The Gokyo valley and lakes trek explores the heart of the Sherpa homeland. You will visit Namche Bazaar and Tengboche before ascending the stunning Gokyo valley to the glacial lakes under the great peak of Cho Oyu (8153m), where you can also summit Goyko Ri (5457m).
This adventure provides you with the opportunity to look upon Nepal’s biggest glacier and enjoy some of the best views of the Everest range in the region.
“…ascend the stunning Gokyo Valley to the glacial lakes under the great peak of Cho Oyu”
The route follows the classic Everest Base Camp trail up until Sanasa before following the Dudh Kosi river to its source. The small settlement of Gokyo lies on the banks of one of the Gokyo lakes and provides a stunning backdrop to four 8000m peaks, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.
While not traditionally as popular as other routes in the Everest region, the views from Gokyo are exceptionally beautiful and actually offer more of the legendary mountains than the views from Kalapattar along the Everest Base Camp trek.
Day 0 – Arrival in Nepal
It is strongly advised that you arrive in Nepal at least 1 full day before the intended start date of your trek. This will give you the opportunity to allow for any jetlag and to obtain any additional items you may require in the numerous trekking and climbing supply shops in Kathmandu.
An airport pick up and hotel on arrival can be arranged easily for you if you wish and we will be on hand to assist you in picking up any items you need or want and to arrange tours of Kathmandu’s numerous cultural sites.
Day 1 - Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, trek to Phakding – 2800m
An early morning 45 minute flight from Kathmandu Domestic Airport propels us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla airport (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our trekking crew who organise the luggage and hustle us off for tea.
After lunch we start in earnest, setting off to Phakding (2800m), 3 hours trek to the north. Our route takes us past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the path drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here we follow the Dudh Kosi river north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night. 45 minute flight to Lukla and 3 hour trek to Phakding.
Day 2 - Phakding to Namche Bazaar – 3440m
From Phakding we continue north up the Dudh Kosi valley, staying 100m above the river on its west bank. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mount Everest.
We continue along an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m) and en route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers and shortly after glimpse our first views of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually we reach this remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense mountain of Kwangde (6187m). 6 hour trek to Namche Bazaar.
Day 3 – Acclimatisation day in Namche – 3440m
The main purpose of today is to acclimatise to the thinning air and reduced levels of oxygen at this altitude before we continue upwards towards the Everest Base Camp. Ascending too quickly can bring forth the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which can be fatal, so it is very important that we take today to allow our bodies some extra time to adjust, grow some more red blood cells and rest before we continue on our journey upwards.
We can spend the day browsing the local shops, visiting the National Park Visitor Centre or by taking a side trip to Thami or Khumjung. Namche is a great place to hang out by taking in the stunning mountain views, observing the trading of visiting Tibetans or listening to the stories of departing mountaineers.
Day 4 – Namche to Dole – 3780m
Heading off from Namche we are treated to amazing views of Mount Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Ama Dablam (6812m) and Thamserku (6623m). The trail brings us down to Kyangjuma before we eventually reach Sanasa, where the trail breaks off for either Gokyo valley or Everest Base Camp.
Taking the Gokyo Valley route we gradually trek up through Mongla pass before descending to Dudhkosi Khola to Phortse Tenga and the trail makes an ascend steeply at some point to bring you to Dole. 6 hour trek to Dole.
Day 5 – Dole to Machhermo – 4470m
The trail from Dole continues to climbs steadily up through a scenic ridge, which gives us good views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku before coming to Machhermo, the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo. 6 hour trek to Machhermo
Day 6 – Machhermo to Gokyo – 4800m
Walking out of Machhermo today we are presented with fabulous views down the Gokyo valley and of Kangtega (6782m) and Thamserku (6623m).
The valley widens as our trail reaches Pangka, the location of an avalanche in 1995, which killed 40 people. From Pangka we descend to the river bank before climbing back up to near the Ngozamba Glacier. After crossing an iron bridge the trail levels out and we pass the first lake, known as Longpongo (4690m) and thereafter come upon Taboche Tsho lake, which emits a bright turquoise reflection sparkling in the sun.
