Best Time for Kanchenjunga Trek
Kanchenjunga Trek is one of the most iconic and remarkable trekking experiences that explores the eastern prospects of the Himalayan region. Due to its untampered terrains and secluded region in the pure wilderness, this trekking route is growing in popularity among mountaineering enthusiasts all over the world. So, if you are here it means that you want to partake in this glorious expedition that explores the serene and isolated part of the eastern Himalayas and wondering about what might be the best time for Kanchenjunga Trek.
The best time for this trek that leads you to the base of the third-highest mountain in the world, Mt Kanchenjunga at an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 feet) is during the peak seasons like autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May). Although the peak season is the ideal time for this beautiful trekking expedition, these seasons have a specific specialty of their own. Let’s break down the best time for Kanchenjunga Trek and learn what their specialty is.
Table of Contents
- 1 Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek
- 2 Best Time for Kanchenjunga Trek- Autumn
- 3 Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek in Autumn
- 4 Best Time for Kanchenjunga Trek- Spring
- 5 Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek in Spring
- 6 Kanchenjunga Trek Overall Difficulty
Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek
- Remote and secluded exploration eastern Himalayan region away from the crowded route
- Adventure to the base region of the second-highest mountain in Nepal, Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters)
- Diverse landscapes along the trail from soaring reverse, lush vegetation high hills to the Himalayan pasture and glacial moraines
- Stunning views of the Himalayan peaks like Mera Peak, Twi Peak, Jannu Peak, Khabur, Khumbhakarna Peak, and Makalu including Kanchenjunga
- Exploration of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area which is home to 22 species of mammals, 252 species of birds, 82 species of insects, 5 species of fish, and 6 species of amphibians
- High Himalayan passes with clear mountain vistas, glacial lakes, and rivers nourished by the glacier’s torrents
- Opportunity to immerse in the rich culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the vibrant Himalayan settlements along the trail influenced by the Tibetan and Buddhist culture
Best Time for Kanchenjunga Trek- Autumn
Autumn season is one of the most popular seasons for any kind of high-altitude adventure in Nepal. This season is especially known for its moderate climatic conditions that create the most favorable environment for any kind of outdoor adventure, that’s the reason why the autumn season is also the top choice for mountaineers when it comes to mountain expeditions. The dry walking trails, clear stable weather conditions, lush landscapes freshly washed by the monsoon and just the amazing breathing unobstructed views of the Himalayan vistas make the trekking adventure in this season a memorable journey.
The temperature of the Kanchenjunga region averages around 14°C to 18°C during the autumn season, however at higher altitudes the temperature is usually minus degrees during the night and early morning. Even though the peak season is known for its stable weather conditions, the high-altitude climatic conditions aren’t always predictable, you can expect the cold weather conditions above the altitude of 4,000 meters. Especially if you are trekking during the latter part of the autumn, i.e. late November, as the winter closes in, you can expect light snowfall in the higher regions. So, you need to pack accordingly to tackle the cold climatic conditions of the region if you are trekking at those specific timeframes.
Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek in Autumn
Pleasant Weather Conditions
Autumn is the top choice and the best time for Kanchenjunga Trek mainly because of its pleasant weather conditions. It is hard to find the most suitable weather conditions that this season has to offer in any other season, not only the day temperatures are moderate, but you will also be greeted by the chill fresh morning and evening mountain breezes during your trekking adventure. So, under the right circumstances, instead of worrying about the warm humid climate during a long day of walking, the pleasant moderate weather and the fresh chill breezes will keep you refreshed till the end of the day.
Another major highlight of trekking during the autumn season is the amazing scenery that this season has to offer. Unlike other dry months, the landscapes of the country are well nourished by the monsoon rain and all you will see is the greenery that stretches to the horizon. Furthermore, the monsoon rainfall also nourishes the soaring rivers and waterfalls, and you will be able to witness the truly magnificent charms of these freshwater sources that are at a safe magnitude after the flooding has just settled down. The landscapes come alive with vibrant color during this season going through the neverending cycle of life that reflects the true beauty of the region as well as offers insights into the work of nature.
