Trip Facts

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Trip Duration 16 Days
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Trip Difficulty Moderate
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Maximum Altitude 5,357m/19,216 ft.
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Best Season To Visit Mid Sep- Nov / March- May
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Average Group Size Min. 2 pax

Trip Overview

Experience the hospitality of the local Sherpa culture in the most marvelous Khumbu region with Gokyo Lake trekking journey in the world.”

 

Gokyo Lakes Trek is an alternative to classical treks in the Khumbu region. The trail travels through the verdant valley west of Everest to the village of Gokyo and to the five sacred lakes on the moraine next to the Ngozumpa glacier. Hiking along the longest glacier in the Himalayas, Ngozumpa Glacier, is another interesting highlight of this trek. Gokyo is the world’s highest freshwater lake system at around 5,000 m comprising 6 amazing azure glacial lakes.

Gokyo Lakes Trek starts from Kathmandu on a scenic flight to Lukla, The trail passes through famous Sherpa villages such as Phakding, Namche, Machhermo, and Dole on its way to Gokyo Valley.

Exploration of the lakes in the Gokyo valley and hiking up to the Gokyo Ri (5,357 m), the highest point on the trek, is truly fascinating. Situated on the shore of Dudh Pokhari, the Gokyo valley is full of lovely stone houses and pastures. From Gokyo, you ascend to Gokyo Ri (5,360 m) vantage point that overlooks the tiny Gokyo village, and the Ngozumpa glacier. Also, you witness a sublime sunrise over the majestic mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu, Cholatse, and Taboche.

This trek also integrates nature with culture. While trekking in this picturesque area, you can witness the fascinating culture of the Sherpas in the Everest region. Gokyo Lakes Trek is ideal for those who want to trek in the Everest region, but want a more unique and remote experience.

This is a sample itinerary of Gokyo Lakes Trek. We can tailor-make the program as per your needs and preferences.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu Airport

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Driving Time: Approx. 30 minutes, depends on traffic

Accommodation: Hotel Tibet or similar

Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal.

You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle. Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

Day 02: Cultural Introductory Tour and Trek Preparation

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Tour Duration:  Approx. 8 hours

Accommodation: Hotel Tibet or similar

Meal: Breakfast

9:00 AM: After breakfast, we start our guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. On this cultural tour, you will experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

You will head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.

Swayambhunath:

Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

PM: Boudhanath

Then we drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupas in Nepal, built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. You can see the beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

You can witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.

Pashupatinath

Moving on, you will visit the Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of the Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. You will get to witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burn at open-air cremation. Also witness elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.

Day 03: Flight kathmanu - Lukla & Hike to Phakding

Altitude above sea level: Lukla (2,840 m), Phakding (2,610 m)

Flight Duration: Approx. 35 minutes

Hiking Duration: 4-5 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your spectacular flight to the mountain airstrip at Lukla. Lukla is Nepal’s busiest domestic airport and, for the trekker intent on seeing Mt. Everest, flying here is an essential part of the adventure.

During the flight, you get to see the world’s soaring mountains including  Cho Oyu (8,153 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Gauri Shankar (7,145 m), Menlungtse (7,181 m).

After an exhilarating landing at Lukla, you will set off on the hike to Phakding. You follow the ridge on the bank of milky Dudh Koshi River to the village of Phakding. Dudh Koshi, or Milk River, is named for its chalky color that emerges from all the glaciers up above.

You will follow this river the rest of the day, passing through picturesque hamlets filled with tea houses, suspension bridges, shops, carved Mani stones, prayer wheels, and packed animals.

After passing through the small villages like Chaurikharka and Ghat you arrive at Phakding which is located right next to the Dudh Koshi River.

Day 04: Phakding - Namche Bazaar

Altitude above sea level: (3,445 m), Namche

Hiking time: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Today, after a hearty breakfast, you will cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named “Dudh” (milk) Koshi (river) because of its color. Sections of today’s walk are through pine forest and cleared areas to reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. You pass small groups of donkeys and yaks carrying trading goods and trek gear along the trail. The trail passes through the villages of Benkar, Monjo, and Jorsale then climbs steeply the 2000′ feet to the market town of Namche.

Namche is the largest town in the Khumbu region, surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, and opens out only where it faces the Dudh Koshi. This vibrant village is a central hub of the area and food, sundries and even mountain climbing equipment may be purchased here. Also, it is the main trading village in the Khumbu region, is the historic meeting point for Hindu traders from the lowlands and Tibetan yak caravans.

