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Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek – Impressive 3-Week Adventure to 3rd Highest Mountain

0
  • 20 nights -21 days
  • Max People : 1 - 20
  • Wifi Available
  • Everyday Departure
  • Age :No Age Limit
  • Pickup: Airpot or Hotel

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Details:

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most remote and unspoiled regions of Nepal, offering trekkers an opportunity to explore the pristine beauty of the Eastern Himalayas.

Spanning over three weeks, this trek takes adventurers through diverse landscapes, including lush forests, alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and high mountain passes, while providing breathtaking views of the world’s third-highest peak, Kanchenjunga, and its surrounding peaks.

Route Overview:

The trek typically begins in the village of Taplejung or Suketar, accessible by flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur followed by a long drive. From Taplejung, trekkers embark on a journey that takes them through remote villages, dense forests, and high mountain passes before reaching the base camps of Kanchenjunga, both north and south. The trek then follows a circular route, passing through picturesque valleys and crossing high-altitude passes, before descending back to Taplejung to conclude the adventure.

Landscape and Scenery:

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek offers a diverse range of landscapes, each more stunning than the last. Trekkers traverse through lush subtropical forests teeming with rhododendrons, oak, and bamboo, which gradually give way to alpine meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers during the spring season.

As the trail ascends higher, the scenery transforms into rugged terrain, with towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear glacial lakes dominating the landscape. The trek provides ample opportunities to witness the unique flora and fauna of the region, including rare species like the red panda, snow leopard, and various species of birds.

Culture and Communities:

Throughout the journey, trekkers have the opportunity to interact with the diverse ethnic communities that inhabit the region, including the Limbu, Rai, Sherpa, and Tibetan people. These communities have preserved their traditional way of life for generations, and trekkers can experience their hospitality firsthand by staying in local teahouses and homestays along the route.

Visitors may also have the chance to observe cultural ceremonies, festivals, and rituals that offer insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Highlights and Attractions:

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is dotted with numerous highlights and attractions that make it a truly memorable adventure. Some of the must-see sights along the route include:

Kanchenjunga Base Camps: Trekkers have the opportunity to visit both the north and south base camps of Kanchenjunga, which offer unparalleled views of the majestic peak and its surrounding glaciers.

High Mountain Passes: The trek features several high-altitude passes, including Sele La and Mirgin La, which offer panoramic views of the Himalayan range stretching into Tibet and Sikkim.

Yalung Glacier: The trail passes by the stunning Yalung Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the Eastern Himalayas, offering trekkers a chance to witness the raw power of nature up close.

Village Life: Trekking through remote villages such as Ghunsa, Lhonak, and Yamphudin provides a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle and culture of the local communities, allowing trekkers to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Himalayan people.

Flora and Fauna: The region is home to a rich diversity of plant and animal species, including rare orchids, Himalayan blue sheep, and elusive snow leopards. Trekkers can spot these unique creatures amidst the pristine wilderness of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, it is not without its challenges. The trail involves long days of trekking, often over rough and rugged terrain, with altitudes reaching over 5,000 meters at certain points. Trekkers should be prepared for variable weather conditions, including snow and high winds, especially at higher elevations. Proper acclimatization is essential to avoid altitude sickness, and trekkers are advised to take their time and listen to their bodies throughout the journey.

Conclusion:

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a truly epic adventure that takes trekkers off the beaten path and into the heart of the Eastern Himalayas. With its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and unparalleled wilderness, this trek offers an experience like no other. Whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or a first-time trekker, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek promises an unforgettable journey that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Departure & Return Location

Kathmandu 

Price Includes

  • All the Ground Transportation from airport pick up to airport drop off.
  • Accomodation in Kathmandu twin sharing basis.
  • Domestic flights
  • English speaking Guide and Porters
  • One main course meal during trekking 3 times a day with a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Accommodation while on trekking
  • All trekking permit & fees
  • Company Tshirt and duffle bag to carry for the porter
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • Trekking/climbing certificate from the agency

Price Excludes

  • Flights To/From Nepal, Tourist Visa, and Travel insurance
  • Meals in the Cities
  • Personal expenses: Boiled and bottled water, hot shower, battery charging, Wi-Fi, snacks, drinks etc.
  • Any extra costs due to unforeseen circumstances and Tips for your trekking staffs

