Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 25 Days

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Trip Details
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trip Style: Trekking
  • Transport: As per Itinerary
  • Food: Breakfast in Kathmandu and all meals during trek
  • Accommodation: Hotel, lodge (tea house)
  • Group Size: 02 to 10 pax
  • Max Elevation: 5,388 m/17,673 ft
  • Walking hours: 5 - 7 hrs
  • Best Season: Spring / Autumn
  • Trek Starts/Ends: Kathmandu


  • Breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna glacier from the north base camp of the Pangpema
  • Passing through pristine alpine forests of rhododendron and juniper trees
  • Enchanting mountain passes like Sinion La Pass, Mirgin La Pass, Sinelapcha La Pass and Yalung and Kumbhakarna glacier
  • Walking past the settlements of Sherpa, Gurung and Tibetan villages
  • Spotting wildlife in Kanchenjunga regions like a snow leopard, blue sheep or a musk deer.
  • Stunning views of the snow capped mountains like Mt Kanchenjunga, Jannu, Kirat peak, Mera peak, Tent peak, etc.
  • Incredible hospitality of the local people and indulging on the local cuisine

About Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Mt. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain peak in the world. It stands tall at a staggering height of 8586m or 23170 ft, only behind Mt Everest and Mt K2. Kanchenjunga means “five treasures of the great snow” in the Tibetan language. This phrase refers to the five summits that make up the Kanchenjunga range.

Three of the five peaks in the Kanchenjunga range lies in the border of Nepal and Sikkim whereas the other two lies in Taplejung district of Nepal. The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking covers diverse geographical regions ranging from subtropical forests to frozen glacial paths. You will pass through many icy glaciers, and mountains pass along the way. The trail stops at various vantage points to overlook the majestic mountain ranges.

Joe Brown and George band were the first to climb the Kanchenjunga mountain on 25 May 1995 successfully. They stopped short few meters ahead of the summit as per the religious beliefs of the locals. Every climber who attempts to climb the Kanchenjunga mountain stops short of the summit as a part of this tradition. The trek is a long and demanding but with proper acclimatization and rest the trek can be completed successfully.

The Kanchenjunga trek is famous for its biodiversity. The conservation area is home to various birds, wild animals, and plants.You will also have an opportunity to explore the villages of Limbu, Rai, Sherpa, and Gurung communities. You will gain first-hand experience of the lifestyle and traditions of such ethnic groups. The local food is not fancy but very nutritious and tasty. You can also taste the famous “Tongba” which is warm homemade alcohol produced by the local and served in a brass ringed wooden pot.

You will pass through alpine shrubs, coniferous forests, meadows, glaciers, mountain passes all in just 24 days. The trip is geographically diverse and rewarding. There are plenty of trekking options available all around Nepal. Everest base camp trek, Annapurna base camp trek, Manaslu trek are some of the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. The Kanchenjunga circuit trek offers a unique off the beaten trekking experience in unexplored territories.

Kanchenjunga is a restricted area and is under a controlled tourism policy by the Nepal government. The trekkers require a special permit to enter the area and a registered trek guide. This is not a bad thing at all; an expert trek guide will aide the trekking process and give insightful local knowledge about the area. The trails fall under the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) established in 1998.

If you are a nature lover and want to trek on quiet, off the beaten path then the 25 days Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is perfect for you. This trek has received some great reviews by avid trekkers all around the world. We offer the exciting Kanchenjunga trek at a reasonable price. Come and experience this trek in the tranquillity of nature and make memories that will last a lifetime. Book your holidays now.

Best Time For The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
The best season to trek the Kanchenjunga circuit is the season of spring (March, April, May) and autumn (September, October, November). The weather and the temperature are most favourable in these seasons for trekking.

The autumn season brings in excellent weather, and the views of the mountains are tantalizing. The view of majestic snow-capped mountains on the backdrop of clear blue sky is enchanting. Occasional storms may dump a massive amount of snow in the mountain peaks, adding beauty to the already beautiful environment.

The spring season is also quite favourable for trekking in the region. There are different varieties of wildflowers blooming all over the hills, the rhododendron flowers bloom and paint the trail pink and red.its is mild warmer at lower elevations and moderate temperature at a higher elevation. The bright blue sky gives stunning views of the mountains.

