Kanchenjunga Treks – 24 Days
Kanchenjunga Trek is surely strenuous but best designed route for the adventure seekers having basic mountaineering skills, to give the best views of both the north and south face of Kanchenjunga (8586m/28171ft), a third tallest peak after Mt. Everest and K2 that lies in the borderline between Nepal and Sikkim in India. Kanchenjunga lies on the eastern border of Nepal providing a great chance to experience remoteness, spectacular mountain scenery, diverse flora and fauna and rich local culture, quite different to those found further west. As Kanchenjunga forms the border between two countries we cannot complete a circuit around the mountain, but this route takes us to the foothills of Kanchenjunga both the north and south base camps on the Nepali side on a long and arduous four weeks trek that crosses either one of the pass, 4663m Mirgin La or the 5160m Lapsang La depending on the weather condition. Kanchenjunga trek was open to trekkers since 1988 and is possible to walk here as part of an organized camping trek arranged through an agency. Kanchenjunga area is the homeland of the ethnic group of Limbu people who speak a language related to Tibetan and follow a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu and animist beliefs. Even though the views above Ghunsa are breathtaking in this trek, the facilities for trekkers are limited and the upper stages of the trek pass through desolate valley, scourged by icy mountain winds. As this trek route takes us to a maximum elevation of (5140m/16864ft), we must be alert for the symptoms of AMS.
Day 1: Kathmandu : Arrival Day
Namaste and welcome to Nepal and the start of our adventure! We’ll be waiting with a warm greeting and transfer to your hotel. We’ll have a final briefing in the evening regarding our itinerary and overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation
We visit four landmarks in Kathmandu, three of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We tour Swoyambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Boudhanath Stupa. After the tour, we meet our entire trekking team and our guides will tell us what we can expect on our trek. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Fly from Kathmandu to Suketar (2,420m/7938ft), trek to Lalikharka (2265m/7,431ft)
From Kathmandu we get an early morning flight to Suketar which is located in the eastern region of Nepal. It is a simultaneous ascent and descent on a trail that mostly passes through lush green forests all the way to Lalikharkha.
Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m/6,955ft)
We begin our trek to Khesewa after breakfast. It is mostly an easy descent until Phundrawa. From here we begin our ascent. It is a steep climb until Yangpang from where we climb steadily up until Phumphe Danda followed by another ascent to Khesewa. Our trek will be through forests and small villages. Overnight in Khesewa.
Khesewa to Mamankhe (1785m/5,856ft)
After breakfast we begin our trek towards the Kabeli Khola. Next, we walk on a trail that passes through forests before crossing a small stream. On the way, we enjoy amazing views of the Himalayan peaks while also passing through several beautiful small villages. Overnight in Mamankhe.
Mamankhe to Yamphudin (2080m/6824ft)
Today’s trek will be mostly uphill on an easy trail whereby we mostly walk alongside the Kabeli Khola. During the walk we also admire the beautiful ridge behind the stream. We continue our walk and admire a beautiful waterfall nearby. After walking for some time, we cross a small suspension bridge. We pass through small settlements before reaching Yamphudin to spend the night.
Yamphudin to Tortong (2,995m/9,826ft)
We begin our walk on a path commonly used by the villagers and pass through terraced farms and green meadows. Along the way, we have the constant company of the Himalayas to enjoy. Our walk will be on a trail along the Amji Khola. We also cross a pass at Lassiya Bhanjyang before reaching Tortong. Overnight in Tortong.
Tortong to Cheram (3,870m/12,696ft)
We begin our steady climb to Cheram after breakfast. Our trail is right at the side of the Simbuwa Khola. We enjoy walking on the beautiful Lalung valley and have Tuplung peak for company for the most part of today’s journey. We pass through thick rhododendron forest and enjoy the magnificence of the Yalung Glacier. Overnight in Cheram.
Cheram: Acclimatization and Rest
We spend a day in Cheram which will help us acclimatize to the high altitude. We can spend the rest of the day resting and taking part in small hikes. We can explore the areas around the Yalung Glacier. There is also a viewpoint for Kabaru and Rathong peaks. Overnight in Cheram.
Cheram to Ramchaur (Ramche) (4,580m/15,026ft)
We begin our short trek after breakfast. From Cheram, we ascend for some time before reaching the snout of the Yalung Glacier. It is a beautiful walk on a valley trail. We also cherish the views of several Himalayan peaks. We pass through a small settlement of Lapsang before reaching Ramche. Overnight in Ramche.
