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Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek is an anticlockwise Everest Trekking route with adventurous walking demands some strength.
Ready for an ultimate trekking destination in Nepal that pushes your trekking experience to a new level? Break the boundaries and make the impossible happen with this 15-day Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek. So, let’s get started with the basics of where this trek route passes and what it offers. Everest base camp trek takes you to the foot of the world’s highest mountain vista, i.e. Mount Everest (8,848 meters). Everest’s base camp lies in the Khumbu region of Solukumbu district in northeast Nepal. Beyond the base camp is a very high pass of 5420 meters called the Cho La Pass. And once you cross this challenging Cho La Pass, we enter Gokyo village.
Now, why is Gokyo Valley so famous?
Gokyo Valley is among the world’s highest-located settlements of humanity. But what makes it even more magical are the six stunning glacier lakes, filled with beautiful blue water, forming the world’s most extensive freshwater system. The top of this village is Gokyo Ri at 5,357 meters which offers the most magical view of the entire Himalayas range and Gokyo Lakes. In short, this is the most wholesome view one can witness in the mountains.
And since all of these diverse landscape lies with Sagarmatha National Park(a world heritage site), the Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek is much more than the mountain views. Strolling in the sub-tropical forests of the lowland, spotting the rarest mammals on the earth, and an exciting combination of flora make the journey extraordinary. Most importantly, one gets to observe the peaceful and unique Sherpa culture. If you are trekking in the right season, you even get to celebrate their festivals and ceremonies.
Let’s briefly discuss your Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek route. Shall we?
On the first day, we take an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and trek to Phakding. We stop at Namche Bazaar for a day and reach Everest Base Camp on the 8th day of the walk. We hike to Kalapatthar the next day and cross Chola La Pass to reach Gokyo. This will be the most challenging part of the trek. At Gokyo, we conquer Gokyo-Ri and then get down to Dole. Finally, we get to Namche Bazaar and then to Lukla.
- Exciting mountain flight to Lukla airport
- Demanding walk to Kalapatthar and Chola La Pass for the most exciting view of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyo, Nuptse, and Makalu (all above 8,000 meters peak)
- Witness six sparkling glacier lakes at Gokyo Valley
- A day to explore the culture and heritage of Namche Bazaar
- Visit Tengboche Monastery, Sagarmatha National Park, and many classic villages
- Live the unique and peaceful Sherpa culture for two weeks
Day 1: Fly to Lukla and walk to Phakding
Altitude-2,840 meters, Walking time- 3 to 4 hours
The day beings with a drive from your hotel to Kathmandu’s domestic airport. After the paper works, we hop into a plane to Lukla and start flying towards Nagarkot. We can see the beautiful land of Dolakha before flying to Solukhumbu. We land at Tenzing Hillary airport in about 25 minutes. The name comes from the famous Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who climbed Everest for the first time and conquered it. As we land here, the Himalayan vistas appear clear and distinct.
At Lukla, we met the rest of our Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek Team waiting for us at the airport. After getting the Local area permit and packing the bags, we start the hike on the back of the Dudh Koshi River. Today’s walk on the path of Phakding is quite relaxing. Today’s our first day of stay in a tea house.
Day 2: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Altitude- 3,440 meters, Walking time- 5 to 6 hours
Today’s an exciting day in the north of Phakding. We shall walk along the Dudh Koshi River to reach Zamphuti. From Zamphuti, we can see the Thamserku peak standing tall and exciting before us. After some stops, we walk to Chomoa, where we visit an agricultural project. From Chomoa, we get to Monjo, the entry gate of Sagarmatha National Park. This World Heritage site was established in 1976 and is spread over 1148sq km. Then, we ascend the trail uphill to Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is a significant settlement in Khumbu, a previous trading route. It’s a major highlight of the Everest Gokyo Trek.
Day 3: Rest day to Namche
The 3rd day of the Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek is a rest day in Namche. In the morning, we might hike to Everest View Hotel to overlook the outstanding mountain vistas of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, etc. If you find walking hard, you might roam around Khumjung Valley to visit Hillary School and Khunde Hospital. Back in Namche, you shall see the local market sipping a warm cup of coffee in one of the fine restaurants at Namche.
Day 4: Trek to Tengboche
Altitude- 3,867 meters, Walking time- 4 to 5 hours
On the 4th day of Everest base camp Gokyo Trek, we walk down to Dudh Koshi River from Namche bazaar on the mountain ridge. First, we shall reach Phunkithanka in a few hours. Here, we walk over a suspense bridge before we enter the sub-tropical forest. With the occasional glimpse of Everest and other peaks, we climb to Tengboche. On Tengboche, we visit the local monastery, the largest and most important in the Khumbu region. The nuns are chanting while we offer the prayers and return to our tea house on Everest.
Day 5: Trek to Dingboche
Altitude- 4,350 meters, Walking time- 4 to 5 hours
If we didn’t have the time to visit the Tengboche monastery in the evening, we should do it in the morning. After getting the blessings here, we head upward with Kantega and Ama Dablam peaks before us. The trail above Tengboche has some impressive Mani walls and Chortens leading to Pangboche. From Pangboche, we climb the hill on the forested path leading us to the giant Mani Stupa. In about 5-6 hours, we will crash at a tea house in Dingboche. This valley in the northeast of Chukhung offers an impressive view of the Imja River and the stunning canyons.
