Everest Trek - Jiri to Lukla
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The trek to Everest begins at the trail head in Jiri (6348 feet), a long twelve-hour bus ride from Kathmandu. This first 7-day section of trail is often skipped by flying to Lukla. Having done it both ways, I think it's a big mistake to miss this traditional start.
The rolling foothills and deep valleys contrast strongly with the high mountains ahead and provide a good warmup. The trails are uncrowded compared with the vast hoards of poorly acclimatized trekkers encountered above Lukla.
Do yourself a favor and take a few more days to reach the Khumbu. It's worth it!