Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary

The third highest mountain in the world, mount Kanchenjunga is located in the eastern Nepal border. Despite the fact that, it is surrounded with beautiful nature and Buddhist culture. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking trail remains off the beaten trek in Nepal. Only about 2,000 tourist hikes Kanchenjunga Compear to 30,000 tourists in Everest Base Camp Trek every year. 

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the itinerary if you look on the internet, offers a different opinion from each company.  The bad part is, they are not even updated with the new changes. Mostly they are re-write from old information. However, in this article, I am keen to clear up everything with different options and possibilities with my recommendation, based on recent changes.  

If you look at the map of Kanchenjunga, you will quickly understand where the trail goes. A single path,  which has two base camp North and South. Making a loop Sele La (4,720m) pass connects them both, which is one of the high passes in the middle. Now, here is the important part you really need to understand which itinerary and route to choose?  South to North (anti-clockwise) or North to South (clockwise)? Kanchenjunga Base Camp Circuit itinerary could be designed minimum 3 weeks to maximum up to 27 days. 

22 days North to South Itinerary

Ideally, in 22 days Kanchenjunga trekking could be covered the most beautiful upper part of the trail. It follows the circuit trail, starts from the North and ends at South. As a matter of fact, this itinerary is commonly followed by hikers due to many reasons.

⇒ Gradually increasing elevation makes the easy walk for the hikers. 

⇒ It has fewer chances to suffer from mountain sickness If you follow North to South (clockwise) route. Due to many days before reaching high altitude means better acclimatisation. 

⇒ Better facilities of telecommunication in case of emergency in North to south route. Just until Amjilosa (which is 5 days trek from Taplejung) a personal phone of the guide works fine. Which is less than 3,000m in elevation completely safe zone. No altitude sickness alert. Before North Base Camp, Lhnok, and Kambachen has a satellite phone in the camp. Unlike South to North (anti-clockwise route) doesn't have telecommunication facilities. 

⇒ North part of the Kanchenjunga is the most beautiful of all. Due to any circumstance if you can't make it the high pass but had to return same way back you wouldn't be upset because no matter what you will be able to complete North side of Kanchenjunga. 

⇒ Based on the experience of our guide, Sele-La, Mrigen-La & Sinen-La pass is easier from Ghusha (North to South clockwise route).
Days                                Day to Day Itinerary         Elevation       Everyday trek hour
   Meter     Feet
1 Kathmandu to Bhadrapur flight and drive to Ilam 3,636 m 11,929 ft 45min flight & 4 hr drive
2 Ilam to Taplejung drive 1,820 m 5,971 ft 4-5 hour drive
3 Taplejung to Chirwa 1,250 m 4,101 ft 6-7 hour hike
4 Chirwa to Sukethum Japantar 1500 m 4,921 ft 5-6 hour hike
5 Sukhethum, Japantar to Aamjilasa 2,400 m 7,874 ft 4-5 hour hike
6 Aamjilasa to Gyabla 2,750 m 9,022 ft 5-6 hour hike
7 Gyabla to Ghunsa 3,430 m 11,253 ft 4-5 hour hike
8 Acclimatization day in Ghunsa and side trip 3,430 m 11,253 ft 4-5 hour hike
9 Ghunsa to Khambachen 4,050 m 13,287 ft 5-6 hour hike
10 Khambachen to Lonak 4,800 m 15,748 ft 5-6 hour hike
11 Lonak to Pangpema/ North Base Camp and back to Lonak 5,200 m 17,060 ft 3-4 hours of hike
12 Lonak to Ghunsa 3,430 m 11,253 ft 5-6 hour hike
13 Ghunsa to Selele La 4,480 m 14,698 ft 5-6 hour hike
14 Selele La to Cheram via 2 high passes Mrigen-La & Sinen-La 3,870 m 12,696 ft 7-8 hours hike
15 Cheram to Ramche 4,580 m 15,026 ft 4-5 hour hike
16 Ramche to Yalung South Base Camp back to Cheram 3,870 m 12,696 ft 2-3 hours hike
17 Cheram to Trotong 3,000 m 9,842 ft 4-5 hour hike
18 Trotong to Yampudin 2,080 m 6,824 ft 7-8 hours hike
19 Yampudin to Khebang 1,915 m 6,282 ft 5-6 hour hike
20 Khebang to Khandime 1,500 m 4,921 ft 6-7 hour hike
21 Khandime to Birtamod by a local bus 300 m 1,000 ft 9-10 hour drive
22 Fly back to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur 1,300 m 4,265 ft 45 minute

