The Kanchenjunga Trek is a remarkable long remote trek into Nepal's most isolated areas of far-eastern Nepal. During the journey, you'll explore the area around Kanchenjunga, the second-highest mountain in Nepal and the third highest mountain in the world. This mystical mountain range lies on the border of Nepal and India (Sikkim).
Unlike other trekking destinations such as Everest and Annapurna, the Kanchenjunga trekking route is less crowded and often considered the best off-beaten treks in Nepal. This thrilling trekking package combines both Kanchenjunga north and south base camp, so it is also called Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek or Kanchenjunga Base Camp (KBC) Trek.
The 24-days circuit trek begins after you fly to Biratnagar from Kathmandu. From here, you'll take a drive to Mitlung via Taplejung. You'll observe the gradual change in landscape from flatland to hills and mountains during the trek. It is an unforgettable adventure journey into the heart of the Himalayas and high mountain valleys.
In the first half of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, you start a trekking journey to the northern base camp from Mitlung village. The route follows the completely rocky terrain and passes through typical villages such as Chiruwa, Taplethok, Sukethum, Amjilosa, Gyabla, and Ghunsa. While passing through several settlements along the route, you'll witness a diversity of rural Nepalese culture and lifestyle.
On the way to the north base camp, you come across seasonal settlements like Kambachen and Lhonak. One of the major highlights of this circuit trek is Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, also known as Pang Pema. The base camp rewards you with magical views of the massif Kanchenjunga range, Januu Himal, Chang Himal, and many other peaks covered with ice and snow.
The off-beaten trekking route lies under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project. The area hosts several endangered species such as blue sheep, snow leopard, black bear, red panda, etc. Enjoying an amazing panoramic sight of Kanchenjunga Glacier, Mera Peak, you will retrace your path back to Ghunsa.
In the second half of the Kanchenjunga Trek Nepal, you'll follow the challenging yet very scenic passes, namely Selele La, Mirgin La, and Sinon La to Tseram. Afterward, passing through Lapsang and Ramche, you make your way to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (Oktang), another highlight of this trek. It is one of the best vantage points to catch the splendid views of numerous massif peaks such as Kanchenjunga, Januu Himal, Kokthang, Rathong, and Kabru range.
Savoring the grand vistas of snow-clad peaks in a high remote land, you'll trek back to Tseram. Passing through the tropical forests of oak, cider, rhododendron, the route takes you to several high-altitude settlements. Tortong, Yamphudin, Phumphe Danda, Kande Bhanjyang, and Lali Kharka are some major villages you come across while way back to Suketar.
Lastly, you fly back to Kathmandu and bid farewell to the beautiful far-eastern region of Nepal. Then eventually you'll take a flight back to your home. Thus, your Kanchenjunga trek concludes with great moments and memories!
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Sightseeing Kathmandu and Trek Preparation|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and drive to Mitlung (921m/3,021ft) through Taplejung- 45 minutes flight and 7 to 8 hours drive|
|Day 4||Trek from Mitlung to Chiruwa (1,270m/4,170ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 5||Trek from Chiruwa to Sukethum (1,660m/5,450ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 6||Trek from Sukethum to Amjilosa (2,510m/8,240ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek from Amjilosa to Gyabla (2,730m/8,960ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 8||Trek from Gyabla to Ghunsa (3,600m/11,810ft)- 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 9||Acclimatization Day at Ghunsa|
|Day 10||Trek from Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,100m/13,450ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 11||Trek from Kambachen to Lhonak (4,790m/15,715ft)- 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 12||Trek from Lhonak to Pang Pema (Kanchenjunga North Base Camp) (5,143m/16,880ft) and back to Lhonak- 8 to 9 hours trek|
|Day 13||Trek from Lhonak to Ghunsa (3,600m/11,810ft)- 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 14||Trek from Ghunsa to High Camp (4,100m/13,450ft)- 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 15||Trek from High Camp to Tseram (3,870m/12,700ft) via Mirgin La Pass (4,663m/15,300ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 16||Trek from Tseram to Ramche (4,580m/15,026ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 17||Rest Day in Ramche and Hike to Oktang Viewpoint (4,730m/15,520ft)- 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 18||Trek from Ramche to Tortong (3,000m/9,842ft)- 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 19||Trek from Dorongdin to Yamphudin (2,080m/6,824ft)- 7 to 8 hours trek|
|Day 20||Trek from Yamphudin to Phumphe Danda (1,900m/6,233ft)- 7 to 8 hours trek|
|Day 21||Trek from Phumphe Danda to Lali Kharka (2,265m/7,430ft)- 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 22||Trek from Lali Kharka to Taplejung (Suketar) 2,420m/7,940ft - 3 to 4 hours trek and Drive to Biratnagar - 6-7 hours drive|
|Day 23||Fly back to Kathmandu|
|Day 24||Departure from Kathmandu|
Welcome to Nepal, the land of Himalayan paradise! A trekking guide from Third Rock Adventures will receive you and drive you to the hotel. After the check-in process, you can wander around the happening places of Kathmandu like Thamel, Durbar Marg, Ason Bazaar, etc. Also, you can take a rest after a long air trip.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
The cultural Kathmandu sightseeing begins just after your morning breakfast. You'll visit different world heritage sites such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you can witness many historical and cultural monuments. Visit the famous Hindu Pashupatinath temple, Boudhanath stupa, and Swayambhunath (Monkey) temple locates on the hill in the western skirt of Kathmandu valley.
