Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty
Gokyo Lake Trek is one of the most panoramic treks of the Everest Region. This trek is a well-known and unique adventurous trekking route of Nepal. It is one of the most adventurous treks in Nepal. This trek is a unique opportunity to experience and witness the beauty of the world’s tallest and prettiest mountains, exquisite glaciers, including Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the whole Himalayas. Ngozumpa glacier is also the second-largest glacier in the world.
Gokyo Lakes are oligotrophic lakes in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park, located at an altitude of 4,700–5,000 m above sea level. These lakes are the world’s highest freshwater lake system comprising six main lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the largest. More precisely, Gokyo Lakes are located in the Khumjung Village Development Committee of Solukhumbu District in Sagarmatha Zone in north-eastern Nepal.
Gokyo is among the most popular tourist destinations leading towards the Sagarmatha Base Camp and other areas. The site is two days walk uphill from Namche Bazaar. A visit to the area often includes climbing Gokyo Ri. The Gokyo Lakes are also part of an extended Everest Base Camp trek known as the EBC trek via Gokyo Lakes. This trek is commonly hiked by people with slightly more time to trek as the trail is 4 days longer than the standard EBC trek. The Gokyo Lakes trek also has the added benefit of being a circular route as opposed to the standard EBC trek which returns along the same trail.
The Gokyo Lakes are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. Hindus take a holy bath in the lakes during the Janai Purnima festival, which usually occurs in August. The lake is also worshipped as the residing place of ‘Nag Devata’ (Snake God). People believe that they should not harm the traditionally protected faunas residing nearby.
Table of Contents
- 1 Highlights of Gokyo Lake Trek
- 2 Duration of Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
- 3 Everest Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty
- 4 Altitude Sickness in the Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
- 5 Some Measures to Cope with Altitude Sickness
- 6 When is the Right Time to Trek the Region?
- 7 Essential Tips for Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
- 8 Final Say
Highlights of Gokyo Lake Trek
- Historical Sherpa Museum and Namche Bazaar
- Everest view hotel and the Superb Mountain Panoramas
- Sherpa culture and settlement
- Sagarmatha National Park and preserved floras and faunas
- Explore the Gokyo lake
- View from Renjo pass
- Explore the Thame monastery hidden valley.
Duration of Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
The Gokyo Lakes trek is ideal for people who want to trek in the Everest region for more variety of views and fewer nights spent at very high altitudes. The average length of the trek lasts for about 16 days. This trek length is slightly longer than the standard Everest Base Camp Trek.
The Gokyo Lake Trek begins with a 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. This journey takes you through the magnificent valleys of Dudh Koshi which is rich in atypical biodiversity, century’s old Buddhist monasteries, and traditional Sherpa villages, and finally brings you to the footsteps of the renowned Namche Bazaar, the epitome of Sherpa civilization, and a gateway to classic Everest route. Also, it offers picturesque and close-up views of Mt. Everest (8,848m) and other equally splendid peaks like Ama Dablam (6,812m), Thamserku (6,623m), Lhotse (8,516m), and Nuptse (7,861m), after passing two nights at Namche.
After exploring and adapting to high altitude at Namche, you should move onward to Dole, Machheremo, Luza, and Gokyo. After this, you will climb the Gokyo Ri, which stands 5,357 m tall, to witness the spectacular sunrise in the Himalayas. Subsequently, two and half hour walk later, the view from the ridge above the Gokyo peak is incredible. Four peaks which stand taller than 8000m are visible from Gokyo Ri, including glorious Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu, and the beautiful emerald Gokyo lake, along with other smaller mountains. The view of Everest from Gokyo Ri is more stunning than from Kalapathar. The sight of the terrific ice ridge between the Ghyangchung Kang (7925m) and Cho Oyu (8201m) is one of the highlights as seen by Khumbu. You can extend the trek by going over the Chola pass to Everest Base Camp, for more remarkable mountaineering adventures to recall.
Everest Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty
The altitude in Gokyo Trek, 5357 meters is pretty high. When there is high altitude, there is a risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a major threat amongst the trekkers trekking to Gokyo Lake Region.
