Gokyo Lakes Trek: A Complete Guide
Gokyo Lakes Trek

The Gokyo Lakes trek in Nepal is a must-see destination if you’re looking for a breathtaking trekking experience. This trek takes you through the homeland of the Sherpas and into the stunning Gokyo valley, where you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of four 8,000m peaks, including Everest, Cho Oyu, and Makalu.

The Gokyo Lakes Trek begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, where you will start your journey into Sagarmatha National Park. From here, it is approximately eight days of hiking as you ascend toward Gokyo Ri (5357m). It provides stunning views over Mount Everest and four sacred glacial lakes: Dudh Pokhari, Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, and Ngozumpa Tsho. Along this route, there are plenty of opportunities for exploration, including visits to local villages such as Namche Bazaar or Thame Village, where traditional culture can be experienced firsthand. 

Once you arrive in the valley, you’ll have the chance to explore the turquoise Gokyo lakes before ascending to the high-route pass of Cho La (5330m), which connects Khumbu Valley and Mount Everest Base camp. Combine both treks into a single excursion if you have extra days.

For those seeking an adventure like no other, look no further than The Gokyo Lakes Trek – it promises incredible sights and lifelong memories made along its winding trails!

Gokyo Lakes Trek Outline Itinerary

Highlights of Gokyo Lakes Trek

  • Take a scenic flight to Lukla Airport to begin your adventure.
  • Explore the Everest region’s less-traveled, off-the-beaten-path trails.
  • Hike to Gokyo Ri (5,357m) for a spectacular view of Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu.
  • Experience the pristine ambiance of the turquoise Gokyo Lakes.
  • Lodge-based accommodation. 

Gokyo Lake Trek Trip Facts

Trip Duration11 Days
Trip DifficultyStrenuous
Maximum Altitude5375 Meters
Accommodation Lodges/Tea-houses
Best Time to TrekAutumn/Spring
Walking Duration 5-7 hours
Group SizeMinimum 1 Person
DayItineraryAltitude in MetersTrekking Distance
1.Fly to Lukla then trek to phakding2600 3h00
2. Trek to Namche Bazaar3440 6h00
3. Acclimatization Day!
4.Trek to Dole 3680 5-6h00
5.Dole to Machhermo 44704h00
6.Trek to Gokyo Lakes4800 4h00
7.Hike to Gokyo Ri (5357 m) and back to Gokyo Valley48004h00
8.Trek to Dole36807h00
9.Dole to Namche34406h00
10.Trek to Lukla28007h00
11.Fly back to Kathmandu13500h40
Everest Base Camp Trek guide
Namche Bazaar

When is the best time to go trek to Gokyo Lakes?

Autumn (September to November) and Spring (March to May) are Nepal’s best seasons for trekking, and the Gokyo Lake Trek is no exception. The weather in Autumn and Spring is moderately warm and stable, making it ideal for trekking. During these seasons, the skies remain clear, providing stunning views of the mountains.

The average temperature in Nepal during autumn ranges from 16 to 24 degrees Celsius. Similarly, in the spring, the average temperature in Nepal ranges from 15 to 23 degrees Celsius.

Cholatse from Gokyo Lake

It covered the trail with snow during winter (December to February). Excess snow can also interrupt the route in extreme conditions. The Gokyo Lakes can be frozen entirely when you visit in late February or early March. Similarly, the trail can challenge and block walking in winter.

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Unlike most Nepal treks, Gokyo Lake Trek is not a year-long trekking destination. The trails are slippery during the Monsoon (June-August), so we do not recommend it to hike this season.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Difficulty

The trek starts in Lukla at 2800 meters above sea level. Lukla is the gateway to the Everest region and is a busy town. Most tourists fly to Lukla and start the trek from there. The hike is not recommended for those unfamiliar with high altitudes and those with heart or lung conditions.

The Gokyo Lakes Trek is moderately strenuous but does not involve technical skills. The entire circuit from Lukla to Gokyo Lakes and back takes ten days for this itinerary. On average, the trek will require you to walk 5 to 6 hours daily. 

Despite being less traveled than Everest Base Camp, the trail is well-marked and easily navigable. However, if you plan on embarking on the Gokyo Lakes trek, it’s crucial to remember the altitude. This trek will take you above 4,000 meters, so you’ll be at risk for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to avoid AMS while enjoying the stunning views of Gokyo Ri.

Although the Gokyo Ri Trek is considered a moderate trek, it allows you to walk through steep uphills and downhills in the rugged terrains of the Himalayas. In addition, some trails on steep slopes are physically demanding.

As a result, you must approach these routes with adequate planning and physical fitness. To prepare for the trek, engage in cardio exercises such as hiking, jogging, cycling, and swimming.

Permits & Regulations

The local government of the Khumbu region has implemented a new permit that replaces the TIMS Card since 2018. As a result, a TIMS Card is no longer needed for trekking in the Khumbu region; instead, you require getting a Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit.

This permit is not available in Kathmandu. So, you get this permit only in either Lukla or Monjo. The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit costs approximately US$18 per individual. This permit is valid for the entire Everest region.

You’ll also need a Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project (GCAP) Permit to start the Gokyo Lakes Trek from the classic Jiri route. The permit cost is similar to the Sagarmatha National Park fee and is available from the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu.

