Dolpo to Mustang Trek with Five High Passes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of the highest populated areas in the globe is the Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek trail. It is still a stronghold of the antiquated Bon-Po religion, far from the bustle of modernization. Buddhism didn’t start to take hold in Tibet until much later. Tibetan culture has a big impact on Dolpo. In addition to culture, it is home to a wide range of fauna that is absent from the lower Himalayas. Due to the yearly snowfall, it is isolated from the rest of Nepal. The most fascinating aspect of this trek is that it allows us to see the historical cultural differences between individuals from various locations. Dolpo, a high mountain town, is home to nomads who long ago came to the area. Similar to how the Lopas of Mustang also moved from Tibet practically simultaneously. Even still, there is an enormous civilizational difference between the inhabitants of these two locations today and in the past; this is an intriguing finding.

Greater Dolpo Trekking through Upper Mustang is an adventure and a total immersion in the Bon and Buddhist homeland. The renowned magician “Guru Rinpoche” has blessed Upper Dolpo and Upper Mustang, and Tibetan Buddhism and Bon have been flourishing for many years. Previously, it was governed by the Ngari kingdom, and today it shares a border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. These treks are lovely fusions of the Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo treks.

The trek begins in Nepalgunj and concludes in the Annapurna region in Jomsom. No animals are allowed to travel this difficult and lengthy journey path. The only species to have been able to travel through this area is humans. Despite its challenges, this is the greatest trek path to discover Nepal’s highlands and experience the legacy of the Tibetan people. The most practical approach to suit your needs for an adventurous trip is with the Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang Trek Package. Join us on this thrilling adventure, and we promise to give you the greatest possible travel experience.

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Reason To Choose Dolpo to Mustang Trek

The Dolpo to Mustang Trek with Five High Passes is an epic adventure that takes you through the remote and rugged landscapes of the Dolpo and Mustang regions of Nepal. The trek is a challenging one that involves crossing five high mountain passes, offering stunning views of the Himalayas, as well as the chance to experience the unique culture and traditions of the people living in this remote part of Nepal. Here is an overview of the trek and what you can expect:

  1. Trekking Route: The Dolpo to Mustang Trek with Five High Passes typically takes around 26 to 28 days to complete and covers a distance of approximately 300 kilometers. The trek starts with a flight to Juphal in the Dolpo region, followed by several days of trekking through remote valleys and ancient villages, before crossing over the five high passes and finishing in the Mustang region.
  2. High Mountain Passes: The trek involves crossing five high mountain passes, including Numa La (5,360m), Baga La (5,070m), Kang La (5,240m), Saribung La (6,042m), and Teri La (5,595m). Each pass offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Mustang Himal.
  3. Stunning Landscapes: The trek takes you through a variety of landscapes, including remote valleys, pristine alpine lakes, and high-altitude deserts. You will also get to see ancient monasteries, traditional Tibetan-style villages, and the unique culture of the people living in this remote part of Nepal.
  4. Challenging Terrain: The Dolpo to Mustang Trek with Five High Passes is a challenging trek that requires a high level of physical fitness and some previous trekking experience. The trek involves steep ascents and descents, as well as several days of trekking at high altitude. However, the stunning views and remote landscapes make it a truly rewarding adventure.
  5. Cultural Experience: The trek takes you through the Dolpo and Mustang regions, where you can experience the unique culture and traditions of the people living in this remote part of Nepal. You can visit ancient monasteries, witness traditional festivals and learn about the traditional lifestyles of these ethnic communities.
  6. Wildlife: The trek takes you through the Shey Phoksundo National Park and the Annapurna Conservation Area, which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the endangered snow leopard, blue sheep, and musk deer.
  7. Off the beaten path: The Dolpo to Mustang Trek is a remote and less-traveled trek, which means you can experience the natural beauty of the Himalayas without the crowds of more popular trekking routes.
  8. Spiritual Significance: The trek offers an opportunity to explore the spiritual significance of the region as you visit the ancient monasteries and meet the monks and nuns who call these remote parts of the Himalayas their home.
  9. Adventure of a Lifetime: The Dolpo to Mustang Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, culture, adventure, and spiritual significance. It is an opportunity to challenge yourself, push your limits and experience the wonders of the Himalayas in a way few people ever do.

