Everest Base Camp Trek –12 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
The 12-day Everest Base Camp Trek is an iconic journey that takes adventurers to the foot of the world’s highest mountain. It is a challenging yet rewarding experience, offering stunning views of the Himalayan peaks and a unique insight into the culture of the Sherpa people.
Hike to Everest offers the best trekking package to explore the incredible beauty of the Everest region and take on this unforgettable challenge.
Trek to the Mount Everest Base Camp is well known as EBC Trek, which takes you to the elevation of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet) at its endpoint, the EBC Trek is more than just a hike – it’s a test of endurance and resilience; and spirit. However, you will hike up to the Kalapathar at 5545 meters from the sea level.
The journey begins with a nerve-tingling flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, a small town on a mountainside. This flight, lasting about 30 minutes, offers the first awe-inspiring glimpse of the mighty Himalayan range. The thrill of landing at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport, one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to its small runway and challenging topography, is an adventure in itself.
Everest Base Camp Trekking Route and Program
The trek to Everest Base Camp officially starts from Lukla airport after flying from Kathmandu or Ramechhap airport. The trekking route follows the lush green forests, crosses fast-flowing rivers on suspension bridges adorned with prayer flags, and meanders through the Sherpa villages of Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche before finally reaching Gorak Shep, the last stop before EBC.
On the second day of trekking, we reach Namche Bazaar, a bustling town known as the gateway to the high Himalayas, which is an important acclimatization stop. Here, trekkers can explore the local markets and visit the Sherpa Museum, offering insights into the Sherpa culture and the history of mountaineering in the region.
The trekking to Everest Base Camp also offers a spiritual experience, with Tengboche Monastery being one of the trek’s highlights. As you walk along the path, the echoes of chants from the monasteries, the chimes of the prayer bells, and the sight of prayer flags flapping in the wind add tranquility to the journey.
The most influential segment of the trek is the final ascent to Everest Base Camp Trek from Gorak Shep. The sight of the Khumbu Icefall, and the knowledge that you’re standing at the base of the world’s tallest peak, evokes a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to match.
Before descending, many trekkers climb Kala Patthar (5,545 meters), a small peak offering unobstructed views of Everest and the surrounding Himalayan giants.
Undeniably, the EBC trek is a challenging one. The high altitude and rugged terrain can test even the most seasoned hikers. However, with proper acclimatization, hydration, and determination, the trek is achievable for those with a reasonable fitness level.
The EBC Trek isn’t just about reaching the base of Mount Everest. It’s about the entire journey, the landscapes, the people, and the culture. It’s about appreciating the simplicity of mountain life, witnessing the grandeur of towering peaks, and experiencing the profound peace that can only be found in the heart of the Himalayas. The memories of the EBC Trek last a lifetime, making it a journey worth undertaking.
The Everest Base Camp Trekking is an epic journey filled with unforgettable highlights. Here are some of the key highlights of the trek:
- Enjoy the Spectacular mountain scenery
- Explore the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and many more
- Experience the culture and tradition of local people while trekking through Sherpa villages
- Enjoy the colorful Namche Bazaar’s vibrant atmosphere with native and modern taste
- Gather pilgrimage experience by visiting Tengboche Monastery and Buddhist rituals
- Experience the first rays over the Himalayas through sunrise views from Kala Patthar
- Immersion in Sherpa culture and hospitality during the trek
- Explore the Sagarmatha National Park and its biodiversity
- Make a lifetime memory of a Challenging yet rewarding experience
Our trekking package to Everest Base Camp is around 12 days. It’s the standard trekking itinerary from Kathmandu to Everest and returns to Kathmandu. However, the duration can vary depending on weather conditions, acclimatization needs, and individual fitness levels.
The 12-day trek covers all the necessary hiking plans, including two days of acclimatization in Namche and Dingboche, making your trek successful by reducing the risk of altitude sickness. If you plan 14 day Everest Base Camp trek is best for a flight cancellation program.
Everest Base Camp Trek packages
Everest Base Camp trek costs for the Kathmandu to Lukla or Ramechhap to Lukla flight, trekking permits and National Park Entry fees, trekking guide, and porters. Similarly, accommodation and food for you with the necessary hot and cold drinks cover the cost.