Complementaries

  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • Certificate of Achievement and Medal
  • Company T-Shirt
What to Expect

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is an extraordinary adventure that offers trekkers a unique and remote experience in the eastern region of Nepal. Overall, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek promises a challenging and rewarding adventure through some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes in Nepal, offering trekkers an unforgettable journey of exploration, discovery, and natural beauty. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Remote and Untouched Beauty: The Kanchenjunga region is one of the least explored and least visited trekking areas in Nepal, offering pristine natural beauty and unspoiled landscapes. You'll traverse through remote villages, dense forests, alpine meadows, and glacier-carved valleys, encountering diverse flora and fauna along the way.
  • Spectacular Mountain Views:The trek provides stunning views of the world's third-highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters), as well as other towering peaks like Jannu (7,710 meters), Kabru (7,412 meters), and Rathong (6,678 meters). The panorama of snow-capped peaks, hanging glaciers, and deep valleys is awe-inspiring and unforgettable.
  • Challenging Terrain: The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is known for its challenging terrain, including steep ascents, rocky trails, and high mountain passes. Trekkers should be prepared for long days of walking, often in remote and rugged terrain, requiring a good level of fitness and endurance.
  • Cultural Encounters: Throughout the trek, you'll have the opportunity to interact with local communities, including the indigenous Rai and Limbu people. Their unique culture, traditions, and hospitality provide insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region. You may stay in traditional tea houses or homestays, experiencing the warmth and generosity of the local people.
  • Wildlife Sightings:The Kanchenjunga region is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and various species of birds. While sightings are not guaranteed, trekking through the remote wilderness increases the chances of encountering these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Altitude Challenges: The trek reaches high altitudes, with several passes exceeding 5,000 meters, such as the Sele La Pass and Sinion La Pass. Proper acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude-related illnesses, and trekkers should be prepared for the effects of high altitude, including decreased oxygen levels and cold temperatures.
  • Weather Variability:Weather conditions in the Kanchenjunga region can be unpredictable, with temperatures varying widely depending on the season and altitude. Trekkers should be prepared for cold temperatures, especially at higher elevations, as well as the possibility of rain, snow, and strong winds, particularly during the monsoon season.
  • Permits and Regulations:As the Kanchenjunga region is a restricted area, trekkers are required to obtain permits from the Nepalese government and travel with a licensed guide. Additionally, trekking in this region typically involves camping due to the limited infrastructure, so trekkers should be prepared for multi-day camping trips in remote wilderness areas.
Itinerary
The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a challenging and remote trek that circles the entire Kanchenjunga massif, offering breathtaking views of the world's third-highest mountain. This itinerary provides a comprehensive experience of the Kanchenjunga region, allowing you to explore its diverse landscapes, cultures, and natural beauty. Adjustments can be made based on your preferences and trekking pace. Additionally, it's important to be prepared for altitude and challenging terrain, as this trek involves remote areas with limited facilities. . Here's a sample itinerary for the trek:

Day 1Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)

Arriving in Kathmandu, you’re greeted by the vibrant chaos of Nepal’s bustling capital city. The sights, sounds, and scents overwhelm the senses as you navigate through narrow streets teeming with rickshaws, motorcycles, and pedestrians. Towering pagodas and ancient temples silently witness centuries of history and culture. As you settle into the rhythm of Kathmandu, you feel the anticipation building for the adventure ahead, knowing that this vibrant city is just the beginning of your journey into the heart of the Himalayas.

Day 2Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Permit Preparation, trip briefing with guide, and Sightseeing optional

Before Heading to the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, ensure all necessary permits are obtained, including the Restricted Area Permit and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit, which can be arranged through a registered trekking agency in Kathmandu like Sali trekking and mountain world treks and expedition. Before the trek, a thorough trip briefing with the guide is essential, covering safety protocols, itinerary details, altitude sickness prevention, and cultural sensitivities. Additionally, optional sightseeing tours in Kathmandu can be arranged to explore cultural and historical landmarks such as Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Durbar Square, providing a holistic introduction to Nepal’s rich heritage before embarking on the trek.

Day 3Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by Flight and drive to Ilam - 1677 m

You take a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur, which lasts approximately 30 minutes. Upon arrival in Bhadrapur, you embark on a drive to Ilam, a journey of about 4-5 hours covering 90 kilometers. The drive takes you through the lush landscapes of eastern Nepal, offering picturesque views of tea gardens, rolling hills, and local villages, eventually reaching the charming town of Ilam, renowned for its tea plantations and tranquil ambiance, situated at an altitude of 1,208 meters.

