Timings : All day
Entry Fee : No Entry Fee,
Treks from Yuksom: INR 16,000 onwards
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.
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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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
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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