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Kanchenjunga Trek in May

Kanchenjunga Trek is widely known and is a hidden treasure in the easternmost part of Nepal. This trek invites people from all over the world to spend their time and visit with incredible and thrilling moments. It is undoubtedly one of the exciting journeys that take days of trekking to the lap of Mt. Kanchenjunga, giving insight into the Himalayan lifestyle, Tibetan and local Nepali Culture, Himalayan wild species, natural sight scenic views, pine forests, waterfalls and roaring rivers. This hike broadens your perspective on the beauty of nature and trades your enthusiasm for a great deal of experience. Along the trek, you face challenges which in turn boosts your trek to the fullest. Walking along the rugged mountainous trails, crossing suspension bridges, elevating uphill, and hiking for 6-7 hours per day is stirring and fun. Along with that, the region’s remoteness and climatic conditions uplift your trek with fascinating and thrilling moments.

Kanchenjunga Trek beholds the magical beauty of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), which is the 3rd tallest mountain in the world. Being located in the eastern part of Nepal bordering Sikkim, it is overflowing with Buddhism holding its cultural importance and numerous monasteries along with blending customs of Sherpa and Limbu. It is said that the prayers are heard in monasteries and listening to it can bring comfort and peace into your life.

Travelers who wish to witness the splendor of nature and experience the Himalayan way of life are cordially welcomed by the quaint villages. This Trek to the mountains and local villages furnishes your journey with cultural interaction and delicious cuisines. As you elevate toward the base camp at an altitude of about 5,160m, you shall spend quality time sipping tea in front of Mt. Kanchenjunga itself.

While Kanchenjunga Trek is action-packed and beautiful on its own, it is more of a desirable trek for people with prior experience tackling remoteness and challenges. This Trek is located in extremely remote areas, and fluctuations in weather make it way more competitive than the Annapurna Circuit Trek and Manaslu Circuit Trek. To counter such challenges, you can decide on your trek during the spring or autumn season when the climate is stable.

Although Kanchenjunga Trek is doable throughout the year, the favorable time is during May. May is the season of spring when the temperature and weather are steady and pleasing. During this time, you will experience wonderful glimpses of mountains with clear sky and light reflecting through the snow surface. Temperature is moderate, and clear daylight invites scenic views of stunning virgin landscapes and the diverse geography of the Kanchenjunga region. While the route may still be tested with rocky trails, the outcome is truly outstanding.

Highlights of Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga Trekking in Nepal | 22 Days Itinerary

  • Majestic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga Central, North and South
  • Interaction with Buddhist culture and sightseeing many monasteries
  • Journey through a remote Himalayan village
  • Passing through Alpine and Rhododendron forests
  • Mystical views of areas when walking through glaciers
  • Diversified culture of Sherpa and Limbu.
  • Stunning view of virgin landscapes and diverse geography
  • Charming villages and warm hospitality
  • Passing through Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and sightseeing Himalayan wildlife species like blue sheep, musk deer, snow leopard and other
  • Suspension bridges, rocky trails, rugged mountain surface adds depth to the riveting trek

Kanchenjunga Trek Overview

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek - 19 Days Itinerary

Kanchenjunga Trek is about is 22 days long and takes you through trails, forests, rivers, villages, and assorted geography. Your journey to the 3rd tallest mountain in the world starts with a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. The distance is around 459km while 40-45 minutes of flight will take you there.

After your flight to Bhadrapur, you travel to Phidim, where you spend the night. The next day’s trek begins towards Taplejung after early breakfast. The drive takes you through stunning views of landscape, rivers, waterfalls, and typical settlements, preserving your excitement and curing your traveling boredom. You spend your 2nd night in Suketar after a long day of drive.

The actual trek now begins with the hike to Chirwa, passing villages, rocky fields Hungdewa Khola, and the Tamur River. Trekking from Chirwa leads to Mitlung, where elevating in altitude is necessary. Continuing on the journey gives you a magical view of roaring rivers and waterfalls. After your night at Chiruwa village, the trek continues towards Amjlosa. Walking along the east bank of Tamur village will take you to Chhetri village where your permits are checked. Proceeding along the rocky trails and passing the suspension bridge, we reach a Tibetan settlement, Amjilosa. There, we spend our 4th night.

