Exploring Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lake
Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes gives you an entire Everest experience. Embarking on this 15-day journey takes you to the heart of four 8,000-meter peak mountains, including the world's highest, Mt. Everest. More, you'll hike to Gokyo Lakes, the heart of the hydrological cycle of the Everest region, with five conspicuous freshwater lakes. Later, you'll cross Cho La, one of the highest Himalayan Passes from Gokyo Valley, to enter Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.
Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lakes Trek combines two different Everest region trekking. Usually, trekkers prefer Everest Base Camp Trek or Gokyo Lakes Trek alone. Due to the strenuous grades, only some trekkers hike these two simultaneously. However, some find it easy to first trek to Gokyo Valley, and instead of crossing Cho La, they hike down to Phortse, avoid Cho La, and then Trek to Everest Base Camp via Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorak Shep. But those with few high-altitude trekking experiences prefer this combined trek, with just 3-4 more extra days on the itinerary.
Here are some reasons why Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes in 2023 can be ideal for you.
Trek to Gokyo Lakes- Six Freshwater Turquoise Lakes
The six freshwater lakes at over 4,300 meters altitude Gokyo Lakes is a gem of Khumbu Valley. The famous member lakes of the Gokyo Lake system include Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), Thonak, Tanjung, etc. Phonak Cho is the largest, and Gokyo Cho is the most popular.
During Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek, you'll have an itinerary of visiting Gokyo with a day of rest. You'll hike up to Gokyo Ri, at 5,357 meters, an excellent vantage point on the entire Everest region. Those who hike up to Gokyo Ri even rate this place as great as Everest Base Camp for the viewing experience.
One thing is true about Gokyo; it's a wholesome adventure in the Everest region. Compared to the base camp route, Gokyo sees fewer trekkers. Due to this, you'll have a peaceful hiking experience. Moreover, trekking to Gokyo allows you to witness Mt. Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain, only visible during the Gokyo Lakes Trek.
Apart from Gokyo Lakes and beautiful mountain scenery, the Gokyo Valley is the most beautiful. The beautiful tea houses near Gokyo Lakes offer a once-in-a-lifetime overnight accommodation experience.
Also, the lake holds significant religious values among the Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimages. As It is the abode of Lord Shiva and Vishnu, the "Snake God". Thus, the eastern shore of this lake has a small temple of Shiva and Vishnu.
Everest Base Camp: The Highest Altitude seated Base Camp
You can have clockwise and anti-clockwise trekking options at Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek. Either way, you'll reach Everest Base Camp Trek, the major highlight of the trek.
Everest's base camp, at 5,364 meters, is the highest altitude seated base camp of any 8000 meters high mountain. Reaching here can get tiring, but it rewards with the most exciting mountain glimpse. Further, you'll stand at the point where Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary once set foot.
Everest Base Camp and its surrounding locale is a true heaven of mountains. With Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu, you'll see four of the fourteen highest peaks on this trek. How cool is that?
Walking along the glacier and glacier moraines gives a true sense of serenity. Plus, when viewed from Kala Patthar, the magical sunrise and sunset colors on Everest elevate your trek experience. The warmth of Everest lives in you for the rest of your life.
While returning to Namche via Pheriche and Tengboche, you'll see other elegant mountains like Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Tawoche, and Kongde Ri.
Crossing Cho La Pass: One of the high Himalayan Pass
Cho La (Pass) bridges two mountain villages in Khumbu, Thangnak, and Dzongla. Those who prefer clockwise Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lakes and Cho La cross this pass from Thangnak. And those who first trek to Everest Base Camp hike down to Dzonga from Lobuche, travel to Cho La, and hike down to Thangnak and Gokyo Lakes.
Considering its adventure, crossing this pass gives a surreal experience, just like traversing a small mountain. If it gets filled with snow in early March, you'll need to put on crampons, fixed rope, and attach it to summer. In the other months, you'll still need to hike up/down this pass with the help of a string attached to the right side. Don't get scared! Our highly experienced trekking guide will assist you throughout this trek. And take care of your ascend/descend on this pass.
Be prepared to cross this rugged terrain with us in Autumn 2023. Expect that it won't be an easy walk. One thing is sure; you'll live your moment on this pass. And you'll meet Three Pass Trekkers on this route, and they often applaud you to boost your morale.
Sherpa people, their culture, and popular settlements
While on Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes Trek, you'll experience the unblemished Sherpa culture.
Sherpa are the ethnic groups of the Everest region. From the start of Lukla to the Gokyo and Gorak Shep, you'll meet countless Sherpa people. Known as the legends of mountains, you'll often hear the stories of mountains from the expedition porters and climbers at the tea houses.
They have distinctive cultures and ways of living. The particular interiors of houses, attires, language, and hospitality are notable. The chortens, stupas, prayer flags, and stone-carved Buddhist mantras en route showcase the elements of vibrant Buddhism these people practice.
A typical day on Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek
Here's a quick sneak peek of how you'll hike daily on the route.
