Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Itinerary | An Epic Lesser-Known Adventure

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is not high on many trekker’s bucket lists. Not because it isn’t an incredibly worthy adventure, but because most people have never heard of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek – even though it delivers you to the base of the world’s third-tallest mountain!

We discovered the Kanchenjunga Trek during our mission to find the best hidden gems in Nepal that offered a healthy dose of challenge, authentic villages and plenty of remote jaw-dropping landscapes. When we read the few limited descriptions about Kanchenjunga – all of which emphasised its challenge and remoteness – we knew this was the Nepal trek for us!

And spoiler alert? It most certainly did not disappoint!

Hiking on Mirgehla Pass looking over Talung and Yalung Glacier

In this detailed itinerary, we will cover what to expect for each day of the trek, including GPS-tracked maps, points of interest and loads of epic photos.

This can help you decide whether the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is the right choice for you as well. But if you’re searching for a more authentic and challenging experience compared to popular treks such as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek, then we have no doubt you’re going to love trekking the Kanchenjunga Circuit!

If you’re already sold on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek and need help planning your trip, check out our complete guide to hiking the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. This guide covers everything from how to book to what to pack.

Hiking at Okhordung during a beautiful sunrise

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Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Overview

Distance
152.6 km

Time
17 Days

Navigation Difficulty
Moderate

Trail Difficulty
Hard

Physical Effort
Hard (Harder with altitude)

Elevation Gain
9,876 m

Elevation Loss
9,437 m

Highest Elevation
5,100 m

Permits & Extra Costs
Trekking Permits
Showers at Ghunsa

Facilities
Lodgings, squat toilets, restaurants in all villages, showers and charging at Ghunsa

There are several ways that you can complete the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek and it can take anywhere between 17 and 22 days including transit from Kathmandu. Below we will explain our personal trek itinerary that we completed with Himalayan Masters, including information about where you can potentially spend extra time and alternative routes.

While the Kanchenjunga Region is a restricted area and the trek requires you to have a guide, completing this trek with a company like Himalayan Masters (the company we trekked with and highly recommend) still gives you the freedom of creating a custom itinerary that suits you and your ability. The only thing you’ll miss is the headache of organising everything yourself!

Crossing a small bridge over a small stream on the Kanchenjunga Trek near Lhonak
Mirgehla Pass overlooking Talung Peak and Yalung Glacier with Prayer Flags on the Kanchenjunga circuit Trek

Explore The Himalayas With Himalayan Masters

We chose Himalayan Masters for our treks in Nepal and couldn’t recommend them highly enough!

If you’re looking for a Nepalese trekking agency that puts 110% into making sure that your holiday is the best it can be, then look no further!

Use our code TRACKS5 for 5% off your booking.


Quick Tips & Info For The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

  • There is no wifi or phone service for the majority of the trek – you can get a small amount of NTC service (just enough to send a message on messenger) at Ghunsa, where you’ll likely stay on days 5, 6 and 10, and on the pass between Selele and Cheram.
  • You won’t find any western toilets along the trek – get used to squat toilets and remember to pack toilet paper!
  • Toilet paper is available for purchase at most teahouses – but it costs triple what it costs in Kathmandu.
  • The only village with the option for a hot shower is Ghunsa – you will go several days without a shower, with cold water from a tap as your only option to clean.
  • Bring at least one reliable power bank (portable charger) – there is nowhere to charge your electronics after you leave Ghunsa. We carried two power banks which just got us through thanks to the amount of camera batteries we had to charge.
  • The pass between the North and South Base camp is physically the most challenging section of the Trek – particularly between Selele and Cherum.
  • There are no ATMs or eftpos along the trek – Take at least 1000 NPR per person per day for showers, charging and extra food and drink – this is the amount we took and found it to be more than enough.
  • The trekking company you go with will organise all of your trekking and conservation area permits.

For more information on planning your trek, check out our in-depth guide to trekking the Kanchenjunga Circuit


Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu To Fikkal

Transit Day: 45-minute flight, 2-hour drive in a private taxi

We began our Kanchenjunga adventure in Kathmandu, where we met our guide and were driven to the domestic airport in Kathmandu. While the flight was only a short 45 minutes, we had a 1-hour delay at the airport before taking off – which is very common!

Boarding a plane to Bhadrapur on our Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Once we finally got onto the plane, we learnt there was an issue with the communications and were ferried off the plane again to wait for a replacement to arrive. It was a messy start to our adventure, but we finally got in the air after 2.5 hours and proceeded with a cruisy flight to the far east of Nepal.

We arrived in Bhadrapur, grabbed our bags from the outdoor bench where they were being distributed by a staff member, and jumped into a private taxi to begin the short journey north. We stopped for lunch at the next town past Bhadrapur at a very local restaurant – our first of many dal bhats of the trip – before beginning the ascent up the steep winding mountainside.

We kept climbing and eventually drove into tea plantations, which is what the region is famous for. It was a beautiful drive through the plantations and we stopped at the popular Kanyam lookout to snap a photo. I’m not sure why this sign is so famous, but the surrounding tea plantations are beautiful and worthy of a stop.

Kanyam Lookout near Fikkal in Nepal
Tea Plantations from the Kanyam Lookout in East Nepal

Not long after our photo stop, we arrived at Fikkal, a small village on the hillside overlooking rolling green hills littered with tea plantations.

Accommodation: Biswa Hotel & Restaurant 

Hotel Room at the Biswa Hotel in Fikkal
Restaurant at the Biswa Hotel in Fikkal, Nepal

We stayed at the Biswa Hotel, located at the beginning of town. The rooms are very spacious and clean, though don’t expect much from the comfort of the beds! The shower can be hit or miss regarding the temperature, which was a common occurrence throughout all of Nepal, but the pressure was good.

There is no menu at the Biswa Restaurant, instead, they offer several dishes for you to choose from such as fried veg noodles (chow mein), dal bhat, momos, fried rice and noodle soup. The breakfast options were less, with just bread, chapatti or an egg.

