Everything you need to know about Kanchenjunga Trek

Everything you need to know about Kanchenjunga Trek

The Kanchenjunga (8586m) straddles the border between Sikkim state in India and eastern Nepal of the Taplejung district. There are only two taller mountains than Kanchenjunga in the world which are Everest (the highest one) and K2 (the second highest). The third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga was first summited by British Team led by Charles Evans in 1955. There are very less climbers for the Kanchenjunga expedition compared with other massive peaks of the world because Sikkimese worshipped it as a guardian spirit. 

The name Kanchenjunga is derived from the four Tibetan words (they are; Gangs, Chen, mzod, and lnga) which means “The five treasures of the snowy Mountains”. Kanchenjunga Main (8,586m), Yalungkang (8,505m), Kanchenjunga West (8,420m), and Twin Peaks (both 8,476m) represent the five snowy treasures Peaks because Sikkimese and Tibetan believe that the Kanchenjunga ranges have five important peaks. 

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Trekking in Kanchenjunga Region

Kanchenjunga is one of Nepal’s most rewarding trekking destinations. Kanchenjunga region was first open for international trekkers in 1988 but is still a restricted area for foreigners that require a special trekking permit from Nepal’s department of Immigration.  Besides Massif Kanchenjunga itself, there are other interesting peaks above 7000 meters to witness while you are trekking in this region. They are Kumbhakarna or Jannu (7710m), Kirat Chuli (7365m), Yalung Kang(8505m), Nepal Peak (7168m), Pyramid Peak or Pathibhara Khas (7168m), Gimmigela Chuli or Twin Peak (7350m) and Talung Peak (7349m).

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (also known for Pangpema)

Kanchenjunga trekking area falls under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project which is commonly known as KCAP in short form. KCAP plays a vital role in the conservation of this region that is home to the world’s 3rd highest mountain; endangers wild lives and indigenous Himalayan ethnicities such as Sherpa, Rai, - Brahman, Chhetri, and Limbu. Currently, the World Wild Fund (WWF) is running a project on Red Panda and Snow Leopard conservation in collaboration with KCAP. 

Facts of Kanchenjunga Trek

  1. Number of days: 18 to 27 days
  2. Trekking Distance: Approx. 210 km
  3. The highest point of Elevation: is 5143 m
  4. Trek Grade: Medium to Demanding
  5. Required permits: Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit and KCAP Permit
  6. Average cost: USD 60 – 110 per day 
  7. Accommodation: Teahouse 

Highlights of trekking in the Kanchenjunga Area

  • Witness Kanchenjunga (3rd highest mountain in the world & 2nd highest in Nepal)
  • Explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP)
  • Opportunity to spot wildlife such as blue sheep, mountain goats, Snow leopards, Musk deer, Red pandas, etc.
  • Experience the blend of the hospitality of Nepali and Tibetan culture
  • Serenity and spectacular views of giant snowcapped mountains 
  • Less visited trekking routes 
  • Typical rural villages and local ethnic groups   
  • Encounter the high passes such as Sele La pass (4290 meters), Mirgin La Pass (4480 meters), and Sinelapcha Pass 4646,
  • Conquer some of the most pristine glaciers of Kanchenjunga (Yalung glacier and Kanchenjunga glacier)
Happily return from North Base Camp after having a really nice weather 

Trekking Permits for Kanchenjunga Trek

Every trekker must have valid Kanchenjunga trekking permits to begin their trekking journey to the Kanchenjunga region. There are only two permits required for trekking in Kanchenjunga. They are Kanchenjunga restricted area permit and Kanchenjunga Conservation Permit.  Kanchenjunga restricted Trekking Permit Cost USD 20 per person/week for the first four weeks and beyond that, it will cost USD 25 per person/week. A restricted Trekking Permit for Kanchenjunga is obtained only from a registered trekking company. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP) cost NPR 3000 per person which is valid for one time entry without the limitation of time duration. 

Read more about Trekking Permit in detail here: Nepal trekking Permit

What are the documents require obtaining Kanchenjunga Restricted Trekking Permit?

Only authorized trekking agencies can apply for the Kanchenjunga trekking Permit along with the following documents from Nepal’s department of the immigration office.

