Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga Trek: Unveiling the "King of Guardians" and the Enchanting Himalayas

Overview

The Kanchenjunga Trek isn’t just a trek; it’s an odyssey into the heart of the eastern Himalayas, a chance to conquer a challenging route and witness the grandeur of the world’s third-highest mountain  Kanchenjunga, revered as the “King of Guardians” by locals. This trek offers a unique blend of remote beauty, cultural immersion, and the thrill of high-altitude adventure.

The Kanchenjunga Trek begins in Kathmandu, Nepal’s bustling capital. After acquiring permits and acclimatization, you’ll fly to a local airstrip, kicking off your adventure into a hidden world. Lush valleys adorned with prayer flags give way to dramatic landscapes sculpted by glaciers and crowned with snow-capped peaks. Witness the mighty Kanchenjunga massif dominating the horizon, its five distinct peaks piercing the clear blue sky.

A Journey Through Untamed Beauty and Cultural Delights

The Kanchenjunga Trek offers a unique off-the-beaten-path experience. The trail winds through charming villages inhabited by the Limbu people, known for their rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality. Stay in traditional teahouses, adorned with intricate wood carvings, and savor delicious local delicacies. Interact with the locals, learn about their way of life, and witness their age-old customs and traditions passed down through generations.

A Test of Willpower and a Celebration of Spirit:

The Kanchenjunga Trek is renowned for its challenging terrain. The high altitude (reaching up to 5,143 meters or 16,873 ft) demands a good level of fitness, a strong sense of adventure, and proper acclimatization. Each day unfolds with moderate hikes, rest days, and breathtaking viewpoints, allowing your body to adjust to the thinning air and prepare for the challenges ahead. Traverse through dense rhododendron forests, cross suspension bridges over roaring rivers, and navigate through serene valleys dotted with glacial lakes.

Following in the Footsteps of Explorers: Visiting Base Camps

Depending on the chosen itinerary, the Kanchenjunga Trek offers the opportunity to visit both the North and South Base Camps of Kanchenjunga. The North Base Camp, nestled in the lap of glaciers, offers a breathtaking perspective of the mountain’s formidable north face. The South Base Camp, adorned with prayer flags and dotted with yak herder settlements, provides a unique glimpse into the lives of those who call this challenging environment home.

A Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts:

The Kanchenjunga Trek isn’t just about mountain views. As you traverse diverse ecological zones, keep your eyes peeled for a vibrant tapestry of flora and fauna. Spot colorful birds like pheasants and the elusive Himalayan monal soaring through the crisp mountain air. Look out for various rhododendron species in bloom, painting the hillsides with vibrant hues. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the endangered red panda or the majestic Himalayan musk deer, testaments to the region’s unspoiled wilderness.

A Rewarding Challenge and Unforgettable Memories:

The Kanchenjunga Trek is a demanding adventure, but the rewards are unparalleled. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel upon reaching a high camp or completing the trek is unmatched. You’ll not only conquer challenging terrain but also immerse yourself in a unique culture and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas in their raw and pristine form. This trek will leave you with a profound sense of achievement and memories that will stay with you forever.

Detail Itinerary

Upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, our team will warmly greet you and ensure a seamless transfer to your hotel. Once you've checked in, take some time to relax and rejuvenate. In the evening, join us for a delightful welcome dinner hosted by Touching Mountain Treks. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow travelers and kick off your Nepal journey on a memorable note. Enjoy your overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Today, we'll start our day with a delightful breakfast before delving into a guided tour of Kathmandu's rich historical and spiritual landmarks. Our itinerary includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the iconic Durbar Square, the revered Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath), and the impressive Bouddhanath Buddhist shrine, renowned as one of the largest stupas globally.

At noon, we'll gather for a pre-trip discussion where we'll meet our trek leader and fellow team members. Touching Mountain Treks will provide us with a detailed briefing about our upcoming trek, giving us the opportunity to ask any questions and ensuring we're fully prepared for the adventure ahead. We'll spend the night in Kathmandu, ready to kickstart our trekking journey.

