Trekking Kanchenjunga Circuit : The Perfect Circle

Last Updated: October 12, 2017

In 1979 British Mountaineer Pete Boardman stated that the walk to the base of Kanchenjunga was the most beautiful he had ever undertaken. It is a strong contender for “The most beautiful walk in the world.”

The word Kanchenjunga comes from old Tibetan and translates to “Five treasures of snow.” Local inhabitants have worshiped these holy mountains for as long as their stories go back in time. The five treasures are Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Grain, and Holy Scriptures, referring to the five individual peaks of the Kangchendzonga Himal range.

Ramche Kanchenjunga South

Kanchenjunga lies on the far eastern side of Nepal, near the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in the north-eastern part of India. It is the 3rd highest mountain in the world with an elevation of 8586 meters. Although first climbed in 1955 is was not until the late 1980’s that restrictions were lifted to allow trekkers rather than just mountaineering expeditions to approach Kanchenjunga from Nepal. Special, restricted permits are needed to walk here as you traverse pristine conservation areas. Solo hiking is not allowed and local guides must be employed to obtain permits.

A trek to Kanchenjunga is an unforgettable adventure into the heart of the Himalaya where the scale of both mountain and valley is difficult to comprehend. The peaks are visible in the distance for days, floating like ships on a distant sea. Trekking does not get any better than this. When Douglas Freshfield came here in 1899 he was awe-struck by the sheer scale of it all, which left an impression of “stupendous vastness”. All around, massive yet elegant peaks thrust up into the Himalayan blue, then suddenly the immense north wall of Kanchenjunga bursts into view, with a shelf of grass spilling down the slope towards its base. This is Pangpema (5140m), one of Nepal’s most treasured sites.

You can choose from the Kanchenjunga south trek, the Kanchenjunga north trek, the Kanchenjunga circuit, which visits both the north and south base camps, or we can tailor-make an itinerary for you. On all treks you will meet local Tibetan refugees, who welcome you with hospitality and smiling faces as you walk through rippled farmland, meadows and forests of pink barked rhododendrons.

Kanchenjunga is classed as a demanding trek due to its remoteness and altitude. There are no crowds and you will meet few other trekkers. Participants should be physically fit enough to walk for at least 6 hours a day. However, because the government is emphasizing tourism in the area as part of the Great Himalayan Trail you can now walk Kanchenjunga on a tea-house basis. Staying at local accommodation, assists locals with augmenting their incomes.

Planning Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Are you planning for Kanchenjunga Trek ? We created this website for the people like you who are searching for information about kanchenjunga trek. All the information on this website are updated on regular basis. Magical Nepal have organised more than 20 tea house treks in kanchenjunga since 2015. It is more affordable and easier than camping trek and also supports the local economy.

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What others says about us

Our tea-house trek was organised very efficiently by Saugat and Pradeep in Kathmandu, who engaged a guide and porter. Magical Nepal (P) Ltd had been very good to deal with through their lovely website www.kanchenjungatrek.com. We flew from Kathmandu to Baradnapur in the far south east and from there were taken on a crazy eight hour jeep ride to Taplejung high on a ridge at the end of the road. Once we left the plains the route was nothing less than 400 kms of continuous tight. Read David’s Trip Report | Check his photo gallery

David Trubridge

We want to say a special thank you to Dawa, the best guide we had the chance to meet in Nepal. We admire your professionalism, kindness and sensitivity. You are the right person in a right profession! Lakpa for carrying our stuff all the way up and down. And for your smile and good mood all the time. Pradeep and Saugat for the very good organization during trekking and your great help after the earthquake.

Read Inga’s Trip Report

Inga

After my experiences trekking solo, and solo with a guide, I decided it was time to try trekking with a group. I met Ben and Alba through Trekking Partners. After much email correspondence we met in Kathmandu, dealt with final details, and set off with our guide, Raju, coordinated by our fabulous trekking agent, Magical Nepal (P) Ltd. Read Michelle’s Trip Report

Michelle Marie
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In Depth Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Details

Introduction:

Kanchenjunga might not be in the top of the trekkers’ popularity scale when compared to the likes of Annapurna Base Camp and its easier counterpart Langtang.

Don’t be in an illusion – Kanchenjunga is not a mountain that will easily let one pass. It tests a trekker’s patience, perseverance, and dedication – it is a force to be reckoned with. But the trekkers swear on the magnificent beauty of the mountains and the sight the third highest mountain has to offer. After all, it has its wild and mystical fame to keep up to.

