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Everest Base Camp Trek Guide | Best Itinerary to Choose

Overview of Everest Base Camp Trek

Mount Everest (popular know as Sagarmatha in Nepali) is the highest peak in the world. Who doesn’t want to reach its base at least? This is going to be your most unforgettable and spectacular trip. Trekking around the Khumbu region will definitely give you goosebumps.

Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

Stunning views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Gokyo Lake, Gokyo valley, Gokyo Peak, Kala Patthar, Sagarmatha Natinal Park, Tengboche monastery, Culture and lifestyle of Sherpa.

Facts:

Maximum Altitude: 5,364 m (Everest Base Camp);  5,644 m (Kala Patthar) 

Distance to be covered: 130 km

Fitness level: Moderate

Number of walking hours/day: 4-9 hours

Duration: 13-21 days depending on routes and length of walking

When to start (Best time to trek Everest Base Camp Trek):

Though the Everest Base Camp Trek can be done all year round, I recommend you to go either in the Autumn or Spring season. Everest Base Camp might get closed in winter due to heavy snowfall.

Autumn (September–November): This is a dry season where the sky gets clear and the weather is clement. You have a great chance of having a close-up view of the mountains. This is the main (first) season for trekkers in Nepal. That’s why the trail often gets crowded with internal as well as foreign visitors.

Spring (March-May): This is the shoulder season where the spring awakens in the hilly regions, the best part being Rhododendron (a national flower of Nepal) along with the other flowers blooming all over the jungle. Trek in this season if you prefer a quieter trail.

Winter (December–February): If the chilling cold doesn’t get on your nerves, you are good to go trekking in the winter season too. You will be rewarded with mountains and the surroundings completely hooded with snow due to snowfall which creates awe-inspiring scenery (also, the quieter trails and serene surroundings). Everest Base Camp might get closed sometimes due to heavy snowfall, though. Visibility for the view remains good for most of the time during winter otherwise.

Monsoon (Summer)(June–August): Though the Everest Base Camp trek can be done in monsoon, I will not recommend this. There is a high chance you may not get a glimpse of the peaks due to the clouds wafting all around. Other complications like slippery and muddy paths, mosquitoes, leeches, frequent rainfall, etc. are worth mentioning.

If you are looking for other places to visit in Nepal, narrow down the list.

Where to Start the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Where to start depends on your time availability and your interest to walk to the locations even if it has access to transportation. Everest Base Camp comes with different options and duration. The one which you opt for depends on your interest and availability of time.

The itineraries below can be tailored according to your personal preference. The length of the trek depends on whether you choose to drive or trek down the motorable roads. You can choose to start your trek from Lukla or Jiri. You can choose to end your trek at Lukla or Jiri. You can also choose to combine Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lake.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary:

1) Everest Base Camp Short Trek (12 days)

If you have booked your trekking with an agency, they should make an arrangement for your trip.

If you are on your own, book a flight to Lukla, and start your trek from Lukla.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Read the itineraries below to get the rest of the information so that you could  avoid needless lengthy trips, and save your time, money, and energy.)

Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (2,860 m; 35 mins flight) to Phakding (2,610 m; 4 hrs trek)

Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m; 5 hrs trek)

Day hiking to Khumjung

Day 3: Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,860 m)

Day 5: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,371 m)

Day 6: Rest day at Pheriche

Day 7: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,940 m)

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,164 m) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m), return back to Gorak Shep

Day 9: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,644 m) to Dingboche

Day 10: Dingboche to Tengboche to Namche Bazaar

Day 11: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Day 12: Lukla to Kathmandu (flight)

Here is the list of top places to visit in Pokhara.

2) Everest Base Camp Trek (If you don’t want to fly to Lukla: 19 days)

The difference between this trek and the ‘Everest Base Camp Trek’ is that you start your trek at a low altitude of 1,800 m. This adds 5 extra days to your itinerary.

If you have booked your trekking with an agency, they should make an arrangement for your trip.

