Trekking in Nepal

Gokyo Valley Trek

Gokyo Valley Trek
  • Total Duration

    20 days
  • Trek Grade

    Moderate to Adventurous
  • Trek Duration

    16 days
  • Max Elevation

    5357m at Gokyo Ri
  • Mode of Trek

    Teahouse
  • Trek Starts

    Lukla
  • Trek Ends

    Lukla
“GEM OF EVEREST – in the high valley, the serene forest, and traditional villages rich with Sherpa culture”

Overview

This trek to Gokyo offers a unique, rewarding alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp trek. From Gokyo, the four 8000 m. peaks of Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu are clearly visible.

This outstanding trek visits the deep, lush valleys of the Khumbu region, with time to explore villages and monasteries and to sample the incredible hospitality of the renowned Sherpa people. The adventure begins with a beautiful, scenic flight to Lukla. This is a popular destination, which provides a fascinating contrast to the high mountain views as you approach. You trek slowly to Phakding the first day; the next day you trek ahead to the Sherpa capital at Namche Bazaar. You will have the time to acclimatize yourself before following the quiet trail to Gokyo and Khumjung village in the high valley.

You will also take the opportunity to visit an ancient Buddhist monastery here. Then you will descend to Khumjung, where you will be stunned by the incredible view of Khangtiaga, Thamserku, and the Nuptsse – Lhotse wall, with Mt. Everest towering above. At Khumjung, you will set up overnight camp below Khumbila Peak, home of the patron god of the Khumbu area, after which you will make your way through lovely forests towards Pangboche and Thyangboche, the main highlights of the adventure. The views along the trail throughout are tremendous; it is a panorama of snow-capped chains of mountain ranges to all sides, with many other exciting sights on the way.

The Everest region is understandably one of the most popular and spectacular destinations for trekkers in Nepal and the world, and it offer fascinating and enjoyable trekking, with beautiful views of the highest peaks in the world. This trek reaches its highest point at Gokyo Ri, situated at 5,357 m., which provides outstanding, breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and their glaciers, including Mt. Everest.