At the end of the long day, it will be more than worth it.

When It All Started:

Though initially touted to be the highest mountain of the world, it was officially declared as the third highest mountain of the world at 8,586 m. (28,169 ft.) in 1856.

Albeit many climbers and explorers trying to accomplish the climbing, it wouldn’t be until the next hundred years that Joe Brown and George Band, members of a British expedition, would successfully ascend it for the first time ever on May 25, 1955, thus inviting hundreds of trekkers and climbers to enjoy its pristine beauty and inspire a magnanimous sense of adventure.

Stories and Myths:

The name ‘Kanchenjunga’ comes from old Tibetan language, which means ‘five treasures of the snow’, and gets this appellation for its five high peaks. The locals believe that the treasures are precious stones, gold, turquoise, Holy Scriptures, invincible armor or ammunition, salt, grain, and medicine.

These treasures, the local people believe, will be disclosed when the world is in danger to the devout.

Kanchenjunga is believed to home Dzö-nga, a mountain deity in the form of yeti or rakshasa. A rare sighting in 1925 by a British geological expedition was referred as the ‘Kangchenjunga Demon’ by the locals.

Kanchenjunga’s rare accessibility, along with the stories and myths that locals share abundantly makes Kanchenjunga not only an adventurous trek, but also a mysterious one. It is said that those majestic mastiffs hide a valley of immortality. It is known as Beyul Demoshong in Tibetan.

In Limbu language, Kanchenjunga is called ‘Senjelungma’ or ‘Seseylungma’. This Senjelungma is thought to house Yuma Sammang, the omnipotent goddess.

These five peaks, collectively, present a family of the third highest mountain in the world and second highest mountain in Nepal. It is limited in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River.

As the mountain is partly located in Sikkim of India, it is a significant part of their culture, too. The Lepcha people there call it Kong-Lo-Chu, who consider the mountain as their god who can bless them with health and wealth. Third full moon of every year is the time they’ve distinguished for its worship. They make an imitation of the mountain by placing nine stones.

Sikkimese traditions have another significance in the culture of Mount Kanchenjanga. The summiteers had to agree with the King of Sikkim that they won’t step on the mountain top when they ascent it. Though kings are a thing of the past, the summiteers have still honored the ‘verdict of the king’ and don’t step on the top. This further adds to the mystery and the deep spiritual feeling around the mountain.

It also goes by the name King-Chung-Jung-Bu.

BEST TIME TO GO:

Spring season (March to May) and autumn season (September to November) are ideal months to trek to Kanchenjunga. The temperature is not as much in the first few days of the trek, the river wouldn’t have expanded much, and above all, the trekkers will be greeted with a fine sight of the landscape. But if you make it in November, you can have the whole area to yourself as you won’t have the crowd that throngs in October. Plus, the weather will still be good enough to provide an amazing view.

January, July, and August are some of the worst months to go for a Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

In January, the snow and ice will prove to be a major challenge and you will seriously need mountaineering equipment. The lodges in places like Pangpema and Ramche are locked down. The temperature can go as low as – 30 Celsius. So if you’re thinking of spending a night at the base camps, don’t, because it will extremely challenging.

July and August, meanwhile, gets most of the rain and it’s not just the trekking route but the flights (of Suketar) get cancelled due to it. Trekkers can expect landslides, and such instances might completely change the face of the trail. Despite all this, the rain brings all the plans and greenery to life, making for a poor trail but a great sight of the area.

Learn more about best time to go to Kanchenjunga trek

REQUIRED PERMITS:

Due to the trekking routes being really near international boarders, trekking permits are required. Now, trekking permits have more to do with preserving the beautiful trekking route than international disputes.

First, there is the Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit. The guest is required to first arrive at the place to apply for the permit. Though the application process is difficult, it doesn’t take more than two to three hours.

The second is the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit, which was established in 1997, and is Nepal’s third largest conservation area with 2,035 sq. km. There are rare and beautiful animals, like red panda, spectacled bear, and snow leopard, and birds, such as blood pheasant, red-billed chough, and golden breasted fulvetta, in the area that are protected from extinction.

Entry to Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit charges Rs. 2,000 per person.

Besides that, four villages – Olangchungola village, Lelep village, Papung village, and Yamphuding village – are in the restricted area of the Kanchenjunga region.

