Established in 1979, Rara National Park is named for the scenically extraordinary lake at its heart, the largest in Nepal, whose crystalline waters lie at an altitude of 2990 m. Swathed in wide expanses of coniferous forests and with the snow-laden peaks of the Himalayas as a backdrop for the ages, the park preserves not only the lake’s beauty and charm but also acts as an important preserve for much of the central Himalaya’s diverse flora and fauna. As such, it presents a wonderful opportunity to explore a panoramic and serene region that seems like one of Maxfield Parrish’s impossibly beautiful and mystical paintings come to life.
The Rara Lake Trek is one of the most unique and interesting trekking experiences of all, one that’s aimed more at communing with the forests and lakeland of Nepal than the more typical trekking fare of precipitous trails through the mountains. Less crowded and largely untouched, the trek winds peacefully through glades of juniper, spruce, and pine, with the ever-present peaks of the Himalayas embellishing the view to one side and the pristine waters of Rara Lake adding their own reflective gifts on the other.
The trek begins with a flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu, then sets out from Nepalgunj to Jumla the following day with another flight. From there, we head out on a path to Chere Chaur and Chalachaur over the next few days, hiking up through Sinja Valley along mountain trails towards our prime destination of Rara Lake. En route, we utilize a mixture of teahouses and private homestays for our accommodation and meals, lending a cultural touch that adds even more to the unique aspects of the experience. Once our circuit of the lake is complete, the trek heads back down to Jumla for the return journey to Kathmandu.