The true wilderness of Nepal can be experienced within the pristine glacier lakes of Gokyo Nepal. This adventurous trek in the Khumbu region takes you beyond the Everest Base Camp to bestow the best views of mountains and lakes in a single frame. Also, Gokyo valley is one of the world’s highest situated villages for a deep understanding of the local Sherpa culture.
Along with the stunning Gokyo Lakes, our major destination is Gokyo Ri which stands at 5483m above sea level. Another adventurous climb includes the hike to Cho La Pass at 5330m meters above sea level. Obviously, we get to view the stunning Himalayas ranges during the Gokyo Valley trek.
From Lukla to Gokyo Valley, we climb a total of 2679 meters. During the entire journey, one can get 360-degree views of the mountains vistas like Cho Yu, Pumori, Lhotse, Nuptse, Nirekha, Tabuche, Thamserku, Kangtega, Pharilapche, and obviously Everest.
So, are you excited to know more about Gokyo Lake Trek?
Why Gokyo Valley trek?
Visit six turquoise glacier lakes called Gokyo lake, the world’s largest freshwater system at such altitude. They include the spectacular views of all lakes of Gokyo valley namely Gokyo Cho, Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, and Ngojumba Cho.
View of four 8,000 meters peaks i.e. Everest, Cho Oyo, Makalu, and Lhotse along with dozens of other high peaks. The views of the entire Himalayan vistas look even more spectacular from the high passes of Gokyo- Ri (5,357 m) and Renjo La pass (5,340 m).
An exciting mountain flight to Tenzing Norway Airport, Lukla from Kathmandu. This is one of the world’s most thrilling landings right at the ridge close to the mountain. The half an hour of flight to and from Lukla is definitely exciting.
A brief visit to the Namche Bazaar where we shall stop for a whole day to explore its hidden mystic and myth. We shall also visit Tengboche Monastery, the largest and most vibrant monastery in the region.
Avoid the crowd of classic Everest Base Camp trek while witnessing the even better view of the Everest from multiple viewpoints. The tea houses in Gokyo Nepal are also rather empty and you get to enjoy the beauty of the Khumbu region in solitude.
Visit the classic Sherpa villages and witness the Tibetan Buddhism culture. The Sherpas of Gokyo are the bravest souls dwelling in the mountains and known to make many world records by climbing experts.
A comfortable tea house accommodation even on the rough mountain trail. Gokyo valley is among the highest situated valley which offers a comfortable night’s stay and warm food even at such a difficult altitude.
Gokyo Valley Trek Itinerary in Short
So, the trip begins from Kathmandu where you will catch the flight to Lukla. From less than 1400 meters in Kathmandu, you will directly land in Lukla at 2827m within 25-mins. Here, we met our porters and re-arranged our bags. Then, walking to Phakding (2,652 m) we spend our first night here. The next night, we cross the Sagarmatha National Park and enter Namche Bazaar [3,440 m). A rest day at Namche helps us adapt to the higher altitude and also visit many culturally and naturally decorated places of this region.
From Namche, we move to Dhole (4110 m) for one day and then to Machhermo (4,470 m) for another day. Gokyo village (4800m) is about 5 hours of walk from Machhermo. On the rest day at Gokyo, we hike to climb Gokyo Ri and different Gokyo Lakes, getting back to the valley for the night. Then, we start walking down to Dholeon on the 9th day and get to Namche on the next day. From Namche, we walk down to Lukla and get ourselves another thrilling flight back to Kathmandu.
- Day 1: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding
- Duration: 25min flight/ 3-5 hrs trek
- Day 2: Trek to Namche Bazaar
- Duration: 5-6 hours
- Day 3: Rest day in Namche
- Day 4: Trek to Dole
- Duration: 5-6 hours
- Day 5: Trek to Machhermo
- Duration: 3 hours
- Day 6: Trek to Gokyo
- Duration: 3hours
- Day 7: Hike to Gokyo- Ri (5357 m)
- Day 8: Walk back to Dole
- Duration: 5 – 6 Hrs
- Day 9: Walk back to Namche
- Duration: 3-4 hours
- Day 10: Walk to Lukla
- Duration: 4 hours
- Day 11: Fly to Kathmandu
Gokyo Trek altitude profile
Altitude makes big difference while you are trekking in the high mountains. Here’s the elevation of different important points you shall encounter while trekking to Gokyo valley.
- Lukla 2,800 m and Phakding 2,651m
- Namche Bazaar 3,438m
- Trek to Dole 4,200 meters
- Machhermo, 4410m
- Gokyo 4,800m
- Gokyo – Ri 5357 m
Gokyo Valley Trek difficulty
Firstly, you should know how long is Gokyo Lake Trek. As per the MyEverestTrip Itinerary designed by the experts, this Gokyo Lake trek is 12 days of walk in the rough mountain terrain. However, trekkers often add Everest Base Camp Trek to the same journey, making the Gokyo e trek more challenging and longer. From Lukla to Everest Gokyo trek and back, you will be walking about 130kms within 12 days. This means 12-15 km of walk each day i.e. 4 to 7 hours of walking time depending on your strength.
