Nepal’s biggest glacier and an arc of snow mountains, the Gokyo valley is the most attractive in the Khumbu Region. Our Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is an alternative to classical treks in Khumbu that has been specially designed for travelers who are eager to experience the magnificence of the Everest range, while avoiding too much mental and physical stress. The view from Gokyo is exceptionally beautiful and offers more of the legendary mountain than the views from Kalapattar.
The trail of this trek follows the Everest Base camp route up to Sanasa, and then the follows Dudh Koshi River to its source, Ngozumpa Glacier. After a brief sightseeing in Kathmandu, we fly to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), from where we will proceed to Phakding. The next and more scenic day will be spent trekking up to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft). The subsequent days we will pass through Phortse Village and Machhermo where the mountains are more spectacular. Passing through these villages, we also get a chance to have a look at the lifestyles of high altitude dwellers. We reach Gokyo enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Ngozumba Glacier, the largest of its kind in the Nepal Himalayas. The small herding settlement of Gokyo (4,750m/15,584ft) lies on the banks of the third lake in a series of small turquoise mountain lakes. On ridge above Gokyo the four peaks above 8,000m (26,246ft), Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu, expose themselves. If that is not enough have a look at the tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung (7,922m/25,991ft), considered one of the most dramatic panoramas in the Khumbu region. There are many options for additional exploration and high-altitude walking, including the crossing of Cho La, a 5,420m (17,782ft)-high pass into Khumbu and a hike to Gokyo Ri (5357m/19,216ft). The descent is made through Dole to Lukla to resume a fly back to Kathmandu.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Friendship World Trek. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu [1300 m/4264 ft]
Upon our arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, we will be warmly greeted by a representative from Friendship World Trek. After completion of our custom formalities (Visa, etc), we pick up our luggage and look for our representative with Friendship World Trek display board at the arrival gate. We will be then escorted to Hotel. After check in, where we meet with our trekking guides or hangs around the city. At the evening upon our reception, Friendship World Trek will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where we enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. Included meal: Dinner (D)
Note: B refers to Breakfast, L refers to Lunch and D refers to Dinner
Day 02: Kathmandu [1300 m/4264 ft]: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. At the noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Friendship World Trek briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Over night at Kathmandu. Included meal: Breakfast (B)
Day 03: Kathmandu – Lukla [2,800 m/9,184 ft] – Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft): 3 – 4 hrs
After breakfast, we will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking green and white 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 start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight at Phakding. (B,L,D)
Day 04: Phakding – Namche Bazaar [3,440 m/11,283 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs
Upon breakfast, we start our pleasant trek. The walk today will be delightful with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers. A descend and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until 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. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazzar. (B,L,D)
Day 05: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
This is the first of the two days set aside for “acclimatization”. Health experts recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day’s hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar 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. Our guides take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter 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 also climb up to famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese scheme 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, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also pay our visit to Hillary School which is located at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
Day 06: Namche Bazzar – Phorse Village-[3810 m/ 12,496 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way, we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. We trek gradual goes up through Mongla pass (3975 m) from where we glimpse Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Tawoche and Mt. Khumbila. Sherpas regard Mt. Khumbila as sacred mountain of the patron god of the Khumbu area. Descending to Dudhkosi Khola (3250 m), we cross a bridge and again trek up through the rhododendron forest, a host for Himalayan wild deer and musk deer. Finally, we arrive to the walled fields of Phorse. Phorse is just under the snow dusted peaks of Tawoche and Cholaste. From here, a short trek leads to Phorse village where we rest overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 07: Phorse Village – Machhermo-[4,470 m/ 14,663 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs
We return back the last day’s trail up to Phorse. Upon crossing the bridge on the Dudh Koshi rive, we spot wild lives like pheasants, mountain goats, and the elusive musk deer. Through forests, some waterfalls and bridges, we reach Dole; a small place with few teahouses. Further, 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 a 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 Dudkoshi, passing through some small hamlets and through 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 got first sighting of Yeti in 1974. We visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a lecture regarding the altitude sickness, its precaution, and primary treatment. Overnight in Machhermo (B,L,D)
Day 08: Machharmo – Gokyo [4800 m/15,744 ft]: 5 – 6 hours
Today, we climb through a ridge Chorten from where we can see fabulous view 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) after some gentle walk. Phangka is the palace where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. 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. Upon crossing an iron bridge over an stream, the trial levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m. At this juncture, we get chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Little ahead of 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 as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here. After lunch, we explore around the third Lakes, Dudh Pokhari. We spend night in a teahouse with comfortable bedrooms. Overnight at Gokyo. (B,L,D).
