Kala Patthar trail with Mt Pumori

10 Must-Do Side Treks/ Acclimatization Hikes Along The EBC & 3-Passes Trail

Acclimatization day on the Everest Base Camp (EBC) and three passes trek doesn’t mean rest day. Trekkers usually climb to a higher altitude and return to a lower one for their stay. Several popular side hikes can be done during the Everest Base Camp and three passes trek. These hikes not only help you with acclimatization but also offer great views of the surrounding peaks.

This blog lists the side treks or acclimatization hikes you shouldn’t miss out on during the EBC and three passes trek.

Popular Acclimatization Treks of EBC

1. Hike To The Pema Chholing Monastery From Phakding

pema choling monastery phakding - TwinsOnToes

If you reach Phakding early, you can take this relaxed hike, which offers picturesque aerial views of Phakding village and the Dudh Koshi River flowing close to it. The pathway from the Hotel Sherpa at Phakding will lead you to a pretty trail via the Gumela village. The steep ascend framed by the pine trees on your left leads you straight to Rimishung or Pema Chholing Monastery. You can see young monks playing at the monastery or chanting mantras during prayer time.

You can also hike further to Thaktyo Dorje Photang Tekhongma Gompa, located about 50 m from there. Although we found no monks or people, we wandered around and returned on the same path.

  • Distance: 1.5 Km
  • Duration: 1-2 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 2940 m

2. Hotel Everest View From Namche Bazaar

hotel everest view namche bazaar - TwinsOnToes

A hike to the Hotel Everest View from Namche Bazaar is a good acclimatization, and as an added bonus, you also get to see a small portion of two of the fourteen 8000ers, Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse. The striking mountain views of Ama Dablam and Thamserku will engage you on the trail. Hotel Everest View, constructed at 3880 m in 1971, has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records (2004) as the highest-placed hotel in the world! First laid eyes by Takashi Miyahara and designed by the Japanese architect Yoshinobu Kumagaya, it houses 12 rooms with attached washrooms. And every room provides views of Mt. Everest. It also has a restaurant, a bar, and a souvenir shop and offers free Wi-Fi services for the staying guests.

We suggest you start your hike super early, at around 4 AM, and reach the hotel by 6 AM to get a clear view of the mountain peaks. The visibility goes down later during the day owing to the mists and clouds blocking the view.

Also, note that the Hotel Everest, located in the village of Namche Bazaar, is different from Hotel Everest View.

  • Distance: 5.4 Km, one way
  • Duration: 2-3 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 3880 m

3. Visit Khumjung & Khunde villages From Namche Bazaar

The Khumjung and Khunde villages are located adjacent to each other near Mt. Khumbila, popularly called the sacred mountains of the Sherpas. The settlements also include a hospital, school, monastery, and more. You have several options to continue your hike from the Hotel Everest View. One way is to head towards Khumjung and Khunde. The other route takes you directly to these villages via the Syangboche airfield.

Be sure to explore the other must-visit spots in Namche Bazaar.

  • Distance: 5.2 Km, one way
  • Duration: 3-4 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 3790 m and 3840 m

4. Amadablam Base Camp Trek From Pangboche

Climbing a whooping 600 m, approximately over 4.6 Km from Pangboche, involves a steep ascend to reach the Ama Damblam Base Camp. For several days, Ama Dablam dominates the eastern sky for anyone trekking on the EBC route. The trail offers views of the mountain peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Lobuche, Thamsherku, Konde Ri, and Island Peak, among others.

The Ama Dablam mountain, featured on the one Rupee Nepalese bank note, is one of the most technically challenging mountains in the Himalayas.

  • Distance: 4.6 Km, one way
  • Duration: 4-5 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 4580 m

5. Visit Chola Tsho From Pheriche

chola tsho ebc and three passes trek - TwinsOnToes

Nestled at the foot of Chola Tse Peak, you’ll find the enchanting Chola Lake, also known as Chola Tsho. This serene spot is perfect for a closer look at the majestic Arakamtse and Chola Tse mountains, along with the stunning Chola Glacier. The view is nothing short of mesmerizing, with a stream adding to the beauty of the turquoise lake. We stumbled upon Chola Tsho during our trek from Lobuche to Dzongla on Day 10. Picture this: mist hanging over the lake, a backdrop of snow-dusted peaks, a gentle river on the side, and lush greenery all around. It felt like stepping into a wonderland.

If you’re trekking EBC on the same route, you should definitely consider visiting Chola Tsho nevertheless.

