The Jiri to Lukla Trek: a beautiful hike to Everest

This post is about the Jiri to Lukla trek. The Jiri to Lukla trek was once the start of the famous trek to Everest. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first people to climb Mount Everest, even started their hike in Kathmandu. 

It was only in 1963 that a road was built to Jiri. Since then the Jiri to Lukla trek was the traditional route into the Khumbu region. A week long of ascents and descents in the middle hill country before climbing up to Lukla and Namche bazaar.  

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay soon wanted an easier option for other mountaineers wishing to climb Everest. In 1964 they started the construction of Lukla airport, opening up the region to everyone who wants to have a glimpse of the highest mountain on earth. 

The Solukhumbu region is now one of the most popular areas for trekking in Nepal. The trails are dotted with excellent lodges and restaurants making it possible for those with no mountaineering experience to get as far as Everest Base camp. 

Nowadays, most people skip the Jiri to Lukla trek, but I decided to take the traditional route following in the footsteps of the first people to climb Mount Everest.

Jiri to Lukla trek
Jiri to Lukla trek

Why choose the Jiri to Lukla Trek

So why should you or anyone still do the Jiri to Lukla trek when one can fly directly into Lukla ? Why add another week of hiking to an already strenuous hike to Everest base camp or the Gokyo lakes? Is the Jiri to Lukla trek still worth the extra effort?

My personal answer is that for me, the Jiri to Lukla trek was well worth the effort. The gradual change from the lush and green hills at the lower altitudes to the rugged terrain and snow capped peaks higher up was something I really enjoyed. 

Yes you can fly directly into spectacular mountain sceneries, but the middle hills of Nepal offer a different experience that is just as interesting and beautiful. The Jiri to Lukla trek winds through friendly villages surrounded by farmlands and rice terraces where you will meet few other trekkers.

Villages like Bhandar, Kenja, Junbesi and Khari khola offer a nice insight into rural life in Nepal. People were always out and about, busy with the daily chores like milking the cows, plowing their small plots of land, drying foods in the sun and working in the fields. 

It was very different from the villages above Lukla where most are a mere cluster of lodges catering to tourists. Don’t underestimate how crowded it can get after you pass the airport. I soon missed the peace and quiet of the Jiri to Lukla trek.

Another good reason to do the Jiri to Lukla trek is that it helps in your acclimatization. It is not necessarily an easy trek as it involves a lot of going up and down. Climbing to Lamjura La pass and Trakshindu pass only to descend to the depth of the valley afterwards and then ascend again.

By the time those that fly into Lukla make their first steps on the trail, you have already been higher than 3000 meters and your muscles will be fit and strong. You will also carry the more authentic experience of the lower hills with you. 

I had another personal reason to do the Jiri to Lukla trek. Lukla is considered to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world and I was quite nervous about flying to Lukla. I did fly out and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. 

Still, I would gladly hike from Jiri to Lukla again the next time. It is more sustainable than flying and it is a wonderful experience.   

Village on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Village life in Nepal

The Jiri to Lukla Trek itinerary

Road construction into the mountains is progressing in Nepal as we speak. In recent years it has changed the Annapurna Circuit trek and will also change the Jiri to Lukla trek. The road now extends from Jiri to Shivalaya, Bhandar and Kenja with plans to go as far as Junbesi. 

Another road goes all the way to Salleri and Phaplu where you can connect with the Jiri trek at Ringmo. Plans are to extend this road all the way to Surkhe, just south of Lukla. 

Up to Jiri the road is in a good condition, but after Jiri it becomes a pot-holed mud track. In my opinion these would only be suitable for 4 by 4 jeeps, but Nepali’s will still try to drive with big buses and trucks on them. My suggestion is to start in either Shivalaya or Salleri/Phaplu.    

In this Jiri to Lukla trek itinerary I mention every day the amount of time it took me from start to finish. I am a slow hiker though. I like to take frequent breaks to enjoy the beautiful views. 

