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Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek

Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek

Trip at a Glance

  • Country

    Country: Nepal

  • Trip grade

    Trip grade: Strenuous

  • Destination

    Destination: Everest region

  • Activities

    Activities: Trekking/Hiking

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation: Hotels/Lodges

  • Meals

    Meals: Full-board on trek

  • Transportation

    Transportation: Private vehicle/Plane

  • Maximum altitude

    Maximum altitude: Kala Patthar (5550m)

  • Group size

    Group size: 2 pax min

  • Best Season

    Best Season: Mar-May, Sep-Nov

Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek is an adventurous trekking route in the Everest region of Nepal. It combines the Gokyo Valley and Cho La Pass, which are two popular attractions in the area.

The trek begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, followed by a trek to Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Everest region. From Namche, the trek continues towards Gokyo Valley, passing through beautiful Sherpa villages, alpine forests, and suspension bridges.

Gokyo Valley is renowned for its turquoise lakes, stunning glaciers, and panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest. The highlight of the trek is Gokyo Ri, a viewpoint that offers a breathtaking panorama of the world's highest mountains, such as Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.

After exploring Gokyo Valley, the trek continues towards Cho La Pass, which is a challenging yet rewarding part of the journey. The pass involves steep ascents and descents, but it rewards trekkers with incredible views and a sense of achievement.

Beyond Cho La Pass, the trek joins the classic Everest Base Camp route, where trekkers can visit Everest Base Camp itself and Kalapatthar, another famous viewpoint. The trail then descends to Tengboche Monastery, a spiritual and cultural hub in the region, before heading back to Lukla for the return flight to Kathmandu.

Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek offers a unique and adventurous experience, combining the beauty of Gokyo Valley, the thrill of crossing Cho La Pass, and the iconic views of Everest. It is a popular choice for trekkers looking for a less crowded alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp trek.

Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek Highlights

  • Discover the unique culture & tradition of the “Sherpas”.
  • Explore  Namche Bazaar, the central hub of the Khumbu region.
  • Witness the tallest mountains in the world with the dazzling turquoise lakes of Gokyo.
  • Experience a thrilling hike to Kalapathar offering stunning views of Everest, Cho Oyu & Makalu.
  • Enjoy spectacular panoramas from the summit of Gokyo Ri, showcasing the majestic beauty of the Himalayas.
  • Witness the captivating Ngozumpa Glacier in all its glory.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 02: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2840m/40min) and trek to Phakding (2610m/ 3-4 hrs)
Day 03: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m/5 - 6hrs)
Day 04: In Namche Bazaar - Rest/Acclimatization Day & Hike to Hotel Everest View (3880m/3-4 hrs)
Day 05: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Dole (4110m/4-5 hrs)
Day 06: Trek from Dole to Machhermo (4470m/3-4 hrs)
Day 07: Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo (4790m/5-6 hrs)
Day 08: Excursion day at Gokyo; ascent to the Gokyo Ri (5357m/5-6 hrs)
Day 09: Trek from Gokyo to Tangna (4700m/4-5 hrs)
Day 10: Trek from Tangna to Lobuche (4940m) via Cho La Pass (5350m/6-7 hrs)
Day 11: Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (5140m) / Hike to to Everest Base Camp (5364 m) & back to Gorakshep (8-9 hrs)
Day 12: Trek from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5550m) to Pheriche (4240 m/8-9 hrs)
Day 13: Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3440m/6-7 hrs)
Day 14: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2840m/5-6 hrs)
Day 15: Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu (1400m/40min)
Day 16: Final departure

Upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you need to accomplish your entry/visa formalities. You will then be received by a representative from Marron Treks and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Welcome drinks will be served at the hotel, followed by a quick pre-trip meeting. You can then spend the remaining time resting or as you please. In the evening you can stroll around the vicinity of your hotel just to get the feel of this wonderful city.

