Goecha La Trek:
There are very few trekking trails in India which are popular to both Indians as well as people all over the world. Goecha La trek ranks pretty high on the list if not a chart topper. The trail blends typical Eastern Himalayan moist and almost evergreen forests with truly majestic view of Kanchendzongha and a host of high Sikkim peaks almost looming in. Entire Goecha la trek trail runs inside Kanchendzongha National Park. West Sikkim a UNESCO heritage site (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1513) The route climbs steadily to cross a ridge at Dzongri, then proceeds north to the Olathang Valley to reach the high altitude pass , Goecha La at its head. The trek splits in two parts. First half till the high point of Dzongri. Dzongri top offers amazing panorama of high peaks in Sikkim and Nepal. Few to mention are Kanchendzonga Range, Kabru North, South and Dome, Pandim, Rathong, Kokthang and Siniolchu. In the later half trail enters into the scenic wide open valleys and finally ends up in moraine ridge at Goecha La. The route has very thick vegetation, along with hundreds of bird species, butterflies and wildflowers, especially different varieties of Rhododendrons.
Day 1: NJP/Bagdogra to Yuksom – 160 Km by car – 8/9 hours
Day 2: Trek to Sachen – 8 Km – 4 hours
Day 3: Trek to Tsokha – 7 Km – 4/5 hours
Day 4: Trek to Dzongri – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 5: Rest and active acclimatisation day at Dzongri. Climb to Dzongri top and back.
Day 6: Dzongri to Lamuney– 14 Km – 7/8 hours
Day 7: Trek to Goecha La (View Point 1) and back to Kochurang – 16 Km – 8/9 hours
Day 8: Kokchurang to Tsokha – 18 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 9: Tsokha to Yuksom – 15 Km – 5/6 hours
Day 10: Return to NJP/Bagdogra by car – 160 Km – 8/9 hours (by 6 PM)
Which season to choose for Goecha La trek?
As like most of the high altitude treks, there are two seasons for Goecha La. The first being the Spring during April and May – the blooming season. The later, Fall, being known for clear weather and spectacular mountain views during Oct and November.
Season: Being in the Eastern Himalayas this area observes longer monsoon. Clouds start to hover from April and prolong till October beginning. There are two distinct seasons when this year trek is particularly beautiful:
1) Spring/Summer trek during Rhododendron bloom: April and May is spring time, blooming time. Flowering starts as early as March in the lower elevation, and gradually towards end of spring on higher altitude. Rhododendron and Giant Magnolia are two most famous along with several other wild flower species. Cloudy or misty atmosphere is common during Spring. Though clear mountain views are not uncommon, specially during morning.
2) Fall/Winter for clearer weather: From mid October to January. In the beginning of October clouds start moving out from this region and weather becomes clearer. November is particularly known for its crystal clear views of the mountains. From end of November it becomes very cold at Dzongri and further. Also being very high altitude the chances of snowfall is high.
Goecha La trek temperatures:
Sikkim Darjeeling and surrounding region is known for its moist weather, almost year around. At higher altitude dampness adds on top of the natural cold conditions.
Usually the minimum temperature of a place is attained early in the morning, 3 to 5 am. During Goecha la trek, there are couple of days (one being the Dzongri top and the other to Goecha La) when you have to leave camp early in the morning. During spring expect the minimum temperature to be around 0°C at Dzongri and Lamuney. In October the temperatures will be similar and temperatures plummet further in late October/November. In November temperature may go down as low as -5°C at Dzongri/Lamuney. Do account strong wind at times which in turn can make you feel colder. This is the wind chill factor and feels like temperature can be as low as -10°C. Temperature inside tent will be around 10°C warmer than that of outside. During daytime the temperature will be cooler and can vary from 10°C to 25°C depending upon season and altitude.
Click here to view the List of Things to carry in Goecha la trek or Download the PDF
Access to Goecha La trek base, Yuksom:
You need to reach NJP(by train) or Bagdogra (by flight) around the city Siliguri in West Bengal for your Darjeeling or Sikkim trips. Kolkata is well connected to Siliguri through flights and overnight trains and busses (road from Kolkata to Siliguri is not in good condition and may take 15/16 hours!) .
Do carefully check for the latest arrival timings on Day 1 of the itinerary (latest by 10 am) before you book your train or flight tickets.
