Many things come into account when we begin to prepare for the standard Gokyo Lake trek itinerary. Sublime Trails ensures that you'll get the best accommodation, meals, safety and security, temperature, weather, guides, porters, etc.
Here's well presented details on every essentials of Gokyo Lake Trek.
Accommodation in Gokyo Lake Trek
Like the Everest base camp trek, the Gokyo Lakes trek follows tea house-based accommodation. Tea houses, often termed lodges, are well regulated, hygienic, standard, and budget-friendly.
The lodges at Lukla, Phakding, and Namche are luxurious compared to those at the small settlements of Dole and Machermo. You'll get hot showers and comfortable beds at most tea houses. The star-rated hotels in Namche and Lukla offer an electric blanket.
Tea houses at Gokyo village also offer comfortable overnight sleep. You may get a hot shower at Gokyo, but it's risky to shower in such a cold region as you might suffer from cold and pneumonia. Most tea houses on the Gokyo trek route have firewood heating services in the dining hall for trekkers. Every trekker on the tea house loves to sit next to the oven before curling in the sleeping bags.
Overall, we'll accommodate in the best available tea house.
Weather and Temperature in Everest Gokyo Lakes Trek
There are four seasons in Nepal: Autumn, Spring, Winter, and Summer. Everest Gokyo Lakes Trek is best during Autumn and Spring.
Weather and Temperature in Spring
Gokyo Lakes trek is best in March, April, and May. The Spring months are known for mild temperatures, clear sky, and rain-free days. All these ideal conditions make the Gokyo valley trek fantastic. The sightseeing around mountains becomes clearer.
The daytime temperature of Gokyo lakes averages 10 degrees, and the nighttime temperature averages -7 degrees.
Weather and temperature in Summer
It rains in Nepal from the start of June to mid-September. Heavy monsoon rains cause no flights to Lukla. Thus, there'll be less Everest region trekking in Summer. Some trekkers fly to Lukla by helicopter to trek Everest Gokyo lakes trek in summer.
Places above Namche over 3,500 metres receive less rainfall. But, it causes snowfall that obstructs the hike. Gokyo lake's trek is doable in such conditions, but why not wait until the start of Autumn for the best Everet viewing experience?
The daytime temperature at Gokyo lakes rises to 17 degrees, and the nighttime temperature falls around the freezing point.
Weather and Temperature in Autumn
Autumn is the best month to trek Gokyo lakes in the Everest region for vivid landscape, lush forests, and clear mountain viewing.
The weather becomes stable, and the days become sunny, mostly. It rains at lower altitudes during early September, but there'll be no rain at higher places like the Everest region.
The daytime temperature of Gokyo valley in Autumn averages 13 degrees, and the nighttime temperature nears freezing. With a decent down jacket and sleeping bag, the night goes comfortably.
Weather and temperature in Winter
The winter days are best for sightseeing. The snowfall from the start of Lukla to Gokyo valley becomes alluring. But, the cold and wind make the winter Gokyo lakes trek almost impossible.
The temperature at Gokyo Lakes drops to 6 degrees in the daytime, and nighttime becomes harsh with a temperature drop of -10 degrees.
In such conditions, to escape the cold, hotel owners move to lower altitudes like Namche and Lukla for some months.
Meals in Gokyo Lake Trek
Tea houses en route to the Gokyo trek offer hygienic and nutritious meals. You'll get choices for meals in lower regions like Lukla, Phakding, and Namche. But as we climb to Gokyo past Namche, the menu item reduces. Overall, you'll get decent meals throughout this trek.
Tea house's menu in Gokyo trek offers meals like momo, spaghetti, porridge with honey, bread butter toast, ham, sausages, and Nepali dal bhat. The menu also includes meat, but we recommend you not to eat meat on the Gokyo valley trek.
On the 12 days Gokyo trek, you'll get fresh drinking water, but carrying water purifying chlorine prevents possible water-borne infections.
You may also carry choco bars, dry fruits, pickles, and raw noodles to eat while trekking. Chewing these things often helps you to avoid altitude sickness.
Gokyo Lake Trek difficulty
In a nutshell, the Gokyo Lake Trek is a moderate-grade trek in the Everest region.
You can hike comfortably from Lukla to Phakding and Namche Bazaar. The trekking trails throughout the Gokyo valley trek route are well maintained. You'll be walking through the lush vegetation in a serene environment.
