How To Reach Rara Lake From Pokhara or Kathmandu?

how to go rara lake

Till now everyone is aware of the fact that Nepal has some of the world’s astounding trekking sites. Few of these are lesser-known while most globally reputed but all equally adventurous with long-stretched hiking routes.

The places spill over magnetic scenery with diverse landscapes, mountain ridge, and glacial lakes. And that’s what exactly causes them to be noticeable even from distant.

Rara Lake, being no unusual, seems to follow the custom. It too showers a scenic beauty with serene lakes and snow peaks upon travelers trekking the region.

It is reckoned as the biggest freshwater lake in the Himalayas and is placed inside Rara National Park. Spanned in an area of 6.11 sq. mi, Rara Lake lies in Mugu and Jumla district.

Now if you’re wondering how to go Rara Lake from Pokhara or from Kathmandu then don’t worry as we’re here to guide. You can easily reach the lake either by jeep/bus or trekking for about two weeks. The trip to Rara Lake through the shuttle begins with an 11 hours drive from Kathmandu to Kohalpur.

The path makes its way through remote towns and villages including Manma and Sinja before getting to Rara Lake. The track follows the same path on its way back, and passes through Manma and Kohalpur until arriving at Kathmandu.

rara lake

For those who want to enjoy every bit of the trek, you can have our 12-days trek to Rara Lake. But, do you know how to go to Rara Lake using different routes?

Well, if you don’t then we’ll provide you a detailed itinerary of the trek. It starts off from Kathmandu where you’ll catch your flight to Nepalgunj which provides a dazzling view of mountains.

Once again, you’ll have a scenic flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla from Nepalgunj, passing along the mounting hills and clifftop. The unspoiled trail leading from Jumla all the way to Rara Lake offers breathtaking views of snow peaks atop and wilderness of the region.

Walking along the mountain path, you’ll come through many traditional Nepali villages such as Chautha and Dhotu. After exploring Rara Lake, you’ll head back to Ghorasingha and hike through wild forests and pastures before finishing at Jumla Airport. From here, you’ll take a picturesque flight back to Kathmandu.

Highlights of Rara Lake Trek

  • Panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains overlooking the lake
  • Visit remote villages on the way to Rara Lake and interact with locals
  • Glance through wide varieties of floras and fauna including Mallard and Tufted duck
  • Exploring deepest freshwater lake of the Himalayas
  • Pursue the difference in culture and lifestyle of different ethnic groups living in the region

Best time for Rara Lake Trek

rara lake

Spectacular scenery, blue-tinged lake, lush-green forest and many more-that’s for everyone traveling to Rara Lake. At that, there are countless isolated places and villages along the way which people can explore. So, all that trekkers have to take care of is to plan the trip to Rara Lake during Autumn or Spring.

Usually considered as the peak season for trekking, autumn has the nicest weather with subtle winter wind. As monsoon wipes all the rain clouds, the climate remains pleasant with sun shining all through the day.

The atmosphere’s inviting during autumn with golden leaves filling in the trail. November lets you witness the distinct wild animals and birds one last time before they go into hibernation.

If you fail to make the trek during autumn, then try out for spring as it too has great climatic condition. The season truly brings the best out of Rara Lake with clear blue sky, fresh air, and the fragrance through the forest.The temperature in spring causes chilly mornings and nights while the days are still mild.

The weather is normally freezing cold in Rara Lake and above from December to March. As what is considered winter season, the months proffer extreme snowfall and makes the trail slippery.

Monsoon as well, drizzles travelers visiting Rara Lake with heavy rainfall. The clouds looming all day obstruct the splendid view of mountains and even the colorful valleys from early September.

Rara Lake from Pokhara / Kathmandu – Flight Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Pokhara / Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.

Trek to Rara Lake from Pokhara kicks off with a jeep ride from the city of lakes. For someone who’s not used to traveling, the drive might seem a lot as it takes no less than 10 hours. So, make sure that you fill your stomach before getting in the jeep.

From the get go, the lane will see you an endless meadow, unreal landscapes and valleys. After taking a rugged road up the mountain, it will get us across the river through a bridge.

The shuttle ride to Nepalgunj is filled with great views of gushing rivers and soaring hills with dense forest. For the night, we’ve a room booked for you in a lodge at Nepalgunj.

Day 2: Flight from Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport, Mugu (40 minutes). Trek to Rara (2-3 hours)

Before you get exhausted by riding the jeep for another 10-12 hours, we instead booked you a seat on the plane. With the mesmeric view of snow peaks and display of unique topography, the flight will be worth remembering.

