10 Things You Should Know Before You Go to Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

10 Things You Should Know Before You Go to Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

Published on Sep 13, 2023

Due to its elevation and difficulty, the Goechala Trek in Sikkim is recognized as the most well-known high-altitude trekking location in India. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking 180-degree vista of Mount Kanchenjunga and other high peaks when you reach the summit of Goechala. Here, In this article, we will discuss 10 Things You Should Know Before You Go to Sikkim Goecha-la Trek. 

The best months to visit the Goechala hike are September through October, followed by November and December. The mountains are visible throughout the months of March, April, and May, and the dawn and sunset are also magnificent.

All through the months of October, November, and December, photographers will considerably profit.

Due to the crisp, icy air, it’s a beautiful spot to visit in the winter. Location: Sikkim March, April, May, September, October, November, and December are the best months.

Trekking Distance: 92 kilometers Difficulty Level Maximum Height: 4700 meters Cover The Location: Samiti Lake, Lamuney, Jorethang, Sachen, Tshoka, Dzongri, Kokchurung, Thangsing, Siliguri, and Goechala. The location’s main draw is the view of Mount Kanchenjunga. For a Goechala trip in the spring or summer, the weather is perfect. 

About Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

Trekking in Sikkim Goecha-la

The inscription below states that there are two seasons for the Goechala trek. As a result, November and December are the next best times to travel to the Goechala trek, followed by September through October.

The mountains are visible throughout the months of March, April, and May, and the dawn and sunset are also magnificent. All through the months of October, November, and December, photographers will considerably profit.

Due to the crisp, icy air, it’s a beautiful spot to visit in the winter. The two seasons, spring and autumn, differ from one another. The best months to complete a trek are March, April, and May because they are the warmest months of the year and provide the best weather for hikers.

Although it is only marginally cooler than April and May, the scenery in October and November is superior to that in other months of the year, making these months the best.

As a result, the outcome and point of view are always dependent on the participants. In all seasons, there are always two things, such as an advantage and a disadvantage. An eight-day journey requiring both physical and mental stamina is the Goechala trek.

It is crucial to start hiking as early as possible in the morning and get to the camp location before dusk because of how long the days are. 

Even though the climb up might occasionally be challenging, the vista is worth it. For instance, the 15,500-foot Goechala trip is not appropriate for everyone; as a result, people between the ages of 12 and 60 must be forced to participate. Due to the variations in trekking routes and altitudes, you must have patience with yourself.

Highlights of Goecha La Trek

  • Take in the sights of Pandim Peak and Samiti, a quiet lake.
  • Watch the sunrise over Kanchenjunga’s Dzongri Top.
  • From the Goecha La Pass, you can see Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world.
  • The dense rhododendron forests of Kanchenjunga National Park are breathtaking.
  • See the suspension bridges that cross the Prekchu River, Pha Khola, Tshushay Khola, and Mentogang Khola.

Best time for Goechala Trek

The months for the Goecha La Trek are March through May and September through December. Although it’s cold outside, the walk is all the more exciting because of it. Additionally, these months are the finest for viewing the sunrise and sunset.

Weather and Temperature on the Goechala Trek

Between September and December, the weather is frigid during the Goecha La Trek, with lows of -5°C to -10°C in Dzongri. It even drops to -12°C as you approach Lamuney, and then there are strong, chilly gusts. Daytime conditions are quiet, and depending on height, the temperature can range from 5°C to 20°C.

The minimum temperature in Dzongri and Lamuney, where the Goecha La walk takes place, is around 0°C between March and May. You can feel the temperature dropping at Sunrise Point, especially in the morning. The Goecha La temperature can go as low as – 5°C at night.

Goechala Trek Route

The most well-known route is one that leads through Dzongri via Phedang, all the way to Thangsing, and then on to Goechala. Trekkers can follow this route based on their experience, practicality, and convenience.

There is also the option of starting the ascent from Phedang without traveling to Dzongri, but that would defeat the purpose of the entire expedition.

How can someone Go to Sikkim Goecha-la Trek?

Trains and aircraft are the best means of transportation to get to Yuksom’s base camp.

By Air: The majority of metropolises have flights to Bagdogra Airport, which is the closest airport. It will take no more than 6 to 7 hours to go from this airport to Yuksom, which is situated at a distance of roughly 155 kilometers.

