You can download our complete tour details and guide for EVEREST BASE CAMP VIA GOKYO LAKES. Also, you can schedule a callback from UFO Adventure Travel.
The Gokyo Lakes Trek to Everest Base Camp is a variation of the classic Everest Base Camp trek that offers additional sights and the wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty of the highest freshwater lake system in the world. This is all in addition to visiting the Everest Base Camp and high-point of Kala Patthar– two of the highlights of the standard base camp trek.
The route parts with the classic Everest Base Camp Trek at Namche Bazaar and heads west up the Dudh Koshi valley towards Gokyo Lakes and the trekking peak of Gokyo Ri. Expect quiet trails that allow you to focus on the sheer natural beauty of your surrounds – a much more varied and verdant landscape than on the classic trek.
Because of the route’s circular nature, you will not have to retrace your footsteps on the return leg of the trip as you would have done on the standard base camp trek. After spending some time relaxing at the turquoise glacial lakes you will summit Gokyo Ri only to be blown away by some of the most stunning views of Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m) and Cho Oyu (8,201m).
From there you will ascend one of the iconic ‘Three Passes’ in the region – Cho La pass – over which you will re-join with the main trek up to Gorak Shep. You will have the opportunity to visit the trekker’s photo point at Everest Base Camp before setting out on the trek up Kala Patthar the next day – another iconic viewpoint in the region.
The 18-day Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes itinerary is designed for trekkers who are in good health with average physical fitness. The ample distance covered between daily itineraries, steady gain of altitude and separate rest days ensures that we are properly acclimatized to fully enjoy our trek to the Everest base camp.
Note: If the buffer day is used due to weather, flight cancellation or any other circumstances other than the itinerary below, then an addition of Rs.5000 will be charged per person.
The trek is not a technically difficult undertaking. However, the high altitudes involved during the trek (as high as 5643m) and the cold of Himalayas, the temperature does go freezing after sunset. It will be vitally important that you have good personal winter gear to keep yourself warm and we will give you a list in effect to the same. You will be advised by the UFO guide to rest and keep your body hydrated as much as possible on the first day of arrival. Your oxygen levels will be monitored from time to time to check on the level of acclimatization. There is fair bit of walking to be done every day, and we would encourage you to do walking/running and breathing exercises. A fair level of fitness will be required to enjoy this trek. All the hard work before the trek will pay off when you enjoy this classic trek to the maximum by following in the footsteps of legendary mountaineers!
Trek to the most popular base camp in the World
Hike through iconic Namche Bazaar and views of Ama Dablam
Climb Kala Patthar (5643m)
Hike the offbeat Gokyo Lakes trail
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Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by a UFO representative and transferred you to the hotel. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20-25 minutes. After your check in the group leader will set a time for your trek briefing to discuss in regards to the trek. The evening is free but your trek leader will organize a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant.
In the early morning you will take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m) with breath taking views of the Himalayas. The flight time is about 40 minutes and you will land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa’s in the mid-1960s. After landing you will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort and load your trekking equipment. You will begin the trek by walking through the Lukla village and join the main trail to the Everest Valley. The walking is easy today with great views of Kusum Khanguru. We trek through small villages of Thadokoshi and Ghat. After passing through Ghat (2550m), it is only a short walk to Phakding.
From Phakding you will head towards the valley for Namche Bazaar following the Dudh Koshi river. You get spectacular views of Mt.Thamserku from Benkar.From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. After lunch, it’s fairly an easy walk till we get to the last suspension bridge. The views of Lhotse, Nuptse and Tawache come into views for the first time; you now make a steep ascent to get to Tope Danda where you have photo opportunities of Mt.Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. We now make a gradual climb to get to Namche Bazaar.
We have an extra day today for you to acclimatize. You can either go for a hike to Syangboche or do other optional walks around Namche. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. The afternoon is free to wander through Namche. You can enjoy the bakeries, surf the Internet or buy souvenirs, etc.
The trail climbs out of Namche and descends to Khumjung village. Khumjung is a Sherpa village with 40-50 houses. From Khumjung, the trail climbs up the stairs and hugs the sides of the mountain. It diverges from the main Everest highway at Sanasa, after Khumjung. Up to Sanasa, you will be trekking through forests, after which you reach a village. You’ll be able to see Tengboche monastery from here. It is said that Tenzing Norgay spotted this monastery from the summit of Everest.
The trail then climbs to Mong La, a vantage point, where you’ll have lunch. From here, you descend to Phortse village.