Later, after completing the sightseeing, your trek guide will brief you about the upcoming trek. You can discuss your queries and the rest of the time you'll get for trek preparation.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Embark on a journey to the Kanchenjunga trek with an early flight to Biratnagar. You will get to Kathmandu domestic airport for a scenic flight. Enjoying the panorama of snow-capped peaks, including Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu, you will land in the Biratnagar airport. Then you drive to Mitlung through Taplejung on a private vehicle. En route, you'll catch the lovely view of green hills, farmland, streams, river, etc. Enjoying the gorgeous countryside scenery, you arrive at Mitlung, which is the actual starting point of the trek.
Overnight stay in Mitlung.
From today your real adventure to Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek commences on the Kanchenjunga circuit trail. You'll walk on a rough path with few ascents and descents through the dense sub-tropical rainforest. After passing through the uneven way, several streams, you arrive at Sinwa (Siwan) and then Tawa (1,170m/3,838ft). The trail gradually climbs and crossing the wooden bridge at Thiwa, and you arrive at Chiruwa village. It is a small settlement of Limbu people with few local shops and lodges.
Overnight stay in Chiruwa.
After having an early breakfast, you head towards Sukethum. After a while, walking from Chiruwa and crossing the landslide area, you reach Taplethok. It is also the check post of your trekking permits. From here, you'll walk along the riverside of Tamor Nadi. Passing through several settlements such as Sagu, Madibun, Phembu, you reach Temewa (1,560m/5,120ft).
Then you continue to walk until you descend towards Simbuwa Khola, who originates from Yalung Glacier. Then crossing the river over the bridge, you arrive at Hellok. From here, you'll enter Ghunsa valley after crossing a wooden bridge. Eventually, after few hours of walk, you get into the Tibetan village of Sukethum.
Overnight stay in Sukethum.
Embark on today's hike by an uphill walk along the Ghunsa Khola. After crossing the bridge, you enter into lush, dense forests, ascend the steep trail and descend and cross the river again. On the way, you'll also climb a gorge so that the trekking route might be a little slippery. Thus, it is wise to walk slowly and steadily with a good grip, especially while walking the trail that passes through the gorge.
Further, crossing several bridges and a steep climb will lead you to Amjilosa. Before that, en route, you pass through small settlements of Jongim, Ghaiyabari, Solima, and Lowagaon. Amjilosa is also another Tibetan settlement where you can connect with the local Tibetan and Sherpa people. You can explore the village and enjoy the enchanting views of unnamed peaks and surroundings.
Overnight stay in Amjilosa.
Compare to yesterday, today's walk is relatively short and easy. After having a warm breakfast in Amjilosa, you head towards Gyabla (Kyapra). Along the way, you'll encounter few human settlements. Walking on the forested area, you gradually ascend through the forest and arrive at a flat ridge. From here, you can relish the captivating view of the snow-clad mountains. Passing through scattered pastures and small waterfalls, you'll reach Gyabla village. This small village also has a great Tibetan influence on the lifestyle and culture.
Overnight stay in Gyabla.
Start your walk with the climb to forested ridges, and you'll cross the Ghunsa river. Enjoying the lovely view of green terraced fields, you reach Phale/Phole (3,240m/10,630ft). It is a small refugee Tibetan settlement where you can explore local carpet factories. You can get handicrafts and homemade rugs as souvenirs too. Also, you can visit a small monastery in Phole.
