You Need to Know These Things Before Trek to Everest Base Camp

  • Nov 11, 2020
  • Rajesh Thapaliya

Trek to Everest base camp could not be that easy what some people might think. It is a magnificent mountain journey throughout the Sagarmatha National Park. Of course, you will have a great time on the trek to Everest base camp, and will be a delightful mountain trip experience ever. The great Everest Himalaya attracts trekkers from all around the globe. There are lots of attractions, good things as well as challenges that trekkers will face during the trek. So, you should be familiar with all about those good things and difficulties to trek to Everest base camp before planning a trip.

Lots of people from different nations may have a goal to visit the world’s highest mountain base camp at least once in the lifetime. And might look forward to essential information for successful trekking to the Everest base camp. It is always good to know the positive and negative things of the trip before arranging the trip to the Everest base camp.

Everest base camp trek
Everest base camp

Table of Contents

Fairly glorious mountain hike to the Everest base camp has several entries as long and short itineraries. You can choose the route plans as your time, budget, stamina, and interest for a trekking trip to the Everest base camp. Not only the entry options, but you can also see all the needy information to hike to Everest base camp here on this post.

Classic Route to Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu

The classic route of Everest base camp starts from Jiri driving on a bus from Kathmandu. Hundreds of trekkers used to go the Jiri trekking route to Everest base camp every day a few years back when there was not an airport to fly into Lukla from Kathmandu. Trekkers should have at least 3-weeks time to complete the trek for this classic trekking itinerary of the Everest base camp.

For the classic trek to Everest base camp, people need to drive to Jiri on a bus, van, or private transport which takes around 6-7 hours from Kathmandu. You spend a night in Jiri then trek to Bhandar, Sette, Junbesi, Nunthala, Kharikhola, Paiya, and meets the main Lukla to Everest base camp trekking trail.

The classic trekking route to Everest base camp joins with the regular Kala Patthar Everest base camp trekking route in Chaurikharka after walking around a week from Jiri. You can either trek back the same way after visiting the base camp to Jiri, Salleri then drives back or fly out from Lukla. It depends on your time and interest.

Trekking route from Salleri to Everest Base Camp

The trekking route from Salleri to Everest base camp is a new walking route to Everest. It is even a new trail then trekking from Lukla because of just started driving the road a few years ago. It is a shorter route than the classic Everest trekking route.

You drive to Salleri from Kathmandu on a Jeep for about 7-8 hours, spend a night in Salleri or Phaplu, and start walking towards the base camp passing Nunthala, Kharikhola, Paiya then meet the main regular base camp trail in Chaurikharka. It is also about three weeks long Everest basecamp hiking journey from Kathmandu if you fly out from Lukla after exploring the Everest region.

Trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp

Everest base camp trek
Lukla airport

You might be interested to know more about trekking from Lukla to Everest base camp trip detail because it is the most popular hiking route to the Everest base camp. It is a 12-days hike itinerary to the base camp starting with a plane flight to Lukla, trek to the base camp and flies back on a plane to Kathmandu from Lukla at the end. Twelve days is a regular hiking plan, but it can be a day shorter cutting one rest day or a few days longer according to your physical fitness. Having 2-days acclimatization rest days is suggested for a successful trekking trip to the Everest base camp.

Trekking tour to Everest base camp can finish in 8 or 9-days following the same hiking route up to base camp and flight back on a helicopter. Here, you can see a detailed 12-days trekking itinerary on this post. Flying out from Gorakshep to Kathmandu after visiting the base camp and Kala Patthar is a short Everest base camp trek. You can see detailed information about the flight back to Everest base camp trek in the helicopter return Everest base camp trekking package. So, let’s check the regular Everest base camp trekking plan here.

Lukla to Everest Base Camp Trekking Itinerary

Upon your landing at Lukla airport after a half an hour flight on a small aircraft from Kathmandu, the journey to the Everest base camp begins. You will trek to Phakding on this day which takes around 3 hours to descend trails.

