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Suppose you are looking for an alternative route to the EBC trek and want to know about it. Gokyo Valley trek in Everest is the wilderness and challenging way with superb views of the panoramic Everest range.
The actual 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, 5483m above sea level. Another adventurous climb includes hiking Cho La Pass at 5330m meters above sea level. 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 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 most extensive freshwater system at such altitude. They include 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 access (5,340 m).
An exciting mountain flight to Tenzing Norway Airport, Lukla, from Kathmandu. This is one of the world’s most thrilling landings at the ridge close to the mountain. The half-hour of flight to and from Lukla is exciting.
A brief visit to the Namche Bazaar, where we shall stop for a whole day to explore its hidden mysticism and myth. We shall also visit Tengboche Monastery, the region’s largest and most vibrant monastery.
Avoid the crowd of the classic Everest Base Camp Trek while witnessing the even better view of Everest from multiple viewpoints. The tea houses in Gokyo, Nepal, are also relatively empty, and you can enjoy the beauty of the Khumbu region in solitude.
Visit the traditional Sherpa villages and witness the Tibetan Buddhism culture. The Sherpas of Gokyo are the bravest souls dwelling in the mountains and are 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 restful night’s stay and warm food even at such a problematic 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 rearranged 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 visit many culturally and naturally decorated places in 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, returning to the valley for the night. Then, we walked down to Dholeon on the 9th day and got to Namche the next day. We walk down to Lukla from Namche and get 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 a big difference while you are trekking in the high mountains. Here’s the elevation of essential points you shall encounter while hiking 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 walking 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 walk about 130 km within 12 days. This means 12-15 km of walking each day, i.e. 4 to 7 hours of walking time, depending on your strength.
The Gokyo Valley trek that takes you to the remote Himalayas ranges is tricky. This difficulty of Gokyo Chola pass Trek has been graded “Challenging” by experts and needs excellent physical and mental fitness. The answer to how strenuous 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 there’s no need for technical climbing and mountaineering skills for the Gokyo Chola pass trek. There’s no special training or expertise one shall need. A few months of cardio exercise and hike practice before the tour is helpful. About three months before the walk, you should involve yourself in running, swimming, cycling, and squats. Gathering some experience with high-altitude treks is helpful for Everest Gokyo Trek. Still, 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 tremendous religious significance within the Nepalese and remains a sacred pilgrimage site. The holy Lakes in this section of Everest were a 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. For Janai Purnima, the regions around the lake are incredibly vibrant during Losar. Three different kinds of Loshar, i.e. Tamu Losar, Gyalpo Losar, and Sonam Losar, are celebrated yearly. In the lower region, i.e. around Namche, the 19-day-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 mainly inhabited by the Sherpa people, known for their excellent mountaineering skills. The Sherpa are strict followers of Tibetan Buddhism and live with strict religious values. 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. As the mountains have become more accessible, people have switched to tourists and adventurers. Their economy has experienced tremendous growth, and your visit would significantly contribute 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 will help you with the bookings procedure.
On the trek, we will be staying at the tea houses. These tea houses are small hotels that the locals make. 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 and friendly, 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 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 pretty impressive.
Food in Everest Gokyo Trek
The Agency itself provides all food on the Gokyo trek. We will have breakfast and lunch on the journey at 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 the remote Himalayas. You can enjoy oats, pancakes, muesli, and bread. Tea/ coffee/ milk is also available. You can have Nepalese Dal/Bhat for dinner and lunch, which has an unlimited supply. Other options like Noodles, Thukpa, spring rolls, momos, and spaghetti are also popular.
On arrival in Kathmandu, the team takes you for a delicious welcome dinner. You can choose the breakfast as per preference in the hotel. On the second day, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed alone. You can 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 wise to carry your water bottle and refill it in the natural springs. Also, avoid stiff 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 packing list from your guide once you confirm the booking. Since this is a remote trekking area, you must carry everything to a higher altitude. You can’t expect to buy anything once you walk beyond Namche. The last ATM and shop small shops are available in Namche. Please 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 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 to have food and other materials for the daytime and be accepted 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 everyday shoe. Comfortable trekking boots with a thick sole, good grip, and ankle support are necessary. Having a pair of slippers and a few cotton socks would be best. 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 you will.
- Medicine such 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 Lakes Trek?
The Gokyo valley trek permit is similar to the Everest Base Camp one. Firstly, you must issue a Visa to Nepal ( except for Indians). A 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 license. 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 essential as it determines your comfort and ease. Autumn, i.e. September to November, is, without doubt, a great time to visit Nepal. The views are crystal clear, and it’s pretty warm. Gokyo valley in Spring looks magical as the rays of the sun increase, making it quite hot in mid-day. The lower region is full of lush flora and fauna, while the flowers begin to bloom in mid-March.
Heavy rain in Gokyo, Nepal, may lead to landslides and road blockage in summer. After that, the sky is gradually evident, and the mountains look more elegant. In Summer, the day temperature can go up to 26 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees at night. Winter is the most challenging month for trekking. Overcoming the snow and cold might be difficult, but winter trekking isn’t impossible with the right gear and guidance. However, you might need extra pair of clothes and other trekking gear.
Is there Electricity During the Gokyo Lake Trek?
Electricity is not 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 socket competition is high. Also, make sure your device is safe in such crowds. The rate of charging power banks and giant gears is relatively higher and ranges from NPR. 150 –to NPR 500 per hour (~USD 1.5 to USD 5) per house.
The best advice is to have a C-type socket and two extra batteries for the camera. If you can afford a 10000 mAh power bank and solar chargers, you can save a lot on the trip. Up to Namche, look for hotels with free charging and keep your device warm by wrapping them well in the bag pack; the battery drains quickly in the cloud.
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 which then cost you some amount ($1 to $3). In Gokyo valley, you will likely be out of an Internet connection. However, you can issue an Everest Link card that costs about $20 to get data that can be used in Gokyo. You can use the mobile internet if you have been issued a local SIM card in Kathmandu. You can use an NCELL SIM card.
So, when shall you plan your trek to Gokyo, Nepal? Remember to contact us before you decide so we can organize everything you need for the journey. We will also love to hear some throughout the article.
Well, see you soon.