Jiri Gokyo and Lukla trek is classic, popular and adventures trekking route in Nepal. The first part from Jiri to Lukla is less crowded. We explore the village life, cross many different ridgeline and the passes. We have chance to explore the culture, tradition and lifestyle of the world famous Sherpa ethnic community. The Trek to Gokyo offers an alternative to the traditional trek to Everest Base Camp. The mountains are more spectacular, the Ngozumpa Glacier is the largest in Nepal Himalaya and from a ridge above Gokyo, and four 8000m peaks (Cho Oyu - 8153m, Everest – 8848m, Lhotse – 8501m and Makalu – 8463m) are visible at once. We have also panorama views of Pumori (7165m), Changatse (7553m), Ama Dablam (6814m), Thamserku (6618m) and many other peaks.
We follow the same route which was followed by Tenzing Norgey Sherpa and Edmund Hillary made their successful summit to the Mt. Everest in 1953. We have beautiful sceneries through the foothills of the mountains from lowland to the glacial lakes, peaks, Himalayan floras and faunas, traditional villages and ancient Monasteries. The trekking starts from Shivalaya or Bhandar, the gateway to the Solukhumbu and follows the classic trail to Everest Base Camp and explores the Gokyo Valley.
Duration: 21 days
Maximum elevation: 5350m (Gokyo Ri)
Best season: October to December, February to May
Hotels: Very good
*Follow the classic Everest expedition route through hill villages.
*Lots of climbing as the route cross several ridges then descends to cross a river.
*An excellent trek that offers a good chance to acclimatize before heading to Gokyo.
*A high altitude trek to a valley east of Everest base camp.
*Excellent view of Everest and many other famous peaks.
*Less crowded than the Everest base camp trek.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m)
Our representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or She will brief you on the immediate arrangements and escort you to your hotel. The trip leader will hold a short briefing in the hotel regarding trek arrangements and general orientation to Kathmandu.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Today, we visit the most historical and Spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed in world heritage sites. We visit Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey temple), Bouddhanath, which is one of the largest Stupa in the world and the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath.
Day 3: Drive to Shivalaya (1810m / 8-9 hrs)
Drive from Kathmandu to Jiri (1905) takes about 7-8 hours by small vehicle. Jiri is situated at 187 km north-east of Kathmandu. We drive along the Arniko highway through Bhaktapur then leave Kathmandu valley and passing by the old Newar towns of Banepa, Dhulikhel and many other interesting small towns and villages. We can have an excellent panoramic view of the eastern Himalaya, including Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung and Dorje Lakpa. In Jiri (1905m), there is a cluster of shops and hotels. From Jiri the road is very rough and difficult drive to Shivalaya. Shivalaya (1810m) is a small Bazaar, there are several lodges and shops.
Day 4: Trek to Bhandar (2150m / 5 hrs)
From Shivalaya we cross a stream and steeply climb up to the Sangba danda (2150m). The trail climbs less steeply past several houses then become level and descends a bit. Crossing a small stream, the trail ascends steeply again in forests to another tea shop at Mabir, cross another stream then makes a final climb through forests. On the pass at 2705m, there is a long Mani wall. There is a sweeping view of the Likhu Khola valley and Bhandar, a large Sherpa settlement far below in a hanging valley. The settlement on the pass is called Deurali, there are several good lodges. From Shivalaya to Deurali it takes about 3 hrs. Just below the pass, we take the left hand trail towards Bhandar. It is steep descends for 1 hr to Bhandar. Bhandar is a beautiful place here are several good hotels, shops and camping ground.
Day 5: Trek to Sete (2575m / 6 hrs)
From Bhandar we descend through the terraced fields and dense forest to the Likhu Khola and then gently descend to Kenja (1600m), a small village inhabited by Newars and Magars. From Bhandar to Kenja it takes 2 and half hrs. Leaving Kenja, it starts steep up, the first part of the ascent is very steep, and then it becomes less. After about 2 hrs of climb, we arrive in Chimbu. Here is a trail junction, we take the right hand side trail and reach in Sete. Here is a small monastery, lodges and camping grounds. From Kenja to Sete it takes 3-4 hrs.
Day 6: Trek to Junbesi (2675m / 6-7 hrs)
We climb steeply for two hours passing through Dagchu and Goyem, small Sherpa settlements. Then, cross over the Lamjura Pass (3500m) through forest of Pine, Rhododendron, Magnolia, Birch and Maple. From Ste to Lamjura it takes 3 hrs. There is no view of Himalayan peaks from the pass, though there are glimpse of the top of some peaks on the way up. This is the highest point on the trek between Jiri and Namche Bazaar. After the pass we descend steeply to a small stream, enter open, grassy country and gentle descend to Tragdobuk (2860m), small settlement. The trail climbs to head of the valley then climbs over the ridge to point overlooking Junbesi. Away to the north, Numbur (6959m), known in Sherpa Shorong Yul Lha (God of the Solu) towers over the large green valley. We gently descend to Junbesi. There are several good lodges and camping ground.
