Introduction to the Everest Three High Pass Trek Package
The Everest Three High Pass Trek is a remarkable and challenging journey through the Everest region’s breathtaking landscape and stunning scenery. Trekkers on this epic trek route will traverse three high passes along the way: Renjo La Pass (5,388m), Cho La Pass (5,420m), and Kongma La Pass (5,535m). Also, the Everest Three High Pass Trek offers trekkers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the majestic beauty of the Himalayas. This route includes the famous Everest Base Camp and three difficult passes.
The Everest Three High Passes Trek is graded as a strenuous, difficult, and rewarding expedition that typically takes 15 to 20 days. The trek’s duration allows for proper acclimatization and exploration of the surrounding wonders. The best times to undertake this adventure are from September to November and March to May when weather conditions are relatively stable.
In this article, we have tried our best to include everything there is to know about the Everest Three High Passes Trek with Hike to Everest. We have provided detailed guides on Everest Base Camp, the Three High Passes, cost, difficulty level, best season or best time, acclimatization places, itineraries, and others.
Highlights of the Everest High Pass Trek
The Everest Three High Pass Trek’s highlights include:
- Commencing in Lukla, trekkers venture through the charming Sherpa villages of Namche Bazaar, Thame, and Khumjung.
- The trail leads to iconic landmarks such as Tengboche Monastery and Pheriche, providing glimpses into the region’s rich cultural heritage.
- Trekkers will traverse three high passes along the way: Renjo La Pass (5,388m), Cho La Pass (5,420m), and Kongma La Pass (5,535m).
- Trekkers traverse ancient forests adorned with rhododendron blossoms, ascend high-altitude passes with jaw-dropping vistas of the Himalayan peaks, and relish encounters with the renowned Sherpa hospitality.
- The Everest Three High Pass Trek encompasses must-see locations like Everest Base Camp, where mountaineers start their ascent of the world’s highest peak.
- The journey offers breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam, leaving trekkers awe-inspired at every turn.
- The trail meanders through rugged landscapes, glacial moraines, and pristine valleys, offering an immersive experience of the diverse Himalayan terrain.
Everest Three Passes Trek Cost
Everest Three High Passes Trek costs can range from $1,800 to USD 3,500 per person. And this means this trek normally takes 15 to 20 days, and the cost ranges from 120 to 160 USD per person per day.
The cost of the Everest Three High Pass Trek can vary depending on several factors, such as the trekking agency, duration of the trek, services included, and group size.
The Everest Three High Pass Trek generally covers permits, domestic flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and back, accommodation in teahouses or camping along the route, meals, the services of a trekking guide and porters, and necessary trekking gear. Personal expenses, travel insurance, visa fees, additional snacks or drinks, and tips for guides and porters are typically not included in the cost.
Best time to trek in Everest: High Passes Trek
The best time to undertake the Everest Three Pass Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer favorable weather conditions, clear skies, and stable temperatures, making for a more enjoyable and safer trekking experience.
During spring, trekkers can witness vibrant rhododendron blooms along the trail, adding to the region’s scenic beauty. The temperatures are generally mild, ranging from mild to moderate, with less precipitation than other seasons.
In the autumn, the weather is generally dry and stable, providing excellent visibility of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. The temperatures are comfortable, with clear skies that offer spectacular views of Mount Everest and the neighboring mountains.
Both seasons have a lower risk of heavy rainfall, snowfall, and adverse weather conditions, which can hinder trekking activities and make the trail more challenging. Additionally, these seasons attract more trekkers, providing an opportunity for a more social trekking experience and better availability of services along the route.
It is important to note that while these seasons are considered the best time for the Everest Three Pass Trek, weather conditions in the mountains can still be unpredictable. It is advisable to check weather forecasts and consult with local trekking agencies for the most up-to-date information before embarking on the journey.
Everest High Passes Trek Difficulty
How hard is the 3 passes trek?
The Everest Three High Passes Trek is one of Nepal’s most challenging and toughest trekking routes. And for that reason, this trek is among Nepal’s top ten most difficult trekking routes. The Everest Three High Pass Trek is a strenuous adventure that requires good physical fitness and previous high-altitude hiking expertise. And for these strenuous ascents and descents encountered over the three high passes, stamina, endurance, and mental toughness are essential.
