A Guide to Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim
Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek classified as the sixth most strenuous trek in Indian Himalayas is a fitting place for hikers to test their mettle. In the wilderness of the Kanchenjunga National Park the eight days Sikkim Goechala Trek will challenge even experienced trekkers. But, the incredible scenery rivals just about anything else in the Eastern Himalayas. Pristine Samiti lake, Gushing Prekchu, dramatic landscapes and lofty Himalayan mountains make Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek worth the extra sweat required to complete the trek. Consider bringing trekking poles, as some portion of the hike is a steep ascent and descent on unlevelled trail.
Sikkim Goechala Trek is an epic trek covering a total distance of about 80Km. It takes around eight days to cover the entire Goechala trek in the most spectacular alpine scenery Sikkim has on offer. Goechala Trek starts gently from the Sub-Himalayan foothills of Yuksom and ends in Yuksom. But the high point on the enthralling Trek is the Goechala pass that lie in wait at the foot of Kanchenjunga rising like a rocky guardian..
Hikers planning to tackle the Goechala pass Trek have to remember that with 80 odd Kilometers of ups and downs in the Himalayas, hiking this epic trail is equivalent to scaling Mount Kanchenjunga couple of times.
Sikkim Goechala Pass trek is officially a cross over trek where the trek route actually crosses over into the Green Lake Basin in North Sikkim. Goechala is a mountain pass from where the South East Face of Mount Kanchenjunga can be viewed at close quarters. Goechala pass is also the Base Camp for those aspiring to summit Mount Kanchenjunga from Sikkim. But due to security reasons the pass into Green lake Basin has been closed and trekkers are allowed to trek till Goechala Pass only.
For seasoned trekkers one could try the longer but strenuous Sikkim Kanchenjunga Trek. Also known as the round trek in Sikkim, one can start the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek either from Uttaray or from Upper Ribdi in west sikkim and involves 13Days of trekking.
Highlights of the Sikkim Goechala Trek
Highlight of the Sikkim Goechala Pass trek is the up close mesmerizing views of the mountain range. At a glance you just don’t see just Kanchenjunga , but a host of more than seven thousand meter peaks, in a semi circular form close enough for you to touch. That’s a lot for the eyes to view on a trek like Goechala Trek. But the high point on the enthralling Trek is the Goechala pass that lie in wait at the foot of Kanchenjunga rising like a rocky guardian. For these reasons, Goechala trek is the most popular Trek in Eastern Himalayas and is also compared with some of the classic treks, like the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Manaslu Circuit trek in Nepal.
what to Expect ?
Goechala Trek is an absolute visual Treat with mesmerizing up close views of the Kanchenjunga Range from Dzongri at an elevation of 4030m. Looking down from Goechala Pass one can get a clear view of the terrain that you had come up on the left and on the right, one can see the great glacial circle created from the snows of Kanchenjunga.
But the best views are from Dzongri and Zemathang view points, a semi circular arc created by Kumbkarna (7710m) called Janu in Nepal, YalungKhang (8505m), Khangbachen (7802m), Frey’s Peak(5850m), Rathong (6679m), Kabru (7412m) to the left of Kanchenjunga and Pandim (6691m), Jopuno (5936m), Thinchenkhang (6001m) and Narsing (5850m) on the right. This view alone makes the Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim worthwhile.
Trekking inside the Kanchenjunga National Park
Kanchenjunga National Park with an area of 1784 Sq.km, a UNESCO world Heritage site was established in the year 1977. With unexplored virgin Forests & home to a variety of Flora & Fauna this park is a global bio diversity hotspot. The lower region are occupied by dense Oak and walnut forests and the higher region with rhododendron forests.
The semi arid Alpine region in Dzongri Ridge is occupied by small bushes of Juniper and meadows filled with Yaks and Sheep herders. So when you have a trail passing through such bio diversity hotspot, you can experience the best of nature & her bounties.
The National Park lying between the lowland of Yuksom & Mount Kanchenjunga is home to the snow leopard, Red Panda, Blue sheep, Musk deer and a variety of high altitude flowering plants.
Kanchenjunga National Park also houses more than two hundred varieties of Bird species. With such a large variety of Birds, Kanchenjunga National Park also becomes a haven for Bird watching in Sikkim .
How hard is Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim ?
