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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Trip at a Glance

  • Country

    Country: Nepal

  • Trip grade

    Trip grade: Strenuous

  • Destination

    Destination: Off-the-beaten-trails

  • Activities

    Activities: Camp trek

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation: Hotels/Tented camps

  • Transportation

    Transportation: Private vehicle/Plane

  • Maximum altitude

    Maximum altitude: Yalung Ri Base Camp (5,400m)

  • Group size

    Group size: 2 pax min

  • Trip Start / End

    Trip Start / End: Kathmandu - Kathmandu

  • Best Season

    Best Season: Mar-May, Sep-Nov

Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is a great Himalayan trail trek that leads to the foot of the third highest peak in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga. Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m) is considered a sacred mountain to the locals situated in the eastern region of Nepal and bordered by Sikkim region of India.

The prime feature of the trek is to visit and explore Kanchenjunga Base Camp located at 5,100 meters from where one can witness the magnificence of the mountain itself including the surrounding peaks. Kanchenjunga base camp trek itinerary passes along several high passes, steep ascents, and descents so you need to be at your best in physical fitness and previous trekking experience is an added bonus.

As you will be walking through traditional villages you will have a nice overview of the local culture and traditions of the ethnic communities of the region specially the Limbu and Sherpa people.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Scenic flight: Kathmandu-Taplejung-Kathmandu.
  • Explore Kanchenjunga Base Camp.
  • Explore Yalung Ri Base Camp.
  • Magnificent views of the Himalayan giants: Mt. Everest, Mt Makalu and Mt Kanchenjunga.
  • Crossing Mirgin La Pass at 4,480 meters.
  • Diverse flora and fauna and rich local culture.

 

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 02: Fly from Kathmandu to Suketar (2320 m/35 min) & trek to Lali Kharka (2,276 m/3.5 hrs)
Day 03: Trek from Lali Kharka to Khesewa (2,120 m/5 hrs)
Day 04: Trek from Khesewa to Mamankhe (1,920 m/5 hrs)
Day 05: Trek from Mamankhe to Yamphudin (2,080 m/6 hrs)
Day 06: Trek from Yamphudin to Chitre (2,965 m/5 hrs)
Day 07: Trek from Chitre to Tortongn (3,010 m/6 hrs)
Day 08: Trek from Tortongn to Tseram (3,870 m/6 hrs)
Day 09: Trek from Tseram to Ramche (4,580 m/4 hrs)
Day 10: Explore around Ramche (4,580 m) & trek to Oktang (4,730 m/5 hrs)
Day 11: Trek from Oktang to Yalung Ri Base Camp (5,400 m/5 hrs)
Day 12: Trek from Yalung Ri Base Camp to Ramche (4,580 m/5 hrs)
Day 13: Trek from Ramche to Sallerle via Mirgin La (4,480 m/6 hrs)
Day 14: Trek from Sallerle to Ghunsa (3,475 m/5 hrs)
Day 15: Trek from Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,040 m/6 hrs)
Day 16: Exploration Day at Kambachen (4,040 m)
Day 17: Trek from Kambachen to Lhonak (4,790 m/6 hrs)
Day 18: Trek from Lhonak to Pang Pema (5,140 m/4 hrs)
Day 19: Explore around Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5,100 m) & return to Kambachen (4,040 m/5hrs)
Day 20: Trek from Kambachen to Ghunsa (3,475 m/6 hrs)
Day 21: Trek from Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2,460 m/4 hrs)
Day 22: Trek from Amjilosa to Sakathum (1,600 m/5 hrs)
Day 23: Trek from Sakathum to Chhiruwa (1,200 m/5 hrs)
Day 24: Trek from Chhiruwa to Suketar (2,420 m/5 hrs)
Day 25: Fly from Suketar to Kathmandu (1400m/30 min)
Day 26: Free day in Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 27: Final Departure

Upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you need to accomplish your entry/visa formalities. You will then be received by a representative from Marron Treks and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Welcome drinks will be served at the hotel and then we will have a quick pre-trip meeting. You can then spend the remaining time resting or as you please. In the evening you can stroll around the vicinity of your hotel just to get the feel of this wonderful city. 

