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Gosainkunda Lakes and Helambu Trekking Itinerary

A Guided Trek to Helambu and the Holy Gosainkunda Lakes

For prices and more details please visit the Gosainkunda Lakes and Helambu Trek details page

Kathmandu Temple
Day 1 – Arrive in Kathmandu

Welcome to Kathmandu. You’ll quickly be enthralled and encapsulated by this bustling Himalayan capital. Filled with energetic markets and charismatic street vendors, ancient temples and peaceful city squares this is a city you won’t forget! You’ll have the afternoon free to explore the city. Your expedition leader will meet you at the airport and in the evening we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Day 2 – The Ancient Temples of Kathmandu

Discover 3 inspiring temples and see for yourself why the entire Kathmandu Valley has the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll explore the atmospheric Pashupitinath, the holiest Hindu temple in Nepal, situated along the banks of the Bagmati River. We’ll continue to the tranquil and peaceful Bodhnath Stupa, where Buddhist pilgrims from all over the region come to show their devotion and respect.

Finally we’ll climb the steps to the stunning Swayambutinath, located high on a hilltop overlooking the city. The temple is shared by Hindu’s and Buddhists and is well known for it’s cheeky monkeys.

Nepalese Jeep
Day 3 – Jeep to Syabrubesi (1,470m)

We leave the bustle of the city behind us and continue north of the capital upwards into the foothills. The drive, by 4×4 Jeep is stunning and at every turn there are impressive mountain views. Along the way you’ll be able to see Manaslu, Annapurna and Ganesh Himal. The drive takes us to Syrabubesi, the starting point of our trek. We’ll overnight here in a local guesthouse.

Trekking Group
Day 4 – Syabrubesi to Thulo Syaphru (2,210m)

We start the trek on ancient footpaths, quickly leaving the modern world behind. We gain altitude, cutting across the slopes along a deep valley, passing traditional farming communities, until reaching the sun soaked village of Thulo Syaphru. Perched high on a ridge with stunning mountain views, this is a great place to relax with the locals, eat hearty home cooked food and visit the monastery. Rightfully one of our favourite places in the world, you’ll easily see why the Tamang people have chosen to make it their home.

Thulo Syraphru - Gosainkunda Trek
Day 5 – Thulo Syaphru to Shin Gompa (3,330m)

Wake early to see the sun rising over Ganesh Himal (7,500m) and Paldor (5,896m) to the west and the Himalaya stretching far into Tibet. Enjoy a relaxing breakfast, with freshly made pancakes, Tibetan breads, porridge, and vegetable free-range egg omelets available. Enjoy this with warming tea and coffee on the veranda before heading to Shin Gompa.

As we climb higher, the scenery continues to impress with several more 7,000m peaks coming into view.

Lunch is served along a 3000m high ridge with a 360-degree panorama of towering snowcapped peaks above us and below, tiny villages dotted 2 kilometres away. Spend the afternoon at your leisure, eating cheese and freshly baked bread from the local Yak cheese factory. Or, for the more adventurous, there’s the chance to eat a local Nepalese delicacy, sukute – a spicy dish of dried buffalo, onion and chili – best enjoyed with the locally made whisky.
Langtang Lirung
Day 6 – Shin Gompa to Laurebina (3,910m)

Today is when we really get a taste of the big mountains. If the weather gods are nice, then we’ll be able to see over 200km to the massive 8000m peaks that stretch across Nepal. We’ll be able to see Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in the distance, while much closer is the gigantic, pyramidal peak of Manaslu. To our north are Langtang Lirung (7,200m) and a plethora of ‘smaller’ 5000 and 6000m peaks, many of which remain unclimbed and unnamed.

The Ganesh mountains
Day 7 – Laurebina to Gosainkunda Lakes (4,360m)

We continue to gain altitude, getting higher and higher as the villages we’ve walked through disappear and fade out of sight. We soon reach a scenic and remote viewpoint and the location of a holy Buddhist Stupa. You can easily see why religious pilgrims would make the effort to walk to this special place. If the winds are calm and the air clear, it’s not uncommon for people to spend an hour or so soaking up the atmosphere and views while making conversation with the devotees.

Our path continues over an easy pass and the views change to a dramatic mountainside, where large rocky peaks dominate the skyline. From here you can see the huge, frothing waterfall pouring holy water from Gosainkunda Lakes into the valley below.

Walking along a track we pass over many high buttresses and dark orange rock. As the holy lakes come into view you’ll start to really realise what a special and enchanting place this is. Hindu’s believe the Gosainkunda Lakes were caused when Lord Shiva was asked to drink a poison that was set to destroy the entire universe. By consuming the poison he would eradicate the substance and save everybody in the world. When the heat from the poison finally became unbearable for Lord Shiva, he used his Trishul (Trident) to dig for water, thus forming the Gosainkunda Lakes.
Gosainkunda Lakes
Day 8 – Gosainkunda Lakes to Gopte (3,430m) The Big Day!

