Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek And Helicopter Return

11 Days

Overview

Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return offers a lifetime experience of exploring several places of the pristine, remote high-altitude Himalayas in a single trip. It is the combination of two incredible treks in the Everest region, the Gokyo Lake Trek and the Everest Base Camp Trek. The perfect blend of the world-famous Everest Base Camp trek and the less-trodden Gokyo Valley through Cho La Pass is a perfect option to cover the entire wonders of the Khumbu region. During this enriching journey, you can delve deep into the rich culture, resilient people, diverse natural landscapes, and religious landmarks of the alpine mountainous regions.

For worldwide thrill seekers, this journey is a fulfilling experience that covers all the breathtaking landscapes and pristine wilderness wonders around the Khumbu region and a thrilling return by helicopter. You will reach the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain in just eleven days. Other important highlights of the journey include traversing the largest Himalayan Glacier, Ngozumpa, visiting the turquoise Gokyo Lakes, climbing the Gokyo Ri viewpoint, crossing the high-mountain Pass, Cho La, and hiking to the highest elevation of Kalapathar.

Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey rewards you with an unparalleled adventure experience through the diverse scenic landscapes and remote settlements of the Himalayas. This trek, which takes you over 5,000 meters altitude, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience remarkable adventure in high altitudes and rugged Himalayan terrains. Crossing high-altitude passes and glaciers during the journey tests your physical strength and mental preparedness to the core.

How is this Combined Trek Different from Others?

Although there are several trekking routes to Everest Base Camp, the one through the Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass is the most adventurous, exciting, and enriching. During this journey, you will witness and explore all the major attractions of both Everest Base Camp and the Gokyo Lakes region in a single trek, added with the thrill of a helicopter flight.

This incredible journey involves an adventurous trek to the Gokyo lakes in the Gokyo Valley, hiking to the top of two amazing viewpoints, Gokyo Ri and Kalapathar, crossing the high pass Cho La, and reaching the classical Everest Base Camp. Finally, this unbeatable journey concludes with a helicopter return to Kathmandu.

The scenic helicopter ride back to Kathmandu from Gorakshep is the most exciting part of the Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey. You need not trek a long distance down to Gorakshep and finally to Lukla to board a plane to fly back to the capital city. Instead, you can enjoy the Himalayan views from a different angle. You can catch a bird-eye view of the snow-covered mountains, Khumbu glaciers, forests, hills, and valleys during your return journey.

What Can You Expect During the EBC Trek Via Gokyo and Cho La With the Helicopter Return Journey?

  • Starting the journey with a thrilling and scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Trekking with experienced and professional guides who are well-known about the highlights, terrain, and culture of the region
  • Exploring the unique culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the Sherpa people in several picturesque rural villages along the trails
  • Experiencing the warm welcome and charming hospitality of the friendly local people
  • Staying in the comfortable teahouses along the trekking route and enjoying the traditional cuisines
  • Visiting historical monasteries, shrines, and chortens to have insights into the unique Tibetan Buddhist culture of the region
  • Crossing numerous suspension bridges, widely spanning over the rushing streams and adorned with prayer flags
  • Enjoy the wide 360-degree panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas, including Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, Thamserku, Baruntse and several other peaks in the Everest region
  • Crossing the challenging high mountain pass, Cho La Pass, at an altitude of 5,420 meters/17,782 feet
  • Exploring the diverse landscapes, flora, and fauna of the Sagarmatha National Park
  • Climbing the vantage point, Gokyo Ri (5,340 meters/17,515 feet), for the sweeping view of hills, valleys, and mountains
  • Navigating Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest Himalayan glacier
  • Exploring the world’s highest freshwater lake, Gokyo, at 4,750 meters/15,584 feet in the Gokyo Valley
  • Hiking upto the fifth Gokyo Lakes with crystalline turquoise water and captivating scenery
  • Hiking to the Kalapatthar viewpoint at 5,644 meters and marveling at the sunrise, sunset, and expansive views from there
  • Reaching the iconic Everest Base Camp and beholding the grandeur of Everest from a close range
  • Marveling at the stunning view of the Khumbu icefall and Khumbu glacier
  • Concluding the trek with an adventurous and exhilarating helicopter flight from Gorakshep to Kathmandu

Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return - Detailed Itinerary

Lukla Elevation: 2,800 meters/9,184 feet

Phakding Elevation: 2,640 meters/8,659 feet

Flight Duration: 35-40 minutes

Trek Duration: 3-4 hours

We will start our Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey from Kathmandu by taking an early morning flight from Tribhuvan International Airport to Lukla. The exciting scenic flight, which takes around 35-40 minutes, will take us to Lukla Airport (Tenzing Hillary Airport). After landing at the gateway to the Everest region, Lukla, our adventurous trekking journey begins towards the Dudh Koshi River Valley.