If you are a fit hiker, you can probably do it in less time

Day 1: Bus from Kathmandu to Jiri and Shivalaya

You need the first day to get from Kathmandu to Shivalaya, the start of the Jiri to Lukla trek. Like any bus journey in Nepal, it is a long and bumpy ride over winding mountain roads. Delays are common with frequent breakdowns or landslides blocking the road.

In theory, the bus journey to Shivalaya takes around 10 hours. In practice, it often takes much longer. Buses stop everywhere to let in new passengers up till the point that the only place left for more people is on the roof. While this is officially not allowed, it does happen.

Up till Jiri the road was paved and the journey was long, but uneventful. After Jiri the adventure started. Soon enough we had a flat tyre that needed to be fixed. After that the road deteriorated further. It didn’t help either that it was already dark. 

The dirt track to Shivalaya would maybe be ok for jeeps, but not big buses and trucks. And yes, soon enough, the road was blocked by a truck that was too big to make a bend in the road and got stuck. 

The first hour people waited patiently in the bus. Nobody moved, nobody said anything. There was no phone reception anymore, but I estimated Shivalaya must be around 3 – 4 kilometers further on. Should we get out and walk?

As we were discussing this option with the other foreigners in the bus, the other people started to talk as well. The only way this truck could move was by widening the road. To me, this seemed an impossible task in the dark, but the Nepali men from our bus all came into action. 

Bushes were cut, stones carried away and the truck was pushed into the right direction. Us foreigners watched in certain disbelief, but sure enough, after half an hour we were on our way again. 

It was almost midnight when we arrived in Shivalaya and stumbled into the first lodge we saw. We got a warm welcome and the owner even still made us dinner. 

Logistics: Buses and shared jeeps to Jiri and Shivalaya leave everyday from the Ratnapark bus station in Kathmandu. Get there early as most buses leave between 5 – 6 AM in the morning. It is best to reserve your tickets a day in advance at the bus station or at a travel agency in Thamel.

Bus from Kathmandu to Jiri
Bus from Kathmandu to Jiri

Day 2: Shivalaya (1810) – Deurali (2800) – Bhandar (2200) 

9 kilometers, 5 hours

Today would be my first day of hiking on the Jiri to Lukla trek. Although the road already continued to Bhandar I was happy to start at Shivalaya. Especially after experiencing the road from Jiri to Shivalaya the day before. 

The hiking trail from Shivalaya to Bhandar bypasses the jeep road and starts with a gradual but long climb up to Deurali. I still needed to get in shape and it took me all morning to reach the pass at 2800 meters.  

Most of Deurali was destroyed by the earthquake in 2015. We had lunch here and then walked for one more hour down the hill to Bhandar. The damage in Bhandar was also significant. Most houses and lodges were still in ruins and only 2 lodges had reopened their doors.  

Accomodation: Sobha lodge

Shivalaya on the Jiri to Lukla trek

Day 3: Bhandar (2200) – Kenja (1600)

10 kilometers, 3.5 hours

The Jiri to Lukla trek is a lot of going up and down. From Bhandar it is a gentle walk through villages and rice terraced slopes to the village of Kenja. It is easy to continue and start the ascent to Lamjura La pass, but we decided to call it a day to do some laundry.

Kenja, or Kenza bazaar, was once a beautiful village, but was largely destroyed by the earthquake. Only 3 lodges were open.

Accomodation: New Everest Guesthouse 

Kenja on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Rice fields on the way to Kenja

Day 4: Kenja (1600) – Goyem (3200)

8 kilometers, 6 hours

Today we would start the long ascent to Lamjura Pass. At 3500 meters it is the highest point on the Jiri to Lukla trek. 

We started the day with the intention of reaching Sete (2700). Gaining more than a 1000 meters in altitude I expected a tough day. I can’t say it was easy, but once we reached Sete for lunch, we felt we could walk a bit more.

