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Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake

This beautiful country, home to countless beautiful destinations and natural beauty, contains everything an explorer could possibly imagine on his/her dream vacation. In addition to the many rivers, gorgeous valleys, and mesmerizing mountains, some of the beautiful lakes in the western part of Nepal contain some underrated places every frequent traveler would dream of seeing. 

Having visited over 50 attractions in Nepal, what I discovered after visiting the Shey Phoksundo lake is how underrated it is out of all the natural wonders of Nepal. The Phoksundo Lake is sacred to Bon-Po followers, making it ideal for combining culture and nature. Furthermore, Trekking through the Himalayan forests and traditional Tibetan villages with minimal high-altitude passes makes this trek relatively easy.

The following tips will help you complete the Shey Phoksundo trek and help you along your journey to one of the best trekking experiences. While doing so, I, too, will get to relive the crazy experience and remember how beautiful Phoksundo is again.

About Shey Phoksundo

Phoksundo Lake shimmers due to the reflecting backdrop provided by Kanjirowa massif. It also offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Located in Shey Phoksundo national park, Phoksundo Lake is of primary natural importance. It is a habitat for a wide variety of fauna and flora. Phoksundo Lake Trek is suitable for those people who study botanical science and natural herbs because Shey Phoksundo National Park is quite popular for its wide array of medicinal herbs.

Among Nepal’s largest and most magnificent freshwater lakes, Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is a quick and relatively easy trip lasting from five to ten days, but it can be longer or shorter depending on how much walking you wish to do each day. Located in the district of Dolpa or Dolpo, the region around Phoksundo primarily consists of Dolpo or the people from the Bon community, people who follow Tibetian Buddhism.

How do I prepare for the trek to Shey Phoksundo?

Trekking in the Shey Phoksundo Lake area is best suited during moderate weather of spring and autumn. This allows for clear hikes without any rain or extreme cold and snowfall.

In spite of Shey Phoksundo’s altitude, it is not a snowy region. However, it can get extremely cold depending on the weather. Therefore, you should prepare accordingly. 

You will need to walk constantly for many days in rough terrains and cold climates. Therefore, you will need to bring along the following materials.

  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and walking boots
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Trekking sticks
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Other necessary trekking gears

Furthermore, Shey Phoksundo lies at an altitude of 3,589 meters. A trip to such an extreme elevation may result in altitude sickness or even breathlessness, so those with serious health problems, lung issues, or similar conditions should avoid the trip. Likewise, you need to take all the necessary precautions prior to embarking on this journey. 

The items listed above are ideal for the expedition mentioned above, though not all of them are necessary. For example, the Shey Phoksundo trek is popular with frequent travelers, so many hotels and homestays supply these items at a higher rate than usual.

Let’s Start the Trek

In order to begin the journey, foreign visitors must obtain a Nepalese visa and get to the capital city, Kathmandu. If you are already in Nepal, you must fly or take another mode of transportation to Nepalgunj, the gateway to the far-west.

From Nepalgunj, you can reach Juphal to begin the trek. For a healthy individual, the trek might take between five to fifteen days, depending on the pace and activities along the way. In the evening, you can choose to stay in one of the homestay facilities located in the area.

From Dunai, you need to start hiking upward towards Thulo Bheri Valley and walk to Kalagauda. Further along the way, you'll pass Roop Ghar while following the Bheri River's southern bank. Finally, when you reach Dunai at an altitude of 2145 meters, you better take your rest for the day there.

Start your third day of the trek by walking through the streets of Dunai towards Sunlight village. While climbing to get to Kageni from Sunlight, you'll learn to walk through rocky paths until reaching Shyanta. This path consists of green vegetation and gorgeous waterfalls. Finally, just half-hour away from Santa, you'll reach Chhepka to rest for the day.

On day four, you need to hike through the forest to reach Ringmo village. Further along, the way, you can stop by one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal, the Jharana, with a view of Phoksundo Lake. In Ringmo village, you'll experience Tibetan culture while exploring Phoksundo Lake and the holy land of the Bonpo.

