Did you know you can get better views of Everest from Gokyo? This is a fantastic trek that visits some of the high valleys of the Khumbu. You have time at Gokyo to explore the upper valleys and trek up the Dudh Kosi to its source, a beautiful tranquil glacial lake below the huge Ngojumba glacier. Fewer trekkers come here than on the busy route to Everest Base Camp, allowing you to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains, its birds and wildlife. The views from Gokyo Peak (5200m) are stunning and you can see five summits over 8000m: Everest, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu.
Trek Grade: This is a grade 4 trek as you climb to 5400m and walk several days at altitudes above 3000m. Though many of the walking days are short, this is because of the height.
Feeling inspired? Have a look at Inside Himalayas for more ideas on how to visit Everest:
Trek From Jiri, The Alternate Route To Everest; Tips For Tackling The Everest Base Camp Trek; Scenic Flight To Everest: Third Time Lucky!; Everest Base Camp: Nepal Vs. Tibet; One Everest Base Camp Trek is not Enough; Trek to Everest Base Camp; 20 Photos Of The Everest Region We Can’t Stop Looking At
Here are some more treks Royal Mountain Travel can offer in the Everest region:
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing|
|Day 3||Fly to Lukla (2860m), trek to Phakding (2650m, 3-4 hrs)|
|Day 4||Namche Bazaar (3440m, 7 hrs)|
|Day 5||Acclimatization day – hike to Thame (3800m, 6-7 hrs)|
|Day 6||Phortse Tenga (3700m, 3 hrs)|
|Day 7||Lhabarma (4330m, 2 hrs)|
|Day 8||Trek to Machhermo (4470m, 3 hrs)|
|Day 9||Trek to Gokyo (4800m, 4-5 hrs)|
|Day 10||Trek to Gokyo Ri (5360m) and Phangka (4400m, 7 hrs)|
|Day 11||Trek to Khumjung (3800m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 12||Trek to Namche Bazaar (3450m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 13||Trek to Phakding (2600m, 4 hrs)|
|Day 14||Trek to Lukla (2800m, 3-4 hrs)|
|Day 15||Fly to Kathmandu (1300m, 30 minutes)|
Royal Mountain Travel is a Nepal-based sustainable tourism operator. We specialize in curating once-in-a-lifetime experiences to showcase indigenous and community based tourism projects. We work with travel agents and tourism companies to help plan travel experiences that highlight authentic, local lifestyles throughout some of the most unique landscapes on earth.
Arrival in Kathmandu
Your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport is an experience in itself. But don’t be worried by the apparent confusion as your airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written on a placard. Depending on traffic, you will be at your hotel within 20 minutes or so.
The day is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu. More…
You will have plenty of time in the afternoon to prepare for your trek and check that you have everything you need. You might want to visit Thamel, the tourist hub of Nepal, where you can easily find all you need for trekking. Or if you just want to relax, there are many cafes and bakeries serving excellent local tea and coffee. It is best to avoid the street food, however, unless you have a very strong stomach. It is recommended that you have an early night as you will have an early start in the morning.
Fly to Lukla (2860m), trek to Phakding (2650m, 3-4 hrs)
After an early morning wakeup call, you should dress to be ready for trekking. Kathmandu airport’s domestic terminal is only 10-15 minutes’ drive from the hotel and you will have plenty of time to eat your packed breakfast before boarding the plane. Flying to Lukla on the small Dornier/Twin Otter plane, the flight takes about half an hour. It is a once in a lifetime flight during which, weather permitting, there are many opportunities to see the mighty Himalayas before landing in one of the most exciting airports of the world, also known as Tenzing Hillary Airport.
At the airport, you are met by your team of sherpas and you take a short break while the porters sort out your baggage that they will be carrying on trek. To ensure that no one is overloaded, we do not allow any of our sherpas to carry more than 15kg. While on the trail, you will see many porters carrying three or four times this, sometimes even more.
To break you in gently, the first day of the trek involves just three to four hours walking, mostly downhill first to Thado Koshi (about 2 hours), before gently climbing again to Phakding where we stop for lunch and have the afternoon free. If you want to explore further, you can visit Rimijung Monastery that is about an hour up the hillside from Phakding village.
Namche Bazaar (3440m, 7 hrs)
Today is more challenging as most of the day is uphill. With several opportunities to cross high suspension bridges across the rivers, you pass village settlements and at Benkar, you are welcomed by a view of the gigantic Mt. Thamserku dominating the horizon. You pass mani walls and Buddhist shrines along the way to the Sagarmatha National Park entry gate. The national park was established in 1976 and listed as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Here your permits are checked before you continue your way up to Namche Bazaar, the Gateway to Everest Base Camp and ‘capital’ of the famous Sherpas.
Namche Bazaar was originally a trading post but is now a tourist hub where expeditions to the Everest area start. As the first point on the Khumbu trek that is above 3000m, this is a good place to spend some time to acclimatize.
