Phoksundo and Rara Lake trek offers an opportunity to make our way through the deepest lake to the largest lake in Nepal located at Mugu, Karnali zone of Nepal. The highlights of this trek are Shey-Phoksundo Lake, trekking through the Dolpo region, scenic high passes, Jumla village exploration, and of course visiting Rara lake with insights into the rural lifestyle of the Karnali region.
Phoksundo and Rara Lake Trek initiate as we board a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj followed by connecting flight to Juphal. It is the starting point of the trek where we reach Chhekpa, Ringmo village before arriving at the deepest lake of Nepal, Phoksundo Lake next day. Following the trails, we head further towards Pungmo, Kagmara Phedi via high pass of Kagmara La pass. Then in the next couple of days, we cross two more passes: MaureLanga Pass and Gothichaur La pass respectively. In this way, before arriving at the beautiful natural lake of Rara we trek through the culturally rich Jumla village. And after exploring the magnificence of Rara Lake, we head towards Talcha followed by a flight to Nepalgunj connecting Kathmandu.
Phoksundo and Rara Lake Trek are best experienced during the autumn months of September, October, November when the weather is fine with clear landscape and Himalayan views. Also, spring months are recommended from March, April to may offering a great walking experience through blossoming rhododendron trees. Phoksundo and Rara Lake Trek is the best option for those who love to experience the best natural views with cultural exploration in rural areas.
If this itinerary doesn’t suit your requirement or if you want to customize it, please feel free to contact us. This trek could be customized as per your required time frame and budget limits.
Day 1 : Arrive at Kathmandu::
As you land at Tribhuwan International Airport our representative will be at your service to provide you with a Nepali warm welcome and hospitality at the airport. You will then be transferred by private transport to the hotel of your stay. You will get Tourist standard Hotel in Thamel, the popular tourist hub in the central location of the tourist area of Kathmandu (1335meters). Stay overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Sightseeing Kathmandu and trek preparation::
Today shall be an enriching and important day for you as we shall be visiting the prominent heritage sites of Kathmandu featured in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List and also have a pre-trip meeting for the preparation of the trek. The star attractions of this sightseeing are the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan, and the other big and small heritages. While Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, is one of the oldest stupas in Nepal and famous for whitewashed monasteries in the surrounding and the beautiful view of Kathmandu valley, Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in Nepal. Pashupatinath Temple represents the faith of Hindus all over the world and is known for Hindu architecture. In the pre-trip meeting, you shall be provided with necessary information about the trek and you shall also have the chance to clarify your doubts. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Kathmandu to Nepalgunj::
The regular 55 minutes flight on a Jet stream/Beech aircraft arriving in Nepalgunj. The overnight accommodation and meals are arranged at a local hotel. Nepalgunj is a border town in the Western Terai with extremes in climate. Stay overnight in Nepalgunj.
Day 4 : Flight Nepalgunj to Juphal (2475m/8120) and trek to Chhepka (2720m/8923 ft)::
From Nepalgunj, we fly to Juphal, which is a basic airport that connects Dolpa District to the outside. The flights are always scheduled for the morning. It is normal for planes to get delayed or even postponed due to weather. From Juphal we hit Sulighat where the road splits to Phoksundo valley and to Dunai the headquarter of Dolpa. There are few settlements where we can have the afternoon meal before finally settling down at Chhepka which is a small settlement of not more than 10 houses. The journey takes about 5-6 hours. Stay overnight in Chhepka.
Day 5 : Chhepka to Ringmogaun & Phoksundo Lake (3641m/11945 ft)::
From Chhepka we start early towards north to Phoksundo valley. The paths aren’t confusing and are clearly marked. The road reaches Shumdhuwa after 4-5 hours of the journey which is a major junction with food availability. We travel through western roads through forests and follow a steep climb up to a rest house from where the 200m high waterfall can be viewed although from a distance. It has been claimed as the highest waterfall in Nepal. From here we also get the first glimpse of Phoksundo Lake. It is then at most 2 hours walk to Ringmogaun or the place of Phoksundo Lake. You will reach peaceful Ringmogaun by evening. Stay overnight in Ringmogaun.
Day 6 : Ringmogaun to Pungmo (3500m/11482 ft)::
From here we move to return back to Samduwa and cross the bridge and head to small Pungmo village to cross the challenging Kagmara pass the next day. Pungmo village is the last settlement before Kagmara pass. From Pungmo village, the next settlement is the Army Camp [no fooding facilities here]. If you aren’t prepared or intend to stay outside you can skip the Kagmara Pass and reach Kaigaun by returning to Sulighat and take the more popular path from there but that would add half a day to the tour. Stay overnight in Pungmo.