Ramchaur (Ramche) to Yalung Base Camp (4500m), back to Cheram
From Ramche, we walk further up the valley. We then follow a stream before climbing on the moraine top until confronted by Kanchenjunga’s southern face. We walk further ahead for a glimpse of the Jannu Himal. We continue our trek further towards the Oktang Monastery. From here, we climb further up and reach the Yalung Base Camp. The views from the base camp are extraordinary. Kumbakarna (Jannu), Nyukla Lachung and other Himalayan peaks are close by. We descend and spend the night at Cheram.
Cheram to Sele La (4290m/ 14,074ft)
We begin our trek after breakfast. We cross four passes today beginning with Sinelapche Bhanjyang. After crossing the pass we continue to Mirgin La pass. We continue trekking and reach the Sinion La pass which is not very far. From here, we ascend to Sele La pass. There are prayer flags strung across one of the steeper sections of the trail which is very near to the Sele La pass. We cross the pass. Overnight in Sele La.
Sele La to Ghunsa (3,595/11,794)
We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk towards the north with Tangbgharma Danda nearby. We reach a chorten marked by prayer flags which marks the start of a steep trail. We descend through rhododendron, birch and pine forests before reaching Ghunsa. It is a beautiful village of houses with dark and weathered pine walls and Buddhist prayer flags. Overnight in Ghunsa.
Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,050m/13,287ft)
From Ghunsa, we trek further north along the river bank which presents us with magnificent mountain scenery. We pass through meadows filled with beautiful wildflowers, then cross rhododendron and pine forests. We cross a bridge at Rampuk Kharka, continue past a waterfall and cross the tricky section of a landslide. After crossing the landslide area we begin to see the spectacular view of Mt. Jannu. Further exploring and tackling the tricky mountain trail we finally arrive at Kambachen and spend the night.
Kambachen to Lhonak (4,780m/15,682ft)
Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We trek through rocky fields and large boulders on the hillside along the riverbank and arrive at a waterfall. We then cross a bridge to Ramtang monastery. We then come across a landslide section which we must pass through at a steady pace before descending to the river and finally arriving at Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak.
Kanchenjunga base camp, overnight at Pangpema (5,143/16,873ft)
From Lhonak, we trek towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Our trail is alongside the gigantic Kanchenjunga Glacier. After passing Pangpema we descend towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The view from the base camp is extraordinary. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Jannu Himal and other Himalayan peaks are ours to admire. We descend back to Pangpema to spend the night.
Pangpema to Lhonak
From Pangpema we trace back our steps to Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak.
Lhonak to Ghunsa (3475m/11,400ft)
From Lhonak, we descend all the way to Ghunsa via Kambache. It is the same route we took when we were climbing up.
Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2,308m/7,572ft)
From Ghunsa, we descend towards Phale. We pass through several Manes and a monastery nearby. We walk through Juniper forests and reach Phale. From here, it is a steady descent to Gyabla. We cross a bridge over Chhundatangka Khola to reach Gyabla. As we continue our trek, we see a waterfall nearby. We also cross a suspension bridge over Sumbung Khola before reaching Amjilosa. Overnight in Amjilosa.
Amjilosa to Chirwa (1,270m/4,166ft)
After walking for a while we see a beautiful waterfall nearby. We continue our trek and pass a small settlement of Solima before crossing a suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola. We cross another suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola and reach Sukathum. Our trail passes through several villages and is beside Thunsa Khola at first followed by Tamor Nadi before reaching Chirwa. Overnight in Chirwa.
Chirwa to Phurumbu (1,549/5,082ft)
We notice that the settlement starts to get thicker as we are descending. Our trail is alongside lush vegetation. We pass through several villages before reaching Sinwa. From here we continue our descent and cross a bridge over the Sisne Khola. Now we are in the Pathibhara Trek trail. We pass through another village and cross another suspension bridge this time over the Yaphre Khola to reach Phurumbu. Overnight in Village.
Phurumbu to Suketar
Our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek ends today. We can take a much needed break after reaching Suketar. We continue our walk on the Pathibhara Trek trail.
Day 23: Kathmandu
Fly to Kathmandu.
We can spend the whole day taking rest, packing and souvenir shopping for loved ones. We can visit more places of interest in Kathmandu. Evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner with Nepali cuisine and cultural dances at typical Nepali Restaurant. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 24: Kathmandu: Departure Day
Our team will drop you to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport for your departure.
Namaste & we hope see you again soon!
Cost, Includes and Excludes
- Airport pickup and drop off in a private vehicle
- 3-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Teahouse accommodation during the Kanchenjunga circuit trek
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Domestic flights (Kathmandu- Suketar -Kathmandu)
- Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
- Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
- All government and local taxes
- Farewell dinner
- Nepal visa fee
- Excess baggage charge(s)
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
- International flights
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)