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 in Nepal?

Dolpa is a remote district, isolated from the rest of Nepal by high passes in the south. The district covers an area of 7,889 km2 (3,046 sq mi) and has a population of 42,959 (in 2021). If you look at the area, Dolpa is the largest district of Nepal.

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

What can I expect from the trek to Phoksundo Lake?

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. 

In this village, the Tibetan-style houses are closely packed together. The houses are 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 we explore the villages and surrounding fields, we are probably accompanied by curious children.

After our visit to Mazfal, we trek to Phoksundo Lake. We will follow 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 Trek?

Of course! 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. Do you want to speed up and make it extra challenging? Or, take it easy and slow? Just contact us, and let us know what you’d like to do.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

– Govinda & Lilly

Which Places Will I visit?

What does the itinerary look like?

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

Note: please, make sure you bring your passport to the meeting, along with your travel insurance policy. Carry both the original policy and a copy for us. We wil also request you to clear the due balance, if any.

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). 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).

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

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.

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

In the evening, we would like to offer you and your guide a farewell dinner together in a traditional Nepalese restaurant.

breakfast – bus – hotel

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
Porter per 2 persons (w/ duffel bag)
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
Farewell dinner on your last evening in Nepal
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: 14 days
Altitude: 3.000m >
Difficulty: 2/5

Why travel with BMP?


Tailored according to your own preferences and budget

24/7 personal contact

With Govinda & Lilly in English or Dutch.

Local private guides

Experience the REAL Nepal in a way that benefits Nepalis.

this adventure on the map

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