image descriprion

Everest Three High Passes Trek

from $2210
  • Duration 21 days
  • Vacation Style Trekking
  • Activity Level Very Hard
  • Group Size Min-Max

Trip description

Experience the adventure of crossing three high passes in the Everest region of Nepal. The Everest three passes trek is much more challenging than the classic Everest Base Camp Trek and its other variations as it involves traversing the three high passes – Renjo La, Cho La, and Kongma La – each over 5,000 m. Thus, the trek gets its name.

The trek begins from the popular starting point of Lukla before heading north along the regular trek to Namche Bazaar. Here, the route starts from the east traversing the first of the Three Passes – Kongma La Pass (5,545 m) – to join up with the classic Everest Base Camp Trek route.

After the Kongma La Pass, we will have the opportunity to explore the intricacies of Everest Base Camp life as well as soaking up some of the best views of Everest and the surrounding peaks when we climb the iconic viewpoint of Kala Patthar.

After making our way to Everest Base Camp, we cross the second pass called Cho La Pass (5,420 m). After reaching the high point, the trail descends to the idyllic Gokyo Lakes and further on to the village of Gokyo.

From Gokyo, our trek veers west where we will encounter the final pass of the Three Passes trek – Renjo La (5,370 m). Heading down to the Dudh Koshi valley, retracing our way back from Phakding which will take us down to Lukla, where the trek ends.

This tour traversing through three different high passes in the Everest region, exploring mountains and splendid vistas of pristine ranges is termed as one of the most difficult treks in Nepal. Anyone intending to do this trek must be in good shape with some trekking experience in high altitudes. People with a respiratory problem should be cautious and consult their doctor before heading for this trek as the trail elevates above 5500 m increasing the chances of getting HAPE or HACE due to the thin air at high altitudes.

The trek involves walking along the rocky trails and of course, up close to the Himalayas. So, if you are looking for a challenging yet refreshing experience near the Himalayas then this trip is definitely for you. Experience the adventure of crossing three high passes in the Everest region of Nepal with Everest three passes trek!

Trip Fact

  • Major Highlights: Renjo La Pass (5388 m), Cho La Pass (5380 m) and the Kongma La pass (5535 m)
  • Highest altitude= 5545 m (Kalapatthar)
  • Different flora and fauna
  • The major ethnic group is Sherpa
  • Everest is known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet
  • High speed of internet at base camp

Why this trip

Three high passes trek is advanced Adventure that takes to passes that are not counted on the standard Everest trail, Renjo La (5,388 m/17,513 ft), Cho La (5,380 m/17,650 ft) and Kongma La (5,535 m/18,159 ft).






  1. Day 1 ARRIVAL

    This is going to be the first day of Nepal adventure. At the arrival section of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, one of our representatives will be waiting with a placard-carrying your name on it. The airport representative will explain the program upon arrival and escort you to the hotel on a private vehicle.

    Overnight in Kathmandu;


    After breakfast, Kathmandu tour begins. Kathmandu valley is an incredibly diverse city with a breathtaking Newari culture, centuries-old Hindu and Buddhists cultural sites alongside a plethora of ancient monuments. The capital of the country and home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Kathmandu, bridges modern facilities with centuries-old traditions and cultures with its tourist-friendly accommodations and the ancestral etiquette “Atithi Devo Bhava” meaning "Guest is equivalent to God". Throughout the day, some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu will be observed.

    Overnight stay at the hotel;

  3. Day 3 LUKLA/PHAKDING (2,656 m)

    Almost all treks to Everest begins from Lukla so, early in the morning, a drive to Tribhuvan International airport (in a private car) for a flight to Lukla will be arranged. It takes 30-35 minutes to reach Tenzing Hillary airport/ Lukla airport. After reaching Lukla, the porters and the team members joining us on the trek will be introduced. The ultimate Everest Three High Passes Trek begins with a hike up through the beautiful town of Lukla to the Pasang Lhamu Memorial Gate. From the gate, the trail leading us out of Lukla, drops down to the village of Phakding, traversing the community forest and small Sherpa villages like Thalsharoa, Chheplung, Thado Koshi Gaon, and Chhuthawa. Savour the beauty of well-decorated chortens, prayer rocks, prayer flags and prayer wheels on our way alongside the mesmerizing view of Kusum Kangru and the Dudh Koshi River. It takes about 4 hours to a walk downhill to reach Phakding. Check-in at the teahouse. In the remaining time, either rest or explore the nearby monasteries.

