The Goechala Trek is one of the most adventurous and beautiful treks in Sikkim, taking you up close to the Eastern face of Mt. Kangchenjunga . The route passes through some stunning emerald glacial lakes and offers grand views of Mt.Kangchenjunga, Mt.Pandim, Kabru, Simvo and Rathong glacier .
The trail runs through moss-laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron. This amazingly diverse forest gives us an opportunity to enjoy many beautiful birds like the Redbilled Leothrix, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Silver-eared Mesia and many more. Equally impressive is the variety of orchids which throng the tree barks.
Bagdogra to Yuksom
Pickup from Bagdogra airport and drive to Yuksom. O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
Yuksom to Bakhim
Walk uphill following the Rathong River's gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. O/n in tents
Bakhim to Phedang
Begin today’s walk by trekking for about one hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka. Tshoka is home to a colony of Tibetan refugees who have erected a small monastery by a small lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang . O/n in tents
Trek: Phedang to Dzongri
A short gentle climb up gets you to the meadows of Dzongri where you would setup camp offering views of Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. O/n in tents
Rest Day: Dzongri
Go for an excursion to Lakshmi Pokhari and other glacial lakes around the area.
Trek : Dzongri to Thansing
The route starts with a gradual ascent offering grand views of Kangchenjunga and Pandim. The route today would be a series of ascents and descents till you finally reach your campsite at Thansing. O/n in tents
Trek: Thansing to Lamune
Today’s walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Your campsite would be just above the emerald Samiti lake . O/n in tents
Trek: Lamune – Goecha La - Thansing
Set off in the early morning (by around 3am) climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. You cross the Zemathang plateau under the shadow of Pandim ascending to a height of about 4850 m .
The Goechala Pass is another hour away. You traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly coloured prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning.
From here commence your long descent to Thansing. O/n in tents
Trek: Thansing to Tshoka
Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you circumvent around the jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent.
Trek: Tshoka to Yuksom
Today would mark your final descent to Yuksom . O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
Yuksom to Kalimpong
After breakfast drive to the quaint hill station of Kalimpong in Darjeeling Hills. Kalimpong is known for its orchid nurseries, Buddhist monasteries and bustling markets.
In the evening drive down to Durpi Dara to catch a glorious sunset, after which you can spend some time in the market. O/n at a hotel in Kalimpong