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10 Reasons to Trek Everest Three Passes

Embark on a journey like no other as you traverse the three high mountain passes of Everest, each offering its own unique challenges and breathtaking vistas.

10 Reasons to Trek Everest Three Passes

When you think of trekking in Nepal, you dream of an adventurous trail that would push your limit, immerse you in culture, leave you in awe, and give you a break from the rushed life of the cities, isn’t it?

If so, the Everest Three Passes trek beckons you with all these qualities and an added thrill of conquering high altitude mountain passes. But is it worth it, you ask?

It absolutely is, but don’t take our word for it. Find out for yourself with this blog where we are giving you 10 reasons to trek Everest Three Passes.

Unmatched Panoramas

Be it Himalayan treks or historical trails, one of the main highlights of any trekking route is the view it has to offer. In case of Everest Three Passes trek, the breathtaking panorama is the most compelling reason why you should go for this trek.

During this trek, you are in for a visual feast of some of the world’s highest peaks and much more beyond the Everest Base Camp as a kaleidoscope of landscapes await you ranging from verdant valleys, lush forests, and alpine beauties.

Himalayan Panorama from Renjo La Pass
Himalayan Panorama from Renjo La Pass

Traversing through the variety of landscapes, you will come across several natural wonders and each of them will add more visual treat to the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Himalayas.

In the lower altitudes, the trek features several forests and valleys dotted with vibrant flora and highly active fauna and you will get amazing views of cascading waterfalls and quaint villages too.

As you ascend, the landscape transforms and you get clear glimpses of the Himalayas and the glaciers carving their way through those mountains, including the Ngozumpa glacier.

Hiking Down from Gokyo Ri with Mt Everest in the background
Hiking Down from Gokyo Ri with Mt Everest in the background

Against the grand symphony of Himalayas, the smooth glacial ice forms a contrasting landscape to the dry terrains and the turquoise water melted from them adds to the spectacle.

This trek provides the vista of some of the highest peaks in the world and that too in a panoramic perspective from its vantage points. You will get an unobstructed view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, and more.

Physical Challenge and Achievement

The Everest Three Passes trek is the best option for the thrill-seeking trekkers who want to push their boundaries and bask in the feeling of accomplishment as this trek is considered amongst the more demanding trekking trails of Nepal.

It takes you to some of the highest and most rugged terrains in the world and crosses not just one but three high altitude mountain passes, all spanning over 5,000 meters: Kongma La Pass (5,535 m), Cho La Pass (5,368 m), and Renjo La Pass (5,340 m).

Trekkers climbing to reach Chola Pass Summit
Trekkers climbing to reach Chola Pass Summit

The journey to each of these high passes takes you through its own set of challenges featuring hurdles like icy slopes, steep ascents and descents, long and gradual climbs, and even technical sections with rocky terrains and snow slopes.

These climbs can be tough on you with long hours of walking across continuous days which is tough on your knees with high chance of slippage and injury and some sections will also need you to use trekking poles and crampons.

Tackling the formidable landscape of the Everest region with determination.
Tackling the formidable landscape of the Everest region with determination.

However, with each pass that you conquer and the world seems to be stretched out at your feet, the feeling of accomplishment is beyond words and this trek not only tests your limits but also leaves you with a newfound sense of appreciation for yourself, both physically and mentally.

It is visually rewarding too as the views from the top of these passes are truly worth the challenges. By the end of the trek, you will have a much better understanding of your body and physical boundaries which is accompanied by a sense of pride.

At the end of it all, this journey gets etched in your memories as not just a fun trek but also as a journey of adventure, perseverance, and discovery of yourself.

Tranquility of a Less Traveled Path

As opposed to other popular and overcrowded trekking routes, the Everest Three Passes trek is one of the off-the-beaten-path treks of Nepal and it allows you to experience the allure of Everest region in seclusion and serenity.

This enhances your experience and allows you to connect to nature while also giving you a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of cities.

And unlike other popular trails, you will see more of nature than of other people’s backpacks.

Climbing up the Chola Pass
Climbing up the Chola Pass

As you pass through the less travelled trails of the trek, the only sounds you will hear are that of the flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, wildlife activity, and the movement of glaciers.

As there is less human disturbance, the chances of you spotting the rare Himalayan wildlife are also higher here. Be prepared for sightings of the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and more.

