Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Overview

  • Duration22 Days
  • Trip GradeStrenuous 
  • Arrival CityKathmandu
  • ActivityTours, Hiking
  • Group Size6 People Maximum
  • Max Altitude4,830m. Sinelapche La pass

About Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is one of the greatest treks in Nepal Himalayas. The trekking trail follows the mountainous border of Nepal with India and Tibet.

Mount Kanchenjunga is the 3rd tallest mountain in the world at an altitude of 8,586m.

On the trail, the scenery is full of rivers, waterfalls, green meadows, rhododendrons, birch and pine forests, the Yalung Glacier and, of course, travelers are accompanied by the magical Himalayan mountains.

Kanchenjunga area was closed to travelers / trekkers until the late-1980. Today the area is protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and a special trekking permit is required. With this restriction, the spectacular and unique flora and fauna of the region is still in pristine condition today.

In fact, there are several peaks above 6,000m Among the impressive cluster of mountain ranges are five main glacial systems. Of these, Talung, Zumuand Rathong flow to Sikkim, while the Kanchenjunga and Yalung glaciers flow west into the mighty Tamor River of Nepal.Due to the fact that this is a remote trek, a good fitness level and some trekking experience is necessary.

The recent addition to the hiking map of the Great Himalayan Trail, tourism is also being promoted in this, and other, remote regions so there are opening up of more guest houses on the route.

While it is positive for the local people and communities, this would be a good time to go to Kanchenjunga before more travelers/hikers discover the region!

Highlights

  • Mount Kanchenjunga – 3rd highest mountain in the world
  • Unique nature and undiscovered natural heritage
  • The warmth hospitality of the Sherpa, Rai & Limbu people
  • You'll have a wonderful time walking through the rich flora and fauna of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

Itinerary

  1. Day 1Arrive at Kathmandu

    Welcome to the Himalayas! You will arrive in Kathmandu. We will meet and greet and take you to your hotel.

    Today is free and rest day in Kathmandu, or you can wander around the city to get familiar with the surrounding. There are varieties of shops and fun places where you can hang out and enjoy the time.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:No
    • Maximum Altitude:1,400m
    • Time:Rest day
  2. Today, it's free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may want to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old town, where the old Royal Palace with its intricate woodcarving is located. The whole area is a labyrinth of temples and images.

    The narrow alleys that lead away from the square in all directions, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites, including the historic Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the famous Monkey Temple Swayambhunath and the Buddhist Shrine Buddhanath, one of the largest stupas in the world.

    Today, there will also be a trip briefing with gear check. If you need to rent or buy equipment locally, there will be time to do this today.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:No
    • Maximum Altitude:1,400m
    • Time:Rest day
  3. After breakfast, our guide will pick you up from your hotel and accompany you to the Airport. The flight to Bhadrapur takes us through the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding hill and through some of the famous mountains. Upon arrival in Bhadrapur, we will drive to Ilam, the heart of the country's tea plantation zone.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:No
    • Maximum Altitude:1,675m
    • Time:1 hr flight / 4-hour drive
  4. After breakfast, we drive through the terraced fields and hills for 4 to 5 hours to Taplejung where we spend the night. There will be time to discover the area after lunch. It's a very interesting place with a lot of Buddhist monasteries.

    In one of these monasteries, we can see butter lamps that have been burning continuously for 400 years. mA stream outside the monastery turns the peace wheels that send the mantra "om mane padme hung" to the heavens.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,820m
    • Time:4 – 5 hours
  5. Our trek begins today! It's a long day mostly downhill, but we've got a chance to catch our breath in the village of Sinwa on the banks of the Tamor River before continuing on.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,270m
    • Time:6 - 7 hours
  6. It's another long day of 6 hours of trekking. But as we pass through Tepethok, we're entering the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Here we have our permits checked before we cross the suspension bridge and go up to Lelep.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,860m
    • Time:6 hours
  7. Suspension bridges and waterfalls are part of today’s trek. Plus, we reach to the first Sherpa village on our trek where we spend a night. The village of Amjilosa is used mainly during the time when yaks and sheep are in the pastures, so very few families live here permanently.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2,510m
    • Time:5 hours
  8. After breakfast, we go through different pine, bamboo, rhododendron and oak forests. We notice that the villages and people are becoming more like Tibetan.

    We can also see yaks, sheep, and goats on the trail, not to mention a wide variety of bird life. After lunch, the trail takes us through a dense forest cover and over a wooden bridge to Gyabla, where we stay overnight.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2,730m
    • Time:4 hours
  9. Today, the journey continues through the forests and passes Phale Village, a Tibetan refugee camp that started more than a decade ago, when Tibetans started fleeing the Communist regime in China.

    It's a winter settlement village today. We have time to discover the village where some handicrafts are on sale. We're heading to Ghunsa, the largest village in the area, and one with a police station, a health post and a Kanchenjunga Conservation office. Telephone and internet services are also available here.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3,595m
    • Time:4 hours
  10. We're at a higher altitude now and aiming to get higher! So, we're taking the opportunity to rest and acclimatize in Ghunsa. There's a monastery to discover, and a ridge to ascend.

    There are views of Jannu Peak from the ridge, which is worth 5 hours (optional) plus a round trip. If you wish to climb up the ridge – and we recommend this as it helps to acclimatize the bodies – we'll take a pack-lunch with us.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3,595m
  11. Today, the view of the JannuHimal dominates the skyline. We follow a gentle upward path to the green valley of the glacier. We may be lucky enough to spot the blue sheep and snow leopards. The trail goes past a waterfall to a landslide-prone area where we take special care of it.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4,100m
    • Time:4 – 5 hours
  12. Today, the trail takes us mainly through the moraine of the Kanchenjunga Glacier. There are wonderful views on both sides of us walking uphill over large boulders.

