Gokyo Lakes Trek - A Journey to Gokyo Valley

Trip Grade :
Moderate to Demanding
Max-Altitude :
Gokyo Ri (5,357m/17,570ft)
Duration :
14 Days
Total Trekking Distance :
98 km/ 61miles [Lukla to Gokyo Ri to Lukla]
Stay in :
Hotel in Kathmandu, Local Lodge/Teahouse during the trek
Group Size :
Min. 2 to Max. 10 people
Nature of the Trek :
Lodge to Lodge Trekking
Daily Activities :
Approximately 5-6 hrs walking while trekking
Main Things to See :
World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and Sagarmatha National Park, Religious Shrines, Natural wonders, diverse flora and fauna, Gokyo Lakes, Gokyo Ri
Included Food :
Breakfast while in Kathmandu and All three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) throughout the trek
Popular Standpoints :
Swyambhunath, Lukla, Namche Bazaar, Dole, Gokyo Valley, Gokyo Ri

Starting Price

$1420 per person


Highlights

  • Stand at the banks of six pristine glacial-fed lakes.
  • Hike along Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the Himalayas viewing the astonishing sceneries.
  • Walk passing the peaceful, off-the-beaten paths of the Khumbu region to reach Gokyo Valley avoiding the crowded trail of EBC.
  • Get the astonishing sceneries of four of the six tallest peaks of the world, including Everest (8848m) –the tallest peak, Mt Lhotse (8516m) – fourth tallest, Mt. Makalu (8485m) – fifth-tallest, Mt. Cho Oyu (8188m) –sixth-tallest, Mt. Nuptse (7855m), Mt. Pumori (7161m), Mt. Changaste (7550m), Mt. Amadablam (6856m), Mt. Thamserku(6723m), Mt. Kantega( 6685m), Mt. Kusum Khagaru (6367m), Mt. Kongde (6011m), Mt. Khumbila(5761m), Mt. Twache peak(6367m), Mt. Lingterin (6679m), Mt. Cholaste (6335m), Island peak (6179m), Honku south peak (6119m), Lobuche peak(6145m), Pokalde peak (5806m) and their neighboring ones.
  • Get a blossoming Himalayan ecosystem that comprises lush forests merged with diverse terrains.
  • Snap tremendous photographs of the unspoiled and crisp Gokyo Valley.
  • Immerse in the serenity of the dazzling glacial lakes, especially during the afternoon.
  • Trek passed several monasteries, chortens, gompas, mane walls, and several other religious shrines.
  • Explore World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and Sagarmatha National Park.
  • Experience an enthralling mountain flight from and to Lukla.

Overview

The Gokyo Lakes trek is a journey to the sparkling, pristine blue and green waters of the Gokyo Lakes, visiting one of the most remarkable viewpoints to see five of the 8 tallest mountains of the world, and walking through less crowded lands of the Khumbu region or to set the alternative journey to Everest Base Camp trek. This trekking adventure brings you to a chain of six turquoises, and glacial-fed lakes in the Everest region. At around 5000 meters it is one of the highest freshwater lake systems in the world.

Although the route to Gokyo Lakes is less busy, it still affords the trekker with an insight into local village life, impressive views of icy rivers and stony, glacier debris, snow-capped mountains, and of course the dazzling turquoise waters of Gokyo Lakes themselves. The trekkers wish to see Everest and other peaks vividly but wish to sleep fewer nights in the high elevations set on this journey.

Up till Namche Bazaar, we follow the same itinerary as we follow for the Everest Base Camp trek but before Tengboche, the path branches off climbing up to Mongla pass and entering the Gokyo valley. Entering the Gokyo Lakes is like entering a sacred place as well. These lakes are worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists.

Route We Follow

Our journey to Gokyo Lakes begins with an enthralling morning flight to Lukla [2860m] from Kathmandu spending about 35 minutes on it. The flight goes between the hills, snow-clad peaks, and lustrous valleys.

Upon landing there, we hand over our bags to our porters and begin the trek after having coffee there. Passing the small villages, pastures, and mane walls following the riverbank, we reach Phakding on the same day in 2-3 hours’ walk.

