Kanchenjunga Circuit North to South

22 Days

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  • From here, you will be able to experience the view you have never seen before as from here you will be able to see the Himalayas, especially Mt. Kanchenjunga in a vivid pattern.
  • You will also have a wonderful time exploring the wildlife and birds inside Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.
  • The glacier lakes, waterfalls, terraced fields, hills along with various kinds of flowers that grow there capture the beauty of nature in a nice way.
  • You can see the lifestyle of the people living in this region and explore their culture, tradition, customs, languages, etc. and explore and experience the real village life.
  • As a whole, you will have a great time if you are truly passionate about trekking and this trek will leave you speechless because of its natural beauty and habitat especially rhododendron, yaks, etc.
With an elevation of 8586m/28,169 ft. Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-highest peak. So, by trekking to the Kanchenjunga Circuit area, you will be able to glance over the majestic mountain even if you don’t reach atop the mountain. Not only that, but you will be able to experience the things you might never have before like the village lifestyle, the Himalayan trails, the rivers and rivulets, waterfalls, grassland, a lush green forest filled with rhododendron, pine, birch plants, glaciers, etc. along the way. 

Moreover talking about the Conservation Area, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area has numerous wildlife and terrestrial creatures like Red panda, Asian black bear, Snow leopard, blood pheasant, red-billed chough, snow cock, golden-breasted fulvetta, etc. Whereas on the way to Kanchenjunga Base Camps, you can see the pastured farmlands, farmers working in the terraced fields, grazing animals where most common profession here is supposedly either agriculture, tourism, animal husbandry or horticulture business. 

Whereas talking about the mountain, you will not only be able to look at the Mt. Kanchenjunga but also some peaks below that which includes Yalung Kang which has the elevation of 8,505m and some of the above 6,000 and around twenty peaks above 7,000 meters high. And you will have many conveniences in trekking here as you don’t find a lot of people trekking here as in the Everest or some other peaks. Now, talking about the accommodation, you don’t have to bring a tent or so as you will be staying at teahouses where the local food will be served.

Moreover, talking about the trek as a whole, this trek is meant for those who would like to seek adventure and have the vivacity to reach atop the cliff, have a thrill and passion of the mountains and explore and experience the trekking journey.
 

Route Map

Kanchenjunga Circuit North to South Route Map

Itinerary

  • The journey will take you roughly around 45 minutes. During the flight, you can glance over the majestic views of the mountain ranges like the Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. After landing in Bhadrapur Airport, you will be escorted to Birtamod through a private jeep, which then will take you around 40 minutes’ drive. While you are here, make sure you have carried light clothes as Birtamod is a hot tropical climatic zone and has the elevation of 93m. The people here are of different ethnicities and possess a mixed cultural group. You spend your night at a hotel in Birtamod on this day.
  • You will be taking a local bus to reach Taplejung, which will take you around 8 to 10 hours to reach there. On the way, you will be passing by the amazing hills and terraced fields. Reaching there, you will be able to see amazing views of the Himalayas as the elevation of Taplejung is 1441m/4730ft. Furthermore, it has a great significance over the cultural heritages especially the Buddhist monasteries. On this day, you will be spending your night at a Hotel in Taplejung.
  • On this day, you will trek from Taplejung to Chirwa which is mostly downhill and will take you approximately about 6-7 hours to reach to Chirwa. For lunch, however, you will have it in a village named Sinwa. With elevation of 1171m, Chirwa is a small town where mostly farmers reside there and the lush green forest covers the path. Here, you can also find some small streams and orange gardens. This place thus is considered to be one of the best places in Nepal for camping. However, we will be staying at lodges for easy accessibility. Here, you can find some local shops as well.
  • This trek will be roughly for about 5-6 hours which you will be proceeding via Tapethok. The restricted area begins from here. Since you will be starting your trek a little late, you will reach Lelep a little late. So, for this reason, you will be having both your Lunch and Dinner on the way, i.e. in or around Tapethok itself.
  • While on the way, you will be having your Lunch at Lamatar and proceed your way again towards Amjilosa. On the way, you will also be able to view the waterfalls. But you should be very careful while walking over here as the trails here are much more slippery.
  •  Here, you can see a change in culture and the locals seem to be more Tibetan. On the way, you will have your lunch at Thangyem. You can also see the yaks grazing around the fields from this point onwards.
  • With an elevation of 3595m, Ghunsa is considered to be the main area of Kanchenjunga. Some even consider it as the capital of Kanchenjunga. Here, you can see Ghunsa River and the old monasteries which is also known for being a Sherpa village as there are many Sherpas residing here. On the way, you will have your lunch at Phole. From here, it will take you around 3 hours of walk. Furthermore, you can also buy some really good souvenirs from here.
     
