A few places epitomize Nepal’s raw and unspoiled beauty, like the Gokyo Valley, a natural marvel. It’s an incredibly gorgeous and charming dale with spectacular sceneries, unique geographical features, and diverse topography that are to be found nowhere else.
Gokyo Valley trek is one of the favorite trek destinations of visitors flocking to Nepal. Its moderate climbing paths with a jaw-dropping vista fascinates the hikers and makes them travel the region for once. With the team of Nepal Eco Adventure, trekkers will visit many hidden places and landmarks that are significant and impressive.
The hike is all about great adventures and stunning views that trekkers receive as a reward for climbing difficult trails. Visiting primordial villages and learning about new cultures comes as a bonus for trekking Gokyo Valley.
Trekkers will get to embrace multi-culture and language from the ethnically diverse community in Khumbu. You will get to know about the history and background of people of different castes but mostly Sherpa, who are inhabitants of Khumbu.
Those who visit the region in Autumn will get to partake in many festivities, religious gatherings, and social occasions. Travelers are free to visit the Buddhist monasteries and join the locals to perform ritual dances and songs.
Everest Gokyo Valley Trek lies in the Khumbu Village at 15,500 ft, one of Nepal’s highest settlements. The village sits at the eastern shore of Dudh Pokhari, overlooking the gorgeous Gokyo Ri and sheer glaciers.
Gokyo Valley, which spans 42.9 km from Lukla, walks past several villages, cross suspension bridges and glaciers. The trail runs through famous towns like Lukla before entering the sanctuary in northeast Nepal.
Trekkers will also have to traverse the shaded forest and ascend the rugged hills with rocks and boulders to arrive at the Gokyo Valley. Walking Ngozumpa Glacier is one of the most challenging walks of the entire trek as the hikers have to use crampons and rope to walk the trail.
The glacier is sheer and slowly sliding, so trekkers will have to be highly cautious while climbing the glacier. Trekking the terminal moraine and gorges over the unmarked trails is also strenuous and exhausting.
But, after arriving at the lake, visitors will get to enjoy the mesmerizing view of pristine lakes, epic landscapes, and snow-capped mountains. Standing at the foot of the Gokyo Ri, trekkers can watch the surrounding snow peaks, including Lhotse and Cho Oyu.
They can explore as many as five oligotrophic lakes, all at an altitude of 4,700 to 5,000 meters altitude while in the valley. It includes Thonak Lake, Dudh Pokhari, Gyazumpa Cho, and Ngozumba Cho, which spreads at 72 acres of land.
There are many photo-centric spots in the region but, the most spectacular one is Renjo La Pass, which looks stunning. It takes a long and steep ascend to arrive at the pass from where trekkers can get the best shot of surrounding views, distinct landscapes, and wilderness.
After the sightseeing, trekkers will be guided on the way back to Lukla. From there, the crew of Nepal Eco Adventure will accommodate you up to Tribhuvan Airport, before dropping you back at the hotel.
Note: If you don't want to participate in the Kathmandu day tour and want to say your choice of hotel, we have designed 10 days Gokyo valley trek.
Highlights of Gokyo Valley Trek
- An eagle-eye view of a series of mountain ranges and landscapes
- Serene glacial lakes, including Dudh Pokhari and Gokyo Lake
- Exploring the verdant valleys, sharp cliffs, and wild forests
- Taking a look inside into the rich culture, tradition, and lifestyle of people in the Himalayas
- Encounter a large species of wild animals and birds such as musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, and alpine cough
- Witness undulating landscapes with sheer glaciers, tall rock hills, and cliffside
- Explore the Tibetan Thame Monastery and sight Renjo La Pass
Get enough rest until we meet in the evening to prep up for the trek. There, we’ll introduce you to our crew members and trek guide, who helps navigate the way. If there’s any last-minute shopping you want to have, do it right now.
There are plenty of local shops in the city where you can easily find any trekking equipment required for the hike. Thamel is one of the most popular markets in Kathmandu, where you can get all the essentials required for the Gokyo Valley Trek.
