Everest Base Camp Trek - All You Need to Know
Reaching Everest base camp is being the goal of thousand of adventure trekkers from all over the world. There is a magnificence view, trekking through this area and experience with Sherpa culture and lifestyle.
This is a very helpful online guide to Everest base camp trek. You will find all the information on it to trek safely and successfully to the base camp.
I am providing general information to the Everest base camp trek, which guides you to plan well the Everest base camp trek.
About Everest Base Camp Trek
The classic Everest base camp trek leads through the Khumbu valley, enjoying the beauty of the Sagarmatha national park and takes to the view of 4 highest mountains above 8000+ meters. These highest mountains are Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,470m) and Cho-Oyu (8,201m).
This Popular trek discovers and follows the footsteps of Sir Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa as you trek from Lukla to EBC.
It is a teahouse trek so you will stay in some of the highest villages in the world. You may explore the local culture and tradition of native Sherpa people and learn about their historical connection with the mountains.
Visiting Kalapatthar (5,550m) and enjoying with 360-degree panoramic view on the trek is one of the main attractions.
Exploring the various old and historical Buddhist monasteries with some other monuments and learn about religion, culture and festivals are some other experiences of the trek.
Everest base camp trek starts with a scenic mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. This half an hour flight offers the scenic mountain view of different Himalayan ranges. After landing at Lukla, you trek to Phakding which is a short day trek.
Crossing some different suspension bridges and enjoying with the view, you keep continue your trek to the Everest base camp passing Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep. It takes 8 days hike from Lukla to EBC including 2 rest days for altitude practices.
You trek back to Lukla in 3 long days trek after visiting Kalapatthar and fly back to Kathmandu after spending a night in Lukla.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Everest base camp trek is 12 days itinerary which is all the trekkers follow. But you may make one day shorter or a few days longer as your fitness and attitude practice.
I suggest following the normal itinerary or even making it longer to avoid the altitude problems. Here is a detail itinerary overview day by day for your easiness.
Day 1 Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding
You will have an early morning flight to Lukla from Kathmandu today. The flight takes 30 minutes which offers a beautiful view of scenic Mountain View, different villages, and beautiful landscapes. Once you land on the Lukla airport, then you start your trek to Phakding crossing Chheplung, Thadokoshi and Ghat villages. It is a short day trek to Phakding which takes you around 3 hrs.
Day 2 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar
This is a long day trek to Namche. You ascend altitude about 800 meters today. The trek is about 6-7 hrs long crossing 5 different suspension bridges on the same river. You will enter the Sagarmatha national park from Monjo where you check-in. After having your lunch in Jorsalle, you trek another 3 hrs to Namche Bazar.
Day 3 Acclimatization rest day in Namche
This is your first altitude practice day which is mandatory before reaching the base camp. You hike up to Everest view hotel passing the highest airport (Syangboche) in the Khumbu region. It takes 2 hrs to reach to Everest view hotel. After enjoying the view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam and other beautiful mountains from here, you hike back to Namche Bazar or may go to Khumjung village (the biggest village in the region).
Day 4 Trek from Namche to Tengboche
It is a beautiful day today to trek to Tengboche. You will enjoy the view of the same mountains which you already have seen during the acclimatization hike. Trekking through a nice and clear trail about 2 and a half hours, you reach Kyanjuma from where the trail to Gokyo divides then trek downwards to Phunkitenga. Here you stop for your lunch and ascend 2 hrs through the forest to Tengboche. You may visit a historical old monastery here in the evening.
Day 5 Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche
After a scenic view from this hill in the morning, you trek downwards to Deboche. Then you cross a suspension bridge and climb for a while to Pangboche. Your next stop for your lunch is Somare which takes about an hour's walk from Pangboche. Now, you already cross the tree line and be in the open area. You feel less oxygen in the air in this area while trekking to Dingboche.
Day 6 Rest day at Dingboche
This is you’re the second-day acclimatization rest day. Today, you hike up to Nangar-Tsang hill which takes about 3 hrs. You will see the fourth highest mountain of Nepal (Makalu) from here including regular mountains Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam, Thamserku and more. Then you hike back to the lodge in Dingboche.
Day 7 Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche
Today, you hike through a ridge keeping Pheriche on your left. You trek about 3- 3 and a half hours to Thukla (Dhukla) where you stop for lunch. After lunch, the trail ascends to Thukla's top. Here you see lots of monuments of dead climbers. From the top of Thukla, the trail goes easy another hour to Lobuche.
Day 8 Trek from Lobuche to Everest base camp via Gorakshep
This is your important day because you are reaching your goal. You need to start a little bit earlier in the morning. First, you trek to Gorakshep which takes you about 3 hrs and you take some quick lunch. After your quick lunch, you hike to Everest base camp leaving all your stuff at the lodge except your needed warm equipment. It takes 2- 2 and a half hours to reach base camp and the same to come back so it is a long day trek.
Day 9 Hike up to Kalapatthar and trek back to Pheriche
This is the day to see incredible Everest Himalaya. You start your hike very early morning with your flashlight to Kalapatthar. Hiking to the Kalapatthar takes about 2 hrs and an hour back. You will enjoy a 360-degree view of the Everest Himalaya from Kalapatthar. Then you trek back to Pheriche following the same way until Thukla.
Day 10 Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar
Today is another a long day trek from Pheriche to Namche. It takes around 7-8 hrs but you feel comfortable to walk in the lower region. You will come back to the trees line after Pangboche and will be easier to breathe. This trail will be familiar to you because you already have been passed along the way up to the base camp.