Hotel

Fly from Kathmandu to Taplejung at Suketar Airport in Taplejung which is about 35 minutes flight where you will meet your trekking team. After lunch start the trek in the afternoon with an easy 2- to 3-hour walk along the ridgeline to Lali Kharka, a grazing area. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trail traverse along the hillside a short way it descends to Pakora village along the Phawa Khola, crossing a suspension bridge before beginning the steep climb up towards Kunjuri. Lunch will be somewhere below Kunjuri. After lunch it’s a short distance walk over the crest of the ridge to our campsite at Khesewa. Get your first view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and should be able to clearly make out the south and main summit along with Yalung Kang.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will go along a steep hillside through terraced fields high above the Kabbeli Khola. There are some ups and downs crossing side valleys but there are many shady spots to rest. Then after lunch cross the village of Anpan, before descending to cross the Kashawa Khola. After climbing again through terraced fields will reach the village of Mamankhe.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Today you need to start early as the day involves an easy climb to Yamphudin along a track which contours the hillside above the Kabeli Khola. You will go through several ups and downs while crossing the ridges and stream beds that make up the valley sides. Generally, the route is flat and the river eventually becomes level with the trail, a couple of hours before Yamphudin. You can stop for a bath at one of the clear pools within this beautiful river.

Get your lunch by the side of the river and walk to Yamphudin the most remote settlement in this area and the last village we will see until we reach Ghunsa. It is a charming place tucked away beneath the ridge of Deurali Danda that we cross next.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will ascend a steep spur, a gentle introduction for what will come. Leaving behind villages the trail passes through pleasant forest, stopping for lunch in a meadow capturing fine views of the north and south. You will then steeply descend to the river through an interesting bridge across the Omje Khola to reach our campsite in Chitre.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The day begins with 3 hours of steep ascent to the crest of the Deurali Danda in dense forest most of the way. From the 3,230 m pass we see Jannu, definitely closer! The trail then descends across some steep and exposed areas before entering the forest again. You will have to then sharp descent through beautiful forest contiuing down into the valley of the Simjua Khola. After crossing an interesting-looking and challenging wooden bridge will reach Tortongn, the camping site with numerous rock shelters amid towering conifers.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trial follows the river through a more beautiful forest, the conifers giving way to the rhododendron forest. You will climb a fairly steep valley with the trees becoming more stunted and scattered, giving us glimpses of the snow-capped peaks ahead and the massive snout of Yalung Glacier. Before reaching Tseram the towering heights of Kabru and Rathong peak start to peep over the moraine. Tseram is a grazing area and night temperatures will remind us that we are really gaining height.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Today is a shorter day’s walk up the final 600m to Ramche where the trail to Kanchenjunga South turns dangerous. As you ascend past the snout of Yalung Glaciers into a series of ablation valleys, the scenery becomes magnificent with the walking become easy. En route you will witness a frozen lake, clear streams and views of Koktang, Rathong and Kabru.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will get your first encounter of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Follow the valley round to observe the stunning south face of Kanchenjunga and Jannu. Cross the the Yalung Ri Glacier and continue by a sweeping curve, at Oktang, 4,730 m, suddenly we are confronted with the southern wall of the mountain. This vast ridge forms a cirque over 15 kms long, nowhere less than 7,500 m high and with three main summits of Kanchenjunga at 8,420 m, 8,586m, and 8,474 m. The mountain panorama is spectacular and especially impressive is Jannu while observing the glaciers flowing from its east face. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will go to high altitudes today which requires a strong determination. A good weather is required to cross the high passes and of course perfect logistic support. Expect to get acclimatized with the altitude today. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will have a good walk at Yalung Glaciers and a series of valleys and perfect spot for camping. You will encounter a frozen lake, clear streams and magnificent views today. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trail goes down the valley passing the turn off to the high and challenging Labsang La route to Ghunsa and the north side of Kanchenjunga. This pass is rough and dangerous, especially for porters so we take the more southern set of passes, beginning with the Mirgin La. You will go through steep climb and several false summits will reach Mirgin La. Views seen apart from the magnificent Jannu on the horizon are Makalu, Gyakung Kang, Everest, Lhotse and Chamalang. You can see Terai plains to the south. The camping is beyond the pass, after 6 to 7 hours tough walking. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

