- Duration 23days
- Max Altitude 4785 m
- Group Size 2-10
- Best Season Mar-May, Sep-Nov
- Per Day Walk 06-07 hrs
- Accomodation Hotel / Teahouse
- Start/End KTM / KTM
- Difficulty Challenging
- Trip Type Group /
- Location Kanchenjunga
Kanchenjunga circuit trek, 23 days of the organized trek, is another popular adventure after Everest Base camp and Annapurna Region Trek.
The trek to the world’s third highest mountain base is an extraordinary experience. Still, this trek is even more remarkable when you add the stunning views of Mt.Kanchenjunga and the other four subsidiary summits exceeding 8,000m.
The two peaks of Kanchenjunga fall under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, established in 1997, and it covers 2,035 km2 (786 sq mi) in the Taplejung District. Therefore, trekkers need a special trekking permit for the area.
The Kanchenjunga trek opened for trekkers in 1988. Hence, you can experience the wilderness and remoteness of nature up-close during the trek route. There is no luxury during the Kanchenjunga trek route, but you get every chance to get close to nature.
It’s an isolated area with few, if any, other trekkers on the rocky trail. So during the trekking days, you feel like the world belongs to you!
The circuit trek of Mount Kanchenjunga is perfect for solitude lovers. Comparatively, the trails leading to Kanchenjunga Base Camp are less crowded. Therefore, trekking in Kanchenjunga Region is best suited if you love the mountains and prefer solitude.
Before 1852, Kanchenjunga was the highest mountain in the world. But in 1856, Kanchenjunga was officially announced as the third highest mountain. British Kanchenjunga expedition climbed Kanchenjunga first on 25 May 1955. The team consisted of George Band and Joe Brown, and other members.
Start and end of Kanchenjunga circuit trek
To reach the hiking point at Suketar, Taplejung, you fly to Bhadrapur from Tribhuwan International airport, Kathmandu. From Bhadrapur, you travel to Taplejung by road.
The hiking point of the trek starts from Suketar, Taplejung, on the 3rd day of the trek.
At first, we trek towards Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, passing through the Tibetan villages and trails of pine forests on the way. Then, the exciting journey takes you through coniferous forests, paddy fields, and subtropical forests while in the lower region. As you ascend higher, you fall in love with the magnificent views of Jannu Peak, Rathong, Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, and Dhormo Ri.
Make sure to carry extra batteries for your camera. You don’t want to miss capturing the breathtaking views while treading on the rocky terrains of the Kanchenjunga region.
The trek ends after reaching Khamdime from the southern part of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek. Khamdime is the end point of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek and starting point of road travel to Bhadrapur. From Bhadrapur, we fly back to Kathmandu, concluding the trek.
What to expect during the Kanchenjunga circuit trek
Firstly, the Kanchenjunga trekking region is a restricted area, and you cannot travel alone. You must choose a trekking company for a guided trek. Experienced guides of Mountain Routes make your trip easy.
The epic trek to Kanchenjunga Base camps can be a camping trek. However, camp trekking adds trek crew and the cost, respectively.
The trekking season you choose to go for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is a decisive factor that makes your trip an epic trek for a lifetime. However, trekking trails during Monsoon (June through August) is a risk factor because of the landslides and roadblocks.
Likewise, people move to the lower area during winter to avoid cold and snowfall. And the tea houses are also closed during that time. The Sele Le Pass remains blocked due to snowfall in the region.
October through November is the best time to trek the region as the weather is pleasant with clear blue skies and perfect weather. However, humid April to May is the second best time to trek the region. The mountain scenery is at its best.
Your entire accommodation is at tea houses for the entire route. The food items are primarily local and fresh from vegetable gardens. While you might find the same Nepali cuisine round the trip in the teahouses, you can ask for a change based on the available food. For example, you can ask for boiled water at tea houses at an additional cost or get yourself bottled water.
While trekking to the northern or southern part of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, you pass through the sections that are prone to landslides, where you need to be extra careful. In addition, some sections are steep and uphill, which tests your physical endurance. At places, you can go to a Buddhist temple, spin the prayer wheel, and add your prayer flags to the myriad of colorful prayer flags flying in the wind.
You should also be prepared for altitude sickness during the trip and inform your guide immediately. The professional guides can then help you to recover in time.
