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Rara National Park

Rara National Park
Nepal Travel Destination

Located in the west, partially in the Mugu District and Jumla District, Rara National Park is the smallest park in the country but those who travel here will find Nepal’s largest lake. It spreads across 106 square kilometers and its elevation ranges from 2048 meters up to 2990 meters. Rara Lakeis 10.8 square kilometers with a maximum depth of 167 meters.

The Chuchmera (over 4000 meters), the Malika Kand (over 3400 meters), and the Ruma Kand (over 3700 meters) are the peaks serve as perfect observing grounds for the lake and its surrounding beauty.

Up to 3200 meters, the park is dominantly covered with the cone-bearing blue pine, it also shares its area with black juniper, Himalayan spruce, Himalayan cypress, and of course many species of Nepal’s country flower, rhododendron. Above 3350 meters, pine, spruce, and fir trees thrive. Some other types of trees found in the park are walnut, Himalayan poplar, and Indian horse-chestnut.

The endangered red panda lives here along with the musk deer, common otter, wild dog, wild boar, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear and many others. Many migrant birds come to the lake like water fowls and Gallinaceous birds which can make the area a birdwatchers paradise. In other parts of the year coots, common teal, mallard, and many other species of birds can be seen.

In the lake the only species to have been discovered (so far) is the snow trout. Rara lake spills to the Mugu Karnali River and the south of the lake gives way to the steep slopes of Gurchi Lekh, its crest ends at Chuchemara, an opening draining into the Jiun River.

The best time to travel to this park is March-May & October-December when the weather is pleasant. From around December-March, the park may be inaccessible due to snowfall (could be up to 1 meter) and the temperature dips below freezing. Between June and August the monsoon season does not have predictable weather and is not a common time to visit the park.

There are no lodges in the park area, the only accommodation is at the parks office at Bhulbhule. You will have to buy an entry permit here and you should be self-sufficient to camp in the designated “camping areas” within the park and carry your own food, fuel and it is recommended to have an experienced guide. There are, however, a few villages around the park like Jyari, Pina, and Ruma among others where travelers might find accommodations, but you should not solely plan on them.

To get here there are scheduled flights to Jumla, which is about a three days walk into the park, from either Kathmandu, Pokhara, or Nepalgunj. Most of the flights originating from Nepalgunj, and less flights to and from Kathmandu. You can also take a bus from Nepalgunj to Surkhet (or vice versa) and then walk 10 days to get into the park.

It is prohibited for travelers to walk inside the park between sunset and sunrise and the use of firewood is also not allowed.

For more related article on Nepal Travel please visit the Nepal Travel Articles Section.

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