Day 09: Gokyo Valley: Climb Gokyo Ri [5357 m/17,570 ft] and hike to fifth lakes: 5 – 6 hrs
Today is an acclimatization day but we know we should not stay idle. If the weather is good, we grasp the opportunity to climb Gokyo Ri today instead of next day to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of Everest Region. Or, as we know Gokyo is not only popular for its grand view but also for the six lakes which it hosts. Definitely we would not miss the chance to observe the fourth lake (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it. The trail continues to fifth lake. If interested, we climb on 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 – the spot is called Scoundrel’s Viewpoint. Beyond the fifth Lakes is the Cho Oyu Base Camp. Northern part of the fifth lake provides fabulous views of Cho-Oyu Base Camp and biggest glacier of the world- the Ngazumpa glacier. Moved by the charm, we may even try to go sixth lake too but depends upon our own interest and time. Back to Gokyo village. Overnight at Gokyo (B,L,D)
Day 10: Gokyo to Dole: 3 – 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 over an iron bridge. We see the hamlet of Phangka ahead. 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 rib on the far side of the hill side. Upon reaching the Chorten at the edge, we see great views of Thamserku , Cho Oyu, and Kangtega. We slowly walk down to sprawling village of Machhermo. Again, through the charming hamlet of Luza and Lhafarma we reach Dole. Overnight at Dole. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Dole – Namche: 4 – 5 hrs
Taking last inspection back to Cho Oyu range, we start steep descent to Phortse Tenga. Our hike today is mostly down hills. The most outstanding feature of the trail is the abundance of plant and animal vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons. We might spot faunas like mountain goats, musk deers, pheasants, etc. Waterfalls are also today`s attraction. Upon reaching MongLa, we woll be greeted by a very wonderfully located 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 bit of long distance walk, we reach an intersection where the steep path up from Sanasa meets our trail. Now, 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 take hot shower and let rest our tired muscles at a comfortable lodge in Namche. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Namche Bazaar – Lukla: 6 – 8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly as our shaky legs continuously 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. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today as we pass through this charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing 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 smile! Overnight in Lukla (B,L,D)
Day 13: Fly back to Kathmandu
Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning because wind can create problem to fly the aircraft in the afternoon. But sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reasons that are beyond our control. We fly back to Kathmandu after long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu. We can rest and relax throughout the day in our hotel. If get interested to take some gifts home from Nepal, we can visit to some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods. It can be assisted by Friendship World Trek guides or we can do it ourselves too. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we have to manage time for that too! At the evening, we will be at a fantastic celebration dinner together for successful completion of our trek! Overnight in Kathmandu. (B,D)
Day 14: Farewell Friend
The journey within the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but we just trade emails to travel companions and organize our photos. If we have more time we can do some shopping or sightseeing. At last approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight, a representative from Friendship World Trek escorts us to the airport. On our way to home we will have plenty of time to plan our next adventure trip in the wonderful country of Nepal. (B)
In the Above Cost It Includes:
1. Airport Pick-up and Drop Off with Private Transportation.
2. Licensed and trained trekking guides,
- Meal on full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea & coffee) basis during the trek
- Potters for carrying goods and supplies,
5. Flight Ticket Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu
- All accommodation during the trek.
7. Transportation to and from trail head by Private Transport
8. All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
9. National Park/Conservation Area entry Permit, Insurance,
10. Coordination of quick Rescue service (Costs covered by your Insurance Plan)
11. Trekking staffs wages etc.
12. Welcome Dinner in a Nepali Cultural Restaurant.
13. Trekking Certificate, T-shirt from Friendship World Treks
- 1 Hr. Trekking massage after your trek in Good massage therapy.
- 3 Nights Hotel in Kathmandu with Bed and Breakfast, in 3 star Hotel in Kathmandu. (Sharing Basis)
- Flight ticket for Guide.
- Sleeping Bag and Down Jacket in Hiring for trekking should be return back after trek finish.( Extra cost)
- 1 Duffle bag for your trekking, between two people.
Services and Cost Does not Included in Price:
1. International Airfares,
2. Travel/Trekking Insurance,
3. Excess baggage charges More than 16kg and hand bag more than 5 kg in
4. Visa fees.
5. Airport Departure Taxes.
6. Drinks (Cold and Alcoholic) Rescue charge.
7. Tips for The staffs.
8. Expenses of Personnel nature and Permit and Liaison officer fee (where Applicable.
9. Meals during stay in the Kathmandu and Meals in the Trekking.
10. Extra Hotel in Kathmandu.
- Extra other activities done after the trek.