We climbed another 3 hours through a beautiful forest up to Goyem. The last village before the pass. It was a very cold night, but both the sunset and sunrise was amazing

accomodation: Tashi Deleg guesthouse 

Sete on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Views from Sete
Goyem on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Sunset at Goyem

Day 5: Goyem (3200) – Lamjura (3500) – Junbesi (2600)

10 kilometers, 6 hours

From Goyem it was a short climb to Lamjura La. There is nothing but a small gompa and lots of prayer flags to mark the actual pass. The views were incredible and we could even see Deurali where we were 3 days ago.

The planes to Lukla were flying right above us. They were so near that we could almost touch them. Being at this beautiful place I did not regret once not taking the plane. We descended to Junbesi. First through dense forests and then through villages and farm fields.  

Accomodation: Junbesi Lodge

Lamjura La pass on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Lamjura La
Junbesi on the Jiri to Lukla trek

Day 6: Junbesi (2600) – Trakshindu La (2960)

13 kilometers, 5 hours

Today would be another day of climbing up on the Jiri to Lukla trek. This time to the Trakshindu La pass. 

At Khurtang we had our first views on several mountain peaks including Everest, Thamserku, Kusum, Kangru and Mera. The weather was great and we had a clear blue day. The peaks remained in sight all the way up to Ringmo where we had lunch. 

Then we started the last bit to Trakshindu La. On the pass was a Buddhist chorten and the views were incredible. We stayed at a buddhist monastery and had the most beautiful sunset on the Jiri to Lukla trek. 

Accomodation: Trakshindu resort

Trakshindu La on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Trakshindu La
Trakshindu La on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Sunrise at Trakshindu La

Day 7: Trakshindu La (2960) – Khari Khola (2010)

15 kilometers, 6 hours

Yesterday was all about going up and today about going down. The first part to Nunthala and Phuleli was difficult. The trail was muddy and slippery and full of loose rocks. 

Sometimes we were joined by caravans of donkeys and horses. The owners were always happy to see us and one even wanted to take a selfie with us. We looked tired, sweaty and dusty while the owner of the donkeys looked like he was taking a walk in the park. 

The bridge over the Dudh Kosi river was a welcome sight as it signaled the end of our steep descent. Then it was a gentle walk through the villages of Jubing to Khari Khola.    

Jubing on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Khari Kola on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Khari Kola

Day 6: Khari Khola (2010) – Kari La (3010) – Paiya (2770)

12 km, 5 hours

Today there is another pass to cross. Like yesterday we were joined by caravans of donkeys, horses and yaks on our climb up to the Kari La at 3000 meter. We were hoping to have lunch there, but everything was closed and we continued to Paiya. 

The path to Paiya was a bit scary. It was narrow and slippery and right next to a cliff. We had a late lunch at the first lodge we came across. After that we walked half an hour more to a lodge in between Paiya and Surkhe. 

Accomodation: Everest guesthouse  

Kari La on the Jiri to Lukla trek
View from Kari La pass

Day 8: Puiyan – Lukla or Phakding

Today would be the last day of the Jiri to Lukla trek, but not the end of our hiking adventure. We would continue on to Tengboche to see the Mani Rimdu festival and then connect with the Gokyo Lakes trek. 

Because most people will do the Jiri to Lukla trek with the intention of going all the way to Everest Base Camp, there is no need to actually go to Lukla itself. The trail goes below Lukla and then connects with the main trail at Chablung. 

From Paiya we descended to Surke and then went up to Mushe and Chaurikarka. Two beautiful and quiet villages with gompa’s and mani walls. When we reached Chablung, the trail got much more busy with trekkers that flew in from Lukla. 

We entered beautiful pine forests next to the Dudh Kosi river and walked till Phakding, which is halfway between Lukla and Namche bazaar.  

Chaurikarka on the Jiri to Lukla trek

The Jiri to Lukla Trek Travel tips

Jiri to Lukla Trek Permits

For the Jiri to Lukla trek you need several permits.

Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit: You will only cross the Gaurishankar conservation area for a couple of hours at the start of the trek in Shivalaya. There is a checkpoint at Shivalaya where you have to show this. You can get this permit at the Tourism Board office at Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu and it costs 2000 npr.