Chow Mein and Momo's at the Biswa Restaurant on the Kanchenjunga Trek

We ordered the momos, which were delicious, and the chow mein which could have had more veggies and flavour. On our return, we ordered the fried rice and can highly recommend it as it was massive and full of flavour.

  • Wifi: Yes
  • NTC Service: Yes
  • Ncell Service: Yes
  • Hot Showers: Yes (free)
  • Charging: Yes (free)
  • Toilets: Western ensuite
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 2: Fikkal To Taplejung

Transit Day: 8 hours in a public Jeep

After barely any sleep thanks to a loud group in our hotel who went to bed at 12 am and woke at 3 am, we fuelled up with coffee and chapati before beginning our first experience in a local public jeep!

Loading the Jeep in the morning in Fikkal

The jeeps generally fit two to three in the front with the driver and four passengers in the middle and back seats! It was squishy, to say the least – and our drive lasted 8 hours!

The continuously winding roads that consist of more bumps than not made for an active drive, with my core tensed the entire time to stay upright in the middle of the back seat!

Inside a local jeep tranisting between Fikkal and Taplejung

Shortly after beginning, the driver realised the horn wasn’t working. Now this may not sound like a big deal, but in Nepal, a horn is essential for their erratic driving! We got it fixed eventually and stopped for lunch at a small local place, where dal bhat was the only option (we didn’t mind).

Dal Bhat at lunch stop while driving to Taplejung on the Kanchenjunga Trek

After a few more stops at checkpoints and for pee breaks, we finally made it to Taplejung after 8 gruelling hours!

Accommodation: Hotel Pathivara, Taplejung

Hotel Room at Pathivara Hotel in Taplejung, Nepal
Dinner at Pathivara Hotel in Taplejung, Nepal

We stumbled into the Hotel Pathivara at 4:30 pm and had a little rest before dinner. The hotel is one of the ‘top end’ ones in town, but it was still basic with a double bed, a desk, charging outlets and an ensuite. The bathroom was what you’d expect from a teahouse but the room was large and relatively clean. I still used my own pillow as the one I had was paper-thin and mouldy.

The food was cheap but we realised this was mostly thanks to super small portions. We ordered chow mein, which was nicer than the night before, and momo’s which weren’t the greatest.

  • Wifi: Yes
  • NTC Service: Yes
  • Ncell Service: Yes
  • Hot Showers: Yes (free)
  • Charging: Yes (free)
  • Toilets: Western ensuite
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 3: Taplejung To Sekathum

Transit Day: 5 hours in a public Jeep

We got to enjoy a sleep-in for our second morning, with our jeep arriving at 10 am. It was a nice luxury, but preparations (including loud music) for a wedding at the hotel began at 5 am! We didn’t have much luck with sleep for our first two nights.

We jumped into the Jeep at 10 am and scored the middle seat. Our guide, Kanchan, booked us 4 seats so we had the row to ourselves. But that didn’t stop the locals from packing the back and the front seats!

It took a long time to set off, with stops at multiple places in town to take goods with us. But once the roof was fully loaded, we began the journey.

Driving along rough dirt roads to Sekathum on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

It was entirely on a bumpy dirt road just wide enough for the cars to squeeze past each other. But once we began driving deeper into the remote region, we felt ourselves settle and get super excited for what was to come.

With more space (and a larger car) we enjoyed our ride through the winding valley, largely following the ice-blue river.

We stopped at a small village for lunch, where we were offered chow mein – still not much veggies – and met some other trekkers who were on their way to start the Great Himalayan Trek, a 90-day trek that crosses the entire Himalayan Range from east to west!

Driving with a full jeep and people on the roof in Nepal

After lunch, we picked up some extra people who jumped on the roof (crazy, I know!) and arrived at our destination after roughly 5 hours total.

Accommodation: Sekathum Guesthouse

Sekathum Guesthouse in the Kanchenjunga Region, Nepal

Our accommodation for the night was a small traditional wooden guesthouse by the river. They had pet baby goats which kept me entertained all afternoon and a beautiful view of the valley.

The rooms are very basic, but the linen was clean and the space was large. It had a nice vibe to it and we couldn’t wait to get started on the trek the following day. The food was served in massive portions and we thoroughly enjoyed our dal bhat for dinner and Tibetan bread for breakfast.

Bedroom at Sekathum Guesthouse in the Kanchenjunga Region
Eating Dal Bhat at the Sekathum Guesthouse on our Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: Patchy
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: Yes
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: No
  • Blankets: Not enough for every bed

Day 4: Sekathum (1,592 m) To Gyabla (2,710 m)

Distance: 16.5 km
Moving Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 minutes
Elevation Gain: 1,634 m
Elevation Loss: 516 m
Highest Elevation: 2,710 m

Sekathum To Amjilosa

Suggested Time: 4 – 5 hours
Our Time: 3 hrs 15 minutes

From the moment we crossed the bridge and stepped onto the singletrack, we were hooked.

Croosing the first swing bridge at the beginning of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Hiking alongside the river on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The trail followed alongside the raging boulder-strewn river, winding through the lush cardamom fields. We gradually gained elevation, admiring the magnificent folded valley as we went. With barely another soul in sight, we took our time ambling along the riverside on the rough track cut into the steep rocky mountainside.

Hiking on the man made trail cut into the mountainside on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

We continued to climb, undulating slightly, and passed through some small local villages along the way. We crossed the river a handful of times via swing bridges and reached Phede after roughly 2.5 hours.

Swing Bridge before Phede
Swing bridge before Phede

From Phede, a steep and rocky climb ensued and we were very glad to make it to Amjilosa for a hearty lunch after a fast 45 minutes of ascending.

Hiking up the steep trail towards Amjilosa, Nepal

Lunch Stop: Janu Guesthouse, Amjilosa

Most people will stop at Amjilosa for the day as it usually takes between 4 – 5 hours. However, we were feeling fit after just completing the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and arrived at 11 am after 3 hours and 15 minutes. This was perfect timing for an early lunch break before continuing on. 

