Difficulty

Moderate | Level 2

Duration

5 Days

Highest Altitude

14,130 ft

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

5 Days

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate | Level 2

Highest Altitude

14,130 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

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Ghepan Lake Trek

Trek to the Blue Glacial Lake in Lahaul

We wanted to explore the much talked about blue glacial lake in Lahaul for a long time. So naturally, when we found a small window in our schedule, our senior team members excitedly set sail to explore the blue Ghephan lake trek. They came back totally awestruck.

"When I first witnessed the lake, I could not imagine the sight. The colour was mind-blowingly blue. I was left speechless. I was expecting it to be a pretty sight, but in a second, it turned into one of my favourites!" exclaimed Ravi Ranjan, who led the exploration of this trek. 

As you trek to Ghepan Lake at about 14000 feet, you witness a long inky blue lake closed on all sides by mountains — like an open cave. Right in the middle of the lake, you see a tiny island full of flowers.  

You see big snow patches nestling on the mountainsides feeding the lake. You also see a massive glacier in its complete form — from the origin to the end, depositing itself in the lake. Then, when the beauty bowls us over, tiny icebergs float on the lake's surface. 

The trek to the lake is a treat — barren mountains of Lahaul with snow-covered peaks surrounding you, glacial waterfalls coming down from these mountains, contrasting lush green valleys and ridges — the scenery is stunning.

optional additions

Trek fee

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Quick Itinerary

Day 1

Drive from Manali to Sissu

Drive distance: 40 km | Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

Cost of cab from Manali to Sissu: Rs 2,300 (Sumo) and Rs 3,000 (Tempo Traveller)

Day 2

Drive from Sissu to Tori. Trek from Tori to Gorduk

Drive distance: 9 km | Duration: 30 minutes | Trek distance: 2 km | Trek Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 3

Gorduk to Aliyas

Trek distance: 8 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude gain: 12,323 ft to 12,912 ft

Day 4

Aliyas to Ghepan lake to Glacier View Point, back to Aliyas

Trek distance: 7 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 12,912 ft to 13,447 ft to 14,130 ft

Day 5

Aliyas to Tori. Drive to Manali

Trek distance: 10 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Drive distance: 49 km | Drive duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending on the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- On the trek, you will stay 3 in a tent daily.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin-sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. You'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Journey

The picturesque journey from Manali to Sissu will take you through the Atal tunnel to see a change in the terrain and the landscape from Kullu valley to Lahaul valley. The folded mountains carrying raw beauty will leave you spellbound.

Pro-tip: Sit on the left side of your taxi.

Return Journey

You will be returning after a long day of the trek. After reaching Manali, rest and book any flight/bus for the next day.

Day 1

Drive from Manali to Sissu

Drive distance: 40 km | Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

Cost of cab from Manali to Sissu: Rs 2,300 (Sumo) and Rs 3,000 (Tempo Traveller)

Day 2

Drive from Sissu to Tori. Trek from Tori to Gorduk

Drive distance: 9 km | Duration: 30 minutes | Trek distance: 2 km | Trek Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 3

Gorduk to Aliyas

Trek distance: 8 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude gain: 12,323 ft to 12,912 ft

Day 4

Aliyas to Ghepan lake to Glacier View Point, back to Aliyas

Trek distance: 7 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 12,912 ft to 13,447 ft to 14,130 ft

Day 5

Aliyas to Tori. Drive to Manali

Trek distance: 10 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Drive distance: 49 km | Drive duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending on the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- On the trek, you will stay 3 in a tent daily.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin-sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. You'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Journey

The picturesque journey from Manali to Sissu will take you through the Atal tunnel to see a change in the terrain and the landscape from Kullu valley to Lahaul valley. The folded mountains carrying raw beauty will leave you spellbound.

Pro-tip: Sit on the left side of your taxi.

Return Journey

You will be returning after a long day of the trek. After reaching Manali, rest and book any flight/bus for the next day.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Ghepan Lake trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Gorduk Campsite. Picture by Aditya

Aliyas campsite. Picture by Jothiranjan

Aliyas campsite. Picture by Aditya

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, they have impacted significantly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains, new professions, economies and businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine. 

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Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map some of India's most incredible Himalayan treks, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the Women of Worth Award by Outlook Business in 2017.

Here's Sandhya talking about the Ghepan Lake trek.

What I Like About the Ghepan Lake Trek

What I Like About the Ghepan Lake Trek

Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map some of India's most incredible Himalayan treks, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the Women of Worth Award by Outlook Business in 2017. Here's Sandhya talking about the Ghepan Lake trek.

1. Rare Hanging Glaciers

Hanging glaciers are formed when the glacier recedes into a valley, up the mountain slopes and remains only in the mountain's upper reaches. Even on this trek, you spot the last remains of a massive glacier hanging from the saddle ridge of the mountains surrounding the lake. Waterfall tumble out of the hanging glacier. Its a sight to behold

Three such glaciers feed the Ghepan Lake. Usually, such settings of glaciers feeding alpine lakes are found deep in the Himalayas, above 15,000 feet. You must trek for at least 4-5 days to get there. But here, just after two days of trekking, you witness this rare setting.

Picture by Jothiranjan

2. The Curious, Unchanging Colour of Ghepan Lake

On the exploration, when Slope Manager Ravi Ranjan spotted the Ghepan lake from far, he couldn’t believe this was a lake. “The blue colour of the lake was surreal,” he shares. But there’s something even more intriguing about the colour of the lake. “Unlike other alpine lakes, for example, Chandratal or Pangong lake that change their colour according to the sky, the blue shade of this lake remains unchanged. It could be because of the undergrowth of algae,” Ravi adds.

From the Aliyas Camp, when you go on an excursion to the lake and till the glacier snout, you may take a closer peek at the lake to find out the secret behind its unchanging blue colour.

Picture by Ravi Ranjan

3. An Intimate Peek at the Villages of Lahaul

The scene dramatically changes as soon as you cross the Atal Tunnel. It’s not just a change in the physical scenery; the culture and set-ups also shift. On your trek, you come across 2-3 villages (Sissu, Labrang, Retli) steeped in Lahaul culture.

When you reach the Labrang village, where you come across the ancient monastery of Labrang Gompa, ahead of that, to your right, will be Retil village. 

The villagers here are primarily dependent on farming and tourism. They have neat farms growing cauliflower, potato and peas. The local food at Lahaul is rajma-rice and siddu.

In winters, most of these villagers shift to Kullu and Mandi as this whole place gets covered with a thick blanket of snow.

Picture by Jothiranjan

The view from the summit.

Picture by: Ravi Ranjan

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a surficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Ghepan Lake trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Don’t miss the 'Frequently Asked Questions' section at the end. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

Why fitness matters on the Ghepan Lake Trek

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On Moderate treks, you walk for about 6-8 km each day. The ascents and descents could get steep. The maximum altitude will range between 13,000 ft to 14,000 ft. You’ll come across tricky patches frequently (like snow or scree), which require you to navigate with a certain amount of caution. There might also be small stream/river crossings.

Your goal is to 5 km to finish within 35 minutes.

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.

How to Get Fit for Your Trek

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Green Trails: Sustainable

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

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