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Gokyo Ri Trek from Gokyo Lakes, Everest Region

Gokyo Ri Trek from Gokyo Lakes, Everest Region

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Perched high above Gokyo Lakes in Sagarmatha National Park, Gokyo Ri (5,360 m) offers one of the most stunning views of the Everest Ranges.

Gokyo Lakes is one of the best viewpoint “peaks” accessible without any climbing in the Khumbu. From the top, trekkers will have expansive views of the world’s tallest mountains, including Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, the Gokyo Valley, and lakes, as well as the largest Himalayan glacier, The Ngzumpa Glacier.

The hike up to Gokyo Ri is completed as a day trip from Gokyo Village and is the highlight of the popular Everest Base Camp Trek alternative, the Gokyo Lakes Trek.

I hiked up to Gokyo Ri on a Three High Passes Trek side trip and this post will detail everything you need to know about this day hike. Otherwise, read this guide to the full itinerary from Lukla

View from gokyo ri

Gokyo Ri Key Points

  • Location: Located in the Khumbu Region of Nepal, adjacent to the town of Gokyo and west of the Ngozumpa Glacier.
  • Route: Hike up to Gokyo Ri from Gokyo Lake and back down.
  • Hike Distance: 4 km (2.4 mi)
  • Elevation: Gokyo Ri (5,360 meters) meters above sea level. Total ascent from Gokyo Lake (4,790 meters) is 570 meters.
  • Trek Difficulty: Considered a moderate trek by Himalayan standards. No technical climbing skills are required, but good physical fitness and proper acclimatization are essential.
  • Duration to Summit: Approximately 3 hours from Gokyo village to the summit; about 2 hours for the descent.
  • Popularity: Gokyo Ri offers a quieter, yet equally stunning alternative to the EBC. Yet the Gokyo Lakes trek has gained popularity in recent years for those seeking quieter trails.
  • Best Season: Optimal months are February to May, September to December due to clearer skies and moderate weather.
  • Access: Accessible via a flight to Lukla followed by at least 5-7 days via Namche Bazaar. Since this is within Sagarmatha National Parks, you need to pay the appropriate fees.
Himalayas, nepal
Gokyo Ri Viewpoint Panorama

Booking a Guide to Gokyo Ri & Gokyo Lakes Trek

While you can still trek to Gokyo Lakes and summit Gokyo Ri independently, if you are looking for a guide, I highly recommend my favorite trekking company in Nepal– Himalayan Masters.

This is a small but very professional company run by my good friend Sandip, with whom I do all my trekking and climbing in Nepal. Use the code OLLY5 at checkout and he'll give you a discount of 5% off any of his trips.


How Difficult is the Trek?

In terms of the Gokyo Ri trek difficulty, it's considered a fairly easy viewpoint by Himalayan standards. In saying that, you're still going to be walking at high altitude and you will need to be properly acclimatized.

Trekking to the top of Gokyo Ri doesn't require any technical training or equipment. The trail is not extremely steep but has a consistent incline for the entire duration, so general fitness is required.

Still, if you've already walked yourself all the way to Gokyo, you're going to have no problem getting to the top of Gokyo Ri, assuming you've followed proper acclimatization strategies.

Trekking up gokyo ri trail
View of ama dablam from gokyo ri
Ama Dablam view from the top

My Experience Hiking To Gokyo Ri from Gokyo Lakes

Below I'll give you all the information that you'll need to tackle the Gokyo Ri viewpoint trek. Remember, my guide begins at Gokyo. If you're looking for a complete Gokyo Lakes trekking guide from Lukla, then you'd do your best by buying the Lonely Planet Guide or researching more online.

Hiking at gokyo lakes
Starting the trek from a frozen Gokyo Lake

Picking Up the Trail from Gokyo

It's really impossible to miss the Gokyo Ri trail from Gokyo village. You'll see the towering hill just beside the main lake. We left our packs at our Gokyo lodge and began the trek by crossing a slight, trickling river, and carefully hopping across the stones.

There are signs just after the river pointing the way to the back Lakes and the Renjo La Pass, which we would cross the following morning.

The trail begins to climb almost immediately, and we began winding our way up to the top at roughly the same gradient the entire time. At many times during the trek, we turned around to get incredible views of Gokyo Village and Gokyo Lake (photos below).

Along the way, we also spotted dozens of Himalayan Snowcock Birds wobbling about on the trail.

Trekking gokyo ri in nepal
View of gokyo village
Gokyo Village near the start of the trail.
Himalayan snowcock bird

Reaching the Top of Gokyo Ri

As we approached the top, we got our first view of the worn, but glimmering prayer flags wrapped at the summit.

This final section is often covered in snow but it had mostly melted on our ascent. If it's frozen, you'll see a deep trail carved into the snow from the hundreds of trekkers that trek to Gokyo Ri every season.

