Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo and Cho La: The trek to Everest Base camp is an all-time classic! This 19-day trip takes trekkers straight through the heart of the Himalayas. For many, the culmination of the trek is Everest Base Camp itself and Kala Pattar (5,545 m) with its stunning panoramic views of the highest mountains in the world, most notably Mount Everest (8,848 m). However, this trek includes many other highlights. Before reaching Base Camp, the trail diverts into the less-visited Gokyo Valley, with views of Cho Oyu (8,201 m), and a view from Gokyo Ri (5,360 m) of four 8,000+ m peaks and the Ngozumpa glacier. We cross into Everest Valley via the beautiful Cho La pass (5,350 m) to reach Base Camp. This is a challenging trek, but participants are rewarded with incredible views of the most impressive mountain range on earth.
The Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo and Cho La is based in teahouses where the guides will make sure each trekker has a comfortable bed in one of the local lodges along the trail. Porters carry the heavy packs, so you only need a daypack for any necessities (clothing, water and camera).
A typical day on the Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo and Cho La:
We usually aim for an early start. After you pack the bag for the porters, we will gather in the restaurant of the lodge and have breakfast. Breakfast is typically ordered the evening before, so that the lodge owner can plan everything. Remember she has typically only one stow, and has to cook breakfast for 20 or 30 people. During breakfast the guides will tell you a little bit about what to expect during the day. What plants and animals to look out for, and the name of the peaks that dominates the view of the day. It is also important to get a supply of water. Although you can buy water at the lodges, it is better bring water purification from back home, so the empty water bottles don’t pile up. Boiled water is also safe to drink. After breakfast the we start the days trekking. There will be sherpa guides both in the front and at the back to make sure no one gets lost. It is important that everyone walks in their own tempo. Around noon we stop at a tea house for lunch for about an hour. We typically reach the days destination lodge in the early afternoon, where you will be assigned you room. Again make sure to order dinner in good time. The rest of the afternoon is all about enjoying the view from the lodge and take pictures and maybe do a little shopping. Dinner is served on time and the rest of the evening you spend reading a book, or in conversation with you fellow trekkers, or playing cards.
Itinerary for Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo and Cho La:
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m)* and trek to Phakding (2,650 m) 3-4 hours
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450 m) 5-6 hours
Day 04: Acclimatization day maybe a small walk up the Thame valley. 2-3 hours
Day 05: Trek via Kunde (3,940 m) and Kumjung to Kyanjuma (3,620 m). 4 hours
Day 06: Trek to Dole (4,050 m) 5-6 hours
Day 07: Trek to Machermo (4,450 m) 3-4 hours
Day 08: Trek to Gokyo (4,800 m)
Day 09: Acclimatization in Gokyo. Early day climb to Gokyo Ri (5,360 m) 2-3 hours
Day 10: Trek to Dragnak (4,700 m) 2-3 hours
Day 11: Trek via Cho La (5,350 m) to Dzongla. 6-7 hours
Day 12: Dzongla to Gorak Shep (5,160 m). 5-6 hours
Day 13: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,300 m) and back to Gorak Shep 5-6 hours
Day 14: Early climb to Kala Pathar (5,545 m) trek to Dingboche (4,350 m) 6-7 hours
Day 15: Trek to Deboche (3,770 m) with an afternoon hike to Tyangboche (3,870 m)
Day 16: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450 m) 5-6 hours
Day 17: Trek to Phakding (2,650 m) 4-5 hours
Day 18: Trek to Lukla (2,800 m) 3-4 hours
Day 19: Fly to Kathmandu*
Day 20: Departure from Kathmandu
* Note that Lukla is a small airport located high in the mountains and is susceptible to poor weather. Flight to and from Lukla can be delayed for hours or even cancelled for safety reasons. This can impact the itinerary by 1 to 2 days.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Arrival by plane to Tribuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel. Already on the drive from the airport to the hotel, you will get a sense of what a chaotic and busy city Kathmandu is. If time allows you can do some sightseeing in and around Kathmandu such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath or Bodnath. You will be invited to dinner at a top restaurant in Kathmandu, where you will be briefed about the trip.
Day 2: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m) and trek to Phakding (2,650 m)
The day starts early. We will drive to the airport for our flight to Lukla. The airport is busy so follow the guides instructions. Hopefully the weather is clear and we have a pleasant flight with great views of the mountains. We land in Lukla, where there will be time to enjoy the worlds most spectacular airports, while the porters are packing the loads before we hit the trail. The first easy day runs through small villages like Choplung and Ghat. If weather permits we get our first great mountain view of Kusum Kanguru (6,370 m) just before Ghat. After Ghat the trail runs through an area with many mani stones which we remember to pass with our right side. We arrive at our first tea house in Phakding in the early afternoon.
