The Lower Dolpo Trek is a spectacular journey into Nepal’s largest district: Dolpo. Despite its size, Dolpo is the most underdeveloped, remote territory in the country. There are very few roads in the entire district, leaving plenty of room for the pristine nature that exists there. The area does not only have allure to westerners or trekkers. Even Tibetan Buddhists call the land “bae-yul,” meaning ‘hidden land.’ The Lower Dolpo Trek takes you into land that is truly unique – unlike any other place in the world.
Roughly 5,000 people live in Dolpo. Their ancestors came to the area hundreds of years ago from Tibet, bringing with them Tibetan culture, language, and dress. They practice Bon Po religion, a shamanistic religion that has some parallels with Tibetan Buddhism. Today, villagers live off the fruits (i.e. veggies and starches) of the land for survival. They also rely on trade with Tibet, a relationship that has existed for hundreds of years.
It takes some time to even begin the Lower Dolpo Trek, a testament to its remoteness. Take a flight from the Kathmandu Domestic Airport to Nepalgunj and then drive to Dunai. From here, the footpath begins. Pass fields and forests, rivers and villages, as you gain altitude. Signs of Bon Po religion are seen along the trail, including a phallus themed bridge in honor of Masta, the mountain deity.
Between the charming villages are vast, sparsely populated sections of land. Move forward to the ever-changing landscapes. When you reach a massive cascading waterfall, we know we are getting close to SheyPhoksundo Lake (3620 meters), a highlight of the trek. The 200-meter waterfall is the highest one in the country and is worth a break to admire it before heading to the even more mind-blowing lake.
The blue-green, aquamarine is an incredible sight. The lake takes your breath away from the moment it first comes into view. You even get to sleep right next to it in a tented campsite. Enjoy the feeling of complete solitude in this middle-of-nowhere mountain paradise.
The Lower Dolpo Trek can be easily combined with the Upper Dolpo Trek for an even more adventurous Trek. The Upper Dolpo area is restricted (meaning you must pay a $500 fee for 10 days and $50 per day after), but it is completely worth the price. The Upper Dolpo trail traverses deeper into the mountains up to SheyGompa and Crystal Mountain. Ask us for more information about the Upper Dolpo Trek!
You can take the LowerDolpo Trek all throughout the year. The best times to make the trip, though, are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These seasons provide the best weather and clearest skies, not to mention that during the springtime, beautiful flowers are in bloom. Go To Nepal Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. handles the trek with complete management. If you have any questions about the trek, do ask!