Three Passes Trek Itinerary & Independent Trekking Guide – We Seek Travel Blog

Are you planning to embark on Everest’s biggest trekking journey? This information outlines a typical Three Passes Trek itinerary, in addition to hopefully answering all questions you’ve gotten about tackling the Three Excessive Passes and Everest Base Camp in Nepal’s Himalaya.

It’s no secret that the Three Passes Trek is the final word Everest trekking expertise. Not solely will you be getting off the crushed path into the lesser-traversed alpine areas of the Khumbu, however you’ll even be immersed within the magnificence and heat hospitality of Sherpa tradition.

On this Three Passes trek information, I’ve included quite a few helpful assets and knowledge, and after having accomplished the trek in 2019, I can provide a private account of what to anticipate on the journey.

Trekking the Three Passes Independently

This information is devoted to impartial trekking. This implies planning your individual journey and carrying your individual gear, staying in teahouses alongside the way in which.

In fact, you possibly can rent a information and a porter, which is an excellent factor as a result of it helps the livelihoods of native sherpa communities.

Nevertheless, you aren’t obligated to rent a information or porter. Unbiased trekking within the Nepal Himalaya, together with the Three Passes Trek, is totally doable and customary.

Whereas many individuals really feel obligated to rent a information or porter, many trekkers, together with myself, want a way of impartial trekking achievement. I imagine I share this sentiment with many after I say that I benefit from the freedom of planning my very own journeys and adventures.

Once more, impartial trekking is extra about flexibility and freedom than saving cash. I encourage everybody who desires to trek to Everest Base Camp and the Three Passes to contribute by paying for meals and teahouses.

BEFORE YOU GO: Journey is again! Don’t neglect journey insurance coverage in 2022. I swear by journey journey insurance coverage from World Nomads since they’ll cowl all the things journey journey associated. Alternatively, take a look at SafetyWing to economize on longer journeys

Three Passes: Unbiased Trekking Information Book

Three Passes: Independent Trekking Guide By Olly Gaspar at We Seek Travel

Since web connectivity is proscribed within the Khumbu, I’ve written a complete trekking information to the Three Passes which you’ll obtain as an eBook to be used in your cellular, pill, or e-reader.

I’ve at present bought this eBook listed on Amazon at a reduced value of lower than $6!

Three Passes Trek Itinerary Overview

Distance: 166KM (varies on side-trips)

Highest Level: 5643M (Kala Patthar)

Important Trekking Sources for the Three Passes Trek

Earlier than we get into this Three Passes Trek itinerary weblog, listed here are some extra important assets for everybody planning to deal with the passes. I used most of those on my treks in Nepal however some I found in hindsight.

  • The Lonely Planet: Trekking within the Nepal Himalaya eBook
    Having this information on a kindle is a superb complement to different assets. It consists of maps, day-by-day trekking data, and data on cities and teahouses. eBooks on a kindle are nice as a result of it’s a lot lighter.
  • A Bodily Khumbu Trekking Map
    That is important to have. You should purchase one earlier than you get to Nepal, or buy one in Thamel. Be sure to search for one that features the Three Passes loop.
  • WelcomeNepal web site
    The perfect supply for up-to-date details about park entrance charges and permits.
  • Maps.Me App
    Has a tough route for the Three Passes. Nevertheless, it positively shouldn’t be used as a major supply of navigation however can turn out to be useful.
  • Understanding of Altitude Illness
    Be sure to learn up on AMS and tips on how to reduce danger and publicity. Do your individual analysis and seek the advice of a health care provider if needed.
  • Journey Insurance coverage
    I’d extremely advocate journey insurance coverage for any Three Passes trek itinerary. Be sure to learn your PDS to see if there are exclusions for trekking above sure altitudes (normally 4000M). World Nomads is among the solely firms I do know that covers the Three Passes Trek.
  • Skyscanner
    Very helpful for locating the most cost effective flights to Kathmandu and Lukla.
    Helpful for locating low-cost lodging in Kathmandu and Thamel earlier than flying to Lukla.
  • Three Passes Trek eBook – I’ve summarized all of my Three Passes guides into one digital format.

Regional Map

The Three Passes trek is basically a big alpine loop of the Khumbu area. Beneath is a small map displaying the place the Three Passes and Everest Base Camp trek is positioned.

Everest Three Passes Trek Itinerary

Beneath is an entire Three Passes trek itinerary, which breaks down the trek day-by-day. This trekking plan follows a 19 or 20-day itinerary in an anti-clockwise path. It’s extremely really helpful to hike it on this path, for causes which I’ll get into additional on.

Do not forget that I’ve additionally written complete trekking guides for every day, which you’ll discover within the hyperlinks to under.

