Gokyo Lakes  Trek is a beautiful journey to the enticing Gokyo lakes which is one of the most amazing viewpoints for great views of Everest and other Himalayas. The 14-day trip begins in Kathmandu where we visit several heritage sites. The Gokyo Lakes Trek is an alternative to classical treks in the Everest region. Instead, it takes us to the turquoise Gokyo Lakes which provides exceptional views of Everest and the Himalayas. We also get to marvel at the massive Ngozumpa Glacier and the Gokyo valley from Gokyo Ri.

Gokyo Lakes trek is for those who like to walk in the Everest region without the physical stress of reaching the base camp of Everest or crossing high passes in the vicinity. It is instead for travelers who wish to try something new in the Everest region.  However, for trekkers who want to reach the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain then

Physical Condition & Experience Requirements

Gokyo Lakes Trek is a moderate trek. If we are able to walk for around 5-6 hours each day we can easily trek for longer hours with a light back pack. The trek is relatively easier for those who are used to walking in higer elevations. Himalayan Glacier requests its guests to jog and exercise regulary at least a few months before the beginning of the trip. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. It is also important that we consult with our doctor before booking the trek. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should also inform Himalayan Glacier before booking the trek.

Best Seasons

We can do Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek during Autumn (Sept. to November) and Spring (March to May) seasons. During this time the sky is clear and the views are excellent. The weather is fit for trekking without rain. We can also enjoy lush vegetation on the lower regions of the trail particularly during the spring season.

DAY 1 – KATHMANDU: ARRIVAL DAY

Altitude: 1,350m/4,428ft

A Everest Trek & Expedition representative will pick us up after we land at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Afterwards, we will be dropped off at our hotel where we can take a rest. Later in the evening, we will have a welcome dinner hosted by Everest Trek & Expedition which will introduce us to Nepalese cuisine.

Day 2 – Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek preparation

We tour four UNESCO World Heritage Sites today. These include Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and another Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath). These heritage sites hold immense cultural, religious, architectural and historical value for the Nepalese people. Later we gather to get better acquainted with our travel plans and fellow trekkers. Overnight at Kathmandu.

Day 3 –  Fly to Lukla (2,800 m/9,184 ft), trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft): 3 – 4 hours

We leave for Lukla on an early morning flight. It will be an adventurous ride as the Tenzing/Hillary airport is a steep airstrip that is actually hanging off the side of a mountain.  After reaching Lukla, we meet the rest of our trekking staff and begin trekking to Phakding. Overnight in Phakding.

Day 4 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft): 5 – 6 hours

Our trail moves forward alongside the Dudh Koshi River. During the trek we cross several suspension bridges and pass several villages, monasteries and chortens. We can enjoy a good view of Mt. Thamserku from Benkar village. Our trekking permits will be checked at Monjo as we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. A descent and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through a river bed and we reach the Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb up towards Namche Bazaar, the magnificent sights of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains greet us. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

Day 5 – Namche Bazaar: acclimatization

Acclimatization is important for us to adjust to the gradual change in environment. It will also help us to prevent catching Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).  Today we hike to Khumjung villages, enjoy the Himalayan vista from Syangboche or tour the quaint streets of Namche Bazaar. We can also visit the Tourist Visitor Center where we can see a variety of things related to the first Everest ascenders and Sherpa culture. This visit will also get us acquainted with various plant and animal life of the Everest region. In Khumjung we can even visit a monastery that houses a yeti scalp! We also climb up to the airstrip above Syangboche and enjoy incredible views of Kongde, Thamserku and Khumbila mountains. We walk back to Namche Bazaar to spend the night.

Day 6 –Namche Bazaar to Phorse (3810 m/ 12,496 ft): 5 – 6 hours

We leave Namche Bazaar on a trail with gradual ups and downs. On the way we are likely to spot Himalayan pheasants, musk deer and Himalayan Thars. We then begin descending to Kyanjuma. From Sansa, we follow the Gokyo trails and from Mong we get a glimpse of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Tawoche and Khumbila mountains. Our trail descends to Dudhkoshi Khola after which it is an uphill climb through rhododendron forests before reaching Phorse. From here we get good views of Tawache and Cholaste mountains. Overnight in Phorse.

Day 7 – Phorse Village to Machhermo-(4,470 m/ 14,663 ft): 5 – 6 hours

After crossing a bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, we are likely to come face to face with local wildlife like pheasants, mountain goats, and musk deer. Our trail passes through forests, waterfalls and bridges before reaching Dole. We climb on a steady trail through a scenic ridge with views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku mountains. We ascend from Luza village and walk above the Dudh Koshi River. We continue walking through small villages and sandy trails before reaching Machhermo. We can visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a lecture regarding altitude sickness, its precaution, and primary treatment. Overnight in Machhermo.

