11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek is for those avid trekkers who crave to witness the real treasures of the Everest Region.
There hasn’t been a time when the Himalayas didn’t leave a great impression on trekkers’ heads with its majestic scenery. It’s always been a magnet to swashbucklers who can’t help but visit the site after knowing about it.
While there are many stunning places for hikers to walk in the Himalaya, one to capture the most interest is Gokyo Ri. Swirled up to an elevation of 17,575 ft, Gokyo Ri lies in the west of Ngozumpa Glacier in Khumbu Valley.
No other place in the world can claim the drift of natural beauty as that of Gokyo Ri. Everything about the trek is incredible, be it the dramatic landscapes or verdant hills and even sweeping valleys.
The trek highlights some of the region’s significant landmarks, including medieval monasteries, picturesque villages, and highlands. It has trekkers come across astonishing sceneries with glistening mountains, towering cliffs, and waterfalls.
Its forest is stipple with wild animals and birds that often come to the notice of hikers. The string of charming villages and their hospitality is exceptionally terrific and heartwarming. The unique wildlife and vegetation in the forest add further charm to the trek.
11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek commences with a scenic flight to Lukla, followed by 3 hours’ steep walk to Phakding. Our trail from the village scales uphill to Namche Bazaar, passing through a lustrous forest, remote settlements, and Sagarmatha National Park.
Connecting the hills and hamlets, the track of Gokyo Ri runs up to Dole and Machhermo. These villages come with a fabulous view of snow peaks, steep-sided valleys, and deep forests with pines and fir. From Machhermo, we climb up the hills and a moraine to Gokyo Lake, which offers breathtaking views.
We’ll spend a day at the village and explore the site before descending to Phortse, a small settlement in the Khumbu Valley. Finally, we’ll climb down to Lukla through Namche Bazaar and shortly take a flight to Kathmandu.
Highlights of 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek
- Spectacular view of Dudh Koshi River with soaring cliffs and highlands
- Trip to medieval villages of Khumbu and around
- Glimpses of Ngozumpa Glacier and glimmering Gokyo Lake
- Eye-catching scenes of lofty mountains, including Makalu and Gokyo Ri
- Delve into woods to discover unique wildlife and birds
Best time for 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek
With the unrivaled charm and wild beauty, Gokyo Ri is inclined to host its visitors all along. Nevertheless, it’s the weather that often tricks hikers and makes the trip strenuous, sometimes even putting off. Hence, the adventurers interested in doing the trek must choose the right time to get the most of the 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek.
It usually’s safe to have Gokyo Ri’s trip during spring or autumn as the season brings out a warm and genial atmosphere. Autumn has the most delightful weather of all, with hot days and cold nights. Following the unceasing downpour for months, the atmosphere gets quiet and restful around the time.
Temperatures on days are generally around 4 to 8 Degree Celsius in the valley, making it quick and easy to navigate the trail. Hikers are prone to crystal clear views of staggering mountains, river valleys, and windswept cliffs during the month.
Autumn hues are surreal, with colorful fall leaves swishing after the light wind. The views are overwhelming throughout the region, with plenty of wild animals to watch. As trekkers won’t need too many warm clothes during the season, the backpack gets light and easy to carry.
It’s also a holiday season with festivals like Dashain and Tihar lasting up to October. Hence, Autumn gives the hiker a real chance to learn more about the culture and tradition practiced in the region.
The impressive scenes of Gokyo Ri filled with lofty hills and glaciers are also unraveled in Spring. It is a great time to be at Gokyo Ri as the season offers mild weather with the temperature rising to 25 Degrees Celsius.
The skies are often clear during daylight, while the nights are slightly cold during spring. Provided the early morning sky shade, travelers can start the expedition early in the morning. Thanks to the spring equinox, they also get enough time to explore the places and visit the significant sites.
It boasts an abundance of unique wildlife spectacles, with some of them only found in Himalaya. Travelers can also witness unique vegetation with blooming wildflowers, which provide a lovely view during the season.
