In the far east of Nepal, bordering the Indian state of Sikkim, lies the world's third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8586m), standing in almost complete isolation from the other major peaks of the Himalayas. The restricted area has only been open for exploration since 1988, and the Kanchenjunga trek is now considered amongst the premier routes for those seeking a rarely traveled and highly challenging adventure through one of the last unspoiled wilderness regions of Nepal. During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will notice that it's home to elusive snow leopards, the Himalayan black bear, and the Assamese macaque, as well as an unforgettable landscape of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and verdant forests of rhododendron and bamboo. During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will notice the sparse population scattered throughout the mountains is made up of the warm-hearted Rai and Limbu people, with a culture that traces back to Tibetan origins and a unique belief system based on an amalgamation of Buddhist, Hindu and animist principles.
Starting with a flight or drive to Bhadrapur/Suketar, the trek climbs through the scenic and cultivated foothills into the great mountain stronghold of peaks such as Rathong, Kumbhakarna, Jannu, and of course Kanchenjunga, offering some of the Himalaya's most awe-inspiring and majestic scenery en route to South Base Camp (5143m). Until recently the trek was only possible through the considerable effort of carrying in all the necessities of life such as food and camping equipment, but with the advent of tea houses along the trail in response to its growing popularity, the logistics of the exercise have become considerably easier.
The Kanchenjunga trek is a journey for the trekker with a sense of adventure, a desire to explore trails less traveled, and the determination and conditioning to tackle the challenges of a physically demanding route through one of Nepal's most remote regions. Nepal Trekking Experts is the perfect agency to arrange your trek through the area, including additional options such as a visit to the isolated northern base camp. So why not get in touch with us and know all the details about Kanchanjunga Trek's difficulty and the equipment list and see what we can do to set you on the path to this intriguing journey in the eastern Himalayas?
Day 01: Welcome at airport and transfer to the hotel
Day 02: Free day for final trekking preparation.
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (45 minute) then transfer to Birtamod by drive (45 minute by car/Jeep)
Day 04: Birtamod to Taplejung by local jeep. (8-9 hrs, 1820m).
Day 05: Trek Taplejung to Chiruwa (6-7 hrs, 1270m).
Day 06: Trek Chiruwa to Lelep (1750m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 07: Lelep to Amjilosa (2308m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 08: Trek Amjilosa to Gyabla (2730m, 5 hrs)
Day 09: Trek Gyabla to Ghunsa (3595m, 5 hrs)
Day 10: Acclimatization day.
Day 11: Trek Ghunsa to Khambachen(4050m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 12: Trek Khambachen to Lhonak (4780m, 4-5 hrs)
Day 13: Hike to Kanchenjunga Base camp 5143m and back to Lhonak for overnight.
Day 14: Trek Lhonak to Ghunsa (6 hrs)
Day 15: Trek Ghunsa to Selele Base Camp (5 hrs, 4480m)
Day 16: Selele Base Camp to Cheram (8 hrs, 3870m)
Day 17: Cheram to Ramche ( 3 hrs, 4580m)
Day 18: Ramche to Tortong(6-7 hrs, 2995m)
Day 19: Tortong to Yamphuding. (7-8 hrs, 2080m)
Day 20: Yamphuding to Khebang. (1915m, 5-6 hrs)
Day 21: Khebang to Hapu Khola (5-6 hrs)
Day 22: Hapu Khola to Birtamod by drive and overnight in Birtamod. (9/10 hrs)
Day 23: Drive to Bhadrapur(45 minute) then fly back in Kathmandu.
Day 24: Departure
Note: Above itinerary is basically a guideline. If you're not satisfied or have an alternative plan please feel free to discuss it with us.
Welcome at airport and transfer to the hotel by private car/jeep
Free day for trekking preparation and sightseeing
A short flight past the Everest region takes us Bhadrapur, where we use local transport to transfer us to Birtamod for the night.
Terraced rice fields and tea plantations serve as a serene backdrop as we head out past Gumpas and prayer wheels on the long jeep drive to Taplejung.
Our trek starts today with a hike through layered landscapes and lush jungle fringed by distant views of the ever-present Himalayas, passing by the riverside village of Siwan and the suspension bridge that leads us across to Chirawa, the day's destination.
With permits checked at the regional park office we head in to the conservation area that protects the Kanchenjunga region and forge ahead over a bridge and through the scenic sub-tropical landscape until we reach Lelep.
