GOKYO LAKES TO EVEREST BASE CAMP

Everest Base Camp via Renjo Gokyo Lakes Three Passes | Are you looking for something similar but different to Everest base camp? While the tour is one of the most spectacular routes in the Himalayas, along paths lined and carved out by multi-hued prayer flags, prayer wheels and Mani stones, nothing compares with the incredible Gokyo Lakes on the circular route to Everest base camp. Gokyo Lakes trek is a beautiful hike to the famous turquoise lakes of Gokyo with magnificent views towards Everest. Not only is the Gokyo Lakes to Everest Base Camp close the worlds highest mountain (8,850m) it is also home to the friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, colourful festivals and monasteries.

The hike to Everest base via the Gokyo lakes, Cho La and Renjo gives you the grand tour of the famous Khumbu Valley. There are 6 lakes in total in and around Gokyo, most go as far as the 5th one which is what I did but you can visit lake 6. It also gives you a chance to if you climb Gokyo Ri (easy, highly recommended), from where you see Cho-Oyu (8.200 m). The lakes are beautiful as well as the surrounding mountains, including of course Everest. This is a strenuous trek leading to the high altitude Lakes called "Gokyo" and over the Cho La at 5,420m making a circuit of Tawache (6,367 m) and Cholatse (6,440m) Peaks. Emerging into the valley above Lobuche the trail continues up to Kala Pattar with an optional hike to Everest Base Camp with amazing views of Nupse, Lhotse and Everest.

Overview

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu

Day-2: Guided Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m)

Day-4: Trek Phakding to Namche (3,440m) (5-6 hrs).

Day-5: Acclimitisation at Namche

Day-6 Namche (3,440m) Thame (3,800m). (4hours).

Day-7 Thame (3,800m) Khumjung (3,790m). (4hours).

Day-8 Khumjung (3,790m) Dole (4,200m). (4hours)

Day-9 Dole (4,200m) Machhermo (4,410m). (3-4hours)

Day-10 Acclimatisation or optional hikes.

Day-11 Machhermo (4,410m) - Gokyo (Third Lake at 4,750m). (7hours)

Day-12 Everest Gokyo (4,750m) Leisure

Day-13 Trek Gokyo to Chyugima (Cho La) Pass (5,169m)

Day-14 Cross Cho La (5,420m). Trek to Dzongla (4,730m)

Day-15 Trek to Lobuche (4,930m)

Day-16 Lobuche (4,930m) Gorekshep (5,140m)

Day-17 Gorekshep (5,140m) - Kala Patthar (5,545m)- Lobuche (4,930m)

Day-18 Lobuche (4,930m)- Tengboche (3,860m). ( 6 hours)

Day-19 Tengboche (3,860m) Namche (3,440m). (5 hours).

Day-20 Trek Namche to Phakding (2,610m). (3-4 hours).

Day-21 Phakding to Lukla (2,840m) (3 hrs).

Day-22 Lukla (2,840m)- Kathmandu (1,310m).

Day-23 Final Departure.

Frequent Questions

It is 5545m on Kala Pathar or 18,192 ft above sea level.
The entire trek can be done in less time, but it means that you will be chasing other peoples heels to descend from Namche to Lukla in one push. It is better done over 12 and then you can always add on extra time it you want. By the time you have added on arrival and departure, sightseeing in Kathmandu and a 24hour contingency in case of delays, you are looking at 16-17 days in total. If you add on the Gokyo Lakes Trek section then you need to add another 6 days. Likewise if you decide to add Island Peak then an extra 4-5.
Although the trek is classified as a 'trek,' they have substantial altitude gain, especially the Gokyo Lakes route. They require physical fitness and stamina and most importantly, mental fitness. A good exercise and training program is essential and your training should include a lot of hill walking. The treks should not be undertaken lightly, after all, why spend the money if you are not willing to prepare yourself physically as well?
The hike to base camp is about 170km return trip, Lukla to Lukla. If you add on the Gokyo lakes, it is longer
The hike can be done throughout the year, however, Autumn (Sep - Nov) is often considered to be the best season for hiking in Nepal with a great climate and several festivals. although it is a little colder than Spring, the skies tend to be much clearer. Spring, (March - May) is the next favourite and also main summit season for Mt Everest. During spring time, the Khumbu valley erupts with beautiful  rhododendron flowers. June to August is monsoon season so the route is quiet. During November and December it is cold but again, some travellers find it worth visiting during this period, as there are fewer tourists. .
The route is very clearly marked out with wide paths in most places. The route heads up via the Kumbu Valley through small little villages. It is very hilly, and if there is a river to cross the paths will go down one side, over the river and up the other side. As you approach Lobuche, the route becomes quite rocky as you walk along moraines.
You can choose either, though we recommend lodges.
There are several variations but they start from either Jiri, or Lukla. The route from Jiri joins in at Lukla. From Namche, there are several variations you can take e.g. via Renjo La to Gokyo Lakes, Cho La, Dingboche or Periche or even Kongma La pass to the basecamp of Everest. etc. The routes via Renjo Gokyo Lakes are the longest, while the direct route up via Tengboche and Periche/Dingboche are the quickest.
This really depends on the operator you travel through. The Sagarmatha (Everest) Park authorities do not ask for any medical information on the climbers when permits are purchased. Some operators request the clients complete a medical form, others do not. We require that all of our clients complete a medical form and based on the answers, we may request a letter from your medical practitioner. People suffering with conditions such as severe asthma e.g. should not climb. Regardless, anyone attempting the climb, or any climb for that matter, should ensure that they are medically fit, and convey any medical conditions to the operator they book with.

