The Gokyo Lake Trek is an alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp treks while still providing the trekker with plenty of stunning views of Everest as well as overnight stays in the iconic town of Namche Bazaar, gateway to the Khumbu Region. The route to the Gokyo Lakes is less busy but 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 Gokyo Lakes are actually made up of six bodies of water, or lakes, located at an altitude of 4,700 to 5,000m in the Gokyo Valley. Gokyo Valley falls within the Sagarmatha National Park area. The lakes are the world’s highest freshwater lake system and have been designated as a Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance) as well as being sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. And if you need any more testaments to the beauty and importance of this area, the Lonely Planet states, “for our money the Gokyo Valley is the most spectacular in the Khumbu”. By spending an extra day in the Gokyo Valley, trekkers can visit the 5th and 6th lakes which sit in a high alpine bowl at the foot of Cho Oyu, the world’s 6th highest mountain.
Trekkers should expect to walk around 5 hours a day, with one of the highlights being a steep climb up Gokyo RI (5,357m) to view Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu. Also on display is the largest glacier in Nepal, Ngozumpa, and ice ridges.
In order to acclimatize before setting off for the Gokyo Ri and Gokyo Valley, time spent in Namche Bazaar offers trekkers the opportunity to trek to nearby Khumjung Village to visit the school set up by Sir Edmund Hillary, who, along with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, was the first person to successfully summit Mount Everest. Since that time dozens of climbing expeditions and thousands of trekkers have made Namche Bazaar a vibrant, bustling market town where it is possible to swap trekking stories with members of other groups.
|Day 1||Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding||2651 m||3 - 4 hr|
|Day 2||Phakding to Namche Bazaar||3438 m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 3||Acclimatization day||3700 m||5 hr|
|Day 4||Namche Bazaar to Dole||3680 m||5 - 6 hr|
|Day 5||Dole to Machhermo||4470 m||4 hr|
|Day 6||Machhermo to Gokyo||4800 m||4 hr|
|Day 7||Morning trip to Gokyo Ri||4800 m||4 hr|
|Day 8||Gokyo to Dole||4110 m||6 - 7 hr|
|Day 9||Dole to Namche Bazaar||3438 m||5 - 6hr|
|Day 10||Namche Bazaar to Lukla||2860 m||7 - 8 hr|
|Day 11||Lukla to Kathmandu||1380 m||40 min|