Gokyo Lake Trek

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Price Per person USD $1,237 USD $1,280
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Starts at: Lukla Ends at: Lukla
Trek Region: Everest Transport: Flight
Duration: 12 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 5,357 m/ 1632 ft (Gokyo Ri) Accomodation: Teahouse

Gokyo Lake Trek Highlights

  • Walkthrough the peaceful, off the beaten-paths of the Everest region to reach Gokyo valley
  • View the sunrise/sunset view at Mount Everest and other peaks from Gokyo Ri (5357 meters)
  • Click awesome photographs of the unspoiled and crisp Gokyo valley
  • Delve into the serenity of the dazzling glacial lakes, especially during the afternoon
  • Explore one of the biggest glaciers in the Khumbu region- the Ngozumpa glacier

The Gokyo Lake Trek is an alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp trek while still providing the trekker with plenty of stunning views of Everest as well as overnight stays in the iconic town of Namche Bazaar, the 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 4700 to 5000m 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, you 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.

You should expect to walk around 5 hours a day, with one of the highlights being a steep climb up to 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. If walking 5 hours a day is not an option for you and you still want to see the pristine beauty of Gokyo lake, consider a helicopter tour.

In order to acclimatize before setting off for the Gokyo Ri and Gokyo Valley, time spent in Namche Bazaar offers you 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.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

Phakding – 2651 m / 8697 ft – 3 hrs

Day 3: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar – 3438 m / 11279 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 4: Acclimatization day

Namche Bazaar – 3438 m / 11279 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 5: Namche Bazaar to Dole

Dole – 3680 m / 12073 ft – 6 hrs

Day 6: Dole to Machhermo

Machhermo – 3870 m / 12696 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Machhermo to Gokyo (Afternoon hike to Gokyo RI)

Gokyo – 4800 m / 15748 ft – 4 hrs

Day 8: Gokyo to Machhermo (Morning hike to Gokyo 4th Lake)

Gokyo Ri – 5357 m / 17575 ft – 4 hrs

Day 9: Machhermo to Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar – 3438 m / 11279 ft- 8 hrs

Day 10: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Lukla – 2860 m / 9383 ft – 7 hrs

Day 11: Lukla to Kathmandu flight

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 35 minute

Day 12: Final Departure

500

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

  • Accommodation: Hotel

On your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

Your hotel is in the center of the city, in the vibrant and colourful area known as Thamel. With its restaurants, bars, and shops with unique Nepali handcrafted items and trekking gear this is an interesting place to spend the afternoon.

There will be the opportunity to meet your guide today and ask any questions you still may have about your trip to Everest Base Camp.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It is an early morning start to fly into Lukla, one of the highest airports in the world.  The views are stunning, particularly as you are flying directly into the land of the Sherpas. The clean, fresh air hits you on arrival – even as the views take your breath away.

There is an approximate 3 hour hike from Lukla to Phakding where we stop for our first night in the mountains.  Crossing a suspension bridge, passing a monastery, and seeing perhaps your first mani (prayer) wall are some of the highlights of the day. 

Day 3: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast set off for a day of ups and downs to reach the market town of Namche Bazaar.  On the way you enter Sagarmatha National Park proper, cross a few more suspension bridges over the Dudh Koshi River and walk through rhododendron forests.

Excitement is definitely building as you approach Namche, where dozens of trekkers and climbing expeditions have gathered before heading out on their respective adventures.

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar 

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today is a day to let the body acclimatize to the high altitude – and it will get even higher!  But we suggest you keep active as that is the best way to acclimatize.  There are several walks around Namche – you could head for the Everest View Hotel which has the finest views of Everest.  So good in fact that some people helicopter in for breakfast.  Yes, breakfast with the best view in the world!  From the hotel, continue on to Khumjung village. 

Here there are a number of interesting things.  Khunde Hospital was built in 1966 by Sir Edmund Hillary and is funded today by the Himalayan Trust. Even older is the Khumjung School which was also set up by Sir Edmund.  Starting with two classrooms, the school today has more than 350 students in attendance. 