Today, our journey starts with a domestic flight from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to Bhadrapur's Chandragadhi Airport, which takes approximately 45 to 50 minutes. From Bhadrapur, we'll continue our trip by taking a local jeep ride through Kanyam, enjoying views of tea plantations along the way. Our route follows the Mechi Highway from Kanyam towards Taplejung or Illam, which serve as the starting points for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

We'll have breakfast and then hop on a local jeep to start our journey towards Sekathum, our destination for the day. While many trekkers usually walk from Taplejung to Sekathum, we're taking advantage of local services and shortening our itinerary, getting to Sekathum two days ahead of the usual trekking schedule. Our ride will pass through Mitlung, Chirwa, Thapethok, Lelep, and various other villages along the Tamor Nadi. Along the route, we'll encounter the entry point to Kanchenjunga National Park, where our permits will be checked before we're allowed to proceed towards Sekathum.

After a two-day drive, our trekking adventure commences with a hearty breakfast in Sekathum. We'll start by ascending alongside the Ghunsa Khola, crossing several bridges, and immersing ourselves in the lush greenery of the region. Along the way, we'll pass through charming villages like Jonggim and Ghaiyabari before reaching our destination, Amjilosa.

After breakfast in Amjilosa, we proceed towards Gyabla, also called Kyapra, along the Kanchenjunga Trail. Our journey takes us through dense forests and trails devoid of human settlements. If luck favors us, we might catch sight of Red Pandas during this leg of the hike. As we tackle uphill stretches, we're rewarded with breathtaking mountain views and encounters with several waterfalls along the route. Eventually, we arrive at the picturesque Gyabla village, taking in the serene surroundings as we make our way there.

We traverse through lush woodlands teeming with diverse plant and animal life until we reach Phale village. Moving steadily on our trek, we eventually arrive at Ghunsa village. While many trekkers take a break here for acclimatization, our schedule includes an acclimation day at Khambachen.

After breakfast, we'll start our gentle climb through an expansive pine forest, where we might catch glimpses of blue sheep and elusive snow leopards. The path takes us through areas prone to landslides. Along the way, we're treated to breathtaking views of Mt. Jannu and traverse through verdant glacier valleys until we arrive at Khambachen village.

After days of trekking, we take a break in Khambachen to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude. During this time, we embark on a brief hike to explore nearby glaciers, viewpoints, and lakes. Khambachen is a hub where we encounter many fellow trekkers, some returning from the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp while others are on their way there.

We continue along the Kanchenjunga glacier trail, where we often encounter fellow trekkers during the peak trekking season heading to or returning from the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. Passing through Ramdang, we come upon the Ramdang Monastery. As we progress on the challenging trail, we reach the junction of the Lhonak and Kanchenjunga glaciers. Continuing onward, we arrive at the small settlement of Lhonak, which offers a handful of teahouses for accommodation.

Our agenda for today includes trekking to the north base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga, commonly referred to as Pang Pema. We'll ascend gradually, tracing the moraines along the trail until we reach Kanchenjunga Base Camp. The sight of prayer flags fluttering around and the awe-inspiring presence of the majestic third-highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga, serve as a rewarding culmination to several days of trekking. Afterward, we'll return to Lhonak for an overnight stay.

After savoring the Himalayan vistas and bidding farewell to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, we follow the same path back and reach Ghunsa. The Kanchenjunga trail leaves us with memories of trekking past stone huts, towering mountain peaks, rocky fields alongside the trails, and areas prone to rock falls.

Upon reaching Sele Le and deviating from the Gyabla trail, we enter dense forests where sightings of snow leopards are possible. Along this path, we encounter isolated human settlements with a few teahouses, typically open during the peak trekking season. In times of heavy snowfall, the route to the South Base Camp can become impassable until Sekathum, with no alternate pathways available. However, if the teahouses are closed but the passes remain accessible, it's possible to reach Tseram in a single day, thereby shortening our planned itinerary by a day.

After crossing Sele Le Pass, our trek takes us to high-altitude passes like Sinion La (4440m | 2758ft), Mirgin La (4480m | 2783ft), and Sinelapche Bhanjyang (4645m | 2886ft). As we ascend, we're treated to breathtaking panoramic views of Mt. Jannu, Everest, Makalu, Baruntse, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga. Following our descent, we reach Tseram, where we will spend the night.