You'll begin this trek with the Ramechhap to Lukla flight. It takes 20 minutes to reach Lukla Airport from Manthali Airport. And after landing at Lukla, you'll hike for 4-5 hours to Phakding and stay overnight at the tea house.
The next morning, after breakfast, you'll start the trek to Namche Bazaar. You'll reach Namche after 5–6 hours from Phakding.
You'll stop for acclimatization at Namche. For an acclimatization hike, you'll hike up to Hotel Everest View, the world's highest altitude seated hotel, at 3,880 meters.
The next day's hike takes you to Dole, from Namche to Syangboche. On this day's walk, you'll see the complete view of Mt. Ama Dablam and Khumbila. The hike through pine and rhododendron forests takes you to Dole, where you'll stop for overnight accommodations.
From Dole, you'll hike to Machhermo, the summer pasture land for yaks. On this day, you'll see the sixth-highest mountain, Cho Oyu.
On the sixth day of your Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek, you'll reach Gokyo Valley. You'll hike up to Gokyo Ri the next day for sightseeing. You'll see beautiful Everest, Lhotse, Gokyo Lakes, and landscapes from the top.
From Gokyo, you'll hike to Thongnak, cross Cho La Pass, and trek to Dzongla, taking two days. From Dzongla, you'll hike to Lobuche, Gorak Shep, and finally Everest Base Camp. You'll walk two hours from Gorak Shep to reach Everest's base camp. After an hour of sightseeing at the base camp, you'll return to the tea house at Gorak Shep.
With the next morning's hike to Kala Patthar, you'll descend to Pheriche.
From Pheriche, you'll hike to Namche and Lukla. To end this trek, you'll fly from Lukla to Ramechhap and drive to Kathmandu in a private vehicle.
Trek information about Everest Base Camp Via Gokyo
Arrival in Kathmandu
Our representative will meet and greet you at the Kathmandu airport to welcome you to Nepal. You will likely see a pamphlet with your good name for easy identification.
For your comfort, you'll get a complimentary hotel transfer from the airport on a private vehicle.
Ground Transport and Ramechhap Lukla Flight
The price you pay for Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek is all-inclusive, including your domestic transport, ground, and air.
To start this trek, you'll get a private vehicle drive from Kathmandu to Ramechhap, probably at midnight. The following day, you'll fly to Lukla.
While returning, you'll fly to Ramechhap airport. Also, you'll get a private vehicle transport to Kathmandu while returning. It'll be a tourist bus, Scorpio, or a 4*4 WD vehicle.
Flight delays, cancelations, and buffer days
We can't assure you 100% that Ramechhap to Lukla flights won't get delayed or canceled on the day of your flight. Since Lukla Airport sits at 2,860 meters, the weather here often changes. Also, with changes in weather patterns, some days in October become rainy, halting the flights for days.
Even during the most stable weather of March-May and September-October, the weather can worsen. However, there's a great chance of flying Lukla on schedule during the clear weather days of Autumn and Spring.
Therefore, please allocate at least two days as a buffer day to cope with possible weather changes. However, with the slight change in weather and helicopter flyable weather, we'll try to organize the helicopter flight to Lukla upon consulting you. If the flight gets canceled for days, you'll also get the option of flying on a helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla.
Accommodations throughout the trek
You'll get the best available tea house for accommodation throughout your 15 days on Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes.
Upon your arrival and a day before departure, you'll stay in Kathmandu. Your accommodation cost in Kathmandu depends upon your interest, whether you want us to arrange the hotel or you look for one yourself. However, the package cost may vary if you prefer us to arrange accommodation.
You'll get 14 nights' accommodations at the tea houses en route. The most popular twin-sharing rooms that you'll get. However, if you want a private room, your trek guide will look for it too. You'll get attached bathrooms at lower altitudes and some tea houses at higher altitudes, but only in some places. You'll get the benefits of using running water taps in most areas.
You'll get washed blankets, bedsheets, and pillows. At higher altitudes, you may not have the benefit of multiple blankets. Thus, we encourage you to bring your sleeping bag for a cozy sleep. Don't worry; your trek porters help you carry your sleeping bag and other backpacks.
Meals during Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek
Meals keep your body fuel adequate to keep up with the trek. Thus, you'll have choices from an expansive meal menu. However, you may get fewer choices at higher altitudes than at tea houses at lower altitudes.
Your meal during the trek includes 15 breakfasts, 15 lunches, and 14 dinners during the trek.
Breakfast: Toast, omelet, pancakes, porridge with honey, oatmeals, muesli, pies, chapati, bread, butter, and noodle soups are famous in the Everest region. Hot drinks like tea, milk, coffee, ginger lemon with honey, and lukewarm drinking water are the most common.
Lunch/Dinner: You can expect similar meal items for lunch and dinner. However, with expansive options, you can try different meals each day. Popular meals include Nepali Dal Bhat with lentil soup, cooked veggies, and pickles for lunch or dinner. It's a complete meal with protein, carbohydrates, and other essential body elements. Other meals include pizza, burgers and fries, sandwiches, pasta with cheese, think, noodles with tuna, spaghetti, dumplings, and even steaks at lower altitudes.