The trek itinerary depends on the trekking agency and individual preferences. However, a typical itinerary includes acclimatization stops in Namche Bazaar, Dingboche, and Lobuche. It allows for exploration of Everest Base Camp, the picturesque Gokyo Lakes, and the renowned viewpoints of Kalapatthar and Gokyo Ri. The route ensures adequate rest and acclimatization periods to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
When is the Optimal Time to Go on the 3 High Pass Trek?
The Everest Three High Pass Trek is challenging, requiring good fitness and prior trekking experience at high altitudes. The trek crosses three high passes, each ranging from 5,388m to 5,535m in elevation. The terrain includes steep ascents and descents, rocky trails, and challenging weather conditions. The trek’s grade is categorized as strenuous due to the demanding nature of the route. Trekkers should be prepared for long and physically demanding days, acclimatization periods, and the potential effects of high altitude. Proper training, acclimatization, and mental preparation are essential to completing this challenging and rewarding adventure.
The Hike to Everest trekking agency provides experienced guides and proper equipment and ensures safety and comfort throughout the journey, which is essential. It is advisable to book.
Traveler Useful Information
Best Seasons for Everest 3 High Pass Trek
The best time to do the Everest Three High Pass Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these seasons, the weather is clear and dry, providing optimal conditions for trekking. The temperature is also mild, making it comfortable for hiking. Additionally, the views of the mountains are spectacular during these seasons.
It is important to note that the passes (Renjo La, Cho La, and Kongma La) can be dangerous and difficult to cross during the monsoon season (June to August) due to heavy rainfall and the high risk of landslides. It is also not recommended to trek during the winter (December to February), as the passes are covered in snow, and the temperatures can be frigid.
Permits for the Three Passes Trek
TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Card: This permit is required for all trekkers visiting Nepal. The card contains personal information about the trekker, including their name, passport number, and itinerary. This permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board or a trekking agency.
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: This permit is required for trekkers who plan to visit the Everest region, including the Three High Pass Trek. It can be obtained at the park’s entrance or through a trekking agency.
Special Permit for Gokyo Lakes and Chola Pass: This permit is required for trekkers who plan to visit Gokyo Lakes and cross the Chola Pass. It can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board or a trekking agency.
Restricted Area Permit: This permit is required for trekkers who plan to visit the restricted areas of the Everest region, including the Three High Pass Trek. It can be obtained from the Department of Immigration or a trekking agency.
Helicopter rescue insurance: This is not a permit but a must-have for all trekkers. It is mandatory insurance that covers helicopter rescue and evacuation in an emergency. It can be purchased from a trekking agency or insurance provider.
It’s important to note that trekkers should carry these permits with them at all times during the trek, as authorities may check them at any point along the way. It’s also important to note that trekking agencies will take care of all the necessary permits, so trekkers can also choose this option if they don’t want to deal with the hassle of obtaining permits.
Guides and porters
Guides and porters are essential for a successful and safe Everest Three High Pass trek. A guide will lead the group, provide knowledge and information about the trek and the local culture, and help navigate the challenging terrain. A porter will carry some of the group’s gear, allowing trekkers to focus on the hike and enjoy the experience.
Choosing a reputable trekking company that provides experienced and well-trained guides and porters is essential. The principals should know first aid, emergency response, and local culture and customs. The porters should have proper equipment and clothing to ensure safety and comfort.
When hiring guides and porters, it is essential to consider the group’s size, the duration of the trek, and the type of gear that will need to be carried. A good guide and porter ratio is typically one guide for every 6–8 trekkers and one porter for every 2-3 trekkers.
Overall, guides and porters are essential to the Everest Three High Pass Trek and are critical in ensuring a successful and safe journey.
Habitats to Expect During the Trek
The Everest Three High Pass Trek takes trekkers through a variety of habitats, including:
Lower Solukhumbu: The trek begins in Lukla, located in the lower Solukhumbu region. This area is characterized by lush subtropical forests, terraced farms, and traditional Sherpa villages.
Alpine Meadows: As trekkers gain altitude, they will enter alpine meadows filled with wildflowers and rhododendrons. These areas are home to various wildlife, including musk deer, Himalayan thar, and snow leopards.
High-Altitude Desert: As trekkers approach the high passes, the landscape becomes more barren and rocky. This high-altitude desert is home to very little vegetation and wildlife but offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks.
Glaciers and Snowfields: The final stretch of the trek takes trekkers through glaciers and snowfields. This habitat is characterized by icy terrain and dangerous crevasses and is only suitable for experienced mountaineers.
