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.Everest Three Pass Trek

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.

Three Pass Trek Difficulties

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).

Three pass Trek Route

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say I know my way well enough in the Himalayas, especially in some of the off-the-beaten-trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga and Mustang!

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!). I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of working with multinational companies which taught me how to deliver quality customer service in the business. As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.

Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor. If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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