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Dolpo, Foksundo lake and Rara lake Trekking

Rara lake Trekking with Himalayan Dreamland Trekking

Dolpo to Rara Trekking is one of the popular trekking routes of western Nepal, providing an excellent chance of walking through beautiful terrains and valleys, tranquil lakes and adventure pass along with scenic views of the mountains.The major attraction of Dolpo to Rara trek are two major lakes — Rara Lake and Shey Phoksundo

Dolpo to Rara Trekking is one of the popular trekking routes of western Nepal, providing an excellent chance of walking through beautiful terrains and valleys, tranquil lakes and adventure pass along with scenic views of the mountains.

The major attraction of Dolpo to Rara trek are two major lakes — Rara Lake and Shey Phoksundo

Rara lake

The Rara Lake is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in the Nepal Himalayas. It is the main feature of Rara National Park, located in Jumla and Mugu Districts. In September 2007, the lake was declared a Ramsar site, covering 1,583 ha (6.11 sq mi) including the surrounding wetland. Rara Lake lies at an altitude of 2,990 m (9,810 ft) above sea level, has a water surface of 10.8 km2 (4.2 sq mi), a maximum depth of 167 m (548 ft), is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) long and 2.7 km (1.7 mi) wide. It drains into the Mugu Karnali River via the Nijar River. Its water quality is characterized by high PH, conductivity, and total hardness. It has been classified as oligotrophic as it is slightly polluted.

Rara Lake, being surrounded by Rara National Park, has unique flora and faunal importance with rare and vulnerable species. The park was established in 1976 to preserve the beauty of the lake and protect it from sedimentation and adverse human activities. The Park flora consists of 1074 species, of which 16 are endemic to Nepal; the fauna includes 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds. Sojourn to the Rara region through thick pine and juniper forests and camp next to the sparkling Rara Lake at 2,990 m, walled by green hills on all sides. Boat in the clear waters, hike to nearby hills for nearer views of the mountains and lake, meet the charming local people, or just take a walk around the lake watching out for a wildflower or a rare bird on the way. The park is surrounded by alpine coniferous vegetation and offers a representative sample of the region’s flora and fauna. More than 500 different kinds of flowers, 20 different species of mammals and 214 species of birds can be observed at Rara National Park. As for water life in the lake, the snow trout is the fish variety recorded so far.

Rara Lake is the biggest lake in the country. The lake is 167 m deep at some places and drains into the rivers Mugu Karnali via Nijar Khola. Chuchemara Hill at 4,087 m is the best vantage point to get the magnificent views of the deep blue clear lake and the forested hillsides as well as the snow-capped peaks around it. Summer is quite pleasant but winter is cold. The best visiting time to the lake is September/October and April to May. From December to March, the temperatures go low below the freezing point, and heavy snowfall occurs up to one meter, blocking the way to the lake. April to June is warm in this region.

The main occupation of the people living around the area is agriculture. People also rear goats and extract medicinal herbs and sell them for their living. Thakur society is dominant in the community. Thakur Baba’s Temple is situated in the southeast corner of the lake. Local people believe that the god Thakur shot an arrow to open the passage of the lake reducing the damage caused by flooding. Rara lake has been a popular destination with a very rough route in Western Nepal for trekkers. The glimpses of culture and scenery on the way is quite different from the rest of Nepal. Situated in high altitude, you can find the lake surrounded by Rara National Park with pine, spruce, and juniper forest. The view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks enhances the attraction of trekkers. The trek begins with a flight to Jumla (over an hour flight from Kathmandu) or from nearer Nepalgunj. Going along the mountain path and some villages one can reach the bank of Rara lake.

 

Phoksundo Lake

Phoksundo Lake is an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake in Nepal’s Shey Phoksundo National Park, located at an elevation of 3,611.5 m (11,849 ft) above sea level in the Dolpa District. Phoksundo Lake is 494 ha (1.91 sq mi) in size with a water volume of 409,000,000 m3 (1.44×1010 cu ft) and a discharge of 3.715 m3/s (131.2 cu ft/s). In 2004, a survey by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology measured the maximum depth of the lake at 145 m (476 ft).

Trekking in Dolpa is a unique experience. The trails pass through beautiful landscapes, thick pine forests and along wild rivers all the while with spectacular views of beautiful snow-capped mountains. The highlight of the trek is the mesmerizing deep-blue and emerald hues of the deepest lake in Nepal, Phoksundo Lake. This is truly one of the most beautiful natural tourist destinations in Nepal. If time allows it’s worth spending a day or two admiring the views and exploring the lake and surrounding areas. Don’t miss Tshowa monastery on the east bank of Phoksundo Lake where worship still takes place. On the southern bank lies the village of Ringmo where you can get a rare close look into the traditional Bonpo culture.

Shey-Phoksundo is claimed to be the deepest of all lakes in the country, but this is not the only reason for its claim to fame. Surrounded by rocky crags and deep forests, Phoksundo’s color is an exotic turquoise blue. The whole scenic set up is by framed by majestic snow-capped Himalayan peaks, and it is a sight that will remain in the memory for a long time to come.

