Kanchenjunga Trekking – 26 days

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At a glance

Trekking Destination: Kanchenjunga Trekking
Transportation: private and public vehicle
Trekking hour: 5-6 hours each day
Duration: 26 Days


Our Kanchenjunga trekking the great wilderness treks in eastern Nepal. Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,170ft) is a massive and independent mountain of rock and ice, which sits astride the Nepal India border. Flights from Kathmandu to Biratnager and Suketar lead to the start of our Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.

From Suketar, the trail undulates between ridge-villages and valley bridges over glacial streams. Altitude is lost for the first four nights before steadily rising to 4,620m at Ramche: the last outpost. A morning walk then leads onto the Yalung Glacier moraine where a flag-bedecked chorten, near the southern base camp, offers perfect views of the giant south face of Kangchenjunga and its adjacent ice-ridges.

The route then heads west to Chukkung Pokhari, en route to Ghunsa. Five linked passes, including Sinion La (4,646m), need to be crossed. This demanding route is frequently snow covered. Great views are possible from its high points.

From Ghunsa the trail climbs northwards, through magnificent forests that give way to scrub vegetation as the altitude increases. Towering peaks rise above the trail as it works its way up the steep sided valleys. The last stage follows the moraine of the Kangchenjunga Glacier to yak pastures at Lhonak: a grassy plain 30m above the glacier and surrounded by towering ice peaks.

A two hour walk along the moraine leads to the view point at Pang Pema. Here the glacier makes a sharp turn to the south and rises to reveal the awesome bulk of Kangchenjunga’s north face. Return to Ghunsa and then follow the river to Chirwa and Mitlung before climbing back to Suketar.

Fitness, sturdy boots, warm waterproof clothing, a good sleeping bag, day pack camera, sunscreen and hat are essential items.

We offer both camping and teahouse trek to this region. March-May and September –November is the best time to Kanchanjunga trek.

Outline Itinerary

1 Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

Our Himalaya Message Adventure Company Airport Representative will meet you outside the Terminal Hall. Please, look for our Treks and Expeditions play card. Transfer to hotel, introduce your trekking guide and check the necessities. Afternoon stroll Tourist colourful market Thamel down town. 

Overnight in Kathmandu at 2 star Hotel with breakfast 

2 Day 02: Full day Kathmandu City excursion

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tours to world heritage sites of Pashupatinath Temple-the holiest Hindu Temple on the bank of sacred Bagmati River, Bodhanath Stupa-the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world!  Patan Durbar Square is the oldest city in the Kathmandu valley with age old tradition also called Lalitpur-the city of fine arts. The visit covers the Durbar Square, the Krishna temple, the Kumbheswore temple, the Golden temple and many more. Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 years old legendary stupa on the hillock also nick-named as monkey temple. Your day tour ends Kathmandu Durbar Square Showcasing living goddess Kumari Temple, Nautale Durbar, the Kaal Bhairav, the Swet Bhairav, the freak Street and more.

Overnight in Kathmandu at 2 star Hotel with breakfast 

3 Day 03: Kathmandu – Biratnagar (72m/236ft), 35 minutes flight

The journey begins with an internal flight to Biratnagar on the edge of the Indian plains, not far from Darjeeling in Sikkim. Check into the hotel; afternoon free.   

4 Day 04: Fly Biratnagar – Suketar – Lali Kharka (2,220m/7,300ft), 30min flight, 3-4 hrs trek

The early morning flight takes us north to the airstrip at Suketar (2,700m/8,800ft), where we meet our local porters. The trail initially follows a road along the rhododendron covered Surke Danda (ridge). It then gradually descends through dense forest to Lali Kharka. Overnight at Lali Kharka.

5 Day 05: Lali Kharka – Sinchewa Bhanjyang (2,240m/7,400ft), 5-6 hrs

The trail continues to descend to Tembewe before slogging up to a ridge and dropping steeply to the villages of Pokora and Simbu and on down to a suspension bridge over the Phawa Khola at 1430m/4,692ft. Climb steeply up the east side of the valley, through wheat fields, to the Limbu village Kunjari. Continue upwards to a level saddle then make a long looping traverse to the Sinchewa Bhanjyang ridge. Views of the Kabru peaks along the border and on to Kangchenjunga should be possible.  Overnight at Sinchewa.

6 Day 6: Sinchewa Bhanjyang – Phumphe (1,780m/5,900ft), 5-6 hrs

Today’s trail winds through terraced fields, past several hamlets high above the Kabeli Khola. It then enters forest, passes a high waterfall and finally drops to cross the Khesewa Khola before climbing eastwards to Phumphe. Overnight at Phumphe. 

