Shey Phoksundo National Park lies in the hills of Western Nepal, covering parts of the districts Dolpa and Mugu. With an area of 3,555 sqkm, it is the largest national park in Nepal. It displays flora and fauna typical for the Tibetan plateau. The national park was created in 1984 to protect this trans-Himalayan ecosystem and endangered species like the snow leopard and musk deer.
Phoksundo is the name of Nepal’s deepest and second largest lake, which lies at 3,660 metres altitude in the National Park. It is also known as Ringmo lake and famous for its turquoise colour. The lake is drained by a beautiful waterfall, at 150 metres the highest in Nepal.
Around 2000 people live inside the National Park, with their distinct Tibetan culture. Some of them practice Tibetan Buddhism, with a few monasteries in the national park. Others are believers of Bön, the ancient pre-buddhist religion of Tibet.
With its sheltered position behind the Great Himalayan Range, the park is hardly affected by the monsoon rains in summer, and provides a sanctuary in colourful bloom during those months. From the airstrip in Juphal, Dolpa, the Shey Phoksundo National Park can be reached in an easy one day’s walk.