Likewise, from Phole, you continue your walk along with green fields and juniper larch forests. Along the trail just before reaching Ghunsa village, you can witness the track to Nango La (4,795m/15,730ft) on the left side. It is the route to the ancient village of Olangchun Gola (3,191m/10,470ft). The trail slowly descends to the riverside of Ghunsa Khola. Pass the ancient Tashi Choding Gumba, cross the bridge over the river, and enter Ghunsa village.
Overnight stay in Ghunsa.
Ghunsa is a popular stopover during the Kanchenjunga trek. It is also the best place for acclimatization and the last permanent settlement on the way to the North base camp. Stay, relax, and explore the nearby surroundings in Ghunsa village. Visit nearby ridges, walk through the green pasture land at Ghunsa. You can even hike along the riverside area and enjoy the magnificent view of Kumbhakarna Peak (7,711m/25,300ft), which is also famously called Januu Peak.
You can wander around the village, meet the locals and get some close insights into their culture, traditions, and lifestyles. There are several Buddhist monasteries where you can experience ancient high-land Buddhist culture highly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.
Overnight stay in Ghunsa.
Have a good breakfast and move north along the river bank, which offers the astonishing vistas of surrounding lofty peaks. The walk continues through an isolated path with a view of colorful forests and vegetation. After leaving the lush green forested area, you enter into moraine and glacier valley. You might spot some elusive wild animals such as blue sheep and snow leopard.
Along the way, you enjoy the grand vistas of Ghabur/ Temachunggi Peak (6,044m/19,830ft), Januu Peak, and many more. Gradually climbing uphill, you cross the bridge at Rampuk Kharka and pass the spectacular waterfall. From here, before arriving at Kambachen, you walk on a narrow trail and cross the tricky landslide area. Once you reach Kambachen (Khangpachen), you'll catch an utterly beautiful close-up view of Mt. Januu.
Overnight stay in Kambachen.
With today's walk, you'll reach Lhonak one step closer to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Climbing uphill through rocky terrain will get you to Ramtang at an altitude of 4,370m/14,340ft. On the way, you also come across Ramtang Monastery, stunning waterfalls, grand rivers, and a peace that is difficult to describe.
After that, walking for a couple of hours along the side of the magnificent Kanchenjunga Glacier, you reach Lhonak. It is a plain sandy land that lies near a dry lake bed. This tiny settlement offers you jaw-dropping scenery of majestic peaks, including Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,170ft), Mera Peak (6,364m/20,880ft), Nepal Peak (7,177m/23,550ft), Wedge Peak (6,802m/22,315ft), etc.
Overnight stay in Lhonak.
Finally, here comes the day for which you've been waiting. Rise at dawn and proceed to Pang Pema/ Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. As you move towards the base camp, the splendid view of the world's third-highest mountain, the north face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, and other surrounding peaks will mesmerize you. Here most of the peaks are tucked between Nepal and Sikkim, one of the Indian states.
Upon arrival at base camp, the stunning mountain vistas such as Januu and Chang Himal will leave you spellbound for the moment! In the base camp, you get to see the big rock with fluttering colorful prayer flags. Explore the region, and after enjoying 360-degree panoramic vistas of high snowy mountains above the massive Kanchenjunga glacier, you'll get back to Lhonak.
Overnight stay in Lhonak.
After spending a pleasant day exploring the north base camp, you'll head towards the south base camp. Kick-off your day with a hearty breakfast and retrace along the same isolated path you get back to Ghunsa through Kambachen. Enjoying the dramatic alpine landscape with alluring mountain vistas, you reach Ghunsa.
Overnight stay in Ghunsa.
You'll commence your hike to High/Selele Camp in the morning post breakfast from Ghunsa. Start with a gentle steep uphill climb towards Selele Camp. This one is a totally desolate trail compare to the Gyabla trail. The route approaches through the dense jungle of rhododendron, juniper, birch, pine, and oaks. During this portion of the trek, you get to experience out of this world and rarely seen views of some famous peaks such as Mt. Makalu and Everest.
Overnight stay in the High Camp.
This is another exciting day of your Kanchenjunga Trek, as you'll be crossing several challenging passes, including Selele La, Mirgin La, and Sinion La Pass. All these passes lie at a high altitude above 4,000m above sea level. The way to the top of these passes will be tricky with few snowy and rocky patches. However, as you reach the top of these passes, the feeling cannot be put into words.
From the Mirgin La Pass, you enjoy the mind-blowing view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the Tseram valley. Enjoying the scenery, you descend along a small trail to Tseram. You'll also get to see the small ponds along the path. Today's snowy, glacial, and isolated terrain offers a challenge as well as a thrilling experience! Once you arrive at Tseram, you can get refresh and rejoice in the surrounding pristine views.
