Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking-27 days
At 8,586m, Kanchenjunga is the world’s 3rd highest mountain. Located in the far north eastern corner of Nepal bordering Sikkim, it is considered as one of the most beautiful mountain massifs in the world.
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking is getting popular these days among nature enthusiasts as it is a long adventure to the most remote and beautiful area of Himalayas in Nepal’s eastern regions. The name Kanchenjunga means five treasures of the great snow which is in reference to the five summits that make up Kanchenjunga. Since, this trekking is less crowded you will be rewarded with a unique insight into Nepali rural lifestyle and its rich culture. You will also experience every climate Nepal has to offer from steamy jungles to jumbled glaciers. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking offers it all.
DAY 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m /4,264 ft) Upon arrival in Kathmandu airport you will be expected to complete your custom formalities (Visa etc). We suggest you to look for our representative who will be waiting for you at the arrival gate with a Himalayan Glacier Trekking display board.You will then be transferred to Hotel Shankar or another hotel of similar category. After checking in you can either take rest, stroll in the city or visit our office. It all depends on you. A welcome dinner will be served to you in a traditional Nepali Restaurant later in the evening. While there, you will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with a brief cultural program.
DAY 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu and preparation for trekking Breakfast the hotel (Trek briefing)
Half day tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square + Equipment hiring
Overnight at the hotel
DAY 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar (81 m/266 ft) You will fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar. Depending upon the availability of flying options to Suketar from Biratnagar you will be presented with either of the two possibilities listed below:
- If there is availability of flight to Suketar you spend the night in Biratnagar and fly to Suketar the next morning.
- If there are no flights available to Suketar you drive to Phidim and spend the night there.
DAY 04: Fly from Biratnagar to Suketar (2,420 m/7,938 ft) or Drive from Phidim (1,179 m/ (3,868 ft) to Suketar If you spent overnight at Biratnagar the previous day you will directly fly to Suketar this day and spend the night there. But, if you spent your night in Phidim you will be driving to Suketar. Either way you spend overnight at Suketar.
DAY 05: Suketar to Mitlung (921 m/3,021 ft) 4-5 hrs We officially kick start the day with a downhill walk to Mitlung. The trails throughout the lower sections of the Kanchenjunga region pass through fertile valleys with beautiful pastures and small villages. We then cross Hangdewa River and walk alongside the raging Tamor River. As we gradually head in a northerly direction the trail steepens after a few hours before a final descent of 350 meters on a muddy trail to Mitlung. We spend the night there.
DAY 06:: Mitlung to Chirwa (1,270 m/4166 ft) 5-6 hrs The trail ascends and descends steadily as we make our way towards the village of Sinwa. We continue trekking downhill until we reach Tawa. At Tawa, we ascend to some heights and cross the suspension bridge at Thiwa. We pass beautiful rural landscape along the way and reach Chirwa, a beautiful Limbu village with few lodges, tea shops etc. We spend the night at Chirwa.
DAY 07: Chirwa to Sukathum (1,576 m/5,169 ft) 5-6 hrs The trek from Chirwa to Sukathum passes through varied landscapes such as cardamom fields and dense forests. We trek uphill for sometime then descend to the lush green fields below and continue trekking along the Tamor River passing through a dense forest. It’s both uphill and downhill trek until crossing the Ghunsa River after which we reach Sukathum and spend the night there.
DAY 08: Sukathum to Amjilosa (2,308 m /7,570 ft) 6-7 hrs Trekking from Sukathum to Amjilosa is challenging. After crossing the suspension bridge outside Sukathum we enter a dense forest, ascend the steep trail, descend and cross the river again. We also climb a gorge from the bottom and pass by Solima village and descend again to the level of the river. All in all, this day’s trekking is rather tough. Therefore, it is advisable to be very careful especially while walking the trail that passes the gorge. We later follow a tricky trail which goes both uphill and downhill until reaching Amjilosa where we spend the night.
DAY 09: Amjilosa to Gyabla (2,730 m /8,954 ft) 6-7 hrs We start trekking from the river bank, pass through a densely forest of bamboo, fir and rhododendrons eventually reaching a small stone house by the river. We then climb uphill crossing a few small bridges along the way. Here, we get to enjoy the company of stunning waterfalls that originate from the mountains. After yet another short uphill walk we reach the Tibetan settlement to Gyabla.
DAY 10: Gyabla to Ghunsa (3,595 m/11,792 ft) 5-6 hrs We descend down the river and notice the valley as it slowly opens up before reaching Phale, a Tibetan refugee settlement where it is possible to purchase handicrafts and homemade rugs from locals. After purchasing a few souvenirs we travel through conifer and pine forest and reach the Sherpa village of Ghunsa where we spend the night. This place is known for its hydroelectricity plant and the fact that more than 20 prominent conservationists met a tragic end in a helicopter crash.
DAY 11: Acclimatisation day at Ghunsa We take care to spend time acclimatising around Ghunsa before continuing our next day’s trek. We recommend you to stay active even in a rest day as it is better than being idle while on a trekking journey. Therefore, we take a short hike towards the Laspsan La monastery through the lush green forest. Come back to Ghunsa by afternoon and relax.
DAY 12: Ghunsa to Kambachen (4,050 m/13,284 ft) 5-6 hrs From Ghunsa we trek further north along the river bank which presents us with magnificent mountain scenery. We pass through meadows full with beautiful wildflowers, rhododendron and pine forests. We cross a bridge at Rampuk Kharka, continue past the waterfall and cross the tricky section of the landslide. After crossing the landslide area we begin to see the spectacular view of Mt. Jannu. Further exploring and tackling the tricky mountain trail we finally arrive at Kambachen and spend the night.
