kanchenjunga mountain nepal himalaya trekking

Kanchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world

Our trekking expedition follows remote trails through pristine Himalayan highlands to the base of Kanchenjunga, a magnificent snow-peak on Nepal’s border with India.

Photo by Anka Kaczmarzyk

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Ultimate Kanchenjunga

Adventurous Trek to the “Five Treasures of the Great Snows”
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 32 days
Arrive: Kathmandu, Nepal
Depart: Kathmandu, Nepal
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 27 nights camping
Meals: All meals included except 3 lunches and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: 26-day trek on moderate to steep trails, 4-8 hours a day, altitudes between 3,000-16,850 feet
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Highlights

  • Trek to Kanchenjunga’s spectacular North Base Camp at 16,850 feet
  • Explore classic Limbu and Rai hill villages that see few outsiders
  • Hike remote trails through luxuriant stands of ancient Himalayan rhododendron and pine forests
  • Kathmandu and its ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

Mighty Kanchenjunga (28,169'), the world’s third highest mountain, straddles the border of Nepal and Sikkim. It is the easternmost of the Himalaya’s great 8000-meter peaks, set majestically apart from any other major mountain group and renowned for its beauty and sheer isolation. Our epic WT Expedition with Trip Leader and Himalayan explorer Gary McCue is a dream trek on a unique route—with 25 hiking days! Few trekkers venture onto the trails of this great massif, and a journey here offers a true sense of Himalayan exploration. Our special route brings us to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (16,850'), surrounded by some of the most amazing mountain scenery anywhere in the world, and to Kanchenjunga’s remote southern flanks at Ramche (15,150'), below South Base Camp, a world of knockout Himalayan grandeur. Our trek to and from base camp brings us through a hidden world of classic Limbu villages and luxuriant Himalayan forests. Join us for one of the most adventurous treks in the world!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Kathmandu, Nepal

Explore the bustling bazaars and Hindu and Buddhist monuments of this ancient city.

Days 3-10
Tumlingtar / Arun Valley / Tamur Kosi Valley

Fly to Tumlingtar in eastern Nepal, and trek through subtropical terrain along the Arun River. We continue through forested hills and the small villages of the Rai and Limbu people. Following the Tamur Kosi River for a few days, we ascend to the lush forests of the Ghunsa Khola region.

Days 11-15
Ghunsa Khola / Jannu Base Camp

On the southwestern flanks of Kanchenjunga, we hike through oak, rhododendron. and bamboo forest then up into the yak-herding pastures at 10,500 feet in a landscape dotted with Tibetan villages. We explore the Yamatari Glacier 12,500 feet and hike up to Jannu Base Camp (15,600') in a spectacular valley of snowy peaks.

Days 16-19
Kanchenjunga Glacier / Pangpema (North Base Camp)

Our route now climbs gradually through open rocky fields and moraine to the northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier, then up to the lone hut at Pangpema (16,850'), North Base Camp, with an impressive array of major summits in every direction. We enjoy an Exploration Day here for day hikes.

Days 20-24
Mirgin La / Ramche

Crossing the Mirgin La (15,300'), we reach the southern side of Kanchenjunga at Ramche (15,150'), below Kanchenjunga’s South Base Camp. On our Exploration Days, we are surrounded by Himalayan grandeur in all directions.

Days 25-29
Lamite Banjyang / Suketar

Our descent brings us back into the glory of dense forests and blooming rhododendrons as we descend the Simbua Khola, hiking up and down through lush bamboo and fields of barley and rice as we descend to 5,000 feet. We pass through Rai and Limbu market towns and, if the clouds are kind, enjoy final views of Kanchenjunga from our riverside camps. Our last hiking day brings us to the airstrip at Suketar, near Biratnagar.

Days 30-32
Kathmandu

Fly back to Kathmandu on Day 30. After a final chance to explore this bustling city, we depart on Day 32.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 6, Very Strenuous. Most hiking is between 5,000 and 15,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is 16,850 feet. Trip members carry only a daypack with camera, jacket, rain gear, water bottle, and other small necessities. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during the day to cover a normal maximum of 6 to 10 miles per day (4-8 hours of hiking). There are a number of days on this trek when the walks are shorter, as well as rest days, allowing ample opportunity for day hikes and for exploring the villages, monasteries, and beautiful surroundings near our campsites. Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). Extremely cold conditions are normally encountered in the highest altitude areas.

Every participant must understand that this trek is truly challenging—you should be in excellent physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical shape for the trip. There are also dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote wilderness regions, especially when they involve travel to high altitude. These dangers include everything from rock falls to the possibility of a serious fall, accident or sickness without access to the means of rapid evacuation. The availability of medical supplies or the adequacy of medical attention, once provided, cannot be guaranteed and cannot be expected to measure up to western standards. Each trek is an expedition. Although we are accompanied by a support crew staffed by experienced veterans of the Nepal Himalaya, it takes cooperation and flexibility from each participant to ensure a successful trek.

Please also note that individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude and the ability to acclimatize and, since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Your body can adapt to altitude if given time. We feel this itinerary specifically provides that option, but you must individually pace yourself to go slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not push too hard regardless of how physically fit you may be or feel.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Burma

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Cambodia

angkor wat cambodia temples

Temples of Angkor Extension

Exploring the Glories of a Bygone Khmer Civilization

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 2

India

Kanha National Park Extension

Gameviewing in one of India’s Great Wildlife Reserves

Wildlife & Natural History
5 days  -  Level 2

South India Extension: The Malabar Coast

Cochin and a Cruise Along the Backwaters of Kerala

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 1+

taj mahal agra india cultural tour

Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension

Romantic Rajasthan, Land of Princes

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension

Holy City Along the Ganges, Magnificent World-Famous Temples

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Myanmar

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Thailand

wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2