Everest Base Camp By Road Overview
Everest Base Camp Trek By Road - a package from Himalayan Trekkers - is one of the best ways to reach Everest Base Camp amongst the others and the most reliable as well.
This alternative is a safe way to trek to EBC as well as a scenic one, as you will pass through several beautiful villages like Salleri, Phaplu, and Takshindo La.
These are some of the additional beauties that get added to the contemporary Everest Base Camp trek itinerary along with the impressive views of Mount Everest, Mt. Cho Oyu, and other surrounding peaks of the Everest Region from Kathmandu.
There exist several ways to reach the base camp of the majestic top of the world. Many people know the Everest Base Camp trek commencing from Lukla after a brief flight from Kathmandu.
However, since the weather at high altitudes is unpredictable, Lukla's flight is likely to be canceled a lot due to bad climatic conditions. This might cause unwanted problems who have their mindset of the trek on a fixed day. Flight cancellations and bad weather are unsurprisingly subsequent further decreasing the reliability of the entire journey.
While comparing “Lukla to EBC trek” and “EBC Trek by road”, you will notice that the latter has many advantages. Encompassing all the positive factors of the first, driving to EBC on a vehicle-taking road i.e. without flight also incorporates other pros like further interaction with different ethnicities; Brahmin, Chettri, Rai, etc due to added days.
The diversified trail of this trek will take you to Tak Shindo, Paiya, Kharikhola, and Surke before Phakding. This trek has further advantages as it is more immune to altitude sickness than a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and a trek to Everest Base camp.
Note: There is also an alternative option of starting the trek by driving and ending it by fighting from Lukla to Kathmandu. This way you can experience the best of both worlds.
Everest Road Trip Highlights
- Drive from Kathmandu and trace the same route back
- Close-up view of Mt. Everest another world-acclaimed peak like Mt. Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse etcetera
- Reach the vantage point of the trek - Kala Patthar(5643 meters) to peek into Everest
- Observe diverse vegetation - rhododendron, pine, oaks, magnolia, and many others
- Be in Sagarmatha National Park and maybe glimpses of rare animals like snow leopards, red pandas, etc.
- Experience the unique culture of Sherpas
- Explore the beautiful Salleri village
- Stunning Takshindo La passes at 3071 meters.
A Typical Day during Everest Base Camp Trek by Road
Your journey to the base of the tallest mountain in the world begins with an early morning drive from Kathmandu to Salleri. It takes 8/9 hours to reach Salleri and you will be driving 125 kilometers on this day. Although the distance isn’t much, it takes a long time because of the varied geography of Nepal and poor roadway condition. The travelers will spend the night in Salleri and drive 18.4 km for 4/5 hours towards Kharikhola.
From Kharikhola begins your trekking to the base camp. Except for the days, you will be driving, a typical day in Everest Base Camp Trek by Road starts with a warm cup of tea overlooking the beautiful view seen from your teahouse window. After having a delicious breakfast prepared in the local teahouse, you along with the guide and porter will gather stuff and pack your bags and start walking into the mystical realm of Everest Region.
The trekkers will hike for 6 hours per day on average, give or take an hour or two on some days. Although the hike seems lengthy, we assure you that it is comfortable and our guide and porters will be there with you to support you at all times. We also have prepared the itinerary with a proper acclimatization schedule so you will be hiking gradually.
Around midday, you will stop at a teahouse en route for lunch. And after enjoying the hearty lunch and reviving your energy, you will ascend further and stop for snacks if necessary. On this trek with us, you are free to stop by at every viewpoint, enjoy every breathtaking scenery, take lots of pictures, and explore all the attractions.
Likewise, you will reach the teahouse where you will be spending the night around mid-afternoon on most days. Upon reaching the teahouse, you can rest a bit, explore the area if interested, and in the evening have a delicious dinner prepared by the locals. Night falls fast during the trek. The guide will brief you about the next day and then you will go to bed quite earlier than your usual sleep time because it is vital to have enough sleep to revive your energy for a long day of trekking the next day.
During the trek, tomorrow is usually the same as today. You will have breakfast in the teahouse you stayed in and proceed with your journey towards Everest Base Camp. Likewise, after ending the trek, you will be returning to Kathmandu the same way, i.e. drive from Kharikhola to Salleri and Salleri to Kathmandu.
Difficulty on Road Trip to Everest
Generally, hiking to Everest Base Camp requires sound physical and mental fitness due to its high altitude and steep trail that extends the distance beyond 130 km. Due to having elevation higher than 5000 meters and harsh weather conditions at such a high altitude, it won’t be wrong to say trekking by road is categorized as moderate to difficult in terms of weather, altitude, duration, physical endurance, and track.