Kanchenjunga circuit is available all around the year. But the monsoon brings heavy rainfall and adds the risk of landslides. The winters are freezing. Some expert trekkers trek during the offseason as well, but it's rather tricky.

The Difficulty of The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

The trek of the Kanchenjunga circuit is challenging as there are many ups and downs along the path. The narrow, steep climbs and the narrow pathways make it quite risky. Another critical factor is that the trek is a long one. You walk for 5-7 hours a day on average for about 20 days.

Trekkers usually get exhausted in the middle of the trek. But you don't have to worry. If you have a basic fitness level and a strong mental power, you can complete the trek with ease. There are landslides and avalanches area that you need to cross along the trail. Regular water breaks and protein snacks will help you pass the harsh terrain. However, you will need to be careful to protect yourself from injury and exhaustion.

Note: you may like too visit 

- Langtang Valley Trek

- Annapurna Circuit Trek


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Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we will pick you up from the Airport and transfer you to your hotel. There you will get briefed about the trip, and you can relax in the afternoon. You will spend the night at the hotel. 

    Extensive sightseeing of the Kathmandu valley is organized the next day. A professional tour guide will help you explore the ancient Kathmandu valley. There are seven different world heritage sites listed by the UNESCO in Nepal.

    The Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur offer a lesson in history. The ancient monuments and architecture will transport back in time. The architecture, culture, lifestyle and culinary arts of the local Newar people are exquisite.

    You will hike up a small hill to the top of Swayambhunath or the Monkey Temple. You can observe the vast view of the Kathmandu valley from the hilltop of Swayambhunath. You can also explore the Boudhanath and the Tibetan refugee settlement in the area.

      After a day full of sightseeing the Kathmandu valley, we will board a flight to Chandragadhi airport in Bhadrapur. The early morning flight is only an hour long. Bhadrapur is a city in the east of Nepal. The town of Bhadrapur is a gateway to India and various tourist destinations in the eastern part of Nepal.

      Upon arrival at Bhadrapur, we will drive to the city of Ilam. Ilam is famous for its tea farms in terraced hills and is termed as the “Queen of hills” in Nepal. The green hills filled with tea cultivations make beautiful scenery. We will stay at a hotel in Ilam.

      Flight Duration: 40-45 minutes

      Drive Duration: 4-5 hours

        We will drive to Taplejung from Ilam after mornings breakfast through the scenic highway. After a drive of 8-9 hours or drive in a pitched road and gravelled road, we arrive at Taplejung. We will spend the night at a guest house in Taplejung.

        Drive Duration: 4-5 hours

          Our trek journey starts from Taplejung as we trek our way to Chirwa. We enter the official Kanchenjunga trek route passing through the Hungdewa Khola and Tamur river on the road.

          We have a challenging trail that moves up and down quite frequently. After a steady trek of 6 hours, we arrive at the small village of Sinwa. We resume our trek that descends until the community of Tawa. From the village of Tawa, the trail is a steep uphill climb for some time, and then we cross the suspension bridge at Thiwa Khola (1140m) to finally we arrive at Chirwa.

          We walk along the banks of Chirwa Khola. Chirwa is a small Limbu village with few shops and guesthouses. Chirwa is a charming little village. We stay at a guest house in Chirwa.

          Walking Distance: 12 km

          Time Duration: 6 to 7 hours

            The trek from Chirwa to Amjilosa is relatively long. After an early breakfast, we follow a narrow trail to the north of the village. The path moves along the east bank of the Tamur river. This trail leads us to a village in Tapethok(1320m).

            The Village has a checkpoint of the Kanchenjunga National Park, after showing permits and other formalities you will leave the village to cross the Simbuwa Khola, the Simbuwa Khola originates from the Yalung glacier. The trail drops down from the Tamur river until we cross a suspension bridge over the junction of Ghunsa Khola and Tamur river.

            From this place, we make our way to the steep river campsite. We reach the Tibetan village of Sakathum(1640m). After Sakathum, we resume our trek through stone steps that climb to the village of Ghaiyabari (2150m). The trail also passes through a gorge after a climb from Solima.

            The trail moves past the cardamom fields and lush forests. We resume our trek to Sukathum after crossing a suspension bridge over a river. From Sukathum, we cross a gorge below and pass through the village of Solima. We descend for a final time until we arrive at Amjilosa, we will spend the night in a lodge in Amjilosa.

