About the Gokyo Ri Trek


The Gokyo Ri Trek is in the Everest region of Nepal and is often called the Gokyo Trek, or the Gokyo Lakes Trek. The trek is known for having spectacular vistas, high altitude lakes, mountain peaks including Everest and for not being so crowded compared to the Everest Base Camp Trek.

There are several routes for the Gokyo Ri trek however the most popular one departs from Lukla up through Dole and then to Gokyo before coming back the same way. The reason why this route is popular compared to others is that altitude sickness is less of a problem. It's also easier than taking the eastern route back down.

 

Gokyo lake on the Gokyo Ri trek

Gokyo lake on the Gokyo Ri trek

Due to its popular location, there remains some confusion over the various names of treks that include the name "Gokyo". The Gokyo Ri Trek or Gokyo Trek, Gokyo Lakes Trek or Gokyo Lake Trek is on this page and one and the same. It is a fully independent trek and different trek to the Three Passes Trek or Gokyo Three Passes Trek. However, the Three Passes Trek does include part of the Gokyo Ri Trek. Finally, the Gokyo Ri Trek can also include Everest Base Camp - for this trek you simply leave out Kongma La pass on the Three Passes Trek. The Gokyo itineraries I've written on this page should help you see the difference between them all, likewise the map below.

Trek Overview

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Days: 11+

Max Altitude: 5,357 m (17,575.46 ft)

Distance: 91.7 km (57 mi)

Accommodation: Teahouse

Distance shown is the main Gokyo Ri Trek - do see the map below for clarification.


Honesty counts! Every travel guide on this site has always been 100% independent, unbiased & honest. Rest assured there are no sales pitches for treks here & no hidden sales links. I have included plenty of options & resources for you to find the best trekking guides who know this area well. I do not accept sponsorships, free treks or tours. I do not own a trekking company or business in Nepal. I pay my own way & in turn write authentic guidebooks to Nepal. Rest assured, this is a genuine travel & trekking guide that you can trust.

Where is the Gokyo Ri Trek?


 The Gokyo Ri Trek is located in Sagarmatha National Park which is in the north-central area of Nepal. The national park is home to Mount Everest, the Everest Base Camp Trek, and the Three Passes Trek.

The Gokyo Ri Trek is a virtual straight line from Namche Bazaar to Gokyo Ri and back again. This route is different from the EBC route from Namche Bazaar onwards. Gokyo Ri is several days trekking from EBC.
 
Map of Nepal showing the location of Gokyo Ri Trek

 

 

Many people often ask if they can visit EBC on the Gokyo Ri trek. The answer is no. You need to extend the Gokyo Ri trek to do so. However, you can see mount Everest from Gokyo Ri.
Kangtega mountain from Namche to Dole
Kangtega mountain from Namche to Dole

Those who wish to visit Everest Base Camp are better off doing the Three Passes Trek as it includes Gokyo Ri and is far easier when approaching Gokyo from that East to West rather than West to East.
It's also worth noting that if you don't want all of the Three Passes then you can opt to avoid all but Cho La pass. Or, you could make a long diversion back to Namche and then up to EBC but this would extend your number of days. Do see the itineraries below for more.

 


Map of the Gokyo Ri Trek


This map shows you the Gokyo Ri Trek with options for the Three Passes and Everest Base Camp Trek.


Please note this map should not be used as a practical trekking map.

The above map should give you a clear indication of the different trekking routes in this region. Please note the main blue line is the Gokyo Ri trek described on this page (it's straight up and down). If you want to include EBC or Renjo La pass then please refer to the Three Passes Trek.

 


Facts about the Gokyo Ri Trek


The Gokyo Ri trek is a great alternative to Everest Base Camp. With Everest views, high altitude lakes and Gokyo Ri to climb it's a fantastic trek.

Highest point on the Gokyo Ri Trek

At 5,357 m (17,575.46 ft) Gokyo Ri is the highest part of the trek.

Frozen high altitude lake

Frozen high altitude lake

Highest sleeping point on the Gokyo Ri Trek

The highest sleeping point on the Gokyo Ri Trek is at Gokyo Village which is 4,750 m (15,584 ft).

Total distance of the Gokyo Ri Trek

The full distance of the Gokyo Ri Trek is 91.7 km (57 mi).

How long have people been trekking to Gokyo Ri?

People in Lukla Village
People in Lukla Village

British surveyors in the 19th century began mapping the world's highest mountains and would have settled on Gokyo Ri as an excellent vantage point for seeing them all.
For trekkers, the Gokyo Ri trek did not become popular until the 1970s and 1980s when people were looking for alternative routes or longer treks in the Everest region.
Finally in recent years as the Everest Base Camp trek became more commercialized Gokyo Ri became more popular for people wanting to avoid the crowds, tour groups and commercial aspects of the EBC trek.

Is there any wildlife to see on the Gokyo Ri Trek?

Being high altitude Gokyo Ri is not known for much wildlife. Snow Leopards are in the area but are very rare sightings even at night when they come out. It is Yeti territory according to legend though! More realistically Himalayan Thar, yaks kestrels, and odd mammals are plentiful below 4,000 m on this trek.

What mountains can you see on the Three Passes Trek?

Four of the world's highest mountains are visible from Gokyo Ri including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. The views cover the whole Everest region.


Highlights of the Gokyo Ri Trek


Highlights of the Gokyo Ri Trek include:
 
Mountains and Namche Bazaar
Mountains and Namche Bazaar
  • Stunning views of Everest & the Himalayas
  • Spectacular high altitude lakes
  • Sherpa villages & villagers
  • Fewer trekkers or groups
  • Ability to extend the trek

 


How to arrange a Gokyo Ri Trek


Is the Gokyo Ri Trek better than the Everest Base Camp Trek?

