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Gokyo Lake Trek


Gokyo LakeIf you are looking for a great opportunity to get fantastic views of Mt. Everest, and experience the culture of the native Sherpa community of Nepal, the Gokyo Lakes trek might be perfect for you.

This trek is an excellent alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek, offering magnificent views of numerous mountain peaks as well as Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the Nepalese Himalayas. The route allows you to experience the most famous mountains, such as Mt. Cho-Oyo (8201m), Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Lhotse (8501m), Mt. Makalu (8463m) etc. which are clearly visible and form the backdrop panorama at Gokyo Ri (5483m) above Gokyo Lake.

This extraordinary trek offers ample opportunity to explore the amazing scenery of this destination. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of Gokyo Lake Trek is the sight of a tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung (7922m) located in the Khumbu region. Gokyo valley, once a yak pasture near Gokyo Lake, is a magnificent place where you can encounter the wild nature of the Himalaya.

Gokyo Lakes Trek in the Khumbu or Everest region is not onlytfabulous for its nature experience, and the views of Himalayan giants, but also provides an opportunity to interact with the natives of Khumbu region known as 'Sherpa'. Often wrongly translated as 'porter', Sherpas are actually an indigenous culture of Nepal, famous for their mountain climbing skills. On this trek only small lodge or teahouses are available along the entire route, which is much less crowded than the Everest base camp trekking route. The Trek starts in Lukla, which is reached by short, 35 minutes, scenic flight from Kathmandu. It starts by following the Dudh Koshi river valley towards Namche Bazaar, the main gateway to the high Himalaya, as well as Thame and Khumjung, also important villages of the Khmbu region.

After Khumjung Valley, we branch off from the busy main trail of the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek and hike toward the sleepy village of Phortse Tenga. We finally reach our ultimate destination at Gokyo valley, with its two beautiful high lakes.

Itinerary for Gokyo Trek

Monkey TempleDay 01:  Arrive in Kathmandu (1300m)

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative who will transfer you to your Hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, do some last minute shopping or go sight-seeing on your own.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: none

Day 02:  Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

After breakfast an English speaking guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on a sight-seeing tour of the most historical and spiritual sites in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are declared World Heritage Sites, such as the historic Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swoyambhunath) and the Buddhists shrine Bouddhanath, the largest Stupa of the world. You will also have briefing about the trek with the guide.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 03:  Fly to Lukla (2,800m) and Trek to Phakding (2,652m)

Early in the morning, after breakfast, you will be taken to the domestic airport for a short 35 min flight to Lukla. After a scenic flight over breathtaking mountain scenery, we reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful flights in the world, which culminates in a spectacular landing on the short airstrip surrounded by high mountain peaks. Upon arrival we will be met by our other crew members. We have time to stroll around while the guide allocates the luggage to be carried by the porters.

We start trekking from the prosperous village of Lukla to Phakding, which takes about 3-4 hours. To ease acclimatization, we only do a short hike today. However, if you are interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery.
Accommodation: Teahouse or Guest House in Phakding.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namche Bazaar

Day 04:  Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m)

After an early breakfast we start trekking. Today's walk takes about 5-6 hours, a pleasant hike with a few short uphill and downhill sections and multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) from Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked at the checkpoint. We continue to Jorsale, the last village before Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable, passing through the river bed. We reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb uphill towards Namche Bazaar, the magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak and its sister peaks, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains are coming closer into view. Finally we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazaar, the main gateway of the Khumbu region.
Accommodation: Teahouse or Guest House in Namche Bazaar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05:  Explore Namche Bazaar and Acclimatization  

This is first scheduled 'acclimatization' day for this trek. Health experts always recommend staying active and moving during the rest day instead of being idle. We either take a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or explore Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. Trekking a few hundred feet vertically during the day, it will help us to acclimatize properly.
Accommodation: Teahouse/Lodge
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 06:  Trek from Namche Bazzar to Dole-(4,110m)

Ama DablamWe climb steeply from Namche Bazzar up to Kyangjuma Village from where we can enjoy outstanding views of Thamserku, Katenga, and Ama Dablam. The most demanding ascent of the day is obviously to pass Mong La, a very charming place perched on the spur of Mt. Khumbila. An ancient historical Chorten stands at the centre of the settlement of Mong La. We stop at the top of Mong La to admire the grandstand views of surrounding snow-capped mountains and valleys while we have our lunch. The most outstanding feature of the trail today is the abundance of vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons. Spotting animals such as pheasants, mountain goats, and the elusive musk deer along the way is not unusual. Through forests, some waterfalls and bridges, we reach Dole within 5-6 hours; a small place with few teahouses.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07:  Trek from Dole to Machherma (4,470 m)

After breakfast we climb steadily up a scenic ridge above Dole. The trail climbs via Lhabarma at 4220m to Luza at 4360m. The path is steep in most places as we pass through thorny bushes up to Lhabarma. Offering us good views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku the trail takes us past many summer settlements and the charming hamlet of Luza. As we ascend from Luza, the Dudh Koshi valley is deep like a canyon with its sheer sides. Walking along the hillside above thundering Dudh Koshi and passing through some small hamlets and through sandy spurs, we reach Machherma. Machherma is the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo. We visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital here for a lecture about altitude sickness, how to prevent it, and how it is treated.
Accommodation: Teahouse or Lodge in Machherma
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08:  Trek from Machharma to Gokyo (4800m)

Today, we climb up a ridge Chorten from where we can enjoy a fabulous view of both, the valley and of Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and northern part to the Cho-Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Pangka (4480m) after a gentle walk. We descend to the river bank before starting to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine. After crossing an iron bridge over a stream the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, Longpongo at 4690m, where we get chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become fascinated by the sparkling turquoise blue sheet of water dazzling in the sun. Just after the second lake, we reach the third lake, linked together by a surging stream. Gokyo village is situated on the shores of the third lake with Cho-Oyu Mountain forming the backdrop makes for a spectacular sight. After lunch, we explore around the third Lakes, Dudh Pokhari.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Everest and Lhotse

