The Dzongri Goechala Trek is one of the most famous treks in Sikkim. Climbing to 16,000 feet with dazzling views of 16 Himalayan peaks. Starting from Yuksum, crossing bridges over blue icy rivers, passing through rhododendron woods, enjoying nature in its purest form.The Dzongri Goechala Trek offers everything a trekker can dream off. The sunrise above the Himalayan peaks is a view that you will remember for the rest of your life. The Dzongri Goechala Trek is a beautiful trek, through the beautiful dense forest, passing waterfalls and with magnificent views of Mt Khangchendzonga, Mt Pandim, Mt Tenzing , Mt Narsing, Kabru. This trek isn’t that challenging and is one of the best treks for first timers doing a Trek in the Himalayas.
Day 1: Bagdogra – Yuksum
- Arrival at Bagdogra Airport. Meet and greet with your guide and get a brief introduction of the Dzongri Goechala Trek. Travel to Yuksum (6 Hours). At the Sikkim-West Bengal Border in Melli, we will arrange your Sikkim Inner Line Permit here (30 min.). Then we continue to Yuksum. Upon arrival, check in while a welcome drink is served and rooms allocated. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.
Day 2: Yuksum
- After breakfast, we’re heading to Norbughang Coronation throne and a small monastery to better understand the history of Sikkim, the Namgyal Dynasty and the Vajrayan Buddhism (which we call Lamaism or Tibetan Buddhism). We walk down to Karthok Lake before we take lunch and rest behind the hotel, or you can walk to the Dubdi Monastery at the top of the hill (45 min. Climb). Return to the hotel and getting ready for the big trek. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Yuksom (5,700 feet) to Tshoka (9,650 feet). 7 hours
From Yuksom, the Goechala trail starts just behind the houses after the forest check post. Cross the last few huts of Yuksom and skirts around the fields of Yuksom we enter the V shaped valley of the Rathong River.The trail is passing through the fringes of the forest. From the shelter on your right, it’s half hour to the first bridge over the Pha Khola. By the time the trail gets to Pha Khola, you are already in the dense well forest. The gently undulating trail climbs gradually. The next hour and a half is a pleasant walk through the humid jungle. On your left, the Tshushay Khola falls in a series of mini waterfalls joining the Prek below before a large iron bridge spans the Tshushay Khola. After the bridge, where the trail begins, the climb is steeper. An hour later, we will cross another small cement bridge over the Mentogang Khola. Here we are already at 7,100 feet and twenty minutes from the log hut of Sachen.
Sachen at 7,200 feet is a small clearing with a single log hut and a shelter. The log cabin is a few meters on the trail. The hut has room for 6-7 people and a small area for cooking.From here the altitude gain is considerable. Trekkers love the first amble through the forest – it gives them a chance to loosen up before the stiff climb to Bakhim from the bridge over the Prek.
The trail out of Sachen undulates but maintains an even altitude. In fact, we will rise only a few feet until 45 minutes and 2 km later when we descend to the bridge over the Prek. It’s the last time we will see the river until three days later at Kockchurang.The wooden bridge over the Prek sways when you walk over it. Adorned with many prayer flags wishing success to the expedition. It’s the signal for the start of the real climb to the Goechala trail – from here we will climb until we get to Goechala.The trail starts at the left of the bridge. It takes as through a mixed oak forest until the wide switchbacks level a half hour later with the sight of the first Rhododendrons. The altitude gain is fast while the air gets cooler. The trail follows the ridge and stays there until we get to Bakhim half an hour later. From the Prek, it takes about an hour to get to Bakhim (the total distance is only a kilometer, but it feels a lot longer).Bakhim has a Forest Rest House and some trekkers like staying at Bakhim – to enjoy the view over the Yuksom valley. Most hikers move on to Tshoka, one hour further.Bakhim has a lovely tea stall where you can get some snacks as well. After a well-deserved rest, we start climbing to Tshoka. We follow the trail just behind the Forest Rest House. The trail climbs in a series of long switchbacks, overlooking Bakhim until forty minutes later it turns around a ridge to move to the other side of the hill.At over 9,000 feet high, you will see Rhododendron trees everywhere. The trail gets dark from the overhanging trees and meanders until it suddenly reaches a plateau and the trekker’s hut of Tshoka. There’s also a flat camping area to the left of the trekkers hut. The trekker’s hut is a pretty long wooden building that has four rooms – enough space to house more than 20 hikers. Alternatively, hikers can stay at the Forest Rest House slightly uphill.We take the time to explore Tshoka. Uphill are some cafes where hikers can try the local malt beer Tumba. The local Yak cheese is another delicacy, but it takes the time to get used to the taste. We can ask the café owners for the keys of the monastery. It is a quiet place and worth a quick visit. But the view of the snow-clad peaks of the Kanchenjunga range stretching right behind you is breathtaking – with Mt Pandim dominating the skyline. For most trekkers, this is the view of the day.
