How to Get to Gokyo Lakes From Kathmandu?
If your adventure starts from the capital city and you are wondering how to reach Gokyo Lake from here. Don’t worry; there are several viable transportation modes that you can choose from.
You can use two air transportation modes and one land transportation option to reach the Gokyo Lakes from Kathmandu.
Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and Trek to Gokyo Ri
In this how to reach Gokyo Lakes discussion, a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla [2,800 meters/ 9,186 feet] is the most ideal way to start this incredible Himalayan adventure. You will take an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, which will last for about 40 minutes, to join the trekking route of the Gokyo Lake Trek.
Then, after landing at Lukla, you will move along the mainstream Everest Base Camp route across Phakding [2,650 meters/ 8,694 feet] and Namche Bazaar [3,440 meters/ 11,286 feet]. From here, your path diverges toward the pristine glacial lakes, and you will move along the gradually ascending through Dole [4,200 meters/ 13,779 feet], Macchermo [4,470 meters/ 14,665 feet] to finally reach Gokyo Lake [4,790 meters/ 15,715 feet].
However, the adventure in the Gokyo Valley isn’t complete without the hike to its vantage point, Gokyo Ri [5,357 meters/ 17,575 feet], for the incredible Himalayan panorama and crisp view of the valley below.
After relishing the serene ambiance, you will then retrace your step back across the same trekking route to reach all the way back to Lukla for a flight back to Kathmandu.
Kathmandu to Lukla via Helicopter Flight and Trek to Gokyo Ri
A helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is another efficient mode to reach the starting point of Gokyo Valley Trek route. Although it can be more expensive than regular airplane flights, the convenience of this transport mode and the experience of gradually transiting landscapes from deep valleys and hills to Himalayan moraines is simply extraordinary.
This transportation mode also offers an intimate travel experience and you will have the flexibility option to fit in your itinerary plans. After landing at Lukla, you will follow the same trekking route across Phakding, Namche, Dole, Macchermo, Gokyo, and Gokyo Ri to complete the excursion.
If you want to cut off the return trekking journey after completing the trek, you also have the option to take a helicopter flight from Gokyo to Lukla or all the way back to Kathmandu. So, in this how to reach Gokyo Lakes viable transport mode options, this helicopter flight is an exclusive option for trekkers who are looking for a comfortable experience.
Drive from Kathmandu to Jiri and Trek to Gokyo Ri
If you want to skip the flight transportation options to reach Lukla, the starting point of the Gokyo Lake Trek, there is also a land transportation option to reach there. Drive from Kathmandu to Jiri [1,905 meters/ 6,250 meters] is a traditional trekking option to the Everest region that starts after an 8-9 hour drive.
However, this traditional trekking route alternative to the Everest Base Camp is a longer form of exploration that requires several days of trekking from Jiri to reach Namche Bazaar. During the initial part, leaving Jiri, you will slowly trek on the ascending route, passing Deurali [2,250 meters/ 7,381 feet], Sete [2,575 meters/ 8,448 feet], Junbesi [2,680 meters/ 8,792 feet], Nunthala [2,220 meters/ 7,283 feet], Buspa [2,360 meters/ 7,742 feet], and Puiyan [2,796 meters/ 9,173 feet] to reach Phakding.
From Phakding, you will follow the same trekking route to Namche, then trek across Dole and Macchermo to reach Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Ri. After completing the trek, you have the option to retrace your steps all the way down to Jiri or take a flight back to Kathmandu from Lukla.
Other Trekking Route Alternatives to Reach Gokyo Ri
As we discussed, there are several suitable ways if you are wondering how to reach Gokyo Lakes. However, if you are wondering about the alternative route options to explore these pristine lakes, you are in luck; there are also several itinerary options you can choose from.
Classical Gokyo Ri Trekking Route
First, let’s explore the most classical route on how to get to Gokyo Lakes: 10 Day Gokyo Valley Trek. This itinerary plan follows the standard trekking route to the Gokyo Valley and takes you across the major highlight of the region.
Starting your trekking adventure after the Kathmandu to Lukla flight, you will trek on the enthralling mainstream route of the Everest Base Camp Trek all the way to Namche Bazaar. From Namche, you will move along the ascending route toward Gokyo Valley, passing Dole and Macchemro; you will reach Gokyo Lakes.
Then, after conquering the Gokyo Ri the next day, you will return back to Lukla via Dole and Namche for the flight back to Kathmandu.
