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Makalu Base Camp Trek - 18 Days

Mt. Makalu (8,463m/27,767ft) is the fifth highest mountain on the earth that lies in the Makalu-Barun National Park. This remote terrain stretches east from the Sagarmatha National Park; between the high plateau of Tibet and the deep subtropical gorge carved by the Arun River. So, Makalu Base Camp trek is one of the remotest and adventurous treks in Nepal.

The wide range of pristine ecosystems and also diverse cultures have made Makalu trek more classical. Sherpa, Rai and Limbu people are the main settlers in this area. The spectacular views of rocky Himalayan peaks including Makalu, Chamlang (7,319m/24,013ft), Baruntse (7,129m/23,390ft) and the complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse are some highlights of Makalu Base Camp trekking.

Brief Itinerary:

DayRouteAltitudeDuration
01Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and drive to Num1,560m/5,118ftFly: 35 minutes
Drive: 4-5 hours
02Trek Num to Seduwa1,500m/4,921ftTrek: 5-6 hours
03Trek Seduwa to Tashigaon2,100m/6,890ftTrek: 5-6 hours
04Trek Tashigaon to Kauma/Khongma3,500m/11,483ftTrek: 6-7 hours
05Trek Khongma to Mumbuk3,540m/11,614ftTrek: 6-7 hours
06Trek Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka3,700m/12,139ftTrek: 6-7 hours
07Rest and acclimatisation day at Nehe Kharka3,700m/12,139ftFree time
08Trek Nehe Kharka to Shershong4,630m/15,191ftTrek: 7-8 hours
09Trek to Makalu Base Camp. Side trip to Barun Glacier5,000m/16,405ftTrek: 4-5 hours
10Return trek Makalu Base Camp to Nehe Kharka3,700m/12,139ftTrek: 7-8 hours
11Return trek Nehe Kharka to Mumbuk3,540m/11,614ftTrek: 5-6 hours
12Return trek Mumbuk to Kauma/Khongma3,500m/11,483ftTrek: 5-6 hours
13Return trek Khongma to Tashigaon2,100m/6,890ftTrek: 5-6 hours
14Trek Tashigaon to Walung Phedi910m/2,985ftTrek: 5-6 hours
15Trek Walung Phedi to Yaphu Phedi765m/2,509ftTrek: 5-6 hours
16Trek Yaphu Phedi to Baluwa Besi523m/1,715ftTrek: 5-6 hours
17Trek Baluwa Besi to Tumlingtar457m/1,500ftTrek: 5-6 hours
18Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu1,350m/4,430ftFly: 35 minutes

This unique landscape shelters some of the rare species of animals and plants of Nepal. More than 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals, including the endangered Clouded Leopard, Red Panda and Musk Deer have been recorded in this area. Therefore, this remarkable biodiversity draws a great consideration to be the living laboratory for scientific study.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Makalu Base Camp is a medium-hard trek and popular for its unique mountain ecosystem. The steep ups and downs on the same day make the trek tough between Num and Seduwa. Likewise, the trek from Tashigaon to Khongma is a steep walk over the narrow ridge. Shipton la (4,125m/13,534ft) is the major high pass of the trek. The difficulty of Makalu Base Camp trek is fairly demanding. So, trekkers need to prepare themselves for a walk of 6-7 hours daily and 7-8 hours or more on some days.

Exercising regularly and jogging for some weeks prior to the trip at home is advisable. If you have some previous experience of Himalayan trekking, that would be an asset. It is also important to consult your doctor before making a decision for this trek if you have any medical problems in the history. The facilities are basic and seasonal in this region. Its remoteness, hardness and the steep ridges are enough reasons to make this a difficult trek.

Season for Makalu Base Camp Trek

Trekking in Makalu area is best to do during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November). However, trekking in early spring and summer is also suitable in favourable weather conditions. Summer season can be more interesting to the trekkers who are keen on biological tours. Animals are more active in summer and the plants develop into greenery.

Accommodation on the Trek

Makalu Base Camp trek can run on a teahouse style these days. Due to limited facilities and amenities, trek to Makalu Base Camp needs a great patience. The teahouses generally have two basic single beds. Toilets are mostly shared and can be outside of teahouses. Teahouses offer some western meals too but it is good to try the local as they can do it better and saves time.

Equipment

We provide a detailed list of equipment while booking this trek. A good all season sleeping bag and down jacket are necessary for the trek and available to hire or purchase in Kathmandu. You may leave the excess items not necessary for the trek with the hotel in Kathmandu. It is also a good idea to leave a pair of clean clothes so that you can wear them readily after the trek.

Extension of Makalu Base Camp Trek

Makalu trek becomes a more wilderness trek with an extension of the highest passes, Sherpani Col (6,100m/20,014ft) and West Col (6,135m/20,129ft), also known as Ice Col Adventure Trek.

