Rara Lake Yari valley trek is the final section of great Himalayan trail begins by exploring an area of outstanding natural beauty; Rara National Park, before crossing the Great Himalaya Range via wild-flower covered passes and through the Karnali corridor to the Yari Valley and the Tibetan border. This is remote trekking at its best!
Trekking in far-west Nepal is like stepping back in time to when the first Europeans began exploring the Himalaya. Locals will first greet you with curiosity before their open-heartedness will engage and delight in every village. The region has an ancient history as the first Malla Empire, stele and architectural remains are tucked away in almost every valley.
The trail from Dolpo is still a regular trading route for Nepalese and Tibetans and leads straight to the largest lake in Nepal, Rara. From here we cross the Great Himalaya Range following the Karnali river and crossing stunningly aromatic passes to Humla, the largest and most remote district of Nepal, and finally to the Tibet border and the western end of the Great Himalaya Trail. During this trek there will be sections where the trail is very rugged or ill-defined, some trails have been trekked only once by a small party, and so the going will be tough. Space in some camp sites will also be very limited. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary at any time due to unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather, snow or trail conditions, river water levels, or group movement. Your trip leader will advise any changes should this occur.
Below is Great Himalayan trail –Rara lake Yari valley trekking itinerary and talk to a team of local trekking guide and trek leader for customized trekking itinerary, cost deals and of about great Himalayan trail trekking to Rara Lake travel trek guide.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
On arrival at Kathmandu airport, we receive you there and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is free on your own, walk around Thamel market is a colorful tourist market.
Day 2: In Kathmandu (1330m)
Kathmandu guided tour and preparation for trekking pack up and final and last trekking gear buying. On Kathmandu tour, we visit historical and heritage sites of Kathmandu valley like old palaces squares, temples and stupas.
Day 3: Fly 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 amongst in the coming days.
Days 4/5: Fly Nepalgunj to Jumla (3010m), and Rest day.
Today we will reach Jumla and join with the Full GHT trek group who will be waiting for us. Due to flight problems for the groups that will join us and a much needed acclimatisation day for us, we will have a full rest day.
Days 6/7: Trek to Khaligaon (8hrs); & Dab Bulbule (8hrs.)
Today we will continue towards Khaligaon and Bulbule before we reach Rara Lake.
Days 8/9: Trek to Rara Lake (3010m/ 8hrs), Rest day.
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.
Day 10: Karnali Riverside Camp, walk approx. 4hrs.
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.
Day 11: Trek to Bam (2700m, 5-6hrs).
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.
Day 12: Trek to Jogimara (3005m, 6hrs).
We follow a trail which contours around hillsides until we reach a stream at Ghachaur. 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 teashop close by which is 15 minutes before reaching Jogimara.
Day 13: Trek to Piplan (1700m, 7hrs).
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 Deuri, 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.
Day 14: Trek to Apsia Lekh (3200m, 7-8hrs).
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 and ascend more switchbacks in pine forest to Apsia Lekh.
Day 15: Trek to Punkha Khola, walk approx. 6hrs.
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.
Day 16: Trek to River Camp, walk approx. 5.5hrs.
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.
Day 17: Trek to Simikot (2900m, 6.5hrs).
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.
Day 18: Trek to Dharapuri (2300m, 5hrs).
Trekking in this region has a lot to offer. We travel through many villages and fields of buckwheat and potatoes, cross rivers and climb ridges. It is a particularly pretty area with many small communities dotted along our trail. The gradient levels out before Dharapori and we finally pass through walnut and apricot groves before arriving at our camp for the night.
Days 19/20: Trek to Salli Khola & Muchu (2920m, 6-7hrs).
Leaving Dharapori we cross over the river and trek along the north side towards Muchu. We pass by waterfalls and shepard camps and although reasonably challenging it is a pleasant and interesting trek.
Days 21/22: Trek to Yari (4100m, 4-5hrs) & Hilsa, walk approx. 7hrs.
We pass below the Gompa and through orchards and fields before gaining a ridge, dropping into a ravine and climbing up the other side. There are good views of the upper valley from here. We continue on descending and crossing ridges until we make a final climb to Yari. Yari is a compact settlement with a police post, which is the last in Nepal, and customs office.The main crops of this area are millet, barley, wheat, buckwheat, potatoes and radishes. To the west of Yari is the Sarpa La, a route into Tibet.
Days 23/26: Trek to Simikot (2910m)
We retrace our steps back to Simikot, and the end of our trek in this very special part of Nepal. There are sure to be big celebrations with our crew tonight, and some well deserved pats on the back for the Full GHT group who have completed a very long walk in the Himalaya!
Day 27: Back to Kathmandu by air (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 28: Rara Lake Yari Trek Ends
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.