Kanchenjunga Trek

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Trip Facts

  • Destinations: Nepal
  • Total Duration: 28 days
  • Trekking Duration: 20 days
  • Trip Grade: Medium Hard
  • Max Elevation: 5143m
  • Best Season: October to December, February to May
  • Walking Hours: 5-6hrs
  • Styles: Camping
  • Starting point of trek: Taplejung Bazaar/ Suketar
  • Finishing point of trek: Taplejung Bazaar/ Suketar
  • Meals and Drinks: Camping food items

Trip Map

  • Destination:Nepal

Kanchenjunga (8586m) is located in Taplejung district is the world’s third highest Mountain. It lies between Nepal and Sikkim India. The mountain is worshiped as a form of spirit by people of Sikkim and Limbus believe as a nature god.The region is home by dominated Limbu. It lies in the eastern part of Nepal. It is newly opened trekking route in 1988 till now used organized Trek. Trails and routes are naturally beauty and pleasant comparatively crowds of trekkers are found less than Everest and Annapurna. Trekking organized tour must be in groups. This area, the trek offers naturally joy and happiness with guide, cook and porters. There are two routes to trek Kanchenjunga. Kanchenjunga is possible to trek from south and North. One route is to South Base Camp starts from Suketar domestic air port and the other route to North Base Camp starts from Taplejung Chirwa, and Ghunsa. To explore Kanchenjunga it is better to combine to treks by crossing the Mirgin La (4665m). The Kanchejunga area is the homeland of Limbu People who have their own language. People of the Limbu are brave and honest who serve in British Army and Indian Army.

The Kanchenjunga Conservation area keeps large number of Red Panda. It is unique route than other trekking because of Red Panda habitat in Nepal. The Red Pandas are marked rare wild animal in the world. The recommended route to Kanchejunga from Basantapur through Gupha Pokhari. Through villages at culminate Pang Pema (5140m). High Mountains glaciers attract our mind. Trekker’s facilities are limited in this route but lower parts of this trek there are villages below 3500m above most overnights sleeps at Kharka (pasture land). In the trekking season time tea, coffee Tongba and local wine are available as hot drinks by local people. In the lodges and houses there are simple rooms are provided. Trekking is expensive comparing other trekking route due to far, and access remote by bus or plane. Flying from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur about 55 minutes then toTaplejung by private transportation about 7-8 hrs.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1200m)
  • Day 02 Sightseeing Swayambhu, Boudha and Durbar square
  • Day 03 – Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur to Ilam (1200m) by bus (2hrs)
  • Day 04 llam to Tabplejung Bazar (1820m) (7-8hrs) by bus
  • Day 05 Taplejung Bazaar to Mitlung (980m) (4-5hrs)
  • Day 06 Mitlung to Chhiruwa (1200m) (5 – 6 hrs)
  • Day 07 Chirwa to Sakethum (1,600m) (5 – 6 hrs)
  • Day 08 Sakethum to Amjilasa (2,460m) (4-5 hrs)
  • Day 09 Amjilasa to Gyabla (2735m) (5 hrs)
  • Day 10 Gyabla to Ghunsa (3440m) (6-7hrs)
  • Day 11 Acclimatization in Ghunsa
  • Day 12 Ghunsa to Khambachen (4040m) (5 – 6 hrs)
  • Day 13 Khambachen to Lhonak (4,790m) (5 – 6 hrs)
  • Day 14 Lhonak to Pang Pema (5,140m) (4 hrs)
  • Day 15 Pangpema to Khambachen (6- 7hrs)
  • Day 16 Khambachen to Ghunsa (4-5-hrs)
  • Day 17 Ghunsa to Sinion La (6hrs)
  • Day 18 Sinio La to Cheram (3870m) (6hrs)
  • Day 19 Cheram to Ramche (4580m) (3-4hrs)
  • Day 20 Ramche to Tortong (3000m) (6-7hrs)
  • Day 21 Tortong to Yamphudin (2080m) (6-7hrs)
  • Day 22 Yamphudin to Phungphung Danda (1860m) (6-7hrs)
  • Day 23 Phungphung Danda to Lalikharka (2265m) (6-7hrs)
  • Day 24 Lalikharka to Taplejung (Phungling Bazaar) (1820m) (3-4hrs)
  • Day 25 Taplejung to Birtamod
  • Day 26 Birtamode to Bhardrapur fly to Kathmandu
  • Day 27 Rest day in Kathmandu
  • Day 28 Departure from Kathmandu.

Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1200m)

When you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport then transfer to your hotel.A short briefing is given concerning trekking itinerary.

Day 02 Sightseeing Swayambhu, Boudha and Durbar square

Day 03 – Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur to Ilam (1200m) by bus (2hrs)

Day 04 llam to Tabplejung Bazar (1820m) (7-8hrs) by bus

From Birtamod to Taplejung it takes about 7-8 hrs by car, jeep or bus. We pass Illam, Panchthar district. On the way a beautiful Illam tea garden hill encounters. About 7 hours journey on hill region up and down through villages, forests and crossing rivers reach Taplejung Phungling Bazaar which is district headquarter of Taplejung. Our porter staffs are eagerly waiting for the group. Overnight we stay at a hotel. Taplejung settlement of Limbu who are racing from Mongolia. Explore Phungling Bazaar in the evening it gives a good experience of local people acknowledges of the surrounding area of it.

Day 05 Taplejung Bazaar to Mitlung (980m) (4-5hrs)

The trail to Mitlung starts from Fungling Bazaar heading west north. Today’s trek through villages encountering local people passing rice fields down toTamor Khola (river). On the way, a long suspension bridge is crossed beyond a beautiful valley view capture each trekker’s eyes. The route continues down to the river where there is found a small village named Mitulung which offers simple teahouse food and drinks. The village is situated on the bank of Tamor Khola.

Day 06 Mitlung to Chhiruwa (1200m) (5 – 6 hrs)

From Mitlung the trail goes up along the bank of the Tamor River to Sinuwa village which has simple trekking local lodge room and hot drinks. From here again the route continues along the river past landslides huge boulders, climb Tiwa village then comes Chirwa village. It is pleasantly warm at these low altitudes and cardamom grows freely in the moist shaded forest. Crossing numerous small tributary streams we reach Chhirwa, a village set among large boulders. It is a local trade center for villagers. There are shops, grocery stores, and simple local lodges. We camp in a field out of the village.

Day 07 Chirwa to Sakethum (1,600m) (5 – 6 hrs)

The route to Sakethum enters through cardamom garden with parse forest. Just before Tapethok a small wooden bridge is crossed and then Tapethok village arrives where Kanchenjunga Conservation Check post asks permit to register. From Tapethok the route ascends to north Medibun, Tomawa and crosses on the bottom of Lelep and Helok villages then reach a confluence of Tamor and Ghunsa Khola. We follow Ghunsa Khola trail that leads to Sakethum. A long suspension bridge is crossed on Tamor Khola and then a short climb then to the steep descent to today’s camp on the bank. If weather is clear brings close views of Kumbhakarna (7711m)

Day 08 Sakethum to Amjilasa (2,460m) (4-5 hrs)

Above Sakethum landscape and geographical features remarks beginning of high altitude.The trail between hills along Ghunsa Kola narrow valley. Walking on narrow route entering through beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides climbing to Ghaiyabari which has bamboo thatch houses with family. From here gentle route passes steep grassy lands and finally Amjilasa settlement of Tibetan. The village offers simple teahouses and rooms.

Day 09 Amjilasa to Gyabla (2735m) (5 hrs)

The trail follows up along the bank of Ghunsa Khola. On the way, various forests and trees are passing them such as bamboo, oak, rhododendron, and pastoral and attractive waterfalls. From the bank of the Ghunsa Khola, we climb up west north where Sherpa village of Gyabla arrives. There are teahouses with rooms are available but ordinary accommodation. Today’s walking route is comparatively short and close to see mountains and peaks.

Day 10 Gyabla to Ghunsa (3440m) (6-7hrs)

Today’s trek comparatively the route is long with up and down passing forests of rhododendron along the riverside of the Ghunsa Khola. At 3210m Phale village encounters and it is known as a refugee village where exile Tibetans used to stay here. It is a picturesque Tibetan village, prayer flags flutter from the wooden houses and there are two monasteries, a welcome sight after the many days of wilderness. One of the local specialties’ is ‘Tongba’ a curious alcoholic drink. A jug or large bamboo cup is filled with fermented millet seed and boiling water poured over. The flavor and alcohol sip though and you drink it with a special straw.

Day 11 Acclimatization in Ghunsa

To go high altitude, trekkers need to acclimatize to be fit for mountain and to prevent altitude sickness. Ghunsa is a beautiful Sherpa village which keeps us busy one day exploring the village. To stroll up to Monastery and chortens and hike to Lopsang La. There is a police check post to register the permit. The village houses and hills are decorated with Buddhist prayer flags.

Day 12 Ghunsa to Khambachen (4040m) (5 – 6 hrs)

Gradually the trail ascends to the south of the Ghunsa Khola and crossing flood plains while emerging on a pasture situated at the north side of the river. A bridge is crossed to the west side of the river and then reach Rambuk Kharka. A steep climb to a slope from where it crosses a slide and then descends to Lakepo. On the way, waterfalls and landslides are approached. A steep climb to a slope from where it crosses a slide and then descends. A short climb from to the village of Khambachen has a dozen of stoned roof houses which of they offer tea houses with a common room. A good camping place with a nice hiking ridge. Excellent views of Jannu and Sabi Mountain from Khambachen and beyond can be seen Kanchenjunga.

Day 13 Khambachen to Lhonak (4,790m) (5 – 6 hrs)

A gradual climb through rocky fields gets you to Ramtang at an elevation of 4240m a lunch place. The trail passes through barren pastoral if the snowfall time waterfalls and rivers become ice. On top of rocky parts, groups of blue sheep are grazing and walking. Gradually climbing continues to north direction Lhonak Glacier arrives. To the east north, a range of Himalayas with snowcapped can be seen. Just before reaching Lhonak a scree route leads to today’s destination Lhonak village is a big flat land where there are few numbers of small teahouses. View of Kanchenjunga Glacier Kanchenjunga Mountain with many peaks to the surrounding direction. Lhonak, which is on a sandy plain near a dry lake bed. There are beautiful mountain vistas all around.

Day 14 Lhonak to Pang Pema (5,140m) (4 hrs)

The main Kanchenjunga peak is only visible from Pang Pema, which is the base camp for expeditions on Kanchenjunga. From Lhonak, the trail gradually ascends across the plain but soon gets steeper as it follows the moraine. Pang Pema is at a height of 5140m.

Day 15 Pangpema to Khambachen (6- 7hrs)

A climb of 200m or 300m on a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pang Pema, provides a great vantage point with views of Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, the Twins, and Tent Peak. As usual, the descent goes faster and you can reach Khambachen the same day.

Day 16 Khambachen to Ghunsa (4-5-hrs)

The trail heads down along a river on the right side passing landslides and forests. Descending the path it is easy to walk down to Ghunsa.

Day 17 Ghunsa to Sinion La (6hrs)

The trail to Sinion La almost climbing up. The trek starts through a pleasant forested trail from the village of Ghunsa, Forested trail goes up just above Phale village on ridges a high scenic area where there are more views of the awesome Southwest Face of Jannu. This pass is rough and dangerous, especially for porters so we take the more southern set of passes, beginning with the Sinion La 4646m. Apart from the magnificent Jannu, on the horizon are Makalu, Gyakung Kang, Everest, Lhotse and Chamalang. Our campsite will be in Selele or Just below Sinion La.

Day 18 Sinio La to Cheram (3870m) (6hrs)

Although there are four more passes, there is little descent between them, so in effect it is a high scenic area where there are more views of the awesome Southwest valley. It is a chance to see far beyond views of hills and mountains. Sinion La Pass apart from the magnificent Jannu, on the horizon, are Makalu, Gyakung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, and Chamalang. To the south, it is possible to see down to the Terai, a panorama worth the effort. Our campsite will be beyond the pass, after 6hr tough walking.

Day 19 Cheram to Ramche (4580m) (3-4hrs)

This is a shorter day’s walk up the final 600m to Ramche where the trail to Kanchenjunga South turns dangerous. The scenery is magnificent as we ascend past the snout of Yalung Glaciers into a series of ablation valleys, which gives easy walking and good camping. A frozen lake, clear streams, and views of Koktang, Rathong, and Kabru are the highlights of this stroll. Expect to feel the altitude today.

Day 20 Ramche to Tortong (3000m) (6-7hrs)

Below the Ramache the trail descends to forests and meadow zone. Trees are dripping with Spanish moss and also views of the snowy peaks. 1600m descending, easy trail, passing grassy meadow, forests, and mossy dark boulders finally we reach Tortong. It has some simple lodges with a fine camping place on the bank of a river.

Day 21 Tortong to Yamphudin (2080m) (6-7hrs)

From Tortong a wooden bridge is over a small stream then the path passing zigzag steeply uphill through impressive damp forests of rhododendron, cedar, and pine by skirting a landslide area. The trail leads to a real fantastic forest. We reach Chitre 2965m a few minutes ahead the trail divides into two parts left and right side. We follow the right side on the west side of Amji Khola to Yamphudin village of Sherpa ethnic.

Day 22 Yamphudin to Phungphung Danda (1860m) (6-7hrs)

From Yamphudin every day we walk up and down through villages of Limbu and forests. The trail to Phungphung Danda heads to southwest above Kabbeli Khola. As we leave Yamphudin then walk down on rocky cliff path. A wooden bridge is crossed then climb to Mamankhe Limbu village (1800m). The village is beautiful and attractive with simple lodges. From Mamankhe the trail descends to Khaksewa Khola over it a suspension bridge then rice field terrace and finally, we reach Phumngphung Danda (1800m)

Day 23 Phungphung Danda to Lalikharka (2265m) (6-7hrs)

Lalikharka path passes forests, waterfalls, and streams. A wooden bridge over Nadewa Khola to climb Khesewa village(1900m) from the village the trail ascends while a lovely Kagbeli Khola valley view attracts the mind. Continue climbing the trail to Kande Bhanjyang 2200m there are teahouses and shops are available. It is a viewpoint of Kanchenjunga, Kumbhakarna, and Kyabru. We follow down Kunjari village and a suspension bridge is crossed over Pha Khola. From the Khola, the trail leads up to Tembewa village which has tea houses, school, and nice-looking rice fields. Continue ascent zigzag trail reach Lali Kharka (2230m)

Day 24 Lalikharka to Taplejung (Phungling Bazaar) (1820m) (3-4hrs)

The trail winds up following the gravel road through tropical trees of rhododendron and reaches Surke Danda (Deurali). From this point, gradually flat trail entering forests reach Suketar (airport) is a lovely ridge to see surrounding valley views. The trail descends about 1 hr walk crossing villages and re-crossing the road to Taplejung Bazaar is headquarter of Taplejung district. Finally, after 20-day trek, we arrive in town modern and civilized life. Overnight at a hotel.

Day 25 Taplejung to Birtamod

Day 26 Birtamode to Bhardrapur fly to Kathmandu

Day 27 Rest day in Kathmandu

Day 28 Departure from Kathmandu.

You have to reach at the airport 3 hrs before your plane leave.

You are assisted to reach at the airport by our staff.

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick-up and drop off.
  • Three night hotel accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu.
  • Licensed trained trekking guide.
  • Porters to carry goods.
  • Accommodation (breakfast, lunch, dinner) included coffee & tea.
  • Transportation by land and air.
  • All necessary documents permits for trekking.
  • National park/ conservation area entry permit.
  • City guide service tour Kathmandu (Durbarsqare, Swayambhu and Boudha stupa.

Cost Excludes

  • International air fare
  • International and airport departure tax
  • Travel trekking insurance
  • Major meals, lunch, dinner during stay in Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charge more than air lines allowed both domestic and international
  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, drinks, phone & laundry
  • Visa fee (easy to get on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport)
  • Tips and gratuity for trekking field staffs
  • Rescue travel insurance
  • Trips cancellation costs
  • Electric device charges
  • Accident or health emergency service
  • Lost theft and damage to baggage

Equipments & Gears

Trekking shoes, down jacket, trekking pant, gloves, hat, woolen cap, sun glasses, raincoat, headlamp, walking stick, water bottle, sleeping bag, trekking bag waterproof and changing clothes.

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Sam Rock,
United Kingdom

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Jean Clause,
USA

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Bon Jovi,
Australia
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