18 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek

  • Moderate
  • 5,000 M
  • 13 Days Tea House
  • 4 Days Hotel Days
  • 13 Days Trekking Days

Makalu Base Camp Trekking is one of the most remote trekking routes in Nepal. The trial will test you physically and mentally. But on the bright side, nature and wilderness are untouched and serene.  You will get the chance to explore the Makalu Barun National Park. Similarly, you can get spectacular mountain views of Mt. Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, and Baruntse.  

The Makalu Base Camp Trekking takes you to the off-beaten path of Eastern Nepal. The base camp lies just beneath the world’s fifth-highest mountain, Mount Makalu (8,485 meters). The base camp lies at an elevation of 4,870 meters (15,978 feet) above sea level. Its high altitude, steep, and rugged trails, make Makalu Base Camp Trekking a difficult and physically challenging trek. 

You will pass by remote valleys, varied landscapes, rhododendron forests, and highland pastures. For the trek, you need to be fully prepared with proper gear. Similarly, you need to hire an experienced guide and porter. Their assistance will play a significant role in your trek’s success. This remote trekking route will truly test your endurance while providing you with an authentic Himalayan trekking experience.


Makalu Base Camp Trekking is a challenging route. So, you have to pick the best time and season for the trek for a higher success rate. Two seasons are best for Makalu Base Camp Trekking. The weather, temperature, and trail conditions are all the best in these seasons.  

Spring (March to May)

Spring is one of the best seasons for Makalu Base Camp Trekking. The weather is stable with clear skies. The temperature is warm during the daytime. However, the nighttime temperature at higher elevations can drop significantly. Spring falls in the pre-monsoon season. Therefore, there is a low chance of heavy rainfall except for occasional rain showers. 

The best thing about Makalu Base Camp Trekking during spring is the blooming rhododendron forests. The vegetation is green and luscious. These add color and vibrancy to the landscapes. Additionally, you can enjoy the majestic panoramic mountain views.

Autumn (September to October)

The autumn season has stable weather and warm temperatures. It is another best seasons for Makalu Base Camp Trekking. During autumn, the nighttime temperature at higher elevations is also considerably warmer. The pleasant weather makes the difficult trek enjoyable. 

Autumn falls in the post-monsoon season in Nepal. The rain washes away the dust. As a result, the visibility is excellent. You can get the best view panoramic view of the majestic mountains in this season. 

Things to Consider While Trekking Makalu Base Camp 

There are several things you need to consider while at Makalu Base Camp Trekking. They are important to make your trek comfortable as well as safe. Proper preparation is the key to a successful and best trekking experience. So what are these things you need to consider?   

We have divided these things into three headings. 

Physical and Mental Preparation

The Makalu Base Camp trail will test your physical stamina and endurance. The route is physically demanding as you will have to ascend and descend on rocky, steep, and rugged terrain. It is highly recommended that you do strength training and exercise before embarking on Makalu Base Camp Trekking. 

The highest elevation during the trek reaches 4,870 meters. Due to the high altitude, many trekkers are affected by acute mountain sickness. Therefore, it is extremely important to acclimatize. Proper rest days can help your body to adjust the high altitude. Pay attention to your body and watch out for acute mountain sickness symptoms. If symptoms are noticed, it is crucial to take precautions immediately.  

All these physical strains and challenges can also put a mental strain on trekkers. Therefore, mentally prepare yourself to face the difficulties. Assess your fitness level and consult with your trekking agencies for advice. This way you can physically and mentally prepare yourself for Makalu Base Camp Trekking.     

Clothing and Equipment

In addition to physical and mental preparation, you also need proper clothing and equipment preparation. The weather conditions of higher elevations can change at any time. Therefore, you need to pack the right clothing, supplies, equipment, and gear. They help to make your trek somewhat comfortable and safe.  

The temperature at high altitudes can drop significantly during nighttime. Therefore, your clothing essentials should include a down jacket, waterproof/windproof jacket, lightweight trekking pants, insulating layers, moisture-wicking thermal tops, bottoms, and socks. Wear comfortable and sturdy boots with good ankle support. Similarly, pack hats, gloves, and scarves.   

For your equipment list, you will need a comfortable backpack with a rain cover. Likewise, carry an adjustable trekking pole, sleeping bag, water bottle, and headlamp. You can also carry a sleeping pad, first aid kit, and personal hygiene items. Since Makalu Base Camp lies in a remote area, the availability of hygiene products is limited. Female trekkers should carry their supply of menstrual hygiene products. 

Guide and Porter

It is an absolute must to hire a guide for Makalu Base Camp Trekking. The trail is full of rocky and steep paths. Guides will help to guide you through the difficult routes safely. Similarly, they will ensure that you stay on the right trail. Guides are trained to provide first aid in case of any accident.  

