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How long is the EBC Trek? This article will answer your question! We have all the information on the trek distance and related factors. So make sure you read until the end!

Everest Base Camp Trek is the ultimate destination for enthusiasts worldwide. It is the best way to witness the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, up close without climbing. The trek’s stunning views, off-beat trails, raw nature, and mountain panoramas have captivated people for a long time. It is an adventurous journey that requires good physical strength and determination. 

The trek ascends to an elevation as high as 5545 meters. You will gradually navigate beautiful Sherpa villages, dense woodlands, conifers forests, rivers, valleys, and glaciers. It also offers an insight into the region’s rich culture and traditions. It is also a spiritual journey as you visit ancient monasteries and pass by numerous colorful flags, chortens, prayer wheels, and mani walls. 

So, how long does it take to complete the entire journey while also enjoying it? Without further ado, let us dive right into it!

EBC Trek Distance – How long is the EBC trek?

The classic trek distance of Everest Base Camp is 130 kilometers (80.78 miles) round trip. Its starting point is Lukla, from where the trail enters the dense forest trails. It takes 12 to 14 days to complete the EBC Trek. Each day, trekkers will cover a distance of around 8 to 15 kilometers. Depending on the destination, the daily trek hours can take 5 to 6 hours or more. 

Likewise, the daily elevation gain is around 400 to 800 meters. Trekkers can customize the trek according to their preferences. They can shorten or extend it. The shortest time for EBC Trek is 7 to 8 days. The total distance is the same, but trekkers cover more ground daily. The itinerary may also not include acclimatization days.  

everest Base Camp Trek
How long is the EBC trek? 6

Some prefer to take alternative routes rather than classic ones. At such times, the trek duration is longer and covers more distance. For example, the Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes Trek covers around 136 kilometers round trip and takes 14 to 16 days. The Everest Three Passes Trek covers more distance, i.e., 160 kilometers (100 miles) round trip. 

EBC Trek Itinerary

Take a sneak peek at Nepal Alternative Treks’ 12 Days Everest Base Camp Trek: 

  • Day 01: Fly to Lukla – Trek to Phakding
  • Day 02: Trek to Namche Bazaar
  • Day 03: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar/ Explore around
  • Day 04: Trek to Debuche
  • Day 05: Trek to Dingboche
  • Day 06: Acclimatization in Dingboche
  • Day 07: Trek to Lobuche
  • Day 08: Trek to Gorakshep – Excursion to EBC
  • Day 09: Trek to Pheriche
  • Day 10: Trek to Namche Bazaar
  • Day 11: Trek to Lukla
  • Day 12: Fly to Kathmandu 

EBC Trek Elevation

The trek begins with a 30-minute flight to Lukla (2860 meters). From Lukla, it is a steady hike to Phakding (2640 meters). The trail enters dense woodland and deep ravines along the Dudh Koshi River. Then, the trail ascends upstream to Namche Bazaar (3440 meters).  It also enters the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Namche Bazaar is a popular acclimatization stop. The trail begins to climb further uphill towards Debuche (3750 meters).  Some trekkers prefer to rest overnight at Tengboche (3860 meters). The higher you ascend, the more sparse the vegetation becomes. The trail climbs uphill and downhill until you reach Dingboche (4350 meters). The remote Sherpa village is another famous acclimatization stop. Leaving Dingboche, you will ascend towards Lobuce (4900 meters)

You must cross the Lobuche Glacier and Khumbu Glacier while climbing uphill to Gorakshep (5164 meters). It takes a short excursion from Gorakshep to reach Everest Base Camp (5364 meters). You will also climb uphill to the trek’s highest point, Kalapatthar (5545 meters).

