• EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

    A trekker and guide descending the rocky trail from Kongma La to Lobuche
  • EVEREST THREE PASSES

    ROUTE GUIDE

    A man crosses a suspension bridge in the morning sun on the Everest Three Passses trekking route

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

A GUIDE TO THE TRAIL

In this guide we share detailed trail notes about the Everest Three Passes trekking route. This includes section distances and estimated trekking times, plus info about food, services, and accommodation options along the way. There is also a description of the trail and we offer a downloadable route map for online or offline use. As a visual accompaniment to this written guide you can watch our Everest Three Passes film, and for everything else you need to know to plan your trek, check out our Essential Guide To The Everest Three Passes Trek.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – if you purchase a product or service via these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps offset the cost of running this blog and keeps us travelling so that we can continue to produce great content for you. We greatly appreciate your support!*

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREK OVERVIEW

    • DISTANCE | Approx 160 km (incl. acclimatisation/day hikes)
    • DURATION | 17 – 22 days (incl. flying to/from Lukla)
    • START/END | Lukla
    • PERMITS REQUIRED | Khumbu Trek Card 2000 NPR; Sagarmatha National Park Fee 3000 NPR (SAARC nationals 1500 NPR / Nepali nationals 100 NPR)
    • TREKKING SEASON | Best Seasons: April to Mid-May, October to Mid-November; Shoulder Seasons: March, Late May, September, Mid-November to December; Avoid: June to August, January to February
    • TREK DIFFICULTY | Challenging
    • ELEVATION GAIN/LOSS | +/- approx 13500 metres (incl. acclimatisation/day hikes)
    • MAX ALTITUDE | 5611 m (Kala Patthar) or 5514 m (Kongma La)
    • GUIDE MANDATORY? | Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality has stated that it is NOT mandatory to trek with a guide in the Khumbu region
    • ACCOMMODATION | Teahouses/Guesthouses in villages along the trail
    • TREK COST | $34 – $140 USD per person, per day (budget independent trekker to fully inclusive package)
    • RECOMMENDED TREKKING AGENCY | Himalayan Masters, Quote HOGG5 for 5% discount

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREK OVERVIEW

DISTANCE
Approx 160 km
(incl. acclimatisation/day hikes)

DURATION
17 – 22 days
(incl. flying to/from Lukla)

START/END
Lukla

PERMITS REQUIRED
Khumbu Trek Card 2000 NPR
Sagarmatha National Park Fee 3000 NPR (SAARC nationals 1500 NPR, Nepali nationals 100 NPR)

TREKKING SEASON
Best
Season
April to Mid-May
October to Mid-November
Shoulder Seasons
March, Late May, September
Mid-November to December
Months To Avoid
June, July, August
January and February

TREK DIFFICULTY
Challenging

ELEVATION GAIN/LOSS
+/- approx 13500 metres
(incl. acclimatisation/day hikes)

MAX ALTITUDE
5611 m (Kala Patthar)
or 5514 m (Kongma La)

GUIDE MANDATORY?
Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality has stated that it is NOT mandatory to trek with a guide in the Khumbu region

ACCOMMODATION
Teahouses/Guesthouses in villages along the trail

TREK COST
$34 – $140 USD
 per person, per day (budget independent trekker to fully inclusive package)

OUR RECOMMENDED TREKKING AGENCY
Himalayan Masters, Quote HOGG5 for 5% discount


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING FILM

Get a sense of the Everest Three Passes trekking route in our ‘silent hiking’ style ambient film.

Watch the behind the scenes version of our Everest Three Passes trek on Instagram stories

Watch the behind the scenes
version of our Three
Passes
trek
on Instagram stories 

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

MAP & GPX DOWNLOAD

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE //

MAP & GPX DOWNLOAD

We have created a detailed Everest Three Passes digital trekking map to accompany this guide. The full trekking route is marked, including Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes, along with day hikes around Namche Bazaar and Gokyo, and to Nangkartshang, Chukhung Ri, Kala Patthar, and Gokyo Ri. Alternative routes avoiding the passes are also marked, as is the overland route between Salleri and Lukla. 

Detailed stats and an elevation profile are included for each route section. Guesthouse settlements and tea shops are also marked, as well as key sights and practical info such as checkpoints, hospitals, and transport hubs. Guesthouses as per our own trek itinerary are marked, including info about prices and services, phone numbers (where possible), and a copy of the menu. Photos are included with almost every pin. 

You can use the digital map online, or download it for offline use with a mapping app such as Organic Maps, Maps.me or Gaia GPS. This is very helpful for navigation assistance on the trail. It allows you to quickly pinpoint key places and services along the way and calculate distances and elevation differences between destinations.

Note that while we’ve tried to be as accurate as possible when recording and mapping the route, changes on the ground are inevitable (especially on routes crossing glaciers) and this map should not be solely relied upon for navigation.

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREK ITINERARY

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE //

TREK ITINERARY

We have outlined below what we feel is an ideal itinerary for the Everest Three Passes trekking route. This is a 19 day itinerary which includes flying to and from Lukla. We have noted the trekking distance and an approximate trekking time for each day (excluding lunch stops, breaks, etc), as well as stats on elevation gain/loss and sleeping altitude.

Note that this itinerary outlines an anti-clockwise trekking route, crossing Kongma La first, and Renjo La last. You can read more about our thoughts on why this is the best direction to trek in the ‘Is it best to do the Everest Three Passes trek clockwise or anti-clockwise?’ section of our guide.

For a few alternative route options which you may wish to consider, check out this section of our guide.

