How long to walk to Everest Base Camp: The Himalayas may be known for its sky-scraping mountains and stiff icefall, but the focus of interest will always be the long stretch hiking trail of Everest Base Camp. Travelers from wide across yearn to visit the campsite given its astonishing fjords, narrow hilltop, and watersheds.
Everest Base Camp has a most photogenic trek route starting from Lukla or even before. Frankly, even the flight to Lukla airstrip from Kathmandu is more exciting than any lavish trip with dramatic landscapes, riverfront villages, and a pristine view of mountains.
The 38.58 miles trail draws the attention of every avid trekker with an exquisite setting and hillock view. It rolls from the small village in Phakding to the rising hill of Namche Bazaar. It’s a remarkable Sherpa town at 11,482 feet altitude and also inlet to Mount Everest.
The weather above Namche is severe, with temperatures reaching below average. It’s the reason why every trekker stops at the town for at least a day and lets the body rest. To blend in with the forever changing climate, trekkers climb uphill through a narrow, unpaved road to Syangboche.
The trek lasts for about an hour and a half to reach the Hotel Everest View sitting atop a hill. It offers a sensational view of Everest, sloppy hills, and beautiful villages from the ridge. After spending quality time, trekkers descend back to Namche through the same route.
Proactive travelers rush to Sherpa Culture Museum or run down the local shops to get a souvenir in their spare time. In the days ahead, trekkers will travel through many villages, walk over the bridge, and across the forest to arrive at Dingboche.
A trip around the ridge offers a wide variety of scenery, quaint villages, and pouring rivers. Glimpses of unique flora and fauna are few walks away into the luscious forests. Just to meet the camp, the trail comes across multiple villages including Tengboche and Lobuche.
The last remote settlement that Everest Base Camp trek route joins is Gorak Shep. It’s a small village standing on the rim of a frozen lakebed. After this point, you’ll stop asking how long to walk to Everest Base Camp, as it’s just 10 km far away. The view from the foot of Base Camp is awe-inspiring with towering snow peaks all around, moving glaciers and passes.
It may be just 3,484 meters below the summit, but the trail of Everest Base Camp is no easy walk. The rugged route filled with small stones and boulders makes the trek strenuous for both beginners and well-trained excursionists. So, the visitors must do advance preparation and keep themself ready for the hike.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
1. Tengboche Monastery
Tengboche Monastery is a major sight down the road to Everest Base Camp trek. It’s the most beloved religious site in all Khumbu Region with unspoiled history, ancient monuments, and stone statues.
Built-in 1916 at 3,867 meters high, the Tengboche monastery displays ancient Tibetan art and culture. It’s one of the oldest pilgrimages in the region with a gorgeous landscape, closeup view of Ama Dablam behind the construction.
A quick tour of the monastery is held every evening for visitors to offer prayers and receive blessings. On the occasion of Mani Rimdu, visitors join local Sherpa to celebrate the festival. Together they perform folk dance, play religious songs, and depict well-known figures.
2. Sagarmatha National Park
It’s impossible to think of Everest Base Camp without Sagarmatha National Park. Listed in World Heritage sites, the sanctuary has embraced Mt. Everest and its neighboring peak. It’s been habitat to a number of wild animals including Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr, and snow leopard.
Spanned in an area of 1,148 sq. km., the park is abode to more than 118 species of birds and unique vegetation. Forests at the lower elevation are covered with juniper, pines, and hemlock. But after coming at a higher altitude, the plant confines within mosses and lichens.
3. Kala Patthar
Kala Patthar is the greatest delight to eyes during Everest Base Camp trek. Everyone who visits the camp never skips the walk to this beautiful rock mountain. Soaring to an altitude of 5,644 meters, Kala Patthar offers a breathtaking view. Those who reach atop the mountain will get to glance at Mt. Everest, catch the sight of Chhukung valley, and tranquil lakes.
When is the best time to do Everest Base Camp trek?
No one knows the worth of time and weather better than a wanderer who’s mostly on the road. It’s the atmospheric condition that shapes the journey of a traveler and assesses how far he will go on the trail.
Trekkers on Everest Base Camp realize the significance of weather even more as it can halt the trip for as long as a week. Therefore, most of the travelers flock to Lukla during Autumn when the weather is beautiful and bright.
As the season falls right next to Monsoon, the weather in Autumn is moist with a little rainfall at the start of September. The fall foliage starts appearing from the month’s end, with forests decked in chromatic colored leaves.
As expected, the sky is clear during Autumn; thus, you can traverse the alleyway anytime you like. October has the most delightful weather of all, with moving views into the valley below and up. With the Hindu’s main festival just around the corner, the whole town is in a holiday spirit.
