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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the challenging and longest treks in Nepal, located in the far northeastern region of Nepal. The trek offers the adventure journey to discover the very less explored trails in the Himalayas and offers variations in landscapes from alpine grasslands to sub-tropical forests, low river valleys, glacial moraine, and rocky screed slopes.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the challenging and longest treks in Nepal, located in the far northeastern region of Nepal. The trek offers the adventure journey to discover the very less explored trails in the Himalayas and offers variations in landscapes from alpine grasslands to sub-tropical forests, low river valleys, glacial moraine, and rocky screed slopes. 

Kanchenjunga (8,586m) is the third highest mountain in the world and is also popularly known as the “Five Treasures of the Great Snow” i.e. Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Grain, and Holy Scriptures. This trek leads us to both Northern and Southern base camp of Kanchenjunga with the inclusive of all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), accommodation in best available teahouse lodges, services of trained, trusted, and professional Guides & Sherpa assistants including a team of strong and reliable porters.

The route lies inside the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) which is within the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. It has been designated as a conservation area in March 1998 and covers an area of 2,035 sq. km. The Kanchenjunga region is inhabited by a mixed community of Sherpa, Rai, Limbu, and Gurung, which provides an opportunity for trekkers to understand their culture and lifestyle. 

This trek offers the visit of both northern and southern base camps and takes 25 Days. However, it can be split into two programs and can complete individually in shorter days too.

Highlights of Trek

Duration 24 Nights/25Days
Grade 4+
Maximum Elevation 5,143m/16,869ft Pangpema (Kanchenjunga Northern Base Camp)
Mountains Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Mt. Yalung Kang (8,505m), Ramtang Peak (6,700m), Ghimmigela Chuli (The Twins, 7,350m), Nepal Peak (7,177m), Kirat Chuli (Tent Peak, 7,362m), Pathibhara Khas (Pyramid Peak, 7,140m), Mt. Kumbakarna (Jannu, 7711m)
Rivers Tamor River, Kabeli Khola, Simbuwa Khola, Ghunsa Khola, Amji Khola, Phawa Khola
Forests Rhododendron, Juniper, Larch, Pine Forests
Flights Kathmandu (KTM) – Bhadrapur (BDP) – Kathmandu (KTM)
Landscapes Hills and Mountains, Grasslands Plateau, Basins, Valleys
Warning Altitude Sickness (Above 3000)
Accommodation Star Category hotels in Kathmandu, Tourist standard lodges/teahouse lodge in Trekking

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon arrival at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, transfer to the hotel. After some refreshment, there will be a short briefing about the trek regarding the schedule, required trekking gears, services, and facilities we provided during the drive and trekking areas. 

The rest of the time is free for trekking preparation.

Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu. 

 

Day 02: Half-Day Sightseeing Tour and Trek Preparation. 

After breakfast, proceed for a half-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu City including the World Heritage Sites. It includes a tour of two sites among below: 

  • Pashupatinath Temple - the Temple of Lord Shiva situated on the bank of the holy Bagmati River. The temple is listed on a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu Durbar Square) - an ancient durbar (palace) with its numerous old palaces, temples, and pagodas, the Temple of Living Goddess “Kumari”, and the Kasthamandap Temple, which is believed to be constructed from the wood of a single tree from which Kathmandu derives its name.
  • Bouddhanath Stupa- an ancient colossal stupa and the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world
  • Swayambhunath Stupa - the oldest Buddhist stupa of Nepal and has numerous shrines and monasteries on its premises. It is also known as the “Monkey Temple”!!
  • Patan City - a city of 55 major temples, 136 Buddhist monasteries, and famous for the production of Thangka and Paubha Paintings.
  • Narayan Hiti Palace Museum
  • National Museum

The rest of the day is free for trekking preparation, such as trekking gear shopping, packing on a duffle bag, etc. Moreover, we will assist you to get Permits of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit, Restricted Area Permits of Kanchenjunga Area, and other permits if required. 

Eve: Trip briefing followed by welcome dinner at Authentic Nepali restaurant with cultural program.

Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu. (B, D)

 

Day 03: Fly to Bhadrapur – 45 min and drive to Taplejung (1,820m/5,970ft) – 220 Kms/8 hours

Timely, check out from the hotel and transfer to Kathmandu Domestic Airport to board an onward flight to Bhadrapur, Jhapa. 

Upon arrival in Bhadrapur, meet the awaiting vehicle and start to drive to Taplejung via Mechi Highway. En route, stop at Kanyam to explore the beautiful tea garden. Later, continue to drive through pristine landscapes of sloped tea gardens, thick natural forests. Then we head to Taplejung via Phidim with the Breathe taking and magnificent sceneries of the snowcapped White Mountains and lush green hills.

Overnight at a hotel in Taplejung. (B, L, D)

 

Day 04: Drive to Chirwa (1,270m/4,166ft) – 3~4 hours

In the morning time, after breakfast meets the trekking support team and gets ready for the drive toward Chirwa. Leaving Taplejung Bazar, we will drive towards Suketar and take downhill off-road via Mitlung, Sinwa, Tawa. 

We will enjoy the beautiful scenic beauties all along the trek. Upon arrival in Chirwa, check into the lodge and take a rest for the rest of the time. 

Overnight at a hotel in Taplejung. (B, L, D)

 

Day 05: Trek to Sekathum (1,576m/5,170ft) – 5 hours

After breakfast, start trek to Sekathum following the east bank of Tamor River. After a couple of hours, we will reach Taplethok (1,380m). There is a check-post where we need to show the permits of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project and Restricted Area Permit. Then, we will walk down to cross a suspension bridge over Tamor River and reach Phembu for lunch. After lunch, the trail ascends above Tamor River to Lelep (1,750m). Leaving Lelep, we will cross Tamor River and Simbuwa Khola and reach Sekathum (1,576m) via Hellok of Ghunsa Valley.

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Sekathum. (B, L, D)

 

Day 06: Trek to Amjilosa (2,308m/7,570ft) – 6 hours

Leaving Sekathum, we will follow Ghunsa Khola and head towards Amjilosa. The walking will be through a steep uphill trail on exposed terrain after we cross the Ghunsa River. After we reach Amjilosa, check into the lodge and explore the village following the interaction with Sherpa and Tibetan people. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Amjilosa. (B, L, D)

 

Day 07: Trek to Gyabla (2,730m/8,954ft) – 4 hours

Leaving Amjilosa, the trail goes with a short ascent to a ridge via rhododendron, oak, and bamboo forests. We descend towards Ghunsa Khola at a place called Thyanyani (2,405m). A short and beautiful nature walk across the waterfall leads us to Gyabla. The trail passes by crossing several streams and following the bank of Ghunsa River. Gyabla is also called Kyapra. The rest of the time is to exploring the village. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Gyabla. (B, L, D)

 

Day 08: Trek to Ghunsa (3,595m/11,792ft) – 5 hours

Leaving Gyabla, start trek towards Ghunsa through a broad meadow. The elevation is gradually increasing above 3,000m above sea level. The steady walk through the open valley and an easier path lead to beautiful yak pastures of Phale (3,140m). Phale is a Tibetan village, which is influenced by the Tibetan Buddhist culture, and it is famous for potato cultivation and beautiful monastery. This place is used for winter settlement by the villagers of Ghunsa. We will continue our trek through green fields and juniper larch forest to about 1.5 hours to reach Ghunsa Village. It is the largest village of this region with Sherpa Settlement. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Ghunsa. (B, L, D)

 

Day 09: Acclimatization Day at Ghunsa (3,595m/11,792ft)

Free day to acclimatize in Ghunsa to get adapted with the thinning air of higher elevation. On this day, we will hike to the hills near Ghunsa and explore the village and old Monastery with the scenic alpine surroundings and points of cultural interest.

