Trip Facts

Trip Duration 13 Days
Trip Difficulty Moderate
Maximum Altitude Upto 3,500 m
Best Season To Visit September, October, November, December, February, March, April

Trip Overview

Rara Lake Trek is one of the best treks and a very interesting section of the Great Himalayan Trek. In this section, you will trek through barren landscapes with beautiful forests. Through the trek, you will cross a few passes and many ethnic mountain villages. Starting the trek from Juphal, you will end it in Rara Lake. The lake is crystal clear surrounded by forests and mountains. On a clear day, the mountains are reflected in the lake. Only a few trekkers choose to trek in the western region so along the trail you will only come across a few other trekkers.

Trip Itinerary

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

Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to welcome with Nepal Sanctuary Treks placard. You will be then escorted and transfer to hotel. Further details and short preliminary briefing will be provided after transferring to the hotel. Stay overnight in 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. Out city tour expert will take you to Kathmandu Durbar Square, the traditional heart of Kathmandu and an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards and shrines. You are then taken to Swayambhunath (monkey temple) which is the glorious ancient religious architecture and center faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Further, you will be visiting Buddhist shrine of Boudhanath which is one of the largest stupa in the world and the sacred Pashupatinath temple that lies on the bank of Bagmati River in Kathmandu. After the tour you will have ample of time to prepare for your trek and buy or rent all the required trekking equipment. Overnight at Hotel.

Trip Highlights:

·         Visit UNESCO Heritage sites i.e. Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath

Day 03: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj 45mins flight

You will have an early breakfast in the hotel and you will be transferred to the airport from where you will fly to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is a hot city in south-western Nepal or in the Terai region; once you land you will be transferred to your hotel. You can either relax in the hotel or explore Nepalgunj.

Day 04: Nepalgunj to Juphal (2,475m/8,120ft), walk to Liku (2,405m/7,890ft) 5hrs trek

You will wake up early and have your breakfast in the hotel, after which you will be transferred to the airport from where you will take a flight to Juphal. The flight takes you over steep mountain ridges with beautiful views of snowcapped mountains. The airport is just a graveled airstrip, once landing you will enter a completely different landscape. From Juphal, you will trek downwards on a small path to the Thuli Bheri River. Once you reach down you will follow the river downstream, as you trek the landscapes begin to change and it looks like you’re in higher altitude. The trail takes you to the village of Tripurakot, it is a famous village known for its Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Tripura Sundari Devi. You can stop here for lunch. After lunch you continue following the river passing the small settlement of Chungar and crossing suspension bridges several times until you reach Liku.

Day 05: Liku to Kaigaon (2,642m/8,667ft) via Balangra Lagna pass (3,822m/12,539ft) 8-9hrs trek

Today is a challenging trek day as well as a long one. After having breakfast you leave the village and begin to trek westwards; you trek on the main trail that passes through fields. You trek down to a wooden bridge and the trail passes the village of Muhu and further the village of Huma. You enter the forest trail and climb slowly with few steep parts in between; you trek following the Chu Gad River upstream. As you continue to trek you pass another Magar village of Bangtari and soon to another Magar village of Ghodakhor where you can stop by for lunch, after having lunch you enter a beautiful pine forest covered with hanging light-green moss. From here in about an hour you will get to the Balangra La Pass. After the pass you descent gradually and soon you arrive at Khame La from where the trail gets steeper and soon you will arrive at Kaigaon, it is quite a big village. Find a suitable place and camp your tents here in the village.

Day 06: Kaigaon to Chotra (3,103m/10,180ft) [via Maure Lagna pass (3,900m/12,795ft)] 9hrs trek

Today is quite a challenging and longer trek day. After having breakfast you rejoin the trail; as you leave the village you cross a big suspension bridge and follow the river downstream. You enter a forest trail and gradually begin to ascend; you pass the village of Mazgaon and further another village, Bolas. As you continue ascending to a small pass with many walls, after the pass you descend down to Chaurikot. You can stop here for lunch. After then you leave the village and continue to ascend and again enters a beautiful forest. As you trek in about 3 hour you reach Nauli, from here the landscapes start to change and you will be trekking in desolate, high altitude landscape. Trekking further and ascending uphill you will soon reach the pass, crossing the pass brings you into Jumla and then again make a long descend for about 3 hrs to the small village of Chotra; it is small village inhabited of Chettri, Rokas and Buddhist where you can camp for the night.