Another lovely time of the year to be in and around the base camp is Spring. The season endures pleasant weather, perfect for walking the trail and exploring magnificent sceneries. With a non-skid, rough path to walk in the season, trekkers can complete the excursion in a couple of days.
Scents of spring can be whiffed from mid-march through blossomed Rhododendron and wildflowers. In the pre-season, the weather is a bit cold with traces of winter left hither and thither. But in October, it’s warm and satisfying with the average temperature at 12 Degree Celsius.
Winter and monsoon aren’t the best times to visit Everest Base Camp, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. It takes nothing to plan the trip during winter except with extra precaution and care while traveling the trail. The weather is bitterly cold in winter, with the temperature reaching minus. So, we recommend bringing warm insulated clothes and mountaineering boots.
Accommodation and Foods at Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp trek isn’t a fun outing of a day or two to finish in the blink of an eye. With a trek distance of 38.8 km excluding a round trip to and fro Lukla, the trek takes roughly two weeks to complete. Given how long the course is, Everest Base Camp trek deserves a preparation of about a week advance.
Accommodation can be a real deal if not booked early during the prime trekking season. Visitors from all around the world turn up to the region in autumn and spring to have their chance of touring Everest Base Camp. The trail is packed with people, and so is the hotel and lodges, which most of them make early reservations.
Tea houses are standard and cheaper accommodations in villages at higher elevations. Its amenities are pretty basic with options of single or double bedrooms, a clean bed sheet, and a pillow. Some operators also provide a woolen blanket and towel, but most of the time, they’re not available.
Hot showers are pricey and cost extra dollars, having not been covered by the agency. The choices for dwelling also includes standard guesthouses and lodges. They are relatively more expensive, having well-furnished rooms with ensuite facilities.
Foods served in teahouses and lodges are surprisingly tasty despite not much use of spices. Vegetables are freshly picked from the backyard farm and prepared well. There is not much variety in foods with most dined local Nepali food, rice, veggies, pulses, and pickles.
For a change, you can also have stir-fried noodles, Chinese dumplings, and vegetable soup. But remember, they don’t cost as equal as that in Kathmandu due to inaccessibility. For breakfast, they provide special milk tea, muesli, and bread to eat.
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How long to walk to Everest Base Camp?
Although it’s far below from the foot of Mount Everest, the trail to base camp is still long. Hence, it’s very important that you know how long to walk to Everest Base Camp. It takes climbers nearly two weeks to reach the camp and head off to Kathmandu City.
The total travel distance to and fro Everest Base Camp is 130 km; however, the actual trek is solely 62 km. It starts with a round trip of Lukla airstrip from Kathmandu before the hike officially begins.
The streets in this remote location of Khumbu are crowded on a prime trekking season with porters and guides lined up to offer their service. The trip from Lukla to Phakding often takes
2-3 hours with a steep climb of the hillside along the bank of Dudh Koshi River.
After crossing the path in and out, trekkers’ will reach Phakding, where there are plenty of lodges and guesthouses. Most of the accommodations are above standard with all the required facilities available. On the next day, you’ll climb a rugged trail of 4.6 miles up to Namche Bazaar.
The trek is easy in the beginning, but as you walk above, the trail starts to irk, given the precipitous climb. Upon coming above the valley, you’ll get past a couple of villages, including Monjo, then arrive at Sagarmatha National Park.
After getting the permit, you’ll traverse into the park on an unpaved path through rhododendron forests. On the journey, you’ll cross plenty of suspension bridges over Dudh Koshi River and walk uphill filled with rocks to reach the land of Sherpa.
Considering how challenging the trek was on the last day, a day-off makes perfect sense. We’ll spend the break in this town by exploring villages, visiting monasteries with waving prayer flags and taking a short hike.
The most accessible and quintessential viewpoint to watch Mt. Everest is Syangboche. Thus, gently ascend the hill for about two hours and make it to the Hotel Everest View. The sight from the top is breathtaking with lush green fields, a panoramic view of mountains, and cliffs.
Enjoy the scenery sipping a cup of tea before descending back to the village and get some stuff in the market. The following morning, you’ll walk up and out of the village across sacred mani stones of Buddhists. The length of the trail is 9.2 km to Tengboche, so after a slow and steady start, you need to pick up the speed.
After an hour of effortless trekking, you’ll descend the hill of the same elevation gained yesterday. Crossing the wooden bridge over Dudh Koshi River and taking an uphill walk of around 2 hours, we’ll reach Tengboche. It’s a small village nestled at an elevation of 12,687 feet.
After getting the much-needed rest at the rural settlement, you’ll start climbing downhill to Dingboche. There’s nothing wrong with having a slow start, but the trek is nearly 6 hours long, so you better move fast after gaining altitude.