Most people do the Jiri to Lukla trek as a way to walk in rather than fly into the Everest region. To enter the Everest region you need two more permits. 

Khumbu entrance permit: This permit is necessary once you enter the Khumbu region. You can not get this permit beforehand in Kathmandu. You must buy it in Lukla or Monjo (in case you walk in from Jiri) and it costs 2000 npr

Sagarmatha National Park Entrance Permit; The actual National Park entrance permit costs 3400 npr. You can get it at the Tourism Board office at Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu or at the checkpoint in Monjo.

Note: In theory, trekkers need to get a TIMS card for every trek they make in Nepal. A Tims Card costs 2000 npr and you need to get this at the Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu. On Everest they felt that most money stayed in Kathmandu. Therefore they installed their own permit (The Khumbu entrance permit). From 2018 they will no longer check your TIMS card in the Everest region. A controversial topic and therefore this situation might change. Check before getting or not getting your TIMS card.  

Do I need a guide?

The Jiri to Lukla trek is moderately difficult, but easy to do without a guide. There is one trail to follow and it is hard to get lost. It is not as busy as more famous treks like the Annapurna Circuit, Poon hill or Langtang, but you will likely meet some other trekkers on your journey. 

If you are alone and not that experienced you might want to consider joining a guided trek or hiring a guide, porter or porter guide. 

In Nepal there is a clear distinction between a porter and a guide. A guide shows you the way and can tell you more about the history and the culture of the places you visit. A porter will only carry your luggage. Despite their heavy burden they often walk far in front of you and might have reached the lodge when you are only midway. A porterguide is less common, but does both.

If you prefer a female guide I can recommend the 3 sisters adventure trekking that works to empower women and trains women to become trekking guides in Nepal.    

Update April 2023: The Nepal Tourism Board issued a press release that trekking without a guide is no longer permitted from 1 April 2023 onwards. Trekkers planning to hike in Nepal’s National Parks where you normally need a TIM’s card should have a government licensed guide that is registered with the official Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN). It is unclear yet how this rule will play out in practice. Everest issued a press release stating that they will not enforce it. Other areas do. However, there are no guidelines on how they are going to implement the ban on solo trekking.

Porters on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Porters on the Jiri to Lukla trek

Accomodation on the Jiri to Lukla Trek

The villages on the Jiri to Lukla trek were affected by the earthquake in 2015. Many lodges were damaged and because most people fly into Lukla these days, not all of them have been rebuilt. 

When I hiked in November 2016 there were still enough lodges open on the way. They tend to be more basic than after Lukla and can’t be booked online beforehand. There is a first come first serve basis.

The prices of accomodation is incredibly cheap, sometimes even free, but they do expect you to order dinner and breakfast at their establishment. 

Kenja on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Earthquake damage at Kenja

Food on the Jiri to Lukla Trek

The good thing about tea house treks in Nepal is that however basic lodges might be, the food is often quite good if you stick to Nepali cuisine. Yes, many lodges try all kinds of international dishes to attract tourists, but in my opinion often not the best choice.

When trekking in Nepal I eat Dahl bath at least once a day. This national dish of rice with lentils knows a huge variety in how it is prepared. Different vegetable curries from fermented spinach to roasted cauliflower and different pickles to spice it up. Not one dahl bath is the same. 

Other Nepali foods to try are Tibetan bread, Thukpa and Momo’s.  

When to hike the Jiri to Lukla Trek

The best time to go trekking in Nepal is spring and autumn. January and February will be cold and foggy. March, April and May are the warmer months before the monsoon. As the rainy season approaches it can become hot, dusty and humid, but the blooming flowers are very beautiful. 

June, July and August are the monsoon months bringing lots of rain and leeches at the lower altitudes. 

September, October and November are the most popular months for trekking. Autumn brings clear blue skies and mild temperatures before the cold sets in in December. Autumn is also a festive season with the celebration of Dashain and Tihar. Nepal’s biggest festivals.  

