Short Treks in the Everest Region - 5, 7 and 10 day itineraries

With snow-capped peaks and fabled Sherpa culture, the Everest region is famous for some of the best trekking in Nepal. If you don’t have the minimum 12 days it takes to do the Everest Base Camp trek, however, here are a few great shorter treks to choose from.

Highlights

  • Follow the stone steps leading up through beautiful Sherpa villages
  • Catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest, and the picturesque peak of Ama Dablam
  • Explore great day hikes from Namche, a village perched high in the Himalaya
  • Visit Tengboche, home to one of the regions most famous monasteries
  • Want to splurge? Tour the Everest region by helicopter, an unforgettable experience

Overview

Fast facts
Duration 5-10 days
Max. elevation 3800m / 4250m
Start/finish Lukla
Difficulty Moderate
Trek style Teahouse
Best season Mar-May, Sep-Nov

For all the routes listed below, your trek will start with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the gateway village of the Everest region. Most treks in the Everest region start with a flight, and this will help maximize your time higher up in the valley.

From Lukla, the five-day trek takes you to Namche Bazaar, the bustling heartland of Sherpa culture. With Namche as your base, you can take a day hike to the beautiful village of Thame, with a picturesque monastery perched high up on the cliffs. Thame is off the main Everest Base Camp route and therefore receives few visitors. The house of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (the legendary Sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953) is located in Thame.

If you add on two more days (for a total of seven days), you can continue on as far as Tengboche. Here, you can visit the famous monastery where climbers and trekkers traditionally visit the Head Lama to receive his blessings for a successful trip. Tengboche also offers extraordinary close-up views of Ama Dablam, a deserving candidate for the world’s most beautiful mountain.

If you have ten days, consider completing the Kongde Loop. This includes a stop in Namche Bazaar, Thame and Kongde, at the foot of Kongde Ri (peak). Getting up early to watch the sun rise over Kongde Ri is one of the many highlights of this route.

If you’re in a situation where time is limited and money isn’t an issue, consider adding a helicopter ride into one of these itineraries. Not only will this shorten the trip significantly, but you’ll have unforgettable views that can’t be had any other way.

Tengboche chorten
Everest & Ama Dablam from Tengboche
Tengboche monastery
Tengboche monastery
Thamo monastery
Thamo monastery, en route to Thame
Buddhist stupas
Buddhist stupas along the trail

Getting there & away

All treks in the Khumbu region require a flight from Kathmandu to the small airport at Lukla (unless you are taking the longer, overland route via Jiri). The flight is a stunning experience in itself. Numerous flights are made daily from Kathmandu in small fixed-wing aeroplanes, taking around 30 minutes. However, bad weather frequently closes the airport, so it’s wise to prepare for delays if flying to Lukla and to keep a day or two as buffer days.

Permits & regulations

The Sagarmatha National Park (through which you'll be trekking) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. As with all treks in this park, you’ll needs a TIMS card (US$10) and a Sagarmatha National Park permit (US$30).

If you’re trekking with an agency, they will arrange these for you. If you’re arranging the trek yourself, you’ll need to pick up your TIMS permit in Kathmandu and your Sagarmatha National Park permit in Monjo.

Detailed itineraries

Namche Bazaar & Thame (5 days)

Day Destination Altitude Duration
Day 1 Phakding 2610m 4 hrs
Day 2 Namche Bazaar 3440m 6-7 hours
Day 3 Namche Bazaar (day hike to Thame, 3800m) 3440m Day hike
Day 4 Lukla 2860m 7 hrs
Day 5 Kathmandu 1400m 30 min

Tengboche Monastery (7 days)

Day Destination Altitude Duration
Day 1 Phakding 2610m 4 hrs
Day 2 Namche Bazaar 3440m 6-7 hours
Day 3 Namche Bazaar (day hike to Thame, 3800m) 3440m Day hike
Day 4 Tengboche 3800m 6 hrs
Day 5 Namche Bazaar 3440m 5 hrs
Day 6 Lukla 2860m 7 hrs
Day 7 Kathmandu 1400m 30 min

The Kongde Loop (10 days)

Please note:

The walk from Thame to Khongde can only be done at certain times of year when conditions are good, or by people with rope skills and with the right equipment. At the wrong time of year with unexperienced people it would be very dangerous. It is one of the most amazing walks if the not the best in all of Khumbu, but it is dangerous! Consult your trekking expert and guide before going on this trek. 

 

Day Destination Altitude Duration
Day 1 Phakding 2610m 4 hrs
Day 2 Monjo 2835m 3 hrs
Day 3 Namche Bazaar 3440m 6 hrs
Day 4 Namche Bazaar 3440m Day hikes
Day 5 Thame 3800m 3 hrs
Day 6 Kongde 4250m 7 hrs
Day 7 Kongde 4250m Free to exploration Kongde area
Day 8 Phakding 2610m 5 hrs
Day 9 Lukla 2860m 4 hrs
Day 10 Kathmandu (flight) 1400m 30 mins

Everest by Helicopter

If you’re interested in hiring a helicopter, then touring the Everest region by helicopter is one of the most memorable experiences you can have in Nepal--or the world.

You can combine trekking with a helicopter pick-up. There are various places in the region suitable for helicopter pick-ups, with Namche Bazaar/Syangboche and Lukla the most common.

