When we talk about the treks in Sikkim, GoechaLa trek tops the chart in the list of the most winsome treks in the region. The views of Mt. Kanchenjunga are gigantic and the vibrant flora and fauna of the region are spectacular. It is a culturally rich region with so many mythical stories and a lot of attractions to visit in Yuksom, the base point.
The home to Kanchenjunga Peak, the flora, and fauna on this trek change avatar with changing seasons. Mt. Kanchenjunga appears apparently a stone-throw away from you. The exhilarating landscape is another reason apart from the exhausting trail that will leave you gasping for breath.
A lot of times, people ask us for the best time to do Goecha La Trek. There is no one particular time to do this trek. Every season gives you an altogether different purpose and a different takeaway from the trek.
If you want to add technical expertise to your trekking experience, then winter is the season for you. If you want to capture views in your camera, then autumn is the season for you.
Here is what each season has to offer on Goecha La trek:
Summer - the paradise for bird-watchers and snow-lovers
April-May are the month for birdwatching. Goecha La becomes a paradise for bird-watchers. Grey Bushchat, Greentail Sunbird, and European Sparrow are few of the many indigenous species of birds you will get to spot on the trek as you walk through Kanchendzonga National Park.
End of March-April is the time when the snow starts to melt and the trek is doable. However, the trek is still loaded with snow.Lower altitude has more flora than higher altitudes. As the snow melts, the flowers begin to bloom once again.
The days are sunny and bright throughout but the nights get chilly. There are slick chances of rainfall even in the months of April.
Monsoons - a strict NO
The south west monsoon approaches Sikkim early and rains start by end of May. It is tricky to do Goecha La Trek between May 3rd week and August. Sikkim is one of the wettest places in India due to its torrential rains. The trail becomes slippery which causes frequent landslides.
Also, there is an added danger of leeches on the jungle. The trek becomes considerably difficult to do in the monsoons. Therefore, it is advisable for trekkers to not attempt this trek in monsoon.
Autumn - for the love of clear HD views
September-October are the time when you will get clear HD views of the Mt. Kanchenjunga . The monsoon washes away all the dust and dirt. The colorful flora of the region adds an iridescent charm to the trek. The sun rises are the prettiest. When the first rays of sun fall on the snowy peaks, the orange glow is so poetic.
Capture the clear-cut shots of snow clad mountains. Frey’s peak, Mt. Koktang, Mt. Rathong, the Kabru family of peaks, Mt. Khangchendzonga, Mt. Pandin, Mt. Tien Chenkhang, and Mt. Jopuno are all crystal clear in September and October.
There won’t be much snow on the trek, just a few slippery patches here and there.However, there are still chances of the downpour, the weather is pleasant throughout.
Winters - For the tough souls
Winter months of November-December add another level of challenge to already moderate plus trek. At the same time, it makes it all the more adventurous.
On the trails laden with heavy snow, one gets to use professional trek equipment like microspikes and other hi-tech stuff on the trek. One requires special tents to sustain the sub-zero temperatures during winters.
Fresh snowfall can be expected during this time. Temperatures drop to -20 degrees Celsius in the night. The chilly winds will aggravate the biting cold. The meadows have colors of orange, purple, and yellow smeared all over the shrubs.
Goecha La is a trek of many treasures and can be done during various windows of the year depending upon the kind of experience you seek from the trek. Whether you are a bird-watcher, a tough trekker, or an avid photographer, you can always pick a season to do this trek.
So there you have it- all you need to know in order to schedule your upcoming Goecha La adventure. Now all you need to figure out is how to reach Yuksom, the trailhead village for Goecha La.