Tsho Rolpa Trek
Rolwaling Valley is one of the most discreet and least visited trekking routes in Nepal. It is also known as “The grave,” owing to its extreme location nestled between the massive Langtang Lirung and Khumbu Himal. The region boasts one of the biggest glacial lakes in the country –Tsho Rolpa, located at the sheer altitude of 4,540 meters. The high altitude and harsh terrain make Tsho Rolpa Trek one of the most adventurous undertakings.
The turquoise colored Tsho Rolpa Lake makes an exciting off-beat trek. Enjoy the majestic panorama of the snow-capped peaks such as Pachermo Himal (6273m), Melungtse (7181m), Melungtse II (7023m), and Gaurishankar (7134m). The folklore of Yeti, an abominable snowman, often occupies the tales told by the locals. The valley boasts of indigenous Tibetan and Sherpa tribes who enjoy a unique lifestyle.
Embark on an adventurous road journey towards Dolakha in Eastern Nepal. The trek commences with an easy hike through multi-ethnic villages that offer insight on the lifestyle and traditions of different indigenous tribes. The trail rises through lush forests towards rocky terrain that opens up the path to Rolwaling Valley.
Daldung La Pass at 3976 meters offers the first glimpse of majestic snow-capped peaks such as Rolwaling, Langtang, and Gaurishankar. The tricky part of the trek begins through the rocky and snowy trail towards Na Gaon. From here, you’ll start the most adventurous part of the journey and advance towards Tsho Rolpa Lake. You’ll camp below the lake and explore the site the next day.
The pristine site of the lake overlooking Pachermo Himal in the background will welcome you with open arms. You can consider making a short hike above Tsho Rolpa Lake before retracing your path back to Beding (3690m). The downhill hike takes an unusual route that goes past Shakpa, Manthali, and Piguti to arrive at Dolakha. Enjoy the breathtaking sights of Rolwaling, Melungtse Himal, and Gaurishankar Himal en route. You’ll embark on a road journey and drive back to Kathmandu, hence concluding the trip.
Grab this handpicked trek from Himalaya Holiday Service. We specialize in treks and tours throughout Nepal. Our all-inclusive trek package covers transportation, meals, lodging, experienced guide, porter, and permits.
Tsho Rolpa Trek Facts
Location: Dolakha, Ramechhap
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Duration of Trek: 18 Days
Max Altitude: 4540m
Ethnic People: Multi-ethnic
Transportation: Private vehicle
Minimum Pax: 2 people
Tsho Rolpa Trek highlights
Visit one of the highest lakes in the world and also one of the biggest glacial lakes in Nepal, Tsho Rolpa.
Enjoy the scenery of some of the highest peaks on Earth, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Melungtse I, Melungtse II, Gaurishankar, Rolwaling, and Langtang Lirung.
Witness the indigenous lifestyle and culture of the ethnic Tibetan, Sherpa, Brahmin, Chhetri, and Tamang tribes.
Enjoy trekking alongside the massive Rolwaling River and Tamakoshi River, along with exploring smaller and larger villages inhabited by multi-ethnic people.
Itinerary of Tsho Rolpa Trek
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
A warm welcome will follow upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Our representative will receive you outside the airport and then drive you to your hotel. After checking in, you can enjoy your refreshment. Later, you will visit our office to discuss the trip in detail. You will meet your trek guide and staff at the office. You can spend the rest of the day exploring Thamel, and purchasing any required gear, equipment, or snacks. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Dolakha (1660m)/7-8 Hrs
The second day of the trip will mark the beginning of the trek and will take you to Dolakha. The entire road journey may last anywhere from 7 to 8hr. You will drive past lush forests, green hills, and colorful towns towards Dolakha. Dolakha is home to a mixed community. You will get to observe the exciting lifestyle and occupation at Dolakha. It is also common to see many pilgrims getting in and out of the town daily because the region is home to a pilgrimage site of Dolakha Bhimsen. Overnight in Dolakha.
Day 3: Trek from Dolakha to Shingati (950m)/4-5 Hrs
Leaving Dolakha, you’ll begin the first day of the trek and hike towards Shingati village. The trail drops towards a broader path that opens up a way to the Tamakoshi River. Continue walking alongside the rice field. A short distance from here will bring you to Malepu village. After enjoying a delicious lunch, you’ll begin trekking through pine forests overlooking Mt. Gaurishankar (7134m). Continue walking alongside Tamakoshi River to reach Piguti village. Afterward, you’ll continue along the trail and cross a suspension bridge to arrive at Singati village.