            Walking Distance: 17 km

            Time Duration: 8 to 9 hours

              The trail is shorter and comfortable relatively on this day. After a good breakfast, we head towards a steep climb along the Ghunsa valley. The trail is remote and far from human settlements. The trail today takes around 6-7 hours. The path moves along the riverbank, cross dense forests of bamboo and rhododendrons, gnarled brown oaks.

              After an uphill climb through the forest, we arrive at a flat ridge. We get outstanding vistas of the snow capped mountains. We can see scattered pastures and several waterfalls along the way.After arriving at a small stone house in the bank of the river, we make a steep ascent by crossing a small wooden small bridge.

              There are serene waterfalls on our way to Gyabla. After some distance covered we reach the village of Ghunsa. The Ghunsa village in the middle of terraced hills, the village is more than 350m above the Ghunsa river. Gyabla is a small Tibetan village where we spend the night.

              Walking Distance: 7 km

              Time Duration: 4 hours

                We descent deep into the gorge and walk through the forests of fir and rhododendron. Following the banks of the river, we make our way to beautiful yak pastures in Phale. We start our trek down the river to arrive at Phale, Phale is a Tibetan refugee settlement. Phale is a Tibetan settlement with gorgeous potato farms.

                We will have a relaxing lunch at the village and explore the Tibetan heritage and lifestyles around the area. There is a beautiful Tibetan monastery in Phale. There are many different local handicrafts shops where you can buy rugs and handicrafts as souvenirs.

                The valley widens up from the village and the passes through green fields and larch forests, we descend to the river beds of Ghumnsa Khola. We will cross a bridge at the river and climb through pine and coniferous forests to arrive at the village of Ghunsa. The Ghunsa is a village comprising of mainly sherpa community. We will stay overnight at Ghunsa village.

                Walking Distance: 12 km

                Time Duration: 5 hours

                  Acclimation day at Ghunsa provides an opportunity to relax and let your body adapt to the changing elevations of high altitude. As the altitude and elevation increases, the oxygen levels decrease. This process makes breathing difficult, and you are prone to acute mountain sickness.

                  Exploration if the harsh terrain of Ghunsa will facilitate you to tackle high altitude sickness. You can hike up to the Dudh Kunda lake that takes around 4 hours. The spectacular view of the Dudh Kunda lake is sure to enthrall you. There you can also visit the office of Kanchenjunga conservation area. We can hike up the Lapsang La Monastery. 

                    The trail from Ghunsa to Kambachen is prone to landslides as we pass through off the beaten path of Kanchenjunga north. We must walk carefully through powerful waterfalls. The trek moves northward along the river banks. The trail consists of a gradual uphill climb through a forest of larch and juniper along the east bank of the river.

                    We will also pass through some beautiful meadows. After crossing the floodplains covered with sand and boulders, the path crosses a wood and stone bridge to the west side of the river at Rambuk Kharka. (3,720m). The spectacular sight of the Jannu glacier and the Jannu peak(7,710m) and the Kanchenjunga massif will overwhelm you.

                    We descend into the mountainside to arrive at the temporary settlement of Kambachen.with several tea houses. The facilities are basic, and we must compromise. Or we can stay in the teahouse. We will camp overlooking the beautiful night sky in Kambachen.

                    Walking Distance: 16 km

                    Time Duration: 6-7 hours

                      After early morning breakfast, we start our trek. The trek is challenging as we pass through rocky fields, big boulders to arrive at a waterfall. After gradually climbing an icy, rocky track, we cross a bridge and reach the Ramtang(4730m). The path is slippery, and you might slip over the iced stones, so you need to be careful. The Ramtang Monastery is a beautiful spiritual hub of the surrounding area.

                      The trail must be carefully completed as there are many landslides area. Now the trail takes us northwest of the Kanchenjunga glaciers to finally arrive at Lhonak. Lhonak is very windy and covered with sand all over. From Lhonak you can see the panoramic view of the beautiful landscapes.

                      There are big grassy plains perfect for campsites in Lhonak. We can camp for the night. We might spot some wild animals like blue sheep, mammoths, or mountain goats. We will stay the night in Lhonak.

