Is Insurance Mandatory?
Yes, travel insurance is mandatory and highly recommended. Trekking at high altitudes is always risky. Look for a company that covers the cost of injuries, medical expenses, and helicopter evacuation costs. Helicopter recuse is the only option to take you to the nearest hospital if you get sick at a high altitude.
Do I get Guide and Porter?
Yes, Marvel Adventure provides a well-experienced, fluent English-speaking guide who has sound knowledge of the Mountains, Histories, and Local cultures of the Region. They guide you throughout the trek as well as will entertain you during the walk.
We also provide one porter for two trekkers. Porters can carry 20-25 kg of bags. They will carry your bags so that you can walk easily and enjoy every moment during the trek. We recommend you pack only the essential gear.
Because of their hard effort, guides and porters expect some TIPS from you.
Best time for Gokyo Valley Trek
Autumn is one of the few times when trekkers will experience warm and pleasant weather. It’s usually dry and sunny in Khumbu during the season. Days are warmer and nights are chillier, with temperatures dropping up to 2 Degrees Celsius.
The temperature in Gokyo Lake is much colder, averaging about -12 degrees Celsius. With winter just around, November typically has the coldest days of all autumn months. Trekkers will likely witness a gradual temperature drop along with light snowfall.
The autumn color might have faded over time. But if you walk the trail in October, there’s enough stunning fall foliage along the trek. Visitors can watch the changing tree leaves and lush meadows during the expedition.
Trekkers can experience similar weather in spring as well. Warm days, cooler nights, and fabulous views make the season incredible to hike. It has long daylight hours full of sunshine, which makes the climb easy and comfortable.
But, since the winter doesn’t go without putting up a fight, the weather is cold at the beginning of the season. There might be light snowfall in different parts, especially at higher altitudes. After late March, the temperature will increase, but it will still be cold at Gokyo Lake.
There’s low precipitation and humidity in Spring at Gokyo. Meanwhile, flower blooms are at their peak in the valley and forest. Its green terrace farms and colorful wildflowers provide a picturesque backdrop to the hikers.
Also, migrating birds and animals put on an excellent show for them. Since the weather will be warm and clear skies, trekkers can enjoy the unobstructed view of shimmering snow peaks and diverse landscapes.
Winter is off-season for trekking in Nepal. The winter starts from December and ends in February. During these months, you will less likely to meet the trekking on the route. The temperature starts dropping, and snowfall is very likely to happen. Those who enjoy snowfall may resist the odds; winter is the best time. . But they do it with lots of preparation as winters could be severe in the mountains as the days are short and cold. The average temperature of Gokyo is -10 to -14 Degree Celsius in winter, which makes the hike incredibly difficult.
Summer is humid and hot in Khumbu, with an average temperature of 2.3 degrees Celsius. It has warmer days with bright sunshine, making the trek more comfortable.
But it doesn’t last long as the monsoon starts. There might be heavy rainfall from mid-June, which makes the trail murky. The weather might not be clear, and it’s hard to catch the views.
Food & Accommodation
Wandering the trails of Gokyo, especially if you want a place to stay, isn’t a competitive spirit. There are ample accommodation options here, including lodges, hotels, and teahouses.
In the valley, guesthouses are the most affordable choices for accommodation.
They are well-equipped and spacious with pre-arranged furniture. Most of the lodgings offer a handful of services like a bed, pillow, blanket, and hand towel to the guest. They usually charge a low price of around US$2 to US$5 per night.
There’s no shortage of accommodation in higher regions either. You will find lots of teahouses. They have twin-share rooms with sufficient space for each. Unfortunately, the rooms have no direct connection to the bathroom, so the guests will have to share the regular ones.
Apart from the lodging, they also provide food to the visitors consisting of local staple foods like rice, lentils, curry, and pickles. It’s a classic Nepali dish, simple yet delicious. Other dishes available to try are fried noodles, tasty dumplings, and pancakes.
The food for breakfast has soup, bread, muesli, and eggs, typically served with tea. But, these are only offered by the guesthouses in town. There’s usually a shortage of food items in teahouses at higher altitudes.
Due to rugged trails, goods must be transported using porters or yak, increasing costs. Foods are relatively cheaper in lower valleys, so if you want to save money, stock the goods right here,
Trek to Gokyo Lake isn’t a stroll in the park. It’s a strenuous walk of 61 miles with many ups and downs. The trail to this glacial lake has steep hills that go down to the forest and above the valley. Besides, it has unpredictable weather, which makes the trek even more difficult.
Hence, trekking at Gokyo Lake needs good preparation along with some equipment required for the trek. You have to be really careful while picking these items and ensure they don’t go to waste. Consideration must be given to weather, trek difficulties, duration, and distance. Here are some of the trek essentials needed for the Gokyo Valley Trek.
- Lightweight fleece jacket
- Waterproof jacket
- Short and long-sleeve shirt
- Moisture-wicking t-shirt
- Quick-drying pants or shorts
- Hiking boots
- Trekking shoes suited to terrains
- Synthetic or wool socks
- First-aid kit
- Personal toiletries such as a toothbrush, soap
- Batteries, charger, power bank
- Hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Duffel bags
Preparations for Gokyo Valley Trek
Gokyo Valley Trek is pretty challenging, especially for someone who has never trekked before. It has mixed terrains with some rocky hills, which are physically demanding. The fight against its winding trail isn’t easy to win either. Trekkers have to walk through the lush meadows and valleys before making a continuous ascent to Gokyo Lake.
