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Gokyo Valley Trek

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  • Jyatha, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

The Gokyo Valley Trek or Gokyo Lake Trek is one of the most picturesque treks in Nepal. Much of the trek takes place at moderate to high altitudes, venturing through rich villages, red birch and dwarf rhododendron forests and with magnificent views of the peaks of Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu and Taweche. A highlight of this trek is the walk to the sacred lakes of Gokyo. We spend two days exploring the Gokyo area, including a steep climb to the top of Gokyo Ri to witness what is one of the most comprehensive and impressive panoramas in all the Himalaya. This trek will appeal to those who wish to see the major mountains of the Everest region from a less-trekked trail, as well as visit the regions key monasteries.

The Gokyo Valley Trek is an alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek while still providing the trekker with plenty of stunning views of Mount Everest as well as overnight stays in the iconic village of Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Everest Region. The trek to the Gokyo Lakes is less travelled but nevertheless allows you to glimpse the life of its locals, awe-inspiring views of glacial-fed fast-flowing rivers, glacier remnants, snow-capped peaks and the mesmerizing blues of Gokyo Lakes. The Gokyo Lakes are at an altitude of 4,700 to 5,000m high in the Gokyo Valley within the boundary of the Sagarmatha National Park.

Gokyo Lakes hold the title of being the highest freshwater group of lakes in the world, having historical importance referred to as a Ramsar (important wetlands) and is also deemed a holy site by Hindus and Buddhists.


Trip highlights

  • Gokyo Ri with it panoramic views of Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Taboche & Ngozumpa Glacier
  • Visit the highest freshwater lake Gokyo, there are 6 sacred lakes surrounding Gokyo
  • Observing the Himalayas and sunrises/sunsets from various viewpoints
  • Visiting various landmarks of Namche Bazaar, including Sherpa museum
  • Exploring cultural landscapes, traditional lifestyle, and heritage of the local community
  • Endangered wildlife exploration of the region
  • Experience the incredible hospitality of local Sherpa people

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m).

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the valley, the snow capped mountain peaks in Himalaya, and of the terraced fields below. As per your arrival time, our representative will be at the airport to receive you and transfer you to your booked hotel. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 02: Fully day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu

Today after the breakfast we will proceed for sightseeing tour around the Kathmandu valley. The Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath temple, Swoyambhunath temple and Boudhanath temple are the major sight-seeing areas around the Kathmandu valley. These all are listed in a world heritage sites. The Durbar Square shows us the regal life of ancient periods. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages. Swoyambhunath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa is the Buddhist temple which is very popular around the globe. Swoyambhunath is also known as money temple stands on the hilltop west of the Kathmandu valley. It can also be known as the viewpoint of Kathmandu valley. Boudhanath temple is the biggest Chhorten ever made around the world. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 03: Flight to Lukla (2860 m) - 30 minutes, & trek to Phakding (2656m) - approx. 3 hours

We take a stunning early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, Gateway to the Everest region, perched above the Dudh Kosi or River of Milk so named because of the pale milky appearance of the glacier melt-water. We are now in the region of the legendary Sherpas and you will notice the difference in the faces of the people you meet here and those from the Kathmandu valley.

After lunch we trek north down towards Phakding along a meandering trail which is lined with mani stone walls, made with hundreds of stone tablets and giant carved boulders, brilliantly decorated with brightly colored paints. The Buddhists believe these to be sacred and so as a sign of respect to the local culture we pass them in a clockwise direction. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 04: Trek from Phakding to Namche (3450m) - approx. 6/7 hours

Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440 m.) which takes about five and half hours. We head onwards and upwards as the trail starts to rise through a forest of rhododendron, magnolia and giant fir-trees. Our target this evening is Namche Bazaar, a delightful mountain village and the Sherpa capital, but first we must ascend Namche Hill; walking at a gentle but steady pace we finally arrive at the town that is itself an important meeting and trading point for the local people. Overnight in teahouse. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 05: Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar: (3440m)

Today is a rest and acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Namche is a colourful village with many wonderful and interesting shops and vendors, fabulous food, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. An early hike above town, before the clouds move in, reward climbers with a spectacular Himalayan sunrise and views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam. On the way down, we can vis¬it the Sherpa Museum that hous¬es an exhibit on traditional Sherpa lifestyle and a fabulous photography display by a local Nepalese naturalist. One room highlights the Sherpa traditions and in another, Sherpa high altitude climbers are presented.

