What Makes Goechala Trek Unique?
“It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”
The Dzongri – Goechala trek is perfect for those who are up for these ‘three rules of mountaineering.’ It is the most popular trek in Sikkim. An absolute classic, this trek gives us spectacular views of Kanchenjunga up close, apart from many other smaller peaks which surround it. The whole trail is filled with rhododendrons and it’s like the forest has extended a red carpet welcome for you during the springs. Post Monsoon, the mountain views are outstanding – Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Rathong, Kabru, etc are some of the peaks seen from several vantage points all along. Tea houses exist till Dzongri, beyond which tents are mandatory. You’ll be camping throughout on this trek.
The sight from Goecha La is glorious and well worth all the walking it takes to reach here. Every camping site blows you away. The high altitude lakes, crystal waters of the rivers, the fluttering prayer flags at the high points make this whole trek special and culturally distinct from any other route in the Himalayas.
The Goechala Trek is an experience of a lifetime for anyone who wishes to explore the beautiful landscapes of North-East India with an adventure packed thrill. This trek begins from NJP (New Jalpaiguri), which is easily accessible from air and rail. Although there are no airports here, your best access is to fly to Kolkata or Bagdogra; both have adequate flight options on a circadian basis. Once here, you can travel by railways to reach NJP. The North East Express Train or the Brahmaputra Mail transport passengers from Delhi. If you take a train from Kolkata, you can choose from various train systems such as Kamrup Express, Darjeeling Mail, Uttar Banga Express and the like. After entering NJP, you can reach the base camp of Yuksom easily by the allotted pick up vehicles. Once on the trail however, there are a few things that really make the entire trek one to remember.
Long Visiting Season
The Goechala Trek is an experience that can be sought by trekkingenthusiasts all year round. This is what the charm of the meadows and valleys offer, a year-round indulgence for trekkers with any level of experience. Yet, it’s recommended that you undertake this expedition during autumn – the months of September to November or during summer -between March and June. Trekking during the monsoon season is strictly not recommended, as the stretches of trail tend to be slippery and muddy, with chances of mudslides and rocks blocking the paths highly common.
Sunrise on the Kanchenjunga Range: One of the biggest highlights of the Goechala trek is the sunrise seen on the Kanchenjunga range. Even though trekkers are not allowed all the way to the actual Goecha Pass, the view from View Point 1 and Dzongri is worth an arm and a leg!
Rhododendrons in March and April: The trail to Goechala is blessed with rhododendron forests. And come spring months of March and April, they burst to live with pink and red flowers! It’s an enormously pleasing walk through the wooden-log trails of these jungles.
The Samiti Lake: The Samiti Lake is another big attraction on the Goechala trek. The view of the still waters, and the reflection of Mt Pandim in the lake, especially in the early hours, is a visual treat.
Yuksom:Yuksom, literally meaning ‘the meeting place of the three learned monks’, is the start of the spectacular Kanchendzonga trekking trail. Various monasteries surround it with the site of the coronation throne of the ancientkingdom, which can still be witnessed here. Surrounded by abundant greenery, Yuksom sits amidst pristine lakes and spectacular hills.
Sachen:An unexplored situate filled with dense forests, Sachen is accessible by trekking from the town of Yuksom through green meadows that lie alongside the Rathong River. With several acres of forest areas surpassing Mentogang River, Sachen lies at the pinnacle of 7200 feet. An array of beautiful log huts can be seen lining below the trails here with the gushing waters of the Perk waterfall that lullabies throughout the meadows.
Tshokha: Tshokha is a small hamlet that stands curtailed with limited houses floating on the edge across a valley that drops down from the other three sides. It is the only settlement that stands thriving in the Kanchenjunga National Park region. It is home to numerous Himalayan birds and is one of the hotspots of bio-diversity in the world.
Dzongri – Dzongri, popularly known as ‘the meeting place of men and mountains, of god and nature’, has mystical valleys adorned by vibrant gorges amidst flower cossets. It offers an impeccable vision of the breath-taking Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Various trekker huts line this region, as it is an admired campsite for trekkers. One can catch the spectacular glimpse of Rhododendron blooms spread across acres of meadows on the log trail that leads to Dzongri. The viewpoint here at the Dzongri Top stands at 13,675 feet with Tibetan prayer flags adorning the views of the peaks of Kanchenjunga, Kabru, and Pandim.
Lamuney: Across mountains and ridges, alongside picturesque meadows and green grasslands, Lamuney is the campsite that offers the pristine attraction of Lake Samiti. With changes in the sunlight and cloud passages, the enchanting change in the landscapes of snow must be witnessed.
Goechala: Beautiful mounting summits with bubbling water streams that flow through an expanse of green meadows- the only way to describe Goechala. The Goechala Pass is the highest point of the trekking trip with an elevation of 16,000 feet. The trail leading to Goechala is filled with glacial moraines; a frozen lake covered with snow andof course, the gigantic peaks of Kabru, Pandim and Kanchenjunga. With slopes of snow that resemble skiing fields, Goechala is the eventual destination of this mystifying trekking expedition.
Considered one of the most romantic trekking trails in the country, get ready to be enchanted by the sensational mountains, the fascinating people, their distinctive culture and the mesmerizing trails that lead you to engage in a breath-taking experience. This Goechala trek guide gives you an idea of what to expect, but nothing beats the real thing!
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