The Everest Base Camp Trek is an iconic trek that takes you to the base camp of Mount Everest. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. This trek offers stunning views of the snow-capped mountain, scenic villages, and world-class Sherpa hospitality. With the right preparation, Everest Base Camp Trek can be an unforgettable adventure. This is where the Ultimate Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek comes in.
Our complete guide to the Everest base camp trek offers comprehensive information about the trek from your arrival to departure. While there are certainly many Everest Base Camp trek guides out there, here we provide detailed information about the trek's difficulty level, trek duration, permit requirements, the best time to trek, and more. Hence, this is the complete guide to the Everest Base Camp trek.
Table of Contents
Where is Mt. Everest Base Camp?
Mount Everest has base camps in two countries, the South base camp lies in Nepal and the North base camp lies in Tibet (China). The base camp in Nepal is situated at a higher altitude, at 5,364 meters (17,598 feet). Whereas the base camp in China is situated at an altitude of 5,150 meters (16,900 feet).
The North Base Camp is accessible by road from Lhasa. The South Base Camp, on the other hand, is accessible by a short flight from Kathmandu. The base camp is a temporary site for the Everest expedition.
How to get to Everest Base Camp
Reaching the Everest Base Camp in Nepal follows the classic route of flight from Kathmandu to Lukla followed by a trek. Flight to Lukla is an adventure and takes around 35-45 minutes. Lukla is the starting point to get to Everest Base Camp. During the peak trekking seasons, some of the flights from Kathmandu to Ramechhap are Lukla flights. Hence, during the Everest Base Camp Trek 2023/ 2024 during peak season you will have to go to Ramechhap to get to Lukla. Ramechhap is 5-6 hours from Kathmandu.
There are also helicopters flying directly from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp. Though helicopter flights are quite expensive, they offer an unforgettable experience.
However, if you want to follow the original Everest Base Camp trekking route as taken by the first expedition by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary then you can trek from Jiri itself. This requires you to take a flight to Jiri from Kathmandu. Everest Base Camp Trek via Jiri is the first route to base camp and provides the opportunity to recall the memories of the first Everest expedition.
You can plan and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with the help of this ultimate guide to the Everest base camp trek. Please get in touch with us if you have any more inquiries.
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes you through the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP). SNP is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and houses some of the most unique wildlife such as the snow leopard and red panda.
The trek takes you through traditional Sherpa villages. Namche Bazaar is one of them. You can experience the unique Sherpa culture during this trek.
The Tengboche Monastery is one of the famous monasteries in the Khumbu region. Being there means you learn more about Buddhist traditions.
Kala Patthar is a famous vantage point that offers panoramic views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. It lies at an astounding 5,545 meters (18,192 feet).
The trek culminates at the base of Mount Everest, which is situated at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet). The base camp offers spectacular views of the Khumbu Icefall. Khumbu Icefall is a dangerous zone for the Everest Expedition.
The EBC trek offers breathtaking views of some of the highest peaks in the world. From EBC you can experience the beauty of the world’s highest Himalayas up close.
Local People and Culture
Sherpas are a major ethnic group in the Everest region. They are well-known for their mountain bravery. Sherpa culture is unique and deeply rooted in the mountains. They follow a blend of Buddhism and the Bon religion.
Sherpa cuisine is also an essential part of their culture. Their traditional dishes include Shakpa, MOMO, Thukpa, Tibetan Bread, and Butter Tea. Festivals are an important part of their culture and are celebrated throughout the year. Here are some of the major Sherpa festivals are:
Losar is the Sherpa New Year. It falls in late January or early February. The festival is marked by rituals, offerings, and ceremonies to ward off evil spirits and ensure good luck for the coming year. The festival's traditional dances, which portray the conflict between gods and demons, are a significant part as well.
Mani Rimdu is a major Sherpa festival. It falls in October or November. It is a celebration of Guru Rinpoche's founding of Buddhism in Tibet. The festival is held in Tengboche Monastery. The key highlight of the festivals is the mask dance, called Chham. These dances symbolize the expulsion of demons to transform them into Dharma Protectors.
Dumji is another important Sherpa festival. It falls in June or July. The festival is held to honor the birth of Guru Rinpoche. During this festival, new prayer flags are displayed. Monks perform traditional fire rituals and mask dances.
