Gokyo trek and Helicopter Return Via EBC - 11 Days package is for those looking for a different challenge than the regular EBC Trek in Khumbu. This trip takes you to a less-visited but picturesque area of the Everest Region, the Gokyo Valley. You spend seven days trekking from point to point taking in the incredible scenery. A return journey to Lukla via helicopter saves you precious time and energy. What’s more, you get to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the entire Everest Base Camp area, glaciers, and the mountains during the flight.
Your trip begins from Kathmandu with a flight to Lukla, the trailhead of your trek. Over the subsequent days, you enter the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, and cross several Sherpa villages. You spend your first acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar, a perfect stop to lift your spirits. It feels incredible to stand close to 7000 and 8000-meter peaks.
After an arduous ascent, you finally reach Gokyo Lake. A hike to Gokyo Ri offers stunning views of the Gokyo lakes and the Himalayan mountains. You end your trek with a thrilling helicopter flight to Lukla. Enjoy the gorgeous and jaw-dropping scenery at Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.
This is a moderate to difficult level trek, and be prepared to walk above an elevation of 5000 meters. It is going to be a test of endurance, both mentally and physically.
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,592ft) and Trek Preparation|
|Day 2||Fly to Lukla (2,840m/9,316ft) regular plane & Trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,561ft)|
|Day 3||Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,284ft)|
|Day 4||At Namche Bazaar: 1st Acclimatization Day (3,440m/11,284ft)|
|Day 5||Trek Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga (3,680m/12,071ft)|
|Day 6||Trek Phortse Thanga to Machhermo (4,470m/14,662ft)|
|Day 7||Trek Machhermo to Gokyo (4,790m/15,712ft)|
|Day 8||Gokyo Valley: 2nd Acclimatization Day, Gokyo Ri Climb (5,360m/17,581ft)|
|Day 9||Heli flight over Everest Base Camp, landing at Kala Patthar (5,550m) and fly to Lukla|
|Day 10||Lukla to Kathmandu by regular flight and afternoon sightseeing around Kathmandu valley|
|Day 11||Final Departure|
Once you land in Kathmandu a staff member from Third Rock Adventures will meet you at the airport. He will be holding a placard either with your name on it or Third Rock Adventures printed. After a warm traditional welcome, he will escort you to your hotel and help you check-in.
A trip briefing is scheduled for later in the afternoon either at the hotel's lobby or Third Rock Adventures' headquarters. You will meet your trek leader or guide who will apprise you about the route and safety measures. Go over your gear list and make sure you have packed everything you need on your trek. Thamel has many trekking gear shops and rental outlets in case you want to buy or hire trekking gear.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
You head to the domestic airport early in the morning to catch your flight to Lukla. Boarding a small turboprop aircraft, you fly to the Sherpa village of Lukla, known as the 'Gateway to Everest'. En route, the aircraft flies close to high mountains and rocky cliffs. This could well be the most extreme flight you have ever taken.
After the plane lands at Tenzing Hillary Airport you arrange your luggage and meet the rest of the trekking crew. Your trek begins and soon you leave the busy Lukla market. Your destination for today is Phakding. You follow your guide down towards the Dudh Koshi or Milky River and soon reach Phakding after an easy trek of about 3-4 hours. You head to a local teahouse and take a rest.
Overnight in Phakding.
Compared to Day 2, today's hike is going to be a bit tough. Leaving Phakding you take an upward trail to Namche Bazaar. The trail is mostly busy as there are no roads in this part of the mountain. While mule and yak trains carrying commodities jostle for space, there's a constant flow of trekkers getting in and out of the region.
Though the hike is exhausting, the natural scenery is breathtaking. Conifer trees cover the hills, colorful prayer flags flutter in the wind and the pristine river flows down the hills. One of the most memorable experiences of today's hike is probably crossing the 125m high Hillary Suspension Bridge. From here it is a steep climb to Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpa homeland. Before arriving in Namche, you get your first view of Mount Everest from a resting place.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
You spend an additional day at Namche Bazaar to let your body adapt to the high altitude. But having an extra day doesn't mean you sit around the whole day. To prep your body for the high-altitude hike, your guide will walk you to a famous location that lies well above Namche. The hike to the Everest View Hotel at 3880m takes you on a steep path above Namche. The hike is tough but rewarding. You get to enjoy awesome views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and other peaks sitting on the hotel's patio. Later enjoy a leisurely descent to Namche taking in the splendid views.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Leaving Namche, you walk on one of the most beautiful and photographed part of the Everest trail. Ama Dablam looks glorious. A little ahead the trail divides and you choose the one leading to Gokyo Valley (the other leads to Everest Base Camp). It is a steep climb and you ascend a couple of stone staircases en route. The route is secluded as most of the traffic is on the trail to EBC. After reaching Mong La it's a quick descent to Phortse Thanga, your stop for the night.
Overnight in Phortse Thanga.
The path climbs up steeply and levels out after an ascent of roughly forty minutes. It meanders down to Dole, a small Sherpa settlement and again goes up. Walk on a ridge with excellent views before finally arriving at Machhermo.
Overnight in Machhermo.
This is one of the toughest but most scenic portion of the trek. You are now in Gokyo valley and the sights are mesmerizing. Cho Oyu the sixth highest mountain in the world appears so close. There are two very steep climbs in today's hike. The ascents are tough as you have to climb over a rocky trail. After the ascents, the path soon evens out and you reach the first of the Gokyo Lakes.
Walk on and reach the third lake, Gokyo Tso or Dudh Pokhari. It is the source of Dudh Koshi or Milky River which flows down along the Everest trail. The village of Gokyo lies on the bank of this beautiful lake. You make your way to a local teahouse and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Overnight in Gokyo.
You spend an extra day in Gokyo exploring the area surrounding the lake. Your guide will wake you up early in the morning for a hike to Gokyo Ri, one of the most popular viewpoints in the Everest Region. It is a brown hill that lies right in front of the Gokyo Lake. Gokyo Ri is one of the few viewpoints in Nepal from where you get a close-up view of four of the highest mountains in the world – Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.
It is a steep uphill climb to the top and the trail is filled with loose rocks. On reaching the top you can enjoy panoramic views of Gokyo lakes, Nzogumpa Glacier, Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Cholatse and other peaks. After spending some time enjoying the view and capturing images, you head down to your lodge. You can spend the rest of the day lounging by the lake or exploring the lakeside.
Overnight in Gokyo.
You board a helicopter from Gokyo and fly towards Everest Base Camp. Enjoy mesmerizing views of the Gokyo lakes, Ngozumpa Glacier, Cho Oyu, Mount Everest, Lhotse, and several other peaks. The snow-covered Western Cwm and Khumbu Icefall are sure to take your breath away. More jaw-dropping views are in store as the helicopter lands in Kala Patthar for around 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the awe-inspiring Himalayan giants – Mount Everest, Pumori, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, etc. Later fly to Lukla and stay overnight at a teahouse.
Overnight in Lukla.
It's time to bid goodbye to Lukla and Khumbu. You head down to the tiny Lukla Airport and board the aircraft. As the plane moves down the narrow airstrip you can't help but get goosebumps. Enjoy the panoramic mountain views before landing at the domestic airport in Kathmandu.
A half-day sightseeing tour is planned for today. You end your trip by visiting some of the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Asia – Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, and Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
You will be driven to the airport well on time to catch your flight back home. If you want to extend your stay and try out more adventures do let us know. Third Rock Adventures has a wide array of travel itineraries and our travel consultants will be more than glad to help you plan your next trip.