It is better to keep the permits safe as it will be checked at the many police checking points throughout the trekking route. If you don’t have the correct one, you might be forced to return back.

For the application to be permitted, a trekkers’ group must have at least two people. They must mandatorily be attended by a licensed trekking guide or a government authorized guide.

You can have the entry permit at USD 10 per person per week.

Documents for the permits:

  • Original passport with a valid visa to Nepal
  • Photos, two, which you can send your trekking agency for online submission.

Learn more about Required Permits 

WHY YOU CAN’T GO TO SUKETAR AND HAVE TO FLY TO BHADRAPUR:

You might have to fly to Bhadrapur instead of directly going to Suketar is because of the scarcity in resources. There is only one airport, which is mostly closed. The flight is also expensive and unreliable, as it might be cancelled because of weather and other factors. During season, it might be difficult to get a flight as there might be a long list of passengers waiting for their turn. In one of the oldest airports, passengers and flight are not as frequent as one would like.

TEA HOUSE CONDITION:

As the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a trekking to remote locations, facilities such as restroom and lodgings will be basic. It will be optimistic to hope for Wi-Fi in every tea house we visit, but not mandatorily available.

FOOD AVAILABLE DURING THE TREK:

Breakfasts and dinners can be had at the tea houses or lodges where we spend the night and set off for the day. They mostly offer items from Nepali, Tibetan, common continental dishes, and occasionally Indian cuisines to the trekkers to energize and revitalize. It is advisable.

ACCLIMATIZATION:

Kanchenjunga trek ascents to a high altitude, something that not many trekkers might be used to. This makes it very important for them to acclimatize to the elevating slopes. This is done to avoid the case of AMS, which could turn into a serious health condition if cautious steps are not taken. During this trek, the trekking party will slowly ascent.

The party will take a sole day for acclimatization at a place called Cheram. The most challenging part of this process is Lapsang La pass, at 5,108 m (or 16,760 ft), and Sinion/ Mirgin La Pass, at 4,663 m (or 15,300 ft), as it entails walking for long hours and above all, in high altitude.

PHYSICAL CONDITION & EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:

As mentioned earlier, this trip is not to be trifled with. This trip is considered to be very difficult because the travellers have to be trekking in a high altitude and for a long time at that. Many Himalayan passes have to be crossed as well. So trekkers are advised to keep their physical condition in mind. If they have had previous trekking experience, then that is even better as it mentally prepares them for the travelling. Besides that, having a positive attitude while trekking is very important.

Trekkers who are planning to take on this mountainous journey are advised to start keeping their physical fitness in mind. They are advised to start training, for example jogging, exercising regularly, and eating healthy among others at least significant months before the said date of trekking.

If trekkers interested to go trekking to Kanchenjanga Circuit Trek have preexisting medical conditions like lung, blood, and heart diseases, they are strongly advised to consult their doctor before the trip. It is also wise and responsible to inform the trekking agency about the condition before booking the trek.

ITEMS TO CARRY:

You will have a porter to carry your belongings and equipment. Please don’t have more than 15 kgs. Make sure you have certain things stand out as your own for easy identification.

The weather can be tricky so we advise you to prepare yourself for the weather at high altitude as it might differ. The first few days on the trek will be hot and humid, with the temperature of around 25 Celsius. The coldest you will feel is at Lhonak, at an altitude of 4,785 m, where it can go as low as -15 Celsius at night.

The following things are to be considered as you pack your bags for this ambitious trek.

You will have a porter to carry your belongings and equipment. Please don’t have more than 15 kgs. Make sure you have certain things stand out as your own for easy identification.

The weather can be tricky so we advise you to prepare yourself for the weather at high altitude as it might differ. The first few days on the trek will be hot and humid, with the temperature of around 25 Celsius. The coldest you will feel is at Lhonak, at an altitude of 4,785 m, where it can go as low as -15 Celsius at night.

The following things are to be considered as you pack your bags for this ambitious trek.