Day 11 Trek from Namche to Lukla
This is also a long day that you took 2 days to come up. It takes around 7 hrs to Lukla from here. You will stop in Phakding for your lunch and trek another 3 hrs to Lula with ascending trail. This is you’re the last night of mountain stay so you may celebrate your trek here.
Day 12 Fly back to Kathmandu
Keeping a beautiful unforgettable memory of the Everest base camp trek, you will fly in the early morning from here to Kathmandu. After a peaceful mountain stay, you will arrive in the noisy city missing your family and home.
Everest Base Camp Trek Distance
Everest base camp trek round trip from Lukla to Lukla is about 130Km. It looks easy from day by day according to the map.
8 Days trek from Lukla to Everest base camp is 68 Km and return to Lukla from here is 62 Km. 8 Days including 2 rest days up to the base camp is a normal and recommended trekking itinerary for everyone. Trekking camps are longer the first a few days and descending back from EBC. Doing the whole 130 Km in 11 days is fairly enough.
Everest Base Camp Trek FAQs
Before planning a trek to the Everest base camp, you may search for some solution to frequently asked questions. It helps you to plan well your successful Everest base camp trek. Here are some regular questions and their answers to support to prepare your trek.
How hard is Everest Base Camp Trek?
Everest base camp trek is not an easy one. But this is a gradual elevation gain trek because of some days trek in above 4000 meters with low-level oxygen. The elevation makes difficult to walk with a hard breath.
Flying from Kathmandu (1350m) to Lukla (2,856m) is already too high and feel the altitude. You will trek day by day slowly up to base camp (5,364m) and Kalapatthar (5,550m). So It is a moderate level trek by fitness and strenuous trek with gaining altitude and its effect.
How much does it cost for Everest base camp trek?
Everest base camp trek is a teahouse trek so you don’t need to carry foods and tents and don’t need much manpower. It is not an expensive trek compare to the trekking in other countries. You find good deals through the internet with different costs but 600 USD to 1300 USD is a fairly good price according to the service type.
Do you need a guide and a porter to Everest base camp trek?
My suggestion is better to hire a guide and a porter for the trek. You may do independently too but you may be in pressure every day to find the right direction and accommodation. If you are trekking individually, you need to research yourself about everything in Everest but if you have a guide he may provide all the information.
A porter plays a vital role to make your successful Everest base camp trek. Carrying such a heavy load and enjoying nature is not a joke so if you have a porter, you may fully enjoy nature and a happy holiday.
When is the best tie for Everest base camp trek?
The best time to trek to the Everest base camp is from March to May in spring. It is the climbing season for the Everest expedition so you see lots of colourful tents of the climbers at the base camp.
Visibility is nice and clear during these months. Weather is stable and dry in this season and the forest will be colourful with blooming rhododendron in the lower area.
September to November in autumn is the highest season and good to trek to base camp. This season has flooded trekkers all the way. Winter has still a nice view but this is a very cold season and summer from June to August is not recommended for this trek.
Do you need a trekking permit for Everest base camp trek?
Yes, you do need the trekking permits. You are going to do a trek inside to the world heritage site of UNESCO (Sagarmatha National Park) so you need to have a national entry permit and Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality entry permit. The Sagarmatha national park entry permit cost you 3000 NPR and Pasang Lhamu fee 2000 NPR.
Will you get altitude sickness during Everest base camp trek?
If you follow the itinerary having 2 acclimatization rest days for altitude practice it may not effect. But you need to walk slow, not keep thinking about altitude, drink plenty of clean water, keep warm yourself all the time should be fine.
You lose your appetite, difficult to sleep, getting tired while resting, headache, try to vomit, nausea, and some other symptoms, better have one more day rest or descend as soon possible.
What should you pack for the Everest base camp trek?
The important thing is having well equipped for the Everest base camp trek. You can hire some things which you don’t use again after the trek in Kathmandu or can buy all the gear. Here is a list of basic equipment which you need for the trek.
Do I need insurance for the Everest base camp trek?
Yes, you need to have travel insurance for the Everest base camp trek. Before buying insurance, you need to be sure if it covers up to 6,000 meters and any emergency evacuation service includes one.
Accommodation and Food in Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest base camp trek has a lot of choices of accommodation. You can get a private room every place and get the attached bathroom in some places. If you would like to have luxury accommodation during the trek, it is also possible but it cost you expensive. A place like Tengboche will be difficult to get accommodation if you have not booked in advance.
Food in the Everest base camp trek has lots of choices that you can choose from the food menu. Also, they cook local food if you would like to taste the Nepalese and Sherpa food. The cocks are trained in most of the lodges and food items are almost the same.
You may buy bottled water in each place but as you go higher, the price goes higher. You may drink normal tap water using purification tablets, drops or sterilizers. Also, you may bring eco-bottle which filters everything. Remember to bring two bottles with you to feel the water and use purification then you always have ready water to drink.
Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal than entire treks in the Nepalese Himalaya. It has a great number of natural and cultural attractions. I hope this information helps you to plan your Everest base camp trek and learned something about the trek before you jump on.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am Rajesh Thapaliya working in the Nepalese tourism industry for more than a decade and a half as a tour leader and trekking/ tour operator. I have been to most of the Nepalese Himalayan base camps and historical heritage sites. I write my Nepal travel experience and love photography. The trip starts here...