What’s the difference between EBC trek, 20+ days Gokyo and 3 Passes route

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The Himalayas of Nepal are known to the global people as the home to the world’s highest mountain peaks including Mt. Everest. More than 8 peaks above 8000 meters above sea level sit in the Nepal Himalayas, and the Mahalangur Mountain Sub Range stands out more in the presence of Everest. 

Regarding adventure and daring tasks, the Himalayas of the Mahalangur range are the most visited destinations. Everest or Khumbu region caters to all the essentials such as landscapes, altitude, people, and culture for the adventurous and exciting journey. This region features three major trekking routes and many expeditions like Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, and Island Peak Climbing.

This blog will discuss the three trekking destinations: Everest Base Camp, Everest Three Passes, and Gokyo Valley Trek. We will go through the key differences between all three packages and what makes them the most popular trekking destinations in the world. Considering their features, challenges, and attractions will help you choose the perfect adventure for your next trekking.

Difference Between EBC Trek, 20+ Days Gokyo, and 3 Passes Route

Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek:

Everest Base Camp (EBC Trek) is the most popular trek in the Everest Region, and it takes you directly to the lap of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest. There are two Everest Base Camps: South and North Base Camp. The famous one is the South Base Camp in Nepal, which is 5,364 meters high; the North Base Camp sits 5,150 meters above sea level in Tibet.

Sign Board to EBC

During the journey to the South Base Camp from Nepal, your trek has many features. It includes the region’s natural richness aligned with the Sherpa community’s cultural aspects. The traditional Sherpa villages, dense rhododendron forests, and challenging yet adventurous terrains offer an unforgettable journey. Similarly, the cultural aspects hiked by the presence of Buddhist gompas like Tengboche and Pangboche monasteries are worthwhile.

The standard Everest Base Camp Trek is completed within 12-14 days, depending on your travel itinerary. It takes you from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and then to Kala Patthar.

Gokyo Trek:

Gokyo Valley/Lake Trek is another major trekking destination in the Everest Region, which takes you to five amazing natural lakes in the Himalayas. Due to its frozen nature, the Gokyo Lakes have been a prime point for many visitors for the last decade.

Gokyo Lake is a group of five lakes; Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), Thonak Cho (the largest), Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngozumpa Cho, and Longbanga Cho. These lakes are also worshipped as the residence of ‘Nag Devata’ (Snake God) every year as many trekkers reach to offer their worship.

Gokyo Lake

Starting the trek from Lukla (just like EBC Trek), this trek goes to Namche Bazaar before diverting towards Thame. From there, the trail stretches to Gokyo Valley, passing through Cho La Pass at 5,420 meters above sea level.

This trek also includes a hike up Gokyo Ri, a viewpoint that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.

Three Passes Route:

If you are looking for a more adventurous and challenging trek in the Everest Region, Three Passes Trek is here for you. Three Passes of the Everest Region are the highest in Nepal, all residing 5000 meters above sea level. During this journey, trekkers will pass through Cho La Pass (5,420 m), Renjo La Pass (5,345 m), and Kongma La Pass (5545 m) above sea level.

Three Passes Map (Courtesy: bigskytreks.weebly.com)

Since all three passes are high-altitude destinations, preparations like acclimatization are highly advised. All three passes offer amazing views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and more. Not only that, but the chilling adventures through the dense forests of rhododendrons and oak and the Sherpa settlements with the insights of Buddhism are some of the major attractions of this trek.

This trek starts from Lukla to Namche Bazaar and diverts towards Thame like Gokyo Valley Trek. After passing Renjo La Pass at 5345 meters crosses Cho La Pass at 5420 meters and stretches towards Dughla. From Dughla, the trek continues towards Lobuche to Chhukung, where you must traverse Kongma La Pass at 5545 meters above sea level. 

Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Trek Everest Base Camp at an Altitude of 5,364 Meters above sea level.
  • Tour the Tengboche and Pangboche monasteries, and experience the Influence of Buddhism.
  • Explore Gorakshep, the last Sherpa Settlement in the Everest region.
  • Discover the flora and fauna in Sagarmatha National Park.
  • Diverse Cultures, Traditions, Norms, Customs, and Languages in the Remote Villages.
  • Trek to Lobuche Pass at 4,940 meters above sea level.
  • Climb Kala Patthar at 5545 Meters Above Sea Level – This best viewpoint offers a 360-degree view of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, and other summits.