Saga Dawa is a Buddhist festival. It falls in May or June. It celebrates the different life phases of Gautam Buddha from his birth, enlightenment, and death.
Lukla is a small town with a big namesake as the gateway to the Everest region. Located at a high elevation of 2,860 meters (9,383 feet), it houses the famous Tenzing Hillary Airport. Owing to its steep runway and geographical structure the airport has been known as the most dangerous airport in the world.
As the heart of Khumbu, Namche Bazaar is a bustling town. It serves as a business and cultural center. The first location for trekkers to acclimatize is Namche Bazaar. This town also features many attractions such as the Sherpa Culture Museum and the Everest Photo Gallery. Likewise, the Everest View Hotel, one of the highest hotels in the world, is also an incredible attraction.
In the Everest region, there is a well-known Tibetan Buddhist monastery called Tengboche. It was constructed in 1916. It is located high up at 3,867 meters (12,687 feet). This monastery hosts the renowned Mani Rimdu festival. Tengboche forms a part of the "Sacred Sites Trail Project" which is a circular trail that travels by ten different monasteries in a clockwise motion.
Gorakshep is the last stop before reaching Everest Base Camp. It is famous for its views of the Khumbu Glacier. Gorakshep is also the starting point for the hike to Kala Patthar. It is also the world’s highest human settlement.
Kala Patthar whose name translates to "black rock," is a famous landmark from which you can see the Himalayan peaks. It offers stunning views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. Visitors usually hike to Kala Patthar early in the morning to witness the sunrise over Mount Everest.
Everest Base Camp
The Everest Base Camp is located at an altitude of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet) above sea level. EBC offers stunning views of the Khumbu Icefall and the surrounding peaks.
Everest Base Camp Trek Distance
The Everest Base Camp Trek is typically around 130 km (80 miles). The trek usually takes 14 days to complete. The trek passes through traditional Sherpa villages, protected areas, and mountain terrain. On average, you will hike 8-10 km per day but on some days, you must trek 15-20 km per day.
Everest Base Camp Trek Duration
The duration of the Everest Base Camp Trek depends upon several factors, such as the trek route, fitness level, and the time taken for acclimatization. Here is a standard Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1320m/ 4329ft)
Day 2: Flight to Lukla and Hike to Phakding, 3 Hours (2655m/ 8708ft)
Day 3: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar 5-6 Hours
Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche, Hike to Everest Viewpoint
Day 5: Trek from Namche to Tengboche 5-Hour
Day 6: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche, 5-6 Hours
Day 7: Trek from Dingboche to Thukla (Dhukla) 3 Hours
Day 8: Trek to Lobuche 3-hour
Day 9: Trek to Gorakshep for 4 Hours, (5160m/16929ft) and Hike to Everest Base Camp and Back to Gorakshep for 4-5 Hours
Day 10: Hike up to Kala Patthar (Everest viewpoint) 2-Hour, (5560m/18236ft) and Trek Back to Pheriche 5 Hours
Day 11: Trek from Pheriche to Namche 7-Hour
Day 12: Trek from Namche Bazar to Lukla 6-7 Hours
Day 13: Flight Back to Kathmandu, Free Day – Wander Around Touristic Town Thamel.
Day 14: Final Departure from Nepal
So, the Everest Base Camp Trek takes 14 days to complete. Starting from Kathmandu with a flight to Lukla and hiking through Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Thukla, and Lobuche. Finally, you reach the Everest Base Camp on the 9th day and Kala Patthar on the 10th day. From there you will rapidly hike down passing through Pheriche, Namche Bazaar, Lukla, and finally Kathmandu on the 13th day. But if you are taking the route via Jiri, you need 5-7 additional days. In case you are returning from Everest Base Camp via Heli then it can be completed in 7-8 days.
The tour offers a deep dive into the Sherpa culture in addition to the natural splendor of the Khumbu region. The journey resembles a pilgrimage because of Buddhist chants, prayer wheels, flags, and monasteries scattered along the way.
Every day, the height from Lukla rises by about 500 m (1640 feet). The elevation over most of the walk is over 3000 m/9842 feet. Allowing for acclimatization is necessary since abrupt changes in altitude can make people unwell. Simply put, acclimatization is the process of letting your body adjust to a new climate. We have one acclimatization day in Namche for the same.
The Everest Base Camp Budget Trek is for those on a tight budget to take in the splendor of the Everest Region. The journey is suited for people who are in good physical shape and willing to walk for several hours each day through difficult terrain.
Everest Base Camp Luxury Trek is suited for individuals who want to enjoy the splendor of the Himalayas in comfort and style. The package includes lodging in a luxury Hotel and lodges with hot showers, meals, and a guide and porter for the trek.
The Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake Trek combine the adventure of reaching Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lakes. This is a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of Mount Everest along with mesmerizing Gokyo Lake on a single trek.
The Everest Base Camp Trek with Lobuche Peak Climbing offers both trekking and climbing experiences in one package. This trek cum climbing is suitable for experienced trekkers who want to challenge themselves both physically and mentally.
The Everest Heli tour is the shortest way to experience Everest base camp and Kalapatthar. It can be finished in a few hours and is the greatest option to see Mount Everest within a short period.
Everest Mountain Flight
The Everest Mountain Flight offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest. The flight usually lasts for about an hour. It is a popular way to experience Mount Everest and other higher Himalayas for those who do not wish to undertake an Everest Base Camp Trek.
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Due to the altitude, arid terrain, and severe weather, the Everest Base Camp Trek is difficult.
It can be harder to climb up (towards Everest Base Camp) than to descend. The altitude rises gradually over several days when going up. This makes the trek physically demanding. On the other hand, coming down (from Everest Base Camp) can be physically easier but can still be challenging. The descent can be hard on the knees and joints.
So, the trek requires a good level of physical fitness.
In the EBC trek, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a possible risk. To prevent AMS, it is crucial to take the necessary precautions. Headaches, nausea, and exhaustion are the main signs and symptoms of AMS. Maintaining appropriate acclimatization and staying hydrated are the best ways to treat AMS.
Highest Altitude During the EBC Trek
The highest altitude during the Everest Base Camp Trek is Kala Patthar, which has an elevation of 5,640 meters (18,503 feet) above sea level. Kala Patthar offers stunning panoramic views of Mount Everest.
Everest Base Camp Trek Time
The best time to visit Everest base camp is spring and autumn. In Nepal, spring is just before the monsoon which starts in March and lasts till May. Whereas autumn is post-monsoon and runs from September to November. Hence, the best time to go on an Everest Base Camp Trek is from March to May and September to November.
During these times, the weather is generally clear. Also, during that time we celebrate many festivals, having an enjoyable time traveling.
The monsoon season (June to August) and the winter months (December to February) are not the ideal periods to go trekking in the Everest region. The monsoon season can be slick and muddy due to heavy rains, and winter temperatures can dip as low as -20°C.
Everest Base Camp Trek Permit and Entrance
Everest Base Camp Trek requires multiple permits and entrance fees. In case you book with us we take care of that.
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit fee is NPR 3,000 (approximately USD 25) per person for foreigners and NPR 1,500 (approximately USD 13) for SAARC nationals.
To obtain all these permits, you will need the following:
An original passport
Two passport-sized photographs
Sufficient cash to cover the permit fees.
Trekkers' Information Management Systems (TIMS) is not required for EBC Trek.
Accommodation Facilities During the EBC Trek
Teahouses are the most common type of accommodation on the EBC Trek. Teahouses provide rooms with twin beds and shared bathrooms. These rooms are simple yet clean. They offer a cozy place to rest after a long day of trekking.
Luxury lodges are also available along the EBC trekking trails. For those prepared to spend extra money, these lodges provide a more luxurious experience with comfortable beds, attached bathrooms, and hot showers.
Food and Drink Options Along the Way to Everest Base Camp Trek
Most teahouses offer a variety of local dishes such as Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup, and vegetables), MOMO (dumplings filled with vegetables or meat), and Thukpa (noodle soup). Some teahouses offer continental and Chinese dishes.
Most of the teahouses along the Everest Base Camp Trekking trails sell cookies, sweets, and other munchies. Namche Bazaar has some interesting bars and bakeries. Aside from the highest and most remote Irish pub in the world is also in Namche.
The selection of foods is broad at the start of the hike but gets thinner as you go up. The cost may vary from place to place, with prices being more expensive at higher altitudes and cheaper in Lukla.
