Nepal's Three Passes Trek is one of my favorite hikes, and if you're thinking about a trip to Everest Base Camp, I strongly urge to look at doing the Three Passes Trek instead; you can do Everest Base Camp as a detour and it will take just one extra day. If you're already thinking about doing the Three Passes Trek, even better, you're in the right place.
Before I set off to hike the Three Passes (Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La) I wanted to look at what the track looked like to get an idea of the distances between villages, the terrain, and really just because looking at maps is fun (maps are cool, right? Okay, good, just needed to confirm).
Here I outline my trip around the Three Passes Trek from Lukla (that is, I flew in and out of Lukla – yes, that scary mountain airport – when I did this trek). You can also hike in from Jiri (or Shivalaya) or Salleri (or Phaplu) – I will be covering the trek in from Jiri in a future post. Below the outline, you can find a map of my route.
Feel free to export this map if you would like to use it with your GPS or hiking application. However, know that this map should not be used for navigation purposes. It should be a tool (or simply something entertaining) for your trip and not a guide.
Day 1: Lukla to Monjo
- Distance: 7.8 mi / 12.63 km
- Elevation Gain: 2,985 ft / 910 m
- Max Elevation: 9,339 ft / 2,847 m
- Min Elevation: 8,077 ft / 2,462 m
Day 2: Monjo to Namche Bazaar
- Distance: 2.6 mi / 4.13 km
- Elevation Gain: 2,471 ft / 753 m
- Max Elevation: 11,096 ft / 3,382 m
- Min Elevation: 8,953 ft / 2,729 m
Most people hike up to Hotel Everest View, but I recommend hiking up to Hillary Viewpoint above Khunde and looping back to Namche via Khumjung.
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Pangboche
- Distance: 9.4 mi / 15.12 km
- Elevation Gain: 4,194 ft /1278 m
- Max Elevation: 12,892 ft / 3,929 m
- Min Elevation: 10,714 ft / 3,266 m
Day 5: Pangboche to Dingboche
- Distance: 4.3 mi / 6.96 km
- Elevation Gain: 2,024 ft / 617 m
- Max Elevation: 14,047 ft / 4,282 m
- Min Elevation: 12,875 ft / 3,924 m
Most people hike up to a viewpoint on the way up to Nangkartshang Peak. Alternatively, you can also hike up to some lakes to the southeast or even up Chukhung Ri to the north.
Day 7: Dingboche to Chukhung
- Distance: 3.1 mi / 5.03 km
- Elevation Gain: 1,593 ft / 486 m
- Max Elevation: 15,419 ft / 4,700 m
- Min Elevation: 13,950 ft / 4,252 m
Day 9: Lobuche to Dzongla
- Distance: 4.1 mi / 6.6 km
- Elevation Gain: 1,153 ft / 351 m
- Max Elevation: 16,029 ft / 4,886 m
- Min Elevation: 15,369 ft / 4,684 m
Day 11: Dragnag to Gokyo
- Distance: 1.9 mi / 3.08 km*
- Elevation Gain: 626 ft / 191 m
- Max Elevation: 15,654 ft / 4,771 m
- Min Elevation: 15,316 ft / 4,668 m
Day 13: Thame to Lukla
- Distance: 7.6 mi / 12.23 km
- Elevation Gain: 1,309 ft / 399 m
- Max Elevation: 12,337 ft / 3,760 m
- Min Elevation: 8,223 ft / 2,507 m
*I missed recording the first bit of trail on Day 11 (so sorry, friends, but I think you'll survive). Here's a picture of the view from Khunde to make it up to you. Yes, that's a mountain dog.
Three Passes Trek Map
Here are a map and GPS track of the Three Passes Trek. I've tried to mark the major points of interest and villages here, but if you have any suggestions for something I may have missed, please leave a comment and let me know.