Three Passes Trek Itinerary

The Three Passes Trek is a thrilling adventure that takes trekkers across three high mountain passes. Let’s discuss the Three Passes Trek Itinerary, how long it takes, the distance covered, the difficulty level, whether or not you need a guide, and the best time to go. offering stunning views of the Himalayas and an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture. The trek is known for its challenging terrain, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

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How Long Does the Three Passes Trek Take?

The Three Passes Trek itinerary can vary, depending on the pace of the trekker and the number of rest days taken.

different routes to everest base camp three passes route

Typically, the trek takes around 19 to 22 days to complete. It is important to note that altitude sickness is a real concern on this trek, so acclimatization days are necessary to avoid any potential health risks.

How Far is the Trek to 3 Passes?

Three passes trek itinerary- The trek covers a distance of around 160-170 kilometers, starting from Lukla and ending in Lukla. The three passes – Kongma La (5,535m), Cho La (5,420m), and Renjo La (5,360m) – are spread across the trek and are some of the highest points trekkers will reach on this adventure.

How Hard is the 3 Passes Trek?

The Three Passes Trek is considered a strenuous trek and requires a good level of fitness. The trail is a mix of steep ascents and descents, narrow ridges, rocky terrain, and icy paths, which can make the trek challenging. Moreover, altitude can also be a factor and may cause difficulties in breathing, headaches, and nausea.

Also Read: Three Passes Trek Without a Guide

Do You Need a Guide for the Three Passes Trek?

Three passes trek itinerary – It is highly recommended to hire a guide for the Three Passes Trek, especially for first-time trekkers or people who are not familiar with the region. A guide can also provide you with knowledge about the area, help with navigating, and help ensure the safety of the trekker. Lastly, a guide can also help with the logistics of the trek, such as accommodation and food.

When to Do Three Passes Trek?

Three passes trek itinerary – The best time to do the Three Passes Trek is during Autumn (September to November) and the Spring season (March to May). During these months, the weather is generally stable, which means clear skies and mild temperatures, making it ideal for trekking. However, trekkers should still be prepared for the possibility of snowfall and cold temperatures, especially when crossing the high passes.

Different itineraries for the three passes trek:

Three Passes Trek Itinerary 1:

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Asian Heritage Treks & Travel Representative welcome you at the Airport and bring you to your hotel, in the evening you will have time to stroll around Thamel.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu

A guide will pick you up in a private vehicle and take you to all the beautiful temples and mesmerizing UNESCO world heritage sites.

Day 3: Kathmandu To Lukla & Lukla To Phakding (2860 M), Flight Duration: 40 Minutes, Hiking Duration: 3 To 4 Hours

Fly to Lukla from Kathmandu Airport. From Lukla, we commence to climb up towards Phakding. The trail runs along the Dudh Koshi (Milk River). You will be trekking amidst rhododendron forests while smelling the strong aroma of evergreen oak.

different routes to everest base camp lukla airport

Along the way, you will pass by many villages until you reach Phakding.

Day 4: Phakding To Namche Bazaar ( 3480 M), Hiking Duration: 5 To 6 Hours

You will be able to get your first glimpse of Everest as you are crossing the mighty Dudh Koshi. As you proceed further, the trail will lead you to Monjo, where you could have a stopover for lunch.

Namche Bazaar View

The next part of the trail will be more difficult. You will be making a pit stop at Namche Bazaar to stay the night there. 

Day 5: Rest Day at Namche Bazaar

On the fifth day of the Three Passes Everest trek, you can use your time to acclimatize, relax and explore the surrounding places.

Man standing on the way of Namche

Most of the trekkers prefer to get up before sunrise to view the magnificent views of Mount Everest, Thamserku, Amadablam, and other glorious peaks from the Sagarmatha National Park. 

Day 6: Namche Bazaar To Thame (3750 m), Hiking Duration: 5 To 6 Hours

One must be prepared for the drastic and rapid change in climate and temperature – one minute the sun will be glaring fiercely and the next it will be as if even darkness has engulfed you.

The initial part of the trek is easy-going as it is relatively flat, however, the views will be outrageous. After a few more hours, you will reach Thame. In the neighboring village, Nauje is a small Monastery for Tibetan Nun.

Day 7: Thame To Khumjung (3750 m), Hiking Duration: 4 To 5 Hours

We will begin the trek to Khumjung with an early start, climbing uphill to the monastery above Thame village. If the weather is fine, you will be able to witness a scene where the natural beauty of the majestic landscape combines with the ancient Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people.

khumjung

After the visit, you will be heading back in the direction of Namche Bazaar towards Khumbila.