There is little descent between four passes today but is a high scenic area. After lunch you will descent to Lamba Sumba Kharka, where there are more views of the awesome Southwest Face of Jannu. After Kharka it’a easy going down a pleasant forested trail to the village of Ghunsa where campsite is located.
Ghunsa is a picturesque Tibetan village where prayer flags flutter from the wooden houses. There are two monasteries in Ghunsa which is a welcome sight after the many days of wilderness. One of the local specialties’ is ‘Tongba’, a curious alcoholic drink. A jug or large bamboo cup is filled with fermented millet seed and boiling water pored over. The flavour and alcohol seep though and you drink it with a special straw. You might need a drink after the tough 4- to 6-hour walk

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trail Gradually ascends to south of the Ghunsa Khola and crosses flood plains while emerging on a pasture situated at the north side of the river. You will then have to climb steeply to a slope slope from where it crosses a slide and then descends to Lakepo. A short climb from here will reach the village of Kambachen.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Today is an acclimatization day to cope with the high altitude. The day can be used for a short morning hike to explore the area around Kambachen. . It is essential to acclimatize to the higher altitude as you have been spending a lot of time at lower altitudes. From Kambachen you have a good views of the peaks near Kanchenjunga. You can hike up the ridge above the village for better views or take a day hike to Jannu Base Camp. Kumbakarna is the Nepali name of Jannu.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trail climbs gradually through rocky fields to Ramtang (4,240 m) then crosses the northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier to reach Lhonak, which is on a sandy plain near a dry lakebed. You will camp between the boulders here to stay out of the wind. A beautiful mountain vistas can be observed all around. Water is very scarce in Lhonak and you will need to use only as much as absolutely necessary. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Pang Pema provides the view of the main Kanchenjunga peak. Pang Pema is is the base camp for expeditions on Kanchenjunga. From Lhonak you will gradually ascend across the plain but soon you will have to steeply climb, following the moraine.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

You will go for a of 200 m or 300 m on a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pang Pema. It’s a good vantage point with views of Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, the Twins and Tent Peak. As usual, the descent goes faster and you can reach Kambachen the same day.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

The trails is more descents today thru magnificent sections of forest as long as we make Amjilosa tomorrow. After an hour’s walk from Ghunsa you will through Phole, a village in two parts. The upper section houses Tibetan refugees who are well established, the second is the winter village of Ghunsa. Further down is Yangswa, a great and warm camp.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

First the trail passes thru the beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides where Amjilosa is perched.

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

You will go for a of 200 m or 300 m on a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pang Pema. It’s a good vantage point with views of Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, the Twins and Tent Peak. As usual, the descent goes faster and you can reach Kambachen the same day. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

The trail crosses the Simbu Khola, which originates from Kanchenjunga’s south base camp, the river which we followed up from Torontan. It is pleasantly warm at these low altitudes and cardamom grows freely in the moist shaded forest. You will cross numerous small tributary streams to reach Chhirwa, a village set among large boulders. You camp in a field out of the village. Today is an easier day. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

The trail goes in and out of minor valleys passing thru a succession of picturesque villages and reach Suketar around late afternoon. 

Tented Camp
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included

After an adventurous trek in the Himalayas you will fly back to Kathmandu today.