It is important to note that acclimatization is extremely important and that by using these acclimatization days correctly we greatly improve our chances of reaching our goal of Kalapatar, which lies at an altitude of 5545m. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 06: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Dole (4200 m) – approx. 4/5 hours

The trails easy in the begging up to Kyangjuma & climb steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, which give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases. This trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming. The trails pass many Kharkas, summer settlements used when Sherpas bring herds of yaks to graze in these high pastures. The route passes through the settlement s of Tongba (3950m) and Gyele (3960m) to Dole where there’re few hotels. The views of Khumbila and Tawache (6542m) are incredible throughout the day!! Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 07: Trek from Dole to Machhermo (4470 m) – approx. 4/5 hours

We continue our uphill trek and pass through Dole. Throughout today’s journey we will be walking alongside the Dudh Koshi River. Approximately, it will take 4 - 5 hours to reach Machhermo from Dole. The small and thorny bushes give way to scrub juniper as the altitude increases. The trail passes many summer settlements, where yaks are taken to these places to graze in the summer. Ahead of you are magnificent views of Cho Oyu, while back down the valley are the peaks of Kantega and Thamserku. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 08: Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo Lake (4700 m) – approx. 3/4 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 tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 09: Gokyo Valley – Rest Day. Climb Gokyo Ri (5357 m) and hike to fifth lakes (4870 m) - approx. 5/6 hours

Gokyo is one of the trade centers, where the Sherpa people run lodges to provide the best services to the trekkers. Gokyo itself is located by the side of Ngozumpa glacier, the biggest glacier of Nepal. We can spend this day taking a rest in the Gokyo valley and hike to the 5th lake. If we want to, we can climb a hill, also called the Scoundrel’s Viewpoint, which is located at the edge of the 5th lake. From here we get magnificent views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makalu mountains. Overnight in tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 10: Trek back to Dole (4200 m) – approx. 4/5 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 tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 11: Trek from Dole to Namche Bazaar (3440 m.) – approx. 5/6 hours

We descend on a steep trail to Phortse Thanga with fantastic views of 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 tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 12: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2860 m.) – approx. 5/6 hours

Take the downhill trail to Lukla. We will follow the descending trail and walk through rocks and boulders to the suspension bridge over Dudh Koshi River. On reaching Lukla, you head to a local teahouse where you will stay overnight. In the evening, you celebrate the completion of your trip with your trekking crew.

There will be singing, dancing, and endless local brew rounds with the porters, guide, and assistant guides. This is an excellent time to thank the local crew for helping you realize your EBC dream. Offer them tips before retiring for the night and bidding goodbye to most of them. Overnight in teahouse. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 13: Fly back from Lukla to Kathmandu

You successfully conclude the trek and proceed for flight to Kathmandu. We will enjoy our last view of the high mountains while flying back to the Kathmandu from Lukla. The snow-capped mountains will be worth to watch. After 25 minutes of flight, our representative will be waiting for you at domestic airport to take you back to the hotel. You can spend the rest of the day at your leisure; feel free to relax or explore the local markets. Overnight in Hotel

Day 14: Departure from Kathmandu.

As per your flight time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home or any other destinations. The airport check-in is 3 hours prior to the departure time and the hotel checkout time is 12 PM.

Or inform us if you want to stay longer for short tours such as Jungle Safari at National Parks, Mountain Biking, Rafting, a Tibet tour, a Tour to Bhutan or India Tour. We will be happy to assist you.