                      Walking Distance: 9.5 km

                      Time Duration: 7 hours

                        The trail to Pangempa is a rocky one which gives a severe challenge to the trekkers. Pangpema is the highest point of the Kanchenjunga circuit trek. Pangpema is the northern base camp of the Kanchenjunga Himal and the only place from where we can see the serene view of the north face of Kanchenjunga.

                        In Pangpema there is flat land that we have to climb to enjoy the wholesome views. We can see other various peaks like Kirat Chuli, Nepal peak, Tent peak, Chang Himal, Jannu Himal on the horizon. We will be rewarded with beautiful views of the Himalayas on our way up. After enjoying and capturing these stunning images, we set up our camp at the Pangpema.

                        Walking Distance: 9.4 km

                        Time Duration: 6 hours

                          We will explore the Pangpema area and hike around for acclimatization purposes. The view of the snow capped mountains like Mt Jannu. North face of the Kanchenjunga Himal, Chang Himal, and others is stunning.

                          The area is uninhabited and beautiful. You can absorb the serene and tranquil atmosphere. After a day full of exploration, we will head back to Lhonak and stay overnight.

                            We trek back to Ghunsa through the same route we took during uphill climb. We will trek back to Ghunsa by the same route we went uphill. The trek will be easier because we will trek downhill. We travel back from Pangpema to Lhonak to Kembachen and finally to Ghunsa.

                            The view of the snow capped mountain from a different perspective is stunning. We will spend the night in Ghunsa.

                            Walking Distance: 12.5 km

                            Time Duration: 7 hours

                              We trek toward the right-hand side from Ghunsa. The isolated section is a steep uphill climb till we reach Sele le. We pass through lush rhododendron and juniper forests.

                              If you are lucky, you might find some wild animals, including a snow leopard along the trail. However, you should not leave the tea house in the lookout. You will stay the night in a tea house.

                              Walking Distance: 11 km

                              Time Duration: 6 hours

                                The most challenging part of the whole trek is today. We first start by climbing the 400m to the Mirgin La Pass. We can see the magnificent views of the Jannu peak along with Makalu, Baruntse, Chamlang, Kanchenjunga, and Kabru. The Himalayan range across the border in Sikkim is also visible.

                                We will trek through the Sinion la pass and Sinelapcha la pass to join the trek to the Kanchenjunga south routes. The passes are in high altitude zone, and the weather conditions make the climb extremely strenuous. You will need to be careful and have steady mental composure to complete this trek. After a long and taxing day, we descend to Tseram through beautiful ridges.

                                The most exciting trek of the whole tour is on this day. The trail passes through three stunning passes, Sinion La Pass(4460m), Mirgin La Pass(4480m), and Sinelapcha pass(4646). The whole journey is very strenuous and physically taxing. But the sweeping view of the snow capped mountains of the region more than compensates it.

                                Walking Distance: 7.4 km

                                Time Duration: 8 hours

                                  On this day, we will explore the Yalung glacier and the Oktang Base Camp. We will start our trek early from Tseram as we have to gain a lot of elevation in a short period. We will trek overlooking the beautiful glimpse of snow-capped mountains and ridges. The stunning view of Rothang and Kabru on the border of Nepal and Sikkim.

                                  The more you accent, the more beautiful the vistas get. We ascend the snout of Yalung glacier. After passing through a series of ablation valley, we reach the Oktang base camp which is the southern base camp of Kanchenjunga. From the Oktang Base Camp, we can see the impressive views of the Kumbhakarna glacier.

                                  The base camp provides the most serene view of the eastern part of the Kumbhakarna glacier and the Kanchenjunga south face. The pristine frozen lakes and crystal clear streams pass through on our way. The mountains of Kokthan, Rathong and Kabru are significant highlights of this trek. We descend to Tseram after a long day to rest and stay overnight.

                                  The trail to the Oktang Base Camp which is around 5-6 hours. We can observe the Kanchenjunga south from the Oktang Base Camp. After that, we will return to Tseram and stay the night in a teahouse.

                                  Walking Distance: 7.6 km

                                  Time Duration: 7 hours

                                    After a splendid view of the sunrise over the towering peaks of Kabru and Rathong, we descend from Tseram. The downhill trek will take you to lower altitudes. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the snowy mountains along the way. An impressive view of the Yalung glacier lies ahead of us.

