Green Lake Trek
Green Lake Trek
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Green Lake Trek: A true wilderness trek route in Sikkim touching the Tibetan Plateau

In the serene grandeur of the Kanchenjunga Range lies the remarkable Green Lake Trek. This unparalleled wilderness hiking expedition takes you deep into the Green Lake Basin, nestled against the edge of the Zemu Glacier in North Sikkim, just a stone’s throw away from the Tibetan mainland. Embark on the ultimate trekking journey in Sikkim, India, as you venture towards the mesmerizing Green Lake Basin and the majestic Zemu Glacier. These two extraordinary destinations in North Sikkim will leave you breathless, surrounded by glistening white snows and the awe-inspiring Kanchenjunga, accompanied by its equally enchanting family of peaks that grace the horizon.

Green Lake Trek falls in the restricted Green Lake Area; therefore, a restricted area permit is required to trek here. The permit for the Green Lake Trek will be issued by the Home Department, Government of Sikkim.

Spread over a period of nine days to fully appreciate this epic trek, the Green Lake trek in Sikkim gives a hiker an out-of-this-world experience. From lowland forests and sub-alpine meadows to wide open valleys with views of Kanchenjunga and it’s range from the edge of Zemu Glacier. This isolated trek in North Sikkim is worth every rigorous step.

The Green Lake Trek is one of the lesser-known wilderness treks in the Eastern Himalayas. It takes something extra special to stand above the rest, and this trek has just that. This is one of the few treks in the entire Himalayas where it is possible to see more of the wilder side of Sikkim than people.

Highlights of the Trek

The main highlights of the Green Lake Trek are the opportunity to explore the Green Lake Basin and a hike to the edge of the Zemu Glacier, the largest in the eastern Himalayas, stretching an impressive 26 kilometers. As trekkers reach the Green Lake Basin and the edge of the Zemu glacier, they can marvel at its grandeur and appreciate its significance as one of the sources of the Teesta River.

Lachen, the Trek Head

Lachen, 121 km from the capital Gangtok, is the trek head for the Green Lake Trek in Sikkim. Lachen, a small village amidst the stunning Himalayan mountains, monasteries, picture-perfect views of the alpine pastures and streams pouring down from scenic valleys, and being connected by vehicular road with the rest of Sikkim, is what makes Lachen a great destination.

Why the Green Lake Trek  ?

The trek route to the Green Lake Basin receives very few  annual trekkers because it lies in the far north of Sikkim and goes higher in altitude than any other trek route in Sikkim. But the payoff, however, is the  killer views of  Kanchenjunga, Sinoulchu, Tent Peak, Pyramid Peak and a host of other unnamed smaller peaks of the Kanchenjunga Range from the edge of Zemu Glacier.

Green Lake Trek is a full-on immersion trek in real mountain living.  You will gain some 18,000 feet, spy the most stunning peaks in the Himalayas, and stay overnight at serious mountain tops like Green Lake Basin.

Best Time to Trek

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Green Lake Trek is the opportunity to witness the vibrant bloom of rhododendrons, primulas, and blue poppies during the spring season, that is April and May. The trail comes alive with a sea of colorful flowers, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for trekkers to behold. The sheer beauty and diversity of flora during this time of the year make the Green Lake Trek an unforgettable experience.

For those who prefer to trek during the autumn season (October–November), the Green Lake Trek offers clear mountain views that are equally captivating. During the months of October–November, the Green Lake trek route in Sikkim provides trekkers with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, allowing them to soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of the region.

You may experience occasional light rainfall from the retreating monsoon clouds, but not much to spoil the pleasure of the Green Lake Trek in Sikkim. Though carrying an umbrella or a raincoat will help.

Permits and formalities for North Sikkim

Since the Green Lake Basin falls in a restricted area close to the Tibetan Plateau in North Sikkim, one will therefore need a restricted area permit to venture out on the Green Lake trek in Sikkim. The restricted area permit will be issued by the Home Department, Government of Sikkim. All participants will have to proceed through a registered travel agency in Sikkim.

Foreign Trekkers will have to furnish the following for the Green Lake Trekking Permit:

  1. Copy of Passport
  2. Copy of Indian Visa
  3. Four passport-size photos
  4. The trekking permit form duly filled out and signed by the participants.
  5. Copy of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to Visit Sikkim.

