Unlike other popular trekking destinations in Nepal, Kanchenjunga trek route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp has not been explored much. It was open to trekking in 1988, but does not see many trekkers. This challenging trekking trial in Nepal provides you an opportunity to observe the unexplored traditional culture and lifestyle of the locals. Throughout the Kanchenjunga trek you’ll discover variations in landscapes from alpine grasslands to subtropical forests, low river valley, glacial moraine, and rocky scree slopes. This beautiful region is know that the Kanchenjunga also home to various wildlife, flora and fauna.
Kanchenjunga trek route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp passes through the Arun valley. During this trek, you’ll also pass Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) which covers an area of 2035 square kilometers. It might be interesting to Conservation Area Project is the first ever project that is being managed by local community stewards since September 2006.
The springtime from March to May, and the dry months of September through December would be recommended as the best time period to go for Kanchenjunga trek.
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
Spread over 2035 sq. km. in Taplejung district, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) lies in the northeast corner of Nepal. Taplejung district itself is very well renowned for high peaks and glaciers. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is home to numerous wildlife species and a mosaic of ethnic groups. If luck is in your favor, you might get to encounter wildlife species like musk deer, Himalayan black deer, blue sheep. Snow leopard, etc.
Twenty three species of rhododendrons are identified growing in the area alone and the rich forests are found to be accommodating more than 250 species of birds and endangered wildlife. This area also offers unique attributes like Himalayan larch and extensive juniper forests. The entire area is filled with the various ethnic communities living together who depend on traditional subsistence lifestyles.
Having unique mountain ecosystems, the KCA is envisioned as a tri-national peace park with Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China to the north and Sikkim, India, in the east. Also, another thing you need to know about this conservation area is that it was declared as a “Gift to the Earth” by the Government of Nepal. This was a part of WWF’s Living Planet Campaign 2000.
Also, Kanchenjunga was formally designated as a conservation area in the year 1998. Again, after 9 years, the Government of Nepal decided to handle KCA to the local communities. This historic movement made it the first protected area to be managed by local community stewards in September 2006. Although the trek to KCA sound lengthy and tiring, the journey is very exciting and is one of the must-live experiences of life.
Kanchenjunga Trek Map
This Kanchenjunga region, one of the most thrilling places in Nepal, is a true gift to your eyes and soul. Throughout the Kanchenjunga trek you’ll be treated with beautiful alpine grasslands, rocky outcrops, dense temperate, sub-tropical forests and low river valley.
Apart from mount Kanchenjunga itself, there are other four summits exceeding 8,000m, one of them being Kanchenjunga West. In addition, there are also approximately twenty peaks exceeding 7,000m. Few of them are Kambachen (7,903m), Janu (7,710), Jongsong (7,483) and Kabru (7,353m).
Along with these peaks, there are five beautiful glacial systems. Of these, three glacial systems flow into Sikkim and the remaining two flow into the Tamor river of Nepal.
kanchenjunga Trek Itinerary
As one of the most difficult trekking routes, not more than 1000 tourists visit Kanchenjunga base camp in a year. Compared to which, on an average more than 30,000 tourists trek to Everest Base Camp per year. Along with challenging landscapes comes the perks of thrilling heights and breathtaking sceneries.
The Kanchenjunga Trek team at High Camp Adventures has developed four different itineraries depending on the preferences of the tourists and level of difficulty. These Kanchenjunga trek itineraries range from 15 to 24 days for the treks and carefully includes adequate time to acclimatize.
You can choose from various options to start your trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Here are a few of the most preferred options:
Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by Flight
If you are travelling on a tight schedule, this might be the best option for you. The flight duration from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur is approximately 1 hour and twenty minutes. On reaching Bhadrapur, we take a 45 minute jeep ride to Birtamod. It’s an overnight stay at Birtamod and about 10 hours bus ride to Taplejung on the next morning.
Kathmandu to Biratnagar by Flight
Another option is to take a flight to Biratnagar. Upon reaching Biratnagar, we take a bus to Taplejung, which is about 2 days ride. If you want to explore Ilam on the way, you can take a jeep from Biratnagar to Ilam and head towards taplejung on the next day.