Some of the must-see stops here include Hanuman Dhoka, Kal Bhirav, and Jagannath Temple. It also rewards visitors with medieval paintings, courtyards, and pilgrimages. After exploring Durbar Square, we head to another iconic landmark, Swayambhunath stupa.
Swayambhunath is an ancient Buddhist monastery, lying in the west of Kathmandu City. It’s perched on a hilltop at 4,613 ft high away from the disorganized jumble. Standing at the edge of the hilltop, we can enjoy an impressive view of Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding hills.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Boudhanath is our next stop of the day. It’s about 11 km from the northeastern and center outskirts of Kathmandu. One of the famous Buddhist pilgrimages in Nepal, Boudhanath Stupa is a spherical stupa from the 14th century.
Boudhanath looks amazing with colorful prayer flags, spinning prayer wheels, and countless early monasteries and gompa when viewed from level ground. Unlike Swayambhunath, the sanctuary is a bit chaotic and crowded with the continuous arrival of devotees.
After spending some time in the Boudhanath, we’ll turn around to Pashupatinath Temple, which is just on our way to the hotel. We’ll attend the evening prayers at this sacred Hindu temple and walk through some pagoda-style temples. After visiting the religious shrine, we’ll return to the hotel and spend the night there.
Walking Hours: 2-3 hrs
Overnight at: a lodge
After an overwhelming day in Kathmandu, it’s time we leave for Lukla. At the crack of dawn, we’ll drive to Tribhuvan Airport to catch the flight. It takes about half an hour to get to the town and officially start the trek.
Since the weather is clear early in the morning, we’ll get to view some impressive landscapes, towering hills, and verdant meadows. After arriving at the town, we’ll slide off to the nearest tea house for breakfast before proceeding to the trail.
The journey from Lukla to Phakding starts with an uphill walk off the mountainside. We’ll walk the trail from the left bank of Dudh Koshi River and pass through the pine forest before arriving at Ghat. The last section of the trail leading to Phakding is a mix of highs and lows with short stone stairs. Overnight stay in a lodge.
Walking Hours: 5-6 hrs
Overnight at: a lodge
From Lukla, we’ll follow the Dudh Koshi River Valley, surrounded by rhododendron forest, and ascend the terraced hill. After Bengar, the trail passes several small villages where trekkers can stop and have food or drinks. Moving in the direction of Namche, we access Sagarmatha National Park where they collect the entry fee.
We’ll use suspension bridges multiple times to cross the Dudh Koshi River and traverse the winding trail. The trek gets extremely difficult after Jorsale with a continuous steep climb and increasing altitude. The sharp incline slows the speed and makes it hard for us to keep up the pace.
After an hour or two of a steep walk, we’ll finally reach Namche at more than 11,000 ft. It’s one of the famous Sherpa towns in Khumbu, where most trekkers stop and spend the night. Lodges and guest houses at Namche provide accommodation of all kinds to the guests.
It takes 3 hours at maximum to walk the rugged trail and steep hills to get to the viewpoint. After arriving at the hilltop, you’ll witness a breathtaking view of sweeping landscapes, lush green hills, and vibrant valleys. It even offers us a close-up shot of surrounding mountains, including Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Everest, and Thamserku.
After exploring the sites, we’ll have breakfast and gently start climbing down the trail, following the same route. After arriving at the town, we’ll walk through the village and also visit some shops. We’ll spend the night in the same lodge as before.
Walking Hours: 5 hrs
Overnight at: a lodge
After a relaxing day at Namche, we’re up to take the trails heading to Dole. The journey from Namche starts with a climb out of Namche and the long scenic walk up the Dudh Koshi River valley. Shortly afterward, the trail descends into a dense forest filled with pine and rhododendron.
After taking a drop below and crossing the river, the trail becomes narrow, making it slightly hard to navigate the course. After ascending a series of stone stairs with a few drops for more than an hour, we’ll arrive at the village of Mong.
