- Exploring Isolated Bon -Po Tibetan villages.
- Crossing deserted rain shadow areas of Lower Dolpo.
- High suspension bridges, and authentic trails to Ringmo village.
- Diverse Flora and Fauna in the Shey Phoksundo National Park of Nepal.
- Snow-capped Kanjirowa Massif (6,612 m) along with the unique landscape of Trans Himalaya.
A breathtaking lake with an entrancing blue-green coloration can be found in the Dolpo region of Nepal. The hike to Shey Phoksundo Lake offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness something genuinely extraordinary in unspoiled and gorgeous environments. Shey Phoksundo Lake lies inside the Dolpo district of Nepal which is also the biggest and the least explored region of Nepal. Dolpo region is very vast and full of mysteries, however this relatively short trek to the gorgeous lake is a step to explore a part of something unknown and full of surprises.
During the trek to Phoksundo Lake, you will pass through a thick forest that is home to many different kinds of trees. Some of these species include oaks, pines, and fir trees. You will also come across lofty suspension bridges and traditional towns as you make your way along this route. Tshowa Monastery may be found to the north of the lake, and Ringmo Village can be found to the south of the lake. Ringmo village is also known for its continued observance of Bon-Po culture. In addition, hikers get the chance to explore several monasteries, such as Shey Gompa and Thasung Gompa, during their time in the mountains.
Phoksundo is a remarkably deep oligotrophic lake situated at 3,611 meters. This lake holds great significance for Buddhists and followers of the Bon-Po religion, as it is considered holy and sacred. Nepal's natural tourist spot is undeniably scenic and beautiful. The lake is located on the outskirts of Shey Phoksundo National Park. The national park is home to a diverse array of plants and animals. It provides a wide range of stunning and picturesque landscapes. The trek reaches its highest point at Phoksundo Lake, which is located at an elevation of 3,640 meters above sea level. Meanwhile, to enter this area, certain permits are mandatory for trekkers as it is located within one of the restricted areas of Nepal.
The region around Phoksundo Lake is one of the most isolated and undeveloped regions in Nepal. Because of that the local teahouse and the lodges provide the basic accommodation facilities for the trekkers traveling to Phoksundo Lake. Phoksundo lake trek is one of the shortest trekking trails in the far western part of Nepal. With our Phoksundo Lake Trek itinerary, you can complete it easily within a week with the help of our expert trekking leader. This is one of the moderate difficulty levels of the trek and beginners with normal fitness levels can join the trek.
Autumn is the best time for trekking in Nepal. September, October, and November are seen as the best months for Phoksundo Lake Trek. During this month of the year, the temperature is warm in the daytime as well as chill in the morning and during the evening. Due to the high visibility eye-appealing view of the Phoksundo Lake can be seen along with the valleys. There are chances of snowfall during Mid December. During this month of the year, the temperature is cold but offers a jaw-dropping reward.
Spring (March, April, and May) are another best season for trekking to Phoksundo Lake. During these seasons, the weather is perfect and the temperature is moderate. During these seasons the surrounding area is full of lush green vegetation along with flowering plants such as rhododendron. So, trekkers can enjoy the best sightseeing of blooming rhododendrons and magnificent views of Dhaulagiri and other ranges. The vibrant flowers make the walk more pleasant. Monsoon (June to August) is not favorable because of harsh weather, coldness, and muddy-slippery roads. The trail gets very rough during the rainy season as it will be slippery and hard to walk on.
What is Phoksundo Lake Trek?
The Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is highly popular in the western region of Nepal. Situated at an impressive elevation of 3,640 meters above sea level, Shey Phoksundo is undeniably one of the most renowned lakes in Nepal. Trekking through Nepal's Shey Phoksundo National Park offers an incredible and unforgettable experience. During the trek, you will have the opportunity to observe rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, as well as enjoy the stunning sights of the lake, waterfall, valley, and other natural wonders.
