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Gokyo is one of the most spectacular treks in the region with its serene turquoise lakes and stunning views of Mount Everest
The Gokyo Lakes region at the head of the Dudh Kosi Valley provides a great alternative to the popular Everest Base Camp trek. It is a more tranquil trek through the Sherpa heartland that affords ample time for acclimatisation with opportunities to savour the mountain panoramas from beautiful alpine campsites. The highlight of the trek is our ascent of Gokyo Ri. From the summit we gain superb views of Everest as well as the 8000m peaks of Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu.
- Stunning views of Mount Everest and surrounds
- Sherpa Culture
- Namche Bazaar
- Thyangboche Monastery
- Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
- all camping nights in World Expeditions private permanent campsites
- Visit Gokyo Lakes
- Climb Gokyo Ri
- Ample acclimatisation days built in
- Himalayan Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla return
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu - Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath
Day 1 Join Kathmandu
You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Day 2 In Kathmandu (1330m)
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. Overnight hotel.
Day 3 Fly to Lukla (2800m). Trek to Ghat (2530m). Walk approx 2 hours.
We transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to the STOL airstrip at Lukla. This was the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and his friends to service the Everest Region when he began his work of building schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people. It is a memorable flight, with marvellous views of the Eastern Himalaya. At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village, but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our crew assembles and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of it's colour. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we pass rows of tree dahlia to make our way to our private permanent camp site at Ghat.
Day 4 To Monjo (2850m). Walk approx 4-5 hours.
Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of it's colour. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trek - gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. We pass through a variety of small hamlets as we slowly gain altitude. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the jewel in the lotus" and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this ceremony. Today's walk is not a long one and you will be eager to press-on. Slow down and enjoy every step of the way. Overnight at our private permanent camp.
Day 5 To Namche Bazaar (3440m). Walk approx 4-5 hours.
This morning we cross the green/aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi and pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area. Self-contained trek groups must use only kerosene fuels for cooking, a philosophy we follow everywhere in Nepal, whether we are in a national park or not. Tea-houses and lodges are encouraged to use kerosene, yak dung or electricity but unfortunately continue to use mostly fire-wood for cooking, heating and for hot water for trekker's showers. This practice continues to deplete the forests. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa "capital" of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Our accommodation will be at Sherwi Khangba, a delightful Sherpa lodge above Namche village.
Day 6 Rest Day in Namche.
Sagarmartha National Park Headquarters just above our Sherpa hotel offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and the hill above is a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. The change from the narrow lowland valleys to the broad glacial ones is immediately obvious. The steep-sided glacial valley before us gradually winds towards the base of Everest, broken only by the moraines left by retreating glaciers. Its more gradual rate of climb is a blessing for those trekking higher. Towering to over 4000 metres above the valley floor, spectacular peaks seem to engulf us. Around us are Taweche (6542 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Kantega (6685 m), Ama Dablam (6856 m), Nuptse (7896 m) and Lhotse (8511 m). The greatest of all, Mt Everest (8848 m), rises at the head of the valley. The Sherpa Cultural Centre next to our hotel has an interesting collection of mountaineering items and photographs. Those who are fit and acclimatising well may wish to take the optional walk to the Everest View Hotel (4-5hrs) where spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam may be seen. For those feeling well acclimatised there is also the option of a day walk to the pretty village of Khumjung. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his “Schoolhouse In the Clouds” and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Expeditions supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust. There will generally be the opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school. We will also be able to visit the monastery at Khumjung where we may have the opportunity to see the “scalp of a yeti”. Overnight lodge.
Day 7 To Portse Tenga (3600m). Walk approx 6 hours.
Heading North-East we initially follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it contours around the hills, before we branch off on a short climb on the flanks of the sacred peak of Khumblia (5761 m). We traverse for some time across yak pastures as the trail gradually ascends to Mon La. Below us is the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola and across the valley Thyangboche monastery is framed by Ama Dablam and Kantega. We reach a stupa draped with prayer flags atop a ridge at 3992 metres and then descend steeply through forest to the Dudh Kosi. Following afternoon tea an optional walk up the ridge beyond camp will bring us to the village of Portse. Overnight private permanent camp.
Day 8 To Dole (4000m). Walk approx 3 hours.
This morning we head north, still following the Dudh Kosi towards it's source, the magnificent Ngozumpa Glacier. An initial short climb gets us onto the trail for the steady climb towards Gokyo. Since leaving the main trail we have seen progressively fewer trekkers and locals and the relative isolation of the trail is a pleasure. Sections of red birch, fir and dwarf rhododendron forest are interspersed with areas of yak pasture as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and sit to gaze at the glaciers that flow from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us, spectacular ridges lead to the peak of Khumblia and the numerous unnamed peaks that reach almost 6,000 metres. Camp will be at Dole, in a field beside a pleasant stream. In the distance Kantega and Thamserku rise above the foothills. It was at Dole that one of the more recent and "credible" yeti sightings took place. Ask your trek leader for details and draw your own conclusions. Overnight private permanent campsite.
Day 9 To Machhermo (4410m). Walk approx 3 hours.
