Join on our Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek for a composite journey to the serene Gokyo Valley and its picturesque and turquoise Gokyo lakes, most admired viewpoint Gokyo Ri, the fabulous 360 degree view point of Kalapatthar, the iconic Everest Base Camp and adventurous Cho La. Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek is an opportunity to reach the Ngozumpa Glacier, source of Dudh Koshi River that flows thundering through the Everest region. Not only Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek takes you to these celebrated emblems but also provides you opportunity to explore ancient monasteries, saintly prayer flags, holy mani stones, alpine floras and faunas, and Buddhist cultures while staying in locally run mountain lodges amidst the Sherpa villages. Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek provides serenity to peace and nature loving souls and an adventurous opportunity to adventurous souls.
We start Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek with a sightseeing day in Kathmandu. Next day after a flight to Lukla the real trek starts. We follow the main Everest trail through Dudh Koshi Valley until Namche Bazaar. After spending two nights for acclimatization purpose in Namche Bazzar, we march ahead through Gokyo Valley trail to Gokyo. We walk beside the moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier and turquoise lakes to reach Gokyo. We sped an acclimatization day in Gokyo exploring the Gokyo Ri and enjoying panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu and many other mountain ranges. We explore the tranquil fourth and fifth Gokyo Lakes too. The adventurous phase begins with Cho La crossing. Follow your guide’s instructions in Cho La pass otherwise you might get trouble. There are two more challenges, the Everest Base Camp and the Kalapatthar, but are reasonable worth the effort.
Is Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek for you?
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek is just the right thing to do to gain an incredibly aesthetic experience for whole lifetime. It is a challenging trek, and if you are looking for a challenging trip with 6-7 hours up hill/down hill walk each day with a light backpack, you can do Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek but if you have the spirit of a real adventurer, then you might choose doing Everest Three Passes Trek. However, if you are of normal fitness Everest Base Camp Trek-16 days would be suitable for you. If you think these programs are not for you, please examine thoroughly through our website, there are many programs that can fit your fitness level.
Gokyo Lakes & Everest Base Camp Trek – 19 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,338 m/4,390 ft)
Welcome to Kathmandu! As you land at Kathmandu airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), reclaim your luggage and finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks & Tours signboard with your name. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can rest at your hotel to recover from jet lag or if you have plenty of time you can visit Thamel market for any lacking gears for your Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek. Accommodation: City Hotel
Day 02: Trek preparation and Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to these four medieval and spiritual sites in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Durbar Square: Durbar Square is a complex of historic palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the Royal palace compound of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. Interesting pieces here to see are 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace, Taleju temple-tallest of all structures built by king Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D. , Jagannath temple- built in the 16th century, known for fascinating erotic figures carving I the wooden struts eaves, Kal Bhairav- one of the largest stone idol in Kathmandu representing the terrorizing aspects of Shiva, Statue of King Pratap Malla in praying gesture to Digu Taleju the royal family deity right across, Kumari Ghar- 17th century Kumari temple, Kasthamandap- built from the timber of a single tree, Kathmandu derives its name from Kasthamandap. The entire Palace Complex is also known as Hanuman Dhoka named after a monkey god called Hanuman. One can see a huge stone statue of Hanuman painted all red right next to the main entrance (the golden gate) of the palace. Hanuman here is regarded as a powerful protector of the entire Durbar Square.
Pashupatinath: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world located on the bank of the Bagmati River. It is a square two tiered pagoda temple built on a single tier plinth which is famous all over the world. Although entrance into the temple complex is allowed to Hindus only, you can clearly see the temple and the activities from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River. Besides being a place of worship, the bank of Bagmati River alongside Pashupatinath Temple is the most important cremation site for the Hindus in Nepal.
Bouddhanath: Bouddhanath, a Buddhist shrine in unique octagonal Mandala design with hundreds of prayer wheels and the 108 images of the Buddha set into the niches around the huge structure. Bouddhanath Stupa is one of the large Stupas in the world. Bouddhanath is also famous for over 50 Tibetan monasteries, thus the area is also known as ‘Little Tibet’. You can join the locals to circumambulate the Stupa, bargain for handicrafts in the shops or sit on a rooftop restaurant and absorb the atmosphere.
