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Upper Dolpo - Rara Lake Trek (26 days)

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Trip Code: NET-TR-UDRL1

  • Trip Type Camping Trek
  • Duration 26 days
  • Grade Strenuous
  • Max.Altitude 5350 m.
  • Group Size 2+
  • Travel Mode Land & Flight
Rara Lake, the biggest and deepest fresh water lake in Nepal

Rara Lake, the biggest and deepest fresh water lake in Nepal

Upper Dolpo with Rara lake trek is a strenuous trek so one needs to be physically fit. We provide experienced guide and porters who will be there to assist you in this challenge. Since there are no lodges along the trail, the trek will involve staying in tented camps. 
Upper Dolpo, located at an average elevation of 4000m above sea level, is part of Dolpo district in northwestern Nepal. It falls in the trans Himalayan region bordered by Tibet province of China in the north. Upper Dolpo is geographically and culturally similar to Tibet so much so that it is often regarded as a go-to destination to learn about Tibetan culture, history and lifestyle. In addition the lower Dolpo specially Mugu, Dunai and Jumla are inhabited by Magar ethnic group who also have rich culture and tradition.
The people of Upper Dolpo, called Dolpalis, follow Bon religion which is the earliest religion of Tibet. Because of its remoteness, life here is often characterized by hardships and simple living. However the unique culture of locals and exquisite natural beauty undoubtedly make it a must visit place. The 800 years old Shey Gompa along with
Rara National Park and Shey Phoksundo National Park lie in Dolpo region. Named after Rara Lake and Shey Phoksundo Lake, the first and second biggest lakes in Nepal respectively, both parks are home to a wide range of rare wildlife species such as Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Black Bear, Marten, Tibetan partridge and rosefinch among many. The region is also famous for wild herbs such as Yarshagumba. 
Along the trek you will be able to enjoy beautiful glimpses of Himalayan peaks such as Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba ranges as well cross high passes, namely Kang La pass (5350m)Tata La (4750m) and Yumbur La (4813m).


 Trip code: NET-TR-UDRL1
  Region Dolpo Region
 Trip Rating
 Trip Duration 26 days
 Trip Type: Camping Trek
 Trip Grade: Strenuous
 Min. Group Size 2+
 Max Altitude: 5350 m.
 Trip Start: Kathmandu
 Trip Ends: Kathmandu
 Best Season: Autumn: Sep-Oct-Nov
Spring: Mar-Apr-May
 Transportaion: Land & Flight
 Meals: 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
 Acommodation: 2-3 Star Accommodation in Kathmandu
Camping Accommodation during Trek


Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by our representative & transfer to your Hotel.
Stay overnight in hotel. 

We take an hour's flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj which is a border town near Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town of Nepal with influences from both the Nepal hills and plains well as local Hindu & Muslim cultures. Some sightseeing places in Nepalgunj include Mini Zoo, Muslim bazaar, or if possible and interested take a walk into nearby villages. We have to also make preparation for tomorrow's flight to Jhupal.
Stay overnight in hotel.

After an early breakfast, we take a morning flight to Jhupal. The 45minutes flight over the high mountains brings you at Jhupal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhupal our trekking staffs will receive you. Our first day adventure begins through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. Dunai is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region.
Stay overnight in camp 

The trekking trail from Dunai to Chhepka is good. The trail passes through pine forests and sometimes along the bank of a river. You will come across a few villages on the way.
Stay overnight in camp

You will leave Chhepka and follow the trail through pine forests with some ups and downs reaching Sumduwa.
Stay overnight in camp

It takes approximately 1. 45 hrs from Polam to arrive at Phosundo Lake. The trail makes an uphill climb through pine forests to reach Ringmo village.
Stay overnight in camp.

Today you will walk along the bank of Phoksundo lake. The first 25 minutes is on a level trail and then it gradually climbs for 1.30 minutes to reach the top. The hilltop provides beautiful view of Phoksundo lake. Afterwards descend through dense pine forest. We will camp on the riverbank of a river nearby a jungle with bonfire.
Stay overnight in camp.

You will walk through pine forest initially on a leveled path and thereafter ascend a hill until we reach Kangla High Camp. The trail is bit difficult. Camp will be set up on the highest spot, which is prone to a colder windy climate.
Stay overnight in camp.

It takes 4 hrs to reach Kang La pass from Kangla High Camp. You will gradually descend the pass to Shey Gompa.
Stay overnight in camp.

Shey Gompa is a very special holy place for Buddhists people. In this region, there are three monasteries. These 700 year old monasteries are carved into steep hills and are isolated from village. Shey Gompa is a temporary settlement of the Saldang villagers and also at a transit point to get to Saldang and Bhijer villages. From Shey Gompa you can see Crystal Mountain. The parikrama (circumambulation) of Crystal Mountain takes around 10 hrs.
Stay overnight in camp.

The trail goes uphill over a barren landscape and then levels. The trails has many ups and downs sections.  If you are lucky, you will see blue sheep on the way. The views of Api Saipal, Kanjiroba and others beautiful mountains are constantly visible along the route. In Tata village there are around 40 houses.
Stay overnight in camp.