This is a question many people ask and many trekking agents hint at when trying to get people to include EBC into their Gokyo Ri trek.

They are both similar treks in many respects with key differences to note. EBC is likely to have more trekkers on it. EBC shows only the tip of Everest. EBC has the bucket list name. Gokyo Ri has fewer trekkers on it. Gokyo Ri shows Everest from further away but you do get to see more of it. The real difference is saying you visited Everest Base Camp and the historic location vs a lesser-known name with grander views. If you can't make up your mind add a few days and visit both!

Arranging a Gokyo Ri Trek

A Gokyo Ri Trek is relatively easy to arrange so long as you understand the number of days and routes. The biggest obstacle are people trying to book their own flights to Lukla and trekking companies trying to get you to extend the trek with a bedazzling number of similar Gokyo trek names.

The first thing to keep in mind is to let the trekking agency book your flights to Lukla for you. Booking your own flights is possible these days but you'll also have to deal with flight delays, cancellations and or your own guide and porters flights. Good trekking companies don't add on prices to the flights.

Secondly, read this page carefully and understand exactly what the Gokyo Ri trek is. Beware of travel agencies calling same trek Gokyo lake/s or such like. It's the same thing. Gokyo Lake is right beside Gokyo village and Gokyo Ri so there's no extra value in opting for a different sounding name.

 

Package treks & tours for the Gokyo Ri Trek bought online

Package treks & tours to the Gokyo Ri trek are available online. They come in many shapes and formats. Once again, they'll all probably have slightly different names - pay attention to the itinerary and not the sales pitch. They often try to bundle you with other groups for this trek. There are also hidden fees meaning the first price you see is not often the final price. Solo trekkers often have to pay extra. Sharing rooms is common and menus are often fixed. Itineraries are often fixed. Some trekking companies will try to bloat out the trek with extra days visiting lakes - while this is possible do make sure you want to see them.

Package tours on the Gokyo Ri trek online range from USD $1300-1500 per person. They usually include all permits, a guide, flights, accommodation, and meals.

Pro's of a package trek on the Gokyo Ri Trek includes having everything ready for you when you arrive.

Con's include porters being extra, inflexible itineraries, hidden extras, unsure shared accommodation, and fixed meals. Too good to be true priced treks (sorry but those ones asking for trouble re travel insurance scams and the like)

Package treks bought in Nepal for the Gokyo Ri Trek

Again, it's important to do research on the Gokyo Ri Trek before going out and pricing it in person. Do read the itineraries carefully and look at a map to work out if any extra days are really needed or not - in particular the "extra" lakes visit options.

Machhermo to Gokyo
Machhermo to Gokyo

As always use the information on this page to work out the costs and days needed!

Pro's of a local Gokyo Ri Trek include meeting your guide before leaving. Being able to go over the costs with the trekking company and adjusting your itinerary.

Con's include being overwhelmed with names of places and different routes on the Gokyo trek. Being pressured to make a decision on the spot. The time needed in the country.

If you'd like to take the hard work out of finding a guide or package trek with experienced guides for the Gokyo Ri trek before you arrive then do try my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Hiring a local Guide for the Gokyo Ri Trek

 I strongly advise you not to skimp on costs in hiring a good guide and reputable trekking company for the Gokyo Ri trek. Unfortunately, in recent years there's been an influx of guides using trekkers' insurance to cash in on rescues when they are not needed. Gokyo Ri is the same with this one including missed flights etc.

Gokyo Ri is also not the best trek to take a trainee guide or porter-guide. Take a fully qualified guide to make the most out of this fantastic trek. You will be at high altitude and risks are involved - an experienced guide will not take risks.

Trekking companies in Kathmandu will be better than other regions of Nepal to find a guide for Gokyo Ri. You should hire a guide directly from a trekking company as they need to be registered to be official.

In my experience the people who benefit the most from just hiring a guide are those who have trekked before in Nepal and not first time in Nepal trekkers.

Pro's of hiring a local guide alone include meeting your guide before leaving. Paying for the guide by the pay (though you will need to set a minimum number of days). More independence.

Con's include having to make sure the guide is licensed. Paying for the guides flights and expenses. Carrying cash in the mountains yourself to pay for accommodation, meals etc. Buying your own flight tickets and the guides!

 

If you are looking for a local registered trekking guide for the Gokyo Ri Trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

In my guidebook to Nepal there are several well-vetted trekking agencies you can choose from that hire out local guides.

You can also save some time by using my Find a Guide Trekking Service to get a local guide.

Trekking Gokyo Ri without a guide

Caution is advised if you have not trekked in Nepal before and want to trek Gokyo Ri alone. Watch out for online blogs or videos showing trekkers doing it alone. Some are simply sponsored or trying to sell something somewhere along the way. Likewise forums with trekkers saying it's no problem - things are usually easier to say when the trek is over! This is a high altitude trek. Unless you've trekked before in Nepal then it is advisable to go with a qualified guide.

The Gokyo Ri Trek covers an unpredictable area in Nepal. Strong and changeable cold weather conditions mean danger for anyone trekking alone for the first time. If you've never trekked alone in Nepal before then this is one of the treks you shouldn't start with - go with a guide. If you have trekked in Nepal before then you'll know more about what to expect so long as do your research and be prepared. Always ask yourself what will I do if I accidentally, twist or break my ankle on this relatively quiet trail? How will you manage?

If you are looking for a guide for the Gokyo Ri Trek I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal.

You may also use my Find a Guide Trekking Service.