The next day we pass through Ghunsa valley and dense forests. This is also pretty easy and pleasurable in comparison to other days. As we get closer to the mountains, we can no longer see the pathways we used, and we spend the night in Gyabla Village.

The sixth day travels via monasteries and rhododendron forests. When you arrive at Pholey, you encounter a Buddhist way of life. You spend the night at Ghunsa after a strenuous day of hiking through forests and rivers. You can visit the nearby village and get a taste of the Buddhist way of life on the next day, which is a rest day.

You can deepen your spiritual connection by touring the nearby areas and monasteries. From this point on, the hike becomes difficult due to the elevation gain and rocky paths. It can be difficult to focus on the paths when the breathtaking scenery and towering mountains pique your curiosity. Your day is spent admiring the breathtaking panorama of Mt. Jannu and the Jannu glaciers. The night will be as interesting as the day since you are camping at Jannu Glaciers today. The journey goes from Lhonak to Pangpema on the 10th day. This time, you rise in altitude and reach upto 5000m. Passing through spectacular views of meadows and landscapes, you spend the night at Pangpema. After exploring the northern Kanchenjunga base camp, we retrace to Ghunsa the next day, where, after spending the night, we trek to Sele Le the day after. This is the route that descends and loses elevation in altitude. Now its time to explore the southern part of Mt. Kanchenjunga.

After our 13th night stay at Sele Le, we ascended further to Tseram. During the day, we see majestic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Chalmlang, and Mt. Jannu. The spectacular view acts as fuel for the challenging routes we are passing through. The next day, we hike to Oktang Base Camp, with an elevation of 200-250m. We walk for about 7 hours with a series of valleys, Glaciers, high Himalayan vistas, and the southern face of Mt. Kanchenjunga.

We will get breathtaking views of the Himalayas covered in snow as we continue to walk along with a peek at the giants covered in snow. We trail along the pine forest and rhododendron forest and spend our night in Torangden. Because the routes are unmaintained and we pass through landslide-prone areas, descending them might be difficult. The path goes by lush natural spaces and meandering rivers. Engaging with the locals and learning about their way of life gives you a unique experience. Yamphudin, our overnight destination, is a blend of Rai, Sherpa, Gurung, and Limbu civilizations, each with differing levels of cultural importance.

The next day, we trek down to Khebang, where we explore more about the Himalayan lifestyle. Different ethnicities and cultures fill the gap of tiredness of long hikes. Afer our morning breakfast at Khebang, we trek to Khandembe. THis day is challenging as well as the trek descends for about 500m. After a long day of the trek, we rest at Khandembe, where you will experience delicious Nepali cuisine.

The next day marks the final day of our Himalayan Trek. We travel to Tharpu from Khandembe through the magical view of the Kanchenjunga range. This place departs your Trek with a beautiful sunrise, lights reflecting through the snowy mountain. As our trek came to an end, we finally drive back to Bhadrapur and take a flight to Kathmandu the next day.

Why Kanchenjunga Trek?

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp trek

There are many options to consider for a trek before deciding. Nepal is situated in the lap of mountains and there are trekking available ranging in different costs and providing distinct experiences. While Manaslu Circuit Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, and Everest Base Camp Trek are widely popular, Kanchenjunga Trek holds its own unique experiences. Besides just providing the magical beauty of Gigantic tall mountains and scenic landscapes, Kanchenjunga trek challenges your trekking skills and invites you to the thrilling and adventurous 22 days long journey. This demands dedication and perseverance to the trek as you have to hike a long way before reaching Mt. Kanchenjunga.

