Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 24 Days

Kanchenjunga South and North Circuit Trek 24 Days Itinerary for 2024, 2025
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
What to see & doSpecific information about Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 24 Days
  • Duration24 Days
  • Trip Grade Strenuous
  • Max Altitude 5140m
  • Starts at Kathmandu
  • Ends at Kathmandu
  • Trip Style Lodge to Lodge Trek
  • Group Size 10
  • Transportation Jeep/Aeroplane
  • Best Season March, April, May and Sept, Oct, Nov

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a high-altitude wilderness adventure in one of the most unspoiled trekking regions in the Nepalese Himalayas. The Kanchenjunga trekking route lies in the beautiful Arun Valley in the east of Nepal on the borders of Nepal and Sikkim (India). The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trail takes you to the north and south base camp of the world’s third-highest mountain peak and Nepal’s second-highest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, at 8586 meters.

The area offers never-ending landscapes, cultures, and panoramic views of the Himalayas. This 220 km long trekking trail is abundant with unique flora and fauna, green hills in the lower region decorated with numerous waterfalls and water streams, and rocky mountains in the upper region covered by snow, creating an excellent contrast with the blue sky above. You’ll find the widest range in altitude in this trekking trip as you’ll travel from just 91 meters above sea level at Bhadrapur Airport to 5140 meters at Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. This altitude shift makes this trek a unique experience as you’ll notice the change in vegetation rapidly. 

The Kanchenjunga circuit trekking trail was only recently opened to hikers in 1988 AD. Nepal Government has also declared the region as a restricted area so trekkers require a special permit and should be in the number of minimum 2 individuals. You’ll also require a certified trekking guide to trek in the area. Due to these reasons, only a limited number of trekkers prefer to step on this wild, rugged path. The smaller number of visits every year has contributed to the preservation of the nature and culture of this region. So, whoever travels here gets to experience the unspoiled nature and true culture of the region. 

The truest trekking experience does not come easy, though. This is an extensive and strenuous trek in a region with little to no infrastructure. You won't find a lot of amenities like in the popular trekking destinations of Nepal, such as Annapurna and Everest. You’ll have to spend nights in the most basic lodges and tea houses. Some nights, you’ll even have to stay in tents due to the unavailability of accommodation. You can also call it a virgin territory of the Nepalese Himalayas, as most other Himalayas are well-explored.

Trekking in the Kanchenjunga region tests your emotions & taxes your body to the limit, but the rewards are phenomenal. The trails are rugged and surging, at times exposed, and there are landslides to deal with on the way. The remoteness of the region adds to its challenges. As a result, you need to be a pretty experienced high-altitude hiker & mentally pre-conditioned for uninterrupted days of grueling trekking in some extremely remote parts of the Himalayas.

Our experts at Outfitter Nepal Treks and Expedition have devised a 24 days itinerary to complete the whole Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. The itinerary includes arrival and departure days to and from Nepal. The Kanchenjunga trek begins from Taplejung, & is accessible by air and road. After you reach the Kanchenjunga North and South Base Camp, you retrace your route to Taplejung and turn to Kathmandu. Keep reading to find out more, and reach out to us for any questions regarding the trip and its booking.

Best Features of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

  • Trekking through the untouched and less traveled Himalayan terrain of East Nepal
  • Reaching the base camp of the world's 3rd highest mountain peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga
  • Crossing the high-altitude passes of the Kanchenjunga region, like Mirgin La (4,480m)
  • Witnessing the unmatched beauty of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Makalu mountain range, and other neighboring peaks like Jannu, Kabru, Jongsong, Tent Peak, etc.
  • Passing by the ethnic villages of Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Gurung, Bhote, and Sherpa community
  • Reaching the source of the Tamar and Ghunsa rivers at the northwestern face of the Kanchenjunga Himal
  • Glorious sites of the glacial lakes and ponds 
  • Traverse through the rich flora and fauna (red panda, musk dear, etc.) of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

What is so special about Mt. Kanchenjunga?

Mount Kanchenjunga is located in the easternmost point of Nepal, close to the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in northeastern India. Until the middle of the 19th century, Kanchenjunga was believed to be the world's highest peak, but it is actually the third-highest in the world and second-highest in Nepal. Additionally, because it is a sacred peak, mountaineers typically avoid standing on the top of the Kanchenjunga Peak.

The name Kanchenjunga means "Five Great Treasures in the Snow" in English. The Kanchenjunga range contains five peaks, and the locals think that each one is a vault for various treasures, including grains, sacred books, gold, silver, and gemstones.

Although the Kanchenjunga massif's four subsidiary peaks, including Kanchenjunga West, also known as Yalung Kang (8,505m), surpass 8000 meters, the main peak is 8586 meters high. Twenty peaks over 7000 meters high may be observed on the walk around the massif, the highest of which is Kambachen (7,903 meters), along with the fabled Jannu (7,710 meters), Jongsong (7,483 meters), Kabru (7,353 meters), Tent Peak (7,365 meters), and the Twins (7,350 meters).

This massive collection of peaks is home to five major glacial systems, three of which, the Zumu, Talung, and Rathong, flow to the east into Sikkim. To the west, the Kanchenjunga and Yalung glaciers drain into the Tamor River of Nepal.

Why choose Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek instead of trekking in other popular hiking regions of Nepal?

The Kanchenjunga region is well known for its stunning natural surroundings. To go to the base camp of the mountain, you will pass through some beautiful virgin pathways. These trekking trails differ from the more popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna regions due to their primarily off-the-beaten-path.

You will go through breathtaking natural sites as you hike across the mountain foothills. There are many different types of natural pathways, such as ones near rivers, streams, glaciers, hills, villages, waterfalls, and forests. Trekkers will travel along the peaceful pathways in the heart of the wilderness.

The remote Himalayan landscape in this Kanchenjunga region is another feature that makes it unique. You will have the chance to discover the stunning area in all its splendor away from the noise and bustle. Most of the tallest Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Kanchenjunga, will be visible in their most breathtaking vistas to you.

You will be greeted with open arms and outstanding hospitality by the locals. You might see various distinctive ways of living and customs while on the walk, which are different from the rest of the country. For all of these reasons, you should opt for the secluded Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

What to expect from the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is intricately designed that approach the North Base Camp first. We trek through deep ravines and forests of bamboo, Rhododendrons, and larch pine to the Tibetan village of Ghunsa. You acclimatize at Ghunsa and go further into the high mountains. You continue the hike along the Kangchenjunga Glacier to spend a night at Pangpema, the base camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga on the north side. The stunning views of Jannu, Kangchenjunga, and Chang Himal from Pangpema would take your breath away.

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Adventure moves further crossing the Mirgin La at 4,550m to Tseram to get to the south base camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Crossing the pass from north to south is more practical as this trek route is simply superb, with incredible views. By now, you are well acclimatized, and you hike at your pace up to Ramchaur with the fantastic views of Ratong, the Kabru Peaks, and the South Face of Kanchenjunga, giving you wonderful company all the way.

As you pass through villages in the Kanchenjunga region, you'll encounter the surprised faces of the locals as they don't see much of tourists. Enjoy the warm greetings from the hospitable people of Nepal as you hike up or down the Kanchenjunga Trail. The natural splendor of the Kanchenjunga region is so impressive and unique that you won’t feel like leaving the place once you get there.

Are there alternative routes for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

Yes, several routes take you to the north and south base camps of the Kanchenjunga peak depending on the difficulty level and the trek duration. Some go from north base to south base and some take the opposite route, first visiting the south base camp and then the north. Some groups trek on the straightforward path that takes the minimum time to reach the destination and others follow an extended path that takes longer but provides maximum acclimatization. 

For our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek package, we have designed the itinerary in such a way that gradually ascends, minimizing the risks of altitude sickness, while providing the best of the region. We first reach Pangpema, the North Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, starting in Taplejung and walking across Sinuwa, Tapethok, Amjilosa, Ghunsa, Kambachen, and Lhonak, spending an acclimatization day in Ghunsa. After Pangpema, we head towards the South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, returning all the way to Ghunsa and then passing by Sale La Kharka, Mirjin La Pass, Tseram, and Ramchaur. After exploring the south base camp, we trek back to Taplejung via Ramchaur, Tortong, Yamphudin, Phungphung Danda, and Simbu. 

How difficult is the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

This off-the-beaten Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is one of Nepal's most challenging trekking destinations. The trail ranges in altitude from 1070 meters to 5140 meters. Firstly, its remote location, far from Kathmandu's capital city, makes the trek difficult to reach. Additionally, the hike features multiple steep ascents and descents on the rough terrain of untouched Himalayan with frequent loose lands and landslide-prone zones. The unstable weather condition of the mountains adds to the difficulty level of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The poor infrastructure of the region makes the trek even more difficult as you have to rely on more than basic tea houses and tents to sleep at night.

The trek difficulty also depends on your fitness level and prior high-altitude trekking experience. This strenuous trek necessitates high physical condition for three weeks of continuous walking while carrying a light backpack. Even if you haven't hiked in the Himalayas before, it's best to attain good physical fitness and go for some short hikes around your place. Your upcoming Kanchenjunga trip might be a good excuse to hit the gym. If you’re not used to working out, start your preparation a few months before the trip departure. 

Major Attractions of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Relatively new and off-the-beaten trekking route

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is one of Nepal's newest high-altitude hiking routes; it was only made accessible for exploration in 1988, due to which the trek is unknown to most. The amenities on the walking trail might not be the nicest, but you'll still have decent food and lodging facilities. You might have to spend the night in a tent on some days. It is one of the restricted trekking routes that need special trekking permits. This isolated trail is far from Kathmandu and requires a 30-minute flight and a long 10-hour drive to get to the trailhead.

In the challenging terrain of the Kanchenjunga Region, the hiking trail includes several steep climbs, loose grounds, landslides, and so on. Your physical stamina will be tested as you traverse the rugged, rocky path of the Himalayas on the 24-day Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Prior high-altitude trekking experience is always a plus, or at the very least, being in good physical condition before setting off on a journey is good enough. The route offers you the off-the-beaten trekking experience that avid trekkers crave for.

Breathtaking journey to the North and South Base Camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga

The journey around the Kanchenjunga Region and to the base camps is unique as you pass through tropical lowlands to the great Rhododendron forests, chocolate box villages, glaciers, and overwhelming views of the Himalayas. We usually climb to a single base camp while trekking to other mountain destinations. However, during the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, you'd reach both the North and South Base Camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga.

The region's beauty, emphasized by some of the tallest mountain peaks in the world, mesmerizes you with so much joy that you can't get anywhere else. It feels like you’re in some kind of fairytale. While witnessing the mountains up close ignites your mind, eating locally-produced meals and staying in local lodges and tents makes you humble.

Hiking through luscious forests and picturesque Himalayan villages

It's given that you'd pass by lush green forests decorated with enchanting wildflower blooms when you're trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas, especially in spring. The Kanchenjunga Circuit trail is no exception. If you're in the right time, you'll have the fortune to witness the whole forest covered in crimson from Rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal.

You'd also pass by picture-perfect villages in the foothills of the giant Himalayas. The houses are built in a typical Nepali style with some twists depending on the ethnicity. It's surprising that being a small nation, Nepal is a house to more than 100 different ethnic groups. Seeing these people living in harmony in Nepal's remote villages reflects a sense of unity in diversity.

Getting to know the locals and their unique culture

What makes this trek different from others is the locals that live in the region. Except for the Gurung, Magar, and Sherpa people you typically find while trekking in the western or central part of Nepal, you'd also come across Tamang, Rai, Limbu, and Bhote communities that are original to East Nepal. They have their own culture, cuisine, customs, and traditions. Most of the local inhabitants in these villages of the Kanchenjunga region are involved in agriculture and animal husbandry. Some women of the communities are also engaged in the weaving business to support their families.

Exploring the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is spread over an area of 2,035 square Kilometers. More than 250 birds and other endangered creatures inhabit the highly lush forests of this protected region. You can spot snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, musk deer, red pandas, and other exciting animals in its rich wildlife diversity. Bird species, including the Amphibian pheasant, and the red-billed blue robin, make up some of the beautiful birds in this region. Only a few days of hiking take you to high-elevation pastures where yaks graze and vibrant alpine flowers bloom.

ItineraryTrip day to day detail itinerary

Before you even land at the airport, Kathmandu welcomes you with the breathtaking sight of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below if the weather is clear. This indicates the beginning of a memorable experience that's going to stay with you for a long time.

Upon your arrival, our office staff will meet you at the airport exit gate and take you to your designated hotel in Thamel. At the hotel, you will be briefed about your daily activities, and you will spend your first night in the ancient valley of Kathmandu, with the most temples in the world. After the trek briefing, your schedule is free so you can roam around the lively streets of Thamel, take a walk to Kathmandu Durbar Square, or just relax at your hotel.

    The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trip starts with a morning flight to Bhadrapur Airport in the southeast part of Nepal. You will wake up early in the morning, have breakfast at the hotel, pack your backpack, and get ready for the adventure. Our trekking guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu International Airport to board a flight to Bhadrapur. From Bhadrapur, we will hop on a jeep that takes us all the way from south to north, Taplejung. Taplejung is the starting point of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. We have dinner and spend the night at a hotel or a lodge at Taplejung.

      Today is the day we start the actual trek. After breakfast and a morning tea, we leave Taplejung and begin the hike. We'll begin by descending to the terraced farmlands before continuing along the Tamor River. Be careful while walking and use trekking poles for support as the trails can be slippery. You walk past the remote villages of Tamang and Limbu communities before you reach Sinuwa, where you'll stay the night in a lodge. Today’s trail travels through picturesque settings with lovely terrain. 

        After having breakfast at the lodge in Sinuwa, we start our trek to Tapethok. Our trek proceeds through this fluctuating path, going uphill and downhill while also enjoying the grand, unfolding vistas that seem to change with the elevations. The lovely walk leads you through a forested area where you can see the varied local flora and fauna. You can see Cardamom plants all along as it is one of the main crops original to the area. Tapethok is where we enter the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. We’ll move towards our lodge after our permits are checked. We then spend our night in Tapethok.

          We begin our trek after having breakfast at the lodge. Today will be particularly challenging as we have to ascend and descend a steep trail and cross rivers several times. We keep moving uphill and downhill again before crossing the Ghunsa Khola. After crossing the suspension bridge, and another half an hour's walk, we reach Sekathum.

          The trail passes alongside the gorge, which requires us to be careful while walking. For the first one and a half hours, we trek through normal flatland. Then, our trail goes steeply ascending up to Amjilosa. Finally, after following a pretty tricky uphill and downhill path, we come to the end of our hectic day's journey at Amjilosa. Amjilosa is a small village with few houses and, yak herds & local shops where you find minimal supplies to meet the needs of the locals. These shops are also called Bhattis.

            Today is another long hiking day. After breakfast, we hike upward by a river bank and pass through the dense forest of mainly bamboo, fir, and rhododendrons, eventually reaching a small stone house by the river. We then ascend again, crossing a few small bridges. You will find that the river drops steeply, forming many waterfalls and pools. Another short uphill walk brings us to the Tibetan settlement of Gyabla. Gyabla is where you have lunch and rest for a while.

            We resume our trek with a descent down the river. The valley slowly opens up before we arrive at Phole. In several hours we will reach the famous Sherpa village of Ghunsa, which has a hydroelectric plant. As the trail passes through the jungle with dense foliage, we see Gunsa River down the track. We walk past a few human settlements with a lifestyle and culture inherited from Tibet. We move through terraced fields of potato, wheat, barley, & millet. The local traders here are involved in the export-import business in Tibet. The traders go to India for trading during the winter season. We spend the night at Ghunsa.

              Today, we spend a relaxing day in Ghunsa to acclimatize. Acclimatization is a proven way of letting your body adjust to the increasing altitude. Being idle doesn't help, though. Veteran trekkers & climbing experts say we should move around & explore instead of doing nothing.

              Therefore, we go for an excursion in and around the Ghunsa area. There are numerous places to acclimate in the village of Ghunsa. A short hike takes you to the ridges with a breathtaking view of the Kumbhakarna Peak (7,711m). Or, you can go hiking at Lapsang La, passing by the Yamtari Khola. You can wander around a pond that is close to the glacier.

              Ghunsa is a relatively larger town that gives us a lot of insights into the lifestyles of the mountain residents. Mainly Tibetan people inhabit Ghunsa, and most women folk here are involved in the carpet weaving profession. Along the walk, you can see rustic ways of living that will charm you. The practices of Tibetan Buddhism are reflected in gompas, mani walls, chortens, and prayer flags. You can also sample Tongba, a native millet wine, there.

                It's a tough day on the route to Kambachen today. The trail makes a gradual ascent along the south bank of the Ghunsa Khola/River and then crosses a boulder-strewn flood plain and crosses back to Rambuk Kharka on the north side of the river. Once on the opposite side, the trail passes a waterfall & then makes a short, steep ascent to a very uneven slope. It's a passage across the landslide in the area, featuring a loose footing, a steep fall to the river, and lots of tumbling football-sized rocks.

