Gorakshep Village: The Last Stop Of Everest Base Camp
Gorakshep, or Gorak Shep, is a tiny village on a lakebed with the exact name. The village is at an elevation of 5,164 meters (16,942 ft). Though a village, there isn’t anyone that lives in it. However, unlike the olden times, the village is now occupied by several lodges with modern facilities and trustworthy services. The lodges are mostly there since it is the end stop of the Everest base camp, and many visitors tend to go there every year either to trek or even stay. It is just as important to recognize the fact that though this village has developed as a place where many visitors stay or rest during their trek to the Everest base camp, most of the services here are pretty basic, and nothing even slightly as extra or in that sense, modern, as what you will find in a place like Namche bazaar.
There are several facts about Gorakshep village that you may be interested in. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!
Table of Contents
- 1 The last stop of Everest base camp: Gorakshep Village
- 2 Is Gorakshep the main base camp of Mount Everest?
- 3 Weather and Temperature in Gorakshep
- 4 Gorakshep Trekking
- 5 How much does it cost to get to Gorakshep village?
- 6 How many mountains can I see from Gorakshep village?
- 7 Hotels and lodges in Gorakshep village
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
The last stop of Everest base camp: Gorakshep Village
Gorakshep is the last stop of the Everest base camp. The village is situated in Sagarmatha National Park. Though not occupied by any inhabitants, Gorakhshep village is a business hub for porters and Sherpas in the area. Hence, when in Gorakshep, one is likely to find people making a life out of their business. Whenever trekkers come to Lobuche, they need to go to Gorakshep to keep their luggage and belongings at a guesthouse in the village and finally head to the Everest base camp trek.
Most times, the trekkers who leave their bags and belongings in Gorakshep spend their night at the village’s lodges because there are no nearby lodges or guesthouses besides here. After spending a night in the lodges of Gorakshep, trekkers finally go to Kalapathhar to see the sunrise and the mountainous view of Everest and several other mountains. After this, they again return to their lodge in Gorakhshep for breakfast.
Therefore, not only is the Gorakshep village the perfect spot for trekkers looking for a place to rest, stay, and eat in the most rural part of the Khumbu region during the Everest base camp trek, but the village has also helped Sherpas and locals in the region to earn a decent amount of living from the rather abandoned village of Gorakshep.
Is Gorakshep the main base camp of Mount Everest?
Gorakshep used to be the main base camp for Mount Everest, or the main Everest base camp till the late 50s in the nineteenth century. However, the main base camp shifted to the upper part of the region, and Gorakshep became the ending stop for the Everest base camp. Though the location shifted, there still has not been a decrease in the number of visitors going there to stay and trek during their Everest base camp trek. In fact, without the Gorakshep village, people would have had to stay in tents and would not have been able to get the modern amenities that Gorakshep village has been providing.
Weather and Temperature in Gorakshep
The weather in Gorakshep is fairly warmer during summer, fall, and spring. However, winter might not be as warm as one might consider for a comfortable trek. Many people would prefer to go for a winter trek to the Everest base camp, but they must keep in mind that lodges mostly close down due to heavy snowfall and cold during winter time. So, it might be necessary for one to sleep in a tent in Lobuche itself. The possibility of not finding a single lodge during this time is not the issue, but few open lodges might be crowded and full to accommodate more than a few people.
The best time to go to Gorakshep when the weather is favorable would be during the months of spring (March and April) and autumn (October and November). During these months, the sky is clear, and the weather is just as good for the visitors. You can also get the perfect view of the mountains as the sky is clear. Fall and spring are neither too hot nor too cold, and there is no heavy snowfall or rainfall here either. Likewise, it is just as easy to get a nice lodge to stay in Gorakshep during these seasons.
As for the vegetation in the area, there is almost none here. This is also a reason why the name of the village has been Gorak Shep, which translates to “dead ravens.”
Gorakshep is a famous base camp among all the other Everest base camps. The village is located in the Sagarmatha National Park area. This area is best known as the habitat of Sherpa and Tibetan people. These people are mostly engaged in farming, guiding trekkers, and working as porters for the visitors in the Everest base camp. Gorakshep trekking is the final stop for the Everest base camp starting from Lukla. The trail starts from Lukla to Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Pangboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and finally to Gorak Shep.
The main Everest base camp does not allow trekkers to camp or stay there. Hence, during their trek, they have to return to the lodges in Gorakshep for food and accommodation. There aren’t many other villages in the Everest base camp area providing accommodation, so Gorakshep is also the last village accommodating visitors. While Namche Bazaar is highly preferred by many for stay and other facilities, it is way farther from reach than Lobuche. So, Gorakshep, though not as advanced in facilities as Namche Bazaar, has been a haven for many trekkers throughout the years.
