Which Base Camp Trek is Best?

Updated on June 22, 2024

Nepal is a land of Mountains and hills. There are 8 out of 10 highest peaks in the world. Among them, Mount Everest is the tallest one. Nepal's mountain ranges also cover Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Lhotse, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga massifs. Nepal trekking trails are a blessing in themselves in the foothill of those mystical peaks. And trekking to their base camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Nepal is home to several classic trekking trails. Base camp trek routes are most popular in Nepal. Trekkers visit Nepalese mountain ranges to enjoy the snowy peaks and local lifestyles. Likewise, to explore the rich biodiversity of the Himalayas. There's no doubt that hiking in these diverse regions and the unique culture of the mountain region is a fun-filled activity. But, the fact is, trek to base camp offers you much more than just adventure. 

It is a journey of involvement in nature and feeling the beauty of nature in yourself. There are many base camp trekking destinations in Nepal that are worth visiting. And quite difficult to say which is the best base camp trek. It depends on individual preferences and experiences. 

We are sharing here the seven best base camp trekking in Nepal based on references extracted from some travel magazines. 

Our blog posts cover only those base camp treks that trekkers can access easily in a short time with a tight budget. It also depends on travelers' interests, physical fitness, and the time of year. 

Everest Base Camp Trek

Every travel enthusiast wants a glimpse of Everest, and that's why Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the best treks among travelers. Lonely Planet and National Geographic also mention Everest as one of the must-visit destinations in the world.

EBC trek takes you to the charter point of the world's top peak Mt. Everest (8848.86 meters). The Nepal Base Camp on Everest is at the highest altitude on the globe. You will travel to 5364 meters of the vantage point at Everest. 

Everest Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Trailhead: Lukla, Solukhumbu
  • Highest altitude: Kala Patthar (5545 meters)
  • Trek grade: moderate
  • Trek duration: 10–20 days
  • Best seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Attractions in spring: Rhododendrons and other flowers bloom
  • Primary activities in autumn: Explore the festival, culture, and lifestyles of Sherpa
  • Solo Trekking: Allowed
  • Average cost: $1290

Traveling in the Everest region is not only about seeing snow-capped mountains. But it is also an opportunity to explore the Sherpa culture and the diverse Himalayan biodiversity. The journey to Everest Base Camp starts from Lukla, Solukhumbu. Then, it passes through some of Sherpa villages and Sagarmatha National Park. The Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site, is home to Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and Himalayan serow. People love Everest because of its accessibility and clear trail. 

The rarest animals, like red pandas and Snow leopards, are also inhabitants of the national park. The Everest trip is also a spiritual tour. You will experience peace and tranquility at Tibetan-influenced monasteries and gompas.

After crossing lowland vegetation, you will hike uphill. Your journey will follow Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche, and finally, settle at Gorak Shep for an overnight stay at a tea house. From Gorak Shep, you have two options to see the closest view of Everest. One is from Base Camp, and the second is from Kala Patthar. From both viewpoints, you can see mystical Everest and its friends like Amadablam, Gokyo Ri, Lhotse, Nuptse, etc. You, however, can witness 360-degree mountain views from Kala Patthar. It is also one of the landing points for the Everest Helicopter Tour. 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the second most loved after Everest. The trek takes you to the base point of Mount Annapurna I (8091 meters)- the tenth-tallest peak in the world. This trip is a moderate-grade trek that starts at Pokhara, the gateway of the Annapurna region. 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Trailhead: Kande, Kaski
  • Highest altitude: Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m)
  • Trek grade: moderate
  • Trek duration: 10–15 days
  • Best seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Attractions in spring: Rhododendrons and other flowers bloom
  • Solo Trekking: Allowed
  • Average cost: $1140 per person

The ABC route covers diverse cultural villages and vegetation. You can view the scenic Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalaya on this trip. En route to ABC, trekkers can perceive the eternal Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna, Mardi Himal, and Tent peak.

Accessing the base point of Annapurna is easier than Everest. You can follow several routes to reach Annapurna Base Camp. The Ghandruk Ghorepani route is most popular among tourists because of its length and budget.

Besides this, trekkers can choose other packages to witness Annapurna as per their time frames- Annapurna Circuit Trek, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, and Ghorepani Poonhill Trek. Annapurna region is a bridge between Manaslu and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. You will travel in a clear path of remote villages. These villages have cozy tea houses that provide basic food and accommodation options. Annapurna trails also get colorful with flowers during spring. 

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek  Key Facts

  • Trailhead: Kande, Kaski
  • Highest altitude: Mardi Himal Base Camp (4500 m)
  • Trek grade: moderate
  • Trek duration: 10 days
  • Peak seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Independent trekking: Allowed
  • Average cost: $650 per person

Mardi Himal Base Camp is a short yet rewarding base camp trek in Annapurna. A newly opened route to the Mardi Himal Base camp for foreigners became a favorite within a few years of its operation. Nowadays, people take it as an alternative trip to ABC due to its accessibility. This trip is appropriate for those who have a short time in Nepal yet eager to see the Himalayas. 

