Gokyo Lake might not be a new topic for travel and trekking enthusiasts as it is one of the most mesmerizing destinations in the world.
The lake situated in the Khumbu region of Nepal consists of six main lakes. It sits 4,700–5,000 m above sea level and lies in Sagarmatha National Park.
Gokyo Lake’s history dates back centuries. The region holds religious and spiritual significance. You will find several monasteries and temples along the trail.
The lake is a sacred site worshiped as the residing place of Nag Devta (Snake God) by devotees. The Sherpas of the region believe that the Nag Devata protects the lake and its surroundings.
Furthermore, hundreds of devotees visit the lake during the Janai Purnima festival to offer prayers and receive blessings. They also take a bath in the holy water.
Geography and Environment
Gokyo Lake lies in the Himalayas, and the climate is alpine. Thus, the temperature is cold, and the air is dry.
It consists of Gokyo Cho, Gyazumpa Cho,Thonak Cho, Tanjung Cho, Kyajumba Cho, and Ngojumba Cho. Gokyo Cho is the main lake, whereas Thonak Cho is the largest and deepest lake.
The six beautiful lakes feed on various sources, including the largest glacier in the Himalayas, namely Ngozumpa Glacier.
Additionally, the lake is surrounded by rugged terrain with steep valleys. The panoramic view of the towering peaks, including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu, is also visible from the region.
Flora and Fauna
Since the climate is alpine in Gokyo Lake, it is home to several alpine plants that bloom during the summer, including dwarf rhododendrons, gentians, and primulas. Moss and lichens cover the rocks and boulders. Likewise, there are a variety of grasses around the lakes, which are habitats for small mammals and birds.
Animals like Himalayan Thar and Musk deer can be seen gazing on the slopes of the lake. You can also spot golden eagles and other birds soaring above the mountains. Moreover, the endangered species of Snow Leopard and Nepal's national bird, the Himalayan Monal, are also found in the region. Thus, it is a must-visit place for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Trekking to Gokyo Lake
Gyoko Lake is a paradise for trekkers as it is one of the many famous and adventurous trekking in the Himalayas. The challenging yet rewarding trek will present you with breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Routes: How to go to Gokyo Lakes?
The travelers looking forward to embarking on the Gokyo Lake Trek can start their journey from Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you can fly to Lukla in the Khumbu region.
After reaching Lukla, you will pass through small villages, rhododendron forests, and pine trees while heading toward the Dudh Koshi River.
Then you ascend to a bustling market town Namche Bazaar at 3,440 meters. The hiking continues to the village of Phortse Tenga. You come across lush forests and suspension bridges along the way.
The trail is steep while ascending from Phortse Tenga to Machhermo at 4,410 meters. You can spend a night in the small village to further acclimatize to the Gokyo Lake system. The lake system passes through the Gokyo and Dragnag villages.
While trekking to the destination, you will observe stunning views of snow-capped peaks and glaciers. You can also climb to Gokyo Ri, which offers panoramic views of the region.
The difficulty level of the trek
The Gokyo Lake trek is moderately difficult. The trekkers need to hike steep ascents and descents at high altitudes.
The weather is unpredictable. You can also catch altitude sickness. Staying hydrated and having warm foods will help you prevent altitude sickness.
Recommended gear and preparation for the trek
The gear that you will need while trekking the Gokyo Lake is listed below:
- Trekking boots
- Warm clothes
- Down jackets and fleece jackets
- Water bottle and thermos
- First aid kit
- Medicines that you intake daily
- Powerbank and portable chargers
Some trails that take you to Gokyo Lake are physically demanding and challenging. So, your comfort will depend on your physical fitness. Training and working out for a few months before the trip will help you build strength, endurance, and stamina.
Estimated time required to complete the trek
Physical fitness, pace, and dedication of trekkers determine the time it takes to complete the trek. Likewise, the trekking route also plays an important role in how long it takes to complete the trip.
The trekkers can accomplish their goal in about 10 to 12 days. Your journey starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, followed by a hike to Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Dole, and Machhermo, to reach Gokyo Lake.
Attractions and Activities
Gokyo Lake has stunning natural beauty and photogenic views to offer. The travelers can also perform several activities while trekking around the region.
- You can explore all six glacial lakes at 4,700-5,000 meters of altitude. If you have a camera with you, you can capture the beauty in photographs.
- You can climb Gokyo Ri peak to witness the appealing view of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.
- Exploring the local culture and connecting with the local people is one of the most fun activities to perform at Gokyo Lake. You can take a cultural tour of Sherpa villages and monasteries to learn about the Sherpa culture and their way of life.
- Similarly, travelers can go for wildlife spotting tours to catch a glimpse of rare and endangered species.
- You can also taste the local foods at Gokyo Lake, like Dal Bhat, Momos, and Thukpas. The Sherpa Stews, Yak Cheese, and Chhaang (traditional Nepali alcoholic beverage) are also popular in the region.
Accommodations and Dining
The trekkers can rest at tea and guest houses while visiting Gokyo Lake. Most tea houses are family-run, offering a chance to share the local culture.
The rooms in the tea houses have shared dining areas and bathrooms. In contrast, lodges have the facilities of private rooms with attached bathrooms.
For dining, you can have Nepali or Western cuisines. Dal Bhat is available at every lodge and tea house. Momos, Thukpas, pizza, burgers, and pasta are also available.
Safety and Health Considerations
Safety is the priority while going on treks. You should try your best to prevent altitude sickness and other health issues.
- The trekkers should maintain their pace, ascend slowly, and get enough rest while hiking the challenging trails. You should also drink enough water to stay hydrated.
- Maintaining good hygiene will also help you prevent infections and illnesses like diarrhea.
- Likewise, having travel insurance will come in handy while covering medical emergencies.
- Hiring a local guide can help you navigate the area. And the local porters will help you to carry your backpacks and reduce the risk of injury.
Since Gokyo Lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations, you should make time to witness the mesmerizing beauty at least once in your lifetime.
The scenery of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes, and alpine forests will melt away your soul. You can also visit Sagarmatha National Park and witness Snow Leopard and Himalayan monal in the protected area.