Luxury accommodation in lodges is expensive, and basic tea houses are cheaper.
There will be extra costs for equipment, communications such as Wi-Fi, extra days on the trip, and unavoidable expenses such as emergency rescue and helicopter flights.
Tips after the successful trekking are expected from the guide and porters. So, the Everest Base Camp trekking cost goes into these topics. Clear point-wise notes are in the cost, including and excluding sections.
Best Time to Trek to Everest Base Camp
The best time to trek Everest Base Camp is during the pre-monsoon (spring) and post-monsoon (autumn) seasons. The weather is generally clear in spring (March to May), and the temperature is moderate, making it ideal for trekking. The rhododendron forests come to life with vibrant blooms, adding a splash of color to the landscape.
Autumn (September to November) brings stable weather conditions, clear skies, and excellent visibility, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The temperatures are mild, and the trails are relatively dry, making it a popular time for trekking.
Both seasons have their charm, and the choice depends on personal preferences. It’s important to note that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. Always check weather forecasts and consult with local guides before embarking on the trek.
The 12-day EBC trekking Itinerary is as follows. Details of the day-to-day itinerary are described in the itinerary section.
|1||Flight to Lukla, trek to Phakding||Lukla: 2,800 / Phakding: 2,652|
|2||Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar: 3,440|
|3||Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar: 3,440|
|4||Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche||Tengboche: 3,867|
|5||Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche||Dingboche: 4,410|
|6||Acclimatization Day in Dingboche||Dingboche: 4,410|
|7||Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche||Lobuche: 4,940|
|8||Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep, then to Everest Base Camp, and back to Gorak Shep||Gorak Shep: 5,160 / Everest Base Camp: 5,364|
|9||Trek from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar, then to Pheriche||Kala Patthar: 5,545 / Pheriche: 4,240|
|10||Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar: 3,440|
|11||Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla||Lukla: 2,800|
|12||Flight back to Kathmandu||Kathmandu: Approximately 1,400|
Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Trek is difficult and requires physical and mental preparation. The difficulty level of the trekking is considered as moderate. However, well planning is necessary to avoid altitude risk and make the trekking successful.
The EBC trail involves long days of trekking, often 6 to 8 hours a day, over steep, uneven terrain and at high altitudes where the air is thin, making physical activity more challenging.
While previous trekking experience can be beneficial, it’s not a strict requirement. Even though many first-time trekkers have completed the Everest BBC trek. What’s crucial is maintaining a good fitness level. Regular cardio exercises like running, cycling, swimming, and strength training in the months leading up to the trek can help improve your stamina and make the trek more manageable.
You should be mentally prepared for the challenges of the trek. It’s also crucial to understand the symptoms of altitude sickness, which can affect anyone, regardless of fitness or experience level.
A key guide for the successful EBC trek is to take it slow and steady, allowing your body to acclimate to the high altitude. Follow your trekking guide and consult about your fitness level.
Carrying enough clothes and equipment for the 12-day mountain by lowering the weight is challenging. We advise you to pack the following clothes and equipment.
Clothing: Thermal base layers, trekking shirts, trousers, waterproof jacket and pants, down jacket, underwear, warm gloves, woolen hat, and sun hat.
Footwear: Trekking boots, sandals for evenings, and thermal socks.
Gear: Trekking poles, headlamp, backpack, sleeping bag, and water purifier.
Toiletries: Sunscreen, lip balm, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and a small towel.
Medication: First aid kit, altitude sickness medication, water purification tablets.
Miscellaneous: Sunglasses, camera, power bank, snacks, and a reusable water bottle.
Remember, the Everest base camp trek packing list is crucial for comfort and warmth.
What Can You Expect from the Everest Base Camp Trek?
You will have lots of expectations from the trekking. As you complete this EBC trek, You may anticipate being mesmerized by breathtaking views of the iconic Mount Everest and other majestic Himalayan peaks. Experience the vibrant Sherpa culture firsthand while meeting friendly locals and touring historic monasteries.