A small distance ahead we reach the third lake, Dudh Pokhari, which is connected with Taboche Tsho by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu mountain (8201m) provides a stunning backdrop. After lunch, we explore the area around Dudh Pokhari before overnighting in the local guesthouse. 6 hour trek to Gokyo
Day 7 – Gokyo valley: Climb Gokyo Ri (5457m) – 4800m
The main purpose of today is to give ourselves some more time to acclimatise to the altitude and take some rest if needed. Energy permitting however, we can take the opportunity to trek up the nearby Gokyo Ri (5457m), which offers on the best viewpoints of Everest in the region. We can also explore the spectacular fourth and fifth lakes in the area, Thonak Tsho and Ngozuma Tsho.
The northern part of Ngozuma Tsho provides fantastic views of Cho-Oyu base camp and the biggest glacier of the world, the Ngazumpa glacier. 6 hour round trip trek up to Gokyo Ri and 4/5th lake, before returning to Gokyo village.
Day 8 – Gokyo to Dole – 3780m
We leave the Gokyo valley behind by descending downhill a gentle path alongside the Dudh Koshi River that emerges out of the Ngozumpa Glacier.
We pass back by the first two Gokyo lakes again, Longpongo and Taboche Tsho and through the villages of Machhermo and Luza as the peaks of Cholatse and Taboche rear up on the right until we reach Dole. 4 hour trek to Dole
Day 9 – Dole to Namche – 3440m
As the Cho Oyu range disappears behind us we start the steep descend to Phortse Tenga. We can enjoy views of Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kangtega, and Tengboche and after a long walk we reach the village of Sanasa, the intersection between the Gokyo Valley and Everest Base Camp treks.
From Sanasa the trail brings us gradually to Namche again where we can take a well-earned rest and enjoy a hot shower. 5 hour trek to Namche.
Day 10 – Namche – Lukla – 2800m
Today is the final day of our trek and it brings the conflicting feelings of relief and sadness as we retrace our steps along the trail above the Dudh Kosi. Descending steeply out of Namche we cross the suspension bridge below and get our last views of Everest for now.
After lunch at Phakding we continue down the path, before turning off the main Jiri route and arriving back to Lukla. 8 hour trek to Lukla
Day 11 – Fly to Kathmandu – 1300m
The short return flight brings us back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu where you will be transferred back to your hotel by mid-afternoon. 45 minute fight to Kathmandu.
Weather conditions at Lukla can affect flight times and departures so we therefore advise you to have at least 2 extra days in your itinerary between your expected Everest trek completion date and your departure flight from Nepal.
In the case of emergencies you can take a shared Helicopter, which can fly in conditions not suitable for planes, from Lukla to Kathmandu at an extra cost.
Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park is located in the remote area of Solukhumbu in eastern Nepal and encompasses the world’s highest mountain, Everest (8848m) or Sagarmatha (the Nepali name for Everest) and many other Himalayan giants, such as Lhotse (8516m), Cho-yo Ama Dablam (8201m) and Pumori (7161m). This vast region contains multiple routes and offers a good standard of amenities for visiting trekkers.
Level of Difficulty
With a peak altitude of 5457m, this trek is demanding. Days may involve walking for between 4 and 9 hours and can become more strenuous as we gain elevation, especially over 4000m. While most people can manage this trek, some regular walking and hiking exercise beforehand defiantly helps. Anybody with some reasonable level of physical fitness and a positive frame of mind can enjoy this trek.
Travel to and from Trek
The most common way to travel to the Sagarmatha (Everest) National park is via the 45-minute domestic plane ride from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hilary airport at Lukla. The airport’s landing strip is famously short and at an altitude of 2800m, flying in and out of this airport provides some of the most memorable experiences for anyone who undertakes a trek or climb in the Everest region.
If you have a few extra days to spare and / or would prefer to go by land to the Everest Region, the overland trip takes a minimum of 3 days each way with a one day bus trip to the town of Jiri and two days trek onwards to Lukla, where the main trek will begin.
Food and accommodation
Guest Lodges, sometimes called Teahouses, along the way provide good accommodation and a considerable choice of well-prepared meals. However, it is advisable to bring your own sleeping bag, as during the high season, bedding can be in short supply and it can get very cold at the higher altitudes.
Best time to Trek?
