Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Options and Advice

Majorly hailed as one of the most popular treks in Nepal, the Everest Base Camp Trek needs no further introduction. This journey offers a once-in-a-life-time experience, boasting splendid landscapes and viewpoints along the trekking routes. The final destination of the trek is the Base Camp, situating right in the heart of the Himalayas. But what is the best Everest Base Camp trek itinerary? Don’t worry I’m here to help.

Due to its high popularity, Everest Base Camp Trek can be overcrowded during peak seasons, which are spring and autumn in Nepal. Therefore, it is advised to plan your trip well in advance to ensure a smooth experience and avoid altitude sickness.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Starting point

Lukla, a mountain town at 2800m, is the gateway to Everest region. The majority of trekkers choose to fly to Lukla from Kathmandu as it is the most convenient and time-saving option. If you are short on cash and have a few days to spare, there’s an option of hiking from Salleri or Jiri instead. These villages can be reached by either buses or jeeps. However, mind you that this would add an extra 4 day to 1 week to your existing itinerary.

If you’re interested in map reading, here’s a link to the full EBC Trek Map.

Read More: Things to know before Hiking to Everest Base Camp

The most popular Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

The following outlined itinerary is followed by most trekkers doing EBC. Generally, people take two acclimatization days on their way up, the first one in Namche and second in Dingboche. It takes 8 days to reach the base camp from Kathmandu and only another 4 days to make it back.

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Everest Base camp is a once in a lifetime experiences. But what is the best Everest Base Camp trek itinerary? Don't worry I'm here to help.

Outline itinerary

Day 01 Kathmandu to Lukla flight and trek to Phakding

Day 02 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar

Day 03 Acclimatization day (Day trip to Khumjung Village)

Day 04 Trek from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Day 05 Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche

Day 06 Acclimatization day in Dingboche (Day trip to Nagarjun Hill)

Day 07 Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche

Day 08 Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (Afternoon hike to Kalapatthar)

Day 09 Trek from Gorakshep to Pheriche (Morning hike to Everest Base Camp)

Day 10 Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazar

Day 11 Trek from Namche Bazar to Lukla

Day 12 Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

Shortening your trek itinerary

For those of you who are tight in time but still want to give EBC a go, the good news is that it is still feasible. A total amount of 8 days can be spent reaching the Base Camp, which already includes sufficient acclimatization time. On the 9th date of the trek you can fly back to Kathmandu on a helicopter. Obviously this is a costly option but the chartered helicopter flight can be shared among a maximum of 4 trekkers. To cut further costs, you can opt to fly out by helicopter to Lukla instead and catch a regular flight back to Kathmandu on the same date or the following morning. 

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Extending your Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Everest region has more than just the base camp and the views of the world’s highest mountain. With the settlement history dating back hundreds of years by Sherpa people, an intricate network of trails has been established, spanning across four main glacial valleys. Trekkers can reap the benefits of this trailing system by making side trips while trekking the EBC. 

Read More: Everest Base Camp vs. Mount Kilimanjaro

Option 1: Gokyo Chola Pass Everest Base Camp Trek

This is certainly the most common deviation of the regular EBC Trek thanks to the captivating beauty of Gokyo Lakes. This will add an extra one day to the original itinerary with highlights being both the lakes and the magnificent view from Gokyo Ri. You will be crossing Chola Pass at above 5000m and able to see eight-thousanders including Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Cho Oyu. Here is the recommended itinerary:

Day 01 Kathmandu to Lukla flight and trek to Phakding

Day 02 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar

Day 03 Acclimatization day (Day trip to Khumjung Village)

Day 04 Trek from Namche Bazar to Dole

Day 05 Trek from Dole to Machhermo

Day 06 Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo (Afternoon hike to Gokyo RI)

Day 07 Trek from Gokyo to Thagnak (Morning hike to Gokyo 4th Lake)

Day 08 Trek from Thagnak to Lobuche via Chola Pass

Day 09 Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (Afternoon hike to Kalapatthar)

Day 10 Trek from Gorakshep to Pheriche (Morning hike to Everest Base Camp)

Day 11 Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazar

Day 12 Trek from Namche Bazar to Lukla

Day 13 Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Option 2: Everest Three High Passes Trek

This is no doubt the most challenging trek in Everest region. However, the hard walk will pay off in the end since this trek comprises of all the highlights in the region. You will be looking at approximately 16 days in total for this trek, which includes three high passes above 5000m. Here is the recommended itinerary:

Day 01 Kathmandu to Lukla flight and trek to Phakding

Day 02 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar

Day 03 Acclimatization day (Day trip to Khumjung Village)

Day 04 Trek from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Day 05 Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche

Day 06 Trek from Dingboche to Chukung (Morning hike to Nagarjun Hill)

Day 07 Trek from Chukung to Lobuche via Khongma La Pass

Day 08 Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (Afternoon hike to Kalapatthar)

Day 09 Trek from Gorakshep to Dzongla (Morning hike to Everest Base Camp)

Day 10 Trek from Dzongla to Thagnak via Chola Pass

Day 11 Trek from Thagnak to Gokyo (Afternoon hike to Gokyo RI)

Day 12 Trek from Gokyo to Mislung via Renjo La Pass

Day 13 Trek from Mislung to Thame

Day 14 Trek from Thame to Namche Bazar

Day 15 Trek from Namche Bazar to Lukla

Day 16 Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

For both of the above mentioned extended trek, you will be making a loop from Namche Bazaar. This can be attempted either clockwise or anti-clockwise. However, don’t forget to factor in the weather as well. It is generally advised not to cross the passes during winter time due to the potential snow hazards 

Options 3: Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek

This classic route had been serving trekkers a long time back when there was no airport in Lukla. It was used by renowned climbers such as Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The walk starts from Jiri, which can be reached by buses or jeeps from Kathmandu. It might be lengthy and strenuous; however, it will be perfect in a sense of helping your body acclimatize to mountain conditions. You can opt for a flight out from Lukla after finishing the trek in the end and that will make it a 17-day trip in total. Here is the recommended itinerary:

Day 01 Drive from Kathmandu to Shivalaya via Jiri

Day 02 Trek from Shivalaya to Kinja

Day 03 Trek from Kinja to Lamjura

Day 04 Trek from Lamjura Jun Beshi

Day 05 Trek from Jun Beshi to Nunthala

Day 06 Trek from Nunthala Bupsa

Day 07 Trek from Bupsa to Phakding

Day 08 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar

Day 09 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazar (Day trip to Khumjung Village)

Day 10 Trek from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Day 11 Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche

Day 12 Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche

Day 13 Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (Afternoon hike to Kalapatthar)

Day 14 Trek from Gorakshep to Pheriche (Morning hike to Everest Base Camp)

Day 15 Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazar

Day 16 Trek from Namche Bazar to Lukla

Day 17 Lukla to Kathmandu Flight

With a gradual ascent from Jiri, your body will be highly acclimatized by the time you reach Namche Bazaar at 3400m. You will probably be so used to the high altitude by now that an extra acclimatization day in Dingboche might not be necessary. However, do listen to your body and make the wise decision.

Some helpful tips

Kalapatthar and Gokyo Ri are undoubtedly the two popular viewpoints for sunrise; that being said, the sunset here is nothing short of spectacular. Time freezes while you watch the mountain fronts magically absorbing the golden lights as the the sun sets.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

At the end of the first trekking day from Lukla (2800m), most trekkers choose to stay overnight in Phakding (2600m). It’s an easy downhill walk and takes approximately 3 hours. This means Phakding can be crowded most of the time. For those who prefer to stay away from the crowd, walk on another 1.5 to 2 hours and spend the night in Monjo instead. This leg is mostly flat so it’s totally recommendable. Monjo is a small village at 2700m and also the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. Not only will you be able to enjoy some quiet time at night, you will also shorten the hike to Namche Bazaar the following day as well. 

Last but not least, it is important to have a buffer of a few days towards the end of your trip. Lukla-Kathmandu flights are notorious for their unreliability due to natural elements. The last thing you want to do is miss your international flight out because you get stuck in Lukla for days, which can totally happen during bad weather days. Worst case scenarios, look into the option of helicopter beforehand. Normally you would need to pay an extra USD 300 to 400 to fly from Lukla to Kathmandu. Helicopters can fly in bad weather while such condition is impossible for commercial fixed-wing flights.

About the Author

Pradeep Guragain was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider. With a passion for self drive road trips, he will just head off at a moment’s notice for trips, either long or short. Scuba diving is another passion he loves. As for the future he dreams of living in a farmhouse close to nature, and far from cities. Follow him on Facebook.

Have you been to Everest Base Camp? What was your Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary? Let me know in the comments!

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