The trail of today climbs steeply up the ridge, which creates a transition zone between rich, moist forests on the northern slopes and dry scrub vegetation on the slope facing south. The area on the northern slope is a sanctuary for the red panda, an endangered species that the Nepali calls cat bear. The trail crosses behind the ridge and stays in the deep forest for a while before emerging onto a saddle at Challenge Pati. From here we enter the Goisakund protected area where the killing of animals, lighting of wood fires and grazing of goats is prohibited. As the trail ascends there are outstanding views across Langtang valley to Langtang Lirung.
We start by climbing further along the ridge until we see the first lakes at around 4100 meters. The trail now leaves the ridge and heads high above the Trisuli Valley. After the trail crosses a spur, the second lake in the chain (Bhairav Kund) comes into view. The trail climbs gently but continuously to the third and largest lake, Goisakund. Goisakund lake has a black rock in the middle, said to be the head of Shiva. According to the legend, Shiva created the lake when he pierced a glacier with his trident to obtain water to quench his thirst after consuming poison. Hundreds of pilgrims come here to worship and bathe during the full-moon festival each August. It takes about 45 minutes to walk around the lake.