Hence, it requires some hard-core training to tackle these harsh trails. Trekkers have to give at least a month for physical training. They must be dedicated and don’t go easy on the hike. Spend as much time as possible on the routine workout, as it helps you stay fit and in good shape.
Walking back and forth on the steep trails is exhausting. So, try doing labor-intensive activity and cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, jogging, and brisk walking. These workouts will help to improve your muscular strength and endurance capacity.
Taking a few hikes on different routes before the trek is an excellent idea. Not only will they prepare you well for the trek, but they’ll also help you tackle the mountainous terrains. It’ll take the stress off your head and make the walk more accessible.
As much as physical exercise is essential, mental toughness is also important. Therefore, trekkers have to take care of their mental strength. Hiking the trail to Gokyo Lake is weight-bearing and mentally exhausting work.
So, put in extra effort on the hike and give yourself enough time to prepare. Don’t be intimidated by the trek difficulties; fight against the odds. Maintain resilience and maximize your abilities as much as possible. Stay hydrated, and don’t let the trek get into your nerves.
Why trek Gokyo Lake?
Gokyo Lake isn’t short on breathtaking views. Some of its best can be discovered along the trail, while the rest can be traced at the spot. Trekkers can enjoy the natural view of tropical forests, lush green foliage, and beautiful valleys on their journey.
During the hike, they also watch the spectacular view of mountain ranges and lovely waterfalls. At Gokyo, they can find many iconic landmarks, oligotrophic lakes, and glaciers, which are pretty impressive.
Gokyo Valley Trek is an overwhelming experience for visitors who’re new to Nepalese culture, language, and tradition. They’ll be acquainted with the local Sherpa culture and their religious ceremonies on this trek.
Visitors will get to blend in with the native people. Just a few days at Khumbu and they’ll be well aware of Himalayan lifestyle, customs, and practices. Various trails in Khumbu will provide trekkers with a sight of Tibetan monasteries, Chortens, and mani walls.
Gokyo Valley Trek is more of a trail walking than exploring. Trekkers will have to do the sightseeing while hiking. This makes the journey more adventurous and fun as they get to view stunning snow peaks, beautiful landscapes, and waterfalls.
As the trailhead starts in the town of Lukla, trekkers will explore a series of villages and walk the lush meadows before heading to the mountain. The voyage offers them some of the finest of Khumbu, including the view of steep-sided valleys, deep forests, and charming towns.
Exploration of rural settlements
The trek to Gokyo Lake allows visitors to explore the rural settlements of Khumbu. It makes them travel through the medieval Sherpa villages and towns. Trekkers can expect to receive warm hospitality and aid. The locals here are incredibly nice and friendly to the guests. They make them feel at home and help them with anything and everything.
Gokyo Valley Trek has easy hiking trails as compared to other walks. The trek has no technical difficulties except for a few steep hills and rugged trails. The walk on the Ngozumpa Glacier can be slightly challenging and demanding. Walking the long forested trails and climbing up the valley won’t be easier either. But, apart from that, the trek is a breeze with no obstacles.
Difficulties of Gokyo Valley Trek
Walking the most popular hikes in Nepal may seem fun, but it's a lot harder. Traveling through the wilderness and climbing steep slopes for multiple hours is grueling. Its trails are physically demanding, with many twists and turns.
Not just trail, but even the weather of Gokyo is tricky. It fools visitors into climbing the trail and makes the journey challenging for them. Some of the other difficulties of the Gokyo Valley Trek are as follows.
The long walking trails of Gokyo Lake require multiple days to finish. Trekkers have to walk an average of 5-6 hours and cover a distance of 10-15 km, which is a lot. The hike is intimidating for any trekker who’s not used to walking the highlands or rocky terrains.
Since the trek has to be completed within the travel limit, trekkers have to beat the clock. In this matter, choosing a short itinerary isn’t going to be much help. Covering longer distances in a short time is inconvenient for any hiker.
Gokyo Valley Trek is a mountain trek. So, the hikers will have to travel at higher altitudes for most of the expedition. As they go higher, the oxygen level decreases and causes altitude sickness. The low atmospheric pressure makes the trekkers dizzy and exhausted. Some of them even have difficulty breathing due to low oxygen.
Walking the mountainous terrains of Gokyo while carrying a heavy daypack can bug anyone. On top of that, you have to climb steep trails and walk-in heat, which causes the body to lose sweat. The overflow of liquid increases the risk of dehydration and fatigue. Trekkers will suffer from terrible headaches, sunken eyes, and listlessness. Therefore, to prevent dehydration, they have to drink sufficient water rather than relying on just a bottle of water.
Weather & Temperature
The unpredictable weather of Gokyo Lake is another challenge for hikers. When hiking, trekkers experience a tremendous change in weather due to the rise in altitude. The weather is usually frigid at Gokyo, but it changes with the season down in the valley. Summers are hot and humid in Khumbu, while winters are chilly, which makes hiking extremely difficult.