Day 6: Rest day in Dingboche
We are already 4,350 meters above sea level, so we stop at Dingboche for a much-needed rest before heading to the Everest base camp Gokyo Trek. However, we don’t waste the entire day in our hotel. In the daytime, we plan to walk up to Chukhung Valley. The walk along the beautiful stone-walled fields blesses us with the views of Imja Khola Valley. In the path filled with beautiful rocks, we reach the viewpoint of Lhotse and Nuptse. Before returning to Dingboche, one might climb to Chukhung Ri to view Lho and Nup Glacier.
Along with Chukhung Ri, Nagarjun Peak, at 5,050 meters, is also immensely popular as the acclimatization side trek. This side of the hills offers a stunning view of Mt. Makalu (the fifth tallest mountain peak in the world). Imja River flows beautifully from the ridge.
Day 7: Trek to Lobuche
Altitude- 4,940 meters, Walking time- 5 to 6 hours
After breakfast in the morning, we will prepare for the walk. This is a relatively easy day for the trek toward Periche. In the morning, we ascent on a steep path to the hill edge overlooking Island Peak. We follow our classic EBC route taking us to Lobuche. About 2 hours of walking in the morning bring us to the bridge at Dugla. This might be our stop before we continue the upward walk. We might witness the Khumbu glacier on the way, but not many villages are in this area. Thankfully, as we reach Lobuche, we will find some wonderful tea houses.
Day 8: Trek to Gorakshep and Everest Base Camp
Altitude- 5,364 meters, Walking time- 7 to 8 hours
Get ready for the most exciting day of your Everest base camp Gokyo Trek. Today, we walk to Gorakshep in the morning. After a delicious meal here, our next destination is Everest Base Camp. It’s a long journey from Lobuche on the rocky moraine route. The path of Gorakshep is full of challenging loose rocks, and due to the low oxygen level, it’s harder to trek. The last settlement before the base camp is Gorakshep, beside the frozen lake bed. After lunch here, we leave our bags and move towards EBC.
Three hours from Gorakshep to Everest base camp is challenging but equally rewarding. The path filled with rocks and debris isn’t easy, but walking over the sheer glacier is fun. We enter a completely different landscape, filled with glistening Khumbu glaciers and mountain vistas in all four directions. Witnessing the majestic Everest right from its foothill is already the greatest blessing. We take many photos and have a wonderful time before returning to Gorakshep for the night’s stop.
Day 9: Trek to Kalapatthar and Dzoglha
Altitude Kalapatthar-5,545 meters, Walking time- 3 hours
This is the longest yet most adventurous day of Everest Base Camp- Cho-La Pass – Gokyo Trek. You wake up very early to hike at Kalapatthar before sunrise. The views of a mountain range from Kalapatthar look magical, with the hues of red and orange light. The entire sky looks glorious as we capture stunning photos. Kalapatthar (translates to black rock in Nepali) is a small peak of 5,545 meters. This is the highest point of our journey.
After Kalapatthar, we start moving to the Dzonglha. The trail on this trek section is also challenging, with gigantic rocks and boulders. Dzoglha is a few miles downward of Gorakshep. Here are only a few tea houses for our night’s stay.
Day 10: Trek to Thangnak Via Chola La Pass (5,330 meters)
Altitude: 4,695 meters, Walking Hours: 6-7 hrs
Today’s long walk to Gokyo Valley by the Cho La Pass is the most challenging day of Everest Base Camp- Cho-La Pass – Gokyo Trek. We shall start today’s trek early in the morning. After breakfast, we leave Dzonglha and move north to Cho La Pass. We first climb over the rocky trail and switch to the icy track. We might need to use crampons and gaiters to climb the slippery path of Dzonglha. We can witness the beauty of towering mountains and snow-capped hills as we reach the top. The colorful prayer flags make the surroundings even more exciting. We start to see the glacial lakes of Gokyo on the hilltop.
Now, walking on the snow-covered trail, we shall reach Thangnak. Stroll on the rocky path with the help of your guide.
Day 11: Trek to Gokyo
Gokyo Altitude: 4,958 meters, Walking Hours: 3-4 hrs
Another great day of the EBC Gokyo trek. The journey keeps on getting more exciting as we climb up to Gokyo. The path on the glacier keeps going uphill on the narrow valley to the Ngozumpa Glacier. We walk to the first Gokyo Lake for one or two hours. With stunning Gokyo Lake around us, we move to Thonak. A few steps ahead, we reach Fifth Gokyo Lake. We can see Mt. Cho Oyu and Gokyo Ri, with six lakes at 4,700 to 5,000 meters.
After a fantastic time around the lake, we head to Gokyo village for the night’s stay. The town is 4,750 meters from sea level, with views of hotels, inns, and guesthouses.