Day 8: Khumjung To Pangboche (3985 m), Hiking Duration: 6 To 7 Hours

Today you will start hiking along the old but still used, Everest expedition trail.

There will be a possibility of you stumbling upon some rich Himalayan wildlife like deer, pheasants, and monkeys. 

Day 9: Pangboche To Dingboche (4410 m), Hiking Duration: 6 To 7 Hours

Today, we start our walk towards Dingboche. Dingboche is at an elevation of 4410m so that means the trek is going to be quite challenging due to the elevation and the stones/rocks-filled trail.

On the way, we will see forests with a variety of lush trees (birch, conifers, and rhododendron) and we will meet lots of yaks during the walk.

Day 10: Dingboche To Chhukung Village ( 4730 m), Hiking Duration: 3 To 4 Hours

After Breakfast, as soon as you start to walk, you will see the amazing mountain scenery which you didn’t expect. You will climb up Chhukung Ri 5,550 m.

Here, the reward will be valued above our effort as we find ourselves within access to beautiful peaks. 

Day 11: Chhukung To Lobuche Via Kongma La (4900 m), Hiking Duration: 7 To 8 Hours

Today, you need to walk quite a bit longer than earlier times. We will cross the first pas called Kongma La (5400m).

Then we will start our trail climbing up to the Niyang Khola Valley.

Day 12: Lobuche To Dzongla (4830 m), Hiking Duration: 7 To 8 Hours

On the way to Dzongla, you’ll also enjoy the scenic Cho La Lake along with the greatest views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Thamserku, Mera Peak, and many more.

You may also like: Three Passes Trek Route Facts you may unaware of

Day 13: Dzongla To Dragnag Via Cho La Pass (4700 M/ 5368 m), Hiking Duration: 7 To 8 Hours

Our journey heads towards the Cho La Pass (5368m) which is very vertical and a tough climb that will take around 3 hours over a rocky ridge before you reach the top of the pass.

Cho La Pass View

After crossing the Cho La pass we hike over the glacier across the snow and ice for about an hour. After lunch, we rest for some time and walk down for around 3 hours through the rocky path to Dragnag.

Day 14: Dragnag To Gokyo (4790 m), Hiking Duration: 7 To 8 Hours

After Breakfast, we start walking a trail for 1.5 hours which first leads uphill before becoming an easy walk for a while.

Gokyo Lake

After some rest at the lodge in Gokyo, a short climb to the ridge is needed from where you can explore the amazing view of the Glacier with its small glacier lakes.

Day 15: Gokyo Rest Day

Today, you will enjoy the best day of the entire trail! Although it is called a rest day you will enjoy the surroundings of Gokyo.

Gokyo Ri

Day 16: Gokyo To Renjo La Pass & Lungden ( 5415 m/ 4380 m), Hiking Duration: 4 To 5 Hours

After climbing a steep sandy ridge for about 3 hours, we will reach the top of Renjo La where you have fabulous views of above 7000 and 8000 m high peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Cholatse, and Taboche.

Renjo La Pass Frozen View

Continuing the pass we will head through the pathway of stone stairs which leads to the south bank of a small serene lake, The Angladumba Tsho. After another 4 hours walk, we reach Lungdun (4,380 m).

Day 17: Lungden To Namche Bazaar (3440 m), Hiking Duration: 4 To 5 Hours

After Breakfast, your day starts with walking downhill through the Rhododendron forest. 

Namche Bazaar

The walk continues after lunch towards Namche Bazaar.

Day 18: Namche Bazzar To Lukla (2800m), Hiking Duration 6 To 7 Hours

After having breakfast in a teahouse at Namche Bazaar, we will begin our trek to Lukla.

Day 19: Lukla To Kathmandu

After Breakfast, you have a flight back to Kathmandu.

Day 20: Sightseeing Bhaktapur-Patan & Kirtipur

Today our guide will pick you up and drive you to Bhaktapur and visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur Durbar Square. 

bhaktapur

Afterward, you’ll be driven to one of the ancient cities inside Kathmandu Valley i.e. Patan Durbar Square for sightseeing. 

Day 21: Departure

Our representative will pick you up and drive you to Kathmandu.

Three Passes Trek Itinerary 2:

Day 1 – Arrive in Kathmandu

We pick you up from Tribhuvan International Airport today and take you 20 minutes or so to the hotel in Thamel, a vibrant and busy area of Kathmandu.

Kathmandu Durbar Square Mahal

We advise you to spend some time visiting Kathmandu if you aren’t too worn out from your journey. Thamel boasts a variety of trekking gear stores, so you’re covered if you forgot something or want to rent something for your hike.

