Mar through Dec
24 Days

Majestic Kanchenjunga trekking straddles the border with Sikkim in the remote North East region of Nepal. Kanchenjunga is one of the most inaccessible and formidable of the entire Himalayas. The trek in is a long and often an arduous one. Kanchenjunga’s proximity deters all but the most avid mountain enthusiasts. This journey takes you through scattered settlements of thatched farmhouses with colourful flower gardens, wild coniferous woodland and on to remote Buddhist settlements where people scratch a living from the barren land. Moreover, the climax of this trek in both altitude and scenic splendor is undoubtedly the three days hike up the Kanchenjunga glacier where the views are simply overwhelming.

Tibetan write Kanchenjunga slightly different than in Nepalese as we do “Kanchenjunga”, Local inhabitant of that reason speak as “Kanchenjugha” instead. According to Tibetan old literate translation the word “Kangchendzonga” stands for “five treasures of snow.”  In fact, those five holy scriptures, referring to the five individual peaks of the Kangchendzonga mountain ranges, Gold, Silver, Precious, Stones, Grain.

Further, 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.”

At 8598m Kanchanjunga is the third highest peak in the world. It lies in a sensitive restricted area astride the Nepal/ Sikkim border, only a few miles from Tibet. However, our trip will avoid the restricted area and head for the Yalung glacier immediately to the south of Kanchenjunga.

The journey starts with a trek over the Mahabharat Lekh range with majestic views of both the Everest and Kanchenjunga massifs with the Arun Valley between them. Especially the trek through richly cultivated hillsides, Rhododendron forests and yak pastures below the glacier is a memorable experience. The return route heading west passes through some delightful villages of Taplejung. Finally, the panoramic views of Everest, Makalu and Kanchanjunga are magnificent on our descent.

Outline Itinerary:

01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m /4,264 ft)

02: Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation

03: Fly from Kathmandu to Suketar (2,420m/7938ft), trek to Lalikharka (2265m/7,431ft)

04: Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m/6,955ft)

05: Khesewa to Mamankhe (1785m/5,856ft)

06: Mamankhe to Yamphudin (2080m/6824ft)

07: Yamphudin to Tortong (2,995m/9,826ft)

08: Tortong to Cheram (3,870m/12,696ft)

09: Cheram: Acclimatization and Rest

10: Cheram to Ramchaur (Ramche) (4,580m/15,026ft)

11: Ramchaur (Ramche) to Yalung Base Camp (4500m), back to Cheram

12: Cheram to Sele La (4290m/ 14,074ft)

13: Sele La to Ghunsa (3,595/11,794)

14: Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,050m/13,287ft)

15: Kambachen to Lhonak (4,780m/15,682ft)

16: Kanchenjunga base camp, overnight at Pangpema (5,143/16,873ft)

17: Pangpema to Lhonak

18: Lhonak to Ghunsa (3475m/11,400ft)

19: Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2,308m/7,572ft)

20: Amjilosa to Chirwa (1,270m/4,166ft)

21: Chirwa to Phurumbu (1,549/5,082ft)

22: Phurumbu to Suketar

23: Fly to Kathmandu

24: Final departure


Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

We complete our custom formalities at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. Afterwards, there is a Nature Trail representative waiting for us at the gate who will take us to our hotel. We can then spend the rest of the day taking rest. In the evening, we get to try Nepalese cuisine at a welcome dinner hosted by Nature Trail. Overnight in Kathmandu

Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek preparation

We visit four landmarks in Kathmandu, three of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We tour Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bauddhanath Stupa. After the tour, we meet Nature Trail entire trekking team, and guides will tell us what we can expect on our trek. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Fly from Kathmandu to Suketar (2,420m/7938ft), trek to Lalikharka (2265m/7,431ft)

From Kathmandu we get an early morning flight to Suketar which is located in the eastern region of Nepal. It is a simultaneous ascent and descent on a trail that mostly passes through lush green forests all the way to Lalikharkha.

Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m/6,955ft)

We begin our trek to Khesewa after breakfast. It is mostly an easy descent until Phundrawa. From here we begin our ascent. It is a steep climb until Yangpang from where we climb steadily up until Phumphe Danda followed by another ascent to Khesewa. Our trek will be through forests and small villages. Overnight in Khesewa.

Khesewa to Mamankhe (1785m/5,856ft)

After breakfast we begin our trek towards the Kabeli Khola. Next, we walk on a trail that passes through forests before crossing a small stream. On the way, we enjoy amazing views of the Himalayan peaks while also passing through several beautiful small villages. Overnight in Mamankhe

Mamankhe to Yamphudin (2080m/6824ft)

Today’s trek will be mostly uphill on an easy trail whereby we mostly walk alongside the Kabeli Khola. During the walk we also admire the beautiful ridge behind the stream. We continue our walk and admire a beautiful waterfall nearby. After walking for some time, we cross a small suspension bridge. We pass through small settlements before reaching Yamphudin to spend the night.