This trek is a blend of natural beauty, challenging rugged trails, and cultural exploration. Kanchenjunga Trek beholds extraordinary views of mountains, rivers, and landscapes. Interaction with Mt. Kanchenjunga and glimpses of Kambachen (7,903m), Jongsong (7,483m), Jannu (7,710m), Tent Peak (7,365m), Kirat Chuli, Phaktanglung and many more elevates this journey to a new level. Aside from its mountainous beauty, this part of the Himalayan area, being very far from city areas, has its own traditional values. The lack of modern facilities bounds us within the natural way of living like our ancestors did and bears magical experience.

Being a remote area, this trek isn’t taken by many people, which gives you more space for Quality time with nature, Himalayan exploration, and cultural engagement. Along with that, it provides the opportunity to blend into Buddhist culture by visiting different monasteries, engaging in local rituals, and following spiritual practices. This, in turn, gives you a chance to convey your own ideas regarding religion and quench your curiosity through a cultural atmosphere. Moreover, the cultures of Sherpa, Rais, Limbus, and Gurung shall treat you with warm hospitality and serve you delicious local cuisines.

Why Kanchenjunga Trek in May?

Acclimatize day Kanchenjunga north base camp trek

Kanchenjunga, being located in the eastern part of Nepal is a long distance from central Kathmandu. While direct flight from Kathmandu to Taplejung is available but not accessible every day due to fluctuations in weather. Prioritizing the climate before embarking on any journey is crucial, which is why May, the height of the spring season, is the best month to make the Kanchenjunga journey.

During May, the climatic conditions are stable, and the environment is warm and dry. During this time, the beauty of the major highlights of Kanchenjunga Trek is magnified with a clear atmosphere. A breathtaking sight is produced when the sun’s rays hit the snow-covered, untamed peaks, giving us a mesmerizing experience with the mountains themselves. The feeling that you have landed in heaven is created by the flawless weather, which makes the mountains seem transparent and brand-new. In addition to the breathtaking view of the mountains, the pleasant weather gives us wonderful opportunities to spend time in the Himalayan region while sightseeing in different flora and fauna.

The multitude of rhododendrons that bloom throughout the month of May should also be taken into consideration because their vibrant colors complement the stunning scenery. Hiking in May will save you from the intense cold, overcast weather, and rain. With warm days and cool nights, the Kanchenjunga Trek is more pleasurable but also safer during May.

How is Food and Accommodation on Kanchenjunga Trek?

high altitude village

When it comes to facilities and services, Kanchenjunga is located in a remote area, untouched by many modern facilities. Regardless of its development, it does not back from providing well-rested warm nights with delicious foods. Accommodation in the Himalayan area is mainly teahouse and camping. You will be provided with a comfortable room with an attached Western-style bathroom. For your rest, cozy blankets and a supportive pillow will be given to you. In addition, you will have a warm shower to relieve your fatigue.

Tea houses in the region serve eggs cooked to your liking for breakfast, along with bread and butter. Other items like pancakes, roti, lentils, and curry are available as well. You can select a wide range of food from the menu, like Momo, Pasta, Chowmein, Noodles, and local khana set. The Kanchenjunga Trek comprises cultural importance along with delicious cultural foods. Daal Bhaat with chicken curry in the region is widely preferred because of its delicious flavor and rich in nutrients. This, in turn, provides you an opportunity to experience local Nepali food up in the high Himalayas. In comparison to other trekking destinations like Manaslu, Annapurna, Everest region, etc., the expense of meals is higher, but there is no sacrifice in taste, nutrients, or satisfaction.

Is Kanchenjunga Trek Safe?

Kanchenjunga Trek

Yes, the Kanchenjunga Trek is completely safe, and thrilling events enhance the experience to the fullest. While Trekking is safe and fun, there are things need to be considered and necessary steps needs to be taken. Remote locations and a lack of services on the Kanchenjunga Trek may provide difficulties. Still, these can be easily resolved if the journey is carefully planned and the participants have previous hiking expertise. Although the hike is modest in difficulty, it is nevertheless advisable to exercise caution and adhere to your guide.

