Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC) is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal and the destination of millions of trekkers from around the world every year. This mesmerizing journey takes you through some of the most beautiful terrains, including lush green forests, blue glacial rivers, snow-capped mountains, and other natural beauties which you can’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s no wonder that many people consider Everest Base Camp Trek as one of the best trekking trails in the world!
How much does it cost? Is there much to see along the way? How long does it take? We answer all your questions about the Everest Base Camp trek so you can plan your journey and prepare for what lies ahead.
The basics – what is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. The trek begins in Lukla and leads through villages that are home to the Sherpa people. The trek will take you high into the Himalayas, past rhododendron forests and snow-capped peaks, before ending at the base camp of Mount Everest. This trek is perfect for those looking for an introduction to high-altitude treks as it exceeds a height of 5,000 meters. The total distance from Lukla to EBC varies due to the multiple trekking routes, which typically take around 12-14 days.
The Everest Three Pass Trek is also popular among travelers, however, this trek covers more ground and reaches higher altitudes than only the Everest base camp trek.
When to go – the best time of year to tackle the trek
The best time of year to tackle this trek is in the spring and autumn. Preferably I love to hike in spring because the monsoon season hasn’t started yet and winter has just finished and the air has dried up considerably. The blossoms of rhododendron put some color on your journey. The temperature ranges from 10-25 degrees Celsius during the days, making it a perfect time to trek through snow and ice without worrying about getting too cold. Temperatures can drop below freezing point at night, so it’s important that you’re prepared for all weather conditions.
What to expect – a day-by-day breakdown of the trek
Day 01: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2660mtrs) 3-4 hours
Early morning wake up and transfer to domestic airport with pack breakfast or after breakfast, depending on your flight schedule. Then you will experiment with the real Himalayas with the view of Gaurisankar, Shisapangba including Mount Everest in your half-hour flight. When you arrive in Lukla you might enjoy your first coffee in the Himalayas and prepare your backpack for your journey.
You begin the trek to Phakding. You will enjoy the trek downhill till Thadokoshi with the view of Khumbi-hyula and the snow-capped mountain Kusum kangaroo. The trek will continue to Phakding through Ghat with a view of the monastery and some mane walls. Stay overnight at Trekker’s Lodge.
Day 02: Trek to Namche bazaar (3440mtrs) 5-6 hours
The day begins with crossing the river Dudhkoshi and heading to the Benker through Tok Tok with gradual walking. You will slightly climb up to Monjo where the entrance gate of the Sagarmatha National Park is. You will cross the river, again and again, to go to Namchebazaar via Hillary bridge. Till Hillary bridge, the trail goes gradually up and down then it goes step up till Namche bazaar. If the weather permits, you will see the first glimpse of Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse on the way. Namche Bazaar is the transit point for the different treks in the Everest region and the big marketplace of the Sherpa community as well as Tibetans. Overnight at Hotel Hilten.
Day 03: Acclimatization Day (3440mtrs) 3-4 hours
I highly recommend you spend one full day for acclimatization. You will begin your day with a spectacular view of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Amadablam, and many more mountains of the Himalayas. After breakfast, either head up to Khumjung village and monastery via Everest view lodge which is located at an altitude of 3900mtrs and it’s really useful for acclimatization, or you go halfway to Thame and back to Namche Bazaar. Overnight at Hotel Hilten.
