Wetlands provide a range of critically important ecosystem services. However, a lack of reliable wetland data limits the efficacy of wetland management in remote mountainous areas. To optimize the management of wetlands in the vicinity of Mount Everest we created a new classification system for high alpine wetlands. Object-oriented image classifications and geographical information systems were used to extract wetland information for 1976, 1988, and 2006 from remote sensing data and field surveys. The results show that total area of wetlands in the vicinity of Mount Everest in 2006 was 1663.5 km2 mainly found 4100–4800 m above sea level. Wetlands had changed, and the changing area (expansion and contraction) added up to 94.5 km2 or 5.6% from 1976–2006. Temporal-spatial variation in wetlands and land cover imply that regressive succession has occurred in some areas. Natural driving forces are key factors. Data suggest that creation of the Mount Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve in 1988 positively impacted wetland conservation.