Situated on the mid-western part of Nepal, this trek is a highly challenging trek. It is one of the beautiful hidden trekking destinations that is undertaken by very few trekkers from around the world. This trek route makes its way through the remote alpine area and several high passes.
Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek
Table of Contents
About Upper Dolpo
Upper Dolpo is a Beyul, a hidden kingdom. People believe that the Guru Rimpoche discovered this hidden land of Dolpo some 1700 years ago. People in Dolpa are the Tibetan inhabitants. They migrated to Nepal several years ago.
Dolpo is a remotely isolated region in Nepal. Trekking and travelling in Dolpo were not allowed before 1989. People in Dolpa are the pre-Buddhists. They follow the Bon Po religion. One can see the influence of Buddhism in Dolpo via the beautiful Dzongs, ancient monasteries, and the great Shey Gompa.
Interesting Cultural Facts About Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek
While trekking from Upper Dolpo to Jomsom, you can witness the diversified culture at various places. As you traverse from one region to the other, you will see different people with different lifestyles, regions, and cultural practices.
Dolpo is an amazing highland settlement where people have a nomadic life. They are the people who migrated from Tibet into Nepal centuries before today. People still are living the primitive life like they used to then. People here are the traders. They trade goods from Tibet to the Himalayan region in Nepal.
On moving towards Mustang, people in Mustang are also the Tibetan inhabitants who migrated centuries ago from Tibet. The Lopas in Mustang and the people in Dolpo migrated to Nepal from Tibet during the same era.
Though they have the same history, people in Dolpo, Drokpas and in Mustang, Lopas are completely different now. People in Mustang live a more civilized life than people in Dolpo.
While exploring the exotic villages in Upper Dolpo and in Mustang, you will also see the Bhoriya and Thakali culture. The Dolpo region has kept the Bhoria culture alive for many years. And the Mustang region, it is popular among tourists for the Thakali culture.
Outline Itinerary of Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek
- Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu/ (1400 m)
- Day 02: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (150m)/ flight
- Day 03: Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475m)/ flight and Juphal to Dunai/ 3 hrs trek.
- Day 04: Dunai to Chhepka (2687m)/ 6 Hrs
- Day 05: Chhepka to Chunuwar (3110m)/ 6 Hrs
- Day 06: Chunuwar to Phoksundo Lake (3600m)/ 5 to 6 Hrs
- Day 07: Rest day at Phoksundo
- Day 08: Phoksundo to Sallaghari/ 5 to 6hrs trek
- Day 09: Sallaghari to Nangdala HC (4717 m)/ 5 to 6 hrs trek
- Day 10: Nangdala HC to Shey Gompa/ ( 4280m) Crossing Nangdala pass (5240m)/ 5 to 6hrs
- Day 11: Shey Gompa to Namgung Gompa / 6 to 7 hrs crossing Shey La Pass (5100m)
- Day 12: Namgong Gompa to Saldang/ 4 to 5 hrs camping.
- Day 13: Saldang to Day hike to Yangjer Gumba/ 4599m
- Day 14: Saldang to Khoma village
- Day 15: Khoma village to Shimen
- Day 16: Shimen to Tinje
- Day 17: Tinje to Yak Kharka
- Day 18: Yak Kharka (4780m) to Chharka / 5 hrs walk crossing Mola Pass (5030m)
- Day 19: Chharka to Norbulung/ Nulungsumda
- Day 20: Nulungsumda/ Norbulung to Ghalden Ghuldum (4247m) Crossing Niwala (5120m) and Jungbenla (5550m) passes.
- Day 21: Ghalden Ghuldum/ (4247m) to Sangta/ (3777m)
- Day 22: Sangta to Phalyak/ (3175m)
- Day 23: Phalyak to Jomsom/ (2720m)
- Day 24: Jomsom to Pokhara/ flight and Pokhara to Kathmandu/ flight.
Best Time to Do Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek
Upper Dolpo region has highly challenging trekking trails. Also, this trek is a camp trekking. So, the best time to trek is obviously the time when the weather remains at its best with moderate temperatures. And both these points towards the seasons of Autumn (September, October, and November) and Spring (March, April, and May).
Thus, the most favourable time of the year for Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek is during Spring and Autumn season. During these times, there are very few chances of rain and snowfall. This will make trekking over the several mountain passes and the imaginably hard trekking trails.
Doing this trek in winter and monsoon is more than tough. Instead of doing this really long and tough trek during the off-season, you can choose from various other treks in Nepal that are best for winter and monsoon.
Can I Do Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek?
Upper Dolpo to Jomsom is a long and strenuous trek. The trek from Juphal to Jomsom is one of the toughest in Nepal. This part combines more than eleven mountain passes, seven of which are above 5000 meters.
