Rara Lake Trekking
14, Feb 2024
Rara Lake Trekking

Rara Lake Trekking

Jumla to Rara lake has been a popular destination with off the beaten trekking route in far western Karnali region of Nepal for wilderness trekking lovers. The glimpses of culture and scenery on the way are quite different from the rest of Nepal. Located in high altitude, you can find the lake surrounded by Rara National Park with pine, spruce and juniper forest. The view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks enhances the attraction of visitors. Our trek to Rara Lake from Jumla begins with a flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. This most incredible and fascinating trip to Rara Lake lies northwest of Kathmandu in the remote area of Karnali. The route is very much ‘off the beaten path’ and offers experiencing unique cultures and scenery very different from the rest of Nepal.

Our trip to the Nepal’s biggest Rara Lake is ringed with blue pine, black juniper forest and Himalayan cypress is well-liked for its serenity. Rara Lake lies at an altitude of 2,990 m (9,810 ft) above sea level, has a water surface of 10.8 km2 (4.2 sq mi), a maximum depth of 167 m (548 ft), is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) long and 2.7 km (1.7 mi) wide. It drains into the Mugu Karnali River via the Nijar River. The area is designated a Rara National Park in 1976, the environs of Rara Lake are also home to several rare and protected species including Himalayan black bear, musk deer, goral, Himalayan Thar and wild boar. The park is also a bird watcher’s delight, especially during November and April when many species of birds visit during their seasonal migration. Our carefully design itinerary makes a circuit trekking to Rara Lake from Jumla via the village of Patmara, Chautha and Jhyari; a Thakuri village and walk back to Jumla through the villages of Gorusingha, Sija and Jaljala fulfills your dream of exploring untouched authentic Nepal village life and wilderness experience to the less touristy area, this trek will delight both the first time trekker and the seasoned veteran of Himalayan travel. 

Rara Lake Trekking


Authentic culture, abundant wildlife and uncrowned trails.

Spectacular setting of Rara Lake beneath, snow-capped Himalayas.

Pristine forests, high ridges and alpine meadows.

Trek in Nepal`s wild west country

Rara lake Trekking Itinerary

This is our standard itinerary. It can be customized or slightly changed if required considering your pace and trekking habit that cause to change of day to day plan

Day 01:Fly to Nepalgunj close to the Indian border.

Today, we take a short flight along the south side of the Nepal Himalaya, with great views of the Annapurna in particular. Arriving in Nepalgunj, a town in the ‘Terai’ on the border to India, we check in at the group hotel. Nepalgunj is a commercial center of the western Terai and was ‘given’ to Nepal by the British East India Company as a reward for Nepal staying neutral during the uprising in India. Technically part of the great Gangetic plains this region is very hot and humid with average day time temperatures above 35 Degree Centigrade. Consequently we will take things easy today.

Day 02:Fly to Jumla (2370m/7774ft) from Nepalgunj

Early in the morning flight to Jumla (35 minutes), Jumla airport is one of the best Nepal’s remote airstrips-900m long and an easy approach- so flights operate more regularly than at places such as Lukla. This is the gateway to the wild northwest and one of the highest rice-growing areas in the world. The unique red rice is tastier than white rice but scorned by most Nepalis. Jumla Bazar is 10 minutes more from airport and explores the Jumla Bazar and surrounding area. Overnight in lodge

Day 03:Trek to Patmara (2910m/9545ft.) 5-7 hours.

Today we start trek after having breakfast, the trail to Rara follows the north bank of Tila Khola, then turn up the other small stream. The Jumla Valley disappears behind the ridge as the trail follows the river, keeping fairly level and passing through fields and pine forests. Now trek begins an ascent up the Padmara Valley and becoming steeper as the climb continues. We have our lunch in proper place. Along the Padmara valley, the canyon becomes very narrow with vertical cliffs on both sides as the trail ascends through a deep forest of pines, spruces and firs. Finally we arrive in the last village of Patmara. Stay overnight in lodge homestay.

Day 04:Trek to Chautha (2770m/986ft.), around 6 hours.

In the morning after breakfast, the trail descent becomes steep, through forests of firs, birches, walnuts and bamboo and some a short level stretch the trail zigzags down to the Sinja Khola, crossing it on a log bridge and follow the river downstream to Nyawre. Then we continue the serious climb, passing through marijuana fields and over a ridge into a side valley. Now the steep climbs continues for a while and the trail makes a turn into a big valley then descends until reaching Chautha. Stay overnight in homestay or lodge.