Kathmandu to Suketar Airport
Suketar airport is located between Biratnagar and Taplejung. The flights to this airport are not scheduled in frequent manner. Due to this, this option is rarely used.
Itinerary for Kanchenjunga base Camp Trek
Itinerary 1: Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Itinerary 2: Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Itinerary 3: Kanchenjunga Circuit South to North Base Camp Itinerary
Itinerary 4: Kanchenjunga Circuit North to South Base Camp Itinerary
Here we will be introducing you to the two most popular routes i.e. itinerary 1 and itinerary 2.
Itinerary 1: Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Itinerary
On the first day of this Kanchenjunga trek, we take a flight to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur. During this 45 minute flight, you can enjoy the majestic view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. Upon reaching Bhadrapur, we take a private jeep to Birtamod. The drive from Bhadrapur to Birtamod is approximately 40 minutes. Stay overnight at Birtamod and take a bus to Taplejung on the next morning.
On the second day of the trip, we head towards Taplegunj by local bus. The travel time by bus will be about 8 to 10 hours. Overnight stay at Taplejung.
Next morning, we head towards Simbu. After a long bus ride of 8 hours, we move towards Kanchenjunga South. As we walk, we pass by beautiful terrace fields and forests. Overnight stay at Simbu.
On the fourth day of the trip, we move towards Khesewa. This trekking route will be similar to Simbu. We will pass by beautiful terrace fields, local shops, etc. Overnight stay at Khesewa.
Today we move towards Mamangkhe which is a 5-6 hrs walk from Khesewa. Mamangkhe is a heart of Limbu, Rai, and Kirat cultural region. We can visit the museum and cultural center in Mamangkhe. Some people choose to trek upto Mamangkhe and return back. This is why this trek is also called the Limbu Cultural Trial.
On the sixth day of the trek, we trek from Mamangkhe to Yamphuding, the biggest village in the south side of Kanchenjunga. You’ll be provided with enough time to rest in Yamphuding.
Getting enough rest at Yamphuding helps your body with acclimatizing. Today, we just spend the day exploring the village and interacting with the locals.
Today is going to be a long day. On the 8th day, we trek from Yamphudung to Tortong, which is a 9 hours walk. This trial takes you through yak pastures and dense forests in few areas.
On the ninth day of the trek, we move towards Cheram. This is a 4-5 hours trek from Yamphuding. This will be a short and relaxing walk with nice view of forest and mountains.
Finally we have a 3 hours trek from Cheram to Ramche. Upon reaching Ramche, we have our lunch and move towards Kanchenjunga South base Camp. This is a 2 hours trek. Stay overnight at Ramche.
Today will be a bit easier day of Kanchenjunga trek. The trek will move towards Torongding from Ramche through 6-7 hours descending trek. The ascending trek will be from the pass at Cheram.
The trip from Torongding to Yamphuding will be of 7-8 hours trek with frequent ascends and descends. Yamphuding is the biggest village in the south side of Kanchenjunga.
Today we move towards a low hill trek to reach Khebang to Yamphuding. This is a trail that has rarely been used. Few homestay options are available here.
Today we move towards Kamdime, which is a 6-7 hours trek from Khebang.
On the 15th day of this Kanchenjunga trek, we drive from Kamdime to Birtamod. This is an approximately 14 hour drive.
Today we drive back to Bhadrapur (Airport) and then fly back to Kathmandu.
Itinerary 2: Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Day 1: On the first day of this Kanchenjunga trek, we take a flight to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur. During this 45 minute flight, you can enjoy the majestic view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. Upon reaching Bhadrapur, we take a private jeep to Birtamod. The drive from Bhadrapur to Birtamod is approximately 40 minutes. Stay overnight at Birtamod and take a bus to Taplejung on the next morning.
Day 2: On the second day of this Kanchenjunga trek, we head towards Taplegunj by local bus. The travel time by bus will be about 8 to 10 hours. Overnight stay at taplejung.
