Annapurna Circuit Trek – The oldest and the best trek in Nepal

Posted Apr 30th, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,
Ghayru Village Annapurna Circuit Trek

Ghayru Village

As our operations were closed this Spring, a small team of office staffs decided to do Annapurna Circuit Trek crossing Thorong La at 5416 meters in April. The motive of the trek was to assess the route, check the services, make pictures & videos and also to break the monotony of being shut down for so long.

Annapurna Circuit Trek was one of the most popular treks in Nepal and is still among the favorites of many international trekkers visiting Nepal. It is a beautiful trek that passes through the Marshyangdi Valley and offers great scenery and cultural diversity. The hike up is very scenic with amazing mountain views of Himalayan giants like Annapurna, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak and the Chulu range. Besides the natural beauty, the area is also very culturally rich with ancient traditions of the Gurungs and the Manange people, beautiful and old monasteries and quaint settlements of the locals. For the wildlife, Himalayan Thars, Monals, Musk Deer and even the elusive Snow leopard can be spotted while on the trek.

Lower Pisang Village

Lower Pisang Village

In terms of difficulty, the trek is a fairly challenging trek and the major highlight of this trek is crossing the Thorong La Pass at an altitude of 5416 meters and arriving in Muktinath, a religious town following the Kali Gandaki Valley. Overall, Annapurna Circuit trek is a classic trek and one of the most diverse treks in Nepal. The extensions of the roads have cut the trek short but the trek is without doubt one of the most fantastic trekking experiences in the world. If you are planning to embark on this beautiful journey, the following tips might come in handy to you.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary:

The main logic behind a standard itinerary for a Himalayan trek is not to miss a single highlight and yet get well acclimatized at the same time for a successful trip. The development in Nepal has resulted in road construction even in the remotest parts of the country and affected many treks in Nepal. Similar is the case in Annapurna Circuit trek as well. The trek which used to take 22 days in the past can now be done in half the time with an extension to Tilicho lake, one of the highest glacial lakes in the world.  To skip the roads, not miss any major highlights and get well acclimatized while trekking up, we suggest you the below itinerary and tips:

Day 1: Drive to Chame (Approx. 2650m) via Besisahar

Drive time: 10 – 11 hours (4 -5 hrs black topped road and 5 hrs off road)

Lunch: Besisahar

Lodge: Hotel New Shangrila

Tip: It is always good if you leave Kathmandu early after breakfast. Though local transportation is available, it is good to hire a private vehicle, especially for the off-road section.

Day 2: Trek to Upper Pisang (Approx. 3300m)

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Lunch: Dhikur Pokhari

Lodge: Hotel Manang Marshyangdi

Day 3: Trek to Ngawal (Approx. 3650m)

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Lunch: Ghyaru

Lodge: Hotel Mountain View

Tip: Ghyaru and Ngawal are both beautiful old settlements of the local people. To enjoy these villages, take the upper trail via Ghyaru and get inside the village to explore more.

Day 4: Trek to Manang (Approx. 3519m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Bhraka

Hotel: Hotel Tilcho

 Tip: After your lunch, take a visit to one of the oldest and the most beautiful monasteries in the region. The monastery is more than 600 years old with large number of Buddha statues and offers a great view from the top.

 Day 4: Acclimatization day at Manang (Approx. 3519m)

Walk time: 4 hours

Lunch: Manang

Hotel: Hotel Tilcho

Tip: Go for walk to the Gangapurna Lake and follow the trial up to the top of the hill at 4300 meters, a perfect acclimatization day. If you want a longer day, one can also go for an excursion to the Ice Lake.

 Day 5: Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (Approx. 4200m)

Walk time: 4 hours

Lunch: Sri Kharka

Hotel: Hotel New Himalaya

Tip: Watch out for landslide and rockfall sections after Sri Kharka and hour before reaching the Base Camp.

 Day 6: Trek to Tilicho Lake and back to Sri Kharka (Approx. 4080m)

Walk time: 8 hours

Lunch: Tilicho Base Camp

Lodge: Himalayan Hotel

Tip: Start the day pretty early before sunrise with a light meal. After getting back from Tilicho Lake, rest at the Base Camp while enjoying your breakfast.

Tilicho Lake

Tilicho Lake (4919m)

Day 7: Trek to Yak Kharka (Approx. 4018m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Yak Kharka

Lodge: Hotel Dream Home

Day 8: Trek to Thorong Phedi (Approx. 4533m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Thorong Phedi

Hotel: Thorong Basecamp Lodge

Tip: Watch out for rock fall section about 30 mins before reaching Thorong Phedi.

Day 9: Cross Thorong La (5416 m) and trek to Muktinath and drive to Jomsom (Approx. 2743m)

Walk time: 9 hours, drive 1 hr

Lunch: Packed Lunch

Lodge: Tilicho Lodge

Tip: Make an early start so that you are at the top of the Pass before noon. Get yourself a packed lunch from the hotel to enjoy at the top of the Pass. Keep you crampons ready and trekking poles handy for the descent.

 Also, coordinate with your Agent/Guide to have a vehicle standby at Muktinath to drive to Jomsom.

On the way to the top of Thorong La Pas

On the way to the top of Thorong La Pass

Thorong La Pass (5416m)

Thorong La Pass (5416m)

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara (Approx. 822m)

Tip: If you have a day or two to spare, spend it in Pokhara basking in the beauty of this amazing lakeside city – you won’t regret!

Day 12: Fly to Kathmandu (Approx. 1400m)

Things to Know

 Accommodation

As Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the oldest and well-connected trekking areas of Nepal, finding accommodations is not a problem during this trek. There are abundant lodges in all the stops with price ranging from USD 10 to USD 120 depending on the level and standard of the services provided. It is only in Thorong Phedi and Thorong High Camp, the two small settlements before the Thorong La pass, accommodations might get a bit tight due to limited availability and the high number of trekkers visiting the area. Just make sure you carry a sleeping bag (-20 Celsius) for a cozy sleep and double check with your agent if they have confirmed the rooms for you.

Fooding

Like accommodation in the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the food availability during the trek is also not a problem. All the lodges will have full menu with food ranging from Nepali, Indian, Italian and continental. We suggest you to be an eggetarian during the trek though meat is available through out. Talk to your guide for the best food to eat as he will have access to the Kitchen. As the popular trekking saying goes, “Dal Bhat Power 24 hour, noodle power only half an hour”, go for local foods especially Dal Bhat, a good mix of carb and protein.

Water

Water can be refilled pretty easily in all the lodges and there are water sources/taps along the trail. We discourage the purchase of bottled water (as it contributes to plastic waste) and therefore suggest to use purification tablets or water filtration systems. One can also buy hot water in the lodges from USD 5-10 depending on how high you are.

Electricity and Charging

Compared to other trekking areas in Nepal, electricity is not a problem in the area. There are good charging facilities in all the lodges and the charges for it is also nominal. It is only at Tilicho Base Camp, Thorong Phedi and Thorong High Camp, there might be some issues with charging as the settlements are on solar back up. Make sure you have a good power bank especially for the nights in these places.

Communication

Annapurna area is well connected in terms of telecommunications and internet facility. You can find mobile network easily to Khangsar and internet connection throughout the trek.  There will be a charge for the usage of internet, which will also be higher as you trek higher.

Equipment

One needs regular trekking gears like boots, hiking pants, good base layers, Dri Fit t shirts, down jackets, Poncho and wind cheater. Sunscreen, sunglass and hats are also very important for the trek. On the technical side, it will be a safe bet to carry ins step crampons and trekking poles which come in very handy for snowy trail and descent after Thorong la pass.

Permits

You will need two governmental permits to complete the trek – Annapurna Area Conservation Project fees (ACAP) and Trekkers Information System Management System ( TIMS).  Your Travel Agent will easily sort both these permits for you.

Getting there

You can hire a jeep straight to Chame from Kathmandu. Options of local transport to Besishar is available and you have to change another vehicle for Chame.

For Muktinath-Jomsom section , local jeep options, both sharing and private hire are available. You can also take a 20 minutes’ flight to Pokhara or take local transport to Pokhara, both available on full hire or individual basis.

Best Time to Travel

Spring season from March till May and the Autumn season from September till December is the best time to visit the region.  During Spring, the sky is clear, days are warm and the views open up really good. Autumn season also has clearer days, good views but is slightly drier and colder compared to Spring.

Winters are also okay to trek if you can cope with the cold.  Just make sure you have enough warm clothes.

The area receives slightly lesser rain compared to other areas due to its topography, especially Manang and upper areas. Hence, once can also trek the area during monsoon.

Khangsar Village Annapurna Circuit Trek

Khangsar Village

(This is a personal account of Anuj Pandey, General Manager of Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure. For more details on this trek, please go to https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/annapurna-circuit-trekking/ .  For any enquiries, contact us at sales@explorehimalaya.com)

 

 

Trekking Grade in Nepal

Posted Mar 22nd, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Trekking in Everest Region
How hard is the trek? What is the level of fitness required? Can I do it? These are the most common questions one asks when he or she thinks or plans to do trekking in the Himalaya. We think there is no right answer as difficulty level of a trek is not an absolute idea, especially in the Himalaya. Of course factors like altitude, distance and time are measurable factors that can determine the grade of a trek to some extent. However, how a person’s body and his mental fortitude respond to these things makes the whole difference. So, there is no generally accepted trekking grade system in Nepal. However, based on our experience, we have categorized the trekking grade in Nepal taking some common factors like walking hours, altitude, terrain difficulty into consideration.  Our grading system is to be taken as a general guideline. Deciding the right one is subject to your personal level of physical and mental fitness.

  1. Soft Adventure treks

Soft trekking in Nepal

These treks are only about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don’t go above 4000 meters and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 – 5 hours. They are a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. Most of the time, it is walking from one village to other village above 2500m, discovering the lifestyles and culture of rural communities of Nepal. You can see the panoramic views of mountains, exciting village life and do wonderful wilderness walk. The activity level is fairly easy as there is no difficult climbing or snowy walks. But don’t expect it to be all easy going, as it is still a trek and there will still be some big hills to climb as well as the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down. Such soft adventure treks are ideal for Family Adventure and Corporate Retreats. No previous experience is required.  Example: A Week Below Everest

  1. Moderate to fairly challenging treks

Kalapatthar best mountain viewpoints of Nepal

This trekking grade involves longer treks going right into high mountain country above 4000m, to some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps like Everest Base Camp (5357m) with occasional crossing over high passes. Most of the trekking in Nepal falls under this category. Climbing and descending are very usual experiences for this type of trekking and you may have to cross glaciers as well. Physically quite tiring and more challenging than soft adventure treks, it includes approx. 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. This kind of trekking gives you an experience of a lifetime, with memorable walking surrounded by spectacular mountains. Previous experience is not required but preferable for this trekking. You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions. It is ideal for you if you want to challenge yourself with longer and demanding trekking days. Example: Everest Base Camp & Annapurna Circuit

  1. Strenuous treks
On the way to Larke Pass (5106m)

On the way to Larke Pass (5106m)

Strenuous treks are normally longer treks that go far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and where the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. Most of the time, you will be trekking in very rocky terrain, crossing glaciers through wilderness, and sometime may have to use crampons. It normally goes above 5500m and is appropriate for those seeking real adventure. Physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. Should not be super fit but definitely not for beginners! However, it is not impossible to take as the first adventure if you are committed to take some extra challenges. Example: Dolpo Trek & Dhaulagiri Trek

Trekking Types in Nepal  

Posted Mar 12th, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Everest base camp trek
If you have heard about Nepal, chances are high that you have heard about its mighty mountains, rolling hills and wonderful wilderness, always welcoming travelers since the country opened its door to visitors. No doubt this beautiful country is an amazing destination for world class trekking adventures. You have hundred of choices here. From busy trails of Everest to quiet trails of Dolpo, from easy mid hill walks to challenging mountain passes, from few days’ hike to month long clambering on the glaciers – the list is endless. You will literally be spoilt by the choices. This broad range of trekking options, however, is normally categorized into three trekking types on the basis of the service and logistic arrangement involved in it. At Explore Himalaya, we offer all three trekking types to our visitors. 

1. CAMPING TREK
Camping Trek in Nepal

Camping Trek is fully organized trekking in which you will be supplied with all camping equipment along with food, Sherpas, helpers and tents for accommodation. This trekking type is ideal for those who want less frequented trails with no teahouses or less accommodation options. This type of treks offer a really special experience as you will be visiting the far flung areas that have very less contact with the modern world. Nowadays, with the availability of teahouses and lodges in most of the trekking trails in Nepal, compared to other trekking types, this style of trekking is less in use, and used only where there is special requirement or no other option of accommodation left. Treks in Dolpo and Dhaulagiri regions are operated in this style.

 Support Crew in Camping Trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Sirdar and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don’t take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp.

Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Some of the best moments of the trek are the times spent getting to know your trekking crew who are born and brought up in remote mountain villages. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is consumed and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tents, your camping staff dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.

A Typical Day in Camping Trek
A typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. Then after we continue for the afternoon’s walk which is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. Dinner is usually served between 6 – 7pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.

Meals and Drinking Water in Camping Trek
We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.