We will arrange a pickup and drop from NJP/Siliguri to Yuksom and back. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis and you pay directly to driver/owner on spot. Typically a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx type Jeep charges Rs 5000 one side which can accommodate 6 to 8 people. Tempo Traveller type vans are not available in this route. This cost is NOT included in the TREK FEE.
For details on how to reach nearest railways station/airport and move to trek base independently/public transportation check the details in GETTING THERE TAB.
Permit requirements for to enter and trek in Sikkim including Goecha La trek:
Sikkim has some restrictions regarding travelling and special permits are a must to obtain. It is a good space to write the details regarding the different permits and fees required by the administration. Also we hope that this section will help those people who want to reach independently to Sikkim. Indians may skip this section if you don’t have a travel plan specifically in North Sikkim.
(A) For Indian Nationals: Trekking permit is required inside Kanchendzongha National park and the local police verification at Yuksom police outpost. Two recent passport size photos, One personal photo ID card with address proof in it (Aadhar/Driving Licence/Voter ID/Passport) along with photocopies of the same are to be submitted along with a self declaration at Yuksom police outpost. Below is a handy guide for those having plan for additional holidays/destinations in Sikkim. Even Indians need Protected Area Permit (PAP) for visiting North Sikkim or Nathu La.
(B) For Foreign Nationals:
Any foreigner (some relaxation to Nepalese and Bhutanese citizens) will require Inner Line Permit which is recently renamed as Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter the boundary of Sikkim.
- Nationals of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria and China can only apply for ILP/RAP through Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
- Any other foreign national’s with the strength of valid Passport and Indian visa can obtain the ILP (RAP), Free of cost, at the below check points while entering Sikkim.
1) Assistant Director– Tourism Department , Melli, Near Melli Police Check Post, South Sikkim, Mobile No: 9775453611, 03595-248536, PLS NOTE: ILP issuing time is from 8 am to 8 pm everyday (Though we struggled to keep them stay after 6 pm!)- On the way to West Sikkim (Yuksom, Pelling, Hilley, Uttarey etc)
2) Assistant Director, Tourism Department, Sikkim Tourism Office, Rangpo, East Sikkim phone no: 03592-240818 – On the way to Gangtok and East/North Sikkim.
- If you produce a proper itinerary (additionally if any supporting booking documents) then the authority will usually issue an ILP up to 30 days initially. It can be extended to another 30 days but you to get an extension we need to exit Sikkim and apply again when you re-enter.
- Travellers who arrive initially in Darjeeling (state of West Bengal) has to get the permit from the above two check posts. There is shorter route from Darjeeling to Jorethang via Jamuney (40 Km, 2 hours maximum) but foreigner’s are not allowed to enter Sikkim along this road. You have to go via Darjeeling – Jorbanglow – Teesta route.
- You may obtain an ILP online, but that doesn’t make much sense. This is a document valid only when it is signed physically in any of the above two offices. It takes 10/15 minutes to process the ILP at Melli/Rongpo with the strength of your valid passport and Indian visa.
Foreign national tourists who wish to trek to Dzongri/Goecha La, Singalila/Phoktey Dara (Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary), Round Singalila Dzongri (Uttarey to Dzongri) will require an additional permit called Protected Area Permit (PAP, often referred as Trekking Permit). This is issued to a minimum group of 2 persons or more from the following office on strength of signed and valid ILP/RAP.
Adventure Cell of Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Govt. of Sikkim, Gangtok
(Note: Green Lake trek in North Sikkim requires Alpine Mountaineering Expedition permit, which in turn needs more approvals, time and high expenses. Total 5 different permits are needed from Sikkim state and Delhi for both Indian and foreign nationals.)
If you (foreign nationals) wish to book Goecha La/Phoktey Dara/Dafeybhir trek or any other with us (HT) in Sikkim then:
- We will require at least one additional day to process the PAP/Trekking Permit. This can’t be processed in advance and we can only apply once we receive your signed copy of ILP. This means that you can’t start the trek very next day you enter Sikkim. We would recommend a couple of days in advance.
- Tourist’s who are having plan to visit other places in Sikkim can obtain the ILP as mentioned and send the same to us for processing the Trekking Permit.
