Everest Base Camp Trek — a Top Tibet Trekking Trip

Everest Base Camp Trek — a Top Tibet Trekking Trip

By Carol WangUpdated Jul. 28, 2021

The Everest Base Camp Trek in Tibet is one of the most coveted trekking routes in the world. For those adventurers who dream of standing on the roof of the world and gazing at the world's highest peak, this route is well thought out, very doable, and satisfying in many ways!

Starting from the small town of Old Tingri at altitude 4,390 meters (14,400 feet), the 70-kilometer (43-mile) trek is moderately difficult, and is completed by thousands of trekkers every year. This amazing hike spans valleys and forests, mountain passes, and vast green plains.

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Have you been dreaming of a Tibet tour for a long time? It's time to restart your travel plans now. Tibet has reopened to China expats after being closed for more than a year. The first Travel Permits in 2021 were officially issued on August 27th.

Contact us now to plan your tour and prepare your Tibet Travel Permit documents in advance. Don’t worry about canceling. We allow free cancellation for any reason up to 24 hours before departure.

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Quick Facts about the Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Min. duration: 11 days (with Lhasa acclimatization and return travel)
  • Max. altitude:5,200m (17,000 ft)
  • Difficulty: moderate (mostly flat roads)
  • Best times: around May or October
  • Start/finish: Old Tingri/ Rongbuk Base Camp
  • Food for the 4-day trek: carry what you need
  • Accommodation for the trek: camping (we can provide equipment)

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How Difficult Is the Trek to Everest Base Camp?

It is moderately difficult, which means it can be completed by most people of an average fitness level.

There is 70 km of trekking with altitudes ranging from 4,000m to 5,350m. The daily trekking distance is from 12 to 22km taking 5–8 hours. The trek does not require mountaineering skills and we have had many customers of different age ranges and physical conditions who have completed it.

Mount Everest trekPeople are walking on flat path

Those with cardiovascular problems or other serious medical conditions should consult a doctor before considering the trek. We also recommend that you walk for a few hours per day at home, starting about 6–8 weeks before you leave so that your body will be used to this continuous exercise. Try to keep healthy and not to catch a cold before entering Tibet.

If you’d like to hike elsewhere in China as well, or it would probably be best if you chose a different hike, have a look at our China hiking tours for some options.

Everest Base Camp Trekking Itinerary

Generally speaking, you are suggested to spend 11 days in Tibet in order to include a trekking trip to Everest Base Camp. You would usually start from Lhasa with at least 2 days there to acclimate to the altitude. There you can visit the Potala Palace and the ancient monasteries, then drive to Gyantse via Lake Yamdrok, then to Shigatse.

You would have a night’s stay in Shigatse after the 7-hour drive. The next day, a drive of around 5 hours crossing the Karola Glacier pass would bring you to the town of Old Tingri (Dingri). From there you’d begin the trek to Everest Base Camp.

Map of EBC TrekDriving and trekking map of the EBC tour

Here is our suggested Tibet tour itinerary with Everest Base Camp trekking in brief:

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Day 2: Stay in Lhasa

Day 3: Stay in Lhasa

Day 4: Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse to Shigatse (3,950m altitude, 7 hours)

Day 5: Drive from Shigatse to Old Tingri (4,300m altitude, 5 hours)

Day 6: Trek from Old Tingri to Lungthang (4,510m altitude, 12km, 5hours)

Day 7: Trek from Lungthang to Lamna La (5,150m altitude, 21km, 8hours)

Day 8: Trek from Lamna La to Zommug (4,790m altitude, 20km, 7hours)

Day 9: Trek from Zommug to Rongbuk Monastery, and continue another 8km to EBC (5,150m altitude, 15km, 5hours)

Day 10: Drive from Rongbuk to Shigatse via Sakya (4,200m altitude, 8 hours)

Day 11: Drive from Shigatse to Lhasa (5 hours)

See detail itinerary and price of our 11-Day Tibet Tour with Everest Base Camp Trek

If you’re keen to trek to Everest, and you don’t have the time or inclination to do the whole trek, you can also experience a short trek from Rongbuk to Mount Everest Base Camp, then back to Rongbuk. This trek is only 8 km and 2 hours or so is enough. This shorter trek tour can be done in 1 day.

