Sikkim | 11D/10N | 15,100 Ft.
April – May and September – November
(Above mentioned cost is for a fixed departure)
- Reviews 3654.9/5
- Vacation Style High Altitude Trek
- Activity Level Difficult
- Group Size Medium Group
Altitude: 15,100 ft
Duration: 11 days
Approx Trekking km: 90 km
Goechala Trek Guide & Itinerary
The Goechala Trek’s height towers at an altitude of 15,100 ft is situated in Sikkim, one of the most beautiful states of India, it is also the smallest state in India and the cleanest. The aura of this land is something you wouldn’t have felt before; the people, the food, the clothes, and the culture all are extremely unique and whether you come from north India or south, it will be a cultural shock for you. The people are very friendly and will make you feel at home. Once you get used to the beauty of the city be prepared for a long trek as Goechala Trek’s Distance is about 90 km which is complete in the span of 11 days.
Another great fact about the Goechala Trek is that it is very close to Nepal and all the gigantic peaks of the world it holds; hence, you get a panoramic view of these peaks once you ascend a certain height, and the shimmering snow-capped peaks of these massifs make the scene wallpaper worthy for your laptops!
The trek starts from Yuksom which is the basecamp from where you start this trek on foot, once you are onto the trail, your next stop is Sachen, you will pass many bridges on your way to Sachen, animals like mule and yak can be spotted.
Your next destination is Tshoka and Bakhim, and this trail has a little bit of difficult climbing and there will be dense forests full of rhododendrons and alpine berries which brighten up the path and make your trek more vibrant. The next stop is Dzongri which is an important milestone in this trek, some people turn back from here only after halting for a day or two. You can also explore the local village and get to learn about the culture.
There is a one-day halt for trekkers who are to move forward to Thansing, the halt is mainly for the trekkers to acclimatize better and also get acquainted with the people and culture of Dzongri.
You pass through Lamuney, Samiti Lake and then finally to Goecha La, which is your summit. The feeling of reaching your summit is an outer world feel. This is the same feeling which a person scaling Mt. Everest feels, the same a small child reaching the top of the hill feels, the mere achievement of getting to your desired destination on foot, with standing out in the open, walking in the woods and becoming closer to nature, all of this will eventually add up to your strength and willpower, the feeling is truly unreal and the view from the summit is even more surreal. It is recommended that you stand there and take in as much beauty as you want, admire what God has created for us and how small we are against these giant massifs. You will feel on top of the world.
This trek is popular for its sunrise views, especially the sunrise experienced on the Kanchenjunga range, although no one is allowed to actually visit the Goecha Pass, the Viewpoint number 1 and Dzongri viewpoint provide an equally great view of the majestic sun rising over the Kanchenjunga Peak.
The trek is covered with the alluring Rhododendron forests and which are in full bloom in the months of April, the swaying pink and red flowers fill the trail with their vibrant colors contrasting to the rocky and green terrain of the trek, it makes the trail more energetic and enchanting to travel on, therefore a huge chunk of people prefer to trek during spring, when the weather is just right and the flowers are in full bloom.
Along the way you will come across one of the most beautiful lakes of the goechala trek, The Samiti Lake, this lake is one of the main attractions when people choose this trek, what is special about this lake is that it reflects the image of Mt. Pandim which is a very popular peak, the overall view of this lake is something shutterbugs thrive for, therefore here you can put your cameras to good use and capture the beauty of the place in the form of images which can later be shared on social media, this is encouraged as people who don’t know about such places that exist in India are then aware of the hidden beauty of this place.
You can always carry a Goechala Trek map or get a google print out of the route rather than using GPS and your phones. Using a map and navigating through compass and the stars will add learning to your trek and also give you an adventurous feel. Shutterbugs can get great Goechala Trek Images and later upload them on various social media websites to let the beauty of Sikkim out to the world. However, if you have cameras like DSLRs with you then a permit is required and a certain amount of fee has to be deposited at the base camp of Yuksom.
Dzongri GoechaLa Trekking:
You also come across Dzongri which is a beautiful base camp and is a good place to explore, you can interact with the locals and also visit a monastery which will soothe your mind and you will feel at peace with your chaotic soul.
Trekking in Sikkim is always a blessing for anyone looking for peace and serenity in their trek along with thrill and adventure.
Since this trek is a difficult grade trek, you cannot simply get up from your office chairs and traverse this trek. A lot of stamina and endurance is required to complete this trail, so make sure you have a rigorous fitness routine and have done simpler treks before this one, a beginner cannot choose this trek as a first trek. Prior experience is mandatory for this trek.
GoechaLa Trekking Weather
The best time to do Goechala Trek is in the months of September and October. However, you can also attempt this trek in the months of April and May. You should definitely avoid the tracks from June to September as the monsoons create problems like landslides, muddy and slippery paths which makes trekking extremely dangerous.
The Temperatures at Goechala Trek are 15 degree Celsius to 22 degree Celsius in summers during the day and 7 degree Celsius to -1 degree Celsius during the night.
GoechaLa Trekking Package by Trekmunk
The Goechala Trek 2019 is being organized by Trekmunk and the package starts from 19500 INR and organizes trips all year round. Book for Goechala trek today.You can also customize trips according to your convenience.
How to reach Goecha La Trek Base Camp:
New Jalpaiguri Station located at a distance of 150 km from Yuksom the base camp of Goechala Trek.
Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport, from here you can take a taxi/bus to Yuksom. If you are a large group then a minivan or a minibus can be arranged easily.
Day 1 : Drive from New Jalpaiguri to Yuksom
The trek starts at Yuksom, which is a comparatively larger settlement area in the western part of Sikkim. A 6-7-hour drive from New Jalpaiguri to Yuksom is where the journey starts for all trekkers. Yuksom is also the entry gateway to the Kanchenjunga National Park. Enroute Yuksum, you will come across a police booth where you will be asked to show your identity proof. Next, you will have to get the required permit and pay the permit fee at the forest checkpoint in Yuksom, this is done by your trek leader in the morning before starting the trek. The fee includes services like tent, porter, yak and other services, and if you are carrying a camera then additional charges are made. It is estimated that the approximate charges count up to 700 to 800 INR for each trekker. For foreigners’ different charges apply.
Altitude: 5,643 ft
Day 2 : Trek from Yuksom to Sachen/Bakhim
The trek from Yuksom to Sachen/Bakhim takes about 5 to 6 hours (Sachen) and 8 to 9 hours (Bakhim).
There are a lot of steep slopes that you will have to climb on this trek, especially if you are planning to ascend Bakhim. You should be carrying about 2 liters of water, you will come across streams where you can later fill your bottles from.
The trail involves dense dark forest for about half an hour from where you can see a shelter on the way, this is the exact spot where you will find a bridge standing over Pha Khola. Pha Khola is a thick forest that will engulf you with its variety of flora and fauna, the forest has cool vibes and you see the temperature difference once you step out of the sheltered branches. The trail gradually ascends.
While walking for another hour and a half you will begin to see beautiful waterfalls called the Tshushay Khola Falls. About 50 to 60 meters ahead you will see a sturdy iron bridge which will take you further into the trek.
After walking for one more hour, you will see a small cement bridge which is at the height of about 7,100 ft and is about half an hour away from your destination Sachen.
Once you reach Sachen, you will find a log hut, which houses several rooms for the travelers (approximately 6-7 people), and a small pantry to cook. For groups comprising of a larger number of people, there is a campsite opposite the shelter when you can rest in the open.
Altitude: 8,683 ft
Day 3 : Trek from Sachen/Bakhim to Tshoka
It will take 5 to 6 hours to reach Tshoka if you start from Sachen.
The climb is through dense Oak forests which are a blessing to trek in, overshadowing trees and pleasant air will surround you at all times. Half an hour into the forest you will start seeing rhododendrons flooding the forest with their charm and color. With the increase in altitude, you will experience the air get cooler and thinner. The trail will climb up to a ridge which will then continue till to reach Bhakim.
At Bhakim you will find a forest rest house as some travelers prefer to stay at Bhakim for a while before continuing their journey ahead, the reason being the famous and beautiful Yuksom valley and its amazing view you get from the Bhakim range. You will, however, have difficulty in finding a caretaker, so you can opt to trek till Tshoka which is only at an hour’s distance from here.
At Bhakim you will find a tea stall, which will provide you with some snacks as well, after this rest, you begin your great climb to Tshoka, the trail will now have multiple climbs and which will overlook Bhakim.
At about 9,000 ft and rhododendrons all around the forest, the trail will get dark as the forests will get denser, the canopy of trees creating a dark atmosphere and blocking the sunlight. After walking for a while, you will come out of the shade of the forest into a plateau and the campsite of Tshoka, there’s a hut as well as a camping site to satisfy all kinds of travelers. The hut is a building fully made of wood that can house up to 20 trekkers. Other than that, a forest rest house is at a little distance uphill from the hut where you can reside for the night as well.
Tshoka is a great place to explore, you will find local cafes that cater to a malt beer known as Tumba, you can also visit the monastery which is nearby, to get the spiritual touch of the place. A monastery is a place where you can find peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, and only calm spread all around you. A very limited number of people reside in Tshoka, therefore, there is usually peace and quiet here at all times.
The Kanchenjunga peaks blossom more from Tshoka, you can see them at a nearer distance and the snow covering the peaks creates a magical view of the scenery and it is a breath-taking experience. There is also Mt. Pandim which covers a major part of the skyline. To get the best photo results you can climb a little higher and get great panoramic shots of the various peaks surrounding the area.
Altitude: 9,700 ft
Day 4 : Trek from Tshoka to Dzongri
For your next destination, move towards the dame monastery and keep following the trail. There are steep climbs on the way and within minutes you will find Tshoka disappearing from the view. You will enter a forest full of rhododendrons and adding their bright colors to the trail. During the months of May, the whole slope is covered with bright rhododendrons which gives a fiery effect. The is a difficult climb which lasts for half an hour which soon eases into a comfortable climb.
This path changes to a woody one and you see wooden benches lined up on either side of the trail, it starts to look like a park and you feel like taking at the moment, the peace and scenery all in. There is also this beautiful scent of the forest and flowers and trees which spreads all across the way. The stony trail along with the long path is easy to climb as the slope is quite gentle and you reach Phedang in 20 minutes.
From Phedang you experience a spectacular panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains, you will find huts and wooden benches here as well. After having lunch, you start your journey towards Kockchurang. Spring will show up after 15 minutes from where you can refill your bottles and then resume your trek to Dzongri.
The trail will start to brush off with small rhododendrons covering the way. The next challenging climb is through a ridge where the trail will fluctuate between either side of the slope. After about an hour you will begin to see the prayer flags lighting up your way all the way to the top.
