Nepal – Gokyo Lakes Trek
The pristine blue and green Gokyo Lakes (4800m) are one of the Himalayas' most magnificent sight. They formed the world’s highest freshwater lake system at slightly below 5000m. There are 6 main lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the largest. The spectacular trek through the less trodden Gokyo Valley to the lakes is perfect for those who wish to avoid the crowd on the classic Everest Base Camp Trek and still gain stunning views of Mt Everest. 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.
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.
About The Trek
Our Gokyo Lakes Trek is a circuit trek that will bring you to Gokyo Valley and Bhote Koshi Valley with Renjo Pass crossing and a climb up to Gokyo Ri. Both Renjo Pass and Gokyo Ri offer one of the best view points of some of the most majestic 8000m peaks (Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu and Mt Everest) in the Everest region.
The trek starts with a flight to Lukla, followed by a trek on the classic Everest Base Camp's trail up to Namche Bazaar (3440m). Namche Bazaar is 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 trail behind from Namche Bazzar, continue to trek up to the serene Gokyo Valley, passing Khumjung (3780m), Dole (4040m) and Machhermo (4410m). At Gokyo Valley, you will have a chance to ascend Gokyo Ri (5483m) 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 Gokyo Valley, we head to Lungden crossing Rinjo La. Rinjo-La, which links the stunning Gokyo Valley to remote Bhote Koshi Valley, offers another magnificent view point of the towering 8000m Himalayan peaks. For the descend of the trek, head down to Thame, a small Sherpa village near the border of Tibet, then to Namche Bazaar. From Namche Bazaar, retrace the classic Everest Base Camp's trail back to Lukla to end the Gokyo Lakes 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 trekking experience. You will be trekking from 2800m to above 5000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for multiple days. Days are filled with long hours of walking, going up and down the mountain route, through villages and cross many swinging bridges. You will also be crossing the rugged high pass of Renjo La (5388m) and climbing up a 5000m peak - Gokyo Ri (5483m).
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
- You can also form a private group. 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 6-8||For the next 3 days, trek to Gokyo Valley via Khumjung, Dole and Machhermo||B/L/D||Khumjung - 3780m
Dole - 4040m
Machhermo - 4410m
|Day 9||Gokyo Valley||B/L/D||4754m|
|Day 10||Morning climb to Gokyo Ri (5483m). Trek back to Dole||B/L/D||4040m|
|Day 11||Trek to Lungden crossing Rinjo La (5388m)||B/L/D||4380m|
|Day 12-13||For the next 2 days, descend to Namche Bazaar on a different route via Thame||B/L/D||Thame - 3750m
Namche Bazaar - 3440m
|Day 14-15||Retrace back to Lukla via Phakding||B/L/D||Phakding - 2600m
Lukla - 2800m
|Day 16-17||Lukla to Kathmandu. Contingency day.||B/L/D. (Only breakfast in hotel is included in Kathmandu if contingency day is not used on trek)||1330m|
|Day 18||Depart Kathmandu.||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 four 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.