Goecha La Trek
Goecha la trek is classic Himalayan trek in beautiful state of Sikkim. Sikkim is emerging as popular destination for off rout traveler who is looking for an experience and not just holidays. During Goechala trek discover a majestic wonderland of natural beauty. Trekking in Sikkim is overgenerous with panorama perfection of snow capped Himalayas, the heady scent of Juniper & rhododendron laden meadows, gushing clouds and thick forests.
The trek from Yuksom to Goecha La is one of outstanding treks in the Sikkim region of the Indian Himalaya. The trek starts in the lowland rainforests near Yuksom before ending at Goecha La near the base of Kangchenjunga (28,169ft/8,586 m) the World’s Third Tallest Peak. The route passes through several sections of beautiful Rhododendron forests best viewed in early May and open alpine meadows with fantastic panoramas of the surrounding mountains.
Day 1 - Siliguri to Yuksom (5 hour drive )
Our itinerary starts from New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri reachable be train or flight . Upon pick-up it’s a 150km (5 hour) journey by taxi on the winding mountain road through Jorthang, and Legship to the trail head at Yuksom. We will overnight at a hotel in Yuksom before starting the trek the following morning. Yuksom is a picturesque mountain town with several hotels and restaurants and popular with those looking to escape the crowds of Gangtok and Darjeeling.
Day 2- Yuksom to Sachen 7,150ft/2180m 8km (3 to 4 hours)
The trail to Sachen from Yuksom winds through deep rainforest as it gradually climbs approximately 500m/1500ft in elevation. Bridges cross both the Pha Khola and Mentogang Khola on the way to Sachen.
Day 3 - Sachen to Tshokha 9,700 ft/2971m 8km (4 hours)
The trek is a bit steeper today gaining about 800m/2500ft but its relatively short and prepares one for the longer climb to Dzongri the following day. After crossing the dramatic prayer flag strung bridge over the Prekchu the forest thins out and you will see the first Rhododendrons trees. You can take a short break at the tea stall at Bakhim. Tshokha has a forest guest house and several small cafes where you can sample the local malt beer and yak cheese. If you continue a bit past Tshokha you can see the beautiful Mount Pandim 6,691 m (21,952 ft).
Day 4 - Tshokha to Dzongri 12,980ft/3956m 11km (5 hours)
It’s a steep climb to Dzongri but this is a day to look forward to as the views of Indian Himalayas spread out before you amidst the beautiful Rhododendrons which generally reach their peak bloom in early May.
Day 5 - Dzongri to Thansing 12,900ft/3930m 6km (3 -4 hours)
We start the day with an early morning hike to Dzongri Top about a 45min walk up from Dzongri to see the sunrise over the Himalayan panorama. The trek for the day takes us down a 1000 feet/300m to Kokchurang and then back up to Thansing. We camp in the big meadow of Thansing for the night with majestic views of both Pandim and Kanchanjunga.
Day 6 - Thansing to Lamuney 13,600ft/4145m 4.2 kms (2 hours)
It’s a fairly easy hike up to Lanuney through meadows with great views of the mountains. Once we reach camp an optional side trip can be made up to Samiti Lake a beautiful alpine lake reached after a steep 45 min climb.
Day 7 - Lamuney to Goecha La 16,000ft/4876m to Kockchurang 15km (7-8 hours)
Today requires a very early start as it brings us to Goecha La the end point of the trek from where we backtrack to Kockchurang for the night. The trail takes one above the ridge overlooking Samiti Lake with fantastic views of Kangchenjunga and Mount Pandim all along.
Day 8 - Kockchurang to Tshokha 14km (5 to 6 hours)
We take a slightly different route on the way back to keep things interesting. The trail from Kockchurang to Phedang is fairly level as it skirts around the mountain with good views. Once reaching Phedang we retrace the route to Tshokha.
Day 9 - Tshokha to Yuksom 14km (5 to 6 hours)
This is the finally day of trekking as we make our decent back to the trailhead. We will spend the night at Yuksom.
Day 10 - Yuksom to Siligiri
We get an early start for the five hour drive back to Siligiri.