                                    We pass steadily through rhododendron and pine forests to arrive at Torangden. There are two separate alternate trails from Oktang Base Camp to Torangden. We trek alongside Simbuwa Khola enjoying the gorgeous scenery of nature along the way. We stay overnight in Torangden.

                                    Walking Distance: 15 km

                                    Time Duration: 7 hours

                                      The trek today is challenging because we will pass through many landslides prone sections. There is a steep 600m climb to Laminate pass (3500m) that will test you to the core. We will then cross a wooden bridge to reach Simbua Khola. We continue walking through slopes until we enter pines and rhododendron forests.

                                      We then walk across Lamite Bhanjyang Maji Khola to climb at the Dhupia Bhanjyang (2540m). Finally, the trail becomes smooth as we pass through the cultivable fields where local grow corn and barley. We cross a ridge and reach Yamphudin. Yamphudin community consist of Sherpas, Limbus, Rais, and Gurungs. We stay overnight.

                                      We will trek to Yamphudin from Torangden. We will pass through the Lasiya Bhanjyang. The route is relatively easy as compared to other days. We descend downhill from the Lasiya Bhanjyang until we reach Yamphudin. Yam Phudin is a charming little village of Sherpa, Rai and Limbu community.

                                      Walking Distance: 12.6 km

                                      Time Duration: 7 hours

                                        After early morning breakfast in Yamphudin, we walk through Chhetri Bahun settlements in the lower altitudes. The change of the landscapes from uninhabited, remote areas to human settlements is a pleasure.

                                        We walk through an easy trail where we will witness beautiful landscapes, and we can experience the culture and lifestyles of various ethnic communities. After a wonderful trek that moves up and down, we reach Khebang where we stay overnight.

                                        We trek down to Khebang on an entirely downhill trek. The trek is an easy one and you can easily walk down the trail to Khebang. We will stay at a local lodge to spend the night.

                                        Walking Distance: 10 km

                                        Time Duration: 7-8 hours

                                          The last day of the trek is also the longest. We will drop an incredible 1000 m in elevation and a total of 6 km from Khebang. After reaching Dobhan, we will set off towards Khamdime after having lunch.We continue our trek with regular water breaks in between.

                                          Following a straight path and passing through the villages, we arrive Khamdime. We will now trek down to Khandembe where we will spend the night in a local inn. The trek is more comfortable and refreshing as it is entirely downhill. Our trek journey comes to an end in Khamdime.

                                          Walking Distance: 14 km

                                          Time Duration: 8-9 hours

                                            We will drive to Bhadrapur on this day. The 9-10 hour drive is taxing, but the stunning views of the hilly landscapes is equally rewarding. We will stay overnight in Bhadrapur.

                                            Drive Duration: 9-10 hours

                                              We will drive to the Chandragadhi Airport in Bhadrapur and then catch a flight back to the capital, which takes 40-45 minutes. Our staff will help you to check-in at the hotel.

                                              Flight Duration: 40-45 minutes

                                                You have a free day in hand in Kathmandu. You can go last minute souvenir shopping in the local handicrafts shops in Kathmandu. In the evening you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Thamel.

                                                  We will drop you at the Airport from where you can board a flight back to your desired destination.

                                                    Cost Details

                                                    • Airport pick-up and drop services as per the itinerary
                                                    • 3 night standard twin sharing hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast.
                                                    • Domestic flights (Kathmandu - Bhadrapur  and  Bhadrapur to  Kathmandu)
                                                    • All private and local transportation to the starting point and from the ending point of the trek as per the itinerary.
                                                    • Basic tea house/ local home stay accommodation during the trek
                                                    • Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
                                                    • Gov. Licensed experienced helpful and friendly guide and porters (1 porter for 2 people) and their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance for all staff
                                                    • Kanchenjunga special trek permit & Conservation permit
                                                    • Down Jacket and sleeping bag (if needed)
                                                    • First Aid kit box with normal medicine
                                                    • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service (paid by your Travel insurance company)
                                                    • Trekking map and trip achievement certificate
                                                    • Government taxes & office service charge
                                                    • International air ticket 
                                                    • Nepal Visa fee  (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)
                                                    • Your Travel and rescue insurance
                                                    • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
                                                    • Tips for trekking staff (tipping is expected)