Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival (4,423 feet). Our staff will meet you after your arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport.
Day 2: In Kathmandu. Today we obtain our permit for the Dolpo area. Enjoy an introductory tour of Kathmandu.
Day 3: Fly to Nepalgunj. We will fly to Nepalgunj at about 1PM. At 492 feet, Nepalgung is much lower than Kathmandu.
Day 4: Early morning flight to Juphal and trek to Kagani. Our staff awaits. Reaching the trailhead, our trekking begins! Juphal, a much smaller mountain village.
Day 5: Kagani to Reichi. The trail along the Suligad River is a verdant, semi-tropical forest. It offers beautiful canyon views and opportunities to view black and white Langaur monkeys, deer and Bharal (Himalayan Blue Sheep).
Day 6: Reichi to Ringmo. Continuing up the Suligad River through pine forests, we cross traditional wooden bridges and arrive at a confluence of Suligad and Pungmo Khola which empties the famous turquoise lake we will see in the afternoon. The town of Ringmo (11,942 feet) has many traditional older two-story houses with animals (yak, dzo, horses) living underneath.
Day 7: Rest at Ringmo. This rest day is important for your acclimatization to high altitude. Take a lakeside ramble to visit the 600 year old very sacred Bonpo monastery.
Day 8: Ringmo to a riverside camp. This morning we trek along a high cliffside trail dropping steeply into the lake. After two hours of uphill trekking, the trail veers down to reach a glaciated valley. We continue up Phoksumdo Khola passing through stands of tamerisk along the braided river. This area feels like the wildest part of the trip with massive, glacier-covered Kanjirowa Himal looming above to our left behind the towering tilted sandstone walls. With no lights, the skies are cluttered with stars.
Day 9: From Phoksumdo Khole to Nangdala Base Camp. Today's trek turns from Phoksumdo Khola uphill into the side canyon of steep and hard running Tuk Kyalsa Khola following a stream that originates near Nangdala Pass. Steeply gaining elevation, trees disappear. The rock formations are dramatic – changing in 100 yards from vertical sandstone walls folding into horizontal. Canyon walls rise 1,000 feet vertically. We cross and re-cross the stream in the narrow, shaded canyon, beside waterfalls and pools. The canyon opens into summer pastures of yak herders for our campsite for tonight.
Day 10: Nangdala to Shey Gompa (14,107 feet). Nepal's high passes become more windy as the sun climbs higher in the sky — so we will start our trekking in the early morning today. It is about three-hours of steep uphill trail to reach the summit of Nangdala (17,548 feet) — marked, like many hillocks and mountain passes, with colorful Buddhist prayer flags. Leaving the pass, our trail steeply descends until we reach a broad drying lakebed and stream. This stunning valley with its braided stream leads us to Shey Gompa, below Crystal Mountain.
Day 11: Rest day at Shey Gompa.
Day 12: From Shey Gompa to Namgaon. Shey Gompa marks the junction of several trails once used by the old salt trading caravans and today by trekkers. We begin our day hiking to Sela (or Gela) — another pass found at 16,700 feet for a fine panorama of the Dolpo landscape. From Gela, our trek descends to Namgung (15,088 feet). Namgung is an important settlement as the home to the historic Namgung Monastery — one of upper Dolpo's oldest Buddhist monasteries.
Day 13: To Saldang. Today we have a shorter trek. If we were unable to visit the Namgung village monastery yesterday, we can do that today before returning to the trail. We leave Namgung on an easy trail with a gradual climb to a hilltop and then continue on a gentle downhill slope to arrive at Saldang at 12,365 feet.
Day 14: Nisal Gaon. Our path leads north, following the Nagaon Khola River to Gungar Khola which flows from the northwest. From the confluence of Gungar and Nagon kholas, we turn east to reach Nisal Gaon (12,700 feet).
Day 15: To Shimen Gaon. This morning, we'll first visit Yangjer Gompa, one of the most important religious sites of the area. Departing the monastery, we continue following the Parjyan Khola to Shimen Gaon (12,628 feet).
Day 16: Optional rest day. From Simen Gaon, we reach no larger settlements until we arrive at Chharka Bhot. This is a possible rest day before continuing this trail adventure.
Day 17: To Tinje Gaon. Today we trek along the Panjyan Khola riverside trail, passing several ancient meditation caves in the distance.
Day 18 & 19: To Chharka Bhot. From Tenje Gaon until we reach Chharka Bhot, we'll encounter only seasonal yak pastures. Today the trail is used mostly for animals and travel between Dolpo and Mustang. Chharka Bhot (14,100 feet) is a small village where we can find supplies.
Day 20: To Nulungsumde Kharka. Once we depart on the trail from Chharka, we pass through no villages for another two days. We continue our trek, passing several kharkas (pastures). We camp at Nulungsumde Kharka (16,400 feet), before ascending the twin passes of Niewar and Juben (the goal for tomorrow).
Day 21: Niwar and Jungben Pass. We start our trail early for a rigorous day reaching Jungben Pass. After about three hours uphill, we reach the summit of Niwar. After crossing the first pass of Niwar (16,800 feet), we have about two more hours before we reach the second — Jungben La (18,000 feet).
Day 22: To Shangta. Having ascended the twin passes of Niwar and Jungben, we enter the highlands of Mustang. We continue our trek down the arid mountainside which offers many excellent views of the Mustang landscape as well as several prominent peaks of the Annapurna mountain range. Coming from Dolpo, Shangta (12,400 feet) is the first Mustang village we encounter.
Day 23: To Kagbeni. Today we begin downhill along the ancient trail that once connected traders between Mustang, Dolpo and Tibet. We arrive at Kagbeni for lunch and a cozy lodge room. Celebrate this afternoon with a hot shower and a slice of the famous Annapurna apple pie!
Day 24: Jomsom via Lupra. Today we hike one of the most famous and busy trails in the Himalaya. Each season, thousands pass along this route. On the way to Jomsom, we'll stop and visit Lupra village — a rare site of one of the few surviving Bon monasteries.
Day 25: Fly Jomsom to Pokhara. Our flight usually departs before 9AM. It's a short, 20-minute flight to reach Pokhara. Pokhara (3,100 feet) has become Nepal's second–largest tourist destination.
Day 26: Fly or drive to Kathmandu. If we keep to our itinerary, today we should fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu — about a 25–minute flight.
Day 27: Kathmandu. Free time, shopping or activities. Overnight in hotel.
Day 28: Depart Kathmandu. Free time will depend on your departure flight time. We'll provide an airport transfer for your flight home/onward today.
A detailed itinerary is available on request.
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