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Top 5 Popular Tibet Trekking Routes

Time: 12-09-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Tibet, the largest and highest plateau on the earth, is surrounded by the most extensive jumble of mountains. Stretching for almost 2500km and forming its entire southern boundary is the Himalaya, and along its western extremity is the equally rugged Karakoram. Between these two ranges are all fourteen of the world's 8000m peaks, including Mount Everest(8848m), Mount Lhotse(8516m), Mount Makalu(8463m), Mount Cho Oyu(8201m) and Mount Shishapangma(8027m).

Trekking in Tibet
Trekking in Tibet

Tibet has won its name of the home to some of the world’s best trekking routes. To know details about the popular Tibet trekking routes, keep reading this article. Everything you should know about the trekking in Tibet, for example, the best time for Tibet trekking, packing lists and some special attentions will be covered in our article.

Part 1. When to Go Trekking in Tibet
Part 2. Popular Routes for Tibet Trekking
Part 3. What to Pack for Tibet Trekking
Part 4. Special Attentions for a Responsible Tibet Trekking

Part 1. When to Go Trekking in Tibet

Generally, the good season to go trekking in Tibet is from May to October, but July and August are an exception. That is, the best time for Tibet trekking includes May, June, September and October.

  • The weather of the best Tibet trekking month is mild, with warm days and cool to chilly nights in the mountains. Sky is clear, perfect for shooting.
  • September and October might bring snowstorms to the high mountains. The nights can be chilly.
  • July and August tend to be rainy, receiving over half of Tibet’s annual rainfall. The paths are muddy and it can be hard to trek.

Part 2. Popular Routes for Tibet Trekking 

Several popular routes for Tibet trekking are given here.

Tibet Trekking Route 1: Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp trek route is one of the most popular Tibet trekking routes. The trek starts from old Tingri, pass through Ra-chu Valley to Lungthang, Lamna La Pass and Zommug. Finally you can arrive at the destination - Everest Base Camp, which is around Rongbuk Monastery. The whole 70 kilometers Everest Base Camp trek journey requires about 4 days.

A Brief Itinerary:
D1 Old Tingri to Lungthang (12km / 5hrs)
D2 Lungthang to Lamna La Pass (21km / 8hrs)
D3 Lamna La to Zommug (22km / 8hrs)
D4 Zommug to Rongbuk Monastery (15km / 6hrs)

Tibet Trekking Tour - Everest Base Camp Trek 
Tibet Trekking Tour - Everest Base Camp Trek

Tibet Trekking Route 2: Mount Kailash Trek 

The 52 kilometers Mount Kailash trek completely encircles the sacred mountain. The route usually takes 3 days. You start by crossing a plain, then head up a wide river valley, climb up and over the 5630m Drolma-la, head down another river valley, and finally cross the original plain to the starting point - Darchen.

A Brief Itinerary:
D1 Darchen to Dira-puk Monastery (20km / 6hrs)
D2 Dira-puk Monastery to Zutul-puk Monastery (18km / 7-8hrs)
D3 Zutul-puk Monastery to Darchen (14km / 3-4hrs)

Tibet Trekking Tour - Mount Kailash trek 
Tibet Trekking Tour - Mount Kailash trek

Tibet Trekking Route 3: Ganden to Samye Trek 

The Ganden to Samye trek is about 80 kilometers, usually taking 4-5 days to complete. The trek starts from Ganden Monastery, through Yama Do, Tsotup-chu Valley, Herders’ Camps, and finally arrive at Samye Monstery.

A Brief Itinerary:
D1 Ganden Monastery to Yama Do (17km / 5-6hrs)
D2 Yama Do to Tsotup-chu Valley (10km / 5-7hrs)
D3 Tsotup-chu Valley to Herders’ Camps (14km / 5hrs)
D4-5 Herders’ Camps to Samye Monastery (39km / 10hrs)

Tibet Trekking Tour - Ganden to Samye Trek 
Tibet Trekking Tour - Ganden to Samye Trek

Tibet Trekking Route 4: Kangshung Face of Everest Trek 

The 9-11 days loop walk to the Kangshung face base camp of Mount Everest begins at Youpa village. The whole trekking route is inside the Mount Everest Nature Reserve with overwhelming landscapes. You will see the Mt. Everest, Mount Lhotse and Mt. Makalu. More sceneries like broad-leaved forest, needle-leaved forest, brushwood, Alpine meadow, Alpine desert are available along the trail.

A Brief Itinerary:
D1 Youpa - Dumpu
D2 Dumpu - Xiuwutso Lake
D3 Xiwutso Lake - Zoksam
D4 Zoksam - Tangsum
D5 Tangsum - Raga
D6 Raga - Pethang Ringmo - Raga
D7 Raga - Tsoshutrima
D8 Tsoshutrima - Langma La - Shomela
D9 Shomela - Youpa - Rongbuk Monastery
D10 Rongbuk Monastery - EBC - Shegar

Tibet Trekking Route 5: Tsurphu to Yangachen Trek 

It usually takes 3 days to complete the 59 kilometers Tsurphu to Yangachen Trek. The trekking route starts from Tsurphu Monastery, through Leten Bartso, Dorje Ling Nunnery, and eventually end at Yangpachen Monastery. It is a great option if you want to get a close look at the nomads’ lifestyle.