From the base point of Mardi Himal, we see the closest view of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Similarly, the panoramic scenery of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks. Mardi Himal Trek trailhead Kande is only 30 minutes away from Lake City Pokhara. Pokhara is a tourism hub of Nepal and gateway to several treks like Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, and Ghorepani Poonhill Trek. 

During this trip, you hike uphill via forest trails and ethnic villages. 

Mardi Himal terrain is in between some Gurung villages. And you can expect local food and snacks on its route. En route to Mardi, you may encounter the Nepalese national bird (Lophophorus) and other species of birds and animals. If you afford to travel in the off-season, you get a heavy discount on food and accommodation at these homestays. 

Nepal Trekking Routes has a standard Mardi Himal Trek package of ten days costs $650 per person. Its accessibility, cost, and open trail make this trip established as one of the best base camp treks in Nepal. 

This trek destination of Nepal Trekking Routes welcomes thousands of travelers during spring and fall. In these peak times, the weather also supports travelers to see clear views of mountain vistas. 

Manaslu Base Camp Trek Key Facts

  • Trailhead: Soti Khola, Dhading
  • Highest altitude:  Manaslu Base Camp (4800 m)
  • Trek grade: moderate
  • Trek duration: 12 days
  • Peak seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Independent trekking: restricted
  • Extra Permit: RAP
  • Average cost: $1290 per person

Manaslu Base Camp Trek is one of the off-beaten-path treks in Nepal. It takes to the base point of Killer Mountain, Mount Manaslu (8,163 m). Mt. Manalsu is famous as the Killer Mountain due to its high fatality rate. In 1991 AD, the Nepal government opened its trail for foreigners with a special trekking permit. Need a restricted area permit (RAP) for those who want to travel in the Manaslu area. The Government strictly prohibited solo trekking in Manaslu. Thus, require a licensed guide and at least two people in your team to commence the Manaslu journey. Travelers need not worry about a permit because your travel operator will manage everything about logistics. Manaslu trip is an exotic journey to hidden and unspoiled terrains in Nepal, where you can find only a limited group of trekkers. Thus, you can consider the Manaslu Base Camp trek if you want excitement and thrill in the mountain. 

Manaslu region lies in the Gorkha district nearing the border with Tibet. Thus, you can also experience the Tibetan culture and lifestyles of inhabitants of the highland of Manaslu region. These days it has flourished as a peaceful and calm trip among trekkers who prefer wilderness terrain. 

On the Manaslu trip, tea houses will facilitate you with decent food and accommodation services. 

During the Manaslu visit, you will see several centuries-old monasteries and Gompas. Most travelers combine Manaslu Base Camp Trek with Manaslu Circuit Trek as it gives them more exotic scenery than MBC. In the Manaslu round trip, travelers have to experience a strenuous yet beautiful Larkya La Pass- the highest point of the Manaslu trip. 

Also, if you allocate a few additional days, you can visit the Tsum Valley of Manaslu. Tsum Valley looks like a paradise of heaven on Earth. Nepal Trekking Routes Manaslu Base Camp Trek is suitable for all medium-grade trekkers. 

Trek to Dhaulagiri is a fully remote trek that features a traditional touch for centuries. Dhaulagiri trek starts at Beni, Myagdi. This trek is for serious adventure lovers who can commit to at least 20 days. 

Dhaulagiri Base Camp Trek

The trek to Dhaulagiri Mountain (8167 m) is strenuous. This trek is also known as the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek among travelers. It is for those people who possess high stamina and endurance. If you are desperate to climb the Dhaulagiri base camp, you need good preparation and a well-acclimatized plan. This trek takes you through a hidden valley set among stunning snowy mountains. Trekkers need to walk in a fully off-beat and rugged terrain. 

Baudha Himal and Himal Chuli cover the valley from the west side and Ganesh Himal from the south side. Similarly, Shringi Himal covers the north side of Dhaulagiri Valley.

In 1950, its trail opened for trekking and climbing. Maurice Herzog and team attempted Dhaulagiri that time but ended up climbing Mt. Annapurna I. After a decade, the Austrian-Swiss expedition team led by Max Eiselin reached the summit of Dhaulagiri on 13 May 1960. 

The famous Kali Gandaki River flows from the middle of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna massif. During this trip, trekkers will cross the French Pass (5360 m) and Dhampus Pass (5244 m) while descending to the Annapurna region. 

On the Dhaulagiri hiking routes, you find several ethnic villages dominated by Magar inhabitants. Nepal Trekking Routes Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek costs $2500 per person for 18 days. From the base point of Dhaulagiri Massif, we can see towering Dhaulagiri massif, Nilgiri Peak, Annapurna, and Tent Peak. 

