Dolpo to Rara Trek via Shey Gompa
The Dolpa to Rara Trek leads you from the barren landscapes of Dolpa via Shey Gompa into the vast, thick alpine forests around Rara Lake. The trail will lead you by two stunning lakes, the emerald green Phoksundo Lake and pristine Rara Lake, the biggest lake in Nepal.
Along the way you will pass by Shey Gompa, often referred to as the spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo. It’s a magical place situated at the base of Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain itself is visited by hundreds of pilgrims each year who make a kora (circuit) around the mountain. We like to think of it as Dolpo’s own version of Mount Kailash.
The Dolpa to Rara Trek is a strenuous hike with four passes above 5,000 meter: Nagdalo La (5350 m), the Nyingma Gyanzen La (5563 m), the Yala La (5414 m) and the Chyargo La (5150 m). On top of that the trail lingers above 4000 meters for quite a while resulting in very cold nights. That being said, the unforgettable landscapes, the views from the passes and the rare insight into a preserved culture makes it all worth it.
There are a few basic teahouses along the way but bringing a tent is highly recommended for this trek.
March, April, May, September, October, November
Level of Difficulty
Restricted Area trekking permit for Upper Dolpo and Part of Mugu District (issued by the Immigration Office in Kathmandu), entrance fee for Shey Phoksundo National Park and Rara National Park (can be purchased on site or at the Immigration Office in Kathmandu)
- Day 1 Flight Kathmandu - Nepalgunj
- Day 2 Flight Nepalgunj - Juphal (2475 m), trek to Shyanta (2520 m) or Chhepka (2830 m) 5-6 hrs
- Day 3 Shyanta (2520 m) or Chhepka (2838 m) - Chunuwar near Amchi Hospital (3110 m) 6-7 hrs
- Day 4 Chunuwar (3110 m) - Ringmo village near Phoksundo Lake (3641 m) 3 hrs
- Day 5 Explore Ringmo village and Phoksundo Lake, visit Bon Gompa
- Day 6 Ringmo - Forest Camp beyond Sallaghari (3730 m) 6 hrs
- Day 7 Forest Camp (3730 m) - Kang La Low Camp (4400 m) 6-7 hrs
- Day 8 Kang La Low Camp (4400 m) - Shey Gompa (4310 m) via Nagdalo-La (Kang La) pass (5350 m) 6-7 hrs
- Day 9 Shey Gompa (4343 m). Rest day.
- Day 10 Shey Gompa (4343 m) - Bhijer Gaon (3850 m) 8 hrs
- Day 11 Bhijer Gaon (3850 m) - Pho (4087 m) via Yambur La pass (4813 m) 9 hrs
- Day 12 Pho (4087 m) - Pung Kharka (4650 m) via Nyingma Gyanzen La pass (5563 m) 9 hrs
- Day 13 Pung Kharka (4650 m) - Chyandi Khola (4830 m) via Yala La (5414 m) 6 hrs
- Day 14 Chyandi Khola (4830 m) - Takla Khola (3785 m) 7 hrs
- Day 15 Takla Khola (3785 m) - Thajuchaur (4050 m) via Chyargo La pass (5150 m) 7 hrs
- Day 16 Thajuchaur (4050 m) - Shilenchaura Kharka (2945 m) 6 hrs
- Day 17 Shilenchaura Kharka (2945 m) - Tiyar (2418 m) 3-4 hrs
- Day 18 Tiyar (2418 m) - Mangri (1950 m) 4 hrs
- Day 19 Mangri (1950 m) - Gamgadhi (2095 m) 4 hrs
- Day 20 Gamgadhi (2095 m) - Rara Lake (2990 m) 4 hrs
- Day 21 Rara Lake (2990 m). Rest day.
- Day 22 Rara Lake (2990 m) - Talcha Airport (2200 m) 2-3 hrs walk and flight to Nepalgunj/Surkhet and onward flight to Kathmandu
- Trekker’s Journal: On the fast track to Rara Lake Apr 28, 2017
- Going the distance – Trekking the full Great Himalaya Trails Mar 28, 2017
- A guide to Teahouse Trekking in Nepal Jun 30, 2017