Base Camp: The base camp of Mount Everest is located at an altitude of 5,364 meters and is characterized by a barren, rocky landscape. This area is only accessible during the climbing season and is home to many climbers and expedition teams.
Foods and Accommodations
Foods: During the Everest Three High Pass Trek, trekkers will have the opportunity to try traditional Nepalese dishes such as dal bhat (lentil soup and rice), momos (Nepalese dumplings), and chow mein (stir-fried noodles). Trekkers can also try local Tibetan dishes such as momos (Tibetan dumplings) and Tibetan bread. Trekkers can also try international dishes such as pasta, pizza, and sandwiches.
Accommodations: During the Everest Three High Pass Trek, trekkers will stay in teahouses or lodges. These accommodations are basic but comfortable and provide a bed, a pillow, and a blanket. Some clubs may have private bathrooms, but most will have shared bathrooms. Trekkers can also camp during the trek, but this will require additional equipment and support.
Note: The facilities, as mentioned earlier, may vary depending on the route and the season of your trek. Some places may not have proper facilities like electricity, hot water, etc. So, having a backup plan and preparing for the worst is always good.
Costs and Expenses
The three pass trek cost in Everest varies on different factors such as:
Trekking Permit: The cost of the trekking permit for the Three High Pass Trek ranges from $50 to $150, depending on the season and the number of people in your group.
TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Card: The TIMS card costs around $20 per person.
Guide and Porter Costs: The cost of hiring a guide and porter for the trek ranges from $25 to $50 per day per person.
Accommodation: The cost of housing during the trek ranges from $5 to $20 per night, depending on the capacity you choose (lodge or camping).
Food and Drinks: The cost of food and drinks during the trek ranges from $5 to $15 per day per person.
Transportation: The cost of transportation to and from the trekking trailhead ranges from $20 to $50, depending on your starting point.
Insurance: Travel insurance for the trek ranges from $50 to $100, depending on the coverage and duration of your policy.
Other expenses: You may need to budget for additional costs such as rental gear, laundry, and tips for the guide and porter.
Note: The cost of the trek may vary depending on the season, your group size, and the route you choose. It’s always better to have a little extra budget for unexpected expenses. We don’t recommend these three passes trek solo or individually.
Gears and Equipment
Backpack: A backpack with a capacity of at least 55–65 liters is recommended for carrying all your trekking gear and personal belongings.
Sleeping Bag: A good-quality sleeping bag rated for temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius is recommended for cold nights on the trek.
Trekking Poles: Sturdy and durable poles will help with balance and support on steep and rocky trails.
Warm clothing: Layering is essential for staying warm on the trek. Pack warm clothing such as thermal base layers, insulated jackets, and a down jacket.
Headlamp: A headlamp with extra batteries is necessary for early morning starts and when you need to find your way in the dark.
Hiking Boots: A pair of comfortable and waterproof hiking boots with good traction is essential for rocky and muddy trails.
Gloves: Pack a pair of warm gloves to protect your hands from the cold and wind.
Water Bottle: A durable water bottle or hydration system is a must to stay hydrated on the trek.
First Aid Kit: A basic kit with essentials such as band-aids, pain relievers, and wound dressings is recommended.
Sunscreen and sunglasses: Sun protection is essential to prevent sunburn and snow blindness at high altitudes.
What are the Three High Passes of Everest?
The Three High Passes of Everest, or Everest Three High Passes, are Kongma La Pass (5,535 m), Cho La Pass (5,420m), and Renjo La Pass (5,388m).
Kongma La Pass (5,535m)
Kongma La Pass, with an altitude of 5,535m above sea level, is situated in the Solukhumbu district of north-eastern Nepal. This pass is the highest trekking point in the Everest Three Passes Trek. Kongma La Pass connects Lobuche village, near the Khumbu glacier, with Chhukung village. This pass offers a spectacular view of snow-capped mountains, including Mt. Ama Dablam and Mt. Makalu. A picturesque scene of Lobuche and Chukkung villages can be seen on crossing this pass.
Cho La Pass (5,420m):
Cho La Pass, at an altitude of 5,420 m above sea level, is situated in the Solukhumbu district of north-eastern Nepal. Cho La Pass is the most famous and shortest pass among the other passes on the Everest Three High Passes Trek. But the pass is more technical than the other three high passes. It connects the trail to Gokyo Lake and Everest Base Camp, which makes it one of the most famous high passes in the Everest region.
