Trek to Everest Base Camp

Lonely Planet Travel Editor Tom Hall is on a mission to discover 52 of the most awe-inspiring places to visit across the world. This week he delights in Everest Base Camp and the spectacular surrounding scenery of Nepal.

Mount Everest

The Himalayas may have dozens of wonderful trekking routes through incredible mountain scenery, but the big walk to Everest Base Camp remains arguably the most popular and certainly the most famous. October brings near-perfect post-monsoon weather for walking.

How long is the trek to Everest Base Camp?

The trek traditionally involved a 21-day return trip from Jiri, around 50 miles north of Kathmandu. Due to Maoist rebel activity in this area and the fact that flying knocks six days off the trek, many hikers now hop on a plane to Lukla and start the two-week hike from there.

The trek crosses several valleys on its way to the sherpa-village-cum-mountain-resort of Namche Bazaar. The route is quite suitable for independent trekking although based on your experience a good guide and porter may be useful.

Alternative treks in Nepal

Everest Base Camp is just one of dozens of great treks in Nepal. You’ll find fewer hikers and arguably more spectacular scenery on the Helambu, Jomson and Annapurna Sanctuary long-distance treks.

Perhaps, like many visitors, you’ll be hooked after one trekking trip to Nepal and come back for more year after year. Whether Everest is your first and last Himalayan adventure or the start of a serious mountain addiction it is certainly much more than just a walk in the hills.

Further information

Welcome Nepal will start you off on your Nepal adventure. If you do hire a porter, International Mountain Explorers Connection is an excellent place to start research.

© 2009 Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd