Kanchenjunga Trek is surely strenuous but best designed route for the adventure seekers having basic mountaineering skills, to give the best views of both the north and south face of Kanchenjunga (8586m/28171ft), a third tallest peak after Mt. Everest and K2 that lies in the borderline between Nepal and Sikkim in India.
Kanchenjunga lies on the eastern border of Nepal providing a great chance to experience remoteness, spectacular mountain scenery, diverse flora and fauna and rich local culture, quite different to those found further west.
As Kanchenjunga forms the border between two countries we cannot complete a circuit around the mountain, but this route takes us to the foothills of Kanchenjunga both the north and south base camps on the Nepali side on a long and arduous four weeks trek that crosses either one of the pass, 4663m Mirgin La or the 5160m Lapsang La depending on the weather condition.
Kanchenjunga trek was open to trekkers since 1988 and is possible to walk here as part of an organized camping trek arranged through an agency.
Kanchenjunga area is the homeland of the ethnic group of Limbu people who speak a language related to Tibetan and follow a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu and animist beliefs.
Even though the views above Ghunsa are breathtaking in this trek, the facilities for trekkers are limited and the upper stages of the trek pass through desolate valley, scourged by icy mountain winds. As this trek route takes us to a maximum elevation of (5140m/16864ft), we must be alert for the symptoms of AMS.
Kathmandu Tribhuwan Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport where you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and check in to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this historic and vibrant city. Overnight at hotel. Meals: No
In the morning after breakfast, a trip orientation meeting will be organized and there will be a half day guided tour around Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. In this tour we will see the glorious Newari architecture of old palace of Kathmandu Durbar Square and we will join the pilgrims around the enormous Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa and then to the Nepal’s most important Hindu temple Pashupatinath temple that stands on the bank of the holy
After morning breakfast in the hotel we head towards Kathmandu Airport for 30 minutes flight to Biratnagar. From Biratnagar we drive to Basantpur, a small dusty and noisy hill village on the road from Hile to Terathum where we set up camp for the night stay. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast
The trail climbs up through rhododendron forests, with superb views over the valleys of the Arun Kosi and Tamur Kosi which is a steady climb along the ridge through several small settlements to Door Pani (2780m). This trail then dips down to Tinjure Phedi and rises to the appealing village of Chauki that sits on a grassy hilltop from where there are views north towards a line of snow peaks that seem to float in the cloud. We must present our TIMS card and trekking permit at the village police post before moving ahead. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Chauki to Gupa Pokhari, most of the days hike follows Milke Danda ridge, through pretty meadows with snowy mountain ranges and then dips up and down for several hours before reaching two small lakes at Lamo Pokhari (2940m). Now the second half of the day is generally downhill to another collection of mountain pools at Gupa Pokhari village which has a large Tibetan population who fled here after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. There is a small Buddhust shrine on one of the lakes. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We follow the trail from Milke Danda ridge to a second ridge running northeast towards the Tamur Kosi. We enjoy the shade of rhododendrons until Akhar Deorali (3200m) and then we follow an undulating path through mixed deciduous forests to Gurja Gaon. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Crossing through tedious, descent though cultivated country to the village of Chatrapati from where we drop down a rocky trail to Nesum (1620m). Below Nesum the trail continues its descent to the Tamur Kosi, zigzagging down past scattered farms to a suspension bridge over the small Maiwa Khola. About three hours from here we reach Dobhan. Dobhan is a small, grubby bazaar town with a health post and shops where many Tibetans live in bamboo shelters selling tongba (warm millet beer), woolen scarves and aprons. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Dobhan the trail follows the Tamur Kosi northeast towards Sakathum and there are tracks on both sides of the valley but due to landslides we must ask in Dobhan for the safe trail to follow. On either side of the river, the trail picks its way through tropical forest passing occasional farmhouses. The trails are badly eroded but after two hours we reach a well maintained bridge across the Tamur Kosi at Thumma (760m). We follow the east bank of the Tamur as the trail dips and rises along the riverside, starting rocky fields and landslides to the chhetri bazaar at Mitlung. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Mitlung we continue along the east bank to reach Sinwa (980m) which has many teahouses and a police post where our papers might be checked. The valley narrows and the trail deteriorate as it picks a route between landslides and boulder strewn alluvial deposits. We descend to a wooden bridge across the Thiwa Khola at 1140m, then wind up and down along the river bank to Chirwa, a cheerful bazaar village. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Following the Tamur Koshi river to the confluence with the Ghunsa Khola, we stroll north along the east bank of the river on a rolling trail to the Chhetri village of Tapethok (1320m) where we must present our permit, TIMS and national park receipt at the kanchenjunga Conservation Area checkpoint. We take the bridge across the Tamur to the west bank and climb high above the river through small sherpa village of Lepsung to Lelep, the headquarter for Kanchenjunga conservation Area project. Now the trail runs north along the Tamur to the large village of Walunchung Gola (3220m) where people speak a language derived from Tibetan and share many cultural similarities with Sherpa. From here we drop down to the Tamur and cross a new suspension bridge, just above the confluence with the Ghunsa Khola from where it’s a short walk along the narrow Ghunsa Valley to a riverside camp site near the Tibetan village of Sakathum that has a helipad. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We start on a narrow trail that winds along the north bank and after few ups and downs beside the river we reach some stone steps that scramble high above the river to a waterfall and the tiny hamlet of Ghaiyabari (2150m). Now the incline becomes gentler as we follow an exposed and precarious trail above steep grassy slopes to a crest at 2530m and finally descend to the Tibetan settlement of Amjilosa. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