Symptoms of altitude sickness may become irritating and hinder the pace of the hike. Further, making steep hikes, slope descent, and over rugged terrain certainly tires your legs. Walking over glacier moraines sometimes gets slippery.
The Gokyo trek becomes challenging if you hike to Cho La Pass and further to Everest Base Camp from Gokyo lake. The gradual climb to Gokyo Ri is tiring but doable.
Elevation in Gokyo Lake Trek
The 19 different Gokyo Lakes in Khumbu valley scatter between 4,7000 metres to 5,000 metres. Trekkers hike to some of the major lakes, including Dudh Pokhari and Thonak.
The prominent spot, Gokyo village, sits at 4,750 metres. The next morning's hike destination, Gokyo Ri, sits at 5,357 metres, making it an ideal viewpoint for mountain sightseeing.
The different places in Gokyo valley trekking routes sit at different altitudes. Lukla is at 2,860 metres, Phakding at 2,651 metres, Monjo at 2,836 metres, Namche at 3,440 metres, Khumjung at 3,790 metres, and Dole sits at 4,038 metres. Likewise, Machermo is over 4,470 metres.
If you wish to climb Cho La Pass, you must hike to 5,420 metres.
Guides and Porters Safety in Gokyo Lake Trek
Guides and porters play a crucial role in making your Gokyo Lake trek successful. We value and take the proper attention of our trekking guides and porters.
Guides employed from Sublime Trails are Government licensed with adequate guiding experience. They come with first aid knowledge. Hence, they are self enough to treat their and our valued clients like your minor injuries.
Our Gokyo Lake trek guides and porters have proper health insurance. We only employ trek guides and porters who are in good physical fitness and health status.
Also, during emergencies, they'll get helicopter rescue and medical attention as trekkers. The same priority applies to our Gokyo valley trek porters.
The meals and accommodations for guides and porters are similar to what you eat throughout the Gokyo valley trek.
Safety and security in Gokyo Lake Trek
Sublime Trails provides 100% safety and security to our valued clients.
At high altitudes, you may fall sick for various reasons. Some trekkers often get loose motions, nausea, headaches, and minor injuries in high altitudes. Our Gokyo Trek guides have expertise in first aid and some mountain medicines. Thus, they'll stick with you and the team throughout this trek.
Our guides will provide you with apt medicine if you develop symptoms of altitude sickness. If things don't improve, porters will carry you to low altitudes. You'll get an emergency helicopter evacuation if the situation worsens. But, for this, you must have travel insurance. All we do is contact the helicopter and make emergency evacuation arrangements.
In the Gokyo region, theft, robbery, and threats to trekkers are almost negligible. There'll be no one en route besides trekkers, guides, and porters. Everyone respects each other with the utmost value.
Travel Insurance in Gokyo Lake Trek
While trekking at high altitudes, you must have decent travel insurance. For the Gokyo trek, Sublime Trails don't purchase insurance for you. We only insure our trek guides and porters.
Travel insurance has many benefits for trekkers.
First, you don't have to worry about misfortunate situations in Gokyo. Even if things worsen, you'll get an emergency helicopter evacuation from the Gokyo trek route to a hospital in Kathmandu.
Second, travel insurance covers your entire medication bills. In such a way, you don't have to spend a single penny on expensive medications.
You'll not only get helicopter rescue during emergencies but also during fractures and injuries at any point in the Gokyo region.
We recommend trekkers purchase travel insurance that bears helicopter evacuation and medical bills. It lets you trek freely without worrying about misfortunes.
Let's believe nothing unpredictable happens, but buying insurance puts you in a safe position.
Baggage and weight limit for the porter in Gokyo Valley Trek
Two trekkers get one porter in the Gokyo Lake trek. The maximum weight a porter can carry is 30 kg. Hence, one trekker can only assign his 15kg baggage to the porter.
For baggage more than 15kg, we need to hire an extra porter that adds the cost to you. Hence, pack only appropriate gears for the Gokyo valley trek. Weigh your backpacks beforehand.
Not only porters, but the Kathmandu-Lukla flight also limits the baggage weight. A person can only carry 15kg/32lbs (5kg on a handbag and 10kg on baggage). The airline charges around $1 for an extra kg each.
Flight delays and transportation
You'll get a private jeep/van/taxi pick up and drop to/from the airport from/to your hotel before/after the Gokyo lake trek. These transportation costs are all-inclusive in the Gokyo Lake Trek package.
The Gokyo Lake trek starts with a flight to Lukla. Three airlines operate 30 flights per day during Everest trekking season.
