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Goechala Trek

Sikkim,Sikkim
(212+ Reviews)

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Overview

The biggest reason to do the Goechala trek is the grand views of the big mountains you see. You don’t just see one summit — the Kanchenjunga — but 14 other big summits. That’s a lot for any trek — especially as close to the eyes as on the Goechala trek. It is no wonder that trekkers consider Goechala to be the closest to the big mountain treks of Nepal.

Getting close to the legendary Mt. Kanchenjunga is not the only reason this trek remains a favourite amongst both trekkers and trek leaders alike. What fascinates us most about this trek is how up-close and life size some of the celebrated peaks of the Himalayas appear on this trail.

Trek Info

Trail Type : Circular trek. Returns back to the base camp.

Rail Head : New Jalpaiguri (NJP)

Airport :Bagdogra

Base Camp :Yuksom (150 Km drive, approx 8 hours)

Best Season :Spring treks (Mid March-Mid April), Autumn trek (Sep-Mid Nov)

Service From :Yuksom to Yuksom

Meals :Meals while on trek ( Veg and Egg)

Stay :Hotel/ Guesthouse/ Camping

Region :Sikkim

Duration :10 Days

Grade :Difficult

Maximum Altitude :15100 Ft

Approx Trekking KM :90 Km

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Itinerary

(Sikkim To Sikkim)
1
Day :1 Siliguri to Yuksom (150 km drive)
    Drive Duration: 6-7 hours drive Altitude: 5,840 ft Driving Distance: 135 km Highlights: Watch out for the Teesta river that keeps company till you cross West Bengal. Once you enter Sikkim at the Melli check post, the Rangeet river that joins Teesta at the border between two states is your constant companion. If you have opted for the transport arranged by Himalayan Daredevils, please report at Laddoo Gopal Restaurant located on the Sevoke Road near the 2 Mile Check Post at 10 AM to board your vehicle leaving to Yuksom. The Goechala trek starts at Yuksom, a fairly large settlement in West Sikkim. It was once the capital of Sikkim – this shows in the culture of the town. There are two things that you need to do at Yuksom before the trek begins. One, make an entry at the police station. For this, you need a photo identity proof with three photocopies. Two, you need to pay the permit fees at the forest check post (trekkers do this in the morning when they are starting the trek). The fee to be paid is broken down into small elements like tent, porter, yak and other charges. Camera charges are extra. It can get somewhat confusing, but the net amount will boil down to about Rs.700 per person. Your Trek Leader will help you with this.
2
Day :2 Yuksom (1,720 M) to Sachen (2, 195 M)
    Trek Duration: 5.5 hours Altitude Gain: 5,840 ft to 7,400 ft Difficulty: Moderate-difficult. Gradual climb for 2.5 hours after which the trail becomes steeper up to Sachen. Highlights: Thick rain forest with a suspension bridge and a gushing stream called Pha Khola right at the entrance of the national park. Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Yuksom. You will cross streams intermittently where you can refill your water bottles. The Goechala trek starts from Yuksom (behind the forest check post). Initially, the trail skirts around the fields of Yuksom before entering the magnificent river valley of Rathong. The trail majorly runs through dense jungles with occasional exposure to sunlight here and there. We will be crossing three long suspension bridges including the one that runs across the famous Tshushay Khola waterfalls. It is a moderate walk up to the second bridge after which the trail ascends steeply to Sachen. Sachen, the campsite for the day, is a small clearing in the forest marked by a wooden shelter and a forest hut. The Prek River runs farther down in the valley below. Although it is not visible from the campsite, the faint gushing of the river can be heard from the campsite when you listen closely enough.
3
Day :3 Sachen (2, 195 M) to Tshoka (2, 900 M)
    Trek Duration: 5.5 hours Altitude Gain: 7,400 ft to 9,790 ft via 8,640 ft Difficulty: Moderate gradient with initial rolling terrain through the forests and 40 minutes of ascent from Bakhim in a series of long switchbacks after which the trail eases off into a gradual climb. Highlights: The sight of Prek Chu river as you come out of the forest into clearings. Walk on two suspension bridges with the river rushing right below you. The monastery with its first sighting of snow-clad mountains from Tshoka. Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Sachen. The trek to Tshoka involves a moderate ascent peppered by a couple of steep sections. It begins with a crossing over a bridge that runs across the Prek River. After crossing the bridge, the trail runs in to the thick of the forests once again. The forests are filled with oak and rhododendron blooms during spring season. In autumn, the leaves take on lovely hues of fall colours.
4
Day :4 Tshoka (2,900 M) to Dzongri (3, 970 M)
    Trek Duration: 6 hours Altitude Gain: 9,790 ft to 13,190 ft via 12,105 ft Difficulty: Difficult. It starts with 30 minutes of steep climb followed by a gradual ascent, after which the trail again climbs steeply to reach Phedang. A steep ascent from here followed by a gentle descent brings you to Dzongri. Highlights: Canopy of rhododendrons and magnolias in Spring. Dark mossy rhododendron forests in Autumn. The thrill of a difficult climb and rewarding views of Mt Pandim and other ranges. Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Tshoka. You will cross streams intermittently where you can refill your water bottles. The trek to Dzongri is undeniably one of the most demanding days of the Goechala Trek. We will be going well above the tree line today. What makes this day very challenging is the forced altitude gain of over a 1000 M. So, in order to let your body acclimatise better, ensure you do not rush your pace. The initial section of the trail is paved with wooden logs while flanked by pretty rhododendron blooms on the left and right. A couple of hours into the trek will bring you to a large, clearing called Phedang. Lined with prayer flags and surrounded by stunning snow clad mountains all around, we will be taking a long break here before resuming trek. Dzongri, the campsite for the day, is still a good 4-5 hours trek away from Phedang and involves some steep ascents. Ensure you layer yourself suitably after reaching the campsite. The winds are quite fierce here and it can get quite cold in the nights.