Day 3: Today will be the start of the trek. The trek from Taplejing to Chirwa will be of 6-7 hours. We will have lunch in Sinwa.
Day 4: Now the trek will move towards Lelep. The trek from Chirwa to Lelep is about 5-6 hours. We will be passing by Tapethok from which the restricted area starts. Since there are no hotels until Lelep, we will be having our meals here.
Day 5: On the fifth day, we move towards Amjilosa which is 5 hours trek from Lelep. Tis trail includes a series of waterfalls.
Moving towards Gyabla from Amjilosa, you’ll encounter Tibetan locals and Yaks. Lunch will be served at Thangyem.
Today we move towards Ghunsa, the capital of Kanchenjunga. It is a large Sherpa village with a very old monastery. The distance from Gyabla to Ghunsa is about 4 hours walk. On the way to Ghunsa, we pass by Phole where we’ll be having our lunch and can also buy interesting souvenirs.
Today we will be acclimatizing in Ghunsa. We can opt for a hike to a nearby ridge for the majestic view of Jannu Peak.
Now the trek will move towards Kambachen. The trial to this 6 hours trek does not offer any tea houses o hotels, so packed lunches needs to be taken.
This is another day to acclimatize. We will be spending the day resting and enjoying the views.
On the 11th day of the trek, we will be heading towards Lhonak. This is a 5 hours trek from Kambachen. This trail includes Wilde valley next to the glacier with beautiful views on both sides. The trail starts getting rough from here.
Today we head towards Pangpema from Lhonak. This 3 hours long trail is very well formed. After having lunch in Pangpema, we can spend a few hours in the Kanchenjunga North Face and then return to Lhonak.
Today we move back from Lhonak to Ghunsa. It is an 8 hours walk, mostly downhill.
The downhill trek continues from Ghunsa to Amjilosa. This is a 7 hours downhill trek.
The trek from Amjilosa to tapethok is again a 7 hours downhill trek. We move out of the restricted area of Kanchenjunga.
Trek towards Mitlung from Tapethok after walking for 6-7 hours.
Today we reach Taplejung after a steep climb of 4 hours. From here, we can take either a private transportation or take a local bus. We'll have to stay overnight at Taplejung if we take a local bus.
We take a local early early in the morning. The drive from Taplejung to Birtamod is about 8 to 10 hours.
From Birtamod, we head towards Bhadrapur in a private jeep and fly back to Kathmandu.
Kanchenjunga Trek Cost
The cost for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek varies on the package and the type of itinerary you choose. Normally the package covers basic facilities such as airport pick up and drop, a licensed guide, meals during the trek, lodging and accommodations, etc. Expenses such as accommodation and meals in Kathmandu, bar and beverage bills, laundry, internet etc. are not covered in the Kanchenjunga trek package cost.
Other Major trek in the region:Lumba Sumba Pass Trek
If we are talking about the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, how can we miss the Lumba Sumba Pass Trek? This beautiful trek route was recently discovered by the Government of Nepal. The trek to this region begins from Phoomling, which is a seven hours’ drive from Bhadrapur. Through Lumba Sumba Pass Trek, trekkers will be taken from Kanchenjunga to Makalu through Lumba Sumba Pass trail. This is a three week trek.
The major attraction of this trek is the Lumba Sumba Peak (5200 m) itself. Makalu Barun National Park also lies in this trekking trail. Along with natural beauty,the trekkers will also have the opportunity to see different birds and wildlife species, including the endangered snow leopard and red panda.
If you are planning for an adventurous trip to Nepal, quite like Kanchenjunga trek, you should definitely go for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. High Camp Adventure is a travel and tourism agency in Kathmandu that specializes in conducting trekking in various destinations all over Nepal. With its years of experience in this sector, the agency has been able to maintain its goodwill in terms of safety, reliability, advanced equipment, experienced staff and guides, etc. Acclimatizing has always been a challenge for trekkers and High Camp Adventure assures you that your guide and other support members (if any) will be equipped for the various climates you will experience, ensuring everyone’s safety and enjoyment. To book your trip to Kanchenjunga Base Camp, please feel free to contact High Camp Adventure.