Necessary PermitsPrices
Pasang Lhamu Rural MunicipalityNPR 2000/US$18
Sagarmatha National Park NPR 3000/US$28
Gauri Shankar Conservation Area (Only applicable if a trek starts from Jiri)NPR 3000/US$28
TIMS (Trekkers’ Informarion Management System)NPR 2000/US$18
Permits pricing table

Keep in mind that all permit fees are payable in Nepalese rupees. Therefore, before trekking in this region, ensure you exchange sufficient local money.

Lukla Airport Everest
Lukla Airport, the gateway of the Everest region

Food and Accommodation

There are many lodges and hotels on the trek. The tea houses are generally on the route and run by a government or private entity. Many of the tea houses have restaurants and are excellent places to stay.

The Gokyo Lake Trek is a popular trekking route in the Khumbu region, known for its stunning views of the Himalayas and serene lakes. Along the way, trekkers can find a range of teahouses to stay in, from basic accommodations to more luxurious options with hot showers.

Despite the remote location, the teahouses are relatively comfortable and well-developed, making the trek an excellent option for those looking to experience the beauty of the Himalayas without sacrificing comfort.

Though not luxurious, most teahouses will provide the requisite amenities such as rooms, food, charging stations, Wi-Fi, and a hot shower. It furnished the rooms with twin beds, a thin mattress, a pillow, and a set of bed sheets.

Most teahouses do not generally have attached bathrooms. Remember that if you use Wi-Fi, charging stations, and a hot shower, the teahouse will charge you an additional fee!

The teahouses offer both Nepali and Western cuisines on their menus. Despite the minimal food choices, the meal portion is very substantial.

Customize Your Holiday?

Tailor your holiday with help from a local travel specialist that matches your requirements.

What does the Gokyo Lake Trek cost?

The total cost to go on the Gokyo Ri Trek can vary greatly depending on the route, the number of people, and how long you stay. It can range from $1250 to $2400. But many reputable operators have their own fixed prices. 

But the total cost of the Gokyo Lakes trek is USD 1350.00. It covers all the essential services from transportation to accommodation, food, and other miscellaneous expenses, such as entrance fees, park fees, etc.

Please email us if you have any questions about the Gokyo Ri Trek.

Packing a Trekker’s Kit 

It is the ultimate pack to carry your gear for a high-altitude trekking adventure. The goal is to give you the tools to survive and thrive in the mountains.

This pack is ideal for any adventure where carrying weight is a concern, but more importantly, it’s suitable for trekkers who wish to have their gear rather than using porters.

This pack is ideal for trekking, mountaineering, hiking, and backpacking. Packing is easy, and it takes time. What you need to consider is what you will need during your trip.

I recommend packing for at least a week, if not longer, to ensure you have everything you need. There are many variations in how a trekker packs for a trip, but most agree on the following:

  • A comfortable, light backpack.
  • The Clothes will light and dry out quickly.
  • Waterproof items (rain jacket, poncho, etc.)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Tripod and camera straps
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid kit
  • Warm clothing
  • Other essential things that can help make the trek easier (like a headlamp)
  • Always check with your guide regarding the best equipment to bring.

Getting There and Back Home

The Gokyo Lake Trek is one of the highlights of any itinerary in Nepal. It is a fantastic adventure in the Himalayas. The hike starts at Lukla airport and ends at Lukla in the Everest region of Nepal. The trek takes approximately seven days and six nights and passes through spectacular scenic landscapes.

It is one of the most popular treks in Nepal, attracting tourists from around the world.

The trek usually begins and ends in Lukla and is a great way to see the Himalayas. The views are spectacular, and you can see Mount Everest and nearby mountains.

The trek offers the chance to visit local communities, villages, and the region’s natural wonders. Gokyo Ri Trek also has plenty of places to take pictures. In addition, the view of the mountain ranges is spectacular.

In addition, the expedition has several beautiful places that are great to photograph, and the trails around the falls are often busy with tourists.

The Gokyo Lakes Trek is also a great spot to learn about the culture of the Himalayas. The people of the area are a fascinating and friendly group of people. The expedition allows you to meet them, learn their customs, and see some unique things in the region.

Lukla is the nearest airport to Gokyo Lakes. 

Some Frequently Asked Questions

To help you plan your trip, here are some frequently asked questions about the trek to Gokyo Lakes.

What exactly are the Gokyo Lakes?

Gokyo Lakes is a set of six stunning glacial lakes. The lakes are among the world’s highest freshwater lakes, with altitudes ranging from 4,700m to 5,000m. The lakes lie in the stunning Sagarmatha National Park, also home to Mount Everest. Trekkers often visit Gokyo Lakes as a side trip to Mount Everest Base Camp. 

Why Should I Go to the Gokyo Lakes?

The Gokyo Lakes are breathtakingly beautiful. This expedition provides some of the most breathtaking views of Mount Everest and Cho Oyu. The pictures are even better than Kalapathar, the most prominent viewpoint along the classic EBC trek route.

How Do I Get to the Gokyo Lakes? 

Your adventure will begin with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. You should also expect significant delays at the Kathmandu airport. If you have more time or wish to explore Lower Khumbu, you may start your expedition at Jiri or Salleri.

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Final words

The Gokyo Ri Trek is a perfect alternative to the Everest Base Camp Trek. The 11-day itinerary includes everything from spectacular mountain scenery to high-altitude turquoise lakes to the immense Ngozumpa glacier.

What better place to go hiking than the stunning Gokyo Valley in the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas? It’s one of the best hikes in the world.

It’s well-known for its breathtaking views and mountain scenery, but be aware. While this trek is considered moderately difficult, some hard places are in the higher reaches of the trek. As a result, you need physical fitness and mental preparation for trekking in this region.

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.