Goecha La Trek Blogs
Goecha La trek with an altitude of 4600M in Sikkim is a stunning trek with views of the world’s third highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga from the pass. Nestled in the vibrant Kanchenjunga National Park, Goecha La being at the foothill of Mt. Kanchenjunga provides you with stunning views of 14 other summits.
The highlight of the Goecha La trek is a viewpoint from where you get to see the world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga.
The massif’s five highest peaks namely Kanchenjunga Main (8586m), Kanchenjunga West or Yalung Kang (8505m), Kanchenjunga Central (8482m), Kanchenjunga South (8494m), and Kangbachen (7903m) are referred to as “the five treasures of the high snow”.
Here are some very interesting stories associated with the trail, important information which will help you with preparation and some unique facts.
1. Superstitions and Folklore of Goecha La
It is believed that no one has ever stood on the summit of Kanchenjunga. On May 25, 1955, Joe Brown and George Band were the first ones to climb the peak. But, the Chogyal ruler, the monarchs of Sikkim, allowed the duo’s expedition of Kanchenjunga on the promise that they would stop a few feet before the summit of the mountain as the Kanchenjunga is an abode of divine forces. Due to the religious beliefs associated with Kanchenjunga, it is now completely banned on climbing this peak from Sikkim’s side and thus no one has ever stepped on the summit of Kanchenjunga.
The peak is of great importance to the Buddhists and the Lepcha tribe. The Lepcha tribe, known as the “people of snow” believe that the first two humans were born on the peak of Kanchenjunga. According to them, their ancestors lived in Mayel Valley located behind the Kanchenjunga mountain which is the doorway to immortality and no human is allowed to enter this valley. The Lepcha tribe believe that the valley of Kanchenjunga is protected by demons, or the Yeti, a form of a devil that resides in this mountain capable of shapeshifting into a bird or a huge monster. A lot of stories of supernatural experience have been reported on the Goecha La trail...Read on
2. 6 unique experiences of the Goecha La trek
The Goecha La trek is loaded with greenery, lush forests, streams, spectacular wilderness with the backdrop of mighty mountain ranges. The local experiences encountered during the trail makes it very interesting.
1. Wooden huts and washrooms at every campsite.
2. Camping at the foot of Mount Pandim
3. Wai Wai with Lai
4. Malt Tumba, a local hot beer
5. Wild Mushrooms
6. Organic food...Read on
3. What is the best time to do the Goecha La trek?
Home to the Kanchenjunga peak and lying in the Kanchenjunga National Park, the Goecha La trek offers you a different experience with different views depending on which season you do the trek. From the challenging winter season to the lush green autumn season, the trek will never fail to amaze you. Here is what each season has to offer on the Geocha La trek.
1. Summer – End of March to May, is a paradise for bird watchers and snow lovers.
2. Monsoon – End of May to August, is a strict NO.
3. Autumn – September to October, is the perfect time for stunningly clear views.
4. Winter – November to December, challenging for tough souls...Read on
4. How to reach Yuksom, the base point of Goecha La trek?
Yuksom, the ancient capital of Sikkim and the base point of Goecha La trek in Sikkim, is a beautiful town which is very well maintained. From lush green pastures, tall trees, a magnificent lake, to an ancient monastery, there are a number of places to visit in Yuksom that makes it a popular destination among tourists. This town gets its religious importance from the monasteries and the rich history of Buddhism, regarding it as the “Third eye of Sikkim”. This jewel of Sikkim seems to have been preserved by the Gods themselves.
There are no buses to Yuksom but shared taxi or jeeps can be used. In case you are coming from outside Sikkim, you can come either to NJP by Train or Bagdogra by flight and then take the road on a reserved or shared taxi to Yuksom.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) that's 150 km away from Yuksom. From NJP one must leave early morning and reach Siliguri to take the shared taxi. In case one wants to travel by reserved taxi, one can book the same from NJP or Siliguri. It is advisable though to book the same from Siliguri.
The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 170 km from Yuksom. From here, one should move to Siliguri and use the road options as discussed below to reach Yuksom.
Siliguri/NJP to Yuksom
Timing: One should always leave NJP/Siliguri* by 8 am (latest) as it takes around 7-8 hrs to reach Yuksom via Jorethang. The road to Yuksom is poorly lit and it is not advisable to travel at night. This is irrespective of whether you come in a shared or reserved taxi.
*NJP and Siliguri are very close, only 20 Kms apart. One can always move to Siliguri from NJP & vice versa quite easily using auto-rickshaws, buses, or shared tempos.
5. Things to know before doing the Goecha La trek
To ensure a good trekking experience and have much indeed information to get the most of your Goecha La Trek
1. Unpredictable weather ranging from rain and hail to sunny days with clear skies.
2. Clear and majestic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the possibility of camping under its shadows.
3. The three viewpoints of the Goecha La trek.
4. This trek can be done in almost all seasons depending on your preference...Read on
6. Why Goecha La should’nt be trekked in December
Goecha-La, in West Sikkim, is hailed as one of the most thrilling Himalayan treks, and for good reason too. With enthralling views of the Himalayas, colorful flora, crystal clear glacial water, and a green carpet throughout, the trails seem straight out of a fairytale. As the trek takes you through the Kanchenjunga National Park there is an overwhelming experience of different terrain and the changing of scenery every day which takes you away to the heavens. From the thick forests in Sachen to open flatlands of Thansing, from the cold and wet Dzongri to the coldest of all at Lamuney – Goecha La has everything to offer, a complete package. It is also dubbed as a very romantic trail best done with your partner. Trekking the GoechaLa is both an unforgiving and unforgettable experience if done in December. Reasons why the Goecha La trek should be done in any season but Winter:
1. Absolute silence
2. Shaky pictures
3. No work for an eco-warrior
4. Less adventurous
5. Lack of proper sleep
6. No New Year social-dos...Read on
The Geocha La trek takes you through the beautiful Kanchenjunga National Park all the while trekking in the shadows of giants like Kanchenjunga and Mt. Pandim. A trail filled with spectacular views, wildlife, folktales and mesmerizing views of the third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga. This trek exposes the untouched beauty of West Sikkim and gives an experience different from the likes of other Himalayan treks.