Gokyo Valley

  • Gokyo Valley - view down the Gokyo, prayer flags - © Flickr user Ben Tubby
  • Gokyo Valley - towards Gokyo and Cho Oyu - © Flickr user mckaysavage
  • Gokyo Valley - Everest from Gokyo Ri - © Flickr user apurdam (Andrew)
  • Gokyo Valley - © Flickr user blackwing_de
  • Gokyo Valley - © Flickr user bobwitlox
  • Gokyo Valley - in the valley - © Flickr user Oliphant
  • Gokyo Valley - lakes on the way to Renjo La - © Flickr user Mahatma4711
  • Gokyo Valley - lower valley - © Flickr user Oliphant
  • Gokyo Valley - over Cho La from Gokyo - © Flickr user mckaysavage
  • Gokyo Valley - trail through the valley - © Flickr user bobwitlox
  • Gokyo and Everest - Photo from Marylin Ellem - © Marylin Ellem

Key information: Gokyo Valley

    • The amazing Gokyo Valley has everything you could want from a high mountain trek. Beautiful walking in up deep gorges and alpine valleys to glorious lakes beneath Chu Oyu (great day walk to base camp), getting outstanding views from passes and trekking peaks.
      • Stunning scenery all around in the absolute heart of the Himalayas, with many variations. Not to be missed as an extender if you are planning to go to Everest Base camp - escape the crowds too.
        • This is tough walking in high, remote, capricious mountains, on which you will have to be self-sufficient and where altitude will cause real problems and can be fatal. Come prepared and acclimatize properly.


Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating91
  • Beauty38
  • Natural interest18
  • Human interest6
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points5
  • Total rating91
  • Note: Negs: altitude, popularity

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 12 days minimum
  • 18 days with EBC
  • Maximum Altitude: 5,360m
  • Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
Gokyo Valley - towards Gokyo and Cho Oyu - © Flickr user mckaysavage


The Everest area is undoubtedly one of the most baggage-laden places on earth, with myth often clouding reality. While Everest base camp has semi-mythical status, there is actually better, more rewarding walking (better views of Everest, even) to be had elsewhere, and the Gokyo Valley is the perfect evidence.

This amazing trek has everything you could want from a high mountain yomp. Beautiful walking in up deep gorges and alpine valleys (the word valley somehow seems to undersell this incredible area) to the village of Gokyo, in an immaculate setting by a very perfect lake, by the foot of the huge Ngozampa Glacier and surrounded by the fiercest of serrated mountain ridges. Stunning scenery all around in what is the absolute heart of the Himalayas.

The trek takes 12 days (min.) from Lukla,18 days as part of an Everest Base Camp circuit. It is 8 days there from Lukla (including necessary rest days) and three or so back.

There is a fantastic day walk above the great glacier past a series of glorious lakes in the long, gently rising valley toward Cho Oyu base camp.

Revel in outstanding views from the passes of a sweep of huge peaks: The Renjo La (somewhere between 5,345m - 5,360m) to the west is said to have perhaps the best views in the whole area.

Gokyo Ri (5360 - 5483m) to the west is a great day-walk trekking peak with an extraordinary view into the heart of Everest. 4 hrs

Namche Bazaar is at 3420m, and Gokyo at 4750m. You need to spend time (Lonely Planet recommend 3 days) acclimatizing in the Namche area (there are many worse things.  See our Bhote Kosi Valley page for one option.  Don't rush the ascent: four days to Gokyo are recommended, which means very short days.

Consider walking out either over the Renjo La westward toward Thame (3 days back) or estward over the 5420m Cho La to join the crowds on the Everest Base Camp trail (5 days if you don't turn up the valley toward EBC). These are two of the three passes on the Three Passes route.

Remember that the altitude can cause misery and even death. It will undoubtedly detract from your enjoyment, although most still think that a major walk here is a high point of their hiking lives. You don't HAVE to do this, and slightly lower-level treks can be more unsulliedly joyous.


Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Gokyo Valley - ©Flickr user blackwing_de

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Gokyo Valley - ©Flickr user bobwitlox...

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