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West Himalaya Treks

Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek

Number of Days: 18 Days
Highest Point: 5309 meters (Numala Pass)
Trek Difficulty: Strenous
Accommodation: Tent
Starting Point: Juphal (Dolpa)
Ending Point: Juphal (Dolpa)
Walking Time: Approx 6-7 hrs per day
Region: Dolpo

Trip Highlights

  • Beautiful trek through beautiful settlements, terraced fields, alpine grasslands, glaciers
  • Excursion of the majestic Phoksundo Lake
  • Crossing of 5,000-meter Numa la and Baga la passes
  • Breathtaking views numerous peaks of the Himalayas
  • Ancient villages and isolated Bon and Buddhist monasteries
  • Trek in arid landscape beyond the Himalayas
  • Stay in beautiful settlements of Ringmo, Dho-Tarap and Chhepka

Overview

The Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek offers trekkers an authentic off-beat trekking experience in the Dolpo region of Nepal. The trail passes through some of the astonishing human settlements in the Himalayas like Dho Tarap and Ringmo which are rich in Bon and Buddhism heritage. People here practice the purest from of Tibetan Buddhism which cannot be seen even in Tibet. Trekkers can see numerous chhortens and ancient Buddhist and Bon monasteries, mani walls etc throughout the trail. They can see high Himalayan passes adorned with prayer flag and cairns as passes are believed to be the abode of the gods. Lower areas mostly comprise of birch and pine forests. Trees, however, start getting dwarf as the altitude rises and make way for small bushes. Going further, one will be enthralled by rugged and arid rocky landscape. The trek begins with a scenic flight to Juphal airstrip of Dolpo and passes upstream of the Bheri River till Laisi Camp. From the river conlfuence, the trail branches to the left and passes upstream of Tarap River till Dho Tarap Valley. Then the trail climbs two high passes in the next three days to reach Ringmo seated on the shores of Phoksundo Lake. It then follows Suligad River, which drains the majestic lake, and reaches Sulighat and then climbs to Juphal after crossing Bheri River.
Trip Inquiry

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Kathmandu (1360m)

Welcome to Nepal. After completing immigration formalities, meet our representatives who will transfer you to your hotel after customary welcome at the airport. Rest of the day is free for independent activities. In the evening, meet your guide and attend trek briefing session at your hotel.

O/N: Hotel
Day 2
Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

Today, our tour guide will take your for sightseeing of different attractions in Kathmandu Valley while we take care of your permits and other technicalities. Begin your day with a sightseeing trip to Swoyambhunath Temple. Popular among tourists as Monkey Temple, the main attraction here is the magnificent white stupa topped by a golden spire. Then, move on to Kathmandu Durbar Square –- a palace complex of Malla kings -- which dates back to 16th century. The area is a repository of ancient wooden, metal and stone crafts. After lunch, drive to Pashupatinath Temple – the largest temple complex in Nepal. The main attraction here is the pagoda temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The present temple is believed to have been built in the 5th century. However, the main shrine is believed to have existed since as early as 400 BC. There is an open air crematorium on the banks of Bagmati River near the temple complex. You can observe last rites performed on the dead body as per Hindu tradition before it is consigned to flames. Then you will be transferred back to your hotel.

O/N: Hotel
Day 3
Fly to Nepalgunj (150m)

After breakfast, drive to the Kathmandu airport for your flight to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is the commercial hub of the mid and far western Nepal. The flight takes about an hour. Upon arrival at Nepalgunj, check into your hotel. It’s a free day for you as flights to the airstrips in the Himalayas are possible only in the morning. In the evening, you can take a stroll in downtown Nepalgunj or visit Bageshwari temple – a major attraction in this Tarai town located near Nepal’s border with India.

