The Ultimate Guide to Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

If you’re seeking a challenging and rewarding trek, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek could be the perfect choice. This magnificent journey will lead you through the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal’s Kanchenjunga region, providing awe-inspiring views of the world’s third-tallest mountain. However, preparing and knowing what to anticipate is essential before embarking on this adventure. This comprehensive guide to the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek will provide all the necessary information to ensure your experience is as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

The Kanchenjunga Trek is a spectacular trekking experience that guides you through East Nepal’s most impressive landscapes. It’s known as one of the best trekking experiences in the world and offers incredible vistas, fascinating villages, and tremendous cultural diversity. 

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking involves visiting both North and South Kanchenjunga Base Camps so that tourists can experience the world’s third-highest mountain and greatest massif up close and personal.

The Kanchenjunga Trek is one of the most challenging treks in the Himalayas. It takes place mainly in the mountains of Nepal and India and involves traversing three mountain ranges – the Kanchenjunga massif, the Kumbhakarna range, and the Yalung. Throughout this guide to Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, you’ll find all the information you need to make your journey one to remember.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek – Getting There and Away

There are many ways to get from Kathmandu to the beginning of this trek. You could alter your itinerary based on what you have on your travel list and availability. Flights are typically available from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur.

From there, you can fly or drive to Suketar Airport near Taplejung. It’s the best way to get from Kathmandu to Taplejung. In addition, Tara Air, Summit Air, and Nepal Airlines often schedule charter flights.

Trekking into the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) is spread over 2035 square kilometers and is one of the first places to explore the Himalayas. So, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking offers an opportunity to discover the less traveled Himalayan routes.

It presents contrasting ecosystems, varying between alpine grasslands and subtropical forests—from the down-valley of rivers to the glacial moraine with rugged slopes.

The area is home to plenty of vegetation, wildlife, and numerous animals such as the musk deer, black bear of the Himalayas, snow leopards, boar, red panda, and many more. You can see the spectacular mountain panorama, taste local food, and observe Rai, the Limbu, and their culture.

What To Expect

So you’re finally ready for an adventure. You’ve researched, planned, and are prepared to conquer the Kanchenjunga circuit trek in the Nepal Himalayas!

What do you need to know? What are the top five things you should know before you go?

Here’s a short list of what to expect based on what we’ve done to prepare ourselves for the trek:

  1. Expect it to be challenging. There will be a lot of hills, a lot of climbing, and a lot of scrambling. It won’t be easy, but you will feel good and strong once you start.
  2. Expect it to be cold. While there’s no snow, it gets chilly, and the nights can be freezing. Bring warm clothes, layers, and wool socks. You can always add a sleeping bag if you want to, but remember that the weather can be unpredictable, so you may need to leave it at home.
  3. Expect to get sick. You may contact the stomach bug or worse. It’s happened to a few people. So be prepared, and don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll likely get sick.
  4. Expect to be challenged. You’ll feel challenged, and you’ll need to overcome obstacles. But, of course, you won’t be able to avoid challenges, and that’s part of the fun.
  5. Expect to be inspired. Beautiful, inspiring mountains surround you.

Routes and Itineraries for the Kanchenjunga Trek

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek offers various routes, each with a different level of difficulty and duration. Options include the 7-day Pangpema Trek, which takes you to the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp and offers incredible views of the gigantic mountains.

Finally, for those looking for something longer, the 17-day Mt. Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek will take you to Yalung Base Camp or the Jannu Base Camps to explore two sides of one mountain!

The peaks of the Himalayas are visible from many parts of the hike. During the trek, you will be treated to stunning views of the spectacular Himalayas.

So, how do you plan for your Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek? Have you visited Kanchenjunga North Base Camp or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek? If you want to go for the chronicle peaks and the hidden trails, you should go to the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

This trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it would be a shame to miss out on such a trek for the views. However, if you have limited time and resources, consider opting for the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp. This way, you will enjoy the magnificent views and be back in time for the last day of your trek.