  • So, on this day, instead of trekking further, you will hike to a nearby ridge from where you can see amazing views of Jannu Peak which will take around 3 hours while going up and 2 hours while returning down again. You can leave your trekking gear in the teahouse itself as you will return back the same day. Regarding the lunch, we will take packed lunch.
  • By now, you will have reached the elevation of 4100m. Trekking on this route, you will have to carry packed lunch as there won’t be any shops nearby. On the way, you will be crossing several wooden bridges where there are high chances of landslides. Therefore, you have to be extra cautious while trekking on this trail and while crossing the bridges.
  • On this acclimatization day, you will just sit in the Hotel and roam about in Kambachen itself.
     
  •  As the elevation here is 4785m high, the view from there is really amazing. Besides that, on the way, we can see spectacular views on both the sides with a wide valley along with a glacier. Here, you can find the rough trails with large boulders. Whereas in Lhonak, the accommodation will be simple but if you would like to go for camping then this place is highly recommended as there is big grassy plain which is suitable for camping.
  • You will be having your lunch at Pangpema. But for the night, as the accommodation in Pangpema is not sure to get as they might be closed or full, so for this reason, it is better if you return back to Lhonak. But however, it is better to talk about this matter with your guide as he/she will know better at the time. It is better that you capture memories in your camera as well and not just in yourselves as it is Kanchenjunga North Face that you will be visiting.
     
  • Ghunsa has an elevation of 3595m and it will take you roughly around 6 hours of walk to reach Ghunsa from Lhonak.
     
  • Since this is the highest point that you will have reached so far with an elevation of 4290m, you might even see snow leopards in this area. And talking about the food, you have to take a packaged lunch as there is only one teahouse in teahouse; a hut in fact in Sele Le.
  • As these two pass are considered to be one of the hardest climb, you should be very careful while trekking in this area. You will have reached 3870m high when you reach Sele Le. Nevertheless, when you reach your destination, you will be amazed to see the valleys especially in a clear day, as it looks simply the best. Moreover, you can even see Makalu and the Everest peaks up on your way. Here too, you will have to take packaged lunch as you won’t find any teahouse between Sele Le Base Camp and Cheram. So, you return back to Cheram which will take around 8-9 hours.
  • If you would like to then you could hike another 2 hours to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp otherwise you can stay in Ramche itself. If you decide to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp then you will have reached an elevation of 4580m. For food and accommodation, you will have your Lunch, Dinner and Overnight stay at Ramche.
  • As you will head down to an elevation n of 2995m, this trek is comaparitively a lot easier one so far.
     
  •  Though the elevation that you will reach is just 2080m, this trek however is quite tough as compared to the previous day as it has many ups and downs on the way.
     
  • Since this trail is already explored by our guide named Dawa, here, the local people are quite curious to know about the outside world so it is better that you answer them nicely. Here, you can see the village full of terraced fields besides houses.
     
  • To reach Kamdime from Khebang, it will take you roughly around 6-7 hours. Here, you can play some outdoor sports if you would like to as there is a regional School with a playground in Kamdime.
  •  This will take approximately 14 hours to reach Birtamod which has the elevation of 300 m.
     
  • Then, as you reach Bhadrapur Airport, you will then fly back to Kathmandu. As you reach Kathmandu, you will be reaching an elevation of 1380m.

    Therefore, this is how your journey ends up here.

Trek Info

Here are some of the Trekking accessories that you require for the easy and convenient journey-

In general you will need four sleeping bags (we could provide you one for the trek), a duffel or a trekking bag of 70-80 liters (we can provide one), down jacket (this too we can provide one if needed for the trek) and a normal travel bag of 25-30 liters.

