Dolpo Phoksundo Trek is a long and less-traveled route in the Dolpo region. Only a few anthropologists and geographers have explored this remote region till now, as the entire Dolpo region was closed to trekkers until 1989. Peter Matheson’s book – The Snow Leopard and Snell grove – Himalayan pilgrimage have highlighted to the mystique and attractions of Dolpo Phoksundo Trek. While trekking into the Dolpo Phoksundo area one will have exotic and myriad cultural experiences coupled with interesting landscape that ranges from the verdant greenery in the lower reaches to an arid and dry one in the higher reaches. As the Dolpo Phoksundo Trek starts from Dunai and completes in 22 days, the climate also changes as we walk higher altitude. We start Dolpo Phoksundo Trek from a hot and temperate zone and reach a colder zone as we ascend up. By the end of the trek we descend again to the hot and temperate zone. The view of Kanjiroba peak, Phoksumdo Lake, and the Dhauligiri massif is one of the most rewarding experiences of Dolpo Phoksundo Trek.
Visiting the ancient settlements, high passes, beautiful lakes, isolated monasteries, the vast array of flora & fauna found in the region are the major highlights of the Dolpo Phoksundo Trek. The local people permanently inhabiting this isolated part of the world are still following ancient religion, culture and traditional farming. Visiting the Phoksumdo Gompa–dedicated to the ancient Bonpo religion, very popular in Dolpo and Tibet, one should not miss.
If one is lucky, one may get a chance to see some endangered species like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, great Tibetan sheep, Himalayan tahr during the while passing through Shey Phoksundo National Park next to Phoksundo Lake. Trekking to Dolpo Phoksundo is a bit expensive as we arrange full board camping with all logistics.
It is one of the challenging treks offering a chance to explore the far west Dolpo region of Nepal. The bluish water of Shey Phoksundo Lake lies within the remote, unexplored Shey Phoksundo National Park. The trekking to this region offers opportunities to visit ancient settlements, high passes, beautiful lakes, isolated monasteries and one can explore the vast array of flora & fauna found in the region. The local people inhabiting this isolated part of the world are still following ancient religion (Bon Po), culture and traditional farming.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your pre-booked hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce each other. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You will visit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River. Continue drive to Patan Durbar Square to see ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after lunch. Then, you will visit the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu
It is about approx.13 hour’s drive and 530 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Overnight in hotel.
After breakfast we will fly to Juphal from Nepalgunj. The duration of the flight is short but exciting. Afterlanding at the air-strip we will trek through Dangi Bhara village, crossing a stream. The trail passes just opposite Suli Gad valley up the Thuli Bheri. Then the trail crosses broad flat meadows fringed with pine. Small fields appear, while the valley opens ahead with snow-dusted peaks in the distance. In about three hrs walk from Juphal we enter the district headquarters of Dunai. This is a large village with a paved street line with houses, several shops and lodges. The village has a school, a police check-post and government offices. We camp overnight at the south-eastern end of the village.
Today we head on a good trail passing through houses, a grove of pomegranates and a flat-roofed water mill. Our route drops left to cross the river on a wooden bridge and then heads right to continue upstream. The trail frequently ascends and descends, sometimes by the riverside or along most stonebuilt causeways to open grasslands littered with boulders. Occasionally we can view snow-capped far ahead. The trail drops down and crosses the river on the suspension bridge. Then, we walk uphill towards mani wall for Tarakot. We find a row of houses just beyond the police check-post in the Tarakotvillage. We camp overnight nearby.
We contour the river and walk to a small pasture with a stone shelter tucked against the mountain wall. Shortly after this the trail scrambles among rock and boulders at river level, before climbing a series of magnificently constructed stairways built against soaring slabs. These lead to a large new suspension bridge spanning the Barbung Khola just below its confluence with the Tarp Khola. This is the Shahartara Suspension Bridge. The trail winds through lovely cedar grove and about a few minutes we reachKhanigaon village. We camp overnight near by the river.
From the police check-post at Khanigaon we follow the trail up valley. The trail rises steeply in some places and makes a contour through low growing trees and shrubs before climbing again. The trail stays high for a while before descending to a rushing side stream, Tilba Khola. We climb one more ridge and descend to Chukore village. Along the route we find large rose shrbs, yellow poppies, magenta-blooming legumes. We camp overnight nearby the village.
Today we cross to the east bank of the Tarap Khola and trek upstream through a narrow gorge. From the western side of the valley the trail slopes down to a solitary little meadow. A short way beyond this meadow a bridge takes the trail to the east bank. The way leads on through a whole series of gorges that twists one way or another, sometimes extremely narrow, but on occasion a bit broader and with birch and a few stumpy cypress trees and shrubs growing by the river. Rock types change too as the way progresses.After this the trail makes a belvedere along the hillside, rises to a minor pass marked by a mani wall, then slopes down into the large yak pasture of Kamokharka.
The trail to Dho from Kamokharka is a short and easy one without too much height gain. It sets off across the meadow dodging several little streams that meander through it, and in a little over half an hour crosses a wooden bridge to the east bank where an important tributary valley opens out to the right. We ignore this and continue ahead into the final section of gorge, walking easily along the stony valley bed. At the far end the valley curves left then right and becomes less constricted. A long line of mani walls leads to the Dho village. Chortens are dotted above the valley and on the hillsides. The ochre and white walls of the gompa stand proud on the hill above and behind Dho village.
Today we visit around the broad valley carpeted with fields of barley and buckwheat. We can see Yaks, or yak cross-breeds ploughing the fields. The gompa which stands on the hillside just above the village is worth visiting.
We walk out of Dho and a trail that cuts upvalley through the fields, some of which are walled, and pass through and elaborately-decorated kani marking the outer limits of Dho. We walk through the next village called Tok-Khyu where we see prayer flags fluttering in the winds. The trail rises on the southwest flank over high moorland-like slopes, rough with tussock grasses and spongly with surface water in places. The Numa La can be seen ahead to the left, while off to the right across the valley we find a secluded gompa perched on the mountainside. We camp on the hillside
We descend on the western side of the stream and follow rocky trail. Again we descend all the way to stream and make a long traverse above the left bank. The trail veers left into the valley of the Poyun Chu, which eventually opens to fine meadowland backed by ice-crested mountains.
Towards the head of the valley we drop down from the meadowland to cross the stream by hopping from rock to rock and follow the Yak trail that weaves a clear route up a nose of hillside. Above this the route curves round a hollow with the pass seen some way ahead. We can see a long saddle with prayer flags fluttering above a pile of stones. Sanu Bheri valley us delightful, almost alpine by contrast with the Tarap valley on the far side of the Numa La. The valley is flanked by soaring rock slabs with cascades and old glacial moraines. Once down in the valley the trail eases through meadow after meadow, rocks and boulders thrusting through the turf all around, Juniper and dwarf cypress adds a hint of luxury. Overnight at camp
From Sanu Bheri the trail remains on the right bank throughout to Phoksundo lake. On the way to Phoksundo Lake the trail remains on the right bank of the Sanu Bheri throughout. It’s a magnificent walk with wonderful views every step of the trail, and the valley endorses the alpine pedigree from above. It descends in steps. In places there are broad flat meadows, in others the trail teeters along steep hillsides with gorge- like narrows below. During the early part of the descent a side valley off to the left shows the challenging face of Norbu Kang (6005m) and a few minutes later we will reach the buildings of ROMAN, set in an open meadow. We reach PHOKSUNDO LAKE, a remarkable turquoise sheet of water hemmed in by rocky walls. We camp at the south-eastern end of the lake.
A short distance further along the right-side of the Phoksundo lake through pine forest stands Ringmo village. Most of the villagers are of Tibetan descent and live in large, sturdy-looking stone houses with stacks of brushwood on their roofs. Overnight at Camp
From Ringmo village we take the down valley trail through poor meadows and between scrub and lowgrowing trees, before it starts to rise uphill through birch groves. The path continues to rise until it reaches a high point at about 3770m, with views back to Phoksundo Lake. The trail continues up-valley now heading north-west on the right bank of the Pungmo Khola. At first this section of the valley is a narrow wedge, but it soon begins to open out as you approach Pungmo village. We enter the village through a decorated kani and past several chortens. We find apple orchard on the right. Pungmo is an attractive, study village, some of whose houses are three storeys high, and made even higher when harvest produce is stacked upon the roofs
Just above the camp the valley forks. The trail leads through the left branch, a right gorge-like glen in its lower reaches where it’s possible to see blue sheep. The trail is a long, steady uphill climb with tremendous views behind before reaching Lasa Meadow, a lovely area of undulating meadowland with the infant Julung Khola nearby, Kagmara I at the head of the valley and the Julung gorge downstream. Overnight at camp
We follow a zig-zag trail up to pasture. Then the trail winds on veering westward and steadily gaining elevation with magnificent views through the trek. The Kagmara is a wide open, wind-scuffed saddle at 5115m marked by rocks and a cluster of prayer flags reachable around two hours walk from Lasa Meadow. In the far distance snow-free mountains fill the horizon, while the Kanjiroba massif is seen of to the north-west. Overnight at Camp near the river.
We descend steeply until we come to the head of the Garpung Khola valley. A rough, story trail skirts the left-hand side of the valley, sometimes in the very bed of the valley, sometimes edging above a small gorge, then rounding a spur views show right along the valley’s shaft while above to the left snow and ice peaks make a sparkling wall. The trail further drops to a good level camping area close to the river.
The trail passes above the gompa and slants easily along the hillside above the right bank of the JagdulaKhola. Within half and an hour you will reach a bridge leading across the river to Kaigaon. Here we findsom e basic lodges. From this village the trails split- one goes to Balangra La and other goes to Tibrikot.
The trail eases round the hillside, soon among dense woods of holly oak, bamboo and juniper, long tatters of green lichen dangling from their branches. Losing height the way suddenly plunges on a stone stairway, at the foot of which two logs form a bridge across a tributary stream. Over this a steep climb eventually brings you out of the trees to a mani wall, and soon you will reach to CHAURIKOT (3110m) a small, interesting village overnight at camp
From Chaurikot the trail becomes a gentle belvedere and contours round to the Mauri Lagna Pass. Just below the pass we walk through the rhododendron, birch pine and oak forests. Overnight at camp.
The trail continues easily along the right bank of the river with an occasional open meadow. We cross side stream and pass through a kani to enter Churta village which is also known as Chotra, a Tibetan village with a dozen houses. Overnight at Camp
This the final stage of the Dolpo Phoksundo trek. Today we walk on an open, flat-bottomed and pastoral valley that makes us easy walking. We cross a wooden cantilever bridge to the west bank and then the valley forks to the Gothichaur village. Overnight at camp.
The trail to Jumla is straightforward. It will take about 3hrs. The trail swings to the right and passes through the great agricultural plain to Jumla. Overnight at camp near the airstrip.
Today you will be free for shopping or just leisurely walk around Thamel
Our representative will transfer you to the International Airport for your onward journey…