Captivated by the sheer grandeur of Mt. Ama Dablam.
Captivated by the sheer grandeur of Mt. Ama Dablam.

Due to less crowd, the experience on the trek is untouched by the hospitality business and you will find the authentic way of life in the people living here. You can also engage deeply with the hosts during your stay in the local teahouses.

For many people, this tranquility allows for valuable personal reflection and also gives opportunities for creative minds to explore their craft. It also provides you with a strong inspiration and sometimes even serves as a muse for photographers.

Unique Cultural Experience

Along with the thrill of conquering mountains, the Everest Three Passes trek is also your best bet if you want to experience the authentic cultures of the Himalayas and get a glimpse into the lives of the Sherpa people who are famed as the guardians of the Himalayas.

This trek features several traditional Sherpa villages like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and the hidden gems like the Thame village and Gokyo Valley which opens a new world of hidden and cherished cultures altogether for you as they are regarded as cultural hubs of the region.

On top of Gokyo Ri and Gokyo Lake
On top of Gokyo Ri and Gokyo Lake

The Sherpa people known for their genuine hospitality welcome you with open arms and warm hearts while greeting you with a cup of traditional yak butter tea and lots of stories and cultures to exchange.

As you explore these villages, you will notice that the Tibetan culture is dominant in the region as it boasts several monasteries, prayer flags, chortens, and prayer wheels. Be sure to make a stop at some of these monasteries.

The Tengboche Monastery is where you can find a rich spiritual experience and also enjoy some popular festivals like Mani Rimdu, Dumje, and Tibetan Lhoshar if your timing is correct. Other monasteries too feature a sense of spirituality in the Khumbu region.

Tengboche Monastery, holiest place in Everest Region
Tengboche Monastery, holiest place in Everest Region

Another thing you might notice during your stroll would be the exquisite and beautiful arts and crafts like the Thangka paintings, hand woven carpets, and jewelry and clothing with intricate hand work.

Among these villages, the Thame village stands out as it gives a more intimate glimpse into the lives of Sherpas. You will find traditional and narrow alleys featuring Tibetan style houses and many locals tending to their yak herds.

Make sure to visit the Thame gompa for a rustic yet worthy experience. Also, home to several Everest climbers, you can also get to listen to several anecdotes and stories of bravery and resilience.

Majestic Vantage Points

While the Everest Three Passes trek features majestic views throughout, there are some vantage points which provide even more beautiful panoramas and also provides different perspectives on the iconic peaks.

Gokyo Ri (5,483 m) and Kalapathhar (5,555 m) are two such vantage points on this trek. Known as some of the best sunrise viewing points of Nepal, these both unfold a mesmerizing view as the sun kisses the horizon and shine on the snow blanketed peaks.

Descending to Gorakshep from Kala Patthar
Descending to Gorakshep from Kala Patthar

Reaching to these points needs you to start early and the pre-dawn hike through the remote landscapes is also a part of the experience. From these points, you witness the ever changing, inspiring, and meditating spectacle.

For more adventurous group of people, you can also go to other options like Gokyo Ri (5,357 meters) or Kongma La (5,146 meters) which, although offering a view not very different, can fuel your adventurer’s spirit.

Rich Biodiversity

The grandiose landscapes of the Everest Three Passes trek are home to a fragile ecosystem and feature some of the most diverse ecological zones of the world. Therefore, you will find that this trail is beaming with unique flora and fauna.

Starting off, this trek is a botanical medley as the lower regions of this trek are adorned with beautiful hues of several wildflowers including the vibrant blue Primulas and the delicate yellow Himalayan Poppies.

Not to forget, the different colors of rhododendron add to this colorful canvas if you trekking in Spring.

Blooming Rhododendrons during Spring
Blooming Rhododendrons during Spring

As you ascend higher, the terrain gradually transforms into alpine meadows and features stark vegetation like Juniper and Rhododendron bushes clinging stubbornly to the slopes amidst other scrubby vegetation.

Keep an eye out for the brightly colored Daphne bushes which are highly fragrant during certain seasons. Going even higher, you might even spot the elusive edelweiss.

Coming to the fauna, as this trek goes to high altitudes, you won’t find much of large mammals. But you will find species like musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, as well as the elusive red panda if you are lucky.

a Himalayan tahr spotted during EBC Trek
A Himalayan tahr spotted during EBC Trek

Snow leopards are the habitants in the higher altitudes. The skies of this trail are soaring with a fascinating array of birds like the Himalayan Griffons, Blood Pheasants, Himalayan Thrush, and lammergeyers.

