The Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek is one of the absolute best short treks in Nepal. In less than a week, you get to experience the authentic Himalayan culture, see some stunning snow-capped peaks, and spend a night next to the miraculous Gosaikunda Lake. This trail is still relatively unknown by tourists, so you get to experience some peace and serenity during your hikes as well.
Not only is this lake perfectly located at the edge of the pristine Himalayas, but it is also a famous pilgrimage destination for both Hindu and Buddhist devotees. In Hindu mythology, Gosaikunda was the abode of the gods Shiva and Gauri. It is said that Gosaikunda Lake was formed when Lord Shiva stuck his holy trident into the mountain so that he could drink water and alleviate his throat pain after drinking poison.
The adventurous Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek begins by hiking up through oak, pine, and rhododendron forests. Stay for several nights in the modest teahouse owned by the local, friendly Tamang people. They practice Tibetan Buddhism and are the native tribe of the Langtang region. Their hospitality is inspiring to say the least. After a couple of days weaving through the small, charming villages, crossing high suspension bridges, and enjoying the scenic views, you arrive in Gosaikunda Lake.
The highlight of the Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek is, of course, reaching Gosaikunda Lake. There is a special spiritual energy that you feel when you arrive here. Watching the red-orange sunset reflecting on the lake is a memory you’ll cherish for life. At 4380 meters (14,370 feet), the lake also provides unmatched views of the Langtang, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal range peaks. After a full day of exploration around Gosaikunda Lake, we descend back to the trailhead and drive to Kathmandu.
The Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek lies within Langtang National Park, which is known for its rich biodiversity. Along the trail, you may find the Moschus, Himalayan tahr, Snow Leopard, Goral, Serow, Himalayan black bear, and the rare Red panda. On top of that, roughly 30 species of fish, 70 species of butterflies, and 345 species of birds can be found inside the park. This place is an animal lover and wildlife photographer’s paradise!
If you want to make this trek extra special, plan to come for Janai Purnima. During the full moon in August, thousands of Hindus visit the lake to celebrate this festival. People bathe in the freezing cold lake and ritually change the holy thread around their neck, while shamans perform spiritual songs. It’s fascinating to see this unique Hindu festival deep in the Himalayas.
This Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek is of medium difficulty. If you are worried about getting altitude sickness, you can extend the trip to better acclimatize. Also, with a couple of extra couple of days, you can extend the Short Gosaikunda Lake Trek to go deeper and higher into the Langtang Valley for more close-up mountain views. If you are interested, check out our Langtang Gosaikunda Trek.