We had lunch at the Jannu Guesthouse, which had a cute authentic Tibetan dining room with windows overlooking the valley. The food was delicious and the owners were incredibly friendly. I had the fried veg noodles with egg and Dylan had the Dal Bhat and was stoked to find pumpkin in his curry – the first pumpkin we had seen in a Nepalese curry.

Lunch at Janu Guesthouse in Amjilosa

As with Sekathum, it was a basic guesthouse but it felt cosy and welcoming. There is a menu for the restaurant, but no charging, showers, service or wifi.

Amjilosa To Gyabla

Suggested Time: 4 – 5 hours
Our Time: 3 hours

Trekking through Amjilosa while embarking on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Amjilosa

After refuelling with a big lunch, we hit the trail again. We continued to traverse around the steep slopes, gradually ascending to begin with.

Traversing the valley walls after stopping at Amjilosa for lunch
Hiking past large boulders on the Kanchenjunga Trek

The views continued to unravel and leave us breathless before we entered a dense forest of bamboo and rhododendrons. Our guide, Kanchan, said that red pandas can sometimes be spotted here but sadly none came to play.

The forest began to thicken as we started to descend towards the river once more. From this point, the trail continued to undulate as we traversed across the western side of the valley.

Eventually, we popped out of the trees and arrived at Thangyam. Our original plan was to stop here but Kanchan said that Gyabla was nicer so we chose to keep going. We made it to Thangyam in 1.5 hrs from Amjilosa, though it’s best to allow 2-2.5 hrs.

We re-entered the forest after stopping briefly at Thangyam and continued the undulating traverse.

Hiking through the beautiful forest on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Circuit Trek

Finally, we spotted Gyabla far in the distance before dropping to the river again – this marked the beginning of the arduous ascent to Gyabla.

The ascent was extremely steep on tired legs, made more difficult by muddy sections, loose dirt and a layer of leaf litter.

Climbing the steep stairs towards Gyabla, Nepal
Climbing the steep loose track on the last push to Gyabla

But eventually, after slowly grinding our way up the mountainside, we cleared a particularly rocky section and arrived at Gyabla. It took us 3 hours to reach Gyabla from Amjilosa, though most hikers usually take 4.5 – 5 hrs.

Accommodation: Namaste Guesthouse 

There are a couple of guesthouses to choose from in Gyabla, but the best is Namaste Guesthouse – where we stayed.

Namaste Guesthouse in Gyabla

While it’s very basic, with no showers or charging, it has a very welcoming feel and a cosy authentic Tibetan dining room. The rooms are spacious and a little more enclosed than Sekathum, with a toilet on the second level with the rooms.

Namaste Guesthouse in Gyabla
Namaste Guesthouse in Gyabla

After an enormous day in the heat, we couldn’t wait until our promised shower the next day and had a splash wash with the tap outside.

We enjoyed a cosy evening drinking masala tea and eating a delicious dal bhat in the warm communal dining room. There’s no menu here, but we paid 800 for a medium pot of tea (giving us 4 cups each) which proved to be relatively standard for the Kanchenjunga Region.

Namaste Guesthouse dining hall
Dal Bhat at Namaste Guesthouse in Gyabla on the Kanchenjunga Trek
  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: No
  • Blankets: Yes, a stack in one room

Day 5: Gyabla (2,710 m) To Ghunsa (3.400 m)

Distance: 10.7 km
Moving Time: 3 hrs 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hrs 45 minutes
Elevation Gain: 890 m
Elevation Loss: 200 m
Highest Elevation: 3,400 m

Gyabla To Phale

Suggested Time: 3 – 4 hours
Our Time: 2 hrs 45 minutes

We woke with stiff muscles from our big first day, but after a breakfast of Tibetan bread, omelette and coffee, we were ready to start walking again.

Sunrise through the valley from Gyabla on the Kanchenjunga Trek

The trail that led northeast from Gyabla was quite a bit easier than the previous day, largely consisting of a cobblestone path and uneven stone steps.

We found a sign indicating we were walking through red panda habitat, so the easier trail was much appreciated as we searched the bamboo-laden forest for the furry animals – to no avail, unfortunately!

Trekking through a mossy forest where Red Pandas make habitat on the Kanchenjunga Trek
Hiking up carved stone steps on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

After a short descent down to the river, we mostly gained elevation in a gradual fashion. We passed by a tiny teashop near the river 1.5 hours into our walk, which is a good place for a rest and a snack.

We continued on, however, and almost immediately the gradient began to steepen. With higher altitude, the going was a little slower, but stone steps assisted in keeping it relatively easy.

Hiking between large boulders on a stone path in Nepal

Finally, after wandering beneath a decorated rock archway, we emerged onto a large plain full of yak houses and paddocks. We wandered through the grassy plain for roughly 10-15 minutes longer before arriving at Phale.

Crossing under a stone arch way shrouded in prayer flags
Trekking past Rhododendron Trees in an open valley near Phale

Phale To Ghunsa

Suggested Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Our Time: 1 hour

We stopped at the cute village of Phale for a coffee break, after walking for 2 hrs and 45 minutes. It was such a lovely little village surrounded by jagged mountains, but we knew it was going to get better so after we rested we continued on.

The town of Phale on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Base Camp Trek
Trekking through Phale in the Kanchenjunga Region

From Phale, the trail returned to the riverside and traversed through mossy rhododendrons, following the natural course of the valley.

Swing bridge with Prayer Flags near Phale
Hiking up a rocky trail heading into Ghunsa on the Kanchenjunga Trek

With only a gradual incline and a wide dirt path, the final hour was quite easy and before we knew it, we arrived at the long swing bridge that delivered us to Ghunsa.

Old Bridge leading over the Ghunsa River and into Ghunsa while completing the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Ghunsa is a sprawling mountain village encompassed by rugged peaks, the largest on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. As soon as you enter the outskirts of the village, you feel a welcoming vibe as you wander between the farmhouses and guesthouses.

