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Best Time for The Kanchenjunga Trek (4 Tips )

Choosing the best time for the Kanchenjunga Trek will be an even more majestic and breathtaking experience. Kanchenjunga is one of the most beautiful trekking spots in Nepal.

Best Time for The Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga is also one of the most challenging treks in Nepal. This trek takes you close to Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain. It is in a very remote and secluded area of Nepal, and the trails are tough. However, the trek becomes even more difficult if you add harsh weather conditions and unfavorable climates. 

During your Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek, you will encounter many important attractions, such as Kanchenjunga Glacier, Oktang View Point, Lelep, and other remote villages.

This trek is unique because you can visit different parts of the base camp, including Kanchenjunga North and South Base Camps. There are undoubtedly lots of fun and challenges during your trek to the Kanchenjunga region. However, choosing the best time or season is essential to making your trek even more fun and less challenging.

Best Time for The Kanchenjunga Trek

Spring

Spring is among the best seasons for trekking the Kanchenjunga circuit or base camp trek. The months of March to May fall during the spring season. What makes the Spring season so unique is the precise weather conditions, which make the views of the mountains crystal clear.

Best Time for The Kanchenjunga Trek

The early parts of Spring may see some rainfall, but as the days progress, the rainfall stops, and the environment becomes green. The trek’s trails become pleasant, with colorful, blooming flowers.

Spring is the best time to trek Kanchenjunga because of its clear mountain views, favorable weather and temperature, and peak season. The vibrant atmosphere adds to the experience.

Remember that Spring is the peak season for trekking in Nepal, which often results in overcrowding. It’s crucial to be aware of this fact and plan accordingly.

The lodges, hotels, and tea houses might also be overcrowded, meaning you won’t get the desired food and accommodation services. However, unlike other trekking regions, Kanchenjunga will not be as affected.

Summer

The Summer Season starts after the end of the Spring season. In Nepal, it typically lasts from June to August. As the summer season progresses, the monsoon season begins. Nepal suffers from July to August, which means mild to heavy rainfall almost daily. 

Although the higher altitude of Kanchenjunga isn’t much affected by the monsoon season, lower altitudes are still heavily affected. The trails get wet and slippery to travel, and there are occasional causes of floods and landslides.

Furthermore, due to moist and cold surroundings, insects like mosquitoes, flies, and primarily leeches stuck into your body. Hence, summer is not the best time to visit Kanchenjunga or any other trekking spot in Nepal.

Autumn

Autumn is another favorable time for the Kanchenjunga trek. It starts in Nepal after the end of summer or monsoon season. The rainfall starts decreasing, but the surrounding trek route becomes pleasant and vibrant. Trekkers often argue that Spring or Autumn is the best season for their trek to Kanchenjunga. The rainfall from previous seasons cleans the land, making the surroundings pleasant to trek. 

The Autumn season also has mild weather and temperatures, which are favorable for trekkers. Clear views of mountains from afar are another incentive for trekking. The only drawback of trekking Kanchenjunga during Autumn is that since it lies in the peak season, the trails, along with hotels and lodges, are a bit overcrowded than in other seasons.

Winter

Trekking in Nepal is not recommended during the winter season, which lasts from November to February. The weather is freezing during this time and may not be suitable for most people.

During Winter, the temperature at a higher altitude reaches well below the freezing point. However, if you embark on the Kanchenjunga circuit trek during Winter, carry all the necessary equipment, like crampons, winter shoes, and gaiters.

Trekking in the Winter is not recommended, especially for beginners. The weather and climates are harsh and constantly changing. At higher altitudes, the trekking paths become difficult due to constant snowfall. There is a high risk of snowstorms, blizzards, and avalanches, which can jeopardize life and property.

Best Time for the Trek

Ideal Months

April and October

Hence, the best Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek season is April or October. May is the peak of the Spring season, whereas October is the peak of the Autumn season. 

If you like a trek route full of happy people looking forward to their adventure, we recommend trekking in these months. During these months, the natural ecosystem of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area also becomes vibrant.

The blooming rhododendron forests and pine and bamboo forests provide a pleasant atmosphere. During these months, the trekking route is easy to walk as there is little rainfall or snowfall.

Weather Conditions

For two months, the weather is mild and perfect for trekking. In Nepal, the mountains are stunning to view during this time, with clear skies adding to the experience.

During these months, the weather in higher altitudes stays stable, making planning trekking activities easier. The temperature in lower regions is slightly higher than in lower altitudes. During the day, it can reach 25 degrees, and at night, it drops to 5 to -5 degrees.

