Three passes – Kongma La (5535 m), Cho La (5420 m) and Renjo La (5345m) are famous for their mind-blowing views and their challenging hike. This roller-coaster- like trail gives you views which are out of this world.
Is adventure your passion? Do you love climbing and high altitudes excite you? In which case combine Everest Base Camp trek with three 5000m+ passes!
This awe-inspiring high pass trek offers you fantastic views of world highest mountains – Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho-you, Makalu, Pumori and much more. Gokyo Lake and its valley is another fabulous place which you will remember for a lifetime.
Run off the tourist highway and get even closer to the Sherpa’s heart.During this epic trek we walk through beautiful valleys, climb up to fabulous viewpoints Gokyo Ri, Chukhung Ri, and Kalapathar.
Day 1: Flight Lukla (2800 m) and trek Phakding (2600 m) fly-35 min/walk 3 hours
We will take a flight over the mountains to the Lukla airport dedicated to Sir Edmund Hillary which is one of the most scenic flights in the world. We will walk through the middle of the bazaar and soon leave Lukla entering an honorary gate to first Nepali women who summited Mt. Everest. On our way to Phakding, we will cross scenic Sherpa settlements Chauri Kharka, Thado Kosi and Ghat.
Day 2: Phakding (2600 m) to Namche Bazar (3440 m) 5 hours
Brace yourself for some stunning views today. From Benkar we will see Mt. Kusum Kanguru (6658 m). Monjo village is another highlight of this trip where you will just love to sip on spicy chai while enjoying a great atmosphere all around you. After crossing the suspension bridge over Dudh Kosi it’s time to prepare you for the climb up to Namche.
The green lavish valley view is amazing providing you dare to look down from the bridge. This is also the time when you have the first glimpse of Mt. Everest. Once you are in Namche, you can chill in Irish Pub, visit Cafe 8848 (every day at 3 pm, they show the movie “Sherpa’’) or stock up on trekking stuff in gear shops.
Namche is a fabulous place for the night stay, busted lively by trekkers from all over the globe. In the evening we do 10-minute acclimatization by hiking up to National Park Headquarter Sherpa Cultural Museum. The sunset over the mountain ranges only adds another bonus.
Day 3: Namche to Khumjung (3800 m) 2 hours
Acclimatization day in Sherpa village
Today we will hike for 2 hours up to the Everest viewpoint. We reach Khumjung for lunch and overnight stay. Khumjung village is the largest, oldest and most scenic Sherpa village in the entire Khumbu valley. In this village, you can find the ever so popular bakery serving the best apple pie as well as several cozy lodges providing comfortable and affordable overnight stay.
Spending the night here gives us better acclimatization and allows us to explore unique surroundings. We can visit the Khumjung monastery which showcases mysterious YETI skull and scalp. You can also get excellent views of Mt. Ama Dablam and Mt. Everest from Sir Edmund Hillary Memorial Park.
Day 4: Khumjung (3800 m) to Tengboche (3867 m) 5 hours
After passing by a long stone wall, we drop slightly down to Sansa, where we join the main trekking trail. Here is where the paths separate one leading to Gokyo Lakes.
The trail leads us downhill to Juniper Forest and further down to Phungi Thanga, where there are several lovely lodges for us to chose from for a nice lunch spot. Please keep eye-opening for musk deer sightseeing.
We cross the bridge over milky water flow of Dudh Koshi river, pass water-wheeling prayers wheel and army camp. Now, it’s the turn of hard push ascent walk up to finally reaching Tengboche. Tengboche monastery and its backdrop mountain view is a subject to many painters and photographers. It’s astounding holy environment resting amid towering peaks.
Give your time to visit this century-long monastery standing tall apart from its actual damage. If you be here in the Dec-Jan full moon, surely enjoy epic story drama dance festival – Mani Rimdu, a part of Sherpa culture.
Day 5: Tengboche (3867 m) to Dingboche (4400 m) 5 hours
You can’t say you spend the night in the Himalayas if you haven’t been woken up at least once by the morning prayer horn. Luckily this is the place where just this may happen. The trail first leads us downhill to Imja valley via Debouche which is an alpine-like village.
You will find yourself in a fairy tale like a forest now with the most beautiful mountain in the world Mt. Ama Dablam (6812 m) standing all proud in front of us. We cross the Imja river and gently ascend to Pangboche. This Sherpa village is home to an ancient monastery and some excellent cafes and bakeries. We gain some slight height to Somare village from where the trail is quite flat. This trail crosses the bell bridge over the Khumbu River. One final push and we reach the beautiful village of Dingboche; a settlement resting in the lap of Ama Dablam.