For clothing, you will require the following-

Upper body- For this-shirts, waterproof jacket, fleece jacket or pullover, water proof jacketare needed. Wind proof jacket are optional but preferred. For T-shirts, baggy cotton T-shirts are the best especially for warm days in lower altitudes. Moreover, we recommend synthetic T-shirts as they quickly absorb the moisture. Then, for the waterproof jacket, we recommend you to have nylon which is light.

Lower body- For this, you need hiking shorts, trekking pants, soft shell and hard shell pants, cotton pants or jeans. For hiking shorts, buy the fabric which dries quickly. For trekking pants, go for the ones which have zipper in the middle of the knees so that you can take off the bottom part when necessary. Forsoft shell pants, buy a synthetic fiber. Then, for hard shell, buy a waterproof one. Full zipper from top to bottom is preferred for both soft and hard shell pants. For extra wearable, have a pair of jeans or cotton pants.

Inner wears- Regarding inner wears, you need lightweight underwear which is preferably made up of synthetic. For women, own synthetic sports bras. You could also have swimsuit if you would like to.

Footwear- For this, you need a trekking boot, gaiters and sandals. For Trekking boots, get a hard sole lug-cleated boots for good performance for every kind of landscape. We then recommend you to have a pair as it helps keep your feet dry quickly and keeping dust, rocks and snow out of your shoes. We also suggest you to have a pair of sandals as it helps while you are in the lodge. Then, for socks, you require 4 pairs of synthetic and 3 pairs of woolen socks.

Hand wears- The hand essentials are gloves, mittens and hand warmers. For warm weather, buy synthetic or thin woolen gloves. For cold weather, buy a woolen or fleece gloves. While for mittens, Gore-Tex mittens are the best. Regarding hand warmers, it’s completely your choice whether you want to have or not.

Face protection- For protecting the face against the snowfalls, heavy wind, direct sun, etc. we recommend you to have a cap or a hat, a synthetic woolen hat, a lightweightedbalaclava, glacier glasses having 100% UV protected lens with side shields and hard-sided storage, headlamp, ear muffs, neck warmer, etc. Ear muffs and neck warmers are not necessary but are up to your choice.

First Aid Kit- Though the trekking guides will be carrying a first aid kit box, we suggest you to have one as well. So, for this, you will need to have basic emergency equipment. You can discuss with us regarding what all to take along with you.

Personal care- The personal care products that you will require while trekking are tooth brush, tooth paste (biodegradable is preferred), towel, soap, hand wash, sanitizers, wet wipes, deodorants, crèmes, etc. along with your other needs.

Miscellaneous but important- These include valid passport, passport size photos, airline ticket (and its copy), luggage locks, thick garbage bags, water bottle, small bag for travel documents, passport, wallet/purse, etc., pocket knife, sunscreen lotion (SPF 40 recommended) and lip balm of at least SPF 20.

Extras- The extras include trekking poles, snacks, books, games, chargers, binoculars, batteries, camera, guide book, extra glasses (if you wear), notebook/pen, sleeping bag liner, hydration bladder with drinking tube, pee bottle for men and pee funnel for women, thermos, etc.

Note- Tight fitting clothes especially made out of fabrics like lycra, especially to women can be offensive to the local villagers. So, make sure that you pack something to wear on top of them if you want to pack them.