Guides also help you to communicate with the locals. They also provide you with in-depth cultural insights. Meanwhile, porters can help you trek baggage-free. Carrying all your equipment and gear is quite heavy. It further adds to the physical strain on the difficult trail. Moreover, it can increase the risk of injury. So hiring a porter helps to reduce physical strain. You can focus on enjoying the trek than worry about the baggage. 

Insurance, Permits, and Paperwork Needed For Trek

For every international traveler, you need to get a tourist visa to enter Nepal. You can get the visa before arrival or on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport. With a visa, you can freely travel and participate in activities in Nepal.   

For the Makalu Base Camp Trekking, you will need three types of permits. You will need a Makalu Restricted Area Permit, a Makalu Barun National Park Permit, and a TIMS Card (Trekkers’ Information Management System). You can get these permits in Kathmandu or through your trekking agency. 

Travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking is important for trekkers. Similarly, the insurance should also cover any emergency medical evacuation, baggage loss, trip cancellations, postponement, or any travel-related risks.

Check all the permits and travel documents before you begin your Makalu Base Camp Trekking. Also, check with your travel agency for any changes in travel regulations and requirements. 

18-Day Makalu Base Camp Trek Route Highlight and Facts

  • Duration: 23 days
  • Best season: Apr-May & Sep – Nov
  • Trekking grade: D+(Challenging)
  • Altitude:5000 m.
  • Trek Starting Point: Tumlingtar
  • Ending Point: Tumlingtar
  • Culture: Different Community with the majority of Rai, Limbus Chetry
  • Mode of Trekking: Fully organized camping trek
  • Himalayan Sights: Makalu, Everest Himalayan ranges
  • Highlight: Makalu(8,481m), the fifth highest mountain of the world lying in Nepal, considered as one of the non-tourist areas is famous for its unique flora and fauna not for Nepal but also for the world

Note: B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner

Day to day schedule to 18 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, o/n in a hotel (D)

    Arrival and pick up from the international airport in Kathmandu, after some refreshment we will invite you for a traditional Nepali dinner.

  • Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu valley o/n in a hotel (B)

    After breakfast we will start for sightseeing tours around in Kathmandu valley, the sightseeing program is focused to introduce some highlights and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu such as Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Bouddhanath. Preparation for the trek and check the equipment list and buy the equipment that is necessary for Trip.

  • Day 3: Flight to Tumlingtar and Drive to Num (4/5hrs drive, 1560m)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    It’s about a 50-minute flight before we touchdown on a grass airstrip at Tumlingtar (400m). Eventually drive to Num which is on a ridge above Arun Koshi River. Almost every evening Num experiences a dramatic display of thunder and lightning, which makes life here that little bit more interesting.

  • Day 4: Trek to Seduwa (1540m, 5hrs) o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    We will descend steeply from the western end of the Num ridge through the cornfields of Lumbang. The trail passes over the suspension bridge and ascends through forest and a few traditional villages. People of this area are mainly engaged in agriculture and crops grown here are paddy, millet, potatoes and vegetables depending on the season. Ascend continue through dense forest, eventually brings to beautiful camp site Seduwa. Here is large flat camping lawn ridge above the Makalu Barun National park check point, where needed to be registered.We can enjoy a beautiful view looking back towards Num and the ridgelines bounding the Arun Valley.

  • Day 5: Trek to Tashigoan (2070m, 3/4hrs) o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    From Seduwa, we ascend the ridge, which is bounded by the IpsuwaKhola on the west and KasuwaKhola to the east, with flat and easy hiking through the bushes. The path cuts across the hillside, contouring through quiet villages along the way. You will see the locals using buffalo to plough the small paddy fields, as every piece of land possible is being utilized for farming. Finally, we climb to the last settlement of trek to Tashigoan. The camping spot in this village is really a
    praiseworthy site below the national park office.

  • Day 6: Trek to Kouma Pain (7/8hrs, 3500m) o/n in Lodge (B,L,D)

    We ascend steeply through dense forest of remote scrub and Rhododendron passing many ridges and seasonal Yak herders. Trail rises to Chipla (2520m) and even becomes steeper, struggling up past stream and a huge overhanging rock right below the Mani danda. We have a packed lunch because of the lack of the water in between Tashigoan and Khongma. Khongma is the last opportunity we have to stop before crossing the Shipton La and dropping down into the upper sections of the remote BarunValley.There are no buildings here and many of the tent sites are on the sloping hillside.

