What can i expect from this adventure?

The Phoksundo Lake Trek is truly off the beaten track. This homestay trek in Dolpa is a unique and once in a lifetime experience. You will get the opportunity to be the guest of locals, as they will welcome you into their home.

Where is Dolpa located?

Dolpa is a remote district located approximately 260 km (161 mi) northwest of Kathmandu. The region is isolated from the rest of Nepal by high mountain passes to the south. Covering an area of 7,889 km2 (3,046 sq mi), it is the largest district in Nepal by area. As of 2021, it has a population of 42,959.

The elevation in Dolpa ranges from 1,525 to 7,625 m (5,003 to 25,016 ft). Along the north and northeast border of Dolpa is Tibet and, along the eastern border is another beautiful trekking region: Mustang.

How can I reach Dolpa?

For a long time, the region was mainly accessible via domestic flight with a very small plane. The plane landed on a tiny unpaved airstrip.

But nowaways, you have more options. First: the airstrip is now paved, which makes landing more safe. Second: you could take the bus or jeep, since there is a road closer to Dolpa.

What can I expect from the trek to Phoksundo Lake?

Trekking to Phoksundo Lake in Dolpa will be a unique experience. As if you’re off the map.

One of the highlights of this trek, would be your stay in the village of Mazfal. Here, you can really feel what life in Dolpa is like, as we will be the guests in the home of locals. The Tibetan-style houses are closely packed together, often stacked atop another up the hill and share common roofs.

People, including young children, climb from one level to another via the carved log ladders outside the houses. The villagers mostly live off their land and cattle. When you explore the villages and surrounding fields, you will probably be accompanied by curious children.

After visiting Mazfal, you continue the trek to Phoksundo Lake by following the Suli Khola river from Dunai, all the way up to Ringmo. This is a village that’s located on a 30,000 to 40,000 year-old landslide dam. As a result, this dam formed the lake on the north side. On the southern side of the dam, the water of the lake plunges down a spectacular 167 meter tall waterfall.

Why should I trek to Mazfal and Phoksundo Lake?

If you are looking to discover a whole other world inside Nepal, this is where you want to go.

In Dolpa, life is still as it was in rural Nepal for a very very long time. Because many locals have never been to any other place outside Dolpa.

Even though Dolpa is finally developing, it is still far behind the rest of the country. This means, if still offers the untouched feel, with gorgeous landscapes, authentic villages and many other unique experiences.

The Phoksundo Lake Trek is a relatively short trek in this region. This homestay trek in the remote corner of the Himalaya Dolpa, is probably a once in a lifetime experience.

Can I customize the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek?

Yes! Actually, we encourage you to do so. Because that makes this trek unique and truly YOURS! Obviously, you don’t need to figure it all out by yourself. We are here for you. Just contact us, and let us know what you’d like to do.

– Govinda & Lilly

Which Places Will I visit?

What does the itinerary look like?

Welcome to Nepal! We will pick you up at the international airport in Kathmandu, and bring you to your hotel in the travelers area of Thamel.

airport transfer – hotel

After a good night of sleep and hopefully beating the jetlag, we will meet again for a pre-trip meeting. You will be introduced to your mountain guide and we will discuss the itinerary. If you have any questions or requests, please let us know.

What’s next? You can use this day to adjust to the different timezone, altitude and climate. Also, you can prepare yourself for your trek and do some last shoppings at one of the many outdoor gear shops around your hotel.

breakfast – hotel

Today, we take the bus to Nepalganj. This will take about 9 hours. Nepalganj is a city southwest from Kathmandu, near the border with India. 

breakfast – bus – hotel

Option: To save time, you can opt for a 55-minute flight to Nepalganj, instead of taking the bus. This would give you the opportunity to visit bazaars and surrounding villages that are populated by different ethnic people. We can also visit the holy temple of Bageshori. Contact us for more details.

Early morning, we go to the airport and catch our flight to the village of Juphal (2,320 m / 7,611 ft). During this 30 minutes flight, we see a rapid change of the landscape below us. It changes from the flat terai to hills covered by paddy rice fields to the first high mountains of Dolpa.

