Being Nepal’s largest and most magnificent freshwater lakes, the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is moderately difficult and lasts around 7 to 12 days, but it can be longer or shorter depending on how much hike an individual wishes to practice each day. Situated in the district of Dolpa, the region around Phoksundo primarily consists of Dolpo, or the people from the Bon community, people who follow Tibetian Buddhism.

As you begin trekking on this trail, you can expect a greeting from turquoise waters mirroring the surrounding snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and the warm hospitality of the local inhabitants. The lake shimmers due to the reflecting backdrop provided by Kanjirowa massif. Offering the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

About Shey Phoksundo Trek from Pokhara

Located in Shey Phoksundo National Park, Phoksundo Lake is the primary destination of our trek. Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is suitable for adventure enthusiasts wanting to explore the remote and sublime beauty of mother nature. This enchanting journey takes you to the heart of the Shey Phoksundo National Park, a raw corner of the Himalayas known for its breathtaking landscapes, unique culture, and captivating biodiversity. Phoksundo National Park is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural exploration, and in this blog, we are going to take you through the essential information of this extraordinary adventure. To make sure you are well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable journey to one of Nepal’s hidden gems.


Highlights of Shey Phoksundo Trek

  • Suligad Waterfall
  • Shey Phoksundo Lake
  • Observe Tibetan culture in the Ringmo Village.
  • Hike through off the rough terrain exploring the remote Nepal.
  • Discover untouched beauty and rich biodiversity in Shey Phoksundo National Park.
  • Witness ancient monasteries and understand the culture and heritage of the Himalayas of Nepal.
  • Encounter endangered species like Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Tibetan Argali, and even the Snow Leopard.


Pokhara to Phoksundo Lake Distance

Pokhara to Phoksundo Lake is a captivating journey spanning approx. 148 kilometers of awe-inspiring landscapes. This adventure begins in the bustling city of Pokhara, where trekkers bid farewell to urban life and immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the remote region.

As the trail unfolds, hikers traverse through villages, cross suspension bridges over crystal-clear streams, and ascend through dense forests, gradually making their way to the jewel of the trek “Shey Phoksundo Lake”. The actual hiking distance covers approximately 70 kilometers, presenting both a physical challenge and an opportunity for trekkers to witness the diverse beauty of Nepal.

From lush green valleys to high-altitude plateaus, every step brings a new perspective, making the Pokhara to Phoksundo Lake trek an unforgettable experience for those seeking adventure and natural splendor.


Permit Required for Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek

Exploring the pristine beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake in the heart of the Himalayas is an adventure of a lifetime. To ensure a smooth and lawful journey, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits. Here is our comprehensive guide to the permits required for your Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo Lake trek:


Shey-Phoksundo National Park Permit

Cost: USD 30 per individual (no time limit)

Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park in Nepal spanning 3,555 km², and was established in 1984 to protect the unique Trans-Himalayan habitat. The park is situated at the summit of Kanjiroba Himal and is home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, grey wolf, musk deer, and more. The iconic Phoksundo Lake, featured in Himalayan movies, is located in the Upper Dolpo region within the park.


Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit

Cost: USD 20 per person per week + USD 5 for each additional day

Trekkers intending to enter Upper Dolpo must acquire two Lower Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permits. The first permit is for entering Lower Dolpo and exiting (to enter Upper Dolpo), and the second is for leaving Upper Dolpo and re-entering Lower Dolpo before departing. This ensures the regulatory submission necessary for trekking in this restricted region.


Upper Dolpo Restricted Area Entry Permit

Cost: USD 500 per person (for the first 10 days) + USD 50 per person for each day beyond 10 days

The Upper Dolpo Trekking Permit is crucial for exploring the Shey Phoksundo Rural Municipality, Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality (wards no. 4 to 6), and Charka Tangsong Rural Municipality (wards no. 1 to 6). This permit allows you to explore the remote and stunning landscapes of Upper Dolpo, making your trek an unforgettable experience.