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Itinerary

DaysDestinationAltitudeDuration
1.Fly to Bhadrapur, then drive to Ilam93 m1h00
2.Drive to Taplejung1820 m4h30
3.Taplejung to Lali Kharka1860 m6h00
4.Trek to Khesewa1960 m5h30
5.Khasewa to Phumbe Danda1780 m6h00
6.Trek to Yamphudin1692 m5h45
7.Yamphudin to Tortong2340 m6h00
8.Trek to Tseram3868 m6h30
9.Tseram to Ramche (Trip to South Base Camp)4160 m6h00
10.Trek to Tortong2995 m7h00
11.Tortong to Yamphudin 8h00
12.Trek to Khebang1920 m6h30
13.Khebang to Khamdembe1540 m6h00
14.Drive to Bhadrapur93 m10h00
15.Fly to Kathmandu1350 m1h00

Itinerary For Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek (North to South Base Camp)

DaysDestinationsAltitudeTiming
1.Arrival in Nepal1350 m 
2.Sightseeing & trek preparation  
3.Fly to Bhadrapur, then drive to Ilam.  
4.Drive to Taplejunga then trek to Chiruwa2285 m3h00
5 – 8.Trek to Gunsa (another three days of trekking)3430 m 
9.Rest & acclimatization day!  
10.Trek to Khangpachen or Khangbachen4040 m5h00
11.Rest & exploration day!  
12.Trek to Lhonak4780 m6h30
13.Side trip to Pangpema, then back to Lhonak5143 m5h00
14.Trek back to Gunsa 5h00
15.Gunsa to Sele – Le4290 m6h00
16.Trek to Tseram3870 m7h30
17.Tseram to Ramche4360 m5h45
18.Trek back to Tseram 4h30
19.Tseram to Tortong2995 m5h30
20.Trek to Yamphuding2080 m7h00
21.Yamphudin to Khebang1910 m6h45
22.Trek to Sinam1200 m6h30
23.Drive to Ilam  
24.Leisure Day in Kathmandu.  
25.Leisure Day in Kathmandu.  
26.Final departure  

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Map

There are several maps available for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking. You may purchase the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek map in Thamel or buy it online with Amazon.

We will provide the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek map while you travel with us. Here are the GPS coordinates and other essential information to navigate the daily walking distance.

The altitude of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The graph below shows an elevation profile for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The name position on the horizontal axis indicates the usual progression of a trek, with the extreme ends on the route.

Kanchenjunga Trek altitude
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek altitude graph

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Permits

Before embarking on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking, you must obtain the necessary permits and pay the required fees. You will need a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and a Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP) to enter the region.

The RAP costs USD 10 per person per week, while the KCAP costs USD 20 per week. Additionally, you will need to hire a licensed guide and porter, which can cost around USD 25-30 per day. Remember that these fees are subject to change, so it’s best to check with a local trekking agency for the most up-to-date information.

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Best Time To Go To Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

We want to tell you the best time to visit the Kanchenjunga circuit trek. If you are considering doing the tour, please know that you can do this at different times of the year. It is always a good idea to plan around autumn, generally from October to November. The trek is long, so you’ll have to allow plenty of time to complete it.

The trek is best when the weather is not too hot or cold; this is when people are least likely to be sick. It would help if you did the trek when it is not raining and, ideally, without wind. If you plan to do the tour during monsoon season, you should expect to encounter heavy rain.

The Kanchenjunga trek is an adventure, and you should not come with a set itinerary and expect the expedition to unfold as you planned. An excellent trekking guide can make the experience much more exciting and fun, so take one if you want to enjoy yourself fully.

To understand what the Kanchenjunga region offers, consider early March through mid-May and mid-October to late November. Generally, the monsoon season runs from late May to late September, making trekking impossible.