5
Day :5 Dzongri (3, 970 M) to Thansing (3, 704 M)
    Trek Duration: 6 hours Altitude Loss and Gain: 13,190 ft to 12,910 ft via 12,090 ft Difficulty: Gentle descent for about 2 hours followed by a steep descent to Kokchurang. Continuous ascent from here to Thansing. Highlights: Stark high altitude meadows with Mt Pandim constantly in the background. Dwarf rhododendron shrubs pave the way till Kokchurang. Arrive at the shores of Prek Chu river before moving on to Thansing. Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Dzongri. The only water source on the way where you can refill your water bottles will be at Kokchurang. The day begins at 4 AM with an ascent to Dzongri Top (3, 946 M) from where you get unparalleled views of the Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges during sunrise. It takes about an hour to reach Dzongri top. What makes this climb spectacular is the alpenglow one gets treated to at the top. On a day with clear weather, the Kanchenjunga and Singalila ranges turn into molten gold under the early morning rays of the sun. This is followed by a quick breakfast at Dzongri after which we will begin our hike to Thansing. Since, Thansing is located at a lower altitude when compared to Dzongri, it is going to be an easy hike of 4-5 hours with gentle ascents and descents alongside the Prek River. The campsite is located right at the foot of Mt. Pandim making it one of the delightful camping experiences of the Geochala Trek.
6
Day :6 Thansing (3, 704 M) to Lamuney (4, 145 M)
    Trekking duration: 2-3 hours Today’s trek is easy with a flat trail most of the time. Note: Sometimes, the trek leader might choose to use the day as an acclimatisation day and stay back at Thansing itself. At a half an hour’s steep climb from Lamuney lies the mirror like Samiti Lake. There is a good chance of spotting mountain goats and blue birds on the lake side. Camping is not permitted by the lake. After spending some time exploring the lake, we will be returning to our camps at Lamuney to spend the night there.
7
Day :7 Lamuney (4, 145 M) to View Point 1 (4, 602 M) to Thansing (3, 704 M)
    Time: 12-13 hours Day 7 marks the culmination of the Goechala Trek. It is the most challenging day. But we have the advantage of leaving some stuff from our rucksack at the campsite behind. If we are trekking from Thansing, we will begin our trek at 1 AM. If we are already at Lamuney, we will be beginning the trek at 3 AM. The early start ensures that you are there at View Point 1 in time to watch the morning rays of the sun paint the Kanchenjunga range golden, a bewitching sight we promise will remain etched in your memory for a long time. Since we aim to reach View Point One by sunrise, a major portion of your ascent to the summit will happen in the dark. So please ensure you carry your head torch with you. The view from View Point 1 is breath taking, both literally and metaphorically. This is the day you get to meet Mt. Kanchenjunga face to face and watch its snow clad turn a dazzling gold under the early morning rays of the sun. This coupled with the accomplishment of finally having reached the summit leaves many overwhelmed and speechless and often makes for THE BEST EXPERIENCE ON THE GOECHALA TREK.
8
Day :8 Trek from Thansing to Tshoka via Kokchurang and Phedang
    Trek Duration: 9 hours Altitude Loss: 12,910 ft to 9,790 ft via 12,090 ft and 12,105 ft Difficult. Continuous ascent till Kokchurang, followed by relatively flat trail to Phedang for about 4 hours, and a steep descent to Tshoka. Highlights: Retrace your steps the same way till Tshoka. Watch out for Himalayan Monals and a variety of birds on your way back. Water source: Stay well hydrated and carry 2 litres of water from Thansing since there is no water source on the trail today. The descent back to Tshoka can be steep in some places. In December, certain sections of the trail will also be frozen in ice. Be careful while descending and it is advised to trek slow. In spring, you will find Rhododendron trees lining your way all the way down to Tshoka.
9
Day :9 Trek from Tshoka to Yuksom via Bakhim and Sachen
    Duration: 6 hours Altitude Loss: 9,790 ft to 5,840 ft via 8,640 ft and 7,400 ft Difficulty: Continuous descent to Sachen, followed by an undulating trail to Yuksom. Highlights: Trace your steps back to Yuksom by going through the suspension bridges, and into the forest by observing a variety of flora and fauna. Water source: Carry sufficient water from Tshoka. You will cross a few streams where you can refill your water bottles. Retrace your way from Tshoka to Yuksom. It's much faster and easier than your trek up. Sachen comes up quickly being a pure descent. From Sachen, the trail goes up and down generally losing altitude. The last stretch has a few climbs which make you wonder but it's soon over and you find yourself back in the friendly Yuksom neighbourhood.
10
Day :10 Drive from Yuksom back to NJP / Bagdogra
    Board your vehicles early morning for the drive from Yuksom to Siliguri. The trip ends in Siliguri.

