The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek is a popular trekking destination in the Nepalese Himalayas. Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is situated in the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal and is an alternative to the more crowded Everest Base Camp trek. The trek takes you to the stunning turquoise lakes of Gokyo, which are situated at an altitude of 4,700-5,000 meters. The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Everest, as well as the Ngozumpa glacier, which is the largest glacier in the Nepal Himalayas.
The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek also takes you to the top of Gokyo Ri, a peak that offers panoramic views of the entire Solu-Khumbu region. From the summit, you can see the four 8,000-meter peaks of the region: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is a combination of stunning natural beauty and cultural richness, as you will pass through traditional Sherpa villages and interact with the friendly local people.
The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek is a moderate to challenging trek that typically takes about 12-14 days to complete. It is best to undertake the trek between September and November or from March to May, as the weather is relatively clear during these months. The trek requires physical fitness and acclimatization to the high altitude, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is considered to be moderately challenging but is well worth the effort for the stunning views and unique cultural experiences it offers. It is best to do this trek in the spring and autumn seasons, as the weather is clearest and the mountain views are at their best. With proper acclimatization, a good level of physical fitness, and the right gear, the Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek is a truly unforgettable experience.
You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Tour and Trekking Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square sheds light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at the Tour and Trekking Nepal office. Overnight in Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We take an early morning flight to Lukla which is where all Everest treks begin. We walk on a trail that gradually descends to Cheplung village from where we get a glimpse of Mt. Khumbila, a sacred mountain which has never been climbed. From here, we gradually descend to Phakding. Overnight stay in Phakding. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We move ahead on a trail alongside the Dudh Koshi River crossing several suspension bridges and small villages, monasteries, and shortens. From Benkar Village, we get to enjoy stunning views of Mt. Thamserku. As we enter the Sagarmatha National Park, we will have our trekking permits checked at Monjo. A descent, gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village before Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through a river bed and we reach the Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb up towards Namche Bazaar, the magnificent sights of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains greet us. Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
The day is set aside for us to get acclimatized and adjust to the gradual change in the environment. Acclimatization will help prevent being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also known as ‘altitude sickness’. To acclimatize our body, today we will hike to Khumjung, enjoy the Himalayan scenery from Syangboche or just simply tour around the quaint Namche Bazaar. We may also visit the Tourist Visitor Center, where we get to see a variety of things related to the first Everest climbers and the Sherpa culture. This visit will also get us acquainted with the various flora and fauna of the Everest region. In Khumjung, we can even visit a monastery that houses a yeti scalp! We also climb up to the airstrip above Syangboche and enjoy incredible views of Kongde, Thamserku and Khumbila mountains. We walk back to Namche Bazaar to spend the night. Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We begin our trek to Dole with gradual ups and downs. The trail is scenic and keeps getting more and more amazing as we proceed ahead. On the way, we are likely to spot Himalayan pheasants, musk deer, and Himalayan Tahrs. Descending a little bit through the alpine and rhododendron forest, we reach the village of Kyanjuma, where we stop for a short break. Moving further ahead, we reach Sansa from where we will follow the Gokyo trails, which are a bit rough and lies just above the Dudh Koshi river’s gorge. From Mong La Pass, we get a glimpse of Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Tawoche, and Mt. Khumbila. From the pass, the trail descends to Dudh Koshi Khola after which it is an uphill climb up to Phortse. We get magnificent views of the mountains from this point. After hiking for a couple of hours through lush forests and green pastures, we will reach Dole from where we get to watch the mesmerizing sunset views. Overnight stay in Dole. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Trek from Dole begins with a fairly tricky descent on a slippery, snow-covered slope. Then, we begin to climb on a steady trail through a scenic ridge with views of Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Kantega, and Mt. Thamserku. The uphill walk comprises of increasingly barren hillside, covered in tundra grasses and dotted with scrub junipers. We cross a small settlement of Lhafarma, and then Luza village, tucked into a side valley. Ascending from Luza, we walk over the Dudh Koshi River and continue walking through sandy trails before reaching Machhermo, the last major settlement before Gokyo. We can visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital to learn a lot related to altitude sickness. Overnight stay in Machhermo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We leave the foothills and ascend on a hill gradually entering the desolate tundra of the high mountains, enjoying views of the Dudh Koshi valley and Mt. Kangtega, Mt. Thamserku and Mt. Cho-Oyu. Beyond the ridge, the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and we reach Phangga. We descend to the river bank before climbing up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier on a steep trail. We pass through Longpongo, Raboche Tsho and Dudh Pokhari before reaching Gokyo. On the trail next to the first lake, we see what is believed to be the footprints of a Lama (Buddhist priest). We explore Dudh Pokhari before calling it a night. Overnight stay in Gokyo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We will spend another day in Gokyo to acclimatize to the high altitude. If the weather is good, we climb Gokyo Ri today. From the top of Gokyo Ri, we get to admire the Himalayan vistas and the tranquil Gokyo lakes. We also hike to the fourth and fifth Gokyo lakes. The 4th lake is only about 3km north of Gokyo. It is marked by high cliffs and Himalayan peaks rising above it. We continue to walk a little further and reach the 5th lake. A climb up a nearby hill will guarantee us remarkable 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. From the northern part of the 5th lake, we see the Cho Oyu base camp and Ngozumpa Glacier, which is the biggest glacier in the world. We walk back to Gokyo to spend the night. Overnight stay in Gokyo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We descend on a trail along the Dudh Koshi River passing the first few Gokyo lakes. On the way, we get to enjoy views of the Cholatse and Taboche peaks. Our trail descends before climbing a hill. After reaching the chorten at the edge, we see great views of Thamserku, Cho Oyu, and Kangtega mountains. We walk past Machhermo, Luza and Lhafarma villages before reaching Dole. Overnight stay in Dole. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We descend on a steep trail to Phortse Tenga admiring rhododendrons, wildflowers, and waterfalls. We also come across mountain goats, musk deer, pheasants, etc. From Mong La Pass, we can admire a good view of the Khumbila peak. On our way to Namche, the view of Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kangtega mountains are exceptionally stunning. After walking for a while, we reach an intersection where the trail from Sanasa meets our trail. We walk on a trail that clings to a forested slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. After reaching Namche army camp hill, we look back to see Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche for one last time. About a kilometre from here is Namche Bazaar. Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We descend on a rocky trail and cross several suspension bridges before walking on a leveled trail. The air is warmer as we walk on the same trail to reach Lukla. Our trek in the mountain ends after we reach Lukla. We spend our time reminiscing about our time spent in the mountain. Overnight stay in Lukla. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We fly back to Kathmandu on the earliest possible flight. After reaching Kathmandu we have the rest of the day off to rest. In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner to enjoy with our trek leader and a few Himalayan Glacier staff to mark the end of our trip to Nepal. Overnight stay in Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Tour and Trekking Nepal representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Note: The above-mentioned program itinerary is a sample. The period and cost of tour and trekking, volunteering and internship can be changed or extended as per travellers or volunteers' availability of duration.