Everest Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Which Is The Most Difficult?

Everest Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Which Is The Most Difficult?

Nepal is widely known as a paradise for adventure seekers and travelers alike as it is home to some of the world’s majestic peaks. It has eight out of the ten highest mountains in the world. Among all those giants, the Mount Everest and Annapurna ranges offer a multitude of trekking trails.

Most of the trekkers often contemplate these two trekking options during their visit to Nepal, generally comparing one another to which one is more difficult. Although both of the journeys have their own identity and course, when it comes to difficulty level, the Everest Base Camp Trek is slightly more challenging than the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

Having said that, the difficulty level depends on several factors at play such as trekking routes, trekking elevation, weather, and even duration. As both the trekking routes have vast differences and unique destinations, which journey to embark totally depends on what experience one wants to explore.

(Colorful Prayer Flags at the top of Annapurna Base Camp)

While we are at it, we will discuss the factors that make these treks difficult as well as other differences that both these journeys possess.

Trip Duration

Yes, it is indeed true that you can customize the base camp routes to both Everest and Annapurna. However, if we look at the classic route, the distance of the Annapurna Base Camp trek is 110 kilometers while the distance of the Everest Base Camp is 130 kilometers.

Hence, the ABC trek is much shorter than the EBC trek. The classic ABC trek can be accomplished in around 10 days while the classic EBC trek can be completed in around 14 days.

Having said that, you can customize an ABC trek that extends from 13 to 17 days. Similarly, you can extend the EBC trek that extends from as little as 12 to a total of 20 days.

Some of the other routes you can add to this trek are as mentioned below.

In EBC Trek;

  • Everest Base Camp Trek and Helicopter Return (12 days)
  • Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lake (17 days)
  • Everest Base Camp & Three Passes (20 days)

In ABC Trek;

  • Annapurna Circuit Trek (12 days)
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek & Nar Phu (16 days)

You can also opt to visit Muktinath and Tilicho Lake during the trek and extend the trip duration to a month.


Although both ABC and EBC treks are located in the Himalayas and have a high altitude, both of them have totally different routes with different starting points. There is no means of land transportation to start the EBC trek while you will have plenty of options to start the ABC trek.

Well, the starting point of the EBC trek is from Lukla which does not have the facility of land transportation. In this journey, you will have to take a 35-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Therefore, due to bad weather, you will be required to halt your journey.

Also, yes, the return point is the same as a flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. If you have limited time, you can choose to opt for Everest base trek and return by helicopter helicopter to Kathmandu.

Moving on to the ABC trek, you can either choose to transport by land or air. You can take either a local bus or a tourist bus to the starting point of the tour. Likewise, you can also choose to travel via air from Kathmandu to Pokhara but again, you will have to take a bus to reach the starting point.


While both EBC and ABC trails are in good condition with some steepness, the tracks of ABC are easier than those of the EBC. Apart from that, both of the tracks are heavily crowded during the hot seasons such as Spring and Autumn.

Also, during the off seasons such as Winter and Monsoon, while the trekking route to ABC is open, some of the routes to EBC are off-limits due to heavy snowfall and other risk factors.


Both ABC and EBC treks take you quite high in altitude. The starting point of the ABC trek is in Nayapul (at 1,070 meters) while the starting point of the EBC trek is in Lukla (at 2,860 meters).

Moving on, by the time you reach the Annapurna Base Camp, its elevation is 4,130 meters while the Everest Base Camp is 5,364 meters above sea level. And those are not even the highest points of the treks.

Additionally, you can elevate up to 5,416 meters through the Annapurna trek at Thorung La. Similarly, you can elevate up to 5,643 meters through the Everest trek at Kala Patthar.


Trekkers and travelers have to spend more time above 5,000 meters during the EBC trek than in the ABC trek. This means trekkers at EBC trek have to be more physically and mentally prepared.

Often the higher you climb, the less oxygen there is, which creates more risk of facing altitude sickness. Keep in mind that you will have to ascend more and spend more time at high altitudes during the EBC trek, so it carries a higher risk of AMS.

Similarly, ABC trek is shorter than EBC with less acclimatization hence, even if you are suffering from AMS, you can relax and descend quickly to minimize the effect. Therefore, ABC trek can be a perfect point to start altitude trekking for beginners.

But having said that, it is important to note that even professionals can suffer from AMS. So, it is only wise to be prepared beforehand.


Nepal has four seasons; Spring, Summer or Monsoon, Autumn, and Winter. Though both the Everest and Annapurna regions have almost similar weather, it can get highly unpredictable at times.

The Spring season in Nepal usually starts in March and ends in mid-May. It is also called the peak season for trekking as the weather is nice with clear blue skies and moderate temperature. During this season, both the EBC and ABC trekking routes are heavily crowded and you should book everything beforehand to have a relaxing journey.