Best time of the year to trek the Gokyo Ri Trek


Special attention should be given to the weather conditions near and on the Gokyo Ri trek. Generally speaking the 5,000+ views from Gokyo Ri are spectacular but the weather fronts at that altitude change hourly.

In recent years the weather at Lukla has also caused delays and cancellations. This is especially true in the offseason and December.

The standard Gokyo Ri trek does not involve any high passes so you will not have to worry about that. However, the region is prone to very cold conditions. Views from Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Ri are the goal so going when the weather is clear should be a priority.

Do note there are no permanent weather stations in the area aside from Gorak Shep. All though, winter offers great views it's bitterly cold and simply wise to trek in season and be prepared. Having an extra day or two in reserve can pay off.

 

Temperature and precipitation table for Gokyo Ri  (Gorak Shep)

Avg. Temperature (°C) Avg. Temperature (°F) Precipitation / Rainfall (mm)
January -10.9 12.4 7
February -10.1 13.8 5
March -6.8 19.8 8
April -3 26.6 9
May 0.6 33.1 9
June 4.5 40.1 37
July 5.3 41.5 103
August 4.8 40.6 116
September 3 37.4 45
October -1.8 28.8 21
November -6.6 20.1 1
December -8.9 16.0 3

 

It's very important to note that wind chill is not calculated into the temperatures above. Wind chill at Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Ri, in particular, can drive temperatures down -10 to -15 degrees with ease depending on conditions.

Temperature Chart for the Gokyo Ri  Trek

Gokyo Ri annual weather chart

The above temperature chart shows the approximate highs and lows on the Gokyo Ri Trek year-round based on conditions at Gorak Shep. Gokyo Ri shares a similar weather system. Do note it does not take into account wind chill which can drive  the above temperatures down -15 to -20.

Months with the best weather to trek the Gokyo Ri Trek

Due to the high-altitude, and terrain of the Gokyo Ri Trek, it's important to consider the right time of year to trek in the region. Off-season (winter) and monsoon season are not recommended at all due to extreme weather conditions that can occur in the region. However, as this trek does not involve high passes the route up is often less likely to be blocked.

Mid October - November/(early)December: Nepal's peak and best time to go trekking to Gokyo Ri.

February-March-April: this is the end of the dry season in Nepal and the second-best time of year to go trekking to Gokyo Ri. However strong winds can occur on the trek and clouds can move in quickly which not only cover your views but also make spotting the Everest difficult. Having an extra day in reserve helps. Ice and snow are often still on the trails and Gokyo Ri after winter so caution is advised.

December to January/February: the skies are clear but the weather on the high altitude parts of the trek can be very cold. It can also be extremely unpredictable with strong gales/winds, icy conditions and heavy snow. It is not recommended to go trekking to Gokyo Ri during this period without consulting a guide.

May - June: The hot pre-monsoon season means things get uncomfortable and humid at lower altitudes on this trek. At higher altitudes, the wind can be strong and thick cloud can move in quickly blocking the trail paths and the views from Gokyo Ri.  It is not recommended to go during this period.

June - Mid September: this is Nepal's Monsoon season. The risk of leeches and heavy rain increases at lower altitudes. At higher altitudes, high winds, cloud, and rain make it nearly impossible to trek the Gokyo Ri trek and get good views safely. It is not recommended to go during this period.

For more details please see my guide on the best time of year to go trekking in Nepal.


What permits do I need for the Gokyo Ri Trek?


There are only two permits needed for the Gokyo Ri Trek - though do note that the TIMS card might be needed in the future.

  1. Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
  2. Solukhumbu Regional Permit

Additional: Trekker Information Management System (TIMS Card) - Not currently required (2020).

The Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit can easily be purchased in Kathmandu at the Tourist Information Center for 3,000 rupees. Or at Monjo (on the trek between Lukla and Namche). The permit offices open between 10 am - 5 pm. Do keep in mind national holidays and festivals in Nepal as the offices often close early then.

The Solukhumbu Regional Permit is available from a counter at Lukla. It costs 2,000 rupees. Get a receipt. Keep it and all your permits safe.

 

How to get a Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

If you are trekking with a guide then they will most likely get your permit for you as part of their role as a guide. Good guides and trekking companies will even get them ahead of your arrival in Nepal. However keep this in mind if you are paying a guide daily.

Independent trekkers can get their Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit at the Tourism Office in Kathmandu. There is another permit office at Monjo (a village just past Namche Bazar on the trek).
Sagarmatha National Park Permit
A Sagarmatha National Park Permit
The permit is only valid for one entry and one exit and covers all of the Gokyo Ri area. It is a mandatory permit.
 
  1. Fill out the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit form
  2. Hand over the completed form, your passport, and 2 passport photos
  3. Pay the 3,000 rupees (only payable in Nepali Rupees) - there is no tax added.
  4. Get your permit

In 2020 there's a  digital camera (webcam) in use at the office so passport pictures are not needed - however it is a good idea to bring a set just in case the systems are not working.

 

How to get a Solukhumbu Regional Permit

Solukhumbu region (Everest/Gokyo Ri) has a 2,000 rupee regional fee to all trekkers.

Solukhumbu Permit
A Solukhumbu Permit
This is payable within the region itself.

The Solukhumbu permit can only be obtained in Lukla (while you are on the trek). The counter is at the end of Lukla Village.

  1. Pay 2000 rupees
  2. Get your Solukhumbu Regional Permit
Get a receipt and keep it safe!

No more TIMS Cards needed for the Everest Region

Once the Solukhumbu region started issuing their own permits in 2017 they stated there was no need for a TIMS card. However, the Tourism Board along with TAAN who oversees the permits disagreed and throughout 2017-2018 they both went back and forth. This meant trekkers were often paying an extra 2000 rupees. You can read more about the details on additional Solukhumbu fee information.