We’ll take a short lunch break at one of the tea houses in the village, which comes with an astonishing view of Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and other surrounding mountains. The last few hours of this hike are a bit stressful with a continuous uphill and no ground-level walk.
After reaching the windswept village of Dole, you’ll get to relish an astounding view of towering hills, deep gorges, green terrains, and rock hills. Walk a little further, and you may even notice the serene lakes lying in this small settlement at the north of Khumjung.
Perched at 13,270 feet, Dole puts an unreal view of snow-capped mountains and shimmering glaciers. The village is a stopping point for all the trekkers climbing Gokyo Lake or Gokyo Valley. There are plenty of accommodation choices in Dole, including hotels, lodges, and tea houses.
Walking Hours: 3-4 hrs
Overnight at: a tea house
After having breakfast, we set off on a journey to Machhermo, which takes around 3-4 hours. The trek starts with an easily accessible plain walk, then ascends the hill, gaining more than 365 meters elevation. For some hiker’s, it’s a half-day walking that provides them enough rest and acclimation. , terrific
We navigate the rough and dusty, with steppe grasslands for most of the day. While taking a long climb to Machhermo, the mesmerizing glimpses of Cho Oyu start to loom above the hill. After trekking the rugged trail for another few hours, we’ll end up at Machhermo in the evening.
The village sits on a creek, surrounded by glistening mountains, pastures, and a few other settlements. The fields here are barren in summer but, during the monsoon, it turns green in color with blooming wildflowers, which looks stunning. Overnight stay in a tea house at Machhermo.
Walking Hours: 5-6 hrs
Overnight at: a tea house
Since the trek to Gokyo is long and tiring with a gradual climb, we’ll get to the trail as early as possible. After a small scale out of Machhermo village, the path widens up and makes a long climb uphill. As the course goes higher, the terrain gets drier, and the oxygen level lowers, increasing the chances of suffering from altitude sickness.
We’ll have to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier and make our way from the glacial moraine to the valley. The path heading to Gokyo is jagged and filled with rocks, so the hike gets a bit challenging. Along the route, we’ll be offered an impressive view of Kantega and Cho Oyu.
Walking through the narrow gorge, we approach the first Gokyo Lake, which looks stunning. The water is partially frozen even when visited in March and April. The lake is by far the smallest of all the main lakes located in the village.
As we head towards the Gokyo Village, the magnificent scenes of Cho Oyu await at the head of the village. You can see the giant glaciers emerging above the village, putting an incredible view. The third Gokyo lake is just below this remote settlement, but the trail walking the lake is rocky.
After a short walk past the Gokyo Village, we’ll make it to the fourth Gokyo lake, which looks incredibly stunning. Standing at the lakeshore, we’ll be able to witness the brown rocky hill whose trail climbs Gokyo Ri. After exploring the last lake of the day, we’ll return to the village, where there are ample lodges and guest houses for trekkers to spend the night.
It takes around 1-2 hours to get to the acme of the mountain and watch the mesmerizing view it has to offer. You can see many sparkling mountains from the top, including Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, horse, Cho Oyu, and many more at sunrise time.
On the base of the Gokyo Ri is small hamlets with a few lodges and guesthouses for trekkers to stay overnight. After a wonderful time at Gokyo, we’ll return from the hike and have our breakfast. Shortly afterward, we’ll get our backpack ready and then descend the trail to Dole We make our way through the glacial moraine and pass the Ngozumpa glacier with the help of trekking poles.
As we walk along the valley, the glistening view of snow-capped mountains and glaciers emerges right in front of our eyes. Climbing down to the village, we can see many dry stone walls along with a spectacular view of Khumjung and Kande.
Trekking high above the river valley and crossing several wooden bridges, we arrive at Luza. After working our way through many remote villages of Khumbu, we finally got to the beautiful village of Dole. Overnight stay in a tea house.
