A fantastic taster for the longer and tougher Goechala Trek. Passing through the Kangchendzonga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the trail traverses river - crossings, quaint hamlets and bucolic meadows and climbs steeply through rhododendron and magnolia forests.
Season: mid-March to mid–June; mid-September to December
Duration: 5 days
Altitude range: 1780m-4030m
Costs: USD80 per person per day; minimum of 6 pax
*Family-friendly; please see FAQ for details
Day 01: Yuksom (1,785m) to Tsokha (3,000m/ 6-7 hrs)
The trail from Yuksom climbs gently out of the valley and skirts the Rathong Chu river. It winds through dense forest, crosses four bridges and a series of mini waterfalls. Sachen, a small clearing with a log hut and shelter awaits about 20 minutes after your cross the last bridge. It’s a pleasant spot for a quick stop to fuel up on trail snacks and water. Then the trail ascends steeply for an hour to the the Bakhim rest house, an old resting point for trekkers before Tsokha’s Trekkers Hut was built. You can get a postcard-pretty view of Yuksom valley from here. The trail continues climbing steeply for an hour through forests of magnolia and rhododendron. You will reach Tsokha, a small Tibetan settlement with cafes where you can try tongba, a traditional millet beer. We will set up our tents on the camping ground behind the Trekkers Hut. From the campsite, the skyline is adorned by the jagged peak of Mt Pandim and the Kanchenjunga range.
Day 02: Tsokha to Dzongri (4030 m / 5-6 hrs)
The trail ascends steeply through rhododendron forests to Phedang (3650m). The clearing at Phedang is perfect for a lunch break as you can gawp at the peaks across the valley on a clear day as you satiate your hunger pangs.
The trail forks at Phedang with the right trail that leads to Kokchurang. In Spring (May-June), colourful rhododendrons flank the trails. From Phedang, the trail continues climbing till Mon Lepcha pass where Mt Pandim looms above. From Mon Lepcha, the trail descends before climbing again to Dzongri Trekkers Hut. Overnight at Dzongri.
Day 03: Dzongri viewpoint (4250m/40 mins)
We will have a rest day at Dzongri to acclimatise and enjoy the picturesque views. The hill above the bungalow - referred to as Dzongri Top - offers a panoramic view of Kabru (7395m), Ratong (6678m), Kangchendzonga (8586m), Koktang (6147m), Pandim (6691m), Narsing and Jobonu. Take a stroll to the Dzongri meadows or trudge up to the ridge at Dablakhang where the stupas or chortens (Tibetan Buddhist monuments) are situated.
Day 04: Dzongri to Tsokha (3050m / 4 to 5 hrs)
Head back to Tsokha and Yuksom on the same route and capture the incredible views that we may have missed on the way in.
Day 05: Tsokha to Yuksom (1785m/ 5 to 6 hrs)
Final descent to Yuksom where our trek ends.
Trekking costs include:
1. Transportation to and from the closest airport or railway station.
2. Accomodation on arrival day and after the trek.
3. All necessary permits and taxes for the trek.
4. All meals during the trek and in Utteray and Pelling, support team, experienced trekleader/guide, pack animals.
1. Air fare
3. Tips, alcohol and beverage
4. Travel Insurance or any personal expenses