Lower Dolpo & Phoksundo Lake trekking leads you on an interesting and exciting journey around Nepal's Far Western Himalaya within the country’s largest national park covering an area of 3,555 sq. km, extending beyond North West Dolpo to Mugu areas.
A great adventure exploring lovely villages of Inner and Lower Dolpo with beautiful Phoksundo Lake facing dramatic scenery of high hills, valley, and the snow-clad peak of Kagmara as far towards Dhaulagiri towards the east direction.
Walking leads you into enchanting forested areas filled with blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir, and birch, as the journey progress heading into Jugdula River valley tree lines drops for near-desert type terrain with vegetation of mainly dwarf juniper and caragana shrubs.
Lower Dolpo & Phoksundo Lake is also famous for herds of blue sheep and elusive, rare endangered Snow Leopard, which is often seen around walks within inner and lower Dolpo.
Our adventure begins taking a scenic flight to land in warmer areas of Far South Nepal at Nepalgunj city, where another short flight takes you to Jhupal within Dolpo, where our walk leads past Dunai, the headquarters town of Dolpo and then to our highlight of the trip at Phoksundo Lake within Ringmo village.
With time to get acclimatize and enjoy views crossing over high Baga-la and Numa-la to reach at Tarap valley on visit nice Tokyu and Dho-Tarap villages of the immense culture of Bon (pre-Buddhist) and Tibetan Buddhism with its interesting monasteries.
Walking on a nice scenic valley and into a river, and gorge to reach the historical Tarakot village and then back to Jhupal for a sweeping flight to Kathmandu after a concluding mesmerizing and wonderful adventure on Lower Dolpo & Phoksumdo Lake Trekking.
The next details will provide you with a basic understanding of what you should carry for the trek. It's crucial not to overlook the necessary items, as they will impact your comfort and safety during the hike. It's just as vital not to weigh yourself down with unnecessary gear during the trek.
Early breakfast for another short flight to Jhupal in Dolpo, at Jhupal join with our trekking staff and trek to Dunai for overnight stop, walk leads through interesting farm villages and farm lands with views of snow capped peaks in the distance in Jhupal in the comfort of nice lodge.
After overnight at Dunai, morning walk leads into market to cross a bridge over Thulo Bheri River and then climb over a ridge to Phuksumdo River valley with views of Kagmara peak, from here trek leads downhill passing spread out houses with walnut trees close to a stream at Dhera a small cattle herders settlements. From here a short climb to Rahagaon village of Thakuri Hindu people, then downhill into thick forest to reach overnight camp at Chhepka near Ankhe, a small village by the entrance of Shey Phuksumdo National Park.
From Chhepka morning walk with short climb and descend through forest reaching a river bank, from here climb on leaving the forest, from the top walk downhill to forested area leading upstream to cross a small bridge at Ryajik village, trek further to Sumdu near Sulighat village for overnight stop.
Morning walk leads to our first destination at Phuksumdo Lake after Pungmo Kholas valley and crossing streams, following Pungmo Khola downhill into pine and birch trees to reach at upper side of Phokshindo Khola, after a short break continue walk to Ringmo village, an interesting, attractive Tibetan like village with mud plastered chhorten and Mani (prayer) walls.
From here a short walk to Phoksumdo Lake for overnight camp by the shore of beautiful turquoise Phuksumdo Lake.
A perfect place for free and rest day, just relax and marvel the beautiful views of surrounding landscapes and peaks of Kagmara, or visit this interesting Ringmo village and walk to the lake side.
After an enjoyable and interesting time at Ringmo village and Phoksumdo Lake, morning walk leads to other side of Dolpo area heading east by an alternative way crossing few passes of Baga-la and Numa-la. Morning walk leads past Muduwa village and the stream of Muduwa on a valley gorge to reach a small grazing area at Temche for overnight stop near Ghuchun Khola (stream).
Starting on pleasant and gradual trail and then leading uphill to cross over Baga-la at 5,169 meters high, with steep climb for about near 3 hours to reach the top of the pass, the top offers panorama of Phuksumdo lake and Kagmara peaks, after catching great views a long descend to our overnight camp at Danigar or Phedi, meaning base or a bottom of the hills and passes.
