Gokyo Valley Trek

Duration: 10 Days   |   Based on 2 Reviews   |   Trip Map
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Transport: Private Vehicle / Aeroplane
  • Food: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge to lodge
  • Max Elevation: 5360m

When someone says Nepal is a trekker’s paradise, they indeed don’t lie. The country is overflown with natural beauty, which never fades. It has unique topography and remarkable landscapes that are best explored on foot. And during the Gokyo Valley trek, you get to experience these at once.

Nepal has excellent walking trails that are willing to take hikers on an adventurous journey. One of these many hikes is Gokyo Lake, a trek that comes with extreme adventure, magnificent scenery, and incredible experience.

Visitors trekking Gokyo can learn about the culture, lifestyle, and traditions of different ethnic groups living here, primarily Sherpas. They can visit the fascinating towns all the way up to Gokyo and even engage in one of their cultural activities or social gatherings.

Gokyo Lake is considered one of the best trekking destinations in northeastern Nepal. It’s usually at the top of many trekker wish lists, given the magnificent view and iconic landmarks. A total of around 98 km of trek starts from Lukla and waves through forests and valleys to arrive at Gokyo.

Gokyo valley trek passes several villages and traverses through forested terrains full of rhododendrons and pines. The trail has multiple suspension bridges to cross, and trekkers will have to walk over the rocks and boulders to arrive at the valley.

Walking trails meander through the tropical forest home to Himalayan Tahr, musk deer, and snow leopards. Its route follows the bank of Dudh Koshi River and takes a few switchbacks before gaining elevation.

They have to travel through remote settlements like Dole and Machhermo to get to the village. The view of Gokyo Ri stretches from the Ngozumpa Glacier, which we have to travel. It also provides the sight of nearby Sherpa Villages and serene glacial lakes.

The trek from Machhermo to Gokyo is short but challenging, with rugged trails. It’s unpaved and full of rocks and boulders, which makes it difficult to walk over. The climb to Gokyo RI is equally challenging, following steep rocky trails and glacial moraines.

The Gokyo valley trek is strenuous but worthwhile as it rewards trekkers with a mesmeric view of Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Trekkers walking to the top will also get to enjoy the beautiful glimpses of six freshwater lakes.

Nested at 16,400 ft, Thonak Cho is the largest lake in Gokyo Valley. Lying nearby Dudh Pokhari, Gyazumpa Cho, and Tanjung Cho. Generally, they all feed on the seepage of Ngozumpa Glacier.

Check our similar packages: Gokyo Renjo La Pass Trek, Everest Base Camp - Cho La Pass - Gokyo Trek

Highlights

  • Glorious mountains peaks such as Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and others
  • Hike through the scenic forests of Sagarmatha National Park
  • Exploration of wildlife habitats, birds, and natural vegetation
  • Picturesque Sherpa towns of Lukla and Namche
  • Serene glacial lakes of Gokyo, including Thonak, Dudh Pokhari, and
  • Iconic landmarks and religious sites
  • The spectacular sight of Khumbu Icefall
  • Magical sunrise view over Gokyo Ri

Day to Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 Kathmandu to Lukla flight. Then trek to Phakding (2,650 m / 8,562 ft.)

    Lukla Altitude: 2,850 m / 9,350 ft.

    Phakding Altitude: 2,650 m / 8,562 ft.

    Walking Hours: 2-3 hrs

    Overnight at: a guesthouse

    Our journey to Gokyo Lake begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. It lasts about half an hour and comes with a spectacular view of sweeping hills and raging waterfalls. Upon landing, we’ll meet our crew members and have breakfast before leaving for the trek.

    Scrambling the hills beside the fuming Dudh Koshi River, the trail heads toward Phakding. It takes us through the Chaurikharka Village and down to Dudh Koshi, which offers an astounding view. After the last trek of the day on a well-worn path, we’ll reach Phakding. Overnight stay in a guesthouse.

    • Day 2 Phakding to Namche (3440m)

      Namche Bazaar Altitude: 3,440 m / 11,285 ft.

      Walking Hours: 6 hrs

      Overnight at: a Guesthouse

      It’s a difficult 5.8 miles walk from Phakding to Namche, so we better get moving on the trail. The trek continues with a scenic walk along the banks of the Dudh Koshi River and over the suspension bridge.

      Crossing the Hillary Suspension Bridge and passing several remote villages, the trail stops at Sagarmatha National Park. After getting permits to the sanctuary, we climb up through the forest from where Mt. Everest can be easily witnessed. After a problematic uphill trek, we’ll arrive at Namche Bazaar.

      • Day 3 Acclimatization Day at Namche

        Trails heading to Dole from Namche are physically demanding and strenuous. They even start to gain elevation from here. So, instead of climbing the trail upward, we’ll stay back in the town and take a rest.