  • Distance: 6.5 Km, one way
  • Duration: 4-5 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 4822 m

6. Nangartshang Peak From Dingboche

view of dingboche from nangartshang midway - TwinsOnToes

After Namche Bazaar, the trekkers usually take an acclimatization day at Dingboche. The Mt. Nangartshang Peak resides just beside the Dingboche valley. As you kick off your journey near the stupa, you’ll see that the EBC trail diverges into two distinct paths. One leads you to Lobuche, and the other takes you to Chhukung. The route is led with flags, each marking every 100 meters of your ascent. It’s a good idea to begin your hike in the morning to catch the most breathtaking vistas of Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, the iconic Ama Dablam, and the mountains surrounding you. On a clear day, you’ll even spot the distant lakes and glaciers, adding a sense of grandeur to the landscape.

From Dingboche, people also take acclimatization hikes to the village of Chhukung, which is roughly 4.5 Km away.

  • Distance: 2 Km, one way
  • Duration: 3-5 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 5083 m

7. Hikes From Chhukung

chukhung ri view point - TwinsOnToes
Chhukung Ri

There are three different hiking trails in the village of Chhukung, at an altitude of 4730 m, for you to choose from. All three trails pose their own set of challenges and work as a step to overcome that help you prepare for the Kongma La Pass. 

Now, on the trek to Imja Tsho or Island Peak Base Camp, you’ll find yourself on a path that winds along the Lhotse Glacier. And this pathway treats you to the captivating sights of high-altitude glacier lakes. What’s even more amazing is that all three of these hikes present you with jaw-dropping 360° views of the mountains that envelop you! And here’s a little insider tip – if you’re captivated by their beauty (which you probably will be), you can always extend your stay in Chhukung and embark on all three of these adventures. 

We did Chukhung Ri while doing the EBC and three passes trek.

  • Imja Tsho Lake from Chhukung (5004 m, 6 Km, 3-4 Hours one way)
  • Island Peak Base Camp Trek from Chhukung (5116 m, 7 Km, 4 Hours one way)
  • Chukhung Ri from Chhukung (5514 m, 3 Km, 5 Hours one way)

8. Gokyo Ri From Gokyo

Near the settlement of Gokyo is the Gokyo Ri mountain peak. Pitted as one of the best viewpoints of Mt. Everest on the EBC trek, the Gokyo Ri summit allows you to see four of the fourteen highest peaks, including Everest, Cho Oyo, Makalu, and Lhotse. Even though you can pretty much see the trail from where you start all the way to the finish, let me tell you, this hike is no walk in the park. It’s a real challenge with a pretty steep ascent, but the views are totally worth it!

  • Distance: 1.8 Km, one way
  • Duration: 3-4 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 5344 m

9. Gokyo 4th, 5th, and 6th Lakes

Gokyo Thoonak Tsho or Lake Four
Lake Four or Thoonak Tsho

Once you’ve climbed Gokyo Ri, and we suggest it be in the morning, check out those glacier lakes on the lush Gokyo wetlands. Taking a moment to admire the majestic snowy peaks mirrored in those crystal-clear, high-altitude lakes is a must when you’re in Gokyo. The best part? It’s a relatively easy trek without too much altitude gain, so you can fully enjoy the experience.

We’ve explained all the lakes and other activities to do in Gokyo in a separate blog. Do give that a try if you want to delve further!

  • Distance: 11 Km, one way
  • Duration: 6-7 Hours one way
  • Altitude at the summit: 5197 m

10. Kala Patthar From Gorakshep

mt everest from kala patthar summit - TwinsOnToes
From Kala Patthar summit

One of the best places to witness Mt. Everest, the highest peak in our world, and the Khumbu Icefall should be the Kala Patthar Peak. This is also the highest altitude you’ll reach on the EBC trek. You also get to see about 29 peaks from the Kala Patthar summit. If you want to learn all about Kala Patthar, be sure to dive into our comprehensive guide. We’ve covered everything from the nitty-gritty hiking details to fascinating facts. Plus, you’ll find a handy how-to for the hike from Gorakshep and much more!

  • Distance: 1.9 Km, one way
  • Duration: 2-3 Hours during ascend
  • Altitude at the summit: 5644 m

Important Things To Remember

  • The distance and duration mentioned are for the ascend only. The descent usually takes a lot less time.
  • Allow yourself to take breaks and do the hikes at your own pace since it has a lot of steeper ascends.
  • In most of these hikes, the probability of finding water on the trail is very low or impossible. So, make sure to carry enough water, at least 2 L. 
  • Carry energy bars, dry fruits, and snacks because you need to keep up your energy as you gain altitude.
  • A guide is not mandatory to climb these hikes. Although the Nepali government has issued a notice stating that a guide is mandatory since March 2023, it is not strictly followed. We did the EBC and three passes trek solo (without guides or porters). We were granted permission and were not questioned at the checkpoints along the trail.
  • Do download offline maps and check the weather if you’re hiking unassisted.
  • Layer up, as it might be windy at the top of the peak.
  • A smaller backpack or a day pack would suffice to carry only the essentials and leave the rest of your belongings at the tea houses.

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