Kencho Ongdi & Rakesh Limbu

The Road Less Travelled: Gokyo Ri

Gokyo Ri is fast becoming one of the more beautiful alternatives to Everest Base Camp. Ri in Sherpa means “Mountain” and from this lesser-known viewpoint, you can see a magnificent vista of the Himalayas as well as the Gokyo glacial lakes. 

Though Everest Base Camp has always been the main attraction in Khumbu, the trek to Gokyo Ri is an exceptionally surprising alternative that many have found to be more rewarding. The valley of the Dudh Koshi hides her greatest secret and reveals slowly to only those who reach Gokyo Ri. The trail follows Sherpa villages, tea houses, lodges and rhododendron forests along the Dudh Koshi river and gradually ascends through thin air into the Gokyo valley. From the top of Gokyo Ri, the angle allows for the North Face of Everest to be seen as well as Lhotse, Makalu and to the north the great mass of Cho Oyu. The turquoise Gokyo Lakes that sit serenely below these icy giants makes for the most stunning panoramic view. For the braves who dare to start their climb to Gokyo Ri in the very early hours will be blessed with an awe-inspiring sunrise view over Khumbu. Visitors here have found the airy viewpoint to be better than from Kala Pathar. It's been made popular recently by the likes of Travel Instagrammers like Sjoerd, who took fantastic photos of Gokyo Ri on his last trek in Nepal. 

Essentially, the six Gokyo lakes started as glaciers a millennia ago and so the remaining body of water is ancient. It’s fascinating from a hydrological perspective because this system of lakes is a deep source of permanent freshwater fed by streams and glaciers from the surrounding mountains. Sitting at an altitude of 4,700 - 5,000m, these lakes are the world’s highest freshwater system and are seen as sacred by Hindus and Buddhists. Every year around the month of August, on a full moon day, Hindus take holy bath in the lakes during the festival of Janai Purnima (Sacred Thread of Purity and Security). Gokyo Ri is known for having formidable views of the turquoise blue lakes, and it's a sight to behold.

Here is a general overview of the itinerary:

  • Day 01: Fly to Lukla, Trek to Monjo (2850m) 
  • Day 02: Excursion to Thakchok Danda (3,000m)
  • Day 03: Trek to Tashinga (3450m)
  • Day 04: Trek to Luza (4360m)
  • Day 05: Exploration & Acclimatization in Luza  
  • Day 06: Trek to Gokyo (4790m), afternoon exploration
  • Day 07: Climb Gokyo Ri for sunrise (5357m), trek down to Machermo (4470m)
  • Day 08: Trek to Tashinga (3450m)
  • Day 09: Trek to Mende (3850m) via Khumjung and Kunde 
  • Day 10: Trek to Monjo (2850m)
  • Day 11: Trek to Lukla (2743m) via Gumila
  • Day 12: Fly to Kathmandu

This trip is a very short and sweet introduction into the Sagarmatha Region and is one area that not many explore, because most are interested in completing the EBC Trek, and to visit Gokyo Ri would be a 4-day extension to an already 15-16 day journey. You'll be spending 5/6 nights in total comfort at our Everest Summit Lodges' (in Lukla, Monjo, Tashinga, and Mende) and the rest of the journey will be in teahouses hand-selected by our travel experts in Nepal. 

This trip can be fully supported by our Guides and Porters, so to learn more, send us an email and we can customize this trip for you! 

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