Day 05: Acclimatization day in Namche

Altitude above sea level: 3,962 m

Hiking duration: 2-3 hrs. approx. (Hotel Everest View)

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Namche is an ideal place for acclimatization. The places of interest around Namche are remarkable and beautiful. There is plenty to do in and around Namche.  You can take a short walk above the town to get a view of Everest. The trail leading to the hotel is a pleasant walk across a hill. You might spot yaks grazing nearby, or a Himalayan Tahr (wild goat) balancing perfectly on the cliffs.

Hidden on a ridge overlooking the Everest range, Hotel Everest View is an incredible establishment that blends gracefully with its remarkable surrounding. Appreciate the panoramic view of the Everest Region from the iconic Hotel Everest View.

There is also an interesting Sherpa Culture Museum which is well worth a visit.  After exploring, you take a downhill track back to Namche. Spend the afternoon at leisure.  You can either relax or visit the colorful Namche Bazaar.

Day 06: Namche Bazaar - Phortse Tenga

Altitude above sea level: (3,601 m) Phortse Tenga

Hiking duration:  5-6 hours 

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

You start the morning with a hearty breakfast at the lodge. Today the trail behind Namche is a gentle path that crosses high above the Imja River, overlooking spectacular views of Thamserku and Amadablam. Further, before reaching Kyangjuma, you pass a chorten in memory of Tenzing Norgay, the pioneer to summit Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary.

You diverge from the classic trail to Everest Base Camp and take the higher path up to Mong La.  Admire the grandest views of Amadablam, Everest, Thamserku, Taboche, Cholatse, Lhotse I and II, Kangtega, and valley seen from Mong la pass. After soaking in the commanding view, you make your way to Phortse Tenga.

Phortse Tenga is a short downhill from Mong on the valley floor alongside the Dudh Koshi River. It is a small village located on the bank of a white-water river and surrounded by forests and mountains.

Day 07: Phortse Tenga - Dole

Altitude above sea level: (4,040 m) Dole

Hiking duration: 3-4 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Today’s trail climbs steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, which give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases.

The part of the trek between Phortse Tenga and Dole is exceptionally beautiful with its fairy-tale rhododendron forest, particularly in spring, when they are blossoming. It is an incredible experience to walk in the shadows of dense trees, with some mesmerizing views of mountains accompanying you throughout. You pass lovely waterfalls and sit to look at the glaciers that flow from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind you, impressive ridges lead to the peak of Khumblia and the many mountains that reach almost 6,000 meters, ahead you can catch your first glimpse of Cho Oyu.

You continue your hike until you reach Dole. Dole is a small village that lies in the Dudh Koshi river valley.

Day 08: Dole - Machhermo

Altitude above sea level: (4,465 m), Machhermo

Hiking duration: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you follow a trail towards the Gokyo valley. You take a steep climb to walk alongside a verdant forest of Juniper trees. Along the trail, you traverse suspension bridges and a cliff.

Leaving the well-marked trail away, you’ll now follow a rocky trail heading to the moraine of Ngozumpa Glacier. Next is the Machhermo village where you will be staying overnight. Upon arrival, spend your afternoon at your leisure. You can either relax or explore the area that would also allow your bodies to properly acclimatize.

Day 09: Machhermo - Gokyo

Altitude above sea level: (4,750 m) Gokyo

Hiking duration: 4-5 hours hike

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you continue with a trail to Gokyo valley. Take a ascend trail towards a series of farm buildings called Pangka. Beyond the ridge, the valley widens as the trail reaches the small village of Pangka.

From Pangka (4,548 m) descend slightly to a river which flows from the Ngozumba Glacier, The path from here follows a picturesque snow-melt river flowing west side of the Ngozumpa glacier.  The best part of the trip would still be the mesmerizing view of the incredible ice face of Cholatse and the lakes. Thereafter, ascend steeply from the river up to the first of the 3 sacred lakes, which mark the end of the transition from the lower Gokyo valley to the deserted upper part.

Hiking the flat route ahead, you’ll reach the second lake. For Dudh Kunda, you’ve to walk the trail across the glacier to Cho La. On its east shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo valley. Walking by the side of the lake, the scenery is magnificent, with the summits of Cho Oyo and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters.  Gokyo valley is situated next to a beautiful emerald green lake. The view is absolutely wonderful from here, with luminous glacial lakes and mountains atop.