The Gokyo Valley Trek begins from an elevation of 2860 meters in Lukla. From Lukla, you will ascend gradually through Phakding (3438 meters), Namche Bazaar (3438 meters), Dole (3680 meters), Macchermo (4470 meters), Gokyo valley (4800 meters), and finally to the Gokyo Ri (5357 meters). Overall, Gokyo Lake Trek is a difficult trek based on altitude. You should be cautious while you go to high altitudes.
Gokyo Lakes are located in Khumjung Village Development Committee of Solukhumbu District in Sagarmatha Zone in north-eastern Nepal. The elevation of Gokyo Lake varies from 4700 m to 5000 m above sea level. Besides the altitude, the locale of the region is so remote. The trails are steep, icy, and off the beaten.
The location of Gokyo Lake also determines the difficulty of this trek. First of all the altitude is prone to altitude sickness. Besides that, there will be the fierce blow of wind at the mountains. It is usually very cold in the mountain. The uneven, rugged surfaces of the trail also slow down your pace. You will also have some problems regarding the accommodation at such heights.
The weather in the mountains is unpredictable as it changes significantly without any warning. You can notice the change in the climatic conditions every hour. The frequently changing weather can make your trek more difficult. Sometimes it will be very difficult to navigate the trails because the trail will be covered with snow. Rain and Snowfall are the significant difficulty issue during your trek to Gokyo Lake.
Besides the weather, the temperatures can also add difficulties to the trek. Due to the rapid fall of temperature in high elevated areas, you might face more pressure during the trek. And if you happen to travel, in winter, the weather becomes freezing and intolerable.
How Should You Train for Everest Gokyo Lake Trek?
No trek is difficult if you carefully plan for the trek. Gokyo Lake Trek is a moderate walk in the foothills of the Himalayas that does not demand the technical skills of mountaineering. However, physical fitness is crucial for a successful trek as it involves long hours of walking at high altitudes.
Regular exercise helps you to build the stamina and strength needed to walk in the mountains. It is advisable to engage in cardio-oriented activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling at least 4 to 5 days a week. If you’re considering developing your strength in the gym, focus on your legs and core in particular. The best way to train for Everest Base Camp Trek is to go hiking on the local trails for 5 to 6 hours with minimal break.
Your attitude and mental endurance in the mountains are equally important as your physical fitness. This adventure takes you to the remote villages of Khumbu, distantly away from your luxurious lifestyle. Before committing to the Everest trek, it is essential to mentally prepare yourself to live outdoors in the Himalayas. Also, make sure you’re well aware of the conditions of the teahouses, available food choices, and the trails you’ll be walking on.
Altitude Sickness in the Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
During a high-altitude trek, it is quite common for anyone to have altitude sickness. It is hard to get accustomed to the rapid change in altitude. The journey to Gokyo Lake trek starts from Namche after a flight from Kathmandu. The rising altitude means the oxygen levels and air pressure decrease to a bare minimum. Hence, the rapid elevation change can cause altitude sickness in a lot of trekkers.
You can get symptoms like nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, and appetite loss in Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If not treated properly, the AMS is a severe condition as it can turn fatal.
There are some mild symptoms like headache, nausea, or dizziness that can happen due to the change in altitude during the trek. Descend to a lower altitude and stay hydrated if you observe these types of symptoms. You can also rest for a day or two. You might sadly have to forfeit the trek if the symptoms worsen. Some symptoms such as confusion, difficulty breathing, or losing consciousness are severe. If these symptoms are observed, one must immediately be transferred to a medical institution and taken to a lower height.
Some Measures to Cope with Altitude Sickness
Trek Gradually with Slow Pace
It is crucial to maintain your pace and get acclimated to a higher altitude while taking on the challenge of Gokyo Lake Trek. Walking slow and steady will keep your body well-acclimatized and reduces the chances of high altitude sickness. Remember, this is not a race! Rushing your pace might get you tired or even sick as your body doesn’t get sufficient time to adapt to the lower oxygen level at increasing altitudes. Walk at a most comfortable pace and make sure you have occasional acclimatization days to prepare your body well.