Hotel
Breakfast/Dinner Included

This is a free day in Kathmandu to fulfill anything that you missed out spotting in this energetic capital of Nepal. You can indulge yourself in shopping or strolling around some of the cultural and historical landmarks of Kathmandu. Thamel is your hot spot for shopping where you can haul all the souvenirs representing Nepal and its culture. May be that in addition to your interesting trip anecdotes, you would also want to take back some stuff for your friends and relatives. In the evening, a farewell dinner with a range of traditional Nepali cuisines, will be hosted by Marron Treks. Enjoy the dinner, pack/prepare yourself for a flight back home and have a beauty sleep. 

Hotel
Breakfast Included

The trip concludes and our office representatives will take you to the international airport in Kathmandu to catch your onward flight to your next destination or fly back home. You need to be at least 3 hours prior to your flight time at the airport.

Thank you for visiting Nepal and we hope your Himalayan Holiday has come true. Have a safe flight back home!

If you plan to extend your holiday then other travel activities like jungle safari, rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping etc are also up on the list.

Breakfast Included

What is included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop services.
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast.
  • Kathmandu/Suketar/Kathmandu airfares.
  • All trekking accommodation (in tented camps) with breakfast, lunch & dinner.
  • Four seasonal sleeping bags (to be returned after trip completion) & Marron Treks duffel bags.
  • A comprehensive medical kit ( will be carried by the trekking guide)
  • Guide, porters, kitchen staff and helpers' wages for the trekking period.
  • Personal insurance for crew members.
  • Kanchenjunga area special permits, Kanchenjunga conservation entry fee & Trekkers’ Information Management System Card.
  • Farewell dinner with a live Nepalese cultural program.
  • All government and local taxes.

What is not included?

  • International airfare.
  • Nepal entry visa fee – Visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (USD50 for 30 days)
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client's travel insurance).
  • Excess baggage charges (luggage allowance for domestic airlines in Nepal is 15 kgs.)
  • Other expenses of a personal l nature (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc.)
  • Cost incurred due to the addition of extra days or change in the itinerary due to bad weather, political turmoil or any other unforeseen contingencies.
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks & beverages.
  • Tips to guide & porters (Tipping is expected). 

Route Map

FAQ's

1. How long is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek typically takes around 25 days to complete, allowing for acclimatization and enjoying the scenic beauty while ascending and descending through picturesque valleys, glaciers, and remote villages in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

2. What is the starting point for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
The starting point for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is usually Taplejung, a small town in eastern Nepal. From there, the trek proceeds through various villages like Chiruwa, Ghunsa, and Kanchenjunga Base Camp itself.

3. Is a permit required for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
Yes, a special permit for Kanchenjunga, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP) is required for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. Additionally, TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card, is also necessary.

4. Are there tea houses or lodges along the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek route?
Unlike some popular treks in Nepal, the Kanchenjunga region has limited tea houses and lodges. The trek involves camping in most sections, and trekkers need to be fully supported with a camping crew, including guides, cooks, and porters.

5. What are the highlights of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is renowned for its stunning views of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the third highest peak in the world, along with other majestic peaks. It also offers a chance to experience diverse landscapes, rich biodiversity, and culturally unique settlements of the region.

6. Is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek difficult?
Yes, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is considered a challenging and strenuous trek. It involves walking at high altitudes, crossing high passes, and navigating through rugged and remote terrain. Prior trekking experience and excellent physical fitness are highly recommended.

7. What is the best time to do the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
The best time for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is during the pre-monsoon (spring) and post-monsoon (autumn) seasons. These months fall between March to May and September to November. The weather is relatively stable during these periods, offering clearer views of the mountains.

8. What is the maximum altitude reached during the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
The highest point of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, also known as Pangpema, at an elevation of approximately 5,140 meters (16,863 feet) above sea level.

9. How do I get to the starting point of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
The trek usually starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar. From Biratnagar, you’ll take another domestic flight to Taplejung, which serves as the starting point of the trek.

10. Is it necessary to hire a guide and porter for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
Yes, due to the remote and challenging nature of the trek, hiring a guide and porter is highly recommended. An experienced guide can help you navigate the trails and provide valuable insights into the local culture and environment. Porters can carry the heavy camping gear and supplies, making the trek more enjoyable for you.

