Upper Dolpo to Mustang, the Snow Leopard Trek - 29 Days

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Upper Dolpo to Mustang Trekking Highlights

  • Unparalleled scenic beauty with mineral valleys, high altitude deserts, pristine lakes and snow-capped peaks. 
  • Because of the lack of tracks and roads to get there, Upper Dolpo remains one of the most remote and inaccessible places on earth.
  • Venture into the unspoiled Nepal wilderness! A challenging camping trek along The Great Himalayan Trail with the crossing of many high passes over 5000m including Kang La (5300m), Saldang La (5050m), Jeng La (5125m), Jhyarko La (5400m), Mola La (5027m), Jungben La (5550m) and Niwas La (5120m).
  • Step back in time. Upper Dolpo is one of the last nomadic caravans in the world, and known as the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture. 
  • A remote trek unaffected by tourism. Upper Dolpo has been forbidden to foreigners until 1989. Foreign visitors still need to obtain a special permit to enter the restricted land of Upper Dolpo. 
  • Upper Dolpo is home to the Snow Leopards, white wolves, Himalayan black bears and Himalayan blue sheep.
  • Breathtaking mountain flights.
  • Explore the mesmerizing Phoksundo lake.
  • Encounter the Dolpapa, one of the most remote and isolated communities in the world.
  • One of the most exceptional treks in the world. Only for adventurous travelers! 
Note: Our expert local guides are professional license holder Trekking Guides and have years of trekking experience. They are highly trained, uphold the highest safety standards and have an excellent knowledge of the Himalayan mountains. You can rest assured that you will be in safe hands.

Day 01. Welcome to Nepal | Trek briefing

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, our friendly representative will be waiting for you at the airport with a sign displaying your name. He will then drive you to your hotel. 


Depending on your time of arrival, you are free to relax or explore the city.


In the afternoon / evening, we will conduct a pre-departure briefing. 


Accommodation: 3-Star Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 02. Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

In the morning, we will embark on a scenic flight to Nepalgunj, a city located in south west Nepal. Free time in the afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 03. Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal* (2475m) | Trek from Juphal to Dunai (2140m) ≈ 3-4 hours

In the morning, we will embark on a scenic mountain flight to Juphal, located in north west Nepal. 


We will begin our trek and descend to the Thuli Bheri river (renowned as an extreme kayaking hot-spot amongst whitewater kayakers). We will hike along the Thuli Bheri to Dunai, the administrative capital of the Dolpo region.


*The mountain weather in Nepal is always unpredictable and the flights from/to Juphal may be delayed or canceled due to the bad weather. We advise allowing 2 to 3 extra days should our flights from/to Juphal be cancelled or delayed due to bad weather.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 04. Trek from Dunai to Ankhe (2660m) | ≈ 4-5 hours

We will cross a suspension bridge and continue our trek to Suli Gad. Suli Gad is the checkpoint of trekking permits to enter the National Park of Shey Phoksundo. We will follow the Suli Gad river and climb up to Ankhe, where we will set our camp.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 05. Trek from Ankhe to Renje (3010m) | ≈ 5-6 hours

Succession of multiple steep ascents and descents today. We will continue our trek to Renje, via Chepka, and cross many suspension bridges over the Suli Gad river. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 06. Trek from Renje to Phoksundo Lake (3612m) | ≈ 5-6 hours

We will begin our hike through the alpine pastures. We will climb up to Palam village. We will continue our ascent on a narrow path up to a viewpoint (3700m) where you can see a spectacular panorama on the Phoksundo waterfall, the highest waterfall in Nepal. Then, we will descend to Ringmo village. We will set our camp on the shores of the magnificent turquoise lake of Phoksundo. Note that the Phoksundo Lake is sacred and it is forbidden to swim in the lake because of its religious importance.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 07. Acclimatization day and Phoksundo Lake exploration (3612m)

The key to a successful trek in the Himalayas is a proper acclimatization to high altitude. Today, we will explore the surroundings and visit the Ringmo village.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 08. Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola (3600m) | ≈ 5-6 hours

One of our most beautiful hiking days with breathtaking views of Phoksundo Lake. We will walk along the cliffs to reach the other side of the lake. We will enter the Upper Dolpo region. We will hike through the Phoksundo Khola valley before reaching our camp for the night.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 09. Trek from Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang (Kang La Base Camp - 4650m) | ≈ 6-7 hours

Today will be little more technical and difficult. We will hike through the pine forest. Then, we will cross the river and its streams multiple times. We will ascend steeply through an alpine landscape and enjoy wonderful views of Kanjiroba Himal (6612m). We will continue to climb up to the Kang La Base Camp.