Day 05:Trek to Jhyari (2635m/8643ft). 5-6 hours.

In this day, the rocky trail follows the stream uphill, crossing it as the wooded valley becomes narrower. The climb continues to the Bhulbule where entry our permit and above Bhulbule the trail emerges into an immense treeless meadow and climbs gently but steadily to an assortment of Chhortens, cairns and prayer flags atop the Ghurchi Lagna. From here, there are views of the Mugu Karnali River and snowy peaks bordering Tibet. The route descends gently on a broad path to a hut, and then drops precipitously down a rough trail through spruces forests. Follow the direct trail to Rara Lake, which stays more or less level through pine forests, and then descend to the Jhyari Khola. Stay overnight in homestay or lodge.

Day 06:Trek to Rara Lake 3040m/3-4 hours.

This day, cross s stream and make a steep climb to Thakuri Village of jhyari, in a picturesque grove of giant cedars. Then continue climbing through cedar forests to a huge meadow a top ridge with a great view of Rara Lake. Descends on the northern side of the lake where camping ground is available. Stay overnight homestay or lodge.

Day 07:A day for exploration of the area around Rara Lake.

We have a complete day to explore the lake shoreline and its environs. We can visit the National Park headquarters and climb up to the wooden observation tower for fine views of the lake and surrounding hills. Swimming is allowed in the lake but be warned that at this altitude it will be quite refreshing! We spend a second night at the lake.

Day 08:Trek to Gorusinha (3190m/10463ft), 5-7 hours.

From the bridge at the western end of Rara Lake the trail will follow the Khatyar Khola River. We descend slowly this river and climb up a small trail surrounded by pine, spruce and rhododendron forests. Our path drops into the Ghatta valley heading towards the small settlement of Gurosingha. 

Day 09:Trek to Sinja (2440m/8003ft), 5-6 hours.

The route keeps heading down the Ghatta Valley following the Sinja Khola River. From the 12th to 14th century, Sinja 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 an interesting temple here dedicated to Bhagwati, the Goddess of justice with its tigress.

Day 10:Trek to Jaljala Chaur (3531m/11582ft), 5-6 hours.

From Sinja the trail crosses the Sinja Khola on a wooden cantilever bridge. After passing a few small villages, the trail goes on back and forth across the river on a series of quaint log bridges. Most of the trail is passing forest of pine, birch and oak and fields of barley and corn. Then the trail makes a steep climb to Jaljala Chaur, a gigantic meadow full of horses.

Day 11:From Jaljala Chaur to Jumla (2370m), 5-6 hours.

For the last day of our trek we keep climbing through forests and meadows, head to the ridge at 3510m, and continue a pleasant descent to Jumla, the finishing point of our trek. We fly back to Kathmandu on the next morning. 

Day 12:Fly from Jumla to Nepalgunj and then take a second flight to Kathmandu.

We take the early morning flight from Jumla to Nepalgunj, where we connect with our onward flight to Kathmandu. Arriving in the city we check into our hotel and this evening we will go out to enjoy a celebratory dinner in one of Kathmandu’s excellent restaurants. This is an important contingency day in case of delays to our flight from Jumla. If we have already flown back to Kathmandu, there is an optional complimentary half-day guided sightseeing tour of the city. Alternatively, especially if you have been to Kathmandu before, you can wander through the bazaars, perhaps do some shopping for souvenirs or you can make your own independent sightseeing tour either in Kathmandu or one of the outlying towns such as Bhaktapur or Patan. This evening we have our ‘end of holiday’ dinner and our final night in Nepal.

Rara Lake Trekking Difficulty

Rara Lake Trekking apparently is quite easy and appropriate for any level of trekkers. With the basic level of fitness, beginners and intermediate level trekkers can easily complete this trek. You possibly can be able to hike for 4 to 6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. So, this trek doesn’t require any previous trekking experience and technical experience.

Best Time for Rara Lake Trekking

Rara Lake Trekking

The Spring (September-October) and Autumn season (March-May) are the best time for Rara Lake Trekking. During this time the weather will be pleasant and you’ll get splendid views of the Himalayas reflecting in the lake. Not to forget mentioning, the area is covered by blooming colorful Rhododendrons during spring season which add unique and incomparable beauty around the lake.

Rara Lake Trekking Map:

Also read about Tilicho Lake Trek

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