Goechala Trek (5010m)
Day 1. Pick up from bagdogra airport and driven to Sikkims capital Gangtok, you will pass through dense jungle forests, tea plantations, rivers, streams and many small villages as you drive through West Bengal into Sikkim. Arrive in Gangtok, evening free for sightseeing, overnight stay in a hotel on a b&b basis
oxyspora paniculata at Gangtok
Day 2. After breakfast, you will be picked up and taken to Yuksam, again you will pass through many small villages, tropical forests and pass by rivers and streams, this journey has many beautiful sights for you to see, arrive in Yuksam, evening free for sightseeing. Yuksam is situated at an altitude of 1780m and was the first capital of Sikkim,where according to the historical records,the first king of Sikkim was consecrated here in 1642 A.D. The first and oldest Dubdi monastery was built on a hill top above Yuksam., overnight stay in hotel/homestay on a b&b basis.
monastery at Yuksam
Day3. After breakfast we will pass through Yuksam on our way to our first overnight stay which is Tsokha(3000m), you will pass through tropical jungles, crossing over raging rivers and waterfalls, see white monkeys. soon you will be seeing your first rhododendrons such as Rh arboreum, rh falconeri and rh barbatum plus many other flora and fauna, before you reach Tsokha you will pass through Bakhim (2700m) Bakhim is a small settlement where There is a two storied wooden hut specially established for the Forest department and also used by the HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute). One can get a wonderful views of the beautiful valleys looking towards Yuksam, Pelling and Darjeeling. Arrive at Tsokha, overnight stay in trekkers hut/tents.
View towards darjelling from Tsokha 3000m
.Day 4. after breakfast, we make our way through Tsokha village.The village is a small and has a single settlement with only 7 households., the residents here are Tibetans who fled from to Sikkim during the 1959 chinese invasion of their country Todays trek is a tough one walking for approx 7 hours. in the morning we will be heading towards Phedang passing through rhododendron forest, the main rhododendrons here are rh barbatum, rh falconeri and rh arboreum, there are also abies spectablis and many Daphne bhuloa, in spring the forests are carpetted with many primula species, the further you go up you will also start to see rh thomsonii and sorbus and Acer species, once you have reached Phedang you will rest and have lunch
Phedang camp with rhododendrons campylocarpum and thomsonii in background
from here you can see beautiful views of Mt.Pandim, Mt.Thenchinkhang, Mt.Jhopuno. Phedang is surrounded by a large forest of rh thomsonii with its lovely bell-shaped red blooms, after lunch the first hour is a hard trek up, after that it is mostly downhill passing through endless forests of rhododendron fulgens with its brown peeling bark and red blooms, as you get further towards Dzongri(3950),Dzongri has only single Trekkers hut and two forest huts. From the ridge above the site you can get panaromic views of Mt.Khanchendzonga, Mt.Kabru and mt pandim. you will see many alpine plants like Juniperus recurva, rhododendrons anthopogon and setosum. Rathon, Mt.Koktan, Mt.Pandim, Mt.Jhoponu, Mt.Thenchinkhang and Mt.Narsing. overnight stay in trekkers hut/tents.
Day 5. today is a rest day to help acclimatize. After breakfast you are free to rest or explore this lovely region of Sikkim.
trekkers hut at Dzongri 3950m with rhododendron fulgens behind
Day 6. after breakfast we will make our way to Thangsing(3875). Todays walk will be easier then the first 2 days, we will walk up the valley and across the alpine region seeing outstanding views of the valley below, we will steadly trek downwards in the morning heading towards the prek chu valley where we will have lunch, the climb down to the camp is a steep and hard one where you will pass through a massive forest of rhododendron hodgesonii with its bark that peels a rich cinnamon-brown and its blooms a rich cerise-pink in huge trusses, once at the camp we will stop for lunch. below is a photo of the prek chu river with mount pandim in background
After lunch we will head up the valley over the raging prek chu river past glacial moraines and through battered forests of Abies, Sorbus and rhododendrons, after a short while you will be walking over alpine pastures with amazing views of the entire Khangchendzonga mountain range, arrive at Thangsing overnight stay in trekkers hut/tents.
Thangsing camp with Mt Pandim on the right
Day 7. after breakfast we will gently trek towards Lamuney base camp through alpine pasture of dwarf rhododendrons and following the raging prek chu river, from here you might get a glimpse of the himalayan blue sheep and the only remaining wild yak herd left in Sikkim . Lamuney is situated at an altitude of 4380 m and serves as the national base camp to the famous mountaineering course.The basic and advance course of Mountaineering is done here by the HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute). Situated at the heart of the Mt.Rathong Glacier, From here one can get a magnificent view of Mt.Rathong,Mt.Kokthang and Mt.Kabru. overnight stay in tents
The view from Lamuney down the valley
Day 8 . after an early start we will start the climb to Goechala pass it begins with a steep gradiant eastwards for about half an hour and then later a steep ascent starts through the sacred Samiti Lake. The trail follows the glacial moraines north east and then drops to a dry lake at Zemathang.A tough scramble over rocks and boulders brings you to the top of the Pass. The Pass is formed due to the depression between Mt. Pandim and the Kabru spurs.It overlooks the Talung Valley and commands a very impressive view of the south faces of Mt.Khanchendzonga just in front of the Pass.The view from here is like one can say “It is Paradise”.
we will then head back to the base camp for breakfast, after breakfast we will make our way back down to the prek chu river following the path we took up, we will make camp at the prek chu valley and stay over night in trekkers hut/tents.
Prek chu camp with a forest of abies spectablis, rhododendrons hodgesonii, fulgens and lanatum
Day9. after breakfast head back to Phedang through the massive rhododendron hodgesonii forest, stop for lunch at Phedang, after lunch head down to Tsokha, overnight stay in trekkers hut/tents
Buddist monastery and scared lake at Tsokha
Day 10. after breakfast start the trek back down to Yuksam passing through tropical forests, over streams and waterfalls, arrive in Yuksam, evening free to explore, overnight stay in hotel/homestay
Day 11. After breakfast, you will be taken to darjelling driving past huge hillside tea plantations, tropical forests and many small villages, the drive has stunning mountain and valley scenery, arrive in darjelling evening free to explore, overnight stay in hotel on a b&b basis
Day 12. early morning pick-up to be taken to see the sun rise from tiger hill, this is a scared moment when you will see the Mount Khangchendzonga light up with the new rays of the morning sun, after this we will take you to visit the famous Ghoom monastery, taken back to hotel for breakfast, after breakfast you will spend the day sightseeing, visiting the Gurkha memorial, darjelling toy railway, Darjelling zoo, the peace pagoda and many many more sights, evening free to explore, overnight stay in hotel on a b&b basis.
Day 13. after breakfast you will be picked up and taken to Bagdogra airport, service ends.