Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty

When I say “Gokyo lake trek and the difficulties”, the first thing I should mention is the altitude. You’ll conquer 5357 meters at Gokyo Ri while doing this trek.

But it’s not just the altitude, there are many other factors that bring the difficulty to Gokyo lake trek. Treks in Nepal are more exciting because of the thrill factors.

Gokyo Lake is a wonderful trekking destination in the Khumbu region. The trek is famous for the tranquil high altitude lakes in the Gokyo valley. Gokyo Ri, the highest point on the trek is the most scenic view of Gokyo valley, the lakes, and the mesmerizing Himalayan panoramas.

Read the article to know more about how difficult is it to trek to the Gokyo lakes.

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Altitude and Altitude Sickness

Altitude is a factor that brings the major difficulty in the Gokyo lake trek. The highest altitude in the Gokyo Ri trek is 5357 meters at Gokyo Ri. The trek starts in Lukla, 2860 meters. Even this attitude is sufficient enough to cause altitude sickness to some trekkers.

From Lukla, the trek continues through Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3438 m) – Dole (3680 m), Macchermo (4470 m), Gokyo valley (4800 m), and finally to the Gokyo Ri (5357 m).

Ascending and gaining altitude is something that should be done carefully. Altitude sickness can kill, if not taken seriously.

So, never ignore the symptoms of altitude sickness. You should stop trekking further and return back to a lower and safer altitude. You might ask what causes altitude sickness in Gokyo trek? Well, it is the less air pressure and the low oxygen content in the air at higher altitudes.

Anyone can be a victim of altitude sickness. No age limit, physical fitness or gender preferences can mark a trekker safe. Altitude sickness can happen to anyone.

Now, what you can do to prevent altitude sickness? The formula is a steady pace of walk and lots of water to hydrate your body regularly. You cannot prevent the sickness from happening once you start getting the symptoms. But you can definitely prevent it from getting worse. So, do not let the condition worsen after the symptoms appear.

Tips: Carry medicine for altitude sickness: Diamox or ibuprofen tablets. One thing you should remember, avoid drinking alcohol while you’re on the trek.

Total Distance and Per Day Walking Hours

If you ask someone who has already done Gokyo lake trek, they will definitely mention that the total distance on Gokyo lake trek was one of the difficulties.

Taking a round trip to Gokyo lake from Lukla, you will cover a total distance of 92 kilometers. The Everest base camp Gokyo lake trek is 10 or 11 days long in general. This means you’ll have to cover 9 to 10 kilometers every day on the trek.

Walking 5 to 6 hours a day isn’t a really big thing during easy treks like Poon Hill trek, Langtang Gosaikunda trek, or others. But, 5 to 6 hours in Gokyo trek is a big deal. The difficulty isn’t only about the tough trekking trail but the altitude gain is even huge.

Also, the per day walking hours aren’t the same for everyone. It solely depends on your walking speed and capacity. Some days are challenging: really long days, challenging trails, and large altitude gain. But, not all days are equally challenging. There are some days when the trails are mostly flat and the altitude gain isn’t so huge.

Gokyo lake trek, in terms of difficulty, is less challenging than Gokyo lake trek with Everest base camp. The total distance adds up to a total of 130 kilometers. The difficulty level rises with the addition of total distance and also the duration of the trek.

Tips: If it is your first time trekking, we suggest you go for extended Gokyo Lake Treks. When the trek has more days, the walking duration and distance per day decreases. Also, the altitude gain will be more gradual. Doing 15 to 18 days Gokyo lake trek will have adequate acclimatization days and you will feel more comfortable trekking.

gokyo lake trek

Tough Terrains Vs Physical Fitness

If you haven’t done any hikes or treks till now, start doing some now. You have to be ready to go trekking on the tough and remote landscapes in Khumbu. The trekking trails in Everest aren’t easy. You will hardly see the flat surfaces. Be ready to walk over the dusty trails.

Also, you’ll see the steep trails that you might have never done in life. The difficult terrains at the Himalayas demand good physical fitness. You cannot do the trek if you are not strong enough to combat the tough terrains.

Now, what can you do to boost your physical endurance? If you can reschedule your day to day life, jobs, or studies, make time for the gym. You can hit the gym and do some endurance training. Also, you can do jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. Aerobic exercises not only build your physical endurance but also help you against altitude sickness.

Heavy Luggage

Trust me, you will have a really difficult time trekking in Gokyo lake if you burden yourself with heavy luggage. The trails are long. And there are many difficult trails. You can hardly imagine having a good time trekking carrying a heavy load on your back.

In longer treks like Everest Gokyo valley trek, huge and heavy luggage can be really distracting. You will have longer trekking duration and difficult trekking trails on your way to Gokyo Lake. Thus, it is hard to keep your stamina high even when you are not carrying your luggage.

