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Unknown Inner Dolpo Trek

We have shown the itinerary on the basis of a complete holiday purely for illustrative purposes. Naturally as tailor-made Nepal holiday specialists we would be happy to discuss additional options, whether it be other activities, more/less sightseeing, alternative/upgraded accommodation etc dependent upon your interests, preferences and time available. We even tailor-make a suggested 'what to pack' list for you based upon your ultimately chosen Nepal tailor-made holiday too.

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu

Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere, PLEASE NOTE: A special permit is required for this trek. In order for us to obtain permits for you, we have to present hard copies of your passport (scans are not accepted) by 1000hrs to the permit issuing office. The permit office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed all day Saturday. The permit office is also closed on Nepal Public Holiday days. Please anticipate that you may require extra days in Kathmandu as a result in order that we can obtain your permit.

Accommodation: KGH Hotel -  Kathmandu

Included Meals: None


Day 2 - Fly to Nepalgunj

A private transfer back to the airport for the short flight to Nepalgunj. This rather uninteresting place is down in the Terai region, not too far from the Indian border. It's not a place foreign tourists visit, other than to take other internal flights the following day to Simikot or to Juphal to go trekking in the remote Dolpo region. It's an unavoidable consequence to spend a night in Nepalgunj and as this is not a tourists place the accommodation is rather basic. However, it's likely to be warm, so you can enjoy some warmth as there won't be much of that as you get into the journey proper.

Accommodation: Basic Hotel, Nepalgunj

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 - Fly to Juphal

It's usually a very early morning flight into the mountains. The flight is only 35 mins or so, but very dramatic. Your support crew will be here and once everything is sorted with porters etc it's a mostly (but not all) a downhill walk of around 3hrs to reach camp at Sulighat (2045m). Just under 7km to walk today with around 425m ascent and 800m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Sulighat

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Find out more about Full Support Camping


Day 4 - Hike up to Chepka

A full day of tough trekking as you follow the course of the Suli Gaad Khola that begins its journey from Phoksundo Lake. There's a fair bit of up and down as although you are gaining height, the trail often rises above the river and sometimes alongside it. A longish day of about 8hrs walking today covering just over 15km and a testing 1590m ascent and 1030m descent. Camp is at around 2800m.

Accommodation: Camp, Chepka

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 5 - Walk to Samduwa

At times the valley narrows and rather like yesterday the walking is up and down but more up than down. Wet feet is a distinct possibility today as at times the trail is the river itself and stepping stones require negotiation. The distance today is around 12km and another challenging 1140m ascent and about 790m descent. A walking day of at at least 7hrs. Camp tonight is by the village of Samduwa (3090m)

Accommodation: Camp, Samduwa

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 6 - Phoksundo Lake

A further day of 'up & down', but invariably gaining further height as you head up into to the Phoksundo National Park. It's a fair old slog to reach Ringmo via a ridge. Nepal's highest waterfall is visible on what is now the Phoksundo Khola below you and descending through forests you may get your first sight of the glittering waters of Phoksundo Lake. Just beyond Ringmo with its Buddhist monuments, camp is by the lake at around 3590m. Walking distance today is around 13km with a challenging 1650m of ascent and 1020m descent

Accommodation: Camp, Phoksundo Lake

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 7 - Acclimatisation Day at Phoksundo Lake

There are few more scenic and picturesque locations to spend a day acclimatising than here by the mountain lake and the fascinating Dolpo village of Ringmo.

Accommodation: Camp, Phoksundo Lake

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 8 - The Demons Trail into Inner Dolpo

If you haven't seen Eric Valli's film 'Himalaya', then before commencing your journey you really should. It's a wonderful movie and was filmed on location in Dolpo. The improbable 'Demons Trail' that you'll need to negotiate today certainly makes a lasting impression in the film. This trail above the lake is narrow and precipitous and was literally hewn out of the precarious and steep rock walls that plummet into the lake below. A good head for heights is a necessity. Following your concentrated walk above the lake you head up to a ridge to then descend into Inner Dolpo and to camp in an area known as Slagari (3700m). Walking distance today is around 14km with 930m ascent and 890m descent and takes around 8hrs.

Accommodation: Camp, Slagari

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 9 - Snowfields

Most likely wet feet again as there will be some small rivers to wade through. There's quite a long climb today up through a narrow valley and at times the trail is indistinct. Afficionados of Peter Matthiesson's iconic book 'The Snow Leopard' (and quite possibly one of the reasons you are here) will no doubt be aware that camp tonight is in an area he called in the book,  'Snowfields Camp' (4650m). Almost all uphill today with around 1230m ascent and 270m descent. Around 6-7hrs tough walking to cover the 8km distance to 'Snowfields'.

Accommodation: Camp, 'Snowfields'

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 10- The Kang La to Shey Gompa

A good 3hrs of ascent walking over loose scree is required to reach the Kang La (5350m), the 'gateway' into Inner Dolpo. From the pass an hour of steep descent brings you to the head of the valley and following the river downstream another 3hrs of walking brings you to Shey Gompa (4370m).

