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Gokyo Valley Trek

Abhishek Subedi July 30, 2020

Gokyo Valley Trek is a fascinating trekking route of Khumbu region offering you the stunning mountain views of the world’s highest peak i.e. Mt Everest, largest glacier in the Nepal Himalayas i.e. Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lake. The scenic natural beauty of Gokyo region is beyond your imagination as the view of this region is associated with soaring views of the most popular mountains in Nepal, at an elevation of above 8,000 meters such as Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu which are clearly visible from Gokyo Ri above Gokyo Lake. The Gokyo Lake Trek and Gokyo Ri Trek is an alternative to classical treks in the Everest region.The trail to Gokyo is a gradual ascent up the valley passing through patches of birch and Rhododendron forests where the elusive musk deer can sometimes be seen. 

Gokyo Valley Trek

About the Trek

One of the most remarkable features of the Gokyo Valley Trek is the view of the tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung located in the Khumbu region. Trekking to Gokyo Valley embarks from Lukla after a short and picturesque flight from Kathmandu. The trail enters the main Everest Base Camp trail and passes numerous sherpa settlements to reach Namche Bazaar where we rest for a day to acclimatize which helps you to be familiar with mountain conditions. The trek steeply descends passing through Phortse Tenga , from where the trail climbs steeply to Dole, through Rhododendron forests festooned with hanging mosses and Lichens.

From Dole we ascend steadily along the side of the valley in the direction of Machhermo, where small and thorny bushes give way to scrub juniper as the altitude increases. We follow a very scenic path to Pangka from where we descend gradually following a river from where we again climb uphill to a rocky incline and into the valley walking aside the glacier to reach Gokyo. From Gokyo we hike up to the Gokyo Ri – the last point of our trek from where we witness the remarkable panoramic view of Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Ama Dablam and many other peaks. The journey descends down to Phortse as the path changes from Pangka and crosses the beautiful villages of Chhum, Thore, Gyenhyo and Konar. From Phortse we descend down to Namche Bazaar and hike to Lukla from where we fly back to Kathmandu. 

Day 1 Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding

The trekking will start with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport. Lukla airport offers you with lifetime experience as it is one of the dangerous airports in the world. The runway of the airport lies between the two hills which is the difficult runaway for the experienced pilot also. Its airfield is at high elevation and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 60 metres. From here trekkers will begin their trek to the Phakding with green landscape and view of Kusum Kangaru. The trekkers will stay at the guesthouse here and enjoy the evening and night time with the local cuisine and dinner. 

Day 2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar

From Phakding trekkers have to cross the river to reach the valley. The trail is near to the river valley with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest. After crossing the Dudh Koshi at Benkar , trekkers can get the sight of snow capped peaks of Kusum Kangaru and Thamserku. It is only the short walk to Monjo where trekkers gather around to have lunch. From Monjo , National Park is about a short distance. In the hours of daylight the walking is a little problematic and is an uphill way to Namche bazaar. The trail now goes to the generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the meeting point of the Bhote Koshi and Dudh Koshi Rivers.  The trekkers have to walk through the large suspension bridge.   

Day 3 Rest at Namche Bazaar

Acclimatization is very crucial at higher altitudes to avoid mental or physical sickness and to ensure the successful climb of Abi Peak. Besides, Namche Bazaar is an extensive market town where there is always something to see and places to explore. For acclimatization, you can hike up to Khunde Hospital which was set up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or an hour’s walk up to Syangboche at 3800 meters for best views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. There are good views from the National Park Centre and the Museum which is located just above the town.

Day 4 Namche Bazaar to Dole

After spending a good rest day at Namche Bazaar, the trail heads all the way up to Khumjung, a picturesque village which also has its own Gompa at the top end of the town. From this point, you can enjoy excellent views of Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam. Soon after leaving Khumjung our trail climbs to a large chorten on top of a ridge. The trek from the top is a downhill journey down to Phortse Tenga and from there you will start to climb steeply through the dense forest towards Dole.

Gokyo Valley Trek

Day 5 Trek to Macchermo

After your breakfast, we begin our trek with a steep climb up to Lhabarma (4,330m) through Gayle. The trail then moves along the banks of a large stream at Luza (4,340m) and up to Machhermo while you walk high above the river and along the side of the valley. 

Day 6 Trek to Gokyo

After a good sleep in Macchermo, you will begin your trek. You will reach Pangka, from where you will descend slightly to a large cave area, Nilibuk. You will again then ascend on a steep rocky path that heads inside the valley along the side of the glacier. The trek continues ahead passing 3 holy lakes and across the glacier to Cho – La. The major and third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and are located on eastern shore in the settlement of Gokyo. The reflection of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang in Dudh Koshi’s emerald green water is just stunning. 

Day 7 Trek to Gokyo Ri and Back to Gokyo

This is the highlight of the trek. On this day you will trek up to Gokyo Ri and then again return back to Gokyo. You will see a splendid view of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachhe from above Gokyo Ri.

Day 8 Trek to Phortse

After your breakfast you will leave Gokyo and begin your long descent to Phortse. You will walk on the same path till Pangka from where you will turn east and trek through villages at Thore, Thare, Konar and Gyengyoand climb across the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Na. The trail then is smooth to Phortse.

Gokyo Valley Trek

Day 9 Trek to Namche

In the beginning of the trek on this day you will descend to Phunki Thanga from where you will climb upwards the ridge towards Namche Bazaar. After you reach Namche Bazaar the rest of the day is free where you can walk around the streets and buy souvenir from local shop vendors. 

Day 10 Trek to Lukla

This trekking trail follows a sandy path with strenuous walk. The trail is full of views of landscape and some mountain scenarios. The trekkers can explore Lukla bazaar and local shops. You can also celebrate your successful trekking with special brands of drinks.

Day 11 Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

Fly from Lukla Airport to Kathmandu Airport and enjoy the panoramic views of snowy mountains from the window of the plane.

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