Want to experience the natural side of Nepal while experiencing mental and spiritual bliss? Get ready for a mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime trek of the pristine Gokyo lakes. In Nepal, the sparkling waters of the Gokyo Lakes, the world’s highest freshwater lake system, make for a truly unforgettable experience. At an altitude of more than 3,800 meters, they are among the most picturesque sights of Nepal.
If you are looking for a trek in Everest’s region but would like to see more of this magnificent land and not spend a lot of time at extremely high altitudes, the Gokyo Lakes Trek may be for you. I, too, have been an adventure seeker for quite a few years. But, despite all the amazing places that I traveled to during these past few years, none were quite mesmerizing and memorable, to be honest.
To this day, the Gokyo trek that I attempted with five of my very close friends remains on our minds as a destination we’d like to revisit to refresh those beautiful memories. Though this quest might seem challenging, the long walks, the beautiful scenery, and the aesthetic locations will surely tempt you to experience the same adventure in the future. And to be honest, you better plan this trip as soon as possible.
Gokyo is a beautiful village located at the base of the mountain Gokyo Ri, at Dudh Pokhari Lake, the largest of the three Gokyo lakes, and within Solukhumbu District in the Himalayas of the Himalayas Nepal. Despite the closeness of Gokyo as a village, the trek is centered on it, and the beautiful tributaries are named after it.
The trip consists of hikes through the beautiful Gokyo lakes and the peak of Gokyo Ri at around 5,357 meters or 17,575 feet. As mentioned earlier, this area consists of multiple beautiful lakes, many of them named after the Gokyo village, among which Gokyo Rho or Dudh Pokhari is the largest.
How do I prepare for the trek to the Gokyo region?
As mentioned earlier, the maximum elevation of the trek is more than 5,000 meters. Now, this altitude surely presents us with some complications, the first of which is the weather and temperature. The temperature can get extremely cold in the region.
Thus, you will need to walk constantly for many days in a cold climate. Therefore, you will need to bring along the following materials.
- Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
- Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
- Water bottles and thermos
- Trekking sticks
- Portable fire stoves
- Snow Glasses and flashlight
- Moisturizers and lip guard
All of these items mentioned above are ideal for the expedition, though not all of them are essential. Many hotels and homestays provide these items on the Gokyo trek, though they might be more expensive than average.
Along with these supplies, there’s another essential thing to think about during this trek. Before embarking on this journey, it is important to take all the necessary precautions since traveling to such an extreme elevation may result in altitude sickness or even breathlessness. Therefore, people with lung issues or similar conditions should avoid the trip.
Getting Started on the trip
The trek to the Gokyo is quite similar to the trek to the Everest base camp. So, if you’ve been to the Base Camp of the mighty Everest, Gokyo would really be easier for you compared to a random explorer. However, if you follow the guide that I compiled with the help of my friends from the Gokyo trip, it’d be easier for you to navigate the journey.
Before your trek starts officially, there are a few things one should take care of. First, if you’re a foreign traveler, you will need to get a Nepalese visa and travel to Kathmandu, Nepal. Now, if you’re in Kathmandu or any other place in Nepal, you need to fly to Lukla. From there, you can start your thrilling journey.
After meeting the local people and enjoying the stunning view and traditions of people from Lukla, you should start your initial trek to Phakding. It might take about four hours to get there. Anyway, spend your first night there.
Starting in Phakding, you can hike to Namche Bazar, the gateway to Everest. Once you reach the destination, you can stay in a hotel or a homestay for two days so that your body can adapt to the altitude and weather.
While your body adapts to 3,400 meters of altitude, you could make the most of your time in Namche Bazaar on the second day by visiting the beautiful villages of Khumjung and Thame and the wonderful people of the Sherpa community.
You need to reach Dole on day four, climbing 800 meters of the upward hill for approximately five hours. This is the path that separates the Gokyo trek from the trek to the Everest Base Camp.
Though the trek from Dole to Machhermo is not as long as others, this 3-hour hike consists of difficult ascending paths. However, the beautiful scenery along the way will definitely make your time worthwhile.
Similar to your second day, it'll be better if you take another rest day in Machhermo to adapt to the conditions of Gokyo. This might be the last rest day on tour.
Now, when you reach Gokyo after a six-hour hike from Machhermo, you better visit all the wonderful locations that the place offers for the next three days. A good place to start might be by visiting the Gokyo Lakes.
On day eight, it would be best if you took a day-long hike to the fifth lake at an altitude of 4,956 meters. It would take about seven hours. However, you'll get to enjoy the breathtaking locations that this gorgeous place contains.
If you dare, the ninth day would be perfect for a trek to Phangan and the summit of Gokyo Ri. Here, you'll experience the joy of living that only a few people in the world get.
After all the thrill and exceptional memories, it's time to return back home. Since the trip back consists of downhill paths, you can reach Khumjung in six hours from Phangan.
On day eleven, a 2-hour trek will be enough to reach Namche Bazaar. Spend the night there.
On this road, you get to enjoy the beauty of Solukhumbu as you reach Phakding for the penultimate day of the trek.
For the final day, a 4-hour walk down from Phakding will take you back to Lukla. Be sure to get some souvenirs and gifts for your friends or family before heading back home.
- Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
- Three meals per day throughout the Trip(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
- Accommodation during the trek.
- Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
- Guide and a porter with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
- First Aid kit.
- Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
- TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
- All needed government tax/vat.
- International Airfare.
- Your travel insurance.
- Sightseeing entrance fees
- Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
- Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
- Tips for Guide and Porters
After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling and joyful experience, you can choose whether to visit other beautiful places in Nepal or head back home. No matter what you choose, we hope you have a fantastic time.
We can accommodate group tours for this trip; however, you may also opt for a private tour according to your liking. We can arrange private trips at any time of the year at any date of your choosing. Please let us know what your preferred travel dates are so that we can accommodate you.
A couple of weeks of excitement will leave you with memories you’ll cherish for life.
Finally, the trek to Gokyo can be an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience because of the stunning scenery and stellar views, along with the warm hospitality of the locals. We hope you enjoy and take in every moment that you spend there.