Trek to Gosaikunda, the Frozen Lake
The five-day trek to Gosaikunda, a frozen lake in the Langtang Himalaya region, is a great challenging (but not too challenging!) trek. Here are my recommendations for an itinerary and places you should not miss.
But before you start planning your trek to Gosainkunda, there are some practical things you should know.
- You need a permit for the Langtang Himalaya region. Get it one or two days before you start, from the Nepal Tourist Board Office in Kathmandu. Take a passport photo with you. The fees change, so check the most recent information.
- Be careful about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) on the Gosaikunda trek. If you feel sick or get headaches, don’t go up any further. Stay where you are or go down if possible.
- Research the weather conditions. The path was safe when I was there, but that can change.
Day 1 – Early start and trek to Deurali
Start in Kathmandu and get the first bus to Dhunche early in the morning (most buses go from the Gongabu Bus Park). The trip takes several hours. From Dhunche, take the path to Deurali. Don’t miss the junction in Dhunche where you have to go down to the river and over the bridge. Deurali will be your first stop for the night.
Day 2 – Day of views
Get up early and be enchanted by the beautiful sunrise view in Deurali. Continue your trek up to Sing Gompa. Stop at the yak cheese factory en route to try and buy some delicious yak cheese.
Make a lunch stop at Cholang Pati, where you can enjoy dal bhat with a view. You can stay there or continue for another hour or two up to Laurebina. If you’re lucky, you will be above the clouds and able to see a beautiful sunset.
Don’t go any further, in order to help acclimatisation.
Day 3 – A short day
Today is going to be a short day. Continue to Gosaikunda, your ultimate destination. After one hour you will reach the Buddha Mandir, which marks the start of the mountain pass to Gosaikunda.
Use the afternoon to explore the lake. Go to the temple at the lake. If you’re still full of energy you can go to the sunset/sunrise point north of the lodges. Start early. It will take about an hour to get there. Just ask the lodge owners for the right way.
Day 4 – Back down
If you didn’t go to the sunset/sunrise point and the weather is clear, you should go there this morning. Remember to start early. Afterwards, start your descent.
Because you don’t have to worry about acclimatisation while going down, you can walk all the way to Sing Gompa. I recommend the Yak & Nak Lodge. They have nice rooms with hot showers, which is quite rare up in the mountains.
If you didn’t go to the yak cheese factory on the way up, go there now!
Day 5 – Return to Kathmandu
Start the day at 6am. That way you will be back in Dhunche to get the bus without rushing. Don’t plan to catch the last bus of the day unless you don’t mind staying an extra night in Dhunche–you might be late and miss it.
Back in Kathmandu, return to your favorite hostel or hotel and reward yourself with a drink and a meal, while remembering your short but awesome trek to Gosaikunda Lake.
Article by Niklas Moller.