Day 2 – Drive to Manthali

In order to take a flight from Manthali Airport to Lukla, the starting point of the EBC trek, tomorrow, we go southeast in our personal vehicle this morning to reach the charming neighborhood of Ramechhap.

More: Lukla Airport: Runway Length, Crash, History & More

Day 3 – Trek to Phakding

This morning, we fly in a little plane to the mountain village of Lukla from Raemchhap in an exciting and brief journey to the east. The flight itself is a special experience with breathtaking mountain vistas.

Following the completion of our scenic flight, we seamlessly transition into the next phase of our adventure. Swiftly donning our daypacks and entrusting our duffel bags to yaks for transportation, we embark on foot. This segment of the journey unfolds amidst breathtaking beauty. The enchanting and wooded Dhudh Kosi river valley greets us swiftly, and we gracefully wind our way up, with the river consistently flowing to our left. Along this picturesque path, we traverse charming Sherpa towns like Surke (as depicted below).

Day 4 – Trek to Namche Bazaar

In order to take a flight from Manthali Airport to Lukla, the starting point of the EBC trek, tomorrow, we go southeast in our personal vehicle this morning to reach the charming neighborhood of Ramechhap.

Way to Namche

Day 5 – Acclimatisation and Hotel Everest View hike

We remain in Namche today because it’s crucial to give your body time to adapt to the higher altitude. Nevertheless, there are many things you may do, such as going to the Sherpa Museum or a nearby monastery or taking a lovely day trip to the Everest View Hotel for a drink and some snacks.

Day 6 – Trek to Tengboche

Today, in order to go to Tengboche, we travel northeast and up the Pheriche Valley. We travel a considerable distance on a quite flat and pleasant contour path. The trail eventually drops to the valley level.

Tengboche View

Then there is a steep ascent to reach Tengboche (or Thyanboche), which is perched on a hill at the meeting point of the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola.

Day 7 – Trek to Dingboche

We ascend the Imja Khola valley while strolling through forests and taking in ever-more-spectacular vistas of the surrounding snow-capped hills.

In particular, Ama Dablam and Island Peak are magnificent.

Day 8 – Trek to Chhukung

Today’s expedition promises a smoother experience as we ascend along the Imja Khola valley floor. Transitioning with ease, we’ll make our way towards the settlement of Chhukung (or Chukhung), navigating a relatively gentle incline along the route. The Sagarmatha National Park is quieter here, thus the trail won’t be as crowded as it was till near Tengboche. Until arriving in Chhukung, we walk through farms with stone walls until eventually entering moraine terrain.

Day 9 – Acclimatisation and hike 

To let our bodies adjust to the steadily rising altitude, we stay put today and spend another night in Chhukung.

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There are a couple of options on the table: go outside and go on a day hike, or unwind inside the lodge with a nice book and excellent company. Then, if we decide to hike, we have the option of climbing Chhukung Ri or visiting Island Peak Base Camp.

Day 10 – Summit Kongma La

Today we tackle our first pass! Kongma La is a challenging mountain pass that’s actually higher in elevation than Everest Base Camp. 

As part of the EBC and Three Passes trek, it is also the easternmost and highest pass.

Day 11 – Visit Everest Base Camp!

Today We head northeast after breakfast, to reach Everest base camp.

Everest Base Camp Crew

Day 12 – Climb Kala Patthar

First and foremost, we embarked on the challenging journey to reach Kala Patthar. This ascent, though demanding, promised an extraordinary payoff—a breathtaking panoramic view of the majestic Mt Everest.

kala patthar

Day 13 – Summit Cho La

Now it’s time to tackle our second pass! During the ascent, we cross Cho La Glacier. The top of the pass rewards us with magnificent views to both the east and west. Once again, the descent is steeper than the ascent.

Day 14 – Acclimatisation and Gokyo Ri hike

Today will be a special day because we will hike to the top of Gokyo Ri (Peak) for some breathtaking views! 

Gokyo Ri View

Our hike follows a roughly linear path to the peak and back.

Day 15 – Summit Renjo La

Today we tackle the third and final of the passes on our trek route! 

Renjo La Pass Way

You might even see locals with their yaks using Renjo La (5,360 m), which is not as high as the other two passes. In terms of trekkers, it’s a very quiet pass.

Day 16 – Trek to Namche Bazaar

Today we trek alongside the Bhote Kosi. It starts out with very steep valleys, but further along, they get wider.

This valley is still less affected by tourism.

Day 17 – Trek to Lukla

We travel from Lukla to Namche Bazaar over two days, where we stopped last night in Phakding for an overnight stay.

Day 18 – Transfer to Kathmandu

From Lukla, we will fry back to Kathmandu this day.

Kathmandu Durbar Square Kali Mata Statue

Day 19 – Depart Kathmandu

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