Day 07: Chotra to Jumla (2,350m/7,709ft) 9hrs trek

Today is another long trek day; you will have an early breakfast and rejoin the trail. You then enter the forest and follow the Chotra Khola, you will pass the village of Mani Sagu. After the village you follow the Juli Odar River to another village called Satepani and then again follow Gogane Khola upstream, soon you will leave the river and suddenly the landscape gets more desolate. From high above you will get a good view over the beautiful valley. You will reach a small settlement known as Gothichaur from where you begin to climb the pass; it is about 40 mins to the pass. After the pass while descending you will have a great view of valleys with pines and pastures, similar to the ones in the Swiss Alps. As you descend you pass the actual Gothichaur village, you can choose to spend the night here in this village or continue trekking passing the village of Jharjwula and Depalgaon. From here you then cross two suspension bridges and then enter Jumla Bazaar, it also known as Khalanga Bazaar and it is the headquarter of Jumla District. You will accommodate the night here.

Day 08: Jumla to Nauri Ghat (2,700m/8,858ft) via Daphe Lekh (3,900m/12,795ft) 7hrs trek

You will have an early breakfast and rejoin the trail; as you begin to trek you will see a wooden bridge with a signboard: “way to Rara Lake “. You will follow the trail to Rara Lake; the trail gradually climbs with few steep climbs in between. You will pass few small settlements like Panegaon, Sinimul and Cherechaur. From Cherechaur, the trail starts climbing steeply through the forest. You trek to the  Dhanphe Lekh Pass and after the pass the trail gradually descends, as you continue you cross the village of Khali Gaon and from here it is another 15 minutes to pass another village, Tharmali. Descending further for about an hour through forest trail you arrive at Nauri Ghat, find a suitable camping site and camp the night here in the village.

Day 09: Nauri Ghat to Jhyarigaon (2,672m/8,766ft) via Ghurchi Lagna Pass (3,447m/11,309ft) 8-9hrs trek

After having breakfast you leave the village and begin to trek. As you begin to trek the trail starts with easy walking through forests and fields, you will pass the small settlement of Kabra, Bhad, Chautha, Bulbule and Dabha. There are basic lodges and restaurants in these villages where you can stop for lunch, after Chautha the trail to climb the pass begins.  Continuing to ascend in about 2 hrs from Dabha you will reach the pass, Ghurchi Lagna. As you climb the landscape gets very barren and desolate, where as the other side of the pass is covered with pine forest. After the pass you begin to descend; you descend gradually at first but later the trail get’s steeper in some point. You descend down all the way to the dirt road where you cross a river and continue trekking on the dirt road. Trekking further you cross a small wooden bridge after which it is only few minutes to the village of Jhyarigaon.

Day 10: Jhyarigaon to Rara Lake (2,986m/9,796ft) 2-3hrs trek

It is a short hike to Rara Lake, right after breakfast you leave the village and rejoin the trail. As you begin to trek the trail climbs up the hill through pine forest about an hour and soon it gets flatter. Continuing to trek you will reach Rara Lake within no time, you will have enough time to relax and explore the lake side. Rara is the biggest lake of Nepal and it is part of the smallest national park; Rara National Park, you will have to pay an entrance fee of Rs 3,000 (1,000 for SAARC nationals). The lake is surrounded with pine forests and snowcapped Himalayas in the Horizon and reflecting in the lake.

Day 11: Rara Lake to Talcha Airport 2hrs trek/ Talcha Airport to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu

After having an early breakfast it is a short trek to Talcha Airport, from here you take a flight to Nepalgunj or Surkhet and from here you take another flight back to Kathmandu. Once you land in Kathmandu you will be picked up by a company vehicle and then transferred to the hotel. You can either relax or explore the valley on your own. Stay overnight in Nepalgunj.

Day 12: Leisure time in Kathmandu

You will wake up late and have a good proper breakfast. You will have the entire day to yourselves to either rest in your hotel or explore Kathmandu valley.

Day 13: Back home

It is time to fly back to home keeping all the terrifying experiences of Nepal in mind.

The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport where you should check-in 3 hours prior your scheduled flight.

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Affiliations & Recommendations

Rara Lake Trek (GHT)