Rara Lake Trek
- Trip Code: N-OBT-153
- Destination: Nepal
- Season: From March to October
- Max Altitude: 3691 meters/ 12110 feet
- Trip Starts/Ends: Kathmandu/Kathmandu
- Transportation: Private Vehicle and Flight
- Accomodation: Hotel in Kathmandu & Nepalgunj/ Tea House & Tented Camp in Trekking
- Trip Grade: Easy to Moderate
Rara Lake Trek is the wilderness and solitude hiking tour to the pristine mountain lake of Rara. Many travelers have designated this lake as the Queen of Himalayan Lakes. Rara is also the largest lake of Nepal spread over five kilometers long and two kilometers wide at an altitude of 3010m/9875ft from the sea level.
Protected by Rara National Park this lake is ringed with pine, spruce and juniper forest which mirrors the snow capped the Himalayas. The region of this lake is also the home to 20 different species of mammals and 214 species of birds. Here especially find mammals of Himalayan bears, Himalayan tahrs, serows, gorals, musk deer, red pandas and both rhesus and langur monkeys.
The 170m deep lake has also otters and fishes. The hiking route of Rara Lake is made up of long ridges covered with temperate forests and alpine pastures enclosing high valleys and unique villages which provide different travel experience unparalleled with other trekking routes of Nepal.
The journey of this trekking starts with one hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj followed by next forty-five minutes flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla. Jumla is the gateway of this trekking where it starts and ends also.
Rara Lake Trek- Note:
Rara Lake Trek- 14 days is the standard trip. However, the itinerary is likely to be customized. Thus, please let us know if you have any request to change in itinerary.
Our tour officer will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu. He/She will be displaying play card with your name written in it outside the airport terminal. He will meet, greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to your respective hotel by our private tourist vehicle. At the hotel, he will assist you to check in and do a pre-trip meeting with you. You will be briefed about your overall program, introduced your guide and clear your questions/queries if any. During the meeting please clear the due balance and handover a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, you have time for few hours for the preparation of trekking. Our trekking guide will meet you at the hotel. Then you will be transferred to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport. Then you board a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. It’s one hour flight. After you land at Nepalgunj airport you will drive to your hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Early morning you drive to Nepalgunj airport to catch a flight to Jumla. After forty-five minutes of flight, you land at Jumla airstrip. You will meet your other trekking crews. Then you set off your trekking following the main street past district hospital and college buildings. As the trail slowly gains elevation it passes building of Karnali Technical Institute. Then it climbs to Sisnamul and enters a forest. Soon after you reach to meadows at Chere with herder’s hut. Leaving Chere the path becomes steeper and climbs through meadows to Danphe Lagna crossing the pass at 3720m. From the pass, you can see views of Patrasi Himal (6860m) and Jagdula Himal (5785m). In Danphe Lagna you may see Himalayan Monal (Impeyan Pheasant). Overnight at tented camp.
The day starts firstly descending gently alongside the stream at Tharamara. Then it becomes steep through forests to Hiran Duski. From here after short level stretch the trail down to the Sinja Khola. Crossing it on a log bridge you follow the downstream river to Nyaware through potato and wheat fields. Leaving the river the trail climbs passing marijuana fields to Kabra. The steep climb continues for awhile then levels out before Bhara. It is a classic Tibetan style village surrounded by beautiful fields of wheat. Above this village, you make a turn into a big valley then descend to the Chaura Khola. Crossing this stream you reach small village of Chautha. This village is a half point between Jumla and Rara Lake. Overnight at tented camp.
The rocky trail follows the stream uphill. About half an hour beyond Chautha the valley widens at Chante. The climb continues to the Rara Lake National Park entrance station at Bhulbule. Here your entry ticket will be checked. Above Bhulbule the trail enters into the wide treeless meadow. Then you climb gently to a collection of Chortens, cairns and prayer flags at the top of Ghurchi Lagna pass (3450m). From here you can also see Mugu Karnali River and snowy peaks to the north. From the pass, the trail descends gently through spruce forest and meets the junction. You follow the trail to Rara Lake which is marked with a wooden post with ‘Rara’ passing through pine forests. Then you descend to the Jhyari Khola. From here the walking becomes easier and leads to Dhuir, the small settlement with army camp and helipad. Overnight at tented camp.
