Gokyo Lake Trekking - 12 Days

Gokyo Lake
Gokyo Lake Trek
Gokyo Trek
At a Glance
Duration12 Days
Trip GradeModerate
Maximum Altitude5,357m/17,575ft at Gokyo Ri
Group Size2-10
Travel StyleTrek
Best TimeSpring & Autumn

Gokyo Lake Trekking is an alluring alternative to the popular Everest Base Camp Hike, and several other longer high-altitude expeditions such as the Everest Three High Pass Trek, Gokyo Cho La Pass, and Jiri to Everest Base Camp Voyage offer no less breathtaking Himalayan scenery with fewer crowds. This adventurous odyssey to the six pristine lakes in the lap of the Himalayas takes you through the Everest region of Nepal, also called the Khumbu region locally, past several traditional Sherpa villages, glacial valleys, yak pastures, a series of high-altitude cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain vistas.

Throughout the journey to the Gokyo Lake, you will be at the majestic sight of Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, the largest mountain grandeur of the globe, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), and some other tops of the world, followed by lush valleys and rhododendron forests, also presenting you chances of immersing yourself in the rich and unique culture and hospitality of the Sherpa people while stooping at several iconic stopping places with cozy tea houses, such as Namche Bazaar and the tranquil village of Dole.

The major highlight of the overall trekking is undoubtedly the Gokyo Lakes themselves, where trekkers, travelers, and anyone visiting the area are rewarded with the ultimate serenity of the turquoise lakes sparkling in contrast to the backdrop of sky-dominating snow-capped peaks along with the nearby Gokyo Ri Peak. The ascent to this remarkable viewpoint is one of the most exhilarating aspects, which is as rewarding as challenging and leaves you with unforgettable memories of the Himalayas at an elevation of 5,357 m, granting you never-before jaw-dropping mountain panoramas in the Himalayas.

Therefore, trekking to Gokyo Lake is not just about the visual splendor but also about the great sense of accomplishment and adventure. Reaching Lukla at the end and start of itself fills you deeply with the fresh mountain air, which is convenient for every adventurer with a reasonable level of fitness and determination. Offering the perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and physical challenge, the journey to the Gokyo Lake is the most fulfilling adventure, with a less crowded path in the Everest region to return with exercised legs and a heart full of memories changed by the beauty of the Himalayas and the serenity of the Gokyo Lake itself.


  • An adrenaline-rushing mountain flew over to the airport in Lukla, also called Tenzing Hillary Airport after the two legendary mountaineers.
  • Get to explore one of the highest airports in the world, Syangboche, at 3,708 m, on the outskirts of the region’s cultural and trade hub, Namche Bazaar.
  • Make your way through several suspension bridges, traditional mountain villages, and the rich biodiversity of the Everest Trekking region with the greatest chances of witnessing the rare snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan tahr, and others.
  • Explore the untainted Sherpa culture in the remote Himalayas, far away from modern amenities and hustle and bustle.
  • Embrace the true essence of the snow-capped peaks, including the top four of the world: Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Mt. Makalu, along with several others.
  • A closer insight into Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism as you pass through several centuries-old monasteries, mani walls, prayer flags, prayer wheels, and gompas.
  • The turquoise beauty of Gokyo Lake, its valleys, and its nearby peak named Gokyo Ri offer a 360-degree look out at the surrounding peaks.
  • Visit the ancient Khumjung Monastery, which is believed to have possessed the scalp of the mighty Yeti, etc.

What can you expect during the Gokyo Lake Trekking?

Gokyo Lake Trekking is a popular alternative to the classic Everest Base Camp adventure odyssey in the Everest region of Nepal., offering mythical views of the majestic Himalayas, a tranquil experience, and the cultural pilgrimage that comes once in a while predominated by the incredible views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and other Himalayan giants.