  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of  valid Visa sufficient to cover trekking days
  • Name lists of trekkers
  • Outline the Itinerary of chosen Kanchenjunga trek
  • Trekker’s  individual travel insurance 
  • Start and end trek Dates 

How to Reach/Get Kanchenjunga?

Kanchenjunga Trekking Map

 

Many of our past trekkers (clients) often asked how to reach Kanchenjunga Region. In general, there are many starting points for trekking in Kanchenjunga. The starting point for the Kanchenjunga trek is totally depending on your time availability and chosen trek route. 

Getting to Kanchenjunga in three ways

Beautiful view of Phidim Bazaar during your drive from Ilam to Taplejung
  1. Kanchenjunga trek from Basantapur 
    From Kathmandu, there are local buses and Hiace Vans available to Dharan and Dhankuta. You can get the ticket at the capital’s well know bus station, Gongabu. The schedule for the departure area is in the afternoon around 2 pm. It takes about 19 hours by bus and is shorter by Hiace Vans. This bus will take a route from Kathmandu to Helle through Chitwan, Itahari, Damak, Dharan, and Dhankuta. If you take a bus in the afternoon, you will reach the next day morning around 7 am in Hille. From Hille, it is 2 hours drive to Basantapur. We suggest you rest that afternoon because you might have not slept well on the night bus.

  2. Kanchenjunga trek from Taplejung 
    The most preferred Kanchenjunga trek route start by flying to Bhadrapur which will take 45 minutes. After getting off the flight you can drive to Taplejung. After your landing at Bhadrapur, you can drive to Taplejung via Ilam, the heart of the tea plantation area of Nepal. It is a long day of driving but the road from Ilam to Taplejung (4 to 5 hrs) is black topped but narrow. Some people stay overnight in Ilam and then drive to Taplejung on next day. Before the trek starts right from the Taplejung Bazaar. But these days everyone takes a local 4x45 jeep to Ranipul which takes about 3 and a half hours. From Taplejung to Ranipul there is a dirt road subject to seasonal weather conditions. On the same day, you can trek to Sekathum by walking for 3 hours. Before Ranipul there is a small settlement called Tapethok there is the first of many checkpoints where they will check permits to ensure you have the correct trekking permits. Make sure you do! 

  3. Kanchenjunga trek from Suketar
    There are weekly flights scheduled from Kathmandu to Suketar Airport, which may look tempting as it cuts out the road travel. But these flights are often canceled at the last minute due to bad weather conditions. So we highly recommend you take the flight to Bhadrapur. More chances to have a flight to Suketar airport If there is a group of trekkers with more than 10 passengers and willing to charter the whole flight. If you are lucky enough to have a flight to Suketar then you will reach Sekhathum on the same day. 

5 Interesting Treks in Kanchenjunga Region with their Itineraries

Kanchenjunga region is managed by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project where many treks take place to explore a fine mix of village life and high-altitude Himalayan landscape. If you are a trekking enthusiast and love long treks then this could be the best choice for your next adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. 

Here are five different treks that you can do in Kanchenjunga Region.

1. Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek (KNBC)
The Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek is a stunning trekking route located in the eastern region of Nepal. It takes you through the breathtaking landscapes of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, which is home to some of the most spectacular scenery and biodiversity in the world. The Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek usually takes around 14-16 days to complete, and it's recommended that trekkers have prior experience and a good level of fitness. It's also important to ensure that you're properly acclimatized to the high altitude and to follow the guidance of your guide and local authorities.

Photo at Lhonak from our 2019 Kanchenjunga North Base Camp trek

Outline Itinerary Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek 

Day 01: Flight to Bhadrapur and drive to Taplejung. 7-8 hours.
Day 02: Drive to Rani Pool and trek to Sekhathum (1,509m), 2 & half hours.
Day 03: Sekhathum to Amjilosa (2,498m), 4-5 hours.
Day 04: Amjilosa to Gyabla (2,730m) 4-5 hours.
Day 05: Gyabla to Ghunsa (3,595m) 6-7 hours.
Day 06: Acclimatization day at Ghunsa.
Day 07: Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,145m), 5-6 hours.
Day 08: Kambachen to Lhonak (4,500m) 5-6 hours.
Day 09: Lhonak to Kanchenjunga north base camp (5,143m) 4 hours and back to Khambachen 3-4 hours.
Day 10: Kambachen to Ghunsa (3,595m) 4-5 hours.
Day 11: Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2730m), 7 - 8 hours
Day 12: Amjilosa to Rani Pool and Drive to Taplejung (1820m) 7 - 8 hours
Day 13: Drive to Illam (800m) 6-7 hours
Day 14: Drive Ilam to Bhadrapur (91m) – 2 ½ to 3 Hours and fly to Kathmandu – 35 to 40 minutes