Clothing and equipment for Everest Base Camp Trek
The basic list of clothing and equipment for the Everest Base Camp trek is as follows:
Waterproof and windproof jacket
Thermal base layers (tops and bottoms)
Warm hat and sun hat
Hiking socks (wool or synthetic)
Hiking boots or trail shoes
Backpack or daypack
Sleeping bag (rated to at least -10°C)
Headlamp with spare batteries
Sunglasses with UV protection
Snacks and energy bars
First aid kit
Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
How to Prepare for Everest Base Camp Trek
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the trek:
Plan your Everest base camp trek itinerary carefully and give yourself enough time to prepare.
Start training at least 3-4 months before the trek.
Get used to hiking with a backpack and gradually increase your weight.
Learn to acclimatize by gradually increasing your altitude during your training hikes.
Invest in good quality trekking gear suitable for cold and windy conditions.
Prepare yourself mentally through meditation, and mindfulness.
Consult with a doctor to ensure you're fit for the trek.
Get any necessary vaccinations and medications.
Safe trekking to Everest Base Camp
Altitude sickness is always a possibility because Everest Base Camp is at such a high height. Altitude sickness is essentially brought on by rapidly traveling to high elevations without giving the body time to acclimate. Altitude sickness' primary signs and symptoms are headache, breathing difficulties, exhaustion, and nausea, among others.
Hence, it is important to exercise caution when trekking in high elevations like the Everest region. The Everest base camp trek itinerary should include an acclimatization day as a crucial first step. Additionally, while hiking, remember to drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet, and the most important Everest Base Camp trekking tip is to abstain from alcohol and smoking.
Talk to your guide as soon as you notice any altitude sickness symptoms. Emergency medical evacuation can be necessary, depending on the circumstances. You must have travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue, and medical, along with other benefits to get any type of medical evacuation.
Always follow the advice of experienced Everest base camp trek guides and properly equip yourself with appropriate clothing and gear. Also, always take your regular medicines.
Phone, Internet, and Electricity Facilities During the Everest Base Camp Trek
Phone and internet facilities are available along the Everest Base Camp trekking route, but their availability may vary from place to place. Generally, phone and internet services are better at lower altitudes, and their reliability may decrease as you ascend higher.
To ensure reliable communication during your trek, it is wise to carry your phone and have a mobile data plan as two phone operators have good coverage in the Everest region.
Most tea houses in the trail have Wi-Fi, although you might have to fork over a small fee to access it. It is crucial to remember that the consistency of phone and internet services may be impacted by the weather.
As you trek along, electricity is accessible, but it's frequently only available for a few hours each day, and tea houses might charge a small fee to use it.
Everest Base Camp Trek Cost
The Everest Base Camp trek cost depends on the services included in the package.
The budget trek often comes with simple lodging, food, permits, and an Everest base camp trek guide. The Everest Base Camp trek cost, on a budget trip costs between USD 900 and USD 1200per person, whereas luxury treks typically cost between USD 2900 and USD 4900 per person and feature luxury lodgings. International air travel, fees for visas, and travel protection are not included in these expenses.
It is crucial to pick a reliable trekking company that offers high-quality services while considering your budget.
Everest Base Camp Trekking Tips
A few important tips for Everest Base Camp Treks are,
Trekking to Everest Base Camp requires a good level of physical fitness, so it is important to train beforehand. Regular running and hiking can help build up the necessary fitness.
Altitude sickness is common in the Everest region, so it is necessary to take enough time to acclimatize properly. Our Everest Base Camp Trek includes designated days for acclimatization.
Pack the light and only carry the essentials. Invest in good quality trekking equipment. The shortlist of such equipment is listed below.
Stay hydrated while trekking at high altitudes and drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
Hiring a guide can make your trek more comfortable. As a new rule, it is mandatory to hire a guide for any kind of trekking in Nepal. Everest base camp trek guides can provide valuable information and help you during an emergency.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp is not a sprint race, so take it slowly. Ask your fellow friends and guide them in case of any help.
The Everest Base Camp trek is an amazing journey. Nothing compares to the thrill of experiencing the Himalayan way of life while on this adventure. This ultimate guide to the Everest base camp trek provides all the information you require for the Everest Base Camp trek.
Raj is an enthusiastic traveler who enjoys discovering new places and breathtaking natural beauty. He was born and raised in the mountain town of Gorkha, and he has done most of the trekking routes in Nepal. Follow him on Facebook