Sagarmatha Overview

Sagarmatha National Park, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas in northeastern Nepal, is a remarkable natural wonder that encompasses the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, locally known as Sagarmatha. Established in 1976 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park covers an area of 1,148 square kilometers (about 443 square miles), ranging in altitude from 2,845 meters (9,334 feet) at its lowest point to 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) at the summit of Everest.

This rugged and dramatic landscape is characterized by deep gorges, glaciers, and towering peaks, making it one of the most iconic destinations for mountaineers and adventure seekers from around the globe. Beyond Mount Everest, the park is home to several other prominent peaks, including Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Ama Dablam, offering a breathtaking panorama of the Himalayas.

Sagarmatha National Park is not only significant for its geological features but also for its rich biodiversity. Despite the harsh conditions, the park harbors a variety of flora and fauna adapted to high altitude. The forests are dominated by pine and hemlock, with rhododendron and birch trees at lower elevations, providing habitat for species such as the snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, and red panda. The region is also an important bird area, supporting species like the Impeyan pheasant, Nepal’s national bird.

The park is steeped in cultural significance as well, being the homeland of the Sherpas, an ethnic group renowned for their mountaineering expertise. Traditional Sherpa villages dot the landscape, with Buddhist monasteries and stupas adding to the cultural tapestry of the area.

For visitors, Sagarmatha National Park offers a range of trekking and climbing experiences, from the famous Everest Base Camp trek to more challenging ascents of the world’s highest peaks. The journey through the park is not only a physical challenge but also a spiritual journey, offering profound encounters with nature’s grandeur and the resilience of human spirit amidst the Earth’s highest peaks.

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Park Map
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Sagarmatha National Park Trails

Everest Base Camp Trek

Rating: Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: Approximately 38 miles one way (61 kilometers), with an elevation gain of about 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) from Lukla to Everest Base Camp.

Description: This iconic trek takes adventurers from the town of Lukla through the heart of the Khumbu region.

Hikers will pass through vibrant Sherpa villages, serene monasteries, and the spectacular high-altitude scenery of the Himalayas, culminating at the base of the world’s highest peak.

Acclimatization days are essential to adjust to the altitude.

Gokyo Lakes Trek

Rating: Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) round trip, with significant elevation gain.

Description: Offering a less crowded alternative to the Everest Base Camp trek, this route takes hikers to the stunning Gokyo Valley with its emerald lakes and the Gokyo Ri viewpoint.

Trekkers can enjoy panoramic views of Everest and surrounding peaks, with the added beauty of the Gokyo Lakes, some of the highest freshwater lakes in the world.

Three Passes Trek

Rating: Very Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: Approximately 80 miles (129 kilometers), circumnavigating the Everest region and crossing three high passes over 17,000 feet (5,182 meters).

Description: This challenging trek is for experienced hikers seeking the ultimate Everest region experience.

It includes crossing the Renjo La, Cho La, and Kongma La passes, offering unparalleled views of the Himalayas.

The route also visits Everest Base Camp and the Gokyo Lakes, combining the best of the region’s landscapes and cultural highlights.

Tengboche Monastery Trek

Rating: Moderate to Strenuous

Distance and Elevation Gain: About 12 miles (19 kilometers) one way from Lukla, with an elevation gain of approximately 3,900 feet (1,190 meters).

Description: This trek offers a spiritual journey to the revered Tengboche Monastery, set against the backdrop of Ama Dablam.

The trail passes through lush rhododendron forests and Sherpa villages, offering insights into Buddhist culture and stunning mountain vistas.

The monastery itself is a place of peace and spiritual renewal, with panoramic views of Everest and its neighboring peaks.

Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Hike

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, short hikes around Namche Bazaar for acclimatization purposes.

Description: Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Everest, offers several acclimatization hikes to nearby viewpoints, including the Everest View Hotel and Khumjung village.

These hikes are crucial for adjusting to the altitude and offer early glimpses of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, alongside insights into local Sherpa life and culture.

  • Beautiful World, Sagarmatha National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Sagarmatha National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Government of Nepal, Sagarmatha National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Naturally, Nepal, Sagarmatha National Park,, retrieved April 2024.