Kanchenjunga Goecha La Trek
This popular trek in Sikkim, is from Yuksom to Dzongri and onwards to Goecha La, and has superb views of Kanchenjunga. From Yuksam, the trail follows the Rathong Valley to Bakkhim and from here a steep ascent to the village of Tshoka. Above Tshoka the trail reaches Phedang. A further stage brings you to Dzongri (4020 M). From here the trail drops steeply down the river to Thangsing (3930 M). The final stop is at Samiti Lake from which an assault is made to Goecha La (4940 M) for the best views of Kanchenjunga.
Dzongri is situated at an altitude of about 4020 M, in west Sikkim. It offers the trekker a most fascinating close-up view of Kanchenjunga and Mt. Pandim. To the west rises the long outline of the Kyangla ridge. Dzongri is trekker's paradise. Goecha La is situated at an altitude of about 4940 M. Goecha La offers a mind catching sight of the mountains like Pandim, Kanchenjunga and the others. The trek to Goecha la really is getting out & getting trekked. There are only few trekking routes around the Kanchenjunga National Park that are open to visitors. The trek is traditional which follows a picturesque route past lush vegetation and wonderful mountain views until it reaches a high pass. The training courses of the Himalayan Mountaineering.
Day 01: Bagdogra - Gangtok (124 Kms/3-4 Hrs)
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport met our representative and drive towards Gangtok. On arrival transfer into hotel. Evening free to do your own activity. Dinner & overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Gangtok - Yuksom (123 Kms/6-7 Hrs)
Today we will drive to Yuksom. The base of our trek. Dinner and overnight stay in guesthouse.
Day 03: Yuksam (1785 Mts/5854 Ft) - Tsokha (3000 Mts/9840 Ft) (14 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
The trail from Yuksam starts at the local market and follows main road towards the north. The trail climbs gently out of the valley and hugs the right bank of the Ratong Chu River, which can be heard thundering through the gorge below. The trail crosses over four bridges to climb steeply towards north-west to the small settlement of Bakkhim. Continue for another 3 kms through forest of magnolia and rhododendron to reach Tsokha. On arrival set campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 04: Tsokha - Dzongri (4030 Mts/13218 Ft) (10 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
On this day the trail passes through the village of Tsokha and continues to climb north through the forest of rhododendron to the alp of Phedang (3650 m) taking around 3 hrs to complete the ascent. Continue further towards Dzongri. On arrival set campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 05: Dzongri (4030 Mts/13218 Ft)
Early risers can get up before dawn to climb to a vantage point on a ridge above the campsite to watch the sunrise on Kanchenjunga, Kabru, Pandim, Rathong, and many other peaks of the Kanchenjunga range.
The trial first goes through rhododendron bushes and pasture land for about an hour to Chamaray. From here it is a gradual ascent to Laxmi Pokhari, a big lake cupped in a deep crater. Here you will get good view of Kanchenjunga range, Pandim, Narsingh, Kabur, Kabur dome, Koktang etc. If you reach Laxmi Pokhari early and feeling physically fit, an excursion towards Kabur rock will be a rewarding experience. Back to Dzongri. Dinner and overnight in the camp.
Day 06: Dzongri - Bikhbari (12 Kms/4-5 Hrs)
The trail first ascends gradually for about half an hour & then descends till we reach a crossroad. The trail on the left goes down to Zamlingang. We follow the trail to the right, which is a flat walk throughout. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 07: Bikhbari
Excursion to Chaurikhang and Rathong Glacier (Kanchenjunga Base Camp).
It is a gradual ascent all the way to the base camp. This is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, which is also the site where the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling conducts its advanced mountaineering courses. You can get close views of Frey's peak, Koktang, Kabur and Rathong from here. Return to Bikhbari. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Reserve day for summit.
Day 09: Bikhbari - Dzongri
In the morning trek back to Dzongri with packed lunch. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 10: Dzongri - Thangsing (3800 Mts/ 12464 Ft) (10 Kms/4-5 Hrs)
The trail from Dzongri continues along the right bank of the river towards east. After cresting the hill the path drops into the valley and then crosses the bridge over the Prek Chu River. It's an hour climb from the bridge to Thangsing (3800 m) located on the slopes of Mt Pandim. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 11: Thangsing - Samiti Lake (4500 Mts/ 14760 Ft) (7 Kms/3-4 Hrs)
The trail from Thangsing climbs gently north and follows a stream and alpine meadows. About an hour above Thangsing we reach Onglathang from where the superb view of the south face of Kanchenjunga can be seen. In order to capture clear views one has to reach Onglathang early. The trail then skirts through a series of glacial moraines before crossing over meadows again, and arrives at the emerald lake at Samiti. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 12: Samiti Lake - Goecha La (5002 Mts/ 16406 Ft) - Samiti Lake (12 Kms/6-7 Hrs)
The climb to Goecha La begins with gentle gradient eastwards for about half an hour and then later the steep ascent starts. The trail follows the glacial moraine north-east and then drops to a dry lake at Zemathang. A tough scramble over rocks and boulders with a rise of 400 meters will bring us on the top of the pass. The pass is formed due to the depression between Pandim and the Kabru spurs. It overlooks the Talung Valley and commands a very impressive view of the south faces of Kanchenjunga. Afternoon return to the Samiti Lake. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 13: Samiti Lake - Tshoka (14 Kms/6-7 Hrs)
Start retracing steps towards Thangsing will take about couple of hours or so. From Thangsing follow the trail to Kokchorung (3800 m) which is a good camping site. Continue descending towards Tshoka by going through a bypass route directly to Tshoka. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 14: Tshoka - Yuksom (14 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
Retrace steps towards Yuksam on the final day of the trek. The going is easier as the path is mainly downhill. Overnight stay at guest house.
Day 15: Yuksom - Bagdogra - Delhi
After breakfast drive to Bagdogra airport and from here catch a flight for onward destination.