Walking from the side of the ridge and along the rocky trail, we’ll get to the Mongla Village. The trail then descends to Kyangjuma and finally arrives at the beautiful Sherpa town, Namche. While we’re on our way to the village, you can see many Tibetan monasteries, Chortens, and prayer flags. Overnight stay in a lodge at Namche.
From there, we cross the suspension bridge multiple times and slowly climb down the trail.,guesthousesSince the path is mostly downhill, it doesn’t take much time for us to get to the village. Finally, after trekking for 6-7 hours, we’ll finally end up at Lukla. With this, we wrap up our Gokyo Valley Trek itinerary with Nepal Eco Adventure.
What is Included
- Airport pickup and drop by private vehicle.
- Three nights Kathmandu 3* hotel hotel twin sharing Hotel including breakfast.
- Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
- Trekking lodge accommodations during the trek.
- Fresh fruit every night after Dinner.
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit & Khumbu Pashang Lhamu Rural Municipality fees
- Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight including airport transfer. (High season flight to and from Lukla are operated from Ramechhap airport which is 4-5 hours east of Kathmandu)
- English speaking well trained, Government license holder guide with all his salary, food, drinks, accommodation, Transport and insurance.
- A Strong, helpful porter with proper equipment (one porter for two people).
- Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available).
- Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid by your Travel insurance company.
- Use of sleeping bag, down Jacket and walking Poles (if you don’t have your own, To be return after trip completed).Using these 3 items you pay $5 USD each as maintenance and washing charge
- Nepal Eco Adventure T-shirt cap cap and duffel bag.
- Government taxes,service charge and official expenses.
- Guided Kathmandu sightseeing tour with private vehicle.
- Gokyo valley trekking map.
- Oxymeter to check your pulse and oxygen saturation and heart rate twice daily (Very useful to check Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS) symptoms) Which will ensure you trek is in the safest hands possible for all levels of trekker.
- Assistant guide group size above 6+ person.
What is Excluded
- Meals whilst you are in Kathmandu Lunch and Dinner.
- Nepal entry visa fee $30 USD for 15 days visa on arrival.
- Your Travel and medical insurance(Recommended).
- International airfare.
- Your personal expenses.
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic, hot and cold drinks.
- Deserts Sweet things like, chocolate, cake, pie and pudding.
- Hot shower and battery charging during the trekking.
- Tips for the guide, porter and driver (Tipping is expected).
- Kathmandu sightseeing entrance fee(approximate $30USD per person)
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Gokyo Valley Trek isn’t as difficult as other strenuous treks in the Himalayas. It has moderately suitable trails that can be traversed by any hiker, even beginners with strong physical health. The paths to Gokyo Valley are unpaved with several highs and lows, which can be stressful for trekkers.
They may encounter rock steps with steep ascents, and descents full of loose rocks and streams which are harder to climb. Ngozumpa Glacier is probably the most challenging section of the entire trek. It has trails covered in snow which makes the hiking a bit tricky. But, apart from that, the trek can be easily done without any difficulties.
Whether or not you have trekked earlier but, hiring a porter is always a great idea during a trip to Gokyo Valley. They’ll help you with the luggage on the trail and make it somewhat easier walking the mountainous terrain. Porter in Khumbu Valley can carry up to 25 kg of weight for US20 to US$25.
Trekking Gokyo Valley without a guide is possible if the trekkers are fully aware of the route. Otherwise, it’s best to rent a professional trek guide who can navigate you all along the way. They’ll guide you throughout the way and even take care of your essentials. Depending on the Gokyo Valley Trek itinerary, they might charge you anywhere from US$30 to US$35.
Gokyo Valley Trek costs around US$1,350 for each individual hiker. The amount covers the expenses of a three-time meal, accommodation, and a domestic flight to Lukla. Within the travel package, you’ll also get the essential trekking equipment like a duffle bag, hiking poles, and jacket required for the trek.
After the hike is finished, trekkers will have to return the gear to Nepal Eco Adventure. Apart from the elemental gear, trekkers will be in charge of personal expenses, including snacks, hotel, and other luxurious items.
