High Passes Treks in Everest Region

Updated on June 20, 2024

High Passes Treks in Everest Region is the most adventurous trekking in Nepal. This trek lets you have the experience crossing the three high passes of Everest region. Moreover, it is an opportunity to do Everest Base Camp trek.

Truly speaking, it is Everest Base Camp Trek but by adding more challenges. And the challenges are the three high passes are Renjola Pass trek, Chola Pass trek  and Kongmala Pass trek. All of the passes are above 5,000 meters in elevation.

Even while doing High Passes Treks in Everest Region, you follow the traditional route to the base camp of Mt. Everest (8,848m). But, you have to divert this trial at some points to get this lifelong experience of high passes crossing.

This trek is more than doing the trekking to other popular trekking in Nepal. The beauty of the natural and cultural varieties are more or less similar. But, you have to climb Renjo La (5,370m), Cho La (5,420m) and Kongma La (5,545m) respectively.

Apart from challenging, these high Himalayan passes are the vantage points of Everest region as well. One can have the breathtaking vistas of the snowcapped peaks and lush valleys from the top. Imagine the mesmerizing view of the Great Mountains unleashed at the fullest!

During the Everest High Passes Trek, you travel through the three important valleys. Specifically, you get to visit the Dudh Koshi Valley, Chhukung Valley and Gokyo Lakes Valley. The Sherpa lifestyle, culture and tradition are the inseparable prizes of this challenging trek in Everest region.

Although it may be difficult for the beginners, it is a must-do trek in Nepal for the adventure lovers. Sometimes, especially in winter, you may have to use the climbing gears to win over these heights. However, the rewards you get cannot be described in any words.

High Passes Trek in Everest Region Itinerary

High Passes Treks in Everest Region itinerary ranges from 16 days to 22 days. If you have enough time, you can book 22 days itinerary for leisurely trip. But, you have to book 16 days package in case you have limited time.

Nepal Trekking Adventure has designed 19 days itinerary. This duration fulfills your desire to do the epic Everest Base Camp trek by adding a more challenge. Within 19 days, you can witness the snowy peaks, green forests, Sherpa villages and wonderful landscapes of this region.

The brief Itinerary for Everest Three High Passes Treks in Everest Region goes like this

  1. Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m/4,429ft)
  2. Fly to Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft) and Trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft) -4 Hours
  3. Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/10,958ft) -6 Hours
  4. Acclimatization Day
  5. Trek to Tengboche (3,860m/12,664ft) -5 Hours
  6. Trek to Dingboche (4,410m/14,469ft) – 5 Hours
  7. Acclimatization Day
  8. Trek to Chhukkung (4,750m/15,580ft) -3 Hours
  9. Trek down to Lobuche (4,940m/16,210ft) via Kongma La Pass (5,535m/18,159ft) -7 Hours
  10. Trek to Gorak Shep (5,140m/16,864ft) and Hike to Everest Base Camp (5,364m/17,598ft) – 8 Hours
  11. Hike to Kala Patthar (5,550m/18,209ft) and Trek to Dzongla (4,830m/15,850ft) – 7 Hours
  12. Trek to Thangna (4,358m/14,298ft) via Cho La Pass (5,420m/17,782ft) -8 Hours
  13. Trek to Gokyo Lakes (4,800m/15,580ft) – 8 Hours
  14. Acclimatization Day
  15. Trek to Marlung (4,210m/ 13,812ft) via Renjo La Pass (5,360m/ 17,585ft) – 8 Hours
  16. Trek down to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft) – 6 Hours
  17. Trek down to Lukla – 7 Hours
  18. Return Flight to Kathmandu from Lukla -35 Minutes
  19. Final Departure

High Passes Treks in Everest Region 

Actually, Everest High Passes Trek Route is a little deviation of traditional Everest Base Camp trekking trail. It begins right from Lukla, the gateway to Everest Base Camp trek. It has take a flight to reach this small Sherpa town by flying from the Kathmandu Airport.

There are more than a couple of other routes to reach Lukla to begin this challenging trek. Fly to Phaplu Airport (2,413m) or Salleri Airport (2,309m) in domestic flights then start this trek from either of the points.

You get a little different experience of natural and cultural characteristics provided you start from these points. Finally, you can also do this trek from Jiri, also called the Switzerland of Nepal of Dolakha district.

Jiri Everest Base Camp trek can be started by driving along the Kathmandu Jiri Road. If you want to take a domestic flight, you fly to Manthali, Ramechhap and drive to Jiri as well. This trip lets you follow the footprints of the pioneers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay during the 1953 Everest Expedition.

Whichever option you use, Everest High Passes Trek formally begins from Lukla. From Lukla, you travel along the Dudh Koshi Valley until you reach Dingboche. Then, the trail diverts towards Chhukung Valley.