In October you can also witness the Mani Rimdu festival in Tengboche. Tengboche is a 3 day hike from Lukla. Mani Rimdu is the biggest festival in Nepal for the Sherpa people in the Everest Region. The 3 day festivities include beautiful masked dances and offer a unique insight into Sherpa culture. 

Views on the Jiri to Lukla trek
Clear blue skies in Autumn

Altitude Sickness on the Jiri to Lukla Trek

The Jiri to Lukla trek has a very low chance of altitude sickness. The highest point is Lamjura La at 3500 meters high. Here you might experience some mild symptoms like being tired and more easily out of breath. However, as you will descend to lower altitudes on the same day, this should not pose a problem. 

If you continue to Everest Base Camp or the Gokyo Lakes, altitude sickness is a concern. The Jiri to Lukla trek will definitely help you in your acclimatization, but once you have reached Namche bazaar (3440 meters) you should still be cautious. Experts advise to not ascend more than 300 – 400 meters per day once you are above 3000 meters high.

The key to prevent altitude sickness is to take it slow, give your body enough time to adjust to the height and to drink enough water. Diamox is a medicine that might help your body to acclimatize, but will not cure altitude sickness once you have severe symptoms. In that case, the only remedy is to go down to a lower altitude as soon as possible.

Mild symptoms may include being tired and more easily out of breath. More severe symptoms of high altitude sickness are headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, breathing problems, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. 

Severe symptoms indicate you are developing high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) or high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). Both conditions are fatal if you do not get to a lower altitude on time.   

Take these symptoms seriously and watch out for symptoms in others, even in your nepali guides or porters. It is a misconception that they cannot get altitude sickness.

Jiri to Lukla Trek Books and Guides

Cicerone and trailblazer both have excellent and comprehensive guides about treks in Nepal with detailed guides about the Everest region. Another option is the Lonely Planet’s trekking in the Nepal Himalayas guide.

Jiri to Lukla Trek Packing list

If you need to carry your own gear on a multi day trek the advice is to bring as little as possible. The Poon hill trek is not a difficult trail. There is no need to bring a tent or food. Below a few things to consider

Sun protection: no matter what time of the year you will need to bring protection against the sun. Sunscreen and a hat are a must. There are stretches with little shadow

Rain protection: there is always a risk of rain. I brought a poncho along that protected both me and my backpack from the rain.

Sturdy shoes: There is no need for proffesional hiking boots. However, there are some rocky trails so do bring sturdy shoes that fit you well. It’s important you don’t bring brand new shoes. Make sure your shoes are tested and comfortable to prevent blisters.

Hiking socks: Besides good shoes, good hiking socks are key to prevent blisters. Merino wool socks are lightweight and dry quickly. Wrightsocks are specially designed with double layers to prevent blisters. Decathlon has good merino wool socks too.

Layers: there can be a big difference in temperatures during the day and night. The best way to deal with this is to wear layers. As a base layer I bought merino wool tshirts at Decathlon. They are lightweight and dry quickly. I had a fleece vest as a midlayer and as the upper layer I had a windproof jacket.

Backpack: Your shoes and backpack are two things that will have a big influence on the comfort of your multi day trek. I recommend to go to an outdoor store to get some good advice to buy a backpack that fits your torso length and that is comfortable when you wear it. I own the Osprey Fairview trek 50 that I am very happy with.

Reusable water bottle: to prevent plastic waste I always bring a reusable water bottle with me and a water filter or steri pen.  

Sustainable Travel on the Jiri to Lukla Trek

Although the Jiri to Lukla trek is not as crowded as other trails, tourism is increasing. The trails become more crowded and pollution is a growing problem. Traveling sustainably to the Himalayas is essential to minimize your environmental impact and preserve the area’s natural beauty for future generations.

Support the local community: You can support the community by purchasing goods and services from local vendors. It is better to try Nepali Cuisine that uses local ingredients rather than imported foreign foods. Nepali food is vegetarian friendly and it is very easy to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Stay in small scale sustainable hotels: It is also better to stay in locally-owned guesthouses or homestays to support the local economy directly. These accommodations often have a more positive impact on the environment compared to large hotels.

