Alya sitting at the rock marking Everest Base Camp
HIKING Nepal

Our detailed Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

Everest Base Camp trek is a lifetime experience for many people. We’ve done the trek twice, the first time back in 2014 and the second time in 2020. We’ve done several treks in Nepal including Annapurna Circuit, Langtang trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek, EBC trek is still one of our favorites in the Himalayas. In this post, we put together the best (in our opinion) 12-day itinerary with two acclimatization days one in Namche Bazar and one in Dingboche. Our itinerary is flexible and adjustable, we suggest a couple of alternative routes for the return walk that you don’t to Base Camp and back the same way.

There are different routes to Everest Base Camp it can be combined with the Gokyo Lakes trek or the Three Passes trek. In this post, you can find the standard EBC trek itinerary from Lukla and back.

Make sure you take the right stuff on the trek! Check our detailed EBC packing guide.

Everest Base Camp trek overview

  • Distance – 120 km/75 mi
  • Days required – 12 days
  • Total ascent – 6015 m/19 734 ft
  • Total descent – 5821 m/19 097 ft
  • Highest point – 5640 m/18 500 ft Kala Patthar
  • Difficulty  – difficult 
  • Permits – Local Government fee (NPR 2000/US$17 pp.) and Sagarmatha National Park permit (NPR 3000/US$25 pp.) are required. No TIMS card needed for the trek.
  • Cost per day – US$30 per person including food, accommodation and permits. It doesn’t not include flight/jeep from Kathmandu to Lukla and back. Find out more about Everest Base Camp trek cost.
  • Guide – not compulsory, can be done independently, with a guide/a porter or in a group.
  • Accommodation – guest houses
Everest Base Camp trek map
Map of Everest Base Camp trek route; Lukla – Monjo – Namche Bazar – Tengboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Pangboche Gompa – Namche Bazar – Lukla

EBC trek with a tour

Joining a tour might be a good option if you travel alone or if you have never done a high-altitude trek before. There are several tour options you can join a group or book a tour just for you.

The first episode of our Everest Base Camp trek. From Lukla to Namche Bazar.

Insurance for the trek

Everest Base Camp trek is a high altitude trek through remote and difficult to access areas of Nepal. It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance that will cover you for the whole period of your trek.

There are many travel insurance companies out there we’d recommend using one that has experience in covering outdoor activities and working in the region. World Nomads is a reputable insurance company. Nepal is one of their top hiking destinations with thousands of people buying World Nomads insurance policies for trekking. Their insurance is very flexible you can buy one that covers the whole trip or just the period of the trek. You can purchase insurance just a day before the planned activity, it takes just a couple of minutes, quick and easy.  Get a quote right now!

Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

Day 1
Lukla – Monjo
13 km/8 mi
Day 2
Monjo – Namche
6,5 km/4 mi
Day 3
Acclimatization day
in Namche
Day 4
Namche – Tengboche
11 km/6,8 mi
Day 5
Tengboche – Dingboche
10,5 km/6,5 mi
Day 6
Acclimatization day
in Dingboche
Day 7
Dingboche – Lobuche
8,7 km/5,5 mi
Day 8
Lobuche – Gorak Shep – EBC – Gorak Shep
12 km/7,4 mi
Day 9
Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pangboche
22 km/13,6 mi
Day 10
Pangboche – Namche
15,5 km/9,6 mi
Day 11
Namche – Lukla
20 km/12,4 mi
Day 12
Flight
Lukla – Kathmandu

If you need more information for planning your Everest Base Camp trek feel free to check our complete EBC trekking guide.

Day 1. Flight Kathmandu – Lukla. Walk Lukla (2800m) – Monjo (2800m)

Kathmandu – Lukla – Chheplung – Ghat – Phakding – Bengkar – Monjo

It was the second time we took the flight and this time it was less bumpy than the first time, it went very quick, no problems or delays. We booked the earliest flight available because of early flights usually go without delays later in the day it gets windy and flights are often cancelled. 

Flight Kathmandu/Ramuchhap – Lukla

  • There are several airlines operating flights Kathmandu – Lukla; Tara/Yeti Air, Summit Air, 
  • From 20th March 2020 due to heavy congestion, all flights to and from Lukla depart are operated from Ramechhap airport, 130km, 4 hours drive from Kathmandu. It means now it’ll take 2 days to get to Lukla from Kathmandu though the flight price is the same. 
  • You have to be at the airport an hour before the flight. 
  • The flight is about 40 minutes (from both Kathmandu or Ramuchhap). 
  • You’re allowed to have 10kg check-in luggage and 5kg hand luggage.
  • The best views of the mountains you get sitting on the left side (on the way to Lukla).

