Kanchenjunga Trek

Trip Highlights

  • Destination:Nepal
  • Trip Grade:Moderate

Trip Highlights

  • Feel the towering Kanchenjunga, standing as the world's third-highest mountain at 8,586 meters.
  • Trek through a varied landscape, starting from lush lowlands and climbing to meadows blooming with wildflowers.
  • Dive into the vibrant cultures of the Limbu, Rai, and Sherpa communities.
  • Venture on an adventure away from the crowds usually found at Everest Base Camp.
  • Spot unique wildlife like red pandas, blood pheasants, and Himalayan musk deer.
  • Feel the rewarding sense of achievement when completing this tough trek.
  • Relaxx in the tranquility of the high mountains, finding peace in their serenity.
  • Rest at cozy teahouses, swapping stories with fellow trekkers and enjoying delicious local meals

Tour Overview

Dive into a lifetime adventure through the enchanting Himalayas with the Kanchenjunga trek. This journey is perfect for those who seek a true adventure. The rewarding trek takes you off the beaten path to the base of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain. Due to its five distinct peaks, it’s called the “Five Treasures of the Great Snow” in Nepali.

The Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek, ranging from 14 to 26 days, traverses the stunning Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in eastern Nepal. Your journey begins in the sub-tropical lowlands, gradually ascending to alpine meadows, exposing you to a remarkable diversity of ecosystems. Lush rhododendron forests, glacial moraines left by retreating glaciers, and cascading rivers line the trekking trails. As you venture deeper, charming villages inhabited by the Limbu, Rai, and Sherpa communities dot the hillsides. These communities offer a glimpse into their rich culture and traditions, providing a unique and enriching experience.

Unlike the more frequented Everest and Annapurna Base Camp treks, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp offers a challenging adventure. Daily hikes involve moderate to strenuous ascents, culminating at the base camp, which sits over 5,000 meters above sea level.  Therefore, a good level of fitness and proper acclimatization are crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

All the effort poured into this trek becomes worthwhile when you reach the KBC. The sight of the majestic Kanchenjunga massif, along with peaks like Jannu and Makalu, is unforgettable. The silence of the high mountains, broken only by birdsong and the sound of gurgling streams, brings a profound sense of awe and peace.

Therefore, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is a worthwhile adventure for experienced hikers seeking a less-traveled path. It’s a chance to challenge yourself physically, immerse yourself in nature, and discover the hidden treasures of the Himalayas.

Detail Itinerary

Your epic Kanchenjunga Base camp Trek journey starts in Kathmandu, the lively capital of Nepal. Once you arrive, our team member will meet you and settled you into the hotel. Depending on when you get in, you might have the chance to explore the energetic markets of Thamel and Ason. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Nepali welcome dinner and attend a briefing with your guide about the trek ahead.

The second day of your journey is set for obtaining the necessary permits for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek. We will manage most of the paperwork, although you might need to provide passport-sized photos and copies of your travel documents. This leaves you free to continue exploring Kathmandu. So, you might consider joining an optional Kathmandu sightseeing tour to further discover the city's cultural gems. on this cultural city tour, you will visit Basantapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath and Syambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath  Temple, and the busy historical and energetic markets of Ason and Thamel. 

Your day 3 will begin with a 45-50 minute morning flight from the busy streets of Kathmandu to Bhadrapur, a town in southeastern Nepal near the Indian border. From Bhadrapur, you can head to Illam, a picturesque town, known for its tea gardens. Enjoy a scenic drive through lush landscapes and perhaps a cup of freshly brewed local tea before continuing to Taplejung. After a 6-hour drive through the winding hillside roads, you will reach Taplejung. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Taplejung offers a more rustic experience and offers a chance to experience the local Limbu culture. Overnight at Taplejung's lodge.

Today journey begin with a scenic drive from Taplejung to Sekathum, the official starting point of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek. The route winds through charming villages, terraced rice fields, and lush rhododendron forests, offering stunning views of the Himalayas. As you ascend, the air becomes cooler, and the landscape shifts gradually to all hills and valleys. You'll spend the night in a simple lodge in Sekathum, a quaint village inhabited by the Limbu people.

The true adventure begins today! You will trek from Sekathum to Amjilosa that takes you through dense forests to a small, serene village. As the trail gradually ascends along a well-marked path the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains gets even better. Don’t miss to look out for colorful birds and vibrant wildflowers along the way, and you might even meet friendly locals carrying their goods. Finally, you reach Amjilosa, a peaceful resting spot for your first night on the trek.

Today's trek takes you through lush forests filled with rhododendrons and other blooming plants. As you gradually ascend, you will catch glimpses of the snow-capped peaks on the horizon. While feeling the cool breeze as you climb higher, you will reach Gyabla, a charming village with traditional houses and stunning mountain views. Here, you can rest and recharge in basic teahouses for the next day's adventure.

