I would like to call this trek to Dudhkunda lake the treasure in the lap of the Himalayas that is overshadowed by the great Everest trek. It’s not an Everest trek, but it doesn’t offer any less adventure on the way. Since it’s not a very popular trek, the route is very clean and offers the epitome of freshness. You can breathe freely, drink water from the source, drink Yak milk, greet Yaks on the way, and more while moving towards a piece of heaven. The place has very high religious value, and a lot of people visit this place during Janai Purnima.
When you reach the destination (Dudh Kunda), you see the mighty mountain Number Himal and the lake at the base of that mountain. You will start to rethink your life, how small and insignificant we and our problems are when we are standing in front of that mountain. You will feel powerless in front of that mountain but also the most powerful because you reached there despite all the hardship and pushed your limits. I have included photos and videos of the place and with no filters. You can expect the exact same type of view when you reach there, expect for different seasons.
Detail Summary of Trek to Dudhkunda Lake:
District: Solukhumbu, Base of Numbur Himal
Elevation: 4592 Meters from sea level
Days: 5-6 days from and to Kathmandu
Cost: Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000
Best Season: February, March, April, May, September, October, November
The season when I traveled: July
Day 1: Flight: Kathmandu to Phaplu Airport & Ringmo Village
The flight is around 25 minutes, which is crazy risky as the small plane turbulences are out of the world. You can rarely feel this adventure anywhere else. After you land, luckily, you can take the jeep from Phaplu Airport to Ringo village. You will reach Ringmo tentatively at around 1-2 pm if everything goes as planned. You can also walk 4 hours from Phaplu Airport but I do not suggest this as you need to walk straight for 10 hours the next day. You can walk 1 hour up to Thanksinda village too for the sightseeing and prepare yourself for the next day’s adventure.
Day 2: Ringmo Village to Dudhkunda Base Camp
Time: 10 Hours straight walk.
No tea houses and water refilling spots in between. Be prepared with enough water and clothes and have the energy to walk straight for 10 hours. Weather changes like you are in London, so you gotta be ready with your raincoat, jacket, and t-shirt all the time. There is only one hotel (tea house, to be honest) at the end of this day and it offers the bare minimum. You can take basic sleep over there and stay prepared for the next day.
Some people face altitude sickness and feel dizzy too as it’s at the height of 4100 meters, which is an increase of 1200 meters in a single day. Be mindful of the symptoms and take good care of yourself. The place is on the river bank and it’s beautiful, so enjoy the second-day view too. The walk is beautiful, ranging from dense forest to barren lands. The initial forest walk looks directly from the horror movie and its mystic. You will enjoy it if you have a brave heart. 😀
Food and Stay: Rs. 2,000
Day 3: Dudhkunda Base Camp to DudhKunda to Dudhkunda Base Camp (6 hours)
You can start your walk in the early morning around 5 am and you will reach the base camp within a 3 to 4 hours walk. You will reach a height of 4600 Meters and this itself is a great achievement for someone who is from sea level. The trail is beautiful, and the view is crazy from there. It feels like you have reached mini Khaptad and you would keep wanting to look from the front and again to the back repeatedly because both the view is beautiful.
The weather here also changes frequently, so it’s better advised to take your photos and videos with no delay because you never know when the weather changes and it’s covered in fog and would take another few hours to open up again. You can pray, touch water, drink coffee, or do any activity that you would want to walk for maybe 2-3 hours as staying more than that will start making you feel dizzy, headache and other symptoms will start because of the cold weather and height. It will take you another 1.5 to 2 hours to get back to the base camp. Some people eat lunch at base camp and then get back to Ringmo village the same day, but it’s only if you have enough energy left and you are an experienced traveler.
Food and Stay: Rs. 2,000
Day 4: Dudhkunda Base Camp to Ringmo Village to Phaplu Airport (6 hours)
You can get breakfast early and start the walk because this will take no less time, as it will exhaust you because of an earlier day’s walk. There are no tea houses and restaurants in between, so take enough water and food on way. You can reach Ringmo village at midday and catch the local Jeep at Phaplu Airport. It’s always a good idea to take the phone number of the hotel owner that you stayed with previously and call them to book a seat on the local jeep. This will make your coordination easier. It’s better to reach Phaplu Airport or the main city to make sure that you can catch the first flight or the bus/jeep scheduled to Kathmandu for the next day.
Food and Stay: Rs. 2500 to 3500
Jeep: Rs. 500
Day 5: Phaplu to Kathmandu
One option to be back to Kathmandu is 25 minutes’ flight, but you don’t get the flight every day, so pre-booking the flight and planning is important. But if you are scared after getting the flight on the first day then the second option is getting the local Jeep to Kathmandu.
You will start getting the jeep to Kathmandu starting at 5 am itself. There are a lot of counters available there for ticket booking. It will be a tentative 8 to 10 hours drive to Kathmandu and the view is also pretty amazing. The roads will be foggy time and again with terrible visibility and drivers there are very careful while driving on such roads. As a passenger, you can enjoy the ride as the weather changes frequently.
For flight option: Rs. 5000
For Jeep: Rs. 1800
It’s a difficult trek, but it offers a variety of experiences when you are on the road. You fly one of the riskiest twin otter planes, walk through the dense forest, experience the weather changes every 5 mins, walk 10 hours a day, drink from the water source, walk side by side of the mountain rivers, and connect with locals in a way that will change your life. I enjoyed this trek a lot more than I thought I would enjoy. I traveled during the off-season (Ashad), despite that; the experience was a little more than amazing.