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A deep fresh-water lake in the Himalayan foothills, the holy Shey Phoksundo Lake is a pilgrimage site where Hindu and Buddhist devotees flock during the celebration of festivals like the Janai Poornima. Located in Dolpa within the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the lake holds a unique Himalayan wilderness and hosts a myriad of trans-Himalayan habitats.
The Shey-Phoksundo National Park is one of the very few protected areas in the Nepali Himalayas big enough to secure a viable population of the critically endangered snow leopards. As such, the Shey-Phoksundo Lake Trek presents a remote and little-known off-beaten trekking path to enjoy.
Starting the trek with a short flight to Nepalgunj, the trip takes you meandering through Dolpa's remote ethnic settlements. Dolpa is among the last few places on Earth where authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture is still thriving. Due to the region's remoteness and relative isolation, the cultural ambiance of the place has not changed for centuries. The trek is a perfect way to experience this wonderful culture firsthand.
With regard to the region's alienation from outside destinations, one might say that magic still lives in the hills of Dolpo. The remote country through which you will be trekking through is full of evidence of the ancient animistic religions practiced by the hill people, despite their sometimes nominal adherence to Hinduism and Buddhism. All along the journey in several villages, you can experience the old traditional customs that come in many forms, like crudely carved wooden effigies set before front doors to ward off evil spirits.
Likewise, the region also harbors a very rich and vivid ecosystem. The thriving wildlife presents you with a chance to lose yourself in nature. Vast woods and alpine wetlands embed the terrain, serving several species of animals and birds as their natural habitats. The pathway traverses through the lower Himalayan foothills of the region, under canopies of emerald forests where the peal of birdsongs fill the atmosphere. It is a beautiful trekking journey that presents wonderful natural landscapes, perfect for an off-beaten trip.
The trail follows a wildly turbulent, crystal-blue river through vast forests of conifers. You will be trekking to Inner Dolpo where the sacred lake is situated. The very presence of the lake when seen for the first time, with the lake's intense ultramarine edged with turquoise and deep purple tincture toward dusk, is indescribable in its beauty and other-worldliness. Above the lake stand cliffs of rust-colored rocks streaked with blue. Beyond, the great snow-covered peaks rise out to the sky.
For over a decade, Trek Central Nepal Pvt. Ltd. has been accompanying trekkers and adventurers around the Himalayas. Our packages are created by consulting local travel experts and certified guides. We aim to offer the best travel experience to all our clients.
Outline ItineraryDay 01: Arrival in Kathmandu [1300m]
Day 02: Fly to Nepalgunj, gateway to the Far West
Day 03: Fly to Juphal and trek to Dunai [2140m] 3 hours trek
Day 04: Trek to Chhepka Village [2520m] 6-7 hours trek
Day 05: Trek to Jharana Waterfall [2670m] 5-6 hours trek
Day 06: Trek to the Tibetan village of Ringmo [3641m] 5-6 hours trek
Day 07: Explore sacred Phoksundo Lake [3600m] and Tshowa Gompa
Day 08: Trek to Chhepka Village 6-7 hours trek
Day 09: Trek to Juphal 6-7 hours trek
Day 10: Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
Day 11: Departure day
- 1 hour trekkers massage / Yoga after the trip completion.
- 3 star accommodations in Kathmandu
- A porter and his entire expenses.
- Airport pickup and drop facility.
- All monument entrance fees.
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
- Breakfast,Lunch and dinner during the trek.
- Company duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map.
- Down jackets and sleeping bags (provided upon request).
- First aid medical kit
- Fresh seasonal fruits after the dinner (while on the trek).
- Insurance of guide and porter.
- Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Jufal -Kathmandu flight tickets
- Licensed, experienced and English speaking trekking guide
- Welcome and farewell dinner at one of the finest Nepalese Restaurant with traditional ethnic music and dance.
- Airfare for international flights.
- Cost for additional trips.
- Extra night accommodations in case of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the trip(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Meals in the city except for breakfast and other mentioned special dinner.
- Nepal arrival visa.
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
- Tipping to staffs (as an appreciation).
