Gama Valley Trek
- 16 Days
- From USD4043
- Difficult Level:
- Medium to Strenuous
- Tour Type:
- Private Tour
Known as "the most beautiful valley in the world", Gama Valley is famous for its beautiful snow-capped mountains, steep canyons, lush forests, colorful rhododendrons, clear springs, and exclusive solitude of the pure land of snow. Trekking in Karma Valley, you can see the world's highest peak – Mount Everest from the eastern slope, the fourth peak - Mount Lhotse, and the world's fifth highest peak - Mount Makalu from the northern slope. Hikers can photograph the three peaks above 8,000 meters above sea level and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Walking into the mysterious holy land, and embracing the sacred mountains, there will definitely leave you with unforgettable memories. In addition to Gama Valley, we also have to pass through Orchid Valley and Kangshung Valley. Summer is an excellent season to enjoy the sight of rhododendrons, and autumn is the best season for outdoor photography. Because of the huge altitude intercept (between 3,750 meters and 5,350 meters), the snow-capped mountains are presenting like a wall in front of you. The scenery is here magnificent and unparalleled. The best time to trek through Gama Valley is from June to October.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||Arrival in Lhasa (3650m)||Pick up and transfer to the hotel|
|2||Lhasa Suburb||Drak Yerpa, Norbulingka|
|3||Lhasa Sightseeing||Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|4||Lhasa- Gyantse- Shigatse, 360km, Approx. 6hrs||Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier, Pelkor Chöde Monastery|
|5||Shigatse - Tingri- Chutang Youpa Village, 350km, Approx. 8hrs||Enjoy scenery along the way|
|6||Trek Day①: Youpa - Showo-tso Lake(4hs,10km)||Showo-tso Lake|
|7||Trek Day②: Showo-tso - Showola Pass - Dolshang(7/8hrs,13km)||Orchid Valley Dolshang|
|8||Trek Day③: Dolshang- Tsonang-tso- Xialong Pasture- Tangsung Camp(7/8hrs,12km)||Tsonang-tso Lake, Xialong Pasture, Tangsung Camp|
|9||Trek Day④: Tangsung Viewing Platform-Ega-Paltang||Tangsung Camp, Paltang Camp|
|10||Trek Day⑤: Paltang - Everest Camp of the Eastern Slope- Paltang(6hrs, 8km)||Paltang, Eastern slope of Everest|
|11||Trek Day⑥: Paltang - Ega - Tangsung Viewing Platform(6hrs,14km)||Paltang Camp, Tangsung Viewing Platform|
|12||Trek Day ⑦: Tangsung Viewing Platform - Tsosho-rim(6hrs,11km)||Tsosho-rim|
|13||Trek Day ⑧：Tsosho-rim - Nangma-la Pass - Lhundupling Village(6/7hrs,11km)||Nangma-la pass，Lake Latsetso|
|14||Lhundupling Village -Shigatse||Admire majestic Himalayans|
|15||Shigatse - Lhasa, 300km, Approx.6hrs||Tashilunpo Monastery|
|16||Depart from Lhasa||Send off to the airport/railway station|
Tashi Delek! Our staff will greet you at Lhasa Airport/Railway Station to transfer you to the hotel. From Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa, it takes about 1.2 hours. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Lhasa Railway Station to your hotel. In order to adapt to the high altitude soon, you'd better have a rest and don’t do strenuous exercise. If you feel good, you can visit the Potala Palace Square, a far view the Yaowang Mountain and take a panoramic view of the Potala Palace. Remember to drink lots of water, and eat light and high-carbohydrate foods for adapting to the high altitude better.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning, you are heading to Drak Yerpa, the most famous meditation retreat near Lhasa. It's a monastery embedded in the cliff wall. Drak Yerpa is described as the "life tree" or spiritual axis of Lhasa. The site had strong spiritual power, having been visited by almost all great Tibetan masters. You can feel the power of the meditation caves here.
