Nepal – Everest Circuit (Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass)
The Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas and is visited by thousands of trekkers each year. The trek has become a trekking destination goal for people from all walks of life who want a glimpse of the world’s highest peak.
For those with more time and stamina to spare, it is well worth to include Gokyo Lakes, Cho La Pass and Everest Base Camp for a Everest Circuit Trek. This circular trek combines all the significant places in the Everest region into one trek. It covers the classic close-up views of Everest from Kalapathar, the exciting thrill of stepping foot on Everest Base Camp, the awesome experience to reach the world’s highest freshwater lakes - Gokyo Lakes, the rewarding ascent of Gokyo Ri (5357m) for a superb panoramic view of the Himalayas and the highlight of crossing a 5000m pass - Cho La Pass.
The pristine blue and green Gokyo Lakes is one of the Himalayas' most magnificent sight. They formed the world’s highest freshwater lake system at around 5000m. There are 6 main lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the largest. A trek to the lakes often include an ascent to Gokyo Ri (5357m) where the panoramic view of the Himalayas, including Mt Everest and the lakes can be seen.
Cho La Pass
Cho La Pass located at 5420m is the "bridge" between Gokyo Valley and Khumbu Valley. It connects the village of Dzongla (4830m) to the east and the village of Thagnak (4700m) to the west. Crossing the pass is a highlight, at the same time, one of the most physically demanding section of the Everest Circuit Trek.
About The Trek
The Everest Circuit Trek starts with a flight to Lukla. You will slowly trek up to Namche Bazaar, the unofficial Sherpa capital in the Everest region. Namche Bazzar with its diverse and colorful mix of people, Sherpa museum, monastery and busy market stalls full of local products and Tibetan artifacts is a bustling town at 3500m. Leaving the popular Everest Base Camp trails behind from Namche Bazzar, you will trek up the serene Gokyo Valley, passing 3 breathtakingly beautiful blue glacial lakes set among glistening, snow-capped peaks. At Gokyo Valley, you will have a chance to ascend Gokyo Ri in the crisp early sunrise for an incredible, awe-inspiring 360 degree view of many of the world’s highest peaks – Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Nupste and Makalu and the massive Nagozumpa glacier (the longest glacier in Nepal). After exploring the Gokyo Valley, cross the challenging Cho La Pass to Khumbu Valley to head to Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar. The pass will bring you from snowfields into a broad secluded valley. After exploring Kalapathar and Everest Base Camp,you will start the descend through Pheriche, Pangboche (traditional Sherpa villages) and Thyangboche (Buddhist monastery) to end the Everest Circuit Trek.
There are four main seasons in Nepal. The best seasons to visit Nepal are spring, autumn and winter. Trekkers can trek from March to early June in spring. The next trekking season starts in mid-September and goes up till March. During this period, the visibility is good and it does not rain usually. You can get excellent views of landscapes and mountain ranges in this season. After November the temperature in higher altitudes becomes very low and snowfall starts
Autumn (September to November): Autumn season is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. It offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.
Winter (December - February): Winter is when snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas is a common occurrence. Though it gets colder in night, it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail. However, not all treks are suitable to be done in winter especially those involving climbing and crossing high passes.
Spring (March - May): Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside a wild flowers paradise during the spring season. The temperature is warmer as compared to autumn and winter.
You should have above 4000m high altitude trekking experiences. The Everest Circuit Trek is highly demanding on fitness and endurance. You will be trekking at above 4000m for long hours for most of the days and Cho La Pass is a tough pass to cross.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the teahouse and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- Group size: 4 - 12 people
- You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Itinerary||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Kathmandu.||-/-/-||1330m|
|Day 2||Half day city tour. Trek briefing & preparation. Welcome dinner.||B/-/D||1330m|
|Day 3||Flight to Lukla. Trek to Phakding.||B/L/D||2600m|
|Day 4-5||Trek to Namche Bazaar. Acclimatisation & rest day in Namche Bazaar||B/L/D||3440m|
|Day 6||Trek to Kumjung.||B/L/D||3970m|
|Day 7-10||For the next few days, trek to Gokyo Valley where the magnificent views of Cho Oyu is in full sight and climb to the top of Gokyo Ri for the stunning views of Mt. Everest and the pristine Gokyo Lakes.||B/L/D||4790m|
|Day 11||Trek on the moraines of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Thangna.||B/L/D||4700m|
|Day 12-13||Cross the challenging Chola Pass and trek to Lobuche.||B/L/D||Dzonglha - 4830m|
Lobuche - 4940m
|Day 14-15||Trek to Gorak Shep and spend the next 2 days on excursions to Kala Pathar and Everest Base Camp||B/L/D||Gorak Shep - 5140m|
|Day 16-18||Descend to Lukla via Pheriche and Thyangboche.||B/L/D||Pheriche - 4200m|
Thyangboche - 3860m
Lukla - 2840m
|Day 19||Lukla to Kathmandu.||B/-/-||1330m|
|Day 20||Contingency day. Free & easy in Kathmandu if not used.||B/L/D. (Only breakfast in hotel is included in Kathmandu if contingency day is not used on trek)||1330m|
|Day 21||Depart Kathmandu. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )||B/-/-|
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.