Trekking itinerary of base camp goes ahead to Namche Bazar on the second day entering into the Sagarmatha National Park. This natural UNESCO heritage site begins from Monjo where you will issue the national park entry permit. You spend an extra day in Namche doing an acclimatization hike for the altitude practice.

After that, the trek goes to Tengboche hill, Dingboche village, Lobuche town, and Gorakshep before attempting the base camp hike. Visiting Kala Patthar is one of the best hill station hike before returning to Lukla on a trek to Everest base camp. Check the outline itinerary of hiking to Everest base camp here.

  • Fly to Lukla (2,840m) and trekking to Phakding (2,610m) 3 hrs
  • Trekking to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) 6-7 hrs
  • Exploration day in Namche Bazaar and hike to Everest view hotel (3,880m) 4 hrs
  • Trekking to Tengboche hill (3,860m) 5 hrs
  • Trekking to Dingboche (4,410m) 5 hrs
  • Acclimatization rest day in Dingboche and hike to Nangkar-Tsang hill (5,083m) 4 hrs
  • Trekking to Lobuche (4,910m) 5-6 hrs
  • Trekking to Gorakshep (5,180m) 3 hrs and hike to Everest base camp (5,364m) 5 hrs both way
  • Hiking to Kala Patthar (5,550m) 2 hrs and trekking to Pheriche (4,210m) 5 hrs
  • Trekking to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) 7 hrs
  • Trekking to Lukla (2,840m) 6-7 hrs
  • Fly out to Kathmandu (1,350m) 35 minutes

Provided outline itinerary of trekking to Everest base camp is to know day by day. Find the Everest base camp trekking detailed itinerary here for more information which might make you easy to find the condition of the trails, time, and difficulties.

Similarly, you can see more information about the 9-days trekking itinerary of hiking to Everest base camp and detail for the shorter base camp trekking here if you don’t have enough time for proper hiking from Lukla to Everest base camp.

Best time to Trek to Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu

Everest base camp trek
Autumn trek to Everest base camp

Choosing the right time to trek to Everest base camp is the most important thing. If you trek at the right time and season, you will enjoy the trip for sure. Now, you know about choosing a suitable trekking season to trek to Everest base camp. But when is the best time to trek to Everest base camp?

Autumn season and spring are the best timings to trek to Everest base camp from Kathmandu. September, October, and November in autumn and March, April, and May in spring are the main trekking seasons to hike to Everest base camp from Kathmandu. Usually, the first two weeks in September and the last two weeks in May should have some rainy days.

December in winter offers one of the best views of the Himalayas and less traffic. It will be a cold temperature compared to autumn and spring but, not very cold as much as January and February. January and February still offer clear visibility but, summer is not a good time to trek to Everest base camp.

Highlights During Trekking to Everest Base Camp

There are lots of natural and cultural attractions during the trek to Everest base camp. These beautiful highlights attract thousands of visitors to this trekking trails every high trekking season. Seeing the world’s highest mountain Everest and reaching the base camp of it, is of course, is a leading attraction to the trekkers. There are oodles of allure of the region that can see and feel while trekking to the Everest base camp. You can see some trip highlights of the Everest base camp here.

  • Astonishing adventurous scenic flight to Lukla
  • Magnificent mountain views of Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shankar, Everest massifs, and Mt. Makalu
  • Unblocked mountain and valleys views from vantage viewpoints such as Kala Pathar, Everest view hotel, Tengboche hill, and Nangkar-Tsang hill
  • Traditional Sherpa villages with well-carved colourful buildings
  • Meet mountain legendary Sherpa people, see their lifestyle, daily activities, livings, culture, and religion
  • Ancient historic Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and other religious shrines
  • Attractive river valleys like Dudhkoshi, Imja, and Khumbu
  • A famous Khumbu glacier and icefall
  • Trekking through a natural UNESCO world heritage site
  • Green hills, waterfalls vegetation, and wildlife from the National Park

The above-listed lines of the attractions are for the basic to know. If you would like to have detailed information, visit this link for the highlights that amaze you while trekking to the Everest base camp.