Your physical boundaries will be pushed during the trek, but when you arrive at Everest Base Camp at the base of the tallest peak in the world, you will feel enormous pride in your accomplishments.
Admire the expansive views from the well-known Kala Patthar viewpoint, where the rising sun illuminates the beautiful peaks in a golden hue. You will be able to appreciate Sagarmatha National Park’s unspoiled vistas and uncommon fauna with every step you take.
The Everest Base Camp journey promises a memorable experience, with everything from the bustling Namche Bazaar to the serene Tengboche Monastery.
During the Everest Base Camp Trek, there are a variety of foods and accommodations available to trekkers.
- Local Nepali dishes such as dal bhat (lentil soup and rice) and momos (steamed dumplings)
- Tibetan dishes such as Thukpa (noodle soup) and tsampa (roasted barley flour)
- Western dishes such as pasta, pizza, and sandwiches
- Snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars
- Beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks
- Tea houses are tiny guest houses along the trekking route, offering basic accommodation and meals.
- Lodges are slightly more luxurious than tea houses, offering private rooms and hot showers.
- Luxury resorts: A few are available in the area for a more comfortable and upscale experience. It’s provided on Luxury Everest Base Camp Trek.
Permits Required for Everest Base Camp Trek
The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) issues the Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) Card, allowing hikers to visit Nepal’s off-limits regions.
Entry into the Sagarmatha National Park, home to Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is restricted without this permit. It is available at the park entrance gate in Monjo or via accredited hiking companies.
You must get a local area permit to enter the Solu-Khumbu region, where the Sherpa people live.
Guides and Porters during Everest Trek
Having trusted guides and porters by your side is essential for a safe and memorable experience during the EBC trek. These experienced professionals possess invaluable expertise and local knowledge of the Everest region, ensuring you confidently navigate the terrain, weather, and trail conditions.
A trekking guide provides deep insights into the Sherpa culture to facilitate authentic interactions with local communities. They prioritize your safety, monitor your health and well-being throughout the journey, and offer first aid skills and rescue protocols in case of emergencies.
Meanwhile, dedicated porters relieve the physical burden of carrying your gear, allowing you to trek comfortably and conserve energy for the awe-inspiring landscapes that await you. By supporting local communities by hiring guides and porters, you contribute to the local economy and sustainable tourism, positively impacting the Everest region.
After breakfast, you will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), the gateway destination from where our trek begins.
After a 40-minute flight above the breathtaking mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world, culminating in a hillside landing that welcomes you surrounded by high mountain peaks.
Upon arrival at Lukla, you will meet our other crew members, and after some planning and packing, we will start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla to Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we will only have a short hike today. However, we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery if you want additional activities.
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River and crosses many suspension bridges, including the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. Our first mighty mountain is the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618 m).
Then through the Benkar, Chumoa, and Monjo settlements, we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar, where the trail climbs through forests and bridges until it reaches the Dudh Koshi, where it joins the Bhote Koshi rivers.
After a final steep ascent, taking about two hours, we get our first sight of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Upon this juncture, we stop at Chautara to admire the view before hiking our final 1.5 hours and reaching Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Mt. Everest and the main trading center of this region.
Today is the scheduled ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. However, health experts also recommend staying active and moving during the rest day, so we can either hike to Thame, visit Khunde, or relax and explore Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar is the main center of the Everest (Khumbu) region. It has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery, and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday.
Trekking a few hundred vertical feet during the day helps us to acclimatize correctly, so our guides will take us to the Tourist Visitor Centre near the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park, where we can observe an assortment of features related to the first Everest ascenders and Sherpa culture, as well as learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region.
We will also take an enjoyable side trip up to Khumjung before climbing to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth.
The Khumjung valley, surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde, Thamserku, and the sacred mountain Khumbila, hosts a well-known monastery that houses a yeti scalp before having lunch and walking back down to Namche Bazaar.
After breakfast, we start our trek towards Tengboche, enjoying a superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku. Our walk follows this gradual trail with ups and downs, overlooking magnificent views of the great Himalayas.