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Itinerary
Day 1 : Arriving at Kathmandu
On the first day of the trek, representatives from Mountain Routes will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your respective hotel. At the hotel, they will explain the trekking routes, schedule, and other important information regarding the trek. Then, you can spend your time either at a hotel or exploring the nearby places of the beautiful city of temples.
Day 2 : Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Trip Duration: 45 minutes
Today, we take a 45 minutes domestic flight to Bhadrapur from Kathmandu. While at Bhadrapur, we explore the town. At the same time, we will also prepare for our trek. Overnight stay at Bhadrapur.
Day 3 : Bhadrapur to Taplejung (2420 m) Trip Duration: 8-9 hours
On the third day of our Kanchenjunga trek, we travel by road from Bhadrapur to Taplejung. It takes approximately 8-9 hours while traveling through the Mechi highway. During the day trip, you can see dense forests and beautiful green hills of Illam along the way. Finally, we reach Suketar, Taplejung, and stay overnight.
Day 4 : Trek to Chhirwa (1185 m) Trip Duration: 6-7 hours
4th day marks the beginning of our actual trek. We start trekking from Suketar to Chhirwa, which takes about 6-7 hours. Today’s trail is downward, descending up to Chhirwa and passing through pastures, grassy plains, and small villages with stone huts on the way. We will also enjoy the excellent view of the Hungdewa and Tamur rivers. After continuing to walk further, we will reach Sinwa village and trek towards Tawa. We will also cross the suspension bridge at Thiwa, following the trail for some time. We finally reach our destination for today, Chhirwa. Chhirwa is a small Limbu village where we will be spending the night today.
Day 5 : Chirwa to Lelep (1860 m) Trip Duration: 7 hours
The 5th day of trekking starts from Chhirwa to Lelep, which takes about 7 hours. We will pass Tapethok on the way. The restricted area starts at Tapethok, and we must pass through a checkpoint. We will have lunch at Tapethok and continue our Trek to Lelep, where we will spend the night.
Day 6 : Lelep to Amjilosa (2510 m) Trip Duration: 5-6 hours
On the 6th day of our Kanchenjunga circuit trek, we trek from Lelep to Amjilosa. It takes us about 5-6 hours. The trek is a bit slippery, and a good pair of boots is what you need for the trek. We will pass through Lamatar along the way. Passing through various waterfalls along the way, we will significantly enjoy today’s trek. Overnight at Amjilosa.Amjilosa to Gyabla (2730 m)
Day 7 : Amjilosa to Gyabla (2730 m) Trip Duration: 5 hours
The 7th day of trekking starts from Amjilosa to Gyabla. The trail traverses through dense Rhododendron and oak forests. Along the path, we also cross many waterfalls and small villages. Along with the beautiful view of the mountains, we will also see occasional wildlife among the trees or on high slopes. Walking further along the trail, we finally reach Gyabla and stay overnight at Gyabla.
Day 8 : Gyabla to Ghunsa (3595 m) Trip Duration: 5 hours
On day eight of our trek, we travel from Gyabla to Ghunsa. It is a short trek, mostly on flat terrain, to reach Phole village. It is a Tibetan-style village, from where a steady climb leads to the small town of Ghunsa. The view from Ghunsa is astounding, and upon reaching there, we will roam around a bit, enjoying the view. Then, go to our lodges, and stay the night there. You might as well enjoy hot showers based on the availability of the service at an additional cost.
Day 9 : Acclimatization at Ghunsa
Our 9th day of the Kanchenjunga trek consists of acclimatizing at Ghunsa. We do this to better adapt to the climatic condition of the region. Furthermore, we explore its surrounding area to utilize this acclimatization day better. The natural beauty of the place and its surrounding, along with its cultural highlights, makes Ghunsa the best place for acclimatization.
Day 10 : Ghunsa to Khambachen (4100 m) Trip Duration: 4-5 hours
The 10th day of our trek consists of hiking from Ghunsa to Khambachen. But, first, we will trek north along the riverside.
Then, following the trail for some time, we slowly ascend through high-land trees and vegetation. We then reach Rampuk Kharka. At Rampuk Kharka, we cross across a beautiful waterfall. Next, following the trail, we reach Jannu and Khambachen. Overnight at Khambachen.
Day 11 : Khambachen to Lhonak (4785 m) Trip Duration: 4 hours
On the 11th day of our Kanchenjunga circuit trekking, we will trek from Khambachen to Lhonak. Today, we must cross a risky area – a landslide-prone area carefully. Then, we will walk along the river bank, crossing a beautiful waterfall and a bridge, before reaching Ramtang. Following the trail further, we finally reach Lhonak, where we will be spending the night.