We will walk past Shamling Gumba then descend to Bhijer village. Blue Sheep could be seen near this village. Bhijer is a big village in this region consisting of a monastery, school and a few shops surrounded by barren landscape.
Stay overnight in camp.

From Bhijer village, we go uphill. The landscape is almost barren with good chances of seeing blue sheep.
Stay overnight in camp. 

We start downhill trek for 1.45 hrs and then ascend. Pho is the last village in the northwestern region of Dolpo district. The village has about 16 houses and surrounded by buckwheat and barley fields. Very few people here speak Nepali.
Stay overnight in camp.

The route from Pho village to Nimagyalzen La is an uphill climb that takes about 6-7 hrs. The trail is fairly difficult and is the hardest trail of the entire trekking journey. As you move higher, you will experience strong winds and snows. The view from the top of the pass includes beautiful Dhaulagiri, Api Saipal, Kanjirowa peaks. The descent from the pass is easy taking about 3 hrs partly along the riverbank to reach Daldung Khor.
Stay overnight in camp.

The route goes along the riverbank, making it an easy trek. The surrounding valley is extremely beautiful. We will camp near the river shore, which is comparatively a colder place.
Stay overnight in camp.

After walking for a few hours on a fairly good trail, we climb a hill. It takes 4.30 hrs to reach the pass and then descend to Chyandi Khola. The camp will be set up at the highest spot of Chyandi Khola. The camp spot is bit colder.
Stay overnight in camp.

Initially the trail goes downhill until you come to a a river crossing point. Thereafter you climb steeply through a narrow trial with bushes on sideways. Descend the Jack pass to arrive at a jungle before coming out to a river bank. We will choose a warmer spot for camping and enjoy campfire in the evening.
Stay overnight in camp.

Leaving Takla khola, we ascend gradually through a jungle. On reaching top of a hill, we climb down through a moderately easy trail till we arrive at an open ground nearby a river. The place is equipped with drinking water.
Stay overnight in camp.

The trail descends slowly crossing forests and rivers. There are few hotels available in Shilen Kharka.
Stay overnight in camp.

Today walking is mostly along the bank of river, requiring to cross the river at different points. With the loss in altitude, we enter into a warmer zone. There are some hotels along the way. Pulu is the administrative center of the region consisting of police posts and good hotels.
Stay overnight in camp.

The trail continues along the riverbank, crossing it several times over suspension bridge. You will go past villages and millet fields offering you the chance to meet locals.
Lumsa is a small hamlet featuring about 30 houses and a few shops. The people here mostly belong to Chhetri caste. There is telephone facility available in Lumsa.
Stay overnight in camp.

It takes 2.30 hrs to reach Gamgadi from Lumsa and another 2 hrs to reach Talcha. From Talcha it is yet another 2 hrs to get to Rara Lake. You will have to cross over a wooden bridge on the way to Gamgadi, which is perched on a hill. Gamgadi, the headquarters of the Mugu district, is a medium sized town consisting of lodges, government offices etc. 
Rara Lake is the biggest and deepest lake in Nepal located inside Rara National Park. The park is hemmed in by pine forests from all sides. You can make a complete trek around the lake on foot or horseback. The lake is famous for Nepali snow trout fish.
Stay overnight in camp.


We take a 45 minutes flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. On reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with the staffs.
Stay overnight in hotel. 

Today is a rest day for you in Kathmandu. You can relax in your hotel or take a stroll through local market for gifts.
Stay overnight in hotel.

As per your flight schedule, our airport representative will transfer from your hotel to the airport for your final departure. 


The Trip includes the following services:
a) Kathmandu
  • All airport pick-up and drop-off services by private vehicle
  • 3 night hotel accommodation with breakfast at 3 star standards hotel
  • One farewell dinner in Kathmandu with live cultural performance at authentic Nepali restaurant on the last evening
  • Souvenir (t-shirt, mug, pen, bag, etc.)
b) Trekking
  • Trekking permits for Lower Dolpo, Upper Dolpo and Mugu Areas
  • Entry permits for the National Park (Rara and Phoksundo)
  • Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card
  • One cook
  • One kitchen helper
  • One Sherpa
  • Necessary porters (one porter carries 25 kilograms of lugage)
  • Necessary mules / donkeys
  • All meals three times a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) including fresh fruits, tea/coffee and hot water 
  • Necessary camping equipment such as tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, down jackets, duffle bags, trekking poles, ice axe, etc.
  • Cooking utensils
  • Cooking fuel
  • Camping charges 
  • One night hotel accommodation with meals in Nepalgunj 
  • All land transportation wherever applicable
  • Flight tickets from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, from Nepalgunj to Juphal (Dolpo), Rara to Nepalgunj (Surkhet) and Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
  • Insurance and equipments for the guide, porters and other Nepali staffs
  • First aid kit
  • Rescue assistance (Should any emergency arise during your trek, we will provide prompt and professional rescue and medical services. For this, it would be better to have your own travel insurance that covers helicopter evacuation and medical treatment cost.)
The price does not include:
  • Personal nature expenses 
  • Travel insurance
  • Air cargo charge for personal luggage above than airlines rule
  • Tips
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu