A journey to Rara lake is one of the most incredible and fascinating treks in all the Himalayan range lie northwest of Kathmandu in the remote area of Karnali. If you are looking of wilderness and solitude travel, this trek is an ideal choice. The route is very much ‘off the beaten track’ and affords glimpses of cultures and scenery very different from the rest of Nepal. The clear, high altitude lake of Rara, which mirrors the snow capped Himalayas is ringed with blue pine, black juniper forest and Himalayan cypress Lake Rara is a popular serenity pilgrimage for Nepalese.
In summer rainfall is low, and ideal for trekking. In the winter there is often snow on the ridge surrounding the lake, in the autumn season trekkers are rewarded with a profusion of alpine flowers. Rara Lake is five kilometers long and two kilometers wide and is the largest lake in Nepal. The national Park is one of the best places in Nepal to see wildlife: musk deer, leopards, ghorals, tahr, Himalayan black beer, and the rare red panda are all native. The park is also a bird watcher’s delight, especially during November and April when many species of birds visit during their seasonal migration.
Arrive In Kathmandu This is the first welcoming day that we meet upon arrival at the Kathmandu International Airport and transfer to Hotel. Short briefing will be followed about necessary formalities and rest of the program. Depending on your arrival time you will have choice of visiting nearby sanctuaries or rest of the time free for leisure.
Sightseeing / Cultural Day In Kathmandu Valley Half day sightseeing around Kathmandu, Patan city where you will have time to fascinating Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local tradition are highlighted on my guided tour. There’s time to explore the city’s many charms on your own or take a rest while I finalize trekking area permits. In the evening delicious traditional Nepali well come dinner await for you. Q/N in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu - Nepalgunj Fly to Nepalgung. Overnight at local hotel.
Nepalgunj – Jumla – Padmara By flight. Jumla town (2340m) is in a valley and their paddy is cultivated (making Jumla the highest place on earth where it is grown). The town is the administrative headquarters of the Karnali Zone. From Jumla we start walking towards Padmara. There are two tracks leading north to Gumgarhi and Rara. One is a trail leading directly form the north of the town. The other is more popular trek route that turns east of the town towards Dansanhu (2347m) at the confluence of Tila Nadi with Chaudbise Khola. We transverse northeast along the right side of the Chaudbise Khola through pine forests. Two hours further is Urthu (2520m) at the confluence of Chaudbise Khola and Ghurseni Khola. The bridge leads east to Chaudbise area. The trek now ascends steeply through the narrow gorge of the Ghurseni Khola, keeping all the time to its right slope. Padmara (3017m), a Chhetri village at the head of the valley is one hour beyond the canyon head. Overnight at camp.
Padmara – Bumra The track beyond Padmara continues rising along the north side of Ghurseni stream. We leave the last fields at 3048 meters and climb to the first pass, Khali Langa (3545m), four kilometers from Padmara. We follow down the right bank of stream to a foot-bridge at 3353 meter and cross it to the west side. We continue descending north for one hour through dense forest to reach a log bridge at 2743 meters over Sinja Khola, here called Lah Gad. Cross the bridge to the north side, turn west and climb to Bumra (2830m) about two kilometers further. Overnight at camp.
Gumra – Pine The track beyond Bumra keeps high above the river and skirts two small spurs to reach Bhargaon (2890m) in 1.5 hours. After one kilometer at the end of the fields, the track turns north into the tributary stream of Ghautha Khola. We cross the stream by a log bridge to the west side and climb to Chautha (3100m) in a forest clearing. After an hour the valley opens out into a pleasant meadow. We keep to the left stream until a western tributary joins it. Before reaching Ghurchi Langna (3457m) we climb up the narrow gully on the north east slope and skirt north across a series of spurs to reach Pine (2430m) Overnight at camp.
PINE – Rara Lake RARA LAKE is only eight kilometers west of Pine. It is a short, pleasant trek with fine views to the north. From Pine, we take a trail turning west that transverse a steep north-facing slope. After crossing a stretch of fields, we climb a small spur and descend to the stream. We cross the bridge and climb up to the hamlet of Jhari from Pina (2500m). It will take just over two hours to reach Jhari form Pina. From Jhari, we ascend west along a ridge for about 700 meters to reach a low saddle in two hours. The large lake is visible directly north of this saddle. From here, it is pleasant descent to the meadows on the south side of the lake. The village site of Rara (3040m) on the north side is a pleasant two hours walk along the western bank of the lake. Overnight at camp.
Rara Lake Rest day and explore Rara area- Rara area was designated a National Park in 1975 and it takes about eight hours to walk round the lake. Overnight at camp.
Rara Lake – Ghorasain We walk the lake outlet (2980m) and follow the down stream of Khatyar Gad for an hour. There is a log bridge over the stream below Murma (3139m). Cross the bridge to the south side and clime steadily over the 400 meters to reach an open clearing at 3277 meters. The trail continues climbing south through dense forest until the tree line is reached at 3658m. The ridge continues to south for another 200 meters but it is pleasant trail with distant view of the mountains. There is no pass on this high ridge and the trail turns south-east at an altitude of 3749m and descends by the east side of Chuchemara Danda. It is a fairly steep descent to Ghorasain (3271m). Overnight at camp.
Ghorasain – Sinja From Ghorasain there is trail down the valley to Botan (2895m). A more interesting trail with better scenic prospect is to climb Diyabala Danda due south of Ghorasain. The climb begins immediately west of Ghorasain and takes about an hour through forest to top the crest at 5351 meters. The trail then skirts south-east above the high fields of Lumsa. There are good views to the south along the Sinja valley. The trail descends to Okharpati village (3100m) on a high shelf above Mindrabali Gad. The descent from Okharpati to Sinja takes less than two hours. Overnight at camp.
Sinja – Chere Chaur We cross the log bridge over Sinja Khola to the east and follow the south bank of Jaljale Gad beyond Kotgaon near Lamathada. We follow the stream for another five kilometers due east. Then we ascend the ridge (2865m) briefly to descend to the same stream again. The trail clings to the south side of the stream all the way for another nine kilometers. The trail twists and turns along the stream but it is a pleasant trail amidst forest wilderness. Finally, the trail climb east along a gully to ascend a pass at 3597m. We descend east along a wide meadow into the headquarters of Ju Gad that drains to Jumla town. Descend east along the stream and transverse another kilometers to Chere Chaur (2987m). Overnight at camp.
Chere Chaur – Jumla Chere Chaur is a delightful alpine pasture where flowers are in profusion during later summer. It provides good views of the Jumla town, Tila valley and Chyakhure Lekh beyond. The return to the town camp is pleasant descent in slow stages. Overnight at camp.
Jumla – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu by flight Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.