From Juphal, we walk to the village of Mazfal. We will spend the night and the next day here.

breakfast – airport transfer – domestic flight – lunch & dinner – homestay

The village of Mazfal is a place where it seems like time stood still, for a very very long time. In this farmers village, you get to see what life in a remote village is like. Imagine how these villagers live with the rhythm of nature and daylight as they have electricity only since 2016.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – homestay

Today, it is time to leave again. Partly, we leave the village via the trail we arrived two days earlier. We will trek over a ridge, descend on the other side and follow the river to Dunai (2,145 m / 7,037 ft).

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

We have early breakfast and start our trek by crossing the river Bheri via a suspension bridge. On the other side of the river, we continue our trek towards Suligad. Then we reach the office of Shey Phoksundo National Park where we show our permits and let us registered.

The upriver trail is mostly through shrubs and on the precipice mostly exposed to the morning sun. At Kageni, we cross a wooden bridge and continue uphill, about 150 feet above Suli. The narrow trail leads us to a wide riverside winter sheds of B’onpos from Ringmo called Jalash. Then, there’s a gradual uphill walk on the precipice and through a shade of maple, oak and pine till there’s a quick but mild descend to a wooden bridge. The last 1,5 hour to Chhepka is a strenuous bit of an uphill trek.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

Today is a real test for endurance. There are 3 major uphills and downhills at places where the gullies run deep and narrow. The trail narrows and is often found squandered by larger beasts of burdens at certain places. The first 2 hours from Chhepka is a comfortable hike through the giant pines, oaks, maple, walnut, and birch. The trail is wider and mostly along the river bank.

In the morning, the damp dark soil often captures footprints of larger mammals, primates, and horned herbivores. At Rechi, there is a lone abandoned bungalow and a campsite. From here, the trail widens miraculously to reach Boarding. We set up our camp here, in a green pasture overlooking the high mountain peaks.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

Today is the shortest yet most exhilarating day of the entire trek. The altitude crosses 3,000 meters and the trail on the precipice is narrow and steep with confusing runoffs of loose soil and inhospitable rocks. The vegetation changes dramatically with the presence of sparse juniper shrubs and a few cypresses.

The steep climb definitely burns calories but reaching the waterfall viewpoint is rewarding. The 260 degrees view of the beautiful terraced farms of Reike, Sunduwa and the nearby mountains are quite breathtaking.

About 30 meters above this point, the trail ends the climb and also graces the first sneak peek of the turquoise Shey Phoksundo Lake. From here to the campsite at lakeside, only takes about 25 minutes of an easy downhill walk through pine groves, chortens, and the village of Ringmo.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

The village of Ringmo lies on the bank of Shey Phoksundo Lake. About 20 Tibetan style houses are clustered in a close knit to form the village, surrounded by scattered cairns and chortens. The people of Ringmo are B’onpos, the followers of the B’on tradition. They are subsistence farmers and also raise yaks, dzos, and some horses. B’onpos are strict adherents of nonviolence and hence refrain from any form of animal sacrifices.

During the harvesting season, women and children work in the fields while the men cross the high mountain passes to reach the border of China to trade. It is quite a relief to not see a single person clad in jeans and modern appliances. And means of communications are close to non-existence. The lifestyle is still traditional and simple.

In Ringmo, there is an old B’on monastery. The chortens at the entrance of the monastery are fascinating for it has large horns of either blue sheep or Himalayan thar. There is also a small museum at the monastery. The Lama will kindly guide you through the monastery and briefly speak about B’on.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

The trek downhill from Ringmo to Sunduwa is quite steep. Along the way, we may spot a lone lammergier on the top of the ridge.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

Today is the last day of our trek. We start off early after breakfast. There are no major uphills or torturous downhill except anymore, except for the last 1,5 hour to reach Juphal uphill. Today, the distance that we cover is quite a conquest.

breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

Early morning, we catch the flight back to Nepalganj and go back to the hotel. Here, you can finally take a good shower, and relax.

breakfast – domestic flight – airport transfer – hotel

Today, we catch the bus back to Kathmandu. This will take about 9 hours.

breakfast – bus – hotel

Option: To save time, you can opt for a 55-minute flight to Kathmandu, instead of taking the bus. This would give you the opportunity to spend an extra day exploring Kathmandu. Contact us for more details.