Documents Required for Permit

Given that Dolpo is a restricted area, acquiring permits must be done through an authorized service. Most Dolpo treks involve camping, and it is mandatory to trek in pairs, solo permits are not issued. To obtain a Dolpo trekking permit, make a reservation with an authorized trekking company. The agency will request your original passport, a valid visa, and a passport-size photo to process the necessary permits for your journey.


Best Time to Visit Shey Phoksundo Lake

  • Spring Season

In Nepal, spring starts in March and ends in May and is regarded as the ideal time to trek any trail in Nepal. For Shey Phoksundo Trek, spring is ideal because the temperature is moderate, and the weather is favorable. Spring is also the prime time to bloom the national flower of Nepal, Rhododendrons making the path of Shey Phoksundo vibrant and beautiful.

  • Autumn Season

Autumn ( end September to November ) is also a delightful time to trek the Shey Phoksundo Lake trail. During autumn the view of the mountains and surrounding landscapes is clearest as the skies are clear. Trekking trails in Nepal are busy during this time therefore you will get a chance to meet fellow trekkers on your way.


Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek Itinerary

Let’s dive deep into the trek itinerary we prepared for you to take reference for your trek.

The trekking journey of Phey Phoksundo Lake begins from Jupal. An aircraft fly you to Juphal Airport from Nepalgunj in approximately 20 minutes. During your flight, you can enjoy the view of Nepal's majestic snow-covered mountains. Once you land, your journey continues with a trek alongside the Bheri River and through charming villages, ultimately leading you to the Dunai.

On the third day, your path leads you to Chhekpa, which serves as the gateway to Shey Phoksundo National Park. Covering a distance of approximately 15 kilometers, you trek a gently ascending trail on this day. Day 3 also serves as a valuable acclimatization period, preparing you for the adventure ahead.

On day 4, you get to take a glimpse of Phoksundo Lake from a distance. You trek through vast meadows, lush forests, and George of Phoksundo and waterfalls.
The trail is rough, with regular small ascents and descents.

You continue your hike to reach Ringmo village, along the shores of Phoksundo Lake.
Day 5 offers a remarkable journey to the breathtaking Phoksundo Lake and its enchanting surroundings. The breathtaking sight of the lake unfolds right before your eyes. Moreover, you also get a chance to engage with the friendly and warm locals.

You retrace your way back to Chhepka village from Phoksundo on day 6.

You hike about 6-8 hours 19km to reach Juphal. You spend a night at Juphal and bid farewell to your trekking journey as you return to Pokhara the next day.

You bid your Shey Phoksundo Lake journey goodbye on your eighth day of the journey. You drive back to Pokhara reminiscing your trekking adventure from Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo Lake.


Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek Difficulty

The Shey Phoksundo Lake trek is categorized as a moderate-level trek. This means that while it presents challenges, it is accessible to individuals with a good level of physical fitness and mental preparation. Trekkers should be ready for varying terrains, altitude changes, and extended walking durations.

Being in good physical condition is essential for tackling this moderate trek. The journey involves trekking through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky terrains.

The highest point reached during the trek is the Ringmo viewpoint, situated at an elevation of 3641 meters (11,945 feet). While this altitude is not extremely high, it is still important to be mindful of potential altitude-related challenges.


Altitude Sickness & Remedies for Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek

Altitude sickness is a common concern for trekkers venturing into high-altitude regions, and the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek, reaching elevations above 2,500 meters, is no exception. Understanding the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and adopting preventive measures is crucial for a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.


Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Acute Mountain Sickness typically manifests above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet) and may affect trekkers as they ascend to higher altitudes. Recognizing the symptoms of AMS early allows timely treatment. Look out for the following signs:

  • A persistent headache is one of the primary indicators of altitude sickness.
  • Feeling unusually tired and weak, even with minimal physical exertion.
  • Nausea sometimes leads to vomiting.
  • Feeling unsteady or dizzy, especially when standing up or moving.
  • Difficulty in getting a restful night’s sleep, often experiencing insomnia.
  • A decrease in appetite and a reluctance to eat.