We will enjoy lunch in the picturesque Lukla village and prepare to trek towards Phakding. We will make our way descending through lush green forests, and enroute, we will traverse several small Sherpa villages (Cheplung, Thado Koshi, Ghat) alongside the Dudh Koshi River. You will be treated to the breathtaking views of the captivating Himalayas on the way. After covering around 9 kilometers distance from Lukla, you will reach the riverside village of Phakding. We will accommodate you at a notable traditional teahouse in Phakding, where you will spend your first night of the trekking days.

3-4 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namche Bazaar Elevation: 3,440 meters/11,283 feet

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

The Phakding to Namche Bazaar trek allows you to immerse yourself in the picturesque Himalayan landscapes. After breakfast, we will leave Phakding and start walking alongside the banks of the Dudh Koshi River. We will ascend gradually at a relaxed pace, taking in the peaceful ambiance and gentle flow of the river.

After trekking uphill on the remote trails for about 2-3 hours, we will reach Monjo. At Monjo, we will check in at the entrance gate of the Sagarmatha National Park. On the way, you can witness the diverse plant and animal life of the protected area. The trail leads us through the lush, dense forests of rhododendrons and pines and passes through the quaint Jorsalle and Larja Doban villages. Throughout the trek, you will cross numerous suspension bridges over the Dudh Koshi River, along with the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge.

Slowly, the trail ascends to Namche Hill, where you have to make a steep climb. On the way, you can marvel at the stunning vistas of Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Lhotse from different parts of the trail. After walking for 8-9 kilometers from Phakding, you will reach Namche Bazaar, the vibrant Sherpa town and bustling hub of the Khumbu region. You can have a cozy retreat at one of our pre-booked teahouse accommodations in Namche Bazaar.

5-6 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namche Bazaar is the important acclimatization stop before continuing to trek higher into the Himalayas. We will spend this day acclimatizing to the higher altitudes (over 3,000 meters) of Namche Bazaar. Initially, we will enjoy the delicious breakfast at our place of stay. Take time to relax and enjoy the delicacy of traditional dishes in the teahouse. After a nice rest and fueling up with nutritious local foods, you can take short acclimatization hikes to the nearby renowned places of Namche Bazaar. Climbing heights and returning to rest/sleep at a relatively lower altitude help you to adjust to the changing altitudes.

You can set out to explore and discover the bustling Namche surroundings, which will also help your body adjust to the altitude. You can visit Khunde Hospital, Namche Monastery, and the Sherpa Cultural Museum for a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the place. Along the way, you can have a friendly interaction with the native Sherpa people and learn about their unique costumes, culture, traditions, and resilient lifestyle. You will experience the warm welcome, friendly nature, and genuine hospitality of these mountainous communities.

Immerse yourself in the captivating beauty and vibrant atmosphere of Namche Bazaar before returning to the teahouse for a hearty meal and cozy sleep.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dole Elevation: 4,000 meters/13,123 feet

Trek Duration: 4-6 hours

After waking up in the Namche Bazaar well-rested and acclimatized, we will have breakfast and continue our Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey, heading towards Dole. The distance between Namche Bazaar and Dole is approximately 6-7 kilometers.

The route from Namche Bazaar gradually ascends towards Syangboche. From there, we will make a slight descent to Khyangjuma, the meeting point of the Gokyo and main EBC trail. While passing through several Buddhist settlements on the way, you can have rich insights into numerous chortens, historical monasteries, Buddhist monks, mani walls, and prayer flags.

Trekking further, we will pass the forested trails, a small settlement, Sansa, and ascend to reach the Mong-la Pass. From this pass, you can witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains like Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Khangtega, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and more. Descending from the pass, you will reach the Phortse Tenga village beside the Dudh Koshi River. From there, we will follow the trail, passing through yak pastures, pine, and rhododendron forests, which gradually ascends to Dole at 4,000 meters. In the mountainside village of Dole, we will spend an overnight at a teahouse.