Gorakshep gives a kickstart for the trekkers to go to the famous viewpoint Kalapathhar, which is at a height of 5,550 meters (18,209 ft). Many climbers go to this viewpoint without a permit, which can be acquired from the Nepal Mountaineering Association in Kathmandu. Climbing Kalapathhar and coming back to the village takes around four hours in total. As for the Gorakshep to Everest base camp trek, it takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. The time taken, whatsoever, also depends on the person’s physical condition and skills, his ability to outstand the weather conditions, acclimatization time taken, etc. Although the Gorakshep trek is not at the highest height in the Everest base camp, a lot of trekkers show the symptoms of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS).
How much does it cost to get to Gorakshep village?
Gorakshep village takes different amounts of spending for different ways you go there. You can either travel by airplane, bus, or land cruiser; the choice is yours. A lot of people tend to prefer flying to Gorakshep. It is important to know that you cannot directly fly to the place. Once you land in Lukla from Kathmandu, you will have to trek for a few days here and there to get to the Gorakshep village finally. Likewise, a bus ride is not going to take you to Gorakshep directly either. But, if you hire a Landcruiser, it is going to be your private ride and will take you from Kathmandu to Gorakshep with rest every now and then during the travel.
If you are flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, you will have to pay around $200-$300 depending on what time of the year you are making the visit. During peak seasons, like spring and autumn, the airfares are likely to go up. But during off seasons, the airfares will get cheaper. After getting off at the Lukla airport, you will have to start a 5-day trek to Gorakshep.
Bus rides are comparatively safer and cheaper than airplane rides to Lukla to get to Gorakshep. 150km from Kathmandu, your bus will stop at Jiri. After you make it to Jiri, you will have to trek for a total of 7 days to reach Gorakshep finally. As for the bus fare, you will pay only around $10 to $15 for one way. Though the time taken is longer, it is almost always preferable for you to take a bus ride since it will cut down costs while also cutting off the risks of coming through air accidents, as Lukla airport is one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
Lastly, another option that you have for your Gorakshep trek is to hire a Landcruiser. This is rather an expensive option, but one can get a great amount of convenience with this choice. The cost depends on how many people are traveling and what distance they are traveling. If you are traveling from Kathmandu to Gorakshep, it will take you quite some time as well as money. Likewise, you can take as many people as you can fit in the vehicle, but the cost will apply accordingly.
These are just some cost guides for how much it will take for your transportation. Your Gorakshep trek in EBC is likely to cost at least $ 1,500 if you take help from international or national travel agencies. Likewise, for anyone looking to trek alone to Gorakshep, you are likely to pay a little less, which would amount to around $900 or $1200 depending on how much you spend, what facilities you take, and whether you will be seeking porters or guides for your Everest base camp trek.
How many mountains can I see from Gorakshep village?
Gorakshep is a small village, and it is mostly dryland without vegetation. It is very close to Mount Everest as it lies in the Himalayan region of Khumbu. However, it is not just Mount Everest that you can see when in Gorakshep village. You can get the perfect view of different mountains like Nuptse (7,861 m), Changtse (7,543 m), Pumori (7,138 m), Mount Everest(8848 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Lingtren (6,749 m), and Khumbutse (6,665 m). The village is actually quite close to these mountains; hence, getting a panoramic view of these places is simply attainable without having to go any place else.
Hotels and lodges in Gorakshep village
Since Gorakshep village is the last stop of the Everest base camp, you won’t find it hard to find guesthouses, hotels, or lodges in the area. The village has literally served visitors for accommodating services for several years now. Though in the 1950s, this stop was considered the main Everest base camp, the main base camp later shifted to Khumbu Glacier.
As of now, Gorakshep village is popular among trekkers as they have to return here after their trek to Lobutse and Kalapathhar. There is no way trekkers can get permission to camp just anywhere in the base camp, and the rural nature of the Khumbu region does not really include a lot of places where trekkers and mountain climbers can stay during their trek. Gorakshep village has become the last stop for EBC as well as the last accommodating village for anyone trekking around the Everest base camp.
The off-season includes the winter. During the winter season, you can barely find a good hotel in Gorakshep as the inn and hotel owners tend to close down due to heavy snowfall and bad weather conditions. In seasons like fall and spring, however, you will find different places to stay here. Some of the most preferable hotels in Gorakshep village include Snow Land’s Highest Inn, Buddha Lodge, Himalayan Lodge, and Everest Inn Hotel. Internet is available in most of these hotels. And finding food is not a challenge either.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any vegetation in Gorakshep?
No, Gorakshep is named a dead raven because it has no vegetation at all.
Can you find luxury hotels in Gorakshep?
The hotels that you can find in Gorakshep are usually basic and have the necessary facilities. However, none of these hotels are luxurious.
What is the last village on Mount Everest?
Gorakshep, otherwise also known as the launching pad of Kalapathhar, is the last village on Mount Everest.
Can you see Everest from Gorak Shep?
Yes, it is possible to see Everest as well as many other mountains in Khumbu from Gorak Shep.
What is the closest village to Mount Everest?
Gorakshep, at an elevation of 7,100′ (5200m), is the closest village to Mount Everest.