DAY 13: Acclimatisation Day at Kambachen We take yet another day for acclimatisation at Kambachen which is reserved to accommodate participants in high altitude and also to observe if anybody in the group has any symptoms of altitude sickness. The overall idea for this day is to relax- take a bath and/or explore the Nuphchu Khola Valley area. We spend yet another night at Kambachen.
DAY 14: Kambachen to Lhonak (4,780 m/15,678 ft) 6-7 hrs
Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We trek through rocky fields and large boulders on the hillside along the riverbank and arrive at a waterfall. We then cross a bridge to Ramtang monastery. We then come across a landslide section which we must pass through at a steady pace before descending to the river and finally arriving at Lhonak.
DAY 15: Trek to Pangpema/Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (5,388 m/17,673 ft) 6-7 hrs We trek along the Kanchenjunga Glacier to spend a night at Pangpema, Kanchenjunga base camp on the north side. We urge you to be careful around the rockier sections as they are prone to landslides. After a short while you reach Pangpema, a flat grassy base camp. Climb a little higher and enjoy the splendor of Jannu, Kanchenjunga and Chang Himal.
DAY 16: Trek back to Kambachen (4,050 m/13,284 ft) 6-7 hrs We retrace our path to Lhonak and continue down the valley to Ramtang Monastery. The return journey offers a different perspective of the mountains Kanchenjunga, Taple Shikhar, Gimmigela, and Mera Peak among others. Due to the descending nature of this trek we will reach Kambachen by evening and spend the night there.
DAY 17: Kambachen to Ghunsa (3,595 m/11,792 ft) 3-4 hrs It’s essentially the reverse of our Day 12 trek. We descend to Ghunsa from Kambachen which means that we get to enjoy the beautiful forests along with a backdrop of impressive mountain scenery. Overnight at Ghunsa
DAY 18: Ghunsa to Sele Le (4,290 m/14,071 ft) 6-7 hrs It’s a steep trek upward from Ghunsa to Sele-Le. Upon reaching Sele Le we climb through a dense forest of moss, rhododendron and juniper. Lunch will be served in an appropriate place with the availability of water. We spend the night in Sele Le.
DAY 19: Sele Le to Cheram (3,870 m/12,694 ft) 6-7 hrs We do an uphill trek and enjoy the mesmerizing south side view of Jannu Himal and Makalu (the world’s 6th highest mountain). Today is a strenuous trekking day as we cross several passes- Sinion La, Mirgin La and Sinelapche Bhanjyang. We then make a steep descend to Cheram and spend the night there.
DAY 20: Cheram to Ramche (4,580 m/15,022 ft) and return back to Cheram, 4-5 hrs We ascend past the snout of the Yalung Glacier and walk alongside the Simbuwa Khola, pass through Lapsang village and reach Ramche. While there, we walk further up the valley or ascend a ridge for a tremendous view of blue sheeps. We then follow the stream before climbing on the moraine top until confronted by Kanchenjunga’s southern face. We walk further ahead for a glimpse of the Jannu Himal. We can even consider continuing to Oktang Monastery. Descend and spend the night at Cheram.
DAY 21: Cheram to Tortong (2,995 m/9,824 ft) 5-6 hrs As we descend to Tortong we first encounter two trails. One trail is the one we took while descending down from Sele Le. However, we ignore this route and descend further down to the trail alongside the Simbuwa Khola. We enjoy the lush rhododendron forest along the way.
DAY 22: Tortong to Yamphudin (2,080 m/6,822 ft) 6-7 hrs While descending from Tortong to Yamphudin we pass through Lasiya Bhanjyang which involves walking up through trees and area of landslides. The terrain changes after every monsoon but by the middle of October it should be stable with a route through. Walking further down we reach the village of Yamphudin, a village inhabited by Sherpas, Limbus and Rais.
DAY 23: Yamphudin to Yangpang (1,007 m/3,304 ft) 6-7 hrs
We descend from Yamphudin, cross the bridge at Samekham and continue following the Kabeli Khola. We pass through Mamankhe which houses the Limbu Museum and Cultural Center. We then cross the bridge over Khaksewa Khola and ascend through the cardamom forest, pass by a few villages and descend further down to Yangpang. Overnight at Yangpang.
DAY 24: Yangpang to Thorpu (1,500 m/4,290 ft) 5-6 hrs
Instead of going back to Taplejung we descend down to Thorpu. By opting for Thorpu we will not only be saving us time but will also get to enjoy the landscape of a different route. While descending to Thorpu we pass through some really beautiful terraced villages, where the people are very interested to see you. We spend the night in Thorpu and enjoy the hospitality of the villagers.
DAY 25: Thorpu to Birtamod (300 m/ 984 ft) 5-6 hrs We are most likely to drive from Thorpu to Birtamod which is a lively Terai town in Eastern Nepal. Along the way you will notice the climate getting warmer with a landscape that is different from the mountains and the hills. The town boasts a number of good accommodation facilities therefore we spend the night in Birtamod.
DAY 26: Drive from Birtamod to Bhadrapur then Fly to Kathmandu The drive to Bhadrapur from Birtamod is only of short distance. We fly back to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur Airport. Upon arriving in Kathmandu you can take a rest and relax throughout the day in your hotel or if you are interested in taking souvenirs for your loved ones, you can shop around the tourist area of Thamel. Himalayan Glacier Trekking will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner for the successful completion of your Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking.
DAY 27: Depart Kathmandu Your journey comes to an end today. After breakfast, our representative will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours from your scheduled flight. On your way home you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
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