Peak Climbing
Trekking in Everest Region

The Everest region is located in the northeast of Nepal. The most visited part of this region is Solukhumbu district, home of the legendary Sherpa and the highest peak of the world, the Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters. To the north of Solokhumbu is Everest National Park; while to the east is the Makalu Barun National Park. The major ethnic groups that live in the Everest region are Sherpas, Rais, Tamang, Brahmins and Chhettris. Diverse range of wildlife and vegetation are seen in the region. Animals to be sighted are mountain goat, musk deer and barking deer in the forests. Birds include Impeyan Pheasant (Danfe), ravens, crows, and choughs and show pigeons. The best time to visit is spring and autumn. Popular trekking areas are Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Valley, Lukla, Pike Danda, Dudh Kunda, Salleri, Chiwong Circuit, Hindhu, Hongu valleys and Everest to Arun Valley. Interesting landmarks near Syangboche are Khumjung School built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1961.

Permits and Fees

No special trekking permits are required to visit this area provided that the trekker's do not climb any of the peaks. An entry fee is charged for access to Everest National Park. This is payable at the national park desk in Thamel. For treks to the east of main Everest trail an addition permit is required to enter Makalu-Barun National Park obtainable from the same location.

Getting There

Everest region can be reached by air or on foot. Buses to jiri leave from the new bus park in Kathmandu. Jiri is a ten-hour drive from Kathmandu. By air, there are three options; the most convenient for Everest trek is Lukla, which is served by many airlines with daily flights from the capital. The last choice is the small airstrip at Syangobche, which is located above Namche Bazaar. Despite being an option altitude makes it an impractical and unwise choice as an arrival destination for acclimatization reason.

People and Culture

The main ethnic group that visitors will encounter in the Everest region is the Sherpas. This is their heartland and their influence is to be seen everywhere from their traditional dress to their distinctive houses and village monasteries. There are also minorities of various other groups, notably Rai and Tamang in the lower hills and the ubiquitous Brahmin and Chhetri farmers of the valleys.

Flora and Fauna

The flora and fauna to be seen are quite diverse since the region ranges in altitude from less than 200 meters above sea level at Jiri to the high peaks of the Himalayan at over 8000 meters. Up to 4000 meters you will find dense stands of forest including pine, cak and the spectacular flowering rhododendrons. The latter are one reason to make a trip to Nepal in the spring when the hills between 2000 and 3500 meters are a rich of cultures.

The crops under cultivation will depend on the season that you visit but expect to see wheat, barley, corn and potatoes at some stage. Domesticated animals will range from cattle, buffalo, goats and pigs to the all-purpose beast of the mountains the yak.

There is a good chance of seeing wildlife, mostly birds including the national bird of Nepal-the Impeyan Pheasant, or Danfe, which is quite common around Namche Bazaar. Other notable birds will include the ravens and crows of the middle hills and the choughs, which soar to seemingly impossible heights in the mountains. Also in the mountains look for flocks of snow pigeons wheeling around the hillsides.

Land animals can be more elusive but look out for mountain goats (most commonly the Himalayan Tahr) and if you are lucky, musk deer or barking deer in the forests.

How and When

How to trek in Everest region depend entirely on the route that you choose. On the main trail to Everest base camp or the route to Gokyo valley then teahouse trekking is perfectly possible. The trail in from Jiri is also endowed with many continently located teahouses although generally not of such a high standard as those to the north. Other trekking routes will almost certainly require the use of camping and organization of trekking staff and equipment. See the following individual route description for detail.

When to Visit?

The peak seasons of October/November and March/May are obviously the most popular. At these times the weather is mild and generally dry, making the walking conditions good. The spring season is good for wildflowers, particularly the rhododendrons, while the autumn season generally gives the best mountain views, as the air at this time is crystal clear.

Winter is possible but the chances of snow are higher and passes may be closed, particularly during late winter. Also during this time many of the teahouses will close. The summer/monsoon period is generally unsuitable for trekking, as the trails are slippery, leeches abundant and the mountain views are unpredictable. It can be a rewarding time, however, if you are prepared to tolerate these drawbacks, as the wild flowers are at their best at this time and there are fewer tourists on the trails making interaction with the locals easier.

Looking after the environment

Much has been said about the deteriorating environment of the Himalaya. Over that past few years, due to effort by many overseas expeditions and organizations such as the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and Nepal Mountaineering Association, education programmes and clean-up campaigns have, to a large extent, solved many of the problems.

Having said that, the environment of the high Himalaya is a very fragile eco-system that is easily put out of balance. The locals lived for generations in relative harmony with their surroundings but the recent influx of tourist has put pressure on the indigenous populations to supply more and more services in the name of tourism development. While the Everest National Park is somewhat protective from the worst ravages the same cannot be said about the area immediately to the south. Here, uncontrolled timber collection for fuel and building has led to a marked loss of timber cover. Certain initiatives within the National Park area, such as the banning of glass beer and soft drink bottles, had resulted in a reduction of the amount of non-biodegradable rubbish being left behind. Much more can be done, however, particularly by the trekkers themselves. The KEEP code of trekking conduct is a perfect example.

Everest Region
Max. altitude
Everest Base Camp Trek
Gokyo Lake and Tengboche Monastery
Everest Base Camp/ Chola Pass / Gokyo
Everest Base Camp via Jiri
Tengboche Monastery
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Trekking Type
  • Tea House Trek
  • Camping Trek

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