Inquiry for KNBC Trek

2. Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek (KSBC)
The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is a challenging and remote trekking route located in the eastern region of Nepal. The trail takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, including dense forests, alpine meadows, and towering peaks. You'll have the opportunity to see Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, as well as a variety of other snow-capped peaks and glaciers. The trek is also an opportunity to immerse you in the unique culture and traditions of the local communities, including the Rai and Limbu people. The trek usually takes around 12-16 days to complete, and it's recommended that trekkers have prior experience and a good level of fitness. Proper acclimatization to the high altitude is essential, and it's important to follow the guidance of your guide and local authorities throughout the trek.

Oktong View Point for Kanchenjunga South Face

Outline Itinerary of Classic KSBC Trek 

Day 01: Fly to Bhadrapur from Kathmandu, drive to Taplejung (1820m)
Day 02: Drive to Taplethok and trek to Hellok (1420m)
Day 03: Trek to Yasang (2150m)
Day 04: Trek to Torangden (2995m)
Day 05: Trek to Cheram (3870m)
Day 06: Trek to Ramche (4580m)
Day 07: Morning hike to Oktong (4730m) and retrace to Cheram
Day 08: Trek to Torangden (2995m)
Day 09: Trek to Yamphudin (2080m)
Day 10: Trek to Happu Khola (1400m)
Day 11: Drive to Illam (800m)
Day 12: Drive to Bhadrapur and fly to Kathmandu.

                                                                                           Inquiry for KSBC Trek 

3. Short Kanchenjunga South Base Camp with new Route trek
This trek starts and exits in Ranipul village of Phaktanglung Rural Municipality in the Kanchenjunga area. This route is getting popular for those trekkers who don’t have enough time to do the whole Kanchenjunga circuit but want to witness Kanchenjunga South Base Camp within a short period of the trek. 

New & Short Trekking Trail from Lapsetar to Tseram/Chairam (Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek)

Outline Itinerary of New and Short Base Camp Trek

Day 1: Fly to Biratnagar and drive to Dharan
Day 2: Drive from Dharan to Phungling
Day 3: Drive from Phungling to Ranipul and trek to Lapsetar
Day 4: Trek to Torangden via Yasang
Day 5: Trek to Tseram
Day 6: Trek to Ramche and afternoon hike to Oktang to witness Yalung Glacier and Kanchenjunga South Base Camp
Day 7: Trek to Torangden via Tseram
Day 8: Trek to Ranipul
Day 9: Trek to Phungling
Day 10: Drive from Phungling to Dharan
Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu or Fly from Biratnagar to Kathmandu

Inquiry for short KSBC Trek

4. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek (KCT)
The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is a challenging and remote trekking route located in the eastern region of Nepal. The trail takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, including dense forests, alpine meadows, and towering peaks. You'll have the opportunity to see Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, as well as a variety of other snow-capped peaks and glaciers. This trek provides an opportunity to immerse you in the unique culture and traditions of the local communities, including the Rai and Limbu people. The trek usually takes around 18-24 days to complete, and it's recommended that trekkers have prior experience and a good level of fitness. Proper acclimatization to the high altitude is essential, and it's important to follow the guidance of your guide and local authorities throughout the trek. 