In addition to these, you can expect high-altitude challenging trails as well, followed by tea houses along the routes opened and managed by the local Sherpa people, serene landscapes, diverse wildlife in the Sagarmtha National Park, peaceful hiking, steep climbs, and rapidly changing weather. In brief, here is what makes the Gokyo Lake hiking route in the Everest region really stand out:

The spell-binding scenery of the Everest region

Of course, like any other trekking destination in the Everest region, the star attraction of this Gokyo Lake Trekking is also magnificent snow-capped peaks such as the awe-inspiring sights of Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and Ama Dablam, further adding to its beauty by pristine glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls, verdant rhododendron forests, and the expansive Ngozumpa Glacier.

Moreover, the picturesque Sherpa villages, ancient monasteries, and numerous viewpoints like Gokyo Ri enhance the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world while walking alongside the glacial valleys, past sky-perched mountain giants, and over the rushing river through goosebumping suspension bridges throughout the journey to Gokyo Lake.

The enriching Sherpa culture and the vast biodiversity of the UNESCO World Heritage site

The Gokyo Lakes Trek is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the enriching Sherpa culture featuring their warm hospitality, ancient monasteries, colorful prayer flags, typical festivals, and celebrations, beside the diverse biodiversity of the Sagarmatha National Park, listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, boasting a wide array of flora and fauna, including some of the most elusive wildlife species such as musk deer, Himalayan thar, red pandas, etc.

While the Sherpas have been noted for their admirable adaptability to the harsh Himalayan environment for centuries, Buddhism is an integral part of daily life. Throughout the journey, you will walk alongside the prayer wheels, mani stones, and vibrant prayer flags. To experience the traditional way of life firsthand, you might even get lucky enough to take part in the daily custom and puja (ceremony) performed by the Sherpa monk during the Gokyo Lake expedition.

Hence the enriching Sherpa culture and biodiversity of the Sagarmatha National Park, established in 1976, covers an area of 1,148 square kilometers in the Solu-Khumbu district of Nepal, including the upper catchment areas of the Dush Koshi River, the Bhote Koshi River, and the Gokyo Lakes, which together create a unique tapestry of human and natural heritage, adds much during the traversing of Gokyo Lake. The Sherpas’ resilient way of life, shaped by the challenging environment of the Himalayas, complements Everest’s rich flora and fauna, making it a vital area for both cultural and ecological preservation.

The Blue gem of the Everest region, Gokyo Lakes and Hamlet

The main highlight of the Gokyo Lake Odyseey is undoubtedly the Gokyo Lakes and the village of Gokyo, often considered the “Blue Gem of the Everest Region, representing the region's serene and majestic beauty. These lakes are surrounded by ethereal snow-capped peaks, offering otherworldly sights to behold.

Further, these blue gems, “Gokyo Lake,” offer not only stunning natural landscapes but also a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Sherpa people, as the series of six main glacial lakes situated at an altitude of about 4,700–5,000 meters hold a major spiritual and cultural belief. Sherpa people and locals from the Everest Himalayas revere the lake area as the abode of the gods and goddesses.

Among these six lakes, which are also listed in the Ramsar Site, the third is the most popular, called Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), right next to the village of Gokyo, a true paradise for photographers, serving as the perfect destination for adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts, and spiritual individuals. Whether you are seeking ultimate adventure, spiritual solace, or simply the gorgeous beauty of the Himalayas, the Goky areas have it all that promises an unforgettable experience.

Adventuresome Gokyo Ri

The Gokyo Lake Trekking Trail winding through the magical Khumbu Valley takes you to the Gokyo Ri, rising to a height of 5,357 m (17,575 ft) above sea level, a prominent viewpoint of the Everest region offering unmistakable views of the surrounding mountain peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, and others. Although these snow-clad mountain peaks are seen throughout the journey to Gokyo Lake, the views are particularly exclusive from here.

