Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking: Everything You Need To Know
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Kanchenjunga range comprises five peaks, and the people believe that each of the five mountains represents a set of different treasures: gold, silver, gems, grains, and sacred texts. That’s a reason Kanchenjunga literally translates “Five Great Treasures in the snow.” The Kanchenjunga is a holy mountain. The first summiteers stopped a few meters down of the summit in 1955 in due reverence. The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking means visiting both North and South Kanchenjunga Base Camps, enabling visitors of the 3rd highest mountain and the greatest massif in the world to get up close and personal.

In Beyul demazong, whereas the Kangchenjunga standouts. The beyul are the holy valleys concealed by the much-vaunted priest, Padmasambhava, who discovered Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. Beyuls means to provide sanctuary to people seeking refuge from persecution in society and religion. Beyul Demazong will also let us understand its intent during our trip as we seek refuge in our hectic social life every day.

Trekking into Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), which is spread over 2035 square kilometers and is one of the first places exploring the Himalayas in the 19th century, is among the trek highlights. The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking offers an opportunity of discovering the less traveled Himalayan routes.

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

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

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Trekking from subtropical valleys to the woodland of rhododendrons to high alpine pastures.
  • Stay with local families and get an insight into their daily lives.
  • Take care of local wildlife and the endangered snow Leopard, including the red panda, blue sheep, and Himalayan black bears.
  • Experience incredible views on the way to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Get close to the third highest point in the world (8,586 m).

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Permits

Kanchenjunga is a restricted area; the Department of Immigration will issue the permits. To obtain a permit, you need at least two trekkers, a guide, and to apply through a registered trekking company. These things you should need to get before you depart. Besides that, you should need to obtain a Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. You can get to Kanchenjunga Conservation Area either in Kathmandu or directly at the checkpoint on the trek.

Variant itineraries for Kanchenjunga Trek

There are three different routes available in the Kanchenjunga region trek. You can trek to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp or Kanchenjunga North Base Camp or cover the two base camps. The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, which includes both base camps, and you can do it clockwise or anti-clockwise.

The minimum number of days needed is 16 and a maximum of 23-starting from and returning to Kathmandu. Check the most recommended itinerary for the Kanchenjunga trek.

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Days DestinationAltitudeDurarion
1.Fly to Bhadrapur then drive to Ilam93 m 1h00
2.Drive to Taplejung 1820 m4h30
3.Trek to Lali Kharka 1860 m6h00
4.Trek to Khesewa1960 m 5h30
5.Trek to Phumbe Danda 1780 m 6h00
6.trek to Yamphudin1692 m5h45
7.Trek to Tortong 2340 m6h00
8.Trek to Tseram 3868 m 6h30
9.Trek to Ramche (Trip to South Base Camp)4160 m 6h00
10.Trek to Tortong 2995 m 7h00
11.Trek to Yamphudin 8h00
12.Trek to Khebang 1920 m6h30
13.Trek to Khamdembe 1540 m 6h00
14.Drive to Bhdrapur 93 m 10h00
15.Fly to Kathmandu1350 m 1h00

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking (North to South Base Camp) itinerary

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 trek)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.Trek to Sele – Le4290 m6h00
16.Trek to Tseram3870 m7h30
17.Trek to Ramche4360 m5h45
18.Trek back to Tseram 4h30
19.Trek to Tortong2995 m5h30
20.Trek to Yamphuding2080 m7h00
21.Trek to Khebang1910 m6h45
22.Trek to Sinam1200 m6h30
23.Drive to Ilam  
24.Drive to Bhandrapur & take a flight to KTM  
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 online buy with Amazon. But we will provide the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek map while you are on a trek with us. Here is the GPS coordinate to navigate the daily walking distance and other essential information.

Altitude of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The graph below shows a profile of elevation for the typical Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The name position on the horizontal axis indicates the trek’s usual progression with the extreme ends on the route. The graph makes the elevation and descent of the trek much easier to see.

Kanchenjunga Trek altitude
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek altitude graph

Best season for Kanchenjunga Trek

In the Kanchenjunga region, the best months to trek are from early March to mid-May and from October to late November. We suggest skipping the monsoon season that runs from about late May to mid/late September.

Most local people will move to lower elevations during the winter, and tea houses will close so that camping is the only option, and it will be freezing.

In the spring, the Rhododendrons thrive beautifully, as many different varieties grow here in different colors. The trails will be drier during spring when the skies are crystal clear in the autumn, but with the monsoon’s rains, the routes may have changed, and itinerary adaptations are mandatory.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking – Getting there & away

There are many ways to get from Kathmandu to the beginning of this trek. It may be better for you to change your itinerary on available flights, depending on your time. There are regular flights from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur from where you fly or drive to Suketar airport near Taplejung. This is the most convenient way to get from Kathmandu to Taplejung. Tara air, Summit air, and Nepal airlines sometimes schedule chartered flights.

Here you can ask us to book the trip to and from Bhadrapur. It’s a ten-hour drive from Bhadrapur to Taplejung, deluxe busses leave Birtamod each morning, or you can hire your vehicle.

Food & Accommodation

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

Kanchenjunga is now a major 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 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.

It is available very simple food in Kanchenjunga. The most common foods are Daal Bhat, thukpa, chowmein, or instant noodles. Macaroni, pasta, and spaghetti are available in a few places.

Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty

The elevations spread from 200 meters to 5,175 meters in the Kanchenjunga Trek. The actual balance in terms of weather, temperature, and view is hard to predict. So, if you follow a few rules, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is NOT DIFFICULT. No previous trekking experience or any mountaineering skills are needed. 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 accommodation. Nevertheless, the services are fundamental. In the Kanchenjunga region, it is crucial to bring the right clothing and equipment. Appropriate clothing and supplies are essential for a safe and enjoyable trek. You can sometimes spoil your trip with under-packaging or overpackaging. You must, therefore, know how much is too much or too little. Also, check the recommended packing list for the Kanchenjunga Circuit.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How much do the permits cost for Kanchenjunga Trek?

The cost of permits for Kanchenjunga Trek is:
1. Restricted Area Permit cost of Kanchenjunga is US$ 20 per week for the first four weeks.
2. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Entry fee NPR 300 per person

How to reach Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek?

There are many ways to get from Kathmandu to the beginning of this trek. It may be better for you to change your itinerary on available flights, depending on your time. There are regular flights from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur from where you fly or drive to Suketar airport near Taplejung. That is the most convenient way to get from Kathmandu to Taplejung.

How Hard is the Kanchenjunga Trek?

It’s depending on the routes you have chosen, If you wish to do an entire Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek then it will demanding. Likewise, if you chose Kanchanjunga South Base Camp Trek, it is easy to moderate. Although you should walk 5 to 8 hours a day.

Mt. Kanchenjunga is one of the most pleasurable treks in Nepal on the eastern border of Nepal and is ideal for people in need of astonishment— and who have time to travel here. In the past, campsites were only accessible, but now there are more inexpensive routes that pass through spectacular Himalayan vistas, ancient forests, prime wildlife, and the core of traditional cultures and communities.

About Author

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.


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