Snow Leopard trek is the thrilling wildlife journey across the barren landscape, jagged rock, river gorges, high cliffs and icy winds of Dolpo and Mugu of Western Nepal. In this trek we follow up the footprints of an elusive Himalayan big cat ‘The Snow Leopard’. Additionally, to wildlife journey, this trek also offers plenty of opportunities to insight cultural diversities of Dolpo and Mugu.
‘Snow Leopard’ is most elusive creature on the planet and living in a most hostile environment on the earth. This most beautiful mammal of Himalaya is in now vulnerable status based on ‘IUCN downlists the conservation status of Snow leopards from Endangered to Vulnerable.’
This carnivorous Himalayan cat ‘Snow Leopard’ survives mostly on weaker animals of Himalayas and its main prey are blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Asiatic ibex (Capra ibex sibirica), argali (Ovis ammon) and other wild sheep and goats, marmots (Marmota spp.), pikas (Ochotona spp.), hares (Lepus spp.), and gamebirds (snowcocks, Tetraegallus and chukar partridge, Alectoris chukar) along with domestic stock. The World’s rarest and the most elusive mammal live in the wilderness of Dolpo. In the jagged rock, high cliff, deep canyon gorges and icy winds of Dolpo Snow Leopard ‘Himalayan Queen – Himali Paree’ roar silently. The Snow Leopard Trek is designed in such way that where we tracing/chasing the footprints of this ‘Himalayan Queen – Himali Paree’. Ultimately our goal is to observe ‘Himalayan Queen’, but it is not sure and certain.
Dolpo and Mugu are known as the prime habitat of Snow Leopard, Shey Gompa, and Crystal Mountain area of Shey Phoksundo National park is the venue to realize you dream’. Ideal period for spotting snow leopard is from October to March, that’s end of autumn to the beginning of spring in Dolpo. The snow leopard is the most elusive animal among the large cats.
Other than Snow Leopard in this trip there is always a good chance of spotting many other famous and rare Himalayan wild animals like “Nyan” or “Tibetan Argali”,(Ovis ammon); Himalayan blue sheep, called “Bharal” or “Napo”, (Pseudois nayaur); Uriel, locally called “Shapo” (Ovis orientalis), Asiatic ibex Skin(Capra sibirica), and among the predators are Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Lynx, Pallas Cat, including birds like Himalayan Griffon vulture, the park is home to Brown Accentor, Robin Accentor, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Streaked Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, Chukar, Fork-tailed Swift, Red-billed Chough, Himalayan Snowcock, and many others.
This Snow Leopard trek begins a safe landing at Juphal airstrip and following the river gorges of Phoksundo Khola to turquoise Lake Phoksundo and beautiful Ringmo Bon village.Beyond the Phoksundo Lake, following balcony track of Phoksundo Lake and Phoksundo Khola we pass through the lap of Kanjiruwa and further south of Phoksundo Lake encountering Kang La pass enter to Upper Dolpo Shey Gompa. Crystal Mountain and Shey Gompa is the major habitat of Snow Leopard. We take 3 days to excursion around Crystal Mountain and Tartang Khola valley, then en route to Bhijer and Phopa village. Beyond the Bhijer and Phopa village, we trek to Namlang Khola and Langu Khola valley(Rodney Jackson Valley) to spotting the Snow Leopard. Passing through beautiful hamlets of Mugu, at the end we visit Rara lake and fly out from Talcha to Nepalgunj and Kathmandu.