The Dzongri-Goechala trek, Sikkim

The Goechala trek takes you through verdant valleys, beautiful orchards and rich forests to Goecha La, giving you stunning views of Kanchenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world.

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About Goechala Trek

Sikkim is one of the most untouched regions in India, and offers a wide variety of spectacular natural beauty for trekkers to explore. On the Goechala trek, you’ll have a chance to see the lush forests of the lower hills, as well as the meadows and rocky peaks at the higher altitudes. The highlight however, will be the spectacular views of the mighty Kanchenjunga Peak.

If you’re doing the Goechala trek, you’ll be passing Dzongri as well. The Dzongri-Goechala trek is a fascinating trail that takes you from Yuksom to Dzongri and onwards to the high pass of Goecha La. You'll be able to admire Kanchenjunga from the pass, and you'll also visit the scenic village of Tsokha, a Tibetan settlement. This is a complete experience for those searching for all that the Himalayan highlands have to offer.

Dzongri-Goechala trek itinerary

The Goechala trek starts in Yuksom, and winds upwards into the Kanchenjunga National Park. You’ll trek through bamboo and conifer forests, with delicate ferns and orchids dotting your trail. You’ll pass Sachen and Tsokha, cross bridges and boulder-strewn river beds, stay at homestays, and enjoy the wide open views. At Dzongri, you’ll stop for a day to acclimatize to the increasing altitude. As you near the Goechala Pass, you’ll have to navigate vast glacial moraines, and will have some fun on these challenging sections. Find the

Goechala trek difficulty level

The Goechala trek is one of the top 10 treks in India, but it is not recommended for beginners. The trekking hours are long, and the climate can be very harsh. In addition, you’ll be climbing from 5800 feet to a dizzying 16,000 feet, so you can expect some long, steep climbs. With all the factors combined, the Goechala trek difficulty level is quite high, and so is not suitable for those with no prior trekking experience. Read our blog about How to Prepare for High Altitude Trekking.

Best season for the Dzongri-Goechala trek

There are two seasons that are most popular for the Goechala trek: the summer months of April and May (bright pleasant days, still some snow on the trail, full ponds and lakes) or September and October (clear skies, bright autumn foliage, superb views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, good weather, now snow).

Some trekkers choose to go in the winter season to do the snow trek to Goechala. The thick snowfall makes the trek slippery and difficult, and you will have to use some snow trekking equipment for the trickier parts. These factors, combined with temperatures dropping to -18 to -20 degrees at night, make it completely impossible to recommend this trek in winter to beginners.

Apart from Dzongri-Goechala trek, there are many other trekking options in Sikkim you might want to explore.

Top Goechala Dzongri trek

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days

10
Yuksom, Sikkim
Price from:₹16,250
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Yuksom, Sikkim
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days

10
Price from:
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Trip Description
The Kanchenjunga, as they say, reveals itself only to a lucky few on the first go. On this trek to Goechala, you get a chance to witness the sacred peak in all its glory. This 10-day Goechala trek offers an opportunity to discover Sikkim like never before, as you traverse lush subtropical jungles with ferns and orchids in plenty, as well as temperate forests that are home to centuries-old oaks and rhododendron trees.

This is a thrilling adventure as trekkers travel from 5,800 feet to a summit reaching a dizzying height of 16,000 feet, a place where few have gone before.

NOTE: Travel from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Yuksom is not included in the package. The pick-up can be arranged for an additional cost of INR 6,000 per vehicle, one-way.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in tents and guesthouses (quad-sharing in guesthouses/triple-sharing in tents)
  • Vegetarian meals from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 9 (including morning/evening tea and snacks)
  • All technical equipment required for trekking
  • All equipment required for camping: sleeping bags, mattresses and tents
  • Services of experienced trek leader and camping crew
  • Permit charges and entry fees (for Indian citizens)
  • First aid kit (including oxygen cylinders)
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Yuksom (can be arranged for an additional cost of INR 6,000, one-way)
  • Travel arrangements from base city to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station/Yuksom
  • Meals in Yuksom
  • Permit charges and entry fees (for non-Indian citizens)
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, additional meals or beverages etc.
  • Adventure travel or medical insurance
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions
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days

10
Price from:₹17,010
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days

10
Price from:
₹17,010
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Trip Description
Snow treks are certainly not easy adventures to undertake, and this trek is a moderately challenging one, but the rewards make it worthwhile.