Sele la Pass Trail of Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Outline Itinerary of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek 

Day 01: Flight to Bhadrapur and drive to Taplejung. 7-8 hours.
Day 02: Drive from Taplejung to Tapethok (3-4 hours) and trek to Sekhatum (1,509m), 2 & half
hours.
Day 03: Sekhathum to Amjilosa (2,498m), 4-5 hours.
Day 04: Amjilosa to Gyabla (2,730m) 4-5 hours.
Day 05: Gyabla to Ghunsa (3,595m) 6-7 hours.
Day 06: Acclimatization day at Ghunsa.
Day 07: Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,145m), 5-6 hours.
Day 08: Kambachen to Lhonak (4,800m) 5-6 hours.
Day 09: Lhonak to Kanchenjunga north base camp (5,143m) 4 hours and back to Khambachen 3-4 hours.
Day 10: Kambachen to Ghunsa (3,595m) 4-5 hours.
Day 11: Ghunsa to Sele Le (4,290m) 5-6 hours.
Day 12: Sele Le to Cheram (3,868m) 5-6 hours.
Day 13: Cheram to Ramche and back to Cheram (3,868 m) 7-8 hours
Day 14: Cheram to Tortong (2,980m) 3-4 hours.
Day 15: Tortong to Yamphudin (1,692m) 6-7 hours.
Day 16: Yamphudin to Happukhola (1400m)-7 to 8 hours
Day 17: Drive Early in the Morning from Hapukhola to Ilam (800m) – 7 to 8 Hours
Day 18: Drive Ilam to Bhadrapur (91m) – 2 ½ to 3 Hours and fly to Kathmandu – 35 to 40 minutes

Inquiry for KCT Trek

5. Olangchung Gola Trek (OGT)
The Olangchung Gola Trek is a hidden gem of the Kanchenjunga Region, offering a remote and off-the-beaten-path adventure. The trek takes you through stunning alpine forests, picturesque villages, and High Mountain passes, offering spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain range, including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Everest. The highlight of the trek is the visit to the village of Olangchung Gola, a unique settlement with a mix of Tibetan and Sherpa cultures, where you can witness the traditional way of life of the local people. The village is located near the Nepal-Tibet border and is the last inhabited village in the region. The trek is challenging and requires a good level of fitness and prior trekking experience. Overall, the Olangchung Gola Trek is a must-do for those seeking an adventurous and authentic experience in the remote and pristine wilderness of Nepal.

Outline Itinerary of OGT

Day 01: Flight to Bhadrapur and drive to Taplejung. 7-8 hours.
Day 02: Drive to Taplethok (1380m) and stay overnight.
Day 03: Trek to Ela Danda (2050m)
Day 04: Trek to Jongin (2600m)
Day 05: Trek to Olangchung Gola (3200m)
Day 06: Rest day at Olangchung Gola
Day 07: Trek Tasa (3600m)
Day 08: Trek Yangma (4160m)
Day 09: Trek Ghunsa (3,595m) via Nango La (4800m)
Day 10: Test-explore Ghunsa
Day 11: Ghunsa to Amjilosa (2730m), 7 - 8 hours
Day 12: Amjilosa to Rani Pool and Drive to Taplejung (1820m) 7 - 8 hours
Day 13: Drive to Illam (800m) 6-7 hours
Day 14: Drive Ilam to Bhadrapur (91m) – 2 ½ to 3 Hours and fly to Kathmandu – 35 to 40 minutes

 Inquiry for OGT Trek

9 Reasons to choose Kanchenjunga for Trekking in Nepal

The Kanchenjunga trek is a challenging and rewarding adventure that offers spectacular views of some of the world's highest mountains, including Kanchenjunga (the third-highest peak in the world), as well as an opportunity to experience the unique culture of the region. Trekking through remote valleys and rugged terrain, hikers encounter traditional villages, Buddhist monasteries, and diverse flora and fauna. The trek also provides an opportunity to escape the crowds of other popular trekking routes in Nepal and enjoy a peaceful, off-the-beaten-path experience in one of the world's most stunning mountain landscapes. 

The temporary wooden bridge at Khangbachen on the way to Nubchu Side Trek

Here are 9 Best Reasons to Choose the Kanchenjunga trek for your next adventure trip in Nepal.

1. Less Crowded trekking destination
Because of its remote location in Nepal and the difficulty involved in accessing it from India, the Kanchenjunga region is not much explored by trekkers. It has, therefore, retained much of its pristine beauty. A perfect trekking destination for less crowded trekking lovers.

2. Tea house-based Trek
Camping was the only choice for the Kanchenjunga trek many years ago. Nowadays tea houses are getting more popular which replace camping-style treks and that makes it cheaper cost for every trekker. You will also have warm and better sleep after your long day trek. 