In this relatively short day, we will find the mountains closer as we climb to a flat ridge and meander through a forest of bamboo, rhododendrons and gnarled brown oaks, passing scattered pastures and waterfalls to reach a large cascade on the Ghunsa Khola from where the trail climbs to the Sherpa village of Gyabla. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek to Ghunsa starts with a steep drop into a ravine and through fir and rhododendron forests along the riverbank crossing yak pastures and potato fields we reach Phole (3210m) from where the valley widens and we trek through fields and larch forests, dipping down to the riverbed before crossing to Ghunsa which is the largest village on the trek. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Heading north from Ghunsa, the trail makes a gradual ascent through a forest of larch and juniper along the east bank of the river and after crossing a sandy, boulder strewn floodplain, the path crosses a rickety, wood and stone bridge to the west side of the river at Rambuk Kharka (3720m). We continue climbing the barren hillsides north past a waterfall and make a short steep ascent over a very unstable scree slope and then beyond the landslide, the trail climbs gradually and then drops down to a Tibetan village of Khambachen at the confluence with the Nupchu Khola. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
To allow our body to adjust to the elevation we have a rest day at Khambachen. Moreover the views from here are superb- the peaks of Khabur (6332m) and Phole (6645m) and Jannu are lined up at the end of the valley to the east, while the snowcapped ridges beyond the Kanchenjunga Glacier loom dramatically to the north. Or we can climb to the ridge north of the village for close up views. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Above Khambachen the trail enters a desolate landscape gouged by the icy fingers of glaciers. The path climbs gradually across the scree slopes of recent landslides to another area of pasture at Ramtang (4350m) where we must wear lip balm and warmest trekking gear to save ourselves from chill winds. Above Ramtang, the trail runs along the lateral moraine of Kanchenjunga Glacier, following the north bank of river to a wooden bridge at the mouth of Lhonak Glacier. On the east side of valley is the crown shaped Mera Peak (6344m). The village of Lhonak on an open sandy plain where the views are stupendous in every direction and the door wedge summit of Chang Himal dominates the valley. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Lhonak we ascend gradually across the plain and follow the line of the moraine and climb onto the ridge and then drop into the village of Pang Pema, an exposed sandy plain with a cold restless night is a Kanchenjunga Base Camp (north) and is the endpoint for the trek where we have a view of the cascading ridges of the third largest mountain mass in the world. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We rise at dawn to hike up the ridge north of Pang Pema to reach a vantage point about 300m up the slope from where we will have a panoramic view of Kanchenjunga, Taple Shikhar (6510m) and Gimmegela Chuli ( The twins; 7350m). To the east, the iconic summits of Pathibhara Khas (Pyramid Peaks; 7168m) and Kirat Chuli (tent peak; 7365m). To the west, the knife-edge ridge of Chang Himal towers above the Kanchenjunga Glacier. As the descending route is faster we get back to Khambachen retracing the way we went up. Overnight at tented camp. M Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Retracing the way we descend down to Ghunsa through barren hillsides and forests of larch and juniper. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Just south of Ghunsa the trail for two high passes split near the bridge over the Yamatari Khola where we have two options for the next stage of the trek. A higher route via the 5160m Lapsang La is strenuous and takes two long days and yields only partial views of Kanchenjunga and Jannu. The lower, more southerly route is the recommended route via the 4400m Mirgin La that follows a better, safest and easiest trail offering outstanding views of both the south face of Kanchenjunga and Jannu that crosses the stream and climbs the ridge to the south with five passes, first the Tamo La (3900m) and then the Sele La (4115m), where we camp for the night. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The next day we head towards another three more passes the Sinion La (4660m), the Mirgin La and finally the Sinelapche La (4724m) to reach Tseram, a grassy meadow beside a jumble of mossy boulders and is inhabited only in the summer. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Retracing the route along the Simbua Khola we head for a long steep descent of 900m below Tseram that starts crossing a cave shrine that marks the sacred part of the valley, beyond which killing of animals is prohibited and passing a goth (herders hut) in a flat clearing at Watha we continue through forest dripping with Spanish moss to reach Tsento Kang (3360m). From here we cross over the scars of old landslides and then through forests of mixed rhododendrons to reach Torontan. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Torontan we descend from Lamite Bhanjyang to the Amji Khola, then scoot over the Dhupi Bhanjyang and descend to the most remote settlement of Yamphudin for the night stay. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Crossing through Omje Khola and open hillsides from Yamphudin we reach Mamankhe village from where crossing the route with plenty of ups and down and the incredible terracing of rice paddies we reach Phumphe. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We return to a primitive settlement of Lali Kharka following the way through stunning views to the entire Kanchenjunga massif from Sinchewa Bhanjyang. Further through delicious shades of pipal trees at Kanjuri we head crossing through scattered settlements of beautiful thatched farmhouses with colourfull flower gardens shaded by poinsettia trees. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Lali Kharka we drop down to Taplejung early morning via Suketar. Overnight at tented camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After completing our trek we fly back from Taplejung Airport to Biratnagar and take a connecting flight from Biratnagar to Kathmandu and are dropped to the hotel. This is a leisure day which can be utilized buying gifts and souvenirs for your friends and family. In the evening you will be invited to join FAREWELL reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip. Overnight at hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
If you prefer to stay longer, you can consult us for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, mountain biking, Tibet, India or Bhutan tours etc. Meals: Breakfast