In the northwest of Nepal lies a region ringed like a horseshoe shape of soaring peaks called Dolpo. These peaks rise higher than 21,000 feet and have a cold high desert feel to it. Home to people of Tibetan decent since the early centuries of the Christianity, Tibetan refugees continue to trickle into Dolpo. Most of the Tibetans follow the Tibetan Buddhist religion though some practice the Bon religion too. This religion pre-dates Buddhism and was widespread in Tibet until the introduction of Buddhism. However, Bon is considered one of the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The region opened to trekking in 1989 and has an untouched and unexplored feel to it. Here a trekker can meet nomadic people living a lifestyle that has stretched back for centuries. The Dolpo region is hard to match for its pristine beauty and rugged charm. The Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo trekking offer an endless variety of landscapes not to mention a chance to interact with the local people. Truly Dolpo houses incredible diversity and can be visited many times over with never having the same experience twice. Though not as extreme as its neighbor to the east, Mustang, Dolpo also lies in a rain shadow area and is much drier than the rest of Nepal and receive less rain. In Dolpo, the elevation of the trails ranges from 1650 meters (5,412ft) to 5136 meters (16,846ft) above sea level.