Weather in winter and monsoon is unpredictable, so many hikers try to escape the season for 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek. But, it doesn’t mean that the Gokyo Ri trip isn’t feasible in the months. Hikers can surely trek the valley in but with extra precautions.
The trails are more often slippery on rainy days while it’s cover in snow during winter. The sticky snow increases the chances of the trek getting delayed or fully put off. Therefore, it’s best not to trek the site in the season but if you still insist, take preventive measures.
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Gokyo Ri Trek 11 Days Itinerary:
Day 01: Flight to Lukla Trek to Phakding
Maximum Altitude: 2,610 meters
Flight Distance: 138 km
Flight Duration: 40 minutes
Trek Distance: 6.2 km
Trek Duration: 2-3 hours
We kick off our 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek with a flight to Lukla that has picturesque scenes to unfold. On the way to the town, we’ll be stunned by the exquisite glimpses of mountains, majestic hills, and terrains. After about half an hour of the journey, we shall be arriving at the Lukla airstrip.
While stopping by the town, we’ll have a meal and then begin walking the trail to Phakding. The hike takes the uphill path beside the Dudh Koshi River and through the forest before finishing at a small village of Phakding.
Day 02: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Maximum Altitude: 3,440 meters
Trek Distance: 9.4 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
After the warm morning breakfast, we’ll set off on the journey to Namche from Lukla. The trail leads off by crossing the river and mounting to the hill beside a terrace farm. From Bengar, we’ll be walking the jagged route that’s a mix of highs and lows.
From here, our trail gently makes access to Sagarmatha National Park. As the path gets its way ahead, we’ll come across a suspension bridge and some old villages in the Khumbu region, including Manjo and Jorsale.
Since the path is abruptly uphill in the last section, it’ll take us anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to end up at the village. At Namche, we’ll witness a staggering view of snow-capped mountains, surrounding hills, and steep valleys. Overnight stay in a tea house at Namche.
Day 03: Rest day at Namche Bazaar
Considering the threat of altitude sickness, we’ll take a day of rest at Namche, trying to adjust to the temperature. Since it’s an off-day, we’ll use the time to visit some of the town’s iconic places and make a little trip to Syangboche.
Standing at 12,400 ft, Syangboche is the most popular vantage point to watch Mt. Everest. It’s arrived after a steep climb over the rough course for about an hour or so. Sights from the hilltop are fantastic in the marvels of Ama Dablam and Thamserku.
After staying at the ridge for a fair amount, we’ll climb our way down to the village. For those who deny ascending the hill, you have options to visit the national museum and even walk through the town.
Day 04: Trek to Dole
Maximum Altitude: 4,110 meters
Trek Distance: 11.5 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
Leaving the village behind, we’ll ascend the steep hill that passes through Khumjung and head off to Phortse Tenga. From the east of the Khumbu village, we’ll climb down to the Dudh Koshi River and then navigate the hills with a few ups and downs.
Passing the chortens and mani walls, we move our way up the ridge and then to Mong, which comes with a stunning view. In short, the trail then takes a series of uphill walks and a downward slope to Dole’s remote village.
Day 05: Trek to Machhermo
Maximum Altitude: 4,470 meters
Trek Distance: 9 km
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we’ll make a way out of the village and slowly incline the slope to Machhermo. The trail from Dole meanders through the ancient stone walls and prayer flags to arrive at Lapharma.
Walking down the lane, we get a stunning glimpse of snow peaks with the likes of Mount Kantega and Thamserku. Moving forward, we’ll ride the grassy meadows and into the Luja Valley, which offers a picturesque scene.
From Luja, our trail makes headway to the village beside the gushing river and pristine mountain view. Likewise, the trek finishes up with a long climb up the hill to Machhermo, a charming town in Dudh Koshi River valley.
