10D/9N
Duration
Moderate
Grade
7/10
Physicality
90 Km
Trail Length
4600 m/15100 ft
Highest Point

Goecha La Trek:

About:

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.
http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/faq.aspx

(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.

http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/Essential%20Information/Entry.aspx

  • 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
http://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Webforms/General/pdf/RAP.pdf

(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)

Physicality: 7/10

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)

Map:

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 LOCATION NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri
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.

Day 1

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.

Day 2

Trek to Sachen: 8 Km - 4 hours

We start our 8 days of strenuous but astonishingly beautiful trek from today. To start with an easy day, while spending time and gaining some height on the mountain for Sachen (~ 2200m, 7200ft). We straightway take the left trail from the main road in Bazaar area and after crossing Forest Huts and Check post, see a sign stating “Satellite phones are not allowed in this route”. From here we leave the village and get into the trek trail. After leaving few last houses and a nursery we finally depart from Yuksom. The trail is typically a narrow river valley while the river is running in the gorge. We slowly ascent going through the thick vegetation of sub alpine evergreen forest of Sikkim. It runs through moss-laden forests of Oak, Spruce, Chestnut, Fir, Pines, giant Magnolias and wide variety of orchids. Shades of Green change seasonally. Our trail now enters into Kanchedzongha National Park. This Biosphere reserve is a Botanist’s paradise and rich with exotic birds, butterflies and mammals. We have to cross 3 bridges on the river today, referred as 1st, 2nd and 3rd bridge. We continue our gradual ascent to a clearing we reach, which is our campsite of Sachen for the day. There is a Kitchen Hut built by the Forest Department on the left of the trail and the camping ground is above the trail on the right. The site is full of different bird species including Thrushes and Laughing Thrushes. It may take around 4 hours and we cover a distance of 8 Km. Camp for the night.

Day 3

Trek to Tsokha: 7 Km - 4/5 hours

We start gradually for first half an hour and then descend to the 4th bridge on the river Prek Chu (Chu means River in Nepali), the last of the four but most significant. After crossing the bridge, the trail turns to left and spirals up. This is the first half of climb for today and continuous one with steady height gain. We climb through the often misty forest and slowly the valley widens up on our left. Slowly climbing for an hour and half we reach at the top of this ridge and suddenly turning to right we see the Forest Bungalow of Bakhim at our left and house with a coffee shop on the right. The Bungalow with concrete exterior and wooden interior suffered during the earthquake in 2011 but still serves the night halt for the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute students. A cup of tea or coffee looking at the valley down under should not be missed. On a clear day one can see Yuksom and the hill station of Pelling from this viewpoint. We start our second phase of climb for the day after our break. The trail continues to zigzag and the first noticeable Rhododendron trees appear. During spring we can see the red and the white flowers particularly in abundance. There is a short cut on the right of the main trail but it is better to stay on the well defined track. We turn right and reach a clearing in the forest. From here we continue our climb and until we reach our destination Tsokha (~ 2900m, 9500ft) a table top on top of the hill. The camping ground of Tsokha is on the right of the trail and is a delight. The wooden Trekkers Hut is adjacent to the camping ground and well equipped with rooms and a big dinning hall. We get the first view of the snow capped mountains behind the Trekkers Hut. Magnificent Mount Pandim is standing straight along with Jopunu and Tenzingkhang. Tsokha used to be a settlement for the Tibetan refugees but recently the people are rehabilitated at Yuksom. There are few private guest houses and a shop still operating. Also there is a monastery few turns up on the left of the trail with a shallow pond in front of it. In the afternoon it is worth to visit the monastery and the lone shop which serves tea, coffee and sells woolen clothes, gloves and shawl. Tsokha has mobile networks working and you can talk with your near and dear ones for the last time on this trail. Total distance we cover is 7 Km and may take upto 4 hours. Night stay in tent.

Day 4

Trek to Dzongri: 12 Km - 7/8 hours

If the weather is clear we can see the sunrise on the backdrop of Mt. Pandim, standing from the camping ground. Being on the mountain for 3 days, our body is supposed to get acclimatised by this time. Today we gain significant height while most of the climb is moderately steep. The walk can be divided into 3 parts, climb till Phedang (~ 3650m, 12000 ft), then further ascent to Deorali Top (~ 4100m, 13500ft) and finally a gradual descent to our destination for the day Dzongri (~ 3950m, 13000ft). We leave Tsokha after crossing the monastery and turn right as the trail to start the steep climb for about half an hour. Then the trail is eases with paved wooden logs as rain turns it pretty muddy by the movements of Yaks and Horses. This trail is surrounded by dense Rhododendrons trees bloomed in different colour ( flowering season is mid April to mid May) and conifers. This is perhaps one of the best jungle trails on the Himalaya and takes away the tiredness of body. Often cloudy, the misty scent of the trail is unforgettable. After climbing another hour we reach to a small clearing where we take a rest and enjoy the silence of the jungle. From this point climbing for little more than an hour we reach the top of this hill, a wide open area of Phedang. There is a Kitchen hut and small sitting arrangement for the tired trekkers. The area remains cloudy mostly after midday and can be damp and cold. The trail splits from this place as the straight one goes to Dzongri and the trail on the right leads to Kokchurang. After a much needed replenishment we start for the 2nd half of our climb. The trail climbs steadily again zigzagging while we climb slowly as can can feel the altitude resulting into headache. Here the Rhododendron trees have turned it bushes aligning more horizontally. Climbing for two hours we reach the top of Deorali, a sacred place having a Chorten and prayer flags. There are spectacular views of the Sikkim mountains and its peaks from here. We start descending from this point and after crossing a clearing on a meadow we climb a small hump. From this hump we gently descend and traverse to the meadows of Dzongri. Walking around an hour we reach the Trekkers Hut and the camping side. The wooden hut consists of four rooms, a dinning hall and a separate setup for kitchen. The camping ground is on the left side of the hut along the narrow stream which flows in front of the hut. We camp or stay in the hut. Total distance is 12 Km and may take 6/7 hours. Night stay either in hut or tent.