Climbing Cho La Pass is challenging and can require ropes and crampons when the glaciers are slippery on top. Cho La Pass offers a spectacular view of Cho La Lake. And, as the Ama Dablam winds up on the south and Cholatse soars on the west, the view is breathtaking.
Renjo la Pass (5,388m):
Renjo la Pass, with an elevation of 5,388m, lies in the Khumbu region, also called the Everest Region. This is the last pass trekkers have to pass through in the Everest Three High Pass Trek. The path to Renjo La Pass goes through the side of the Third Lake of Gokyo and climbs soothingly up the edge of Gokyo Ri. The top offers a panoramic view of Everest, Lhotse, Cholatse, and Taboche.
How long do the Everest Three High Passes Trek take?
The Three Passes Trek Nepal itinerary normally takes 15 to 20 days. This includes the time for a two-way flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and from Lukla to Kathmandu. And trekking days, which start from Lukla and end at Lukla. The number of days depends on the speed and duration of the trek. The daily itinerary provided by Hike to Everest for the Everest Three High Passes illustrates how long each pass takes to complete.
Everest three passes trek itinerary
Day 1: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding.
Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Day 3: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
Day 5: Tangboche to Dingboche
Day 6: Dingboche to Chhukung
Day 7: Acclimatization and Exploration in Chhukung
Day 8: Trek to Kongma La Pass and Trek to Lobuche
Day 9: Lobuche to Gorak Shep
Day 10: Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar and trek to Dzongla
Day 11: Trek to Cho La Pass and Thangnak
Day 12: Thangnak to Gokyo
Day 13: Acclimatization and Exploring Gokyo Valley
Day 14: Gokyo to Rengo La Pass
Day 15: Marlung to Namche Bazaar
Day 16: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Day 17: Fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla.
Length of High Passes Trek
The Three Passes Trek Distance km is about 145km in total. You will hike from Lukla, cross all three passes, and return to Lukla in about 17 to 19 days. You will walk about 8 – 12 kilometers a day. So the three passes trek distance is the total distance of walking to EBC and crossing the three passes.
In the morning, we will take a domestic flight to Lukla. Upon reaching Lukla, we will head towards Phakding for our first-day trek. We will pass through the Sherpa village of Cheplung and move alongside the Dudh Koshi valley before arriving at Phakding.
We start the day by trekking through Sagarmatha National Park, from where we will make our way up to Namche Bazaar, crossing several suspension bridges and passing through scenic villages. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Today we will take a short hike to the Hotel Everest View (3,926m), from where we can enjoy a mesmerizing view of the Himalayas, including Everest (8848 m). On our way back, we will also visit Khumjung village, Khunde twin historical village, and Hillary School. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Accommodation.
Today we will enjoy the views of Mt. Everest (8848 m), Nuptse (7861m), Lhotse (8516m), Ama Dablam (6812m), Thamserku (6623m), and Kangtega (6782m), as we make our way further up to Tengboche, through a levelled out tail through woodlands. Tengboche is a beautiful village home to the largest monastery in the Everest region, Tengboche Monastery – a real spiritual highlight on the trip.
Today we will continue to trek toward Dingboche, passing through dense forests filled with birch, oak, conifer, and rhododendrons. After crossing the Imja River, we will arrive at the village of Pangboche and then the Imja valley before finally climbing up to Dingboche.
We will leave behind Dingboche today as we trek through stone-walled fields and alpine landscapes. The trail leads us to Bibre (4570m), a yak herdsman place. With Island Peak (Imja Tse, 6189m) and Ama Dablam (6812m) as our backdrop, we continue our walk to Chhukung.
Today, we took a short hike to Chhukung Ri. This includes an easy climb over rocky terrain. Upon reaching the top, we are rewarded with the most spectacular views of Lhotse (8516m), Island Peak (6189m), Ama Dablam (6812m), and Makalu (8481m) before descending back to Chukkung for the night
Today, we crossed the highest pass of the trip – the Kongma La pass and have two route options. We can either hike over the hill northwest of Chukkung and Nuptse Glacier moraine or return to Bibre and take a trail above the Niyang Khola. Upon reaching the top, we can see the cairns and colourful Buddhist prayer flags before descending towards Lobuche through Khumbu Glacier.
