Burrowed deep within the leafy jungles of the Kanchenjunga National Park, the coveted Goechala trek takes one disarmingly close to the third highest mountain range in the world.
Getting close to the legendary Mt. Kanchenjunga is not the only reason this trek remains a favourite amongst both trekkers and trek leaders alike. What fascinates us most about this trek is how up-close and life size some of the celebrated peaks of the Himalayas appear on this trail. For example, on the fifth day of the trek, we will be camping right at the foot of Mt. Pandim. By the time we get to the summit day, the peak of Mt. Pandim appears deceptively near, as if it is only a day’s hike away!
Topping the thrill of being in the vicinity of such gigantic peaks is the fierce alpenglow one gets to witness on the trail. Watching these otherwise unyielding peaks, especially Mt. Kanchenjunga, melt into molten gold right in front of you, under the early morning rays of the sun is an experience that remains etched in the back of your head for a lifetime.
Long suspension bridges running in the midst of dense jungles, a tranquil monastery at 3000 M, and a serene mirror like lake that sits right below the summit point are some of the other joys of the Goechala Trek. Read more about the attractions of the Goechala Trek here.
Climbing up to an altitude of 4600 M, the Goechala trek is as challenging as is beautiful. Read more about the difficulty level of the trek, the challenges one encounters on the trail and the skillset one requires to traverse the untrammelled terrain of Goechala effortlessly here.
Siliguri to Yuksom (150 km drive)
Time taken: 7-8 hours
If you have opted for the transport arranged by Bikat Adventures, please report at Laddoo Gopal Restaurant located on the Sevoke Road near the 2 Mile Check Post to board your vehicle leaving to Yuksom.
In case, you are traveling on your own to Yuksom, this article could come in handy in planning your route.
Carry two passport size photographs and a copy of identity proof along with an original ID proof for entry purposes. Please note that the rules for foreigners differ. Yuksom is a small village with many attractions of its own. You can plan your travel a day early if you would like some time to explore the place.
Yuksom (1,720 M) to Sachen (2, 195 M)
Trekking duration: 5-5.5 hours
The Goechala trek starts from Yuksom (behind the forest check post). Initially, the trail skirts around the fields of Yuksom before entering the magnificent river valley of Rathong. The trail majorly runs through dense jungles with occasional exposure to sunlight here and there.
We will be crossing three long suspension bridges including the one that runs across the famous Tshushay Khola waterfalls. It is a moderate walk up to the second bridge after which the trail ascends steeply to Sachen.
Sachen, the campsite for the day, is a small clearing in the forest marked by a wooden shelter and a forest hut. The Prek River runs farther down in the valley below. Although it is not visible from the campsite, the faint gushing of the river can be heard from the campsite when you listen closely enough.
Sachen (2, 638 M) to Tshoka (2, 900 M)
Trekking duration: 5-5.5 hours
The trek to Tshoka involves a moderate ascent peppered by a couple of steep sections. It begins with a crossing over a bridge that runs across the Prek River. After crossing the bridge, the trail runs in to the thick of the forests once again. The forests are filled with oak and rhododendron blooms during spring season. In autumn, the leaves take on lovely hues of fall colours.
To find out the best season to do the Goechala Trek, click here.
Bakhim, another camping ground with some lovely views, is the mid-point of the trek today. After a generous break at Bakhim, we will resume our ascent to Tshoka. Tshoka houses a serene monastery across a still pond higher up. After resting at the campsite, we will be going on a quick acclimatisation walk to the monastery which holds some remarkable views of the Kanchenjuna range and Mt. Pandim.
Tshoka (2,900 M) to Dzongri (3, 970 M)
Trekking duration: 6 – 8 hours
The trek to Dzongri is undeniably one of the most demanding days of the Goechala Trek. We will be going well above the tree line today. What makes this day very challenging is the forced altitude gain of over a 1000 M. So, in order to let your body acclimatise better, ensure you do not rush your pace.