As of  2020 TIMS cards are still no longer necessary for the Solukhumbu region which includes Gokyo Ri. This may, however, change at any day as it has  previously. If it does then TIMS cards cost USD $10 with a guide or $20 if you are trekking independently. They are available at the tourism board (where they sell the Sagarmatha permits). Again, they are not currently needed for the Gokyo Ri trek.

Here's a fully up to date list of National Park entry permits and TIMS fees for trekking in Nepal


What equipment do I need to go on the Gokyo Ri Trek?

Specialized equipment is not needed for the Gokyo Ri trek however weather gear and the time of year should be taken into account.

Fleeces for sale in Nepal
Fleeces will help with any cold weather on the Gokyo Ri trek

There's little additional gear you need on the Gokyo Ri trek than on the EBC trek. However, there is Gokyo Ri to climb so some windproof clothing helps.

  • A good pair of trekking boots with strong grips.
  • An expedition jacket
  • Fleece
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants / shorts
  • Base layers for the cold
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Night hat (warm)
  • Sleeping mat
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Washing powder
  • Toiletries
  • Wet Wipes
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottles
  • Water purification system
  • Map
  • Head torch
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick
  • First Aid Kit

Taking a sleeping bag on this trek is a good idea. While there will be blankets it can get cold at night. Gokyo tea houses are similar to EBC tea houses but not as well equipped.

Good trekking companies may supply an emergency satellite phone as there is little mobile reception on this trek.

For a single person or two people and a guide, a porter can make this trek much more enjoyable especially on Gokyo Ri. However, they are not must-have requirements if you pack light.

Please note the above is a basic list. For a full comprehensive trekking list please see my article on trekking equipment you need for Nepal


How difficult is the Gokyo Ri Trek?


The Gokyo Ri Trek is moderate to challenging. It's about the same as the Everest Base Camp trek but not nearly as tough as the Three Passes trek.

Many people dismiss Gokyo Ri as it's not Everest Base Camp. The truth of the matter is you get a better view from Gokyo Ri of Everest than at Everest Base Camp. Gokyo Ri is also on average one day shorter than the EBC trek.

Most underestimate Gokyo Ri and try to rush it too fast which ends up with altitude sickness. Likewise, the Renjo La pass is also an option but adds to the difficulty of the trek without adding much to the views.

 

Gokyo Ri trek difficulty chart

 

By far everyone's toughest day is climbing Gokyo Ri. The good news is that it doesn't take too long and it's only one day.

 

Trekkers leaving Gokyo

Trekkers leaving Gokyo

It's well worth penciling in another day at Gokyo Ri and doing a side trek out to one of the lakes. Or even back up Gokyo Ri.


How fit do I need to be for the Gokyo Ri Trek?


Fitness for the Gokyo Ri Trek will be relative to your own fitness levels. However, do remember the trek is noted as being moderate to challenging. This is a high altitude trek and there is a full climb up to Gokyo Ri.

As always I would advise anyone going trekking or hiking to see a doctor before they go for a check-up

If you are sedentary before the trek then you may well want to want to get some training in before going. In the itineraries below you can see the time it takes each day. Distance is only part of it as the terrain alternates from going up and down.

Ask yourself questions like do you or can you walk for 8 hours a day? So perhaps some exercise would be good before you take on a trek like this. Keep in mind you'll be at an altitude too so that makes things tougher.

If you have concerns about the weight of your bag then a porter can help. If there are two of you then sharing a porter is a great idea to break the cost in two and the load in two!

What's the food like on the Gokyo Ri Trek?


 

 Tea houses and lodges along the Gokyo Ri trek are quite similar to the popular EBC route with good menus with plenty to chose from. After Namche Bazaar things get a little more basic depending on the time of year and what's available.

Dal Bhat and Sherpa stew are the trekking staples in Nepal and on the Gokyo Ri Trek. Dal Bhat consists of rice, potatoes, vegetables, and lentil soup. Free seconds help those with a big appetite. You will be burning a lot of calories. It's a high altitude trek so it's not the best time to start thinking about losing weight! You'll need all the food and energy you can get.

Pizza, lasagna, and steaks (chicken, buffalo or yak) are commonplace. But, do be warned that the buffalo and yak meat do cause a lot of trekkers digestion problems in this area. Likewise, cheese has been known to upset trekkers stomachs in this area too. Personally, I stick with Dal Bhat for lunch, dinner and for breakfast I have pancakes or porridge.

Bringing a few cans of tuna, nuts can break the monotony. Protein bars can help too - but bring them from home as they are quite expensive in Nepal.

Plate of Sherpa Stew on Gokyo Ri

Plate of Sherpa Stew on Gokyo Ri

 

Filtering your water is also an important consideration on this trek. Environmentalists have rightfully highlighted plastic pollution issues in Nepal. However, filtered water in the Solukhumbu region is not always sanitary. Water filters are rarely changed or cleaned and hand sanitization not practiced. Boiling your water and treating it with your own filtration system is an important consideration. Iodine, water purification drops, steripens and lifestraws can be all be used. I generally use a mix of each system every day. I also boil my water.

 

Typical Gokyo Menu

Item Price
Pancakes 300-600 Rupees
Fried eggs (2) 250-500 Rupees
Porridge 400-600 Rupees
Tibetan Bread 200-400 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Meat) 500-1200 Rupees
Dal Bhat (Veg) 450-900 Rupees
Sherpa Stew 400-600 Rupees
Fried Noodles (Veg) 450-600 Rupees
Fried Potatoes with Cheese 550-900 Rupees
Pasta with sauce 500-800 Rupees
Tea/Coffee 100-400 Rupees
1 liter beer 1000+ Rupees
Soft Drinks (Coke, Sprite etc.) 200-500 Rupees
1 liter tap water (from underground spring or stream) free
1 liter boiled water (for filtering) 100-300 Rupees
1 liter bottled water 100-400 rupees

What's accommodation like on the Gokyo Ri Trek?


