Around Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 22 Days

Around Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Highlights

  • With this trek, you can explore the less traversed Eastern mountainous regions of Nepal.kanchenjunga circuit map
  • You get to walk past the popular glacial lakes in the region. It includes Zumu, Talung, Rathong, and Yalung glaciers.
  • You will have an amazing time walking through the diverse flora and fauna inside the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.
  • You can meditate in Ramtang and Oktang Monasteries after your tiring walks.
  • You will have an amazing time resting on your tents on the lap of the giant peaks.

The Kanchenjunga Circuit trek visits both the north and south base camps of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8,586m.

Due to the fact this is a remote area trek, a good level of fitness and some trekking experience is desirable. Yet despite of its remoteness, trekkers gain insight into peoples’ way of life and can visit Ramtang and Oktang Monasteries.

On the way, the landscape is filled with rivers; waterfalls; green meadows; rhododendron, birch and pine forests; the Yalung Glacier, and of course, visitors are accompanied on the route by the majestic mountains.

Kanchenjunga itself lies on the far eastern side of Nepal, near the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in the north-eastern part of India. Until mid-1800, it was thought Kanchenjunga was the highest peak in the world.

This area was closed to trekkers until the mid-1980. Today the region is protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and a special trekking permit is required. With these restrictions, the beautiful and unique flora and fauna of this area is still in pristine condition today.

With regards to the mountains themselves, in addition to the main peak of Kanchenjunga, there are four subsidiary summits exceeding 8,000m, the most important being Kanchenjunga West, also known as Yalung Kang (8,505m). Also found in this area are approximately twenty peaks exceeding 7,000m, the highest being Kambachen (7,903m), Janu (7,710m), Jongsong (7,483m), Kabru (7,353m), Tent Peak (7,365m) and the Twins (7,350m).

In addition, there are numerous peaks over 6,000m. Amongst this impressive cluster of peaks are five major glacial systems. Of these, Zumu, Talung and Rathong flow into Sikkim while to the west, the Kanchenjunga and Yalung glaciers flow into the mighty Tamor River of Nepal.

This just adds to the fact trekking in Kanchenjunga is an unforgettable experience where trekkers get right into the heart of the remote, less trekked, Himalaya mountains and valleys.

With the recent addition to the trekking map of the Great Himalayan Trail, tourism is being promoted in this, as well as other, remote areas so there is the opening up of more teahouses on the route. While this is positive for the local communities, now would be a good time to go to Kanchenjunga before more trekkers ‘discover’ the area!

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Flight and Drive to Ilam

Maximum Altitude: 1,677m at Ilam
Travelling Hours: 1 hr flight / 4 hours drive

After breakfast, our guide will collect you from your hotel and accompany you to the airport. The short flight to Bhadrapur takes us over the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding hill and through some of the mountains Nepal is famous for. A free mountain flight! On arrival in Bhadrapur, we will drive to Ilam, the heart of the tea plantation area of the country.

Lunch and dinner included
Overnight in Ilam

Day 02: Ilam to Taplejung by Vehicle

Maximum Altitude: 1,820m
Driving Hours: 4

After breakfast, we drive for 4 hours through terraced fields and hills to reach Taplejung where we spend the night. There will be time to explore the town after lunch. It is an interesting place with many Buddhist gompas.

At one of these gompas, we can see butter lamps which have been burning continuously for 400 years. A stream outside the gompa turns prayer wheels which send the mantra “om mane padme hum” to the heavens.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight in Taplejung

Day 03: Taplejung to Chirwa

Maximum Altitude: 1,270m
Trekking Hours: 7 hrs

Today we start our trek proper! It’s a long day of mainly downhill but we have a chance to catch our breath at the village of Sinwa on the banks of the Tamor River before continuing on.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Chirwa

Day 04: Chirwa to Lelep

Maximum Altitude: 1,860m
Trekking Hours: 7hrs

This is another long day of 7 hours hiking. But as we pass through Tepethok we enter the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Here we have our permits checked before heading across a suspension bridge and ascending to Lelep.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Lelep

Day 05: Lelep to Amjilosa

Maximum Altitude: 2,510m
Trekking Hours: 5 hrs

Waterfalls and suspension bridges are part of today’s trail. Plus we come to the first Sherpa village on our trek where we stay overnight. The village of Amjilosa is mainly used during the time when the yaks and sheep are in the pastures so very few families live here full time.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Amjilosa

Day 06: Amjilosa to Gyabla

Maximum Altitude: 2,730m
Trekking Hours: 4 hrs

After breakfast, we head off through different forests of pine, bamboo, rhododendron and oak. We notice the villages and people are becoming more Tibetan like.