If you are a novice trekker, you must attain the height leisurely. The more acclimatization you spend, the comfortable will be the trek. Your body needs to adjust to the low level of oxygen in the locale.
Increase Your Water and Food Intake
Another most useful measure to decrease the chances of altitude sickness during Gokyo Lake Trek is to increase the water and food intake. Make sure you consume plenty of fluids and water on the trail. Since you’ll be walking for 5 to 7 hours a day on the trek, your body will dehydrate quickly and deplete a massive amount of electrolytes.
It is always convenient to pre-hydrate your body and fills up your bottles every morning. Drinking enough water can reduce the possibility of altitude sickness at a higher elevation. On average, an adult should drink 4-5 liters of water per day while in the mountains.
Another crucial thing you need to consider while trekking in the Everest region is that your drinking water is safe. Since most of the water sources in the Himalayas are the local streams, it may not always be safe. Both mineral water and boiled water are available in the teahouses in the Everest region.
It is also essential to carry chlorine or iodine tablets to purify your water as boiled water may not always be available. Ensure you bring oral rehydration salts as they’ll be handy to improve the taste of the treated water and replenish the electrolytes.
Consult a Physician and Take Medication
You should not try any trek if you are not physically and mentally healthy. So it is advisable to consult with your physician about your health condition.
After going to the mountain also, you can have some complications. In such a situation you should not move further. Instead, you should climb down and start the medication.
When is the Right Time to Trek the Region?
Trekking and hiking can be done all year round in Nepal. However, if you trek in the right season, there will be fewer difficulties for you. Different seasons in Everest have distinctive features. You must choose a good time when you want to trek in Everest. Gokyo valley trek difficulty is dependent on the different seasons.
Best time for Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
Autumn (October, October, and November) is the best time for trekking in Gokyo valley. Autumn means rare chances of rainfall, snow, and bad weather. Thus, you will be facing lesser problems while you trek to Gokyo valley in Autumn. And, you will get the most astonishing views of the surroundings.
Spring (March, April, and May) is a wonderful time to trek. This season offers the best fragrance of wildflowers blooming along the trails. Also, the weather and temperature remain fairly stable. You’ll have great visibility and will have beautiful experiences.
Winter (December, January, and February) and Summer (June, July, and August) are the off-seasons to trek. Winter is the coldest time. And trekking in the monsoon, it’s a hassle. Even so, you can still trek to Gokyo Lake at any time of the year. Go with good plans and preparations.
What to Pack for Everest Gokyo lake Trek?
Sun hat or scarf
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sunglasses with UV protection
Lightweight cotton long pants
Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
Fleece or wool pants
Waterproof shell pant
Thin, lightweight inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Hiking boots with spare laces
Camp shoes (sneakers/sandals)
Light and expedition weight thermal tops
Fleece jacket or pullover
Fleece wind-stopper jacket
Waterproof shell jacket
Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell
• 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel
• Multipurpose soap
• Nail clippers
• Face and body moisturizer
• Feminine hygiene products
• Cold Medicine
• Antiseptic Towelette, Neosporin
• Diarrhea Medicine
• Water Purification Tablets
• Bandaids, Athletic Tape, Ace Bandage
• Sleeping bag
• Headlamp with spare bulbs and batteries
• Duffel bag
• Basic first aid kit
• Large plastic bags
• Trekking Poles
• Water bottle or camel bag
• Your Passport
• Travel Insurance
• Air Tickets
• Passport Size Photo
• Map and Guide Book
• Two Permits: ACAP and TIMS Card
• Nepali Currency
Essential Tips for Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
Gokyo Lake Trek is the most beautiful trek in terms of the beauty of nature. The six glacial-fed oligotrophic lakes on the lap of the world’s tallest mountain are the most beautiful panoramas that you may not have imagined before. This trek is a physically demanding and high-altitude trek. Therefore, not everybody can enjoy such a beautiful trek. For the successful journey to Gokyo Lake one should consider the following tips:
Acclimatize and Rest Properly
This trek is quite demanding and physically strenuous, mainly if you’re not used to long hikes in the Himalayas. It is essential to get a good night’s sleep and proper rest at high altitudes.
