dhim Khola and on to our final destination for the trek, Juphal, where we spend the night and celebrate the completion of our long journey.
Day 16 Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
We take early flight to Nepalgunj then connecting flight to Kathmandu.
Day 17 Extra day in Kathmandu
Incase of bad weather condition it is always good to have one extra day in Kathmandu. However if everything goes accordion to the programme, this day can be use to explore UNESCO sites of Kathmandu valley.
Day 18 Final departure from Kathmandu
Farewell and drop-off to the international airport
Airport pick up and drop off
Two night stay on arrival in Kathmandu in hotel with B&B (twin share basis)
All necessary trekking permits for Shey Phoksundo National Park, TIMS card, etc.
Internal flights both ways: Kathmandu — Nepalgunj and Nepalgunj — Juphal
All accommodation during trek
Tented camp accommodation during the trek.
Three meals a day during the trek
Government licensed professional local guide who speaks English
First-aid kit for grop
Staff insurance, meals, accommodation, equipment, transportation
Agency service charge and government tax/VAT
International airfare and Nepal visa fee
Lunch & Dinner in the city
Sightseeing costs (temples, monasteries, etc)
All beverages, snacks, and additional expenses such as laundry, hot showers, battery charging, Wifi, etc
Tip to staffs