It can be quite daunting to tailor a perfect Everest base camp trek itinerary that best suits your requirements, preferences and timeframe, but do not sweat, we have prepared this guide to help you know the region properly. We hope this guide will provide you with proper insight about the Everest base camp trek distance, difficulty and altitude to help you craft an itinerary for the famous Everest base camp trek.
Everest Base Camp Trek Distance
The total distance for Everest base camp trek (Lukla – Everest base camp – Lukla) is 127 kilometres approximately excluding the distances of acclimatization hikes in Namche and Dingboche. Please note that there are various approach and itinerary for EBC Trek. The distance 130kms is based on the standard itinerary via Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche and Everest base camp.
127 km sounds like a lot of trekking, but do not sweat as you will be covering this distance in 12 days time. The daily trek will cover around 12 km distance on average with 6-7 hrs walk. The approach towards the base camp will take longer days keeping proper acclimatization due to increasing altitude.
On average, 12 days is required for the Everest base camp trek following proper rest and acclimatization. Keeping 2 nights each at Namche and Dingboche for acclimatization. We recommend you not to cut short the itinerary as it can lead to altitude sickness. If you are short in time and yet want to do the trek then we recommend you take a helicopter flight back to Kathmandu from Gorakshep or any place as per your schedule.
You can tailor the itinerary as per your schedule but shortening the itinerary is not recommended.
|Kathmandu - Lukla||138km/85.74miles||30 mins flight|
|Lukla - Phakding||9km/5.6miles||4-5 hrs|
|Phakding - Namche Bazar||12km/7.45miles||6-7 hrs|
|Namche Bazar - Tengboche||12km/7.45miles||6-7 hrs|
|Tengboche - Dingboche||12km/7.45miles||6-7 hrs|
|Dingboche - Lobuche||12km/7.45miles||6-7 hrs|
|Lobuche - Gorekshep||4km/2.48miles||3 hrs|
|Gorekshep - Everest Base Camp||3km/1.86miles||2 hrs|
|Gorekshep - Kalapathar||1.8km/1.11miles||2 hrs|
|Gorekshep - Pheriche||13km/8.07miles||6 hrs|
|Pheriche - Namche||22km/13.67miles||6-7 hrs|
|Namche Bazar - Lukla||21km/13.05miles||6-7 hrs|
Standard Itinerary for Everest Base Camp
The above itinerary is the most common and standard itinerary for the Everest base camp trek. The standard approach to the Everest base camp is via Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorekshep and Everest base camp. You could also choose to add a few more days on approach by visiting less trodden route which is from Namche, Khumjung, Phortse, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorekshep and Everest base camp. This also helps in acclimatization process as you will be spending a few more nights at around 3000m before hitting 4000m. This is exactly the itinerary we follow on our Everest base camp trek. Higher above Dingboche, approach to the Everest base camp is the same for everyone unless you wish to cross KhongmaLa Pass, a high pass at 5,535m/18,160ft beneath the shadow of Lhotse south face.
If you want a more thrilling alternate route to Everest base camp then perhaps combining Everest and Gokyo Chola Pass may be an ideal itinerary for you. This itinerary provides the best of Everest in a single trip and the view from Gokyo Ri and Cho La Pass may be the euphoric moment for you.
|Day 01||Arrival in Kathmandu||1,350m/4,430ft|
|Day 02||Drive to Ramechap, fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding||2,600m/8,531ft|
|Day 03||Trek to Namche Bazar||3,450m/11,319ft|
|Day 04||Rest and acclimatization day||3,450m/11,319ft|
|Day 05||Trek to Tengboche||3,860m/12,665ft|
|Day 06||Trek to Dingboche||4,412m/14,475ft|
|Day 07||Rest and acclimatization day||4,412m/14,475ft|
|Day08||Trek to Lobuche||4,910m/16,109ft|
|Day 09||Trek to Everest base camp via Gorekshep||5,140m/16,864ft|
|Day 10||Climb Kalapathar and retrace to Pheriche||4,371m/14,340ft|
|Day 11||Trek to Namche Bazar||3,450m/11,319ft|
|Day 12||Trek to Lukla||2,800m/9187ft|
|Day 13||Fly to Ramechap airport and drive back to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,430ft|
|Day 14||Contingency day for delays||1,350m/4,430ft|
|Day 15||International Departure|
Everest Base Camp Trek Walking Hours
On average, your daily trekking will involve 6-7 hrs trek on an increasing altitude. Some days will be slightly longer and some will be shorter but be prepared to walk 6-7 hrs every day on average carrying your backpack. During rest and acclimatization days, the trekking hour will be shorter. The trekking hour each day may vary as per your fitness level but fear not, as you will have plenty of time to cover the everyday distance at your own pace. You start the trek at 8 am and reach the overnight place lately by 4 pm including 1 hr lunch break. There are numerous teashops and rest places throughout the trail so you can always rest and have a cup of ginger lemon honey as a booster for onward journey.