Walk Lukla (2800m) – Monjo (2800m)

  • Distance – 13 km/8 mi
  • Time – 3h45min.*
  • Ascent – 530 m/1738 ft
  • Descent – 543 m/1781 ft

*We’re quite fit hikers to get an average walking time, add to our times 1-2 hours (depending on the distance and inclination). The times don’t include long stops when we stop for tea or lunch we pause the watch.

Elevation profile Day 1 of Everest Base Camp trek itinerary
Elevation profile of the walk from Lukla to Monjo. First day of Everest Base Camp trek

Highlights

  • View of the mountains from the plane
  • Several long suspension bridges
  • Several stupas (a hemispherical structure used for meditation), Mani stones (stones with carved and painted Nepali scripts), prayer wheels (a metal cylindrical wheel on a spindle).
  • Beautiful nature; rivers, pine forest, snowy peaks, small waterfalls, etc.

Challenges

  • A long ascent from Lukla to Phakding, about m down
  • A long descent on the last 3km to Monjo

Like any other first day on a trek, it was tough getting used to the altitude, to carry our backpacks, to the cold, etc. The trail is easy to follow, it starts at the exit from Lukla. There are a couple of ATMs, pharmacies and gear shops in Lukla. The ATMs give max NPR 15 000/US$130 per withdrawal. Next places with ATMs is Namche Bazar but there you can get only NPR 10 000/US$85 at once.

At Lukla (just before the exit gate), there is a ticket office where you get your first permits for the trek (local government permit), NPR 2000/US$17 per person. There are two checkpoints for the day, the first one right next to the ticket office, the second at about 9km, both check the permit that you buy in Lukla. Keep the permit till the end of the trek you’ll have to check out several times on the way back.

It was a typical walking day in the Himalayas you start and finish at the same altitude, 2800m but to get from point A to point B you go about 500m up and down.

Alternative option

Depending on your arrival time in Lukla, tiredness level, etc. you can stop earlier. Phakding is a good place to stop on the first day. It’s about 8km from Lukla mostly downhill. There are many guesthouses, restaurants and cafes here. The main drawback of staying in Phakding instead of Monjo is that your second-day walk to Namche will be tougher and longer, 11km instead of 6,5km, and 900m up instead of 662m from Monjo.

Stops on the route from Lukla to Monjo

There were really many guesthouses and restaurants, at least every 1km you get a place to stop no need to worry about finding accommodation or food. Here are the biggest villages on the trek.

NameChheplungGhatPhakdingBengkarMonjo
Distance2km5km8km11km13km
Elevation2664m2548m2600m2720m2780m
Guesthouse + + + + +
Restaurant + + + + +
Shop + + + + +
Electricity + ++ + +
Hot shower + + + +
Wi-fi + ++ +

Mount Kailash Guesthouse, Monjo

Monjo is a nice village with many guesthouses, shops and restaurants. It’s located on the slope and offers nice views.

We paid NPR 500/US$4 for a double room with attached toilet and hot shower (solar), ask for a room inside the main house, these rooms are bigger and warmer. The place is very nice, the owner speaks good English and is quite knowledgable about the area. They run a coffee shop with a real Espresso machine, you can get a proper coffee in the morning. They use local beans and roast them themselves. 

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, solar shower in the room
  • Indoor toilet – yes, Western flush toilet in the room
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 500/US$4 per day
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,7 to charge per device
  • Blankets – yes

Day 2. Monjo (2780m) – Namche Bazar (3440m)

Monjo – Jorsale – Namche Bazar

  • Distance – 6,5 km/4 mi
  • Time – 2h.
  • Ascent – 662 m/2171 ft
  • Descent – 70 m/230 ft
A steep and long ascent of day 2 of EBC trek
Elevation profile of the walk from Monjo to Namche Bazar. The second day on EBC trek

Highlights

  • A couple of impressive suspension bridges
  • Beautiful views on the way up to Namche
  • Namche Bazar, the village itself and scenic views of the surrounding mountain peaks

Challenges

  • Basically the whole day is one steep and long ascent, about 600m that starts at about 2km from Monjo

It’s a very short walking day but with a long ascent and no places to stop on the way, except one village at about 1km. It’s important to make sure that you carry enough water after you start the ascent there will be no place on the route to refill it. Don’t walk up fast, make rest stops on the way, drink enough water it’ll help to prevent AMS (acute mountain sickness).

At about 2km, right after the second suspension bridge, there is a split, take the left route that goes along the river, it’s a new trail for trekkers. The upper route is quite muddy it’s used by donkeys and yaks that carry stuff up in the mountains.

There are two checkpoints on the route, the first one is at the exit from Monjo, where you pay NPR 3000/US$25 for the Sagarmatha National Park permit. The second is at 6km, just before Namche where they check both permits the Sagarmatha National park and the permit that you bought in Lukla. Keep both permits until the end of the trek.

