Phoksundo Lake to Rara Lake Trek

Trekking from Shey Phoksundo Lake to Rara Lake: A Journey Through Remote Himalayan Beauty

Phoksundo Lake to Rara Lake Trek

7 hrs/day
Best Season

Nestled in the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, Nepal is a land of extraordinary natural beauty and cultural diversity. One of the most captivating experiences that trekkers seek is the journey from Shey Phoksundo Lake to Rara Lake. This trek takes adventurers through some of the most remote and untouched landscapes, providing a glimpse of the raw, untouched beauty of the Himalayas. The Shey Phoksundo to Rara trek is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that takes trekkers to two of the most pristine and secluded lakes in Nepal's western region. Shey Phoksundo Lake, situated in the Dolpa district, is the deepest lake in Nepal and has been declared a Ramsar Wetland site, highlighting its ecological significance. On the other hand, Rara Lake, located in the Mugu district, is the largest lake in Nepal and is surrounded by rich biodiversity and breathtaking scenery.

Trailhead and Trek Features:

The trek commences with a flight from Kathmandu to Nepaljung a very tropical area of southern Nepal, next day we take a 25-minute flight to Juphal, a small airstrip in Dolpa. From there, trekkers make their way through ancient salt trade routes, following the turquoise waters of the Bheri River. The trail gradually ascends through dense forests of pine, juniper, and spruce, offering glimpses of rare wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard and the endangered musk deer. The trek follows the Upper Dolpa trekking route and varies from Bhijer to the western side of Nepal towards Rrara National Park.

Cultural Encounters:

As the journey progresses, trekkers traverse through remote villages inhabited by people of Tibetan origin. These communities have preserved their unique culture and lifestyle for centuries, and their warm hospitality welcomes trekkers. Observing traditional practices and interacting with locals gives trekkers a deeper insight into the region's rich heritage.

Phoksundo Lake - A Sapphire in the Himalayas:

The highlight of the trek is reaching Shey Phoksundo Lake. As trekkers approach the lake, the sight of its crystal-clear waters surrounded by snow-capped peaks leaves them in awe. The contrasting colors of the lake, ranging from emerald, green to deep blue, captivate the senses. Overlooking the lake is the ancient Shey Gompa, a Buddhist monastery dating back over a thousand years, adding a sense of spirituality to the serene environment.

Into the Wilderness:

Leaving behind the tranquility of Phoksundo, trekkers venture deeper into the wilderness, where the rugged landscape and high-altitude trails test their endurance. Crossing challenging mountain passes, such as Kang La Pass, at an altitude of over 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), trekkers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Himalayas, including the majestic Dhaulagiri and Kanjiroba peaks.

The Enchanting Rara Lake:

After days of trekking through diverse terrain and landscapes, trekkers finally arrive at the enchanting Rara Lake. Surrounded by lush forests of pine, spruce, and rhododendron, the tranquil lake mirrors the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Trekkers often take a moment of introspection by the lakeshore, savoring the pristine atmosphere and marveling at the reflection of the clear blue skies on the water's surface.

Conservation and Sustainability:

The Shey Phoksundo to Rara trek is not only about exploration and adventure but also about conservation and sustainable tourism. The region's delicate ecosystems, unique flora, and fauna demand responsible trekking practices to preserve its natural splendor for future generations. Trekkers are encouraged to minimize their environmental impact, support local communities, and adhere to responsible waste disposal measures.

Best Time to Trek:

  • Spring (March to May): This season is considered one of the best times to trek in Nepal. The weather is mild, and the temperature starts to rise after the winter months. The trails are adorned with blooming rhododendron forests, adding vibrant colors to the landscape. The skies are generally clear, providing excellent visibility of the surrounding mountains. Spring is also a time when the local flora and fauna come alive, making it a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts.
  • Autumn (September to November): Another popular time for trekking in Nepal, especially in the Himalayan region, is during the autumn season. The monsoon rains have cleared the atmosphere, leaving behind crisp and clean air. The weather is stable with moderate temperatures, making it comfortable for trekking. The mountain views are at their best during this time, and the landscapes are lush and green after the monsoon showers. Autumn is also the peak trekking season, so you can expect to meet other trekkers on the trails.


The Shey Phoksundo to Rara Lake trek is a transformative journey through the heart of the Himalayas, offering trekkers an opportunity to connect with nature, immerse themselves in diverse cultures, and witness unparalleled scenic beauty. This adventure is not for the faint of heart, as it requires physical stamina and mental resilience. Nevertheless, those who embark on this trek are rewarded with memories of a lifetime - memories of pristine lakes, rugged landscapes, warm encounters with local communities, and the profound sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering the Himalayan wilderness.

Standard Itinerary

Dolpa to Rara Lake Trek

Day 01: Kathmandu

Arrival in Kathmandu 1350m | 4428ft. Airport pickup by a representative from Himalayan Nepal Trek and transfer to hotel on BB plan

Day 02: Nepalgunj

Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj 50 minutes. Overnight at hotel on BB plan.

Day 03: Dunai

Flight to Juphal 25 minutes and trek to Dunai 2150m 3 hours. Overnight at hotel on BB plan.

Day 04: Chhepka

Trek to Chhepka 2838m 7 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 05: Jharna

Trek to Jharna Hotel 3110m 6 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 06: Shey Phoksundo Lake

Trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake 3730m 3/4 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 07: Shey Phoksundo Lake

Rest day

Day 08: Forest Camp

Trek to Forest Camp 4400m 6 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 09: Kangla Pass Base Camp

Trek to Kangla Pass Base Camp 4800m 5 hours. Overnight at Tent

Day 10: Shey Gompa

Trek via Ngangda La/Kang La pass 5360m to Shey Gompa 4160m 7 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 11: Shey Gompa

Rest day

Day 12: Namgung

Trek via Sela Shey Bhanjyang pass 5010m to Namgung 4430m 6 hours. Overnight at Tent.

Day 13: Nengla Bhanjyang Phedi

Trek Namgung – Nengla Bhanjyang Phedi via Nengla Bhanjyang 5368m, about 6-7 hours of trek. Overnight stay in camp 4,600m

Day 14: Bhijer

Trek Nengla Bhanjyang Phedi – Bhijer, about 6-7 hours of trek. Overnight stay in camp 4,100m

Day 15: Pho Gaun

Pho Gaun via Yambur la Pass 4,814m about 8-9 hours of trek. Overnight stay in camp 4,020m

Day 16: Pung Kharka

Trek Pho Gaun – Pung Kharka via Nyingma Gyanzen La Pass 5,563 m, about 8-9 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 4,650 m

Day 17: Chyandi Khola

Trek Pung Kharka – Chyandi Khola via Yala La Pass 5414m, about 6-7 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 4,830m

Day 18: Takla Khola

Trek Chyandi Khola – Takla Khola, about 6-7 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 3,785 m

Day 19: Thajuchaur

Trek Takla Khola – Thajuchaur via Chyargo La Pass 5,150m, about 7-8 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 4,050m

Day 20: Chilenchaur Kharka

Trek Thajuchaur – Chilenchaur Kharka, about 5-6 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 2,945m

Day 21: Tiyar

Trek Chilenchaur – Tiyar, about 4-5 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 2,418m

Day 22: Mangri

Trek Tiyar – Mangri, about 4-5 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 1,950m

Day 23: Gamgadhi

Trek Mangri – Gamgadhi, about 4-5 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 2,095m

Day 24: Rara Lake

Trek Gamgadhi – Rara Lake, about 4-5 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 2990m

Day 25: Explore Rara Lake

Day 26: Talcha

Rara Lake and trek to Talcha airport about 3-4 hours of trek and overnight stay in camp 2,200m

Day 27: Kathmandu

Fly Talcha to Nepalgunj and afternoon fly back to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel on BB plan. Evening farewell dinner. Overnight stay in hotel.