The next day, we ascend to Namche Bazaar, a famous Sherpa village with several amenities such as luxury hotels, banks, ATMs, bakeries, shops, and so on. After a day of acclimatization, we hike to Dole. During this day trek, we leave the main trail of EBC and follow the Gokyo Valley route.

Passing the quaint villages, and lush alpine vegetation, we reach the village of Maccherma [commonly known as Macchermo] and next day to Gokyo Valley. We shall have an acclimatization day at Gokyo valley, and we will hike to Gokyo Ri, the highest point of the trek, or visit the 3rd and 4th lakes during the acclimatization day. We travel around the Gokyo valley and immerse ourselves in its beauty. Beautiful snowcapped lands surround the Gokyo Lakes. The melting snow forms the pristine waters of the lakes.

Experiencing the hikes, viewing the mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, Himalayan wildlife, and flora, and witnessing the Himalayan lifestyles, we hike back to Lukla following the same trail of ascent and fly back to Kathmandu before the final departure.

 

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu [1,338 m/4,390 ft]

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

Day 3: Fly to Lukla [2,860 m/9,384 ft] and trek to Phakding [2,610m/8,562ft]: 9 km/3-4 hours

Day 4: Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: 12 km/5-6 hours

Day 5: Acclimatization Day in Namche bazaar – Hike to Everest View Hotel: 2-4 hours acclimatization hike

Day 6: Namche Bazaar to Dole [4,200 m/ 13,780 ft] 11 km /5-6 hours

Day 7: Trek Dole to Machhermo [4,470 m/ 14,663 ft] 7 km / 5-6 hours

Day 8: Trek Machhermo to Gokyo [4800 m/15,744 ft] 5.7 km/4 hours

Day 9: Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization Day – Hike Gokyo Ri [5357 m/17,570 ft]

Day 10: Trek to Dole [4,200 m/13776ft]: 14 km/5-6 hours

Day 11: Dole to Namche Bazaar: 12 km/4-5 hours

Day 12: Namche Bazzar to Lukla: 19km / 6-7 hours

Day 13: Fly back to Kathmandu

Day 14: Final Departure

Itinerary

Namaste.

Welcome to Nepal!

As you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will complete the customs formalities and will board to exit the terminal. One of the official representatives will be seen nearby awaiting you to greet you and transfer you to your hotel.

Catching a private vehicle, you will be headed to your hotel and our representative will help you to check in. As there are no other scheduled programs today, you can rest and in the evening you can stroll around the windy and vibrant streets of Thamel.

We will set off for a guided sightseeing tour of different UNESCO world heritage sites today located in the different parts of Kathmandu valley. In the beginning, we head to the Swyambhunath stupa, one of the oldest Buddhist stupas located at the top of the hill west of the Thamel. We will explore centuries-old carvings, monuments, and statues and will see the entire Kathmandu valley from the top.

After that, we head towards Patan Durbar Square, one of the ancient palaces used by the then Malla Kings. Not only the Durbar periphery, but we will also visit museums, Krishna Mandir, Golden Temple, etc. there. The perfect examples of ancient carvings (wooden and metal) can be explored here.

We have not finished the destinations yet. From here our vehicle moves towards Boudhnath Stupa, one of the best and most popular giant Buddhist stupas in the world. Circulating it, we enter one of the cultural restaurants there for lunch. Witnessing the view of Boudhanath from the rooftop, we take our lunch.

After exploring Boudhanath, we head to Pashupatinath, one of the most popular Hindu temples. The main Hindu temple and its periphery, cremating places, Bhasmeshwor Mahadev temple, and several other monuments can be seen here. Devoted to the mighty Hindu deity Lord Shiva, the Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. You can feel an essence of spirituality and peace in your mind within its vicinity.

In the evening, you will be invited to our office where we will discuss your upcoming adventure. You will be introduced to your trekking leader and he/she will explain your adventure ahead.

After breakfast, we move to Kathmandu airport and board a scenic flight to Lukla. It takes just 35 minutes to land Lukla. En route, we will see an aerial view of irresistible snow-capped mountains, green hills, and so on.

