RARA NATIONAL PARK
Sojourn to the Rara region through thick pine and juniper forests and camp next to the sparkling Rara Lake at 2,990 m, walled by green hills on all sides. Boat in the clear waters, hike to nearby hills for nearer views of the mountains and lake, meet the charming local people, or just take a walk around the lake watching out for a wild flower or a rare bird on the way.
The park is surrounded by alpine coniferous vegetation and offers a representative sample of the region's flora and fauna. More than 500 different kinds of flowers, 20 different species of mammals and 214 species of birds can be observed at Rara National Park. As for water life in the lake, the snow trout is the fish variety recorded so far.
The rich vegetation of the park is home to the endangered red panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated martin, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and common otter. During winter the park abounds in bird varieties like coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red crested pochard, mallard, common teal, merganser and gulls. Migrant water fowls and gallinaceous birds can also be seen during certain seasons.
Rara in the far northwestern part of Nepal is the smallest national park, while the Rara Lake is the biggest lake in the country. The lake is 167 m deep at some places, and drains into the rivers Mugu Karnali via Nijar Khola. Chuchemara Hill at 4,087 m is the best vantage point to get the magnificent views of the deep blue clear lake and the forested hillsides as well as the snow capped peaks around it.
The easiest means to reach Rara is to take a flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla, from where your destination is 2-3 days walk away. You could also start this refreshing trek in the hilly village of Jumla where apple orchards stretch out over the hills.
The trek leads through remote countryside toward the Tibetan border. A journey into the Jumla region and the beautiful Rara Lake, is probably one of the most rewarding and fascinating treks in all the Himalayan range given its un-spoilt splendor of nature.
The best time to visit the park is autumn, spring and summer. As a well-loved tourist region, tourist services and infrastructure have developed over the years. However, for best experience it is still most advisable to be self sufficient if traveling alone. Lake Rara is also a popular pilgrimage site for Nepalis.