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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary

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The Kanchenjunga Base Camp itinerary is frequently searched on Google by trekkers interested in the Kanchenjunga region. The trek is considered 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 trekking experience.

Trekking to the world’s third highest mountain is a tea house trek, as there are many tea houses and small lodges along the route where various 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 on the far eastern side of Nepal and is preserved under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project; Mount Kanchenjunga is known as one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. And the word Kanchenjunga is a Tibetan word meaning “Five treasures of The Great Snow,” which symbolizes the five summits as gold, silver, precious stones, Grain, and the Holy Scriptures. 

You can discover varieties of species of flora and fauna on this trek as the region is protected under a conservation area.

When to trek?

 

Trekkers heading toward Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the most favourable seasons to trek in Nepal as the weather is moderate, stable, and warm, and the skies remain clear, which helps you to relish the beauty. On the other hand, 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 see abundant wildlife such as musk deer, snow leopards, blue sheep, etc.
  • Experience the lifestyle and rich culture of 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.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary
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 are included.

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

  • Today you will have a scenic drive to Taplejung via Mechi Highway.
  • After driving for 4 hours on an uneven and gravelled road, you will arrive at Taplejung.

Overnight in Taplejung. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are 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 the Limbu people.

Overnight in Chiruwa. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • Early morning breakfast in Chiruwa.
  • Start 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 the Tamur River and reach Lelep with an extraordinary view of landscapes.

Overnight in Lelep. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

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

Overnight in Amjilosa. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

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

Overnight in Gyabla. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • Today, you will have an easy trekking day in Ghunsa.
  • After breakfast at Gyabla village, you will walk through the dense forest of rhododendrons.
  • You will follow the river banks and reach 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 to the river bank of the Ghunsa River.
  • Cross a wooden bridge before reaching Ghunsa village with Tibetan people as its inhabitants.

Overnight in Ghunsa. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are 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 are included.

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

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

(You will be amazed by the 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 are included.

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

  • Today’s journey is challenging as you 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 river’s north bank and cross over the Lhonak glacier.
  • Further trekking for a few hours will take you to Lhonak, where a 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 possibility of seeing some fauna such as blue sheep, mountain goats, hyrax, or marmots.)

Overnight in Lhonak. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • Today, you will be heading toward 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 the moraine. 
  • A few hours of challenging trek on 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.
  • Relish the view and collect some memories before you return to Lhonak.

Overnight in Lhonak. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are 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 are included.

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

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

Overnight in Sele Le. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are 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 are 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 by heading towards Oktang.
  • You will be amazed as you ascend higher as the views of Mount Rothang and Kabru on the Nepal-Sikkim border gets closer and clearer.
  • You will pass through the snout of the Yalung glacier and the array of ablation valleys before arriving at 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 to Cheram to spend the night.

Overnight in Cheram. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • After 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 Simba Khola and walk through the jungles of rhododendron and pines before you reach Torongding.

Overnight in Torongding. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are 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).
  • Other climbing will take you to Simbau Khola Valley, where 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 to the cultivable fields, where you will cross a ridge and reach Yamphuding.

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

Overnight in Yamphuding. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • Early breakfast in Yamphuding.
  • Leaving the village behind, you will trek through the 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 Shebang.

Overnight in Shebang. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

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

  • 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 along 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 are included.

Day 20: Drive to Bhadrapur (10 hrs)

  • The drive will be 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 are included.

Day 21: Fly back to Kathmandu (45 min)

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

Overnight in Kathmandu. Breakfast included.

MAP

Conclusion

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

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