Co-ordinates:27.6078° N, 88.1869° E
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Maximum temperature: 22°c
Minimum temperature: -1°c
Best time to undertake : November – December and March – April
Maximum altitude: 12,980ft.
If you’re looking for a relatively off-beaten path, then Goechala Trek in Sikkim is ideal for you. The trek trails and views are drastically different from what you would see in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand. From the summit, you get to behold the insane view of 14 other big mountains, including Kanchenjunga. The trekking trail is covered with Rhododendron forests and the path is even made of wood logs. These surroundings give way to a pristine lake, Samiti Lake that is famous for its untouched beauty and also, the reflection of Mt. Pandim.
The high-point of the trek is the view of sunrise from behind Kanchenjunga, a sight that makes the effort all worth it.
Duration: 11 Days
Route: NJP– Yuksom – Bhakim – Tsoka — Phedong — Dzongri — Thansing – Lamuney — View Point 1 –Kockchurang –Tshoka — Yuksom
Day 1: NJP – Yuksom (150km)
After reaching New Jalpaiguru from our respective cities, we head to Yuksom by car. We will cross Bengal and then enter into Sikkim, you will realise the difference in landscape and culture instantly. Overnight stay in Yuksom.
Day 2: Yuksom – Sachen (4-5 hours)
Today our trek begins from the forest behind Yuksom check post. You’ll walk through fields and then enter Rathong river valley, which is one of the most beautiful ones in Sikkim. The trekking route is covered in thick canopies and is even slippery. On the route, you will witness the Tshushay Khola waterfall, a series of small waterfalls that fall into Prek River. We reach Sachen campsite and pitch tents to the roaring sound of the river.
Day 3: Sachen – Tshoka (4 hours)
Next morning after breakfast, we head towards Tshoka. The first obstacle is to cross the bridge over Prek River and then enter a forest of rhododendron and oak. After walking along the forest for a few hours, we will enter Tshoka. You will be surprised to see that it’s a full fledged town that has cafes and restaurant. Try food and drinks typical to Sikkim here, and visit the monastery. From the town, you can also see the entire range of Kanchenjunga and Mt. Pandim. Overnight stay at Tshoka.
Day 4: Tshoka – Dzongri
This is one of the most integral parts of the entire trek as it involves a steep climb through most of the way. After a few hours, we reach Phedang, a clearing that provides breathtaking views of the mountains. Nothing will prepare you for the view at Dzongri. This is an open meadow with Kanchenjunga peaks surrounding it completely! Overnight stay at Dzongri.
Day 5: Dzongri – Thansing
Today is an early day as we head out to Dzongri top before the sun rises. This is a wonderful sunrise point as the snow-clad Kanchenjunga and Singalila peaks get dressed in sunrise hues. The trail then goes down to Kockchurang and then up to Thansing. You will meet River Prek here once again, after crossing it, Thansing is only 2km away. Stay at Thansing for the night.
Day 6: Thansing – Lamuney (2 hours)
Today is a very easy trek that goes over flat grounds. On the way, we visit Samiti Lake where you can spot goats and birds endemic to the region. We head back to our camps and stay the night at Lamuney.
Day 7: Lamuney – View Point 1 – Thansing (9 hours)
Today is a challenging trail where you have to trek for a much longer time. This is also a steep trek, so we begun early morning so as to complete the task before the sun sets. At View Point 1, you will see Mt. pandim and Kanchenjunga ranges even up close! After a while, head down to Thansing where you stay the night.
Day 8: Thansing – Tshoka (7 hours)
This trekking rail is mostly flat, with gentle ascends and descends throughout the way. River Prek also flows below. Stay at Tshoka for the night.
Day 9: Tshoka – Yuksom
Going through Sachen, head back to Yuksom today. The route is made of descends except in the end where the trail ascends. Reach Yuksom and stay there the night.
Drive to NJP, the trip ends here.