Green Lake Trek
A strenuous but highly rewarding adventure, the Green Lake Trek transports trekkers to one of the most pristine and remote areas in North Sikkim. The trail meanders through lush forests of scarlet rhododendrons, primulas and blue poppies, skirts the Zemu river and traverses moraine fields to arrive at the surreal landscape of Zemu glacier.
Framed by snow-capped peaks, the Green Lake base camp is nearly 5000m in altitude, requiring proper acclimatization. Pre-war, when the Nepal borders were closed, all expeditions to Mt Khangchendzonga and Mt Everest passed through Lachen, the last village before the Green Lake route.
Season: mid-March to mid-June; mid-September to December
Duration: 12 days
Altitude range: 2700m - 4935m
Costs: Contact Us to get a quote
Day 01: Bagdogra - Gangtok (1547 m); 4 hours
Arrival at Bagdogra airport. A scenic drive to Gangtok along the Teesta River via the Sikkim-Bengal border town of Rangpo. Overnight at hotel in Gangtok.
Day 02: Gangtok
Apply for the necessary trekking permits and head out for a city tour of Gangtok. Places of interests include the renowned Rumtek Monastery, Enchey Monastery and Institute of Tibetology. Overnight at Gangtok.
Day 03: Gangtok – Lachen (2700 m); 6-7 hours
Drive to the remote village of Lachen via the North Sikkim Highway. Overnight at Lachen guesthouse.
Day 04: Lachen – Jakthang (3300 m); 5-6 hours
From the main North Sikkim Highway, we drive towards Thangu to Zema trailhead, which sits at the junction of Lachen Chu and Zemu Chu (rivers). Hike the trail skirting Zemu Chu, after crossing the river, head west towards Zemu valley. The trail snakes through an alpine forest with over 20 varieties of rhododendrons, from pure white to the crimson red hues, from 6m-tall trees to stunted foot-tall shrubs. The route crosses Lhonak Chu before arriving at Jakthang, a small meadow where we will camp for the night.
Day 05: Jakthang - Yabuk (3978 m); 4-5 hours
The trail ascends towards Yabuk and we will reach the tip of Zemu Glacier by midday. We will stay in Yabuk overnight for acclimatisation.
Day 06: Yabuk - Rest Camp (4570m); 4-5 hours
The trail continues along the Zemu glacier as we scramble over boulders and footslog over moraine fields. The Zemu river gushes through the glacier and the valley opens up to a spectacular sight of jagged peaks. The Rest Camp boasts a front-row view of Mt Siniolchu (6887m), reaching up to sky with its peak in perfect symmetry. *British explorer Douglas Freshfield (1845-1934) once described Siniolchu as “the most superb triumph of mountain architecture and the most beautiful snow mountain in the world.” Sightings of blue sheep (bharal) from this location have been recorded.
Day 07: Rest Camp - Green Lake (4,935m), 3-4 hours
Although the trail from Rest Camp ascends gradually, the high altitude and thin air will slow down our pace. On a clear day, this is one of the most spectacular treks in the Himalayas as we arrive at an ‘amphitheater’ showcasing snow-capped peaks at the tip of Zemu glacier. Siniolchu, Simvu, Twins, Nepal Peak and Khangchendzonga dominate the skyline. Just 12km away, Mt Khangchendzonga’s jagged, sheer cliffs loom above us. We set up camp on the grassy patch of Green Lake.
Day 08: Rest day at Green Lake
Enjoy a relaxing day soaking in the views and the sun. Or trudge up to a viewpoint nearby to marvel at the jaw-dropping panorama of Khangchendzonga massif, the vast valley below and the gorgeous Mt Chomolhari (7,326m) in Bhutan. The Zemu Gap, connecting Zemu valley to Talung valley, is distinct from this viewpoint.
Day 09: Green Lake - Yabuk (3850m); 5-6 hours
Begin a gradual descent to Yabuk.
Day 10: Yabuk - Jakthang (3300m) - Zema; 5-6 hours
Continuous descent to Jakthang, then to Zema, the trailhead.
Day 11: Zema - Lachen; 5-6 hours
Drive to Lachen and transfer to lodge. Overnight in Lachen
Day 12: Lachen - Gangtok; 6 hours
Drive from Lachen to Gangtok. Trek ends.
*Across Peaks & Passes in Darjeeling & Sikkim; Harish Kapadia; 2001
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