Gokyo Valley trek that takes you to the remote Himalayas ranges is obviously difficult. This difficulty of Gokyo Chola pass Trek has been graded “Challenging” by experts and needs very good physical and mental fitness. The answer to how hard is Gokyo Valley trek also depends on your physical strength and walking capacity. Since you need to climb high passes like Gokyo- Ri (5,357 m), it’s a bit harder than the classic Everest Base Camp trek.
However, you should know that there’s no need for technical climbing skills and mountaineering skills for the Gokyo Chola pass trek. There’s no special training or expertise one shall need. Few months of cardio exercise and hike practice before the trek is helpful. About 3 months before the hike, you should involve yourself in activities like running, swimming, cycling, and squats. Gathering some experience of high-altitude treks is obviously helpful for Everest Gokyo Trek, but even a newbie can make it to the top of Gokyo-Ri and back with the proper guidance of MyEveryTrip, even a newbie can conquer this trek.
Culture, traditions, and festivals
The Gokyo valley carries great religious significance within the Nepalese and remains a sacred pilgrimage site. The holy Lakes in this section of Everest was the famous pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. During the time of Janai Purnima (mid-August), thousands of Hindu and Buddhist visitors would set a month-long journey to bathe and renew themselves with the power of the mountains. Expect for Janai Purnima, the regions around the lake is incredibly vibrant during Losar. Three different kinds of Loshar, i.e. Tamu Losar, Gyalpo Losar, and Sonam Losar, are celebrated throughout the year. In the lower region, i.e. around Namche, the 19-days long Mani Rimdu brings new charm to the surrounding. Dumji is another festival that celebrates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava.
At 4,750 m above sea level, the village of Gokyo is among the highest settlements in the world itself. It is mostly inhabited by the Sherpa people known for their excellent mountaineering skills. The Sherpa are strict followers of Tibetan Buddhism and live their life with strict religious values. Just about thirty years ago, the Gokyo Valley and the Ngozumba Glacier were uninhabited valleys. This area was famous as a summer grazing stop for livestock with a couple of tents around the garden. Now, many significant buildings are made for the comfort of trekkers. Here, the locals live in the summer and move to Namche Bazaar in winter. Now, as the mountains have been more accessible, the people have switched to tourists and adventurers. Their economy has experienced tremendous growth, and your visit would be a significant contribution to the local economy.
Kathmandu has many decent hotels for luxurious accommodation. Our team takes you to a comfortable 3-star hotel in Thamel. The place has excellent rooms, a private bath, and a restaurant. Mystic Mountain Team ensures that you stay in a clean and homely place. If you have any specific place in mind, we help you with the bookings procedure.
On the trek, we will be staying at the tea houses. These tea houses are small hotels that are made by the locals. Their uniquely built home reflects the long-lasting Sherpa culture and tradition. Although they are not luxurious, you can expect great comfort and warm sleep at the end of the day. As long as you have a bed to sleep in and warm, healthy food; it’s a pretty good trek. As trekking in the Gokyo region has become so famous, many tea houses have been recently opened. The teahouses up to Namche even have flush toilets, hot showers, and internet. From the 6th day to the 11th day of the trek, the tea houses are pretty basic, and the amenities listed here add an extra charge. You will find a bed, comfortable mattress, and blanket even in Gokyo Valley. The hotels along the Gokyo lakes trek are quite impressive.
Food in Everest Gokyo Trek
The Agency itself provides all food on the Gokyo trek. On the journey, we will be having our breakfast and lunch over the tea houses. The owner prepares the food as per your order. You might be surprised that the locals have managed to keep an impressive variety on Menu even in such remote Himalayas. You can enjoy oats, pancakes, muesli, and bread. Tea/ coffee/ milk is also available. For dinner and lunch, you can have Nepalese Dal/Bhat, which has an unlimited supply. Other options like Noodles, Thukpa, spring role, momos, and spaghetti are also popular.
In Kathmandu, the team takes you for a delicious welcome dinner on arrival. You can choose the breakfast as per preference in the hotel. On the second day, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed on your own. You have the freedom to pick anything of your choice and enjoy the international cuisine in Kathmandu. We also serve an excellent farewell dinner at the end of the Gokyo Lakes trek.
The Agency does not provide water and other kinds of drinks. In the Everest region, the water bottle costs up to $5 at a higher altitude. So it’s always a wise option to carry your water bottle and refill it in the natural springs. Also, avoid hard drinks to prevent your body from complete dehydration and altitude sickness on the Everest trek.