Day 8 – Machharmo to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft): 5 – 6 hours

We ascend on a hill and enjoy views of the Dudh Koshi valley and Kangtega, Thamserku and Cho-Oyu mountains. Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Phangga. We descend to the river bank before climbing up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier on a steep trail. We pass through Longpongo, Raboche Tsho and Dudh Pokhari before reaching Gokyo. On the trail next to the first lake, we see what is believed to be the footprints of a Lama (Buddhist priest). We explore Dudh Pokhari before calling it a night. Overnight in Gokyo.

Day – 9 Gokyo Valley: Climb Gokyo Ri (5357 m/17,570 ft) and hike to fifth lakes: 5 – 6 hours

We spend another day in Gokyo to acclimatize to the high altitude. If the weather is good, we climb Gokyo Ri today. From the top of Gokyo Ri we admire the Himalayan vista and the tranquil Gokyo lakes. We also hike to the fourth and the fifth Gokyo lakes. The 4th lake is only about 3km north of Gokyo. It is marked by high cliffs and Himalayan peaks rising above it. We continue to walking a little further and reach the 5th lake. A climb up a nearby hill will guarantee us remarkable views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. We can see a lot more from here – the spot is called Scoundrel’s Viewpoint. From the northern part of the 5th lake we see the Cho Oyu base camp and Ngazumpa Glacier which is the biggest glacier the world. We walk back to Gokyo to spend the night.

Day 10 – Gokyo to Dole: 3 – 4 hours

We descend on a trail along the Dudh Koshi River and pass  the first Gokyo lakes. On the way we also enjoy views of the Cholatse and Taboche peaks. Our trail descends before climbing a hill. After reaching the chorten at the edge, we see great views of Thamserku, Cho Oyu, and Kangtega mountains. We walk past Machhermo, Luza and Lhafarma villages before reaching Dole. Overnight in Dole.

Day 11 – Dole to Namche Bazaar: 4 – 5 hours

We descend on a steep trail to Phortse Thanga admiring rhododendrons, wildflowers and waterfalls. We also come across mountain goats, musk deer, pheasants, etc. From Mong, we can admire a good view of Khumbila peak. On our way to Namche the view of Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kangtega mountains are ours to admire. After walking for a while, we reach an intersection where the trail from Sanasa meets our trail. We walk on a trail that clings to a forested slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. After reaching Namche army camp hill, we look back to see Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche for one last time. About a kilometer from here is Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

Day 12 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6 – 8 hours

We descend on a rocky trail and cross several suspension bridges before walking on a leveled trail. The air is warmer as we walk on the same trail to reach Lukla. Our trek in the mountain ends after we reach Lukla. We spend our time reminiscing about our time spent in the mountain. Overnight in Lukla.

Day 13 – Fly to Kathmandu

We fly back to Kathmandu on the earliest possible flight. After reaching Kathmandu we have the rest of the day off to rest. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner to enjoy with our trek leader and a few  staff to mark the end of our trip in Nepal. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 14 –  Final Departure

Our representative will pick us up from our hotel and drop us off at the Tribhuwan International Airport three hours before our scheduled flight.

This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Glacier inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.

Important documents and items

  • Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
  • Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
  • Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
  • Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler’s checks, etc.

Head

  • Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
  • Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Prescription sunglasses (if required)

Upper Body

  • Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket *
  • Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable

Hands

  • 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
  • 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
  • 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)

Lower Body

  • Non-cotton underwear briefs
  • 1 pair of Hiking shorts
  • 1 pair of Hiking trousers
  • 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
  • 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
  • 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric

Feet

  • 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
  • 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
  • 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
  • 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
  • Cotton socks (optional)
  • Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version

Sleeping

  • 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
  • Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)

Rucksack and Travel Bags

  • 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
  • 1 large duffel bag *
  • A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
  • Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
  • 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)

Medical

  • Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
  • Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
  • 1 skin-blister repair kit
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Anti-headache pills
  • Cough and/or cold medicine
  • Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
  • Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
  • Water purification tablets or water filter
  • 1 set of earplugs
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies

Practical Items

  • 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
  • 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
  • 1 compass or GPS(optional)
  • 1 alarm clock/watch
  • 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
  • large Ziplocs
  • 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
  • 1 small folding knife
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks

Toiletries

  • 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
  • Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
  • Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Deodorants
  • Nail clippers
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene products
  • Small mirror

Personal Hygiene

  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash

Extras/Luxuries

  • Reading book
  • Trail map/guide book
  • Journal and pen
  • iPod
  • Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
  • 1 modest swim suit
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
  • Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
  • Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow
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