Foreign nationals require an inner-line permit over and above the Indian visa to visit or trek in Sikkim, which will be issued for a period of 30 days. The Inner Line Permit will be issued by the relevant authority at the following :

  1. Sikkim House in Delhi
  2. Sikkim House in Kolkata
  3. Border crossing at Rangpo and Melli Check Posts
  4. We at Farouttrek will help you procure the Inner Line Permit.

 Type of Trek 

Green Lake Trek is a camping trek in Sikkim. A trekking trail that runs close to the Tibetan Mainland.

Accommodation and Food on the Trek

Twin-share sleeping tents with a three-inch sleeping mat per hiker will be provided. In addition to this, a kitchen tent, a dining tent and a toilet tent will also be provided during the entire period of the Green Lake Trek. These tents will also double as sleeping tents for the support team.

Hot-cooked vegetarian food will be provided on the trek, cooked by an experienced cook and his team of helpers.

Breakfast will mainly include porridge, pan cakes, bread butter with jam and honey, Tibetan bread, etc., followed by tea or coffee. The menu changes every day, and the cook rotates the menu accordingly.

Lunches will be cooked on the trail where there is water. Lunch will include Noddle Soup or Plain Soup, Vegetable Chowmein, Phaley (a Tibetan dish with vegetables stuffed with flour bread fried in oil), or Chapatis (flour bread) with vegetable curry. Followed by hot black tea or coffee.

Dinners will include fried rice, vegetable Dumplings or sometimes plain rice, dal ( lintel soup) and curry, again followed by Tea or chocolate drinks.

What to Carry

A large haversack (50 l ) or a large duffel bag is preferred, as it will be comfortable for the porters to carry them. Put in all your essential items, along with your clothes and your sleeping bag.

Also bring with you one extra duffle bag (small) with a lock to put in your clothes and other items that you do not require for the trek and that you can leave behind in the hotel.

Carry with you a day pack large enough to put in your personal items, a water bottle, a windbreaker, a light fleece and a raincoat for you to carry.

Bring along a down sleeping bag that can withstand temperatures ranging from 0 degrees to -20 degrees Celsius. Also include a thermal inner for your sleeping bag, as that will keep you warm.

Also, include in your daypack a personal medical kit. This kit should have tablets for fever, dysentery, anti-acid tablets, electral powder, crepe bandages for sprains, band aids for small cuts and bruises, anti-septic ointment, vaseline for chapped skin, sun screen lotion (50 SPF), and polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare and snow.

Water is a commodity that can be found on the trek route, but be careful, even though the water from the numerous springs is safe to drink as they are not contaminated, so carry with you two bottles of water-purifying tablets.

While at the camp site, the cook will supply you with hard-boiled drinking water. Nevertheless, using the water-purifying tablets will keep you safe from water-borne diseases.

Clothing

The daytime temperature will remain between 5 and 18 degrees Celsius. Therefore, carry loose and comfortable trekking pants along with a couple of quick-dry t-shirts and a sun hat for day use.

Expect the temperature during the evening, Night and morning to drop to minus degrees Celsius. Therefore, include in your clothing for the Green Lake Trek: a down jacket, a thick fleece jacket, thermal inner wear, a balaclava or woolen cap, a woolen mitton or thermal gloves, woolen socks and a head torch.

13 Best Trekking Tips for the Green Trek in Sikkim
1. Prioritize Training: The Green Trek is a challenging high-altitude 8-day hike in Sikkim, covering an average of 10 km per day. It is crucial to train before embarking on this trek, focusing on activities that improve stamina and fitness, such as long walks, running, cycling, or other physical exercises.

2. Train on Various Terrains: The Green Lake Trek involves navigating different terrains, including riverside trails and steep, snowy mountain paths. To prepare for this trek in Sikkim, incorporate training on a variety of terrains into your routine.

3. Take Care of Your Muscles: After long walks, remember to stretch your calves, quads, hamstrings, hips, and back to keep your muscles in good shape.

4. Ensure Foot Comfort: Invest in a pair of ankle-high trekking boots that have ankle cuffs at an appropriate height to avoid Achilles damage. Try them on and break them in before starting the Green lake Trek to prevent blisters.

5. Use Supportive Socks: Purchase trekking-specific socks designed for long-distance hiking. These socks provide extra protection and are a worthwhile investment for the Green Lake Trek in Sikkim.