- We charge an additional Rs 3000 as Service Charge per person to process the Trekking Permit and to counter the differential of various permit fees inside Kanchendzongha National park for Non Indian nationals. It is indeed expensive to send someone to Gangtok for processing the Trekking Permit and get it back at the respective trek base like Yuksom, Hilley, Uttarey etc.
In easy words it is not difficult to get the required permits to trek inside Sikkim (apart from Green Lake trek) if you (minimum of a group of 2) have couple of additional days to spend in Sikkim before the trek; There are plenty of these places .
Do carry multiple copies (both hard and soft versions) of your recent passport size photos and photocopies of your documents (Passport/Visa/ILP) to avoid a showstopper on mountains!
Duration: 8 days of trekking; NJP to NJp in 10 days
Prerequisite: One or two prior Himalayan trekking experience is advised. Trekkers must be in good physical condition to endure sustained walk and climb.
Grade: Moderate (& Strenuous)
Trail Length: 90 Km
Highest Point: Goecha La (View Point 1/Sunrise point) ~ 4600m/15100ft
Seasons: April/May (Spring/Summer) & October/November (Post Monsoon/Fall)
Further Option: From Dzongri one can add a 3 days side trip to Chaurikhang, base camp of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI). Also one may take a different route while descending from Thansing to Lampokhri and then to Labdang and Tashiding (Goecha La Kasturi trek).
Access: Trek starting point (trek base) is Yuksom, 160 Km from NJP.
Rail station: New Jailpaiguri (Station Code: NJP)
Airport: Bagdogra (Airport Code: IXB)
Upcoming Spring/Summer Treks to Goecha La:
Trek Code GL17SP1 – 14th Apr (Day 1) to 23rd Apr’17 (Day 10)
Trek Code GL17SP2 – 29th Apr (Day 1) to 8th May’17 (Day 10)
Trek Code GL17SP3 – 13th May (Day 1) to 22nd May’17 (Day 10)
Trek Cost : Rs 14500 (Yuksom to Yuksom)+ 9% Service Tax
Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5% and for 5 or more persons get flat 10% Group Discount.
To Book a Fixed Departure Trek Register here
|DEPARTURE LOCATION||New Jalpaiguri railway station/Bagdogra|
|REPORTING TIME||9:00 AM for a prompt departure to Yuksom (Day 1)|
|RETURN TIME||Approximately 6:00 PM (Day 10)|
How to reach Yuksom (The trek base):
Depending upon the trek members we will arrange a pickup and drop from NJP/Siliguri to Yuksom and back. This will be shared equally by the availing team members on actual basis.
Typically a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx/Bolero charges Rs 5000 one side which can accommodate 6 to 8 people. This is NOT included in the TREK FEE and to be payable directly to the driver/owner.
Nearest Rail station: KathgodamNew Jailpaiguri (Station Code: NJP)
Nearest Airport: Bagdogra (Airport Code: IXB)
If you want to reach Yuksom by public transportation then here is the options. You have to reach Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in Siliguri. Then take a shared jeep for Jorethang in south Sikkim, takes around 4 hours. From there one may get a shared jeep service for Yuksom, but a seat is not guaranteed. The earlier you reach Jorthang the chances are higher to get this service. From Jorethang it is another 3 hours journey to Yuksom. Often It is difficult to reach Yuksom from NJP/Siliguri in one day.
For the treks in Sikkim and Darjeeling , one has to reach the city of Siliguri (considered the corridor to the North-East) in West Bengal.
The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), 5 Km from Siliguri and the airport Bagdogra is 10 Km.
You can fly or by train reach Siliguri from Kolkata ( good for the trekkers coming from South/central or Western India) or Delhi as per your convenience from any part within India.
Direct flights are available from New Delhi and Kolkata. All the flights to Bagdogra reaches late in the morning or early afternoon. It becomes difficult to reach the trek base like Yuksom/Hilley/Uttarey on the same day unless a car is booked (takes around 8 hours to reach). One can stay the night in Siliguri and start the travel to the trek base next morning. It is better to reach Siliguri by flight/train to Kolkata and then take an overnight train to NJP unless you are coming from northern India.
From Kolkata to Siliguri:
1) By train:
There are several overnight trains running between Kolkata (Howrah or Sealdah) to NJP. Day trains are also available.