From Lukla to Namche the accommodation is quite good with many options. From Namche to Gokyo things are toned down quite a bit.

Accommodation has a fixed minimum charge of 500 rupees which is unofficial and may not always be enforced. Prices for a room are often 700 rupees to 1100 rupees. Add $10 for a private bathroom.
Lodge near Machhermo
Lodge near Machhermo
There are of course exceptions, particularly in the offseason or if it's quiet.

The Solukhumbu region is renown for adding on extra costs that you mightn't expect in a normal lodge. You'll need to pay extra for a hot shower which can run up to 500 rupees. Charging of any electronic device can be 500 rupees to 1200 rupees per device. Bring a solar charger if you can to save some money.

Sleeping bags are a good idea on this trek not just because of the cold but also for hygiene. Rooms do have blankets but they may not be warm enough for you depending on what you are used to and the time of year. If you are not sure what type to bring then ask your guide before going. However, do remember that everything is a weight consideration.
 

Read more and see what trekking accommodation is like in Nepal.


How much does the Gokyo Ri Trek cost?


The Gokyo Ri Trek's cost will depend on how many days you are going for plus if you want a porter or not. Keep in mind there are some too good to be true prices out there that are more trouble than they are worth!

Working out your trekking budget

The standard Gokyo Ri trek itinerary makes it fairly easy to budget. It's a straight up and down trek, with flights to Lukla. The biggest will be package treks bundling you in with other people and/or skimping on accommodation and food. Added extra charges generally appear when you arrive so do be warned and study the itinerary carefully.

Budget trekkers should not fall into the ruse that they can book their own flights and let a guide take care of the rest. Trekking companies in Nepal rarely cheat on flight prices and are fantastic at changing flights due to delays, cancellations, etc. Buying your tickets online mean you'll be the one who has to sort all this out when you are in-country - unless you have time to spare just let the trekking company do it for you!
 

Trekker on the trail to Machhermo
Trekker on the trail to Machhermo

Online package tours can range from  USD$1200-1500+pp.

These include a guide, accommodation, meals, permits, and flights.

However, as mentioned earlier many of these package treks have additional extras including surcharges for solo trekkers and hidden charges like taxi fares to the airport.

They also leave certain random essentials out of there packages e.g., meals or flights. All of these extras including no say on your meals or accommodation all add up and can end up costing you a lot more than you originally paid for. Once again, do be wary of too good to be true prices!

In country package treks for the Gokyo Ri Trek bought in Nepal are slightly cheaper. However, the real bonus is that you are less likely to be overcharged or have hidden extras. You'll know the trekking agency in person and know exactly what you are paying for. Meet your guide. And go over the itinerary in person.

An 11 day Gokyo Ri trek can cost from USD $1100 pp to $1300 per person. These include a guide, accommodation, meals, permits and local transport. Keep in mind that although the prices may be similar to online booking you'll be getting a lot more without the fear of extras.

My Find A Guide Service can help you out here but do try to get in contact before arriving in Nepal.

Guide only services for the Gokyo Ri trek will mean you'll need to do a lot more planning. Primarily you'll need to account for the guides plane fees in and out of Lukla. You'll also need to carry enough cash to deal with accommodation and meals. Finally, you'll need to get your own permits, plane tickets and deal with the logistics. It can all add up.
Solukhumbu guides are slightly more costly than other guides in Nepal. The cost of a guide on this trek can range from USD$35 per day to $50 per day.

Trekking Gokyo Ri by yourself  again, this is possible but you should have trekked in Nepal before in regards to knowing what to expect and safety. I've met people who have trekked in other countries and are quickly overwhelmed in Nepal. If it's your first trek in Nepal then my advice is to go with a guide. Likewise for a trek like this paying particular attention to the time of year you are going is important. If you are going alone then do understand that this is not a well-traveled trek compared to EBC. If you do get into difficulty you may well be waiting a long time before someone comes along.

Taking a porter as a guide is illegal in Nepal and cases of reports from tea houses and other guides of trekkers doing this are coming in more frequently.

If you are looking for a guide for the Gokyo Ri Trek then I recommend you read my article on how to find a trekking guide in Nepal. Alternatively use my Find a Trekking Guide Service.

Average 11 day trek cost for the Gokyo Ri Trek

Item Cost USD $
Permits (Sagarmatha, Khumbu) 50
Guide x 11 days ($35) 385
Porter ?  
Accommodation 110
Meals (tea house) 130
Water 4 liters a day x11 (the rest is filtered) 44
Transport (flights/airport) 380
Total 1099

As you can see the above trek can easily match a package trek cost. If you are two, then accommodation and guide prices are halved but there's still the convenience and help a package trek can aid you with. This includes flight booking, accommodation booking, and permits. Hence, a package trek is a popular choice

Extras:

Solukhumbu is renown for its extras. Not included in the above are hot showers and battery charging.

Travel insurance should be included and do make sure you are covered for trekking. Here is my recommendation for travel insurance when in Nepal.

How to reduce your budget on the Gokyo Ri Trek

Costs that cannot be reduced are flight fees and trekking permits.

Savings can be made on meals but not by much - do not skimp on food!. Water costs are based on boiling your water.

You may well be able to get a cheaper guide for this trek - though I do recommend you go with an experienced trekking guide from Solukhumbu. Try my Find a Trekking Guide Service.


