Sagarmatha National Park, in Nepalese meaning “the forehead of the sky”, is located in the Himalayan region in eastern Nepal and is the highest national park in the world. Since it includes Mount Everest, the park reaches an elevation of 8848 meters on the very summit. Not only does the park bring in heaps of visitors for the Mount Everest Trek to Everest Base Camp, but also to experience numerous other trails, breathtaking beauty and various craggy peaks. Due to the altitude, the vegetation in the park is rather sparse – only a small part is forested and includes trees such as firs, hemlocks, junipers, rhododendron and birches. Some other stretches of land are used for farming potatoes, but most of it is dominated by highlands of rock, snow and ice. But despite the seemingly inhospitable conditions, the biodiversity and fauna is enormous, ranging from black bears, snow leopards and yaks to smaller animals such as the wild goats named thars, red pandas, martens and marmots.
Because of its unique beauty and wild landscapes, Sagarmatha National Park isn’t only an attraction for high-altitude mountaineers and trekkers interested in the several day long march to Everest Base Camp. Even travelers who are not that fond of crazy altitudes can find enough trails and the fascinating nature of the Himalayas in the lower parts of the park. Apart from the scenery and countless hiking trails, Sherpa villages, for example the important religious center Teng Boche as well as Monju and Khumjung and monasteries, such as the Thame Gomba and the Khumjung Gomba can be visited. There is even a natural history and ethnographic museum at the visitor center in Namche Bazaar.
Please note that UNESCO listed Sagarmatha National Park as “severely affected” by the earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal
in late April and early May 2015. Authorities have said they will do all they can to restore historic and cultural sites in Nepal and are assessing the extent of damages.
Sagarmatha National Park is located in the extremely remote Khumbu region of eastern Nepal. To get there, you have to catch a domestic flight from Kathmandu to the regional airport in Lukla. From there, it’s a two-day hike to the park, unless you are willing to shell out some money for a helicopter transfer.