Furthermore, this trek offers you the chance to discover and explore remote regions. The trip becomes truly memorable as you cross the ancient salt trade route, witness the majestic yak caravans, and take in the breathtaking views of the pristine Kanjirowa Himal on the oligotrophic Phoksundo. During their trek, trekkers will have the opportunity to ascend and descend through traditional villages such as Dunai, Chhepka, Jharana Hotel, and Santa. During the trip, trekkers will have the opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of a 167-meter waterfall. This region is home to several endangered species, including Musk deer, snow leopards, blue sheep, and Himalayan Thar. If you want to explore the upper Dolpo area you can extend a few days to this trek and explore the upper region as well while you are still in the Dolpo area.
After your trek is finished a scenic flight will transport you to the starting point of the trek. After trekking for a week in the western part of Nepal, you will return to Kathmandu by flying back from the same point. Jhupal serves as the starting point for treks and can be easily reached by taking a scenic flight from Nepalgunj. The residents of upper Dolpo adhere to Tibetan culture, while the residents of lower Dolpo practice Buddhism. Additionally, some of them adhere to the Bon-Po religion. The Bon-Po followers move in a counterclockwise direction around the monasteries.
Shey Phoksundo National Park - Isolated Paradise.
Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest as well as the only trans-Himalayan national park in Nepal. It is one of the many beautiful national parks in Nepal. It is located in the Dolpa and Mugu districts in the mid-western part of Nepal. Meanwhile, the total area of Shey Phoksundo National Park is 3,555 square kilometers. The topography of Shey Phoksundo national park is very unique with lush green juniper forests piled with dirt and dust. The Dolpo area is divided into two sections Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo. Lower Dolpo is a bit more developed than the upper Dolpo as the upper part is least explored and most isolated as it falls inside the restricted area in Nepal and requires some specific permit to access.
The unique and untouched nature makes the perfect habitat for the majestic wild animals in these regions such as Snow leopards, musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, blue sheep, Himalayan black bears, and jackals are some of the popular wild animals found inside this national park. In addition to its natural wonders, Shey Phoksundo National Park is also known for being home to numerous Buddhist monasteries.
Some of the prominent locations in upper Dolpo include Shey Gompa, a well-known monastery. This is also the place where the highly anticipated Shey Festival takes place every 12 years. Shey Phoksundo National Park is a vast and unexplored area, which contributes to its status as one of the least visited destinations. The landscape of this place in Nepal is truly unique, distinguished by its mountain deserts, high passes, and a touch of madness that sets it apart from any other location you will encounter.
Phoksundo Lake - The deepest lake in Nepal.
The lake in the Dolpo region, known for its blue-green color, holds great significance for the Buddhist community, particularly those who follow the Bon-Po religion, as it is considered a sacred site. Shey Phoksundo Lake, with its stunning beauty, is located at an elevation of 3,640 meters above sea level. This mesmerizing destination attracts over 2,000 visitors annually. Shey Phoksundo Lake is not only the deepest lake in Nepal but also one of the most pristine and unexplored in the country.
The lake is truly breathtaking, with its crystal-clear waters and surrounded by majestic hills that give it the appearance of a green screen on a movie set. Phoksundo, locally known as Rigm Lake, is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent lakes. Its beauty is attributed to its distinctive shape, mesmerizing color, remote location, and deep cultural significance to the local people.
Phoksundo Lake has a maximum length of 5.15 square kilometers and an overall width of 800 meters. The lake has an approximate depth of 145 meters. The southern belt of the lake is home to over 20 stupas, while the eastern belt has one stupa. Special days throughout the year are marked by annual prayers and worship. The lake is situated in the foothills of the Kanjieowa mountains and has a distinctive Y shape. With its magnificent turquoise color and breathtaking scenery, it is evident that this mountain park is truly the most scenic in the world.
If our trip itinerary does not fit your holiday schedule or if you would like to make any modifications to it, please feel free to message us. We strive to ensure that our esteemed guests have a delightful travel experience tailored to their preferences and desires. We offer a wide range of packages suitable for student groups, family groups, corporate teams, and many other types of groups. Each travel package varies based on the size of the group and the preferences of the guests. We would be delighted to combine it with any travel plans you may have. Please let us know, and we will create a customized itinerary specifically for your travel group.