Following the rocky path along the crest of the north ridge to Everest, we continue our trek to Gorak Shep. Upon reaching Gorak Shep, we will visit Everest Base Camp, where we can enjoy a splendid view of the Khumbu Icefall and the colourful campsite, ‘Everest Expedition.’ We will then walk back to Gorak Shep.
Following the rocky path along the crest of the north ridge following the rocky way along the range of the north ridge to Everest, we continue our trek to Gorak Shep. Upon reaching Gorak Shep, we will visit Everest Base Camp, where we can enjoy a splendid view of the Khumbu Icefall and the colourful campsite, ‘Everest Expedition.’ We will then walk back to Gorak Shep. e to Everest; we continue our trek to Gorak Shep. Upon reaching Gorak Shep, we will visit Everest Base Camp, where we can enjoy a splendid view of the Khumbu Icefall and the colourful campsite, ‘Everest Expedition.’ We will then walk back to Gorak Shep.
The trek today is one of the challenging trips; this embarks on as we incline through a spur widened westward from Dzongla. The lane slides downhill to a basin transversely, which strolls a whispering stream coated with ice. We reach the top of the bay in an hour, readying for the accomplishment of Chola.
The higher we reach, the view back gets ever more enchanting. In its pyramidal personification, the Cho La Lake comes into sight, and the Ama Dablam heads over a range of mountains on the south as Cholatse soars on the west. Mountaineering the incline is not easy; it is steep but made worse by boulders over some of which we will have to scramble.
The last climb to the Chola can be a little risky as the trail curves around. Upon getting to the top, we see prayer flags hung across cairns, flapping in the strong wind. The landscape of majestic peaks in all directions is hallucinating. A bit of cautiousness is needed when passing through Thangzak if rocks are glazed by ice. We arrive at Thangnak, a rather sizeable small village.
Today, we are acquainted with incredible mountain views when returning from the settlement. The path brings us to the Ngozumpa glacier edge after a short walk, Nepal's longest glacier.
Arriving at the glacier's other side, we see the second Gokyo Lake on six lakes. On the edge of this lake stands the Gokyo Village, where we have a final spot today to let our bodies relax overnight.
To mark the famous and excellent view, we go to Gokyo Ri (5350 m), the small crest above the lake. The peak of 5350m is also called Kala Pathar. Though the view is similar, we should not be confused with the Kala Pathar above Gorakshep.
After the two hours climb, we can see a panoramic view of Cho Oyu, Gyanchung King, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse, Tawache, and many more. In addition, numerous small peaks in this region proffer vantage points for the nearby mountains and views of the Nangpa La, the old trade route into Tibet.
We must reach Marlung (4210m) earlier after visiting Renjo La (5345m). The path climbs soothingly up the edge of Gokyo Ri and then meanders hazardously up a finger of grey scree above the lake's northwest corner. We proceed early down from the Gokyo Valley; we depart from the main trail and turn to the Renjo La trail by Dudh Pokhari.
We reach Renjo La after about three hours, where an incredible panorama lies ahead. Everest, Lhotse, Cholatse, and Taboche can be seen glittering in the sun. A charismatic image of ice on the trail while descending can make our way down a bit risky.
Alongside the way, we see Relama Tsho and Renjo Lake. We walk more or less for an hour from Lumden (4350m) to get to Marlung on the east bank of the Bhote Kosi.
We use a traditional route used for centuries by Tibetan traders for walking down from Marlung to Namche Bazaar. Moving downhill from the Marulung, we come to cross the Bhote Kosi, and the direction again drops to Tauranga. The track then goes through the valley of Langmuche Khola. We trek down after crossing a bridge and then finally reach Samde. The place offers magnificent views.
The lane steeply descends to Thamo village, which has a monastery called Khari Goma. Then, we reach the small town of Phurte, where a Laudo monastery exists. We eventually go Namche again through some Gompas, colourful prayer flags, Mani walls, and Chortens for the overnight.
Today, after breakfast, we return over the main track down to Dudh Koshi, retracing to Phakding. Following the way, we reach Lukla scaling different Sherpa villages and crossing a suspension bridge above Thado Koshi. For about 35 minutes, we climb to accomplish the entire trek, reconfirm flight tickets, and see off to local porters.
After travelling for 35 minutes, we fly Back to Kathmandu in the morning and return to the hotel. Rest of the day you can relax or go sightseeing around Kathmandu city.