Accommodation: Dzonga Family House, Ghunsa

The Dzonga Family House is hands down the best guesthouse in Nepal we have stayed in! From the moment you walk through the gates, you’re welcomed into a lovely courtyard by the friendly family. The rooms surround the grassy courtyard and are fit with an ensuite squat toilet and a small sunroom! They’ve thought of every detail and made the best rooms we’ve seen with what’s available to them.

The building across the courtyard was once the families’ original house, but it has been redesigned into a dining room and deck – keeping the traditional Tibetan style and homely feel.

Local Tibetan food at the Dzonga Family House while Trekking the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

There is a large menu on offer in the dining hall, with absolutely delicious meals! Our favourites were the sherpa stew with homemade pasta and the pizza. Make sure you try the traditional Thongba – their millet alcohol which tastes kind of like sake.

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: Only calls and texts
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: Yes (500NRP)
  • Charging: Yes (free)
  • Toilets: Ensuite, flushing squat
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 6: Active Rest Day In Ghunsa

We welcomed a rest day in Ghunsa after two solid days so far on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. But due to the inevitable clouds that hug the mountains every day from midday, we got up at the usual time to fit in a short morning walk before the views disappeared.

Distance: 3.8 km
Moving Time: 1 hr 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hrs 50 minutes
Elevation Gain: 500 m
Elevation Loss: 500 m
Highest Elevation: 3,936 m

After breakfast of millet pancakes and champa porridge (which is also made from millet), we set off across the river to climb to an unnamed viewpoint.

The trail shot straight up the loose rocky slope before it began to zigzag. While it’s not a marked trail, it was relatively easy to follow if you paid attention.

Hiking up oto the Ghunsa viewpoint on our rest day while trekking to Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Almost immediately, we were gifted views of the wonderful village of Ghunsa across the ice-blue river. We continued to climb for a while longer before the track entered a pine forest.

We followed the traversing trail through the pine forest, crossing a small gully to reach the slope below our viewpoint.

Another steep and loose climb ensued before we finally arrived at a viewpoint covered in prayer flags. We had uninterrupted vistas of the snaking river, Ghunsa and the monstrous jagged mountain peaks cut across the horizon.

Ghunsa viewpoint during sunrise with prayer flags on the peak

We relaxed in the sun, admiring the views for a while before setting off to climb a little higher to the next high point. This section wasn’t much of a trail and quite technical, without any better views. So we don’t particularly recommend it unless you’re bored and want to extend your hike a little.

We made it back down to our guesthouse after a total of 2 hours of walking and spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine and the slow village life.

Ghunsa from the viewpoint

We got talking to the owner, Chiding, about his homestay and his vision for the future. He has plans to offer various classes for the trekkers’ day off, such as blanket weaving and cooking classes. We ended up being practice dummies and learnt how to make momos. It was a fun experience and we loved getting to know our hosts more. 


Day 7: Ghunsa (3,400 m) To Khambachen (4,080 m)

Distance: 11.2 km
Moving Time: 3 hrs 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hrs 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 941 m
Elevation Loss: 261 m
Highest Elevation: 4,112 m

After a good rest the previous day, we were ready to get walking deeper into the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. And little to our knowledge, today was going to blow us away!

Trekking through Ghunsa with sunrays beaming down to the valley floor

We left the beautiful village of Ghunsa and continued our journey north. The cobblestone trail meandered alongside the eastern banks of the river, intermittently opening into wide grassy fields full of happy goats.

The landscape continuously wowed us, with more mountains materialising each time the terrain opened up – not to mention, the early morning sun cast light beams slicing through the folded mountains.

For most of the morning, the trail gradually ascended with the aid of stone steps that wound through the thick rhododendron and pine forest. But eventually, the river widened and we found ourselves walking along a rocky trail littered with landslides and offering breathtaking views of the pointed peaks piercing the sky above.

Hiking alongside the Ghunsa River on our Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp

We stopped at a clearing roughly two-thirds of the way to Khambachen, where there was a little teahouse. We enjoyed a masala tea in the sunshine before beginning the final climb to Khambachen.

Drinking tea at a makeshift teashop near Khambachen

From the teashop, the trail became slightly more challenging thanks to the steeper gradient and rougher traverses. But we slowly continued to gain elevation and eventually, we arrived at the viewpoint for Janu Peak, where the landscape took it up yet another notch!

The precipitous white peaks that began to materialise dominated the horizon, dwarfing the mountains in front. The views only got better as we continued ascending the rough and rocky trail and finally, we found our favourite vista of the day as we crossed the swing bridge to the west side of the river.

Crossing the swing bridge into Khambachen with Jannu standing tall in the background

Looking back from the west side of the river, the rugged white slopes of Janu Peak loomed above the moraine wall in front, with the turquoise river snaking through the foreground. 

Standing at the best viewpoint for Jannu on the Kanchenjunga Trail

After snapping countless photos on the bridge and the paddocks full of yaks, we continued along the short traverse that led us to the colourful village of Khambachen.

Traversing the mountainside with Jannu in the background near Khambachen

If we thought the views from Ghunsa were spectacular, they were nothing compared to those from Khambachen. We stayed at the White House Homestay, which is owned by the brother of the Dzonga Family House in Ghunsa.

Accommodation: The White House Home Stay, Khambachen 

The White House Homestay in Khambachen on the Kanchenjunga Trek
Rooms at the White House Homestay

Even from a distance, we fell in love with our teahouse at Khambachen, which featured cute little cabins all painted in different colours. When we arrived, we were offered a welcome tea which was so thoughtful and much-needed! 

The rooms are clean and offer a shelf for your belongings and slightly insulated walls. As you would expect, it’s basic. But each room is well thought out and comfortable considering the altitude the village resides at.

The lovely owners were extremely hospitable and their little 2-year-old son was very entertaining and full of energy.

Sherpa Stu and Dal Bhat at the White House in Khambachen

The dining hall at The White House Homestay was super cosy, with a fireplace in the centre and communal bench seats. You’ll find the same menu here as in Ghunsa – albeit more expensive. However, we do think that the sherpa stew was even more delicious here – and that’s saying something!