Everest Base Camp With Gokyo Lake
Everest Base Camp With Gokyo Lake is another iconic trekking adventure to the Gokyo Ri that starts from Lukla [2,800 meters/ 9,186 feet]. In this mixed adventure, you will get the opportunity to explore two major highlights of the Everest region: Everest Base Camp [5,364 meters/ 17,598 feet] and Gokyo Lakes [4,790 meters/ 15,715 feet].
In this remarkable Himalayan venture, after arriving at Lukla, you will move along the classical Everest Base Camp Trek route and gradually climb toward Phakding [2,650 meters/ 8,694 feet], Namche Bazaar [3,440 meters/ 11,286 feet], Tengboche [3,870 meters/ 12,696 feet], Dingboche [3,870 meters/ 12,696 feet], Lobuche [4,930 meters/ 16,174 feet], and Gorakshep [5,180 meters/ 16,994 feet] to reach Everest Base Camp [5,364 meters/ 17,598 feet].
Then, after the morning hike to the Kalapatthar [5,545 meters/ 18,192 feet] for the panoramic views of the Everest region, you will head toward Zongla [4,800 meters/ 15,748 feet]. In this exhilarating trekking route, you will also have to cross one of the challenging Himalayan passes, Cho La Pass [5,420 meters/ 17,782 feet], to reach Dragnak [4,700 meters/ 15,419 feet].
The path further up ahead will then take you to Gokyo Lakes [4,790 meters/ 15,715 feet] and Gokyo Ri [5,357 meters/ 17,575 feet]. After completing your trekking adventure, you will follow the same classical route of the Gokyo Valley Trek to descend across Dole [4,200 meters/ 13,779 feet] and Namche Bazaar [3,440 meters/ 11,286 feet] to reach Lukla [2,800 meters/ 9,186 feet].
Gokyo Ri Renjo La Pass Trek
Gokyo Ri Renjo La Pass Trek is another alternative route from Lukla to reach the pristine glacial lakes of the hidden valley in the Everest region. This Gokyo Ri Trek itinerary follows the standard trekking route of the Gokyo Valley and takes you across Phakding and Namche after arriving at Lukla.
From Namche Bazaar, you will follow the trails toward Dole and Macchermo to reach Gokyo Lake. After the hike to Gokyo Ri, you will then descend to Lungden [4,380 meters/ 14,370 feet] via Renjo La Pass [5,360 meters/ 17,585 feet]. Then, the path further ahead will take you to Thame Village [3,880 meters/ 12,729 feet], Namche Bazaar, and finally to Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu.
What Are the Challenges of the Routes to Reach Gokyo Lakes?
After understanding different viable options on how to reach Gokyo Lakes, you might be wondering about the difficulty level of this remarkable Himalayan adventure. The Gokyo Lake Trek or Gokyo Ri Trek is considered one of the moderate-scale trekking adventures in the Nepali Himalayas.
This exciting high-altitude adventure is suitable for both experienced trekkers and a complete beginner without prior knowledge of high-altitude treks. There aren’t any technically challenging segments along the route, nor the trails are strenuous and physically exhausting.
However, as this is a high-altitude adventure, this trek certainly does have some challenging and physically demanding aspects to it. You will need to stay on the lookout for some of the significant hurdles of this exploration like:
Altitude Sickness (AMS)
AMS is one of the major concerns in any kind of high-altitude adventure. After ascending over an altitude of 2,500 meters, people generally start feeling the various symptoms of altitude sickness if they don’t stick to the proper acclimatization process.
In the trekking route to Gokyo Lakes, after starting your trek at Lukla, you will slowly move along the high elevation points of the route, like Namche Bazaar [3,440 meters/ 11,286 feet], Dole [4,200 meters/ 13,779 feet], and Macchermo [4,470 meters/ 14,665 feet] to reach Gokyo Lake [4,790 meters/ 15,715 feet]. Still, the highest point of this trek is Gokyo Ri at 5,357 meters ( 17,575 feet) from the sea level.
If you are taking the alternative routes, you will have overcome other high-elevation points in the adventure, as well as Himalayan passes. Thus, you should follow a proper acclimatization procedure during this trekking adventure and pay attention to the symptoms of altitude sickness.
The total trekking distance of the Gokyo Valley Trek is around 92 km (57 miles); thus, your itinerary will require you to trek for at least 5-6 hours during each day of the trek. It is not a rushed walk, so you will trek at a slow pace, embracing the scenery; however, the challenging aspect of this factor is the route itself.