Yamphudin to Tortong (2,995m/9,826ft)

We begin our walk on a path commonly used by the villagers and pass through terraced farms and green meadows. Along the way, we have the constant company of the Himalayas to enjoy. Our walk will be on a trail along the Amji Khola. We also cross a pass at Lassiya Bhanjyang before reaching Tortong. Overnight in Tortong.

Tortong to Cheram (3,870m/12,696ft)

We begin our steady climb to Cheram after breakfast. Our trail is right at the side of the Simbuwa Khola. We enjoy walking on the beautiful Lalung valley and have Tuplung peak for company for the most part of today’s journey. We pass through thick rhododendron forest and enjoy the magnificence of the Yalung Glacier. Overnight in Cheram.

Cheram: Acclimatization and Rest

We spend a day in Cheram which will help us acclimatize to the high altitude. We can spend the rest of the day resting and taking part in small hikes. We can explore the areas around the Yalung Glacier. There is also a viewpoint for Kabaru and Rathong peaks. Overnight in Cheram

Cheram to Ramchaur (Ramche) (4,580m/15,026ft)

We begin our short trek after breakfast. From Cheram, we ascend for sometime before reaching the snout of the Yalung Glacier. It is a beautiful walk on a valley trail. We also cherish the views of several Himalayan peaks. We pass through a small settlement of Lapsang before reaching Ramche. Overnight in Ramche.

Ramchaur (Ramche) to Yalung Base Camp (4500m), back to Cheram

From Ramche, we walk further up the valley. We then follow a stream before climbing on the moraine top until confronted by Kanchenjunga’s southern face. We walk further ahead for a glimpse of the Jannu Himal. We continue our trek further towards the Oktang Monastery. From here, we climb further up and reach the Yalung Base Camp. The views from the base camp are extraordinary. Kumbakarna (Jannu), Nyukla Lachung and other Himalayan peaks are close by. We descend and spend the night at Cheram.

Cheram to Sele La (4290m/ 14,074ft)

We begin our trek after breakfast. We cross four passes today beginning with Sinelapche Bhanjyang. After crossing the pass we continue to Mirgin La pass. We continue trekking and reach the Sinion La pass which is not very far. From here, we ascend to Sele La pass. There are prayer flags strung across one of the steeper sections of the trail which is very near to the Sele La pass. We cross the pass. Overnight in Sele La.

Sele La to Ghunsa (3,595/11,794)

We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk towards the north with Tangbgharma Danda nearby. We reach a chorten marked by prayer flags which marks the start of a steep trail. We descend through rhododendron, birch and pine forests before reaching Ghunsa. It is a beautiful village of houses with dark and weathered pine walls and Buddhist prayer flags. Overnight in Ghunsa.

Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,050m/13,287ft)

From Ghunsa, we trek further north along the river bank which presents us with magnificent mountain scenery. We pass through meadows filled with beautiful wildflowers, then cross rhododendron and pine forests. We cross a bridge at Rampuk Kharka, continue past a waterfall and cross the tricky section of a landslide. After crossing the landslide area we begin to see the spectacular view of Mt. Jannu. Further exploring and tackling the tricky mountain trail we finally arrive at Kambachen and spend the night

Kambachen to Lhonak (4,780m/15,682ft)

Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We trek through rocky fields and large boulders on the hillside along the riverbank and arrive at a waterfall. We then cross a bridge to Ramtang monastery. We then come across a landslide section which we must pass through at a steady pace before descending to the river and finally arriving at Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak.

Lhonak to Pangpema to Kanchenjunga Base Camp, and overnight at Pangpema (5,143/16,873ft)

From Lhonak, we trek towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Our trail is alongside the gigantic Kanchenjunga Glacier. After passing Pangpema we descend towards the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The view from the base camp is extraordinary. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Jannu Himal and other Himalayan peaks are ours to admire. We descend back to Pangpema to spend the night

Pangpema to Lhonak

From Pangpema we trace back our steps to Lhonak. Overnight in Lhonak

Lhonak to Ghunsa (3475m/11,400ft)

From Lhonak, we descend all the way to Ghunsa via Kambache. It is the same route we took when we were climbing up

Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2,308m/7,572ft)

From Ghunsa, we descend towards Phale. We pass through several Manes and a monastery nearby. We walk through Juniper forests and reach Phale. From here, it is a steady descent to Gyabla. We cross a bridge over Chhundatangka Khola to reach Gyabla. As we continue our trek, we see a waterfall nearby. We also cross a suspension bridge over Sumbung Khola before reaching Amjilosa. Overnight in Amjilosa.