Day 7: Trek to Nunthala (2440m / 6 - 7 hrs)
Below Junbesi we cross the Junbesi Khola. Just beyond the bridge there is a trail junction. We take left hand trail that leads steeply uphill in the trees and contours above some houses to the end of the ridge, there is an excellent view of Everest, Thamserku (6608m), Kantega (6779m), Kusum Kangru (6367m) and Mera peak. This is the first view of Everest on the trek. The path then levels out before gently descending to Ringmo Khola (2500m) then ascends to Ringmo. At Ringmo the trail joins the road from Okhaldunga to Namche bazaar (only the wide trail). Here are several lodges, Apple, Peaches gardens and grow many different fruits. Just beyond the Ringmo we pass Mani walls, it is a short ascent from Ringmo to Takshindo La (3071m), marked by large Chhorten. The trail descends through a Conifer and Rhododendron forest, alive with birds. The trail crosses several streams on wooden bridges just before it reaches Nunthala. Pass the paper factory and power house and enter the main part of the village where there are many shops and hotels.
Day 8: Trek to Khari Khola (2070m / 5-6 hrs)
From Nunthala we descend to the Dudh Kosi River for the early two hours passing through agricultural farming land and small Sherpa and Rai settlements. There is a long new suspension bridge. At the end of the bridge, turn left and climb steeply out of the river valley through fields of barley, wheat and corn to the village of Jubing. The people of this village are Rai. Beyond Jubing there is a short climb across a side valley and another climb to Churkha. We stay on the highest trail and make a long steep climb to the top of a spur at 2100m from here we can See Khari khola below us and the peak of Khumbila (5761m) at the northern end of the Dudh Kosi valley. Descend a bit on a sandy trail, and then it is a pleasant walk into Khari Khola (2070m). It is a large village and there are numerous lodges spread out.
Day 9: Trek to Pujyan (2720m / 6 hrs)
From Khari Khola we can see a cluster of buildings high above on the ridge in Bupsa. The trail descends from the village and crosses the Khari Khola on a suspension bridge, and then makes a steep climb to Bupsa. From Bupsa we climb up through the forested area to Kharte. Gradual ascend from Kharte brings us to on the ridge, where there are views of Khumbila and Cho Oyu (8153m). We keep climbing up to a cleft in the rock, then into another canyon before reaching a bamboo tea shop on the ridge at 2840m overlooking Pujyan. From the ridge the trail descends down to Pujyan Khola and cross it by bridge. A few minutes beyond the bridge we reach in Pujyan, a small Sherpa settlement surrounded by forest at 2720m. Here are several lodges.
Day 10: Trek to Phakding (2640m / 5 - 6 hrs)
The trail climbs up and down for about an hour passing through some tea shops and reach on a ridge. We continue climb up to another ridge that offers good view of the Khumbu region. From ridge we drop down to Surkhe at 2290m, there are some tea shops near the bridge. This is the bottom of Lukla. From Surkhe the trail climbs for about 15 minutes to a junction for Lukla and Khumbu. We go north up the steep canyon and cross the large stream that comes from Lukla then climb steeply up to Mushe. After the short steep climb we arrive in Chaurikharka. Around the corner, from the Chhortens we climb gently through fields at first then steeply to a small ridge at beginning of Chheplung. The trail from Lukla now joins the route and become more crowed. There are many good lodges in Chheplung. Leaving Chheplung we cross a stream, pass few lodges then descend steeply to the Thado Khola, cross it by suspension bridge. Here are some lodges and camping ground. The peak at the head of the valley is Kusum Kangru. Beyond the bridge the trail climbs a bit then contours around the ridge to Ghat (2530m), cross a ridge marked with painted Mani stones and climb little bit above the river, the trail climbs again to Phakding, here we cross the Dudh Kosi River. Here are many lodges, restaurants and camping grounds.
Day 11: Trek Namche Bazaar (3440m / 5 - 6 hrs)
After crossing Dudh Koshi at Phakding, we continue north up the Dudh Koshi valley, pass several new lodges and small villages, arrive in Waterfall. A short distance beyond the waterfall we have excellent view of Thamserku peak (6618m). Climb steeply over a rocky ridge then traverses high above the river to Benkar. Beyond Benkar we cross the Dudh Koshi River and follow a pleasant route along the river side then climb to Chumoa. From here we descend steeply into a big valley, cross a stream and climb out of the valley to Monjo. Just beyond the Monjo there is a Sagarmatha National Park check post, the National Park staffs check our permit. From here we enter into the National Park region. From the check post, we descend to a large farm, turn left at the cluster of buildings at the bottom of the hill, cross the Dudh Koshi river on high bridge and follow the west bank to Jorsale. After Jorsale, we follow the river for a while and cross the Dudh Koshi River, follow the river bank then make a steep climb near the confluence of Bhote and Dudh Koshi River then cross the Dudh Koshi on a suspension bridge. From the bridge, it starts long steep climb up to the Namche. After long climb up switchbacks through beautiful forest, there is a view point of Mt. Everest peering over the ridge of Nuptse. Leaving the ridge, the trail climbs less steep but still steady through Pine forest to Mishulung. From small stream we take the right, upper trail to reach the main street of Namche Bazaar. This is the main trade centre of Khumbu region and gateway to Mt. Everest. In the centre of the Namche the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) has information centre.
