Everything You Need to Know About Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

2022-11-09 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

One of the best treks in the Nepal Himalayas is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek which includes both the south and north base camp also called Kanchenjunga circuit trek. Trekking trails run along Nepal's mountainous border with Tibet and India. At 8,586 meters, Mount Kanchenjunga is the third-highest peak in the world.

Kanchenjunga is located on the extreme eastern edge of Nepal, close to the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in the northeastern region of India. Kanchenjunga was believed to be the tallest mountain in the world until the middle of the 19th century.
Until the middle of the 1980s, this region was off-limits to trekkers. A special trekking permit is necessary because the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area protects the area. Because of these limitations, the area's stunning and distinctive flora and animals are preserved in the perfect form today. The challenging Kanchenjunga circuit trek is the most acceptable way to discover the region's natural splendor. Trekkers may experience the place's surreal beauty as it covers both the Southern camp and the Northern base camp of Kanchenjunga.

Overview of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek (South & North) Circuit Trek

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Altitude: 5,143 meters

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Altitude: 4,780 meters

Highest Altitude: 5,143 meters

Average Number of Days for the trek: 19-23 days

Required Permits: Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit, Protected (Restricted) Area Permit

Difficulty Level: Fairly difficult Trekking

Starting Point: Taplejung

Trekking Ending Point: Taplejung

Type of trek: Combination of a local tea house and camping with minimal services.

Reason to do Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
  • Visit the Kanchenjunga conservation area and Beyond: One of Nepal's most isolated and under-explored locations is Kanchenjunga. You will therefore see nature's pristine beauty free from human misuse. This makes it impossible for you to stop feeling in awe the whole voyage. Furthermore, you can see various animals, plants, and trees that you would not have seen otherwise.
  • Learn about the diverse cultural and ethnic communities along the trail: Trekking through culturally and historically significant communities in the Kanchenjunga region is full of regionally rich culture and customs. The Rai, Gurung, and Limbu groups, as well as the Brahmin and Chhetri communities, are located in the lower part of this region. Warm-hearted Sherpas, who adhere to Tibetan culture and way of life, live in the higher parts of this region. You may learn about the natives; the traditional way of life by wandering the nearby villages and conversing with them.
  • Enjoy the view of magnificent mountains: The four largest mountains in Nepal can be seen from the Kanchenjunga region: Lhotse. (8,516m), Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Makalu (8,481m), and others. In addition, this area has several beautiful valleys, including Tamor Valley, Ghunsa, Ramche, Lhonak, Khambachen, and others. The Tso, Nyukla, Ramdung, and Kumbhakarna Kanchenjunga Glaciers are some of this area's most notable features. The Kanchenjunga trek is a must to fully relish the journey by discovering the natural sights and surroundings.

Best season for Kanchenjunga Trek

Consider mid-October to late November and early March through mid-May to get a taste of what the Kanchenjunga region offers. Trekking is challenging during the rainy season, which lasts from late May to late September. In the winter, most residents relocate to lower elevations, which reduces the number of accommodation choices.
Although trekking is possible in winter, the weather can be uncertain, the high passes will be full of snow making it difficult to trek. Also, the visibility is better in spring. Rhododendrons blossom spectacularly in the spring, with the several species that grow here flowering in various hues. While the skies are most apparent in the autumn and the spring, the trails might have changed due to the monsoon rains, requiring some itinerary modifications. We advise staying away from the monsoon season, which lasts from around late May to mid/late September.

Preparation for the Kanchenjunga Trek

Physical Training: Aerobic conditioning, altitude training, and strength endurance training should all be included in the movement for the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. While it is impossible to recreate the high altitude of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, aerobic exercise will teach your body to function well on less oxygen. At the same time, elevation training will fortify your muscles to withstand the elevation gain better.

Be out hiking: It's the best way to prepare for your adventure. Learn to enjoy long walks. Find out where your body has difficulty and how far you can push it. Start easy, develop your stamina, and gradually increase the level of challenge. Get to a point where you can walk continuously for five or six hours.

  • Training Schedule (2x weekly):

  • Hike or go for a long stroll.

  • Ascend to 5–6 hours with short pauses.

  • When feasible, choose terrain that is hilly and uneven.

  • Wear your daypack  

GYM workout:

  • 30-45 minutes on the treadmill at a leisurely pace or the hill setting.

  • 10 minutes of 30-45 step-per-minute stair-stepping on a machine.

  • Five minutes of steady, incline-free walking to catch your breath.

  • Each interval should be lengthened as much as possible.

  • Add three rounds of 20 lunges and 20 squats to your strength-training routine to help develop your leg muscles.

  • Observe your form, and be sure to stretch afterward!

Mental Preparedness: You will need to mentally prepare depending on how easily you are outside in remote alpine areas. You will walk steadily uphill for 5 to 8 hours each day at a high altitude while wearing a backpack. Additionally, there will be places where there is no wifi, air conditioning, etc.