    And as we are deep in the Snow Leopard territory, we also keep our eyes open for this wild animal! It is also a region of summer yak pastures, but there are no settlements on the trail.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4,785m
    • Time:5 hours
  13. From Lhonak, we'll be trekking to Ghunsa, today. Which will take us around 6 hours. We'll continue, along the same route we used as we went up. Upon reaching at Ghunsa, we will spend the night.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3,595m
    • Time:5 – 6 hours
  14. Today the trek leads us through the forest and along the grassy ridge from where we can see the Ghunsa villages and Phale, as well as Mount Makalu in the distance.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4,390m
    • Time:5 hours
  15. We begin early today towards its Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Summiting the Passing Sinion La Pass (4,450m) the trek leads us along the ridge to Sinelapche La Pass (4,830m).

    From here, the view of Mount Kanchjunga and its valley is incredible. We descend across a tiny trail to Cheram, the only village we find on this route. We stay overnight.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3,870m
    • Time:6 – 7 hours
  16. Today, we're on a trek to Ramche, where we'll stop for lunch before walking for about 40 minutes to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. The Base Camp is situated right on the edge of the glacier and is surrounded by Buddhist peace flags.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4,580m
    • Time:6 - 7 hours
  17. Today, the trek is mainly downhill through a gorge. But the final part is a steep climb over an area that is risky to landslides and through forests. There are no villages until we reach Tolongding, where there are a few guest houses.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2,995m
    • Time:4 hours
  18. After breakfast, we'll head downhill, and then turn to a steep and long uphill journey. We cross over a landslide area that leads to LasiyaBhanjyang, there is a teashop where we can stop for lunch as well. Then the trek goes as steep downhill through more forest areas until we reach the big village of Yamphuding.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2,080m
    • Time:7 hours
  19. It's easier to walk now that we are back at a lower altitude. On our route we find interesting villages and terraced fields. We're continuing to Khebang where we spend the night.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,910m
    • Time:5 hours
  20. This is the last day of our hike, and tomorrow we'll take a jeep/bus to the Airport.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,500m
    • Time:5 hours
  21. We have a long drive ahead of us today. Time to think about the wonderful sights we've seen and rest our tired legs! In the evening, when we arrive in Bhadrapur, we can enjoy a hearty dinner with some cold beer perhaps and relax in a comfortable hotel!

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1,400m
    • Time:4 hours
  22. We enjoy the short mountain flight back to Kathmandu. Our guide will take you to your hotel on your arrival in Kathmandu and you are free to enjoy the rest of the day shopping, sightseeing or relax the rest of the day until it is time for us tobid you goodbye at our farewell dinner.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:91m
    • Time:1 hour
  23. You can either stay back in Kathmandu today and enjoy a free day or leave for your respective countries.

    As per your flight schedule, our representatives will drop you off at the Airport.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:Optional
    • Maximum Altitude:1,400m

What's Included

Included

  • Airport transfers pick-up and drop-off.
  • Airfare both ways(Kathmandu – Bhadrapur – Kathmandu).
  • Kanchenjunga conservation area entry permit
  • Kanchenjunga restricted area entry permit
  • Bhadrapur to Taplejung by public bus
  • Khamdime to Bhadrapur by public bus
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) during the trek.
  • All accommodations during the trek.
  • English speaking Sherpa trek guide.
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staffs.
  • Porter to carry your luggage during the trek (1 porter for 2 trekkers).
  • Magical Summits duffel bag.
  • Hiking pole for the trek, if needed.
  • Trek map.
  • Farewell dinner including a cultural show.

Not Included

  • International airfares and Nepal visa.
  • Any personal medical or evacuation expenses incur.
  • International Travel insurance which included rescue.
  • Tips for the guide & porter(tipping is expected).
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on the ‘Included’ section.

Useful Info

Accommodation

Accommodations are provided on the twin-sharing basis. If you are a solo traveler, a single supplement will be served. Accommodations during the trek in the Himalayas, you will be staying at basic mountain lodges where you'll have a nice and clean room with the warm blankets, pillows, and comfortable matrices (matrices may not be very thick size but they’re comfortable).

Meals

During the trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food as well the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). Breakfast and dinner will be served from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be served on the way to the next destination. All meals will be provided during trekking, there will also be farewell dinner.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Himalayas is between September to December and March to May, when the skies are a clear blue and the views spectacular. The weather remains dry until about May, with temperatures varying between regions.

Nepal is good for trekking throughout the year. Autumn and spring seasons are the most famous trekking seasons in the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. It has beautiful, cool, blue skies, clear weather conditions and amazing views of the white mountains and the countryside.

During the spring season, this time of year offers a breathtaking view of the Rhododendron flowers and lush forests.

FAQs

1. Am I at risk during the trek and how can I prevent altitude sickness?

No one knows who is going to suffer from altitude sickness. It's doesn't follow that younger and fitter people will not have altitude sickness where the older and the less fit will. This is not related to (general) fitness or age. Talk to your home doctor.

There are prescription drugs that help prevent the onset of altitude sickness. But most of all, go slowly, listen to your body, be aware of any changes, and listen to your guide if you feel that you are experiencing symptoms (which you might not notice).

We use local native Sherpa guides. Our guides have been to theregions multiple times on each trek. They are all experienced, knowledgeable, flexible and licensed guides with the Government of Nepal.

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

On average, the porter can carry 25kg, including his own backpack. They can carry up to 20kg of your gear and equipment. We provide backpacks to porters.

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