Makalu Base Camp Trek

Duration: 22 Days

Makalu Base Camp Trek is the ultimate trip for anyone who wants a walk in the untouched wilderness of Nepal. It is among the best and ultimate ‘’off-the-beaten’’ trekking paths.Mt. Makalu at 8,485 m is the fifth highest mountain in the world. It falls in the Mahalangur Himalayas (  19 km southeast of Mount Everest) on Nepal and Tibet, China border.  Shaped like a four-sided pyramid, Makalu is among the few isolated eight-thousanders peak.

The trek to the base camp of Mt. Makalu takes us through high-altitude terrains, unparalleled snow-clad landscapes and unspoilt, primitive Himalayan lifestyle.The Makalu Barun Valley we walk through is a Himalayan glacier and falls entirely in the Makalu Barun National Park with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas. The rock formations in the upper reaches of the region resembles that of Yosemite National Park in the USA- huge shiny granite cliffs with hanging glaciers on top and cascading waterfalls.

The lower section of the trek takes you through the richest and most colorful rhododendron forest in Nepal. This could easily be the most beautiful trek you have ever done.The trail leading to the base camp goes deep in the high Himalayas with views of Mt. Everest and Mt. Makalau above you and Mt. Baruntse (7,129 m) and Mt. Lhotse (8,516m) in view for most part of the trek.  We also pass through the lush green Barun and Arun Valley.

Our 22-day-long Makalu Base Camp Trek starts with a flight to Tumlingtar, a city in eastern Nepal.  This trek is more challenging than a regular trek in the Annapurna region. There are no flat sections- it is either ascending or descending.Our team of  experienced guide, porter and cook make your Makalu Base Camp Trek  safe and enjoyable.Adventure Club Trek has picked Day 8 for acclimatization in Khongma Dingma at 3,500. We spend  Day 13th at Makalu Base Camp ( 4,870m). We then retrace our steps back to Tumlingtar.

Adventure Club Trek also offers other off-the-beaten path trekking options in Nepal- Manaslu Circuit Trek-18 Days for the classic tea house trekking in a previously restricted part of Nepal, Upper Dolpo Trek-25 Days, a spellbinding camping trek in Nepal’s western Himalaya, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek-21 Days, an opportunity to physically touch the 7th highest mountain in the world and Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek-24 Days, a trek that takes you around the third highest mountain in the world.  

Trip Highlights:

  • Summiting the base camp of world’s fifth highest mountain, Mt. Makalu, at 4,870m
  • Trekking in the coveted Makalu Barun National Park with landscapes resembling but even more dramatic than that of Yosemite Valley.
  • Crossing the Shipton La ( pass) at 4,257m, once trekked by legendary Eric Shipton and Edmund Hillary
  • Trekking the unspoilt territory of  snow leopard and red panda
  • Camping in verdant Kharkas ( meadows or summer pastures)
  • Scenic mountain flight to and from Kathmandu and Tumlingtar
  • Sightseeing tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu.
  • Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Preparation for trekking
  • Day 03: Tumlingtar (950m) then drive to Chichila : 50 mins flight, 3-4 hours drive
  • Day 04: Trek Chichila to Num (1,560m) : 6-7 hours
  • Day 05: Trek Num to Seduwa (1,500m) : 6-7 hours
  • Day 06: Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaon
  • Day 07: Trek Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda.
  • Day 08: Acclimatization/ rest day at Khongma Danda
  • Day 09: Trek Khongma Danda to Dobate via Shipton La Pass
  • Day 10: Trek Dobate to Yangri Kharka
  • Day 11: Trek from Yangri Kharka to Langmale Kharka
  • Day 12: Trek Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp
  • Day 13: Explore Makalu Base Camp.
  • Day 14: Trek Makalu Base Camp to Yangri Kharka.
  • Day 15: Trek Yangri Kharka to Dobate
  • Day 16: Dobate to Khongma Danda
  • Day 17: Khongma Danda to Tashigaon
  • Day 18: Trek Tashigaon to Seduwa
  • Day 19: Trek Seduwa to Num.
  • Day 20: Trek Num to Tumlingtar
  • Day 21: Fly back to Kathmandu
  • Day 22: Transfer to airport for final departure.
  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu.

    Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), you will be welcomed by a representative from Adventure Club Trek. After sorting out your custom formalities (visa and so on), you will be then transferred to your respective hotel in Adventure Club Trek’s private vehicle and give you some time to freshen up. After this, you will attend an orientation about your trek led by the trekking leader over a welcome dinner. Overnight at hotel.

    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: 1,350m/4,428ft
    • Meal: Welcome Dinner
  • Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Preparation for trekking

    Today, we go on a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. We start the program after breakfast, first visiting the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. Though non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main premises of the temple we are allowed to visit the cremation site and surrounding areas. We then head to Boudhanath, considered one of the largest stupas in Asia due to the massive mandala that surrounds the main dome. The smell of Himalayan incense and locals doing kora(making clockwise rounds of the stupa) gives you a little insight on Buddhist culture. Our next stop is Swayambhunath also known as the Monkey Temple, located on top of a hill. The stupa is similar to Boudhanath, but here the stupa is surrounded by many temples and shrines. Some of the temples date back to the medieval Lichchhavi period. Our final stop is Kathmandu Durbar square which is a fine example of Newari architecture. The premises of the Durbar square house many temples and royal palaces, however, most of the temples and building were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and are being renovated. Overnight in Kathmandu.

    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: 1,350m/4,428ft
    • Meal: Breakfast
  • Day 03: Tumlingtar (950m) then drive to Chichila : 50 mins flight, 3-4 hours drive

    We take a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, a city in eastern Nepal and the starting point of our adventure. We drive 3-4 hours to Chichira, which is a small, beautiful Gurung settlement. Overnight in Chichila.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: 1,980m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 04: Trek Chichila to Num (1,560m) : 6-7 hours

    After a warm and filling breakfast, we head towards Num, a village situated on the flat ridge line with amazing mountain views on both sides. We pass through colorful rhododendron, oak and hemlock trees in the mountain forest that leads us to the top of the ridge. We climb downhill for two hours to reach Num. It is a small village with less than 30 houses and a primary school. We can see our trekking trail traced in front of us. We set up a campsite in Num for the night. Overnight in Num.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 1,560m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 05: Trek Num to Seduwa (1,500m) : 6-7 hours

    We start with a downhill trek through forests and terraced fields to come to Barun River, a tributary of the Arun river. Crossing the river brings us to a steep ascent. The lower reaches of Makalu Barun Valley are heavily forested, often providing shade in the heat. Once we walk out of the forest to a settlement, we register our permits. We have to climb up to get to Seduwa, a small village in the Nepal’s eastern hills with a health post and a primary school. We get to the top of the village to camp for the night. Overnight in Seduwa.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 1,500m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 06: Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaon

    We climb up a ridge surrounded by Kasuwa Khola to the east and Ipsuwa Khola on the west. Then, it is a pleasant walk through quiet hillside villages and paddy fields for the first 3-4 hours. The next hour we make gradual uphill climb through rice and millet fields to Tashi Gaon. Tashi Gaon welcomes us with a stunning Himalayan Panorama. Overnight in Tashi Gaon.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 4-5 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 2,100m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 07: Trek Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda.

    he adventurous part of the trek starts from today. We pass through the forest of colorful rhododendron flowers and oak trees. We get out of the woods to hike through a stream onto a ridge which finally leads us to a Kharka ( grazing land) or a summer pastures, the shepherds bring their cattles to graze here in the summer. We have to trek through a series of stone stairs and cross a small lake to reach the top of the Khonga ridge. There are juniper and rhododendron bushes instead of trees now. Khongma Danda is a short way downhill from the ridge. An excellent Himalayan view awaits you. Overnight in tents at Khongma Danda.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 3,500m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 08: Acclimatization/ rest day at Khongma Danda

    Today is seti aside for rest and acclimatization. Getting your body used to the higher altitudes before ascending to Shipton La ( pass) the next day is important to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness. We can explore the surrounding areas the whole day. Overnight in tents at Khongma Danda.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 09: Trek Khongma Danda to Dobate via Shipton La Pass