Day 4: Trek from Shingati to Jagat 1440m/6-7 Hrs
The trek begins after a delicious breakfast at the lodge. You will begin following a narrow trail alongside the massive Tama Koshi River and cross the river to take an uphill trail. The trail encounters narrow ridges and cliffs en route to Suri Dhoban. From here, you can catch the beautiful sight of Gaurishankar Himal (7134m). You’ll cross a suspension bridge and begin climbing the forested path towards Manthali village. Walk past large Mani stones en route to Jagat village.
Day 5: Trek from Jagat to Simigaon 2020m/7-8 Hrs
Leaving Jagat, you’ll begin descending towards the Tama Koshi River. Take a detour alongside the river and follow the trail towards the forested zone. Cross a small stream to reach Gonggar village that opens up uphill stone steps towards few fantastic waterfalls. You’ll continue walking along the lush fields to reach Chetchet. After lunch, you’ll continue trekking uphill and cross a suspension bridge to make way towards forests. You’ll encounter many Chortens en route to Simigaon. Enjoy the beautiful sight of Mount Gaurishankar (7134m).
Day 6: Trek from Simigaon to Daldung-La 3976m/7-8 Hrs
After having your breakfast, you’ll begin trekking alongside the village and make your way into the lush forests. You will pass by beautiful rhododendron forests along the upper valley. Enjoy your lunch overlooking the forested hills and then continue climbing uphill towards the Rolwaling River. Upon crossing the river, you’ll continue trekking towards Daldung La Pass situated at the sheer height of 3976 meters. You’ll ascent almost 2316 meters within 7-8hr today. Overnight in a tented camp.
Day 7: Trek from Daldung La to Beding 3690m/7-8 Hrs
Leaving the pass, the trail begins to descend through few traditional Tamang villages. The inhabitants enjoy a rather humble lifestyle. Most people in the village indulge in animal husbandry. They also practice the “No Kill” policy in the region. Walk past Nyamare village overlooking the beautiful sight of Mount Gaurishankar (7134m) and begin heading towards Beding village, the biggest Sherpa village in the area.
Day 8: Rest/Exploration Day
You will take a break and spend the day exploring the beautiful Rolwaling Valley. You can indulge in a tour and walk alongside Rolwaling River to explore the nearby settlements. You may also encounter local pilgrims making their way in and out of the region. Because of the reverence to local gods, people practice a “No Kill” policy. Anyone caught killing an animal or buying/selling meat inside the region will get fined up to $500. You will also get to witness the beautiful sight of Melungtse. As an option, you can consider making a robust hike to Melung La Pass (5616m).
Day 9: Trek from Beding to Na 4180m/4-5 Hrs
The trail continues through the rugged terrain and climbs a sharp uphill terrain leading towards Na Gaon (4180m). You’ll continue following Rolwaling River and climb towards Dhogre village. After lunch, you’ll continue through the narrow trail filled with large Mani stones and Buddhist prayer flags. Once at Na, you can consider visiting the revered Na Monastery. Na remains the last village en route to Tsho Rolpa Lake. Overnight in a camp.
Day 10: Trek from Na to Tsho Rolpa Lake 4540m/4-5 Hrs
Enjoy the most adventurous part of the trek as you leave Na Gaon and make your way towards Tsho Rolpa Lake. Catch the beautiful sights of Melungtse (7181m) and Rolwaling Peak en route. The rocky path climbs uphill until it arrives at Tsho Rolpa Lake (4540m). The views of Pachermo Himal (6273m) and Gaurishankar decorate the backdrop. The site was home to many glacial lakes until most of them broke the dam and flooded the lower valley. Spend the night inside the tent.
Day 11: Exploring the high glacial Tsho Rolpa Lake
You can spend the day exploring the frozen lake of Tsho Rolpa. Trakarding Glacier that lies 250 meters, feed the lake below. Large bare hills and snow-capped peaks surround the turquoise-colored lake. You can consider hiking uphill to find the right place to enjoy the entire view of the lake. Spend the rest of the day basking around the lake and taking pictures. Overnight inside the tent.
Day 12: Trek from Tsho Rolpa Lake to Beding 3690m/6-7 Hrs
Leaving Tsho Rolpa lake, you’ll begin retracing your path and trekking downhill towards Beding village. You’ll take the usual route and walk alongside Rolwaling River to reach Beding via Na Gaon. Catch the beautiful sight of Pachermo and Gaurishankar peaks en route. The entire journey may last 6-7hr and will take you back to the Sherpa settlement. Spend the evening enjoying a warm local cuisine. Overnight inside a tent.