Morning walk leads to another pass Numa-la South at 5,309 meters, the highest spot of this adventure, climb on nice grassy slopes for about three hours then reaching at the top of Numa-la with impressive views of Dhaulagiri mountain range to Kagmara peak and looking down at beautiful valleys and surrounding dramatic landscapes, after an enjoyable moment descend to the base of this high pass, then with few hours of good walk on gradual path to reach our overnight camp on a summer pasture fields at the base or Phedi.
From the base Numa-la, morning starts with steep climb to reach top of a small ridge with views of massive Mt. Dhaulagiri range, from here a long descend to Modo valley, time permitting visit the monastery, here the trail from Upper and Lower Dolpo joins.
After Modo and Khanger few hours of good walk to Tokyu-Gaon for overnight, this is one of the most impressive and interesting village of Dolpa area, consist of more than ten villages and nice tended farm fields with old impressive monasteries.
After Tokyu-Gaon, morning starts with downhill walk towards Tarap Chu on broader green valley, this is one of the scenic wide valleys with lots of Sheppard’s settlements of Yaks and Sheep, and walk continues to our overnight camp at Dho Tarap, this is another interesting village with mix tribes of Tibetans origin and Magar hill people.
From here a long descend to Tarap valley, one of the largest and longest valley of Dolpo area which is about 20 k.m. which stretches following Tarap Chu River most of the way to joins with Thuli Bheri River near Tarakot village, walk leads past Langa with beautiful cascading waterfalls heading due south following the trail after Sisaul and small place of Kesila around Yak herders temporary camps to reach our overnight camp at Ghyamgar.
Today walks on Tarap nice valley, as the trail enter into a narrow gorge with some vegetation of bushes of juniper and wild rose, walk leads past Toltol with a large overhanging cave, around this area might see some wild life like Naur or Blue Sheep and other animals.
As the walk progress reaching a confluence of River Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, overnight camp by the river after a long day walk of about 6 hours.
Starting the morning walk, passing smaller villages and then into a small wooded area, following river all the way at Tarakot, a large and interesting village with old history and well maintained terraced farm fields, Tarakot with an old historical fortress (Dzong or Kot) guarding the village.
Tarakot village houses famous old Sandul Gomba located at junction of Barbung Khola and Tarap Chu River where the overnight camp is placed.
After a great time at Tarakot, our last day walk leads to Dunai for short while and then taking a short drive to Jhupal for the flight back to Kathmandu.
Morning starts following many spread out villages and farmers huts, walking on wider trail with some short uphill and downhill towards Thuli Bheri River valley to reach at Dunai, on reaching Dunai time permitting having lunch. From here jeeps drive to Jhupal to catch our next morning flight to Nepalgunj.
Morning a short flight to Nepalgunj airport, and the connecting another scenic flight to reach Kathmandu, after a wonderful experience around Lower Dolpo & Phoksumdo Lake Trekking, landing at Kathmandu transfer to your hotels with afternoon free at leisure for individual activities and shopping.
The most common way to reach Lower Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo Lake is by flying from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then taking a flight to Juphal, followed by trekking to the region. The trek typically takes around 8-10 days, depending on the itinerary and route chosen.
The best time to visit Lower Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo Lake is during the months of May to September, which is the peak trekking season in Nepal. The weather is generally dry and pleasant during these months, making it ideal for trekking and exploring the region.
Yes, visitors to Lower Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo Lake require several permits, including the Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Permit, Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit, and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). These permits are issued by the Nepalese government and are necessary to enter and trek in the region.
Accommodation options in Lower Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo Lake are limited and basic. Teahouses and guesthouses are available in some villages along the trekking route, offering basic facilities such as dormitory-style rooms and simple meals. Camping is also a common option in the region.
Trekking in Lower Dolpo and Shey Phoksundo Lake can be physically challenging due to the remote and rugged terrain. Altitude sickness can also be a risk, as some parts of the region are located at high altitudes. It is important to be well-prepared, acclimatize properly, and trek with a licensed guide and porter for safety.
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