7 Day 7: Phumphe – Yamphudin (1,690m/5,600ft), 5-6 hrs

The trail continues to undulate between ridges and rivers, passing through remote hamlets inhabited by friendly Rais and Limbus. A long upward pull finally leads to a knife-edge ridge before dropping into the verdant Yamphudin valley with good swimming holes near the riverside campsite. The large, prosperous agricultural village is higher up the hill. Note that this is also the last substantial village before Ghunsa, seven days away. It is also the checkpoint for trekking permits, for entry into the KCA. Overnight at Yamphudin.

8 Day 8: Yamphudin – Amji Khola (2,340m/7,800ft), 5-6 hrs

Cross to the east side of the river and ascend steeply through dense forest to the crest of the Dhupi Bhanjyang (2,540m/8,333ft). Numerous peaks to the east (all over 4,000m/13,120ft) line the border with Sikkim. From the summit, drop down to the Amji Khola to camp for the night. Afternoon free. Overnight at the Amji Khola.

9 Day 9: Amji Khola – Tortong (2,990m/9,900ft), 5-6 hrs

Cross the river and begin the steep ascent through dense forest to the crest of the Deurali Danda at Lamite Bhanjyang (3,310m/10,860ft). The down route begins with a difficult walk through fallen trees and rock on the edge of a devastating landslide to the west. It then becomes a pleasant path, dropping through forest to the Simbuwa Khola (from the Yarlung Glacier). Follow the path up the river to a bridge that crosses it just below the quaint village of Tortong, set in a clearing of dense forest. Overnight at Tortong. 

10 Day 10: Tortong – Tseram (3,870m/1,3900ft), 4 -5 hrs

Follow the riverside trail, as it climbs steadily through pine and rhododendron forest to Tseram: a summer pasture settlement, for herds from Yamphudin or below. It is also the start of the five-pass trail to Ghunsa. Two rudimentary lodges open in the trekking season. There are good views of the Yalung Glacier moraine, Rathong and the Kabru peaks. Overnight at Tseram. 

11 Day 11: Tseram – Ramche (4,620m/15,400ft), 2-3 hrs.

The trail rises gently above the tree line, passing alpine yak kharkas. Pass the ruins and old mani wall of Dachenrol Monastery before ascending past the snout of the Yarlung Glacier and walking through a series of ablation valleys formed by retreating ice. Stone yak pens indicate Yarlung Bara from where a trail leads west to join the main trail to Ghunsa. Further on, more pens indicate Lapsang (4,430m/14,535ft), the site of an oft-frozen lake. Here a feint path to the west leads to the Lapsang La: an oft difficult alternative route to Ghunsa. Shy bharals may be seen on ridges. Shortly afterwards, the trail enters the broad flat valley of Ramche. A small stone building offers shelter to porters and a few old stone-walled enclosures offer rudimentary shelter for tents from the icy winds. Afternoon and overnight at Ramche.

12 Day 12: Ramche – South BC viewpoint – Chukkung Pokhari (4,450m/14,600ft), 5-6 hrs

Leave early to ensure the best viewing before cloud rises. The path beyond Ramche rises gently and follows the valley around a sweeping curve before climbing on to the moraine. A chorten has been erected at an ideal site for the spectacular views of the huge south face of Kangchenjunga which appears to dominate the entire skyline. This point is ½ - 1km south of the Tso Glacier: Oktang is on the far side of the glacier’s icefall. The ridge forming the border between Nepal and Sikkim, forms a cirque, which from Kokthan in the south to the main summit (8,586m/28,170ft), is over 15km long and is nowhere less than 5,600m/18,380ft high. 

Retrace your steps to Yarlung Bara and then head west for the final climb to the small lake; Chukkung Pokhari on the Ghunsa trail. Overnight at Chukkung Pokhari. 

13 Day 13: Chukkung Pokhari – Sinelapche La (4,724m/15,500ft) – Mirgin La (4,663/15,300ft) – Sinion La (4,660m/15,290ft) – Sele La (4,115m/13,500ft) – Tamo La (3,900m/12,796ft) – Ghunsa (3,595m/11,794ft), 7-8hrs

 A demanding day of trekking: particularly if the feint track is covered in snow.  The drops between the passes are not great, but the altitude and snow conditions can make for a difficult and tiring day. Superb views to the north and south are possible from high ground. There are two huts in a small valley before the Sele La where shelter is possible, before the final descent to the Tamo La and steep drop, through forest, to the village of Ghunsa. Overnight at Ghunsa

14 Day 14: Ghunsa, rest day

Ghunsa is an attractive Tibetan village with homesteads spaced in wood-enclosed fields. Steep forested slopes and almost sheer rock faces form the valley sides with snow-clad peaks towering 1,000m above. 