Here you can visit and gather your blessings from a local shrine which many travelers visit, and then you start to descend towards Dzongri. The hut situated in Dzongri appears at a bend, you will find a stream of water running beside the hut which can house 30 trekkers at a time.
Dzongri is a vast meadow with peaks surrounding you from all sides, you can spot the Kanchenjunga peak and other peaks which are covered with shimmering snow, in fact, the view here is so attractive and breath-taking that people often stay here and head back from here only.
Altitude: 13,024 ft
Day 5 : Dzongri Rest Day, Trek to Dazongri Top at sunrise
You start this day with a small trek to Dzongri Top located at the height of 13,778 ft, it is the maximum altitude you can reach to get the best panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the tows you’ve traversed so far, only they will look like miniature houses and forests from up here. The majestic peaks of Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges are clearly visible from here and the best photographic experience for shutterbugs.
The Dzongri climb is a 2 hill climb from the residing hut/campsite at Dzongri and tasks at most one hour to reach. For people who love a beautiful sunrise, 5 am is the best time to reach Dzongri Top and feel the fresh rays of the sun hitting your soul and enlightening your body, the sun rays also light up the Kanchenjunga peaks and give you a view of a lifetime. If you start your trek from 4 am with headlights and torches you will reach at the right time of hitting dawn.
Now as you climb up the Singalila range begins to expand at the bend and Kanchenjunga and other respective peaks beside emerge from there. The color of the sky and the mountains changes with the rays and direction of the sun.
The best way to enjoy the Dzongri is by taking long soothing strolls in the region and taking in the nature and beauty of Dzongri. It is also a paradise for shutterbugs as you get great views of the Himalayan peaks. If you are planning to spend the day in your tents, then think again and choose to explore and roam around.
Altitude: 13,024 ft
Day 6 : Trek from Dzongri to Thansing via Dzongri Top
This path is again like most of Sikkim trails covered in beautiful rhododendrons which blossom along the way with their vibrant colors and alluring design. You need to descend for about 2 hours, it is a very gentle descend. The rhododendrons which were earlier scattered in the form of shrubs now take the shape of full-grown forests and make way for your eyes. It is in the forest that you will find the descent getting steeper and more difficult, therefore be very careful.
You can spot many birds in this forest and also capture their photos if you have the time and patience, the birds are totally camouflaged with the trees and rocks and it will take a lot of time to separate the bird from its natural surroundings.
You will find a beautiful spring called Kockchurang spring, from here a route leading to the forest where you have to head next, it will lead you to Phedang.
You can’t place your campsite at Kockchurang but there is a river 100m away, where the campsite is usually set up for trekkers to halt for the night, the river and the weather together make a great camping experience for the trekkers.
From Kockchurang you will have to take a bridge across Prekchu, where you can explore and take a breath of fresh natural air. You can see the river which is running at freezing temperatures and you can see the clear way flowing below the bridge.
Thansing is 2 km away from the bridge and the terrain in between changes from dense forests to its extreme opposite which is rocky and barren. When you finally reach Thansing you will see a wide clear meadow and a trekkers hut situated in the meadow is also visible. However, you cannot reside in the hut, so tents have to be put up anyway.
Altitude: 12,946 ft
Day 7 : Trek from Thansing to Lamuney
The trek to Lamuney is comparatively very gentle and calm and you will come across pasturelands and wide meadows which will soothe the mind and soul with their space and beauty.
Once you reach Lamuney you will have a delicious lunch and then you can think about exploring the area further.
From here you can further go up to visit the popular lake Samiti and spent a few hours taking in the beauty and serenity of the lake, the trek will ascend from Lamuney it should take about 1 hour to reach lake Samiti, once you’ve successfully scaled the climb, it will open on to a wide flat area followed by the lake with is glistening pure water and mesmerizing beauty. The waves of the lake change according to the wind direction and you can see the harmony of nature with itself.
It is advisable to spend considerable time here taking in the beauty and shutterbugs capturing it as well. The lake’s purity is unchanged as it hasn’t been exploited by the man at all. the lake has the most beautiful shades of blue and you can also spot bluebirds matching the lakes color and domestic animals can be found here too.
However, you cannot camp near Lake Samiti so you will have to return back and spend the night at the Lamuney campsite, which is equally petty with wide pastureland and cool breeze which will calm your nerves from the city life.
You will be briefed about the big day which will ascend you to your final destination Goecha La and you should also at this point think about resting and recharging yourself for the following day.
Altitude: 13,743 ft
Day 8 : Trek from Lamuney to View Point 1 and back to Thansing
This is the oomph day of your trek, you will finally be reaching the destination you have been working so hard to get to, this trek will be the longest and toughest trek of all the days you’ve trekked up till now. The trek from Lamuney to Viewpoint 1 and back is long and it can take about 12 – 13 hours to complete. You start off this trek at the earlier hour of 1 am in the morning, the trek starts at this hour so that you have more time in hand to reach viewpoint 1 on time. Starting at this time also gives you a chance to witness the sunrise in full bloom.