On this day, you will trek through the upper parts of the Phoksundo River. As you continue, you should follow the northern trails towards Phoksundo Lake. After a few stretches, when you view the beautiful meadows after passing Phoksundo Lake. This beautiful meadow contains the Tibetan Village of RIngmo, the Bon village.

On this day, you will visit Ringmo village, which is located near Phoksundo Lake, and Tshowa Gompa, an ancient Buddhist monastery perched atop a ridge above the lake. While descending, you can enjoy the wonderful, mesmerizing view of Phoksundo Lake. Moreover, the lake area is surrounded by many beautiful glaciers.

You will trek back to Chhepka today. Follow the stream that originates from the lake as you head towards Sulighad. You will pass through Renji, an ancient village. Eventually, you'll reach Chhepka before the end of the day. Though, it might take 6 to 8 hours of walking.

You can spend your last day on the trek doing what you love, enjoying the luscious green vegetation on the trail down to Juphal village. After about 6 hours, you will finally reach Juphal, where you can plan your return home peacefully in a beautiful hotel.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trip(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Guide and a porter with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes:

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling and joyful experience, you can choose whether to visit other beautiful places in Nepal or head back home. No matter what you choose, we hope you have a fantastic time.

We can accommodate group tours for this trip; however, you may also opt for a private tour according to your liking. We can arrange private trips at any time of the year at any date of your choosing. Please let us know what your preferred travel dates are so that we can accommodate you.

Finally, we hope that this magical Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek fulfills your dreams! A short trek to Phoksundo Lake allows you to explore the Dolpo region within a few days. Next, a flight out of Kathmandu takes you to Nepalgunj, one of the nicest towns bordering India. Then you fly on to Juphal by another plane, where your journey really begins.

Besides wandering around the lake and spending time, you also enjoy the beauty of Mount Kanjirowa and Phoksundo Lake. After all, you can retrace your steps through the same route to Kathmandu after you have appreciated them enough.

 

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Trekking Expedition on the Rara Lake

Known as the Queen of the Himalayan Lakes, the Rara Lake Trek offers wilderness and solitude as you hike along the pristine mountain lake of Rara. For national and international tourists and adventurers alike, Rara Lake Trekking is a magnificent trip to a remote part of the midwest region of Nepal that resembles something out of a fantasy novel or heaven itself.

In addition to being the largest lake in Nepal, Rara is the second largest lake in the Himalayas at an altitude of 3010m or 9875ft above sea level. It spans five kilometers long and two kilometers wide. However, the lake’s size remains one of the major reasons for its popularity. In addition to its beautiful surroundings, the lake is a good trekking destination due to the presence of the Rara National Park, and the sight of snow-covered Himalayan peaks further enhances it.

About the Region

Around the region of the lake, you will find 214 bird species and 20 different species of mammals. Located within the protected borders of Rara National Park, the region is surrounded by spruce, pine, and juniper forests which mirror the snow-capped mountains. Furthermore, a mammal such as the Himalayan bears, Himalayan tahrs, musk deers, red pandas, serows, gorals, and langurs, as well as rhesus monkeys, can be found here.

Trek to Rara

Rara Lake

In addition to its 100m deep water, Rara Lake is home to otters and fish. As mentioned earlier, the hike around the lake follows long ridges enclosing mountain pastures and high valleys, providing a unique traveling experience not found anywhere else in the world. Despite all the floras and faunas, the superb view of the lake, forest, hills, and mountains backdrop is sure to captivate you with its extreme attraction.

In spite of the fact that Rara Lake has the bluest water in the world, the lake shows three different colors throughout the day. The background of the lake is also ever-changing. There is very little crowding on this route, and it is on an off-the-beaten-path. Thus, it is great for people seeking solitude and communion with nature.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

To complete the Trek, you must obtain an entry permit for Rara National Park. Fortunately, this permit can be easily obtained at the checkpoint. But don’t forget to bring some money with you in order to acquire the permit.