11. What type of physical fitness is required for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek demands excellent physical fitness. It involves long days of walking in challenging terrain and at high altitudes. Prior trekking experience in high-altitude regions is beneficial. Cardiovascular endurance and strength training are essential to prepare for the trek.

Equipment

Below are the suggested items for the packing list and it also depends upon the season you are trekking. We shall provide 75 liters duffel bag and a sleeping bag. You can bring other items from your home country and if you are traveling light and don’t wish to overweight your luggage during international flights then many of them can also be brought in Kathmandu before the trek starts.

Clothing (Core & Lower body)
·         Water-proof (breathable fabric) jacket, Poncho or Umbrella
·         Hard shell pants (breathable fabric- 1 set), preferably that zips from top and bottom which can be worn over boots without getting undressed, in case of abrupt weather            changes
·         Fleece jacket or Pullover
·         Fleece windcheater jacket
·         Down jacket or a Down vest
·         T-shirts (2 – 3) and Long-sleeved shirts with collars ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Nylon (cotton ought to be strictly avoided) hiking shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Hiking trousers- one that is detachable from the knees so that they it can be folded up as shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Thermal underwear as well as synthetic underwear (3 -4 each – avoid cotton)
·         Synthetic sport brassieres for women (2 pairs- avoid cotton)
 
Head/Eyes & Hand Gears
·         Sun hat/cap
·         Woolen hat or Balaclava
·         Sunglasses/Goggles (preferably the ones with 100% UV protection)
·         Liner, Synthetic or Thin wool gloves (1 -2 pair)
·         Warm gloves (designed to shield the sub-zero temperatures)- 1 pair
 
Footwear
·         Trekking boots (1 pair) and spare laces
·         Running shoes, Sandals or Thongs (flip-flops)- 1 pair each
·         Hiking gaiters (1 pair) to do away the rocks, dusts and moist feet
·         Liner socks- preferably synthetic (3 – 4 pairs)
·         Heavy or wool blend socks (3 – 4 pairs)

Equipment
·         Backpack/Rucksack
·         Duffle bag (will be provided by Marron Treks)
·         Pack cover (to protect your gears from getting wet)
·         Day sack/Nylon stuff sack
·         Sleeping Bag/ Silk liner (will be provided by Marron Treks but should be returned after the trip)
·         Water bottle
·         Good head torch along with spare batteries and bulbs
·         Maps, compass and a guidebook
·         Trekking poles

Miscellaneous Bits
The items below could seem trivial, but if you don’t have them, you might just find yourself sticky and stinky, which isn’t actually good for you!
 
Toiletries
·         Quick-drying camp towel
·         Detergent powder/bar
·         Toilet paper
·         Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 20+) & Lip balm
·         Pocket knife
·         Sewing/Repair Kit (for tent & mattress)
·         Emergency kit including a whistle, waterproof match/lighter
·         Padlocks for bags and lodge rooms
·         Stuff sacks
·         Earplugs

Medicament
It is important that you include the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Below is just the generic list of medications. We advise you to always consult your travel doctor as you might be resistant or allergic to some medicines

·         Anesthetics (Ibuprofen/Aspirin)
·         Broad spectrum antibiotics tablets
·         Metronidazole and Antacids (for diarrohea /indigestion)
·         Broad spectrum ointments (Neosporin/ Clotrimazole/Gentamicin)
·         Antiseptic liquids (Dettol/Savlon)
·         Assorted band-aids
·         Small gauge pad
·         Roll of adhesive tape
·         Iodine tablets

Optional Carry
Nothing hard and fast about carrying the items on this list as they are not the basics. Yet, though not all, if you still manage to squeeze in some of these items on your carry, you will not regret it as they might just come in handy during the trek

·         Camera, memory card and battery charger
·         GPS unit Altimeters
·         Binoculars
·         Pee bottle for men (leak proof/wide mouth) & Pee funnel for women
·         Books and magazines

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