In search of Kanchenjunga 3rd.Highest Mountain in the World
Goechala Trek is Sikkim’s most popular hike, for good reason. It’s an incredibly scenic trek, starting and ending in Yuksom, a small hamlet in west Sikkim. For miles you get to trek through forests, mountain sides above the timberline surrounded by sheer white Himalayan mountains with amazing beauty. Sikkim Goechala Trek is challenging, unique and a very memorable experience.
There are two routes to do the Goechala Trek. But the one starting from Yuksom to Goechala Pass is the most popular and sought after. An epic hiking experience, 80Km of unforgettable Journey from Yuksom to Goechala Pass in the mysterious Sikkim Himalayas. Goechala Trek is definitely a hike to add to your bucket list.
Getting to Yuksom is a little out of the way, but if you are looking for an epic trek in Sikkim, than Goechala Trek is worth the drive as the entire hike is stunning.
Goechala Pass Trek is a multi-day hike and a fitting place for hikers to test their mettle. Also, the main attraction of the Goechala trek is not only the close up view of Kanchenjunga and the views of the Singalila Ridge over on the Darjeeling hills from Dzongri view Point. But varied landscape that the trekker gets to witness everday.
Yuksom is the trek head, and the trek from Yuksom to Goechala Pass itself can be challenging due to a significant change in the altitude over a small period of time, not to forget the distance covered in a day. However, once you start proceeding on the trek it becomes easy to tackle the challenging distances. But, this also is another reason for it’s popularity.
In addition, the 80Km long trek to Goechala Pass involves eight days of hiking through the Kanchenjunga National Park. A trek in Sikkim with 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 hike worth the extra sweat required to complete this trek.
Journey to the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga
The high point of this trek is the Goechala pass (4990m), that lie in wait at the foot of Kanchenjunga rising like a rocky guardian. Consider bringing trekking poles, as some portion of this trek is a steep ascent and descent on unlevelled trail.
Sunrise over on the Kanchenjunga Range
One of the biggest attraction of the Goechala Trek is the sunrise view over on the Kanchenjunga Range from Dzongri and Zemathang view Points. The views are worth the effort put in for an hour of early morning trek to the top.
How hard is this trek in Sikkim ?
Goechala Pass Trek is a moderate to strenuous camping trek in Sikkim and one needs to prepare well for this trek. A months training is essential before embarking on this trek. Once on the trail it is essential that one approach Dzongri gently. For this reason it is advisable to take a night stay at Sachen before trekking to Goechala pass to get better acclimatized.
An Endurance Trek
It is important to note for hikers planning to tackle the Goechala Trek 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.
For seasoned trekkers one could try the Uttray Dzongri Yuksom Loop also known as Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek in Sikkim that involves thirteen days of strenuous trekking.
Goechala Pass Trek Starting and Ending Point
Goechala Pass Trek starts from Yuksom (1762m) four hours drive from the capital Gangtok, and six hours drive from Bagdogra Airport. Yuksom is a small sikkimese village consisting of a couple of Hotels and Lodges, and is the trek head for the Goechala Pass Trek in Sikkim.
Trail to Goechala Pass starts gently from the Himalayan foothills of Yuksom and passes through different climatic zones. From dense sub-tropical forest to Alpine to Tundra like condition and Yuksom is the starting and ending point for the Goechala Trek.
Camping in the Thansing Valley
Camping at the foot of Mount Pandim and Thinchenkhang in Thansing valley, a picturesque camp site beside the Prekchu river while on the trek to Goechala Pass is the best part the Goechala Pass Trek. The magical experience of watching Mount Pandim from your tent will leave you spellbound.
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 close quarters. Goechala pass is the apex of the Sikkim Goechala Trek and is also the Base Camp for those aspiring to summit Mount Kanchenjunga from the Sikkim side of the Himalayas.
It can also be said, 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.
Reasons to do the Goechala Trek
Goechala Trek is an absolute visual treat with mesmerizing close up views of the Kanchenjunga Range from Dzongri and Goechala Pass. That’s a lot for the eyes to view on a trek like this. The closer the trek approaches Goechala Pass the closer you seem to get to these mountains. Looking down from Goechala Pass one can get a clear view of the terrain that you had come up. This view alone makes the Goechala Pass Trek worthwhile.
Also, Sikkim Goechala trek is good for those looking for an alternative to the Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal. Ranked among the top six strenuous treks in Indian Himalayas, Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek does justice for those looking to do a challenging and strenuous trek in Sikkim Himalayas.
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 the Goechala Pass trek in Sikkim. Untouched and unexplored the Kanchenjunga National Park supports a fine ecosystem, with large species of flora and fauna.
The weather also 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.
What to Bring ?
- Besides your personal clothing you will need to bring with you warm clothes which includes.
- A Pair of light Trekking pants for Day use.
- Couple of pair of cotton socks.
- Quick Dry T-Shirts for Day use.
- Warm Pants for Evening Use.
- Thermal Inners.
- Water Proof Jacket/RainCoat/Umbrella
- Down Jacket.
- Thermal light Jackets.
- Water Bottle as plastic bottles are Banned in Sikkim from the coming Year 2022.
- Water Purifying Tablets.
- Sunscreen Lotions ( 50SPF)
- Cold Cream / Vaseline
- Down Sleeping Bag
- Ankle Length comfortable Trekking Boots
- Trekking Poles
- Dry Fruits/Energy Bars for Personal Consumption
- Personal Medical Kit
While on the trek we provide (minimum meal entitlement per person)
- Cornflakes, Pancakes, Toast, butter and jam.
- HOT LUNCH.
- Sandwich/boiled potato.
- Boiled eggs.
- Roti or naan/Macaroni/pasta etc with Vegetable Curry.
- Canned juice- orange.
- Tea / Coffee.
- EVENING TEA.
- Tea/ coffee.
- Vegetable items.
- Hot Chocolate Drink.
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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.
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.
- 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.
- We use paraffin stove and paraffin as fuel to cook food.
Best time to proceed on the Goechala Pass Trek 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 this trek when the skies are clear for good mountain views.
Trekking Permits will be issued to a minimum of two participants and one will need to go through a local trekking agency. Foreign Travelers 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 places :
- Border crossing between West Bengal and Sikkim, at Rangpo and Melli.
- Sikkim Nationalized 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: 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.
- Trek 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 acclimitazed 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 bouldred track right up till 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. 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.
- SIKKIM GOECHALA TREK COSTS : US$1040/Person
- Domestic Participants kindly enquire within for costs in Indian Rupees
SIKKIM GOECHALA PASS TREK 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.
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 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: Trek is strenuous and demands good physical form. Hence, a physical fitness check-up is recommended.
(All relevant Terms & Conditions apply).