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 8: Khambachen (4,080 m) To Lhonak (4,750 m)

Distance: 9.6 km
Moving Time: 2 hrs 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hrs 45 minutes
Elevation Gain: 786 m
Elevation Loss: 116 m
Highest Elevation: 4,750 m

Most itineraries will allow for another rest day at Khambachen for acclimatisation, which we highly recommend if this is your first high altitude trek of the season.

Standing on Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek admiring the distant mountain peaks

From our experience on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, we began to feel the effects of altitude once we reached 3,500 m. We would highly recommend having a rest day here and walking up the moraine wall towards Janu Base Camp – especially if this is your first experience in high altitude.

Because we had just completed the Annapurna Circuit Trek and had experience above 4,000 m on three separate occasions in the weeks leading up to the Kanchenjunga Trek, we felt that our bodies were more than capable to continue on without another rest day.

Listen to your body and your guide and make the right decision for you. Besides, Khambachen is extremely beautiful and an extra day here would not be a bore.

Khambachen To Ramtang

Suggested Time: 3 – 3.5 hours
Our Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes

Sunrise glow hitting Jannu in Kanchenjunga Region

We woke at the crack of dawn to witness the sun light up the monstrous snow-capped peaks that surround Khambachen. We were gifted with a clear sky and stood alone just above the village to admire the incomprehensible view until our fingers got too cold.

The morning is the best time to witness the landscape unobstructed by low clouds and we got to marvel at many mountains that were hidden from us the day before.

Sunrise over Khambachen
Sun rays beaming over the Kanchenjunga Mountain Range

After returning to the village to warm up with a tasty breakfast of Tibetan bread, omelette and champa porridge, we set off for Lhonak. The trail wound up behind the village, continuing to traverse the western side of the river on a wide dirt path.

Hiking beside the Ghuna River towards Lhonak on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The early morning light was magnificent, providing stunning sun rays that filtered through the valley in the north. To make our morning walk even more magical, the bells of the yaks grazing on the grassy slopes around us offered a peaceful melody.

After traversing along the dirt path for a while, we made it to the first of many landslides and picked our way across the loose and narrow track. A giant boulder garden ensued, making us feel as if we were back hiking in Tasmania!

Traversing the rockslide near Khambachen on the trek to Lhonak

While the boulder garden provided a little extra challenge, accentuated by the increase in altitude, the route was straightforward to follow thanks to plenty of poles marking the easiest route through the rocky mess.

Eventually, we left the boulder garden behind and welcomed the ease of a dirt path once more. The lack of attention needed for every step allowed us to resume gawking at the impossibly enormous mountains that swallowed up the sky.

Hiking on the easy grassy trail before ramtang on the Kanchenjunga Trek

We found a grassy spot protected by giant boulders to rest after a particularly steep section – which consisted of uneven stone steps and strategically placed boulders. Our guide surprised us with some snacks which we enthusiastically gobbled down while continuing to admire the rugged landscape.

Once we were sufficiently refuelled, we began along the track again, which led us into an open alpine clearing full of boulders and grazing yaks. Towards the end of the clearing, we arrived at Ramtang where a little teahouse offers refreshments and extremely basic lodgings.

Ramtang Teahouse on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

We didn’t bother stopping again as we found the tea shop shortly after our snack break, but it’s a great place to warm up with a tea if you’re experiencing adverse weather conditions or simply want to sit and sip a hot drink.

Ramtang To Lhonak

Suggested Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Our Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

The boulder-strewn clearing continued past Ramtang, with a few little streams to hop over along the way. But before long, we began ascending a small hill that finally revealed the much anticipated Kanchenjunga Glacier. We took a moment to find various vantage points on the rise, which allowed us to look down at the vibrant ice-blue lake at the glacier’s terminal.

Finding vantage points from the Moraine wall near Ramtang

Yet another landslide ensued after the rise, creating a narrow and loose trek from the high point as we continued to traverse around the base of the mountainside towards the vast valley where Lhonak hides.

Crossing a small bridge over a small stream on the Kanchenjunga Trek near Lhonak
Traversing the huge landslide on our trek to Lhonak with Merra Peak in the distance

Eventually, after picking our way along the narrow track, we rounded another small hill and received our first glimpse of Lhonak tucked into the base of the rugged mountain. A braided river weaves its way through the deep valley to the left of Lhonak and on the right, we were gifted sensational vistas of Pangpema and the sprawling Kanchenjunga Glacier that dominated the mountainous valley.

Tsisima Peak as the clouds rolled in on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

A small descent delivered us to the valley floor and to the village where we would spend two nights.

Accommodation: Lhonak Guest House, Lhonak

Room at Lhonak Guesthouse

Lhonak is a very small seasonal village, open only for the trekking season. There are a few basic guesthouses to choose from and our guide booked us into the Lhonak Guest House. It was very basic – as you would expect – but the rooms were tidy and the squat toilet was located inside the communal building which was a huge bonus in the frigid temperatures!

While the owners were still friendly, they weren’t as welcoming as the previous guesthouses we stayed at. The dining hall was dark and cold during the day, but it warmed up beautifully once they lit the fire after 5 pm.

Dhal Bhat at Lhonak Guesthouse

As you would expect, the prices increased again for food. But the portions were large and we enjoyed the dal bhat and sherpa stew – which always come with seconds!

Note: Fill up your water bottles before going to bed and keep them in the bottom of your sleeping bag. It’s very common for the water pipes to freeze overnight – which happened for us. We also woke to ice in our water bottles!

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 9: Lhonak (4,750 m) To Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (5,100 m) – Return

Distance: 16.7 km
Moving Time: 4 hrs 40 minutes
Total Time: 7 hrs 20 minutes
Elevation Gain: 870 m
Elevation Loss: 870 m
Highest Elevation: 5,100 m

Lhonak To Jorkyu Teashop

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hours

We woke early to start our day trek to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (aka, Pangpema Base Camp) with the soft morning light glowing through the valley. We were also informed that the wind picks up – often with a vengeance – after mid-morning and we were very keen to avoid walking in those conditions!