Stops on the route from Monjo to Namche

NameJorsaleNamche Bazar
Distance1km6,5km
Elevation2740m3440m
Guesthouse+ +
Restaurant+ +
Shop+ +
Electricity+ +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + +
OtherATM, pharmacy,
currency exchange

Footrest Guesthouse, Namche Bazar

Namche Bazar is the biggest town on Everest Base Camp trek. There are many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, shops and cafes. If you realised that you need some extra gear, clothes or more cash it’s your last chance to get it.

The guesthouse is nice, quite pricey, NPR 500/US$4 per person (we were told it’s a standard price in Namche) compared to what we used to pay on other treks in Nepal but the price included wi-fi and unlimited charging which was great we stayed here for two days and could fully charge all our electronics. Namche is the last place where you can do it for free, make sure to use the opportunity.

The guesthouse restaurant has good food and real coffee. Our room had a nice view of the town and the mountains, the room was quite warm. I had a shower and managed to wash my socks and underwear.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 500/US$4 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, shared Western flush toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, works in the room
  • Power sockets – yes, one in the room
  • Blankets – yes

Day 3. Acclimatization day in Namche Bazar (3440m)

It’s very important to do an acclimatisation day in Namche even if you feel good and strong stay for two nights here. I learnt from my own experience the first time when we did Everest Base Camp trek we didn’t stay in Namche for the second night and went to Tengboche where I got AMS. We stayed for two nights at Tengboche but I didn’t get any better. In the end, we had to walk from Tengboche 600m down to Phundi and stay one night there it helped I was fine and had no problem after that but we wasted 2 days.

On the acclimatization day, you can do a short hike to one of the Everest viewpoints, it’s called acclimatization hike. The most popular hike is to Hotel Everest View, about 1 hour uphill from Namche or to Sagarmatha National Park Museum, about 20min. walk uphill. It’s not compulsory to do the hike if you don’t feel like it, rather stay in your room and rest. We usually don’t do acclimatization hikes we prefer just resting, drinking a lot of tea and reading.

There are many coffee shops and bakeries in Namche you can just wander around, drink tea, eat and take photos. Take it easy, you should rest, drink enough water or tea and enjoy your free day. We didn’t do any hiking on our day in Namche just walked around and caught up with some work. It was one of our most expensive days on the trek we had a couple of cup of coffee, a cake, tons of teas and several big meals.

Make sure to charge full all your electronic devices in Namche from there on you’ll have to pay extra for charging.

Campbell & Alya at Restfoot Guesthouse in Namche Bazar, Nepal
We (Campbell & Alya) working at the terrace of our guesthouse on our acclimatization day in Namche Bazar

Day 4. Namche Bazar (3440m) – Tengboche (3890m)

Namche Bazar – Kyangjuma – Leushyasa – Phungi Thanga – Tengboche

  • Distance – 11 km/6,8 mi
  • Time – 3h.50min.
  • Ascent – 873 m/2864 ft
  • Descent – 453 m/1486 ft
Elevation profile of Day 4 of Everest Base Camp trek
Elevation profile Day 4 of Everest Base Camp trek, the walk from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Highlights

  • Everest viewpoint (Sagarmatha National Park Museum) – stunning views of the mountain range and snowy peaks
  • Breathtaking views on the way from Namche to Kyangjuma
  • Beautiful Monastery in Tengboche

Challenges

  • The trail was partly muddy partly icy we used our walking sticks every time we had to go down.
  • Several ascents and descents on the way from Namche to Phungi Thanga.
  • A very long and steep ascent 600m to Tengboche at the end of the day

The toughest day on the trek yet but with some stunning views along the route mainly in the first part of the walk. The toughest part is knowing that you have to go 400m up but before that, you go 200m down which makes it 600m up over the last 2km.

At the beginning of the day, we did a small detour (500m) and went to the Everest viewpoint, we were quite lucky with the weather in the morning and could see several snowy peaks around.

As you start going higher up it’s important to stay hydrated and not to go too fast, make stops, rest, drink water and don’t push yourself too hard.

There is one checkpoint for the day after the suspension bridge just before the ascent to Tengboche.

Alternative option

If you’re not feeling great tired, headache, nausea, tiredness, etc. don’t go all the way to Tengboche rather stops at one of the places on the way at a lower elevation, e.g. Phudgi Thanga and the next day continue the walk. It’s better to progress slowly but make it all the way to the Base Camp than to go fast and get sick somewhere on the way. People acclimatize differently, even the same person but in different circumstances might react in a different way to the same altitude.

Stops on the route from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

NameKyangjumaLeushyasaPhungi ThangaTengboche
Distance5km7km8km11km
Elevation3600m3440m3320m3890m
Guesthouse+ + + +
Restaurant+ + + +
Shop+ + + +
Electricity+ + + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + + +

Hotel Himalayan, Tengboche

Tengboche is not even a village, it’s a group of guesthouses around the monastery. The monastery is a very important place, many climbers stop here on the way to Everest. There is a ceremony at the monastery that takes place in the evening, tourists can attend it but you’re not allowed to take photos or videos.