    Overnight stay at a teahouse in Phakding; 

  4. Day 4 TREK TO NAMCHE BAZAAR (3,450 m)

    After breakfast in Phakding, Everest three high passes trek continues. Crossing the bridge across the Dudh Koshi River, leaving Phakding our trail continues north, through the forest of pine, up and downhill past a few suspension bridges and small settlement: Toktok, Bengkar, Chhamuwa to Monjo. At Monjo, your guide will take care of the necessary formalities, before entering the Sagarmatha National Park. From the entrance of the Sagarmatha National Park, we continue on a trail which steeply drops down to the bridge across the Dudh Koshi River. Crossing the bridge, and following the lower riverbank trail, we climb into the forest over gravel and boulders and continue to Larja Bridge, past Larja Dobhan. Crossing the Larja Bridge, enjoying the first view of Mt. Everest and hiking up the steep hill through the pine forest on a rocky trail to Mislung, the forest ends and the trail levels out from Mislung. From Mislung, the plain trail leads us to Namche. After checking into the teahouse, the remaining time can either be spent resting or exploring the town of Namche.

    Overnight stay at Namche Bazar;


    To prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), further up the trail, a day stop at Namche for acclimatization is a must. Staying active boosts, the process of acclimatization rather than simply resting, therefore, we will go for an acclimatization hike – a full-day circuit through Syangboche, Khunde, Khumjung and back to Namche. Picking up the trail above Namche Monastery, climbing the ridge to Zarok on a steep trail and the route continues past Thame to the grass airstrip at Syangboche. Passing by the runway and advancing on a trail which rises up a sandy gully between juniper bushes to the top of the ridge, admiring the beautifully carved boulders, Chortens, juniper and rhododendron, we hike down to Kani and a Bauddhanath-style Chortens, built around the end of Khunde. 

    Enjoying the wonderful view of Khumbu la, Ama Dablam and Thamserku peaks we advance to Khunde Tsamkhang (a Buddhist temple), built above the village of Khunde. We reach Hillary Memorial Viewpoint to see the 360-degree views of Khunde, Namche, Ama Dablam, and Pachermo Peak. After exploring Khunde, through the potato fields we continue east to the largest village in the Khumbu region- Khumjung. We will explore around the village to see the Hillary School (a school established by Sir Edmund Hillary), the longest Mani wall in the Khumbu region, and Khumjung monastery which treasures a skull of a Yeti. Additionally, we can also visit Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park to observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life in the Everest region.

    Overnight stay at Namche Bazaar;

  6. Day 6 TREK TO TENGBOCHE (3,870 m)

    We begin the trek to Tengboche through an easy trail to Phunki Thanga. Ascending towards Tengboche village which is home to the largest monastery in the Everest region, we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. The monastery is located within the Sagarmatha National park. Enjoying panoramic views of the highest mountains on the earth including Everest, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Lhotse, and Nuptse, we reach Tengboche. If we reach there early, we will most probably be able to witness a religious Buddhist ceremony.

    Overnight stay in Tengboche;

  7. Day 7 TREK TO DINGBOCHE (4,410 m)

    After breakfast, we begin our day’s trek walking downhill passing through lush forests full of birch, conifers and rhododendron trees. Accompanied by breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, the trail descends down to Debuche, passing over the Imja river taking us to Pangboche. Walking the upper Pangboche trails, enjoying pristine views of the Himalayas and Pangboche monastery, we move towards the Imja Valley. Passing the Lobuche river and climbing up to Dingboche, we reach the beautiful windy village adorned by Chortens and prayer flags.

    Overnight stay in Dingboche;


    This marks our second stop for acclimatization. Dingboche is a very popular stop for trekkers and climbers headed to Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam and Imja Tse/ Island peak. Walking around the beautiful village with stone walls protecting fields and crops like barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from cold wind and grazing, we spend a day at Dingboche for acclimatization. We take a day hike to Nagarjuna Hill where we can observe great views of Mt. Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawache, Ama Dablam and others.

    Overnight stay in Dingboche;

  9. Day 9 DINGBOCHE TO CHHUKUNG (4,750 m)

    Passing through stone-wall fields and Imja Khola valley we enter glacier moraines amidst towering Himalayas. The Everest three passes trail passes through Bibre where yak herdsman lives. Right across the Bibre valley are the stunning Ama Dablam and the Amphu Labcha mountains. Crossing an icy stream, we reach Chhukung after about half an hour walk. After lunch at Chhukung, we can trek towards Chhukung Ri. For beginners, Chhukung Ri is the best alternative as it is not as technically demanding as others. After a few easy scrambling, we will reach the summit from where we can see mesmerizing views of Ama Dablam and Amphu Labcha. We descend back to Chhukung.

     Overnight stay in Chhukung;

  10. Day 10 CROSS KONGMA LA PASS (5,535 m)

    This trek begins very early in the morning to reach the highest part of the entire trip, Kongma La Pass. It takes almost 8 hours to get to the top of Kongma La pass. There are two trails to Kongma la pass; one is to the northwest of Chhukung over Nuptse glacier moraines and another is going back to Bibre and trek on the trail above Niyang Khola. There aren’t any hotels, shops, and teahouses so we carry our own packaged foods and water. The top of the pass is marked with Buddhist prayer flags and cairns. The most difficult part of this trek is the final descent. After climbing the moraine on the far side, the trail bends north through Khumbu glacier leading us to Lobuche.