Today you will have relatively short trekking days. After breakfast, you follow the path crossing a stream to make a steep climb to Jhyari, the village of Thakuris, in a picturesque grove of giant cedars. You continue climbing through cedar forests to a huge meadow atop at 3050m ridge with a great view of Rara Lake. From here you descend to Rara Lake which is a short distance. Reaching Rara Lake you walk to the northern shore of the lake where you do camping. Overnight at tented camp.
You have a full day to explore around this serene mountain lake which is at an elevation of 2980m from sea level. Rara Lake is also the largest lake in Nepal which round is almost 13km. It takes a full day to making a circuit of this beautiful lake. The area of the lake is an isolated region except for few park wardens’ houses and remains of deserted villages on the northern side of this lake. It’s truly the paradise for birds, flowers, and wildlife. Here you find mammals of Himalayan bears, Himalayan tahrs, serows, gorals, musk deer, red pandas and both rhesus and langur monkeys. The 170m deep lake has also otters and fishes. Overnight at tented camp.
Leaving Rara Lake you walk towards bridge which is at the western end of this lake. Then the trail follows the Khatyar Khola to reach Majhghatta. From here you follow the lower trail that descends gradually to the river. You cross the river on a log bridge and then ascend the ridge through a forest of pine, spruce and rhododendron forests and arrive at Ghurchi Mara, the head of the huge valley. If the weather is clear from here you can see excellent views of western Himalayas. Then the trail downs all the way into the Ghatta Valley and moves towards Gorosingha for the night camp. This region looks like a classic Hollywood Western ranch in a beautiful grassy vale. Overnight at tented camp.
From Gorosingha you follow the path that heads down the Ghatta Valley and follow the Sinja Khola which downstream to Sinja. After arriving Sinja Khola it is then a short walk down the fertile valley. For night camping you walk near to Sinja village (2440m). Sinja is a heavily populated village of Brahman and Chhetri people on the banks of Sinja Khola. According to the history, Sinja was the capital of the Malla dynasty who ruled western Nepal from the 12th to the 14th century. The ruins of the palace can be seen across the river. At the top of a cape, you can also visit the large temple dedicated to Bhagwati, the goddess of power and justice. Overnight at tented camp.
Leaving Sinja the trail crosses the Sinja Khola on a wooden bridge then begins long trip up the Dhobi Khola. After passing a few small villages the trail crosses the river on a series of log bridges. Then you trek through forests of pines, birches, and oaks and arrive at Chala Chaur, a meadow with a few herders’ huts at 2900m. From here after short climbing, you reach Jaljala Chaur. It’s a big meadow full of grazing horses. Overnight at tented camp.
Today you continue climbing through forests to another meadow which is just below the ridge at 3510m. From here the trail descends to Churi Khola. Crossing this stream the trail contours around the head of the valley and reaches Chere (3010m). From here it is all the down walking to Jumla passing through Sisnamul, school and campus buildings. After reaching Jumla your trekking journey ends. Overnight at lodge or tented camp.
