Makalu Base Camp trek offers an exceptional opportunity to explore high-altitude terrains, mystic glaciers, and snow-clad landscapes while trekking in Nepal. Mt. Makalu (8463 m), is the fifth highest peak in the world, located between the border of Nepal and Tibet in China. Trekkers get an opportunity to experience this beautiful landmark up close during this trek. As it lies in one of the most remote places in Nepal, the trek is not much popular among the tourist. Due to this reason, it receives a very fewer number of trekkers compounding into the factor of adversarial climatic conditions and high chances of Altitude sickness.
Main attractions of Makalu base camp trek: trekking in Nepal
The steamy colorful rhododendron forests and ethnic Himalayan lifestyles are some of the main attractions of this trek as a whole. Similarly, rare wildlife species like snow leopards, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, lynx, and fox are protected under the regional wildlife habitat sanctuary, Makalu Barun National Park. The lower portion of the trail is famous for its lushness with red rhododendron forests and landscapes. Whereas, the upper reaches of the trail comprise of polished granite cliffs, capped by hanging glaciers overflowing with waterfalls.
Mountains seen during Makalu Base Camp Trek
Trekkers can witness the jaw-dropping views of several 8,000 meter-plus peaks such as Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, along with the rarely seen, Kangshung face of Everest. The Makalu Base Camp trek in Nepal encompasses the best trekking experience such as walking in the quiet trails and vibrant terraced farmland. If you get lucky enough, the uniquely encountered rural cultures of distinct Rai and Sherpa tribes can add further excitement into the trek.
Makalu Base Camp trekking route
Makalu base camp trek starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar. Alternatively, you can also take a day-long bus ride. Upon reaching tumlingtar, trekkers march towards Chichila following Arun river valley to Sedua and Num. After the crossing of Shipton La Pass (4210 m) into the upper Barun river valley, trekkers can have a very close look at Makalu and Chamlang Himal.
The Barun valley is a part of a huge international protected area. It is protected under the agreement between the governments of Nepal and China. Thus, it comprises 2330 sq. km of Makalu Barun National Park and 830 sq. km of the conservation area.
Required Permits for Makalu Base Camp trek
Firstly, Makalu Barun National Park Conservation Area permit ($30 per person) is required to embark on the trek. Similarly, Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card ($20 per person) should also be acquired in prior.
Chances of Altitude sickness
It is a fairly challenging trek with high altitudes. So, altitude sickness and exhaustion are some of the problems that you will need to consider. Since, it is one of the most challenging trekking in Nepal. We highly recommend you not to pursue this trek on your own. Your tour operators will guide you through the acclimation process and local routes. This will make it a lot safer for you and help you have a more personal experience.
Suitability of the trek
Makalu base camp trek can be an ideal choice for explorers and nature enthusiasts. Especially, those who seek solace and tranquility in pristine natural habitats. If you are trying to avoid crowds, have no time restrictions, and looking for a place that is untouched by the effects of tourism, the trek can be a joyous memory.
Accommodation during the Makalu Base Camp trek
If you decide not to carry camping and hiking backpack, you will have to adjust yourself with slightly lower standards of accommodations. Due to the extreme nature of the trekking, we always recommend insuring your trip with a valid travel insurance provider. Especially if you are carrying your valuable camera, lenses, and other electronic gadgets.
Max Elevation: 4,870m
Average Walk: 5 to 7 hours per day
Trekking Difficulty: Strenuous
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