3. Experience the diverse culture
The Kanchenjunga trek offers an opportunity to experience the rich and diverse culture of the region. Trekking through remote villages and meeting the locals provides a glimpse into their unique way of life, customs, and traditions. The region is home to a mix of ethnic groups, including the Limbu, Rai, Sherpa, and Tibetan people, each with their distinct languages, clothing, and customs. Visitors can explore Buddhist monasteries and learn about their spiritual beliefs, witness colorful festivals and celebrations, and savor the local cuisine. Overall, the Kanchenjunga trek is a cultural immersion that offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of the people who call this remote and stunning mountain landscape their home.

4. Mountaineering Opportunity 
Mountaineering in the Kanchenjunga area is a challenging and rewarding experience, attracting climbers from around the world to test their skills against some of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. Kanchenjunga (8,586m) is the third-highest mountain in the world and climbing it requires advanced technical skills, physical fitness, and mental toughness. The area also offers several other impressive peaks, including Jannu (7,710m) and Yalung Kang (8,505m), which present their own unique challenges. Mountaineering expeditions in the Kanchenjunga area require careful planning and preparation, but the breathtaking views and sense of achievement make it a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for those who undertake it.

5. Witness the world’s third-highest mountain 
Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain is the main destination of this trekking in the Kanchenjunga region. Trekking in this region offers a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of this towering mountain, as well as its surrounding peaks, glaciers, and valleys. The trek takes hikers through remote and rugged terrain, passing through traditional villages and ancient monasteries, and offering glimpses of the unique culture and way of life of the local people. For those seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure, witnessing Kanchenjunga in person is an experience not to be missed.

6. Pristine Scenery of Mountains
The Kanchenjunga area is known for its pristine mountain scenery, which includes some of the world's highest peaks, beautiful glaciers, and vast alpine landscapes. Trekking in this region offers breathtaking views of towering mountains, such as Kanchenjunga, Jannu, and Kabru, surrounded by lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear streams. The region is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare orchids, rhododendrons, and the elusive snow leopard. The pristine beauty of the Kanchenjunga area is truly awe-inspiring and offers a once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience for those who seek adventure and natural beauty.

7. Challenging High Passes 
The Kanchenjunga region offers several challenging high passes that require physical fitness, experience, and proper equipment to cross. These passes include the Sele La Pass (4,290m), the Sinion La Pass (4,660m), the Mirgin La Pass (4,480m), and the Lapsang La Pass (5,160m). Crossing these passes requires careful acclimatization, as the altitude can pose a significant challenge to even experienced trekkers. However, the rewards of completing these high passes are breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering some of the most challenging terrains in the world.

8. Authentic and Warm hospitality 
The Kanchenjunga trek is renowned for its authentic and warm hospitality. Trekking through remote villages, hikers are welcomed with open arms by locals who are eager to share their culture and way of life. Trekkers are often invited into homes for meals, offered comfortable accommodations, and greeted with genuine kindness and hospitality. The people of the Kanchenjunga region are known for their generosity and warmth, making the trek a truly memorable and enriching experience. Whether sipping tea with a local family or sharing a laugh with a trekking guide, the authentic and warm hospitality of the Kanchenjunga trek is sure to leave a lasting impression.

9. Encounter Both North and South Base Camp in a single Trek
It is very rare to experience the same mountain from different sides within a one-time Trek. Trekking to both base camps of Kanchenjunga North and Kanchenjunga South in a single trek is a challenging and unforgettable adventure that takes hikers through some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in the world. This trek is perfect for adventure seekers looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience in the heart of the Himalayas. 