Day 5

Rest and active acclimatisation day at Dzongri. Climb to Dzongri top and back

We wake up very early in the morning around 4 am and prepare to go to the top of Dzongri which is the sunrise point and offers majestic views. It is essential to climb to the Dzongri top as the hill straight in front of Dzongri restricts the views of the mountains. A good 45 minutes to an hour climb gaining a height around 210m/700ft will take us to Dzongri top. The panorama from Dzongri Top is simply breathtaking during sunrise when peaks are tinted in the softest of hues. It is almost an 150 degree panorama, from right Jopunu, Mt. Pandim to our left the Kabru group of peaks. Straight ahead is Kanchendzongha, the third highest peak in the world standing with massive glory. Local people offer prayers and incense of cryptomaria Japonica shrubs to the Chorten at the top. After clicking photographs we descend to the base  for the breakfast. In the early afternoon you may walk towards Dzongri La (Dzongri Pass) on the trail to Chowrikhang, HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute) base camp for couple of hours. However a round trip to Dzongri will take 6/7 hours and is out of scope. Camp for the night.
Day 6

Dzongri to Lamuney– 14 Km – 7/8 hours

After breakfast we take the trail on the right from the trekkers hut and it gently climbs on the top of the ridge. Take a left from the top and walk on the level ground of Dzongri meadow. We encircle and traverse the meadow while gently descending. The walk on this rolling meadow, dotted with red pygmy shrubs, wildflowers , Yaks grazing on both sides of the trail is a delight in itself. After an hour on the meadow, we start descending to the river bed through the dense forest. This trail is famous for Blood Pheasant, Sikkim’s state bird. Descending on the rock and gravel for about 45 mins we reach a level ground, Kokchurang (~ 3650 m, 12000ft). The place is a lovely camping ground with a Trekkers Hut and Prek Chu river flowing beside. From the hut we take a right turn to follow the main trail and cross a log bridge over a side stream. Then we turn left and go along the Prek for a while until we cross the bridge. From this point Prek is on our left and will remain till Samity lake ( though not visible most of the time). After walking along the river for a while we gradually climb a ridge covered with moist fern and moss laden trees and walking for another hour and half we enter into the the wide Thansing valley (~ 3930m, 12900ft). Total distance is around 10 Km and can take 5/6 hours. The valley is at the base of Jopunu peak and a clear view of Pandim is awe-inspiring. Pandim is considered sacred by the Sikkimese and mountaineers are not allowed to attempt it. Straight in front is the sheer ridge of Kanchendzongha all white, without any protruding a rock spur!  Thansing Trekkers Hut is renovated few years back and can host 40 trekkers easily. From here our today’s destination Lamuney (~ 4180m, 13700ft) is only 4 Km away and hardly a couple of hours time. The camping ground is beside the river Prek Chu with a lone kitchen hut. As there is no Trekkers Hut at Lamuney so it is mandatory to carry your camping equipment here.  Tree line ends in this valley with occasional bushes and shrubs. Prek chu flows on our left and the peaks of Jopunu, Tinchenkhang and Pandim on our right. This valley is very rich for avifauna including various species of Finch, Assentor, Laughingthrush etc. We camp beside the Prek. . Dinner is served early between 6 to 7 pm. It is a must that we sleep early today as tomorrow we need to start very early in the morning. Indeed another long and strenuous day.