Yes you do. We (Nomadic Adventures) do not allow anyone to climb with us unless they have adequate travel insurance. Adequate, means you must be covered for

1) trekking or hiking - this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion.

2) altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less.

3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy - yes, many insurers exclude this, though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for.

4) personal accident - this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients - "if anything happens to me, just leave me there." It is not that simple. Bodies need to be brought home or laid to rest overseas, and this can run into thousands of dollars, creating a huge burden on family members.

We will assist in helping you provide good cover. If you need cover or simply a quote, follow the details herewith: Once you have done your initial quote, you will need to upgrade your cover to include altitudes up to 6000m. Towards the bottom of the page you will see a section called, Options: Upgrade your cover. Click the link called 'View Adventure Sports Benefits'. A blue pop up screen will open. Look for the level of cover required for 'trekking to 6,000 meters' or 'hiking to 6,000 meters'. Depending on your country it is usually a level 1 or 2. Note: we are not insurance experts and it is your responsibility to ensure you have correct and adequate cover. If you live in South Africa, we have other cover options

There are certain essentials that are needed for most treks and base camp is no different.  The best way to draw up your list is from the base layer up, i.e. thermal underwear, then hands and feet (gloves, socks etc. Then boots which must be waterproof with good ankle support, trekking pants, trekking tops, short and long sleeve, thermal jacket, outer shell jacket which likewise is windproof and water proof, hat, scarf, beanie, balaclava. Then consider sleeping, i.e. sleeping bag, etc. Accommodation along the route is in guesthouses, so a bed and mattresses are provided. Some include lovely warm duvets, others not, so a sleeping bag is required. If you are camping, then you will still need a sleeping bag but we will supply the sleeping mat.

The last items to add are personal items like toiletries, camera, medicines, water bottle, backpack, camera etc.

We supply a duffel bag on arrival

This is one of the most often asked questions - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an 'unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude and the route to base camp. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly, acclimatise correctly, don't ascent too quickly and drink plenty of water.

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu

Arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Day-2: Guided Sightseeing

Guided sightseeing around Kathmandu valley.

Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m).

Our early morning hike to Everest Base Camp begins with a flight into Lukla - is a lifetime experience, in itself. The airfield is on a slope and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 460 meters! After meeting with guides and porters and a short break for tea we hike away from Lukla towards Everest base camp for a few hours along the Dudh Kosi River to the village of Phakding 2,610m.

Day-4: Phakding (2,610m) Namche Bazaar (3,440m).

After leaving the village of Phakding the path takes us through a magnificent forest of rhododendron, magnolia trees and giant fir trees alongside the Dhud-Kosi river through small villages like Bekar and Monju. You will crisscross over the river a few times on high suspension bridges until you eventually come to the Sagarmatha Check Point where your permits needs to be checked. The climb then starts with a downhill trek down to the river and then all the way back up again to Namche. Namche is the largest Sherpa village and is the unofficial capital of the Khumbu region of Nepal. It is a major stop-off point for trekkers and climbers heading for Mount Everest

Day-5: Namche Bazaar (acclimatisation 3,440 m)

We will spend time here on short treks to acclimatise. Although it says acclimatisation, this means you need to walk for the principle of climb high and sleep low, meaning we gain altitude, then descend again to sleep low, enabling our bodies to better adjust to the altitude before we continue our ascent. A slow and steady pace with adequate time for acclimatisation is key to a successful trek. So hike up to Everest View hotel for just that, a view of Mt Everest, assuming the weather is clear.

Day-6 Namche (3,440m) Thame (3,800m). (4hours).

Our hike is moderately easy and very pretty, as we head to the Sherpa village of Thame 3800m.

Day-7 Thame (3,800m)  Khumjung (3,790m). (4hours).

After an early morning visit to the Thame Monastery, we trek to the serene Sherpa villages of Khunde 3890 m and Khumjung 3790m, where Sir Edmund Hillary established his first school and hospital.

Day-8 Khumjung (3,790m)  Dole (4,200m). (4hours)

Now break away from the main trail to Mt. Everest, climb high on a ridge and then descend to the village of Phortse. From Phortse the trail leads through forests to Dole.

Day-9 Dole (4,200m)  Machhermo (4,410m). (3-4hours)

This morning we head on a steep but beautiful climb through pine, fir and rhododendron forests to Lhabama and Luza, before we arrive at Machhermo (4410m). The settlements of Lhabama and Luza, are temporary high altitude villages where the herders live when they bring their cattle up to high summer pastures during the warmer months.