Departures

SPRING - AUTUMN

20 March to 08 April
25 September to 14 October

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) and transfer to hotel
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel, where our Sherpa guide or the office staff will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu, with the necessary transfer to and from the hotel by taxi, bus. Overnight in Hotel
Day 02: Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
After your breakfast, you will precede to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will tour the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, Hanuman Dhoka, and Kasthamandav Temple with a guide knowledgeable about Nepalese history, architecture, and religion. From there, you will proceed by taxi, bus to the Buddhist site, Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. You will then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a popular cremation site. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful gompas, or monasteries. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before tomorrow morning's departure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2840m) and Trek to Phakding (2610m) 04 Hrs
This morning you will be transferred from your hotel to the Kathmandu airport for the domestic flight to Lukla. The flight itself is awe-inspiring, as you fly parallel to the Himalayan giants bordering Nepal and Tibet/China. Flying time to Lukla is approximately 35 minutes. Upon arrival in Lukla, there will be time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort and load equipment. Lukla lies at an altitude of (2,850m.) and means “place of sheep.” From Lukla, you descend northwest on a wide trail to the village of Choblung in the Dudh Koshi Valley. The valley is covered with beautiful pine and rhododendron forests. The walking is easy as you follow the river’s course, passing through the village of Ghat. Your destination for today is a small village of Phakding, where accommodation is provided in a teahouse/lodge. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 04: Trek to Namche (3440m) 05 Hrs
After crossing the suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi, the walk is pleasant, with a few short ups and downs, until you re-cross the Dudh Koshi from the village of Benkar, taking in the magnificent view of Thermasarkhu (6,608 m.). You then cross the long suspension bridge over the Bhote Koshi River to reach Monjo, situated below the spectacular peak of Thermasherkhu and a few minutes' walk from the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. At the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, your trekking permit (especially the park ticket) is checked, as the park keeps a record of all trekkers in the area. From here, a short descent brings you again to another suspension bridge over the Bhote Koshi River, after which you reach a bridge to Jorsalle village, the last village and the only place to shop until Namche Bazaar. The walk from Jorsalle village is pleasant, following the river until coming to the last bridge over the Imjatse River. The walk to Namche Bazaar traces a winding, uphill path, with a magnificent view of Kwangde Peak and its other sister peaks towards the east and with Kusum Kangru at your back. As you climb higher, you can view the Mt. Everest- Nuptse wall, Lhotse, and Taweche Peak, all the way up to Thop Danda, where there is a stone wall for porters and trekkers to rest on. From here, another 1-2 hour walk takes you to the destination of the day, the famed Namche Bazaar, where the colorful houses are situated in amphitheater style. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 05: Rest Day in Namche / Acclimatization Day
Suggested activities include a short walk uphill to the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarters, a magnificent spot perched on top of Namche Bazaar, with breathtaking views of the surrounding snowcapped giants and the deep valleys way down below. There is also an interesting museum providing with various information on the history of the Himalayas, the geographic information of the area, cultural practices, mountaineering history, and flora and fauna of the region. You can spend the afternoon at your leisure. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 06: Trek to Namche to Thame (3800m) 04 Hrs
From Namche, the route leads west, following the contours of the hillside. After reaching the ridge above Namche, your walk follows a gradual, winding path as you head up the Bhote Koshi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. This route is still quite often used by Tibetan traders today. Along the way, you pass many prayer flags and Mani stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. The trail passes through Gonglha and Drama and the village of Thomde, where you can make a detour and visit the monastery at Mende. After descending to the Bhote Koshi, the trail climbs steeply for 45 minutes to Thame village, where you stop for the overnight. Here at Thame, there are excellent views of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde; to the north is the Nangpa-la, a 5,710 m. pass leading to Tibet. Thame monastery is situated above, overlooking the valley, and is an important site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 07: Trek to Khunde Village (3800m) 06 Hrs
After a great time at Thame, you retrace your route down the Bhote Koshi Valley towards an area just above Namche. You follow the trail to Khunde and Khumjung, the largest of the Sherpa villages in the Khumbu area, before heading towards Syangboche, where there is a small airstrip. The first one and an half hour walk is uphill and quite strenuous, due to high altitude. However, from the trail, you have a magnificent view of Mt. Kwangde, Thermasherkhu, and other neighboring peaks, as well as an aerial view of Namche Bazaar down below. On reaching Syangboche, you take a short climb towards Khunde village, which situated in the same glacial valley as Khumjung village beneath the sacred Mt. Khumbila (5,761 m.). A quiet, gentle path brings you to the sleepy village of Khunde for the overnight stay. At Khunde, there is a hospital built with the help of Sir Edmund Hillary's foundation; you can visit this hospital, which is a mere15 minute walk from the campsite. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 08: Trek to Phortse Tenga (3900m) 04 Hrs
After yesterday’s wonderful, albeit challenging walk, you will be rewarded with a slow, gentle decent for an hour, leading you to the valley at Khumjung village, which you will have time to visit. You will see the old monastery, the one and only place that have a yeti scalp. Khumjung also has a high school, built with the help of Sir Edmund Hillary. From Khumjung, the trail leads you downhill for an hour before joining the busy main trail at Shanasha. In this area, there is a greater chance of spotting the beautiful, colorful Danphe pheasant (Impeyan pheasant), the national bird of Nepal, the elusive musk deer, and sometimes even a herd of Himalayan thar (mountain goat). From Shanasha, the Gokyo route diverts from the main trail towards the north. The path climbs gently on the steep rock steps embedded in a narrow cleft in a large boulder; the two trails soon join and continue towards a large Chorten on the top of the ridge at 3,973 m. This ridge descends from Khumbila, the 5,716 m. abode of the patron god Khumbu. From this ridge, the path meanders down a sandy slope to the Dudh Koshi at Phortse Tenga, where you will stay overnight. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 09: Trek to Dole (4200m) 04 Hrs
