Guide To Rara Lake Trek

If you are wondering what Rara Lake Trek has in store, our guide to Rara Lake Trek has all the information.

Rara Lake Trek is undoubtedly one of Nepal’s most gorgeous trekking destinations. The lake has been hailed as the queen of lakes. However, the route is less commercialized than others. It lies in the remote northwest region of Nepal and is within the Rara National Park. Nepal’s largest lake covers an area of 10.8 square kilometers.

Since it is a less commercialized route, the region maintains its untouched and serene beauty. The lake sits at an elevation of 2990 meters. The Rara National Park and green hills encircle the lake, offering a mesmerizing view. Similarly, the lake has crystal clear water reflecting the ever-changing background.

You can witness the majestic views of the snow-capped mountains like Chuchemara Peak, Ruma Kand, Malika Kand, Sinja Valley Mountains, and several other peaks. The Rara National Park has more than 500 different species of flora, including rhododendrons, black junipers, oaks, and blue pines. It is home to wildlife like red pandas, musk deer, black bears, ghorals, etc. Likewise, more than 200 species of birds and butterflies inhabit the national park.

Rara Lake

In addition to the rich and pristine natural beauty, Rara Lake Trek also provides unique cultural exploration. There are charming and cozy tea houses along the trails run by locals. So you can immerse yourself in the local culture, traditions, and hospitality. It also offers you an opportunity to experience the Tibetan and Bonpo culture.

There is so much that this trek has to offer. Now, let us learn more about the trek with our guide to Rara Lake Trek.

Why You Should Take Rara Lake Trek?

Let us kick off our guide to Rara Lake Trek and explain the reasons you should take the trek. Here is why you should take Rara Lake Trek:

Remote Location and Untouched Nature

The Rara Lake Trek takes you through the unexplored regions of the northwestern region. Therefore, nature and wilderness remain untouched and serene. The whole trek journey is peaceful and quiet. The trek is ideal for nature enthusiasts and those looking to escape the bustling city.

The atmosphere is tranquil, with majestic scenery. The trail is an off-the-beaten path that will take you past small villages, remote valleys, and vibrant landscapes. Since the trail is far from city life, the air is free of pollution. The trail goes through the forests of rhododendrons and oaks to highland pastures. Rara Lake is nestled in the lap of the remote valley surrounded by gorgeous hills. You can also get a glimpse of mountains in the distance.

The sky looks clear blue during the day when the weather is good. Meanwhile, the night sky is filled with stars, perfect for stargazing. The Rara Lake Trek is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Biodiversity

Given the region’s unspoiled natural beauty, Rara Lake Trek allows you to witness its unique biodiversity. The area is rich in biodiversity. The trail goes through thriving and luscious vegetation. Similarly, the lake lies within the Rara Nation Park, home to diverse plants, wildlife, and insects.

Endangered species like red pandas and black bears inhabit the national park. Similarly, there are hundreds of species of trees, mosses, orchids, and other varieties of plants. Additionally, more than 200 bird species inhabit the national park. The Rara Lake is surrounded by meadows that look like a carpet laid around the lake.

The trek region is incredibly colorful and vibrant during spring. The rhododendron forests and other flora are in full bloom. Likewise, the meadow surrounding Rara Lake also blooms in various colors in summer. It is truly a sight to behold. The rich and unique biodiversity of the Rara Lake Trek has made it an ecologically significant region.

Queen of Lakes

Rara Lake is the largest lake in Nepal. Its pristine beauty and crystal clear water have earned it the “Queen of Lakes.” The name highlights the beauty of the lake. Green hills and vibrant alpine meadows encircle the lake. The picturesque scenery is genuinely marvelous. It is enchanting and breathtaking.

Queen of Lakes

In addition to its beauty, Rara Lake has cultural and religious significance for the local communities and Hindus. There are various myths and folklore related to the lake. You can also see holy temples, monasteries, and pilgrimage sites near the lake. Thousands of people visit the Rara Lake to pray and seek blessings yearly. There are also festivals and rituals held around the lake.

Cultural Exploration

The majority of the ethnic communities residing in the region belong to Thakuri, Chettri, Magar, and Tamang. There are also a few groups that belong to the Tibetan heritage. During the trek, you will come across traditional villages where you can experience their unique culture and traditions. Similarly, you will also pass by ancient temples and monasteries.

The majority of locals still prefer to wear their traditional attire daily. They also wear traditional ornaments to match their attires. So, you can witness their attires, decorations, and handicrafts. In some places, you can purchase these handicrafts.