Day 10: Trek to Gokyo Ri Peak

Altitude above sea level:  (5,357 m) Gokyo Ri

Hiking duration: 2 – 3 hours

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After breakfast, you hike around Gokyo to explore the topography of the region.  The views in the Gokyo region are tremendous. For the best view, you will hike up to Gokyo Ri, the small peak above the lake. From the summit of Gokyo Ri, you can witness the massive Ngozumpa glacier and breathtaking panoramic view of the entire Khumbu Himalayas, including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, and Gychung Kang.

If you are energetic, you further hike to the fourth and the fifth Gokyo lakes. The 4th lake is marked by soaring cliffs and Himalayan peaks rising above it. You continue hiking a slight further and reach the 5th lake. In the fifth lake, there is a popular vantage point known as Scoundrel’s Viewpoint. You can see Ngozumpa glacier and Cho Oyu Base Camp from the northern part of the 5th Gokyo Lake.

After exploring, you follow the trail back to Gokyo Valley overnight.

Day 11: Gokyo - Phortse Village

Altitude above sea level:  (3,796 m) Phortse village

Hiking duration: 7 – 8hrs approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After breakfast, you follow the same path all the way back down to Phortse. After crossing, Dudh Pokhari, the second and first lake, you go downhill to Pangka before climbing a hill. You get to Phortse by passing the Machermo, Luza Lhafarma, and Dole villages.

Day 12: Phortse Village - Monjo via Namche Bazaar

Altitude above sea level: (2,850 m) Monjo (3,340 m) Namche

Hiking duration: 6 – 7hrs approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Leaving Phortse behind, you descend steeply through birch and rhododendron forest to the Dudh Koshi. After crossing the river, you follow the way that pushes forward beyond the settlements of Mong La (3,980 m), Sanasa, and Khumjung (3,970 m); all the way to Namche Bazaar (3,340 m).

From Namche Bazaar, you head through dense forests, suspension bridges, and settlements to our today’s destination, Monjo Village.

Day 13: Monjo - Lukla

Altitude above sea level:  (2,840 m)  Lukla

Hiking duration:  5-6 hrs approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After having breakfast, you start walking through a pleasant trail. Taking down through the forest of rhododendron takes you to Phakding village. You cross the suspension bridge at Thado Koshi and hike onto Chheplung (2,700 m). Moving down on the mountainside on the banks of the Dudh Koshi River; eventually, you reach Lukla.

Day 14: Flight Lukla - Kathmandu

Altitude above sea level: (1,302 m)

Flight Duration: 35 minutes approx.

Accommodation: Hotel Tibet or similar

Meal: Breakfast

You will have an early breakfast and fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla airport. You will then be accompanied to your hotel and have time to take a rest and relax after a long, amazing trek.

Day 15: Leisure Day at Kathmandu

Altitude above sea level: (1,302 m), Kathmandu

Accommodation: Hotel Tibet or similar

Meal: Breakfast

It’s also a spare day in case of bad weather in Lukla if we could not fly on the scheduled date and time, or we can organize a guided day tour in or around Kathmandu. You can spend your leisure time shopping for souvenirs for your beloved ones or simply relax after an exhausting but momentous adventure.

Day 16: Final Departure

Meal: Breakfast

It is time to fly back home, keeping all the incredible experiences of Nepal in mind. The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.

Price Included

What's Included

  • Airport transfers,
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu with entrance fees, transfer
  • Internal flight: Kathmandu – Lukla -Kathmandu,
  • 4 nights *** hotel with breakfast
  • Tea house lodge accommodation during trek on full board
  • Trek Permit & National Park Fees,
  • Staff insurance on the trek,
  • Trek guide, assistant guide & porter/s
  • Duffel bag
  • Map

What's not Included

  • Additional tours and meals that are not mentioned,
  • Bottled drinks
  • Lunch & Dinner while in Kathmandu
  • Personal equipment,
  • Personal bills,
  • Visas
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects), liability insurance
  • Tips

Reviews

Roy C, New Zealand 

Fantastic trip, great company, phenomenal guide. Two-week trekking trip with Nepal sanctuary Trek was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We did a loop trek in the...

Roy C, New Zealand

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Gokyo Lakes Trek