Goecha La Trek – Epic Mountains and Beautiful Landscapes

14 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide

The Goecha La Trek offers a challenge and is a longer trek for those who want to push themselves physically. Over the course of 10 days, you will traverse through some amazing landscapes and see the glory of the Himalayas. One of the main rewards for your perseverance is sweeping views of some of the tallest mountains in the world including the lofty Kanchenjunga.

Explore trip itineraries, accommodation, transport, required gear, fitness plan, insurance and more

Goecha La stands at 16,207ft / 4940m and is a mountain pass in the Sikkim region of India in the Himalayas. In itself it is an impressive region but it offers some fantastic views and you can see some of the mightiest peaks of the Himalayas from here.

The most noticeable is the southeast side of Kanchenjunga which is the third tallest mountain in the world behind Everest and K2. Other notable mountains include Talung (7349m), Kabru N (7353m), and Kabru S (7318m). You will find the views simply spectacular and you can gain appreciation for the sheer magnitude of the Himalayas compared to the rest of the world.

Aside from the epic views, Goecha La is also a beautiful place full of flora and fauna. You can experience some of the most beautiful landscapes in Sikkim and northern India. It is therefore a great place for hikers, but also for nature lovers.

The Goecha La trek typically takes 10 to 11 days. During the first and last days, you will usually be traveling via road to the starting point of the hiking. The main pickup point is usually either Bagdogra Airport, or the NJP railway station. Bagdogra Airport has internal flights to main Indian cities including Mumbai and Delhi – as a result you should easily be able to sort international flight plans. Alternatively, NJP railway also has great connections to the larger cities.

The drive will take you to the starting point of Yuksom. This historical town is nestled in a valley and has some great sites of its own such as the Kathok Lake and Kathok Monastery. From this starting point, you will then embark on an immense 8-9 day trek to and through the Goecha La Pass. Popular stopping points include Sachen, Tshokha, Dzongri, Thansing, and Lamuney.

Throughout this trek you will see some fantastic sites including the beautiful Rathong River, scenic forests packed full of rhododendrons, suspension bridges, viburnum plantations, and the amazing Tibetan settlement of Tshoka. The main site is of course the Goecha La Pass itself. This is the highest point of your trek and although it may be gruelling, the rewards are certainly worth it. You will stop at different viewpoints along the way and get to see the mighty Himalayas in all their glory – this may also include epic sunset and sunrise viewings.

In terms of accommodation, this trek will have a mix of homestays, teahouses, and tented campsites. You will usually have to share accommodation with one or two other people, but you will feel comfortable and be able to relax at the campsites. Snacks, drinks, and meals are also mainly included for most of the days.

The best time for Goecha La trek is during the Autumn or Summer. The months of September to November or March to June offer the best conditions. During these months, the weather is more predictable and pleasant. It is widely advised to avoid this trek during the monsoon seasons as it can make the trail incredibly slippery and dangerous.

Whilst this trek is certainly more challenging, it will provide a once in a lifetime experience. The route from Yuksom to the Goecha La Pass is filled with amazing sites and gorgeous landscapes. Also, there is nothing quite like witnessing the epic mountains of the Himalayas, and seeing the third tallest mountain in the world – Kanchenjunga.

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