Day 06: Trek to Gokyo Lake
Maximum Altitude: 4,800 meters
Trek Distance: 5.7 km
Trek Duration: 3-4 hours
The week-long trek with stressful ascent and plunge to the lowland will finally pay off today as we’re to make a journey to Gokyo Lake. The trail is a bit nerve-wracking at this section with odds of landslides, so we’ll slowly steer the path here.
We’ll work our way to Gokyo Lake through the steep slopes of Phangan, which will take around an hour. Thereafter, trekking a few miles away, we’ll meet an iron bridge over the quiet river that offers a marvelous vista.
The trek gets underway through the rocky moraine of Ngozumpa Glacier and across the boulders. As of this point, we can witness the glistening lakes of Gokyo and the exquisite landscapes around.
The view from the lakeshore is astounding with turquoise water, captivating mountains, and gigantic hills. We get as many as six serene lakes to explore along with Everest, Makalu, and Cho Oyu’s glimpses. Finally, after the eye-pleasing view, we go back to the settlement and spend the night there.
Day 07: Exploration of Gokyo Lake
It’ll be a disgrace to the beauty of Gokyo Lake and its surroundings if we don’t spend even a day here. Hence, we’ll take a day of rest at the spot today and enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery. During the sightseeing, we’ll catch a glimpse of dazzling Ngozumpa Glacier as well as the turquoise lakes.
We’ll also be laying our eyes on the famous mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Kangtega, Makalu, and Kusum Kanguru. Besides, the trip shall also be feeding us with the diverse topography and landscapes. We stay overnight in the beautiful Gokyo village.
Day 08: Trek to Phortse
Maximum Altitude: 4,470 meters
Trek Distance: 13 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
After having a fantastic time at Gokyo Lake, it’s time for us to climb down the trail to Phortse. As soon we leave the village, the track winds through the rhododendron forests, which uncovers breathtaking sights.
Having traversed the trail before, most of the spots would make a call to our minds. Also, the sceneries from here on out are gorgeous, with deep valleys, small streams, and beautiful villages. Finally, after coursing the serene trails for 7 hours, we’ll reach Phortse, which is also our abode for the night.
Day 09: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Maximum Altitude: 3,440 meters
Trek Duration: 7 hours
The journey from Dole to Namche will go on for almost 7 hours, so we’ll start hiking from early in the morning. Since most of the path is downhill, it’ll be relatively easy for us to reach the Sherpa town.
Climbing down further, we’ll lose the sight of sublime mountain ranges and discern ancient Tibetan stupas with beautiful prayer flags. As we clear the path through the forests, we’re likely to spot wild species like musk deer, Himalayan serow, and snowcock.
The hike has us coming across the villages and down the slopes to finish at Namche. In the spare time left, we’ll relish the terrific view of the foothills and endless mountain ranges. Overnight stay is in a tea house.
Day 10: Trek to Lukla
Maximum Altitude: 2,642 km
Trek Distance: 13 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
It’s the last time we’ll be sailing the trail in Khumbu, as the trek is almost at its end. The route from Namche to Lukla is mostly downhill, getting its way through the woods and over the suspension bridge.
Passing the remote villages, we’ll head to Phakding and then gently walk to Benkar. After advancing from the settlement, we turn left and down the hill to the main route besides a stream.
From Toktok, we get to witness the astonishing view of medieval villages and landforms. Thereafter, trekking nearly 7 hours straight, we’ll arrive in Lukla, a beautiful settlement nestled at 2,860 meters in height. Overnight stay at a tea house in the village.
Day 11: Flight to Kathmandu
Maximum Altitude: 1,400 meters
Flight Distance: 138 km
Flight Duration: 40 minutes
With all the trekking and sightseeing done, today we fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla. The trip is more fun and relaxing than any other, featuring the splendid view of mountains, steep hills, and pastures. After jettying the airport, we’ll transfer you back to the hotel. If you’re going to be in the city for a few more days, we can arrange a trip to the world heritage sites for you.
Preparations for 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek
Preparations for the 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek are similar to that of Everest Trek, except trekkers have to be more cautious. Meanwhile, climbers will have to pay attention to the weather and probe the challenges to come strong. Hikers need to be aware of the possible trek difficulties and prepare accordingly.