I’ve additionally written detailed guides on what to anticipate on the acclimatization and side-trips included on this Three Excessive Passes trek itinerary:

Every part You Have to Know About Tackling the Three Passes Trek in Nepal

I do know that after I was planning my Everest Three Excessive Passes trek itinerary, I actually struggled to search out correct and up-to-date data on the journey.

Due to this fact, this part is devoted to answering all of the questions you might have about tackling the Three Passes and EBC trek.


What are the Three Passes?

This trek is known as after the “Three Excessive Passes” that trekkers must traverse with the intention to full the loop. These passes provide a way more tough, but rewarding problem versus the principally over-trafficked Everest Base Camp Trek.

The Three passes are Kongma La (5454M), Cho La (5420M), and the Renjo La (5360M).

The Kongma La Pass Chortens and Prayer Flags on the Three High Passes Trek, Nepal

The phrase: La or Lha, actually signifies that of which is “larger” or “above” in Tibetan. That is additionally the title given to mountain passes.

Journey Insurance coverage for The Three Passes Trek

For many trekkers trying to deal with the Three Passes, journey insurance coverage is excessive on their listing of priorities.

When you’ve already bought insurance coverage, otherwise you’re within the shopping for course of, make sure that to learn the PDS for any exclusions for actions above a sure altitude. Many insurance coverage firms don’t cowl any trekking actions above 4000M.

One of many solely insurance coverage firms that I used to be capable of finding that covers trekking on the Three Excessive Passes is World Nomads.

How Laborious is the Three Passes Trek?

The Three Passes trek is broadly thought-about to be probably the most tough trekking route within the Khumbu area. That being stated, I imagine that the problem is considerably over-hyped.

The reality is, anybody with a great degree of health, fundamental navigation expertise and a robust will ought to be capable to full this trek. In fact, carrying your individual pack makes issues much more tough, so make sure that to maintain it gentle.

How Lengthy Does the Three Passes Trek Take?

Normally, the Three Passes Trek takes anyplace between 16-21 days, relying on how acclimatized trekkers are and if side-trips are deliberate. This Three Passes trek itinerary follows a 19-day trekking plan, not together with the ultimate flight from Lukla on day 20.

Three Passes Trek Distance

The approximate whole distance of the Three Passes trek is 166 kilometers (103 miles). Nevertheless, when trekking at altitude, it’s extra vital to contemplate your elevation acquire and time spent at altitude than the gap coated.

Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise?

Beginning the Three Passes Trek in a clockwise or anti-clockwise path is maybe the primary query you might need when planning your trekking itinerary.

It’s broadly really helpful that this trek must be tried in an anti-clockwise path. That’s, beginning with the Kongma La and ending with the Renjo La.

Not solely will you’ve gotten a better probability of clearing the passes when trekking on this path, however you’ll largely reduce AMS danger within the first few days. It’s because trying to achieve the Renjo La first requires not less than 1000M of elevation acquire to 5345M in a single day.

Mountain climbing the Three Passes Trek in an anti-clockwise path offers loads of time for acclimatization hikes and permits for extra gradual will increase in altitude acquire.

What’s the Greatest Time to Try the Three Passes Trek?

When you can trek within the Himalayas a lot of the yr, there are two major climbing seasons that provide one of the best trekking circumstances: March to Might and September to November.

In the course of the Winter Season, the passes are very icy, and heavy snowfall can interrupt routes. Whereas it could possibly be tried, the passes can be rather more tough to traverse throughout winter, with closures widespread.

Throughout Summer time, the danger of avalanches is larger as a result of rapidly melting ice and snow on the Himalayan peaks.


From March to Might, the Khumbu area enjoys Spring climates. That is the preferred season for trekking and expedition climbing. There’s little rain throughout this time, the skies are clearer and the times are hotter. You’ll additionally be capable to see blooming vegetation and luxurious rhododendron forests within the decrease altitudes.


One other in style season for a lot of Three Passes trekking itineraries is simply after the monsoon in September to November. Throughout this era, the clouds are clearing and there the climate is much less scorching. The landscapes at decrease altitudes are additionally a lot greener and the climate is often devoid of storms.

Nevertheless, throughout the night time it may be a little bit colder than within the Spring trekking season, so be ready by bringing an additional thick sleeping bag.

How A lot Does it Value to Hike the Three Passes Trek?

Prices will differ relying in your lodging and meal expectations. When you’re on a good funds, anticipate to pay round $800-$1000 for the whole trek, together with lodging, flights, and meals.

Nevertheless, for individuals who like some common comforts, you possibly can anticipate to pay greater than double that.

That is very true as the associated fee for easy issues like scorching tea and meals goes up in proportion with altitude. Total, the Three Passes trek is often going to be dearer than most different hikes in Nepal.

This is because of two primary causes.

  • The trek is longer – you will want to pay for extra teahouses and meals on the mountain
  • The return flight to Lukla is pricey

Nevertheless, for the expertise, the cash is 100% price it and also you could be shocked about simply how reasonably priced Khumbu teahouse trekking could be.