Gokyo Ri Trek itinerary


This section shows you several itineraries for the Gokyo Ri Trek. Do read through them carefully to understand acclimatization days and the route. Gokyo Ri can be extended but it's not always worth it - in particular, the eastern route down if you are stuck for time.

Many Nepali trekking agents have much longer itineraries that take you to see the six Gokyo Lakes. Keep in mind that you'll be seeing many of these on the way along your trek, from Gokyo Ri and indeed you'll be right beside the largest one Gokyo Lake.

It's also important to keep at least two reserve days for this trek due to Lukla flight delays and Gokyo weather. There's no point in coming all this way for just a quick trek up to Gokyo Ri to see cloud - having an extra day in reserve means you can go up again the next morning if the weather is better.

 

 

Reflections from Gokyo Lake

Reflections from Gokyo Lake


 

11 Day Gokyo Trek Itinerary

Day Route Distance Highest Altitude
1 Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding 3-4 hours/8 km 2,651 m
2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar 5-6 hours/11 km 3,438 m
3 Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day/side trek) 3 hours/6 km 3,438 m
4 Namche Bazaar to Dole 4-5 hours/10 km 4,090 m
5 Dole to Machhermo 4-5 hours/6 km 4,460 m
6 Machhermo to Gokyo 5-6 hours/10 km 4,750 m
7 Climb Gokyo Ri * 6-7 hours 4,750m/5.357m
8 Gokyo to Dole 5-6 hours/15 km 4,090 m
9 Dole to Namche Bazaar 6-7 hours/10 km 3,440 m
10 Namche Bazaar to Phakding 3-4 hours/10 km 2,651 m
11 Phakding to Lukla/Kathmandu 3-4 hours/8km 1, 400 m

* High Climb
 

10 Day Gokyo Trek Itinerary

It is possible to do a Gokyo trek in 10 days. But there are certain cravats you should be aware of that not all trekking companies will tell you. Firstly do not skip your acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar on the way up. Most people benefit from an extra day in Dole or Machhermo as well! Secondly, if you want to arrive in Kathmandu on day 10 then you'll need to leave Namche Bazaar very early on day nine to make it into Lukla by lunch and then it's up to the weather if there are any afternoon flights. Some trekking companies knowing a trekker has to catch an international flight will then suggest they take an expensive helicopter from Lukla.


The other option is to simply take your time and ensure that you have a morning flight on day eleven - however, it's really taking a chance leaving on day eleven for Kathmandu if you have an international flight that day too!


In all cases it's worth having at least two days in reserve for a ten-day Gokyo trek - so have twelve days dedicated in case you have altitude sickness and need an extra day, flight cancelations, etc. If you want to extend a Gokyo trek then do remember there are side treks from Gokyo to some of the high altitude lakes!

 

Day Route Distance Highest Altitude
1 Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding 3-4 hours/8 km 2,651 m
2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar 5-6 hours/11 km 3,438 m
3 Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day/side trek) 3 hours/6 km 3,438 m
4 Namche Bazaar to Dole 4-5 hours/10 km 4,090 m
5 Dole to Machhermo 4-5 hours/6 km 4,460 m
6 Machhermo to Gokyo 5-6 hours/10 km 4,750 m
7 Climb Gokyo Ri * 6-7 hours 4,750m/5.357m
8 Gokyo to Dole 5-6 hours/15 km 4,090 m
9 Dole to Namche Bazaar 6-7 hours/10 km 3,440 m
10 Namche Bazaar to Lukla fly to Kathmandu ** 6-7 hours/19 km 1,400 m

* High Climb

** Leaving on day ten would require an afternoon flight

 

11 Day Gokyo Trek itinerary (challenging)

For those who are really looking for a challenge here is an alternative eleven-day Gokyo trek. It takes a different route back to Lukla which is far more challenging and involves a high pass.

The route follows the Three Passes Trek route from Gokyo across the Renjo La Pass which is 5,360 m. A lot of trekkers can get acclimatization issues here as trekking up to and over a high pass is challenging. It is not recommended unless you have spent time trekking before at altitude.

Under no circumstances should you skip any acclimatization day including your side trek up to Gokyo Ri.
Day Route Distance Highest Altitude
1 Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding 3-4 hours/8 km 2,651 m
2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar 5-6 hours/11 km 3,438 m
3 Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day/side trek) 3 hours/6 km 3,438 m
4 Namche Bazaar to Dole 4-5 hours/10 km 4,090 m
5 Dole to Machhermo 4-5 hours/6 km 4,460 m
6 Machhermo to Gokyo 5-6 hours/10 km 4,750 m
7 Climb Gokyo Ri * 6-7 hours 4,750m/5.357m
8 Gokyo to Marlung (Renjo La Pass) ** 7-8 hours/11 km (4,210m/5,360m)
9 Marlung to Namche Bazaar 5-6 hours/15 km 3,860 m
10 Namche Bazaar to Lukla 6-7 hours/19 km 2,860 m
11 Lukla to Kathmandu (flight) N/A 1,400 m

* High Climb

** High Pass

There is yet again another option of laving on day 10 in the afternoon from Lukla. Weather conditions in the afternoon are not that favorable so don't rely on it.

 

15 Day Gokyo Ri Trek with EBC itinerary (challenging)

 

There are many people who want to include Everest Base Camp in their Gokyo Ri Trek. Do understand that you get a view of Everest from Gokyo Ri. But, sometimes the lure of the Everest Base Camp name is too much and people still want to go. In this case, I do recommend you try the Three Passes Trek instead as there's not too much of difference. Otherwise, there's a Gokyo Ri with Everest Base Camp Itinerary.