Day 4: Tshoka (9,650 feet) – Dzongri (12,980 feet) via Phedang (12,050 feet). 5 – 6 hours.
- For most trekkers, this day is the highlight of the Goechala trail. Everyone looks forward to this day. First, you will trek through some of the densest Rhododendron forests India has to offer, and secondly, the trail opens up with a view of the highest mountains in the Himalayas.
Like yesterday, we will climb to the little pond leading to the monastery, and then follow the trail that runs to its right. The trail starts with a steep climb and within minutes Tshoka is a tiny hamlet below you. Red Rhododendron trees everywhere here. In the season when the flowers bloom (May 1st/2nd week), the entire slope lights up with a red color. After climbing for about 30 minutes, the trail levels out to a gradual climb. The trail changes from paved to wooden logs. Little wooden benches line on either side of the path – which makes the trail look like a park. Sometimes fog creates a surrealistic surrounding with the Rhododendron trees. The log path changes to a regular stone trail that climbs to Phedang. Phedang, at an altitude of 12,000 feet has a superb view over the Snowcovered Mountains. A log hut and a few wooden benches dot the landscape. We stop here for lunch and a well-deserved rest. The trail forks at Phedang with the right leg leading to Kockchurang. From here we take the trail to Dzongri. The views are getting better with every step but watch for a few muddy patches on the trail. After one hour we arrive at a shrine with many prayer flags. This is the highest point of the days trek with an altitude of 13,080 feet. After a brief rest at the shrine, we follow the trail that gently descends towards Dzongri. The trail follows the snow border until we reach.
The Dzongri trekkers hut. There are plenty of camping grounds around Dzongri, but the shelter offers room for 30 hikers.Dzongri is a welcome break for the trekkers after the hard climb from Tshoka. At 12,980 feet trekkers will feel the effect of the altitude. Dzongri is a large cauldron, mostly meadows, surrounded by the mighty peaks of the Kanchenjunga peaks. In every direction, you will see snow peaks. For most trekkers, Dzongri is a reward on its own. Many finish their trek at Dzongri and head back the way they came.
Day 5: Dzongri (12980ft) to Dzongri top (13681ft)
Dzongri top is the highest point from where you will get an 180-degree panoramic view of the mighty peaks of the Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges. The Trek from Dzongri to the Dzongri top takes about 45 mins. The sun rises at 5 am, and you don’t want to miss the first rays of sun hitting Kanchanjunga. We start at 4 am with torches to reach the top, on time for the dawn break. As you climb, the peaks of the Singalila range begin to open up and just at the bend before the top, the Kanchenjunga, and its neighbors make their appearance. The sunrise here is phenomenal. You will see the mountains changing colors under the sun rays.
Afterward, we return to Dzongri where we will spend the rest of the day.
Day 6: Dzongri (12980ft) to Thansing (12894ft) via Kockchurang (12096ft). 5 – 6 hours
- Thansing is a meadow with the same altitude as Dzongri. The trail from Dzongri to Thansing descends a 1000ft to Kockchurang and then climbs a 1000ft to Thansing.The trail starts right from the Dzongri trekkers hut to the top of the ridge. From the ridge top, you can see Kanchenjunga, Pandim and the other peaks to the right towering over the meadows. We descend through the Rhododendron while the path gently slopes down. The walk through the Dzongri meadows in the lap of the mighty mountains is as breathtaking as the view from Dzongri top.En route we will visit the Kabru Lam Cho (Lake), which is about 1 to 2 hour off track from the main trail to Thanshing. You will see the Rhododendron shrubs occupy the slopes again. The gentle to medium descent continues for more than 2 hours. Then the Rhododendron shrubs suddenly make way for the Rhododendron forest. The descent becomes steep, and we descend more than 500ft. The forest is a great place to spot birds.