Altitude sickness is one of the tough factors in a high-altitude trek like this one. This trek, however, has the advantage as altitude sickness bothers people less during this trek via road because traveling by road requires a few extra days and as we will ascend slowly, travelers will get to acclimatize properly. Nevertheless, we highly recommend you be prepared mentally and physically prepared for this trek.
Even though it doesn’t require you to be a professional athlete, it can be fairly challenging if you are completely new in the field of intense walking, and would help if you had some prior experience walking on uneven terrains. The difficulty of this trek will be severe if you aren’t physically fit. So, we urge you to indulge yourself in some basic exercises to boost up stamina.
Best Season for Everest Base Camp by Road
Precisely, the best season for Everest Base Camp Trek by road is during spring and autumn. March, April, May, September, October, and November are considered best due to feasibility, proper weather, good views, and most important of all - a safe trail.
Walking through the blossoming Rhododendron forest, enjoying clear views of the mountains and scenery, and relishing in the pleasant weather is the highlight of trekking in Everest during spring. Likewise, autumn is post-monsoon in Nepal, so you can expect to be greeted by pleasant views everywhere you go. The temperature is mild, making trekking very comfortable and the blue skies with Himalayan vistas adds a cherry on top.
Early December and late February is also a good time. Other than that, winter can get challenging at higher altitudes due to cold and snow. The summer is very challenging and unsafe due to slippery trails, and leeches on trekking routes. Similarly, since we have summer monsoon, the roadways also may get destroyed by landslides making it very risky to travel during this time.
Drive vs. Flight
Comparing the Everest Base Camp Trek by road and taking a flight to Lukla and then trekking to Everest is unique in both ways. Taking a flight to Lukla is the quickest way to reach the Everest region, however, it has its own set of difficulties. The flights only take place in the morning and have limited seats so you have to book in advance to secure a spot.
Similarly, mountain weather is unpredictable, so it is common that your flight may get delayed or canceled. Although the road trip requires a few extra days, it is a much more secure and convenient option. Traveling by road allows you to witness the transition of landscape from lush green hills to alpine terrains. Likewise, the additional days required for a driving trip lets you stay in local villages and immerse in the rich culture of Bahun, Chhetri, Gurung, and Rai ethnical groups.
Similarly, sudden altitude gain upon landing in Lukla might increase the chances of altitude sickness as the town is located at a high elevation. But, road trip provides gradual ascent which aids in acclimatization and reduces the risk of altitude sickness. Driving to Everest is more cost-effective than flying, especially if you are traveling in a group. However, the cost also depends on the route, transportation, and side trips.
Sharing Jeep vs. Private Jeep
Choosing between sharing a jeep and taking a private jeep for your Everest Base Camp trek is a decision that involves several considerations such as cost, comfort, flexibility, and overall experience. It is a fact that sharing a jeep reduces costs significan=[ly. But since the jeep is shared between lots of travelers, you cannot expect much comfort and luxury. Likewise, shared jeeps have a fixed schedule for departures and stops along the way.
But by taking a private jeep, you have the freedom of traveling in your time. Taking short breaks along the way to capture beautiful views and are very comfortable and have enough space. With that being said, private jeeps are quite expensive because of the high fuel cost, expensive servicing, high taxes on vehicles, and bad roadway conditions.
Hiring a private jeep is expensive for an individual but if you are traveling in a group then it is shared between individuals so will be affordable without compromising your comfort.
Required Permits and Entrance Fees
The permits and entrance fees required for this package are mentioned below. Please note that all permits and entrance fees mentioned below are included in our package.
- Sagarmatha National Park Fee: USD 30
- Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Fee: USD 20
- Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS): USD 30
Note: Permits and entrance fees are a matter to change. Please contact us or visit the Nepali embassy website to find out updated information.
Hiring Guide and Porter
Whether you choose our full board package or just the service package, a professional authorized guide will be included in the trip either way. Our guides are experienced and professional in the field having in-depth information about the destination and navigation.
Likewise, it is not mandatory to take a porter for Everest Base Camp Trek by road. However, we suggest you take a porter as our porters are from the Himalayas and very used to the altitude. Since you are new to such altitude gain, it may not be easier to walk for hours with a heavy backpack. One porter can be shared by two people and he will carry 15 kg on average, a few extra kilograms can be considered.
Similarly, it is very important to check to see if the agency you are traveling with has the authority from Nepal Government and provides insurance to the guide and porters.