Hotel

We take an early morning flight Lukla after breakfast. In about 45 minutes, we land at the Tenjing Hillary airport in Lukla, picturesquely surrounded by mountains. These 45 minutes on board is going to be the best aerial journey you have had so far. We now meet up with our trekking crew and get acquainted to each other. After some unpacking and arrangements, we then proceed for our trek through the village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. Chaurikharka School, Chablung, Tharo Koshi, Ghat etc are some of the sites that entice you along the trail. On reaching Phakding, we have our lunch and then if interested, can go on a short hike to the nearby monastery. This could help getting acclimatized to the high elevation.

Note: Flights from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa may be rerouted to Manthali during the peak trekking seasons of March, April, May, September, October, and November due to increased air traffic congestion. Manthali is 5 hours drive from Kathmandu and we need to start at 12.30am for  Kathmandu/Manthali drive to catch the flight to Lukla from Manthali. During December, January, February, June, July, or August, you will experience a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trail leads us along the Dudh Koshi river, through the pine forests and many suspension bridges, including the very famous, Hillary Suspension Bridge. The route then ascends straight up beyond a waterfall, from where we get a breathtaking view of Mt. Thamserku (6618 m). Advancing further, we come to a check post which also happens to be the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park. As we continue our ascent through the forests and bridges, we approach the confluence of Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi Rivers. Trudging up further for about 2 hours brings us to Chautari (resting place), wherefrom we can relish the splendid sight of the Mt. Everest, almost belittling the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Passing through one last settlement, the Jorsale village, we ultimately reach Namche Baazar in about 2 hours. Namche Bazaar is the administrative center of the Khumbu region and is also the gateway to the Mount Everest.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Today is the rest day at Namche Bazaar for acclimatization and to cope with the rising elevation. You can go for a side excursion to Hotel Everest View (3880m) which is considered the hotel located at the highest point on earth. From its balcony, you can have the first glimpse of Mt. Everest and other world’s highest peaks sipping tea/coffee. Then it’s back to your hotel in Namche Bazaar. In the evening, you can explore Namche, talk with the locals, and meet many other trekkers and mountaineers from around the world.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We take the uphill path via Khumjung and arrive at Sansa. As we continue on the level trail above the Sansa junction, the path then crosses the lower slopes of Mt. Khumbila (5765m), which seems to hood up imposingly above Namche.  Initially the path climbs up a ridge and the later contours around it taking us towards a trivial looking “Mong La” pass (3975m). Withstanding the piercing mountain winds, we descend towards the Dudh Koshi River and arrive at Phortse Thenga. From here, Dole just a pleasant hike away through the dense clusters of pines and rhododendrons.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

From Dole, the trek resumes with a steep ascent out of the forest to a barren hillside and continues past a chorten. The trail takes us past a seasonal village of Lhabarma and then climbs gently past a large chorten to the settlement of Luza. The ascent continues over a series of hummocks along the side of valley until we eventually arrive at another chorten and the fluttering prayer flags at Machermo, a small settlement beautifully tucked into the wide bottomed valley below the terminal moraine of Ngozumpa Glacier.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Kissing goodbye to the foothills of Machermo, we enter the bleak tundra of the high mountains and then immediately make a steep ascent up a scrubby slope to reach a hilltop with a cluster of chortens.  Our walk now continues along a ridge, enjoying the views of Mt. Kantega (6685m) and Cho Oyu (8201m) until we arrive at a tiny settlement of Pangka. From here, the trail first drops and then climbs along the stone steps to a rocky cleft, releasing us to the lateral moraine of Ngozumpa Glacier. Within the confinement of this crumbling hummock of sand- gravel and the mountain wall, there are six sacred lakes.  We cross a bridge and then pass by one of the six lakes- Longponga Tso. The trail stretches across a barren landscape with imposing boulders outgrown by lichens.  However, the sight of the funky rhododendrons will be a good retreat. We then pass by the second lake “Taboche Thso” and eventually arrive at the picturesque village of Gokyo, boisterously poised on the shores of the third lake called “Dudh Pokhari”. The village offers some of the best excursions in the Everest region. We will have an extra day halt here just to make sure that we don’t miss out anything.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The Gokyo Ri is often reckoned as the “Kala Patthar of Gokyo” in terms of its fame. This imposing stony monticule, located at the north of the Dudh Pokhari is an exclusive vantage point that offers jaw-dropping panorama of the Everest milieu. Reaching the summit necessitates a two hours’ nerve racking climb. But once you are at the top, holy guacamole!!…..you will be spellbound to witness all the bigwigs of the Everest region, viz. Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cholatse and of course, the mightiest of them all-the Mt. Everest,  as intimidating and immortal as ever. While the village appears like a tiny dot on the moraine, the massive “Dudh Pokhari “ lake radiates its turquoise blue spectrum, almost putting you in some kind of hypnotic trance. After this indulgence in the grandeur of Gokyo, we meticulously descend the ridge and walk back to our teahouse. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The two days of rejuvenating excursions at the fascinating vicinity of Gokyo, we now advance to accomplish one of the most desired ventures of this trip, crossing the very famed Cho La Pass. But for that we have to first get to Tangna. We head on for about 3-4 hours’ walk towards the south-east from Gokyo across the Ngozumpa Glacier. Since our tomorrow’s trek constitutes a long walk coupled with crossing the Cho La, we limit today’s walk up to Tangna. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

