Trek the Dolpo Region

Get under the skin of the most secretive region in the Himalayas.

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Sitting in the Upper catchments of the Dolpa district in western Nepal, Dolpo is the largest region in Nepal, but also the most sparsely populated. As a result, much of its traditional Bon culture remains intact.

Similar to the Mustang, the Dolpo lies in the Himalayas rain-shadow, leading to a drier, more arid landscape, and making it accessible in the Monsoon season.

Whilst trekking through the Dolpo, expect colourful, barren mountainsides, golden barley farms and plenty of Nomadic yak caravans.

Some of the highlights include the glacier-lined, turquoise-blue waters of the Phoksundo Lake sitting at 3,611 metres that spill 167 metres over the cliff, resulting in the staircase-like Phoksundo Waterfall. Phoksundo Lake sits in the famed Shey-Phoksundo National Park, home to endangered Snow Leopards, Grey Wolves, the Musk Deer.

Craft your own adventure through Nepal’s most secretive region with our handcrafted range of itineraries with the best local guides.

The Upper Dolpo

The Upper Dolpo, ranging from 1,525 metres to 7,751 metres, has only been open for trekking since 1996 and is considered one of the least explored places in Nepal. Due to the natural mountain barriers, the Tibetan villages have been untouched by modernisation, as passing Nomadic yak caravans will remind you.

When trekking the Upper Dolpo, you’ll cross the Numa La Pass (5,190m), where you’ll have a stunning view of the snowy Himalayas in the north, and Phoksundo Lake trickling off the cliff face.

The Upper Dolpo trek is the most exotic option and is an ideal choice for those looking for the most authentic look at Nepal’s complex spiritual and cultural roots.

The Lower Dolpo

The Lower Dolpo was opened for trekking in 1982. Since, it has remained unvisited and undisturbed, and similar to the Upper Dolpo, you’ll need a permit to trek here.

Sitting in the trans-Himalayan climatic zone, the Lower Dolpo resembles the grassy plateaus of the Tibetan highlands. The Lower Dolpo trek takes you through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, where you may encounter Snow Leopards, Grey Wolves or a Musk Deer.

The Lower Dolpo trek will also take you through Dho Tarap, the highest human settlement on Earth, and the inhabitants abide by the Tibetan ‘Bon’ religion, which pre-dates Buddhism. Like the Upper Dolpo, the Himalayan rainshadow means that it can be hiked at any time of the year. It doesn’t get much more remote than the Lower Dolpo trek.