The trek passes through forests, hills and quaint villages and offers ever-changing Himalayan scenery. You get a great sense of anticipation as you trek up the Khumbu Valley, passing through Sherpa villages and Tibetan monasteries, all towered over by some of the most majestic mountains in the world. Spend your evenings lounging by the fire while having a home-cooked dinner, sipping Sherpa tea and chatting with trekkers who share your interest.
Other prominent peaks visible during the Everest Base Camp hike, besides Mount Everest, include Lhotse (8,501m), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu (8,153m), and Ama Dablam (6,856m).
|Moderate to difficult|
|Trek duration:||12 days is the most common duration but can be anywhere from 8 days to 25 days.|
|Popularity:||Very popular trek but in some quite remote areas.|
|Max altitude:||5,644m, Kala Patthar|
|Accommodation:||Accommodation ranges from basic tea houses & lodges to moderately priced lodges to high-end lodges/hotels in a few select locations on the EBC trekking trail. High-end accommodations are available in Lukla, Monjo, Namche and Pangboche and are offered by either Summit Lodges and/or Yeti Mountain Homes|
|Best season:||March–May and September–November|
|Transport to/from trek||Flight to the village of Lukla (2,860m) from Manthali Airport in Ramechhap during the high season (March to May and September to November) due to high air traffic. In other months, the flights are regularly operated from Kathmandu Airport. Also accessible by taking a bus to Shivalaya and then a few days of trekking up to Lukla|
Here’s what a standard 12-day EBC itinerary looks like. However, this may vary slightly depending on the trekking agency you choose to go with.
|Day 1||Flight to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2,650m)|
|Day 2||Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3,440m)|
|Day 3||Acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar|
|Day 4||Namche - Tengboche (3,860m)|
|Day 5||Tengboche - Dingboche (4,360m)|
|Day 6||Acclimatization day at Dingboche|
|Day 7||Dingboche - Lobuche (4,940m)|
|Day 8||Lobuche - Gorakshep (5,150m), then to Everest Base Camp (5,364m), and back to Gorakshep|
|Day 9||Gorakshep - Kala Patthar (5,643m) - Pheriche (4,280m)|
|Day 10||Pheriche - Namche (3,440m)|
|Day 11||Namche - Phakding - Lukla (2,860m)|
|Day 12||Flight from Lukla - Kathmandu|
- Option 1: Although the EBC trek is the most well-known of all the treks in Nepal, there are other alternative treks that you can take. A popular choice is the shorter Everest Panorama Trek which can be completed in 8 days. You will get to see Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks but not the Base Camp itself which is not part of this trekking route. The maximum altitude on this trek is normally around 3,860 meters, as the itinerary's highest point is usually Tengboche.
- Option 2: Another option is the Gokyo Trek which takes 12 days to complete and offers views of Everest and nearby peaks, Gokyo Lake and the longest glacier in Nepal — Ngozumpa Glacier.
- Option 3: A third alternative is the combined EBC and Gokyo Trek, which takes 15 days. This trek is highly recommended, as you will see the amazing and pristine Gokyo region. If you take this trekking route, we recommend that you ascend via the stunning Gokyo valley and descend via the more busy EBC hiking trail. It is the ascent that takes most days as acclimatization is needed, while the descent is faster as you do not need to consider acclimatization and can walk faster downhill.
- Option 4: Finally, if you have 16 days available or more, you can do the amazing Everest Base Camp 3 Passes Trek, crossing the 3 passes KongMa La Pass (5,549m), Cho La Pass (5,420m), and Renjo La Pass (5,360m). This is a fantastic trekking route and also a remote one. Crossing each of the 3 passes is a small adventure. If you have 16 days available, we highly recommend this option.
- Explore the Khumbu Valley on foot, home to the highest mountains in the world, while passing through charming Sherpa villages and ancient monasteries.
- Ascend steep inclines and traverse high suspension bridges.
- Visit Tengboche, the largest Buddhist monastery in the Everest Valley. If you trek here during November, you can witness the Mani Rimdu festival, celebrated with masked dances, plays, and feasts.
- Rest at Dingboche and witness panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam.
- Discover the tiny settlement of Gorakshep and learn about the Sherpa people's distinctive culture, who call this rugged terrain their home.
