Top Five Treks to Experience in Dolpo Region
Dolpo is an extremely remote but a spectacular corner of the Nepalese Himalayans. It is bound to the south and east by the giant Dhaulagiri Massif and ChurenHimal and to the west by Jumla district. Also, it is vast. It occupies a whopping 15% of the country’s total area and forms the largest Nepalese district, Dolpo. However, for centuries, it was bypassed by modernity and development. The entire region was shut for trekking until 1989. Today, organised trekking will lead you beyond the Phoksundo Lake and the 800-year-old Shey Gompa monastery. All in all, Dolpo is one of those rare places on earth that has preserved its natural and cultural beauty in their oldest and purest forms. Here is a list of top five treks to experience in Dolpo region.
Phoksundo Lake trek is the most popular among all other options in Dolpo region. The trek is short but offers an extravagant variety. From hiking through lovely forested sections to reaching the dramatic SheyPhoksundo to witnessing the ancient practices of Bon religion. The main highlight of the trek – SheyPhoksundo Lake – is located within the namesake national park. Thus, you stand the chance to spot endangered Himalayan species like snow leopard and blue sheep. On cultural front, you can visit the famous Bon Gompa monastery, Tshowa monastery, and the Ringmo village. The eight-day-long trek starts and ends in a small village called Juphal. The highest elevation point of the trek is in Ringmo village at height of 3,641 meters.
Dolpo Circuit Trek
Dolpo Circuit trek is one of the most versatile and enriching trekking experiences in the entire Himalayan region. During this 14-day-long journey, you will have the opportunity to very thoroughly enjoy the natural and cultural aspects of the region. The trail itself passes through a variety of landscapes, ranging from lush green pastures to desert-like terrain of the Tibetan plateau. The trek is quite challenging with some very steep climbs. You will have to cross two high passes – Baga La (5,190m) and Numa La (5,318m) – which consist of long climbs and descents. This circuit trek undoubtedly encircles the very best of the Dolpo region, from DhoTarap to Numa La Base Camp to the SheyPhoksundo Lake. The highest elevation point is 5,318m at Numa La base camp.
Dhorpatan trek is a highly off-the-beaten-path journey that isn’t too challenging but highly gratifying. The trekking route traverses from the Annapurna section to Dolpa and will transport you into this wild and raw place with spectacularly desolate landscapes. From here, especially from Jaljala Pass (3,107m), the closeup views of mountains like Dhaulagiri and GurjaHimal is simply outstanding. Interestingly, the trek navigates through Dhorpatan hunting reserve, which in itself is another wonderful place to visit. The trek begins from Darbang in Myagdi district and ends in Pelma. You will have to cross the adventurous Jang La Pass (4,519m) to reach Dolpo during the trek, which is also the highest elevation point of the trek.
Dolpo to Rara via Shey Gompa
I think the name in itself suffices. Dolpo, Rara, and Shey Gompa – a marriage made in trek heaven! The journey from Dolpo to Rara will take you through the barren and remote landscapes of Dolpa via SheyGompa into the thick alpine forests around Rara. In addition to exploring the two most beautiful lakes of Nepal – SheyPhoksundo and Rara – it also offers the chance to discover the ancient relics in 800-year-old Shey Gompa monastery. The trek is strenuous, but completely worthwhile. You will have to cross four passes above the height of 5,000 meters: Nagdalo La (5350 m), Nyingma Gyanzen La (5563 m), Yala La (5414 m), and Chyargo La (5150 m).It is a perfect trek for seasoned and adventurous trekkers! The highest elevation point during the 22-day-long trek is at Nyingma Gyanzela Pass!
Yak Caravan Trek
The 24-day-long Yak Caravan trek in the Upper Dolpo region is one of a kind. Yaks have played an integral part in the region’s transportation for centuries and still do. The trek is designed in such a way that you will encounter herds of yaks and traders throughout the journey. The camps too will be set in places where yak herders often camp. Thus, you won’t be only witnessing but also first-hand experiencing the journey yak herders make. The trek starts and ends from Juphal. During the journey, you will stop and explore many highlights of Dolpo like the SheyPhoksundo lake, Shey Gompa and Namgung Gompa, and beautiful villages. The highest elevation point of the trek is 5,240m at Kang La Pass.