After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh products as possible and special dietary requirement is always catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain remarkably high standards of health over many years of trek organization – and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb.

All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. You will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing.

2. TEAHOUSE/LODGE TREK
teahouse in Nepal

Teahouse trekking type involves accommodating in teahouses dispersed up and down the travelling trails of Nepal. In this type of trekking, your service includes food, guide, porter and accommodation. Teahouses basically refers to mountain lodges operating the bedding and eating facilities for trekkers. Generally, all the teahouses have sharing rooms (with few single rooms), indoor latrines, restrooms, eatery, kitchen and lounge area. Most of the teahouses are owed by local people where family members, relatives and some additional staffs work every day to satisfy the necessities of guides, porters and travelers. This type of trekking is popular in all major trails in Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions.

Support Crew in Teahouse Trek
On teahouse trek you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The crew consists of a local leader (Sirdar) and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two group members. Sirdar speaks reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.

 Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most teahouses, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the bathroom facilities are often shared and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the teahouses do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Teahouse treks are less expensive than Camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory.

Meals & Drinking Water in Lodge Trek
On our teahouse/lodge based treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is normally not extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with filtered water.

A Typical Day in Teahouse Trek
The day activity is pretty much same as in camping trek. The only difference is we will have our meals in teahouses instead of camps. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day’s walk. All we need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of our gear for us.

After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.

3. GAP TREK
Teahouse in Nepal

This is a shortened form of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP).  This type of trek is ideal for those that want basic and essential support from us. We offer an English speaking local Sherpa guide, accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers buy meals on their own. So, the whole arrangement is same as Tea House aside from you paying for your own meals.

 

Bird Watching And Photography Tour with Andy Teasdale

Posted Jul 28th, 2020 under Photo Essay, Special Events, Wildlife & Bird Watching,


This trip offers you a wonderful opportunity to explore the rich bird life in Nepal. You begin your birding journey from Phulchowki Hill that lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu. With some 288 bird species recorded to date, Phulchowki is the most popular bird watching spot in the valley. The hike to verdant Shivapuri National Park will offer you glimpses of the Spiny Babbler and Hoary-throated Barwing. Taudaha Lake located in the southern part of the valley is a favorite nesting site for migratory birds and water fowls. 

You take a drive to the scenic lakeside town of Pokhara and enjoy myriad activities including bird-watching. You further proceed to Chitwan National Park & Hetauda and spot many of the endangered winged creatures while indulging in exciting jungle activities. A total of 540 species of birds has been recorded at Chitwan National Park till date. The park is especially important for grassland species like the Bengal Florican, Grey-Crowned Prinis, Slender-billed Babbler and Lesser Adjutant. Hetauda situated at an altitude of 474m is a stopover point for high altitude birds like the Ibisbill, seeking a warm site in winter. Cattle egrets, swallows, mynah and bulbuls are resident birds. 

Further you drive to the next destination, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which covers an area of 175 sq km and is in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. It is a beautiful and fascinating aquatic environment and is home to an astonishing variety of water birds that flock to its ponds full of flowering plants. The reserve provides an important habitat for a variety of wildlife but, in particular, water birds, including several migratory species such as the sarus crane from Siberia. In all, a total of 280 different species of birds have been recorded and these include many varieties of ducks, ibis, storks, egrets and herons, as well as the endangered swamp partridges and Bengal floricans. Koshi Tappu is also home to the last surviving population of wild water buffalo and its other inhabitants include blue cows, various species of deer, Gangetic dolphins and gharial crocodiles.

No doubt, this special 2 weeks’ tour provides you wonderful locations with high species count and best sightings. But most importantly, it also offers you an accomplished birding expertise of Andy Teasdale, a brilliant tour leader known for handling such remarkably challenging tasks. 

Andy Teasdale, Team Leader

A passionate photographer, bird expert, qualified Mountain instructor and International Mountain Guides Carnet, Andy Teasdale runs a company based in Snowdonia offering sheltered and joyful guiding service that provides special outdoor adventures including photography, climbing, walking, alpinism and ski touring in Snowdonia and the Alps. An ardent birdwatcher and outdoor adventure enthusiast, Andy spends a lot of time in the mountains of Snowdonia and the European Alps instructing, guiding and leading expeditions year round to the greater ranges.  

