Trekking into the Gokyo Valley and it’s surrounding lakes is an exhilarating experience. It’s the ideal way to explore Gokyo located at the base of the Gokyo Ri. Gokyo is a beautiful valley with majestic high mountains and blue lakes close to the base camp of Mt. Cho Oyu (8216m).
The trek provides a great opportunity to witness some of the tallest snow-capped peaks of the world including Mt. Everest. The trekking trail of the Everest region itself is the most popular trekking trail in the world passing over remote villages, lush green forests, high mountain settlements, pristine lakes and icy mountain rivers.
The trek initially starts after taking a trans-Himalayan flight from Kathmandu to Lukla then trek to Phakding. The following days are spent hiking towards Namche Bazaar then to the Gokyo Valley and exploring around Gokyo’s blue lakes. Afterwards, re-trace the route back to Lukla and fly to Kathmandu.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu O/N Hotel
After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by a representative of the travel company at the arrival gate who will then transfer you to you allotted hotels. If time permits, you can either visit the city or relax at the hotel to overcome your jet lag.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation O/N Hotel
The Kathmandu sightseeing trip will begin in the morning. After breakfast, you will be taken to Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square, one of the heritage sites where you can view many historical and cultural monuments. Later, you will visit another heritage site known as Pashupatinath Temple. This is a sacred Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva which is always crowded with Hindu pilgrims. After lunch, visit to Buddhist pilgrimage Swoyambhunath (known by the name of 'Monkey temple' by tourists).
Likewise, Boudhanath Shrine will be covered in the evening. After concluding the sightseeing, there will be a seminar to discuss about the upcoming trekking plans.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Lukla (flight- 40 min) to Phakding (2652m) 3-4 hours O/N Lodge
You will have to wake up early as the flight to Lukla leaves very early in the morning. The scenic flight takes around 40 minutes to touch down in Lukla. You will have a whale of a time in the brisk flight as you can see the most amazing natural views from the airplane window. After landing in Lukla, the trek to Phakding will start after lunch. You will reach Phakding before sunset where you will get ample time to stroll around the village.
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
From Phakding, the route gets a head start by crossing suspension bridges on the Dudh Koshi River towards Namche Bazaar. On the way, you will pass by the Sagarmatha National Park where you will see varieties of flora and fauna. Soon, you will make a descent towards Jorsalle village crossing Bhote- Koshi River on a suspension bridge. You will reach Namche Bazaar, the main trading town also known as 'the gateway to Mt. Everest' in the Khumbu Region before sunset.
Day 05: Acclimatization Namche Bazaar -Everest view Hike 3-4 hours O/N Lodge
Getting acclimatized is very important while embarking on the high altitude trek. For the purpose, the day is reserved for the acclimatization process where you will spend a full day to get used to the higher altitude. After lunch, you will be taken for a short hike towards Everest View Hotel. From the hotel premises you can see the panoramic view of the Everest region.
Day 06: Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga (3500m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
The day will start with a climb to Khumjung. On the route, you will pass through different chortens. After few hours of walk, the trails start descending towards Khumbila. Crossing Dudh Koshi River, you will leap your steps forwards for Phortse Thanga which will be covered by evening.
Day 07: Phortse Thanga to Dole (4200m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
Crossing some valleys through aromatic rhododendron forests, on the day, you will proceed towards Dole. It is a high altitude village in the Everest region.
Day 08: Dole to Machhermo (4410m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
Hiking on sandy spurs, you will embark on the toughest trails towards Machhermo. You will reach Machhermo before sunset.
Day 09: Machhermo to Gokyo (4750m) 5-6 hours O/N Camp
The trekking trail is a little difficult today as you will have to trek on steep rocky areas such as Nilibuk towards Gokyo valley. Likewise, the trails get tougher as you come across glaciers at Cho La. After some strenuous trekking for few hours, you will come across Dudh Pokhari, whose bank will lead you towards Gokyo settlement known for offering magnificent views of summits like Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang.
Day 10: Acclimatization day in Gokyo O/N Camp
This is going be a relaxing day to overcome tiredness, and to get acclimatized to higher altitude. However, later in the day, you can opt to go for a brisk climb to Gokyo Ri, the small peak above the lake or to relax at the camp premises. From the peak, you can embrace the picturesque views of Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachee.
Day 11: Gokyo to Phortse Thanga 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
On the day, you will make a descent towards Phortse. This is the same village which you have explored on day 6.
Day 12: Phortse to Namche Bazaar 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
From Phortse, you will head towards Namche Bazaar and reach there before sunset.
Day 13: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2800m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
This is the final day of the trek as you prepare yourself to hike to Lukla following the lower altitude trail in the Everest region. Traversing various Sherpa settlements, and hiking past some dense forest areas covered by beautiful rhododendron and pine trees, you will slowly proceed towards Lukla. On the way, you will also see a few monasteries that represent unique Buddhist culture and tradition. You will reach Lukla before sunset.
Day 14: Lukla to Kathmandu (flight) 40 minutes O/N Hotel
You have completed your trekking as you wait to board a Kathmandu bound flight from Lukla. Your excitement level will proliferate as the plane flies between hills before it reaches to a required elevation. The 40 minutes flight will also give you a bird’s eye view of glorious Kathmandu city by the time it prepares to land. After landing at the Tribhuvan airport, the company representative will transfer you to you designated hotels. The remaining day in the capital city will be all yours. You can relax at the hotel or visit markets for the final-day shopping.
Day 15: Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination
As per your flight timings, you will be escorted from your hotel in Kathmandu by one of our representatives to the terminal at the Tribhuvan International Airport approximately three hours before your flight time for a safe flight back home!
While booking this activity, please provide us with your flight information for pick up arrangement.
When to go:
Spring (February, March, April, May) and Autumn (October, November) are the best seasons for the Gokyo Lake Trekking. The weather is sunny and warm offering outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing in higher elevations. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Gokyo Lake Trekking, only issue is cold (obviously). Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.
Meals and Accommodation:
During the Gokyo Lake Trekking, we provide the best available guest house which is called Tea house (lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.
Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.
Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 15 days Gokyo Lake Trekking is moderate to strenuous trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 15 days Gokyo Lake Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip are good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.
The Trekking Group:
For the Gokyo Lake Trekking, there will be one Guide and/or porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). We can run the Gokyo Lake Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you’d like to make a group booking for more than sixteen people together, we can arrange this too.
Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Gokyo Lake Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:
• Intensive Wilderness First Aid - KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
• Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
• Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
• English Language - KEEP (Kathmandu environment education project)
• Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
• Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association
Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.
Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.
Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.
Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel, that you should consider before booking. Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.