As the ultimate Everest experience, the Three Pass trek includes all the highlights-both from a mountain view and a cultural perspective-into into a truly unforgettable journey. Additionally, this trek is one of Nepal’s most challenging tea house treks, as this is a challenging yet physically and spiritually satisfying journey that isn’t often discussed.

The Everest Region is one of Nepal’s top trekking destinations, and the Three Passes Trek, Nepal’s ultimate trekking adventure, crosses three passes over 5,000m, providing incredible scenery and photos. Additionally, this popular trekking trail is located in the Khumbu region of the eastern side of Nepal, with a magnificent natural setting and several trekking trails to explore. 

About the Region

In the three passes trek, you are linked to all corners of the Everest region, high mountain landscape, lush meadows, and high passes alpine plateau. The three passes trek is 148 kilometers / 92 miles long, and it requires around three weeks of hiking for the round trip. However, solo independent travelers and small groups who trek in small groups have found the three-pass trek a more popular and desirable trek.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

TIMS permits and Sagarmatha National Park permits are required for treks in the Everest region. For those arranging their own trek, you’ll need to pick up their TIMS permit in Kathmandu and their Sagarmatha National Park permits in Monjo village (a checkpoint on the first day of their trek).

You will spend most of your time during the trek in small tea houses along the three-pass route as a trekker. They offer quite basic services and facilities, but the hospitality of the locals is exceptionally impressive.

Preparing For the Three Pass Trek

It is important to be aware that this trek starts at the height of 2,860 meters or 9,380 feet and reaches a maximum elevation of 5,545 meters or 18,192 feet. This high elevation can cause some individuals altitude sickness or difficulty breathing. Therefore, people with lung or other similar problems should refrain from participating in such an adventure or take necessary precautions.

Additionally, this trek requires you to walk regularly in a cold climate for many days. Thus, be sure to bring along the following materials with you.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Portable fire stoves

There is no requirement for all of these materials for the journey mentioned above, but they make the journey much easier. The three-pass trek is quite popular among frequent travelers; many hotels, trek shops, and homestays provide these materials.

Three Pass Trek Itinerary

For foreigners, this trek starts from Lukla and ends in Lukla, so they need first to obtain a Nepali visa and arrive in Kathmandu. Then, once in Kathmandu or any other city in Nepal, they need to book flights to Solukhumbu’s Lukla Airport.

Today you enter the Sagarmatha National Park World Heritage site with spectacular views of high mountains, including the majestic Mount Everest.

On the next day's morning, we walk to Everest View Hotel for an acclimatization hike. In the afternoon, we visit the Sherpa Museum, explore Namche Bazar's local market, and spend the night there.

The trail now separates from the popular Everest base camp route and leads northwest towards the gorgeous village of Thame, where you will be staying that night. While you are there, learn about some of the local traditions and their connection with this mountain.

Today we will be returning to higher altitudes, climbing up to Lungden. Make sure you have your camera with you because as you go higher and higher, you will be able to see more and more of the snow-capped peaks in the region.

As we approach the end of our climb to Renjo La, we will encounter the first of the Three Passes - Renjo La. The route is gentle at the outset but will soon become a strenuous ascent. We get to an altitude of 5,388 meters on this day. Thus, you can use the magnificent views you will get at the top to motivate you. After the pass, we will descend to Gokyo Lake Number Three and then trek to Gokyo Village for the night.

Your first summit today is Gokyo Ri, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of Cho Oyu. We start the climb early and then take the rest of the day to acclimatize. If you have more energy left, you might want to hike up some of the surrounding moraine ridges.

Gokyo is the starting point for the journey across the Ngozumpa Glacier. After reaching the second lake, we descend onto the glacier. The route across the glacier is marked with cairns, and the route is generally well defined. Finally, we climb off the glacier and descend into Tragnag Valley.

In order to cross the Cho La Pass and descend to Dzongla today, we must get up early. After climbing a ridge and crossing an old moraine, we begin the rocky scramble up to the pass. On the way down, we cross a small glacier that is fairly straightforward. We can also see more excellent views of Ama Dablam and Cholatse once we reach the river.

Leaving Pheriche and Tengboche, the Lobuche trail follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier, contouring above the Tshola Tsho lake to connect with the main Everest trail.

As we approach Everest Base Camp, we follow the Khumbu Glacier, which offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding mountains, especially at the crossing of a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at Gorak Shep before continuing our trek to Base Camp.

To reach the trekking peak of Kala Pattar - the iconic view of Everest - we have to get up early in the morning. Then, after snapping some pictures, we head back to Gorak Shep for a quick meal and descend to Lobuche.

We hike for eight to nine hours on this day. Today, we leave the classic base camp route, reaching Kongma La, the third and final pass on the trip. At 5,535m, this pass is the highest among the three. We descend to the Chukhung Valley from here after a tiring climb.

The most difficult of the three peaks on our trek is Chukhung Ri, which we will climb today. There is a little easy scrambling near the summit and the excellent views. We descend to Dingboche.

Now that we have returned to the main Everest trail, we descend to Pangboche and climb to Tengboche. After Tengboche, we make a steep descent before climbing back up to Kyangjuma. There, we will spend the night in a lodge.

After traversing Namche Bazaar, descending Namche Hill, and crossing the Dudh Koshi, we will trek back to the village of Phakding, where we will spend the night during our return from the trek.

On the final day of the three-pass trek, we follow the Dudh Koshi down to Lukla on our final day of hiking. This will be the perfect time for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where you can reflect on a memorable hiking experience.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. However, the above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so.

  Bigyan Neupane