  • Trip facts

  • Trip duration : 14 Days
  • Grade : Moderate to Fairly Challenging
  • Activity : Cultural sightseeing tour and trekking
  • Starts in : Kathmandu
  • End in : Kathmandu
  • Trek Type : Tea House
  • Accomodation : Hotel & lodge (tea house)
  • Max Altitude : 5357m

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick-up and drop off services by private A/C vehicle
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu on twin /double sharing basis with breakfast only
  • All meals during the trek to Gokyo Valley Trek
  • Accommodation during the trek in Tea House
  • Domestic Airfare : Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu airfare
  • English speaking local expert guide, porters(ratio:2 members=1 porter) during the trek (per member max 12-13kg weight)
  • Sagarmatha National park fees
  • Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality (Local Government) entrance fee / Khumbu VDC entry fees
  • Airport transfers in AC private vehicle
  • Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with English Speaking local Tour Guide and entry fees
  • Equipment clothing for porter & staffs for the trek
  • Insurance for all staff & porters
  • Rescue assistance (Should any emergency arise during your trek, we will provide prompt and professional rescue and medical services. For this, we recommend you to have your own travel insurance that can cover helicopter evacuation and medical treatment cost in case required.)
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu with live cultural performance at authentic Nepali restaurant on the last evening
  • All tax, VAT and company service charge

Cost Excludes

  • International flight & any other airfares
  • Nepal visa
  • Extra baggage charge if any (weight allowance 12kg+3 kg in domestic flight)
  • Personal gears & clothing (available on hire)
  • Tips for Guide, porters, drivers etc.
  • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due to any reason
  • Personal expenses such as table drinks, snacks while walking, hot water/shower, internet, telephone etc during the Everest Base Camp trek.
  • Clients insurance and Medical expenses
  • Any other tours, transfers and hotel accommodations other than mentioned above
  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu


Extension Tours

Paragliding
Jungle Safari
Pokhara Tour
Rafting

Necessary Information

1. Visa to Nepal

You can obtain the Nepalese visa from Nepalese consulate in your country easily or upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. For that, you require a valid passport with 2 copies of passport size photos. Similarly, A visa for Nepal can be obtained at Nepal India border entry point at Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Kakadvitta, Bhairahawa, Gaddachowki and Kodari on the Nepal China border. A15/30/90 day multiple entries Nepalese visa can be obtained by paying USD 30/50/125 or equivalent foreign currency respectively. For more information, please visit http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa

2. Welcoming upon your arrival in Nepal

We will be at the airport to welcome you upon your arrival to Nepal. We will be carrying the Raj BalaTreks & Expedition placard with your name underneath. From airport you will escorted to your hotel and we help you to check-in.

3. Health Issues and Vaccinations Requirement for Gokyo Valley Trek

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration during Gokyo Valley Trekking is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate. If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you to consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

4. Difficulty Level of the trek

Gokyo Valley Trek is a moderate to fairly challenging trek that does not require any technical expertise of mountaineering. It is basically a long hike up to the altitude of 5357m. The trek is only grueling because of its duration of 11 days hike up and down the hill across diverse terrains (14 days including arrival and departure).

5. Trekking Type

Gokyo Valley Trek is a tea house trek. A Nepalese tea house is a lodge or guest house located in one of the trekking regions in the Nepal Himalayas. At the end of the day’s trekking you pitch up and have a room and food provided. Teahouse trekking in Nepal is an incredible experience.

6. Accommodation on the trek

There are plenty of basic, clean and friendly lodges along the trail. You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge.

We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners and a porter is sent ahead to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

7. Food on the Trek

 On trek, we have breakfast and dinner in the tea-houses/lodges we spend the night and lunch on our way to the next destination. Nepalese, Tibetan, the more common continental and Indian cuisines are common choices in the menu.

To get an idea about your meals on the go, breakfast comprises a hot beverage, toasts, pancakes, eggs, etc. while lunch will include rice items, noodles, potato varieties, pizza, pasta, burger, meat items, and so on. The starters in dinnertime are soup varieties while the main course includes more or less similar items as that of lunch menu, including a dessert item and a hot beverage.