Along the way, we can spot various wildlife, such as pheasants, musk deer, and herds of Himalayan Thar. The trail then goes down to Kayangjuma, eventually reaching Sansa, the major trail junction to Gokyo Valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and, after crossing the prayer-flag festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, reaches Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods.
After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga, we will then have a tough little climb that goes up steeply through the pine and rhododendron forests until it reaches Tengboche, an excellent place for close-up views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest, and it has the biggest Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu region.
We start our trek after our morning breakfast. We pass through several chortens, main walls, and small villages. While on the journey, we enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama Dablam.
In the afternoon, we go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards, the walk is relatively moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River.
Then after the confluence, we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. Upon arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals.
After breakfast, we will start our day by hiking to Chukumg or Nagargun Hill, where you can see good views of Ama Dablam along with such peaks as Island Peak, Peak 38, Balu, and Imja Lake – a famous lake in the Khumbu region. After that, it’s back to the hotel to have a rest.
From Dingboche, we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We will find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountain views.
At the top of the ridge, we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves face to face with several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori, and Mahalangur Himal.
We are now near Everest, but the great mountain remains hidden. Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier, and we enter high altitude.
The trail to Gorak Shep goes through the Khumbu Glacier's lateral moraine. We pass through the pyramid signpost, head on the course, and see the crest of the north ridge of Everest, along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, and Nuptse.
A slight ascent will then take us to Thangma Riju, where we can perceive a 360-degree view of the snowy mountains. Upon climbing to the top, through the torrent of the Changri glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us, including Mount Everest, the top of the world.
After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once-vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian Army mountaineers' memorials. As we reach Everest Base Camp, we cannot help appreciating the Everest climbers that take the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall.
As we reach the peak of our trip, we can view Nuptse, Khumbuste, and Pumori. Please note that the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view, so it is recommended that we visit Kala Patthar today during sunset.
As the setting sun strikes the snow-capped mountains, the scenery is incredible. For those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar, the Himalayan Glacier guides and Sherpas can coordinate our hike for a fantastic sunset view today rather than tomorrow.
Today is the climax of our trip. We will start early at dawn to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar, witnessing the first light of day as it shines on Mt. Everest. However, we must first be prepared for a cold, dark, early morning departure with potential chilly winds.
Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east as Everest reveals itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath and admire several outstanding viewpoints for snapping pictures. After several hours of ascent, we will finally reach Kala Patthar.
From here, we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks. Our eyes take in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another before returning to Gorak Shep, where we have breakfast and wait for the other participants to return.
Those visitors who plan to visit Everest Base Camp today will have an early breakfast to start as the Everest Base Camp hike takes longer (4-5 hrs) than the Kala Patthar hike. Upon returning to Gorak Shep, the group will have lunch together, and the afternoon will be used to descend to Pheriche for a good night’s rest.
We begin by trekking down a hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. It is spring, and pink and red rhododendron flowers will fill our surroundings. We will either have lunch in Pangboche or wait until we reach Phunki Tenga. After crossing the prayer-flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, the trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge as it descends rapidly through pine forests.
The path eventually reaches Sansa, the region's major trail junction. We will stop at Kyangjuma (3570 m/11,710 ft) for a relaxed lunch while appreciating the epic Ama Dablam Thamserku and Nuptse. After lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steeply wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, and we can look out for wildlife, such as mountain goats, snow leopards, and colorful pheasants while passing through the forest.
Upon passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar, where we can take one last long look (and picture!) at Lhotse, Tengboche, and the tip of Everest.
Today's trail descends steeply downward, so we must stroll as we battle the rocky terrain. The course begins to level out when crossing the suspension bridges over the fast-flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries.
Although we will be traveling the same route down, we will have completely different views, with a mixture of open plains, rhododendron, pine forests, and snow-covered peaks in the distance.
We walk through the Sherpa villages' noticing a solid faith in Buddhism and a culture of prayer stones and flags. Upon arrival in Lukla, we stretch our legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks.
Today, we fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu, where we can rest and relax at our hotel or spend the day exploring the city before a farewell dinner in the evening.