Trip Facts

Trip Duration 27 Days
Trip Difficulty Strenuous
Maximum Altitude 16,896ft
Best Season To Visit April to September

Trip Highlights

  1. Max altitude : Nyingma Gyanzen La pass (5,563 m/18,251ft)
  2. Suitably designed itinerary for acclimatization
  3. Accommodation in the best selected lodges and tea houses along the trail and in Kathmandu
  4. Cross steep hills,4 high passes above 5,000m, Buddhist monasteries and visit spectacular Phoksundo Lake and Nepal’s biggest Lake Rara
  5. Experience traditional Buddhists and Bon culture
  6. Off the beaten trail passing traditional Buddhist, Bon and Shamanistic villages and many Buddhist monasteries
  7. Beautiful views of Dhaulagiri range, Tibetan plateau and the crystal mountain

Trail passes through National Park so chances of spotting rare animals and plants is high; Blue sheep, wolves and snow leopard

Trip Overview

The Dolpa to Rara trek is a challenging adventure that involves trekking for 6-7 hours a day and crossing steep hills and high passes. The Dolpa region is located between the Tibetan plateau and Dhaulagiri ranges.

During the trek, you’ll pass through a Buddhist region adorned with colorful prayer flags, mani walls, and monasteries. The trail takes you to two stunning lakes, Shey Phoksundo Lake and Rara Lake. Rara Lake is the largest lake in Nepal and has a rugged route, making it a popular destination for trekkers.

Along the route, you’ll visit Shey Gompa, a spiritual center of the Dolpa region nestled at the base of Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain is a sacred place where pilgrims make a circuit around it, akin to Mount Kailash.

The Dolpa to Rara trek offers unforgettable landscapes, a glimpse into preserved culture, and breathtaking scenery from the passes. Our trekking route in this region is unique, taking you through remote and isolated areas with more challenging and wilder trails than other routes.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1,302m/4,270ft)

You will be received and escorted to the hotel by our staff, refresh yourself and take some rest or explore the area around your hotel. Accommodate in a hotel.

Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and Trek preparation

Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal and has been a famous destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its borders to visitors. Today after breakfast we will explore Kathmandu valley, a guided tour will be conducted to major world heritage sites inside the valley. As Kathmandu valley is a beautiful combination of Hinduism and Buddhism we will visit historical sites like; Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath (monkey temple) and Buddhist shrine of Bouddhanath which is one of the largest stupa in the world. After the tour you will prepare yourself for the trek, will be briefed about the trek; buy all the trekking equipments required and overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj 45mins flight

We will be transferred to the airport and will take our flight to Nepalgunj; if it’s a clear day then you will be able to see amazing views of Himalayan range. After landing in Nepalgunj you will be escorted to your hotel. You will have the afternoon to yourself to explore Nepalgunj or to relax at the hotel. We will stay the night here in the hotel.

Day 04: Nepalgunj to Juphal 45mins flight, trek to Dunai (2,100m/6,889ft) 2-3hrs trek

After an early breakfast we will be transferred to the airport from where we will take flight to Juphal, through the flight we will see amazing views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. Once we land at Juphal we will meet our accompanying trekking crew, we have an early lunch there and start to trek. As we begin the trail descends through terraced fields to Bheri River, trekking further its narrow gorge to Dunai. The village is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpa region, we will explore the village and find a suitable camping site where we will camp the night.

Day 05: Dunai to Ankhe (2,660m/8,727ft) 6-7hrs trek

We have an early breakfast and then rejoin our trail. As we begin to trek the trail passes a suspension bridge to the other side of the river, the trail ascends up the treeless before entering the Phoksundo river valley. We trek through Dhera and Rahagaun as further we pass down a dense forest to reach Ankhe, we camp the night here in a suitable area.

Day 06: Ankhe to Renje (3,110m/10,203ft) 7hrs trek

We start to trek after having our breakfast; the trail today switches pass to both sides of the valley. We trek along the river and up through gorge as the valley widens before we reach a bridge that leads us to Renje village. Once we reach the village we will find our camping area and camp the night there.

