Gokyo Lakes Trek – See The Emerald Lakes Of Gokyo

Updated: December 7, 2022

The Gokyo Lakes lies at the head of the Dudh Kosi Valley and provides an excellent alternative to the classic Everest Base Camp trek.

The trek is especially good if you have a little more time on your hands as it takes in all the highlights of the classic Everest trek with the added bonus of seeing the beautiful Gokyo Lakes.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Details

Route Overview

The Gokyo trek itself is far more tranquil than the EBC trek as there are much less trekkers on the route. Another added bonus of the trek is that it is a circular trek in which there is no backtracking like you find on the classic EBC trek.

The highlight of this trek is the ascent of Gokyo Ri. Standing at over 5000m, the views from the summit are simply breathtaking. The peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu can be seen! The view is often considered one of the best in Nepal and it is easy to see why.  Climbing to the summit in the afternoon is a beautiful time as you will see sunset over the glimmering Gokyo Lakes.

The trek begins in Lukla after your flight from Kathmandu. For the first three days, the trail follows the traditional Everest Base Cam trek trek itinerary for the first three days up to Namchee Bazaar. Just after Namchee the trail veers off to the North-west via the towns of Dole and Machemo, and then onto the stunningly gorgeous Goyko Lakes. You then ascend Goyko Ri (5,357 meters) and traverses Cho La Pass (5,420 meters) before joining up again with the classic Everest Base Camp trek at Lobuche.

Everest Regional Map


Gokyo, in the Everest region, is on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest. Lonely Planet ranked the Everest Region as the sixth best area in the world to travel to.

Everest Recommended Map

Gokyo Map (Everest Region)

The Gokyo Lakes trail does not receive anywhere near the same footfall as the classic Everest Base Camp trek and the paths can often be confused with smaller yak trails.

Therefore, we recommend taking a detailed trekking map of the region. The area is sparse and it is quite possible to get lost in the warren of valleys that lie either side of the main trail. The most up to date and recent map is Everest and Gokyo by NepaMaps.

Gokyo Lakes - Typical Itinerary


Accommodation will be in lodges. Here is a general itinerary for a standard 16 day version of the Gokyo Lakes trek. Please note that there are several Gokyo Lake itineraries that can be completed. If you want to make your own way to Lukla then you could no doubt organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to read more.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 16

Day 17

Recommended Gokyo Lakes' Guidebook

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya (Walking Guide)

Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons’s have produced a great guide book – No products found..

For a more general guide to Nepal trekking you may want to consider the Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya.

We also highly recommend Everest: A Trekker’s Guide – Trekking Routes in Nepal and Tibet by Cicerone Guides.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gokyo Lakes Hikes


How much does the Gokyo Trek cost?

You will require a trekking permit for the Sagarmatha National Park. This usually costs about $30. You’ll also need to purchase a Trekkers Information Management System card.

Tour prices range from $1,500 to $3,500 – depending on your operator.


When is the best time to trek to Gokyo Lakes?

The best times to this Gokyo Lakes is either from March to May or from late September to late November.

Like the classic Everest Base Camp trek, the peak period is October and November, when weather is usually stable and visibility excellent. In the earlier, pre-monsoon period from March to May, there is lovely spring growth but conditions vary slightly more.


Is altitude sickness a risk in the Gokyo Region?

The Gokyo Lake trek ascends to some high altitude points. At its highest point, Kala Pathar, you will reach an altitude of 5,554 meters (18,221 feet). There are some very steep section on this trek where you will ascend very quickly.

Because of this, it is important to have a good understanding of the risks associated with high altitude trekking and how the body acclimatises to high altitude. We recommend you read our detailed article on Altitude Sickness and Acclimatisation.


What gear do I need for Gokyo Lakes?

Treks to Gokyo Lakes require a number of essential pieces of trekking gear and equipment. The Gokyo Lakes trek is over two weeks long and quite challenging. It exposes you to a range of altitudes where temperatures fluctuate dramatically between night and day.

Much of your gear can be rented or bought in Kathmandu, but we strongly suggest bringing the most important pieces of gear and equipment with you.

To help you plan and prepare for your trek we recommend reading our gear section.

What Insurance Do I need for Gokyo Lakes' Hike?

Trekking insurance is vital in Nepal. This is particularly true on the Gokyo Lakes trek which is quite remote and goes to high altitude. If an accident should occur that requires medical assistance and evacuation you will certainly want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure to have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, damaged, stolen or delayed baggage; flight delays and interruptions; and tour operators default.

This article on travel and trekking insurance provides great information on what type of insurance you need, as well as provides an easy quote calculator from a leading travel operator.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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