All in all, the flight will take about 40 minutes to get you at Talcha Airport, Mugu. The view to be discerned from the airport is absolutely terrific. In fact, you can already see the gleaming mountains before even the trek starts.

A little while after, we’ll start hiking to the lake on a quiet trail of Rara National Park. The inhabitants of multi-ethnic groups and local tribes on the way will introduce you to the rich culture and lifestyle in the Himalayas.

Following the trail ahead, we’ll get to see a thick alpine forest with abundant medicinal herbs. After trekking for nearly 2 to 3 hours, you’ll finally arrive at the dazzling Rara Lake.

Day 3: Trek to Murma Top (3 Hours) and Enjoy the breathtaking view of Rara Lake. Get back to Rara Homestay

No place in the region other than Murma Top puts the most astounding display of Rara Lake having laid at an elevation of 3726 meters. So, we’ll leave the trail behind and follow the route to Murma Village, settled by people with different ethnicities.

You can also reach the viewpoint through the holy place of Chaprun Mahadev. However, the best move would be to reach the far side of the village and explore the temple while back on our way.

After hiking for almost 3 hours, you’ll eventually put up to the top of Murma Village. The view gets magical from here with Rara Lake shining on the blaze of sun. Tonight, you’ll stay at a guest house in Murma Village.

Day 4: Horse ride to Salleri (2 hours). Flight to Nepalgunj.

You better wake up before dawn today to catch the beautiful sunrise from Murma Top. Until we don’t start climbing down, you can enjoy the spare time exploring villages. For an alternative, you can also take a glance of dazzling snow peak Rinmoksha and Chhayanath.

Now have breakfast and start descending to the village above Rara Lake.On a help from locals, we’ll hire a horse for you so that you don’t have to climb down the steep hills.

After almost 2 hours of horse riding till Salleri, we’ll board the flight to Nepalgunj. The flight won’t last long merely taking 3 hours but still you’ll have a sublime view of mountains to enjoy.

Day 5: Fly back to your destination (Pokhara/Kathmandu)

Finally, we’ve now come to the end of our trek to Rara Lake from Pokhara. So, what’s just left out for the fifth day is to catch the flight to Pokhara. In order to not miss the plane, you need to get up early in the morning and have breakfast on time.

The flight to Pokhara from Nepalgunj will take no more than 2 hours. But even in such little time, you’ll get to relive all the memories during the trek with the hypnotic glimpse of mountains.

Rara Lake from Pokhara / Kathmandu – By Bus/Jeep Itinerary

Day 01: Drive From Pokhara/Kathmandu to Kohalpur

Drive Distance: 499.1 km

Drive Duration: 11 hours 15 minutes

Maximum Altitude: 2000 meters

The 7-days trek of Rara Lake from Pokhara or Kathmandu starts by driving to Kohalpur. The excursion is quite long and tiring as well, having to be seated on the jeep for more than 11 hours. For those who take a drive from Pokhara will finish first at Kohalpur beating the time by almost one and half hours. At Kohalpur, you’ll spend the night at a hotel.

Day 02: Kohalpur to Manma Of Kalikot District (Full day)

Drive Distance: 249.1 km

Drive Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes

Maximum Altitude: 2033 meters

The trail from Kohalpur unwinds a glorious scenery with green pastures and forest. So, after having breakfast, we’ll take a lead by driving to Manma early in the morning.

Since the paths are well-marked from Manma, it’ll only take two and a half hours to reach Surkhet. But, that still won’t ease your drive to Kalikot which sadly takes an entire day.

With a combination of pleasant weather and hypnotic view, the trip will be great fun. After having a really tough day, you must have run through the energy. For that, it’s best you have your dinner at the lodge and go to bed right away.

Day 03: Drive via Sinja Valley, And Nagma, And Walk to Rara Lake

Drive Distance:

Drive Duration: 6-7 hours

Maximum Altitude: 2990 meters

It’s a huge day today as you’ll finally get to glare at Rara Lake after a day of strenuous trek. Knowing how thrilled you are to reach the lake, we won’t hold up the trek for longer. In fact, as soon as you’ve your breakfast, we’ll immediately drive to Rara through Sinja Valley.

Once a capital of Khas Kingdom, Sinja carries a historical significance with numerous courtyards and shrines. Following the trail, we’ll make headway to Nagma to cover a distance of 32 km.

After almost 20 minutes of ride, the trail will walk through an unpaved lane alongside Karnali River. Get a few miles ahead and the route will have you pass through a beautiful forest and a village before reaching Talcha Airport.

