- Explore Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal.
- Avoid the crowds of the classic EBC route, but enjoy a great selection of views.
- Climb Gokyo Ri (5,357 m) for a spectacular view of Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Yu.
- Enjoy the 360° panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks from the summit of Gokyo Ri.
- Explore the traditional Sherpa villages along the route and learn more about their unique culture.
- Visit Buddhist monasteries along the way.
Gokyo Lakes Trek is the most attractive trek that encompasses the Gokyo lakes and Gokyo Ri. This Gokyo Lakes Trek is an alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek, while it still provides the trekker with plenty of stunning views. Gokyo Ri(5357m) is at the same altitude as the Everest Base Camp and offers one of the most magnificent views of Everest, other Himalayan peaks, and the Ngozumpa Glacier. The Gokyo Lakes Trek route is less busy but still provides the trekker an insight into local village life, impressive mountain views, and of course, the dazzling turquoise waters of Gokyo Lakes. This Gokyo Lakes Trek is suitable for those willing to experience the magnificence of the Himalayas without taking the physical stress of reaching the Everest Base Camp.
This Gokyo Lakes Trek is an opportunity to witness the highland Himalayas and the high-altitude lakes together. The Gokyo lakes consist of six lakes, located at an altitude of 5000m, in the Gokyo valley, within the Sagarmatha National Park. These lakes are one of the highest freshwater lake systems in the world. Despite the dazzling turquoise lakes surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Gokyo Lakes Trek attracts fewer people. The Gokyo Lakes Trek is quieter, with fewer trekkers than the Everest Base Camp Trek. It also offers a variety of scenery and four peaks above 8000m from Gokyo Ri(Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu). Gokyo Lakes trek also combines nature with culture. We can also see the diverse culture of the Sherpa people of the Everest region.
Technically the Gokyo Lakes Trek starts with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. We then follow the Dudh Koshi valley towards Phakding and Namche Bazaar. The trail follows the traditional Everest Base Camp route until Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar has a good atmosphere, perfect for soaking up the beautiful mountain views. We spend two nights in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization before advancing further. From Namche, the trail goes past Hilltop, Dole, and Machermo and reaches Gokyo along the Ngozumba Glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal. After exploring the Gokyo valley, we descend to Dole, Namche Bazar, and Lukla and fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at the airport, meet our representative/guide and transfer to the hotel. As there are no activities for today, you may enjoy the evening at leisure or take a self-guided tour to familiarize yourself with the city. In the evening, dinner at a traditional Nepali Restaurant. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 2: In Kathmandu
Today in the first half of the day, we will visit some of the major UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Including the Swayambhunath temple, the oldest Buddhist monument in the valley, and Boudhanath, the largest Stupa in Nepal. Next, we will drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square, situated at the heart of Kathmandu, full of ancient history, culture, and architecture. We will spend the latter part of the day planning and preparing for the trek. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 3: Fly to Lukla - Trek to Phakding(2610m/9km/4hrs)
Early morning, we will take a 30-minute flight to Lukla Airport - also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport. The flight offers a stunning view of some of the highest peaks on earth. On arrival, we will gather our gear and begin our trek for about 3 hours to Phakding. Overnight stay in Phakding.
Day 4: Trek to Namche Bazaar(3440m/8kms/5-6 hrs)
Today, we will trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar. The trail from Phakding to Jorsalle is nice and easy. But the trek from Jorsalle to Namche is mostly uphill. We will follow the route north along the Dudh Koshi River up the valley of Bengkar. We then cross the Dudh Koshi River and continue to Monjo. Monjo serves as the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park. After crossing the suspension bridge, our trail winds past Jorsalle alongside the Dudh Koshi river. Continue up the wooded valley on a good path and cross the river again before reaching the confluence of rivers. We make a final crossing on a tremendously impressive suspension bridge spanning a deep chasm and begin an hour-and-a-half-long ascent to Namche. An hour below Namche, near Chautara, we gain views of Everest. Eventually, after about 6hrs hike, we pull into Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital. The narrow streets at its center are a mixture of cyber cafes and souvenir shops. Similarly, Namche is a bustling market where goods come as far away as Tibet. Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar.
Day 5: In Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is the center of the Sherpa Community and the most vibrant town in the Himalayas. This day is for acclimatization and altitude adaptation. There are several options for how you wish to spend the day. We will take a short hike up to Everest View Hotel past Syangboche airstrip and continue to Khumjung, the largest Sherpa village in the Everest region. The Everest view hotel provides excellent views of Thamserku, Everest, Lhotse, Kongde, Kangtega, Ama Dablam, and Tawoche. Later in the afternoon, we descend to Namche from Khumjung. Overnight stay in Namche.