Day 09: Explore Gokyo Valley and Acclimatization  

Today is a resting or an acclimatization day, but we know we should not stay idle. If the weather is good, we take the opportunity to climb Gokyo RI today instead of the next day to enjoy the scenery from the best viewpoint in the Everest Region. Or, knowing that Gokyo is not only famous for its grand view from Gokyo Peak but also for the six lakes surrounding it. We certainly should not miss the chance to observe the fourth (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it. The trail continues to the fifth lake. If interested, we can climb a hill at the edge of the lakes to get outstanding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. Moved by the charm, we may even try to go to the sixth lake, too, but it depends on our interest, time and stamina.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:  Hike to Gokyo RI (5357m) and trek to Thaknak (4750m)

If you did not go to Gokyo RI the day before, we will go there today. Gokyo RI is the highlight of this trip. Early in the morning, we hike up to Gokyo RI (Gokyo Peak). The climb to Gokyo RI is strenuous as it is steep up and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top, but even the scenery overlooking Gokyo village on the shore of the third lake with Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier towering above is an unforgettable sight, surrounded by awesome mountain scenery composed of Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, K 43, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumor. Seeing Everest in the early morning sun, towering above all other surrounding peaks is majestic (from Kala Patthar Nuptse it seems taller). Gokyo RI will not easily be forgotten. We trek down to Gokyo and after breakfast we continue to Thaknak where we spend the night by the second Lakes and the Nogzumpa Glacier.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11:  Trek from Thaknak via Cho-la Pass (5367m) to Lobuche (4940m)  

Cho La Pass is another highlight of this trip. Today is the toughest day and we need to start early (4-6 am) compared to other days on the trip to walk about 8-10 hours in total. The pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glassy with ice which makes the trail slick and slippery and can be treacherous to trekkers. The trail climbs up through a ravine and a rocky trail as we climb up continuously from Phedi. As we gain elevation, the view become ever more enchanting before us. We trek through the side of a frozen lake as we come to the top of the pass, decorated with prayer flags. Kyajo RI, Tengkangpoche, Numbur, Kangchung are among the most prominent mountains peaks surrounding us on this trail and on the Pass. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains to the south even as Cholatse soars on the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. Depending on our condition and interest, we might stay the night in Dzongla or continue to Lobuche which is the better option.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Everest Base Camp

Day 12:  Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep [5170m] and Explore Everest Base Camp [5364m]

The trail to Gorak Shep goes through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass though the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp via the vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight, we pass by the Indian army mountaineers' memorials. Mountaineer's tents stand out in bright colors against all the dull gray surroundings (especially in the spring). Everest actually is not visible from here. By now we have reached the ultimate objective of our trip. We then walk back to Gorak Shep for overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13:  Experience Kala Patthar (5554m) and trek to Pheriche [4280]

Today is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar, witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for a very early start when it is still dark and cold (-10 to -14 C). There is always the potential for chilly winds, which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east, even as Everest begins to reveal itself, emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points. After several hours of ascent we reach Kala Patthar. From here we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit, marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can and take the in view with our mind's eye to last a lifetime.  Upon return to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and trek down to Pheriche for another overnight.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tengboche MonasteryDay 14:  Trek from Pheriche via Pangboche and Tengboche to Namche Bazzar

Today's walk is much easier, as we walk down to lower altitudes. Following the same route back to the terminal moraines at Dughla and the wide valley of Khumbu Khola, we pass through the beautiful Sherpa villages of Pheriche, Orsho, and Shomare. We might take a different trail to visit the Gompa in Upper Pangboche or take the regular trial to reach Pangboche. From Pangboche we retrace our footsteps down to the Imja Khola and up through the forest to Debuche or if interested, we might visit nuns at the Debuche monastery. If we are trekking during the full moon of November or December, we might get an opportunity to witness the Mani Rimdu festival in the monastery at Tengboche. After lunch at Tengboche, we continue through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it's spring, the landscape adorned by pink and red rhododendron flowers is dazzling. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, the trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge as it descends rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa. We keep a lookout for wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, UponOn reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15:  Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla

The 6-8 hours trek descends steeply down so we need to walk slowly and keep control over our shaky legs as they try to secure a grip in the rocky terrain. After crossing the hanging bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By now we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Although we are travelling the same route down, we enjoy completely different views: open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through Sherpa villages' deeply steeped in Buddhist traditions and culture. Prayer stones and prayers flags are everywhere as we walk through the villages. On arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on their faces! Lukla is our last stop in the trekking itinerary.
Accommodation: Teahouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16:  Fly back to Kathmandu

Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning departure because wind can create problems for the small aircrafts in the afternoon, but sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather or other reasons that are beyond our control. We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us back into the bustle of Kathmandu. You can rest and relax for the rest of the day at your hotel or use this day to do some shopping. In the evening we offer you a typical cultural farewell dinner at a real traditional Nepalese food restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17:  Final Departure to your port of Destination

We say good bye as your journey to Nepal comes to an end! Approximately 3-4 hours before your scheduled flight you will be taken to the airport for your flight home.
Meals: Breakfast

Rates upon request. Please email info at sacredearth-travel.com

Notes:
The rate depends on group size and hotel category of your hotel in Kathmandu.
The itinerary is flexible and can be modified according to your needs and available time frame.
The final cost is based on the specifics of your itinerary.
Additional activities may be added at an additional cost.
The cost may also be affected by the number of guides and porters required for your group.

Cost Includes:

Cost Excludes:

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