Makalu Base Camp

Makalu Base Camp

Trip Overview

Formerly a restricted area, Makalu spans five major ecological zones in Nepal. It embraces the lush, tropical Arun Valley, dense forests of rhododendron, fir, and alpine meadows that lead to the mighty Barun glacier. From the base camp, you can view the spectacular Mt. Makalu too.
This low-altitude trek is centered on the Arun Valley. The base of the sub-tropical valley of the Arun River is in places forested, contrasting with the terraced slopes higher up. They are farmed by villagers of diverse tribal groups. The top slopes are marked by high fields, which border the Makalu-Barun National Park, an important conservation area. These areas consist of many threatened species.

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 01

    Arrival in Kathmandu

    Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. A short briefing will follow about the necessary formalities and your trekking itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time, you may spend your free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.

  • Day 02

    Sightseeing / Cultural Day in Kathmandu Valley

    Half-day sightseeing tour of UNESCO Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, including Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalized. In the evening, sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu

  • Day 03

    Kathmandu to Khandbari (1030m) via Tumlingtar (510m)

    If all goes according to plan, we should arrive by plane in Tumlingtar around noon, where we will start our trek after lunch. The ascent begins with the rivers Arun Koshi and Sabha Khola. It is a long ridge walk with numerous teahouses along the road. We can see the huge Chhamlang massif in the distance. The trail crosses a plateau then climbs gradually, after which we will arrive in Khandbari. We camp above the village on large grassy fields (4 hours).

  • Day 04

    Khandbari to Chichira (1840m)

    The countryside will become more rural, and we will climb through bamboo forests along the ridge to Arun Than (1,280 m), after which we continue through bamboo groves and big rocks to Sheka (1,350 m). We will then ascend to Bhotebas (1,740 m) and trek further for 2 hours to reach the tiny ridge leading to the village of Chichira (1,840 m). There are two excellent campsites and a few houses inhabited by Gurungs (6 hrs.).

  • Day 05

    Chichira to Num (1500m)

    We begin our trek slowly, taking in the views of Makalu at dawn. It’s an enjoyable walk for the day. We will continue following the ridge past the small Sherpa settlements of Baisake and Kuwapani (1,870 m). The route climbs about 100 meters before descending into oak forests, then follows alongside a stream for a short distance. We will then go upwards again to the village of Mure (2,000 m), a village inhabited by both Sherpas and Rai. After Mure, the trail will descend on a rocky, eroded trail to some stone steps and finally to Num, which is on a ridge above the Arun Koshi River (6 hrs).

  • Day 06

    Num to Seduwa (1540m)

    After leaving our campsite at Num, we will descend steeply from the western end of the Num ridge through the cornfields of Lumbang and continue our way down through the jungle to a suspension bridge over the Arun Koshi (620 m). From here, we will do the steep climb up to Seduwa (1,540 m), which has an excellent large camping ground below the national park office. Here we must register with both the local police and the national park office (5:30 hrs.).

  • Day 07

    Seduwa to Tashigaon (2070m)

    Today there are many streams to cross that may (or may not) have bridges and make a gradual climb high above the Kasuwa Khola to a Mani wall (1,890 m). From here on, it is a gentle walk through terraced rice fields and forested areas to Hindrungma village and then onto Ropsesa. The route crosses meadows and several streams and then reaches the Tashigaon school, after which there is yet another stream to cross and a short ridge climb to reach the foot of the Sherpa village of Tashigaon. This is the last settlement in the valley. Many of the houses in this village are on stilts topped with round stone or wood barriers to keep out the mice (5 hrs).

  • Day 08

    Tashigaon to Khongma (3560m)

    This will be a tough day with an elevation gain of over 1400 meters on a steep trail. We will ascend through forests to a stream and then onto a ridge where there is a small shepherd's hut called Chipla (2,520 m). After this, the trail becomes even steeper and passes a kharka (commonly owned grazing land) and finally follows a series of rough stone stairs ascending to the top of the ridge. From here, it’s a short way down to Khongma. There are no buildings here, and many of the tent sites are on the sloping hillside (6 hours away).