By Train: The closest rail station to Sikkim, which is well connected to other major cities, is New Jalpaiguri Junction, which is situated in the center of Siliguri, West Bengal. One can take a taxi from New Jalpaiguri Junction to Yuksom, which is 150 kilometers away, in around 6 hours. 

What to expect at Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

The Goechala trek is a thrilling adventure that takes experienced trekkers through the breathtaking landscapes of Kanchenjunga National Park. Starting from Yuksom, the nearest railway station is quite a distance away, but the journey to the nearest airport is well worth it.

The trail from Sachen to Tshoka offers trekkers a taste of the high-altitude trekking to come, with its dense forests and charming trekkers’ huts along the way. These huts provide a cozy respite for tired adventurers equipped with their sleeping bags.

As trekkers progress, they eventually reach the base camp for the Goechala trek, nestled in the shadow of Dzongri Peak. From here, it’s a moderate to difficult ascent to Goecha La, a challenging 7-8 hour hike. This section of the journey is not for the faint-hearted, as the altitude increases, and the weather can be unpredictable.

The reward, however, is unparalleled as you witness the stunning views of Kanchenjunga and Samiti Lake. The Lamuney to Goecha La stretch is the pinnacle of this trek, where the beauty of the Himalayas truly unfolds for those who dare to take on the challenge

Cost for Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

For a 19-day trek, an average budget per person has been taken into account, which includes the price of average lodging, meals, and other incidentals like the permit fee, tents for camping, trekking gear, yak fees, porter, and so on.

Flights per person up to Bagdogra Airport cost INR 15,000 roundtrip (based on reservations made 30 days beforehand)

Accommodations (Stay in a Yuksom guest house or homestay): NRS 2,500 per person (based on two people sharing, excluding tax)

Meals: 3500 NRS

Additional: NRS 2000

A 19-day hike through Goechala will cost up to NRS 50,000 per person on average.

Packing tips for Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

Do not leave the house until you have checked off each item on your list of things to bring for the Goechala hike.

1. Initial Steps: A rain-covering bag, trekking poles, refillable water bottles, sunglasses, a lamp, extra batteries, a camera, and a drone (if you have one) are all essentials for trekking.

2. Major Documents: Inner Line Permit (ILP) for foreigners, three passport-size pictures, a medical certificate, and a disclaimer form. Also required are the original and three photocopies of your government-issued photo ID card.

3. Quick-drying clothing includes coats, tracksuit bottoms, t-shirts, thermals, fleece jackets, padded jackets, sweaters, raincoats, thick cotton socks, necessities, water-resistant gloves, hats, balaclavas, and shoes such as hiking boots and slippers.

4. Utensils: A tiny plate, a spoon, a mug, a lightweight aluminum lunch box, and any other necessary items.

5. Toiletries: Small towel, toothpaste, sanitizer, cold cream, sunscreen lotion, moisturizers, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

6. Must Have Tampons for ladies, non-biodegradable waste disposal bags, anti-fungal cream,

7. Other: A first-aid kit, any required medications, dry fruits, energy bars, chocolates, and nibble-size munchies.

Where does the Sikkim Goecha-la Trek start 

Goechala trek

The starting point for the Goechala trek is Yuksom West Sikkim. Your first task is to travel by foot to Yuksom the day before the expedition starts. A town in west Sikkim is called Yuksom. It plays a significant role in Sikkim’s history.

In Sikkim, a coronation takes place in Yuksom. On May 16, 1975, Sikkim, which had previously been an independent monarchy ruled by a monarch, was admitted as the 22nd state of the Indian Union. A replica of the stone throne where Phunshok Namgyal, the first monarch of Sikkim, took his oath of office is still on display for visitors.

Sikkim’s initial capital was Yuksom. It’s an excellent location to learn about Sikkimese culture in addition to being a great starting point for the Dzongri Goechala trek. Hotels and homestays in Yuksom are widely available and friendly to visitors.

Why do the Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

Camping at Goecha-la Trek

Goechala Trek’s natural splendor is beyond the scope of what words can convey. We briefly discuss what makes this walk so delightful in this piece. We aren’t romantic poets or authors who can transport you to another universe with only a few words.

But we made one promise. When you eventually get to the vantage point, what you see there will make you cry with excitement.

Due to the amount of uphill and downhill trekking and tough terrain walking, the route is best suited for seasoned hikers in good physical condition. However, even novices can successfully complete this trek with the right training and preparation.

