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Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

Rajan Jung Adhikari

Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

  • 2 years ago

This Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek blog is a small effort to help you choose the best trip of trekking in Nepal. We shall try to shed light on almost every aspect associated with these amazing trips to the Himalayas. Undoubtedly, both are some of the must-do packages of trekking in Nepal.

Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek take you to some of the most beautiful lakes in the Himalayas. Both the treks lead you to the surroundings of the 8,000ers in Nepal.

Before doing both the trips, you will do Kathmandu City Tour that guides you along the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal. Without visiting the cultural sites of the Kathmandu Valley, your tour in Nepal remains incomplete.

Trips - Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

Gokyo Lakes Trek lies in the eastern part while Tilicho Lake Trek in the western part of the Nepalese  Himalayan. To reach the trailheads, you can use both domestic flights and roadway journey. But, it is wise to use a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla to start trekking to Gokyo Lakes and for Tilicho Lake trekking, roadway trip seems better and cheaper.

Gokyo Lakes Trek lies around the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest (8,848m) in the Khumbu Region. Walking along the Sherpa cultural villages inside Sagarmatha National Park, you take the other trail than the regular Nepal trekking trail of Everest Base Camp Trek.

Once you reach to the Gokyo Valley, you will be surprised to see a natural network of 19 glacial lakes above 4,700m to 5,100m. Among these lakes, 6 are the major ones that support high altitude flora and fauna.

The Gokyo Lake system supports some 80 species of flowering plants among which 4 are endemic ones. You will see some wetland birds such as Brahmy ducks, Eurasian woodcock, Great Crested Grebe, etc.

Hiking to Gokyo Ri (5,357m) is one of the major highlights of Gokyo Valley Trek. From the top, you will see Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyo, Amadablam, and many more snowcapped peaks of the Mahalangur Himalyan Range.

Trekking to Tilicho Lake is a lifelong experience of reaching the world’s highest altitude glacial lake. Most of the sections of this trek lies in the Nepal trekking routes of Annapurna Circuit Trek. The rich biodiversity of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and cultural richness of the Annapurna Region make this trip more than just a package of trekking in Nepal.

Leaving the Marsyangdi River Valley and Manang Valley, you move towards Tilicho Peak (7,134m). Located at the base camp of Tilicho Peak, Tilicho Lake reminds you of some wonderland in movies or myths. From the top, you can have amazing scenery of the gorgeous mountains of the Annapurna Massif. The most striking feature of Tilicho Lake Trek is that you won’t see any aquatic organism in the lake!

Both lake trek Itinerary

Gokyo Lakes Trek itinerary extends from 8 days to 14 days. Short Gokyo Lake Trek can be done within 8 days. So, it is recommended for international trekkers having short vacation in Nepal. If you combine other popular trekking routes in Everest Region, you need to spend more than 3 weeks.

We have designed Gokyo Lakes Trek Itinerary 14 days which will be suitable even for beginner trekkers in Nepal. You have a day’s acclimatization in Namche Bazar when you can explore the surroundings and cultural heritage sites. You will be exploring the Sherpa Museum and Everest View Hotel in specific.

On the other hand, you can find Tilicho Lake Trek itinerary from 7 days to 17 days. Even if you have a week’s vacation in Nepal and want to reach the world’s highest altitude glacial lake, it is possible.

However, you can traverse through other popular Nepal trekking routes in the Annapurna Region. Combining other trekking destinations and routes obviously means you need more days.

We have proposed Tilicho Lake Trek itinerary 12 days. In this duration, you can explore Manang Village and Gangapurna Lake (3,540m) on Manang acclimatization day.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Itinerary Vs Tilicho Lake Trek Itinerary

Difficulty level of Gokho Lake Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

Difficulty level of both Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek is moderate. However, Gokyo Lake Trek is a bit more challenging than Tilicho Lake Trek.

Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

You don’t have to worry about food and accommodation services in both the trips because they are completely teahouse trekking in Nepal. Although they reach higher than 4,000m, the Nepal trekking routes are not as remote as that of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek or Upper Dolpo Trek.

