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Phoksumdo Lake – Shey Gompa

Start of the Trip: Kathmandu
End of the Trip: Kathmandu
Duration: 16-19 Days
Difficulty: Medium – Hard
Hotels: None
Seasons: May – October
Maximum Elevation: 5160m

Inner Dolpo

The inner Dolpo also commonly referred to as the northern part of the Dolpo, is home to the famous Shey Gompa, which was opened to tourists from 1992. There is an aura of mysticism about Shey Gompa and the ‘Crystal Mountain’, but this is no popular trek by any means. The starting point for the trek is Phoksumdo Lake. In order to get here, you may fly to Jhupal then trek to Dunai or trek from Jumla to Dunai. If you wish to trek, you will be trekking for three days to reach from Dunai to Phoksumdo Lake via Chepka and Renji.

About the trek 

The trek is fairly difficult. Here you will cross the high passes from Phoksumdo Lake, go past the jaw dropping crystal mountain, and visit Shey Gompa. When returning from Shey Gompa, you can choose from several routes to arrive at Dolpo. On this trek, you will be visiting the peaceful campsite at Kang Gopa, and pre-historic Tsakang Gompa built back in the 12th century. The Gompas are perched dramatically on the side of a cliff. Shey Gompa enshrines Guru Rinpoche, Sakyamuni, and Milarepa. According to the inscriptions in the scrolls inside the temple, there is a holy lake that surrounds Shey where, if pilgrims make nine circumambulations the water of the lake will turn to milk, and a sip of this milk will allow the pilgrim to view mount Kailash.

Photos of Phoksumdo Lake – Shey Gompa

Tour Itinerary

Day Section and Altitude Hours

Kathmandu Arrival-Transfer to Dunai
Dunai – Suli Gaad – Kageni (2260m) –
Sankta (2460m) – Chepka (2760m),
770m ascent,

4.30 – 5.30


Chepka – Renje (3010m)
500m ascent, 320m descent

3.00 – 4.00

Renje – Sumduwa – Palam (3280m) –
Ringmo (3640m) - Phoksumdo Lake (3620m),
880m ascent, 90m descent


Phoksumdo Lake – Cho Phu – Chunemba (3630m),
570m ascent, 560m descent


Chunemba – Kang Gompa (3710m) - Lar Tsa (4120m),
570m ascent, 80m descent


Lar Tsa – Mendok Ding (4610m),
520m ascent, 130m descent


Mendok Ding – Sehu La (5160m) – Tsakang - Shey Gompa (4390m),
1040m ascent, 1240m descent

8 Shey Gompa – Sela Munchung La (5060m)   
9 Sela Munchung La (5060m) –
Langmosia She La (5140m) – Khyung Bhanjyang (5160m) 
10 Khyung Bhanjyang (5160m)  – Numa La (5290m)  

Numa La “Base Camp” (4440m) -
Jampa Lhakhang (4180m) - Gakaer- Mekyem Gompa - Do Tarap
(630m descent, 140m ascent)


Do Tarap


Do Tarap - Sishul Khola (4080m) -
Serkam (3870m) - Tal Tole (3680m) – Nawarpani


Nawarpani - Chyugur Khola – Laini
(500m descent, 60m ascent)


Laini (3160m) - Chhandul Gompa –
Kanigaon - Laisicap (2600m) – Tarakot
(810m descent, 100m ascent)


Tarakot to Dunai
430m descent
Departure from Kathmandu


Side Trips

Alternative Routes

Shey Gompa – Jomsom

Duration: 12 Days
Max. Elevation: 5460m
Difficulty: Hard
Season: May – October
High-altitude trek through desolate, sparsely inhabited Tibet-like country. An expensive trek because of permit fees.

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