Isn’t it too much variety for a single trek? This variety makes it a fragile ecosystem and is one of the reasons why the Sagarmatha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, tread carefully while you are in this region.

Comprehensive Everest Experience

While the beauty of the Everest region is often considered to be bound to the Everest Base Camp trek, there is much more to it than just reaching the Everest Base Camp and the Everest Three Passes trek allows you to experience all of it.

This trek is a more comprehensive and much richer option compared to other treks of the Sagarmatha National Park in terms of cultural depth, natural beauty, as well as adventure and accomplishment.

During this trek, you can see an expansive and unobstructed view of the Himalayan giants including Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Makalu, and more which is not the case with EBC as there you just get a close up view of Mt. Everest.

Capturing Himalayas enroute to Phorste Thanga
Capturing Himalayas enroute to Phorste Thanga

On top of that, the trek weaves its way through a broader section of the region and you experience other hidden gems of the region like the Ngozumpa Glacier, Gokyo Valley, the serene Gokyo Lakes, and much more.

The cultural experience on the trek is also enhanced as you cross the typical Sherpa villages like Thame and make your way through several other significant monasteries adding value to your trek.

Crossing the high-altitude mountain passes also adds a factor of gratitude in your journey as you are reminded of the might of nature as you might come across some memorials of people who have lost their lives here.

The Thrill of a Lukla Flight

Although it might seem weird at a cursory glance, what can be considered another worthy reason to trek the Everest Three Passes is the thrill of a Lukla flight. Yes, it is worth this mention. Keep reading!

So, your Everest Three Passes trek begins not on the ground but with a thrilling, often heart-pounding flight to the Lukla airport which is known for being the most dangerous airport in the world.

A small airstrip perched atop a mountain slope at an altitude of 2,840 m, the flight to Lukla offers some of the most majestic panoramas of the Himalayas. You can see Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, glaciers and glacial lakes, valleys, and Sherpa settlements from the window of your Twin Otter aircraft.

However, the experience during takeoff and landing can be very scary and will leave you holding on to your seats. That is the reason why only the pilots meeting certain requirements are allowed to fly in this airport.

This journey is even more thrilling than it sounds and sets a fantastic prelude to the adventurous trek that awaits you at the Everest Three Passes.

The Majesty of Gokyo Lakes

As this trek takes you to some of the remote corners of Nepal, it also allows you to explore another hidden gem in the Everest region which is a trekking route in itself but is not as popular- the Gokyo Lakes.

This is known to be the highest freshwater lake system in the world and features a total of 19 big and small oligotrophic lakes. Among these, six lakes are the main lakes of this region and hold cultural significance too.

Gokyo Lake and Valley from Gokyo Ri
Gokyo Lake and Valley from Gokyo Ri

These pristine freshwater lakes, ranging from Gokyo Cho (Long Pond) at 4,700 meters to Thonak Tsho (Lower Gokyo Lake) at 4,830 meters, with their beautiful turquoise waters mirroring the surrounding mountains are one of the highlights of the Everest Three Passes Trek.

The Gokyo Lakes are significant in many ways. They harbor a unique ecosystem around them which are adapted to the harsh altitudes of the area. It includes several wildflowers, the elusive Himalayan Monal pheasant or the lammergeier, and more.

A trekker standing in front of Gokyo Lake II
A trekker standing in front of Gokyo Lake II

Besides that, the Gokyo Lakes adds to the spiritual journey of the trek as it is of high religious value and features a positive energy as it is surrounded by prayer flags and you might even be part of a religious fair if you reach here during the months of monsoon.

Side Trips and Explorations

While the Everest Three Passes trek already covers a much broader section of the Everest region, it also serves as a gateway for you to explore other numerous adventures and reach deeper into the heart of the Himalayas.

If you are looking to summit your first mountain, a detour to Island Peak (6,189 m), locally known as Imja Tse, could be your best shot as it is a manageable challenge for beginners in mountaineering.

Island Peak Summit
Island Peak Summit

Besides that, you can also explore the longest glacier in the Himalayas- the Ngozumpa glacier which is 36 km long and takes you through a unique journey as you tackle its icy towers and crevasses.

As you explore the Gokyo valley, you can make easy detours to nearby locations like Cho Oyu base camp and even explore other challenging passes of the Everest region.

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