Trails of Goyo Ri are a blend of ups and downs which are physically demanding. Without high resistance power, it’s tough for hikers to catch on the steep trail of Gokyo and make it to the site on time. Therefore, travelers doing the hike must have strong stamina with physical wellness to finish the excursion.
Start with the best cardio workout like jogging and kickboxing to build the inner core strength. Also, walking on the treadmill or doing a short hike in a limited duration will help one combat the steep trail of Gokyo Ri.
Trekkers are also recommended to keep their heads cool and avoid any stress throughout the excursion. Similarly, the emotional strain often deteriorates the health and even restrains the hikers from continuing the trip.
Things can often get hard in the mountains. So, trekkers must grab the things that can be of help on the trek. Check all the gears needed for the hike, and don’t get panic quickly. In addition, take enough rest before going to a higher elevation to prevent acute mountain sickness.
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Essentials required during the 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek
Given the two weeks of travel, trekkers of Gokyo Ri will require a full set of trekking gear that can help them in the trip. From the necessary kits to apparel and foods, climbers need to have all the items they think will ease the journey.
As the number of trekking essentials will determine our backpack’s size, you should carefully choose the equipment. While the hikers will get much help from porters, it’s still to be made sure that they don’t carry unnecessary items that only add burden. Overall, some of the essentials recommended to travelers are as follows.
- Down jacket or lightweight fleece jackets to resist cold
- Lightweight trekking pants and shorts
- Moisture-wicking t-shirt
- Long-sleeve shirt to forbid sunburn
- Wool thermals and winter gloves
- Hiking boots or camp shoes
- Sturdy climbing shoes
- Synthetic or wool socks
- First-aid kit and medications
- Extra batteries, charger, and power bank
- Water bottles and water purification
- Personal toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Journals and pens
Difficulties of 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek
11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek is far more complicated than one expects it to be. Its trails are hard to navigate, and so is the atmosphere that hikers need plenty of time to cope. The weather on Everest is unpredictable and almost impossible to forecast precisely. Also, the changing climate often gives hikers a hard time and sometimes even compels them to put off the trip. Moreover, some of the difficulties that hikers of 11 Day Gokyo Ri Trek may encounter during their journey are as follows.
1. Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is an inevitable challenge for trekkers of Gokyo Ri Trek. They are sure to deal with it after each climb from the lower altitude. Putting aside the pro hikers, almost everyone is subject to acute mountain sickness at Gokyo Ri due to reduced pressure.
Furthermore, the low humidity and oxygen in the higher elevation are also cause for hikers dizziness and nausea. Therefore, hikers climbing the trail must be aware of the effects of higher altitude and rest well to prevent the sickness.
It’s no secret that the weather in Himalaya is unforeseeable with frequent high winds and low atmospheric pressure. With the mountainous terrain and hill around, the air density is lower at Gokyo Ri, which causes the temperature to change quickly.
Winter has the harshest weather, with the temperature falling up to -9 Degree Celsius. Besides, the trails are often covered in snow, making it extremely difficult and slippery to walk. Meanwhile, the monsoon witnesses the continuous downpour all day long with murky paths and hazy views.
3. Tour Guide
Local sherpas often take charge of a tour guide for visitors and assist them on the trail. They make the trip easy for the novice who is clueless about the route of Gokyo Ri. In fact, they even make the trekkers feel homely during their stay at the village and act as a bridge to interact with locals.
However, the language barrier often creates problems for trekkers and makes them choose the guide wisely. Usually, hikers prefer to hire a tour guide who’s bilingual and can speak English fluently.
4. Rugged route
The trials of Gokyo Ri are never easy to maneuver with endless steep hills and craggy paths. Most of the sections on the way are unpaved and filled with boulders and rocks, making it hard to get through. Also, some of them even make their way through the dense forest, which is quite stressful and time-consuming.