Finally, there is Khumjung Monastery which dates back hundreds of years although was reconstructed after the 2015 earthquake.  This center of Sherpa religion and culture was rebuilt with the help of all community members.  You might be interested to see a Yeti scalp (okay, not scientifically proven!) inside the monastery.

After a day of exploring around Namche, don’t forget to stock up on any goodies in the abundant shops before heading out on the next leg of your trek. 

Day 5: Namche Bazaar to Dole

  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Leaving Namche the route is incredibly scenic as you hike up the Dudh Koshi valley, passing stupas and views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Thamserku, and many more on the way.  Descending into pine and rhododendron forests the trail divides. 

The route to Gokyo Lakes is to the left.  On the way, we reach Mong village – a very small village but very scenic as well.  Sitting on a ridge the views from here reach Tengboche and beyond.  Enjoy waterfalls and rhododendrons on this trail, and perhaps not so much, enjoy the stone stairs you will encounter! 

Finally reaching the village of Dole we stop for the night here, enjoying the surrounding views.

Day 6: Dole to Machhermo

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This beautiful scenic trail is a steep climb taking you through scrub juniper.  Leaving Dole there is an uphill gradient for around half an hour then a more gentle uphill the rest of the way. 

The Dudh Koshi River lies far below. Hiking on towards the tiny teahouse settlement of Machhermo the trail comes to a ridge above the village with stunning views of Thamserku.

Day 7: Machhermo to Gokyo (Afternoon hike to Gokyo RI)

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Leaving Machhermo the trail heads up to another scenic ridge with views of Kangtega before heading through a narrow valley that leads into a wider valley.  Overall the trail today is not too tiring with only one or two short steep sections. The trail descends to the Dudh Koshi River.  From there it is a steep climb to the Ngozumpa Glacier and the first Gokyo lake.

As you continue north the second lake appears.  This lake, unlike the small first lake, is quite long and runs parallel to the hiking trail.  Further on we come to the 3rd lake and some teahouses (yes there are 6 lakes in total all falling under the name Gokyo Lake).

Here we stop for lunch then climb up to Gokyo Ri.  This takes 2.5 to 3 hours to climb up. The viewpoint at Gokyo Ri is a high 5,357 meters, with a great panorama of mountains above and lakes and glaciers below.  Sunset is spectacular and highly recommended.

Day 8: Gokyo to Machhermo (Morning hike to Gokyo 4th Lake)

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This morning hike to the 4th Gokyo Lake which is mostly a flat trail and will take approximately 45 minutes to one hour.  After viewing the lake for some time, return to Gokyo for breakfast then onwards to Machhermo.

Day 9: Machhermo to Namche Bazaar

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After an early breakfast head on towards Namche Bazaar.

Namche feels quite lively and busy after the quiet of smaller villages and we spend our final night of the trek here.

Day 10: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing the suspension bridges you crossed at the beginning of your trek, and once again you are in Lukla where we overnight waiting for our flight back to Kathmandu early the next morning.

Day 11: Lukla to Kathmandu flight

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Accommodation: Hotel

A short flight brings us back to the country’s capital.  Your hotel awaits and there is time to explore a little of the city or do some gift shopping.

Day 12: Departure

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

We will escort you to the airport for your departure.  If you are staying longer in Nepal we will wish you a great continued stay – and can arrange your next adventure too!

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Includes

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flight x 2
  • Kathmandu Lukla Kathmandu Flight
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and Local Entry Permits
  • Guide for 11 days
  • Porter for 10 days
  • 2 nights accommodation in a Kathmandu hotel (Bodhi Boutique or similar)
  • 10 night accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff
  • 11 x set breakfast, 10 x set lunch and 10 x set dinner while on trek.
    Vegan
    Veg
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personnel expenses of any kind and travel insurance

Gokyo Lake Trek Map

Gokyo Lake Trek Map

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