Treks Trips & Trails

Ever Outward Bound

GOECHA LA TREK ( Sikkim)

Time : Sept/October -May/ June

Trek Duration : 10 days

Region : Eastern Himalayas (Sikkim)

Max. Altitude : 4940 m.

At an altitude of 4,200 m Dzongri is among the best trekking destinations not only in Sikkim but also in India. The sights of the milky white peaks all around Dzongri are bound to keep you gazing with awe. The view from this place has too much to be recommended: a patchwork of green and gold streaked with blue - reminiscent of an abstract etching, framed by the majestic snowcapped peaks shining not very far away.

The awesome presence of the great mountains thrusting their snowy peaks deciphers the strength of the Tethys Sea bulging its muscles to reach this towering height. No less than 14 of them soar majestically to 20,000 ft. plus. The centre of attraction of course remains the Kanchenjunga.

The trail runs through moss-laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron culminating in the meadows of Dzongri at 4,000 m with exceptional mountain views. It is a naturalist's paradise. These forests harbor hundreds of varieties of wild plants, exotic orchids vie for attention with equally spectacular varieties of birds and butterflies.

Day 01: Yuksam : 1,780 m. Arrive Yuksam from New Jal Paiguri (NJP).

Yuksam is the base of West Sikkim's most popular trekking region, Dzongri and is also of historical importance to the Sikkimese.Yuksam literally means 'meeting place of the three lamas'. In the beginning of seventeenth century a rift between different factions of Buddhist sects in Tibet forced the Red Hat Sect to seek refuge in Sikkim. Lama Lhatsun Chempo, on his journey to Sikkim, arrived at Norbugang in Yuksam, where he met two other lamas, Sempa Chempo and Rinzing Chempo and began converting the people into their faith. Sacred texts had revealed that the ruler designate of Sikkim would be a man named Phuntsog of Gangtok, so the lamas sent an envoy in search of him. The party returned with Phuntsog Namgyal, whose ancestry could be traced to the legendary prince Guru Tashi, founder of the Kingdom of Miyang in the Chumbi Valley. In 1641 Phuntsog Namgyal was crowned as Sikkim's first king, the Chogyal.Overnight in Hotel.

Day 02: Bakkhim : 3,005 m. Trek Yuksam to Bakkhim - 16 km / 5 hours. Camp 2,744 m.

We walk gently uphill, following the Rathong River's gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids, brightly colored birds, and the occasional monkey. After an hour or so we cross the Paha Khola bridge, (1,733m. /5,685ft.). There is a swimming spot by a waterfall (for those who dare!) after two hours, and we can stop for lunch by a bridge over stream. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. We will either stay in the Tourist Hostel, or sleep in our tents. This hostel is often occupied by Himalayan Mountain Institute students on rock-climbing courses. This is a long trekking day and you should expect to be pretty tired by the time you arrive at Bakkhim.Overnight in Tourist Bungalow or Camp.

Day 03: Dzongri: 4,030 m.Trek Bakkhim to Dzongri : 9 km / 6 hours. Camp 4,320 m.

Another short day's walking today as we are now treading above the 4,000 m mark. We will be setting up camp by lunchtime and suggest that you spend a relaxed afternoon acclimatizing. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow where we can pitch our tents in a campsite with views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. As usual on trek the choice of campsite depends on many variables, one of the most important is the close supply of water. Camp overnight.

Day 04: Dzongri: 4,030 m

Acclimatization. Overnight Camp

Day 05: Dzongri - Thangshing 3,930 m

We descend through rhododendron forest towards the the glacial Prek river. We establish our campsite on the grassy pastures of Thangshing. The southern ridge of Kanchenjunga and the Onglakthing glacier are visible directly ahead and there are close-up views of Pandim.

Day 06: Thangshing - Samity Lake 4,200 m

A pleasant walk below the west side of Pandim, through dwarf azaleas and rhododendrons to Zemathang. We take our first footsteps on the Onglakthing glacier, and climb up to the shores of the Samity lake, reputed to be the sacred source of the Prek river. Ringed by prayer flags, the lake reflects Forked Peak, Kabru North, Gocha Peak and other snow-capped peaks.

Day 07: Samity Lake - Gocha La 4,940 m - Kokchurng

We have to leave quite early this morning, as fog and clouds descend on the pass shortly after sunrise. The track to Gocha La climbs steeply through moraines. From the pass, ringed with colorful prayer flags, we can see Kanchenjunga and beyond that, the Talung glacier. The fascinating walls of massive cluster of peaks of Kanchendzonga leaves you breathless. The magnificent views of the peaks of Pandim, Kanchendzonga, North and South Kabru, Talung Rathong, Kokthang, Black Kabru, Kabru Dome, Gocha Peak tends to create an illusion of storehouse of tons and tons of ice cream.

The sound of falling boulders and ice due to the small avalanches from the walls of the massive into the small lakes creates a reverberating ambience into the silence and stillness of the whole environment. Gocha La is the ultimate trekking destination of your dream.

Day 08: Tshoka: 2,783 m

Trek back to Tshoka, the beautiful Tibetian village in the rhododendron sanctuary. Overnight Camp.

Day 09: Yuksam: 1,780 m

Trek back to Yuksom. Overnight in Hotel. After lunch trek to Dubdi monastery, 'the hermits cell', which is situated on the top of a lofty hill one thousand feet above Yuksam. The fir-clad mountains behind provide a dramatic background. Founded by Lhatsun Chempo in 1701, it is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. After visiting the monastery descend to the site where the first King of Sikkim was crowned in 1641 by three lamas.

Day 10: Departure Transfer

After breakfast drive to your next point of the tour NJP.