Includes & Excludes

Cost Includes :
  • 6 Times airport pick up and drops (domestic and international) Car, Van, Hi-ace, or Coaster in a standard private vehicle.
  • 3 Times food per day during the trek. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner including tea or coffee.
  • 3 Night 3* star label hotel in Kathmandu on BB plan (on twin sharing basis).
  • 1 Night Hotel in Nepalgunj diner and breakfast plan.
  • Sightseeing world heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley with a private vehicle and experienced cultural guide.
  •  Domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj/Juphal/Talcha/Nepalgunj/Kathmandu
  • Staff transportation Kathmandu /Juphal /Talcha/Kathmandu.
  • Twin-sharing accommodation during the trek (according to programs Tent/Tea house/lodge).
  • All camping equipment's two-man tent north face kitchen tent dining tent toilet tent chair mattress kitchen equipment including kitchen and camping staff etc. 
  • Experienced English-speaking local guide (Trained and licensed holder by the government of Nepal) and other languages as per the participant's preference.
  • Necessary Porters during the trek.
  • All Government local tax Shey Phoksundo and Rara National Park and  entry permit and TIMS card).
  • Dolpo restricted area permits.
  • First aid and equipment for a porter for the extreme adventure route.
  • Guide and porter salary as per the company policy and government rules.
  • Duffel bag during the trek.
  • Company t-shirt.
  • Route map.
  • Staffs medical insurance during the trek.
Cost Excludes :
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Participants trek equipment and any personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, phone, battery charging, hot shower, hot/mineral water, and laundry.
  • Emergency rescue and travel Insurance (most required factor in high altitude trek).
  • Trip cancellation cost, loss, damage, and personal effects.
  • Entrance fees for temples, monasteries, and museums during sightseeing and trekking.
  • Tips and gratuities for the staff.
  • Additional overnight stays cost at any place (due to any reason) except for mentioned itinerary.
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Jessica D



Himalayan Nepal Trek is a very professional company with a great price point. Their service is top notch and the company owner, guides, and porters will go above and beyond for their clients. They made sure we had everything sorted before arriving in Nepal and cared for us for the duration of the stay in Nepal. They answered any questions or concerns we had. They have many connections and can assist with any need from finding things to buy or even getting a medical evacuation from the mountain. I highly recommend using Himalayan Nepal Trek and planing your trip directly with Mr. Gopal. Gajen was a fantastic mountain guide. Bijay is also a great tour guide for any city adventures and sight seeing. I used this company for Everest Basecamp in 2014 and again for Annapurna in 2022.


Alastair H



Amazing trekking experience on the Annapurna circuit. I had a great trekking experience across the Annapurna circuit. My guide (gajen) and Porter (Pasang) were great and I learnt a lot from both of them about Nepal /trekking from my time with them. I would thoroughly recommend the Himalayan Trekking Company as they really care about their clients and go the extra mile to make sure you get the most out of your trip and Nepal!


Maurizio Novel...



Very good experience with Himalayan Nepal Trek in a remote area of Nepal: Kanchenjunga north BC and Dromo Ri 6121m. The professional service we got to undertake this expedition has been very good. In particular we can point out the good support of the guides (really professional) and we appreciated the full and flexible organization.


