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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Sikkim

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First summited by Joe Brown and George Band in 1955, Kanchenjunga was considered as the highest mountain in the mountain in the world until 1852, before the discovery of Mt. Everest. Now, it’s the highest peak in India and the third highest in the world.

Kanchenjunga’s dominating peak is so high that a trek to its base camp is itself so adventurous that keeps boosting your adrenaline rush. Trekking in the area was restricted to preserve the beauty of the place, however gradually as the explorers started visiting more frequently, this place was made into a base camp for trekking. One can find various valleys, lakes, tribal villages, and the forest which has a great variety of fauna and flora. Besides the natural element, there is a socio-cultural aspect of the trek as well. In the villages that are covered in the trek, you will come across many gompas, chortens, and monasteries on the way. You’ll also get the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals, and understand their way of life and culture.

kanchenjunga base camp
Source: Thrillophilia

The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek in Nepal begins from Yuksom, and then it continues in Bakhim, Dzongri, Laxmi, Pokhari, Bukhari Chaurikhang and Rathong Glacier, Bikhbari and then it ends at Bakkhim. The trekking camp duration is of 11 days, and in these 11 days of trekking, people get to see the fantastic views from Mount Khangchendzonga (8,586 m), Mount Pandim (6,691 m), Mount Kokthang (6,148 m) and many other peaks located in the region.

Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenuous

Best season: Apr-May or Oct-Nov

Click here to read about Zemu Glacier Trek in Sikkim!

How to reach?

You can reach Yuksom from Geyzing (45 km) within 5 hours using shared jeeps or private jeeps. Pelling (35.9 km) and Gangtok (145.9 km) are the two other nearest places where a person could reach in a shared jeep or a private one or even via buses which are available at Yuksom. Shared jeeps are difficult to find after the time of 1 PM. Bagdogra is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station.

Day 1 & 2: Yuksom

We’d suggest that you arrive Yuksom one day before the trek starts as you’d get enough time to relax before the adventure. Yuksom serves as the base for West Sikkim’s most popular treks, Dzongri and Goechela, and is also of historical importance to the locals in the area. The next morning, kick start your day with a healthy breakfast and head to your destination for the day, Tsokha. Once the trek commences, you will walk gently uphill, following the Rathong River’s gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids, brightly colored birds, and the occasional wildlife spotting. The trail crosses over four bridges to climb steeply towards north-west to the small settlement of Bakkhim, where you can get some rest and have your lunch. Continue for another 3 kms through forest of magnolia and rhododendron to reach Tsokha, where you’ll spend the night.

Yuksom
Source: Bikat Adventures

Day 3: Tsokha – Dzongri 

After an early breakfast, you continue along a well-defined uphill path through vibrant rhododendron forests to Phedang, which will take approximately 2-3 hours. Take some rest in Phedang, and continue progressing past the 4,000-meter mark. The lush vegetation gets sparser throughout the day. You will be camping in Dzongri in the afternoon and, if you have the energy, you can trek briefly up to a meadow with spectacular views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Simvo, and Pandim.

Day 4: Dzongri – Laxmi Pokhari 

Early risers can get up before dawn to climb to a vantage point on a ridge above the campsite to watch the sunrise on Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks. After a lazy breakfast, begin another day of ascending through gorgeous landscapes of the mighty Himalayas. After few steps, you will trek along the rhododendron bushes and pasture land, till you reach Chamaray in an hour or so. From Chamaray, a steep uphill climb might land you to Laxmi Pokhari, which will be your camping site for the night. If you reach Laxmi Pokhari early and feeling physically fit, a visit to Kabur rock will be a rewarding experience.

Dzongri
Source: Dzongri goechala trek

Day 5: Dzongri – Bikhbari

On this day, the trail goes to left side to reach Zamlingang, which is a flat walk throughout.

Day 6: Bikhbari – Chaurikhang and Rathong Glacier (Kanchenjunga Base Camp)-Bikhbari 

Today is going to be the day for what you have been waiting, trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, which is also the site where the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling conducts its advanced mountaineering courses.. Early morning, get ready for a trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp to see the stunning view of the Frey’s peak (5830 meters), Koktang (6,148 meters), Kabur and Rathong glacier. Spend some time there and come back to Bikhbari to spend the night there.

Bikhbari
Source: Top Five Buzz

Day 7: Bikhibari – Bakhim

After an early breakfast, you’ll trek all the way back to Bakhim through the same path you took to go up. It will take you close to 6-7 hours to reach Bakhim where you’ll be spending the night.

Day 8: Bakhim – Yuksom

After breakfast, trek downhill to Yuksom. Upon arrival, you can explore the place a bit or just take a day off to relax after all the hardwork and adventure. You can head back to your respective cities the next day.

Please note: It’s always recommended to take a day off at Dzongri and Bikhibari if you get too tired while trekking long distances as acclimatization is necessary during treks.

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