The Everest Experience: Gokyo Lakes and Base Camp
“One of the greatest walking trails on earth”
A thrilling journey in the most mountainous corner of the planet, this once-in-a-lifetime trip is surely the gold standard for trekking expeditions. Immersing you in the breathtaking landscape of Nepal’s Khumbu region, this is one of the most popular of all Nepal Tour Packages. The remarkable high altitude trek takes you to the base of the world’s highest mountain before leading up to the enchanting turquoise lakes of Gokyo. Here, you walk among the giants staying in typical Nepalese Teahouses set amidst magnificent surroundings. You not only witness an awe-inspiring natural environment but also push yourself out of your comfort zone and come back with an amazing sense of accomplishment.
Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (2621m/8600 ft)
Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar(3440 m/11,290 ft): Trek 6-7 hours/11 km
Day 3: Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Day : Rest and Explore
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3860 m/12664 ft): Trek 5-6 hours/11 KM
Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche (4410 m/14468 ft): Trek 5-6 hours/12 KM
Day 6: Dingboche Acclimatization Day: Rest and Explore
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche (4930 m/16174 ft): Trek 5-6 hours/12 KM
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5151 m/16,900 ft) and Everest Base Camp (5364 m/17,598 ft): Trek 7-8 hours/12 km
Day 9: Climb Kala Patthar (5545m/18,200 feet); Gorakshep to Dzongla (4846 m/15,900 ft): Trek 6-7 hours/13 KM
Day 10: Dzongla to Gokyo Lake (4720 m/15486 ft) via Cho La Pass ( 5,420 metres /17,782 ft): Trek 7-8 hours/16 KM
Day 11: Gokyo Rest Day: Explore and Climb Gokyo Ri
Day 12: Gokyo to Machermo (4465 m/14649 ft): Trek 5-6 hours/7 KM
Day 13: Machermo to Namche Bazaar(3440 m/11,290 ft): Trek 7-8 hours/ 14 km
Day 14: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2743 m/9000 ft): Trek 6-7 hours/ 19 km
Day 15: Fly back from Lukla to Kathmandu
1. Base of the world's highest mountain
One of the most iconic places in the mountain world, the Everest Base Camp is located at a dizzying altitude of 17,598 feet above mean sea level. Reaching the base camp of Mount Everest is not just a bucket list experience for many or a dream come true, but also a supreme personal achievement that teaches valuable life lessons.
Everest Base Camp is reached by walking amongst the tallest mountains on the planet. The final section of the walk involves a traverse along the side ridge of the Khumbu glacier, the highest in the world. During the Everest mountain climbing period of March to May, a tent city can be seen here with many mountaineers preparing for their expeditions. The Sep-Nov season is also a great time for this trail as it generally provides more clear views of distant mountains.
Passing through some of the most stunning alpine landscapes and following the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the trek is a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2. Gokyo Lakes: Hundred Acres Of Turquoise Bliss
Nestled in a hidden valley of the Khumbu region, the sacred glacial lakes of Gokyo are one of Himalayas’ lesser visited treasures. It is less crowded compared to the traditional stops on the EBC trail and is close to one of the highest freshwater lake systems in the world. Many Nepal tour packages skip this part of the Khumbu region.
The Gokyo Lakes area is a place of outstanding natural beauty. It offers much desired peace and serenity on the trek compared to the traditional EBC route which is the favourite of most standard Nepal Tour Packages. With the sound of fluttering prayer flags nearby, a walk along the shores of this giant lake surrounded by titanic mountains is truly an unforgettable experience.
The Gokyo Ri is the nearby peak overlooking the tiny Gokyo village and the vast Gokyo Lake. It stands at an altitude of 17575 feet. Hiking up to the Gokyo ri summit offers one of the best panoramic views of the Everest region. All the mighty giants – Everest, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, are visible from here along with a superb bird’s eye view of the sparkling emerald waters of the gokyo lakes. The Gokyo Ri also offers a stunning aerial view of the enormous Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest glacier in Nepal.
