Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek

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Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek - Days

Trip Route

Ilam - Thapethok - Ghunsa - Lhonak - Kanchenjunga Base Camp - Bhadrapur

Trip Facts

Group Size
1+ PAX
Trip Grade
Max. Elevation
5,200 M/17,056 FT
Full boards on the trek
Best Season

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Kanchenjunga trek stretching into the large nature conservation of Nepal and spot flora and fauna
  • Wilderness trekking experience alpine and wetland terrain
  • Get close view of third highest mountain Kanchenjunga and series of other peak from Pangpema, Kanchenjunga north base camp
  • En route walking thru the villages of indigenous people Rai, Limbu and Sherpa also enjoy Tibetan influence culture Ghunsa and Phale
  • Trekking into beautiful and paralleled landscapes of Kanchenjunga conservation area
  • Walking alongside of large Kanchenjunga glacier bottom of Mount Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga north base camp trek, a natural diverse trek where the trail is accomplished with waterfall, dissimilar landscapes, and culture of different mountain people. Kanchenjunga trek offers a close and breathtaking mountain view of Mt Kanchenjunga (28,162 ft) with several high mountains and wild glaciers.
Kanchenjunga north base camp trek, an adventure trekking throughout diverse climate zone into the large Kanchenjunga conservation area of eastern Nepal. Kanchenjunga north base camp trek, an authentic trekking experience in off the beaten path of rural Nepal. Geographically Kanchenjunga trekking route situated eastern corner of Nepal where the Great Himalayan trekking trail begins and with bordering east India (Sikkim). Kanchenjunga trek became well-known to the western world after the British team scaled Mount Kanchenjunga in 1956. For a long time, it has been forbidden for international adventure hikers for trekking because of bordering with neighboring countries as well as fragile nature and culture. Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) is holding the third position out of fourteen highest mountain in the world and trekking to the base camp of Kanchenjunga takes around 15 days including one night extra for acclimatization. Kanchenjunga trekking is absolutely extraordinary hiking into the nature reserve where WWF is working together with Nepal government to protect the rare and endangers Himalayan animals. In recent years the snow leopard spotted en route above Kangbache also had encountered the yak and blue sheep beside that regularly see musk deer and blue sheep also Himalayan monal. Kanchenjunga trekking is another beautiful trekking destination for the nature lover hiker, still, only a handful rambler had visited this pristine wetland terrain because of isolate and not comfortable accommodation on the trail. Kanchenjunga trekking spanning from subtropical rice terrace to alpine landscapes in the glacier valley where you will be enthralled with thriving waterfall from boulder, crossing wooden and suspension bridge over the Tamor river as well as a charming culture of different ethnic groups.

Kanchenjunga north base camp trek begins from Kathmandu with flight or drives to Taplejung. From Taplejung four-wheel drive on a dirt road to Thiwa village then physical trek starts into the Limbu villages in Tamor valley.  The first few days trekking on tropical climate zone throughout rhododendron forest and villages then finally reached Buddhist settlement Phale and Ghunsa. Our Kangchenjunga trek itinerary allows us to spend two beautiful nights here before trailhead to North Kanchenjunga base camp. Then next couple of days trekking on the glacier valley and bottom of high mountains, you will have a nearest view of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) Mt Jannu (7,710 m), Kirat Chuli (7,365 m), Pathibara (6,825 m) Drohmo (6,540 m), Gimmigela (7,350 m) and some of the nameless virgin peak. Beyond the Ghunsa village Kangpachen, Lhonak, and Pangpema is a complete alpine plateau where they do not have any permanent human settlement and the local open tea house only during the peak trekking season. After scaled North Kanchenjunga base camp retracing to Taplejung and drive back to Badrapur after than option to get back Kathmandu by flight or overland. If you looking, more adventure and wishing to go over the ridge consider as well as high passes which offer a spectacular view of Mount Everest and Makalu then extend few days and choose Kanchenjunga circuit trek.

Daily itinerary

After breakfast eaten in your hotel, transfer to the domestic airport of Kathmandu. A 45-min flight offers breathtaking mountain vista and landscapes. On arrival, Bhadrapur airport drive begins and goes into the organic tea farm to Ilam Bazar. After room check-in short side trip to th large tea plantation.

After breakfast eaten in your hotel, a drive starts and slightly gaining altitude to Ranke Bazar. You'll have an excellent view of the mountain range of Kanchenjunga, Mt Jannu, and several other peaks. The drive offers magnificent landscapes to Phidim then get close sights of mountains from Gopetar. After crossing Kabeli river short drive bring us Suketar Taplejung.

Kanchenjunga north base camp trek towards with drive to Thiwa village (permanently road), it is the complete jarring and dusty drive that offers excellent landscapes throughout the villages, rice, and cardamom field. Often four-wheel jeep dropped, we tied shoe-string then trek begins and walking east bank of Tamur River with passing Chiruwa village and few houses to Lelep village. We also check-in our Kanchenjunga north base camp trek permits at Thapethok before walking over the suspension bridge. We might feel humid on the steamy valley on the rice terrace and vegetable farm.

The temporary drive road access to Lelep, only possible to drive from the end of October to the end of May other than can drive till Thiwa village. Both private and share jeep are in the option.

Today we follow our Kanchenjunga trek route on the V-shaped valley through the gorge, villages, and forest. We begin the trek from lodge then short descend throughout the rice field to the river confluence then reach Japantar/Sakyathum. A trail gradually ascends up along Tamor River and hardly come cross human settlement except the Ghaiyabari and Jaubari villages. The trail often drops aside Tamor river and contouring stunning waterfall. After lunch at Ghaiyabari crossing long suspension bridge then steep zig-zags climb to Amjilosa village. The villages set on the sloppy mountains above the Tamor valley and enjoy the view of some unnamed mountains.

Beyond the Amji Losa village is completely Sherpa settlement and the trailhead decorates with Buddhist culture. A day starting with an easier short climb through the terraced field to the tiny ridge then descending into a mixed vegetation forest of rhododendron, bamboo, and oak also get a beautiful view of a waterfall. We keep walking downhill to Thangyam village, on the bank of theTamor River. While walking on the jungle spot varied birds also hear the roaring of the deer. After lunch mild climb through the silence jungle with nature sound to Gyabla village. The guesthouse set the midst of the large forest and enjoy surrounding sceneries of the waterfall and Himalayas.

After breakfast at the lodge, follow the gentle ascend up trail throughout the forest and landslide area to Phale village, the village used to be Tibetan refugee camp in early 1960. Now Phale village is the winter settlement of Ghunsa villagers and leftover refugees produce the home-based carpet. The Buddhist flags flapping over the houses in the wind and also visit a fascinating Buddhist monastery. Trailhead Ghunsa village along the grassy meadow and upstream, also spot the memorial of helicopter accidents where 24 people lost their life. Ghunsa village, the large Sherpa settlement en route to Kanchenjunga base camp. Ghunsa is famous for potatoes fertilize also have health post, mini-hydropower, Kanchenjunga conservation area office, school, and police station.

Acclimatize day either let you have rest and relax at tea house or allow you to do some physical side trek with climbing a few hundred meters above Ghunsa village. It would be nice to have rest and relax after tiring trek from Suketar to Ghunsa. But we still recommend do some side trip that helps you familiarize with the present atmosphere. You may visit Tashi Choeling Monastery behind the village and then steep climb behind the monastery to the viewpoint. The viewpoint provides offers an impressive view of the Himalayas above the valley.

After breakfast at the lodge, set-off from Ghunsa with follows trail on the south bank of the Tamor River. The trailhead on relatively calm territory into the colorful forest of varied vegetation. Now we leave the lush green forest and farming terrain behind us and entering to moraine and glacier valley, it also said snow leopard territory. We often spot the wild animals blue sheep, mountain Tahr on foot of the Khabur Peak (6,332 m), Jannu (7,710 m), and several other snow peaks. After classic Nepalese food set lunch at Rambuk Kharka, we continue gentle climbing on the mountain terrain also crossing the landslide area to Kangpachen/Khambachen. During the peak trekking season entrepreneur from Ghunsa open the tea house for the travelers. In the evening enjoy watching glorious sunset on Mount Jannu, Shaphu Peak, Numchu Peak, etc. For the side trips around Kangpachen kindly scroll below under the side trips on the Kanchenjunga north base camp trek topic.

Trekking to Lhonak camp, absolutely impressive with excellent Mountain View, walking on the glacier and crossing few streams also spot the blue sheep and most probably snow leopard on far distance. As Kanchenjunga trek is off the beaten not visited by many trekkers thus the trail is not well managed. We often need to put extra effort to step on the right places because of the landside and stony path. The landscapes dramatically change and exposed massive Mountain View of Mount Jannu, Nepal Peak, Kirant Chuli, Pathibhara Peak, and North face of Mount Kanchenjunga. Lhonak camp is the highest place we sleep and organize a day trip to Kanchenjunga north base camp.

We do a day tour to Kanchenjunga north base camp, about 7-8 hours trekking on the moraine, the rocky glacier also possible to walk on the ice depends on the month. The trail to North Kanchenjunga base camp is a mild climb but not clear path due to the glacier keep melting also because of the less touristic route. However, this segment path is surrounded by a high snow-clad mountain with dramatic scenery. Towards the Kanchenjunga base camp, the route approaches the finest view of world third highest mountain, north face of Mount Kanchenjunga with several other peaks. Most of these peaks are tucked in between Nepal and Sikkim, one of the hilly region of the Indian state. Upon arrival, Pangpema gets a closed view of Kanchenjunga massive with together long Kanchenjunga glacier. We roam around and take a breath with dramatic scenery also have simple lunch and hot drinks in a small stone hut. There is a big rock with curved that classified as the north side of Kanchenjunga base camp and Buddhist flag flapping in the air. You'll have 360 degrees Mountain View from here above the outsized glacier. After spending some time retrace to Lhonak

We have solid 7 hours trekking down to Ghunsa village via Khambachen/Kangpachen. The dramatical mountain vista and alpine landscapes give you extraordinary travel experience in your adventure outdoor journal. At Ghunsa can charge electronic devices, take a hot shower and the bedroom is more comfortable than above.

After breakfast at the lodge, walking over the suspension bridge then walking the west bank of the river. A trail is fairly comfortable into the forest and grassland to Phale. From here the trail descends on the landslide section and forest to Gyabla. After lunch here trek retraces and descend to Thangyam where one tea house in available with foods and room.

From Thangyam short steady climbing into the forest to Amji Losa then steeply descending on the pebble trail to Ghaiyabari. The trailhead along the Tamor River to Sakyathum/Japantar then short ascend to Lelep and Thapethok village.

We follow an easy trail along with the downstream to Thiwa village then 3-4 hours' drive back to Suketar. Suketar has a comfortable accommodation than other places en route of Kanchenjunga north base camp trek. After the room, check-in explores the local market in the Suketar and prepares for the next day-long drive.

We have two options to get back Kathmandu from Suketar either take a one-hour 30-minute flight or a day drive to Birtamod then take a 45-minute flight back to Kathmandu.
Suketar to Kathmandu flight depends on the passenger, the airlines operate the flight when they have got more than half a passenger.
If the flight been a delay or canceled due to the poor weather we have to drive down to the nearest airstrip that means have to get down Bhadrapur to catch a flight to Kathmandu. It is a full day drive-out to Bhadrapur from Suketar. The drive passes a few beautiful places and the organic tea garden to Bhadrapur. A drive provides stunning scenery of the mountains, varied landscapes, and eastern Nepal culture glimpse.

Returning to Kathmandu, we take a 45-minute mountain flight. The flight provides Aerial Mountain view of four 8000 m peaks namely Mount Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and numerous other snow peaks. On arrival Kathmandu airport transfers to hotel, then farewell dinner organize at authentic Nepalese restaurant with a live stage show

What's included?

  • International and Domestic airport-pickup and drop-off service
  • All the required ground transportation as mention in the Itinerary
  • Kanchenjunga trekking permits (Kanchenjunga special Immigration Permit and Kanchenjunga Conservation area permit)
  • Experienced English speaking licensed guide with salary, accommodation, food & insurance
  • High altitude experienced Sherpa porter (1 porter carry 2 trekker's luggage) with insurance, salary and equipment’s
  • Three meals a day during the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner with Hot drinks)
  • Seasonal fresh fruits Apple, Banana, Orange and biscuits for snack
  • Kanchenjunga Trek map for group
  • Complimentary trekking equipment's like four seasonal sleeping bag, down Jacket and duffle bag (should be returned upon completing the trek)
  • Kathmandu – Bhadrapur – Kathmandu flight ticket with together your guide
  • Bhadrapur - Ilam - Taplejung & Taplejung - Bhadrapur by bus/jeep
  • First aid medical kit, oximeter to check pulse, heart rate and oxygen saturation at higher altitude
  • Normal lodges base accommodation during the trek in the mountain
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu at typical Nepali restaurant with cultural sho

What's not included?

  • Meals and accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Travel and medical insurance should covers emergency rescue and evacuation
  • Nepal Visa Fees 15/30/90 days that cost U$D30/50/125
  • All drinks bill [Bar/Soft/Mineral Water]
  • Personal trekking Equipment (See the trekking equipment page)
  • Personal expense hot shower, laundry, internet, battery charge, etc
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on 'Price Includes' section
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is expected)

Fixed Departures

Sorry, No fixed departure dates availabe, Please request for Private Trip

Essential Information

Requires fitness level and difficulty for Kanchenjunga North base camp Trek

Rewarding Kanchenjunga trek graded as a challenging trek in Nepalese Himalayas that means steady climb on the mountain terrain and steeply descend on the stony path, glacier and snow. You'll be walking about 5-7 hours a day and that duration covered roughly 10-15 km distance, the distance depends on the day destination. Board on such a strenuous trek should have a good physical level or previous high altitude trek experienced that makes the trek more comfortable and enjoyable through the journey. If any travelers have permanent disease should consult with a doctor in regards to climbing to 5,200 m above the sea level. Highly recommend do pre-training minimum 6-7 weeks for your legs, knees, and burn the fats also do cardio for adopting good oxygen rate in the alpine terrain.

Communication Mode In Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga region trek led through a remote area of Nepal around Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak on the planet. Along the Kanchenjunga north base camp trek, the cell phone (NTC and Skyp) network coverage till Khambachen/Kangpachen also landline phone work till Ghunsa Village. Wi-Fi also working several tea shops till Ghunsa village. On the Kanchenjunga trek, your guide will have dual sim (Skyp & Nepal telecom) phone, you may contact you’re your family whenever it requires. No phone connectivity at Lhonak and Pangpeme [North Kanchenjunga base camp].

Side Trips In Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek

Along the Kanchenjunga north base camp trek straight climb up aside of the Tamur Koshi and Ghunsa Khola then follow the trail on Kanchenjunga glacier to Kanchenjunga north base camp. Few beautiful sides can be done en route to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp that can be done from Ghunsa and Kangbachen.

Acclimatization Day At Ghunsa Village
Ghunsa Village, the purely Sherpa settlement with around 40 house, health post, police station, and the school also have Buddhist monastery. All the trekkers have to check-in and out their Kanchenjunga trek permits. West Bank of the Ghunsa River has Buddhist traditional Tashi Choeling Gompa that established in 1831. The monks do daily prayer in the morning and evening the travelers also joint the ceremony. From the Buddhist temple further trek with a solid climb through the forest with a breathtaking view of Ghunsa village and the meandering lush green valley. The tiny viewpoint is decorated with five color Buddhist flags that flapping in the strong wind also get crest of the snowcapped peaks.

Side Trips To Nupchu Pokhari (4700 m)
The wilderness and pristine turquoise lake set below Nupchu Himal along Numchu valley and surrounded by several snow peaks. The Nupchu Pokhari side trip has to make from Kangpachen/Khambachen with warm cloths and sufficient drinks for the day trip.
It is about 5-6 hours round trip with gentle to strenuous climb along with the large meadow and moraine as well glaciers with crossing river by barefoot. During the October/November can spot a lot yak grazing on the grassy meadow also encounter wild animals and numerous of the birds.

Side Trip To Mount Jannu [Kumbhakarna] Base Camp (4,350 m)
Jannu Peak also called Kumbhakarna, the 32 highest peaks laying eastern Nepal and it has great value in Kirat people. Once a year during the October/November Kiranti people (Rai, Limbu, Yakkham, and Sunuwar) travel to Jannu base camp and pay homage. Thus can spot the temple with an uncountable bell with the traditional flag flapping into the thin air. Mount Jannu base camp is not so far from Kangpachen village on the east bank of Ghunsa River. From Kangpachen tea house little descend to the river and walk over a wooden bridge after that about 3-4 hours gentle climb on the grassy sloppy mountain to Jannu base camp. We often spot the blue sheep and also yak around here. Kumbhakarna base camp provides excellent scenery of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and valley.

Side Trip To Drohma Ri (5,960 m)
Drohmo Ri, probably the best viewpoint in Kanchenjunga Trek and it situated right above the Pangpema tea shop, north side of Mount Kanchenjunga. Actually there is three Drohma Ri on foot of the Drohma Peak and Drohma East is the viewpoint. Although it is nearly 6000 m above sea level still can be climbed without any climbing equipment from September to November. Most of the time, the trail has full of rock, pebble, and grit and steeply climbing up from the tea house also the stone cairn marked all the way to the summit. The last section of the trail occupied by bigger rock. Dramatic mountain and glacier sceneries changed each of your steps as you get higher the enormous mountain looks come near to you. On arrival at the Drohma Ri, you will be welcomed by a 360-degree mountain view above the glacier valley. The Kanchenjunga range Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Yalung Kang 8,505 m, Kanchenjunga North, Mount Kambachen (7,902 m), Mount Jannu, Pathibhara (7,140 m), Korat Chuli (7,362 m), Nepal Peak (7,177 m), and Gimmingela (7,350 m)

Accommodation in Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga Trek restricted and off the beaten trekking path in Nepalese Himalayas.
Since last few years, basic lodge accommodation is accessible in en route of north Kanchenjunga base camp trek but still very simple and basic room are available in Lhonak and Kangpachen then simple stone hut also exist in Pangpema (North Kanchenjunga base camp). You have wide range accommodation option in the towns Ilam, Bhadrapur, and Taplejung. The room is relatively comfortable and clean in the town then mountains and remote villages.
Beyond the Tapeljung most of nights spending on the village and some of the villagers operating simple guesthouse with few rooms. The standard lodge has two single bedrooms with complimentary blanket and a pillow, some time you will find inner material of the pillow is dry hay. Most of the guesthouse have homemade solid round legs bed with a thin mattress and standard size of bed length is 5.5 ft to 6 ft and 2ft width. If you doing Kanchenjunga trek during the peak season there is a high chance to share the room with another hiker also chance to sleep in the dormitory because of limit tea houses. We are experienced to organize Kanchenjunga trek and we know the best available accommodation along the trek. We ensured to our customers arrange the room accordingly group size with trek through us.

How to reach Kanchenjunga north base camp from Kathmandu

To reach north Kanchenjunga base camp, you have to reach Taplejung and there is two option to get Taplejung, the nearest town of Kanchenjunga base camp. Taplejung Bazar is around 750 km far from Kathmandu via BP highway and 900 km via Narayanghat Bazar. By overland, it takes around 20 to 22 hours' to reach Taplejung from Kathmandu. Also, flight option is always there, most Nepalese airlines operating daily regular flights to Bhadrapur. From Kathmandu scenic flight to Bhadrapur and offers close mountain vista of Langtang Himal, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu, etc. From Bhadrapur overland drive to Taplejung via Ilam also stop Ilam for overnight and explore the large organic tea garden of Nepal. From Bhdrapur roughly 10 hours solid drive to Taplejung by local bus/shared jeep. Kathmandu to Suketar also has flight but it is not sure because it is not confirmed flight and as airport lying in the mountain weather always disturbs the flight.

Culture and People in Kanchenjunga Trek

Starting to end of Kanchenjunga north base camp trek we come to cross with indigenous people mainly Rai, Limbu, and Sherpa. The first section of trail in tropical zone passing Rai, Yakkha and Limbu all of them follow their own religious called Kirat and they strongly believe their Guru had done meditation and retreat near to five treasures of the great snow to gain the deep knowledge of shamanism also celebrate their important festival Udhauli and ubhauli yearly. These people support their livelihood with farming, animal husbandry, and services in Gurkha regiment (mostly India army) as well as working in abroad. Then above Amji Losa inhabitants by Sherpa who are Tibetan origin and great faith in Buddhism. We often pass Buddhist religious sites like Stupa, Gompa, Monastery and Chorten also can see the local practicing Buddhism in the house and monasteries also can get bless from monks. So most of youth Sherpa actively involved in tourist as mountaineer in-fact adventure tourism in their credit. They do yak and sheep gardening because of the alpine climate is fit for them and grow potatoes, wheat, buckwheat in their cultivate farm also collect seasonal mountain herbs and trade in the market as well make homeopathy medicine.