Remedies and Preventive Measures

  • Acclimatization: Allow your body time to acclimatize to higher altitudes. Include acclimatization days in your trekking itinerary, giving your body the time to adjust gradually.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential at higher altitudes. Drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration, a common trigger for altitude sickness.
  • Moderate Ascent: Avoid rapid ascents. Gradual climbs give your body time to adapt, reducing the risk of AMS.
  • Rest: If symptoms of AMS arise, take a break and rest. Don’t push yourself too hard, and be kind to your body.
  • Descend if Necessary: If symptoms persist or worsen, descending to a lower altitude is the most effective remedy for altitude sickness. Communicate any discomfort to your tour guide, and they will guide you on the appropriate course of action.


Food and Accommodation during Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek

One of the essential aspects of planning a trek is ensuring comfortable accommodation and nourishing meals along the journey. The Dolpa region offers a unique blend of hospitality through tea houses, guest houses, and lodges, providing trekkers with a warm respite in the heart of the Himalayas.


Accommodation Options

  • Tea Houses

Tea houses are a common and charming feature along the trekking routes in Nepal, including the Shey Phoksundo Lake trail. These cozy establishments offer basic accommodation with shared facilities. Staying in a tea house allows trekkers to immerse themselves in the local culture, as many are run by local families. Enjoy the warmth of the traditional wood-burning stove as you unwind and share stories with fellow trekkers.

  • Guest Houses

Guest houses are a slightly more comfortable option, often with private rooms and attached bathrooms. This accommodation choice offers a balance between the rustic charm of tea houses and the convenience of more private space. Guest houses along the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek are strategically located to provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

  • Lodges

For those seeking a higher level of comfort, lodges are available along the trekking route. These establishments offer well-furnished rooms, modern amenities, and, in some cases, dining facilities with a diverse menu. Lodges are an excellent choice for trekkers who prefer a more refined experience while still enjoying the rugged beauty of the Himalayan terrain.


Food on the Trail

The trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake offers not only breathtaking views but also a culinary journey through local flavors. Here is a glimpse of what food you can expect:

  • Dal Bhat

A staple in Nepali cuisine, Dal Bhat consists of lentil soup (dal) served with rice (Bhat). Accompanied by an array of side dishes, including vegetables, pickles, and sometimes meat, Dal Bhat provides a nutritious and hearty meal for trekkers.

  • Momos

These delicious dumplings filled with meat or vegetables are a favorite among trekkers. Steamed or fried, momos make for a delightful snack or a satisfying meal when paired with dipping sauces.

  • Sherpa Stew

Rich and flavorful, Sherpa stew is a wholesome dish made with a variety of local ingredients. Often featuring barley, meat, and vegetables, this stew is a comforting choice after a day of trekking.

  • Local Treats

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local specialties, such as yak cheese, butter tea, and tsampa. These unique flavors add a cultural dimension to your dining experience, making your trek both a physical and culinary adventure.


How do I Prepare for the Trek from Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo?

  • Fitness

Incorporate a regular exercise routine into your pre-trek preparations, and practice both cardiovascular and strength training. Building stamina and strength is crucial for navigating the Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo terrains with varying altitudes along the 70-kilometer hiking route.

  • Gear Up for well

Understand the climate and pack appropriate layers of clothing for fluctuating temperatures, ensuring comfort throughout the trek. Carry all the essentials such as a water bottle, energy snacks, a first aid kit, and a camera for capturing the stunning landscapes.

  • Altitude Acclimatization

Prioritize altitude acclimatization to mitigate the risk of altitude sickness. Spend a few days to acclimate, allowing your body to adjust to the elevation. This not only contributes to your overall physical well-being but also enhances your capacity to enjoy the journey.

  • Route Planning

Thoroughly research and plan your route, noting key landmarks and villages. Familiarize yourself with local customs to engage respectfully with the communities you encounter. Carrying local currency is advisable for purchases in remote areas.

  • Guide

Consider the invaluable support of an experienced guide, who can offer not only safety but also insights into the local culture and geography. By placing emphasis on physical fitness and combining it with careful planning, you will be well-prepared to conquer the challenges and relish the beauty of the Pokhara to Shey Phoksundo trek.