You can try to look for guesthouses or homestays that prioritizes sustainable practices. That said, environmental awareness is still low. It’s up to you to use water sparsely, turn off lights, air conditioning, and heating when leaving your accommodation.

Leave no trace principle: When hiking the Jiri to Lukla Trek, stick to designated trails to protect the fragile alpine ecosystem. Straying off the marked paths can cause soil erosion and damage to plant life. If you are lucky enough to spot wildlife, observe quietly from a distance to prevent disruption to their habitats and help maintain their natural behaviors.

I encourage you to take all your trash back with you and dispose of it responsibly. In other words, leave no trace of your visit. Even better is when you bring something to pick up any of the trash that other people left behind.

To avoid single-use plastics, invest in reusable items. For example, you can bring your own water bottle with a filter. At last, use biodegradable and eco-friendly personal care products to minimize pollution of water sources.

Respect the culture: Besides environmental concerns it is also important to be sensitive of the community’s way of life. Nepal is a multicultural country and on the trail you will encounter different ethnic groups.

People will appreciate it, if you dress modestly. Learning a few basic phrases in Nepali, can go a long way in building meaningful connections and to learn more about the local culture. Not everybody is happy to have their picture taken. When in doubt, ask permission.

Disclaimer: This post with a travel guide about the Jiri to Lukla trek in Nepal contains affiliate links. If you buy any service through any of my links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. These earnings help me to keep Backpack Adventures alive! Thanks for your support!

10 thoughts on “The Jiri to Lukla Trek: a beautiful hike to Everest”

  • Hello Ellis, I am so happy for the valuable information you provided on this unexplored route from Kathmandu to Lukla, I wish to EBc trek in June this year, but I am not sure yet, Expenses are too much for me to bear as of now, but I am gonna do it, sooner or later and that too trekking from Kathmandu to
    Jiri to Lukla

  • Dear Ellis, Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful blog post. I really appreciate the details you’ve provided. We plan to do the base camp hike next year and you’ve convinced me that we should take the hike from Jiri to Lukla instead of the plane. THANK YOU!

    • If you haven’t taken your trek yet, I can definitely second your decision to walk in from Jiri, or Shivalaya. You’ll find the experience much more rewarding than flying in like most others do. And safer in terms of acclimatizing to the higher elevations.

  • When I trekked to Everest in early 1978 we started at Lamsangu. There was no Jiri Road then. In fact it was under construction. I traveled for a day or two with some construction guys going out there to clear a path through the hills. When I learned they were carrying dynamite and caps I decided to keep my distance.

    About a week later I was walking along with some locals when we spotted a man 50 yeards ahead waving a flag anbd yelling, “Bu rAS ti! Bu rAS ti! The Nepalis immediately headed toward the proection of a slope next to the trail, and…..KABOOM!! Small pieces of rock fell down the slope and just missed us.

    Bur RASti, we learned, meant “explosion”. Or just Blast.

    In those days tthe Everest trek was pretty tough, even if you hired people to carry your stuff in. (I carried my own). I am happy I went before it became such a tourist magnet, but I can appreciate how the people along the route have experienced so many improvements to their lives.

    p.s. I took the Lukla plane back to Kathmandu. Lukla’s airstrip was still grass back then. Yeah, it’s kinda scary, but well worth the experience.

  • Thanks for this. I appreciate your style.

    Pleased to see above comment from Jay. I first went to Everest in 1980 also starting from Lamasangu. We passed the Thodung Cheese factory which is no longer on the usual route. Everything was a discovery and importantly I had seen no pictures of anything (barring Everest itself) before starting. 43 days with no electricity in any form. A few hand typed pages as a guide and a literal blueprint for a map (of sorts) that faded as the trek progressed.

    Shortly to leave on my fifth visit to this region. I last did the Three Passes version in March 2011. This time I’m taking a young companion on her first trip to Nepal so I will have the chance to see it through new eyes.