Although it’s one of the highest settlements in Nepal, Gokyo Valley has plenty of accommodation options to offer trekkers. There are lodges, hotels, and guest houses at every stop for trekkers to spend the night.
Teahouses are the favorite of most Gokyo Valley hikers as they are user-friendly and more accommodating. Their rooms are basic and come with all the required facilities, including a bedsheet and a pillow. Blankets are provided to the guests, but it's a good idea to bring your own as it’s extremely cold in the mountains.
Generally, trekkers will have to agree to dine in the tea house to get the room. Some tea houses provide hot showers and electricity for free of cost but most of them charge a certain amount to get to use the facilities.
A few guesthouses along the way to the Gokyo Valley offer wi-fi to the guests. But, it’s hard to find the service at a high altitude as there are no strong network connections. The wi-fi doesn’t work properly in remote settlements at a higher elevation, so it’s worthless spending a hefty amount on it.
Teahouses and lodges also provide electricity for guests to charge their phones and batteries. Trekkers will have to pay US$2 to US$5, depending on how long the service has been used.
Trekkers climbing Gokyo Valley in spring or autumn won’t need crampons to walk the trail. They can just use any sturdy hiking boot to climb the glaciers and moraine. However, if they are walking the valley in winter, microspikes or a crampon might be a great option as they provide more traction.
It allows the trekker to have easy mobility on the snow and ice without losing grip.
By attaching crampons to the mountaineering boots, trekkers can get a solid grip to hike on a snowy trail or cross the icefields and snow slopes. Gaiters are always handy to have as it protects the feet from frostbite and cold.
They cover the feet to avoid the injuries that can occur from exposure to debris and snow. Gaiters are great for rough and low-extreme conditions as they shield the ankle and feet, protecting them against moisture and wet conditions.
There are a few instances where trekkers of Gokyo Valley suffer from altitude sickness. Sudden and quick access to high altitude leaves trekkers with shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. They are early symptoms of acute mountain sickness, which, if ignored, will become a severe problem.
However, the sickness can be avoided at the outset by climbing the trail slowly while going high. Altitude acclimatization is one of the best ways to prevent altitude sickness. It's basically adapting to the weather and temperature at new places without getting affected. Taking proper rest and staying fit before going high also helps to minimize the sickness.
Looking at the atmospheric conditions and weather, Gokyo Valley Trek can be done any time of the year. But, the ideal time to do it is spring and autumn when the weather is delightful with all sunshine. The mild temperature with a beautiful atmosphere makes the hike gratifying and enjoyable.
Spring and Autumn season also comes with a mesmerizing view of shimmering snow-capped mountains, colorful flowers, and fall foliage which looks spectacular. The pleasant weather with fresh wind makes it easy for trekkers to walk the trail without losing sweat.
The trail running to Gokyo Valley makes its way through the Sagarmatha National Park, so trekkers will have to get their entry fee to the sanctuary, which costs US$30 for foreign nationals. Visitors from SAARC countries get off on the trekking permit with the fee costing only US$15.
Unlike Everest Base Camp, the trails of Gokyo Valley remain empty, especially during winter and monsoon. The path only sees a rise in travelers during the peak trekking season as it’s easy to ascend the trail during the other. Even on a usual day, there are fewer trekkers who climb the rugged trails to the Gokyo Valley.
The actual trail of Gokyo Valley starts from Lukla and ends back in the town. It runs through remote settlements, deep valleys, and gorges to end up at the beautiful Gokyo Valley. While this is the longest way, it allows trekkers to get enough rest and relish the scenic view of diverse landscapes.
Trekking from the lower hills like Lukla also helps the hikers to avoid altitude sickness. Those who are in a rush can take a direct helicopter flight to the valley or stop at any nearest village. By skipping the treks, they’ll be saving a lot of time and energy.
Best time for Gokyo Valley Trek
Although the Everest Gokyo Valley trek never runs out of season, the best time to visit it is mid-April or early October. The early spring and autumn put the best view for trekkers to enjoy along their journey to the valley. It brings them lovely weather with beautiful fall foliage and blooming flowers that look magical.
