Lower Dolpo trek, located in western Nepal is an exciting program for adventure-seekers from all over the world. It is the less-explored area north of Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range and sharing its territory with the Tibetan Plateau. As it is visited by the domestic and international trekkers, you still find the unspoiled nature and culture far from modernity. Trekkers to Lower Dolpo will visit the crowning jewels of the region – Lake Shey-Phoksundo and Shey-Phoksundo National Park. Lower Dolpo region is blessed with the deepest lake and the largest national park of Nepal.
The national park preserves a complex trans-Himalayan ecosystem with blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, wolves, leopards and the sought-after snow leopard. The region of Dolpo is known for isolated peaks and the last remnants of a vanishing culture. Before reaching the lake, you will trek through scenic villages and remote alpine landscapes passing Buddhist monasteries and yak hordes. The route also takes you through two of the four high passes Dolpo Region trekking: Numa-La and Baga-La. As both the passes are above 5,000 metres altitude, this is a moderate to challenging trek in the trans-Himalayan region. Although the Himalayan high passes are quite challenging to cross, the success rewards one with the excellent views of surrounding mountains.
You will quickly notice the remoteness with sparse human habitation that happen to be some of the highest human settlements on the planet. Opened for the foreign trekkers in 1990, this restricted area is the place where the Oscar-nominated movie “Caravan” from Eric Valley was featured. Just like in the movie, if you happen to be here in spring and summer, you will see yaks and sheep grazing in the low-lying pastures. It is a challenging but popular trek done through the remote and rugged trails guiding you to the hidden valleys of Nepal.
To do this off the beaten path trekking in Nepal, you have to fly to Juphal from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. From Juphal, you trek to Dunai, the district administrative centre of Dolpo region that has almost all types of modern amenities. Then, rest of the days you will be walking along the rugged trail by enjoying the virgin landscapes and forests. While trekking in Lower Dolpo region, you can get a lifelong memory of exploring the lifestyle, customs and costumes of the high Himalayan villages.
Dho Tarap (4,090m) is one of the highest altitude human settlement areas in the world. During the acclimatization day in this ancient valley, you can visit eight different monasteries, a local school and Amchi Hospital.
The entire Dolpo region is divided into two sections: Upper or Inner Dolpo and Lower Dolpo region. Upper Dolpo region trekking takes you around the ancient monastery Shey Gompa that is situated on the backdrop of the Holy Crystal Mountain. It can be connected with Upper Mustang trekking and popular Rara Lake trek to extend the itinerary of Dolpo trek.
Orbit Alpine Adventure has designed Lower Dolpo trek 19 days itinerary for your assistance to experience the hidden gem of Nepal. For the tailor-made trekking packages, you can contact us by using the contact media like email, WhatsApp, phone call or online service.
1. Where is Lower Dolpo trek?
Lower Dolpo trek lies in Dolpa district of Karnali Province located in the far western part of Nepal. There are two popular regions of Dolpo: Lower Dolpo region and Upper Dolpo region. Even though they lie in restricted area, they have been the growing trekking destinations for the national and international tourists in these days. Lower Dolpo trek is a challenging trekking having two high passes of over 5,000 metres to go across. But it takes you around one of the highest altitude villages, Shey-Phoksundo Lake and the largest national park of Nepal, Shey-Phoksundo Lake.
2. Can I do Lower Dolpo trek?
Yes, of course, you can do Lower Dolpo trek all times of the year although winter season is not as favourable as others. But you must be physically fit and fine as well as mentally strong. Previous experience of climbing or trekking will be an additional strength for this trek. Since this trek lies in the restricted area of Nepal, you must have at least two members in a group accompanied by a professional trekking guide. Moreover, you need a special permit issued by the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.
3. What permits do I need for Lower Dolpo trek? And how can I get them?
You need the following permits for Lower Dolpo trek:
- TIMS Card
- Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Permit
- Shey-Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit
All the permits are managed by Orbit Alpine Adventure on your behalf but you have to pay the permit fees as declared by the authority.