If viewing on a mobile device or tablet, scroll to the right to see the full table or flip your screen to landscape mode

DAYROUTEDISTANCE & TIME

ELEVATION GAINELEVATION LOSSSLEEP ALTITUDE
DAY 1
(Option 1)
LUKLA →
PHAKDING
7.5 km
2.5 hours
472 m687 m2640 m
DAY 1
(Option 2)
LUKLA →
MONJO
12.6 km
4.5 hours
1117 m1148 m2830 m
DAY 2
(Option 1)
PHAKDING →
NAMCHE BAZAAR
10.2 km
5 hours
1628 m
851 m3425 m
DAY 2
(Option 2)
MONJO →
NAMCHE BAZAAR
5.1 km
3 hours
983 m390 m3425 m
DAY 3NAMCHE BAZAAR
(Acclimatisation Hike)
5.6 km – 9.1 km
3 – 6 hours
550 – 740 m550 – 740 m3425 m
DAY 4NAMCHE BAZAAR
→ PANGBOCHE
13.6 km
6 hours
1541 m1020 m3950 m
DAY 5PANGBOCHE
→ DINGBOCHE
5.7 km
2.5 hours
602 m250 m4300 m
DAY 6NANGKARTSHANG
(Acclimatisation Hike)
5 km
4 hours
766 m766 m4300 m
DAY 7DINGBOCHE
→ CHUKHUNG
5 km
2.5 hours
451 m19 m4730 m
DAY 8CHUKHUNG RI
(Acclimatisation Hike)
4.9 km – 5.9 km
3 – 5 hours
645 – 810 m645 – 810 m4730 m
DAY 9CHUKHUNG
→ KONGMA LA
→ LOBUCHE
9.8 km
8 hours
973 m792 m4920 m
DAY 10*
(Part 1)
LOBUCHE →
GORAK SHEP
4.5 km
2.5 hours
316 m70 m5160 m
DAY 10
(Part 2)
KALA PATTHAR
(Return Hike)
3.8 km
3.5 hours
495 m495 m5160 m
DAY 11*
(Part 1)
GORAK SHEP →
EVEREST BASE CAMP
(Return Hike)
6.3 km
2.5 hours
255 m255 m
DAY 11
(Part 2)
GORAK SHEP
→ LOBUCHE
4.5 km
1.5 hours
68 m312 m4920 m
DAY 12LOBUCHE
→ DZONGLHA
6.6 km
2.5 hours
230 m321 m4825 m
DAY 13DZONGLHA
→ CHO LA
→ DRAGNAG
8.6 km
6 hours
653 m803 m4680 m
DAY 14DRAGNAG
→ GOKYO
3.8 km
3 hours
184 m112 m4750 m
DAY 15GOKYO RI
(Return Hike)
3.6 km
3 hours
605 m605 m4750 m
DAY 16 GOKYO
→ RENJO LA
→ THAME
20.6 km
8.5 hours
909 m1872 m3800 m
DAY 17THAME
→ MONJO
13.9 km
5 hours
910 m1872 m2830 m
DAY 18MONJO
→ LUKLA
12.6 km
4 hours
1155 m1123 m2855 m
DAY 19FLY LUKLA →
KATHMANDU/
MANTHALI
1400 m

*On days 10 and 11 the standard itinerary that most people follow is to visit EBC after lunch at Gorak Shep, then hike up Kala Patthar in the dark for sunrise the next morning (when it is bitterly cold). If you swap these two around as per the above suggested itinerary, you are guaranteed to have a less busy experience at both EBC and on the trail up Kala Patthar. As the skies are usually clearer in the morning you are also likely to have better views at EBC, however it is possible that the views from Kala Patthar will be obscured by afternoon clouds. If you’re lucky and have clear afternoon skies, then you will be treated to a fiery sunset glow on Everest and the surrounding mountains. If you hike up Kala Patthar in the morning, your mountain views will be brief as the sun rises directly behind Everest and you’ll soon be looking directly into the sun.

OUR RECOMMENDED TREKKING AGENCY

We partnered with Himalayan Masters for our Langtang Valley, Gosainkunda, and Everest Three Passes treks, and found them to be very professional and committed to a high level of service

To enquire about booking your own trek, get in touch via email at info@himalayan-masters.com and mention the code HOGG5 to get a 5% discount off the cost of your trip


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREK ELEVATION PROFILE

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE //

ELEVATION PROFILE

The image below shows the elevation profile of the Everest Three Passes trek, starting and ending in Lukla and going in an anti-clockwise direction, crossing Kongma La first, Cho La second, and Renjo La third. The route shown here includes the various acclimatisation and side hikes outlined in this guide. Elevation is displayed in metres and distance in kilometres.

Elevation profile for the Everest Three Passes trek in an anti-clockwise direction, including acclimatisation and side hikes

3D ROUTE MAP

Watch our 3D relief map video of the route to visualise the landscape and get a sense of the Everest Three Passes trek.


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE BREAKDOWN

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE //

ROUTE BREAKDOWN AND TRAIL DESCRIPTION

Below is the breakdown of the Everest Three Passes trekking route as outlined in the itinerary table above. Each day includes an overview, distances, elevation gain and loss, estimated trekking times without breaks, a detailed description of the trail, and info about food, services, and accommodation options.

The following route breakdown starts and ends in Lukla. For detailed information about the various ways of getting to/from Lukla, check out the the ‘How to get to Lukla’ section of our guide.

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 1: LUKLA → MONJO

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 1:

LUKLA →
MONJO

12.6 km | + 1117 m / – 1148 m | 4.5 hours

12.6 km

+ 1117 m / – 1148 m

4.5 hours

Today is a straightforward introduction to the trek. There are no lengthy ascents or descents and mostly wide stone paths to walk on, although there are plenty of short ups and downs throughout the day. There are a couple of checkpoints along the way and regular villages with guesthouses where you can eat or stop for tea. You’ll no doubt encounter plenty of pack mules and yaks – when letting them pass, be sure to wait on the side of the trail without a drop-off.

The trek elevation profile for the Lukla to Monjo section of the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


PLACES ON THE LUKLA TO MONJO ROUTE

The table below details the main guesthouse villages and services available along the route from Lukla to Monjo. On this section, there are also many smaller settlements and guesthouses that lie between those mentioned in the table. The distances and times noted cover the sections between the stops, not the total from the start.

If viewing on a mobile device or tablet, scroll to the right to see the full table or flip your screen to landscape mode.

NAMECHEPLUNGCHHUTHAWPHAKDINGTOC TOCBENKARMONJO
APPROX TIME30 min1 hour1 hour40 min40 min40 min
DISTANCE2.5 km3 km2 km1.9 km1.7 km1.5 km
ELEVATION2685 m2590 m2640 m2715 m2735 m2830 m
GUESTHOUSE✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
RESTAURANT✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
SHOP✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
ELECTRICITY✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
WIFI✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
PHONE SIGNAL✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
HOT SHOWER✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
OTHERKhumbu Trek Card Checkpoint

Lukla → Phakding

7.5 km | + 472 m / – 687 m | 2.5 hours

Lukla →
Phakding

7.5 km

+ 472 m / – 687 m

2.5 hours

From the airport, the route leads through the town of Lukla, a bustling place with shop-lined streets and plenty of guesthouses and restaurants. Pass through the Pasang Lhamu Gate (celebrating the first Nepali woman to summit Everest) and at the bottom of the steps you’ll reach the Khumbu Trek Card registration desk.

