The Kanchenjunga base camp trek promises to give trekkers the adventure and thrill they seek. It easily leaves a permanent mark on the memories of the travelers who’ve had the chance to explore this remote and beautiful region of the world. Along with amazing views of the mountains and the wilderness, trekkers also have the opportunity to explore the traditional culture of the peoples of Eastern Nepal.
This is a circuit trek and involves a visit to the Pathibhara temple, an important religious site for Hindus, at Tapalejung. The trail leads towards the north to Ghumsa and then up towards to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5143 m). Next, the trail moves further towards the east through two passes and carries on till the Yalung Base Camp (4500 m). The trail then leads you back south towards Taplejung.
The trek takes you through a remarkable high alpine landscape. Trekkers get to witness deep gorges, magnificent rivers and the lovely experience of crossing high passes. As the trek passes through Kanchenjunga Conservation Area trekkers have the chance to spot the rare snow leopard and other endangered animals like the musk deer, the red panda and the blue sheep. Furthermore, this is also an opportunity to witness some of the most beautiful peaks in the world in all their glory such as the Taple Shikhar, The Twin Mountains, Pyramid Peak and Tent Peak. Trekkers also get to see a rare view of Mt. Kumbhakarna only offered by this trek.
Alpine woodlands, pristine forests, the splendid Rhododendron forests, abundant wildlife, demanding high Mountain passes, beautiful alpine landscapes, the hospitality, culture and traditions of the people, temples and monasteries are the many highlights of this trek that make this one of the best treks in Nepal.
DAY 1 – Arrival at Kathmandu
After your trip to Kathmandu, Himalayan Vista Team will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. On the way you could have your first impress about Nepalese culture.
Change of sceneries guaranteed. Sounds, smell, rickshaws, colours, streets…
DAY 2 – Fly to Biratnagar and Suketar (2,320 m)
You will be lucky to have an exciting flight over the Himalayan foothills to the airstrip at Suketar on the ridge above Taplejung village. A breath-taking view from the airplane, which give you an idea of the huge size of the Himalaya range.
DAY 3 – Trek to Keswa (2,100 m) / 7 hours
The first 2-3 hours of the trek will be on a easy trail through terraced fields before to cross a suspension bridge and to climb up towards Kunjuri. Afterward, the trail will go over the crest of the ridge to our campsite. Keswa offers the first view of Kanchenjunga.
DAY 4 – Trek to Mamanke (2,000 m) / 7 hours
We will mainly walk through terraced fields and forests area; there is always the anticipation of further views of the high mountains appearing at any time. On the way, from the ridge crest at PonpeDhara we have a really good view of Jannu.
DAY 5 – Trek to Yamphudin (2,080 m) / 7 hours
Today, it will be an easy trail, which goes up and down above the KabeliKhola River. Further the river eventually becomes level with the trail. We could stop to have a bath in one of the clear pools within this beautiful river. It is truly an idyllic spot. Yamphudin is 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 DeuraliDanda that we cross next.
DAY 6 – Trek to Lamite Jungle Camp (2,920 m) / 7 hours
Today we will leave the North Side of Yamphudin and its cultivated areas to walk through a wild nature. On the way, you could enjoy the super view around us before to walk through birch and fir forests. A last suspension bridge leads us to Lamite Jungle Camp.
DAY 7 – Trek to Torontan (3,080 m) / 7 hours
We will start with a steep climb to reach a col with a winds path, which bring us to a rhododendron forest. Once we get the descent part of the trail, we have an unobstructed view that offers a nice view of the Jannu and Kangchenjunga’s summits. Finally we will walk on the ridge of the river before to reach Torontan.
DAY 8 – Trek to Tseram (3,750 m) / 7 hours
We will walk towards the Yalung Glacier, which will appear closer and dominated by snow peaks as Talung, Kabru and Rathong after having walked through rhododendrons forest. Tseram is a confortable grassy campsite edge to the river.
DAY 9 – Trek to Ramche (4,360 m) / 7 hours
A steep moraine slope blocks the way out of Tseram, it is necessary to descend to the riverbed to avoid it. Beyond the trail enters a final short-forested area to reach a single stone hut at Yalung Bara. The way ahead is so typical of the high valleys of Nepal as the path wanders its way along a shallow ablation valley with the great white mass of mountains dominating the view ahead. The glacier itself is finally revealed at Lapsang along with the Rathong La pass and the beautifully ice-fluted peak of Koktang. A glacial lake near Lapsang provides the perfect foreground to the high mountains beyond. The trail levels beyond Lapsang and it is a very pleasant and inspiring walk to Ramze, where camp can be made on the grassy pastures beside two small stone huts.
DAY 10 – Acclimatization day – excursion day
The last camp is at Ramze and from here you can make a further day excursion to obtain views of the south face of Kangchenjunga (about 1 hour from camp over fairly level and easy going ground). On the way a tremendous view opens up to include the entire south and west sides of Kangchenjunga. In a further hour a small track leads onto the lateral moraine of the Yalung Glacier to a chorten from where there are unsurpassed views, which include Kangchenjunga main summit, Yalung Kang and Kambachen Peak at the head of the valley. The trail then descends to the small clearing at Oktang from which further exploration will reveal the long northeast ridge of Jannu. It is only about an hour from Ramze to Labsang and this will give you a good start for crossing the Mirgin La.