Day 4Ilam to Taplejung by drive – 1820 m

The drive from Ilam to Taplejung takes approximately 6-7 hours, covering a distance of about 154 kilometers. The journey offers a scenic route through the lush tea gardens of Ilam, rolling hills, and terraced fields. As you ascend towards Taplejung, the landscape changes with winding mountain roads and panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas. The drive, although long and occasionally bumpy due to the road conditions, provides a fascinating glimpse into the rural life of eastern Nepal, eventually reaching Taplejung, the starting point for the Kanchenjunga trek, situated at an altitude of 2,420 meters.

Day 5Taplejung to Sekathum  by drive – 1,600 m

The drive from Taplejung to Sekathum offers a thrilling and scenic journey through the remote landscapes of eastern Nepal. Spanning approximately 6-7 hours over rugged and winding mountain roads, the route takes you through dense forests, past terraced fields, and along the banks of the Tamor River. As you navigate the challenging terrain, you pass small villages and encounter stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. This drive, covering a distance of around 60 km, gradually descends from Taplejung’s altitude of 2,420 meters to Sekathum at 1,660 meters, providing a dynamic introduction to the natural beauty and cultural richness of the Kanchenjunga region.

Day 6Sekathum to Amjilosa - 2,510 m

The trek from Sekathum to Amjilosa is a challenging and scenic journey that spans approximately 10 kilometers and takes around 6-7 hours. The trail follows the Ghunsa River, starting with a steep climb through dense forests of bamboo and rhododendrons. You cross several suspension bridges and pass through small villages, experiencing a significant change in altitude as you ascend from 1,660 meters to 2,510 meters. The path is rugged and involves both steep ascents and descents, offering trekkers glimpses of cascading waterfalls and the chance to spot diverse wildlife, making it a physically demanding yet rewarding segment of the Kanchenjunga trek.

Day 7Amjilosa to Gyabla – 2730 m

The trek from Amjilosa to Gyabla takes you through a scenic and relatively challenging route that covers about 10 kilometers in 5-6 hours. The trail ascends gradually through dense rhododendrons and bamboo forests, offering glimpses of cascading waterfalls and lush greenery. As you climb higher, you pass through small settlements and cross several streams, immersing yourself in the tranquil and remote beauty of the Kanchenjunga region. The day’s journey ends at Gyabla, a picturesque village nestled at an altitude of 2,730 meters, where trekkers can rest and enjoy the serene mountain environment.

Day 8Gyabla to Ghunsa - 3595 m

The trek from Gyabla to Ghunsa covers approximately 17 kilometers and takes about 6 to 7 hours. Starting at an altitude of 2,730 meters in Gyabla, the trail ascends gradually, offering a mix of forested areas and open terrain with increasingly impressive mountain vistas. Along the way, trekkers pass through the village of Phole, which features traditional Tibetan houses and a monastery. As you approach Ghunsa, the landscape opens up, revealing a picturesque settlement nestled in a broad valley at an altitude of 3,595 meters. Ghunsa serves as a crucial acclimatization point and a hub for exploring the Kanchenjunga region.

Day 9Ghunsa to Kambachen - 4100 m

The trek from Ghunsa to Kambachen is a captivating journey through high alpine terrain, characterized by dramatic mountain vistas and challenging landscapes. Covering approximately 12 kilometers in about 6-7 hours, the trail ascends gradually, passing through rocky fields, glacial moraines, and occasional scree slopes. Along the way, trekkers are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including the Jannu Himal. The altitude gain from 3,595 meters at Ghunsa to 4,100 meters at Kambachen requires steady pacing to accommodate acclimatization. As you approach Kambachen, the scenery becomes increasingly spectacular, with close-up views of towering snow-capped mountains and vast glacial expanses, making the trek both demanding and immensely rewarding.

Day 10Acclimatization Day Kambachen – 4100 m

At Kambachen, at an altitude of 4,100 meters, the acclimatization day offers trekkers a crucial opportunity to adjust to the high altitude before continuing their journey towards Kanchenjunga Base Camp. With the surrounding peaks towering above, this rest day involves gentle exploration of the surrounding area, allowing hikers to soak in the breathtaking views, engage with local culture, and perhaps embark on short hikes to nearby viewpoints or glacier vantage points. It’s a time for trekkers to listen to their bodies, hydrate well, and acclimate gradually, ensuring they are adequately prepared for the challenges ahead while relishing the serene beauty of the Himalayan landscape.