This itinerary is a balanced mix of treacherous and easy stretches with spectacular rewards on all days of the trek. From camping in the gorgeous meadows of Dzongri, to experiencing the serenity at Lake Samiti, from crossing beautiful dense rhododendron forests to witnessing the glory of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga mountain ranges, this trek is ideal for adventure and nature enthusiasts alike.
    Inclusions
  • All meals from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 9
  • 2 nights guest house stay in Yuksom (on triple sharing basis)
  • Tents on trekking days, on triple sharing basis
  • Toilet tent
  • Kitchen and dining tent
  • Sleeping bags/mats
  • Safety equipment
  • Services of trek guide, cook, helpers
  • Porters or mules for carrying common supplies
  • Forest permits/camping charges (if any)
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Personal utensils
  • Meals in Yuksom
  • Transport from NJP to NJP (can be arranged for INR 2900)
  • Any insurance
  • Any expense of personal nature
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusions list
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days

11
Yuksom, Sikkim
Price from:₹19,400
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Yuksom, Sikkim
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days

11
Price from:
₹19,400
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Trip Description
A glimpse of the glorious Kanchenjunga peak should be reason enough to book this trek. Goechala however, has a lot of other attractions to offer. Trekking in Sikkim takes you through a landscape that is very different from that of Himachal or Uttarakhand. You'll see stark contrasts of steep mountains and subtropical forests, with a mixed vegetation of orange trees, orchids, and century-old oak and rhododendron trees. You begin your adventure at 5,670 feet and trek to an altitude of 16,000 feet, that only a few can take pride in.

IMPORTANT: This trek involves some serious altitude gain on trekking days. Do make sure you are fully acclimatized and prepared for steep climbs.
    Inclusions
  • Transport from NJP to Yuksom and back
  • Accomodation in tents or guesthouse on triple sharing basis
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 11 (veg/egg)
  • Sleeping bags, mattresses
  • Toilet tents
  • Kitchen and dining tents
  • All permits as needed
  • First aid and medical kits
  • Oxygen cylinders
  • Qualified and experienced staff
  • Porters/mules to carry common equipment
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Food during transit
  • Any transport to New Jalpaiguri or from home city
  • Mules or porters to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 350 for all days)
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses of any kind
  • Anything not mentioned under the inclusions
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days

10
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Price from:₹57,750
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Darjeeling, West Bengal
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days

10
Price from:
₹57,750
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Trip Description
Take on a moderately difficult trek to the mountain pass of Goechala, and be rewarded with views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. For 10 days in the invigorating, snowy interiors of Sikkim, you'll climb higher altitudes beginning from Yuksom at 5,840 ft to the Goechala Pass at 16,200 ft. To get here, you'll enter the Kanchenjunga National Park and make your way across steep trails surrounded by green meadows, trees of rhododendron and misty mountain views of Mt. Padim, Kabru, Nasing and many more.

On the summit day, you'll trek to Dzongri top in the wee hours of dawn and arrive just in time to catch a heavenly sunrise.

NOTE: A minimum of 4 travellers are required to book this trek to Goechala Pass.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements from Darjeeling-Darjeeling in Tata Spacio, Xylo, Innova or similar vehicle
  • Accommodation in tents and hotel on triple-sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping: tents, sleeping bag
  • Common kitchen/dining and washroom tents
  • Any technical equipment required for the trek
  • All vegetarian meals from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 9
  • Services of experienced trek leader and camping crew
  • Permit charges, entry fees and camping charges
  • First aid kit
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements between base city and Darjeeling
  • Any accommodation or meals in Darjeeling, plus meals in Yuksom
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, additional meals and beverages etc.
  • Adventure travel or medical insurance
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

FAQS about the Dzongri-Goechala trek

Can beginners do the Goechala trek in summer or autumn?

It is not recommended that beginners do the Goechala trek. The trek is a long and tiring one, with at least 8 days of trekking at high altitudes. However, if you are extremely fit, with a regular exercise schedule that involves cardio, you might be able to complete this trek or at least trek as far as Dzongri. Do make sure you travel with a responsible, experienced operator and inform them that you’re a beginner.

What is the best time for the Goechala trek?

The most popular time for the Goechala trek is April-May and Sept-October. In summer, the days are bright and the weather is pleasant, but you’ll still have some snow on the trail. After the monsoon, the trail is green and lovely, with clear views, but it can be colder. Experienced trekkers might choose to do the snow trek to Goechala. This is a much more difficult and challenging trek, with slippery trails and temperatures as low as -18 to -20 degrees at night, but the trail is more or less empty and you’ll have gorgeous views.

What should I carry for the Goechala trek?

Depending on the season in which you’re going, you’ll have to carry different gear. Your operator will send you a comprehensive packing list, so do check twice to make sure you’re not missing anything. You must have a sturdy backpack, strong trekking boots, a thick warm jacket with a waterproof shell, and a fleece sweater, as well as thermals for both upper and lower body. Don’t forget a wool hat, gloves, and a scarf to protect you from the cold.