O/N:Hotel
Day 4
Fly to Juphal (2475m) and trek to Dunai (2,000m) – Approx 35 mins flight, 3 hrs trek

After early breakfast, drive to the airport for a short flight to Juphal airstrip of Dolpa district. The flight takes about 35 minutes and provides you bird’s eye view of Himalayas, terraced land, forests and beautiful settlements. Juphal is a small mountain village with some shops and lodges. Meet your support staff here and start walking toward Dunai. From Juphal, the trail climbs south east above the Thulo Bheri valley. The trail then passes through the beautiful terraced fields to Kalagauda village. From here, follow the southern bank of Bheri River to Dunai – the district headquarters of Dolpa. It’s a bustling marketplace seated on the banks of Bheri River. Your tents will be pitched on the river banks.

O/N: Tent
Day 5
Trek to Lingdo (2390m) – Approx 5-6 hrs

Your trek begins in earnest today. After breakfast, start walking on the trail that goes upstream of Bheri River. The trail passes through deep gorges, narrow footbridges, isolated hamlets and pine forests that rise above the Bheri River. After a walk of some five hours, the trail opens into a terraced field signaling that your destination is not far. Lingdo is a new settlement with few teahouses on the banks of Bheri River. Above Lingdo lies the magnificent fort village and Tarakot and further higher lies a pass to Dhorpatan Valley..

O/N: Tent
Day 6
Trek to Laini Odar (3,160m) – Approx 6-7 hrs

The walk is easy today as the trail to your lunch point at Laisicamp is more o as you continue walking along the Thuli Bheri River. An wasy walk will take you to Laisi Camp where your lunch will be served. After Laisi Camp, leave the main trail on the banks of Thuli Bheri River and take the left trail along the Tarap Khola River. You can see the magnificent Chhedul Gompa monastery across the Tarap Khola river seated on the thick cedar forests near the confluence of Tarap Khola and Barbung Khola rivers. If you have time, a short tour to the monastery can be arranged. Walking further through beautiful terraced land sparsely populated settlements, you reach the beautiful campsite of Laini Odar located on a ledge above Tarap Khola river.

O/N: Tent
Day 7
Trek to Nawarpani (3,545m) – Approx 5-6 hours

The walk, today, is on a steep trail high above the Tarap Khola river. The walk is exciting as the wide valley now narrows down into a gorge. Several uphills and downhills will take you to the banks of Chyugur Khola. Continuing further, you will reach to a place where Nawarpani Khola river meets Tarap Khola. Your campsite is located near the confluence.

O/N: Tent
Day 8
Trek to Dho Tarap (4,090m) – Approx 7-8 hours

Today, you will reach the magnificent Tarap Valley. The trail is mostly uphill as you will be gaining nearly 500 meters of altitude on the day. You pass by the beautiful settlements of Toltol and Ghyamgar before reaching Langa Camp after crossing a small pass of 3870 meters. On the way, you cross numerous rivers and ribulets. After Langa Camp, it’s a short climb to the bustling settlement of Dho Tarap. You can see change in vegetation as you are climbing to a higher altitude. You can see trees make way for juniper and rose bushes. You will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful valley tomorrow as you will be spending an extra night here for rest and acclimatization.

O/N: Tent
Day 9
Rest Day for Acclimatization

The day provides us with the opportunity to observe and experience culture, tradition and lifestyle of the locals of Dho Tarap village. Dho Tarap is a common name for three villages in the Dho Tarap valley – Dho, Lang and Tokyu. Dho is the largest settlements of the three with about 120 households. The valley is a day’s walk for the locals form other nearby villages like Ringmo, Sahartara and Chharkha, among others. The day off will assist with acclimatization and allow some body rest. Spend the day visiting nearby monasteries and talking short walks to neighboring villages which will help you to get acquainted with the local culture. The Dolpo people wear homespun clothing that is sometimes dyed into maroon color. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. The people of the region are both Bon Po and Nyingmapa (Buddhist sects).

O/N: Tent
Day 10
Trek to Numa La Base Camp (4440m) – Approx 6-7 hours

Resume your walk on the banks of Tarap River enjoying lush grasslands on either sides. A walk of about couple of hours will take you to Tokyo which houses a beautiful Buddhist monastery near a river confluence. Explore the monastery and resume your walk on the banks of the river coming from left. From Tokyu, the trail gradually climbs up till you reach your night's halt at Numa La Base Camp.

