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Jumla Simikot Trekking via Rara Lake

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Jumla Simikot Trekking via Rara Lake is one of the most unspoiled trekking routes in Nepal. It lies in the remote Karnali region, northwest of Kathmandu, and will lead you to the Jumla, Mugu, and Humla regions. The Rara National park is Nepal’s smallest and most scenic National Park, established in 1976. It protects some of the most beautiful alpine and subalpine ecosystems of the Himalayas. Especially the pristine Rara Lake is worth a visit, also known as Mahendra Tal. In fact, it is the largest Lake in Nepal, in its smallest National Park. Dolpa Trek

The Rara region is made up of long ridges, covered with temperate forests and alpine pastures enclosing high valleys. Summer rainfall is low, but winter snow can be heavy and persistent. The Lake is surrounded by richly forested hills and snow-capped mountains in the background. This Jumla Simikot Trekking via Rara Lake is a classical off the beaten path route, on which you can experience cultures and scenery that are very different from the rest of Nepal. In fact, Rara Lake is covering an area of 10.8 sq, km. at the elevation of 2980m. Jaljala Trek

Further, this trek is offered as an extension to the Jumla to Rara Trek, which adds a further week to your trip. However, the journey north is a difficult hike as one travels steeply up and then down from one gorge to another. This is the province of Humla, often referred to as the Hidden Himalayas, and ups and downs will soon become your mantra. Simikot is situated just above the Humla Karnali River and you should take time to explore the town and some of the surrounding villages. Here, you will discover a way of life that has barely changed in hundreds of years. Dhorpatan Trek

Outline Itinerary:

 Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

 Day 02:Full day guided Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu Valley by private van

 Day 03:Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

 Day 04 :Flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla (2370m)

 Day 05 :Trek Jumla to Danphe Langa (3130m) – 5-6 hrs

 Day 06 :Danphe Langa to Chautha (2770m) – 5-6 hrs

 Day 07 :Chautha to Dhotu (2380m) – 4-5 hrs

 Day 08: Dhoti to Rara Lake (3040m) – 3-4 hrs

 Day 09: Exploring Rara Lake

 Day 10: Rara Lake to Karnali Riverside Camp – approx. 4 hrs

 Day 11: Riverside Camp to Bam (2700m) – approx. 5-6 hrs

 Day 12: Bam to Jogimara (3005m) – approx. 6 hrs

 Day 13: Jogimara to Piplan (1700m) – approx. 7 hrs

 Day 14: Piplan to Apsia Lekh (3200m) – approx. 7-8 hrs

 Day 15: Apsia Lekh to Punkha Khola – approx. 6 hrs

 Day 16: Punkha Khola to River Camp – approx. 5 hrs

 Day 17: River Camp to Simikot (2900m) – approx. 6:30 hrs

 Day 18: Flight from Simikot to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj

 Day 19: Buffer day in case of flight delays or cancellation due to bad weather

 Day 20: Final Departure from Kathmandu

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Day 01
Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon your arrival you will be picked up at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Nature Trail sign outside the terminal and transfer to Hotel by private car. Welcome drink and after you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader. He will discuss the trek details and coordinate any last minute arrangements. Stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 02
Full day guided Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu Valley by private van

After breakfast in the hotel, Drive to Swayambhunath Stupa which is very close form the centre of Kathmandu. It takes some minutes to be there. This Temple is also known as Monkey Temple which is considered to be self made Stupa. Then visit to Boudhanath Stupa: the biggest stupa in Nepal and one of the bigger stupa in the world. You can basically experience Tibetan Buddhism, culture and way of life in Boudhanath Area. Boudhanath area is the authentic place to buy Tibetan stuffs. Again you will be visit Pashupatinath Temple and it is one of the most sacred temples in the entire Hindu world. It is a sacred place where Hindus come to die and to be cremated. The temple of Pashupatinath is a large multi roof, gilt pagoda, decorated with brass, the gateway is plated with silver. There are images of Shiva along with other statues, shrines and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eight-century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over south Asia offering ceremonies to worship Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Stay overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 03
Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

The flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj takes approximately 1.5 hours and is fairly dependable. During the flight we should catch a glimpse of the mountains we will be trekking among in the coming days. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 04
Flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla 2370m

Early in the morning flight to Jumla (35 minutes). 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 Bazaar is 10 minutes more from airport, we’ll be exploring Jumla and its surrounding area. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 05
Jumla to Danphe Langa (3130m)

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 Padmara and we continue the trek until reaching Danphe Langa. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 06
Trek from Danphe Langa to Chautha 2770m/5-6 hours.

We start walking again after breakfast. The trail descent becomes steep, through forests of firs, birches, walnuts and bamboo. A short stretch of the trail zigzags down to the Sinja Khola, crossing it on a log bridge and follow the river downstream to Nyawer. Then we continue the 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 at tented camp. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 07
Trek from Chautha to Dhotu (2380m)

Today, the rocky trail follows the stream uphill, crossing it as the wooded valley becomes narrower. The climb continues to Bhulbhule where our permit are checked. Above Bhulbhule the trail emerges into an immense treeless meadow and climbs gently but steadily to an assortment of Chortens, 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 leveled through pine forests, and then descend to the Jhyari Khola. Another stretch of easy walking leads to Dhotu. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 4-5 hours

Day 08
Dhotu to Rara Lake (3040m)

Today we start our walk by crossing a stream and climbing steep towards Thakuri Village of Jhyari, in a picturesque grove of giant cedars. Then we continue trekking 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 at tented camp. Walking time: 3-4 hours