Day 13: Trek from Beding to Shakpa 2250m/6-7 Hrs
Leaving Beding, you’ll begin taking a detour and descend towards Shakpa village. The trail continues alongside the Rolwaling River into the forested path. You will hike almost 6-7hr and cross the Rolwaling River to reach Shakpa. Enjoy the majestic sight of Gaurishankar en route to Shakpa. Overnight inside a tent.
Day 14: Trek from Shakpa to Manthali 1070m/6-7 Hrs
From Shakpa, you’ll make your way towards Manthali Village, a municipality in Ramechhap District. You’ll cross few uneven paths and begin descending through the forested trail and few suspension bridges to reach Manthali. The settlements of Manthali lies beside the massive Tamakoshi River. Overnight inside a lodge.
Day 15: Trek from Manthali to Piguti 920m/5-6 Hrs
Leaving Manthali, you’ll begin trekking through the forested path and climbing many uphill and downhill trails alongside the Tamakoshi River. A pleasant half-day journey will take you to Piguti village via Suri Dobhan and Singati Village. Piguti is home to multi-ethnic inhabitants. You will get to observe different cultures, traditions, and cuisines. Overnight in Piguti.
Day 16: Trek from Piguti to Dolakha 1660m/6-7 hour
The final day of the trek accounts for a pleasant walk alongside the beautiful fields. Leaving Piguti, the trail goes past many beautiful terraced meadows. You will also cross the small forested path to arrive at Dolakha Bazaar. You’ll continue trekking alongside Tamakoshi River and cross few smaller settlements to reach Dolakha Bazaar. Spend the evening celebrating the completion of the trek with your team. Overnight inside the lodge.
Day 17: Drive from Dolakha to Kathmandu 7-8 Hrs
After a delicious breakfast, you’ll embark on a road journey and travel back to Kathmandu. Bid farewell to Rolwaling valley and picturesque mountains as you leave Dolakha Bazaar. The entire road journey may last 7-8hr and will take you past many lush forests, green hills, and colorful towns. Once in Kathmandu, you will check into the hotel. Spend the evening enjoying a delicious farewell dinner.
Day 18: Rest/Final Departure from Kathmandu
On the last day in Kathmandu, you can consider indulging in a brief shopping for souvenir at Thamel before driving towards the airport. We’ll drop you off at the airport at the time of your flight.
You will be trekking in a restricted region; hence you must get a special permit before entering Rolwaling Valley.
The minimum age for this trek is 15 at the time of travel. Bringing a minor along in this trek isn’t advised because of the difficulty of the trek.
This is a camping trek. Accommodation throughout Rolwaling Valley is inside a tented camp, along with three meals a day. Lodging in a teahouse will be optional.
Your trek guide will assess your health daily. If you’re fit to travel, you show no signs of altitude sickness or severe fatigue, and you can continue with the journey.
Tsho Rolpa at Rolwaling Valley is an off-beat trail. The availability of luxury lodges is almost nil; hence, you will camp throughout the trek.
You must adhere to local laws while trekking inside the Rolwaling Valley. Because this is a restricted region, your trek guide will advise you when it comes to interacting with the local tribe and their culture.
What are the best seasons to undertake Tsho Rolpa Trek?
Tsho Rolpa Trek is undertaken during two different seasons. Spring (March-June) and autumn (September-November) seasons guarantee excellent visibility, fair weather, zero rainfall, and warmer days. These are the best time of the year to indulge in outdoor activities. The higher altitude regions may encounter snowfall during the autumn season.
How much do I walk during this trek?
This trek is graded difficult. You will have to walk about 5-8 hours every day. The itinerary accommodates enough rest and acclimatization during the trek along with the tour of the local landmarks and important sites. We offer few days for acclimatization. So, there are fewer chances of trekkers suffering from altitude sickness.
Any interesting facts about Tsho Rolpa Lake?
Tsho Rolpa Lake at 4540 meters remains the highest point of this trek. It is one of the biggest glacial lakes in the country. The maximum depth is 270 meters, and it spans almost 1537 sq. Km. the lake occupies nearly 85.94 million m3 of water. Both the Hindus and Buddhist adherents believe this lake to have religious value.
Does this trek accommodate a cultural tour?
Yes, the trek accommodates cultural immersion and cultural observation. Dolakha District and Ramechhap District are also home to multi-ethnic residents, including Tibetan, Sherpa, Brahmin, Chhetri, and Tamang. You will pass by places like Piguti, which is home to multi-ethnic inhabitants. Throughout the trip, you will get to observe different cultures, traditions, and cuisines.