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Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal : An Ultimate Guide

22 May 2023
Everest Base Camp Trek is the journey from Kathmandu (1400m) to the Base Camp (5,364m) of the world's highest peak which offers aesthetic natural beauty, geographical diversity, cultural prosperity, ethnic Tibetan lifestyle, sophisticated hospitality, cerulean landscape, sparkling mountains, Khumbu glacier, green rolling hills, various species of flora-fauna and panoramic view. The trail traces through different traditional Sherpa villages, suspension bridges, terraced farmland, forest, cliff, moraine, passes and eventually concludes at Everest Base Camp.

How Long is the Trek to Everest Base Camp?

Typically, the trek to Everest Base Camp takes 12 days to complete on a 130km round-trip. It takes eight days to get to Base Camp and four days to get back down, broken down overall into nine days of long trekking and three short trekking acclimatisation days.
Any treks which claim (or push you to complete the trek in a shorter amount of time) do so at risk. Despite the relatively short distance overall, there is a reason the journey to EBC camp one is stretched over 12 days, and that is mainly due to the steep rise of altitude.

Everest Base Camp Trek Overview

  • Distance – 120 km/75 mi

  • Days required – 12 days

  • Total ascent – 6015 m/19,734 ft

  • Total descent – 5821 m/19,097 ft

  • Highest point – 5640 m/18 500 ft Kala Patthar

  • Difficulty – Moderate

  • Permits – Local Government fee (NPR 2000/US$17 pp.) and Sagarmatha National Park permit (NPR 3000/US$25 pp.) is required.

  • Accommodation – Lodges or Tea Houses

Where is Everest Base Camp (EBC)?

Everest Base Camp is a camp where climbers stay and prepare before starting to climb the world’s highest mountain, Everest. There are actually two base camps for climbing Mount Everest, the North Base Camp in Tibet and the South Base Camp in Nepal. The Nepalese camp is the Everest Base Camp that most people refer to.

EBC is located about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Kathmandu in the Khumbu region of Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 meters.

Everest Base Camp Trek Highlights

The joy is in the journey here, as you trek further up to gaze from the roof of the world. Some of the best sightings of the famous Everest arguably come during the Everest Base Camp Trek itself, from various lookout points along the way. These magnificent views combined with mystical monasteries and Sherpa villages offer a host of intriguing trip attractions en route. The best highlights of the trek are:
  • Kala Patthar (Kalapathar)

    Roughly translates to “Black Rock”. Detour to this soaring lookout point that’s 18,208 feet (5,550m) up on the ridges above Gorak Shep. It’s a real challenge (1,640-feet / 500-meter ascent in 2 hours) but is hailed by many as the best view over Everest, with the Khumbu Icefall crashing through the valley below.

  • Gorak Shep (Gorakshep)
    A settlement that seems at the end of the world, this tiny town is the heartland of the Sherpa people and sits at the base of Kala Patthar.
  • Sagarmatha National Park Museum
    You’ll encounter this one very early on in the trek during your rest day in Namche Bazaar. It’s worth the climb to its perch above the village, mainly because the forecourt has incredible views of Everest and Nuptse – your first glimpse of the great mountain. Inside, you can learn all about the unique culture of the Khumbu Sherpa people.
  • Tengboche Monastery (Thyangboche Monastery or Dawa Choling Gompa)

    The largest Buddhist gompa in the valley of Everest, Tengboche Monastery is a pit stop for determined trekkers bound for the summit. They come to light candles and ask for blessings.

  • Nangkar Tsang / Dingboche Viewpoint
    Above the town of Dingboche, this detour off the main route is good acclimatization trekking and offers a panorama that takes in the Khumbu Glacier and the whole Imja Khola Valley.

Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking Route

There is a set route for EBC trekking that takes you through various villages, camping grounds and incredibly isolated spots with magnificent views of the mountain panoramas.
  • Trekking Up : Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding – Namche Bazaar – Tengboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep – EBC

  • Trekking Down: Gorek Shep – Pheriche – Tengboche – Monjo – Lukla – Kathmandu

  • Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla flight. Trek to Phakding

  • Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

  • Day 3: Namche Bazaar acclimatisation day (trek to Thame and Khumjung, the green village)

  • Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

  • Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche

  • Day 6: Dingboche acclimatisation day (hike to Chhukung or Nagarzhang Peak)

  • Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

  • Day 8: Reach Everest Base Camp crossing the Changri Glacier and return to Gorak Shep.