Today, we begin our day with an early breakfast and continue our journey through the Yalung glacier, gradually ascending and drawing closer to breathtaking vistas. Along the way, we pass by the Yalung, which offers views of Rathong (6682m) and Kabru (7412m), and stop for lunch at Ramche. Afterward, we hike to Oktang/Okhordung, a viewpoint overlooking either Yalung Base Camp or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Here, we delight in the closer view of the three summits of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8420m, 8586m, and 8474m) as well as other towering peaks, exploring this relatively untouched and less-explored Kanchenjunga Base Camp. We then return to Tseram to conclude our day.

As we leave the towering snow-capped mountains behind, the serene ambience of the rhododendron forests surrounds us. Our trek begins with a descent, winding through the Simbuwa Khola and offering enchanting views of the Himalayas along the way. Eventually, we reach Tortong, where we will spend the night.

Starting from Tortong, we continue our descent towards the Amji Khola, traversing through Lasiya/Lamite Bhanjyang (3415m) and Dhupi Bhanjyang (2665m). Passing through areas of steep slopes, we arrive at Yamphudin village. Here, there's a checkpost for the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area where our permits are verified, especially if we began our trek from Kanchenjunga South Base Camp initially.

Following breakfast in Yamphudin, we set out to discover stunning landscapes along the trails, trekking alongside the Kabeli Khola pathway. As we bid farewell to the mountain villages, we embark on a drive to Kanyam, a picturesque area enveloped by tea gardens. En route to Kanyam, we pass by cardamom and tea plantations, visible through our windows. Transitioning from the bitter but rewarding memories of high-altitude trekking, we now find ourselves in the lowlands. Kanyam attracts many local tourists due to its popularity as a destination with tea gardens.

After enjoying breakfast, we'll take some time to explore the lush green tea cultivation areas. Following this, we'll embark on a 2–3-hour drive to Bhadrapur. In the late afternoon, we'll board a 45 to 50-minute flight from Bhadrapur to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, we'll assist you to your hotel.

Today is the culmination of our amazing adventure in Nepal! A knowledgeable guide from Touching Mountain Treks will accompany you to the airport, ensuring we arrive about three hours before your flight. During our journey back home, we'll have ample time to reflect on our unforgettable experiences and begin dreaming about our next adventure in this captivating country of Nepal.

Price Includes

  • Airport Pickup and drop service during both international and domestic flight
  • All necessary trekking permits
  • Hotel in Kathmandu for 3 nights
  • Sight seeing as per Itinerary , with Tour guide, Entrance fee and Transportation.
  • All accommodations during the trek
  • Meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) during the trek
  • Government Licensed and first aid-trained trekking guide
  • Salary, food, equipment, and insurance of the trekking Guide
  • Porter to carry your bag, 1 porter for 2 trekkers (20 Kg total)
  • Privet Jeep / Bus (Bhadrapur – Illam / Taplejung – Sekathum and Yamphudin – Kanyam – Bhadrapur airport)
  • Flight From Kathmandu – Bhadrapur, and Bhadrapur – Kathmandu
  • First aid kit with basic medication
  • Official expense, all local and government tax and VAT.

Price Excludes

  • International flight tickets and Nepal entry visa
  • Travel and health Insurance which cover Emergency Rescues and evacuations, Highly Recommended.
  • During trekking time personal expenses, snacks, Beer, coke, juice, water, WI-FI, Tea / Coffee etc.
  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Tips for treks guide and porter (it is expected)
  • Any extra nights or activities if any causes.

Equipment List

General Gears

  • Four-season (zero degree) sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Puffy down jacket
  • Daypack (35-45 liters recommended) with rain cover

Upper_body Gears

  • Sun hat or cap
  • Scarf/Neck Gaiter
  • Headlight
  • Sunglasses

Gears

  • Technical fabric base layer (light for warmer months, heavy for colder months)
  • Technical fabric short (2) and long sleeve (2) shirts
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Fleece jacket or pullover

Lower Body

  • Technical fabric base layer (light for warmer months, heavy for colder months)
  • Hiking pants (2)
  • Comfortable pants for inside the teahouses
  • Hiking shorts

Hand Gears

  • Wool or technical fabric liner gloves
  • Hard-shell outer gloves (insulated for colder months)

Feet Gears

  • Wool or technical fabric warm socks
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks (optional such as silk)
  • Trekking/hiking boots (waterproof recommended)
  • Casual shoes
  • Gaiters (lightweight for dust or heavy for snow in colder months)

Undergarments Gears

        Note: The quantity of each article of clothing can be adjusted to suit the preferences of each
                 participant.

