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Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek

Trip Length: 23 Days
Highest Point: 5,130 meters (Pangpema)
Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenous
Accommodation: Teahouse/Tent
Starting Point: Taplejung
Ending Point: Taplejung
Walking Time: Approx 6 hrs per day
Region: Kanchanjunga

Trip Highlights

  • Excursion of north and south base camps of Kanchenjunga
  • Views of all five peaks of Kanchenjunga massif
  • Attractive views of Makalu and Everest to the west
  • High Passes, glaciers, high alpine meadows
  • A true trekking experience in the wilderness
  • Opportunity to observe and experience Limbu culture up close
  • Trek through one of the largest cardamom plantation regions of Nepal
  • Trek on the easternmost section of the Great Himalaya Trail
Trip Inquiry
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek is a very challenging trek in the north-eastern corner of Nepal. It traverses the remote and unexplored area of Nepal, passing through beautiful meadows, far-flung settlements, picturesque farmland and arid landscape. The trail is in complete wilderness. This means the changes of meeting foreign trekkers are very low. The trek begins from Suketar airfield in Teplejung district and progresses to southern base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga – the third highest mountain in the world – and to the northern base camp, passing through beautiful villages. The lower part of the trail is inhabited by Limbus, while Wolung people are the resident of the upper era. The trek offers you an opportunity to experience, culture and lifestyle of Limbu and Wolung people. Yamphudin and Ghunsa are the major villages on this trail. The trek offers breathtaking views of several mountains peaks including Kanchenjunga and its four satellite peaks, and Makalu and Everest, among others. This is a perfect trek for who want to get close to the Himalayas, but want to avoid the tourist traffic of the Everest and the Annapurna regions.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)

Welcome to Nepal. Representatives of West Himalaya will be at the airport to accord you a traditional Nepali welcome and transfer you to your hotel. If you land in Kathmandu before lunchtime, you will have time to explore the Kathmandu Valley. Begin your walk with a visit to Thamel – the tourist hotspot in Kathmandu. You can see thousands of businesses here, ranging from hotels to tour operators, handicraft shops to eateries, and massage parlors, to name a few, spread over an area of less than 4 sq km! You can find almost anything here. If you have any pre-trek shopping to do, Thamel is the best place.

O/N: Hotel
Day 2
Leisure day for trek preparation

This is the leisure day designed for trek preparation. We can arrange sightseeing trip for you if you are interested to explore Kathmandu Valley. Or you can simply relax in your hotel and prepare yourself for the trek while we complete permits and other formalities for you.

O/N: Hotel
Day 3
Fly to Bhadrapur; and drive to Ilam (1700m) – Approx 4 hrs

Drive to the airport for a flight to Bhadrapur – the eastern-most airports in the lowlands of Nepal. The flight takes about 45 minutes and offers you scintillating views of snowcapped mountains to the north on a clear day. After you disembark, board a waiting car and start driving toward the picturesque Ilam. The drive is pleasing as it passes though the expansive lowlands of Tarai and gradually climbs to the mid-hills region to reach Ilam.

O/N: Hotel
Day 4
Drive to Taplejung; and trek to Lalikharka (2315m) – Approx 4 hrs

Continuing driving to Taplejung. The drive takes around three hours. Upon arrival in Taplejung, meet your crew and have lunch. After lunch, leave the bustling town of Taplejung. The trail soon climbs a small ridge into a forested area before making a descent to Lalikharka. Lalikharka is a beautiful pastureland where you can get the first view of Kanchenjunga.

O/N: Tent
Day 5
Trek to Kande Bhanjyang (2170m) – Approx 6 hrs

After breakfast at your camp, start walking toward Tambawa village. The trail passes through sparse settlements and beautiful terraced fields through the village of Pakora and to your lunch point on the banks of Pawa Khola. You can take a dip in the cold waters as your lunch is prepared. After lunch, cross the Pawa Khola on a suspension bridge and start climbing toward Kunjuri, and continue walking to the top of a ridge. The ridge offers attractive view of Mount Kanchenjunga and all its satellite peaks. After enjoying the view, descend to our campsite at Kande Bhanjyang.

O/N: Tent
Day 6
Trek to Mamangkhe (1850m) – Approx 6 hrs

After breakfast, resume walking to a small settlement of Kheswa. From here, the trail makes a steep climb through terraced fields above Kabeli Khola. There trail offers beautiful views of Ratong and Kabru as well as the south face of Jannu Peak from the trail. After having lunch at a terraced field near the settlement of Phonphe Danda, make a descent to Kheswa Khola and cross the river using a suspension bridge. A short climb though terraced field will take you to your campsite at Mamangkhe.

O/N: Tent
Day 7
Trek to Yamphudin (1700m) – Approx 6 hrs

Today, also the trail is on the hillside above Kabeli River. You will have to cross many ridges and small streams as you make a descent to Kabeli Khola. After taking lunch at a placed called Bhaisi Bhir, the trail drops further to the riverbank. You can find beautiful pools here to cool yourself. From here, make a gradual climb to top of a ridge. The trail then passes through beautiful terraced fields, suggesting that you are approaching the village of Yamphudin. Yamphudin is the last permanent settlement on this trail.

O/N: Tent
Day 8
Trek to Lasiya Bhanjyang (3410m) – Approx 7-8 hrs

It’s going to be a comparatively longer day. Bid adieu to Yamphudin village and embark on a long ascent to the top of Deorali Danda ridge (3,292m). The path is winding and uphill through rhododendron bushes. From here, continue your walk to the top of another ridge named Lasiya Bhanjyang where you will stop for the night. Lasiya Bhanjyang offers breathtaking views of Jannu Peak suggesting that you are getting closer to the mountain.

O/N: Tent
Day 9
Trek to Torongtan (2870m) – Approx 4 hrs

Resume walking after having early breakfast at your lodge. The trail makes a gradual descent toward Simbuwa Khola. Initially, the trail is through a landslide-prone section which requires extra care and attention. After the area, however, the trail is through forested area until you descned to the banks of Simbuwa Khola. A walk of about an hour on the banks takes you to a river crossing. Cross the river using a wooden bridge and walk to your night halt at Torongtan.

O/N: Tent
Day 10
Trek to Tseram (3730m) – Approx 5 hrs

The trail contours the lower Lalung Valley today. Walk along the right side of the river. The trial is through thick forests of pine and rhododendron. Follow the river toward its source at Yalung Glacier. As you gain altitude, you can see trees making way for small shrubs. You can enjoy stunning views of different mountain peaks like Talung (7,349m), Kabru (7,338m) and Rathong (6,678m), among others. The trail is easy until Yalung Glacier comes into your view. Your campsite at Tseram is located some 500 meters north of the river.

O/N: Tent
Day 11
Trek to Oktang, South Base Camp (4780m), and back – Approx 9-10 hrs

Today, you will trek to Oktang – the southern base cam of Mt Kanchanjunga – and return back to your camp. The trip takes around 10 hours. The trail is steep initially, for about an hour, and gets straight with gentle slope till Oktang Glacier. Walk further for an excursion south base camp to get better views of the south face of Kanchenjunga. After a brief walk, the glacier turns northward. A walk of around an hour from here will take you to a place which offers attractive views of the entire south and west faces of this beautiful mountains. Continuing further, you see a chhorten from where you get breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga Main (8,586m), Yalung Kang (8,505m) and Kambachen Peak (7,903m). After lunch, return to you camp at Tseram.

O/N: Tent
Day 12
Cross three Passes and trek to Selele (4200m) – Approx 10-11 hrs

Be prepared for a long and testing day. Today, you will be crossing three high passes to camp on a ledge of Selele above Ghunsa. The trail is steep initially. A climb of about two hours from Tseram will take you to frozen lakes named Chhuchung Pokhari. A short walk from here will take you to Sinelepcha Pass (4730m) – the highest of the three passes and also the most difficult one. From the top of the pass, you can enjoy 180 degree views of various snowcapped mountains to the north, and series of hills to the south. Sinelepcha Pass also divides two watersheds of Simbuwa and Ghunsa rivers. A walk of about an hour will take you to the top of your second pass – Mirgin Pass (4690m). The trail falls marginally before climbing up again to the third pass – Sinion La Pass (4670m). After crossing the third pass, make a descent to Selele.

O/N: Tent
Day 13
Trek to Ghunsa (3425m) - Approx 4 hrs

Make a rather late start from your camp today. You will cross two small passes today. The walk is easy and doesn't involved much climbing though. A walk of some two hours will take you to the first pass going by the name Sele La. The second pass, Tamo, is not much far. You will get the first view of Ghunsa Khola valley from the top ot Tamo. From Tamo, the trail descends toward Ghunsa Khola valley and a walk of some one and half hours through rhododendron forest will take you to Ghunsa. After lunch, explore the Ghunsa village.

O/N: Tent
Day 14
Rest/Contingency Day

This is the contingency day that your trek leader can take depending on how the trek progresses. If your first leg of the trek passes smoothly, you can take a well-earned rest day in Ghunsa village.