Day 6: Acclimation Dingboche (4400 m)
An extra day in Dingboche helps your body with acclimatization and in return gives you an amazing surrounding environment to explore.
Depending on how you feel you may either rest or climb up to nearby Nagarjuna Hill for a spectacular view. This famous viewpoint with fluttering prayer flags gives an amazingly scenic view of towering mountains like Ama Dablam in the south, Tabuchi in the west, Nuptse in North and far to the east Makalu and Island peaks. It takes around two hours to hike up to reach the top. Once you are there the views are so special that you will quickly forget about the struggle it took us to get up there.
Day 7: Dingboche (4400 m) to Chukung (4800 m) 3 hours
From here leave the main trek and take the detour towards the Three Pass trek. We leave the crowds and follow the Imja riverbed to reach Chukhung. Chukhung is a small village with 3 or 4 lodges in the base of Chukung Ri and vast & spectacular Imja Valley.
We utilize our time to explore the Chukhung Ri (5550 m) and see the dazzling views of Island Peak, Mt. Makalu, Imja lake and surrounding dramatic mountain views. Here we get to taste the traditional Sherpa stew as well as their famous garlic soup – probably the best and most popular mountain sickness remedy.
Day 8: Excursion day in Chukhung
We take an extra day in Chukhung to explore its astonishing surroundings. You can either chose to climb up to Chukhung Ri or take a side trip to Island Peak Base Camp – both are amazing. We suggest climbing the Chukung Ri as the views across the valley with glacier, lakes, mountains and beautiful Sherpa traditional villages is too picture perfect to be missed.
Day 9: Lobuche via Kongma la (5554 m) 7hours
The higher you climb the better the views. That saying will certainly apply today. Kongma-La is the highest of all three passes. The trail climbs upright of Chukung Village filtering the Yak trail – a completely off-the-beaten-track route. The views from the top are unreal – you see Makalu in East, Ama Dablam in southeast and Cholatse, Pumori on west-north. The real challenging part of the day is usually the descent to Lobuche through hard moraine trail.
Day 10: Lobuche (4950 m) to Gorakshep (5164 m) and EBC (5380 m) excursion 5 hours
Today, we will visit EBC and return to Gorakshep for the overnight stay.
You will get to explore the massive Khumbu glacier along with amazing Nuptse and Lhotse. Make your time even more special and chat to the mountaineers who are always happy to share their stories over a cup of hot coffee. Enjoy your free time to wander around the glaciers.
Day 11: Hike Kalapathar (5535 m) back to Lobuche (4950 m) 4 hours
In the morning we go onto a mini-expedition to Kala Patthar (black stone) – a panoramic viewpoint above Gorakshep. The finest view of Tibetan mother goddess – Chomolungma (Mt.Everest), along with 360 dramatic views of unparalleled mountains. You can see Pumori, glaciers, and lakes from this point making this one of the finest picture spots. Later on, we descend to Lobuche where we take much-needed rest. Enjoy the afternoon and get enough rest because tomorrow is not going to be easy.
Day 12: Lobuche (4800 m) to Dzonglha (4700 m) 4 hours
Today again we take a different route avoiding all the tourists making sure you see the ‘real’ Himalayas. Once we leave the trekking highway, we get to walk in high pasture land overlooking the mighty peaks. The Dzongla village is a cluster of 5 or 6 little tea house lodges offering us accommodation. You can notice the nearby towering snow pillar is Mt. Taboche (6542 m)
Day 13: Zougla to Dragnak (4690 m) via Cho La Pass (5435 m) 6/ 7 hours
Today we will be rising with the sun. The sooner we start hiking the better as the views from the top of Cho La Pass are get worse as the day goes.
Let’s do picnic Nepali style – as there won’t be any place for lunch as due to its remote location we will be taking the usual boiled eggs, chapattis, pickle, and hot coffee in your thermos with us. Before climbing up the vertical rocky part, the trail goes smoothly over the high plain. It’s a good idea to have mini spikes on the icy parts when following steep descent down. The view of Mt. Ama Dablam, Makalu, Thamserku, on the eastern side is spectacular from the pass. Cho you and Pharilapcha Mountains are on the western side towering above the Tokyo valley. Once we overcome the steep descending stone and the tricky icy part we reach the trail symbolized by stone cairns – a wonderful sight in itself. The remaining section is all within high pasture land while descending to Dragnak.
Day 14: Dragnak (4690 m) to Gokyo (4800 m) 3 hours
After breakfast, we make a move towards the country’s largest glacier Ngozumpa and then reach the serene Gokyo Lake. We will stay in Himalayan eco-resort which large windows give you a splendid lake view. We will also climb one of nicest viewpoint in Nepal – Gokyo Ri (5460 m). Gokyo Ri got its fame due to its spectacular panoramic view and voted as the most scenic places for visitors.