For most of the day, the trail scrambles foothills along the river valley. Given the increased height, the walk is exhausting. But you’ll also get to enjoy the stunning view of snow peaks, rhododendron forests, and a couple of Chortens.
It’s common for trekkers to get frantic on the trail following low oxygen and more climb. But no worries as you’ll have a free day at the village. The thought behind an off day is to give you enough time to adapt to the extreme weather after Dingboche.
As a part of acclimatization, you have options to either walk Nangkartshang Peak or stay back in the village and explore it. Most trekkers tend to walk the viewpoint on the northern side of Dingboche.
It runs through the ridge, rising high up to 5,083 meters in Chukhung Valley past few Tibetan stupa. The hillock provides an untouched view of Imja Tse, Lobuche Peak, and Pumori alongside surreal landscapes and vibrant valleys.
Still, wondering how long to walk to Everest Base Camp, then let me tell you that it’s just a matter of 15 km before you’ll be relaxing at the camp. First, the trek climbs steeply through a narrow path on the edge of the hill. The trek to Lobuche takes more than 6 hours, depending on the impact of altitude in the body.
On the following day, you’ll traverse a stony trail that heads to Gorakshep. Although the village is only 5 km away from Lobuche, the trek is pretty hard. With the low oxygen in the air, trekkers suffer from altitude sickness with symptoms like headache and nausea.
After arriving at Gorak Shep, trekkers will fill their stomach with a hearty breakfast. Next, they’ll continue the walk to base camp on a little more than 6 miles long trail. Upon arrival, enjoy the bird’s eye view of Mt. Everest as well as Nuptse from the foot of base camp.
After sighting the unique landforms and serene lakes, you’ll return back to Gorak Shep and spend the night there. Before descending the trail, you’ll clamber Kala Patthar soaring for about 2 hours to check out the vibrant valley and mountains.
The trail down to Lukla is exactly the same as the previous one. Therefore, it’ll be easy for you this time to steer Dingboche and then Namche Bazaar before arriving at Lukla. On the final day of the trip, you’ll take a 40 minutes flight to Kathmandu. With that, I’m sure you’ll have no problem telling how long to walk to Everest Base Camp.
Preparations and Essentials for Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek is never an easy walk. It takes a lot of physical strength and endurance power to walk vertical hills over big rocks and stones. The climb above ground level is equally exhausting and takes hours on end to overcome.
Hence, the trekker must have enough physical resistance to travel at a constant speed on the hike. It’s impossible to walk even a mile if your body can’t take the high-intensity physical challenges. Technical skills are vital to withstand the rough trail of Everest Base Camp; therefore, trekkers must follow intense training exercises.
Improve your fitness level by developing personalized fitness training or spending quality time in the gym. Aerobic exercise helps generate energy through metabolism to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
Play smart and take a short hike more frequently before the trek to repel drowsiness. Core exercise and yoga also improves flexibility and helps in balancing the muscles while scrambling higher altitude.
Don’t forget that before planning the fitness regimen, you must be conscious of how long to walk to Everest Base Camp. By doing so, you’ll be able to prepare the trek more precisely.
You can check here- Everest Base Camp Training Program to know much better how to train yourself for the trek.
Strong mental health is the key to well-being and a positive spirit. Without moral fibre, there’s no way you can put up with the strain of Everest Base Camp. The difficulties involved in the trek can justly cause a mental breakdown amidst trekkers. Thus, hikers have to be psychologically fit as much as physical before reaching out to the trail.
One of the best ways to prevent illness is to boost low self-esteem and prepare well. Acute mountain sickness is a real challenge to prevail over. It often shakes the confidence of hikers forcing them to quit the trek, so you hold it together.
After done with the preparations, it’s time to move into the trekking gears needed for Everest Base Camp. And by apparatus, we mean everything from clothing to camping gear and accessories. Shopping for the base camp trek is greatly affected by the season you’re trekking.
For winter, you have to get more woolen clothes with insulated hiking boots. Meanwhile, in autumn and spring, the weather in mid-season is relatively hot, so it’s better to pack light clothes that absorb sweat. Trekking poles are the best ally of hikers on a long-distance trek, so make sure you have one of those pairs.
- Lightweight cotton clothes which soak sweat
- Moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirt and t-shirt
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Trekking trousers and short
- Sun-shielding hat during summer
- Premium quality mountaineering boots
- A pair of synthetic socks (at least two)
- Hiking boots suited to the terrain
Miscellaneous and other items
- Refillable water bottle and Bottle Holder to prevent dehydration
- Trekking poles to climb the steep hill
- Sunglasses to avoid heat
- First-aid kit and hand sanitizer
- Portable power device and charger
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