O/N: Tent
Day 15
Trek to Kambachen (3930m) – Approx 5 hrs

Leave Ghunsa and start walking toward Kambachen. The trail goes along the Ghunsa Khola through juniper and rhododendron forest. The trail passes through chhortens and mani walls reflecting the local people’s faith in Buddhism. You can see the moraine of Jannu glacier ahead in the horizon, but the peak is still not in sight. Upon reaching the moraine, cross the river on a small bridge and reach to a beautiful pastureland named Rhambuk Kharka. The pastureland provides stunning views of peaks like Phole, Saobithonge and Jannu rising above the moraines. After a short walk from here, descend to the beautiful village of Kambachen. The skyline to the north is dominated by Jannu which is locally known as Kumbhakarna Himal.

O/N: Tent
Day 16
Trek to Lhonak (4570m) – Approx 4-5 hrs

The trek to Lhonak is relatively easy. After having breakfast at your teahouse, continuing walking northward along the river. The trail passes through a rocky field before opening into a beautiful grassy area. If you are lucky, you can see herds of Blue Sheep grazing on cliffs above you. As you climb northward, you can see majestic snowcapped peaks like Nepal Peak, Tent Peak, Wedge Peak, among others. A walk of some three hours from Kambachen will take you to Ramtang. Lhonak is a short walk from Ramtang. It is a grassy plain opposite of Wedge Peak.

O/N: Tent
Day 17
Trek to Pang Pema, Northern Base Camp (4900m); return to Lhonak – Approx 8-9 hrs

Today, you will be trekking to the northern base camp and returning to Lhonak. The trail follows the moraine of Kanchenjunga Glacier and climbs toward Pang Pema. You can get attractive views of Nepal Peak, Tent Peak, Pyramid Peak and Sharphu peaks from the trail as you climb up toward the base camp. Pang Pema is located on a grassy ledge that rises above the glacier. The northern face of Kanchenjunga lies across the glacier. Pang Pema offers panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga massif and surrounding areas. After a short excursion of the area, start descending to Lhonak.

O/N: Tent
Day 18
Trek to Ghunsa – Approx 8 hrs

With your adventurous journey done and dusted, begin your descent to Ghunsa. Follow the Ghunsa River to Kambachen. The walk will be easier as the trail is familiar. After having lunch at Kambachen, continue walk toward Ghunsa. A leisurely walk of around an hour will take you to Ghunsa village.

O/N: Tent
Day 19
Trek to Gyabala (2725m) – Approx 6 hrs

Cross the Ghunsa Khola and walk downward along the river. The walk is pleasant as the trail passes through rhododendron, pine, birch and bamboo forests. You can see mani walls at different places along the trail reflecting the area’s rich Buddhist heritage. After early lunch at Phale, the trail passes through a long stretch of landslide. After the landslide-ridden area, the trail enters lush forests. A walk of around three hours from here will take you to Gyabala. Gyabala is a small settlement with few teahouses and lodges. It is seated in a picturesque location offering you views of green forests and waterfall cascading down far in the distance.

O/N: Tent
Day 20
Trek to Serkathum (1650m) – Approx 7-8 hrs

Make a gentle downhill for around two hours. The trail soon makes a steep climb for around one and half hours. From here, the trail flattens and it’s a gentle downhill of about two hours to the banks of Ghunsa Khola. Lunch will be served at Amjilosa. After a walk of about an hour and half, the trail enters a dense forest and cardamom farming area. Continue your walk along the banks of Ghunsa Khola until Serkathum. Serkathum lies near the confluence of three rivers which form Tamor River – one of the tributaries of the mighty Saptakoshi River which drains into the Ganges.

O/N: Tent
Day 21
Trek to Tapethok (1320m) – Approx 3 hrs; drive to Ilam – Approx 6 hrs

Last day of your trek! An easy walk of around two hours will take us to the road head at Tapkethok. After a leisurely lunch, take a waiting 4WD and drive to Ilam.

O/N: Hotel
Day 22
Drive to Bhadrapur and fly to Kathmandu– Tent – Approx 7-8 hrs

After early breakfast, continuing driving toward Bhadrapur. The drive is pleasing as it passes through beautiful tea gardens. The road then descends to the lowlands of Tarai and reach Bhadrapur. Lunch will be served at one of the hotels in this Tarai town. After the lunch, drive to the airport for the flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, board a waiting car and drive to your hotel. Back in the comport of your hotel, take a bath and pamper yourself. In the evening, we will host a farewell dinner for you to celebrate the sucess of your trek. Share you trek experiences over a bottle of beer or two.

O/N: Tent
Day 23

Last day in Nepal! Our representative will escort you to the airport for your return flight. You will reach airport at least three hours ahead of your flight time so that you don't have to rush for immigration formalities. Adios.

Trip Map

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Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek

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