Continuing a steady but constant climb, we reach the "village" of Machhermo for lunch. Like the few small villages in this valley, Machhermo has only a few buildings and these are empty much of the year. Villagers in Khumjung and Khunde generally own land here high up the valley, where they graze yaks in the summer months. Our camp sits in the valley amidst stunning surrounds and is one of our most popular stops on the circuit. This is a valuable acclimatisation day as we prepare for the higher altitudes and our ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m). This afternoon can be spent relaxing or you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk up the ridge behind Luza for a view of the Gokyo Valley. Just a short walk from camps is the Machhermo Porter Shelter and Rescue Post which is well worth a visit, here you can learn more about altitude and the work of IPPG (International Porter Protection Group). Overnight private permanent camp.
Day 10 To Gokyo (4759m). Walk approx 5-6 hours.
Following the valley high above the river, we commence the ascent to Gokyo village. There are excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangka and we stop to enjoy them. We are now in high alpine country and as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantega to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Each mountain has it's individual character and presence and you can understand why the Nepalese give them such religious significance. Once we have ascended the snout of the glacier the path levels. We pass the first of the lakes, Longpongo, before reaching the second, Taoche Lake, a larger body of water and a place where ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters. As we walk up the valley our path parallels the Ngozumpa Glacier and separating us from the glacier is the massive lateral moraine. Overnight lodge.
Day 11 Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m). Walk approx 4 hours.
An early start is best for the opportunities that the early morning views offer. The steady and unrelenting ascent of Gokyo Ri will take two to three hours, depending on your level of fitness and acclimatisation. It is not a race and times of up to six hours are cherished by those who thought they would not make it at all. If you find the climb hard work don't hesitate to ask one of the guides to carry your day pack. You will be elated when you reach the summit with it's spectacular view. Probably the most comprehensive view of 8,000 metre peaks in Nepal, many people consider it to be Nepal's best. Surrounding us are Cho Oyu (8153 m), (a mountain that defeated a British Expedition of climbers, including Hillary, in their lead-up to their successful assault of Everest), Gyangchung Kang (7922m), Lhotse (8501m), Makalu (8475 m), Cholatse (6440m), Taweche (6542m), Kantega (6685m), Thamserku (6808m), Lobuche (6145m) and Mt Everest (8848m). Hundreds of other unnamed peaks fill the scene, whilst below us the Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal, stretches through the valley. The striking colour of the lakes below completes the picture. The only way to get a better view of the entire Everest region would be to climb a 7,000 metre peak! Although further from Everest than Kala Pattar, the traditional viewing point, here we see more of the mountain and enjoy a more relaxed environment. Overnight lodge.
Day 12 To Dole (4000m). Walk approx 6 hours
Retracing our steps back to Dole. The views during the return have a different point. The trail meanders around the constantly changing obstacles and affords great views of Cho Oyu and Cholatse. We cross our camp at Machhermo and reach our camp at Dole. We see the slopes of Cholatse and Taweche. We enjoy excellent views of Kyajo Ri (6186 m) and the mountains and glaciers of the range. Overnight at Permanent camp. Overnight wilderness camp.
Day 13 To Deboche (3770m). Walk approx 5-6 hours.
There can be a tendency now to rush, particularly as we are walking downhill but there is still much to see. We descend through Portse to Pangboche and visit its historic old monastery before continuing down to the Imja Khola through the monastery archway. The bridge across the river is spectacular and the rapids cause the river to roar beneath us. A short time later we reach our private permanent camp at Deboche. Overnight private permanent camp.
Day 14 To Monjo (2850m), walk approx. 7-8 hours
If the weather is clear, the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery as we pass through are outstanding - Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. It is a full day’s walk down to Monjo, and as we near the villages we pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. We stop for lunch at Namche before continuing our decent to Monjo. Although we are re-tracing our steps of a few weeks ago the descent offers a different perspective and is no less stunning than our first days spent trekking up the valley. In spring the rhododendrons and magnolias add colour to the pretty villages. Overnight private permanent camp at Monjo.
Day 15 To Lukla (2800m). Walk approx 6 hours.
Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a good time to have a small party for all the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here. There is usually lots of music, dancing and singing and if we are lucky, one of the superb cakes that our Nepali chefs are renowned for. Overnight lodge.
Day 16 To Kathmandu by air (1330m).
This morning we fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, a good time for last minute shopping or sightseeing. Overnight hotel.
Day 17 Trip concludes Kathmandu.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.
- 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 13 dinners
- airport transfers
- flights Kathmandu / Lukla / Kathmandu approx. US$290
- expert bilingual guide
- group medical kit
- good quality accommodation in Kathmandu
- accommodation on trek in a combination of our comfortable eco lodges and permanent campsites with off the ground camp beds, mattresses and pillows
- the use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)
- souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
- private transportation
- all park entrance fees and trekking permits
- porters to carry all personal and group equipment
- porter's insurance
- sightseeing in Kathmandu
- 17 day trip
- 13 day trek
- 3 nights hotel
- 8 nights private permanent campsites
- 5 nights eco lodge
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).
What You Carry
In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. Porters carry all group gear and your trek pack.