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Gokyo Ri Trek: Seasonal Guide, Difficulty, and Permit Essentials

Gokyo Ri lies in the lap of the majestic Mt.Everest. It is typically ten days long, starting and ending at Lukla. Gokyo Ri has recently started becoming popular among trekkers but still has a lot for you to explore. The main highlights of the trek are the oligotrophic Gokyo Ri lakes and the Gokyo Ri peak. Among all the Gokyo Ri lakes, the main six freshwater lakes are listed as the world’s highest freshwater lakes. Namely, Dudh Pokhari (Lake in Nepali) AKA Gokyo Cho, Thonak Cho (Lake), Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngojumba Cho, and Phonak Cho.

However, in the Gokyo Ri trek, you will come across only three of them.

Some other highlights of the Gokyo Ri Trek

  1. Stunning views of the pearly white mountains like Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Kang, Mt. Everest, etc.
  2. Explore the wilderness of the Sagarmatha National Park
  3. Get to experience life at the highest village with human settlement at Gokyo village.
  4. Witness the awestruck beauty of the Ngozumpa glacier. 
  5. Opportunity to explore the colorful Sherpa culture and traditions.

How difficult is the Gokyo Ri Trek? 

The Gokyo Ri trek is quite difficult. Likewise, the maximum altitude one needs to trek during the trek is 5357 m. Therefore, trekkers are prone to suffer from mountain sickness/ altitude sickness.

Moreover, Gokyo Ri’s trail is very slippery and has a strenuous ascent. So, someone with no previous trekking experience would be better off keeping their distance from it. However, if you want to give it a go anyway, then make sure to go on shorter hikes and treks. This helps your body prepare for the trek. Also, lets you what you’re capable of.

In conclusion, the Gokyo Ri trek is not beginner-friendly but is doable with physical training.

Gokyo Ri trek throughout the year

If you are wondering if you can opt for the Gokyo Ri trek at any time of the year. Then, the answer is no. Unlike some low-altitude treks of Nepal, this trek can be fatally hazardous during some particular time of the year. Let us dive into the details, shall we?

Gokyo Ri trek during the Spring season

The Spring season in Nepal starts in March and ends in May. The beginning of March to early May is the most suitable time for the Gokyo Ri trek. The first reason is the stable weather. These moths, by far, have the longest days of the year. Plus, the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. Plus, the trails are exceptionally beautiful, with blooming rhododendrons all around. There is very little probability of the weather turning against you out of the blue. So, just like any other trek in Nepal, spring is the safest and best time for the Gokyo Ri trek.

Spring-Gokyo-lake-spring

Gokyo Ri trek during the Summer season /Rainy season

The rainy season, or the summer season in Nepal, extends from June to August. Every part of the country experiences heavy and continuous rainfall during this time. And Gokyo Ri is no exception to it. Continuous rainfall obstructs the view, taking away the essence of trekking. Likewise, rain makes the already slippery Gokyo Ri’s trial even less stable.

Moreover, the weather in the summer season is very unpredictable. It changes in a blink of an eye. There is a high probability of trials being damaged and blocked due to floods and landslides. Also, the sun is scorching hot on the days it doesn’t rain. And walking under such heat is not an easy job. The increasing heat with altitude gain, as you go up, is not a very good combination for your well-being.

Therefore, it is better not to plan your Gokyo Ri trek during the rainy season. However, if you do end up doing it around this time, make sure to be extra cautious.

summer-Gokyo-lake

Gokyo Ri trek during the Monsoon season / Fall season

Just like spring, the Monsoon season is perfect for the Gokyo Ri trek. It is very safe as well as has stunning visuals. After continuous rainfall during the summer season, the temperature starts to decrease. It is just cool enough to be able to trek for long hours. Moreover, the weather conditions are very stable. The skies are blue, and no gloomy clouds block the scenic views.

Similarly, during the beginning of the Monsoon season, trees are greener, and flowers are more vibrant. Most of the day’s weather is predictable; hence, it is safer to trek. The average temperature around this time ranges from 15 degrees Celsius to 23 degrees Celsius.

The cherry on top is the opportunity to celebrate Nepal’s two biggest festivals: Dashain and Tihar. Around October and September, Nepal is decorated with love and warmth for festivities. So, trekking in Monsson gives trekkers a chance to indulge in this auspicious celebration.

Gokyo Ri trek during the Winter season

The winter season in the Himalayas is brutally cold, with temperatures getting severely low. Just like the rainy season, the weather is not stable and changes faster than you imagine. You may be caught in snow storms and avalanches. If you get caught in one of these natural hazards, there is no escaping without emergency evacuation. It is very risky and can cause serious injuries.

Similarly, the trails of Gokyo Ri are covered with snow, which makes navigating directions difficult. The piled-up snow also makes it hard to maintain your balance while trekking. Moreover, the Gokyo Lakes are most likely to be frozen. Hence, you won’t get to see them for their true glory. Therefore, we suggest you not trek Gokyo Ri during winter.

Final say: the best time for the Gokyo Ri trek is during the Spring season and Autumn season.

winter-Gokyo-lake

What are the Permits required for the Gokyo Ri trek?