Your Arrival Time (?) Our office representative will meet and greet you at Kathmandu Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu. At 06:00 PM: In the evening we will meet for a coffee and will brief you on the details of your trek program.
*Optionally you can add one additional night stay in Kathmandu to cover cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu as well for your trek preparation shopping.
Flight to Nepalgunj.
At. 09:30 AM: Wake up and have breakfast at the hotel. Your trekking guide will receive you and take you to the Kathmandu airport for your flight to Nepalgunj. The flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj is about 45-50 minutes. Upon reaching Nepalgunj you will be transferred to the hotel. After getting your necessary permits along with a restricted area permit you will fly to Nepalgunj.
At. 01:00 PM: After completing your checking-in and short refreshment you can visit a nearby market to explore local people, food, culture, and attractions. Nepalgunj is located near the India and Nepal border meaning you get to taste and explore some of the delicious Indian food during your leisure time.
Note: You can leave your extra bags in the hotel in Kathmandu as it will reduce your weight making your trek light and smooth. You can collect your bags after you fish your trek as you will return to Kathmandu before departure. Also, your property will be safe at the hotel.
Flight to Juphal, Trek to Dunai.
At. 06:00 AM: Early this morning you will take the flight to Juphal which is on the northern side of Nepalgunj. The small aircraft will take you to the beautiful airport in Juphal. The view of mighty snow-capped peaks is visible throughout the flight.
The duration of the flight to Jhuphal from Nepalgunj is about 45 minutes on a twin otter aircraft which is the most comfortable and easy mode of transportation by air that connects remote regions of Nepal.
Juphal is your starting point of the trek and from here you will start your first day of the trek. The total distance between Jhuphal to Dunai is 11 km which you can cover in around 2-4 hours as the trail is easy and follows a gradual descent. The trail mostly goes from the bank of the Bheri river and passes through beautiful villages and maize fields. The trail today is mostly descending to the Dunai village. Overnight at Dunai.
Note: you can hire a porter if you wish to which is optional and costs you extra add-ons. One porter can carry 20-22 kgs of baggies for two people.
Trek to Chhekpa.
At. 07:30 AM: After having breakfast, you will depart from Dunai village and proceed with your descent towards the Bheri river. You will then cross the river and continue along the trail on the northern bank. The trail leads you to Sunlight, and then you will arrive at the check post of Shey Phoksundo National Park. The trail starts here and goes uphill, passing through the hemp fields until it reaches Kageni village. The trail to Chhepka offers breathtaking views of magnificent waterfalls, lush vegetation, and alpine forest. The distance from Dunai to Chhepka is approximately 15 km. The trail consists of a gradual ascent, allowing you to cover this distance in approximately 7-8 hours. Once you arrive at Chhepka, take a moment to set down your bags and ensure you have a comfortable night's rest. While your dinner is being prepared, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. Overnight at a comfortable local lodge in Chhekpa village.
Trek to Jharana Hotel.
At. 07:30 AM: After having breakfast, you will begin your trek towards the Jharana hotel. Today, you will have the opportunity to catch your first glimpse of Phoksundo Lake from a distance. Today's trail takes you through expansive meadows and lush forests. When you pass through the meadows, you will find the George of Phoksundo just below you. After completing the climb, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking sight of one of the most magnificent and large waterfalls. Your stay today is located near a waterfall, which is why the hotel is named Jharana, meaning "waterfall" in the native language.
The distance between Chhepka and Jharana Hotel, near the village of Samdowa, is approximately 14 km. The trail is a bit rough, with frequent small ascents and descents, so it may take around 7-8 hours to complete. Dinner at the local lodge and rest for the night.
Trek to Phoksundo Lake.