Right here’s a breakdown of the prices concerned with the Three Passes trek.

Return flight to Lukla $360 USD $360
Common teahouse mattress per night time $6.50 $130
2x Meals and trekking snacks day by day $15 $300
Nationwide Park Charges and Permits $42 $42
Complete: $41.60 USD per day $832 USD

Suggestions For Reserving the Lukla Flight

There are a few airways that commonly fly from Kathmandu to Lukla. The most typical and most dependable are Yeti Airways and Summit Air.

It’s really helpful to e-book a flight not less than one week previous to departure. When reserving flights, at all times goal for the earliest flight. This is because of the truth that delays happen day by day, and the system works in a manner that passengers with the earliest tickets go away first.


Three Passes Permits

Permits and Nationwide Park charges change commonly. Essentially the most up-to-date data concerning charges and permits is that you may be required to pay one Authorities price and one Nationwide Park allow.

These are:

Native Authorities Payment (NPR 2000/$17)

Sagarmatha Nationwide Park Allow (NPR 3000/$25)

You aren’t required to buy a TIMS card for this trek.

Each of those charges and permits could be bought on the observe, the native price in Lukla, and the Nationwide Park Payment in Monjo. This implies you don’t want to fret about arranging any charges or permits in Kathmandu.

These price stations are en path to Namche Bazaar, and also you merely gained’t miss them.

Three Passes and Everest Base Camp Trek

Accommodations and Hostels Earlier than and After the Three Passes Trek

The perfect place to remain earlier than and after the Three Passes trek is in the principle vacationer space of Thamel in Kathmandu.

Choosing the proper place to remain earlier than and after the trek is vital as a result of you’ll almost definitely want to depart some non-trekking gear with a reliable caretaker. Secondly, belief me after I say that you will have a pleasant mattress with a heat bathe as soon as you come from the mountain.

Due to this fact, it’s greatest to decide on the identical lodge or hostel for the nights each earlier than and after the Three Passes trek.

I stayed at Beehive Hostel, which is a funds lodging simply 3 minutes from the principle buying district and gives heat showers and huge, comfy personal rooms. Additionally they allow us to go away our baggage there for 20 days at no cost whereas we had been within the Khumbu.

When you’re searching for one thing a bit classier, attempt Resort Blue Horizon or the Fairfield by Marriot.

Likelihood is that you simply’ve bought extra issues in your pack than wanted on the path. Most trekkers go away baggage with gadgets like chargers, laptops and garments with their lodging throughout their trek.

Whereas most, if not all lodging choices in Thamel provide this service, some cost for it. To economize, e-book a spot that does it at no cost and maybe go away a tip to say thanks as a substitute.

What About Mountain Illness?

For anybody trying this or any Three Passes trek itinerary, you will want to know the dangers of AMS or Acute Mountain Illness.

Clearly, I’m not a health care provider or an knowledgeable concerning well being practices and subsequently I can’t provide you with recommendation. Nevertheless, you do want to know that mountaineering at an altitude within the Khumbu does entail a danger of AMS.

So what’s it?

Altitude illness is attributable to ascending too rapidly. It’s attributable to low air strain and fewer oxygen at larger altitudes.

It is very important decelerate and to take acclimatization hikes and relaxation days to stop it.

Whereas many individuals take Diamox to stop AMS by appearing as a respiratory stimulant, the one solution to actually forestall AMS is to trek slowly and take relaxation days. In fact, many trekkers together with myself take Diamox (accessible cheaply in Thamel) of their first-aid package simply in case.

Keep in mind to do your individual analysis and to seek the advice of a health care provider.


Right here’s a fast listing of drugs you’ll want on the trek. I’ve additionally written a separate, extra complete Three Passes packing listing that can assist you plan out all the things it is advisable to deliver on the trek, so make sure that to examine that out.

The necessities are:

  • 40-60L mountaineering backpack and a rain cowl– good manufacturers embody Osprey, Deuter, and Berghaus
  • Water Bottle– I swear by Grayl bottles since they filter your water, that means I don’t must deliver water purification tablets
  • A layering system consisting of a base thermal layer, a trekking shirt and pants, an insulating layer, down layer, and a hardshell jacket.
  • A bodily map
  • Electronics: Cellphone, Kindle, battery pack/energy financial institution.
  • Good high quality, warn-in, trekking boots, and trekking socks
  • Sun shades and a buff
  • First Help Package
  • Microfibre towel, toiletries, and sunscreen
  • Head torch (headlamp for Individuals) & trekking poles
  • Light-weight, heat fleece or cotton sleeping garments and a -15 C sleeping bag
  • Money
Dzonghla Three Passes Trek


For a listing of all my really helpful pictures gear (together with what I exploit and why) take a look at my information to digicam gear for journey.

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