Visit the monastery (belonging to the Khampa Dzong monasteries of Tibet) on the edge of the village. Look for locally made Tibetan carpets. Consider a day hike up the Yamatari Khola, along the Lapsang La trail, to a lake at the terminal moraine of the Yamatari glacier. Bharal may be seen grazing above the village.

15 Day 15: Ghunsa – Kambachen (4,150m/13,650ft), 3-4 hrs

The trail leads north of Ghunsa through glorious larch and juniper forests on the east bank of the Ghunsa Khola. After crossing a sandy, boulder-strewn floodplain it crosses the river over a rickety, wood and stone bridge before climbing above the west bank to Rambuk Kharka (3,720m/12,205ft). The hillsides become increasingly barren as the trail rises past a high waterfall and rock falls along a narrow trail. Further on it crosses a large, sandy landslide before climbing more steeply while passing the impressive snout of the Khumbakarna (Jannu) Glacier on the opposite side of the valley. It then drops briefly into Kambachen. From here there are great views of several peaks including Jannu (7,710m/25,295ft). Lammergeyers, eagles, kites, falcons and choughs are commonly seen. Overnight at Kambachen. 

16 Day 16: Kambachen – Lhonak (4,790m/15,900ft), 4-5 hrs

The landscape becomes increasingly desolate; forged over aeons by glacial ice. The path is not strenuous but for a time negotiates the stony river bed before reaching summer-pastoral huts at Ramtang (4,370m/14,338ft). Beyond is the snout of the Kangchenjunga Glacier which has been joined by the Ramtang Glacier. Higher up, the stony path climbs over the moraine and drops to the riverbed of the Ghunsa Khola as it leaves the Lhonak Glacier to the north. Ford the river or cross on a low unstable bridge to the summer grazing kharkas at Lhonak, situated well above the main glacier. There are three small buildings and some old stone walls amongst boulders that can assist with tent-shelter from the icy winds.  Ice peaks rise in all directions with the 1½km ridge of Chang Himal (Wedge Peak) as centre piece. Tent Peak is prominent on the eastern horizon. Overnight at Lhonak.

17 Day 17: Lhonak – Pang Pema Base Camp (5,160m/16,923ft), 2-3 hrs

From Lhonak the Kangchenjunga Glacier flows eastwards for several kilometres before turning south to rise to its extensive head on the northern slopes of Kangchenjunga. The path follows the lip of the glacier over short grasses or rocky tracks that undulate with the terrain. Pang Pema lies opposite the head of the glacier and from here offers the first full view of the vast north face of the mountain. Overnight at Pang Pema.

18 Day 18: Pang Pema Base Camp: rest and exploration day

The views from Pang Pema must rank amongst the most spectacular in the world. From Kangchenjunga, an unbroken wall of peaks, nowhere less than 6,100m/20,000ft forms the border with Sikkim and to the north, Tibet. Beyond the campsite the West Langpo Glacier flows into the Kangchenjunga Glacier. A difficult route north leads over the Jonsang La into Tibet. Climb the lower slopes of Drohma Ri (5,500m/18,045ft) behind the camp for better views of the mountain – at sunrise. Walk along the Langpo moraine to Corner Camp for better views of Pyramid Peak, et al. Overnight at Pang Pema.

19 Day 19: Pangpema – Kambachen (4,150m/13,650ft), 5-6 hrs

The return journey from Pang Pema to Lhonak will be fairly slow, but beyond that the route is almost all downhill and thus Kambachen can easily be reached in a day. There are great views to enjoy. Overnight at Kambachen.

20 Day 20: Kambachen – Ghunsa – Phale (3,140m/10,302ft), 5-6 hrs

Retrace the path down to Ghunsa, for lunch. Look out for pheasants in the forest. Cross the river below the village and continue downstream beside the Ghunsa Khola, through forest and farmland, to the Tibetan summer grazing village of Phale. Visit the wooden gompa. Overnight at Phale. 