Hotel Himalayan was the only open place in Tengboche, due to off-season other places were still closed. The place was nice, small rooms, big dining area, relatively warm. Price NPR 500/US$4 per room regardless if you’re 1, 2 or 3 people in the room.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 600/US$5 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, shared toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, didn’t work when we were here
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 300/US$2,5 to charge
  • Blankets – yes
Beautiful scenery on the way from Namche to Tengboche, day 4 of EBC trek
Spectacular scenery on the way from Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Day 5. Tengboche (3890m) – Dingboche (4350m)

Tengboche – Deboche – Milinggo – Pangboche – Shomare – Dingboche

  • Distance – 10,5 km/6,5 mi
  • Time – 3h.50min.
  • Ascent – 660 m/2165 ft
  • Descent – 236 m/774 ft
Elevation profile of day 5 of EBC trek itinerary, ascent to Dingboche
Elevation profile of the walk from Tengboche to Dingboche, day 5 of the itinerary

Highlights

  • Beautiful sunrise and stunning views at Tengboche in the morning
  • Beautiful scenery on the way from Pangboche to Dingboche
  • Dingboche a small village with great views from the surrounding hills

Challenges

  • A muddy/icy path down from Tengboche to Pangboche
  • Multiple ups and downs on the way
  • A steep ascent at the end from the river to Dingboche, about 200m up

It was another tough day on the route, you start getting over 4000m and the altitude makes you tired, even a slight ascent leaves you out of breath. If you don’t feel well it’s better to stop earlier in Pangboche or Shomare, both places are only about 100-200m higher than Tengboche. Dingboche is over 500m higher it’s not recommended to gain that much elevation if you’re not 100% acclimatized for the lower altitude.

Many guesthouses and restaurants along the route were still closed for off-season we walked it at the beginning of March.

The trekking route map of the day 5, the split to Dingboche and to Pheriche
The map of the trekking routes from Tengboche to Dughla. The split at 8km, the right route goes through Dingboche, the left route goes through Pheriche. Both routes join at Dughla.

There is a split at 8km. The upper route (the left trail) goes over Pheriche Pass to Pheriche. The lower route (the right trail) goes down to the river and then up to Dingboche. Both routes merge again at Thokla (Dughla). You can go either way most trekkers walk through Dingboche on the way up and through Pheriche on the way down. Pheriche is about 150m lower than Dingboche. Dingboche has better views and is a bit warmer Pheriche is located in the narrow valley with very little sunshine.

Stops on the route from Tengboche to Dingboche

NameDebocheMilinggoPangbocheShomareDingboche
Distance1km2km4,5km6,5km10,5km
Elevation3730m3770m3940m4040m4350m
Guesthouse+ + + + +
Restaurant+ + + + +
Shop+ + + + +
Electricity+ + + + +
Hot shower + + + +
Wi-fi + + + +

Himalayan Culture Home, Dingboche

Dingboche is bigger than Tengboche or Pheriche, there are many guesthouses, restaurants, a couple of bakeries. Unfortunately for us, almost everything was closed for the off-season, no freshly baked cinnamon rolls or cakes. Most of the places here have a gas shower and wi-fi but nothing worked. Water in the pipes was frozen and wi-fi was off due to a lot of snow.

Our guesthouse was good, very helpful people, warm dining room, good food. We paid NPR 500/US$4 for two people. It’s a standard price, other places in Dingboche charge the same. We bought a 1Gb card to connect to wi-fi, it worked good.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 500/US$4 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, Western toilet (bucket flush) in the room
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 200/US$1,5 per day
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charging
  • Blankets – yes

Day 6. Acclimatization day in Dingboche (4350m)

We decided to take another acclimatisation day in Dingboche, after going more than 500m up in one day. It’s quite a standard itinerary most tours do an acclimatization stop in Dingboche. We didn’t have any symptoms of AMS and had a very good sleep at night but out of precaution decided rather stay for an extra day here. We met some people that didn’t feel great after arriving in Dingboche for them an extra day in Dingboche was definitely a must.

It got very cold at night in our room, below 0°C, we asked for extra blankets and ended up sleeping in our sleeping bags under two blankets. In the morning water in the bucket in our toilet had a thick layer of ice on the top.

Some people do acclimatisation hikes from Dingboche to one of the nearby peaks. We just walked around a bit, went to the old and new stupas at the top of the hills in the morning and spent the rest of the day in the dining rooms, drinking tea and chatting to other trekkers. In the peak season Dingboche is a nice place to spend an extra day there are many bakeries and cafes but when we were here everything was closed not many places to go not many people to chat a bit boring.