Day 12: Climb to Gokyo Ri, then trek to Dole
Altitude: 4,280 meters, Walking Hours: 7-8 hrs
A day in Gokyo Lakes exploring all the lakes and the Gokyo Ri will be fantastic. On the morning of the 13th day of the Chola pass Gokyo trek, we take a steep trail to Ngozumpa Glacier and then walk to the south of Taujun Lake. Then, on a rugged path, we walk to Gokyo- Ri peak. We see the highest mountain peaks from there, including Lhotse, Gyachung Kang, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Nuptse, and more. Even the top of Gokyo Ri has some beautiful homes for tea and breakfast.
After the view, we walk down to Dole on the same path. Dole village on Khumjung’s north is Dudh Koshi River. Here, we can see the Tibetan chortens and the splendid view of Thamserku and Kantega. We also stopped here for some time before we returned to Gokyo. Or, we might also stop at Dole.
Day 13: Trek to Namche
Altitude: 3,440 meters, Walking Hours: 5-6 hrs
Starting from Dole, we first walk down on the flat terrain. Walking over the suspension bridge, we descend across many villages. In a few hours, we get to Kyanjuma and walk further deep into the alpine forest. We walk from the trees of pines and rhododendrons. It will take 6-7 hours to get to Namche Bazaar. As we walk down, the mountain starts to appear far and distinct. We get to Namche Bazaar and stay in one of the tea houses here, relaxing in the local bars and restaurants.
Day 14: Trek to Lukla
Altitude: 2,850m, Duration: About 6 hours
From Namche, we retrace the same route to Lukla. Since the path is favorable, the downward walk will be easy. Crossing the Hillary Suspension Bridge and Sagarmatha National Park and getting to Monjo are exciting activities as the trek ends. Walking on the Dudh Koshi River, we get to Lukla by evening and bid farewell to the team. Then, you can enjoy a wonderful dinner to celebrate your great accomplishment.
Day 15: Fly to Kathmandu
The flight from Lukla to Kathmandu is usually scheduled in the morning. This 25-min flight will be an epic end to the journey. With some final glimpses of the surrounding mountains, we fly back to Kathmandu. Now, all we can witness are the thick sub-tropical hills. Once you reach the hotel, you can enjoy a fabulous spa or visit nearby places. In the evening, we might gather for the farewell dinner.
What are the necessary paper and permits for the Cho-la Pass Gokyo lakes trek?
First and foremost, you need your visa to Nepal (except for Indians). Upon arrival at TIA, you can get a one-month Nepal Travel Visa for $40 (Free for SAARC county and Chinese). Moreover, the other two permits for Gokyo Ri are compulsory.
Local area permit
Earlier, the Nepal government issued TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) cards for trekkers in Kathmandu. But after 2018, the permit has to be replaced by a local area permit that can be issued in Lukla. After landing at Lukla airport, the officers ask for your visa and photo to give you the paper immediately. The permit costs $20, and you must carry it throughout the journey. This Gokyo Lakes trek permit for the local area goes for the promotion of tourism on Everest.
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit:
At the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park, you need to issue another permit for the Gokyo trek. This National Park is home to the Gokyo Lakes, Mount Sagarmatha, and much more fantastic flora/ fauna. The 30 USD + government tax you pay goes for nature conservation. It’s money well spent. MyEverestTrip arranges all the permits while you enjoy the journey to the fullest.
What is the accommodation and food in Gokyo trek like?
Gokyo Lake Trek is a tea house trekking trail in Nepal. There is a high-quality guest house up to Namche and basic tea houses above. There are small cozy rooms with a central dining hall. The heated dining room serves all kinds of National and international cuisine. The room has two twin beds and bedsheets. You will need a sleeping bag of your own.
The bathroom will be on sharing basis, and hot water will be available. WiFi and electricity charging is available at the addition of a few dollars.
What mode of transportation do you use for the trek?
All the transportation on the ground will be in a private car or a tourist van. A vehicle with a personal driver and guide picks you up at the airport and takes you to the hotel, and vice versa. A 25-minute mountain flight from Kathmandu Airport to Tenzing-Hillary Airport will be a thrilling experience. The flight to Lukla is quite frequent, and you can book it from Kathmandu. The flight will be postponed for a few days if the weather is rough. Our Agency helps you book the flight and accommodates you in case of a flight delay.
Is there Internet in Everest/ Gokyo?
So if you plan to go live on social media or work on the trek, you might have to use mobile data. Everest Link cards, Ncell NTC, or Ncell pre-paid SIM cards can be used. You can buy these cards in Kathmandu for cheap rates ($1) or at a relatively higher price in Namche. You can insert it in your iPhone or Android for cell phone reception and take calls or data packages to enjoy the internet in the remote areas of the mountains. Our guide gets you a local SIM card while you are the Kathmandu.
You can get hotel WiFi for $3 to $5 per night. But the internet speed in Everest above Namche is not very good.
Are there any more queries you would like us to tackle? Or do you need any help planning the trip?
We are here to help you with everything about the Cho-La Pass Gokyo Trek trek. Do remember MyEverestTrip for all kinds of booking on Everest. We have an expert team of trek planners, guides, and porters with years of experience in Everest.