Everest Base Camp Trekking Routes: A Breakdown

Mar 29, 2023

It’s just a fact; no mountain in the world stands above the juggernaut that is Mount Everest. Despite the rich culture of Annapurna and the rare vegetation of Kilimanjaro, no trek will ever bring as many people to Everest, standing tall with an intimidating summit of 8,848m.

Mount Everest offers the perfect backdrop for this trek of a lifetime. Starting in Lukla, your route will take you through Sherpa villages, past beautiful monasteries and over jaw-dropping suspension bridges, until you reach the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. 

Physically punishing, breathtakingly stunning and inexplicably rewarding, this is a journey of a lifetime. See full trip details here.

However, if climbing all the way to base camp is not your thing and you would rather soak up the culture that Everest has to offer, then you are also in luck. The Khumbu Valley offers the stunning Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar, the “Monkey temple”, the Tengboche Monastery, and spectacular views of Mount Everest peak. All of this can be seen before you even reach halfway, so the reluctant climbers amongst you can rest easy.

The main hiking seasons are in the spring and fall, from March to May and September to December, though February is equally beautiful.

The Routes

There are a good few options to choose from when it comes to the great trek to Everest Base Camp. Although we haven’t covered them all, we have highlighted the most popular routes that offer an intensive trek through magnificent countryside, Sherpa villages, farmlands and awe-inspiring views.

There are several routes to Everest Base Camp, as such, we are only going to highlight the ones we think you will love as much as we do:


The Classic Base Camp Route (13-14 days trekking): The traditional route is the most popular as it is the most direct and fastest route to take. 

The Route From Jiri (19-21 days trekking): Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Starting from Jiri, you will hike for 5 days before joining the traditional base camp route. 

The Route from Tumlingtar(21-23 days trekking): Tumlingtar is a quaint village that is about nine days away from Lukla. Like Jiri, this is another slower route that provides trekkers with a different view of Nepal and a quieter, more personal journey with less interference from crowds of hikers.

Full Route Breakdown:

The traditional route is the most popular as it is the most direct and fastest route to take. Starting in Lukla, your route will take you through Sherpa villages, past beautiful monasteries and over jaw-dropping suspension bridges, until you reach the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. 

On the well-worn path, you’ll climb the Namche wall to the town of Namche Bazar, where you’ll have another day or two to acclimatize, rest, and enjoy the views and museums. Then it’s onwards and upwards as you traverse gorges and past communities until you reach the largest Buddist monastery in the Khumbu region and the Everest Memorial Ground.

A few more days of trekking will lead you to the Kala Pathar mountain which looks down over Everest Base Camp; trust us, you will never forget that view!

Learn More About This Trip

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The Route From Jiri (19-21 days trekking):
Everest Base Camp Trek

Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Starting from Jiri, you will hike for 5 days before joining the traditional base camp route. 

This trail is beautifully quiet as you walk through stunning villages and valleys. The perfect warm-up hike before you tackle Everest and will help you with the acclimatization.

The Route from Tumlingtar(21-23 days trekking):

After touching down in Eastern Nepal from Kathmandu, you will visit the quaint village of Tumlingtar, to start your nine-day trek to Lukla. It is a slower and more peaceful journey, where you can take some time for reflection away from the crowds. You will weave through the villages of Brahman and Chetri and visit some teahouses and traditional Nepalese mountain lodges; getting a true sense of the surrounding area and the people who live there.

This is a trek for travellers who are going to appreciate the culture and traditions of the local Himalayan people. This is as much of a cultural trail, as it is an adventure hike – as you will be encouraged you to spend time conversing with the small families that live and own the teahouses, along with getting the chance to visit the local gompas and temples dotted throughout the trail. Opening your eyes to the cultures, religions and heritages it what travel is really about, and this trip will no doubt provide you with the best of both worlds.

Everest FAQ's Debunked...

Now we have giving you a breakdown of some the more popular trekking routes within Annapurna, we are going to quickly answer some frequently asked questions with as much honesty and transparency as possible:

1. Which route is best for me and why? –  All trekking routes within the Everest region are magnificent in their own right – all offering an abundance of climates, landscapes and wildlife – including yaks, horses, donkeys, cattle, mountain goats, monkeys and more. 