A series of impressive suspension bridges leads us back and forth across the Ghunsa Khola to Jaubari, then across another bridge to the narrow trail leading up the steeply sided slopes to Amjilosa and its yak pasturelands.
Onwards and up through the thickly forested region of dense rhododendron and venerable oak trees, past myriad waterfalls and the scattered villages lying quietly below the mountains in their peaceful valley. Eagles soar lazily above us, yaks graze solemnly in green pastures, and occasional signs of wildlife come into view among the trees or high on the slopes as we slowly make our way towards Gyabla.
The morning is spent walking steadily to the Tibetan village of Phole, and then we make the steady climb to the picturesque town of Ghunsa and its superb view of the surrounding countryside.
Today is a designated rest day to help the body acclimate to the high altitude, and Ghunsa is perfectly suited to the task by virtue of its scenic alpine surroundings and points of cultural interest, including the local gompa.
Emerald green forests concede to the frost-browned vegetation of the alpine regions of the Kanchenjunga region as we climb steadily to the upper glacial valleys on our path, with mighty Jannu standing before us in all its glory as we trek through the scenic landscape towards Khambachen.
A day of astonishing views as we trek into the heartland of the towering Kanchenjunga massif, gradually ascending to the base of the mountain's forbidding glacier and on past snow-fed waterfalls and occasional glimpses of highland wildlife such as blue sheep perched high on the slopes. If there's snow about and we're extremely fortunate we might even sight the light footprints of the region's most mysterious creature, the enigmatic snow leopard.
The day's first order of business is the steady climb to the lofty and isolated outpost of Pangpema, where we pause for lunch before heading out on the final push to the trek's ultimate goal of Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The fluttering colors of the prayer flags eventually guide us in to the site at the very threshold of the towering peak, with magnificent panoramas of the surrounding region's snow-capped peaks providing the icing to the cake on the day's journey. After spending suitable time at the base to appreciate the views and celebrate the achievement we head back down to Lhonak.
Returning by the same route to Ghunsa, we gain a different and refreshing perspective of the region's beautiful scenery.
A precipitous trail leads us through woodland towards a trailhead of striking mountain views, including mysterious Makalu sitting in isolation on the far horizon.
The trail takes us on a challenging roller coaster hike today, an undulating passage over two passes, firstly Sinion La (4646m) then Mirgin La (4470m). Everest and Makalu add to the extraordinary panorama before us as we hike through the region until the path gradually leads down to our rest stop at Cheram.
Our trail leads out through woodland until we clear the tree line and approach the moraine field of Yarlung Glacier, with Jannu, Kanchenjunga and other peaks in the area soaring high above us in the valley.
We descend markedly today, leaving behind the alpine regions and dropping down into the lush surrounds of the lower foothills with their dense forests of rhododendron and pine. The rushing waters of the Simbuwa Khola become our steady companion as we continue on down until we reach Tortong.
Another day of hiking on an undulating trail, our path taking us along tree-lined slopes and grass-green pastures hanging precariously to existence on the steep inclines. Our arrival at Yamphuding brings us back to the main road running through the region.
After the experience and thrill of the alpine heights the terraced fields, peaceful villages and vivid colors of the lower ranges make for a relaxing hike as we slowly wind our trek down to its conclusion.
Our last day of trekking as we hike through Limbu villages and a steady patchwork of farmland and pastures, with the smiling faces of the ever curious locals greeting us as we walk by. Our arrival in Kamdine gives us pause to relax and reflect on an amazing journey through one of Nepal's most remote regions.
A long day sees us make the bumpy ride to the main road, then turn towards Birtamod.
A short drive takes us to Bhadrapur, where we pick up our return flight to Kathmandu in plenty of time to relax, unwind, and perhaps celebrate the trek with friends over dinner.
Farewell and drop-off at the airport, or the opportunity to join another of our programs.
Nepal Trekking Experts did an excellent job organizing our Kanchenjunga trek in Oct 2020. Rajesh and his team tackled the complicated permit process during the COVID lock down and made it possible for us to go on a trek. The guiding service provided by Nepal Trekking Experts was excellent and we have benefited greatly from the guide's intricate knowledge of the Kanchenjunga area. The trek was a memorable experience that we will remember for a long time! We highly recommend Nepal Trekking Experts for everyone's trekking needs since it is a reliable and well run agency in Nepal.
What a fantastic company! We did the Kanchenjunga circuit with them in October 2019. We were dealing with Rajesh, who gave us so much information by email, always quick responding, which helped us a lot planning our visit to Nepal. We really appreciated his kindness and support all along from the beginning to the last minute, much more than expected!
Our guide Thakur was more than excellent!! He knows so much about the region and the Nepali, Hindu and Buddhism cultures. We could talk about everything with him, he is very open-minded and his English is absolutely perfect. He was also very relaxed and flexible on the trek, bringing us to the tea houses that would fit the most our wishes. We really appreciated every single moment spent on the trek together!
My boyfriend already went to Manaslu last year with this company and the guide Thakur. They had an amazing time together and even became friends. So we decided to trek Kanchenjunga with Nepal Trekking Experts this year again. We can heartily recommend this company and the guide Thakur. We are already planning our next trek with them actually! Thanks a lot for allowing us to have the best time in Kanchenjunga and see you very soon again!
Wir waren jetzt das zweite Mal mit Rajs Orgnaisation unterwegs und waren wieder sehr zufrieden. Raj hat alles super organisiert, wir mussten uns um nichts Sorgen machen und er antwortet super schnell, wenn man eine Frage hat. Vor Ort hat er auch jederzeit Zeit für einen und man kann immer im Büro vorbei kommen, wenn man eine Frage hat oder Unterstützung bei irgendwas braucht. Unser Guide war zum zweiten Mal Rabin, der sich super um uns gekümmert hat während des Treks. Er hat dafür gesorgt, dass wir uns immer sicher gefühlt haben. Er ist eine angenehme Begleitung und man kann abends wunderbar mit ihm Karten spielen und viel lachen. Außerdem hatte er diesmal sogar Snacks und Äpfel für uns dabei, die uns an so einigen Tagen den nötigen Energieschub für die nächste Etappe gegeben haben.
This was our second time trekking with Nepal Trekking Experts and again we were amazed how wonderful everything turned out. With Rajs organisation everything was taken care of and no question was left unanswered. You can always come by the office if you have any question, need or just need a short break from busy kathmandu. You'll get a drink too. Customer service is paramount with this company. We chose Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek as out honeymoon vacation and were not disappointed. It is definitely different from Manaslu Circuit but will reward you beautiful views of mountains like Jannu & Kanchenjunga. Rabin was out wonderful guide how took care of us and left no need unattended. He is a super fun person to be around with but usually wins when you play cards ;) That's something you should get used to. Also he has reflexes quick as lightning so when you slip he will catch you. I tested this two times :) But as far as i got to know Raj any guide you will trek with is probably the person you where looking for...We will definitely come back. Thank you.
*English version below Я воспользовалась услугами этой фирмы для моего очередного индивидуального трека в Базовый Лагерь Канченджанга в 2015 году. Сложный, неисследованный трек, вдобавок, пришлось проходить в условиях мощного землетрясения и дождливой погоды. Несмотря на сложности, организаторы отлично контролировали ситуацию и выполнили все свои обязательства. Менеджер Раджешь Ньюпане гибко реагировал на мои пожелания во время трекинга: смог организовать два дополнтельных радиальных трека (к Змеиному озеру и к Патибара Деви темплу) , не входящих в программу. Сопровождавшие меня гид Бикрам Карки и портер Санджай Лама, оба владеющие английским языком и обладающие большим треккинговым опытом, оказались очень надежными партнерами в пути, взаимозаменяемыми - каждый при необходимости и в одиночку мог справиться с обязанностями гида и портера. Я могу порекомендовать "Nepal Trekking Experts" и намерена пользоваться их услугами в будущем. *** I used the services of this company in 2015 for one of my individual trekkings - BC Kanchenjunga. It was an unusual, complex and unexplored trek, moreover it combined with heavy raining and earthquake conditions. Despite all of these, the organizers controlled the situation and managed their responsibilities well. Manager Rajesh Neupane was flexible with my requests and organized two additional radial treks (to the Snakes lake and Pathibhara Devi Temple) which were not included into the main programme. I was accompanied by guide Bikram Karki and porter Sanjay Lama, who were speaking English and had a big trekking experience, also they turned out to be reliable and interchargeble partners during our travel - both were able to be a guide and a porter in case of need. I can recommend "Nepal Trekking Experts" and will definitely choose this company for my next journey.