Month-by-Month Guide

January to March

January is one of the coldest months in Nepal, as it is the peak winter season. The temperature during this month drops well below freezing and can reach up to -15 degrees. February is also reasonably cold, but the temperature increases at a lower altitude.

The trails in Nepal receive snowfall during February. As March begins, Nepal welcomes the Spring season. The temperature gradually increases, making the weather pleasant for trekking. This is also when plants, flowers, and vegetation bloom, attracting more tourists and trekkers to Nepal.

April to June

April has stable weather and temperature, clear views of the surroundings, skies, mountains, and blooming flowers like rhododendrons, making April the month most trekkers arrive in the Kanchenjunga region.

May is the last month of Spring and the start of Summer in Nepal. As the month goes on, the weather gets hotter and more humid, making it difficult for some trekkers to travel. The summer/monsoon season begins in June, usually at the end of May. During this time, the trekking routes become slippery and wet, making it hard to climb steep ascents.

July to September

The monsoon is in full swing during July, so trekking is less pleasant than other months. The chances of floods, landslides, and avalanches are high during July. Due to constant rainfall, the visibility of the trails and mountains is also very hazy. Although this month is not ideal for trekking, some experts still trek to avoid overcrowded trails and tea houses during other months.

August is also similar to July, with heavy rainfall, wet trails, less visibility, and chances of natural disasters. As September starts, the Autumn season also begins in Nepal. The early days of September still bring in decent rainfall, but as the month reaches the middle, the precipitation starts decreasing. The weather is unpredictable during September, so be careful and prepare for some rainfall during your trek.

October to September

October is the best time for Autumn trekking. The environment looks stunning with its amber and vibrant colors. The weather is also delightful, and the conditions are perfect for trekking. As November begins, the temperature drops, and the atmosphere cools down. 

December marks the start of the Winter season in Nepal. The temperature is cool during the day but drops below freezing at night. December doesn’t see as much rainfall as other winter months, so it is also one of the favorite months for trekkers who don’t mind cold in high altitudes.

Preparing for Your Trek

Kanchenjunga is one of the most challenging treks in Nepal. Hence, it is essential to prepare months before the actual trek date.

Essential Gear 

Before heading out for the Kanchenjunga Trek, it is crucial to pack the essential gear needed for trekking. The gear’s importance sometimes changes based on your trekking season. For example, raincoats, boots, etc., are required if you plan to trek in the rainy season, but they are not as crucial in the winter and autumn seasons.

Some gear like sleeping bags, trekking poles, hiking boots, and ropes are essential in any trek. You can buy or rent this gear in Nepal, like Kathmandu, Bhadrapur, Taplejung, or Kambachen. Remember that purchasing these gears will cost more than just renting them outright.

You need to carry some other personal items besides gear and equipment. Pack first aid supplies, toiletries, clothes, and equipment to make trekking on the Kanchenjunga trail easier.

Permits and Documentation

For Kanchenjunga Trek, you need a couple of special permits to be eligible for your excursion. Since it is the third-highest peak in the world, the Government of Nepal has placed in the restricted area of Nepal. Hence, the Restricted Area Permit is your first permit to trek Kanchenjunga.

Special Restricted Area Permit

To trek the Kanchenjunga region, pass through Thapethok and Yamphuding restricted areas. These are the VDCs from which you will move forward to reach the location of the Kanchenjunga trek. Hence, you need a special permit, which can only be applied for by the Nepali trekking agency.

The restricted area permit costs $20 per person for the first four weeks and $25 per person for each week after the start of the fifth week.

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Permit

The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP) is mandatory for entry into the area. It can be obtained at the National Park checkpost during the Kanchenjunga Trek. The permit is valid without a specific validation date.

The cost for KCAP is Rs 100 for Nepali citizens, $5 or NRS 500 per person for person from SAARC countries, and NRS 2,000 or $20 for other foreign nationals.

Kanchenjunga at a Glance

Kanchenjunga is a beautiful place in Nepal that has significant cultural importance. It is one of the highest peaks in the world and is popular among trekkers.

Best Time for The Kanchenjunga Trek

Geography and Climate 

Kanchenjunga lies at an altitude of  8,586 meters. As the third-highest mountain range in the world, it is essential for trekkers or mountain climbers who want to conquer its peak. The mountain range divides Nepal and India. 

Cultural Significance 

Kanchenjunga plays a significant role in the culture and tradition of the local Tamang and Limbu people. It is a sacred place for Hindus and Buddhists and a symbol of love and peace.

Biodiversity 

You will encounter different terrains during your trekking trail in the Kanchenjunga region. From barren wildlands to lush forests, subalpine peaks, and snow-capped hills, these different terrains become homes to different animals and birds.