A Brief Itinerary:
D1 Tsurphu Monastery to Leten (11km / 3.5-4hrs)
D2 Leten to Bartso (15km / 5-6hrs)
D3 Bartso to Dorje Ling Nunnery (15km / 4-5hrs)
D4 Dorje Ling Nunnery to Yangpachen Monastery (14km / 4hrs)

Tibet Trekking Tour - Tsurphu to Yangachen Trek  
Tibet Trekking Tour - Tsurphu to Yangachen Trek

Part 3. What to Pack for Tibet Trekking

What to prepare for your Tibet trekking tour? Check the following packing list.

Required documents: 

  • Passport with Chinese visa is a basic document for international tourists to China. You need to apply for it at the Chinese embassy in your home country.
  • Tibet Travel Permit, also called Tibet Entry Permit, is a must-have document for international tourists to travel to Tibet. You can contact a Lhasa travel agency to help you arrange it.  
  • Aliens Travel Permit is not needed in Lhasa, but is a must-have for EBC trek and Mount Kailash trek. Your tour guide will arrange it after your arrival in Tibet.
  • Tibet Border Pass is also required when you travel to Everest Base Camp and Mount Kailash. Your tour guide will help you get it.

Trekking in Tibet summer
Trekking in Tibet summer

Equipment and clothing: 

  • Prepare a light down-filled sleeping bag, a pair of hiking sticks, a headlight, sleeping pad and a power bank.
  • Pack some warm clothing, including sun hat, gloves, down jacket, wind and water proof jacket, long underwear, warm pants, shirts, warm socks as well as a pair of strong and well-fitting boots.

Food and medicines:

  • Some high calorie and high protein snacks, such as chocolates, biscuits, dried fruits, nuts and dried meat strips can be helpful. The water purification tablets work sometimes.
  • Prepare the medicine for cold, headache, stomach ache, insect bite, diarrhea, and high altitude sickness.

Skin protection:

  • The sun radiation is very strong in Tibet. Lipstick and suncream are necessary to protect your skin from sunburn.
  • Also pack a good pair of sunglasses with a high UV filter for eyes protection.

Part 4. Special Attentions for a Responsible Tibet Trekking 

With the rapid development of tourism, the environment of Tibet is under tremendous pressure. Tibet’s gorgeous but vulnerable landscape deserves the utmost respect. There are some special attentions for a responsible Tibet trekking.

  • Use a dedicated rubbish bag and minimize packaging materials. Please take away every piece of your rubbish including toilet paper, sanitary napkins, and tampons.
  • Do not burn plastic and other garbage as this is believed to irritate the Tibetan divinities.
  • Where there is no toilet, pay attention that human waste should be buried in a privy pit that is away from trails, water, habitations and shrines or any other sacred structures. Or use human waste disposal bags and take them away.
More Tibet Trekking Guide
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In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about Kangshung face camp trek, including highlights, map, itinerary and best time for trekking.
Ganden to Samye Trek in Tibet

Ganden to Samye Trek in Tibet

The Ganden to Samye trek is a tough 4-5 days walk through a remote region. Want to have a challenge? Read this article to know how to plan your Ganden to Samye trek.
What Is the Best Time to Trek in Tibet?

What Is the Best Time to Trek in Tibet?

When is the best time to trek in Tibet - spring, autumn, winter or spring season? Check out this guide to find out the best time to trek to Tibet.
How to Plan a Trek from Tsurpu Monastery to Yangpachen

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If you want to get a close look at the Tibetan herders (drokpa) and their semi-nomadic lifestyle or want to take a bath in Yangpachen Spring, Tsurpu Monastery to Yangpachen trek route is what you need. This guide will help you plan a perfect trek from Tsurpu Monastery to Yangpachen.
The Most Complete Guide to Plan a Namtso Trekking

The Most Complete Guide to Plan a Namtso Trekking

Want to do a trek around Namtso Lake but have no idea how to plan? Don’t worry, this guide will give you some practical tips including Namtso altitude, Namtso trek difficult, highlights, recommend itinerary, and so on.
Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. Ju*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hi, I plan to arrive in Lhasa on the 9th of March in 2020 by train and would like to do a 4 day tour. Unfortunately there are no tours scheduled between January and April, will there be tours added or are there not any planned?

Kind regards

Julian Franz

Answered by Helen

Hello Mr. Ju***,

    Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have no group tour in February and March, if you would like to travel Tibet in these months, we are able to arrange a private tour for you. While there are several confirmed departure date for the group tour in January and April, if your time is flexible, you may consider joining a group tour in April. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Warm regards.

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