Sunrise near Thame
Sunrise near the village of Thame

Best season

As with most other treks in Nepal, the best times to do it are spring (March-May) and fall (September-November). During these months the weather is likely to be clear, and daytime temperatures warm. The Khumbu region, however, is known to be particularly cold and dry, and many trekkers develop the ‘Khumbu cough’ due to the dry dust.

It is usually possible to trek in the summer/monsoon and winter seasons, but greater preparation for difficult conditions is required. You may not get clear views during the monsoon.

What to bring

As with other treks in Nepal, it is essential to have sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof outer layer and other clothing that can be layered and put on/off as the weather requires. Lodges will be equipped with blankets for cold weather.

Difficulty

The itineraries listed here mostly stay below 4000 m, although altitude-related problems can arise after ascending above 2500 m.

The most challenging day on the shorter itineraries suggested here is the 6-7 hour trek between Phakding and Namche Bazaar. The trail is mostly uphill the whole way. However, you will catch your first glimpse of Everest this day and cross the highest suspension bridge in Nepal, so it will be a memorable day!

If taking a helicopter ride to/near Everest Base Camp, you will reach very high altitudes of above 5000 m. You may experience increased shortage of breath. However, you won’t be staying at these heights for very long.

Buddhist murals
Buddhist murals on the trail near Thame

Accommodation & meals

Lodges in the Khumbu region are well-developed and relatively comfortable. There is a lot of variety, from ultra-budget to hotels of a quality that you could find in Nepal’s cities, with hot showers and electric blankets on the beds. However, not all grades of accommodation may be available in all settlements, particularly the smaller ones.

The food will also be good, with items such as rice and curry, noodles, momos, soup and Tibetan-style bread featuring on menus. A staple food in the Khumbu region are potatoes, and these feature more prominently on the menus of trekking lodges here than elsewhere in Nepal, with fewer other fresh vegetables. The amount of fresh food available will decline as you progress higher, and costs also rise.

Costs

Trekking in the Everest region is relatively costly because of the necessary airfare between Lukla and Kathmandu. (Adding a helicopter ride into these itineraries would significantly increase the cost, but is great way to get up close to the mountains if you can afford it.) Otherwise, both budget and more luxurious accommodation and food options are available.

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2017

Traveler: Patrick J. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

We had a wonderful experience with Kim Kim and Amanda Delecca from Himalayan Trails from the very beginning. Great communication was one thing we never had to worry about. Our guide was Mindu (sp?) and our porter was Chhong Nuri Sherpa. Amanda was very helpful answering all our questions before and during our trek. Our guide and porter were fantastic, knowledgeable and fun to be with.

Highlights were amazing views of the Himalayas, visiting the tea houses for lunch and spending the night... read more

We had a wonderful experience with Kim Kim and Amanda Delecca from Himalayan Trails from the very beginning. Great communication was one thing we never had to worry about. Our guide was Mindu (sp?) and our porter was Chhong Nuri Sherpa. Amanda was very helpful answering all our questions before and during our trek. Our guide and porter were fantastic, knowledgeable and fun to be with.

Highlights were amazing views of the Himalayas, visiting the tea houses for lunch and spending the night and visiting the monasteries. We loved the scenery on this trek and it's not as populated . The tea houses were humble and we really enjoyed the hospitality. Being able to visit the monasteries was beyond imaginable. That is something we will never forget. We had a great trip and would love to do it again one day. Thanks so much!

Short treks in the everest region - 7 and 10 day itineraries, Nepal - Oct 10 - Oct 16, 2017

Traveler: Sapna K. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

It was definitely an amazing trip. Except for Day 4, the continuous trek, which could have been split. We walked/hiked/climbed down for almost 12 hours that day and it is quite possible that the time extends considering most of us are not professional climbers. Rest everything was really very good. I thank social tours for our guide Robin who was so courteous and well mannered throughout. Thank you Team kimkim for making this happen for me. Cheers!

Short treks in the everest region - 7 and 10 day itineraries, Nepal - Oct 10 - Oct 16, 2017

Traveler: Sandra F. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

Guide and porter were both great. Very friendly, calm and understanding.
The trek itself was ok as well but the 3rd was just too much.
As we already knew beforehand that it will be a long day, we couldn't really enjoy the view at the peak because we had the feeling that we need to rush in order to get all the distance covered within daylight. Although we hurried, we did not manage to arrive Junbesi by daylight. The last 2 hours we were trekking in the dark. Further the trek on this day was... read more

Guide and porter were both great. Very friendly, calm and understanding.
The trek itself was ok as well but the 3rd was just too much.
As we already knew beforehand that it will be a long day, we couldn't really enjoy the view at the peak because we had the feeling that we need to rush in order to get all the distance covered within daylight. Although we hurried, we did not manage to arrive Junbesi by daylight. The last 2 hours we were trekking in the dark. Further the trek on this day was really hard and there were several Situations where i was really scared to death. The Trek was full with stones, it was tight and slippery and next to some really high cliffs. I spent 4 hours of the day Just praying to survive. I know this might sound a bit dramatic but I was really facing big fears. Our Guide was really helpful and supported us best possible. I would split the 3rd day and only walk till Lunch. There is No need for a full restday in Junbesi, if the day before is devided into 2 days..

Short treks in the everest region - 5, 7 and 10 day itineraries, Nepal - Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2017

Traveler: Bill L. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

- Further details on accommodation type/options for better accommodation at a higher cost should be provided. some of the facilities at the lodges were maintained poorly