The trail starts from behind tea houses in Phortse Thanga, through dense rhododendron forests. This section will remind you of the Gocha La trek in Sikkim. The trail relentlessly climbs and at this altitude, you’ll feel the climb. From the forests, you eventually reach meadows and small grass lands.
You’ll see Cho Oyu massif, the sixth highest mountain in the world, ahead. This is an additional treat on this trail! Lafarma, at 14,206 ft, is the first settlement that you reach. Macchermo is 75 minutes ahead. Macchermo can get really cold – especially in the autumn season.
The climb is not much today but the sights are a treat. You will now walk among big mountains – the tallest in the world! Gokyo Lake 1 is around 2 hours 40 minutes out of Macchermo. Behind the Gokyo settlements, you can see Cho Oyo dominate the background like a white wall. To the left of the settlement is the trail to Gokyo Ri at 17,575 ft. You get one of the best views of Everest range from here.
The tea house where you’ll halt at the end of today’s trail will probably be situated around Gokyo Lake 3.
Start the day by climbing Gokyo Ri. Though the mountain looks small, it will take 2-3 hours for you to reach the summit. From here, you will see the longest glacier in the Himalayas – Ngozumpa – flowing down, and the big mountains in front. You’ll also get a beautiful view of the Gokyo lakes behind you. Don’t forget to get photographed with Everest!
After an early lunch, head out to Ngozumpa glacier. You need to cross over this to get to Thangna, at the base of Chola Pass. Ngozumpa glacier is an unstable section of the trek that is prone to rockfalls so make sure you follow your guides. This is a beautiful glacier which is moving constantly, but you don’t feel the movement. You’ll take an hour and a half to cross the glacier. Thangna is a mostly flat walk from here.
Today we take our rest day at Thangna which is at the base of Cho la pass. After a week of walking in the mountains this will be welcome break and re-energize us for the days ahead.
Start your day early for Cho la Pass. It is going to be a long day. Cho la Pass is right behind Thangna. The ascent, which is quite a climb, has a lot of rubble and scree. The descent is tricky with a snowed out glacier and boulders. Stick to the right of the glacier and follow the guide strictly. Don’t venture on your own. Depending on the situation of the ice, crampons will be used. After the boulder patch which is hard on your knees, it is a steep descent to Dzongla. You’ll see Ama Dablam’s front view on this day. What a different side to this beautiful mountain!
Today we will again join the classic Everest base camp trek route. The 3 hour walk to Labouche is mostly on a flat trail but you will be walking at quite an altitude. You’ll come across a junction where the trail splits to Pheriche and Labouche. Take the left. Views of Ama Dablam will accompany you till this point. Around 90 minutes before Labouche, you’ll meet trekkers going on the traditional Everest highway. Helicopter sorties are commonplace here.
Today we start early for Gorek Shep following the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier. A gradual ascent enables you to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude. When you reach the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier, you will make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with Cairns that eventually leads to the surprising glacial sands of Gorak Shep (5160m) - reached after about three hours of walking. After a quick bite you will gear up appropriately and head off towards the Everest Base Camp. The trek to the base camp will take you around three hours and if trekking in the popular climbing period of March to May, you will almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here.
From Everest Base Camp you won't get views of Mount Everest, but you will be able to see the notorious Kumbhu Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm, which is regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorak Shep takes the same amount of time.
Today you make an early start for Kalapathar (5643m) to experience the sensational sunrise views from this amazing vantage point. From the lodge the ascent is quite steep, so you should start very slowly and try to ascend at a steady, rhythmic pace. KalaPatar is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It is a tough walk because of the altitude, but the 360-degree view from the top will surpass your wildest imagination. It will probably take about two hours to reach the summit from Gorak Shep.Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, AmaDablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest, the highest mountain in the world, will surround you. About three kilometer’s away and some 200 metres below, the area of the Everest Base Camp can be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall. The descent back down to GorakShep is easy and once you have returned to the lodge you will have breakfast and retrace your steps back to Lobuje and to Thugla for lunch. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola and head down the valley to Pheriche for the night.
From Pheriche you will cross the Khumbu Khola River and ascend a short steep trail to the top of a small ridge for great views of Imja Valley, AmaDablam and Kantega. You will then descend to the small settlements at Orsho and Shomare before passing through Lower Pangboche to reach the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River to ascend back to Thyangboche for lunch. In the afternoon you will descend steeply through beautiful forest of juniper, rhododendron and fir to Phunkitenga. After a welcome break and perhaps a cup of tea, you will cross the Dudh Kosi River and ascend to Trashinga. From here the trail contours high above the valley through Shanasa and on to Namche Bazaar, where you will spend the night.
