Trip Type: Nepal Challenging Treks
Maximum Altitude: 25,289 ft
Durations: 25 Days
Trip Starts: Kathmandu
Trip Ends: Kathmandu
Best Time For Travel: October to May
Nepal opened the Kanchanjunga area to trekkers in 1988, though people have trekked in the area in connection with mountaineering expeditions since the turn of the century. Kanchanjunga is a long way from Kathmandu, and the nearest roads and airports are a long way from the mountain. You can trek either to the north or south Kanchanjunga base camp, but it takes luck, determination and a lot of time to visit both sides of the peak. The northern side is particularly remote; it takes almost two weeks of walking to get to the base camp at Pang Pema.
Kanchanjunga is on the border of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, so a circuit of the mountain is politically impossible. Kanchanjunga “the mountain of jewels”, the third tallest peak (8586m) in the world and possibly one of the least unexplored remote region of eastern Nepal and certainly one of its most beautiful. Breathtaking views of the vast Himalayan range are presented from the majority of the routes trails. Walking in pleasant villages, through rhododendron forest in the lower valley then in the high regions, glorious mountains views of Everest, Makalu and the Kanchanjunga massif will make the trip incredibly memorable. Plus, abundant wildlife such as musk deer, blue sheep and yak grazing in the high altitude always astonish us.
Day 01: Kathmandu – Hile
We take a 45 min flight to Biratnagar, an industrial city in the lowlands of Eastern Nepal where we will be welcomed by our guide and other crew at the airport. We drive to Hille, a Tibetan settlement at 6,070 ft. where we pitch our first camp.
Day 02: Hile – Dhuda
We are ready to start our trek. We take the trail to Buranse Danda, towards the Tamur River along a ridge. At the top of this ridge we arrive at Shidua (7,450ft.) where we camp for the night.
Day 03: Dhuda – Door Pani
We are trekking through a forest today to Chitre. We will have ample opportunities to see wildlife along the way. The views of Mt. Makalu (27,825ft.) and Chamlang (24,000 ft.) are today’s highlights. We continue through rhododendron forests to the hamlet of Door Pani (9,120 ft.) for overnight camp.
Day 04: Door Pani – Gupa Pokhari
After a gentle climb through more rhododendron forests to a mountain ridge, we drop down to the village of Tongise Phedi and continue to Chanki, an area used for summer pasture. We continue through grassy fields with Mt. Makalu in constant view. Soon the Kanchenjunga range appears and we come to Mongol Bharai pass lined with mani stones. We descend to a lake, Gupa Pokhari, for our camp.
Day 05: Gupa Pokhari – Nesum
Today we cross a pass at 9,922 ft. and descend through a dense forest towards Gurja Gaon and continue to descend to Nesum (5,297 ft.) with Mt. Jannu and Mt. Kanchenjunga behind us. We camp in Nesum.
Day 06: Nesum – Taplejung
Today we visit the central hub of this region, Taplejung. We descend to Doban through paddy fields and start the trek up the Tamur River, to Taplejung.
Day 07: Taplejung – Chirwa
Continuing up the Timur River in a valley populated by the Limbu people, the descendants of the Kirati warriors who ruled Nepal at the dawn of Nepalese history, we camp near Chirwa, a pleasant bazaar with a few tea houses and shops.
Day 08: Chirwa – Sakathum
Cross the Simbuwa Khola – a river formed by the Yalung Glacier. We climb over another ridge to join the Ghunsa Khola valley and camp by the banks of the river at Sakathum.
Day 09: Sakathum – Amjilassa
We follow a steep and narrow trail up-river. From the high spots there are wonderful views of the Ghunsa Khola below. The path descends steeply and we arrive at the mountain-side village of Amjilassa for our overnight stay.
Day 10: Amjilassa – Kyapar
We shall be doing some real climbing during the next 5 days! We climb to Kyapar perched in the middle of terraced hills about 1000 ft up, via steep climbs from the Ghunsa Khola.
Day 11: Kyapar – Ghunsa
We descend from Kyapar and make an easy climb up the right bank of the Ghunsa Khola. After the village of Phere, we enter rhododendron forests and climb a gentle hill before descending back down to the Ghunsa Khola and crossing a wooden bridge to the village of Ghunsa.
Day 12: Khambachan
Today we glimpse the Jannu Glacier. Later on we get a view of Mt. Jannu (25,289 ft). We descend the mountain-side to our camp at Khambachan.
Day 13: Khambachan
We have to climb over 8,000 ft. in the last 4 days. We deserve a rest today to collect our thoughts on how wild and wonderful everything has been so far.
Day 14: Khambachan – Lhonak
Well rested, we now start a stint of real climbing. We trek to the edge of Kanchenjunga Glacier and cross over to the Lhonak Glacier. We arrive at our campsite at Lhonak, from where we can see Mera Peak (20,208 ft.)
Day 15: Day Trip To Pangpema
We shall have excellent views of the towering peak of Kanchenjunga today.
Day 16: Khambachan – Cross Lapsanga La and Mirign La
We select to cross either of the 2 passes today depending on the weather conditions: Lapsang La, the higher pass at 17,000 ft., and Mirgin La the lower pass at 15,000ft.
Day 17: High Camp
We shall again rest today to recover from the efforts of the previous days.
Day 18: High Camp – Ramche
We descend to the Simbuwa Khola valley and camp at Ramche.
Day 19: Ramche – Tserma
We take a day trip to the Yalung glacier for a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga south face from a chorten at about 15,000 ft. We descend later to Tseram for the night.
Day 20: Tserma – Torantan
We are starting to descend from today. We steadily descend through forests of rhododendron to Torontan at 9,800 ft.
Day 21: Torantan – Yamphudin
We descend today to Yamphudin (5,360 ft.) Yamphudin is a mixed community of Sherpas, Limbus, Rais and Gurungs and is the first real village since Ghunsa.
Day 22: Yamphudin – Ponphe
We descend from Yamphudin to the Kabel Khola and climb to Ponphe (5,500 ft.) for our camp.
Day 23: Ponphe – Pha Khola
From Ponphe we climb to a ridge at 5,700 ft. We descend through a series of side valleys past Phun village to Kesawa (6,120 ft.). The trail continues to ascend to a Gurung settlement at Bhanjyang (6,640ft.) From here the trail traverses a ridge and descends to the Limbu village of Khunjari (5,250 ft.). We camp below on the banks of Pha Khola.
Day 24: Pha Khola – Taplejung
We descend today to the airport of Taplejung for our overnight stay.
Day 25: Taplejung – Kathmandu
We fly this morning back to Kathmandu via Biratnagar after a well-remembered trek.
- All Permits.
- Flight to Biratnagar and return from Taplejung.
- All camping gears, kitchen gears and supplies.
- 3 meals a day.
- English speaking Trekking Guide.
- Porters, Sherpas and Pack animals.
- Trekking crew insurance.
- Drinks, tip and expenses of personal nature.
- Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
- Travel Insurance.