Duration: 3 Nights/4 Days
Sissu – Jagdang – Khopti – Aliyas – Ghepan Ghat
Trek Level: Easy to moderate
Trek Distance: 22 Km (Total)
The nomadic community of Himachal – Gaddis (shepherds) are the greatest explorers of the Himalayas. All the popular treks in Himachal are their gifts to mankind. There are more than 100 such routes in Himachal that takes you to the heaven of the Himalayas. The influx of mass tourism to some of these trek routes has spoilt the charm and destroyed the peace of trekking. Luckily, there are still some treks which are hidden from commercial trekking companies. Ghepan Lake Trek is one of those treks which is still unexplored for travellers and known to only a few local trekkers (that’s why we are not organising a big group trek but a customised trek for 5-7 people).
Situated at a height of 4,150M ( 13,615 Ft) in Lahaul valley, this alpine lake is the longest in Himachal. Yes, you read it correctly, with a length of 3 Km, Ghepan lake is the longest / largest lake in Himachal. It is said to be the place of the king of the Gods – Raja Ghepan (local name for Indra). This glacial lake is right next to the Ghepak peak glacier. You can see the blue ice glacier at the originating end of the lake and small icebergs floating. The view will remind you of the beauty of Antarctica.
The beauty of the trek lies not just in the destination – Ghepan lake but the entire route stitches the pieces of beauty together in the form of a jewel. The Gaddi community (shepherds) you will encounter on the way will take you back to the times of nomadic life. Their tentative houses of stones made without any mortar will leave you contesting the greatest engineers of modern times. The green pastures of plain land at an elevation of 11,000 Ft and the dry terrain of the surrounding mountain peaks will give you a glimpse of Tibet. The snow bridges along the way will leave your mind and heart enthralled. The narrow gully of the Sissu stream joined by two huge waterfalls only a few metres away from you will make you desirous of building a house over there. The hues of sunset colors, the glowing snow peaks followed by the dense starry night sky will create a diary of most memorable evenings and nights for you. At night, the entire sky looks like being decorated with fairy lights for a luxurious wedding.
If you want to explore the less known trek routes, this trek in Lahaul valley is made for you.
Day 01: Drive + Trek
Arrival at Base Camp – Manali bus stand
Meet us at Manali Base Camp on your own (Trekkers are advised to arrive in Manali a day earlier for acclimatization)
Meeting Time: 8.00 AM (After breakfast)
Drive from Manali Base Camp to Jagdang Village, Lahaul (38Km)
The drive will take you through the beautiful valley of Solang where paragliders will cross over you like colourful butterflies and the narrow valley of Solang will fill your lungs with the fresh oxygen generated by the Manali national park. The engineering marvel of India – Atal Tunnel will transform you from the green valley of manali to the dry valley of Lahaul. The transformation in the geography of the himalayas will dilate your eyeballs. The ride ends at the Jagdang village that is located at an elevation of 3100 M. From here, we will trek for 3 hours to reach at Khopti campsite. The route towards Khopti is rocky but picturesque. On your way, you can see the famous twin peaks of Lahaul – Mukar Beh & Shikhar Beh (6000M peaks); Sissu waterfall and the entire sissu village.
Trek begins at Jagadang Village & ends at Khpti Campsite (Elevation 3400 Mt)
Distance: 5 KMS
Duration: 3 HOURS (10 am to 2 PM)
Departure time: 11 Am
Expected Arrival time: 2 pm
The highlight of the day: Snow bridge crossing
Lunch: Hot Lunch at the campsite
Overnight stay in tents at Khopti
There are limited sources of water during this journey (depending on the season/month), so please carry sufficient water in your bottle.
Note: At an elevation of 3000+ M, we are above the tree line and trees here are as scarce as other humans. Oxygen level is less and one needs to save energy to walk and do other activities.
Day 02: Khopti to Aliyas Campsite(Elevation 4000 Mt)
Distance: 10 KMS
Duration: 6 HOURS (8 AM to 2 PM)
Departure time: 8 Am
Expected Arrival time: 2 pm
Lunch: Hot Lunch at the campsite
Overnight stay in tents at Aliyas camp
The trail from Khopti to Aliyas mostly passes through meadows. The climb of 1-2hours is steep and rocky but most part of the trek is moderate and you witness the colourful organic carpet of Himalayan wildflowers. The campsite of Aliyas is located in a narrow valley where you will experience tall mountains standing next to you like 2 walls. The Sissu stream passes only a few metres away and looks like a white python running continuously. The campsite surrounding is as beautiful as the Mughal garden of Kashmir.
Day 03: Trek to Ghepan Lake & back to Khopti Campsite
(Max. Elevation 4150Mt)
Distance: 3 Km Ascend + 9 Km Descend
Duration: 8 HOURS (7 Am to 4 PM)
Departure time: 7 Am
Expected Arrival time: 4 Pm
Halt @ Ghepan Lake : 8.30 AM (halt of 1 hour) depending on weather condition
Lunch: Packed Lunch
Overnight stay in tents at campsite.
We have to leave early on this day as we need to descend back to our campsite1. After breakfast, we will begin trekking toward the Lake and hike for around 1.5 hours to cross the Ghepan Ghat. Trekkers need to carry packed lunch and have it while descending back to the campsite. This is a holy site so please maintain the calm and cleanliness of the lake.
When we arrive at the campsite, hot beverage and snacks will be served.
Day 04: Descend to Sissu & return to Manali
Distance: 4 KMS
Duration: 1.5 HOURS (8 Am to 1 PM)
Departure time: 10 Am
Expected Arrival time: 1 pm
- Transportation from Manali to Manali
- Trek permits & camping licence
- Tents on twin/triple sharing basis
- The food includes 3 meals + evening snacks (Only Veg food is served however eggs can be provided in breakfast)
- Professional guide, cook, helpers and horses for carriage
- Sleeping bags/inner, sleeping mats and all other camping pieces of equipments
- Any food and accommodation in towns (pick up & drop location)
- Carriage of personal items (trek bag or any other material)
- All road head to road head transport will be on actual.
Things to carry
Trek Gears :
- Trekking bag of 40 to 60 L with rain cover
- A handy sling bag
- Trekking Shoes with good grips
- Floaters / light weight slippers
- Trekking Pole
- Tennis Cap
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Bluetooth earplugs (speakers are not allowed)
- Power bank
- Full Sleeve T-shirts (preferably dry fit & collared) – 2
- Trekking Pants – 2
- Light weight sweater – 1
- Light weight jacket (down jacket)- 1
- Socks – 2 pairs of cotton
- Hand Towel – 1
- Gloves – 1 pair (lightweight)
- Innerwear – 3 (at-least)
- Woollen Cap (for night)
Personal Care Items :
- Toiletry Kit
- Sunscreen (Sunlight on mountains is strong and tend to cause sunburn)
- Toilet paper roll (WET TISSUES ARE NOT ALLOWED)
- Paper napkins
Emergency Medicines :
- Diamox: For mountain sickness
- Combi flam: It is a pain reliever for your muscles at the day end
- Avomine: For motion sickness. Pop one, a half hour before you start your road journey.
- Digene: Elevation often cause indigestion and gastric
- ORS: This should be your must-have on every trip
- Knee Brace: Backup for knee pain
- Hot Bandage