It takes around 2 hours to trek from here to Phakding. The route leads downhill from Lukla before climbing towards Phakding, although there are plenty of flatter sections and some short ups and downs. The trail is mostly on wide stone paths, with a few bridges to cross along the way. You’ll pass through villages regularly and there are plenty of options for tea or food stops. There are also a number of mani stones and prayer wheels – be sure to walk on the left when passing these.

Phakding is a busy lunch spot and also a popular overnight stop for trekkers heading to Namche Bazaar. You’ll come to the main part of the village first, with a few more guesthouses situated across the bridge on the opposite side of the Dudh Koshi. Phakding is bigger than Monjo and tends to be the busier accommodation option. Continuing to Monjo means less people to share the trail with come morning.

Trekkers passing large mani stones and prayer flags on the Lukla to Phakding section of the Everest Three Passes trek

Passing mani stones on the left between Lukla and Phakding



Trekkers passing large mani stones and prayer flags on the Lukla to Phakding section of the Everest Three Passes trek

Passing mani stones on the left
between Lukla and Phakding



Phakding → Monjo

5.1 km | + 645 m / – 461 m | 2 hours

Phakding → Monjo

5.1 km

+ 645 m / – 461 m

2 hours

The trail from Phakding to Monjo includes more uphill sections than before Phakding, but it isn’t too challenging. The route is similar: passing through various villages, walking on stone paths, and crossing a couple of bridges. There is another Khumbu Trek Card checkpoint at Toc Toc.

The village of Monjo is situated on a hillside and there are numerous guesthouses spread throughout, most with good views looking towards the impressive tree-covered cliffs opposite.

OUR MONJO ACCOMMODATION

    • NAME | Hotel Mini Tibet
    • ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheet and pillow, blanket + attached bathroom
    • ROOM COST | 1000 NPR
    • BATHROOM | Attached bathroom; sit down toilet; hot shower (solar)
    • DAL BHAT | 600 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)
    • SHOWER | 300 NPR for gas shower (no charge for solar shower in attached bathroom)
    • CHARGING | 200 NPR
    • WIFI | 300 NPR
    • PHONE SIGNAL | Phone signal, weak data
    • SHOP | Yes

OUR MONJO ACCOMMODATION

NAME | Hotel Mini Tibet

ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheet and pillow, blanket + attached bathroom

ROOM COST | 1000 NPR

BATHROOM | Attached bathroom; sit down toilet; hot shower (solar)

DAL BHAT | 600 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)

SHOWER | 300 NPR for gas shower (no charge for solar shower in attached bathroom)

CHARGING | 200 NPR

WIFI | 300 NPR

PHONE SIGNAL | Phone signal, weak data

SHOP | Yes


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 2: MONJO → NAMCHE BAZAAR

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 2:

MONJO →
NAMCHE BAZAAR

5.1 km | + 983 m / – 390m | 3 hours

5.1 km

+ 983 m / – 390m

3 hours

Today you’ll enter Sagarmatha National Park. You can enjoy lovely river and forest views and get to experience the thrill of crossing the 125 metre high Hillary Suspension Bridge (along with a couple of others). There is only one village along the way, Jorsale, which is around 40 minutes’ walk from Monjo. There are no teahouses after this however pop-up vendors can be found at a couple of spots on the climb to Namche, serving soft drinks, biscuits, fruit, face masks, strepsils, cigarettes… all the essentials ; ) Make sure you have enough water with you to last until Namche Bazaar.

The trek elevation profile for the Monjo to Namche Bazaar section of the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


PLACES ON THE MONJO TO NAMCHE BAZAAR ROUTE

NAMEJORSALENAMCHE BAZAAR
APPROX TIME40 min2h20m
DISTANCE1 km4.1 km
ELEVATION2795m3425 m
GUESTHOUSE✔️✔️
RESTAURANT✔️✔️
SHOP✔️✔️
ELECTRICITY✔️✔️
WIFI✔️✔️
PHONE SIGNAL✔️✔️
HOT SHOWER✔️✔️

Climb up through Monjo and you’ll reach the Sagarmatha National Park entrance on the edge of the village, where your permit will be checked.

Pass through the decorative gate and descend the wide stone staircase before crossing the Dudh Koshi on a suspension bridge and entering the small village of Jorsale. There are a few guesthouses, small shops, and cafes here.

Shortly after Jorsale you’ll cross a second suspension bridge and follow a wide trail alongside the river where you can enjoy increasingly beautiful views. About 1 km from the second suspension bridge you’ll reach a wonderful viewpoint where you can look up at the Hillary Suspension Bridge, the third and most impressive of the day.

A view of the Hillary Suspension bridge from the riverside trail 125 metres below, on the Monjo to Namche Bazaar section of the Everest Three Passes trek

The Hillary Suspension Bridge as seen from the valley floor, with the old bridge still in place below



A view of the Hillary Suspension bridge from the riverside trail 125 metres below, on the Monjo to Namche Bazaar section of the Everest Three Passes trek

The Hillary Suspension Bridge as seen from the
valley floor, with the old bridge still in place below



From here you’ll be climbing all the way to Namche Bazaar, an ascent of about 700 metres. A wide stone staircase leads up to the bridge, where you may need to wait a few minutes depending on how busy the trail is. The Hillary Bridge can be pretty nerve wracking to cross, given its height from the ground (125 metres), and also if it’s especially windy and/or crowded.

After the bridge the climb continues up through pine forest on a rock and dirt trail which can get quite dusty, and which is also fairly steep in parts. This section can be a bit of a bottleneck, with lots of yak and mule trains, porters, and groups of trekkers moving in both directions. Look out for a convenient side trail favoured by porters which leads slightly uphill to the right shortly after the public toilets. This route runs parallel to the main trail for a while before rejoining it near the top, and it’s usually less busy. You’ll need to show your Khumbu Trek Card at the checkpoint on the outskirts of Namche, after which it’s just a short distance to the town itself.