Lukla, at 2,860 metres, has unpredictable weather conditions. Even on a clear weather day, the overcast hinders the flights. The possible snowfall, wind speed, and rainfall are prominent causes of Kathmandu Lukla flight delays.
We may have to postpone the Gokyo trek’s fixed departures if the weather worsens for several days. There are many instances where trekkers returning to Kathmandu from Gokyo valley got stranded in Lukla for multiple days.
The same applies to flights from Kathmandu. The air traffic and poor visibility results in flight delays from Kathmandu. Thus, prepare yourself to cope with such flight delays.
We also offer Kathmandu to Lukla helicopter flights to trekkers to avoid flight delays. The helicopter can fly even on minor weather issues. We operate private and group-sharing Kathmandu to Lukla helicopter flights at affordable rates.
Respect to Ethnic Culture in Gokyo Lake Trek
The ethnic Sherpa people you met throughout the Gokyo Lake trek practice Buddhism.
Locals of Khumbu believe that no person is allowed to harm the plants and animals inside Sagarmatha National Park. They even revere certain herbs, shrubs, and trees. There are some peaks and monuments where the locals worship during ideal festivals.
As a trekker and traveller, you have to respect the ethnic groups and their culture. You have to respect their languages even if you don't understand them.
How cool would it be to experience cultural rituals during the Gokyo lake trek? Festivals like Mani Rumdi, Lhosar, and Buddha Purnima are prominent festivals in Khumbu. As a traveller, you have to experience such festivals with great respect.
Locals don't understand foreign languages. Even if you laugh loudly at your talks, they may take it as a mockery to them. Loud chattering and playing heavy music while trekking to Gokyo often disturbs the locals. Thus, you must respect others' space while enjoying the Gokyo Lake trek.
Gokyo Lake is also considered the home of snake God, Nag Devata. There is a temple of Lord Shiva and Vishnu at Gokyo lake, making it a Hindu and Buddhist shrine. Thus, polluting the surrounding, mocking the pilgrims, and drinking alcohol and meat products near such sites are considered disrespectful. Trekkers must avoid such acts.
Tipping for guides and porters in Gokyo Lakes Trek
There's a culture of tipping Gokyo valley trek guides and porters on the last day in Lukla. Besides tips, trekkers also offer decent meals and alcohol as Sagun(a gift) to guides and porters.
Our porters and guides work very hard to make your Gokyo Lake trip successful. They'll take care of you in your worst and most happy situation in the Himalayas. For 12 long days, they become a part of your beautiful journey to Gokyo. Thus, in the end, they expect a decent tip from you.
Tips from trekkers and foreign tourists are a prominent source of income for the guides and porters. They work so much to make you a happy soul by taking you safely to the mountains. It's also your part to make them happy faces by tipping them an adequate amount.
After all, we all want happiness, and we do the best things to be happy.
Packing list for Gokyo Trek
Trekking to Gokyo lakes demands appropriate gears. High altitude rugged terrain demands premium trekking boots. Day hike requires sleeves, thin layers, scarves, and other clothes. For overnight, you'll need decent down jackets and sleeping bags.
Let's explore each of the gears in detail.
Upper Body Wearables ( Day hikes/Evening/Overnight)
Warm down jackets. Down jackets are best against extreme cold and wind over 4,000 metres.
Sweat absorbing Fleece, Woollen Sweaters
Thermal inners, pants, air and water resistant pants
Inner wears, underwears.
Woollen gloves (one thin and one thick to wear in layers)
Trekking boots (medium-weight, ankle high).
Flip Flops , Crocs for overnight comfort.
Trekking socks, thin and woollen.
Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Body spray, wet wipers.
Skin care products like Sun block lotion, lip balm, lotion, etc.
Cosmetics for female trekkers.
Water purifying tablets, electrolytes, Vitamin supplements, and some first aid kits.
Camera, binoculars, additional batteries, power banks, Swiss Knife.
Trekking poles, polarising glasses, water pouch.
Novels of your choice are recommended, You won’t have internet access at some places. Thus, a book becomes a great companion for your travel.
Documents required for Gokyo Lake trek
You must have government issued legal documents for your identification and to obtain an on-arrival visa in Nepal. Your passport copies are also required to get Gokyo Lake trek permits.
The items include, but are not limited to:
Passport, Citizenship Card
Travel Insurance Card
Photos, Covid-19 vaccination card.
Contact details of your family to contact during emergencies.
Name tag for your baggage.