Everest Trekking: Most Popular Trekking Programs in Everest Region, Nepal
Everest region is a world-known adventure destination that takes travelers right into the lap of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest. From the tallest mountain in the world to the rich cultural heritage of the Sherpas and diverse flora and fauna, there are numerous things to explore, understand, and enjoy in the Everest region.
Get to know about the major attractions of the Everest region. Whether you do the Everest Base Camp trek, Gokyo Renjo La trek, Everest Three High Passes trek, or climb a peak, you will come across at least a few of the below attractions.
*Note: The Everest region is known as the Khumbu region in local language.
Major places to explore and Things to do in the Everest region
Thrilling flight in and out of Lukla Airport
Lukla is the gateway of the Everest region. It is a small village with lodges, cafes, restaurants, ATMs, etc. To reach here, you can take a short 30-minute flight from Kathmandu or drive 8-9 hours to Phaplu, Jiri, or Bhandara and trek 2-4 days from here to reach Lukla or Phakding village.
Lukla Airport, Lukla Nepal
Likewise, there is also a 45-minute helicopter flight service from Kathmandu to Lukla airport. Lukla is located at 2,845 meters (9,334 ft). It is known as one of the most dangerous airports in the world because of its location, elevation, and small runway. The official name of Lukla airport is Tenzing Hillary Airport.
It has a 527-meter-long runway, so only small, fixed-wing, STOL aircraft such as Dornier Do 228, Twin Otter, Pilatus PC-6, etc, can land here. Flying to Lukla airport itself is an attraction while traveling to the Everest region. This flight offers breathtaking mountain panoramas and gorgeous landscapes.
The thrill of landing and taking off from Lukla airport has made it quite known among adventure lovers!
The Sagarmatha National Park
Everest region is protected under the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal. It is also a UNESCO World Natural Site. The national park is named after Mount Everest, which is called Sagarmatha in the Nepali language. The park is home to numerous alpine vegetation, glaciers, peaks, and mountains.
The Sagarmatha National Park begins from Monjo onwards. Monjo is a small village that comes on the way from Phakding to Namche Bazaar. Villages, streams, rivers, waterfalls, lush hills, etc, are scattered around the park. There are over 118 species of birds and many exotic wildlife found in this park, including red panda, musk deer, snow leopard, etc.
As more than 90% of the famous EBC trek or any other trek in the Everest region is within the Sagarmatha National Park, you will have to get a national park permit to traverse here. The Sagarmatha National Park protects the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Everest region.
Namche Bazaar- the tourist hub of the Everest region
If you are planning to do an Everest base camp trek or explore the Everest region, you might have come across the name Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is the biggest Sherpa village in the Everest region and also a tourist hub. It is situated at 4,330 meters (14,206 ft) from sea level.
Namche Bazaar, Nepal
Many trekkers spend two nights in Namche Bazaar to acclimatize before ascending further. This village has many modern facilities after Lukla, such as cafes, restaurants, luxury lodges, budget-friendly lodges, ATMs, museums, gear shops, souvenir shops, etc. You can do a lot of things here.
Explore the Everest Photo Gallery, Sherpa Culture Museum, and bustling local market. Try freshly brewed coffee and delicious bakery goods at this incredible elevation. If you happen to be in Namche Bazaar on Saturday, enjoy the weekly market.
Ancient monasteries- one of them holds a skull, which is believed to be of Yeti
Everest region has a very rich cultural heritage. The faiths and beliefs of the locals are deeply rooted in the mountains, lakes, and creatures of the region. Throughout the trekking routes in the Everest region, there are stupas, chortens, prayer wheels, monasteries, and prayer flags spread. The locals mostly follow Buddhism.
Among all the monasteries in the Everest region, below are some of the most famous ones:
Tengboche monastery is also called Dawa Choling Gompa. It is the biggest monastery in the Everest region. Located at 3,867 meters (12,687 ft), the Tengboche monastery is surrounded by beautiful views. The monastery has a 20-foot statue of Buddha and many murals and thangkas. During the Mani Rimdu festival in October/November, the monastery comes lively with villagers, colors, rituals, and traditional dances.