To provide you with a clear picture, here is the EBC Trek elevation gain in a table: 

LocationElevation
Lukla2860 meters
Phakding2640 meters
Namche Bazaar3440 meters
Debuche3750 meters
Dingboche4350 meters
Lobuche4900 meters
Gorakshep5164 meters
Everest Base Camp5364 meters
Kalapatthar5545 meters

Factors Influencing the Duration of Trek

Discuss the factors and explain in detail

Physical Fitness

Trekkers’ fitness greatly influences the duration of the trek. If reasonably fit and with great stamina, they can complete the trek quickly. On the other hand, if the trekkers have below-average fitness, they will have difficulty overcoming the trails and will take longer to cover the distance. However, it is always best to gradually ascend to a higher elevation. It plays a crucial role in minimizing altitude-related sickness. 

Route

The classic route to Everest Base Camp takes 12 to 14 days. During this period, one covers approximately 130 kilometers of distance. However, alternative routes can shorten or extend the trek duration. Trekkers can also take detours and combine EBC Trek with other treks. They can also take the roadway instead of taking a flight to Lukla. 

Acclimatization Days 

As mentioned before, acclimatization is crucial for minimizing the risk of altitude sickness during the EBC Trek. Regardless of the trek route, trekkers must include an acclimatization day in their itinerary. It is essential for beginners. The oxygen level decreases as one climbs to higher elevations, which can cause trekkers to experience minor to severe altitude sickness symptoms. It can even be life-threatening without proper precaution and assistance.    

Weather

The weather at high altitudes can be highly volatile and change rapidly. Its unpredictability can cause obstructions during the trek. Sometimes, it can lead to trail closures or blockage of high mountain passes. Flights to or from Lukla can also be delayed or canceled due to weather changes, which can extend the trek duration. 

Trail Conditions

The trails are busier if you travel during peak seasons, i.e., spring and summer. Annually, around 40,000 trekkers visit the Everest Base Camp. As a result, it is common to come across other trekkers on the trails. It can slow trekkers’ pace, especially on challenging and narrow paths. The trails in the monsoon season are wet, while snow can cover them during winter. The trail condition can also cause delays. 

Alternative Ways to Reach Everest Base Camp 

Everest Three Passes Trek

The Everest Three Passes is among the most strenuous treks in the Everest region. It requires crossing three high mountain passes above 5,000 meters: Kongma La Pass (5,535 meters), Cho La Pass (5,420 meters), and Renjo La Pass (5,360 meters). The clockwise trek takes the same route as the EBC Trek from Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, and Dingboche. 

Everest Three Passes Trek How long is the EBC trek?
How long is the EBC trek? 7

From Dingboche, trekkers can take a path to Lobuche or head to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar. They can also take the anti-clockwise EBC Trek. Whether trekkers trek clockwise or anti-clockwise, they can enjoy the best views of some of the world’s highest mountains. 

Gokyo Valley Trek

The Gokyo Valley Trek takes trekkers to remote areas of the Everest region. It is a moderate trek on secluded, off-beaten trails. The route is similar until Namche Bazaar, from where the trail to Gokyo Lake diverges to Dole. The Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Valley is also popular among adventurers. 

Gokyo Valley Trek
How long is the EBC trek? 8

The trail from Dole then goes to Machhermo and Gokyo Valley. Most trekkers descend from Gokyo to Thagnak, Dzongla, Lobuche, and then Gorakshep. From Gorakshep, they hike to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar. It combines the best views of the landscapes with a turquoise view of the Gokyo Lakes.  

Jiri to EBC Trek

The alternative to taking a flight from Kathmandu or Ramechhap to Lukla is driving to Jiri. You will have to take a jeep ride that takes around 10 hours. It is perfect for trekkers who have more extended time on their hands. The road is bumpy and dusty but passes by beautiful countryside. You can travel like a local, giving you a glimpse of rural Nepal. 

Except for locals, very few foreigners take the roadway.  It is an original route to Everest Base Camp. Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary, and other mountain expedition teams used the trail before the Lukla Airport began operating. Jiri is a small village amidst dense subtropical verdant. From Jiri, it will take several days of trekking to reach Phakding and make your way to the base camp.    