Day 7 : Pungmo to KagmaraPhedi (3500m/11482 ft) via Kagmara La Pass (5115m/ 16781 ft)::
From Pungmo village we start early in the morning. We pack as much food as possible then it is the gradual climb towards the Kagmara Pass. The Kagmara pass is a very wide and long pass and there are several streams on the way so a waterproof shoe is necessary. The pass is marked by Chorten and prayer flags as always. The top of the pass is too cold and windy to stay. But from the pass the surrounding ranges along with lakes and glaciers are visible. After crossing the pass there is a rocky descend to the KagmaraPhedi. Once at KagmaraPhedi, where we travel through the banks of Kagmara River, there are two caves or natural shelters used by people to stay. Stay overnight in KagmaraPhedi.
Day 8 : KagmaraPhedi to Kaigaon (2610m/ 8562 ft)::
From the KagmaraPhedi we follow a narrow and difficult trail up to the army camp. It might take half a day to reach here. From this point, the trail gets easier and there are settlements and monasteries on the way. You can reach Kaigaon by evening where you can find lodging and fooding facilities. Stay overnight in Kaigaon.
Day 9 : Kaigaon to Chotra (3380m/ 11089 ft) via MaureLanga pass (3894m/ 12775 ft)::
This is indeed a really long distance to cover and including a 3894m pass. The trail passes through the hillside and you can have a meal at NauliGhot. After an hour of climb, we reach MaureLanga Pass. This pass divides Dolpo district from Jumla. Like other passes, you are bound to get a superb view, this time of the Bheri river valley and the surrounding hills. From the pass, it is a long descent through thick forest to Chotra. Stay overnight in Chotra.
Day 10 : Chotra to Jumla (2540m/ 8333 ft) via Gothichaur La (2995m/ 9826 ft)::
From Chotra, we first pass through Manigaon which is characterized by a long bridge. From here, we don’t take the bridge but move east. The road divides at one point; one takes you directly en route to Rara and the other to Jumla. We take the road to the left. The Gothichaur valley comes into view all of a sudden. The Gothichaur is a small scenic valley with streams, grassland, and jungles in the background. Crossing Gothichaur we move towards Jumla. The settlements and people start to increase as we move towards Jumla. You should reach Jumla by evening. In Jumla you can buy the supplies. Don’t forget to have the local red rice at Jumla for dinner. Stay overnight in Jumla.
Day 11 : Jumla to Chautha (2807m/ 9209 ft)::
The hill we have to cross is visible from Jumla town. The road climbs gently up to Chauriyachaur which is a large field on the hill. The whole Jumla town can be seen from here. It is then a steep climb to the top of 3691m high Daphe Langa Pass. The Daphe Langa pass is scenic. From here we descend through thick forest to the Bridge over river locally referred to as ‘Lete Gad’. We cross the log bridge to the north side after which it is short climb to NauriGhat. If you are able to reach NauriGhat  by 3 pm you can try to reach Chautha. As we had started late we had to settle in NauriGhat. Just don’t expect good rooms and toilets. Stay overnight in Chautha.
Day 12 : Chautha to Rara Lake (2980m/ 9776 ft)::
From Chautha, we again ascend to Ghuchi Langa pass at 3480m. This pass is greener surrounded by pine forest. After 30 minutes of descending the road can be confusing. We take the left path through the pine forest on the left which takes us directly to Rara Lake. After some steep descends we then cross the river and move ahead to the small hamlet of Dhuir from which is a steep climb of 30-60 minutes to Jhyari which is a small village. After Jhyari the trails ascends and crosses the Park boundary marked by stone and reaches an open pasture. The map and other guide indicate a point from where the lake can be viewed. In the end, the trail descends through the forest to the Rara Lake on the wet land side. Stay overnight in Rara Lake.
Day 13 : Rara Lake to Talcha (2752m/9028 ft)::
You can view the sunrise and explore around Rara Lake. If you want to catch the plane at Talcha the following day, you have to move at around 1-2 as it is 3 hours walk to the Talcha Airport and you have to book the ticket for the next day. We move towards the east through a jungle following the ridge. It is again easy to get lost here but all the way lead to the main road which ultimately leads to Talcha. At Talcha there are few hotels to stay in but before that try to book your plane ticket. Ask the local people for ‘Goma Air’ and ‘Sita Air’ office which were the most frequent ones during the time we visited. Stay overnight in Talcha.
Day 14 : Flight to Talcha to Nepalgunj::
From Talcha we take a flight to Nepalgunj today but the weather is very unpredictable here. The airport is as basic as it can get with only one flight control tower and nothing else. It is normal for flights to get delayed. Fortunately, your plane will arrive in time and you can leave. Stay overnight in Nepalgunj.
Day 15 : Flight Nepalgunj to Kathmandu::
Today we take a flight back to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj and as our final destination of the day, we arrive in Kathmandu. And we check into a hotel where you will overstay for the night. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 16 : Farewell Day::
Today we transfer you to the airport for final departure. We hope the trekkers are left with wonderful memories of the trekking trail. We also hope that you will be returning to this natural wonderland with a great mixture of natural and biotic marvels with our excellent hospitality from the people. You will be transferred to the airport three hours prior to the time of the scheduled flight to your native place. And this is the end of our services.