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits either at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We will do our best to avoid such delays, and arrange the next flight for you. We also organize Helicopter rescue in such conditions, if it is available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 5500 and it can lift 4-5 persons per flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellations, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. If everything runs smoothly and you still have a few days of your buffer days left then you may even engage yourself in optional activities which can be arranged by Friendship World Trek upon request. The optional activities may include visiting places/landmarks of your choice, adventure sports, shopping, etc.
In case the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip such as a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other region. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for your original preferred trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However, please note that there will be no refund, if you lose time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do a short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancellation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses. Please also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc.) included in the package that you would not use later.
Health and Experience Requirements
Friendship World Trek’s Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is a moderate trek suitable for passionate walkers who have the ability to walk at least 4-7 hours a day with a light rucksack. In some days we might even need to walk 8 to 9 hours. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if we are in excellent health with average physical fitness, have a positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, we can accomplish the trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is good idea to enhance our strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. It is vital that we consult with our doctor before we decide and set up for the Everest Base camp trek. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should inform Friendship World Trek before booking the trek.
It is a condition upon joining any of Friendship World Trek trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don’t arrange or sell insurance.
Friendship World Trek ‘Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek’ itinerary is planned with a high degree of awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up at higher altitudes too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to result in death. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen will be in the air. For example, at an altitude above of 5000m, there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level. Therefore, our body needs many days to adapt to an environment with less oxygen. Our itineraries generally allow sufficient time to acclimatize. So, for a safe trek, it is absolutely essential to allow sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS. Friendship World Trek advises guest(s) with known heart, lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders are symptoms of AMS. Check out “Altitude illness” by Dr Jim Duff. Friendship World Trek itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS as much as possible. But it is important to remember that some visitors are more vulnerable than others.
Leader(s) and Staff Arrangements
The most significant thing that makes our Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trek will be led by the best and most professional leaders. All of Friendship World Trek trekking leaders are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities, Friendship World Trek only employs local staff who have adequate knowledge about culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of their local region/s. The trek and expedition leaders have undergone the following trainings:
Friendship World Trek is firmly committed to porter rights. We make sure that all our porters are well treated and well paid. Further, Friendship World Trek provides the level of shelter, clothing and footwear that these harsh environments demand. Porters who become sick are treated with the same care and attention as other team members. We have previously used helicopters at company’s expense to rescue porters from dangerous situations. And for the porter’s sake, all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight under 15kgs/33 pounds. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), making our resources available to them to help improve the working conditions of the porters.
The Everest region is stunningly beautiful, but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do. Hence, the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. Friendship World Trek employs a ‘zero impact’ policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live at the travelled places. We enforce a number of do’s and don’ts. We also work alongside KEEP in order to maintain our environmental concerns. Please click here to find out more about the clean-up campaigns and environmental awareness events that Friendship World Trek supports.
Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Gokyo Lakes Explore Trek. The weather is sunny and warm with outstanding views. But the nights are cold and can fall to freezing level in higher elevations. Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also good for Everest Base Camp Trek, only issue is cold (obviously). Trekking in Summer or Monsoon(June, July) will be affected by rain but Summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during Spring and Autumn. But during Monsoon and Winter the routes are not packed and visitors could enjoy rather best of nature.
The Trekking Group
For the Everest Base Camp Luxury Lodge trek,there will be one leader, assistant leader (4 trekkers:1 assistant guide) and Sherpa porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers:1 porter). This arrangement ensures that any body in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. Friendship World Trek can run the Everest Base Camp trek for group of any size. But generally it will be better to have a maximum of twelve people, as we have found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if we would like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, Friendship World Trek can arrange this too.
All accommodations for Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek are on twin sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. We spend three nights in a 4-star hotel in Kathmandu and during trekking we stay 10 nights in standard teahouse or at lodge or hotel in which there are unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses. Friendship World Trek provides attached rooms as much as possible, however tea houses or lodges of some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. If we are a solo traveler, we will share a room with someone else of same sex of our group. If we prefer a single room, then we may indicate our preference and get single rooms on request by paying single supplement USD 250. There are several places that do not allow single accommodations in the Everest Region. On paying single supplement, we will get single room in Kathmandu but it is possible only up to Namche Bazar during the trek. Above Namche Bazar single accommodation is not always feasible. However, Friendship World Trek tries its best to provide single rooms in all places if possible.
During our Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek, we can enjoy typical Nepali food, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, and Indian.) from pizza and Chips to apple pie. We can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be seerved from the tea house or lodge menu where we spent the night. Lunch will be served on the way to destination and dinner and breakfast will be served at the tea house where you spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be served during our stay in Kathmandu.
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