The Himalayan region in Nepal is still a remote part of the country with rugged and rocky landscapes. During your trekking days, you will traverse across these rugged trails at rising altitudes. So, if you are not physically prepared for the demanding trails, you might not find the experience that enjoyable.
The climatic conditions at the alpine altitudes can be unpredictable at times. During this high-altitude adventure, you might have to overcome some weather challenges, especially if you are trekking in the off-season
Thus, you will need to be prepared for the weather challenges of the alpine altitudes and pack the right layers to overcome them. Khumbu Cough is another challenging aspect of the weather conditions in the Khumbu region.
Usually, trekkers who are not prepared for the alpine climatic conditions and do not acclimatize properly fall victim to Khumbu Cough. So, you need to pay attention to these aspects to avoid any kind of inconvenience during your exciting exploration.
Permits Required to Reach Gokyo Lakes
Learning only how to reach Gokyo Lakes isn’t just quite enough when it comes to iconic trekking adventures like this that take you across protected and restricted areas. To do the Gokyo Lake Trek, you will need to acquire three permits before the trek.
Permits for Gokyo Lake Trek
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
- Pasang Lhamu Rural Munipcality Permit
- Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS)
Your trekking route for the Gokyo Lakes passes through the conserved areas of the Sagarmatha National Park as well as the restricted area in the region, Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality. So, you will need to get both of these permits, which cost about US$ 30 and US$ 20, respectively.
Similarly, the TIMS Card is another standard permit for high-altitude trekking adventures in the Himalayas. This card records your transit points along the trekking route and assists the authorities in organizing search and rescue operations if needed. TIMS Card costs about US$ 17 per trekker.
Is Gokyo Lake Trek Suitable for Me?
Gokyo Lake Trek is an extraordinary exploration prospect in the Everest region. This trekking adventure introduces you to the remarkable highlights of the mainstream Everest Base Camp Trekking route and takes you to the hidden valley of the region to explore its raw natural beauty.
The success rate of the Gokyo Lake Trek is about 98% to 100%, depending on which route you take. If you choose the Gokyo Ri Trek itinerary that involves overcoming the high Himalayan passes, it can be slightly demanding.
However, in the regular standard route, there are no such passes and the elevation gain isn’t that significant as well. So, if you have average fitness and food health, you can make the experience comfortable and enjoyable with the right amount of prep time.
How to Prepare for Gokyo Lake Trek?
As we discussed earlier, how to reach Gokyo Lakes via different routes, now it is time for you to understand what kind of preparation plan will be suitable for each of the alternative routes. The recommended period to prepare for the high-altitude trek in the Himalayas is 4 to 6 weeks.
You need to put in a small portion of your daily schedule to create an effective training program. If you exercise regularly, you don’t need to put too many hours into the preparation and can design the regime befitting your needs.
In case you don’t work out that much, you can take help form a professional trainer or the trekking guide to come up with an optimum training program for the trek. However, the best way to understand the physical demands of the trek is to do some practice hikes around the steep sections near you.
This way, you will be able to understand the actual physical demands of the adventure and what aspects you need to improve. Your foremost improvement criteria should be for the strength, endurance, and stamina aspects of the Gokyo Lake Trek.
The strength exercises like Push Up, Squat, Deadlift, Bicep Curl, Leg Extension, Step Up, Leg Press, etc will help you improve your core strength to accommodate the physical demands of the excursion.
Similarly, cardiovascular and stamina exercises like Cycling, Jogging, Dancing, Jumping Rope, Swimming, Cardio, etc, will assist the long trekking period. These exercises will also improve your body’s overall oxygen delivery capabilities, making the acclimatization process easier.
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Safety During Trek
Your safety and well-being are out top priority of Marvel Adventure, regardless of which package you choose for your adventure. For high-altitude trekking adventures like Gokyo Lake Trek, we arrange an ideal government-licensed mountain trekking guide with a relevant number of experience in the area.
Our guides are also well-versed in first aid treatment, and they have also received high-altitude training. So, you can rest assured during your trip and leave everything to your expert guiding team.
We will also monitor your health conditions during every day of the trek and check how well you are handling the new altitudes. If you are wondering about procedures during altitude sickness-related issues or other illnesses, we arrange a swift transfer to a nearby health facility or back to Kathmandu via helicopter.