Tumlingtar to Everest Base Camp Trek

Tumlingtar is generally the gateway for the Makalu Base Camp Trek. However, it also serves as an alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek. You can take a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, which takes around 50 minutes. Upon reaching Tumlingtar, you will begin your trek on off-the-beaten and serene trails to Lukla. You will also come across beautiful traditional rural villages and scenic landscapes.  

Makalu base camp
How long is the EBC trek? 9

It takes approximately 9 days to reach Lukla from Tumlingtar. However, the advantage of taking this route to Everest Base Camp is that it offers adequate time for acclimatization. This will help your body gradually adjust to the altitude and prepare for the trek. This route also takes longer, so it is best for trekkers with leisure time to explore the area. 

Essential tips for trekkers

While EBC Trek is popular among trek enthusiasts of all levels, it requires proper preparation and a good fitness level. The trekking trails take you into remote areas of the Everest region. Hiring a licensed and experienced guide ensures your safety and comfortable trekking agency. 

Always book trekking packages with well-established and government-registered trekking agencies. They know what they are doing and handle all the necessary permits and documents for the trek. You can check their reviews on sites like Google Review, TripAdvisor, etc. It is best to start your preparation 2 to 3 months before the journey. Undertake training and exercises that help to increase your stamina, strength, and endurance. 

While on trek, keep yourself well-hydrated and drink plenty of fluid. However, avoid drinking too much caffeine, chocolate drinks, and alcoholic drinks. While climbing to higher elevations, take it slow. Do not rush to the top, as altitude sickness increases the risk. Acclimatize and let your body adjust to the growing altitude. You will encounter many rural settlements, monasteries, and gompas during the trek. Be respectful of the local culture and ask for permission before taking photographs.   

Best time for EBC Trek

Everest Base Camp is doable throughout the year. However, choosing the right time ensures trekkers’ safety and the best experience. Nepal experiences four seasons, among which spring and autumn are the best. Summer and winter pose some challenges which can make the EBC Trek difficult. 

Spring (March to May)

Spring is one of the best times for the Everest Base Camp Trek. The weather is favorable and pleasant for trekking all across the country. Similarly, the days are sunny and bright with good visibility. Spring is the active time for flora and fauna. Blooming rhododendron flowers and colorful Himalayan wildflowers adorn the EBC trails. 

If you are lucky, you can glimpse rare wildlife like red pandas, musk deer, Himalayan monal, and others. The region’s daytime temperature is 10 degrees Celsius, while the nighttime temperature can drop to -5 degrees Celsius. The only drawback of EBC Trek in spring is its crowded trails. 

Summer (June to August)

June marks the beginning of the wet season as monsoons enter Nepal. As a result, there is heavy rainfall across the nation, which lasts all summer. The rain clouds obstruct the surrounding view, making visibility poor. The trails are also muddy and slippery. Trekkers often avoid this season as there is a massive risk of landslides and mudslides. 

Summer is the hottest time of the year. The daytime temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius, while the lowest is around 5 degrees Celsius. For the EBC Trek in summer, trekkers must prepare all the right equipment and gear, along with physical and mental preparation. 

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is also the peak time for the Everest Base Camp Trek. The weather is stable and mild at this time of year. The skies are crisp and clear, with brilliant visibility. The rain from the prior season cleanses the dust and impurities from the atmosphere. Thus, the vegetation and landscapes look fresh and vibrant. 

Since the precipitation level is low and the trails are dry at this time of the year, autumn is the best time to enjoy the gleaming mountains’ crystal-clear view. The daytime temperature is 14 degrees Celsius, and the nighttime temperature can reach -10 degrees Celsius.  

Winter (December to February)

Finally, winter is a spectacular time to enjoy the snowy wonderland and mountain panoramas. The trails in lower regions are dry, but the snow makes the trails in higher regions icy and slippery. Moreover, the heavy snowfall in higher regions can block mountain passes, and avalanches are also risky. 

The extreme drop in temperature and harsh weather conditions make the EBC Trek more strenuous during winter. The temperature can drop to less than -15 degrees Celsius in higher temperatures. Despite the extreme weather, many adventurous trekkers choose winter for the EBC Trek. It requires a lot of meticulous preparation. You will also need the right equipment for the winter EBC Trek.  