We pushed forward, taking our time to adjust to the rapid increase in altitude. After roughly 3 hours of walking, we reached the top of Gokyo Ri, where we saw huge black boulders resting on glimmering snow and wrapped in prayer flags as far as the eye could see.

Top of gokyo ri, nepal
Hiker with garmin inreach satellite device

How I Stay Connected Off-Grid

I've been using the Garmin InReach Mini satellite communicator for all serious treks and expeditions since 2020.

It lets me send unlimited SMS anywhere on earth and has an emergency SOS feature that could save your life.

Views from the Summit of Gokyo Ri

Gokyo Ri is considered one of the best views in the Khumbu, and therefore probably in the world. It's also one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the world's tallest mountain: Mount Everest.

Besides Everest, you can also see Lhotse (8,516 meters), Cho Oyu (8,188 meters) Makalu (8,485 meters), and several other distant Tibetan peaks.

Just to the East, you'll have incredible views of the Ngozumpa Glacier as it grinds its way down the Gokyo Valley. Looking down, Gokyo Village and lakes are now not much more than a speckle in the grandiose panorama.

Photographing the view of the himalayas at gokyo ri
Jessy sicard trekker on mera peak with skis

Looking to Step it Up?

Why not check out my guides to climbing Mera Peak (6476m), or Island Peak (6,189 m), two of Nepal's best trekking peaks? These are great entry-level summits in the Khumbu requiring no prior mountaineering experience.

Things to Know Before Your Trek

While the high altitude would constitute a large peak anywhere else, you have to remember that you're in the Himalayas. In comparison to the surrounding Himalayan giants, Gokyo Ri is actually considered a hill rather than a trekking peak.

During my time trekking in the Nepal Himalayas, Gokyo Ri was my favorite viewpoint. Many trekkers actually use Gokyo Ri as a target point for their Khumbu treks. In fact, the Gokyo Lakes trek is quickly becoming the most popular EBC alternative.

Note that Gokyo is within the Sagarmatha National Park and therefore you must pay the 1,500 Nepali rupee fee per person per entry at the gates in Monjo village.

Trekking Tips For Gokyo

  • Start early to beat the clouds if you can help it.
  • Take water and some food with you.
  • Bring a shell and down with you. It can get very windy and chilly at the top.
  • Bring a camera - Gokyo Ri views are some of the best in the entire world.
  • Take your time, and watch for signs of AMS. Make sure that you are following the acclimatization protocol as directed by professionals.
  • Make sure that you take all your rubbish with you back to your lodge, or even better - back to Lukla.
Himalayan views from gokyo ri

Gokyo Ri on the Three Passes Trek or Gokyo Lake Trek

Walking to the top of Gokyo Ri is one of the best side trips available on the Three High Passes Trek before commencing the final pass at Renjo La. I wouldn't really consider it an acclimatization hike if you're trekking anti-clockwise, because by now you'll be well acclimated to altitudes above 5,000 meters.

However, if you're attempting the Three Passes in the clockwise direction, it would be a good warm-up before Cho La. However, you'll need to make sure you are physically ready for the high altitude.

Prayer flags at gokyo ri summit

FAQs About Hiking Gokyo Ri

What Elevation is Gokyo Ri?

The Gokyo Ri altitude is 5,360 meters above sea level. This means that trekkers departing from Gokyo (4,790 m) will need to gain 570 meters of altitude in order to reach the summit.

How Long Does it Take to Get to the Top of Gokyo Ri?

Expect 3 hours to reach the top of Gokyo Ri from Gokyo village and closer to 2 hours on the descent. This time will vary depending on how often you stop and the speed at which you walk.

Where Can I Get a Gokyo Ri Map?

Unfortunately, there is no high-quality and reliable Gokyo Ri Map available for free online. Still, if you're trekking in the Khumbu, you're going to need to take a physical map anyway. You can purchase the best Gokyo Ri Map online, which includes details for Gokyo Lakes, the entire Three High Passes Trek, and the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Otherwise, you can pick one up in Thamel at any trekking shop.

Where can I get travel Insurance for Gokyo Ri?

For most trekkers looking to trek up to Gokyo Ri, travel insurance is high on their list of priorities. However, most cheap travel insurance companies don’t cover trekking at altitudes above 4,000 meters.
Therefore it's a good idea to book proper travel trekking insurance that covers you at altitude.

I hope that you've enjoyed this guide to hiking Gokyo Ri, and that it serves you well on your Three Passes or Gokyo Lakes trek in Nepal.

While you're here on my blog, make sure to check out some of my other Himalayan trekking blogs to help inspire your trip.

Gokyo ri trekking guide
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Raacho Trekkers

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Thanks for the detailed post. Is permit required to trek in this park of Sagarmatha National Park? What is the cheapest way to reach Lukla? Thanks again.


Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Thanks for the great information for us. Best regards, Demir Cannon