Gokyo Lakes

Discover the major attractions, cultural significance, and everything you need to know about the highest freshwater lake system in the world: the Gokyo Lakes.

Gokyo Lakes

Also known as the Land of the Himalayas, Nepal has beckoned visitors from all over the world for a long time with the majestic towering mountains, including Mt. Everest. However, there are many other things in Nepal beyond the allure of these giants.

One such attraction is the Gokyo Lakes which are formed as an outcome of these Himalayan giants itself.

Located in Sagarmatha National Park, Gokyo Lakes are the combined lake system of several oligotrophic lakes in the Himalayas.

It covers an area of 485 acres (196.2 ha). Spanning from an altitude of 4,700 m to 5,000 m, the Gokyo Lake system features 19 small and big lakes. Six lakes among these are considered to be the main lakes of this region.

Famous as the ‘highest freshwater lake system in the world’, Gokyo Lakes is the place that presents a perfect blend of serenity and adventure.

Besides the grandeur of nature, the region also has cultural and religious significance. Therefore, it is one of the famous trekking routes in the Everest region.

Longpanga Tsho, 1st Gokyo Lake

Located at an altitude of 4,668 m, Longpanga Tsho is the first lake that you will come across in the region amongst the Gokyo glacial lake systems. It is located at an altitude of 4,710 meters and sets the stage for your Gokyo Lake adventure.

Longpanga Tsho
Longpanga Tsho also know as First Gokyo Lake

One of the attractions of this lake is the presence of several sacred stones which are believed to be left by the Lamas in the region making it a fascination for trekkers and a spiritual addition for the pilgrims visiting the region.

Taujung Tsho, 2nd Gokyo Lake

Located at an altitude of 4,728 m, Taujung Tsho is the second lake and is located at a small distance from Longpanga Tsho which features a basic trail with an almost flat terrain. It covers an area of 16.95 hectares (41.9 meters).

Taujung Sho also known as second Gokyo Lake
Taujung Sho also known as second Gokyo Lake

The Taujung Lake features an almost mirror-like surface with its intense blue waters providing a clear reflection of the surrounding peaks making it a perfect spot for photography as well as internal reflection.

This lake presents the essence of the beauty of the Gokyo region in a way, as it puts up a stunning display of natural beauty while dazzling the visitors.

Gokyo Tsho, 3rd Gokyo Lake

As the name suggests, Gokyo Tsho is the most famous lake of the region which is named after this lake itself.

It is the third lake on the trail and is located at the heart of the Gokyo Valley. It is also called Dudh Pokhari and is located at an altitude of 4,734 meters.

A trekker overlooking the Gokyo Lake
A trekker overlooking the Gokyo Lake

The Gokyo Lake covers an area of 106 acres (42.9 ha) and is 43 meters deep. With the Gokyo Valley lying on its eastern shore, this is one of the most sought-after lakes as visitors can also find perfect relaxing spots at the nearby Gokyo Valley after their Gokyo Lake adventure.


This lake also takes you closer to the major attractions of the region like the Ngazumpa Glacier and Gokyo Ri. It also features a perfect view of the majestic Cho Oyu which can be seen towering at a distance from the Gokyo Lake.

The Gokyo Lake is an emerald beauty that reflects more than just the serenity of the surrounding peaks amidst the soothing atmosphere.

Thonak Tsho, 4th Gokyo Lake

Among the six major lakes in the Gokyo region, Thonak Tsho is the largest one with an area of 65.07 ha (160.8 acres).

Thonak Tsho is the fourth lake on the Gokyo Lake trekking trail and it is also the deepest lake in the region with a depth of 62.4 meters.

This turquoise jewel provides the visitors with a sense of isolation as this lake is enveloped in the wilderness and the journey towards the trek is a less frequently traveled path too. It is located at an altitude of 4,834 meters.

The raw and unexplored beauty of the lake and its pristine waters are a must-visit for people exploring this region.