From airport (Dumdum, CCU) , Sealdah railway station is 15 Km and may take 1 to 2 hours depending upon the time you travel. Howrah is 17 Km and may take up to 2 hours during the heavy traffic in the rush hours. Howrah and Sealdah are only 5 Km apart, though it may take an hour to travel. Pre Paid taxi booths are available.
DARJEELING MAIL – Train No. – 12343 (Very good option to reach NJP in the morning. Starts around 10 pm in the night and reaches NJP 8 am in the morning.)
PADATIK EXPRESS – Train No. – 12377 (Very good option to reach NJP in the morning. Starts around 11 pm in the night and reaches NJP 9 am in the morning.)
KANCHANKANYA EXPRESS – Train No. – 13149 (Starts at 8:30 pm in the evening and reaches NJP 7:30 am in the morning)
SHATABDI EXPRESS – Train No. – 12041 (Day train, starts 2:15 pm in the afternoon and reaches NP at 10:20 pm in the night. There are hotels/lodges outside the railway station at a walking distance of 5 minutes. Otherwise book an auto rickshaw/taxi to Siliguri, which takes around 15 minutes. There are several hotels around Siliguri Junction/Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus/S.N.T (Sikkim Nationalised Transport stand).
There are other trains also of which some run daily and some on particular days of week.
Avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berths and hence much better chance to get confirmed.
2) By flight:
From Kolkata(CCU) take a flight to Bagdogra (IXB). From airport book a taxi to reach Siliguri which is 10 Km away.
From Delhi to Siliguri:
1) By Train:
Following trains are good to reach NJP and run daily.
DIBRUGARH RAJDHANI – Train No. 12424 (arrives NJP late in the morning @ 10:45 am)
NORTH EAST EXP – Train No. 12506 (arrives NJP @ 8:20 am in the morning)
BRAHMAPUTRA MAIL – Train No. 12424 (arrives NJP at 5 am in the morning. But this train runs late frequently.
Always avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.
2) By flight:
From Delhi (DEL) take a flight to Bagdogra (IXB). From airport book a taxi to reach Siliguri which is 10 Km away.
For night stay in NJP/SIliguri:
Trekkers reaching on the previous day before the journey to the actual trek base need to stay the night in Siliguri/NJP. There are several options in Siliguri for spending a night while staying in Standard or Budget accommodation. It is better to reach to the centre of Siliguri called Siliguri Junction (adjacent to Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus and Sikkim Nationalised Transport/S.N.T Bus terminus). It takes 30 minutes from Bagdogra or 15 minutes from NJP. There are hotels 5 minutes walking from NJP also.
Return from NJP/Bagdogra:
Normally you reach NJP/Bagdogra from any trek base by 5/6 pm in the evening. You can take any train after 7 pm. Accordingly arrange your homeward journey.
Drive to Yuksom: 160 Km - 8/9 hours
Pickup from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) in the morning and reach the trek base Yuksom (~ 1780m, 5850ft) which was the first capital of Sikkim. The distance is around 160 Km and may take 7/8 hour including a lunch break. The road goes via Teesta, Malli, Jorethang and Tashiding. Yuksom is a typical small and laid-back Sikkimese town with one strip of Bazaar area in the centre. The village is spread out with the Himalaya and the monastery in the backdrop. The first king of Sikkim, His Holiness Funchook Namgyal was crowned here by His Holiness Gyalwa Latchen Chembo, the same man who brought Buddhism to SIkkim in 1641. There are several hotels and lodges ranging from premium to budget type. Also there are few restaurants offering veg and non veg food in the Bazaar area. All the major mobile networks wok here and has a small internet cafe. Night stay in tourist lodge.
Note: If you plan to reach Bagdogra on Day 1 and hire a reserved vehicle, arrive latest by noon. People willing to reach Yuksom independently must reach NJP latest by 7 am (detail is given above on how to reach Yuksom by public transportation). It is often handy to fly to Kolkata and take the overnight trains to NJP which reach latest by 10 am or you may fly directly to Bagdogra on Day 0. Due to ongoing road construction work between Melli and Jorethang, it takes more than 3 hours to reach Jorethang. Yuksom is another 75 Km on hilly road from here and is another 3 hours. Also you need a break (preferably a lunch break at Jorethang). Yuksom is a small stretch of Bazaar (where the lodges and restaurants are clustered) and sleeps as expected on mountains latest by 9 pm.
