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Visit the base camp of the third highest mountain in the world Kanchenjunga on a 22-day trip that will take you to the Easternmost part of northern Nepal. Lying within the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Mt. Kanchenjunga stands at an amazing altitude of 8598m. The peak lies between Nepal and India and the views are seen to be amazing from everywhere. It could easily be one of the grandest mountains in the Himalayas after Mt. Everest making this trip one of the best to take. Until the middle of the 19th century, Mt. Kanchenjunga was considered the tallest peak in the world.
The East of Nepal is inhabited by Rai and Limbu people with scattered Sherpa people living in the mountain areas who have a culture that spans back thousands of years. To the inhabitants of the region, Kanchenjunga is a sacred mountain and therefore people avoid climbing the mountain itself. The massifs that surround Kanchenjunga are massive as well going well over 7000m in altitude.
This journey approaches the North Face Base Camp of Kanchenjunga (8598m), the third-highest mountain in the world, which is located on the eastern border of Nepal. Mount Kanchenjunga, one of the world's most difficult summits to climb, is located on the Nepal-Sikkim (India) border. The trek begins upon arrival in Taplejung and passes through enchanting green, crop-growing villages and pristine forests to the magnificent North Face Base Camp at Pangpema (5065m), before crossing to Oktang – 4370m) the South Base Camp of Kanchenjunga via three passes: Sinion La (4440m), Mirgin La(4480m), and Sinelapche Bhanjyang (4646m).
We go through vibrant Rai and Limbu towns, lush forests, and farmlands with traditional mud cottages before entering an alpine environment of forests, Himalayan peaks, glittering streams, and mountain lakes. This journey is awe-inspiring because of its cascading waterfalls, beautiful rhododendron woods, spectacular mountain panoramas, and folklore-rich towns.
As with practically all other treks in the Nepalese Himalayas, the optimum periods to finish this walk are between March and May and October and November, which are Spring and Autumn, respectively. Autumn has the clearest sky on average, making it the nicest but also busiest time for hiking. However, because the Kanchenjunga Base Camp journey is still relatively unexplored, it provides a less crowded hiking path. Flowers and fauna are in full bloom in the spring, making for beautiful valley views and woodland treks. This is the second most popular time to undertake this hike. In addition, the weather throughout these seasons is rather pleasant, since it is neither excessively hot nor excessively cold.
The winter and monsoon seasons, which occur from December to January and July to August, respectively, are not suggested since the paths become slick owing to rain and snow.
Accessible Adventures is a reputable travel company that has been organizing treks and excursions in the Annapurna area for more than a decade. We are easy to work with, adaptable, and will fulfill all of your needs. In addition, Accessible Adventures operates a hotel in Kathmandu where we can customize rooms to meet your individual needs.
Our guides have completed a range of training programs in which they practice and prepare for the trip during the tourist off-season, noting the terrain and routes in the region. This is to guarantee that our guests have the best experience possible during the busiest season.
Other benefits of booking your trip via Accessible Adventure include:
With over 30 years of personal travel experience, including peak climbing and visiting Nepal's most popular tourist spots, we are aware of the difficulties that may arise for both you, the traveler, and the guides and porters that we employ, throughout your journey. Because of our personal experiences in a variety of locations, including EBC, ABC, and others, we have been able to customize trips and make the adventure seem more comfortable and private. We offer the greatest professional services while treating each client like family.
When you reach in Kathmandu, our airport agent will greet you. We will make certain that your travel needs are met while you are in our care. As there are no scheduled activities for the day, we will assist you in checking into your appropriate hotel. You have the option of walking around the neighborhood or resting in your respective rooms.
Visit cultural and religious sites of Swayambhunath, called the monkey Temple, Pashupatinath, one of the largest temples in Nepal and Bouddhanath, the large stupa are in our itinerary today.
Pashupatinath Temple: One of the oldest Hindu temples, Pashupatinath Temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as the "Lord of All Beings." Lord Shiva is the embodiment of the universe's destructive aspect. The Pashupatinath complex is traversed by the revered Bagmati river. For those who pass away on the banks of the river, cremation rites are performed by the majority of Hindus in the Kathmandu Valley.
Swayambhunath Stupa: The Swayambhunath stupa is one of the most revered Buddhist stupas in Nepal. It is thought to have materialized when, in ancient times, the Bodhisattva Manjushri carved a canyon at Chhobhar using his flaming sword to drain the waters of the huge lake that was Kathmandu.