                We must proceed carefully in this hazardous area, as a wrong foot on a loose boulder can be fatal. The trail then drops to the single-locked hut at Lakep and traverses to Kambachen, where we get our first views of Mt. Jannu. Kambachen is a Tibetan settlement of about a dozen houses at 4145 meters above sea level. We spend the night at a lodge in Kambachen.

                  After breakfast at the lodge, we set out on our trek again. Today's route gradually ascends through wide-open rocky fields to Ramtang at 4240m. You will be spiritually enchanted by the lovely trip to the Ramtang Monastery, here. The trail, then, crosses moraines to the northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier. Lhonak, at 4790m, is located close to a dried-up lake bed on a wide, open plain; water is scarce here. Before reaching Lhonak, where our trek ends for the day, we must cross a few more minor landslides and descend to a riverbank. Lhonak is the last human settlement before the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp.

                    Like every other day, we start the hike after breakfast at our lodge. But it’s a special day today as we’ll reach the north base camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga. The hiking trail from Lhonak ascends gradually across the plain and then gets steeper as it follows the moraine. You will travel through stunning alpine treelines. 

                    We shall descend the moraine and follow the valley floor to get around the steeper part. It is safer to walk on the grassy routes rather than the rockier ones that are prone to landslides. The views down here are breathtaking, but we will only see the north face of Kangchenjunga or Wedge Peak once we are close to Pangpema.

                    The spectacular peak of Kanchenjunga and a whole landscape of other peaks that make up one of the enormous mountain masses in the world towers over Pangpema. This is where you stay the night. You’ll be spending the night in a tent as there are no lodges or tea houses available.

                      Pangpema is a flat, grassy base camp with a couple of porter huts. For better views of the vast bulk of Kanchenjunga North Face, we can walk up a little higher above base camp to a viewpoint. We will enjoy the majestic vistas of snowcapped mountains and the Kangchenjunga glacier here. There are gorges and mountain glaciers from where water flows all the time. During mid-day, the scene of falling avalanches captivates your imagination completely. 

                      Today we trace back our steps to Kambachen from Pangpema following the same route that we used to hike up. We spend the night at a tea house in Kambachen.

                        From Kambachen, we trek back to Ghunsa, from where we'd head to Mirgin La and ultimately to the South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga. We walk on a descending path, hiking through the jungle along the river. The vegetation and fauna along the picturesque vertical trail are significantly more varied. There are also lovely yak pastures that you can see on the way. At one point, we have to cross a wooden bridge. After several hours of walking, we arrive at Ghunsa, rest, eat, and sleep.

                          Today, we begin to ascend uphill again. We pass through a jungle with less foliage & almost bare. While trekking on this path, we get to see the Mani walls and prayer flags hanging over the trees. We also enjoy the view of various beautiful mountains on the way, which makes this challenging hike somehow enjoyable and satisfying.

                          On today's hike, you will pass by numerous rivers and cascades as you traverse through rhododendron forests. By the end of today's hike, we reach Sele La Kharka, which is where we enjoy a fulfilling Nepali dinner and let the body rest. The small village of Sele Le offers stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range.

                            After early breakfast at the lodge, we start our long and demanding trekking day, but also a day with immense returns for all the grittiness on the trek with mesmerizing mountain views. Walking over the blissful yet taxing three high passes of the Kanchenjunga region is a memory to cherish for a lifetime.

                            We slowly climb up to the first pass, the Sinion La, at 4480 m. From here, the views of the south side of Jannu and the east face of Makalu are simply breathtaking. Cho Oyu can also be seen in the distance. We then go through an arc of two quarries, crossing the Mirgin La (4646 m) and then dropping down before walking on rocky paths to cross the Sinelapche La (4724 m). If it is clear, the views from here into Sikkim and towards Ratong (6675 m) are just fantastic.

                            The 850 m descent to Tseram is a test of the limbs with the knees, being very steep and loose and rough underfoot. The trail drops down to a small lake, then descends extremely steeply to Tseram. We trek through an almost desert-like area and stony trails. You will see Lapsang La Glacier, Mirgin La Glacier, and other snow-capped mountains on the path. There are very few stone roof houses and yak huts at Tseram, where we’ll spend the night.

                              We begin our trip through the moraines after having breakfast at the lodge. We are already acclimated, so it won’t be difficult for us to ascend higher. The steady ascent track will initially traverse the region's difficult terrain. The hike from here to the Kangchenjunga South Base Camp will take us above treeline, across alpine meadows, alongside a flowing stream, until we reach Ramchaur. You will travel via the tranquil nature trails to get to the village community. You may get some great views of the entire area from this alpine village. Ramchaur is where we spend the night.

                                Today's hike is challenging and arduous as we must traverse moraines and rugged rocky terrain. We also walk alongside a glacier and explore the South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga. You will follow the path along a glacier moraine before passing past some gorgeous alpine trees. Mountain goats and yaks can be found roaming freely, and the breathtaking views of Kangchenjunga, Mount Jannu, and other peaks move us to tears. A few areas of the region share borders with India, which is a neighboring country.

                                From the base camp, the mountains appear majestically covered in snow. After doing some exploring and clicking incredible pictures, you will start your slightly descending trail to the hamlet town of Ramchaur again. We’ll spend the night here. 

                                  Following breakfast at the lodge, we begin our hike from Ranchaur to Tortong while taking in the amazing views of Jannu Peak. Part of the trail involves walking through a juniper jungle, which is rather loose and rocky, so we must move slowly and carefully. You'll cross several rivers and travel through a lot of forests today. Finally, we arrive in Tortong, where we get to observe Mani walls and prayer flags swaying in the breeze over the trees.