Swoyambhunath: Popularly known as Monkey temple due to profusion of monkey found in the shrine area, Swoyambhunath is a 2000 years ancient Stupa situated on a small hill. It is world’s most celebrated Buddhist shrine and its main temple is capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt and is painted on the four sides with all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Accommodation: City Hotel. Included Meal: Breakfast
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m/9,184 ft) and Trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft)
Wake up at dawn and be ready for the adventure. We will escort you to domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight. After an adventurous 35 minutes flight above the array of beautiful green and white mountains, we arrive at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), an entry town from where your trek begins. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world concluding in a dramatic landing site on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. In Lukla, we meet our additional crew members and do some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla, descend to Chaurikharka, head up the Dudhkoshi valley until we reach Phakding. As we just land at the altitude of almost 3000m today, to assist in acclimatization, we only have a short walk today. Yet, if you are interested in additional activities you can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Walking time 3 -4 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazar (3,440 m/11,283 ft)
We start our walk soon after breakfast. Today’s trek is exciting not only due to first glimpse of Everest (if weather is clear) but also because of crossing and re-crossings of Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We get our trekking permits checked at the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo. We tumble down and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb up towards Namche Bazzar, superb sight of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other magnificent mountains greet us. We break at the Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main Sherpa town and trading station in the Khumbu situated spectacularly in a cwm on the mountainside. Walking Time: 6 – 7 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 05: Acclimatization Day in Namche bazaar – Hike to Everest View Hotel
In order to assist acclimatization today is a rest day at Namche Bazzar, which is an ideal altitude to spend a rest day to acclimatize before heading off towards higher elevation. It is recommend staying active and mobile during the acclimatization day instead of resting in your lodge. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us properly acclimatize. We can either spend the day exploring Namche Bazzar or take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung, Syangboche airstrip and Everest View Hotel, a Japanese build deluxe hotel which offers you great views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and others. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila there is a pretty village namely Khumjung. In Khumjung there is a school namely “Schoolhouse In the Clouds” built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the famed Khunde hospital is also close by. You can visit the hospital, school and monastery. You can take a hike to Thame or Khunde if you have time and interest. Tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu, Namche Bazzar is centre of Everest region and has plenty of lodges, tea shops, souvenir shops, money exchangers, government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, restaurants, bakeries, etc. You can also even enjoy colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. You can visit Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where you can observe an assortment of things allied to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various flora and fauna of the Sagarmatha National Park. Walking Time: 6 – 7 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 06: Trek to Dole (4,200 m/ 13,780 ft)
We first follow north-east through the main Everest base camp trail and upon reaching Kyangjuma, we leave the main trail and climb steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, which give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases. We reach MongLa and below us we see the confluence of Dudh Koshi River and Imja Khola River. This part of trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming. The trail passes many Kharkas, summer settlements used when Sherpas bring herds of yaks to graze in these high pastures. The route passes further north through the settlement of Tongba (3950m) and Gyele (3960m) to Dole where there are few hotels. The views of Khumbila and Tawache (6542m) are incredible throughout the day today. Walking Time: 5 – 6 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 07: Trek to Machhermo (4,470 m/ 14,663 ft)
Trail climbs to Lhabarma (4220m) and pleasant hamlet of Luza (4360m). The trail is steep in most places as it climbs through brush junipers. While ascending from Luza, the Dudh Koshi valley is deep like a canyon with its steep sides. 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 (4410m). Machhermo is the place where in 1974 that Yeti killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman. This is the most discussed yeti incident ever reported. We enjoy good views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku and many summer settlements and charming hamlets along the trail today. Walking Time: 4 – 5 hrs, Accommodation: Teahouse, Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08: Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft)