If this is the final day of your trip in Nepal, we will bring you back to the international airport. Goodbye friends! We hope that we will meet each other again in the future.

breakfast – airport transfer

What is Included?

Airport transfer
All required trekking permits
Experienced mountain guide
Bus (Kathmandu <> Nepalganj)
Domestic flights (Nepalganj <> Juphal)
Hotel in Kathmandu (w/ breakfast) – 3 nights
Hotel in Nepalganj (w/ breakfast) – 2 nights
Mountain lodge during your trek - 7 nights
Homestay during your trek - 2 nights
Breakfast, lunch and dinner during your trek
Salary, accommodations, meals, gear and insurance for all trekking staff
VAT and tourist service charges

What is not Included?

International airfare to and from Nepal
Nepal tourist visa
Alcohol, hot and cold drinks
Travel health insurance (that covers rescue & evacuation above 3,000 m)
All other expenses that are not mentioned below 'what's included'

Tell me more about this region

Phoksundo Lake Trek [Homestay]

2,215 euro

Destination: Dolpa
Duration: 15 days
Altitude: 3.000m >
Difficulty: 3/5

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Travellers reviews

Our guests give us 5-star ratings on Tripadvisor.

Merel L
Merel L
Best organisation to book your hike We loved our 4-day trip to the Muldai Viewpoint and Poonhill! By Mountain People suggested to do the Muldai Viewpoint combined with Poonhill in 4 days. The hike to Muldai was a climb but doable for everyone with basic condition. We walked to the Muldai top practically on our own with amazing viewpoints during the hike. From the Poonhill viewpoint there were lots of other tourist but also a little bit more comfort so we loved the combination. Especially our guide Pratap made the trip unforgetable. He knows everything about the nature, birds and animals. By Mountain People helped us with the preparation and fixed everything for us. Permits, food, overnight homestays etc. Would recomment to everyone. Was the best four days of our trip to Nepal
Angela M
Angela M
Crafting Memories with By Mountain People in Annapurna When we decided to go to Nepal for our holidays, we knew we wanted to do a trekking in the Annapurna region, but we didnt know from where to start. That's when we met Govinda, who helped us with everything related to our trip, providing a personalised proposal for the 4 days we had, giving us all the information needed, and being a reliable and helpful point of contact during our whole journey before, during and after our trek. In the end we went for the Mulde peak trek, a less crowded route that exceded all expectations. Our guide Ganesh, was the best guide we could have wished for, always with a smile he knew every little secret of the Annapurna range, explaning not only the different routes, but also about the plants & animals present in the area, and about Nepal and its traditions. He was very caring and he made our experience unforgettable. We can only recommend to do a trekking with By Mountain People, they know what they are doing, accomodation and food was included in the total price and we didn't have to worry about anything. Having a guide in the Annapurnas is really an added value, and we can't wait to be back with a little extra time to do the Annapurna circuit next time. If you're looking to get most out of your experience in the Himalayas, and for a personalised and personal approach, then By Mountain People is the right party to team up with.
Jess M
Jess M
Keep your head in the clouds but your feet on the trail. The hard miles brought big smiles on this trip with By Mountain People. They were flexible, positive, and really just a joy to be with. Made for a fun and easy trip. I continue to recommend By Mountain People to both friends and family if they have a thought of doing a trek in Nepal. Many Thank You Guys!
Sean G
Sean G
Great people for a great adventure! I can't say enough about how well everything was orchestrated. Our guide and porter were wonderful and very friendly. Nepal is a beautiful country with very friendly people. It's been a few months now and I still think of the trekking almost daily. If I ever have another opportunity to hike in Nepal, I would be blessed! Thank you Govinda!
Anouk K
Anouk K
Jiri - Everest Base Camp My friend and I booked a 20+ day trek with Lily & Govinda from mid-nov to begin-dec. We loved their personal approach in arranging the trip, from preparations and choosing which trek to go for, to regular check-ins during and a great feedback/debrief session afterwards! We started from Jiri instead of the popular way of flying to Lukla. That was a great experience and an absolute recommend to start lower if you have time!
eliza b
eliza b