Major places to visit while you are trekking in Kanchenjunga Region

The Kanchenjunga region in Nepal offers a plethora of must-visit places for nature and adventure enthusiasts. The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a wide range of biodiversity, including rare species such as snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan black bears. Here are 12 major places you should consider visiting: 

locally-brewed wine (Tungba) 

1: Yalung Base Camp:
The Yalung Base Camp is located at a height of 4700 meters from sea level. This is popular for morning and evening viewpoints from where you will witness stunning views of 

2: Pangpema or Kanchenjunga North Base Camp:
Pangpema or Kanchenjunga North Base Camp is the same viewpoint located at an altitude of 5,143 meters that offers a stunning view of the Northern Kanchenjunga peak and its surrounding glaciers. After spending one night in Lhonak most of the trekkers start their hike to Pangpema early in the morning because there is no tea house or guest house to stay overnight. It takes 3-4 hours by walking from Lhonak. It is challenging and requires physical fitness and good acclimatization, but the experience is undoubtedly rewarding, making it a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

3: Ghunsa:
Ghunsa village is a small village located in the northern region of Kanchenjunga, en route to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp that offers a glimpse into the local culture and lifestyle of Sherpa. In the past, the main occupation of people here was animal husbandry where they spend summer time in the higher altitude and return to the village in the winter season. In Tibetan “Ghunsa” means winter (Ghun) settlement (Sa).  This village is home to a small population of around 200 people. The village is known for its stunning views of the surrounding snow-capped Himalayan mountains, including the iconic Kanchenjunga peak, which is the third-highest mountain in the world. The village is a popular stopover for trekkers and climbers on their way to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp and offers basic facilities such as guesthouses and a few small shops.

Side Trek opposite Ghunsa Village (Ghunsa village seen on backfround)

4: Jannu Base Camp:
Jannu Base Camp is a remote and scenic campsite located at an altitude of 4,800 meters in the west of Kanchenjunga. The trek to Jannu Base Camp is an adventure in itself, with breathtaking views of the Himalayas where trekkers do a side trek from Kambachen when they are having acclimatization day. It serves as the starting point for climbers seeking to summit the majestic Jannu peak (also known as Khumbakarna Himal), which stands at a towering height of 7,710 meters.

Jannu Base Camp

5: Lhonak:
Lhonak is the last settlement of Kanchenjunga North Base Trek which is surrounded by high mountains, glaciers, and icy lakes. It used to be a summer dwelling place for shepherds who look after the Yaks, Jopke, goats, and Sheep. But nowadays there are few houses built for commercial purposes where trekkers can stay overnight before heading to Pangpema. 

6: Olangchung Gola:
This traditional Sherpa village offers a unique insight into the culture and way of life of the local community.

7: Sele La Pass:
This high mountain pass offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and is a popular spot for trekkers.

8: Ramche:
Ramche is a picturesque village that offers a stunning view of the Yalung Glacier and the surrounding peaks.

South Base Camp Hotel at Ramche and Bokta Peak in the background

9: Oktang:
Oktang is a high-altitude lake located at an altitude of 4,730 meters and is surrounded by stunning views of Kumbhakarna, Kirat Chuli, and other mountains.

10: Yalung Glacier:
The Yalung Glacier is a large glacier located in the Kanchenjunga mountain range of the eastern Himalayas, spanning across both Nepal and India. It is approximately 22 kilometers long and covers an area of about 75 square kilometers. The glacier is fed by several smaller glaciers and snowfields, and its meltwater feeds into the Yalung River, which eventually joins the Tamur River. The Yalung Glacier is an important source of freshwater for the surrounding region and provides a habitat for a variety of wildlife, including snow leopards, Himalayan tahr, and musk deer. However, like many glaciers around the world, the Yalung Glacier is experiencing the effects of climate change, with its volume and area decreasing over time.

11: Yamphudin:
Yamphudin is a village located in the Taplejung district of Nepal. Situated at an altitude of 2,080 meters above sea level, the village is surrounded by beautiful mountains and dense forests. Yamphudin is a predominantly agricultural community, with locals farming crops such as maize, millet, and potatoes. The village is also home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Limbu, Rai, and Sherpa people, each with their own unique cultures and traditions. Despite being relatively remote, Yamphudin has access to basic amenities such as schools, health centers, and markets, making it a vital hub for the surrounding communities. The village is also a popular overnight place on the Kanchenjunga South trek route, offering breathtaking views of one of the world's tallest mountain ranges.

12: Taplejung:

Overlooking view of Taplejung Bazaar from the Monastery

 

Taplejung is a popular gateway for trekking and mountaineering in the Kanchenjunga region. Taplejung is a district located in the eastern part of Nepal. It is one of the most remote and isolated districts in the country, with rugged terrain and difficult access. The district is bordered by China to the north and India to the east and is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups, including the Limbu, Sherpa, Rai, and Tamang. The district is known for its natural beauty, with stunning mountain views, forests, and rivers.