Furthermore, the climb to here provides an unparalleled adventure for those seeking to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Himalayas at their finest, which, although technically not considered that tough to have conquered, the high altitude and steep ascents and descents in the rugged trails make it an exhilarating daredevil experience, mostly for those with good physical conditioning.

During the Gokyo Lake Trip, you can always expect the adventure of a lifetime while summiting the Gokyo Ri, especially early in the morning to catch the first rays of sunlight when the whole tranquil ambiance showcases an interesting mixture of light and shadow filled with golden hues illuminating the snow-covered peaks.

Challenging yet accessible, less crowded route to the largest glacier in the Everest Himalayas, Ngozumpa Glacier

Compared to the heavily trafficked trekking route within the Everest region and other Himalayan parts of the country, such as Annapurna Base Camp or the short expedition to the Ghorepani Poon Hill, Gokyo Lake hosts fewer visitors, providing a profound sense of solitude involving gradual inclines with some steeper sections to climb to Gokyo Ri along with the Ngozumpa Glacier.

The high altitude requires proper acclimatization to avoid altitude sickness, which itself is not very technical and convenient even for novice hikers and trekkers hopping to the Himalayan trails for the very first time with a good amount of physical fitness and preparation that rewards you with the most close-up views of the longest glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas. The glacier’s vast expanse, with icy crevasses and rugged terrain, adds much to the dramatic element of the trek, allowing for a deeper connection with nature and a more immersive experience.

Therefore, lying at the west of the Everest massif, running below the peaks of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, Ngozumpa Glacier is a key destination during the Gokyo Lake trekking, noted for its immense size, stunning views, and importance to local hydrology and culture in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal, within the Sagarmatha National Park.

The best 12 days itinerary for the Gokyo Lake Trekking

The 12-day Gokyo Lake Trek begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla that initially traces the classic route to the Everest Base Camp through the Sherpa Villages, verdant forests, and rugged terrain that changes the course from Namche onwards and ultimately leads you to the stunning Gokyo Lakes.

These high-altitude lakes, including the renowned Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, aside from being one of the greatest natural formations of the Everest region. Hence, the Gokyo Lake voyage is an ideal destination for trekkers seeking a less crowded but equally mesmerizing experience in the Himalayas, initiating a transformative journey to reminisce about life.

For this, the Gokyo Lake Trek 12-day itinerary is designed for optimal acclimatization to highly elevated areas with low levels of oxygen and gradual ascent and rest days to reduce the risk of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS). This 12-day route is a balanced approach that assures safety and enjoyment to the fullest, allowing trekkers to make the most of the region’s diverse scenery and culture.

Further, the 12-day itinerary and trekking route to the Gokyo Lake expedition accommodates potential weather delays, considering the unpredictable nature of the Himalayan weather along with ample time for exploration and flexibility, making it an excellent and enjoyable option for a border range of adventurers. The 12-day itinerary and trail are the best ones to voyage to Gokyo Lake in 2024 and 2025.

How much does it cost for the trek to Gokyo Lake?

The cost of trekking to Gokyo Lake in Nepal’s Everet region can typically range from USD 1,200 to USD 2,500 per person, depending on several factors such as the duration of your trek, the type of accommodation and food services chosen, the mode of transportation, the time of year you travel, the activities you plan, and whether you have chosen to hire a guided tour or go solo trekking.

Generally, a package bought from any of the reputable travel and trekking agencies locally based in the heart of Nepal, such as Ammonite Adventures and Treks Pvt. Ltd., covers the expenditure cost of permits, domestic flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, accommodation in teahouses, meals, and an English-speaking guide. Our 12-day itinerary for Gokyo Lake can be customized as per the needs and time constraints of the trekkers.


Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be warmly welcomed by our airport representative, who will transfer you to your hotel, mostly in Thamel, the tourist hub of the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu.

If you arrive by afternoon, it will be pleasurable to take a stroll around the city and, lastly, enjoy the complimentary dinner hosted by us with your tour leader, who will also guide you with your packing and preparation for the upcoming journey to the Himalayas.