For head –

  • A scarf or an easy piece of cloth, to keep the dust away
  • A synthetic or wool hat which covers ears and is warm
  • One headlamp, with spare batteries and even bulbs
  • UV protection sunglasses
  • If required, prescription sunglasses

For upper Body –

  • Shirts made of polypropylene (two long-sleeved, one half-sleeved)
  • Thermal tops that are light and of expedition weight
  • Jacket (or pullover) made of fleece, which are wind-stoppers
  • Shell jacket that are waterproof (if possible of breathable fabric)
  • Down jacket or vest
  • Breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex jacket along with hood

For hands –

  • A pair of –
    • Lightweight gloves of poly-liner
    • Lightweight gloves of wool or fleece
    • Mittens – a Gore-Tex mitt along with warm and comfortable polar-fleece mitt liner

For lower Body –

  • Underwear briefs that are non-cotton
  • A pair of –
    • Shorts for hiking
    • Trousers for hiking
    • Thermal bottoms that are lightweight(seasonal)
    • Trousers made of fleece or wool
    • Shell pants made of breathable fabric and which are waterproof

For feet –

  • One pair of –
    • Boots for hiking having tough soles, are water resistant, having ankle support, used to the user, and better if there are spare laces.
    • Running shoes, sandals, trainers.
  • Two pairs of –
    • Inner socks that are lightweight and thin
    • Socks of wool or heavy poly
  • Socks made of wool (optional)
  • Leggings for winters.

For sleeping –

  • Sleeping bag warm enough for 14 degrees F or -10 degrees C
  • Sleeping bag liner made of fleece

Rucksack and Travel Bags

  • Medium rucksack which could be used as airplane hand-carry, capable of 50-70 liters or 3000-4500 cubic inches
  • A large duffle bag
  • A daypack/backpack having durable and comfortable shoulder padding. A small one. To carry your precious belongings.
  • Locks for duffle bags
  • Rucksack covers large enough to cover the bags

Medical –

  • First-aid kit with basic medicines.
  • Band-Aids, aspirin, and first-aid tape
  • Skin-blister repair kit
  • Pills for anti-diarrhea
  • Pills to curb headache
  • Medicine for cough or cold
  • Acetylzolamide or Diamox, for anti-altitude sickness.
  • Sleeping pills are forbidden, they are respiratory depressant.
  • Ciprofloxacin, stomach antibiotic.
  • Tablets for water purification or to filter it.
  • A pair of earplugs.
  • If you use prescription glass, then bring an extra pair and contact lens along with its supplies.

Practical Items –

  • A sewing kit, a roll of repair tape
  • A box of match, a lighter
  • GPS or compass
  • Alarm clock
  • Digital camera along with batteries and cards
  • Ziplocs
  • Water bottles, two one liter bottles.
  • Folding knife, small
  • Binoculars
  • Disposable trash bags, which are waterproof and large. Four.

Toiletries –

  • Towel, medium-sized
  • Biodegradable toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Biodegradable soap, multi-purpose
  • Mirror, small
  • Moisturizer for body and face
  • Female hygiene products
  • Nail cutter
  • Deodorant

Personal Hygiene –

  • Anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)

Extras/ Luxuries –

  • Books
  • Guide books or trail maps
  • Notebook and pens/pencils
  • iPod
  • Board games like cards, scrabble, chess, or backgammon. Pocket-size or small.
  • Swim suit, modest
  • Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
  • Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
  • Pillow covers

KANCHENJUNGA IN WORDS:

Like all the great experiences, a rendezvous with such splendor first leaves you speechless, then leaves you with many stories to share for posterity. Something similar is what happens with those explorers who come across this mountainous journey.

There are many books and journals with many trekkers and climbers recording their experience with Mount Kanchenjunga. The mountain has also been a part of the world of fiction and animation, with its mysterious aura inviting the fantasy writers to imagine more above and beyond the snowcapped mountains and valleys.

What’s also interesting is that Kanchenjunga’s quandary has kept adventurers with faint hearted behind and instead felt bound to welcome the brave ones. It has left its exquisiteness intact. So maybe the trekkers now might still find the descriptions in the journals and write ups of the 19th century justified. That is quite a feat, as explorers have been recording the hardships of the journey from the first half of the 19th century.

It has been over 60 years since Kanchenjunga was first ascended. Kanchenjunga is mostly accessed through Nepal side and rarely through India. In fact, trekking into the Kanchenjanga range from Sikkim was only recently allowed. This is what makes this trekking route unique and interesting, and mostly unexplored, compared to other trekking trails. In fact, the trekking can be done through various directions, something that can be talked over the trekking agency.

CONNECTIVITY:

This trek will go around North and South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, which many consider to be the best trekking route in the country. You will be met with the grand scene of rhododendrons, chestnut, and oak forests.

You can also witness and be a guest to the locals from Rai, Limbus, to Tibetan Buddhist villages where you can get a taste of the Nepali culture and life style.

