Khumbu Three Passes Trek - 21 Days

Embark on the most challenging, rugged trek in the Khumbu region. To complete with breathtaking views of the tallest mountain in the world. Complete the crossing of Khumbu three passes trek above 17,500 ft. over the course of 18-22 days. The Three Passes Trek is a seriously challenging, seriously awe-inspiring high-altitude trek through the Nepalese Himalayas. Lonely Planet describes this as “the ultimate Everest trek… Only for the truly adventurous.”. In fact, for over a week during this trek you will be hiking and sleeping above the highest point.

Khumbu Three Passes Trek a lollipop loop in the Everest Region starting and ending in either Jiri or Lukla (Jiri for those of you with more time – We definitely recommend hiking in from Jiri – and Lukla for everyone flying to the mountains). The loop goes over three of Nepal’s high passes, Kongma La (18,209 ft / 5,550 m), Cho La (17,782 ft / 5,420 m), and Renjo La (17,560 ft / 5,360 m), and you can easily make a detour to Everest Base Camp you’re into that (probably worth it).

The Everest Region is one of Nepal’s top trekking destinations, and the Khumbu Three Passes Trek is its ultimate trekking adventure, crossing three passes over 5,000m, each offering amazing scenery and views. This is a great alternative to the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek, which uses an out-and-back route from Lukla. On the Three Passes route, you’ll do a counterclockwise circuit that visits EBC about halfway through. While at Base Camp, you’ll have the opportunity to climb Kala Patthar, reaching a staggering 18,514 ft. as your trip’s highpoint.

Khumbu Three Passes Trek Video

  • Kathmandu Exploration
  • Picturesque Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight
  • Along with the adventure, you can get a close insight into the life of the Himalayan Sherpa people.
  • Visit historical Tengboche Monastery
  • Mesmerizing view of Khumbu Ice fall
  • Sunrise from Kalapathar
  • Experience the unique culture of the Sherpa people
  • Crossing enthralling passes (Kongmala 5535m, Chola 5360m, Renjola 5385m).
Day 1
Arrival to Kathmandu & Transfer to the Hotel (1,400m)

Day 2
Explore Kathmandu City

Day 3
Fly to Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft)

Day 4
Trek Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft)

Day 5
Rest day at Namche and sightseeing

Day 6
Trek Namche to Thame (3,844m/12,612ft)

Day 7
Trek Thame (3,844m/12,612ft) to Lungden 4380 metres

Day 8
Trek Lungden via the Renjo La Pass - 5388 metres to Gokyo (4750 metres)

Day 9
Gokyo Ri (Acclimatisation Day) 5483 metres

Day 10
Trek Gokyo to Thaknak (4700m/15415ft)

Day 11
Trek Thaknak (4700m/15415ft) via Cho La Pass 5420 metres to Dzongla 4,830m/ 15,846ft

Day 12
Trek Dzongla (4,830m/ 15,846ft) to Lobuche (4,940m/16,204ft)

Day 13
Trek to Everest Base Camp 5,364 m/ 17,594 ft, return to Gorak Shep (5,170 m/ 16,961ft)

Day 14
Climb Kala Pattar (5,545m/ 18,192ft), trek back to Lobuche (4,940m/16,204ft)

Day 15
Trek Kongma La Pass - 5535m and onto Chukkung 4,730 m/ 15,518ft

Day 16
Climb Chukhung Ri, trek to Dingboche 4,410 m/ 14,461ft

Day 17
Trek Dingboche to Namche Bazaar 3,438m/ 11,280ft

Day 18
Trek Namche to Phakding 2,651m/ 8,700ft

Day 19
Trek Phakding to Lukla (2,860m/ 8,790ft)

Day 20
Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

Day 21
Final Departure

Price Includes:

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Teahouse accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flights (Kathmandu- Lukla -Kathmandu)
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (4 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
  • Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag (to be returned after trip completion)
  • Adventure Connexion’s trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt and trekking map are yours to take
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • All government and local taxes
How far is Everest base camp from Lukla?

The Everest Base Camp trek is a 130 km round trip starting from Lukla – the gateway to Everest. However, the outward 65 km to Everest Base Camp takes much longer as you need to consider acclimatization. It is almost impossible to trek to Base Camp continuously.

How difficult is the Three Passes trek?

The Three Passes Trek is considerably harder than the classic Everest Base Camp Trek so we recommend you have a good fitness level before embarking. Ascending the high passes involves long days of strenuous trekking that would not be encountered on the classic base camp trek and other variations.

6/7 hours of trekking per day is to be expected and altitudes of up to 5,500m are reached on the trek. That being said, the trek is still very popular among people wanting a bit more of a challenge.

Will I get altitude sickness to Khumbu Three Passes?

Despite crossing some very high passes, the trek has been designed to follow the principle of trek high, sleep low. That means that you will not be spending extended periods of time at altitudes above 5,000m. The itinerary also has acclimatisation days as well as nights spent at lower altitudes to help the acclimatisation progress. If you follow the guide you should not have a problem.

When is the best time to do Khumbu Three passes trek?

The Three Passes route can be hiked from October to May but in the Winter months there is likely to be a lot of snow on the route. We therefore do not operate open groups on this route from mid-November to early March.

Is it possible to do Khumbu Three Passes trek in a shorter time?

Although it is possible to complete the Three Passes trek in less days, our Khumbu itinerary is designed to give you good time to acclimatise and some rest periods during what is a long and arduous journey. If you would like to attempt the trek in fewer days, contact us and we can discuss the options for a private trip.

What insurance do I need?

The short answer is yes. Trekking in Nepal at high altitudes comes along with various risks that are not covered by typical travel insurance. We recommend taking out insurance that covers trekking to altitudes up to 6,000m as well as medical evacuation from the mountain.

We have a detailed article to help to find the best policy that will suit your needs. Alternatively, use the quote calculator below from our recommended partner, World Nomads. They offer insurance that covers guided hikes up to 6000m and include a premium for Helicopter Evacuation in Nepal.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Khumbu Three Passes Trek
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Trip Facts

  • 5,545m/11283ft
  • Fly In / Fly Out
  • 2-15 people
  • High Passes Trek
  • March - May / Sept - Dec