Gokyo Lakes Travel Guides
Gokyo Lakes are a series of freshwater lakes located in the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal, near the base of Mount Everest. They are considered to be some of the highest freshwater lakes in the world, with the largest of the lakes situated at an elevation of about 5,000 meters above sea level.
Gokyo Lakes is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers, who come to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the region and to get a close-up view of Mount Everest. The trek to the lakes offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges, including Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, and Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest glacier in the Nepal Himalayas.
Apart from their natural beauty, the Gokyo Lakes also hold cultural and spiritual significance for local communities, who consider them to be sacred. The lakes are surrounded by several traditional villages and small settlements, offering trekkers the chance to learn about the culture and way of life of the people who live in this remote and beautiful region.
Best time to visit Gokyo Lake
The best time to visit Gokyo Lake is from September to November and from March to May. These months offer the clearest skies and the best weather for trekking, with less rain and snow. During the monsoon season from June to August, the trekking trails can be muddy and the visibility is limited. December to February can be very cold and snowy, making it difficult to trek to the lake.
Accommodation options around Gokyo Lake
Accommodation options around Gokyo Lake are quite limited, but there are a few options for those who want to experience the stunning beauty of this region. There are basic lodges and tea houses available, providing basic accommodation and meals. Most of these lodges are simple, with basic facilities, but they offer great views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. For those looking for a more comfortable experience, there are a few higher-end lodges available with better facilities and amenities. However, these lodges tend to be more expensive and may be difficult to reach during the high season. Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it is essential to book in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure a secure and comfortable stay while exploring the stunning Gokyo Lake region.
Religious Significance of Gokyo Lake
Both Hindus and Buddhists consider the Gokyo Lakes holy. During the Janai Purnima festival, which typically takes place in the month of August, about 500 Hindus take a holy bath in the lakes. The Gokyo Lakes receive 7,000 tourists yearly on average. The area is regarded as the home of the snake god, or "Nag Devata," and in the northwest corner of the lake is a temple dedicated to the Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva. Tradition has conserved fauna because people have the idea that the local wildlife and birds shouldn't be hurt.
Activities to do around Gokyo Lake
Trekking: Gokyo Lake is a popular trekking destination, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse.
Hiking: Hike around the lake to experience its beauty and serenity. Explore the surrounding villages, forests, and glaciers.
Photography: Capture the stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas and the turquoise waters of the lake.
Fishing: Gokyo Lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout. Try your hand at fishing and enjoy a delicious meal of fresh catch.
Kayaking: Rent a kayak and paddle across the calm waters of the lake for a peaceful and relaxing experience.
Meditation: The peaceful and serene environment around Gokyo Lake makes it an ideal place for meditation and yoga.
Culture: Explore the local culture and traditions of the Sherpa people in the surrounding villages.
Mountain Biking: Enjoy a thrilling ride through the high-altitude terrain of the Gokyo region on a mountain bike.
Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for rare and exotic wildlife species, including the Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and snow leopards.
Scenic Flights: Take a scenic flight over the lake and the surrounding mountains for a breathtaking bird's-eye view of the region.
Best views and scenic spots of Gokyo Lake
Gokyo Ri: A high-altitude viewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the entire Gokyo valley and its stunning turquoise-blue lakes.
Ngozumpa Glacier: One of the largest glaciers in Nepal, Ngozumpa Glacier is a sight to behold and provides a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the region.
Gokyo Village: A traditional Sherpa village located on the banks of the lake, Gokyo Village offers a chance to see the traditional lifestyle of the local people.
Renjo La Pass: A high-altitude pass that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest.
Fifth Lake: The fifth and largest lake in the Gokyo valley, Fifth Lake is surrounded by majestic peaks and provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
Cho Oyu Base Camp: The base camp for the Cho Oyu expedition, this spot provides a stunning view of the surrounding peaks and is a popular place for camping and trekking.
Thonak Tsho: The largest and deepest lake in the Gokyo valley, Thonak Tsho is surrounded by towering mountains and offers a serene atmosphere for meditation and relaxation.
Dudh Pokhari: A glistening high-altitude lake surrounded by lush green vegetation and snow-capped peaks, Dudh Pokhari is a must-see for nature enthusiasts.
Best food and drinks to try in the area
Sherpa cuisine: The traditional food of the Sherpa community in the Gokyo Lake area is a must-try. Some popular dishes include momos (steamed dumplings), chow mein, and dal bhat (lentil soup served with rice).
Yak cheese: Yak cheese is a staple food in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas. It is a unique and flavorful cheese that is rich in calcium and other nutrients.
Fried rice: Fried rice is a popular dish in the Gokyo Lake area, especially among trekkers and travelers. It is quick, filling, and can be made with various ingredients to suit different tastes.
Chiya (Tibetan tea): Chiya is a traditional tea that is popular in the Himalayan regions of Tibet and Nepal. It is a strong and flavorful tea that is made with tea leaves, butter, salt, and milk.
Hard Drinks: Raksi is a traditional alcoholic drink that is made from fermented millet. It is a strong drink that is popular among the locals and is typically served during special occasions and celebrations. Only intake hard drinks your body can handle it. Otherwise, it's not recommended.
Hot chocolate: For those who prefer a warm and comforting drink, hot chocolate is a great option. It is a rich and creamy drink that is perfect for warming up after a cold day of trekking or exploring the Gokyo Lake area.
Suggested trekking packages for visiting Gokyo Lake
Gokyo Lake and Renjo La Pass Trek: This trek offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including the panoramic view of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks. The trek takes you through the Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar, Dole, Machhermo, Gokyo Valley, and over the Renjo La Pass to reach the Gokyo Lake. The trek lasts for 11-13 days.
Gokyo Valley and Chola Pass Trek: This trek takes you through the remote and serene Gokyo Valley and over the Chola Pass. The trek starts from Lukla and takes you through Namche Bazaar, Phortse, Dole, Machhermo, and Gokyo to reach the Gokyo Lake. This trek lasts for 11-14 days and is also known as Gokyo Chola Pass trek.
Three Passes Trek with Gokyo Lake: This trek takes you through the three high mountain passes of Kongma La Pass, Cho La Pass, and Renjo La Pass along with a visit to the Gokyo Lake. This trek is also known as Everest Three Passes trek. The trek starts from Lukla and takes you through Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gokyo Valley. This trek lasts for 16-20 days.