How To Get To Gokyo Lakes?

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How to get to Gokyo Lakes

Love mountains? Want more lakes in your life? You won’t find much better than the Gokyo Lakes in Nepal. Here’s how to get there.

The Gokyo Lakes? Urgh, they’re gorgeous. Totally beautiful, absolutely serene, surrounded by indescribable Himalayan mountain scenes. But to experience that peace and tranquillity, you’re going to need to put a bit of effort in. 

So if you’ve just tapped “how to get to Gokyo Lakes” into Google, good news, you’re in the right place. On this page, we’ll take you through your options and run through the pros and cons of each of the different routes to the Gokyo Lakes. 

Where are the Gokyo Lakes? 

Nestled away in the Sagarmatha National Park lie the Gokyo Lakes. Not far from Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes make the perfect add-on to any EBC adventure

This system of 19 lakes lies between 4,700 and 5,000 metres above sea level, making them the highest freshwater lakes on the planet. There are six main lakes which definitely deserve a spot on your Bucket List: Thonak (the largest), Gokyo (also known as Dudh Pokhari), Gyazumpa, Tanjung, Ngojumba and Kyajumba. Each one just as stunning as the next!

Aside from being exquisitely beautiful, the Gokyo Lakes are unique in that they have higher oxygen levels even at such high altitudes. They get their fresh water from the Ngozumpa glacier, which is also the largest glacier in the Himalayas. Double whammy. 

Trekking to the Gokyo Lakes is an incredible experience that will take you through many stunning vistas, like Dudh Kosi, Namche Bazaar, Gokyo Ri and – of course – Everest Base Camp. So how do you get there? 

how to get to Gokyo Lakes

How to get to Gokyo Lakes by road

Jiri is pretty much the closest you can get to the Gokyo Lakes on roads. The drive from Kathmandu to Jiri takes around 8 hours by car or bus and then you can trek from there to the Gokyo Lakes, which takes around seven days. 

You can also save yourself a day’s trekking by getting a further bus to Bandar, but the roads are pretty questionable around there and that part of the journey will take you an extra five hours anyway. 

How to get to Gokyo Lakes by plane

Rather than taking the bus, we’d always recommend getting to Lukla by plane first before you start trekking. You’ll have better guide options here and can fly by plane straight from Kathmandu into the area before you start trekking. 

Flights from Kathamandu to Lukla do get cancelled because of weather fairly frequently. So it’s always best to allow at least an extra day in your itinerary in case you need to try again tomorrow. (We allow extra free days in our Gokyo Lakes trips, just in case.) 


How to get to Gokyo Lakes by helicopter

Okay moneybags, if you’ve got the dollar to charter a chopper, there are a handful of tour companies that can take you up for a stunning view of the lakes from above. From Kathmandu, you’ll fly 137km to the Gokyo Valley where you will indeed see the lakes in all their glory. 

But… Gokyo Lakes helicopter tours only last around four and a half hours in total and will set you back about $3,800. Ouch. For a fraction of the cost, you can enjoy the more rewarding trekking experience…

How to get to Gokyo Lakes from Lukla by trekking

Our favourite way to get to Gokyo Lakes is most definitely on land, with your best walking boots on and a porter and guide to help you get there. 

The Bucket List Company trek to Everest Base Camp has an add-on option which takes you onto Gokyo Lakes after you’ve reached Base Camp. We. Cannot. Recommend. This. Enough! If you’ve got the determination and fitness to be able to hike for five or six hours a day for two weeks, trekking from Lukla is the very best way to get to Gokyo Lakes. 

Genuinely a life-changing experience that will leave you wondering how you can return to real life from the peace and serenity of the Himalayas.

Here’s what our trekking schedule looks like once you’ve flown from Kathmandu to Lukla (flights are included in the trip): 

Day 1 – Lukla to Monjo

Day 2 – Monjo to Namche Bazar

Day 3 – Acclimatise with a ridge walk and enjoy Namche

Day 4 – Namche to Tengboche

Day 5 – Tengboche to Dingboche

Day 6 – Acclimatise in Dingboche with a hike up to Chukung (Amazing views of Ama Dablam here!)

Day 7 – Dinboche to Lobuche

Day 8 – Lobuche to Kala Patthew then Gorakshep

Day 9 – Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp!

Day 10 – Zonglha to Dragnak

Day 11 – Dragnak to Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo village

Day 12 – Gokyo to Gokyo Peak (you’ll see four enormous peaks here, Everest included!)

Day 13 – Dole to Namche Bazar

Day 14 – Namche back to Lukla

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How to get to Gokyo Lakes – permits

Finally, to trek to Gokyo Lakes you are going to need to have a permit first. You can either get a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) permit or a Sagarmatha National Park ticket.

If you’re trekking with a group like The Bucket List Company, your permits and tickets will be taken care of within the cost of your adventure, leaving you free to concentrate on all that natural beauty surrounding you. 

Trekking to Everest Base Camp and the Gokyo Lakes with The Bucket List Company

So there you have it; hopefully you’re no longer wondering how to get to Gokyo Lakes and you’ve got a better idea of how you’d tick these incredible wonders off your Bucket List (with the added bonus of Base Camp of course!). If you want any help there, check out the dates for our next few treks to Gokyo Lakes on the destination page here.

If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a buzz on 01769 309007.

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