MK Iyer



Everest view trek to Teng Boche on the EBC. Out of the world views. Excellent trekking Company. Took care of all the details. 6 day Teng Boche trip was very well organized. The tea houses we stayed in were all very clean and the food was good. Our guide and porter were excellent. Very patient and took care of us on all six days. Jangpo, our guide was a very experienced Sherpa, having climbed many of the top peaks, including Everest, multiple times. Being a Monsoon Trek, we were a bit worried about rain and its effects on the trail. But as Gopal, the owner, had predicted we had a few patchy showers, but mostly glorious sunshine and greenery every where. There was a weather issue at Lukla on our return with low clouds preventing air travel. Both Gopal, in Kathmandu, and our guide with us in Lukla, coordinated very well and ensured that we were on the first flight out without any delay, especially since the flights had been fully cancelled the previous day and the first couple of flights on the day of our return as well. Ours was the only flight of the day, and we were so glad that we were able to be on it.We will definitely recommend Himalayan Nepal Trek and are already planning our next trip to the Ama Dablam base camp for next year with this Company.


John E



Excellent organization that ensured we could enjoy the trekking and the views. This included everything from cups of tea to flights. Our guide was a highly experienced professional who shared his knowledge of the mountains. All we had to do was trek!





Mr Shresta went out of his way to put together a custom itinerary for me that included hiking the foothills of Annapurna, going up the Lower Mustang & Muktinath, and then all the way down to Chitwan National Park over the course of roughly two weeks at an amazingly budget friendly price.

All along the way, he successfully organized everything, and his extremely experienced guide made sure to take us off the beaten path and allowed me to see amazing spots that everyone else just walked past.





WOW! This trip was an incredible experience and exceptional because of Himalayan Nepal Trek as our guiding company! We were 2 women over 50 years that were part of a larger group that was going to EBC - but we had chosen to do our 'own thing' and stay around 4,000m - and trek to villages around Namche (included Thamo and Thame, Kumjung, Pangboche) and then trek to meet our friends after their successful trek to EBC. Gopal with Himalayan Nepal Trek made this happen for us - he is an excellent communicator and he considered all our input and put together a great plan that we felt confident before we left on our journey! On our trek, we were well matched with our guide Mingmar and porter Manouj who were excellent! We trekked less travelled trails, and went to Monasteries, schools, a hospital, and immersed in culture! We trekked as a larger group for 6 days with Head Guide Temba - who was exceptional. Gopal pays attention to all the details - communication prior to the trip, meeting us at the airport at Kathmandu, and ensuring we had everything we needed; and when we were trekking - he was in communication with our guides. Don't hesitate to contact Himalayan Nepal Trek to share what your goal, dream or what you want your experience to be - I have no doubt that Himalayan Nepal Trek can make this a reality!


Jeffrey Hall



Visiting Everest Base Camp and participating in a semi-technical climb in the Himalayas has been a long time goal of mine. After gettting into contact with Gopal, he reccomended I do the EBC Trek and Island Peak cimb. Since I was crunched for time and could only take 19 days off of work, Gopal tailored the itinerary with enough flexibility to achieve both objectives. The logistics and transportation upon arrival was clearly planned out. He was able to answer all the questions I had and gave reassurrance that the trip would be a success.

A success it was, completing everything on the itinerary (and more). My personnal guide Domi and porter Lhapa were both excellent. They gave me a unique introspective to the customs and lifestyle of the Sherpa family. Since I went solo, the three of us were limited only by my pace and capabiity. I did experience symptoms of altitude sickness, but this was my own doing as I did not properly pace myself going up. I saw a lot of people get evacuated due to altitude sickness at the higher camps, but if you take it slow and listen to your guides your should have no problem getting to EBC.

If you want to climb Island Peak, doing the EBC Trek is a great way to get acclimatized in a relatively short period of time. The climb itself was not hard, but did take all day to accomplish. We had the mountain to ourselfs which truly made it a memorable experience (no lines waiting on people). We crossed and climbed 8 ladders over glaciers which was a new experience for me. Domi paid careful attention the entire time, and I did not question my safety once while I was with him.

All in all, the trip was well worth the money spent. Customers/future trekkers should remember to stay flexible as weather, transportation, personal fitness, and altitude accimitization can alter the planned itinerary. Would highly reccomend this agency to those who wish to expericence the Khumbu valley from a local persective!