The Tengboche Monastery
Khumjung monastery is situated at 3,970 meters (13,025 ft). It is one of the oldest monasteries in the Everest region, founded in 1910. This monastery is famous for holding the scalp of a Yeti. However, scientific analysis has suggested that the scalp belongs to a goat or other non-mysterious animal. Nearby the monastery is the Sir Edmund Hillary School, which is affiliated with the Khumjung monastery and contributes to the education of the local Sherpa children.
Pangboche monastery origins date back to the 17th century. It is the oldest monastery in the Everest region and is an important spiritual center for the Sherpa community. The monastery is located at 3,985 meters (13,074 ft). Pangboche monastery also used to hold the scalp and purported hand of a Yeti. But the scalp later got stolen, and now the hands are only guarded there.
Thame monastery sits at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 ft). The monastery is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. Thame Monastery houses a memorial stupa dedicated to Tenzing Norgay, honoring his contributions to mountaineering and the local community. This monastery also celebrates the Mani Rimdu Festival, attracting devotees and tourists with its vibrant ceremonies and cultural performances.
The beautiful viewpoints: Hotel Everest View, Nagarjuna Hill, Chukung Ri, and Gokyo Ri
One of the things that makes trekking in the Himalayas incredible is all the hidden viewpoints and side hikes to these places.
Hotel Everest View is located at 3,962 meters (13,000 ft). It is a famous viewpoint from Namche Bazaar. Hotel Everest View is a luxury lodge, and from all of its windows, the view of Mount Everest is visible. Trekkers hike here to enjoy views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Thamserku, and Mt. Ama Dablam.
Nagarjuna Hill is an acclimatization point close to Dingboche village. It is located at 5,050 meters (16,568 ft) from sea level and offers a fantastic mountain panorama. The hiking trail is steep and rugged. Trekkers hike to this viewpoint on the way to Everest Base Camp.
Chukung Ri is a viewpoint in Chukung valley, south of Dingboche village. You will hike to this viewpoint mostly during the three passes trek. It is situated at 5,546 meters (18,196 ft) and offers panoramic views of mountains like Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Island Peak, etc.
Likewise, Gokyo Ri is a viewpoint in the Gokyo valley. It is located at 5,357 meters. Gokyo Ri provides an excellent vantage point to view the Gokyo Lakes and mountains like Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, etc.
The Gokyo Ri, View Point
Khumbu Glacier and Khumbu Icefall
The Khumbu glacier is situated on the southern slopes of Mount Everest. While trekking from Dughla to Lobuche village and onwards, you will follow the Khumbu glacier. It is a moving mass of ice and rock debris created by the collection and compression of snow over many years.
The Khumbu glacier is approximately 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) long and extends from the Western Cwm (a glacial valley) at the base of Mount Everest to the Khumbu Icefall. The lateral and medial moraines on the sides of the glacier are composed of rocks and debris carried by the moving ice.
The Khumbu Glacier
Likewise, Khumbu Icefall is one of the very famous attractions of the Everest region. It is located on the western side of the Everest Base Camp. The Khumbu Icefall is a vast and heavily crevassed icefield. The icefall is known for its unstable and shifting ice structures, creating a high risk of avalanches, crevasse falls, and ice collapses.
The Khumbu Icefall is a critical passage for climbers attempting to ascend Mount Everest via the South Col route. The Khumbu Icefall is particularly challenging due to its steep gradient and the constant movement of the glacier. Climbers usually navigate the Khumbu Icefall during the pre-dawn hours when the temperature is lower, reducing the risk of ice and serac collapse.
Everest Base Camp- base of the highest mountain in the world
Everest Base Camp is the base of the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. It is situated at 5,364 meters (17,598 ft) and serves as the starting point for climbers attempting to summit Everest. It provides a temporary settlement for climbers, allowing them to acclimate to the high-altitude conditions before ascending further.
The trek to Everest Base Camp is a popular and iconic journey, attracting trekkers from around the world. The trek typically begins in Lukla, following the route through the scenic villages of Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorak Shep before reaching Everest Base Camp.