Gokyo Lake is a sacred lake for both Hindus and Buddhist. The 3rd Lake is called Dudh Kunda which means “milky pond”. The lake is also the source of Dudh Koshi river which we followed in Lukla. Many tourists wander around the lake and absorb its spiritual healing. The lake atmosphere itself is wonderfully peaceful and utterly beautiful making this one of the highlights of the entire trek.
Day 15: Excursion and Rest day
We refresh ourselves by exploring around this beautiful lake and visiting a lovely local bakery. You may like to do a round-trip up to the 5th lake and inspect Cho-you and surrounding mountains. The place is a photographer’s paradise. If photography is your thing start clicking away at all the giant mountains, blue lakes and the largest glacier in the Himalaya called Ngozumpa glacier (around 36 km long). You can see the Everest rising and looping above them all. Enjoy this memorable moment accompanied by your favorite coffee, munching on a well-deserved chocolate cake, chill with card games and beer or spent with a must-read book.
Day 16: Gokyo (4800 m) to Lungden (4375 m) via Renjo la (5345 m) 7 hours
Today we cross the most beautiful pass from them all. Firstly, we follow Gokyo lakeside trail and climb up the zigzag path – first reaching a small flat area followed by another hard climb with the final S-shaped track. It is not going to be easy but you have will reach the best viewpoint of the entire trek. Right in front of you lie the spectacular Mahalangur Himalayan Range (Everest, Cho-you, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Makalu) and Rolwaling range (Rolwaling mountains behind Renjo la). You will see Ngozumpa glacier with the glittering pristine Gokyo lake below it. It is out of this world beautiful and exactly that sort of a view of why people endure some of the toughest hikes in their lives. Once we are here there is no need to rush, we can take out our pack lunches and admire the peaks for as long as you wish.
The path from the top of Renjo-La is well maintained by the locals as they often heard their yaks through this way. We slowly descend through the grassy terrain passing through some of less known lakes and peaks.
Day 17: Lungden (4375 m) to Thame (3800 m) 3 hours
Today we take another less crowded and more off-the-beaten-trail route. First, we drop down to the broad, beautiful Bhote Kosi valley which is exceptionally scenic and serene. This part of trek leads us through traditional and genuine Sherpa villages which not many tourists get to see.
Thame village is one of the best places to stay and relax. The village lies in a blue-green valley surrounded by breathtaking scenic waterfalls, Monastery Hill, and newly constructed dam site. The place we stay tonight is amazing, a true little gem in the Himalayas.
Day 18: Thame (3800 m) to Namche (3400 m) 4 hours
We take our breakfast in Thame and walk down the valley following Bhotekoshi canyon. Soon after leaving Thame we cross the Thame deep gorge river and walk through rhododendron forest. The spring days here are picture perfect with exotic blooming rhododendrons all around. We will pass by several lovely typical mountain villages on our way so there is plenty of tea spot options available. The communities are rich with both natural and cultural sights. On our way to Namche, We will pass scenic gates painted with Tibetan Thankas including- Kalachakra, one which is said to have originally painted by Dalai Lama.
Day 19: Namche Bazaar (3400 m) to Lukla (2800 m) 7/8 hours
Say goodbye to Everest as this is the last time we will be able to spot this king of a mountain as we will be heading further down the valley. Just like when going up you will cross paths with numerous trekkers, porters, and loaded donkeys. This is the place where we get to enjoy the last breathtaking scenes of always changing Khumbu valley. We finish the day in Lukla, the perfect place for a celebration.
Day 20: Flight to Kathmandu (1300 m) 35 minutes
It’s time to take another scenic flight this time back to Kathmandu. If you haven’t explored the capital yet, you may like to see medieval old palaces, temples and ancient stupas like Swyambhunath and Boudhanath towering in the center of the valley. Wander freely through the night market in Thamel and buy handicraft souvenir like Pashmina, Gurkhas Knife – Khukuri or old Tibetan paintings – Thangkas all of which make the perfect and unique gifts for your loved ones back home.
Prices start from $1,568 per person
(calculated on the basis of 2 people sharing a room)
compulsory permits (TIMS Card, National Park fee)
guide for the duration of your stay
porter for the duration of the stay
accommodation (private room with communal bathroom/toilet facilities, en-suite rooms available for a higher charge)
food (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
transportation (flight to/from Lukla, all ground transport in tourist buses/shared jeeps)
international flights to/from Kathmandu
*Note: A price for a flight ticket for your guide will need to be included your in case your guide is flying from Kathmandu.
When to go?
Spring (April – June) is ideal as the rhododendrons are in bloom
Autumn (September – October) months also offer pleasant weather for the hike.