4-6 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Machhermo Elevation: 4,450 meters/14,600 feet

Trek Duration: 3-5 hours

Today, we will wake up early at Dole and prepare to embark on a remote trek toward Macchermo. We will follow the off-the-beaten trails from Dole, initially walking beside the Dudh Koshi Riverbed. We head toward the north along the rhododendron and juniper forests and pass through yak pastures, sparse vegetation, and rugged mountainous terrains. On the way, you will traverse several small settlements, such as Luza, Lhabarma, and Kele, where you can catch a glimpse of the day-to-day life of the mountainous people.

On the final stretch of the trek, you will ascend to the picturesque Macchermo village, encircled by snow-covered mountains and rocky boulders. Macchermo has several lodges and teahouses offering decent meals and comfortable accommodations. We will unwind and settle in at one of the traditional teahouses in Macchermo.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gokyo Lake Elevation: 4,750meters/15,580 feet

Total Trek Duration: 9-10 hours

Today, we will trek towards Gokyo Valley, which has six Gokyo Lakes: Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), Thonak Cho (largest), Gyazumpa Cho, Taujung Cho, Ngozumpa Cho (smallest), and Longpongo Cho, at an altitude of around 4,700-5,000 meters. These glittering lakes offer a dramatic reflection of the surrounding Himalayas on their surfaces.

We will leave Machhermo and pass through the traditional settlement of Buddhist people, Phangka. Continuing further on the trek, you will descend by the river and ascend slightly uphill to the moraine, where you can see the Ngozumpa Glacier closing up. Climbing steeply over rocky and rugged terrains, you will encounter a glacial river. After crossing the river, you will see the symphony of sparkling Gokyo Lakes. After traversing the first and second Gokyo Lakes, we will reach the Gokyo village beside the third Gokyo Lake. You can see the Cho Oyu mountains standing majestically at the backdrop of this turquoise lake.

We will have our lunch in this scenic village and set out to hike up to the fifth Gokyo Lake. We will follow the trails which ascend gradually toward the upper Gokyo Valley. On the way, we will pass the third and fourth Gokyo lakes, with magnificent views of snowy mounatins, glacial lakes, and rocky cliffs. After around 3-4 hours of uphill trek, you will reach the fifth Gokyo Lake amidst the Himalayas. Explore the mesmerizing scenery of the fifth Goykyo Lake in its tranquil ambiance, and after enjoying some worthwhile time, retrace your footsteps back to the Gokyo village.

Upon returning to the Gokyo village, you can spend a glorious night marveling at the magnificence of the mountains and pristine Gokyo Lake.

Note: The sixth Gokyo Lake is less visited due to its remoteness and no well-marked trails leading directly to the lake.

9-10 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gokyo Ri Elevation: 5,340 meters/17,515 feet

Dragnag Elevation: 4,650 meters/15,252 feet

Trek Duration: 5-7 hours

Today, we will embark on an exhilarating hike to the Gokyo Ri at 5,340 meters. We will wake up before the break of the day to scale up this high-altitude vantage point. We will catch the mesmerizing first ray of the sun from this amazing viewpoint. The sun casting its golden hues rays and illuminating the Himalayas is a grand view to behold. Moreover, from the top of Gokyo Ri, you can marvel at the stunning panorama of the lofty Khumbu Himalayan, such as Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Taboche, Cholatse, and several other adjacent mountains.

Enjoy some time gazing upon the marvelous vistas as seen from the Gokyo Ri and start descending towards Dragnag. On the way, you will navigate the Ngozumpa Glacier one more time to reach the small mountainous settlement of Dragnag. You can experience warm hospitality in this culturally rich village of Sherpa. At night, enjoy a comfortable teahouse accommodation and a delicious dinner. Rest well for the challenging crossing of Cho La Pass the next day.

5-7 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cho La Pass Elevation: 5,420 meters/17,782 feet

Dzonghla Elevation: 4,830 meters/15,846 feet

Total Duration: 6-8 hours

This day of the trek begins early in the morning after having breakfast at Dragnag. The early start is important to avoid the possible high winds and fogs after midday during the pass crossing. Initially, the trail from Dragnag heads toward Cho La Phedi. From there, we will make a steep climb to the Cho La Pass, which can be quite challenging at times with some sections of ice and snow.

Following the rugged Himalayan terrains, you will reach the top of this high mountain pass, from where you can witness the amazing views of hills, valleys, and mountains as far as your eyes can see. Next, make a cautious descent through the steep and rocky terrains of the Pass towards the Dzonghla village. After an adventurous journey of reaching Dzonghla through Cho La Pass, we will reside in a cozy teahouse accommodation to spend the overnight.