Clear Mountain Views
Unobstructed views of the Himlayan gems are something any trekking enthusiast yearns for during their exploration of the Himalayas. However, some miss the opportunity to relish the magical vibes of the region just because they missed the notes on the best time for Kanchenjunga Trek. For the highest chances of enjoying clear Himlayan vistas, the autumn season is the best bet. Due to the less humid and stable climatic conditions of the region during this season, there are also very less clouds in the sky and you will be able to enjoy the most spectacular and stunning views of the Himlayan vistas from every part of your trekking route during this season.
The white snow-clad magnificent Himlayan peaks sparkling under the perfect sunlight and blending with the clear blue sky, what can be more magical than this scenery that showcases how truly magnificent nature is? You will also be able to capture the best photographs with wide clear vistas that outmatches the photography of any other season.
Less Crowded Route
Even if the autumn season is the one the most ideal opportunity and the best time for Kacnhejung Trek to truly immerse in its beauty, the trekking routes are not crowded as much as during the spring season. The spring season which is considerably on the warmer side sees a lot of trekkers in the area, however, as the autumn season is closer to the winter season most trekkers avoid this epic adventure during the latter part of the season. As the cold starts to catch up, slightly by mid-October and on a moderate level by late-November which also sees light snowfall at the higher altitudes. So, you can expect a low number of trekkers in the region during that time period which gives you can opportunity to enjoy the magnificence and the absolute wilderness of the Kanchenjunga region away from the hustle and bustle of the large crowds.
If this is your first adventure in Nepal, you might not be familiar with the opportunity for the exploration of the cultural prospects this season has to offer. Autumn in particular is known as a grand season that celebrates some of the grandest festivals in the country. If you choose to do the Kanchenjunga Trek during this season, you will able to witness the biggest festival in celebrated in Nepal, Dashain ‘Bijaya Dahsami’ which is celebrated for 15 days. Including two other big festivals like Tihar ‘Deepawali’ which lasts for 5 days and Chhath which is celebrated for 4 days. As Nepal follows the Vikram Samvat, a lunar calendar system, the festivals in this season shuffle around the months of the autumn season mostly October to November. So, if you are keen on exploring the vibrant cultural side of this Himalayan country make sure to find the right date aligning with your favorite festival.
The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is home to 250 species of birds and endangered wildlife. You will be able to witness the popular wildlife of the region like Asian black bear, red panda, snow leopard, jungle cat, pika, musk deer, goral, gray langur, etc. during the expedition to this region. However, your chances of witnessing these endangered wildlife during the autumn season are much higher as most of them are preparing for winter hibernation. This season also offers the perfect opportunity for birdwatching, you will able to witness the migratory birds leaving their nest and moving in flocks to the warmer destinations.
Best Time for Kanchenjunga Trek- Spring
Similar to the trekking expedition in the autumn, spring is another best time for the Kanchenjunga Trek. Spring besides autumn is one of the most beloved and popular seasons for this Himlayan adventure, especially known for its natural allurements, the trekking routes of the Kanchenjunga region delights the trekkers with its vibrant colorful trails. Unlike the popularity of the autumn season for its more appealing vistas and moderate temperature, the spring season is known as the blooming season in the Himalayas. The colorful landscapes covered with wildflower and their sweet aroma, the lush landscape that passes through the diverse climatic zones, the abundant wildlife enjoying the nectar of nature, and the warmer climatic condition makes trekking in this season a heartful delight.
You can expect the temperature of the Kanchenjunga region to hover between 15°C to 21°C during the daytime whereas the night and early morning temperature can drop to 5°C to 10°C. So, if you love the warm temperature and want to explore this beautiful region when it is at its peak, spring is the best time to do it.
Highlights of Doing Kanchenjunga Trek in Spring
Most definitely, the trekking expedition in the spring comforts the trekkers with the warmer climatic conditions. Unlike the other colder months, you don’t have to constantly worry about the cold climatic conditions of the Himalayas troubling you during this expedition. One of the best times for the Kanchenjunga trek, the spring season offers the most favorable balanced warmer weather so the trekkers can truly relish the exploration instead of dealing with the health hassles the cold climate brings. Furthermore, as it is on the warmer side, the acclimatization process is much easier during this season as well.
