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    Published Jun 15th 2023 by Ram Banjara

    Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek: Complete Guide 2023/24

    Shey Phoksundo Lake is a jewel nestled in the heart of the Dolpo region of Nepal. Shey Phoksundo Lake, situated at an elevation of 3611.5 meters, is not only a picturesque destination but also holds the distinction of being the deepest lake in Nepal, with a depth of 136.20 meters. Its crystal-clear turquoise waters and awe-inspiring surroundings make it one of the most enchanting high-altitude lakes in the world. The trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake takes you through rugged terrains, ancient Tibetan villages, and lush forests, offering a glimpse into the unspoiled beauty of the Himalayas.

    Ideal Trekking Season 

    The best time to trek to Phoksundo Lake is during the months of September to November and April to May. During these periods, the weather is generally favorable, with stable temperatures and clear skies, providing excellent visibility of the stunning landscapes and the turquoise Phoksundo Lake.

    The months of September to November mark the autumn season in Nepal, offering pleasant temperatures and vibrant colors as the foliage changes.

    Similarly, April to May is considered the spring season, characterized by blooming flowers and mild temperatures. It is advisable to avoid trekking during the monsoon season (June to August) due to heavy rainfall and potential landslides in the region.

    Route Overview: Day to Day Itinerary of Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek

    The journey begins with your arrival in Kathmandu, the vibrant capital city of Nepal. After settling into your hotel, you have time to rest and prepare for the upcoming trekking expedition. The next day, you board a short flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a city in the southwestern region of Nepal.

    From Nepalgunj, another flight takes you to Juphal, the starting point of the trek. As you set foot on the trail, the enchanting beauty of the Dolpo region unfolds before your eyes. The first leg of the trek leads you from Juphal to Dunai, a picturesque village situated at an elevation of 2,150 meters. Walking through lush landscapes and crossing suspension bridges over the Thulo Bheri River, you arrive in Dunai, which serves as the administrative center of Dolpa District.

    Continuing on, you embark on the journey from Dunai to Chhepka. The trail takes you through remote villages, where you witness the rich culture and hospitality of the local people. With each step, you are rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. As you ascend to an altitude of 2,670 meters, you reach the village of Chhepka, where you spend the night.

    The following day, your trek leads you from Chhepka to Jharana Hotel. Trekking amidst the serene wilderness, you pass through dense forests and catch glimpses of cascading waterfalls. The rhythmic sound of nature accompanies you as you ascend to an elevation of 3,038 meters. At Jharana Hotel, you rest and rejuvenate, surrounded by the tranquility of the Dolpo region.

    The highlight of the trek awaits you on the sixth day. Setting off from Jharana Hotel, you venture towards the breathtaking Shey Phoksundo Lake. Walking alongside the Phoksundo River, you navigate through rocky terrains and verdant landscapes. As you reach an elevation of 3,612 meters, the shimmering blue waters of Shey Phoksundo Lake come into view. The serenity of the lake and the awe-inspiring surrounding peaks create an indelible impression.

    Taking a well-deserved rest day, you have the opportunity to explore and immerse yourself in the beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake. You can hike around the lake, interact with the local inhabitants, and visit ancient monasteries that dot the region. The day offers a chance to connect with nature, reflect on the journey, and experience the spiritual essence of the Dolpo region.

    Leaving the tranquility of the lake behind, you begin your descent on the eighth day. Trekking from Phoksundo, you head towards Shyanta. The trail takes you through dense forests, where you may encounter wildlife and witness the vibrant flora of the region. After a fulfilling day of trekking, you arrive in Shyanta, nestled at an elevation of 2,520 meters.

    The penultimate day of the trek involves retracing your steps back to Juphal. Descending through picturesque landscapes, you bid farewell to the mountains and valleys that have become your temporary home. The trek culminates as you reach Juphal, where you spend the night, reminiscing about the incredible experiences and memories created along the way.

    On the final day, you embark on a flight from Juphal to Nepalgunj, followed by another flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. Back in the bustling capital city, you have the chance to savor a farewell dinner, celebrating the successful completion of the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek and the bonds forged with fellow trekkers.