Namche Bazaar has a mix of guesthouses and local homes, dotted up the terraced hillsides in a horseshoe shape. It’s a bustling place and the main hub for the region, with trekkers and climbers converging here on the way up and down to Everest Base Camp, the Three Passes, Gokyo Lakes, and elsewhere. There are lots of shops, bakeries, cafes, and even an ATM or two (although it’s best not to rely on this and bring cash from Kathmandu). If you need to pick up any extra gear, there are at least three genuine gear shops stocking Icebreaker, Osprey, Sea to Summit, Black Diamond, Salomon, La Sportiva, Katadyn, The North Face, etc, plus the usual fake gear shops.

OUR NAMCHE BAZAAR ACCOMMODATION

    • NAME | Hotel 8848
    • ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheets and pillows, blanket + attached bathroom
    • ROOM COST | 1500 NPR (attached bathroom); 1000 NPR (shared bathroom)
    • BATHROOM | Attached bathroom; sit down toilet; hot shower (solar and gas)
    • DAL BHAT | 750 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)
    • SHOWER | Free (rooms with attached bathroom); 500 NPR (rooms with shared bathroom)
    • CHARGING | Free in room with attached bathroom
    • WIFI | Free
    • PHONE SIGNAL | Yes
    • SHOP | Yes
    • OTHER | Comfortable; great rooms (with attached bathroom) on top floor

OUR NAMCHE BAZAAR ACCOMMODATION

NAME | Hotel 8848

ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheets and pillows, blanket + attached bathroom

ROOM COST | 1500 NPR (attached bathroom); 1000 NPR (shared bathroom)

BATHROOM | Attached bathroom; sit down toilet; hot shower (solar and gas)

DAL BHAT | 750 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)

SHOWER | Free (rooms with attached bathroom); 500 NPR (rooms with shared bathroom)

CHARGING | Free in room with attached bathroom

WIFI | Free

PHONE SIGNAL | Yes

SHOP | Yes

OTHER | Comfortable; great rooms (with attached bathroom) on top floor


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 3: NAMCHE BAZAAR ACCLIMATISATION DAY

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 3:

NAMCHE BAZAAR ACCLIMATISATION DAY

5.6 km – 9.1 km | +/- 550 – 740 m | 3 – 6 hours

5.6 km – 9.1 km

+/- 550 – 740 m

3 – 6 hours

It’s important to acclimatise properly throughout your Everest Three Passes trek. This allows your body time to get used to the ever-increasing altitude as you ascend to 5000 metres and above. Building in rest days, staying well hydrated, and going on acclimatisation hikes (where you climb higher during the day but sleep lower at night) are all good ways of helping your body acclimatise. Unless you are already acclimatised (for example you have been at altitudes of 4000 metres and higher within the previous week), spending a second night at Namche Bazaar is highly recommended, even if it seems like you feel physically fine. Use the extra day to go on an acclimatisation hike (no big backpack required!) and take the time to rest and hydrate.

The trek elevation profile for one possible Namche Bazaar acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


The most common destination for an acclimatisation hike from Namche Bazaar is the Hotel Everest View (3880 m), where you can get lunch or a drink and enjoy fantastic views from the terrace. It takes around 3 hours to hike up to the hotel and back down again.

A morning view of Namche Bazaar on the Everest Base Camp and Three Passes treks, the buildings bright in the morning sun and snow capped peaks rising behind

Morning view of Namche Bazaar from the northeast



A morning view of Namche Bazaar on the Everest Base Camp and Three Passes treks, the buildings bright in the morning sun and snow capped peaks rising behind

Morning view of Namche Bazaar from the northeast



A must-visit on the way is Sagarmatha Next, a learning/experience/visitor centre and gallery championing waste management solutions for the Khumbu region. There are exhibitions on local culture, geography, history, climbing and trekking, flora and fauna, and the environmental challenges facing the region. There is also an art gallery showcasing artwork made from waste, a film salon showing documentaries, a VR experience, and a shop selling upcycled souvenirs made from waste plastic from the Khumbu, designed by Super Local. Check out this video to learn more about the great design project. At the Waste Lab artists and product designers work on upcycling projects, and workshops are held regularly. There is a cafe, too.

If you are interested in extending your hike for the day and seeing more of the local area, doing a loop via Khumjung village is a great option. Khumjung is the largest Sherpa village in the region, with an impressive monastery and a school founded by Edmund Hillary in 1960. The original classroom is now the Sir Edmund Hillary Visitor Centre, another great place to visit and learn about the Khumbu region. The loop hike (including Hotel Everest View) is around 7.5 km, and you should allow up to 5 hours for the hike. If you are interested and have the energy you could also include a visit to Khunde village (home to another monastery). This would extend the route to around 9.1 km and you should allow up to 6 hours.

SEE MORE FROM NEPAL

Featured image for the Everest Base Camp trek guide, featuring a trekker walking on a rocky trail with mountain peaks in the distance
With Ama Dablam as a backdrop, a trekker and guide stop to enjoy the views while doing the Nangkartshang acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes trek
A hiker and guide cross a flat, rocky section before Kongma La on the Everest Three Passes trek, with the snowy ridgeline to the east visible behind
A trekker and guide climbing the snow covered slope towards Laurebina Pass (4650 m), with the blue surface of Gosainkunda shining in the morning sun below
Snow covered guesthouses reflected in the bright blue waters of Gosainkunda
Trekkers enjoying mountain views and a well earned rest atop Kyanjin Ri (4586 m) in the Langtang Valley
Snowy mountain view with colourful prayer flags in the foreground, seen from the first Kyanjin Ri viewpoint (4300 m) on the Langtang Valley trek
Featured image for 'What to Pack for Trekking in Nepal', featuring trekkers, guides and porters crossing a suspension bridge on the Everest Base Camp route
A narrow trekking trail in Upper Mustang stretching off into the distance amidst some bizarre rock formations, with the snowy peak of Dhaulagiri in the background
Trekkers on a trail approaching a round orange rock formation with a plateau stretched out into the distance in Upper Mustang
Sunrise hitting the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal
Trekkers look out while descending from the Larke Pass on the Manaslu Circuit Trek
Featured image for the Everest Base Camp trek guide, featuring a trekker walking on a rocky trail with mountain peaks in the distance
With Ama Dablam as a backdrop, a trekker and guide stop to enjoy the views while doing the Nangkartshang acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes trek
A hiker and guide cross a flat, rocky section before Kongma La on the Everest Three Passes trek, with the snowy ridgeline to the east visible behind
A trekker and guide climbing the snow covered slope towards Laurebina Pass (4650 m), with the blue surface of Gosainkunda shining in the morning sun below
Snow covered guesthouses reflected in the bright blue waters of Gosainkunda
Trekkers enjoying mountain views and a well earned rest atop Kyanjin Ri (4586 m) in the Langtang Valley
Snowy mountain view with colourful prayer flags in the foreground, seen from the first Kyanjin Ri viewpoint (4300 m) on the Langtang Valley trek
Featured image for 'What to Pack for Trekking in Nepal', featuring trekkers, guides and porters crossing a suspension bridge on the Everest Base Camp route
A narrow trekking trail in Upper Mustang stretching off into the distance amidst some bizarre rock formations, with the snowy peak of Dhaulagiri in the background
Trekkers on a trail approaching a round orange rock formation with a plateau stretched out into the distance in Upper Mustang
Sunrise hitting the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal
Trekkers look out while descending from the Larke Pass on the Manaslu Circuit Trek