During the trek, you will stay at local tea houses and lodges. The facilities are essential, but they provide an authentic experience. You can experience the local delicacies and get in-depth knowledge of their culture and customs. Moreover, you can engage with locals and hear about the local folklore of Rara Lake.

Guide To Rara Lake Trek Route

In this section, we will go through the day-to-day route of the Rara Lake Trek. You can check our Rara Trek package if you would like to know the full itinerary of the trek. We will provide the route details based on our itinerary. The Rara Lake Trek route looks like this:

From Kathmandu, we will fly to Nepalgunj, which lies in Western Nepal. The whole flight takes around an hour. Nepalgunj is a sub-metropolitan city near the Nepal-India border and also serves as the gateway for Humla and Simkot. There are many villages and markets around Nepalgunj. There is also a mini-zoo near the city. We will stay here overnight.

We will have to get on another flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla. Jumla is one of the remote areas of Nepal that lies in Karnali. Access to the region is also limited. Despite this, Jumla is the gateway for exploring the western region of Nepal. The whole flight takes around 20 minutes. We will rest at Jumla for the day. Our trek will begin from here onwards.

The trail will begin ascending as we leave Jumla and head towards Chere Chaur. The trail goes alongside the Jugad River. We will pass by several small markets and settlements along the way. After around 4 to 5 hours of trek, we will reach Chere Chaur. The charming village sits at an elevation of 3055 meters. We will spend a night at a tea house here.

We will head towards the west next. Similarly, it will gradually ascend until we cross the Jaljala pass. The Jaljala pass is the highest point of the Rara Lake Trek at an elevation of 3580 meters. Then, the trail will begin to descend. After a while, the trail changes to a straight one until we reach Jaljala Chaur. Once again, the trail will start to ascend from here. It is a steep descent as we enter the Rara Lake Circuit. We will continue walking until we reach Chalachaur and stay there for the night. Chalachaur is at an elevation of 2980 meters. The trek takes around 4 to 5 hours.

Jumla

From Chalachaur, we will start our descent to Sinja Valley. We will walk alongside the Jaljala River and pass by several villages. Sinja Valley has historic significance in Nepal’s history. It is the ancient capital of the Khasa Kingdom. The kingdom ruled from the 12th to 14th century. We can still see the remains of the ancient settlements here. Sinja Valley sits at an elevation of 2490 meters. Our trek will end here for the day. It’s a trek from Chalachaur that is around 4 to 5 hours.

The trail from Sinja Valley will continue to go uphill. Similarly, it goes alongside the Hima River. There is a steep climbing section, which eases as we reach Laha village. From then onwards, the trail will again pick up and become steep along the Ghatte River. Finally, we will reach Ghorosingha village at 3050 meters altitude. The trek from Sinja Valley to Ghorosingha is around 4 to 5 hours.

The steep ascending trail will continue as we leave Ghorosingha. We will trek alongside Chuchhemara Danda as the Himalayan range and Rara Lake start to appear. The lake is surrounded by green vegetation. After this, we will pass by Katyar Khola Camp and several villages. The uphill climb will get easier after Murma village and continue as we reach Capri village. We will stay overnight in the village. The Rara National Park headquarters lies in the town. The day’s trekking distance is around 5 to 6 hours.

For one whole day, we will explore around the Rara Lake. We will also learn about the historical significance of Rara Lake while exploring. Similarly, we will ride on a boat on the lake’s clear water. We will spend our night at Rara.

It is time to say goodbye to Rara Lake as we move towards Pina. The trail is easy and straight till we reach Gamgadhi. The village is the headquarters of Mugu District. Then onwards, the trail will descend steeply until we reach Pina village. The walking duration is around 4 to 5 hours. We will rest at Pina for the day.

Our steep descent will continue the following day as we leave Pina. We will cross the Ghurchi Lagna Pass (3480 meters) and descend. Along the way, we will witness several villages and reach Bumra. Bumra is also known as Nauri Ghat and sits at an elevation of 2850 meters. It takes 4 to 5 hours trek to reach the village from Pina. We will stay overnight here.

As we leave Bumra, we will cross two suspension bridges above the Hima River. Then, we will climb downhill and, after a few hours, reach a natural hot spring. We will dip in the hot spring to rest our tired bodies. After that, we will continue our journey. We will cross Danphe Lagna Pass (3691 meters) and reach Chere Chaura. We will then retrace our trail back to Jumla.

From Jumla, we will take the earliest flight to Nepalgunj. Then, on the same day, we will board a flight to Kathmandu. Our Rara Lake Trek will end there.