You’ll need to stretch and do some mild workouts because the hike will take eight to nine hours, piquing your interest while draining your strength. It’s critical to prioritize your personal safety, take good care of your health, and be both physically and psychologically ready for this hike. You can also bring protein bars and energy boosters to fuel yourself with energy. Along with that, planning your trek at a suitable time is crucial as the climatic conditions and weather fluctuations may cause some challenges to your trek. As a result, it is advised to research, speak with knowledgeable people, and schedule your hike for May, as May is the safest and greatest month.

Do I need permits for Kanchenjunga Trek?

Yes, you need permits for the Kanchenjunga Trek. Permits are not required for travel to the Everest and Annapurna regions. However, as Kanchenjunga is a restricted area, permits are required for trekking there. Two types of permits are required before you can begin your Kanchenjunga Trek: Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP). While a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) can only be obtained through a registered and licensed Nepal Trekking Agency, a Kanchenjunga Conservation Area permit (KCAP) can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board Office, which is situated in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. It is advisable to bring along your Passport, Travel Insurance, and 2 Passport-size photos for the process of obtaining permit.

What preparations should I do before Trek?

Preparation for the Kanchenjunga Trek in may

It’s always important to prioritize exercising before heading for any long day’s trek. As this trek engages your 7-8 hours of walking uphill and downhill for 22 days, it is important to perform some exercises beforehand. Performing exercises beforehand will provide you with strength and physical endurance and also enhances your confidence. Along with that, you won’t face muscle soreness, blisters, body aches, back pain, or joint pain, and it prepares you physically fit for the trek.

Some of the exercises to perform before trekking include:

Cardiovascular exercises

You can practice swimming, running, walking, cycling, and skipping for cardiovascular exercises. This enhances your overall performance and increases your endurance.

Leg exercises

Leg strength training is just as vital as cardio. You will be walking on uneven terrain, across jagged stones, uphill and downhill for days, so it is crucial you complete these workouts beforehand. You can perform lunges, step-ups, light Romanian deadlifts, and squats. Exercises like running and stair climbing also improve leg function.

Core exercises

Core is involved as well during your long days trek. Its important to consider planks, crunch, reverse crunch, situps and leg circles. These helps you with core strength, maintain your posture, improves body stability, decreases back pain and enhances flexibility.

Can I Trek Solo to Kanchenjunga?

Challenges-and-Considerations for the Kanchenjunga Trek in may

While it’s not permitted to travel alone to restricted areas, you are free to wander around and take in the local atmosphere in certain regions. While you can travel to some locations, it is recommended that you hike in a group because the routes are covered in jagged stones, and the weather can make the trek difficult at times. Due to its isolated location, the Kanchenjunga Trek should be planned in advance and undertaken by someone with prior trekking experience.

Nepal is completely safe for solo trekking; however, as of 1st April 2023, solo trekking in high-altitude regions has been restricted by the Nepali government. You will need to hire a government-licensed trekking guide to embark on your Himalayan adventure.

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Subash KC

Managing Director

Mr. Subash K.C ventured into the tourism industry after completing his studies in Management Stream in 2001 at Tribhuvan University. Mr. K.C, born and brought up in the Lalitpur district, is keenly interested in exploring the different trekking routes. Getting the opportunity to work in the tourism industry helped him gather insights about trekking across Nepal. In addition, he also learned about customer care and group management.
By leading solo and group trekkers himself, he started collecting data about many trekking destinations in Nepal. He creates an enriching experience for national and international travelers through exceptional hospitality.

Apart from managing trekking and tours, Mr K.C also handles client inquiries, accommodation reservations, arrangements of transportation and flights, and other logistics. Recognizing the importance of personalized service, he proactively takes care of clients' needs and requirements. He is fluent in English and excels in organizing treks, tours, and adventure sports in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.

He is highly committed to promoting responsible tourism and prioritizes client satisfaction by providing top-notch service through his well-organized company. He believes that through responsible traveling, we can protect the natural environment and promote sustainability. He has expanded his knowledge by traveling to various countries worldwide, such as India, Bhutan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Thailand, China, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, USA, Japan, UK, Canada etc and is passionate about exploring more destinations.