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Gokyo Lake

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Group Size: 2+
  • Grade: moderate
  • Max Altitude: 5357
  • Starting Point: Kathmandu
  • Ending Point: Kathmandu
  • Accommodation: Teahouses
  • Meals: Included
  • Traspotation: N/A

Gokyo Lake gives an alternative to the traditional Everest base camp. Gokyo Lake Trek also starts from Lukla after a 40 minute mountain flight from Kathmandu following the Dudh Koshi River towards Namche, the gateway of Khumbu region. After Namche you branch off from the main busy trail towards the sleepy village of Phortse Tenga and finally reach to our ultimate destination Gokyo Lake passing through the villages of Dole and Machhermo. Climbing Gokyo Ri (5357m) close to Gokyo Lake offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest and another three 8000 metre peaks (Mt. Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu). From here you can also see the largest glacier in Nepal called Ngozumpa and the tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang (7922m). This is one of the most dramatic panoramas of Gokyo Lake Trek.

Day 01 – Kathmandu to Lukla [2,800 m/9,184 ft] to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft): 3 to 4 hrs
Day 02 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
Day 03 – Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
Day 04 – Namche Bazaar to Phorse Village [3810 m/ 12,496 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
Day 05 – Phorse Village to Machhermo [4,470 m/ 14,663 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
Day 06 – Machharmo to Gokyo [4800 m/15,744 ft]: 5 to 6 hours
Day 07 – Gokyo Valley: Climb Gokyo Ri [5357 m/17,570 ft] and hike to Fifth lake: 5 to 6 hrs
Day 08 – Gokyo to Dole: 3 to 4 hrs
Day 09 –Dole to Namche: 4 to 5 hrs
Day 10 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6 to 8 hrs
Day 11 – Fly back to Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: From Kathmandu fly to Lukla [2,800 m/9,184 ft] then trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft): 3 to 4 hrs
After breakfast, we will depart from the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), the gateway destination where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we will start our trek through the village of Lukla to Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if you are interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery.
Overnight at Phakding.
Included meals: Lunch, Dinner.
Day 02: Phakding to Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
After breakfast we have a delightful walk with a few short uphill and downhill sections and multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River with magnificent views of Mt. Thamserku from the Benkar village (6,608m/21,675ft). We cross several bridges and reach the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits will be checked. A descent and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village before Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb up towards Namche Bazzar, magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache and many other fabulous mountains greet us. We break at the Chautara to admire the view before finallyreaching the colorful village of Namche Bazaar, the main gateway of the Khumbu region.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 03: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
This is the first of the two days set aside for acclimatizing. Health experts recommend us to stay active during the rest day. We either spend the day taking a short hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazaar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize and hold us in good stead for days to come. We can visit the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung and climb up to famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese project to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, it hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also pay a visit to the Hillary School at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazaar.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 04: Namche Bazzar to Phorse Village [3810 m/ 12,496 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few a few ascents and descents overlooking magnificent views of the great Himalaya. Along the way, we have the opportunity to see many species of wild life including; pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down until we reach Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. We trek up through Mongla pass (3975 m) where we glimpse Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Tawoche and Mt. Khumbila. Sherpas regard Mt. Khumbila as sacred mountain of the god of the Khumbu area. Descending to Dudhkosi Khola (3250 m), we cross a bridge and again trek up through the rhododendron forest, home to Himalayan wild deer and musk deer. Finally, we arrive to the walled fields of Phorse, which is just beneath the snow dusted peaks of Tawoche and Cholaste. From here, a short trek leads to Phorse village.
Overnight in Phorse village.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 05: Phorse Village to Machhermo [4,470 m/ 14,663 ft]: 5 to 6 hrs
