Gorakshep is the last stopover point on the Everest Base Camp Trek trail. Located at an elevation of 5164 meters, this tiny settlement caters to the basic needs of several trekkers heading in and out of the Everest Base Camp. Gorakshep was the base camp for Mt Everest Climbers in the old days. But after the Khumbu Glacier receded, the base camp moved further up, called the Everest Base Camp. The current Everest Base Camp is located at a height of 5364 meters.
Gorakshep lies inside the Sagarmatha National Park. Hence, the Sagarmatha National Park entry permit is compulsory to reach here. Without the TIMS card and Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit, you cannot make your trek to this region.
How to get there?
Gorak Shep lies on the trail to the Everest Base Camp Trek. Therefore after taking the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, trekkers usually follow the path of EBC to reach Gorak Shep. However, trekkers who want to skip the Lukla flight can take a bus ride from Kathmandu to Jiri. From Jiri, they can join a trail up to Lukla. But the latter requires some extra days.
Passing through the villages of Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche from Lukla, trekkers finally make their way to Gorakshep. Before reaching Gorakshep, trekkers spend several days acclimatizing and resting in the lower-altitude villages. Once they get Gorakshep, trekking along the Khumbu icefall, they usually head to the Everest Base Camp.
Due to the low oxygen level, the final trek to EBC can be pretty challenging. However, the presence of the famous Everest Base Camp rock and prayer flags gives trekkers the next level of happiness. EBC is the ultimate goal of most trekkers who undertake this trek. After spending some time at the Everest Base Camp, trekkers make their way back to the Gorakshep. From Gorakshep, they embark on their journey to Kalapatthar the following day. Kala Patthar is the perfect vantage point for an accurate view of Mount Everest. Apart from Mount Everest, this viewpoint also offers trekkers mesmerizing views of Lobuche, Nuptse, and many others.
After relishing the incredible views of mountains from Kala Patthar, trekkers descend to Gorakshep. From Gorakshep, they return to Lukla by retracing the same route. Taking the flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, they finally return to Kathmandu.
Other optional ways to get in and out of Gorakshep
If you dream of having a close-up view of Mount Everest but prefer to avoid the long day's walk, then don't bother much. You can do so by joining a helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Gorakshep. And within a few hours of walking from Gorakshep, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Everest.
If you are tired of trekking, then choose helicopter return from Gorakshep.
Several trekkers are already in Gorakshep with no more endurance to trek back. The helicopter flight from Gorakshep to Kathmandu serves the best for such trekkers.
Accommodation at Gorakshep
There are only a few lodges or teahouses available in Gorak Shep. Due to the few teahouses in Gorakshep, many trekkers have to share a single room during the peak trekking seasons. However, if you feel comfortable sleeping under the tent, several flat surface places to set up the tents are here.
With basic facilities, the lodge owner serves every trekker visiting the region. However, in recent days, you can also expect extra facilities like high-speed satellite internet. Some of the teahouses for accommodation at Gorakshep are Gorakshep Yeti Resort, Snowlant Highest Inn, Himalayan Lodge, and Everest Inn.
Being located at a high altitude, the weather of Gorakshep remains quite unpredictable. Therefore, checking the Gorakshep weather forecast is better before stepping into this region. If you plan to trek this region during the Spring or winter, you made a great decision.
Trekking to this region is possible during the winter and monsoon seasons also. However, if you think of doing so, be ready to face various obstacles and risks. For instance, trekking to Gorakshep during the rainy season results in snow or rock avalanches, making trekking too risky. Further, the rainfall causes the trail to get slippery, due to which it becomes too difficult to trek in this region.
Speaking of the winter season, the heavy snowfall may sometimes block your trail to reach your destination. Furthermore, even if you succeed in making your way to Gorakshep, you will not find any accommodation here. Due to the heavy rainfall and unbearable cold, locals descend to the lower altitudes. Hence, it is excellent not to trek this region in winter.