Base camp treks are famous as the beginning point for mountaineering expeditions. These makeshift supply and communication pivot mark the end of a long, winding trail and the start of crampons and ropes. But, ever since trekking in Nepal gained momentum, base camp treks have become a sought-after trekking destination themselves. Here, we have listed our pick of top 5 base camp treks in Nepal.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
Did you know, the rarely-visited Eastern Himalayans of Nepal is lusher, wetter, and more densely forested than the west. Even more, the gem of the region is Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the third tallest peak on the earth. Kanchenjunga is the massive massif of several mountains in eastern Nepal. Imagine the view of it from the base camp? That’s why we have featured it on our list of top 5 base camp treks in Nepal.
Only in 1998, the foothills of the Kanchenjunga were opened to trekkers. Although, permit restriction means that you can only trek here as a part of an organised trekking group. If you are the kind that likes less trodden paths and empty trails over busy teahouse treks, Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is perfect for you. Probably, you are wondering what if organised trekking agencies put you off? Don’t worry, because a “group” can be as small as two people with a guide/porter.
There are two ways to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The trek to Southern Base Camp commences from Suketar (near Taplejung), taking you about 14 days to ascend to the Yalung Glacier and return. The demanding 18-day trek to Northern Base Camp begins from Basantapur, Hile. Above all, you can combine these two routes for the ultimate Kanchenjunga experience. You can do that by crossing either Mirgin La pass (4,663m) or Lapsang La pass (5,160m) to make a fantastic three-week-long loop.
Check our Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek itinerary for more details.
Everest Base Camp
Everest has enticed thousands of mountaineers and trekkers since it first appeared in scopes of mountain surveyors. The trek to the base camp of Everest (8,848m) simply needs to introduction. It is on the bucket list of absolutely every trekker. And, frankly, this was the first to come to our mind when we thought of creating the top 5 base camp treks in Nepal list.
By going on this 16-day long trek, you will be following in the footsteps of famous mountaineers like Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary, and Reinhold Messner. Though, it is not an expedition or a wilderness trek. Actually, the Everest region boasts of well-maintained lodges and tea houses every few hundred meters along the route. Bear in mind, finding accommodation can be challenging during the peak season.
As you trek through Everest’s foothills, the terrain climbs on all sides like the jagged ruins of glass. The trail is steep, and there is always a looming possibility of acute mountain sickness. But, that feeling of achievement you will feel once you make it is indescribable in words. As soon as you start the trek from Lukla, you will spot your first yaks carrying gear for trekkers. Apart from the mountain views, another reason why we’ve featured this trek on our top 5 base camp treks in Nepal is its versatility. You can combine it with Gokyo Trek, Everest Three Passes Treks, and so many more!
Check our Everest Base Camp trek itinerary for more details.
Annapurna Base Camp
The longer treks into and around, the Annapurna Massif rank among Nepal’s most versatile trekking routes. The gigantic Annapurna Massif is 55 kilometres long stretch that includes one peak over 8,000 meters, thirteen peaks over 7,000 meters, and 16 over 6,000 meters. Annapurna Base Camp trek will take you to an amphitheatre of mountains. And that’s precisely why it is on our list of top 5 base camp treks in Nepal.
Annapurna Base Camp trek can span anywhere between 7 to 12 days. It offers the views of Himalayans from a very short distance without the acclimatisation complications of the Everest treks. Just like Everest Base Camp, it is not a wilderness trek. Trekkers fill up the route during peak season. Here too, you might encounter problems when booking hotels on short notice during peak season.
You will trek through picturesque Gurung villages and ascend through the Modi gorge into the beautiful Annapurna Sanctuary. The trail encompasses a wide variety of terrain, from paddy fields to glacial moraine. But amazingly, starting from Pokhara, you can complete the trek in just ten days. Even more, the diversion to Poon Hill and Ghorepani offers a fantastic view of Dhaulagiri Massif. Right there, one more reason for this trek to be featured on our top 5 base camp treks in Nepal list.
Check our Annapurna Base Camp Trek itinerary for more details.
Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek
One more from the Everest region in our top 5 base camp treks in Nepal list. The 6,812 meters high Ama Dablam is a beautiful pyramid-shaped peak. Its South West Ridge is famous as one of the most aesthetically pleasing climbing routes in the Himalayans. You can either go on a 15-day-long exclusive Ama Dablam base camp trek or combine it as a side trip during Everest Base Camp trek.
As notorious as climbing the peak is, trekking to its base camp is a pleasant, enjoyable journey. The trek commences from Lukla and passes through beautiful Sherpa villages. Unlike other trekking routes in the region, this one isn’t swamped with fellow trekkers and mountaineers. Thus, giving you the peace and solidarity, you are looking for, and us, one more reason to add it to our top 5 base camp treks in Nepal.
The trail specifically to Ama Dablam Base Camp begins from Pangboche. If you’re wondering, Pangboche conveniently falls between Tengboche and Dingboche. Once you reach your destination, enjoy the splendid views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Kangtega, and of course, Ama Dablam. On the day of ascending the base camp itself, you will trek through steep, flat, and even a sandy trail.
Check our Ama Dablam Base Camp trek itinerary for more details.
Makalu Base Camp Trek
Mt. Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at an elevation of 8,463m. Also, it is one of the toughest eight-thousander peaks to climb. Did you know, Edmund Hillary failed twice, and Reinhold Messner only succeeded during his third attempt. But, you won’t come across such obstacles when trekking to the peak’s base camp. That’s why we have featured it on our top 5 base camp treks in Nepal list, of course.
However, it is one of the most challenging and demanding treks that passes through one of the most underdeveloped and isolated parts of Nepal. Likewise, there are rewards too. For instance, your prize for this hard work is the opportunity to trek through unspoiled and secluded Himalayan landscapes. Even more, your trek route will pass through excellent vantage points that will bring you face to face with the Makalu, Baruntse, and Everest!
The gateway for this trek is Tumlingtar in Taplejung region. It is accessible by both road and air. However, the actual trek begins from Num and ends at Num, making a full circle. There are few basic teahouses open all along the base camp now but are only reliably open during the peak season. So, for this most challenging trek from our list of top 5 base camp treks in Nepal, don’t forget to check in properly with travel agencies and locals regarding accommodation facilities.