Makalu Base Camp Trek, which lies in the mid-eastern region, is one of Nepal's popular off-the-beaten trekking trails. With the lush green vegetation at the lower altitude, your trek continues to the high altitude to the Base Camp of Mount Makalu (4,870M).
Mount Makalu is the fifth highest Himalayas in the world with an existing altitude of (8,481M/27,825Ft) is one of the unique mountains with the four-sided shape of a pyramid.
Lies in the Mahalangur Himalayan range, Mount Makalu stretches its junction with Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, and Mount Cho Oyu all above eight thousand meters.
Although Makalu Base Camp is one of the popular off-the-beaten trails, the trek is isolated due to its distinct location, thus the beauty and remoteness still exist.
Filled with lush green vegetation, a deep river gorge, waterfalls, sacred ponds, and a lake make Makalu a trail in diversity. The majority of the local dwellers are Rai, Limbu, Gurung, and Sherpa living together preserving their culture and custom.
With the majestic panoramic view of the high Himalayas, the Makalu trail allows you to explore Mt. Chamlang (7,319M), Mt. Baruntse (7,129M), Mera Peak (6,654M), and many more.
Where is Makalu Base Camp Located
Makalu Base Camp is located in the mid-eastern region of Nepal in the Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. Trekkers need to take a short flight from Kathmandu to reach the trail's starting point.
After the trek, you will descend through the same trail to the starting point until you take the same route flight to Kathmandu. Another option for the trek will be a long drive from Kathmandu to Num Bazaar. Thus, the trek will be adding an extra couple of days.
What is the altitude of the Makalu Base Camp Trek?
Makalu Base Camp is a perfect trek for any age group or first-time trekkers. The trek starts from a lower altitude taking towards higher.
This change while trekking will be at a nominal pace with altitude gain. Hence, trekkers can easily acclimatize to the altitude.
The hike begins at the altitude of 1500M at Num Bazaar. However, you will take a flight from Kathmandu at an altitude of 1350M. Spending your first night in Num Bazaar, you gradually start trekking to reach the highest elevation of 4870M.
What to Expect During Makalu Base Camp Trek
Starting with a majestic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, you will take a short drive to Num Bazaar for your first overnight stay. On the second day, the real hike begins, starting with the low-altitude trek you will encounter villages and vegetation.
Trek passes through villages into the lush green vegetation and finally, you will enter into Makalu Barun National Park. This is one of the popular isolated parks in Nepal, with rich vegetation flora, and fauna.
The hike will be with a majestic view of snow-melted rivers, waterfalls, farmland, Himalayan lakes, and lush green vegetation before reaching snow-capped mountains.
Passing by the snow-melted rivers and crossing the suspension bridges over the river will be a lovely experience. As the trail is isolated, you will not encounter crowds. Your trek throughout will be in nature far away from the modern and materialistic world.
With the diversity of vegetation, the entire trail is inhabited by different ethnic communities like Rai, Sherpa, and Gurung. Their welcoming gesture and local hospitality will be an enchanting experience.
Apart from these, being at the base camp of Mount Makalu will be a real adventure to explore.
Accommodation during in Makalu Trek
Makalu Base Camp is one of the popular off-the-beaten trails in Nepal. This is an isolated area far from the reach of large numbers of trekkers due to its remoteness and long-distance trail and above all the well-to-take facilities.
However, there are limited numbers of basic tea houses and lodges with restaurants throughout the trail. They provide a comfortable bed to sleep in with a mattress, pillow, and blanket. Each room consists of two beds for trekkers to sleep comfortably.
Most of the lodges will have basic facilities with electricity and charging options for your electronic gadgets and the food will be normal but locally well-cooked.
There will be basic toilet facilities depending upon the altitude on a common sharing basis. Due to its remoteness, trekkers will not have multiple options to select their lodges, however, now in every location, there will be tea houses so nothing to worry about carrying a tent for the trek.
During the winter, lodges will have a fire camp within the dining hall. So you will feel comfortable to spend chatting with friends and groups.
Makalu Base Camp Trek route and difficulty
Makalu Base Camp Trek is a more challenging trek than the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This is due to its remoteness and incline trail. As the area is less populated, the trail remains still and quiet with fewer travelers. Thus, making the trek a wonderful pristine journey towards the Himalayas.
Trails are well to go because locals still take the initiative to maintain those, however, there are suspension bridges to cross and stairs uphill to hike. Above all, the trails are well maintained making sure that travelers can easily hike without any difficulty.
Electricity and Wi-Fi in Makalu Base Camp Trek
Trekking to Makalu Base Camp is a real adventure, this is so because of less crowd and diverse vegetation, flora, and fauna. Apart from all these, the cultural diversity of different ethnic communities makes the trek a wonder.
Makalu is regarded as a remote area; this makes the trail an off-the-beaten trail, making internet and mobile networks almost impossible at the moment. You will not be disturbed by modern means and get lost in nature.
However, throughout the trail, you will be blessed with electricity, and charging your device is possible throughout the trail. Every tea house will have a solar system and locally generated hydroelectricity.
Moreover, for a couple of first days of the trek, you will have internet and mobile systems working in better condition.
Highlights of the Makalu Trek
Makalu Base Camp Trek will take you through the isolated mid-eastern region of Nepal. Mixed with the diverse cultures of different ethnic communities and the pious natural environment.
Moreover, fewer trekkers prefer to trek Makalu Base Camp thus, making the entire area less crowded but well preserved. The beauty of the high Himalayas, snow-melted rivers, gorges, lakes, and ponds are the natural gifts of the Makalu Region.
Apart from all these, Makalu is blessed with the majestic view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Chamlang, and Mt. Kanchenjunga to the east.
The trek will continue through Makalu Barun National Park which is the eighth-largest park in Nepal. This is a protected national park and is home to different flora and fauna including the Red Panda.
Encountering different wildlife and vegetation, you will enjoy the typical local hospitality during the trek.
When is the best time for Makalu Base Camp Trek?
Trekking into the high altitude is possible throughout the year. However, some months are the best time to trek Makalu Base Camp.
Spring and Autumn are regarded as the best time for Makalu Trek. This is the time when the lower elevation will be blessed with different flowers and greenery. The cloud remains crystal clear for the panoramic view of the mountains.
Trekkers will be able to stay in tea houses for accommodation and the trails are clear for the hike. Temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, all these make the Spring and Autumn the best time for the Makalu Base Camp Trek.
What are the Permits needed for Makalu Trek?
Malaku Base Camp Treks falls under Makalu Barun National Park, which is a protected and conserved area. So, trekkers need permits to enter this area of the Makalu region.
Trekkers need two different permits while trekking into Makalu Base Camp, i.e. Makalu Barun National Park Conservation Area Permits and Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS Permit).
Makalu Barun National Conservation Area Permits cost Rs. 1500 for SAARC Citizen and Rs. 3000 for others. While for TIMS Permit is cost Rs. 1000 for SAARC Citizens and Rs. 2000 for others.
How to reach the Makalu Base Camp
It is easy to accomplish the Makalu Base Camp Trek, your trek starts from Kathmandu after a short flight to Tumlingtar. Sparing some free time take a short cab drive to Khadbari.
From Khadbari, take a jeep ride towards Num Bazaar, here you will spend the first overnight at the lodges.
From Num Bazaar, your hike begins towards Makalu Base Camp and descends towards Num Bazaar and the rest goes according to the Itinerary.