3. Traversing Ngozumpa: Longest glacier in Nepal
Source of the Dudh Kosi river and the longest glacier in Nepal, the enormous Ngozumpa snakes down from the Cho Oyo, the sixth highest mountain in the world. The massive river of ice cuts across like a huge tear in the landscape. It has a grey appearance covered in a layer of rocky debris and gravel fallen from the surrounding mountains.
The Ngozumpa terrain is an interesting alien-looking landscape. On the trail, we navigate the glacial moraines of the Ngozumpa, passing by small, temporary glacial pools and traverse the rocky portions with tonnes of ice beneath our hiking boots. It is simply an exhilarating experience to walk on a glacier. It gives an exciting otherworldly feeling as if actually walking on the surface of the moon.
4. Mother’s Pendant: The Most Beautiful Mountain
Mt. Ama Dablam or ‘The Mother’s Pendant’ is hailed as the most impressive in the Everest region and arguably in the whole world. The aesthetically pleasing mountain is located at the heart of the Khumbu region. Looking like a chiselled sculpture, the peak rises to 22349 feet or 6812 m high towering over the tiny Sherpa villages of Tengboche and Pangboche.
The literal meaning of the name comes from its shape as viewed from Tengboche. Ama meaning mother and Dablam meaning pendant or necklace worn by Sherpa women. The ridges on the sides and the hanging glacier on it looks like the arms of a mother who is wearing a necklace and protecting her child on each side. The sheer grandeur of the peak dominates a part of our trail and its sight is a genuine treat to mountain lovers.
5. Sagarmatha National park: A Walk to Remember
Our Everest circuit trek passes through the exceptionally beautiful Sagarmatha National park, a place of scenic natural grandeur. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, it is the very essence of the finest that nature has to offer. The protected area is the focus of many Nepal tour packages. The gargantuan snow-capped mountains inside the area including the worlds’ highest makes it a must-visit. With its glistening glaciers, lush valleys, deep gorges and a wide variety of flora and fauna, walking in this region is a nature explorer’s dream come true.
The park area ranges in altitude from less than 2,000 m to the sky high peaks of the Himalayas at over 8,000 m. While the forest is dominated by silver fir, birch, rhododendron, pine and juniper trees, animals such as musk deer, Himalayan tahr, the ghoral, the serow, the wolf, Himalayan black bear along with Several rare species of wildlife such as the snow leopard and the red panda are present. The region is also home to the famed sherpa community and their unique and rich culture.
6. Life of Sherpas: The Superhuman Community
The Khumbu area in the environs of the great Himalayas is home to the Sherpa people of Nepal. On our journey through the region, we meet the Sherpas who are the primary indigenous people of Khumbu area. We walk alongside them, live in their teahouses and get a fascinating glimpse into their culture, tradition and lifestyle.
Widely famous for their strength, endurance and courage and for their extraordinary role of helping hundreds of people in summiting Everest, Sherpas have never failed to amaze and inspire the climbing world. Apart from this, they also have a reputation for their hospitality, kindness, and a great sense of humor. Our high altitude walk takes us through several traditional Sherpa villages enriched with Tibetan Buddhist culture and customs including the beautiful hamlet of Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Everest region and the cradle of Sherpa culture.
7. Tengboche: Monastery and birthplace of a legend
The rumoured birthplace of none other than the great Tenzing Norgay and the site of Everest region’s largest Buddhist monastery, Tengboche is a remote village perched on a high ridge across the canyon from Khunde. An old Sherpa settlement situated at the confluence of Dudh Koshi and Imja rivers, the village lies on the midway point along the trail to Base Camp and offers awe-inspiring views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Thamserku peaks.
Tengboche has a Tibetan-Buddhist monastery which is the biggest and the most well-known in the Khumbu Region. The gompa has a cultural centre established to preserve the Sherpas’ social and cultural values and its museum contains rare and sacred Buddhist texts and artefacts. The sight of the exquisite Monastery against the backdrop of the magnificent Ama Dablam is a photographer’s delight.
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