With high spirits we begin the mission towards the Cho La Pass. The high elevated trail could make any one breathless. On conducive weather conditions you don’t have to be specially equipped to cross the pass, but yes, warm clothes are imponderable. Most often than not, the pass seems to be covered with snow, so mountaineering gears and equipments like ice-axe and ice-hammer are necessary. The pass is  not suitable for heavily loaded yaks or porters. From the top of the pass, our trail skirts around the ridge and then drops to the village of Dzongla. By now we will already have walked about 5 hours. A downhill walk for another 2 hours will eventually bring us to Lobuche.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Today is the big day as you will be attending Everest Base Camp, the foot of Mt. Everest. You will start first with 3 hours hike to the small village of Gorekshep passing over boulders and rough terrain.
Then hike to Everest Base Camp and upon arrival feel the majesty of the base camp, walk over the Khumbu Glacier from where Everest summiters start their journey to the top. Celebrate your achievement with your trek guide and other members at the base camp. From the base camp enjoy views of Khumbu Icefall, Khumbu Glacier, Nuptse, Pumori, Khumbutse, and a little bit of Everest. Afterwards, back to Gorekshep for the overnight stay.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Start early today to catch the sunrise over the Himalayas from Kala Patthar which is the most popular Himalayan viewpoint in Khumbu providing 360-degree Himalayan panorama including Mt. Everest.

The hike up to Kala Patthar is not that long but steep, rocky, and very challenging. Upon reaching its top you will be rewarded with the most spectacular Himalayan panorama of the peaks like Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Pumori, and more.

Afterwards, retrace your way back to Gorekshep for breakfast then descend to Pheriche. It’s a rugged trail to Pheriche and passes along Lobuche and Thukla Pass. As you descend the ridge of Thukla Pass, you will cross a short bridge over a glacial stream to arrive at Pheriche.

Pheriche is a small village with hotels, teahouses, and yak pastures. Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic is also at Pheriche. This voluntary non-profit clinic serves as a rescue station for trekkers and mountaineers in the Himalayas

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We make our way back to Sherpa Town in Namche, which involves a lengthy trial. However, the breathtaking views of the mountains persist, so make sure to pause at intervals and soak in the beauty of the Everest region.

Relishing the majestic mountains, we descend gradually through various communities, such as Orsho, Somare, Pangboche, and Tengboche, until we reach Namche. 

Upon reaching Namche, indulge in a refreshing hot shower and unwind for the day. If you desire, you can ask your guide to take you to local cafes, where you can relish delicious baked cookies or savour your favourite coffee.

Tonight, enjoy a cosy night at a guesthouse, reminiscing about the base camp as you browse through your photos and videos. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

As you make your way down from the breathtaking mountain views behind you, you will descend to Lukla. The journey takes you through Jorsale, Monjo, and Phakding, showcasing the lush forests and magnificent mountainous terrain that will keep you captivated throughout the trek. Make sure to savour the final moments of gazing at the massive peaks and cherish the end of your Everest hike.