  • Day 9: Gorak Shep to Pheriche (optional morning trek to Kala Pattar for sunrise views of Everest)

  • Day 10: Pheriche to Tengboche

  • Day 11: Tengboche to Monjo village

  • Day 12: Monjo to Lukla and stay overnight. Flight back to Kathmandu the following day

Scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

Although the flight to Lukla is considered as flight to the world’s most dangerous airport, it is also known to be Nepal’s most gorgeous flights.

Trekkers, on the other hand, prefer the Lukla flight, even though it is perilous, because they want to see forested hills, valleys, brilliant rivers and communities, and more. From the air, you can see lush terrace farmlands, you will fly above the clouds, and fly by the side of gorgeous waterfalls cascading through the deep forest, among other things to see from short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla.

You can get your first glimpse of Mt. Everest when you arrive at Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla. Our adventure begins here at Lukla (also known as the famous Gateway to Everest) and takes us through astonishing landscapes, rivers, valleys, towns, religious and cultural landmarks before arriving at the awaited Everest Base Camp.

Exploring around Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

We pass enter inside Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Khumbu region, on our journey to Namche Bazaar. To visit protected region of everest, you must first obtain authorization, which can be obtained at the entrance point of National park, at Monjo.
Forest of pines, oaks, junipers, bamboo, and rhododendrons along the everest trekking trail has made EBC trek as a best trek in Nepal. Wild life are seen often along the trail of Everest base camp, as well as a Himalayan-based ecology. This woodland is home to many of the region’s endangered flora and species.
You might spot uncommon species such as snow leopards, blue sheep, Himalayan goats, and eagles while walking along the trail of EBC & the woods. While traveling towards Namche Bazaar, the jungle trails between Lukla & Namche provides opportunities for birds, animal & jungle life sighting while having fun in the nature walks.

Is the Everest Base Camp Trek Difficult?

Trekking from the starting point at 2,850m / 9,000 ft and climbing to 5,364m/ 17,500 ft is not an easy undertaking, and it is more arduous than technically difficult. You don’t need any particular mountaineering skills or equipment such as ropes and crampons, just a lot of stamina.

What is the Best Time of Year to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp falls into two seasons: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn).

These two trekking seasons fall either side of the summer monsoon season, and therefore allow for optimal conditions – less rainfall, comfortable temperatures and clearer skies. The heavy rainfall from June to early September renders the Everest Base Camp trail off-limits. It becomes treacherous territory with muddy, inaccessible paths and risk of landslides.

The March to May trekking season has the advantage of warm, sunny days and the opportunity to see the bustle of those setting up camp at Base Camp ready to climb Everest. The disadvantage is the chance of humidity and heat on the long trek, and cloudy weather in May as the monsoon season starts to brew.

The September to November trekking season has the advantage of crisp, clear skies that allow for incredible views of the Himalaya ranges. A trade-off for the more moderate temperatures, which get colder towards November, especially at night. As my pictures show, visibility in November was glorious.

Everest Base Camp Trekking Permits

There are two permits required to trek the Everest Base Camp trail.
  • The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit replaced the old Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) permit in October 2018. It costs NPR 2000 Per Person and is obtained in Lukla.

  • The Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit is needed since you will be trekking through the park. It costs NPR 3000 Per Person.

Accommodation in Everest Region

Everest region is one of the highest places in the world. The home of the world’s Highest mountain - Mt. Everest (8848m), is the dream trekking trail for many trekkers. Likewise, the trail is opted by many trekkers around the world.

Since the trail is the popular touristic track, you might find all sorts of shops up to Namche too. For instance, café, restaurants, grocery shops, bars, bakeries, trekking gear shops, money exchange booths, and many more.
In the Himalayas of Nepal, the hotel has a very different meaning and understanding. As opposed to the definition of the hotel- an establishment providing accommodations, meals, and other services for travelers and tourists. In the Himalayas, it simply means a place to eat; thus, you will be able to see lots of lodges and teahouses with hotel names attached to them. Likewise, a lodge generally means a place to sleep.
One will be overwhelmed to discover the wide range of categorical hotels in the Everest region. From simple rooms with two single beds to luxury rooms furnished with all necessary things can be found in the Everest region. Everest luxury lodges will surely surprise you. The rooms of the luxury lodges in the Everest region are equipped with comfortable beds and furniture while keeping the clients’ comfort in mind.
For instance, brightly sun-kissed rooms attached bathrooms with western-style toilets and with running waters. And we have to say, in the mountain to get such facilities is luxury that can’t compete with any other hotels in the world. However, this luxury is limited up to Namche Bazaar.