Day 07: Renje to Phoksundo Lake (3,600m/11,811ft) 6-7hrs trek

After having our breakfast we begin to trek, as we begin to trek the valley narrows beyond Renje and we reach Sumdo from where the trail ascends uphill to a ridge. From this point we will witness tremendous Phoksundo Lake, and then we descend through forest and then further ascending uphill to Ringmo village. We camp our tents in a suitable camping site near the lake and rest the night there.

Day 08: Rest and acclimatization day

Today is an important for acclimatization as we will be trekking to higher altitude; altitude sickness can be a problem so to avoid altitude sickness we stay back and let our body adopt the altitude. As we stay back a day hike to Tibetan Buddhist monastery or trek near the Lake can be organized for acclimatization. We will return back to our camp and stay the night here.

Day 09: Phoksundo Lake to Phoksundo Khola (3,510m/11,515ft) 5-6hrs trek

After breakfast we rejoin our trail, as we begin we trek around the top western end of the Phoksundo Lake. Along the trail we will be offered with magnificent views of the lake and amazing Himalaya, we will have to take Inner Dolpa permit before we enter to the north of Phoksundo Lake. Trekking further we walked around the lake and then the trail descends into a wide valley, once we reach there we will find a suitable camping site near the Phoksundo Khola and camp the night here.

Day 10: Phoksundo Khola to Phoksundo Bhanjyang or “Snowfields Camp” (3,510m/11,515ft) 7-8hrs trek

Today is a long trek day, after breakfast we leave our camp and head towards a narrow valley and trek across many rivers. We trek uphill to a meadow and from here we suddenly change our trail and it follows to a deep gorge with steep edges (ravine), a challenging climb will take us to the top which brings us to another valley from where we will be able to see the Kang – La Pass. Through the trail we will see views of Chamlang peak 6.  Once we reach our destination we find a suitable camping site and camp our tents there near the pass in ‘snowfields camp’.

Day 11: Phoksundo Bhanjyang to Shey Gompa (4,125m/13,533ft) [via Kang La pass (5,150m/16,896ft)] 6-7hrs trek

We have an early breakfast and begin to trek; the trail is steep and challenging all the way up to Kang La pass, from the top of the pass we will be offered with view of the large valley divided by river. Now we descend steeply to the base of the valley then trek along the bank of the river until we arrive at Shey Gompa, Shey means crystal so the famous Buddhist monastery is located beneath Crystal Peak. We camp the night here in a suitable camping site.

Day 12: Rest and Acclimatization day

Today is also a rest day; we stay back in Shey Gompa. After a late good breakfast we can either rest in the tent or explore the area, an optional day hike will be organized to Tsakang gompa. We will return back to the camp and stay overnight here.

Day 13: Shey Gompa to Bhijer Gaon (3,850m/12,631ft) 8hrs trek

Day 14: Bhijer Gaon to Pho (4,087m/13,408ft) [via Yambur La pass (4,813m/15,790ft)] 9 hrs trek

Day 15: Pho to Pung Kharka (4,650m/15,255ft) [via Nyingma Gyanzen La pass (5,563m/18,251ft)] 9 hrs trek

Day 16: Pung Kharka to Chyandi Khola (4,830m/15,846ft) [via Yala La (5,414m/17,762ft)] 6 hrs trek

Day 17: Chyandi Khola to Takla Khola (3,785m/12,417ft) 7 hrs trek

Day 18: Takla Khola to Thajuchaur (4,050m/13,287ft) [via Chyargo La pass (5,150m/16,896ft)] 7 hrs trek

Day 19: Thajuchaur to Shilenchaura Kharka (2,945m/9,662ft) 6 hrs trek

Day 20: Shilenchaura Kharka to Tiyar (2,418m/7,933ft) 3-4 hrs trek

Day 21: Tiyar to Mangri (1,950m/6,397ft) 4 hrs trek

Day 22: Mangri to Gamgadhi (2,095m/6,873ft) 4 hrs trek

Day 23: Gamgadhi to Rara Lake (2,990m/9,809ft) 4 hrs trek

Day 24: Rest day in Rara Lake

Day 25: Rara Lake to Talcha Airport (2,200m/7,217ft) 2-3 hrs trek, flight to Nepalgunj and onto Kathmandu

Day 26: Spare day in Kathmandu

Day 27: Transfer to the airport for your flight back home

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Affiliations & Recommendations

Dolpa to Rara Trek (GHT)