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Upper Dolpo to Jomsom – Camping Trek

Nepal Nepal

Trekking Map

This wonderful trip takes you to the Upper Dolpo Region to Jomsom, over high passes to rarely visited places near the border with Tibet.

The Upper Dolpo is one of the most pristine areas in the Himalayas, pristine, strongly Tibetan, remote and fascinating. Most trekkers hike the easier Dolpo Loop, we will walk to Jomsom on the more distant and challenging trails.
We start the trek with a flight to Juphal. After a few days of steep hiking up the Suli Gaad valley, we come to the lush fields of Ringmo. Next to this village is the turquoise lake Phoksundo. After a day of rest to explore the lake, we continue our journey. We cross the Kang La to Shey Gompa and cross two more passes, Saldang La and Jeng La. That brings us to Tokyugaon, near Dho Tarap. From Tokyugaon, we start our challenging 7 day trek eastwards to Jomsom, over the Chhoi La, Chharka La and Sangda La.

Our routes are carefully planned. We always offer extra breaks and acclimatization days so that you always stay fit and healthy.

This tented trek is a good choice if you have already experienced other challenging tours in Nepal and have very good health and physical fitness.

Trip Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu – Introduction, equipment check and welcome dinner
Arrival in Kathmandu. You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your reserved hotel. In the afternoon we will discuss the details of the trip with you, and in the evening you are invited to dinner with your mountain guide. Overnight in Hotel Tibet or similar category, (D).

Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing and preparation for trekking
Today we explore Kathmandu with a local guide. This day can be designed flexibly according to your wishes. The most popular places and most impressive sights include Pashupatinath – a Hindu temple with cremation places, Swayambhunath – also known as the monkey temple – and the Boudhanath Stupa.
You should return to the hotel in the late afternoon and pack for the trek the next morning. You can also leave a bag with items at the hotel that you won’t need on the tour. The rest of the day can be used as free time. Overnight in the hotel, (B).

Day 3: Early flight to Nepalganj, approx. 50 min. – Rest of the day free time – Overnight in the hotel, (B)


Day 4: Flight to Juphal and trek to Dunai (2.100m) approx. 3 hours walk
We start early and take the 45-minute flight to Juphal. From the plane we have fascinating mountain views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. In Juphal we meet our trekking crew. After an early lunch we start hiking. The path goes down to the Bheri River, past terraced fields and then follows the gorge to Dunai. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 5: Dunai to Ankhe (2,660m), approx. 7 hours of walking
We hike out of Dunai and cross the suspension bridge to another large river, which merges with the Suli Gaad and comes from Lake Phoksundo. The path follows a steep valley above the raging river. Far above we reach Phoksundo National Park near the village of Hanke. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 6: Ankhe to Renje (3,110m) approx. 7 hours of walking
Today we change sides of the valley and cross some suspension bridges. Sometimes we walk right by the river and sometimes we walk high above the gorge. By the afternoon the valley widens and we soon reach the bridge that leads to the village of Renje. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 7: Renje to Lake Phoksundo (3,600m) approx. 7 hours walk
The valley becomes flatter and behind Renje, from Sumdo, the path goes steeply uphill to a mountain ridge, from where we see the beautiful, turquoise Phoksundo Lake for the first time. From the ridge we go down through a forest before going up again to the village of Ringmo. We will set up camp right by the lake. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 8: Acclimatization day with short walks
Today we can either visit the nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery or take a walk by the lake. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 9: Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola (3,510m) approx. 6 hours walk
The path leads along the western side of Phoksundo Lake and is a bit unsafe because it is only provisionally secured with wooden boards and rocks in various areas. However, this path spoils us with breath-taking views of the blue lake, which is also mentioned in the excellent film “Himalaya” by Eric Valli. It is not possible to hike into the Inner Dolpo Region further north without a special permit. Once we have walked around the lake, the path leads into a wide valley and we set up camp on the Phoksundo River. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 10: Phoksundo River to Phoksundo Bhanjang or Snowfields Camp (4,400m) approx. 8 hours walk
It goes northwards from the camp into a flat valley. We cross a couple of streams. Here it is advisable to have sandals with you in case we have to cross a few streams. We follow the same route taken by Peter Mathiesson in his Snow Leopard Book and camp today at what he called Snowfields Camp. This is located below the pass in the direction of the Inner Dolpo. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 11: Crossing Kang La at 5,150m and trek to Shey Gompa (4,125m) approx. 7 hours walk
The path up to the Kang La Pass is quite steep and littered with loose slate rubble. There follows a steep descent to the bottom of the valley and the path leads over a river bed to Shey Gompa. The famous Buddhist monastery is located below a crystal peak – Shey means “crystal” in the local dialect. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 12: Second day of acclimatization – Shey Gompa
Today we have the opportunity to either explore the area or relax in camp. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 13: Crossing Saldang La 4,785m and trek to Namduna Gaon (4,400m) approx. 7 hours of walking
We leave Shey and start hiking up a flat valley eastwards. A steep ascent to Saldang La awaits us. There are views from the pass to the north as far as Tibet and to the east into the Mustang region. We keep north and descend from the pass to a small settlement near Nam-gung. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 14: Namduna Gaon to Saldang (3,900m) approx. 3 hours walk.
Today a shorter day awaits us. We cross the Namgung Kola before we descend to Saldang village. This settlement is the largest in the inner Dolpo region and is located on the legendary salt trade route from Tibet to the southern lowlands. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 15: Third day of acclimatization
Today you have the opportunity again to explore the area on short hikes or to relax in the camp. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 16: Saldang to Sibu (3,940m) approx. 6 hours walk
We leave Saldang and continue south. We follow the Namgung Khola and pass terraced fields and mani walls. Namdo is the next village and we continue to hike to the village of Sibu, where we set up camp for the night. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 17: Sibu at the foot of Jeng La (4,370m) approx. 5 hours walk
We follow the river in the main valley before we turn into a side valley and the path becomes steeper. We camp near a yak pasture also known as Langmo Che. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 18: Ascent to Jeng La (4,845m), trek to Tokyu Gaon (4,240m) ap-prox. 7 hours of walking
It takes about 2 hours to reach Jeng La Pass at 4,845 meters. Up here, wonderful views of Dhaulagiri await us. We descend from the pass, come to the Tarap valley and follow it to the village of Tokyu Gaon. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 19: Tokyu Gaon at the foot of Chharka La – approx. 7 hours walk
This is the beginning of an adventurous trek east towards Jomsom. On this section of the hike, we cross a remote wilderness, which only a few people are privileged to visit. While hiking from Tokyu Gaon to Dho Tarap, we see a typical village. We come to Chharka La Pass, there the valley flattens out and here we will set up our camp for the night. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 20: Trek to Keheng Khola Camp approx. 7 hours of walking
We walk along the Tarpi Khola and reach the Chharka La. The descent from the pass is via a pebble path and soon the valley becomes more open and we see Keheng Khola, where we will spend the night. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 21: Keheng Khola Camp to Norbulung (4,575m) approx. 7 hours walk
The path continues eastwards and after a short time we cross the Bharbung Kola on a small bridge and walk northwards, along the Chhar-ka Tulsi Kola. After about an hour, we come to the small village of Chharka and continue to hike to Thansan Khola, where we hike over a small bridge to our campsite in Norbulung. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 22: Norbulung to Sangda Phedi (5,100m) approx. 7 hours walk
After the Norbulung Camp, we pass the high yak pastures of Molum Sumdo and continue to a pass at an altitude of exactly 5,000 meters. We continue hiking and begin the ascent to Sangda La. We descend on a pebble path to Sangda Phedi. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 23. Sangda Phedi to Sangda (3.700m) approx. 7 hours walk
Today we cross another pass with a descent on loose shale rock and reach the settlement of Sangda. This is at the intersection of Bheri Khola and Kyalunpa Khola. It is now a few hours to the village of Sangda. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 24: Sangda to Dhagarjun (3,280m) approx. 7 hike
From Sangda, we start a climbing tour on which we cross some mountain ridges until we reach the last pass at about 4,200 meters above sea level. Here we can enjoy wonderful views of Thorong La, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri and the villages in the Kali Gandaki valley. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 25: Dhagarjun to Jomsom – 6 to 7 hours walk
We cross another pass on the way to Jomsom. The windswept town with its small airfield is located on the extremely popular Annapurna circuit hiking route. Overnight in tent camp, (B|L|D).

Day 26: Flight to Pokhara and on to Kathmandu
We take the morning flight to Pokhara and then fly on to Kathmandu. You will be picked up from Kathmandu Airport and driven to the hotel. Overnight in Hotel Tibet or similar category, (B).

Day 27: Leisure day in Kathmandu
Today is at your disposal, which you can spend relaxing, sightseeing or shopping in Thamel. A good last opportunity to get some souvenirs. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu, (B).

Day 28: Flight back home
Farewell and transfer to the airport for the return flight home, (B).

We reserve the right to change the program due to special events, force majeure or weather reasons.

B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner

Trip Dates:

German guided tour
English guided tour

This trekking tour can also be booked for your individual group at an additional cost at dates other than shown here.

