Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

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Trip Overview
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Trip Grade: Strenuous
  • Trip Start and End: Kathmandu to Kathmandu
  • Trip Area: Everest Base Camp
  • Trip Style: Active/Adventure Trekking
  • Age Group: 15 or Above
  • Trip Type: Private and group
  • Trip Method: Guided
  • Booking Type: Instant Booking
  • Max. Altitude: 5367m
  • Best Season: March - May/September - December
  • Foot Print:Carbon Neutralleaf

The Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return is a one-way trekking trip to EBC and fly back by helicopter from Gorakshep to Kathmandu. This trek is perfect for those who want to experience the classic Everest trail by spending less time than the actual classic trekking. This way, you can enthusiastically look forward to reaching Everest Base Camp knowing it is the highlight and also the conclusion of your trekking journey.

Trekkers all over the world dream of trekking to the Everest region. Treading along beautiful Sherpa villages, relishing local Nepali cuisines, and leaving footprints at Everest Base Camp - this is a dreamy adventure. Thankfully, the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Return Trek makes the classic Everest trek experience more accessible.

The Everest Base Camp with Helicopter Return Trek lets you take a helicopter from Gorakshep right after you descend from Kala Patthar. You will get away with the latter half of the tiring trek, enjoy a scenic helicopter ride, and avoid flight delays and cancellations at the Lukla airport.

In this way, you avoid retracing the same trail on your return journey, shaving off the 65 km long return trip from the total 130 km long journey. This makes the trek a lot more pleasant and keeps the entire journey interesting. Additionally, the  Everest Base Camp Trek and Return by Helicopter is perfect for travelers who are on a tight vacation schedule and limited holidays but still want the Everest trekking experience.

While this trip is 12-day long like the 12-day Everest Trek, it does not include the return trek and instead spends more days in the Everest region. Finally, you will board a helicopter from Gorakshep itself and return to Kathmandu.

First, the trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar becomes a spectacular highlight. You’ll get enough cultural immersion into the lives of the brave Sherpa community as you trek through the Sherpa villages of Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche.

You’ll witness the rich floral and faunal diversity of the Everest region along with elaborate mountain views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Island Peak, and more as you trudge through the Sagarmatha National Park.

After living, sleeping, eating, and exploring the heavenly Everest region like the native Sherpas during the entire trip, you will then take an exhilarating helicopter flight back to Kathmandu from Gorakshep. The bird’s eye view of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and mountain valleys is a sight to behold. Hence, the direct helicopter return trip from Gorakshep to Kathmandu is not only a convenient arrangement but a highlight in itself.

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Return Trek itinerary is carefully planned and meticulously implemented by our Sublime Trails team. Refer to the specific sections about cost, itinerary, preparation, and weather below for a quick glimpse into how we make this glorious journey possible.

Highlights: 12-Day Everest Base Camp Helicopter Return Trek

  • Stand tall at Everest Base Camp, the lap of the world’s highest peak. 
  • Rejoice in the breathtaking Everest view and surrounding scenery from Kala Patthar. 
  • A scenic mountain flight to the Lukla airport, is a highlight in itself. 
  • Absorb the tranquility of monasteries like Rongbuk, Tengboche, Dingboche, Thame, Khumjung, Pangboche, etc. 
  • Learn and live the authentic Sherpa culture, dance to their beats, and relish their cuisines.
  • Rediscover true adventure in the rugged trails with Mani Walls and prayer flags.
  • Visit the magnificent Khumbu Icefall and Glacier, the highest of its kind worldwide.
  • Survey the numerous exotic plant and animal species of the Sagarmatha National Park.
  • Get away with the taxing return trek with a picturesque helicopter return trip.