On Day 7, you will face a tough but rewarding hike from Gyabla to Ghunsa. So, get ready for a steady climb that reaches 3415 meters in about 5 hours. This 11-kilometer path goes through beautiful forests with lots of plants and animals. Watch for colorful birds and shy animals hiding in the bushes. The fresh mountain air will energize you as you climb, and the changing views will make the hike enjoyable as you head to the lovely village of Ghunsa.

Leaving the lush pastures of Ghunsa behind, today's trek takes you to the higher village of Khambachen. The trail meanders through meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers, providing panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Along the way, watch for grazing yaks and playful marmots in these high-altitude meadows.

As you ascend, the air becomes thinner. You'll encounter traditional stone mani walls decorated with vibrant prayer flags, reflecting the Sherpa people's deep spiritual connection to the land. Finally, you'll arrive in Khambachen, a picturesque village with traditional stone houses and stunning mountain views. This charming village offers insight into Sherpa culture and a comfortable teahouse for your overnight stay.

The ninth day is reserved for acclimatization as Khambachen sits at a high elevation of 4,145 m. This rest day helps your body adjust to the thinner air before you continue this Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek. So, on your leisure day, you can either explore the village, interact with the friendly locals, and learn about their customs and way of life. Alternatively, you can relax and enjoy the awe-inspiring mountain views. Moreover, you can have a short hike to nearby viewpoints to aid acclimatization. 

As the sun rises in the sky, your 10-day adventure begins, taking you from Khambachen to Lhonak, a high-altitude settlement nestled closer to the mighty Kanchenjunga massif (8,586 meters). The trail gets steeper and rockier as you approach Lhonak. so, it's important to maintain a slower pace here to conserve energy and avoid altitude sickness. Nevertheless, the rewards are immense. The majestic Kanchenjunga massif, towering over the horizon with its snow-capped peaks glistening in the sunlight, dominates the view. You'll also catch glimpses of other Himalayan giants, including Lhotse (8,516 meters) and Makalu (8,485 meters). After a challenging but rewarding trek, you'll arrive in Lhonak, a small village with basic teahouses. Here, you can rest, enjoy a hot meal, and soak in the breathtaking mountain panorama.

The crown jewel day for your 19 days Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek as it presents an exciting challenge of reaching Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (Pang Pema)  at 5143 meters. This ambitious side trek brings you direct in contact to Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586 m), world's third-highest mountain, offering an unparalleled view of its colossal form.

The trek starts early, before sunrise, to avoid the midday heat and to catch a stunning sunrise over the Himalayas. At first, the path is clear, but it soon changes into a difficult landscape of loose rocks, debris, and glacier ice. So, our knowledgeable guide will make sure you enjoy the journey as they will lead you safely through this tough terrain. As you climb, you'll see the impressive Mount Kanchenjunga with its snow-covered peak touching the sky. Similarly, other towering peaks like Lhotse (8516 meters) and Makalu (8463 meters) are lurking through the clouds and creating a breathtaking view. Arriving at Pang Pema is a great achievement as it offers stunning scenery with a deep sense of pride. Here, you can take unforgettable photos and admire the beauty of the world's third-highest mountain before heading back to Lhonak for a rest.

Leaving the grandeur of Kanchenjunga's north face behind, today's moderate descent offers a refreshing change in scenery. The trail winds through yak pastures adorned with colorful prayer flags reflecting Kanchenjunga's deep Buddhist faith. In spring, vibrant rhododendron blooms add splashes of color to the landscape. As you approach Ghunsa, the largest village on the trek, you'll notice a lively atmosphere and markets. Thus, take the opportunity to mingle with the hospitable Limbu people, known for their rich cultural heritage and traditional attire. Alongside, explore the village's shops for unique souvenirs and enjoy a hearty meal to replenish your energy for the upcoming challenges.

Prepare yourself for the next chapter of this legendary trek as today you will explore Kanchenjunga's south face. The trail steadily ascends through verdant meadows adorned with wildflowers, gradually giving way to rugged peaks. As you gain altitude, the temperatures will drop significantly. Nevertheless, upon arriving at Sele Le Base Camp (4240m), a scenic haven nestled among towering mountains and glaciers, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding Himalayan giants the star-studded night sky.

Begin your day 14 from Sele Le Base Camp to Tseram, which sits at an altitude of 3,868 m. It's about a 6-7 hour journey covering approximately 9 km. The trail presents a mix of terrain, including rocky slopes and green meadows, where you might spot colorful birds and Himalayan pika. Exploring the traditional stone houses along the way, you will Tseram. This charming place greets you with marvelous views of Kanchenjunga's south face and the Yalung Glacier, the world's third-highest glacier (5300 m). Overnight at basic guesthouses at Tseram.

Firstly, today's trek is all about excitement and challenge! To commence, you will start by hiking to Ramche, located at the foot of Kanchenjunga's south face. The trail can be tough, with rocky sections and steep slopes. So make sure to take breaks while enjoying the heavenly views. Upon reaching Ramche, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment beneath Kanchenjunga's towering peak. 