What to Expect on the Trail

Daily Itinerary

  • Day 1: Fly to Bhadrapur and Drive to Illam
  • Day 2: Illam to Taplejung Drive
  • Day 3: Taplejung to Chirwa
  • Day 4: Chirwa to Lelep
  • Day 5: Lelep to Amjilosa
  • Day 6: Amjilosa to Gyabla
  • Day 7: Gyabla to Ghunsa
  • Day 8: Acclimatization Day in Ghunsa
  • Day 9: Ghunsa to Kambachen
  • Day 10: Acclimatization Day in Kambachen
  • Day 11: Kambachen to Lhonak
  • Day 12 – Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp
  • Day 13 – Lhonak to Ghunsa
  • Day 14 – Ghunsa to Sele La
  • Day 15 – Sele La to Cheram
  • Day 16 – Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek in Day
  • Day 17 – Cheram to Torongding
  • Day 18 – Torongding to Yamphuding
  • Day 19 – Yamphuding to Khebang
  • Day 20 – Khebang to Khamdime
  • Day 21 – Khamdime to Bhadrapur
  • Day 22 – Bhadrapur to Kathmandu

Accommodation and Meals

Kanchenjunga Trek is less crowded, and there is far less crowd visiting this part than Everest Base Camp Trek. However, over the years, the increase in tourist attention to this region has led to the establishment of more hotels, lodges, and tea houses.

Today’s Visitors can trek the Himalayas, stopping at comfortable lodges. Media coverage has increased tourism, affecting trek availability. A reputable travel and trekking organizer can guide you to the best trek.

Like in other treks in Nepal, the foods are divided into three meals daily during your trek. The breakfast includes bread, roti, chapati, cornflakes, tea, coffee, biscuits, etc. For lunch and dinner, the menus are generally similar. The most common dishes are the Dal, Bhat, and Vegetable Curry, along with Western menus like Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Steaks, Stew, etc. The menus are limited in the higher and remote areas of the Kanchenjunga trek.

Challenges and Rewards

The once-in-a-lifetime Kanchenjunga trekking experience awaits you as you reach one of the most secluded regions of Nepal. 

Challenges

  • The trek lies at a high altitude of over 5160m as you approach one of the highest mountains in the world.
  • Kanchenjunga Trek is less popular, meaning there are fewer services, and you will most of the time be isolated.
  • In the higher altitudes, the weather and climate are very dynamic.
  • What makes this trek more challenging is the rugged and tough terrain that constantly changes throughout your trek.

Rewards

  • Some of the stunning mountain beauty awaits you at an altitude of over 5000m.
  • As you reach the foot of Mt Kanchenjunga, the sense of accomplishment will motivate you for future expeditions.
  • It is one of the most natural and off-the-beaten path adventures that will get minimal experience in other treks.
  • This is a chance to indulge in and learn the new culture and traditions of the region’s Magars, Tamangs, and Limbu.

Conclusion

Hence, the best time for the Kanchenjunga Trek is spring or autumn. April or October are the ideal months for this challenging trek.

However, if you are a veteran trekker, you can enjoy less crowded trails and teahouses if you plan to trek in early winter, December, or January.

It is not recommended to trek during monsoon season as it gets wet and slippery, insects and leeches cover the trails, and there are high chances of natural disasters like floods and landslides.

FAQs

1. What are the permits required for the Kanchenjunga Trek?

You need two permits to trek Kanchenjunga Trek, and they are:
Kanchenjunga restricted area permit.
Kanchenjunga National Park Permit.

2. How long does it take to trek the Kanchenjunga region?

Our team at Hillary Steps Trekking has expertly crafted a 22-day Kanchenjunga Trek that can be tailored to your specific preferences. We are confident that our range of 14 to 25 days provides the ideal time to explore this breathtaking region fully.

3. Is Kanchenjunga Trek listed as restricted?

Kanchenjunga Trek is a restricted area that preserves the environment and controls the number of visitors.

4. Can I get safe drinking water during my Kanchenjunga Trek?

Bottled plastic water is prohibited in Kanchenjunga because it is a restricted area. However, drinking water is available in teahouses and lodges. Remember to carry Thermos or Steel Water Bottles and avoid drinking water from taps, hand pumps, or streams, as they contain germs.

5. Will I get ATM services in the Kanchenjunga trek?

ATMs are rare in remote areas. Find them in towns like Taplejung or Bhadrapur. Carry cash, especially at higher altitudes.

We hope you will find our little list helpful. If you want to hike or trek in Nepal, Hillary Step Treks is here to help. For booking or any inquiries, you can contact us anytime!

Hillary Treks

My name is Hillary. Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal's Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.

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