After walking for 5 to 7 hours in the mountains trails, your body is certain to urge for a proper rest. Sound sleep helps repair the tissues and muscles in your body and helps restore energy to improve your performance for the next day. It also helps to set a positive state of mind to acquire the psychological rewards to enjoy your time in the Himalayas. Make sure you bring warm thermals and a sleeping bag to beat the cold at night and enjoy quality sleep.
Gokyo Lake Trek is a moderate walk in the foothills of the Himalayas that does not demand the technical skills of mountaineering. However, physical fitness is crucial for a successful trek as it involves long hours of walking at high altitudes.
Regular exercise helps you to build the stamina and strength needed to walk in the mountains. It is advisable to engage in cardio-oriented activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling at least 4 to 5 days a week. If you’re considering developing your strength in the gym, focus on your legs and core in particular. The best way to train for Everest Gokyo Lake Trekking is to go hiking on the local trails for 5 to 6 hours with minimal break.
Your attitude and mental endurance in the mountains are equally as important as your physical fitness. This adventure takes you to the remote villages of Khumbu, distantly away from your luxurious lifestyle. Before committing to the Everest trek, it is essential to mentally prepare yourself to live outdoors in the Himalayas. Also, make sure you’re well aware of the conditions of the teahouses, available food choices, and the trails you’ll be walking on.
Avoid winter and Early Spring Season
As we have stated earlier, winter is the off-season for trekking in Nepal. During winter the cold is more severe, the snowfall is at its extreme. There will have little chance for occasional rainfall. Overall, traveling to Gokyo valley during winter is not a pleasant experience. So, it is a wise idea not to trek in winter.
Traveling to Gokyo Lake Trek early in the spring season is also not a good idea because this is the peak season of Trekking in Nepal and the trails will be crowded and you will have problems finding the teahouses also. Another thing is that the Spring season comes after winter in Nepal. Therefore, the earlier days are still colder in the Himalayas.
Customize your Trek with Additional Days
For a pleasant and hassle-free trek, you must customize your trek with additional days. If you are not accustomed to the mountains and their surroundings, you should not trek in haste. Gaining altitude rapidly will cause altitude sickness. Therefore, you should take proper rest and reenergize your body. It will also help your body to be accustomed to the local weather pattern and you don’t have any complications like altitude sickness.
Hire a Guide and Porter
Although it is possible to complete the Gokyo Lake Trek on your own, hiring an experienced local guide and porter is highly recommended. Having a guide to accompany you in your adventure can boost your morale and mentality in succeeding in your trek.
Licensed and experienced guides can speak English well and therefore can communicate efficiently with you, they are also trained to provide First Aid, basic care for AMS, and mountain rescue as necessary.
The trails to Everest can be quite tricky at times, so having a guide to assist you with the itinerary, routes, food, and accommodation will make your trek much more convenient. Guides will also give you valuable insights into the trails, mountains, culture, and lifestyle of Khumbu, adding more value to your trip.
Since it is tough to carry your entire luggage on your own, we recommend you hire a porter as well. A porter will help you to carry your luggage and belongings throughout the trek. Hiring a porter will reduce the extra weight from your shoulder and lower the chances of fatigue and exhaustion. Guides and porters can be employed in Kathmandu or Lukla.
Stay Calm and Positive
Trekking is a thrilling adventure activity. There are always some risks involved in the journey. The mountains are inhospitable places in terms of weather and topography. Trekking successfully is not only a matter of good physique and preparations. You have to be calm and positive. Your positive attitude plays a vital role to cope with the adversities in the mountains.
Interested in this trek? Then here you go!
This isn’t all. Many unpredictable factors might add difficulty during Gokyo Lake Trek. Well, you cannot predict them but you can be aware of them. Some of them could be physical injuries, sudden worsening of health, or worse weather even during the best times.
There is no certainty in anything when you trek high. So, you should be really careful before you decide when and where do you want to go.
“Give your best and wait for the rest”. This is the best strategy. Plan and prepare the best for your Gokyo valley trekking. And, let it loose! You cannot change anything just by worrying about it.