Facts

  • Trailhead: Beni, Myagdi
  • Highest altitude:  French Pass (5360 m)
  • Trek grade: Challenging
  • Trek duration: 18 days
  • Peak seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Independent trekking allow: Yes
  • Average cost: $2500 per person

Makalu Base Camp Trek Facts

  • Trailhead: Tumlingtar, Sankhuwasabha
  • Highest altitude:  Makalu Base Camp (4870 m)
  • Trek grade: Challenging
  • Trek duration: 23 days
  • Peak seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Restricted Area: Yes
  • Restricted Permit requires: Yes
  • Average cost: $2095 per person

The Makalu Base Camp trek is off the beaten trip to the world's fifth-highest mountain Mt. Makalu (8463 m). Makalu lies between the Everest range in the west and the Kanchenjunga range in the east. The journey to the base camp of Makalu offers you a once-in-a-lifetime memory. It is a challenging trek that is suitable for only avid trekkers. Travelers see close glimpses of Mt. Everest and other surrounding peaks on its tranquil terrain. On this trip, you will see the wildlife sanctuary and dense forests of Makalu Barun National park. You require an additional permit (RAP) to visit Makalu since it is a restricted zone. 

The park features over 300 species of butterflies and birds. Furthermore, several rare mammals and reptiles also live there. Like other Nepal Trekking Routes, you can see colorful rhododendron flowers during spring. The Kirant ethnic groups (Rai and Limbu) are the dominant residents of the Makalu Barun area. Their culture and tradition are so unique to other ethnic groups. Because of that reason, people travel to the Makalu region. You can also find remote and challenging geographical conditions on its trail.

There are two ways to start a hike to the Makalu area. You can take a direct flight to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu and begin walking. Or, you can take a 15-hour drive to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu and start walking. 

Nepal Trekking Routes’ standard trek package follows the flight to Tumlingtar, the trailhead of Makalu Base Camp. Makalu Base Camp is the highest point of this trek. You will also see Arun Third Hydropower en route to the base camp. The Makalu trip is not for an amateur. Attempt this trip only if you are physically and mentally fit. Walk slowly and steadily to enjoy the journey of the Makalu trip. 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Major Highlights

  • Trailhead: Suketar, Taplejung
  • Highest altitude:  Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5160 m)
  • Trek grade: Challenging
  • Trek duration: 30 days
  • Peak seasons: Fall and autumn
  • Restricted Area: Yes
  • Restricted Permit requires: Yes
  • Average cost: $1795 per person

The trek to the Kanchenjunga base camp takes you around the world's third-highest mountain Kanchenjunga (8586 m). The meaning of Kanchenjunga is crystal clear. Some also say the five treasures of snow. It lies in the northeastern corner of Nepal. Kanchenjunga also lies between the border of Nepal and India. 

The base camp provides scenery of seven peaks of massif Kanchenjunga. As of now, only serial and avid trekkers have visited this area. Because of the need for more promotion and the farthest distance from Kathmandu. Furthermore, it is a closed area that requires a special permit (RAP) to travel. The challenging geography is also another reason for not being as popular as Everest. But, it offers you a delightful experience like Everest. This trip is perfect for those who prefer a raw and adventurous journey. Its trail is off-beat that passes through dense forests and remote settlements. Nature will reward you with beautiful scenery of crystal clear rivers and glaciers on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

This strenuous terrain is the home of Rai and Limbu. They serve your local dishes with warm hospitality. The Government opened its routes only in 1998 for trekking and expedition. 

Kanchenjunga is the starting point of the Great Himalayan Trail- the longest trek in Nepal. It covers the east to the west side of the Himalayas. Travelers need at least one month to complete this trek. Nepal Trekking Routes standard Kanchenjunga trek costs $1795 per person. You need a guide and porter to climb the base camp of Kanchenjunga. You can also visit the holy Pathivara temple on this trip. 

Why should you do a base camp trek in Nepal?

We as individuals need to learn many things from Mother Nature. You can experience the unspoiled beauty of nature in the majestic Mountain ranges of Nepal. The towering peaks are not only for looking and taking photographs. They also realize how tiny we are. More importantly, they melt our egos. When traveling across an isolated path, we eventually feel connected to nature and ourselves. The base camp trek is best to experience such surreal things. And simultaneously know the life of people at such altitude. It's about a journey to explore their culture and traditions.

Furthermore, the base camp treks also offer the opportunity to see varieties of flora and fauna. To gain such wholesome experiences! The best camp treks are the best. These walks take you closer to a diverse aspect of human life and nature. 

Conclusion: which is the best base camp trek in Nepal?

We cannot claim which is the best base camp trek in Nepal because each one has its own pros and cons. However, Everest Base Camp Trek is well-known in terms of number and accessibility. According to the tourism department, roughly 70 thousand people visit the Everest region each year. At the same time, Annapurna's several trekking trails welcome over 150 thousand tourists annually.

Nepal also has less-traveled remote base camp hikes like Manaslu, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga. They offer more fantastic scenery and raw adventure. But, they are in the shadows due to a lack of enough promotion and accessibility. It is a personal choice of travelers to proclaim which is the best base camp trek in Nepal. We shared the top seven best base camp treks based on references taken from various sources.  If you need guidance or help while selecting and booking any tour and travel packages in Nepal, feel free to contact us.

Shailesh

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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