Trek to Sachen: 8 Km - 4 hours
Trek to Tsokha: 7 Km - 4/5 hours
Trek to Dzongri: 12 Km - 7/8 hours
Rest and active acclimatisation day at Dzongri. Climb to Dzongri top and back
Dzongri to Lamuney– 14 Km – 7/8 hours
Trek to Goecha La (View Point 1) and back to Kochurang – 16 Km – 8/10 hours
Trek to Tsokha: 18 Km - 6/7 hours
Trek to Yuksom: 15 Km - 5/6 hours
Drive to NJP/Bagdoga: 160 Km - 8/9 hours
P.S.: Distances and altitudes are approximate and may not be exact.
CLICK HERE For List of Things to Carry in Goecha La Trek OR DOWNLOAD PDF BROCHURE.
TREK FEE: Rs 14500 (Yuksom to Yuksom) + 5% GST
Book for 3-5 persons and get a discount of 5% and for 5 or more persons get flat 10% discount on TREK FEE
2 night’s accommodation at Yuksom (Day 1 & Day 9) in lodge on sharing basis. (meals at Yuksom are not included.
All meals during the trek. Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (including occasional eggs), breakfast packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with coffee/tea/soup.
Excellent Mountain Guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.
Specialised Cook, Support staff, Porters/Packed Animals for carrying the central logistics of the trek.
Stay in tents (3 persons dome or ridge shaped tents) on sharing basis during the trek.
Camping equipment like Sleeping bag, Carry mattress, Gaiters, Micro spikes/Crampon. (Bring your own sleeping if you have a high altitude specific personal Sleeping Bag. This is always better for hygienic reasons.)
Kitchen tent, dinning tent and toilet tent as required during the trek.
All permit fee, camping charges, forest levy required for the trek inside Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary.
Basic Medical & First Aid kit.
Accidental Insurance Policy covering high altitude trekking tours (For Indian nationals it is included in the TREK FEE, up to 60 years of age). It covers your trek as well as your return journey to NJP/Bagdogra.
Transportation from NJP/Bagdogra to Hilley and return from Uttarey to NJP/Bagdogra.
Meals at Yuksom. There are decent option of vegetarian and non vegetarian breakfast and dinner in local restaurants (Indian Thali/Chinese/basic Continental).
We assume that you will carry your personal Rucksack/Backpack with all your personal belongings. If you want to offload your Rucksack and be carried by Porter then you need to pay additional ₹ 2000 for the entire duration of the trek. The Rucksack should not weigh more than 10 Kg.
Any tip/gratuity to the HT supports staff.
Anything is is NOT mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.
- We assume that you have read and understood our “Terms & Conditions” before Booking.
- To book a Fixed Departure/Schedule trek or a Customised/Private trekpay 25% of the Trek/Tour Fee as the initial “Booking Amount”. You can pay by Net banking/Draft/Credit/Debit/AMEX cards. This will ensure your participation in the desired trek and we will reserve your place in the scheduled date. You need to pay the remaining amount at least 15 days before starting the trek.
- “Booking Amount” i.e.25% of the Trek/Tour Fee is Non-Refundable at any stage.
- If in case you are not able to make it due to unavoidable reason(s), we provide you avery flexible choice of Shifting to another trek withing next one year. One year is counted from the starting date of the trek/tour you booked initially with us.
- In case you postpone your trip you need to informminimum of 15 days before the trek/tour starting date. (Though we suggest to inform us earlier if known)
- In case you postpone a Trek/Tour before 15 days of the scheduled starting date, you may shift to the same trek/tour group scheduled in the same season or within next one year. You may shift to another suitable route also. For changing any, you need our approval first. Your request must be in written communication through your registered email with us.
- If you Cancel/Postpone a trek/trip from14 days to 8 days before starting date, your Booking Amount is Non-Refundable. We will not take any request of shifting dates. We will charge 50% of the amount as Cancellation Charges and process refund of remaining 50%. You may also shift to another group within next year but 25% Booking Amount will be deemed as Cancellation Charge and the rest amount will be transferred to the shifted group.
- If you cancel a trek/trip before7 days (i.e. a week) before starting date there will be NO REFUND.
- In case of any unforeseen incident including but not limited to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, landslide, forest fire or any political unrest, if we are compelled to cancel the trek/trip, you will be entitled to redeem the full amount for the same/similar kind of trek/trip within next one year.