Max. Altitude: 1,400mMeal: DinnerAccommodation: Three-Star-Hotel

The trip to Gokyo Lake in the Everest region begins this day with an incredibly adventurous mountain flight to Lukla, a small Sherpa town serving as the gateway to the Khumbu region, where you will stop for lunch and finally begin trekking, which calls a day at Phakding for the night.

The early morning flight lets you enjoy the first-ever glimpses of the top of the world, which appears to be more and more expansive as you gradually head to Phakding, nestled along the Dudh Koshi River.

Max. Altitude: 2,886mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Tea-House-In-Phakding

Now, you will head to the trade and cultural center of the Everest region, one of the major highlights of the Himalayan journey to the Gokyo Lake, Namche Bazar, from Phakding, following the Dudh Koshi River and relishing the stunning sights of the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

En route, you will get to cross several suspension bridges along the way, including the legendary Hillary Bridge, named after the first person to summit the top of the world, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Sir Edmund Hillary, along with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

Max. Altitude: 3,438mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

Namche Bazaar is a bustling Sherpa town serving as one of the crucial acclimatization points for trekkers, travelers, and climbers adventuring in the Everest region; hence, you will utilize this day to completely immerse yourself in an exploration of the area so your body acclimatizes well to the high altitude as you still have a lot to ascend.

You will have plenty of things to do in Namche Bazaar, including visiting Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, the Everest Sherpa Museum, hiking up to the Everest View Hotel or Syangboche Airport for wider views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, and relaxing at the local tea house or simply taking a rest throughout to keep yourself recharged for the upcoming hike.

Max. Altitude: 3,438mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

The trail from Namche Bazar to Dole unwinds through the well-defined trackway, passing by alpine meadows and dense forests of rhododendron, oak, and pine, along with the mesmerizing glow of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and others, before ascending to a small village with a few teahouses to stay in overnight.

Max. Altitude: 4,040mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

The ascend continues from Dole to Machhermo, offering even more expanded views of the Everest Himalayas through denser woodland than that of the previous day, with greater chances of spotting rare Himalayan wildlife such as Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and snow leopards.

In around 3-4 hours walk you would have already made it to the small beautiful traditional village, Machhermo from Namche Bazar amidst the lovely river valley and snow-capped peaks.

Max. Altitude: 4,410mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

The demanding section of the overall voyage to the Gokyo Lakes begins this day as you finally reach the turquoise water body by steep climb from Macchermo, while the otherworldly sights of Cho Oyu, Gyanchung Kang, and Everest reward you at their finest.

The cluster of six glacial lakes grants you a sense of pure Himalayan tranquility while you hop for the largest among all, Thonak Tsho, at the foot of the largest Nepalese Himalayan glacier, Ngozumpa, and spend the night at a teahouse in Gokyo village.

Max. Altitude: 4,800mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

Today, you will wake up early for a pre-dawn hike to Gokyo Ri, a notable peak serving as one of the most stunning viewpoints of the Everest region, offering the panoramic sight of a lifetime to behold, including that of the surrounding snow-covered mountain ranges and the Gokyo Lakes you left behind to return to Macchermo, especially during the sunrise.

After spending a fulfilling time at Gokyo Ri, you will keep on moving your legs until you arrive at Macchermo for the night, which is mostly a downhill trek from Gokyo Ri.

Max. Altitude: 5,357mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

As usual, the trek of the day begins after morning breakfast, and you will head to Namche Bazaar. As most of the trail is descending, passing through several traditional villages and diverse vegetation.

As several days have passed since you traveled through the isolated part of the Everest region, one of the off-beaten trek routes, Namche gets lively enough to spend the night in a comparatively warmer ambiance.

Max. Altitude: 4,410mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

The trail follows the Dush Koshi River one more time, but this time to get back to Lukla, crossing the suspension bridges you crossed at the beginning of your trek, and waiting for the flight back to Kathmandu early in the morning.