Sunrise over Kanchenjunga Glacier and Merra Peak from Lhonak

After a quick breakfast, we began our walk at 6 am – bundled up as much as possible to ward off the sub zero chill.

We followed the markers that made a beeline up the gently slanted plains towering above the glacier below. Many tracks have been formed thanks to people, blue sheep and the yaks, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find the right trail – just ensure you keep the poles and rock cairns in sight.

Hiking up to Kanchenjunga Base Camp from Lhonak

The morning light offered a magical glow as we gradually gained elevation, continuously turning back to admire the illuminated peaks behind us. It was an easy walk to begin with, which was welcomed as we tried to thaw out our fingers and toes.

Before long, we came to the first of many landslides that have caused the moraine wall to collapse. This resulted in the trail being diverted steeply up the loose mountainside to skirt around the now-eroded cliff edge.

We were very glad for our hiking poles for many of the eroded sections, where you’ll find lots of precarious rocks and loose gravel. The going was very slow, but only half our attention was on our rasping breath and the other was fixated on the countless herds of blue sheep and the unravelling vistas of monstrous snowy mountains ahead.

Crossing a large landslide on the rough track to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp

After navigating a few small frozen streams, clambering over boulders and skirting around old landslides, we finally descended to the Jorkyu Teashop after roughly 2 hours.

Jorkyu Teashop To Kanchenjunga North Base Camp

Suggested Time: 2 hours
Our Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Trekking past Jorkyu Teahshop on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

We chose to continue on without stopping at the Jorkyu Teashop, with fear that the clouds would roll in and hide the magnificent mountain vistas from us. So after a quick stop to say hello to the shopkeeper, we made our way closer to Kanchenjunga – relishing the slightly gentler gradient.

The trail was slightly easier after the teashop, with only a few narrow and loose traverses over old landslides to navigate. This was lucky because all our attention was fixed on the snow-covered peak of the mighty Kanchenjunga that began to reveal itself as we closed in on the Pangpema Base Camp.

Admiring the beautiful peaks of the Kanchenjunga Range from the trail

This spurred us on as we excitedly traversed the eroding mountainside – which did kind of feel like it would never end. But of course, it did and we descended to Kanchenjunga base camp after 3 hrs 30 minutes.

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (aka Pangpema Base Camp)

Pangpema Base Camp, looking up at Kanchenjunga - the worlds 3rd tallest mountain

No words or images can truly capture the magnificence of Kanchenjunga and the surrounding glacial landscape. Glaciers flow like rivers through the valley, constantly groaning as they move beneath the layer of stone rubble. We felt seriously insignificant as we stood completely surrounded by formidable mountains covered in hanging glaciers and precipitous cliffs.

Pangpema Base Camp at the base of Kanchenjunga

The Pangpema Camp consists of a dilapidated hut and an unusable toilet block that you SHOULD NOT look in 🤮. But there are plenty of exploration opportunities nearby that allow you to admire the formidable Kanchenjunga with unobstructed views

We wandered around the base camp for over an hour, marvelling at the imposing mountains and scrambling over the loose rocks to gain a better vantage point of the snaking glacier beneath Kanchenjunga.

Kanchenjunga Peak with prayer flags in the foreground

But finally, we tore ourselves away from the world’s third-tallest mountain and began the walk back to Lhonak before the winds became unbearable.

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp To Lhonak

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hrs 15 minutes

Blue Sheep at Pangpema Base Camp
Blue Sheep at Pangpema Base Camp

The return walk to Lhonak was surprisingly tiring, even though most of it was downhill. But that is to be expected after spending some time above 5,000 m! Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks so you can properly refuel before making the trek back to the village.

Even though we felt sluggish, we made good time on our walk back and arrived at the Jorkyu Teashop after roughly 45 minutes. We stopped in for tea, sheltering inside the tent from the hammering wind that was consistently increasing. The teashop also offers lunch and we have heard great things about the noodle soup from a reputable source.

Jorkyu Teashop on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp hike from Lhonak

After we warmed up and donned our layers once more, we continued on to Lhonak. We forgot just how much the gradient undulated through the eroded sections of the moraine wall and had to dredge up every bit of energy to ascend the steep climbs while battling the strong winds.

Steep Descent in the landslides on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp walk

But finally, we made it back to our guesthouse in Lhonak after another hour and a half and made a beeline to the dining hall for a huge dal bhat!

Accommodation: Lhonak Guest House, Lhonak

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 10: Lhonak (4,750 m) To Ghunsa (3,400 m)

Distance: 21.6 km
Moving Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 7 hrs 15 minutes
Elevation Gain: 504 m
Elevation Loss: 1,854 m
Highest Elevation: 4,750 m

Lhonak To Khambachen 

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hrs 25 minutes

We woke at the crack of dawn once again to watch the sunrise from a high point beside the village. Our early morning commitment paid off and we were gifted with a magical sunrise that painted the sky in soft yellows and pinks – again, with not another soul in sight.

Tsisima Peak during a clear morning before sunrise from Lhonak

But once the sun rose over the mountain peaks, the wind picked up and the temperature plummeted – causing ice to begin crusting everything in sight!

After a chilly pack-up, we got on our way at 8 am – aiming for Ghunsa, 21 km away! We set off bundled in all our layers as the icy wind ripped through the valley, hitting us like a wall of dusty ice.

Hiking past Merra Peak on a beautiful morning in Kanchenjunga Region

Needless to say, it was a gruelling descent down to Khambachen in the wind and we didn’t stop to talk much as we kept our heads down and hoods cinched tight. But at least this meant we made good time and arrived for an early lunch 2 hrs and 25 minutes later.

Lunch Stop: The White House, Khambachen 

Pizza at the White House Homestay in Khambachen

The sun and slightly gentler wind were very welcomed as we returned to the Kanchenjunga White House for lunch. We ordered the pizza and sherpa stew and can honestly say it was the best pizza we’ve had in the mountains of Nepal! Not to mention, the chilly they make there is delicious – though be careful and start with tiny drops as it’s brutally hot!

Khambachen To Ghunsa

Suggested Time: 4 hours
Our Time: 3 hours

After a much-needed long break, we left Khambachen to begin the final trek down to Ghunsa. But first, we stopped just over the swing bridge to climb up to the viewpoint above, which offered sensational views of Janu Peak and the turquoise lake hidden below Ramdang Glacier.

Jannu covered in clouds from the Moraine Wall near Khambachen

There wasn’t really a track to follow, instead, we followed the countless goat tracks that wind their way up to the top of the moraine wall. You’ll find more of a trail to the south, which is where we chose to ascend.

After nearly being blown off the cliff, we returned to the main trail and continued our long descent down to Ghunsa. The wind eased slightly as we lost altitude, but it was still whipping our faces when we were exposed in the open sections.

Looking back at Khambachen on a cloudy day

Eventually, we made it back to the Dzonga Family House after roughly 3 hrs (including our side trip to the viewpoint). And literally an hour after we arrived, it started snowing as a massive storm rolled through the valley! It’s safe to say we were stoked to be cosy and warm at the homestay, eating delicious cookies and pasta!

Accommodation: Dzonga Family House 

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: Patchy (unreliable)
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: Yes
  • Charging: Yes
  • Toilets: Squat ensuite
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 11: Ghunsa (3,400 m) To Selele (4,200 m)

Distance: 7.5 km
Moving Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 943 m
Elevation Loss: 143 m
Highest Elevation: 4,200 m

Unfortunately, my trusty iPhone added incorrect GPS information to the images from this day causing the GPS location of certain photos to be completely off.

Subscribe to Alltrails+ to download & use the GPX File offline

Ghunsa To The Viewpoint Teashop

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hours

We sadly said goodbye to our favourite homestay on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek and began the traverse that would take us over mountain passes to meet with the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek.

Morning trek through Ghunsa in the Kanchenjunga Region

It was a frosty start to the morning, with snow and ice scattered throughout the paddocks and between the teahouses. We bundled up and made our way to the southern end of Ghunsa, following the hydro water course up a steep hill. The dense rhododendron and pine forest were even more magical in the snowy morning, with some of the rhododendron flowers frozen solid!

Crossing the stream above Ghunsa in the Kanchenjunga Region

Shortly after beginning the steep climb beside the watercourse, we arrived at a large grassy clearing. The animal tracks leading into the flanking forest on the left tried to trick us, but a marker on the opposite side of the clearing helped keep us on the right track.

We re-entered the forest at the southwest edge of the clearing and immediately began a gruelling ascent up a seemingly never-ending stone staircase. Luckily, the dense moss-covered forest kept our minds partially occupied as we quickly gained elevation.

Hiking on a stone path up to Selele Pass
Trekking through mossy forest on the climb to Selele Pass on the Kanchenjunga Trek

Eventually, the trees thinned and we found ourselves on a rocky point that offered magical views over the deep Ghunsa Valley. We could see all the way to Gyabla in the south and the rocky traverse we completed the day before in the north.

After a quick break, we continued climbing through the dense mossy forest for a little while longer before we finally reached the end of the treeline – which marked the beginning of the magnificent mountainous traverse.

Small teashop on Selele Pass

Roughly 200 m past the end of the treeline, we arrived at a little teashop called the Viewpoint Teashop. Sadly, it was closed when we wandered past, but it would be a great halfway point to stop and sip some tea with a sensational view.

The Viewpoint Teashop To Selele

Suggested Time: 2 hours
Our Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

From the Viewpoint Teashop, the gradient thankfully became gentler as we followed the cobblestone path through the open alpine terrain. We were continuously distracted by the breathtaking landscape surrounding us, which showcased jagged peaks and plunging rocky slopes.

Hiking along the Selele Pass on a beautiful blue day

The cobblestone path made the traverse very easy and allowed us to catch our breath while letting our eyes wander and take in the magnificent alpine vistas. At one point, we could even see the tiny peak of Makalu – another 8,000m+ peak – far in the distance!

After roughly half an hour, we arrived at the final steep ascent that led us to the highest point of the day.

Hiking up the steep pass before Selele

We slowly plodded up the zigzagging steps, which turned to a narrow dirt track just before the top of the traverse, and finally found ourselves gazing out at the tiny village of Selele nestled in the distant green and brown mountains.

From the highest point, we followed the now rocky and undulating trail as it traversed along the steep side of a boulder-strewn peak. The vistas of the snaking valley in the south continued to wow us as we hopped across rocks and between boulders.

Hiking into Selele on the Kanchenjunga Trek

Finally, after another hour, we arrived at the tiny seasonal village of Selele. There are two guesthouses tucked into the hanging valley, but only the lower guesthouse was open when we visited – called the Himalayan Hotel.

Selele was one of our favourite campsites for many reasons, but one major reason was the fact that it was the only place where we witnessed an incredible sunset! Most often, the afternoon skies are filled with clouds, but we were gifted a magical show right beside our guesthouse.

Beautiful sunset over Selele
Epic sunset over Selele on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Accommodation: Himalayan Hotel, Selele

The Himalayan Hotel is a very basic and traditional guesthouse, consisting of a few rooms in a relatively newly built wooden building. The dining and kitchen are found in a wooden shack that feels wholly authentic.

The quaint guesthouse is situated in a hanging valley surrounded by rough and rocky slopes, with a peaceful stream winding through the middle and plummeting over the edge of the cliff. The guesthouse was thankfully protected by the howling wind, allowing us to warm up on the deck chairs in the afternoon sun.

The owner of the guesthouse was very welcoming and we enjoyed spending some time sitting in the little kitchen and watching him cook up our delicious dal bhat and sherpa stew.

Note: The water pipes regularly freeze at Selele, so fill your bottles up the afternoon before. We waited until after dinner and the pipes had already frozen! Luckily, if you forget and you have a water filtration system like our Sawyer Squeeze, you can fill up directly from the stream.

