PLAN: Nepal - Gokyo Lakes

summary: Last years attempt at the three passes failed miserably so time to get back on the mountain!
date: April/May 2024
distance: 120kms
previous report: Previous trip to Everest Base Camp and Island Peak
previous plan: Previous plan for three passes trek
wikipedia: WikiPedia Goky Lakes
Nepal Time:
tags: HIKE - PLAN - NEPAL - GOKYO - 2024
views: 171

Leg 0 - Getting there

All travel in Nepal starts from Kathmandu. I will be travelling there via Hong Kong, arriving in Kathmandu on April 27th. Having made the trip recently I know the tricks that are needed. Visa at the airport on arival is no problem. Treking permit on the trail at Monjo is no problem. Pre-book flight and transport to Lukla - so pretty easy preparation really!

The overall plan for this trip is to travel to Lukla via plane. Then heading North out of Lukla to Namche Bazaar. Shortly past Namche the trail turns North of the main EBC trail up to Gokyo and Renjo La.

Leg 1 - Kathmandu, Lukla, Namche

After a couple of days in Kathmandu, it will be an early start to get to Lukla and beyond.

Kathmandu - Lukla - Bengkar (flight, 4 hours walking)

Transport from Kathmandu to Rammechamp airport is done in the wee hours of the morning on a little mini-bus! It's not the greatest of drives in the dark but everyone has to do it. Arrival at Rammechamp is at about 6:00am in prepartion for the first flights.

Check in for a boarding pass is somewhat chaotic, but just follow the lines and push your way to the front. After that, and closer to flight time, move to the bag checkin area for a bag search.

Once in Lukla, the trail will head out to the West. Shortly after Lukla there will be a check point available to purchase the TREK card which is required for hiking in the Everest region. Checkpoints are at Lukla and at Monjo.

Continue walking as far as possible today - probably up to Bengkar which I stayed at last time. It's not one of the popular stops, so it is quiet and with amazing views. Actually views here are far better than Phakding!

Bengkar - Namche Bazaar (3-4 hours) 3440m

After breakfast we walk through beautiful pine forests and along the Dudh Koshi River. If the weather is clear, we may even catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We continue walking until we reach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region. There is another checkpoint here to purchase the national parks permits required for the trek.

This day we cross several suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar.

The following day is a simple acclimatization day, so a hike up over the hill to the Everest View hotel, followed by lunch at the village of Khumjung.

Namche Bazaar - Dhole (6 hours) 4200m

Shortly after following the main trail out of Namche Bazaar to the north, we take a less traveled path towards Gokyo. Look out for it forking to the left and sign posted for Gokyo.

The trail starts to head uphill from here and is mostly well marked. The trail is less used than the main EBC trail, but there will still be trekkers here heading to/from the Gokyo Lakes region. By lunch time we should reach the town of Phortse Tenga for a long break. After lunch, continue heading up the valley to the town of Dhole for the night.

Dhole - Machhermo (3 hours) 4470m

Heading out from Dhole we continue up the valley to the North. Today is likely to be a short one if we stopped at Dhole, so we dont need to start too early.

There will only be a couple of small villages along the trail today, but will end up in Machhermo for the night which is known for its scary storries about the Yeti!

Machhermo - Gokyo (6 hours) 4750m

Today is the big day! Heading out of Machhermo we continue north through some small villages but then slowly start to descend into the Gokyo valley. We should get views of Cho Oyu from here as well as some of the awaiting glacier and its glacial lakes.

Apparently there are some caves to explore around the village of Pangka - so look out for those.

Eventually descending down to the glacial trail and the beautiful lakes of Gokyo.

Leg 2 - Gokyo

The plan is to spend three or four days here in Gokyo depending on how much time we have taken so far. There are 19 lakes in the entire lakes system, probably wont see them all but lets see how many! There is also Gokyo Ri which is a good spot to watch the sunrise from!

Gokyo 4750m

We have plenty of time in the plan to enjoy Gokyo to its fullest. However it may be getting cold here overnight so make sure we get lodgings! Also worth trying to get a room with a lake view if possible - even if its more expensive because this is a once in a lifetime right!