As it will be the last night you spend in the Everest region, enjoy every bit of the Himalayas on sight as much as possible.

Max. Altitude: 3,438mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Local-Tea-House

A short morning flight will bring you back to the Kathmandu Valley, the nation’s capital, which boasts at least seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Depending on your flight schedule, you can get some free time to explore them in the afternoon and evening, and lastly, enjoy the national and international culinary celebration hosted by Ammonite Adventures and Treks.

Max. Altitude: 2,886mMeal: Breakfast-Lunch-DinnerAccommodation: Three-Star-Hotel

On your arrival day, and your departure day from Nepal as well, we will assist you to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), or if you prefer, you can take yet another equally stunning and adventurous Himalayan jaunt such as Langtang Valley, Tsum Valley, Annapurna Circuit, or a combined trek to the Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp within the Everest Trekking region.

Thank you for choosing our service. I wish you a safe journey and hope to see you soon!

Max. Altitude: 1,400mMeal: Breakfast
Customize Trip
Trip Service Details
  • Two nights in a three-star hotel in the Kathmandu Valley.
  • Comfortable tea house lodging during the trekking days.
  • Domestic flight ticket fee from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa.
  • All three meals each day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner en route on the way to the Gokyo Lake.
  • Trekking map and a government-registered local Sherpa guide.
  • Travel insurance for all the Nepalese staff including their salary, food, and meals.
  • Garbage deposit and other necessary fees related to the trek.
  • The Sagarmatha National Park Permit and the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality entrance permit fee.
  • International flight tickets and visa fees to and from Kathmandu.
  • Travel insurance for trekkers provides coverage for high-altitude emergencies, including helicopter evacuations.
  • Lunch, dinner, and extra-night accommodations in Kathmandu that are outside of the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, shopping, phone calls, and internet data.
  • One porter can be shared between two trekkers who can carry a maximum weight of 25 kg combined.
  • Guide and Porter's tips are much expected and appreciated.
Additional Info

When is the best time to visit Gokyo Lake?

Yes, like any other Himalayan pilgrimages in Nepal such as the Manaslu Circuit, Langtang Valley, Tsum Valley Tour, and others, the best time to go alpine jaunting to Gokyo Lake is also generally considered the pre-monsoon (spring) season spanning from March to May and the post-monsoon (autumn) season from September to November.

During these periods, the temperature is mild with clear skies and usually a dry trail, while the spring season is marked by blooming rhododendrons and the clearest views of the mountains, making it a haven for trekking and enjoying the natural scenery and photography.

Although due to frequent and heavy rainfall during the monsoon (June to August) and extreme cold with potential slipper trekking conditions due to snowfall, winter (December to February) is avoided for the Gokyo Lake Trek, with the correct gear packing and mental and physical preparation, anytime can be the best time to mark your victory in the thrilling Himalayas of Nepal. Contact us now for an adventure made just for you!

Why is a TIMS card not required for trekking to Gokyo Lake?

As of April 2023, a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card and a licensed guide are mandatory requirements for all trekkers to enter the trekking destinations in Nepal, which, as per the permit voyage to the Everest region, is replaced by the local permit called the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit, while the obligation to hire a government-authorized guide is as it is including that for the Gokyo Lake Trekking.

Further, along with this Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit, you will need to obtain the Sagarmatha National Park Permit for the adventurous rambling to see the sky blue treasure of the Everest region, Gokyo Lake, which also falls within the national park area. On taking service from any of the reliable, trustworthy trekking agencies and operators, these necessary permits will be prearranged for you. You will not need to worry about facing any hassle for the trip permit along with other high alpine trekking logistics.

Can you get a private room and international dishes en route to Gokyo Lake?