Overall, the Dolpo to Mustang Trek with Five High Passes is an incredible adventure that offers stunning views, unique culture, and remote landscapes. It is a trek that is suitable for experienced trekkers who are up for the challenge of crossing high mountain passes and navigating rugged terrain. It is a journey that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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Dolpo to Mustang trek: Permits

The trek from Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang in Nepal connects these two remote, holy regions. Both routes are under the supervision of the government of Nepal and are considered a restricted area that calls for special access. In this location, solitary trekking is not permitted. In order to apply for a permit, travelers must work with a reputable travel company Nepal. The cost of an Upper Mustang trekking permit is $500, and the cost of an Upper Dolpa permit is $500 per person for a minimum stay of 10 days.

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Dolpo to Mustang Trek: Route

First, to get to Juphal, the expedition starts with an incredible flight over the Himalayas. The Suligad River Gorge and Lake Phoksundo are both accessible from here. To go to the revered Shey Gompa and the “Crystal Mountain,” you must travel through our first pass, which is 5000 meters above sea level. To go to Saldang, you next have to cross another pass. You will have a few days to yourself to explore and acclimate while here. You can also learn about the way of life of Tibetans who would be engaged in the autumn harvesting. From here, we proceed to the Khoma, Shimen, and Tinkyu districts of the Pansang Valley, which is further away. These isolated hamlets and towns are connected by paths and mountain passes that are rich in cultural history. This is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. The Bhotiya Culture, a group of ethnically and linguistically Tibetan people who live in the trans-Himalayan region, is also present in the Upper Dolpo region, which is itself a unique characteristic of the area. Thakali cultural relics can be found in Mustang. There are many historic monasteries, Shey Gompa being one of them. Dolpo and Mustang are very distinct from one another in terms of their cultures, way of life, and level of religious observance even though they appear to be very similar.

A rough mountainous area, the Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek is dotted with a number of fortified communities, Dzongs, or monasteries. You can even witness revered mountains, high passes, and crystal-clear lakes. Overall, the Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trek is thrilling and challenging. Each trekker will have lasting memories of the spectacular route across the high mountain passes and down to Mustang.

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Dolpo to Mustang Trek: Difficulty & Best Time

The trek from Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang is difficult since it requires crossing multiple high passes. Anyone who is physically fit can complete this journey, however it is best for experienced hikers. To make the Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang trip simpler, we advise beginning trekkers to perform physical exercise, daily walking, aerobic exercise, and yoga.

Dolpo journey gives dramatic views of the surrounding environment, valleys, and wilderness and travels to two isolated regions in the lower and upper parts of the dolpa. Monsoon season is the best time to travel from Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang, while it is possible to go from April to October. Getting the trekking map for this route is challenging.

Altitude Sickness

It is a typical challenge that hikers encounter at higher elevations. Breathing difficulties, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and headache are all symptoms of low oxygen levels in the environment. If you get acute mountain sickness, get medical attention right away and stop climbing. The greatest thing you can do to prevent altitude sickness is to go to a lower level and acclimatize. It becomes simpler to deal with them if your body has had time to adjust to the essential alterations. In the Himalayas, the weather can change quickly. The weather and temperature drastically change once you begin to ascend. In these situations, acclimatization is essential.

Trekking Gears or Equipment

Keep in mind that you will need to walk for 6-7 hours every day throughout the trek, so if this is your first time doing this kind of hiking, it is advised that you receive some training prior. It’s possible that not everyone would enjoy this excursion. Put together all the clothing and supplies you might require for the hike. Don’t forget about the little necessities, including boots and a hiking cane. Although prior trekking experience is helpful for this hike, it’s okay if you don’t have any—you can always prepare yourself.

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Upper Dolpo Trek- A Complete Guide

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Upper Dolpo trek is a fantastic, adventurous journey that takes you to some of Nepal’s most remote locations. It’s one of the best off-the-beaten-path trekking trails in Nepal. On this trek, you have a significant impact on the villages, gompas, and people you meet. The communities are lot more disembroiled and unadulterated, and the scenes are much more devastated. Dolpo is Nepal’s most remote and underdeveloped region. Despite the fact that the region has been surveyed by a few geographers and anthropologists, the entire area was closed to hikers until 1989, when the southern portion of Dolpo was opened to supervised trekking trips. The Upper Dolpo Trek takes you through several massive mountain ranges. The vast majority of Upper Dolpo treks begin with a Lower Dolpo trip to Dho Tarap or Phoksundo Lake. Then adding the Shey Gompa connection, which connects Saldang with Dho Tarap or Phoksundo, two lesser-known locations. Some Upper Dolpo hikes cross high passes to connect to nearby places like Mugu and Mustang. Upper Dolpo trekking is known for its wildness, solitude, and spectacular mountains.