After breakfast, you board a flight from Jumla to Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, you fly back to Kathmandu. Upon landing in Kathmandu airport you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of day is at leisure. You can have a hot shower, spa for relaxing your body in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, you will be offered cultural sightseeing of World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu valley accompany with a professional guide. By our private vehicle you will visit Pashupatinath, sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River 5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu city; Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet which is the center of Tibetan culture; Bhaktapur Durbar Square, medieval royal palace that glimpse you Nepalese authentic art and architecture and unique culture. After sightseeing, you have free time for your last minute shopping. Evening you will be offered farewell dinner with Nepali cuisines and cultural dances at typical Nepali Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
The trip concludes today. Our tour officer will drop you at Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
All foreign nationals except Indian Nationals are required to arrange a visa in order to enter Nepal. A Nepalese Visa can be obtained either prior to your arrival at a Nepalese embassy abroad or on arrival time in Kathmandu at the airport. But nationals from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Swaziland, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Liberia cannot secure the Nepalese Visa upon arrival. The Visa can be also taken at entry points at Nepalese borders. For Nepalese Visa it requires your passport with at least six months validity, recent digital photo (size: 1.5″ x 1.5″) and the following fees either in USD dollars cash or the equivalent local currency:
|Multiple entry||15 days||US$ 25 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days||US$ 40 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||90 days||US$ 100 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
We would offer you the meeting and greeting service in Kathmandu International Airport on your arrival time. For this, you need to pass us your International flight details at least 2 days before your arrival date in Kathmandu. After you get down from the aircraft you just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see our tour officer standing with your name card. He will greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to the hotel.
In the route of Rara Lake Trekking, it should depend on a tented camp for night halt since organized trekkers lodges have not been built yet. So during trekking, we would provide you comfortable twin sharing tents with mattress and sleeping bag for night stay. In Kathmandu and Nepalgunj we would offer you tourist standard hotel under 3-star categories unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice.
Since Rara Lake is camping trek our kitchen team prepares delicious food for you throughout trekking days. Each day they cook different items and serve you 3 times of hot fresh meal including tea, coffee, chocolate, and soup. In the entire trekking, you will have a taste of Nepali meals Dal Bhat (rice with lentils soup and seasonable vegetables), Chinese, Continental and Indian cuisines.
The trekking team who will go with you is the most significant thing that makes your Rara Lake Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable. We would provide you skilled, experienced, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful trekking guide, cook, kitchen helpers, and porters. The trekking guide leads you on the trail and brief you all the about this route and porters carry your luggage. Our all trekking guides are carefully selected in terms of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and their knowledge about local culture, ecosystem, geography, flora and fauna, and history. Our cook is well experienced and trained in the cooking of Nepali, Continental, Chinese and Indian food. With aim of sustaining local communities, we only employ qualified local people.
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross-breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sunscreen, spare jacket, etc. – a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room in Kathmandu for free of charge.
The day starts around 6 a.m. with a cup of hot tea brought to your tent along with a bowl of hot water for your morning wash. Breakfast will be laid on the table consisting of porridge, toasts, eggs, pancakes and tea/coffee. While you are taking breakfast our staff will pack the tents so you need to pack your bags before breakfast. After breakfast by 7:30 am everyone should be ready to start walking. The reason for this early is to take advantage of the cool morning when walking is easiest and also the morning air is very clear allowing a better view of the mountains than at other times of the day. Porters carry your baggage. Everyone walks at his or her own pace. There is a plenty of time to enjoy the views, meet the local people, take photographs and enjoy the flora and fauna. The porters are slower and kitchen crews rush ahead to prepare lunch which should then be ready when the groups arrive at around 11 am. Afternoon trek ends about 3 pm then get into your tents which already set up by our staff in a field near the village. The kitchen crew again prepares tea coffee and serves it to you with biscuits. As we often camp near villages a trip to the local inn can provide some light entertainment. Later you have free choice to read a book or explore the surrounding area. Dinner is provided around 6 pm. In the evening all staffs make fun by singing and dancing with group members. Then everybody will turn to their tents to enjoy a sound sleep.
Rara Lake Trekking is moderate trek suitable for any passionate walkers who able to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have a positive attitude, self-confidence, and strong determination, you can do this trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no compulsorily required for this trip. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip.