How Difficult Is Rara Lake Trek?

In comparison to some other trekking routes in Nepal, the Rara Lake Trek is only moderately challenging. It is ideal for beginners and intermediate trekkers. However, the trekking route lies in the remote region of Nepal. The trail is an off-the-beaten-path, and trekkers must walk on rugged and rocky terrains. There are also narrow and steep sections that trekkers have to overcome.

Due to the region’s remoteness, the facilities and infrastructure are basic and limited. Do not expect luxury facilities while on the trek. The long trek duration can also prove to be demanding for trekkers. You must be prepared to walk 5 to 6 hours each day on average. Although it may not be strenuous, it is still a physically demanding trek.

The highest elevation during the Rara Lake Trek is at Jaljala Pass, at an elevation of 3580 meters. The lake is situated at 2990 meters altitude. So, there is minimal risk for trekkers experiencing altitude sickness. Some trekkers can get altitude sickness. It is best to ascend gradually and acclimatize properly to avoid the risk. Also, keeping your body hydrated helps to combat altitude sickness.

The Rara Lake Trek is relatively easy and suitable for trekkers with reasonable fitness levels. You do not need prior experience. But trekkers have to be physically and mentally prepared. Proper equipment and gear are also necessary for changing weather and temperature.

Documents And Permits For Rara Lake Trek

Our guide to Rara Lake Trek will not be complete without information related to the documents and permits for the trek. These include:

Visa

Foreigners need a visa to travel across Nepal. You can get a visa before arriving in Nepal or at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The Nepal Embassy provides tourist visas. The tourist visa allows you to travel around Nepal and participate in activities such as trekking. The costs for a tourist visa are as follows:

  • USD 30 for 15 days (single entry visa)
  • USD 50 for 30 days (single entry visa)
  • USD 125 for 90 days (single entry visa)

Travel Insurance

You will need travel insurance for the Rara Lake Trek. Additionally, travel insurance provides an extra safety net while traveling in an unfamiliar territory. Although the Rara Lake Trek is safe, unexpected accidents can happen. There can also be natural disasters like earthquakes.

At such times, travel insurance comes in handy. It covers the medical and emergency rescue expenses. Similarly, travel insurances cover loss of baggage, damage or loss of electronics, trip postponement, or trip cancellation. Ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the insurance before getting one.

Permits

For the Rara Lake Trek, you will need a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card and a Rara National Park Entry Permit. The lake lies within the Rara National Park. Hence, you need to access the national park route. For this reason, you need to get an entry permit to access the national park.

Meanwhile, the TIMS card is necessary for every trekker for any trekking destination in Nepal. It keeps a record of the trekkers to ensure their safety. Trekkers will have to provide all their details, including their itinerary and emergency contact number. The TIMS card costs NPR.300 for SAARC nation residents and NPR. 1000 for non-SAARC nation residents.

FAQs

I am a beginner but can I join the Rara Lake Trek?

Rara Lake Trek is a moderate trekking route that is suitable for beginners and intermediate-level trekkers. But you must be prepared to walk 5 to 6 hours a day while on trek. The terrains include rugged and rocky paths with narrow sections. Similarly, you have to be ready to walk uphill and downhill.

What is the highest altitude we will reach during the trek?

The highest altitude during the Rara Lake Trek is at Jaljala Pass which sits at an elevation of 3580 meters. The pass lies on the way from Chere Chaur to Chala Chaur. It provides a majestic view of the snow-capped mountains, forests, and valleys.

When is the best time for the Rara Lake Trek?

March to May and September to November are the best times for Rara Lake Trek. These months are known for pleasant weather, clear visibility, and warm temperatures. The landscapes are vibrant and luscious. Similarly, the natural beauty surrounding Rara Lake is also at its peak beauty.

How can I get from Kathmandu to Rara?

You can travel by road or flight to get from Kathmandu to Rara. If you opt to travel by road, you must take a bus from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Then you will have to take another bus from there to Jumla. Taking a flight is faster but more expensive. You can take a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then to Jumla Airport.

What should I carry for the Rara Lake Trek?

The Rara Lake Trek will take you from the lowland to the highland region. As the temperature can vary depending on the region, you should carry a windproof/waterproof jacket, down jacket, trekking pants, long-sleeved shirts, moisture-wicking socks, insulating layers, and comfortable trekking boots. Also, carry trekking gear which includes a trekking pole, water bottle, headlamp, backpack with rain cover, and toiletries.

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