Ngozumpa Tsho, 5th Gokyo Lake

Smallest among the six major lakes of the Gokyo region, the Ngozumpa Tsho is spread across an area of 35.6 acres (14.39 ha). It is the fifth lake in the region and is also one of the vantage points of the Gokyo region.

The Ngozumpa Lake features breathtaking views of the Everest range including peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Pumori, Nuptse, Baruntse, Lhotse Shar, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, and Mt. Everest itself. The water in the lake is received from the Ngozumpa glacier.

This lake is located at an altitude of 4,950 meters and is an underrated but worthy extension in the itinerary of visitors of the Gokyo Lakes trek. The lake is also easily accessible from the Gokyo Valley.

Visiting this lake takes almost an entire day off your schedule. However, it will be worth a visit as you can see the North face of Everest from this lake.

Gyazumpa Tsho, 6th Gokyo Lake

Spread across an area of 72 acres (19 ha), the Gyazumpa Lake is the sixth lake of the Gokyo Lake system and is an underrated adventure. Gyazumpa Tsho rarely makes it to the itinerary of regular trekkers in the region.

However, it is a must-visit place for true adventurers who seek an isolated experience amidst the wonders of nature as you will not find many people visiting the lake. This lake has its own charm and is as beautiful as the other lakes in the region.

Gyazumpa Tsho features a group of lakes that get interconnected when the water flow is high. Another highlight of the Gyazumpa Tsho is the Cho Oyu Base Camp which is located nearby adding to the adventure of the lake.

Major Attractions Surrounding the Gokyo Lakes

Ngozumpa Glacier

Also known as the longest glacier in the Himalayas, the Ngozumpa glacier has to be one of the major highlights of the Gokyo region. This glacier is about 36 km long and extends from an altitude of 4,700 m to over 8,000 meters.

Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lake from Gokyo Ri
Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lake from Gokyo Ri

A beautiful addition to the towering Himalayas, the Ngozumpa Glacier features a stark landscape of rocks, ice, and lots of debris often reminding you of the forces that created this planet.

Visiting this glacier is a unique journey that takes you along the rugged surfaces interspersed with ice towers and deep crevasses.

Gokyo Ri

Gokyo Ri is one of the most popular vantage points of the region as it provides stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu among some of the other Himalayan giants from the Everest range.

View from Gokyo Ri with Gokyo Lake
View from Gokyo Ri with Gokyo Lake

Located at an altitude of 5,357 meters, Gokyo Ri is placed almost like a sentinel above the Gokyo Valley as the valley can be seen crystal clear from the point. Reaching Gokyo Ri is a challenging adventure featuring steep ascents from the Gokyo Valley.

However, this adventure adds to the satisfactory feeling you get while basking in the awe-inspiring view from the top. Presenting beautiful views of snow-capped peaks bathing in the golden hues of sunlight, it can also be considered one of the best sunrise viewing points in Nepal.

Renjo La Pass

A part of the Everest Three Passes Trek  in the Everest region, the Renjo La pass is at an easily accessible distance from the Gokyo Lakes therefore making it a part of many trekkers’ itinerary too. It is one of the highest mountain passes of the Everest region.

Mountains of Sagarmatha National Park from Renjo La Pass
Mountains of Sagarmatha National Park from Renjo La Pass

Located at 5,360 m, the Renjo La Pass presents an exhilarating challenge to visitors in the form of steep and challenging landscapes. However, the view from the top makes it worth every step you have taken in the region.

The Renjo La Pass rewards the visitors with views of Gokyo Lakes on one side and the Rongbuk Valley on the other side while the breadth of the towering Himalayas paints the perfect backdrop.

Cho Oyu Base Camp

The sixth-highest peak in the world- Cho Oyu (8,201 m) lies not very far from the reach of Gokyo Lakes.

Therefore, for those wanting an elaborate trip, you can also add a detour to the Cho Oyu Base Camp during the Gokyo Lakes exploration.