Day-10: Acclimatisation or optional hikes.

Day-11 Machhermo (4,410m) - Gokyo (Third Lake at 4,750m). (7hours)

Our first day at high altitude will be upon us. The valley opens wide as the trail passes through Pangkha. The climb to the first of the lakes is steep but the trail levels off towards the second lake at 4750 meters.

Day-12 Everest Gokyo (4,750m) Leisure

Time to explore the area around the Gokyo lakes or rest, or hike up the ridge above the camp for spectacular views of the Everest trinity: Nuptse 7879 m, Lhotse 8511 m, and Everest 8848 m, as well as Makalu 8463 m looming to the east and Cho Oyu (8153 m.) to the north.

Day-13 Trek to Cho La/Chyugima Pass (5,169m)

This will be the longest and hardest of the Gokyo Lakes Trek. The trail crosses the southern portion of the Ngozumpa Glacier then climbs steadily to a campsite on the 5169m Chyugima or Cho La Pass.

Day-14 Cross Cho La (5,420m). Trek to Dzongla (4,730m)

A steep and challenging climb awaits us, as we head over rock, snow and perhaps ice with superb views of the glacial valleys of Cho Oyu and Everest. Camp will be at Dzongla 4730m.

Day-15 Trek to Lobuche (4,930m)

After a morning of rest, we will hike above Tsholo Lake and join the main Everest trail near the end of the Khumbu Glacier.

Day-16 Lobuche (4,930m) Gorekshep (5,140m)

The trail from Lobuche follows the side of the glaciers lateral moraine. This section provides good views of the Everest and Pumori from Gorek Shep and Kala Pattar. (5 hours)

Day-17 Gorekshep (5,140m) - Kala Patthar (5,545m)- Lobuche (4,930m)

We will take an early morning hike up to Kala Patthar for stunning views of mount Everest and those feeling strong, an optional hike to Base Camp of Everest (5,200m). We will overnight at Gorekshep or Lobuche.

Day-18 Lobuche (4,930m)- Tengboche (3,860m). ( 6 hours)

Trekking to Tengboche we hike down the valley to lower altitudes and into the valley to Tengboche, home to the famous Tengboche Monastery. We will get amazing views of Mt. Ama Dablam, meaning Mother's Charm Box.

Day-19 Tengboche (3,860m)  Namche (3,440m). (5 hours).

We head off on a long descent down the right flank of the Dudh Kosi valley to Namche. Lodge Overnight.

Day-20 Trek Namche to Phakding (2,610m). (3-4 hours).

We hike down along the gorge of the Dudh Kosi to the small village of Phakding.

Day-21 Phakding to Lukla (2,840m) (3 hrs).

We retrace our steps to the little airstrip of Lukla.

Day-22 Lukla (2,840m)- Kathmandu (1,310m).

Fly to Kathmandu, with remainder free at leisure

Day-23 Final Departure.

End of services

What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Thamel Eco Resort in Kathmandu, twin sharing with breakfast
Kathmandu sightseeing tour, entrance fees, guide, private transportation
TIMS
Flights: Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu
Everest NP entrance fees
Teahouse trek arrangement (staying in lodges)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner on trek (we do not restrict the orders) Meals include coffee or tea but not soft drinks, beer, milo etc
Guide and porter (s) on trek; their wages, insurance and expenses
Welcome dinner with live Nepali cultural show
Duffel bag on trek

Price Excludes

International flights, departure taxes and any excess baggage charges.
Mandatory travel and medical insurance
Tips, baggage and porterage
Expenses of a personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, morning and afternoon teas etc laundry etc.
Meals while staying at the hotels in Kathmandu (only breakfast is included along with accommodation).
Extra expenses and/of additional time caused due to unexpected events (such a flight delays, porterage because of land slides and other natural events.)
Entry Visa $40
Rescue and evacuation
Tips and gratuities
Costs incurred for returning to the hotel earlier than expected (From $35 per night)
Single supplements if applicable
Cost for giving up the trek (and any unused portions which are not refundable), additional hotel accommodation in Kathmandu as a result or costs incurred for changing the itinerary, if applicable, extra costs incurred for landslides and delays beyond our control etc.

Video

Route Profile Map

Everest Cho La Gokyo trekking route profile map
 Everest Gokyo Lakes query



Book your Gokyo Lakes Everest Trek
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Trekking Peaks in Nepal
These two peaks are called trekking peaks. Unfortunately, this has led many to believe that there is no difficulty involved. This is not the case. Anything involving the use of ropes, crampons, climbing gear, climbing skill, snow gullies etc can be difficult, even if it is just for one day.

Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal at 6654m. Island Peak is slightly lower at 6160m.

If you are looking at something tougher than a standard trek and are keen to try adding a peak, these are good options.

Island Peak Itinerary Mera Peak Itinerary


Other treks nearby
 In Tibet there are options such as Mt Kailash, the Kharta Valley Trek or Everest Advanced Base Camp Trek.  In Bhutan, there is everything from the Laya Ghasa Trek or Dagala Lakes, to the long and difficult Snowman Trek