The Gokyo Lake trek is becoming an alternative trip to the traditional Everest Base Camp trek due to its serenity and diverse landscape. This trek starts after landing at Lukla airstrip reached by 35 minutes hair-raising flight. Then we spend a full day in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization. We also pay an excursion to the surrounding legendary Sherpa villages before setting off the Gokyo Lake. One of the highlights of Gokyo trek is due to the Lake situated at the west of Everest Base Camp in the Gokyo Valley. Therefore, the Gokyo Lake trek is a popular classic adventure holiday in the Everest region.
The Gokyo Lake is the source of Dudh Koshi River. The Gokyo Lake trekking provides an excellent opportunity to see the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,028ft) and the 6th highest peak, Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,907ft) at a closer distance. An excursion to the fourth and fifth lakes would be an extra attraction from Gokyo. The trek to Gokyo Ri provides a lifetime memory from where the 360 degree panoramic views of Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Everest and Mt. Makalu is complemented. Gokyo Ri (5,360m/17,586ft) is the best view point in the entire Everest Region for more spectacular sights. People say that the views are more remarkable than that from the Kalapatthar.
- The Gokyo valley with the blue Gokyo Lake
- The spectacular views from Gokyo Ri
- Magnificent views of Mt. Everest Himalayan range
- Ngozumpa Glacier
- Scenic mountain flight to/from Lukla
- The gateway of Mount Everest Base Camp and Sherpa hometown, Namche Bazaar
We set off early morning from our hotel to domestic airport for Lukla flights. After a 35 minute scenic mountain flight by a small aircraft, we land in Lukla airport (Tenzing-Hillary airport). Today’s trek from Lukla to Phakding is only about 3-4 hours. The trail from Lukla is seen broad and clear. From the airstrip it heads north through a kani (arch) and then slopes downhill to a low agricultural land. A splendid view of the difficult trekking peak Kusum Kangaru (6,367m/20,889ft) is seen while walking ahead. The trail is rich with teahouses, prayer wheels, gompas (Buddhist monastery) and huge boulders decorated with Buddhist mantra (prayer chant). Finally we arrive in the village separated in two parts with about a 10 minute trek between them, and a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi River. This village is called Phakding where we stay overnight.
Today's trek is about 5-6 hours. After crossing the suspension bridge at Phakding, we trek for 2-3 hours following the climbs steeply up rough stone steps before reaching the long paved Monjo village on the edge of Sagarmatha National Park. In addition to the lodges, single-roofed houses and a few basic shops, there is a small gompa nearby. The trek from Monjo to Namche Bazaar will take another 3-4 hours. There is an entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park where an entry permit must be showed or obtained and kept safely for showing on exiting the park. Once passed through the gate, the trail drops to river level which is set among fields of huge cabbages, crosses to the west bank of the Dudh Koshi river on a long suspension bridge and passes teahouses and lodges in Jorsale (2,775m/9,104ft). This is the last available accommodation before Namche Bazaar. About halfway up, at a bend on this ascent we should get our first brief view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. As our trek continues up mostly among trees, we will eventually come to a group of buildings, then broad stone steps and finally arrive in one of the lower streets of our overnight stop Namche Bazaar. This town is known as the Sherpa “Capital” and gateway to the Mt. Everest. Namche Bazaar has many facilities – a post office, banks, ATMs, money exchange centre, a health post, a dental clinic, numerous shops, restaurants, cyber cafés and telephone facilities, a gompa and several chortens. The headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park and a military post are situated above the town. We stay two overnights in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization and excursion around. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Today we stay in Namche Bazaar for acclimatisation. Because of the altitude, it will be necessary for us to spend a minimum of two nights here. On this day, we have the choice of just relaxing and roaming round this interesting hill town, or alternatively trekking round a nearby 3-4 hour circuit with stunning views. This day helps a lot for acclimatisation for our further trek to Gokyo.
