Khumbu or Everest region, a part of Solukhumbu District, is located in the Northeast of Nepal. Generously gifted with natural and cultural wonders, it has 4 of the highest peaks in the world; Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu and Lhotse, and is home to the popular Himalaya tribe of Sherpa.
Gokyo valley is a scenic region located to the west of Khumjung (Classic Everest trek route). It has abundance of glaciers, high passes, glaciated lakes, mountains and Buddhist arts and architecture. Scarcely populated compared to other regions of Everest, it adds up to the charm of trek with its picturesque locations.
Gokyo valley lies towards the west of the Khumbu region. It’ll take additional 5 days to explore Gokyo in detail, and can be done before or after making to Everest base camp.
One of the route leading to the base camp, many trekkers chose Gokyo trail over classic Khumjung and Jiri trail, to explore wilderness of the hidden region of Himalaya. It is a predominantly Buddhist region and one of the highest settlement in the world. During winter, the region receives huge snowfall and lakes are frozen, however during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon, it comes alive.
One can enjoy the panoramic view of some of the highest peaks of Nepal; Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchenjunga, from the valley.
#1 Gokyo Ri
Gokyo Ri or Gokyo Peak 5,357 m (17,575′) on the west side of the Ngozumpa glacier is the largest glacier in Nepal and reputed to be the largest in the whole Himalaya.
It is a fairly popular trek route used by limited trekkers, some even consider climbing the peak. Technically, easier to climb, Gokyo Ri requires essential climbing techniques along with an experienced climbing guide.
#2 Dudh Pokhari
Dudh Pokhari (106 acres) is the main lake out of 19 Gokyo lakes. The village of Gokyo lies on the eastern shore of the lake. It is considered a holy lake by many Hindus and Buddhists. The lake freezes hard during Winter, when people can actually walk over it. The region comes alive during Pre-monsoon and Post-monsoon seasons (Favorable time for trek).
3 of the other largest lakes in the region are; Thonak Cho (160.8 acres), Gyazumpa Cho (72 acres) and Tanjung Cho (41.9 acres). All of these lakes are situated at the elevation of 4,700-5,000 m (15,400–16,000′).
Gokyo lakes feed from various sources, such as; seepage from the Ngozumpa glacier, a stream coming from the Renjo La pass from north-west and another stream originating from the Ngozumpa glacier in the east.
#3 Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek
Everest base camp trek is one of the most desired treks the world. Leading to the base of Everest through the ethnic villages of popular Sherpa inhabitants, it receives second most trekkers in a year (After Annapurna trek).
Gokyo valley makes an alternative trail to the base camp. Trekkers can divert from the classic trail towards Gokyo valley and rejoin the trail via Cho La Pass to Khumjung.
∞EBC via Gokyo Map∞