March to May is one of the best times to trek with lots of flowers in bloom, especially rhododendrons in the mountains. While the sky may not be crystal clear as during the autumn months, it is the second busiest season for trekking and mountaineering.
June to August are wet but the mountains and hills are covered with lush and full green forests and vegetation. The daily cloud cover means that mountain views are not guaranteed but as very few people travel during this time it can present the perfect opportunity for people to explore the trails and nature in quiet.
September to November are the busiest trekking months due to predictable weather and mostly clear skies. The mountain views are spectacular but the most popular trails can become quite busy.
The winter months of December to February are good to trek due to the clean skies and the reduced number of trekkers. However, you should be prepared for cold temperatures.
Safety on the trail and Acclimatisation
Our guides are trained in First Aid and have significant experience in trekking this and many other routes throughout Nepal. Safety is our foremost priority and our staff will be available for any issues, and alert to any symptoms of illness that may come up.
Altitude problems, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), can be life threatening and can occur at any point above 3000m. Our trip itinerary has been designed specifically to allow you to have enough time to acclimatise to the altitude as our height increases. Our guides are very experienced and will act in accordance with the gravity of any mountain sickness suffered. The easiest and best remedy for AMS is to descend quickly, so never ignore the symptoms and please talk to your guide or leader if you feel unwell. They are trained to manage the logistics and assess the situation continually to make sure that you have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.
For more information on the trip and on trekking in Nepal, please visit out FAQ section.
Trek Cost: $1400 / person USD
This is based on a twin sharing basis for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 people.
Includes domestic return flight: Kathmandu- Lukla – Kathmandu, to/from the starting point of the trek from/to Kathmandu, or other alternative transport to and from Ramechhap to Lukla.
- An experienced, high quality English-speaking trek leader/guide
- Porter service
- TIMS trekking permit and national park fees
- Domestic airport drop off and pick up
- Staffs food, wages, accommodation and insurance coverage
- 3 meals a day and accommodation in local lodges along the trail
DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Airport transportation, visa, international or international flights, airport tax
- Bottled and hard drinks
- Meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Your travel insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Costs incurred due to any unforeseen events
- Emergency evacuation and rerouting
Thanks to Umbrella Trekking for arranging the Gokyo Lakes trek it was fantasticI just wanted to say thanks to Umbrella Trekking Nepal for helping arranging the Gokyo Lakes trek it was fantastic. Arjun and Buddhi were great, very friendly and helpful. Bijay the guide was fantastic and I couldn't have been happier with everything.
Everest Gokyo Lakes Trek: This was the best decision that I made
I recently undertook Everest Base Camp, Everest Gokyo Lakes trek and the Cho La pass in the Everest region and I had intended to complete this without a porter/guide however after falling ill after only day 1 I was faced with the decision to either spend a few days to recover or hire a porter guide who could help with my bag. I rang Macartan at Umbrella Trekking and thankfully one of the guides Arjun was available and willing to go with me for 12 days (this is just after Arjun had completed the Gokyo trek).
This was the best decision that I made as not only did Arjun help with the bag he was also very insightful into areas that we were passing through and staying at night. Arjun spoke perfect English and this was great as we could talk with ease and I never felt the "language barrier" being an issue at all. While undertaking the treks Arjun was always careful to ensure that we were not running the risk of altitude sickness due to our pace and was always encouraging me to take on water where necessary and to take ample amount of breaks. Whenever there was something i may have asked that Arjun did not know he would investigate and find out further information off other guides/Nepalese people and ensure that he fully answered my question. During our stays in the guesthouses along the way Arjun always put my needs ahead of his and if there was ever any issue he would look after me without complaint. It was great to see the enthusiasm that Arjun had for trekking and being a guide and how keen he was to learn about my home culture. Hearing about his upbringing was very fascinating and day by day I saw Arjun as a friend as well as a guide. Arjun has a great humour and always smiling which rubs off on you.
We spent many nights playing cards and telling stories with other trekkers. Also the fact that we were of a relatively similar age meant that we talked lots about issues/topics relevant to us. It was great to have someone to enjoy the highlights of my trip (EBC, Kala Patthar, Cho La Pass and Gokyo Ri) with and I definitely feel that thanks to Arjun he made a great trip an even better and more special one!!