Complete Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek

Let’s be honest here, trekking to Everest Base Camp is recommended for those who are physically fit and who are able to deal with a little discomfort along the way! 

While there are some very comfortable lodges at the lower altitudes, in general trekking lodges, or teahouses as the are called in Nepal are quite basic. 

As for the trails themselves, well this is the Himalayas after all so don’t expect it to be your Sunday afternoon hike.

Bright yellow tents in Mount Everest Base Camp, Khumbu glacier and mountains, Sagarmatha national park, Nepal, Himalayas

That said, trekking to Everest Base Camp is a wonderful experience, full of adventure and stunning landscapes, involving great camaraderie with your guide and other trekkers and meeting interesting Sherpa locals.

Here is a guide to the Everest Base Camp Trekking to raise your interest.

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Highlights of the Trek

  • It starts with an amazing flight into the high altitude Tenzing Hillary airport at Lukla.
  • Entering the Sagarmatha National Park is worthy of Instagram for sure.
  • Explore Namche Bazaar, the market town that is the gathering point for all treks and expeditions.
  • Visit Tengboche Monastery, the highest monastery in the region.
  • Scramble over rough terrain and up to the highest view point at Kalapattar.
  • Gaze at Mt Everest from several different angles.
  • Stand at the base of the world’s highest mountain.
  • Be awed by the mountains and the glaciers surrounding you.
signpost way to mount Everest b.c. and Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse from Pumo Ri base camp - way to Mount Everest base camp, Nepal himalayas mountains

12 Days of Strenuous Trekking

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla or drive from Kathmandu to Ramechap Airport, around 5 hours road trip, to fly up to Lukla.  This depends on the season and demand.   On arrival at Lukla, start trekking to Phakding for your first overnight on the trek.  This part of the trek is through forest lands and across a couple of suspension bridges hung over icy cold mountain rivers.  Walking time: 4 hours.

Day 2: Hike from Phakding to Namche Bazaar.  Namche has grown as it has become not just a market town for locals but a meeting point for trekkers and mountaineers. It has a small, interesting number of pubs and cafes, particularly interesting once you have completed your trek and are on the way down! Walking time: 5 to 6 hours.

Day 3: Acclimatization day at Namche.  Now that you are at 3,440m / 11,286 ft your body needs time to adjust to the altitude before it is pushed further.  Today explore Namche, or hike to Khumjung village, where Edmund Hillary set up a school for Sherpa children, or even hike to the Everest View Point Hotel for a up of coffee with an excellent view of Everest!  Walking time: 5 to 6 hours is recommended to best achieve acclimatization.

Day 4: We forgot the mention the mountains!  Kwangde (6,011m), Thamserku (6,623m), Kangtega (6,782m), Nuptse (7,861m), Lhotse (8,516m), Ama Dablam (6,812m) are just some you will be seeing now.  And naturally, Mount Everest (8,848m) is there too!  Hike to Tengboche Monastery today over a switchback trail.  The landscape is becoming more barren as the altitude increases. The views from the monastery surround you in a panorama of mountains.   Walking time: 5 to 6 hours

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche is a challenging hike as you follow the Imja Khola (river) and climb up to Dinboche through desolate potato fields.  Walking time: 4 to 5 hours.

Day 6: Another acclimatization day at Dingboche.  Now you are at 4,380m / 14,370 ft and about to go higher again.  It is suggested you spend the day hiking to Nagkar Tshang Peak where there are great views of Mt Makalu.  Walking time: 3.5 to 5 hours.

Mount Everest base camp, Khumbu glacier and mountains, sagarmatha national park, trek to Everest base camp - Nepal Himalayas

Day 7: Climb gently out of Dingboche on the way to Lobuche, over alpine vegetation and yak pastures.  There are great views of Mt Ama Dablam from here.  Then the trails becomes more challenging as it goes over the Thokla Pass.  From here the views of several 7,000m plus peaks are stunning.  Walking time: 4 to 5 hours.

Day 8: Now it’s getting really thrilling!  Hike from Lobuche to Gorakshep and stop for the night.  In the afternoon, there is the opportunity to hike to Kalapattar, from where the views of Everest are the best you will get.  At 5,545m this is the highest point of the trek.  Walking time: 3 hours to Gorakshep and 3 to 4 round trip to Kalapattar, total of 6 to 7 hours.  

Day 9: Start the day with a thrilling morning hike from Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp.  Take selfies at this amazing location and stare at the beauty surrounding you.  This return trip takes around 4 hours. Then return to Gorakshep to have breakfast before heading to Pheriche.  Here you can find the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic and perhaps listen to their daily talk on altitude sickness and how to avoid it. Walking time: total time is around 8 hours.

Day 10: This is a long day of 6 to 7 hours during which the trail descends a lot.  Naturally there are some uphills, because it’s the Himalayas!  The vegetation begins to return as you leave behind the more rocky landscapes.  If you are back in time, there is a pub in Namche that shows films related to the Himalayas every afternoon.  Otherwise, just relax with a beer and a good dinner.  Walking time: 6 to 7 hours.

Day 11: The final day of the trek!  Namche Bazaar to Lukla.  Retrace your steps – is it only 10 days ago you were climbing up full of excitement and anticipation?  Now you have achieved your dream!  The final night in the Everest Region is spend in Lukla waiting for the early morning flight. Walking time: 5 to 6 hours.

Day 12: Fly from Lukla to either Kathmandu direct or via Ramchhap and drive to Kathmandu. Flight time: around 40 minutes.

Find out More

There is so much more to know about the Everest Base Camp Trek.  We suggest you contact Magical Nepal, an experienced trekking agency based in Kathmandu who regularly take clients on this amazing trek.

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