Day 09
Exploring the Rara Lake

Today we are exploring the largest lake of Nepal. It is almost 13km around the lake and a day devoted to making this circuit is well spent. There are remnants of the now deserted villages of Rara and Chapra on the northern side of the lake, but otherwise it is an isolated region where birds, flowers and wildlife thrive. Rara is Nepal’s largest lake and is surrounded by the protected forests of Rara National Park in the Karnali district. There is an abundance of wildlife in this area including musk deer, leopard, ghoral, tahr, Himalayan black bear, and the rare red panda. The water of the lake is crystal clear and the area is a stunning place of natural beauty. We will spend a rest and acclimatization day here. The Great Himalaya Trail has 2 options in the far west – 1) From Gamgadhi to Simikot and the Yari Valley 2) Cross country from Rara Lake to Kolti and Chainpur and on to the Mahakali Nadi (river) in India. We will travel the Gamgadhi to Simikot and Yari route, as this route travels closer to the centre of the Great Himalaya Range. There is yet to be a crossing found to the Mahakali Nadi, which is further to the west, therefore our finishing point for the GHT is currently Simikot after trekking north to Yari. Stay overnight at tented camp.

Day 10
Rara Lake to Karnali Riverside Camp

Leaving our idyllic rest stop at Rara Lake we descend to Gamgadhi, taking a left turn in the bazaar before continuing another 40 minutes to the Karnali bridge. Another 4 hours brings us to Bala and then a further 1.5 hours to Karnali. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: approx. 4 hours

Day 11
Riverside Camp to Bam (2700m)

We cross the suspension bridge from Karnali and climb a steep, rocky trail, trending left until we crest a ridge at 2180 metres. We descend to a small river and then another climb brings us through fields and pine forest to a ridge and then a traverse to Bam village. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 12
Bam gto Jogimara (3005m)

We follow a trail which contours around hillsides until we reach a stream at Ghachar. Here we begin a climb to the pass which should take approximately 3.5 hours, from the top it is an easy descent to a pretty campsite by a stream. There is a tea-shop close by which is 15 minutes before reaching Jogimara. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 6 hours

Day 13
Jogimara to Piplan (1700m)

We make an easy short ascent from Jogimara to a ridge at 3120 metres before a longer descent of 500 metres to a small stream before climbing again, crossing a landslide area. From here we have views of the lower valley and the village of Rimi. We make a long traverse to Deori, passing by a school before descending to Darma village. Continuing through the village we drop down through a series of steep switchbacks to the main trail by the riverside, and then crossing a suspension bridge over the Humla Karnali and finally a short climb to Piplan. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 7 hours

Day 14
Trek from Piplan to Apsia Lekh (3200m)

We continue trekking through the traditional villages of Nimagaon and Korka climbing a series of switchbacks and crossing a basin between ridges before halting at a stream for our lunch break. Climbing once again to the village of Puma we take a right fork and ascend more switchbacks in pine forest to Apsia Lekh. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 7-8 hours

Day 15
Apsia Lekh to Punkha Khola

Today we have magnificent views of Saipal and surrounding valleys as we follow a contouring trail to Kallas. From here we descend to the river and then climb an easy trail to a ridge and descend once more to the Rodikot Khola. A further east climb of 1.5 hours brings us to our campsite beside the Punkha Khola. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 6 hours

Day 16
Punkha Khola to River Camp

We start with a big climb of 500 metres through steep switchbacks to a kharka at 3512 metres. From here we continue climbing, gaining views north to Simikot and also to the south. We climb to over 4000 metres today before a very steep descent to the Yanchu Khola. We have a few camping options today, and there will more than likely be some livestock grazing in the valley. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 5:30 hours

Day 17
River Camp to Simikot (2900m)

Depending on weather conditions today may be a very warm day as there is little shade along the trail. We descend for 15 minutes or so alongside the river before an easy gradient climb to Durpa village and a further descent to the pilgrimage site of Kharpunath. Continuing on another 30 minutes we turn into the Kudila Kola valley. from here we ascend to some teashops and cross a metal bridge before the final set of switchbacks which lead us to Simikot. Stay overnight at tented camp. Walking time: 6:30 hours

Day 18
Flight from Simikot to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj(1330m)

This morning we fly to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 19
Buffer day for flight delays or cancellation due to bad weather just for in case and overnight in Hotel.

Day 20
Final Departure from Kathmandu

Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements and transfer to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport by our private van around 3 hours before your flight schedule and flight back to your home/other travel destination.

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Equipment List

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What is Included

  • All local transfers, pick up drops
  • Trekking Information Management System Fee (TIMS Fee)
  • National park Conservation Fee, including Humla and Rara National Park Permits, special permits, etc.
  • Tented camp accommodation during the trek with all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • 1-night accommodation in Nepalgunj, 2 nights accommodation in Simikot/Jumla on Standard hotels/lodges.
  • Services of English speaking trekking guide and porter (one porter for two people and the maximum weight carry by one porter is a total of 25kg)
  • Accommodation, meals (warm daily cooked meals in campsite, insurance, equipment and allowance of guide and porters, Yaks and Yakmans.
  • Sleeping bag and down jacket if necessary.
  • All tents for camp including kitchen, dining, and staffs tents
  • Just in case of any emergency, backup and support such as any alternative arrangement services, helicopter booking, alternative flight booking etc.
  • First Aid-medical services
  • All cooking and kitchen utensils
  • All applicable government taxes and service charges.

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What is Excluded

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