Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, we will transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. A short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your trekking itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time you may spend free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.
Trek Preparations and Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley
Half-day sightseeing tour of UNESCO Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, including Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalized. In the evening, sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner.
Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jumla (2370 m)
Fly to Nepalgunj, near the Indian border in the Terai region of Nepal, then transfer to an afternoon flight north to Jumla (30 min). Jumla town is in the delightful Tila river valley, and here are the highest limits of rice cultivation in the world, growing a special variety of red rice.
Jumla to Uthugaon (2530m)
We start our trek by following the north bank of the Tila Khola river, then turn north following the Chaudhabise Khola, passing through fields and pine forests. We'll climb the Padmara Valley. Our trail keeps following the river until we arrive at the small village of Uthugaon, where we will have a good campsite close to the school on the opposite bank of the river (4 hrs).
Uthugaon to Danphe Lagna (3500m)
After our breakfast, we will follow the trail through this narrow canyon to the village of Padmara at 2,900 m. Our path then climbs to the Khali Lagna pass at 3,550 m through a deep forest of pines, spurges, and firs. Shortly after this pass, both routes come together, and the trail then descends gently through a mixed forest of spruces, birches, and rhododendrons to arrive at our campsite at Danphe Lagna. Here, the colorful national bird of Nepal (the Himalayan Monal, or Impeyan peasant) has been spotted many times at the edge of our campsite (4 hrs).
Danphe Lagna to Chautha (2770m)
The trails descend gently alongside the stream to two bhattis (teashops) at Tharamara (3,280 m), and the descending is more steep, passing through fir, birch, walnut, and bamboo forests. After crossing a bridge at 2,680 meters, we follow the river downstream before starting a serious climb, passing some water-driven mills on the way to Kabra. Here is a huge overhanging rock that is the source of silaji, a mineral believed to have “healing” properties. It is exported to India, and it is believed by people that "there is hardly any curable disease that cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of silaji." Our steep climb continues for a while and then levels out before Bhara (a classic Tibetan-style village). After this village, we then descend to the Chauro Khola river and the village of Chautha (6 hrs).
Chautha to Rara Lake (2980m)
Our trail continues to follow the stream uphill to Bhulbule, the Rara National Park entrance station at 3,130 meters. Our path continues climbing sharply to Ghurchi Lagna pass (3,450 m), which offers the first and very spectacular views of Rara Lake and the western Himalayas. From the pass, the route descends gently along a narrow ridge at first before dropping precipitously through spruce forests. The path levels at about 2,900 meters and continues more or less level to the small settlement of Dhotu, with fine views to the north. From Dhotu, we traverse a steep, north-facing slope and cross a series of fields down to a small stream. Crossing the bridge, we climb up to the Thakuri village of Jhyari (2,630 m). From Jhyari, we climb steadily up through cedar forest to a huge meadow atop a 3,050-meter ridge with great overhead views of Rara Lake. We will follow the trail along to the northern side of the lake, where the park headquarters and overnight facilities are situated (8 hrs.).
Rara Lake is the largest lake in Nepal. It is almost 13 km around the lake, and a day devoted to walking around is well spent. Designated a national park in 1975, this region offers remoteness and a wilderness experience unlike any other region of Nepal, where birds, flowers, and wildlife thrive. Among the mammals in this region are Himalayan bears, serows, gorals, musk deer, red pandas, and both rhesus and langur monkeys. The 170-meter-deep lake is a habitat for otters and an important resting place for migrating waterfowl.
Rara Lake to Bota (2800m)
From the bridge at the western end of Rara Lake, the trail will follow the Khatyar Khola river. We will keep following this river as it slowly descends before we climb out, following a small trail surrounded by pine, spruce, and rhododendron forests. We follow our path dropping into the Ghatta valley heading towards the small settlement of Gorosingha, then continue down the valley to Bota where there are both guest houses and campsites to choose from (8 hrs)
Bota to Jaljala Chaur (3270m)
The route follows a new road along the northern wall of the valley, toward Sinja. From the 12th to 14th centuries, Sinjha was the capital of the Malla dynasty that ruled western Nepal. The ruins of the old palace can be seen across the river. There is a temple here dedicated to Bhagwati, the goddess of justice, who rides atop a tiger. From Sinja, the trail crosses the Sinja Khola on a wooden cantilever bridge. After passing a few small villages, the trail crosses back and forth across the river on a series of quaint log bridges. Most of the trek is through forests of pine, birch, and oak and fields of barley and corn. The trail then climbs steeply to Jaljala Chaur, a massive high meadow full of grazing horses (7 hours).
Jaljal Chaur to Jumla (2370m)
Keep climbing through forest to yet another meadow, just below the ridge at 3,510 m, then a long descent on mostly steep but very pleasant forest trails to Jumla (4 hrs).
Jumla to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj
Staying at a hotel for the night
Depart from Kathmandu.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Three nights hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying luggage and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trailhead
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment
- Camp-site charges
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Rescue charge
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
August to late November and late February to late June
Starting point of trek
Finishing point of trek
Read our FAQ that answers general questions