Packing list for Gokyo Valley trek
All treks in Nepal have a specific kind of packing list that is available from your guide once you confirm the booking. Since this is a remote area trekking, you need to carry everything you need to the higher altitude. You cant expect to buy anything once you walk beyond Namche. The last ATM and shop small shops are available in Namche. It’s better if you carry everything you need right from Kathmandu.
Sleeping bag- Gokyo valley can have a temperature below zero degrees and you should have a good sleeping bag to withstand that cold. It can be brought or rented in Kathmandu.
Carrying bags: Two kinds of bags are needed for the Gokyo village trek. One is a Rucksack or duffle bag which will accommodate all the heavy stuff and shall be carried by your porter. Next, you will need a handbag that is to carry food and other materials you need for the day-time and be carried by yourself.
Jacket: A outer layer of waterproofs/ windproof jackets and trekking pants are compulsory
Clothes: You need comfortable cotton Shirts, trousers, shorts, and T-shirts, jumpers. On the inside, you will need warm thin thermals. Cap/ hats and gloves are also the must-haves for Gokyo trekking.
Shoes: Don’t even think of trekking to Gokyo village in your normal shoe. Comfortable trekking boots with a thick sole, good grip, and ankle support are a must-have. You also need a pair of slippers and a few pairs of cotton socks. Get thick socks for the mornings.
Water bottle: Personal bottle of hard plastic or steel along with sterilizing tablets
Food: Chocolates, energy drinks, juices, chips, and instant coffee as per your will.
- Medicine as paracetamol, bandages, massage oil, spray, etc
- Personal care- wash kit, towel, sunglasses, sunhat
- Gadgets- Phone, Camera, extra battery, and charger ( laptop not recommended)
- Trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags
What are the Permits for the Gokyo lake trek?
The Gokyo valley trek permit is similar to that of the Everest Base Camp trek permit. Firstly, you will need to issue a Visa to Nepal ( except for Indians). Visa will be available upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. Then, you will need two other permits
Khumbu local area permit: This local area permit can be issued at Lukla. The local area permit is the replacement ko TIMS card after 2018.
Sagarmatha National Park entry permit: Entering inside the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site needs a special permit. These permits can be issued at the gate of the National Park at Monjo and you shouldn’t worry about any permits in Kathmandu.
What is the best time for Gokyo Lake Trek?
Picking the right season for the trek is important as it determines your comfort and ease during the trek. Autumn i.e. September to November is, without doubt, a great time to visit Nepal. The views are crystal clear and it’s quite warm. Gokyo valley in Spring looks magical as the rays of the sun increase, making it quite hot in the mid-day. The lower region is full of lush flora and fauna while the flowers just begin to bloom in mid-March.
In Summer, heavy rain in Gokyo Nepal may lead to landslides and road blockage. After that, the sky is gradually clear and the mountains look more elegant than ever. In Summer, the day temperature can go up to 26 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees at the night. Winter is the most challenging month for trekking. Overcoming the snow and cold might be hard, but with the right gears and guidance, winter trekking isn’t impossible. However, you might need extra pair of clothes and other trekking gear.
Is there Electricity during the Gokyo Lake trek?
Electricity is not actually a big deal during the Gokyo Valley trek. The lower sections, i.e. up to Namche, have high-end hotels with plugs in the room to charge your phone and camera in Everest. Beyond that, the region operates by solar lights. Thus the rooms don’t have power sockets, and the reception desk has charging devices. Expect a stormy day; you can ask the owner to charge your phone in exchange for a few dollars. But the hall has few plugs, and the competition for the sockets is high. Also, make sure your device is safe in such crowds. The rate of charging power banks and big gears is relatively higher and ranges from NPR. 150 –to NPR 500 per hour (~USD 1.5 to USD 5) per house.
Having a C-type socket and two extra batteries for the camera is the best advice. If you can afford a 10000 mAh power bank and solar chargers, you can save a lot on the trip. Up to Namche, further, look for hotels with free charging and keep your device warm by wrapping them well in the bag pack; the battery drains very quickly in the clod.
Is there Internet/ Wi-Fi in Gokyo?
Everest region has every gold Internet connection up to Namche. Many tea houses in this region provide Internet connection for free. Beyond that, only a few places have Wi-Fi connections and then cost you some amount ($1 to $3). In Gokyo valley, you are likely to be out of Internet connection. However, you can issue an Everest Link card that cost about $20 to get data that can be used in Gokyo. If you have issued a local SIM card in Kathmandu, you can use the mobile internet. You can use an NCELL SIM card.
So, when shall you plan your trek to Gokyo Nepal? Remember to contact us before you make any decision so that we can organize everything you shall need for the journey. We will also love to hear some throughout the article.
Well, see you soon.