With the ideal temperature, several hours of sunlight, and major scenic spots, spring is the perfect time to visit Gokyo Valley. It offers a fabulous atmosphere to visitors with marvelous views that make the trek exciting.
Late March through April has moderate weather with an average temperature of -6.9 Degree Celsius. From May, the temperature starts rising, causing the day to be hot and wet. Hikers walking the trail at the end of the month will be sweating a lot while climbing the hills and valleys.
It’s a bit cold in early March in the Himalayas. With the temperature falling up to -11 Degree Celsius in the month, trekkers will have to brave freezing weather. But, by the end of the month, the surrounding atmosphere becomes nice with bright sunshine throughout the day. Trekkers can still expect cold air and fog in the morning.
Gokyo Valley shines through during spring with vivid color flowers, green terrains, and glistening white mountains. The weather is incredible during the season, with a light breeze and chills in and around the lake.
Following the clear sky, they can easily catch a glimpse of shimmering snow-capped mountains, including Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. They can also witness the most spectacular sights in Khumbu, the turquoise blue Gokyo Lake.
Those who know the Himalayas know that the best time to climb the mountain or any other hike in Khumbu is Autumn. The season is as incredible as it can be with hot summer days, gentle wind, and overwhelming atmospheric conditions.
In the day, there’s enough sunlight for trekkers to sight glimmering mountain ranges and sheer glaciers. It makes the trail dry but not too much so that trekkers can easily climb up their way to the Gokyo Valley.
Mornings and nights are usually cold in Gokyo Valley, even during autumn. Fog and mist are looming around the mountains and above the lake, which obstructs the scene. It gets better as the sun reaches its height, making the day warm and cozy.
Autumn is a peak trekking season, so it remains a busy time for visitors. The temperature between mid-September and November ranges from 20 to -12 Degree Celsius. The early season of Autumn is warm, but it significantly cools as high winds start blowing.
The peak fall foliage with bright yellow, red, and orange leaves can be observed in October. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of crystal-clear mountains, sweeping landscapes, and steep glaciers that look amazing.
Winter & Monsoon
Winter and monsoon aren’t the best of times for Everest Gokyo Valley Trek. The weather is dry, harsh, and severely cold during this time of the year. Winter in the valley is frosty, with heavy snowfall and blizzards that cause trekkers to shiver.
The daytime temperature stays mild, but the weather in the morning makes trekkers suffer a lot. It witnesses the snow-covered trails, which is difficult to walk for any hiker. They often struggle to pass the Ngozumpa Glacier, which has thick layers of snow.
Trekkers need a high-insulated mountaineering boot with crampons to walk the snowy paths, which are often quiet with fewer visitors. In winter, the average temperature of Gokyo is -10.2 Degree Celsius. High winds usually cause whiteouts and make it impossible for them to find their way.
In winter, the best part of hiking Golyo Valley is the staggering view of frozen Gokyo Lake, icy sidewalks, and fascinating snow-washed valleys. Visitors in winter will get to watch the delightful snow-capped mountains, including Gokyo Ri, Makalu, and Lhotse.
Just like winter, the weather in the monsoon is inhospitable for travelers to trek Gokyo Valley. There’s continuous drizzle in the season, which makes the trail filthy and greasy. The season begins from June and lasts till September, which is why the early monsoons are hotter.
There’s high humidity in the air, with the temperature exceeding 40 Degree Celsius. There’re frequent rain showers which put the trek on halt and even cause delays. But, once the rain stops, trekkers will get a clear view of vibrant valleys, snow peaks, and icefalls.
Monsoon weather is infamously famous for its unpredictable weather. So, those who intend to do the trek in the season will have to plan the trip carefully. Or else, they should wait for the season to end as it doesn’t last long.
Preparation for Gokyo Valley Trek
Preparation for Everest Gokyo Valley Trek isn’t as intense as any other hike with immense technical difficulties. But, the trekkers will still have to invest a great deal of time in fitness training and exercise to stay in shape. It’ll help to improve their stamina and make it relatively easy to walk the trail.