We retrace our steps from the previous day's trail back up to Phorse. After crossing the bridge on the Dudh Koshi river, we may be lucky enough to spot more wild life like pheasants, mountain goats and the elusive musk deer. Through forests, some waterfalls and bridges, we reach Dole; a small place with a few teahouses. Then we climb steadily up through a scenic ridge above Dole and the trail climbs via Lhabarma. Offering us good views of Cho-Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku the trail takes us through many summer settlements and the charming hamlet of Luza (4360 m). While ascending from Luza, we will be at the Dudh Koshi valley. Walking along the hill side above thundering Dudh Koshi river, passing through some small hamlets and sandy spurs, we reach Machhermo. Machhermo is the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo. The beautiful stream flowing down from the Kyajo Ri and Phari Lapche mountains runs through the middle of village before draining into the Dudh Koshi. It is the place where Khumbu people first sighted the elusive Yeti in 1974. We visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a short lecture regarding the altitude sickness, its prevention and primary treatment.
Overnight in Machhermo.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 06: Machharmo to Gokyo [4800 m/15,744 ft]: 5 to 6 hours
Today we climb through the Chorten ridge where we can see fabulous views of both down the valley and of the Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and northern part to the Cho-Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Pangka (4480m). We descend to the river bank before beginning to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine and after crossing an iron bridge over a stream, the trial levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m. At this juncture, we get the chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. At the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Just beyond the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain is a backdrop that sets an amazing and spectacular sight. After lunch, we explore around the third Lake, Dudh Pokhari. We spend night in a teahouse with comfortable bedrooms.
Overnight at Gokyo.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 07: Gokyo Valley: Climb Gokyo Ri [5357 m/17,570 ft] to Fifth Lakes: 5 to 6 hrs
Today is an acclimatization day. If the weather is good, we take the opportunity to climb Gokyo Ri today instead of next day to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of Everest Region.  Gokyo is not only popular for its amazing view but also for the six lakes which it hosts. We don't want to miss the chance to see the fourth lake (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with high cliffs and peaks rising above it. The trail continues to the fifth lake where we can climb a hill at the edge of the Lakes to get astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. We can see a lot more from here at a place called Scoundrel's Viewpoint. Beyond the fifth Lake is the Cho-Oyu Base Camp and the northern part of the fifth lake provides fabulous views of Cho-Oyu Base Camp and the biggest glacier of the world - the Ngazumpa glacier. We may even try to go to the sixth and final lake, but that depends on our time.
Overnight at Gokyo.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 08: Gokyo to Dole: 3 to 4 hrs
The way back from Gokyo is an easy downhill walk along the Dudh Koshi River that emerges out of the Ngozumpa Glacier. Passing by the second and then the first Gokyo Lakes, we come to a small gushing stream and cross over an iron bridge. We will see the hamlet of Phangka ahead and Cholatse and Taboche peaks rear up on the right of us. The trail descends below Phangka, and across a level terrace on the slope to climb a ridge on the far side of the hill side. Upon reaching the Chorten we have great views of Thamserku , Cho Oyu, and Kangtega. We slowly walk down to the sprawling village of Machhermo. After walking again through the charming hamlets of Luza and Lhafarma we reach Dole.
Overnight at Dole.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 09: Dole to Namche: 4 to 5 hrs
Taking one last look back at the Cho-Oyu range, we start our steep descent to Phortse Tenga. Our hike today is mostly downhill. The most outstanding feature of the trail is the abundance of plant and animal vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons and we may also get the chance once again to spot native fauna like mountain goats, musk deer, pheasants, etc. Waterfalls are also today`s attraction, upon reaching MongLa, we will be greeted by a lovely place perched on the spur of Mt. Khumbila. We take revised look at Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kangtega and a distant view of Tengboche. After a long walk, we reach an intersection where the steep path up from Sanasa that meets our trail. Now the trail to Namche clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. Upon coming to 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. We can take a hot shower and let our tired muscles rest in one of the comfortable lodges of Namche.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 10: Namche Bazaar to Lukla: 6 to 8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly as our shaky legs battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. By today, we start to get warmed up by the light breeze as we pass through the charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we have completely different views. We will see a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests and in the distance, snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages' taking in the impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag. On arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with a smile!
Overnight in Lukla.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 11: Fly back to Kathmandu
Today we fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey and we will take an early morning flight, as the weather late in the day can affect flight departure. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel and spend a leisurely afternoon, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and in the evening celebrate dinner together with Epic Adventure Nepal staff.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

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