Note that this area is renowned for its "yarchagumba", a caterpillar fungus classified as a precious medicinal mushroom. In 2015, one kilogram was worth 20000 euros.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 10. Trek from Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4350m) via Kang La Pass (5300m) | ≈ 7-8 hours

Today, we will cross the "Kang La" Pass (5300m). Then, we will descend to Shey Gompa, the first village of Upper Dolpo, where we will spend the next two nights.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 11. Rest day in Shey Gompa

Short hike to the Tsakang monastery. We will rest in the afternoon in order to be ready for crossing the Saldang La Pass (5050m) the next day. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 12. Trek from Shey Gompa to Namgung (4400m) via Saldang La Pass (5050m) | ≈ 7-8 hours

We will wake up very early and start our hike through the pastures. We will cross the Saldang La Pass (5050m). Enjoy the spectacular views on Tibet and Mustang from the top. Then, we will descend to Namgung. We will enter a lunar landscape, similar to Upper mustang.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 13. Trek from Namgung to Saldang (3950m) | ≈ 3-4 hours

Short hiking day (3-4 hours). We will descend to Saldang, the village of Thinle, one of the main characters of the French movie "Himalaya". 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 14. Trek Saldang - Yangzer Gompa - Saldang 

Hike to the monastery of Yangzer. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 15. Trek from Saldang to Sibu (4000m) | ≈ 5 hours 

Short hiking day on a mostly flat trail. We will walk along the river to Cha Gaon village. Then, we will climb up to Sibu. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 16. Trek from Sibu to Jeng La Phedi (4400m) | ≈ 5-6 hours

We will continue our trek and climb through the valley up to Jeng La Phedi, where we will set our camp near the yak pastures. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 17. Trek from Jeng La Phedi to Dho Tarap (4090m) via Jeng La Pass (5125m) and Tokyu Gaon (4250m) | ≈ 7-8 hours

We will cross the Jeng La Pass (5125m) and enjoy the splendid panoramic views on the Dhaulagiri massif. Then, we will descend through the Tarap valley to Dho Tarap, via Tokyu Gaon.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


 

Day 18. Trek from Dho Tarap to Jhyarko Bhanjyang Phedi (4900m) | ≈ 6 hours

We will climb on a steep rocky path up to Jhyarko Phedi, through a wild lunar landscape.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 19. Trek from Jhyarko Bhanjyang Phedi to Mola La Camp (4800m) via Jhyarko La Pass (5400m) ≈ 5-6 hours

After a very steep climb on a rough trail, we will cross the Jhyarko La Pass (5400m). Then, we will descend to Mola La Camp. We will set our camp in the middle of the pastures.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 20. Trek from Mola La Camp to Chharka Bhot (4300m) via Mola La Pass (5027m)| ≈ 5-6 hours

Easy climb up to the top of the Mola La Pass (5027m). Then, long descent to the lovely village of Chharka.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 21. Trek from Chharka Bhot to Nulungsumda (4990m) | ≈ 6-7 hours

Beautiful trekking day through the desert-like landscape. We will follow the river and climb to Nulungsumda. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 22. Trek from Nulungsumda to Ghalden Ghuldung Khola (4250m) via Niwas La Pass (5120m) and Jungben La Pass (5550m) | ≈ 8-9 hours

We will cross two high passes over 5000m today. We will start our hike early in the morning, climb up to the first pass "Niwas La" (5120m) and continue up to the second pass "Jungben La" (5550m). We will enjoy majestic panoramic views on the Dhaulagiri massif and Mustang. Then, we will descend to Ghalden Ghuldung Khola. 


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 23. Trek from Ghalden Ghuldung Khola to Sangda (3770m) | ≈ 5-6 hours

We will walk on a very narrow path. Then, we will ascend and descend many steep slopes before reaching Sangda.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 24. Trek from Sangda to Phalyak (3175m) | ≈ 6-7 hours

Long trekking day from Sangda to Phalyak with beautiful views on Mustang and the Annapurna range. We will cross many crests and a "small" pass of 4280m. Then, we will descend to Phalyak, through the Kali Gandaki valley.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Camping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 25. Trek from Phalyak to Jomsom (2720m) | ≈ 3-4 hours

Our last trekking day. Short hike (3-4 hours) to reach Jomsom, and the Annapurna circuit route. Short hike to the Dhumba lake in the afternoon.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: Lodge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 26. Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara*

Scenic flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. Free time in the afternoon.

*The mountain weather in Nepal is always unpredictable and the flight from Jomsom to Pokhara may be delayed or canceled due to the bad weather. If our flight is cancelled, we will drive to Pokhara (full day drive).


Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: 3-Star Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 27. Free day in Pokhara

We kept this additional day as a contingency day in case of unforeseen circumstances. If everything goes well, then you will have some free time to rest, do some shopping or visit Pokhara.


Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: 3-Star Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 28. Drive to Kathmandu 

Scenic drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by private vehicle. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to relax or explore the city. 


In the evening, we will have our farewell dinner at a local restaurant, where you will also enjoy a Nepali cultural dance show. 


Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner.

Accommodation: 3-Star Hotel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Day 29. Departure

After a fun-filled trekking holiday, our journey ends. We hope you thoroughly enjoyed your trip. We will take you to the Tribhuvan International Airport. If you have time and would like to extend your stay in Nepal, we would be happy to offer our recommendations.


Meals: Breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Please note: This itinerary is intended to be a guideline; local conditions and weather may necessitate slight itinerary variations. The mountain weather in Nepal is always unpredictable. We strongly advise allowing 2 to 3 contingency days in case of unforeseen circumstances. We organize this trek as a "Small group trek" - limited to 8 travelers in order to limit the pressure on the habitats and wildlife.
  • Rucksack or duffle bag. 
  • Daypack.
  • Outdoor clothing: Outdoor clothing should be tough and comfortable. Wearing several thin layers is better than a few thick layers.  
  • Mountaineering / trekking boots, trainers & sport sandals. Lightweight socks & med-heavy wool socks.
  • Gaiters.
  • Crampons.
  • Water Bottle or Hydration Bladder with Water Purification Tablets. We recommend LifeStraw, an advanced water filter bottle. 
  • Trekking Pants & Shorts. 
  • Trekking shirts.
  • Lightweight thermal pants.
  • Breathable underwear.
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Down jacket.
  • 1 waterproof jacket. 
  • Gloves.
  • Scarf.
  • Sun hat and knit cap.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Trekking poles.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Flashlight.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Wash kit & Travel towel.
  • Medicine (in particular, diarrhea medication): Isotonic Powder/ Basic First Aid Kit/ Diamox/ Oximeter / Ibuprofen for general aches and pains/ Imodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Copies of important documents (passport, vaccination certificates, travel insurance), air tickets & extra passport photos.
  • Power adapters.
  • Padlocks.
  • Camera with extra cards and extra batteries.
  • Little trash bags to carry your waste during your trek.

*THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. 

What’s included  

  • Pre-departure support.
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off (private vehicle).
  • Experienced and government licensed English-speaking trekking guide/s (2 to 5 members: 1 trekking leader/ 6 to 8 members: 1 trekking leader + 1 trekking guide).
  • Personal porter service (1 member : 1 porter) + assistance of additional porters to carry all group equipment.
  • Ground transportation (private vehicle) from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
  • 3 Domestic Flight tickets: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj to Juphal and Jomsom to Pokhara.
  • Accommodation: 3-Star Hotels on twin sharing basis in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Pokhara / Lodge in Jomsom / Camping (with all the necessary equipment including twin share high quality tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, dining & kitchen tent, toilet tent, shower tent, etc.) during the trek.
  • Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan).
  • All necessary trekking permits (Lower Dolpo permit, ACAP and TIMS).
  • Upper Dolpo restricted area trekking permit ($500 for 10 days and after 10 days, $50 extra per day).
  • Satellite phone.
  • Trekking map.
  • First aid kit/s including a pulse oximeter to monitor your oxygen during your trek.
  • Little trash bags to carry your waste during your trek.
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu.
  • All government taxes, VAT and service charges.


What’s NOT included

  • International flights.
  • Excess baggage fees (domestic flights).
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu (except farewell dinner in Kathmandu).
  • Individual tent during the trek.
  • Tips for porters, guides & others.
  • Personal climbing boots, clothing & equipment.
  • Personal expenditures, all bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
  • Medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs.
  • Visa fees.
  • Travel and rescue insurance.
  • Anything else not specified in the ‘what’s included’ section above.

Accommodation: 

Kathmandu: 3-Star Hotel. 

Nepalgunj: Hotel. 

Pokhara: 3-Star Hotel. 

Jomsom: Lodge. 

During trek: Camping.


Meals: 

Kathmandu: Breakfasts & Farewell Dinner. 

Pokhara: Breakfasts. 

During the trek: Breakfasts, Lunches & Dinners.

Health:

Excellent level of fitness.

Very active walker-climber in good health.


Experience:

You should be able to walk for 5 to 10 hours in a day. We recommend that all participants engage in a physical training and regular weekly hikes at least 3 to 4 months prior to departure.

 

You are required as a condition of booking to have an adequate travel insurance. 


Please note: Before your arrival, we will send you a complete detailed brochure regarding Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and how to prevent it. Please read this brochure carefully.

Our local trekking guides are highly experienced in preventing, recognizing and treating altitude sickness. They will monitor your health closely during your trek. A proper acclimatization is not only essential but also a necessary life-saving measure.

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ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS BEFORE BOOKING YOUR Trek




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