However, keep the physical routine simple and don’t overdo it. Choose the exercise carefully or just follow the regular aerobic or cardiovascular exercise like jogging, brisk walking, and running to increase the physical endurance power.
Start with a short hike before bouncing into the long winding trails of Gokyo Valley. Keep the first hike near the home and then work your way through the unmarked trails, so you can easily deal with the mountainous terrains of Khumbu.
Apart from the physical exercise, you’ll also have to take care of your mental health and don’t let the stress shake your confidence. Get all the essentials required for the trek as it’ll help you beat the harsh weather and severe environmental conditions of the Khumbu region.
Stay hydrated, especially when climbing the trails at higher altitude sickness. It’ll help you prevent altitude sickness and any other emergency medical conditions. Consume at least 5 liters of water each day so that your body doesn’t lose fluid while walking an average of 6-7 hours each day for almost two weeks.
Equipment required for the Gokyo Valley Trek
Hiking Gokyo Valley is definitely unlike anything else. It’s not a simple walk with many difficulties and hindrances. Professionals or not, trekkers of Gokyo Valley will have to beat the steep trails with terminal moraine and glaciers, which is not easy.
However, those who make a preparation beforehand will have an easy time compared to novice hikers. Knowing what to bring and not to bring on the trek also helps a lot to ease the trek. Trekkers won’t have to bring unnecessary items and gear, causing them to minimize the load.
Carrying heavy luggage with random stuff and traveling the uneven path of Gokyo Valley is strenuous. So, you’ll have to be sure which equipment is best to handle the adverse weather and climate in the given season. The Following is the general list of equipment required for the 13-days Gokyo Valley Trek itinerary.
Clothing & Footwear
- Long-sleeve t-shirt and fleece pants
- At least three pairs of synthetic or woolen socks
- Waterproof or insulated jackets to prevent cold
- Heavy-weight pants for high elevation
- Lightweight trekking pants
- Sturdy mountaineering boots
- First-aid kit with prescribed medicine
- Reusable water bottle with water purifier
- Camera with extra batteries, chargers, and powerbank
- Personal toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Journals and pen
- Hiking poles
Why trek to the Gokyo Valley?
Gokyo Valley is one of the most trekked destinations in Nepal for its unparalleled and unreal beauty. The trek is adventurous, challenging, and wonderful, with splendid views, unique landscapes, friendly people, and famous historical landmarks. Here are some other reasons for which trekkers are so excited to hike Gokyo Valley.
1. Scenic View
The trek to Gokyo Valley may be arduous, but the reward is certainly worth all the disquiet and trouble. It offers the visitors a magnificent view of turquoise Gokyo Lake, fed by the melting glacier. Trekkers will also get to enjoy glimpses of towering snow-capped mountains, including Gokyo Ri, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse.
During fall and spring, they’ll find colorful autumnal leaves and beautiful rhododendron flowers throughout the forest. During the Gokyo Valley Trek, clear sky and dust-free air help snap the shot of steep-sided valleys, deep gorges, terminal moraine, and glaciers.
2. Moderate trekking trails
Although the trails of Gokyo Valley are long, unpaved, and bumpy, it isn’t as difficult as ascending the mountains. Except for the course moving through Ngozumpa Glacier, trekkers won’t have to face any extreme challenges.
They’re not required to learn technical skills like rope climbing, abseiling, or bouldering. Trekkers can simply follow routine exercise, which helps their bodies get in shape and stay healthy. They’ll have to make sure that the workout prepared is beneficial and helps in increasing the physical strength to beat the jagged trails.
Gokyo Valley Trek maybe a tea house trek, but there is still a wide range of accommodation options for trekkers. From standard hotels to guest houses on the budget and well-equipped lodges, they are free to choose either from the available ones.
