Trek to Everest Base Camp
Nepal › Mount Everest
Added by Colton Stiffler
Trek one of the highest mountains in the world on this 12 day journey. Experience amazing culture and food, the Nepali people, and spectacular scenery.
If you are in the mood for an epic adventure packed with amazing culture and food, and spectacular scenery, a trip to Everest Base Camp should be on your bucket list. This trip takes a lot of planning, but once you finish, is one of the most incredible and rewarding trip you will ever do. Since it is a 12 day trek, the highlights of each day are explained separately below. Enjoy!
Day 01 - Fly to Lukla (2804 meters)
Take an early morning flight from the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu to Lukla. The flight is 35 minutes long and very scenic flight. You will land at the Tenzing and Hillary Airport at Lukla (2804 meters). Upon arrival at the airport, begin your trek towards Phakding at 2610 meters.
After landing, spend some time exploring Lukla, including one of the many restaurants and shops. Pick up any items needed for the trek that you don't already have. Then we begin your trek by descending towards the Dudh Koshi River where you will link up with the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m). It is an easy and short walk (3 hours) to Phakding. Sip tea, enjoy some dal bhat, and spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 02 - Trek to Namche Bazaar (3441 meters) 5.30 hours
Get an early start on the day. I recommend being on the trail around 7:30 a.m. Continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Koshi. You will cross this majestic river many times on suspension bridges covered with prayer flags. After entering Sagamartha National Park (just before reaching Namche Bazaar), the trail climbs steeply with incredible views. Namche Bazaar, known as the Gateway to Everest, and is home to many quality restaurants, hotels, lodges, shops, money exchanges, internet cafes and a bakeries. Namche is one of the biggest villages along the whole Everest trail. It is a great place to pick up any necessary supplies. Overnight at Guesthouse.
Day 03 - Namche Bazaar Acclimatization day
It is recommended that you spend a full day here in order to acclimatize and adjust to the higher elevation. You will probably notice that the air is thin and hiking is strenuous. Take a short trek to the Sherpa museum and learn about the Sherpa culture. Additionally, take a hike up to the Syangboche Airport and sip tea at the Everest View Hotel. The views of the Himalayas are incredible from this vantage point and it presents great sunrise and sunset opportunities over the panorama of Khumbu peaks. Head back to Namche Bazaar and spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 04 - Trek to Tengboche Monastery (3860 meters) 5 hours
Early start at 7:30a.m. The trek continues along Dudh Koshi River, with magnificent views of the mountains the entire way. On reaching Tengboche you will immediately see the local monastery on the right. Pay a small fee to tour the monastery where there are ornate wall hangings, a 20-foot sculpture of Buddha, and the musical instruments and robes of the Lamas. Make sure to check out the prayer ceremony either in the evening or morning. Spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 05 - Trek to Dingboche (4350 meters) 5.30 hours
Today is another long day. Start early to ensure reaching Dingboche in the daylight. From Tengboche the trail drops to Debuche, crosses another suspension bridge on the Imja Khola, before climbing to Pangboche. You will pass thousands of mani stones and eventually reach the small Sherpa village of Dingboche. From here you will have incredible views of Lhotse, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam. Move slow and drink plenty of water (3-5 liters/day). Remember, the trek to Everest Base camp is not a race. Overnight at a Guesthouse.
Day 06 - Trek to Chhukung (4710 meters) and trek back to Dingboche, 4.30 hours
This day is another day for acclimatization. It is recommended that you take a day trip to the Chhukung valley via the Imja Khola valley. The trip helps with acclimation and you will also get marvelous views of the surrounding mountains, including Lhotse’s south wall. After, return to Dingboche in the evening. Spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 07 - Trek to Lobuche (4910 meters) 5 hours
Early start at 7:30 a.m. On this day, the trail follows the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and passes by many stone memorials for climbers who have perished in this valley. Continue past the memorials to an altitude of 4910 meters at Lobuche. The village is very small, with only a few buildings located at the base of Lobuche peak. You will undoubtedly experience some breathing problems at this point, and may feel other effects of altitude sickness. Spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 08 - Trek to Everest Base Camp (5365 meters) then back to Gorak Shep (5180 meters) 8 hours
This is another long and difficult day, hiking along the Khumbu Glacier, where you will eventually reach Everest Base Camp at 5365 meters. Explore the basecamp area and observe teams of climbers preparing their summit attempts. The views of the Khumbu Icefall from Base Camp are spectacular. After spending time at Everest Base Camp, return back to Gorak Shep for the night. Overnight at a Guesthouse.
Day 09 - Hike up to the summit of Kala Patthar (5555 meters) early in the morning and trek down to Periche (4200 meters) 7 hours
This will be one of the most difficult yet rewarding days of the trek. Start early at 4:00a.m. and walk slowly to the summit of Kala Patthar. For each step that I took, I had to take three full deep breaths. Kala Patthar is a small peak (by Himalayan standards) at 5555 meters. The ascent is demanding but you will get a magnificent panorama view of Mount Everest at sunrise. From this point, Nuptse, Pumori, Chagatse, Lhotse and countless others peaks loom like giants all around you. After watching the sunrise over Everest, make a quick descent back to Gorak Shep for a quick breakfast before starting the trek down to Periche. You will pass Lobuche and continue along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, passing many small villages and stone houses. Acclimation days are not recommended on the descent, as the oxygen levels increase at lower elevations. You will feel better on the descent and any effects of altitude sickness will start to subside. Spend the night at a Guesthouse. You will be exhausted.