The view of Mt. Everest is not visible from the Everest Base Camp because the Khumbu Icefall and other peaks block the view. That's why trekkers hike to Kala Patthar, making it the highest point during the EBC trek. The Everest Base Camp is a moving glacier and is marked with a huge stone.
Gorak Shep and Kala Patthar
Gorak Shep is the last settlement area before EBC. It is located near the Khumbu Glacier at 5,164 meters (16,942 ft). Historically, this place served as the base camp of Mt. Everest (during the early ascent of Everest). Gorak Shep has basic tea houses that provide accommodation and meals for trekkers.
The Everest View from Kalapattar
Kala Patthar means Black Rock. It is the highest point during the Everest Base Camp trek. There are two summits on the Kala Patthar. The highest is at 5,643 meters (18,514 ft), but trekkers only climb to 5,455 meters (18,897 ft). This place offers stunning views of Everest and many other mountains.
Kala Patthar is located above Gorak Shep and takes around two hours to reach. Trekkers usually hike to Kala Patthar to enjoy a gorgeous sunrise. The golden hues of the sunrise illuminate the snowy peaks, creating a breathtaking and memorable experience.
The Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lakes
The Ngozumpa glacier is the biggest glacier in Nepal. The glacier stretches over 26 kilometers (16 miles). The glacier's surface is marked by crevasses and deep cracks in the ice. Trekkers often encounter this glacier as they trek to Gokyo Lakes. On the way, you have to cross the Ngozumpa glacier moraine, which is steep and slippery.
The Gokyo Lake, Nepal
The Gokyo lakes are a high-alpine freshwater lake system. There are six main lakes, ranging from 4,700 meters to 5,000 meters (15,420 ft to 16,404 ft). The third lake, Gokyo Cho (also known as Dudh Pokhari) is the biggest one. The Gokyo village is situated near this lake. The Gokyo Lakes are renowned for their mesmerizing turquoise and emerald waters. These lakes also have holy significance to the locals.
The three passes: Cho La, Renjo La, and Kongma La
Cho La, Renjo La, and Kongma La are the three famous mountain passes in the Everest region that connect different valleys. The Cho La pass is the highest, with an elevation of 5,420 meters (17,782 ft). It connects Gokyo Valley and the Everest Base Camp. Likewise, Renjo La pass is situated 5,360 meters (17,585 ft) from sea level and connects the Gokyo Valley with the Thame Valley.
Lastly, the Kongma La pass is located 5,535 meters (18,159 ft) from the sea level. This pass connects Chhukung Valley with Lobuche village. All these three passes are extremely challenging to cross and only recommended to experienced trekkers. The top of all the passes presents a breathtaking mountain panorama. If you want to test your endurance, go for the Everest three high passes trek.
Mt. Ama Dablam Base Camp and Mt. Cho Oyu Base Camp
Ama Dablam is one of the most iconic and stunning peaks in the Everest region. In recent times, the Ama Dablam Base Camp trek has become quite popular among trekkers who are looking for a new adventure in the Everest region.
The trek begins from Lukla and follows the same trail as EBC up to Pangboche village. From here, you will follow a different steep and rocky path to reach the base camp of Mt. Ama Dablam.
Likewise, Mt. Cho Oyu Base Camp is less talked about. During your Gokyo Lakes trek, you can hike beyond the lakes to the Cho Oyu Base Camp. The trail is challenging but isolated and packed with striking mountain views.
Get surrounded by an ocean of mountains dominating the skyline
Traveling in the Everest region means you will get to see an uncountable number of hills, peaks, and mountains. Whichever trek you do, you will get to see spectacular mountain views and diverse landscapes. Not only that, you will witness many beautiful valleys, lush forests, rocky gorges, glaciers, passes, moraines, streams, rivers, lakes, etc.