Acclimatisation days are usually the most expensive days on the trek you end up just spending most of the day in the dining room, drinking teas and eating. On both acclimatization days, we spent quite a bit of money it helps if you bring snacks, tea bags and chocolates with you.

If you want to buy some chocolates, snacks or cookies do it in Dingboche, in Lobuche (the next day stop) everything is about NPR 100-200/US$1-2 more expensive.

The new stupa in Dingboche, a short walk from the village
New stupa on the top of the hill in Dingboche, a short ascent from the village

Day 7. Dingboche (4350m) – Lobuche (4920m)

Dingboche – Dughla (Thokla) – Lobuche

  • Distance – 8,7 km/5,5 mi
  • Time – 3h.25min.
  • Ascent – 696 m/2283 ft
  • Descent – 97 m/318 ft
Elevation profile of day 7 of Everest Base Camp trek
Elevation profile of the walk from Dingboche to Lobuche, day 7 of EBC trek itinerary

Highlights

  • Beautiful scenery on the way from Dingboche to Dughla (Thokla); snow peaks, glaciers, a river.
  • Breathtaking scenery from the top of Thokla pass all the way to Lobuche; the trail goes through a narrow valley surrounded by the mountains.

Challenges

  • A steep short ascent from Dingboche to the top of the hill.
  • A steep long ascent over the pass from Dughla, about 300m.

The walk was very beautiful, the most beautiful day on the trek so far. There is only one place to stop on the way between Dingboche and Lobuche – Dughla. I’d recommend stopping there for tea and rest a little bit because right after there you start the main ascent for the day that is quite challenging due to increasing elevation.

It’s important to walk slow especially on the way up, today you’ll be getting close to 5000m and every breath counts.

After the pass, the walk is pretty flat and easy along the river with fantastic views. 

Stops on the route from Dingboche to Lobuche

Name Dughla (Thokla)Lobuche
Distance5,5km8,7km
Elevation4600m4920m
Guesthouse+ +
Restaurant+ +
Shop+ +
Electricity+ +
Hot shower +
Wi-fi +

New EBC guesthouse, Lobuche

In Lobuche, everything gets quite a bit more expensive compared to Dingboche, especially food, about NPR 200/US$1,5 more for a dish than it was before.

Our guesthouse had a nice and warm dining room, rooms were good isolated and relatively warm compared to the places where we stayed before. The food here is good, big portions, nicely-cooked, after a meal you stay full for quite a while. Price NPR 700/US$6 for a room regardless if you 1, 2 or 3 people.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 700/US$6 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, shared Western toilet (bucket flush)
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 700/US$6 for 1Gb card
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, NPR 200/US$1,5 per charging
  • Blankets – yes
Three trekkers on the Everest Base Camp trek between Dingboche and Lobuche
The scenery on the way from Dingboche to Dughla

Day 8. Lobuche (4920m) – Gorak Shep (5130m) – Everest Base Camp (5340m) – Gorak Shep (5130m)

  • Total distance – 12 km/7,4 mi
  • Total walking time – 5h.
  • Total ascent – 615 m/2017 ft
  • Total descent – 357 m/1171 ft

Walk Lobuche (4920m) – Gorak Shep (5130m)

  • Distance – 5 km/3 mi
  • Time – 2h.15min.
  • Ascent – 328 m/1076 ft
  • Descent – 77 m/252 ft
Elevation profile of Day 8 of Everest Base Camp trek itinerary
Elevation profile day 8 of EBC itinerary, from Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Highlights

  • Beautiful views of the mountain peaks, ice crates, ice lakes, etc.

Challenges

  • A couple of steep but short ascents and descents though due to the altitude every up is very tough and tiring.
  • Some parts of the route were a bit icy and slippery we had to use our walking sticks.
  • The high elevation of Gorak Shep we arrived there quite tired, I had a slight headache.

It’s better to start walking earlier in order to arrive in Gorak Sherp before midday to have enough time to go to Everest Base Camp and back before it gets dark.

It was a very short though quite demanding walking day, with many short ascents and descents along the way and no places to stop for tea or rest. The scenery was amazing every time you finish an up don’t forget to look around.

Be prepared that you might not have a good sleep at Gorak Shep many people struggle to sleep at this altitude (including myself), don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to rest well the next day you’ll start going down.

NameGorak Shep
Distance5km
Elevation5130m
Guesthouse+
Restaurant+
Shop+
Electricity+
Hot shower +
Wi-fi +
View of Gorak Shep and the mountains around
Gorak Shep from the top of the hill on the way from Lobuche

Walk Gorak Shep (5130m) – Base Camp (5340m) – Gorak Shep (5130m)

  • Distance – 7 km/4,3 mi
  • Time – 2h.50min.
  • Ascent – 287 m/941 ft
  • Descent – 280 m/918 ft
Elevation profile day 8 Gorak Shep - EBC - Gorak Shep
Elevation profile of the walk from Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp and back

We arrived in Gorak Shep between 11am and 12pm, checked in, left our backpacks in the room, drank tea and went to Base camp. The walk was longer and tougher than the walk to Gorak Shep with several ascents and descents.

