The Three Passes trek is the ultimate Everest experience. This route takes in all the highlights — both in terms of mountain views and local Sherpa culture — and combines them into a complete journey through the Everest region. Keep in mind, this trek is one of the most challenging teahouse treks in Nepal.

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Oct 1, 2018 17 days Available $1,885 USD Inquire
Nov 7, 2018 17 days Available $1,885 USD Inquire

Highlights

  • Trek a circuit around the entire Everest region
  • Amazing views of the highest mountains in the world
  • Cross three challenging 5000m passes: Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La
  • Leave the crowds of the Everest Base Camp trek behind

Overview

Fast facts
Duration 19 days
Max. elevation 5545m (Kala Patthar)
Start/finish Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty Very Challenging
Accommodation Teahouse

The Everest Region is one of Nepal’s top trekking destinations, and the Three Passes Trek is its ultimate trekking adventure, crossing three passes over 5,000m, each offering amazing scenery and views. This trek was ranked the number 2 on kimkim's list of the best treks in Nepal

Interested in doing this trek? Get in touch with one of our local Nepal specialists who can organize everything for you. You'll have an experienced licensed guide, a safely designed itinerary, and the flexibility during the trek to move at your own pace. Chat with a local specialist

Kimkim travelers, Lidia and Franke, describe their Three Passes trek in October 2017

Getting there & away

The typical starting point of the Three Passes Trek is the mountain airport of Lukla, a 30-minute spectacular flight from Kathmandu.

If you have some more time, there are a couple of alternative trailheads that add a number of trekking days in the Lower Khumbu: The small airport of Phaplu (adds about 4 days of trekking) and the trailhead at the end of the road in Jiri (adds about 7 days).

Permits & regulations

As with other treks in the Everest region, you’ll need a TIMS ($10 USD) permit and a Sagarmatha National Park permit ($30 USD). If you’re going through a trekking agency, they will arrange these for you. If you’re arranging your trek yourself, you’ll need to pick up your TIMS permit in Kathmandu, and your Sagarmatha National Park permit in Monjo (a village checkpoint you’ll pass through on the first day of your trek).

Detailed itinerary

Day Destination Altitude Duration
Day 01 Phakding 2610m 3 hours
Day 02 Namche Bazaar 3440m 5.5 hours
Day 03 Namche Bazaar 3440m (Rest day)
Day 04 Tengboche 3870m 4 hours
Day 05 Dingboche 4410m 6 hours
Day 06 Dingboche 4410m (Rest day)
Day 07 Chukhung 4730m 3 hours
Day 08 Chukhung 4730m (Rest day)
Day 09 Lobuche (via Kongma La, 5535m) 4940m 6 hours
Day 10 Gorak Shep (via EBC, 5380m) 5164m 7.5 hours
Day 11 Lobuche (via Kala Patthar, 5545m) 4940m 5 hours
Day 12 Dzonglha 4200m 3 hours
Day 13 Gokyo (via Cho La pass, 5420m) 4750m 8 hours
Day 14 Gokyo (visit to Gokyo Ri, 5330m) 4750m (Rest day)
Day 15 Lungde (via Renjo La, 5340m)   6 hours
Day 16 Thame 3800m 2.5 hours
Day 17 Namche Bazaar 3440m 3 hours
Day 18 Phakding 2610m 4 hours
Day 19 Lukla 2850m 2.5 hours

Best season

Chorten, Khumjung
Passing by a chorten en route from Kumjung to Namche Bazaar

Spring (March-May) and Autumn (October-November) are the best seasons to do this trek. The monsoon season (June - early September) has less predictable weather, but some trekkers still choose this time as it aligns better with their vacation schedule. Winter season (December - February) gets quite cold, and snow may block the passes, but often offers clear skies.

Difficulty

The three passes trek is rated “Challenging”. It is a very serious adventure given its high pass crossings. It is more challenging than its sibling treks Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes, but not quite as challenging as trekking peaks such as Island Peak and Mera Peak.

Accommodation & meals

The Everest Region has excellent infrastructure for trekkers. The teahouses (lodges) are of relatively high quality and they serve good meals, especially in Namche Bazar which you’ll pass on the way up and down.

Variations

Generally, it’s best to complete the Three Passes trek counter-clockwise. It is possible to go clockwise, as well, but not recommended due to the steep altitude gain of crossing the Renjo La, first. From Gokyo, you can also add an extra day to visit the remote Gokyo Lakes farther up the glacial valley.

Request a Custom Itinerary

Have one of our local specialists in Nepal put together a custom itinerary that's unique to your interests and time frame. To start organizing a custom tour, click here to get started.

Map

Map of Three Passes Trek: The Ultimate 19-Day Trek in the Everest Region of Nepal
Map of Three Passes Trek: The Ultimate 19-Day Trek in the Everest Region of Nepal

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Oct 1, 2018 17 days Available $1,885 USD Inquire
Nov 7, 2018 17 days Available $1,885 USD Inquire

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists
Paul

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Apr 11 - May 2, 2018

Traveler: Paul W. - Local specialist: Raj Gyawali

After a week back in the Netherlands I look back after a huge experience in the Himalayas.
Supported by a special team with Raj and Anura, who provided me with information from the booking of the trip, I was received in Kathamandu with a greeting dinner and an afternoon where I got all the explanation and what my responsibilities are during the 19-day trek . Especially because I am no longer one of the youngest (69 years), Raj has gone into great depths about pulling at high altitudes. The... read more

