Kanchenjunga Trek Itinerary from South to North

Day to day itinerary for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, anti clockwise, i.e. Kanchenjunga Circuit South to North. Nancy and John Coppock had done this itinerary in November. Here is the trip report and trip gallery page, where you can find trek review and blog by travellers. Also here is a page about Kanchenjunga Trek Itinerary.

Day 01
Kathmandu to Bhadrapur is a 45 minute, afternoon flight with good views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. Bhadrapur to Birtamod is a 40 min drive in a private jeep. Overnight in Birtamod, then bus to Taplejung. Birtamod is tropical and, mostly hot.

Day 02
Birtamod to Taplejung by local bus. The road is sealed by takes 8 – 10 hrs. You pass through beautifully terraced fields and hills.

Day 03
Take left road, Taplejung to Simbu, 8 Hr of walking. A long day for the start of the trek to Kanchenjunga South, passing through terraced fields and forests. Typical local teashops and lodges.

Day 04
Simbu to Khesewa, 5 – 6 hrs, with great views of the Himalayas where you are heading over the next few days. Similar to the previous days walk, with terraced fields, local shops and lodges.

Day 05
Khesewa to Mamangkhe, 5-6 hrs. Mamangkhe is heart of Limbu culture, there is a museum and Limbu culture center in Mamangkhe. Also Rai and Kirat ethnics live in Mamangkhe. Some people just trek up to Mamangkhe, and this is named Limbu Cultural trail.

Day 06
Mamangkhe to Yamphuding, Yamphuding the biggest village in south side of Kanchenjunga. You will be spending a rest day here. This is start of restricted zone in Kanchenjunga south.

Day 07
Well earned rest day in Yamphuding, this will help a lot in acclimatizing, there are no higher side trip, you can just walk the village and looks through the daily chores of locals.

Day 08
Yamphuding to Tortong (Torongding), long walk 9 hrs. Trail is mostly up, there are some yak pastures in the middle, and trail passes through dense bushes in some portions.

Day 09
Yamphuding to Cheram, 4 to 5 hr. walk, short walk, nice view mix of forest and mountain.

Day 10
Cheram to Ramche, 3 hrs walk. Lunch in Ramche, then you can hike another 2 hrs toward the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp from Ramche. Walk down to Cheram, otherwise you need to hike up to 11 hrs tomorrow to Sele Le Base Camp starting from Ramche.

Day 11
Cheram to Sele Le Base Camp via Sele Le Pass, steep up to the top, rewarding view of Makalu and valley of Kanchenjunga North, hike down to Sele Le Base Camp, 9 hrs walk. Pack lunch is needed.

Day 12
Sele Le Base Camp to Ghunsa, 4 hrs walk, where there is a chance of seeing a snow leopard. Ghunsa is like the capital of Kanchenjunga. It’s a large Sherpa village, on the Ghunsa River, with a very old monastery. Accommodation is very nice and so are the meals. There is telephone and internet facilities available but as of Nov 2015, it took almost an hour to send two emails.

Day 13
Acclimatization day in Ghunsa, with a day hike to a near by ridge with excellent views of Jannu Peak. Packed lunches should be taken. It’s 3 hrs up to the ridge and 2 hrs down again. You can leave summer gear here in Ghunsa, as you will be coming back.

Day 14
Ghunsa to Kambachen 5-6 hrs. A packed lunch is needed as there is nothing in between. We cross several wooden bridges and a section prone to landslides which can alter the trail.

Day 15
Kambachen to Lhonak, 5 hrs. We trek up a wide valley next to the glacier with excellent views on both sides. The trail becomes rough with large boulders and accommodation in Lhonak is basic but views are great and a large grassy plain for camping.

Day 16
Lhonak to Pangpema, 3 hrs along a well formed trail. Accommodation at the teahouse in Pangpema is not guaranteed, it might be closed or full. Because of this we normally do a day trip but depending on the situation, you can also spend a night in Pangpema. Consult with your guide. Have lunch in Pangpema, take a thousand pictures of the Kanchenjunga North Face and then return to Lhonak.

Day 17
From Lhonak it is 8 hrs walk back to Ghunsa, mostly downhill, back to civilization. Don’t forget to collect any equipment left there. We usually lunch in Kambachen on the way down.

Day 18
Ghunsa to Amjilosa, 7hrs mostly downhill. We can have lunch in Gyabla. You know the trail right?

Day 19
Amjilosa to Tapethok, 7 hrs walk back down, and out of the restricted area of Kanchenjunga.

Day 20
Tapethok to Mitlung, 6-7 hrs.

Day 21
Mitlung to Taplejung, 4 hrs steep climb. If you use private transport back to Birtamod, you can drive back on the same day. Otherwise you need to wait until next morning to catch local bus. Private jeep is expensive compared to local bus.

Day 22
Drive Taplejung to Birtamod, 8 to 10 hrs drive.

Day 23
Drive Birtamod to Bhadrapur via private jeep, 40 minutes drive and fly back to Kathmandu.