So, you should remember to fill your backpack with the trekking essentials only. Pack that what is important. Do not try to overload your luggage with unnecessary and bulky items. Even if some items are lightweight and aren’t as important, you should avoid taking them.

A suggestion to you on heavy luggage would be “Hire a porter”. Taking a porter will reduce the trek difficulty due to heavy luggage to a great extent. When you hire a porter, you no more have to worry about how heavy your luggage is. You can simply concentrate on your trek and enjoy it to the fullest.

A piece of good luggage for Gokyo lake trek would consist of some crucial items. Some of them are thermal underwear, appropriate clothing, good quality trekking shoes, warm hat/cap, gloves, polarized sunglasses, water bottle with filter, extra batteries for your electronic gadgets, medicines, first aid, and toiletries.

Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulties in Peak Trekking Seasons

The most popular time of the year for trekking in Gokyo lake is during Autumn (September, October, November) and Spring (March, April, May) in Nepal. These times are the times when the Khumbu region gets a lot of trekkers.

The two seasons: Autumn and Spring have similar weather. Also, the rush of trekkers in the trekking trails is also similar in these seasons. This is the reason why the difficulties during these seasons are similar.

Some of the difficulties that you might face while trekking to Everest base camp and Gokyo lakes are:

  • Crowded trails. A peace seeker wouldn’t love the loud and crowds on the Gokyo lake trekking trail in Autumn and Spring. There will be a greater number of trekkers trekking at this time of the year.
  • Difficulty in finding accommodation and food. There is limited number of teahouses in the Everest Gokyo lake trekking trails. Since the trek route receives quite a lot of visitors this time, you might have difficulty in finding good places to stay. It won’t be so tough if you go with a guide who’ll arrange for beautiful accommodation.
  • Sometimes, even in the best seasons weather can be tough. So, it is always good to keep updated about the weather, especially at the higher altitudes.

Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulties in Off-Trekking Seasons

Summer (June, July, August) and Winter (December, January, February) are the less popular seasons for trekking in the Everest region and the Gokyo Lakes. The rogue weather during these seasons is the major factor responsible for trekking difficulties.

Gokyo Lake Trek DIfficulties in Summer (Monsoon)

The weather and temperature during summer and winter are quite the opposite. Summer is the hottest time of the year. However, because of monsoon colliding with summer, the season is quite difficult.

  • In the lower regions, the trails will be wet and slippery. The terrains are too difficult to walk when it is slippery.
  • Also in summer, there will be so many bugs like leeches highly active on the trail. You have to think of them too if you are going in summer.
  • The temperature at the lower regions can be hot. You have to take care of your body. Make sure you drink plenty of water. It will prevent your body from dehydration and will also help against altitude sickness.

Gokyo Lake trekking in Winter

gokyo lake trek

Winter, being the coldest one is a really difficult time for trekking in the Gokyo lakes. You can imagine what winter would be like at the higher altitudes. Nothing but snow everywhere. The settlements dipped in snow, and the Gokyo lakes are frozen. Also, the Gokyo Ri altitude is really high.

Now, let’s move onto some of the trek difficulties that you might be facing while doing the Gokyo lake trekking in Khumbu.

  • The weather is tough. Winter is very cold. You will have to wear warm gear, in fact, really warm gear. This means you are going to have heavy luggage, of course. Make sure you protect your body from the cold.
  • In winter, there are huge risks of snowstorms, avalanches, and other hazards on the trail. Especially when you trek higher. Also, it is really difficult at the highest altitudes, Gokyo Ri.
  • At higher altitudes, there will be snow everywhere on the trail. You might have difficulty to trek. Make sure you wear snow boots with crampons. You cannot walk without them.

Despite the trek difficulties, there are some thrill-seekers who go trekking to Gokyo lakes and Everest base camp in the off-seasons. Well, it needs extra courage, at first to decide to go. The decision is tremendously followed by tons of preparation and plans.

If you are trekking during these times, make sure you do not go alone. Go with a guide and/or a porter.

A Guide: Fewer Difficulties While Trekking

A guide is a caretaker and a wonderful companion while you go on your trek. When you are trekking with an experienced guide, half of your trek difficulties get solved. Your guide will always make sure that you are safe.

They have experiences about the trekking trails. They’ll know what to do when there are odds. You won’t have to look at your Gokyo lake trek map repeatedly. They’ll lead you through every obstacle and challenge while explaining to you about the trek route.

Another perk of going with a guide is you don’t have to worry at all about where you’ll be staying. They have links with the teahouses and lodges. They’ll book them before you reach your resting spot.

Enjoy your trek. If you want to hire a guide, let us know. We have experienced guides. We will arrange one for you.

Are you ready to see the incredible dusks and dawns beyond the majestic Himalayas in Nepal? Trek with us to the enchanting trekking destinations in Nepal. We’d love to take you on amazing treks and tours in Nepal.

For more information, contact us. We will try to help solve all your queries. Have a good time!

Related Treks:

Contact us if you need any information regarding treks.

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