Yes, although finding a private room on the Gokyo Lakes Trek can be a little tricky, it is not impossible, especially at lower altitudes like Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazar, and Dole in most of the lodges and tea houses along the route, which may also offer some international cuisine.

However, it is crucial to note that the level of comfort and amenities such as charging of devices, wifi, and internet connectivity might vary depending on the altitude and remoteness of the location, while mostly even the basic necessities have to be carried by porters and mules and hence can charge you additionally.

Therefore, teahouse accommodation enjoying the staple Nepali Dal Bhat Tarkari (heap of rice and lentil soup with some green vegetables) is the best budget-friendly, comfortable, and filling option to go trekking in the Gokyo Valley. If you are looking for a more advanced and enhanced Gokyo Lake Trekking experience or any sort of holiday trek, tour, or travel in the beautiful Himalayas of Nepal, we are always here for you!

What is the difficulty rate of the Gokyo Lake Voyage?

Trekking to Gokyo Lake is considered a moderately difficult journey in the Everest region. While it doesn’t involve that much technical climbing or extreme altitude like some other Himalayan expeditions, it still presents some challenges, especially for those not used to highly elevated areas with comparatively low oxygen levels and lower availability of modern amenities.

To conclude, with proper preparation and a good level of fitness, including adequate physical conditioning and acclimatization, the Gokyo Lakes Trek can be a rewarding experience for trekkers of all ages.

How to physically prepare yourself for the alpine rambling to the Gokyo Lake?

With the banning of free individual trekkers (FITS) in the country from April 1st, 2023, trekkers are obligated to be in the company of at least licensed professional guides, even if they do not prefer buying preplanned trekking packages to Gokyo Lake. They take care of managing most of the trekking logistics, including permits, food, and accommodation, so all you have left is to keep yourself mentally and physically advanced.

Here’s what you can do to gain that confidence required for the alpine trek to the Gokyo Lake in the Solukhumbu of Nepal, home to the top of the earth, Mt. Everest (8,848m) which is also key to the most holistic trekking experience:

  • Engage yourself in 3–4 cardio sessions for a week and gradually increase the duration to keep yourself prepared for the long trekking days.
  • Include squats, lunges, step-ups, and calf raises to strengthen your leg 2-3 times a week.
  • Perform cardio regularly to improve your lung capacity, incorporating some pursed lip breathing exercises.
  • Train smart and start training months prior. Listen to your body.
  • Eat healthy diets such as fruits, vegetables, and grains for optimal energy, etc.

Lastly, always keep in mind that consistency is key. By sticking to your training plan and increasing the intensity slowly and steadily, you will be more than enough for the journey to the Gokyo Lakes.


Yes, although pizzas and burgers might not be as common as or as high quality in the city areas, you can find them specifically in the lowly elevated tea houses prepared by using local ingredients, while you can always look forward to basic yet filling meals such as momos, Thukpa, Dal Bhat, and variety and eggs and pancakes along the trekking trail to Gokyo Lake.

The cost of charging electric devices and wifi can range from NPR 500 to NPR 1,000 on an hourly basis, around USD 5 to USD 10 as you ascend higher and higher to Gokyo Lake. Hence, it is a good idea to check with your teahouse and lodges, or for internet services, it is wise to get a local Ncell or NTC SIM card with data packages so you can connect wherever your cellphone gets a signal.

Only if you are at least under the guidance of licensed local government guides. Gokyo Lake is already a remote and less frequented trekking destination in the Everest Himalayas of Nepal that lets you connect to the true essence of the high Himalayan journey nonetheless.

Yes, along the teahouse and lodges en route to the Gokyo Lake, bottled water is available; however, as it contributes significantly to plastic waste, it is not recommended. You can refill lukewarm boiled water at various stopping places, including Lukla, Namche Bazaar, Dole, Machhermo, and Gokyo Village.

The Gokyo Lakes Trek’s maximum altitude gain is approximately 5,550 m at Gokyo Ri from 2,710 m in Lukla.