4. What is the best time for trekking to Lower Dolpo region?
You can do Lower Dolpo trek all times of the year. However, doing Lower Dolpo trek in winter may not be as favourable as in other seasons. The high altitude trails may be disturbed due to heavy snowfalls as they lie above 5,000 meters from the sea level. As it lies in the rain shadow area, you can even do this trek in monsoon or rainy season as well. The best time to do Lower Dolpo Trek is spring and autumn for having the clear vistas of the snowy peaks and high altitude villages.
5. Can I customize Lower Dolpo trek in the middle of the trip?
Of course, yes! ‘Clients’ Satisfaction is Our Motto! There is always room for customizing the trekking package. Nonetheless, there must be mutual understanding between the clients and the agency. You can cut short or add some days in to Lower Dolpo trekking itinerary. You should inform us about it.
6. What type of trekking is Lower Dolpo trek?
Lower Dolpo trek is moderate to strenuous trekking as you have to cross two high passes above 5,000 metres. Noma La Pass (5,318m) and Baga La Pass (5,190m) are the two high passes that make this trek quite challenging. And about accommodation and food facilities, this is combination of teahouse and camping trekking. Because of the remoteness and lack of transportation infrastructures in this region, all the stopovers don’t have teahouses or lodges. The plus point of this trek is that you can enjoy the camping trekking and teahouse trekking at the same time.
7. Can I get altitude sickness while doing Lower Dolpo trek?
Sure, sure! There is always possibility for altitude sickness while travelling around the place above 2,500 metres. As you spend most of the nights of Lower Dolpo Trek above 3,000 metres, you may suffer from altitude sickness. However, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can be prevented and cured as well if you take right initiatives on time. First of all, you need to drink enough water and eat hygienic food items. While ascending the higher altitude trail, walk slowly by taking enough time. You should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking cigarette and take enough rest. Before beginning the trekking, don’t forget to keep medicines like Diamox Oral in your backpack. Finally, if you feel like dizziness, nausea, dehydrated and shortness of breath, you should share it with the trekking guide.
8. What are the challenges of Lower Dolpo trek?
There are a few challenges of Lower Dolpo trek like:
- Weather condition
- Trekking trail
- Physical fitness
- Walking duration per day
- Altitude sickness
To help you fight back these challenges, we have designed this itinerary in a wise way. The trekking guide of Orbit Alpine Adventure is well-known about these factors, so, he takes the necessary initiatives to make you trip successful. Just cooperate with him and enjoy the voyage.
9. How long should I walk every day during Lower Dolpo trek?
In fact, the trekking trail is divided into three different categories and the type of trekking determines the walking hours per day. Easy trekking trail lies below 4,000 metres and you can walk up to 9 hours a day. Moderate type of track lies between 4,000 metres and 5,000 metres that you can walk up to 6 hours per day. And the strenuous or challenging trekking route is the one above 5,000 metres that you have to walk up to three hours a day. The trekking guide of our company revises the trekking duration consulting with you during the trip. More importantly, we have made this trip itinerary accordingly to best fit your previous experience, physical and mental readiness. The longest duration you have to walk during Lower Dolpo trek is seven hours according to this daily itinerary.
10. Do I need climbing gears for Lower Dolpo trek?
Although you have to cross two high passes above 5,000 metres, you don’t need climbing gears. These passes can be climbed without any climbing gears. But we suggest you to bring the walking poles to better cope up with the steep and sloppy trail en route.
11. How can I book Lower Dolpo trek?
To book Lower Dolpo trek, you can visit the official websites of different local tour and trekking operators of Nepal. Among them, Orbit Alpine Adventure is the one founded and run by an experienced person who has done most of the treks including the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT:1,700 kilometres). You can book this and other trekking and tour packages with us by using email, phone call, WhatsApp or reservation services on our website.