6-8 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lobuche Elevation: 4,980 meters/16,338 feet

Trek Duration: 3-5 hours

Today, we will embark on a scenic trekking journey from Dzonghla to Lobuche. The trek from Dzongla follows a descending trail to a river and ascends to an open landscape of grassy patches and rocky terrains. From there, the trail leads towards the moraines with the majestic presence of the Himalayas on all sides. You will ascend the small pass, often known as the Lobuche Pass. The steady uphill walking through this pass lets you enjoy the majestic views of the snow-clad mountains and verdant hills at farsight. You can catch the magnificent sight of Khumbu Glacier from the trail, manifesting its pristine beauty.

On the way, you can also see the memorials dedicated to the climbers who lost their lives on the way to Everest. You will pass through several Buddhist settlements with chortens, mani walls, and Tibetan monasteries while heading towards Lobuche. After covering approximately 6-7 kilometers distance from Dzonghla, we will finally arrive at Lobuche. Upon reaching this beautiful mountainside village, we will accommodate a local teahouse.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gorakshep Elevation: 5,164 meters/16,942 feet

Everest Base Camp Elevation: 5,360 meters/17,585 feet

Trek Duration: 6-8 hours

On the 10th day of our incredible Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey, we will finally reach the base camp of Mount Everest. We will wake up early in the morning and embark on the adventurous and enticing trek to the lap of the world’s highest mountain.

After leaving Lobuche, we will start to make an ascent towards higher elevations, taking in the grand closing-up views of the towering Himalayas. You will have to traverse the rugged high-altitude terrains with loose rocks and moraines to reach Gorakshep. Gorakshep is the last settlement in the Everest region along the trek to EBC, with few stone houses. We will have lunch at one of the teahouses in Gorakshep and proceed on a trek toward the Everest Base Camp, which takes several hours to reach.

It is a tough journey to make it to the Everest Base Camp. As you gain elevation, the air becomes more thinner, and the oxygen level in the atmosphere decreases. You might get caught by altitude sickness, so take a slow pace and regular hydration breaks. While tackling and overcoming the challenges on the way to EBC, you will also experience every moment filled with excitement and astonishment.

As the base camp approaches nearer, you can feel the majestic presence of Everest before you. From the base camp, the gratifying vistas of the sky-craping mountain ranges, Khumbu Icefall, and Khumbu Glacier take your breath away. Enjoy the rewarding moments at this iconic base camp and retrace your footsteps back to the Goerakshep. On this day, we have walked a total distance of around 9-10 kilometers. So, give your legs a nice break, spending a restful time at the teahouse.

6-8 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Kala Patthar Elevation: 5,643 meters/18,514 feet

Kathmandu Elevation: 1,400 meters/4,594 feet

Trek Duration: 4-5 hours

Flight Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours

Gorakshep is the common point for both Everest Base Camp and the Kalapatthar viewpoint hike. Today, we will start our trek from Goarkshep at dawn to reach the Kalapatthar before sunrise.

The steep, narrow trails on the rough, rocky Himalayan terrains take you to the popular viewpoint of the Everest region, Kalapatthar. This high-altitude vantage point is surrounded by the gigantic Himalayas. You can enjoy the dramatic scenery and captivating sunrise view rising over the pristine white mountains from Kalapatthar. Moreover, you will be treated to the breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the Everest region Himalayas, such as Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Changtse, Nuptse, Lhotse, Khumbutse, Island Peak and more.

After enjoying the views from Kalapatthar, you will board a helicopter to return to Kathmandu. Helicopter return from Kalapatthar is a unique experience and a convenient alternative to the standard return journey. The direct helicopter flight from Gorakshep is the fastest and easiest way to return to the capital city after a long trek in the challenging high-altitude mountainous terrains of the Everest region. The helicopter service is the best option for trekkers who want to save time or need a quick descent due to health issues.

The adventurous helicopter flight allows you to enjoy the magnificent bird’s eye aerial views of the high-Himalayan landscapes. You can get unique insights and perspectives on the spectacular mountains, Sherpa settlements, historical monasteries, terraced fields, vibrant hills, rushing rivers, shimmering lakes, and lush valleys you have been exploring through your feet.

After around 1 hour of scenic helicopter flight, we will reach the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Once we arrive at Kathmandu, our unforgettable Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey comes to an end.