Your first destination is the well-traversed Samiti Lake which some if you have already visited the day before, for those who will come here for the first time it will be an amazing experience as the fresh crystal clear lake is shining bright and creates a picture-perfect view to mesmerize your eyes for a while, you just don’t want to look away from the view, you also see the reflection of the beautiful massive mountings surrounding the area falling on the laze, people with DSLRs can capture this moment forever. The trek from Lamuney to Samiti Lake is a one-hour trek. From here you will ascend on a very steep slope which leads towards Goecha La viewpoint 1 at a towering altitude of 15,100 ft and about 5 km from Lamuney. On your way, you will experience the spectacular sunrise and the fresh sun rays hitting the mountain tops which are fully covered in shining snow. The bright sin light to the contrasting dark Rocky Mountains and soft snow will combine and make a view which is breathtaking. You will be able to locate many peaks from this point like Kabru South, Kabru North, Kabru Dome, Gocha Jupano, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Tenzingkhang and Sinvo, shutterbugs should make use of the opportunity and capture the beauty of nature in their cameras, the rest of us, we can simply enjoy the view from Goechala viewpoint.
After spending some time at Goecha La viewpoint and taking in the beauty of the place, you start to descend to Lamuney. You will then have a delicious warm lunch at the campsite and start packing for your next descend to Thansing. Once you reach Thansing, you halt for the night to prepare your descent journey the next day.
Altitude: 15,100 ft
Day 9 : Trek from Thansing to Tshokha
On this trail, you will again enter the rhododendron covered forests and it will create its magical effect to beautify the forests and their vibrant colors will light up any trek. The total distance to reach Tshoka from Thansing is 16 km. Mountain peaks of Mt. Pandim and Kanchenjunga are visible all throughout this trail. You will come across the trail of Phe Dang and it will take about 4 to 5 hours to reach depending on your group’s speed.
After reaching Phedang you will finally begin your descent to Thansing retracting your steps back to where you came from. The path is pretty simple with gentle descents, the rich and lustrous forests which are untouched by human beings give you a sense of spiritual healing, you will come across plant species which you have never seen and the overall beauty of these enchanting trails will engulf you whole. Mt. Pandim is a view to behold, the snow-covered peaks peeping out of places and the glorifying height of the mountain top are something you will call tall buildings in cities. You will set up a temporary campsite for a little halt and have your packed lunch, you can have a power nap, explore around, click the pictures or simply sit down and feel the serene nature and let the cool breeze hit your face. After everyone is well-rested and refreshed with their energy levels full again, you start your remaining journey to Tshoka.
From Phedang it will take about 6 km to reach Tshoka, the trail still remains surrounded with dense rhododendron sprawling forests, it’s like walking on another planet similar to earth which is untouched by humans. There will be some difficult descents so it is advised to walk slowly and carefully, but once when you do reach a stable ground, try taking fewer breaks so that you reach Tshoka on time before it gets dark.
On reaching Tshoka you will be served with dinner and everyone will go and rest calling it a day and prepare for the next day.
Altitude: 9,700 ft
Day 10 : Trek from Tshokha to Yuksom
It takes about 6 hours to reach Yuksom the base camp from Tshoka, the total distance covered is approximately 16 km. the day will start with an energetic group which is well-rested. You will carry packed lunch so that time can be saved during breaks. You simply retrace your steps as you have to scale down the exact path you climbed a while back. The trek is also faster as you descend. And the majestic Himalayas will show their glory even from here, they will accompany you throughout the trek like a fixed wallpaper. From Sachen, you will see an irregularity in the terrain with lots of ups and downs and zig-zag roads in between and the last stretch has a couple of climbs which are a little challenging, the town of Bhakim will also come on your way back to Yuksom. There will be Hillock which will be the final hurdle of the trek, once you cross those, the trek will be over and you will find yourself standing in the Yuksom neighborhood. As soon as you are back to civilization, you will find cellular phone networks and you can contact your loved ones about the success of the trek. You can then settle down at the guest house, take a refreshing bath, get a power nap, and prepare to bid farewell to Sikkim.
But for the people who still want to hang on to Sikkim for a while longer can explore the town, explore the rich culture, try local cuisines and buy local handicrafts. If time allows you should definitely visit one of the Sikkim monasteries to get the spiritual touch of the area.
You can look for small souvenirs and gifts to take for your loved ones and one for yourself too, so that it reminds you of the journey and beauty of the trek and Sikkim itself.
This is indeed one of the most beautiful treks of the Himalayas which gives you an opportunity to visit Sikkim as well. You will take much more than just mountains and camping from this trek, you will take some great memories and learning which you will cherish for a lifetime.
Day 11 : Depart from Yuksom
This is the actual final day of the trek when you actually prepare to leave Sikkim altogether, you should start your journey early because an exhausting and a long drive awaits you. You begin your day with the beautiful sunrise of Yuksom, taking in the cool and fresh breeze in as you breathe. Along with that you also pack your luggage and head out for a delicious breakfast in the morning sun. the ideal time to start would be 8 am so that you can reach New Jalpaiguri Railway Station by dusk. The total drive distance from Yuksom which can easily be covered within 8 to 9 hours of driving, but your overall time will depend on the traffic, weather, and the condition of roads, since Sikkim is prone to landslides, a lot of roads and bridges are under construction.
The journey by car back to Jalpaiguri is as exciting as your time in Yuksom, as the Himalayas will remain fixed to your car window and the beautiful rural life running past your eyes, this will make the ride very pleasurable. You will take a halt at Jorthang where mouth-watering lunch will be served and you can find many kinds of cuisines like Chinese, Indian, continental and the local delicacies of Sikkim.