After a week back in the Netherlands I look back after a huge experience in the Himalayas.
Supported by a special team with Raj and Anura, who provided me with information from the booking of the trip, I was received in Kathamandu with a greeting dinner and an afternoon where I got all the explanation and what my responsibilities are during the 19-day trek . Especially because I am no longer one of the youngest (69 years), Raj has gone into great depths about pulling at high altitudes. The meeting with Indra my guide was very cordial and familiar. This all supported fine for the coming trek. Planned was a 19 days trek over the 3 passes, but after the stage from Namche to Thame I got a headache, necessarily a day waited but from Thame to Lumden happened exactly the same. Switched to drink a lot of water and use Diamox and of course I had to wait another day, I was rid of the headache and I could bridge the first pass Renjo La. Great view my first goal was achieved, but I also realized that I was against my physical limit and in consultation with my guide we changed the program and left Everest BC behind and opted for Ama Dablam base camp and Dingboche attempt to see the Makalu. Unfortunately, it got worse in the last week and was hardly visible.
My advice if you like my age and you want something seen from the Himalaya Asia choose Raj and Anura, everything is negotiable and the team is very correct and when you have Indra as guide your are a happy man.

Harold

Group departure - three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Apr 7 - Apr 23, 2018

Traveler: Harold S. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Nepal is a great place but can be chaotic even by South African standards. Every trip to Nepal and Himalaya should be done with a guide from a reputable company.

From the start to the end of our trip we were in the fast lane. When people were queuing, either Ngima or our guide Mingmar got us to the front with no hassle.

There are premium accommodation options along the EBC and Three passes trek, however, most are very basic but adequate. Western toilets become a rarity the closer one gets... read more

Nepal is a great place but can be chaotic even by South African standards. Every trip to Nepal and Himalaya should be done with a guide from a reputable company.

From the start to the end of our trip we were in the fast lane. When people were queuing, either Ngima or our guide Mingmar got us to the front with no hassle.

There are premium accommodation options along the EBC and Three passes trek, however, most are very basic but adequate. Western toilets become a rarity the closer one gets to Base Camp.

The trip was amazing. It was also very hard. I would not recommend three passes or Base Camp/Kala Patthar to anyone that is unfit, is injured, is overweight.

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Nov 6 - Nov 25, 2017

Traveler: Peng S. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Everything about this trip, from planning to the actual trip itself, was wonderful.

Mads was extremely responsive to my every questions. I gave him the date range and what I wanted to do, and he planned everything else for me.

Our guide for the trip, Chhepal, was very experienced, knowledgeable, caring, and fun to hangout with (especially important since our trip was 20 days long). He took care of all the details, from airport check-in, finding a capable porter for our entire trip, to... read more

Everything about this trip, from planning to the actual trip itself, was wonderful.

Mads was extremely responsive to my every questions. I gave him the date range and what I wanted to do, and he planned everything else for me.

Our guide for the trip, Chhepal, was very experienced, knowledgeable, caring, and fun to hangout with (especially important since our trip was 20 days long). He took care of all the details, from airport check-in, finding a capable porter for our entire trip, to finding tea houses every night, so we didn't have to fight the crowd or worry about anything. During the trip, I developed diarrhea. Chhepal had a medicine box with all the necessary medicine to help me recover. Even though we lost a day to resting, he was able to rearrange our trip schedule so we ended up visiting all of the places on our original itinerary.

Towards the end of the trip, after speaking with other travelers we met on the trek and hearing their horror stories, from terrible guides and porters to getting lost in glacier crossings, we have a new appreciation for the services offered by Kim Kim, Himalayan trails, and our guide and porter. I will definitely use Kim Kim again for my future trips and Mads for my future Nepal treks.

Tudi

Three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Oct 27 - Nov 17, 2017

Traveler: Tudi G. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

We had a great time with our guide Karma Sherpa and our porter Buddha Rai.
They were supportive and friendly along the 16 days of the trek.

Klaus

Three passes trek, Nepal - Oct 20 - Nov 10, 2017

Traveler: Klaus W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

My experience was highly positive. I enjoyed the unique high country of Nepal immensely as well as the people I met both with Himalayan Trails and those along the trek. I was impressed with the wide range of ages represented by the trekkers and at times dismayed with the sheer numbers. The highlights for me were the climb of Chukhung Che and the trek over Kongma La pass and the Khumba glacier. Enjoying the trek with my son and brother was particularly gratifying and motivating. A highlight... read more

My experience was highly positive. I enjoyed the unique high country of Nepal immensely as well as the people I met both with Himalayan Trails and those along the trek. I was impressed with the wide range of ages represented by the trekkers and at times dismayed with the sheer numbers. The highlights for me were the climb of Chukhung Che and the trek over Kongma La pass and the Khumba glacier. Enjoying the trek with my son and brother was particularly gratifying and motivating. A highlight was meeting up again with Peter in Dzongla after he had to go back down to Pheriche from Chukhung. My son and I had little trouble with the treks or the altitude, which I ascribe to the great pacing set by our guide Ngawong. The porters Lhakpa and Dorjee were helpful, cheerful and worked hard to carry our "too much stuff".

The only slightly negative commentary on the trek was the time duration after going over Renjo pass. Its length was constrained by our return flight to the states (which had already been delayed by one day by China Southern). In my estimation the trek could be shortened by 2-3 days still leaving time for shopping/sightseeing in Kathmandu, if desired. We ended up staying three nights in Namche on the way back and 3 days in Kathmandu. Admittedly it gave us time to relax and hang out but we had already been gone >3 weeks and were ready to go home.