Attention readers! You just landed on the NEST Adventure website. My name is Raj, and I’m the team leader at NEST (Kathmandu based local company). What I’m just about to share is my experience as a mountain guide for over ten years in the Himalayas. Here you will get exact information on how to plan Three Passes Trek Itinerary and other details.
If you just come up with an idea of doing Everest Three Passes Trek in Nepal, you should know what itinerary exactly should you follow. Before we jump into the sample itinerary, you may want to know why you have chosen Three Pass Trek? Well, the main reason, overcrowd, is a growing issue in the Himalayas. Especially Everest region is filled up with almost 60 thousand tourists annually. If you are one of those who would like to visit the Everest region but following a less busy trail that goes 3 of the highest pass in the world, then this article is for you.
Why Everest Three Passes Trek?
The three pass circuit trail in the Everest Region includes some of the major destinations such as Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lake, Gokyo Ri, Kalapatthar, KhongmalaPass, Chola Pass, and Ranjola Pass. So you will see the same places as on the standard EBC trail, but with many additional bonuses!
- It is remote and off-the-beaten-path. Only 5-10% of the 60,000 EBC trekkers follow the Three Pass Trek route. So you can enjoy the scenery without too many tourists!
- On this trail, expect to be surrounded by four of the highest mountains in the world, including Mt. Everest. Not to mention that the three high passes are all above 5,000m. Very few places on this earth have these combinations!
- The Three PassesTrek offers a lot more side-trips than any other trail. You can spend more than 3 weeks and venture into different places.
- It is the only trail in the entire Khumbu Region that follows a circuit tail. Unlike the Everest Base Camp, the classical trail requires to hike down the same path you hike up. However, in three pass trek, Every day is a new trail as you make a loop on this trek.
- It is part of The Great Himalayan Trail (GHT). The Three Pass Trek is one of the major components of The Great Himalayan Trail.
Where does the trail start from?
At this point, there are some names of the place involves in these writings. Which might totally strange sound to you. If you follow me on the map, as I explain, you may have a better understanding. Here is the map of the Three pass trek.
Read More: Everest Base Camp Trek Best Time
This trek starts from Lukla (you will need to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla), a small mountain village with a small local airport. Statistically speaking Lukla airport and the flight itself is the most dangerous flight and airport in the world. This is because of the weather, altitude, and size and location of the airstrip for landing. But don’t worry, this is the usual jump-off point for any Everest treks and climbs, and most survived it!
Read More: Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
After two or three days of following the classical EBC trail from Lukla to Namche, the three-passes trek takes you to Thame or Dingboche, depending on the route you decide to take.
How many days will this take?
For a hiker with some basic trekking experience, this can be completed in about 3 weeks, or roughly 19 days without extra days but If you want to keep one extra day for any problem/ flight delays or acclimatization you may want to give at least 20 days.
Which route should be taken?
A couple of options are available, but you should consider the trail that goes gradually. In fact, the three passes trek, well known for off the beaten path in the Everest region. The routes (from Namche to Thame is the clockwise route) take you to the first high-pass in just two to three days. This could be risky, given that the altitude of these passes is above 5000m. (But the perfect route to skip the overcrowd).
If you choose the first clockwise usual route, It is highly recommended to have one acclimatization day in Mirlung to give maximum chances to complete this trail without any sickness issue. Although you might find some travel bloggers, experiences posted online without a rest day in Mirlung, which I personally see as adding risk for not having a rest day.
Three Passes Trek itinerary Clockwise
|Day 01: Kathmandu Lukla – Manjo||Day 02: Manjo to Namche||Day 03: Acclimatization & Sidetrip|
|Time : 5/6 hour||Time: 5/6 hour||Time: 6/7 hour|
|Distance: 7.8 mi / 12.63 km||Distance: 2.6 mi / 4.13 km||Distance: 7.8 mi / 12.63 km|
|Max Elevation: 9,339 ft / 2,847 m||Max Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m||Max Elevation: 12,998 ft / 3,962m|