The trail is not very well marked if you walk without a guide, make sure not to lose it. In the peak season it’s not a problem there is a long queue of people walking to Base Camp from Gorak Shep. Off-season you might be the only person going that way. We had a girl that went along quite late, after 2pm, on the way back she took the wrong turn and got lost, she found Gorak Sherp in the end but after 5 hours of walking, already in the dark. If you’re going alone join other trekkers it’s safer.

Himalaya Lodge, Gorak Shep

Gorak Shep is the last village to stop before Everest Base Camp. There are a couple of guest houses-restaurants. It’s a very cold place at any time of the year, nobody lives here permanently, people come here for the season. Our guesthouse was fine but the rooms were very cold. Food prices are about the same as in Lobuche. The room was free.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 1000/US$8 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, shared Western toilet (bucket flush)
  • Wi-fi – yes, NPR 700/US$6 for 1Gb card
  • Power sockets – yes, in the dining room, free charging
  • Blankets – yes
The third episode of our Everest Base Camp trek. From Dingboche to Gorak Shep and EBC

Day 9. Gorak Shep (5130m) – Kala Patthar (5640m) – Gorak Shep (5130m) – Pangboche (3940m)

Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Gorak Shep – Lobuche – Dughla – Pheriche – Shomare – Pangboche

  • Total distance – 22 km/13,6 mi
  • Total walking time – 7h15min.
  • Total ascent – 672 m/2200 ft
  • Total descent – 1782 m/5846 ft

Walk Gorak Shep (5130m) – Kala Patthar (5640m) – Gorak Shep (5130m)

  • Distance – 4 km/2,5 mi
  • Time – 2h.
  • Ascent – 462 m/1515 ft
  • Descent – 462m/1515 ft
Elevation profile of the walk from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar
Elevation profile of the walk from Gorak Shep up to Kala Patthar and back

Many people go to the top of Kala Patar for the sunrise we did it once it was beautiful but in the winter it’s very too cold to go up that early. This time we started walking at 7.30am not to see the sunrise but just for the panoramic views that you get from the top. The walk is very challenging and tough. The ascent takes about 1.30h.-2h., the descent about 30-40min.

It’s always very windy up there make sure you dress properly. Walking sticks might be quite useful on the way down. The trail is quite clear all the way to the top except the last bit the rocky part you can go up pretty much anywhere.

Usually, trekkers leave their backpacks in the room, come back from the climb, fetch their backpack, eat breakfast and start the descent. How far to go from Gorak Shep is up to you depending on your tiredness level, weather conditions, etc. I’d recommend going down at least to Lobuche, staying over 5000m for 2 nights is quite exhausting.

Alya on the top of Kala Patthar, EBC trek, Nepal
Alya freezing on the top of Kala Patthar mountain, the highest point of Everest Base Camp trek

Walk Gorak Shep (5130m) – Pangboche (3940m)

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi
  • Time – 5h.30min.
  • Ascent – 210 m/688 ft
  • Descent – 1320m/4330 ft
Route elevation profile from Gorak Shep to Lobuche
Elevation profile of the descent from Gorak Shep to Lobuche
Elevation profile ascent from Lobuche to Pangboche
Elevation profile of the second half of day 9, the walk from Lobuche to Pangboche

Highlights

  • Breathtaking views on the way from Kala Patthar down to Dughla (Thokla).
  • Beautiful views from the valley over the mountain range and the snow peaks.
  • Great views of the river and the mountains on the way from Pheriche Pass to Pangboche.

Challenges

  • Long ascent to Dughla, though it’s much easier to go down than up.
  • Pheriche Pass the only significant ascent for the day.

On a nice day, the walk down is quite easy but if you feel tired after climbing Kala Patthar you can shorten the day and stop earlier e.g. in Pheriche, that is about 8km from Gorak Shep. The route through Pheriche is shorter than through Dingboche, about 30min. difference.

Dingboche is considered to be a nice place to stop on the way up, it’s warmer, there are nicer views but Pheriche is a good place to stop as well. There are many guesthouses, it’s on the route, it’s a bit lower than Dingboche. The only problem of walking through Pheriche there might be too much water, in the spring and in the rainy season a lot of water going down from the mountains, some rock hopping might be involved. If it rained a lot I’d recommend choosing the upper route through Dingboche if it’s relatively dry, follow the lower shorter route through Pheriche.