Day 3: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450 m)
We start the day by following the Dudh Kosi river. Already at Phakding we cross the river on the first of many suspension bridges on todays trek.. Just after Monjo at Jorsale we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. Jorsale is the last village before the long climb to Namche Bazaar, so make sure to fill up the water supplies. The trail leads us right down to the river bank before a climb up the the days last spectacular suspension bridge high above the river just where the Bhote Kosi river and the Dudh Kosi river meet. From here we have gain 500 m in altitude to reach Namche Bazaar. If conditions allow we can get our first view of Everest approximately half way up the climb. It can be intimidating to be passed by porters carrying 30 kg loads, while being able to sing, smoke and smile at the same time. After approximately 3 hours we reach Namche Bazaar. The main city of the Khumbu district. In Namche Bazaar we start feeling the altitude.
Day 4: Acclimatization day
After the altitude gain we made yesterday we need to sleep another night in Namche Bazaar to acclimatize. In order to prepare for the altitudes we are going to meet in the next days it can be beneficial to make a short hike. We will make a short climb out of Namche to hike along the Bhote Kosi river towards Thame. Make sure to look out the tahr. By doing a short trek where we gain a lot of altitude we follow the walk high sleep low principle, that are the best way to overcome the altitude. After the short trek the rest of the day should be used for relaxation in the streets of Namche Bazaar.
Day 5: Trek via Kunde (3,940 m) and Kumjung to Kyanjuma (3,620 m)
We leave Namche Bazaar and starts the day by climbing up towards Kunde. The two villages Kunde and Kumjung has traditionally been separated with different religious affiliations. Kunde is known for its hospital founded by Sir Edmund Hillary that serves the 8,000 people in the Khumbu district. From Kunde we enter Khumjung where the Khumjung Secondary School is located. Found by Sir Edmund Hillary as well. After spending some hours just below 4,000 m. we descent to Kyanjuma high above the Dudh Kosi. From here we have a fantastic view og Ama Dablam (6,812 m) and Lohtse (8,516 m). This is a good place to see Danfe the national bird of Nepal.
Day 6: Trek to Dole (4,050 m)
After a short walk we leave the main trail and starts the climb towards Mong La (3,970 m). The trails climbs steeply in the beginning, but then it is a easy steady climb towards the pass. We take a break here to spend some more time at this altitude. We are going to spend our first night above 4,000 m so acclimatization is important. After Mong La the trail drops down to the Dudh Kosi river, where we will have our lunch in Phortse Drengka. After lunch the trail climbs up through rhododendron forest. This is a good place to watch out for musk deer. As we draw closer to Dole the rhododendrons are replaced by barberry and juniper. From now we are above the tree line. We spend the night in Dole.
Day 7: Trek to Machermo (4,450 m)
We leave Dole at start todays climb towards Machermo. The early part of the trail climbs steeply, so we take it easy. We make a stop at Lusa to have cup of warm tea. Up here there is no trees to stop the wind. After Lusa the trail climbs gently until we reach Machermo around lunch time. We can hike up the ridge behind the village, and descent down just in time for the altitude sickness lecture at the rescue post. Today we got our first look at Cho You (8,201 m) at the end of the Gokyo Valley. On the other side of the valley we have great views of Taboche (6,542 m) and Cholatse (6,440 m).
Day 8: Trek to Gokyo (4,710 m)
Today we trek to Gokyo located in the upper part of the Gokyo valley. There is only one tea house between Machermo and Gokyo. In the morning we walk right next to the river, and from here its a steep climb up to the edge of the moraine from the Ngozumpo glacier. After a while we pass a lake – The first of the Gokyo lake. After reaching the third lake we have reached Gokyo. We reach Gokyo for a “late” lunch, and the rest of the day should be spend on relaxing before tomorrow’s challenge Gokyo Ri (5,530 m). The climax of the Gokyo valley.
Day 9: Acclimatization in Gokyo. Early climb to Gokyo Ri (5,360 m)
Today is an acclimatization day so we walk high and sleep low again. Today bee will climb above 5,000 m. We start early to trek up Gokyo Ri. We are not quite acclimatized for these altitudes so we are quite breathless when we reach the summit. But hard work is worth it. Below the spectacular Ngozumpo glacier the longest glacier in the himalayas, and the view contains 4 of the worlds 8,000 m mountains. to the north west Cho You is rising, and to the north east you have great views og Everest, Lohtse and Makalu. The descent is easy and we spent the rest of relaxing in Gokyo and enjoying this truly magic place.
Day 10: Trek to Dragnak (4,700 m)
Today’s trek is short since we are still acclimatizing to the altitude. We descent to the second lake where there is a trial that leads towards the glacier. We follow the tail across the glacier to reach Tagnak. We relax and drink tea to prepare for the hard day tomorrow.
