Beni Dolpo Trek
The Beni to Dolpo Trek is one of the lesser-known routes in Nepal, offering trekkers a unique experience through remote landscapes, traditional villages, and untouched wilderness. Connecting the Myagdi district with the remote Dolpo region, this trail provides a blend of cultural immersion and breathtaking natural beauty.
- Duration: Approximately 20-25 days, depending on specific routes and side trips.
- Difficulty: Challenging due to its remote nature, high-altitude passes, and extended trekking days.
- Max Altitude: Varies, but can reach up to 5,000 meters or more at certain passes.
- Starting Point: Beni
- Ending Point: Dunai in Dolpo or vice versa
- Crossing high-altitude passes like Jaljala and Gurjaghat.
- Exploring traditional villages such as Dho Tarap and Tinje.
- Witnessing the stark, untouched beauty of the Dolpo region.
- Experiencing a blend of Magar, Gurung, and Tibetan cultures.
Upon arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, you'll be welcomed by the hustle and bustle of Nepal's capital city. This day is typically reserved for preparations, trek briefings, and perhaps some sightseeing around the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Travel to the serene city of Pokhara, either by road (6-7 hours) or a short flight. Situated beside the beautiful Phewa Lake and offering panoramic views of the Annapurna range, Pokhara is the perfect place to relax and mentally prepare for the trek.
Drive to Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi. The journey provides glimpses of terraced fields, rivers, and traditional villages. Beni, located at the confluence of the Myagdi Khola and Kali Gandaki, acts as the gateway to many trekking routes.
The trek begins by following the Kali Gandaki river. As you advance through subtropical forests and terraced fields, you'll reach the village of Babiachor, which offers a warm introduction to the region's rural life.
Continue trekking along the banks of the Myagdi Khola. The trail offers a blend of uphill and downhill stretches, with Dharapani providing a peaceful setting for an overnight stay amidst rice and wheat fields.
Today's trek involves a steep ascent, followed by a descent through forests and terraced fields. As you approach Muri, you're greeted with spectacular views of Mt. Ghustung South.
Descend to the Muri Khola and then climb to the terraced hills of Boghara. Along the way, you'll be treated to views of lush landscapes, waterfalls, and distant snow-capped peaks.
Trek through dense forests, crossing multiple wooden bridges. The sound of the Myagdi Khola provides a rhythmic backdrop as you make your way to Dobang, a small settlement surrounded by nature.
The trail takes you through rhododendron and bamboo forests. As you ascend, you'll notice the surroundings becoming more alpine, signaling your entry into higher altitudes. Choriban Khola is a picturesque spot by the river.
Today, you'll reach the Italian Base Camp, which offers breathtaking views of the Dhaulagiri range. It's an excellent spot to rest and acclimatize, surrounded by towering peaks.
Take a day to rest and adapt to the altitude. Explore the surroundings, take short hikes, and prepare for the upcoming challenging days.
Trek on moraine and glacier terrains, witnessing the raw beauty of the Himalayas. Glacier Camp, set near the Chhonbardan Glacier, provides a unique experience of camping amidst the giants of the Himalayas.
Ascend to the Dhaulagiri Base Camp, one of the trek's highlights. The base camp offers panoramic views of peaks like Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and many others. The landscape here is dramatic, with snow and glaciers surrounding the camp.
A challenging day as you cross the French Pass (5,360 meters). From the pass, you're rewarded with views of Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, and Sita Chuchura. Descend to the Hidden Valley, a serene high-altitude plateau, perfect for camping.
Ascend the Dhampus Pass and then descend to Yak Kharka. The trail offers mesmerizing views of the Annapurna range, making the journey memorable.
Begin your descent towards the Kali Gandaki valley. Pass through villages like Marpha, known for its apple orchards, and continue to Jomsom, a significant town in the Mustang district. These days provide a blend of cultural and natural experiences.
Take a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. Enjoy the lakeside atmosphere, relishing the achievements of your trek.
Return to Kathmandu, either by road or a short flight. Spend the evening exploring any missed sites or shopping for souvenirs.
- Arrival and Departure transfers:
- Accommodation in Kathmandu:
- Tourist standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu.
- Lodge/guesthouse accommodation (best available) during the trek.
- Full board meals 3 times a day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) while on the trek.
- Trekking permits (ACAP and TIMS) and necessary entry fees.
- Professional and highly experienced government-licensed local trekking guide.
- Necessary porters as per your group size (usually 2 guests = 1 porter).
- Safety and First Aid: Basic first-aid supplies and emergency evacuation arrangements.
- Staff expenses (food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment).
- All government taxes, VAT, and tourist service charges.
- Trekking map.
- International flight airfares (to/from Kathmandu)
- Nepal tourist visa fees and international airport departure tax.
- Extra nights in Kathmandu:
- Travel insurance that covers emergency rescue and evacuation.
- Personal expenses such as additional meals, snacks, hot and cold drinks.
- Optional Activities: Any optional activities or side trips beyond the standard trek itinerary are not included.
- Tipping: Tipping the trekking guide, porter, and other support staff is customary but not usually included in the package price.
- Any other expenses not mentioned in the inclusive cost.
The Beni to Dolpo Trek is a challenging yet rewarding journey through Nepal's remote landscapes. Essential preparation includes obtaining necessary permits like the Dolpo Restricted Area Permit and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit. Given the high-altitude terrains, proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. Hiring an experienced guide is highly recommended due to the trek's demanding nature. While basic meals are available at teahouses, trekkers should carry essential snacks and water purification methods. Proper gear, including trekking boots, cold-resistant sleeping bags, and rain protection, is vital. Always respect local customs and the environment, ensuring a sustainable and enriching trekking experience.
1. How difficult is the Beni to Dolpo Trek?
The Beni to Dolpo Trek is considered challenging due to its remote nature, several high-altitude passes, and the trek's duration. Previous high-altitude trekking experience is beneficial.
2. What permits are required for this trek?
You'll need the Dolpo Restricted Area Permit, as well as the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit. Ensure you apply for these permits in advance and carry multiple photocopies during the trek.
3. When is the best time to undertake this trek?
The ideal months are during the pre-monsoon (April-May) and post-monsoon (September-October) periods. Winters can be harsh, with many trails becoming inaccessible due to snow.
4. What kind of accommodation can I expect?
Accommodation is basic, especially in the more remote areas. Expect a mix of simple teahouses, homestays, and camping. It's crucial to be equipped with a good tent and sleeping gear.
5. What about food and water during the trek?
Teahouses offer basic meals like dal bhat, momo, and thukpa. It's advisable to carry snacks for energy. For water, bring purification tablets or a portable filter, as bottled water is limited and not environmentally friendly.
6. Is it advisable to hire a guide and porter?
Given the challenging and remote nature of the trek, hiring a knowledgeable guide is highly recommended. A porter can assist with carrying heavy gear, making the trek more enjoyable.
8. How do I reach the starting point of the trek?
The trek begins at Beni, which is accessible by road from Pokhara. There are regular bus and jeep services available.
9. What gear is essential for this trek?
Sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, rain gear, a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures, sun protection, and a comprehensive first-aid kit are essential. Also, consider bringing a good quality backpack and walking poles.
10. Are there any cultural or environmental considerations?
Dolpo has a rich Tibetan Buddhist culture. Always show respect for local customs and religious sites. As for the environment, practice "Leave No Trace" principles: pack out all trash, avoid using single-use plastics, and respect wildlife.