Tips for a Succesful Trip to Everest Base Camp

Whatever people do, they look for a positive result. Likewise, you might be looking for tips that can help you with a successful trip to the Everest base camp. First of all, you will manage time for a long time for Everest adventure mountain trips with physical training and more. It may be very far from Nepal so, you need to spend expensive for the flight to Nepal. Of course, you want a successful trip and make it a lifetime experience.

Is it easy to trek to Everest base camp? It is not a pic of a cake! There are several difficulties, but it is not impossible. You can make a successful trek to Everest base camp by following some helpful tips. Safety measure is the main factor but, you should follow other things too while trekking to Everest base camp. There are certain things to follow and respect cultural and religious aspects during trekking to the base camp.

Packing well equipment, not trek alone during offseason, Not disturbing wildlife, not swimming in rivers and glacial ponds, not using a drone camera on the trek. Respect culture, beware of altitude, and some other few things that you should follow to succeed in the trekking trip of Everest base camp. Check for the detail about the best tips for a successful trekking trip to Everest base camp.

Trek to Everest Base Camp for Indian and South Asian Trekker

Itinerary, guide/porter cost, food, and lodge costs are the same as other trekkers like from Europe, America, and all Asian trekkers as well as the people from the South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC) nations. But, permit cost and domestic flight tickets are cheaper for the trekkers from India and SAARC trekkers. So, the trekking cost for Everest base camp will be less for those trekkers.

Though deducting the cost from Lukla flight and national park permit doesn’t make a huge difference. South Asian trekkers also need to have a Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality entry ticket, and it cost the same for all trekkers from all around the world.

Trekking Permit Cost for Everest Base Camp

Everest base camp trek
Trekking permit to Everest base camp

Until the published date of this post, trekkers to the Everest base camp need to issue two different trekking permits for the Everest base camp tour. Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality entry permit and Sagarmatha National Park entry permit are required to trek to Everest base camp. Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card is not necessary until now. But the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) is going to implement the TIMS card soon which is in collaboration with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

When the TIMS card starts issuing to trek to Everest base camp, it can get from NTB office Bhrikutimandap Kathmandu for individual trekkers. If you book your trip from an agency, the trekking company will manage this ticket. It costs 2000 NPR for an individual hiker and 1000 NPR for a group trekker. Similarly, It just costs 300 NPR for group trekker and 600 NPR for individual South Asian trekkers.

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality ticket can issue in Lukla. There is an office of this rural municipality at the end of town, where you can get this entry permit. The cost of this entry ticket is 2000 NPR for all trekkers.

The next required ticket is Sagarmatha National Park permit to trek to Everest base camp. You can get this entry permit in Monjo on the way to Namche Bazaar during the second day of the Everest base camp journey. It costs 3000 NPR per person for all trekkers except the trekkers from south Asian countries. The Sagarmatha National Park permit fee is 1500 NPR for those trekkers coming from the south Asian nations.

Trek to Everest Base Camp Individually

It is good to know how easy and how difficult to trek to Everest base camp individually. Is it safe to trek alone or without a guide to Everest base camp? The answer is mostly yes, but it depends on the conditional situation and season.

There will be lots of trekkers during the high trekking season. An individual trekker can follow and trek with other group trekkers along the way of the Everest base camp trail. If you are thinking to hike on your own without a guide and porter following the other group trekkers, don’t stay every moment with the same trekking group until the base camp. You are better to change the group with whom you trek and to stay in the lodges. Be sure if they are happy to stay with you all the time in the mountain or not to whom you are following.

There won’t be any problem with individual trekkers if everything runs everything smoothly. Trekking in the high mountain region is not easy and might suffer from altitude sickness sometimes. Also booking a flight ticket to Lukla and arranging accommodation, some mountain places can be difficult.