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return Gallery

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return Itinerary

  • Day 1:Arrival at KathmanduAltitude: 1345m
  • Day 2:Flight to Lukla and Trek To PhakdingAltitude: 2804m, Duration: 4 hours
  • Day 3:Phakding to Namche BazaarAltitude: 3,441m, Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Day 4:Acclimatization day at Namche BazaarAltitude: 3,800m, Duration: 3 hours
  • Day 5:Namche to TengbocheAltitude: 3,860 meters, Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Day 6:Tengboche to DingbocheAltitude: 4,400 meters, Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Day 7:Acclimatization day at DingbocheAltitude: 4710 meters, Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Day 8:Dingboche to LobucheAltitude: 4,900 meters, Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Day 9:Lobuche to Gorak Shep and EBC, back to GorakshepAltitude: 5,180 meters, Duration: 7-8 hours
  • Day 10:Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar, back to Gorak Shep, fly back to Kathmandu By HelicopterAltitude: 5555 meters, Duration: 4 Hours
  • Day 11:Rest and Sightseeing day in Kathmandu
  • Day 12:Departure

Day 1:Arrival at Kathmandu

  • Max Altitude1345m
  • Accommodation3 Star hotel
  • MealsWelcome Dinner

You will land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal. At the airport, a Sublime Trails representative will receive you and shuttle you to your hotel. After some hours of rest, you can go for a short stroll around the city or prepare for the trek. There are plenty of good trekking gear and supplies stores in Kathmandu. A peaceful evening stroll in Thamel is something to look forward to.

Day 2:Flight to Lukla and Trek To Phakding

  • Max Altitude2804m
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

You will head out to Lukla (2800m) on an early morning flight. This flight from Kathmandu, which is only 35 minutes long, will give you the first glimpses of the Himalayas of the Everest region. Note that you'll board your flight from Ramechhap during the months of April, May, October, and November. Your actual trek starts in Lukla.

Initially, the trail to Phakding descends to Tharo Koshi, which is better known as Kusum Kangru Khola (river). After crossing this river on a suspension bridge, you trek uphill to Phakding (2700 meters).

Day 3:Phakding to Namche Bazaar

  • Max Altitude3,441m
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

Your final destination for today’s trek is Namche Bazaar. The trail initially descends from Phakding to a suspension bridge over the Dudh-Kosi River. After a series of ascents and descents, you will get to the same river.

As you continue your hike, you will reach the small village of Monjo, where the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park is located. From there you will trek along a winding uphill to Namche Bazaar- the capital of Sherpas.

Day 4:Acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar

  • Max Altitude3,800m
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

As this is a high-altitude trek, you will spend this day acclimatization in Namche Bazaar. You can join a small uphill hike to the headquarters of Sagarmatha National Park.

Or you can visit the Sagarmatha National Park Museum. This historic museum has an abundance of information related to the Himalayas, its culture, religion, and the rich history of mountaineering.

Day 5:Namche to Tengboche

  • Max Altitude3,860 meters
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

As you leave Namche Bazaar on Day 05 of the Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return, you will walk 20 minutes uphill reaching a ridge at the top of Namche Bazaar. After a gentle descent, you will reach Phungitenga (3,250m). An uphill trek of around 2 hours from Phungitenta will take you to Thyangboche Gomba (Monastery).

Day 6:Tengboche to Dingboche

  • Max Altitude4,400 meters
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

The initial trail from Tengboche to Dingboche takes you through birch, fir, juniper, and rhododendron forests as you trek downhill. The trail then winds gently uphill until Pangboche village (3,900m).

Trekking further, you will reach Shomare, where you can get some close views of Mt. Ama-Dablam. As you walk along the North Eastern side from Shomare, you will reach a small bridge that will take you to Imja Tse Valley. From Imja Tse, you will trek to Dingboche, which is a quaint beautiful Sherpa village.

Day 7:Acclimatization day at Dingboche

  • Max Altitude4710 meters
  • AccommodationComfortable Lodge
  • MealsBLD

Today is another acclimatization day of the short Everest trek which you will stay in Dingboche. To adjust your body to the changing altitude, you can either go for short hikes around the village, or climb the Nagarjuna Hill.

Day 8:Dingboche to Lobuche

  • Max Altitude4,900 meters
  • AccommodationBasic Lodge
  • MealsBLD

You will head out on a gentle uphill trek to the prayer ridge, which offers some wonderful views of Pheriche village. As you hike from the ridge, you will get to Thugla.

After one hour of demanding uphill trek, you will reach the ridge at Thugla Pass. After trekking for an hour from Thugla Pass, you will reach Lobuche.