Cho Oyu
Cho Oyu from Gokyo

Located at 5,800 meters, the trek is as rewarding as it is challenging. It makes you feel like you are at the top of the world as you explore the peak in its proximity while feeling the immensity of the Himalayas with each step you take.

Gokyo Lakes Trek

The Gokyo region features several adventures matching up to the natural attractions of the region.

Although not much hyped, the Gokyo Lake trek is often regarded as a hidden jewel of Nepal as this less frequented trail features everything that one would seek in their perfect Himalayan adventure.

With breathtaking panoramas of the Himalayan giants, this trek is an all-in-one adventure for people seeking adventure, culture, and spirituality.

Trekkers descending down to Gokyo from Gokyo Ri
Trekkers descending down to Gokyo from Gokyo Ri

It takes you to the iconic Gokyo Lakes while traversing through several high-altitude areas and even encountering glaciers.

The first half of the Gokyo Lake trek is usually shared with the Everest Base Camp trek trail as the trek starts from Lukla and the trail separates from the EBC trail after the iconic Hotel Everest View.

From there on, a usual itinerary of the trek includes stops like Phortse Thanga, Dole, Machherma, and Gokyo Valley, finally making its way up to a popular viewpoint- Gokyo Ri before retracing the steps back.

A trekker standing in front of Gokyo Lake II
A trekker standing in front of Gokyo Lake II

The Gokyo Lake trek features an impeccable vista of Mt. Everest, Gokyo Ri, Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Island Peak, and Cho Oyu, while also encompassing the largest glacier of Nepal, the Ngozumpa Glacier sitting right under Cho Oyu.

It also allows you to explore the pristine beauty of the Gokyo Lake system which is the main highlight of the trek adding a hint of adventure and spirituality to your trekking exploration.

From navigating along the banks of the Dudh Koshi River to traversing through the icy crevasses of glaciers, the Gokyo Lake trek has it all making it a perfect standalone adventure in the Himalayas.

However, you can also do one of the combined treks to get the experience of both these regions like the Gokyo and Renjo La Pass trek or Gokyo to Everest Base Camp trek as this way you can experience first-hand some of the other places and fun facts of the Everest region.

Cultural Insights

The Gokyo Lakes adventure is an all-encompassing journey as beyond the natural wonders of the region lies the warm and welcoming cultural insights of the region. The Gokyo Lakes area and Gokyo Valley is mostly inhabited by Sherpa people who have high regards for the area.

The landscapes surrounding these lakes are made even more mystic and spiritual by the ever-fluttering prayer flags which gives a sense of peace and tranquility amidst the Himalayas.

While you make your way up to the Gokyo Lakes, you will also come across several traditional settlements and ancient gompas (monasteries) residing in the region and adding to its rustic landscapes.

You will also get to experience the warm and welcoming Sherpa hospitality during your stay at one of the local teahouses in the area as you savor the mouth-watering Nepali cuisine.

Religious Importance

Beyond being a natural ponder, the Gokyo Lakes are of high religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists. Therefore, it is not just a trekking adventure but also a pilgrimage for many visitors.

While the religious significance differs from people to people, the Gokyo Lakes site is often worshipped as a residing place of ‘Nag Devta’ (Snake God).

The region also features several temples especially dedicated to hindu dieties Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

Every year during the Hindu festival Janai Purnima, many pilgrims visit the region as a fair takes place there and people take bath in the water of those lakes which are considered to be sacred and holy.

Therefore, be prepared to have a religious, cultural, and spiritual experience on top of the adventures that the Gokyo Lakes have to offer to you. Embark on your Gokyo Lake exploration today!

Trekking in Nepal Creative Trip Designer Trekking in Nepal Creative Trip Designer
Sign up for our newsletter
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Trekking in Nepal
  • Climbing and Expedition
  • Cultural Tour and Sightseeing
  • Cycling and Mountain Biking
  • Luxury Treks
  • Luxury Tours
  • Day Trips
  • Multi Country Tours
  • Voluntourism Trips
  • Extend Your Trip