Goecha La Trek
Experience the beauty of the Eastern Himalayas in Sikkim – scenic trails through rhododendron forests, a tropical rainforest-like setting, serene high altitude lakes and snow billowing off the mountain peaks within touching distance. Trek to the foot of the 3rd highest mountain in the world – the mighty Kanchenjunga and witness the glory of the peaks in the Kanchenjunga massif.
Trek Route: Yuksom - Sachen - Tsokha - Dzongri - Thansing - Lamuney - Goecha La - Thansing - Tsokha - Yuksom
Day 1: Arrive at NJP. Pick up from NJP / Siligruri and drive to Yuksom via Jorethang
Day 2: Trek from Yuksom (1690m) to Sachen (2160m)
Day 3: Trek from Sachen (2160m) to Tsokha (2930m)
Day 4: Trek from Tsokha (2930m) to Dzongri (3930m)
Day 5: Trek from Dzongri (3930m) to Thansing (3900m)
Day 6: Trek from Thansing (3900m) to Lamuney (4120m)
Day 7: Trek from Lamuney (4120m) to Goecha La (4780m) and back to Thansing
Day 8: Trek from Thansing (3900m) to Tsokha (2930m)
Day 9: Trek from Tsokha (2930m) to Yuksom (1690m)
Day 10: Drive from Yuksom to NJP / Siliguri via Jorethang
Day 11: Buffer Day, can be utilized in case of bad weather, unforeseen delays
Day 1: Arrive at NJP / Siliguri and drive to Yuksom (6 to 7 hours)
The drive from NJP to Yuksom takes 6 to 7 hours, with a break at Jorethang for lunch. The drive takes you along scenic country roads and gives you a glimpse into the way of life in west Sikkim. The road climbs up steadily and steeply at times after Jorethang and the drive is surely one to remember. We stay in a guest house at Yuksom for the night.
Day 2: Trek from Yuksom to Sachen (4 to 5 hours)
Backpacks on shoulders, we start the trek to Sachen climbing up on the trail leading into the forest behind the houses at the far end of the village. Narrow paths lead over minor landslide areas and a few bridges take us over gushing streams found in plenty. It takes about 5 hours to reach a small clearing amidst the forest – Sachen, where we pitch our tents for tonight.
Day 3: Trek from Sachen to Tsokha (4 to 5 hours)
The trek from Sachen to Tsokha gives you a feel of trekking through a rainforest. Dense vegetation and rhododendrons in abundance, you gain in altitude steadily over the 4 to 5 hour trek towards Tsokha. A well laid out campsite with forest huts and basic toilets, the Tsokha campsite provides good views of the mountain peaks you are headed towards over the next few days.
Day 4: Trek from Tsokha to Dzongri (6 to 7 hours)
A long trek today, mostly uphill. Moderate to steep ascents, winding all the way up to Dzongri marks the first test for most people on the Goecha La trek. It takes about 6 hours to gradually make your way through the rhododendron forest to the reach the highest point for the day. A level walk for about an hour thereafter and you finally arrive at Dzongri campsite to the comfort of your tents.
Day 5: Trek from Dzongri to Thansing (3 to 4 hours)
Today, before breakfast, we head out on a short ½ hour trek to Dzongri top – a viewpoint that offers magnificent sights of the Kanchenjunga peaks. Views of the snowy peaks in the early morning light are a visual treat to behold! Many photographs later, we get back to our campsite for breakfast and resume the trek towards Goecha La.
Thansing, the next campsite is about 3 hours away, passing through the lovely riverside camping grounds of Kokchurang on the way. Thansing offers a good glimpse into the valley we are headed into from here on. Tenzing Khang and Pandim peaks are prominent in the distance.
Day 6: Trek from Thansing to Lamuney (1 to 2 hours)
An easy level trek for utmost 2 hours followed by some much needed rest at the Lamuney campsite. We regroup for an early lunch and dinner and retire into our tents to rest and prepare for the tough trek to Goecha La the next day.
Day 7: Trek from Lamuney to Goecha La and back to Thansing (8 to 9 hours trek)
It will be an early morning start from here (around 2 am!) to trek up to the Goecha La pass. The serene Samiti lake and the views of the tall and mighty Kanchenjunga peaks along the way beckon you to trek on towards the pass. The Samiti lake can be reached in 1 to 2 hours depending on the terrain and weather conditions and another 4 to 5 hours on the snowy slopes will get you to the high altitude pass.
The highest altitude of the trek attained, we now retrace our way back to the Lamuney campsite. A well-deserved, hot meal at Lamuney and then we move back to Thansing to retire for the night.
Day 8: Trek from Thansing to Tsokha (5 to 6 hours)
We start back for Yuksom and get down to Tsokha today, which will take 5 to 6 hours of descending. We take a different route after crossing Kokchurang, bypassing the Dzongri campsite. A break at Phedang for lunch and we encounter the steep section again to descend to Tsokha.
Day 9: Trek from Tsokha to Yuksom (5 to 6 hours)
The last part of the trek – 6 hours through the forest trail and the now familiar terrain to the guest house for some much needed rest. Relax in the guest house over the evening.
Day 10: Drive from Yuksom to NJP (6 to 7 hours)
A leisurely breakfast at Yuksom and a stroll around the village for those with more time on hand. The drive back to NJP with lively chatter about the just concluded trek marks the end of an eventful 10 day journey. A journey to the foot of the 3rd highest mountain in the world.
- Good quality tents, sleeping bags, carry mats and crampons (if and where required). Tented accommodation will be on double / triple sharing basis.
- Safety equipment – first aid kit, stretcher, pulsoximeter, portable oxygen cylinders (where required, for use in case of emergencies only)
- All vegetarian meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner on all trek days) for the trek duration (from base camp onwards till end point of the trek)
- WildBoots trek leader, guide, cook and camp helpers and horses / mules / porters as may be required for carrying the equipment
- Taxes, permits, fees and other charges imposed by local authorities, national parks, etc.
- Transport costs to reach NJP / Siliguri
- Meals, snacks, mineral water, telephone, tips and other incidental expenses during travel to and from base camp / end point of the trek
- Trekkers are expected to trek carrying their own backpack. Those intending to trek without backpacks or carrying only a day-pack and offloading their backpacks onto the horses / mules will have to bear an additional cost.
- Cost of doctors, medical officers. WildBoots trek leaders are trained in First Aid to assist in case of medical emergencies.
- Emergency evacuation related costs owing to medical emergencies or weather conditions.
Reporting Date & Time:
Please plan on reaching NJP latest by 11:00 a.m. on Day 1. All trekkers will be assembled and will leave together for Yuksom from NJP latest by 12 noon.
Return Date & Time:
Please plan on return travel from NJP after 4 pm on Day 11. All trekkers will leave together for NJP from Yuksom latest by 9:30 am on Day 11, considering that the buffer day will be utilized during the trek.
Meet-up Information/Reporting Point:
New Jalpaiguri Junction Railway Station, Siliguri