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Gokyo: a Nepal Trekking Destination

The village of Gokyo.
The village of Gokyo.

Gokyo is a small village in the Khumbu region (better known as the Everest region) of Nepal, sitting at 15,580 feet. The main attraction here are the turquoise lakes and variety of day hikes.

I stayed here on two occasions. The first time was on my trek of the Three Passes, and I had a terrible cold and cough. Gokyo was my oasis where I recovered from my sickness for three days before tackling Renjo La. The second time I went with my friend Kait after our Everest Base Camp trek. We stayed in Gokyo for four nights, celebrated Thanksgiving there, and did some day trips.

We spent Thanksgiving atop Gokyo Ri.
We spent Thanksgiving atop Gokyo Ri.

How to get to Gokyo:

Starting from Lukla, trekkers can reach Gokyo in 5-8 days depending on acclimatization and hiking pace. For travelers who want to go to the Khumbu region, Gokyo is an alternative to the busier Everest Base Camp trek. Personally, I found if preferable over EBC. However, if you would like to see both destinations you can hike over Cho La (17,780 feet) as a connector. Or you can hike down from EBC to Phortse, then up to Gokyo from there (or vise versa).

As I mentioned before, Gokyo is a stop on the Three Passes trek. After Cho La you can take a few days off here before heading over Renjo La.

Views of Everest.
Views of Everest.

My favorite things to do in Gokyo:

  • Hike up Gokyo Ri at 17,600 feet. It is a steep and difficult climb, but there are crazy beautiful views the entire way and you only have to carry a day pack. Going up for sunset is a popular activity, just don’t forget your headlamp for the hike down. On the flip side, Kait and I went up in the day time and had the peak to ourselves.
  • Gokyo village sets beside a tremendous lake, but there are still other lakes to hike to and explore. Do some day hikes.
  • Stay at Gokyo Namaste Lodge. They have delicious food, hot showers, soft beds, and they keep the yak-dung filled wood burning stoves going late into the night.
    View from Gokyo village.
    View from Gokyo village.
  • Miraculously, there’s a coffee shop and bakery open during peak seasons. It’s the perfect spot to drink an espresso, eat some chocolate cake, and read a book.
  • I had fun hanging out in the guest houses, making friends with other travelers, and playing cards.
  • Gokyo is a wonderful spot to just relax. It’s a difficult hike to get here and several days of trekking to get back to Lukla. It is also nice to get here, eat lots of food, and have a few chill days.

I was here in the autumn, so it was far too cold to going swimming in the lakes. A down jacket would be more appropriate than a swim suit.

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