Upper Dolpo Trek: Things you Should Know

Upper Dolpo, like many other trekking routes in Nepal, is best visited in the spring and autumn. However, because to the unpredictable nature of snowfall, early spring and late autumn may not be the best times to trek. This might make crossing the high mountains extremely difficult at this time of year. Because the majority of Dolpo is in the Dhaulagiri Range’s rain shadow, it receives little or no rain, even while the rest of the country is experiencing monsoon rains. This area is primarily a high-altitude desert as a result of this. From the beginning of August through the end of October, and sometimes even into the middle of November, the weather is excellent.

Upper Dolpo Trek: How to Get There?

We can get to the Dolpo Region by two ways:

Traveling to Juphal by Air:

For all hikers and guests, flying to Dolpo (Juphal) is the greatest alternative because it saves time and effort. Different domestic airlines, such as Buddha, Yeti, and Shree Airlines, operate regular flights to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, take any domestic airline to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, a town in the western Terai near the Indian border and the Bardia National Park, is a popular tourist destination. There are regular flights from Nepalgunj to Juphal and Dolpo. The flying time is around 35 minutes. From Nepalgunj, Summit Airlines and Tara Airlines fly to Dolpo.

Drive from Nepalgunj to Dolpo through Musikot, Tallu Bagar, Khading, and Tripurakot:

Local buses and Hiace Vans are accessible from Kathmandu to Nepalganj. The ticket may be purchased in Gongabu, the capital’s well-known bus station. Morning and evening departures are on the program. By bus, it takes about 12 hours; by Hiace Vans, it takes about half that time. Nepalgunj serves as a significant transportation center for the country’s western, midwestern, and far western areas. Every day, buses travel from Nepalgunj’s Kohalpur bus terminal for Jajarkot. The road between these two points is approximately 96 kilometers long. Even in the summer, this road is excellent. From Jajarkot, local jeeps can transport you to Radi (Rari), Tallu Bagar, Khadang, and Tripura. Due to the paucity of highway crossings, the road is not blacktopped, and you will need to switch your jeep in between. Summertime is not the best time to go on this road. If you travel by land to go to Dolpo, it takes two days to reach from Nepalgunj to Dunai (2150m), a small town that serves as the district’s headquarters.

Upper Dolpo Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu | Altitude:  (1,300m/4,264 ft)

Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation 

Day 03: Fly From Kathmandu to Nepalgunj | Altitude: 518 ft / 158 m

Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhupal and Trek to Sulighat  | Altitude: 2070m/6790ft  | Trek: 2-3 Hrs

Day 05: Trek from Sulighat to Renje  | Altitude: 3010m/9873ft  | Trek: 5-6 Hrs

Day 06: Trek from Renje to Ringmo Village  | Altitude: 3640m/11940ft  | Trek:5-6 Hrs 

Day 07: Rest day in Phoksundo Lake and explore around Ringmo village

Day 08: Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola  | Altitude: 3630m/1190ft  | Trek: 4-5 Hrs

Day 09: Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang  | Altitude: 4120m/13514ft  | Trek: 6-7 Hrs

Day 10: Trek from Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Kang La pass- Shey Gompa  | Altitude: 5160m/16925ft  | Trek: 5-6 Hrs

Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa the crystal monastery

Day 12: Trek from Shey Gompa to Saldang La- Namgung Village  | Altitude: 5010m/16432ft  | Trek: 6-7 Hrs

Day 13: Trek from Namgung Village to Saldang  | Altitude: 3620m/11,874ft  | Trek: 4-5 Hrs

Day 14: Trek from Saldang to Yangze Gompa  | Altitude: 4960m/16267ft  | Trek: 4-6 Hrs

Day 15: Trek from Yangze Gompa to Shibu  | Altitude: 4560m/14957ft  | Trek: 6-7 Hrs

Day 16: Trek from Shibu to Jeng La Phedi  | Altitude: 4900m/16072ft  | Trek: 5-6 Hrs

Day 17: Trek from Jeng La Phedi to Jeng La Pass- Do Tarap  | Altitude: 5090m/16695ft  | Trek: 6-7 Hrs