24 days North to South Itinerary

25 days itinerary is an extended version of 22 days. Both itineraries follow a circuit route. Making a loop from north to south, 24 days itinerary starts from Taplejung and ends at Taplejung. While 22 days itinerary Starts from Taplejung and ends at Khandime. If you choose to follow North to South 24 days itinerary, from Yampudin you will follow the next day to Mamanke Instead of Khebang. The trail after Mamanke follows the elevation between 1,500 to 3,000m involves a lot of up and down.  Mostly throughout the Nepali village, the trail offers a unique lifestyle of Rai, Limbu people leaving high up in the mountain. While some tourist prefers to make it shortcut ending up in Khadime some would still prefer to continue through the beautiful village trail (You have a better understanding if you look at the map).  It is completely up to you whether you choose only high elevation remote trail (which is 22 days) or extended village trail making it to 24 days. In our experience, from the hikers choice, the majority of they would prefer either anti-clockwise south to north through Taplejung to Mamanke route for 24 days or clockwise north to south in 22 days starts from Taplejung and ending trek in Khadime. 
 
Days                                Day to Day Itinerary         Elevation       Everyday trek hour
   Meter     Feet
1 Kathmandu to Bhadrapur flight and drive to Ilam 3,636 m 11,929 ft 45 min flight & 4 hr drive
2 Ilam to Taplejung drive 1,820 m 5,971 ft 4-5 hour drive
3 Taplejung to Chirwa 1,250 m 4,101 ft 6-7 hour hike
4 Chirwa to Sukethum Japantar 1500 m 4,921 ft 5-6 hour hike
5 Sukhethum, Japantar to Aamjilasa 2,400 m 7,874 ft 4-5 hour hike
6 Aamjilasa to Gyabla 2,750 m 9,022 ft 5-6 hour hike
7 Gyabla to Ghunsa 3,430 m 11,253 ft 4-5 hour hike
8 Acclimatization day in Ghunsa and side trip 3,430 m 11,253 ft 4-5 hour hike
9 Ghunsa to Khambachen 4,050 m 13,287 ft 5-6 hour hike
10 Khambachen to Lonak 4,800 m 15,748 ft 5-6 hour hike
11 Lonak to Pangpema/ North Base Camp and back to Lonak 5,200 m 17,060 ft 3-4 hours of hike
12 Lonak to Ghunsa 3,430 m 11,253 ft 5-6 hour hike
13 Ghunsa to Selele La 4,480 m 14,698 ft 5-6 hour hike
14 Selele La to Cheram via 2 passes Mrigen-La & Sinen-La 3,870 m 12,696 ft 7-8 hours hike
15 Cheram to Ramche 4,580 m 15,026 ft 4-5 hour hike
16 Ramche to Yalung / South Base Camp back to Cheram 3,870 m 12,696 ft 2-3 hours hike
17 Cheram to Trotong 3,000 m 9,842 ft 4-5 hour hike
18 Trotong to Yampudin 2,080 m 6,824 ft 7-8 hours hike
19 Yamphuding to Mamanke 2,000 m 6,561 ft 6-7 hour hike
20 Mamanke to Kesuwa 2,100 m 6,889 ft 6-7 hour hike
21 Kesuwa to Lalikharka 2,220 m 7,283 ft 7-8 hours hike
22 Lalikharka to Taplejung 1,820 m 5,971 ft 4-5 hour drive
23 Taplejung to Birthamod 300 m 1,000 ft 9-10 hour drive
24 Birthamod to Kathmandu 1,300 m 4,265 ft 45 minute

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide to being a guide/leader to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas USA and Canada, one-third of Europe, Caribbean Island and  Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had an opportunity working with multinational companies which taught me, how to deliver quality customer service in the business? As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert of Nepal Himalayas, I started writing about my own country.  Incase, If you required free information about Nepal, please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.  Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from about 200 satisfied customers. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor.
If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  
 
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