8. A Typical Day on a Tea House Trek in Nepal

 We provide a comfortable experience on our teahouse lodge-style treks. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. The lodges provide your meals in a communal dining room. There is a range in standard and service in teahouse lodges depending on location. i.e. lodges at higher altitude and places with fewer trekkers tend to have more basic facilities.

The day starts with getting up in your room shared with another trekker in our group. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. You would have given your breakfast orders to the guide to pass onto the kitchen last night. At the designated time the group will assemble in the dining room to eat breakfast. The menu has a range of items to choose from such as porridge, cereals, chapattis, and a choice of egg dishes. There is also the choice of tea or coffee plus other hot drinks like the popular ginger, lemon honey drink.

While the group is having breakfast the porters arrange their loads and set off in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start trekking. The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the lodge for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a teahouse lodge by the side of the trail.

After lunch, we continue the trek and on most days we arrive at the lodge by mid-afternoon. For dinner, you get a two-course dinner (soup and main meal). The menus are quite standard with a range of dishes such as dal bhat, momos and the famous Sherpa stew. Dal bhat is a Nepalese dish of rice and lentils with vegetable curry. It is also possible to order spaghetti and pasta; pizzas; vegetable burgers and chips and fried rice.

After the meal, the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards, people might stay in the dining room chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day, most people head to their rooms quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar to today!

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. There are always meals that are suitable for vegetarians. During booking, we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.

9. Personal Expenses – Approximate money you should carry on the trek

Our 14 days Gokyo Valley Trek cost is all inclusive of your accommodation, meals, permits and other official expenses.(See price includes and excludes section for more detail). Besides, other expenses depend on your spending habits. A USD 10-15 is sufficient to buy bottled water, snacks, chocolate bars, hot and cold drinks, and showers during the trek besides your included meals and accommodation.

10. Money Exchange

You can exchange money at a Bank or the money exchange counter in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. For Trekking, there are Banks and exchange counters at major Tourist hubs like Namche and Lukla. These days, there are availability of ATMs everywhere in Kathmandu and some in Lukla and Namche.

11. Tips

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your trekking in Nepal. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips. It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.

12. Facility of communication available on trek

Communication during Gokyo Valley Trek is not challenging but there are certain things to be considered. For using internet, Wifi service is available in lower altitudes. You have to pay extra charge for this service about $5 (per stay) up to Namche though you can’t be really sure about signal strength. Beyond Namche, teahouses normally don’t have WiFi facility. A better option is to use Everest Link network which works throughout the region. It has better connectivity and faster speed. You can buy the data package at approximately $10 (1GB) and $5 (512 MB) valid for 30 days. You can also use local service provider (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).

13. Flight / Land Transfers

The starting and ending point of this Gokyo Valley Trek is Lukla, which is connected by a 30 mins’ flight from Kathmandu. We will arrange flight and airport pick up and drop transfers as per the itinerary.

14. Luggage while trekking

During Everest trekking, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs for flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel's safekeeping.

15. Trekking Gears and Equipments

You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

16. Climate & best time to do the trek

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. At the highest altitudes although the days can be nice and sunny the temperatures can drop to 10ºC and much lower. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as minus 10ºC and lower at the highest altitudes.

Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. Summit day will be a very early start (usually about 2am) and will be extremely cold. Although mostly it is calm and clear on summit day the mountain does occasionally get high winds. You need to be equipped for temperatures as low as minus 25ºC plus wind chill on summit day.

Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

17. First Aid Kit

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

18. Rescue /Evacuation

Your safety and security are our top priority, and we always make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.

19. Insurance

Before joining this Everest Trekking, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.

20. All our guides are certified guides

All our guides are certified and trained trekking leaders. Our guides are certified by the Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM), Nepal. They have years of experience working in this line of work and know the different trekking trails of Nepal, mountain ranges, culture, and mountain sickness.

21. Booking Procedure

Your booking of this Gokyo Valley Trek will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of 20% of the total trip and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

22. Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply:

  • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (20% of the total trip)
  • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost
  • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost
  • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

Additional Information