If you are an avid nature lover, you understand the magnificence and magnitude of what a blooming season can do to a region. Spring is the rhododendron season in Kanchenjunga, you can expect the colorful varieties of this national flower to lighten up your trekking trails alongside other wildflowers with a sweet aroma. The picturesque and enchanting trekking trails and the natural charms you encounter in this season are something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. During this season you can also do some specific highlight exploration of the natural prospects of the region life birdwatching, as well s wildlife and the diverse flore of the region.
Nothing beats the photography of nature and wildlife in the Kanchenjunga region when it is at its prime during the spring season. As the forest and the overall natural landscapers are brimming with life during the spring season, you will be able to capture the best photographs that reflect the true beauty of the Himlayan region. Moreover, as the endangered birds and wildlife of the region are busy enjoying the delights of nature when it is at its peak, you might even capture the perfect frame that could land you major deals and even awards. You have a higher chance of getting the perfect shot of the wildlife of the region as they are out in the open not trying to evade monsoon rain, cold, or excessive heat of other seasons.
For those who prefer camping expeditions rather than taking accommodation at the teahouses along the trail, unlike other seasons the spring season offers milder nights and less extreme climatic conditions even at the higher altitudes. So, you will be able to experience a more enjoyable and comfortable camping experience during this season like a true explorer. Further, the natural features of the blooming season offer some of the best scenic trails, a refreshing destination to rejuvenate and camp.
Comfortable Trek and Lower Risks of Altitude Sickness
During the Kanchenjunga Trek in spring, trekkers don’t have to wear heavy winter gear or clothing making the trekking experience burdensome. As the climatic condition is on the warmer side and stable throughout the day, you will be able to wear more comfortable clothes during the trekking expedition in the day. However, it still doesn’t mean that you should cut off the heavy clothes, at higher altitudes the temperature is slightly colder, especially during the night and early mornings, so you should pack accordingly to adapt properly to the climatic conditions.
Similarly, the spring’s milder temperature makes it easy for the trekkers to properly adapt to the rising altitude. Unlike the cold climatic conditions of other seasons that can affect the overall process, you will find it easy to adapt to the newer elevation more easily significantly reducing the risk of altitude sickness.
Kanchenjunga Trek Overall Difficulty
The Kanchenjunga Trek has been graded as a ‘moderate’ trekking expedition, you don’t need any previous trekking experience or any kind of technical skills to be eligible to do this trek. However, this is still a high-altitude Himlayan expedition that explores the remote secluded part of the Kanchenjunga region on remote off-beaten trails, so you have to be prepared to overcome the overall difficulty factors of this trek. Even among the most popular trekking routes in Nepal, Kanchenjunga Trek is considered slightly tougher than other mainstream trekking routes in the country due to its remoteness and challenging sections along the trail. Some of the major difficulty factors of this Himlayan trekking adventure are the elevation gain, remoteness, trekking route, and unpredictable weather conditions (especially during the off-season like monsoon and winter).
Starting your adventure at Bhadrapur (670 meters), you will move along the high-elevation points like Ghunsa (3,415 meters), Kambachen (4,145 meters), Lhonak (4,792 meters) and the highest elevation point of the trek, Pangpema at 5,143 meters (16,873 feet) altitude. You will spend a significant amount of time above the altitude of 2,500 meters, above which there are risk of altitude sickness, so you also need to pay proper heed to how your body with the rise in elevation and stay on the lookout for the symptoms of the altitude sickness.
Similarly, during your Kanchenjunga Trek, you will cover an approximate distance of 220 km (depending on the itinerary package and side explorations). In your over two weeks of a trekking expedition, you will cover an approximate distance of 8- 12 km during each day of the trek (approximately 6- 7 hours of walking per day). So this iconic Himlayan expedition is nothing like hiking in the backyard, you will have to train and prepare adequately to overcome the overall difficulty factors of this expedition.
Note: At least 6- 8 weeks of preparation is recommended for this demanding trek of the Himalayan region. You can include strength and endurance training as well as cardiovascular training exercises in your training regime you make your preparation even more effective. Furthermore, doing practice hikes on the natural steep landscape carrying a backpack with significant weight will get you used to the actual trekking environment.
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