Day 12 : Lhonak to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (4785 m), Back to Lhonak Trip Duration: 8-9 hours
Today, we will reach one of the Kanchenjunga – North base camps. We will walk along with the glaciers on the northern rides. Finally, the Buddhist prayer flags will guide us to the north base camp of Kanchenjunga.
The panoramic view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks is rewarding. After spending some time at the base camp and enjoying its fantastic view, we head back to Lhonak.
Day 13 : Lhonak to Ghunsa (3595) Trip Duration: 6 hours
From Lhonak, we will be heading to Ghunsa today. It will take us about 6 hours. We will follow the same trail we used while going up. Upon reaching Ghunsa, we will spend the night there.
Day 14 : Ghunsa to Sele Le (4200 m) Trip Duration: 4-5 hours
Today, we trek to Sele Le Pass. The trail is a steep one, with a gradual walk. Traversing through dense and beautiful Rhododendron and Juniper forests, we enjoy the view of Mt. Makalu in the distance throughout the walk. Having lunch on our way, we finally reach Sele Le.
Day 15 : Sele Le to Tseram (3868 m) Trip Duration: 6-7 hours
Day 15 marks the trek from Sele Le to Tseram, which takes about 6-7 hours. After walking for about 1 hour, we reach the bottom of Mirgin La pass and continue further. Next, we reach Sinion La pass. Then, walking further, we cross another pass. Taking packed lunch and water with us, we enjoy it along the way. Following the trail further, we come across some ponds. From there, we start to see Tseram. After walking for some time, we finally reach Tseram to spend the night.
Day 16 : Tseram to Ramche (4610 m); visit Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (), back to Ramche Trip Duration: 3 hours + 2 hours
Trekking from Tseram to Ramche takes us about 2 hours. First, we lunch at Ramche. Then, the trek from Ramche to Kanchenjunga South base camp begins. It takes us about 2 hours to reach. We spend some time at the Kanchenjunga South base camp, enjoying the stunning views of the majestic mountains. After that, we return to Ramche, which takes 2 hours. Overnight at Ramche.
Day 17 : Ramche to Torongten (2980 m) Trip Duration: 4-5 hours
On the 16th day of our Kanchenjunga circuit trek, we hike from Ramche to Torongten. Following the trail along the Simbhuwa Khola, we reach Torongten. The trail also traverses through some forests along the way. Upon reaching Torongten, we check into our lodge and have something hot to eat. Overnight at Torongten.
Day 18 : Torongten to Yamphuding (2080 m) Trip Duration: 7-8 hours
Today’s trek consists of trekking from Torongten to Yamphuding, which takes about 7-8 hours. Today’s trail passes along the tree-lined and green pastures on the slopes. Before reaching Lasiya Bhanjyang, we pass over a landslide-prone area on the trail. Finally, we reach Yamphuding, following the trail. Yamphuding has access to motor roads. Overnight at Yamphuding.
Day 19 : Yamphuding to Khebang (1910 m) Trip Duration: 5-6 hours
Day 19 of our Kanchenjunga circuit trek consists of trekking from Yamphuding to Khebang. It takes about 5-6 hours, and we walk through local villages and terrace fields. Today’s trail is less frequently used, so we walk through a more natural and unspoiled trail. Also, the locals are amicable and welcoming. We stay in a homestay in Khebang.
Day 20 : Khebang to Khamdime (1500 m) Trip Duration: 5-6 hours
Today, we will be trekking from Khebang to Khamdime, which takes about 6-7 hours. After reaching Khamdime, we will explore the place. Overnight at Khamdime.
Day 21 : Khamdime to Bhadrapur (91 m) Trip Duration: 10 hours
We will drive from Khamdime to Bhadraur, which takes 10 hours. The first few hours are an off-road drive, but after that, we will drive on a highway leading to Bhadrapur.
Day 22 : Bhadrapur to Kathmandu Trip Duration: 40 minutes
We will take a return flight from Bhadrapur to Kathmandu. We will then go to our hotels and freshen up. After that, we will go out to explore the beautiful city of Kathmandu. We will also do some shopping today, to take as a souvenir. At night, we can enjoy the fantastic nightlife of Thamel. A good night’s sleep is all that’s left for the day.
Day 23 : Departure
Today is the departure day. Our representatives will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at the airport.