In the evening, it’s time to celebrate the successful completion of your Himalayan adventure with your crew and teammates. Take this opportunity to express gratitude to everyone, especially the porters who tirelessly carried your belongings. A festive atmosphere will envelop the hiking crew as you join the porters and guides in singing, dancing, and enjoying local brews. Before the night ends, consider offering tips as a gesture of appreciation to your porter, guides, and assistant guides, as you bid farewell to most of the porters and assistant guides in Lukla. 

Tonight, as you lay down to sleep, let the memories of Everest fill your dreams, knowing that you accomplished an incredible feat.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Bid farewell to the Everest region and the mountain, and take again the trans-Himalayan flight back to Kathmandu to Lukla. The Himalayas slowly fade from your plane window screen and finally land at the airport in Kathmandu. Then drive to a hotel in Kathmandu. The rest of the time is free to explore or simply rest at your hotel.

Hotel
Breakfast/Dinner Included

Unless you would want to extend your trip and try out some of our other adventurous packages like Bungy Jumping, Mountain Biking, Jungle Safari, White Water Rafting, Golfing & Paragliding etc., this will be your last day in Nepal. A representative from Marron Treks will escort you to the airport for the final departure to your homeland. Have a safe flight back home. Please let us know about your desire for trip extension so that we can make the necessary arrangements

Breakfast Included

What is included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop services.
  • Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu with breakfast.
  • Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu round airfare.
  • All trekking accommodations with Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at local lodges.
  • Four seasonal sleeping bag & Duffel bag (to be returned after trip completion),
  • A comprehensive medical kit (will be carried by the trekking guide).
  • Experienced Government licensed English Speaking Guide & Porter (1 porter for two people) including their food, accommodation, salary & insurance.
  • Permits for Everest National Park and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
  • Farewell dinner with live Nepalese cultural program.
  • All government and local taxes.

What is not included?

  • International airfares.
  • Nepal entry visa fee – Visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (USD30 for 15 days)
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client's travel insurance).
  • Excess baggage charges (luggage allowance for domestic airlines in Nepal is 15 kgs.).
  • Other expenses of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, hot shower etc.)
  • Cost incurred due to the addition of extra days or change in the real course of the itinerary because of bad weather conditions, political turmoil or any other unforeseen contingencies.
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks & beverages.
  • Tips to the guide, porter, driver, hotel and tea-house staff (Tipping is expected)

Route Map

FAQ's

1. What is the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek?
The Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek is a challenging and adventurous trekking route in the Everest region of Nepal. It combines the Gokyo Valley, known for its pristine glacial lakes and stunning views, with the crossing of the Cho La Pass, a high mountain pass at an elevation of about 5,420 meters (17,782 feet).

2. What is the starting point of the trek?
The trek often starts from the town of Lukla, which is accessible by a short flight from Kathmandu. From Lukla, trekkers head towards Namche Bazaar and then follow the trail to Gokyo.

3. Is the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek difficult?
The Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek is considered a challenging trek that requires a good level of physical fitness and prior trekking experience. The trail involves steep ascents and descents, as well as the crossing of the Cho La Pass, which can be physically demanding.

4. What is the best time to do the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek?
The best time for the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather, clear skies, and pleasant temperatures, making the trekking experience more enjoyable.

5. Are permits required for the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek?
Yes, permits are required for the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek. The required permits typically include the Sagarmatha National Park entry permit and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card.

6. What are the highlights of the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek?
The trek offers a range of highlights, including the stunning turquoise Gokyo Lakes, panoramic views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and other Himalayan peaks, the thrilling adventure of crossing the Cho La Pass, and the opportunity to explore the Sherpa culture and monasteries along the trail.

7. What kind of accommodation is available during the trek?
Teahouses and lodges are available along the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek route, providing basic accommodation and meals. The facilities may not be as luxurious as in more developed areas, but they are sufficient for a comfortable stay.