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 4: NAMCHE BAZAAR → PANGBOCHE

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 4:

NAMCHE BAZAAR →
PANGBOCHE

13.6 km | + 1541 m / – 1020 m | 6 hours

13.6 km

+ 1541 m / – 1020 m

6 hours

This day offers fantastic mountain scenery and a beautiful trekking trail, with a mix of open hillside and forest paths. The start and end of the day is mostly straightforward, with a big climb in the middle section between Phunki Thanga and Tengboche. The monastery in Tengboche is well worth visiting, so be sure to allow enough time if you are interested.

The trek elevation profile for the Namche Bazaar to Pangboche section of the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


PLACES ON THE NAMCHE BAZAAR TO PANGBOCHE ROUTE

NAMEKYANGJUMALAWI SCHYASAPHUNKI THANGATENGBOCHEDEBOCHEPANGBOCHE
APPROX TIME1h30m40 min
20 min2 hours30 min1 hour
DISTANCE4.2 km1.7 km1 km2.6 km1.3 km2.8 km
ELEVATION3600 m3450 m3300 m3860 m3740 m3950 m
GUESTHOUSE✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
RESTAURANT✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
SHOP✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
ELECTRICITYSolarSolarSolarSolarSolarSolar
WIFI✔️✖️✖️✔️✔️✔️
PHONE SIGNAL✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
HOT SHOWER✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
OTHERCheckpoint

Notable monastery

Namche Bazaar → Tengboche

9.5 km | + 1197 m / – 753 m | 4.5 hours

Namche Bazaar
→ Tengboche

9.5 km

+ 1197 m / – 753 m

4.5 hours

After climbing the steep steps through Namche Bazaar, the trail follows a fairly flat, wide dirt path that leads around the hillside. There is a bit of up and down but it’s generally easy going up until Kyangjuma (about 4 km). You’ll pass the Tenzing Norgay memorial chorten on the way, a great spot where you can see Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Everest, and other famous peaks. There are a few guesthouses in Kyangjuma and the views are nice. This makes a good tea stop, or a quieter alternative to overnighting in Namche.

Trekkers gathered around the Tenzing Norgay memorial chorten on a sunny morning on the Namche to Tengboche section of the Everest Three Passes trek

Trekkers enjoy mountain views from the Tenzing Norgay memorial chorten



Trekkers gathered around the Tenzing Norgay memorial chorten on a sunny morning on the Namche to Tengboche section of the Everest Three Passes trek

Trekkers enjoy mountain views from
the Tenzing Norgay memorial chorten



From Kyangjuma to Phunki Thanga it’s mostly downhill on a pleasant forest trail, passing through the small teahouse village of Lawi Schyasa a little beyond the halfway point. The options for food and accommodation are better at Phunki Thanga, and this is a common early lunch stop, good for fueling up before the big climb to Tengboche.

From Phunki Thanga, cross the Dudh Koshi on the suspension bridge and stop at the checkpoint before tackling the big climb. It’s around a 600 metre ascent up to Tengboche, a mixture of open hillside and forest. This can take about 2 hours. The first half is quite steep on dusty switchbacks while the second half is a bit more gradual.

Tengboche is dominated by the large gompa (monastery), with just two guesthouses in the village. The Tashi Delek bakery serves excellent cakes and real coffee along with the usual food menu items. The views from the balcony are wonderful, looking over to the monastery and up the mountainous valley. You can visit the monastery daily from 7am – 8am, 9am – 11am, and 1pm – 5:30pm. You can witness the monks chanting at 3pm, an option for those who choose to stay overnight in Tengboche.

The large monastery complex at Tengboche, a popular settlement to overnight at for those doing the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

The large monastery complex at Tengboche



The large monastery complex at Tengboche, a popular settlement to overnight at for those doing the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

The large monastery complex at Tengboche



Tengboche → Pangboche

4.1 km | + 344 m / – 267 m | 1.5 hours

Tengboche → Pangboche

4.1 km

+ 344 m / – 267 m

1.5 hours

From Tengboche the trail descends about 150 metres to Deboche, a small settlement with a handful of guesthouses. From here the trail is fairly flat before climbing gently on a wide path through lovely forest, with trees dripping in Old Man’s Beard and views over the Dudh Koshi. After crossing a suspension bridge you’ll climb an open hillside on a mixture of paths and stone staircases, the final stretch to Pangboche.

Pangboche is a good sized village, quite attractive with a mix of teahouses and homes, and lots of farming fields stretching towards the river. There are fantastic mountain views when the skies are clear.