                                    Post breakfast at the lodge in Tortong, we depart on our trek. Today's first leg of the journey follows the Simba Khola's left bank as we make our way through the gorge before ascending above the valley through the forests to Sherpagaun. The trail then leads you along the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area's level terrain. The walk leading to Yamphudin is lined with several wildflower blooms, including rhododendrons, orchids, etc. We spend the night at Yamphudin, which is a beautiful village to wake up to.

                                      Today's hike from Yamphudin to Phungphung Danda entails traversing a grassy cliff for a considerable distance over an exposed narrow trail. We depart on our journey after a delicious breakfast at the lodge in Yamphudin. Now that we are back at a lower height, walking is simpler. Along the way, we pass through various charming villages and terraced farms, including Mamanke, before arriving at Phungphung Dada, which is the place for dinner and sleep tonight.

                                        Like previous days, we wake up early at our overnight lodge and set off on our trek after breakfast. It will take us about 5 hours to get to Simbu from Phunhphung Danda. Today is a lovely day, cool in the shade with dense forests, plenty of waterfalls, and an excellent view of Jannu. You will pass through a number of towns on the way, where you can converse with the locals and discover more about their customs and way of life. We spend our night at a lodge in Simbu.

                                          Today is the last hiking day. Descending through some Rai and Limbu villages, we descend from Simbu to Taplejung on the 21st day of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Your body would hate you right now, but your content heart would make up for all the pain. Descending through the comfortable downward path and interacting with the locals, we reach Taplejung in 4 hours. Taplejung is a beautiful Himalayan town, where we’ll rest for the night.

                                            Early in the morning, we get on a jeep that takes us all the way down to Birtamod. You’ll either have breakfast in Taplejung before the road trip begins or on the way during rest stops. Birtamod is a popular town in the eastern Nepal. It can be too hot during or around summer so keep hydrating your body. After 10 hours of driving, you finally reach Birtamod. Once you check in to your hotel in Birtamod, you can have dinner and rest for the night. 

                                              On our second last day of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trip, we get back to Kathmandu. Following breakfast at the hotel in Birtamod, we take a 30-minute taxi ride to get to Bhadrapur Airport. Here, we board a flight to Kathmandu. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, you’ll again be taken back to your hotel in Thamel. The rest of the day is for you to spend according to your liking. You can go souvenir shopping for your family and friends back home or enjoy a spa. Don’t forget to join us for your farewell dinner in the evening. 

                                                Your 24-day trek to Kanchenjunga Circuit finally comes to an end today. We will transfer you to Kathmandu International Airport for you to board your return flight. We hope you had an amazing time trekking in the Eastern Himalayas with us.

                                                Your itinerary has been planned meticulously, taking all considerations into factor. This includes 'on-the-job' training for trekking crew members, including guides & porters, on navigating hazardous trail routes, especially in areas that have gone through landslides, choosing the right acclimatizing spots & drills in the event of unpredictable calamities that may result in injuries, etc.

                                                OUTFITTER NEPAL has spent a little fortune to make sure you enjoy your Kangchenjunga trip without any hindrances, ensuring your safety first & foremost throughout your odyssey. We hope you have a memorable trek. Don’t forget to remember us for your next trip to Nepal.

                                                  Customize Trip
                                                  Cost DetailsGood to know before trip booking
                                                  What's Included
                                                  • Airport transfers
                                                  • 2-night hotel in Kathmandu including breakfast
                                                  • Meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) on trek
                                                  • Accommodations in lodges/tented camp on the trek
                                                  • Ground transportation by local bus/private vehicle
                                                  • Domestic flights between Kathmandu and Bhadrapur
                                                  • Required trekking permits and fees
                                                  • A guide and porters & cook
                                                  • Salary, food, drinks, accommodation, transportation, and insurance for guide and staff
                                                  • Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid for by your travel insurance company
                                                  • Sleeping bag, down jacket & duffel bag (if needed - return after the trek)
                                                  What's not Included
                                                  • Nepal entry visa fee (you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport - Kathmandu)
                                                  • Your Travel insurance (compulsory)
                                                  • Meals (lunch & dinner in Kathmandu)
                                                  • Your personal expenses, drinking water, hot and cold drinks & bar bills
                                                  • Laundry, telephone, hot shower & internet charge
                                                  • Tips for the guide and staff
                                                  • Anything not mentioned in the included section
                                                  Useful InformationGood to know before you travel

                                                  Maximum Altitude of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

                                                  The Kanchenjunga region, which borders Tibet in the North and India in the South, is high in Nepal's northeastern region. The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, where the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek takes place, has an elevation range of 1200 meters to 8,586 meters at the top of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain peak.

                                                  The highest point you'll hike on this Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is at North Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, which is 5,253 meters above sea level. However, the maximum elevation where you'll stay overnight is 5,143 meters in Pangpema.

                                                  Alternative Itinerary

                                                  The above Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Itinerary takes you to the north base bamp first and then to the south base camp. Alternatively, you can also trek to the south base camp first and then go to the north base camp. We’ve also included a day-to-day itinerary for this alternative route. The number of days, services, and prices of both itineraries remain the same, so you can choose any for your Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

                                                  Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu Airport and transfer to the hotel (1350 m)

                                                  Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Airport and drive to Taplejung by jeep (1820 m) - 10 hrs

                                                  Day 3: Trek from Taplejung to Lali Kharka (2266 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 4: Trek from Lali Kharka to Kande Bhanjuang (2190 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 5: Trek from Kande Bhanjuang to Phumphe Danda (1795 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 6: Trek from Phumphe Danda to Yamphudin (1692 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 7: Trek from Yamphudin to Lasiya Bhanjyang (3415 m) - 7 hrs

