GoechaLa Trek: Try this Challenging trek in Sikkim
GoechaLa trek is a refreshing trek among the beautiful Himalayan Mountains, and it has the power to make you forget the whole world with its beauty. It is a tiny place tucked away in Sikkim and serves as the motivational engine and desire of numerous adventure lovers across the country.
Entwined in the middle of vibrant and multi-hued flora and fauna, GoechaLa serves as a grand trek. It takes you on the way to the fantastic Kanchenjunga National Park, and if you love the natural beauty, then you will surely enjoy the national park too. But the real reason why Goechala is so famous is not that of the magnificent Kanchenjunga but due to several significant summits that are located around Goechala Trek and make it the yearning of many bikers and adventure lovers. It is indeed a fantastic pleasure to see these beautiful mountains and the scenic landscapes with all the cute and exotic flowers, vast meadows, and even more majestic peaks.
Some facts about GoechaLa Trek:
If you love the mountains and would love to see the peaks and ridges clearly, then Goecha La is the best place you can explore. The best time to take the Goecha la Trek is during the October to November season as during this period the sky is clear making it safe and perfect for travellers. You can also steal some fascinating glimpses of the sunrise and sunset. Taking the trek during the chilly winter months is a big no-no since winter time gets tough. But if you want to see some snow-clad peak, you can take the trek. Located at an altitude of 4940 meters, Goecha la is one surprising reason why you should travel to Sikkim.
The whole trekking Distance is 90 Km, and the maximum altitude during the trek goes all the way up to 16,200ft. The trek is quite a difficult one and begins and ends in Sankri with New Jalpaiguri (NJP) being the nearest railway station.
Your complete itinerary for Goechala trek :
You will need a drive from Bagdogra Airport/NJP (or whichever way you arrive from) to Yuksom (5,670ft).This journey will take around 7 hours and oversee some fantastic Himalayan Views along with the Teesta River uphill. Or if you are making a road trip from hometown then your first arriving point is Yoksom. On your arrival day, find a hotel as per your budget and spend the night indoor, sheltered inside a luxury hotel enjoy the perks of hospitality in high altitude and relax for the evening.
Day 1 :
On your first day, your destination will be Sachen (7,150ft), and you will have to trek all the way for 5 hours from Yuksom to get there. It will be the first day of your trek so wake up, get refreshed and collect the energy to start your day and trek. You will begin the trek with an ascending uphill while following the beautiful Rathong River. You will further trek via the magnolia thickets, rhododendron, and several ferns and make your way to the Paha Khola Bridge.
It’s best that you carry a lunch and satiates hunger pangs with a packed lunch on the way, so your energy levels don’t go down. On the way, you will see numerous exotic orchids, multihued flowers, and funny monkeys. Get to Sachen and enjoy the rest of the day at the campsite.
Day 2 :
On day two, you trek from the Sachen to Tshokha (9,700ft) via Bhakim (8,600ft) over a 4-6 hour long trek. You will see the beautiful aromatic viburnum plantations and follow will be the crossing of the Prek Chu River and a beautiful but challenging hike uphill. As you continue to trek upwards, you will finally get to Tshoka, the Tibetan refugee settlement. Spend the night at the camp and enjoy a nice dinner.
Day 3 :
On day three, you will trek from Tshokha to Phedang (12,000ft) crossing the numerous Rhododendron Forests over a 4-hour trek. On this day, you will go uphill and via the many scenic forests of rhododendrons. Well-laid trails and some grand scenery will surely make you fall in love with the place. As you move a little bit from this spot, you will have to take a short trek through which you will reach Phedang, your campsite for the night.
Day 4 :
On day four, you will trek from Phedang to Dzongri (12,980ft) over three hours. Start your trek after having a sumptuous breakfast in Phedang so you can accumulate the energy you need for the trek on this day. It is an uphill trek, and you will cross the 4,000m altitude on this beautiful trek. Take a brief break to get acclimatized, so you don’t fall sick and enjoy your packed lunch. Another climb will take you to Dzongri where you will stay for the night and from the campsite, you can also see the mesmerizing Koktang, Pandim, Kabru, Rathong, Khangchendzonga, Simvo peaks.
Day 5 :
Day five will be a short excursion at Dzongri. Get up in the morning after a relaxing night and take your time deciding whether you want to go for an exploration tour around the Dzongri or stay at the campsite for relaxing. If you do go out, don’t forget to click pictures of the surrounding peaks as Dzongri is a hub of scenic views. You can also relax at the campsite to get acclimatized.
Day 6 :
On day six, you will trek from Dzongri to Thangshing (12,900ft) over 5-6 hours and cover a lot of peaks on the way. This trek will start with a gradual ascend as you climb around 1mile and walk towards a low-ridge (13,500ft). From this ridge, you will see the wondrous chortens: a Buddhist shrine, typically a saint’s tomb or a monument to the Buddha and the several prayer flags amidst the magic of the Himalayas in Sikkim. Throughout the way, the glorious views of Kanchenjunga and Pandim peaks will keep you busy. After that, the trek begins descending to the Pandim, and you will walk through the rhododendron forests and the Prek Chu River.
Enjoy your lunch break and start your 1.5 hours trek again so you can get to Thangshing for the overnight stay.
Day 7 :
On day seven, you will go from Thansing to Goecha La (16,000ft) and finally to Lamuney. You will have to begin the day earlier than usual to avoid harsh climatic conditions. You will climb uphill and then you will descend to the Samiti Lake. Eventually, you will cross the Zemathang Plateau. After some trekking and ascending, you will get to the Goecha La Pass.
As you get to this fantastic pass, you will see the marvellous views of the Kanchenjunga, but you will have to continue your journey to Lamuney (adjacent to the Samiti Lake) for your overnight stay.
Day 8 :
On day eight, you will trek from Lamuney to Tshoka which will be a 7-8 hours trek. If you want to enjoy the enchanting views of the Kanchenjunga Peak, then you can do so by waking up early and visiting the nearby ridge. Today, you will take a crossing from the Dzongri Plateau and through the Prek Chu along with the deciduous forests of Phedang. As you reach Tshoka, set up camp and enjoy the overnight camp stay.
Day 9 :
On day nine, you will trek back from Tshokha to Yuksom over 5-6 hours. You will be descending via the Prek Chu River, arriving in Yuksom. Check in to a hotel at Yuksom and enjoy the rest of the day sightseeing in the area or just go souvenir shopping. Here is where your trek and your journey come to an end of GoechaLa Trek. So fly home or drive back with the memories and photographs and share your experience with friends and family.
If you are looking for an easy trek near Gangtok you can try Trichuli Trek.
Summary of GoechaLa Trek :
Place | Sikkim
Starting point | Yuksom
Finishing Point | Goecha La
Trek length | Approx 90 km
Time of trek | 80 – 90 hrs depending upon your stamina.
Mode | foot with stick support.
Essentials | Power bank, poncho, move/voilini, toiletries.
Terrain | Difficult
To see | Beautiful birds and Lakes
Definitely, Do’s | Birdwatching, Akash Kamini waterfall photography
Don’ts | Bathing in river and lake
Note | Please don’t litter.