Under no circumstances should you skip any acclimatization days.
Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Kathmandu to Lukla (flight) - trek to Phakding 8 km (4 hours avg) 2,660 m
2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar 12 km (6+ hours avg) 3,435 m
3 Namche Bazaar acclimatization day (hike) (3 hours avg) 4,000m/ 3,435 m
4 Namche Bazaar to Dole 10 km (6 hours avg) 4,200 m
5 Dole to Machhermo 5  km (3-4hours avg) 4,470 m
6 Machhermo to Gokyo 7 km (4-5 hours avg) 4,790
7 Gokyo side trek to Gokyo Ri & lakes 12 km (7 hours avg) 4,910 m
8 Gokyo to Thangnak 5-6 km (3 hours avg) 4,750 m
9 Thangnak to Dzongla (crossing Chola Pass) 12 km (8-9 hours avg) 4,850m (pass 5420m)
10 Dzongla to Lobuche 5km (4-5 hours avg) 4, 900 m
11 Lobuche to Gorak Shep & EBC 15km (10 hours) 5,364 m
12 - Gorak Shep - Pheriche 13 km (6 hours avg) 5,545 m / 4,320 m
13 Pheriche to Namche Bazaar 15 km (8 hours avg) 3,435 m
14 Namche Bazaar - Phakding - Lukla 16 km (7 hours avg) 2,850 m
15 Lukla to Kathmandu 35 minute flight 1,400 m

 

The above itinerary is tough as you'll be crossing Cho La pass the harder way around and coming down icy trails - crampons or spikes may be needed depending on your time of year.

 

16 Day Gokyo Ri Trek with EBC itinerary

Day Route Distance (km) Highest Altitude
1 Kathmandu to Lukla (flight) - trek to Phakding 8 km (4 hours avg) 2,660 m
2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar 12 km (6+ hours avg) 3,435 m
3 Namche Bazaar acclimatization day (hike) (3 hours avg) 4,000m/ 3,435 m
4 Namche Bazaar to Tengbouche 10 km (6 hours avg) 3,890m m
5 Tengbouche to Dingbouche 11 km (6 hours avg) 4,400 m
6 Dingbouche acclimatization day (hike) 3 hours 4,600m / 4,400 m
7 Dingbouche to Lobuche 12 km (7 hours) 4,910 m
8 Lobuche to Gorak Shep & Everest Base Camp * 15 km (8 hours) 5, 180 m / 5, 380 m
9 Climb Kala Patthar, trek to Dzongla ** 8-9 hours/13 km 5,643/4, 830 m
10 Dzongla to Dragnag (Cho La pass) * 6-8 hours/6 km 4,700m/5,420m
11 Dragnag to Gokyo 2-3 hours/3 km 4,780 m
12 Gokyo, climb Gokyo Ri ** 3-4 hours 4,780 m/5, 357 m
13 Gokyo to Dole 5-6 hours/15 km 4,090 m
14 Dole to Namche Bazaar 6-7 hours/10 km 3,440 m
15 Namche Bazaar to Lukla 6-7 hours/19 km 1,400 m
16 Lukla to Kathmandu 7-8 hours/11 km (4,210m/5,360m)

* High Pass

** High Climb

The 16-day Gokyo and EBC trek is very similar to the Three Passes Trek which would probably be a better choice!

What's the best Gokyo Ri itinerary?

The views from Goyko Ri are the highlight of all 10/11/12 day treks. If you want to do EBC as well, then the 17 day Three Passes trek would be a better option.

Personally speaking, I have come across quite a few trekkers who get altitude sickness on all Gokyo treks by rushing too fast. This includes the infamous Khumbu cough (an annoying cough/cold often attributed to altitude and weather conditions in the Solukhumbu region - including EBC).

If time is not a barrier I would choose the Three Passes Trek which includes the Gokyo trek and EBC. If time is a barrier then I would do the standard 11 day Gokyo trek and not the one that includes Renjo La pass or EBC as the main views are from Gokyo Ri. I would also keep two days in reserve in case of altitude sickness, bad weather and flight issues.

Most local trekking companies can easily facilitate these reserve days without charging you extra. Do see my Find A Trekking Guide Service for more.

 

Detailed Gokyo Ri Trek Itinerary

The following is a detailed day by day 11-day itinerary from day one to day eleven on the Gokyo Ri Trek. When reading it or choosing one keep in mind the weather, time of year, how experienced you are, your age and who you are with - these will all greatly influence your trek! The following is written as a practical look at the trek for all trekkers.

Day one - Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding

It should all start with a first flight if at all possible. Then a bumpy flight later and you'll be in Lukla village up high in the mountains.

Suspension bridge from Lukla to Phakding
Suspension bridge from Lukla to Phakding

There's not a lot to the trek here as it's all about getting used to the trails, the villages and the taking in the mountains.

 It's a great day to get your bearings and realize what the next few days will be like.



Day two - Phakding to Namche Bazaar

 This is your first full day of trekking which usually means an early start, a splash of cold water and a hearty breakfast before taking on some suspension bridges.

Forest from Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Forest from Phakding to Namche Bazaar
 After Toktok village will be your first physical challenge as the area has plenty of boulders to trek through.

Although you are there you'll come across the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park next near a short ascent before crossing the Dudh Kosi. You should make Jorsale for an early lunch.

There's another big  suspension bridge before the climb up into the village of Namche Bazaar.

Day three - Namche Bazaar (acclimatization)

This is the first of your acclimatization days and it should not be skipped. Some trekkers like sitting around all day having apple pie and coffee. That's fine. But it's probably worth it to take a side trek!