Day 7

Trek to Goecha La (View Point 1) and back to Kochurang – 16 Km – 8/10 hours

Two factors are important to decide that when do we start for Goecha La in the morning. First, do we wish to reach Goecha La View Point 1 (Sunrise point) before sunrise? Being in the east and altitude, normally sunrise is as early as 4:45 am during April/May. In October/November it is an hour late, around 5:30/5:45 am. Second factor is, how far we want to go? Goecha La, as by the name is essentially a pass (La means Pass in Tibetan) between Oglanthang and Talung valley. There are 3 significant points for Goecha La, (a) View point 1, which is a the sunrise point, offers stunning view of the high peaks during sunrise (b) View Point 2 – A glacial lake,which can be seen from the moraine ridge and (c) View Point 3 – which is the pass in itself. [Note: From spring 2017 Kanchendzongha National Park (KNP) authority is approving permits ONLY till First View Point (Sunrise point). None is allowed to go beyond this point. Recently night trap camera found evidences of Snow leopard in the area and this rule is enforced in accord to the fact.]. We have to start by 3 am latest that we reach View point 1 (sunrise point) before the dawn and return to Kokchurang camp by afternoon. Start with a torch (head lamp is preferred) and take the trail going towards north to reach Samity lake in an hours time. Till here the trail is along  very gentle gradient. We walk the lake in length and head straight on the ridge encircling the lake. Climb the well marked trail on a steady pace for 2 Km to reach View point 1 (~ 4600m, 15100ft). From here looming Kanchendzongha dominates the vista and a vast panorama of peak sweeping towards the south which are on our left. Several glaciers, streams, lateral and median moraine ridges can be seen on the left while a sheer ice fall sweeping from Pandim on our right. We continue further while descending on a loose scree zone and enter into the a kilometer long flat sand bed, named as Zemathang (~ 4500m, 14750ft). The porous bed is soft and water runs underneath. There is a sharp ridge on our left which also offers spectacular view from its top. From Zemathang the pass is another 5 Km. Crossing this zone enters into a boulder strewn terrain and we climb a moraine ridge which is like a semicircular arc. We continue on the last patches of grass and finally a steep climb on scree to reach 2nd View Point. There is a lake below the ridge on our left and named Goecha lake. View Point 2 is marked with prayer flags and a tablet in memory of a trekker. It takes another 3 hours to reach here. The Goecha La pass (~ 4950m, 16200ft) or 3rd View Point can be seen straight a kilometer ahead and half hour from here over boulders covered with snow and occasional ups and downs. The pass is a wide open one, almost ~ 300m/1000ft. From the pass Goecha peak is on our left and a rocky cliff to the right . Kanchendzongha looms in front and Simvo to its right. Another turquoise lake is on the other side of the pass called sometimes “Emerald Lake” and seen below. The return will also take a considerable time over this terrain. On our way back we trace trace the trail back and reach Samity lake (~ 4200m/14100ft). This turquoise water body is a medium to large size high altitude lake with an inlet and outlet. The outlet contributes to the river Prek. Mt. Pandim is towering on the right and Kabru group on left side of the lake while Kanchendzongha remains in the middle. Stagnant water on a clear weather casts spell bounding reflection. We continue the trail trail to Lamuney and further down to reach the campsite of Kokchurang (~ 3650m, 12000ft) via Thansing. Camp for the night. Total distance is 16 Km and can take 8 to 10 hours.

Day 8

Trek to Tsokha: 18 Km - 6/7 hours

: From Kokchurang Trekkers Hut on the way back the trail bifurcates. We take the trail on our left to bypass Dzongri and reach directly to Phedang. The trail is on the level ground traversing one after another mountain keeping almost a constant height. The jungle is dense, serene, full with different types of Rhododendrons. The trail is ideal for bird watching as human movement is very sparse. At times it is only couple of feet wide and covered with fallen leaves. The 12 Km long trail takes 4 to 5 hours of traversing and leading into the opening at Phedang. From here we turn left and descend to Tsokha on the same way we came. Total distance is 18 Km and can take 6 to 7 hours. Camp or hut stay at night.

Day 9

Trek to Yuksom: 15 Km - 5/6 hours

oday is our last day on trail and we descend via Bakhim and 4th bridge. From here we climb for half an hour and then almost straight to Sachen. Then we continue retracing our path back to the town of Yuksom. It will take around 5/6 hours for a distance of 15 Km. Night stay in tourist lodge.

Day 10

Drive to NJP/Bagdoga: 160 Km - 8/9 hours

In the morning take the car and drive back to NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri. The trip ends.

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

Inclusions:

 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.

Exclusions:

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.

Booking:

  • 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.

 Cancellations:

  • “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.

Download Goecha La Trek Brochure

CLICK HERE For List of Things to Carry in Goecha La Trek OR DOWNLOAD PDF.

Goecha la trek

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 2 reviews
Rajesh Sharma
November 16, 2014

Himalaya Trekkers is the best availed opportunity for trek lovers, if u are planning for any trekking they are your best solutions. They organise as per your conditions suitable which is beyond golden words. Keep it up.

Trisha Nath
April 28, 2015

It was a pleasant experience. I would like to mention first that I truly believe your guidelines on aerobic fitness development helped us enjoy the trek better. The stay at Yuksom was simple and comfortable, thus more to our taste. The guide (Bheem), the cook and Milan were really nice fellows. While they took care of the essentials, they also left us be by ourselves a lot. Eg., not instructing novices like us continually on how to walk, but only pointing out where we were wrong etc… The food was, well, above expectation by far. We would hire the cook ourselves at Chennai if he would just come (notice we never mention his name..? Yes, we do not care for competition). The view, throughout the route, was extraordinary! We are a bit sad that we could not proceed beyond Dzongri. However, only we are to blame for it. Better shoes next time. And yes, if we decide to go on a trek again, we’ll most likely give you a ring.

Leave a Review