Overall, Kanchenjunga offers a wide range of places to visit, each offering a unique experience of the region's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Variation of Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga Region is also popular for the Great Himalaya Trail or GHT. Some trekkers prefer to start their GHT trek from Kanchenjunga and others start from far-west Nepal and finish here. Besides GHT treks, few trekkers cross the Lumba Sumba Pass and continue to Makalu Base Camp or trek down to Tumlingtar. 

A temporary Wooden Bridge was built for travelers to cross Yangma Khola before Amjilosa

 

Lumba Sumba Trek
Lumba Sumba Pass Trek is part of the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) which connects two trekking regions of Kanchenjunga and Makalu in eastern Nepal. This trek is a less-visited trek in Nepal because of the extreme remoteness and it is possible only with a camping trek. Himalayan Wander Walkers organize Lumba Sumba Trek by providing a veteran camping trek crew to make your dream trek a real Himalayan trip.  This trek needs really good preparation. The best time to do Lumba Sumba pass Trek is from April to May in spring and from late September to mid-November in autumn. Every year during November, the Futuk festival is celebrated in Olangchung Gola.

Outline Itinerary of Lumba Sumba trek

Day 01: Flight to Bhadrapur and drive to Taplejung. 7-8 hours.
Day 02: Drive to Taplethok (1380m) and stay overnight
Day 03:Trek to Ela Danda (2050m)
Day 04: Trek to Jongin (2600m)
Day 05: Trek to Olangchung Gola (3200m)
Day 06: Rest day at Olangchung Gola
Day 07: Trek to Sanjung Kharka Camp’ (3910m) 6-7 hours
Day 08: Trek to Pass Camp (4700m 4 -5 Hours
Day 09: Trek to Yak Kharka via Lumba Sumba La (5177m) 8-9 Hours
Day 10: Trek to Jungle Camp (3350m). 6-7 hours
Day 11: Trek to Yak Kharka (2877m). 5-6 hours
Day 12: Trek to Lingam School (2320m). 5-6 hours
Day 13: Trek to Hatiya (1595m). 5-6 hours
Day 14: Trek to Gola (1128m). 5-6hours
Day 15: Trek to Hedanga Gadhi (1179m).
Day 16: Trek to Num (1572m), drive to Tumlingtar (450m).
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu 

Inquiry Lumba Sumba Trek

Best time/season for Kanchenjunga Trek

Spring of Mid March and April is a right season to witness Rhododendron, Nepalese national flower

The best season to trek Kanchenjunga is during the months of March to May in the spring season or October to November in the autumn season. During these months, the weather is usually clear and dry, providing excellent views of the mountains, and the temperature is also moderate, making it easier for trekkers to navigate the trails.

In the spring season, the trek offers a vibrant and colorful landscape, with blooming rhododendrons and other flowers, while in the autumn season; the clear skies provide stunning views of the mountains. However, it's essential to note that during the monsoon season (June to September), the region experiences heavy rainfall, which can make the trails challenging and hazardous to trek.

Telephone, Internet and Electricity availability in Kanchenjunga Region

Internet, electricity, and phone connections in the Kanchenjunga area are limited and not widely available. While some lodges and tea houses may have electricity and phone connections, the quality of the service may not be reliable or consistent.

Local traveler charging his mobile phone from solar power

Regarding internet connectivity, Wi-Fi or mobile internet 3G services are available till Amjilosa of the North Base Camp route and Lapsetar and Yamphuding of the South Base Camp route. Beyond these places, mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity are not available at all.

Similarly, the electricity supply can be intermittent, and power outages are common in the Kanchenjunga area. The lodges and tea houses usually use solar or hydro-powered energy sources to generate electricity, and they may not be available 24/7. Therefore we (Himalayan Wander Walkers) recommend carrying a power bank, spare batteries, and a satellite phone for emergencies.