Likewise, the Summer or Monsoon season in Nepal starts right after Spring with heavy winds and ends in August. The days start to get hotter and bring tons of rainfall. In fact, it rains every single day which makes the trails slippery and prone to natural calamities like landslides. This often affects the lower regions of the trek and if you can push through it, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking views after the shower.

Moving on to Autumn, it is another peak trekking season that stretches from September to November. The days get clearer with mild temperatures and seasonal blooms. The trails start to recover from months-long rainfall and every trail is filled with greenery.

Lastly, the Winter season in Nepal starts in December and ends in February, which brings the coldest days of the year. The trails get lonely and the temperatures in the upper regions can drop up to negative 20 degree Celsius. Furthermore, due to heavy snowfall and risks of avalanches, most upper trails are beyond the limit. While some do embark on the journey during this time, it is only recommended to travel if you are a professional packed with every necessary item.


While you will have to spend a decent amount to embark on either one of the journeys, you should have the basic idea that the higher you climb, the more expensive the items get. The prices get expensive in higher altitudes because there is no proper transportation facility and people have to carry all the resources and materials themselves.

Altogether, we cannot pinpoint one of the treks to be more expensive or affordable as it hugely depends upon the trekking duration, destination, guides, means of transportation, accommodation options, and even the gear.

Trekking Region

The Everest trekking region takes you around Khumbu Valley and through the Sagarmatha National Park as most of the routes take place within it. It is also a sacred place and a natural world heritage site.

Also, inside the Everest region, you will encounter two climatic zones; the temperate zone in the lower Himalayas and the arid mountain zone in the higher Himalayas. The lower zone has flowering landscapes, waterfalls, gorges, and so on while the higher zone has snow-covered peaks, boulders, and many more.

Lastly, the Annapurna region has a conservation area which is seven times larger than that of the Everest region. Unlike the Everest region, the Annapurna Conservation Area has three zones; temperate zone, mountain zone, and subtropical zone.

Culture & Religion

The Everest region lies on the Eastern Himalayan side and is inhabited by the Sherpas. However, the Annapurna region lies in the Central Himalayan region which is inhabited by several ethnic groups such as Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Thakali, Brahmin, and Chhetri.

Hence, if you want to explore a single culture, EBC is the best choice; however, if you wish to explore multiple communities, ABC trek is perfect.

Talking about the Everest region, the Sherpas are known as the best mountaineers of the world. They often follow Tibetan and Buddhist culture. Additionally, they have colorful houses with multiple prayer flags and several cultural attractions such as stupas and monasteries.

Moving on to the Annapurna region, you will find a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism following people. They also have their unique languages and cultural attractions.

Highlights of The Everest Base Camp Trek

  • A 35-minute scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla.
  • Panoramic views of the world’s highest peak, Everest and many other mountains such as Nuptse, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, and so on.
  • Stunning views from Kala Patthar (5,643 meters).
  • Witness the world’s biggest glacier, the Khumbu Glacier.
  • Explore the Tengboche Monastery, Gokyo Lake, and Gokyo Ri.
  • Opt for Everest’s three highest passes; Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La.
  • Explore Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar and Hillary Museum.

Highlights of The Annapurna Base Camp Trek

  • Mesmerizing views of the Annapurna ranges, Hiuchuli, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Chulu, Machhapuchhre, and so on.
  • Enjoy the hot springs at Jhinu Danda.
  • Stunning views from Poon Hill.
  • Adventure sports such as paragliding from Sarangkot.
  • Breathtaking sunrise and sunset views from high viewpoints.
  • Explore the city of lights, Pokhara and enjoy boating in Phewa Lake.
  • Witness local villages such as Ghandruk.

Preparation of The Trek

Whether it is the Everest Base Camp trek or Annapurna Base Camp, you will have to be mentally and physically prepared with all the necessary items. Before you embark on these journeys, you must start building your stamina level slowly and steadily by jogging, walking, swimming, or even going to the gym. You can also prepare mentally by doing some relaxing yoga and meditation.

Furthermore, you should also pack essential and right gear as it ensures both safety and comfort during your journey.

Below are the tips to pack your must-have gear.

  • Layer your clothes that are quick-drying and comfortable. Examples are wool base layer, down vests or fleece jackets, waterproof jackets and pants, gloves, sun hats, and sunglasses.
  • Wear quality and fitting trekking shoes and socks that are waterproof.
  • Use a sturdy backpack with multiple compartments, a harness system, a rain cover, and padded hip belts.
  • Comfortable, lightweight sleeping bag.
  • Adjustable and shock-absorbing trekking poles with a firm grip.

In A Nutshell

Both EBC and ABC treks have their unique features and experiences to offer. If you are confused between any of the two trails to continue, trust us, there is no right or wrong choice for trekking.

Hope we have helped at some level to help you understand the difficulty levels of both treks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which mode of trekking is suitable for EBC or ABC; independent or group?

While trekkers and travelers from around the world embark on these tours both independently and in a groups. We advise people to at least start this journey with a partner or even a professional guide.