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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is considered as one of the most famous treks in Nepal but less popular than the classic Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek. So, this trek is less cramped and you will have an amazing experience of trekking.

Trekking to the third highest mountain of the world is a tea house trek as there are many tea houses and small lodges along the route where varieties of foods are served.  Kanchenjunga region is a restricted area. So, a local guide and at least 2 trekkers are required to collect important permits for the trek.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Tented camp in Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Where is it located?

Kanchenjunga is located at the far eastern side of Nepal preserved under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project and Mount Kanchenjunga is known as one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. And the word Kanchenjunga is a Tibetan word meaning “Five treasure of The Great Snow” which symbolizes the five summits as gold, silver, precious stones, Grain and Holy Scriptures. Different species of flora and fauna can be spotted during this trek as the region is protected under conservation area.

When to trek?

Trekkers heading towards Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the most favorable seasons to trek in Nepal as the weather is moderate, stable and warm and the skies remain clear which help you to relish the beauty. Summer (June-August) is also a rainy season which makes your trek risky and winter (December- February) is quite risky too as the trails are covered with snow and the weather is extremely cold.

You will have an amazing adventure that rewards you with scenic beauties of lakes, mountain peaks, glaciers, landscapes, meadows, rich local culture and tradition and rich flora and fauna.

Trip Highlights

  • Witness the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga.
  • Opportunity to sight some abundant wildlife such as musk deer, snow leopards, blue sheep, etc.
  • Experience the lifestyle and rich culture of Sherpas, Rais and Limbus along with Tibetan Refugees.
  • Scenic Vista of Mount Makalu and Mount Everest.
  • Amazing walk to the glacial lakes like Zuma, Thalung, Rathong and Yalung glaciers.
Trekker heading towards Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Fly to Bhadrapur and drive to Ilam (1677m) (5 hrs)

  • Early breakfast and take a 45 minutes flight to Bhadrapur from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
  • Further you will take a local bus or jeep and drive to Illam (Queen of hills).

Overnight in Illam. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 02: Drive to Taplejung (1820m) (4 hrs)

  • Today you will have a scenic drive to Taplejung via Mechi Highway.
  • Driving for 4 hours on a pitched and graveled road, you will arrive at Taplejung.

Overnight in Taplejung. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 03: Trek to Chiruwa (1270m) (5-6 hrs)

  • Starting off your journey from Taplejung, you enter the official Kanchenjunga trek route passing through Hungdewa River and Tamur Khola.
  • Following the east bank of Tamur Khola, the trail gradually ascends and descends taking you to the Sinwa village.
  • Continuing your trek you will find a suspension bridge above Thiwa Khola. By crossing that bridge you will reach Chiruwa- a small settlement of Limbu people.

Overnight in Chiruwa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 04: Trek to Lelep (1860m) (7 hrs)

  • Early morning breakfast in Chiruwa.
  • Start off your today’s journey by slightly ascending towards Lelep.
  • Pass through the lush forest of rhododendron along with a dramatic waterfall.
  • Cross a wooden bridge over Tamur River and reach Lelep with an extraordinary view of landscapes.

Overnight in Lelep. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 05: Trek to Amjilosa 2510m) (8-9 hrs)

  • Leaving Lelep behind, you will continue your journey by walking in a narrow path along the bank of flowing Tamur River with a fascinating view of the impressive backdrop of a gorge.
  • Further, you will be taken to a dense forest of different vegetation and tiny villages through an isolated trail.
  • Then, you will follow a complex trail descending and ascending frequently which ends at Amjilosa – a small settlement of Tibetan and Sherpa people.

Overnight in Amjilosa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 06: Trek to Gyabla (2730m) (4 hrs)

  • Following your early breakfast in Amjilosa, you will walk through a trail descending down to Thangyap.
  • Hike through Bamboo, Oaks, Rhododendron forests and bank of the Tamur River and stop at Thangyap for lunch.
  • Later pass through a dramatic waterfall and cross a wooden bridge over a Ghunsa River and finally reach at Gyabla village, a small settlement of Tibetan inhabitants.

