Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), the world’s highest national park, lies in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, consists of 443 square miles of gorges, glaciers and rugged terrain in the high Himalayas. Sagarmatha National Park incorporates several mountain peaks, including Everest, Cho Oyu and Lhotse, as well as the upper reaches of the Dudhkoshi and Bohtehoshi Rivers. The park’s natural attractions make it an appealing ecotourism destination.
Awe-inspiring scenery and prolific wildlife are Sagarmatha National Park’s principal attractions, with some of the best wildlife-viewing at Phortse. Endemic species include endangered snow leopards and red pandas, musk deer, Himalayan black bears, yaks, marten and more than 118 bird species. The Thame Valley and Gokyo Lake offer spectacular views, and after the summer monsoons the hillsides turn green and flowers begin to bloom everywhere. To see spectacular glaciers, visit the Khumbu Valley. Namche Bazar is the principal town, with bars, restaurants, small museums and shops.
Trekking is the main tourist activity in Sagarmatha National Park, with dozens of trails of varying difficulty. Although you can trek year-round, March to mid-May and September to mid-November are the best times, as summer is monsoon season and the upper passes are closed in winter. The Everest Base Camp trek is the most popular route. It is done in three stages and takes about 30 hours to complete. Most Sherpa guides can speak at least basic English and are very knowledgeable about the area. Trekking permits are not required, but you do need to be fit, and the high trails might induce altitude sickness.