We begin the ascent to Gokyo Valley. We can stop to enjoy excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangga. We are now in high alpine area and as we approach the Ngozumba Glacier and we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantenga to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Once we have ascended the muzzle of the glacier, the path flattens. We pass the first of the Gokyo lakes, Longpongo, before reaching the second, Taboche Tsho at 4740 m, a larger one where green Brainy 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. Little ahead of the second lake is the third lake, the two linked by a stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight at this juncture. After lunch, we can take time to explore around the third Gokyo Lake, Dudh Pokhari. Walking Time: 5 – 6 hrs, Accommodation: Teahouse, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 09: Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization Day –4th and 5th Gokyo Lakes Hike
For acclimatization and Himalayan views we trek up to fourth Gokyo Lake (Thonak Tsho) and fifth Gokyo Lake (Ngozuma Tsho) and this hike aids in our acclimatization process too. With high cliffs and peaks rising beside it, forth Gokyo Lake is about 3 km north of Gokyo Village. The trail continues to fifth lake. We climb on a hill called Scoundrel’s Viewpoint to catch astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. Northern part of the fifth lake provides fabulous views of Cho-Oyu Base Camp and biggest glacier of Nepal- the Ngozumpa glacier. Stirred by the Himalayan charisma, we may even go sixth lake too but depends upon our own interest and time. If you want, you can further navigate to sixth lakes, almost at Cho Oyu Base Camp. View of Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. Gyachung Kang is awe-inspiring from sixth lake as they seem just a stone’s throw away. (Note: You may opt to do Gokyo Ri today and fourth and fifth Gokyo Lakes next day) Walking Time: 5 – 6 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Hike Gokyo Ri (5357 m/17,570 ft) and trek to Thagnak (4750 m/15,580 ft)
Today we trek up to Gokyo Ri. Early start is best for the opportunities that the early morning views offer. The continuous and grueling ascent of Gokyo Ri will take three or even more hours, depending on your level of fitness and acclimatization. It is not a race, and you can take more time too. You will be thrilled when you reach the summit with spectacular view it offers. Many people consider the view from Gokyo Ri as most prevalent view of 8,000 meters peaks, and view from Gokyo Ri to be best Himalayan view. Adjacent to us are Cho Oyu (8153 m), 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 beautiful Gokyo Lakes below complete the picture. We get back to Gokyo village and after lunch we continue to Thagnak, a short trek to foot of the Cho-La pass; the trail leads us through second lake and we cross over Ngozumpa glacier to reach Thagnak. There are great views today of Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. Cholatse. Walking Time: 5 – 6 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Thagnak to Cho La Pass (5420 m/17,780 ft) to Dzongla (4830 m /15939 ft)
This is the big day of your trip. We start early (5-6 am) to take advantage of the stable early morning weather pattern that exists in the Himalayas. Cho La pass is steep and involve a glacier transverse on the eastern side. Trail climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail we climb up continuously. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam supervises over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse rockets on the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse mount sharply to our right. We pass through some crevasses before our trek descend down to Dzongla, another beautiful but small settlement with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. Cho La pass is itself not difficult but the steep trail and the rocks greased by ice is the problem. Sometimes in new snow conditions, solo trekkers often get lost when they could not identify the trail, so trekkers are suggested to go only with an experienced trekking guide although government of Nepal allows trekkers to trek independently on their own. We must be careful of the slippery conditions. Depending upon season and conditions, we sometimes need crampons for Cho La pass crossing. Walking Time: 7 – 6 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Dzongla to Lobuche (5170 m/16,961ft)
We pass through high on the edge of Awi Peak, above the village of Chola and continue past Cholatse Lake. Beyond the lake, the Chola Glacier flows steeply from a saddle between the cliffs of Cholatse and Tawoche in a rugged and beautiful display. We climb up and before us unfolds the striking form of Nuptse (7745 m), rising above the Khumbu Glacier. We continue our traverse until we join the busy trail from Tengboche to Lobuche. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains elusive. After a rest, walk around the place, be active and don’t miss to watch the sunset over Nuptse! It’s a big day tomorrow ultimate push to our goal, the Everest Base Camp! We know you are excited!! Walking Time: 2 – 3 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 13: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5364 m/17,594 ft) and back to Gorakshep (5,140 m/16860 ft)
Long and hard but great day as our desire of being at Everest Base Camp is going to be fulfilled today. Have a good hearty breakfast, and it is important to pack some food, energy bars and enough water for the trip. The trail runs parallel with the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier until we climb onto a moraine at the Changri Nup Glacier. It then undulates as we cross the glacier over rocky paths until we descend to Gorakshep. It takes about three hours to reach Gorakshep. As we reach Gorakshep, we find the snowy mountains looming all around us including the top of the world – Mt. Everest. After a short lunch break we set off for Everest Base Camp. Its now about three and a half hour push to Everest base camp which is an exhausting climb up. We follow the lateral moraine of Khumbu Glacier past some memorials. Everest does not seem to get any nearer and by now we have five of the world’s highest mountains in such a small area. We see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before we finally drop onto the glacial moraine itself. Not far to go now, the trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to Everest Base Camp. We do not get views of Mt Everest but can see the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm. If its spring we will see colorful tents that arises charisma in the gray surroundings. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip. Spend some time taking photos in the natural amphitheater. Trek back to Gorekshep takes about another three hours. Walking Time: 8– 9 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 14: Gorekshep to Kalapatthar (5545m/18188ft) & trek to Pheriche (4210m/13809ft)
