Nepal’s Himalayas is simply amazing and never stops to amaze people. Trekkers come to Nepal and they will return again and again. Such is the beauty of Nepal. In this Himalayas, the Gokyo Ri trek is one of the most spectacular treks on offer of Khumbu valley in Nepal filled with Buddhist prayer flags, colourful prayer wheels and carved mani stones. Gokyo Ri Trek is the best alternative to Everest base camp trek, to Gokyo lakes and Gokyo Ri which offers amazing viewpoints for great views of Everest and other Himalayas, with rich Sherpa heritage. The trek starts and ends in Lukla and the trail never strays away from forests of pines and rhododendrons, overlooked by mighty snow giants in the background. The summit of Gokyo Ri is the highlight of this amazing trek. Gokyo Ri Trek takes you to the top of Gokyo mountain and Gokyo, one of the world’s highest altitude settlements consisting of a few stone houses surrounded by colourful Buddhists prayers wheels and prayer flags.
Those who want to avoid the busy traffic in Everest base camp trek and feel the Himalayas close, this trek is definitely for you. The trail is much more isolated and passes trough rich section of flora and fauna of Everest region which gives ample time for acclimatization and chance to witness the raw beauty of Himalayas.
Gokyo Ri is one of the less strenuous treks in the Khumbu region. At the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Gokyo is a remarkable place to view five of the world’s tallest mountains: Mt Everest, Cho-Oyu, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga & Makalu. It is not only the Gokyo Ri, its lakes and its views of the highest giants that makes this trek unique but also the largest glacier of Nepal that is the heart of this trek and the Dudh Koshi which runs along almost throughout clearly becomes the soul of the trek.
The other major attraction of this trek is this area is the concentration of glacial lakes. Gokyo is on the west side of Khumbu glacier, locally known as Ngozumpa. This is the biggest glacier in the Himalayas of Nepal and is simply breath taking. There are several glacial lakes formed by the melt of this glacier. The Gokyo lakes are filled with crystal clear water. From the lakes at the ground to the sky piercing peaks, the views are simply sublime. When you climb Gokyo Ri, you will experience more of the incredible views.
Autumn and spring seasons are perfect for this exotic trek. Like any other classic trek in Khumbu region Gokyo Ri trekking also starts from Lukla as you take a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. We walk through beautiful dense forest of rhododendron, pine and oak, where we can see different high altitude flora and fauna. We move through beautiful villages and break points such as Phakding, Namchebazar, Phortse, Machhermo, and Dole to reach Gokyo valley. We will climb to Gokyo Ri (5,357 m) then trek back to Lukla and fly to Kathmandu.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu|
|PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE DEPARTURE||Please call us or email us 14 days before with flight details so we can arrange pick up and drop off from Kathmandu Airport|
|NOT INCLUDED||International flight to Nepal
Travel and medical Insurance
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
Essential trip information:
Please note: The trek dates can be viewed on the calendar when booking.
If the treks dates are not your preference, please email us your preferred dates.
|No. of pax||2-12|
Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu where you will be greeted by our representative and taken to your hotel. Enjoy an opportunity to rest or do a little sightseeing.
You will meet your group and get a trek brief. This will be your administration day. Also, you will explore around the world heritage sites of Kathmandu. This day is also the day for making all kit ready for the trek.
After being well rested after a solid night’s sleep, we wake up fresh the next morning, have an early breakfast, and get into our vehicle for a drive to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway destination from where our trip commences. After an adventurous scenic 40-minute flight above the stunning green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzin-Hillary Airport at Lukla. Arguably, this is one of the most beautiful sky routes in the world which concludes in a remarkable landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet the other crew members and after some sorting and packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the pretty wealthy village of Lukla until we reach 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. This is our first Overnight in Phakding.
Today the trekking is pretty roughshod and includes the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo, it is a short walk to the entrance of the National Park before we cross the Dudh Kosi to Jorsale at 2805 m. The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank, to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers. It is here that we start the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river we slowly ascend at a steady pace towards Namche.
There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Taweche (6542 m) come into view for the first time. After arriving at the capital of the Khumbu region – Namche, we’ll have lunch and the afternoon is free to bargain in the shops for ‘Tibetan’ artifacts, or relax and marvel at lovely surrounding landscapes.
This is the first ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. Mountain climbing experts always advise us to stay active and move around on a rest day instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike to Thame or we visit Khunde; maybe we could just relax and explore the lively Namche Bazaar itself. This is the nerve 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 where any and everything is up for sale. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize.
We also take an interesting side trip up to the vibrant Khumjung. We further climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip will be 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 sacred peak Khumbila, which hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is located at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazaar.
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek enjoying superb views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up views of Thamserku. Our trek goes by a gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent views of the great Himalaya. Along the way, we can spot wild fauna like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar.
The trail goes gradually down up to Kyangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sanasa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. We trek gradually going up through Mongla pass (3975 m) from where we glimpse Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Tawoche and Mt. Khumbila. Sherpas regard Mt. Khumbila to be a sacred mountain of the patron god of the Khumbu area. Descending to Dudh kosi Khola (3250 m), we cross a bridge and again trek up through rhododendron forest, home to Himalayan wild deer and musk deer. Finally, we arrive at the walled fields of Phortse. Phortse falls just under the snow dusted peaks of Tawoche and Cholatse. From here, a short trek leads to Phortse village where we crash out for the night.