Please contact us to customize a shorter trekking trip.

Is an Everest Base Camp Trek Worth It?

Yes, we are confident it is. The trek from Tigris challenging and interesting, full of small Tibetan villages and difficult-to-come-by Tibetan scenery along the way. You’ll have a chance to understand and experience the original nomadic Tibetan way of life on the roof of the world.

The main highlights of this trek are Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp. Located at an altitude of 4,980 meters (16,338 ft), Rongbuk Monastery is renowned as the highest Buddhist temple in the world. The 120-year-old temple is the holy focal point of Sherpas who live in the mountains around Mount Everest.

Rongbuk MonasteryRongbuk Monastery is the Highest Temple in the World

Of course, in any trip to Tibet, there is nothing more sublime than Mount Everest itself. Everest Base Camp is the closest place to the actual mountain that ordinary people can reach.

It has the best view of the hugest mountain in the world. However, there is no guarantee that you will see the summit because the weather decides hat the view is going to be like on any given day.

If you’d be interested in going to EBC without the trekking, have a look at our 8-Day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour.

Is Everest Base Camp Trekking Safe?

There are many stories about deaths and frozen bodies left on Mount Everest. However, those cautionary accounts describe mountaineers who climbed(or attempted) the peak of Mount Everest and fell afoul of accidents or the extreme conditions near the top.

When we talk about Everest Base Camp, we mean the area near Rongbuk Monastery that ordinary travelers are allowed to visit. It’s about 3,000 meters (9,842 ft) lower and quite safe by comparison.

EBC is about 20km(13miles) from Mount Everest’s summit as the crow flies. For climbers, winding mountain paths mean the trekking distance is much further. From EBC, travelers can view the summit of Mount Everest in fine weather.

As this trek is mainly on well-worn paths, it is really safe. The biggest danger is altitude sickness, but before you begin the trek you should have time to consider how your body is acclimating and whether to proceed.

Inclement weather could lead to hypothermia, particularly in winter or the rainy season, so we do not recommend trekking at these times. Getting lost will not be a problem if you have a guide.

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Best Times to Go EBC Trekking

  Avg. High Avg. Low
Spring 5°C (41°F) -7°C (19°F)
Summer 10°C (50°F) -5°C (23°F)
Autumn 5°C (41°F) -7°C (19°F)
Winter -5°C (23°F) -15°C (5°F)

Based on their having more sunlight per day (it is cloudier in the summer rainy season) and relatively warmer weather, May and October are the best months for trekking and good opportunities for magnificent views of Mount Everest. The clouds will usually have cleared, but there may be snow and the temperature can drop quite low. These are good months for photography.

April and September are the second best months to go on this trek. In April, ice is still melting, and roads open again after the harsh winter. Clear views of the mountains are common. In September, the clouds clear after the monsoon passes. Everest summit views are less common, but roads and trails are free of snow and definitely passable.

Sometimes it rains from June to August. The trekking trails are free of snow and absolutely open to tourists, with the mildest temperatures. However, the mountains have a big possibility of being obscured by clouds and you may not see the clear view you want.

From November to February, the mountains and trekking routes are probably inaccessible, and many roads are blocked by snow. Travelers can still drive to Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Camp though. Winter is actually a good time to visit Tibet as the price is very favorable and the weather is often dry and clear.

Tibet closes every March. When Tibet is closed, we strongly suggest you pay a visit to Shangri-La in Yunnan. Shangri-La is unique for its Tibetan culture and alpine landscapes including sacred snow-capped mountains and spectacular gorges. Consider our amazing 4-Day Shangri-La Exploration Tour.

See more about visiting palaces and monasteries in Lhasa on our 4-Day Lhasa Highlights Comfort Tour.