Day 6: Namche Bazaar-Dole(4038m/5-6hrs)
After spending two nights in Namche, today we walk from Namche to Dole. The trail from Namche to Kyanjuma is nice and easy but from Kyanjuma to Mongla is steep uphill. We cross over the Mong La, hike downhill to Phortse Tenga and climb up to Dole. Overnight stay in Dole.
Day 7: Dole-Machhermo(4470m/4-5hrs)
Today we hike alongside the Dudh Koshi river to Machhermo. The trail is straightforward, with a gentle climb, past the village of Labarma and Luza. Machhermo is a summer pastoral village of the Sherpa people and an overnight stop for trekkers to the Gokyo valley. Overnight stay in Machhermo.
Day 8: Machhermo-Gokyo(4790m/7kms/4-5hrs)
After we climb out of Machhermo, it is a long and gradual climb through the open country to Gokyo. The higher we climb, the terrain gets rockier and drier, but the views are excellent. We encounter the first lake, the second lake, and we reach the third lake. Gokyo village stands by the third lake, with Gokyo peak towering at the backdrop. Overnight stay in Gokyo.
Day 9: Gokyo Ri and Gokyo lakes
This morning, we will hike up to Gokyo Ri (5330m) for the best view of Mt. Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Nuptse, and many other mountains with a nice view of Gokyo Valley. After that, walk back to Gokyo Lake. In the afternoon, you may walk around the 4th or 5th Lakes for another close view of the mountains. Overnight stay in Gokyo.
Day 10. Gokyo to Dole(12km/5-6hrs)
After breakfast, we shall retrace our hike back to Machhermo and descend to Dole overnight. Overnight stay in Dole.
Day 11. Dole to Namche(12km/5-6hrs)
Today’s hike is mostly downhill towards the Dudh Koshi, past several villages with views of Thamserku, Amadablam, Lhotse, and Mt. Everest. Overnight stay in Namche.
Day 12. Namche to Lukla
We descend the same trial we have taken earlier and arrive at Lukla. The rest of the time is free. Overnight stay in Lukla.
Day 13. Fly to Kathmandu
Take the early morning flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest and relax. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 14. Extra day in Kathmandu
Today we have a free day in Kathmandu. (Flights from Lukla often get canceled due to unpredictable mountain weather. Therefore, we have planned for this extra contingent day). Overnight Stay in Kathmandu.
Day 15. Departure
Departure transfer to the airport according to your flight to your next destination.
MealsOnly breakfast in Kathmandu, while three standard meals during the trek
Trip Accommodation3-4* category hotels in Kathmandu and basic village lodge/guest house during the trek
Trip Type Trekking
Trip SeasonsBest during the spring and fall
Best MonthsMarch, April, May, June, September, October, November
Lean MonthsFebruary, July, August
Not RecommendJanuary, December
Prices & Dates
- All airport and hotel transfers by private vehicle.
- One full day of sightseeing with an entrance fee accompanied by a local guide.
- Accommodation in the above listed or similar(3-4*) hotels in Kathmandu and local village lodges during the trek.
- Only breakfast during the stay in Kathmandu with one welcome/farewell dinner.
- All meals with one tea/coffee during the trek.
- English-speaking local guide along with a porter(one porter for every two members).
- Guide, porter, and trekking staff insurance.
- Round trip domestic flight to and from Lukla.
- All necessary paperwork and permit (TIMS/ Everest National Park permit)
- Free hire of duffel bags, water bottles, and trekking poles.
- All Government taxes and service charges.
- Nepal entry visa.
- International flight to and from Kathmandu.
- Lunch and dinner or any other meal not specified above.
- Personal Travel Medical Insurance.
- Personal expenses: bar, beverages, tips and gratuities, laundry, telephone, and battery recharge.
- Hot showers during the trek.
- Any extra cost incurred due to changing the itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances or early return from the trip.
- All other expenses that are not listed in the included section.
Hem Raj Bastola is a permanent inhabitant of Pokhara-25. He has been working as a tour and trekking guide since 2010. Formerly he has worked as a guest service agent at the hotel Pokara Grande. He started his career as a Cave guide, ticket sales man at Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave in Pokhara. So must of his working experience is related to tourism and hospitality industry. Beside his guiding profession, he enjoys reading and writing poetry. His poets have been published in different forums and medias. When get free time loves to work in the field as well.