    On that last trip it took 30 days from Jiri and out from Shivalaya. I met an Austrian guy near Thame who had first been here in 1970 (Kudos). We celebrated his 70th birthday in Namche. He was still hiking carrying his own pack. Good on him.

    One extra reason to do the trek from Jiri in the spring season (March-April) is to see the rhododendrons in bloom. In 1980 there were still entire hillsides of huge rhododendron and magnolia trees with langur monkeys swinging in the branches.

    For the Three Passes I highly commend doing it ANTI-CLOCKWISE due to better options to acclimatise.

    And I’d also commend people to stay in Chaurikharka for their last peaceful night before meeting the trail coming from Lukla with its attendant hordes.

  • Hello, thank you for posting detailed Jiri to Lukla trek. I have trekked from Jiri to Gokyo many years ago, I think the big earthquake changed some of the route. I would really appreciate it if you could tell me if one absolutely needs to hire a guide as has been mandated by the Nepali government starting April 1, 2023. My husband and I are planning to do the Three Passes Trek but want to do it solo as we have always done in Nepal.
    Thank you,

    • I hiked Jiri to Gokyo after the earthquake. The route is still more or less the same, but I saw a lot of damage from the earthquake. I do feel the road building is going to have a much bigger impact on the route from Jiri to Lukla. I started in Shivalaya, but the road now continues up to Bhandar and beyond. For now, the Everest region stated they will not uphold the new law that a guide is mandatory. Obviously this is controversial and a lot of things are still unclear. Therefore things on the ground might change and I can not guarantee that this exception for the Everest is still there a couple of months from now. Officially it is no longer allowed. I am sure this will turn many people away from trekking in Nepal. I still hope that at some point this whole ban will be lifted. I was hoping to return to Nepal this year, but I am also in doubt now as I prefer to trek solo as well.

  • Kudos to you for making the trek from Jiri. I note a few changes in the route since I did it nearly forty years ago. A question, though, given that memory fails me on this point; do you think the route is doable by mountain bike? I added the elevation gains given in the article and notice it came to about 4,000 meters. I assume that misses a few ups and downs along the daily grind. That puts the route at the limit of my eMTB with its range extender, and assumes the battery can be charged in Lukla. I haven’t looked into the rules for MTBs after Lukla.

  • Hallo Ellis, leuk om je verslag te lezen over de Jiri trektocht die mijn vrouw en ik in de lente van 2017 ook gelopen hebben naar Gokyo. Ik kan het iedereen aanbevelen. Prachtige bloeiende rododendrons vergezellen je dagelijks tijdens de trektocht. Je kunt vanaf Jiri ook heel goed naar Shivalaya lopen, wanneer je Jiri uitloopt zie je even later grote oranje cirkels op bomen bij een pad naar links en dan is het eigenlijk niet te missen en ben je met een uurtje of drie in Shivalaya. Het is geen gemakkelijke tocht maar zeker de moeite waard en inderdaad rustiger. Het is een route waarbij je veel meer contact hebt met de lokale bevolking. Wij liepen alleen zonder gids of drager en dat is goed te doen.. Overigens wat betreft de nieuwe regeling, met solo wordt ook echt solo bedoeld dus alleen. Wanneer je met meer dan 1 persoon loopt is de nieuwe regeling niet van toepassing. Ik vraag mij wel af hoe dit in de praktijk functioneert, zoveel gidsen zijn er volgens mij helemaal niet in Nepal (-:

  • Just a quick heads-up for anyone planning to do this hike: They turned most of the trails into dirtroads now. Even over the passes. In fact, you don’t even recognize them as passes – it just looks like a mountain road for cars. There are still two mildly enjoyable sections between Junbesi – Ringmu and Nunthala – Bupsa but they are only a few kilometers long. The rest of the trail is not very enjoyable, many parts are in a real dire state or completely destroyed by roads. Also many lodges are closed now and will probably not open again. I talked to some owners, they said the trail will like cease to exist completely within the next 5 years. This is pretty sad, I really wanted to enjoy a slow journey into the Everest region. But at this point, it doesn’t make much sense anymore to use this route, in my opinion.

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