|Min Elevation: 8,077 ft / 2,462 m||Min Elevation: 8,953 ft / 2,729 m||Min Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m|
|Elevation Gain: 2,985 ft / 910 m||Elevation gain: 711m/2,332ft||Elevation gain: 522m/1712ft|
|Day 04: Namche to Thame||Day 05: Thame to Lungdhen||Day 06: Acclimatization|
|Time: 6/7 hour||Time: 4/5 hour||Time: 4/5 hour|
|Distance 9.8mi/ 15km||Distance 6.9 mi/11.1km||Distance 6.9 mi/11.1km|
|Max Elevation: 12,467ft/3,800m||Max Elevation: 14,370ft/4,380m||Max Elevation: 14,370ft/4,380m|
|Min. Elevation: 11,286ft/3440m||Min Elevation: 12,467ft/3,800m||Min Elevation: 12,467ft/3,800m|
|Elevation Gain: 1,181ft/360m||Elevation Gain: 1,181ft/360m||Elevation Gain: 1,181ft/360m|
|Day 07: Lungden-Renjola-Gokyo||Day 08: Gokyo Rest – Gokyo ri||Day 09: Gokyo – Cola Phedi/Thangna|
|Time: 8/9 hour||Time: 4/5 hour||Time: 4/5 hour|
|Distance 8.3mi/ 13.3km||Distance 6.9 mi/11.1km||Distance 4.2mi/6.7km|
|Max Elevation: 17,585ft/5,360m||Max Elevation: 14,370ft/4,380m||Max Elevation: 15,715ft/4,790m|
|Min. Elevation: 14,370ft/4,380m||Min Elevation: 12,467ft/3,800m||Min Elevation: 15419ft/4,700m|
|Elevation Gain: 3,215ft/980m||Elevation Gain: 1,181ft/360m||Elevation Gain: 154ft/70m|
|Day 10:Thangna – Chola Pass- Dzonglha||Day 11: Donglha – Laubuche||Day 12: Labuche to Gorekshep- EBC|
|Time: 6/7 hour||Time: 3/4 hour||Time: 7/8 hour|
|Distance 5.9mi/ 9.49km||Distance 4.1mi/6.5km||Distance 8.4mi/13.5km|
|Max Elevation: 17,611ft/5,368m||Max Elevation: 16,108ft/4,910m||Max Elevation: 17,598ft/5,364m|
|Min. Elevation: 15,715ft/4,790m||Min Elevation: 15,715ft/4,790m||Min Elevation: 16,108ft/4,910m|
|Elevation Gain: 1,896ft/578m||Elevation Gain: 393ft/120m||Elevation Gain: 1,489ft/454m|
|Day 13: Gorekshep-Kalapatthar-Labouche||Day 14: Laubuche -Khongmala-Chukung||Day 15: Chukung Ri- Dingbouche|
|Time: 6/7 hour||Time: 8/9 hour||Time: 5/6 hour|
|Distance 4.3mi/ 7.9km||Distance 7.3mi/11.7km||Distance 6.9mi/11.1km|
|Max Elevation: 18,208ft/5,550m||Max Elevation: 18,159ft/5,535m||Max Elevation: 18,208ft/5,550m|
|Min. Elevation: 16,108ft/4,910m||Min Elevation: 7,612ft/4,730m||Min Elevation: 14,468ft/4,410m|
|Elevation Lost: 2,099ft/640m||Elevation Gain: 2050ft/625m||Elevation Lost: 3,740ft/1,140m|
|Day 16: Dingbouche to Tangbouche||Day 17: Tangbouche to Phakding||Day 18: Phakding to Lukla|
|Time: 3/4 hour||Time: 8/9 hour||Time: 4/5 hour|
|Distance 7.1mi/ 11.4km||Distance 13.3mi/21km||Distance 5.2mi/8.3km|
|Max Elevation: 14,468ft/4,410m||Max Elevation: 12,664ft/3,860m||Max Elevation: 9,339 ft / 2,847 m|
|Min. Elevation: 12,664ft/3,860m||Min Elevation: 8,694ft/2,650m||Min Elevation: 8,694ft/2,650m|
|Elevation Lost: 1,804ft/550m||Elevation lost: 3969ft/1,210m||Elevation gain: 646ft/1,97m|
Day 19: you can finally take the flight from Lukla-Ramchep-Kathmandu.
Note: Based on Alltrails GPS map Three Pass Trek total distance is about 111.87 miles/180km which is per day on average 6.2mil/9.9km per day. And the elevation was measure based on the 2020 map attached in this article.
Another option also refers to it, the counter-clockwise route. You follow the classical EBC trail all the way to Dingboche, and then from there, take the path that goes to the first pass, Khongma-la. This route might be a good alternative for better acclimatization and to avoid altitude sickness as you reach the high pass within 6/7 days On this route. But for the first week, you may need to deal with an overcrowded tourist number. The Everest Region has the highest probability of experiencing mountain sickness. So we advise you to take as many side trips as you can to make sure you complete your trek safely.
I hope you enjoy reading my writings. If you are indeed one of those, who would like to explore Everest reason differently, compear to a regular tourist. This Three Passes trek Itinerary is for you. I want you to learn everything before you embark on this trail. So you can enjoy the hike up to the limit. This part of the itinerary is just one fragment from what you should know. There are still so many other things you should be aware such as the difficulty, Best time weather and season, etc. I’ve so many different readings in my blogs about Three Pass Trek. Please don’t forget to read my blogs here.
At the end of this article If you are one of those looking for a guided tour, We are happy to organize this trek with one of our most trusted guides who has explored this route over 20 times. NEST Adventure has a well-established record when it comes to client satisfaction. Our team has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from our recent clients. So the chances are incredibly high; you will receive the same experience with us. If you believe NEST could be the BEST partner to plan your trip, please do not hesitate to email one of our office representatives.