Dolpa is the largest district of Nepal, covering 5.36% of the total landmass of the country, located at 28°43’N to 29°43’N latitude, and 82°23’E to 83°41’E longitude. Elevation ranges from 1,525 to 7,625 m (5,003 to 25,016 ft). The district borders Tibet (China) on the north and northeast, the Jumla and Mugu districts of Karnali on the west, Myagdi, Jajarkot and Rukum on the south, and Mustang on the east.
A large portion of the district is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park. The name is derived from the 12th century Shey Monastery and the deepest lake in Nepal, the Phoksundo Lake, both of which lie in the district. The park protects endangered animals like the snow leopard, musk deer and the Tibetan wolf. Shey Phoksundo is the largest and the only trans-Himalayan National Park in Nepal.
The district has an altitudinal range of over 5,000 m (16,000 ft), from a little over 1,500 m (4,900 ft) at Tribeni in Kalika VDC, to 7,381 m (24,216 ft) at the peak of Churen Himal. Kanjiroba (6,221 m (20,410 ft)), Mukot (6,638 m (21,778 ft)) and Putha Hiunchuli (7,246 m (23,773 ft)) are other renowned peaks.
The smaller ranges of the Great Himalayas comprise the southern border of the district. Between these and the border mountain ranges of Gautam Himal and Kanti Himal to the north, Dolpa district is a labyrinth of often wide glacial valleys and ridges. Kanjiroba Himal and Kagmara Lekh running northwest to southeast separate the valleys of the Jagdula in the west from the rest of the district.