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Ghunsa. (B, L, D)

 

Day 10: Trek to Khambachen (4,050m/13,284ft) – 7 hours

After breakfast, start trek to Khambachen through the pine forest path along the south bank of Ghunsa Khola and cross several bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and chortens. Then we trek along the east bank of the river and cross a wood stone bridge placed over it to reach Rambuk Kharka (3720m). The trail after Rampuk Kharka passes across the waterfall and is prone to landslide. From here, we can get splendid views of the north face of Mt. Kumbakarna (Jannu, 7711m). 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Khambachen. (B, L, D)

 

Day 11: Trek to Lhonak (4,780m/15,678ft) – 7 hours

The trail climbs up through an isolated landscape and rocky field to the beautiful pasture area of Ramtang (4350m). At Ramtang, we will explore Ramtang Monastery located near a waterfall. Kanchenjunga Glacier stars after passing Ramtang. We can see Ramdang Glacier too. The trail continues along the bank of the river to the confluence of Lhonak Glacier and Kanchenjunga Glacier. Crossing over the Lhonak Glacier, we will reach Lhonak which offers magnificent views of Chang Peak (Wedge Peak, 6802m)Mera Peak (6,364m)Nepal Peak (7,177m)Ghimmigela Chuli (The Twins, 7,350m), and many other peaks.

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Lhonak. (B, L, D)

 

Day 12: Hike to Pangpema (Kanchenjunga Northern Base Camp) (5,143m/16,869ft), and back to Lhonak– 7~8 hours

Early morning, we will hike to Kanchenjunga Base Camp following the trail along Kanchenjunga Glacier on the northern ridges via Jorkin (5,021m). Kanchenjunga Northern Base Camp is also called Pangpema by local people. Walking through the rocky trail in the line of the moraine, we can see the mesmerizing and impressive views of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Mt. Yalung Kang (8,505m), Ramtang Peak (6,700m), Ghimmigela Chuli (The Twins, 7,350m), Nepal Peak (7,177m), Kirat Chuli (Tent Peak, 7,362m), Pathibhara Khas (Pyramid Peak, 7,140m) and many snow-capped mountains bordering Nepal-India and Nepal- Tibet. 

With the good memories and collecting some good photographs, we will backtrack to Lhonak for about 3 hours.

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Lhonak. (B, L, D)

 

Day 13: Backtrack to Ghunsa (3,595m/11,792ft) - 8 hours

Early morning, we will descend to Ghunsa following the same route via Khambachen for about 8 hours. On the way, you will enjoy the mesmerizing mountain views along with the beauty of Glaciers and waterfalls. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Ghunsa. (B, L, D)

 

Day 14: Trek to High Camp (4,220m/13,842ft) – 5~6 hours 

From Ghunsa, we will follow the diversion towards Tseram, leaving the trail to Gyabla. The trail ascends a short, steep section to Sele La pass (4,290m) through the dense forests of Rhododendron, Juniper, Larch, etc. Crossing Sele La pass, we will descend to High camp. The area is well-positioned in a sheltered spot with wooden lodges and a small lake nearby.

Overnight at teahouse lodge at High Camp. (B, L, D)

 

Day 15: Trek to Tseram (3,870m) - 8 hours

Early Morning, we will start the trek from High camp following the trail ascend to Sinion La pass (4,440m). After a short steep climb through the hillside, we will reach to cross Mirgin La pass (4,480m). The trail then descends with a short walk and again ascends to the top of Sinelapcha La Pass (4,646m). At the time of climbing, we can witness the splendid views of Mt. Kumbakarna (Jannu, 7,711m), Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586m), and Mt. Kabru (7,414m) along with views of the Himalayan range. Later on, the trail descends to Anda Phedi (3,370m) to about 1200m passing a small Lake, Chhuchung Pokhari. 

Then, we further ascend to Tseram following Sumbuwa Khola. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Tseram. (B, L, D)

 

Day 16: Trek to Oktang (4,730m) via Ramche (4,580m/15,023ft) – 7~8 hours

Early morning, we will start trek to Oktang en-route stops at Ramche for Lunch. The trail climbs into the valley alongside the moraine of the Yalung glaciers. Oktang is a view point of Kanchenjunga Massifs which are above 8,400m. This place provides a view of the South-west face of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m). It offers the view of east-straddle peaks of the Nepal-India Border including Koktang (6,148m), Rathong (6,682m), Kabru massif above 7,000m, Mt. Kumbakarna (Jannu, 7,711m), and many other peaks.   