- Kockchurang pops up at the end of the descent. Kokchurang has a trekkers hut but not a good place to pitch tents. The Prekchu River flows next to the trekkers hut. Amidst the rocks, the banks of the river can pitch 4-5 tents. The small campsite is lovely. In the evening there might be some fog hanging over the river and covering the tents enveloped. With the sound of the fast flowing river, it makes a great camping experience.
- From Kokchurang, we walk down to the bridge across Prekchu. We spend some time on the bridge enjoying the cool breeze of the river. The water below looks icy blue. On the other bank, you have the Rhododendron forest again. They flower in June but at any time, the moss-lined trees with their branches spreading out in all directions make it a fairy tale walk. There is a trekking trail but no lined path. From the bridge to Thansing is 2kms. In the middle, the landscape becomes rocky and barren. Thansing lies in front of Pandim and on the left wall of Kanchanjunga. At Thansing it can be cold during the night.
Day 7: Thansing (12894ft) to Lamuney (13,693ft). 4.2 km 2 to 3 hours
- The trek from Thansing to Lamuney is an easy one. The trek is inspiring because the mountains come closer and closer. The meadows tend to get rockier as we move ahead. The flat gradient suddenly gives way to an ascending trail. The trail leads to Samiti Lake where camping is no longer allowed.After visiting Samiti Lake at an altitude of 14100ft, we’re heading towards Lamuney. If it is windy, the lake has waves. The Samiti lakeshores are the home of the mountain goats and blue birds which you are most likely to spot.
Day 8: Lamuney (13,693ft) to Goechala (16,000 ft) and back to Kockchurang. 10 – 12 hours
Today is the longest day of the trek, so we start early at 3 am. Starting early has multiple advantages.
The early start ensures you will reach the first viewpoint or the sunrise point in time to see the first run rays hitting Kanchenjunga. It’s also easier to walk on the moraines that we encounter after the sunrise point as the snow is still hard. The chances of getting good views are also higher in the morning. And it also gives us enough time to go all the way to Goechala and return to Kockchurang.
The trail to Goechala goes behind Samiti Lake and beyond. Mt. Pandim is always at your right, and the left side is also lined with huge snow walls. We will climb to the ridge on top of Samiti lake and then traverse right on the narrow trail on the flank of the mountain. After a short climb, you will reach the sunrise or the first viewpoint of Goechala. Mt. Pandim at your right side and Kanchenjunga rises just in front. We spend some time here before descending to Zemathang. Zemathang is a sand bed covered with snow and gravel. From Zemathang to Goechala is a climb of about one and a half hour.
- We follow the path to Lamuney and then head to Kockchurang. We stay at the trekker’s hut or pitch tents by the river at Kockchurang.
Day 9: Kokchurang to Tshoka via Phedang. 6-7 hours
- Today’s trek can be divided into two phases. The first part is from Kockchurang to Phedang – a direct trail passing Dzongri and the second part is the Rhododendron forest trail from Phedang to Tshoka.
The first phase is new and exciting. The trail goes on the flank of the mountain all along, and you move from one mountain to another to another maintaining a constant altitude of 12,000ft all along. Kokchurang, Phedang and most of the trail, are all at 12,000ft!Then we turn left inside the forest instead of climbing to Dzongri. The trail remains mostly flat with small descents and ascents only to switch between mountains. Rhododendron trees line your way all along while the Prekchu flows below. At your left, at some places, you will get lovely views of Mt. Pandim and its neighbors. Phedang is 10 km from here, and it is one of the longest trails between two known campsites. It takes about 4 hours to reach Phedang.From Phedang we will take the descending path to Tshoka.
