Makalu Base Camp Trek

16 Days

The Makalu Base Camp trek is a remote trek that takes you to high-altitude terrains through rugged trails, vibrant terraced farmland, rhododendron forests, picturesque villages, and Makalu Barun National Park. The trek offers unrivaled views of some of the 8,000 meter-plus peaks, including Everest.

The base camp of Malaku, the fifth highest mountain in the world, is less-frequented. Makalu Base Camp is situated at 5100m that commands astounding views of the towering peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, and surrounding peaks. Keen trekkers who are experienced head to the base camp to embrace breathtaking views of some of the world’s highest mountains, including Everest.

En route, you will explore Makalu Barun National Park, the world’s only protected area with an elevation gain of more than 8000m. The national park houses Makalu, Chamalang, Baruntse, and Mera and is home to 440 species of birds, 315 species of butterflies, 43 species of reptile, 16 species of amphibians, and 3000 species of flowering plants. If you are lucky, you will encounter endangered animals like Red Panda.

You will also explore the picturesque villages of the Rai people. As you ascend higher, you will pass through lush rhododendron forests, high altitude lakes, high passes, and alpine meadows. At the higher altitudes, you will meet Sherpa people, the mountain-dwellers.

A varied scenery as you traverse from 700m to 5000m is a treat. You will stay in teahouses owned by local people and experience remote life. This also means that you will gain insights into the local culture and help directly to the local economy.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Route

Your adventure to the base camp of the 5th highest mountain in the world starts with an hour-long flight to Tumlingtar. You will start trekking from Tumlingtar to Khandbari. The first day of trekking offers beautiful views of Ganesh Himal, Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu.

You will head to Sarukate, trekking for 5-6 hours through the rugged trail. Enjoy a completely peaceful and scenic trail through rhododendron and oaks forests. Continue downhill walk to the village of Num.

Descend steeply through the cornfields of Lumbang. Beware of the slippery paths. On the way, cross the suspension bridge over the torrential river. It will be fun! Moving along, you will steeply climb and arrive in Seduwa.

The next day, you will walk past small villages and farmland and do a gradual climb high above the Kasuwa Khola to Gyang. After 5-6 hours, you will reach Tashigaun. Your journey further continues to Kauma and Mumbuk. The trail is blanketed by rhododendron forests. You will ascend a stone staircase and continue to descend through firs and rhododendrons forests to Mumbuk.

Further, you will cross the Barun Khola just beyond Tamatan Kharka. After trekking for a few hours, walking on the slippery route, you will reach Nehe Kharka. You will then cross the wooden bridge over the Barun River and embrace the incredible sight of the lower Barun glacier and Makalu. After a couple of hours, Shersong village welcomes you.

The next day is the most important day for you as you will trek to Makalu base camp. You will enjoy gradual descent to a minor pass about 100 meters above Makalu Base Camp. Upon reaching base camp, an amazing view of Baruntse, Everest, and Lhotse greets you. At the base camp, you will sleep in a tented camp. You will explore the base camp the whole day and embrace its grandeur. Celebrate your victory, and get some epic photographs.

On the 12th day, you will descend to Shipton La Camp at 4216m. Further, descend to Sedua, and Mure. The trail offers varied landscapes and beautiful scenery. It is a comparatively easy trek- you will enjoy the walk. The trail proceeds to Khandbari. And on the final day, you will return back to Kathmandu.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Trekking to Makalu base camp is challenging but equally rewarding. It is rated a moderate to difficult trek, suitable for experienced high-altitude trekkers. Makalu base camp attracts few enthusiastic trekkers due to its remote accessibility. Physical fitness and trekking experience are key requirements for this adventure. You need to be physically and mentally prepared for this trek.

Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to venture to Makalu Base Camp. 5-6 hours per day is the average trekking hours. On a challenging day, you must trek for 6-7 hours through rugged trails.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 1 :
Day 1

Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and trek to Khandbari (1067m/3500ft)
Duration: 50 minutes flight and 3-4 hours trek

Day 2 :
Day 2

Trek from Khandbari to Sakurate (1893m/6210ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours trek

Day 3 :
Day 3

Trek from Sakurate to Num (1524m/5000ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours trek

Day 4 :
Day 4

Trek from Num to Seduwa (1700m/5577ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 5 :
Day 5

Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaon(2063m/6768ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours trek

Day 6 :
Day 6

Trek from Tashigaon to Kauma (2500/8202ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 7 :
Day 7

Trek from Kauma to Mumbuk (3500m/11482ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 8 :
Day 8

Trek from Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka (3660m/12007ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 9 :
Day 9

Trek from Nehe Kharka to Shersong (4720m/15485ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 10 :
Day 10

Trek from Shersong to Makalu Base Camp (5250m/17224ft)
Duration: 3-4 hours trek

Day 11 :
Day 11

Acclimatization day at Makalu Base Camp

Day 12 :
Day 12

Trek from Makalu Base Camp to Shipton La Camp (4216m/13832ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours trek

Day 13 :
Day 13

Trek from Shipton La Camp to Sedua (1700m/5577ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 14 :
Day 14

Trek from Sedua to Mure (1980m/6496ft)
Duration: 6-7 hours trek

Day 15 :
Day 15

Trek from Mure to Khandbari(1067m/3500ft)
Duration: 5-6 hours trek

Day 16 :
Day 16

Trek from Khandbari to Tumlingtar and fly back to Kathmandu
Duration: 3-4 hours trek and 50 min flight

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Makalu Base Camp Trek