Andy’s expertise combines excellent birding knowledge, seamless photography skill and a vast experience of leading outdoor tours. Beside his profound interest on birds, his other photographic interests involve adventure sports and landscape.  Never away from his adventure ingenuity and his loved camera to capture the spirit, Andy feels that photography is the best way to enhance and immortalize stories and experiences. You can visit his Facebook and Insta pages to see an impressive collection of his engagements. Explore Himalaya is really proud to partner with Andy Teasdale for a bird watching photography tour during November 2020, a relief project to uplift Nepali tourism that is severely hit by covid-19 setback.  

Everest Base Camp Trek Distance, Time and Elevation

Posted Feb 26th, 2020 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

It’s a known fact that Everest Base Camp Trek is a very rewarding highland adventure. Flying to thrilling Lukla Airport, walking past quaint Sherpa villages and breathtaking landscape, and finally getting real close to Everest, the highest of all peaks in the world, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely a whole new level of experience. As expected of any trekking in Nepal, it also involves a lot of walking (continuously for about 11/12 days) in the alpine terrain. So, anyone interested to undertake trekking in Nepal is sure to ask mandatory questions like how high? how far? and how many hours.  However, there is absolutely no reason to get worried – we are making things easier for you! Below we have listed some major facts on distance, time and elevation involved in Everest Base Camp Trek. Please note that we have used a standard itinerary to provide a general overview of the trek, though there can be some side treks and different stopovers depending on individual requirement.

Gorak Shep to Everest Base CampSummary of distance, time and elevation

  1. Distance in Everest Base Camp: The total distance in Everest Base Camp trek (Lukla-Everest Base Camp-Lukla) is about 130km round trip (65 km each way). Normal number of days to cover the distance is 11/12 days. So, you will be walking roughly about 11 km in about 6 hours a day in average. As the terrain is rocky with switchbacks (gradual ascent and descent), the pace will be slow about 2.5 km an hour. So, distance in Everest Base Camp Trek is achievable for people of all ages. As you need to acclimatize while going up, it takes 9 days to reach the Base Camp (including the 2 acclimatization days) and just 3 days to return to Lukla.
  2. Elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek : Everest Base Camp Trek is not a very technical trekking. However, elevation is a bit of challenge that needs to be considered of. The very starting point of the trek, Lukla Airport itself is at an altitude of 2860m. Lukla Airport, known as Tenzing Hillary Airport, is popularly known as one of the most adventurous airports in the world due to its tricky runway perched on a cliff. The highest point you reach is 5545m (Kala Patthar), an amazing viewpoint to savor the beauty of Everest and her sister peaks. Though the altitude variation looks extreme, the itinerary is planned in such a way that your body gets enough time to acclimatize. An average elevation gain ranges from 400m to 800m per day. When you gain significantly high altitude in a particular day, the next day will usually be the rest day to acclimatize. As a whole, elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek defines both the challenge and joy.

Day to day distance, time and elevation

To get a more comprehensive idea on the distance, time (walking hours) and elevation, here is a day-to-day break down of the standard Everest Base Camp Trek with en-route highlights.

Day 1: Lukla to Phakding 

Phakding

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

9 km

 

4 hours 2860m – 2656m

En-route Highlights: mani walls and boulders, villages like Cheplung, Lhawa and Ghat, suspension bridge (first one of six such bridges in the trail)

Day 2: Phakding to Namche       

Namche

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

12 km

 

6 hours 2656m – 3440m

En-route Highlights: Monjo (National Park Entry point, Entry Permit Check Point), Jorsalle, 4 suspension bridges (3 above Dudh Koshi and 1 above Imja Khola, the iconic one seen in movies), approximately 700m vertical climb before reaching Namche – shouldn’t be taken lightly as you will set off for the climb right after your lunch and when you have to walk uphill in altitude right after meal, it can’t so easy. This uphill climb is the first of the two tough climbs you will have in Everest Base Camp Trek.

Day 3: Rest Day at Namche

Khumjung Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

6 km

 

4 hours 3440m – 3880m – 3440m

Activities:

  1. Visit to Sherpa Culture Museum, Sagarmatha National Park Museum ( about 100m above Namche) & Monastery
  2. Hiking to Khumjung/Khunde (3790m- about 2 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Syangboche Airport and continue to Khunde and Khumjung
  3. Hiking to Hotel Everest View (3880m – about 2.5 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Synagboche Airport and continue to the hotel
  4. Hiking in a loop Namche-Syangboche-Khunde-Khumjung-Hotel Everest View-Namche; you can also choose to stay overnight in Khumjung or Hotel Everest View

En- route Highlights: Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; Khunde Hospital, Khumjung School, Khumjung Monastery, Hotel Everest View (one of the highest hotels in the world) etc.