                                                  Day 8: Trek from Lasiya Bhanjyang to Tseram (3868 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 9: Rest day at Tseram for Acclimatization 

                                                  Day 10: Trek from Tseram to Ramche (4610 m) - 4/5 hrs

                                                  Day 11: Excursion to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (4840 m) - 3 hrs

                                                  Day 12: Trek back from Ramche to Tseram (3868 m) - 3 hrs

                                                  Day 13: Trek from Tseram to Ghunsa (3415 m) via Miring La Pass (4646 m) and Sele La Pass

                                                  Day 14: Trek from Ghunsa to Kambachen (4145 m) - 5 hrs

                                                  Day 15: Trek from Kambachen to Lhonak (4790 m) - 4 hrs

                                                  Day 16: Trek from Lhonak to Pangpema, Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (5140 m) - 4 hrs

                                                  Day 17: Trek back from Pangpema to Khabachen (4145 m) - 5 hrs

                                                  Day 18: Trek from Khabachen to Phale (3215 m) - 5 hrs

                                                  Day 19: Trek from Phale to Sekathum (1650 m) - 5 hrs

                                                  Day 20: Trek from Sekathum to Sinuwa (1070 m) - 6 hrs

                                                  Day 21: Trek from Sinuwa to Taplejung (1820 m) - 4 hrs

                                                  Day 22: Drive from Taplejung to Birtamod by jeep - 10 hrs

                                                  Day 23: Drive from Birtamod to Bhadrapur (30 mins) and Fly from Bhadrapur Airport to Kathmandu

                                                  Day 24: Transfer to Kathmandu International Airport for final departure

                                                  Kanchenjunga Region Weather and Temperature

                                                  The temperature can vary greatly over the Kangchenjunga Circuit walk. It depends on the time of day, height, and season. The nights will be cold, at 5 degrees Celsius, in the altitudes between 1,000 and 3,500 meters. Sometimes during the day, the temperature reaches 25 Celsius. Temperatures at higher altitudes typically range from 15 to -15 Celsius.

                                                  From late September to early May, Nepal receives a lot of trekkers as it is the peak trekking season. The nicest weather often occurs in October and November. Being more pleasant in temperature than Autumn, spring is a more popular season. The benefit of viewing rhododendrons and spring flowers in full bloom is another benefit of trekking in the Kanchenjunga region in spring.

                                                  Best Time to Trek in the Kanchenjunga Region

                                                  The two primary trekking seasons in Nepal are the spring (March, April, and May) and the fall (September, October, and November). Autumn is one of the greatest seasons for trekking because it coincides with numerous festivals, especially Dashain and Tihar, and the weather is ideal with comfortable temperatures. Therefore, this is when the majority of hikers start their journey. Similar to how flowers blossom in spring, the Kanchenjunga trail is covered in greenery and rhododendron blooms. Spring is the ideal time to visit the region for varied plants and flora that can be found beneath the massive Himalayan range. 

                                                  The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is not recommended during the monsoon or winter. If you come here in the winter, the high elevation will be bitterly cold, and the monsoon will dump a lot of rain, which could result in a landslide or flood that blocks the route. However, we are here to assist you if you want to give it a shot this season.

                                                  Safety Concerns for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

                                                  The Himalayan region uses yaks, mules, and dzo (a mix between a yak and a cow) as modes of transportation. They are utilized to transport supplies and food to the hotels. When a herd of yaks or mules and a crowd of trekkers are present on the trail, you must exercise caution and stay in the safe zone at the corner of the route. If you stand at the trail's edge, you run a greater danger of being pushed over the cliff by them. Stay away from animals like yaks, dzo, cows, and buffalo since they can attack you at any time.

                                                  The 24-day Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek route passes through jungle, hills, glaciers, rocks, and suspension bridges, which require extra caution while hiking. Sometimes, individuals don't mind if they are snapping pictures in a dangerous spot, but you should check to see whether there is enough room and no cliff behind you. Likewise, carry the most crucial items, such as your passport, insurance policy, credit cards, camera, mobile phone, and other valuables, with you at all times.

                                                  Altitude Sickness and Acclimatization during the trek

                                                  The highest point you reach on your trip to the Kanchenjunga Circuit is 5,143 meters above sea level. Trekking below 3000m is not an issue, but above that, there are low oxygen levels that can occasionally make breathing difficult. You must hike gradually and slowly while at a high altitude in order to keep up with the decreasing oxygen level in thin air. The likelihood that you will experience acute mountain sickness (AMS) increases if you walk quickly to reach your destination in less time. Altitude sickness can also be avoided by drinking enough liquids, such as water, tea, soup, etc.

                                                  Dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, and nausea are possible symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). For mild cases, Diamox and a restful night's sleep may be effective. Returning to a lower height and getting medical attention can be necessary if the condition gets worse. Teams need to act fast to take safeguards and make sure the situation doesn't get worse. In the worst-case scenario, it is advisable to plan for medical air evacuation. AMS can kill you if it is not treated or ignored. 

                                                  Our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Itinerary has been planned to minimize altitude issues and ensure a comfortable walk. The schedule is well-paced, allowing your body to adjust to the lower oxygen levels in the alpine air.

                                                  Fitness Level required for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

                                                  There will be numerous ascents and descents throughout a single day of trekking. The trail has a difficult course that requires extensive walking distances. As elevation rises, the air becomes thinner, and the colder environment may have an impact on you. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking can be a nightmare for you if you are not physically fit. 

                                                  Without a question, the trek is incredibly rewarding, but it requires arduous walking and endurance. Not just physical, but also mental endurance! It is a tea house journey with no sort of contemporary facility. The services provided will be minimal, and you will have to pay for extras like a hot shower, internet access, charging, drinking water, etc. 