The route from the north of Kanchenjunga starts with the view of Tent peak, Nepal peak, Cross peak after which, Kanchenjunga Base Camp will be visible. Gradually, from there, Kanchenjunga’s true beauty will open up.

ITINERARY:

This trek will go around North and South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, which many consider to be the best trekking route in the country. You will be met with the grand scene of rhododendrons, chestnut, and oak forests.

You can also witness and be a guest to the locals from Rai, Limbus, to Tibetan Buddhist villages where you can get a taste of the Nepali culture and life style.

The route from the north of Kanchenjunga starts with the view of Tent peak, Nepal peak, Cross peak after which, Kanchenjunga Base Camp will be visible. Gradually, from there, Kanchenjunga’s true beauty will open up.

IN DETAIL:

Day 1: Flight to Bhadrapur:

It takes around 45 minutes to reach Bhadrapur from Kathmandu. Early flight will give us plenty time to drive Ilam, a distance of 95.5 km, which takes four hours in a private vehicle. Overnight at a lodge there with breakfast the next day.

Day 2: Drive to Taplejung, trek to Mitlung (921 m):

Drive to Taplejung will give a view of the lush tea and cardamom plantations. The hills and passes play peekaboo with the Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Jannu. After a brief recess, the trek starts with a sharp descent to the Tamor River, finally reaching the Mitlung village. This is where you can start putting your trekking poles to use and the roads further will be slippery and tricky.

Day 3: Trek to Chirwa (1,270 m):

This is a total of six hours walk (approx.). We walk to the Tamor River and will see many villages on the way. You will see an array of plantations of rice, millet, potatoes, and vegetables and the area is blessed with fertile soil. After a slight descent, we cross a wooden bridge on Thiwa khola, and get to Chirwa after several ups and downs. A short way from the village is a large field among large stones. This is where we will be camping for the night. After quickly consuming the meals, preparation for the next day will be done and finally the much needed rest.

Day 4: Trek to Sekathum (1,660 m):

This will be five hours of walking. Our trail to Tamur River continues and after around two hours of walking, we get to Taplechowk, a place of 1,380 elevation. Here, our trekking permit will be checked along at the park gate.

From the Taplechowk, next comes a suspension bridge to cross the river. On the other side (west), we can see the cardamom plantation, growing in harmony with the lush forest of the area.

We can stop at Phembu (3.5 hours) for a break. The elevation starts above the river (Tamur) to Lelep which is at 1,750 m. After a brief descend, we cross a suspension bridge over the same river to get to the narrower Ghunsa Khola Valley. After a while, we will reach our camp at Sekathum. Sekathum houses a Tibetan village. Here, you will get the very first views of the Himalayas.

Day 5: Trek to Amjilossa (2,510 m):

This is six hours of walking. Here, after we cross the suspension bridge over Ghunsa River at Sekathum camp, we will then follow the path through dense forest. In places the trail is steep and narrow as we walk through a dramatic gorge. After a brief recess, we can follow a switchback trail up through trees reaching Amjilosa high above the gorge.

Day 6: Trek to Gybala (2,730 m):

This is five hours’ walk. From Gyabla there is a short ascent through lush bamboo, oak and rhododendron forests to cross a small ridge. We descend towards Ghunsa Khola at a place called Thyanyani (2,400 m) where there are several stone shelters. The trail makes several short climbs and descents before passing a large waterfall and a final steep climb to Gyabla. After setting camp here, we’ll have meals and rest for the next day.

Day 7: Trek to Ghunsa (3,595 m):

This is five hours of walking. From Gyabla, the valley opens out and we walk along an easier path for most of the way to Phole. It will start to get cooler today as we climb above 3,000m. At the same time the vegetation changes and we will see see more rhododendrons and azaleas. Before arriving to Phole we pass through the winter village for Ghunsa in a wide plateau. At Phole village it is worth having a look at the monastery and exploring the village where at some houses you can see the ladies weaving carpets.

From Phole it takes a further one and a half hours to reach the larger village of Ghunsa. This is a picturesque Tibetan village with wooden houses covered in colourful prayer flags. There are several lodges and shops in the village and a small Kanchenjunga Conservation Area office along with a couple of gompas. We will camp in the garden of one of the lodges however will use their dining room for meals. There are hot showers available in the lodge and also a small shop. We will be staying her overnight.

