Dolpo Rara Traverse Trek

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Starts at: Jhupal Ends at: Talcha
Trek Region: Dolpo & Mugu Transport: Flight
Duration: 22 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5490 m / 18011 ft Accommodation: Camping

Dolpo Rara Traverse Trek Highlights

  • One of the biggest lakes of Nepal, Rara Lake
  • Enjoy the soft breezes of Shey Phoksundo lake, the deepest oligotrophic lake in Nepal
  • Collect blessings at Shey Gompa, a 12th century monastery in DolpoBecome an active participant of Bon dance and other cultural activities
  • Explore around the Rara National Park, and explore the diverse flora and fauna of the region

The Upper Dolpo to Rara Traverse trek highlights two of the most beautiful high altitude lakes in Nepal. Starting in the barren yet stunningly beautiful landscape of Dolpo, and ending in the equally beautiful Mugu district, one of the poorest areas of the country, this trek is as challenging as it is enthralling. Spread over three weeks, there are four high passes to cross as well as high, steep, narrow and rocky trails to negotiate. A good deal of this trek is done at over 4,000m with the passes being between 5,000 to 5,500m. The lakes themselves Phoksundo (3,641m) in Dolpo and Rara (2,980m) in Mugu are both turquoise jewels set in a craggy, rocky landscape, and in pine forests, respectively. On the way the route, part of the newly opened east to west Great Himalayan Trail (GHT), passes through interesting villages with a Buddhist culture closely linked to Tibet, monasteries and gompa, and the quartz studded Crystal Mountain.

Dolpo is an area where the Bon Po religion (similar but different to Tibetan Buddhism) is still practiced and the majority of the people are more closely tied to Tibet than Nepal. Trade routes along which yaks and mules pass still run from Tibet to the lower parts of Nepal. Shey Gompa, a 12th century monastery, is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Dolpo, and is situated at the base of the Crystal Mountain, a long-standing pilgrimage area.

Mugu is the least developed district of Nepal, where its rugged landscape has meant it remains pretty much as it was in the past. With the opening of the GHT and a push towards local tourism, the beautiful Rara Lake, Nepal’s largest, is making its way onto the map. Rara National Park is the smallest national park in Nepal at only 106 square kilometers. As in the Shey Phoksundo National Park (3,55km2) which covers a large portion of Dolpo, there are several interesting mammal species in Rara National Park including the snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, Langur and rhesus monkeys, among others.

Stark landscapes, alpine forests, green meadows, craggy rock faces, tricky trails, high passes, beautiful people and completely stunning lakes await those with the time and willingness to try out this section of the Great Himalayan Trail.

Dolpo Rara Traverse Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (Flight)

Nepalgunj – 150 m / 492 ft – 50 minutes

Day 2: Nepalgunj to Jhupal (Flight) to Chhepak

Chhepak – 2830 m / 9284 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Chhepak to Chunuwar

Chunuwar – 3130 m / 10269 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Chunuwar to Ringmo

Ringmo – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 4 hrs

Day 5: Acclimatization Day

Ringmo – 3612 m / 11850 ft – 2 hrs

Day 6: Ringmo to Chunemba

Chunemba – 3639 m / 11938 ft – 5 hrs

Day 7: Chunemba to Snowfield Camp

Snowfield Camp – 4400 m / 14435 ft – 7 hrs

Day 8: Snowfield Camp to Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa – 4310 m / 14140 ft – 6 hrs

Day 9: Shey Gompa to Bhijer

Bhijer – 3850 m / 12631 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10: Bhijer to Pho

Pho – 4087 m / 13408 ft – 8 hrs

Day 11: Pho to Pung Kharka

Pung Kharka – 4650 m / 15255 ft – 7 hrs

Day 12: Pung Kharka to Chyandi Khola

Chyandi Khola – 4830 m / 15846 ft – 6 hrs

Day 13: Chyandi Khola to Takla Khola

Takla Khola – 3785 m / 12417 ft – 7 hrs

Day 14: Takla Khola to Thaju Chaur

Thaju Chaur – 4050 m / 13287 ft – 7 hrs

Day 15: Thaju Chaur to Shilen Chaur Kharka

Shilen Chaur Kharka – 2945 m / 9662 ft – 6 hrs

Day 16: Shilen Chaur Kharka to Tiyar

Tiyar – 2418 m / 7933 ft – 4 hrs

Day 17: Tiyar to Mangri

Mangri – 1950 / 6397 ft – 4 hrs

Day 18: Mangri to Gamgadi

Gamgadi – 2095 m / 6873 ft – 4 hrs

Day 19: Gamgadi to Rara Lake

Rara Lake – 2980 m / 9776 ft – 4 hrs

Day 20: Day Trip To View Point

Rara Lake – 2980 m / 9776 ft – 4 hrs

Day 21: Rara Lake to Talcha

Talcha – 2990 m / 9809 ft – 3 hrs

Day 22: Talcha to Nepalgunj (Flight) to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 2 hrs

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Plan Your Trip


  • 21 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses and tents
  • 1 night accommodation in Nepalgunj (Hotel Sneha or similar)
  • Guide for 22 days
  • Cook for 22 days
  • Required number of porters for 22 days
  • Kathmandu Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj Jhupal flight
  • Jhupal Nepalgunj, Nepalgunj Kathmandu flight
  • Shey Phoksundo national park and Rara national park permits
  • Restricted area permit
  • 22 x breakfast, 21 x lunch and 21 x dinner while on the trek
  • Lunch and dinner in Nepalgunj

Dolpo Rara Traverse Trek Map

dolpo region trek map

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