                                                  The best approach to get ready for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek in Nepal is to work on your physical fitness and, if you can, go on a few smaller climbs and treks. Work on cardio workouts like jogging, running, long walks, cycling, stair climbing, and swimming for exercise. The same goes for strengthening your muscles and your core.

                                                  Transportation during the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

                                                  The starting and ending point of the trek is Taplejung town in the Taplejung district of Nepal. There are two ways to reach Taplejung, by flight and by road. You can fly directly from Kathmandu to Suketar Airport in Taplejung, which is non-operational most of the time. Another option is to take a bus or jeep, which can be exhausting. You'd have to spend two days on the roads cruising from Kathmandu to Birtamode to Ilam and finally to Taplejung. 

                                                  We take the most convenient way to reach Taplejung from Kathmandu. We first take a 45-minute morning flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur Airport in the Jhapa district. From Bhadrapur, we take a jeep ride to Taplejung on the same day which takes 10 hours. The next day, we begin our trekking journey from Taplejung. If you want to go further from Taplejung by road, we can hire a private jeep that can reduce our hiking days. 

                                                  Accommodation and Meals

                                                  Kathmandu accommodation includes a stay in a 3-star hotel in Thamel with breakfast. The accommodation during the hike is mostly provided in lodges and, sometimes, in tents. The lodge rooms are available on a shared basis. Most rooms come with 2 decent beds, mattresses, blankets, pillows, and bedsheets. Carrying a sleeping bag would help you combat cold better.

                                                  The menu in the lower elevations contains Nepalese cuisines, mainly daal bhat, momo, chowmein, thukpa, and instant noodles. As you climb up, you'd only get a locally produced traditional Nepali meal, Daal Bhat, consisting of rice, lentils, veggies, and pickles. Don't worry; Daal Bhat is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and other valuable nutrients that will energize you for the whole day. Non-veg items are neither available nor advisable as those might be unhygienic.

                                                  Washroom and Toiletries

                                                  The accommodations in Kathmandu and Taplejung have an attached restroom with a western toilet. However, private attached washroom facilities are only sometimes practical during the trek. You must be comfortable using shared restrooms with Asian-style squat toilets. Some lodges in higher elevations might not even have a proper restroom. Carrying your own toiletries is a must for hygiene reasons, or at some places, you wouldn't be provided with any toiletry at all.

                                                  Some lodges might provide you with hot showers for an additional cost in the lower regions. However, hot showers are neither logical nor available to bathe at higher attitudes. One must be mindful while using water as it is scarce in the upper regions.

                                                  Drinking Water Facilities

                                                  We wholeheartedly support ecotourism and urge all of our guests to travel sensibly. Please bring a bottle and fill it with hot water in lodges rather than paying for single-use plastic bottled water (which might not be available everywhere). If you're worried about the safety of the drinking water, bring a water bottle with a built-in filtration system to filter the fresh water from natural water sources along the way. Or, get some filtering tablets to purify your water.

                                                  Guide and Potters for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

                                                  Since the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is one of the Nepalese government's restricted zones, it is impossible to trek without a certified guide. Additionally, you need to book the trip through a registered trekking company in Nepal and be in a group of 2 trekkers apart from the guide to hike in the region. Being accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who speaks good English makes the trek far more informational and convenient. When you book a trip with outfitter Nepal, we promise you a well-qualified licensed guide who has previously guided in the region.

                                                  Hiring a potter is optional to trek to Kanchenjunga Circuit. So, whether or not you hire a porter in Kanchenjunga entirely depends on your fitness and the ability to carry your own backpack. It also depends on how much luggage you want to bring. We strongly recommend you hire a potter as you'd be walking on the rough trail for more than 3 weeks. We provide fit potters who would carry up to 24 kg of your baggage (12 kg per person).

                                                  Permits for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking

                                                  Being in the restricted area, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek requires a special permit along with a conservation area entry permit. To begin the trek, a person needs the following 2 permits in total.

                                                  • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Entry Permit (KCAP) – US$ 20 per person
                                                  • Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) – US$ 10 per person for a week (US$ 30 for 3 weeks trek)

                                                  Trekking Gear List

                                                  It is always best to be well-prepared when trekking in the Himalayas because the requirements may change depending on the weather. The purpose of the gear kit is to keep you warm during the evenings and nights while keeping you dry and protected from the sun or rain during the days. The weight of your daypack should be about 5 kg, and the duffle bag should be about 10 kg for a comfortable hike.

                                                  Make sure to pack the following gear in your trekking kit:

                                                  • Good quality trekking boots and crampons
                                                  • Sandals/Crocs
                                                  • Few pairs of undergarments
                                                  • High-quality down jacket and pant
                                                  • Thermal wears
                                                  • T-shirts and trousers
                                                  • Light shirts and half-pants for the days
                                                  • Fleece jacket
                                                  • Backpack and daypack
                                                  • Trekking poles
                                                  • A pair of gloves
                                                  • Woolen hat
                                                  • Sun hat or scarf
                                                  • Sunglasses
                                                  • Sun cream
                                                  • Rain gear
                                                  • Water bottles and water-purifying tablets
                                                  • Energy bars
                                                  • Face/body wipes
                                                  • Small/medium drying towel
                                                  • Toiletries
                                                  • Some local currency for personal use
                                                  FAQsKanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 24 Days frequently asked questions
                                                  • Yes, you need to carry some extra cash with you, although the accommodation and meals are covered by us. You would be responsible for extra expenses like boiled water, hot showers, battery charging, internet, etc. Make sure to carry Nepalese currency as it is the only mode of payment accepted there.

                                                  • No, you cannot hike alone in the Kanchenjunga Circuit or anywhere in the Kanchenjunga region. The government of Nepal has declared the Kanchenjunga region a restricted area, making solo hiking there illegal. You must be at least 2 hikers and hire a certified trekking guide to hike to Kanchenjunga Circuit.