Meals on Everest Base Camp Trek

All kinds of meals if found in Everest trek. Namche the more busy market has a variety of shops in the meals section. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they have their own section. Likewise, all categorical food- vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan meals are also found. In addition to that, if you require gluten-free meals, then they will also be organized for you. According to the menu available in the tea houses, you can choose your own set of foods based on your dietetic preferences.

Electricity in Everest region

Likewise up to Namche, with good tea-houses and better facilities, electricity is no exception. You can get electricity wherever you choose to stay. Yes, certain fees will be obliged to you, but still, you will get to use sufficient electricity.
Please note that Nepal has an electrical voltage of 200V/ 240 V, and it supplies the current at 50 Megahertz. So bring the power adapter that has a capacity of 50 Megahertz.
And above Namche, there will be solar panels through which electricity is supplied. Usually, the power socket is round two-pin types of plugs are found. Therefore, bringing a universal travel adapter is highly recommended.

Where does the Everest Base Camp Trek Start From ?

The Everest Base Camp is located in the Khumbu region which is the eastern part of Nepal. When it comes to Nepal, you might have heard about cities like Pokhara and Kathmandu but the trekking region is quite far away from these major cities. The trekking starts from a small town called Lukla which is situated at an altitude of 2,860 m. If you take the plane then it is a 30 minute journey from Kathmandu to Lukla whereas the bus will take you around 3-4 days.

Since it’s quite far and not very accessible by road, most people take the ariel route to reach Lukla.

Internet and Network

There is perfect internet as well as cell service on the Everest trail.
The easiest way to get internet and network service in Nepal will be to get a SIM card. There are several telecom companies in Nepal. The one that works in the Everest region more efficiently is the Ncell SIM card.
Along the trail of the Everest region, the company has built eight 3G stations. And with the provision of different data packs, users can use the internet service in Everest at a reasonable price.

Wi-Fi

Besides cell phones and data packs to access the internet, Wi-Fi is also available in the trail of Everest. You can purchase Wi-Fi at the tea houses you are staying in. The signal and the prices of the Wi-Fi change with its altitude. The price ranges from USD 2- 12 per hour. In some places, you can get excellent Wi-Fi, while in some poor. It depends on the place, though. Places, where Wi-Fi are available are Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorakshep, and Pheriche.
Furthermore, a group of young Nepalese entrepreneurs has started an internet service called Everest Link on the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Everest Link is a wireless internet service that can be purchase as a card. The card can be purchased at almost every major stops on the Everest trail. There are several internet services provided by Everest link. And they are as follows:
10 GB for 30 days at just Rs. 1999 & 20GB for 30 Days at Rs. 2999

Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List

Clothing
  • Boxer / Underwear (3 pairs)
  • Hiking socks (3 pairs)
  • Thermal Base Layer (1 pair)
  • Trekking Pants (1 pair)
  • Long & Short Sleeve Hiking Shirt (1-2 each)
  • Mid Weight Fleece / Pullover (1)
  • Down Jacket (1)
  • Packable Rain / Wind Jacket (1)
Hiking Gear
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Trekking Poles
  • Water Bottle
  • Water Sterilizer
  • Wool Hat/Headband
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight Gloves
  • Neck Gaiter Buff
Teahouse Clothing (1 each)
  • Boxers / Underwear
  • Socks
  • Warm Pants
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Lightweight Pullover / Hoodie
  • Lightweight Shoes / Slip on Sandals
  • Sleeping Bag & Liner
Other Essentials
  • Packing Cubes & Laundry Bag
  • Quick Dry Towel
  • Trekking Map
  • Bag Locks
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Playing Cards
  • Toilet Paper
  • Passport
Nutrition
  • Energy Bars
  • Fruit & Nut Granola
  • GU Energy Gels
Electronics
  • Phone & Charger
  • Camera & Charger
  • GoPro & Charger + Batteries
  • Portable Charger
  • Headlamp
  • Solar Power Bank
Healthcare
  • Deodorizing Body Wipes
  • Body Deodorant
  • Toothbrush / Toothpaste
  • Contact Lenses / Solution
  • Travel Shampoo & Soap
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Neosporin
  • Band – Aids
  • Nail Clipper
  • Small Mirror
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Advil / Ibuprofen
  • Nasal Decongestant
  • Pepto Bismal
  • Citrucel / Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Pills