Shey Phoksundo Lake

Shey Phoksundo Lake, nestled deep within the rugged landscapes of the Dolpo region in northwestern Nepal, is a shimmering jewel of natural beauty and cultural significance. Situated at an elevation of approximately 3,611 metres (11,849 feet) above sea level, this pristine alpine lake captivates travellers with its mesmerising turquoise waters, set against the backdrop of towering cliffs and snow-capped peaks.

Named after the nearby Shey Monastery, an ancient Buddhist monastery perched dramatically on a hillside, Shey Phoksundo Lake holds deep spiritual significance for the local Dolpo people and Tibetan Buddhists. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism, blessed the lake with his presence, imbuing it with sacred energy.

The journey to Shey Phoksundo Lake takes adventurers through some of the most remote and rugged terrain in Nepal. Trekkers traverse rocky trails, deep forests, and high mountain passes, encountering traditional villages where the Dolpo people have preserved their ancient way of life for centuries. Along the way, trekkers are treated to breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and pristine alpine meadows.

Beyond its natural beauty, Shey Phoksundo Lake is also home to a rich array of flora and fauna, including blue sheep, Himalayan thars, and various bird species. The surrounding Shey Phoksundo National Park, established to protect the region’s unique biodiversity, offers sanctuary to these species and provides trekkers with opportunities for wildlife spotting amidst the rugged wilderness.

Whether seeking spiritual solace amidst serene natural surroundings, embarking on an adventurous trek through remote landscapes, or simply marvelling at the sheer beauty of its turquoise waters, Shey Phoksundo Lake holds an irresistible allure for travellers seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Himalayas.

 

Shey Phoksundo lake Itinerary

 

Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a city in the western Terai region of Nepal.

Overnight stay in Nepalgunj, preparing for the onward journey.

Day 2: Nepalgunj to Juphal (Dolpo) to Dunai

Take an early morning flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal.

Begin trekking from Juphal to Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa.

The trail descends through terraced fields and small villages.

Overnight in Dunai.

Day 3: Dunai to Chepka

Trek from Dunai to Chepka.

The trail follows the banks of the Thuli Bheri River, passing through dense forests.

Enjoy the serene natural surroundings.

Overnight in Chepka.

Day 4: Chepka to Renje

Trek from Chepka to Renje.

The trail continues along the river, gradually ascending through forests and meadows.

Cross several suspension bridges along the way.

Overnight in Renje.

Day 5: Renje to Phoksundo Lake

Trek from Renje to Phoksundo Lake.

Enter the Shey Phoksundo National Park, with stunning views of the surrounding peaks.

Reach the mesmerising turquoise waters of Phoksundo Lake.

Explore the lakeshore and nearby monasteries.

Overnight camping near Phoksundo Lake.

Day 6: Exploration Day at Phoksundo Lake

Spend a day exploring the area around Phoksundo Lake.

Optional hikes to nearby viewpoints for panoramic vistas of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

Visit nearby villages and interact with locals.

Overnight camping near Phoksundo Lake.

Day 7: Phoksundo Lake to Chhapka

Trek from Phoksundo Lake back to Chhepka.

Retrace your steps along the trail, enjoying different perspectives of the landscape.

Overnight in Chhapka.

Day 8: Chhepka to Juphal

Trek from Chhepka to Juphal.

Enjoy the last day of trekking through picturesque villages and forests.

Reach Juphal by late afternoon.

Overnight in Juphal.

Day 9: Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu

Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj.

Catch a connecting flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu.

Arrive in Kathmandu by late afternoon.

Relax and unwind in Kathmandu or explore the city’s vibrant streets and cultural sites.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 10: Departure

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some free time for last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Transfer to the airport for your onward journey or international departure.

 

Best time to visit

The best months to go trekking in the Dolpo region are March, April and May as well as September, October and November. There are fewer chances of snowfall and rainfall during these months. The temperature is moderate and the weather is quite dry. Therefore, the months of March, April, May, September, October and November are ideal for exploring the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek.

 

Conclusion

This itinerary provides a well-rounded experience of the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek, allowing ample time for acclimatisation, exploration, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Dolpo region. Adjustments can be made based on your preferences, fitness level, and available time. Additionally, it’s essential to remain flexible as weather conditions and other factors may impact the trekking schedule.

In conclusion, the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek offers an unparalleled adventure into the heart of the Himalayas, where rugged landscapes, ancient cultures, and serene natural beauty converge. As trekkers navigate through remote trails, traversing high mountain passes and lush valleys, they are rewarded with breathtaking views of the majestic Phoksundo Lake, its turquoise waters shimmering against a backdrop of towering cliffs and snow-capped peaks.

Beyond its scenic splendor, the trek provides a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Dolpo people, who have preserved their rich cultural heritage for centuries. The journey is not just a physical challenge but also a spiritual and cultural immersion, with opportunities to visit ancient monasteries, interact with local communities, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s spiritual significance.

Moreover, the Shey Phoksundo National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna, offers trekkers a chance to connect with nature in its purest form, with sightings of blue sheep, Himalayan thars, and various bird species adding to the allure of the trek.

Whether seeking adventure, cultural exploration, or spiritual rejuvenation, the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek promises an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who embark on this extraordinary journey into the heart of the Himalayas.