It’s just a matter of an hour from the airport to reach Rara Lake. You can put a tent here and spend the night at the fore of Rara Lake or stay the night at a guest house in the village.

Day 04: Explore the Rara Lake

rara lake

Since we had run out of time the previous day, now is the time to explore Rara Lake. An empty stomach won’t help us much to enjoy the pleasing view entirely. Therefore, it’s wise enough to have breakfast and set off on a tour of Rara Lake.

To get a close view of the lake, you can have a boat ride that costs $7 per person. For the nature lover, there is a lush-green forest to explore rich with unique vegetation. On its way through, you can see a number of wild species and birds including musk deer and Himalayan Tahr.

Day 05: Rara Lake to Manma (Kalikot)

Drive Distance: 250 km

Drive Duration:

Maximum Altitude:

After spending one lovely day at the lake, it’s time to head back to Manma. The hike from the Rara lake follows a narrow path up to Talcha Airport where you’ll catch your jeep.

In about an hour, we’ll get at the verge of Karnali River. Starting from here, we’ll have an easy drive for about 4 hours alongside green hills and perfect looking valley. Overnight stay at a hotel in Manma.

Day 06: Drive from Manma to Kohalpur

Drive Distance: 249.0 km

Drive Duration: 7-8 hours

Maximum Altitude: 579.12 meters

The road moving towards Kohalpur is well-marked and flat so we’ll have a much easier time driving from Manma. With that, we’ll have our breakfast and leave for Kohalpur as it takes an entire day. The driveway from Manma provides us with a mesmerizing scenery of green hills and pasture with flowers blooming at some parts. Since, it gets dusk by the time we reach Kohalpur, exploring the city would be impossible. We just have to go straight to our hotel and call it for a day.

Day 07: Drive Back to Kathmandu.

Drive Distance: 505.2 km

Drive Duration: 11-12 hours

Maximum Altitude: 1400 meters

It’s the last day of our Rara Lake trek from Pokhara. Sad, but we’ve to go with it and bid goodbye to the beautiful Kohalpur before driving back to Kathmandu. It takes us nearly 12 hours from Kohalpur to arrive at Kathmandu.

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rara lake

How to go Rara Lake by Trekking

Day 01: Fly to Nepalgunj

Day 02: Flight to Jumla and trek to Uthungaon

Day 03: Trek to Danphe Lagna

Day 04: Trek to Chautha

Day 05: Trek to Dhotu

Day 06: Trek to Rara Lake

Day 07: Rest and Travel around Rara Lake

Day 08: Trek to Ghorasingha

Day 09: Trek to Sinja

Day 10: Trek to Jaljala

Day 11: Trek to Jumla

Day 12: Flight to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj

Read detailed itinerary here: Rara Lake Trek

rara lake

Cost of trek to Rara Lake from Pokhara

The cost of your trek to Rara Lake from Pokhara basically depends on the number of days you’ll stay in the region. As long as you stick with our 12-days itinerary, the cost of your trek won’t exceed US$2,590 per person.

For those who longed to traverse the lake through a four-wheeler, it’ll cost you about US$1,550 a person. The trek will last no more than 7 days and covers all your expenses including accommodation and personal guide.

However, if you travel in a group of two, the cost of our Rara Lake trek falls off with more than $70. That means the more the number of people you have in the group, the less it will cost you but you can’t go more than 6 people at once.

Cost of Rara Lake Trek via Bus/ Jeep

US$980 for a group of 2 person

US$760 for a group of 3 person

US$675 for a group of 4 person

US$575 for a group of 5 person

Note: Above are just estimated price, contact us for actual price.

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About Author

Ashish Niraula is a seasoned trekker and professional tour consultant based in the country of the Himalayas. He has over seven years of hands-on experience in the sector, which has helped fortify his knowledge and expertise to craft the most iconic and memorable adventure packages in the Himalayas. Ashish’s passion for traveling and the unwavering drive that always pushes him toward excellency, have helped him earn a reputation as a trustworthy advisor in the tourism sector.

As a traveling enthusiast, Ashish has explored all the major trekking routes of Nepal. With years of experience exploring the mystical Himalayas and professional engagement in the field, Ashish honed his skills to design the most iconic adventure experiences in the Himalayas that cater to the adventure palate of every traveler. From organizing the challenging treks to the rugged Himalayas with incredible thrills to facilitating culturally immersive experiences across the traditional settlements in the country, Ashish’s commitment to excellence shines through every aspect of his work.

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