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.
BEST TIME AND SEASON FOR THE MAKALU BASE CAMP TREK
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