Kala Patthar Trek: Ultimate Guide & Tips


Kala Patthar is in the Khumbu region’s South side of Pumori. Although it is referred to as a mountain, in a true geographical manner, Kala Patthar is not a mountain as it has a prominence of 10 m. 

It has an elevation of 5644 meters/ 18519 ft. Kala Patthar gets its name from its rock formation’s shade, which is black.‘Kala’ translates to black, and ‘Patthar’ translates to rock in English. The “Black Rock”, AKA Kala Patthar, is known for the majestic Everest’s most stunning and obstructed views.

Other than Mt.Everest’s view from the top, it is equally adventurous and cherished by the climbers and trekkers for the thrill of ascent. After a total of 2 hours’ climb, one gets to the summit of Kala Patthar. 

The viewpoint flaunts the golden sunset and sunrise on Everest, along with other mountains like Lhotse Himal / Mountain (8516 m / 27940 Ft.), Pumori Himal (7161 m/ 23494 Ft.), Changtse Himal (7543 m/ 24747 Ft.) and the Mahalangur range.

How To Get To Kala Patthar?

Gateway to the Kata Patthar’s trek is Lukla. There are two ways to reach Lukla. The first is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, and the second is to drive to Salleri and then trek to Lukla.

Route from Salleri starts with a drive from Kathmandu either in a public or private/reserved vehicle. Then, take a jeep from Salleri to Thame Danda and trek to Lukla, which is about 5 hours to 6 hours long.

Alternatively, one can drive to Jiri from Kathmandu and then trek to Lukla. Kala Patthar is about 34.2 km from Lukla and takes about six days if you trek 5 hours per day following the classic Everest Base Camp trek. 

Likewise, if someone doesn’t want to trek for health reasons or due to insufficient time, go for the Kala Patthar helicopter tour. (more on it later)

When Is the Best Time To Visit Kala Patthar?

Like almost every trek in Nepal, the best time around the year to visit Kala Patthar is during the Autumn and Spring seasons. These two seasons have the best weather, bringing the highest possibility of catching the magical panoramic view. Remember the closest view to Everest, along with the majestic sunset/ sunrise.

Moreover, if you plan the Kala Patthar trip specifically to catch the sunrise or sunset view, then we suggest trying to catch the sunset. By that, we do not imply that sunsets are more magical than sunrises, as both are equally hypnotizing. However, it is easier to catch sunset via camera than sunrise. If you have a day to spare, try to see both sunrise and sunset.


What Are The Highlights of the Kala Patthar Trek?

Here is a list of highlights of Nepal’s one of the most sought after trek, Kala Patthar:

  • 360 degrees view of the neighboring snow-white mountains
  • Behold the view of the majestic Khumbu Glacier (the world’s highest glacier).
  • Trek through the Sagarmatha National Park and explore the flora and fauna it shelters.
  • Get insight into the lifestyle of local Sherpas.
  • Explore Tibetan tradition 
  • Indulge yourself into the regional heartwarming cuisines.


How Difficult Is The Trek To Kala Patthar?

Despite not being a proper mountain, there is a big queue looking forward to the Kala Patthar climb. There are no special and advanced climbing skills required for it. However, it is pretty difficult and requires good physical strength. 

So, beginners who are new to treks are suggested not to opt for the Kala Patthar trek. If you want to complete it anyway, we suggest you do small hikes and short treks for about two months. Prepare your body for the trek and remain as physically active as possible.


Kala Patthar Helicopter Tour

There are numerous travel agencies in Nepal specially in Kathmandu and Pokhara that offer a Helicopter tour to Kala Patthar. These tour are of two types: Kala Patthar Helicopter tour and Kala Patthar tour with landing. 

Kala Patthar’s Helicopter tour starts from Kathmandu and flies to the Khumbu region. It flaunts the panoramic views of Everest along with other mountains, beautiful landscapes, and glaciers. A helicopter/chopper typically carries five people at once. After flying for about four hours from Kathmandu, you will be embraced by the Everest region.

However, the tour to Kala Patthar with landing is a little different. First, one takes a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The first landing at Lukla is made to refuel the helicopter. Then, the chopper flies to the Kala Patthar and finally lands at the viewpoint.

The total cost of the Helicopter tour depends on the number of people in the group accompanying you. However, the approximate price of the tour per person ranges from $1150 to $1400. The group is likely to pay an additional $500 for an extra shuttle if need be. 

Extra shuttles are managed when the weight limit is not followed, which is 240 kg for a single shuttle and 500 kg for a double shuttle. So, the better way to do it is to watch the weight of the luggage you carry.

A Few Pieces Of Advice To Make Your Kala Patthar Trek Better

Planning the Kala Patthar trek wisely and preparing for the worst ensures the trip is filled with happy memories. It also saves you from possible troubles on the trail. So, here is how you can do that:

  • Firstly, as the trek gains quite an elevation, make sure you acclimatize enough. Also, never push beyond your physical strength and rest enough before resuming the trek the other day.
  • While on the trail, eat food filled with higher nutritional values that give you the energy to walk long hours. Stay away from oily and greasy food that tires you down. Moreover, do not consume alcohol, tobacco and smoke on the trail.
  • Pack heat-insulated clothes, waterproof jackets, waterproof boots, crampon shoes and polarized glasses. Polarized glasses protect your eyes from sunlight and the cold air at higher altitudes.
  • Always check weather updates before starting the trek. This helps avoid possible encounters with natural hazards like snow storms, avalanches, and landslides.
  • Carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Be careful while hiring potters and guides. Check their identifications, qualifications, work history and reviews to avoid getting scammed.
  • Likewise, when choosing a travel agency, make sure they have authorized certifications and also check their reviews online
  • While on the trail, respect local culture and traditions.
  • Take a first aid kit with over the counter top medicines for mountain/altitude sickness.
  • Last but not least, do not damage cultural heritages or leave your trash on the trek and follow the phrase “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories.”


    Do you have any queries? Get free trip quote

    Tags: , ,