8. Is it necessary to hire a guide for the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek?
Hiring a guide for the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek is highly recommended, especially due to the challenging nature of the trek and the potential risks associated with high-altitude trekking and crossing the Cho La Pass. An experienced guide can ensure your safety, navigate the trail, and provide valuable insights into the local culture and environment.

Equipment

Below are the suggested items for the packing list and it also depends upon the season you are trekking. We shall provide 75 liters duffel bag and a sleeping bag. You can bring other items from your home country and if you are traveling light and don’t wish to overweight your luggage during international flights then many of them can also be brought in Kathmandu before the trek starts.

Clothing (Core & Lower body)
·         Water-proof (breathable fabric) jacket, Poncho or Umbrella
·         Hard shell pants (breathable fabric- 1 set), preferably that zips from top and bottom which can be worn over boots without getting undressed, in case of abrupt weather            changes
·         Fleece jacket or Pullover
·         Fleece windcheater jacket
·         Down jacket or a Down vest
·         T-shirts (2 – 3) and Long-sleeved shirts with collars ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Nylon (cotton ought to be strictly avoided) hiking shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Hiking trousers- one that is detachable from the knees so that they it can be folded up as shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Thermal underwear as well as synthetic underwear (3 -4 each – avoid cotton)
·         Synthetic sport brassieres for women (2 pairs- avoid cotton)
 
Head/Eyes & Hand Gears
·         Sun hat/cap
·         Woolen hat or Balaclava
·         Sunglasses/Goggles (preferably the ones with 100% UV protection)
·         Liner, Synthetic or Thin wool gloves (1 -2 pair)
·         Warm gloves (designed to shield the sub-zero temperatures)- 1 pair
 
Footwear
·         Trekking boots (1 pair) and spare laces
·         Running shoes, Sandals or Thongs (flip-flops)- 1 pair each
·         Hiking gaiters (1 pair) to do away the rocks, dusts and moist feet
·         Liner socks- preferably synthetic (3 – 4 pairs)
·         Heavy or wool blend socks (3 – 4 pairs)

Equipment
·         Backpack/Rucksack
·         Duffle bag (will be provided by Marron Treks)
·         Pack cover (to protect your gears from getting wet)
·         Day sack/Nylon stuff sack
·         Sleeping Bag/ Silk liner (will be provided by Marron Treks but should be returned after the trip)
·         Water bottle
·         Good head torch along with spare batteries and bulbs
·         Maps, compass and a guidebook
·         Trekking poles

Miscellaneous Bits
The items below could seem trivial, but if you don’t have them, you might just find yourself sticky and stinky, which isn’t actually good for you!
 
Toiletries
·         Quick-drying camp towel
·         Detergent powder/bar
·         Toilet paper
·         Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 20+) & Lip balm
·         Pocket knife
·         Sewing/Repair Kit (for tent & mattress)
·         Emergency kit including a whistle, waterproof match/lighter
·         Padlocks for bags and lodge rooms
·         Stuff sacks
·         Earplugs

Medicament
It is important that you include the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Below is just the generic list of medications. We advise you to always consult your travel doctor as you might be resistant or allergic to some medicines

·         Anesthetics (Ibuprofen/Aspirin)
·         Broad spectrum antibiotics tablets
·         Metronidazole and Antacids (for diarrohea /indigestion)
·         Broad spectrum ointments (Neosporin/ Clotrimazole/Gentamicin)
·         Antiseptic liquids (Dettol/Savlon)
·         Assorted band-aids
·         Small gauge pad
·         Roll of adhesive tape
·         Iodine tablets

Optional Carry
Nothing hard and fast about carrying the items on this list as they are not the basics. Yet, though not all, if you still manage to squeeze in some of these items on your carry, you will not regret it as they might just come in handy during the trek

·         Camera, memory card and battery charger
·         GPS unit Altimeters
·         Binoculars
·         Pee bottle for men (leak proof/wide mouth) & Pee funnel for women
·         Books and magazines

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