The things will not be wrong walking alone during high hiking season. But, if you are trying to trek yourself in the offseason, it is not a good idea. There won’t be many trekkers on the trail, and if you have any problem, there will be no one to know about your difficult situation.

Booking a Trek to Everest Base Camp with Local Company or Overseas Company

Is it compulsory to book a trekking tour to Everest base camp with a local company? The answer is yes you must use a local trekking company to trek to Everest base camp. Either you book your trip online, find any agency after arrival in Kathmandu, or booking with overseas companies finally, it is compulsory to use a local trekking company to trek to Everest base camp.

Why choose a local trekking company to trek to Everest base camp? Because you will get a cheaper trek to Everest base camp if you book your trip with a Nepal based local trekking agency. If you book your trip with the home-based overseas company, they need their commission and send a limited amount to the local agency in Nepal, which they have a deal to operate their groups. You can save that commission amount and get a better price of a trip to Everest base camp with a local company.

The other thing is about information to trek to Everest base camp. All the overseas companies are selling packages collecting from different local agencies. You may not get full of information through the package page. You need to search on the internet through several blog post, which can take a long time. All the blog post might not have the correct information. If you book your trekking tour with a local company, you can ask any queries at any time and get exact info.

It is very much safe booking a trip with Nepal based local company, and it is easy. You can book your trip online with secure payment.

Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight

The primary transport to trek to Everest base camp is a flight to Lukla. A small aircraft from Kathmandu airport flies every morning. It needs to be clear visibility to operate the flight. The flight can often cancel due to the unfavourable weather and trekkers stuck in Kathmandu or Lukla. The bad weather can stay up to a week or a few days longer sometimes.

What happens if the weather keeps staying worst for many days? If it happens, you can’t fly on a plane and need to start the trek flying on a helicopter. It costs an extra amount top up with the regular flight ticket. Dornier and twin-otter planes are operating the flights with limited weight so, pack only essential trekking gear to minimize the weight limitation.

15kg, including hand luggage, is allowed with one ticket. You can pay 100-200 NPR per kg for overload but, the bag and you might be on the different plane sometimes due to overload. If the flight on which you fly reach Lukla and the next one can’t make a flight, you and your trekking equipment can be in different places. So, try to pack only the necessary things for the trek. You can minimize weight not carrying lots of books, laptop, and buying the daily usage things while trekking to Everest base camp.

Accommodation, Food and Drink While Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Everest base camp trek
Accommodation in Gorakshep

The well-managed trekking route of Everest base camp trail has plenty of lodges for night stay in every place. You can get attached bathroom and shared bathroom accommodation during the trek. They are clean and comfortable enough but not as in the city. You can also have luxury accommodation, but they are costly.

The lodges serve food from a food menu so you can choose different food on the trek to Everest base camp. But one thing, you will get almost the same food items everywhere. You also can try local food if you would like to.

The lodge and grocery sell a bottle of water along the trek. The cost of the drink goes high as you ascend altitude. You can drink tap water filling into your water bottle but don't forget to use the purification method before drink.

Battery Charging, Hot Shower and Internet Service

The camera battery and cell phone battery go quickly down in cold temperature. You can charge the batteries during the trek but, it is not free. You will have electricity until the fourth night then after you will have solar power for the light and battery charging. Saving money from charging the battery, you better to bring a power bank with you.

As for battery charging, hot shower also is not free. Most of the places have a proper hot shower using solar, electric and gas. But, you might need to use a hot shower with the hot water in a bucket.

You can use the internet every day along the trek. There are two types of services for the internet as Everest link top-up wi-fi card or mobile data. NCELL and NTC are providing the service in the region, but NCELL has a better signal. You can buy a SIM card upon your arrival at the airport with the data package which you can use during a trek to Everest base camp.