Tea houses seem to be the ultimate choice of most trekkers as they are more affordable and convenient. The facilities offered by tea houses in Gokyo are standard. The facilities offered are basic but enough to sustain life.
They provide clean double bedrooms which have to be shared. Foods and drinks are delicious and cost almost a penny despite having to be transported. They’re available even at a higher altitude so, you don’t have to worry about running out of one.
Based on the Gokyo Valley Trek itinerary, you can choose anyone that’s suitable for you. However, make sure that whatever you choose, you do it in advance, or else you might go out of the dwelling.
4. Amicable locals
Another great thing about Gokyo Valley Trek is its friendly locals, which encourage trekkers to visit the valley more often. They make the guest feel at home by providing a warm and hospitable environment. People in the Khumbu Valley welcomes the guest with open arms and gives them all the needed facilities. Despite the language barrier, they try their best to have a conversation with the visitors and ensure they don’t feel left out.
Difficulties of Gokyo Valley Trek
1. Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness is probably the greatest fear of Gokyo Valley trekkers. It’s something hikers find incredibly difficult to avoid unless they have great physical stamina and endurance power. Acute mountain sickness in Gokyo Valley mostly occurs due to the high elevation gain and low atmospheric pressure.
Trekkers, particularly novices, are more likely to show symptoms of altitude sickness like headache, nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Shortness of breath while going to higher altitudes is one of the major difficulties faced by the hikers.
To prevent the sickness, trekkers must acclimatize well before exposure to higher elevation. They should trek the vertical slopes gently, keeping it calm and cool. Drinking lots of water and following the exercise also helps to minimize the effect of altitude sickness.
2. Weather and Temperature
The weather of Gokyo Valley is somewhat much harsher and unsympathetic than the Everest Base Camp. It’s ever-changing as the trekkers experience different atmospheric conditions while on a trip to the valley.
Winter weather is usually more rough and downright frigid with icy cold wind and snowstorms. Even the minimum temperature in winter is below -10 Degree Celsius with low humidity and perception. Trekkers can expect heavy snowfall and damp weather, which interrupts the trek.
The sun may shine on days during winter, but the mornings still remain frosty. It tends to get dark earlier in winter at Gokyo Valley while the sun rises late. This eventually creates trouble for hikers who have to cover a long distance in a day.
Monsoon weather also creates difficulties for hikers. It makes the trail murky with the continuous downpour and adverse weather conditions. When it doesn’t rain, the weather gets much drier and hotter.
3. Rough and uneven trails
Gokyo Valley has long and winding trails that never seem to end. It has the trekkers walking every day for almost two weeks, which is exhausting. They’ll have to cover a nerve-wracking total distance of 27 miles to reach the charming Gokyo Lake starting from Lukla.
They’ll have to pass several villages, cross suspension bridges and walk from the side of the valley. For most of the day, trekkers will have to navigate the rugged terrains with rocks and boulders, which takes a lot of time.
As the trails leading to Gokyo Valley are extremely demanding with continuous uphill, trekkers will have to up their physical fitness level. They’ll have to prepare for the trek at least a month in advance and strictly follow the fitness routine.
Hikers of Gokyo Valley are also likely to suffer from frostbite while crossing the Ngozumpa Glacier. Walking the snowy trail can freeze their skin, causing it to turn red and pale. Sudden exposure to the cold temperature for a longer period of time can see the hands and feet of trekkers go numb.
To avoid frostbite, trekkers of Gokyo Valley will have to wear warm clothes and wrap their hands. They must use high insulated clothes to walk the glacier so that the snow doesn’t enter inside and their feet stay warm.
Fatigue occurs when trekkers have to walk a long journey without proper rest. It results from extreme tiredness from physical and mental pressure. The lack of energy in the body makes trekkers weak to even walk the trail. Due to exhaustion, they feel drowsy all the time.
Fatigue among trekkers of Gokyo Valley occurs due to walking for the whole with heavy luggage on the trail. Thus, to avoid such circumstances, trekkers will have to have enough food and water. They’ll also have to keep doing the exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy.