The third highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga is located in eastern Nepal,  bordering Sikkim in India. Despite the fact that it is surrounded by beautiful nature and Buddhist culture, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek remains off the beaten track, so to speak. Only about 2,000 tourists hike Kanchenjunga annually compared to the 30,000 tourists that head to Everest Base Camp Trek every year. In this article,. we will show you some of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary.

Why is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Route Confusing?

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek itinerary. If you look on the internet, it offers a different opinion from each company.  The most confusing and frustrating part is new changes to the route and area are not even updated. Mostly there are simply re-writes from old information. However, in this article, I am keen to clear up all confusion and provide you with real information, along 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; with two base camps, North and South. Making a loop, the Sele La (4,720m) pass connects them both. Now, here is the important part you really need to understand: which Kanchenjunga Base Camp itinerary and route should you choose?  South to North (anti-clockwise) or North to South (clockwise)? Kanchenjunga Base Camp Circuit itinerary can be designed for a minimum of 3 weeks to maximum up to 27 days.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary

22 Days North to South Kanchenjunga Itinerary

Ideally, you can cover Kanchenjunga trek Itinerary in 22 days. This is the most beautiful upper part of the trail. It follows the circuit trail, starting from the North and ending in the South. As a matter of fact, this itinerary is commonly followed by hikers for many reasons.

Gradually increasing elevation makes the walk easier for hikers

There is less chance of suffering from mountain/ altitude sickness if you follow the route north to south (clockwise).  The length of time it takes to reach higher altitudes gives your body plenty of time to acclimatize.

Better access to telecommunications in case of emergency on the North to South route. Until Amjilosa (which is 5 days trek from Taplejung) the guide’s own phone will work fine. Being this area is under 3,000m, there is no altitude sickness expected at this height. Before the North Base Camp, both Lhnok and Kambachenvillages have satellite phones in the settlements. However, the settlements along the South to North (anti-clockwise) route does not have telecommunication facilities.

The northern part of the Kanchenjunga Trek is the most beautiful of all.  So even, due to some reason, you cannot make it over the high pass and have to return the same way, you would not be disappointed in your trek.  Because you have seen the most beautiful scenery in the area.

Based on the experience of our guides, the Sele-La, Mrigen-La andSinen-La passes are easier from the Ghusha (North to South clockwise) side.

     Day    Day to Day Itinerary        Elevation TrekkingHours
  Meters    Feet
1Kathmandu to Bhadrapur flight and drive to Ilam1,650m5,413ft45min flight and 4 hrs drive
2Ilam to Taplejung drive1,820m5,971ft4-5 hours drive
3Taplejung to Chirwa1,250m4,101ft6-7 hours hike
4Chirwa to SukethumJapantar1,500m4,921ft5-6 hours hike
5Sukhethum, Japantar to Aamjilasa2,400m7,874ft4-5 hour hike
6Aamjilasa to Gyabla2,750m9,022 ft5-6 hours hike
7Gyabla to Ghunsa3,430m11,253 t4-5 hours hike
8Acclimatization day in Ghunsa and side trip3,430m11,253 ft4-5 hour hike
9Ghunsa to Khambachen4,050 m13,28 ft5-6 hour hike
10Khambachen to Lonak4,80 m15,748ft5-6 hour hike
11Lonak to Pangpema/ North Base Camp and back to Lonak5,200m17,060ft3-4 hours hike
12Lonak to Ghunsa3,430m11,253ft5-6 hours hike
13Ghunsa to Selele La4,480m14,698ft5-6 hours hike
14Selele La to Cheram via 2 high passes Mrigen-La &Sinen-La3,870m12,696ft7-8 hours hike
15Cheram to Ramche4,580m15,026ft4-5 hours hike
16Ramche to Yalung South Base Camp back to Cheram3,870m12,696ft2-3 hours hike
17Cheram to Trotong3,000 m9,842 ft4-5 hour hike
18Trotong to Yampudin2,080 m6,824 ft7-8 hours hike
19Yampudin to Khebang1,915m6,282ft5-6 hours hike
20Khebang to Khandime1,500m4,921ft6-7 hour hike
21Khandime to Birtamod by a local bus300m1,000ft9-10 hours drive
22Fly back to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur1,300m4,265ft45 minute

Kanchenjunga

24 Days North to South Kanchenjunga Itinerary

The 24-day itinerary is an extended version of the 22 days one. Both itineraries follow a circuit route. Making a loop from North to South, the 24 days itinerary starts from Taplejung and ends at Taplejung, while the 22 days itinerary starts from Taplejung and ends at Khandime. If you choose to follow the North to South 24 days itinerary, from Yampudin you hike the next day to Mamanke instead of Khebang. The trail after Mamanke follows an elevation between 1,500 to 3,000m and involves a lot of ups and downs.  You will pass through villages offering an insight into the unique lifestyle of Rai and Limbu people living high up in the mountain. While some tourist prefers to reduce the number of days by ending in Khadime some prefer to continue through along the beautiful village trails (you will have a better understanding if you look at the map).  It is completely up to you whether you choose the high elevation remote trail (22 days) or extend the number of days through the village trail (24 days). In our experience, most trekkers take the decision to go north to south (22 days) and this is the route we recommend.  For those who take the decision to go south to north (24 days), this is still doable and the starting point remains the same: Taplejung.
⇒ 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      Trekking Hour
   Meter    Feet
1Kathmandu to Bhadrapur flight and drive to Ilam3,636 m11,929 ft45min flight & 4 hr drive
2Ilam to Taplejung drive1,820 m5,971 ft4-5 hour drive
3Taplejung to Chirwa1,250 m4,101 ft6-7 hour hike
4Chirwa to Sukethum Japantar1500 m4,921 ft5-6 hour hike
5Sukhethum, Japantar to Aamjilasa2,400 m7,874 ft4-5 hour hike
6Aamjilasa to Gyabla2,750 m9,022 ft5-6 hour hike
7Gyabla to Ghunsa3,430 m11,253 ft4-5 hour hike
8Acclimatization day in Ghunsa and side trip3,430 m11,253 ft4-5 hour hike
9Ghunsa to Khambachen4,050 m13,287 ft5-6 hour hike
10Khambachen to Lonak4,800 m15,748 ft5-6 hour hike
11Lonak to Pangpema/ North Base Camp and back to Lonak5,200 m17,060 ft3-4 hours of hike
12Lonak to Ghunsa3,430 m11,253 ft5-6 hour hike
13Ghunsa to Selele La4,480 m14,698 ft5-6 hour hike
14Selele La to Cheram via 2 high passes Mrigen-La & Sinen-La3,870 m12,696 ft7-8 hours hike
15Cheram to Ramche4,580 m15,026 ft4-5 hour hike
16Ramche to Yalung South Base Camp back to Cheram3,870 m12,696 ft2-3 hours hike
17Cheram to Trotong3,000 m9,842 ft4-5 hour hike
18Trotong to Yampudin2,080 m6,824 ft7-8 hours hike
19Yampudin to Khebang1,915 m6,282 ft5-6 hour hike
20Khebang to Khandime1,500 m4,921 ft6-7 hour hike
21Khandime to Birtamod by a local bus300 m1,000 ft9-10 hour drive
22Fly back to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur1,300 m4,265 ft45 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 a high elevation remote trail (which is 22 days) or extended village trail making it to 24 days. In our experience, from the hiker’s choice, the majority of them 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 the trek in Khadime.

DaysDay to Day Itinerary     Elevation  Trekking Hour
 Meter    Feet
1Kathmandu to Bhadrapur flight and drive to Ilam3,636m11,929 ft45 min flight & 4 hr drive
2Ilam to Taplejung drive1,820 m5,971 ft4-5 hour drive
3Taplejung to Chirwa1,250 m4,101 ft6-7 hour hike
4Chirwa to Sukethum Japantar1500 m4,921 ft5-6 hour hike
5Sukhethum, Japantar to Aamjilasa2,400 m7,874 ft4-5 hour hike
6Aamjilasa to Gyabla2,750 m9,022 ft5-6 hour hike
7Gyabla to Ghunsa3,430 m11,253 ft4-5 hour hike
8Acclimatization day in Ghunsa and side trip3,430 m11,253 ft4-5 hour hike
9Ghunsa to Khambachen4,050 m13,287 ft5-6 hour hike
10Khambachen to Lonak4,800 m15,748 ft5-6 hour hike
11Lonak to Pangpema/ North Base Camp and back to Lonak5,200 m17,060 ft3-4 hours of hike
12Lonak to Ghunsa3,430 m11,253 ft5-6 hour hike
13Ghunsa to Selele La4,480 m14,698 ft5-6 hour hike
14Selele La to Cheram via 2 passes Mrigen-La & Sinen-La3,870 m12,696 ft7-8 hours hike
15Cheram to Ramche4,580 m15,026 ft4-5 hour hike
16Ramche to Yalung / South Base Camp back to Cheram3,870 m12,696 ft2-3 hours hike
17Cheram to Trotong3,000 m9,842 ft4-5 hour hike
18Trotong to Yampudin2,080 m6,824 ft7-8 hours hike
19Yamphuding to Mamanke2,000 m6,561 ft6-7 hour hike
20Mamanke to Kesuwa2,100 m6,889 ft6-7 hour hike
21Kesuwa to Lalikharka2,220 m7,283 ft7-8 hours hike
22Lalikharka to Taplejung1,820 m5,971 ft4-5 hour drive
23Taplejung to Birthamod300 m1,000 ft9-10 hour drive
24Birthamod to Kathmandu1,300 m4,265 ft45 minute

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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, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the 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 and 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 America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of 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 for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called 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. 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  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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