This trek is generally recommended to those trekkers who are high altitude trekking expertise. If you are someone who has done lots of high altitude trekking and climbing previously, you can do this trek. Despite being one of the toughest, it is one of the best to rejoice wholeness of the Himalayas and humbleness of the approachable people.
What Makes Upper Dolpo Trek Special?
Shey Phoksundo Lake (3600m)
Shey Phoksundo Lake in Dolpa is an alpine freshwater lake, situated at 3,611 meters from sea level. This lake lies inside the boundaries of Shey Phoksundo National Park. This lake is one of the major points of attraction of the trek
Charkha village, 4050 meters is a beautiful village in Dolpo. The village looks like a fort. Here, you will see a cluster of tall houses. You will see no gaps between the houses, the outer wall of houses sticks to each other. This village is also popular for cattle. Here, you will see a number of yaks and sheep.
Numerous High Passes
Wouldn’t it be exciting having to cross more than 11 high passes on 20 days of trekking? En trek route from Upper Dolpo to Jomsom, you will have to cross 7 mountain passes higher than 5000 and more than 8 other mountain passes below 5000 meters.
Jomsom is a travellers and trekkers hub. People going to Upper Dolpo, Upper Mustang and Muktinath meet here. The gorgeous Kali Gandaki gorge divides Jomsom into two halves. So, settlement in Jomsom is in both sides of the Kali Gandaki river. Jomsom lies in the rain shadowed region of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Hence, it does not experience the monsoon.
Combines Dolpo and Annapurna Region
One of the interesting thing about Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek is that it combines two different regions in Nepal. Trekkers can explore the diversity in people, religion, culture, landscapes, wildlife, plants, and many other things in this region.
People in Upper Dolpo believe that Shey Gompa is the holiest place in their region. Two times in a year, pilgrims take a round of the Crystal mountain. They say that the mountain is a younger sibling of Mt Kailash, a holy mountain (residence of Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity).
Trekking Grade: What Makes Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek Difficult?
As we have already mentioned earlier, the Upper Mustang to Dolpo is a moderate to strenuous grade trekking in Nepal. There are some parts of the trek that are strenuous and the remainings are moderate. So, what are the factors that make this trek difficult? Let’s have a look at some of these:
Altitude is a real challenge when it comes to high passes trekking in Nepal. With altitude comes the risk of altitude sickness. There are many high mountain passes during this trek. Among them, the highest altitude reaches up to 5500 meters at Jungbenla passes.
Imagine having to cross more than 11 mountain passes! 7 passes out of all go higher than 5000 meters. Be careful of heights, watch out for the signs of altitude sickness while you take higher ascents.
This is a 24 days long trek. Trekking in the remote mountain trails, crossing several mountain passes, staying in tents, etc can be really difficult. Moreover, weather and temperature at higher altitudes are always uncertain. You will have to face lots of real and tough challenges on these 24 days. Be ready to face anything that comes.
Upper Dolpo to Jomsom is one of the remote treks in Nepal. This trek is popular for its remoteness as well as its uniqueness. There are many places on the trek where you will have to stay in tents. Camp trekking in Nepal is difficult in itself. You have to trek with a big crew carrying everything for camping. Also, the trails on the various parts of the treks are very difficult and risky.
Trekking equipment and Gears for Upper Dolpo to Jomsom Trek
- Quick Drying Underwear
- Thick Socks 3 to 4 pairs
- Liner Socks 1 to 2 pairs
- Lightweight trousers
- Trekking shirts (dry fit) half and long-sleeved
- Base layer (top and bottom)
- Lightweight trekking pants
- Warm fleece trekking pants
- Insulated Down Jacket
- Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
- Comfortable Hiking Boots (waterproof and gripped soles)
- Sandals or Camping shoes
- Waterproof gloves and Liner gloves
- A warm Hat
- Shampoo and Soaps
- Toilet roll
- Toothbrush and Paste
- Perfume and body sprays
- Sanitizer gel or antibacterial handwash
- Sunscreen lotions and moisturizer for face and body
- UV Protection Sunglasses
- Medications for col, allergies, wounds, sprains, bad stomach, altitude sickness, and many others (consult your medical advisor before you go)
- Camera and extra batteries
- Oximeters (are really helpful at altitudes)
For Camp Trekking
- Member tents
- Kitchen or Dining Tent
- Toilet Tent
- Bedding Bag
Upper Dolpo to Mustang trek is a wonderful remote trekking trail in Nepal. This trek is an option to escape heavy traffic at the popular trekking trails like Everest base camp, Annapurna base camp, and Annapurna circuit.
Autumn and Spring season are the beat time for doing this trek. Be ready to explore the hidden kingdom and the less explored trekking trails in Dolpo and Mustang.
Trek with us. Marvel Adventure is a renowned trekking company in Nepal. We have been organizing the best treks and tours in many parts of Nepal every year. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to contact us.