The trek to Mount Everest Base Camp is on most hikers’ bucket lists, and the Khumbu region of Nepal—known for its spectacular mountain peaks and friendly indigenous people—is one of the most popular places to do so. Here’s what you need to know about getting to this trekkers’ pilgrimage site.
- Push your body to the limits as you take in the spectacular Himalayan scenery of the Everest region.
- Enjoy the expertise of a local guide who can help you acclimatize and trek the best routes to the base camp.
- Spend nights in remote Himalayan villages like Gorak Shep, Pheriche, and Phakding.
- Watch the sunrise over the world’s highest peak from Kala Pattar.
- Taste local foods and learn about Sherpa traditions from the welcoming indigenous people of the region.
- Stop at cultural points of interest like Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, and Tengboche Monastery.
How to Prepare
The trek to Everest Base Camp is not easy, so it’s a good idea to join a private or small-group trek with an experienced guide to help navigate the route, troubleshoot along the way, and offer insight into Nepali history and culture. While nothing will really prepare you for the extreme elevation—Everest Base Camp is located at 17,598 feet (5,364 meters) above sea level—cardiovascular training such as hiking, walking, and climbing (lots of) stairs will help get you physically ready for the trek through the Himalayas. Even with this, the altitude will be a factor in your expedition, so to avoid altitude sickness, give yourself some time to acclimate in Kathmandu before heading out on your trek.
Breathable layers are the best option for comfort, as the temperature can change quickly in the mountains, and sunscreen and sunglasses are a must for the bright sun at altitude. Be sure to break in your hiking boots before you arrive, and carry moleskin or another blister remedy for when the inevitable occurs.
When to Go
The best times to trek to Everest Base Camp are from the beginning of March to mid-May, and from the beginning of September to mid-November. In the spring, the mountains burst into color when the rhododendrons bloom, and the temperature is more moderate as the snow is melting from the mountains. In fall, the monsoons have cleared the air of dust, though the days are cooler and shorter.
Things to Know
- Everest Base Camp trek tours last between 12 and 16 days, and typically include meals, accommodations, and licensed guides and porters.
- Hiking poles are not required but can be helpful in alleviating pressure on the knees.
- The trek to Everest Base Camp should be attempted only by those who are physically fit.