The path is easy in the beginning up to Kyangjuma & climbs steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, which give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases. This trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming. The trails pass many Kharkas, (summer settlements used when Sherpas bring herds of yaks to graze in these high pastures). The route passes through the settlements of Tongba (3950 m) and Gyele (3960 m) to Dole where there’re a few hotels. The views of Khumbila and Tawache (6542 m) are just fantastic throughout the day.
The trail climbs to Lambara at (4220 m) and Luza at (4360 m) and is steep in most places as it climbs through brush junipers. There are Kharkas whenever there is a flat spot and the slightest hint of water. The trails continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river, crossing sandy spurs to Machhermo at (4410 m). It was believed that here in Machhermo in 1974 that Yeti killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman. This is the most credible yeti incident ever reported till date.
Today, we energize ourselves with a good b/fast before the trail takes us for our ascending to Gokyo. We will climb a steep rocky incline into the valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first and second of the holy lakes, crossing the path which heads across the glacier to Cho La – our route to Lobuche and Everest, later in the trek. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its eastern shore is the colorful settlement of Gokyo. As we trudge by the side of the lake, the scenery is just so wonderful with the summits of Cho- Oyu and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters.
Today is an acclimatization day but we know staying idle is not the best thing to do. 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 (Ngozumpa Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it. The trail continues to the 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 Makalu. 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. The Northern part of the fifth lake provides fabulous views of Cho-Oyu Base Camp and the biggest glacier in the world- the Ngozumpa glacier. Moved by the charm, we may even try to go to the sixth lake too but then this will depend on our own interest and time. Back to Gokyo village for our overnight and a hot meal.
Today’s walk leads to a climb towards Renjo-pass. The first hour is a steep climb then coming to a gradual portion for 40 minutes, coming again to a steep climb to the top of the Renjo-pass where we see colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind whispering odes of prayers for the souls of those who perished on these mountains. From here it’s a steep descent on black rocks and boulders (very similar to the rocky portion found at Kalapathar) till the walk leads to the Remo Lake (Pokhari). From here onwards an hour and half brings us to the overnight camp en route just an hour before Marlung. After the rocky portion from the lake it is an easy downhill on the grassy slope all the way to Marlung and Lungden for an overnight.
The walk leads downhill most of the way to the laid back village of Thame as the trek passes through several yak pastures and grazing area with the Shepard’s shed on this beautiful easy going walk downhill offering grand views of the nearby snowcapped peaks. After a good walk of nearly 5-6 hrs we clobber into Thame village for our overnight stop. Thame is quite a large village with scattered houses around this valley, & is a gateway to Tibet side through the Nangpa-la north of Thame where the west route leads to Tashi-Labtsa pass as well. This place has an old important Monastery where the festival of masked dance takes place every year around the end of May or the first week of June as per the Tibetan lunar calendar.
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Namche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants we get to see on the way. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, we get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to where it’s all happening at the lively Namche bazar for a well earned rest. We have a hot shower and rest at our hotel in Namche for the night.
This is our last day on these breathtaking mountains that was home to us for all of these days. Our trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our tired legs continuously tussle with the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Kosi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By today we begin to get warmed up by the light normal breeze we encounter at the lower altitudes. With some of us experiencing sore throats and colds earlier will now see it gone by today as we pass through this cool mountain air. Although we revert to the same path down, we get the feeling that the views are now somewhat different. We take some pictures of open terrain, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks.
We hike through Sherpa settlements as we observe their faith in Buddhism and the culture of prayer stones and prayer flags that we see on the way. Upon arrival in Lukla, we stretch those aching legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We’ll have lunch at our lodge and the afternoon is free for us to wander around, relax or perhaps have a hot shower! In the evening, we’ll have a farewell dinner followed by a few celebratory drinks. We could perhaps try some ‘chhang’ (mountain beer brewed from fermented rice). It is healthy enough to give it a go. We do a jig to some Sherpa dance steps with our Sherpa crew who we’ve come to know so well over the weeks. It’s altogether been a merry trip on these rugged but lovely mountains; we then enjoy a great meal and hit the sack in blissful sleep under a moonlit starry sky…what a wonderful world! We experience the conclusion of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back in perfect shape and blissful smiles on the faces.
We get up early in the morning to be ready for the arrival of our aircraft for the flight back to Katmandu. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel and a soft warm bed. Please note, our flight will be subject to good weather for the sake of our overall safety.
Day 16: Departure
About 3 hours prior to your flight, we will transfer you to the airport to fly your onward destination. We were happy to have met you and we will cherish the bonds of our relationship developed with you all over the weeks spent with us in our amazing country Nepal. Our family wishes your best time ahead and wait for your return.
Fixed Dates – Please select your dates on the “book the tour” section
|Sat 1 Sep 18 – Sun 16 Sep 18
Mon 1 Oct 18 – Tue 16 Oct 18
Mon 1 Apr 19 – Tue 16 Apr 19