Day 4: Namche to Deboche

Tengboche Monastery

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

11 km

 

6 hours 3440m-3734m

En-route Highlights:  Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; a suspension bridge over Imja Khola , after about 300m downhill walk to Punki Tenga; about 500m of climb to Tengboche (second of the two vertical climbs after Namche climb), Tengboche Monastery (3867m – 10 km, 5 hours)

Day 5: Deboche to Dingboche

Lower Pangboche Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

11 km

 

6 hours 3734m – 4410m

En-route Highlights: Views of towering Amadablam and Nuptse; Everest starts to hide behind the Nuptse wall; Pangboche Village (3985m- about 3 km, 2 hours) combination of 2 settlements lower and upper; Pangboche Monastery with its famed yeti skull; Pangboche is also the last village for Amadablam expedition – climbers go to Amadablam Base Camp via Pangboche; consistently flat trail throughout; crossroad one leading to Pheriche and other leading to Dingboche

Day 6: Rest Day at Dingboche

Dingboche Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

 

i. 1.5 km (if Nangkar Tshang Hill)

ii. 11 km (if Chhukung Village & Chukkung Ri)

 

i. 3 hours (includes steep climb)

ii. 6 hours

 

i. 4410m – 5083m

ii. 4410m –  4730m – 5550m

 

Amadablam View from Nangkar Tshang

Activities:

  1. Hiking to Nangkar Tshang Hill (5083m, about 700m high from Dingboche, 2.5 hours) which sounds like Nagarjun (Nepali word of Sanskrit origin), at first steady climb and later on steep. Nangkar Tshang hill is right behind Dingboche village.
  2. Hiking to Chhukung Village (4730m, about 5km, 1.5 hours) – the last village before Island Peak, can continue to Chhukung Ri (5550m, about 820m high from Chhukung Village, 3 hours) if you want to push yourself a bit harder –  in this case an early start from Dingboche is required.

En-route Highlights:  From Nangkar Tshang Hill 360 degree views of Mt. Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Island peak, Amadablam, Kangtega , Thamserku , Taboche, and Cholatse ; From Chhukung Ri impressive view of Imja Tse (Island Peak), Imja Glacier, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Nuptse

Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

Lobuche

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

8.5 km

 

5 hours

 

4410m – 4910m

 

En-route Highlights: Views of Amadablam, Taboche and Cholatse;  Thukla – a riverside lunch stopover, A Memorial Park at Thukla Pass  – has about 100 memorials (called chhortens in local language) of those who died while climbing Everest  and other mountains including legendary climber Babu Chhiri Sherpa; Khumbu Glacier moraine

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (Base Camp hike)

 

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

i. 4.3 km (Lobuche – Gorakshep)

ii. 3.5 km (Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp)

 

i. 2.5 hours

ii. 5 hours for round trip (3 hours + 2 hours)

i. 4910m – 5140m

ii. 5140m – 5364m – 5140m

En-route Highlights: Khumbu Glacier, close up views of Pumori, Nuptse, Khumbutse, Lhola, Everest Base Camp, Tip of Everest (highlight of the whole trek)

Day 9: Morning Kala Pathhar hike; Gorakshep to Pheriche

Gorak Shep

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

i. 1.2 km (Gorakshep – Kala Pathhar)

ii. 10 km (Gorak Shep – Pheriche)

i. 3.5 hours for round trip

ii. 5 hours

i. 5140m – 5545m – 5140m

ii. 5140m – 4371m

En-route Highlights: Spectacular sunrise view of Everest, Nuptse, Changtse, Lhotse etc.  from Kala Pathhar

Day 10: Pheriche to Namche

Pheriche with a backdrop of Amadablam

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

 

14 km

 

7 hours 4371m – 3440m

En-route Highlights: Pangboche monastery; Tengboche monastery; Suspension bridge at Phunki

Tenga; views of Nupste, Everest, Amadablam, Kangtega Thamserku, Kongde Ri etc.

Pangboche village with monastery

 Day 11: Namche to Lukla

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

 

18 km

 

7 hours 3440m – 2860m

En-route Highlights: 5 Suspension bridges, Dudh Koshi River; and of course trees (you might have almost forgotten about them)

 

 

Happy Explorers

Overall a great service. We will recommend Explore Himalaya to others. Thank you for a great experience!

- Rossanne Hyde, USA Read Testimonials | Submit Your Testimonial

Community Service

Community Service

We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.

Join our community services