The halt is short-lived as you still need to catch your train and so you immediately get on with your remaining journey. Since the travel time is not fixed and there can always be a delay in reaching Jalpaiguri on time, you should book an onward journey, which could be a couple of hours later than your ETA. You can even book tickets for the next day if you don’t want to take risks because sometimes trains aren’t available at night.
Once you reach Jalpaiguri and have some time in your hands, you should definitely explore of Jalpaiguri, it is a prominent district of West Bengal. It has a very popular market called Hong Kong Market which should definitely be on your list, it’s rarely about 4 km from the Railway station. There’s also a Bidhan market 5km away from the railway station, it is famous for its food, especially local eateries.
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
Accommodation on Goechala Trekking:
All accommodation on the trek will be on twin sharing basis in Tents or Homestays. Any accommodation in a hotel/guest house/hostel (if mentioned in the itinerary and not mentioned in exclusions) will be in a 2-3 star accommodation unless mentioned otherwise.
Goechala Trek Leader and Guides:
A team of an experienced and certified Trek Leader, as well as a professional guide, will accompany you for the goechala trek.
Services of a Professional Trekking Team:
A team of an experienced Cook, Camp Staff, Porters/Mules will accompany you for all the arrangements on the goechala trek.
Meals at Goechala Trek:
All Meals on the Trek are included. We will serve Vegetarian Indian food on the trek which will be cooked by our high altitude chefs. It will be a five meal plan including Morning Tea, Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Dinner. You will be provided with clean mountain water from the streams to drink. You can carry water purification tablets if you deem necessary but we advise otherwise.
Geocha La Trekking and Safety Equipment:
All the camping equipment such as Tents, Sleeping bags, Toilet Tents, Dining Tent, Mattresses, and other things will be provided by us and we guarantee the quality. Safety Equipment including Medical kit, Oxygen Cylinder, Oximeter, Crampons & Gaiters(if required) will be provided by us. We recommend you to bring your own sleeping bags if possible.
Permits and Forest Camping Charges:
Only for Indian Clients, All the applicable trekking permits, Camping Charges, Forest Entry Fee etc will be paid by us. Foreigners have to pay these charges if not mentioned.
A Life Changing Experience – Goechala Trekking:
We assure you that by trekking in the Himalayas you will have a life changing experience and we will do everything we can to provide you with the best services and make your venture in the wild an unforgettable one.
GST and Other Taxes:
The goods and services tax is not included in the price mentioned with the trek. They will be charged once you add the trek in your cart. They are subjected to change according to government rules of India.
Food in Yuksom:
Food in Yuksom is not included in the package. We can recommend a few good options.
Flights and Transportation:
Flights or other means of transport is not included in the package. Transportation from NJP/Bagdogra to Yuksom and vice versa is not included in the package. We can arrange a cab for you according to your requirements but you will be liable to pay for the same. Any expenses occurred during the journey are not included in the package cost.
Personal Trekking Equipment for Geocha La Trek:
Your Rucksack, personal clothing, shoes, trek poles, and other personal trekking gear is not included in this package. You have to bring your own gear according to that weather and difficulty of the trek.
Portage of Personal Bags(Offloading):
We highly advise you to carry your own burden (your rucksack) but due to any reason if you wish to not carry your rucksack, we can arrange for a porter/mule to carry it. For this service, you will be charged over and above the trek cost. The charges for offloading vary with every trek.
Travel Insurance is not included in this package. We recommend you to have travel insurance before opting for such adventures.
Personal Expenses in trek:
Any personal expenses incurred (laundry, Bottled Water, Beverages, snacks, orders tea houses or dhabas, Tips for guides etc) are not included in the package.
Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control are not included in the package.
- Anything not mentioned in Inclusions of the package.
When is the best time to go to for Goechala trek?
The Goechala Trek should be best traversed in the months of September and October as the autumn give the entire trek an eerie feel. The offset of Monsoon leaves the entire valley fragrant and whimsical as the winter brushes by with cold breezes and tiny drew drops. If you cannot make it during the Autumn, the next best alternative is to hike it in the months of April and May which are the Spring months of the region. During this time the flowers are in full bloom and rhododendrons cover the trail with their beautiful and charming colours. If you look from afar, it seems as if there is a blanket of scarlet rhododendrons covering wide areas and it makes your trek more fun and brighter. Other than that, the weather is also comparatively less cold and you can easily survive the night temperatures without struggling too much.
How difficult is Goecha La trek?
The Goechala trek is considered to be a fairly difficult trek, which means that it is not advisable for a beginner to try this trek blind-sighted, this trek requires a rigorous amount of training and mental strength. Physical strength here is a bigger issue since these slopes and ridges you climb here won’t be as easy as the treks marked easy. It is not a joke, trekking is a serious business and people often get injured or worse. Therefore, only if you are ready to train 5 months prior to the trek should you think of choosing it.
How much fitness is required for this trek? Is it safe for first timers?
Since the Goechala Trek is a moderate to difficult trek, therefore it can surely not be your first trek. And the level of fitness required is a little more than the basic fitness for easy treks. The slopes are steeper and the stamina required is also more than the stamina required on an easy trek. The ground time i.e. the time you are on your foot is also more. The number of breaks is also less. The trekkers who choose the Goecha La trek are mostly experienced or have done similar treks like this. You need to form a rigorous fitness routine and make sure that you maintain it as well. But only having a fit body won\'t help. When you perform treks experience also counts, therefore try out other easier treks if you haven’t stepped into the trekking arena as a sport.