Bouddhanath Stupa: Lord Buddha's four pairs of eyes are positioned in the four cardinal directions atop the 2500-year-old Buddhist stupa in the Valley, which was erected in the fifth century. This stupa keeps a constant watch over people and their actions. Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet may be seen spinning prayer wheels as they round the stupa.
You can also walk around Thamel and Asons around the vicinity of your hotel selling handicraft items and locally made trinkets and clothes. Ason, the oldest market in Kathmandu also lies a few hundred meters from your hotel. You can shop for spices, tea, brass statues, and decorative jars in this market.
This day is also kept as a contingency day in case flight delays are faced.
Today we go to the Kathmandu airport domestic flight section for our flight to Suketar Airport in Taplejung. The flights to Suketar are few during the week and are prone to delays and cancellations due to weather and other circumstances. Hence two days of contingency are required as a minimum for the trip.
In case flights do seem unlikely, we will have to take a flight to another airport in the south, Bharadpur and then drive to Illam, staying overnight in Illam. Then we will drive again from Illam to Taplejung. En route, we might even take a side visit to the famous Pathivara Temple.
Depending on when we arrive in Taplejung, we might have to stay a day, else we can continue on our walk to Kunjari village which will take around 5 hours, and stay at Kunjari. If we do walk. We climb up and down steep pathways and cross suspension bridges amid forests to reach Kunjari village passing through the villages of Tembewa and Simbu.
Today we get up early, grab breakfast and move from Kunjari village to Phungphung Danda. The trail is through ridges for most of the early parts of the trek. Many stone steps are on trail today as well. Our first view of Kanchenjunga mountain appears as we reach a place called Kande Bhanjyang along with the Yalung Kang mountain. Crossing through villages of Sinchebu we walk through forest trails in the region and soon reach openings with terraced farmlands. Khesewa is where we stay for lunch today. After ;lunch we descend nearby a famous waterfall in the region and traverse ridges along the mountainside going up and down to reach our destination od Phungphung danda.
We grab an early breakfast and make our way to the Lhesewa khola which we cross via a suspension bridge. Going up and down initially, we climb steeply to reach the village of Mamankhe which we cross to reach Yamphudin. After lunch at Yamphudin, we move ahead, get our permits checked at a nearby police checkpost and reach Sherpagaon, our destination for the day.
We have some beautiful views on the trail initially after an early breakfast. The valley, the river and the Deurali Danda look amazing from here. Crossing the Omke Khola, we traverse a nepali-flat route to a small farmland, which we cross to reach Darachok. Crossing Dhupi Bhanjyang we walk through the forest, crossing another suspension bridge to reach a place called Amji Kharka.
We fill up our bottles at Chitre as there are no water stops from here until we cross the pass. Continuing the climb we reach Lasiya Bhanjyang. Depending on how we feel, we can move around 3 hours more ahead to Torting, our main destination for the night. En route we can see an area ruined by landslide and views of Mt. Jannu also called Kumbhakarna after the asura from Sri Lanka. Crossing the Simbuwa khola we finally reach Tortong after a long day of walk.
Today’s walk is special because we get our glimpse of the Yalung glacier. We ascend beside the glacial river amid pine and coniferous forests along with Rhododendron trees. The climb is fairly steep and we start noticing the vegetation get more sparse as we climb higher. This then gives us amazing views of the mountains ahead of Mt. Kabru and Mt. Rathong and of the famous Yalung Glacier. As we are quite high in altitude now we start feeling colder as the wind picks up speed and the sun sets. We finally reach our goal for today at Tseram after a 5-6 hour walk.
Today is a rest and acclimatization day as we have picked up on altitude and need to give our bodies a chance to get used to the lower oxygen at these levels. Rest however does not mean a complete rest as we need to make a day hike to get our bodies in motion. We can walk to the Yalung base camp erroneously misidentified as south Kanchenjunga base camp for a 10 hour round trip walk. Depending on how far we choose to walk, we can see clear streams, a lake that freezes usually in winter and walk to Ramche for cool views of Mt. Kotang and Mt. Kabru. Blue sheep can be seen grazing in the sloped meadows here.
After taking enough pictures we can move ahead to reach Yalung Base Camp or just return to our teahouse for a day of more rest.