As the Gokyo Ri trek takes you to Nepal’s Everest region, there are two mandatory trekking permits:

  1. The Sagarmatha National Park Permit
  2. The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit
  3. Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit (only if you trek through Jiri route)

How much does the Sagarmatha National Park Permit cost?

The cost of the Sagarmatha National Park Permit depends on your home country. Foreigners, except SAARC nationalities, need to pay Nepali rupees 3000 per person. Citizens of SAARC countries are liable to pay 1500 Nepali rupees per person. Nepali citizens need to pay Nepali rupees 100 per person. Lastly, children under 10 years do not need to pay for Sagarmatha National Park Permit.

How much does the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit cost?

Foreigners must pay 2000 Nepali rupees per person for the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit. SAARC nationalities are charged 1500 Nepali rupees per person. Likewise, Nepali citizens need to pay 100 Nepali rupees per person. Lastly, just like the Sagarmatha National Park Permit, children younger than 10 are not liable for any payment.

How much does the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit cost?

You need to get this permit only if you trek through the Jiri trail. If you directly fly to Lukla from Kathmandu you do not need to obtain this particular permit. The cost for the Gaursishankar Conservation Area Permit (GCAP) for foreigners is 3000 Nepali rupees. Similarly, the cost for SAARC countries is 1000 Nepali rupees. Lastly, this permit is also free for children under 10.

Note: you can not pay in foreign currency to obtain any of the Gokyo Ri permits. So, make sure you have Nepali currency before applying for them.

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    Beautiful Highlights of Gokyo Valley Trek

    Gokyo Valley is the hidden gem in the Everest region. It is one of the best trekking destinations in the Himalayas. Exploring the highlights of Gokyo Valley on a trekking adventure bring a memorable experience to cherish. Although it goes in the Everest region, it doesn’t reach the base camp of the Everest. However, you can certainly integrate the Everest base camp with Gokyo valley.

    When you go to explore Gokyo valley only, the highest you will reach is the Gokyo Ri. The highlights of Gokyo valley offer any adventure trekker with an awesome experience. After starting from Lukla, the trek follows Dudh Koshi river valley higher towards the Gokyo valley.

    The trek to the Everest Base Camp via Gokyo valley is also a fascinating adventure.

    Let’s talk about some of the highlights of Gokyo valley trek.

    These highlights that we have mentioned here on the post come along the trail. The highlights make the trek to Gokyo valley truly an experience of a lifetime.

    Lukla Airport

    The first wonder of the adventure we come across is the airport at Lukla. This small airport is the main gateway to the Everest region. Landing at the small airstrip at Lukla is beginning of the adventure. The adventure becomes more thrilling when the magnificent mountains appear to our view. It is an incredible way to start the adventure.

    An amazing view of the mountains will welcome us at the Lukla airport to give a good start of the trek. Lukla airport is certainly one of the highlights of Gokyo valley trek.

    Dudh Koshi River Valley

    The trek goes along the Dudh Koshi river valley that gives us a wonderful experience. In addition to the flow of white water in the river, the valley boasts a rich nature. Trekking through the river valley is one of the most beautiful experiences of the trip. It feels serene to walk and enjoy the sound of the river through the valley.

    We also come across local settlements along the trail that give us some local lifestyle experience. The river valley walk contributes to making the trip one of the beautiful experiences of your lifetime.

    Namche Bazar

    Namche Bazar is the most happening place in the Everest region. It is the Sherpa capital in the region for various reasons. Staying in Namche is like staying in a city amidst the Himalayan surroundings. Namche Bazar is certainly one of the highlights of the Gokyo valley trek. The place is also an acclimatization point for trekking adventures in the Everest region.

    With hotels, lodges, restaurants, bar, bakery, ATM, etc Namche Bazar has everything that you wish for in the mountains. You will feel it lively in the middle of the mountains.

    Gokyo Lakes

    Another of the highlights of Gokyo Valley is the presence of glacial lakes in the hidden valley. The Gokyo Lakes are the charm and the heart of the region. These glacial lakes make the Himalayan valley an incredibly beautiful place to explore.

    When we explore the Gokyo Valley, we stay overnight on the shore of the third lake. The trek takes us past two beautiful lakes only to spend wonderful time at the third lake. We can also explore the beauty of the fourth and the fifth lakes on a day hiking adventure. If we take these lakes out from the region, we will miss a lot of things there.

    Gokyo Ri

    The highest elevation of the Gokyo Valley Trek, Gokyo Ri is an outstanding viewpoint above the Gokyo Lakes. Impressively standing at the elevation of 5,357 meters above sea level, Gokyo Ri brings the view of massive Himalayan range and glaciers in the surroundings. Although the hike up to the Ri is challenging, it is certainly worth going for.

    The view from the top is simply overwhelming that we forget everything. Once we reach the Gokyo Ri, we stay in awe and speechless. We simply breathe in the magnificence and breathe out all the challenging effort we made to reach the top.

     

    These amazing places along the trek make the adventure wonderful. There can be several other highlights of Gokyo valley but these ones mentioned on this post never miss to leave you in awe. These are the highlights that make your trip an experience of a lifetime.

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