Accommodation: Camp, Shey Gompa

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11 - At Shey Gompa

The Gompa isn't the most striking of buildings compared to other Himalayan monasteries, but the location certainly is. The 'Crystal Mountain' known locally as 'Shey' also has the ominous name of She-Re Drug da, which roughly translates as "Dolpo Crystal Mountain of The Dragon's Roar" and is considered sacred by both Buddhists and Bon Po followers. As with Kailas in Tibet pilgrims come here to make the Kora around the Crystal Mountain. The walk to the even more remote and dramatically located Tsa Kang Monastery follows part of the Kora trail and makes for a good round trip walking excursion today.

Accommodation: Camp, Shey Gompa

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 12 - Over the Shey La

Up through a narrow gorge you then climb further up to the Shey La (5100m) where the mountainscape opens out to reveal massive, extensive views towards Tibet and across to Mustang. A long descent from the pass to the tiny settlement of Namgung (4420m). Around 8hrs walking with 730m descent and 840m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Namgung

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 13 - Walk to Saldang

Dramatic trekking from the outset as you contour high above the Namgung River followed by a descent to Saldang (4080m), which lies on one of the salt trade routes into Tibet.  A shorter walking day of around 3hrs with a somewhat easier 280m ascent and 595m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Saldang

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 14 - Hike to Sibu

A longer day of around 14km through typical Dolpopa fields leads to Namdo. Walking further along the Nagaoan Khola to make camp by the river near to the tiny village of Sibu (4155m).  Around 7hrs walking with 945m ascent and 215m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Sibu

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 15 - Jeng La Phedi

With another 5000m pass to cross the next day today starts off straightfoward enough as the trail heads up by a stream rising moderately alongside the river. Things then get harder as you have to climb steeply up to a Yak Kharka and the camping ground beneath the Jeng La (5115m). Altitude at camp is around 4860m and a mostly uphill day of about 945m ascent and 220m descent takes around 8rs of walking.

Accommodation: Camp, Jeng La Phedi

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 16 - Over the Jeng La

Around 2hrs of steep ascent brings you to the pass from which distant Dhaulagiri may be seen. It's then a long descent into the Tarap Valley to reach camp at the village of Tokyu (4165m). There's around 390m ascent and a knee testing 1040m descent on todays 7hr walk.

Accommodation: Camp, Tokyu

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 17 - Windy Dho Tarap

Todays walk will be made a little harder by the strong winds that are a usually a guaranteed afternoon feature blowing up the Tarap Valley. The trails are far more obvious and 'proper' than previous days of trekking and todays walk is very much into a more inhabited landscape passing several small monasteries and villages of the Dho Tarap area. Camp is beyond Dho Tarap village (4025m) at a grazing area that affords some shelter from the daily winds. Although todays walking takes around 8hrs, it's a less punishing 170m ascent and 475m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Dho Tarap

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 18 - Trek to Shim Ora

As you descend down the river valley today, you may just see the elusive Himalayan Blue Sheep (Bharal), a favoured prey of the even more elusive snow leopard. A fair few river crossings today (by bridge thankfully) as at last you drop below 4000m for the first time for several days & head down to Shim Ora (3650m). Around 7hrs walking today with 810m ascent and 1100m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Shim Ora

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 19 - To Kanigaon

Continuing your journey down the Tarap Valley the trail linking the villages of the Tarap Chu has now become rather easy underfoot and at times stone-stepped. Height is often lost rapidly, but it's not all downhill. Still, you drop below 3000m and reach Kanigaon (2625m) after around 7hrs walking that is around 2330m of descent, but still a good 1300m of ascent. Might even be t-shirt time again today.

Accommodation: Camp, Kanigaon

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 20 - Hike to Tarakot

A suspension bridge takes you across the Barbung Khola that has now joined with the Tarap Chu. A fair bit of 'up and down' before making the last, continuous descent to Tarakot. An easier and shorter day of around 3-4hrs walking with 425m ascent and 615m descent. Camp is around the 2100m mark and by now you should have defrosted from the chillier climes of Upper Dolpo.

Accommodation: Camp, Tarakot

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 21 - Walk to Dunal

It's not all over just yet and a 6hr walk of around 650m descent and 300m ascent leads to Dunal.

Accommodation: Camp, Dunal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 22 - Trek to Jhupal

The final day of this trek is straightforward enough, although the last bit is an ascent to reach Jhupal. Walking time is a 4hr affair with 650m descent and 300m descent.

Accommodation: Camp, Jhupal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 23 - Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj

The weather dependent flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj is always morning time (to avoid those anabatic winds) and so it is usually possible to connect with the Nepalgunj to Kathmandu flight. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency for this trek, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for flights both to and from Jhupal and Nepalgunj, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

Accommodation: KGH Hotel, Kathmandu

Included Meals: Breakfast


Day 24 - Depart Nepal

A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast



Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made

Back to Classic Nepal trekking holidays

Dolpo & The Crystal Mountain

Back to trek overview Trekking map of route to Shey Phoksundo Lake and Shey Gompa - Inner Dolpo

Detailed Example Itinerary

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This is an EXAMPLE ITINERARY and can be customised for you accordingly.


Please consider whether you want your customisable, private trip itinerary to also include CONTINGENCY.


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