FAQs

The ideal time to trek in Nepal whether it is either in Autumn- from September to November or in Spring- from March to May. These two seasons are considered to be the best time due to good weather and moderate temperate suitable for trekking.
In regard to the difficulty of trekking in Nepal, it depends upon the mountain range. Not all the trekking routes are that difficult to climb but there are places where you can find trekking most challenging as well.
In order to be fit for trekking, you need to start walking more and possibly go for hiking or even short distance trekking before you trek for long distance like this. You can go for hiking in your own place nearby before coming to Nepal as well.
The documents that you will require for trekking in Nepal will be your passport which should be valid at least till next 6 months, a copy of your insurance, 2 or more passport sized photographs, flight tickets of course along with emergency contact number in case of any emergency.
Yes, travel insurance is necessary and while getting the insurance, make sure that the company covers the altitude that you are trekking at. And the other thing, it is even better if you get the insurance from your own country.
For altitude sickness, as it is quite common problems in higher altitude, we provide you with some of the guideline regarding what you can do at your own level if it is not much. But if the sickness continues to get worse then you should immediately get down to lower region. In case of emergency, our guides will take care of it as they are well trained with using first aid and have basic knowledge of physical injuries or some other problems. But if the injury, altitude sickness or any other problem arises then the rescue team will be contacted. For this reason, you insurance helps a lot.
Yes, you need to have a trekking guide if you are a new trekker as you may not know about so many things like mountaineering or altitude sickness or even about the topography, weather, etc. And most importantly you will be able to know about the place that you are travelling; the exact location and can also have a company. But if you have travelled and especially trekked a lot of places in Nepal trekked earlier as well for many times and think you don’t need a guide then you may proceed. But for this also, make sure that you have the permission from the local and government authorities as trekking guide is mostly compulsory in many parts of the Himalayan region.
This however is not a compulsion in many of the trekking routes but it is better if you take a porter along with you as you can enjoy your travelling experience without having to carry a lot of loads- your backpack. And the other reason the local people will get a work to earn for their daily requirements and as the people in High Himalayas don’t have riches and live a simple normal life, it will perhaps be a great help.
The permits that you need for the trek will be done by our company and need not worry about it. But however, for your information, you will need to have a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card- this is a basic permit for trekking in Nepal along with the necessary permits of where exactly you are trekking if needed. You can also have FIT (Free Individual Trekker) if you are a solo trekker. But this is not valid for the restricted areas where you cannot go forward for solo trekking. The other necessities will be Valid passport with at least six month remaining before it expire, a valid Nepal visa, e-copy of passport sized photo. The other necessities will be done by the company itself.
Yes, you can solo trek or travel in Nepal. However, for trekking in higher altitudes where the regions are known as Restricted Areas, there you are not allowed to go alone as you will have to buy at least two permits. But the interesting thing is that in most of the areas you also need to carry a guide along with you. So, if you can manage to trek with your guide paying for his permit and being with him throughout the trek, then you possibly might be able to trek in that way. Otherwise, you can get along with someone who also wants to trek solo and go together instead.
The foods are usually served in the teahouses which will be plain but good and hygienic as they cook the vegetables nicely. They even soak iodine in water before cooking the vegetables so that you can get good and healthy food. Whereas if you are camping then you can get local foods that you can cook it. Since in higher altitudes, you won’t find refrigerators and frequent power cut; you will have to be vegetarian during the trek even if you are not. Then, regarding water facilities, bottled water is available up to the most of the Base Camp itself which will cost around US$1-4. But however, you should not drink water from the tap or streams.
For souvenirs, you can get good hand knitted woolen goods, hats, cashmere shawls, pashminas, Buddhist memorabilia, carved masks, puppets, wood carvings, jewelry, etc. as these are the things which are frequently bought by the tourists. You can get the souvenirs mostly at Thamel area when you are in Kathmandu. So, for all of the extra expenses including souvenirs, food and drinks other than what the Hotel/ Teahouse provides you, or perhaps some clothing or equipment for yourself then we recommend you to have around US$200-350 along with you. Besides that, you can withdraw money from ATMs while in Kathmandu as well.
Yes, you can buy trekking equipment in Kathmandu and it may even cost a little less amount but the quality of the product can’t be guaranteed. So, for this reason, we recommend you to bring the very necessary equipment like the trekking shoes along with you. But for other additional needs, you can buy it in Kathmandu itself.
You need to carry warm as well as cool clothing as there might be hotter in some of the places along the way or even in Kathmandu during summer season. Then, you have to have a sleeping bag as you might need it at times if the teahouses are unavailable or so in some places. The other things we recommend are small portion of snacks like chocolate bars, water proof wearable, cap, lotion, sunglasses, hand sanitizers, water bottle, first aid kit, etc. along with your daily necessities.
We don’t think you will need Ice axe or Crampons during trekking even in the Himalayas as the trails are marked nicely until and unless you go to trekking in the winter. Then, you will need them as there will be much more snowfall and will also be easy for you while trekking. In other season, instead of Crampons, we recommend you to have Micro spikes as they are not heavy and you can carry it easily. Plus, Micro spikes are comparatively less expensive as well. And regarding the Ice axe, we will provide you with one if it is really necessary though it’s not that necessary, as we will know more about the size and shape along with light weighted one.

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