We also see yaks, sheep and goats on the trail, not to mention a good variety of birdlife. After lunch the trail takes us up through dense forest cover and over a wooden bridge on to Gyabla where we spend the night.

Breakfasts, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Gyabla

Day 07: Gyabla to Ghunsa

Maximum Altitude: 3,595m
Trekking Hours: 4 hrs

Today the trail continues on through forests and passed Phale Village which was a Tibetan refugee camp started decades ago when Tibetans started fleeing from the communist regime in China.

Today it is a winter settlement village. We have time to visit the village where there are some handicrafts for sale. We head to Ghunsa, the largest village in the area and one with a police station, health post and a Kanchenjunga Conservation Office. Telephone and internet services are available here.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Ghunsa

Day 08: Acclimatization Day at Ghunsa

Maximum Altitude: 3,595m
Trekking Hours: 5 hrs plus (optional)

We are now at higher altitude and aiming to go higher! So we take the opportunity to relax and acclimatize in Ghunsa. There is a monastery to explore and a ridge to climb.

From the ridge there are views of Jannu Peak which is worth the 5 hours plus round trip. Should you wish to climb up the ridge – and we recommend this as it helps acclimatize our bodies – we will take a packed lunch with us.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included

Day 09: Ghunsa to Kambachen

Maximum Altitude: 4,100m
Trekking Hours: 4 hrs

Views of the Jannu Himal dominate the skyline today. Following a gentle upwards path we come to a green glacier valley. Here we may be lucky to spot blue sheep and snow leopards. The trail continues on past a waterfall to a landslide-prone area where we take particular care.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Kambachen

Day 10: Acclimatization Day at Kambachen

Maximum Altitude: 4,100m
Trekking Hours: 4 hrs (optional)

Again we take the chance to acclimatize our bodies to the altitude and in preparation for our visit to the North Base Camp. We can climb another ridge today where we get stunning views of Kanchenjunga.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Kambachen

Day 11: Kambachen to Lhonak

Maximum Altitude: 4,785m
Trekking Hours: 4 – 5 hrs

Today the trail takes us mainly over moraine from the Kanchenjunga Glacier. Walking uphill over large boulders there are wonderful views on both sides of us.

And as we are deep in Snow Leopard territory we keep our eyes open for this rare animal too! This is also an area of summer yak pastures but there are no settlements on the route.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Lhonak

Day 12: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp

Maximum Altitude: 4,785m
Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs

After a good breakfast, we again set out across moraine from the Kanchenjunga Glacier, gently climbing upwards. At Base Camp we stand in awe of the surrounding mountains and drink up the atmosphere completed by Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the wind. We sit here for some time enjoying the tranquillity and a hot drink and snacks! We return to Lhonak for the night.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Lhonak

Day 13: Lhonak to Ghunsa

Maximum Altitude: 3,595m
Trekking Hours: 6 hrs

Trekking over pebbles and moraine we reach Kambachen Village for lunch before heading east along the Tamor River. Now the vegetation is greener as we again return to Ghunsa where we spend the night.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Ghunsa

Day 14: Ghunsa to Sele Le

Maximum Altitude: 4,390m
Trekking Hours: 5 hrs

Today the trail takes us through a forest and along a grassy ridge from where we can see Ghunsa and Phale villages as well as Mt. Makalu in the distance.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Sele Le

Day 15: Sele Le to Cheram

Maximum Altitude: 3,870m
Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs

We start out early this morning towards the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Crossing the Sinion La pass (4,450m) the trail takes us along a ridge to Sinelapche La pass (4,830m).