Overnight in Gyabla. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 07: Trek Ghunsa (3595m) (4 hrs)

  • Today, you will have an easy trekking day to Ghunsa.
  • After breakfast at Gyabla village, you will walk through the dense forest of rhododendrons.
  • You will follow the banks of the river and reach at Phale village- a Tibetan inhabitant with beautiful potato farms.
  • Pay your visit to a Tibetan Monastery in Phale and continue your trek following the trail passing through the green fields and a forest of larches.
  • Later follow the trail descending down to the river bank of Ghunsa River.
  • Cross a wooden bridge before reaching Ghunsa village with Tibetan people as it’s inhabitants.

Overnight in Ghunsa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 08: Acclimatization Day

(Finally, a deserving rest day has come.)

  • Today, you will stay active by hiking to the surrounding terrains.
  • And, you will hike up to Lapsang La Monastery through the lush forest of rhododendrons and oaks.
  • Descend back to the village in the evening and spend the rest of the night.

Overnight in Ghunsa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 09: Trek to Kambachen (4100m) (4 hrs)

  • Leave Ghunsa after your early breakfast.
  • Walk through a landslide prone trail which passes through the off beaten trail of north Kanchenjunga.
  • Hiking through dramatic terrain, the trail slowly climbs uphill to the forest of Juniper and larches along the east bank of the river.
  • You will pass through green meadows, walk over the sandy river bank and cross a wooden and stone bridge and reach Rambuk Kharka (3720m).

(You will be amazed with an incredible sight of Mount Jannu (7710m) and Jannu Glacier.)

  • Lastly, reach Kambachen (a temporary settlement with few tea houses) after descending through the mountainside.

Opt 1: Overnight in a teahouse with basic facilities.

Opt 2: Overnight at a camp at the base of the Jammu glacier rewarding you with a beautiful night sky.

Overnight in Kambachen. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 10: Trek to Lhonak (4785m) (4hrs)

  • Today’s journey is quite challenging as you will walk through rocky fields and slippery paths.
  • You will follow the trail slightly climbing up to the lateral of moraine debris.
  • You will walk alongside the north bank of the river and cross over the Lhonak glacier.
  • Further trekking for a few hours will take you to Lhonak where few teahouses are available.

 Opt 1: Overnight in a teahouse with basic facilities.

Opt 2: Overnight in a camp in a huge grassy meadow. (Camping is better than teahouses rewarding you with the possibilities of seeing some fauna such as blue sheep, mountain goat, hyrax or marmots.)

Overnight in Lhonak. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11: Trek to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (4785m) (9-10 hrs)

  • Today, you will be heading towards Pangpema.

(Pangpema is the local name of Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. It is a flat land known for rewarding the best view of Mount Kanchenjunga, Pathivara Peak and impressive ice fall along with massive Himalayan glaciers.)

  • You will gradually climb the trail following the line of moraine. 
  • Few hours of challenging trek in the rocky trail will take you to the flat grassy plain of Pangpema where you will notice a small stone hut with a rock decorated with prayer flags on the side.
  • Relish the view and collect some memories before you return to Lhonak.

Overnight in Lhonak. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 12: Trek to Ghunsa (3595m) (6 hrs)

  • After breakfast in Lhonak, you will retrace the route to Ghunsa.
  • Today’s trek is mostly downhill enjoying the views of the peaks, meadows and glaciers.
  • You will pass Kambachen and Rampak Kharka to reach Ghunsa.

Overnight in Ghunsa. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 13: Trek to Sele Le (4290m) (4 hrs)

  • Leaving Ghunsa behind, you will take a right hand sided trail to reach Sele Le.
  • The trail is mostly steep and is also isolated from human settlements until you reach Sele Le.
  • You will reach Sele Le crossing dense rhododendron and juniper forest.