OUR PANGBOCHE ACCOMMODATION

    • NAME | Om Kailash
    • ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheet and pillow, blanket + attached bathroom
    • ROOM COST | 1000 NPR (attached bathroom); 500 NPR (shared bathroom)
    • BATHROOM | Attached bathroom with sit-down toilet and sink but no shower
    • DAL BHAT | 695 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)
    • SHOWER | 700 NPR for gas shower
    • CHARGING | 300 NPR (full battery charge)
    • WIFI | 600 NPR (Airlink for 24 hours)
    • PHONE SIGNAL | Yes
    • SHOP | Yes

OUR PANGBOCHE ACCOMMODATION

NAME | Om Kailash

ROOM | Two single beds, table, sheet and pillow, blanket + attached bathroom

ROOM COST | 1000 NPR (attached bathroom); 500 NPR (shared bathroom)

BATHROOM | Attached bathroom with sit-down toilet and sink but no shower

DAL BHAT | 695 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)

SHOWER | 700 NPR for gas shower

CHARGING | 300 NPR (full battery charge)

WIFI | 600 NPR (Airlink for 24 hours)

PHONE SIGNAL | Yes

SHOP | Yes


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 5: PANGBOCHE → DINGBOCHE

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 5:

PANGBOCHE →
DINGBOCHE

5.7 km | + 602 m / – 250 m | 2.5 hours

5.7 km

+ 602 m / – 250 m

2.5 hours

This is a short and easy day with wonderful views throughout. The trail climbs gently up the valley between the two villages of Pangboche and Dingboche. There are just a couple of short steeper sections, before Shomare and after the bridge.

The trek elevation profile for the Pangboche to Dingboche section of the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


PLACES ON THE PANGBOCHE TO DINGBOCHE ROUTE

NAMESHOMARESUNRISE LODGEDINGBOCHE
APPROX TIME1 hour20 min1h10m
DISTANCE2 km0.8 km2.9 km
ELEVATION4060 m4100 m4300 m
GUESTHOUSE✔️✔️✔️
RESTAURANT✔️✔️✔️
SHOP✔️✔️✔️
ELECTRICITYSolarSolarSolar
WIFI??✔️
PHONE SIGNAL✔️✔️✖️
HOT SHOWER✔️✔️✔️

Leaving Pangboche, a dusty trail climbs gently up the valley across scrubby hillside, with the river below and fantastic mountain views above. It takes about an hour to reach Shomare, with a bit of a climb at the end. Here you’ll find a number of teahouses.

The gentle climb continues and in less than 1 km you’ll reach the lone Sunrise Lodge, situated in a broad valley with braided trails approaching it. These eventually funnel back into a single trail which leads to a small metal bridge at the confluence of the Lobuche and Imje Khola rivers.

A porter walks along the route from Pangboche to Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes trail

The trail leads down to a small bridge then climbs up and around the next hillside until Dingboche is revealed



A porter walks along the route from Pangboche to Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes trail

The trail leads down to a small bridge then
climbs up and around the next hillside until
Dingboche is revealed



The trail climbs a little more steeply after the bridge, up and around the hillside, but soon becomes a gentle incline once again. About 30 minutes beyond the bridge you’ll catch your first sight of Dingboche and arrive in the village shortly after.

First sight of Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks, a village with many guesthouses where people stay two nights for acclimatisation

First sight of Dingboche, a village with many guesthouses where people stay two nights for acclimatisation



First sight of Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks, a village with many guesthouses where people stay two nights for acclimatisation

First sight of Dingboche, a big village with
many guesthouses where people stay two
nights for acclimatisation



There are many guesthouses in Dingboche, as well as local houses, and the views of Ama Dablam from the village are wonderful. There are a few bakeries showing mountain-related films in the afternoon. Good options include the cosy Cafe Himalaya, which shows Sherpa at 2:30pm and has lots of old mountaineering photos and gear on display inside, and Cafe 4410, which has a large modern interior, a big food menu, and shows Sherpa and Everest from 2pm. The French Bakery (which also has a pharmacy) shows Free Solo, Meru, and a film about Helicopter rescues in the Himalaya on alternate days. Most of them also offer free device charging if you spend 400 rupees, which is more or less what it will cost to charge at your guesthouse.

OUR DINGBOCHE ACCOMMODATION

    • NAME | Mountain Heritage Inn
    • ROOM | Two single beds, sheets, pillows, blankets, carpeted room; spacious window ledge (no table); attached bathroom
    • ROOM COST | 1500 NPR (attached bathroom)
    • BATHROOM | Sit-down toilet and sink in attached bathroom, but no shower
    • DAL BHAT | 1000 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)
    • SHOWER | 800 NPR for gas shower
    • CHARGING | 500 NPR per device
    • WIFI | 24 hr/48 hr Airlink cards (700 NPR / 1500 NPR)
    • PHONE SIGNAL | No
    • SHOP | Yes
    • OTHER | Spacious dining room and spacious rooms too; extra blanket charged at 200 NPR

OUR DINGBOCHE ACCOMMODATION

NAME | Mountain Heritage Inn

ROOM | Two single beds, sheets, pillows, blankets, carpeted room; spacious window ledge (no table); attached bathroom

ROOM COST | 1500 NPR (attached bathroom)

BATHROOM | Sit-down toilet and sink in attached bathroom, but no shower

DAL BHAT | 1000 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)

SHOWER | 800 NPR for gas shower

CHARGING | 500 NPR per device

WIFI | 24 hr/48 hr Airlink cards (700 NPR / 1500 NPR)

PHONE SIGNAL | No

SHOP | Yes

OTHER | Spacious dining room and spacious rooms too; extra blanket charged at 200 NPR


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 6: NANGKARTSHANG PEAK DAY HIKE

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 6:

NANGKARTSHANG PEAK (5039 m) DAY HIKE

5 km | +/- 766 m | 4 hours

5 km

+/- 766 m

4 hours

The hike up to Nangkartshang Peak (5039 m) offers fantastic views. It is also great for acclimatisation as you will climb high but descend to sleep at around 4300 m again. There is a clear path all the way to the top. The 766 metre climb should take around 2.5 – 3 hours, with the descent about half that. It’s best to start early (around 7:30am) for the best chance of clear views and calm conditions. Ensure you have plenty of water, snacks, and warm layers.

The trek elevation profile for the Nangkartshang peak acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


The climbing starts immediately from Dingboche, with the trail leading up from behind the French Bakery and Mountain Heritage Inn. You’ll pass under two white stupas with painted eyes near the start, then reach a series of small chorten on the ridge. From here you can see the classic Everest Base Camp trekking trail heading northwest to Lobuche. Alternative trails from the upper part of the village also lead to the chorten, skipping the stupas.

Continue climbing steadily uphill and you’ll pass some small prayer flags and rock cairns at various points. The views are fantastic, looking northeast up the valley towards Chukhung, across to Ama Dablam (6812 m), and to numerous other mountains all around. The final section to the top is a little steep so take your time, and there are some big rocks around the prayer flags with a steep drop-off on the eastern side, so take care.

