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Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Difficulty: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5142m at Pangpema
Duration: 13 days
Cost: $1400
Season: Spring/Autumn
Walking: 5-9hrs a day
  • Overview
  • Add-Ons
  • Detail Itinerary
  • Cost Info
  • Useful Infos
  • FAQs


  • Fast-track journey to the base camps of Kanchenjunga, made for the champions
  • A hidden jewel on the least visited and less-explored area by other trekkers
  • Superb panoramic view from the beginning to the end of the adventure
  • Explore traditional villages of the Far East region in complete wilderness
  • Fascinating view of the Kumbhakarna Himalayan range of mountains

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek offers an extraordinary chance to explore the off-beaten trails in Far Eastern Nepal and leads you to the base of the World’s 3rd highest mountain through complete wilderness. Kanchenjunga was first climbed by the British Expedition Team of George Band in 1955 AD, whereas the journey to the base camp of Kanchenjunga was only allowed to foreigners after 1988.

Kanchenjunga round trekking begins with a scenic flight to Bhadrapur, the starting point of our fantastic adventure. The trek progresses through a lovely forest of rhododendron, magnolia, birch, pines, oaks and fir tree lines to visit the south base camp. After a beautiful time at Kanchenjunga North Base Camp, our journey continues crossing three ridges, Mirgin La, Sele La and Sinion La, towards the south base camp with super views of Mt Makalu, Baruntse and Chamlang peaks.

Also known as the ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snow,’ Kanchenjunga is Nepal’s pride. By exploring the isolated corners away from the average human settlements, the Kanchenjunga circuit trek is sure to offer you extra on your Himalayan journey. Nature Lovers is proud to organize the short Kanchenjunga trek in spring and autumn for interested travelers who like to challenge themselves in this rigorous adventure.

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Fly to Bhadrapur 100m 45mins and drive to Taplejung 1500m 9hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 02: Drive to Sekathum 4hrs and trek to Amjilosa 2500m 4hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 03: Trek to Ghunsa 3400m via Gyabla and Phale 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 04: Trek to Kambachen 4100m 5hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 05: Acclimatizing day, hike to Jannu Base Camp 4800m, BLD, Teahouse

Day 06: Trek to Lhonak 4800m via Ramdang 5hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 07: Trek to Pangpema or Kanchenjunga North Base Camp 5142m and back 6hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 08: Trek back to Ghunsa 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 09: Rest day at Ghunsa, BLD, Teahouse

Day 10: Trek to Tseram 3900m via Selele and 3 passes 4700m 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Day 11: Trek to Oktang or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp 4800m via Ramche and back, BLD, Teahouse

Day 12: Trek to Yamphudin 2100m, BLD, Teahouse

Day 13: Drive to Bhadrapur and fly back to Kathmandu, BL.

Kathmandu sightseeing: $80 per person (gets cheaper with bigger PAX)

Porter service: $30/day per porter

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Itinerary

**BLD denotes Breakfast Lunch Dinner**

Day 01: Fly to Bhadrapur 100m 45mins and drive to Taplejung 1500m 9hrs, BLD, Teahouse

A short and sweet early morning flight will take you to the hot and humid Bhadrapur airport. Be ready for a long drive to the hilly part of Taplejung district which goes via the famous tea gardens in Ilam. 

Day 02: Drive to Sekathum 4hrs and trek to Amjilosa 2500m 4hrs, BLD, Teahouse

First we take a short drive to Sekathum via Ranipul, then we start the trekking journey from there onwards. Follow the Ghunsa river all the way to Phedi, then climb a little up to arrive at Amjilosa for the night.

Day 03: Trek to Ghunsa 3400m via Gyabla and Phale 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

Following the forested trail, through the soaring rocky hills, we continue towards Ghunsa while observing the changing terrains as we go upward. Ghunsa valley for the night stop.

Day 04: Trek to Kambachen 4100m 5hrs, BLD, Teahouse

We take a great leap today as we enter the Limbu Kiratis' holy land since their deities lie in this region. We follow the river upstream and arrive at a high altitude where we acclimatize well before going up.

Day 05: Acclimatizing day, hike to Jannu Base Camp 4800m, BLD, Teahouse

This is one of the main highlights of the Kanchenjunga circuit trek. We pass the holy shrine of Kirati people to get to the Jannu/Kumbhabarna base camp. The view throughout the journey is really mesmerizing. We can even opt to do the long day hike to Nupchu Pokhari at 4800m which takes comparatively longer to accomplish the round journey. 

Day 06: Trek to Lhonak 4800m via Ramdang 5hrs, BLD, Teahouse

After a good rest at Kambachen, it's time to go higher towards the base camp. We pass the landslide area, the moraines and the glacier to come across Lhonak valley. The mountains show themselves as we go higher and the air also gets thinner. 

Day 07: Trek to Pangpema or Kanchenjunga North Base Camp 5142m and back 6hrs, BLD, Teahouse

The big day! It's a long walk to the Pangpema, through the rocks and moraines, up and down the rocky sections, witnessing the grandeur of the Hiimalayas throughout. If you feel brave enough, you can even climb Drohmo Ri above Pangpema for a panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayas including Mount Makalu. Get back to Lhonak for the night.

Day 08: Trek back to Ghunsa 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

We retrace our way back to Ghunsa all the way.

Day 09: Rest day at Ghunsa, BLD, Teahouse

A must rest day for a rigorous climbing day next day as we cross the 3 high passes to get to the other side of the valley. Chill and explore around the village. 

Day 10: Trek to Tseram 3900m via Selele and 3 passes 4700m 8hrs, BLD, Teahouse

This is one of the most challenging days for the entire trek. You will have to climb a long way up and also a long way down. However, with the mesmerizing views you get from the high passes, you might lose your fatigue along the way.

Day 11: Trek to Oktang or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp 4800m via Ramche and back, BLD, Teahouse

An easy and gradual ascend will take you to Ramche in no time. After a short break, walk for an hour to Oktang, the precious viewpoint beside Yalung glacier and the base camp. Spend a quality time there and retrace back to Tseram for the night stop.

Day 12: Trek to Yamphudin 2100m, BLD, Teahouse

Final stretch of our trekking will take us to Torangdin first, then we shall climb eventually to Lasiya Bhanjyang and the final descend to Yamphudin. Say goodbye to your porters.

Day 13: Drive to Bhadrapur 10hrs and fly back to Kathmandu, BL

Drive early morning to Chandragadhi/Bhadrapur airport, a long drive from Yamphudin. Catch the late-afternoon or evening flight to Kathmandu.

Cost for 1 PAX: $1800 /-

Cost for 2 or more PAX: $1400 per person

Note: Trip cost varies with the group sizes.

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Cost Breakdown

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers and other ground transports
  • Domestic flights
  • Well experienced and licensed guide with his salary plus insurance
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner, tea/coffee during the trekking days
  • Freshly cooked meals and clean drinking water on the mountains
  • Lodge accommodations during the trek
  • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area entrance permit and TIMS Card
  • Restricted permit
  • Complementary company t-shirt, route map, and certificate of appreciation
  • Comprehensive medical kit bag with pulse oximeter
  • All local government taxes and VAT

Cost Excludes

  • Any expenses that are of personal nature
  • Porter service
  • Travel and emergency rescue insurance
  • Gratuities to the field staffs (highly expected)
  • Extra accommodation and meals behind schedule

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Useful Information

Customized Trips and Trip departure

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking departs from Kathmandu as per our fixed departure dates. You can join any available fixed departure groups if you are a solo or small group travelers if you wish to, when the trips cannot be customized.

But if you are in a private group, fixed departure dates are not suitable for you and so you need to choose your own dates and packages, when you can customize the trek as per your travel needs. For further information, please kindly contact your own friendly neighbor, Nature Lovers Treks and Tours.

Accommodations during trek

You will be staying in the teahouse lodges during the trek.

Nature Lovers Treks and Tours has the best accommodation arrangement for you from the beginning to the end. We believe after the tough walking day, everyone deserves the proper rest and the right ambience to relax and chill. Therefore, our choice of accommodation is the best when it comes to the trekking days. The rooms will be clean and comfy. Our entire accommodations will be on twin-sharing basis as you can see, so you have to let us know if others; let’s say if you want triple or quadruple sharing or if you want a double bed, etc. There will be extra charge for the single supplement. 

Route Map and Company T-shirt

Nature Lovers Treks and Tours offers you a complimentary trekking map and the company t-shirts.

Safe Drinking Water during Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking

Hydrating yourself is the most important thing to do during the trek. You should drink at least 3 liters of water every day or more. The main reason is to avoid the altitude sickness and to avoid other health issues. Nature Lovers Treks and Tours provides you water purification tablets or liquids to purify the water in the mountains. You can even buy mineral water or boiled water on extra cost.

Your trekking guides and porters

Nature Lovers Treks and Tours has the best guides and porters in the whole tourism industry. We can guarantee you on that. Ask yourselves a question. What do you look for in a guide and a porter? Are they fully insured and are they paid well? Well, they are the staffs of Nature Lovers Treks and Tours so they are hundred percent happy with their treatment by the company. They are experienced, licensed and knowledgeable in the field. They are well paid and fully insured for their journey as well as for the medicals.

Now, let’s talk about our backbones. The leader or a guide should have a significant knowledge in the climbing and trekking so that he can wonderfully and safely lead you, clearing any obstacles on the way. We, Nature Lovers Treks and Tours can proudly say that our guides (climbing, assistant, trekking guide) are highly qualified for the role. They are fully trained, experienced and licensed. They have undergone through a whole lot of training to make themselves useful in various situations and to make your journey a smooth and pleasant one.

Our guide knows the local areas, the cultures, the traditions and the lifestyles much more than anyone do. Some of the things he tells you, might even be hard to find in the travel guide books. Depending upon the situations and weather conditions, the daily plans might change slightly which when happens, he will inform you beforehand. You should always be flexibly ready to accommodate to your guides’ instructions. Let him know if you have any health problems as well since he will act accordingly to the situation. Depending upon the group size, we will also provide you assistant guides and extra Sherpas if needed.

Our porters are always fully equipped with the gears they need and as per the company policy, they are always insured and completely looked after. They are our backbone. We allow maximum weight of 25/30 kg to be carried by one porter. They are the strongest in our group with less communication skills. We also closely work with IPPG {International Porter Protection Group} and follow their ethics and guidelines.

Your safety

Nature Lovers Treks and Tours puts your safety as the top priority. We provide you our own comprehensive first aid medical kit bag along with the professional team of guides and porters. We are always in communication with our field team members to keep track of your safety and concerns. Your entire journey will be monitored by us and we make sure you enjoy your journey in full scale. We are available 24/7 for your health and safety checks during Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking.

Solo traveling in the Himalayas

We have had many solo travelers in the past. Nepal is totally safe to travel even in the Himalayas, even though you are solo. However, since it is a restricted area, at least 2 travelers are needed for this trek. If you are traveling solo, we can arrange in such a way that you have to share the permit with other travelers & you might have to pay a little extra. 

Extra personal expenses during and after trek

The clients are responsible for their own personal expenses during or after the treks like, for buying beverages and snacks, WiFi, doing laundry, buying souvenirs & personal equipment, tips for the field staffs, etc. Therefore, we recommend you to bring some extra cash (in dollars or euro, etc.) of about $300-600, and change it into Nepali Rupees since only NPR are accepted in majority of the Nepali market. 

Shower during the trek

It's an important matter to discuss about. After a day's end, you might feel like showering and get fresh. It's a good idea on the lower altitudes but if you're on the higher altitudes (more than 3500m), we recommend to shower on intervals. People seem to catch a cold easily after showering which can lead to altitude sickness. Teahouses in the lower elevation offers you hot shower, but in the upper elevation, a bucket of hot water is provided. They charge a little extra for the hot water bath ($2-5). 

Laundry on the trail

None of the lodges have laundry services and you might have to either wash your clothes yourself or postpone until you arrive in Kathmandu or in any city. Please plan in advance about it. 

Urgent point to note

We always suggest you to keep extra one or two days in your trek since we are taking the domestic flights. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can change anytime drastically which means your flight can be delayed or at worst cancelled and postponed for the next day. Therefore, this goes to all the Kanchenjunga circuit trekkers, that extra days are needed if you wish to take domestic flights.

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek cost?

The cost of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking varies from $1000-$2000 depending upon the number of days you choose to trek. The longer the trek, more expensive it will become. Similarly, the price will differ with the group sizes. Normally, Nature Lovers Treks and Tours offers a comprehensive package which is inclusive of all the cost and expenses for the entire journey from the moment you land in Nepal till the moment you fly back home. However, you could also choose to buy only service-based package from us when we will be providing you only the supporting field staffs plus trekking permits and you have to arrange the rest by yourselves.

How is the Accommodation during the Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

In Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking, we will provide you the teahouse accommodations. A teahouse is typically a mountain lodge which is a combination of a lodge or a guest house and a restaurant or a café with basic furniture and interiors suitable for the social hangout. Few teahouses have attached bathrooms and the central heating furnace. Also very few teahouses provide the European toilets while Asian style of toilets are available in every teahouses. Hot showers are available but on extra cost. The same goes with the hot drinking water since they use the gas or solar to boil the water. Sleeping blankets are usually provided but we recommend you to carry your own sleeping bags for the hygienic purpose {can be arranged on request}. At the same time, it’s better to carry your own toiletries including the towels.

What are the permits that I need for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

For Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking, you will need to make three different permits: Kanchenjunga Restricted area permit, KCAP {Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project} fee and TIMS Card (Trekkers' Information Management System).

How does this tipping system in Nepal work and do I have to tip?

Tipping is not compulsory for Kanchenjunga Trekking however tipping is all about showing your gratitude and appreciation. We care about our staffs in the fields so we expect you to look after them in return for them looking after you throughout your journey. They are your closest friend in the remotest parts and also your protector whenever anything seems to happen to you. So tipping is highly expected and we’ve made it mandatory too. The amount of gratuities can be determined by yourselves. Normally, a guide and also a porter expects around $10 or more per day.

Can I charge my phones, batteries or other electronic devices in Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

You can hardly charge your electronic devices during the short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. But if you could charge your devices, you have to pay a little extra. Don’t forget to buy a plug adapter or socket fittings before you leave Kathmandu.

Is there WiFi and mobile signal on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking route has poor network coverage most of the days. But you can buy one of the Nepalese Sim cards from any local phone shops in Kathmandu which has coverage mostly all over Nepal. It is wiser to buy a sim card with around 4 GB data in Kathmandu and use the mobile data in the trek whenever available.

WiFi isn't available yet in the circuit trail.

When is the best time to trek to Kanchenjunga Circuit?

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking can be done throughout the year. However in average, Spring {March, April and May} and Autumn {September, October and November} are the best times or seasons to trek to Kanchenjunga Circuit. Spring and Autumn are known as the Peak season or Busy season in Nepal. It’s because the temperature is moderate during these seasons and the best panoramic mountain views are guaranteed while during other Summer {June, July and August} and Winter {December, January and February} season, the clear weather is not guaranteed. But if you are an explorer, a photographer and a peace lover, less busy season can also be the right time to do Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking. The problem is the weather is harsh cold in winter and there’s snow everywhere while the summer has rainfalls and clouds obscuring the mountains and the views are not so great most of the time.

Do I have to worry about the altitude sickness in short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?

The itinerary of our short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking is perfectly designed by Nature Lovers Treks and Tours and has separated enough time in the places to let the body acclimatize well in high altitudes. As long as you follow the guide, you should be fine. Altitude sickness in fact can affect anyone regardless of the age or the fitness level, so it is very important to walk slowly and gradually as you go higher. Learn more in details about Altitude Sickness to prepare yourselves for the upcoming Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking.

Do I need to be healthy and physically fit for short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

When it comes to trekking in the mountains, health and fitness of a person plays a vital role. If you are a healthy person without any serious medical problems, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking is for you but if you have any sorts of medical issues, please consult to your doctor before coming to Nepal for the trek. We will be gaining the high altitude of 5142 m above the sea level which is not a joke. People normally start to have breathing problems above 3000 meters from the sea level, if they have pre-existing health conditions.

Now when it comes to the fitness level required, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking demands high physical fitness. The trekking includes daily walks of about 4-8 hours and involves many ascents and descents which means you need lots of practices before you start the trekking journey. You will be traversing through the forests, high passes and high hills. If you do not have the previous trekking experience, it's going to be tough on you but obviously if you have previous experiences, it will be lot easier. For those not having previous trekking experiences, please exercise regularly for at least 3 months prior to your trekking departure. Go for the morning walks, do some jogging as you get time, participate in some cycling activities, etc. This way, you will be good to go for trekking to Kanchenjunga area.

What kind of food items or meals can I eat on Short Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

Full meals are included during the trek. Tea and coffee will also be provided during the entire trip. During the trek, you will have your breakfast and dinner in the same teahouse where you spend the night while the lunch will be served en route towards the next destination of the day. There are good choices to choose from; Nepalese, Tibetan, Indian, Continental, etc. during teahouse days. Our Sherpas will make sure that you eat enough food for the trekking journey.

Do I need a travel insurance for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

Travel insurance is a must when you trek to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Therefore before you come to Nepal, please make sure you have your insurance documents with you since our insurance companies cannot insure foreign nationals. Because of the reason that they cover all the expenses, if you face some unfortunate happenings and you have to be rescued or medically assisted during the trip or if your belongings are lost or stolen. We strongly advise you to take out an insurance which covers any medical risks up to 5200 meter as well as the medical evacuation from the mountains.

Can I use my debit or credit cards during the trek?

In general, most of the places in Nepal don't accept the card payments as they are remote and of limited use to them. So, we recommend you to withdraw some cash before departing for the journey. ATMs will charge you minimal service fee for withdrawing money and you will also get good exchange rate from the banks. 

How much weight of luggage can I take during the trek?

Our porter is allowed to carry maximum of 25 kg so, since 2 clients will share one porter, both of your combined weights shouldn't be more than 20kg. We care about our porters and he also has his personal belongings to carry as well. 

For the important things and your personal items, you might have to carry your own backpack. But please, only carry the essentials and you will have to leave the rest of the unimportant items, either in the hotel's locker room or in our office store for free. 

Is there any age limit for short Kanchenjunga circuit trek?

Not, at all. No matter if you're 5 years old or 85, you can trek as long as you can. In fact, the children seem to adapt to the high altitudes faster than an adult. So, as long as you're willing to hike the Himalayas, you can hike no matter what your age is. 

How do you take the remaining balance on arrival in Kathmandu? Do I need to pay you by cash or I can use my card?

On arrival in Kathmandu, you can pay the remaining balance either on cash or by card. We prefer to be paid in cash (doesn't matter which currency) rather than by card but however, you can also swipe your card which will incur you extra 3.5% charge from the bank.

How big should my backpack be?

It all depends on what you wish to carry on your day pack. We recommend a backpack between 20-40 liter or roughly the size of a school bag. 

If I have to use a restroom during the hike or trek, where can I use the restroom?

You can easily access the restrooms of any teahouses on the trail. If in case it's urgent and you cannot find any teahouses around, you can always go off the trail to ease yourself. 

Can I leave my luggage in Kathmandu?

Definitely, you can leave your excess stuffs in Kathmandu. Either you can leave them on the hotel's locker room or in our office store for free. 

What about extra days and nights in Kathmandu?

For any extra days and nights in Kathmandu which is outside of your schedule, you can let us know beforehand and we can book the hotels for you and also other add-ons or activities as you may like. If under unforeseen circumstances you get extra days in Kathmandu after the trek, we shall work out the right solution for you.

What if I get sick or injured during the trek?

Like we said earlier, we, Nature Lovers Treks and Tours puts your safety as the top priority. Our professional team is always with you and monitoring you to ensure your wellness and safety. Our experienced and well-trained guide will use his emergency skills in case of emergency; either if you get injured or if you get sick. If it's regarding a symptom of altitude sickness or AMS, you will have to go down to the lower altitudes as fast as possible in order to gain your energy back. You can always continue in the later days or retreat as per your choice. In case of necessity, he will arrange the rescue helicopter for you as well to get the quick medical attention in Kathmandu. 

How cold is it during the short Kanchenjunga circuit trekking?

The places in the mountainous region are always cold no matter which season or what time. But the temperatures vary depending on the season and altitude. 

What gears and equipment do I need to pack for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking?

Choosing the right gear and equipment is important as well for the successful trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Pack the right gears and equipment but remember, packing as light as possible is the best way to go when trekking to Kanchenjunga Circuit. You should read this What to take for travel to get all the details on what you need to pack or carry.