                                                  • No, Mt. K2 and Mt. Kanchenjunga are not the same. They are two distinct mountains located in two different nations. The third-highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga, is situated in Nepal. Whereas, Pakistan is home to Mount K2, the second-highest mountain in the world.

                                                  • Tipping your tour guides and local porters is a nice gesture to show appreciation for their services. The amount of the tip should correspond to how happy you are with and invested in your guide. However, we advise you to give the entire local personnel a gratuity of at least 10% of your trip's total cost.

                                                  • Most big villages today have cell phone network connections. However, in distant locations where cell phone service is unavailable, and even if there is no other means of connection, we send a satellite phone along with our guide so you may stay in contact with your loved ones at all times.

                                                  • Recently, the majority of teahouses have access to electricity, even those that use solar power. Therefore, charging your devices is not at all a problem. However, in order to get your devices charged, you should have to pay an additional price (about US$ 1 to 3 per hour).

                                                  • It is not an issue at all because, on a mountain, the majority of tea houses and lodges serve vegetarian meals. While camping, our cook and staff will take care of the entire food area so you can rest assured that your meals will be purely vegetarian. Vegan meals are, however, difficult to arrange in the remote Himalayas.

                                                  • In the unlikely event of an accident or severe high-altitude illness, there would always be backup help. If this is not possible, you will be airlifted to the nearest hospital as soon as humanly possible. Please be sure that your travel insurance covers both medical and emergency evacuation fees because you are solely responsible for all costs associated with the use of such emergency services.

                                                  • Your security is our top priority. Your safety is never compromised while you are trekking, and all of our guides are fully educated and equipped to look out for our client's security in even the most isolated locations.

                                                  • Taplejung is the last place with banks and ATMs. Beyond that, you won’t find any ATM booths. It’s best to manage your cash in Kathmandu itself as there are more options available. If you have cash in your currency, you can exchange it for Nepalese currency in Kathmandu, which is not easy once you leave the city.

                                                  • The Kanchenjunga region is situated in the extreme northeast part of Nepal. The aerial distance from Kathmandu to Kanchenjunga is 260 kilometers. The road distance between Kathmandu and Taplejung, where the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek begins, is around 670 kilometers.

                                                  • This trek examines Sikkim's and Tibet's borders with Nepal. Hinduism is practiced by a mixed-race society in the lower region, which is dominated by the animist Rai people and the ethnic group, Limbu. Buddhist Bhote and Sherpa people live in a unique community in the higher region.

                                                  • The high-altitude Kanchenjunga circuit walk carries several risks, making travel insurance crucial. If you have adequate travel insurance that covers elevations of 4,000 meters or more, you'll be protected from things like altitude sickness, accidents, theft, damage, and cancellations. Also, remember to check if the insurance covers helicopter evacuation as it is the only way to rescue casualties in case of any mishaps.

                                                  • It is best to check with your doctor and pack your own medications if you have allergies to particular medications before embarking on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek journey. To help you prevent altitude sickness and other illnesses, Outfitter Nepal will provide you with medical supplies and other safety measures. You should, however, bring your regular medications.

                                                  • The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is suitable for families with young children. Teenagers over the age of 12 who are physically fit can comfortably hike this trail. However, they must be able to walk long hours every day at high altitudes of the remote Himalayan terrain.

                                                  • Although no technical abilities are necessary, prior hiking experience would be advantageous for completing the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. This journey is doable for beginners, but they should be able to walk for 5 to 7 hours each day at a reasonable pace while carrying a small day pack at high altitudes. 

                                                  • No, it is not possible to hike to Kanchenjunga without a guide regulated by a licensed local trekking business. In addition, the group should consist of at least two trekkers, excluding a guide or porters.

                                                  • The Kanchenjunga Circuit is a difficult but worthwhile trek. Walking time per day varies from 5 to 7 hours in lowland areas to 3 to 4 hours in highland areas. Therefore, proactive physical fitness preparation is necessary, including the capacity to walk for 5 to 7 hours every day.

                                                  • Depending on the path you pick, the length and duration of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek varies. The circuit trail is approximately 220 km long. It might take anywhere between 18 and 24 days to complete the trek. It will take roughly 18 days if you simply do the North Base Camp. Just the South Base Camp requires a 15-day journey.

                                                  Client ReviewsTravelers talk about Outfitter Nepal
                                                  • G
                                                    Guan SohSingapore, Singapore,December 13, 2023
                                                    rating star

                                                    Kanchenjunga Circuit trek (North and South Base camps)

                                                    Kanchenjunga Circuit trek (North and South Base camps) calls for endurance (about 3 weeks of trekking) but has the beauty and challenges of the AC and the EBCHP treks. At lower altitude, the trek follows along the rivers and waterfalls, crosses many beautiful forests and villages; it reminded me of the AC trek. At higher altitude, it traverses many steep mountain slopes and some landslide/falling rocks areas; crosses 3 Passes that reminded me of the EBCHP. It was both rewarding and enjoyable.The trekking experience was made more memorable with the consultative planning of the route at the Outfitter Nepal office, and the care given by their guide (Sunil) and porter (Kul).Sunil was mindful to bring apples for dessert; arranged for meat (goat, chicken, yak, pork) to go with our meals; recommended herbal and organic teas/food from the local villagers. He also set the trekking pace that was comfortable to us, being senior with some knee problems.I was especially grateful to Kul who was strong and quick action, in spite of the load he was carrying, to support me when I either almost sliped or loss my balance trekking down slope.This was my second time (Oct-Nov 2022 and Oct 2023) with Outfitter Nepal because of their quality services.

                                                  Add-ons Trips
                                                  You may also like this trips