At high elevations, the combination of reduced oxygen and lower atmospheric pressure can produce a variety of unpredictable effects on the body, known collectively as Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is also commonly known as Altitude Sickness. Everyone who treks over 3500 m experiences some mild symptoms of AMS like slowness, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, racing pulse, disturbed sleep and swelling of the hands and feet but serious cases are very rare. The golden rule of prevention from Altitude Sickness doesn’t walk too fast at altitude, drink plenty of liquids, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding alcohol. If in case you feel any mentioned symptoms the simple cure is to move down (descend) and you shouldn’t ascend further until you start feeling better. To treat AMS there is also available medication Acetazolamide (better known under the brand name Diamox). The dosage is 250 mg every twelve hours. Diamox improves respiration at altitude and can, therefore, accelerate acclimatization. Some doctors recommend a preventive dose (125 mg twice a day) for people trekking at high elevations. At the time of trekking our trekking team always guides you to prevent from Altitude Sickness and they always have Diamox along with first aid kit.
We believe casualty and a serious sickness will not happen on the trip. If it happens we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since all the expenses incurred in evacuation liable to you please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
We strongly advise you to take travel insurance before joining a tour which should cover medical expenses, emergency repatriation and helicopter evacuation at high altitude places and loss of your luggage. We would request you to bring your insurance documents when you come to Nepal.
The following list is a guideline to help you pack for your trekking. The weight limit for your luggage is 15 kg or 33 pounds. Remember that your luggage will be carried by our porter. However, you are required to carry a small day- pack with your valuables or anything important. We advise you pack only what is necessary.
Important Items : Airline tickets; Valid passport; 2 extra passport size photos; Photocopy of your passport; Insurance paper; Dollars, Pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying at restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks and to purchase your own drinks and gifts; Credit Card (Visa/ Mater Card) for withdrawing cash from cash machines if needs.
For Head: Sun Hat; Bandana or head scarf; Headlamp with extra batteries; Sun Glasses with UV protection.
For Upper Body: Shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves); Lightweight thermal tops; Fleece Jacket or Wool Sweater; Wind Cheater jacket; Down Jacket
For Lower Body: 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms; 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers; 1 pair of waterproof shell pants and 1 pair of hiking trousers.
For Hands: 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves and 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
For Feet: 2 pairs of thin inner socks; 2 pairs of poly or wool socks; 1 pair of Hiking boots (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support); 1 pair of running shoes and/or sandals.
Medical: Your daily taking medicine if any; small personal first aid kit; Aspirin, plasters (band-aids); Sunscreen; lip balms; Anti-diarrhea pills; Anti-headache pills; A cough and/or cold medicine; Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetazolamide; Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin.
Other Useful Items: 1 sleeping bag (good to -20 degrees C or 28 degrees F); Rucksack and Travel Bags; 1 large duffel bag *; A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables; Small padlocks for duffel- bags; 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional); Digital camera; 2 water bottles (1 liter each); disposable rubbish sacks; Toiletries: 1 medium-sized quick drying towel; Toothbrush/paste; Multi-purpose soap; Deodorants; Nail clippers; Face and body moisturizer; Tissue /toilet roll; hiking poles, snack food (chocolate/ biscuits); umbrella; reading book or pack of cards (for leisure time during trekking).
Note: * mark item we will provide you in service. If any items are not available in your hometown you can buy in Trekking Store in Kathmandu before you embark for trekking.
The itinerary for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trip ending should always coincide with the original itinerary.
Kindly keep in mind that sometimes unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.
Naturally Rara Lake Region is so beautiful but equally, it is fragile as well. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of this area. We at Silver Himalaya Adventures are extremely conscious about protecting its beautiful natural environment and preserving the fascinating local culture. We are doing our level best to minimize our impact as much as possible. Our all trekking guides and porters are well trained and motivated to following guidelines of responsible tourism and eco-friendly tourism. In trekking, they also advise you do’s and don’ts to minimize your impact on the local environment.
In addition to your Trekking trip, you can join in various side Trips in Nepal like a cultural tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jungle Safari in National Park, White Water Rafting in Himalayan Rivers, Golfing, Adventure activities like Bungee Jumping, Altra Light Flight, Paragliding, Jeep flyer etc. You also can extend your trip to neighboring Himalayan Countries: Bhutan, Tibet, Sikkim (India) which seems more appealing to you. On your request, we will give you the detail of the side trips.