Today is another significant day of your Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek. We are going to conquer Kalapatthar today which provides the most assessable point to view Mt Everest and the views are said to surpass the wildest imagination. We start early in the morning to catch the outstanding views from Kalapatthar witnessing the first light of day striking on Mount Everest. Kalapatthar (5,550m) is a small peak literally meaning black rock, it appears as a big brown bump below the impressive Pumo Ri (7,165m) and above Kalapatthar offers splendid views of the Mount Everest Panorama. We take several breaks to catch our breath and to take pictures from several outstanding view points. After about two hours of an ascent, we reach Kalapatthar. We push ourselves to climb the rocky projection near to the summit manifested by cairns and prayer flags. At the very top of Kalapatthar is a small Stupa and a weather station. Standing on top of Kalapatthar can be an emotional experience for you. This is what you have come for the view from here is outstanding, with 360 degree panorama of the mountains stretching from the left – Pumori, Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse, Everest standing out amongst all, Nuptse, and in the distance Ama Dablam seen in almost the shape of the Matterhorn, Taoche, Cholatse, Lobuche and Changri. The area of Everest Base Camp can be seen amongst the ice pinnacles at the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall some 200m below. After enclosing as many pictures as we like of the gorgeous Everest, its neighboring peaks and as whole scenery, we trek down to Gorekshep. After having breakfast at Gorekshep, we trek down to Pheriche. Walking Time: 8– 9 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 15: Pheriche to Namche Bazzar via Pangboche and Tengboche
Today, you might be feeling a lot better as you have spent a night at lower altitude. You will feel better with gradual drop in altitude. Breathing is much easier. The journey today starts with quite a few metres drop to the valley floor and we cross the Dudh Kosi river on our first suspension bridge. As we descend the Dudh Kosi River is raging more and more furiously with the joining of its tributary streams and the fact that the temperature that has risen quite dramatically melts snow making the river to swell. The walk today is in the shadow of the pine trees and rhododendrons bushes that line these well-trodden trails. Watch out for faunas such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc too in these trails. After several ups and downs we come near by the army camp at Namche Bazzar from where we take last look at the Everest which will be no more visible ahead on this back trek. On reaching our lodge at Namche, we take a nice hot shower that will help relief our tired muscles. You will have a very relaxed sleep in one of the room with private restroom in Namche Bazaar. Walking Time: 7– 8 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 16: Namche Bazaar – Lukla
Today the trail goes steeply downwards, so we need to walk carefully having control over our shaky legs. After again multiple crossings over the prayer flags festooned suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. The more we trek downwards the more we feel easier to breathe as the air gets denser. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today. Although we are following the same route down, we feel completely different views with open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We inspect the impressive Sherpa and their Buddhist culture advised by the ancient monasteries, chhortens, mani stones, and prayer flags swathed in Sherpa homes, villages, bridges and the trails which are believed to spread goodwill and compassion in the space with their fluttering. Upon arrival in Lukla, stretch those sore legs and summon up the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We celebrate our successful and safe trek with the crew. Walking Time: 6–7 hrs, Accommodation: Mountain Lodge, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 17: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
A morning flight drops us in Kathmandu. Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning because wind can create problem to fly the aircraft after noon. But sometimes the flight can be delayed and even canceled due to bad weather and other reasons that are beyond our control. You will be transferred to hotel in Kathmandu after arrival in Kathmandu. You can rest in your hotel, could do some last minute shopping and packing, or stroll around Thamel. Flying Time: 35 minutes, Accommodation: City Hotel, Included Meal: B
Day 18: Contingency Day
Mountain weather becomes unexpectedly bad sometimes that can affect the Lukla-Kathmandu flight to be delayed and even canceled. An extra day would help you to be in safe side from missing your flight back home. If everything went smooth as planned, you can use this day for sightseeing around Kathmandu, the UNESCO World Heritage sites or as a free exploration day on your own. Accommodation: City Hotel, Included Meals: B, D
Day 19: Final Departure
Today your Gokyo Lakes & Everest Base Camp Trekking trip comes to an end. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Icicles Adventure Treks & Tours will take you to the airport for your flight back home. We are sure our service and the Nepal Himalayas has captivated you to come back again! Included Meals: B