6. Acclimatize Properly: Proper acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness while trekking to higher altitudes on the Green Lake Trek. Take regular breaks and spend additional nights at higher altitudes to allow your body to adjust.

7. Pack Appropriately: Pack warm clothes, woolen caps, woolen gloves, a sun hat, waterproof gear, comfortable trekking shoes, and other essential items for the Green Lake Trek. Include a first-aid kit, water bottle, water purifying tablets, sunscreen lotion, Vaseline, and sunglasses in your baggage.

8. Practice with Your Backpack: Although your main baggage will be carried by porters or pack animals, you will need to carry a day pack containing essential items like a camera, water bottle, personal medical kit, umbrella, light fleece, and a wind stopper.

9. Respect Local Culture: The Green Lake Trek takes place in the homeland of Sikkim’s local people, who have their own unique culture and traditions. Show respect for their beliefs, culture, and environment.

10. Stay Hydrated: To avoid altitude sickness on the Sikkim Green Lake Trek, it is important to stay hydrated at higher altitudes. Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

11. Take Your Time: The Green Lake Trek is not a race. Take your time to enjoy the scenery and avoid pushing yourself too hard.

12. Prepare for Unpredictable Weather: The weather in the Sikkim Himalayas can be unpredictable, so be prepared for rain, snow, and cold weather.

13. Be Flexible: Weather and other conditions can change rapidly on the Green Lake Trek. Stay flexible with your plans and be ready to adjust your itinerary accordingly.

TRIP FACTS

  • Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Minimum Number of Participants : 2 Persons
  • Duration: 13 Nights/14 Days
  • Maximum Trek Altitude: Zemu Glacier: 5500 m/18000 ft
  • Maximum Camp Altitude: Green Lake: 4930 m/16170 ft
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport, NJP Railway Station, Nepal Border
  • Best Season: April-May and October-November
  • Trek Availability: Only private treks are available on request for a minimum of two people.

Green Lake Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border. Drive to Gangtok (1622m). Hotel (B/B Only).
Day 02: Gangtok sight-seeing. Visit Rumtek Monastery. Overnight Hotel
Day 03: Drive Gangtok to Lachen (3100 m/123 km/5 hours). Overnight Hotel (B/B only)
Day 04: Short Drive to Zemu Bridge (6 km). The Green Lake Trek starts. Trek to Tallem (3300 m/13 km/6-7 hours). Overnight Tents (B, L, and D)
Day 05: Trek Tallem to Jakthang (3430 m/8 Km/4-5 hours). Overnight Tents
Day 06: Trek Jakthang to Yabuk (3850 m/12 Km/5-6 hours). Overnight Tents
Day 07: Trek Yabuk to Rest Camp (4500 m/9 km/4 hours). Overnight Tents
Day 08: Trek Rest Camp to Green Lake (4930 m/8 Km/4 hours). Overnight Tents
Day 09: Day Hike from Green Lake to Zemu Glacier. Overnight Tents
Day 10: Trek Back to Yabuk. Overnight Tents
Day 11: Trek Back to Jakthang. Overnight Tents
Day 12: Trek Back to Lachen. Overnight Tents
Day 13: Drive Back to Gangtok. Overnight Hotel (B/B only)
Day 14: Drive to Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station for Final Departure. End of the Sikkim Green Lake Trek.  Extensions can be made to Darjeeling, Bhutan, and Nepal.

How much does this Trek package cost?

  • Green Lake Trek Cost: US$2350/Person
  • Cost for Indian Nationals: Request for quote in Rupee

What is included and excluded in the cost?

GREEN LAKE TREK COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping or trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and camping equipment.
  • All fixed three meals every day during trekking or camping.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling and Sikkim.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

Note: The above itinerary is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors, such as weather, road conditions, the physical abilities of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort, and general well-being.

Recommendations: The trek is strenuous and demands good physical form. A physical fitness check-up is recommended.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.).

  • Green Lake Trek Cost : US$2350/Person
  • Indian Participants Kindly Enquire for Quotes in Indian Rupee

GREEN LAKE TREK COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping or trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and camping equipment.
  • All fixed three meals every day during trekking or camping.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling and Sikkim.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

(All relevant Terms and conditions apply.)

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