  •  Technical fabric/quick drying is best for underwear
  • Sports bras (women)
  • Pajamas or sleeping clothes

First Aid Kits and Medications

       (Note: Our Company Guides carry medications and first aid kits during the trip. However,
                  personal kits and medications are highly recommended.)

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • ointment
  • Cough Syrup (recommend for Khumbu Cough)
  • Mosquito repellent cream (for Kathmandu and Phakding)

Other Essentials

  • Passport
  • Extra copies of passport-sized photos
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Toiletry kits
  • Water purification tablets or UV water purifier (if you plan to treat water)
  • Hydration bladder
  • Towel
  • Pillowcase
  • Toilet paper
  • High protein snacks (such as protein bars or nuts)
  • Waterproof/dry bags for carrying important documents and money
  • Airline tickets (Please leave a copy at our office in Kathmandu. This can be useful if there is a
    change in the date of the flight.)

Optional

        Once you are in Nepal, you have the option to purchase supplies and gear for hiking if you have
          spare time. Our guide will assist you in buying the equipment..

  • Power bank or extra batteries
  • Cameras and mobile phone
  • Cards/book
  • Binoculars
  • Pee bottle/ pee funnel for women
  • Trekking poles
  • Whistle
  • Thermos for hot water

FAQ

The Kanchenjunga Trek is considered to be a strenuous and demanding trek that requires a high level of physical fitness, stamina, and previous trekking experience in high altitudes.

The best time to do the Kanchenjunga Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is clear, and the views are spectacular.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp is located at an altitude of approximately 5,143 meters above sea level, providing trekkers with breathtaking views of the mountain.

Along the Kanchenjunga Trek route, there are basic tea houses, lodges, and camping sites where trekkers can find accommodation and meals during their trek.

Trekkers undertaking the Kanchenjunga Trek need permits such as the Restricted Area Permit for Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and the TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card.

While it is not mandatory, hiring a guide for the Kanchenjunga Trek is highly recommended for safety, navigation in remote areas, and cultural insights.

The Kanchenjunga Trek requires a high level of physical fitness due to long trekking days, high altitude passes, and challenging terrain.

Highlights of the Kanchenjunga Trek include stunning views of Mount Kanchenjunga, diverse landscapes ranging from lush forests to alpine meadows, encounters with local ethnic groups like the Rai and Limbu communities, and a chance to explore remote and untouched wilderness areas.

Some challenges faced during the Kanchenjunga Trek include high altitude, unpredictable weather conditions, long trekking days, rugged terrain, and limited infrastructure in remote areas.

Health risks on the Kanchenjunga Trek include altitude sickness, cold-related illnesses, and gastrointestinal issues. Trekkers should acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and maintain proper hygiene practices.

During the Kanchenjunga Trek, trekkers may encounter various wildlife species such as Himalayan bears, snow leopards, red pandas, musk deer, and a variety of bird species in the region.

The weather along the Kanchenjunga Trek route can vary depending on the season. Spring and autumn offer clear skies and moderate temperatures, while winter can bring cold temperatures and snowfall at higher elevations. Trekkers should be prepared for changing weather conditions.

During the Kanchenjunga Trek, trekkers have the opportunity to interact with local ethnic communities like the Rai and Limbu people, experience their unique culture, traditions, and sample local cuisine along the way.

Teahouse facilities along the Kanchenjunga Trek route vary in standard, with basic amenities such as shared rooms, common dining areas, and simple meals available. In recent years, teahouse facilities have been improving to cater to trekkers' needs.

Yes, it's highly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers trekking, medical emergencies, and evacuation.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK ROUTE MAP

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