    • Day01: Arrival at Kathmandu (1,320m/4,330ft)
    • Day02: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj by flight (150m/492ft)
    • Day03: Fly Nepalgunj to Juphal /35 mins. and Trek to Dunai (2150m/7054ft)
    • Day04: Trek from Dunai to Chhepka (2670m/8760ft)
    • Day05: Trek from Chhepka to Jharana Hotel (3038m/9967ft)
    • Day06: Trek from Jharana Hotel to Phoksundo Lake (3,612 m/11850ft)
    • Day07: Explore Shey Phoksundo Lake - Rest day
    • Day08: Trek from Phoksundo to Shyanta (2520m/8268ft)
    • Day09: Trek from Shyanta to Juphal (2475m/8120ft)
    • Day10: Fly from Juphal to Nepalgunj and Nepalgunj to Kathmandu | Farewell Dinner
    • Day11: Final Departure from Kathmandu

    Difficulty Level: Can Beginner trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake?

    Yes, beginners can trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake in Nepal. The trek to Shey Phoksundo Lake is considered moderate in difficulty, which means that it requires a reasonable level of physical fitness and some prior hiking experience would be beneficial.

    However, it's important to note that while beginners can undertake this trek, it's still necessary to be prepared and take certain precautions. 

    Planning and Preparation

    Permits and Regulations: Obtain the necessary permits, such as the TIMS card and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit. Your trekking agency can assist you in obtaining these permits and provide guidance on adhering to local regulations.

    Research and Itinerary: Plan your itinerary in advance, considering the duration of the trek, distances between stops, and acclimatization days. Research the trail, weather conditions, and any potential challenges or side trips you may want to explore.

    Physical Fitness: Engage in regular physical exercise to build your stamina and endurance. Include activities such as hiking, jogging, cycling, or swimming to prepare your body for the trek.

    Gear and Equipment: Pack essential trekking gear, including sturdy trekking boots, warm and layered clothing, waterproof and windproof outer layers, a sleeping bag, sunscreen, sunglasses, a first aid kit, water purification tablets, and trekking poles.

    Insurance: Consider obtaining travel insurance that covers trekking activities, including emergency medical evacuation.

    Accommodation and Facilities:

    Teahouses and Lodges: Along the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek, you'll find teahouses and lodges that offer basic accommodation and meals. These establishments provide a comfortable resting place after a day of trekking.

    Meals: Teahouses typically offer a variety of meals, including local Nepali dishes and international cuisine. Vegetarian options are usually available. Carry some energy bars and snacks to supplement your meals during the trek.

    Water: It is recommended to carry a reusable water bottle and use water purification tablets or a water filtration system to treat the water obtained from natural sources along the trail.

    Basic Facilities: Teahouses usually provide communal dining areas, shared bathrooms with basic facilities (often squat toilets), and occasionally hot showers (for an additional fee). Keep in mind that facilities may vary between different teahouses.

    Are Permits Required for the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek?

    Yes, permits are required for the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek. To trek in the Shey Phoksundo region, you need to obtain two permits.

    TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card: The TIMS card is a mandatory permit for all trekkers in Nepal. It helps in maintaining records and ensuring the safety and security of trekkers. You can obtain the TIMS card from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or from the TIMS counter in Pokhara.

    Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit: The Shey Phoksundo National Park is a protected area through which the trek passes. To enter the national park, you must obtain the Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit. This permit helps in conserving the unique biodiversity of the region. You can obtain this permit from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or from the entrance gate of the national park in Dunai.

    Cost Breakdown for the Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek?

    1 Person: US$ 1760  This rate applies if you are planning to trek alone, without any other individuals in your group. The cost for a solo trekker is US$ 1760.

    2-4 Persons: US$ 1680 per person If you are traveling with a small group of 2 to 4 people, the cost per person reduces to US$ 1680. This rate is applicable for each member of the group.

    5-8 Persons: US$ 1600 per person For a slightly larger group of 5 to 8 people, the cost per person further decreases to US$ 1600. Each individual within this group size will be charged this rate.

    9-15 Persons: US$ 1550 per person The lowest rate is offered to larger groups consisting of 9 to 15 people. Each member of the group will be charged US$ 1550 for the Shey Phoksundo Lake trek.

    These prices are typically cover various aspects of the trek such as permits, guides, accommodation, meals, and other services.

    Ram Banjara

    Mr. Ram Banjara

    If you're planning a trip to Nepal, you should definitely consider reading the informative blogs written by Mr. Ram Prasad Banjara, the owner of Himalaya Land Treks. As an experienced traveler and local resident, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with tourists looking to explore the beautiful country of Nepal.

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