Officially opened in 1989 for trekkers, Dolpo Region is one of the handfuls of untouched territories in Nepal that offer endless varieties of terrains and culture. Located in western Nepal, this region remains a truly isolated corner of Nepal. Home to some of the highest villages on the face of the earth, most of the region lies above 3000 meters.
To the world, Dolpo Region can be presented as the birthplace for Peter Matthiessen’s ‘Snow Leopard’ and Eric Valli’s Oscar-nominated movie ‘Caravan’. Dolpo Region comprises of settlements heavily influenced by the Tibetan-Buddist culture and is bordered by Mugu Karnali valley at the west and the Phoksumdo region at the northwest. Southwest of the region lies Dhaulagiri (8167m) and its massif determines most of Dolpo Region’s climate. Unadulterated by outsiders, the Dolpo Region is unmatched when it comes to pristine beauty.
The opportunity to meet the nomadic people and experience their lifestyle is a chance very few people receive. Dolpo is also famed for housing one of the ancient practices of Buddhism called Bon Po. Likewise, the main highlight of the Dolpo Region is the Shey-Phoksundo National Park. The national park lies behind the Dhaulagiri massif adjoining the Tibetan Plateau. The national park holds a diversity of scenic landscapes with some of the most exotic flora and fauna. The flora inhabiting this region include Rhododendron, Juniper, Salix, white Himalayan Birch, and many more.
The region is a home for some exotic wild animals including snow leopard, grey wolf, Himalayan black bear and many more. Shey-Phoksundo Lake which lies at an elevation of 3660m is one valuable asset of this region. Surrounded by glaciers, Shey-Phoksundo lake is famous for its beautiful turquoise color. Near the lake’s outlet is Nepal’s highest waterfall. The park also contains many religious sites including Shey Gompa and Yangtze Gompa. Upper Dolpo Trek and Lower Dolpo Trek are the famous trekking options in this region.
Dolpo region lies in the rain-shadow area owing to the strategic location of the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Dolpo region is prime for trips throughout the year but the spring (March to May) is the best season for travel. The temperature is pleasant and the views are clearer with minimal chances of snowfall at higher altitudes.