Day 18: Day explore and acclimatization in Do Tarap

Day 19: Trek from Do Tarap to Tarap Khola | Altitude: 3800m/12464ft  | Trek: 6-7 Hrs

Day 20: Trek from Tarap Khola to Khanigaon  | Altitude: 3150m/10332ft  | Trek: 5-6 Hrs

Day 21: Trek from Khanigaon to Tarakot- Dunai  | Altitude: 2537m/8321ft  | Trek: 5-6 Hrs

Day 22: Trek from Dunai to Jhupal  | Altitude: 2320m/7610ft  | Trek 2-3 Hrs

Day 23: Fly from Jhupal to Nepalgunj- Kathmandu  

Day 24: Departure Day

Upper Dolpo Trek: Best Season/ Time to Trek

Behind the mountains, Dolpo and Upper Mustang are in the rain shadow. Spring (Mid-March, April & May) and autumn (Mid-September, October, November) are the most popular seasons for trekking in Nepal. Trekking to Dolpo in different seasons, however, has its own charms. Always verify the weather focus of the areas you are intending to visit before planning your trek in the Himalayas and have paper copies with you.

Spring Season: March, April, May

Even though spring is an excellent time to trek in Dolpo, late snowfall can make things difficult. So, mid-April is the ideal time to arrange your trip to Dolpo. Even the month of May is pleasant, as vegetation gradually emerges and people return from places such as Kathmandu, Nepal, and Nepalgunj.

Monsoon Season: June, July, August

Summer is considered the nicest and most popular season in Nepal’s Himalayan region. Dolpo is one of them, and it is located in Nepal’s rain shadow territory, where summer is ideal for exploring the Dolpo. During that time, the weather is neither too chilly nor too hot, making it ideal for trekking. However, due to weather issues in Nepal’s lowlands, the flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal may be canceled. If you are planning your trek during the summer, we recommend adding one or two days to your itinerary in case your flight does not depart on time.

Autumn Season: September, October, November

Autumn is perhaps the finest season for trekking in Nepal, with the Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest regions being particularly congested. The clean and blue skies following the summer monsoons provide numerous wonderful panoramic views of glittering nature and the majestic Himalayas. During the Upper Dolpo hike, you can also meet with the locals, see several lovely villages, and communities during the fall harvest season.

Winter Season: December, January, February

All of Dolpo’s high passes are blocked by snow throughout the winter, and no one crosses them until the mid-spring season. As a result, going to Dolpo in the winter is not a good idea. This is not to argue that trekking in the Dolpo region during the winter is impossible. Some travelers have trekked to Phoksundo Lake in the winter, but a well-experienced guide and favorable weather are required for a successful expedition. Winter lasts for a few months, beginning in mid-November and ending in mid-late March.

Upper Dolpo Trek: Cost/ Package

Upper Dolpo trek prices vary depending on the packages given by the trekking operator. In general, the price of an Upper Dolpo Trekking package ranges from $3500 to $5500, depending on the length of your trip, the number of groups, and the Upper Dolpo Trekking package you select. The cost of the Upper Dolpo hike covers airfare, meals, lodging, insurance, gear, and the cost of hiring a guide, among other things.

Upper Dolpo Trekking: Permits Cost

Below are the required permits and their cost to trek to Upper Dolpo Region:

  • Upper Dolpo restricted permit costs USD 500 for the first ten days and USD 50 per person per day for the remaining days.
  • The entrance charge to Shey Phoksundo National Park is USD 30 for foreign visitors, NPR 1500 for SAARC nationals, and NPR 100 for Nepali visitors. It is a one-time permit that can be used indefinitely.
  • If your hike begins and ends in Dunai or Juphal, you will also need two Lower Dolpo permits, which cost USD 20 per person per week.
  • The cost of entering a monastery varies from NPR 200 to NPR 400 per person. During your visit to the monastery, you will be required to pay.

Upper Dolpo Trek: Difficulty

Upper Dolpo Trek is a difficult and little-known trek in Nepal, with only between 250 to 750 visitors travelling each year. The name alone suggests that getting to the high mountains may be tough. It takes 5 to 9 hours of trekking in a single day, reaching above 5000 meters, and spending numerous nights over 4000 meters. For those who are physically and mentally healthy, the trip is achievable.

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