Goechala Pass Trek – In search of Kanchenjunga 3rd.Highest Mountain in the World
Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim is not a trek but a journey to the foot of the mighty Kanchenjunga and a fitting place for hikers to test their mettle. In the wilderness of the Kanchenjunga National Park the 80Km long Sikkim Goechala Trek provides eight days of hiking through incredible mountain scenery that will challenge even experienced trekkers.
The spectacular alpine scenery rivals just about anything else in the entire Himalayas. Pristine Samiti lake, Gushing Prekchu and dramatic landscapes makes this trek worth the extra sweat required to complete the hike.
The high point on this enthralling trek is the Goechala pass, that lie in wait at the foot of Kanchenjunga rising like a rocky guardian. Consider bringing trekking poles, as some portion of the hike is a steep ascent and descent on unlevelled trail.
Hikers planning to tackle this rek have to remember that with 80 odd Kilometer of ups and downs in the Himalayas, hiking this epic trail is equivalent to scaling Mount Kanchenjunga couple of times.
Goechala Pass Trek starts gently from the Sub-Himalayan foothills of Yuksom and winds through dense Rhododendron, oak and walnut forest of the Kanchenjunga National Park to alpine like zones of Dzongri Thansing and Goechala Pass. Yuksom is a small village in West Sikkim, 144Km away from the capital Gangtok.
Sikkim Goechala Trek starts from Yuksom & ends in Yuksom. For seasoned trekkers one could try the Uttray Dzongri Yuksom Loop also known as Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek in Sikkim that involves 13Days of strenuous trekking.
Goechala Pass is a mountain pass at an altitude of 4990m at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga. From Goechala Pass, the South East face of Mount Kanchenjunga can be viewed at very close quarters. It is also the apex of this enthralling trek and as well the Base Camp for those aspiring to summit Mount Kanchenjunga from the Sikkim Side of the Himalayas.
It can be said, Sikkim Goechala Pass trek is officially a cross over trek where the trek route actually crosses over into the Green Lake Basin and into North Sikkim at Goechala Pass. But sadly, the pass into Green lake Basin has been closed and trekkers are allowed to trek till Goechala Pass only.
Sikkim Goechala Trek – Good For ?
Goechala Trek is good for up close views of the tallest Mountains in the Himalayas . At a glance you see not just Kanchenjunga , but fourteen of the highest peaks in the Himalayas more than seven thousand meter tall, in a semi circular form close enough for you to touch. That’s a lot for the eyes to view on a trek like this.
Ranked among the top six strenuous treks in Indian Himalayas, the Goechala trek does justice for those looking to do a challenging and strenuous trek in Sikkim Himalayas.
Sikkim Goechala trek is also good for those looking for an alternative to the Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal.
What to Expect ?
Goechala Trek is an absolute visual Treat with mesmerizing close up views of the Kanchenjunga Range from Dzongri and Goechala Pass. Looking down from Goechala Pass one can get a clear view of the terrain that you had come up.
A semi circular arc created by Kumbkarna (7710m), YalungKhang (8505m), Khangbachen (7802m) and Kabru (7412m) to the left. Mount Pandim (6691m), Jopuno (5936m), Thinchenkhang (6001m) and Narsing (5850m) to the right of the great glacial circle created from the snows of Kanchenjunga. This view alone makes this trek worthwhile.
Trekking inside the Kanchenjunga National Park
Trekking through the Kanchenjunga National Park, in one of the well maintained Bio Diversity Parks in the world, remains a top priority for anyone planning a trekking holiday in Sikkim Himalayas. Untouched and unexplored the Kanchenjunga National Park supports a fine ecosystem, with large species of flora and fauna.
The weather remains clear from October to March but gets dramatic during the pre-monsoon season, with misty clouds playing around through the dense jungle. The entire eco-system of the Kanchenjunga National Park is maintained in equilibrium and no single tree stands alone.
How hard is Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim ?
Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim is a moderate to strenuous camping trek and 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 acclimatized.
Twin Share sleeping Tents with mattress, Kitchen Tent, Dinning Tent, Toilet Tent & food will be provided during the entire duration of the Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek. Participants will have to bring their own sleeping Bags and their personal clothing for the trek.
Sikkim Goechala Trek – Number of Support Team and Food Provided
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.
Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek – Best Time
Best time to proceed on the Goechala Pass 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 a good time to venture out on the Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim when the skies are clear for good mountain views.
Sikkim Goechala Trek – Trekking Formalities
Trekkers Permits will be issued to a minimum of two participants and one will need to go through a local trekking agency. Foreign Travellers will need an Inner Line Permit which will be issued for a period of 30days to travel inside Sikkim, this is over and above the trekking permit.
Inner Line Permit will be issued on the basis of the Indian Visa at the following :
- Border crossing between West Bengal and Sikkim, at Rangpo and Melli.
- Sikkim Nationalised Transport office at Siliguri,
- Sikkim House in Delhi
- Sikkim House in Kolkata.
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: 4990m(Goechala Pass).
- 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 Availability: 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 acclimatized properly it is also advisable to halt for the night at Sachen ( 2189) & seven Kilometer from Yuksom.
Day 5 : Trek Bakhim to Dzongri (3950m)-11.2 Km. The eight mile Trek to Dzongri starts with a gentle two kilometer 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 view point (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. In fact 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 downhill 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 up till 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.
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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, physical ability 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.
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).