Makalu base camp trek

Mt. Makalu (8463 m) is the fifth highest peak in the world located between the boarder of Nepal and Tibet which you will get to witness on the trek. Makalu Base Camp offers an exceptional opportunity to explore high-altitude terrains, mystic glaciers, snow-clad landscapes and ethnic Himalayan lifestyle which are the main attractions of the trek as a whole. The Makalu Base Camp trek in Nepal encompasses some of the best trekking experience that Nepal has to offer — quiet trails, vibrant terraced farmland, rural cultures, rhododendron forests, rare wildlife and several 8,000 meter-plus peaks such as Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Chamlang along with the rarely touted Kangshung face of the Everest.

The mighty Makalu Peak located amidst of Mahalangur Himalayas

Makalu base camp trek starts with flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, you can also take a day long bus ride. Upon reaching tumlingtar trekkers head towards Chichila following Arun river valley to Sedua and Num, then crossing Shipton La Pass (4210 m) into the upper Barun river valley for a close look at Makalu and Chamlang Himal. The Barun valley is a part of a huge international protected area under the agreement between the governments of Nepal and China, which comprises 2330 sq. km of Makalu Barun National Park and 830 sq. km of the conservation area. Other than the natural beauty you will be able to witness the rural life of Nepal’s distinct Rai and Sherpa culture. Trekkers can also expect to spot some of the rarest wildlife in Nepal, including the Red Panda.

Amphu Lapchala Pass during winter, located between Makalu Barun National Park and Sagarmatha National Park.

The lower portion of the trail are famous for their lushness with red rhododendron forests and landscape whereas the upper reaches of the trail comprise of polished granite cliffs capped by hanging glaciers, overflowing with waterfalls. The Makalu Base Camp Trek is an ideal choice for explorers and nature enthusiasts. Especially, those who seek solace and tranquility in pristine natural habitat and those who wish to avoid crowds are perfect to go on this trip and should go at least once.

Map of Makalu base camp trek and surrounding region.

A Makalu Barun National Park Conservation Area permit (US $30 per person) and a Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card (US $20 per person) are the permits that you will require to embark on this trek. It is a fairly challenging trek with high altitudes, so altitude sickness and exhaustion is one of the problems that you will need to consider along with slightly lower standards of accommodations. Due to the extreme nature of the trek we always recommend to insure your trip with a valid travel insurance provider specially if you are carrying your valuable camera, lenses and other electronic gadgets. We highly recommend you not to pursue this trek on your own as it is one of the most challenging trekking in Nepal. Your tour operators will guide you through the acclimation process and local routes which will make it lot safer for you and help you have a more personal experience.


Max Elevation: 4,870m

Average Walk: 5 to 7 hours per day

Trekking Difficulty: Strenous

Pricing: $1400 – $1700

Best Season: March to May and September to November

Accommodation Type: Teahouses  

Restricted Permits: No

Required Permits: Makalu Barun National Park Conservation Area permit and TIMS

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