If you are on your own, and if you are in Kathmandu, there are 2 options:

1) Public bus/microbus:

Either,

Catch a bus that goes to Jiri directly

Head to either, Ratna Park or Koteshowor to catch the bus. If you stay at Thamel, getting a ticket from Bus Park is my recommended option because you can get a comfortable front seat by the window. If you catch the bus from Koteshowor, chances are that you might get the last seat that is uncomfortable.

Merits of the bus that goes directly to Jiri:

  • You don’t have to change the bus after reaching Jiri. This saves time and money.
  • You don’t have to scramble for seats.
  • Public transports are a lot cheaper than private vehicles.

Demerits of the bus that goes directly to Jiri:

  • These public transports are untidy, overly crowded, and can take a long time to reach the destination.
  • Seats are congested, and might not be in a condition so uncomfortable.
  • There is a limited number of buses that goes to Jiri, and they depart at a certain time. So you have to wait till its departure time.

Or,

Catch a bus going all the way to Jiri, get off at Jiri, and start your trek from there. The condition of the road farther from Jiri may be worst and scarier. 

Merits:

  • There are too many of them and depart at regular intervals.

Demerits:

  • These public transports are untidy, overly crowded, and can take a long time to reach the destination.

2) Taxi/Cab/ Private Jeep:

You can hire a taxi/private car/jeep from Kathmandu to reach Jiri. Hiring a taxi/cab/jeep can be a comfortable and fast alternative. But it is more expensive than public transport, obviously.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Read the itineraries below to get the rest of the information so that you could  avoid needless lengthy trips, and save your time, money, and energy.)

Day 1: Kathmandu to Jiri (8 hrs bus ride)

Day 2: Jiri to Deurali Pass to Bhandar

Day 3: Bhandar to Lamjura Pass to Sete

Day 4: Sete to Jumbesi

Day 5: Jumbesi to Nunthala

Day 6: Nunthala to Bupsa

Day 7: Bupsa to Lukla (2,860 m)

Day 8: Lukla to Phakding (2,610 m)

Day 9: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m)

Day 10: Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Day 11: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,860 m)

Day 12: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,371 m)

Day 13: Rest day at Pheriche

Day 14: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,940 m)

Day 15: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,164 m) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m), return back to Gorak Shep

Day 16: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,644 m) to Dingboche

Day 17: Dingboche to Tengboche to Namche Bazaar

Day 18: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Day 19: Lukla to Kathmandu (flight)

3) Everest Base Camp Trek Combined with Gokyo Lake (If you want to trek to EBC first–also my recommended one)

Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (35 mins flight) to Phakding (3-4 hrs trek)

Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m; 5-6 hrs trek)

Day hiking to Khumjung

Day 3: Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,860 m; 5-6 hrs trek)

Day 5: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,371 m; 4-5 hrs trek )

Day 6: Rest day at Pheriche

Day 7: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,940 m; 4-5 hrs trek)

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,164 m) to EBC (5,364 m; 3 hrs trek), return back to Gorak Shep

Day 9: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,644 m) to Dzongla (4,830 m; 4-5 hrs trek)

Day 10: Dzongla to Chola Pass (5,420 m) to Gokyo (6-7 hrs trek) 

Day 11: Gokyo (4,750 m) to Gokyo Ri (5,357 m) visit to Dole (4,038; 5-6 hrs trek)

Day 12: Dole to Khumjung (3,790 m; 4-5 hrs trek)

Day 13: Khumjung to Phakding (4-5 hrs trek)

Day 14: Phakding to Lukla (3-4 hrs trek)

Day 15: Lukla to Kathmandu (35 mins flight)

4) Everest Base Camp Trek Combined with Gokyo Lake (If you want to trek to Gokyo Lake first)

Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (flight) to Phakding

Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m)

Day 3: Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Dole (4,200 m; 5 hrs)

Day 5: Dole to Machermo (4,470 m; 3 hrs)

