Times include stops, rest breaks and other delays.
Day 1: Travel from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi (663 km, 17h)
Gather at Kathmandu Gongabu bus station at 14:00, bus leaves at 15:00 for Dhangadhi. The bus is comfortable and stops for dinner, which is included in the price. The road is smooth and once the music stops, we’re able to sleep some in the bus.
Day 2: Arriving in and sightseeing around Dhangadhi
The bus from Kathmandu arrives around 8:00 in the morning in Dhangadhi. There’s ample (decent) hotels in Dhangadhi (Saathi, Devotee). In the afternoon we visit the nearby lake, a temple, do a boat ride and stroll around lake. When we return there’s the official opening of the Khaptad to Rara trek. We’re the first organised group to do this trek, so there’s lots of interest of local organizations about our expectations and afterwards of our experiences.
Day 3: Travel from Dhangadhi to Silgadhi with sightseeing and roadblock (200 km, 9h)
We travel by minibus from Dhangadhi to Silgadhi and visit a school for the deaf in between. Because of a roadblock we arrive late for a cultural program in Silgadhi.
Day 4: Walk from Silgadhi to Jhingrana via Baglekh (19 km, 9h)
Breakfast with roti and omelet. The luggage travels by jeep to Baghlekh, and we run into a surprise cultural program in Baghlekh.
Day 5: Walk from Jhingrana to Khaptad via Bichpani (18.5 km, 10:30h)
A steep climb from Jhingrana (800m up in 5km) to Bichpani, where we had lunch. From Bichpani it’s an easy(er) walk to Khaptad through forests and open plains.
Day 6: Walk around Khaptad
Part of the group opted for the morning program to walk around Khaptad. We skipped and visited the nature museum in the Khaptad HQ. We tried going to Snake stone, but did not find it. We had a guide, but lost him.
Day 7: Walk from Khaptad to Dogadi via Laske Chaur and a detour (23 km, 13h)
Leaving from Khaptad and a wrong turn at Khaptad lake resulted in a somewhat longer day today. We did go down quite a bit, and had to find our way back up again. We did have great curd though, and a great but expensive lunch at Laske Chaur. We had a homestay in Dogadi.
Day 8: Walk from Dogadi to Naina (14 km, 8:30h)
We started with a cultural program in Dogadi, after which the local boys and girls waved us goodbye and escorted us to the going up bit. We encountered rain, but tackeled it with having more tea, and we slept in the school. It was an easy day, and we had a camp fire with singing and dancing at night.
Day 9: Walk from Naina to Martadi via Pina Lek and a cultural program (15.5 km, 11h)
Yoghurt at Ram’s aunt, cultural program in Bonera
Day 10: Jeep from Martadi to Pandusain (27.5 km, 6h), and walk from Pandusain to Kolti (11 km, 3h)
Cultural program at secondary school, slowed us down, so opted for a jeep to Pandusain to recover lost time, and gain some time in the end, since some of us have to catch flights on a specific date.
Day 11: Walk from Kolti to Jhugala (16.5 km, 6h)
Split up, some group members stay in Kolti to get better. We continue slowly to the next villages, and meet up at the latest at Rara lake. Easy going, crazy descent to Jhugala. Very cheap accomodation, Rs. 20 per head.
Day 12: Walk from Jhugala to Tari Bagar via Pani Bagar (18 km, 8h)
Easy walk from Jhugala to Tari Bagar, where we had lunch at the bridge and slowly up to Pani Bagar where we slept, again Rs. 20 per head.
Day 13: Walk from Tari Bagar to Rara via Baupani (25 km, 9h)
Lunch in Baupani with great roast potatoes.
Day 14: Walk around Rara
Resting day, weather wasn’t too good.
Day 15: Walk from Rara to Chauta via Pina, did not take a shortcut and lost the group, found them again and a truck passed by, which we took on a muddy track (walk 21 km, 7h + truck 10 km, 3h + walk 3.5 km, 1:15h)
Day 16: Walk from Chauta to Archaja Lihi via Gothe Jiule (walk 14.5 km, 7h + truck 19 km, 2h)
Day 17: Waiting for the bus, and eventually arriving in Jumla (bus 50 km, 5h)
Quick facts and highlights on this trek
difficulty: moderate to hard, depending on the length of the days
environment: subtropical to alpine
max. elevations: 3440 m (J… pass)
Best time to visit: April to June, October through early December
Facilities: basic lodging, teahouses, camping
Getting to the trailhead: From Kathmandu fly in to Silgadhi or Jumla via Nepalgunj or go by bus from Kathmandu to Danghadi and connect to Silgadhi, Doti.