What will the temperature like on this trek?
The Goechala Trek is a high-altitude trek and the temperature ranges from 15 degree Celsius to 20 degree Celsius in summers at day time and at night, drops from 7 degree Celsius to -1 degree Celsius. In the months falling after September the day time temperature ranges from 10 degree Celsius to 15 degree Celsius and at night falls down between 5 degree Celsius to -5 degree Celsius. These kinds of temperatures can be fought with ease with the right amount of layers and sleeping bags, so make sure you have a change of clothes for the night.
When will there be snow on this trek? Can it be done in Snow?
The Goechala trek can not be done in winters, it is extremely dangerous and near impossible to do this trek in winters when the whole area is covered in snow and frequent blizzards which will put your life at risk, however, if you still want to feel like trekking in the snow then the time from April to May is ideal when the snow is freshly melted and even though you will see a lot of sun and spring-blooming its way in, there will definitely be snow on your trail, most of the snow is already melted so what you find is few of the last remains from the departure of the winter season.
Which are the best months for the trek?
The Goechala Trek doesn’t have the best month to trek but you can surely choose the best season according to your needs. If you are someone looking for a trek with snow then the summer season between the months of April to May are best for you, during this time the path will be clear of snow and you will still find snow all around you, other than that, spring also sets into motion and the flowers do their magic with their colours and fragrance filling the trail with vibrant charm. The days are sunny and nights get chilly, you may even find light spells of rainfall. You can also do this trek in autumn which is the month of September to October, you will get the clearest views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Rathing, Mt. Koktang, Mt. Jopuno and many more. The weather is mostly pleasant with a little rainfall and slippery patches here and there, but mostly this is the most ideal time.
What things we need to carry? What type of food is served during this trek?
The Goechala trek is of 11 days, do you need to pack your clothes accordingly. Other than that, basic survival kit would include, a first aid kit, flashlights, head torch, extra layers, 2 to 3 pairs of socks, water bottle, toiletries, slippers. When we talk about food, have protein bars, chocolates, toffies, dry fruits, and nuts. These will give you instant energy and this is something to eat whenever you feel hungry. Proper meals only take place when you reach a place inhabited by people, which will have dhabas and cafes and restaurants to provide you with proper meals, but on the way, these little things will come in handy.
How do I book this trek with you?
The Goechala trek has booking available at most 1 to 2 months before the departure date so firstly you should make sure that you book your trek no later than a month prior to the date, 2 to 3 weeks before is the maximum time you get to book if seats are available at all. the trekking details and booking links are all available on the website, you can even compare this trek with other treks and choose the trek which is the best for you. There are two treks, fixed departures, and customized treks. Fixed departures are organized by us and solo travellers can join in, however, if you are a big group of people wanting to trek together you can create customized treks with us and set everything from the date of departure to the date of arrival.
Will backpacks, raincoats and other equipment be available for rent?
For the Goechala trek, you can either get your own gear by buying basic things like a raincoat or poncho for protection against the rain or just simply rent it out. As a company, we can provide a poncho and trekking poles on rent. For other basic gears, like day bags, gators, etc, you can rent it from your home city or the base city of the trek. But the important things like shoes and rucksacks should be bought because they are two factors that can make or break your treks.
Is this a good trek for a first timer?
Because it is a fairly difficult trek, it is not advisable to choose this trek as a first timer, because you will be putting your health and life at risk here. This trek is only meant for professionals or people who are experienced. No one will even allow a first-timer to try this trek, you should opt for treks which are grade easy if you are trying for the very first time. Do not take a hasty decision just because the location is pretty or convenient for you, you should put your health first, and there are numerous treks that are designed for first-timers. If you do really enjoy your easy grade trek, then you can surely take trekking as a serious sport in your life.
Who will be there with us on the trek?
On the Goechala Trek, you will be accompanied by various people other than your group mates who have come from different places for this trek. Usually, you will have a guide who is aware of the whole route and with whom you will never get lost even during the night. There will be a cook who will ensure your stomach is well fed at all times. There will be porters and yaks or horses which will accompany you; they often carry bulky luggage like tents, utensils, etc. The animals depend on the region you are trekking.
What are the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
The Goechala Trek definitely has toilet facilities, if you are living in the guest huts then there is a possibility of a proper bathroom facility, but if we camp out in the open the temporary tents are set up which act as toilets. A hole is dug in the earth for you to do your business; once you are done, make sure to cover it up with more mud. Cleanliness and hygiene are definitely maintained and it is totally safe to use temporary toilets.
What are the interesting places to visit if I have time before or after the trek?
Other than the local villages that come in the way of your trek, the best places to visit nearby are Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and of course the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok. These are very much developed cities and will give you a chance to get to know the urban population of the place. You can most definitely visit the best markets of Gangtok, where you will find a variety of handicrafts that you can take with you as a souvenir or gift for someone.
How to get safe drinking water on the trek?
Usually, you will find water taps or clean water streams that carries pure water from the glaciers from where you can refill your water from time to time. But it is advised to carry at least 2 liters of water with you before starting from basecamps and you should keep sipping water after intervals to stay hydrated. Along with this, you should try to get a water purifier with you if you have even the slightest doubt for the purity of the water. Also keep in mind that the water will not taste like your normal RO water or tap water at home, especially when you use the purifier, it will change the taste of water, so be mentally prepared for how the water is going to be like.
Which type of shoes should I buy for this trek?
The Goecha La Trek is a high-altitude trek, therefore, trekking shoes are the best shoes for this trek, trekking shoes are a better version of hiking shoes. The ones which are high rise, water-resistant and ankle trekking boots are much sturdier and provide the ultimate protection through rough terrain. You should wear them if you are an occasional hiker, doing the Goecha la trek or carrying a heavy backpack. This type of shoe comes in the range of INR 4000 to INR 8000 from companies like Wildcraft, Quechua and other brands.
Is the trekking pole necessary?
For the Goecha La Trek, you will be needing a trekking pole as this trek is known for its steep slopes and climbs, where you will definitely need external support to preserve your energy and also give you a boost of energy to climb the mountain top. You can definitely do the trek without a pole if you want, but it is advisable to not put too much pressure on your body so that you don’t injure yourself or slip away. Also, you can use the pole only when you need it and not all the time. You can hire a trekking pole at the base camp.
What is the Starting and ending point of this trek? How to reach the base camp of this trek?
The starting point of Goecha La trek is Yuksom and the ending point is the Goecha La Peak itself. To reach the base camp you either get to the airport Bagdogra or the Jalpaiguri Railway Station, from here take a taxi/cab to Yuksom. You can also arrange small buses if you are a considerable group of people. There shouldn’t be much problem in reaching as this is a very popular trek and more or less everyone knows about where to drop tourists and where Yuksom is.
Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the minimum and maximum age limit?
Yes, you can take children on this trek, but the minimum age for this trek is 15. Also, you need to be responsible and make sure your child is ready for the trek because this is not an easy trek you should make sure your child is healthy and fit and will be able to take the weather changes and climbs with ease. Also make sure your child has an active attitude towards the trek, if your child is more of an indoor fan, then you will surely find him/her sulking the whole way.
When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?
The Goecha La Trek says a big no to alcohol, many believe that drinking alcohol keeps your body warm. But, no matter how cold you feel, it is not advisable to consume alcohol at high altitudes at all, it can cause AMS which is very much fatal and you will thereby be risking your life. You can also get Hypothermia. Alcohol increases the rate of adrenalin which causes the veins to dilate, this makes blood flow to the surface of the skin and you feel warm outside but the inner body temperature decreases. So, the only dink you should focus on is water, and drink plenty of it too.
What kind of Tents and Sleeping bags are provided to us on trek?
At the Goecha La Trek tents and sleeping bags are always according to the weather, season and altitude of your trek, so the protection of your sleeping bags will be according to the varying temperatures it can withstand. The equipment is provided by us and the tents and sleeping bags are hygienic and can be used without any hesitation if you wish to carry your own sleeping bags you are free to do so. The tents used currently during trekking are Coleman, husky and Vango tents which are 5000mm waterproof and according to the season and weather the tents are chosen for a particular trek.
Can I leave traveling clothes in basecamp behind and collect them after the trek?
At the Goechala trek you can leave your extra luggage or the luggage you do not intend to carry with you on the trip to the peak at your hotel. The luggage is kept in a cloakroom where everybody leaves their luggage, there is very limited access to this room so your luggage is definitely safe. Some hotels keep it free of charge and some keep your luggage at a small fee, but either way, you can have assurity that your stuff is completely safe with the hotel authorities.
Do I have to carry any documents with me?
You will need ILP (inner line permit) or Sikkim Permit if you are not a resident of India. These are available outside the Bagdogra airport or check post prior to entering Sikkim or Siliguri. The trek permit which needs to be taken at the Yuksom forest check post requires you to carry id card for students and id proof for citizens and foreigners alike. Other than this it is pretty clear that you need an identity proof for sure, medical certificate, disclaimer, personal documents and mischief managed. Other than that, if you have any other document which you think could be handy for your identification process then bring it along.
Would we be able to expect rain during the trek to this trek? What will we do if it rains?
Since the Goecha La trek is at a high altitude, therefore, you can never expect weather to be predictable, it changes like the skin of a chameleon and you should be fully prepared and equipped for rains. If it rains you can easily get one thing straight which is to keep yourself and your gear protected, the best solution would be a poncho or raincoat with an additional rain cover for your backpack, other than that tents always tend to be strong and can withstand heavy rains and storms, so don’t worry about that.
Is there a doctor going with us on the trek?
On Goechala trek our staff of a trek leader, a guide, kitchen staff and porters will be accompanying you, but no certified doctor accompanies you on the trek, however, the trek leaders are well aware of the conditions of people and what medication they might need at a time of distress or an injury. Our trek leaders are fully equipped and trained to handle any medical emergency and hence, you can always rely on the trek leaders.
Do we get mobile network on the trek?
The Goecha La Trek as you know is located in the city of Sikkim, which has very few areas where people have settled in huge colonies, therefore it is not possible to find mobile network anywhere and everywhere. There are specific locations where you will get towers, usually places habited by people, so if you are in a remote location, there is a possibility for signal, but keep in mind that because these are remote location, BSNL which is a huge Indian telecommunications company is what works best in remote location, this is what they are known for, so you can either buy this sim or wait for a better location.
Are smoking and drinking allowed on this trek?
Smoking or drinking is not allowed at the Goechala or any other trek. Alcohol consumption is strictly banned as it can cause dehydration that can further lead to AMS. Trekking is about letting your mind clear out from the city life and your monotonous life back at home. Such recreational methods are not allowed in the trek. Also, you should never in any way try to harm the environment of these pure untouched places, you can’t pollute the air or intoxicate yourself, it is totally against the rules. So please keep this in mind. Also, you may think that drinking and smoking warm up your body but it the exact opposite and it will instead harm your body and mind, so refrain from using these things.
Is diamox advisable?
During the Goechala Trek there is a chance that you could suffer from Altitude Mountain Sickness, so to prevent then people often take Diamox (Acetazolamide) to prevent and reduce symptoms of AMS like headache, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness. Other than that, if you naturally want to avoid AMS then you should trek very slowly and giving your body the time to acclimatize. But, consult your trek leader and your doctor before making a decision. They are the only 2 best people who can suggest to you whether or not to do a course of Diamox.
How big are the groups?
At trekmunk, we take a maximum of 16 trekkers in a batch. It is usually preferred if the trekking groups are smaller, there are multiple reasons for it, like with smaller groups you have a better understanding of each other and get to know each other better, then it is also safer with smaller groups as if you have 2 trek guides, then each one can be assigned to a handful of people to be responsible for and take care of them throughout the journey. Smaller groups are also easy to handle, like the villagers can take care of you better, 16 people can be taken care of with ease but 25 people is a big number for the villagers, plus bigger the number of your group more chances of harm to the environment.
Is it safe for female solo travellers to go in a fixed departure group with Trekmunk?
During the Goecha La trek women, safety is a very important issue we take in hand; we make sure that women participating in the trek are comfortable and safe at all times. Women are also provided separate tents and washrooms. We respect women and understand it is very difficult to step out solo without feeling skeptical about your safety but rest assured, we take full responsibility and care of women travelers and you are safe with us.
What things do we need to carry?
For the Goecha La trek you can make a list of things necessary to bring for this trek. Some of the most important things are clothes, layers, socks, gloves, cap, sunscreen, sunglasses, torch, flip flops, toiletries, then a wholesome first aid kit which will come in handy with some basic medicines like combiflam, disprin etcetera, being snacks like chocolate and nuts to nibble on throughout the trek, bring a water bottle, so that you don’t always have to buy a plastic bottle and litter the valley.
I can’t carry my bag can anyone carry it for me ( Portrage/Offloading of bags?)
Though we prefer you carry your own bags, if you wish to offload your bags, just inform us and we can arrange it for you. The porter will easily be able to get you through the journey. The sole purpose of a porter is to guide and help you. Hiring a porter is advisable if you will be needing help carrying your baggage, or are planning to carry extra baggage.
How many trekkers will be in one tent?
At Trekmunk, we let a maximum of 2 people stay in a 3 men tent and the same goes for the Goechala Trek. We tend to have just 2 people sharing tents as it keeps the tent less crowded and gives the trekkers more space to rest and relax. Also, If a tent is crowded with three people sharing it, it often leads to unpleasantness and space issues. 2 people in a tent also help keep privacy if we have any couples on board.
What is the level of fitness expected from the participants?
Since the Goecha La Trek is a moderate to difficult trek, therefore it can surely not be your first trek. And the level of fitness required is a little more than the basic fitness for easy treks. The slopes are steeper and the stamina required is also more than the stamina required on an easy trek. The ground time i.e. the time you are on your foot is also more. The number of breaks is also less. The trekkers who choose the Goecha La trek are mostly experienced or have done similar treks like this. You need to form a rigorous fitness routine and make sure that you maintain it as well. But only having a fit body won\'t help. When you perform treks experience also counts, therefore try out other easier treks if you haven’t stepped into the trekking arena as a sport.
Do you think I should bring some medicines with me?
A first aid kit is a must, but if you are suffering from problems or have to regularly take medicines, then surely you should bring them with you. Other than that, whatever medicines you feel are necessary and might come to use during emergency or sickness should be kept in your first aid kit. Medicines like Paracetamol, Crocin, Diamox, Avil, Combiflam, Norflox, Crepe Bandage, Digene etcetera are some basic medicines which everyone should have in their backpacks. You should also carry packets of ORS because many people get dehydrated and need salts to normalize their bodies, so keep it on your kit as well.
Can we change the itinerary? Can we customize this trek?
Goecha La Tek has a customizable option provided by trekmunk. Usually, there are two types of treks fixed and customizable, in the customizable treks you can easily make minor or major specifications on your trek and if you are a group of more than 5 people you can definitely go for this option where you can decide the trek according to your wishes and convenience.
What is AMS? How to prevent it?
Goecha La Trek: in case you get AMS, don’t panic, as panicking will not help you or your health. AMS is acute Mountain Sickness which occurs to people when they are at high altitudes and their body hasn’t properly acclimatized to the conditions. Symptoms are fatigue, headache, dizziness, loss of breath, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep and nausea. How to prevent: You should sleep when it\'s time to sleep, should not attempt to climb if you are feeling physically weak, if you don’t acclimate properly to the altitude then you can get AMS, you should make sure you have enough layers to keep yourself warm, have hot drinks like ginger tea, hot cocoa etc and take medicines only when it\'s necessary and you know about the medicine.
Trek Dates and Prices
|Trek Package Confirmed Dates||Trek Status Availabilty||Price (Per Person) Excluding Flights||Price (Per Person) Including Flights|
April 4, 2020 - April 14, 2020
April 11, 2020 - April 21, 2020
April 18, 2020 - April 28, 2020
April 25, 2020 - May 5, 2020