When it comes to phone connections, there are limited options available. Mobile phones work till Ghunsa. Thereafter there is no signal till Pangpema of Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. Likewise in Kanchenjunga South Base Camp where the mobile network is available till Ramche, the last overnight place of the North Base Camp trek. If you are looking for a SIM card for your mobile phone connection then we suggest NTC or Namaste SIM card which has maximum coverage compared to Ncell. The most reliable option is to use a satellite phone, which is available for rent in some areas.

Overall, it's important to be prepared for limited access to the internet, electricity, and phone connections when trekking in the Kanchenjunga area. 

Tea house and Lodges in Kanchenjunga Region

Kanchenjunga Guest House at Ghunsa 

Tea house-based trekking is getting more popular in the Kanchenjunga region which helps to cut down the cost of trekkers replacing the previous camping trek. It was hard to find lodges with basic facilities like simple food and a room to sleep in before 2015 and camping was the only option for trekkers to reach Kanchenjunga base camp. Later on, the number of trekkers increased and the local people found an opportunity in mountain tourism by running a tea house for trekkers to stop over during the journey to the world’s 3rd highest mountain, Kanchenjunga. 

Room in Tea house:
Nowadays every trekking stopover in Kanchenjunga trekking route has tea houses that welcome trekkers after a day-long trek, providing meals and lodging services. Some places like Ghunsa, Yamphudin, and the lower route provide attached rooms where you have your own toilets inside the room. When you trek higher than Ghunsa to Pangpema you will have clean and nice rooms but toilets and showers are outside your rooms. Every room has at least two beds capacity to accommodate more trekkers and some rooms have 3 to 4 beds also. During the peak season, those who prefer to take single will be difficult and you need to share with others. 

Food in Tea house: 
You will find almost all the food items that you had experienced in other trekking regions of Nepal like Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang.  They offer a variety of potatoes, rice, and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. Beers and local spirits are often available, but that will be at your own cost. A variety of cereals, bread, and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There are also snacks available such as basic biscuits, chocolate, and soft drinks and in some areas, you will find fresh fruit in season.

Top Tips for trekking in Kanchenjunga Region

  • Choose the clockwise Kanchenjunga Trekking Route for better acclimatization 
  • Hire an experienced Trekking Guide who can speak Tibetan, Nepali, and Your preference language 
  • If you don’t have enough time then never choose Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek 
  • Never plan to Trek Kanchenjunga during the monsoon and winter seasons.
  • Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is highly recommended only if you have a moth time in Nepal. 
  • Choose a local and accredited Nepalese trekking Agency  
Blue sheep the most common animal you will encounter during your trek in Kanchenjunga
Trekkers Relaxing and Acclimatization day at Khangbachen

8 must-read books before planning your trek to Kanchenjunga

  1. Kanchenjunga the Untrodden Peak by Charles Evans.
  2. The Hard Years by Joe Brown
  3. The Kanchenjunga Adventure by Frank Smythe
  4. Round Kanchenjunga by Douglas Freshfield
  5. Living on the Edge: The Winter Ascent of Kanchenjungaby Cherie Bremer-Kamp
  6. Kanchenjunga; First Ascent from the North-East Spur by Col Narinder Kumar
  7. Kangchenjunga Himal and Kumbhakana by Jan Kielkowski
  8. The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman 

Conclusion of Trekking in Kanchenjunga

Trekking in Kanchenjunga offers all trekkers the to encounter its unexplored pristine beauty of nature and the diverse cultures of different ethnic groups. Therefore, the Kanchenjunga trek is a perfect choice for trekking enthusiasts who are looking for challenging, adventurous, and spectacular treks in the world. Kanchenjunga trek still has high and wild nature where you will meet very few other trekkers than Annapurna, Everest, and Manaslu regions.

Review of Kanchenjunga Trek

My Kanchenjunga trek was a truly unforgettable adventure. Our trek was organized by Dawa from Himalayan Wander Walkers and Pasang was our guide who speaks the Tibetan language all the time he helps us to interact with locals. The trek is challenging but rewarding, with ample opportunities for wildlife sightings and interacting with friendly locals. Overall, the Kanchenjunga trek is a must-do for any serious trekker looking to experience the beauty and diversity of the Himalayan region. I strongly recommend Himalayan Wander Walkers for Trekking in Kanchenjunga. 

Karel Novak (Czech Republic)

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