The remote Dolpo region stands as one of Nepal’s least developed areas. After decades of closure to outsiders until 1989, it actively embraces organized trekking groups today. These untouched valleys in the north form Nepal’s grandest national park and conservation zone. Furthermore, they serve as a spiritual haven for dedicated Tibetan Buddhists and are a bastion of enduring Tibetan traditions.
Embarking on an upper Dolpo trek reveals the excitement of exploring uncharted highlands, the peaceful atmosphere of rhododendron and pine woodlands in the valley’s lower regions, and the allure of ancient villages. This region is the habitat of musk deer, Himalayan blue sheep, and the elusive snow leopard. Additionally, you can observe yak herds grazing in the highlands and meadows, animals that are essential to the local population.
After crossing the Numala Pass at 5,400m, trekkers are met with the captivating view of Phoksundo Lake. The rugged cliffs of the neighboring peaks drop almost vertically into the lake, creating a breathtaking scene. This body of water is famous for its vibrant deep blue shades, mirroring the brilliant sky at these altitudes. Above the lake, you’ll find Ringmo village and its monastic establishment perched on a high crag. As you follow the ancient trade route to the Crystal Mountain at Shey Gompa, you’ll encounter the region’s most sacred mountain—a range of snow-covered peaks that cast shadows over the barren foothills below.