Magnificent slow trek and bird watching to Khopra Danda! Magnificent trek!! In October 2023 the two of us did this beautiful trek organized by BMP. It all started 6 months earlier, when I was looking for a company that would put people first in organizing treks in Nepal. What a nice coincidence when I learned that Govinda, a former language student of mine, happened to be the owner of By Mountain People, an organization that had customized and small scale treks as its core business! We had very nice and informative preparative talks about our wishes. Being almost 70 years of age, we wanted to have sufficient possibilities to adapt our journey on the way, in case the altitude would cause problems. Also we wanted to visit places off the beaten track and see something of village life on the way. Govinda suggested the Khopra Danda trek with some extra days so we could shorten the daily walking distance. This was a very good advice and he organized it very well! We met Govinda again in Kathmandu before we started out. He introduced us to our guide Pratap Gurung. Pratap was really a very excellent guide!! His knowledge of the natural surroundings and especially of the birds were truly amazing!! He was very attentive to our wellbeing and patiently answered our many questions. He taught us so much about the different species and habitats of all the birds he would point out to us. His experience made that we always felt safe and well looked after. Also we learnt that Govinda stayed regularly in contact to ensure that everything went well. Following our 2 weeks of trekking, BMP also organized an extra 4 days visit to Chitwan National Park. Here we stayed in the nice Safari Club hotel. Her also we were very happy with our guide Yadav Duwadi He is a nice and calm guide with a lot of knowledge and very attentive. We absolutely recommend this “slow trekking” by BMP! Specially for senior travellers such as us, but also for everybody who wants to fully enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas. A guide such as Pratap Gurung was perfectly suited for this type of trekking. Thank you BMP!! Thijl and Linda
Tilicho Lake and Annapurna Circuit I went on a 19-day trek on the Annapurna Circuit. I had great communication with Lily and Govinda before arriving in Nepal and throughout my trip. They shared with me all the information that I needed. Ganesh, and a porter, Nima. Both of them were incredibly kind. They literally held my hand through the toughest parts of the trek and we also had lots of fun playing cards, sharing anecdotes and trying to learn each other’s languages. The Annapurna circuit itself is incredibly beautiful and diverse. Since I arrived at the end if the monsoon season there were still some rains and landslides which made the days at lower altitudes a little tricky but once we started to ascend the weather changed and we had wonderful views of the mountains on this range and visited several Tibetan towns and Gompas. Overall, I had a great experience with them I would take a trip again with them in a heartbeat. Thanks, Ganesh, Nima, Lily, and Govinda!
Small but super professional trekking company! Wish we could go back already! Govinda and Lilly just went above and beyond for my friend and I!! Shortly before arriving in Nepal, I started experiencing knee pain. I got so worried about the trek, but they changed our itinerary without any fuss whatsoever. They got us the most caring and knowledgeable trekking guide Ganesh. And they checked in with me frequently during the trek, to check if I was doing ok and enjoying. After the trek they even organized a very nice jungle safari to Chitwan NP for us. Their great tips and flexible attitude before and during our trip made it a HUGE succes!! Govinda and Lily thank you so much for your patience and helpful advice. I will be back for sure!
Jonatan D
Jonatan D
Otrolig resa i Nepal Vi hade en jättebra resa i Nepal! Govinda på By Mountain People var superhjälpsam med att tillgodese våra önskemål och att skräddarsy en resplan som passade oss perfekt. Han såg till att vi fick med alla våra önskemål. Vi hann med vandring i de fantastiska bergen samt en otrolig dag med fågelsådning strax utanför Kathmandu. Jag kan verkligen rekommendera By Mountain People om du vill ha en unik upplevelse!
Gabriel G
Gabriel G
Father and son Nepal trek By mountain people organised an incredible trip through Gokyo Lake and EBC. Everything ran smoothly, they took care of all the little details and genuinely care about you and your experience throughout. Handled everything with a smile and extreme professionalism - can not recommend them enough! Our amazing guide Ganesh is the reason we can look back on the trek successfully, he helped us at every step and is an all round great guy - be sure to ask for Ganesh he will make your trip unforgettable I cannot wait to book again:)

By Mountain People on Tripadvisor

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