Overnight stay in Tseram.
Enjoy the quiet and calm of solitude during the walk towards Ramche one step close to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. As you move forward, you will enter a forested area and reach Yalung Bara. Following the scenic and challenging route, you'll head towards Lapsang. Here you'll catch an excellent sight of Yalung Glacier. The grand vista of Kokthang Peak (6,148m/20,170ft) will also accompany you. There is also a glacial lake near Lapsang. After few hours of walk, you finally reach Ramche.
Overnight stay in Ramche.
Finally, after a long weary walk up here, you need an extra day to explore this unspoiled and pristine nature! Yes, today, you get a whole day to explore the Southern Base Camp, also known as the Oktang viewpoint.
Start early morning hike to Okhordung (Oktang). The route leads you to the lateral moraine of Yalung Glacier. You reach a chorten where you get unsurpassed scenery of gigantic peaks. You'll grab a close-up view of the south face of the mighty Kanchenjunga along with Kanchenjunga South (8,476m/27,808ft) and Kanchenjunga Central (8,482m/27,830ft). Along with these peaks, you'll also get an explicit scene of Kabru, Januu, and Rathong Peak.
Overnight stay in Ramche.
Exploring the Southern Base Camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga, you'll begin the long descent back to Tortong. While trekking, enjoy the outstanding views of the snow-covered Himalayas. Follow the trail along the side of Simbuwa Khola. The initial part of the trail is highly prone to landslides so that the path might be slippery and steep. You need to be extra cautious in this section. Once the challenging part is over, you enter the forested area and enjoy a pleasant walk. Then you'll cross a small bridge and reach Tortong.
Overnight stay in Tortong.
Start the day with breakfast and embark on a trip to Yamphudin. From here, the route is steep and challenging along the side of Simbuwa Khola. Walking through the jungle, you cross some landslide-affected areas. Then trail gradually ascends to the Lasiya Bhanjyang. From here, the route is a steady descent to Yamphudin.
Different ethnic groups such as Sherpas, Rais, Limbus, and Gurungs inhabit the settlement of Yamphudin. You get a perfect opportunity to interact with the local people, learn about their remote culture, and hear their stories firsthand.
Overnight stay in Yamphudin.
Commence your day with a delicious breakfast and head towards Phumphe Danda. Along the way, you cross several small settlements such as Makduwa, Ekim, Huputar, Ratetar, etc. Next, walking along the Kabeli Khola and terraced fields, you reach Mamankhe (1,785m/5,856ft). Then the trail ascends and crossing the Khakswea Khola, and you get into Phumphe Danda. It is an excellent spot to get a captivating sight of Januu Himal.
Overnight stay in Phumphe Danda.
From Phumphe Danda, the trail descends to Phungphung Danda through a mountain village of Yanpang. Then the trail steeply climbs to Khesewa and then Kande Bhanjyang. It is a small farm village offering grand vistas of Kanchenjunga and Yalung Kang peaks. On the route, you might encounter some Hindu ethnic groups such as Brahmins, Chettries along with Kirat dominant tribe of Rai and Limbu too. Following the forest trail, you will reach Lali Kharka.
Overnight stay in Lali Kharka.
The Kanchenjunga Trek comes to an end at (Taplejung) Suketar. On the last day, you hike downhill to Suketar. En route, you come across Deurali, a junction of the pilgrimage site Pathibhara temple and Kanchenjunga Circuit trail. Eventually, once you arrive at Suketar, you'll drive back to Biratnagar and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight stay in Biratnagar.
You'll enjoy the last glimpse of the breathtaking Himalayan scenery while flying back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, you can check in the hotel and relax rest of the day. If you are back in Kathmandu on time, you'll get enough time to stroll around the city. Later, you can celebrate the successful completion of the Kanchenjunga circuit trek in any one of the close restaurants.
Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
The adventurous Kanchenjunga Trek concludes! Depending on your flight time, the representative of Third Rock Adventures will transfer you to Kathmandu International Airport.
Likewise, you can continue or plan your next adventure in the immensely beautiful country of Nepal. We offer you some best treks and cultural tours across Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Tibet.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best time for Kanchenjunga Trek. During these seasons, the weather conditions are favorable for trekking. The trail will be dry, and the skies are crystal clear with the best mountain scenery. Likewise, in both seasons, the tracks are not slippery, and easy to cross the high mountain passes with incredible views of snow-clad peaks. In addition, the colorful Rhododendrons also bloom beautifully in this region, especially during the spring season.