From the top five eight-thousander mountains- (8,849 m/29,032 ft), Kanchenjunga (8,586 m/28,169 ft), Lhotse (8,516 m/27,940 ft), Makalu (8,463 m/27,766 ft), and Cho Oyu (8,188 m/26,864 ft) to many other stunning peaks like Nuptse (7,861 m/25,791 ft), Ama Dablam (6,812 m/22,349 ft), Pumori (7,161 m/23,494 ft), Island Peak (6,165 m/20,226 ft), Thamserku (6,608 m/21,680 ft), etc, the entire region is dominated by hundreds of giants.
Experiences Along the Everest Trail
Explore one of the remote and extreme parts of the world!
Everest region is one of the remotest parts of the world. With no road access, the only way to go in and out of the region is via flights and on foot. Everything in this region is scarce, and costs are high. Apart from some villages, most of the area has no stable network and modern facilities.
The weather is challenging and unpredictable. The terrain is also rugged and steep. There are no proper health facilities apart from a basic health post in Namche Bazaar, Lukla, and some other villages. So, travel insurance with emergency air evacuation is necessary. Even with all these limitations, the surreal mountain views attract hundreds of travelers every year.
Get to live the mountain lifestyle and have a glimpse into the culture and traditions of the locals in the Everest region
Everest region is home to famous Sherpa and other communities like Limbu, Lama, Rai, Bhotiya, etc. The locals mostly practice Buddhism. The trail is dotted with religious posts like monasteries, stupas, prayer wheels, etc. The locals of the Everest region live a very simple lifestyle. They are kind-hearted and friendly people.
During your trip to the Everest region, you will surely get many opportunities to understand the life of the locals and their culture and beliefs. As you will spend nights in different villages along the way, you will experience the mountain lifestyle. It is nothing fancy, but surely touches your heart profoundly.
Traverse through diverse climatic zones, embracing a wide range of flora and fauna
If you are taking the Lukla flight, your journey starts from Lukla village. The trail from here ascends and descends through alpine forests before going above the treeline. Above the treeline, you will traverse via glacier fields, moraines, and rocky gorges.
Likewise, with the change in the elevation, the climate and vegetation also change. The lower part of the Everest region is on a warmer side than the upper part of the region. The daytime is warm and bright, whereas nights and mornings are cold. All this diversity lets you explore a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Push your limits and test your endurance while trekking/climbing
Trekking for a week or more than 10 days in the mountains is not an easy thing. Even though the trail may not be technically challenging, you still need to walk at least 6 hours daily, adjust to limited facilities, and deal with varying elevations and climates.
You will be testing your limits while trekking in the Everest region and setting new boundaries. There are beginner-friendly trekking packages in the Everest region that you can start trekking with and later dive into challenging trails.
Enjoy the serenity of the Himalayas- unwind and rejuvenate
The Everest region is a part of the Himalayas. As you will trek, the serene and peaceful environment of the region will let you unwind and rejuvenate. The Everest region, with its towering peaks, picturesque valleys, and pristine glaciers, offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature on a profound level. The crisp mountain air, the earthy scent of the forests, and the refreshing environment will make your journey soothing.
A perfect place to indulge in an adventure at the same time have a digital detox
During the EBC trek or any other trek in the Everest region, you will immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature. The towering peaks, ancient monasteries, and pristine landscapes create an immersive experience that invites you to disconnect from screens and reconnect with the present moment.
The Everest region is not just a trekking destination; it's a sanctuary for those seeking a break from the digital noise, a space to recalibrate and recharge!
Challenge yourself and lose 4-5 kg by the end of treks like EBC and Gokyo Lakes
Traveling in the Everest region means a transformative journey. You will not only rejuvenate emotionally and spiritually but physically, too. As you trek through diverse landscapes, from lush valleys to high-altitude passes, your body adapts and strengthens. Combined with the calorie-burning demands of trekking at altitude, this journey becomes a holistic approach to physical fitness.
Thrills Beyond Trekking in the Everest Region: Extreme Adventures
Everest region is popular for trekking, but you can do many other adventurous sports activities here. As per your fitness and experience, you can choose the activity you wish to do. Below is the list of things that you can do in the Everest region that is not trekking:
- Peak Climbing
- Mountain Expedition
- Helicopter Tour