Leg 3 - Gokyo, Renjo La, Lukla

After enjoying the amazing region of Gokyo Lakes it is time to complete the most challenging part of this trek - up and over Renjo La! This will be a challenge, but the reward of the best views in the Khumbu will be amazing! Once over the pass, a few days of downhill and rest in Lukla is ahead of us.

Gokyo - Renjo La - Lumde (8 hours) 4340m/4368m

Heading out early again, which is common on big days, the trail heads to the west along the northern bank of Gokyo Lake. Once past the lake, the trail starts to increase in steepness, and the thin air will force us to move very slowly. This is the lowest of the three passes in this region, but once at the peak, the views back to the east should be amazing!

Knowing the rest of the day will be downhill, and not too far, take your time at this point as we are nearing the end of this amazing trip - soak in the views.

Once we start to descend, you will notice some amazing track building, with large smooth steps all the way down the pass and on to the town of Lumde which will be our stop for the night.

Lumde - Thame (3 hours) 3820m

Today is an easy day. It will be all downhill to the village of Thame. A late start is most welcome at this point! The trail is well marked, but probably less people today than in previous days. The trail sticks to the eastern side of the river which will be our companion most of the morning.

There should be plenty of lodges here in Thame to pick for the night.

Thame - Namche Bazaar (3 hours) 3440m

Our final morning on this section of trail can be another late one as we dont have far to go today, we are continuing to head towards Namche Bazaar. Make sure we take the correct trail here, which should be sign posted, otherwise we will end up heading towards Lukla instead! Once in Namche Bazaar, look for a lodge which has the services that the end of a trek needs! We are likely to spend a few days here so select the lodge wisely.

Namche Bazaar - Phakding - Lukla - Kathmandu (4 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours) 2610m/2830m/1400m

The final days of this amazing journey will find us retracing our tracks along the well worn trail back to Lukla, we will likely stop off at Phakding for a night before getting to Lukla and finally a flight back to Rammechamp and the bus to Kathmandu.


Google Maps

  • LEG-1 
  • LEG-2 
  • LEG-3 
  • LEG-4 
  • routes 
  • waypoints 
If this text does not disappear quickly, then your browser does not support Google Maps, or Google changed their MAPS API without telling me

Routes

LEG-1
35.60 kms
T-LUKLA
[45R 473159 3062411]
T-CHHEPLUNG
[45R 472278 3064480]
T-THADOKOSHI
[45R 472010 3066037]
T-PHAKDING
[45R 471679 3068423]
T-BENKAR
[45R 472012 3070780]
T-MONJO
[45R 472793 3071727]
T-JORSALE
[45R 472612 3072664]
T-HILLARYBRIDGE
[45R 472289 3073974]
L-NAMCHE
[45R 471532 3075632]
T-SANASA
[45R 473452 3077848]
T-PHORTSEJUNC
[45R 474850 3080650]
T-PHORTSE
[45R 475583 3080294]
L-PANGBOCHE
[45R 479148 3081305]
T-SHOMARE
[45R 480860 3082555]
T-TSUROOG
[45R 481688 3083607]
L-PERICHE
[45R 482283 3085585]
T-DINGBPASS
[45R 482594 3085273]
T-DINGBOCHE
[45R 483184 3085179]
L-CHHUKHUNG
[45R 487361 3086634]

LEG-2
24.16 kms
L-CHHUKHUNG
[45R 487361 3086634]
T-NUPTSEGLACIER
[45R 486265 3087133]
T-NIYANGKHOLA
[45R 485236 3087919]
T-KONGMAPASS
[45R 483873 3089425]
T-KONGMACAMP
[45R 483453 3089938]
T-KHUMBU-EAST
[45R 482181 3090739]
T-KHUMBU-WEST
[45R 481547 3091025]
L-LOBUCHE
[45R 481380 3091484]
L-GORAKSHEP
[45R 483157 3095066]
T-EBC
[45R 485993 3098058]
L-GORAKSHEP
[45R 483157 3095066]
L-LOBUCHE
[45R 481380 3091484]