The only factor that makes trekking to Gokyo Lake and Tilicho Lake difficulty is all but altitude gain. As soon as you hike higher than 2,500m, altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) might affect you.

Similarly, extreme cold temperature and unpredictable weather condition in the winter and the monsoon are the factors determining Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek difficulty.

Nonetheless, Gokyo Lakes Trek moves to and for along the rugged trails in the steep terrain types. Combining this trip with other trekking routes of Everest Region becomes more challenging, especially with the three high passes.

On the other hand, Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek might be challenging for beginner trekkers. Thorung Pass Trek is an indispensable section of Annapurna Circuit Trek. In this trip, you have to go across Thorung La Pass (5,416m), one of the high Himalayan passes in Nepal.

If you take a few preventive and curative measures against the AMS, you can do these popular treks in Nepal without many hardships.

Variations of Nepal Trekking

Both Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek have a few popular variations. These trek variations in the Himalayas have attracted thousands of national and international trekkers.

Since Gokyo Lakes Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Everest Region, this trek can be tailor-made like this:

  • Gokyo Lakes Trek with Gokyo Ri Climbing,
  • Gokyo Lake with Everest Base Camp Trek,
  • Gokyo Lakes with Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek,
  • Gokyo Lakes Trek with Renjo La Pass,
  • Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek,
  • Everest Three High Passes Trek with Gokyo Lakes,

Tilicho Lake Trek is one of the most popular Nepal trekking packages in the Annapurna Region. There are a few tailor-made trekking packages as such:

  • Tilicho Lake Trek with Tilicho Peak Climbing
  • Tilicho Lake Trek with Pisang Peak Climbing
  • Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek
  • Tilicho Lake Short Trek
  • Tilicho Lake Trek with Mesokanta La Pass

Nepal Trekking Permits

Trekking in Nepal requires some mandatory permits issued by various authorities under the Nepal government. Based on permits, trekking destinations in Nepal are divided into two categories: free individual trekking and restricted area trekking.

To do a restricted area trekking in Nepal, you need a special permit by paying comparatively higher fees. Treks such as Upper Mustang Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Upper Dolpo Trek, etc. require a restricted area trekking permits.

Both Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek are free individual Nepal trekking areas. Thus, you don’t require any of the special permits.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Permits

  • TIMS Card
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
  • Local Area Permit

Tilicho Lake Trek Permits

  • TIMS Card
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Entry Permit

Nepal Trekking permits and TIMS Card are issued by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Kathmandu and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Office in Kathmandu and Pokhara for individual trekker in Nepal. For organized trekking, trekking agency itself issues these permits for its clients’ assistance.

Best time for trek

Both Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek are not recommended in the winter (December-February) and the summer (June-August). Both the treks taks you towards the Himalayan landscapes above 4,000m from the sea level.

The winter snowfalls and summer rainfalls disturb the high altitude trekking in Nepal in off seasons. That’s why, you should book the trek to the Himalayas in the right seasons for a lifelong experience in Nepal.

The best time for trekking to Gokyo Lakes and Tilicho Lake is either the autumn (September-November) or the spring (March-May). Since the skies are clear in these seasons, you can enjoy the crystal clear views of snow-clad mountains of the Annapurna and Mahalangur Himalayan Ranges.

Unlike in the winter season, the average temperature ranges from 0 Degree Celsius to 15 Degree Celsius. At the meanwhile, the autumn and the spring are festive seasons in Nepal. For nature lovers, trekkers to Gokyo Lakes and Tilicho Lake can relish the blooming flowers and ripe fruits all around.

Conclusion: Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek

Gokyo Lakes Trek vs Tilicho Lake Trek blog is dedicated to help you choose the best trip of trekking in Nepal. Both the trips have their unique features that won’t let you regret for every penny you have invested.

Trekking to Gokyo Lakes takes you to the vicinity of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest. On the other hand, trekking to Tilicho Lake is an opportunity to be around the world’s 10th highest peak, Mt. Annapurna (8,091m).

We believe that this comparative study between Gokyo Lakes Trek and Tilicho Lake Trek will help you enough to choose which one to do first and which one next!