The Goecha La Trek: A 9-day Trek in Sikkim to Discover

Introduction

Goechala is a unique “high” altitude trail among the treks in Sikkim that takes one close to the world’s 3rd highest mountain. This place is famous for its grand view of mount Kanchenjunga and other high Himalayan peaks

Given below is the suggested itinerary for the Goechala trek.

Day 1: New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Baghdogra airport (IXB)to Yuksom

The altitude of this trek is 5700 feet. It is approximately a 150 km drive and would take about 8 hours. NJP station is the initial point. Trekkers would be passing through the police check post at Melli. Foreigners would require an Inner Line permit. Trekkers would have to stay at the Yuksom camp overnight in a guest house.

Day 2: From Yuksom to Sachen

The elevation of Yuksom to Sachen would be covered at 7200 ft. It is around 8 km for trekking and would take approximately 6 hours. There is no good shop available on the route and water sources are less as well. Thus trekkers would have to carry their lunch on the way. There are dense forests to be covered on the trek. After half an hour’s walk from Yuksom, trekkers could view the Tshokha bridge.

They would be passing through iron bridges and gradually ascend after which they would again have to descend to the second bridge and then again ascend. Walk for half an hour again to reach the campsite. 

Day 3: From Sachen to Tshokha via Bakhim

The height of Bakhim is 8600 feet and Tsokha is 9700 feet. This is a 7 km trek that would take around 5 hours. Enjoy a pleasant walk to the iron bridge that is around 1 km from Sachen. The walk to Bakhim would be steep and the trekkers can enjoy the marvelous beauty of spots like Mt. Pandlm, and Tenzinkhay. They can find a number of tea stalls in Bakhim and can also refill their bottles if they need water.

Bakhim to Tsokha is a 2 km long trek. The trail is filled with beautiful mountains, trees, and plants like Rhododendrons and Alpine berries. Have lunch at the campsite and stay in the campsite overnight and start early next morning.

Day 4: From Tsokha to Dzongri via Phedang

The height of Phedang is approximately 10500 ft. and Dzongri at 12980 ft. It is a 9 km trek, which would take almost 7 hours. Trekkers would have to walk at a greater elevation from Tsokha to Phedang, which is 4.5 km and would take 3 hours, and Phedang to Dzongri. The trail is a rocky one that is a zigzag trail to the campsite. Trekkers would need to carry packed lunch and water as there is no food or water available on the route.

Day 5: From Dzongari to Thansing via Kokcharang

Hike early morning all the way to Dzongri peak at 13,675 ft. which would approximately take half an hour to one hour time to reach the top. Trekkers can witness the beautiful beauty of Kumbhakarna, Frey peak, Kabru South, Kabru Dome, Jupono, Simro, Khangchendzonga, and some of the most splendid mountain summits. Trek to Thansing via Kokcharang. Spend time walking and exploring the rugged mountains and the thick green forests. It is a 10 km long trek, which would take approximately 6 hours.

Day 6: From Thansing to Lamuney

The height of Thansing to Lamuney is 13650 ft. It is a 3 km long trek that would take almost 1-2 hours maximum to trek. Move towards Lamuney after breakfast. This is an easy and smooth trail. Enjoy lunch at the campsite. After reaching, Lamuney, just go hiking up to Samiti Lake.

Day 7: From Lamuney to Goechala via Samiti Lake back to Lamuney

The elevation of the Goechala is 16,000 ft. It is a trek including ascent and descent of 6 km taking approximately 5-6 hours. Lamuney to Samiti Lake is an easy walk taking around an hour. Lamuney to Goechala is a steep walk for 1 hour. It will take a steep ascent of 2 hours from the lake. After enjoying the summit,  descent to the camp.

Day 8: From Thansing/Kokcharang to Tsokha via Phedang

The height of Thansing is 12900 feet and Kokcharang is 12,000 ft. Begin around 7 am and thus the trekkers could reach by 3 pm. Carry packed lunch as the walk from Kokcharang to Phedang takes around 3-4 hours, around 12 km. Trekkers would need to ascend and descend through all the green and mountainous rhododendron forests.

Day 9: From Tsokha to Yuksom via Bakhim and Sachen

This is a 5670 ft. altitude and a 15 km trek that takes almost 6 hours. 

Day 10: From Yuksom to NJP/IXB

Yuksom to NJP is a 150 km drive, which is almost 8 hours. Leave Yuksom at dawn to reach NJP by 5 PM in a smooth and convenient manner so that the trekkers can board their train in time.

The greatest reason to do the Goechala trek is the grand views of the big mountains that we see. It is not just one summit that we see as there are 14 other big summits that are waiting.

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