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Everest Gokyo Valley Explorer Trek – 13 Days

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Everest Gokyo Valley Explorer Trek starts Gokyo Valley Region at the head of the Dudh Kosi Valley provides a superb option for the popular Everest Base Camp Trek. This is the ideal Explorer trek that opens avenues to spectacular landscapes as you hike the walks through old-time Sherpa villages & gompas (monasteries) that represent their culture & the Buddhist doctrines that make up their religion which is extended to the sacred peaks they climb in order to appease the mountain gods.

This is a more serene trek through the heart of Sherpa terrain that affords ample time for acclimatization with great chances to view mountain panoramas that warm up your emotions from the tea-house guesthouses you live in & as you hike the trails. The core attraction of the trek is our ascent of Gokyo RI at 5483m. We climb to the higher elevations of Gokyo’s alpine lakes as we explore the upper valley beneath the huge mountain mass of Cho Oyu. From the summit, at over 5000m we take in lovely views of Everest as well as the 8000m peaks of Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu in Tibet. A lot of veteran hikers will suggest that this is probably one of the finest views in the Himalayas, with the awesome bulk of Everest that supersedes the skyline. Sometime between the early afternoon & late twilight would be an ideal time to make the climb above the shimmering lakes to capture sunset over one of the most overwhelming spectacles the Nepal Himalaya has to offer those who trudge its dangerous paths.

This area is not the only a place to view peaks & lakes, but the whole region has also seeped in spirituality, and we see this in the many colourful & quiet gompas, where we are warmly welcomed by monks who happily provide us butter tea; Tengboche, Pangboche, Namche, Khumjung, Khunde, Thame and Lawudo Gompa are some places where we find some of the most important monasteries in the region.

Trekking in the Gokyo Valley area is a wonderful place to introduce yourself to the wild where the warmth of the people & the beauty of the territory invigorate your feelings & imaginations for the good things in life that may actually change you forever.

  • Visit the stunning Gokyo Lakes, a series of high-altitude glacial lakes, known for their vibrant turquoise color and reflections of surrounding peaks.
  • Hike to Gokyo Ri (5,357m), one of the best vantage points in the Everest region, offering panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.
  • Experience a quieter and less crowded trek compared to the classic Everest Base Camp route, providing a more tranquil and pristine environment.
  • The trek includes some challenging high-altitude hikes, allowing for a sense of accomplishment and adventure.
  • Encounter the warm and hospitable Sherpa people, and visit traditional villages like Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, and Phakding, where you can explore their culture and way of life.
  • Explore Thame Monastery, a significant religious site with a rich history, and gain insights into Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Enjoy thrilling domestic flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and back, providing stunning aerial views of the Himalayan landscape.
  • Explore the charming Gokyo Village, where you can relax by the lakes, interact with locals, and appreciate the peaceful atmosphere.
  • The trek offers numerous opportunities for photography, from the towering peaks to the pristine landscapes and serene lakes.

Tour Plan

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Arrival in Kathmandu:

You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Real Journey Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Bed and Breakfast

Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation

We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square sheds light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at the Real Journey Nepal office. Overnight in Kathmandu. Meals: Bed and Breakfast

Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding Trek:

We take an early morning flight to Lukla which is where all Everest treks begin. We meet the rest of our team in Lukla and start trekking from there. We walk on a trail that gradually descends to Cheplung village from where we get a glimpse of Mt. Khumbila, a sacred mountain which has never been climbed. From here, we gradually descend until Phakding. Overnight stay in Phakding. Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Phakding to Namche Bazaar Trek:

Our trail passes through a pine forest and we continue our walk on the trail that goes north up the Benkar valley. We cross Dudh Koshi River and pass Chumoa and Monjo villages before reaching the entrance of the Everest National Park. Then after crossing a suspension bridge, we pass Jorsale village and walk alongside of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. We ascend on a steep trail and reach Namche Bazaar which is probably the biggest town in the Everest region. Overnight stay in Namche Bazaar.

Namche Bazaar – Phorse Village

The trail to Phorse Village is rather steep but boasts great views over to Phorse and to the spectacular river gorge below, including an inaccessible natural rock bridge. Starting on a level trail, we trek up through the stone steps and reach Mongla pass (3975 m) from where we glimpse Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Mt. Khumbila. Sherpas regard Mt. Khumbila as sacred mountain of the patron god of the Khumbu area. Descending to Dudhkosi Khola (3250 m), we cross a bridge and again trek up through the rhododendron forest, a host for Himalayan wild deer and musk deer. Finally, we arrive to the walled fields of Phorse. Phorse is just under the snow dusted peaks of Tawoche and Cholaste. From here it’s a short trek to Phorse village where we rest overnight.