    It takes us 6 hours to summit the Shipton La ( pass). We first climb up to a ridge at 3,840m with a stone chorten adorned with Buddhist prayer flags. It is an excellent vantage point with views of Mt. Makalau.Next in our way is the Ghungru La at 4050m. We descend to a small lake to climb up a shallow gully which opens up to Shipton La. The pass takes its name from Eric Shipton who along with Edmund Hillary took this route to Dharan after the 1952 Everest reconnaissance. We descend from the pass to two lakes situated at 4020m. Then, we climb through large boulders to another pass, Keke La ( 4,150m). Dobate is a meadow on the other side of the pass. The route onwards goes through a valley of rhododendron forests. The valley is carpeted with brilliant wild rhododendrons in spring. Overnight in Dobate.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 4257m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 10: Trek Dobate to Yangri Kharka

    We trek through the dense fir, birch and rhododendron forest which leads us to the Barun River and the upper sections of the valley. The first 2 hours of the trek requires hopping a lot of boulders and crossing many streams. It is recommended you take slow but steady steps while keeping close to your guide. After traversing through alpine meadows and crossing a wooden bridge we finally arrive at the Yangri Kharka situated at the foot of Makalu Barun Valley. Overnight in tents at Yangri Kharka.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6 -7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 3,557m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 11: Trek from Yangri Kharka to Langmale Kharka

    We start the day with a pleasant hike from Yangri Kharka to Nghe Kharka, another alpine pasture, at 3,750m. The landscapes now start to resemble that of Yosemite valley, but we are at much higher altitude in Makalu Barun Valley. We follow the Barun Valley bounded by the clearly ‘S’ shaped Barun Khola. The dramatic landscape with cliff walls rising nearly 2,000m above the river takes us for a climb alongside a huge waterfall. We then turn weaterward to Jhak Kharka ( 4,210m). Another climb takes us to Langmale Kharka. Overnight in tents at Yak Kharka.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 5-6 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 4,410m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 12: Trek Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp

    Today is the highlight of the whole trek as we make it to Makalu Base Camp. We climb up to a ridge from where the trail ascends alongside the Barun Glacier moraine. Staying on the eastern side of the valley, we get climb a low ridge that takes us to Shersong ( 4,660m). Mt. Makalu comes into full frontal view as we near Shershong. From Shersong, it is a pleasant hike up to Makalu Base Camp. The base camp stuns us with excellent views of the south face of Makalu, and views of Baruntse, Everest and Lhotse. Overnight at Makalu Base Camp.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 4,870m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 13: Explore Makalu Base Camp.

    Wake up to the sunrise view over some of the highest mountains in the world. Today, we will explore more of the Makalu Base Camp area. For those who want even more of an adventure, you have the option to climb the ridge north-east of Shersong. Uphill climb up grassy slopes takes us to the top of the ridge ( 5,250m) where views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Lhotse Shar, South Col. Makalu, Kangshung face as well asl both the north and south-east ridges of Mt. Everest. Overnight in tents at Makalu.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: 4,870m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 14: Trek Makalu Base Camp to Yangri Kharka.

    Soak in those last glimpses of Mt. Makalu as we are now headed down from the base camp. We walk past Shersong, Langmale Kharka and Merek to finally arrive at Yangri Kharka. Overnight in tents at Yangri Kharka.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 3,557m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 15: Trek Yangri Kharka to Dobate

    Retracing our steps through verdant forests, rock falls, summer pastures and deep Himalayan valleys back to Dobate. We descend the trail alongside the river banks of Barun Khola to our campsite. Overnight in tents at Dobate.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 16: Dobate to Khongma Danda

    A steep climb from Dobate takes us to Mumbak/Numbak. Walking through rhododendron and firs forest, enroute we cross the Keke La or Tutu La pass and Kauma La en route. Finally, we descend down to Khongma Danda. Overnight in tents at Khongma Danda.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 5-6 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 3,500m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 17: Khongma Danda to Tashigaon

    We will exit the Makalu Barun National Park today and climb down to the shores of Barun River. Crossing the hillside, we arrive at settlements and small villages. We move further until arriving at Seduwa. Overnight at Seduwa.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 4-5 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 2,100m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 18: Trek Tashigaon to Seduwa

    Trekking through the trail of lush forests and conquering many ascents and descents we come across a few Sherpa Villages before arriving at Num. Overnight at Num.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 4-5 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 1,500m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 19: Trek Seduwa to Num.

