Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

22 Days

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  • Trek in the region of Nepal’s second-highest peak and the world’s third-highest peak of Kanchanjanga.
  • Away from the popular trek, this is remote trekking in the mountains.
  • See the Limbu, Rai and other communities at their native mountainous villages - with their unique lifestyle and culture.
  • Put your stamina to the test to reach stunning glaciers, high-altitude lakes, and mountain passes.
  • Camp in locations that are the subject of tales and fables of yetis.
Lying in eastern Nepal, Mount Kanchanjanga is the third highest peak and the world. At 8,598 meters, the region is rife with tales of yetis. This program from High Venture Plus is a good choice for those who prefer trekking in remote regions of Nepal.

he route will take you from the Tarai town of Birtamod to the hilly town of Illam and the mountainous Pang Pema, Ramche, Ghunsa, and several other camping points near Mt. Kanchanjanga.

In this trek, you will see the native communities of Rai, Limbu, and Tibetans – and find out how they have developed not just a lifestyle but a wholly unique culture unlike any other in Nepal.

You need a very good level of stamina and also some experience of trekking in rough high-altitude terrains. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit this region for challenging trek in Nepal.

Route Map

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Route Map

Itinerary

  • Take a 45-minute flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. The earlier flight the better, as you will have time to see the thriving eastern towns of Bhadrapur and Birtamode. Transfer to a hotel in Birtamod for the overnight stay.
  • The long drive today starts early. The hilly road first goes to the tea-plantations of Ilam, where we’ll stop for lunch and then head to Taplejung.
  • On this first day of trek, we will reach Simbu after trek of about five hours. It’s a scenic village with valleys and hills surrounding it. The trail today is mostly through forests and farmlands. Overnight at Simbu.
  • After breakfast, we begin our trek. The rout is mostly a gradual descent until we arrive at a place called Phundrawa. From here, the ascent begins more difficult until Yang Pang and up to Phumphe Danda. Take a quick break, enjoy the vista, and hike further up to Khesewa for the night.
  • Today we will leave behind Khesewa to arrive at Mamangkhe. After a quick breakfast, we head up the trail through a hill. The lands are mostly cultivated here in a scattered fashion. We will arrive at Kabeli Khola, and then to the village of Anpan. From there will trek up to the village of Mamangkhe for the night stay.
  • The trek today is around six hours. It’s not an easy trek, but the views are satisfying and inspiring. You will pass through villages first to arrive at a river; cross it and trek through some stone steps and later arrive at Yamphuding at the confluence of Kabeli and Amji rivers. Stay at this village tonight.
  • You will start at this village where several communities of Gurungs, Sherpa, and Rai live. The tiny village is at a picturesque location - and you’ll feel the impermeating quietness. Relax today at this altitude and adapt to the environment as you’ll be preparing for a long trek in the coming days.
  • Tortong, also called Torongding, is our destination for tonight. First, you will ascent through a bamboo forest and later through a pine forest. Arriving at Lamite Bhanjyang, you will take a break and then come out into the open plain by a riverside. Enjoy the break here and follow the river upstream to a temporary stone bridge near Tortong.
  • Today, we will trek from Torotong to reach Cheram (Tseram). The five-hour walk is mostly uphill via forests. We will cross Tsento Kang and Watha, and arrive at Cheram. If the day is not cloudy, you’ll see peaks in the distance. Cheram is a large meadow at an altitude of 3,870 meters, where we’ll camp tonight.
  • It’s a day of rest around Cheram, but we’ll hike up to Ramche.  The two hour trek to Ramche is a walk through the forests near the Yalung Glacier. The beautiful route passes through yak-pastures, juniper woods, rivers, and lakes. Later, you will trek back to Cheram for the overnight stay.
  • Starting from Cheram, it’s a steep ascent to Sele-Le through a dense mossy forest of junipers, rhododendron, and other sub-alpine flora. A scenic but challenging trek is through the Sele Le-La, a pass at the junction of Kanchanjanga North and South. Spend the night in the region’s popular destination Sele Le Base Camp.
  • The walking distance today is around four hours, headed for Ghunsa. The route is via dense forests of rhododendron and juniper. Passing through quaint villages, you will have plenty of stopovers today. The views are spectacular, as are the surrounding valleys.
  • After so many days of trek, it’s time for a second day of rest and acclimatization. Spend the time at Ghunsa today, but do ascend up to a nearby hill for close-up views of Mt. Jannu. A day of acclimatization is not complete without this kind of light activity. Enjoy the rest of the day as you please, but go to bed early and let those muscles rejuvenate.
  • From Ghunsa, the trail follows down the valley beside the Ghunsa River. More junipers and rhododendrons but with views of snow-clad peaks and a bit of Jannu Glacier. Peaks such as Jannu, Phole, and Sobithong will be seen beyond the landscape. Take a break and later descend to Kambachen for the night.
  • The trek is around six hours to Lhonak crossing through rocky terrains, boulders, and fields along a river. The river, arising from Ramtang Glacier, will lead you to the bigger Kanchenjunga Glacier. Stop here briefly for majestic views of the peaks nearby. Further along the route, we will come to Lhonak for the rest tonight.
  • The trek is nearly eight hours today to Ghunsa. After breakfast, we will follow a ridge to Pangpema with view of some peaks. If we go near Jongsang-La Pass, we will have rare views of Kanchanjanga from unique angles. Later, trek to Ghunsa and stay in a camp overnight.
  • Leaving behind Ghunsa today, we will trek along a rough terrain to Amjilosa. First we cross a river, then enter a forest where we’ll make a steep descent to another river. Take a break at times, and then head along an ascending route to the village of Solima. Here, take a quick break, enjoy the environment and then descend along a challenging trail. Late in the day we will arrive at Amjilosa for the overnight stay.
  • As we leave the higher altitudes, we have come to villages and human activity at this point of the program. Trekking for around seven hours through rural villages and hamlets today, we will reach our destination for today. The village of Tapethok is located at the edge of a forest with magnificent views of the mountains and the valleys below. We’ll camp here tonight.
  • The trekking duration is around seven hours to Mitlung. Mostly it’s a complete descent to Mitlung. At these lower elevations of Kanchanjanga, you’ll find villages, pastures, fertile valleys, and terraced farmlands. The scenic route is easy; and with plenty of stopovers along the way, you won’t notice that you’ve arrived at Mitlung. Camp for the night at this village.
  • In the last day of trek today, you’ll walk through a winding route to Taplejung. The mostly-descending route is around six hours today through more villages with exceptional sceneries. Stay tonight at the town of Taplejung - with unobstructed views of the snow-capped peaks.
  • Today you will take a scenic drive to Birtamod. As we head down to the Tarai town of Birtamode, the temperature gets warmer by the minute. The winding hilly roads will give in to flatter roads until we arrive at Birtamode. Here, take a break and drive to Bhadrapur where we’ll stay in a hotel tonight.
  • The 45-minute flight from Bhadrapur to Kathmandu provides a chance to see some peaks far up in the north. If the weather is clear enough, you will see several peaks from this flight. Land at Kathmandu Airport, drive to your hotel, and spend the day as you desire. We recommend going to a sauna to relax the muscles. Stay tonight at a hotel.