Day 10 - Trek to Namche Bazaar (3441 meters) 5.30 hours
Early morning start at 6:30 a.m. From Periche head to Orsho, and then to Pangboche village where you will find the oldest monastery in the region. In this monastery, you will see a box which contains what is said to be the scalp and bones of an actual Yeti. After spending time at the monastery, continue the trek, passing through Tengboche Monastery (again) at elevation of 3860 meters before continuing back to the town of Namche Bazaar at 3441 meters. You will arrive back to Namche Bazaar in the afternoon. Plan to spend the night at a Guesthouse.
Day 11 - Trek to Lukla (2804 meters) 6 hours
Early morning start at 7:00 a.m. This day feels incredibly long, as you will cover long distances in a mere 6 hours. You will cross many familiar suspension bridges before passing through Phakding and heading up the hill to Lukla. Spend time exploring the town and reflecting on your personal achievement over the past 11 days. Overnight at a Guesthouse.
Day 12 - Morning flight back to Kathmandu
Board an early morning flight back to Kathmandu. After takeoff, enjoy the last glimpse of these incredible mountains that you have recently trekked through. After 35 minutes of flying, you will be back in Kathmandu...
There are many supplies that you will need to bring, as not everything will be available for purchase during the trek. A good list to start with is this...
Clothing Layering is extremely important when trekking to Everest Base Camp. To learn more, read our post about how to layer and dress for the winter deep freeze.
- 2 quick drying long sleeved base layer shirts
- 2 trekking shirts short sleeve
- 2 Thermal underwear – base layer
- 2 liner socks
- 3 pair woolen blend trekking socks
- 2 pair trekking pants with zip off bottoms
- 2 fleece sweaters – one lightweight, one heavier
- 1 wind/rain proof overlayer- jacket and pants
- 1 down jacket – (didn’t really need this, layers would have been fine, but it does get quite cold in March)
- 1 down vest
- 1 Warm winter hat
- 1 lightweight thermal layer hat
- 1 peak hat
- 1 headband/dewrag
- 1 pair gloves
- 1 Pair trekking boots
- 1 Pair flip flops (would recommend sandals that you can wear with socks. Instead of flipflops we suggest Birkinstock type shoes for late night bathroom runs)
- 1 pair down booties (bought these at Namche Bazar and they saved our feet.) Great for keeping feet warm in room and while sleeping and for in the lodge.
Since you are staying in Tea houses when climbing to Everest Base Camp, you don’t need a lot of extra travel gear. If you find you need more, you can pick up what you forgot at Namche Bazaar.
- 1 headlamp
- 1 sleeping bag heavy (could have gone more lightweight as tea houses supply blankets)
- 1 watch with alarm
- 2 Pairs of sunglasses (in case one breaks) – Believe me, I had a pair of sunglasses break while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I regret not having extra sunglasses.
You don’t want to go overboard on carrying electronics when climbing to base camp. Every extra piece of gear will feel extremely heavy. On the other hand, it’s a once in a lifetime chance and you will want to capture as many photos as possible. To see our full camera gear list, see the Complete Photography Gear Guide.
- 1 DSLR camera with 3 extra batteries (charging is expensive on the mountain, but you can charge your batteries if they go dead for a fee)
- 1 Point and shoot camera
- 1 Video Camera
- 1 solar charger (charging is expensive, if you can charge yourself will save money)
- Chargers with belkin mini surge and adapter
- Extra batteries for headlamps
- Tip: Keep batteries close to your body, that will make them last longer.
- Tang – or any other powdered juice
- Tea – you can boil water in teahouses
- Dairy milk bars – chocolate is a must!
- Trail mix and peanuts
- Diamox – for altitude
- Vicks vapor rub
- Anti nauseant – you tend to feel just a bit nauseous a lot at altitude
- Immodium – diarrhea is common at altitude
- Blister bandaids or moleskin
- Eye drops
- Advil cold and dinus
- Nasal moisturizer – altitude causes nasal cavities to be very dry, nasal moisturizer was very helpful
- Tiger Balm
- Foot powder (for Deb’s stinky feet)
- Toilet paper
- Micro fibre towel
- Gold Bond
- Sanitizing wipes
- TIMs Card (permit to allow you into park bought in Kathmandu)
- Plenty of Rupees, no ATM’s
- Map and Lonely Planet – There is a lot to read about on the trek and a lot to see; the Lonely Planet helps you know what to look for
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
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This trip was absolutely incredible. I did this exact trip back in 2014 and every moment was breath taking (literally). Great detailed account of the trip Colten! I found the outbound after my trip and was happy to see it on here.
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