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: Yes
  • Blankets: Yes

Day 12: Selele (4,200 m) To Cheram (3,880 m)

Distance: 10.5 km
Moving Time: 3 hrs 50 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 690 m
Elevation Loss: 1,010 m
Highest Elevation: 4,700 m

Selele To Selele Pass

Suggested Time: 2 – 3 hours
Our Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Today was hands-down the best day of the trek and once you lay eyes on the images to come – and eventually see for yourself –  we have no doubt you’ll agree!

Sunrise over Selele on the Kanchenjunga Trek

We woke before dawn to watch the sunrise, which was lovely but paled compared to the mind-blowing sunset we witnessed the night before. But the early morning was necessary in any case as we had a big day ahead of us with no lunch stops along the way.

After stocking up on some supplies for snack breaks, we began walking before 7 am. The rocky trail wound up past the closed guesthouse and towards the bouldered slopes in the distance. The track was very similar to the last part of the previous day, consisting mostly of rock hopping through rough terrain.

Trekking over rocks close to Selele on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
Hiking over boulders with snow capped mountgains in the backdrop

We slowly inched our way higher to the grassy ridgeline above, marvelling at the magnificent views surrounding us – which reminded us of the Western Arthurs Traverse in Tasmania (apart from the snowy peaks towering above). 

Hiking up to Selele Pass from Selele on the Kanchenjunga Trek

An hour into our trek, we wandered past an empty hut. There are no facilities here, but if you’re caught in bad weather it would provide good shelter.

We left the hut behind and began a particularly steep ascent up the rough slope, eventually climbing onto a ridgeline just before Selele Pass. Any remaining breath was lost as we gaped at the views that unravelled from our vantage point.

Jannu standing mighty in the landscape of the Kanchenjunga Region

There are no words to describe the landscape we witnessed from the ridgeline. Behind us, Jannu Peak dominated the horizon with its towering white summit. But all around us were rolling rugged hills and slopes plunging into deep valleys. We could even see the distant white peak of Makalu in the far west and a shimmer of Everest beyond that.

Needless to say, we stopped here for a long time to soak up the views and snap countless photos. But finally, we continued along a short traverse to Selele Pass that’s dressed in prayer flags and allowed our first glimpse of the southeast side of the monstrous mountain range we had been following for 9 days now.

Prayer Flags framing Jannu Peak on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Note: We were surprised to find that we had some patchy service for NTC between Selele Pass and Mirgehla Pass. It was just enough to send and receive messages on Messenger and WhatsApp.

Selele Pass To Mirgehla Pass

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hours

Hiking at high altitude in Nepal towards snow capped mountains

We followed the signposted trail left and continued on a small descent before making the long rocky traverse towards Mirgehla Pass in the far distance. The trail demanded a high level of attention, with plenty of precarious rock-hopping required.

Finally, after passing through countless giant boulder fields, a short but steep ascent delivered us to Mirgehla Pass. A teashop is located on top of the pass, but it was closed when we arrived – which is apparently a common occurrence. We stopped at the pass anyway and found a sheltered spot to munch on some snacks our guide brought with him.

Mirgehla Pass Teahouse

Once we were sufficiently refuelled, we left the pass behind to begin the most challenging section of the trail.

Mirgehla Pass To Cheram

Suggested Time: 3 hours
Our Time: 2 hours

Hiking down from Mirgehla Pass on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The boulder fields continued from Mirgehla Pass in an increasingly challenging manner, with more loose rocks and the introduction of snow and ice. We slowly picked our way across the undulating traverse, careful to avoid the dagger-like ice hanging from the rock walls beside us, before coming to one final big climb.

Hiking up an ice covered rocky trail over Mirgehla Pass

The rocky ascent consisted of even more ice and snow, making it a little slower and more treacherous than usual. The markers made it easy to stay on track and finally, we made our way slowly up to the last ridgeline before the giant descent.

Yet again, we were left completely breathless by the views that awaited us. We stood before the mighty Yalung Glacier and the monstrous snow-capped mountains that border the deep glacial valley – which included a partially hidden Kanchenjunga, Talung and Rathong.

Trekking on Mirgehla Pass looking at Talung Range and yalung Glacier in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

Now you can see why today was our absolute favourite of the entire trek!

After tearing ourselves away from the breathtaking viewpoint, we began the long and steep descent down to the valley below where a hidden Cheram lay.

The descent started with a bang, forcing us to give our full attention to the loose, steep and technical trail. This was the most challenging part of the day and continued relentlessly for over an hour.

Descending down Mirgehla Pass overlooking the Talung Range in the Kanchenjunga Region

The trail zigzagged between rocks on an extremely loose dirt track, which proved quite difficult thanks to the steep gradient. Hiking poles helped a great deal to stay balanced and have extra points of contact when the traitorous dirt moved unexpectedly beneath us.

Hiking down the steep loose dirt trail from Mirgehla Pass

The silver lining to the gruelling descent was the mind-blowing views of Yalung Glacier and the mountainous backdrop that continued to stay front and centre for the entire time.

Finally, we hit the treeline and finished the descent through a dense (and still loose) pine forest before emerging from the trees and arriving in Cheram. While slightly larger than Selele, Cheram is another small village consisting of two basic guesthouses.

Cherum

Accommodation: Blue Sheep Hotel & Lodge

We stayed at the Blue Sheep Hotel and Lodge, which is the first that you’ll arrive at once emerging from the trail. The owner was very friendly, cooking up a big plate of pasta for our lunch. But unfortunately, the beds were the most uncomfortable we experienced on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

The rooms were small and gaps in the walls prevented full privacy, but they were tidy and the dining room was toasty warm. We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on the grassy lawn, watching the resident yaks go about their daily business.

  • Wifi: No
  • NTC Service: No
  • Ncell Service: No
  • Hot Showers: No
  • Charging: No
  • Toilets: Squat
  • Menu: No
  • Blankets: Yes