Accommodations at the start of the Trek contain well-managed hotels and lodges. Further along the Trek, well-facilitated hotels are hard to come by. These paths majorly consist of small teahouses and homestays. However, bringing along tents in order to set up tented camps throughout the Trek would be highly suggestible.

Preparing For the Rara Trek

The tallest point on the Rara trek is at an altitude of 3,055 meters or 10,023 feet. This may not be much elevation for frequent trekkers, but it is still quite a change for newcomers. In addition, the Trek requires the explorers to walk for multiple days. Therefore, those with lung diseases should avoid such activities or take precautions before doing so, as such high altitudes are very difficult to adapt to. Furthermore, when at such high altitudes, people may experience altitude sickness.

As a result of the cold at the high altitude, we recommend you bring the following items with you to your Trek. These are the things our group of friends took along with us on our first trip to Rara.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Tents if you plan to camp by the shore of Rara Lake
  • Backpack
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • First aid kit
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Energy bars

However, if you forget any of these items, you can easily locate them in trek shops at the starting point of the Trek, though the price there would likely be higher than normal.

Itinerary and the Trek itself

Depending upon your walking pace, you might be able to complete the Langtang Trek in 7 to 12 days. If you are within Nepal, you need to get to Nepalgunj initially. If you are not from Nepal, you need to obtain a Nepali visa and get to Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you need to catch a flight to Nepalgunj. Finally, you need to fly to Jumla to begin the Trek from there.

From the level meadow near Chere, we follow the western trail and climb up to Jaljala pass; between Jaljala and Chalachaur, we hike along a wide, easy trail until we rest for the day at Chalachaur.

In the Sinja valley, we follow the bank of the Jaljala Khola. It's a place where the Nepali language originated during the 12th to 14th centuries. It's also called Khas Bhasa. We also stop at a couple of traditional villages along the way. 

After a leisurely breakfast, you will leave Sinja for Ghorosingha. The path will follow the upstream trail to Laha and then proceed towards Gani. Furthermore, we follow the trail until reaching Ghorosingha for the overnight stay.

On the fifth day, our first stop is Chichhemara hill, where we can see the Himalayas, and finally, the tranquil Rara Lake, which is a delightful viewpoint from the hill. As we pass Murma village and arrive at Chapri village, the beautiful Queen of the lakes, the enchanting Rara, lies in front of us. 

As you have your breakfast, you will head to one of the largest lakes in Nepal. It is surrounded by a dense forest, heaven for diverse flora and fauna, including some of Nepal's indigenous birds, fishes, and animals. You can visit Murma Top if you want a long-distance trip to see the lake from above. It takes around 6-7 hours to go there and back.

You can also enjoy the picturesque view of the lake and the Himalayas by just sitting on the lake's bank. The changing light of the lake's hues and its magical transformation will definitely make your stay a lifetime experience.

The trail from Rara Lake to Gamgadhi, the administrative center of the remote Mugu District of Nepal, is relatively easy, and we walk on a very straight path. From there, we walk down a steep trail to Pina Village, where we spend the night.

We descend from Pina and cross the Ghurchi Lagna pass before continuing our descent. We pass through a few villages until we reach Burma to spend the night. 

On the six-hour Trek of the final day, we cross two suspension bridges above the Hima River and walk downhill for several hours. Finally, we travel to a hot spring where we can relax our sore muscles with a dip. Then, we proceeded down the same path we used a few days ago to reach Jumla after reaching Cherechaur.

In the end, when we get back to Jumla, we can follow our steps back home via Nepalgunj. First, do not forget to cherish all the beautiful moments you experienced during the Trek as you return home.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trip(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Guide and a porter with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes:

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling and joyful experience, you can choose whether to visit other beautiful places in Nepal or head back home. No matter what you choose, we hope you have a fantastic time.

We can accommodate group tours for this trip; however, you may also opt for a private tour according to your liking. We can arrange private trips at any time of the year at any date of your choosing. Please let us know what your preferred travel dates are so that we can accommodate you.