Be mentally and emotionally prepared for them because you can be let down if you have too many expectations for your living and sleeping spaces. Enquiring about the routes and overall traveling experiences: To be more prepared, consult with other people who have already done the trekking. Also, bond with your trekking partners.

Packing list for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Equipment and Gears:
All journeys to high-altitude areas require reliable, high-quality equipment. You will need a few essential items to climb to Kanchenjunga. Dependable, waterproof hiking boots.

A solid pair of shoes is essential because you will be on your feet all day on uneven terrain. A benefit for your feet is good hiking socks. A practical insulating jacket.

A decent coat will make all the difference in the cold because heaters won’t be available at the tea shops or on the trails. Only the specific cooking areas' indoor fireplace is to be expected.

A sleeping bag with a liner must stay warm on chilly evenings in the higher portions of the walk.

A decent, sturdy water bottle and sunglasses or a sun hat. Along the trail, discomfort, headaches, and rashes are brought on by dehydration and sunburn, which happen more quickly in the upper parts of the walk.

Water purifying products or tablets are recommended because there isn’t much drinking water available in the higher parts of the journey to quench your thirst comfortably.

Permits for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga Trek requires a restricted area permit, just like any other trip to a restricted area. The permits will be provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If you want to go trekking in Nepal, you'll need to apply through a recognized trekking company and bring at least two other people, including a guide. You'll want to ensure you have these things before you leave. Additionally, a Kanchenjunga Conservation Area permit is required. The agency (Bold Himalaya) takes care of the permits, so make sure you contact them regarding permits.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Difficulty

During the Kanchenjunga Trek, you'll go from an average height of 200 meters to a high of 5175 meters. It is, therefore, difficult to foretell how the weather, temperature, and perspective will ultimately balance out.
The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek can be simple if you observe some basic safety precautions. There is no requirement for prior hiking or climbing expertise. Major challenges on any journey include Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and the harsh unpredictability of the weather.

Kanchenjunga Circuit (Including South and North Base Camp) Trek Itinerary

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Itinerary The Itinerary can be tailored to your specific needs. The average itinerary looks:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (Flight) to Ilam (Drive) Ilam – 1677 m / 5501 ft – 5-6 hrs

Day 2: Ilam to Taplejung (Drive) Taplejung – 1820 m / 5971 ft – 5-6 hrs

Day 3: Taplejung to Chirwa Chirwa – 1270 m / 4166 ft – 6-7 hrs

Day 4: Chirwa to Lelep Lelep – 1860 m / 6102 ft – 7-8 hrs

Day 5: Lelep to Amjilosa Amjilosa – 2510 m / 8234 ft – 5-6 hrs

Day 6: Amjilosa to Gyabla Gyabla – 2730 m / 8956 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 7: Gyabla to Ghunsa Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 8: Acclimatization Day Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 9: Ghunsa to Kambachen Kambachen – 4100 m / 13451 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 10: Acclimatization Day Kambachen – 4100 m / 13451 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 11: Kambachen to Lhonak Lhonak – 4785 m / 15698 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 12: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Lhonak – 4785 m / 15698 ft – 8-9 hrs

Day 13: Lhonak to Ghunsa Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 7-8 hrs

Day 14: Ghunsa to Sele Le Sele Le – 4390 m / 14402 ft – 5-6 hrs

Day 15: Sele Le to Cheram Cheram – 3870 m / 12696 ft – 8-9 hrs

Day 16: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Cheram – 3870 m / 12696 ft – 6-7 hrs

Day 17: Cheram to Torongding Torongding – 2080 m / 6824 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 18: Torongding to Yamphuding Yamphuding – 1980 m / 6496 ft – 8-9 hrs

Day 19: Yamphuding to Khebang Khebang – 1910 m / 6266 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 20: Khebang to Khamdime Khamdime – 1500 m / 4921 ft – 4-5 hrs

Day 21: Khamdime to Bhadrapur (Drive) Bhadrapur – 93 m / 305 ft – 10 hrs

Day 22: Bhadrapur to Kathmandu (Flight) Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 50 minutes

Facilities on Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Food: The dining options in Kanchenjunga are limited due to its remote location. Commonly consumed basics include thukpa, chowmein, Daal Bhat, and quick noodles. There are a few restaurants in the area where you can get several kinds of pasta, including macaroni and spaghetti.
Accommodation: The region has different types of lodges and tea houses. As you move up higher, the options are limited but are available. In recent years, the quality of life while hiking has significantly improved. Back then, it was the responsibility of the explorers to carry their supplies, including food and a place to sleep.

Electricity and Internet: All hotels and lodges have electricity and Wi-Fi in the lower regions. However, the internet services are not as fast as in Kathmandu. Hot shower,

Laundry and Drinking Water: Hot showers and laundry are provided in many hotels in the lower region, but you might have to pay extra for it. For drinking water, it is advised to carry water purification tablets as carrying plastic bottles is not sustainable.