Goechala Trek in Sikkim is a moderate to strenuous camping trek from Yuksom (1760m) to Goechala Pass (4990m) deep inside the Kanchenjunga Range. One needs to prepare well for this trek. A months training is essential before embarking on the Goechala Pass Trek. Once on the Trail it is essential that one approaches Dzongri gently. For this reason it is advisable to take a night stay at Sachen before trekking to Dzongri to get better acclimitized.
But if you are looking to do a comfortable lodge to lodge trek than this is not the trek for you. Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek is a rugged trek through unchartered territory of the Kanchenjunga National Park bereft of any tiny hamlets perched on hill sides that one finds in other parts of the Himalayas.
Equipments Provided during the Trek
While on Goechala Trek Twin Share sleeping Tents with mattress, Kitchen Tent, Dinning Tent, Toilet Tent & food will be provided. Participants will have to bring their own sleeping Bags. Sleeping Bags are available on hire at a cost of US$2 per Day per Bag.
Number of Support Team and Food Provided during the Goechala Trek
An experienced Trek Guide with a cook and his two kitchen helpers will be there to support the Trek members along with a Sherpa who will be in Charge of the Tents. A Pony man will take care of of the Ponies.
Local vegetarian Food will be provided during the entire duration of the Trek. Hot cooked lunch will be provided everyday.
Participants carry their day pack only with their personal items in them & walk at their own pace. Main baggage will be carried by ponies/porters.
What is the best time to proceed on the Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek ?
Best time to proceed on the Goechala Trek in Sikkim is from March to May when the different varieties of rhododendron and high altitude plant life are in full bloom. Spring/summer treks are also of interest to birdwatchers and flowering plants too.
October-November is also the best time to venture out on the Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim this is because the three months of monsoon rain clears the atmosphere of all impurities that results in clear weather and good mountain views.
What are the formalities for proceeding on Sikkim Goechala Trek ?
Participants wanting to embark on the Sikkim Goechala Trek will have to go through an agency recognized and registered with the Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim. Trekking permits will be issued in the Name of the Agency organizing this Trek. Trekking Permits will be issued for a minimum of Two Persons only. Foreigners wanting to travel/trek in Sikkim will have to have an Inner Line Permit to trek inside Sikkim.
The Inner Line Permit will be issued on the basis of the Indian Visa that has been granted to visit the Indian Sub-Continent. Inner Line Permit to Visit Sikkim will be issued at the Border crossing between West Bengal and Sikkim, at Rangpo and Melli. One can also avail this facility at the Sikkim Nationalised Transport office at Siliguri, Sikkim House in Delhi and Kolkata. The Inner line Permit will be issued for a period of fifteen days only but can be extended for a further fifteen days in Gangtok.
I am Single Trekker what Should I do ?
We have fixed Group Departure Dates leaving for the Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim. You can join a group. The Itinerary can also be customized for a minimum of two persons on a date of your choice.
- Trek Grade : Strenuous to Moderate.
- Minimum No. of Participants : 2 Pax.
- Highest Point: Goechala Pass (4990m)
- Highest Camp Site : Lamunee (4164m).
- Total No. of Days : 13 Days.
- No. of Days on the Trek: 8 Days.
- Style of Trek : Camping(Tents).
- Starting Point : Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border.
- Ending Point : Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border.
- Best Season : March to June & September to December.
- Tour Availiblity: Join a group trek(dates shown below)/Private treks available on request.
- Customized private Treks can also be arranged for a minimum of two persons on request on a date of your choice.
|Group Departure Dates for Sikkim Goechala Trek -2021|
|17-29 March,2021||12-24 May,2021||27 Oct-08 Nov,2021|
|31 March-12 April,2021||22 Sept-04 Oct,2021||10-22 Nov,2021|
|14 April-26 April,2021||29 Sept-11 Oct,2021||17 Nov-29 Nov,2021|
|28 April-10 May,2021||13-25 Oct,2021|| |
|Group Departure Dates for Sikkim Goechala Trek -2022|
|16-28 March,2022||11-23 May,2022||26 Oct-07 Nov,2022|
|30 March-11 April,2022||21 Sept-03 Oct,2022||09-21 Nov,2022|
|13 April-25 April,2022||28 Sept-10 Oct,2022||16 Nov-28 Nov,2022|
|27 April-09 May,2022||12-24 Oct,2022|| |
SIKKIM GOECHALA TREK ITINERARY
Day 1 : Arrive at Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border. Drive to Gangtok(1622m)-5 Hours Drive. Overnight Hotel.