21 Day 21: Phale – Amjilosa (2,140m/7,100ft), 5-6 hrs

The trail, through forests of rhododendron, conifer, birch and oak, continues down the valley, dropping to cross numerous tributaries to the last of the Tibetan villages at Gyabla. It then undulates on down to Amjilosa. Overnight at Amjilosa. 

22 Day 22: Amjilosa – Chirwa (1,190m/3,900 ft), 5-6 hrs

After a waterfall beyond the village, the path begins to descend fairly steeply to Sekathum which lies at the confluence of the Ghunsa and Tamur Kholas. The path then follows the western bank of the Tamur Khola and soon crosses a suspension bridge over the Simbuwa Khola that flows in from the Yarlung Glacier through Tortong.  An afternoon's walk leads to a riverside campsite a ¼hrs walk before the cheerful cluster-village of Chirwa which huddles amongst huge boulders. Overnight at Chirwa.   

23 Day 23: Chirwa – Linkhim (1,520m/4,985ft), 5-6 hrs

From Chirwa, leave the river trail and follow the trail that climbs above the east bank of the Tamor Khola to the hamlet at Thiwa (an exit point from the KCA). It then climbs high above the houses of Tawa, over a ridge before dropping into a side canyon to cross the Tawa Khola before climbing back to the ridge. It passes above the hamlet of Malbanse before reaching Linkhim. Overnight at Linkhim. 

24 Day 24: Linkhim – Suketar (2,700m/8,856ft.), 5-6 hrs

From Linkhim, the trail winds in and out of side canyons to the Limbu village to Phurumbu and a ridge overlooking a vast landslide before Jogidanda. A final 3-4hrs climb, through the Sherpa villages of Bung Kulung and Bhote Gaon leads to the airstrip at Suketar. Celebrate with a farewell dinner before saying goodbye to your trekking crew. Overnight at Suketar. 

25 Day 25: Suketar - Biratnagar- Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft), 30min and 35min flights

After breakfast, board an early morning flight to Biratnagar and later an onward flight to Kathmandu from where you will be driven to your hotel. Afternoon free. 

26 Day 26: Final departure

Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward flight to your next destination.

Trip Facts

Cost includes:

  • Airport pick up and drop & transfer by tourist/private car/van
  • Two nights’ accommodation with bed and breakfast at 3 star category hotel in Kathmandu
  • 3 times meal with tea & coffee while in the trek
  • Twin sharing lodge/tented camp accommodation while in the trek
  • One friendly and experience guide, porters (2 guest 1 porter) and their food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and insurance
  • All transport during the trek.
  • Kanchenjunga national park permit
  • TIMS Fee- Trekkers' Information Management System
  • Government taxes & office service charge.

Cost Excludes:

  • All meal in Kathmandu except Breakfast
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Nepal entry visa: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)
  • All cold drinks such as: alcoholic beverages, mineral water, Coke, Fanta, juice, etc.
  • Hot and cold showers during the trek
  • Personal shopping and laundry
  • Personal trekking equipments
  • Tips for trekking staff 


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Useful Info


Eating is a big part of Holiday. Travelling with Himalaya Message Adventure, you experience the vast array of wonderful food Nepalese, Chinese, Continental, Italian and several local cuisines. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included in the package. Your guide will suggest delicious, hygienic and each place special food during your trip. Mountain restaurant owner prefer not to order many dishes and waste food as they would like to cater more trekkers with limited food before run off stuck. Its a week or more days hard work to porters and caravans to bring food to these places. During this trek you will usually have breakfast and dinner at the same Lodge, lunch will be eaten at one of the trail side restaurants en-route.

Drinking water:

Himalaya Message Adventure provides unlimited chlorine/Iodine treated water during the trek. All tea houses have mineral water and boiled water for trekkers upon additional cost. We discourage the purchase of Mineral water and bottled water while on the Trek as plastic bottles aredifficult to dispose off and have become an environmental problem

What to take

This is a very active trip, meaning you will be on the move most of the time, so pack as lightly as possible. We provide one porter for every two travellers; your trekking gear will be carried by the porter in a duffel bag that we will provide. The maximum the porters are allowed to carry 15 kgs per trekker means 30 kgs from 2 trekkers . Unnecessary luggage can left in Kathmandu Hotel and its absolutely free of cost. .

Important to note:

Please read the Checklist section of this trip notes for additional details of what you need to bring for the trek on this trip. You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized day pack to carry the things that you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt. The weather is subject to change in high altitude so layered clothing is recommended throughout the year.

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Trip Notes

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