Furthermore, the adventure isn't over! Subsequently, prepare yourself for a climb to Oktang (4,740 m), a viewpoint offering stunning views of the vast Yalung Glacier. The views from Oktang during the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek are super impressive, showing off some of the tallest mountains in the world. Kangchenjunga, which is about 8,586 meters tall and is the third-highest peak, stands tall alongside Lhotse (8,516 meters) and Makalu (8,485 meters). Other incredible peaks like Jannu, Kabru, Rathong, Pandim, Tent Peak, and Simvo also display their own charm. After capturing these incredible moments, head back to Tseram for a night stay.

Embark your day with descent from the high Himalayas. The trail becomes easier, transitioning to a gradual downhill path. Enjoy the downhill walk with changing scenery, from alpine meadows filled with wildflowers to dense rhododendron forests bustling with birds. The crisp mountain air and vibrant landscapes are a refreshing change from the higher altitudes. Finally arriving at Tortong, a charming village in a lush valley for relaxation. .

The trek from Tortong to Yamphudin offers stunning natural beauty and cultural experiences. You walk through lush forests, cross suspension bridges over rivers, and pass terraced fields and villages. Approaching Yamphudin, you see beautiful hills and valleys. The village itself is home to Sherpa, Limbu, and Rai people, providing a chance to experience their rich culture and friendly atmosphere.

The hike for day 18 begins from Yamphudin to Kanyam which takes you through stunning landscapes in eastern Nepal. Leaving the Yamphudin's cozy village, you cross upon lush forests, waterfalls, and fields. As you descend to Kanyam, you will see breathtaking Himalayan peaks. Along the way, you will encounter friendly locals to experience their culture. Finally, you arrive at Kanyam, a famous destination for tea gardens.

Finally, your day 19 concludes your memorable Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek journey. The final day starts with a picturesque drive from Kanyam to lively Bhadrapur. After a farewell lunch, you'll catch an afternoon flight back to Kathmandu, giving you one last glimpse of the majestic Himalayas. As you fly, take a moment to reminisce about the incredible past two weeks. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be taken to your hotel, marking the end of this amazing eastern adventurous trek of Nepal.

Cost and Dates

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Additional Info

Best Time For Kanchenjunga Trek

Would you like to experience crystal-clear skies or vibrant wildflowers? The Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek offers both, but when is the perfect time to experience your dream Himalayan adventure? For those who love classic Himalayan beauty with comfortable weather, spring (March to May) is the best choice. During this time, the skies are clear, framing snow-capped peaks, and the warm days are perfect for hiking. The lower regions of the trail are adorned with vibrant colorful blooming rhododendrons with cool calming nights. Furthermore, the clear weather also provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan giants. However, be prepared for congested trekking routes, as spring is the most popular season for this trek.

In contrast, autumn (September to November) offers a different experience. After the monsoon rains, the landscape is refreshed, and the crisp air is perfect for those who enjoy rejuvenating treks. This season offers clear skies with unobstructed views of the majestic Kanchenjunga massif and other smaller peaks. This season is ideal for photographers, with forests and hillsides displaying dazzling shades of red, orange, and gold. While the daytime temperatures are pleasant, the nights get cooler, so pack warm clothes. However, if you crave more adventure and solitude with nature, the Winter Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek might be perfect for you. The entire Kanchenjunga Region transforms into a snowy wonderland with the clear views of the Eastern Himalayas and serene unpacked trails.

Kanchenjunga Trek Cost

The cost of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek depends on various factors. The actual price can range from budget-friendly to more luxurious one depending on your preferences. Moreover, the number of days you spend trekking also influences the total cost. Additionally, permits are required for this remote region, which adds to the expenses. Hence, for a more accurate estimate, it's best to reach out to trekking agencies directly.

Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty

To begin with, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is not for beginners. Infcats, it is considered to be one of the toughest treks in Nepal that requires excellent physical fitness and resilience. The primary challenge is the altitude, as much of the trek takes place above 3,000 meters, where the thin air makes breathing more difficult and even basic activities more strenuous. Trekkers face steep climbs, uneven trails with loose scree or slippery rocks, and unpredictable weather such as rain or snowfall, all of which add to the physical demands. 

Unlike more developed trekking areas, Kanchenjunga is remote, offering basic facilities and limited resources. Consequently, it means trekkers must carry heavier backpacks with essential supplies and rely on less comfortable teahouses for accommodation. However, with proper training, a well-planned itinerary including acclimatization days, and a spirit of adventure, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek can be an incredibly rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Permits

Just like other restricted areas in Nepal, trekking to Kanchenjunga Base Camp requires specific permits. Here's what you need:

The Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for trekking in the Kanchenjunga region of Nepal and is priced at USD 20 per person for each week of the trek. Trekkers cannot apply for this permit themselves; instead, a registered Nepalese trekking agency must apply for it on their behalf.

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP) Permit: This permit is aimed at conserving the Kanchenjunga region. It costs NPR 2,000 (approximately USD 20) per person and does not have a time limit.

Trekkers might also need a Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) Card. This permit is required for most trekking areas in Nepa. The TIMS Card costs NPR 1,000 (about USD 10) per person.