Later, return to Ramche. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Ramche. (B, L, D)

 

Day 17: Trek to Tortong Torangden (2,995m/9,824ft) – 6 hours 

Retracing the trail, we will trek via Tseram towards Tortong relishing the view of different mountain ranges and herds of blue sheep over the grassy slope. From Anda Phedi, we descend towards Tortong through the densely forested path filled with rhododendrons and bushes. We also stumble across a few streams, Chortens, monasteries, ponds, and waterfalls on our way to Tortong. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Tortong Torangde. (B, L, D)

 

Day 18: Trek to Yampudin (2,080m/6,824ft) – 7~8 hours

This day, you will descend to the lower altitude. Leaving Tortong, the trail climbs up through the mossy forest to reach the pass of Lasiya Bhanjyang (Lamite Bhanjyang, 3,310m) descents to the Amji Khola. We must walk carefully as it is a landslide-prone trail. 

After crossing the river, we descend down to Dhupi Bhanjyang (2,620m). Further walking downhill for a couple of hours along the ridge, we will reach the mixed community of Sherpa, Limbu, Rai, and Gurung called Yamphudin. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Yamphudin. (B, L, D)

 

Day 19: Trek to Phumphe Danda (1,858m/6,095ft) - 5 hours

From Yamphudin, the trail descends steeply to the Kabeli Khola. After crossing the river, we will reach the village of Mamankhe (1,785m). Then, the trail descends to the Khaksewa Khola and then climbs to the village of Phumphe which is on the ridge of Tarebhir Danda. This is also the route of Limbu Cultural Trek. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Phumphe Danda. (B, L, D)

 

Day 20: Trek to Kunjari (2,130m/6,987ft) – 8 hours

Leaving the Phumphe village, the trail follows the route of Limbu Cultural trek route with an ascent to a ridge and descends to Yangpang with the beauty of waterfalls. The trail will pass through a series of valleys and villages and ascends to Sincheburi Bhanjyang via Khesewa (2,120m). Crossing the pass, the trail descends steeply to the Limbu Village of Kunjari. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Kunjari. (B, L, D)

 

Day 21: Trek to Suketar (2,420m/7,938ft) - 7~8 hours 

This is the final day of trekking. Leaving Kunjari, the trail descends to Phawa Khola and then climbs to Tembewa via Simbu Village. The trail continues ascends to Surke Danda through the terraced fields and dense forest. Walking downhill for a couple of hours, we will reach Suketar. In the evening, there will be a small gratitude event with some tips and gratuities. 

Overnight at teahouse lodge at Suketar. (B, L, D)

 

Day 22: Drive to Bhadrapur

After breakfast, check out from the lodge and start to drive to Bhadrapur via Mechi Highway enjoying the view of green hills, snow-capped mountains, rivers, tea gardens, and daily activities of the locals throughout the ride.

Overnight at a hotel in Bhadrapur. (B, L, D)

 

Day 23: Fly back to Kathmandu – 45 mins

Timely checkout from the hotel and transfer to Bhadrapur Domestic Airport to board an onward flight to Kathmandu to about 45 mins with the pleasant view of Himalayan Ranges including Kanchenjunga-Makalu-Everest-Rolwaling-Langtang massif. 

Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu. (B, L, D)

 

Day 24: Contingency Day

If the plan goes smooth with the flight on the required day/time, this day will be a free day in Kathmandu for leisure activities or sightseeing tours (on your own), last-minute shopping, bag packing, etc. On request, we will arrange a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu.

Eve: Group Farewell dinner at authentic Nepali Restaurant in Kathmandu. 

Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu. (B, L, D)

 

Day 25: Final Departure

Timely transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport to board an onward flight to home country 3 hours earlier to the scheduled flight departing time. We wish you a happy journey during your flight from Nepal to your home country with the hope to see you on your next visit to Nepal. (Meals Included: Breakfast)

Team Member

  • All arrival and departures transfer will be assisted by the Tour Escorts. 
  • All the sightseeing tours in Kathmandu will be accompanied by an experienced English Speaking Tour Guide or any other language specialist on demand.
  • During the trekking, a government-certified Trekking Guide will be with the group for the trek arrangements. 
  • One local guide to interpret languages with the local community. 
  • On a trek, porters will carry a duffel bag of 2 porters and ranges up to a maximum of 30 Kg/ 60 lbs. Guests are expected to carry only a small rucksack while walking to carry all the essentials such as water bottles, extra jackets, cameras, pack lunch, etc. 

 

Transportation

  • All arrival and departure transfers, ground transport will be provided in an A/c private vehicle.
  • Round Trip of Kathmandu/Bhadrapur/Kathmandu on a domestic flight.
  • Drive from Bhadrapur-Taplejung and Suketar-Bhadrapur will be on a private 4WD Jeep. 
  • (If you wish to use the local transport, there will be changes on the time and the stopover location than mentioned above. This will be the customized trek, so the final itinerary will be prepared according to the demand of trekkers.)

                                            

Accommodation & Food

  • For four nights in Kathmandu, there will be star-categorized hotels depending upon the choice of guests. 
  • Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • At Taplejung, Suketar, and Bhadrapur, there will be tourist standard lodges which are based on availability)
  • During trekking, we provide accommodation service on-mountain teahouse lodges. At the higher elevation, the lodges are seasonal, so we do pre-booking with the help of a local guide who will be leading us on this trek. During the season, the local community operates small huts for catering services at all the stop-over points. Timing for breakfast, lunches, dinner can be more or fewer changes due to the availability of lodges or the guest preferences.
  • There will be a fixed menu for meals i.e. Nepalese Meal Set (Dal Bhat) in some places mostly at a higher elevation. 
  • Guests having any specific meal dietary requirements should inform us in advance.
  • Meals are listed as above in Itinerary. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

 

Itinerary

We request you to view the Itinerary and information herein as a guideline. The information provided in the itinerary is to the best of our knowledge, marginal variances in the actual distances and altitudes are possible. Weather conditions, roadblocks, local political conditions, flight cancellations, mechanical breakdowns, or other such unforeseeable circumstances can lead to a change in itinerary or means of transport.

 

Insurance

It is important to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy against illness, hospitalization, flight delays, and loss of luggage, cancellations, and amendments due to weather conditions, political disturbances, or natural calamities as well as emergency helicopter evacuation. Before purchasing Travel Insurance, please ensure that the policy covers adventure activities and or trekking activity at around 3,000m. 

 

Fitness

The trek is easy to trek all groups of trekkers as well as for beginners. This trek involves walking 5-6 hours daily while ascending whereas, on returning, the trek will skip one camp). Previous walking experience at high altitudes is beneficial. The highest altitude that we attain on this trek is 5,143m/16,869ft Pangpema (Kanchenjunga Northern Base Camp) . Physical fitness is essential & previous walking experience outdoor is essential.

 

Basic infrastructure

The trekking area will lack an electricity facility and telephone network. We recommend you carry additional batteries for Cameras, or a Solar power bank to charge smartphones. The trek leader will carry a Satellite phone to communicate at offices in Kathmandu in case of any emergencies. 

 

Documents and Permits

Kanchenjunga Region is a restricted area as declared by the Government of Nepal. Thus you need a special restricted area permit to trek in this region. In order to get the permits, you are required to submit a copy of the passport, and original passport with visa stamp, passport size photos, etc. The permit can be obtained within 4-5 hours by the trekking agency only from Immigration Department. The permit is issued only for the group trekkers (minimum 2 trekkers). Permits are issued on weekly basis.

Some of the Permits required for this trek are as follows:

  1. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Entry Permit (KCAP) - NPR 2,000 per person. 
  2. Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) USD 20 per person per week (for the first 4 weeks)

Suraj Bhattarai

I discovered my passion on travel and Tourism Sector and had started to write travel blogs since 2018 with the aim to promote the Tourism of Nepal in national and international level of tourism market. I am also a government certified Trekking Guide of Nepal.

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