Everest Base Camp Trek Map
Above map illustrates the trail of Everest base camp trek.
Everest Base Camp Trek Altitude
The maximum altitude on Everest base camp trek is 5545m at Kalapathar and maximum overnight altitude on Everest base camp trek is 5160m at Gorekshep. The starting and ending point of your trek is Lukla which sits at an altitude of 2800m.
Altitude is the main point of concern for everyone doing the Everest base camp trek. The high altitude involving in the trek makes it more challenging. You start the trek from 2800m and over the course of 8 days, you gain altitude every day, eventually reaching 5545m at Kalapathar.
Gaining altitude rapidly against the recommended guideline, which is 400m-500m per day can lead to acute mountain sickness and eventually HAPE or HACE.
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Everest Base Camp Trek is graded challenging in terms of difficulty level due to its longer duration trek on higher altitude. The trek reaches up to a maximum altitude of 5364m with maximum overnight altitude at 5164m at Gorekshep. For those who climb Kalapathar too, the maximum altitude you will reach is 5545m at the summit of Kalapathar. The trek starts at 2800m at Lukla so, in terms of altitude, the trek is considered strenuous. While the approach to the base camp itself is not very hard due to the well-paved trail and commercialized villages along the way. The approach on the last 2 days before reaching the base camp consists of rocky terrain and moraine making it bit harder. The level of difficulty also vastly depends on your level of experience and fitness. The more fitter you are the more enjoyable the trek will be. If you have previously trekked to other high altitude regions then it can be beneficial.
For trekking to Everest base camp, you do not need to equip yourself with any technical gears. Quality trekking gears with sturdy and waterproof hiking boot will suffice. But remember that it can get very cold so packing warm clothing is essential.
Everest Base Camp Trek Prerequisite
The trek is graded challenging but fear not as it is completely doable. People without any previous experience of trekking have completed the trek successfully. However, you should be well prepared and trained before treading the trail. Train yourself at least 3 months prior to the trek. One specific training program may not fit for all but doing regular hillwalking carrying 5-6 kgs of a backpack will be of great advantage.
The more fitter you are, the more enjoyable your trekking will be. So, train well ahead in advance and be mentally prepared too. For more detailed training guide, check out training for Everest base camp.
Changes in Lukla flight (Updated 2020)
In 2019, Kathmandu airport (TIA) runway was renovated and expanded causing all Lukla flights to be operated from Ramechap airport. This new change in Lukla flight was announced as a temporary arrangement for 3 months but due to the ease of flight operation to Lukla from Ramechap airport, the civil aviation authority of Nepal (CAAN) carried on with using Ramechap airport until this date.
Ramechap airport is a STOL airport located 150 km east of Kathmandu, 4 hrs drive. The flight time from Ramechap airport to Luka airport is only about 12 minutes and the chances of flight cancellations and delays are very slim as compared to from Kathmandu airport. However, keeping a contingency day for any delays can prevent you from missing your international flights. As someone once said, ”Nothing works the way it should be in Nepal. Prepare for the worst and leave wiggle rooms for when that happens”.
Find out how safe is Lukla airport to fly.
It is still unclear till date if the Lukla flight will be operated from Kathmandu airport anytime soon. So, given this situation, we have decided to apply this change on this guide too. The journey from Kathmandu to Ramechap airport takes about 4 hrs drive. The flights are scheduled from 6:15 am and hence you will need to arrive at Ramechap airport accordingly. Also, note that you need to arrive at the airport at least 45 mins prior to the flight time for the check-in. So, you could either leave from Kathmandu at midnight (5 hrs earlier to your flight time) or stay overnight at Ramechap. Please check with the airlines or travel agents if the transfers are included in the airfare. Some airlines offer ground transfers both way.