Everest Base Camp Difficulty

The Everest Base Camp Trek can scare off many novice trekkers. But it is among the moderately challenging trek. Any trekkers with good physical fitness, strength, and stamina can do the EBC Trek. However, it does not mean the trek is an easy walk in a park. Various factors make it a physically and mentally demanding adventure. 

The trails of EBC are challenging. Trekkers have to climb uphill and downhill on steep and rough terrain, which puts a lot of physical strain on them. Likewise, the average daily walking hour is 5 to 6 hours. It can even be longer, depending on the destination. Aside from the rugged terrain, the high altitude is another factor that makes the trek challenging. 

High altitude exposes trekkers to altitude-related sickness. Similarly, the weather changes rapidly and becomes unpredictable in higher regions. It can stress trekkers and put them under mental strain. Hence, trekkers must prepare physically and mentally for the trek. Proper gear is also crucial for a safe and comfortable trekking experience.   

Permits Required

EBC Trek requires two trek permits, which trekkers can obtain through a registered trekking agency in Kathmandu. These include the following: 

Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

All trekkers must obtain the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit as the trails to EBC access the national park. 

The entry fees for SAARC residents are NPR 1500 per person, and for non-SAARC residents, NPR 3000 per person. Children under 10 are eligible for free entry. The price for the permit remains the same throughout the year. 

Khumbu Pasang Lhambu Rural Municipality Permit

Another pass trekkers will require is the local permit. The Khumbu Pasang Lahambu Rural Municipality Permit cost is NPR 2000 per person for both SAARC and Non-SAARC residents for the first four weeks. Then, the cost becomes NPR 2500 per person.   

Conclusion

We hope we were able to answer the question of how long the EBC Trek is. It is a unique journey that blends adventure, nature, and rich culture. The trek offers stunning views of some of the world’s highest mountains and provides a glimpse at diverse landscapes and rural lifestyles. It is a journey worth taking!

If you consider embarking on the EBC Trek, Nepal Alternative Treks can help make your dream come true. Registered under the Nepal government, we offer many services and facilities. For more information, visit our website or contact us directly!

FAQs

Is Everest Base Camp Trek worth the hype?

Absolutely yes! EBC Trek is an incredible adventure to reach the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. The trek offers an exceptional view of the Everest region’s landscapes and an up-close view of Mount Everest and other towering peaks. Likewise, it is a unique spiritual and cultural experience.

How difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Everest Base Camp is a moderate trek that requires reasonable physical fitness. The climb to EBC is demanding, as it involves steep, narrow trails on varied terrain. The average daily trek hour is 5 to 6 hours. Similarly, the high altitude and unpredictable weather are another challenging part of the trek.   

Can beginners join the trek?

Yes, beginners can join the Everest Base Camp Trek with proper preparation. They must understand the challenges of the physically demanding trek and train accordingly. Fortunately, technical skills are not necessary. Mental preparation is also essential for the EBC Trek.

Is there an altitude-related risk during the Everest Base Camp Trek?

There is an altitude-related risk during the Everest Base Camp Trek. The trek takes you to an altitude above 5,000 meters. Trekkers begin to experience altitude sickness after the elevation reaches 2,500 meters. It is when the oxygen level begins to thin in the atmosphere. Hence, the lack of oxygen results in various altitude sickness symptoms. 

Do we lose weight while trekking to EBC?

During the Everest, some trekkers may lose weight, while others may remain the same. Climbing up and downhill daily requires a lot of physical work. So, it can result in weight loss. Similarly, a change in diet can also result in weight loss. Weight loss will depend on the trekker’s body type, age, fitness level, and eating habits.

How much does the Everest Base Camp Trek cost?

The Everest Base Camp Trek cost usually ranges from USD 1000 to USD 2000 per person. The cost depends on the season, duration, transportation, and other services. Generally, the trek lasts 12 days. However, trekkers can customize the duration and extend or shorten it, influencing the cost.

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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