ATMs and Banking: ATMs are available at the start of the trek. As you move towards higher regions, there are no such facilities. So, it's better to keep some cash in hand. The best practice is to take out all cash in the capital to avoid any problems, as the ATMs might be put out of service along the trekking route.

Recommendations for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Follow the rules and regulations during the trek: During the trip, you are required to act by the rules and constraints that have been established. It is essential to refrain from throwing rubbish wherever you may be. We ask that you consider the local flora and animals and refrain from doing anything that might be harmful to them. Due to the many distinct racial and ethnic communities, it is important to avoid stepping on anyone's toes. A suitable approach would be to show respect for their traditions and practices.
Start Trek from a lower elevation: You should always start the trek from a lower elevation. You will acclimate faster if you spend time at higher altitudes but sleep at a lower level. Get a better night's sleep by scouting the area from a neighboring hill after setting up camp. Take advantage of your downtime by climbing and descending a few hundred vertical feet on a trip to a higher height. This guideline becomes even more crucial at altitudes of 10,000 feet and above as your body adjusts to much lower oxygen levels.

Couple Extra Days for The Trek

Major places and activities to do on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife: It is a challenging but worthwhile trip with fewer tourists en route in perfect solitude. You will see breathtaking views of mountains and hills, a colorful and lovely rhododendron and another highland forest, and picturesque villages of many ethnic groups. Because Kanchenjunga is a protected area, visitors can see a variety of plants and fauna. Snow leopards, Asian black bears, and red pandas are among the animals that can be seen.
Local Culture and Tribes: This region is primarily inhabited by the Limbu ethnicity of Nepal, with views of the peaks of Jannu and Khabru, as well as the massive walls of Kumbakarna, Kanchenjunga, and Rathong. The villages you will visit are rich in tradition and ceremonies, and their modest isolated lifestyle will provide you with a complete image of Nepal.

Local foods and cuisines: The friendly and welcoming people will be delighted to involve you in their traditions, so please communicate. Tongba, a fermented and well-known millet drink from eastern Nepal, can serve as an icebreaker. You can join the locals for Tongba; every sip will delight your taste buds and strengthen your connection.

Mountain Viewing: The four largest mountains in Nepal can be seen from the Kanchenjunga region: Lhotse (8,516m), Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Makalu (8,481m), and others. In addition, this area has several beautiful valleys, including Tamor Valley, Ghunsa, Ramche, Lhonak, Khambachen, and others. The Tso, Nyukla, Ramdung, and Kumbhakarna Kanchenjunga Glaciers are some of this area's most notable features.

The spectacular view of the mountains becomes more enticing and rewarding as the height increases. The trip takes you around the spectacular snow-capped peak with its breathtaking scenery, terrain, and fascinating view of hills and villages.

Religious Places: You can also visit the local gumbas and other religious sites to learn more about the local culture and traditions.

Best Trekking Agency for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Bold Himalaya is a little different from other agencies. Except in epidemics, pandemics, political disturbances, natural catastrophes, government limitations, and the like, all packages and adventure excursions we provide are guaranteed to depart as scheduled. There is no doubt about the fact that we are the undisputed leaders in hiking and climbing in the Himalayas.
We provide individualized vacation packages for people of all ages, couples, families, and individuals. You can have total autonomy and selection with us. Our experts have traveled extensively and deeply understand the area, allowing them to tailor an exciting and memorable trip to your specific interests and needs.

We're here for you whenever you need us. We have staff around the clock to respond to your inquiry and tailor our response to your specific preferences, needs, budget, and travel plans.

Insurance for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Traveling to areas like Nepal is always risky because your body is not used to the cuisine or cleanliness levels. As a result, you must ensure that your insurance coverage covers you in the event of hazardous health or illness. You were trekking and needed to evacuate for further treatment at the same time. Here are some of the advantages of hiking insurance:
It has the potential to save you from financial catastrophe.

It will safeguard your health and safety while traveling.

It will assist you in reducing tension and anxiety.

It could save you money. It can help you save time and effort.

If an emergency occurs during your trip, you can return home early and claim insurance.

If you become unwell while traveling, your travel insurance may cover the cost of medical treatment or evacuation to a hospital that can provide the kind of care you require.

Some helpful tips for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

It is essential to understand that trekking in the Himalayan region is challenging. The weather can change at any time; flights may be canceled because of these. Or sometimes it might take more time to acclimate in higher regions. You might also want to spend more time exploring a place. So, it's always helpful to add extra days to your travel plan to accommodate these situations.
Porter Weight Limit: While the Nepalese government sets the standard weight allowance for porters at 35 kgs (77 lbs), it is not an enforced restriction; most of Nepal's more reputable trekking companies limit client trek loads to around 10 kgs per trekker (around 22 lbs), although the more dubious trekking agents expect porters to carry much more.