Food & accommodation on the trek

In recent years, trekking has become much more comfortable. Travelers in those days had to bring everything from food to tents.

Kanchenjunga is now a teahouse trek in northeast Nepal, as basic hut accommodation on the way has grown relatively recently. It may not be as easy as on the other famous Nepalese routes, but it will take a hot cup of tea and a sunset in the mountains at the end of the day.

You have no alternative or preference for accommodation while hiking. There is no toilet in the tea houses in Lhonak, Sele Le, and Ramche.

Simple foods are available during the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Daal bhat, thukpa, chowmein, and instant noodles are the most common foods. However, macaroni and pasta are available in a few places.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Difficulty

The elevations in the Kanchenjunga Trek range from 200 meters to 5,175 meters. Following a few rules, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is NOT DIFFICULT. Previous trekking experience or mountaineering skills are optional. AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and the extreme, unpredictable climate are the major issues of every trek.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Packing list for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga is a beautiful trek with a tea house and basic accommodations. Nevertheless, the services are fundamental. Bringing the correct clothing and equipment while trekking in the Kanchenjunga region is crucial. Appropriate clothing and supplies are essential for a safe and enjoyable trek.

Underpackaging or overpackaging can sometimes spoil your trip. So, before you take your first trekking trip, let me share with you what you need to pack and what to avoid.

First things, what kind of gear should you bring? Let me introduce you to your ideal hiking equipment:

Hiking shoes: You may have the right hiking shoes, but you don’t. The best hiking shoes are boots with rigid, flexible soles.

Water bottle: Every trekker needs a water bottle. Please feel free to bring your own, or choose wisely. There are so many good options out there.

Extra clothes: When hiking, you are bound to get cold. Bring extra clothes and wear layers. Don’t forget to bring sunblock, a hat, a sweater, and socks.

Hiking poles are light and easy to carry, and you must have them while trekking.

Money: You don’t want to carry a heavy backpack but still need money. So, I recommend carrying a small amount of cash.

First aid kit: A first aid kit is essential on your trek. You never know when you will get injured or sick, so you must be prepared.

FAQs

How much do the permits cost for the Kanchenjunga Trek?

The cost of licenses for the Kanchenjunga Trek is
1. Kanchenjunga’s restricted Area Permit costs US$ 20 per week for the first four weeks.
2. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Entry fee NPR 3000 per person

What is the Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty?

It depends on the chosen routes and whether you wish to do an entire Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking; then, it will be demanding. Likewise, deciding on the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is easy to moderate, although you should walk 5 to 8 hours daily. This ultimate guide to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek will help you plan and prepare for this adventure.

What is the cost of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?

I need help putting a price on it since you need to consider the cost of reaching the highest spot in the world and back, as well as the cost of your food and accommodation. However, the base cost for this trek should be around USD 2160 for the whole circuit.
Including the flights to and from Kathmandu, there are some different options that you can choose from to make this trek cheaper and more manageable.

Conclusion

Mt. Kanchenjunga is one of the most pleasurable trekking destinations in Nepal. It is on the eastern border of Nepal and is ideal for people who want to be amazed and have time to travel there. Unfortunately, the campsites were only accessible in the past.

But basic tea houses are also available for specific periods. In addition, more inexpensive routes pass through spectacular Himalayan vistas, ancient forests, prime wildlife, and the core of traditional cultures and communities.

The best guide to Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek will help you prepare for your travel adventures, such as packing, planning, and preparing your luggage, health, vaccinations, permits, itineraries, and more.

For adventure seekers looking for a challenge beyond what they have experienced before, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking is worth considering due to its unique combination of natural beauty and cultural exploration opportunities throughout your journey.

Adding the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek to your bucket list will provide professionals with unforgettable memories and valuable insights into diverse cultures. This Kanchenjunga Trek offers something unique that no other trekking destination can offer, so take advantage of this opportunity for an incredible experience!

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

Comments

11/03/2020
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