A Great Himalayan Trail Nepal trek!
Linking the Kanchenjunga and Makalu Barun regions via the challenging and spectacular Lumba Sumba pass, this GHT adventure is one of Nepal’s most remote and adventurous treks!
Our Kanchenjunga to Makalu Barun trek follows the Great Himalayan Trail through the Kanchenjunga region in Nepal’s far east and continues over the remote and breathtakingly beautiful Lumba Sumba pass to Makalu Barun National Park and the Arun and Tamor River valleys, inhabited by Limbu, Sherpa, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Newar and Tamang ethnic groups. The incredible landscapes, traditional villages, diverse topography and amazing panoramas of Himalayan peaks make this one of Nepal’s absolute best treks.
Kanchenjunga (8598m) is the world’s third highest mountain, surpassed only by Everest and K2, known in Tibetan as ‘the great treasure house of snow’. It is certainly one of the most spectacular massifs in the Himalayan range, rising majestically from the borders of Nepal and Sikkim (India) and inhabited by Tibetans, Rais and Limbus living in remote mountain villages. The Makalu Barun Valley is a region of contrasts, where dramatic waterfalls cascade into gorges, rock outcroppings jut out from lush forests, and flowers infuse color into the white snow peaks which rise majestically above us, including magestic Makalu (8485m).
We start our journey in the Kanchenjunga region, trekking through lovely Rai villages, lush rain forests, hillsides of cardamom and a patchworks of farmland with peppered with traditional mud brick houses. Trekking north into an alpine world of alpine forests, Himalayan peaks, sparkling streams and mountain lakes, we pass through Tibetan seasonal settlements to reach Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (Pang Pema), where the Kanchenjunga massif and Kanchenjunga glacier exhibit some of the most impressive high mountain scenery on earth.
Highlights are a day trip to an awesome Jannu viewpoint and the Tibetan village of Ghunsa before crossing the snow covered Nango La pass, decorated with five-colored Tibetan prayer flags, to reach remote Olangchung Gola, a lively Tibetan village with an ancient Tibetan Buddhist monastery, traditionally woven Tibetan carpets and locally brewed tongba, or fermented millet beer.
From Olangchung Gola we start the epic crossing of the epic Lumba Sumba (Lumbha Sambha) pass, trekking along the Great Himalayan Trail, crossing the 5000+ meter Lumba Sumba pass where we are treated to awe inspiring views of Kanchenjunga and Makalu. We trek through the pristine Arun and Makalu Barun glacial valley in the Makalu Barun National Park, passing through traditional mountain villages clinging to steep hillsides, some of the least trekked trails in Nepal. The Makalu Barun region was originally inhabited by the Kiran Rais centuries ago and remains one of Nepal’s most diverse regions, with incredible varieties of flora and fauna.
Trekking through the breathtakingly beautiful Makalu Barun region, we pass through the habitats of some of Nepal’s endangered species such as the snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard and Assamese macaque. Rare birds, a wide variety of rhododendron, orchids and wildflowers contribute to the magic of the trek.
Explore the Kanchenjunga and Makalu Barun regions of the Nepal Himalaya with us!
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Kamzang Journeys is owned and operated by Kim Bannister, an American expat and traveler of 25+ years who is based in Kathmandu, Nepal (spring, autumn and sometimes winter) & Leh, India (summer). Kamzang Journeys is a registered LLC in the USA. The inspiration for Kamzang Journeys originated in Ladakh, where Kim and team have been trekking for 15+ years. It came from trekking through sparkling river valleys of sculpted ochre, mustard and moss-green rocks under soaring Himalayan peaks, through green, nomadic pasture lands peppered with nomadic yak-hair tents under a canopy of endless blue skies. Our passion for these regions inspired us to make a lifestyle of leading treks and bicycle trips through Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan, later adding Mongolia and newly Pakistan to the list. All of our Kamzang team shares our love of these Himalayan regions, of the adventure of trekking, of exploring far-flung villages, sipping salt-butter tea in local houses, of camping with the nomads as they round up their flocks of sheep, goats and yaks, of watching for snow leopard and kiang as we journey through remote plateaus on the border of Nepal and Tibet, of bicycling through some of Bhutan's most breathtakingly beautiful regions.