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, you will depart from the Jharana hotel and move forward to Ringmo village, located on the banks of the Phoksundo lake. The trail initially descends through the birch forest before ascending to reach the Phoksundo Khola, a river. To reach the ranger station at Phoksundo Lake, head north after crossing the bridge.
Today, you will be walking approximately 5 km from Jharana Hotel to Ringmo Village. This journey is expected to take around 4-5 hours on foot. Today, you will embark on a trek to the stunning Phoksundo Lake and have the opportunity to explore its surroundings. The stunning lake is situated directly in front of you, offering an awe-inspiring view. Experience the opportunity to meet and connect with the locals, who are known for their friendly and warm nature, and gain insight into their day-to-day routines.
Phoksundo Exploration Day.
At. 08:00 AM: Have breakfast at the local lodge and start your amazing day to explore the most picturesque place of this trek. Today you will explore Ringmo village. Phoksundo lake, surrounding areas, and monasteries. Phoksundo Lake is an alpine turquoise-colored freshwater lake and the deepest lake in Nepal at 3,600 m. you will visit a 900-year-old Bon monastery, Tshowa Gompa. The lake is famous for its striking turquoise color and spectacular scenery. Today, you will have the opportunity to visit the viewpoint of Shey Phoksundo lake, located approximately 1.5 km away from Ringmo village. The journey to reach the viewpoint typically takes around 1-2 hours. The viewpoint offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire lake, including its surroundings and a few majestic mountains.
The Rigm Lake, as it is known locally, is the deepest and one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Nepal. Dolpo is a rare venue to witness the Bon-po religion, which has its roots in a time before Buddhism and is now recognized internationally as the fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism. Dolpo, like many other distant regions, has managed to maintain its culture in its most authentic form. In addition to meeting locals, you'll have the chance to discover the beautiful lake in front of you by climbing to the Phoksundo Lake viewpoint. After a day of sightseeing, head back to the Ringmo settlement for the night.
Note: You can extend a few days and do a lower Dolpo circuit trek if you wish to which is optional and will cost extra add-ons.
Trek to Chhepka.
At. 07:30 AM: After having breakfast, you will begin your descent back towards Chhepka village. The trail takes you through a beautiful landscape of lush green vegetation, including birch forests, tropical forests along the Phoksundo Khola, and the Bheri river. Along the way, you may also encounter various wildlife species. The trail runs alongside the riverbank, and the calming sound of flowing water accompanies you throughout the entire hike. The distance from Ringmo to Chhepka is approximately 19 km, and it typically takes around 6-8 hours to complete the journey on foot, as it is mostly downhill. Overnight at the local lodge.
Trek to Juphal.
At. 07:30 AM: After breakfast, the final day of your trek begins. You will be heading towards the town of Dunai and then continuing to the village of Juphal. The trail we will be exploring today is a rugged path that runs alongside the Bheri river. After you visit Shey Phoksundo National Park, you will proceed towards Juphal.
Today, you will be walking approximately 19 km on foot, and it is estimated that this will take you approximately 6-8 hours. Please note that there are uphill sections along the trail as you will be retracing your steps on the same path.
Flight to Nepalgunj, Flight to Kathmandu
At. 06:30 AM: Today you will take an early morning flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj. The flight duration from Juphal to Nepalgunj is 25 mins. Once you reach Nepalguj you will get the connecting flight to Kathmandu which takes you around 45 mins. Once you reach Kathmandu airport you will be transported to your hotel in Kathmandu.
You will have your day leisurely, you will have enough free time for shopping or roaming around Kathmandu Valley. However, if you want to go for authentic shopping for unique Arts of Nepal for souvenirs, and treat yourself to a relaxing spa after a week-long trek Thamel is the place for you. Enjoy the leisure time as you wish, and in the evening, join us for a traditional Nepali Dinner (Thakali Cuisine) with a live performance of folk songs as a farewell (If you want to visit other places, we can arrange it for you with extra add-ons)
You will have your breakfast at the hotel and then you will have free time (depending upon your flight time). Our office representative will drop you off at the Tribhuvan International Airport 3 hours before your flight time for airport formality. Carry loads of souvenirs, memories, and lifetime experiences back home, and Have a safe home return! We hope you enjoyed the trip! If you plan to extend your stay, we (Altitude Himalaya) are more than happy to make your visit memorable and enjoyable.