It’s a long walking day but there are several villages on the way where you can stop for tea or lunch.

Stops on the route from Gorak Shep to Pangboche

NameLobucheDughlaPhericheShomarePangboche
Distance5km7,2km12km16km19km
Elevation4920m4600m42660m4040m3940m
Guesthouse+ + + + +
Restaurant+ + + + +
Shop+ + + + +
Electricity+ + + + +
Hot shower + + + +
Wi-fi + + + +
Campbell on the trek on the way down from Gorak Shep
Campbell on the way down from Gorak Shep, it was a beautiful sunny day

Alternative route option

There is an alternative route to Namche from Pangboche if you don’t want to walk the same way through Tengboche. Instead of going to Pangboche you can walk to Pangboche Gompa which is about 80m above Pangboche. There is a split about 200m before Pangboche, the right route that goes up to Pangboche Gompa, the left route (the lower route) goes to Pangboche. Pangboche Gompa is a very nice beautiful village with a couple of guesthouses, restaurants and a monastery. It’s less touristy and quieter.

Day 10. Pangboche (3940m)/Pangboche Gompa (4028m) – Namche Bazar (3440m)

There are two ways of walking from Pangboche to Namche; through Tengboche (the same way you walked) or through Phortse (more scenic but more challenging route).

A map with two trekking routes from Pangboche to Namcheroutes
Two route options of walking from Pangboche to Namche Bazar; the red route through Tengboche and the blue (alternative route) through Phortse

The standard route. Pangboche to Namche through Tengboche

  • Distance – 15,5 km/9,6 mi
  • Time – 5h.
  • Ascent – 613 m/2011 ft
  • Descent – 1083m/3553 ft

Following this route, you walk the same way to and back. Despite going down you’ll still have a couple of ascents to conquer, the first ascent is from Deboche to Tengboche, about 160m up, the second one is from Pungi Thanga to Kyangjuma, about 300m up.

Stops on the route from Pangboche to Tengboche

NameMilinggoDebocheTengboche
Distance2,5km3,5km4,5km
Elevation3770m3730m3890m
Guesthouse+ + +
Restaurant+ + +
Shop+ + +
Electricity+ + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + +

Stops on the route from Tengboche to Namche Bazar

NamePhungi ThangaLeushyasaKyangjumaNamche
Distance7,5km8,5km10,7km15,5km
Elevation3320m3440m3600m3440m
Guesthouse+ + + +
Restaurant+ + + +
Shop+ + + +
Electricity+ + + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + + +
OtherATM, pharmacy

The alternative route. Pangboche Gompa to Namche through Phortse

  • Distance – 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Time – 6h.
  • Ascent – 805 m/2641 ft
  • Descent – 1362 m/4468 ft
Elevation profile day 10 of EBC trek itinerary
Elevation profile of the walk from Pangboche Gompa to Phortse
Elevation profile of the route from Photse to Namche Bazar
Elevation profile of the second half of the day. The route from Phortse to Namche Bazar, the toughest part

This route is more challenging than the one through Tengboche. The alternative route is about 200m more up and 350m more down compared to the standard route through Tengboche. If you’re enough tired from going up and down and want to follow the easiest route rather go through Tengboche. If you don’t mind putting extra effort you’ll be rewarded with the stunning scenery along the route.

From Pangboche Gompa continue walking on the right side of the river towards Phortse. The route from Pangboche Gompa to Phortse has many ups and downs but the views from there are spectacular. You get to see Tengboche and the monastery from the opposite side of the river. The views on this route are more impressive than on the route through Tengboche plus you don’t walk the same route up and down.

After Phortse comes the most challenging part of the route, first you go all the way down to the river, you might need your walking sticks the trail might be very muddy or icy and slippery. After crossing the river you start going up, it’s a very steep and long ascent all the way to the top of the mountain with a subsequent long but not that steep descent.

NamePhortsePhortse ThangaMongKyangjumaNamche
Distance7km9,5km11,5km14km19km
Elevation3800m3680m3990m3600m3440m
Guesthouse+ + + + +
Restaurant+ + + + +
Shop+ + + + +
Electricity+ + + + +
Hot shower + + + + +
Wi-fi + + + + +
OtherATM, pharmacy

Footrest guesthous, Namche Bazar

We stayed at the same guesthouse on the way back, we liked the place. Price NPR 500/US$4 per person.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, shared gas shower, NPR 500/US$4 per person
  • Indoor toilet – yes, shared Western flush toilet
  • Wi-fi – yes, works in the room
  • Power sockets – yes, one in the room
  • Blankets – yes
Tengboche village and monastery from the opposite side of the river, Phortse
View of Tengboche from the opposite side of the river on the way to Phortse

Day 11. Namche Bazar (3440m) – Lukla (2800m)

