Goechala Pass Trek the most popular Trek in Sikkim
Goechala Pass trek is the most sought after trek in Sikkim not only because the trek route goes to the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga but also for the up close mesmerizing views of the mountain range. At a glance you just don’t see Kanchenjunga , third highest mountain in the world. You can see before you host of more than seven thousand meter peaks in a semi circular form close enough for you to touch and that’s a lot for the eyes to view on a trek like Goechala Trek.
Goechala Trek fondly called Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek located inside the Kanchenjunga National Park is a 45Km long eight days high altitude camping trek. A trek in Sikkim that climbs into the heart of the Kanchenjunga Range. For this reason the 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 Himalayas.
Goechala Pass trek is officially a cross over trek where the trek route crosses over into the green lake basin and into North Sikkim at Goechala Pass. But due to security reasons the route leading into the Green Lake Basin is closed and trekkers are allowed to trek till Goechala Pass only.
Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek route 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 zones of Dzongri Thansing and Goechala Pass. Rated as the sixth most strenuous trek in Indian Himalayas, Goechala Trek is the most popular trek in Sikkim and at an elevation of 4990m, Goechala pass is the highest point on this Trek.
Goechala Pass Trek starts from Yuksom & ends in Yuksom. For seasoned trekkers one could try the longer but strenuous Singalila Dzongri Goechala Pass Trek. Also known as the round trek in Sikkim, one can start the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek either from Uttray or from Upper Ribdi in west sikkim and involves 13Days of trekking.
Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek – what to Expect
Sikkim Goechala Pass Trek is an absolute visual Treat with mesmerizing upclose 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 Kumbakarna(7710m) called Janu in Nepal, Yalung Kang (8505m), Kangbachen (7802m), Freys 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 not only Sikkim’s famous high altitude Sikkim Goecha la Pass Trek but is also home to the snow leopard, Red Panda, Blue sheep, Musk deer and a variety of high altitude flowering plants.
The Park also houses more than two hundred varieties of Bird species v.i.z. Blood Pheasant, Tragoban Satyr, Mrs.Goulds sunbird, Greater Necklaced Laughing Thrush, Yellow Billed Magpie, Minivets, Green Backed Tits, Olive Backed Pipit, Himalayan Black Lored Tit, Greater Flameback Woodpecker, Dollar Bird, Barbets, Himalayan Cuckoo, Himalayan Cutia, Black Billed Malkhoa, Snow Patridge etc. With such a large variety of Birds Kanchenjunga National Park also becomes a haven for Bird watchers.
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 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 Goechala Trek
All camping equipments i.e. 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 Goecha la 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 impurties 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 Pass Trek will have 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 organising 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 : Strenous to Moderate.
- Minimum No. of Participants : 2 Pax.
- Highest Point: 4990m(Goechla 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.
- Food on the Trek : Vegetarian Local food will be provided.
- Best Season : March to June & September to December.
- Tour Avaliblity: 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 Goecha la 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 Goecha la 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 : 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 step uphill climb till the camp site in Bakhim. This is our first days halt for the night. The eleven Kilometre 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 alaso gives way to small shrubs of Cryptomerias. 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 comparitively easy. The entire Thansing valley sits at the foot of Mount Pandim sorrounded 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 the Trek-3 Hours Drive. Extension can be made to Darjeeling/Bhutan & Nepal.
Note: The above itinerary is a sample,intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Likewise, 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. Therefore, we reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort and general well being.
Recommendation: The trek is strenous and demands good physical form. Hence, a physical fitness check-up is recomended.
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