Overnight in Sele Le. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 14: Trek to Cheram (3870m) (9 hrs)

  • Enjoy your breakfast with beautiful morning views
  • Today you will climb about 400m to the Mirgin La Pass (4480m) enjoying the spectacular views of the Jannu peak, Makalu, Baruntse, Chamlang, Kanchenjunga, and kabru. Some of the Himalayan range across the Sikkim border is also visible.
  • You will also come through the highest pass of this trek, Sele Le La Pass
    (4843m).
  • After a hideous day, you will rest and spend your night in one of the lodges in Cheram.

Overnight in Cheram. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 15: Trek to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (4580m) (6-7 hrs)

(Kanchenjunga South Base Camp is also known as Oktang Base Camp.)

  • After early breakfast, you will start your day off by heading towards Oktang.
  • You will be amazed as you ascend higher as the views of Mount Rothang and Kabru in Nepal-Sikkim border gets closer and clearer.
  • You will pass through the snout of Yalung glacier and the array of ablation valleys before arriving in Oktang Base Camp.
  • Enjoy an awe-inspiring view of Kumbhakarna Glacier from the base camp as it displays the most dramatic vista of the eastern part of the glacier.
  • Finally descend down to Cheram to spend the night.

Overnight in Cheram. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 16: Trek to Torongdling (2995m) (6-7 hrs)

  • After your breakfast at Cheram, you will trek downhill to lower altitudes enjoying splendid vistas of different peaks and glaciers.
  • You will walk down through the forests of rhododendrons and oaks.
  • Further, you will follow an easy trail along with Simbua Khola and walk through the jungles of rhododendron and pines before you reach Torongdling.

Overnight in Torongdling. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 17: Trek to Yamphuding (2080m) (7-8 hrs)

(This is one of the toughest days throughout the journey to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. You will be walking through landslide prone trails and difficult sections.)

  • You will have a tough 600m climb to Lamite Pass (3500m).
  • Further climbing will take you to Simbau Khola Valley and here you will cross a wooden bridge.
  • Walking by the woods of rhododendron and pine you will come to another pass called Dhupi Bhanjyang (2540m).
  • From here, the path descends down to the cultivable fields where you will cross ridge and reach Yamphuding.

(Yamphuding is a beautiful village of Sherpas, Rais, Limbus, and Gurungs. It is as bright as a village in Ghunsa.)

Overnight in Yamphuding. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 18: Trek to Khebang (1910m) (5-6 hrs)

  • Early breakfast in Yamphuding.
  • Leaving the village behind, you will trek through villages of Chettri and Brahmins.
  • As you continue the journey, you come through splendid landscapes and settlements of different ethnic groups.
  • After some ascents and descents, you will arrive in Khebang.

Overnight in Khebang. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 19: Trek to Khamdime (1500m) (5-6 hrs)

(The last day to trek in the Himalayas.)

  • Leaving off from Khebang, you will descend towards a beautiful place called Dobhan.
  • Having lunch at Dobhan, you will continue your trek with water breaks in between the route.
  • Following the trail through villages, farms and green meadows, you will come to Khamdime and spend the night.

Overnight in Khamdime. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 20: Drive to Bhadrapur (10 hrs)

  • The drive will be quite long, exhausting and tiring today yet rewarding.
  • Exhaustion may make you feel low but the views throughout the journey will turn you up.
  • Nearly 10 hours of off-road drive from Khamdime will take you to Bhadrapur.

Overnight in Bhadrapur. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 21: Fly to Kathmandu (45 min)

  • You will have your breakfast and take a 45 minutes long scenic flight to Kathmandu city.
  • You will fly above magnificent Himalayan ranges like Mount Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga.

Overnight in Kathmandu. Breakfast included.

Conclusion

Journey to Kanchenjunga Base Camp will be an amazing trip rewarding you beautiful memories of the splendid views of the Himalayas landscapes, lakes and glaciers. You will witness the third highest massif of the world with some local culture and tradition and experience the lifestyle of Nepali ethnic groups.

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