How Long Is The Everest Base Camp Trek?

  • Dec 19, 2019
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In terms of walk distance, the popular route to Everest Base Camp Trek (direct) is around 130 kilometres long (from start to finish) with Lukla as both the trailhead and the end of the trek. The trip is often designed to cover the distance in 11 days of walk. With 4 hours at least to 9 hours at most on any given day, the average is around 5 hours on foot each day. This is also valid for the two important acclimatisation days, the first in Namche Bazaar and the second in Dingboche. This trek takes to the Everest Base Camp on the seventh day of walk.

Of Relevance

Note

Walking the foot trails is the only option after Lukla since the land beyond this town comes with no roads for vehicles. This also means that transporting essentials and luxuries to settlements beyond is either by air or on the backs of yaks, jopkyos, mules and human porters. The latter is the favoured means.

Acclimatisation days

Acclimatisation days are not rest days. To adapt to and adjust in the thinner air at higher altitudes (often beyond 3,000 metres) or to avoid high altitude sickness, in other words, it is important to walk higher up and come down for the night. For those on this trip to the Everest Base Camp, therefore, walking, at least, the average-day hours is recommended on all days planned for the purpose.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (other options), distance and duration

Bringing changes to the challenges to a slightly more demanding side and the distance and duration to the longer side, combing Everest Base Camp Trek with other popular trek options in the Everest Region is also possible.

One combination is the Everest Gokyo Trek, the one that merges Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lake Trek. This merger stretches the distance to … kilometres and, thus, adds … more days to the itinerary than that of the Everest Base Camp Trek (direct). The total distance for this combination is … kilometres to be completed in … days of walk from the trailhead, Lukla. Average walk hours for this trip is also around 5 hours a day. This is also valid for the two acclimatisation days, one in Namche Bazaar and the other in Gokyo Cho (with a visit to the Fifth Lake). This trek option takes to the Everest Base Camp on the … day.

Of Relevance

Note

Everest Gokyo Trek requires crossing a high Pass, the Cho-La Pass at an altitude of … metres. The walk over the high Himalayan pass not only adds to the excitement but also demands a higher level of commitment.

Gokyo Lakes

One of the highest freshwater lake systems, the Gokyo Lakes remain tranquil at the foothills of the giants of the Everest Himalayan Massif. Seepages from the glaciers, including the 36 kilometre long Ngozumpa Glacier, is one of sources that feed the lakes. On this trek, by the Gokyo Cho, the third lake, is where trekkers spend their night/s once in the area. Climbing the Gokyo-Ri, a vantage point with stunning views, is worth the steep climb once atop. A popular addition is a trip to the Fifth Lake.

Another combination is the Everest Three Pass Trek, the one that also takes to Everest Base Camp, Kalapathar as well as the Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo-Ri. Of the three treks so far, this is the longest. This one is around … kilometres in total route length. The number of walk days also increases to 13 days. Although some of the days, especially, the ones for crossing the high passes, demand long hours of walk taxing to the the body with the average walk on this trip remaining around 6 hours. This is an option that takes to the Everest Base Camp on the seventh day if the plan is to cross the Kongma-La Pass (5,535m) first, Cho-La Pass (5,420 m) then, and Renjo-La Pass (5,360 m) next, walking this circuit anticlockwise. Following the clockwise direction by crossing the Renjo-La Pass (5,360 m) first, trekkers reach the Everest Base Camp on the tenth day of walk. 

Of Relevance

Note

This is a more demanding trek as it calls for crossing three high passes: Renjo-La (5,360 m), Cho-La (5,420 m), and Kongma-La (5,535 m). The way up to and down from these passes are steep and demanding. It is also a trek that takes to above 5,000 metres on 8 occasions: on the three passes as well as atop Gokyo-Ri (5,357 m), Gorakshep (5,160 m) Kalapathar (5,545 m), Everest Base Camp (5,316) and a vantage point near the Fifth Lake (5,110 m). This is also a trek that requires sleeping the nights above 4,000 metres for more than a week.