What's Included?

  • For accommodation in Kathmandu, the Hotel will be a 3 star Hotel and the room will be on twin sharing basis which includes breakfast. The package for Kathmandu’s hotel is for 2 nights.
  • Similarly, for accommodation in Pokhara, the Hotel will be a 3 star Hotel where the room will be on twin sharing basis, 2 nights.
  • Permit to Conservation Area / national park
  • Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card.
  • We further make arrangements of the best teahouses or lodge as far as possible in twin sharing basis throughout the trek journey.
  • Regarding the guide, we provide you with a professional very helpful and friendly trekking guide who can speak fluently in English.
  • The other assistant will also be provided if you are going in a group of two or more where the package will include their food, dally payment, transportation, and accommodation, along with covering up their insurance.
  • A down jacket, duffle bag and a sleeping bag will also be provided during the trek.
  • For transportation, we have roadways where we arrange tourist bus for solo travellers and private vehicle for group.
  • A T-shirt, trekking map and a certificate of achievement after completion of the trek will also be provided.
  • We also provide you with first aid kit.
  • The package also includes all the official and governmental charges.

What's not Included?

  • Visa arrangements and charges to Nepal (Obtain airport 15 days $25 – 30 days $ 40 -90 days $ 100 )
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and seasonal fruit will be provided during the trekking. ( About 250- 300 $ entire trekking )
  • All kinds of soft and hard drinks.
  • National and International plane fares.
  • Luggage charges (especially if they go excessive)
  • Travel insurance ( 30 $)
  • For extra accommodation in Kathmandu (if it exceeds more days than mentioned in the itinerary) whatever the cause might be early arrival, late departure or early return from the trek.
  • Along with accommodation, the same condition applies for food as well. You need to pay on your own for Breakfast, lunch and dinner for extra days even if it will be after returning back from the trek earlier than the mentioned date.
  • Personal expenses like phone recharge, laundry, hot shower, bottled water, extra porters, extra snacks, etc.Tips for guides and porters are also excluded as it is not a compulsion but it is expected that you tip them.

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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