From here the views of Mt Kanchjunga and its valley are fantastic. We descend along a small trail to Cheram, the only settlement we find on this route. We overnight here.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Cheram

Day 16: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp

Maximum Altitude: 4,580m
Trekking Hours: 6-7 hrs

Today we trek to Ramche where we stop for lunch before walking on for around 40 minutes to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. The Base Camp is right on the edge of the glacier, and surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags. We return the way we came to overnight at Cheram.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Cheram

Day 17: Cheram to Torongding

Maximum Altitude: 2,080m
Trekking Hours: 4 hrs

Today the trail is mostly downhill through a gorge. But the final section is a steep uphill over an area prone to landslides and through forests. There are no settlements until we reach Torongding, where there are a few teahouses.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Torongding

Day 18: Torongding to Yamphuding

Maximum Altitude: 2,080m
Trekking Hours: 7-8 hrs

After breakfast, we head off downhill and then it turns to a steep and long uphill hike. We pass over a landslide-prone area leading to Lasiya Bhanjyang where there is one teashop where we can stop for lunch. Then the trail takes as steep downhill through more forests until we reach the big village of Yamphuding.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Yamphuding

Day 19: Yamphuding to Khebang

Maximum Altitude: 1,910m
Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs

The walking is easier now we are back at a lower altitude. We find interesting villages and terraced fields on our route. We continue on to Khebang where we stay the night.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Khebang

Day 20: Khebang to Khamdime

Maximum Altitude: 1,500m
Trekking Hours: 5-6 hrs

This is the final day of our hiking for tomorrow we take a vehicle to the airport.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner included
Overnight at Khamdime

Day 21: Khamdime to Bhadrapur by Vehicle

Maximum Altitude: 93m
Trekking Hours: 10 hrs

Today we have a long drive in front of us. Time to reflect on the wonderful sights we have seen and rest our tired legs! When we reach Bhadrapur in the evening we can enjoy a hearty dinner with perhaps some beer and relax in a comfortable hotel for the night!

Breakfast, lunch dinner included
Overnight in Bhadrapur

Day 22: Fly Bhadrapur to Kathmandu

Maximum Altitude: 1,400
Flying Hours: 1 hr

We enjoy the short mountain flight again on our way back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, our guide will drop you to your hotel and you are free to enjoy the rest of the day shopping, sightseeing or relaxing until it is time for us to bid you goodbye at our farewell dinner!

Breakfast and dinner included

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

DaysItineraryAltitudeDistance
Day 1Kathmandu Bhadrapur Flight & Drive to Ilam1677 m5 hr
Day 2Ilam to Taplejung Drive1820 m4 hr
Day 3Taplejung to Chirwa1270 m7 hr
Day 4Chirwa to Lelep1860 m7 hr
Day 5Lelep to Amjilosa2510 m8 - 9 hr
Day 6Amjilosa to Gyabla2730 m4 hr
Day 7Gyabla to Ghunsa3595 m4 hr
Day 8Acclimatization Day3595 m7 hr
Day 9Ghunsa to Kambachen4100 m4 hr
Day 10Acclimatization Day4100 m8 hr
Day 11Kambachen to Lhonak4785 m4 hr
Day 12Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp4785 m9 - 10 hr
Day 13Lhonak to Ghunsa3595 m6 hr
Day 14Ghunsa to Sele Le4290 m4 hr
Day 15Sele Le to Cheram3870 m9 hr
Day 16Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Day Trip4580 m6 - 7 hr
Day 17Cheram to Torongding2995 m6 - 7 hr
Day 18Torongding to Yamphuding2080 m7 - 8 hr
Day 19Yamphuding to Khebang1910 m5 - 6 hr
Day 20Khebang to Khamdime1500 m5 - 6 hr
Day 21Khamdime to Bhadrapur Drive93 m10 hr
Day 22Bhadrapur to Kathmandu Flight1380 m1 hr

Included

  • Kanchenjunga conservation area entry permit
  • Kanchenjunga restricted area entry permit
  • Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by flight
  • Bhadrapur to Kathmandu by flight
  • Bhadrapur to Taplejung by public bus
  • Khamdime to Bhadrapur by public bus
  • Guide for 22 days
  • 21 night accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 22 x breakfast, 21 x lunch and 21 x dinner while on trek
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    FAQs

    Is it safe to drink the water in Kanchenjunga?