This morning we start early, and for good reason! Today there is a big pass to cross as we trek towards Helambu. The pass can at times be covered in snow, which makes for an even more magical experience.

For those with plenty of energy there’s the chance to reach the summit of some Himalayan peaks up to 4500m high. And, for the very brave there’s the opportunity to join with Hindu pilgrims with their morning swim in the crystal clear (and sometimes frozen) holy waters.

Passing many high lakes and mountains we reach the trek’s highest point on the Laurebina La. There are amazing views, where we can see where our route will take us for the next two days, crossing over and down into the Himalayan foothills. The scenery begins to dramatically change as we’re now surrounded by the high alpine, with small bright flowers and shrubs, waterfalls and jagged mountains.

View from Laurebina Pass
Day 9 – Gopte to Mangengoth (3,420m)

Traversing below the tree line we’ll cross many alpine streams, great for soaking and soothing tired feet! As we descend there are plentiful opportunities for wildlife spotting and listening to the birds.

There’s a short climb to Tharapeti for our lunch, which provides exceptional views of several high mountains like Gaurishanker, Buddha Himal, Ganjela and Dorjelakpa.

After lunch we have a beautiful walk along a ridge with phenomenal 360-degree panoramic views of both sides of the valley before descending into the pretty meadows of Mangengoth.

DAY 10 – Mangengoth to Chipling

We descend to the village of Kutumsang on a steep trail, mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. We stop for tea in the village with an abundance of marigolds. We won’t see many foreigners in these parts, just the happy locals tending to their smallholdings and spending quality time with their families. The people here are Tibetan Buddhist and the tranquil nature of the surrounding mountains and plush green fields ensure a wonderfully peaceful experience.

Our trail then climbs towards our lunch stop at a monastery. Traversing the middle hills of the Himalaya we descend into Chipling to spend the night with a family, their many dogs, cats, chickens and children to a world that seems stood in time. We spend the night by candlelight around the fire communicating through our guide with the family that are eager to share their home brewed concoctions and tasty food.

Nepalese Ladies in Helambu
DAY 11 –  Traverse lush terraced hillsides experiencing traditional Tamang culture

After taking our morning breakfast, we continue our journey to Chisopani. Our trek starts with a descent, crossing postcard-perfect meadows and fields through traditional Tamang villages. Here we see the slow pace of Nepalese life, passing children on their way to school and devotees visiting the temples.

The climate gets warmer as we descend into forest, taking the time to meet and greet the locals. We climb through forest before visiting an ancient Chorten and a Buddhist Stupa. Another small climb is ahead before we arrive at our final resting point for the day, Chisopani. A place where we say goodbye to the high peaks of the Himalaya and enter into sub tropical jungle.

Mountain View Nepal
DAY 12 – Awake to a panorama of the world’s highest mountains then descend through subtropical jungle to Sundarijal

Awake early for sunrise to an exciting view of the central Himalaya range including Everest, Gaurishanker, Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal, simply breathtaking!

We have a short trek through the jungle of Shivapuri National Park where we experience a constant flurry of wildlife, a lush paradise that is the perfect wind down before returning back to the sights, sounds and comfort of Kathmandu. The park is home to Indian leopards, jungle cats, civets, golden jackals, Himalayan bears, mongoose, deer, wild boars, langur monkeys and the adorable Himalayan pika.

Walking here is an absolute pleasure as we follow a cascading river, surrounded by warm tropical forest, and wild flowers. Many people live a peaceful existence in the hills overlooking the Kathmandu valley; surviving on self-subsistent farming on the lush hillsides. We’ll continue to climb high through the forest gaining a superb panorama of several Himalayan giants.

Temple Kathmandu
Day 13 – Free day in Kathmandu
Today is free to explore Kathmandu. Discover the ornate temples and palaces of Durbar Square in the heart of the city, relax with a refreshing chai (traditional Nepalese tea) on a rooftop restaurant, or shop for some locally made handicrafts and souvenirs. We’ll have a group farewell dinner at a local restaurant in the evening.

Day 14 – Depart Kathmandu
Unfortunately it’s the end of this adventure. Lost Earth Adventures group services end after breakfast. Transfers to the airport are complimentary. See you next time!

Trekking Times and Altitudes

Gosainkunda Lakes and Helambu
Syabrubesi to Thulo Syaphru (2,210m)
5-6 Hours
Thulo Syaphru to Shin Gompa (3,330m) 5-6 Hours
Shin Gompa to Laurebina (3,910m) 4 Hours
Laurebina to Gosainkunda Lakes (4,360m) acclimatisation day 2-3 Hours
Gosainkunda Lakes to Gopte (3,430m) 7-9 Hours
Gopte to Mangengoth (3,420m) 5 Hours
Mangengoth to Chipling
 (2,170m) 7 Hours
Chipling to Chisapani (2,215m) 3-4 Hours
Chisapani to Sundarijal (1,460m) then Bus to Kathmandu (1,350m) 4 Hours

For prices and more details please visit the Gosainkunda Lakes and Helambu Trek details page

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