After hiking for 8 days from Lukla to Everest Base Camp, it is time to make the trek all the way back to the starting point on day 9. Most people opt for a hike up Kalapathar on the morning of day 9, before heading back down the valley to the village of Pheriche. This guide will go over what to expect during this portion of trail between Gorak Shep and Pheriche as you begin the descent back to Lukla.
1) Gorak Shep to Pheriche Trek Facts
Below will be some super helpful facts to know about the climb so you have a better idea of what to expect up on the trail. Part 1 of the day is that climb up Kalapathar from Gorak Shep, followed by part 2 of the day back to Pheriche.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 9 (Part 2): Gorak Shep to Pheriche
Starting Point: Gorak Shep
Gorak Shep Elevation: 16,814 feet / 5,125 meters
Ending Point: Pheriche
Pheriche Elevation: 13,911 feet / 4,240 meters
Distance: 7.1 miles / 11.5 kilometers
Duration: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 118 feet / 36 meters
Net Elevation Gain: -2,903 feet / -885 meters
*Elevation gain is the true amount of elevation gained for the portion of the trail. Although a downhill trail, there will be still be moments of slight elevation. Net elevation is just the difference in elevation between Gorak Shep and Pheriche.
» Learn more about the various distances, elevations, and durations of the Everest Base Camp Trek
» Learn more about flying into the region in the Kathmandu to Lukla Flight Experience Guide
2) Gorak Shep to Pheriche Elevation Profile
Below you can get a sense of the elevation profile between Gorak Shep and Pheriche. The entire way will be basically be one long downhill but the nice thing is that nothing will be too steep.
For the most part, it is a slight decline the whole way through besides for the one section of trail, where you will descend the moraine wall of the Khumbu Glacier.
3) Trekking Map
I have also included a trekking map view of the route between Gorak Shep and Pheriche to give you a better sense of the hiking layout. The trail that you would have taken earlier on from Dingboche to Lobuche to Gorak Shep, is basically the same exact trail you will be taking back to Pheriche.
Pheriche is located right next to Dingboche, but just a bit lower in altitude. So you will first start out by taking the same path to Lobuche, then down the moraine wall, across the river, and finally on a lower path towards Pheriche.
4) Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List
You will want to pack accordingly for this 11-day trek in the Himalayas. I put together a complete Everest Base Camp Packing List that goes over every single item I brought along on the trail. Below you can find just some of those recommended items that are including on the list:
Trekking Map | NatGeo Waterproof Map
Solar Power Bank | Anker 20,000mAh Solar Power Bank
Deodorizing Body Wipes | Alcala Bamboo Deodorizing Body Wipes
5) Gorak Shep to Pheriche Trek
After enjoying an early morning hike up Kalapathar and taking in some of the best views of Mount Everest, it is time to grab your belongings and begin the descent down back the Everest Base Camp trekking route.
Your first destination of the day will be the village of Lobuche, which you would have stayed at the night of day 7. Throughout this portion of trail you will be walking right alongside and above the Khumbu Glacier, as you get sweeping views of the glacier and surrounding mountains.
While much of the trail is relatively easy and manageable terrain, there are a couple trickier sections to watch out for as well. Of course, you would have already completed this section in the opposite direction, so you should have a good idea of what to expect.
After leaving Gorak Shep you will experience the first rocky and uneven section as you cross over a portion of glacier before getting onto a more navigable trail. Be careful as you make your way across this section, as there are many rocks both large and small in size to maneuver your way over.
Once complete though, the trail will begin to get much simpler as you slowly descend further down the valley with the Sagarmatha National Park landscape sprawled out in front of you.
The rest of the way to Lobuche will be nice and simple, with one or two short sections of rockier terrain as you walk alongside the Khumbu Glacier. After a couple hours of hiking, you should arrive in Lobuche, where you can decide to take a break for some food and drinks before continuing back to Pheriche.
After leaving Lobuche, you will continue along the same route, where soon you will come across an intersection. To your right will be the way to village of Dzonglha, the Cho La Pass, and the Gokyo Lakes. To your left will be the path back to Pheriche and Dingboche.
Stay to the left here, as you will soon come across the second more difficult part of the trail as you head down the moraine wall of the Khumbu Glacier and descend the Thukla Pass. You will once again trek by the Everest Memorial, and then begin the tricky hike down towards the river.
While not as difficult as the hike up a few days prior, be sure to just take your time and watch your step as you make your way down since the terrain is challenging. You will soon arrive at the tiny village of Thukla, before crossing the river and heading to Pheriche.
Here is where your route may change slightly from your way up the trail. The village of Pheriche lays just below the village of Dingboche (nights 5 & 6). Once you leave Thukla you can take the lower path to Pheriche instead of the higher path to Dingboche. Of course, if you want to head back to Dingboche instead you can decide to do that as well.
* Since I did head over to the Gokyo Lakes, I did not complete this final section of trail towards Pheriche. The images below show the route to Pheriche from a distance as I wrapped alongside the valley.
Over this final 4 KM portion of trail you will be trekking right alongside the flowing glacier fed river and onto Pheriche further out in the distance.
Soon enough you will arrive to the village of Pheriche, where you can find yourself a teahouse, have a well deserved meal, and spend the night before heading back to Namche Bazaar the following day.
Don’t Forget to Purchase Travel Insurance for Your Trek!
Before reading on – do not forget to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance package for your trekking experience in Nepal. Travel insurance covers so many different aspects of a trip, and is even more so vital for hiking in the Himalayas.
While there are many travel insurance companies out there, I believe that World Nomads is the best option for adventure travelers. Not only does it cover the basics such as flight delays, lost baggage, and trip cancellations, but it also has emergency medical coverage for high altitude activities such as trekking in the Himalayas.
The offerings from World Nomads include extensive coverage for all type of adventures, and I would highly recommend purchasing one of the World Nomads Travel Insurance Plans for your trip.
Take a look at this in depth overview of the Everest Base Camp Trek as well as the below guides I put together for each day of the journey:
Day 1 – Lukla to Phakding
Day 2 – Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Day 4 – Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
Day 5 – Tengboche to Dingboche
Day 6 – Nangkartshang Acclimatization
Day 7 – Dingboche to Lobuche
Day 9 – Kalapathar & Gorak Shep to Pheriche
Day 10 – Pheriche to Namche Bazaar
Day 11 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla
That about wraps up a recap of the Gorak Shep to Pheriche route. If you have any questions about the Everest Base Camp trek in general feel free to add them in below. Be sure to also check out the other Nepal itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!