Since we rested up yesterday, we have had an arduous and long walk today that can take around 9 hours to complete, the longest day till now. We have to cross three passes in the Kanchenjunga region today to reach Selele. Today, lunch needs to be packed as there are no stops until quite late in the afternoon. We climb to around 4600m to reach Chhuchung Pokhari, a small lake that frames the valley beautifully. Climbing further we can see lovely pastures with views as far as Makalu. Descending slowly we reach Anda Phedi, where we eat our packed lunch and reach Missiay La Pass which is decked with prayer flags.
As we climb from there we cross the Sinelapcha pass also after which we again descend to the Migrin La another prayer flag-decked pass. The views from here are amazing. As we descend steeply we reach the Selele Khola and slightly ahead find the Selele village where we have basic teahouses where we spend the night after a very long and difficult day.
Today’s short trek takes us through two more passes but the amount of walking today is fairly less. We can reach Ghunsa for lunch even. We take the narrow and rocky trail along the mountain side with incredible valley views and vistas. We reach Selele La pass and cross over to the next pass called Tamo La. Both passes are decked with beautiful prayer flags Ghunsa is the first real sizeable village after Yamphuddin. As we recover a little after lunch, we go exploring nearby to the Ghunsa Gompa. Authentic Tibetan rugs can be found here. Ghunsa is famous for traditional Tibetan wine called Tungba made from millet.
We can relax early today and if we want can stay for an additional day to rest up and get our clothes washed and dried if need be.
We follow the main way up, which passes over the bridge, which can be slippery in the mornings. After there, there is some easy and lovely trekking through rhododendron, pine, and cedar woodland, as well as several mani walls and chortens. After traveling for almost three hours, we reach a small pank bridge and circumnavigate two large landslide regions with substantial rockfall hazards and ascend steeply while taking in breathtaking views of Mt.Jannu We have to be very careful in the slippery areas and the rockfall areas.
We also get to witness an amazing glacier that falls from Mt. Janny. After crossing a small stream, we enter the village of Kambachen where we stay for the night.
Today's trail is quite well-defined and comparatively easy even though we have a marked increase in altitude. After crossing the many chortens above the village we see amazing snow peaks all around us.
Our lunch stop today is at Ramtang. Crossing beautiful meadows where blue sheep can be found grazing. We also get views of Nepal Peak, Twins, Merra, and White Wave. Very loose ridges lead us to a bridge which we cross to reach a sandy plain where the small village of Lhonak sits. The Kanchenjunga Glacier can be seen as amazingly close to Lhonak.
Today’s short trek to Pang Pema takes us to the climax of our trip. Depending on our condition, we can choose to visit Pang Pema for a day hike or stay the night at the Kanchenjunga Base camp. The altitude is very high here and some symptoms of altitude sickness are common. During the walk, many parts of the trail are very slippery due to ice and there is an ever-present risk of snowfall.
There are amazing views of Kangchenjunga and the glacier. We don't have to work hard to see many types of Himalayan wildlife today. Most people consider Pang Pema to be the north base camp of Kanchenjunga. It is a relatively safe place right next to the tall North Face of Kangchenjunga and has a clear view of the north face of Kanchenjunga.
Once we've seen the sunrise over Kanchenjunga, which is a beautiful sight, it's time to start the long walk back out of this beautiful, remote place. After Lonak, the walk today is very nice, and you can see the whole valley. We should be able to breathe a little easier now that we're going down to a lower altitude. We reach the village of Kangchenpa which we stayed at on our way up to the base camp.
Today we have two options, we can take a detour on our trip to reach Jannu base camp or descend directly to Phale through the village of Gunsa. While the direct descent will take 3-4 hours, we can expect a further 4-hour extension if we decide to go to Jannu Base Camp.
Optional: Jannu Base Camp Visit.
The base camp is marked by a big rock covered in prayer flags. We are right below the huge face of Jannu, which rises 3000 meters above us. In about 2 hours, we'll be back at Kambachen, and from there it'll just be another 3 hours down to our Ghunsa camp.
If you don't want to stop at Jannu base camp, you can go straight down to Phale with the porters and rest for the afternoon. From Kambachen to Phale, it only takes 4 hours to walk. When we leave Kambachen, it takes us about an hour to get to Lakep, where we can see beautiful views of Jannu.
This day is lovely because of the picturesque river and the picturesque pine, spruce, and rhododendron trees that line it. After crossing a bridge and two short, sharp climbs, we arrive in Gyabla (2725m, Gyabru) in time for lunch. Leaving Gyabla, the vegetation immediately expands and changes.
In place of the firs, spruces, and larches that formerly covered the mountains, bamboo now dominates the landscape. Daytime river crossings might bring you face to face with black bears. As we continue to climb and descend, sometimes on a tiny trail high up on steep, rocky terrain, we are always close by the river in the valley. By early afternoon, we've arrived at Amjilosa. Amjilosa, perched on a hill, is a picturesque town. There is a wider variety of inns to pick from because it is a bigger community, but don't have any grand expectations on your stay. Local neighborhood cafe serving tea.
The Ghunsa Khola, a major tributary of the Tamor River, is the waterway that the route follows for most of its distance. This waterway originates from the Kangchenjunga and Jannu (Kumbhakarna) glaciers.
We've already gone over three bridges, seen a massive cave, and have a good possibility of spotting monkeys in their natural habitat in the jungle. We make a left turn after crossing the bridge, and there are monkeys across the river in a large cave. Right after that, we take a bridge that takes us to the correct right. After passing a landslide, we make our way across to the right side through a new bridge on the true left. The route that branches off to the left as soon as you cross the bridge offers a shortcut that avoids Lelep's steep ascent, although it can be rocky and narrow in spots.
Finally, after a long day of hiking, we made it to the settlement of Thiwa, located just beyond the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area's entrance gate.
If we didn’t visit Pathivara on our way up, we can do so now on the way down. Pathivara also offers a good distance view of Kanchenjunga and lies away from the village of Phedi. We follow the curve of the valley, sometimes on a rough jeep road and sometimes through a series of settlements. We're not following the main route today, but rather a series of smaller trails that connect settlements. First, we make our way to Linkhim, where we could stop for lunch.
We're going on to the town of Mayam via Baisakhe now. We've reached the main path to Phedi, which is also the main path to the Pathivara temple, so we shouldn't be surprised to find ourselves in the midst of large groups of pilgrims. It is well known that pilgrims go great distances to pay their respects at the Pathivara shrine.
We get up at the crack of dawn in order to see the Himalayan sunrise. A 550-meter ascent up a winding staircase in the dark and on an empty stomach is no easy feat.
At the summit, we see a bright band on the horizon to the east, and we watch it expand. With this view, we can take in the entirety of the Kanchenjunga massif and appreciate just how towering the mountain truly is. Makalu, to our left, the sight of the very tip of Everest emerges. Seeing everything in a new light is a fantastic way to cap off our trip.
A number of things are going on down at the temple complex below us, some of which we may find quite unpleasant, such as the sacrifice of young goats. Once we have paid our respects to the goddess, we will return to Suketar. It's a long journey out along the ridge and back to Suketar.
The final leg of our hike takes us back to the town of Taplejung, where we started, after a couple more hours of walking this morning. We bid our goodbyes to the team and head back the way we came, this time driving the winding roads (about 7–8 hours) through the terraced hills beyond Phidim to the town of Ilam, where we spend the night in a modest hotel (2410m)
We finish our drive, cruising down the winding road, and eventually arrive at the steaming plains. As soon as we get to Bhadrapur's airport, we go through check-in for our flight to Kathmandu. As soon as we touch down in Kathmandu, we are escorted to our hotel for a much-needed hot shower and rest amazingly.
Finally, we feel a sense of great accomplishment at completing one of the longest and most grueling treks in Nepal although one with the best views. We can celebrate this victory in Kathmandu.
Today is kept as a contingency day on the trip as the trek can never perfectly go as planned as many delays such as flight delays and environmental issues as well as days where we might get tired or explore nearby are kept. If this day has not already been used up, we can use this day to go exploring around the valley or do some adventure activities like rafting and bungee jumping or go on nearby day hikes such as around Nagarkot.
Having completed the Kanchenjunga Base Camp hike, it is time to say goodbye to Nepal. We will have you picked up three hours before your overseas flight and take you to the airport. We aspire to have given you experiences in the Eastern Himalayas that you will never forget. You can stay longer in Nepal if you like, and there are many places to see there. Please remember us fondly and recommend us to anyone planning a trip to Nepal for a trekking adventure. The Nepalese phrase "Feri Bhetumla," which literally translates to "Till we meet again," is more appropriate here.
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