The initial section of the trail is paved with wooden logs while flanked by pretty rhododendron blooms on the left and right. A couple of hours into the trek will bring you to a large, clearing called Phedang. Lined with prayer flags and surrounded by stunning snow clad mountains all around, we will be taking a long break here before resuming trek.
Dzongri, the campsite for the day, is still a good 4-5 hours trek away from Phedang and involves some steep ascents. Ensure you layer yourself suitably after reaching the campsite. The winds are quite fierce here and it can get quite cold in the nights.
Dzongri (3, 970 M) to Thansing (3, 704 M)
Trekking duration: 4- 5 hours
The day begins at 4 AM with an ascent to Dzongri Top (3, 946 M) from where you get unparalleled views of the Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges during sunrise. It takes about an hour to reach Dzongri top.
What makes this climb spectacular is the alpenglow one gets treated to at the top. On a day with clear weather, the Kanchenjunga and Singalila ranges turn into molten gold under the early morning rays of the sun.
This is followed by a quick breakfast at Dzongri after which we will begin our hike to Thansing. Since, Thansing is located at a lower altitude when compared to Dzongri, it is going to be an easy hike of 4-5 hours with gentle ascents and descents alongside the Prek River.
The campsite is located right at the foot of Mt. Pandim making it one of the delightful camping experiences of the Geochala Trek.
Thansing (3, 704 M) to Lamuney (4, 145 M)
Trekking duration: 2-3 hours
Today’s trek is easy with a flat trail most of the time.
Note: Sometimes, the trek leader might choose to use the day as an acclimatisation day and stay back at Thansing itself.
At a half an hour’s steep climb from Lamuney lies the mirror like Samiti Lake. There is a good chance of spotting mountain goats and blue birds on the lake side. Camping is not permitted by the lake. After spending some time exploring the lake, we will be returning to our camps at Lamuney to spend the night there.
Lamuney (4, 145 M) to View Point 1 (4, 602 M) to Thansing (3, 704 M)
Time: 12-13 hours
Day 7 marks the culmination of the Goechala Trek. It is the most challenging day. But we have the advantage of leaving some stuff from our rucksack at the campsite behind.
If we are trekking from Thansing, we will begin our trek at 1 AM. If we are already at Lamuney, we will be beginning the trek at 3 AM.
The early start ensures that you are there at View Point 1 in time to watch the morning rays of the sun paint the Kanchenjunga range golden, a bewitching sight we promise will remain etched in your memory for a long time.
Since we aim to reach View Point One by sunrise, a major portion of your ascent to the summit will happen in the dark. So please ensure you carry your head torch with you.
The view from View Point 1 is breath taking, both literally and metaphorically. This is the day you get to meet Mt. Kanchenjunga face to face and watch its snow clad turn a dazzling gold under the early morning rays of the sun.
This coupled with the accomplishment of finally having reached the summit leaves many overwhelmed and speechless and often makes for THE BEST EXPERIENCE on the Goechala Trek.
Thansing (3, 704 M) to Tshoka (2, 900 M)
Trekking duration: 6-7 hours
The descent back to Tshoka can be steep in some places. In December, certain sections of the trail will also be frozen in ice.
Be careful while descending and it is advised to trek slow. In spring, you will find Rhododendron trees lining your way all the way down to Tshoka.
Tshoka (2, 900 M) to Yuksom (1, 720 M)
Trekking duration: 6-7 hours
We will be retracing our path back to Ruksom today. Since the trek is mostly downhill, it can get quite strenuous on your knees. Only the last section, right before reaching Yuksom has a couple of ascents.
Overnight stay will be at a hotel in Yuksom.
Yuksom to Siliguri
Board your vehicles early morning for the drive from Yuksom to Siliguri. The trip ends in Siliguri.