Trek in the Langtang Valley

I did a wonderful trek in the Langtang Valley with Himalayan Nepal Trek P. Ltd. Friends of mine recommended this company and i understand why. I dealt with the owner, Mr. Gopal, to organize my trip and he made things simple and easy. I was warmly greeted at the Kathmandu airport and things went smoothly from there. Special thanks to my guide and my porter, Gajendra and Gelu, who made sure i had a good and safe trip. They proved also very knowledgeable of the features of the Valley and its people.

If you choose this company, you will have a great trek.



Eric M



Trek to Basecamp Via Cho La Pass

In April / May of this year 7 of us from Nova Scotia Canada used Himalayan Nepal Trek as our guiding company to hike to Mount Everest Basecamp in Nepal. The overall experience with this company was extremely positive. I found them well organized and very experienced in delivering a positive and successful excursion. We had a complicated ask for an itinerary with two of us staying at lower altitudes and 5 of us heading for basecamp. Gopal, our main contact, developed and delivered an itinerary that worked well for both groups. All logistics were handled very efficiently and professionally.

The trek itself was led by Tempa Serpa an experienced climber who looked after us all individually and made sure all were doing the right things to make it to Basecamp. He paid attention to detail and looked after us extremely well including added things like a picnic at basecamp with his brother. His knowledge and life stories of the Kumbu region are amazing. by the end of the trip my wife and I were good friends with Temba.

This is my second time using Himalayan Nepal Trek and this trip was even better than my first. I highly recommend this company for any trek you may be considering in Nepal and Tibet. They gave us a fun and successful excursion that delivered good value.


art m



Base Camp Trek

I highly recommend this company for trekking. We did a 15-day hike to base camp with Temba as our guide. We were a group of mostly 60 years and over. Temba set a very good, steady, pace that we could all maintain . He watched each of us closely to make sure we ate properly and did not get altitude sickness. (None of us got altitude sickness, although we meet many people in other groups who did)

Temba is a very conscientious, knowledgeable, experienced guide. He has summited mount Everest four times and participated in high altitude mountain rescues. He has also climbed many of the other mountains in the region.

I do not think there is a better guide on the mountain.

Gopal was our contact for organizing all the details of the Trek. He made sure everything was was booked and ready to go when we arrived. He is very organized and has been setting up treks for years. He was in constant contact with us and answered all our pre arrival questions quickly and concisely. He took very good care of us in Kathmandu before and after the trek, inviting to his home for a pre hike meal, meeting us at the airport ,etc.

This is a well-organized, friendly, local company. I recommend them with no hesitation nor reservations.






Everest Base Camp with Best hands

Me and two of my friends from Sri Lanka did Everest Base camp in April 2019 with Himalayan Nepal Trek. Mr. Gopal handled this tour arrangement with high accuracy and no mistakes. He gave a tour guide Mr Indra, from my heart he has become a family member to travel with and took care of us very perfectly just like Mr. Gopal's perfectness. We have done all what we can do in a EBC tour and more than also i believe. I highly recommend Himalayan Nepal Trek to do the EBC tracking also Mr. Indra as a guide personally. I also got a chance to meet all their guide on the hiking duration all are so good and fun.





I spend 3 weeks in Nepal. Our guide was Temba. He is a very good guide. He is very kind, organized, answered all the questions regarding Nepal and he paid attention at every person needs.


Aloke S



Personalized Attention to Detail

My friend John and I did the Everest Base Camp plus Gokyo Lake trek last year 2018 in Oct/Nov and Gopal, the owner of Himalayan Nepal Trek, greeted us personally on arrival and ensured we were comfortably ensconced in our hotel in Kathmandu. He also accompanied us while John shopped for some trekking items in Thamel, like down jackets and sleeping bags etc. After we had completed EBC at Gorakshep we had to reconsider our route to Gokyo as John had had some altitude issues. Gopal immediately advised our guide via phone from Kathmandu to reroute us via Phortse to Gokyo and this single decision provided us with the most enjoyable section of the trek! Gopal also organized our excursion to Chitwan after the trek. I would not hesitate to use Gopal's services if I was to return to Nepal for another trek!