- Take on the challenge of climbing to the small peak of Kala Patthar (5,644m), a breathtaking lookout point that provides unrivaled views of the surrounding peaks.
The popular option for getting to Everest Base Camp is a 25-minute flight from Ramechhap to Lukla. It is the starting point of your trek. The more affordable alternative is a scenic bus ride from Kathmandu to Jiri, followed by a trek to Lukla. This route is 4-5 days longer and more challenging but it does offer a more authentic cultural experience. If you are looking for a premium option, you can fly to the base camp via helicopter. You can see several EBC helicopter tour options here.
The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is the autumn season, from September to November. Spring, from March to May, is the second-best season for the trek. The weather during these months is generally clear and dry, providing excellent visibility of the mountains. The temperatures are also mild, making for comfortable trekking conditions. The Everest Base Camp trek in October is the most popular option as the weather is excellent, and trekkers have the chance to witness major festivals like Dashain and Tihar. However, it's important to keep in mind that the trail can get crowded as these are peak seasons. If you prefer a quieter trek, consider going during the winter (December to February). The trek is only recommended to experienced trekkers as it is more challenging during this period due to extreme snowfall and shorter days. If you are on a budget and want the trekking routes to yourself, you can trek during the monsoon season. The trade-offs are muddy trails, low visibility, and a lot of rain.
Acclimatization is crucial during the hike to Mount Everest to prevent altitude sickness while trekking. EBC trekking itineraries typically include two acclimatization days (one at Namche Bazaar and another at Dingboche) at higher elevations to allow your body to adjust to low-pressure levels and the thinner air. You will trek to higher elevations and then descend to a lower elevation to sleep, which helps your body acclimatize. It is important to follow the recommended itinerary and listen to your body's needs to avoid altitude sickness. It is highly recommended to drink a lot of water and have garlic soups to enhance the flow of blood and reduce dizziness. You should avoid rushing the inclines to minimize the chances of altitude sickness.
The Everest trekking trail is considered moderate to difficult. It requires a sufficient level of physical fitness and stamina to complete. Trekkers should be prepared for 6-8 hours of trekking per day, depending on the length of the itinerary. The route contains steep climbs and high-altitude terrain. We recommend that trekkers have no medical conditions that could be exacerbated by the high altitude. It is always safe to consult with your doctor before the trek. There is no age restriction, but we recommend that older trekkers hire a porter or join a guided group trek to Everest Base Camp. We also recommend caution taking children younger than five above 3500m. Trekkers can prepare by training for endurance and elevation gain, as well as packing appropriate clothing and gear.
It is crucial to ensure that your packing list for trekking in Nepal has the right equipment for a comfortable and safe journey. Essential items include the following:
- Sturdy hiking boots that have been broken in
- Warm and waterproof jackets and gloves
- Loose-fit trousers
- Hat, scarf and sunglasses
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Portable charger
- Water purification system
- First aid kit.
We suggest packing light and bringing only necessary items, as porters have weight limits. Trekkers can consult with their tour operator for a more comprehensive packing list tailored to their itinerary.
The cost to trek to the Everest Base Camp can vary depending on the type of trek and the level of luxury. Cost includes permits, accommodation, transportation, meals, trekking equipment, guides, and porters. A budget Everest hike can cost around USD 700-1500. You will be staying at tea houses which are small lodges with basic amenities. Meals will be local food such as dal bhat (steamed rice and lentils), fried noodles, and Tibetan bread. A luxury trek can cost around USD 2500-3000 or more. The accommodation options are more premium, with hot showers, wifi and heating systems. Self-guided treks are about USD 500 cheaper than fully guided treks, but we recommend that you bring a guide or porter with you for your safety and assistance.
Please note the following safety considerations for the EBC trek:
- Acclimatization days are required during the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
- Temperatures regularly drop below freezing around EBC during early spring, late autumn and winter. Please ensure that you have the proper gear and clothing for the time of the year.
- The higher altitude means increased exposure to harmful UV rays. Be sure to bring and use sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, as you will be exposed to harmful UV rays at higher altitudes.
- Drink boiled or filtered water only. Make sure to eat cooked foods and avoid raw or uncooked foods that may cause an upset stomach.