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Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty, Cost, Intergity, Route, Map, Height, Best Season

Posted By: Simran Subba , June 2021

Trekking to Gokyo Lake provides an amazing opportunity to see massive Himalayan mountains. The mountains are above 8000 meters high, including Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, and the Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal's biggest glacier. 

A brief introduction to the Gokyo lakes and their altitude

Gokyo Lakes are oligotrophic lakes found in Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park at an elevation of 4,700–5,000 m (15,400–16,400 ft) above sea level. These lakes comprise the world's highest freshwater lake system, with six primary lakes, the biggest of which is Thonak Lake. Gokyo and its accompanying wetlands of 7,770 acres (30.0 sq mi) were designated a Ramsar site in September 2007.

The Gokyo Lakes are located in the Khumjung Village Development Committee in the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone in Nepal's north-eastern Sagarmatha Zone. The major lake, Gokyo Cho, also known as Dudh Pokhari, has an area of 42.9 hectares (106 acres), and the settlement of Gokyo is located on its eastern coast. Thonak Cho, with an area of 65.07 hectares, is the biggest lake (160.8 acres). Gyazumpa Cho has a land area of 29 ha (72 acres), followed by Tanjung Cho, which has a land space of 16.95 ha (41.9 acres), and Ngojumba Cho, which has a land area of 14.39 hectares (35.6 acres). They have considerable hydrological value as sources of permanent freshwater.

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They consume water from a variety of sources, including seepage from the Ngozumpa glacier, a stream flowing from the Renjo La pass in the north-west, and another flowing from the Ngozumpa glacier in the east. These are glacier-fed freshwater wetlands that drain into the Dudh Kosi River via the Taujon and Longabanga lakes. These lakes are deeper than the experts previously thought. The deepest lake is Fourth Lake (Thonak Cho), which is 62.4 meters deep, followed by Gokyo Lake, which is 43 meters deep. There is no direct connection between Gokyo Lake and the upper Thonak Cho or the Ngozumpa Cho, however, these lakes may be linked by subsurface seepage water. Because it is located in an environmentally sensitive and unstable zone, the Gokyo lake system is naturally susceptible. The Ngozumpa glacier's eruption is constantly a danger to the lakes' existence.

The Gokyo lake system, which consists of 19 lakes, has an area of 196.2 hectares (485 acres) and is located between 4,600 and 5,100 m. (15,100 and 16,700 ft). The marsh is located at the head of the Dudh Kosi, which flows from Cho Oyu.

Highlights of Gokyo Lake trekking

  1. Thrilling flight to Lukla Airport
  2. Namche Bazaar — the entryway to Mt. Everest
  3. Sherpa culture, festival, and way of life in Khumjung
  4. Gokyo Lake is a peaceful and picturesque place.
  5. Hiking Gokyo- Ri (5,438m/17984ft)
  6. From Gokyo Ri, you can see Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu, and other mountains.

Overview of the Gokyo Lake trekking route

The most usual way to begin your journey at Gokyo Ri is to fly to the little town of Lukla. Lukla airport, at a height of 2,800 meters, is one of the world's most severe airports. This thrilling flight from Kathmandu to Lukla lasts around 35-40 minutes.

During peak seasons, the airport gets highly congested, with many planes running simultaneously. It should be remembered, however, that unexpected weather conditions may cause flight delays. In the worst-case scenario, flight cancellations are extremely typical in Lukla. So, while booking a flight to Lukla, it is best to book early in the morning.

If you wish to escape the unpredictability of Lukla flights, a helicopter rental from Kathmandu is the best option. The chopper alternative, on the other hand, is significantly more expensive than conventional flights.

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Another option for avoiding the Lukla flight is to drive from Kathmandu to Jiri and then hike overland to Lukla or Phakding. It takes around 8 hours to get to Jiri and a week to go to Lukla. Remember that if you follow this path to Gokyo Ri, you will need to get extra permission for the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project (GCAP).

The Gokyo Ri Trek begins and concludes in Lukla, and after completed, you will retrace your steps back to Kathmandu. The most apparent option for returning to Kathmandu is to fly from Lukla. However, if you want to be more convenient, you may take a helicopter.

Gokyo Lake trekking difficulty

The hike to Gokyo Lake is moderately challenging. This journey demands you to be in good shape and have stamina because it needs you to walk for 5 to 6 hours, omitting the acclimatization days. The tough paths, steep terrains, and high passes prove increasingly difficult.