  • Day 7: Trek to Mumbuk (3550m, 5hrs)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    From Khongma, climb the ridge on steep switchbacks to a stone chorten at 3840m and feast your eyes on views of Chhamlang, Peak 6 and Peak 7. Scrubby rhododendrons and mossy boulders line the trail as you climb a stone staircase over several false ridges towards the small pass known as Ghungru La (4050m). The path twists and turns steeply, passing through forest before emerging on to a ridge with Mani walls, numerous prayer flags and superb mountainviews, including Kanchenjunga. Descend to a small turquoise lake after which we will ascend again through Shipton Pass. We then drop down the saddle for a rest by the lake KaloPokhari, before passing over the Keke La (4152m) and an easy descent walk through rhododendron and pine forest towards Mumbuk. It is a serene camping spot surrounded by green forests.

  • Day 8: Trek to Nghekharka (3750m,4hrs) o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    From Mumbuk, the trail drops down a scree-covered slope into the long, curving Barun Valley. The Barun River running through the trail adds more dimensions to the trek with its spectacular views of Mt. Tutse (Peak 6) 6739m and Peak 7 (6185m). It’s a pleasant walk, slowly gaining altitude, until we arrive at Yangri Kharka (3610m). Yangri Kharka is a very small village situated in a meadow at the base of the valley. From Yangri Kharka climb gently to Nghekharka, another cluster of herd’s hut and prayer flags on the opposite side of Barun.

  • Day 09: Trek to Merek (4570m, 3hrs)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    Beyond Nghekharka, the river makes a huge S-shaped curve between curtains wall of cliffs that tower on either side of river. From the meadow at Riphuk (3930m), climb past a waterfall and up over swampy ground to a lonely stone hut. Another gentle climb passes a Mani wall to YakKharka (4400m). The final climb to the rather bleak camp site at Merek passes through a dizzying landscape of Himalayan giants. Have marvelous views of Chhamlang, Peak 3, Peak 4 and Peak 5.

  • Day 10: Trek to Makalu Base Camp(5000m, 4hrs)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    As the path turns northwards into a side valley, Makalu finally soars into view. Stick to the faint, flat trail following the east bank of river to Shersong (4660m). From Shersong, it is a gradual climb to a minor pass about 100 meter above Makalu base camp after which we descend to a stream and cross boulders to the base camp on the west side of the river. There are terrific views of the south face of Mt. Makalu. There are no huts, shelters or vegetation at base camp which is at an elevation of about 5000m.

  • Day 11: Explore around Makalu Base Camp and back to Merek o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    ‘Base camp’ can an anticlimax after all the effort taken to get here. We spend a day exploring around base camp, with the aim of climbing up towards the Advance Base Camp at the start of the Makalu’s South East Ridge, where on the edge of the icy slopes you get a fantastic view up the Barun Valley of Everest. A more rewarding end point to the trek is to climb the 5250m ridge northeast of Shersong on the lower slopes of Peak 3. From this lofty vantage point, there are also views northwest to Lhotse, Lhotse Shar and Everest. When you are tire of having your awe inspired, return to Merek for the night.

  • Day 12: Trek to Khongma(7/8hrs)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    Continue descending through the rock fall and then climb the rocky gully to the Shelter of Mumbuk. Trek across Shipton La and descend to Khongma.

  • Day 13: Trek to Seduwa (6/7hrs)o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    Make a long sleep descend back to the civilization at Tashigoan and after Lunch easy walk to Seduwa. Camp at Seduwa.

  • Day 14: Trek to Num (5/6hrs) o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    Start early morning for a relatively easy trekking along the ridge to Num for around 5 hours.

  • Day 15: Drive to Tumlingtar(7hrs) o/n in Lodge B+L+D

    The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to
    Kathmandu the following day.

  • Day 16: Fly back to Kathmandu o/n in a hotel +B

    On arrival in Kathmandu transfer to your hotel.

  • Day 17: Free day in Kathmandu o/n in a hotel +B

  • Day 18: Transfer to the international airport +B

What is included?

  • Arrival and transfer transport from to international and domestic airport in Kathmandu
  • Hotel with bed and breakfast in Kathmandu
  • 3 meals a day during trekking (B, L, D)
  • Welcome dinner by arrival
  • Staff insurance, wages, equipment and local transport
  • Trekking permit and conservation fee
  • Government licensed guide with privet transport during sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
  • Accommodation in hotel and lodge
  • Domestic flight ticket KTM-Tumlingtar-KTM and airport taxes
  • Private transport to trek starting point and from ending point to hotel

What is excluded?

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Nepal visa fees
  • Tips for local staff
  • International flight ticket
  • Personal insurance for helicopter rescue in case of emergency
  • Personal expenses like soft and hard drink, laundry, telephone, tips etc
  • Entrance fee of the monuments and monasteries
  • Sleeping bag while trekking
  • Extra porter or transport incase of accident or any emergency
  • Personal Medicine

Best Seasons Listing

Best Season
Apr - May & Sep - Nov

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