Suppose you are thinking of trekking to Everest Base Camp. In that case, you might be searching for the day-by-day walking hours, distance, and altitude differences between one camp and another. You are in the right place, where you can get information about the Base Camp and all Everest Trekking routes. This post provides detailed information on Lukla to Phakding's walking time, distance, and altitude variation.
Lukla to Phakding
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Phakding is a small town on the Everest Base Camp Trekking Route with 2,610 meters (8,562.992 feet) of elevation above sea level. The Everest Region trekkers spend the first night at this place on the same day they fly into Lukla and walk for about 3 hours.
The Everest Base Camp Trek is an ideal multi-day walking trip in the Everest Himalayas. This 12-day adventure mountain tour leads from Lukla, after a scenic flight from Kathmandu or Ramechhap (Manthali), up to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar. It brings it back to Lukla in a few days. You will be hiking through the valleys, seeing attractive landscapes, iconic mountains, rivers, waterfalls, vegetation, wildlife, and more in the Sagarmatha National Park.
Here, we are providing Everest Base Camp Trek's first-day information on this post, which makes it easy to know about the distance, altitude, scenery, and more. Lukla to Phakding is the easiest and shortest day during the Everest Base Camp Trek compared to the other Trekking days.
About Lukla to Phakding
After a flight takes off from Kathmandu, you reach Lukla (Tenzin Hilary Airport) to land. The flights operate from Ramechhap (Manthali) during the high Trekking season, another small city that takes a 4-5 hour drive from Kathmandu.
Once you get to Lukla, you can take a short break, have hot drinks, and prepare to walk by wearing a sun hat, trekking clothes according to the climate, and sun lotion. It takes around 10 minutes to cross the town, where you see a gate with a statue of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (the first Nepalese lady climber of Mount Everest) and descend for a minute. Here, you see the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality ticket counter and issue an entry permit by paying 2000 NPR.
After taking the local community entry ticket, you walk on a gradually descending trail through rhododendron, pine, and oak trees and reach Chhepulung. The tail still goes down and flat somewhere through this village until Thadokoshi. You cross two suspension bridges before getting to Thadokoshi and see the Dudhkoshi River further left in the valley.
You see many Mani rocks, Mani walls, prayer flags, Mount Kongde, and Kusum Kangaroos during the walk from Lukla to Phakding. The tail gradually ascends from Thadokoshi to Ghat and descends to Phakding for the final part. Check out quick info on Lukla to Phakding below:
- Everest Base Camp Trek Day 1: Lukla to Phakding (3 hrs.)
- Starting Location: Lukla (2,840 m/9,317.585 ft)
- Ending Location: Phakding (2,610 m/8,562.992 ft)
- Walking Distance: 7.5 km/4.6 miles
- Walking Duration: 3:00 hrs.
- Elevation Declines: -230 m/-754.593 ft
Check out the day-by-day detailed itinerary, information, cost, and more about the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Check Kathmandu-Lulu flight information before walking from Lukla to Phakding.
Attractions while walking from Lukla to Phakding
The main attraction of traveling to Pkhading from Kathmandu during the Everest Base Camp Trek is landing at Lukla Airport. You have the adventure of landing at a mountain airport with a short runway.
Upon your landing, you see Mount Numbur, or Dudhkunda Peak (6,958 m/22,828 ft), and Kongde Peak (6,187 m/20,299 ft). Lukla town looks magnificent on the lap of a high hill, with colorful roof buildings. You walk through traditional Sherpa Villages, where you can see traditionally carved Tibeto-Sherpa architectural buildings.
Tibetan Buddhist monuments like Monasteries, Mani Walls, Mani Wheels, Mani Rocks, and colorful flags decorate the trail from Lukla to Phakding during the Everest Trek. After walking around two hours from Lukla, you reach Thadokoshi, from where you see Mount Kusum Kangaroo (6,367 m/20,889.11 ft) on your right. If you are on a trek in spring, you will also see blooming rhododendrons along the way from Lukla to Phakding.
The best time to walk from Lukla to Phakding
We recommend walking to Phakding from Lukla for the Everest Treks in September, October, November, March, April, and May. Still, you can also walk here in the winter on the short Trek up to Tengboche Hill. You can even Trek higher to the Base Camp in winter through Phakding, hiking from Lukla, if you can bear the cold temperatures with warmer clothes.
However, the first half of September and the second half of May might have some rainy days, affecting Lukla's flight to Trek to Phakding because of the flight cancellations. Walking on this trail during the summer is not fun because of the rain and slippery path.
Why Trek to Phakding from Lukla?
You will Trek to Phakding from Lukla on the first day of every Trekking Package in the Everest Himalayas. There is no alternative trail to skip Phakding before going further into higher regions. So You must go to Phakding from Lukla during Trekking on these routes besides the Everest Base Camp one:
- Cho La Pass Trek
- Everest Base Camp Helicopter Return Trek
- Everest Three Passes Trek
- Gokyo Lakes Trek
- Renjo La Pass Trek
- Everest View Trek
- Everest Base Luxury Trek
Are there places for lunch stops along the way to Phakding?
There are many guesthouses and restaurants along the way to Phakding, so you can stop for lunch and buy drinks or snacks. Suppose you fly to Lukla early without flight delay at the regularly scheduled time. In that case, you may reach Phakding for lunch, or if you get hungry or tired, you can stop in between, like in Thadokoshi or Ghat.
If you need to use toilets along the way, we suggest buying something from the place where you ask for the bathroom.
Walk safely on the trail.
After a weekly market in Lukla every Thursday, there is another in Namche Bazaar from Friday to mid-day on Saturday. If you will be walking Thursday and Friday from Lukla to Phakding, you will meet lots of people, mules, and Jokpe (a hybrid between yak and cow) caring loads. You may encounter them crossing a bridge and in narrow spaces on the way to Phakding. Be sure you are standing in a safe place because the loads might push, and it takes time to wait for the area to walk.
Walking to Phakding from Lukla is the shortest day of the Everest Base Camp Trek and the beginning of the trip. You will descend mostly, although there are some ascending parts too. You see magnificent nature and religious monuments walking through traditional Sherpa Villages. If you are planning a trek in the Everest Region and are curious to know more about the Trek you are going for, please feel free to contact us and ask anything about the Everest Region.