The altitude is also a major issue here since you will be staying at heights greater than 3500m for many days. During the walk, you will also go to altitudes of 5000m or above four times. The air is exceedingly thin here, and many people suffer from altitude sickness. Even for those who are not afflicted, breathing can be difficult, and the long hiking days make it even more difficult.

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Another thing to consider on this journey is the weather. The weather in the mountains is erratic and subject to change. As a result, we advise you to prepare for the inclement weather. Even although rain and cold weather are less of a problem in the fall and spring, always pack a waterproof jacket, sleeping bag, and a down jacket to prevent the hazards of severe weather.

Cost for the Gokyo Lake trekking

The expense of a Gokyo Lake walk may be minimized and managed. The cost of a Gokyo Lake walk is determined by how you travel, what you eat, what you bring with you, and where you stay. This journey may be completed on a budget of roughly $1300 USD per person if you are traveling individually.

The journey costs around US$ 1,500 to 2,000 per person on average. Keep in mind that the cost of the walk will vary based on factors such as the form of transportation, route, and number of days.

Best seasons for Gokyo lake trekking

You must hike at the proper season to enjoy the optimum climatic conditions. Autumn (September to November) and Spring are the finest seasons for Gokyo Lake Trekking (March to May) The weather is bright and bright during these seasons, with warm daytime temperatures. The sky is clear and blue, and nature is ablaze with color.

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Throughout the spring season, Nepal enjoys a moderate climate. The hills will be covered in rhododendron, orchids, and other floral plants. Autumn is the most gorgeous season in Nepal. Even in the highlands, the weather is pleasant. The days will be clear, giving for the greatest mountain views. These two seasons are suitable for those residing around the nation.

In the winter, the Himalayas are a little cooler (December to January). Precipitation will take the form of snowfall. The days, on the other hand, are still bright and pleasant. Rainfall happens only on infrequent occasions. If you prefer to go on peaceful trails and are willing to deal with the harsh colds, winter is an excellent alternative.

Itinerary of the 13 days Gokyo lake trek

Below is the detailed itinerary of the Gokyo lake trip which might be customized as per your request.

Day 1: Fly to Lukla (2840 m) and then hike to Phakding (2610 m). 30 minutes in length Hiking time: 3/4 hour

You'll begin with a trip to Solukhumbu's Lukla Airport. The journey takes you above the Himalayas, providing you with a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayas, including the famed Mt. Everest, which stands tall with its snow-clad summit in all its majesty. Mt. Everest grows on you as the flight progresses. The landing on the landing strip is an adrenaline rush in and of itself and is not for the faint of heart.

Due to the vigorous twisting and tossing necessary to guide the plane into the narrow landing strip, the plane will appear unbalanced and unsteady throughout the touchdown. The altitude will hit you as soon as you get out of the plane.

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The journey begins in Lukla along the Dudh Koshi (Milk River), which may be seen flowing into the distance. You'll be hiking through rhododendron forest, which has a distinct perfume of evergreen oak. The glimpse of snowy peaks signals that the walk will progressively become more difficult, as well as the start of an adventure that will put one's mental and physical stamina to the test.

Day 2: Hiking from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3480 m). 5/6 hours in length

The path will begin quite easily and progressively grow more difficult. As you pass the formidable Dudh Koshi, you will catch your first view of Everest. As you continue on, the route will take you to Monjo, where you may stop for lunch. The following section of the path will be tougher. As we approach Namche, the route grows steeper and higher in elevation, causing shortness of breath. It is best not to rush, but rather to go gently and steadily. For the night, you'll be stopping in Namche Bazaar. It is teeming with activity, and the residents of the Solukhumbu region congregate there to do business.

Day 3: Day of rest at Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar is the Sherpa "capital." You may utilize this time to acclimate, rest, and visit the area surrounding Namche Bazaar. Most trekkers choose to awake before sunrise to take in the breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Thamserku, AmaDablam, and other stunning peaks from the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarters, which is located on the east side of town and has a museum.

Day 4: Hiking time: 4/5 hours from Namche to Khumjung (3750 m)

We'll start our trip to Khumjung early in the morning. We'll begin by ascending to the monastery above Thame hamlet. If the weather cooperates, you will be able to see a situation in which the natural beauty of the spectacular environment blends with the old Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people. Following your tour, you will return to Namche Bazaar and then to Khumbila.

