Road Trip From Kathmandu To Rara Lake

Rara Lake is one of the important tourist destinations in Nepal. The main feature of this lake is that it changes color throughout the day, based on the position of the sun. People visit this lake to camp and watch the color change. The lake is around 5 km long and 3 km wide, perched at 2,990m above sea level.

Time taken

The road trip starts from Kathmandu. It would take 6 nights and seven days to reach, if you are choosing Surkhet, Kalikot and Gamghadi route. If you choose to reach the lake directly, it would take three to four days.

Type of routes and mode of transportation

You can choose buses to reach Nepalgunj and find jeeps to lake or trek to the lake region. You can also hire jeeps from Kathmandu. People usually stop their vehicles at Mugu and from there trek for five hours to reach the lake. Some trek from Jumla to the lake, which would require three days of trekking. This route is for moderate trekkers.

Some choose to reach Gamgadhi in a bus and then trek to Rara. There is one advantage to this route. The bus route to Gamgadhi is along the Karnali highway, which will be aesthetically pleasing.

The easiest of all methods is hiring a private jeep to reach very close to Rara Lake and walk for just 30 minutes to reach the lake.

Cost of road trip

The overall cost of the trip varies from 12,000 NPR to 15,000 NPR for jeep safari and camping. If you are choosing homestays, it could cost a little higher.


You can choose either to camp on the way or, any homestay in the villages, closer to the southern part of the lake. There are also a few hotels along the lake.

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Best time for road trip

Given the height of the lake, it is best to avoid the winter season. December to February is the peak winter season and the lake, route and surrounding regions will be filled with snow. Many road routes will be blocked due to snow. However, the lake will remain unfrozen.

March to May is the ideal time to reach the lake. The route will be filled with fresh vibrant rhododendrons. The sky will clear and the view of the lake will be clear. If you are choosing the monsoon months of June to August, trekking will be hard with muddy trails and chances of landslides.

September to November is also a good time to visit the lake. The view will be clear and the route will be easier to cover.