By crossing Kongma La (5,545m), you trek towards Lobuche. From Lobuche, you trek to Gorakshep and then to the base camp of Mount Everest. After spending a night at Gorakshep, you hike up to Kalapatthar.

Then, you trek to Dzongla from Gorakshep for the night stay. Afterwards, you trek to Thangna via Cho La (5,420m) to enter into Gokyo Lakes Valley. From here, you move towards Marlung via Renjo La (5,370m) to reach Namche Bazaar. Finally, by trekking down to Lukla, you fly back to Kathmandu.

The Major Sites and their Rewards

You have a day’s acclimatization at Namche Bazaar. Here, you will visit Everest View Hotel (3,880m) and the Sherpa Museum. Everest View Hotel is one of  highest altitude hotels in the world.

You can have picturesque view of Mt. Everest and other peaks while having breakfast and lunch. The Sherpa Museum gives you all information about Sherpa lifestyle, culture and tradition. The Hall of  Fame is gallery of the photos of  Tenzing and Hillary from 1953 Everest Expedition.

By observing Tengboche Monastery, largest Tibetan Buddhist Cultural  site of Khumbu region, you move further. When you stay at Dingboche a day for acclimatization, you move towards Chhukung Valley. From Chhukung, you trek to Lobuche via Kongma La (5,545m),  highest  pass of Everest three passes.

From Lobuche, you hike up to base camp of Mt. Everest (8,848m). Next morning, you hike up to Kalapatthar (5,550m). This is the best vantage point of entire Everest region. From here, you can see the Mt. Everest Summit and other peaks looming far and wide.

You High Passes Treks in Everest region continue towards Gokyo Lakes Valley. For this, you should go across Cho La (5,420m) from  Dzongla to Thangna and Gokyo Valley. Here, you spend a day to explore the channel of 5 glacial lakes with turquoise water.

Next morning, you hike up to Gokyo Ri (5,357m) to have the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding, from the top, you see the mesmerizing view of Mt. Everest (8,848m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Mt. Makalu (8,463m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,188m) and many  more.

Gokyo Ri is one of the most significant vantage point of the entire Everest region. The view of the Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Valley itself is not less enchanting from here. It is also a lifelong memory of peak climbing in Nepal.

How Difficult is Everest High Passes Trek?

Difficulty of any trek is determined by a few factors like high passes, trekking duration, condition of the trail and availability of teahouses. It is obviously challenging to cross the high passes. Sometimes, you should also use the climbing gears to scale such difficult sections.

As the most famous region of trekking in Nepal, there are many teahouses and lodges in Everest region. You can find food and accommodation facilities in all the stops during the journey. Nevertheless, “higher you trek, more basic facilities of food and accommodation you find.”

Talking about the trails to Everest region trekking, they are well defined and maintained. Except in winter, they are not disturbed by the heavy snowfalls. Even in winter, you can do High Passes Treks in Everest region except in heavy snowfalls.

Everest High Passes Trek difficulty is measured on the bases of trekking duration and high passes. Especially, while crossing the high passes, you have to walk for 7/8 hours per day. It is in fact difficult to walk along the steep uphill and downhill trail for such a long time.

Another factor to add to the difficulty of Everest High Passes Trek is high passes. You have to cross these passes, which are above 5,00m. In some circumstances, you have to use the climbing gears to defeat the passes.

Primarily, altitude is the other difficulty to consider during this trek. As you have to spend most of the nights above 3,000m, there is possibility of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If you don’t follow the instructions of the trekking guide and take the required precautions, AMS may also result in death.

Three Passes Trek Distance in Kilometers

Everest High Passes Trek is the best trekking package in the Himalayas for the ones seeking something adventurous in life. It not only gives you the astounding view of the Himalayas but also the firsthand experience of the Sherpa culture of this region.

You have to cover quite a longer distance during High Passes Treks in Everest region. The total length you have to cover throughout the whole trek is 166 kilometers (103 miles). To cover the given distance, you need to walk between 6 days to 12 days.

As you have to walk above 3,000m, you may not be able to cover long distance in a day. The longest distance to walk is 15 km while the shortest is 4 km. The average duration you have to walk during this trip is 6/7 hours.

AMS is the main difficulty in doing this trek to Everest region. You have to walk slowly by taking enough rest to avoid this problem. Likewise, drinking enough water, having hygienic food and sound sleep can be helpful as well.

In fact, you should be quite careful in the day when you are going across the high passes. The path may be snow-covered, so, slippery. If you don’t keep patient and be careful, you may get some accidents. Sometimes, you should also use the climbing gears like rope, ice axes, crampons and hand lines.

Everest High Passes Trek Cost

It is true that the cost of any trekking package is determined by various factors associated with this. Some of the responsible factors are duration, acclimatization day, type of food and accommodation facilities you want and the mode of transportation you want to use.