Day 8: Acclimatisation day at Ghunsa (3,595 m):

Along the trail to Lobsang La, preparation will be done to transition into the higher elevation and successfully pass acclimatization. It is necessary because the trail is about to get to the height of 4,000 m in a mere three hours from camp and two hours to return to Ghunsa.

This walk is so that the trekkers get accustomed to the steep rise in altitude that they will witness and feel in the next three days as we make our way to the northern side of Kanchenjunga Base Camp.

Day 9: Trek to Khambachen (4,100 m):

This is around six hours walk. As the trekkers set off from Ghunsa, the path slowly rises through the beautiful forest of pine and rhododendron flowers by the east bank of the Ghunsa Khola. They will also go by many mani walls and chortens along that way. Around three hours of walking later, the party will cross through Ghunsa Khola with the help of a bridge and will reach in a grassy area named as Rampuk Kharka. It is at an elevation of 3,720 m and the party will rest for a while.

As the adventurers leave climb each meter, the landscape that will greet them will out do the previous ones. This is also where Jannu’s northern side will be visible in its all glory. There is a risk of rock falling from above. The trail then curves around the hillside, descending again to Khambachen. Khambachen is a peaceful Tibetan settlement housing about a dozen residents with a wide grassy plain and mountains for the background.

 

Day 10: Acclimatisation and rest day at Khambachen (4,100 m):

As the priority of the day is to get accustomed to the higher altitude, the party will spend two nights at Khambachen. After that, the party will be walking up over 750 m in altitude on the way to Lhonak. This is almost the middle of the trekking and the tour guides will encourage the trekkers to take a short walk with them. They are then encouraged to spend the remaining time resting and catching up on some relaxing around the camping area. Even though there will be little moving during this time, the walk up to Nupchu Khola from Khambachen will keep the trekkers on their toes. The view of Mount Jannu will be just as impressive and calming as anything.

Day 11: Trek to Lhonak (4,785 m):

This consists of around four to five hours of walking. As the trekkers set off from Khambachen, they take a path where azaleas and rhododendrons greet them a besides a lateral moraine passing which takes them to a seasonal yak herder’s camp in a place called Ramtang (4,307 m). Get ready because in an hour, the path becomes trickier with rocks and landslides from previous times. This is the time to think about being slow and steady. Trekkers need to be especially alert for any indication of rockfall.

After a tricky climb over rocky fields, the party will then cross moraines which is North West of the Kanchenjunga Glacier to Lhonak. The next campsite has magnificent sceneries of Wedge Peak (6,750 m), Mera (6,344 m), Nepal Peak (6,910 m), and Twins (7,351 m) among others. It is close to several huge stone huts. The view of Kanchenjunga’s main peak is not visible from this place. But it will be covered in the early morning walk to Pangpema the next morning as the trekkers spend the night there.

Day 12: Trek to Pangpema (5,143 m) and return to Lhonak:

This will consist six to seven hours of walking. From Lhonak the trail ascends along the lateral moraine from Kanchenjunga Glacier for about two hours. After passing through several sections of loose rock and landslide area the trail climbs less steeply to reach the stone huts in a grassy area at Pangpema in a further two hours. The view of the vast north face of Kanchenjunga from Pangpema is very impressive. After having lunch while enjoying the mountain vista we start the return walk back to Lhonak taking about 3 hours.

Day 13: Return to Ghunsa (3,595 m):

This consists of eight hours of walking. This will consist of walking back through the same trail from Kambachen to Ghunsa village.

Day 14: Trek to high camp (4,100 m), before Mirgin La pass:

This consists of five hours of walking. From Ghunsa we follow a steep rocky trail through the forest then along a ridge with a short, steep section to Sele La pass at 4,290m. The views are fantastic and you can clearly see High Camp which is about half an hour further walking from the pass. High Camp is well positioned in sheltered spot with a couple wooden lodges and a small lake. From here you can see Mount Makalu in the far distance.

Day 15 Cross Mirgin La (4,663 m) and trek to Tseram (3,870 m).:

This consists of eight hours of walking. After an early start from High Camp we follow a good trail as it ascends to our first pass Sinion La at 4,440m. From here the trail contours the hillside and a short steep climb brings you to Mirgin La Pass at 4,480m. The trail then descends briefly before contouring round before a final short steep climb brings you to the top of Sinelapche La Pass at 4,840m. From the top of every pass you will be rewarded with magnificent views. From the last pass there is a 1,000m descent on a trail past a small lake to Tseram which is a small settlement located above the Simbua Khola.