        After having breakfast, we’ll walk up to Everest Hotel View. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach the hilltop and watch the magnificent view of Mt Everest and Thamserku. The sightseeing around is amazing with sharp hills and subtropical forests.

        The trail descending to Namche is quite beautiful as well. It provides us with a lovely view of snow-capped mountains and swapping hills throughout the way. We’ll stay in the same guesthouse as the previous one in Namche.

        • Day 4 Trek from Namche to Dole (4200m)

          Dole Altitude: 4,200 m / 13,270 ft.

          Walking Hours: 5 hrs

          Overnight at: a Guesthouse

          After the acclimatization, we’re ready to work our way up to Dole again. The trek, too, has a sharp hill to climb and a scenic walk through the forest. The path to Dole is slightly rocky, with end-to-end highs and lows.

          It separates from the main EBC trail and winds through the Mong La Pass after almost two hours of walking. While scrambling the trails, trekkers are able to catch a glimpse of beautiful Ama Dablam and Mt. Khumbila.

          Getting to the village requires a downhill walk into the rhododendron and pine forests. From here, the trail goes to the riverside village of Phortse Tenga and then to Dole. It’s a straight uphill climb to the village, which is quite tiring.

          • Day 5 Trek from Dole to Macchermo (4470m)

            Machhermo Altitude: 4,470 m / 14,450 ft.

            Walking Hours: 5-6 hrs

            Overnight at: a Guesthouse

            Leaving Dole, we set off on a hike to Machhermo. The trek is a continuous ascent uphill and over the pastures, which serves as a playground for yak. Alongside there are several religious shrines and prayer flags, which look spectacular.

            The trail ahead unfolds the majestic view of Mt. Cho Oyu, Lhotse Shar, Ama Dablam, and Nuptse. It also leads us to the beautiful village of Lapharma and Luja before stopping at Machhermo. Overnight stay in a teahouse.

            • Day 6 Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo Lake (4790m)

              Gokyo Altitude: 4,790 m / 15,584 ft.

              Walking Hours: 4 hrs

              Overnight at; a Teahouse

              After about an hour of trek, we’ll cross the grazing yak fields and trek to Phanga. Traveling in this section will help us come across the memorials made in honor of lost ones' in landslides. As the trail gains elevation, the path becomes narrower and steeper.

              Here, the trails are rough and filled with rocks and boulders. The walk is short but strenuous, taking about an hour or so. Gokyo is one of the highest villages in Nepal, perched on the eastern shore of the third Gokyo Lake.

              It’s only a few walks away from the lake and right underneath the Gokyo Ri. We’ll briefly stop at the village to have lunch and then walk around and enjoy the view. You might go for a short walk around the Gokyo village to explore the Gokyo region.

              We will spend the night at the teahouses/hotels Gokyo village.

              • Day 7 Hike to Gokyo-Ri (5,357 m) and Trek down to Dole

                Gokyo Altitude: 4,790 m / 15,584 ft.

                Gokyo Ri Altitude: 5,357 m / 17,575 ft.

                Walking Hours: 7-8 hrs

                Overnight at; a Teahouse

                After breakfast, we head for the Gokyo Ri summit. Gokyo Ri is located at the altitude of 5,357 m / 17,575 ft. The trailhead starts on the west side of the Ngozumpa and takes almost 1.5 hours to 2 hours (depending on your walking speed), covering almost 2 kilometers.

                The trek is continuously upward with no downward slope. It’s rough and covered with loose rocks, making the walk much more challenging than it seems. After reaching the summit, we get to relish the incredible views of rolling hills and towering mountains. After exploring the Gokyo Ri, we will start our trek back to Dole.

                Trek from Gokyo to Dole is mostly downhill with some switchbacks. The walk begins with a walk through the glacial moraines of Ngozumpa and gets along, passing several stone chortens.

                As we move forward, the trail opens up and provides glimpses of Thamserku and Kantega. We’ll be walking beside these shimmering mountains all along the way. The easy 3.7 miles walk wends through the villages and over the Dudh Koshi River Valley. After a short ascent, the trail ends at the beautiful village of Dole.

                Spend the night at the Hotel of Dole.

                Optional Route: Instead of trekking down to the Dole, you could explore the Gokyo 5th lake and Stay at Gokyo village. One extra day will be added to the itinerary if you do so. This allows you to explore all four Gokyo lakes.

                • Day 8 Dole to Namche Bazaar

                  Walking Hours: 7 hrs

                  Overnight at: a Teahouse

                  Just 7.4 miles from the village of Dole is our next destination. The trek to Namche isn’t tricky but lengthier, with a few highs and lows. Outside of the village, the trail winds through dense forests and passes several remote villages. It initially descends Sanasa and walks through Phortse Tanga before arriving at Mong.