Day 9:Lobuche to Gorak Shep and EBC, back to Gorakshep

  • Max Altitude5,180 meters
  • AccommodationBasic Lodge
  • MealsBLD

Today you will trek to the Everest Base Camp, located at an altitude of 5,357 meters. After trekking for an hour, you will trek along a steep rocky moraine. Glacial ponds and icebergs of Khumbu Glacier are visible from the moraine.

A short downhill trek from the moraine will take you to Gorak Shep. The trail to Base Camp is full of rocky dunes, moraine, and streams.

Day 10:Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar, back to Gorak Shep, fly back to Kathmandu By Helicopter

  • Max Altitude5555 meters
  • Accommodation3 Star Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast, Dinner

Early in the morning, you will trek to Kala Patthar. The hike from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar takes about an hour. The sun rises over mountains like Mt.Pumori, Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, and other peaks.

After enjoying your time at Kala Patthar, you will hike down to Gorak Shep. A helicopter from Gorak Shep will take you to Lukla. After  Lukla, you will head out to Kathmandu in a 45-minute flight over the Himalayas of the Everest region.

Day 11:Rest and Sightseeing day in Kathmandu

  • Accommodation3 Star Hotel
  • MealsBB

This day will come in handy if there are any flight delays due to bad weather in Lukla. We can also arrange a sightseeing tour in Kathmandu if there are no delays due to the weather. As Kathmandu is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you can head out for a tour of these places on this day. Many temples and monasteries in Kathmandu like Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Durbar Squares etc. have always captivated tourists to Kathmandu.

Day 12:Departure

  • MealsBreakfast

Our airport representative will escort you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight home from Nepal.

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Trip Map

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return Map

Cost Details


  • All airport pick-ups
  • 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu for 3 nights
  • 8 nights of lodge accommodation during the trek
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the trek
  • Helicopter return flight from Gorekshep to Kathmandu
  • Flight fare from Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Well-experienced guide and porters (1 porter shared between 2 trekkers)
  • National park entrance fees, TIMS card fees, and local government permit fee
  • Necessary paperwork with the Government of Nepal and the Tax Department
  • All essential private land transport as per itinerary
  • Sleeping bag, down jacket, and duffel bag to use for the trekking
  • First Aid kit carried by our guide
  • Emergency evacuation arrangement (Helicopter or necessary transport and hospital costs should be paid for by clients themselves or their insurance companies.)


  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu during your stay.
  • Travel insurance and health treatment service
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival and late departure
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, cold drinks, bottled or boiled water, hot shower, etc.)
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including mineral water
  • Nepal entry visa fee
  • Tipping for guide and porters

Dates, Prices & Booking

Select Month and Year
Start DateEnd DatePriceStatus 
Start DateStart: FridayMay 31, 2024End DateEnd: TuesdayJun 11, 2024PricePriceUS$1900StatusStatusAvailable

Trip Essential Information

Best Time, Weather, and Temperature for EBC Trek with Helicopter Return

Spring (March till May) and autumn (September till November) are the best times for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Return Trek. The rain-free days, vibrant landscapes, and serene mountains make the hike entertaining.

Days in the spring season are warm and have mild temperatures. Most days offer clear visibility for the view. The temperature is around 12 degrees in the daytime and -6 degrees during the night is bearable. Also, the gentle wind of 5mph clears the clouds and makes the views even more alluring.

Meanwhile, autumn months witness less traffic, equally beautiful weather, and stunning mountain scenery. In both these seasons, mornings are usually clear. Clouds can build up in the skies in the afternoon but quickly disappear at night—the daytime temperature averages around 13 degrees and the nighttime temperature averages around the freezing point.

While trekking during the summer (June to August) and winter (November to February) is possible, these months pose greater challenges. During winter, the daytime temperature averages 4 degrees, and the nighttime temperature can fall below -12 degrees. On top of that, the wind speed can get to 10mph. Meanwhile, during summer, the temperature of 17 degrees during the day makes the hike sweaty and tiring. Also, the 12 mph wind speed makes the trek onerous.