Duration: 28 days
Costs: € 4.290
Group size: min. 5Persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of five persons)
€ 400 for single room/ tent supplement

What is included:

  • Airport transfers in Nepal
  • All relevant surface transfer (with private vehicles)
  • All hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • All meals on trek (B,L,D)
  • All internal flights (with Tara Air, Summit Air, Sita Air or Buddha Air), inclusive Airport Taxes and 15kg free luggage
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees, guide and vehicle
  • Permit (500 USD), National Park Entrance/Conservation Fees
  • Guide, cook, porters and supporting sherpa staff on tented trek
  • Two-Man-Tent, mattresses and kitchen utensils
  • Guide and porters
  • 12 kg free luggage on trekking tours, carried by porter
  • Quality service and trek equipment
  • Portable Altitude chamber
  • Oxymeter
  • Satellite Phone

Not Included:

  • International flights
  • Additional tours and meals that are not mentioned
  • Beverages
  • Personal bills
  • Visas
  • Excess baggage charge (beyond 15 Kg each)
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects)
  • Tips

Your visa can be issued on arrival at a counter at Kathmandu airport. Visa costs on arriving in Kathmandu amount to US $ 50 (stay of up to 30 days) and US $ 125 (stay of up to 90 days).
The fees can also be paid in euros, which are converted by the bank at the airport in accordance with the dollar exchange rate. Two passport size photographs must be provided for the visa. At the time of the trip your passport must be valid for at least a further six months and have at least one blank page.

These visa and passport regulations apply to EU countries, Switzerland and the USA. Other nationals should check with the relevant consular authorities.

Travel health insurance (with recovery costs) is essential for your own safety and a precondition for participation in our trips. In the event of an accident in the mountains which requires a helicopter rescue, the helicopter will not take off before the responsibility for the cost is clarified.
The conclusion of travel cancellation insurance is highly recommended. In the case of bargain price flights in particular, changes or cancellations generally can’t be made free of charge. In Nepal complications with the weather or with your health could make it necessary to break off your journey.
We have requested ERGO (Reiseversicherung) to create various service packages for you. You can book travel health insurance at https://www.reiseversicherung.de/vrv/partner/ep-Assistent.html?/data/agent/hagtnr=027256&/data/agent/nagtnr=000000.

Please note: ERGO insurance can be booked by residents of Germany and Austria. Those living in other countries are requested to book their travel insurance through an insurance provider in their own country.

It should be noted that geoDiscovery Tours advises its customers to book their travel insurance via ERGO as a recommendation only, and accepts no responsibility for the contractual content between the customer and the travel insurance provider. Customers can book their travel insurance via ERGO or another provider at their own discretion.

The hotels and lodges booked by us
In Kathmandu and Pokhara the hotels we book are good and correspond to medium-level Western standards. Sanitary facilities are clean and functional; the hotel cuisine is adapted to Western eating habits and the food is safe to enjoy. There may sometimes be power cuts, or no hot water may be available for a while. The hotel staff is generally very friendly and looks after the welfare of guests. The hotels booked by us are as follows:

Kathmandu: Hotel Tibet/Manaslu ***+
Pokhara: Mount Kailash Resort, Lake side retreat ***
Palpa/Tansen: Hotel Srinagar **
Lumbini: Hotel New Crystal ***
Chitwan: Jungle Villa Resort
Nagarkot: Nagarkot Farmhouse

During the trek and in the interior of the country conditions are very varied, and travelers must sometimes expect basic sanitation facilities. For standard treks and tours you will stay overnight in typical “lodges” (teahouses). These usually offer very small single rooms or double rooms (some with no running water and no private shower / toilet).
In general, during the trekking tour you can select what you wish to eat from the menu. However, at altitudes of 4,000 meters it can happen that on some routes the choice of food is not very extensive. Typical Nepalese cuisine is mostly vegetarian, but very tasty, filling and wholesome. Travelers need to be adaptable, however.

Flying in Nepal
The domestic flights booked by us are with Tara Air, Summit Air, Sita Air or Buddha Air.

Tour program
The travel program for all of our recommended tours is carefully planned. It can happen, however, that roads are closed without advance notice or are impassable, that there are waiting times of several hours because of traffic congestion or fuel shortages and that specific tourist attractions are closed for various reasons. Other restrictions such as flight delays or even cancellations due to bad weather, strikes, the health of participants or unfavorable conditions while trekking may also make the implementation of the travel program more difficult or at worst make it impossible. However, our local guides are prepared for such situations and will make every effort to achieve every aspect of the program to your satisfaction. As a result the inconvenience can normally be kept to a reasonable level. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out at this juncture that for the above reasons program changes are possible at any time and cannot be influenced by the organizers. The resulting costs are borne by the traveler. We ask for your understanding.

Trip Details

  • Duration: 28 days
  • Holiday Type: Tented Trek
  • Best trekking period: May/Jun/Jul/Aug/Sep
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Max Altitude: Sangda La 5.515m
  • Group size: Min. 5 persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of five persons)
  • Tour guide: English speaking, trained Nepalese mountain guide
  • Difficulty:
  • Fitness:
  • Price: 4.290,00 
  • Single room supplement: 400,00 €
    single room/ tent supplement