Trip Facts

Area Covered: Kathmandu valley, Upper Dolpo, Shey Phoksundo National Park
Grade: Strenuous
Duration: 26 days (on trek 21 days)
Max. Altitude: 5,300m/17,388ft
Group Size: 5-12


The Snow Leopard Trek is inspired by Peter Mathiessen’s book, The Snow Leopard, who took a journey into the region in 1973 when Dolpo was considered one of the most remote and inaccessible places on earth. Lying in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, this distinctive mountain desert region has only been open to trekkers since 1988 and requires a special permit to enter. 


After flying into Juphal we trek north entering Phoksundo National Park, home to rich wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard and blue sheep. The trek crosses the Kang La, 5,279m/17,320ft, and passes the mystical Crystal Mountain to reach the remote eleventh century monastery of Shey Gompa. En route we visit the most isolated villages of Upper Dolpo, some of which still practice ancient pre-Buddhist Bon Po religions and where the villagers wear traditional Tibetan-style clothes.


The sheer isolation of the region means that Upper Dolpo is ideal for the keen walker who would like a wild, yet culturally distinct, Himalayan experience.

Day 1-2: Arrival in Kathamndu. Guided tour to explore the ancient palaces, temples, and bustling bazaars.
Day 3: Fly to Nepalgunj.
Day 4: Fly to Juphal and trek to Dunai (7,052ft/2,150m). 2-3 hours.
Day 5-8: Trek to Phoksumdo Lake (11,808ft/3,600m). One day to relax and to explore.
Day 9-12: Trek to Shey Gompa, also known as Crystal monastery. Cross the Pang La. Rest the following day.
Day 13-15: Cross the Saldang La, visit the Namjung monastery and trek to Saldang.
Day 16-24: Trek to Juphal. On route cross the Jeng La, visit the Chaiba gompa and the villages Dho Tarap and Dunai
Day 25: Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
Day 26: International departure.

Cost Includes: * All internal flights and hotel/airport transfers * Good standard hotel accommodation (4 star) in Kathmandu, twin share, bed and breakfast basis * Best available hotels in Nepalganj on full board * All road transport by private vehicles * All camping facilities and all meals on trek * Camp staff to carry out all camp work * Costs of all porterage and their insurance * Upper Dolpo Permit Fee

If wishing to travel at other times alternative itineraries are available.

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