Once we land there, we set our journey towards Phakding. On the way, we will pass the settlements of Chaurikharka, Chhelpung, Ghat, small gompas, prayer wheels, mane walls, fluttering prayer flags throughout the jungle, and will get a beautiful view of Mt. Khumbu-Yul-Iha (5761m) and other.

Our guide will help us to check into the hotel and assist us with food and accommodation in the teahouse. We will spend our first night in the Himalayan foothills.

Our second day of trek begins after breakfast at our teahouse. We keep moving north along the banks of Dudh Koshi River which opens up the panoramic views of snow-clad peaks all around. We cross the river several times through suspension bridges including the Hillary Suspension Bridge. After crossing this [Hillary], we ascend steeply till we reach the village of Namche Bazaar.

We'll continue moving north along the banks of Dudh Koshi River that opens up majestic views of snow-capped peaks all around. There are several suspension bridges to cross- including the famous - Hillary Suspension Bridge.

As you move ahead, you will reach Sagarmatha National Park, where we will register our permits and climb up through the dense forest from where we can see the first views of Mt. Everest. However, we will continue trekking until we reach Namche Bazaar.

Namche Bazaar is a large Sherpa village with numerous showcases; banks, museum, stupa, bakery, shops, bars, restaurants and so on. We will explore the entire village the next day.

Today is scheduled as an acclimatization day and we will spend the entire day hiking to Everest View Hotel, Sherpa museum, Syangboche airport, and many other places. We let the body acclimatize to the high altitude – and it will get even higher!  We will walk hike and sleep low. This is the best way to acclimatize our bodies.

After breakfast, we head for the Everest View Hotel which has the finest views of Everest. Walking approximately 2-3 hours, we reach there and get the magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and several other peaks nearby.

If we have more stamina, we can hike to Khumjung or Khunde village where we can witness Khunde hospital, Khumjung School, Khumjung monastery, and so on. After exploring them all, we hike back to Namche Bazaar and await for next adventure.

We trek to Dole today where we leave the main trail of Everest Base Camp trek and catch the Gokyo Valley trek route. Leaving Namche Bazaar, we follow the way to Kyanjuma instead of Phunki Thenga.

On the way, we pass through beautiful rhododendron, pine, and juniper trees. Crossing past several local yak pasturelands, and meadows, that take us to the beautiful culturally rich Sherpa village of Tongba, Gyele, and finally we reach at Dole where we stay overnight at one of the teahouses there. On the way, we will see northwestern Himalayas of Everest Himalayas like Khumbila and Tawache vividly.

Leaving Dole, we trek higher which takes us to the beautiful meadows that serve as yak pastures, and alongside, you will see several shrines and prayer flags. During summer months, you can see the yaks grazing throughout.

Looking forward, we will see the stunning Mt. Cho Oyu, and several other mountains nearby. Leaving the villages like Lapahrma, and Luja, we reach our destination- Machhermo.

The trail heads towards the Gokyo valley initially heading to a scenic ridge with the views of Kangtega and then walking to a wider valley. The trail today is not that much tiring with only some short steep sections. The trail descends to Dudh Koshi River and climbs to the Ngozumpa Glacier and the first Gokyo lake. Continuing northward, we reach at the second lake which is unlike the small first lake, is quite long and runs parallel to the hiking trail. Walking further we come to the 3rd lake and on the bank of this lake there are some teahouses. We check in one of the teahouses there and spend overnight there.

It is the second acclimatization day at Gokyo. However we will hike to Gokyo Ri (5,430m/17,519ft), the highest point of the trek which is the perfect viewpoint for four of the six highest mountains of the world - Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,485m), and Cho Oyu (8,201m), entire Gokyo valley, glaciers and many more. After lunch, we hike to the 4th and 5th lakes of Gokyo Lakes.

Following the route that we ascent earlier, having the views of mountains, and leaving the Gokyo valley, we hike back to Dole today for an overnight stay. We will pass via several small Sherpa settlements as Machhermo, Luja, Lapahrma, and so on.