Inclusions

  • Meals during the trek (Starting Lunch on Day 2 till Breakfast on Day 9)
  • 2 Nights guest house stay in Yuksom on sharing basis
  • Tents on twin sharing basis, Sleeping bags, mats
  • Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
  • Services of an experienced Trek guide, cook, helpers.
  • Porters or mules for carrying common supplies
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid certification
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Exclusions

  • Meals during road journeys
  • Transportation from Siliguri to Yuksom and back to Siliguri.
  • Additional Forest/Camping charges for foreign nationals. Approx INR 5000/- to be paid extra by the foreign nationals.
  • Meals during Hotel/Guest House Stay
  • Cost of any kind of Insurance
  • Any expense of personal nature
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.
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What to carry

  1. Trekking shoes: A good pair of trekking shoes is essential for a comfortable and safe trek. Look for shoes that are sturdy, provide good ankle support, and have a good grip on different types of terrain.
  2. Backpack with rain cover (50-60 ltr): A backpack is necessary to carry all your gear. Make sure it's the right size for your trek, and comes with a rain cover to keep your belongings dry in case of rain.
  3. Thermals (upper and lower): Thermals are lightweight and comfortable base layers that help regulate your body temperature in cold weather. Bring both upper and lower thermals to keep warm.
  4. 3 T-shirts (advisable quick dry): Choose quick-drying T-shirts made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials. This will help keep you cool and dry during your trek.
  5. 2 trek pants: Choose lightweight and comfortable trek pants that are easy to move in and can dry quickly if wet.
  6. Jacket (-10 degrees): A warm jacket is essential for cold weather. Choose a jacket that is waterproof and windproof, and provides good insulation.
  7. Fleece or hood (2): Fleece jackets or hoodies are great mid-layer options to keep warm. Bring at least two, as they can also be used as an extra layer at night.
  8. Sunglasses (UV protected): Protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays with sunglasses that are designed for outdoor activities.
  9. Sun cap: A sun cap or hat with a brim will protect your face and neck from the sun.
  10. Hand gloves: Bring a pair of lightweight gloves to keep your hands warm and protected from wind and sunburn.
  11. Woolen cap: A woolen cap will keep your head and ears warm at night or in cold weather.
  12. Socks (3 pairs min): Bring at least three pairs of good quality socks that are moisture-wicking and provide good cushioning and support for your feet.
  13. Headlamp: A headlamp will come in handy if you're hiking in low-light conditions or need to find your way in the dark.
  14. Trekking pole (if needed): Trekking poles can help reduce strain on your legs and provide additional support on steep terrain.
  15. Rain cover\poncho: A rain cover or poncho will keep you and your gear dry during unexpected rain showers.
  16. Day pack (if you plan to offload your bag): If you plan to offload your backpack during the trek, bring a smaller day pack to carry essentials like water, snacks, and a first aid kit.
  17. A toiletry kit: Bring a small kit with personal hygiene items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.
  18. Lunchbox, cup, spoon: If you plan to bring your own food, bring a lunchbox, cup, and spoon to carry and eat your meals.
  19. 2 one-liter bottles: Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring at least two one-liter bottles to carry water.
  20. 2-3 plastic covers to keep your wet or used clothes: Plastic bags are useful for keeping wet or dirty clothes separate from the rest of your belongings. They can also be used to pack out any trash or waste you generate during the trek.
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How to reach