    Today is the last day that involves actual trekking. We retrace our steps down to Tumlingtar through rice and millet fields and rural settlements. Overnight in Tumlingtar.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 5-6 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 1,560m
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 20: Trek Num to Tumlingtar

    We take a flight from Tumlingtar back to Kathmandu. The 40-minute-long flight takes us by some of world’s highest mountains including Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse.Once we land in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel for the night. Overnight in Kathmandu.

    • Accommodation: Tea House
    • Walking hours: 6-7 hours
    • Max. Altitude: 950m.
    • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 21: Fly back to Kathmandu

    Adventure Club Trek will manage a farewell drive to the international airport for your final flight departure. Meeting you and serving you was a wonderful experience over the weeks. We are sure you enjoyed a wonderful holiday in beautiful Nepal. We hope you will remember us in the year’sahead.

    • Accommodation: Hotel
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: 1,350m
    • Meal: Breakfast, and Farewell dinner
  • Day 22: Transfer to airport for final departure.

    Adventure Club Trek will manage a farewell drive to the international airport for your final flight departure. Meeting you and serving you was a wonderful experience over the weeks. We are sure you enjoyed a wonderful holiday in beautiful Nepal. We hope you will remember us in the year’sahead.

    • Accommodation: N/A
    • Walking hours: N/A
    • Max. Altitude: N/A
    • Meal: Breakfast

Cost Includes

  • Arrival and departure transfer by private tourist vehicle
  • Standard twin-sharing accommodation in a three-star hotel in Kathmandu including breakfast (3 nights).
  • Best available twin sharing Teahouse  or lodge for accommodation during the trek. 
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek
  • Government licensed, English speaking guides trained in wilderness first aid
  • Round trip flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and Tumlingtar to Kathmandu including departure taxes
  • All ground transportation in a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
  • Welcome and farewell dinner.
  • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit, TIMS )
  • Assistant trekking guides walking with the group to support as necessary (1 assistant guide for 4 trekkers)
  • Porters to carry your luggage during the trek (1 porter for 2 trekkers)
  • Staff costs including their salary, food, accommodation, domestic airfare, and medicine.
  • Insurance covering all staff and porters in base camp Kalapathar hike.
  • Down jacket and sleeping bag ( to be returned after trip completion) 
  • Complimentary Adventure Club Trek T-shirt, duffel bag, and trekking map
  • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • Travel and rescue arrangement
  • All government and local taxes.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal visa (USD 25 for 15 days and USD 40 for 30 days).
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu.
  • International air fares/flights (fares and flights can be arranged upon the request).
  • Personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, bottled water, cold drinks).
  • Personal travel insurance and medical bills.
  • Personal trekking equipment.
  • Tips for guide, porters, and drivers (tipping is expected, but it is not mandatory).

Flight Delay in Kathmandu and TumlingTar

The unpredictability of the weather in mountain areas directly affects the flights to and from Lukla. The Twin Otter planes that are used for transport from and to Lukla are reasonably reliable in good weather conditions. But, the flights may be delayed or canceled due to technical problems and extreme weather conditions.To ensure you stay on your schedule in case the Twin Otter flight cancels or delays too far, we can charter you a helicopter. While the helicopter can fly at the visibility of 15,000m, the Twin Otters require 5,000m visibility, according to Nepal Civil Aviation rules.

You can pay for the helicopter in US cash, credit cards or traveler’ cheques directly to our Kathmandu office. We provide a receipt for the payment which you can present to claim the amount back from your travel insurance company. Helicopter charges range from a minimum of US$500 to a maximum of US$2500. Also, we recommend you land in Kathmandu a day before we start the trek. You have enough time to buy trekking gears and beat off the jet lag. Having a few days extra left after your trek is also an excellent way to ensure you don’t miss your international flight in case of difficulties during the trek which might lengthen your trip. It also gives you a way to beat the flight cancellation to or from Lukla in case of severe weather.

Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of the trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions.

Pre-Trip Meeting

Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.

PRICE FROM US$ 2159 (Per Person)
Total: US$ 2159

Trip Facts

  • Trip Code ACTE-100
  • Trip Duration 22 Days
  • Destination Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty Moderate
  • Trip Style Tea House Trek
  • Accomodation Hotel in Kathmandu and lodge, and teahouses during the trek.
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