Instead of Lukla as the trailhead, any of the treks that also take to the Everest Base Camp discussed thus far can also start from Jiri, along the trails Tenzing Norgey and Edmund Hillary treaded. The Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek, these days, often begins from Bhandar. This is an option that adds five more days to the itinerary and … kilometres to the length of the trail.

Of Relevance

Note

The popular trailhead via Jiri these days is Bhandar, around 3 hours drive further from Jiri. The total ride on hilly highways takes around 10 hours. One plus is the roads pass through beautiful landscapes. This additional route is on lower altitudes. But, the alternating uphills and downhill are largely to the sharper side. The experience is fulfilling.

Selection of Detours also add a few more miles to the distance, a couple or so days to the itinerary and some more hours to the walk. Popular ones from Namche Bazaar include visits to the Villages of Khumjung, Khunde and Thame. Thame falls en route if the choice is Everest Three Pass Trek.

Everest Base Camp Trek, a feel

This trek to Everest Base Camp starts with a flight to Lukla early morning, weather permitting. The trek begins once the feet land outside Lukla Airport at 2,800 metres. Through colourful Sherpa villages with busy monasteries and past prayer boulders, rivers, and waterfalls, together with some mountains beyond the hills, the first day’s walk, largely on gentle downhills, to Phakding comes to an end. The distance covered is … km in around 4 hours’ of walk.

With a fair share of ups and downs, gradual at times and steep at others, as well as those comfortable flats; along the banks of Dudh Koshi and over suspension bridges; through forested areas at times and, at others, on alpine meadows and barren lands; and in a landscape amidst stunning views; the route walks the travellers, up - stopping for lunch at Jorsalle before that climb to Namche; then to Tengboche after acclimatisation in Namche: next to Dingboche with one more acclimatisation; further to Lobuche; and finally to Gorakshep. The altitude by now is 5,164 metres.

Stepping on the Everest Base Camp (5,316 m) is certainly a quest for most on an Everest Base Camp Trek, but it is not the highest elevation on the trip. The route walks all travellers further to Kalapathar at 5,545 metres, a vantage point known for amazing views of the Everest Massif, including Mt Everest (8,848 m). Retracing those footsteps back to Lukla often neither takes as many days nor the number of hours.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (all options), distance and duration at a glance

Everest Base Camp Trek, direct

Trailhead: Lukla

Total Trip Days: 14 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around 130 kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 11 days with 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 5 1/2 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 7th day of walk

Trailhead: Bhandar via Jiri

Total Trip Days: 19 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around … kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 16 days including 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 5 1/2 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 12th day of walk

 

Everest Gokyo Trek, combines Everest Base Camp Trek and Gokyo Lake Trek

Trailhead: Lukla

Total Trip Days: 17 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around … kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 14 days with 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 5 1/2 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 11th day of walk

 

Trailhead: Bhandar via Jiri

Total Trip Days: 22 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around … kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 19 days including 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 5 1/2 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 16th day of walk

Everest Three Pass Trek

Trailhead: Lukla

Total Trip Days: 18 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around … kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 15 days with 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 6 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 11th day of walk

 

Trailhead: Bhandar via Jiri

Total Trip Days: 23 days including the arrival and departure

Route length: Around … kilometres in total without detours from start to finish

Days of walk: 20 days including 2 acclimatisation days

Average walk hours: an average of 6 hours each day with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 9 hours of walk on a single day

Reach Everest Base Camp: on the 16th day of walk

 

Final words

The selection of walking the quickest or the longest route to the Everest Base Camp, no doubt, rests on personal circumstances and preferences. Remain assured, however, the memories of a trek to the Everest Base Camp stay memorable for long. And finally, whether the choice is to walk the quickest route of 130 kilometres (Everest Base Camp Trek direct) or the longest one of … kilometres (Everest Three Pass Trek with Jiri as the trailhead) or one of those inbetween, a walk to the Everest Base Camp comes true to those who choose to walk the walk and stand atop the crackling Khumbu Glacier at the foothills of the highest on earth, Mt Everest.

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