Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Guide

By Glorious Himalaya on July 1, 2019 in Travel Tips

Planning a trip to Kanchenjunga? Here’s a brief Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Guide which not only helps you to plan and prepare your trip accordingly but also helps develop a mindset to tackle any challenges that the trek may bring along.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Overview

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the challenging and longest treks in Nepal, located in the far northeastern region of Nepal. The word Kanchenjunga is a Tibetan term, meaning “Five Treasures of the Great Snow”, i.e. Silver, Gold, Precious Stones, Grain, and Holy Scriptures.

The off-the-beaten trail in nature goes through the wilderness of beautiful and remote regions, and takes you all the way to the lap of the third highest peak in the world, Kanchenjunga, standing at the height of (8586m). 

One of the highlights of this trek is the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), which spreads over an area of 2035 square kilometers, and is among the first explored areas of the Himalaya in the 19th century. The trek is an opportunity to discover the very less explored trails in the Himalayas and offers variations in landscapes from alpine grasslands to sub-tropical forests, low river valleys, glacial moraine, and rocky scree slopes.

The area is home to many flora and fauna as well as various wildlife including musk deer, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, wild boar, red panda, and many others. Herein, you get the have the sight of a dramatic mountain panorama, taste local foods, and experience the typical culture of RaiLimbu, and Sherpa people

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is for those who prefer the aspects of long and difficult trekking in Nepal. The wilder unexplored corners of the Himalaya make it more worthwhile. If, this trek is on your bucket list visit our Kanchenjunga Trek package page.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Challenge yourself on this remote, once-in-a-lifetime trek
  • Confronting Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m) the 3rd highest mountain in the world.  
  • Trek along the less touristic region
  • Explore the wilderness and immerse yourself in the rich flora and fauna of the region
  • Explore the villages and Himalayan culture of primitive Rai, Limbu, and Sherpa communities.  
  • Flowering glory of Rhododendrons.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Permit

Kanchenjunga is a restricted zone and under the control of the Tourism Policy. This implies that you need a special permit to enter the region. You also ought to be accompanied by a registered trekking guide through the trek. Your agency will obtain the permit for you, so you need not worry about the process to obtain the permit. The permit must be processed through a registered travel agency in Nepal. 

Required Permits 

  • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Entry Permit (KCAP) NPR 2,000 per person.
  • Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) USD 10 per person, per week.

NOTE: You need a minimum of two trekkers in a group in order to obtain the permit. 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Route Map

There are several excellent trekking maps for the Kanchenjunga Region.  Here is a detailed map we recommend. Click here 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Duration

26 days long, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the longest treks in Nepal. You require a minimum of 20 days for this trek. The trek is for those, who want to get immersed in the highlands of the Himalayas and explore the deeper Nepal. The trek starts and ends in Kathmandu.

This is a long trek that can be customized and tailored as per your requirements. The number of days for your trek can be lengthened as per your requirements if you wish to stay for a longer duration. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is indeed for those who want to enjoy the aspects of long trekking in Nepal.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Below we have given the 24 days outline itinerary for your Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek from your arrival in Kathmandu until your departure day.

Day 01:       Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel. (1365m)
Day 02:       Kathmandu sightseeing and trekking permit preparation
Day 03:       Fly to Bhadrapur and drive to Illam
Day 04:       Drive to Suketar and trek to Lalikharka (2260m)
Day 05:       Trek to Khesewa (2120m.)
Day 06:       Trek to Mamankhe (1785m.)
Day 07:       Trek to Yamphudin (2080m.)
Day 08:       Trek to Tortong (3000m.)
Day 09:       Trek to Cheram (3870m.)
Day 10:       Acclimatization day at Cheram (3870m.)
Day 11:       Trek to Ramache (4580m.)
Day 12:       Trek to Yalung base camp and trek back to Cheram (4500m.)
Day 13:       Trek to Sele La (4290m.)
Day 14:       Trek to Ghunsa (3595m.)
Day 15:       Trek to Khambachen (4050m.)
Day 16:       Trek to Lhonak (4780m.)
Day 17:       Trek to Ghunsa (3475m.)
Day 18:       Trek to Amjilosa (2308m.)
Day 19:       Trek to Chirwa (1270m.)
Day 20:       Trek to Phurumbu (1550m.)
Day 21:       Trek to Suketar
Day 22:       Drive back to Bhadrapur
Day 23:       Fly back to Kathmandu
Day 24:       Departure day

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Altitude Profile

The graph below shows the altitude profile for the classic Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The status of the names on the horizontal axis presents the typical progression of the trek with the major ends on the way. The graph makes it easier to see the ascent and descent of the trek.


Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Altitude Chart

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Getting There

The trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp begins at Taplejung after a 45 min scenic flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. Then followed by a jeep ride to Birtamod.  Lastly a bus ride to Taplejung. 

There are two ways to trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Nepal, north to south and south to north.
A circuit trek, on the converse, is a combination of both the south and the north trek. You can though have a long drive from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur if you wish not to take a flight. But, the latter option, on the other hand, increases the duration of your trek. 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Difficulty

In general, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is NOT DIFFICULT if you follow some guidelines. It requires no prior trekking experience or mountaineering skills of any sort. We have seen people from all walks of life, shapes, and sizes completing the trek! The major issue of every trek is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and the harsh unpredictable climate. The helicopter rescue service always remains on standby in case of an emergency evacuation. 

Following is a list of few elements that you should do to reduce the possibilities of AMS:

  • Drink at least 2-liter water every day
  • Bring first aid medicines such as Diamox, D-cold total, Dettol, etc.
  • Be certain to have enough acclimatization days
  • Monitor your health at least once a day
  • Make sure you carry Oximeter in order to measure your oxygen level and heart pulse.
  • Make sure you have checked your gears properly before trekking.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Food

Food is very basic in Kanchenjunga. You get to taste the organic and typical Local foods, though they do not have a menu in most places.  One should not expect the food as in the  Everest and  Annapurna, or other luxury trekking routes of Nepal. Dal Bhat and Thukpa are the most common foods in this region. You can also get MOMO, pasta, and macaroni in a limited number of places. 

You should be definitely trying fresh Nyak milk? (Female yak) It cost around Rs.200 per cup in Khambachen. You can also get chicken or even fresh goat meat. Many hotels do have a green vegetable field. They do not use any harmful fertilizers or pesticides. 

You can have fresh foods that come right from the garden, into the pan, and onto your plates. If interested, you can cook yourself though. You can also find some guides and porters cooking food for everyone in the hotel. Also, expect the prices to increase by 10 to 15 percent annually.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Accommodation

Trekking has become a lot easier in recent years. Back then travelers have had to carry everything from the food to the tents. Kanchenjunga has now become a great teahouse trek in northeast Nepal, because of the relatively recent growth of basic hut accommodation along the trail. The comforts might not be as you compare with the other popular routes of Nepal, but at the end of the day, a hot cup of tea and the sunset up in the mountains will do the job.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Best Time to Visit

The duration between September and December is known to be the best time to visit Kanchenjunga as the skies are generally clear and the views majestic, making these months ideal for those who want to trek. The weather of the country remains dry until about April. January and February can be very cold, especially at night, but will reward you with stunning panoramas and more peaceful trekking trails as there are fewer visitors. Late spring is a wonderful time to travel as the rhododendrons burst into bloom. 

From May, heat and humidity levels rise until the monsoon rains arrive in June and the clouds cover the glorious mountain shows. 

Ask your expert here for more details 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Gear Checklist

It is crucial to carry the right clothing and equipment while trekking in Kanchenjunga Region. Suitable clothing and carrying necessary equipment are very essential for a safe and delightful trek.

Sometimes under packing or overpacking can spoil your trip. Therefore, you need to know how much is too much or too little.

As you are going to trek one of the longest and hardest treks in Nepal, you will require more clothes for this trek. 

Usually, you begin your day trekking in tracksuits or a light sweater. While sunny days, you may feel comfortable in T-shirts and shorts. But, later on, you may have to put on a down jacket, tracksuit, warm pants, hats, and gloves as the temperature drops.

Follow this LINK for the list of all your necessary gear and equipment. Adjustments for this list can be done according to your needs, concerns, season, and span of your trip.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Review



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