Day 11Kambachen to Lhonak – 4785 m

The trek from Kambachen to Lhonak is an awe-inspiring journey through high alpine terrain, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Beginning from the quaint village of Kambachen nestled amidst towering mountains, the trail gradually ascends over rocky fields and past immense glaciers, with every step revealing new vistas of the surrounding Himalayan landscape. As trekkers navigate the rugged terrain, they are treated to glimpses of elusive wildlife and the raw beauty of the remote wilderness. Covering a distance of approximately 10 kilometers throughout 6 to 7 hours, the trek culminates at Lhonak, a remote settlement at an altitude of 4,780 meters, where weary travelers can rest amidst the serene beauty of the high Himalayas.

Day 12Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp from Lhonak – 4785 m

Embarking on a day trip from Lhonak to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, trekkers are treated to a breathtaking adventure amidst towering peaks and glacial landscapes. Starting early to maximize daylight hours, the journey spans approximately 9 kilometers each way, demanding around 8 hours of trekking. Traversing rugged terrain and crossing icy streams, hikers navigate their way to the awe-inspiring Kanchenjunga North Base Camp at an altitude of 5,143 meters. Surrounded by majestic vistas of the world’s third-highest mountain, the experience offers a profound sense of accomplishment and wonder before returning to Lhonak, culminating in a day filled with unforgettable memories of natural splendor.

Day 13Lhonak to Ghunsa – 3595 m

From the high-altitude terrain of Lhonak, the trek descends gradually, retracing the path through rocky fields and glacial moraines, offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Passing through Ghunsa La, the journey gradually leads down through alpine landscapes and lush forests, with occasional encounters with yak herders and Tibetan settlements. Trekking approximately 12 kilometers over 6-7 hours, the route returns to the welcoming village of Ghunsa, nestled amidst the rugged Himalayan scenery, where trekkers can rest and rejuvenate before continuing their journey.

Day 14Trek from Ghunsa to Sele Le Base Camp - 4240m

The trek from Ghunsa to Sele Le Base Camp is a demanding yet exhilarating journey through the rugged terrain of the Kanchenjunga region. Beginning from the quaint village of Ghunsa at an altitude of 3,595 meters, the trail ascends steadily, leading trekkers through dense forests and alpine meadows. As the path winds its way up, breathtaking vistas of towering peaks and cascading waterfalls unfold. Crossing high mountain passes and traversing rocky ridges, trekkers gradually gain altitude, eventually reaching the pristine wilderness of Sele Le Base Camp at 4,290 meters. The trek, spanning approximately 8 kilometers, typically takes around 6 to 7 hours to complete, offering adventurers a thrilling blend of natural beauty and rugged mountain landscapes.

Day 15Trek from Sele Le Base Camp to Tseram 3868m  via Sele le pass 4,290m

Trekking from Sele Le Base Camp across the challenging terrain of Sele Le Pass to Tseram offers a rigorous yet breathtaking journey through the rugged landscapes of the Kanchenjunga region. Setting out from the base camp, trekkers navigate steep ascents and rocky trails, surrounded by panoramic views of towering peaks and pristine glaciers. As they ascend the pass, the air thins, adding to the sense of adventure and accomplishment.

Upon reaching the summit of Sele Le Pass, at an altitude of 4,290 meters, trekkers are rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas stretching across the Himalayan range. The descent towards Tseram reveals a dramatic change in scenery, with lush alpine forests and cascading waterfalls lining the path. Covering approximately 13 kilometers throughout 7 to 8 hours, this leg of the journey is as physically demanding as it is spiritually enriching, culminating in the tranquil village of Tseram nestled amidst the verdant valleys of eastern Nepal.

Day 16Trek from Tseram to Ramche and Hike to Oktang (Kanchanjanga South Base Camp, 4740m. and back to Tseram)

From Tseram, the trek ascends through pristine alpine landscapes, following the path towards Ramche. As you approach Ramche, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and frozen glaciers. Upon reaching Ramche, you embark on an exhilarating hike to Oktang, the viewpoint overlooking the Yalung South Base Camp. The trail winds through rugged terrain, offering panoramic vistas of the Kanchenjunga massif and surrounding valleys. At Oktang, you’re rewarded with an awe-inspiring panorama of jagged peaks, including the imposing south face of Kanchenjunga. The experience at this high-altitude vantage point is truly unforgettable, immersing you in the raw grandeur of the Himalayas and leaving an indelible mark on your trekking adventure.