The best time of year to travel is crucial when organizing your Goechala Trek itinerary. Mid-October to mid-December is the ideal time to go hiking because the weather is clear and the skies are typically clear.

The optimal season for a Goechala hike is also thought to be the spring months (March, April, and May). Additionally, the rhododendron forests bloom around this time, enhancing the trek’s splendor.

Adventurers can experience climates ranging from tropical to temperate to alpine on this expedition. Starting at 1,780 meters, hikers will go to the highest and coldest point in Sikkim, which is at approximately 4600 meters.

In conclusion, the Goechala Trek route is an adventure that promises to transport you deep into the Himalayas and give you a glimpse of its splendor and majesty. 

This expedition is a chance not to be passed up, whether you are a seasoned traveler or have never done it before. Pack your bags, buckle up your boots, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

10 Things You Should Know Before You Go to Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

  • Before making plans for the Goechala Trek, make sure you have at least 10 reliable treks in your back pocket, ranging from easy to demanding.
  • Due to the steep topography, there are no networks available outside of the Yuksom neighborhood.
  • Prior to beginning your walk, make sure you register at the police station.
  • There are no copy shops or Xerox facilities in Yuksom, so bring additional copies of your paperwork.
  • Pay your permission costs at the checkpoint in the forest.
  • Despite being extra, the costs associated with carrying a camera are already factored into the typical budget.
  • Ask your hired guide to help you navigate all the rules and restrictions if you have hired one.
  • The base camp must be reached by foreign nationals one day before the Goechala trek day.
  • The Government of Sikkim has made it essential for foreign nationals to obtain a foreigner trek permit from the city of Gangtok, which costs an additional INR 2,000.
  • Additionally, in order to be permitted to hike in a group of two or more individuals, foreign trekkers must get a special Protected Area Permit (PAP).
  • When departing from Siliguri, one may obtain an Inner Line Permit at the Bagdogra Airport’s grounds or at the checkpoint located at the entry of Sikkim.

Safety & Important Tips

Before embarking on the Goecha La Trek in Sikkim, keep the following in mind:

What You Must Bring 

  • 55 liters at the least in a sturdy backpack
  • Sandals or floaters to facilitate movement about the campsite
  • dependable hiking boots with excellent traction
  • Trekking stick
  • bottle of water
  • a headlamp or torch with additional batteries
  • Paper towels and a personal toiletry kit
  • Cold cream, lip balm, and sunscreen (SPF 40+)
  • Flip Flops
  • Portable chargers and dark sunglasses
  • A second bag for storing damp garments
  • Money to pay for meals not included in the package
  • camera with a memory card, extra batteries, and fully charged

Must-Do Exercise  

  • Walking a long distance at an altitude
  • running frequently for a long time
  • Sleep for a considerable length of time.

Frequently asked questions about the Sikkim Goecha-la Trek

Where will I be staying?

In Yuksom, accommodations in guesthouses or homestays will be offered on a quadruple- or triple-sharing basis. Additionally, shared tent accommodations will be provided during the walk. Morning and evening tea/coffee, light snacks, sleeping bags, spelling mattresses, utensils, and sleeping tents will all be provided with the meals.

How many days is the Goechala trek from Kathmandu Nepal?

The trek from Kathmandu usually takes 19 days to complete, but it is well worth it. The month of October is absolutely the finest time to travel to the Goechala Trek. In reality, the Goechala hike in October offers comfortable weather and bright skies, allowing for the best visibility.

Is Goechala Trek Safe?

The elevation gain of the GoechaLa journey is safe, at least as far as the trails are concerned. The trail is wide and does not call for navigational expertise. 

However, you could find it tedious because the walk is difficult because of the weather and altitude. Additionally, acute mountain sickness can manifest. Be sure to adjust to the altitude before beginning the Goecha La Trek in Sikkim.

What is the difficulty level of Goecha La Trek?

The Goechala walk is a moderately difficult trek, though the level of difficulty can only be estimated. The walk begins by offering travelers modest terrain, but as one ascends more, the trail becomes steep.

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The Goecha La journey is challenging because of the bad weather, the altitude, the absence of communication tools, and injuries. It is not advised if you are a beginner and intend to take this trek. 

Acute Mountain Sickness is a significant risk factor, and both physical and mental fitness are important. Additionally, only daredevils can sleep in tents at temperatures between minus 10 and minus 12 degrees.

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