Day 04: Trek to Tengboche (3867mtrs) 5-6 hours
The day begins on the flat trail with a view of Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Amadablam, Mount Thamserku, Mount Kongde, and so on. From Kyangjuma the trail goes descent to the Dudh Koshi river and ascent to Tengboche through a beautiful Rhododendron forest. On the way, you will see one more beautiful snow-capped mountain Kangtega. You will have a chance to explore the monastery in Tengboche, which is the biggest monastery in the Khumbu region. Internet cafes and bakery cafes are also attractions of Tengboche. Overnight at Tashi Delek Lodge
Day 05: Trek to Dingboche (4410mtrs) 5-6 hours
After breakfast, the trail descends down from Tengboche, through the rhododendron forest to Debuche, and crosses a bridge over the raging Imja Khola (River). The trail for Dingboche follows the climbing route of Island peak and the face of Amphu Laptsa. The trail goes down to the river again and climbs up to Dingboche with a boundary of stone walls and the view of a famous trekking peak called Island peak. It is a gateway to Chukung and farther beyond for the most challenging traverses towards the Makalu area and Hinko Valley. Overnight at Goodluck guest house
Day 06: Acclimatization day at Dingboche
On this day you may have a full day rest or there are some places where you can go for a day hike; up to Chhukung(4,730m) for acclimatization (point of climbing famous Island peak) or climb up to Nanjajung Peak for about two hours offer a view of Imjatse Valley with Dingboche village and Mt.Makalu(8,463m), Ama Dablam, Island peak, etc. Overnight at Goodluck guest house.
Day 07: Trek to Labuche (4,930mtrs) 5-6 hours
After your complete acclimatization, the trail is heading gradually climb up until Dughla offering stunning views of Tabuchi and Cholatse. From Dughla trail directly goes up to the Khumbu Glacier for an hour, then left into the memorial area before reaching the village of Labuche. In this stage, the effects of the altitude will be kicking in and you can expect colder nights. Overnight at Alpine Lodge
Day 8: Trek to Gorakshep (5,180mtrs) – 3 hours & Everest Base
Camp (5,364m) 2-3 hours
After breakfast, the trek continues gently climbing and sometimes directs ascent to a nearby glacier. The trail goes to Gorakshep is rocky and windy but it offers a good view of Mt. Pumori and there are beautiful views of the Everest Base camp and Khumbu glacier.
After lunch at Gorakshep, you are ready for your adventure to the targeted destination and you continue your trek towards the Everest Base Camp and to the Khumbu Icefall, the path from here can be misleading, follow the leader or other travelers, every year the trail changes due to the movements of the glacier, the walk is quite strenuous due to the high altitude and thin air, the walk passes through over rocky dunes and moraine and streams, till you reach the base camp.
f you are trekking during the high expedition season have fallen like the city. It takes 2-3 hours to get to base camp and after a grand time here go back over the journey to Gorakshep. Overnight at Gorakshep Yeti Resort
Day 9: Trek to Kalapatthar (5,545mtrs) -2 hours & Stroll back to Pheriche (4,280mtrs) 5-6 hours
Early in the morning climb up for 2 hours at your pace to Kalapatthar for a 360-degree view of the mountain peaks. When reaching the top, you will feel joyful as you achieve the moment that you have been dreaming of since the planning of your journey. A small rocky peak “Kalapatthar” offer you beyond imagination as Everest looks amazing, the panoramic view from this spot is something to cherish, and you feel it’s worth to hard climb up here and feeling at the top of the world, and you see Khumbu glacier, Everest Base camp down below on the moraine of Khumbu glacier and many mountains scenery; Pumari (7,145m), Lingtren (6,695m), Khumbutse (6,623m), Changtse (7,550m), Nuptse (7879m), Everest itself, etc. After breakfast in Gorakshep trek down to Dhugla then go stay at Pheriche Himalayan Lodge.
Day 10: Trek to Tengboche (3867mtrs) 4-5 hours
Today you can feel easy heading downhill to a lower elevation from Pheriche. The walk is pleasant all the way to Tengboche. You can see the very old Pangboche Sherpa village, and further down to Tengboche is one of the most beautiful places in the Himalayas the first thing that comes to your eyes is the big Monastery or Gumba, then the large field with campsites and teahouses, lodges beneath the soaring majestic gorgeous peak Ama Dablam, Everest, Mt. Lhotse, and Lhotse Shar towards northeast and more peaks all around. Overnight at Tashi Delek Lodge
Day 11: Trek to Monjo (2840mtrs) 6-7 hours
After breakfast, the trail goes down through the forest with pine, Jupiter, rhododendron, and a few magnolias and birch trees with a great memory after crossing the suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi River trek onwards to the Sanasa and re-tracks to Namche Bazar. After Namche Bazar, the trail goes step down to the Hillary bridge and you get to Monjo after crossing Dudhkoshi river a couple of times on a gradual walk. Overnight at Summit Lodge
Day 12: Trek to Lukla (2,800mtrs) 5-6 hours
Today is the last day of your trek. The trail goes gradually up and down. it will remind you again to enjoy the lush green scenery around and pass through the incredible mountain scenery and local Sherpa village until Lukla. You’ll have time to wander around the areas. Enjoy your overnight at Buddha Lodge, where you will get help to re-confirm your flight for the next day as well.