In the afternoon, we will call at Norbulingka, which is a typical Tibetan-style royal garden, the summer resort of the Dalai Lama. There are a lot of towering trees, exotic flowers and plants in the Garden, as well as many collections of cultural relics, Buddha statues, pagodas, thangkas, murals, etc. They are all very precious treasures.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Today, you will explore the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The most valuable collections here are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. It's best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you may walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon, you will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is well known as the center of Tibetan Buddhism and features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, and golden sutra streamers, etc. Also, you can see a lot of pilgrims praying in front of the temple and doing kora. After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you will stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street, where you can drink sweet tea, chat with locals and even bargain with the street vendors to understand the real life in Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
You will go to Shigatse from Lhasa via Gyantse today. Firstly, you can have a glimpse of Yamdroktso Lake at Gampala pass(4790m), from there you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of the holy Yamdrok Lake with its turquoise color and snow-capped mount Nyenchen Khangsar in the distance.
Then you will see the Korala Glacier when we pass it on the roadside. After that, we will arrive in Gyantse. Here we'll visit Palkhor Chode monastery. This magnificent multi-door structure is the largest stupa in Tibet, not only well known for its architecture but also for its old sculptures and paintings all around its inner walls.
Stay overnight in Shigatse
Today we will drive from Shigatse to Youpa Village(3,750M), about 350km. On the way, you will stop by the famous Gawu La Pass (5,198M). It is the best place to enjoy mind-blowing vistas along the majestic Himalayas. Then we will follow the winding road to Youpa Village and acclimatize to the new altitude. You may get prepared for the trekking and yak registration.
Stay overnight in the guesthouse in Youpa Village.
Altitude ascent of 750m.
After a good night's sleep, we woke up in the morning and put all our trekking gear and supplies on the yak caravan. You can travel light and only pack things like water and food and other stuff. At around 11:00, our trek will begin from Youpa Village. With blinding sunshine and puffy clouds above our heads, we ascend gradually through grasslands and rugged trails. The 10 km trek will finally lead you to the camping site around the enchanting Showo-tso. Showo-tso is an alpine lake under the Showola Pass. When the weather is good, you can see Mt.Everest(the highest peak in the world at 8,844m) and Mt.Makalu(the fifth-highest peak in the world at 8,463m).
Camping at the lakeside of Showo-tso.
Altitude ascent of 250m, decent of 1000m.
Get up early, and if the weather is good, we will see Makalu and Mount Chomo Lonzo and their reflections in Showo-tso! This is one of the best places to watch Makalu on the whole trip. When the first ray of sunshine shines on the top of Makalu, it might be the beauty you have never met.
At 10:00. We'll climb over the lofty Showo La Pass(4,200m) and later descend to Dolshang Valley(4,020m) via gushing brooks covered by vibrant unknown flowers and shrubs. Dolshang forms the initial parts of Gama Valley and picturesque brooks surrounded by amazing snow-capped mountains and massive colorful orchid flowers so Dolshang Valley is also also known as Orchid Valley. Once getting down to the valley, you instantly find yourself intoxicated by the alluring scent of orchids. The stunning waterfalls, exuberant meadows, snowy peaks, etc, make you wonder if you venture into a fairyland.
Camping in Dolshang Valley.
Altitude ascent of 650m.
Dolshang is a demarcation point of climate and vegetation in Gama Valley. The lower altitude below Dolshang, the more abundant the vegetation will become. Dolshang is the uppermost boundary of the virgin forest distribution in Gama Valley. In the morning, we continue to hike up from Dolshang and pass through the virgin forest. As we climbed over the ridge, we could look back at the breathtaking panorama of the Gama Valley. If we arrive at the right time, you can even capture the grandeur of Mt. Makalu. At around noon, we will reach Tsonang-tso Lake. Its crystal-clear water reflects the spectacular view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. After lunch, we need to pass another mountain pass to reach the scenic Xialong Pasture(4,400m), blanketed with colorful wildflowers. If the weather is good, Everest will always show in front of us from the pasture. The final part of the trek will lead us to the camping site of Tangsung Camp(4,550m) but there's no clean water supplement. Please take some water at Xialong Pasture.
Camp around the Tangsung Camp.
Altitude decent of 200 meters, ascent of 320 meters.