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As you approach Khumjung, the route expands and follows the contour of the mountain at a modest rise. This settlement is located at the base of Khumbila, a holy hill. The Monastery, which was founded some 340 years ago, is shaped like the head of a Yeti, often known as the Abominable Snowman. It's a good spot to spend the night. It is a well-known location for Adman. People who support Hillary Clinton

Day 5: Hiking time: 6/7 hours from Khumjung to Dole (4110 m)

Following Khumjung, we'll follow the route up the side of a hill, past a rocky peak, and down to a creek that drains from Gokyo Lake. At a split in the road, we'll take the left branch onto the route to Phortse (the town on the other side of the river) and go north. As you progress, you will be transported into a world straight out of a story.

Day 6:Dole to Macherma (4470 m), hiking time: 4/5 hours

We'll be climbing out of the valley that Dole lies in, passing past Lhaparma and Luza, and getting our first look at Cho Oyu. At over 8000m, it is one of the world's tallest peaks and acts as a continuous, towering companion as we trek up the valley. The path has a few steep portions, but it is generally a gentle walk up to Macherma, where you will spend the day.

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Day 7: Macherma to Gokyo (4790 m), hiking time: 4/5 hours

We'll continue ascending upwards out of the settlement, then gradually ascend into Pangka. Almost the entire way up, there will be breathtaking views of Cho Oyu. We'll climb a short, steep part before descending to follow a stream route that bridges the river and shortly emerges at the foot of the first of three little lakes in this valley. The lake is stunningly gorgeous — milky blue with golden ducks swimming about. As we continue, we will pass through the second and third lakes before arriving at Gokyo. If you're feeling daring, you may explore the Renjo Pass, which offers vistas of Everest and a slew of other neighboring peaks.

Day 8: Hiking from Gokyo to Gokyo Ri (5483 m) and back to Gokyo 4/5 hours in length

We will climb to the top of Gokyo Ri, a small hill, early in the morning to enjoy breathtaking views of the Upper Gokyo valley, the massive Ngozumpa Glacier, and an incredible panoramic view of the entire Khumbu Himalayas, including Everest standing tall and mighty among Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu (8481 m), Cho-Oyu (8153 m), and Gychung Kang (7922 m), among others.

Day 9: Hiking from Gokyo to Dole (4110 m) 5/6 hours in length

We'll be on our way down. We will pass via Dragnag and view the Ngozumpa Glacier on our trip. The trail will appear to be easier than the previous section of the journey. However, it is important to avoid putting too much weight and pressure on the knees. You will arrive at Dole after many hours of leisurely strolling.

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Day 10: from Dole to Namche (3500 m) 5/6 hours in length

We begin our descent to PhorcheThanka by trekking largely through a rhododendron woodland. We will come across waterfalls and a prayer wheel powered by a strong high glacier stream. We'll stop for lunch at a little eatery before continuing on to Namche. Namche Bazaar is the Sherpa "capital." Many hikers choose to awake before sunrise to take in the breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Thamserku, AmaDablam, and other stunning peaks from the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarters, which is located on the east side of town and has a museum.

One may watch the mountains' shadow being projected onto the clouds above and properly understand the immensity of the mountains. Try salt-butter tea and Champa, a type of grain commonly used by sherpas in the region as one of the key energy supplements.

Day 11: Hiking from Namche to Phakding (2610 m) 5/6 hours in length

The route descends and passes the Dudh Kosi, where there are a number of water-powered prayer wheels. The trip returns to the Sagarmatha National Park by trails of pine and cedarwoods, ending in Chumoa town, a lovely place to eat lunch. The route then follows the river till it reaches Phakding. At this point, there should be no problem breathing.

Day 12:Hiking time from Phakding to Lukla (2840 m): 4/5 hours

As you continue on your journey to Lukla, the disappearance of the snowy peaks in the distance serves as a signal that the most difficult portion has a pass and the beginning of the conclusion of an exciting and wonderful trip that has pushed one to their limits. You will pass via a rhododendron woodland that smells strongly of evergreen oak and travel down the Dudh Koshi (Milk River )

Day 13: Flights to Kathmandu, Flights to 30 minutes in length

The return trip to Kathmandu departs before 10:00 a.m. It can sometimes change according to weather circumstances. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be taken to your hotel.


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