After Phortse Tenga, the trail climbs steeply out of the valley through a patch of rhododendron forest, which gives way to juniper and conifer trees. In the springtime, the forest will be vivid with the dazzling array of flowers in bloom. The trail passes many summer pastures where yak and other cattle graze. The trek winds through Tongba village at 3,950 m. and Gyele at 3,960 m., finally arriving at Dole. A superb view of Khumbila and Taweche (6542m) can be seen throughout the walk. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 10: Trek to Machermo (4410m) 04 Hrs
From Dole, after a steady climb along the side of the valley, you pass through a rhododendron forest, which gradually gives way to scrub juniper as you gain altitude. The trail climbs on a fairly level path for one hour to Lhabarma Karaka at 4,325 m. and further ahead an hour to Luza at 4,390 m. eventually, you skirt around a ridge to gain you first views of Machermo village spread out in the valley below. There is an excellent Swiss chalet-style lodge at Machermo. Machermo is an ideal place for rest and relaxation, although there are also plenty of possibilities for exploration above the camp. Just above the village there is a superb view encompassing Cho-Oyo at 8,210 m. and all the mountains that flank the Ngozumba glacier. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 11: Trek to Gokyo (4760m) 05 Hrs
Today, the trek heads for the holy lakes at Gokyo. You follow a very scenic trail to Pangka, situated at 4,545 m., and then descend slightly, following one of the glacial fed rivers that flow down the west of Ngozumba glacier. You then climb a steep, rocky incline into the ablation valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first lake. You soon arrive at the second lake, crossing the path, which heads across the glacier to the Cho -La pass (another tough route to Lobuche and beyond to Everest Base Camp). You will then walk to the third lake, known as Dudh Pokhari; on its eastern shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo, situated at 4,790 m. The walk by the side of the lake provides magnificent scenery, with the peaks of Cho Oyo and Gyachung Kang reflected in the lake’s emerald green waters. You will be camping just by shore of the lake, depending upon the availability of the campsite. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 12: Rest day at Gokyo
A rest day free from packing and unpacking! After breakfast, you will take a hike to Gokyo RI, a small peak situated above the lake at 5,357 m. and one of the highlights of this trip. This offers breathtaking views, providing a panorama of Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Cholatse, Taweche, and as far as Mt. Makalu in the east. A two hour climb brings you to this wonderful spot. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 13: Trek to Na (4440m) 03 Hrs
You have a wonderful, leisurely morning, as today is a short walk of only 2-3 hours. You retrace the journey back for few hours, after which you turn east, descending to the village of Na, which is situated at the foot of the Ngozumba glacier. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 14: Trek to Phortse (3800m) 05 Hrs
The trail descends to the opposite side of the Dudh Koshi Valley to the village of Phortse. The downhill walk is straight, following the east side of the valley and providing different views of the Khumbu peaks. You enter Phortse at the upper part of the village to camp amongst the potato fields. Phortse is a magnificent village, situated beneath steep hills and overlooking the junction of the Dudh Koshi and the Imja Khola. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 15: Trek to Thyangboche (3865m) 05 Hrs
After a great morning with the view of surrounding, snow-capped peaks, the trail climbs and hugs the contours of the west side of the Imjatse Khola Valley, providing excellent views of Ama Dablam, the Nuptse-Lhotse wall, and Everest. Initially, the trail has some steep drops, but is in good condition. You enter Pangboche and, after lunch, visit the monastery. From Pangboche, you head downhill again towards the Imjatse River; after crossing the wooden bridge, an easy, gradual walk brings you to Pangboche village. After Pangboche, an hour descent leads to another bridge over the whipping Imjatse River. From here, you head back into the green vegetation and a short, half-hour climb brings you to Debouche. The path then climbs for another half-hour to Thyangboche, for overnight camping in a wonderful spot near the Thyangboche Monastery. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 16: Trek to Monjo (2750m) via Namche Bazaar (3440m) 06 Hrs
An easy descent of one hour brings you to Phunge-Tenga. From here, you cross the bridge over the Imjatse River, after which you ascend for half an hour. The path again winds up for an hour, brining you to the familiar village of Shanasha. The walk then continues for another two hours on the twisting, scenic trail to Namche Bazaar. After a rejuvenating break here, you continue your journey on the same downhill slope to the river, again crossing three times before arriving at Monjo, situated just a few minutes from the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We spend overnight in Monjo. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 17: Trek to Lukla (2800m) via Phakding (2652m) 05 Hrs
Retrace the journey back to Phakding on the easy, winding downhill track, following the Dudh Koshi River downstream with only a few short ascents. The walk from Phakding will be very pleasant; except for the last 45 minute climb, it is more of a gentle stroll to Lukla for the last overnight stay of this memorable adventure. Overnight at Teahouse
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu 45 min
The flight time to Kathmandu, are schedule for morning normally, because of the wind in the afternoon, sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason beyond our command. As we get hold of the boarding pass depending upon our flight time we make our way to the terminal for security check, this scenic flight from Lukla takes about 45 minutes to Kathmandu, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen from window of the plane. Arriving at Kathmandu domestic terminal, one of our Tour Officers will be waiting to receive and escort you back to the Hotel. Overnight in Hotel
Day 19: Free Day in Kathmandu
Today it’s a free day in Kathmandu. Please let our staff know if you would like to go on another short tour in and around the Kathmandu Valley or if you would like to extend your stay for few days and join in on one of our extension trips, including white-water rafting, paragliding, or bungee jumping. Overnight in Hotel
Day 20: Final Departure
Keep the departure time of international flight in mind, and make sure to keep your confirmed air ticket and passport handy! Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from beautiful Nepal.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals,to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools,lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses and all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nights. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Private Charter Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fundraising programs,student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work closely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements,budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation,guides,transport,permits,peak fees,equipment requirements,food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And you can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (*permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, intended to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants

Toiletry Items

Towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, reading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.

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