Goecha La Trek is a difficult trek. It is a 9-day difficult trek that requires climbing to a height of 4600 metres. The climbs are steep and the trek begins at dawn and end at dusk. One must be appropriately fit and have prior experience of high altitude treks. Only seasoned trekkers and the people who have some experience in moderate level treks should participate in Goechala trek. On Bikat scale Goechala trek difficulty level is 5. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale.
One should have at least 7-10 Himalayan trekking days in their kitty, Experience of trekking at altitudes higher than 3700 metres.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
The start and end point of Goechala trek is Yuksom, a township in Sikkim. There are no direct buses or trains to this place. But you can try these travel options for base point of Goecha La trek . The only way to reach this place is by hiring a jeep or taxi from NJP/Siliguri.
By rail: The nearest railways station to Yuksom is New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP). it is located 150 km from Yuksom. There are a number of trains from Delhi to NJP that you can board like Avadh Assam Express, Ndls Njp Sf Express. The jeep ride from NJP to Yuksom will take about 6-7 hours. Get an early morning taxi from the taxi stand at Siliguri Railway Station. Avoid travelling in night since the road condition is bad.
By air: The nearest airport to Yuksom is Bagdogra Airport, about 170 km from Yuksom and 12 km from Siliguri. There are direct flights from New Delhi to Bagdogra. The jeep ride from Siliguri to Yuksom will take about 6-7 hours to reach. For backward journey, the taxis are easily available from Yuksom to bagdogra/NJP/Siliguri. Start your road journey in the morning.
Yuksom is a beautiful town in Geyzing district of Sikkim. It was earlier the capital of Sikkim. There are a number of heavenly places to visit in Yuksom. Khecheopalri Lake is one of the largest lakes in Sikkim. This magical lake is considered to be a secretion of Goddess Tara. Khangchendzonga National Park is where you can find endless variety of endangered species of plants and animals. Tashi Tenka is another attraction which offers 360 degree views of Yuksom Village. There are also a number of monasteries in yuksom like Tashiding monastery and Katok monastery.
Normally there is no network reception beyond Yuksom. If you are lucky, you can find network in Tsokha (at a spot near the first hut).
There is no network reception beyond Yuksom. If you are lucky, you can find network till Tsokha.
Click here for packing list.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
When you arrive in Yuksom for Goechala trek, your stay will be made at a local guesthouse. The rooms will be provided on either twin or triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email a few days prior to the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accommodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees celsius.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek. These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
You will be provided with good quality gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice ax.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread, and butter served in breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent the following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack
During the day, the temperature will range from 13-18 degrees Celsius. The nights will get cold dropping the temperature to 3-5 degrees Celsius. The higher the altitude you gain, the colder it gets. There will be a fall in temperature October onwards. To know more follow this Goechala Trek Temperature Chart
You can expect snow in the first season near View Point 1 i.e. in March-May. You can expect to witness good amount of snow in the months of November and December.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior to the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However, offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of the participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain a 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
Yes, the trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Yuksom, the starting point of Goechala is a small town with a very small market. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for a solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing a tent with each other. In case you are a single woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
if you are arriving at NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra Airport, then, you can avail transportation till Yuksom through us. The common pick up point will be Laddoo Gopal Restaurant, Near 2 Mile Check post, on Sevoke Road, in Siliguri. If you have booked your transportation through us, then, you are expected to reach the pick up point by 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM.
Expect to reach Yuksom late in the evening where your stay will be made at a local hotel/guest house. Make sure your bookings from Yuksom to your respective destinations is on the next day. Those who had availed our transport services, will be dropped off at Laddoo Gopal Restaurant, Near 2 Mile Check post, on Sevoke Road, in Siliguri, by/before 6:00 PM
Goechala Trek best time is April-May, September-December. To know more check this detailed blog here: Best Time to Do Goechala Trek
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried), Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried), Inner Line Permit (For Foreign National), Photocopy of ID Proof and Passport Size Photo are the mandatory documents required for the trek.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure