Sikkim Goeche La trek
India

View from trail above Tshoka
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Demanding
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 04 Apr 2021

Details

Sikkim Goeche La is a trek in Sikkim state of India over in the Eastern Himalaya with views of Kanchenjunga the third highest mountain in the world.

Your journey starts by visiting the old British Raj hill station of Darjeeling followed by a classic eight day trek in Sikkim. This state of India is famous for its large variety of flora especially its orchids of which they are over 600 species. At the beginning of this beautiful trek you walk through sub-tropical forests and pasturelands of grazing yaks and then enter the pristine high alpine at higher altitudes.

The highest Camp on the trek is next to the sacred Samiti Lake, and the next morning we start early for the trek to the Goecha La pass opposite the immense eastern flank of Mt Kanchenjunga. There are many other impressive mountains seen on this trek including Kabru, Rathong and Pandim. After the trek we visit the hill station of Kalimpong staying at the historical Himalayan Hotel. In Kalimpong you have the chance to visit a Buddhist monastery and orchid nursery or just to relax in the gardens of the hotel with a cup of tea enjoying views of Kanchenjunga.

Itinerary

Fly to Bagdogra

Drive to Darjeeling (4 hours)

No meals

Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling

Morning transfer to Delhi domestic airport for the flight to Bagdogra.  If the weather is clear we will get a superb view of the Himalayas from the plane including the giants of Dhaulagiri, Annapurnas, Makalu, Nanda Devi and of course Kanchenjunga. 

The drive to Darjeeling takes about 4 hours and follows the famous Darjeeling toy train. The hill station was built by the British on top of a ridge facing the Himalayas and soon developed many tea gardens due to the ideal climate.

Excursion to Tiger Hill

Sightseeing in Darjeeling

Breakfast

Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling

Drive to Yuksom (6 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we drive to Yuksom, the road travels through the heart of Sikkim passing through tea plantations, lush jungle and forests.

Walking (6 to 7 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we walk along the valley side crossing several rivers and then climb steeply to Bakhim and little further higher we reach the Tibetan village of Tshoka.

Walking 4 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail continues to climb steeply through forests of rhododendron to the alp at Phidang.  During the pre monsoon season the walk in the forest is beautiful with many flowering plants.

Walking 4 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail levels off above Phidang before climbing again to the Mon Lepcha pass, from here there are superb views of Pandim. We descend to the open yak pastures of Dzongri where we camp for two nights. After setting up camp and having lunch, we can go for an afternoon walk to a holy Buddhist lake (about 2 hours return).

Day walk 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Before dawn we start to climb the hill above the campsite to Dzongri Top for the sunrise view of Kanchenjunga. You will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Kabru (7,353m), Ratong (6,678m), Kanchenjunga (8,534m), Pandim (6,691m) and Narsing (5,825m). Towards the west the Singalila ridge which separates Sikkim from Nepal can also be seen.

After breakfast we will go for a walk to the Dzongri la. If the group is feeling energetic, we can continue and complete a circuit back to Dzongri. The trail descends in the direction of the HMI base camp and then we walk down that valley and around back to Dzongri.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Dzongri there is a walk over open hillside before a steep drop to Thangsing in the Prek Chu valley. We descend through rhododendrons, cross the river and walk uphill through a pine forest to Thangsing. After lunch at Thangsing, we continue up the Prek Chu valley with the majestic Pandim towering overhead.

Walking 7 to 8 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an early start, we climb the hill behind the campsite and soon arrive at the beautiful turquoise Lake Samiti (it is no longer possible to camp at the lake).

The trail follows the moraine and then descends to the sandy bed of an empty lake at Zemathang.  We cross under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to about 4,710m.  After passing a frozen lake which is dotted with snow and ice pinnacles we walk along the path to Goecha la.  The pass is bedecked in colourful Tibetan prayer flags and has incredible views of the east flank of Kanchenjunga.

The Goecha la is formed by a depression between Pandim and the Kabru spurs. It overlooks the Talung Valley and commands a very impressive view of Kanchenjunga. The descent follows the same trail back to Onglathang. After lunch, we continue on down to Thangsing where we spend the night.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Leaving Thangsing we take a different route back avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri plateau.  We descend along the Prek Chu river and contour round through the jungle to emerge at Phidang again. From here it is a steep walk down to Tshoka where we spend the night.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Tashiding in Yuksom

It is downhill today to the river and then we follow the trail through lush, semi-tropical forest until we arrive back at Yuksom. We stay in the comfortable Hotel Tashiding tonight. In the afternoon we can explore Yuksom or just relax after the trek.

Drive to Kalimpong (6 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong

We are collected by our jeeps for the drive to the hill station of Kalimpong. You can relax here for the rest of the day while enjoying the views of the surrounding Himalayan foothills.

After breakfast we drive down to Bagdogra airport to get our flight back to Delhi. Transfer from Delhi domestic airport to hotel.

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 04 Apr 2021 to 18 Apr 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,150pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 03 Oct 2021 to 17 Oct 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,150pp Single Supplement:
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2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 03 Apr 2022 to 17 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,195pp Single Supplement:
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Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 02 Oct 2022 to 16 Oct 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,195pp Single Supplement:
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Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

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What's Included

  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • Twin share room at Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling, Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong and Hotel Tashiding in Yuksom (evening after trek).
  • Breakfast only at hotels in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, all meals included while on trek.  
  • Twin share tents while on trek.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, guide, ponies (or yaks) and cook.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Delhi.
  • Internal flight to/from Bagdogra and Delhi.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • India visa.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
  • Personal clothing & equipment please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips.
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Practical Information

Typical Day On Camping Trek in Nepal

We provide a comfortable experience on our camping style treks. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. We provide personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent and toilet tent(s). The camp will be set up and dismantled by the trek crew. We bring along a cook and kitchen helpers to provide the meals.

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the trek crew. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the trek crew pack away the tents. The porters arrange their loads and set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking.

The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the camp for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a spot by the side of the trail. Our cooks prepare lunch for us and the food is usually ready by the time the group arrives.

After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive to camp by mid afternoon. Some of the trek crew would have gone ahead of the group to set up camp and to put up the tents. On arrival to camp you will get a hot drink and biscuits. In the evening our cook will provide a three course meal in the mess tent around 6pm.

After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their tent quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today! The only difference is that if we are crossing a high pass or climbing to a summit we leave camp earlier in the morning.

You can read more about our Camping Treks in Nepal on our Blog. This article explains the advantages of camping versus teahouse lodge treks. It also describes what the campsite set up is like and more about the food provided by our cooks.

Food provided on Camping Trek in Nepal

While on a camping style trek in Nepal we provide tasty and nutritional food. We make sure there is more than enough quantity to go around as trekkers will be hungry after a long day on the trail. Over the years we have worked on increasing the variety of the menus. We have expanded the list of ingredients provided to the cooks so they have more to work with. Also in 2015 we purchased two food dehydrators with a vacuum sealing machine. We dehydrate a large number of different vegetables in Kathmandu before departure. This has transformed the quality of food especially on longer treks to remote areas.

For breakfast we provide porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. We provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.

For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.

On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadoms. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. Our meals are suitable for vegetarians. If there is a meat dish then we also provide vegetarian options as standard. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.

13 DAYS FROM US$2150.00

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