  • Day 09

    Khongma to Mumbuk (3550m)

    Today we will first climb on steep switchbacks adorned with prayer flags to a ridge at 3,840 m, from where there is a very nice view of Chhamlang, Peak 6 (6,739 m), and Peak 7 (6,105 m). We will follow the ridge through a rhododendron forest for a while and then go up to the first of three passes we must cross today, which is Ghungru La (4050m). Descend to a small turquoise lake after which we will ascend again through Shipton Pass (named after Eric Shipton, who used this pass with Edmund Hillary on their 1952 Everest reconnaissance). We then have to pass Keke La (4150m) after which we will enter a valley filled with rhododendron forest and continue on to our campstite at Mumbuk (7 hrs).

  • Day 10

    Mumbuk to Nghe Kharka (3750m)

    Descend to Barun Khola through fir and rhododendron forests, and we pass a small cave at 3,250 meters and then traverse up and down to a large open area. We will have good views of Peak 7 from here. The valley widens, and we have to pass several streams and then cross the Barun river on a wooden bridge to Yangle Kharka and then onto the large grassy plain of Nghe Kharka (6 hrs).

  • Day 11

    Nghe Kharka

    Rest day. It's a very special place to relax and observe nature. And it also gives you the opportunity to wash some of your clothes, if necessary.

  • Day 12

    Nghe Kharka to Shersong (4610m)

    Beyond Nghe Kharka, we will follow the Barun valley past Piphuk Kharka (3,930 m). Then we will climb alongside a waterfall and then on to a swampy meadow and stream. We will travel to Jhak Kharka (4,210 m) and continue through the Yak Kharka meadows, where there is a rough hotel and an amazingly well-equipped shop. Beyond Yak Kharka, we will follow alongside a moraine formed by the lower Barun glacier. There are excellent views from Peak 4 (6,720 m), Peak 3 (6,477 m), and Peak 5 (6,404 m). We will continue our way through the valley until we reach Shersong for overnight camp through pine and rhododendron forests and grassy plain. Halfway into the valley the dramatically beautiful summit of Makalu comes into view (7 hrs).

  • Day 13

    Shersong to Makalu Base Camp (5050m)

    From our camp site at Shersong, it is a gradually steep climb to a minor pass about 100 meters above Makalu base camp, after which we descend to a stream and cross boulders to the base camp on the west side of the river. There are terrific views of the south face of Makalu. There are no huts, shelters, or vegetation at base camp, which is at an elevation of about 5,000 meters. We will return to Shersong on the same day for our overnight camp (6 hrs.).

  • Day 14

    Shersong to Yangle Kharka (3600m)

    We will retrace our steps down the Barun valley to the pleasant camp of Yangle Kharka (5 hrs).

  • Day 15

    Yangle Kharka to Mumbuk (3550m)

    We will continue descending through the rock-fall area and then climb up the rocky gully to the trees of Mumbuk (4:30 hrs).

  • Day 16

    Mumbuk to Khongma (3560m)

    Trek across Shipton La and descend to Khongma (6 hrs).

  • Day 17

    Khongma to Tashigaon (1700m)

    We will make a long, steep descent (almost 1,300 m). Descend across Arun and into civilization via Num Camp at Mure. The Norbu’s hotel at Tashigaon usually has a good stock of cold beers and the local Khukuri rum to help you recover from the high altitude (4 hrs)

  • Day 18

    Tashigaon to Num (1500m)

    We retrace our approach route and will ascend around 580 meters and have a 240-meter descent (6 hours).

  • Day 19

    Num to Chichira (1840)

    We retrace our steps from day 5 all the way back to Chichira (6 hours).

  • Day 20

    Chichira to Mane Bhanjhyang (1100m)

    This day will bring us even closer to civilization when we follow our route back to the camp site at Mani Bhanjhyang (5:30 hrs).

  • Day 21

    Mane Bhanjhyang to Tumlingtar

    A 740-meter descent will bring us back to Tumlingtar (4 hrs).

  • Day 22

    Tumlingtar to Kathmandu

    Today we will fly back to Kathmandu. Staying at a hotel for the night

  • Day 23


    Depart from Kathmandu.

Whats Includes

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Three nights hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu
  • Licensed and trained trekking guides
  • Porters for carrying goods and suppplies
  • All accommodation during trek
  • All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
  • Transportation to and from trailhead
  • All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
  • National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
  • Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
  • Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)

Not Included

  • International airfares
  • Travel/trekking insurance
  • Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
  • Visa fees
  • Rescue charge
  • Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
  • Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
Total Cost in (USD) USD 3500
Total Price: USD 3500

Trek Details

Trek dates



September to end of November and early February to late June


23 days

Trekking days


Trekking grade


Maximum altitude


Starting point of trek


Finishing point of trek


Trek code


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