Situated in the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh, Ghepan Ghat is a hidden, neon-blue glacial lake in a stunning valley unknown to even many local guides, which originates from the remote village of Sissu. Passing over a thundering river, this trek offers consistent panoramic views of gigantic, snow-topped Himalayan peaks and a valley flushed with colorful wildflowers. With a difficult river to cross, an exposed terrain en-route to the lake, and an extremely rugged and unmarked trail, the Ghepan Lake trek gives a difficult challenge even to experienced trekkers. The Holy Ghepan peak will provide a massive backdrop throughout the trek. Situated at 4,140 meters, Ghepan Lake has a brilliant blue color, and icebergs from the calving glacier keep floating on its surface.
The best time to do the Ghepan Lake trek is between May and October when the weather is not that cold and temperatures are pleasant for trekking.
When a glacier recedes into a valley, up the mountain slopes, sits still in the upper reaches of the mountain, the hanging glaciers are formed. On the Ghepan Lake trek, you can see the remains of a gigantic hanging glacier from the saddle ridge of the mountains surrounding the lake. A tumbling waterfall from the hanging glacier is a sight to behold.
A total of three hanging glaciers feed the Ghepan Lake. It is unusual to see this kind of setting of glaciers feeding alpine lakes at this height, as it happens deep in the Himalayas, above 15,000 feet. Where you will have to trek for at least 4-5 days, but here, you can witness this rare setting just after two days of trekking.
While exploring, you won’t be able to believe your eyes when you will spot the Ghepan Lake, because of its surreal blue color. But there’s something even more interesting about the color of this lake. Usually, alpine lakes like Pangong and Chandratal, change their color according to the sky, but the blue color of this lake never changes. The undergrowth of algae might be the reason behind it.
As soon as you cross the Atal Tunnel, the scene changes dramatically. Not just the visual scenery but the culture and setups also shift. While trekking towards Ghepan Lake, you will come across 2-3 villages of Lahaul known as Labrang, Sissu, and Retil, which are steeped in the Lahaul culture.
The ancient monastery of Labrang Gompa in Labrang Village is a must-see, which is en-route to the lake. Further, towards the lake, you will come across Retil Village on your right.
These villages are mostly dependent on tourism and farming. The prime crops that grow here are peas, potatoes, and cauliflower. Don’t forget to try home-cooked rajma-rice and siddu when you get the chance.
In winters, this region gets covered with a thick blanket of snow and most of these villagers shift to Mandi and Kullu.
To do the Ghepan Lake trek, you will have to reach Manali first and then to Sissu village from where the trek starts. Manali is one of the most famous travel destinations in Himachal Pradesh where you can hope to spend some of the best moments of your life. Being a major town in the state, Manali is well-connected with the outside world. Here’s how you can travel to Manali and then to Ghepan Lake.
Also known as the Kullu-Manali Airport, Bhuntar airport is the nearest airbase from Sissu. You can easily get a taxi or some other means of public transportation to reach Sissu after deboarding at the airport.
Manali is the nearest major town to Sissu, which is very well-connected with other main cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. From Delhi, travelers can take inter-state Volvo buses that will drop them at the Manali Bus Depot. From there, one can get a taxi or local bus to reach Sissu.
The nearest railhead to Sissu in the Jogindernagar railway station, which does not have very good connectivity with other major cities in India. Hence, traveling via flight or roadways is the best option.
Q1. Is it safe in Manali?
Ans. - Manali is one of the famous tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh, which makes it one of the safest places to be at. People from all over the country and alien lands visit Manali each year. You can find a wide variety of hotels, cafes, and eateries at every nook and corner.
Q2. What is the best way to reach Ghepan Lake?
Ans. - The best way to reach Ghepan Lake is to travel via overnight buses from Delhi and Chandigarh. These buses take around 12 t o14 hours to reach Manali. The journey from Chandigarh is shorter as compared to Delhi. So the best way to reach Ghepan Lake is to fly to any of these cities and board an overnight bus.
Q3. Should I take Diamox for Ghepan Lake trek?
Ans - Our travel experts highly recommend going on a preventive course of Diamox if you are planning to do the Ghepan Lake trek. You reach an altitude of 11,000 feet on the very first day of the trek. And the next day, you climb up to the height of 14,000 feet. A very quick rise in altitude takes place. Most of the easy to moderate treks reach 11,000 feet as the highest point on the entire trek. Whereas, the starting point for Ghepan Lake is at the height of 11,000 feet. Also, you might be traveling via overnight bus to reach Manali. The exhausting journey rises the risk of AMS. It is advisable that you take at least a day’s rest in Manali before starting your trek.