Today after breakfast we visit the shops in the bazaar before descending steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. You will follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where you will stop to have the permits checked out at the national park. It is only a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru, back to the lodge in Phakding for lunch. After a good lunch it’s only a short walk in the valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. In the evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks and dancing with your Sherpa companions.
Cancellations of flights from and to Lukla are pretty common. Therefore we have kept this day in case of any weather related problems, flight cancellations or any other circumstances not under our control. If this is used then INR 5000 will be charged per person. Cash will be collected by the trip leader.
You will rise early in the morning today for your flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and transferred back to the starting hotel. The rest of the day is free to do some souvenir shopping or further sightseeing. Your final night in Kathmandu offers you the chance to go out on the town and enjoy a final dinner (optional) with your travelling companions and newfound friends. Farewell dinner will be organized for the group by UFO.
Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is included.
Joined this great trip combining cleaning up base camps, and also summit two peaks Stok Kangri (6150m) and Golep Kangri (5900m) from the base camp. Was very well organised, and most of all a great group of people! Was a wonderful few days spent with these guys. Great food, great company, and a great challenge! The trip is firmly etched in my memory as a highlight of that year!
UFO is certainly the organizer to go for treks with if you want personalized and customized service. We did a private group departure for Goecha La trek in Sikkim.The guides, food and equipment was spot on and the trek leader had specialist knowledge of the area. The days were planned way better than other groups we spoke with. There was a proper questionnaire sent to us way in advance to cater to each of our individual needs. There was always a guide with each member to ensure safety. Despite the high-end service, UFO prices are extremely competitive. Just go for it!
For a first-time trekker, I thought picking Mt. Kilimanjaro was maybe not the smartest choice. But thanks to UFO it felt like a breeze. The guides and crew were excellent in every single way. For a group of 8 trekkers, UFO deputed a total of 40 including 4 experienced guides, cooks, servers and porters. I would definitely recommend using UFO as your adventure guides. They prepare you for every step of the way - from buying your trekking gear to getting you safely back down.
Our representative will get back to you within next 4 working hours and solve all your queries about Goecha la trek
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK?
If it were not for the altitude and duration, the EBC trek via Gokyo Lakes would be considered fairly moderate. However, when you take the altitude into consideration, the trek becomes quite difficult. On average you will be trekking 5 or 6 hours per day and you will need a good level of fitness. With some basic training we believe the Everest Base camp trek is achievable for most people.
HOW FAR IS THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK?
The total hiking distance from Lukla to EBC and back is 76 miles or 130 kilometers.
WHAT IS THE SCENERY LIKE ON THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK?
Rivers, valleys, forests, suspension bridges, monasteries, Nepalese villages and, of course, hugely tall mountains make up most of the beautiful scenery on this trek.
DO I NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE?
The EBC trek is extremely popular so we always recommend booking at least 3 months in advance. We run with a small team of very experienced guides and with short trekking seasons we get booked up quite early.
WHAT KIT WILL I NEED FOR THE TREK?
The key challenge on this trek is the big variations in temperature you will increase both between day and night and as you increase altitude from Lukla up to base camp. The best solution to this is lots of different layers of clothing that you can adjust to keep your temperature just right. And of course a really good sleeping bag.
HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED FOR THE TREK?
We have found that our 18 day itinerary has a great success rate and a very low risk of altitude sickness.
WHAT TRAVEL INSURANCE DO I NEED?
You will need a specialist high altitude trekking insurance that covers you up to an altitude of 5500m and that specifically covers you for helicopter evacuation. The profile of the Everest trek means that it is not easy to descend quickly by foot and helicopter evacuation is sometimes essential.
WILL I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS FOR THIS TREK?
Any visitor to Nepal should have all their vaccinations checked as the list of what is recommended is lengthy and includes hepatitis A and B. You must check your vaccination record with your doctor
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE ON THE TREK?
Our EBC trek is based in lodges, which are often called tea houses. We have tried camping treks but find that staying in lodges is a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. The standard of accommodation and the facilities available vary a lot but generally decrease as you go higher up the mountain.
WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE ON THE TREK?
Before the food in the lodges were relatively limited and the "Lodge" fixed menu was a good option. Since then, as the lodges have improved in quality so have the choice of foods with most lodges now offering an extensive menu. In order to allow clients to choose exactly what they wanted we now operate all our treks on a lodge only basis. You will need to budget for between $25-30 each day for all meals.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
Our crew are some of the very best paid in Nepal and tips are not a substitute for wages. Tipping is though part of the culture in Nepal and we recommend