The trek to the top of Gokyo Ri in the Sagarmatha National Park offers one of the best panoramic views in the entire 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.
I’ve written this guide to Gokyo Ri, Sagarmatha National park as part of a Mount Everest Base Camp and Three High Passes Trek side trip. Therefore, this guide picks up from Gokyo Village. If you’re looking for an expansive trekking blog and guide for the Three Passes, you can read Days 13-15 of the trek to Gokyo, or start from the beginning.
About Gokyo Ri Sagarmatha National Park
Gokyo Ri is a peak in the Khumbu Region located beside the town of Gokyo, just to the west of Ngozumpa Glacier. Although it’s one of the best viewpoint “peaks” accessible without any climbing, many miss it due to favoring the increasingly crowded Everest Base Camp Trails.
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.
Since most of my experience comes from The Three Passes Trek, I don’t have much knowledge of the sections leading up from Lukla to Gokyo. For a detailed guide, you could purchase the Lonely Planet: Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya eBook.
Gokyo Ri Altitude
The Gokyo Ri altitude is 5360 meters. This means that trekkers departing from Gokyo (4790M) will need to gain 570 meters of altitude in order to reach the summit of Gokyo Ri.
Gokyo Ri Trek Difficulty
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 in 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.
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.
Gokyo Ri Side-Trip on the Three Passes Trek
Walking to the top of Gokyo Ri Sagarmatha National Park is one of the best side-trips available on the Three High Passes Trek. 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 5000 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.
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 here, which includes details for Gokyo Lakes, the entire Three High Passes Trek, and the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Travel Insurance for Gokyo Ri Sagarmatha National Park
For most trekkers looking to trek up to Gokyo Ri, travel insurance is high on their list of priorities. However, more travel insurance companies don’t cover trekking at altitudes above 4000 meters.
I always purchase travel insurance from WorldNomads.com, since I believe that they are the best for adventure travelers. They are one of the only companies that cover trekking at altitudes as high as Gokyo Ri.
Gokyo Ri Trek Tips
- 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 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.
Gokyo Ri Trekking Guide
Below I’ll give you all the information that you’ll need to tackle the Gokyo Ri Sagarmatha National park trek to the top. Remember, my guide begins at Gokyo. If you’re looking for a complete Gokyo Lakes trekking guide from Lukla, then you’d do best by buying the Lonely Planet Guide or researching more online.
The Gokyo Ri 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. Leave your packs at a Gokyo lodge and begin the trek by crossing a slight, trickling river, carefully hopping across the stones.
There are signs just after the river pointing the way to the back Lakes, the Renjo La Pass and of course, Gokyo Ri.
The trail begins to climb almost immediately, and you’ll wind your way at roughly the same gradient the entire time. At any time during the walk, you can turn around to get incredible views of Gokyo Village and Gokyo Lake.
Along the way, you’ll also spot dozens of Himalayan Snowcock Birds wobbling about on the trail.
Reaching the Top
As you approach the top, you’ll get your first view of the worn, but glimmering prayer flags wrapped at the summit. This final section is often covered in snow. However, you’ll see a deep trail carved into the snow from the hundreds of trekkers that trek to Gokyo Ri every season.
Push forward, taking your time to adjust to the rapid increase in altitude. After roughly 3 hours of walking, you’ll reach the top of Gokyo Ri, where you’ll see huge black boulders resting on glimmering snow and wrapped in prayer flags as far as the eye can see.
Gokyo Ri Views
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 is now not much more than a speckle in the grandiose panorama.
PHOTOS OF GOKYO RI SAGARMATHA NATIONAL PARK VIEWS
I hope that this guide has been useful for those looking to trek to the top of Gokyo Ri. Remember, if you’re attempting the Everest Base Camp and Three High Passes Trek, make sure you read my full guide, which is free in the links below.
For now, enjoy more panoramic landscapes from the top of one of the world’s best viewpoints: Gokyo Ri Sagarmatha National Park.