Namche Bazar – Jorsale – Monjo – Bengkar – Phakding – Ghat – Chheplung – Lukla

  • Distance – 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 5h.20min.
  • Ascent – 694 m/2276 ft
  • Descent – 1200 m/3937 ft
Elevation profile day 11 of EBC trek itinerary, the route from Namche to Lukla
Elevation profile of the last day of Everest Base Camp trek itinerary, the walk from Namche Bazar to Lukla

Challenges

  • A long and steep 600m descent from Namche to the river.
  • A long ascent, about 200m, on the last couple of kilometres to Lukla

The day was more difficult than we expected. The first half from Namche to Ghat was pretty easy though mostly going down with very few short ascents. From Ghat which is at 2548m, you start steadily going up all the way till you reach Lukla. To get that much ascent at the very end of the trek was a bit annoying. Make sure you start from Namche early enough and don’t underestimate the last walking day. Luckily there are many places to stop for tea/coffee and pastry on the way.

Stops on the route from Namche to Phakding

NameJorsaleMonjoBengkarPhakding
Distance5,5km6,5km8,5km11km
Elevation2740m2780m2720m2600m
Guesthouse+ + + +
Restaurant+ + + +
Shop+ + + +
Electricity+ + + +
Hot shower + + + +
Wi-fi + + +

Stops on the route from Phakding to Lukla

NameGhatChheplungLukla
Distance14,5km17,5km20km
Elevation2548m2664m2800m
Guesthouse+ + +
Restaurant+ + +
Shop+ + +
Electricity+ + +
Hot shower + +
Wi-fi + + +
OtherATM, pharmacy
A group of yaks on the suspension bridge just before Jorsalle, Nepal
Yaks crossing the first suspension bridge after the descent from Namche

Hikers Inn Hotel, Lukla

We stayed in a deluxe room, it was quite expensive compared to other places, we paid US$10 for two. It wasn’t a typical guesthouse it was more of a hotel, our room was big with nice bedding, big double bed, ensuite toilet and shower. There are cheaper places to stay in Lukla, including this hotel has budget rooms for US$5. There is a nice restaurant and a terrace with a great view. The lady that runs the hotel can help you to book plane tickets, etc. She even got up early in the morning to walk us and a couple of other tourists to the airport. The food here was really good, can recommend yak steak and burger.

  • Electricity – yes
  • Hot shower – yes, solar shower in the room
  • Indoor toilet – yes, Western flush toilet in the room
  • Wi-fi – yes, not very good, works only in the dining room
  • Power sockets – yes, in the room
  • Blankets – yes

Day 12. Flight Lukla – Kathmandu/Ramuchhap

Make sure to book one of the earliest flights out of Lukla, after 8am it usually gets windy and many times later flights get cancelled. We flew with Tara Air but both Summit Air flights that were scheduled for the same time left earlier and our flight was 30 minutes late. We decided the next time we rather use Summit Air. You have to be at the airport in Lukla 30min. before your flight. They do some manual security check there but it’s very quick.

Where to stay in Kathmandu

We’ve stayed at several hotels in Kathmandu in different parts of Thamel and finally found the best (at least for us) location Keshar Mahal Marang Street. A small and quiet dead-end street in Thamel with only hotels, hostels, restaurants and coffee shops. The street is a 5-minutes walk from the main touristy area with hundreds of shops and agencies. There are a couple of great restaurants and coffee shops nearby.

There are a couple of hotels on the street we stayed at Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel for quite a while, every time we finished a trek we came back for a couple of days. It’s a very nice place, big rooms, comfortable beds, good breakfast (included), great hot shower, AC, wi-fi, TV, etc. The room price includes free airport pick-up (for international flights only). The staff is very helpful and friendly. We stored our extra luggage here every time we went hiking for free without any problem.

More options in the same street

Recommended books and guidebooks

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2 Comments

  1. Hi guys

    Once again awesome and detailed description!

    We plan on going to Nepal in October, if Corona doesn’t block us in Belgium, and plan to do ebc trek.
    Have you ever done Gokyo lakes, as we want to include these.
    Other question: do you buy lunch in tea houses along the way or how do you deal with this? I understood breakfast and dinner are taken in the tea house where you sleep…

    Thanks guys, keep posting cause we really love your descriptions!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Yannick! Thank you for the comment! We were planning to go back through the Gokyo but there was too much snow (we did the trek at the end of February) we couldn’t go over Cho La Pass. We wanted to go back and do Three Passes and Gokyo together in April but now we’re in lockdown in Pokhara till who knows when and are not sure we’ll be able to do any more trekking in Nepal this time.
      We usually don’t stop for lunch on the way but there are many places in between where you can stop for lunch, snack or tea. We eat lunch, dinner and breakfast at our guesthouse. I hope by October everything will get back to normal and you’ll be able to do the trek!
      Stay safe!

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