As such, the “best” route normally boils down to personal preference, especially considering each route offers a difference in scenery, difficulty, acclimatisation ease, popularity and time.

It is important that you are concious of your priorities and what you intend to get out of your trip from the start. For some, they have a great interest in photography, prefer a specific terrain and climatic zone, or simply have the sole aim of getting to the summit quickly and successfully.


2. How fit do I need to be and do I need to train? – A basic level of fitness and good health is needed and training is highly recommended.

However, you do not need to be a professional athlete or a marathon runner. What is going to get you to the end of your challenge is a mental and emotional commitment to the cause. As long as you set time aside to prepare for the challenge ahead, success will be on your side! 

Simply reach out and ask, and GoKo will provide you with full fitness training notes and recommendations on how you can best build up your stamina in the last few months before the trek.


3. What are the accommodation options? – While on any trek within the Everest region with GoKo Travels, you will spend your evenings in a cosy teahouse run by local village people. These traditional teahouses en route are ideal for meeting others hikers from around the world to discuss your incredible adventures with.


4. What time of year is best to climb? – Despite being able to climb Everest all year round, it is clear that some months are MUCH better (and more advisable) than others. 

When deciding when is best to hike in Everest, there are several things you much take into consideration – such as temperatures, rainfall, visibility and crowds.

Most people choose to trek the Everest in spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November), as these seasons offer more moderate weather and better hiking conditions. However, due to its popularity, trails can come very busy and you can expect to see a donkey traffic jam or two.

Other recommended months include: December through to February. These months are much quieter and the weather conditions are generally good. However, during these months, you can sometimes experience very harsh weather conditions; so watch out for snowstorms. 

We do not recommend trekking during the summer and monsoon season (June to August), as there is high risk of landslides, falls, and unfavourable weather encounters. 


 5. What is altitude sickness? – Altitude sickness is an illness that can affect anyone at any time, despite their level of fitness or how many times they have trekked in a specific region. Altitude sickness can range from a mild headache and weariness to a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs or brain at high altitudes. 

Symptoms occur when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatise. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) above sea level and when the rate of ascent exceeds 1,000 feet (300 meters) per day.

The following actions can trigger altitude sickness:

  • Ascending too quickly (rapidly)
  • Overexertion within 24 hours of ascent
  • Inadequate fluid intake
  • Hypothermia
  • Consumption of alcohol or other sedatives

One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatisation). Acclimatisation is the process by which the body adjusts to high altitudes. The goal of acclimatisation is to increase ventilation (breathing) to compensate for lower oxygen content in the air. To compensate for this extra ventilation, blood needs to have a lower pH. In response, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate into the urine, which in turn lowers the body’s pH to accommodate for this extra respiratory effort.

During a GoKo trek, we take all the necessarily persuasions to ensure your safety and go out of our way to check in on how you are feeling to avoid altitude sickness affecting you in a severe way. The rule here is to be completely honest with your guides and group, and if you feel any of the below symptoms – speak up:

  • headache.
  • feeling and being sick.
  • dizziness.
  • serious tiredness.
  • loss of appetite (you will be walking for 5-8 hours per day – it is so important to eat enough food to maintain your energy – if you feel like not eating at any point during your trip, speak to your guides immediately).
  • shortness of breath.

TOP TIPS: Although Trekking has been long established in Nepal, trekking can be difficult in parts, with a lot of uphill and downhill climbing. Regardless, any healthy person with an established level of walking fitness can complete these climbs. However, stubbornness NEVER helps.

WALK AR YOUR OWN PACE & DO NOT RUSH: Slow and steady is the way to go – being fit or unfit is not the primary control here, it is how you deal with altitude and it can strike anyone at any time. So… look-up a smell the roses! The only reward for trying to prove something by being first is nausea, vomiting and a splitting headache!

GO SLOWLY: Plod on at a steady pace, pause, standing to rest – and you should be fine. Don’t care about whether others are ahead! There is plenty of time, so walk at YOUR pace regardless of how far behind you may think you are.

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