Trekkers’ true paradise, Nepal, is cram-full of so many beautiful trek destinations that visitors from all around flock here. Some of them delve into the lowland while others ascend the mountainous terrain to witness the stunning views that are nowhere to be found.
But, despite so many wonderful places, it’s usually Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake that draws most trekkers with their splendid sceneries. Its classic trail has the visitors walking all year long to catch the splendid view of gleaming glaciers and serene lakes.
Not to mention, the overwhelming view of snow-capped mountains, rolling landscapes, and vibrant valleys never fails to amaze hikers. Gokyo Lake and Everest Base Camp also feast its visitors with glimpses of glacial moraines, shimmering icefall, and deep gorges.
Travelers walking through the villages and sanctuary will get to explore rich cultural heritage, lifestyles, and wildlife in the region. The Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary starts with a flight to Lukla, followed by a delightful walk to Phakding.
The 61 miles long trail passes through several villages, including Namche Bazaar, Dole, and Machhermo, before arriving at Gokyo Lake. We’ll walk through the Sagarmatha National Park and climb steep hills to reach the village.
From there, we’ll take a turn to Everest Base Camp, walking over rocky terrains and the edge of the frozen lakebed from Gorak Shep. As we’re done with the sightseeing at the camp, we’ll descend to Pheriche and then head to Namche Bazaar. At long last, we’ll walk down the jagged trail to Lukla and fly back to Kathmandu.
- Highlights of Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp
- Best time for Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp
- Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Itinerary
- Day 01: Flight to Lukla (2,860m), Trek to Phakding (2,650m); 2-3 hrs
- Day 02: Trek to Namche Bazaar (2,650m); 5-6 hrs
- Day 03: Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
- Day 04: Trek to Dole (4,200m); 5 hrs
- Day 05: Trek to Machhermo (4,470m); 5-6 hrs
- Day 06: Hike to Gokyo (4,790 meters); 4 hrs
- Day 07: Rest day at Gokyo, summit to Gokyo Ri (5,400m)
- Day 08: Trek to Thangnak (4,700m); 5 hrs
- Day 09: Trek to Dzongla (4,855m) via Cho La Pass (5,420m);
- Day 10: Hike to Lobuche (4,910m); 4 hrs
- Day 11: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,364m) and back to Gorak Shep (5,185m)
- Day 12: Hike to Kala Patthar (5,555m), Trek to Pheriche (4,250m); 5 hrs
- Day 13: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m); 6-7 hrs
- Day 14: Trek to Lukla (2,850m)
- Day 15: Flight to Kathmandu (1,460m); 30 mins
Highlights of Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp
- Picturesque view of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Nuptse
- Encounter unique wild animals and birds in the Sagarmatha National Park
- Cultural exploration while walking through the village and visit to the local community
- A quick trip to famous Sherpa town and Everest Hotel View
- Witness prayer flags, ancient Tibetan monasteries, chortens, and mani walls
- Dramatic view of Khumbu Icefall and Gokyo Lake
Best time for Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp
Even though the beauty of Gokyo Lake and Everest Base Camp never fades out, irrespective of the season and year, the best time to visit it is Autumn and Spring. They have lovely weather with mild temperatures that perfectly fit for walking the upper Himalayas. Both these seasons are splendid in their own right and have fantastic sceneries to offer visitors.
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp in Autumn
With the warm weather and breathtaking views, Autumn generally holds a greater appeal for the trek to Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp. It offers a perfect climate with slightly cold mornings and sunny days to travelers.
Walking the trails becomes relatively comfortable during the season, especially in the afternoon due to gentle wind. Autumn rewards visitors with mesmerizing fall foliage and a crystal clear view of towering snow peaks.
The scenes from Gokyo Lake assure greater pleasure in the presence of glistening Mt. Makalu, Lhotse, and Everest. But, since it falls between summer and winter, the early months of Autumn are scorching hot, but as the day passes, the temperature falls rapidly, and it starts to get frigid cold.
At times, the temperature even reaches below 0 Degree Celsius, making the visitors shiver with cold. Therefore, trekkers have to bring along warm clothes to prevent themselves from freezing.
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp trek in Spring
Spring is another season that brings immense joy in the Khumbu region. It too has fair weather with beautiful days and cold nights due to a fall in temperature. The season starts from mid-March and lasts till April, offering visitors a stunning view of blooming flowers and green terrains.
As it falls right after winter, the surrounding area is a bit cold in the early days. You might even have to face light snowfall in and around the base camp. However, with time, the temperature rises up to 15 Degree Celsius, making it warmer and easier for hikers to walk the trail.
Similarly, Spring is the festive season, with Dashain and Tihar just around the corner. Hence, travelers visiting the region at the time will get the chance to know more about the rich culture, tradition, and history of different ethnic groups and local people. Hence, the trekkers intending to visit the region can follow the Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary.
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp in Winter
Although winter isn’t a great time for trekking to Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp, hikers can still walk the trail with a little extra precaution. They’ll have to be aware of the changing weather and make plans accordingly, or else the trip might be halted.
It’s hard to get high visibility in winter due to hazy weather with fog and mist. Trails in the upper region are often covered in deep snow, which is likely to cause frostbite. Days in the season are a little warm with bright sunshine but nights and mornings are icy cold.
Temperatures in the winter can be as low as minus 17 degrees Celsius, making you frost; therefore, trekkers will have to come prepared. The sceneries in winter are great, though, with beautiful snow-covered houses, glistening mountains, and a frozen lakebed.
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp in Summer and Monsoon
Hiking in Summer and Monsoon is not the best idea, following unpredictable weather. The trails are normally wet due to seasonal rainfall, making them greasy. The weather is usually gloomy during the season, which eventually obstructs visibility.
But, after the rain has stopped, you’ll get a clear view of lofty mountains, vivid valleys, and sweeping hills. Unlike Monsoon, summer has sunny days with no rainfall. However, it’s blazing hot out here in summer with a maximum temperature of up to 17 Degree Celsius.
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Day 01: Flight to Lukla (2,860m), Trek to Phakding (2,650m); 2-3 hrs
Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary kicks off by flying down the Lukla airstrip. The fun-filled adventurous flight with scenic views will last for about 30 minutes. After arriving at the town and having breakfast, we’ll continue our trek to Phakding, which shall take 2-3 hours.
The journey starts with a gentle climb off the hillside on the bank of Dudh Koshi River. Walking the trail up and down through the Chaurikharka village and towards the Dudh Koshi Ghat village, we’ll get to Phakding. There are many local monasteries in the village that can be explored in their spare time. Overnight stay in a lodge.
Day 02: Trek to Namche Bazaar (2,650m); 5-6 hrs
After breakfast, we’ll continue our trek to Namche Bazaar, which lasts almost 6 hours. At the outset, we’ll have an easy walk, but after coming above the lower hills, the trail becomes steep and rough, surrounded by rhododendron forest. We’ll also be crossing the Hillary suspension bridge and pass several remote settlements.
Walking past the village of Manjo, we’ll arrive at the Sagarmatha National Park check post and then cross another suspension bridge over Dudh Koshi River. On the far side of the bridge, there is a small village named Jorsale where we can get food supplies.
After the village, the trail goes straight uphill, which may take about 2-3 hours. There’s no downhill walk from here, so the trek can be a bit difficult. We might even have to take a rest to get a breath. For the night, we’ll stay in a tea house at Namche.
Day 03: Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
After the hard trip yesterday, we’ll spend the day resting at Namche Bazaar and perhaps enjoy a hike up to Everest Hotel View. After having breakfast, we’ll walk uphill to Syangboche, which is a bit rugged and steep. The hike can take us anywhere from 2-3 hours, depending on the pace.
Trekking can be slightly exhausting at times due to low air pressure, but the splendid views en route will compensate for it. After arriving at the hilltop, we’ll get to enjoy the magnificent view of Mt. Everest along with Ama Dablam and Thamserku.
Once the sightseeing is done, we’ll climb down our way back to the Sherpa town and call it a day. Those who don’t want to hike Syangboche can stay back and rest or go on an adventurous outing.
Options for day trips in Namche also include a serene walk through the Sagarmatha National Park or a quick visit to Hillary School and old monasteries. Some trekkers even prefer to walk through the forest and visit the ancient Sherpa museum. Overnight stay in a tea house.
Day 04: Trek to Dole (4,200m); 5 hrs
After enjoying the day at Namche, it’s time for us to leave the village and head towards Dole. The path to the village may be short, but it’s rocky and full of ups and downs, which may be a bit annoying. After hiking for about two hours, we’ll end up atop Mong La Pass, from where the view of Mt. Ama Dablam and Mt. Khumbila looks unreal.
A mild downhill walk through the forest and then the riverside village of Phortse Tenga will take us closer to Dole. We’ll finish the trek with a restful walk through the pine and rhododendron forest that ends at the village. We have booked a room in a tea house at Dole.
Day 05: Trek to Machhermo (4,470m); 5-6 hrs
Shortly after having a delicious breakfast at a tea house in Dole, we’ll set off for the trek to Machhermo. The ride starts with a gentle climb uphill and through the green pastures where the yaks are ranched. We’ll also pass the ancient Tibetan monastery and prayer flags on the way.
The trip will provide us with a lovely view of Mt. Cho Oyu, along with the surrounding green hills and beautiful terrains. After taking a long walk to the village of La Pharma, we’ll move to Luja, which comes with stunning scenery.
For the last few hours of the trek, we have an uphill walk which may be a bit tiring. Upon reaching the village, we’ll get an impressive view of snow-capped mountains and deep gorges. Tonight we’ll stay in a tea house.
Day 06: Hike to Gokyo (4,790 meters); 4 hrs
On the Day 06 of Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary, we’ll pass the Phanga village and get to the iron bridge over a small stream. From here, the trail levels out and climbs up the village of Longpongo at 4,690 meters. Along the way, you can find stones with llama footprints which are quite interesting.