The short duration of trekking hours per day and acclimatization day make the Nepal trekking itinerary longer. On the other hand, if you increase the trekking hours and decrease the rest day, the same itinerary becomes short.

It is obvious that the cost of longer itinerary is higher than that of the short itinerary. Everest High Passes Trek cost cannot be an exception to this rule. If you think you can walk longer and don’t need rest day, you can cut the given itinerary short.

Besides this, you can break down the trekking package into smaller ones as well. It means you can do one pass at a time or two passes at the same time. If you do this, the cost of Everest High Passes Trek becomes quite low.

To decide about doing all three passes or only one or even two passes, Nepal Trekking Routes helps you further. You have to consult with us via phone call, email, WhatsApp or web booking tool. Visit Our website of Nepal Trekking Routes for the detailed info about the itinerary and price.

Highlights of Everest High Passes Trek

  • Scenic flight back and from Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Crossing Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La, the three passes above 5,000m
  • Exploration of five glacial lakes of the Gokyo Lakes Valley
  • Gokyo Ri (5,357m) for the astounding view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu and other snowcapped peaks
  • Sherpa lifestyle, culture and tradition of Sherpa people
  • Ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries including Tengboche Monastery, the largest shrine of Solukhumbu region
  • Everest View Hotel and Kalapatthar viewpoint for 360-degree panoramic view of Mt. Everest and other peaks
  • Flora and fauna of Sagarmatha National Park
  • Travelling through the Dudh Koshi River Valley and the Chhukung Valley

Best Season for High Passes Trek in Everest Region

Except in heavy snowfalls, one can do High Passes Treks in Everest region all times of the year. The heavy snowfalls cover the tracks that you may not find them easily. Depending upon the most unfavorable condition, you can plan some extra days in case you want to this trek.

The best season for High Passes Treks in Everest Region is spring and autumn. Spring in Nepal falls in the months of March, April and May. And Autumn season runs in September, October and November.

In spring and autumn, the climate is fine with stable weather. The days are warm while mornings and nights are cool. The skies are clear that you can have the eye-catching views of the snow-clad mountains and diverse landscapes.

The weather in Monsoon season is unpredictable as heavy rainfall may occur any time. However, many trekkers plan their Everest region visit in this season as they have long vacation then. The visibility is fine except at the time of heavy showers.

Notwithstanding you can do Everest High Passes Trek in winter, you must be more cautious. You know, most of the nights should be spent over 3,000m during the trek. Additionally, you have to cross the passes all above 5,000m.

It is almost sure that the places above the given altitude are snow-covered 24/7. The frozen  snow layers up to 8/10 meters that you can’t remove it. If you don’t find the right track, you may meet with some accidents. So, we highly recommend you to abort the idea of organizing High Passes Treks in Everest region in winter season.

High Passes Trek in Everest Region Seasonal Beauties

Moreover, you can see the colorful rhododendron flowers covering the entire Sagarmatha National Park in spring. In autumn, you can taste the juicy fruits and participate in the major festivals of this region.

Mani Rimdu Festival that falls between October and November is the most colorful festival of this region. It is celebrated in Tengboche Monastery for 19 days according to the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.

The monks of the monastery perform circle dances in traditional music at the premises of the largest monastery of the Khumbu region. The Sherpa people of the entire Everest region gather into the venue to exchange their happiness and well wishes.

Permits for High Passes Trek in Everest Region

The Government of Nepal has provisioned a rule that the foreign tourists need some legal documents during Nepal visit. This provision has some specific objectives of the government. Firstly, it is for tracking the information about the tourists and next is for income generation.

The entire tourist destinations of the country is broadly divided into two groups. The restricted trekking area and free individual trekking area. If you want to do the restricted area trekking, you need to purchase a special permit by paying the certain amount.

For the free individual trekking (FIT) area, you need just TIMS card, conservation area entry permit and any other permit imposed by the local government. TIMS Card cost USD 10 if you book a trekking package via a local tour and trekking operator.

The tour operator manages the required permit by including the fee at the overall cost of the package. If you want to buy the TIMS for FIT, you have to pay USD 20. You get this permit from Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap and Trekking Agencies’ Association Nepal (TAAN), Maligaun, Kathmandu.

However, for Everest High Passes Trek, you need TIMS Card, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit. You get Sagarmatha NP Entry Permit by paying USD 30 from Monjo nearby Phakding. For Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit, you have to pay USD 20 and it is issued by the local body.

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Shailesh Pokharel is young tourism entrepreneur as well as passionate traveler writer, who thrives on meeting new people and exploring the world. I love to share Captivating stories and insights from my global adventure inspiring other to embark on their own journey. Through my blog and travel service I will brings to life the diverse cultures, landscapes and experience I encounters making accessible and exiting for my reader and clients.

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