Upper Dolpo Trek Blog

  • Jul 19, 2020
  • Annushree
  • 1098

Table of Contents

Everything you need to know about Upper Dolpo Trek


Upper Dolpo Trek is one of the unspoiled trekking routes in the world. Upper Dolpo was opened only in 1989 for foreigners to control tourist flow in order to minimize the damage in Culture and the environment. It is one of the restricted trekking regions of Nepal. Dolpa or Dolpo situated in mid-western Nepal in Karnali State located between Tibet and Dhaulagiri range. Customs and Traditions in upper Dolpo are very much similar with Tibet so Upper Dolpo known as a Tibet of Nepal.

Upper Dolpo Trek blog will give you all the required insights about the trek to Dolpo region. From route to foods and accommodations along with everything you can expect from the trek, this blog will provide you with all the information required to make your Upper Dolpo trek successful.

What to expect from Upper Dolpo Trek?

  • Adventurous camping trek or lodge trek in the remote Himalayan region
  • Visit ancient monasteries 
  • Beautiful View of Mountains
  • Explore beautiful Sey Phoksundo Lake 
  • Observe Tibetan culture closely 
  • Oppertunity of Living like a Local in trans Himalayan region
  • Explore mid-western region of Nepal
  • Visit UNESCO world heritage sites in Nepal 
  • Oppertunity to reach above 5350 m from sea level (Kang La & Jyagla pass)
  • Safe and organized Trek in the Himalayas  


Is Upper Dolpo trek difficult?

Upper Dolpo trekking is a basically moderate but some trails look Strenuous too. Unlike other popular trekking trails in Nepal, only few lodges are available in Dolpo regions so Upper Dolpo Trek is popular for a camping trek, however lodge trek also can be done where most of the lodges have very less facilities then other trekking trails of Nepal. Upper Dolpo Trek is suitable for anyone who is moderately fit and walks for 6-7 hours in a day. This trek can be conducted by anyone who is fresh trekker in Nepal. If you keep few days extra for rest, you will feel extra relaxed and can explore more of remote cultural lifestyle of Upper Dolpo which is culturally similar with Tibet.

How can I prepare for Upper Dolpo Trek?

You can continue or start some physical fitness exercise every day, before your trip starts. Walking, swimming, running, are recommended to keep your body suitable for the trek. First one or two days can be little discomfort for you to walk but the funny group of your family or friends and the environment makes you happy and after couple of days you will feel comfortable once you are fully acclimatized. Although, your physical fitness is the most important thing to prepare for the trek, if you are mentally prepared and ready to achieve your target; your physically discomfort goes off while your will power wins as new interesting places and environment gives you a joy you wanted.

Another most important thing for Upper Dolpo trek is, you have to adjust in a less facility throughout the journey as this trek is totally backpacking where is very less chance of lodge or guest houses for your comfort. But, we will put our effort to keep you facilitated utilizing available resources as much as possible. Our all staffs will care of you along with your group-mate to assist you keeping in mind for your comfortable stay.


Best Time to do Upper Dolpo Trek

Summer and monsoon season are best season for this trek since the winter seasons are very difficult to operate the trek due to heavy snowfall.

Any Chance of Altitude Sickness? How to prevent from high altitude sickness? 

Altitude Sickness, or say High-Altitude Sickness refers to a set of symptoms that affects the people at a very high altitude, usually above 3000m (10,000 ft) due to the presence of very less oxygen and low atmospheric pressure. If you get Symptoms of high altitude sickness, our years of experienced team leader or guide will decide what will be the best option for you, instantly.

Kindly be informed that all our team leaders, guides, cooks, porters and all staffs are duly trained, certified and license holders to conduct the trek safely, carefully & respectively.

Basic Symptoms of Altitude sickness

The most basic symptoms of Altitude Sickness are:

  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • shortness of breath

How to prevent Altitude Sickness?

"Slow and steady wins the race"
Everyone must have definitely heard this phrase. It is more appropriable while trekking/climbing in the high altitude. This is the golden rule for the prevention of altitude sickness. To put it in short, this can also be referred to as ACCLIMATIZATION

Acclimatization: - It refers to adapting your body’s condition with the environment. These are the basic rules of acclimatization:

  •  Walk Slowly: Ascending slowly towards higher elevation helps your lungs to adapt to new conditions.
  •  Rest Days: Usually when you are ascending above, 3000m, rest a day after every 3-4 trekking days
  •  Don’t ascend more than 500 m high in a day (above 3500 m)
  •  Climb High/Sleep Low

Therefore, Preventive Measures for Altitude Sickness can be listed as:

  1. Wear according to weather(Always keep sufficient warm layers with you while going to high elevations)
  2. Eat Plenty(Consume enough calories/mostly carbohydrates)
  3. Stay hydrated(Drink 4-5 liters of water daily)
  4. Acclimatization
  5. Avoid smoking, alcohol, tobacco and sleeping pills
  6. Do not ascend further if you notice any signs/symptoms of altitude sickness. If serious, descend immediately.

It’s better if you carry these medicines, in case:

  • Paracetamol for headaches.
  • High altitude sickness medicines like Diamox, acetazolamide.


Note: Detailed information about High Altitude Sickness can be read in this link: Altitude Sickness - A Complete Guide


How to reach Upper Dolpo from Kathmandu (Upper Dolpo Trek route):

The journey of Upper Dolpo Trek starts with a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (45 min flight) and next morning we again fly to Jhupal (some say Jhuphal) (35 min flight) and another day we start our trek.

For more details, Read: Detail itinerary of Upper Dolpo Trek 

Is there a chance of canceling Jhuphal flight from Nepalgunj?

is the Himalayan country and most of the airports are surrounded by hills. The Trans Himalayan weather is unpredictable since the weather changes in few minutes which results the delay or cancellation of the flights. Nepalgunj-Jhuphal route is similar one which sometime delays or can be canceled. If the flight cancels for longer, we may require to take helicopter flight in additional cost which is very expensive than regular flight but we will refund you the regular flight cost if we took helicopter flight.

Upper Dolpo Trek Permit Cost

Dolpa is the least developed district of Nepal out of 77 districts. Upper Dolpo Trek is famous for its high passes trail. It is a region of mystical beauty and it is known for best trail of adventure among travelers. Enthralling deepest lake of Nepal - Shey Phoksundo lake, typical villages and lifestyle of the people in least developed region, centuries-old Buddhist monasteries, peaks, wildlife are main attraction of the region. Holy Mountain Crystal Mountain is also another pilgrim destation among Buddhist people in the world. Special Permit (USD 500 for 10 days and other USD 50 Each day after 11th day) charged to enter to Upper Dolpo and there should be at least two people in the trekking group to get the permission.


Role of Ground Staffs

We have skilled, certified and experienced cooks to prepare your foods, Sherpa staffs to make safe camps, and they will make temporary dining room to toilet along with sleeping tents which you do not need to worry about. Porters will carry all items including your baggage, the team leader will be there to manage everything including your health and safety and off course your guide (s) will be always with you for your guidance. He (they, if the group is big) is also there with you to assist you for anything you required and to answer all of your questions/queries you may have. Guides are available of any popular languages that you prefer, beside English.

If you want to book your trip for the Upper Dolpo Trek  Shepherd Holidays is gladly at your service. So, feel free to contact us for further details.