What to pack – essential items for your backpack
Pack at least three changes of warm clothes, including a raincoat and gloves. As the weather can change quickly even in the spring, it is best to be prepared for all scenarios. You should also pack a few pairs of warm socks for when your shoes are wet or if you get cold easily. When it comes to food, try to keep just some of your favorite snacks to not take up too much space in your backpack. You will get every kind of food on this journey. If you are from Germany, you might taste the German bakery in the Everest region which you have never tasted in Germany. The less weight you have, the more energy you will have and the better off you will be. Feel free to check this amazing article from Hikepackers about Trekking Gear Checklist for Nepal to get prepared for your gear.
Training – how to get physically prepared for the challenge
Training is important and should be a crucial part of any hike up Everest. The high-altitude trek in Nepal will make you work harder than ever, so it’s important that you prepare both mentally and physically. We recommend doing some research about the physical demands of hiking at high altitudes, as well as reading up on the 10 Essentials for a successful trip. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide: Ten Things You Should Know About Hiking High Altitude. The more knowledge and training you have, the better off you’ll be when faced with the challenges of this high-altitude trek!
Accommodation – where to stay during the trek
You don’t need to carry your tent to stay warm during the trek, there are a lot of tea houses that provide you lodging in Everest Base Camp Trek. I highly recommended that you look into staying in one of the tea houses. This will not only give you an opportunity to meet other trekkers and Nepali people, but it will also help the local economy. And definitely, it helps you carry less weight for your entire trekking. The standard room with twin beds costs around $10 USD per night in tea houses. The guesthouses vary in their quality and amenities, so be sure to do some research beforehand.
I have recommended my favorite guest houses for the entire route above.
The route – an overview of the trekking route
The Everest base camp trek is an extremely popular activity among adventure seekers. It’s not hard to see why, as the trek takes you through a diverse range of landscapes, from dense forests and busy town centers to high-altitude mountain ranges. The trek is usually done in one direction, with the starting point at Lukla and the finishing point at Lukla too. The Everest base camp trek is generally divided into two sections. The first section leads you to Everest Base Base Camp directly through Tengboche and Dingboche which takes an average of 12 days for a whole trip. The second section, which spans over 3-5 days longer, takes you from Namche Bazaar through Machhermo, Gokyo, and Cholapass then to the main route joining at Lobuche depending on your requirements. It’s definitely worth something more so most people complete the alternative route which goes through Gokyo Lakes and leads up toward EBC.
Permits for Everest base camp trek
A permit is required for any trekking in Nepal and the Everest Base Camp Trek has two permits: Khumbu Rural Municipality Permit and Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit. The Sagarmatha National Park Permit costs 3000 rupees (30 USD) and can also be obtained in Kathmandu at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife Conservation, and Tourism (DNPWC). And Khumbu Rural Municipality permit costs 2000 rupees (20 USD).
The cost – how much does the Everest Base Camp Trek cost?
The Everest Base Camp trek is the most popular route in Nepal, but it is also one of the most expensive treks. The standard cost for a single person is $2,500 USD. This price includes all permits, porters, and guides. If you are going with a group of people, the price for guides will be split among everyone. It also includes transportation from Kathmandu to Lukla and back again which can be pricey. If you are backpacking on your own, It will definitely cost a little less than $2000.
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