Furthermore, heavy rain or snow adds to the already-challenging terrain. Trekking in either of these seasons can be uncomfortable and the clouds can block the view. Nevertheless, winter is good for photographs if the snow settles, revealing beautiful snow-capped peaks everywhere.

Travel Insurance for Everest Base Camp with Helicopter Return

Sublime Trails highly recommends trekkers carry a physical copy of the mandatory travel insurance. Travel insurance is useful for unexpected health complications or emergency helicopter evacuation. 

Since the itinerary involves high-altitude trekking, you should check with your insurance provider about emergency medical evacuation. Specifically, check if they cover the cost of helicopter evacuation at altitudes above 5,500m (in the Everest region).

Furthermore, your travel insurance should cover medical treatment at a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Although the Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return includes a helicopter trip back from Gorakshep to Kathmandu, the cost for emergency helicopter evac is not included in the booking cost. We only provide a scheduled helicopter return trip from Gorakshep.

Trek Difficulty

Considering the terrain, daily trekking time, altitude, and weather conditions, the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Trek is moderately difficult. Although the helicopter return makes it a lot more doable, this trek will still be challenging for first-time trekkers.

On trekking days, you’ll be trekking 5 to 8 hours daily.

The hike on the serene trail to Phakding, Monjo, and Namche is comfortable. The decent trails through lush forests along the shore of Dudh Koshi, crossing several suspension bridges make the hike delightful.

Meanwhile, the uphill climb of Tengboche and Dingboche, and the hike on the rugged terrain of Pheriche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep are moderate to arduous in difficulty. The three-hour trek to Kala Patthar from Gorak Shep in the early morning gets chilly.

Also Read: How to Train and Prepare for Everest Base Camp?

Related Trips in the Everest Region

Classic Everest Base Camp Trek | Sleeping at Everest Base Camp Trek | Everest Helicopter Tour | Everest Base Camp Luxury Trek


  • Yes. You can fly back on a helicopter safely from Everest Base Camp. You can opt for a direct helicopter to Kathmandu to avoid the tiring return trek from the base camp to Lukla.

    You'll also save 3 precious days of return hike to Lukla and possibly, flight cancellations in Lukla. On top of that, ending the Everest base camp trek with a helicopter return trip provides an unmatched viewing experience of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, etc.

    For you, Sublime Trails offers 12 days of Everest Base Camp Helicopter Trek with a helicopter return from Gorakshep.

  • Yes, most guests store their extra luggage at the hotel where they're staying in Kathmandu. We can also store your belongings safely at our office in Kathmandu.

  • Certainly, just make sure you consult with our team and guide beforehand so we can design a suitable diet plan for you throughout the trip.

  • You need a Sagarmatha National Park permit and a Khumbru Rural Municipality permit for the Everest Base Camp Heli Trek. If you book your trip with us, we will take care of the permits, paperwork, and fee arrangements.

  • Although ATM machines are available in Lukla and Namche Bazar, it's best to not rely on them. We recommend carrying 250 USD worth of Nepalese currency in cash for personal expenses throughout the trip.

  • We assign a porter for every two trekkers in a group. Each porter can carry up to 25 kg of luggage. Apart from your personal backpack with the most necessary items during the trek, we recommend packing around 12 kg of luggage that you'll assign to your porter.

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return Reviews

5.0based on 17 reviews
  • J
    Jane IOctober 26, 2023

    Dream Come True

    My long-cherished dream of witnessing Everest has finally come true, all thanks to Ram and his team. I don't have enough words to express how I felt throughout the journey. Ram made sure I had a fantastic window seat, which allowed me to revel in the stunning vistas of Everest and the Himalayas. It was a life-changing adventure, and I wholeheartedly recommend Sublime Trails for an unforgettable Everest experience.

  • S
    Stacey PittOctober 26, 2023

    Amazing Trek, Best Guides

    We were a little concerned about doing this classic Trek in early autumn. It did rain in the lower areas but only briefly. Mr. Ram from Sublime Trails got the best guides for our group and we were fully taken care of during the entire trip. The views got splendid with each passing day as our guides ensured we were hydrated and acclimatizing well to the terrain. I'll never forget how I felt reaching the Everest Base Camp, which had been my dream destination for as long as I remember

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