The trek winds up with the downhill walk to the river and navigating the bridge that has us enter Gokyo. Waiting at the village is a splendid view of soaring mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and moraines. Overnight stay in a tea house.
Day 07: Rest day at Gokyo, summit to Gokyo Ri (5,400m)
After the long and tiring journey to Gokyo, it’s only fair that we take a break from the hike and use the time off to explore Gokyo Lake and the gorgeous valley. This will also help us adapt to the temperature at a higher altitude and prevent altitude sickness.
To make the most of the day, we’ll climb up the craggy hills with loose rocks, which adds to the difficulty. At 5,430 meters altitude, Gokyo Ri offers its visitor an incredible view of Mt.Everest and surrounding snow peaks. We’ll also get to glance at the magnificent landscapes and tranquil lakes that feed upon the glacier.
Day 08: Trek to Thangnak (4,700m); 5 hrs
Waking up to the pristine view of Gokyo Lake and having a local breakfast, we’ll move to the trail that comes across the Ngozumpa glacier. After a series of uphill and downhill, the trail stops in Thagnak, where the yak pasture land provides an imposing view.
Out of here, the route has us descending the valley from the glacial moraine in the east, which has many eye-catching views. After walking the lane for an entire day, we’ll finally arrive at Thangnak, which is also our dwelling for the night.
Day 09: Trek to Dzongla (4,855m) via Cho La Pass (5,420m);
Stretching 9.9 miles from Thangnak, Dzongla is the most astonishing but small village. To arrive here, we’ll have to navigate the rocky terrains beside glacial moraine early in the morning. A couple of hours of trekking over the jagged path will take us to Cho La Pass, which treats its visitors with a fantastic view of Mt. Cholatse and Cho La Lake.
On the way downhill, we’ll have a snowy path with frozen glaciers to combat, which is quite wearying. This will take us a lot of time to arrive at the base, where there are many colorful prayer flags. By the end of the day, we’ll be looking at the charming village of Dzongla.
Day 10: Hike to Lobuche (4,910m); 4 hrs
The trek to Lobuche isn’t as long as that of others in Gokyo Lake and Everest Base Camp itinerary. Therefore, we’ll slowly walk the valley and uphill that’ll bring us to the ridge, next to the religious shrine. After crossing the glacial moraine and multiple small bridges, the trail gains an altitude.
As a result, we’ll get a better picture of the snow-capped mountains with sheer glaciers and highland. The route then follows Imja Khola Valley, taking us all the way to the Lobuche at 16,210 ft. Unlike other places in Khumbu, there are few settlements in the Lobuche Village, along with some tea houses where we’ll stay tonight.
Day 11: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,364m) and back to Gorak Shep (5,185m)
The weeks of hardship and challenges are finally going to pay off as we head to Everest Base Camp today. The course from Lobuche begins with walkover rocks and boulders, which take almost 2-3 hours to pass.
After reaching the Gorakshep, a small settlement at 5,185 meters, we’ll further walk the campsite, which requires another 2 hours depending on the pace. With the rising altitude, atmospheric pressure decreases, causing altitude sickness; therefore, we’ll have to be a bit careful.
Upon arriving at the base camp, we’ll get a heart-warming view of Mt. Everest alongside Cho Oyu and Lhotse. We’ll also explore the landscapes and glaciers while at the base of Everest before heading back to Gorak Shep. Overnight stay in a tea house.
Day 12: Hike to Kala Patthar (5,555m), Trek to Pheriche (4,250m); 5 hrs
At the crack of dawn, we’ll ascend the rocky trail to Kala Patthar that lies below the south face of Pumori. The trek starts from the base of Gorak Shep and rises all the way up at 5,555 meters. At the hilltop, we’ll get to witness the breathtaking landscapes and dazzling view of Mt. Everest with nearby snow peaks.
As soon as the exploration is over, we’ll retrace the steps back to Gorak Shep and have breakfast before climbing down to Pheriche. We’ll walk through the meadows and steppe path to get to the village.
Day 13: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m); 6-7 hrs
After breakfast, we’ll prepare ourselves for the long walk to Namche Bazaar. The trail to this Sherpa town is a mix of highs and lows with many steep slopes. Along the route to the village, we can see many prayer flags and old Tibetan Chortens. Tonight, we’ll stay in a tea house. With this, we’ll finish the Day 13 of Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary.
Day 14: Trek to Lukla (2,850m)
Trek to Lukla begins with a downhill to the Hillary Suspension Bridge. Crossing the bridge, we’ll get to the other end from where the trail climbs up the Dudh Koshi River Valley. Passing through the wild forest with pines and fir, we’ll arrive at Lukla. Overnight stay in a lodge.
Day 15: Flight to Kathmandu (1,460m); 30 mins
If things go as planned, we’ll take a flight to Kathmandu from Lukla on the last day of the Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp itinerary. The trip will last for about half an hour and rewards us with an aerial view of cascading waterfalls, lofty hills, and remote villages. After the flight lands at Tribhuvan Airport, our staff will drive you to the hotel, where you can get some sleep.