Day 16: Day trip to Oktang, camp at Ramche:

This consists of around eight hours of walking. This day, the party will walk up to Ramche for a little rest where they will pass the tip of the Yalung glacier into an ablation valley. All the peaks to the east straddle the India-Nepal border – Koktang (6,147 m), Rathong (6,679 m) and some of the Kabrus which are all over 7,000m. There is a lake and a meadow along with two stone houses at Ramche and often blue sheep can often be seen on the grassy slopes above. In the afternoon we follow the ablation valley to Oktang, the whole cirque is above 7,500m and the three main summits all over 8,400m can be seen. The climbing route to the summit of Kanchenjunga, first climbed by Joe Brown and George Band in 1955 can be seen from Oktang.

Day 17: Trek to Tortong (3000m):

This consists of up to eight hours of walking. The trail descends through Tseram and follows the river in rhododendron forest to Tortong where we camp for the night.

Day 18: Trek to Yamphudin (2,080 m):

This is around eight hours of walking. From Tortong it is about 3 hours to lunch as we have nearly 1,000m to ascend. The trail climbs steeply through mossy forest and past the landslide that happened in 2013 to the pass at Lamite Bhanjang for lunch. After lunch the trail descends quite steeply on a good path for about 2 hours before crossing Imja Khola. The trail then contours round the hillside before descending to Yamphudin. This village has a mixed community of Sherpas, Rais, Limbus and Gurungs and there is also the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area office.

Day 19: Trek to Mamanke (1,810 m):

This consists of five hours of walking. After leaving Yamphudin, the party will take the tricky trail, where river to Mamankhe will accompany the trekkers.

Day 20: Trekking to Kande Bhanjang:

This consists of six hours of walking. After passing Mamanke, the path then grows to a side canyon. It then passes through a stream on a lengthy suspension bridge. After that, the party will climb to Ponphe village. The trail climbs to two tea shops on the ridge above then begins a traverse through a series of valleys past several villages. The trail continues up to Kande Bhanjyang where the trekkers will stay behind and rest for the night.

Day 21: Trek to Lali Kharka:

This consists of around six hours of walking. The party treks through the trail that crosses through an edge to Khunjari, a Limbu village. It then gets to Pha Khola. From here on, it then climbs through Pokhara and Shimu villages to Thenbewa then continues through forest to Lali Kharka where the party will stay behind for the night.

Day 22: Trek to Suketar (2,300 m).

This consists of around three hours of walking. The trekking party will pass through the trail that descends to Pha Khola and the one which rises sharply through Pokhara and Shimu villages to Thenbewa. The trail then lasts through a forest to Lali Kharka and on to an edge from where it slopes gradually to Suketar’s vast air field. The striking trail through Kanchenjunga has finally come to an end!

Day 23: Drive to Bhadrapur.

This consists of 11 hours of driving. Well, you will be following the same route that you traveled on the third day of your trip. The lush green vegetation and countryside Nepal will capture your heart once again. You will be staying at a hotel in Bahdrapur where you will enjoy dinner.

Day 24: Fly to Kathmandu

The early flight to capital will get you in Kathmandu at around 12:00 Pm and you can utilize the time here strolling on the streets of Thamel. In the evening, you will enjoy the dinner and put off at a hotel.

 

End of trip.

Find more Kanchenjunga trek alternative itinerary.  if you have limited time frame

CONCLUSION:

This trek will be a treat for adventure loving people. Those who have trekked through Kanchenjanga’s slopes and passes have reveled in their success. Many have taken the challenge and succeeded and it was a thrilling time for them. The trekking route has captivated so many hearts in the past and it still continues to do so. By preserving the wildlife, the route can prosper in the upcoming years.

Trekkers need to be careful about the trail. They can’t throw caution to the wind. They have to be careful about the routes. But of course, with each day, they will also learn to enjoy the sceneries and landscapes despite all this.

Sir John Hunt, who first accomplished the expedition to Mount Everest in 1953, says, “There is no doubt that those who first climb Kanchenjunga will achieve the greatest feat in mountaineering, for it is a mountain which combines in its defense not only the severe handicaps of wind, weather and very high altitude, but technical climbing problems and objective dangers of an order ever higher than those we encountered on Everest.”

Kanchenjunga will open up its beauty to those who dare. With a bit of patience, you, the trekker, can take on its trail to triumph.