Goechala Trek
Goechala Trek
Duration 11 nights 12 days

This beautiful trek takes you up to Goecha- La at 4940m, opposite the eastern face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, third highest in the world and one of the most magnificent majestic peaks of the Himalayan range. From Darjeeling a wonderful drive takes us to Yuksom for our stunning adventure on the foothills of the Mt. Kanchenjunga massif. The trek begins through dense sub-tropical forests and passes vast pasturelands of grazing yaks to reach high alpine meadows and finally takes you to the top of the pass where a superb view of the Kanchenjunga awaits. After this glorious trek in the high alpine of Sikkim, we retrace our fabulous journey back to Yuksom with a drive to Kalimpong, another known retreat left over from the British era.

    Day 1:  Bagdogra/New Jalpaiguri - Kalimpong

    Arrive in Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri. Drive to Kalimpong. Check into hotel. Familiarization/ sightseeing in the evening.

    Day 2:  Kalimpong - Yuksom

    After an early breakfast drive from Kalimpong to Yuksom. The drive is along narrow switchback roads, a journey, which with lunch and photo stops takes about 6-8 hours, depending on the condition of the roads. After passing through many small villages and lush countryside, you arrive at Yuksom. Yuksom is a scenic spot set amidst the backdrop of the Himalayas. It is a historical place, for in 1641 Buddhism was rst introduced here. Night stay in hotel.

    Day 3:  Yuksom - Bakhim (3005m) - 12kms/07hrs

    Begin trek after breakfast in hotel. Today is a 12 kms walk to Bakhim situated among beautiful alpine plants and Sikkim's famous orchids. Several Himalayan fauna are found and Bakhim itself has many rare varieties of birds and butter ies. The trail undulates continuously as you constantly cross small side valleys, following the Rathang river gorge through dense mixed jungles. Packed lunch en-route. Camping overnight.

    Day 4:  Bakhim - Dzongri (4030m) - 8kms/04hr

    After breakfast, we head towards Dzongri. This is a short day's walk to give you enough time to acclimatize. Contour for two hours through dwindling amounts of rhododendrons, berries and the haunt of the red panda, before a steep half-hour takes you to the easy section adding to some prayer ags on a rise. The magni cent panorama of the Kanchenjunga massif lies before you - 'gilded at dawn, in amed at sunset'. The dwarf rhododendron adds a romantic touch to the magical world of Dzongri. Reach Dzongri by noon. Camp overnight at Dzongri.

    Day 5:  Dzongri - Thangsing (4030m) - 07kms/05hrs

    Trek to Thangsing with packed lunch. It is a gradual ascent over open hillside with views of Kanchendzonga and Pandim and then a descent through rhododendron forests. Cross the river and walk uphill through pinewoods to reach Thangsing beneath the unclimbed peak of Pandim.

    Day 6:  Thangsing - Samati Lake (4280m) - 08kms/03-04hrs

    Today is a very gentle, leisurely stroll up the Prek Chu valley amidst spectacular scenery. Majestic Pandim towers above you on your right and huge rock walls ank the other side of the river. Pass ruined shrines, mani walls inscribed with Tibetan prayers and a yak-herder's hut, used only in the summer. Cresting a small rise the beautiful sacred turquoise Samati Lake appears below you. We camp for the night by the lake.

    Day 7:  Samati Lake -Goechala - Thangsing (4940m) - 06kms/08-09hrs

    An alpine start today, when you set o before rst light- climbing the hill behind the lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. The whole area above Samati Lake is called the Chemithang Plateau. Cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to a height of about 4710m. Rest and lunch above a frozen lake, which is dotted with snow and ice pinnacles. Walk along a well-trodden path to the Goecha La, which is an hour away from the lake. Stupendous views of the east ank of Kanchenjunga and the distant mountains and valleys. Walk back to Thangsing to the camp.

    Day 8:  Thangsing - Tsoka - 15kms/07hrs

    It is worth getting up early to undertake the short hike to the ridge behind the camp. From here you get a fantastic view of the Kanchenjunga and can look back up to the Goecha La. Leaving Thangsing, we take a di erent route back, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu river, contour round through the jungle with some ups and downs to emerge at Phedung again. From here it is a steep walk down to Tsoka where we camp for the night.

    Day 9:  Tsoka - Yuksom - Pemayangtse

    After breakfast trek to Yuksom. It is a steep descent back to the Prek Chu River following the route you took up on the rst day. The vehicle meets us at Yuksom from where we drive to Pemayangtse. Check into a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

    Day 10:  Pemayangtse - Gangtok

    After breakfast, we drive to Gangtok after a visit to Pemayangtse monastery. Check into a hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

    Day 11:  Gangtok

    Full day sightseeing of Gangtok.

    Day 12:  Gangtok - Bagdogra/New Jalpaiguri

    Fly backs from Bagdogra or board a train backs to Delhi/Kolkata.

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