What to Pack for the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek?

Packing wisely is vital to ensure a comfortable and successful trekking experience. We have created a comprehensive list of essentials to consider when preparing for the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek.

Gear and Clothes

  • Sun Cap, knit hat
  • Sunglasses, rain poncho
  • Down jacket, fleece jacket
  • Synthetic fabric-made shirt
  • Water/windproof hiking pants
  • Fleece pants/trousers
  • Hiking boots
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Gloves, socks, and walking boots


  • Soap
  • Lip balm
  • Shampoo
  • Band-aids
  • Painkillers
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Trekking pole
  • Toothbrush/paste

Moreover, 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 this trip. Therefore, if you have any active disease please do not attempt this trek. And if you are a beginner trekker take enough time to acclimatize.


Safety Tips for Shey Phoksundo Trek

Shey Phoksundo Trek is a remote and challenging adventure, so proper preparation and safety measures are crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. Always prioritize your safety, and take the necessary precautions to decrease risks during your trek.

  • Make sure to dedicate enough time to acclimatize. 
  • Take consent from a subject before taking a photograph.
  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated throughout the trek.
  • Choose a reputable travel organization as your trekking organizer.
  • Be mindful of the natural, cultural, and historical heritage while enjoying your trek.
  • Carry the necessary documents like passport, permits, travel insurance, and photos.
  • It is mandatory to trek this route with a professional travel guide for international hikers.


Final Say

In conclusion, the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek allows adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers to immerse themselves in the remote and pristine beauty of Nepal. Shey Phoksundo National Park is filled with breathtaking landscapes, a unique cultural tapestry, and rich biodiversity, offering a special trekking experience like no other route.

Every trekker is captivated by the serene turquoise waters of Phoksundo Lake, nestled between the snow-capped peaks and dense forests. The warm hospitality of the local inhabitants adds a unique cultural dimension to your adventure.

The trek itinerary takes you through spectacular highlights, including Suligad Waterfall, the awe-inspiring Shey Phoksundo Lake, and interactions with the Ringmo Village community. Moreover, you explore remote and rugged terrain, discover untouched natural beauty, and encounter rare species like Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Tibetan Argali, and possibly the elusive Snow Leopard.

We hope this blog provides you with the essential information and inspiration to embark on an unforgettable journey to one of Nepal’s hidden gems.



  • Is Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek suitable for beginner trekker ?

Yes, beginner trekkers can complete the trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake in about 7-12 days. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the trekking path consists of rough trails and fluctuation in elevation can cause altitude sickness and fatigue to many beginner hikkers. 

  • Where is Shey Phoksundo Lake?

Shey Phoksundo Lake is located in the Dolpa District of Nepal, inside Shey Phoksundo National Park. The lake is situated at an elevation of 3,611 meters above sea level. There are multiple ways to get to Shey Phoksundo Lake, by road, hiking, or by helicopter. There is no direct roadway to reach the lake, thus, you should take many buses combined with hikes to reach there if you wish to go by road.

  • What are the accommodation options available during the Shey Phoksundo Trek?

While trekking in the remote path of Shey Phoksundo Lake, accommodation options are local lodges, guesthouses, and teahouses that offer basic facilities such as cozy bedding, good food, and clean washrooms.

  • Does everyone experience altitude sickness in Shey Phoksundo Trek?

The elevation elevates over 3,500 meters from sea level causing a high risk of altitude sickness for trekkers. To avoid altitude sickness, one should have enough time to acclimatize and stay hydrated throughout the trek. 

  • Do I need a guide and porters for the Phey Phoksundo Lake route?

Hiring a local guide is mandatory for international trekkers for most of the trekking trails in Nepal. A professional guide can provide you with valuable insights into the culture and terrain throughout the way. While a porter can lighten the burden of your backpack during your trekking journey. The journey can be organized and hassle-free if you hire a guide through a reputable trekking agency.