After dinner, you can have hot chocolate, tea, or ginger lemon. You'll get seasonal fruits as dessert until the fruit remains fresh.
Everest region trek permits
The cost you pay us while purchasing the Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass includes the cost of every required Everest region trek permit. If bought individually, these permits together cost around NPR 8,000. The Sagarmatha National Park permit costs NPR 3000 for foreigners and NPR 1000 for SAARC nationals. Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality permit costs NPR 2000. And if avoiding flight, GCAP costs NPR 3000.
Sagarmatha National Park Permit and Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality Permit are two permits you should have upon starting from Lukla. However, if you want to hike along Kharikhola, you'll also need a Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit.
Our associates will arrange your trek permits. And at checkposts, our guides will assist with the process. But for a license, you should send us your recent photo, passport copy, and a valid Nepali visa. With these documents, your trek permits become ready before flying to Lukla.
Acclimatization during the trek
You'll get two acclimatization stops, whichever you prefer, clockwise or counterclockwise Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass Trek. One at Namche Bazaar includes the hike to Hotel Everest View, the world's highest-altitude seated hotel in Syangboche. Another in Gokyo with a walk to Gokyo Ri if trekking clockwise. Or at Dingboche with a day hike to Chukung or Nangkartshang Peak counter-clockwise.
Acclimatization is not for sightseeing only. Instead, they're more to keep your body adjusted with the high altitude and against the thin air.
Our clients get proper rest during this trek so that everyone can complete the trek successfully. With these two acclimatization stops, you'll adapt well to the altitude and, thus, avoid altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness and prevention
There's no denying that Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lakes Trek has a high chance of getting altitude sickness. As you hike through the most remote altitude over 5,000 meters, the oxygen concentration gets very thin. As a result, you'll experience altitude sickness, HAPE, and HACE.
But is there any guarantee that you'll get it? No!
The environment being susceptible to altitude sickness doesn't necessarily mean you'll get altitude sickness. You'll reduce the chance of mountain sickness with proper care, rehydration, meals, and avoiding alcoholic drinks. Also, our trekking guides will ensure you'll remain healthy throughout the trek.
The common signs of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and fatigue. If you get three symptoms at a time, report immediately to your trek guide. The guide will decide whether to stop, descend, or call for a helicopter rescue.
Instead of worrying about sickness, you should focus on not getting mountain sickness. Frequent hydration is the most practiced thing that keeps trekkers away from sickness. Also, proper rest and meals help you avoid the sickness. Mainly, alcohols, smoking, and caffeinated drinks cause dehydration, leading to mountain sickness. Thus, it would help if you avoided these, at least for the trek.
Also, your physical fitness comes into play. You'll escape the sickness if you're physically fit with proper cardio training.
Weather, temperature, and best time to trek Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes
Typically, we operate this trek during Autumn and Spring days, when the temperature remains mild and the weather becomes ideal for sightseeing.
March to May and September to November are the best times for Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass. The weather remains stable during these months with a crystal clear viewing experience. Also, the clear sky during these months prevents rainfall. Usually, later Autumn and early spring days become less humid, favoring the all-day hike with no rain.
The temperature in these months remains warm. However, early Spring and late Autumn become colder. The daytime temperature at Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes, and Cho La averages around 4-5 ˚C. And nighttime temperature falls below freezing.
In early March and late November, the temperature drops to -15 ˚C at Gokyo Lakes and Everest's base camp. Plus, Cho La during this time remains around freezing during the daytime.
Considering, on average, these months are the best time to trek here.
Travel Insurance and its importance
After booking Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass Trek with us, you must submit valid proof of your travel insurance. If you fail to provide evidence of your travel insurance, you may not be able to join the group, with no refund of your trek cost/ booking fee.
Travel insurance can be a lifesaver during emergencies. At times of altitude sickness, with no options than calling a helicopter, you'll get an emergency rescue on time. With proof of your travel insurance, it becomes easier for us to send a helicopter on time. Also, your hospital bills and medication costs can get expensive upon paying yourself. But, with the advantage of insurance, you get your expenses covered!
Also, in other instances like theft and damage of personal stuff, if you have travel insurance, compensate for the damage.
Our trekking guides and trek porters
We have some of the finest trekking guides in Nepal who've expertise in the Everest region and have completed Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass. You'll get one such trek guide during your 15 days adventure.
Our Sherpa porters will carry your backpacks to comfort you while trekking. However, they carry just a 9 kg weighing backpack per trekker.
All our guides and porters are from the corners of the Himalayas and are well-acclimated to the altitude of the Everest region. With their years of guiding experience, you'll complete this trek successfully.
What they're capable of:
- Wilderness first aid
- Rapid rescue
- Biodiversity and sustainable practice
- Fluent communication (guide based on your language preference)
Want to trek with us in 2023 and 2024?
Our fixed departures for Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes Trek in September, October, and November are now left with few spaces. If you want to join our exciting group for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Email us today.
We do allow last-minute bookings as well. Contact our trek leader (Mr. Raju Aryal at +977-9851083025) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the price and availability of this trek.