Everest Near Namche Bazaar
Everest Near Namche Bazaar

A popular side trek involves going up to Everest View Hotel where you'll get your first view of  Mount Everest. The huge Ama Dablam is more impressive at this distance.

The purpose of an acclimatization day is getting your body used to less oxygen hence it's important to take it. Everest View Point is 3880m which is a nice way to help get things working for you.

Day four - Namche Bazaar to Dole

The climb out of Namche is steep but those views of Ama Dablam should be encouraging you to reach Khumjung village. Teng Kangpoche, Teng Kagi Tau, Parchamo, Pamalka, and Everest are all on show here.

Trekkers on the route between Nameche Bazaar and Dole
Trekkers on the route between Namche Bazaar and Dole
Take care when you are on the narrow ascent up to Mong La along the rock face. It can take up to 2 hours to reach the top. Mountain and large Chorten views await. As does lunch.

There's a descent for about an hour down from Mong La before it's back up on the trail to Dole.

Expect the cold of Dole to be a reminder that you are up high in the mountains.

Day five - Dole to Machhermo

Today is about watching out of altitude sickness, yetis, and magnificent mountains. The descent is slow and steady with altitude creeping up as well. Don't overdo it and pace yourself.

Yaks between Dole and Machhermo
Yaks between Dole and Machhermo

Luza village at 4,400 is your break for lunch. It's a charming village with great views of the world's sixth highest mountain, Cho Oyu.

Continue the ascent from Luxa the powerful Dudh Koshi keeps you company.

Arriving into Machhermo many trekkers want to keep going. It's important to stay for acclimatization. Machhermo is a pleasant village where the Yeti was first sighted, so you can keep busy looking out for clues.

Day six - Machhermo to Gokyo

It's a tough but short and rewarding day of trekking. Altitude will be slowing you down so once again pace yourself. There's no rush.

Ngozumba Glacier between Machherma and Dole
Ngozumba Glacier between Machhermo and Dole
Stunning Valley views start the early part of the day well. There's a descent towards Pangar and the village of Na.

There's a steep climb up the moraine and boulders of Ngozamba Glacier stemming from Cho La. Beware of slippery ice.

Once you are over the moraine you'll come across one of Gokyo's famous lakes. Up further is the turquoise Taborne Tsho lake. Reaching Gokyo village and the huge Gokyo Lake (Dudh Pokhari) it's a good idea to take a walk around it. The accommodation in Gokyo is usually quite good.

 

Day seven - Gokyo Ri

The full climb up Gokyo Ri takes about 3-4 hours to the top. It's a steep climb and it's important to stay hydrated throughout so bring plenty of water.

View from Gokyo Ri
View from Gokyo Ri
The views from the top of Gokyo Ri are some of the best in the world. It's similar in altitude to Kala Patthar on the EBC trek but they are different views. Gokyo Ri's views take in the whole mountain range from afar and it's quite breathtaking.

If you had an extra day many people enjoy Gokyo for its lakes. The Longabanga Lake, Taborne Tsho, Dudh Pokhari, Thonak Tsho, Ngozumba Tsho and the distant sixth lake of Gyazumba Tsho.

Day eight - Gokyo to Dole

It's the first return day and it's practically all downhill. Enjoy the views of Cholatse, Taboche, and Kangtega for the long but pleasant day after the accomplishments of yesterday.

Day nine - Dole to Namche Bazaar

It's another long day with some ascents and descents keeping you busy.

Panormamic view from Gokyo Ri
Panoramic view from Gokyo Ri
A lot of people break this day up with an overnight along the way or at Khumjung for the views. You could then skip Namche the next day and make it to Phakding. Making it to Namche means a greater choice of accommodation and meals though depending on the time of year more trekkers too.
 

Day ten - Namche to Lukla

It's the last full day of trekking and it's a long one. It's fairly easy though so there's not too much to worry about.

Arriving into Lukla that night you may well want to set your alarm for the next day if you have the first flight.
 

Day eleven - Lukla to Kathmandu

If you have managed to get a first flight an early breakfast might not be possible. If that's the case some snacks are a good idea to keep your energy up for the airport. It's right alongside the village but delays are frequent. It's a good idea to put in a call to your hotel in Kathmandu just to be sure they know you are on the way!


More information on Trekking in Nepal


For alternative treks do read my list of treks in Nepal which is continually being added to based on popularity or request.

If looking for a trekking guide I recommend you read my article on How to find a trekking guide in Nepal or you can use the Find a Guide Service.

On the following pages below I've compiled detailed articles on the specifics of trekking in Nepal that may be of use to you.

You will find them to be a great place to research your whole trekking trip to Nepal - be sure to bookmark them so you don't forget!

You might find my following free guides helpful:

Trekking in Nepal

My guide on trekking in Nepal

  Trekking Equipment Check out my guide on equipment & gear needed for trekking in Nepal
 
List of treks to hike in Nepal Check out my list of treks to do in Nepal complete with maps   Nepal Mountain range Check out my guide on how to travel overland into Tibet for a lot more!
Trekking in Nepal How to choose a trekking guide in Nepal   Record of Mount Everst Base Camp Trek in the Winter My Day by day account of trekking to Everest Base Camp in the off season (winter)
 
Traveling overland into Nepal Check out my How to travel overland into Nepal guide   Guide to traveling Nepal Check out my country Guide to Nepal
 

Download my Trekking in Nepal Guidebook

Liked this page? You'll love my trekking book! It's a hands on trekking guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really!

In the book I cover all the popular treks in Nepal with step-by-step accuracy using scalable maps, photographs and travel tested up-to-date trekking information.

Just like my other guidebooks to Nepal it's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.


Was this page helpful to you? If so please tell others!