The information about the Phoksundo Lake Trek is in-depth; feel free to contact us 24/7. We will be available on WhatsApp to assist you instantly. You can write an email if this trip doesn't fit your vacation schedule and requirements. Altitude Himalaya aims to offer the best possible travel experience to customers. Depending on the needs of the visitors and the group size, we customize each vacation package. We will put together a bespoke itinerary just for your private group.
Travel insurance: Travel insurance is important before traveling to a new place especially when you are traveling for adventure. Travel insurance covers risks such as loss of personal belongings, and any unexpected expenses. Travel insurance also covers sudden medical emergencies such as accidents. It also covers high-altitude emergency evacuation in case of trekking. Travel insurance is not compulsory but highly recommended.
Medical emergency: If you face any serious medical emergency during your trekking program you will immediately evacuate the place through Helicopter Rescue which the traveler’s insurance company will cover. While trekking to the highland of Nepal you may face minor health issues such as scratches, headaches, etc. For such a situation, your guide carries a well-equipped first aid kit, ensuring nothing happens to you.
High-altitude sickness: During the trek, you will walk through gorgeous valleys, traditional villages, and thrilling highlands above 3000m elevation. Altitude sickness is unpredictable; it can happen to anyone despite being physically and mentally fit. As you gain altitude, the chances of getting altitude sickness also slightly increase. To avoid getting altitude sickness you should drink 5-6 lt water per/day and food with high carbohydrates. Walking slowly and acclimatizing decreases the chances of getting altitude sickness. Focus on your breathing and maintain your walking pace.
Packing List Suggestions
Having a good backpack and necessary gear makes trekking easier. It becomes more important if you are trekking at higher elevations. If you are wondering about what to pack for trekking to the highlands of Nepal, then you can check our complete guide on Nepal Trekking Gear Checklist.
While making a backpack, it is important to include clothing, essential items, and a first aid kit. In difficult times, a good backpack can be life-saving.
Do’s and Don’t:
Select the ideal time to travel.
Select a reputed trekking/ travel organization.
Training and getting ready for any kind of situation are necessary.
Efficient packing is the key. (Nepal trekking gear checklist)
Carry all the necessary paperwork (ACAP, another Important (Restricted Area Permit) permit, and TIMs).
Maintaining body hydration is important while traveling to high elevations.
Having the proper personal gear makes your journey more enjoyable.
Ask for permission before taking pictures and videos of people and ancient places.
Respect the culture and people of the area.
Travel for experience and not for the sake of traveling.
Don’t litter, put trash in its place.
Why with Altitude Himalaya: Altitude Himalaya is one of Nepal’s growing travel companies providing excellent service to its clients. We believe in providing quality experiences and memories. We are concerned about maintaining and following our own standard service that includes a private transfer, at least a 3-star hotel accommodation in urban areas, the best available lodges/tea houses at the trekking trails, and dedicated personalized assistance. Additionally, we also operate our trips in Bhutan and Tibet.
Frequently Asked Questions
How difficult is the Phoksundo lake trek?
The trek in the Dolpo region is considered to be of moderate difficulty, as it can be completed within 10 days. During the trek, it is necessary to traverse both uphill and downhill sections. The trail remains distinct throughout the journey, leading you to your ultimate destination, Phoskundo. Having a basic trekking or hiking experience will be beneficial for this trek. An individual who is both physically fit and mentally calm will be able to complete the trek with ease.
Can a beginner trekker join the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek?
Yes, beginners are welcome to join this trek. However, it's important to note that the high elevation and rough terrain may pose a challenge for those who are new to trekking. However, if your body is in a healthy condition and you prepare adequately before the trek, you can participate in the trek.