After enjoying the views, follow the same route back down to Dingboche.

Fantastic view of Ama Dablam (6812 m) from the prayer flags atop Nangkartshang (5039 m), an important acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

Trekkers climbing towards the second stupa above Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes trek

People rest and take in the views from the prayer flags (5039 m) on Nangkartshang, a day hike from Dingboche that is important for acclimatisation on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

Trekkers climbing towards the second stupa above Dingboche on the Everest Three Passes trek

Trekkers climbing towards the
second stupa above Dingboche


People rest and take in the views from the prayer flags (5039 m) on Nangkartshang, a day hike from Dingboche that is important for acclimatisation on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

People rest and take in the views from the
prayer flags (5039 m) on Nangkartshang


Fantastic view of Ama Dablam (6812 m) from the prayer flags atop Nangkartshang (5039 m), an important acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes and Everest Base Camp treks

Fantastic view of Ama Dablam (6812 m)



COME JOIN US ON INSTAGRAM

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 7: DINGBOCHE → CHUKHUNG

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 7:

DINGBOCHE → CHUKHUNG

5 km | + 451 m / – 19 m | 2.5 hours

5 km

+ 451 m / – 19 m

2.5 hours

Today you will depart from the classic Everest Base Camp trekking route, so you can expect the trail to be much less busy until you rejoin the EBC route at Lobuche. It is a short trekking day. You’ll climb gently up the valley on a dirt trail through scenic rocky, scrubby landscape to the small teahouse village of Chukhung, situated at 4730 m. There are no other villages or teahouses on the route, so be sure to have enough water with you for the duration of the walk.

The trek elevation profile for the Dingboche to Chukhung section of the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


Start today’s walk by heading up through Dingboche to reach the extensive terraces of walled fields at the northeastern edge of the village. Leaving Dingboche behind, the trail climbs gradually up the valley, with the Imja Khola flowing to the right. Ama Dablam takes on a different look with her two distinct peaks appearing side by side, and Island Peak will come into view as you get closer to Chukhung.

A stone memorial with a named plaque sits in the valley between Dingboche and Chukhung on the Everest Three Passes route, in memory of three climbers who died on Lhotse in the 1980s

A memorial to climbers who lost their lives on Lhotse, with Island Peak in view behind and to the right



A stone memorial with a named plaque sits in the valley between Dingboche and Chukhung on the Everest Three Passes route, in memory of three climbers who died on Lhotse in the 1980s

A memorial to climbers who lost their lives on
Lhotse, with Island Peak behind to the right



There are just a handful of teahouses at Chukhung, and it’s usually much less busy than Dingboche as it’s off the EBC trail.

OUR CHUKHUNG ACCOMMODATION

    • NAME | Yak Land Lodge
    • ROOM | Two single beds, sheets, pillows, blankets; spacious window ledge to store stuff (no table)
    • ROOM COST | 1000 NPR (shared bathroom option only)
    • BATHROOM | Shared Bathroom: 1 x squat toilet, 1 x sit-down toilet, separate shower room; kept very clean; no indoor sink
    • DAL BHAT | 745 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)
    • SHOWER | 650 NPR for bucket shower; gas shower not working when we stayed
    • CHARGING | 500 NPR (phone); 1500 NPR (power bank)
    • WIFI | 24 hr Airlink cards (700 NPR)
    • PHONE SIGNAL | No
    • SHOP | Yes
    • OTHER | Very nice owners; warm dining room; highly recommend

OUR CHUKHUNG ACCOMMODATION

NAME | Yak Land Lodge

ROOM | Two single beds, sheets, pillows, blankets; spacious window ledge to store stuff (no table)

ROOM COST | 1000 NPR (shared bathroom option only)

BATHROOM | Shared Bathroom: 1 x squat toilet, 1 x sit-down toilet, separate shower room; kept very clean; no indoor sink

DAL BHAT | 745 NPR (see full menu in our e-map)

SHOWER | 650 NPR for bucket shower; gas shower not working when we stayed

CHARGING | 500 NPR (phone); 1500 NPR (power bank)

WIFI | 24 hr Airlink cards (700 NPR)

PHONE SIGNAL | No

SHOP | Yes

OTHER | Very nice owners; warm dining room; highly recommend


EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 8: CHUKHUNG RI DAY HIKE (5380 m or 5516 m)

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 8:

CHUKHUNG RI DAY HIKE
(5380 m or 5516 m)

4.9 – 5.9 km | +/- 645 – 810 m | 3 – 5 hours

4.9 – 5.9 km

+/- 645 – 810 m

3 – 5 hours

This is a fantastic day hike for both views and acclimatisation. The main viewpoint is at 5380 m, with a higher viewpoint at 5516 m. Both are accessed from the same saddle, with the lower viewpoint to the southwest and the higher viewpoint up a steeper and narrower rocky ridge trail to the northeast. Expect it to take around 2 to 3 hours to climb to the viewpoint at 5380 m, and around 1 hour to descend via the same route. It should take about an hour extra if you want to continue to the upper viewpoint at 5516 m. Leaving early in the morning gives you the best chance of clear views, and you can aim to return to Chukhung for lunch. Ensure you have plenty of water, snacks, and warm layers.

The trek elevation profile for the Chukhung Ri acclimatisation hike on the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


Head northeast out of Chukhung and cross a small metal bridge. The trail continues up the scrubby hillside, climbing steadily on a dirt trail for around an hour. After ascending approximately 240 metres, you’ll reach an open plateau where you can take a moment to appreciate the views.

Heading north, the trail climbs gently before becoming steeper on the far side of the plateau. From here you’ll climb to the saddle 200 metres above, on a long straight trail that turns to switchbacks nearer the top. The saddle is marked by numerous cairns and the ground here is made up of large slabs of shale. It’s absolutely worth continuing the short distance up the trail to the southwest (left) viewpoint, marked by more flags, cairns, and complete with stunning 360° views. In clear weather you’ll see Lhotse, Nuptse, Island Peak, Ama Dablam, and numerous other majestic snowy peaks. It’s a wonderful spot to relax for an hour or so and soak it all up.