Amjilosa to Chirwa (1,270m/4,166ft)

After walking for a while we see a beautiful waterfall nearby. We continue our trek and pass a small settlement of Solima before crossing a suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola. We cross another suspension bridge over Ghunsa Khola and reach Sukathum. Our trail passes through several villages and is beside Thunsa Khola at first followed by Tamor Nadi before reaching Chirwa. Overnight in Chirwa.

Chirwa to Phurumbu (1,549/5,082ft)

We notice that the settlement starts to get thicker as we are descending. Our trail is alongside lush vegetation. We pass through several villages before reaching Sinwa. From here we continue our descent and cross a bridge over the Sisne Khola. Now we are in the Pathibhara Trek trail. We pass through another village and cross another suspension bridge this time over the Yaphre Khola to reach Phurumbu. Overnight in Village.

Trekking from Phurumbu to Suketar

Our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek ends today. We can take a much needed break after reaching Suketar. We continue our walk on the Pathibhara Trek trail.

Fly to Kathmandu, transfer to hotel

Nature Trail airport representative will pick up from domestic airport and transfer hotel. We can spend the whole day taking rest, packing and souvenir shopping for loved ones. We can even visit anywhere we like in Kathmandu. There will be a farewell dinner hosted by Nature Trail Trekking, in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Final departure

We check our belongings one more time before leaving for the airport. A Nature Trail representative will pick us up from the hotel and drop us off at the airport three hours before the scheduled flight.

More about Kanchenjunga Trekking

Kanchenjunga trekking is the wilderness off the beaten track in Nepal. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. The Kanchenjunga Mountain range covers the eastern part of Nepal and India. Kanchenjunga trekking route is opened for foreigners for trekking in only 1988. Actually Kanchenjunga is a remote and undeveloped area as compared to other trekking destinations of Nepal. However Kanchenjunga treks is a really paradise for the adventure lovers. Here trekkers get an opportunity of a great walking through terraced fields, forests of birch, bamboo and rhododendron. Himalayan bear, barking deer and the lesser panda are among the rich animal and bird life that fill most of part of Kanchenjunga trekking.

The breathtaking views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Makalu with beautiful glaciers offers further excitement to all trekkers along this trekking trail. Besides nature the trekkers also witness culture and lifestyle of Limbus and Rais in this trail. These are two dominant ethnic groups in eastern Nepal. During Kanchenjunga treks, one is bound to have an unforgettable experience of difference that cannot be found somewhere else in the world.

Kanchenjunga trekking trail leads with amazing scenery of landscapes, alpine green woodlands, vegetation and mountains, this adventurous trek after exploring the southern base camp, and then heading to cross three high passes Mirgin, Tamo-la and Simion-La at above 4,500 m, on reaching the top fantastic views of Makalu, Baruntse, and Chamlang.

After Simion La, walk descends gently to Tamo La at 4,560 m with grand view of Khumbakarna, then trail finally heads down hill towards the Buddhist area of Ghunsa, 3,480 m, Kangbachen 4,000m and then to Lhonak at 4,780 m high here with another wonderful rest day for local hike and excursion to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp also called Pangpema at 5,150 meters the highest point of this adventure.

Is lodge trek is possible in Kanchenjuga?

Although first climbed in 1955, Kanchenjunga was still restricted area for normal trekkers 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.

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.

Optional trekking routes length of trekking days 

Nature Trail happy to tailor-make your itinerary based on your length of your stay in Nepal and dependent your strength and interest.

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.

Trekking and best time to trekking in Kanchenjugna area

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.

Price & Service Details

JOIN GROUP2  before departure from Kathmandu.
Transportation to trekking starting point and from ending point
Trekking Information Management System Fee (TIMS Fee)
National park Conservation Fee
Camping and lodge trek with all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and accommodation in tea house lodge.
Services of English speaking trekking guide and porter (one porter for two people and the maximum weight carry by one porter is total 25kg)
Accommodation, meals, insurance, equipment and allowance of guide and porter.
Sleeping bag and down jacket if necessary.
All applicable government taxes and service charges.
Any accommodation and meals in Kathmandu
Any sightseeing tour in Kathmandu.
Any international and domestic airfare
Your personal travel insurance and medical.
Bottled drinks (mineral water, any cold drinks, and alcoholic drinks).
Expenses of personal nature such as tips for guide, porter, and driver, laundry, bar bill, telephone calls etc.
Liability for expenses against sickness, flight cancellation, road blockage, accidents, and other occurrence, beyond our control.
Nepal visa fee.
Any other optional services not mentioned above as included.
Kanchenjunga trekking in Nepal
Kanchenjunga trekking in Nepal

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