4-5 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cost Includes and Excludes

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up and dop-off.
  • Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek.
  • Best available guest houses accommodation during the trek (mainly in twin sharing).
  • A local government licensed English speaking trekking guide during the trek.
  • Porter to carry your luggage during the trek (1 porter for 2 trekkers).
  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment, medicine and transportation for all trekking staffs.
  • All necessary trekking permits and entry fees.
  • Down Jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag.
  • Oxymeter to check your pulse and oxygen saturation and heart rate.
  • First aid medical kits.
  • Gokyo Cho la Pass Everest Base Camp Trek.
  • Flight Cost from Kathmandu to Lukla and Gorakhshep to Kathmandu.

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu.
  • Your travel insurance (compulsory).
  • International airfare and airport departure tax.
  • Alcoholic, hot and cold drinks, laundry.
  • Personal trekking equipment.
  • Tips for trekking staffs.
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.

Useful Info:

Difficulties and Counter Measures for Gokyo Cho La EBC Trek with Helicopter Return

Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

The Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return takes you to an elevation above 5,000 meters. So, there is a chance of altitude sickness during this journey, which starts to appear after crossing the elevation of 2,500 meters.

For altitude sickness, keep yourself regularly hydrated by drinking enough fluids. Take nutritious foods and avoid the consumption of harmful beverages and alcoholic drinks. Emphasize the slow pace of elevation gain by allowing ample time for acclimatization. Acclimatization helps the body to adjust to rising elevations and prevents altitude sickness. If the symptoms of altitude sickness start to get severe, you can descend down to familiar elevations and stay there until the sickness improves.

During each day of trekking, you need to walk for around 6 to 8 hours. So, the journey can be tiring and exhausting. Although the trails are well-marked, some parts of the trek involve steep slopes, moraines, and rocky, uneven terrains. Still, rock climbing and mountaineering skills are not required for this journey.

Though previous trekking experiences are not necessarily required, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness to overcome the physical demands and exertion of the trek. In order to improve overall physical strength and endurance, consider engaging in fitness and cardiovascular training. To uplift and ensure your physical readiness for this adventurous journey, you can do exercises such as planks, squats, push-ups, plunges, deadlifts, swimming, aerobics, cycling, skipping, jogging, etc.

You can also practice hiking with a backpack in hilly terrains, which prepares you for the challenging high-altitude trekking. You can wear lightweight trekking boots with good ankle support to prevent possible foot injuries while walking over the remote Himalayan terrains. Carry trekking poles for balance and stability when walking on rugged surfaces.

The temperature at higher elevations is usually chilly. Likewise, the weather conditions can be adverse during the off-trekking seasons like monsoon and winter. Cho La Pass may be impassable in case of heavy snowfall and other bad weather conditions. So, it is advisable to carry appropriate gear for seamless navigation and layers of clothes to stay warm in the colder alpine environment while trekking during these unfavorable seasons. Conversely, for a comfortable and enriching experience, opting for the suitable trekking seasons, spring and autumn, is the best option.

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When to Embark on this Journey?

Everest and Gokyo Lakes Trek

To get the most out of the Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return journey, you need to embark on peak trekking and mountaineering seasons, spring and autumn. These are the most suitable times for this adventurous trip, presenting stable weather and moderate temperatures.

The arrival of spring brings the full bloom of rhododendron forests and wildflowers in the Himalayan landscapes. You will experience the vibrant and colorful trekking trails during this time. The comfortable warmth in spring makes your journey easy, smooth, and more enjoyable. Additionally, in autumn, the breezy wind on bright sunny days will let you enjoy the trek even more. Likewise, the colorful fall foliage all over the mountainous terrains and trails during this time mesmerizes the trekkers.

Spring and autumn feature long days, which allow for relaxed and thorough observation of the high Himalayan beauty. Skies are less cloudy and crystal clear, offering sharp visibility and unobstructed views of the mighty snow peaks. Due to dry and clear weather, the helicopter can take a seamless flight. The upgraded clarity of the Himalayan surroundings in a clean climate can enrich your viewing experience from the helicopter.

Trekking during the monsoon/summer and winter seasons is a wise decision due to the extreme temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions. The monsoon brings heavy rainfall, making the trekking trails muddy and slippery and adding challenges to the trek. Likewise, heavy snowfall in winter makes it difficult to navigate the routes due to snow accumulation and blockage.

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Gokyo Cho La Pass Everest Base Camp Trek And Helicopter Return

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