The Three Passes Trek Highlights

  • Three High Altitude Mountain Passes: Renjo La Pass, Cho La Pass, and Kongma La Pass 5000 Meters Above Sea Level.
  • Gokyo Lakes (Dudh Pokhari, Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngozumpa Cho, Longbanga Cho).
  • Summit Gokyo Ri (5,357m) and Khumbu Glacier are necessary.
  • Discover Sherpa Culture and Villages [Thame, Lumde, Dughla, and the likes of it].
  • Preserved and Intact Natural Sceneries within Sagarmatha National Park.
  • Vast Variety of Flora and Fauna [endangered animal species like Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, the Himalayan Tahr, and Red Panda].
  • Everest viewpoints for view: Snow-capped mountains, sunrise, sunsets.

Highlights of Gokyo Lake

  • Gokyo Lakes (Dudh Pokhari, Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngozumpa Cho, Longbanga Cho).
  • Explore diverse Sherpa culture and Buddhist religion
  • Reach Renjo La Pass at 5345 meters above sea level.
  • Explore diverse flora and fauna.
  • Reach Gokyo Ri and explore the alpine vegetation around Gokyo Valley.

The difference in Distance of Everest Base Camp vs. Gokyo vs. Three Passes Trek

The Everest Base Camp, Gokyo, and Three Passes trek vary in distance. This popular destination in the Everest Khumbu Region features a long trailhead, which you must be familiar with before starting your trek.

The Everest Base Camp’s total distance of this trek is approximately 130 kilometers (80.7 miles). The route starts from Lukla, taking you to the remote villages of Phakding, Monjo, and Namche Bazaar. From there, the trail stretched towards Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorakshep, and finally the Base Camp.

Namche is a tourist stop that diverts the route to Everest Base Camp, Three Passes, and Gokyo Valley Trek.

On the other hand, Three Passes Trek has a total distance of 166 kilometers, 103 miles. Similarly, Gokyo Valley Trek has a distance of 48 kilometers. The only thing that differs from Gokyo Lake to Three Passes Trek is that the three-pass trek comprises a long trail hike touching Renjo La, Cho La, and Kongma La Pass. The trek takes you from Lukla to Namche and proceeds towards the left side of the town towards Thame and Lumde. It stretches towards Renjo La Pass and reaches Gokyo Valley, where the Gokyo Trek is completed. But for the Three Passes Trek, you must travel more towards Cho La Pass and Kongma La Pass from Lobuche, which will take time and energy.

EBC Trek Route Map (Courtesy: Adventure Sindbad)

Routes to Everest Base Camp

  • Lukla (2,860 meters) to Phakding (2,610 meters).
  • Phakding (2,610 meters) to Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters).
  • Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters) to Tengboche (3,860 meters).
  • Tengboche (3,860 meters) to Dingboche (4410 meters)
  • Dingboche (4410 meters) to Lobuche (4940 meters)
  • Lobuche (4940 meters) to Gorakshep (5,164 meters)
  • Gorakshep (5,164 meters) to Everest Base Camp (5364 meters)
EBC via Gokyo Map

Route To Gokyo Lake

  • Lukla (2,860 meters) to Phakding (2,610 meters).
  • Phakding (2,610 meters) to Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters).
  • Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters) to Thame (3,750 meters).
  • Thame (3,750 meters) to Lumde (4,368 meters).
  • Lumde (4,368 meters) to Renjo La Pass (5,360 meters).
  • Renjo La Pass (5,360 meters) to Gokyo Lake (4,750 meters).
Three Passes Trek Route

Route To Three Passes Trek 

  • Lukla (2,860 meters) to Phakding (2,610 meters).
  • Phakding (2,610 meters) to Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters).
  • Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters) to Thame (3,750 meters).
  • Thame (3,750 meters) to Lumde (4,368 meters).
  • Lumde (4,368 meters) to Renjo La Pass (5,360 meters).
  • Renjo La Pass (5,360 meters) to Gokyo Lake (4,750 meters).
  • Gokyo Lake (4,750 meters) to Cho La Pass (5,420 meters) via Thangnak.
  • Cho La Pass (5,420 meters) to Dzongla (4,855 meters).
  • Dzongla (4,855 meters) to Lobuche (4,910 meters).
  • Lobuche (4,910 meters) to Kongma La Pass (5,540 meters).

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Kishor Shahi Thakuri

Kishor Shahi Thakuri

Kishor, a writer and trekker from Bagmati, Nepal, has accumulated extensive knowledge about Nepal and its hiking activities through years of experience working with various trekking agencies and organizations. He has a passion for trekking and has explored regions like Langtang, Kathmandu, and more.

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