Accommodation

Near Everest Base Camp, you can stay at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse. It has double rooms or dormitory-style rooms. Clean thick duvets, pillows, and bed sheets are provided, and electric blankets are available in some rooms. There is no heating and there are no en suite toilets.

Accommodation at Rongbuk MonasteryAccommodation at Rongbuk Monastery

See more on Staying at Everest Base Camp or Rongbuk Monastery.

You will be camping for three nights during the trek, and you will need a good arctic-rated sleeping bag to stay warm in the cold environment.

For the convenience of our clients, we offer equipment as required: sleeping bags, trekking poles, hot water flasks, backpacks, and more to facilitate a comfortable and relaxed trek. A toilet tent will also be prepared.

Camping on the EBC trek trailCamping on the EBC trek trai

We have prepared more information about The Best Hotels in Tibet with Free Oxygen to help you acclimate.

How Much Money for the EBC Trekking Tour

Based on the above sample itinerary, the price ranges from US$2,200 to US$4,000 [2021] per person for hotels from 3-star to 5-star. The price is based on a private group of 2–5 people.

Our price includes private guides and drivers, accommodation, camping gear and cooking equipment for trekking, entrance fees, all travel permits, and tax. Other expenses are up to you, such as tips for guides and drivers, souvenirs, alcohol, internal flights, and flights to Tibet, as well as travel insurance. A single room supplement is needed for single travelers.

We will provide you with a comfortable local vehicle with four-wheel drive or a 7-seat mini-van (based on availability). Another private car will be arranged for camping gear and cookers.

During the tour, you will be accompanied by your personal driver and your professional English-speaking tour guide. They will give you any necessary help such as setting up a tent or cooking.

Our tour designs are very flexible. You can also make minor changes with your guide at the last minute and make stops at places of interest that are not in your original itinerary or spend more time at places than what has been scheduled.

Contact us for a trekking tour quote based on your requirements.

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Travel Documents

All foreign citizens (non-Chinese passport holders) need a Tibet Entry Permit to enter Tibet. To visit the Mountain Everest area, an additional Alien’s Travel Permit and a Military Permit are needed.

These Permits cannot be obtained independently. Permits can only be issued to travelers with an arranged tour with a China travel agency. China Highlights can obtain all of these permits for you.

Contact us to inquire about Tibet Permits.

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Packing List

Apart from the normal Tibet packing, there are some things you need to add to your bags for a trek.

Warm Clothes

Everest base camp is always very cold, even in summer, so you must keep yourself warm and have enough rest (as much as possible) to avoid altitude sickness and illness caused by cold weather. You need to take warm clothes with you all year round, so be sure to have warm jackets, sweaters, gloves, and hats.

Trekking Gear

Sunglasses, sunhat, good hiking boots, and hiking poles are highly recommended, and you can find them in many shops in Lhasa. We can provide all the camping gear including sleeping bags and hiking poles. Your local tour guide will help you with setting the tent up.

Personal Items

The trekking trail is in a remote area and therefore amenities are always scarce. So, you have to take your own things with you so that you. For example, you might want to take sunscreen with high SPF, necessary toiletries, towel, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.

Medicine

Bring any medication your doctor has prescribed for you. Traveling at high altitudes, you are also suggested to take altitude sickness medications.

Food

You are suggested to carry chocolate, dried fruit, and other carbohydrate-rich trail foods with you. Remember to drink at least 3–4 liters of water per day to prevent dehydration.

To know more about Tibet Travel Tips

Touring China with Us

We understand that planning a trekking tour to Everest Base Camp is not easy, as it needs special permits and the procedure is more complex. Being an expert in the industry, we create unique experiences — designed to your needs and budget, using our expert knowledge.

If you are interested in a tour to Mt. Everest, check out our popular tours below for inspiration:

Not interested in the above tour? Inquire about our Mount Everest small group tours, or you can tailor-make your own unique tour by telling us your interests and requirements. We will help you design a perfect trip.

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