By Air

Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport (if you plan to come by flight, our pickup point will be STNM Bus / Taxi Stand in Siliguri, which is approx. 20-25 Km from the Airport, and it is advised to arrive either early morning or a day prior if planning by flight).

By Train

New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest Railway station with great railway connectivity connections; if planning to arrive by train, then book your train till New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and from there, take an auto/taxi to STNM Bus / Taxi Stand in Siliguri, which is approx. 30-35 Km from the Airport, and it is advised to arrive either early morning or a day prior if planning by train as sometimes the trains are delayed).

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FAQs

Ques: 1 When is the best time for the Goechala Trek?

Ans: 1 The best time to go for the Goechala Trek is the summer period – from April to June, when the weather is cool with beautiful flowers such as Rhododendrons in full bloom, and the autumn period – from mid-September to early November, when the clear skies offer good views of the mountain ranges and their peaks.

Ques: 2 Where is the gateway to the Goechala Trek?

Ans: 2 The trailhead of the Goechala Trek is in the Sikkim town of Yuksom which is an 8 hr drive from Bagdogra Airport. Bagdogra is accessible via a 1 hr domestic flight from Kolkata City via Indigo Airline, SpiceJet or Jet Airways.

Ques: 3 What is the temperature like in the mountains?

Ans: 3 In autumn, the temperatures in the day vary between 13°C to 20°C while the temperatures at night may vary between 2°C to 7°C. For campsites at higher altitudes (like Thangsing and Lamuney), it is possible for the temperature at night to drop below freezing point.

Ques: 4 What is the level of difficulty for this trek?

Ans: 4 This is a challenging trek due to its high altitude and cold weather. You should be of reasonable fitness (a good guideline is able to run 4km within 30 min) towards the expedition date. It is not necessary to have experience in high altitude trekking but some experience in long hours of trekking (7-9 hrs trekking for consecutive days) is preferable. Please do not underestimate the difficulty of the trek.

Ques: 5 Do I need a trekking stick for the trek?

Ans: 5 A pair of hiking stick is highly recommended for this long distance trekking.

Ques: 6 What is the accommodation like on the Goechala trek?

Ans: 6 You will be camping in tent with winter sleeping bag and sleeping mat provided.

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Cancellation policy

Life is unpredictable and we understand sometimes you have to cancel or change your trip dates and it is our endeavour to make it as easy possible for you. However, please understand we plan everything including guide fees, permits, accommodation and ration in advance. Therefore any cancellation means inconvenience and certain losses to the people involved in various stages of programme. Keeping that in mind, our cancellation charges are as below-

Cancellation prior to 30 days from start of the event: Get monetary refund with 15% of cancellation charges on trek fee.

Cancellation between 30 days and 15 days to the start of event: 50% on trek fee is non refundable and the remaining 50 % will be given as cash voucher which is valid for 1 year.

Cancellation less than 15 days to the start of event: No refund.

Please note cancellation will be only accepted by email.

Note: The Himalayan Daredevils reserves the right to cancel a programme before departure in the event of logistical problems arriving due to natural calamities, strikes, wars on any other circumstances that makes the event inadvisable. In this case, we will refund 50% of the event fees.

Itinerary changes & trip delays:

We plan itineraries based on the information at the time of planning and in rare circumstances, there are subject to change. In the event that the itinerary is changes or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, landslides etc. We will always aim to give you the best experience possible. However The Himalayan Daredevils are not be held responsible for the cost of delay or changes.

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