    No. You cannot drink the water from the tap or streams in Kanchenjunga. Mineral water is not available on the trail. If available it is expensive to buy (perhaps 10 times more than in Kathmandu). You can use a water purifier or SteriPen.

    Am I likely to get altitude sickness on my trek?

    Be aware. Elevation on this trek will exceed 3,500m. The possibilities of getting altitude sickness generally start at this elevation. But in order to avoid this, as much as possible, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that it will give you enough time to acclimatize.

    Am I at risk and how can I avoid altitude sickness?

    There is no knowing who will suffer from altitude sickness. It does not follow that the younger and fitter people will not get altitude sickness where the older and less fit will. It is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your doctor at home. There are prescription medications which help avoid the onset of altitude sickness. But above all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if he feels you are showing symptoms (which you might not notice).

    What happens if there is need for emergency evacuation while I am trekking?

    We will collect your travel insurance policies and details before the trek so that in case of an emergency we can coordinate with your insurance company and the helicopter providers for evacuation.

    What about simple medical treatment on the trek?

    First aid. On every trek we will carry a first aid kit. We also recommend you carry your own. Here is a checklist recommended by Karen Anderson of things you should bring. Vaccinations are not compulsory in Nepal but to be on the safe side we recommend you comply, where possible, with this list provided by again by Karen Anderson (medical doctor in New Zealand and friend and client of Magical Nepal).

    Do I need to buy travel insurance before I come to Nepal?

    Yes. Magical Nepal only provides insurance for our own staff. We recommend you buy insurance in your country. Note: Insurance should cover you for the altitudes you are trekking at (not all do). We recommend World Nomads.

    Will I need to bring my own sleeping bag or not?

    Yes, bring your own or you can rent it or buy it in Kathmandu. Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu will cost you $1 or $2 per day. To buy a new sleeping bag in Kathmandu expect to pay around $150 to $200 for one of medium quality.

    Will I need to use crampons on this trek?

    It is an exploratory trek, and weather conditions can be unpredictable. We might need to use crampons..

    What happens if I forget to bring something with me from home?

    If you forget something it might be extremely hard to find here. Please check here for an exhaustive packing list for (general) trekking in Nepal. If you are not a frequent hiker, you can rent most of the trekking gear in Nepal when you arrive.

    Will we be using tents and mattresses on the trek?

    No. There are teahouses along the trek. We will not need tents or mattresses.

    Where can I leave stuff in Kathmandu when I am trekking?

    Anything you don’t want to take on the trek with you can be stored at your hotel or in our office. We suggest you ensure your bag is lockable.

    Who will be my guide?

    We use local guides. On each trek our guides have been to the relevant areas numerous times. All are experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and authorized licensed guides with the Government of Nepal.

    Will I need a porter for my trek?

    Preferable. If you use a porter it has double benefit: you can fully enjoy your trek without carrying a heavy bag, and its improves the income of the local community.

    How much can a porter carry?

    20kg. On average a porter can carry 22kg including their own backpack. So, they can carry up to 18kg of your gear and equipment. We provide backpacks for porters.

    Are your staff insured in case of accidents etc.?

    Yes. At Magical Nepal we make sure all our staff are well insured.

    I hear incidents when porters do not have proper shoes etc. Is this true?

    At Magical Nepal we ensure all our guides and porters have proper gear, are well equipped and protected. This is for their own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of our clients.

    You can send your inquiry via the form below.

    You can send your inquiry via the form below.

    Price From USD $ 1,837/person
    1837
    Total $ 1,837 USD

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    • Client-friendly trips
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    • Safety and comfort a priority
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    Trip Facts

    • 5143 m
    • Bhadrapur/Bhadrapur
    • Strenuous

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