O/N: Tent
Day 11
Trek via Numa La Pass (5310m) to Danigar (4630m) – Approx 7 hrs

You will be experiencing one of the most memorable moments of your trek today as you will be crossing the highest of the two passes of your trip. Leave your camp rather early and continue walking on the steep trail to the pass. The trail is steep until you reach the ridge top. Prayer flags and cairns denote you are indeed at the top. Enjoy the beautiful Himalayan vista all around - from Kanjiroba to Dhaulagiri to the east. After enjoying some time at the top, start making a descent toward Danigar. Coming down, you will see a trail on the right that contours a hill and goes all the way to the village of Shey. After crossing the river, the trail contours another hill for some time and ventures northward from a saddle. It eventually drops to Danigar. Danigar is a beautiful campsite on the bank of a river right below Baga La Pass.

O/N: Tent
Day 12
Trek via Baga La Pass (5070m) to Yak Kharka (4080m) – Approx 7 hrs

Leave your camp early and start climbing the steep trail to Baga La pass. The trail is steep until you reach the top marked by prayer flags and cairns. Enjoy breathtaking views of mountains all around you starting from Kanjiroba to Dhaulagiri. After enjoying the view, start the slow descent toward Yak Kharka. The trail is steep until you reach a river confluence. Continue further, until you reach a beautiful grazing grounds of Yak Kharka.

O/N: Tent
Day 13
Trek to Ringmo (3,600 meters) – Approx 4 hrs

It's going to be an easy day after two days of grueling trek. Right after leaving the grasslands, the trail winds through a hill and reaches a saddle offering you breathtaking view of the majestic Phoksundo Lake and Suligad Falls that drain the lake. Continuing further, the trail enters thick forest of pine and opens up into meadows and terraced fields. Reach Ringmo village after crossing Suligad River on a suspension bridge. Your camp will be pitched right on the lake shores

O/N: Tent
Day 14
Explore Ringmo Village and Phoksundo Lake

Take a well-earned day off today. You can utilize the day eploring the beautiful Phoksundo Lake and its shores, and Ringmo village which is home to one of the oldest Bon monasteries in the region. The monastery is believed to have been built some 900 years ago. Interact with locals and get an insight into day to day life of the local people. You can also see yak caravans bringing supplies to and from Ringmo. A hike to a viewpoint from where you can enjoy the full view of the lake is also one of the options to spend the day.

O/N: Tent
Day 15
Trek to Chhepka (2880m) – Approx 6-7 hrs

It's the penultimate walking day of the trek. Leave Ringmo on a trail that winds through a stony ridge that offers you the last view of the Phoksundo Lake. After enjoying the view for some time, start descending overlooking the beautiful Suligad waterfalls to Chunuwar. From here, the trail enters the forest of pine and birches toward Rechi. The trail goes uphill and downhill, and climbs deep gorges before finally reaching the beautiful hamlet of Chhepka where you will spend the night.

O/N: Tent
Day 16
Trek to Juphal

Continue your walk along the Sulidgad River through beautiful pine and birch forests. The trail is easy and mostly downhill and passes through small hamlets of Shyanta and Kageni and their terraced farmlands. A walk of about five hours will take you to Sulighat where you will be required to show your permits. Cross the Bheri River near its confluence with Suligad river on a suspension bridge and start the final leg of your trip to Juphal airstrip. Reaching Juphal, check into a teahouse. In the evening, participate in a small gettogether organized in honor of your amazing crew. Enjoy to the fullest.

O/N: Teahouse
Day 17
Fly to Nepalgunj and further to Kathmandu

Take the early morning flight to Nepalgunj. After a brief rest at the airport, board the next availablle flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening, we will host a farewell dinner for you to celebrate your successful trek. Share your trek experiences and enjoy the evening.

O/N: Hotel
Day 18
Departure

Our representative will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport at least three hours before your flight time. Enjoy safe flight back home.

Trip Ends

Trip Map

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Lower Dolpo Circuit Trek

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West Himalaya Treks & Expeditions
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