Yuksom To Dzongri & The 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).
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 1: Bagdogra - Darjeeling
On arrival at Bagdogra airport meet our representative and drive towards Gangtok. On arrival transfer into hotel. Evening sightseeing and acclimatization. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2: Gangtok - Yuksom (123 Kms/6-7 Hrs)
Today we will drive to Yuksom, the base of our trek. On arrival check in to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel at Yuksom.
Day 3: Yuksom - Tshoka (3000 Mts/9840 Ft) (14 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
The trail from Yuksom 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 Tshoka. On arrival set campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4: Tshoka - Dzongri (4030 Mts/13218 Ft) (10 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
On this day the trail passes through the village of Tshoka 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 5: Rest Day & Acclimatise At Dzongri
The day is for rest and acclimatization. On this day one can savour views of the mountain peaks by climbing up to Dzongri Top. From here you get a panoramic view of Kabru (7353 m), Ratong (6678 m), Kanchenjunga (8534 m), Koktang (6147 m), Pandim (6691 m) and Narsingh (5825 m). Towards the west, the Singalila Ridge, which separates Sikkim from Nepal, can be seen. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 6: 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. Its an hour climb from the bridge to Thangsing (3800 m) located on the slopes of Mt Pandim. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 Tsokha by going through a bypass route directly to Tsokha. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 10: Tshoka - Yuksom (14 Kms/5-6 Hrs)
Retrace steps towards Yuksom on the final day of the trek. The going is easier as the path is mainly downhill. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel.
Day 11: Gangtok - Bagdogra (123 Kms /4-5 Hrs)
Early morning after breakfast drive to Bagdogra and from here take a flight for onward destination.