- Travel insurance which covers emergency rescue and evacuation.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8
- Day 9
- Day 10
- Day 11
Arrival in Kathmandu [1300m]
Fly to Nepalgunj
Fly to Juphal and trek to Dunai [2140m] 3 hours trek
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for an early flight to Juphal, a small village that is often the starting point of Phoksundo Treks. From Juphal, you will start your trek and head to Dunai for an overnight stay. The trail meanders along the banks of the Bheri River, passing by Roop Ghar, which is famous for its watermill. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Dunai.
Trek to Chhepka Village [2520m] 6-7 hours trek
You will start your trek with a hike along the banks of the Bheri River. After leaving Dunai, you will cross the river and head north, following the trail that leads to the first village- Sulighat. From there, the check post of Shey Phoksundo National Park is located a few miles ahead. After showing your permit, you will walk through walnut and maple woods. Tibetan villages like Shyanta also embed the terrain before finally reaching Chhepka. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Chhepka.
Trek to Jharana Waterfall [2670m] 5-6 hours trek
After an early breakfast, you will continue on the trail that leads to Jharana. The pathway traverses through cedar forests and you can see amazing views of the Bheri Valley. The trail then starts an uphill slope and you can see Phoksundo Lake’s gorge forming the valley ridge. Before you reach Jharana, you will pass by a small settlement that is mainly used as a winter commune by the herders. Along the journey, you will also come across Jharana- one of the highest and the most beautiful waterfalls of Nepal, formed by the draining of the Phoksundo Lake. The village, named after the waterfall, is located just a few kilometers further. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Jharana.
Trek to the Tibetan village of Ringmo [3641m] 5-6 hours trek
From the village, the trekking trail coruscates through the grasslands of the Dolpa valley towards Ringmo- a traditional village occupied by people of Tibetan ethnicity. Most of the people of Ringmo follow the Bönpo faith and are mostly engaged in trading, yak herding, and tourism. Ringmo sits on a landslide dam that forms the Phoksundo Lake and presents good views of the ravines that form the Phoksundo Gorge. Ringmo is a lively place with children herding goats, and baby, kids skipping through the village. You can see women sat on the ground in front of the stone and mud houses (often with a yak parked in a stone corral) weaving on long, narrow looms. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Ringmo.
Explore the sacred Phoksundo Lake [3600m] and Tshowa Gompa
Following the chartreuse landscape with the path going under shimmering gossamers of rhododendron groves, you will reach Phoksundo Lake. It is a beautiful sight to behold; the glimmering lake is a deep turquoise color and presents an almost mirage-like ambiance. The lake is also a great place to experience Bön culture. You will also visit the Tshowa Gompa that stands in a magnificent location overlooking the Lake. The Gompa is occupied by Bönpo monks in red woolen tunics with yellow caps and bead necklaces. The Gompa holds vivid wall paintings similar to those in Buddhist Gombas, as well as wooden statues of deities. It also harbors a carved, painted post resembling a totem pole. After exploring the lake and the Gompa, you will return to your guesthouse for an overnight stay.
Trek to Chhepka Village 6-7 hours trek
You will have an early breakfast and leave the beautiful lake behind, following the trail that ascends to a hill. The sight of the entire Lake can be seen for the first time from the hill ridge. From there, you will slowly descend to the banks of the Phoksundo River. Along the way, you will pass by villages like Chunuwar and Rechi before finally reaching Chhepka. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Chhepka.
Trek to Juphal 6-7 hours trek
The trail follows the Phoksundo River once again. Crossing the river, you will enter the Bheri Valley where you can enjoy the rocky landscape. The valley is a huge blanketing pasture where herds of goat and yaks graze under the warm sun. You will trek along the banks of the Bheri River, heading east through maple and walnut woods. Along the way, you will pass by villages like Dunai and Kalagauda. Overnight stay at the guesthouse at Juphal.
Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu
You will bid the Dolpo valley goodbye and take a flight back to Nepalgunj. From there, it's another short flight back to the capital. Overnight stay at the Hotel in Kathmandu.
Approximately three hours before your scheduled flight, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.