Day 6: Machermo to Gokyo Lake (4,750 m) 

Day 7: Rest day at Gokyo

Day 8: Gokyo to Gokyo Ri, return back to Gokyo to Thaknak

Day 9: Thaknak to Cho La Pass (5,420) to Dzong La

Day 10: Dzong La to Lobuche (4,930 m)

Day 11: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to EBC, return back to Gorak Shep

Day 12: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,500m) to Dingboche

Day 13: Dingboche to Tengboche to Namche Bazaar

Day 14: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Day 15: Lukla to Kathmandu (flight)

5) Three Passes Trek–over 5,000 m (Renjo La, Cho La, Kongma La)

Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (35 mins flight) to Phakding (2,500 m)

Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,500 m; 5-6 hrs)

Day 3: Rest day at Namche Bazaar

Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,870 m; 4 hrs)

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,410 m; 5-6 hrs)

Day 6: Rest day at Dingboche

Day 7: Dingboche to Chukhung (4,730 m; 3 hrs)

Day 8: Rest day at Chukhung

Day 9: Chukhung to Lobuche (4,940 m; 6 hrs) via Kongma La (5,535 m)

Day 10: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,164 m) to EBC (5,380 m), return back to Gorak Shep (7-8 hrs)

Day 11: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5,500m) to Lobuche (4,940 m, 5-6 hrs)

Day 12: Lobuche to Dzonglha (4,200 m; 3 hrs)

Day 13: Dzonglha to Gokyo (4,750 m, 8-9 hrs) via Cho La Pass (5,420 m)

Day 14:  Rest Day at Gokyo (day visit to Gokyo Ri, 5,330 m)

Day 15:  Gokyo to Lungde via Renjo La (5,340 m; 6-7 hrs)

Day 16:  Lungde to Thame (3,800 m; 2-3 hrs)

Day 17:  Thame to Namche Baazar (3,440 m; 2.5-3 hrs)

Day 18: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,850 m; 7-8 hrs)

Day 19: Lukla to Kathmandu (35 mins flight)


Accommodation and Food

There’re a lot of teahouses/guesthouses/lodges —that vary in prices according to the grade– available in specific locations during your trek to Everest Base Camp. Some of them provide facilities for hot water showers with attached bathrooms too. (You may have to pay extra for it in some guesthouses, so it’s better to inquire). Wi-fi is free these days in almost every teahouse but it may not work properly in some remote locations.

Accommodation is cheap only if you eat in the same guesthouse. Nepali cuisines along with western can be found in the guesthouses. Local bread and bakery items also taste delicious. Don’t expect to get food, a water bottle, and beverages at the same price as in Kathmandu.

Things to be aware of:

  • *Don’t forget to take two permits: Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit (NPR 2,000 per person) and  Sagarmatha National Park Entry permit (NPR 3,000 per person). Your trekking company will handle this. But, if you are an independent traveler, buy the permits prior to your trekking either in Lukla (if you’re flying to Lukla) or in Monjo (if you’re trekking from Jiri).

    Additional permit for Gaurishankar Conservation Area (NPR 3,000 per person) is required if you’re trekking from Jiri

    You have to fill-up the form with your passport details and travel insurance number. You will need two photos for permit.

  • *** Extreme caution should be exercised during the elevation gain. After reaching the height above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), increase your altitude by 1,000 feet (305 m) per day, and don’t forget to take a rest day for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained.

  • If you’re traveling to Everest Base Camp during peak season, guesthouses/teahouses en route can get fully booked. So, you better book in advance.

  • Don’t forget to keep yourself warm, especially, if you are traveling during the spring and winter seasons—Numbness due to cold may ruin your trip.
  • Don’t forget to put ready-made snacks and chocolate to eat during your trek. Because some stretches of the trails are without civilization.
  • Public transports are untidy, overly crowded, and take a long time to reach the destination.
  • Don’t miss your toiletries. You’ve to pay a hefty amount to buy them as the price gets higher as you travel farther from the city.