Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek
Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek
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Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek through  the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary  

Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek
view of the Kanchenjunga Range from Kalizar Camp Site

Singalila Pass Trek is a gentle trek through Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and a beautiful offbeat tourist destination in the Singalila Ridge in Sikkim.  Also known as the Hilley Varsey Trek, it is a moderate trek, attaining a maximum altitude of 3700m at Singalila Pass. With a total trekking distance of around 50 km, the Hilley Varsey Trek is a one-of-a-kind trek that is isolated but adorned with great mountain views. During spring, you will find the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary decorated with multi-colored rhododendron flowers, and every spring, the Rhododendron Festival is organized here.

Highlights of the Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek

The highlight of the Singalila Pass Trek is the magnificent view of Everest and Kanchenjunga Range from Phoktey Dara and Singalila Pass. Not many trekkers have trekked on this route as much as the more famous Goechala Pass Trek or the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in the neighbouring Darjeeling Hills.

Singalila Pass to Phalut Sandakphu Trek

An added attraction of the Singalila Pass trek for an enthusiastic Indian hiker is the trek from Hilley to Singalila Pass, then cross over to Phalut and trek to Sandakphu on the Darjeeling side of the Singalila Ridge. By adding a few more days, you will get to do the complete Singalila Trek. Foreign hikers cannot do this trek, as there are no immigration posts on the Singalila Ridge between Sikkim and Darjeeling.

Food and Accommodation

Accommodation on the Singalila Pass Trek will be provided in twin-share tents with a three-inch foam mattress for each hiker.

A cook and his team of helpers will provide hot-cooked food while on the Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara trek in Sikkim. Food will consist of local Indian food, where lunches will consist of chapatis with vegetable curry, chowmein, plain vegetable soup or noddle soup, boiled eggs, and boiled potatoes with tea or coffee.

Dinner will start with hot soup with chips or crackers, followed by Dal, rice, and vegetable curry most of the time. There will be a change in the menu, with fried rice or some other local food being provided, followed by tea or coffee and hot chocolate drinks.

Breakfast will be mainly porridge with honey, followed by chapatis with jam and cheese, eggs (boiled and omelettes), and tea or coffee.

Getting there and away

Okhrey, a small village about six hours drive from Bagdogra Airport and four hours drive from the capital Gangtok, is the trek head and the starting point for the Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara trek in Sikkim.

Uttaray, also a small village with a seven-hour drive to Bagdogra Airport, is where the Singalila Pass Trek ends.

The best season to visit 

If you are planning the Singalila Pass Trek in Sikkim, then the two most appropriate seasons is spring and autumn.

But do remember that the best months are from March to April and October to November.

From March to April, the entire Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, along with the upper reaches of the Singalila Pass, Kalijhar, and Phoktey Dara, will be adorned with multicolored rhododendron flowers, accompanied by a mountain view.

However, from the end of April and May, we will see some rain-bearing clouds from the slowly approaching monsoon rain cover up the horizon and play around the forest. This will be a disappointment to hikers after having trekked for a couple of days just to get this view. Do not forget to carry an umbrella or a raincoat.

The fall season, from October to November, is the best time for great mountain views as the weather remains clear. There might be a little rain from the retreating monsoon, but nothing to get worried about as these are dry months.

What to Carry

Put all your clothes and your sleeping bag in a 50- to 50-liter haversack, as it will be easy for the porter or pony to carry.

Since you will be ascending to higher altitudes, the temperature will go down to 0 degrees Celsius at Phoktey Dara, Singalila Pass, and Kalijhar. Therefore, bring with you a down jacket and a thick fleece jacket for evening and morning use. Also include a wollen cap or balaclava, wollen mits or gloves, and thermal inners.

Daytime temperatures will vary from 5 degrees to 18 degrees Celsius. Therefore, light trekking pants, a couple of quick-dry t-shirts, some pairs of wollen socks, light fleece, a wind stopper, an umbrella or raincoat, sun shades, and polarized sunglasses are recommended for day use.

Carry a day pack (30 liters) with you. Carry in your daypack a water bottle, your personal items, a light fleece jacket, a wind stopper, and an umbrella.

Also, include in your daypack your personal medical kit. Your medical kit should contain tablets for fever, loose motion, painkillers, bandages for toe blisters and small wounds, and antiseptic ointment for cuts and wounds. Also include a couple packets of Ors powder for hydration, crepe bandages for sprains, and knee caps in case of knee pain. Sunscreen lotion (50SPF), moisturising cream, and vaseline for chaffed skin.

Water is available on the trek route and is fit to drink; nevertheless, carry water-purifying tablets, even though boiled water will be provided at the camp sites for drinking.

Trek Grade

Moderate camping trek from 2600 m (Hilley) to 3700 m (Singalila Pass). Participants carry their day pack only with their personal items in it. The main baggage will be carried by the pony or porter. Full camping equipment will be provided to the trekkers.

TREK FACTS:

  • Type of Trek: Camping Trek.
  • Total number of days: 10 days.
  • Trek Days: 6 Days.
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border.
  • Highest Trekking Point: Singalila Pass (3700m)
  • Trek Grade: Moderate.
  • Trek Availability: Only private treks are available for a minimum of two people.
  • Best Season: March–June and September–December.
  • Customized private treks can also be arranged for a minimum of two people on request on a date of your choice.

SINGALILA  PASS  PHOKTEY DARA TREK  ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border.
Drive to Gangtok (5 hours). Overnight Hotel.
Day 2: Gangtok sight-seeing. Overnight Hotel.
Day 3: Drive to Hilley (2600 m). Overnight Tents/Lodge.
Day 4: Hilley Varsey Trek starts. Trek Hilley to Varsey (2750 m/5 km/3 hours). Overnight Tents.
Day 5: Trek Barsey to Joributey (2700 m/12 km/6 hours). Overnight Tents.
Day 6: Trek Joributey to Kalijhar (3400 m/13 km/7 hours). Overnight Tents.
Day 7: Early Morning Trek to Singalila Pass (3700 Trek). Return Trek to the camp site.
Day 8: Early morning climb to Phoktey Dara view point for spectucular views of Everest and Kanchenjunga Range. Return to the camp site. Trek to Uttarey (14 km–7 hours). Overnight Lodge. PS. NOTE: For Indian trekkers, this Singalila Trek can be customized to trek to Phalut Sandakphu to end the Singalila Trek in Manebhanjyang.
Day 9: Drive Back to Kalimpong. Overnight Hotel.
Day 10:Drive back to Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border. The end of the Hilley Varsey Trek. Extensions can be made to Darjeeling, Nepal, and Bhutan.

How much does the Singalila Pass Trek cost?

  • Singalila Pass Phoktey Dara Trek Costs: US$790/Person
  • Cost for Indians : Request for quote in Indian Rupee

What is included and excluded in the cost?

Phoktey Dara Trek Cost Includes:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping or trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guide, 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 are for Sikkim.
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off.

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-given 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.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SIKKIM SINGALILA PASS TREK COST: US$790/PERSON
  • Indian participants do inquire for quotes in Indian rupees.

TOUR COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping or trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guide, 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 are for Sikkim.
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off.

 

  • 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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