Trek Phorse Village – Machhermo

Today we head for the holy lakes at Gokyo following a very scenic path to Pangka (4548m.) then descend slightly, following one of the melt water rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumba Glacier. The walk offers spectacular views of the incredible ice face of Cholatse and is easy until you reach a steep rocky incline into the ablation valley by the side of the glacier and get to the first of the holy lakes. It is the place where Khumbu people got first sighting of Yeti in 1974. We visit the Himalayan Rescue Hospital here for a lecture regarding the altitude sickness, its precaution, and primary treatment. Precaution regarding altitude sickness is vital while trekking in the high altitude region; however our guides are quite knowledgeable about this. Overnight at Lodge

Trek Machhermo – Gokyo

Today we climb through a ridge Chorten from where we can see fabulous view of both down the valley and of the Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and northern part to the Cho-Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Pangka (4480 m) after some gentle walk. Pangka is the palace where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We descend to the river bank before beginning to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozumba Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine. After crossing an iron bridge over an stream the trial levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m, where we get chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here. After lunch, we explore around the third Lakes, Dudh Pokhari. We spend night in a teahouse with comfortable bedrooms. We stay overnight at Lodge Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Rest day at Gokyo Valley; ascend Gokyo RI (5,483m.) & explore the fifth lakes

Today is full day rest or an acclimatization day to give the lungs a chance to respiration well; our shaky knees also need some readjusting for the fluctuating hikes ahead, but we know we should not stay idle & the body’s system just collapses & this could cause joint pains. If the weather is good, we grasp the opportunity to climb Gokyo RI today instead of next day to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of Everest Region. Or, as we know Gokyo is not only popular for its grand views from Gokyo Peak but is also home to the best six lakes ever imagined. Definitely we would not miss the chance to observe the fourth lake (Thaknak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it, giving it an aura of mystery. The trail continues to fifth lake. Gokyo is a trade centre where the Sherpa people run lodges to provide their best services to the trekkers going through this area. Gokyo is situated by the side of Ngozumpa glacier, said to be the biggest glacier in Nepal. We stay overnight at Lodge

Trek Gokyo – Dole

The way back from Gokyo is an easy downhill walk along the Dudh Koshi River that emerges out of the Ngozumpa Glacier. Passing by the second and then the first Gokyo Lakes, we come to a small gushing stream over an iron bridge. We see the hamlet of Phangka ahead. Cholatse and Taboche peaks rear up on the right of us. The trail descends below Phangka and across a level terrace on the slope to climb a rib on the far side of the hill side. Upon reaching the Chorten at the edge, we see great views of Thamserku, Cho Oyu, and Kangtega. We slowly walk down to sprawling village of Machhermo. Again, through the charming hamlet of Luza and Lhafarma we reach Dole, an overnight stop for most of the trekkers going towards Gokyo Valley. We stay overnight at Lodge.

Trek Dole – Namche Bazar

After breakfast we descend down to the Phortse Thagnak through the beautiful Gokyo Valley, now we have to climb about 1 hour to the Mong-La, where we can see spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and other mountains and easy walk to Namche Bazaar. We stay overnight at t lodge.

Trek Namche Bazaar – Lukla

This is going to be our last day on these amazing mountains that have been home to us all of these days. And this is the last day of our trek which takes us out of the bustling outpost of the Everest Region; Namche Bazaar via Monjo to Lukla. The latter end of our trek is a pretty nice hike, except for a few short uphill climbs and then down to the Bhote Koshi River crossing it three times in different areas. The last uphill climb of 45 minutes will bring us to Lukla where we have enough time to rest our weary bones & begin a celebration with the crew whom we’ve got close to over the weeks. Altogether it’s been a merry trip & we taste some ‘chhang’ {locally brewed mountain beer made from fermented rice}, we do a dance to a Sherpa jig & have a hearty meal. We then go to bed under a starry moonlit sky & reminisce on the wonderful things we experienced on this trip. It’s been awesome all the way! We stay overnight at Lodge.

We fly to Katmandu and we go for a farewell dinner in the evening:

This is an early morning flight back to Kathmandu which takes about 40 minutes. Your day is free, however, at even tide; you will be taken to a well known Nepali kitchen for a delicious farewell dinner of the original Nepalese cuisine. As you enjoy your meal, you will also be entertained to an exciting cultural dance performed by the local belles. You will enjoy this experience which is complimentary on behalf of the Real Journey Nepal. Overnight at hotel (B, D)

Transfer to the airport for our onward flight home sweet home

Our office representatives will escort you to the airport for your connecting flight home. It’s been wonderful meeting you & knowing you all of these weeks. We are doubly sure you’ve had the vacation of a lifetime & we hope you will pass on your experiences to the generations to come. We will remember you & also hope you will remember us in the days ahead. Bon Voyage!! & take care!!! (B) Thank you for doing this venture with US. We’ve got to know each other well over the weeks. Please do stay in touch & we wish you a wonderful journey back home.

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