    Overnight in Lobuche;

  11. Day 11 LOBUCHE TO GORAK SHEP (5,170 m)

    Moving along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier, we leave icy cold Lobuche and head towards Gorak Shep. On the way, we come across the magnificent view of the crest of the north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, Nuptse and other mountains. After almost two hours of walking, we reach Gorak Shep and rest for lunch before heading to Everest base camp. We pass through rocky dunes, streams, and moraines and reach the base camp to the highest mountain in the world; Everest. From here, we can observe the stunning view of Nuptse, Khumbutse, and Pumori mountains. We trek back to Gorak Shep.

    Overnight in Gorak Shep;

  12. Day 12 TREK TO DZONGLA/ KALA PATTHAR (5,545 m)

    Early in the morning, we start our trek to Kala Patthar to catch the breathtaking view of sunrise on Mount Everest from Kala Patthar. After several hours of ascent, we reach the top of Kalapatthar from where, we can admire the glorious sunrise over Mount Everest up close.  The day’s first light will illuminate the pristine views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Taboche, Cholatse, and Lubuche on the way down. From Kala Patthar, we leave for Dzongla.

    Overnight stay in Dzongla;

  13. Day 13 TREK TO THAGNAG (4,770 m)

    From Dzongla, we leave for Thagnag through the most adventurous journey enjoying the thrill of walking over 5000 m Himalayan pass. We trek over Cho La Pass (5,330 m) and continue to walk to Thagnag. The trail is steep up to Cho La’s summit; this is also often snow-covered. A steep descent is made towards Thagnag along a moraine and rock trail through a boulder field down to the small hamlet (Thagnag).

     Overnight stay in Thagnag; 

  14. Day 14 TERK TO GOKYO (4790 m)

    Walking alongside the wonderful mountain views, the path to Gokyo brings us to the Ngozumpa glacier edge after a short walk, which is the longest glacier in Nepal. From the other side of the glacier, we get to see the second Gokyo Lake on the series of six lakes. On the edge of this lake stands the Gokyo Village.

    Overnight stay in  Gokyo;


    We will explore Gokyo Lake and go up to Gokyo Ri (5350 m), the small crest above the lake. The peak of 5350 m is also called Kala Patthar (do not be confused with the Kala Pathar above Gorakshep), though the view is similar. After the two hours climb, we can see the fantastic view of Cho Oyu, Gyanchung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse, Tawache and many more. In addition, four of the fourteen eight-thousanders on earth, dominating the myriad of ‘smaller’ peaks provide a vantage point to observe the views of the Nangpa La, the old trade route into Tibet. We then trek back to Gokyo village.

    Overnight stay in Gokyo village;

  16. Day 16 TREK TO LUNGDEN (4,560 m)

    Trekking over to complete the final and the last pass we trek to Renjo La (5345 m). The path climbs soothingly up the edge of Gokyo Ri and steeply inclined above the northwest corner of the lake. We precede early-down from the Gokyo Valley and depart from the main trail and turn to Renjo La trail by Dudh Pokhari. We reach to the Renjo La after about three hours where an incredible panorama lies ahead. The Everest itself, Lhotse, Cholatse, and Taboche can be seen glittering in the sun. Alongside the descent to Lungden, we see Relama Tsho and Renjo Lake.

    Overnight in Lungden; 

  17. Day 17 TREK TO THAME (3,820 m)

    Trekking along an old Tibetan Himalayan trade route we head towards Thame. The hiking on this day is much easier compared to the previous day’s trekking. Following the Bhote Koshi, we end at the village of Thame, the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa (first Mount Everest summiteers alongside Edmund Hillary).

    Overnight in Thame;

  18. Day 18 TREK TO MONJO (2,840m)

    We trek down the descending trail at first and then continue to walk on the relatively flat route alongside the spectacular scenery, fast flowing rivers. Crossing three suspension bridges and climbing our way uphill to Namche Bazar we stop at Namche for lunch and then continue our trek to the other end of the town, Monjo which takes about 2 hours from Namche. Slowly we trek through beautiful mixed forests with some rhododendron and pine trees, passing the rocks carved “Om Mani Padme Hum” (fundamental Buddhist mantra) to Monjo.

    Overnight in Monjo;

  19. Day 19 TREK TO LUKLA (2,700m)

    After our breakfast, we return back over the main track down to Dudh Koshi retracing our way back to Phakding. Following the track, we reach Lukla scaling different Sherpa villages crossing a suspension bridge above Thado Koshi. This will be our last night in the mountains until next time.

    Overnight stay at teahouse in Lukla;

  20. Day 20 KATHMANDU

    After about 35 minutes of flight time, we land in Kathmandu and we’ll drive back to the hotel. Rest of the day is for relaxing or sightseeing around Kathmandu city.

     (The flights from Lukla to Kathmandu depend on the weather conditions so we suggest you to prepare accordingly.)

  21. Day 21 DEPARTURE

     Depending on the flight time, Swotah will arrange the transfer to the airport. The airport check-in is 3 hours prior to the departure time.

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