Day 17Trek from Tseram to Tortong - 2980m

The trek from Tseram to Tortong takes you through a captivating landscape of lush forests and serene alpine meadows. Starting from Tseram at an altitude of 3,870 meters, you descend gradually, passing by crystal-clear streams and rhododendron-filled valleys. The trail offers glimpses of majestic peaks and occasional encounters with local wildlife. Trekking approximately 10 kilometers over 5-6 hours, you arrive at Tortong, situated at 2,980 meters. Along the way, you are treated to breathtaking views and a sense of tranquility that permeates the untouched wilderness of the Kanchenjunga region.

Day 18Trek from Tortong to Yamphudin - 2080m

The trek to Yamphudin continues its descent through diverse landscapes. Starting with a gradual descent, the trail soon transitions into steep sections, traversing through dense forests and picturesque villages. Trekking approximately 15 kilometers throughout 7 to 8 hours, hikers are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and terraced fields.

As you descend further, the vegetation changes, offering glimpses of rhododendron and oak forests, while the distant sounds of rivers and waterfalls accompany your journey. Finally, arriving at Yamphudin, located at an altitude of 2,080 meters, trekkers can unwind and immerse themselves in the warm hospitality of the local community, marking the end of another rewarding day on the Kanchenjunga trek.

Day 19Jeep from Yamphudin to Bhadrapur - 1210m

From Yamphudin, you can arrange a jeep ride to Bhadrapur, providing a quicker and more comfortable alternative to trekking back to Taplejung. The journey typically takes around 8-9 hours, traversing through diverse landscapes ranging from lush forests to terraced fields and small villages. The jeep route offers glimpses of local life and stunning mountain views along the way, making for a memorable journey before reaching Bhadrapur.

Day 20Fly back to Kathmandu - 1350m

From Bhadrapur, you embark on a scenic flight back to Kathmandu, offering a bird’s eye view of the majestic Himalayan peaks and the sprawling landscapes of Nepal below. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you are greeted by the vibrant energy of the city, marking the end of your epic adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.

Day 21Departure From Kathmandu

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some free time to explore Kathmandu further. And Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward journey, bidding farewell to Nepal and its majestic mountains.

Map

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Photos
FAQ

Where is the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a challenging trekking route that circumnavigates the Kanchenjunga massif in the eastern region of Nepal. It offers stunning views of the world’s third-highest mountain and takes trekkers through remote villages, lush forests, alpine meadows, and High Mountain passes.

How long does the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek take?

The duration of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek varies depending on the itinerary chosen and the individual trekking pace. Typically, the trek takes around 20-25 days to complete.

What is the best time to do the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

The best time to do the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is generally stable, and the skies are clear, offering the best views of the mountains.

How difficult is the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is considered one of the more challenging treks in Nepal due to its remote location, high altitude, and rugged terrain. Trekkers should be physically fit, mentally prepared for long days of walking, and accustomed to high-altitude trekking.

What permits are required for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Trekkers need two permits for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek: the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP). These permits are typically arranged by trekking agencies and are necessary to enter the restricted areas and conservation zones along the trekking route.

What is the accommodation like on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Accommodation along the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek varies from basic teahouses in lower elevations to more rustic lodges and camping in higher altitudes. Facilities are basic, with shared rooms, communal dining areas, and simple meals available.

What should I pack for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Packing essentials for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek include appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions, sturdy hiking boots, a good-quality sleeping bag, personal toiletries, a first-aid kit, and trekking poles. It’s also essential to carry sufficient water and snacks, as well as any necessary medication.

Are there altitude-related risks on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Altitude sickness is a potential risk on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek due to the high elevations reached during the trek. It’s essential to acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and be aware of symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. Trekkers should descend to lower elevations if symptoms persist or worsen.

Can I extend or customize the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Yes, many trekking agencies offer customized itineraries for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, allowing trekkers to tailor the route, duration, and activities according to their preferences and fitness levels. Extensions to nearby destinations or side trips to scenic viewpoints can also be arranged.

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