Day 12: Acclimatization Day
Today we hike to Syangboche (3720m), steep climb for little bit more than 1 hr to Syangboche airstrip. There are few hotels and teashops near the airstrip. We walk about 20 minutes further to Everest view hotel which provides excellent views of Everest and Ama Dablam. Or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar, here are government offices, ATMS, Internet cafes, many shops, restaurants, bakery and colorful market.
Day 13: Trek to Phortse Thanga (3680m / 5 - 6 hrs)
Climb the hill to Khumjung and descend to the east of the village down the broad valley leading to the Dudh Koshi. The Gokyo route turns north, climbing above the more frequent route to Tengboche and Everest base camp. We have a choice of routes in the beginning: the Yak trail which climbs gently but traverses a long distance around the ridge or the steep, staircase in a narrow cleft in a large boulder. Both trails soon join and continue towards a large Chhorten on the ridge top. This ridge descends from Khumbila, the abode of the patron of the Khumbu region. Numbur, the mountain that towers over Junbesi and the Solu region, is the protector god. At Mong there are few teahouses and a Chhorten. This is said to be the birthplace of the saint Lama Sange Dorje, the reincarnate lama of Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet who introduced Buddhism to Khumbu. The trail descends in a serious of steep switchbacks down a sandy slope to the Dudh Koshi, Phortse Thanga. There are several guesthouse and nice camping ground in Phortse Thanga.
Day 14: Trek to Machhermo (4470m / 5 -6 hrs)
We climb steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, Juniper and large conifers start appears as the elevation increase. The trail passes through many Kharkas, summer settlements used when Sherpas bring herds of Yaks to graze in these high pastures. We pass through the settlement of Tongba (3950m) to Dhole (4110m), there are few lodges. The views of Khumbila and Tawache are tremendous throughout the day. The trail is steep in most places as it climbs through scrub junipers to Lhabarma (4330m). We pass the Luza (4360m / few lodges) and continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river to Machhermo. There are several lodges and good mountain views.
Day 15: Trek to Gokyo (4790m / 5 hrs)
Beyond Machhermo the trail climbs a ridge for an excellent view both down the valley to Kangtega and up towards Cho Oyu. Beyond the ridge, the valley widens as trail passes Phangga at 4480m, the trail descends to the river bank and climb onto the terminal moraine of Ngozumpa Glacier. It is a steep climb up the moraine, switch backing alongside the stream to the first small lake. The trail now becomes almost level as it follows the valley past a second lake and finally up a boulder strewn path to Gokyo. Gokyo is a collection of stone houses and walled pastures on the shores of a large lake. Here are many lodges.
Day 16: Hike to Gokyo Ri (5357m) and back to Gokyo
For the best view, we climb Gokyo Ri, the small peak above the lake. We start to walk early in the morning and take 2 hrs to reach on the top. It offers panoramic view of Cho Oyu (8153m), Gyachung Kang, Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Cholatse (6335m) and Tawache. We can also make a trip up the valley to another lake or beyond fifth lake. We can see several small surrounding small peaks and Nangda La, the old trade route into Tibet. In the afternoon we come back to Gokyo.
Day 17: Trek to Phortse (3810m / 6 hrs)
The route to Phortse retrace the upward journey back to Phanga, then turns east and climbs across the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Nha (Na / 4400m), the only year settlement in the valley, there are some teahouses. The descend from Nha along the eastern side of the Dudh Koshi valley is straightforward, passing through Thare and Konar, making few ups and downs, the trail enters Phortse. There are lodges and camping grounds in Phortse.
Day 18: Trek to Namche (3440m / 5 – 6 hrs)
From Phortse we descend down to the bridge at Phortse Thanga and rejoin the original route from Khumjung. It is very easy to reach Namche Bazaar.
Day 19: Trek to Lukla (6 -7 hrs)
It is a long walk from Namche to Lukla but not difficult. From Namche we descend back to the Dudh Koshi. In Jorsale, we have to show our National Park permit again and check out. From Jorsale we follow the upward route as far as Chheplung then turns off above Chaurikharka towards Lukla. In Lukla there are many good standard hotels. We celebrate last night and farewell party with our crew of our trek.
Day 20: Fly back to Kathmandu
The early morning flight brings us in Kathmandu. We can rest and relax at hotel before lunch time. After lunch we can visit nearby shops in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods shopping. In the evening we have typical Nepali food with cultural program.
Day 21: Departure to your home
We will transfer you in international airport from your hotel.