Altitude Sickness and Prevention While Trek to Everest Base Camp

Altitude sickness is the main problem during trekking to Everest base camp. Altitude sickness caused by low oxygen in the air and high atmospheric pressure in high Himalayan lands. There are two types of altitude sickness as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). HACE effects in the brain with fluid and HAPE in the lung.

There will be early symptoms of altitude effect, so it will be easy to know if people are suffering from altitude or not. Headache, vomiting, feel like a drunk, very tired while resting, difficult to sleep, loss apatite, hard to breathe, tingling fingers and a few other are the earlier symptoms of altitude sickness while trekking to Everest base camp.

You can prevent altitude sickness and stay safe with it. Walk slow, drink plenty of water and liquid, eat well, sleep well and stay warm. Stop thinking all the time about the altitude trouble, tell the problem to the guide. Have enough acclimatization rest day before visiting higher elevation and start taking Diamox after 3500m to prevent altitude sickness.

If the situation gets worst after an acclimatization rest day, it is better to descend as soon as possible to the lower elevation. Having travel insurance to trek to Everest base camp is highly recommended. Buy an insurance policy which covers any emergency evacuation service up to 6000m of elevation.

Other Beautiful Treks in Everest Region

Gokyo lake trek
Gokyo lake

Gokyo valley trek is an alternative trek to Everest base camp. It is a trek with a similar time frame as the Everest base camp. Compared to the base camp trekking, Gokyo valley trek has fewer trekkers because of most of the trekkers would like to visit the base camp of the highest mountain in the world. Gokyo valley trek offers even better views than the base camp trail. Tranquil Gokyo lakes, biggest mountain glacier, and the view from Gokyo Ri is phenomenal to see.

Everest 3 passes trek is the most adventurous lodge trek in Nepal. Everest 3 passes trek covers Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La hills. You can trek separately passing only Cho La or Renjo la if you don’t have enough time for Everest 3 passes trek. Gokyo Everest base camp trek via Cho La pass is a popular adventure trek in Everest region. Visiting a hidden valley Thame via Renjo La pass is also a beautiful trek in this region.

Everest panorama trek: known as Everest view trek or Lukla to Tengboche trek is the shortest available Everest trekking package. It is one week trek from Kathmandu to Kathmandu and recommended for non-adventurous trekkers, family and to the people who have not enough time for the base camp trek.

Popular trek itinerary to the Everest base camp is 12-days but, you can make one day shorter or a few days longer according to your fitness. You can minimize or maximize by seeing the walking hours and elevation by provided itinerary. You can do it in 8 or 9-days by flying on a helicopter after visiting the base camp. You can still reach the base camp within a couple of hours from Kathmandu with a helicopter tour.

Rajesh Thapaliya

Rajesh Thapaliya

Namaste! I am Rajesh, Nepal travel blogger providing Nepal travel tips to the travellers who are planning to travel Nepal and know about Nepal.

I am a tourism service provider in Nepal So far, I have been to the Nepalese Himalayan base camps as a tour leader and collected lots of information about the Nepalese Himalayas. You can find my experiences in my travel blogs so it may make a lot easier you to travel to Nepal.

You may find me on Instagram (@rajeshthapaliyaofficial) and Twitter (@composerrajesh). I have worked very hard to be in this stage after my high school and dedicated my experiences to the people who would like to know about Nepal and Nepal travel.

I inspire travellers to travel to Nepal by providing information and recent news about Nepal. If you like my blogs and think that my blogs are really helpful to make you easier Nepal travel plan, please contact me at any time and ask questions about any confusion and follow me on my social profiles.

How I started writing

I was born in the countryside and finished my high school from there. After my high school, I came in Kathmandu and started to work as a trekking porter then I improved my English and started to work as a trekking guide at the same time I was a university student. While I was working as a tour leader, I visited all the Himalayan base camps in Nepal and collected lots of information about these areas. So my work inspired me to write and provide information about travelling Nepal to the visitors.