                  On the way, we’ll pass several Tibetan monasteries and ancient Chortens. Surrounded by steep hills and mountains, Namche has a magnificent view to offer visitors. After watching the picturesque scenery, we’ll get back to the teahouse and get some rest.

                  • Day 9 Namche Bazaar to Lukla

                    Walking Hours: 7-8 hrs

                    Overnight at: a lodge

                    We’ll spend the last day of the Gokyo Valley trek at Lukla. After descending the steep hills and crossing Hillary's suspension bridge, we move towards the local village. Most of our trek today is around Dudh Koshi River Valley and its surrounding, which comes with a scenic view.

                    After arriving at Lukla, we’ll freshen up and get some rest at our lodge. Since we’re undefeated on the expedition, it’s fair to celebrate the moment. After having dinner, we’ll get off to sleep.

                    • Day 10 Early flight back to Kathmandu

                      We’ll leave for Lukla airport early in the morning. It’ll take us around 30 minutes on the flight before landing in Kathmandu. Upon arrival, our staff will transfer you to the hotel, where you can rest the entire day or go shopping on the road.

                      What to Expect

                      • All Domestic flights and airport tax as listed in the itinerary
                      • Standard meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
                      • Government license holder guide 
                      • A strong and helpful porter with proper equipments (1 porter for 2 people)
                      • Salary,food,accommodaation and insurance for guide and porters
                      • TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) card
                      • Tea house/lodge accommodation during the trek
                      • Sagarmatha National Park entry permit
                      • Comprehensive first aid kit
                      • Government taxes and official expenses
                      • International Airfare and taxes
                      • Nepal entry visa fee
                      • Your Travel Insurance (compulsory)
                      • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu
                      • Entrance fee in the heritage sites during city tour.
                      • All the expenses of personal nature
                      • Any kind of drinks and desserts during the trek
                      • Tips for guide and porter (Tipping is expected)

                      PRICES & DATES

                      Trip DatesAvailabilityPrice  
                      13 Feb, 2023 - 22 Feb, 2023GuaranteedUSD 1325
                      20 Feb, 2023 - 01 Mar, 2023GuaranteedUSD 1325
                      27 Feb, 2023 - 08 Mar, 2023GuaranteedUSD 1325
                      Request a Private Date

                      Useful Information

                      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.

                      Gokyo valley trek

                      Best time for Gokyo Valley Trek

                      Autumn Season

                      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.

                      Spring Season

                      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.

                      Off-season

                      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 Essentials

                      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.

                      Clothing

                      • Lightweight fleece jacket
                      • Waterproof jacket
                      • Short and long-sleeve shirt
                      • Moisture-wicking t-shirt
                      • Quick-drying pants or shorts

                      Footwear

                      • Hiking boots
                      • Trekking shoes suited to terrains
                      • Synthetic or wool socks

                      Other items

                      • 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.

                      Mental Preparation

                      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.

                      Gokyo lake trek

                      Why trek Gokyo Lake?

                      Stunning Views

                      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.

                      Cultural Exploration

                      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.

                      Adventurous Trail

                      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.

                      Moderate trails

                      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.

                      Trek Distance

                      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.

                      Altitude Sickness

                      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.

                      Dehydration

                      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.

                      Testimonials

                      • Brooke Paterson
                        Brooke Paterson, Canada

                        Amazing Trekking in Nepal

                        I had an incredible time during my trek to EBC and Gokyo Lakes! Originally, my boyfriend and I were considering doing the trek on our own, but I'm so happy we decided to do a tour instead. Our experience was so seamless - no need to worry about deciding about an itinerary, which guesthouse to stay at, or getting lost on routes. They take care of everything for you (hire porters, take care of TIMS card, national park permit, book flights, sleeping bags, etc) and at a reasonable price! We were always in good hands with our guide Nir. Not only was he was very knowledgable and experienced guide, but also incredibly kind. When I was feeling some of the negative side effects of the altitude, he was always sure to check in on me and make me feel better. Plus he always had a good stash of Happy happy's(chocolate chip cookies) available! I'd highly recommend Marvel Adventure to anyone considering doing trekking in Nepal - especially with Nir!

                      • noimage
                        Katherine, Australia

                        The best adventure to Gokyo Ri!

                        What an amazing experience we had!! I can’t recommend Marvel Adventures enough if you are thinking about doing a trek through Nepal! We felt so lucky to have had Nir as our guide to Gokyo Ri, not only does he have a wealth of Information he was one of the funnest guides to have! He truly made our experience so memorable and we honestly can’t wait to come back and trek again. If you are thinking of doing EBC I would highly recommend to do Gokyo Ri instead as the views are by far the best in Nepal! Nir worked so well with us and I’m glad to have met him as we now have a friend for life! Thank you for our adventure and for a wonderful experience!

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