Tangsung Camp is one of the best shooting spots on this trip - here we can see Everest, Lhotse and Makalu's Weipeak - Chomo Lonzo at the same time. Get up early and wait for the sunrise on the snow-capped mountains. After breakfast, depart for Ega at 9:30. Following the zigzag trails we move down to the Badang, where the Ega Prairie(4,310m) is situated. During the descent, looming canyons and glaciers to your right, where flowing water forms the headwaters of the Gama Valley. We need to wade through rugged and gigantic rocks to make it to Paltang(4,950m), the final camping site of the day trek. Paltang is a large pasture as well as a super viewing platform. From here, Mt.Chomo Lonzo is so close.
Camping in Paltang.
Altitude ascent of 450m, descent of 450m.
Today's trek will be tough but rewarding. From Paltang, we will trek to the Everest Base Camp of the Eastern Slope(5,320m). The initial part of the trek involves a gravel slope of about 45 degrees, from which you can gaze at the spectacular glacier on the north face of Mt.Chomo Lonzo. After crossing two seasonal alpine lakes, you will continue trekking along the river valley and finally get up to base camp on the eastern slope of Everest. It's a relatively gentle meadow where very few people arrive here. After that, we will return back to Paltang. It's a long journey, so it is better to start early.
Camping in Paltang.
Altitude ascent 700m, descent 450m.
Let's enjoy this snowy mountain feast of the endless Himalayans at Paltang Camp in the morning! Return from Paltang to the Tangsung Viewing Platform, through the big slide, descend, through the bush to Ega, and ascend back to Tangsung. The next morning you can wait for the spectacular sunrise again.
Camping at Tangsung Viewing Platform.
Altitude descent of 750m, ascent of 350m.
Today we will trek north to Tsosho - rim(5,013m), the highlight of your Gama Valley trek, also the best shooting point in the east slope route of Mount Everest. Tsosho-rim consists of 5 small alpine lakes, located at the foot of Tuolagang Poche Snow Mountain. We will camp by the nearest small lake to the grassland. If the weather is good, you can see Mt.Everest, Mt.Lhotse, Mt.Makalu, and other peaks lined up, quite imposing. If you are lucky, you can also see wild animals such as marmots here.
Camping at Tsosho-rim.
Altitude ascent of 750m, descent 450m.
Departure from Tsosho-rim, it takes three stages of climbing to reach the Langma La Pass, among which the first stage of climbing shortly after setting off from the camp has a steeper slope. Langma La Pass(5,350m) is the highest point of the entire trek. After passing the pass, it begins to descend straight down, and after crossing the rocky beach, it descends all the way to the lakeside of Latsetso. Continue down the river valley, cross the large meadow at the lower part of the mountain, and you will see the road. After crossing the small iron bridge, continue along the road and take a big turn, you will see Lhundupling Village at the bottom of the mountain - the endpoint of the entire Gama Valley Circuit Trek.
Stay overnight at Lhundupling Village.
So far, the 8-day trek has been successfully completed. Pack everything and enjoy the journey back to Shigatse. On the way, you can once again admire the majestic peaks of the Himalayas and reminisce about those days of adventure in the high mountains. Upon arrival in Shigatse, enjoy dinner and a shower, then get a good night's sleep in preparation for your departure back to Lhasa the next day.
Stay overnight in Shigatse
In Shigatse, we will visit the Tashilunpo Monastery - the home of Panchen Lama. It was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447 and is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse. It's located in the central hill of the city, the full name in Tibetan of the monastery means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory".
In the afternoon, we will drive back to Lhasa from Shigatse along the Friendship Highway, via the northern route to Lhasa. It is the most direct route and usually takes around five hours to reach the capital. We will make several stops on the way in order to enjoy the views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Tour Price and Service
From US$4043 p/p
Based on 3-star hotels for 2 people in low seasons. Price varies according to travel season, number of people and level of accommodation.
- Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
- All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
- Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
- Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
- All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
- Breakfasts provided by hotels;
- Yaks & herders during your trekking;
- A professional cook and all meals during your trek;
- Tents and sleeping bags;
- Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
- Travel Agency Liability insurance;
- Government tax;
- Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
- Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
- Oxygen tank for emergency use;
- Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.
- International flight to and out of China;
- Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
- Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
- Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
- While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
- All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
- Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
- Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.
The initial itinerary that was sent to me called for Drepung/Sera on first full day, then Potala/Jokhang the next day. We ended up doing Potala first day and were grouped with 3 other tourists. Not a huge problem and we are used to having to be flexible when we travel, but would have been nice to ha ....Read more testimonials...