Weather :

Timings : All day

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee,
Treks from Yuksom: INR 16,000 onwards

Goecha La, West Sikkim Overview

Goecha La is a high mountain pass located at a height of 4,940 m and acts as the base camp for the southeast face of Kanchenjunga. This place can only be accessed by trekking from Yuksom and it roughly takes 7-8 days for a person to reach Goecha La and come back to Yuksom.

The area is accessible only after proper permits are granted.

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Camping/Shelter

Goecha La does not offer any proper accommodation for the trekkers. Most of the tourists carry their own sleeping bags and tents.

Water Availability

Carry your own water as well during the trek. However, you will have the opportunity to refill your water stock from the rivers flowing during the trek.

Food Availability

You won't find any eateries at Goecha La except tea stall that sells tea and biscuits only. It's always a good idea to carry your own food during trekking.

Food is available only at:
  • Yuksom (base camp)
  • Sachen
  • Tshoka
  • Dzongri
  • Thansing (maybe)

General tips and tricks

1. Make sure you carry warm clothes irrespective of the fact that what season you are travelling in.
2. Carry your own trekking gear and equipments and be always prepared.
3. Carry a medical aid kit and your usual medicines for the way.
4. A good pair of trekking shoes is a must.
5. Carry raingear no matter if you are travelling during monsoon season.
6. Make sure you obtain all the permits well in advance required for trekking in the region.
7. Make sure you carry spare batteries and film roll for camera as there will be no electricity supply.
8. A well informed and trained guide is very important and do make sure to sought out all trivial things well in advance to avoid misunderstanding.

How to reach Goecha La

  • Rail: New Jalpaiguri serves as the nearest railways station to Yuksom situated about 150 km away.

  • Road: Yuksom, the base camp for Goecha La is easily accessible via road from several major cities including Siliguri. It is about 140 km away and serves as an entry point for Sikkim as well as its capital city Gangtok.

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About Goecha La

Base Camp : Yuksom

Difficulty : Moderate to Difficult Gradient

Highest point of trek : 5,002 m / 16,406 ft

Nearest Airport : Bagdogra

Nearest Railhead : 150 km

Region : Sikkim Himalaya, Sikkim

Starting point of trek : Yuksom

Itinerary

Day 1 : Gangtok to Yuksam

Distance: 1780 m , Duration: 6 hours

The drive from Gangtok to Yuksam consists of 6 long tiring hours. However, the ever change of scenery is extremely refreshing and luring. With tea garden, river and bridge comprising the journey, you will reach your final destination of Yuksam with relaxed mind where the trek begins.

Day 2 : Yuksam to Tshoka

Distance: 3050 m , Duration: 7 hours

From Yuksam, begin your trek uphill towards the Rathong River gorge passing through dense forest. You will be accompanied by magnolia, rhododendron, and several varieties of orchids, ferns, bright exotic birds, and monkey peeking around the corner. After a hike of about an hour, you will cross the Paha Khola Bridge (1,733 m). Another two hours of trek and there is a spot for swimming near a waterfall and a stream beneath a bridge, where you can stop for lunch break. After crossing the Prek Chu River, there will be steep ascend for two to three hours which will lead to Bakhim. A Tibetan refugee settlement of Tshoka is just a little above from there where you can settle for the day after a long trek.

Day 3 : Tshoka to Phedang

Distance: 3760 m , Duration: 4 hours

From Tshoka, a steep climb above will lead you to a splendid rhododendron forest. Contnue walking alongside a well defined trail till Phedang. Owing to the rarefied air, the trek on third day comprise of short distance hike of about 4 hours.

Day 4 : Phedang to Dzongri

Distance: 4320 m , Duration: 3 hours

This is yet another day of trekking when you will be covering a short distance as you tread above the 4,000 m mark. Try and set the camp by lunch time and spend the rest of the afternoon getting used to the area and climate. A short climb will take you to beautiful meadows where you are suggested to pitch your tents. The campsite offers some marvelous views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. However, you may choose your campsite according to the availability of water.

Day 5 : Rest and overnight camping

On your fifth day either you can continue with your excursion or explore the raw beauty of the area by climbing the nearby small peaks offering bewitching views. The morning and evening view are the highlight of the panoramic scenic beauty it offers.

Day 6 : Dzongri to Thangshing

Distance: 3800 m , Duration: 5 to 6 hours

The sixth day holds a gradual climb up the hill for about a mile towards a low ridge easily visible from the campsite. The whole view with prayer flags swaying with the wind overlooks a stunning beauty of Khangchendzonga and Pandim making it ideal for photographers. Now itÕs time to descend towards Pandim on the other side of valley followed by a steep walk on a well laid path through rhododendron forest to reach the Prek Chu River perched at an altitude of 3,749 m (3 hours). A trekking lodge here may be used for cooking food. Cross the river and hiking for almost one and half hour through the dense pinewoods will lead you to grassy campsite lying beneath the peak of Pandim remained unclimbed. You will reach a new hut built here which may be enquired for cooking and if possible for sleeping over as well.

Day 7 : Thangshing to Lamuney

Distance: 4298 m , Duration: 3 hours

With the long and tiring big day ahead, the seventh day of the trekking holds plenty of opportunity relax and enjoy the nature. With a short walk of merely 3 hours, continue to walk along the Prek Chu River. Lying opposite to it is a lovely emerald green lake Sacred Samiti surrounded by vibrant and clolurful prayer flags dancing along the wind.

Day 8 : Lamuney to Goecha La and back to Lamuney

Distance: 4984 m

Begin the day early in the morning to make sure to avoid any battered weather conditions during the latter part of the day. Ascend the hill behind the lake followed by crossing the moraine. Then descend to the empty lake replaced by a sandy bed. Now continue the trek to cross Zemathang Plateau, the area that lies above the Samiti Lake and the ascend moraine to reach an altitude of almost 15,700 ft. You can here above lake spottily glaciated with snow and ice pinnacles. Another walk of one hour and you will reach Goecha La. For that, cross the lake, hike across the slope and walk along the well laid path decorated with colourful prayer flags. The whole tiring hike becomes absolutely worthwhile with the enchanting view of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance. ItÕs time to return to the campsite at Samiti Lake.

Day 9 : Lamuney to Tshoka

Distance: 3800 m , Duration: 7 to 8 hours

Get up early and walk around a bit and enjoy the stunning sights of Khangchendzonga and Goecha La. This time, while leaving Thangsing you will be taking a different route. Climb down to Prek Chu instead of a long climb to Dzongri Plateau and pass through a jungle to arrive at Phedang. Take another steep descent towards Tshoka. It will save a day but involve along trekking session.

Day 10 : Tshoka to Yuksam

Trek back to Prek Chu following the same route taken up on the first day. Hike downwards gradually to reach the Yuksam Village.

Day 11 : Departure

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