Day 10: Tshoka to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen. 6 hours
- Today we will trek from Tshoka to Yuksom. It’s much faster and easier than the trek we did at the start. Sachen shows up quickly. From Sachen, the trail goes up and down losing altitude. The last stretch has a few climbs and soon you will find yourself back in the friendly Yuksom neighborhood.During the evening we celebrate a successful trek with a bonfire, a traditional Bamboo Millet wine(Tongba) and a buffet dinner at the hotel.
Day 11: Yuksum – Bagdogra
After breakfast, we take you back to Bagdogra Airport or another destination like Darjeeling, Gangtok.
- Day 1: Dinner
- Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled water. Accommodation on Twin Sharing basis in the hotel for 2 Nights
- Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 5: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 6: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 7: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 8: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 9: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Boiled Water
- Day 10: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Farewell Dinner from Trekking Team. Accommodation on Twin Sharing basis in hotel
- Day 11: Breakfast
- Ps: The lunches provided during the Dzongri Goechala Trek are sometimes cooked and served hot and sometimes it will be packed lunch
- English Speaking Guide
- Toyota Innova or Mahindra Xylo car for the pick-Up and Drop to and from the Airport
- Cook, Porters, Twin Tent, Matrasses, Toilet Tent, Dinning Tent, Animals to carry your packs (either Dzos or Ponies)
- Emergency Evacuation cost, Medical Assistance (Emergency Center at Yuksum Public Health Centre)
- Beverages and Drinks
- Anything else not mentioned in the included section.
- In and outbound flights to Bagdogra
What to bring
- Trekking boots. Don’t use new ones or use them before the trek.
- Sunscreen lotion
- Insect repellents
- Personal medication
- Refillable water bottles
- Walking sticks
- Toilet paper rolls
- Heavy woolens for the night as temperatures can drop in the mountains to below minus 5-10 degrees,
- Wind blockers
- Waterproof camera bags
- Thermal wear
- Good sleeping bags
- Inflatable mattress
- Inflatable rubber hot water bags
- Sufficient camera memory cards
- Battery backups or solar charger
- Small backpack
If you would like to make the Dzongri Goechala Trek on another day, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dates of the trekking are fixed. The two days at the start and the last day can be adapted according to your plans. Please contact email@example.com for a customized offer.
- Since Sikkim being a buffer state with China, the securities are very strict. Please do not carry Satellite Phone or Drone Cameras. It is strictly forbidden in Sikkim.
- Persons with heart Problem, asthma or high blood pressure are not allowed to participate.
- Please bring your sleeping bags ( as it is your personal, it’s cleaner and better. )
- Dzongri, Goechala Trek is a high altitude trek which reaches up to 4491 Meter. Hence the chances of High Altitude Sickness are often seen. If anyone becomes sick or shows the Sign of Altitude Sickness, we will be decent immediately to the lower altitude /Camp at any hour.
- In case a guest cannot complete the trek or gets sick en route. The participants will be immediately sent to the lower altitude and probably to Base Camp at Yuksum to avoid any Tragedy. Then after recovery, the guest will stay at Yuksum for the other guests to finish the trek.
Permits and formalities for the Dzongri Goechala Trek:
For Foreign National:
Documents required to procure Trekking Permit from Department of Tourism – Govt of Sikkim – Gangtok.
1. Passport (Front page and Last Page)
2. Indian Visa (Please remember to apply for a Sikkim Permit while you apply for Indian VISA, it will be endorsed in your Indian Visa – 15 days validity)
3. Sikkim Inner Line Permit
4. 4 Passport Photographs
5. A certificate from a doctor, which proves your medical fitness to undertake the trek.
Minimum 2 Foreign Nationals have to be in the group to procure Protected Area Permit from the Department of Tourism – Government of Sikkim to undertake this trek.
Terms & Conditions for the Dzongri Goechala Trek:
All participants have to sign ” SELF DECLARATION FORM” to undertake the trekking program.
Room configuration: all rooms and tents provided are on twin sharing basis. Except for the Trekkers Hut, which will be on a Dormitory Basis.
Minimum group size: The minimum group size for this activity is 2 persons.