Exploring The Shey Phoksundo National Park: Phoksundo Lake Trek
Shey Phoksundo National PArk

Discover the majestic Dolpo region in Nepal. It was only open to tourists since 1989, the remote region, made famous by Peter Matthiessen’s book’ The Snow Leopard.’ Phoksundo Lake, its most beautiful attraction, is holy for Buddhists and adherents of the Bonpo faith. This reasonably easy trek does not involve high passes, winds throughout the forests of the Himalayas, and traditional Tibetan villages. Nepal is the perfect place for nature lovers and thrill-seekers. Hence, It’s advisable to plan a trip to Nepal and visit Shey Phoksundo National Park if you want an adrenaline dose on your next holiday.

Shey Phoksundo National Park is not only the largest national park in Nepal but also the trans-Himalayan national park. It is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and landscape. This park offers its visitors everything they would not expect in their wildest dreams from the gigantic Himalayas, turquoise lakes and secluded hamlets. Here is everything you need if you ever plan to visit Shey Phoksundo National Park.

Shey Phoksundo National Park geographical information

Location: Mid-western Nepal, covering the Dolpo district.
Area: 3555 km. square
Latitude: 29°21′29″N Longitude: 82°50′44″E

Shey Phoksundo National Park is a habitat for several endangered species such as Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Jackal, and others.

Shey Phosundo Lake Trek
Shey Phosundo Lake

The Dolpo region is one of the world’s most scenic mountain parks in the Yellowstone and Yosemite National Park’s leagues. Shey Phoksundo is one of the best places on the planet from whereas you don’t want to leave if you’re going to enjoy the untouched views of nature and the hidden trekking trails.

Phoksundo Lake Trek

When you approach the beautiful lake in the lower Dolpo region, you will realize why people drew to this area. In the beautiful surroundings of the mountain is the aquamarine blue-green lake, which is a visual treat. The oligotrophic lake, which Buddhist monks consider to be sacred, is visited by 2,000 individuals or groups annually. Nepal’s deepest lake, you’ll even find endangered species such as musk deer and blue sheep grazing by the lake. You’ll also be greeted by waterfalls and spectacular scenery on the way to the lake.

Fast Facts
Duration8-11 days
Max. altitude3600 m
Start/EndsJuphal
DifficultyEasy
Best Season Spring/Fall
Trek StyleLodge/camp
Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksumdo National Park

Durations: It depends on the route you follow, but at least 11 days are required before you reach the lake.
Level of difficulty: This tea-house trip is a straightforward adventure for those who enjoy walking for long hours since there are no mountain passes.

Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek itinerary

DayHighlightOvernight
1.Arrive in KathmanduKathmandu
2.Fly to Nepalgunj, a doorway to the Far West 
3.Fly to Juphal and trek to DunaiDunai
4.Chhepka VillageChhepka
5.Amchi Hospital Chunuwar
6.Phoksundo LakeRingmo
7.Explore Phoksundo Lake and Tshowa GompaRingmo
8.Trek to ChhepkaChhepka
9.JuphalJuphal
10.Fly to Nepalgunj then take a flight to KTMKTM

Phoksundo Lake Trek price: The Lower Dolpo Trek permits allow for the Phoksundo Lake Trek too, which strictly enforced. Lower Dolpo Permit: US$ 20 per week and USD 5 per person /week (beyond a week) whereas Shey Phoksundo National Park fee is 3000 NPR

Since you have to go with a guide on an organized tour for Phoksundo Lake Trek. At the time, your tour operator will arrange all permits, and the total cost of your trip will usually include these costs.

Upper Dolpo Trek to Shey Gumpa

Upper Dolpo Trek to Shey Gumpa is a gateway to heaven, located in the Upper Dolpo region. The Upper Dolpo Trek takes you to the rugged landscapes and authentic isolated mountain villages such as Ringmo and Pelam. The Shey Monastery situated at the base of the Crystal Mountain is the main attraction of the trek. The entire site looks celestial as if its graved with great patience to discover about the Nepalese villagers ‘ culture and lifestyle at once. The Upper Dolpo is a restricted area with limited access. You may need to pay a fee for the entrance. You can also merge the above two treks to get a fulfilling experience in Nepal’s Shey Phoksundo National Park. Here’s FREE a complete guide for the Upper Dolpo Trek, if you’re thinking to go for the whole circuit.

Quick Facts
Duration27 days
Max. Elevation5150 m
Start/Ends Juphal
DifficultyChallenging
Best SeasonSpring/Fall
Trek StyleCamping

Likewise, you have more options to choose the daring itineraries within the national park. The itineraries spread from 8-27 days even more if you expand up to Jomsomeither Lower Dolpo Trek or Phoksundo Lake Trek.

Upper Dolpo Trek itinerary

DayHighlightAltitude Durations
1.Arrive in Kathmandu1350 m 
2.Fly to Nepalgunj, a doorway to the West150 m0h55
3.Fly to Juphal, then trek to Dunai2565 m3h30
4.Chhepka Village2670 m6h00
5.Amchi Hospital 3370 m6h40
6.Phoksundo Lake3600 m 4h00
7.Explore Phoksundo Lake Tshowa Gompa  
8.Trek to River Bed Camp3540 m 5h30
9.Kang – La High Camp4430 m 7h00
10.Shey Gumpa via Kang – La Pass (5150 m4120 m 6h30 
11.Exploration Day   
12.Numagung via Shey-La (5000 m)4400 m 7h00
13.Saldang4000 m 4h00
14.Yangzer Gumpa3855 m 5h00
15.Sibu3970 m 6h15
16.Jeng- La Phedi 4370 m 5h00
17.Tokyu via Jengla pass (5076 m)4270 m 5h30 
18.Dho Tarap 3900 m 3h00
19.Tarap Valley exploration   
20.Tarap Khola 3600 m 6h00 
21.Khani Gaon 2550 m 6h20
22.Tarakot2280 m 5h00
23.Dunai 2140 m 4h45
24.Juphal2500 m 3h00
26.Fly to Nepalgunj then take a flight to KTM  
27.Depart Kathmandu   

Frequently Asked Questions: Shey Phoksundo National Park

How to reach Shey Phoksundo National Park?

There is no way to reach into the park except a trek. If a short duration of a trek to Phoksundo Lake, Juphal is an ideal place to start a trek. Juphal can be reached via flight from Nepalgunj, and situated south of the park. Jumla is the base camp whereas the trek begins for the entire Lower Dolpo Trek via Kagmara – La Pass and Shey Phoksundo Lake.

What is the best time to visit Shey Phoksundo National Park?

The weather of the park varies between the prevailing monsoon and the arid climate since it is a trans-Himalayan region. Although the precipitation in the southern part of the park approaches 1500 mm, it is less than 500 mm on the northern slopes. Winters in the park are extreme, with snowfall occurring over 2,500 meters in regions. The temperature in the park above 3000 meters drops below freezing points. Between April to November is the best time to visit Shey Phoksundo National Park in Nepal.

What is the Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit Fee?

There are two different permits you should take to trek to Shey Phoksundo National Park.
1. Shey Phoksundo National Park Fee + Restricted Area Permits if you go for trekking in Upper Dolpo.
2. Shey Phoksundo National Park Fee + Restricted Area Permits if you go only in Lower Dolpo.

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.