  • Magnificent views of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Chamlang, Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse
  • Exploration of Upper Barun Glacier Moraine
  • Scenic mountain flight to/from Tumlingtar
  • Adventurous Shipton la pass
  • Great biodiversity considered to be the living laboratory

Day 1
Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (457m/1,500ft) and drive to Num (1,560m/5,118ft).

Early morning, we fly to Tumlingtar by a regular flight where we meet our trekking crew and take a jeep ride (4-5 hours) to Num after having a short briefing on the trek. The road journey offers a scenic view of Makalu and Arun Valley. We stay overnight in Num.

Day 2
Trek Num to Seduwa (1,500m/4,921ft).

Today the trail descends steeply from Num through the cornfield at Lumbang. The country is particularly rocky with tiny terraces planted with corn and barley. We have a tough, steep climb to Seduwa. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 3
Trek Seduwa to Tashigaon (2,100m/6,890ft).

The trail crosses meadows and several streams and then climbs to the Sherpa village of Tashigaon the last permanent settlement in the Makalu valley. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 4
Trek Tashigaon to Khongma (3,500m/11,483ft).

Today’s trek is very hard as the trail is steeper. We walk through the sparse forests along the ridge over a hillock and take a short descent to Kauma/Khongma. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 5
Trek Khongma to Mumbuk (3,540m/11,614ft).

We again start today with a steep climb then through less steep rhododendron forests to the top of the ridge where we will have superb views of Chamlang (7,319m/24,013ft). We then continue through a forest of firs and rhododendrons to Mumbuk. We cross Tutu la/Shipton la pass (4,125m/13,534ft) and Keke la pass (4,170m/13,681ft) today. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 6
Trek Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka (3,700m/12,139ft).

Today the trail descends a steep gully with a stream for about 500 meters. The trail is ill defined and rocky with sloppy mud in places as it leads up the glacier valley. Nehe Kharka is located on a large open grassy plain where we can have the great mountain views. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 7
Rest and acclimatisation day at Nehe Kharka.

Nehe Kharka is a pilgrimage site for local people. We stay for two nights at Nehe Kharka for acclimatisation.

Day 8
Trek Nehe Kharka to Shershong (4,630m/15,191ft).

Today the trail turns westwards and leaves the rhododendron forests for alpine tundra. There are excellent views of Pyramid Peak (7,168m/23,518ft). We gain sharp elevation today. Trekking time 7-8 hours.

Day 9
Trek Shershong to Makalu Base Camp (4,870m/15,978ft). Side trip to Upper Barun Glacier Moraine (5,000m/16,405ft).

Today is a gradual climb to a minor pass, about 100 meters. From here you will have magnificent south face views of Makalu also you will be able to see the complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse. Trekking time 4-5 hours.

Day 10
Return trek Makalu Base Camp to Nehe Kharka.

We retrace our steps back down the Barun Valley after exploring Makalu Base Camp. Trekking time 7-8 hours.

Day 11
Return trek Nehe Kharka to Mumbuk.

Today we continue descending back. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 12
Return trek Mumbuk to Kauma/Khongma.

We trek across the Tutu la/Shipton la pass (4,125m/13,534ft) and Keke la pass (4,170m/13,681ft) and descend to Khongma. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 13
Return trek Khongma to Tashigaon.

Today’s trek is quite long as we retrace our steps to Tashigaon. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 14
Trek Tashigaon to Walung Phedi (910m/2,985ft).

We continue our walk descending through Seduwa and Mulgaon today. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 15
Trek Walung Phedi to Yaphu Phedi (765m/2,509ft).

It is a gentle descent to Yaphu Phedi. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 16
Trek Yaphu Phedi to Baluwa Besi (523m/1,715ft).

We enjoy with a soft walk down to Baluwa Besi along the Arun River. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 17
Trek Baluwa Besi to Tumlingtar.

Today we follow the east bank of the Arun River and the route through Chewabesi before reaching Tumlingtar. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 18
Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.

We take a breathtaking flight from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.

Cost Includes:

  • Makalu-Barun National Park permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
  • Three meals (B/L/D) a day on trekking from local teahouse/lodge
  • Accommodations at teahouse/lodge in the mountains
  • An experienced Trekking Guide
  • One porter shared between two trekkers
  • Staff insurance, salary, food, accommodation and their transportation
  • Regular flights for Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Kathmandu and ground transfers to/from airport
  • First aid kit box
  • A farewell Nepali dinner with live culture program

Cost Excludes:

  • Bar and beverages bills, bottled water
  • Nature of personal expenses
  • Personal cloths and equipment such as sleeping bag, jacket, boots etc.
  • Insurance for accidental, medical and evacuation
  • Tips to the staff
  • International Airfare and Taxes

  • Kathmandu City Cultural Tour
  • Mt. Everest Flight
  • Jungle Safari in Chitwan or Bardia National Park
  • Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
  • White Water Rafting in Nepal
  • Bungy Jumping / Canyoning / Paragliding / Ultralight Flight
  • Shopping Tours

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