Everest Basecamp Trek

Our trek from Kathmandu to Everest Basecamp, Kala Pathar and Island Peak and back to Kathmandu was arranged by Himalayan Nepal Trek P LTD.

The entire expedition was very well arranged right from the airport pick up to various logistics including arrangements at various locations including stay at night at various guest houses.

Our guide and porter ensured that our safety and comfort was well taken care of.

Gopal Shreshta the owner of the trekking company personally tracked and followed up to ensure everything was going well.

I would highly recommend this company for to anyone interested in travelling to Nepal





Amazing 16 Days Everest Base Camp Trek

We had an amazing trekking experience to the Everest Base Camp. The actual trek took about 11-12 days, and we experienced all kinds of weather. Throughout the trek, our guide, Indra and the porters took really good care of us. One of the porters, Kumar, always went the extra mile and always helped Indra to ensure that we were well taken care of. Indra is a humorous guide and we had fun while trekking or chilling out at the lodges. His sharing sessions gave us valuable insights to the Everest region, and we brought back more than just photos and memories.

Appreciate the help by Tembar when we were planning for the trek, and we would love to be back to do another one!


Yi Hui





Wonderful trek! The tricky bridges over the furious streams, the dark forests and the deep gorges, the glaciers, many Kham forts and monasteries, the desert and mineral landscapes, Himlung Himal base camp, the many blue sheeps and yaks and goats give a life-time memory. The Kang La was under snow but we re-planned the itinerary towards Tilicho Tal which was, in all its most pure whiteness, the icing on the cake. Thank you to Mr Gopal and his team!





Gokyo-Ri Trek

Back in January 2018, my girlfriend and I had the idea to celebrate my 30th birthday in the mountains. I approached Temba to plan the trip and like what I imaged, it is the most amazing birthday on the peak of Gokyo-Ri. The trek was very well organised. I feel safe trekking with Temba and Temba have become a true and good friend of ours. I will definitely recommend all my friends to trek with Temba / Himalayan Nepal Trek





Amazing trip of our lifetime, with the best guide ever

We had the trip of our lifetime, with the best Sherpa guide ever! We had a 10 days trek to Gokyo Ri, in the Everest region. Our guide, Temba Sherpa was the best guide that we could have asked for. We were shown with great hospitality the moment we touched down into Kathmandu airport.

Temba is extremely knowledgeable about the many peaks in the region and the world. He is also a very experienced trekker and mountaineer, having trekked through many of the routes several times in his 20 over years of experience, and also having reached the summits of many mountains, such as summitting Mount Everest three times so far.

Temba is also very organised and resourceful, ensuring that we had the best accommodation and food throughout the trek, and also ensuring that we had the first flights in and out of Lukla. He is also detail-oriented and pays great attention to our health and welfare throughout the trek.

Our trip was amazing, and we loved the Gokyo Ri trek, whereby we were able to appreciate the grandeur of Mount Everest amidst its surrounding peaks. We were blessed with great weather, and an amazing guide who made the entire trip such a pleasant and memorable experience.

We will definitely go back to Nepal soon, and will definitely trek with Temba and Himalayan Nepal Trek when we are back again. I would strongly recommend Temba and Himalayan Nepal Trek to anyone who wishes to do a trek in Nepal.





Amazing Guide

Had a great time! Our guide Indra was very kind, knowledgable and patient. We felt very welcome and safe traveling with him and any and all questions were answered with a smile. His son Sushil accompanied us as well and he was also very nice and great to have with us. The guest houses we stayed at were great and had all basic amenities you would need. The area was enchanting, the people were welcoming, and the views were amazing.