Acclimatization day – hike to Thame (3800m, 6-7 hrs)
An acclimatization day allows for an excursion to Thame (3800m). Intricately carved mani stones mark the path to this village with a picturesque gompa on the hillside overlooking the valley. It is a traditional village that has escaped most of the crowds trekking to Everest. It has one of the oldest monasteries in the region. The village is famous as the home of Apa Sherpa who has made it to the top of Everest 21 times. The walk is peaceful and you have excellent views of the mountains as the trail winds in and out of the forest on the side of the canyon.
Phortse Tenga (3700m, 3 hrs)
Leaving Namche Bazaar, the trail is very easy and chortens mark your way. You can see the twin peaks of Thamserku soaring up to the east. Here the legend of the yeti is alive and well and you can see in Khumjung’s red-walled gompa a yeti-scalp that has been preserved here. A large chorten marks the top of the ridge descending from Khumbila (5761m), the abode of the patron god of the Khumbu region. The nearby settlement is said to be the birthplace of the lama who introduced Buddhism to the area. You descend to the beautiful little village of Phortse Tenga that sits on the banks of the Dudh Kosi.
Lhabarma (4330m, 2 hrs)
Another short day, this will help you acclimatize. You start with a stiff climb of for about 40 minutes before the trail levels out and affords great views of the valleys on all sides. From here, you trek down to Dole where you might want to stop for a break. From Dole, you hike back up on to the ridge (which can be windy) to go to Lhabarma. You have plenty of time to take it easy and enjoy the marvellous views. Your trail passes through summer yak pastures and small settlements as it follows the valley side, far above the river.
Trek to Machhermo (4470m, 3 hrs)
You continue up to Machhermo, a village that has a fantastic setting with its superb mountain and valley views. This is where the most credible yeti incident in the Khumbu region occurred when in 1974 a yeti was alleged to have killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman!
At Machhermo there is an important health post where doctors provide information to trekkers about the risks of high altitude sickness. There is a porters’ shelter and the majority of the doctors’ patients are usually porters.
Trek to Gokyo (4800m, 4-5 hrs)
A steep climb leads up the moraine of the Ngozumba Glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal, and past small lakes to the tiny settlement of Gokyo. Though quite strenuous, today is a very rewarding day of trekking. You start with a steep climb up to the ridge above Machhermo where you will get great views looking back towards Kantega and good views in front of you towards Cho Oyu. The trail levels as you pass Pangka and Nilibuk when you start to climb again, along with a narrow staircase trail to a small bridge that takes you to the first of the five lakes at Gokyo. The trail is flat but the 4700-meter altitude slows everyone down. After you pass the second lake you reach Gokyo itself, located beside the much larger third lake. If you still have the energy, you might like to take a short walk up onto the ridge that overlooks Ngozumba Glacier.
Trek to Gokyo Ri (5360m) and Phangka (4400m, 7 hrs)
You climb to the crest of the moraine that overlooks the Ngozumbo Glacier and follows the undulating trail along the eastern side of the Gokyo Valley. The panoramic view from Gokyo Peak is the highlight of the trek and is every bit as impressive as that from Kala Pattar, near Everest Base Camp. Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachee are all visible, the tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu, Ngojumba I and II and Gyachung Kang is one of the most dramatic sights of the Khumbu region, resembling a folding screen of ice, snow and rock. Descending to just past the first small Gokyo lake you see the hamlet of Phangka.
Trek to Khumjung (3800m, 6 hrs)
You continuing your descent to Khumjung where you can its red-walled gompa and an alleged yeti-scalp that has been preserved here. A large chorten marks the top of the ridge descending from Khumbila (5761m), the abode of the patron god of the Khumbu region. The nearby settlement is said to be the birthplace of the lama who introduced Buddhism to the area
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3450m, 5 hrs)
The trail is easy to descend to Namche Bazaar where you have time to relax in one of the cafes or bakeries, or go souvenir shopping. Namche will seem like a grand metropolis in comparison to the small villages you have been passing on your trek.
Trek to Phakding (2600m, 4 hrs)
Descending the steep trail from Namche, the trail gets easier as you get closer to Phakding where you stayed two weeks earlier. It is a long trek to Lukla, so you break your journey here and have a chance to relax in the afternoon.
Trek to Lukla (2800m, 3-4 hrs)
This is your last day of trekking and it is uphill much of the way to Lukla. In the afternoon you might like to try out one of the many cooking classes or workshops on offer, go for some more sightseeing or do some last minute shopping. Ask your guide for suggestions.
Fly to Kathmandu (1300m, 30 minutes)
An early start, you fly to Kathmandu. Flights all leave in the morning as by lunchtime the wind gets up and planes do not fly. You have the rest of the day free to spend how you like in Kathmandu. In the afternoon you might like to try out one of the many cooking classes or workshops on offer, go for some more sightseeing or do some last minute shopping. Ask your guide for suggestions.
You transfer to Tribhuvan Airport to connect with your onward flight. Please note that you should check in three hours prior to your flight time.