We trek further down to Namche Bazaar today enjoying incredible waterfalls, enjoying the interaction with local Himalayan flora, fauna, and rhododendron trees beautifully blooming in the spring season of the year.

During our trek down, we will get ample chance to review the snow-capped Himalayan views of Amadablam, Tawache, Thamserku, and other peaks, along with a distant view of Tengboche too from Mongla.

Descending to Sansa, which connects us to the main Everest Base Camp trek trail takes us to Namche Bazaar, our day destination.  Arriving at Namche, we take a complete rest, take a hot shower and relax during our overnight stay at one of the best teahouses.

Leaving the gateway of Everest-Namche Bazaar, we retrace back to Namche Bazaar. We will have the last view of Everest today.

Upon arrival at Lukla, we have a get-together and celebrate the completion of our Gokyo Lakes adventure with the local crew and we will make our last evening in Khumbu memorable by raising a toast and shaking a leg to local tunes sung by your Sherpa crew.

We will be flying back to Kathmandu as per our schedule. Catching an early flight, we fly land at Kathmandu airport spending just 40 minutes.

Upon arriving in Kathmandu, you can spend the entire the in your own way; either exploring the remaining places or relaxing and preparing for the final departure.

In the evening, you will be invited to the farewell dinner organized by Altitude Adventure Treks.

Day fourteen marks the end of your entire adventure. We expect you are happy and fully satisfied with our services and expertise. Either you may choose the next package and initiate a new escapade or you can fly back home. If you are flying another destination, we will drop you at the Kathmandu Airport (TIA); three hours before your scheduled flight so that, you don’t have to confront any troubles during your final moments in Nepal.

Cost Includes

    Transportation

    Private vehicle for transfers as per in itinerary; airport pickup & drop, sightseeing
    Domestic flight tickets (Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu) and airport departure taxes

    Food and Accommodation

    • Four nights in Kathmandu in a 3-star category hotel
    • Eleven nights in the best available local lodge/teahouse throughout the trek
      One night in the tented camp at Everest Base Camp
    • All standard meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during the trek
    • Available seasonal fruits throughout the trek
    • Breakfast at a hotel in Kathmandu
    • Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu

    Staff

    • A Government licensed English-speaking trekking guide including wages, meals, insurance, lodging, transportation, flight, and other necessary gear & equipment.
    • For more than six trekkers, one assistant guide includes wages, meals, insurance, lodging, transportation, flight, and other necessary gear & equipment.
    • A porter for two trekkers/ climbers including wages, meals, insurance, lodging, transportation, flight, and other necessary gear & equipment

    Permits and Tariffs

    • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
    • Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit
    • All other government, local taxes, and official expenses

    Additional

    • A Gortex (100% Waterproof) Duffle bag to keep your personal belongings to be carried by the porter 
    • Assistance in arranging rescue operations in case of complicated health conditions (funded by travel insurance)
    • Everest Base Camp trekking map, t-shirt, and the
    • Outward Adventure Appreciation Certificate after the successful trek
    • A first aid medicine bag in each group
       

Cost Excludes

    • International Flight Cost
    • Nepal Entry Visa Fees
    • Extra baggage check-in during the flight (Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu) if more than 15 KG, 01 USD per KG extra, can pay directly to the airline.
    • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival or late departure, or early return from the climb
    • Personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, shopping, snacks, boiled bottle water, hot (Tea/ Coffee) and cold drinks, hot shower, alcohol, Wi-Fi, telephone call, battery re-charge fee, extra porters, etc
    • Additional costs suffered due to causes beyond our control, such as natural disasters, weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to safety concerns, emergency evacuation, changes in government policies, strikes, and so forth
    • Tips for guides and porters (Tips are appreciated)

Extra Information

Is This Trip Suitable For You?

Gokyo Lakes Trek is a moderately difficult trek that takes you above 5000 meters. It is advised to have both physical and mental strengths to complete such treks. However, there aren’t any technical climbs throughout the trek.
The route of Gokyo Lakes is quite peaceful with beautiful views of the mountains throughout the journey. If you want peaceful trails, choose this trek as an alternative journey to Everest Base Camp [EBC].
The actual trekking lasts for 10 days. You spend a maximum of 8 hours walking on the trail and a minimum of 3 hours. Each day, on average, you will be spending around 5-6 hours on the trail. 
Accommodation and food during the trek will be at teahouses [mountain lodges], run by the local [mostly Sherpas]. Up to Namche Bazaar, you will have attached bathrooms and hot showers. Beyond Namche, the facilities offered at teahouses may be very basic and utilitarian.

Why should you trek Gokyo?

Gokyo Lakes Trek is one of the pristine journeys to the Everest region of Nepal that leads you to the less crowded journey through the quieter valleys which is one of the perfect alternatives to Everest Base Camp Trek. Then, following the gushing Dudh Koshi River, the journey moves upward to its source Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari). Hiking through the Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the Himalayas, the trekkers get a cherished experience.

Trekkers shall enjoy the primeval, gleaming, and crystal blue water of the Gokyo Lakes, trekkers can witness the 360° panoramic mountain sceneries including  Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Cholatse, Taboche, and dozens of other peaks of the entire Khumbu region.

Alongside the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset over giant peaks, trekkers can explore distinct flora and fauna on the journey. Spying the Sherpa culture, lifestyle, festivals, and living is another affirmative aspect of this adventure.

Alongside the sunrise and sunset over giant peaks, trekkers explore diverse flora and fauna in the journey. Spying the Sherpa culture, lifestyle, festivals, and living is another affirmative aspect of this journey.

Gokyo Lakes

Gokyo Lakes, a chain of lake systems situated at an elevation of 4700 m to 5000m in the Everest region popular as some of the highest freshwater lakes on the planet. Among all, Gokyo Lake (3rd Lake – Dudh Pokhari) is the core attraction in this region covering an area of 42.9 ha (106 acres) which is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Hundreds of pilgrims visit the Lake in the Janai Purnima, a festival that lies on the full moon in August. There are altogether six lakes in the Gokyo Valley north along the Nagozumba glacier to Mt. Cho Oyu Base Camp.

There are some teahouses at the lakeside of 3rd lake i.e. Gokyo Lake. We can witness the splendid views of Mt. Cho Oyu and Gyachungkang from 4th Lake (Thonak Tsho). There is a viewpoint on the top of some moraines right above the Gokyo fifth Lake (Nagozumba Tsho) that gives splendid views of the biggest mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and dozen other peaks. Our experienced Sherpa leaders will lead you till the fifth or sixth Lakes (Gyazumba Tsho) to the end of Gokyo valley or the base of Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m).

Best time for trekking Gokyo

As in most other countries and regions, the Gokyo region also has four seasons and among them, the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best time for trekking there. If you desire to get the views of mesmerizing white Himalayas reflecting inside the tranquil Gokyo lakes, autumn is the best time and if you are looking forward to the tracks sheltered in flamboyant petals of Rhododendron blossoms, you must go in Spring.

Autumn is the most renowned time for Gokyo Lakes trekking, both long and short journeys. You can pass Chola and join the classic journey as well during this period. As this is the post-monsoon period, all the dust and mist in the atmosphere that used to obstruct the sceneries are swept away by the rainfall.

The views are crystal, all the mountains are visible and the temperature is stable and mild favoring the trek. It is festival time and you can see the autumn flowers in every house for the Deepawali festival. You can celebrate Nepali festivals with the local Nepalese people.  The good news is there is very little chance of flight cancellation to and from Lukla during this season as the weather favors. A very few chance is there of rainfall or snowfall during these months.

Another season i.e. spring is the best time for nature lovers. In this period, nature regains its beautiful form after the ruthless, freezing winter. Sprouts of grasses peep out through the ground and buds start developing into alluring flowers with the rising of the winter. You will see colorful Rhododendron blossoms almost throughout the trekking trails in lower regions. Also, you will see tiny wildflowers smiling on the ground. Along with them, the temperature remains stable in moderation, the weather becomes favorable and views are just wow during these periods.

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