What kind of accommodation will you get during the trek?
During your stay in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, you will be provided with accommodation in at least a three-star hotel. Additionally, you will have the option to upgrade to luxurious five-star hotels. During the trek, you will stay in comfortable local lodges that offer basic amenities such as comfortable bedding, nutritious food, clean washrooms, and even electricity in specific areas, based on availability.
Are there facilities for electricity, and batteries to charge electronics during the trek?
Yes, you can have access to electricity facilities during your trek up to Ringmo, which is the final destination of the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek. Please note that there is a fee associated with accessing the facility, as per the policy of the local lodge. This amenity is not included and is completely optional or available for an additional cost.
What kind of food will I get during the trek, should I pack some snacks?
As the well-known Nepali saying goes, "Dal Bhat Power 24 Hours," You get a Nepali khana set that includes white rice, lentil soup, and a variety of side dishes. These side dishes typically consist of seasonal vegetables, fried potatoes, and pickles. You can also get soup, noodles, and spaghetti, even though we suggest you eat Nepali food. During the trek, the options are limited. However, in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, you will find a wide variety of options. There are plenty of excellent hotels, restaurants, and cafes where you can enjoy authentic Nepali food as well as comfortable continental cuisine.
How many hours do I have to walk during the trek days?
This trek is considered to be of easy to moderate difficulty and is located in the lower Dolpo region. During the trek, you can expect to cover a distance of 5 to 15 kilometers per day, which will take approximately 3 to 8 hours of trekking each day. The trails in the Dolpo region are well-distinguished and considered to be the easiest compared to other treks.
Can you swim in Phoksundo Lake?
Unfortunately, swimming or bathing in Shey Phoksundo Lake is not allowed. This lake holds great religious significance to the Buddhist community and is considered sacred, therefore strict regulations prohibit any such activities. Engaging in such behavior may result in receiving reprimands from the local residents.
Where is Phoksundo Lake?
Phoksundo Lake is situated in the northwest region of Nepal, specifically in the Dolpo district. It is positioned at an impressive elevation of 3,612 meters above sea level. To reach Shey Phoksundo lake, one must hike since there are no direct roads leading to the lake. To embark on a week-long trek from Dunai to Ringmo Village, one must begin their journey. Ringmo Village is situated directly in front of the lake.
How to reach Dolpo from Pokhara and what are the easiest means of transportation?
Dolpo is a remote region located in the northwest of Nepal. It is known for its isolation from other regions of the country. There are no direct flights from Kathmandu to Dolpo. However, there is a flight connection to Dolpo from various locations in the country, which operates from Juphal Airport. To reach Juphal, one must first fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.
All arrival and departure pickup and drop at Kathmandu airport as mentioned.
Domestic flight transfer from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj/Juphal and Juphal/Nepalunj to Kathmandu.
Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj as per the trek itinerary.
Daily breakfast throughout the trip.
Lunch and Dinner from trek start day to trek end day.
All necessary paper works. (National Park Entry Permits, Restricted area permits, and TIMS Card)
Well-experienced English-speaking professional licensed trek guide throughout the trek.
Local Lodge or Tea House accommodation during the trek.
One local SIM card (returnable) during your stay.
All government and local taxes.
Guide’s salary, food, and accommodation during the trek.
Well-equipped medical kit with necessary medications throughout the trek. (carried by the guide)
Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid by your traveler’s insurance company.
Sleeping bags, duffle bags, and trekking route maps – if necessary.
A farewell Nepali dinner on your last night.
Kathmandu sightseeing entrance fee.
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
Nepal visa cost. (You will require 2 passport-size photos and 40 USD for a 30 days Nepal tourist visa; visa forms can be filled out online in advance)
International flight ticket.
Travel health insurance. (Highly Recommended)
Tips for the guide, porter, and driver. (Recommended)
Sweet things like dessert/chocolate.
All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Hot shower/batteries charge/heater/mineral water during the trek.
Any other expenses which are not mentioned in including section.
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