DAY 11 – Trek to MirginLha (4,663 m) / 7 hours
Today the path traverses around a wooded hillside to the tree line from where there is a rugged, steep ascent. At the top there is a spectacular overlook across the lower reaches of the Yalung Glacier towards the peaks on the Sikkim frontier. Then, the trail goes up to SinelapchaLha and to MirginLha. From here there are extensive views stretching from Jannu to Makalu and a good spot to camp.
DAY 12 – Trek to Ghunsa (3,475 m) / 6 hours
On the way we will have a beautiful view of Tama Lase La and walk through some forests before to reach the village of Ghunsa. There, you could visit the village and meet the local people as we could visit the monastery. we will set up our camp near to the village on a little woodland area.
DAY 13 – Trek to Khambachen (4,040 m) / 7 hours
We will start the trek in a colorful trail edge to the blue and green river with rhododendron and juniper next to it. The views to the north and east gradually open out to include the peaks of Phole, Sobithonge and Jannu rising majestically above the moraines of the Jannu Glacier. Broad fields provide plenty of useful campsites and there are huts for the porters.
DAY 14 – Trek to Lhonak (4,790 m) 7 hours
The view ahead becomes increasingly impressive but attention is drawn to the upper reaches of the Ramtang Glacier, which feeds off Kambachen, the mighty western outlier of the Kangchenjunga massif. Another hour of level walking leads to the snout of the Kangchenjunga Glacier across whose moraines rise Pyramid Peak, Tent Peak, and Nepal Peak at the head of the valley. The best campsite is on the grass close to the hillsides. There are wonderful mountain views in all directions with the ice flutings of Wedge Peak and the snowy ramparts of Nepal and Tent Peaks presenting the ideal backdrop for a colourful sunset.
DAY 15 – Trek to Pang Pema (5,140 m) / 8 hours
The views are stunning as progress is made up the valley with Wedge, Nepal, Tent and Pyramid Peaks all developing themselves, along with the Sharphu peaks dominating the horizon down the valley. As Pangpema is reached the view to the south open up to reveal the Twins and, finally, the great north faces of Kangchenjunga and Yalung Kang. The location of Pangpema on a small grassy shelf above the glacier, is stimulating and the panoramic views quite stunning. Prayer flags adorn a large boulder and there is a small plaque in memory of the American climber, Chris Chandler.
DAY 16 – Acclimatization day
Time for washing, relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere at Kangchenjunga’s north base camp. You may well walk back to Lhonak to make the following day easier.
DAY 17 – 18 – Retreat trek to Ghunsa (3,475 m) / 7 hours
For the next 2 days you retrace your steps to Ghunsa, passing through Ramtang and Khambachen en-route.
DAY 19 – Trek to Kyapra (2,300 m) / 7 hours
From Ghunsa, you take the route out of the mountains that follows the beautiful Gunsa and TamurKholas. The trail passes through spectacular forests of rhododendron, conifer, birch and oak. The valley sides here are steep and the trail follows the river as it cascades downwards. You pass through Kyapra, the last of the Tibetan villages, and an hour or so further on, you reach a spot called Tang.
DAY 20 – Trek to Sakathum (1,600 m) / 7 hours
Heading for the village of Sakathum, your route follows an undulating trail for the first couple of hours until you reach Amjilasa. From here, there is a long steep descent from which you can see the GhunsaKhola Valley stretched out before you. You then reach Sakathum.
DAY 21 – Trek to Chirwa (1,180 m) / 7 hours
Leaving Sakathum, you head to Chirwa. En route you meet the confluence of two rivers, SimbuaKhola and GunsaKhola. At this point you get to witness the most magnificent view of the two rivers uniting into TamurKoshi. On following the trail along TamurKhola, many other small tributary streams come your way.
DAY 22 – Trek to Phurumba (1,769 m) / 7 hours
The route further leads to cultivated land and rich pastures. On reaching Mitlung, you halt for a healthy lunch. Then the trail zigzags through the path of steep stones. After climbing for about 4 hours you come to the valley of Phurumba.
DAY 23 – Trek to Taplejung (2,300 m) / 6 hours
As you leave the valley, you continue ascending along the ridge for about 3 hours to Taplejung village. You can wander around the village observing the villagers getting along with their daily routine. As Nepalese folks are generally friendly, chances are you may get invited to a few village homes. Thereafter, after leisurely ascent for about 2 hours, you finally reach the airstrip at Suketar where you conclude the trip of the day.
DAY 24 – Fly to Kathmandu
You will fly back to Biratnagar and then take a connecting flight to Kathmandu. You will be transferred to the hotel upon arrival.
DAY 25 – Fly back home
We will transfer you to the airport and hoping you spent a beautiful time with Himalayan Vista Team in the Himalaya.