The trekking grade of this adventurous trek is moderate to difficult. Some major factors such as high altitude, long duration, unpredictable weather, off-beaten trails, and remote landscapes determine the Kanchenjunga Trek difficulty level. Most of the days, you need to walk through isolated, rough terrains and high glaciers area.
The trek starts from Mitlung at an altitude of 921m. Then, the trail begins to gain elevation gradually and leads to the highest point, Pang Pema Base Camp, at 5,143m. During the trek, you'll pass through some challenging high mountain passes, including Slele La (4,480m), Mirgin La (4,663m), and Sinon La (4,646m).
Kanchenjunga trekking is one of the longest trekking routes in Nepal. You need to walk around 7 to 8 hours to cover a distance of approximately 10-11kms each day. For experienced trekkers with good physical conditions, this expedition will not be that hard. However, if you're not used to such long walks and below-average strength, then the trek can be tiresome.
Kanchenjunga is the second-highest mountain in Nepal and shares the border with India. The trekking region lies in a restricted area, so you need a special permit to enter this area. In addition, a registered trek guide must accompany you throughout the trekking journey. Also, you don't require a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management Systems) card for this trek as you have the restricted permit. The following trekking permits are essential for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek;
Kanchenjunga region is one of the exotic trekking destinations in Nepal. This region offers several trek variations other than Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. The remoteness of this trekking region makes all these off-beaten trek variations a perfect example of extreme adventure.
This trek variation follows the South Base Camp route starting from the Taplejung. From here, you'll head northeast, passing through the villages like Lalikharka, Kande Bhanjyang, Phumphe Danda, Yamphudin, Tseram, and reach Ramche. During the journey, you'll get a close insight into the remote culture and lifestyle of different tribes such as Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, etc.
En route, you'll come across lush green forests, narrow trails, beautiful waterfalls, and several rivers like Kabeli, Otham, Amji, and Simbuwa. As you move towards a higher altitude, you'll witness the spectacular Yalung and Kumbhakarna Glacier. The main highlight of the trip is Kanchenjunga South Base Camp, also known as the Oktang viewpoint. The highest point of the hike is Oktang, at an altitude of 4,730m. The trekking journey lasts for 14 days and covers a distance of approximately 400km.
This is another most famous and challenging trek variation of the Kanchenjunga trekking region. You'll follow the North Base Camp route starting from Taplejung or Basantpur. The trip lasts for approximately 20 days and covers around 400 km distance. The route slightly varies from the south base camp. You'll come across some exciting villages such as Amjilosa, Ghunsa, Kambachen, and Lhonak. You'll experience the unique cultures of these local people in their purest form.
Passing through different traditional settlements, dense jungles along scenic waterfalls and rivers will fascinate you. The trip's final destination is Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, also known as Pang Pema, at an altitude of 5,143m. The major highlight of the hike is enchanting panoramic vistas of the mountain range, mainly Kanchenjunga, Kabru, Januu, Nepal Peak, and so on. You'll find a fantastic viewpoint throughout the journey where you can stand on the top and admire these majestic peaks.
Section 1 of the GHT is one of the most prominent trek variations on the Kanchenjunga Trek. Since the trekking route is the same until Pang Pema, the starting point is Taplejung. However, while returning to Suketar, instead of heading south from Ghunsa to Gyabla, the trail diverts west towards Olangchung Gola. En route, you'll cross Nago La Pass at an altitude of 4,776m/15,670ft. During this single journey, you have the goodness of visiting both the north camp and the pristine area of Olangchun Gola. The total duration of the trek will be approximately 30 days.
Limbu Cultural Trail is a comparatively newly opened trekking route in the Kanchenjunga region. The 5 days trek starts from Taplejung and passes through Lali Kharka, Kande Bhanjyang, Khesewa, Phungphung Danda, and Phumphe Danda. Finally, the trip ends in the small Limbu village of Mamankhe. Lies at an altitude of 1,785m, the village offers grand mountain vistas and untouched natural landscapes. The major attractions of this trek are hiking along the unrugged, isolated trails, interacting with local tribes, and getting some of the best Himalayan experiences in a brief time.
Kanchenjunga North to Makalu Trek is another most thrilling trek variation offering the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Himalayas. The major highlights of this 28 days long trek are the base camp of the world's third-highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and the fifth-highest peak, Mt. Makalu. The trek commences from the Kanchenjunga region of Taplejung. Following the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) and crossing some high remote passes, the trek ends in the Makalu region. En route, you encounter several ethnic groups, including Limbu, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, Tamang, and Brahmin.