LEG-3
15.95 kms
L-LOBUCHE
[45R 481380 3091484]
T-THOKLAJUNC
[45R 480250 3089011]
L-DZONGLA
[45R 477749 3090500]
T-CHOLAGLACIER
[45R 476376 3092802]
T-CHOLA
[45R 475578 3092980]
T-CHOLAPHEDI
[45R 474092 3092078]
L-DRAGNAG
[45R 472511 3090662]
L-GOKYO
[45R 469916 3092071]

LEG-4
37.60 kms
L-GOKYO
[45R 469916 3092071]
T-RENJOLA
[45R 466441 3091247]
T-LUMDE
[45R 464285 3086616]
L-THAME
[45R 465517 3078519]
L-NAMCHE
[45R 471532 3075632]
T-HILLARYBRIDGE
[45R 472289 3073974]
T-JORSALE
[45R 472612 3072664]
T-MONJO
[45R 472793 3071727]
T-BENKAR
[45R 472012 3070780]
T-PHAKDING
[45R 471679 3068423]
T-THADOKOSHI
[45R 472010 3066037]
T-CHHEPLUNG
[45R 472278 3064480]
T-LUKLA
[45R 473159 3062411]

Waypoints

 
P-ISLANDPEAK
[45R 493831 3088807]
P-EVEREST
[45R 492655 3095864]
L-CHAITYA
[45R 469601 3076488]
L-THESHYO
[45R 469161 3077096]
L-THAMO
[45R 468267 3077532]
L-THAME
[45R 465517 3078519]
L-KHUNDE
[45R 471080 3077620]
L-KHUMJUNG
[45R 472044 3077841]
P-NANGKAR
[45R 484155 3087271]
P-KALAPATTHAR
[45R 483137 3096626]
L-OLDEBC
[45R 485083 3095827]
P-NUPTSE
[45R 488740 3093568]
P-CHHUKRI
[45R 488101 3088951]
P-CHHUKHUNG
[45R 487655 3090460]
P-MEHRA
[45R 485032 3091445]
T-PHUNKI
[45R 474935 3078607]
T-TENGBOCHE
[45R 476814 3079052]
T-DEBOCHE
[45R 477403 3079457]
T-IMJAKHOLA
[45R 478292 3080622]
T-IPBASECAMP
[45R 493265 3086445]
P-GOKYORI
[45R 468647 3092900]
T-LUKLA
[45R 473159 3062411]
T-CHHEPLUNG
[45R 472278 3064480]
T-THADOKOSHI
[45R 472010 3066037]
T-PHAKDING
[45R 471679 3068423]
T-BENKAR
[45R 472012 3070780]
T-MONJO
[45R 472793 3071727]
T-JORSALE
[45R 472612 3072664]
T-HILLARYBRIDGE
[45R 472289 3073974]
L-NAMCHE
[45R 471532 3075632]
T-SANASA
[45R 473452 3077848]
T-PHORTSEJUNC
[45R 474850 3080650]
T-PHORTSE
[45R 475583 3080294]
L-PANGBOCHE
[45R 479148 3081305]
T-SHOMARE
[45R 480860 3082555]
T-TSUROOG
[45R 481688 3083607]
L-PERICHE
[45R 482283 3085585]
T-DINGBPASS
[45R 482594 3085273]
T-DINGBOCHE
[45R 483184 3085179]
L-CHHUKHUNG
[45R 487361 3086634]
T-NUPTSEGLACIER
[45R 486265 3087133]
T-NIYANGKHOLA
[45R 485236 3087919]
T-KONGMAPASS
[45R 483873 3089425]
T-KONGMACAMP
[45R 483453 3089938]
T-KHUMBU-EAST
[45R 482181 3090739]
T-KHUMBU-WEST
[45R 481547 3091025]
L-LOBUCHE
[45R 481380 3091484]
L-GORAKSHEP
[45R 483157 3095066]
T-EBC
[45R 485993 3098058]
T-THOKLAJUNC
[45R 480250 3089011]
L-DZONGLA
[45R 477749 3090500]
T-CHOLAGLACIER
[45R 476376 3092802]
T-CHOLA
[45R 475578 3092980]
T-CHOLAPHEDI
[45R 474092 3092078]
L-DRAGNAG
[45R 472511 3090662]
L-GOKYO
[45R 469916 3092071]
T-RENJOLA
[45R 466441 3091247]
T-LUMDE
[45R 464285 3086616]