Today we start from Namche Bazaar on a trail with gradual ups and downs. We might be able to witness Himalayan pheasants, musk deer and Himalayan Thars on the way. Our trek then enters into the Gokyo valley at Sansa. The trail climbs through rhododendron forest and comes to a point where, for the first time, we will be able to see Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,907ft) at the head of the valley. The route now makes twisting ascents through woodland, climbs more steeply into the open, crosses a number of streams, traverses a yak pasture with a solitary herder’s hut, crosses a minor ridge and enters our overnight stop, the lodge settlement of Dole. Dole began as a kharka (a yak pasture) with a few herders’ huts, but once Gokyo became a trekking destination, lodges soon established more rapidly. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Today's trek is a short and pleasant one and we can relax and take things easy. Because of the demands of altitude acclimatisation, we do not go further. Beyond the first of Dole’s lodges the trail goes downhill, crosses a stream, swings right to climb a hillside and crosses pastureland with dry stone walls and several yak herders’ huts. The trail continues past a few stone-built huts and contours along the hillside, descends into a small basin with more walls, stone huts and lodges, then just under two hours from Dole reaches Luza (4,360m/14,305ft) which is also a kharka (yak pasture). Because the lodges at Dole and Machhermo can be very busy in the autumn trekking season, it has become a possible site for overnight accommodation. From Luza, the path climbs out of the northern side of the basin and crosses more pastureland bordered by a chorten and prayer flags. In every direction here the views are spectacular. Eventually the trail slopes down into the valley, crosses a stream and rises up a short slope into the yak pastures and lodges of our overnight stop Machhermo. Trekking time 3-4 hours.
Today will be another relatively short trek across broad pastures, through narrow clefts with steeply climbing trails, past two or three lakes and through an ablation valley beside the Ngozumpa Glacier. An ablation valley is one formed by the melting of glacier ice. The trail climbs round a hillside spur, where lofty Cho Oyu will again come into view and soon we will reach another kharka with some simple lodges. Directly ahead of us at this point, we will see the terminal moraine (ridge of rocks) that closes off the Ngozumpa Glacier. The trail now goes briefly downhill, then climbs through the aforementioned ablation valley on the western side of the glacier, goes steeply up stone steps and crosses a stream on a short wooden bridge. A succession of cairns now marks the route through a stony landscape, with a small tarn (Mountain Lake) on the left. The valley now broadens and the trail reaches a second larger tarn Taboche Tsho (4,740m/15,552ft). Beyond this point the trail passes through a narrower section of the ablation valley and comes to a third tarn Dudh Pokhari (4,750m/15,584ft), with prayer flags on its eastern shore. Dudh Pokhari celebrates a fair every year during Janaipoornima, a popular Hindu festival falls in July-August. Just beyond this lake we will come to our overnight stop Gokyo, the valley’s last lodge settlement. Trekking time 3-4 hours.
Early morning, if weather permits, we climb the hill that rises above the northern shore of Lake Dudh Pokhari, called Gokyo Ri (5,360m/17,586ft). The summit is marked by large cairns and prayer flags. Also from the top, Gokyo’s turquoise lake, far below has a picturesque view. Then we retrace our route covered on day 8 and stay overnight in Machhermo. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
We continue our return trek to Namche Bazaar. Trekking time 6-7 hours.
Again we proceed southward, retracing the route trekked on day 1 and 2, crossing and re-crossing the Dudh Koshi at intervals. We stay overnight in Lukla. Trekking time 6-7 hours.
We take the 35 minute breathtaking flight from Lukla.
Option available for extending your trip with Jungle Safari adventure, white water rafting or a trip of your choice.
- Sagarmatha National Park permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
- Three meals (B/L/D) a day on trekking from teahouse/lodge
- Accommodations at teahouse/lodge in the mountains
- An English speaking Trekking Guide
- A porter shared between two trekkers
- Staff insurance, salary, food, accommodation and their transportation
- Regular flights for Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu and ground transfers to/from airport
- First aid kit box
- A farewell Nepali dinner with live culture program
- Bar and beverages bills, bottled water
- Nature of personal expenses
- Personal cloths and equipment such as sleeping bag, jacket, boots etc.
- Insurance for accidental, medical and evacuation
- Tips to the staff
- International Airfare and Taxes
- Kathmandu City Cultural Tour
- Mt. Everest Flight
- Jungle Safari in Chitwan or Bardia National Park
- Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
- White Water Rafting in Nepal
- Bungy Jumping / Canyoning / Paragliding / Ultralight Flight
- Shopping Tours