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.
|01||Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and drive to Num||1,560m/5,118ft||Fly: 35 minutes
Drive: 4-5 hrs
|02||Trek Num to Seduwa||1,500m/4,921ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|03||Trek Seduwa to Tashigaon||2,100m/6,890ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|04||Trek Tashigaon to Kauma/Khongma||3,500m/11,483ft||Trek: 6-7 hours|
|05||Trek Khongma to Mumbuk||3,540m/11,614ft||Trek: 6-7 hours|
|06||Trek Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka||3,700m/12,139ft||Trek: 6-7 hours|
|07||Rest and acclimatisation day at Nehe Kharka||3,700m/12,139ft||Free time|
|08||Trek Nehe Kharka to Shershong||4,630m/15,191ft||Trek: 7-8 hours|
|09||Trek to Makalu Base Camp. Side trip to Barun Glacier||5,000m/16,405ft||Trek: 4-5 hours|
|10||Return trek Makalu Base Camp to Nehe Kharka||3,700m/12,139ft||Trek: 7-8 hours|
|11||Return trek Nehe Kharka to Mumbuk||3,540m/11,614ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|12||Return trek Mumbuk to Kauma/Khongma||3,500m/11,483ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|13||Return trek Khongma to Tashigaon||2,100m/6,890ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|14||Trek Tashigaon to Walung Phedi||910m/2,985ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|15||Trek Walung Phedi to Yaphu Phedi||765m/2,509ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|16||Trek Yaphu Phedi to Baluwa Besi||523m/1,715ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|17||Trek Baluwa Besi to Tumlingtar||457m/1,500ft||Trek: 5-6 hours|
|18||Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,430ft||Fly: 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.
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 Three Cols 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