A view down the mountain valley towards Dingboche from the main Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m)

A trekker and guide stop to appreciate the views after the initial climb up from Chukhung on this Everest Three Passes acclimatisation hike

Looking up at the towering south face of Nuptse from the main Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m), one of the many impressive views on this Everest Three Passes acclimatisation hike

A trekker and guide stop to appreciate the views after the initial climb up from Chukhung on this Everest Three Passes acclimatisation hike

Stopping to appreciate the views after
the initial climb up from Chukhung


Looking up at the towering south face of Nuptse from the main Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m), one of the many impressive views on this Everest Three Passes acclimatisation hike

Looking up at the south face of Nuptse from
the main Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m)


A view down the mountain valley towards Dingboche from the main Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m)

Looking southwest down the valley towards
Dingboche and beyond, from the main
Chukhung Ri viewpoint (5380 m)



If you are confident on such terrain and have the energy, you can continue up to the higher viewpoint (5516 m). To get there, return to the saddle and follow the trail climbing northeast up the narrow rocky ridge (very steep towards the end).

When you’re done, descend to Chukhung the same way you came.

HOW ABOUT TACKLING THE MANASLU CIRCUIT?

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE

DAY 9: CHUKHUNG → KONGMA LA (5514 m) → LOBUCHE

EVEREST THREE PASSES TREKKING ROUTE DAY 9:

CHUKHUNG → KONGMA LA (5514 m) → LOBUCHE

9.8 km | + 973 m / – 792 m | 8 hours

9.8 km

+ 973 m / – 792 m

8 hours

Today you’ll cross Kongma La (5514 m), the first (and highest) of the three passes on the Everest Three Passes trek. The day involves a long but beautiful ascent, followed by a steep and tiring descent, with a moraine glacier crossing at the end. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks, and take a packed lunch with you. Leave early (around 6am) to have the best chance of clear views and less windy weather, and to ensure you arrive in Lobuche well before dark.

The trek elevation profile for the crossing of Kongma La (from Chukhung to Lobuche) on the Everest Three Passes trek, plus figures for ascent, descent and max/min elevation


Chukhung → Kongma La

5.8 km | + 870 m / – 90 m | 5 hours

Chukhung → Kongma La

5.8 km

+ 870 m / – 90 m

5 hours

From Chukhung, cross the bridge heading west and start climbing the scrubby hillside. It’s a fairly steep and steady climb, flattening out a bit at around 4750 m and then climbing again. The trail flattens out once more at around 5000 m, following the contour line of the hillside and curving into the next valley. From here, a gradual climb up the valley (with a few short steep sections) leads to an open expanse of grass where a big lake lies cradled by surrounding mountains.

Have a break and a snack here because the next section is the steepest climb of the day! The trail becomes narrow and climbs 150 metres on tight switchbacks over a distance of just 400 metres. From the top of the climb the trail heads north and becomes much more gradual until the final section immediately before the pass. There are a number of lakes up here, often frozen earlier in the year, and the views are wonderful. The final stretch up to the pass (marked by a cluster of prayer flags) is on a very narrow trail of loose dirt and shale, a fairly steep climb up the rocky slope.

A hiker and guide cross a flat, rocky section before Kongma La on the Everest Three Passes trek, with the snowy ridgeline to the east visible behind

The view of Kongma La as you approach from the east on the Everest Three Passes trek; the pass is located at the lowest point of this ridge, reached by a short but steep rocky climb

A hiker and guide cross a flat, rocky section before Kongma La on the Everest Three Passes trek, with the snowy ridgeline to the east visible behind

The section before the final climb to the pass is
fairly flat and offers the chance to catch your
breath and use a bit less energy


The view of Kongma La as you approach from the east on the Everest Three Passes trek; the pass is located at the lowest point of this ridge, reached by a short but steep rocky climb

The view of Kongma La as you approach from the
east; the pass is at the lowest point of this ridge,
reached by a short but steep rocky climb



The pass is fairly narrow but there’s still plenty of room, with lots of big rocks to sit on and soak up the incredible views. To the southeast, you can still see the distinctive form of Ama Dablam, to the north is the imposing Nuptse Lhotse massif, and to the northwest, you can see Lobuche far below on the western side of the Khumbu Glacier, a moraine glacier you’ll have to cross to reach your guesthouse for the night.

The eastern view from Kongma La, looking down over the route just trekked which bypasses the frozen lake and across to many high snowy peaks

A trekker and guide resting, having lunch, and enjoying the views at prayer flag-covered Kongma La, with the snowy Nuptse massif visible to the north

The western view from the Kongma La with the Everest Three Passes route visible; the way down begins steeply on jumbled rocks before a clearer path descends to the valley floor and leads up onto the Khumbu glacier, which you must then cross to reach Lobuche

The eastern view from Kongma La, looking down over the route just trekked which bypasses the frozen lake and across to many high snowy peaks

The eastern view from Kongma La,
looking down over the route just trekked


A trekker and guide resting, having lunch, and enjoying the views at prayer flag-covered Kongma La, with the snowy Nuptse massif visible to the north

Resting, having lunch, and enjoying views at
Kongma La, with Nuptse visible to the north


The western view from the Kongma La with the Everest Three Passes route visible; the way down begins steeply on jumbled rocks before a clearer path descends to the valley floor and leads up onto the Khumbu glacier, which you must then cross to reach Lobuche

The way down begins steeply on jumbled rocks
before a clearer path descends to the valley floor
and leads up onto the glacier, which you must
cross to reach Lobuche



Kongma La → Lobuche

4 km | + 103 m / – 702 m | 3 hours

Kongma La → Lobuche

4 km

+ 103 m / – 702 m

3 hours

The initial 200 metre descent from Kongma La is very steep. Care and concentration is required on the loose dirt, shale, and small rocks which can slide away underfoot. The next part of the descent (approx 400 metres) is still steep and slippery, but less challenging. It takes around 1.5 – 2 hours to reach the valley floor (4900 m). From here, there is a 50 metre climb up onto the rocky Khumbu Glacier. The route through this jumble of rocks and glacial lakes is marked by cairns and flags. It follows narrow dirt trails and crosses big boulders between two lakes, with a fair bit of up and down. When you reach the other side, it’s just a short descent down the grassy hillside to Lobuche.

A trekker follows the route (marked by flags and cairns) across the rocky Khumbu Glacier on the Everest Three Passes trek