Day 11: Trek via Cho La (5,350 m) to Dzongla
The day starts early. There are no facilities along the road today, so we bring lots water and a lunch pack for the trip over the pass. It is a hard day, but the beauty makes all it all worth it. The guides will make sure the tempo is the right. The final ascent to pass is steep, but not technical. It can take as long as 5 hours to reach the pass which is swept in prayer flags. From the pass we descend over a snakk glacier to Dzongla with a fantastic view of Ama Dablam. After a couple of hours we reach Dzongla.
Day 12: Dzongla to Gorak Shep (5,160 m)
We leave Dzongla to join the main trail up to Base Camp. You know you have reached the main valley when the spectacular view of Nuptse (7,861 m). After 3-4 hours we reach Lobuche (4,940 m). After crossing Cho La everybody should be acclimatized and we can continue for 3 hours to reach Gorak Shep. This will shorten tomorrows trek to base camp with 3 hours. Nuptse and Pumori (7,161 m) dominates the view. We are now at 5,160 m and we can really feel the cold.
Day 13: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,300 m) and back to Gorak Shep
With it’s location 5,160 m Gorak Shep is located at the foot of Kala Patthar(5,545 m). We leave Gorak Shep and follow the trail along side the Khumbu Glacier. At one point the trail turns onto the glacier, and we follow the trail until we reach the Everest Base Camp located on the glacier. Everest is not visible from the base camp but you can get a close up of the Khumbu Icefall. In the climbing season Everest Base Camp is like a city. Notice you can hear the glacier moving under you. After eating our lunch pack we head back to Gorak Shep. You notice the Snow Cocks they are not shy, since they are not hunted.
Day 14: Early climb to Kala Pathar (5,545 m) trek to Dingboche (4,350 m)
We get up early to hike up to the summit of kala Patthar. The hike is not technical but the altitude is setting in. Once on the summit you have the most stunning view of the summit of Everest and all the surrounding peaks. You can also look down on all the tents in Everest Base Camp. The oxygen pressure on the summit of Kala Patthar is only half of what it is at sea level. After enjoying the view we head down to eat breakfast and head start descending towards Dingboche. Vi will stop at the memorial site raised for the climbers who died on Everest and the surrounding peaks just above Thugla.
Day 15: Trek to Deboche (3,770 m) with an afternoon hike to Tyangboche (3,870 m)
We continue descending the valley the first village we reach is Shomare. We stop for tea here to enjoy the warm sunshine, since Shomare is sheltered from the wind, and right next to Ama Dablam. When we descend further we reach Pangboche where we stop for lunch. We descend further and cross the river on a solid steel bridge. You can still see the remaining pieces of the old wooden suspension bridge. After the bridge we reach deboche. It is recommended to take an afternoon hike up to Tyangboche to visit the monastery and attend the afternoon ceremony.
Day 16: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450 m)
We start the day by doing the climb up to Tyangboche and once again enjoy the spectacular view the monastery has of the roof of the world. After Tyangboche we have a long descent all the way down to the river we cross the river and start the long climb up to Kyanjuma where we have lunch. After Kyanjuma to 1.5 to 2 hours hike to Namche Bazaar.
Day 17: Trek to Phakding (2,650 m)
We descent from Namche Bazaar and exit the Segarmatha National Park and hike back to Phakding.
Day 18: Trek to Lukla (2,800 m)
We have an easy trek to Lukla which we reach around lunch time. We can celebrate the end of a fantastic trek with a cup of Starbucks coffee, or a game of pool billard. Lukla has everything to offer.
Day 19: Fly to Kathmandu
We fly back to Kathmandu the rest of the day you can enjoy the city, and get the last shopping done. Again you will be taken to dinner at a top restaurant in Kathmandu to enjoy Nepalese cuisine.
Day 20: Departure from Kathmandu
You will be transferred to the Tribhuvan International Airport in time for you flight home. Hopefully with the memories of an adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.
Please contact us for cost information.
The price includes the following services:
- Airports pick up and transfer by private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Accommodation in Kathmandu on twin/triple sharing basis
- Guided Kathmandu city tours inclusive of vehicle transfer
- World Heritage sites entrance fees during sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- Local transportation (when applicable)
- Accommodation during the trek at guest houses/lodges on twin sharing basis
- Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with a cup of tea or coffee during the expedition
- A highly experienced and licensed guide approved by the government of Nepal and porters during the trek and their transportation, food, accommodation, salary, equipment and insurance coverage
- Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS)
- Trekking Permit fees
- Government taxes
- Service charge
The price does not include the following:
- Any meals in Kathmandu
- Rescue & travel insurance, trip cancellation costs, accident or health emergency, evacuation, loss, theft or damage to baggage and personal effects. We strongly advise buy a travel insurance policy
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, cold drinks, bottle or boiled water, hot shower etc)
- Tips for guides and porters