Day 2 : A day in Gangtok. Drive to Rumtek Monastery 23Km away. Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology the only one of it’s kind in Sikkim. Evening free to Explore the famous M.G. Marg of Gangtok. Overnight Hotel
Day 3 : Drive to Yuksom (1760m). Trek Road Head–5 Hours Drive. Overnight Hotel.
Day 4 : Sikkim Goechala Trek Starts. Trek Yuksom to Bakhim (2828m)-11Km. Goechala Trek starts gently from Yuksom through the dense forests of the Kanchenjunga National Park till Prekchu. Once over the bridge the trail starts climbing a steep uphill till the camp site in Bakhim. This is our first days halt for the night. The eleven Kilometer trek from Yuksom to Bakhim takes about six hours for an average trekker. Overnight in Tents.
Please Note : In order to get acclimitized properly it is also advisable to halt for the night at Sachen ( 2189) & seven Kilometres from Yuksom.
Day 5 : Trek Bakhim to Dzongri(3950m)-11.2 Km. The eight mile Trek to Dzongri starts with a gentle two kilometre uphill trek till Tchoka through Oak, Rhododendron and Magnolia forest. Tchoka used to be a small Tibetan settlement with a trekkers hut, two lodges and a camping ground.
From Tchoka the trek to Dzongri Ridge is a steep uphill trek on rough bouldered track right uptill deorali Dara. From here on the trek to Dzongri is an easy level trek with amazing views of the Kanchenjunga Range all the way to the Camp site at Doring. The silver fur and rhododendron forests also gives way to small Cryptomeria shrubs . Overnight in Tents.
Day 6 : Rest Day at Dzongri. Trek to Dzongri Top(4030m) for Sunrise/Sunset. Side Trek to Dzongrila Pass(4100m). Overnight in Tents.
Day 7 : Trek Dzongri to Thansing(3840m)-7 Km. Trek from Dzongri to Thansing is an easy Trek winding through the cryptomeria bushes with the mountain views in the front. Infact the trek from Dzongri to Lamunee is the best part of the Goechala trek, because of the proximity of the himalayas. Except for the 2Km dowhill trek till the river bed at Kookrochoong the trek route is comparatively easy. The entire Thansing valley sits at the foot of Mount Pandim surrounded on all sides by high mountains. Overnight in Tents.
Day 8 : Trek Thansing to Lamunee(4164m)–3.8 Km. This is a gentle trek to Lamunee in the Thansing Valley with mountain views all the way till the Camp Site. Overnight in Tents.
Day 9 : Trek to Goechala Pass(4990m).Return Trek to Kookrochoong(3725m)-24Km. Trek to Goechala Pass is the longest with almost 24Km to cover. Trek starts early morning as we need to catch the morning light on the Kanchenjunga Range from the Goechala View point. Overnight in Tents.
Day 10: Trek Kookrochoong to Tchoka(2975m)-9.55Km. Return Trek to Tchoka from Kookrochoong involves passing through dense walnut, Maple and Magnolia Forest with the ever present Pandim and Narsing peeping through the gaps in the forests right uptill Tchoka. Overnight in Tents.
Day 11: Trek Tchoka to Yuksom(1760m)-12Km. Lodge.
Day 12: Drive to Kalimpong(1200m)-4-5 Hours Drive. Hotel.
Day 13: Drive to Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal for Final Departure. End of Sikkim Goechala Trek -3 Hours Drive. Extension can be made to Darjeeling/Bhutan & Nepal.
- COSTS : US$1040/Person
- Domestic Participants kindly enquire within for costs in Indian Rupees
TOUR COST INCLUDES:
- Hotel accommodation – twin share including breakfasts.
- Twin share tent with mattress during camping/trekking.
- Fully organized trek services with guide, porters, camping equipment.
- All fixed three meals everyday during trekking/Camping.
- All road transport as per itinerary by car/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/equipment.
- Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
- Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
- Tips, client insurance, evacuation costs.
- Any expenses of personal nature.
Recommendation: The Sikkim Goechala trek is strenuous and demands good physical form. Hence, a physical fitness check-up is recommended.
(All relevant Terms & Conditions apply).