From this, you will also be able to have your first glimpse of the incredible turquoise blue lake, Phoksundo. At the far end of this lake is Ringmo, a charming village full of chortens, mani walls, and a number of small Buddhist and Bonpo monasteries. You’ll have noticed by now that the whole region is deeply influenced by Tibetan culture and lifestyle. It should perhaps be mentioned here that the valley of Dolpo is one of the most isolated places in the country due to its high mountains and snow-covered passes, and a valley that is a virtual preserve of ancient Tibetan culture. This aside, the sight of the Phoksundo Lake up close will surely make you thank your stars for your good fortune in being one of the select few to feast their eyes on this beautiful lake. Click away, you’ll not find a better scene anywhere else. Spend one of the most memorable nights of your life at Ringmo where you may even have the opportunity, the next morning, of joining the monks at one of the monasteries during their morning prayers.

 

Dolpo Rara Trek is a wonderful walk from grassy alpine pastures to arid barren landscapes and remote beautiful settlements and villages, visiting several old ancient Buddhist monasteries while the magnificent sight of mountains along the trails keeps the feet moving and soul soothing.

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 2
Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj(1 hrs by flight)

Day 3
Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal and trek to Sulighat (2282m)

Day 4
Trek from Sulighat to Amchi Hospital (3100m)

Day 5
Trek from Amchi Hospital to Ringmo (3641m)

Day 6
Visit around Phoksundo Lake

Day 7
Trek from Phoksundo Lake to Pungmo (3500m)

Day 8
Trek from Pungmo to Lasa (4060m)

Day 9
Cross Kagmara La Pass (5115m) and trek to Kagmara Phedi (3500m)

Day 10
Trek from Kagmara Phedi to Toijum (2920m)

Day 11
Trek from Toijum to Chaurikot (3060m)

Day 12
Trek from Chaurikot to Chotra (3380m)

Day 13
Trek from Chotra to Gothichaur (2650m)

Day 14
Trek from Gothichaur to Jumla (2540m)

Day 15
Trek from Jumla to Khali Gaon (3685m)

Day 16
Trek from Khali Gaon to Chautha (2807m)

Day 17
Cross Ghurchi Lagna Pass (3480m) and trek to Rara Lake (3010m)

Day 18
Rest and Exploration around Rara Lake

Day 19
Hike to Murma Top and back to Rara Lake

Day 20
Trek from Rara Lake to Talcha Airport

Day 21
Early Flight from Talcha Airport to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu

Day 22
Final Departure

  • • Pick-up or Drop-off service from and to Airport(in our own vehicle)
  • • Transportation to and from!!
  • • Food all along the trip(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea) and accommodations during the trip in hotels with a family environment
  • • Transportation, food, accommodation, and insurance of Guide during the trip
  • • Down jacket, all-season sleeping bag, duffel bag and trekking map(in case if you don’t have your own. Down jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag must be returned after completion of the trip)
  • • First Aid Medical Kit(Your guide will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
  • • All the required permits and paperwork
  • • International Airfare
  • • Visa Charges
  • • Hotel Expenses(In Kathmandu, some packages do include hotel expenses)
  • • Your travel and medical insurance
  • • Personal Expenses such as shopping, bar bills, hot shower, telephone, laundry, titbits etc
  • • Food and accommodations in Kathmandu
  • • Services not mentioned or not promised by the agent/agency
  • • Emergency expenses such as expenses on chartered helicopter.
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How fit do I need to be to do this trek?

Dorpo, Phoksundo lake, and Rara Lake Trek are a simplest and the easiest trekking route. So any fit person can do this trek, even if you do not have any previous experience. You should be aware of what to expect and mentally prepare for it. Then, as long as you will too, you can.

How long do we walk every day when doing Dorpo, Phoksundo lake, and Rara Lake Trek trekking?

On average, you walk about 4 to 6 hours per day. One or two days can be as less as 3hrs and one or two days can be as long as 7hrs.

What is the highest altitude reached in this trek?

The highest altitude reached is nearly 3,611 m. This is the elevation of Dorpo, Phoksundo lake and Dorpo, Phoksundo lake and Rara Lake Trek. Dorpo, Phoksundo lake and Dorpo, Phoksundo lake and Rara Lake Trek is the highest we will climb in this trek.

What about battery charging and hot shower facilities?

Yes, you can charge batteries in route. The charger should be brought. There are hot shower facilities as well. You may have to pay a certain amount for both ($1-$2). Negotiate. Also, hot water facility could be free at a lower elevation.

Are there ATMs on the way to Dorpo, Phoksundo lake, and Rara Lake Trek?

Yes. ATMs are available on this trek route. Better to with down in Nepalgunj itself. Or you can withdraw from Kathmandu. There are a number of ATMs in these cities. Everything is paid in Nepali rupees. So money should be exchanged before the start of the trek.

What about internet access?

Yes. The Internet can be accessed in most places. Sometimes, there might be some technical problems. Internet in Nepal is not as fast as you are used to and at times you can just lose connection.

Is it necessary to hire Guides/trekking agency for Dorpo, Phoksundo lake, and Rara Lake Trek trekking?

Not really. It depends on you. If you want, Dorpo, Phoksundo lake, and Rara Lake Trek trekking can be done independently. You could hire a guide and a porter by yourself instead of going through an agency or not hire a guide at all. Although, not having a guide can be a little problematic during the offseason. It really depends on you. Is it your first time in Nepal? How confident are you of being able to find your way around? How pressed on time are you? If you go through an agency, it will be costlier but everything will be planned. You will only have to come, trek and return.

How much do guides and porters cost?

For this region, pay for guides range from $20 to $30 per day and porters take $15 to $25 per day.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.